Bad news, good news, and asking for help

UPDATE: No further donations or spreading of the word are necessary. This fundraiser has been a success: I’ve raised enough to comfortably cover my mortgage and other expenses for a few months, while I recover my health and get my writing and speaking career revved up again afterwards. Effusive, gushing, heartfelt thanks can be read here. If you just heard about this fundraiser and are moved to make a donation, please make one to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk via the Foundation Beyond Belief, or to Camp Quest. Thanks.

Dear Readers,

I have some more news of the crappy variety. It’s not as alarming as it’s going to sound: it’s probably going to be fine in the long run, and even in the medium run. So even though your first reaction may be alarm, try to not go there if you can avoid it. But I want to fill you in. And I’m going to ask you for some help.

The bad news is that I was just diagnosed with endometrial cancer. I got the initial biopsy results Saturday, and met with the oncologist Tuesday.

The good news about the bad news: To the degree that there is a “good” kind of cancer, this is the good kind: well-differentiated cells, Class 1, in a body part that I have no great need of and am fine with having removed. But it’s still, you know, cancer. Right now, the oncologist is pretty sure that it’s totally treatable with hysterectomy — “totally treatable” meaning “after the hysterectomy I really won’t have cancer any more” — and he’s pretty sure I won’t need chemotherapy or radiation. There is, however, a slight but not trivial chance that it’s actually Class 2, in which case I would need chemo and/or radiation. They’ll know that for sure after I’ve had the surgery and they’ve analyzed the tumor. I’m having the surgery Wednesday, October 24.

And yes, I am aware of the ridiculously horrible timing of getting this news not even two weeks after my father died. Ingrid is referring to it as “emotional whiplash.” I kind of can’t think about that right now. Right now, at this point I’m mostly just hugely relieved that the cancer isn’t worse, and am just wanting to move forward and take care of business and my health.

The bad news again, and the part where I’m going to ask for help: This situation is going to seriously interfere with my ability to work for a little while. I’m going to be weak and doped up on pain meds for at least a couple of weeks after the surgery — possibly longer — and travel will be inadvisable for six weeks after the surgery. And all that’s assuming the best-case scenario of “no chemo or radiation”… which, again, is the most likely scenario, but not the only one. I’ve had to cancel my appearance at Skepticon, as well as all my other speaking gigs for the next couple of months — and I already had to cancel several speaking gigs when my dad died. Speaking gigs are a significant part of my income, both for the honoraria and the book sales. I also won’t be able to do much writing or other work for a little while, including paid writing gigs, book promotion, work on my next books, etc. This, after my immediate and obvious health concerns, is my biggest worry right now. As regular readers know, I only just a few months ago quit my day job and switched to writing and speaking full-time. I’m fortunate enough to have good insurance — but being self-employed means no sick leave or paid time off, and I haven’t yet had time to build up any sort of financial cushion. My financial plans for switching to full-time freelance writing and speaking did not include being sidelined for several weeks with cancer and a death in the family.

Which brings me to the part where you can help.

If I could not worry about money for the weeks while I’m recovering, it would take a big, big load off my mind. So I’m swallowing my pride, and am doing a fundraiser/ pledge drive. I’d hoped not to do any more of these after my book came out, but these are extraordinary circumstances, and I am sucking it up.

If you want to help out, you can make a one-time donation to this blog, of any amount. Or you can “subscribe” to this blog, which means an automatic donation of five dollars a month for a year.

Even small donations would be very much appreciated: they do add up. You can use a credit card if you don’t have a PayPal account, or you can use your PayPal account if you do. And if you don’t want to use the PayPal system at all, you can send a check or money order to:

Greta Christina
PO Box 40844
San Francisco, CA 94140-0844

If you can’t or don’t want to donate money, but you still want to help, other helpful things would be:

Help spread the word about this fundraiser: on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, your own blog, any other reasonable means that you have access to.

Buy my book, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, and/or encourage other people to buy it and publicize it.

Give me suggestions for books and DVDs to keep me occupied during my recovery. I’m looking for books, movies, and TV shows that are engaging and entertaining, but not heavy or serious, and that don’t take too much brainpower to follow.

Send kind words. They help, more than I can say.

And if you do want to donate or subscribe, here are those numbers again:

Thanks so much. I’ll be back to blogging as soon as I can.

Bad news, good news, and asking for help

217 thoughts on “Bad news, good news, and asking for help

  1. 5

    I bought your book, and hope to do more later. Lots of internet hugs if you’d like them. Hang on in there and take care of yourself. (And internet hugs to Ingrid too, if she’s like them.)

  2. 7

    I just bought your book. I’ll be sending a donation soon. Modern medicine us a wonderful thing. I hope you have a speedy recovery.
    Virtual hugs!

  3. 8

    […] and all-around brilliant writer, Greta Christina, has given so much to our non-theist community. Now, it’s time to give back to her. Greta has been diagnosed with endometrial cancer, and soon will be undergoing surgery. During this […]

  4. 9

    I’ve posted this on the A+ forum. (And someone else has put it on the A+ subreddit as well). Off to Paypal next.

    Hugs to you and Ingrid. Do whatever you need and don’t worry about us – we’re here for you, and we’ll be here when you get back.

  5. 11

    I’ve had multiple family members go trhough Cancer. Glad to hear you’ve cuaght it early. Hang in there, and remember just how many people you’ve got cheering you on.

    I reccomend “Pat and Mike” (or any Tracy/Hepburn combo)for a movie, and “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” for a book.

  6. 12

    Kind kind kind kind.

    Also: Terry Pratchett, Donald E. Westlake, Lisa Lutz, Douglas Adams, James Thurber, Alice Kahn, Hunter S. Thompson, Florence King, Tom Holt, Carl Hiaasen, Christopher Moore, Tom Sharpe, Thorne Smith, Tom Robbins, Mark Twain, …


  7. 13

    Well, that timing does suck, and not just because I was looking forward to seeing you at Skepticon.

    I note that Remington Steele and Cagney and Lacey were recently added to Hulu. Both hold up remarkably well these decades later, despite the hairstyles. If you haven’t seen it, may I also recommend Holiday, the 1939 romantic dramedy, if you haven’t seen it already. It’s delightfully subversive, even now.

    And thank you for telling everyone what they can do to help. It makes a difference to us.

  8. 14

    I’ve had a great deal of affection for you and your writing for awhile now, Greta. I wish you a fast and easy recovery. I subscribed to your blog because it’s one of my favorites and you absolutely deserve to be paid for your work.

    I recommend watching the Big Bang Theory for the times when you need laughter. A good book to read is Beggars in Spain, an interesting take on genetics and what would happen if we created “perfect” humans. Though if that’s a bit too heavy, I recommend the Dark Hunter Books by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Romance, paranormal, mostly decent sex scenes; they’re good for what they are. My favorite is Night Play because the heroine is plus size and the guy interested in her finds her sexy as hell just as she is. Of course he’s also a werewolf…

  9. 17

    […] a really tough time right now — a death in the family, a major health issue, etc. You can read all the details on her site.Needless to say she won’t be doing as much writing/traveling in the next few months, a […]

  10. 20

    Just picked up your book for kindle. I might go back and get the audio too.
    as for time killers this may or may not fall under your interest but Citizen radio is a lefty comedy podcast Monday to Friday. hosted by Jamie Kilstein ( i know you know of him ) and his wife Allison Kilkenny. that’s an hour a day for you.
    Best of luck! If i hear you need more $ i’ll be back with my visa.

