With Arms Wide Open

Well this is not the post I thought I would be writing today. I expected to talk a lot about baby Jack and the change of seasons. Alas, life had other plans…..this past week I was diagnosed with a new, primary cancer—-lung cancer. Yup, you can read that sentence again, take a breath even. I have what appears to be early stage lung cancer. I’m sure your first question is “don’t you mean metastatic breast cancer, a new met in your lung?” Nope. I have had a nodule noted on several pet scans over the past 4 years. I was referred to the Chief of Thoracic Surgery back in February of this year. I met with him, we chatted, he agreed to monitor me with a follow up CT in six months. I wasn’t worried, I felt Doc Rachel was just being thorough. In July I had a pet scan, again it was mentioned as suspicious. This week I had the follow up CT and met with the Chief. Without any fanfare he let me know that the nodule has slowly grown over this past year and does not look like a breast met. He is VERY confident it is early stage lung cancer that needs to come out NOW— zero bedside manner. I guess he has seen thousands of these and I don’t really question him but the pathology will be the definitive diagnosis. So…..surgery is next Thursday. I am having a VATS procedure–video assisted thoracic surgery and will be in patient for 3 days because I will wake up with a chest tube to keep my lung inflated. I can hardly wait. A wedge will be resected from my right lung.

Now before we get all excited: what I need is love, support and understanding. If you want to comment on that please have at it, I read everything. What I do NOT need is medical advice, recommendations, or opinions. This is hard enough on me and Tim and the kids. Questioning me undermines my confidence which I will need a lot of come next week. I am very resistant to being in the hospital after my last one month stay there that was traumatic and awful. I keep reminding myself that this time I won’t be waking up and immobile, unable to walk or swallow or change the TV remote. It will be different and scary and hard but I have to do it.

Two days after my diagnosis, little coconut asked “does this mean we have to raise money for lung cancer now?……..um, too soon?”

Now, lets move on to better things. As most of you know by now, my grandson was born on August 21st and he is 7 weeks old today. I have chosen to post a picture of him everyday on FB until the election. Why you ask? I do not have a single photograph of myself with any of my grandparents despite being close to my Irish maternal Grammy who died when I was 11 years old. I have even visited her childhood home in Ireland to get a photo of me in it. So that being said, I wanted to have a stash of daily photos of me and Jack during this time given my precarious health. So I figure you all have seen plenty of him (and yes, he is perfect.)

What I wanted to talk about was my son-in-love, Evan. He is a true badass and I wouldn’t want to get in a bar fight with him. He is extremely protective, for many reasons, of the people he loves including me. It has been wonderful to watch him so gracefully embrace and step into fatherhood. We jokingly call him the Tiger Dad, but man, does he adore baby Jack. It is such an exciting time in their lives and I knew head coconut would be great but Evan has amazed me in his passion and love for baby Jack. So my song this week is dedicated to him and all the new dads out there who are making this mindboggling adjustment to fatherhood. There is nothing better than a great Dad. We need them especially now. Be one. Be well.

Love from the circus,


    1. Life and all it has dealt you and yours is so very unfair. So wishing you nail this latest episode with all your strength and grace. Every blessing goes out to you. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Mind blowing just how unfair this is. Congrats on your adorable grandson, though, and keep finding humor where you can. Fingers crossed…..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sending you all my love, prayers and hugs as you venture this long road again. Jack is amazing like his Grammy – and her entire beautiful “circus” ❤️😘❤️😘

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hang in there Bigelow circus! We love you all and are rooting for a smooth procedure and recovery. We love that you now have Evan and Jack to broaden the circle of love. Cherish the family!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dearest Barb, I am feeling so many feelings for you (and with you). You are more precious than you can know. Thank you for baring your heart here so we can walk beside you and pray with you and your family in this new scary time. ❤️❤️


  5. Sending love and prayers to you and your family💕🙏🏻 Sorry that you have to go thru this. The love of your family, friends , and Jack will get you thru this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t even remember how I came across your blog, but I’ve followed you for a while now. You are a remarkable and inspiring woman. I wish you and your family the best for your surgery and beyond. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Barbara, sorry to read this tonight. Keeping you in my prayers. VATS procedure will be less invasive and get you back home to Jack and family sooner ♥️. Stay strong 💜.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I remember when our Superintendent, Bill Simmons, hired you.  You came with his highest accolades!  He was an exceptional judge of character!  You proved him right at EPS and continue to show your strength throughout these last years.  You are surrounded by family, love, and admiration.  You are blessed.  Keep strong, think positive, and just continue to baffle the doctors writing your own ending!  You are amazing! Nancy Huggard (retired payroll manager EPS).  THINKING OF YOU ALWAYS!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hello There!
    Love and Healing Light sent your way!
    Just a thought:
    Steve Nobel YouTube….. any of his Healing Transmissions … pop your earbuds in and give a listen…. I love them all especially Miracles /Healing Vibrations and Intuition Raising.
    You will be amazed at your own transformation

    Liked by 1 person

  10. BB, I cross my fingers for you. If you were closer and there was no Covid19 I would have given you a big hug. I had breastcancer, so I can just imagine how you’re feeling.❤🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh BJ, SO MANY prayers for you as you face this new development in your life. I have read EVERY BLOG you have written since the beginning. Your strength of character and courage are unparalleled! Your protective instincts for your family are STRONG!!
    Oh, and Jack is PRECIOUS! Keep holding on to those wonderful blessings you have. Love and miss you,
    Carol P AKA Carol Kawa

    Liked by 1 person

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