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Sunday, July 05, 2020

5th of July

In 1981, I had the wonderful opportunity to take a theater and arts class at State Fair Community College. Up to that point, I had not traveled much, and only knew of New York through the New Yorker magazine. The semester-long class culminated with a week in New York, including 3 plays and 2 museums plus two group dinners. We were advised to not wear gold necklaces (they could be ripped off, prized for the high gold prices), and to not talk to anyone coming up to us on the street as they were likely pushing drugs. (Hey, it was 1981, and we were coming from a small town in Missouri.) I enjoyed the adventure, and had my horizons widened daily. One of the plays we saw was 5th of July by Lanford Wilson. Richard Thomas played Kenneth Talley, Jr. I loved the play, and the opportunity to talk with the cast afterwards. I remember holding hope that my gay relatives, neighbors and friends would not face the challenges the play uncovered...

Today is another 5th of July. Dang it, I am holding hope again, this time that my relatives, neighbors and friends won't be experiencing chronic illness or dying because of COVID-19.

It has been 14 years since my diagnosis and treatment for adenoid cystic carcinoma. If I had known all those years ago that I would survive my cancer treatment to face a global pandemic in 2020, I still would have fought hard to recover. There are still hopeful moments this year while the pandemic rages on in the world. Viewing things with a glass-half-full perspective: we are expecting to welcome our first grandchild in a few weeks; I am able to visit by phone with my fri3ends & senior relatives, and cancer has not returned. I had a right going-over during the Fall of 2019 due to symptoms that were attributed to aging instead of ACC mets. I am once again a boring patient while my healthcare professional caregivers are fighting another battle to return others to health.


Unknown said...

Dear Cheeky Librarian,

I wanted to reach out to you to let you know that I have been following your blog since I was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma in 2008. I had a stage 3 tumor in my left parotid, without clear margins and with perineural invasion. I had surgery, proton radiation and chemo.
Like you, I have been lucky and blessed. I am 12+ years post-treatment and have NOD.

I wanted to let you know that early on, the outlook for my situation was grim, and at the time, I had a 4-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter. Your blog gave me constant hope as I went through treatment and as I held my breath for a long time afterward. I appreciate that you have shared your story along the way and wanted to thank you for sharing your story. It has helped me more than you will ever know.


Suzanne Mitchell Parillo

B S'waite said...

I love that mask. Wearing mine with humbleness and pride.

B S'waite said...

Love your mask! Glad to see you're still cheeky.

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