Hospital – Day 4

Over the last few days, I’ve been put on some heavy drugs to manage the pain and although we think we’ve finally found a good combination of meds, plenty of the old stuff lingers in my system.  I’ve been in the hospital for four days, although I’m going home tonight, and it’s been a bit of a sleep-test-talk-canwegetyourvitalsignsagain whirlwind.

With a couple of wonderful moments.  Like crying with my mom blogger friends.  Like hugging my moms club friends goodnight.  Like relaxing and chatting late into the afternoon, and quiet hours with my husband as we waited for the next test – the next procedure – the time that it would take to see if the next meds to take effect.  Like listening to the earnest and sincere voices of the pain doctors spoken so highly (coincidentally) of in Susan McCorkindale’s new book, 500 Acres and No Place to Hide, and meeting oncology nurse after oncology nurse who really, sincerely, wanted to help.

At one point, I asked about the rules for visiting hours, as two friends were on their way to keep me company in the wait.  “The hours are 9 to 9,” she said, “but they are not always enforced on this floor.”  Why? I asked, standing for the first time all morning, what floor is this?  Oncology, she said, with a sad smile, and she helped me unhook my IV for the short walk to the bathroom.

And so it was that I discovered that although I had been admitted to the hospital for serious pain in my left rib and back of my pelvis area, that I would stay longer for a more serious reason.

Oncology.  My PET/CT scan from Friday and the follow up x-ray on Monday did not show a broken rib.  They showed instead several dozen bad spots:  cancer in the spine, the ribs, the top of my legs, and other bones in my torso that could only be cancer eating away at my bones or areas of healing from cancer that had been there in the very recent past.  It was cancer, my oncologist said, and we would have to start treatment right away.

I didn’t understand at first, through my morphine-addled haze, but it was explained again to me later.  Cancer.  Several dozen spots, entwined through my spine and on my ribs and tops of my legs, that was causing me pain either directly (as in my neck and upper tush areas) or indirectly as the bones squashed the nerve roots coming out of the vertebrae, signaling a break that wasn’t there.  And the only treatment options were which kind of chemotherapy to start first.

There are 20 chemos to choose from, she said, and I was happy to hear that, but all of them require a port.

So yesterday, after a day and a half of waiting, I was taken to the interventional radiology room where they sliced open my upper chest with a 3 cm horizontal line, making a pocket in my soft tissue, and they inserted a port that could be used for future infusions instead of always poking me in the hand or wrist with an IV.  They laced the port’s tubing through my veins and dropped the end just inside or just above my heart, so that the chemical (the chemo-part of chemotherapy) would have a short, direct flight to my heart, where it would be pumped quickly throughout my body and sent on its mission to kill the cancer cells, in the tumors in my spine, in my ribs, in my back, and in other places to small to be seen on the PET/CT scan.

I will have chemo pumped into my port and thus, my body, every week for a while, with the third week off for good behaviour as long as it still works and I can tolerate the side effects.  I will have this chemo for as long as I can stand it and it makes a difference.  When it stops working – and it will – we will switch to another chemo, then another, then another.  Some will work and some will not. All of them are the product of nationally, federally funded research as well as research grants funded by private foundations or wealthy individuals.  All of them were discovered by men and women working hard to make a difference, and urged on in their work by the pink cheerleaders and thoughtful dissenters, all advocating for the end of cancer through more research, more learning, more clinical trials.  More light shed on this disease and its spread.  We must —

And you know that. You have heard this here and other places many times.

Earlier this year, it was Sarah who struggled on the changing chemos, who had to make the decisions and muddle through as they searched for an answer to her cancer.  Then, Judy.  Now it’s my turn for another go at it.  Every day, it’s mothers, wives, daughters, and friends fighting breast cancer and ever so many more types of cancer.  Cancer sucks.  Cancer kills.

Tonight I will be home, resting in my own bed, recovering from the chemo they gave me this morning through my lovely port as my husband and a friend kept me company in the tiny room, trying not to think about the many chemos to come, willing them to work even more than I dread their infusion.  I am as grateful for their existence as I hate the fact that they are needed.  But all of that is just talk.

What matters is that I get up and go to my chemotherapy each week, and that I show my family and friends and colleagues just how much I love and respect them in the meantime.  I think now’s the time for me to finish that book, too.  Procrastination just doesn’t make any sense anymore.

161 Responses to Hospital – Day 4

  1. Robin says:

    We love you and admire your thoughtful words and candor. I think I speak for many when I say that we will walk w

  2. Robin says:

    …with you as best we can from our various distances.