  11. 21

    Hey Greta. I’m sorry to hear about your most recent news and all the things that have been going on in your life. I was a caregiver for my mother after she was diagnosed with the same kind of cancer two years ago and had the same kind of treatment you will have. If there’s any questions you might have, feel free to email and ask. Be strong.

  12. 23

    Well, that sucks. Greta, you’ve taught me a lot, not just about atheist activism but also about living a good life. And I doubt I’d have lost those 50+ lbs without your excellent series on diet and exercise helping me to keep my head on straight.

    So I just bought the book at Smashwords and made a donation and did the twitter/facebook thing, and I send you virtual hugs and love and gratitude and my hope that things turn out ok.

    As for fun movies…how about “Zorro the Gay Blade?” Silly, sweet, good-hearted…it always leaves me giggling.

  13. 24

    So sorry for this(rather large)bump in the road.

    Some practicalities. For the first two weeks post-surgery you will sleep. A lot. You will need meals prepared for you. You’ll totter off to the bathroom and that will require a recovery nap.
    At about four weeks, you will start to worry that you’re not recovering as expected because you’re still weak.You will call the doc and she will confirm that you’re doing fine.
    In six weeks you can go back to work but you’ll be tired by mid-afternoon.

    I’ve had too many surgeries and the hysterectomy was the most debilitating. I didn’t read much until about four weeks post-op and I’m an inveterate reader. I also didn’t watch movies because I fell asleep after about fifteen minutes. Take care of yourself and give yourself permission to rest.

  14. 25

    Greta, I just subscribed to the blog, and I wish you all the best.

    Both my mother and my sister-in-law had hysterectomies within the last year. May your recovery be as smooth as theirs was.

  15. 26

    I am so so sorry to hear of this, I’ll be both subscribing and doing a one time donation as well. You are, as so many other leading edge atheists, an inspiration and source of psychological and emotional encouragement when I’m feeling down about the state of the world today. You are one of the women that I direct my daughters to as a role model. Hang in there.

  16. 31

    Greta, I’ve always enjoyed your writing and had the pleasure of hearing you speak a little while ago. I bought your book and am wishing you all the best.

    I recently had some surgery and found that during the recovery, at least at first when I was really drugged up, that I preferred to watch tv shows I’d seen before–Doctor Who, Buffy, Angel–because it didn’t require too much focus and if I feel asleep in the middle of the episodes then I wasn’t missing anything. Other shows that don’t require too much brainpower and are entertaining: Eureka, Warehouse 13, Merlin (BBC), Being Human (BBC and SyFy versions), Misfits, Chuck (haven’t seen but friends suggested it to me), So You Think You Can Dance.

    Some other (somewhat indelicate) practicalities to add to what sharoncrawford said above: stock up on soft bland foods and lots of fluids. I didn’t eat meals really, mostly just little snacks at first. Also, cough drops as the breathing tube can leave you with a sore throat. I would also strongly recommend taking a stool softener as pain killers can make you constipated.

    I hope that everything goes smoothly and that you have a fast recovery.

  17. 32

    May I suggest “Singing in the Rain”? Hard to feel blue when that’s playing.

    For reading, if you haven’t picked up Jasper Fforde’s series about Tuesday Next, it’s an excellent series to enjoy. Copious amounts of wordplay and puns!

    Be well. <3

  18. 33

    I just bought five copies of your book – one for me and the rest for gifts.

    I’ve been reading your blog only since the beginning of the year but your words have helped me so much, with recognizing my privilege and being aware of society’s pressure on us concerning sex, especially.

    The films “Real Genius” and “The Princess Bride” and anything Monty Python work for me for escapism and laughter.

    Bill Bryson’s books, especially the ones about the English language, are well-written, informative, and highly entertaining.

    My mother had this same surgery for the same reason about thirty years ago. I hope it goes as well for you as it did for her.

  19. 34

    Subscription purchased! And I will spread the word. I wish you all the best and a speedy recovery from your upcoming surgery. Twice now I seen you — at TAM in 2011 and at the Ascent of Atheism convention in Denver over this past Labor Day weekend — and so wanted to shake your hand and tell you how much I enjoy your writing and your thoughts. But never got the chance. Maybe next time. In the meanwhile, all my hopes for the best outcomes are with you.

  20. 35

    Long-time lurker, first time commenter.

    All the best to you in this terrible situation, Greta. Take care of yourself and we’ll all be waiting for your return.

    Subscribed to the blog, since I’ve already bought the book.

  21. 42

    Donated. I’ve never commented before, but have followed your blog and appreciated your insights for a while. I’m so sorry all this is happening.

    When I was ill, Harry Potter was my comfort blanket in book form. It’s readable, not too taxing and there are loads of them. But you might be more grown-up than I am 🙂

  22. 43

    Just a tad under six years ago, my stepfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer, followed a couple months later by my mother being diagnosed with uterine cancer (effectively the same as Greta’s cancer, just a different cell type), and then breast cancer a month after that.

    My stepfather is contemplating retiring by the end of the year. He’s in good health, no signs of cancer. My mother’s lumpectomies ended up not working, but after a mastectomy, she’s doing well with the the breast cancer in remission, and this summer even started taking water aerobics classes. Not a sign of the uterine cancer either. They bought an RV this summer and toured for several weeks, and look forward to doing it again next year. Just in time to go to my sister’s wedding, I bet.

    It will be very rough for the first few weeks. And even after that, expect rough spots on occasion, even though the cancer is gone – just like any trauma, it takes time for the mind to fully absorb and accept what happened, and that too is a necessary part of healing. But this is something that can be overcome, and know that we are here rooting you on.

  23. 45

    OK donation in, book bought! Best of luck with your expected recovery!

    I read your post and tried to heed your warning to “not go there” but I did, I panicked a bit, it hurt me right in the heart. I’m so sorry to hear everything that’s been going on in your life recently. I admire your writing and you’ve been an influential part of my critical thinking and empathy training over the years. You’ve helped make me a better person. That is why it got me in the heart there for a second.

    Do you not have Employment Insurance (EI) in the States? I guess not, it’s a social program that helps those in need. We have EI here in Canada and you can get 55% of your last salary for up to 15 weeks, due to not being able to work due to illness or injury.

    Social programs are can be really good 🙂

  24. 47

    Subscribed and shared on FB.

    Recommending something that not a lot of people might recommend: Justified. It’s got a lot of humor, and interesting storylines/characters. Also lots of hawt people to watch as they do things that aren’t completely realistic, but still interesting.

  25. 49

    You have got to be kidding.

    I am sorry, but Greta, this is so very out of line. With all the causes and organizations that could actually use this money for much better purposes, you should just be ashamed of yourself.

