How it started. How it’s going.

HEALTH UPDATE: CT last week shows no change in the tumor monster. Still hanging around at about 6×5 cm. Not bad considering it started at 22x16x18! Much of the same these days although I’ve been experiencing more severe fatigue. My hemoglobin is low. The red flags are flying in my mind. I’m working on each and every issue I have to eliminate the biggest fears. I’ve got esophagus issues as well. I’m pretty much fucked on that one. It’s broken, so I throw up here and there (figuratively, not literally). I’ll just have to deal with that. PET scan is scheduled March 2nd! That’s the one that will glow if and where there is active cancer! Pretty exciting, huh?


It’s time to reflect. I’m coming up on the 3 year anniversary of my first treatment of immunotherapy. My life saving, miracle concoction. Is this so unreal? If I sat too long to try and wrap my head around this fact, I think I would pass out! I think though, that it is healthy to never forget. I don’t want to dwell on things, but remembering that horrible time keeps me grounded. It reminds me of the uncertainty of life. It reminds me to let the little things go. It reminds me to KEEP GOING!

So much has happened in the past three years. The phases are undeniable to me now. I see no need to revisit my diagnosis and the horror it brought. The early days of chemotherapy and wondering how long I would have lived had my miracle not come true. It was a horrific time. The details are left in the past. However, it was the basis for the phases. It was the bottom of the barrel of my life, so far.

What came after that all time low is best described as complete shock. Imagine completing a scary task. You didn’t want to do the task. You didn’t have a choice. It was your fate. You complete the task and all you can do is pinch your arm. Am I here? Am I really still alive? Did that really happen? It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. You are indeed alive and starting to do well.

From there, everything turns into magic. It’s like there is no pain in the world, most certainly not my world. It’s like heaven on Earth. There is nothing that can happen that could be as bad as what I experienced for the past year. Nothing. I’m tip toeing through the tulips, savoring every breath and every ray of sunshine. This phase lasts for quite some time. I’m not even bothered by the fact I have no expectation that this bliss will last for months. For years! I still think I have just months to live! Yet I’m happy. The gnarly symptoms are under control now. It’s a new ballgame. Until I hit the slump.

My slump isn’t the worst of all slumps. Maybe I’m just confused. I discover that it is really hard to live day to day not know what this cancer will do. Wondering if the miracle concoction will continue to save me or perhaps, since it is an experimental drug, it will kill me? Over the course of the many months on this trial, I have signed a few new disclosures in regards to other participants not making it. There are no disclosures as to why. I don’t expect to know. Why should I be told? I can only speculate and I have to ask myself, was it because of ab122? It could be anything. Don’t go there. But of course I do, because I’m a self-diagnosed hypochondriac with one of the deadliest cancers with no explanations or answers to what my fate holds! This leads me to another disease with no reports, no facts, just me. The experiment. I call this disease, “mind fuckery” disease.

The mind can take you anywhere you want to go. Good places, bad places and everywhere in between! For a while after the glow of survival started to change, I found myself swirling into the darkness. I would like to think it wasn’t completely obvious if you looked at me. I would never want anyone to judge me for not living life to the fullest! After all, I survived! I should be on top of the world! Even though I was feeling the darkness, there was no denying (to myself, anyways) that I felt an obligation to be happy. I had been given the chance of a lifetime that 90% of people with my disease never get to experience. Life. I knew how I “should have” felt. I just didn’t.

There were new pressures that came along with survival. I think that fear of the cancer killing me has held me back for a long time. Held me back from thinking about a future! How could I possibly think of a future if I didn’t know I had one or not? I could compare this to relationships. You don’t just dive into a relationship. You take your time and give more of yourself as you feel more confident the relationship is going somewhere. I’m not giving myself and my feelings just to be rejected. Such is life. I’ve been so afraid to think about the future. How can I plan and almost function as though I have a future?

