Making Memories of Us

Yay! First full week of summer vacation…..I thought I would relax and have space to breathe, regroup, get it together. Nope. My old friend Mr. Anxiety has returned, mostly when I am alone which is more frequent now that school is out and the coconuts have moved to Southie. Last summer Tim pointed out that I get anxious before a big trip–worrying about my cats, the coconuts and my house. Poor Bridget–she is in charge and everything that seems to go awry happens on her watch–water overflow, pumping the septic system, ant infestation in the dish washer, losing my cat, the fire department breaking in through the window because of a smoke alarm! Yikes. What will happen next?

Last day of this round of chemo today! Hurray! I am tolerating it better, mostly nausea in the morning. I like to pretend its morning sickness and I’m pregnant.

Another source of anxiety: insurance. Thirteen years ago insurance never questioned anything about my breast cancer and extensive, expensive surgeries. This time they reject everything. No to a Pet Scan–Dr. Rachel again has to explain that I can’t handle the contrast dye used in a Cat Scan with only one kidney. She wrote me a prescription for Zofran to help with the nausea. CVS doled out 6 tablets. What? I need this med 21 days a month, maybe more, but insurance did not approve the 40 tablets–again an over ride request. We are leaving on vacation Saturday and I will run out of Letrozole while I am away–too soon to refill, again a vacation over ride I am waiting to hear back about. The chemo script ran out and I had to go back to my old grumpy doctor to get it refilled unless I wanted a nasty tangle of paperwork and faxing.  Cancer is a full-time job and managing the 8 or so meds I take is a big problem. Okay Barb, enough complaining.

What bothers me? My life ambition has been realized–marriage, kids, a job I love with co-workers I adore. I love high school life, the hum of the halls, the bells ringing, the laughter and raised voices of excited, sometimes angry, teenagers. The arguments, the creativity, the outside of the box thinking in a pretty structured black and white, rule bound world.

It is that my life potential will not be realized, not fully. The opportunity to have son-in-laws to love and nurture, grandchildren to spoil, to grow old with Blanket Tim next to me. That is what haunts me.

Kelsey does not like talking about the future but brings it up often because it tortures her. We have the hard conversations, it is torture, but we must have them.  They help her and me to process and to surface stuff I do not know is on her mind and gives me the chance to clarify, opine. Last week she asked me if I thought Tim would commit suicide. What? No, Kelsey, suicide is a selfish act and Tim does not have any selfishness in his being. He would never leave his beautiful children and loved ones, no matter how sad he was.

Another area of concern. The early breast cancer detection and awareness campaigns that have proven to be an epic fail (well not the  awareness part–20 years of pink ribbon waving has worked) vs. the metastatic breast cancer peeps like me that get very little attention, research, support. No one dies of breast cancer. Everyone dies of metastatic breast cancer–100% and no change in that little fact in 40 years. I am not sure why it has to be an “us vs. them” but a lot of MBC peeps are very angry and want to do something about it, and especially to stop the sexualization of breast cancer with stupid slogans about ta, ta’s and boobs.  That last part has my total support–it trivializes and demeans women and cancer is neither cute nor an opportunity to reap profits. I have learned a lot about the Susan B. Komen foundation recently and it is sickening to me that they do not want the MBC peeps at the table because we are too dark–a real downer for people. Sorry that I make you pink washers uncomfortable but they will not be getting my support or money until they change their business plan and give real money to MBC research. Okay–off the soap box Barb.


I had a beautiful week-end at the beach with Bill and Carla last weekend (and Tim) at the home of a college friend, Kathy N. –Carla and I were discussing the whole anger thing above when we ended up in Wickford, RI, one of my favorite little places along a river. Carla wanted to visit a friend’s jewelry store and Tim and I were both pulled to an ancient silver amulet from India with the image of Durga riding atop her lion. Durga is a fierce warrior goddess, beautiful and full of rage. This struck me as pretty funny in light of our conversation and my situation. Tim Blanket immediately purchased it.


These amulets and tokens that I collect help me with my anxiety. They remind me of each of the people I love and what they mean to me and how much I cannot give up, leave behind, unsettled. I know I will shatter the lives of 3 people. Cancer sucks but I am trying to be awesome.





On a lighter note–doesn’t Donald Trump just suck? Really? He is entertaining me this summer but he really isn’t that funny. Amy Schumer–now she is funny.

So it is off to Central America to a little Caye off the coast. The resort we are going to can only be reached by boat. I am guessing there isn’t much of a hospital near by. Oh well, gotta live my life. Hope the coconuts survive without me (and the cats too). When we return it will be time for the Booty By Brabants fundraiser for the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. They have worked so hard. Love those girls.



