All posts tagged: cancer stories

Mary Mann Cancer Journal

Fireplace, quail block and cancer

November 8, 2019 Cancer Journal A grey fog has settled over the city. I can’t see the mountains. I can only see the neighborhood. The temperature is supposed to hit the sixties here in Albuquerque, but I doubt it. We need the sun to warm us up. Winter seems to have hit us suddenly. We turned from green to dull winter brown almost overnight. The quail block outside my bedroom window has been very busy. Lots of birds. Fat quail families making their regular visits. The squirrels have left the old tomato plant and are happily munching the quail block with the birds. I haven’t seen the chipmunks lately. Life in the backyard. I enjoy winter here in Albuquerque. I enjoy my fireplace. Yesterday I had my afternoon coffee in a comfortable chair by the fire. I read another chapter or two from my current library book on my kindle. I am reading Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth. It is a seven hundred page book. The story draws you in and you feel the …

Uterine papillary serous cancer 2018

I became suspicious that there was more to my D&C and biopsy than I was expecting. My GYN Doc called me in to her office a week early to discuss my biopsy results. It was also her day for surgery.  She came up from the OR suite just to talk to me. Bad signs. I like her. She is a petite woman of Asian heritage. Friendly. Personable. Professional. She quickly arrived carrying pictures she had taken during the D&C and a copy of the pathology report. She handed it to me. I read serous cancer. Reconfirmed. No doubt about it. She said she wasn’t familiar with this type of cancer, but I suspect she was playing the discussion forward to the next doctor. I have an appointment with an experienced GYN oncology surgeon on Monday. Uterine papillary serous cancer, UPSC for short, is also called uterine serous cancer and uterine serous adenocarcinoma. Docs and Google will understand if you just say serous cancer. It is a rare subset of endometrial cancer. It is relentlessly aggressive …

I am officially Cancer Girl New Mexico

As I was recovering from my hip replacement, my RA doc thought it might be time to try the biologic Actemra. It worked for me before hip issue. It was time to do it again. But, she said, first we needed to check out the change in my uterus that was noted on my hip MRI. She ordered an ultrasound of my uterus that included a vaginal probe (didn’t know they could do it.) Actually, she handed me the probe and told me to put it in. I did it. Results showed a thickened uterus consistent with tamoxifen use. It also showed a mass. Next stop was the GYN doc who thought it was a polyp not cancer since there was no bleeding. Next stop was outpatient surgery of a D&C and biopsy. She was optimistic. The results weren’t good. It is sometimes called Uterine Serous carcinoma, or uterine papillary serous carcinoma (UPSC), or serous adenocarcinoma. It is easily googled just writing serous cancer.My doc said she didn’t know much about this cancer. She referred …

Sandy Ginsburg

Tiny, energetic. Warm eyes and welcoming smile. That is my first impression of Sandy Ginsburg. She is President of Cancer Support Now, a grass roots cancer survivor organization that believes no one has to go through cancer alone whether as a survivor or caregiver, whatever their needs may be. As CSN’s leader she lives this core belief every single day. I met Sandy for a leisurely summer lunch at the Indigo Crow in Corrales. We see each other at board meetings and committee meetings. It was nice to have her all to myself with no distractions. A surprise to me, Sandy was a reporter for many years. She worked for the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, based in Washington, D C. She also worked for the Institute for Social Research which is the world’s largest academic social science survey and research organization at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In New Mexico, she worked for Dr. Hal Rhodes, chairman of the Political Science Department at UNM. She was involved in establishing …

Caring Hearts Support Group starts this week

Caring Hearts Support Group             Thursday                Nov 6                    at 2:30 pm (lunch arrives at 2pm).                     Place Aggies Conference Room, Presbyterian Medical Group Building                                           2nd floor, by Oncology waiting room This is a longstanding group facilitated by Eve Concoran, Chaplain. Call Eric Mehringer  559-8761 Dates:  Nov 6, 13, 20    December 4, 11 All cancer patients and loved ones are welcome I started attending this group in February. It has helped me in so many ways. A big one is that it has helped my process. I was hit with severe RA and two cancers within 11 months of each other.  Tough to assimilate surgeries, radiations, tons of meds. Total life change.  This group is amazing. It also offers resources and friendships. Kindred spirits. Come join us.

Cancer story 2

  Ageless, petite, dressed in her usual ankle length tights and colorful full shirt.  Sitting next to me.  Waiting for our turn to get zapped in the radiation room. She said when her mother died of cancer, she didn’t know how to help.  Now she knows how to help. She volunteers her hair dressing services to hospice. Very helpful and very satisfying. She is worried.  Her cancer is progressing.  Who will take care of her hospice patients when she is gone? I said, “Then, you need to get better so you can continue to take care of them.”  

Cancer Story 1

Perky and energetic, she invested many hours involved in cancer programs.  She exercised, attended support groups.  Kept current with local cancer events .  Was  always happy to share her knowledge. Her cancer was a lymphoma, chronic.  Always with her.  Always being monitored.  Somewhere in her consciousness, she felt unsettled.  She was sharing her body with an unfriendly stranger. She took great pride in her children and grandchildren.  And in her husband, a good looking supportive man. A cruise is planned for next summer.  She is committed and excited about the trip.  Still,  she wonders out loud, “Will I still Be here?”