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My Year Kicking and Screaming


This is how I started off.
Hard to believe I was sick when this was taken. I didn’t know it. This was a couple of months before I collapsed and almost died. Dang. There is absolutely NO WAY to write that without sounding melodramatic.


Two or three surgeries, radiation, 72 stitches and they told me to go home and get ready for the real battle.
They told me I was going to lose all my hair when I started chemotherapy, so I got it all cut off.


I was in the hospital for a long time.

Got my hair cut and started chemotherapy. Dense dose chemo, every week, Fridays, 8am. Steroids, chemo, not eating or drinking anything that could give this bitch of a disease a toehold. Fighting. But I like a good fight.


Fighting…there was no way I was giving up.



Thinking I was doing okay…then my kitten, Maru, got run over.

…and Shizuka right after that. She was taken by a coyote. She wasn’t even supposed to be out of the house. And then my dog, Haida, disappeared out of the yard. I almost gave up.


Vanished. Gone. To this day I feel as if I failed him somehow. Someone took him. Stole him. Or maybe he died somewhere. I’ll never know.

And I thought having cancer was hard…I was right. It is. But losing pets one after another after another? That’s just FUCKED UP!!!
I was mad. I was sick and mad. Heartbroken. Driving around and putting up posters and crying crying crying for my lost little darlings. I told them I’d take care of them and as soon as I got sick they all 3 died. I wanted to sometimes. I stopped caring. But then I got this…


and this….



So, I decided that since heartbreak hadn’t killed me, cancer wouldn’t. I went to San Francisco, my first vacation in 8 years, to see the America’s Cup Race and Thing 1. I love those kids, Dean. And Sara! You have AMAZING kids! So do you Shannon! (Mr. Sugarbears) Your drawings and your care package!

And YOU! That’s right. YOU.

I was writing this blog and I leaned heavily on some of you. And you raised me up. You never let me down. I saw that there was joy. Pain, sickness, death, yes there was that. But there was also joy, beauty, love and friendship.

I raised money (thanks to all of you who helped me!) and I started to turn a corner. Plan my return to the living. Go back to work. Get this behind me. No matter how I felt. I was going to change.


Pretty soon I’ll need a haircut.


32 thoughts on “My Year Kicking and Screaming

  1. Laura Lynn,

    Welcome back from cancer hell. You are now a cancer survivor. Cancer Sucks…no doubt about it. Glad you are still here blogging and I could follow your journey.



    • Thank you Patrick! I am so glad to have come this far, and all of you out there were directly responsible for keeping my head on straight and taking the next step forward. I never would have thought how much it meant to meet people like you before this happened. So thanks!


    • Aw REDdog, you are such a freakin’ liar! YOU are inspirational and YOU walked me through some really hard times all by your bad ol’ self and you know it. Whenever I see your name or think of all you and Nic have gone though I take a deep breathe and soldier on. Thank you for everything…seriously. Thank you.


  2. A huge congratulations Laura. I knew all that was I was going to read because you had done the amazing job of documenting it all last year as things went by. So happy for you that it’s over, and that you will soon need a haircut. Big hugs!


    • Yes, it was a long, scary, crazy year but I came through it. I wish I could say it was all better now. I wish it had never happened. I am trying not to focus on the damage done, or the potential damage coming. I just take it day to day.


    • Oh my…I really did write a book! It’s a crazy thing. I never in a million years thought I could do such a thing. The main thing I learned is that I can’t accomplish anything if I am always comparing myself and my work to anyone elses. (But I do so want to write like Jackie Mallon, who wrote ‘Feed for the Silk Dogs’ which I just finished…or like Flaubert.)


    • I’m going to dye it some colour or other. Just because now I’m not afraid of shaving it all off and starting over. I’ve had gray/white hair for years. I think it’s time for a radical change. So next week…


  3. “I raised money (thanks to all of you who helped me!) and I started to turn a corner. Plan my return to the living. Go back to work. Get this behind me. No matter how I felt. I was going to change.

    Pretty soon I’ll need a haircut.”

    Beautiful. Simply beautiful.


  4. It’s been a special journey for me to be in on with you. I’ve made sure to check in on you to see how you are coming along and I’ve been so happy to see you always pulling through that little bit more. Congrats on being so strong and getting out to where you are now. It’s wonderful !! 🙂


    • I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment from The Wine Wankers Conrad. It’s a special pleasure to read about wine and the trips you all have taken and the fun you’ve had. Sometimes when a person is feeling low it’s great, truly wonderful, to hear about things that are happening that can take you away from your day to day. You’ve all done that for me. It’s pretty great, too, to see my cell counts drop to the level they are now. I still have to receive treatment and I have a ways to go but I really feel great! When I get low all I have to do is think back to a year ago and compare. Yes. I really feel great. Thanks to you all!


  5. Laura, I have tears in my eyes. You are a warrior and I’m sure it gets old hearing that because how are you supposed to respond? Yeah, I am? But your face throughout is what struck me: a picture of determination, mind over matter, looking through the darkness and still seeing a glimmer of the future. Some people would have lain down and literally never got back up. You can do anything. If I was you, I’d carry about this feeling in my belly like a superpower, an I-can-do-anything feeling. That was a mean-assed bitch you were confronted with. And you’re still standing. Look at you! I feel grateful just to know you.
    I had no idea you were reading my novel. I am honored. Believe me, you can write like that. You can do anything. Set your sights high, my dear!


    • My sights are set so high all I can see are stars now. That mean ass bitch is still there hiding in me but I kicked her ass once and I think I can keep doing it. Hi YAH! Karate chop! I can’t forget what is happening in me, there is such a change in my strength and endurance but I also see a positive change in my ability to appreciate the big things in life – and the little things. I’m not saying having ovarian cancer is good. But it gave me an insight into myself and the world I may never have had otherwise.
      I LOVED Silk For the Feed Dogs and I’m telling all my friends about it. It’s wonderful and I adore Kat. I hope that you don’t feel it’s cheeky but I’d really love to know what else happened to her when she left Milan. She is a fantastic person and I want to believe that I haven’t heard the last from her. You’ve really brought her to life for me.
      So thanks. For the inspiration and the thought provoking blog posts. And, most of all, your kind words. Hugs.


      • Why as a breed does it take such a thing to make us appreciate the important things? I have been terribly guilty of ingratitude recently and this exchange is bringing it to light. None of us should take anything for granted. Today is all there ever is.Why do we constantly need reminding? It’s bringing a tear to my eye as I sit here in Starbucks before I go back to teach my afternoon session. How amazing that two people who’ve never met except thought the power of the written word can have such an emotional dialogue. It’s mind-boggling, but life-affirming!
        I’m so happy you loved Kat. I’m smiling all over my face. Now the people in Starbucks think I’m mentally unstable. I am writing something entirely different at the moment because Kat and I lived in each other’s pockets for five years. But I would like to think I will return with further stories of her misadventures. I would want them to be fresh and a break would ensure that. I would love it if you felt like writing a little review on Amazon, just a few lines, whatever you think about Silk. Your review would mean a lot.
        Glad to have a new friend, Laura.


  6. Pingback: Dame Viv… | Maison Bentley Style

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