Monday, May 31, 2010

Little girls

I know it's pretty obvious and necessary from an evolutionary perspective, but I really love my babies. They're too freaking cute! Everything about them is so fresh and alive. I get lost in their explorations and could look forever into their big blue eyes to try to see the world through them. I think I never really grew up and can relate to them on their level to some extent. Thank god for that! Life is timeless for children, and I like being timeless with them:)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thanks to my bro's

Howie, the old one came up for my first surgery and wore a hot pink team corrie shirt in public. he must really care. glen, the almost old one came up today with the best cheesecake ever! it's nice to spend time with the family.

how to treat an angiosarcoma sufferer

Here's a little guide of what to do and more importantly what not to do when talking to someone with angiosarcoma

1. Don't say: Oh, I know lot's of people with breast cancer and they're all fine, you'll be fine!!
Do say: Wow, that sucks, I've never heard of that kind of cancer, can I bake you something?

2. Don't say: My uncles cousins brother was told he had 4 hours to live and now he's the president and CEO of his own fortune 500 company
Do say: I'm so sorry to hear that, why don't I cook you something for you.

3. Don't say: My life is sooooo wonderful, I have everything I could have possibly ever dreamed of, how are feeling today?
Do say: My life would be better if I could think outside myself for a minute and clean your house for you:):):):):):)

4. Don't say: nothing
Do say: normal things about everyday life, I'm still living it folks, and if you really don't know what to say, express it in cupcakes

Friday, May 28, 2010


So there's like 4 people on FB who have this and have started a little support group which is great. However, when I went to see if there were any on the web, there were a handful whre people would make one or two posts and then dissapear....a little scary. Maybe they just got bored??

good food

By far the best thing about having a terminal illness is all the good food people make for you. I'm loving it! Thanks for all the dishes made and for those to come (hint hint)

CT results

Lungs, clear. Lymph node, swollen, but probably from surgery. Other lymph nodes enlarged in my belly, but they said not to worry, because AS doesn't usually go there. Three small fibroid tumors in my uterus, again she said it doesn't usually go there, but there's no guarantee that it's not beasty showing up there. I wouldn't mind just getting them removed, but I have to talk to the surgeon first. He's not all about removing body parts pre-emptively like I am. I say, if I don't need um, take um out. I can get by on one kidney, one lung and 10% of my bran, so take the rest:) Oh yeah, and I'll need my opposable thumbs so I can update my blog:). I'm snuggling my big girl watching cheesy movies and loving it. Looking forward to good friends stopping by all day long. But most importantly is the food, the wonderful food that's coming. I screen all my friends for food references before I let them in my life. Those that are borderline can get in with promises of take out delivery:)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

900 ml of barium...really?

I went to get an IV contrast CT today. My thoughts were, go there, get an IV, get a CT, go home. Their thoughts were, go there, drink 900 ml of barium sulphate over the course of an hour, then get an IV, and then get the CT. AHHHH barium sulphate, how chalky and viscous you are. I couldn't finish the entire trough they brought out for me to slurp down, I was about 150 ml shy of the whole enchilada, the tech ensured me that there was plenty of barium in me. they brought me and some dude that must go 300lbs the same amount of barium, those sadistic f'ks, of course there was enough barium inside me, i could have probably taken in a shot glass worth, i'm a little girl. some times i really wonder about the medical profession. when i talked to my surgeon about getting these tests done, he assured me that they had already had the gold standard test and it showed nothing. he really didn't know what to say when i asked him for the third time how much comfort i should take in that since it didn't pick up my primary tumor either. his answer was, "well, there really just isn't any good way to see this disease, but we can try blablabla", 750ml later, here i am. they really just don't know. there are so few cases of this rat bastard kind of cancer that there's no standard treatment. some peoples angiosarcoma show up just fine, mine is like a freaking ghost. so i guess i won't know till i can feel bulges or other side effects poking it's way through my body whether or not this thing is contained or is at this moment all over me. that's comforting. you know how you can convince yourself that you're sick or you have something wrong, but it's all in your head? try it with this cancer, every stupid little thing could actually be metastatic disease. angiosarcoma is a pain in the ass, as well as everywhere else. it was nice to get out of the house though....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

the great flash back

I posted this to my facebook, but don't know if y'all are FB friends, so I'll put it here too. In honor of tata's everywhere, It would mean so much to me if all my friends would flash or moon someone on June 1st while I'm in surgery (3:30).

