Showing posts from July, 2012


I had a nice pre-planned phone conversation with my mum earlier this evening.  Apparently, she and I were BOTH thinking about how lucky we feel that tomorrow is coming.  That I am alive and well and about to turn thirty-seven.  It is entirely possible that things could have played out very differently.  Kind of strange.  I feel super in awe of my impending b-day... almost like how it felt when it was your birthday-eve when you were a little kid.  It's exciting.  It feels... new! The fact that tomorrow night I will be flying to St. Louis to visit my bestestest pal since forever, Daniela, makes it feel all the more special.  Sure, I'm sad that Ryan will be across the ocean bitching about France, but it's still going to be a magical and awesome day. Makes me think of my friend Matt saying, when I saw him in Vegas and I said that being there to see him and his band made me feel back to normal, that if it were back to normal, it'd be my birthday, and we'd be in a par


At my doctor's appointment yesterday, it was basically determined that I am probably fine.  Blood was drawn, just in case, to check for whatever they check for - and the nurse called me later in the day to tell me that all my blood was normal.  So I can only assume that all of that yucky nonsense had to do with a) stress at work - I am currently SWAMPED down there... like to the point that I've been bringing some stuff HOME to do.  And b) stress at home from trying to prepare for my trip, get the HOUSE prepared for the house/dog-sitting friend, all while also working on WORK at home every night.  It's making me batshit crazy and I guess my guts were like, "Uh, hello?  Jazz it the fuck down, lady." I wish I could.  I am currently getting ready to do one more work-related thing from home, then throw on some clothes, drive downtown and work, and then after that I need to buy toilet paper, finish cleaning the kitchen, dining room, living room, and bathroom, remake t

I Love Nurses!

Today, I specifically love Alex. She's my Oncology nurse. And she rules. Yesterday, day 8 of the seemingly never-ending diarrhea extravaganza that my body has been throwing, I as starting to get a little nervy.  It doesn't help that everyone at work was concerned about me and had been asking every day how I was feeling.  It was sweet that they all care so much, but it also contributed to my own worrying, which had been fairly low up til yesterday.  I was annoyed and felt inconvenienced (who wouldn't, constantly feeling like they were about to poop?!) but not really nervous.  But then all of these concerned faces and wrinkled eyebrows... and the fears started coming.  Sigh.  Ryan told me it is hard for the people who love me not to worry about me.  And I get it.  I truly appreciate that I am so cared about at my job - that I work with such wonderful, compassionate people.  I know no one meant to set my fears off... it's just part of this new life. As I was texting wi

The Bads May Be Worse, But The Goods Are AWESOME!

I know I sort of wrote the other day about my worries that finding things to write about would be difficult.  I mean, I am sure I could easily go on about the mundane details of everyday life, but I do still want to continue to address, at least occasionally, the myriad ways that cancer has completely changed my life.  Ways that I notice every day.  Ways that will probably never go away. Some of these are good, and others are bad.  And this post is about one of each. I'll start with the bad, so as to END the post on a positive note... So far, the worst thing about having cancer, despite beating it and recovering pretty entirely, is that just "being sick" will probably never JUST be "being sick" again.  Every health anomaly creates more nervousness and questioning than ever before.  Case in point: the past several days.  I had the worst diarrhea of my life.  Worse than during radiation.  Worse than anything I ever remember.  And while my rational side tells

That Was Not The End of The Story

Sorry I have not posted anything since the "remission" post.  I wanted to pop in and make sure you knew that I wasn't just ending the story there.  It's just been a ridiculously busy week. I actually have several things brewing that I want to talk about. Stay tuned and I'll be back to regular posting in a day or so. Love love love, Phoebe

Anybody "In Remission"?

THIS GUY! Like there was ever any doubt... xxo, Phoebe

Phoebe's Oncologist...

