I was a bit miffed to open my college alumni newsletter and discover they are giving the outstanding alumni award to a woman for her achievement as CEO of Susan G. Komen. I felt a bit slapped in the face I must admit. Her salary represented a 64% raise above similar CEOs. Komen has done so many things wrong: stopping the funding of planned parenthood, ending funding for embryonic stem cell research, spending millions to fight small non-profits from using “the cure” logo, actively participating in the controversy over pink-washing women like me, developing partnerships with big companies that do more for self promotion (like Major League Baseball that earns 1.2 billion but donates only $100,000) and associating with companies like Baker Hughes that used pink drill bits for hydraulic fracking when 1/3 of the chemicals used in fracking are endocrine disrupters. Women like me with stage iv breast cancer have no seat at the Komen table so am I pissed at this recognition by my beloved undergraduate school? You bet I am. I guess I won’t be invited to the ceremony.
I think my anger was compounded by the announcement this week of the millions in cuts our new administration is applying to the NIH. All that metastatic cancer research down the drain. Don’t get me started on the ACA and the forgotten Moonshot. Tim just informed me that my medical care last year cost $627,000. Is my life worth it? I like to think so and I have a lot of fight left in me.
In other news my beloved Big Sur has suffered mightily from the broken Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge and the mud slides from the rains that have effectively cut the community off from the outside world and devastated my favorite place, Deetjens. Let’s spend money fixing that and forget about that stupid Mexican wall.
Okay Barb, enough complaining. Lots happening around Casa Bigelow. Tim and I had an absolutely amazing vacation on Martha’s Vineyard with incredibly warm weather. Lots of time to spend outside exploring and photographing while pretty much left to ourselves. Spring had sprung! A nice reprieve from winter and work.
Next up I went to Las Vegas with the little coconut for more unseasonably warm weather. Yup, 87 degrees and sunny! Although I was there to work on a project related to MBC, we toured Red Rock Canyon, took the elevator up the Eiffel Tower, ate outside, dined at the rotating restaurant at the tallest building in Vegas and took in two shows. This left lots of time for sitting pool side. Needless to say, Bridget looks very tanned! We pooled our slot machine winnings of 15 cents!
After all that fun and shenanigans came the very unexpected news that Tim/Blanket will be taking early retirement. His hospital is going through some restructuring and he was offered the possibility of staying in another, less interesting position or taking early retirement. He finishes up at the end of the month, after contract negotiations are settled. While this shocked me and led to feelings of panic, he is rather giddy about his prospective new-found freedom. Suddenly he has emerged from the world of work with this new energy about all the things he can now do, like spend the summer off with me! What!!! I am not sure what to do with this, after years of waiting for him to arrive at 6:00 PM while I made dinner. Suddenly he is writing a book and talking about recipes he might try and trips we will take. Mama Mia!! Kidding aside, he has worked long and hard to get where he has and to take care of all of us. He deserves some down time before his next adventure.
And now—-the dreaded scans are coming this week. No point in trying to keep it to myself. I may look and walk and talk the same on the outside, but inside I am absolutely racked with anxiety about this. As my big day at Cancer House looms closer, its been getting worse. I have been sleeping terribly and I have thrown up a few times, sometimes paralyzed with fear. I need Blanket or a coconut next to me to quiet my fears. I’m not particularly a pessimist but this is the longest I have gone between scans since diagnosed two years ago and really, how long can I ride this current good wave of health? This time the whole crew is coming to support me and hear whatever the results might be. Don’t worry if you don’t hear from us right away–we will need time to process good or bad news. For now, we are living on all of your prayers and good intentions that are being sent our way. What ever happens we will get through it together.
Barb, Tim, Kelsey and Bridget