    Everyone is having hard times, but this is disgusting. You made a choice to forgo medical insurance and make your job speaking and promoting your agenda. Now, those choices are creating trouble for you and you have the stones to ask, nay beg, for our money.

    My money goes to those who need it, not who are just “in a bind”.

    You have actively promoted thought policing, misandry and ridiculous agenda and you now want money.

    Shame on you.

  26. 50

    Thanks for letting us know, Greta. All my best wishes for a successful surgery and a speedy recovery. I’m glad people who have had a hysterectomy are cautioning you about the timescale for recovery. I’m sure you know it’s likely to be longer when combined with grief. I hope you have plenty of people around to remind you that both kinds of recovery are hard and take time.

    Might I suggest that you have someone else monitor your blog so that you don’t have to read comments from unbelievably insensitive people like #49 above? Sarahjess, sweetheart, if you don’t want to contribute, don’t. Others of us do want to contribute and have. Please at least take your vile comments elsewhere while Greta recovers. When she’s well again, I’ll enjoy watching her politely take you down for whatever ridiculous comment you make next.

  27. 53

    Dear Greta,
    I loved your book and a few of your columns have been life changing for me. I just subscribed and I wish you every good chance with your health. My sister was diagnosed with the same cancer two years ago, but hers was stage 3 and quickly progressed to stage 4. She fought valiantly for a year and a half. Please get well, I don’t want to lose another good woman in my life.


  28. 55

    I hope this can add to the “good news” column: The two women I know who have had complete hysterectomies in recent years both bounced back much more quickly than the generous recuperation timeframe they’d been prepared for. They were active and relatively pain free weeks ahead of schedule, if I’m not mistaken.

  29. 56

    Seems I have found a solution to my family’s October birthdaypocalypse.

    For entertainment that’s engaging and amusing, I suggest any and all of Carl Zimmer’s science books. Parasite Rex was particularly good in my opinion, but I also loved At the Water’s Edge, good if you like whales.

  30. 58

    It’s not much, but small donation sent.

    I just recently got called as a possibly match for a bone marrow donor. I figure compared to what you’re going through, that won’t be nearly so bad.

    Get better soon.

  31. 60

    Oh my. All my support and good will. I am bankrupt and on disability or would help.

    I am reading ‘All We Know: three lives’ by Lisa Cohen. Biographies of Esther Murphy, Mercedes De Acosta and Madge Garland. Lesbo-culture/history. Also Sybille Bedford’s first book: ‘A Visit to Don Otavio.’

    Pet the moggies for me.

  32. 65

    So many thanks to everyone: not only for the financial help, but for the extremely kind thoughts and words. It is all making a huge, huge difference. This has been one of the best days I’ve had in several weeks.

    And please don’t engage with the troll. They’ve been banned. I want to focus on the good side of atheism and of humanity right now. So once again — thanks, more than I can possibly say.

  33. 66

    And please don’t engage with the troll. They’ve been banned. I want to focus on the good side of atheism and of humanity right now.

    Sorry about that Greta. I won’t engage further.

    I’m glad it’s been a good day.

  34. 68

    Done, and wishing you all the best; I’ll miss the blog posts but that’ll just make me appreciate them more when you’re better and back to writing.

  35. CJO

    Is there anything I can do to actually help? I have not yet made your acquaintance (to my regret) but I live in the East Bay, and, I don’t know, I make a pretty mean veggie lasagna…

    I’m sure you have lots of support and friends around, but I’m serious. I feel awful about what you’re going through.

    You can email me at … scratch that. I’ll email you.

    Anything I can do, I will. I’m in SF on weekdays for my job, and I ride BART so I don’t have a car with me usually. But if it should come to pass that you need somebody and no one is available, I would do anything I reasonably can to be of help.

  36. 73

    Your book was the best thing I read in a very long time.
    I’m so sad to read this, I wish you the best.

    Don’t all the books on this list give you money? If so you should market that too.
    Erotic comics people!

  37. 75

    Buy my book, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, and/or encourage other people to buy it and publicize it.

    Your book just became my official Xmas present to a half dozen people!

    PS – I won’t be praying for you, but I’ll spare a “rah! rah!” for your doctors.

  38. 76

    Take good care of yourself and get better. Both you and your work are appreciated, and sorely needed.

    As for suggestions on what to watch, as far as I can tell nobody has yet suggested Julia Sweeney’s DVD monologue “God Said ‘Ha!'” It’s available on Netflix.

    It was made before her excellent “Letting Go of God” and is a warm, sweet, sad, and funny reminisce about the year both she, and her beloved brother, came down with cancer. As I recall, she had some unusual form of uterine cancer, for which she gets a hysterectomy. And talks about that, too.

    When Julia Sweeney chats about her life, you feel as if a good friend is sitting with you, sharing. If this friend’s experience intersects with your own, I imagine there’s even more impact. She’s a natural — one of those people who could make a story about standing in a line at the Post Office interesting. She makes it all sound spontaneous.

    I think you’d enjoy “God said HA!” on a lot of levels. But have a box of Kleenex nearby.

  39. 77

    I’m so sorry to hear that Greta.

    Bloody cancer.

    I’ve been lurking for a while now, but I still avidly check up on your blog, and the book was great. Big <3 for the Greta.

    Hoping very much for the all best for you, Ingrid, and the kitties.

    +1 subscription

  40. 78

    Ms. Greta, you have always been a huge inspiration to me. If it were not for you, I would not be who I am today. Or, possibly worse, I would actually be who I am now, deep down inside, but too afraid to show it to the world, to be myself, and to be OK with who I am. I’m sure many others feel the same. Donating is the least I could do to pay you back for all you’ve done. Goodness knows you deserve it and I owe it to you.

    I sent a donation, spread the word on my atheist club’s Facebook and my personal Twitter, and I have encouraged many people to buy your book (I have the ebook already, but I may get myself a physical copy too). The world needs to know why we’re angry, damn it! /flips table

    It breaks my heart to see you going through so much pain and difficulty right now. But if anyone can come out of this swinging and better than ever before, it’s you. I know we’ll see that eventually, but right now give yourself permission to be human and take as much time as you need to recover.

    I highly recommend watching the series “Undeclared” for some lighthearted college laughs. There’s only one season (a shame, really) so it won’t take too much time. I remember an episode called “God Visits” being quite amusing as well, featuring a plot where one character “finds religion” and another has an existential crisis. I watched it a long time ago though, when I was first questioning religion, so take that with a grain of salt.

    Also, Community. And Cheers. Sometimes you’ve gotta go “where everybody knows your name”! ;D

  41. 80

    Done, and happy to do it. Your writing has been very important in helping me clarify and refine my feelings about many things, not just atheism. I wish you a speedy recovery, and I second the recommendation to watch stuff that you’ve already watched when you’re in the first hazy part of recovery. That way it doesn’t take much mental energy to watch, and if you doze off, oh well.

    All best wishes to you, Greta. 🙂

  42. 81

    I’m so sorry to hear this :-(. I already subscribe, but I just kicked in an extra one-time donation. I wish you a successful and speedy recovery!

