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“It’s a Broken World, Baby!”

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That’s the name of the new one woman show I’m writing, “It’s a Broken World, Baby!” Hopefully, it will be on its feet in a couple months.

I’ve been trying to have a good attitude about my recent cancer diagnosis. But, it can be a drag. Friends are finding out and are shocked, but not as shocked as me. I feel great physically. I never had pain or symptoms of breast cancer, Stage 3a. It traveled to my lymph nodes. The doctors cut it out, and I feel fine. Sometimes I wonder if those doctors just made up the whole thing, like a big trick! A conspiracy! How can you have a disease if you feel great? Right?!

So, the cancer experts at Vanderbilt Breast Clinic decided to give me chemotherapy and radiation to kill any stray invisible molecule of estrogen receptive cancer that could be floating around in my body. So, I’m bald and feel weak for a couple days after the poison is put into my veins. Treatment ends in May. God willing, the cancer doesn’t return.

So, I’m suddenly more intensely aware of a whole world of suffering people out there. I have a friend with a child who has had over 27 surgeries; a friend with cerebral palsy; and a friend with a disease that has no cure. How do they keep a good attitude? I feel like saying, “This disease isn’t me. It doesn’t define me. It’s just a thing that happened to me.” That must be what they are thinking.

I think of Tom Hanks wife, Rita who was just diagnosed with breast cancer, had surgery and returned to Broadway and Olivia Newton John, a breast cancer survivor. Joan Lunden was just on the cover of People, bald. Hey! Why aren’t I on the cover of People?! I’m bald! I think of Lisa in FL whose sister died at age 20 of breast cancer.

It tests your faith in God.

My vet Dr. Crowell called me today and we talked about plastic water bottles and this info from breastcancer.org, “BPA is a weak synthetic estrogen found in many rigid plastic products, food and formula can linings, dental sealants, and on the shiny side of paper cashier receipts (to stabilize the ink). Its estrogen-like activity makes it a hormone disruptor, like many other chemicals in plastics. Hormone disruptors can affect how estrogen and other hormones act in the body, by blocking them or mimicking them, which throws off the body’s hormonal balance. Because estrogen can make hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer develop and grow, many women choose to limit their exposure to these chemicals that can act like estrogen.”

I’ve been drinking out of plastic water bottles every day since the late 80’s when I first saw Lea Thompson doing it at an audition and thought, ‘so that’s how to look like a movie star!’

No more plastic water bottles!

I change my wigs and scarves and hats every day trying to find something that is as casual and comfortable as real hair. Haven’t found one yet.

I am not happy about this cancer thing. But, I believe God is good, (Romans 8:28) and the Bible is true and this life is short even if you live to 100. I will try to make the best of the situation.

I have some cancer jokes. Hoping to perform them soon. Here’s my favorite: People wonder if cancer has affected the romance in my marriage. No! Because even though I’m bald, and my chest looks like it went through a wood chipper, my husband’s a LEG man! Well, I think it’s funny.

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