Sunday, April 8, 2018

Cancer Schmantzer: The Next Chapter

I wrote my first blog one year ago today. For those who have not committed this ground breaking, earth-shaking blogpost to memory, here are the first two paragraphs:

      There is a cancer in the body politic. Our lawmakers seem more intent on playing to the voters they choose rather than on serving all of their constituents. We have grown to expect that the Super Majorities will be more concerned with consolidating and maintaining power and control than with with governance. At this point, I see very little chance for a cure of this cancer.

     There is also a cancer in the body of Phyllis Bush. On Friday, April 7th, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Even though what lies before me feels like a kick in the teeth, I have chosen to be annoyed rather than bummed; in fact, this diagnosis has allowed me to give new meaning to the word pissment. I usually share my middle school mean girl thoughts and potty mouth only with my friends; however, when I was in recovery after my surgery and my doctor gave me the word, all I could think to say was the F word.

Cancer Schmantzer! Here is where I am today. I had my 3 month PET scan exactly a month ago, and the results showed that the chemo has held my cancer at bay--or at least until my next PET scan this summer.

While I am still the same person that I was when I started this unplanned adventure, I have learned a lot during the past year and a half. Despite the fact that there is still a cancer in the body politic, most of those who populate my world are good and kind and thoughtful. People (both friends and those I hardly know) have said and written lovely things. I have been blown away by the unexpected gestures of thoughtfulness that have been shown to me.

While carpe diem (seize the day) is a common theme throughout literature, rather than teaching that theme, I am trying to live it. Last July we took my grandsons to see a Cubs’ game, and as they went down close to the field to watch the teams warm up and as they walked away from me, I remember thinking that that might be the last time I would ever go to a Cubs’ game with them, and I was filled with sadness. However, now that I have a reprieve (at least for awhile), I realize that tomorrow is promised to no one. I plan to make the most of whatever time I have left on this planet. If I want to do something, I will find a way to do it. If I want to go somewhere, I will find a way to make that happen. If someone or something makes me crazy, I know that I can choose to walk away.

I often become impatient with people who whine and complain and do nothing to change their situation. However, I have lived the past 74 (nearly 75) years on my own terms, and I will continue to do so. I will continue to speak and write about issues that are of concern to me. I will continue to canvass for candidates in whom I believe. I will continue to open my home and my heart to those I love and care about.

In the words of Woody Allen, “Eighty percent of life is showing up.”
...and that is my plan. I will continue to show up.


  1. I'm glad to know you are feeling well - and feisty! Brava!

  2. I love reading your blog. As soon as school is out, we must meet at Zesto! You are an inspiration always....