coming back

Maybe it's the oxycodone I took a half an hour ago, but I'm already getting over the pitty party. I'm going to be just fine, regardless of whether or not they can put a time stamp on me. Life is just too awesome to get too caught up in the what if's and when's. Got to live it now. Got to finish watching I Love Lucy!

downer daze

I didn't realize how much it would suck to get that diagnosis again. I figured that I had already prepared myself for it, had already gone through the acceptance stage and moved onto the it is what it is stage. Well, it's harder the second time round and I was not prepared for that. I didn't realize how much hope I had pinned on the equivocation of those doctors, how could they only give me a partial mastectomy if they thought for a minute they'd have to go back the next week for a total mastectomy? How could they sound so excited on the phone when they told me this might not be cancer, that the pathologists refused to stamp it with angiosarcoma? How could I not let it sink in even on the most superficial layers that I'd be ok, just fine, just a close call? I guess I let it sink in a little deeper then that. I know I'll be strong and fine tomorrow, I can already feel the silliness welling up inside. I can't fight the silliness, I have a better chance winning against cancer then that.

drum roll..again

Angiosarcoma of the Breast, 3cm intermediate grade tumor with good margins but mastectomy anyway. There is is, definitive diagnosis...again. I was sure they would at least say low grade. I can't believe they gave me that week of hope. Pretty upset about that. All I could think when they called this morning is how unfair this is for my babies to have to go through. They are so innocent, they don't know anything about life except what we show them and I'm forced to show them that even if you're fit and eat right and go to school and get a PhD and run marathons and blablabla, you may still wake up one day and have to blog to your closest friends and family about intermediate grade tumors. It's better to know, I hated this past week. I felt totally paralyzed, now I feel like I can move, even if it's only to walk back into the MRI tube, at least I'm not frozen between totally fine and totally f'cked anymore. It's an odd sensation to feel relieved about this, but seriously, not knowing was worst. I'm going to push back my graduation date. I don't feel like I can really focus on science at this particular minute of my life...maybe tomorrow. I'm waiting to talk to my surgeon so we can make plans. The first thing I want to do is get a full body MRI, this thing did not show up on the PET/CT, not even my primary tumor, so I'm not comforted with the no metastic disease diagnosis given after not seeing it spread by that method. Right now, I don't know if this thing is advanced or not. So here we go...waiting. Sorry for the bummer news, I'm not happy to write it, I'll be back to my silly self soon:) And on that note, Have a great day..why not...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ah Monday

Why aren't you Wednesday? Time is a funny thing. I want it to last for as long as possible...after Wednesday, until then, I want to be put in a partial coma...thanks oxycondone for getting me part of the way there. Seriously can't believe my doctors have given us a little ledge of hope to stand on, I can see everything around me, but I can't move. I hate waiting and tumors. Waiting and tumors both suck. My family went out to the north shore yesterday and did everything fun there is to do. After they gave me all the details of "the perfect day" I brought them into the living room and showed them how I got to lay both parallel and perpendicular to the T.V.. I did have a good friend visit and some great food delivered by my boss (cooked by him and his wonderful wife....don't worry people, this isn't brown nosing, I'm not eligible for a raise). I'm just totally burnt out on going over the same two scenarios over and over again in my brain. I'm trying to change it up a little and at least change what I'm wearing when I hear the good or bad news. That's fun. For now I'm going with the evening gown and russian whore make up.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

is it wednesday yet?

I'm not kidding when I say that the waiting is the hardest part. When I got the definitive diagnosis, I was a wreck for one day, then at peace with it, now I'm just counting the minutes, not living in the moment, waiting and waiting. I'm also recovering from surgery wondering if I have to recover all over again in a couple weeks. The doctor said that the mastectomy wouldn't need to be done immanently if this is sarcoma, since the main lesion is gone, so they'll wait 'til after June 6th, when I walk at graduation. Joy. This whole thing is pretty crazy, at least it's interesting, I'd hate to have a boring life...that'd be worst then this fo sho!

