Staring Down Cancer

Life is not fair

Seriously, what do I have to do to get a break?  A long-awaited trip to take my daughter to school in London last week was a complete and utter disaster.

In January, my goal (as well as my doctor's) was to get me stable enough on a chemo to enable me to take a 10-day break and travel with my daughter to help her set up her dorm room and get settled in for a semester studying abroad.  I had one dose of Eribulin on July 2. The side effect was a very raw, sore throat, but by July 9, I felt better.  My white count was perfect, and my doctor gave me the green light to take the trip.

Madeline and I were so excited as we took off from Los Angeles at 8pm on July 10. By the time we got to the hotel in London, I was feeling a little funky, so I laid down in my black sweatsuit to take a nap. I woke up 12 hours later with my entire mouth on fire, filled with gaping canker sores, a temperature of 101, and I could barely swallow. Imagine my horror. I had had this condition last October, so I had brought with me my gargle/numbing medication.

Madeline was bright-eyed and ready to get to her dorm, receive her key and start moving in. There was no way I could move, so I told her to take a cab to the dorm, drop off her bags, get the key and get started, assuring her I would be fine and join her in a couple of hours. Without getting into all the details, suffice it to say I was a no show for one of the most exciting days in my daughter's life.

I had landed in London on Wednesday afternoon, spent Friday in a U.K. hospital receiving hydration by IV and was back in Los Angeles on Saturday, wearing the same black sweat suit I wore when I left (being too sick to even change my clothes).  I never saw my daughter’s school or her dorm room, I never even opened my suitcase.  I returned to Los Angeles in a wheel chair, met by my husband and son.

Now, I ask you, what have I ever done in this life to deserve this?   I know what you're thinking: Life is not fair!  I know that.  But, can't I please get a little break?

Noreen Fraser is living with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She is the Founder and CEO of the Noreen Fraser Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to funding groundbreaking women's cancer research. To stay in touch with Noreen, please 'LIKE' The Noreen Fraser Foundation on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.  Noreen can be contacted via email at