My Own Steamroller


I never hoped to own heavy equipment that would be my big brother’s dream. But here I am with my own steamroller. imgresIt has just spent four days rolling over me but last night it headed for the garage. Or somewhere. I didn’t look. I snuck out of bed and practiced being alive.

I have joined Team Bruckner and I am not sure it is the easiest team to play on. I trust they will adjust my dosing to accommodate the depth of my four days of post-first-infusion misery. But 29 hours of infusion will probably never be easy. I add in cross-country travels.

My husband just bought a ticket to accompany me when I fly back out next Monday. I don’t envy him the job of chaperoning – it’s half clean up crew and half security. My dose of steroids must be HIGH as the mere folding of a tee shirt can leave me howling in a rage. The dog and husband look fearful when I leave bed. This is not what I want for them or me, a puking madwoman.

Am I extending my life or insuring that all will be able to bear what comes next? This seeking out of the good death at the right time may be for wiser folk than I.

My infusion cocktail is made up of six therapeutic drugs and endless anti-nausea and steroidal perks. I start with the standard cocktail, as (such confidence!) my cancer gets tamed the dose will be tailored and lightened. At the close of day one infusions, a shoulder bag arrives filled with my to-go dose; it’s my overnight pal pumping away. It gives a new angle to purse snatching in the big city. This connects right to a needle in my chest. The cocktail is not specific to my brand of cancer but rather the drugs are selected for how they play off each other, minimizing the cancer’s ability to adapt and maximizing the impact of each drug.

Since I am coming off a year of immunotherapy (which they are a fan of), they hope that they can take the cancer-eating sharks imagesdelivered to my body this last year and wake them up by putting blood in the water aka decaying cancer.

Time to DEVOUR cancer.

Time to DEVOUR cancer.

Hmmm…. sounds good but it always sounds good and reasonable. Too bad I have learned that cancer is entirely unreasonable.

Team Bruckner is a place of hope, a last stop for most. I think it is my only chance of getting past my cancer’s outburst but I recognize it as a big gamble and the verdict will stay out for quite a bit longer. But hey, I have a steamroller I’d love to loan out.images


32 responses »

  1. I’m thankful that Mike will be there to accompany you back home. Such a clever post – I don’t know how you continue to do that! Sending you tons of love and healing thoughts through space, my friend.

  2. Marcy, you are simply amazing! I wish you didn’t have such drastic circumstances to react to amazingly — you were plenty amazing before the cancer. Safe journey for some summer days at home. Sending love and strength to add to your own.

  3. Nice visual Marcy! I sense that your cancer’s outburst is about to be crushed by your new steam roller! Keeping that image up front! Hugs,

  4. Marcy, I wish there was something that I could do or say to help you through this difficult time. I want to tell you how courageous you are, and the manner in which you are coping with this is an inspiration to me, most probably all who read your blog. Thank you for sharing such intimate experiences with us. I will keep you close in prayer and thoughts. You may not know it but I am learning from you. Thank you so much for this. We are taught science, mathematics and the like, but we are not taught how to cope with terminal illness that is progressing. As painful as this is, your sense of humor and outlook amaze me. Xo

    • Thank you so much for this comment. My primary goal is to help us all feel our way towards a better death than our culture might teach us how to attain. May a long period of stability be in your future. Xo

      • Marcy, you are teaching us to live with dying–which is happening to each of us, even those who don’t have a diagnosis. Your strength, wit, humor, and wisdom are powerful medicine for living a conscious life–and for that I am truly grateful. Sending you off to Team Bruckner surrounded with prayers and light for the journey. Many blessings, Jeanne & Kae

  5. Is there a word that means more than amazing? By now I should be used to your ability to help us understand some of what you and Mike are going through, but boy, Marcy – you continue to amaze. And like Kathleen, we’re sending tons of love and healing thoughts.

  6. Thanks for updating us, Marcy. I have been thinking of you and will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I am inspired by your amazing attitude and your sense of humor.

  7. Ah, Marcy the Intrepid! So glad to have news and to hear that they’re taking action against the cancer resurgence. Sending many blessings and love, j

  8. A steam roller and a wicked, wicked sense of humor. Love to Mike and your beautiful dog‹and so much for you. I love you. I think of you all the time.


