Update 100

November 4 – Halloween was great! I passed my quota of scaring as many kids as possible again!  Gory Gloria was in her element! I did make a concession to the little kids, though. We put up a not-so-scary haunted castle and my six-year old nephew gave out candy for awhile and then Harold or Jen manned the castle when Darcy went trick-or-treating himself. We had quite a production team this year. Jen came over in the morning to help me get started, then Heather (my niece/assistant and her son (I am his Great Aunt - lordy!) came about three, then SJ got here about 4:30 and Harold arrived at 5. We were all running around trying to make things as scary as possible!  Next year it will be all of us again plus my oldest daughter Jaime and my grandkids are coming to spend Halloween with me!  Jaime said that she wanted to bring them while they were still of an age where they enjoyed it and then she stated "Not that it ever mattered to you!”  Everyone will be in costume and it will be such fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 12 – Well, since I am feeling so well, Healthy Helga doesn’t have much to report. Saw the radiation oncologist last week and I am still doing fine by his standards. He still thinks Perky Polly and Droopy Dolly are "beautiful” but remember his standards are a bit different. He is pleased I don’t have side effects from the radiation and by looking at me, unless you notice my little blue tattoos, you wouldn’t know I had ever had radiation. I have full use of my arm, also, so I am also pleased at the results. So far the IMRT radiation has worked out well. No problems with my heart and lungs either as they were able to modify the amounts of radiation that went to those areas. Both cancers were on the left side so my heart and lungs have had a lot of stuff happen to them but so far, so good.  I don’t have to see him for a year. His assistant was surprised at that, she said, "After only two years?” and he started to say six months and I reminded him what he said last time – that if I was still doing fine when he saw me this time I could go to a year. I told him I would do whatever he asked but that I was just reminding him of what he said. He looks, pokes, listens and asks questions. My regular oncologist takes blood and schedules tests and scans. They are at opposite ends of the same building so I figure since I see my oncologist every four months he can tell the radiation oncologist if there are any problems! I have had enough of going for doctor visits, thank you very much, so would like to cut out the ones not absolutely necessary.

I suppose I am trying to get through this part of the year as best I can. It was three years ago this month I started treatment for the recurrence. Two years since I finished the year of treatment and then came down with shingles. November gives me the Heebie-Jeebies. Since I felt the dreaded lump in October I guess that month gives me the Hookey-Spookies! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Even in the midst of my feeling a bit sorry for myself I have to laugh!

Since that is about all I have to report, health wise and…………..this is number 100 I thought I would share some good sayings with you. Let’s celebrate! I love sayings so here goes:

Profound ones………..

"Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” (Dr. Seuss of all people!)

"A friend knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you’ve forgotten the words.”  Thank heavens for all my dear friends who helped me through both times.

"If you stumble…make it part of your DANCE”  I like that one - all the stumbling I have done for the last five years has led to quite a fantastic dance I must say.

"Perhaps strength doesn’t reside in having never been broken…but in the courage required to grow strong in the broken places.”  Okay, I cry every single time I read this one.

"Keep not standing fixed and rooted. Briskly venture, briskly roam.” Just liked the sound of this one.

"Risk more than others think is safe….
Care more than others think is wise…
Dream more than others think is practical…
Expect more than others think is possible....”  Great words to live by.

Funny ones………

"I’m not bossy – I just know what you should be doing.”  Love it, love it, love it!

"Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy.”  I wish I had seen this one when I owned my shop!

A touching one……………

This next one is sad but I still love it. It is from Brian Andreas (storypeople.com) and I have loved it since I first read it after finishing treatment the first time around and I had learned how to cry for myself.

"She held her grief behind her eyes like an ocean & when she leaned forward into the day it spilled onto the floor & she wiped at it quickly with her foot & pretended no one had seen.” 

I know I have been going on and on about how great things are and …they are great…..but I also want you to know that there are days when these words are so very true. My life has been forever changed due to my experiences with breast cancer and yes, there were a lot of positive things that came from it but there was also a lot of terror and pain, the legacy of an uncertain future and some days it doesn’t take much for all of it to come crashing back. This is part of the "new normal” that cancer patients and cancer survivors live with always and I guess I just want to point it out so you know it is "normal” if someone you know or even you, yourself, acts like this upon occasion. For me, "remission” is a great word but it is not "cured” and I know how it weighs on my mind and know I am not alone in this. Lordy, I am rambling on about this, aren’t I? I guess it is because I find that people are surprised that I can be sad when all is going so well and I know this is a common occurrence that people affected by cancer face all the time. It also applies to caregivers. People expect my family to be just fine now that I am well again but the fact remains that I am in remission and we all hope on a day-to-day basis that it stays that way. No one goes around with rose colored glasses on in our family anymore. A lot of people ask about me first when speaking with my family members even if they don’t really know me and it is a bit disconcerting sometimes for them. I remind them that those people are really looking for reassurance that I am still alive as that bring s HOPE to them, maybe for themselves or for someone they know who has cancer. The cancer experience in a family has a ripple effect that continues on long after treatments are over. Okay, Soapbox Sue will get off her soapbox now or I will push her off myself!

Okay, let’s lighten up a bit. Since Thanksgiving is next week I thought I had better get this update out!

Photos of the week – Halloween of course!  A touching mother-daughter picture, Jen in all her glory and me in all my "gory.”

Mother & Daughter

click on images for a larger view

In the dark all you can see of me is my face, hands and feet through the fog machines and strobe lights. What fun!

Until next time,

Margot   a.k.a. Perky Polly, Droopy Dolly, Soapbox Sue, Healthy Helga and Gory Gloria

If you have any questions please email me


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