Bad News, Good News, But It’s OK, I think – And Other Miscellaneous Thoughts

Can I go here?  Right Now?

                                                South Padre Island – Can I go here? Right Now?

Bad News: My chemotherapy was postponed this week. That means that this round I only got 4 instead of 6 treatments. Is that enough to find out if this concoction will work? Oncologist (onc) says yes. I hope he’s right. It also means that I’ll be going a full month with no treatment at all. Possibly have one round the first week of June, but it’s iffy. Again, the onc says it’s not a make it or break it deal. He said my CEA (tumor marker test) has been all over the place, bouncing up and down for the past 5 months, so it’s not telling us anything.  Hope he’s right there too. And that the M.D. Anderson doc that I see in early June, agrees. The proof will be in the scans that MDA does, of course.

Good News: My chemotherapy was postponed this week. There was no question. Onc says he simply will not subject me to more drugs when I haven’t fully recovered from the last round. This after looking in my mouth and apparently seeing an very unpleasant sight. Even made my husband look too. Onc is very big on quality of life and not compromising my health any further. You probably have heard of people having serious, even life-threatening, side effects from the chemo. My doc is trying to control the disease as much as possible, but still allow me to enjoy life.  This is different than the “curative” approach, when they figure you won’t mind being totally miserable for a while if it means you can get rid of the monster for good.

So this means that I get a break. Good for two reasons: Next weekend our daughter graduates from Savannah College of Art and Design. The whole family plans to be there, and I’ll be able to enjoy the event, with the main chemo holdover probably being fatigue. Second, it is nice to be able to eat, maybe sleep, and generally (kind of) forget about cancer for a while. Except for the bone pain, which is more or less controllable with opioids.

Miscellaneous thoughts for today:

  • I had to send a “sign off” email to the final client of our consulting business, telling them we would no longer be in business. After 20+ years of this, it’s hard for me to give up such a large part of my identity. In the last 5 years or so I did much of the work myself – conducting meetings (most requiring 4-5 hours of nighttime driving), talking with small town elected officials, grant applications and administration, planning, and writing, writing, writing. But it is definitely time to move on – just give me a minute to grieve………………
  • Kind of chuckling at myself: I’ve taken on the task of designing the graduation card for our daughter. Me, artistically and graphically challenged, coming up with something for our oldest who is getting her second art degree, this one in illustration. Of course, she won’t care because it will be Mom who made it specially for her.
  • Actually managed to eat something with vinegar (tuna nicoise) last night without cringing. Pain is minimal. Progress! Although lunch today demonstrated that I’m not ready for Mexican food, yet.
  • Dark and “raining like a big dog” here, as my older brother would say.  Hence, my wish to be teleported to the location above.  And while we’re at it, can this guy just happen to be on the same beach? Thanks! 🙂

I know this leather is too hot for the beach, but after all, it is Guyday! And I didn’t want to seem like I was inserting gratuitous shirtlessness by using you-know-which photos! Source:; my edit.

  • One update not in the original post. Duh, how could I forget this?! Our youngest recently won a drawing at his college campus and made quite a haul: 47″ TV, blu-ray/3D player-sound system, XBox, games. He got to pick 4 movies, and so, sweet boy that he is, he got LOTR extended editions and The Hobbit, which I think is 3-D. I was holding out for the Hobbit EE, but, hey, I’ll settle for this. Happy Day!
  • Finally, in the “This is What I’m Talking About” department: while looking for inspiration for the grad card, I meandered through the daughter’s online portfolio/notes and found the following. Not only is it food for thought as we buzz about this Friday afternoon, but it makes me incredibly proud to be able to claim this amazing young woman.  I hope some day to tell you her name and show you how beautiful she is on the outside as well as the inside. Definitely a “purr” moment! 🙂 🙂



I will move over for you runner

Coming up behind me

And I would like to congratulate

You, for you’ll make better time

Than I.


But I bet you didn’t notice how

Clear the river is today

The way the triangular

Shapes between the branches

Of the trees morph into

New shapes as you move,

Or the great blue heron

Perfectly framed between two

Drooping branches marked

On either side by dried grasses

Caught in the limbs from the flood.


And I bet the heron didn’t turn

To look at you. But did you at least notice

The lady in the red top and

Black pants with big

Sunglasses and her hair pulled

Back, staring at the scenery until

She turned to give you a nod and

A faint smile?


Ah well, then that’s something.

20 thoughts on “Bad News, Good News, But It’s OK, I think – And Other Miscellaneous Thoughts

  1. DaisyGirl

    “Raining like a big dog”- I like that! It rains quite a lot in the summer where I’m from, but not here where I live now. I miss the sound of a long, hard summer rain at night. It’s just not to be had around these parts. Best wishes and congratulations to the grad and family.