Time is proving to heal this dilemma. As time has gone on, I’ve grown more and more confident to move ahead with life. Projects. Work. It’s taken a lot of self coaching and patience but I’m feeling emotionally stronger. Do I still have bad days? Days of insecurity? Absolutely yes. But I keep going. I think of cancer less and less. It’s still on my radar as I am still on active treatment. It’s hard to put cancer in the rear view mirror completely when you still have a port in your chest. When you still have a full day of labs, doctor visit and an infusion every three weeks. When you have CT scans every 9 weeks. When you have genetic mutations that have you screening yourself like crazy for any other possible types of cancer because you are now deemed “high risk”. See how incredibly fast things can get dark? Commence self talk. Self coaching. The setbacks are smaller and take less of a bite out of me but I still get nibbled on once in a while.

All in all, I wouldn’t change this life for anything. I have taken what I’ve been given and I’ve tried to get through it all the best that I can. The most awful things are obvious. The most beautiful things are things I never would have imagined had I not gone through this cancer experience. My heart has grown. I have a new love and appreciation for human kind. My heart goes out to everyone touched by cancer. I truly want to hold the hands of anyone going through this garbage. I pray for the day research can cure everyone. There are so many other things I know can be over said. Live your best life! Appreciate the little things! Don’t take things for granted! It’s all true and then some.

To make this three year story short. How it started? It started in the ER when the tumor monster was discovered. How is it going? It’s going pretty damn good.

A letter to the tumor monster

HEALTH UPDATE: Doing well. Meeting with a surgeon about my esophagus issues this week. Scanxiety sets in for my 9 week scan next week. Insomnia is common these days. Constantly emotional about, well, everything. I’m okay.


Dear Tumor Monster,

First of all, fuck you. You came into my life uninvited, you total piece of shit. I think back to the day I found out what you were made of. Acinar Cell Carcinoma. A cancer beyond evil. Little is known about you other than you are a killer. You are rare and you are enormous at 22 cm at the longest measure. You do not belong in my body, yet you found the space…squishing, pushing and torturing what was naturally meant to be in my body. You caused pain, fevers and confusion. Once we found out who you were, we set out to kill you. Chemo stopped you. Immunotherapy has decimated you.

All the while that I’ve hated you, I’ve also respected you. You are not one to mess with. You seek to destroy. So do I. I’ve had the best of the best in my corner to stop you. In case you didn’t get the memo, science is not your friend. Doctors, nurses….they are not your friend either. You’ve made some pretty determined enemies. They have used my body as a bomb to blow you up. I could not be more proud to do this. See, it’s not just a matter of survival. It is also about the future. What can we learn by you? We now know that you can be vulnerable. I will do everything in my power to share these results so that people in the future can find their tumor vulnerabilities too. It will take time but it will be worth it.

I’m not usually the threatening kind, but I think you should know…we are on to you. We are coming after you. I’m just the start. Brilliant researchers are catching up to you. So tell all your asshole friends that it won’t be long until cancer will be stopped. For good.

Adios, fuck face!

Happy Thanksgiving!

HEALTH UPDATE: Some days I’m great. Some days I say out loud, “I feel like I am a cancer patient”. I have had increasing neuropathy lately. My feet are consistently tingly and I’m used to that. Some days, my legs are like jello. I’ve had several viruses, shared by my beautiful daughter and her peers at school. I pray it’s the reason for some more intense fatigue. My hemoglobin has been on the low side, just below normal, for a few months. Overall, nothing earth shattering. Unless, of course, you are completely insecure and a traumatized cancer patient that is easily triggered by the slightest tingle of health abnormality. But I digress. Today is spa day. We shall see what the labs reveal.


Thanksgiving! It’s that time of year! Thank you cancer for teaching me to slow the fuck down. Thank you for showing me that things will get done when they get done. Yes. I’m still running full throttle at times. When I run out of gas though, I stop. I have worked hard to overlook the things that in the past, would drive me absolutely nuts. The house isn’t spotless the day before thanksgiving?! No?!!! Oh my gawd!! So what. The list of things to do goes on. Tom is being a super hero trying to close the gap and help out with the list. I tried to assure him when I left for treatment this morning that it can all wait. The laundry, the pumpkin cheesecake, the cleaning. Take care of our girl. That’s all that matters.