  43. 87

    Oh, Greta — I am soooo sorry you have cancer, but I am relieved you caught it early. My heart goes out to you.

    I hope the surgery goes well, and that you recover speedily. I send you and Ingrid virtual hugs (if you want them).

    For light entertainment I recommend Misterogers Neighborhood. I am serious — Fred Rogers was a very sweet, loving man, and I find that his programs are very cheerful and soothing, and Johnny Costa’s music for the shows (light jazz) is very cheerful and soothing, too. (Costa composed original music for every one of the more then 900 shows.) I also like “The Brady Bunch” for light, silly, fluffy entertainment. Won’t matter if you zone out or fall asleep during it. Then there is my all-time favorite TV series: “Star Trek” (The Original Series). “The Muppet Show” is cute and funny. “Mork and Mindy” is also very entertaining. Alan Alda’s PBS series, “The Human Spark” is fascinating. Anything with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    For light reading, I recommend Jennifer Chiaverini’s Elm Creek Quilts books. Well-written and interesting, even for some who, like me, are not quilters.

    All these are just suggestions for things I thought would be light and/or funny and/or soothing.

    I wish you well!

  44. 89

    I now own your book as an ebook, audiobook and physical object (when it gets here). That last I expect you to sign next time I see you back on the road! 😉

    I recently re-watched the British comedy “Coupling” and if you haven’t seen it (or even if you have), it is intelligently funny light entertainment.

    Take care, Greta, and get yourself well. You’re a gem. Hugs!!!

  45. 90

    Gretta, my heart goes out to you and I wish you a good and speedy recovery. As a cancer survivor, I know that the dreaded “c” word is one of the worst diagnosis to hear – even when they go on to tell you that it is very treatable. Somehow the treatable part just gets stuck in the back of your thoughts while you process the shock of the diagnosis. I will be thinking of you often and also follow bronwynym23’s lead.

  46. 91

    Greta, you are an inspiration and I’m so sorry about all the crap that’s going on in your life. I made a donation. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    I second the recommendation made by someone above for rewatching shows or movies that you already love; you can pick out favorite lighthearted episodes already knowing all the context and what sort of mood it’s going to invoke. There’s a certainty and security to it that might be a good way to throw away all worries and anxiety temporarily. Knowing you like Buffy, I imagine some of the sillier Buffy episodes would be great in a time of difficulty and illness, unless you’ve already watched them to death, for example.

  47. 93

    Like other commenters, I’ve also never posted here before, but I’ve been a daily reader for some time. My partner and I have both subscribed, and wish you all the best with your recovery. Keep fighting the fight for atheism, feminism and social justice, so that we can continue to feel a part of it by reading and discussing your blog every day.

  48. 95

    I’ve been meaning to buy your book for a while now, so I went ahead and did that, wish I could afford to donate more.

    Get well soon. Sooner. Soonest. Like, now.

    Dammit, Greta, stop being ill!

  49. 97


    I am a broke graduate student with a pile of school loans and little money to spare, but you have made a difference in my life, and I also know how frightening it is to be experiencing a medical emergency and worrying about how it can all be paid for, so I will be ordering a copy of your book, and scraping up a few dollars to directly donate as well.

    It was reading your blog and Jen McCreight’s that led me to, eventually, actually start calling myself an atheist. To see more value in feminism than I had previously been able to find with the reactionary varieties I had largely been exposed to in my life. To learn to articulate arguments about secular issues and separation of church and state. And while I was recovering from a spinal injury and spending weeks in bed, I read through years of your blog archives, Greta, and learned that sex positivity was a thing, and that other people believed in it, and that someone as wonderfully, gloriously eloquent as you had been writing beautiful, meaningful articles about it for years. Thanks to your work, I became more open about my sex positive beliefs as well as about my non-theistic ideas.

    You have made such a difference in my life, and I read every post you write, and I only wish I could do more to help in such a difficult time than send along a few dollars. Wishing I could do more is why I’m writing this: you’ve written that it means something to you when people write to you and tell you how your words have changed hearts and minds, so I thought that, at least, I could tell you how you changed my heart and mind, but perhaps most significantly, your work has given voice to nebulous ideas that were already floating around in my head, but which I failed to articulate or was simply too nervous to put out into the world. Thank you for everything you’ve written, and the talks you’ve given that have been posted online for all to see, and for all of the careful thought that you clearly put into all of it. Your contributions are incredible, and I hope that all of your fans and admirers are able to throw a few (or more) dollars into showing their appreciation, so that the nerve-wracking challenges of grief and illness are not exacerbated by financial woes.

    I wish you all the best, and I hope that everything turns out well. And along the way, I hope you know just how much you are valued and appreciated.


  50. 98

    Good series of books – The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (#1 – Storm Front). Harry Dresden is a fast-talking smart-alec genre-savvy hard-boiled private detective. He’s also the only publicly practicing wizard in North America. The series starts off “fun and trashy”, and slowly graduates through “fun and awesome” to “fun and epically badass”.

    (Thanks Jaime #11 and Timit Atheist #14 for bringing it to mind)

    Also, from the interwebs (surely you’ve read it before, but just in case you haven’t, you should) “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality” by Eliezer Yudkowsky. Fan-fic based on the premise that HP’s Aunt married an enlightened professor of biochemistry from Oxford (rather than Dursley), and prodigy HP was brought up on sci-fi, physics, maths, psychology, game theory, and all forms of rational thought, instead of being stunted in a cupboard under the stairs.

  51. 101

    DVDs – Northern Exposure, the whole series.

    -The Norman Conquests, by Alan Ayckbourn.

    Books – children’s novels, especially Victorian up through the ’50s. Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series; Noel Streitfield’s Ballet Shoes and others; Elizabeth Enright’s series starting with The Saturdays.

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    I’m so sorry to hear this. Making a donation.

    As I only know you by your writing you seem very strong even through the most trying times. Your work is an inspiration and I admire what you do. I hope for the best for you and Ingrid through this.

    Don’t forget Project Runway tonight for a little creative fashion diversion.

  53. 103

    Greta, I’m sorry to hear this and glad that you found it early. A friend had a hysterectomy a couple of years ago and she got a lot of support and information from Hyster Sisters. She has bounced back just fine and is happier than ever, as far as I can see. Pet the kitties a lot–it’s good for your blood pressure. (As far as I can make out, everyone who has a heart attack should be issued a kitten or puppy.)

    I may not be able to donate but will spread the word. All the best. Sending e-booze.

  54. 105

    So sorry to hear this news. I wish you the best of treatment and a good recovery. Some suggestions to keep you entertained…. If you haven’t seen Raising Hope (starring the amazing Martha Plimpton) I HIGHLY recommend it. Seasons 1 & 2 are streaming on Netflix. The show is absolutely hilarious and smart.

    If you haven’t hopped on the Downton Abbey train, DO IT! Also the new Sherlock series is wonderful.

    For reading, I have enjoyed the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, it’s light reading. It’s another young adult dystopian series, but done very well.

    Some fun movies.. anything by Christopher Guest (my favorite being Best in Show & Waiting for Guffman), House of Yes (a very strange dark comedy starring Parker Posey).

