And So…..

It is another 1st of March.

I am celebrating 24 years, today, of being clean of my first of three cancers. My thirties were busy: I had cancer diagnosed at 33, 35 and 39. It really was not my idea of how I intended to spend that decade. In fact, my first cancer made me wonder if I would see the next decade.

God spared me to be with my family, and marry Jim when I was 42. I was blessed to share Zush’s life while she was on this earth, and have my girl Kasia with me still to keep going.

I managed to work long enough to retire, and move down from the city.

I am ever thankful that life goes on. It is not possible to encourage you enough, gentle reader, to keep after your health, as you never know what is going on in your body.



It’s going to be a long month.

We both are suffering body aches and poor Zush is hanging in as best as she can. I talked to a neighbor when I was out today, whose wife has been fighting cancer for FOUR years, and it seems that she is about to lose her struggle, which is so very sad, because he is a good guy and his wife is a sweetheart.When people remark when I tell them my cancer history, I am always blessed, but know how hard it is to keep going.

I watched the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Center tonight, and remembered when I saw it with my nephew many years ago. I always give thanks for the meaning of the season, but it’s hard to stay in a Christmas spirit alone. It’s the way it goes though. We muddle through one day at a time, and as for me, I guess my Christmas gift is every time I get up at night, hear my Zush snoring gently, and am able to swing two legs out of bed and stand up. My birthday gift, yes: it is my birthday month, is the ability to spend every precious day with my girls.

They are the best pharmaceutical for me.I thank God for them!

Another Good Anniversary.

This was an anniversary between me, God,Jefferson University Oncologic-Gynocolgy department and Dr.Charles J.Dunton,not to mention other doctors, nurses, staff, my best friend Kate and religious advisors.

I was diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer 23 years ago today.What an experience! Doctors, nurses, having to call my parents from the hospital to inform them that I wasn’t coming home because a grapefruit was found in my cervix and I needed exploratory surgery.Then came the pain of them coming to see me in the hospital and seeing the pain and fear in their eyes.That pain I will take with me to my last day.Kate was living in Pittsburgh at the time and drove back on the weekends when I was in for my chemotherapy.

I usually make a post on this every year to show the people who might “think” or”know” they have cancer.You really can’t ignore it. You need to take a pro-active stance on trying to get the invader out of your body.I went through a radiation and chemotherapy protocol that was so effective that it is now the standard for cervical cancer treatment.You never know.

If you have a friend or family neighbor going through the disease, be supportive, if they choose to tell you about it.Let them know you’d like them to be around for a good,long time.

That’s why I am here 23 years later.


Survivor’s Guilt Redux

Yes, I know I shouldn’t have it.I got through 3 major cancers and I am still here.

My niece, Alyx, isn’t.

She would have been 37 today.She left our family 18 years ago on September 2, when she was 18 years old.

I managed to get through college, travel,have boyfriends,get engaged and married, hold jobs,have cats, dogs,watch nephews and Godchildren grow up, but Alyx is like Princess Diana to me. She will always be 17, as she was before the cancer, and always beautiful.I got some solace from the fact that she passed away the week Princess Diana, classical conductor Sir Georg Solti and Mother Theresa died.

They sure were short Angels in heaven that week.


Still Crazy After All These Years….

Today is the 22nd anniversary of my first conquering of cancer.

My first cancer had me treated with radiation, chemotherapy and a radiation implant.It wound up, between biopsies and office treatments with a total hysterectomy with the cancer gone. Granted I have had cancer after that, and they also were not insignificant, but it only takes one brush to tango with mortality.

I thank God for wanting me around a few more years, my surgeons, physicians, nurses and hospital staff, and ,as usual, my BFF Kate, who kept me going.Always check- it saves lives-I should know!


With apologies to Simon and Garfunkel

“I was twenty-one when I wrote this song.
I’m 23 now but I won’t be for long.
Time hurries on,
And the leaves that are green turn to brown.”

I’ve quoted this song before in a prior blog.It has gone through my head today as my oldest nephew who lives in Minnesota is 39 today.

Thirty nine.

Where does the time go? I am retired, he is married and has two boys of his own.I used to go out and see him during the winter break from college.He was such a cute little guy and is a handsome man now.

It is so funny going into the retired chapter of your life. I thought I’d be retired, and I end up working.I thought growing up I’d be a Mom, and I have to fur children who I wouldn’t trade for the world.I never, ever thought that I’d be A cancer survivor let alone a THREE cancer survivor, thank God.

Time does hurry on.

I am thankful, on this thanksgiving eve, for every morning I get up with two feet on the floor. I am thankful for my family, but most importantly, I am thankful for my friends.

Happy Thanksgiving.

It’s that time of year

….at least  for me!

Today is my 22nd anniversary of my 1st cancer, and the protocol I was fortunate enough to get into at Jefferson Hospital, and have Dr.Charles J.Dunton as my oncologic gynecologist.

Chemotherapy ,radiation and a hysterectomy later, I was blessed to be good to go.

I’ve had two other cancers since then, breast and thyroid, and mercifully I got through them. It pained me , though, that I lost my 18 year old niece ,Alyx, to a mid brain tumor, and yet I was still here, thanks to my employer’s health plan.

This is always an anniversary for me: it reminds me God’s not done with me yet.