  3. Megan says:

    Susan, you have touched so many people. I am amazed at your strength and skill with words during such a difficult time. I hope you can cuddle with Widget and Little Bear tonight. I am sure you missed them immensely while in the hospital. I also hope you find comfort in knowing how many people are praying for you each and every day. Hugs to you and your family. I am sure you are scared, but please remember – YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

  4. Miz S says:

    Love and prayers for you, Susan.

  5. jodifur says:

    Susan, you have all my love and all my thoughts. And please, please let me know when you are up to a visit.

  6. Terry Arnold says:

    I know you hear this all the time…you are amazing…but you are. Thank you for what you do for all of us, with IBC.
    IBC chick, class of 2007

  7. Alice says:

    Gentle gentle hugs
    I read all of your blogs, every word. I don’t post often, but I take your strong, beautiful words to heart.
    You are not alone

  8. Stella says:

    Susan – You are my strength. Who will be yours? Praying for you daily.

  9. You have me in tears my friend. Tears of pride that you are home and tears of anger at the ridiculous cancer that has chosen to infiltrate your bones. I am in San Diego next week but would very much like to come see you the following week if you are up to it. So much love and prayer to you.

  10. katie says:


    Another beautiful post. You are such a gift to the world and I believe one of those 20 drugs will work. I hope the port helps, too.

    Much love and, you’re right, we must,


  11. Debbie Willey says:

    Susan. You are so strong and I respect your honesty. Having cancer in some of the same locations I can understand your pain. Though my pain has been managable so far. I have not had chemo. I Am treated with arimidex and a bone strengthening med. I am glad you are going home. I am sure your children miss you and you them. Praying for you. Rest

  12. Jane Gassner says:

    You are an incredible person and it is a privilege to be even a small part of this journey that you’re on. Thank you for sharing your self. You know, don’t you, that those of us not on that journey yet will have the comfort of your experience when it’s our time. If Susan does it with such grace, then so can I. xxxooo

  13. Susan says:

    Hi Susan,
    I’ve been reading for a while but haven’t ever posted. As another mom, another Susan, another with breast cancer I read your words and am …inspired? humbled? challenged? by how you have chosen to share what you are going through. I’m sending you all my thoughts and good wishes, that one of the drugs that have so recently been invented will work for you, long enough that another can be invented.

    One question, if you have the time to answer—these scientists who are working on these treatments, these places where this work is taking place—do you have a recommendation where I could make a donation? I would like to help in the fight against this disease (all cancer, not just breast cancer because I believe they are all related) and I continue to look for somewhere to donate where they are doing research and not just “awareness”. I’m aware enough, thank you.

    I’m glad you’re home. Home is good.

  14. I love you so much. Those are such tough words to write, but you choose to assist others and inform those who love you. You are amazing.

  15. Claire says:

    I wish I could be all ZOMG! i found a cure but I’m not a doctor and I can’t even pretend to be one on TV. I am thankful science has evolved to the point where we have so many cancer drugs available to us. If only it was easy as drinking flax seed oil mixed with cottage cheese (Budwig diet). Thank you for sharing with us your fight, please kick cancers ass.

    also as an astrophysicist how do you feel about Pluto?

  16. Karen G says:

    You have a lovely family and many,many, friends to support you. Including your church family, who must be praying for you now. I’ll add my hopes and prayers to those of your friends.

    You are a scientist – very cool – and while you aren’t a biological scientist, I hope that your knowledge of science will give you additional hope in potential treatments.

    Also, I hope my comments don’t make matters worse – I don’t always know what to say, or whether to say anything at all. Your blog is one of few that I read, as a friend of mine also has IBC. So, i thought I should say… something.


  17. scarymommy says:

    You’re amazing.

  18. Twice Five Miles says:

    Sending you so very much love.

  19. Jo Major Ciolino says:

    I am breathless and overwhelmed by your incredible ability to speak to all of us out here who are hanging on every update, every report. You inspire me, amaze me and kindle in me a flame of action, advocacy, prayer and support. I and so many others are there with you to support and sustain you, to love you and hold you, to rejoice in every victory 24 / 7. Sleep well in your very own bed tonight – that alone will do you good!

  20. Julie Hewett says:

    Wishing peace and strength my sister …

  21. I will be praying for your healing and comfort. My mother is struggling with Cancer for the 4th time again now. I admire your strength & courage and am grateful for my health every day. I have lost several loved ones to this dreaded disease and can not imagine having to go through all of the tests, treatment etc.. that one must endure to help kill the Cancer cells.

    I have heard that blood root salve can help. I only know of second hand stories and cannot attest to it’s healing ability first-hand but, in your situation perhaps it would not hurt to try it out. I will be praying very hard for you & your family.

