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

4.4.2020 I started this blog in September 2014. It was a 38th birthday gift to myself, a fulfillment of a long-held wish to share my perspective on the world. After a breast cancer diagnosis in June 2017, I used my blog to share details of the alternate reality I was experiencing. In September 2017 I used this space to share the trauma and healing of my son, who was diagnosed with PANDAS in May of that year. PANDAS is when a strep infection triggers neuropsychiatric disorders. I completed cancer treatment in December 2018, and haven’t written much since. I felt the need to withdraw as part of my healing process. I deactivated my Facebook account, barely viewed other social media. I’m still hesitant about stepping back out there, but I’m feeling the pull. We’re in a global crisis, and the news is dire. If I can add some levity or a more positive perspective with my writing, that is my hope right now. May you find the gems amongst the rubble.
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