Proposed Health Care Amendment Will Bankrupt Small Business Owners

NY Times Article – The Rest of the Story My picture was in the New York Times yesterday as part of an article outlining the real world effects of the healthcare bill that is currently up for debate in the House of Representatives; the bill may go up for a vote today, Thursday, May 4th. Here’s the rest of the story that the Times didn’t report: I was diagnosed with brain cancer in January, 2016. Our family had (and still has) insurance through the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare.  My husband, Marshall, is a solo attorney – […]

Reframing the Language of Cancer

I’ve been thinking for a long time about the language, labels, and metaphors that surround having brain – or any other kind of – cancer. In particular, I’ve been thinking about how I have consistently been told that I am fighting or battling cancer and that I am now a cancer survivor. Fighting. Battling. Surviving. Personally, I don’t identify with any of these words.  Why? All of them are inherently violent, reminiscent of the war against cancer that I am supposed to be involved in.  The problem with this is that I don’t want to live my remaining days engaged […]

Big 50!

Having brain cancer has had a wonderful way of changing my perspective on just about everything, including turning 50 today.  When I turned 30 I was sad to be getting older.  Today, I have no wish to be young again.  I harbor little nostalgia for years gone by.  I have only immense gratitude for this day, for the privilege of turning 50, for being alive. I am very, very happy to be 50.  Bring it on, y’all!

Epilepsy?

Two weeks ago, a neurologist – an epilepsy specialist – told me she thinks I have epilepsy. I have to admit, it was a pretty stunning thing to hear. After all, I’ve never lost consciousness due to a seizure, and I have had only one real event that I’d even classify as seizure-like – and that was the night that landed me in the hospital when I was diagnosed with brain cancer. It would be easy to try to dismiss what the epilepsy doctor told me – after all, the whole reason I went to see her in the first […]

I Am Flu Slayer. Hear Me Roar!

Let’s recite it together: “Please, friend, kick me when I’m down.” As if having brain cancer and secondary adrenal insufficiency isn’t enough, I go and get the flu. I haven’t had the flu in years.  But it decided to show up last weekend, disguised at first as a head cold.  A few days later, the fever, chills, and aches came on.  I thought I was really in for it – people die of the flu, you know.  And these days I have a ton of trouble just trying to get rid of the sniffles.  I was worried about what I […]

Abbey Normal

They told me that my last EEG was slightly off. My first response to this news was, frankly, to be a bit offended. What do you mean my brain is “slightly off”?  How judgmental of you, Medical Establishment. You’re not exactly the epitome of normality either, I want you to know. Actually, “slightly off” wasn’t the technical phrase they used. The technical phrase was something to the effect that I had a couple “spike and slow curve” weirdnesses (“weirdnesses” is the technical term) on my EEG reading. This could be a sign of seizure activity in my brain. Or it […]

Wired Again

I am having an EEG at UVA Hospital as I write this. Nothing is wrong, I’ve just asked my oncologists to help me get off my anti-seizure medication since I believe it contributes to my ongoing fatigue issues. I’m not sure my doctors were necessarily thrilled with the idea – after all, many doctors do like their medicines, and I have to admit they can come in handy sometimes – but I am grateful they are indulging me. I really want off these meds! But it comes at a cost.  They will have to taper me off the meds over […]

Post Trekkie Exhaustion!

That thingamabob in Hannah’s hands is called a bat’leth.  It is a Klingon fighting weapon.  Who knew?  Our daughter, that’s who!  In fact, Hannah was interviewed on the SciFi Channel at the convention: During the interview, they asked Hannah Star Trek trivia questions – and no easy ones as far as I was concerned. She got all but one correct and won a piece of Pez for her efforts!  Could a parent ever be more happy, proud, and profoundly tickled? I don’t think so!  Hannah loved every moment of her 13th birthday present, and it is a trip we will […]

The Slaytons Go To NYC Star Trek Convention!

Well, if you ever told me I’d ever be going to a Star Trek convention I would not have believed you. Not that I don’t like Star Trek – I do – but … but … Our daughter REALLY likes it.  Like, a LOT.  Going to the convention is our present to her for her for her 13th birthday, which is tomorrow – the day the convention starts.  And, although I blush to admit this, we went ahead and bought the VIP tickets.   Really?  Yes, really.   What can I say, except having brain cancer has made me a […]

Bottom Line: MRI Results Are Great! The short version: the MRI last week showed that there is no new visible growth of the tumor.  Hooray! The long version is slightly more complicated. It took a day longer to get to that result than I expected.  Expectations are often such impediments to the happiness of the moment.  If I could better let go of my expectations I think I would be happier as I deal with what is actually happening.  I was told that I would get the MRI in the morning, the radiologist would read it, and we’d have the […]

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