    OH… and I loved Ricky Gervais’ new video podcast with Karl Pilkinton. And speaking of the two of them, the An Idiot Abroad series is HILARITY!

    Take care!

  55. 107

    It never rains, but it pours. Greta, this string of sour events WILL pass. Something like normalcy will return, stochastics demands it! Until then, hang on. Donation send, and please continue to reissue the request until this period passes.

  56. 108

    From my heart I wish you well. Donation sent. I had a total hysterectomy about 5 years ago. The recovery was actually not as bad as I thought it would be. I too suffer from depression (it runs in my family)which seems to have amped up after being diagnosed w/ MS in 2000. I will say that meditation and regular excercise helps me tremendously. I’m not gonna bs…I also have some great drugs (legal ones). Listening to certain audio books on my kindle (such as Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast) also helps. When all else fails, I pop in Jane Austen’s Book Club (DVD)I know you will discover your own path through this. Just know everyone here is pulling for you.

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    TV show recommendations: Sherlock; Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood; Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra; How It’s Made; White Collar.

  58. 113

    The very best of luck with your treatments, Greta. I enjoy reading your blog so much and I’ll be glad to see you back in full swing. Will go and donate as soon as I finish this. As to reading, I’m going to be selfish and suggest 3 of my own books. Look for Lea Tassie on There are three light-hearted books there about cats and their owners, living on a small island. Titles in order: Cats in Clover, Siamese Summers, Cat Under Cover.

  59. 115

    Good luck Greta. And best wishes to Ingrid. Hoping for the best for both of you. I’ll chip in a bit when I get some spare cash.

    For lightweight reading or entertainment that you’re not already familiar with might I suggest the Phryne Fisher series. The books are lightweight lady detective mysteries with a healthy dose of 1920’s emancipated woman stuff.

    My mother and a few others got a bit huffy that the TV series didn’t stick closely (or at all in some respects) to the books. But they’re worth it for light on the mind plots. With even the mildest interest in fashion, the visuals are a delight. We know that a small amount is not _technically_ accurate for the period. But some of it is absolutely stunning (it helps that she’s an heiress).

    Not sure how you’d access them in the States apart from by post from the ABC Shop in Australia. Bit expensive. Friends who’ve run dry with suggestions might be able to track down other sources.

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    So sorry to hear about death of your father and now cancer. Please remember there are many, many people who care for you and wish you the best. I bought your book on when it first came out and really liked it. Now I have just done the blog subscription.

  61. 120

    So sorry to hear this news Greta. Best wishes to a speedy recovery. I bought your book and posted this link on meetup, and the three facebook pages I run. Skepticon will not be the same without you…but I look forward to seeing you there next year! 🙂 -Kimberly, St. Louis Atheists Meetup Group

  62. 126

    Sorry to hear of your problems. My wife and I have just been through a month of hell. She had similar problems to yours, life threatening but not as serious. It was still an awful experience for both of us.She is now thankfully out of hospital and slowly recovering. In the middle of all this my father also died so I sympathise with your grief. Dad was 92 and decided he had run his race. Sadly he died while I was making arrangements to fly home and see him. I miss the long chats whenever I visited. I also have cancer. Blood tests indicate its presence but various X-rays, ultrasounds and other scans and biopsies can’t locate it and exploratory surgery is still several months away on the waiting list.

    I am lucky, things are tight financially but at least I get a regular pension. I tried sending you something via PayPal but the link to my credit card isn’t working. I’ll do it by bank transfer once all the registration process is done.

  63. 127

    Might I suggest Jim Butcher’s Dresden series. Thirteen books so far (and the fourteenth out at the end of November) so it will occupy some time. Reading of the trials of Chicago’s only “out” wizard — raging werewolves, starting a world war with vampires, stopping a war between the Winter and Summer Fae, fighting fallen angels, preventing a zombie apocalype before it gets too far along and spending a few months dead — will probably make your own life seem placid and relaxing by comparison. There is sex (he causes the vampire war to try and save his girlfriend, his half-brother is an incubus and, for several books, the echo of an archdemon of lust takes up residence in his mind) and, despite being on a first-name basis with high ranking demons and angels, still manages to be a non-believer.

    And Butcher is a pretty funny writer, as well.

  64. 129

    It seems that when it rains, it pours. I don’t comment here much, and I am sorry not to have commented about the death of your father. That kinda brought up some issues for me so I didn’t know what to say.

    I have been a reader of your blog for ages, I miss the old Typepad days. You even once blogged about a comment I made at Daylight Atheism back I 2007 or so. It was about souls and rainbows. I am sorry to hear that the conditions that kept your fathers rainbow going ceased to be.

    And now your own diagnosis with cancer. You might want to read Xeni Jardin’s writings about her cancer treatment over at Boing Boing for a good atheist perspective on cancer.

    Let Comet, Talisker, and Houdini take good care of you. I bet Houdini is going to go all mama kitty on you.

    I am totally broke, but I will send a money order for a small sum to your PO Box.

    Hang in there.

  65. 132

    Best wishes for a quick recovery, and no complications or metastasis .

    I seldom have time to comment on your blog anymore, but I do miss it, and I am consistently impressed with your willingness to stand up for feminism, and to encourage our fellow atheists to do likewise, and object to the enemies of feminism, whether atheist or otherwise.

  66. 133

    This poor student just forked over some cash. You’ve been a wonderful inspiration to the secular community!

    Hmmm… books and movies… I’m seconding Terry Pratchett. He’s crafted a detailed, rich world that well keep you occupied for weeks. As for movies, I suggest bouncing around, which has no shortage of cheesy and/or great old flicks available for free.

  67. 135

    I already subscribe and I am broke this week. But if there is anything I can spare from next weeks paycheck, I’ll send some your way.

    FWIW I will miss your writing desperately but the world clearly does not revolve around me. As they say; this too shall pass. I would also second the Citizen radio recommendation. They are pretty great.

  68. 136

    Greetings from a small city on the other side of the planet! And due to the magic of the internet I too can make a modest financial contribution to your future recovery. Keep safe, I admire your intellect and b00kishness, you are still needed on this planet.

  69. 139

    Sometimes, life can seem like a series of storms, like when three hailstorms in one day wiped out my family’s beautiful crops in 1943 North Dakota. Those were bad days to survive through. I was very young but will never forget it.

    I’d like to contribute, but we have difficulty making it through each month on our SS checks, and I’ve contributed what little leeway we have to help the Democrats win next month.

    My wife had that operation years ago and the doctors took everything, even the ovaries, since there would likely be no hint of recurring cancer there until it was too late. Hormone replacement aleviates the hormone loss.

    We’re cheering for you. Know you are loved and appreciated.

  70. 140

    Best wishes!

    books: I’m not sure of what you have read, but everything by Neil Gaiman always works for me. If you are willing to read comics, his critically acclaimed Sandman series is a great place to start, and are readily available. If you just want novels, his books American Gods, Neverwhere and Stardust are all worth the time.

    Posting about this at my blog, so their may be an immediate follow-up reply from the WordPress software. If so, all apologies.

