Saturday, October 30, 2010


One of the worst symptoms so far of this new illness I have is that it causes insomnia. Not just for me but for all my loved ones too. I don't think Jeff, my parents, my sister, or Coffee Friend 2 have had a good night's sleep in several weeks. Coffee Friend 1 does but that's because she takes Ambien. Although, even that didn't work for her those first few days after my surgery.

We compare notes and ask each other what time we woke up, trying to figure out if we should just get together every night at 3:00. Poor Coffee Friend 2--when she wakes up she never goes back to sleep--just lays there "waiting for the f***-ing sun to come up" as she said. My parents told me they wake up at 3:00 and ask the other one if he/she is asleep. My sister-in-law in LA said, "I went to sleep worrying about Judy, dreamed about her all night, and woke up thinking of her."

I myself seem to wake up at exactly 1:30 and 4:30 every night.

I am normally blessed with the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. It's a gift really. As I have often said, I respect sleep and it respects me. But even I wake up a couple of times a night and play "what if" in my mind. I find if I talk to my Grandma Zimmerman at those times it helps. I can fall back asleep. Grandma Z. died in 1990 by the way but we still chat when I'm worried about things. She's very reassuring.

When we found out about Lilly's illness on vacation in Florida we tried to go to sleep that first night and I don't think I slept a minute. When we got up I told Jeff that was the worst night's sleep I never had. My mom said she had slept like a baby--she woke up every two hours and cried.

I hate that I am keeping people up at night. But what can you do? That's what happens when people love you.

Last night Jeff slept well for the first time since my surgery because we finally had a good day with some good news. I still found I had to have a chat with Grandma but I'm hopeful that this symptom will go away soon.

For anyone else out there who has had trouble sleeping, I apologize. I hope your insomnia is gone now, but if you still have trouble you can always talk to my Grandma about it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


As most of you know I have been struggling with a new cancer diagnosis and subsequent information from the medical establishment that seemed to be getting worse and worse by the week. This has had the understandable and normal effect of scaring the crap out of me (and my family) and making me feel very sad, even depressed despite all the wonderful support and prayers from you all.

Today it changes. I am taking back my life. I am tired of worrying about the worst that could happen. I am ready to expect only the best and then some.

I am ready to heal.

I believe in the incredible power of the human body. I believe in the power of mind over matter. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in my own body's ability to heal. I believe in the power of being loved and cared for by a multitude of family and friends.

The only thing any of us has is today and today I feel damn good. I am strong and have no pain. I look damn good. The sun is shining and it is a gorgeous fall day.

I am ready to heal.

Friday, October 08, 2010


Oh crap. The surgery I wrote about below did not go as expected. When they opened me up they found out the benign tumor was not. Miraculously, the gynocological oncologist who is only in the hospital once a week was there. They found her to finish the surgery. After five hours of emergency surgery and two pints of blood they sewed me back up.

It appears I have a rare form of uterine cancer. Something called Leiomyosarcoma. It means (roughly translated) "benign fibroid that decides to turn into cancer". One in a million or something.

Having gotten Lilly through this with her rare cancer eight years ago we are beyond devastated. How on earth do two people from one family have rare cancers? I eat blueberries. I do yoga. I don't use pesticides. I don't even use weed killer for God's sake. But there you have it.

I am only going to write about this once here on this blog and then I want to return to writing about other things. If you would like to follow my medical progress, you are free to do so at my Caringbridge website

In my neighborhood when someone is in trouble the women rally like an army with meals. The afflicted family puts a cooler at the back door which is filled on a regular basis. The cooler is there so no one has to greet the food giver and try to make small talk which can be exhausting.

No one wants to be the one with the cooler at the back door.

Jeff and I will be traveling to Boston in a week or so to see the specialists for this thing I have. I'll let you know by Caringbridge what we find out. Though they caught this early, treatment is likely as it is aggressive.

This thing is aggressive and rare. Just like me.