Friday, May 21, 2010

one more pun

After asking for something right in front of me on the table, my mom asked how long I could "milk" this for.
Thanks to Robyn for this one: Your puns are mammorable
Thanks to doug: You do have the most tittilating blog out there.
Thanks to Jen H. for this one: After being diagnosed twice, maybe you need tumor opinions

the long wait

The doctor said that the tumor is indistinuishable from AVP, the benign condition. Of couse they look identicle, why wouldn't they? Next Wednesday is the soonest they'll know. In post-op, the surgeoun told me that he's never seen a lesion like this that wasn't a sarcoma, so my hopes aren't tooo high, really really want to know!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Eatin' Cake

Had my surgery today. We're sort of back where we were at the beginning: It's either angio sarcoma or atypical hyper-proliferative vascular legion. Feels really good to have whatever it is out of my body. We'll know as early as Wed next week what the definative diagnosis is.

The surgery went well. No problems. Team Corrie was awesome!!! Thanks to everyone who traveled and waited. It means so much to have all of you here. Special thanks to Adrienne for her awesome pistachio nut chocolate delight cake, Mmmmmmm...

More tomorrow.

Night, night.


These have been my favorite:
1)Keep me abreast of the situation
2)I love your breast-taking beauty
3)Hope your doctor is not a bust
4)after hearing that there was nothing in my left breast, my bro said that everything was "ALL RIGHT"
5)Tata for now
6)My new addition, to which I'm partial "after a little tit for tat with the doctors, i hope everything is ok
7)you guys are acting like a bunch of boobs

Please add to the list, I'm sure I've left some out, It's just that I'm hurried right now getting ready for surgery, it should be a real Hoot

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

sloppy bloated mess

I think I over did it with the pasta tonight. No eating til tomorrow night makes Corrie a full girl. I'm going to set the alarm clock for 11:45 just in case I fall asleep so I can restuff. Mom, dad, big bro, Jen and stepmom were all up, nice dinner. I hope this isn't cancer for the obvious reasons, but there are the more subtle reasons like having to fast again next week if I need to have the mastectomy. I know I should be more concerned with the surgery, but I can't wrap my brain around not eating tomorrow, no food, all day. nothing to eat? Stupid tumor.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

can't believe it still

I know I'm not out of the woods, and this still might be angiosarcoma, but what a gift it is to have the next week to feel like I was just given my life back. I've spent so much time over the past few months preparing myself and all my closest people for the worst, that I don't really know what to do with this potentially wonderful news. I'm more shaken now then I was when i got the stupid diagnosis in the first place. This is one hell of a ride, one way or the other. If I never got the second opinion, I would be in recovery right now from a total mastectomy. This still may be the case next week, but imagine if it isn't....

Best F'ing news ever

This might not be cancer. THIS MIGHT NOT BE CANCER!!!!!!! remember those 9 freaking biopsies? I do! Well, none of them could confirm angiosarcoma. There's no evidence of malignancy, it just looks like angiosarcoma, feels like angiosarcoma and well, don't know what it smells like because I've been washing with my special androgynous soap. It's classified as an atypical vascular lesion which is NOT angiosarcoma. They can't be sure though, even after all these tests, so they're going to do a lumpectomy on Thursday and wait for the pathology reports on the tumor itself. Then if it is cancer, they'll do the mastectomy the following week, if it's not, I'm free, that's it, no more. Holy shit, train wrecking all over again!!!!!


I received a message saying my sarcoma doctor will be out of town for 8 weeks and that I've been scheduled to start treatments with someone else on June 3rd. That's it, that's all the info they gave me. What treatments? What kind of Chemo? Well, guess they figure that it doesn't really matter to the patient and that we should just be happy to sit around in our ignorance and take it as it comes. My doctor had mentioned a couple different kinds of cocktails that he was considering, but said nothing of what I'm to expect from the side effects, such as how sick I'll be, when my hair will start falling out, how long the treatments will last, what will be the end point, how they'll follow up with it, what happens when it likely comes back....nope, just a message, be here on June 3rd for Dr. # 42 to start treatment. Cancer sucks, it's so hard to plan the living part of life around the surviving part of cancer. I'm supposed to walk for my graduation on June 6th, it'd be nice to know if I'll be physically able to do that. Don't worry folks, not sad or depressed, just a little pissed off at the moment. OK, now of to finish up what I can in lab before I become Unicorrie.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

good friends

I have a lot of them, thank god! You guys are the absolute best. Thanks for being silly, making fabulous cake, laughing with me, showing body parts in solidarity, being in the moment, naming dragflys, keeping it light and normal and once again, laughing with me. I love you all, from all the parts of my heart, not just the bottom:)

Tom and Jerry

I love how happy it makes my almost 5 year old to watch the same cartoons I watched when I was a kid. Ahhh, the violence set so sweetly to classical music. Everyone is so protective of their children now, God forbid they see a picture of Clint Eastwood, he once held a gun you know. I'm sure the reason we have gang violence, endless wars and a general lack of respect for authority lies solely in our exposure to Tom and Jerry. Random, and not cancer related, but that's where I am right now.
Have a great and uncensored day!

