an open letter to my daughters teachers

February 16, 2013 § 8 Comments

cancer cell division

I wanted to inform you of recent developments at home that have the potential to impact Frannie at school. Though solid, centered and never more enthusiastic about learning, challenging health issues at home may impact Frannie in school and elsewhere . The breast cancer that progressed to my bones a few years ago has metastasized to my brain. Believe it or not, I am optimistic, even good humored. However, the world, and school is filled with misinformation, touchy subjects and a couple of jerks.

A class about mitosis dove deep into the obstacles associated with curing cancer, vs dying of cancer, vs battling a variety of treatments; from chemotherapy to radiation. Frannie came home with a slew of great questions, and while some kids hear “cancer” and think pink ribbon covered bicycle races, or imminent death, Frannie knows that cancer is what we live with.

Going forward, I ask that you be aware of the complex world she navigates. She is interested, inquisitive and the best thing you can do for her now is to engage her, listen to her and keep filling her brain with the learning she loves. Thanks to her I know about tectonic plates, ancient poems, nutrition and the power of point of view and that’s just from this week.

You probably detected that Frannie is a very private person, so while she knows I am sharing this information about our family with each of you, she would not be comfortable with your sharing it with the entire class.  Unless, you specifically discussed it with her in advance and agreed on the terms and details.

You can always call me to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. No surprise, there is no one, and nothing I am more interested in discussing than my daughter and her well being.

With gratitude and respect,



by the way…

February 9, 2013 § 15 Comments

Happy 13th birthday! Sushi, movies, presents and cake as promised. Yes, we can go to the bookstore.

Exciting weekend with a blizzard dumping over 2 feet of snow. If you’re not going to help shovel, you have to walk Zeke and don’t forget your d’var and violin and any homework for Monday. Get that done and we can watch food competitions, contemplate our next meal and catch the new episode of Downtown Abbey on Sunday night.

BTW, you know I had a bunch of scans this week and your dad and I met with the doctors to discuss the results. This cancer stuff sucks and they found a couple of spots in my brain. They call them abnormalities as if we didn’t know my brain was abnormal. It explains the numbness in right hand. I start full brain radiation next week. Nothing to worry about, it’ll make me tired and bald but you’re use to that. Yes, I promise I will be ok.

Remember the TED talk we watched the other day about the woman who had the brain hemorrhage. If I start talking like a dog you gotta let me know.

I’m sorry. We thought of not telling you yet, but I want to be 100% open and honest about this stuff so you know you can always trust me with the truth. I know two women who’ve been through it and they’re ok. I’m not worried, I’ll be ok. We’ll all be ok. I love you too, so much.

We’ll get through this, we always do.

I love you.


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