...scared the shit out of us back when this all started. Scroll down if you like, I know I posted about it at the time. It wasn't his fault - he answered our questions which, in hindsight, were the wrong ones. That interaction led to a couple minor and at least one major meltdown on my part. Today the same oncologist performed Phoebe's six-month post-treatment checkup (he will be her doctor in this regard for many years). In the course of doing the exam he said something that I'm pretty sure he thought was a trivial point, but it totally shut down some of my ongoing anxiety... He said "you are taking hormone replacement, right?" (yes, she is) "you will have to take those until you are 50, that is about when most women get menopause naturally". Suddenly the guy who sent us spiraling into panic mode (however unintentionally) is talking about my wife turning 50 like it's no big deal. At that moment a tiny little wound-up angry man who has been dri

6 Month Appointment

Yep.  That's today.  Officially, last week was my six months post-treatment mark, but today is the actual appointment.  Today is the appointment that, prior to the LAST one, I thought would be my next PET scan.  But no.  Because the last appointment deemed that UNNECESSARY.  I still can't believe that, but love it.  Just a basic pelvic exam and PAP test for me, today.  And, well, every three months for the next five years.  But whatever!!  Better than PET scans every three months! I'm not sure whether it is strange to admit this or not, but I feel NO FEAR about this exam.  Last time, I was staring down the barrel of my exam in Italy - and as amazing as that trip was, I spent a lot of that time scared to death about the upcoming test.  This time, I've barely thought about it at all.  Hell, I had even forgotten when it was - I had to dig through my file cabinet last week because I could not remember the date. But here we are.  Ready to go.  And I am completely calm.  

Tattoos, Tributes, Trips and Tears

Pretty much since Ryan got home from L.A. on Sunday, I was in a shitty mood.  Not specifically BECAUSE he was home... but upon reflection, it was not unrelated, either.   Overall, I put my non-awesome mood down to too much Chuck Ragan.  Specifically this song .  I love it.  And it makes me sad as fuck.  It's all about Chuck coming home from being on the road and seeing his amazing wife, Jill, again.  "I'm gonna lay my head on the chest I know..."  It seriously breaks my heart listening to this song.  (And I probably listened to it 85 hundred times in the past month.)  Something about the desperation.  The NEED to get back home to the girl of his dreams.  I love it, but it kills me.   And listening to that song over and over, and then going to pick up MY husband at the airport after several days apart... it really just hit me that that will never be Ryan.  He is not someone who will write songs about how he can't wait to be back home with me.  He is not thin

Can I Just Talk About LIFE On Here?

Almost every day now I find myself thinking "I should post something on my blog today."  And then I worry that I might not have anything that is caner or post-cancer or staying positive -related to say.  And I worry that if I just start talking about WHATEVER, that people will get bored.  I mean... I have had blogs for YEARS prior to this... and I always had about 6 friends and my mum follow them.  I get nervous when I think about posting things that are just, you know, THINGS. But the truth of the matter is... life is getting back to normal.  Or to the new normal.  Which, quite unexpectedly, is way friggin better than the old normal.  And my sincere hope is that there WILL be less and less to say that has to do with cancer - and more and more that just has to do with living. I hope my friends, my family, my followers are into that.  And I hope as I start to add in more posts that are just about LIFE... that I can figure out how to hold your interest and to continue to be

6 Month Round Up

Can you believe it? My last treatment was SIX MONTH AGO TODAY!!!  I am finding this hard to wrap my head around.  In both directions, honestly.  On the one hand, I feel like I JUST walked out of the Radiation Oncology office at the Cleveland Clinic Main Campus, still a little dopey from the drugs, with knitting dad's beautiful scarf freshly wrapped around my neck.  And on the other hand, it feels like a lifetime ago.  Or even like it wasn't my life at all.  Six months. Ten days from now is my 6 month appointment.  I get to have an exam and pap test, but NO PET scan needed!  Woot!  I keep wondering when I get the official "remission" handed to me.  In my mind, for some reason, it is at 6 months... but I may just be making that up.  I can't remember.  Foggy brain. And speaking of that... it's been a minute since I've done a real lingering-side-effects report, so here is one: Menopause symptoms seem to be MOSTLY under control with the help of the two

One Wedding and a Funeral

Saturday was Brother Ed 's memorial service.  Ryan and I got up, got dressed, swung through Dunkin Donuts and headed to Fairview Park to pay our respects.  Like I said before, Ed was really just an acquaintance to me.  We met maybe a dozen times over the 10 years I've been back in Cleveland.  Ryan probably knew him a little better - from his old video shop, the music scene, the car scene... all of that.  Still, though, it was important to us to go.  Strange and sad and surreal.  But important.   Ryan got his '71 Challenger out for the occasion.  Which, if you know Ryan at all, proves how important it was. As we pulled up, we ran into my good friend, Lacey on her way out.  We chatted for a minute and then made our way inside.  I have never seen so many people at a funeral in my life.  (And I've been to more than I'd like to remember.)  We meandered through the crowd and got in the line, which Lacey had warned us didn't go anywhere, but would take us past good s