Friday, May 14, 2010

surgery details

I'm at preop at this very moment, sooo exciting! The surgery is scheduled for 3pm on Thursday the 20th, I'll be in overnight and released the next day. I have to shower three days in a row before surgery and was given special soap and a picture of an androgynous body with the word "no" written on it's face and private areas. I'm assuming that whether you have parts there or not, they are NOT to get washed with the special soap. Perhaps you turn into the androgynous person if you do.....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

9 holes

they took 9 biopsies of my tumor today 9! WTF, the previous biopsies, the MRI, the notes from Fletcher weren't enough. They then wanted to put a titanium clip inside the tumor and send me off for a mammogram after the biopsies. I told them they were free to take the mammogram of my breast next Thursday after the mastectomy. I mean really, what's the point, they can't see it by mammo anyway. Silly Harvard doctors, stupid cancer. The biopsies were actually pretty cool (says the morbid freak in me). It was a sonogram guided procedure, not that you could see the tumor this way either, but if it made the doc's feel more comfortable squeezing warm KY on my boob to look at nothing, who am I to chime in? What you could see was the needle going into my tissue by sonogram and that was the cool part. I was mesmerized by the screen, it felt voyeuristic since I was numbed and couldn't feel it anyway. SO there it is, a tech is in a lab throwing some monoclonal antibodies on my boob sections to confirm for the 4th time that this is angiosarcoma. I feel like in the time it's taking to get this resolved, I could teach the tumor how to speak and at least say "get me out" if not "I'm angiosarcoma"

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

a spot of good news

I know, I know, the puns just get worst as you get to know me better. Really though, the new MRI results show nothing on the left breast, this was done on a much better machine, higher resolution, so it looks like they'll only need to take the right. I can't get reconstruction done for a couple years, if at all due to this stupid kind of cancer, so I'll be a bit lop sided for a while.
I asked what the tumor looked like on the MRI and the PA said it was completely crazy, just as an angiosarcoma should look. More good news is that it doesn't look like it's made it into the chest wall. Can't wait to get this off my chest...really, that's the last pun for the night:)

surgery scheduled

Woo-hoo, surgery actually scheduled for the 20th. Those bastards won't cut it off til the afternoon, so I have to fast alllll dayyyy long! Do they not know how much I love food? I have a preop on Friday at 1:15 (kind of using this blog to keep myself organized). Don't know how long I'll be in the hospital yet, will let you know. For now keep the images of hot fudge sundaes, big mac's and fries, and mom's home made apple pie out of your brains, so that they won't leak into mine!!


OK, they finally scheduled my biopsies for 7:45 am tomorrow morning, 2 more holes in my boobies, yay!

The calm before the storm

I'm laying in bed right now, feeling totally normal. Boobies, still got em, hair, still long, bandages, drains, sad people, and pain killers all absent. Just me and my kitty scarecrow listening to the light rain falling outside waiting for the rest of the house to wake up. I'm pretty f'ing happy right now sitting in this peace for this moment before all the crap begins. Have a great day y'all (and do something silly, or at least stop worrying about yourselves:)

