Saturday, April 22, 2017


In the big scheme of things, the frustrations from the past couple of weeks have been piling up: 

1. A brush with jury duty.
2. A boil water advisory while the water department waits for test results
3. The Cubs’ World Series Trophy isn’t coming to Fort Wayne
4. An inconclusive cancer diagnosis


So here is the latest update on my cancer schmantzer odyssey.
While I don’t plan to be a Debbie Downer, my attitude is not so much positive as it is resigned; cancer is the ultimate game of whack-a-mole. While a person is looking one way, something comes from another direction.  No matter what I expect, the outcome will most likely be something else.  The most frustrating part of this whole odyssey is that it seems to be a matter of hurry up and wait.  I am not in any pain, but I find that I am fidgety and cannot seem to sit still. I have no idea whether there is a condition called “cancer brain,” but if there isn’t,  there should be. Reading used to be a fun escape, but now my concentration level is borderline ADHD.  I prefer watching mindless TV and Netflix. Focusing my anger on images of moronic politicians on cable TV gives me momentary solace, but unfortunately, they are cancers that cannot be cured.

Yesterday I had an appointment to find out the results of Wednesday’s PET scan. The results from my PET scan were inconclusive, but they contained lots of big cancery words.  Luckily, a physician friend read my scans and gave me the Cliff’s Notes version, which helped me put everything into perspective. The bottom line is that my oncologists need to find the point of origin of the cancer before they can begin treatment.  My next step is to schedule an appointment for yet another endoscopy/colonoscopy to find the next pieces to this elusive puzzle.  

Back to the big scheme of things:
- So far I do not have jury duty.
-The water advisory will be resolved...if only the water situation in Flint could be resolved as quickly and easily. 
-The World Series Trophy is not coming this way, but I will see it in July when we take the Bush Boys to see the Cubs play.
 -Even though my diagnosis and treatment plan are not complete,  I am fortunate knowing that my oncology team is working to put the pieces together so that my treatment plan works for me.

For those who know me, I like to have a plan, and I like to have things done yesterday. I have places to go and things to do, and I seriously want to get busy kicking cancer’s ass.  

People keep asking me if cancer has changed my world view, and if anything, the lesson that I need to learn from Job is patience.   I am a bit of a slow learner in this area, but I am working on it.   

All in all, it’s just another brick in the wall.


  1. Your post made me think of two very different things today. Every time I hear the word "patience," I think of the the title of an article in the English Journal, "Patients is a Verchew." The title comes from one kid's writing about good qualities of teachers. But this kid's spelling of both patience and virtue always remind me of how challenging being patient and being a patient is. And you have to be both now.
    "Verchew" for some reason always makes me think of Monty Python and the song "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". I think it has something to do with the lyric "chewing on life's gristle", but anyway in the face of adversity, my daughters and I often refer to that song "Always look on the bright side of life." It is absurdly uplifting. I found this clip of the concert performance at Prince Albert Hall - which is a bit absurd if you think of the place and the song.

    1. Thanks, Terry. I love the connection to Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." Interestingly enough, that is one of the ring tones on my phone.

  2. As a Bible scholar (of sorts) - and a former teacher of English - I could never understand why they didn't spell it J-O-B-E.
    Thank you, Phyl, for your "Big Dhyl." You're a genuine inspiration!
    . . . even though I'll now have "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" looping in my brain until bedtime.

  3. Good point, Tom. I was tempted to type "I AM NOT JOB (the Bible guy) because it is so easy to misread. I hope you were able to get "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" to stop looping in your brain.

  4. I feel like I'm listening to my future self as I read this. I can relate to every thought and fidget. I'm so sorry that this waiting game cant be rushed, but thrilled that you have your words to help us all through it. Be a brave bestie!! ��