Tuesday, May 16, 2023

A Mocha a Day Keeps Negativity Away

This has been one of the oddest months of my entire life. Several weeks ago, doctors discovered a new tumor in my brain. Then, just hours before the radiation, the tumor board called the entire thing off. Forget that my insurance just paid $60,000 for a mask to be made—the same one they'd bolt to the table, covering my entire face to ensure up to 1mm of accuracy. And the reason they called it off? Well, the possibility is much worse than radiation, and just the idea of surgery has me shaking. But I'm trying not to worry too much. We all know where they've said this road is leading. Why quibble about the attractions along the way?


Anyway, I decided to share my story online through videos this time as a way of coping, and the first video quickly garnered over half a million views! To put this in perspective, years ago a local news station featured my blog when it hit a million views—after 10 YEARS.  So, to see these new numbers in a few short hours, well, it felt flabbergasting. 


The comments began rolling in by the thousands: most nice and a few mean. On top of that, my views for overall content is at 4 million today—something I once hoped and prayed for. But now, that seems unimportant. I pray for many different things than I did years ago: I pray to see each of my children reach adulthood. I pray for a few more years with Mike. I pray for my friends who are dying from terminal illnesses. I pray for people to be out of pain. Views ... what silly things I used to hope for.


My one concession is that in the main video, I urged people to "visit their dermatologist," and many of the comments claim viewers are doing just that. Other than being a mother and Mike's wife, I feel like I’ve accomplished something now. If people really are seeing their dermatologists, maybe they won't suffer my harrowing fate. Perhaps that was the point of my life, to help other people avoid sunburns, tanning beds, and an unchecked mole that could ruin their future. How insignificant that mole once seemed.


After getting off the phone with an oncologist last week, I pondered his words. He gave me 2 ½–3 years to live. Doesn't that sound cruelly familiar?! After all, I did write "Two More Years" following the first two-year diagnosis—IN 2020. Is that just their go-to? 

Doc #1: "This chick's insides are crap. Let's give 'er two years."

Doc #2: "Sounds about right. That IS standard protocol."


The three rudest comments on my "almost viral" video probably go as follows:

#1 "Who cares about this woman? Everyone has cancer these days."

#2 "I've heard she doesn't like Trump. At least that's one less liberal."

Last, and also least, #3 someone said they had terminal cancer once (like it’s something you get from the store), and they couldn't believe my "hubris" in posting my journey.


"You can't listen to these people," one of my daughters said. "You're getting to the point that you can't read all of the comments anyway—but you really shouldn't waste your time on the bad ones."


"I want to read what people say, though, because so many other cancer patients ask me to pray for them. And most people are so nice."


"Well, then," she paused, "you need to find a way to deal with this, so it doesn't drain you emotionally. You have enough to worry about, Mom. We need you to get better."


I thought for a minute and then started giggling. "I have it! I just need to make this fun."


"Okay?" She raised a brow.


"You know how I love mochas?"


She nodded.


"I don't get THAT many bad comments. So, the solution is easy. Every time someone says something mean, I'll go buy myself a mocha."


"This could be a very good or a very bad idea," she said before bursting with laughter. 


So, we're doing the best we can. We're adjusting to bad news and good news, kind people and the few mean ones. And we're about to potentially drink a ton of mochas. Life couldn't get any better, right? That's what I'll keep telling myself.


  1. My wife passed in Oct and she absolutely loved your writing and inspiration

  2. You are amazing! You are an angel that God let your family barrow. This,to make the world a better place!

  3. Elisa, began reading your blog in the paper and now on line. Thank you for praying for others as I pray for you. Find Jesus in your
    Prayer time and in your quiet time. None of know our last day, hour or minute. But God loves you and wants YOU to know his son
    as lord and savior. It took me almost 50 years to know the love of God and His Son
    Jesus. God Bless you and your family.

  4. Thank you so much!!! I happened upon your writings and videos by chance. And you have brought so much to my life and have made such a tremendous impact on my life. My wife passed away four years ago, and your words and commentary are truly inspirational. My wife received a terminal diagnosis (ovarian cancer) and was given two months at most to live. And then she lived life to the fullest for over four years and taught me how to do the same in spite of my deep fears of loss and overwhelming caregiving responsibilities that actually turned out to be a tremendous gift. Some might accuse me of being demented for watching and reading your posts while I continue to grieve. But I find your words to be incredibly inspirational and insightful. You bring great comfort to me as I grow in this grief, knowing that you and my wife shared a similar outlook on life, death, love, family, and faith. Your husband is tremendously fortunate to have you in his life, and you are giving him a gift that will last his entire lifetime and will ease the pain of grief over time. I was so touched to hear you expound on your expanded love for him as he has stayed by your side every step of the way. I was blessed to hear the same from my wife, and I carry those sentiments in my heart forever. The same goes for your children who must be so incredibly proud of you and love you so very much. I am rooting for you all, and I have added you to my prayers. Thank you for the miraculous gift of opening yourself up to those who need and appreciate your messages. And thank you for your resilience and determination in trying to reach those who do not yet understand how much they need and should appreciate your messages. You are a godsend and are making a difference on this earth that very few people do in their lifetimes. Keep writing!