Hope Means Different Things to Different People

May is Lung Cancer Hope Month. I am celebrating hope in my own way this month: by purchasing and processing a fleece.
Making yarn from raw wool seems to me like an ultimate achievement, and it is one that has intimidated me. Last year at Maryland Sheep and Wool, my daughter Ana took the plunge, buying a gorgeous clean and subtly colored fleece from Raja Farm of Lincoln, MA. Later we met up with Clara Parkes of, and we showed her the fleece. Clara was very complimentary, ooo-ing and ahh-ing in a most satisfactory way, and said that Raja Farm is renowned for its beautiful, high quality, and easy to spin fleeces.
This year, Ana insisted that it was time for me to buy my first fleece. After we arrived at Maryland Sheep and Wool on Saturday May 6, we made a beeline for Raja Farm. Ana bought two fleeces and I chose my first fleece. Actually it’s a half fleece, but it’s still 2.5 pounds of wool, and it will keep me busy for quite a while.
The fleece may have looked gorgeo…

Two Communities Mourn Their Lizzie

On Saturday, March 4. 2017, Robert and I drove north to attend Elizabeth Dessureault’s funeral. Elizabeth was a leading light of the lung cancer advocacy community, and her death a week earlier had shaken a wide circle of people to their core, including me. When I found out that her funeral would be held in Cornwall, Ontario, less than two hours from my home by car, I realized that I had to attend to represent all those who had met her or followed her blog and Facebook posts.
To encounter Elizabeth was to love her. Diagnosed with lung cancer only two years ago, she had a sunny disposition and a compelling story. In her first year of marriage to Dax and 5 months pregnant, she found out that she had lung cancer. She was able to go on chemotherapy and keep her baby alive, giving birth two months early to a little boy they named Jack. She had genetic testing of her cancer and discovered she had the ROS1 mutation. She went on to take targeted therapy, enrolled in a clinical trial, and had…

Social Security Disability Tips at Free to Breathe Site

I've published a new post on Social Security Disability information at the Free to Breathe site on HealthUnlocked. This is important information for anyone facing a lung cancer diagnosis, or diagnosis with any serious disease.

Knitting Blog: Still Knitting Sweaters

A new sweater came off of my needles and onto my back, and I’m happy to report that I was able to finish this one in early December, in time to actually be used this winter.

I started this sweater last summer when my vision was deteriorating day by day due to rapid onset cataracts. One day I could no longer knit socks because the stitches were too small for me to see well, and I needed a project using larger yarn on larger needles. I kept trying the sweater on as I knit it and it seemed awfully snug, but denial was on full display as I kept telling myself everything would be OK - “It will block out to size.” Ha! Those famous words have doomed many a knitting project to failure. After I had knit approximately half of the sleeves, denial no longer worked. They were so snug, I could see my skin through the stitches. So I ripped back half of a sweater to the beginning, and cast on again, this time two sizes larger to accommodate both a gauge discrepancy and my need for (literally) more b…

Two Blog Posts at Free to Breathe/HealthUnlocked: What It's Like to Be in a Clinical Trial

Another two-part series, this time looking at what it's like to be in a clinical trial. The first part covers some basic information about clinical trials in general: what are the different types of clinical trials? What do they require? Who pays for them?
The second part describes my experience in a phase II trial for an experimental drug. I have talked about this trial in a previous post on this blog, but this piece has been freshly written.

Blog Post at Free to Breathe/Health Unlocked: Sorting Out the Stuff after a Lung Cancer Diagnosis

The weight of a lifetime's accumulation of stuff may seem especially heavy when you realize in your gut that your life is finite - and that someone else is going to have to deal with all that stuff some day if you don't.

This post has been one of my most popular at the Free to Breathe patient support site.

Blog Post at Free to Breathe/HealthUnlocked: Why I Have Two Oncologists

I see both a very smart general oncologist who practices at a local cancer center and a very smart research oncologist who practices at a major cancer research hospital. I talk about why in this post.