Apologies for the long stretch since my last ramble. I have been hit with a bat by The Neuropathy Fairy. This Fairy, which I call “Hudwalker” in honor of the most notorious second grade teacher at PS 26, has decided I don’t need to feel anything in my feet or my hands. In fact, Hudwalker is now deciding whether I need to taste anything as well. “Swat the Fairy you say?” Well I would but this particular woodland creature is about 6 feet tall with a wing span of 8 feet. Not only that, but she has a beehive hairdo in which she stashes her bat. Hudwalker prefers a Louisville Slugger because of the sound its makes when it makes contact with you.   Hudwalker may be a name your familiar with if your a Seinfeld fan. Mrs. Hudwalker was an upstairs neighbor who passed away suddenly. She was hated by the whole building .  One of the writers had Hudwalker for the second grade a few years before me and was forced to endure her as well.  In order to finally get over the experience so many decades later, he killed her off the show. It was the happiest and most satisfying day of my life.

Enough about Hudwalker, I’m happy to report the 2% survival rate for pancreatic cancer of 6 months to one year has been changed to 9%. Sounds like it’s not much of a difference, but to someone looking forward to a birth, or a wedding or a graduation this is huge. Not to mislead anyone, there are many people who have years under their belt with chemo management. There are very encouraging stories to read about and I have have had many conversations with these long term survivors. The common thread among these warriors is an appreciation of everyday they have  been granted. They don’t let anything get in way of savoring every minute of every day . Most cancer warriors have gone through all the stages of grief

  1. Denial – The first reaction is denial. In this stage, individuals believe the diagnosis is somehow mistaken, and cling to a false, preferable reality.
  2. Anger – When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue, they become frustrated, especially at proximate individuals. Certain psychological responses of a person undergoing this phase would be: “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; “Who is to blame?”; “Why would this happen?”.
  3. Bargaining – The third stage involves the hope that the individual can avoid a cause of grief. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek compromise. For instance: “I’d give anything to have him back.” Or: “If only he’d come back to life, I’d promise to be a better person!”
  4. Depression – “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die soon, so what’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one, why go on?”
    During the fourth stage, the individual despairs at the recognition of their mortality. In this state, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time mournful and sullen.
  5. Acceptance – “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it; I may as well prepare for it.”
    In this last stage, individuals embrace mortality or inevitable future, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event. People dying may precede the survivors in this state, which typically comes with a calm, retrospective view for the individual, and a stable condition of emotions.    This is The Kübler-Ross model. The model was first introduced by Swiss psychiatrist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying




Élévation refers to the height or depth of a dancer’s jump or leg extension in relation to the standing leg . It is a term used to describe the height attained in springing steps such as entrechats, grands jetés and others.

Gaining height was not something I ever excelled at. For some reason, gravity was not my friend. In fact, our current relationship is tenuous at best.  I made sure to stay in the back of the studio so as to be noticed. When my teacher did glance my way, I made it look like I just landed…I was a scheming ballerina.

Over the past 8 months I have learned to gain some height and a full tummy from Ellen, some inspiration from Jerri P., some laughter from Joan, a spring in my step and would bring down a star for me from Debbie,   compassion from Marsha and Anne N., a renewed respect for clean eating from Helen, Keeping my sense of humor from Susan B.,  Trader Joe supplies and dinner from Ilene C. and the comfort of knowing when I call Raffi, he is always available., I will always be taken care of by Dr. Schmoopy, Mary, Daniel and Isaac who are always encouraging me to eat every 5 minutes. All in all, I’m doing ok. All I need is bigger bat…