  9. Here’s to no more cancer temper tantrums. Here’s to getting it back under control….and here’s to all the love and expertise and community that surrounds you!


    • I might suggest that there is a big difference between a cancer tantrum and a steroidal meltdown. A big dose of steroids makes people nuts. Cancer just kills you which may or may not lead to tantrums – but a very different situation. Patients on mega doses of steroids have different needs and realities. We also tend to gain 10-20 pounds. But they protect our organs so we take them.
      ; )

  10. Once again your ability to share your pain with a dose of humor amazes me. You have long been an inspiration to me with your strength, courage, and ability to get things done. It is no surprise to me that you continue to fight your way through this hell that has become your life. Keeping you in my heart and thoughts always. Hugs.

  11. Sounds super hard and I’m just glad Mike can travel with you this time – sorry it didn’t work out to go to OHSU for the treatment.

  12. You’re an amazing warrior, Mary. The steamroller rolled over every part of you, but you didn’t let it touch your humor and attitude. Team Bruckner is on my list, and you’re showing me how to do it. Teal hugs to you.
    –Marie (ovca, 3c, in ongoing treatment)

  13. I may need to borrow your steamroller and drive it up the steps and through the Supreme Court…as many times as it takes to straighten them out! But I wouldn’t be happy in prison, so I’ll leave the Steam Roller to you and maybe send you a voodoo doll of SCOTUS and let you go to town on the cancer as I imagine the voodoo doll getting the worst of it. Politics aside, I wish you strength and rest. Sending you much love!

  14. Reading you and learning so much about living. I love you so much. Here’s hoping the Bruckner steamroller packs the POW you need. Xoxo

  15. May you continue to feel the healing power of LOVE from everyone and everything that surrounds you. It’s one of the best infusions….FEEL THE LOVE….

  16. Oh my! I certainly understand the “howling in a rage” comment. But I always just figured that it couldn’t hurt, and maybe hurling some of the misery out vocally just might be a good thing! Humor and moxie abound with you, to my everlasting amazement and admiration! xxx

  17. Hope you’ll pick up some good NYC juju, take the healing deep inside, along with my love and gratitude and ride that 30 ton steamroller right through the Bronx & the cancer crud.
    blessings, carol and duke

  18. Wow, Marcy– those images add to the power of your words in conveying just how #*!#?! hard and painful all of this treatment is. Thank you for taking the time to share your teachings with us along the way of your journey.

  19. Find a bit of beauty in the world today. Share it. If you can’t find it, create it. Some days this may be hard to do. Persevere…..lisa bonchek adams…..cancer survivor, blogger.

    Wishing you peace, Marcy.

  20. “Hmmm…. sounds good but it always sounds good and reasonable. Too bad I have learned that cancer is entirely unreasonable.”

    Yes, the Catch 22 of cancer treatment.

    Marcy, I am enjoying the writing though the reading reminds me that you are walking a tightrope without a net below. If you do fall, you seem to have many followers willing to catch you and, reluctantly, place you back with hope you can make it to the other side. Count me among them.

    PS: I’m loving the steamroller and shark metaphors.

  21. HI Marcy, I too am seeking the good death as I move through later and later stages of advanced breast cancer – now 20+ years. My trajectory is a slow winding down – less strength, less interest in invasive, painful or extreme medical measures.

    But, getting into a head/heart space to “walk away” from treatments isn’t easy.

    The deeper I go into this uncharted territory of my own slow, quiet demise, the greater respect I have for “life’s longing for itself”, our vital essence bubbling like a fresh spring, even in the midst of illness and medical interventions. It’s a different type of wisdom, a different type of loving compassion.

    Even if we were able to overcome our fear of dying, I suspect our individual and collective life force would continue to bubble and flow.

    Marcy, your tagline, livinglydying says so much about your faith, hope, aspiration. You’ve been so incredibly strong and committed, moving in your body, being and the world in such extraordinary ways. I hope that life isn’t done with you yet and will rise to refresh your whole being yet again.

    Sending much compassion,

  22. thinking of you as i knit a year of moods. i’ll incorporate some steam roller grey and some blue for the shark infested waters with more than a twist of marcy magic.

  23. Like the others dr. brucker is on my list. Hard to decide when and what to do — maybe I am waiting too long.

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