Redefining “Fine”



I haven’t updated my blog in a bit primarily because each time I sit down to write I have to try and avoid the elephant sitting next to me that demands a forum.

It’s been tough to ignore. And trust me, I am well schooled in the art of denial. I’m practically the poster child for it.

It might be why when I found a lump in my breast, I assumed it was nothing. And, actually, it was. But the rest of what was found there, after the ultrasounds, and the MRIs and the biopsies, turned out to be more than nothing. Each day changed the situation. It went from, “This is nothing,” to “This might be something,” to “You’ll be fine, we caught it early.”

I quickly became educated in the sliding scale that is “fine” and how different that scale is when you’re sitting in an oncologist’s office. “Fine” used to mean Neosporin and a Band-Aid.  Now, it means you’ll need surgery, maybe some radiation, but you’ll live. It’s like suddenly getting thrust into the alternate 1985. Only there is no time machine to fix this, no Doc Brown to find 1.21 gigawatts of power.

Thank you for that heaping serving of perspective with my morning coffee.

It could be worse. I know that. It’s what I tell the people who look at me with weepy eyes and want to hug me in support. I don’t need any of that. After all, I’m FINE. Or the well-meaning, encouraging friends who tell me I can fight this when they don’t realize that at this point, it’s a passive fight. It’s a civil war within myself and I’m letting the armies secede with hopes that they don’t leave any cellular spies behind. It’s a fight that plays out in operating rooms and MRI machines and consists of me laying prone while getting stabbed multiple times. Always followed by, “You’re fine.”

I’ve spoken to many people, friends of friends, who have gone down this same path and have echoed that sentiment. And then I hear about the other ones. The ones that aren’t “fine.” The ones whose prognoses include words like “hospice” and “palliative” and “terminal” and nothing near my own horrible new version of “fine.” Those stories slap me in the face, shove me against a wall, and yell, “How dare you complain!” to my laughable, curable prognosis.

I’ve sat with my friends and did the math and realized that I am the 1 in the 8 of the statistic that I keep hearing. I tell them that we should keep getting together in groups of eight so that they can beat the odds in some kind of twisted Final Destination fate game. Hang out with me, and statistically you will all be better than FINE. You will be the 7 out of the 8.

I am lucky. It has taken some time to wrap my head around that idea, but it’s true. I dodged a bullet. This could have been much worse. I might have a difficult year ahead of me, but I will eventually get back to the 1985 I know. And while I don’t have plans to turn this site into a cancer blog,  I know it might dominate some of the posts as I am launched onto this journey.

But don’t worry.  I have nothing to mourn. Nothing to cry over. I will have years and years after this blip on the screen. Years of bringing “fine” back into perspective.

And in the grand scheme of things, that’s fine by me.










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Categories: Fear, Insanity, Philosophy, Uncategorized, Writing

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35 replies

  1. Adina, you ROCK. And we know you’ll overcome this challenge the same way you do with any other challenge – with flying colors! And you’ll be just FINE 🙂

    Post encouraging words and well wishes for Adina at

  2. Adina,
    I wish you a complete and speedy recovery. All the best to you.

  3. It’s not really the sorority every one wants to get in, but once you join you’re there for life and you find an amazing group of people ready to help and support.
    Hopefully everything will be even easier than you expect.

  4. hey it is jod kopenigsberg just want to wish you the best and we all are davening for your complete recovery so you can be FINE once again!

  5. Adina,
    May you have a complete and speedy recovery. REFUA SHLEMA! It’s fine by me if you are fine, but I want you completely recovered and SOON, B’H.

  6. Adina, you’re AWESOME! Refuah sheleima. We love you.
    Remember… the alternate 1985 came along with siblings that suddenly, miraculously were no longer dweebs, as well as a really nice new car! Here’s hoping!

  7. So glad to hear how you’re doing (and learn something, too). Thank you for writing about this difficult, crazy time. xo

    • Thanks for stopping by to read. It is a crazy time. Hopefully things will get to normal sooner rather than later. 🙂 (And thanks for the books, by the way!)

  8. Fine definitely takes on a whole new meaning when you truly feel Yad HAshem. Keeping you in our thoughts and tefillot. Abby (Weiss) Weisz. You will always be more than fine. you are an outstanding individual. thank you for sharing this struggle.

  9. Adina, im the luckiest guy around, b ah.

  10. Wow, scary… And SO glad you are fine. Xo

  11. Adina, my thoughts are with you and your family. You’re right, it could be worse. Even so, it still sucks. I don’t really know you other than through blogging community, but I enjoy reading your posts which are always thoughtful. These latest posts are no exception. Thank you for sharing.

    • So good to see you here, Melinda!It does suck, but it’s good to have friends – even “friends-through-blogging” – to take away some of the suckiness. 🙂


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