Monthly Archives: February 2018

Words: the worry and the wonder

Approximately eighteen months ago an old friend said the most astounding thing to me. “I believe you’re healing.”

I had no idea what to make of these words and my first impulse was that this friend had truly misunderstood the gravity of my situation. “It’s stage IV, terminal cancer” I reminded him.

But then I started to turn those words around in my head. The idea of healing was so very compelling and yet seemingly beyond the realm of possibility. And to be clear, it was not a spiritual healing I was imagining, but rather corporal—that this diseased body of mine should become whole again.

Once I started thinking about it I couldn’t let it go. I was tired of being terminal. Thinking about dying all the time is a hell of a way to live, and I had already spent far too much of my life doing just that.

Finally, in an ultimate moment of WTF, I decided that I would embrace the idea of healing. That I would take that final leap of faith and simply resolve myself healthy.

I mean, what did I have to lose? Believing I was healed, even if it wasn’t quite true, could only make my life better.

And so it has. Of course, that resolve was tested with my last scan but damned if it didn’t turn out A-ok. I had a little chat with Dr. Shaw and told her that some days I felt as if I was cured. Rather than discouraging me she simply said ‘Good.’

The truth is, nobody really knows. Certainly my lungs aren’t clear, but then again, with all they’ve been through, it could be scar tissue that we are seeing on the scans. In the meantime, I feel fabulous. And, frankly, healed. A feeling I am determined to hang onto for as long as possible.



It’s me, Linnea :)

Last night I drank half a bottle of wine and ate half a pint of ice cream for dinner. Had you been here, I would have offered you the other half(s). My sugar and grapes meal was a celebration, as yesterday I learned that my scans are still stable.

This felt like a big deal because the previous scan of my lungs had been flagged for possible progression. That was three months ago and I didn’t get anxious until the day before yesterday, when that old familiar feeling of dread hit me like a ton of bricks.

Back in the day I might have bounced this anxiety off of my spouse, but I am now more than four years into traveling solo. Although I am one tough mother, (and have a t-shirt that says as much) some days just being strong doesn’t quite cut it. Fortunately I have learned how to ask for help when needed and I put a plaintive plea for a group hug out on Facebook. And the love just started pouring in.

My friends–I’m not sure I could do this without you. The community that we have built online keeps me tethered and buoyed both. So say what you will about the evils of social media–it is a source of enormous support for this single lady.

As is my amazing oncologist, Dr. Shaw. Per that radiology report–she never trusts the read, but rather studies the scans herself with a magnifying glass. I simply could not be in better hands.

And for those keeping track, I’m coming up fast on a couple of important milestones. In April I mark thirteen (!) years since diagnosis. My youngest, who was only seven when I learned I had lung cancer, is going to be twenty-one on April 20. That I should live thirteen years post diagnosis–long enough to see all three of my children into adulthood is, well, mind blowing.

As is the fact that I’ve had the opportunity to build a new life for myself. This extended period of stability has allowed me to focus on something aside from cancer, and I have thrown myself into travel, art, my vintage clothing business and online dating. I also took a rather extended break from blogging, but am gearing up to start sharing all (well, not all 😉 ) the juicy details. Stay tuned.