Somebody better do something…

Have you ever noticed how some families have sayings or slogans that become popular?  Well, the “Somebody Better Do Something” is probably the most memorable one for me in my family.  It was created by my mother and used primary as advice for her precious grandchildren.  If one of the kids started misbehaving or needed something, we’d hear the mantra and knew it was the command to get with it and take action.  The saying is still used in my immediate family and, I am sure, will be heard throughout generations 🙂  I said it once at work in a management meeting and my boss  (who was incredible) found it very fitting and quoted it with passion many times (often not to my advantage).

I have decided that having cancer is a pivotal time for “Somebody Better Do Something” and I can honestly say, they do and it can really be a pain and very draining!  This is one of those things that should not have been a surprise for me, but the amount of things that lead to other things being done is pretty overwhelming at times.  I wasn’t naive having lived with polio for 60 years, so the fact that this sometimes overwhelms me is, I think, significant.  Let me be specific.  I have found myself recently in this pattern.  The trial drug I am on is one that has not yet been approved for the cancer I was diagnosed with.  Most women do not have the success I have for the amount of time I have been receiving it.  This has, of course, been a blessing.  However, the effect of it has limited data, although the research clearly demonstrates that it can have some serious side effects.  Recently, I have had worsening sinus issues so I was referred to an Eye, Ear, and Nose Doctor.  Soon after that, I developed what was thought to be a sinus infection; however, it did not respond to strong antibiotics, so it was probably viral so off to the internist I go, then I developed severe headaches (worse than the migraines I have a history of having) and lastly I have been having some weird episodes of feeling nausea and faint.

My mom would be proud of how my wonderful oncology team has taken charge and recognized that “Somebody Better Do Something” and has  stepped in to take a look at the whole picture and quickly scheduled a MRI and halt all treatments until the results are in.  So, that’s my next step. I’d appreciate your prayers.

Also, prayers for my survivor friends Erica,  Ashlyn, Phyllis, Trapp, Gwen and their families.

I decided to write about this today because I think it’s important to recognize the burden that cancer can put on one’s life.  I am lucky.  I am retired and getting to so many appointments is not difficult and I live close to my cancer center.  However, I have many friends that work and this can be hard.  I am also so fortunate to have insurance, but I know many women that struggle with bills.  I also worry about the men and women that have difficulty navigating the cancer maze.   It’s not just the practical issues that make this hard.  The emotional energy attached to constantly attending medical appointments takes an incredible amount of energy.  Too much planning has to be used for this and too little time is sometimes left for spontaneous living.  Believe me, I have been on a mission to not allow my appointments to control my daily life but, let’s face it, you only delay treatments for so long when you have an incurable disease. Believe me, for those with chronic conditions it can be all-consuming at times.

So. what does a gal (or guy) do?  We just keep on going.  We continuously evaluate the timing of tests and other appointments.  For example,  when a CT scan was recently recommended, I discussed with my doctor waiting until April when my usual 3 month one is scheduled.  This was the plan; however, due to new symptoms, we had to change it and do more testing earlier.  But, hey, all a girl can do is try, right?  I also try to always schedule appointments around fun things I like to do.  For example, my fav thrift stores are open on certain days, so I head uptown, get my tests, and go shopping.  I have also been known to drop by the Dairy Queen on occasion.  I guess what I am trying to say is that I don’t give medical interventions more power than the other important parts of my life.  I try to make them just another stop in my day.  What things work for you??

As for me, I’m not feeling anxious or worried about my upcoming plan.  I have worked hard to not let cancer control my joy and rob me of life and am proud to say I have made some progress in this area.  So, fyi…”Somebody better do Something” is going to be me and it’s going to be a beach trip to Florida or  to the mountains of Vermont very, very soon…



  1. Lori Stapleton

    Patsy…Prayers are going up for you sweet friend and our other Sisters you mentioned. Teal Hugs!! Enjoy those trips, Lori Stapleton


  2. Stephen Davis

    Hang in there, my friend. I would be pretty up tight if I had to go off my drug — on top of all the other stuff. If it would help, and I could, I would just stop breathing until you are back on the Avastin. When is the MRI? Ruth


  3. Maggie

    Sorry to hear about your new symptoms. I hope and pray they find a solution soon. As a solution to my frequent medical appointments far from my home I found myself eating ruggalah procured by my husband from the Farmers Market near Cedars Sinai. Now I have gained enough weight to realize that treating myself so frequently has consequences so I will need a new reward system. Wish I liked to shop!


  4. Alicia

    Going through Cancer or any prolonged illness you ‘have’ to, it is a must, in my book find something fun in that day to make it worth going to that appointment. My sister and I would always stop at the Hospital Cafeteria and get a Decalf Sweet Tea or we would get a coffee. I always was in need of protien so I would do my best to eat Turkey Burger. That for us was a treat. I hope they find a answer for you soon Patsy!


  5. Janet

    Patsy, I am blessed to just have the many routine tests but I remember treatment days and appts like it was yesterday. I remember the doc ordering something and my husband Scott saying we’re going somewhere and she’d say thats great, we will schedule it when you get back. That certainly gave us some sense of control. And just like you when appt time comes around I go thrift shopping too. Try to stand on your head for a different view lol. See you soon.


  6. Patsy, please let us know if you are still battling these particular side effects soon. I often share your Avastin trial results with our Teal Sisters as it gives us all hope. Loved your family slogan as I agree with the mantra. Something does need to happen here! Your posts are very informative as yiu always add something we need to consider.

    I wish you enough,


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