Showing posts from October, 2012


As I type this, I am 10 hits away from my goal of getting 30,000 hits in this one year.  Small potatoes to the average "famous" blogger, but for me - it's awesome.  And it will CLEARLY happen today - a few days short of the goal date. And you know what else happened today?  My wonderful Oncology Nurse called me to let me know that my biopsy was benign and my PAP smear was negative for cancer once again! STILL CANCER FREE!!! This will make Friday's celebration even more wonderful.  I am so happy.  So relieved.  So LUCKY! Now I can get back to worrying about all of my friends who have been impacted by this storm!  (We lost power, but Ryan had the generator up and running our whole house and the neighbor's fridge within a few hours.  No flooding for us - but I know many people who were affected by this.) Thank you all for sticking with me.  Best news ever today!!!!! Love love love, Phoebe

So You Don't Have Cancer?

Well, GOOD!  In more ways than one.  But one is specifically what I'm going to talk about right now. Today I noticed that my mum had posted an article from the Boulder newspaper on facebook.  It was about a cancer study on people WITHOUT cancer.  Being the amazing woman that she is, my beautiful mother signed up for the study right away. Not from Boulder?  It's cool.  The study is nationwide.  I took the liberty of looking up the info about it, which you can find here: Cancer Prevention Study Info on As someone who feels as passionately as I do about seeing an end to cancer, the good news is that progress is being made. Thousands of communities have gone smoke free, more people have access to cancer screenings and treatments, and billions of dollars are being allotted to cancer research. However, more work is still needed. You  can help save more lives from cancer. You  can contribute to research whose purpose is to better understand the

Keeping My Pants On more ways than one... Today was my first doctor's appointment in about a year where nobody told me to get undressed from the waist down and cover myself with the sheet.  This was a nice change. The results were less awesome, though.  After Dr. Kebria confirming last week that my recent severe hand pain is likely NOT long-lasting chemoptherapy side-effect neuropathy related, but more probably a carpal tunnel-y issue, I made an appointment with an Orthopaedic hand specialist and he had no reason to make me take off my pants!  Hooray. I've had off-and-on hand pain due to how much I use the poor bastards for more than a decade.  Never having been big on listening to my body in the past, however, I just bought some Walgreen's wrist braces, popped a couple of advil, and dealt with the pain.  I also have to say that I have a ridiculously high pain tolerance, so I never really know how to explain my pain levels in ways regular people will understand.  The questions the

And Another Thing...

Might as well make it a triple-post day. This one is just shameless self-promotion, really.  And pointless, to boot.  But here's the thing.  In just a couple of weeks, this blog will be a year old.  I've already gone over 200 posts, so I decided that the landmark I want to try to hit by my "Cancerversary" is 30,000 hits on this blog.  At the moment that I am typing this. we're at 29,143.  So really, that's only 857 views away.  So, what I'm asking is - would you be willing to share the link to my blog?  Send some new lookers my way to help me hit my utterly meaningless goal of 30,000 hits by my one year Cancerversary / Blog Birthday.  (And no, Dad... I don't mean just sit there and hit "refresh" 800 times.)  I'd just love to be able to share this whole experience with more people. You never know who you might really touch... and not just with the whole secret to happiness stuff, but the peeling burnt ass-crack stuff from treatment day

Remember When...

Remember when I put that donation link up on my blog ages and ages ago? And then, remember when I told you about our good friend "Big Jay" fighting a stupid cancer battle of his own? Well... I just stumbled upon a donation link for him as well.  I know most of my followers probably don't know Jay... but I wanted to share HIS donation link as well.  Just in case.  Because you never know and everything helps  - this I DO know.  (I just sent the whopping five bucks I could barely afford to part with.) So yeah.  Just in case.  For Big Jay: CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO BIG JAY'S MEDICAL BILL FUND Xxo, Phoebe


Had kind of a rough day yesterday. Running errands with Ryan, I got hung up on his negativity and talked myself well into a terrible mood. After giving up and sleeping for a couple hours, I awoke to find Ryan gone, yet all the cars and bicycles accounted for. Somewhat panicked, I called him. He said he was out walking. Asked me to come pick him up. He was out close to the lake, near where Clifton Blvd meets the Shoreway. (A long ass walk from our house.) As I drove the several miles to get him, I thought a lot about what had been bothering me that day. I had gotten so hung up on how negative everything that had come out of his mouth all d ay seemed to me, I had failed to recognize that the things he was ranting about were things that he ultimately sees as hindrances to his ideal future for us. Hindrances to HIS search for happiness. And then I got that while I was getting angry at him for bitching about how fucked we'll be if Romney gets elected, about how fucked we are to not h

Well, That Was Unexpected

So, I'm back from my appointment with my oncologist, Dr. Kebria.  I go every three months, now, for a pelvic exam and PAP smear, as I'm sure I've mentioned. Started by asking him about the pain in my hands and whether or not that could still be neuropathy pain from the chemo.  He thinks it's probably more like carpal tunnel or something and was going to give me a referral to an orthopedist, but I guess I forgot to grab that when we left.  This is likely because, as he was doing the exam, he says "I'm going to have to take a small biopsy." I'm sorry, WHAT?!  A biopsy?  NO!  That can't be right.  I feel fine.  I'm healthy.  I'm happy.  I'm awesome.  I'm supposed to be worrying about Big Jay, bit about me!  No. No. NO. Actually, as my mouth responded, "Ok," my brain immediately went to the chair to my right where Ryan was sitting.  The terror he feels every time we go to the Moll Center I am assuming now seems completel

What The FUCK??!

