Susan Neder

Lucrezia Borgia

In Lucretia Borgia on November 19, 2010 at 2:37 am

Monday morning came quicker than I had hoped – in the very early morning it was snowing here in Denver and the wind was blowing – very appropriate for my mood as we went off to get my “port” installed. I had never seen one, so I did not know what to expect – but my first thought was that it was BIG – like the end of a stethoscope – maybe a little smaller, but not much and lumpy and attached to it was quite a bit of tubing…..hmmmmmm……when they said that all of that would be buried in my chest so I would not see it (that was supposed to make me feel better, I think) I outwardly smiled and nodded, but what I really wanted to do was RUN, while shouting over my shoulder “no way are you stuffing all of that under my skin – are you crazy?”

At this point I had to call on some grace – the grace of gratitude, the grace of fortitude, and the grace of reverence for life and thank the cosmos for making this stuff available to me, but it was not easy. The actual installation was not comfortable but was ok, and I got to choose the music in the operating room since I had to be awake for this, so we all listened to Jimmy Buffett, of course. which helped alot – I think the idea of the port was worse than actually having it – and I seemed to be the only one bothered by the fact that they installed my port on my starboard side – oh well……that is not the only oxymoron I am running into with all of this!

Yesterday was “chemo school” and radiation practice (chemo school was about even more horrible side effects that could happen and what to do if they occur – I took copious notes just in case) and then today was my first day of chemo and radiation. I received my infusion pump that I carry around for the next few days that dispenses chemo 24/7 – I am naming it Lucrezia Borgia, in honor of the famous poisoner that poisoned a bunch of her husbands, I think, but we are not poisoning husbands – we are poisoning rotten little cancer cells!

Lucretia and I are getting to know each other today – we have had a few issues, such as me forgetting her and going off without her, but that is more uncomfortable for me than her so I am learning quickly. When I got back from the treatment center I had emails from Terri House showing lots of Rotarians at lunch today holding up Netherland flags saying “love Susan” – I can’t describe how wonderful it was to see those right when I got home – it was so funny and so uplifting – You guys are really amazing – I had not realized how down I was until I saw those pictures, and I did a complete turnaround – I feel back on top of this again – I will never be able to thank you enough for those pictures and the timing of them – and whoever had that idea, a special thank you to you.



  1. It is so amazing to me how you heal those of us who love you, while you are healing yourself 🙂 Your wit and humor is all you or any of us need. Love, Gina

  2. We had so much fun doing the pictures… Terri got us all rounded up in short order… not easy in Rotary.

  3. I am so grateful and honoured to be able to read your thoughts, your laughter, & your tears here on this site Susan…you are taking all of us on this long amazing journey into the jungle of this next adventure of YOUR LIFE! Thank you for letting us tag along, carry your water bottle every now & then and also let us be there when you are feeling alone the very most!!! You are beautiful in your new “do”…courageous, hysterically funny at times (as always) and I will go to sleep tonite thankful for your life and praying for a beautiful recovery…I am thankful for my life also here so you are my wake up call…however I do know that you have beaten this already…just some preliminaries to follow up with…JUST…Ya I know that you are hanging by the trees at this time…the ride is just beginning…but you do know how to whitewater…zip line…you name it…with Jimmy by your side…its going to get crazy isn’t it???!!! Hang Loose my dear Susan…We are all here with you even when you think you are alone….Remember this please…& do call on us anytime anywhere…we’ll be there. love, Joy

  4. hi susan, i love your humor! my pacemaker is installed on my starboard side as well, not to port/heart. because i broke the port clavicle when my heart stopped. so gratitude for modern science!

  5. Today is Sunday, I hope Lucrezia will be leaving you by now. I was in a pic at Rotary with our grandson who just returned from Iraq & his sweet wife. He has survived 2 stints in the war is finished. So I know the power of prayer. you are in our prayers! I know laughter is also great medicine & you are able to make us laugh as you endure this, thanks. Amy & family are coming for Thanksgiving so we’re counting our blessings. Will you get to eat turkey??
    Love you, Lois & Jere

  6. Susan, you are amazing! Going through all this and still having a sense of humor! The daughter you met at FF has recently finished second session on Chemo at UCSD–wish I could figure out how to forward your messages to her! She too keeps her chin up–her announcement of date of treatment was headed by “Hair today, gone tomorrow”! She is now on her way to remission and says she feels great!
    Hang in there–our thoughts and prayers go with you. Harold and Joan

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