    Patricia C Cianflone (Yeshuazgirl)

  22. Heather says:

    Susan, I have read your blog for years. Clearly, we do not know each other, but I think of you so often. I just wanted to tell you how much I admire you, and how profound your words are. Thank you.

  23. Susan says:

    Susan, I am, as ever, so impressed with your kickass humble graceful feistiness! I hope you are wrapped up in love by your family and close-by friends and are comforted by all the invisible folks in the computer who are holding you close now.

  24. Susan – I’ve been following your courageous battle since close to the beginning. I’ve rejoiced out loud every time you’ve beaten the cancer back. I know that you will battle this new intruder and I will once again be rejoicing. All my best.

  25. Bon says:

    i’m gutted, about the cancer.

    i’m thrilled you’re going home tonight.

    i’m glad the port makes the chemo easier.

    i’m still gutted about the cancer spots.

    i’m glad and grateful for the cancer research, all of it.

    i hope you feel the love and hope that surround you, Susan. the gratitude for your grace and your bigness, your heart like a wheel, always turning out beyond yourself. i hope you feel it come back at you in these small ways, these many words, these friends beside you, loving you.

    rest your head at home tonight and gather those boys in your arms tomorrow, and write, yes. write. because your words are amazing. and because it matters. it always matters, no matter what else.

    • Bon always says what I want to say most. Just sitting here feeling very whispery and thoughtful, sending everything I possibly can to you and your lovely heart. xo

    • Lisa B says:

      Bon has put it so much more eloquently than I ever could. (Thank you Bon). Sending you love and strength, Susan.

    • Oh yes, once again, what Bon said!!!

      We all love you so much, Susan.

      xoxo CGF

    • Amanda says:

      Echoing Bon’s sentiments and sending more ayers of love and gratitude.

    • Mom101 says:

      One more saying yes, yes, yes Bon. Yes.

      My heart is with you right now Susan. I am sending you all the white light and healing thoughts that I have in me.

    • JoC says:

      Bon has said what I was feeling but didn’t know how to say. I’d also like to echo Jessica McF “Those are such tough words to write, but you choose to assist others and inform those who love you.” You have a lot of people who love you. Many of us have never even met you.

      Thank you so much for being you, Susan. I am sending my own gentle hugs, warm fuzzies and prayers along with this message.

  26. slouchy says:

    You are a model of grace, and you inspire us all.

    Sending love.

  27. *m* says:

    What Bon said above, so perfectly.

    You continue to inspire me, Susan, and I continue to hold you and your family in my thoughts and heart every day.

  28. Jacqui says:

    Too many of my fellow b/c gals are going through this right now,
    I will light a candle for you tonite and every night.
    May you be surrounded with love & warmth.

  29. k8 says:

    I’m with you, as always, in the are more than ever in my prayers…..because, as you know………no princess fights alone.


  30. katstone1 says:

    I hate so very much that you received such frustrating and disappointing news. I hate that news and want to punch it in the face. At the same time, I’m glad your doctors know what’s up and can focus on helping you the best way possible now. Love and hugs and as much peace as possible.
    – Katherine

  31. I just found you a few days ago thanks to a Bloggess tweet. Thinking of you and sending strengthening and healing thoughts.

  32. Thien-Kim says:

    All I can say is thank you for sharing. You are in my heart always. And I never read my Newsweek-I can just send them your way.

  33. Stacey says:

    What can I say? You are amazing. You are humbling in your strength. You are inspiring. You matter–your words matter.

    You don’t know me, but you have made a difference in my life. Your words have made a difference in my life. Your strength and honesty have made a difference in my life.

    Sending peace and healing thoughts across the miles…

    • Rebecca U says:


      I have been reading your blog for years now, only posting occassionally, but always I am learning.

      I can only echo Stacey.

      Prayers every night for you.

      • Allison says:

        Like Rebecca U, I’ve been reading for years, commenting rarely. I’m praying for you.

  34. lis says:

    i wish this were all a bit easier for you. i know its hard when people keep telling you you’re strong and you feel anything but, although i can see in your words and your writing that you have the heart and the drive to take this on.

    i can only say this sucks, it’s not fair and i wish you didn’t have to deal with this again. i feel like writing those sentences over and over again because they don’t even come close to the impact i want the statements to have on you.

    you aren’t alone,im glad you are in good hands. sending peace and comfort, even for just a moment.

  35. […] My dear friend Susan in the hospital. […]

  36. Amy says:

    I have no words. Just know that I will be praying for you. Many gentle hugs.

