Sunday, July 22, 2012

Divine Providence in Somerville

Aside from dragging myself out of bed at 6:45 a.m., my day in Somerville was super-duper. It was so busy the time flew by, I love spending time with my tent-mate and my sales were great. When I'm in Somerville people see me and don't think cancer, they think, punky chic which is kinda funny, because those days are pretty far behind me. I had a lot of customers that always come see me at ArtBeat and some asked why they haven't seen me at any other shows lately and I said that this is my only show this year because I've been sick and they say, well you look great, glad you're all better.

This is also my weekend of thoroughly bad health habits. I started at Starbucks and learned that there is now a size larger than Venti. I don't know what it is because it's written too small on the menu board for old folks like me, even with their glasses on to read. So I ordered my usual, "I'd like the largest iced tea humanly possible, please," and this time, it really was, ain't no cup outside 7-eleven bigger than that. With regrets, I stand by my belief that Starbuck's Iced Tea is the best anywhere. I also got an old-fashioned donut, a particular fave, but could only eat half, the iced tea, I had no problem with. A BBQ brisket sandwich for lunch, half a diet coke and and unbelievably decadent dinner with friends afterwards, can you say, feta stuffed fig wrapped in bacon? Got home at 10p.m. thoroughly exhausted {still am} and exhilarated.

Near the end of the day there was a moment of, I think, divine providence. A man and his family bought something from me, I don't remember what and nor does it matter. He later came back and asked me if I could do a custom project... definitely. We got to chatting and I don't remember why or how it came up but he said he was a cancer researcher at Mass General Hospital. I said "what a coincidence, I have cancer." He said, "oh really?" because again, we're in Somerville, so I'm just a wacky bald-headed punky chic. He was interested, he asked what kind... I told him along with my frustration about the laissez faire follow-up care that's been described to me... that basically I've been told, wait and see and if you have a recurrence within five years, it will be lethal and there's nothing we can do. He told me I really needed to come to MGH, that's not the approach they take, they are aggressive. The head of their oncology dept. is a guy who specializes in TNBC {Triple Neg. Breast Cancer} and cutting edge research related to it. He gave me both their names, google him he said. And damned if he wasn't dead on... this is the guy. This is the guy that gives the talks at the conferences that my doctors {hopefully} go to. He told me to email him and that he would personally set up an appointment for me and that he'd also show me around his lab, cool! After he left, he came back again and said, I'm really serious, get in touch. I've already emailed him. On my own, I'd never get a consult with this guy. He also said something in a way that I've been waiting for someone in medicine to say for a really long time. He said "look, there are statistics, but that's only part of the equation, there's attitude and outlook and what patients do for themselves that can make a huge difference. He said it with heart, and belief and that's what I've been searching for. I told him so and said I just don't see myself as tragic, I just can't accept that as my destiny, so I'm all in for doing whatever I need to do. I really hope he gets in touch, but just like the guy who hit my car and didn't take off on the way to the service station, I think this man will be in touch.

Got my shot today, since I missed yesterday. Looking forward to tomorrow and then Tuesday is my last double chemo, so I'll be back on the couch for the rest of the week.


  1. LOVE! so happy for you! the world has conspired to get you what you need! siena (my daughter) has worked at MGH doing research and loves it...if you need to do an overnight in boston at some point i'm sure she would put you up.....
    i love the way the world works some times.
    so so so so so happy to read this entry!!!!!!!!!!

  2. It really was the universe looking out for you. I'm getting teary now just thinking about how absolutely genuine and interested in helping you this man was. It was a touching moment. <3

  3. Kim, this sounds GREAT! I'm excited for you. xoxo

  4. So glad you met this guy. While we love the care Grace received (receives) at Hasbro, I still believe the radiation at MGH saved Grace's life. This guy sounds like some of the people we've come across in the pediatric cancer world.
    Here's to more great days ahead!
    xo Bekah

  5. i almost stopped by your house to tell you jess, because anything i learn might be good for you too, although let's hope you're done with this for good and that i will be too! and thanks bekah!

    I'm so tired of hearing how "high risk" i am. THREE MORE WEEKS! xo

  6. this is fantastic! i love this!

    and i hope you post a photo of the item you make for his custom order!!

  7. So great to see you. Yes, you looked FAB and happy! I am glad you had a good day sales and all! xoxoxo

  8. The world does work in mysterious ways... providing for our needs when we most need it... I really believe that people do come into our lives for a reason - just as this gentleman has in yours!! Best wishes with your last double treatment - and looking forward to hearing the new doors that this "chance meeting" will bring!! Congratulations on another milestone!

  9. Super cool Kim! Glad to hear Sommerville didn't let you down. Hope you do get that appointment.