Sunday, September 25, 2022

Well, Expletive

My friend the amazing Joan B. sent me a batch of fabulous cards for Karen's Card Shop, and this one caught my attention. It was PERFECT for me but not so perfect for a church card shop, so I kept it for myself. I'm sure Joan won't mind.

Fabulous Card by Joan B.

Last Thursday, I had a bad day. 

I was supposed to teach the second half of Module 2 of the Stephen Minister (SM) Training Course through our Greater Dayton SM Network. My show time at Fairhaven Church was 9:00. 

I forgot all about it. At 9:15, I was in the English Department at my college in downtown Dayton trying to see my department chair about next semester so she'd know I was going to be healthy, fully recovered from radiation, and able to teach in January. 

Fortunately, my co-leader in SM, Zandra, sent me a text: "Where are you?"

The lightbulb came on. 


And yes, I recognize the irony of expletives spoken before going to teach Stephen Ministers. 

I rushed to Fairhaven, berating myself the whole time. How could I forget about my commitment to teach "Feelings: Yours, Mine, and Ours"? How could I leave my dear friend Zandra in a panic? Letting people down is a Myers-Briggs ENFJ's worst nightmare.

A part of that training module covers the importance of identifying feelings correctly. In the car, I identified my feelings: shame and embarrassment. Not good teacher ethos. 

I arrived about five minutes before Zandra finished the first half of the module. 

Y'all. One of the Fairhaven SM Leaders, Diana, who was running the slides for the class, opened her arms and gave me the biggest, longest, lovingest, most grace-filled hug. 

We had the scheduled break, and I began teaching the lesson. I LOVE teaching Stephen Ministry Training classes. The students want to be there, want to learn, are called by God to soak it up. It's teacher heaven! Afterwards, Zandra said I nailed it. So yay for being an experienced public speaker and having taught the material six times before. 

But three times during teaching, my Apple Watch buzzed with phone calls. No way was I going to let these students down by interrupting the lesson to look at my watch, especially when we were on a roll. When they were in small groups doing an activity, I checked my watch. The Cancer Care Center. Why three calls? What's going on? Never mind, Susan. You can call them back after 11:30. Focus on what you need to do right now. 

When the students left, I called the Cancer Care Center. Emily the infusion nurse said that Dr. B, the hematology oncologist, wanted to schedule an appointment with me as soon as possible.  

No no no no no no no....

Dr. B and I already had an appointment in late October to talk about the medication I will take after radiation treatment. Why would he need to see me now? Could it have to do with the OncoTest on the tumor?


Emily checked with Dr. B, and he was available to talk. I've never felt sorrier for a doctor. You see, based on the biopsy and size of the tumor, no one really thought chemo would be part of my treatment. But the OncoTest proved otherwise. The score was high enough that Dr. B feels chemo would be helpful.


I will meet with him on Wednesday for details. One thing I know is this: if I were to have a recurrence of cancer in the future, and I hadn't done everything I could now to kill this crap, I would hate myself. I have a friend who's in the misery of a recurrence of stage 4 colon cancer right now. It's horrible and I hate every bit of what she's going through. 

So now, instead of being fit as a fiddle in January, 2023, it'll be April. So now, I have to tell my department chair that I can't teach next semester, and I'm gutted and scared. So now, instead of this being The Great Inconvenience of 2022, it's...something else I don't have words for yet. 

No words except expletives.

I'm not going to start any treatment until after our niece's wedding on October 14. My friend Kim, who had breast cancer last fall, had lunch with me after the SM class. She's good for my soul as well as my good luck charm for shopping, so she and I went to Macy's and found my dress for the wedding. Red velvet and fits like a glove.

So Thursday wasn't a total loss.

I need to put on my big girl panties, stop feeling sorry for myself, and deal with this stuff one day at a time. I'm getting there. 

Prayers and good wishes appreciated for me and for my friend Mary, and all of our family and friends who are dealing with our cancer. Because when one person has cancer, it affects everyone who loves them, too.  

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,



  1. Joan's card is perfect! I share her sentiments.
    I'm so sorry you're having to deal with more bad news on the health front. It's a tough road but keep going and you'll come through.
    I will be praying for you and all those who walk alongside you.

  2. I love what edie3 wrote - you got this. My daughter was diagnosed with stage 2 estrogen driven breast cancer last year and was actually disappointed in her lower onco score. She wanted to throw everything at that sh*t. Lumpectomy and radiation therapy seem to have done the trick, and my wish for you is in one year we also hear your success story.

  3. Stunning dress...looks like it truly was made for you! Wear that lovely dress, feel like a million bucks and then take on the chemo. You can do this.

  4. Well sh*t is about the best you can say after all of that Susan. I am so sorry that you are facing more treatment but am glad you are going in to it with as positive an attitude as you can. You know I've walked a similar path two times and while my chemo with the stage 2 colon cancer was elective, I am glad I did it. I know I did everything I could to not have a recurrance. Cancer had other plans and the colon cancer was found in my left ovary 2.5 years later but I KNEW it wasn't because of anything I did. I too put my big girl panties on and did the dance. I go for my routine 6 month scan in two weeks... and I'm already pushing away the anxiety about it all. If this one is clear I will move to yearly scans (it's been three years since diagnosis). I will keep you in my thoughts in the coming month... kick cancers a$$ my dear!

  5. You look marvelous in the dress! It's perfect!

  6. Well, expletive is right! So sorry to hear you are heading in for more treatment. However, as you say... best to get 'er done now and for good, dang-it!! You and your friend have my well wishes along with prayers for strength and recovery.

  7. wow you look fantastic in that dress. hope the wedding is delightful. not sure why I included that card for Karen's shop!! my bad!!

  8. REALLY love that card...and your dress! And, again, you have my very best wishes for a speedy recovery. I hope everything works and makes the nastiness go away FAST! Take care, keep creating, and keep on keeping us posted on your health journey.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!