  37. I will pray for the first drug to work, and for it to work for a long, long time. And then I will pray for the second drug to work, ad that it will work for a long, long time….

    I will pray that I am praying this prayer for the next twenty years, and for twenty more drugs to be invented in the meantime, and that one of them is a cure.

  38. Your strength absolutely amazes me. We’re right behind you, so lean back if you need to.

  39. marty l says:

    You said you have cancer in your “upper tush.”

    I still freaking love you.

    • I echo what Marty just said. In fact, my son was reading your post to me aloud while I was driving us back from vacation. He asked me “Is it okay to laugh?” And I told him “Yes, Susan will appreciate that you noticed she used “tush” and that you liked it.”

  40. Melissa says:

    Oh, Susan … I have no words. Just much love.

  41. Brandie says:

    Susan, I am praying for you and thinking of you. I’m impressed by your strength even when things are so hard. (((hugs)))

  42. pgoodness says:

    Ah, this one has me typing through very blurry, tear-filled eyes. I really wanted it to be a broken rib. You are the very definition of strength and grace. Sending good thoughts and love and healing vibes your way, tonight and always.

  43. Dana says:

    You are the very definition of powerful and I am amazed by your fight and awed by the beautiful way you tell your story.

  44. Leslie says:

    Susan, you don’t know me, but I’ve followed your blog for a long time. My ex-mother in law is having a bone marrow procedure done next month to fight multiple myeloma. I have told her about you and your strength and your Army of Princesses. You are an inspiration. Many prayers coming your way. Gentle hugs.

  45. Annie says:

    Like so many, I hold you in the light, Susan.

  46. Jayme says:

    I just recently found your blog through a link sent out into the Twitter-verse by The Bloggess, and it was with a heavy heart (and a large quantity of Kleenex) that I became familiar with your story. I do not know you personally, but I know and have known many people fighting the good fight, and that makes me feel just a little bit closer to you. Cancer is our one degree of separation 🙂

    Some may not see the good in starting such an aggressive treatment plan. But 20 kinds of chemo! That’s 20 very good chances of success. 20 second chances. And though we do not know one another, I will be reading and thinking of you through every one, and sending out hope into the universe that this one, the next one, ONE of them will come through. Thank you Susan, for continuing to fight the good fight so valiantly.

  47. Kim Slavis says:

    I’m glad you are home with your wonderful boys. They are such joy.

    Big *gentle* hugs.

  48. Jen says:

    I haven’t been blogging much…but I try to keep up at MWC when I can. I still check in on your blog, but sometimes I want to put cancer behind me, hopefully forever. It hurts me a lot to read that you can’t do that. Many prayers as you accept these new challenges and that the chemo will do it’s job!

  49. Susan, I want to go through these wonderful comments and say, “Yes, yes, I agree…so true.” Not much more original to say as the others put it so well…but I wanted you to know that I too am here reading, praying, cheering you on…

  50. Anna says:

    Keeping you in my prayers. You have great strength and you have many who are here to provide with strength when you are not feeling as strong. Hugs to you and your family.

  51. BMom says:

    Thank you, as always, for sharing your story Susan. You inspire me with your courage and will to get the word out there in such a graceful and powerful way. You are in so many of my prayers. So glad you are home tonight with your loving family.

  52. Enjoy, rest, and smile as much as you can at home with your husband and boys. Hoping the chemo goes at the bad guys and knocks em out.


  53. Donna says:

    Your posts are always so inspirational–filled with such grace and courage. I’m so glad that you get to be home with the family tonight. Wishing you lots of love and hugs and family time and all the strength in the world. Lots and lots of love…

  54. Dear Susan, You will continue to be in my prayers. I am so sorry to hear about this newest diagnosis, but I know that the Lord will uphold you and carry you through this. While the port is sore the first week or so, it does get more comfortable after healing up somewhat. I was grateful to have mine every time I had another round, especially when I saw others struggling through without ports. Knowing you’ll have a number of rounds, I’m grateful you will be able to use the port. I’ll be praying for you. Thank you for sharing with us so that we can lift you up before our Heavenly Father. Sending love and virtual hugs.

  55. elesha says:

    This post has made me hurt in my head my heart and my stomach. I’m not going to go on about how unfair this is. I will just say I’m sorry you have to go through this and pray these drugs do something miraculous. Xxxx

  56. Marty alerted me to your latest post. Lots of people tell you how you continue to touch lives with your words, your fight, your honesty. I’m not sure you have any idea how you do indeed touch lives! I love you, I pray for you and wish I could be close to hug you. “God will keep you in perfect peace when your heart and soul are fixed on Him ” (my paraphrase).

