Starting Chemo

August 29th, 2021 – Post #13

Beth Purcell trying on wigs at the beginning of her chemo treatment
Getting fit for her first wig

Thank you for checking in. My mom had her first round of chemo on Thursday. She felt pretty well while the steroids were still in her system, but now that those have worn away she’s feeling pretty tired and weak – and dealing with aches and pains. Also, she hasn’t had an appetite.

At this point, the plan for her chemo schedule is three Thursdays on, then one off, before getting another scan.

If you read the previous post, I have to tell you that she refused to get rid of her houseplants; but perhaps that’s okay, since I hung a mask on every one of them.

Getting a Wig

September 11th, 2021 – Post #14

Hi there –

My mom finished her third round of chemo on Thursday. She is planning to have a week off this coming Thursday; then start her second cycle of three weeks on, one week off, on the twenty-third.

She’s feeling pretty worn out. Her white blood count dropped to a three, so she has decided to avoid being around people quite as much, out of concern for her weakened immune system.

Her pretty, white hair is beginning to come out, so that’s going to be a hard transition. A neighbor, who is also going through cancer treatments, took her wig shopping the other day, so she does have a new hairdo awaiting her.

Back when my mom was in the Navy, she was already a bit of a social butterfly, and soon earned the nickname “Smiley”. At the time, she was under the command of a rather sour Commander, named Ms. Stankovich, who hailed from – well, I won’t say where – and possibly earned some not very nice nicknames, amongst the underling nurses.

My mom’s nickname must have been rather rank to the unsmiling Ms. Stankovich, for she once informed her, “You know, Miss Miller, you won’t always be a cute, young Ensign.” Perhaps long before Ms. Stankovich took the title of commander, she too had been a cute, young Ensign; or maybe she’d only ever been bitter. I’d better not speculate.

Anyway, even though my mom proudly insists, “I’m a Lieutenant JG”; I remind her, “Yes, but you’ll always be a cute, young Ensign, in our hearts.”

It makes her smile every time.

And I know that with, or without hair, she will still continue to be a cute young Ensign in our hearts.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

Love, Jody

Click here to see my mom’s new haircut and read one of her mother’s poems.

*To read more on my mom’s cancer journey from the beginning, or share it, please click below:


I'm not sure what to say here: I once got second place in a dog-look-alike-contest? I know how to fold a fitted sheet? I'm pretty much a poster child for social backwardness - at least as far as social media is concerned; but I have some stories I think I'm supposed to share and am attempting to do that here, in this space.

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