Sunday, December 4, 2011


Here's the truth: Chemo sucks. More than you can guess. It hurts physically. Every time I eat anything it hurts my stomach, but then it hurts if I don't eat. I've lost probably 30% of my hair, if not more. Balls and clumps of hair fall out. It's gross. I can't really go outside because of the cold-enduced neuropathy, so we're stuck in our NYC apartment with the heat up.

The emotional pain is even worse. My mom and a friend visited and it was all I could do to lay out on the couch and have a conversation. I worry a lot that I'm letting everyone down by not being more active or more energetic. I worry that I'm going to suffer through all this and not be able to beat cancer. I worry that everyone's going to remember me as a lump on the couch. Well here's what I do on those days: take a lot of meds and naps, send self-indulgent pouty text messages to my sister and other unsuspecting folks and wait for the phone calls to come in of friends wanting to pick me up.

And I lean on Eric. I lean a lot. He did all the cooking this weekend. (Beef burgundy, risotto twice and meatballs tonight! All yummy. If "cheese please" wasn't an already taken , I'd recommend he start his own cooking blog) Because of the side effects, I can't really do the dishes either so Eric does those. Then I cry, and he comforts me. Gives me early fabulous Christmas presents and hugs. He tells me he's going to love me bald. Eric tells me I'm going to get through it. He makes me laugh and lifts me off the metaphorical ledge. (Eric did call me a jumper this weekend).

I had a realization today looking at my engagement ring. Warning: not a deep thought. This may be ramen noodle shallow (sorry inside joke). Coal has to go through a lot to become a diamond. There's a lot of pressure and time - There's a Shawshank Redemption quote in here somewhere....I think overall, someone's just making me into a big, better diamond. All the pain and suffering, all the chemo and fatigue, all the days spent in pain feeling even more pathetic than I look, missed opportunities to hang out with my friends. It's all to make me a better, stronger version of myself. I just wish I'd hurry up and get there already.

I will say though, a lot of people say that they couldn't do what I have to do. They don't think they're strong enough or brave enough. All I do is smile and say thank you. In reality, you never know how strong you are until you have to be. I don't think I'm tougher than anyone else. It's just my turn to prove to myself that I'm a diamond. I hope all my readers never have a day that they have to prove it to themselves. Life would be a lot easier. If you are ever a jumper though, give me a text. I'd like a chance to repay the favor.


  1. Patti - that's beautiful! You are strong and wonderful.
    Love Mom

  2. This is beautiful and so are you. Yes, Im a creeper and have started reading your blog ;) ...if you ever write and publish something I would buy it, you're amazing and certainly already a diamond. XOXO wonderful seeing you at the reunion! Healthy prayers and well wishes everyday from the Rivera family.

    Sarah Rivera

  3. I think you already are a big and strong diamond. Keep it up girl!
    Are you going to be in VA for Christmas? would love to see you!
    Patty Cayo

  4. Diamonds are a girls best friend = Patti is a girls best friend! XOXOXO

  5. Thinking about you Patti, I'm glad to hear that it sounds like your treatment is going well overall. If you're back in town over xmas let me know, I'd love to swing by and catch up a little.


  6. Jeremiah 29:11-13. "For I know the plans I have for you, " declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart."
    Lifting you up in my prayers and knowing that you have a bright and shining future ahead of you!!

  7. Love you Patti! You are the bravest, strongest person I know. You are well on your way to being a freakin' giant diamond for all the "pressure" you've endured and overcome:)

    Your twin... nah, just best friend

  8. You already are a diamond!! Love the Cheese Please reference :) I am so impressed with Eric!!

  9. Patti, you are amazing. This is such a raw, honest and beautifully written post. You are indeed a diamond and that man of yours sounds like one too. If we could all be so honest in our daily lives... Am thinking of you and wishing you less pain, more joy, warmth, and loads of that momentous love you have around you.
    Hugs, Deb

  10. Hi Patti, lifting up prayers for your continued progress toward good health and to Eric for being your rock. Think of the two of you often.
    Have a blessed holiday season.

    Joy Mislevy

  11. Hi Patti, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas! I hope to see alot more of you around here in 2012!