Q: What do you call a bunch of chess players bragging
about their games in a hotel lobby?
A: Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer!
Hmmmm…flourless chocolate cake, a festive atmosphere, dumb jokes… What are we celebrating today? Hospice!
Happy Hospice Day to Me!
Today is my first day on Hospice. What does being on Hospice mean for me?
My life expectancy is estimated to be up to six months
I still have an insurance deductible
Hospice’s entire job is to help keep me pain-free and comfortable during my remaining time
Services are based at home, including music and pet therapy: sweet!
From this point forward, I cannot pursue curative treatments under Hospice, like chemotherapy or surgery or radiation, unless they are considered comfort measures
However, I can leave Hospice at any time
Most importantly, I keep living my life as usual! (Hopefully without the freaking shingles in my right eye; still healing from that Hell.)
Q: What does the pirate say on his 80th birthday?
A: “Aye, Matey.”
The recent string of surgeries and procedures have verified what my body has been telling me for months: It’s time to walk a different path.
While this earthly vessel is physically compromised – okay, okay, so is my humor – I still dwell in the “can-” part of cancer. I’m like Jenny-from-the-Block, except I’m more along the lines of Erica-from-the-Woods. I need you to dish out the same sass you already outwit me with, share the love you’ve showered me with since the beginning of this wild ride and forgive me for ending with all of those prepositions. Things are changing; I’m a little shaky, unsteady, Mom’s spaghetti. You know I’ll continue to keep you updated the best I can, considering the challenges letters and words are for me right now. I’m grateful for this window before my body further declines.
Feel free to send any feedback or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll answer you publicly without using your name.
Here’s to a new chapter of Head On and Heart Strong!
PS: Whaaaaaaat? Thanks to my nurses for this tip: Large pills can be swallowed whole, effortlessly, with applesauce! I don’t know why – if it’s psychological, physics or what – but I have taken a lot of pills in life, and this works every time, including the ginormous horse-sized pills I’m currently on. It doesn’t even make sense: I’m successfully swallowing these giants by putting thicker and more food in my mouth than just water? Yup! Does this approach work for you? Head On and Applesauce Strong!
Kids’ Almanac columnist Erica Chase-Salerno was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in the Summer of 2015. To read more about her experience, visit https://hudsonvalleyone.com/tag/ericas-cancer-journey.