The Morning After: Cancer Edition

Yesterday was a DFCI kind of day. My lovely father-in-law Jerry (“El Grande” I like to call him) escorted me to chemo in his fancy new Malibu. We enjoyed some Neil Diamond tunes on the way. I peed in a cup; we picked up a snack in the 5⭐️ cafeteria; we took in a show. “Lion” proved to be a good choice. It had subtitles for much of the first 1/2 hour, when the infusion area I was being treated in had the highest noise level. Most of the other patrons had left by the time we were halfway through treatment and our flick. As far as I could tell we were on a very bizarre lunch and movie date.

I have nothing much to report, health-wise. Still can’t feel tumors, labs and counts still look good. My hairdresser Jessica assures me my hair is not thinning (as she used scissors to thin out the top of my pixie cut at my appointment last week).

Today is an interesting day. A morning after of sorts. The day that logically I would probably feel the worst, as the powerful chemotherapy drugs course through my veins, hunting down and eradicating HER2+ breast cancer cells. I don’t make big plans for the day after chemo. I plan to take tomorrow “off” too.  It is my birthday weekend after all.  My compost can wait.

I have come to realize that the morning after is for processing the chemo. It’s for processing the cancer, and what led to this point. It’s for shaking and crying and resting and releasing and escaping, or whatever may be your healing agent of choice for the day. For me, today has also been for learning. It’s been for opening my mind a bit more to what bought me a ticket on a speed train to Cancerland. It’s been for dipping into the sadness that has encompassed our household to various degrees over the last year and a half as we began our descent into Dylan’s PANDAS illness. Today has been for letting go.


NOTE:  For PANDAS education today I read the story Saving Sammy:  A Mother’s Fight to Cure Her Son’s OCD by Beth Alison Maloney.  It’s a riveting read.  I’m so grateful to her for “going first” and for sharing Sammy’s story.

For Cancer understanding today I watched Module 1 of Chris Wark’s “SQUARE ONE:  Healing Cancer Coaching Program” at

My children arrived home from school a short while ago and after greeting them I suggested they do their homework on the earlier side so they aren’t so tired.  Dylan cheered and asked if we could do vocabulary flashcards over dinner.  Um, yes we can!






About Natural Mama Notes

I hold many passions; most revolve around health and wellness in all of their facets. I became certified as an Integrative Nutrition Health & Wellness Coach in 2016. I’m currently doing my “residency” in health coaching as I use all my skills to heal from a stage II breast cancer diagnosis (6/13/17). As if that weren’t enough excitement for the year, I’m also supporting my 11 year old son as he heals from PANDAS, an autoimmune illness caused by strep that causes neuropsychiatric disorders. I’m not currently coaching people outside of my immediate family, but I’m sure I’ll create a fabulous health coaching business when our healing journey is complete. In April 2018 I will celebrate 20 years with Jerry, the love of my life. We keep our relationship young by seeing live music on the regular. I believe energy is the most powerful product we each put out into the world. And I believe music and dancing can heal the soul.
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