A Humorous Look at the Bright Side of Cancer...
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Chemotherapy & Radiation

February 19, 2015

Getting Back In the Saddle-3

Finally finished "Moll Flanders" on February 9. Photo by Jonathan deHaan

Finally finished Moll Flanders on February 9.
Photo by Jonathan deHaan

I used to read all the time, but for some reason, my chemo brain is still not wanting to cooperate fully with my eyeballs.

In my last post about this subject, I mentioned attempting to read several books:

And The Sea Will Tell by Vincent Bugliosi

Never finished.

The Guestbook by Andrea Hurst

Took me a month, but I finished it and I’m looking forward to the second book of the trilogy coming out this spring.

Hotel on The Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Never finished.

I have managed to read two more books since The Guestbook. The first was Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan. Hilarious. My latest accomplishment was Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe. Not exactly light reading—that one—but I finished every last chapter and editors’ notes. Go me.

By |February 2015|Chemotherapy & Radiation|

August 14, 2013

Identity Crisis: Cancer-Style


July 9, 2009 – Shaved my head so I wouldn’t have to vacuum up hair from all over the house.

I’ve been having a heck of a time lately figuring out what to do with myself, looks wise. Should I grow my hair out? Should I dye it a different color?

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Maybe I’m having a mid-life crisis on top of going through menopause. I’ll bet Ken is excited about all of these life changes.

I’m 46 fricken years old and I can still hear my mother in the background of my subconscious saying, “Maria Ann, you look so much better in short hair. Why don’t you cut it?” When I was a kid, I always wanted to grow it long, but my mom always managed to find me with a scissors. As a teenager, I alternated between shoulder length and short-as-a-boys’ haircuts.

If you look back over this blog at all (you should… it will be fun), you will notice that I’ve had blond hair, gray hair, and brunette hair. I think from now on, I will be thankful that I have hair. It wasn’t always so.

In my very first blog post, I said I’d never have a bald picture on my blog. I see I really stuck to my guns on that one.


By |August 2013|Chemotherapy & Radiation|

July 4, 2013

Getting Back In The Saddle-2

07_04_2013_cancer_funny_chemotherapy_effects_attention_span_readingI mentioned several posts ago that after my cancer diagnosis, I quit playing the organ. Another activity that I seem unable to get back to is reading a book in its entirety.

I don’t know what the problem is. I used to read all the time. I know that during chemotherapy, my brain couldn’t hold on to information any longer than a few seconds at a time, but I was done with all that back in December of 2009 for Pete’s sake; I shouldn’t still be having residual effects from all those chemotherapy drugs, should I?

It’s not that the books I’m trying to read aren’t interesting, either. I’m on page 53 of Vincent Bugliosi’s And the Sea Will Tell, the chapter entitled “Flag Duty” of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, and chapter six of Andrea Hurst’s The Guestbook. I ordered the book You Changed My Life by Abdel Sellou, but ended up watching the movie instead.

The only two books I’ve managed to read all the way through since my cancer diagnosis are my own (because I had to, getting it ready for publication) and Fran Drescher’s Cancer Schmancer.

My goal is to read a book—one that has nothing to do with cancer—from beginning to end before summer is out. Wish me luck.

By |July 2013|Chemotherapy & Radiation|

December 27, 2011





For three days now, I’ve tried to get the family to play Farkel with me.

It all started with my gift card to Barnes & Noble that I received for my end-of-chemo party almost two years ago. I don’t remember who gave the card to me anymore but I thought I better use it before I lose it. After my appointment with the oncologist the other day, I swung by and yes, bought a game (rather than a book) at a book store.

I’ve pestered, cajoled, begged, and tried to bribe every single one of my family members to play, but no banana. I even started in on their friends: “Hey, Elise, I’ll make you some of my Creamy Dreamy Fudge if you play Farkel with me…” That didn’t work either.

I thought I was home free tonight when Ken and Jonathan (the husband and the youngest) sat down at the table with me. I didn’t even care that they were only there to shut me up. They lasted for five whole minutes because they were frustrated trying to understand the rules.

Not to be deterred, I sat down at the table after they went to bed and played Farkel by myself.

I won.


By |December 2011|Chemotherapy & Radiation|

December 21, 2011

The Oncologist

MamaIt is way past my bedtime; that’s because I’m going to see the oncologist in about nine hours for my checkup and rather than facing it bravely like a grown-up, 44-year-old woman, I just plain old want to wake up my mother and say, “Ma-ma” into the phone like a little kid.


By |December 2011|Chemotherapy & Radiation|