An update

Update on Steph for those who truly want to know the mundane details of my life right now. For those who prefer the happy dancing cool cancer chick moments, feel free to skip this one for now and I hope to provide some more of that soon enough.

-I’ve been ignoring most emails and phone calls. It’s nothing personal. I have very little energy and it’s been another rough week, probably the worst yet, and I’m finding it hard to talk to anyone right now. But as always, I appreciate the love so much and really really hope to have at least one or two friends after all of this.

-I have styes on my eyes. I’m sure Dr. Seuss would be able to make that into some sort of interesting storybook, but in reality, it’s not very exciting. Itchy. Red. Styes.

-My skin has turned grey. Not pale, but grey. I used to think being pale was kind of lame, but now grey takes the prize.

-I took a walk today. Spring has sprung. I’m still wearing a black hood with big sunglasses because I can’t really bear for anyone to see my face right now. I seem to get stares wherever I go. Sometimes I just want to shout at strangers on the street, I have cancer, it’s not contagious, get over it. I have come to realize how oblivious we all are to other people’s suffering. How we just walk by, stare, and ignore. I’m sure I have done it a hundred times. Now when I see someone who I think has cancer, I just want to hug them and cry and ask them to come to my home and build a fort with me and hide in it.

-I haven’t had a good sleep in a long time. Between my nightmares, body aches, hot flashes, and the raccoons that seem to enjoy scratching under the window, I can’t seem to make it through the night.

-I have collapsed into a puddle of tears on several occasions the past week. I’m not sure where it is all coming from, most likely exhaustion and the fact that I am almost completely cut off from the outside world and am in some form of pain most minutes of my day. In a moment of sobbing hysteria, I asked my husband if he could cover all the mirrors so I wouldn’t have to see myself anymore. It made me think of all the shiva houses I had been to when I was younger and how I would stare at the foggy mirrors. But I have no idea what people spray to fog the mirrors and am also far too vain to stop looking at myself, so my mirrors remain as they were.

-I watched The Princess Bride last night and it was the first thing in awhile that made me laugh, so thanks to Rob Reiner and all who were involved if you ever read my blog.

-I ate some beets today. Straight out of the jar. It’s a crazy, crazy life.

Things I’m grateful for today:

The sunshine
The comments people leave on this blog
Health insurance
The few eyebrow hairs I have left
My friend Rebecca who always says “that is so so shitty” whenever I describe the gross and weird things happening to me, instead of “it’s ok, you can do it!”
My friend Lily who buys way too many things for me
My good friends who check in on me constantly and stick around through the dark days
My husband who lets me soak through all his shirts with my tears and who tells me I’m pretty when I have styes on my eyes
My mother-in-law who sends me photos of rainbows
My parents who do everything
My siblings who are the only friends I see anymore
Everyone who sends me cards and nice things in the mail
The fact that I’m still here


30 thoughts on “An update

  1. I hope that you are feeling better this week. I have found it easy to maintain a happy positive attitude and thought the treatments would be rough but not too hard to get through. I’m just starting and spent most of the week in bed, I think my blog is about to become very real…maybe a little less happy, but unfortunately it’s the world that we are currently living in. I’m glad that you have a supportive family, family means more now then ever.

    1. Hi Renee… It’s not easy, for sure.. and it’s definitely okay not to be happy most of the time, I’d say that makes you pretty normal! I have spent tons of time in bed. I recommend watching lots of movies and tv on dvd to get you through. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  2. Hi Steph,
    I’m not sure if you remember me. I’m Toby Gottlieb’s sister and Rachel Saslove’s good friend. And I’m a rabbi now. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been reading along and that I think of you often. I’m so impressed with the bravery and grace with which you approach and share your tremendously difficult and painful experiences. In my head you still look about 6 years old but from your pictures and your writing it’s clear you’ve grown into a beautiful, strong woman. I’m rooting for you, crying with you and praying for you and I just wanted to let you know.
    Thank you for sharing your journey so honestly.

  3. Steph- found your blog through your cousins. Man, what a gene pool- both of you such insightful, beautiful women :).

    You are in my prayers- prayers for healing, comfort, strength, humor to help light your way through dark times.

    And might I suggest incorporrating a line of Prince Humperdinks into your life- “Unless I am wrong and I am never wrong…”. My husband and I (fans of The Princess Bride as well) say that to each other quite a bit. Almost impossible not to smile when you preface your sentence with it.

    Kol Tuv.

  4. Stephie, I wish I could write something profound or eloquent in response to your posts – I am constantly floored by your talent as a writer, and am so proud to be a member of your family. Also, I love forts and hugs, so maybe I can jump on that bandwagon? I hope today is a better day then yesterday, and that tomorrow will be even better. Sending you all sorts of warmth, sunshine, and love from San Diego. xoxo

  5. Spring is here and so are you…you are a champion…a survivor…and kicked ass on cancer, your surgery and your treatments. Mazel tov! Today will be better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today. We send our love, prayers and support to you, Beautiful Steph!!!