Monday, May 10, 2010

the literature sucks

So the literature gives a prognosis of 2.3 years for primary angiosarcoma of the breast. The literature really sucks, mostly because there are so few cases, they can't get good statistics. The most recent report from the mayo clinic shows 27 cases in the last 50 years, and in that time there have been different treatments from lumpectomies to mastectomies to chemo, with no standard treatment. The good news is that the people at Dana Farber have anecdotal evidence that their angiosarcoma patients are responding well to chemotherapy. They see about 2 patients a year with this and for the past 5 years, no deaths, yay! I feel a little guilty calling all my closest people and telling them that this thing was curable as though it was a done deal. That very well might be the case, but it's really a wait and see game, just not enough of us freaks out there to actually study. I did ask my doctor if i would be ok to run my marathon by october and after a brief reflection, he encouraged me to do the half, hey I'll take it!
They are going to make a cell line out of my tumor, I'm lobbying for naming it the copa soca sucks line, but we'll see.
I had a PET/CT scan done on friday but it shows nothing. This elusive cancer doesn't really image on anything..mammo negative, sono negative, pet scan negative, MRI, bam it's there. The good thing is that they believe that there's no metastases from the CT part of the PET/CT, very good and encouraging. The bad news is that there's another lesion in my left breast that they need to biopsy before doing surgery. I have another MRI scheduled for tomorrow at brigham's and another biopsy of both boobies on wednesday. The surgery is scheduled for Thursday the 20th. We'll know by then if they're both coming off and what kind of chemo I'll be receiving.
On Friday, I'm going wig shopping with Charly, she want's me to get a pink wig, I won't mind as long as it has spikes, maybe even a mohawk.
I went in today thinking I might have 12 months and came out hearing at least 5 years, that's enough time to do so freaking much. My babies will know me:)
Oh yeah, one more thing, if you don't believe in karma, you can totally use the cancer card on people and they'll do whatever you want. People freak out and start babbling and doing whatever you want, it's pretty cool stuff really, but don't do it if you believe in an after life. My husbands probably already sick of getting me coffee based on the cancer card, perhaps I should space it out if I plan on being here for a while:)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

foot in mouth disease

when i went in for my consult the other day, the last doctor to see me was a shrink. i told her it was ok to interview me with ted and jen and thea in there with me. one of her first questions was
'how are you handeling this emotionally?" My response was that it's like a sign wave with changes in frequency, sometimes sustained ups, and downs and at other times they come rapidly, but if you were to average them out, I'd still be happier then the average person. She nodded her head and looked at me and said, "oh, so you're a train wreck". my friends and I burst out laughing before she realized that she had clearly said the wrong thing, and she quickly replied with "I mean on a roller coaster, you know one with trains, not a train wreck..." she felt like a total ass and we felt about as silly as you can be in that situation. From now on, you guys can refer to me as corrie the train wreck:)

Friday, May 7, 2010

appointments monday

I had the fabulous experience of having a pet/ct scan today. I am officially hot, glowing with flouridated glucose:). I have the CD with all the images but am being a good girl, I gave them to Ted so that I wouldn't look at them and interpret every spot as a giant tumor. On Monday I go to Dana Farber and see a sarcoma specialist and a sarcoma surgeon. Should be good times. The deeper question here is, can I crack a smile on their faces or are they toooo smart and tooo harvard for that kind of nonsense. I'll know more then and should have a better idea as to when and where the surgery will be.
Tata for now
(please excuse the pun)

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Got myself a little video camera and have been taking videos non stop of me and the girls doing nothing in particular. They already love watching them. What little gifts they are. I showed charly a picture of a one booby woman and she was totally fine with the concept of it. She did however ask me to wear a 2 booby bra so I'd look like the other mommies when I drop her off at school. Got to love kids:). It's been really nice having all my family and friends around, I feel very loved. Off to watch some cheesey TV and snuggle with my man.
night night

how I found out

It's very important to pursue even the most benign lump or skin discoloration. Here's how the story has unfolded for me:
I was lying in bed at the end of February and all of a sudden felt a golf ball sized lump in my right breast. I had my ob/gyn check it out and she said it was nothing, it was mobile, moved alot, and didn't feel like a true breast tumor. she made an appointment for 3 weeks out to get a mammogram and I was like WTF, 3 weeks? She callously told me that if I wanted to schedule something sooner I could do it myself, so I was able to get one in 2 weeks, woo-hoo. Mammogram and sonogram came back negative, and the radiologist told me I had nothing to worry about and sent me home. I got a letter in the mail a couple weeks later for a surgical oncologist, I had no idea why. He felt the tumor and diagnosed me with PASH, a benign condition, but just to be on the safe side he did a fine needle aspiration. A couple days later he called me with good news saying that the results were consistent with PASH, but that they needed a core biopsy to rule out any weird sarcoma malignancy. Again, a 3 week wait. I asked to have an MRI in the mean while just for some piece of mind. The next day I was scheduled for another sonogram based on the MRI results, only no one had discussed those results with me. When I called to find out the results, there was a nurse who callously told me that the results were suspicious. I asked her what that meant, and she became flustered and basically hung up the phone. ho. I then called my doc and he brought me into his office and performed the biopsy himself, and when he punctured the tumor and just bled like a geyser. I knew then that it was a vascular tumor, the angiosarcoma that I had been obsessing over. It took 4 days to get that confirmed and well, that brings us to about right now. This is an incredibly rare vascular tumor made up of the stromal tissue of the breast and accounts for 0.04% of breast cancers, lucky me. There's no standard treatment because it's so rare, and chemo is generally not effective. It has the worst prognosis of all breast cancers. el sucko. but then again, oh well, all I can do is kick that statistic in the ass.

