I Might Be Doomed. And I’m Happier Than I’ve Ever Been

I shouldn’t be happy. I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, and given a 50/50 chance of surviving it. Without my year of treatment, my chances would have hovered around 15-20 percent. I’m not complaining. What I’m trying to convey through these numbers is simply this: the situation is … [Read more...]

Hair Tips for Bald Girls

Congratulations! You’re done with treatment! You’re bald now, but soon you won’t be. You’ll have hair again! And you’ll have your life back! Wait. Not so fast. I know you won’t believe me when I say this, but finishing cancer treatment is one of the more challenging phases of treatment. I … [Read more...]

You’re Lumpy. Congratulations.

In the shower Friday morning, I found a lump. Women have lumps, I’ve been told many times. Everyone gets them. Lumps are common. Lumps are normal. Lumps are almost always benign. Yes, except: not my lumps. Every time I’ve found a lump in my breast it’s been cancerous. Every time. Two lumps. … [Read more...]


Tomorrow I will visit Hopkins’ main hospital, the city within the city, and check in for my “radiation simulation.” I don’t know what that is, but it sounds like something out of Star Trek. Because of this, I will not wear a red shirt to this appointment. I go to the main hospital only for … [Read more...]

Flamingo-Free in 2014

Happy new year! Did you make resolutions? I did not. The calendar is a useful construct, but I made all the resolutions I needed when my cancer came back. That day in early June forced me to look my mortality in the eye and make some big decisions. The calendar can say whatever it wants: it’s not … [Read more...]

Lord of the Flies Yoga

I did not attend my regular Tuesday morning yoga class at Hopewell Cancer Center intending to disrupt class. When I go, I lurk in the back. I’m there to learn presence and stillness in a world, a situation, I can’t control. I’m also there to be around other people like me, people who are bald and … [Read more...]