It’s a full house today at the cancer clinic. My heart sinks. This bothersome trend of so many people with cancer gives me pause. There are a few wise crackers in the crowd. My pager was sounding sicker than anyone in the room and I could tell we all thought the same thing. Smiles abounds. The man beside me in the lab, when asked his name, proudly declared he didn’t have one! Loud laughter corner to corner of this wide open lab room. Stories of thanksgiving plans and traditions circulated around the lab as we all were poked and tested for this and that. Then! An anonymous donor had gifts for patients! I do not know what the gift was but it was in a handsome bag with tissue. I kindly declined. My gift is really to know that someone not as lucky as me could have the gift. For the first time that I can remember, the entire scene was one of laughter with a craving for normalcy. It was mostly heartwarming with just a touch of sadness. Only because we all know there is nothing normal about why we are there. F cancer.

I’m finished meeting with my doctor. It went well. My labs results are acceptable for treatment #48!!! Forty Eight. Wow. It’s incredible and horrifying all at the same time. I recently saw someone on tik tok talking about cancer patient titles. Are you a survivor? A fighter? Warrior? Lifer?! I think all can apply but at the end of the day, I’m a lifer. I’m guessing I’ll have some kind of maintenance for the rest of my life. It’s just a guess. Honestly? I don’t mind at this point. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I’ve been trying to think of an alternative to ringing the bell for us lifers. I suppose the prize of life is more than any of us lifers could ever want.

The wait for my treatment today is long. There are so many people here waiting. I’m praying for everyone and hoping they have a relaxing and meaningful thanksgiving. I wonder if they will go through the same things I go through during the holidays. The combination of bliss and never wanting the holidays to end. Praying it just can’t be the last one. Some may say that’s pretty deep. They would be right. It’s deep and it’s real. It’s a good reason to make it count!

Happy thanksgiving everyone!


HEALTH UPDATE: Scan week! I really need to count how many I’ve had. I’ve been blessed with the word “stable” for months on end. Will tomorrow continue the trend? Followed by my 46th, or is it 47th? immunotherapy miracle concoction infusion on Wednesday. Who’s counting anyways? I’ve had pretty consistent challenges, which in perspective are all mild in nature. Mentally, it’s a different story.


As with my stable condition, I feel like my draw to this blog, my outlet, is pretty consistent. I reach a plateau of emotions and I must just get it out. It’s been some time since I’ve written and I have so much to share. I’ve been a social experiment as well as medical. As time goes on, there is a pattern to see. There are answers to questions that months ago seemed impossible to answer. There are just observations as well.

I’ll start with the questions. Why does my heart sink when my birthday approaches? It’s a total mind fuck. Yay! I’m still here! But wait, will it be my last? I’d rather just let the day slip on by with no hurray. I’d rather take the birthday excitement and sprinkle it out evenly over all the other days of the year.

Why can’t I put my finger on my unsettling feeling to the common statement “We are all going to die someday”? It’s totally true! We are! How do I possibly explain why it feels different for me? I’ve had two dear friends die since my diagnosis. Without notice and forever, they are gone. My first thoughts, why not me? I finally figured it out. My friends had no warning. I have an alarm bell living rent free in my head every day. Cancer. For me, it’s a slow and lingering vision of my future. I could still get hit by a bus. It would be fast and unexpected…but cancer….it plays out over and over in my mind.

I have become quite attached to many content creators on social media in the cancer community. They are so brave as they post their struggles and also their wins! Like me, but in a different format, they let it all out. The good, the bad and the ugly. It’s sometimes so relatable. They are just people, looking to live another day. Sadly, some do not make it. A recent friend was fine a few months ago. The cancer returned and within weeks she’s gone. It’s reality. It’s what patients and families go through every single day. Fuck cancer! I really hate you! Like, REALLY! RIP Berkley.