  6. Here is another comment from your cousin Cheryl. What you are going through is unfathomable. It is shitty. No propping you up for that. But I love the things you are great foul for and yes you are beautiful no matter what. Love

  7. I’ve never even met you, yet I think you are an incredibly beautiful person who should recognize the radiance that shines from your inner strength every time you look in the mirror. I’ve never even met you but my heart aches for you every time I read your posts. I would not hesitate building that fort for you and giving you an escape from your pain, even for a day. I can’t imagine what you are going through, but you should know you even have strangers who are saying prayers for you, who cry for you and who can’t wait to see your beautiful smile when all these horrors are a distant memory for you. Don’t ever lose faith!

  8. Add one more thing to be greatful for to your list. Your words no matter what you write are beautiful. You are honest and raw. And your changing peoples lives. Your encoraging us to look inward and examine whats important. Im glad your still vain because you should always have faith that you wont always look the way you look, feel the way you feel or think the way you think. Even your worst day isnt permanent.

  9. Hope you are having a better day today…..I hope you are not in pain and please know I am thinking of you and praying for you to feel better soon….Helene xoxo

  10. Hey! I just wanted to leave a note to say that you are fantastic, and your situation sucks, and I will be thinking of you and sending as much positivity your way as I can from now on. You are honest and very funny and beautiful. And to pass hospital waiting room time- read ‘one hundred years of solitude’ if you haven’t already. It’s my favourite book and is beautiful and magical and thinking about it makes me feel better when I’m sad. I think you’ll like it. Good luck, and much love x

  11. yep… I think shitty pretty much covers it! but you my dear, are FABULOSA! – and I hear that 50 shades of gray are the rage these days! XXXOOO

  12. I think you are incredible to come up with 16 things you are grateful for. To go through the hell you are experiencing and to feel grateful at the same time is amazing. You are in my thoughts and prayers all the time.

  13. Please don’t throw anything at me, but this is actually my favourite of your posts (maybe it’s just the mood I’m in). I love how honest you were able to be, how you aren’t trying to be something you’re not, how conflicted this post is, how you are able to teach about compassion and empathy through your pain… just wow. And I love that even though you are hurting so so badly you still know that tomorrow is going to come and that is something to be grateful for. You are amazing Steph. Love you very very much and listen to your husband, he is right. You are beautiful in a way that no amount of hair or lack of styes can ever achieve.

  14. ok, so if we are encouraged to be honest, that just straight out sucks. I can’t wait for you to be dancing again. I am very thankful you have all of those things. Especially health insurance. (oh and your family ROCKS!) I know the Jews have a thing about Tattoos, I saw one tonight that made me think of you, I am going to try to ‘tag’ you in it on fb….not that you would ever want it…but…I thought it was beautiful. (just like you…gray face and stys and all!)

  15. Ugh. Sometimes mirrors are such jerks. Screw vanity for a few days; I say, cover those mirrors with sheets, or soap them up*, if you think it’ll make you feel any less shitty.

    (*Rub soap all over your mirror, let it dry. Live in mirror-free bliss for a few days, then use a cloth and water to wash and reveal mirror again…can you tell I’ve done this before?)

    Hope you start feeling better again soon.

  16. Wow, Steph you sure know how to address this horrible cancer. My goodness your words are inspiring..I read your blog and feel for you and your family from the bottom of my heart, Don’t know what else to say. Love to all of the family, Lu Ann x

  17. What’s Next is that you will become a beauty queen! Visualize long flowing hair, eyebrows, and a tierra! But we all know you are already a beauty queen on the inside. That is true beauty. All that external stuff is just stuff. Now go eat some pickles out of the jar.
    You deserve it!

    Keep up the good sense of humor. It will beat up this stupid cancer!

    From Stephanie in LA.

  18. DUCK!! First of all I KNOW for a fact you’re still beautiful with styes because at the end of the day, ‘STY you are our island!!!’
    I’d like to build a fort with you.
    love you lots and thinking about you always xoxxxxx
    ps. It doesn’t need saying but even in the very worst of times, you are an incredible writer…
    pps. I’m grateful for YOU. xox

  19. Thanks for sharing the best and the worst. I love you Steph and you are in my thoughts and prayers. Nicki

  20. I love all your blog entries Steph, no matter what the day – good, bad, funny, shitty. You’ve let us all in on your own personal hell, and we’re all cheering for you…and can’t wait for your posts that say ‘Back when I had cancer…’. That day will come. You have to continue this blog FOREVER! You’re an incredibly beautiful woman and an AMAZINGLY talented writer.
    Hugs from Calgary.
    Tracey S

  21. Whenever I read your blog I wish I had something wonderfully inspiring or uplifting to say to you. I dont’t. I think you have amazing talent as a writer, and I wish I had been able to discover it under some sort of different circumstance. So for now, I wish you a night of good rest! I send you good thoughts x

    1. I totally agree with Steph!
      You are fantablous! And I’ve been with someone who yelled what you wanted to yell at people who stare and it was hilarious! She said it felt awesome!

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