Musings of Missing

Having completed my sixth and final round of the big-time toxic Chemo, (the stuff that knocks the stuffin’ out of you) I now have the privilege of looking back to assess what I will miss from this experience, as well as what I won’t.

Since I generally try to focus on the blessings in my life, even when it is hard to find any, there are many things that I have appreciated a great deal while navigating cancer and chemo, I will miss their absence as my life gradually returns to normal.

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  • Being the recipient of countless acts of love and care, big and small
  • Being surprised by who showed up to be on my support team and who did not
  • Not having to shave my legs due to leg baldness
  • Extremely shortened hair styling time due to baldness
  • $$$ saved on lack of hair dryer use
  • $$$ saved on haircolor and hair cuts
  • Having delicious meals delivered by friends and family
  • My husband doing all the cleaning, laundry, cooking and dishes during my ICK episodes
  • Being served Boost in a wine glass while reclining like Cleopatra
  • Visits from family and friends when I felt well enough to be distracted from my “ICK”
  • Numerous lunch dates where I was treated and my health was celebrated
  • Being able to attend dress rehearsals of Hamilton-Gibson plays to avoid being in crowds for the shows
  • Watching movies in the middle of the day
  • Having wheelchair transportation in airports
  • Unexpected phone calls, texts and FB messages checking in on how I was feeling and what I needed
  • A steady flow of get well cards and notes
  • Thoughtful gifts, big and small, handmade and purchased, all of which were delivered with love and meant so much
  • Weekly visits from our son, Alan and his wife Rachael, plus all the delicious Sunday night meals they delivered
  • Naps. . .Lots and lots of naps
  • Having a good reason to NOT DO anything but lie on the love seat and look out the window for hours on end
  • Long soaking luxurious baths in Zum Bar goat milk soap bubbles
  • That wonderful feeling when my appetite first returns after feeling icky and not eating much for two weeks
  • Having people go out of their way to help me with what I did not have the strength to do for myself
  • Unscheduled open time to fill as I please
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Ginger Tea, Gin-Gin candies, Ginger cookies
  • Having no real schedule, but to be simply self-guided to do what I would like moment to moment
  • The prayers, positive thoughts and laughter offered for me every day
  • Encouragement in follow up to blog posts and FB posts
  • My medi-port for drawing blood and receiving infusions

The Will NOT MISS List:

Photo by Anthony DeRosa on
  • Chronic fatigue, nausea and diarrhea
  • My empty calendar
  • Chemo side effects like dehydration, kidney failure, bloot clots, chest pain and severe acid reflux
  • Those moments I did not care if I lived or died
  • Having to take supplements to replace what Chemo has obliterated
  • Having to rest after walking a flight of stairs
  • Having a major exercise day be the day I walk all the way around the block
  • Unsolicted advice
  • Being bored and not caring enough to do anything about it
  • Being out of breath with almost no exertion
  • Getting chills because my bald head is uncovered
  • Having to say “No” to invitations to do fun things
  • Having to turn down great work opportunities
  • Having not a single care about what I wear or how I look
  • My chubby steroid cheeks
  • Shuffling instead of walking
  • Missing the endings of movies because I fell asleep
  • Having my life on pause while I recover from treatment
  • Looks of pity when in public wearing a protective mask
  • Having to closely screen visitors to protect myself from potential infections
  • A compromised immune system
  • Having my coffee table always covered with sick room paraphanelia like tissues, meds, hand sanitizer, essential oils, thank you notes, books, magazines etc.
  • Forcing myself to eat when it is the last thing I feel like doing
  • Twitching muscles due to low magnesium
  • People feeling sorry for me
  • Friends avoiding me
  • Having to muster up the energy for 30 minutes before walking to the bathroom
  • Not having the energy or even the desire to hold a book
  • Having to brush my teeth and floss (on a good day) sitting down
  • The overall lack of desire for anything. . . and I mean anything

What I find interesting as I read over my lists is that both cause me to feel grateful and therefore feel good in the present moment.

Photo by Ismael Sanchez on

Obviously the blessings are easy to feel good about. They all aligned with my wellbeing and with love and support shared by others.

The NOT MISS LIST also causes me to be grateful since I have pretty much moved through most of them and have not only survived, but thrived.

Life offers us contrasts. . .the stuff we call good and the stuff we call bad. Both have the power (if we allow it) to deepen our gratitude for what is in the present moment. So the truth is even though my negative list describes the bad suff, the absence of them now, heightens my gratitude and gratitude will always feel good.


  1. So happy you completed chemo. I have recommended to a few friends with cancer to follow your Blog. I admire how upbeat and positive you are. You’re such an inspiration and I’m praying for you always. πŸ’žπŸ™πŸ»

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ann….I appreciate your support and prayers and for sharing my blog. I would love it if my words happen to have a positive influence on other people. πŸ™‚ ❀


  2. Huge congratulations on getting through all six rounds – it’s no mean feat at all.

    These are excellent lists and I’m looking forward to putting my own together in a month or so xox

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looking at your journey helps me be more conscious of and being present to the joy and gratitude in my life. Through this I can refill my bucket so that I can send you and others the healing love that will contribute to the healing love pool that nourishes the world!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am thankful that this chapter of your life is over. I thank you for your candor in describing your journey. I have had so many friends who have had to face this challenge. Your blog has given me deeper understanding. Prayers for your continued healing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for your support, Mary, and for letting me know you now have a deeper understanding of the experience. I had no idea what this path would look like before I traveled it and have been so grateful to receive the guidance from others that have experienced it all before me. If anyone gains anything from what I share in this blog, I’ll be grateful. ❀


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