I love hearing mommy from little voices

I can't tell you how overwhelmed I am by the well wishes and support that you have all reached out and given us. Thank you for that. I know this is supposed to be a sad boo-hoo fest, and believe me, I have my moments, but really they come in short bursts and only when thinking of other people being sad. It's 4am right now and my babies cried out to me because 1) maddy was cold and 2) charly doesn't like it when maddy cries:). I was able to jump out of bed, wrap her up in her blanket, rock with her so sweetly and send her off to bed a happy little girl. I then crawled into bed with Charly and snuggled with her, she fell asleep with a smile on her face. These are the moments that life is made up from. Such sweet tender moments where you're not saving the world, or even muttering a thought, but just doing what has to be done and effecting a positive outcome. I'm so grateful for these little things, but I think I always have been, that's part of why this whole big monster hasn't really effected me so much. I love you all for being so concerned, and I can see where some of you are not terribly happy with it, but I'm planning on moving through this thing savoring the good little things which in the end make up life. I can hear little birds chirping:):)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The consult

My good friends Thea and Jen came with me and Ted for the 4 hour consultation today. We left not knowing much more then we did going in, but we certainly established that I am unique. None of them have ever seen a primary breast angiosarcoma in their entire career, but the premier pathologist in the world has confirmed it. They're deciding whether to do a simple or radical mastectomy. Tomorrow I'll have a cat scan and X-ray to see whether these nasties have made it into my lungs yet. I think the doctors were not ready for the level of silliness we brought to the hospital room. Sorry folks, but I just can't be serious, even about this. It's just so ridiculous to me, and there's so many jokes that just creep up. The doctor told me that this type of tumor projects fingers outward and started to draw a picture of what those fingers look like, I of course showed him which one of my fingers I thought it looked like:). I'll let y'all know more after I get results from tomorrows tests. Right now I'm watching the muppets with charly and my mommy.

Monday, May 3, 2010

well that's something new

I should be writing my thesis right now, but I’m a little distracted. I have a lump in my right breast that is hopefully nothing, but the doc said he can’t rule out some weird malignancy. Seems like every time I calm myself down and put it in the back of my mind, I look something up and of course, it correlates with breast cancer. My lower back hurts, never has before….breast cancer metastasis. I have a headache…. metastasis. The tumor is growing…aggressive metastasis. I look at my babies….no mother. I look at my husband….scared and alone. I don’t want to tell my folks…..they’ll never get over it. I’m less concerned with what happens to me then what happens to them. I feel like I’ll carry the guilt into the great abyss if something happens and all of a sudden, I’m not here anymore, and they’re left alone to grieve.
I want my babies to know how much I love them. I have spent many moments try to burn them into some deeper plane of reality, so that I can visit them whenever I want. Nothing has brought me more joy then to bring them up in this world, watching them grow, holding their little bodies, their big hands. What a gift it’s been to be their mother, to hear even once the word uppy, to watch as their faces light up when I pick them up, shall we dance in the kitchen, make-up stories every day, laughter, uncontrollable at the word poopy (yes Rob, that one’s for you!). I want them to have every chance possible to find happiness in this world. It’s not an easy thing to accomplish, I missed it, overlooked it, ran away from it many many times in my life, and only by accident did it ever occur to me that it has always been within my grasp. Even now, as I write this in the most distressed state of my life, I have a warm smile on my face thinking of all I have to be grateful for.
Just had a core needle biopsy in Quinlin's office. I’ve been a wreck all day, I can’t stop reading about angiosarcoma. I didn’t realize until he read me the cytology report that the pathologist actually listed angiosarcoma as a possibility. I want to know one way or the other, the waiting is just filling me with anxiety to the point where I can’t breath normally. I feel like once I know, if it’s bad, I’ll be completely freaked out at first, but will then deal with it very well. I just can’t stop thinking of what it will be like for my family to see me wither away, that thought alone consumes me with total despair. I have not spent one minute worrying about me, or death, or being scared of what’s next, but I can’t stop thinking of my babies and how hard this is going to be on my entire family. I’ve told Ted on numerous occasions that for me, it’s really no big deal. In fact I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have been able to have the life experiences that I have had. I honestly feel like I have packed it all in. Happiness, check. Beautiful children, check.. Wonderful husband with whom I have never fallen out of love, check. Incredible career, check. Great friends, check. Good relationship with both folks, check. Adventures and the feeling of total freedom, check and check. I’ve experienced birth, nursing, the deepest I’ve ever reached into life has been in silent moments shared with my children and for that I’m so grateful. I have burned those memories so deep into my soul that they have to have transpired into another dimension. I come home every day to loving arms that have supported me, that have raised me up to be the happy and fulfilled person that I am. I have friends that know my thoughts so well, there’s no need for words. I have run marathons, jumped out of planes, picked up hitch hikers, talked to everyone, listened to everyone. I love science and the process of discovery, and feel so lucky to have found it. I love life and feel like I’m living it well. I don’t have any outstanding things to do, from this point on it’s icing on top of the cake. I’m smiling now writing all this despite the tracks left on my cheeks from the tears that have been streaming down my face all day. I need my babies to know how much I love them. I will make every effort to take care of them, to let them know me, to find a way for my unconditional love to remain with them as they follow their own paths.

