Saturday, April 17, 2010


It is hard to even come up with a title to this blog.
Should I say shocked? stunned? surprised? can I say it is almost unbelievable to me?

I am sure that is what most people would say.. how many of you would describe the news?

CANCER .. a hard word to say if it pertains to you.
A word, a phrase~ I thought I would never hear in my lifetime ... You have cancer.

Me, healthy.. eating the Mediterranean diet before it was even called that.. me, a person who has exercised most of my life, no high blood pressure, no high cholesterol, low pulse, active, happy,
a positive outlook on life, laughter everyday. A wonderful family life. No history of cancer in my family.
ME~how? why?

Well folks... there is no answer for any of that.
Cancer strikes without warning. Cancer doesn't pick favorites. It just is.

I am coming to the realization that it is everywhere. Once I started talking about it I am hearing it everyday from someone.

It started with a colonoscopy... something I did NOT want to get done~silly me!

I just read a phrase that stuck with me ... it said "No one should die of embarrassment" how true that is! SO~ GET YOUR COLONOSCOPY DONE!!!!!!!
The colonoscopy was nothing.. but it was the beginning of this journey I am on.

I am choosing to view this as a journey through CANCER. I have always said that you can't chose what happens to you but you can chose how you react towards what happens to you and now I have the chance to put my philosophy to work!

I see CANCER in all capital letters now. It is a formidable opponent. It is a scary word but to tell you the truth ~ there is a good side to CANCER. Blessing that comes with it.

The PEOPLE!!! My family, for one. This didn't just happen to me ~ it happened to everyone who I love, it happened to my whole family.
Everyone is dealing with this their own way. I have so much support it is sometimes overwhelming to me.
My friends, neighbors, my clients, people in my cooking classes,the family run business I deal with everyday, so much support and love.
The nurses, doctors and all the health care professional I have met are so kind so compassionate, so helpful.

The people who are in my life are a gift to me to help me get through this.

I am so grateful for all of them. All the notes, flowers, emails, food, offerings of help and support I have received. It is unbelievable to me.

I have just started this journey. I am in the midst of testing to come up with my treatment schedule. I have spent more time in doctors offices and hospitals than I have in my whole life. It is quite an eye opener.

I am optimistic. I am looking forward but I am also taking it one day at a time.
"This Moment in Time" is my favorite phrase. Just concentrate on the now. That is all we really have anyway... NOW!

As I go through this time in my life, I will be writing my blog. I would love to hear from you.
I love all your thoughts and prayers and white light. I am thankful for my life and those who are in it.

So remember to live your life today, with gusto, with love, with laughter, with compassion for yourself and for others.
Life is so very precious and we sometimes forget that!


  1. WOW! Mom, you really have a talent for writing (Like I haven't said that before). Your outlook and positive attitude towards this FIGHT is what is going to get you through everything. You have been saying one phrase to me my entire life "Think Positive" you wrote it on napkins in my lunch as a child, you have signed many birthday cards with the phrase and it's because you LIVE life that way. You see the positive in everything, in everybody. This is how you (and all of us) are going forward in this, thinking Positive and knowing you will kick cancer's ASS!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you, more than you know!!!!!!!!!

  2. You girls are amazing and I know you are a fighter, Susan! You WILL conquer CANCER! I know it! I feel it! You have my support, prayers, love, attention, encouragement and my respect. You are one of the rare and special ones and you will come out even stronger because of this journey!

  3. We are all behind you 1000% ! We will take the steps with you and be with you throughout this ordeal. And we will celebrate when you have kicked cancer's ASS!!!!, just like Tina said. BRAVISSIMA!

  4. Susan, I have taken your classes at the old "Pratt and Company" and you've catered a retirement dinner for me a few years ago. So although our paths have only crossed a couple of times, I want you to know your contagious enthusiasm has always impressed me. Now that it is being put to the test, you seem unequalled in your determination to remain positive. Your blog will help you and prayers are with you for a speedy recovery so you can fully return to doing what you do best...preparing wonderful food and surrounding those you love with your beautiful smile! God bless you.

  5. Tracy DiBonaventuraMay 8, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    Susan, this is wonderful what you wrote. These are great words for anyone to live by.

  6. Susan~
    Know that I am sending ever once of positive energy I have your way!! You are the strongest woman I know!!!! You keep your thoughts positve and continue to fight with everything in you!!! When ever you need a friend always here for you. Sending hugs your way I LOVE YA GIRLFRIEND...people don't always say that but I believe it always important to express love!!!!

