Amy and Me


It’s that time again! The Brabants and Bigelow Families are hosting the second annual Bootys for the Battle to raise money for We all know I’m a metavivor, snooze, but this organization is volunteer run and gives 100% of donations to fund desperately needed research into metastatic breast cancer! It is vitally important for all of us but especially those of us with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, the most aggressive one  with imagethe worst prognosis. I don’t have lots of time to ponder that but……they need money that they give out in the form of grants. Besides, it’ll be fun. Last year was a blast and this year is even bigger and better with a celebrity  MC and a DJ and drinks! We all like drinks, right? And you get to see ME!!! How exciting is that?! Am I right? Okay Barb, enough advertising…….


My chemo honeymoon has been fabulous. Lots of sleeping and resting in between rehabbing and fun. We spent the fourth of July holiday weekend at my brother’s house on the Cape. I can’t tell you how happy Tim/Blanket was to hand me off to other people to watch over me. He needs a break!


We had a great time doing things I love–eating lobster, going out on a boat, milk shakes, and laughing. Tim and Shawn kayaked somewhere and rounded up a bucket of quahogs that Diana grilled, stuffed and baked. I did what I do best–nothing! I floated around in the pool for a little while before Diana told me I had to get out–covered in red splotches from the steroids reacting to the sun. Oh well, back in the shade. We went on a magnificent boat out of Dennis for a sunset cruise and lobster rolls, so fun and I even navigated the plank and dock with little trouble. Be back next year, lol.







I have been walking on Main St for exercise, trying to go a little further every day. I love all of you people who stop to say hi to me! Who knew so many peeps drive that route.

I am getting around much better but still plagued with word finding difficulties. This rolls off most people’s backs, they just fill in the word I’m looking for. Bridget however, gets annoyed.  She took imageme shopping and I said I wanted to stop at Virginia’s Secret. This was met with a loud and exasperated “MOOOOM!” Whatever. Now I am going to do it more around her. Life goals people.

Last night we watched the finale of Outlander, sob, sniffle. I think I took it harder than the end of Game of Thrones. I don’t have the time to wait until next Spring, I may not be here, so now I have to read the damn books to find out what happens. Just sayin.

Time, or the shortness of it weighs heavily on me. I joke about it a lot but it is always present. MBC is very lonely and isolating. Everyone dies but I know my time is much shorter and I know what I will die of, especially after the close call in April. I feel very “unfinished”. There is still so much I have to say and people to spend time with and kids to continue guiding. Trying to stay present isn’t always possible, my thoughts circle back and I think about the collateral damage I’ve caused. Strangers will ask if I am a survivor and I just can’t nod assent. I can’t pretend but I don’t want to horrify someone with my bluntness but if we don’t talk about it how will people ever understand what it’s like to die slowly in front of your family? It shouldn’t be a secret or something to shy away from.image

I am not going back to work before Christmas. I am not ready and Doc Rachel feels I need the rest. I have mixed feelings, great sadness and anxiety, but also relief that I won’t have to face something before I am strong enough. My job isn’t easy and it’s not one you can half ass your way through. Too much responsibility— to be effective you have to be well yourself. At the same time, having a goal is good for me–it keeps me moving forward.

Doc Rachel also said to take a vacation before my next scans in early August. Aruba it is. Sunblock, umbrella, hat, snorkeling shirt.  Let’s see how Bridget does with the cats this time around!!


I have mentioned that I had some awful hallucinations when I was in intensive care. When I first woke up from my coma I kept asking for Amy and that Amy would take my meal tickets. I don’t personally have any one close to me named Amy. However, right before I became so sick I watched the documentary about Amy Winehouse by myself. It was very heavy and I spent a lot of time afterward thinking about how no one watched out for her. Her parents seemed to care more about her performing and making money than they did about her very obvious declining health and addiction. She really was a little girl lost. I can only think my brain made some connection back to her when I was in the hospital and feeling helpless myself, a terrible feeling. This one is for you Amy.


Barbara, Tim, and the coconuts


  1. I am relating strongly to the feelings you shared about time, and about the curious loneliness of mbc. Sometimes people just don’t/can’t engage around the reality of this disease process, and sometimes I don’t know how to share my experience without scaring or shocking or bothering loved ones in some way. Reading your blog is a breath of fresh air. I have a few friends now with stage 4 cancers, whose presence in my life is a real gift. Your decision to wait to go back to your job makes total sense to me. Being who you are, you may feel ready to take that back on in January. Meanwhile, fill up on sun and good food and fam and pals and art and reading and all that can bring you pleasure. Thank you for continuing to write the truth from your point of view. Warm wishes om Maine, Marcia

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara your courage is amazing. I will miss seeing you in September, but you are so right–can’t do your job half-assed. I am glad you have some chemo-free time. Lord knows you deserve it. I am heading to a healing mass on Sunday. You will be foremost in my prayers. XOJen

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahh Barb, Your words touched me greatly this morning…lump in my throat. Your generosity in Inviting others to observe your wisdom as you contemplate life, death, time & Amy Winehouse has been of help to me & I’m certain to others. Have a wonderful time in Aruba, remember sun screen & a hat. Fondly, Laura

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Barbara! Im hoping to make it to the Booty Battle, but not sure yet if I can. I want to make a donation none the less! Whats the best way I can do that? If I don’t see you saturday, Have a blast! You are always in my thoughts and prayers! Adriana >

    Liked by 1 person

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