What is NOT cancer 7

Taking your daughter to a tattoo parlor in the Mission District to have her ears pierced. Listening as a baroquely tattooed and pierced gentlemen explains to her how much safer and and more sanitary it is to be pierced by a hollow needle than by a gun. [Cancer intrusion! Sounds a bit like a core needle biopsy, but never mind.] Being impressed by how respectful he is of her as he explains how she should clean her ears. Being glad that he’s a good sport when I ask to take a picture:

Jameson was fabulous, and Erin loves her new earrings.

Figuring out that the cat has not rejected his comfy wicker kitty basket, he just wants to have it under the glass coffee table in our temporary pad.

Looking out at lovely views when I have to be still. Pondering how we have managed to have just about the most New York-y apartment you could find in San Francisco.

Having tortas for brunch on a Saturday morning. There’s real Mexican food here!

Admiring crazy, flashing religious art after brunch:

Spending the weekend sitting and advising others how to muck out the floor that we’re turning back into living space. It was a Tom Sawyer weekend for sure.

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About leftbreast

I have had breast cancer. I was diagnosed at 47, and am now 49. I have finished "active treatment," two surgeries, chemo, radiation, monoclonal antibodies. These days, I only take a drug to suppress my uptake of estrogen, since my tumor was highly reactive to that hormone. I have been married to my husband Pete for 21 years. I have a stepdaughter, Maureen, 30, and a daughter, Erin, 10. I've been a freelance magazine journalist for 20-plus years, covering everything from Chinese foreign policy to Catholic nuns to endangered species. I have had a great life. I have lived in Asia and all over the United States. I have spent nights with tree-sitters in Oregon and with astronomers at the Mauna Kea observatory in Hawaii. I've been to a cocktail party on the poopdeck of a British destroyer docked in Shanghai. I've taken the bus to Tibet, and tramped through the cloud forests of Panama with biologists. A magazine sent me on a raft trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon; another sent me to cooking school for a week. I have spent time with celebrities, presidents and heroin dealers. I love my work. I have a loving, supportive family and more friends than I probably deserve. I have had the space and time to camp, ski, cycle, garden, cook and spoil my pets (an Australian shepherd, a German shepherd and a tabby cat). If it all ended tomorrow, I would have to say that it has been a really, really good ride. When I was in thick of treatment, I was simply fighting for more time. Now, I'm trying to connect the experience of cancer with the rest of my life, with the time that's been won. I hope the cancer never comes back, but if it does, I'll be ready. That's what this blog is about.
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2 Responses to What is NOT cancer 7

  1. Dick Guthrie (Tio) says:

    This blog documents a gripping saga , Heather. Done with courage and verve. I’m sure you speak for many, many who just aren’t able to find the words to tell the bewildering story.
    Since I first met Erin, I’ve always felt that there’s a very wise adult spirit purring away inside that little girl. Certainly some of her reactions to your ordeal seem to support that image. And now she has pierced ears!! So adult.
    She looks great. Can’t wait to see all you guys.
    Tio

    • leftbreast says:

      Dick, Thanks. There is a wise adult spirit in Erin, but it’s wrapped in a stubborn child spirit much of the time. The stubborn-ness will serve her well, but it’s hard to parent! Are we still on for the weekend of 10/9-10/10?

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