Tag Archives: Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Starting to get serious about writing–once again

San Tan Mountains

San Tan Mountains

I feel guilty even writing that we have been enjoying temperatures in the 70’s during our stay in Arizona while the rest of the country seems to be mired in yet another round of snow storms after having survived yet another polar vortex. (Not to say that we don’t cool off over night–but it’s worth it to awaken to blue skies and sunshine, even if there is a slight chill in the air.)

I met with a new oncologist a week ago Friday. He was very nice. But oh how I miss my Norris Cotton Cancer Center at DHMC. And Dr. Ernstoff, Nancy Crosby, and gang. Finally had my three-month CT scan yesterday after three calls to the not-so-nice scheduler (“I have 127 orders on my desk…”) and, I’m almost embarrassed to admit, a not-so-nice message for the doctor. Come to find out, he was on vacation. For those of you who are not familiar with my journey with ACC, it is laden with delays due to doctors who are on vacation.

My scan was at SMIL. No “e.” They were efficient and friendly. I didn’t even mind when the tech asked me if I had nipple rings! (You don’t want to know. But the answer is no.)

Now the wait for the results begins. I’m definitely spoiled by DHMC, where the doctor has the report on his desk within an hour of the scan. Funny how much we have come to rely on the results of the CT scan every three months. It’s a report card of sorts. But one with life or death significance. If you haven’t been there, I imagine that sounds melodramatic.

Today we visited Changing Hands Bookstore (and an art store) in Tempe and earlier we made it to The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale. We are starting to get serious about painting and writing–the two activities we have planned to focus on. I have managed to write about ten lines on my “Claire” novel and Steve has produced a first draft of a watercolor of the San Tan mountains. Our excuse is that we have been busy with the kids after school and with going places during the day. It’s wonderful to be retired and not just on vacation!

S is for Survivor

It’s mid-July and farmers are trying to get in a second haying. Trying because we’ve had rain every day for about the last month, with some rainfall significant. This is their window of opportunity as we’re promised a dry spell for a few days.

I always feel like getting back into finishing my book about Anne whenever I smell the freshly mown hay and see the rows lying in the fields, waiting to be bundled into bales or rolled into those gigantic marshmallows that have become the norm. In the book, that’s when Anne feels close to Christian. After “Fifty Shades of Grey,” I’m not certain his name will remain Christian but that’s what happens when it takes you 27 years to complete a project—someone else steals your characters’ names–even your ideas.

Not to imply that I am anywhere near completion. Actually have no idea how much more work it will take for me to finish it but I certainly won’t be able to write “The End” (and mean it) without spending time every day working on it. I keep saying once I get the Chamber tax information to the accountant and all of the visiting family has returned home and the books are closed on the sold apartment building I will have entire days spreading out before me in which I will be able to attack Anne. Sounds so violent. But at least it implies expending energy, which I’ve been lacking. Or is it simply motivation?

Saturday was the Prouty, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock event to raise money for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center—my cancer clinic. Visited the SAG (Stop and Go) site in Newbury that’s sponsored by Wells River Savings Bank for the bicyclists. Katie, herself a breast cancer survivor, had written my name at the top of the memory board. In large letters with an “S” next to it for survivor. Not something I ever expected to see. I don’t mean the “S” of course just my name on display as a victim of cancer.

I was proud to be standing there as a survivor. Weird.

Why should I be proud? I’ve really done nothing to be where I am at this point. It’s the doctors and other health professionals who have gotten me here. And they are the ones we should be honoring.

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