Author: Nora

Hair Week

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Welcome to Hair Week over here at Nora’s Cancer, Inc. Aminatou Sow refers to herself as the CEO of her own cancer, and with so many random things to manage, I’m calling myself that as well. It also makes me feel like I’m somehow in charge of the cancer, which is 100% not true–but an empowering lie to tell myself. After a ton of interwebs research on the chemo hair loss process, the overwhelming consensus […]

Week Four

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So I had my second infusion this Monday, which went fine? Nothing major. I’ve been fatigued off and on this week, with some joint and nerve pain, but no bad symptoms beyond that which is a relief. I’m kind of tired and fuzzy brained a lot, so it’s unpleasant but not scary. My mother-in-law was here for the infusion and will stay through tomorrow (Saturday), and she’s been amazing—keeping us fed and the apartment tidy, […]

Life Right Now

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First, a huge thank you to everyone that donated and tried to donate blood this past week!! Our friends, Nico’s awesome coworkers, friends of friends, and one of my family friends who was visiting for 12 hours and became a first-time donor all made me so happy. In addition to helping cancer patients, donating blood helps victims of gun violence in major ways—I’ve watched the nurses in the Cook County Trauma Unit (where I worked […]

Bleedin’ for Amina Blood Drive

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I have a request for all of you: give blood through my favorite podcast’s blood drives! During my crazy diagnosis process, Aminatou Sow of Call Your Girlfriend was undergoing major surgery for endometrial cancer. Her Instagram stories kept me laughing and encouraged as I went through test after test—it made me feel less alone to watch someone I admire go through something terrifying and cancer-related as well. Ann, the podcast’s cohost and Amina’s best friend, […]

Apollo 13 is Not the Fun Tale You Remember

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Lesson from Day 2: I don’t recommend watching Apollo 13 while intense drugs are attacking the biggie tumor in your chest. If you haven’t watched it in years, you might only remember Tom Hanks being the dependable, comforting leader of a tense space mission that a blondie Ed Harris eventually saves. You get some Kevin Bacon as a rookie astronaut action, a lot of loving stares into space from Tom and his wife–all good things, […]

Day One is DONE

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Feels / Medical

Me before the first infusion! Getting settled in back at home after about ten hours at the hospital. Right now I’m feeling a lot of things. Please excuse typos, am on an immunotherapy Benadryl/painkillers cocktail. Yum. 1. Sad I’m not with Nico. He almost never gets sick, but today woke up with some kind of stomach bug so he wasn’t with me at the hospital. Now he is sleeping at the little studio we are […]

Treatment Day 1: Natalie Portman

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Medical

They say you shouldn’t send things out while still on sedation drugs, but since this isn’t a work email we’ll just ignore that! Just finished getting my port (named Natalie Portman by a friend). I was a little freaked about this procedure, despite it being the least invasive one this month. My tumor is in my chest, so anything in that region makes me a little nervous. Veins in general used to freak me out […]

Adventures of a 32-year-old Cancer Veteran

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But You Look Great Welcome

Diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma on March 1st, 2018 (18 months after this photo was taken & 12 weeks before I finished grad school), I’ve been telling the internet about it ever since–now in remission and figuring out my new normal. I am a writer, trained social worker (with a focus on trauma), and forever henchwoman for various social justice fights. Midwesterner at heart (STL & Chicago) and currently live in Brooklyn with my husband and […]

Treatment Plan

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Hopefully most medical update posts won’t be this long, but I wanted to answer some of the questions people might have–skip to the bottom if you’re in a rush. For those of you just finding out about this whole cancer thing, I’ll do posts on how we got here soon. On Thursday, I met with Dr. K, the Unicorn Oncologist, to make a final call on my treatment. After many blood tests and ten edgy […]