This could possibly be the most dreaded and depressing post I’ve done. But hey, I keep it real, right? This brings me to my observation after nearly three years of riding this roller coaster. If I were to describe this experience it would look something like this. Sick and confused. Diagnosis and walking through the valley with tears and flowers while 100% accepting that I will be going home to my Lord soon. Unexpected recovery and pure bliss. Who cares about anything? I’m alive! Hey wait, how long is this going to last? That’s ok, I’ll just live day to day! Oh but now there are realities in life like paying bills and working. What do I do? Who am I anymore? I’m crippled with doubt and how to live like a normal person. I’ve been coasting for months. So busy but with what? Feeling pressure to make every day count! OMG! I won’t lie. I’ve even asked myself, what would have happened if I just had died when I was supposed to? That is hard to write but it’s the truth. Life is hard.

Well, there are some good signs I’m pulling out of this latest phase. It’s taken lots of time but I’m prioritizing things better and even feeling motivated to move forward with some new adventures and goal setting. GOALS! I’ve never set goals! But I’m a different person now than I once was. I’m incredibly grateful for this life, for friends past, present and future and for the beautiful world of science that has kept me alive. Cheers to you, cheers to me. Cheers to discovery of answers and piecing together this crazy thing we call life! In the end, it will all work out. This I know for sure.

Thank you, God!

HEALTH UPDATE: I’m itchy. It’s always hard to know where my symptoms are coming from. Treatment 4? Today. The beat goes on.


I should be used to this by now. Used to this place. Used to the sick people and their brave companions that face this hell with their person. Used to constantly wondering how long this stable phase will last. For some reason I have that pit of doom in my throat. The one that is both physical and emotional. I can feel that lump! I want to jump on my bed, face down into my pillow, and cry it out. Bawl it out! Bend the knee and slam my foot into my comforter. Kick that foot on that comforter like I’m releasing every particle of dust trapped inside. I remember doing this as a child. It was my way to let out frustrations and emotions. I’m not able to do it now as I’m in the waiting room. I’m in line to see my beautiful oncologist. She is beautiful. I think I’ve only seen her unmasked once, that dreaded day when she told me of my dire prognosis. I’ve learned since then, that her beauty is more than skin deep. She has dedicated so much of herself to saving people like me. A warrior saving warriors.

I have been struggling in surviver purgatory. What to do. What happens next? Live life!! Don’t get cocky. It could be taken away. Quickly. In recent months I’ve found peace in decisions I’m making about my future. I’m excited to take work seriously again. Focus on reality. Move on from what has happened. Call me crazy but these visits set me back. Too soon to tell, but I think it might just be a notch or two. I will recover quickly, yet it’s real. Next time I’ll prepare myself. Install into my self warning system: you will be experiencing an expected emotional setback upon arrival and participation in your life saving tests, doctor visit and infusion. Accept this. Rejoice that this is an option for you. It’s okay to not be okay.

I will breath deeply and remind myself of the miraculous gift I’ve been given. Thank you, God.

Shaken, not stirred…with a twist of fate.

HEALTH UPDATE: I’m mostly boring now with little change. My 20 something-ish CT scan yesterday showed no change from the scan before and no cancer spread. The tumor monster has dwindled from the size of a small football to a round-ish egg size. Truly and incredibly amazing. A medical miracle, if you will. My legs are so much stronger. I recently was able to sit on my garage step (low low low) to put on my shoes and I actually was able to get up!! Big win! I’ve had 4 negative tumor dna tests which means there doesn’t seem to be any of my tumor dna floating around in my blood. As I write this, I’m waiting to see my doctor before administration of my 43rd immunotherapy infusion. Next week I’m having an esophogram procedure. Before we decimated the tumor monster, it caused a hiatal hernia. I’ve been having digestive issues for 4 years now and as long as I’m still alive I decided to take this issue off the back burner and see what options there are to remedy my symptoms. Basically, imagine your bathroom sink with a huge hairy clog in the pipe and your toothpaste spit & water won’t go down. That’s how my esophagus feels. It doesn’t matter what kind of food or if it’s solid food or water. If it’s acting up, it won’t go down. It’s gross! Not to mention a recent endoscopy and biopsy showed some weird cells (not cancer). I’ve also got a skin issue on my face. All things that are tiny compared to cancer but as long as I’m still here, might as well check it out!!