I've been a trendsetter as long as I can remember.  Always a little ahead of the game in music, fashion, whathaveyou.  That sounds self-important, but it's not.  It's just who I was. But seriously, people?  I was not trying to be cool by getting cancer.  So all of you... STOP IT!!! ... Yeah.  I know I'm trying to be silly here.  But the fact of the matter is, it seems like cancer is just everywhere all of a sudden.  I keep reiterating that I can't tell if I'm just hyper-sensitive to it now that it happened to me or if it really is suddenly everywhere.  But I think it's just getting more fucking common.  And that is some scary shit. We lost Brother Ed.  Ryan's friend P.J. is in hospice right now.  And we just learned that today, our good friend Big Jay is having surgery to see how badly his cancer has spread. It breaks my heart.  Big Jay. Please.  I've asked this before regarding myself and others and I'll ask it again.  Keep him in yo

And Now... A Cancer Post

Cancer has changed my life into a series of anniversaries.  Fifteen days ago was 11 months since my diagnosis. 2 weeks ago was 9 months since my treatment ended. Last Friday was 3 months since I was officially told I was in remission.  And tomorrow is my "9 month"-ish appointment with Dr. Kebria.  Another exam.  Another PAP smear. Another week or so of waiting for the letter to come in the mail saying I'm still all clear.  And then... two weeks from this coming Friday will be a year.  One year since the word "cancer" came crashing into my life and changed me forever. My first Cancerversary.  I think I'm going to have a party.  It's a Friday.  I have a work event to go to at 4:30pm that day.  (Drinks and bowling!!)  But after that, I don't see why I can't have some people over to celebrate.  I know some people might not think that celebrating the anniversary of my DIAGNOSIS makes sense.  Some might understand celebrating the last treatment date

The Hike

I'm so behind at posting about the things I want to post about here.  I mean, I guess being insanely busy is a GOOD thing, but I would like to stay a LITTLE more up to date here. But whatever.  This post isn't about that.  It's about the hike I went on 10 days ago with my friend, Rhiannon.  We are both Instagram addicts and after enjoying my Cancer Retreat hike so much, I kept noticing hiking pics in Rhianon's feed.  So I basically told her to please invite me hiking with her sometime - and she actually did!  We pretty much made an immediate date for that coming Sunday. When said Sunday rolled around, it was rainy out, but we were not deterred.  I used to live in Seattle, for god's sake.  A little rain wasn't going to stop ME!  I picked her up and we headed down to North Chagrin Rsesrvation - part of the amazing Cleveland Metroparks System .  We really are lucky here in Cleveland to have such an incredible parks system.  I'm glad to FINALLY be one of th

Two Awesome Meetings in Three Days

I wish I had written this post earlier. Like... the minute I got home last Thursday night from my girl-date with my new and amazing friend, Michelle. The best I can do between chemo-brain, menopause fog, and an incredible and busy week in-between is to sum up the best I can... As I mentioned last week, I met Michelle on Facebook.  I liked her immediately, despite not actually knowing each other at all.  After a few days of messages and texts, I met her at the Reddstone last Thursday and she was so flippin' cute I just wanted to squeeze her!  We took over an hour to order food because we were immediately yapping away. We talked about kids.  Pets.  Husbands.  Ex-husbands.  Small towns.  Jobs.  The past.  The future.  The present.  Dreams.  Ideas.  Pretty much the kind of stuff you would talk about with a friend.  Except that we also talked about cancer.  And the ways it has affected us.  And it was so reassuring to finally know someone... someone SO like me... who has been thro

Second: A Search for Connection

Even though I am writing these posts back to back, I wanted to keep this one separate just because it really has a specific theme that needed to be addressed individually and not mixed in with Andrew W.K. and babies and heaven forbid, BRONIES.  (Normally I would link to something, so that you could easily educate yourself on one of the things I talk about that my varied audience may not know about... but I don't want to subject myself to even a single additional viewing of a brony ever again.  So that's on you, shoudl you choose to google that shit.) AS I WAS SAYING... This is a post all it's own.  It started with the Cancer Retreat, but has really grown into something that I have definitely been sort of ignoring for a while now.  My need to connect with someone else "like me." In the beginning, I was set up with a mentor through a program called 4th Angel .  I thought it was going to be helpful, but really it was not what I was expecting.  The girl the

First: A Little Catching Up

So I last left off with the end of the Cancer Retreat. Which I enjoyed, in case you weren't paying attention. Moving on. The Monday after the retreat, I met my beloved Lacey and her husband, Todd, at Fairview Hospital at Oh-Dark-Thirty in the morning to hold her hand until they booted me out as she went in for the scheduled c-section for her second (and final) baby boy.  I had not been inside Fairview Hospital since the day I left there with the fresh news of my cancer diagnosis.  It was a little creepy being back there, I have to admit. After several hours of waiting around with Lacey's awesome parents, I got to meet Sullivan Richard Skywalker Gansert.  He is thankfully adorable.  I say thankfully because I have promised Lacey to be straight with her and let her know if her children are ugly... but THANKFULLY both baby #1, Spencer (love of my life) and fresh Mr. Sully... both are super cutie cutes!  Whew!!!  I even held that fresh little pot roast only about an hour afte