imageStarted and ended the week on a high but the middle, not so much. My birthday celebrations continued all day Monday with a surprise breakfast with colleagues, lunch and cake with staff, lots of flowers and balloons, dinner in South Boston with Tim Blanket and head coconut, Kelsey. Family in Michigan bought plane tickets to visit us for a weekend in December–all good stuff. We can’t put our lives on hold, we gotta get on with it.

And then…. a whole day alone at Cancer House for endless tests and scans and questions to prepare for the clinical trial. Seemed like  a small price to pay to get this thing going. I was taken by surprise by how time intensive the chemo was going to be–fasting, blood draws, injections, waiting, more blood tests. I guess I didn’t tune in to the part about having to spend every other Tuesday all day at Cancer House from now until Christmas and missing a lot of work. I mean I read the paperwork, reviewed the schedule, processed it but it was the between the lines I didn’t take note of….Okay, Tim said we will make it work and we started rearranging our schedules, notifying the kids  and analyzing how to do it. All systems go.

Wednesday I stayed late at work to get things done. At 4:30 the call came–from a clinical nurse I do not know–to tell me my chemo would have to be cancelled and delayed because my tumor tissue sample had been sent to the wrong place, they might not have enough cells on the slides and may have to do something more with them, and they wanted to see if I “was comfortable with this?” WHAT? Is that a trick question? Some existential abyss I had missed? I went into hyper over drive. How could I possibly be comfortable with a delay while my tumors multiply and grow and move at warp speed (not really but that is exactly how it feels). The nurse appeared to have skipped the empathy course in her nursing program. I could not answer that question to her satisfaction. I ended the call when she suggested I come in for another appointment with my doctor and more time away from work. It’s mid-October, my students are beginning to melt down and need increasing support. I melted into a sobbing pile like the wicked witch in the Wizard of OZ when water is thrown on her, mascara streaming down my face from the 3 eyelashes I have left. Time to regroup.image

I e-mailed my doc–she reassured me it was okay medically to wait a few more days to start treatment, probably end of the week or next  or I could drop out of the clinical trial and start standard treatment right away, Sophie’s Choice. I came this far, I can wait a week before I emotionally can’t handle it anymore. End of story, back to waiting for what ever is next. Things can only get better from here. And it did.

My appearance on the Channel 5 news (which apparently is the only news station people watch) resulted in a flood of e-mails and calls from people in my past, former co-workers and acquaintances who wanted to reach out and say nice things to me. I like that. A lot. I haven’t spoken to some people in years but they caught the news and wanted to remind me of a time when I said or did something nice with or to them. Karma—-be good to others, they will remember forever. image

My friends in Australia who we met on our tour of Italy a few years ago posted that they had done a relay for cancer in my honor down under. How awesome is that?image

 

Saturday Bridget came home with Kelsey’s newly acquired foster dog, Damon, while she was at work. My cats especially loved the visit. Bridget had time to do my make up and nails, always a treat.
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A wonderful night followed at the DJ Henry Dream Fund Gala raising lots of money to support this fabulous family’s vision of helping children access sports and camps they could not otherwise participate in. The Power of Yes and a lot of love sprung from the unjust killing of this innocent, beautiful boy by a police officer 5 years ago. His legacy will go on forever with this kind of devotion and love from his family and supporters like Stephen and Carol Marcus. It was a great, funny, moving night with plenty of hi jinxs and silliness between the seriousness of such an important cause. They raised close to $100,000 in 10 minutes just through inspiration and volunteerism.imageimage

 

 

 

 

Today college friends, one I haven’t seen in over 30 years, came to visit and brunch–thank you Kris and Patrice. imageNext weekend we are off to the White Mountains for Halloween and hiking with Bill and Carla. Dinner with Lisa and Rick and Sharon and John are in the works. We are going to the Carol King Musical courtesy of Kris in November and working up dinner with Kathy and Gib too. The Bigelow’s visit in December. The junior class is selling sweatshirts to raise money for their class activities and decided to donate 20% to Metavivor.org. I plan to continue to live my life at full velocity, like always, but with more naps and cheezits involved, and wine. I am not giving up and nobody else should either. We are in this together. Clinical trials and chemotherapy may allow me to live longer but they alone cannot give me a life. Only friends and family can do that.image

 

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Love,

Barbara and Crew❤️🎪💌

FLORENCE + THE MACHINE :
“Dog Days Are Over”

Happiness hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her stuck still no turning back

She hid it ’round corners and she hid it under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with her drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
‘Cause here they come

And I never wanted anything from you
Except everything you had and what was left after that too, oh
Happiness hit her like a bullet in the back
Struck from a great height by someone who should know better than that

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
‘Cause here they come

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
‘Cause here they come
The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run

 

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Written by barbigelow

Wife, mother, school psychologist, cat lover

6 comments

  1. This is my second attempt. The site didn’t like me the first time….
    Sorry about your bad phone call from the bad nurse. Shit does happen.
    Happy you are having fun things coming up, especially the visit from the Bigelow/Capogna group from Michigan. We will have a blast!
    Hope the snow cooperates. Until then, hugs and kisses to all, especially your new grand-dog, Damon! Can’t wait to meet him!
    💚❤️💗🙏😄❄️❄️❄️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara You are truly a most wonderful and courageous person.We are so proud of you and I’m so delighted to be a blood relation! You are an inspiration to all who have a cross to bear. Have no fear but Fr.John is helping you along the way Barbara as are your beloved Mam and Dad ☺💜xx

    Liked by 1 person

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