Welcome to ChemoQueen

This website is my way of detailing my experience with breast cancer and its treatment. You may notice is that first off it’s not finished, and that I tried to detail each event so that anyone could read it and have a strong understanding about what the experience was like for me (so it takes a long time to write the essays). When I was first diagnosed, I was looking for information on what other people had gone through, and I found that it helped me a great deal. There is no cut and dried answer, on this drug you’ll feel this or on that one you’ll feel that, but for me knowing what other people had reported made all the difference. It is not that important to me what drugs I am on necessarily. I don’t detail the dosage or the brand name on some things, because like a birth experience the average person doesn’t really give a hoot until they themselves have gone through it.

So look through the writings and you will see where I’ve been. What the first treatment was like and photos of me with my haircut, and my henna tattoos. As I get the essays done I’ll fill in the subsequent treatments and other hair/no hair photos

Someone commented that I am doing a lot while going through this, and asked why. For me it’s the only way I know to avoid wallowing in self pity. For a great deal of my life I have struggled with the dragon of depression. I recognize the power that it can wield and my focus on the website, the benefit concert (coming to 12 Galaxies in SF on October 7th), writing up my experiences, and what ever else I should dream up, are all a part on creating a life worth living once the treatment is completed. Because this treatment is only a blip on the radar as far as I am concerned. I plan to be on this planet doing great work for the next 60 years. Maybe I’m bargaining with God a bit, but wouldn’t it be better to start the work knowing that I’m already worthy?

Stephen Covey says “Begin with the end in mind”, so I have spent a great deal of time getting in touch with my inner 97 year old. Who is she, what does she want? What does she want to get out of this experience? What does she want her life to be like? What accomplishments have made her the most proud? I spend time imagining me puttering in my garden, on the phone with publishers, practicing yoga, and having the time of my life entertaining family and friends in my garden on my 97th birthday. I’ve got so much spunk in me that I created the menu, cooked the food that I grew, and have time to sit back and chat with everyone and enjoy silly jokes, card games, some dancing and can even get down on the floor (and get up again) to play tiddlee-winks with my grand children.

We all sit around so much waiting for something to happen, something good, or something bad, without thinking: this is the only moment that I know I’ll ever have to love myself and those around me by choosing actions that resonate with who I am, and the legacy I want to leave. Someone said to me having cancer must change everything. My reply is, well yes and no. It didn’t necessarily change anything; it just woke me up a little. From here on out, I’ve got to keep myself awake.