The PICC Line

Cancer’s life is a recapitulation of the body’s life, its existence a pathological mirror of our own.

–Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

When it comes to cancer, I am no stranger. Diagnosed with neuroendocrine carcinoid cancer at age 21, I know the terror and disbelief that comes with hearing the words “you have cancer”. I was fortunate in that my tumor was caught early enough, and surgical intervention cured me of the mass that threatened to engulf my pancreas. Some argue divine intervention on that front, but I just say it’s dumb luck.

Cancer, biologically speaking, has been an indiscriminate killer for as long as cell lines have existed. At any point, any cell in your body can go rogue and become cancerous. In fact, it might happen regularly, but for those with healthy immune systems, the natural killer cells in the body immediately recognize and destroy the abnormal cells. When this system is affected, cancer strikes. I could go on for ages about oncogenesis and the history of cancer, but there are far smarter people who have written many a book on the subject. The Emperor of All Maladies is one of my favorite books on the subject, and was also turned into a solid documentary available on Amazon Prime. I urge you to watch that, and The Way of All Flesh, a documentary about the unsung heroine Henrietta Lacks, for amazing insight into the strides we as a species have made in the battle against cancer.

Leading up to my diagnosis, I had dreams that would ultimately predict the location and size of my cancer, but that’s another story for another day. Tonight, I write about a different dream from two nights ago that has me scratching my head.

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40 Years of Bauhaus

You must be an enigma. This is what creates attraction to beauty. You walk on and you do it, and this is what I have always felt. The moment I walk on stage, I live there.

–Peter Murphy

I promise that this blog will veer back to the realm of dreams sometime soon! However, I’d be remiss to skip posting about this weekend’s surprise main event, which was a dream in its own right. You see, this past Saturday night, I found myself on the front row of my very first Bauhaus (okay, so mostly Bauhaus) show!

In truth, I almost missed the concert entirely. If it weren’t for a heads-up from a dear friend, StubHub, and a bit of timing regarding Liam being with his dad, I wouldn’t have been able to make it. The stars did align however, so I did what any good Goth kid would do: threw on a black velvet dress, leather jacket, and boots, and headed out to Carrboro.

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Reflections on a Past Life

“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”

— Charles Dickens

I sit here on a suspiciously warm February night, finally taking time to write down all of the reflection and introspection that I have been diligently undertaking over the past few months. My house is a wreck; boxes stacked everywhere as I try to combine two homes into one. To merge all the “stuff” from a past life into a new one that has barely taken wing. Yet, here I sit, because I can’t stop the thoughts from overflowing with every box I empty, every dish put away. By the by? I might have an addiction to coffee mugs and someone needs to help me. It’s normal for one girl to have over 50 mugs, right? Right?Read More »