  57. FishyGirl says:

    My prayers are yours, for you and your family and your doctors and your drugs. I only really know you from your words, but they are amazing words from an amazing woman. Glad you are at home, glad you can rest at home. Peace and love to you.

  58. Ecobabe says:

    Oh, Susan! We are all with you tonight. If there was any way to take away this burden, there are a hundred Warrior Princesses here to do it. And we would all be mirroring the love, courage, and pride you have shown us. I know you know we are here. I know you feel our prayers. But I am also here to help you continue to fight this fight, no matter how ugly the battle gets. All my love – and all my strength, courage and health. It’s all for you!

  59. Darryle says:

    Susan–You’re in my thoughts and my heart. I hope reading these comments brings you some comfort in the knowledge of how you continue to amaze and inspire with your seemingly never wavering supply of honesty, spirit, courage and grace. If anyone defines what it means to be a warrior—and a survivor–it is you.

  60. very gentle hugs my long distance IBC sister and friend, thinking of you everyday

  61. My dear dear friend. I wish I could be there to hold your hand and support you in every practical way. Instead I will continue to send love and “walk alongside” you from afar. Know that you are always held close in my heart and in my thoughts. Lots of love!

  62. Amy says:

    If you knew how often I’ve thought of you lately you’d think I was a stalker. I hope you can feel the love surrounding you.

  63. Karen says:

    Prayers from a new follower.

  64. Merry says:

    When my son died, people asked me how I carried on. I replied that really there was no choice, it wasn’t possible to die of grief and so I had to keep going, it was my only option.

    I admire you so much that you just keep bloody getting up and going on. With such courage and such determination and my word, if cancer is a malevolent person somewhere, you must be irritating the hell out of him now.

    I found you through a tweet one day. I have read with my fingers crossed and admiration. I read this today and the tears came. All my love and wishes and strength for this next step as you just keep going on.

  65. sutari says:

    I have no words. I can never be as eloquent as some of the posts above. Thinking of you…. so glad to see that you have a plan.

  66. Andrea says:

    Susan, I hope you had some gentle cuddles with your boys last night. I am thinking of you and praying for you daily.

  67. Jana A says:

    Sending you so much love, Susan.

  68. Ness says:

    I have only been following your blog for a few days (found it via the Pinterest interview). What can I say that hasn’t already been said so beautifully by everyone else? I’m thinking of you, sending you love and keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  69. Lauren says:

    Ah man, this stinks. I will keep you in my prayers that the chemo works quickly and efficiently and that you continue to have the strength to get through it once again. I am sorry you have to endure another “round”.
    Take care!

  70. Colleen says:

    Oh, Susan. I don’t know what to say. My heart is broken, but I’m also so hopeful that the port will be the door to one miraculous drug after another — drugs that give you more time for what is important. And you show me every day just what that is. I am so glad you are coming home. Much much love and many prayers. My mom told me yesterday that she prays for you every day. And I know from experience that her prayers are powerful.

  71. Stimey says:

    I think your friends, family and colleagues know how much you love and respect them. You have always been so good at letting people know.

    I hate that you have to do more chemo. I hate that there are so many women out there going through what you are going through. I never really knew before, Susan. You have been and continue to be an epic force for awareness.

    But I wish you didn’t have to be. You, as always, have every ounce of my love.

  72. Karen says:

    Thinking of you, Susan, and sending you strength and love. I’m so glad you’re home with your boys right now.

  73. Susan,
    You don’t ‘know’ me at all. I have been observing your wisdom and grace here for a while after following Bon (cribchronicles) here. (She does not ‘know’ me either). Both of you have such extraordinary voices that reach further than you can ever imagine.
    I am moved to write here today to let you know that my smaller voice is lifting you up-daily-in South Carolina.
    With warm regards,

  74. Heather says:

    Susan, you don’t know me but I have read your blog for awhile now. With tears in my eyes I write this-you are amazing, an inspiration. As a mother, I’m sending you hugs. And hope.

  75. Andrea says:

    You inspire many women through your writing and experience. I hope many other patients, families and health professionals learn from your insight. Thanks, and best of luck with your treatment.

    You can find me at

  76. magpie says:

    Gentle hugs and lots of love. Here’s hoping…

  77. You are a fighter, Susan, and we’re all here with you. Thank you for continuing to share your story.

  78. justenjoyhim says:

    Much love and many prayers to you.

  79. Angela says:

    Thank you so much for telling your story here Susan. I’m thinking of and praying for you and your family. You’re never far from my thoughts, and I haven’t even met you in person. Truly the internet is a wonderful thing to bring so many people together to send positive healing thoughts and prayers across the miles.

