NPR logo New Clothes, New Shoes

New Clothes, New Shoes

A shiny pair of black shoes.

I finally did go shopping this past weekend. The first time since my diagnosis in December. I bought a couple of things, and yes, for all of you who wrote in, I did buy a pair of pants. And I bought a pair of shoes. It was funny; I looked at them, walked away, went back a while later, walked away again.

I was trying to decide if it was worth it to buy them. Which would wear out first? Me or the shoes? That sounds silly, but for cancer patients, it's a real question. Is it worth it? Did I need them? No, I have plenty of clothes and shoes. Did I want them? Yeah, I did, and partly to just stick my finger in the cancer's eye.

I've begun to feel a little more optimistic at times; I'm hoping that maybe the Avastin, the new drug, may actually be doing something. Many people wrote in saying that they had good results from it. But I'm worried about getting my hopes up, of counting on something that is far from guaranteed. I'm trying to prepare myself for another of those discussions. "We're sorry, it just didn't perform the way we hoped. We need to try something else."

But in the meantime, we all face the same issues as my shoe purchase. Several of you wrote in last week talking about agonizing over long-term warranties. Are they worth it? Do you buy a five-year, or two-year warranty on something, when your doctors have given you a life expectancy shorter than the warranty? Warranties usually include a phrase something like "for the life of the product." What about "for the life of the purchaser?"

I guess maybe I'm tired of being completely conservative on this front — not buying anything. I mean, what the heck, right? So I'm going to put on my new clothes and my new shoes, and tell myself I look good. And maybe that small act of optimism will do as much damage to the tumors as the drugs. I hope so.