Song: Keith Urban “Making Memories of Us”

Tim Blanket, Barb, Kelsey and Bridget


  1. I an glad to see your witty meaningful intelligent and oh so thoughtful post today! I was riding bikes with Joyce Oconnor yesterday and we were wondering how you were fairing….
    I continue to keep you in my morning prayers as my number one request!
    I pray for your “highest and best, health and wellness”…..
    I have been thinking of a book that you might really enjoy… Easy funny witty intelligent and oh so thoughtful read( hey just like YOU)! It’s called Breakfast with Buddha, I’ve read all three in the series…lunch with Buddha, Dinner with Buddha etc…..
    I LOVED them….. But I’d probably like Cochtails with Buddha the best if they ever come out with that one!😂… Hahaha… Cmon that was funny!
    Have a wonderful trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First, but definitely not foremost, yes, The Donald does suck. He is one big wad of ego just slurping up every bit of attention he can find. Can’t wait till his craziness just goes away.
    Your trip to SA sounds divine. I am envious. We spent last week at the family reunion, OBEDRA, 95 degrees in southwestern Kentucky. Fun was had, but that’s my last trip to the south in the summer!
    Aren’t insurance companies pathetic? They pick and choose who they help and who gets what. There should be a better way. Sadly, if you were old enough for Medicare, I think more would be covered! I’m praying for your 65th birthday! ☺️
    M and I are hoping Kelsey will make it to Grand Rapids in August, but with everything going on, we won’t be surprised if she doesn’t. M and I also want to come and visit in the near future, so keep the idea on the front burner.
    Have a great trip. Can’t wait to see pics. ❌⭕️❌⭕️❌⭕️❤️💚💛💗

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are amazing.
    On our way to Block Island tomorrow morning for four days and I am going through the pre-trip angst. As much as I look forward to getting away, there is always huge tension right before. I can’t imagine going to a faraway island in Central America!
    However, you have stopped me in my tracks, once again. I am blown away, once again. You write and share so beautifully, so poignantly. I feel as if you’re sitting right next to me and we’re holding hands while you speak. We laugh, smile, smirk, and of course cry at times. Your incredible personal journey touches every single reader in the same way… I’m sure of that.
    What you are doing is so important. I will get on that campaign bus to endorse $$ toward MBC research. Whatever I can do.
    Wishing you and Tim a great vacation. Let’s finally get a date on the books when you get back.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thinking of you so often and wish you were just next door so I could bang on the door and we could hug and talk and swear. Old Mr Anxiety is a creeping in kinda guy I know well and often have to tell him to go away as I tell myself he knows no more of the truth than you or I , yet gets our worry gene tweeted up to maximum voltage. It happens to me when any transition combined with solitude gets my What If ” dissertation dusted off and begging for additions and revisions. you are a trooper, a gifted writer who touches many with your humor, honesty , life view and committment to doing your best. I’m with you on Donald Trump it would be scarier if the words were not coming from the mouth of a Clown, but from one I respect and learn from. Milenko, Barry and I want to be with you , maybe after this next adventure trip with our other best buddy Tim. Love surrounds you, add ours to it, Bundle up and have a great time. Send Mr Anxiety my way Im used to dancing with him. Love you,


  5. Barbara I think of you part of every day. Mr Anxiety is a familiar character who creeps in thinking he knows more than you or I. He is a challenge to me too, doubting my own truths and begs me to add to the dissertation of What ifs , especially during times of solitude and transition. I wish you were my neighbor and I could run over and bang on the door and we could talk and hug and swear and laugh. You are a brilliant writer, touching truth and fears and joys I can relate to , as if we never missed a beat and connect like two old souls. Milenko and Barry and I would love to be with you ( and the other best buddy Tim) , maybe after your return from this next adventure. In the meantime send me Mr Anxiety to deal with I’m good at dancing with him. Love surrounds you , add mine to it, bundle up and have a great trip. We’ll see you soon after your return. Thank you for your AWESOMENESS AND the piece of you I get to take in and learn from through the Chronicle.
    With love and kisses

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I get this, to the point that I could have written parts of it! My anxiety skyrockets when school is out. Too much time to think, and less structure to the day. So weird to look forward to the break and dread it in the same breath. Have a wonderful trip, and keep being awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Glad to see you got your blog back on! I love hearing from you, I have to catch my breath at times reading it…wish you a fantastic trip and glad you enjoyed R.I. Also, what a beautiful collection of amulets, shows some love. Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The fear is what sucks and i feel like ive put myself in a position to fear not being here anymore alot. I hate that you have to feel that way…it hurts me and brings tears to my eyes. I miss you guys alot. I am now at the new joes location in waltham that will open on the 24th of august. I kow its lind of a troop from these parts but if you guys want to take a trip let me know. Id love to see those beautiful smiles! Have fun on the trip and wish i couldve been there on the 8th. Im a little slow at keeping up when things come up but im always here! Cant wait to keep reading and seeing whats going on…love!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Awesome! Sounds great. Let me also add that next week on wed thurs or friday (i have to make sure which day it actually is) its friends and family day so you guys can be added to my list and you eat for FREE!!!!! Let me know if thats something you can fit into your schedule…if not i will see you in september!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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