Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chemo #4: Friends, Love & Nosh!

There's something to be said about getting over the chemo hump and having only 2 more treatments before I'm solely on Herceptin for the next year. It really does put you in a different medical mindset. Couple that with some expected and unexpected visitors and it's a recipe for inspiration and hope. So, here's how my chemo treatment day played out...

First and foremost, we can never show enough gratitude for the chemo, oncology staff. These people work themselves silly and walk way beyond those 10,000 recommended pedometer steps each day all the while smiling, joking and laughing. That's why this bag of treats for them came with a big dose of gratitude, a 'double delight' rose from my cousin's garden in Monterey and a bag full of fresh cherries. THANK YOU to my amazing team of peeps at the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara.

My second 'double delight' of the day was both a planned and a surprise visit from good friends Sydney (AKA,  'Breast Cancer Survivor Rock Star') and Julie (AKA 'Julie- Bunny').  Sydney took a quick break from her baby-delivery job up the street at Cottage Hospital to come down and sit with me while Julie was bringing her mom Zeb in for yet another  follow-up appointment with our great oncologist 'Dr. G.' What a fun, spontaneous visit with these gals that unfortunately know first hand the ride that breast cancer has taken us all on over the past couple of years. 

Enter Zeb, 'Julie-Bunny's' mom who popped in to snap a quick pic with Sydney and myself for an official pose as the 'Greenwald Girls' - Dr. G's crew of gals that he has seen over the past months and years. Boy do we gals have some stories to tell, but most importantly, we share the common mindset of moving forward as breast cancer warriors.  We've all sat in this room for hours on end and yet we know there's more to life than meds, chemo, surgeries and baldness. Hey, sounds like a rap song to me!

Zeb and I comparing our 'domes'  as I told her that I hope my hair comes in as hip and cute as hers come August or September. We both decided that we'd like to rock the short hair 'do' for a while as neither one of us has never done before. Why not? Life is short and so is our hair.
P.S. I've been bogarting this chemo chair each time I come in for my treatments. It's the same one Zeb sat in for hers and that brings me some comfort;  although her grandson still doesn't understand 'Why Yog is there now' and sitting in 'Grandma's chair' but I still do it. The nurses know it and it's all ready for me when I walk in each time.

One of my favorite moments of the day was with Julie-Bunny who is always up for some fun! We started to take a picture together when I said "Hey, can I try on some of your hair?" And of course, she was all over that photo op. We did a few takes and she even styled this one so that it 'draped my face' a little. What a blast!
Even more special has been Julie's never-ending support and love that dates back years when we worked together as speech therapists in a private clinic in Santa Barbara to today. The fun and friendship hasn't stopped since then.
Fast forward 3 kids, 2 breast cancer diagnosis for her mom and now my run with my 3rd BC, she's been there for both Hil and I every step of the way. Love, Love, Love our Julie-Bunny!

Oh Angela (AKA - 'My Angela' ).Yet another volunteer to come sit with me to give Hil a break during her own busy day of kids, work training, preparing for her honemoon, you name it. We just met back in December in one of my doctor's offices and have become fast friends. She makes us laugh beyond laugh and we never seem to run out of crazy, funny stories to tell. She's just so very uplifting and did I mention hilarious! She joined us for a patio 'chemoluncheon' outside the chemo room and even threatened to do a pole dance on my chemo med pole for my dining pleasure and entertainment. Hey, no doubting people, I know she'll do it! I just didn't know if I can take all that laughter while being infused with chemo drugs at the same time. But seriously, many thanks for the visit from our new gal-pal.

Last, but NOT least, is my fave chemo nurse Martha. Always wearing this smile while running between patients and "Hey Martha..." requests - this gal is a bundle of energy and love! I can't even find the right words to describe her dedication, kindness and skillfulness as a nurse. She knows her stuff, does it well all the while telling funny stories from her paddle-boarding escapades to her children.
In the meantime, she's always wanting to know what's going on with us with a wonderful listening ear and an open heart. She's her own 'double-delight' rose in my book and I'm grateful to know I will have the pleasure of seeing her over this next year of treatment in the chemo room.  


  1. LOVE you so much, YOG! And, love reading your blog. So entertaining & soulful!!!!!!! XX

  2. LOVE you back Sydney! You are my rock and I'm so glad to have you by my side every step of the way! Glad you enjoy the blog and I'm glad to have you as a 'regular' on it! XO

  3. Congrats on number four knocked out of the park!

    1. Thanks! On the home stretch now and that feels great!

  4. Thinking of you! /Göran

    1. Thank you Göran! Will keep your positive thoughts coming my way.