  71. 142

    If you want a TV show, try Once Upon A Time. It’s an utterly wonderful reimagining of many different ‘fairy tales’, that is filmed in the first place I ever lived — Fort Langley, the oldest settlement in British Columbia.

    You could also set aside a day to watch The Lost Room, which is a…strange miniseries that I need to finish.

  72. 145

    Oh! I forgot to say this before – you may well have read her work already, but just in case you haven’t… I think you would probably enjoy Jacqueline Carey’s books. Her fantasy/alternate history Terre d’Ange series, starting with Kushiel’s Dart, is sex-positive, kinky, queer, feminist, nerdy, and really beautifully written. There’s religion in them, but it’s all treated in a really interesting, thoughtful, and pluralistic way. They’re nice long books and there are three trilogies set in that world, so you’d have plenty of reading to do!

  73. 146

    That sucks, Greta! I just bought your book on Amazon (I had been meaning to for some time but I’m astonishingly disorganised). I wish you a speedy recovery and I have to thank you for the amazing stuff you write! Good luck and take care,


  74. 147

    Chipped in a few pennies. Best of luck to you, Greta!

    For amusement when nearly braindead, I like to reread rather than to read new things. Jane Austen is a personal favourite, and I also like Dickens, and Fanny Burney – but I’m a bit weird, probably.

    I also reread books by Lois McMaster Bujold, John Varley, Elizabeth Moon. Harry Potter seems like a good idea, too.

  75. 148

    The Gospel According to the Romans was a good, entertaining read if you haven’t already read it. I can’t really imagine that I’ve maybe read something you hadn’t. 🙂

    “Matthew himself tells the story. He is a Greek-speaking Jew, born and educated in Damascus, with a skeptical fascination for religion and politics. He is an irreligious opportunist and has friends on both sides in the conflict. He dines with the Roman military, spies for them, and wants Roman citizenship. But he also lives with Jesus, preaches for him, and falls in love with Mary of Bethany. Whichever way he turns he will cause the death of people he likes, and, in either camp, whoever suspects him will kill him.”

    Good luck with the surgery, will be thinking of you next week.

  76. 149

    Greta, sorry to hear the news. There’s obviously no “good” cancer, but fortunately yours is one that has better odds than many of the others. I’ve had close friends and relatives who had prostate and breast cancer, and caught early, went on for decades. Still alot of life left to live. I’ll be purchasing your book (which I was going to get regardless) very soon. Your grieving posts have been really helping my own grieving, and I know there are many others out there who feel the same. Hang in there.

  77. 150

    As if you didn’t have enough to do right now. Sorry.

    Good news is, my. mum had exactly the same diagnosis, only the proliferation of cancerous cells had grown to nearly 20lb in the time it took to realise that her symptoms weren’t the onset of menopause.

    A total hysterectomy was performed (ovaries, uterus, cervix) and she needed no further treatment. That was two years ago, and she’s currently healthier than I am!

    My minds gone blank on books for some reason, so I’ll have to recommend watchy things for now. I’m British, so most of my choices are from this side of the pond!

    Father Ted, Black Books, This is Jinsy, Green Wing, The Day Today, and Look Around You are all excellent comedy series.

    If you haven’t seen any Torchwood give it a try. It’s from the Doctor Who stable, and can only be described as “Bisexual Scooby Doo meets Ghostbusters for grownups”.

    In a similar vein, also from the DW team, The Sarah Jane Adventures. Made for kids, but ideal for days when your head is too blagged for adult viewing. Also, Horrible Histories, an incredibly entertaining history programme made for kids, but it has to be seen to be believed. I love it.

    Timmy Time and Shaun the Sheep, both by Aaqdman Animations, will just give you ten minute shots of animated joy. If you haven’t seen any of the Wallace and Gromit stuff from AA, then I insist on it!

    We’re currently rewatching Malcolm in the Middle. Yes it’s from Fox, but it’s held up really well. Probably wouldn’t even get made today, as the family is entirely irreligious, totally dysfunctional, but thoroughly loving. It’s smart, funny, and Bryan Cranston and Jane Kaczmarek are brilliant.

    Finally, is loaded with, well, what it says on the tin. The Al-Jazeera English website has all of their documentary output too. Oh, and Mary Beard’s recent documentary series about Ancient Rome, if it’s available it the US. She’s delightful.

    Wishing you a speedy, uncomplicated recovery.

  78. 152

    I am a FTB lurker who is coming out of the woodwork to donate and to wish you a speedy recovery. I have been a reader and sharer of your words for years and I have learned so much from doing so. You have the support of so many and I hope you come through this additional obstacle even stronger.

  79. 153

    I hate to be the bad cautionary tale, but I hope you insist on a proper 2nd opinion on the path report. My MIL had the same very positive diagnosis/prognosis. It wasn’t until her cancer was metastatic that she had an expert at MD Anderson take a look and see that while she was originally diagnosed as stage I (85% survival, only hysterectomy, etc), it should have been stage II with immediate follow up chemo. She went those 9 months with no chemo, just the surgery, until complications set in, and by then it was an uphill battle.

    So, while I can’t really donate much, I hope what she and my family have gone through will give you a bit of a kick to make sure you get a second and third opinion if necessary. I hope I’m not too pessimistic, because I certainly wish you the best and think it is relatively positive, and you’ve been an inspiration, but I really don’t want anyone to become complacent about the “good” cancer when I know we’d been in the same boat and led into complacency by apparently incompetent docs (and I’m super pro doc and pro medicine. I promise I’m not an alt-med crank!)

  80. 154

    Best to you and Ingrid! Diane and I are watching “Briscoe County, Jr.” with Bruce Campbell – thoroughly delightful and recommended.

    Donation made, and review of your book posted on G+ and Twitter. You are in our thoughts.

  81. 156

    Best wishes to you and everyone supporting you through this tough timme Greta. Your writing has inspired me to take arms and do something about so many issues, and has provoked many thoughtful discussions. You’re such a passionate and amazing writer, we all wish you well soon!

    For books I can’t recommend highly enough A Streetcat Named Bob. It’s a true, uplifting story and of course it has the most awesome cat in it, and just like you, the money is going to a great guy in need.

  82. 159

    Reading suggestions (I haven’t read all comments so apologies if I duplicate prior suggestions):

    Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson. Lighthearted family tales from the 1950s, by the brilliant author of The Lottery. Funny and smart, and there are cats. (Like all right-thinking people, Jackson loved cats.)

    Krazy Kat: The Comic Art of George Herriman edited by Patrick McDonnell and Karen O’Connell. Contains various strips of the greatest comic strip ever, including a lot of early Sunday full-pagers which were quite verbose, in a good way: funny, enchanting, playful.

    Some Gorey. You probably have already read Gorey, but if you haven’t–Amphigorey and Amphigorey Too are fun collections.

    Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady by Florence King. Save it for when the stitches are out.

  83. 160

    I hope everything goes well for the surgery, Greta. Hugs to you and Ingrid in this terrible time. If you’re into old movies, my favourite is “Casablanca”, or anything with Bogey. For books, Terry Pratchet is great. xoxo

  84. Nes

    I am, unfortunately, quite broke at the moment, but do have some suggestions for TV and books.

