A blog in three parts

Part One

Why I suddenly felt the urge to drive myself to the Mall escapes me. Tim said “Are you sure, can’t you get make up closer?” Nope. Had to go via highway to the big mall to the altar of Estee Lauder. By myself. Off I set in my massive Jeep ignoring the 85 degree sunshine and broken air conditioner thinking, hey I can do this. Not so much. I arrive hot and sweaty and aim for the parking lot which apparently has zero driving rules. I park and head into Lord and Taylor. I immediately get intimidated by the theatrically made up and coiffed ladies at the make up counter who I think, for some reason, are much older than me. Really, Barb?  So off to Macy’s I go, thinking it will cool me down to be in centralized air conditioning and the walk will do me good as I list through the mall like a drunken sailor. I enter Macy’s and I am immediately overwhelmed by the rush of heavily mixed perfumes and my stomach roils, a trigger reaction from all the chemo I have had. I anxiously make my purchase of the nirvana skin cream that promises to reverse my age and hurriedly head for the exit door. Ah, I spot a DSW and think that will be aroma free and safe so I head down the escalator. Whoa! This not like my DSW close to home. I am completely disoriented trying to find the sandal aisle. (I know, Bridget says I always buy the same sandals every year) I sit down on a bench to gather my wits as my mom would say, or whatever few wits I have left. A nice salesman says “have a nice day”–is he kidding? I am nauseous, overheated and confused. My back aches and the crushing fatigue has hit. With that I crawl to the escalator and back through the nightmarish mall concourse to my car. Stephen King could write a book about this place. When I get to the safety of my car I remember that I haven’t driven this far alone or gone shopping without Tim Blanket or a coconut in over a year and a half. I head toward the highway with sagging confidence and discover I am going the wrong direction, headed for Cape Cod in rush hour traffic. That’s it! I call Tim on my cell phone in tears. I need his voice and reassurance that I am okay, and to turn around and come home. I am a mess!

I told you that story, not to whine, but to share what it is like on a regular day for me. I am very capable and competent (debatable) when I am seated and in a familiar environment with people who know me and will help me if I stumble.  I need help regularly to get around. Having cancer has robbed me of my mobility in many ways, another loss. It chips away and slowly erodes so many little things like the ability to enjoy perfume or not get sensory overloaded in strange places. Sometimes I feel my heart is deflating a little bit at a time, like a balloon. 💔

Okay, after that story, on to part two.





My crazy, I mean lovely, state Representative Claire Cronin, selected me to be honored as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women’s 2017 class of Unsung Heroines! I know I have been sung plenty but this was a great honor to say the least. Accompanied by family and friends we attended a beautiful reception at the Mass State House. The heroines each received a yellow rose corsage, the symbol of the 72 year struggle for women to be included in the US Constitution. We were seated together as they read out each name and story. After the first few, I texted my family “what the heck am I doing here?” These women had done serious things on behalf of others and they were pretty darned impressive. They should be sung! From there we had desserts and coffee before meeting in Claire’s office for pictures and a citation. She was busy on the floor with a vote so she sent us off to the UMass Club with her lovely and freshly Stonehill graduated intern for drinks and apps. It was really a fun and special day until….we found our car had been towed. Ya, that. Luckily our friends passed by us on their way out and we had a hilarious ride to the tow lot in South Boston. What can I say? Stuff happens. To me. A lot.   Thank you Miss Claire for having so much heart. ❤️🍀

I hear the sale of lobster rolls are on the rise! That makes me happy. ❤️





Part Three





Last week the Brabants and Bigelow families came together once again in love and excitement for the 3rd annual Booty for the Battle to raise money for Metavivor. If you know anything about me from my blog, then you know I am deadly serious about raising money for desperately needed and very underfunded research for metastatic breast cancer. 114 women and men die every day in the US of MBC. That is unforgivable. We need money directed to help find a cure for what is a deadly, fatal disease and I’m not stopping until my last breath. Women like me have come out from behind the scrim to raise our voices and fight, just like the ladies who fought for our inclusion in the US Constitution.





Anyway, the day was a huge success due to Kelly Brabants and her boundless energy and her devoted family that worked so hard. To do this kind of work you need heart, a lot of it, or you wouldn’t do it. This year we flew in the President of Metavivor, Beth Fairchild, to receive the first annual Barbara Bigelow Courage Award. Now that is a woman with a heart as big as Kansas. Beth is an elegant and beautiful spokeswoman for Metavivor and all that it represents. Dion Lewis, my beloved Patriots running back, came to MC on his own time and take pictures and sign stuff for hours while DJPUPdawg pumped up the music. Those two guys are all heart. Together we raised $27,079 for Metavivor. On days like this my heart inflates a little, no a lot. ❤️

May we all find our hearts and fight for what we are passionate about. Cheers to us all! ❤️❤️❤️



  1. I thought I was having a rough week, thank you for the “snap out of it” dope slap a la Cher! You are unlike anyone I have ever know … all in a amazing way. Love you and all the Bigelow’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on raising another pile of money for Metavivor!! You deserved to be at the state house being sung! Not everyone with cancer decides to take such action to educate and activate all the rest of us who are so privileged to be living so far in our lives without cancer. I’m sorry to hear these small things are still a struggle but in telling these stories you remind me of the privilege of living with good health and that even though you cover it up so well there are still daily struggles! Lots of love on a rainy Friday night🌻

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahh the small events we take for granted. I’ll take you shopping anytime and glad you made it home. Loved the fundraiser and hanging out with you and your hilarious husband and gorgeous daughters. Still taking Motrin from the workout. (Exaggerating). Congrats on unsung heroine award and I agree Claire Cronin is one of a kind. You are an inspiration b b whether you are whining, laughing , teaching , parenting , knitting , celebrating , counseling ,healing …And simply making the world a better place .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Part 1: To think that a simple trip to the Mall, something to which we do not give two-seconds of thought, could become such an overwhelming, painful and emotionally draining experience. Unfortunately, I’m guessing this is merely a tiny fraction of all of the seemingly simple, “normal” activities which challenge you on a day-to-day basis. Thank you for sharing this with such vulnerability and clarity. Shame on any of us for whining about silly things.

    Part 2: Thank you Claire Cronin – brilliant call! And Barbara – yes, you did say “What the heck am I doing here?”…several.. many… multiple times. YOU are at the top of the list of women who were honored that afternoon. Just believe us when we say that you have inspired and changed so many lives through your blogs and everything you have done. Immeasurable.

    Part 3: Booty by Brabants, et al kicked ASS (booty). One of the most incredibly fun, positively charged days ever! All because of you and what you’re fighting for. Funds and awareness for Metavivor and Research for Stage 4.

    The three-parts mesh so beautifully. “Mall-Gate deflate” transforms to… the good stuff, keeping your heart deservedly full with all of the love it deserves. XOXO

    P.S. I do have to note one thing regarding Part 1. Someone you know (S.M.) has some stories to share about his hellish experiences (every time) at any given mall. Though it’s only been a few times he has ever been to a mall, he speaks about it as if deeply scarred, with no hope for humanity. Truly torturous guerilla warfare in his mind. Just sayin’

    Liked by 1 person

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