A Humorous Look at the Bright Side of Cancer...
And There Is One

My Bucket List

December 11, 2014

Dear Fran Drescher #6

December 11, 2014 Photo by Jonathan deHaan

December 11, 2014
Photo by Jonathan deHaan

Dear Fran,

I know I just wrote you yesterday.

I can’t believe I forgot to tell you my exciting news. I’ve been working on number one of my bucket list. The kitchen cabinets were installed yesterday and today. I think I am about as close to heaven as a person can be and still be on this earth.

The only downside to all this remodeling is that I have been using the microwave and going to way too many restaurants. The ten pounds that I’ve managed to keep off since February is coming back on in less than a month.

I blame my mother. She has been known to demo a whole box of Nestle Drumstick ice cream cones—while, not in one sitting—certainly, in one day. Here I was doing so great, emulating Tom Hanks and his new way of eating.

After the concert the other night, Ken and I ate pizza (for about the tenth time since this remodel started): The Hawaiian and Papa’s Favorite with pepperoni and mushrooms and olives. Maybe I should just quit all of this bad eating cold turkey. Yum. Turkey. Canadian bacon. Pepperoni. Where was I? Oh yeah… failing miserably at my new healthy way of eating, apparently.

How am I going to go on Ellen with you if I get too fat for my Oprah dress?

Best friends always,


By |December 2014|Dear Fran Drescher, My Bucket List|

February 26, 2014

My Bucket List – Take 7


February 1, 2014 Photo by Dave Evans of Judd & Black

February 1, 2014
Photo by Dave Evans of Judd & Black

Just in case you thought I was spending all my time daydreaming about how I can meet Fran Drescher instead of working toward fulfilling my bucket list, let me assure you, I have been doing both at the same time.

The financing has been in place for months and months, the house plans are almost completed, and I have been shopping for stoves.

I’ve narrowed it down to the really expensive (four-burner) Wolf stove and the really, really expensive (six-burner) Wolf stove.

Back in 2012, I blogged about forgetting my expensive Keen hiking boots in a motel room. The next thing I knew, I received $150 cash in the mail from a benefactor. I’ve been writing him letters ever since, even though I still don’t know who he is.

I wonder if I can be so lucky twice in one lifetime and find a benefactor to buy me my Wolf stove….

By |February 2014|My Bucket List|

August 22, 2013

My Bucket List – Take 6

08_22_2013_cancer_funny_bucket_list_antsFirst, there was the rat. Now, we have some sort of ants crawling around the mud room (that will someday become part of our kitchen).

I’m having a hard time concentrating on saving money for our remodel so that we can accomplish #1 and #5 on my bucket list. I’m too busy chasing all these critters around. Blech.

By |August 2013|My Bucket List|

July 23, 2013

My Bucket List – Take 5

07_23_2013_breast_cancer_funny_bucket_list_tuitionIf you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know that I have a short bucket list. If you haven’t followed this blog at all, shame on you, I mean… welcome.

1. Get my dream kitchen.
2. Publish a book.
3. Go to Maui for our 20th anniversary.
4. Fit into my Oprah dress.
5. Get a patio set and concrete poured in the back yard.

Number 1 and the second half of Number 5 seem to be the most elusive. I know what you’re thinking: “Even more than Number 4? We know how much Haagen-Dazs you eat.”

Yes, even more than Number 4. I’m not sure where that wretched Oprah dress is, but I’ve lost 20 pounds and probably fit into it by now. The only problem is (besides the fact the dress is a bit dog-ugly), Oprah is no longer on the air. Like the bumper sticker used to say on the Volkswagen Rabbit I owned as a teenager: “When my ship comes in, with my luck, I’ll be at the airport.”

Ken—the builder that we lined up to do the job—has two major projects before us. Rather than be impatient, Ken (my Ken, not the builder) and I have concentrated on budgeting and paying off as many bills as possible, tuition being one of the biggest.

In Chapter 5 of my book, I recounted the following story that took place while I was in the midst of chemotherapy:

“Maria, I wanted to call and let you know that my husband and I talked it over and we would like to pay for half of your school tuition.”
“I can’t let you do that.”
“Stop. You let me talk for once.”
I let her talk. It was easy, because I had a big lump in my throat.
“We know how important it is to you and Ken to send the kids to private school, and now that you have all these bills piling up, we want you not to have to worry about the tuition bill on top of everything else.”
“We’re talking ten grand here. That’s a lot of money.” I wanted to make sure there wasn’t some sort of misunderstanding. Maybe they didn’t know just how much tuition cost.
“We know that’s how much it is. We insist and want you to just have one part of your life taken care of so that you can get well.”
I had to hang up because I was crying so hard.
I felt guilty about waiting so long to get to the doctor. Seven months I waited. It was my fault we were suddenly in this financial strait. It was my fault I went and got sick.
Quilts. Gardening help from friends. Cards pouring in every day. Meals provided by others. Now, tuition. This was more than tender mercies. This was overwhelming.

Because of the graciousness of these friends (and others) all those years ago, I am happy to report that we were able to catch up and I am pictured here mailing our last tuition payment. Now, to save up for kitchen cabinets. And a new stove. And fridge….

By |July 2013|My Bucket List|

March 23, 2013

My Bucket List – Take 4

03_23_2013_cancer_funny_bucket_list_patioRemember my bucket list that I made when I was first diagnosed with Stage III locally-advanced breast cancer?

1. Get my dream kitchen.
2. Publish a book. 
3. Go to Maui for our 20th anniversary.
4. Fit into my Oprah dress.
5. Get a patio set and concrete poured in the back yard.

On September 22, 2012, I gave you a short update

1. Someday.
2. Check.
3. Check.
4. Yeah, we’re not discussing this one.
5. Patio set… check. Concrete… prepping the ground as we speak.

Prepping the ground as we speak? Well, here’s a picture I took today when Ken (the contractor) showed up to give us some ideas on how to remodel our house. This picture shows that we’ve done bupkis over the fall and winter. I said in September that we were prepping the ground. Other than killing the grass, all we’ve done is wait… and move plants… and continue to dream about kitchens and barbeques and fun times to come with family and friends.

By |March 2013|My Bucket List|