I had a cocktail! I actually had a COCKTAIL!!! I tried my first love, Miller Lite. Nope, nope, nope. Carbonation is just not doable with my messed up esophagus. While enjoying my amazing nephew Nolan perform in his band SALT, I ordered my first drink at a bar in years!! I went old school with a Malibu rum and pineapple juice. HA!!! It was delicious. It was really hot out. I think the alcohol evaporated because the only buzz I had was on life and being in complete awe of Nolan. What a star!!! So proud!!

I think of how cocktails can be like life. To say my life has been shaken is a bit of an understatement. I’ve been shaken to my core. I just keep shaking! I’m not sure how to eloquently describe it! Diagnosis. Death sentence. Survival. Uncertainty. Back to reality.

I was relatively quick to accept my grim prognosis. I credit my self diagnosis of hypochondria as a helpful tool to understand what was happening as I had already convinced myself that cancer is real and it could happen to me. When my recovery began to take shape I would call this the “kittens and rainbows” phase. It was at this time my life expectancy and life expectations were low. It was the most blissful I’ve been in years. Strike that. Change to EVER! The flowers smelled better. Chocolate was sweeter. The sky was bluer and the sun shined so much brighter. I will not commit to denial that these thoughts still exist. They do. But it’s different.

One word. Reality. I would have never guessed that survival could be so complicated. I find myself unsettled. When I thought I was going to die, I only allowed myself to live in the present. There were few worries of a future that I was no longer going to be a part of. I took care of as many things that I could control for the future as fast as I could as I assumed my sand was slipping through the hour glass. As I transition yet again, I’m facing the realities of life. Work. Finances. Health maintenance. Work. Weight. Covid. Drama. Work. Tripled life insurance premiums. Health insurance. Work. You know, stuff like that. Is the dying honeymoon over?

How twisted does this sound? Am I really complaining about being part of the 5% that survive pancreatic cancer in the first year? Maybe. Maybe I am. Life is hard. I read stories of people who have had near death experiences. They share all sorts of experiences. Bright lights. Beautiful calm feelings. Being outside of their own bodies and looking down not wanting to go back to their life. On a much smaller scale, I can’t help but to compare this to my experience. My heart has not stopped though. It’s only been cracked. I’m changed forever. Mostly for better. Some things are worse. I am grateful that fate has kept me here. I trust my God and I will keep on going!

Hurry Up

HEALTH UPDATE: I think I’m ok?! Plugging away. Still having immunotherapy transfusions every three weeks. Labs are good with a few things off but not enough to be of concern. Hint: I’m always concerned. Lol. Next scan is in August!


Life is insane. I’m in this weird limbo. I decided it was just time to “move on” from cancer. Test results are good. Feeling pretty good. Why not just put it in the past. It can’t be good to think about cancer all the time. To think about the friends I’ve made that are dropping like flies to this dreaded disease. Keep going. Forget about it.

I took a break from the podcast. How can I move forward if I keep talking about cancer every week? Willow is home for summer. Spend every moment with her! That will take me back to my old life. And it has! Full throttle, baby! Going here, there, everywhere!!!

I’m creating ideas for my future. A future I thought was extinct. What should I be doing? Working my past job is out of the question. I can never again commit to that lifestyle. But I love real estate! A new real estate podcast, hosted by yours truly, is in the works. I’m very excited to share what I’ve learned over the years and have some fun doing it. Almost makes me feel like myself again, just thinking about it.

Almost. The truth of the matter, and what I’m figuring out? I will never, ever be the same again. Ever. My life is forever changed. For better. For worse. I can’t pretend I have not loved, learned and mourned during this chapter of my life. So while I’ve learned cancer isn’t something I can forget, it will be a big part of my exciting future. Key word, “future”. I still don’t know how long my future will last but I now know it can be yanked in an instant. I better hurry up.

take time

HEALTH UPDATE: It’s treatment day! My 40th treatment of immunotherapy! Still kicking ass. F you cancer! I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy a few weeks ago. My colon is free of any polyps or concerns, yay! My endoscopy lead to a new diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus. I have yet to be consulted as to what this means exactly although the nurse told me it is not cancer. According to doctor googles, my best guess is that my hiatal hernia that still causes me to 🤮 has now caused cells from my intestines to now also be in my esophagus, where they don’t belong. It’s funny how a new diagnosis is like, meh…no big deal.


