Cancer recurrence

Seamus Friday: Hollywood High

Hey, my people, Seamus thought you might get a kick out of looking down on L.A. from the Griffith Park Observatory.  He does.  

Of course Seamus gets a kick out of everything.  This time, I was the one who needed to get out and above. My six-month checkup was days away.  I needed to remember that the world is bigger than Cancerville.  

Proportions change up here. The Hollywood Sign is twice the size it's supposed to be; the hikers march along like ants in sun hats.  California's brown hills can seem desolate in photographs.  Don't believe it. They're full of life.  

As it happens, the checkup went fine.  Seamus and I get another six months to ramble.  Who knows where we might climb?

True story: A bad girl "trying to be healthy every day"

Hey my people,

Meet my friend Gin B, who's dealing with recurrent breast cancer. I would not care to be the cancer cells messing with Gin B.  She is a strong, smart woman, and she's winning: Her numbers are getting better and her hot spots are getting smaller.  (Suck it up, c cells.)  Had we met a few years ago, Gin and I would have bonded while closing down bars and drag-racing motorcycles. We both inclined to the bad-girl worldview, is what I'm saying. In our peer group, nutrition was not a priority.

But these days Gin has been exploring new ways to kick butt.  Like juicing. 

"I'm on this carrot, beet and orange juice kick, and I LOVE IT!" she told me yesterday. That's after her two daily shots of wheatgrass. "Some days I eat french fries, but I just keep trying to be healthy every day." 

I don't think this rules out racing motorcycles. I figure if there's one thing stronger than juicing, it's juicing with attitude.  

What's your experience? Does defiance come in handy? Or does it make your cancer journey harder?


True story: "Well again means giving more than I take."

Cancer Vets Speak: A Well Again Series

Hello, my people! Here's a tremendous message about life beyond cancer treatment. Thanks for letting me share this. We want to hear your truth, so don't be afraid to join in. Everybody's cancer story is different. Somebody out there needs to hear yours. —Warmest regards, Anne

Gregory's Story

"Three weeks after a year of aggressive treatment for rectal adenocarcinoma, a PET scan showed a golf ball sized tumor. So now I have another year of treatment ahead. I worry about burning out the people who support me. I was strong and athletic, and I don't know what to fill that part of my life with."

What's my Well Again?

"Being well again for me will mean a life without how are you doing? and the kind, loving pats on my arms and back. Well means giving more than I take; when I can ride my bike as long and far as I want; when I can lift weights without someone asking, should you be doing this? Being well will mean running into friends at the supermarket and talking about avocados and children and dogs, not my health.

"Some experienced nurses tell me that cancer patients are the easiest to work with. If that"s true, why are we like that? Is it because we try so hard? Because we're so grateful? I think it's in the way we make peace with our fear, but I can't say for sure."

Disclaimer: Well Again does not give medical advice. For cancer advice, see a doctor.