    For TV, I see that they have already been recommended, but I’ll toss in another for Father Ted and Misfits. I rather enjoyed The Booth at the End and Wilfred as well, though they might be a bit too thinky/serious for what you’re looking for.

    As for books, I’d recommend pretty much anything by Piers Anthony, if you don’t mind fantasy and horrible, horrible puns. They’re also pretty easy to read, especially since his Xanth books pretty much all follow the same formula.

  85. 163

    I just subscribed and registered to comment! I’ll come back after payday to chip in a bit more and buy the book, but I wanted to do something now. Wishing you all the best of luck – your writing is one of the things I most look forward to finding in my feed reader, and donating when you’re in need is the least I can do to repay you for all the enjoyment and education you’ve given me in the last year. Please let us know if there’s anything more we can do.

    In terms of things to read and watch, most of the suggestions I could have made have already cropped up. So, I’m trying to think of things to add, and not just repeat them. To go with the idea of reading children’s books, one of my favourite authors is Tamora Pierce – I started reading her Tortall books more than 20 years ago as a kid, and have enjoyed reading the follow-up books in my 20s and 30s, as have other people who I introduced to them as adults. I loved finding fantasy books where the girls refused to accept that they had any limitations just because they were female and went out and formed the centre of their own lives, rather than waiting to be rescued. Start with the Song of the Lioness Quartet. Similarly, I picked up Jim C Hines’ books on a FTB recommendation (from Dana, I think), and enjoyed the same thing about the characters in his Stepsister books.

    I also really enjoy a lot of the stuff published over here in the UK by Persephone Books (I’m not sure if they have anyone selling the books in the US, or if you’d have to order them to be sent from here). They reprint a lot of forgotten female authors from the 19th and 20th centuries, in really elegant editions. Some are more serious than others, but I’ve found a few that I go to when it’s a miserable day and I just want to lose myself in something that will make me smile throughout. I’d suggest starting with Miss Buncle’s book and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (also filmed a few years back starring Frances McDiarmid and Amy Adams – well worth curling up on the sofa with the cats to watch that). Amy Adams generally seems to suggest that a film will be quite cheerful actually, so I’d add the recent Muppets Film (as someone else already suggested the shows) and Julie and Julia.

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    Your book has been on my wish list for a while due to the size of the (electronic) reading pile I have at the moment. It’s now added in the pile.

    Get well soon

  87. 166

    Greta, I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this. It’s awful and awful timing, but I’m very glad it’s not any worse. Hoping for a speedy and full recovery <3

    I wanted to tell you in person at Skepticon, but that's obviously not an option now:
    I've been recently coming to terms with and seeking treatment for my depression. I just want you to know that you speaking openly about your father's death and your depression in general has really helped me. Your strength and courage help inspire me and remind me that I can get better.

    I typed up a couple of quotes from your blog to put where I can see them. "Mental illness is not a failure of willpower." Your certainty on the subject is most elevating. (Definitely crying as I write this, kinda glad I'm not doing it in person.)

    Sending love and happy thoughts through the intertubes!

  88. 167

    Here’s to you kicking some serious uterine arse, and making a speedy and full recovery. Happy to donate… please do keep telling us what you need. Thinking of you and Ingrid xx

  89. 171

    I spend a lot of time convalescing (chronic migraines – the day after a migraine feels like an intense hangover) and I’ll second thirdboat’s recommendation of watching stuff you’ve watched before/reading stuff you’ve read before for exactly the same reason: you can fall asleep in the middle and not miss anything. It works really well for those drugged up days when you want to be able to drift in and out of sleep. I try not to read new books because then I play the “just one more chapter” game and end up sleep-deprived.

    Children’s lit is my go-to genre for when I’m sick. My go-to books are A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Harry Potter series, The Secret Garden, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Phantom Tollbooth, and The Hobbit.

    I’d also recommend listening to Tig Notaro’s Live. It’s a recording of the show she did at the Largo just days after finding out she had cancer in both breasts (a diagnosis that came on the heels of a serious C.diff infection, a breakup, and the unexpected death of her mother.) Notaro manages to find the funny in her horrible situation. It’s pretty good.

  90. 176

    Longtime lurker here, so sorry to hear this. I don’t know if it helps, but my aunt had the same type of cancer, though she ended up doing chemo for a year after the hysterectomy to be on the safe side, and she’s been doing perfectly well for a few years now.
    As for suggestions- I really enjoyed the His Dark Materials trilogy, and definitely want to second the Tamora Pierce recommendation, especially her Tortall books.
    You’ve been such an inspiration for me- for all of us, clearly- it only seems right to return the favor! E-book ordered, and best of luck!

  91. 177

    Best wishes to you.

    Come to think of it, I read few books and watch few films that aren’t heavy or serious….

    My recommendation for television, if you haven’t already been watching it, would absolutely be Revenge on ABC. The whole first season is available on DVD – possibly online as well? – and the second season is on now on Sunday nights.

    Also, the first season of Columbo is now available on Amazon instant video for $1.99 an episode. “Murder by the Book” is especially entertaining.

  92. 181

    Dear Greta,

    First: best of luck with your treatment. Here’s hoping for the best scenario — respond well to treatment and no chemo/radiation.

    Second: musicals are my go-to feel-good movies. “Singing in the Rain” especially for the woman who plays Kelly’s silent=film costar; I think she’s fantastic. “Tap” for the fabulous dancing from the great group of hoofers. Etc.

    Third: I’m going to be sending you a monthly check; that way, there are no fees involved and you get the whole amount. It won’t be much because I live on SS and am unemployed to boot, but it’ll be worth it as I’ll get to keep reading your blog.

    Fourth: I’m patiently waiting for your Project Runway wrap-up. I know you’ve been a little distracted (overwhelming understatement) but maybe you could try to distract yourself in a different way.

    Be well. Snuggle kitties.


  93. 182

    Hi Greta,

    Sorry you’re having such a bad time. I really hope your surgery goes well. I’m watching my finances at the moment so I can’t really afford to donate but I have purchased a copy of your book, which I have been meaning to do for ages.

  94. 183

    Hi Greta,

    I have donated, using the monthly payment system, and hope that your healing is speedy and through. I do this in my long-time partner’s name who also had this type of cancer. I wish you were next door to me so I could run in and check on you and take care of you! Know that you have hundreds of well-wishers, many whom you have never met, do just that until you can get back on your feet.

    In Solidarity,
    Ruth Robertson

  95. 184


    Everyone is having hard times, but this is disgusting. You made a choice to forgo medical insurance and make your job speaking and promoting your agenda. Now, those choices are creating trouble for you and you have the stones to ask, nay beg, for our money.

    Nothing like a long hard swig of schadenfreude over another person’s cancer, eh Sarahjess?

    You are a repulsive excuse for a human being.


  96. 186


    Done. I wish you a rapid and complete recovery.

    Not to sound trite… but I love your work! I saw you speak at the Atheism-Reason Rally in March. Your speech on “Why Are Atheists So Angry” was among my favorites. The next day I bought your book at the Atheism Conference.