I’m at my 3 week appointment! I’m waiting for my room so I can get my miracle concoction. Turns out my miracle concoction is creating miracles for others as well! There has been an article floating around by CBS about a small trial of people with rectal cancer. They have all had their tumors disappear! This very exciting drug is like mine but through a different company. My oncologist compared it to being like Coke and Pepsi! Isn’t that something? They all have many mutations, like me! I’m still the only one with the crazy, practically unheard of disease though. Yeah. I think I’m liking being the odd ball. Lol.

While I’m thrilled that these new drugs offer so much hope and are literally saving my life and the lives of others, I can’t help but feel my heart breaking. For all my cancer friends without mutations, the alarm bells and the headlines won’t likely help you. Too many cancer warriors are left behind. I see you. I feel your disappointment. Why was I chosen to be with the lucky crowd that gets to celebrate?

I’m sitting here at UW Carbone, waiting for care. My cancer friends and their incredible caretakers sit with me. It’s the same each time. So many sad eyes. Sick eyes. Concerned eyes. There are still no faces as covid just won’t die. Every time I’m here, I want to sit by each person and hold their hand with both of mine. I want to hug them with my eyes and silently communicate to them to hang on! You are not alone! But that would be weird.

Instead, I invite people come to me. I offer my voice on my Hello Cancer Friends podcast. It makes me feel good inside I invite everyone to reach out, if they like. I’ve met many incredible people and have made friends to last a lifetime. To say this is my passion would be correct.

A few days ago I participated in a rainy 5k walk to support UW Carbone Cancer Race for Research. Like the hills on the fresh cut grass trails, the walk was full of ups and downs for me. I did this one solo. Not without assuring my bff sister Melanie, over several days, that it would be OKAY if she did not come this time. She wanted to go. She always wants to be there with me. A part of me needed to go alone. I needed to process. I needed to be one with nature. I wanted to feel every ounce of appreciation for my miraculous second chance. This event did not disappoint! To be surrounded by so many people, all walking and running in the rain, to raise funds for this incredible cause was exhilarating. It’s so moving and I was proud to be a part of it.

While walking, I let my inner chatter go wild. No interruptions or talking myself out of sad or negative thoughts. My purpose was healing. I’ve realized that although I’m mostly joyful, there is deep seeded trauma that has come with my cancer experience. I cried tears of joy and sadness. I remembered where I started and how far I’ve come. I really lost it when the special song that I dedicated to my Dad randomly played. I know it was his sign to me that he was with me. It hurt but it felt good too. The whole experience was like a cleansing. It was so much more than a walk to me.

Another lesson learned. Take time. Take time to sort things out! Take time to feel your best. Emotionally and physically. Take time!

Keep Treading

HEALTH UPDATE: All good news. I had a biopsy of the tumor monster last week. I spoke with my oncologist about the results and there was NO CANCER in the tissue that was taken out. HOWEVER, there is no way to know if I am, as a whole, “cancer free”, unless the entire tumor is removed and tested. That would include the gunk in my arteries which cannot possibly be removed as it is too dangerous and remains inoperable. The rest of the tumor monster could be removed and tested. It’s a tough decision. It could turn out that it’s all dead cells in which case I’ve removed half my pancreas and my entire spleen for nothing. It could be that there are active cancer cells remaining in which case it would be very good to have them removed…but there could still be active cells in the arteries even if I had the bulk of it removed. As usual, not an easy choice but for now I’m going to hold steady, continue immunotherapy and pray I remain stable. To get to this point is beyond amazing. It is something I don’t think anyone had any realistic hope of happening. NO Cancer in a biopsy? NO tumor dna floating around in my blood? A 22 cm tumor monster decimated down to 6.5 cm? It’s quite a situation. Yay for me and YAY for science!


