Sad Surprises

Ya know, I really thought this cancer thing was over. At least for me.

I went to see my oncologist Monday and had nothing to report. Except that they really need to work on keeping the staff informed. Molly Ivins died of breast cancer last weekend. When the new physician’s assistant came in to talk to me and I mentioned my big concern was how to prevent being like Molly Ivins. The PA had no idea who I was talking about.

My mother was in a funk for days over Betty Ford’s and Happy Rockefeller’s mastectomies. And this was years before her problems, even while my dad and I were making bad jokes about the boobs in the White House (we weren’t big fans of Gerald Ford). If you’re in the cancer industry, you need to know about cancer in the news. Your patients do!

But I had a friend, a supporter through my cancer and through life, call to tell me last night that she had breast cancer, again. And I just sat last night and thought about her. I put aside the great books I had to read in favor of Cancer Vixen, a graphic novel (or, as it is better known to people my age, comic book). And nothing else seemed to matter.

And today I got email that a member of Cancer Wellfit died last night. He was “supposed” to have died over a year ago. But he was back and far better on the walking track than I’ll ever be. He delighted in beating the odds before. He delighted in life.

I didn’t think that the whole “cancer thing” would have major long term effects on me. I know some survivors who completely turn their lives around based on having cancer and become almost “full time cancer survivors.” They wear pink ribbons everywhere and do all sorts of stuff for the Komen Foundation and read every issue of Mamm Magazine. But I haven’t done that. I’m much more involved in Kids Yule Love that Relay for Life. I subscribe to Threads, not Mamm. I still don’t wear pink.

But the last 24 hours of news has made me realize that surviving cancer means more than things in my medical records…



  1. evelyn said

    Hi Laurie~

    Thank you for quickly stating that YOU are alright…….. the title made me afraid that you were beginning another battle with cancer.

    I know what you mean, though, about cancer changing your life. Although I have not had cancer myself, I lost a dear friend in October, another friend at my current church is now in the care of hospice, a friend at work just finished chemo and has moved on to radiation. Do you remember Kenny Reintzell? He died last year, after fighting off leukemia for HOW many years?

    I haven’t read your blog for a while………… so I’ll go back to reading now and catching up.

  2. esmail said

    you started the blog again ..

    too bad about molly ivins, i met her once after she gave a great talk at the u of i. she certainly had fire in her belly.

    good editorial on her by krugman, i’ll e-mail it to you.

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