Oh What A Night!

red ink…

imageArriving to a receiving line of cameras flashing, smiling faces with headsets on, pink ink had her red carpet moment. At last! Once inside the door of the theatre, a special center seat awaited her where she was surrounded by love in every seat and on every side. The place was packed. Pink ink’s play “Life in the Cancer Lane” debuted last night in Phoenix and she was there to see it all. Now let’s be clear, this was no small feat. She left the hospital yesterday morning, rested for a short while, and rallied to get herself up and ready for her big night! So many of us worried about whether it would be too much for her to make it out because she was still weak following her hospital stay, but she, as always, was determined. The night before, she basically threatened the nurse who was administering her night medications saying “you’re NOT going to stop me from going to my play!” I think the lady was a little scared honestly. Lol! Pink ink’s play has been a labor of love. She has poured her soul and her journey into writing this wonderful series of vingettes that chronicles, not only her journey, but that of many other breast cancer survivors. It’s real talk, full of insightful advice for anyone going through this themselves or with someone they love. She hit every topic imaginable from the expected “diagnosis” and “chemo” to the more sensitive like “hair,” “sex,” and “crazy-ish people say.” I laughed out loud and cried unconsolably recognizing some of our conversations in the play, all within the span of a couple of hours. For me and everyone in the room, it made us think about the effects that breast cancer has on everyone it touches. She took the task of telling this story more seriously than almost anything else I’ve ever seen her do. She was disciplined and precise about her writing process, and deliberate about soliciting and receiving feedback. I don’t know that people, including me, understood how serious she was about this at first, but her commitment made each of us get on board, one by one, so that we became as invested in her achieving her vision as she was. She inspired me and so many others (We started writing at the same time and my book still hasn’t been published BTW.) She wanted to be heard because she had something important to share – and last night all ears were open. There are a whole host of people to acknowledge – to be clear, I don’t know everyone. Just know, whoever you are, that I’m certain that pink ink is eternally grateful for everything, from the smallest thing to the most monumental, to make her dream a reality … from her girls in Phoenix who had the idea to put up the show, secured the backing for the show (Thank you Cox Communications), and laid out the beautiful reception, to those who recorded every bit of revised dialogue and stage direction to those who assisted with props to the unseen narrators, to those who traveled from near and far to fill the house, to her husband who gave her introduction in her stead, and to everyone who inspired one of the monologues. It was a beautiful night. At the end of the night, she had just enough energy to spare to spend a little bit of time at the reception to take photos with the “cast” – those in the play and the rest of us who are in her much larger “supporting cast.” Everyone wanted her to know that they were there to be a part of her vision, and by the looks on every face – we were all SO proud of her. Pink Ink you made your mark! My mother always said that she wanted to “receive her flowers while she could still smell them.” Just before leaving the reception, someone walked up to pink ink and put a single pink rose in her hands. She got into the car, exhausted, and on the way home and held that flower in her lap, and no doubt, took in the scent of sweet success. Now on the to book and the movie!



Pink Ink…

Well we all survived Thanksgiving!  It was filled with HUMOR, as I requested.  There were no sad eyes, or bouts of hysteria.  There were very few discussions of “next steps” etc. The weather was beautiful, the food was good, and my Bs were “loved on” all weekend.  The only mini disaster was when Queen Latifah’s “The Last Holiday” movie came on while I was napping.  The story is about a woman who learns she only has a few weeks to live.  When Lil B’s cousin turned it on, Queen was just learning that she was going to die. I was awakened by the sobs of my daughter!  I was like “What the…”.  Lil B’s 6-year-old cousin was very concerned and explained the woman doesn’t die because the doctors are wrong.  As you can imagine, Lil B didn’t care, and ran to the back room.  I managed to calm her down with lots of hugs and kisses!  Disaster averted!  Weekend saved!

Black Friday was unexpectedly spent at Mayo investigating the swelling in my right boob.   I was very scared that I would have to have another surgery, or that my chemo would be delayed because of…whatever was going on in there!  Fortunately, they believe the fluid will just reabsorb.   I was told to take some Motrin for the pain, and we would check back in, in a week.

So here we are.  Some facts.

I started chemo one year and 7 weeks ago.

Nine months ago, I stopped chemo the 2nd time.

I went 5 months between treatment for breast cancer and starting treatment for metastatic breast cancer of the lung.

Longest I have gone without a visit to Mayo…3 weeks.


I am so scared to start chemo again.  Not because of what it means, but because of what it does to me and to my family.  I feel really good right now! My body feels good.  But I know in 24 hours I will barely remember that feeling.  That makes me sad.  Someone told me that I have to look at my life as LIVING with a chronic illness.  So that is what I plan to do.  Keep living.

I decided that my next Instagram project is to chronicle the “getting healthy” part of chemo.  I have the lofty goal of doing at least 30 minutes of activity, Monday through Friday for the next 2 months of chemo.  If this chemo is ANYTHING like the last, this will be a very difficult assignment.  But, I have enlisted friends to come by each day and hold me to it.  I apologize in advance to each of them. I am sure there will be a few days when I will look and smell awful from the chemicals.  Plus, my attitude may stink!  But, I am determined.  I can’t let this disease quickly win!  I need to stay active and keep my lungs working!

So, I have broken out my chemo bag and packed it up with my chemo “stuff”.  I got my nails and toes done and topped it off with a short massage, to help me get my mind right.

Chemo pedi!

Here we go.

Time for me to get back at it…Again!