Fields of Gold


I hadn’t mentioned this in the hubbub of my lung surgery and recovery, but last week Tim/Blanket himself underwent ear surgery at Mass Eye and Ear. He has a condition called cholesteatoma which is kind of like a benign tumor of dead skin cells that accumulate in his ear and eventually, into his mastoid. This is actually his third surgery in 30 years. Trust me it was a very anxious day waiting at home (thanks covid, I couldn’t go). Little Coconut was again employed to drive him in and home again in the safety and comfort of her swanky Benz. However, a two hour surgery stretched on and on throughout the day. Finally I got the call at 6 PM that his surgery was much more involved because his doc saw the opportunity to reconstruct his entire inner ear and did. I was a basket of tears by the time he called having worked myself up. You can imagine my relief when coconut helped him in the door and up to bed. My turn to be care taker!!! I gotta say, he is an easy patient, doesn’t ask for much and likes to do things on his own with me nearby. He is recovering well but continues to not hear anything I say to him!

Yesterday I was back at it in Cancerland seeing my dermatologist for my ongoing skin cancer wars. Next week I see my skin surgeon for a revision to the nose reconstruction she did this past summer (the only good thing about masks). Monday I get a molar extracted that couldn’t be salvaged. I’m still adjusting to being a lung cancer survivor.  My calendar is thick with appointments. One thing I realized about my lung cancer process is that I skipped quite a few steps in reaching a diagnosis—- no biopsy, extensive lung studies, genomic testing, bio markers etc. I guess that because of all my breast cancer I could forgo that stuff and jump to the punchline. I guess that helps somehow. I’d like to think I was one and done, and of course I’ll have lots of future appointments with lung guy.

Now you might be asking yourself right about now, how do we have so much stuff? I can’t answer that—have we had enough? Our fair share? Too much? I don’t know. It seems like every day someone I know personally dies of MBC. Did they have enough? I do know for sure, that there is no fairness, nothing I did or didn’t do to cause my medical problems. It just is. Same for them.


I reflect often and unwillingly on my seemingly transient mortality. How much longer do I have? How much can I endure? Will I die well, leave a legacy, make my mark?

No one can answer these questions. What I do understand, and think about a lot, is that the seasons change without fail and so does life. Time goes on and we live inside the memories of those closest to us but even that fades. My parents drove me crazy but how I would love to hear their voices again, my dad barking orders and my mom quietly going about her business. Somehow the cycle repeats. The lessons I have taught the coconuts will hopefully carry on to Jack and so on, although I know how they will apply those lessons will be uniquely their own.

So enough about our mortality and all that fun stuff that I ponder daily. My song choice this week is by Sting. I haven’t often, if ever, used his music before but he is one of my favorites. I’ve seen him several times at the shed at Great Woods (remember that?). However, most people who know me really well know my absolute love is for Prince. When I woke up from my coma they told me he had died, and in my delusional state, I thought they were all lying to me. Fun times that week. My other biggest affections are for Fleetwood Mac and Joni Mitchell. I realize now that I haven’t used any of their music because I guess its sacred to me, not that my blog isn’t. Let me know your favorites–maybe I’ll use them.

Last thing I want to say in this short update is that the people of the United States have fairly elected a new President. That is without question. I don’t know what the next few months will bring but I am praying for calm and common sense. I want Jack to know a world that is fair and kind and follows the great rules of our founding fathers that were laid down so long ago in the Constitution. I want him to grow up in a world without bigotry and racism, where all people are equal, especially women. After all, change is always possible. The seasons change. Why can’t we?

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Robert Frost – 1874-1963

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.


See ya next time in the circus. Stay Golden, Ponyboy



  1. Every time I read your blog BJ it makes me realize how fortunate I am. As I have said before, your strength and sense of humor are incredible. Jack is so sweet ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara,
    I remember the day of your wedding. As I left the reception with my new husband, he said “what a warm celebration .” I said “John, As my Irish grandmother would say – as God made them- he matched them. Barbara and Tim radiate love and I will never forget the way they look at each other.” I havent ever forgotten the sight of both of you- holding hands – laughing with friends on your wedding day-

    I guess I was right, Barb. For all the unfairness and sadness and pain the circumstances in your life have wrought- you are so loved and are still in love. So rare and so extraordinarily touching. The love you live in touches us all and I thank you for that.

    Keep dancing as fast as you can, my friend- and thank you for sharing your thoughts with me .


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barb- You are an inspiration who reminds us what is important. Wishing you every blessing and countless days with Tim, the baby and all the loves in your life. -May

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Barb and Tim,
    I so love the blog and your openness , sensitivity and humor. Know that I believe in your amazing strength and I pray, in my own way, for your health and sense of wonder. Isn’t wonder all we really have
    Love to you and the family❤️


  5. Hope Tim recovers quickly! Wishing all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. I will be making your delicious cranberry sauce once again but just for 6 people instead of the usual 32 guests!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Barb , Thank you for sharing , you are a true testimony of a strong, resilient, smart , beautiful MEtAVIVOR!!!! I would love to go to Philadelphia, but the tickets were sold out. I wish you well and hope we could meet again for lunch. Sincerely, Helen Sullivan RN 15 plus years living with MBC, today I am giving myself my 308 Herceptin injections, honored to be a Metavivor Ambassador and my Zoom group is going well, as well as my Facebook, site Stage4 4 denovo Know More every Sunday at 7pm Est


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