    I’m glad the port went in smoothly (that’s what it seems like from here anyway) and that it’s done and behind you. The anticipation of things like that is always the worst part I think. I’m hopeful that having it now will ease the chemo treatments. At least no sticks right?

  80. Busy Mom says:

    I’m sorry to hear the news, but I’m glad to hear you’re home, and I hope the pain med combination continues to be the right one.

    As someone who works in cancer research, thank you for the supportive words. People like you are the cornerstone of the advances in treatment.

    It sounds like you are in good hands, and I hope your treatments go quickly and smoothly for you!

  81. It wasn’t the news I was hoping you would have to share, but once again Susan, I am in awe of your spirit.

    You have all my good thoughts and hope for strength.

  82. J.J. says:

    Carry on, brave soldier. But remember warriors need to rest, as well. You are always in my prayers. Your courage is amazing, your writing us inspirational and your spirit is undefeatable!

  83. kimmer says:

    I just wanted to add my best wishes and good thoughts (and warrior princess energy) to those already sent. You inspire and amaze and regularly are so eloquent and honest that I cry and laugh at the same post. While chemo is tough, I wish they find the right combination quicky that destroys the cancer but leaves you feeling fine. Think of your port as the quiver in which they can load arrows for your warrior princess.

    I’m glad you are going home to your family and hope you have a love filled weekend.

  84. coral says:

    Hi Susan,
    I’m a stranger to you but I often read your posts and admire the way you write with such clarity and intelligence. Just wanted to say how much I’m thinking and praying for you and willing that chemo to work it’s ‘magic’ through your system. Yes, cancer does indeed suck but stay strong. I’m also dealing with metastatic breast cancer and have recently completed chemo and surgery. It’s a long road but there are plenty of survivors out there. We’re all with you in spirit. Cxx

  85. Cheryl Mattis says:

    Susan, I am so truly sorry. Cancer does indeed suck.

  86. schmutzie says:

    I just wanted to let you know that this weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday –

  87. Kathi says:

    Susan, I have nothing new or pithy to add to what everyone has said, and to what you have expressed so eloquently. But I am glad we met in person, that we discovered we were real and not just cyber-holograms (!!), and that we had a chance to laugh, have some fun, and cause some trouble at NBCC. You are in my heart every day, and you are still and always my favorite astrophysicist. xxoo

  88. Cecily says:

    Oh, SUSAN.

    I don’t know what else to say. Thinking of you. Sending you love and healing. Praying for a miracle. Hating cancer.

    LOVE to you.

  89. Susan, I wish you health and I wish you strength. You’re an extraordinary human being. Even though we only spent moments together in the lobby of a hotel a year ago, I still think about you all the time.

    You’re an inspiration to many, and certainly a hero to me.

  90. Oof. My heart hurts for you.

    Mustering every ounce of love and energy and sending it your way. It’s not enough, but I wish it could be.

    Your strength is admirable.

  91. Jean says:

    Coming out of lurking to send good thoughts your way.

  92. loran says:

    Bless you for your honesty, your courage, strength and for sharing these tough days. You are top of mind daily and in my prayers always. Carry on amazing woman. You can do this. You are doing this. You will do this. xo

  93. Loralee says:

    You are hugely loved. xo

  94. Your family and friends sound like a really special & amazing group of people! Thank you for sharing your experience with such grace…and Yes I agree…cancer sucks.

    I just happened to come across your blog and so glad that I did…As I was reading your post I thought about another blog that I found a while back about a young girl (15) diagnosed with Cancer and she started a blog called Alice’s Bucket List @ . I don’t know maybe you’ve heard about her on twitter or from another blogger…she too is an amazing inspiration. I have no idea why I feel so compelled to tell you about her but I do and I hope that you do not find it to be to forward of me. Cancer invaded the body of someone in my life and if truth be told; I’m sure it has to do with wanting to help you in some way…while I may not know you ~cancer is no stranger to me and I know from personal experience how much Cancer Sucks!!!

    May the hands of your Doctors and Nurses be blessed…hoping and praying that the chemo treatments you receive kicks the Cancers butt!!!! And may tons and tons of peace & comfort fill your heart full and special blessings to your family and friends.

  95. VDog says:

    So much love to you. You are a strong, brave warrior, and I hope you can hear me beating my drum in a healing chant from all the way across the nation.


  96. Becky W says:

    You are so extraordinarily amazing, and so brave to share honestly your daily experience. Sending you lots of love and healing energy!

  97. Julie Marsh says:

    This is so unfair; it makes me want to throw things and break things and scream, “Hasn’t she had enough YET?!”

