Eclipse in the Snack Food Aisle

I’m ambling through the grocery store, trying to think of everything we could possibly need so I don’t have to come back in four days. 

Little H is with me, as always. I resorted to bribery to get him into the cart without argument this evening, since his daddy lets him walk, a concession I’m not willing to make. Thank goodness for that mini lollipop I had the foresight to shove into my purse. (It’s late in the day and we’re both tired; don’t judge me.)

I’m midway through the snack food aisle when my cell phone starts to ring. I decide to answer it, in spite of my aversion for public cell phone conversations, and am rewarded by finding my Rheumatologist on the line. (The doctor I see for arthritic problems.)

Missing a doctor’s phone call is like missing an eclipse - it doesn’t occur often, it's gone quickly, and there is no recreating it. Catch the call or make an appointment; you’ll never get a doctor to call a second time or get on the line when you call back. Not for, oh I don't know, another year or so anyway.

I am scrambling for a receipt, coupon, or other shred of paper to take notes on, if necessary. We’re discussing the possibility of my going back onto Enbrel, the shots I give myself to quell the inflammation in my joints, while I’m simultaneously undergoing chemotherapy.  Dang, my body is messed up.

Basically, I’m describing my intimate health issues at 6 PM in the middle of a crowded grocery store. People are wheeling by in search of potato chips as I talk about my upcoming mastectomy date.

You need some crackers? Right there by the bald lady talking about drugs and surgeries. 

At least Little H is being quiet. Actually, he’s pulling boxes off the shelf and throwing them into the back of the cart. Packages of cheese crackers and some kind of Mexican cookie are flying in with a pace that suggests he expects me to intervene at any second. Whatever. 

After I hang-up, it takes me a good 5 minutes to empty my cart and restock the cracker and cookie aisle, but I’m jubilant that I’ve talked to the doctor. I avoided an office visit in a season that is crowded with medical appointments and copayments.
We decided I won’t be going on Enbrel again until post-surgery, a decision I’m comfortable with. I can continue to manage this spell of pain and immobility, because how much narcotics does a person really want to put into their body at once? And who knows, maybe once the cancer is out of my system, so too will the need for an autoimmune disease drug be relinquished.

Cheese cracker anyone?


  1. Hi Jennifer, I just came across your blog and find it incredibly similiar to my own situation. I am currently going through chemo for breast cancer. I am 33 and have two little ones. I too began blogging about my experiences and you are so wonderfully expressive. I have really enjoyed reading your blog. Best wishes!

  2. Hi Angie, I'm so glad you found me. I have now finished the bulk of my treatment and am writing retrospectively. Please let me know if I can offer any suggestions or recommendations. And, best wishes to you!

  3. I would like to say that this blog really convinced me, you give me best information! Thanks, very good post.