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 […]

My First Picture Book! Snowball Moon Coming September 2017!

Well, I’ve been sitting on this very exciting news for quite a while.  I’m not sure why I have waited to spill the beans.  Normally, I would be the first to tell the world about me having a new book coming out.  Especially since it’s a picture book, a market I’ve been trying to break into for many years. Snowball Moon was acquired by Little Bee Books this past summer, and I’ve been “allowed” to tell about it for a number of months now.  I guess keeping the news to myself reflects how deeply tired I’ve been over the last […]

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 […]

Of Star Trek, Steroids, Stadiums, and Sanity…

I have not posted for almost two months now. I keep thinking I am just a few days away from feeling “normal,” and I delay posting until then. But normal never seems to quite get here.  Sigh. Star Trek The Star Trek convention in New York City really did wear me out. I came home utterly drained and with another infection, but very grateful and happy that I’d had enough energy to complete the trip and participate in it pretty well. It was fun and absolutely worth the effort. But it took me a round of antibiotics and a couple of weeks […]

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 […]

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