Dear Joy

I always love to hear from you, although I do wish it was under better circumstances. I appreciate your kind words. Everything will be ok. I truly believe that and I am in the BEST place for cancer care (within walking distance of Dana Farber Cancer Institute), and I am getting the best treatment possible. My doctors have said to me several times, “this is the best cancer to have because we know how to treat and cure this type of cancer.”

When all this started, I said to my sisters, “I am going to so mad if I am the one to get cancer!” But now I really hope I am the only one. Statistically, I could very likely be the only one, and I’m in a good place in my life for treatment (geographically and in life). So I’m expecting it to be a pretty miserable six months or so, but then it will be normal after that except for the pills I’ll be taking for the next 5-10 years.
I tell people that I didn’t plan this, but I couldn’t have planned it better:
1) I just started a new job where I make more money, have EXCELLENT benefits and health care (if I spend out of pocket over $1250, Harvard will/should reimburse me), and I have a SUPER accommodating boss for working from home or adjusting hours. Work is also only an 8 minute walk away.
2) I just moved from a pretty small studio to a VERY nice one bedroom. It will be much easier to have family come to visit and stay with me.
3) I live within walking distance of my hospital, and it is a VERY nice walk, with tree lined streets and beautiful lawns.
4) I used to work in the hospital where I am getting treated. It’s a HUGE, COMPLICATED place, so everyone who has come to appointments with me is completely lost, but I know exactly where I am and the best places to get food. I also know one of the people on my treatment team from before, I am good friends with someone who used to be a admin, so she knows the system. Another of my good friends works there now, and she knows all the social/support services available.
My boyfriend Mark is so happy that I am getting treated where I am. Everything is VERY organized and planned out. I just have to follow the plan and take advantage of the resources available. They have things like free massages and therapy and acupuncture and yoga and on and on. And I’ve heard (but I don’t start until 9/9) that at chemo, they give you a menu and they have a chef that cooks you whatever you want. So I’m in a great place for going through cancer.
It does bring up a lot of memories about mom. I feel like I understand those last few months of her life in a way that no one else does. And if mom was super cheerful and loving and kind through treatment, how can I be any less? And I am not scared that I will die like she did. I am not as far along as she was, and there have been a lot of advances to chemo and cancer treatment. My doctor has even said, “this is not your mother’s cancer treatment.” I said, “good, cuz her treatment didn’t work. Do NOT give me what she had!”
It helps that I have so much love and support around me. Someone in my immediate family will be here for EVERY chemo treatment. So I can make them feed me and do my evil bidding. I am really looking forward to that. There are a lot of siblings, plus Dad and Abby and step siblings and aunts and cousins. I don’t lack for support. I also didn’t realize all the people in Boston that I can call on for help. I’ve been pretty open about it, so a lot of people know. I have like a dozen good friends who will help fill in the gaps from family.
Anyway, so it is scary and hard and crappy to hear that you have stage 3 cancer, but my boyfriend says that this is just a problem that we are going to solve. And I’m looking forward to spring 2017!
Love you!!!

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