Star Power

Cancer brings gifts. Opportunities. Stardom, even. I’ve been seriously ill before–almost died several times–and nobody much cared except one doctor and a couple of woo-woo practitioners. Even my husband didn’t bother to come to the hospital until Day 5. At the time, such cool dismissal of life-obstructing symptoms seemed the result of my own inadequacies, […]

Rocky Road

"I’m not the cancer type." I believed that sentence with all my heart, the heart being the organ that is supposed to end my existence–many, many, many years from now, of course. I must have said that sentence a hundred times, whenever the Big C came up in conversation. I don’t need to let the […]

A Switchback in Time

In preparation for entering a PhD program, I wrote a little essay, "A Bend in Time", describing the experience of turning the corner in life. One corner. The corner. The curve where you switch your focus from the life you have lived, i.e., your youth and upbringing, to the life left to live. The switch […]

Through the Colon with Gun and Camera–and Bag Balm

When I was a kid, my parents subscrived to catalogs from Dover Books, many of whose items were out of print, out of copyright, or too quirky for the big publishing houses to care about. One of the quirkiest books to end up in our living room was George Chappell’s 1930 classic,Through the Alimentary Canal […]

The Real Poop

I was napping on my cushion after a mildly strenous morning chasing the raccoon away from the compost and then hanging out with the guys who have a smoke and a coffee outside the convenience store across the street. I’d even directed traffic for awhile before coming home for breakfast. Pack Leader was already hard […]

Ruff Month

It’s been a rough month Our resident wolf, ambassador of love, felled by his own heart, laid his life down at the feet of Kwan Yin My mother died… almost… again center stage more than the girl in her ever dreamed My daughter draggled home her heart in her knapsack in two or three pieces […]

How It All Began

The cancer saga began the night I tripped over Major in the dark. The cancer itself had apparently begun years earlier, but I had no idea of that. Major and I were watching a movie on the computer, in the dark. I paused the movie to head for the bathroom, unaware that Major had shifted […]

Sad, sad day

My dear one is gone. Yesterday was a fine day for him, his last, but none of us knew that. Tonight, no one will turn around three times before sinking down on his middle-eastern rug and sheepskins beside my bed, with a contented sigh, waiting for me to say, "You are the best wolf in […]

Feeling Sick

The sounds of people eating nauseates me. The sight is even worse. I can’t find a spot on the ferry where masticating jaws of my particularly disgusting species of ape do not obscure the blue view of mountains and sea. My appetite is too small to describe. I took the cooler down, as usual, to […]


Were I not living in a more or less sensible country like Canada, this Mother’s Day could be my last. It could be, anyway, but for my faith in our medical system, friends, and myself (probably in reverse order), but that doesn’t bear thinking about just yet, since I don’t know, and can’t know, the […]