    1. justmepurring Post author

      Hi, DaisyGirl! Yes, my brother does have a rather colorful way with words sometimes. It doesn’t rain a lot here, especially in the summer. April and May are usually our wettest months, but the last few years we have been plagued with drought. This year we’ve had a rainy spring. We’re so excited when it does rain, sometimes we just stand in our carport and watch. I love the sound of rain, too, and the smell! Maybe where you are will have a wetter than usual summer – one can only hope! Thanks for the congrats. We are very proud of her – this school is a very intense art/design college, and she worked “like a dog” to make it through. Not sure why so many dog comparisons come to my mind! 🙂

    1. justmepurring Post author

      Plus the Hobbit movie – added after you read the post, I think – makes a quattuor? Whatever.

      Thanks. (and for the proper character for nicoise – forgot about it in the post and can’t figure out where the special characters are for a comment. But I did learn that it’s a cedilla – the Armitage Bloggers WordPower Word of the Day. 🙂 )

      1. Servetus

        In the text editor of your dashboard (where you write the new posts), there’s a button that has an Omega on it. That button gives you some special characters. I key mine in but right now I’m using a Mac (usu. w/a PC you have to know the ASCII character code).
        Yay for words!

      2. justmepurring Post author

        Ok, found the omega in the post text editor, but don’t see one in the comment box. Oh, well. Yes, words are our friends! 🙂

        Assume you saw the great thumb work in one of the latest Ascroft pics? Beauties all!

      3. Servetus

        hmm, I thought there was such a button if you replied to comments via the dashboard, but you’re right, there isn’t. Silly WP!

  2. morrighansmuse

    Beautiful poem!

    Glad to hear you get a break from the meds for awhile and congratulations on your daughter’s graduation 🙂

    My best friend didn’t suffer too much from the chemo meds for a long time till one day, over a year and a half after she started round after round of it, her hands became all blistered from the meds and the onc took her off it. Hope you get to enjoy a lot more great foods – Tuna nicoise sounds delish and now I have to look it up!

    And yes, nothing beats Guyday if you have that man by your side even with all that leather 😀

    1. justmepurring Post author

      Thanks morrighansmuse for the happy wishes. I can kind of relate to your friend’s side effects. I had something similar a couple of chemo rounds ago. They called it hand and foot syndrome, but mine didn’t become blistered. Ouch, that sounds painful! One kind of funny note – the best thing I found to soothe my hands and feet was a salve called Bag Balm, which was used by dairy farmers on their cows’ udders. Sounds weird, but it worked.

      Yes, tuna nicoise is one of my favorite dishes – really a main dish salad. There apparently are a number of ways to fix it. My preference is with fresh grilled tuna, green beans, red potatoes, black olives, cherry tomatoes, maybe some onion. The dressing is an oil and vinegar one with Dijon mustard. I love tarragon, so I put in lots, especially if I have it fresh out in the back yard! Also think it would be good with herbes de provence, my latest favorite seasoning.

      Didn’t mean to get into a food rant. Hope you get to give a try – or some variation that sounds better to you. Yum! Almost as yummy as Guyday, black leather included! 🙂

      1. Servetus

        something about the way the potato soaks up the oil from the tuna and the vinaigrette.

        OK, maybe my love for salade niçoise is a little more than casual 🙂

      2. Servetus

        I concede that I thought about using the word “frisson,” but I’ve taken a lot of criticism about my vocab lately 🙂

      3. justmepurring Post author

        Aw, but it’s such a great word. I was determined to leave that thread alone – not wanting to beat a dead horse – but I do in fact love the onomatopoeic quality of frisson. And, of course, it’s much more fun to say using the French pronunciation. Add to that the origination of the word in Latin is frictio – friction. Frisson indeed! I do love etymology!

        I’d say if the word fits, wear it! 🙂

      4. Servetus

        Yeah, it’s kind of neat how “frisson” smoothes out the hard consonants in “frictio” into something smooth and just a bit naughty …

        a bit like the taste of rare grilled tuna melting on one’s tongue … mmmm. OK, this is getting out of hand 🙂

      5. justmepurring Post author

        Maybe it should be renamed Tuna Frisson? OK, I think it’s time to put this one to bed! Going to watch N&S to calm down after the earlier excitement online. Glad to see you still smiling! 🙂

      6. morrighansmuse

        I remember her telling me that the doctor told her it wasn’t going to get any worse than that, but for years, she was just about effects-free which even surprised her oncologist.

        Thanks for the tip about the salad, too! I need to add that to my list!

      7. justmepurring Post author

        The side effects thing is very unpredictable, seems to me. Some drugs may cause few side effects during one course of treatment, and if you try them again, they go after you like a mad dog. That’s what happened to me this time. Glad for your friend to have had an easy time of it – at least part of the time. How is she now?

        Sure, give that salad a try. I’m not sure where you are, but it’s great for summer weather. Love it! 🙂

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