    Thank you for all you have said and done. Hoping that you will be able to say and do much more with good health and happiness.

  97. 187

    Cheer up!

    My mom had the same cancer when she was 45 and this next April she’ll be 69. No radio, no chem, and she’s not a rare case. Do as she did: mucho doctor and no priest, that’s the safe path.

    Best wishes.

  98. 188

    […] If there’s anything you can give to help, please do. She’s not just looking for donations- encouragement, kind (religion-free, please) words, stories of how you’ve gotten through something similar. Anything to make this time easier for Greta and her family. And please do spread the word on whatever platform you have. Let’s give something back to her and show that we’ve got her back. 0.000000 0.000000 Sharing is love:MoreLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  99. 190

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear this. I’m a bit broke at the moment but I’m going to see what I have to spare over the next week or so and donate what I can.

    And I just wanted to say that, like so many people here, you’ve been an inspiration to me. When I was newly deconverted, dealing with grief and wondering how the hell to make sense and meaning from it all, your writing was something I went back to again and again.

    I’m so sorry to hear you’re having such a difficult time right now. I hope that you and Ingrid have as much IRL support and love as has been evident here on this thread. And that you know you have many people around the world who’ve got your back.

    Take care,


  100. 191

    Considering how much I learned from you, I have to say I’m still in your debt after donating. I sincerely hope the surgery and recovery goes as smoothly as possible.

    As for recommendations, I’m a silly person, so when I want some light entertainment I watch silly TV shows, such as Community or Adventure Time.

  101. 193

    One thing missing from everyone’s recommendations. You might just want something visually interesting or beautiful (with a bonus of information that may or may not be useful).

    Some of the nature documentary series might fill the bill. I’m especially enamoured of Dr Iain Stewart. How Earth Made Us and How To Grow A Planet are easy on the eye and often fascinating. And they’re available free on-line. If you doze off in the middle, it won’t matter because you can get to them again if you are keen to find out what you missed.

  102. 194

    Ooops! I read this when it was originally posted, and then donated today before coming back here and seeing the update. Oh, well: If you’ve got more than you need, treat yourself (and Ingrid) to something you don’t need; you’ve earned it.

    Also, it might seem an odd sort of “escapist” entertainment in the middle of a heated political season, but I always love re-viewing The West Wing on DVD.

  103. 196

    Had already bought the book in Kindle and Audio. Was actually listening to it on the way home. Am thinking of sending copies to my (fundamentalist christian) family as Christmas presents. 😀

    Hope you are much better soon.

  104. 197

    Hi Greta!
    when I’m feeling down, or bored, or crazy, i always love to listen to P.G. Wodehouse audiobooks, especially the Bertie and Jeeves stories. They’re hilarious and just as good on the 4th, 5th or 20th listen. On a less light note, but still really funny – just a darker humor, and deliciously poignant and beautiful – is Sherman Alexie’s audiobook “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian” read by the author. Love to you and Ingrid and kitties from MN!

  105. 198

    Hi Greta,

    I don’t know if you are a fan of fantasy books, but if you are, I recommend:

    The Black Jewel trilogy – its a little dark but a lot of fun.
    The Belgariad, the Mallorean, Polgara the Sorceress, and Belgarath the Sorcerer by David Eddings. All part of one continuous story.

    Song of Ice and Fire.

    The Wee Free Men series by Terry Pratchett

  106. 200

    […] holed-up in the Ethical Culture Leaders’ Retreat the past few days I missed the news that Greta Christina, a fellow atheist blogger, is suffering health trouble and was soliciting support from readers and sympathetic fellow-travelers. After only a couple of […]

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    Greta, I really wish you a very quick and easy recovery. If you find you need to take a goodly stint of time off from blogging to take care of yourself, all the readers who love your work will still be here whenever you get back, looking forward to your insights as always. All the very very best.

    Thinking of things that are fun to watch while convalescing, you may only be in the mood for fiction/escapism, but if you find you feel like taking in a bit of history, Michael Wood’s BBC 1980s documentary series ‘In Search of the Trojan War’ is really engaging. Or, for something completely different, the children’s anime series ‘Mysterious Cities of Gold’ is actually brilliantly imaginative, and has adorably dated little didactic segments at the end of each episode, including one about Darwin in the Galapagos islands. Also, the series ‘Robin of Sherwood’, most of which you can watch on youtube. Michael Praed (Robin) has exquisite cheekbones. And very pretty 80’s layered hair. I’m apparently completely stuck in the 1980s at the moment, because all the series coming to mind are from that decade.

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    Greta… you have my deepest empathy as you deal with the stress of surgery and recovery over the next few weeks. I have Crohn’s Disease which has allowed me to experience 5 bowel resections so far along with numerous other hospitalizations. So I understand this experience all too well. The good news is it sounds like they caught the cancer in an early stage that is very treatable. While the post-surgical recover won’t exactly be a walk in the park but by taking your pain meds as directed and giving yourself time to heal you should come through this better than before. With my frequent flier miles with having surgery I suggest talking to the anesthesiologist about any concerns you have because they are the key to having a stress and pain free surgical experience. I usually try to slip mine a tip under the table for extra good service. The doctors are okay but the 95% of your care is taken care of by the nursing staff. So be sure to tell them about any issues you have or for anything you need. They will take care of you. When you get home you probably won’t feel like reading. I typically listen to music or have the TV on. I find solace in the familiar because it is comforting and it doesn’t require me to expend energy to follow. So I listen to the Beatles, U2, Pink Floyd which have a very soothing and calming effect on me. On the telly I do a Star Trek marathon which can be TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager or Enterprise. Monty Python episodes or movies uplift the spirit. Documentaries are also good. Just find material that is interesting or entertaining but that doesn’t require focus or that stress you. So no Fox News!!! If I may quote a famous Vulcan… may you Live Long & Prosper!

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    I donated without noticing the update about meeting your goals already (yay!) but send it wherever it needs to go. Wishing you good luck and a full recovery, like everybody else is.

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    I was quite literally in the woods (backpacking trip) when this was posted. Glad to see that the heathen horde stepped up with sufficient donations so quickly so I’ll just add my best wishes. Especially glad to hear that the prognosis is good. Glad too that you have Gretchen for support and TLC. And the kittehs of course!

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    Sorry to hear about your surgery. Been there, done that and had about six weeks of brain fog afterwards, in addition to the pains and system realignment after a hysterectomy. I hope you feel better soon. There are some excellent online resources for women who’ve had a hysterectomy. I’ve found generally helpful (though a little too cutesy and religious, many of the contributors are thoughtful and informative).

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    […] If there’s anything you can give to help, please do. She’s not just looking for donations- encouragement, kind (religion-free, please) words, stories of how you’ve gotten through something similar. Anything to make this time easier for Greta and her family. And please do spread the word on whatever platform you have. Let’s give something back to her and show that we’ve got her back. […]

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    […] a different note, if you’ve perhaps not heard the sad news of Greta Christina’s endometrial cancer diagnosis, go and read what she has to say. And if you’re willing and able to help, she has a few […]

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