We had a great Thanksgiving with friends, family, too much food, and even a little Black Friday shopping. The tree is up and the yard is glowing. Boxes are disappearing back into storage.

Only in Nashville can you go to your cancer support group meeting and have fantastic singer songwriters play Christmas music for you. They finished with the song our group wrote with them. It was an evening that was definitely “So Nashville”. I really need some cowboy boots.

I had a great check up with my oncologist before Thanksgiving. My blood work looked awesome and he is convinced I am responding to the new drug. One “almost sure” sign of an immune response to melanoma is the development of vitiligo and I have a good sized spot of white skin on my arm. The cells that pigment your skin are the same ones that can turn into metastatic melanoma. I have a brain MRI & appt Dec 23. I wanted to wait until after Christmas but it didn’t work out then I realized NOTHING will spoil my Christmas. Being alive is my incredible gift. Thank you God!

I’m like play-dough though, push on one side, something slides out on the other. I now have low blood pressure so I need to get that sorted out. Could be drugs, or anemia, or dehydration. Momzilla is out of her cage again since I’m tapering off these steroids I’ve been on for over a year. Do not mess with me. Now I’m practicing my cowboy boots persona.

I have terrible problems remembering names of people and places lately. Also mommy has a bit of a potty mouth. I blame steroids. Or Siri. Whichever you’re buying. Don’t take it personally.

“What’s your life expectancy?” I’m asked this monthly by my insurance company nurse and sometimes by people I meet. It’s an easy question to answer if you’ve asked your doctor and believe in the statistics. I however, do not play by these rules. I don’t ask, I don’t believe this applies to me. This often stymies people, especially at the insurance company (I’m still watching for snipers in the yard). When it’s my time I think I will know. I’ve come close once and I’ve already exceeded whatever life expectancy was anticipated. Everyone has to find their own path through this horrid cancer quagmire.

The only problem with befriending cancer patients is that sometimes they die on you. We lost one of our group but were given the opportunity to really celebrate his life. During his service the following thought came to mind again. Live like you’re dying. Because you are. We all are. Amazing Scott, we didn’t know you long enough, but you touched everyone you met. We will meet again.