Philly Ink…. or a needle and a pen


I left my house early this morning, with Heidi, to go to acupuncture. And I needed it so badly. I spent a good 5 minutes telling Ed about my symptoms. He smiled and said, “Should I be writing this down?” I was like oh I don’t know…do you need to? He smiled and reassured me that he had it under control. Today for the first time he did cupping on me. So now I have these awesome suction cup bruises on my back! I love them! I look like Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscar’s when she rocked the backless dress with cupping bruises. In any case it was a really good session. He gave me needles in my ears, back, hands, leg, and toe ( which hurt very much). I felt a little better when I left. But now hours later I feel quite a bit better. But sadly tomorrow is chemo. And I do not have another scheduled appointment with Ed until next Friday. I am hoping that the chemo tomorrow does not do me in. My fever, chills,night sweats, and deep cough seem to be dissipating.

When I returned home the kids and Kelly had totally cleaned the house. Not because they love me but because a reporter and photographer from the Philadelphia Inquirer were on their way over to do an interview with me. They were here for nearly two hours. It was a fairly easy and fun experience. I got to tell cancer jokes. Alec and Jesse were here with me as well. It was good to be here with the boys during the interview. I always feel more comfortable when they are with me. Mike the reporter and Tom the photographer were both very nice and the whole thing went well. I am pretty sure that it will be in the Sunday paper. Now it can not be certain because Benazir Bhutto’s death is surely more pressing than my cancer or our upcoming Rock School event which was the focus of the piece.

I did get to “plug” a few friends though which is always very nice. I mentioned Kelly doing pink nautical stars. And all the other awesome people in my life! We’ll see what he ends up writing about. Anyway, we had a nice afternoon with them and we will see what happens. By the way don’t even ask me what section or anything because I have no idea. And if it is not in the Sunday edition it will likely be in the a.m. Monday edition. Oh yes…public cancer.

He did ask me about the blog a bit. And I gave my little speech about how Jon O made me do this. Which in the beginning was true. Now of course I do it for me. I do it because it feels good to get some of this out. Likely the same thing as seeing a therapist. This is similar I suppose. Although I often feel like by the time I am writing about it I have already worked it out. It is really good for me though to see how my feelings about my disease change as time goes by. And it is very good for me to “count’ my blessings. To be able to say here all the beautiful things happening in our home. And it helps not to let the challenge of all this dominate my life.

I am happy also to get the word out about IBC. My new job title advocate/motivational speaker. Excellent.

7 Responses to “Philly Ink…. or a needle and a pen”

  1. Wendy says:

    You do your new job very well. Wishing you a belated Merry Christmas.


  2. Toni says:

    CEO in the budding………and definitely a multi-tasker par excellence. I’ll be contacting you early January to set up a dinner date for your family by Chef Kiong to be delivered to your home. Between the needles & the cupping (my husband had that procedure, very weird but effective) you should be ready for Vietnamese nourishment once again. Hoping 2008 brings contentment and more encouraging results.

  3. joshua says:

    that’s awesome.

    remember. just because your new job is an advocate/motivational speaker doesn’t mean that you have to go live in a van down by the river.

  4. Lorna says:

    Hi Andrea,

    I met you a long time ago through Shelley and Eric (I am Eric’s little sister) I just wanted to tell you that I am very thankful that Jon O “made” you start this blog, it is amazing and you are amazing. I just wanted you to know how appreciative I am that you can share your thoughts, feelings, and your life with all of us.
    Thank you again

  5. Jean Campbell says:

    Hi Andrea,

    Just finished reading your amazing story in this morning’s Inquirer. You indeed are a brave and wonderful woman! Seeing you playing with Clay brought tears to my eyes. I have friends and family members who are battling this dreaded disease. I have already added your name to my prayer list. May God comfort you in your time of need and bless you with His healing graces.


  6. Andrea says:

    Hi Andrea,

    I to am also fighting breast cancer! My 81 year old mother gave me the article about your story. You sound so much like me!! I just love the idea of getting your boobs in plaster casts before your surgery!!!I could relate to so much of what you said about you chemo and side effects. I have also learned so much from having cancer. Actually this is the second time for breast cancer for me. In 1991 I had a lumpectomy and 35 radiation treatments and February 2007 the cancer was back again. I had all the chemo and I am now on Herceptin and a pill called Arimidex. I too am tired. My hair is coming back and everybody just loves my hair 1 in long. I now go to church without my wig or any kind of headpiece and feel totally confident!!!I also have no desire for implants. I pray God will continue to heal you and bless you. Just keep doing exactly what you are doing. Even thought you were Stage 4 I have been amazed how many new meds are out there since my first bout with breast cancer. Your journey with breast cancer will be touchings millions of lives!!It as touched my life!!”Keep fighting!”

  7. Mary Joan says:

    Hi Andrea,
    I just read about you in the Bangor Daily News (Bangor Maine), and I’m writing to offer my help. Since you are into alternative lifestyle, I’m thinking you might be open to alternative medicine. That is what I do. I have helped many folks living with cancer, to stay with their loved ones, longer, happier, in much less pain, etc., with herbs. I am offering to help you, send you the herbs, etc., free. Why? because you have children who need you, here, with them. You have a husband who loves you and damn it you’re just way to young to die.
    If you are interested in alternative cancer treatments, please email with a place to send the herbs. You can choose a p.o. box, whatever. I can understand if you have reservations. After all, the world is full of crazies and you have no idea who I am. Please go to my website:, you will see that I am for real and only want to help you.
    So long for now. I send you Blessings.
    Mary Joan