I won’t lie. The past several weeks have been dramatic. I’m having a hard time processing a lot of different things in my life. First and foremost, that I still have a life! Let’s tackle this extraordinary cancer situation. Is it just me or is this just unbelievable? My emotions are all over the place. Seriously! Look at my past two blog post titles. “The beat goes on” and then, “When survival isn’t enough”! My ups and downs are extreme!

I am nearly speechless when it comes to my latest test results. I really am starting to believe I could be here for a while! I haven’t been given a new prognosis. I know there really isn’t an answer for me. I’ve accepted that my case is too rare for a scientific answer and there is no crystal ball. Living day to day makes it hard to plan a future. Mostly the emotional side of things. I’d love to go for the gold and assume I’ll be fine and just deal with bad health news if and when it comes but I’m pretty sure I’ve been traumatized by all of this. I have a pretty tough protection bubble that I’ve created in my mind. It’s holding me back a bit. It’s incredible that cancer can leave a body, but can it ever leave ones mind?

If this beautiful life of mine is to continue, I’d love for it not to revolve around everything cancer. I can see that now! I can comprehend the possibility of cancer not dictating my life but it’s been hard to fully embrace this thought.

Imagine ascending from a deep dive. You can see the sun shining brightly into the water. Fingertips extended towards the light. Feet gently paddling, your body stretched long. You surface, taking in a huge breath of refreshing air. There are smiles and relief as you wait for the boat to pick you up. Treading water. It’s doable. It’s not hard but after a while you get tired. You can see the boat that you need to take you to shore, you just can’t get on it. It is not too far away but too far to swim to right now. So you keep treading. You know sharks are in the water. Will one come for you? Keep treading. Keep treading! It’s beautiful being in the water. It feels so good to be moving and to be strong with the suns warmth on your face. Cramps happen. Fears happen. You know so many fish in this water that are being harmed and killed by the shark. The feeling of helplessness and heartbreak can be overwhelming. You keep treading. You can’t pray for all the fish if you don’t keep treading. Try to make it into the boat. Don’t give up.

Keep treading!

When survival isn’t enough

HEALTH UPDATE: By the Glory of God, I remain stable. I will have a biopsy on Wednesday to see what’s going on with the tumor monster. Please pray for no complications.


Happy Easter! A blessed day of praising Jesus and how he died for us and has risen. My heart is full. In between the jelly beans and hidden eggs, the true meaning of Easter offers me inner peace, warmth and love.

I hate to bring this all up on the most glorious day, but it’s kind of the reason why. Why is surviving sometimes not enough? Of all days! It’s a beautiful day. My favorite. Springtime, Jesus has Risen and I’m blessed beyond measure. The truth of it all though, is that cancer doesn’t seem to stop. It doesn’t go away. It can be stable but will it ever be gone? Even if my miracle continues with a cure, is it enough? Why is it that I still have this sinking feeling?

I’m invested now. I know too much. I can’t, and do not want, to rewind the past few years. I’m coming to the realization that for me, survival isn’t enough. There is still sadness. The automatic happiness for just surviving is wearing thin. My eyes have been opened to the pure evil, that is cancer. Not just my own. Hardly my own! The people I’ve met, the stories I’ve read. It’s moved me. It’s made me feel helpless. My friends are dying, experiencing recurrence and being newly diagnosed. It’s unending. Ironically, with my latest round of good results of my own, I’m feeling as though I’m getting sucked into that black tornado in the floor. It’s a dark place where all control is lost. The force is strong but I’m stronger. I have come this far. I cannot let it suck me in.

Wall of protection, activate!! I need to regroup. I need to share what focus I have left with living. I need to redirect. Perhaps pretend, even for a little while, that cancer isn’t part of my life. I try not to deny pain, in general. Reality cannot hide. But maybe if I put it all on the back burner, just for a while, I can energize.

This post is dedicated to my friend Patrick who sadly passed yesterday. We never met in person but we’ve spent the past two years sharing and comparing our journeys with pancreatic cancer. May you Rest In Peace Patrick! you will not be forgotten. I will miss you!! F CANCER!