    But you – you are just so incredibly amazing, and I hope you realize it and never forget it.

  98. irishsamom says:

    What an amazing woman you are and how your words completely touched my soul. You are so brave. You spoke of an important life lesson to me today, which is to live life to the fullest, be grateful for everything, especially good health and forging forward in the face of unimaginable challenges. I will keep you and your loved ones in my prayers every day and I wish you some peace and pain free days ahead.
    Tricia xx

  99. califmom says:

    Hugs and love to you and your family.

  100. Marissa says:


    You amaze and inspire me. Thank you for sharing your journey.


  101. Sending my love across the miles.


  102. binkytowne says:

    Love to you and those chemo drugs that I wish with all my might you didn’t have to have.

  103. nancyspoint says:

    I have no words to describe how I feel upon reading this. You are a remarkable woman. You are touching many people by writing about this. I am hoping and praying for good outcomes. Those chemo sessions will work! Thanks for sharing. I care.

  104. Karen says:

    Sending prayers and gentle hugs Susan.

  105. Amy West says:

    I’ve been the company keeper in the small room, watching the drugs infused through the port.

    “Cancer sucks” and “I hate cancer” are such tired, bland ways to box up the feelings of the people who have to sit in those rooms.

    You’re in my thoughts. ❤

  106. fish4letters says:

    You don’t know me, I’ve found your blog when looking for information about (and virtual camaraderie with) women with BC in the DC metro, and have been following you from afar for a while now. Since I became metastatic this month everything touches closer to home now.

    There’s nothing I can say better than what has been said before. And yes, you are an inspiration. I constantly think of you, and send good thoughts your way.
    Since I’m from the ‘hood (more or less), if there’s anything I can do, help with or make happen that will make you feel better in any way, please please let me know. I’d be honored to.

  107. julie says:

    I am amazed by the grace with which you are telling your tale.

    Your post is an important reminder that giving to cancer research is essential. I have not given as much this year as I should have, but am about to fix that.

    Sending you lots of hugs and best wishes

  108. tracey says:

    I am so sorry that you have to go through this AGAIN… Know that you have hundreds and thousands of good wishes being sent to you. I hope the chemo works quickly and with as little discomfort and pain as possible…

  109. […] today I read this from the lovely Susan of Toddler Planet. I met her last year at BlogHer10 and all I can say is her […]

  110. Jody Schoger says:

    You knock me out with your courage, kindness and honesty. Now, let’s knock out cancer.

    With love,

  111. Marcia says:

    Prayers to you and your family in this difficult time.

  112. Joeymom says:

    Sending love and hugs and lots of thoughts.

  113. Karianna says:

    Been thinking about you a lot. Thank you for the words that will prompt people into actions as well as thought.

  114. Robyn says:

    I feel like I’m channelling Sally Fields with a “why, why, WHY?” to the universe. I am so sorry for this news. I don’t know what to say. I wish we could just kill the cancer with our words. I wish I had the right words to say now. Sending positive, loving, healing thoughts from the other side of the country. You are not alone in this fight. We are all standing beside you, lifting you up.

  115. Jane says:

    .”..advocating for the end of cancer through more research, more learning, more clinical trials. More light shed on this disease and its spread. We must –” What powerful words you write under the most difficult circumstances. I’m just in awe of your bravery and continuing advocacy and like everyone else here have you in my thoughts throughout every day.

  116. Carol Saxton says:

    Praying for you and your family everyday.

  117. Holding you in my thoughts and prayers, dear Susan.

  118. Susan, I just found you through the amazing women in our Twitterverse, and want you to know there is one more here that has come in to carry you through wherever this takes you, with love and healing thoughts. Thank you for opening your heart and words to share your story.

  119. Jan says:

    A lot to take.


  120. Spacemom says:

    I was hoping for a broken rib, but I am glad that the treatment is agressive.

    Thinking of you and sending calm, healing thoughts….

  121. Mary Ellen says:

    Praying for you and miracles to come…

  122. Melanie says:

    Always praying for you! You know, our cross country stops changed to National Parks & Science Museums since you have inspired us to feed our young scientist with what she craves.

    Key word = “Inspired!!!”

    You amaze me.

  123. planetnomad says:

    sending love and hugs.

  124. Vickie says:

    Not the news I was hoping for. Still joining my voice to the chorus of prayers for you and your beloveds.

