Sue Hessel

First post: Mar 10, 2020 Latest post: Jun 16, 2020
Welcome to my CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place, although Sue (me) had already been using Facebook for that, but that's hit or miss these days. 

My story is that in 2009 with a lump in my right breast It was first identified as a cyst that would slowly go away. But six months later I was anxious and the radiologist suggested it was still assist but it was time time for a mammogram, which. showed the tumor growing. Being of Jewish Ashkenazi decent, my doctors said "we needed to go further." "I'll convert," I offered. But that would not work. It did bring a laugh. To me anyway.  

I had a breast MRI, an odd test to say the least and it it showed a big honking tumor that would include surgery and possibly chemotherapy and radiation. Surgery was a double mastectomy. My choice of course. And I had a bunch of lymph node involvement which pushed me into stage three, advanced cancer. 

And you know the old saying, "Real men eat quiche?" In my mind, real women get double mastectomies, chemo and radiation. So I am a real woman. 

Treatment was not fun but I managed and somewhere in there gained confidence in myself.  I also developed a much more positive attitude about life -- despite knowing cancer could rear its ugly head again, which it did. 

That happened in 2016 while I was working at a job I called the salt mine that I did in addition to my writing. and personal historian biz. That's helping others with their memoirs, family stories, business,  community, etc.

I have a philosophy that says, despite being in unlucky categories of life, I feel very lucky. We lost a child to leukemia in 1986, but are grateful for knowing him almost 9 years and learned so much from him and his life. That he is still remembered because of the writing he did, is a thrill. He wrote short stories and a novel that was way, way ahead of his time. We are reprinting "The Great Planet Swap and Other Stories" as a benefit for the La Crosse Public Education Foundation. 
I feel a lot like Tom Sawyer getting painting the writing, editing, and layout help from others. I'm not naming names now for fear of missing someone. 

And my family? How can anyone be luckier than me? To have a husband who does so much to help me, children who take my phone calls AND call me, and grandchildren who love me is beyond anything 

I'm now in hospice services at home, but at this particular moment I get tired, but am doing well. Hospice provides services as needed and right now as April 1 I don't need much. 

I am able to work on my various writing projects with help from my friends. And speaking of friends, how grateful can I be that so many say nice things and are willing to help. We are in the midst of the coronavirus - COVID 19 - there is additional madness in the world. Stay home. Stay well. Love you all. 

We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting the site and me via Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, or any other virtual means.