The medicine that helped me forget about cancer for three days


Pins and needles and scan results— so it goes for me every eight weeks. During my last appointment, my doctor informed me that my tumor marker numbers were rising, which often means something is brewing. This makes waiting for CT scan results even more nerve-wracking.

As of yesterday, all is well. The scan looks stable, which means there has been no growth of the cancer in my liver. As long as it doesn’t advance, life is good.

I spent the last three days with my dearest girlfriends— the five of us take a short trip together every year. We have done this for 23 years since meeting at Mommy and Me Classes when our children were 18 months old.

We talk about the stresses in each of our lives, but mostly we laugh. I requested this trip be a “C-free zone.” I didn’t want to hear the C-word at all.

We took long walks and rented bicycles. We each enjoyed a massage and sat in the hot tub. The girls did a strenuous workout together while I enjoyed yoga. It was only two nights, but we all went home feeling relaxed and filled to the brim with love.

No amount of therapy could come close to what these days delivered. Women are the best. Whether it’s a sister, a high school girlfriend or another person you enjoy being with, togetherness is the best medicine, so I highly recommend surrounding yourself with those loved ones in your life.

An added dose of medicine in my life is my father, who recently arrived from Cleveland for a visit. Three of my siblings also live in Los Angeles, so we all get the chance to see him. Remember “I love LA”? That song perfectly encompasses my feelings about the state today. Temperatures are reaching 88 degrees, and we’re about to get into my car and drive up the coast— for no other reason than to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

With Easter approaching, and the impending family gatherings that will come with the holiday, perhaps there is someone you can think of to take with on a girls’ (or guys’!) trip. How about calling an old college roommate or buddy? My dad still does that at age 88, even as many of his friends have passed.

I hope you also will think of someone with whom to share my blog if you would like, and share your comments on your favorite pastimes with your friends— be it an annual trip or another activity.

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