  125. Megan says:

    Living in the world of IBC is a very hard place to exist. I want to encourage you to hold on to your hope. You will doubtless have to dig deep over the next weeks to deal with everything, physical and emotional. Please keep fighting. Whilst none of our situations are quite the same, my IBC is stable currently, having gone from a bleak initial prognosis. I chose to try curcumin (intrigued by findings from the MD Anderson hospital). I also have bondronat to fill in the holes left by the cancer in my bones, and letrozole. Epirubicin was the initial chemo. Just wanted you to know that there may be options beyond the chemo.

  126. Deb says:

    I’m so sorry Susan. I know how painful bone mets are and hope the chemo shrinks them. It’s not fair, even though I know that life is not fair. It just sucks. Love your boys and I’ll say a prayer for you.

  127. Lorraine says:

    Susan – you don’t know me but I have been reading your blog for a year or so. My mum had IBC in the late 80’s – not too many people had heard of it back then, and still not enough know about it now. You are changing that. You have done so much to raise awareness of IBC. Thank you for sharing your story – you are a beautiful writer.

    I am very sorry about the pain and suffering you are going through right now – you are at home with your family, hopefully gaining the strength to give this cancer the once-and-for-all battering it deserves. My children are the same age as your children – I am sending you so much hope and healing from one mum to another. And I am thinking about you a lot.

  128. Cassandra says:

    Dear Susan–

    Wishing you a smooth transition home to your boys. I know they will be happy to see you!

    Thank you for all you do for cancer patients and survivors. I am one of them and I am constantly in awe of how you articulate your battle in such a beautiful and profound way.

    Thinking of you always.

  129. sarahdees says:

    Amazing writing. You are so clear. I love reading you. Thanks for writing. I hope your chemo works. You give so much of yourself to the world. Love, love, love.

  130. We are here. I am praying . . . for healing, for peace, for strength. For you and your family and friends.

  131. Suebob says:

    Big hugs, Susan.

  132. Adam says:

    Courage, courage.
    Fight, fight.
    Win the day.
    Press on.

    I thank God for your loving husband.

  133. Elaine says:

    You touch so many people. I had never heard about IBC before you. Lucky, I know. I will be setting my daily intention for your healing. Much love to you.

  134. Pam Stump says:

    Continuing my prayers for you Susan After reading this post, I can’t help but be reminded of watching Sarah go through the same thing over the past year. I have had a strong sense over the past few weeks that Sarah has been “touching base” with all of us. Little things popping up on the internet, coincidental meetings and other happy times I have been witnessing over the summer spending it with her girls. I know she is watching over you too!! Continued prayers also that your doctors will manage all of this the best they can. Keep fighting as you have been. Your courage is amazing!

  135. Shedding says:

    […] have a friend, a woman named Susan, who is probably your friend, too, if you’ve been in the blogosphere for any amount of time. […]

  136. Sue Farrell says:

    Wishing you strength and peace.

  137. jr says:

    Oh, Susan. Cancer sucks, indeed.
    Praying for peace and strength and healing for you and yours.

  138. Alisa says:

    I hope they pick all the right chemos in all the right order. Prayers from one who reads your words and loves them!

  139. go git’em. thinking of you and yours.

  140. I am brought to tears, BIG, GIANT tears as I read your post, mostly because of your gentle candor and fighting spirit. And, because I wish I hadn’t had that ridiculous argument with my husband last night. I am holding a special place in my heart during your healing!

  141. Boston Mamas says:

    Sending piles and piles of healing mojo your way Susan.

  142. Jo Major Ciolino says:

    WOW – you knocked it out of the park AND you stuck the landing! You are a remarkable force in this world and I am a better person for “virtually” knowing you. Thank you for all you do for us – I send you light and prayers and resting energy every time I think of you!

  143. MyLifeAsItIs says:

    I’m so glad you were able to attend!!!

  144. desertmom says:

    You are an amazing person………You really inspire us all …
    I pray with all my heart you beat this cancer…

  145. Tracy says:

    Once upon a time I followed a link, that led to another link, that led to yet another link (such is the way of the internet) which finally led me here. I have been following your blog ever since. You are such a remarkable woman, and an inspiration to us all. As with everyone else, my thoughts and prayers are with you. After all of the energy, strength, healing thoughts, prayers, etc. reach you it’s time to pull it all together and kick the shit out of this cancer!

  146. Lisa says:

    Susan, I only just happened upon your blog today, and I am in awe of your bravery. My MIL passed four years ago of breast cancer and never told us the details. Through your blog, I can see what she went through and it makes my heart hurt, for her and for you and for other women who are going through the same fight. Today I wrote to one of my friends who is also going through similar treatments after a double mastectomy. You inspired me to reach out to her and see if there was anything I could do. I wish you all the best and am praying for you.

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