Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Remarkable Day

When I saw Dr. Holen at 11 AM today, I asked him just one question: could he give me any reason, other than the astonishingly low chance of success, for me to do more chemo. No, he said, in my condition (which is very frail--I weigh just over 90 pounds, need oxygen to help me breathe, etc.) it would hurt more than help me.

Then it's a no-brainer, I said.

Nate and I walked out to the oncology waiting room, which was jammed with people (because of the holiday yesterday), all watching TV and grinning. Obama was just about to take the oath, and we all watched that and applauded and then watched the speech. I kept thinking how amazing that so many of these people (like me) had survived to see this day. It was really, despite the decision, a very happy occasion.

I am all set up with hospice, which has been here several times; I have a classy walker and a wheelchair I will use to get to the Bobby McFerrin concert Thurs at Overture with Nate and Janet, and I feel very lucky that I get to see Obama inaugurated, but won't have to watch the debacle to come!


Anonymous said...

You are a Grand lady - enjoy Bobby McFerrin. You are always in the moment. Tried e-mailing but no success should have written and still will. Hope this works Marnie

Anonymous said...

Godspeed on your journey.......wherever wonderful place it may lead.
cheryll clamon

Anonymous said...

Dear Judith --

So glad you and Nate (along with every one else in the waiting room) didn't miss out on seeing Obama taking the oath.

Glad to know that you already have the support of hospice.

If/when you're looking for some upbeat entertainment at home, let me suggest a blog I happened upon the other day at:


It's by/about a young family with infant twin daughters. I am finding it very enjoyable, and think you might also, when you need or want a diversion from the heavy seas that may be ahead for you.

Have a splendid time with Nate and Janet at the Bobby McF. concert tomorrow.

And, if you can, keep on writing in your blog; you are a "great communicator" ... I wish I could think of an equally good phrase, one that would call to mind our NEW president, instead of "that one" from the SAG and the 1980s.

May your days be blessed ...

Dot Shields

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding me of your blog. This is the first time I have accessed it. Read everything
since our last tea. What amazes me is the shear number of memorable events that you pack into each week. I have missed you. Will keep in touch through your blog and email.
Tricia P.

Marilyn said...

Jesse Lee put your blog address on facebook, and I just read your last two entries. I admire your courage, clarity of mind, strength and determination. Sounds like you're getting the most out of every moment. I bet you have tried lots of alternative medicine and treatments, but i want to recommend an acupuncturist in case you haven't tried him -- David Hassert (Acupuncture Center of Madison located in Middleton) has worked with many people who have or have had cancer, and i know he has had very good results...people have built up their immune systems, gained weight, and for some the cancer went into remission (one woman had stage 4 colon cancer). It's just another option...another choice, as you might say. Thank you for this blog--for sharing your thoughts, passions and experiences.
--Marilyn Annucci

Kelly Cherry said...

Hi, Judith. These posts are beautiful; they should be collected and printed. You are beautiful too.
Thinking of you,

Kathy and Elton Waack said...

Thank you, Judy, for the roads and waterways we've followed bicycling and skiing and walking and canoeing, listening to each other, exchanging thoughts and fears and joys and chocolate.

You have amazing sons, fine friends, playmates, and colleagues who appreciate your passion for writing and learning and music. They, we who have in some way shared your life, are with you now.

I am REALLY glad you and I lived long enough to see President Obama take office, a man who will help the US (i.e. us) become a just and healthy country. I'm glad you and I, us, saw him last year in person. I miss you, Judy. Thank you for being my friend.

I'll follow you down this next road soon. We've always loved roads, right?

kathy w

Fred B. said...

An edited version of a more personal e-mail to you from a friend of 55 years.

Dear Judy,

I was thinking of you while watching the inauguration with a lump in my throat.

The feeling was not because of what you were facing but for the hope that lies ahead in the face of great challenges to our country.

My hope was also that you would live to see how we overcome the problems. I still hope that you will live to see the beginnings of that process.

But I must also accept the inevitable, as you have, with equanimity.

I will continue to follow your journey and stay in touch, but I can’t let this moment pass without sharing with others why I have always valued our friendship.

Our friendship means that we always challenge each other.

Our friendship means that we always respect each other.

Our friendship includes memories of walks home from school together.

Our friendship means that I appreciate more than most blog readers the caring that you show for others in your poetry, your books, and your personal example of it means to live.

Our friendship has lasted because I know you find something remarkable in every day you are alive.

Our friendship means that writing this makes me smile and cry at the same time.

My lifelong friend, I wish you strength, comfort, and the love and friendship of others.

With deep affection,

Marc Pasturel said...

My wife Ragni and I are healthy 67-68 year olds preparing to die. We were deeply touched by a testimonial with your impaired voice.

We would love to obtain a transcript, preferably in electronic form, for ourselves and for the 120 friends on my personal e-mailing list.

Can you please mail me a copy at marc@soleil.com or tell me how to get one ?

It was broadcast last night, Sunday 1/25/09 in the To the Best of our Knowledge program by the Wisconsin Public Radio by Jim Fleming. We were tuned to KQED radio 88.5FM San Francisco.

Our cheers go to you,
Marc Pasturel,
80 Palmer Lane, Portola Valley, CA 94028
tel 1-650-851-9413

Liz McBride said...

Dear Judy,

I was moved by your eloquence on To the Best of Our Knowledge on Sunday. You can be proud that your words have affected so many: made people think, feel, probe, understand, and feel compassion for one another. And not only your recent words but all the words you have written and spoken through the years. They will echo in our hearts and minds for a long time and be there for all those who come after us. May your next adventure be a glorious one--as big and bright as Texas and as graceful as a ride down a Wisconsin country road. And may we all be together as one on the other side.

Happy trails,

Julie said...

Thank you, Susie. We are all there in mind and spirit with Judy and you and the family.