May 1, 2010
Waiting on my core biopsy results: I don’t really get why we’re so scared of death. The way I look at it is that there are 2 possibilities. One, nothing happens. Two, something happens. If nothing happens what is there to be so concerned about, Nothing happened to you before you were born too, but there was nothing to lament. Nothing isn’t bad, it doesn’t hurt, it’s not sad, it’s just nothing, like a forgotten memory, it happened but now it’s gone. The memory doesn’t care that it’s not there any more. In the great nothingness, the molecules that make me up will simply return to their composite atoms and disperse into the universe…pretty cool, we are star dust! Two, there’s some kind of afterlife. Really people? Pearly gates, sitting on clouds for all eternity? What exactly would be the point of that? Why would there be a constant need to make new souls, traffic them to some earthly realm to “test” them only to bring them to ecstasy or horror for all eternity? It’s not at all possible folks that the thought of nothing just doesn’t jive with the majority of people, so somewhere along the line someone told a bedtime story to a wide eyed child and it stuck? Oh yes sweetheart, we all go to heaven if we’re good, so be good for goodness sake. I’m not scared of the great big nothing, but I’m not looking forward to the ride getting there.

May 4, 2010,
Drum roll please……angiosarcoma of the breast. It official folks, my time here is limited. All silliness aside, it feels good to know. It’s just totally surreal knowing that there’s this aggressive tumor trying to eat me from within, yet I feel so healthy. This is going to harder on everyone else then me. My first hurdle is over, telling the folks. I was sure that my mom would burst out and not be able to speak coherently, but she was so so very strong. I can’t tell any of you how much easier that made it for me. My dad too was soo strong, he really believes in me, he knows I’m a fighter. My brothers were in shock, I love them both more then they realize, and I guess it was nice hearing that back from them today….see folks….silver liningsJ. Then there was the friends.. They were unanimously shocked. Heather, so very sad. Gina, so very mad, Jen, right here by my side. Thea, working her magic, and pulling her strings at Dana Farber.
I was with Ted when the doctor called and I pulled over, gave the phone to Ted, got out of the car and made a complete spectacle of myself right there in the parking lot of WPI. We went to Umass so I could tell my co-workers, Allan, Daryl and Larry. As you might imagine, they were all sympathetic. Larry later sent an email saying I could pot-doc in his lab, and that he’d help me however he could. That meant a lot to me. I don’t want to bring this to Daryl, she needs to grow her lab, not bring it down with a charity case.
Ted and I are going to take the girls to a synagogue. We want to bring an organized religion to them and Ted thinks Judaism will make them feel closer to me. My god I love life. Even during this horrible realization there’s so much to be grateful for. I have the opportunity to reach out to all my friends and family and let them know how I feel, who they are to me. I think life is so beautiful, and if I can remain calm enough through this initial shock, I hope I can inspire people to see the beauty all around them, to thoroughly enjoy the moment, to love deeply, burn themselves into time, to not miss me, but to meet me where I am and see the path through the trash and dirt and sand and asphalt that’s so clearly laid out before me so that they can visit me anytime