About Susan

12/20/11 I am 49 years old, married with 2 grown children, 2 semi-psychotic dogs and 2 lazy orange cats. On 10/30/11 I discovered a lump in my right breast and was diagnosed with Stage 2, Grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma. Breast Cancer.  I have had two biopsies after mammogram and ultrasound, an MRI, heart scan and surgery. I am about to begin chemotherapy, followed by radiation and estrogen suppression. I try to find humor in most situations and there have been some cringe worthy and down right funny moments over the past 2 months. I want to share my journey to being a cancer survivor by trying my hand at blogging.

6/19/12  I have now completed chemotherapy, had my power port removed, been tested for the BRCA gene and will begin radiation next week.  Still blogging. Still laughing.
8/20/12  I am done with active treatment, having completed radiation on 8/17/12. I lost a week in July when my sister unexpectedly passed away.  Ironically having treatment to focus on got me through the first very difficult weeks after her death.  A bone density scan shows strong bones and the addition of Calcium along with daily weight bearing exercise will keep them that way. Today I started taking Tamoxifen and, as with the chemo, I am telling myself that side effects are not mandatory.  I’m not always the best listener. I’ll keep you posted.

4/29/2013 My husband became a grandfather!

6/6/13. I am a widow.

12/11/15.  In 4 years this blog has morphed from dealing with cancer, to dealing with widowhood and life in general to a kind of rant of things that irritate me.  It feels right.

5/29/16 . Why still blogging? because seeing the humor in things is much easier and a lot less messy than opening a vein and blogging about it all is certainly a lot cheaper than therapy.



  1. Marie Ennis-O'Connor (@JBBC) · June 27, 2012

    Hi Susan, I would like to contact you by email – if that’s ok with you? My email is beyondbreastcancer@live.com. Thanks.


  2. Heather · July 3, 2012

    I enjoy reading your blog. Although I’m only at the beginning of my journey, I believe that wry humor can get us through just about anything without losing our minds.


    • mainelyhopeful · July 3, 2012

      It certainly helps! Good luck with your own journey. I’ll be following along 🙂


  3. miltonia10 · July 23, 2012

    Hi Susan,
    I wish you all the best on your journey. I started chemo this a.m. and so far, so good. I will be following with you.


  4. tinajuvonen · August 10, 2012

    Chin up chest out (what’s left of it) I’m right there with you Susan and I love the name of your blog.


  5. sue4jc · September 22, 2012

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Seems like we have a lot in common, including our first name. Sounds like you’re in Maine? My daughter lives there.
    Congrats on being done with the treatment. You’ve had quite a year. Glad to see you can do it with some humor. The way I see it, we either laugh or cry about it all. The choice is ours with all life hands us.


    • mainelyhopeful · September 22, 2012

      There has been plenty to laugh about, thankfully. 🙂 I’m in central Maine. Have you visited the area?


      • sue4jc · September 23, 2012

        Yes, fell in love with it but now they are moving to another state next month. We were mostly visiting in the Brunswick area, enjoyed the beautiful coastline.


  6. Aum Nicol · October 1, 2012

    You keep inspiring me!


  7. insahmity · October 28, 2012

    I am at the beginning of my cancer experience and was looking for other writers to help me through. I look forward to reading–


    • mainelyhopeful · October 28, 2012

      I’ve just found your blog as well. It’s a lot to process at the beginning but having the blog and connecting with others at various stages of treatment is a great help.


  8. insahmity · November 1, 2012

    Did you have surgery, too?


  9. Cameron Von St. James · November 15, 2012


    I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?




  10. thelifeofjamie · July 26, 2013

    Well shit! You’ve certainly been dealt a bad hand for the past few years! I’m sorry I haven’t visited sooner. It sounds like you still kick ass and take names. And if you don’t, that’s okay too…I’m still going to think of you as a badass.


    • mainelyhopeful · July 27, 2013

      I’m glad you’re here now. 🙂 I have been enjoying your blog for some time.


  11. ElyseElyse · August 5, 2013

    Hi Susan,
    I want to echo The Life ofJamie up above and say “well shit!”

    Sorry there is so much of it flying your way. I admire your strength (don’t you HATE it when people say that), your humor and your unwillingness to crumble.
    You go girl.


    • mainelyhopeful · August 5, 2013

      Yes. Shit. That about sums it up. I just found your blog. Thanks for stopping by mine. 🙂


  12. nivaladiva · August 9, 2013

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks somuch for stopping by Riding Bitch and the follow. I’m sorry for all you’ve been through, and now a recent widow too. Ugh. Life is a shit sandwich sometimes. You sound very resilient and funny. Humor is the best weapon, in my opinion. Looking forward to following your journey.


    • mainelyhopeful · August 10, 2013

      Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m looking forward to catching up on yours.



  13. Mari Rodriguez · August 10, 2013

    Susan, I would like to speak with you privately. Please email me @


  14. Mike Hamel · August 24, 2013

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, Susan. Always good to hear from another cancer survivor. Unfortunate we also have widowhood in common. Blessings.


    • mainelyhopeful · August 24, 2013

      Yeah, cancer and widowhood. Two clubs we were kind of forced into.


  15. Lorraine · November 23, 2013

    A fellow blog follower if yours recommended your blog to me. I so sorry for your losses and your chosen battle with Cancer. Thank you for your honest generous sharing of your experiences. Looking forward to reading more.


  16. Lorraine · November 23, 2013

    I meant “Unchosen” battle with cancer – stupid ass auto correct!


  17. cindyspursuits · May 25, 2014

    So sorry for your loss:( You’ve been through it all. Best wishes for happier days ahead!


  18. deeincollingo · June 22, 2014

    Susan, thank you for reading my blog. I am sorry for your losses as well as your battle with cancer. In my grief fog, I do believe we may have corresponded before but just in case we didn’t, I am so very sorry for everything that has been thrown at you and I hope you continue to remain mainly hopeful. Hugs, Dee


  19. FitsofWit · September 24, 2014

    You seem inspiring.
    Looking forward to following along your journey.


  20. Susan · July 3, 2015

    Your words (my reality) have hit close to my heart. I also went through cancer and then lost my husband too soon this March. I hear you when you say I am fine, but you are not.


    • mainelyhopeful · July 3, 2015

      I’m so sorry about your husband, Susan. And thank you for reading/commenting on my last post. I took it down after a good night sleep and realizing that it was taking people to task that would be hurt. That wasn’t my intention.


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