  7. Susan, Dave and I have been thinking of you (and your famly) often since Dom told us of your diagnosis. One of the first things I commented on to Dave was your postive outlook, strength and grace towards life in general, and I know that these will be immeasurably important to you as you face and beat CANCER. Stay strong, but ask for help when you need it, stay positive, but remember it's ok to allow yourself to cry or rage once in a while, too, and as always, continue to surrond yourself with love, laughter, family, and happiness; CANCER won't stand a chance! Dave and I'll be rooting for you! Take care, Love, Allison P.

  8. Thanks everyone!!! I feel like I have an army behind me to fight this!!!

  9. MOM, I am putting YOU in capital letters because YOU are cancer's "formidable opponent". YOU are strong and brave and an unyielding positive force. Be strong and look to us for support, we will always be beside you. Love you!

  10. Susan,
    Sending you lots of prayers and good wishes and you begin your fight! There is a great quote (and I can't think of who it is by now) that says "Just when the caterpillar thought it's world was over, it became a butterfly." Keep that in mind as you go through your treatments. CANCER may not have been in your plans but everything happens for a reason and I believe you will beat it. GOD BLESS YOU!

  11. Hey Susan, it's Dot O, and I am so sorry that you have found yourself traveling this road. Be assured you will have my prayers (along with tons of other people's) every day from here on in.

  12. Chicago has Oprah but Philly has SUSAN. You continue to inspire us all to live the best life we are given. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Happy Mother's Day.

  13. Susan,
    You will make it through this! It will not be easy but the strength that you will receive from all of us who love you so much couple with your own positive thoughts and energy will be what help you to overcome all of this temporary chaos. I love you and am here for you...always!
    Prayers and Big Hugs,

  14. If anyone can fight this, you can! Your positive attitude will bring you through. But remember, don't fight the battle alone.. Let your peeps help you and be willing to accept help when you need it. I went through this 15 years ago myself & it's a life altering experience. You're in my thoughts

  15. Dear Susan~ Your generosity of spirit, strength, and positive outlook have already taken over as you look for the lessons and blessings to be found in even the most difficult journey. I have no doubt that you will triumph. Please know that our thoughts and love are with you. Need someone to give you a ride to treatment, laugh, cry, or talk with? Go see a silly movie to distract yourself? Please call me any time. I'll be pissed off if you don't! XOXOXO

  16. I had my morning coffee with your blog this morning. These are important reads, reminders and messages. My thoughts and prayers will be with you new friend. I'm a cancer survivor and I'm into my 13th year!

    It reminded me of a quote by Winston Churchill, I kept saying to myself during treatment. Never! Never! Never give up.

    May "he" hold you always in the palm of his hand. Surely he will. Love your blog and wish to thank you for sharing.

  17. I just discovered your classes and now I have to wait a year for another??? ;-) You are right...we never know what tomorrow has in store for us. Hang in there Susan, I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Your energy, spirit and darling family will carry you through. Ti mando un bacione e un abbraccio forte forte (ma non tanto da farti male!) God Bless!

  18. Susan - you are in my thoughts and prayers. I have gone through a difficult medical journey. I, like you, had a loving family and faithful friends who surrounded me during a horrible time. Attitude is so important. I had some dark times, but depended on my faith to realize how fortunate I am in my life. You will learn a lot from this and I will pray for you. God Bless and God speed. Accept help from family and friends. They need to feel like they are there for you. Diane Costello, Garnet Valley, PA

  19. Be blessed, Susan. Thank you for sharing, too---you were an inspiration over four years ago when I attended a couple of your classes, and you're an inspiration now. In times like these, as always, we need God's help. However, I've found that God can use people and situations on earth, too! keep on blogging, reaching out, and praying....and I'll be keeping you in my prayers, too! Lisa T.

  20. Stephanie HanniganMay 11, 2010 at 8:04 PM

    Susan- I am as stunned as you decribe above in your blog but when I say that if there is anyone that can beat this, you can! Ask for help when you need and give yourself a break - you are so incredibly optimistic and it really makes a difference when faced with aversities in life - I will be praying for you and know you will beat this thing - please keep the faith and keep blogging!!!!

  21. I had no Idea! I'm in shock, then I think what a dynamic person you are, driven to enjoy everyday. Then the "why Susan"? If you need company just to have coffee and keep expressing your journey to beat this thing called "Cancer" I'll be right over. I think I'm a good listener. Everyone who meets you admires you and loves you. I'm sending my prayers to you ....Hugs MJ