Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hi My Name is Cancer

This weekend, while at some friends' house for dinner, I forgot I had cancer.  We ate our dinner and chatted and listened to the kids play and told stories about certain things that are kind of hilarious.  After dinner, my dear friend handed me a pen and we started making a list for what we would need to plan for Luka's 6th birthday party, which is coming up in about a week and a half.  This same friend reminds me when it is time to sign up for swimming lessons and summer camps.  Without her, Luka might possibly be a bored child who doesn't know how to put her face in the water and blow bubbles.
Anyway, we were writing things down and getting into the details.  We talked about making smoothies, having live music for musical chairs, etc.  When we started talking about playing pin-the-handmade-popsicle-stick-flowers-on-the-flower-pot instead of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey and how each kid could put up their own popsicle stick flower and how it would be so cool because then they could all be contributing to the big flower pot instead of ridiculing each other for putting the damn tail near the eye or something; I forgot I had cancer.  In that instant, it was no where in my mind.  When I got up from the table, it was as though I just remembered. Oh yeah, there's cancer in my body.  Shit.
Meeting new people these days is kind of difficult.  When someone wants to shake hands and say where are you from? and what do you do?  I want to say, Hi, my name is Cancer.  My middle name is Blog.  My last name is Green-Vegetables, with a hyphen.  Cancer is all consuming.  I try hard to let it not be.
I've been practicing my Mindful Meditation.  Put your feet on the ground, feel your feet on the ground, put my finger on the keyboard, feel the keyboard.  I chew about 65 times before I swallow my food (macrobiotics says chew 200 times - that takes a long time - I tried it.  plus, there is no food left to chew after about 75).  I thank the food for its nourishment while I eat.  These things bring me into the moment and calm the brain down.  They make it easier to put the cancer somewhere else.  And in instances like when I was thinking so hard about the popsicle stick flowers, I wonder if the cancer really does begin to go away because it is so far removed from the mind.  I think it does. 
On Monday, I start a new treatment.  It will involve a chemO agent in combination with Bevacizumab (try to say it.  my oncologist says it super fast.  like a lot of times).  Bevacizumab is designed to stop angiogenesis, which is new blood vessels developing and carrying nutrients to the tumor:  it basically cuts off the blood supply to the tumors.  There is some controversy involving insurance and Money because the drug is very eXpensive.  So some insurance providers do not want to cover it.  Dr. B says he will show my insurance provider the new promising research articles about Bevacizumab and if they don't wish to pay for it, he will ask them where their office is and go over there.
I remain completely determined to destroy this cancer.  While I can put it away for periods of time, it is usually there lurking in the background.  It's nice to let go of it sometimes, but because it is there, like some kind of creepy soft elevator music, it keeps me in check and reminds me to focus on my project.  My big Science Project called Beating the Shit Out of Cancer.  With a concentration in Teaching My Kid Everything She Needs to Know in Life Right Now.
Send good vibes on Monday and say Bevacizumab 3 times fast.


  1. Your name is not cancer. Your name is Julie Ann Forward DeMay. You are a wonderful wife, an exceptional mother, a fantastic photographer, an inspired writer, a good daughter, sister, friend, mentor, cousin, niece, volunteer, record store part owner. You are NOT your cancer. Now say that 3 times super fast! I love you. Mom

  2. I am gonna find you And squeeze you sooooooo- hard that you might burp/belch/puke/BM/sneeze the cancer right out of you and it will go rolling down....just like that poor meatball rolled down ole smokey, all covered with cheese.
    "your dear friend",
    ps Lists are good! xoxoxohh

  3. I had so much fun saying Bevacizumab 3 times fast that I've decided to name my child Bevacizumab. If it does its job, it will be a worthy namesake.

  4. sending you good vibes early from boston to ensure they get to portland by monday. here we go ~~~~~~~~~~

  5. Julie,

    It's been a long time since I came to visit you all in Portland w/ Ivo. So much changes I suppose. It was good to run into Scottie in Seattle and I'm glad that he led me to your photos and your blog. You are a very inspiring woman :) Just wanted to let you know that you've been on my mind and I'm sending much love and healing thoughts your way.
    Take care,

  6. Where the heck did they come up with a name like Bevacizumab! I said it three times fast and, the way I am pronouncing it, it's sound reminded me of "abra ca dabra", so maybe it is the magic drug that will make the cancer dissappear...;-)

    - Jenn Hatfield Davis

  7. Yeah and Babalu Aye is the Orisha god of disease and of healing. (Don't ask why I know this, It is a rediculous story)
    So, Babalu Aye Bevacizumab!
    You are a beautiful woman and a beautiful writer with a beautiful daughter. Cool head, warm heart, dukes up!I hope you are doing well. Lots of love to you, Julie! Fern

  8. no new updates are you doing..the same thing happened to me.. you go from we got the cancer in time to a stage 4...