Thursday, April 5, 2012

From the pen of Bilbo Baggins....

"Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway."

I read that line and it fits absolutely these past 10 months of my life.  Lots of posts when I was feeling horrible and uncomfortable and gruesome.  Now, things are looking up a bit, though I am still off work on long term disability, waiting for my (hopefully) last surgery, and I feel like the pickings are slim for blog posts.

Obviously, I'm reading "The Hobbit" right now.  I re-read the Lord of the Rings triology last month, and then followed it up with "The Hunger Games" trilogy.  That was a bit of mistake.  I loved the books, but I sobbed for hours after every single one of them.  Is it the mother in me that related to the atrocities done to the children in the book? or was Katniss's pain and mental anguish a little too close to times I remember all too well, when I WISH I had someone to put a morphling drip in my arm and I could just remain in oblivion until the horror was over?  

Sooo....on to a little lighter reading.  I haven't read the Hobbit since college and so I thought I would immerse myself in an exciting and adventuresome tale that didn't hold as many emotional stakes for me.

Additionally, a good friend and former coworker at a local publisher brought me some books to look through. They're from their semi-annual book sale where they get rid of all the prelims that they send out before the book hits the stands.  One of the books was "Invincible- The Chronicles of Nick".  Unfortunately, the 2nd book in the series.  So I went and checked out the first, and read both and am now awaiting the third from the library.  I like pre-reading books that might interest my now 11 (gasp) year old son.  This is Percy Jackson-esque but with Vampires, Were-bears and Zombies.  I thought he might like them, but he is firmly entrenched in the Harry Potter series.  Right now, he's on Order of the Phoenix and loving every page.   I'm so glad that he has finally found the passion for reading that both my husband and I have.  I also discovered the author-Sherrilyn Kenyon wrote about a gazillion other books for youth AND adult.  So I have a 700 page novel about an 11 thousand year old immortal waiting on my bedside table.  

I picked up two other books by chance while at the library, the one I'm reading currently is called "What Should I Do with My Life?" by Po Bronson.  Since I pretty much ask that question to myself everyday but never get an answer I thought I would check it out.  It's an interesting read, but not helping me get closer to MY elusive answer to that question.  But it does support this ennui, or this anxiety I have about returning to my former job.  The practical side says go back and get the paycheck and the annual bonus....and be miserable every single day....again.  The book is full of people who feel/felt the same thing.....that THIS can't be the thing I'm meant to be doing with my life.

Yesterday, I stopped by a local artist shop in my small downtown town, practically a neighbor, one of the few original older shops on MY side of the river.  It used to be a yarn store a few years ago and I was insanely jealous of someone who could open a yarn store in such an awesome brick, leaded glass doors, 100-year old wood floors, 20 ft plus ceilings, a dream. The yarn store went out of business after about a year and then I found out that the owner just didn't really want to be in retail.  They tried renting it, without success, and now she has a creative glass and polymer clay shop in that space. Her work is AWESOME. They have an online store -CreArtive customized glass and clay art -but figured that they could just as easily put their product in the shop since it was empty.  I talked to her about her willingness to perhaps co-opt part of the store for a yarn shop?  She said she had thought of it and was amenable to it, but was waiting on someone trying to get a business loan.  We got along so well it was almost scary.  I'm terrified of what the answer will be either way.  This is a dream of mine, but I'm scared to death to take that leap of faith that starting up a business takes.  But, in the spirit of boldness that I had when I first started on this journey that I did not choose, I at least took the first step.  Who knows where that will lead?  I know at least that I will visit her again, and maybe gain a new friend and/or mentor, so I'm glad I stopped in to meet her.

On to CANCER related things, since I guess that is what THIS blog is about, I am FINALLY growing some respectable hair and eyebrows, though the eyelashes are still lacking their former glory. My hair looks a bit sparse in the photo, but it's actually quite a bit thicker in person. I've gone out a few times now in all my glory, it feels so good to be out in public without being the only one wearing a winter hat indoors!  And of course, as you can see it's obviously coming in blonde, so I won't have to spend so much on hair color when I actually have enough hair to color. ha ha.  I was despairing about my eyebrows, since my girl K in ME had full hair, eyebrows and luscious eyelashes by week 12 and I mistakenly counted end of March as 12 week PFC (Post- EFFing Chemo), but it's actually closer to 8, so I still have a month to go. 

I've been on my tamoxifen for almost a full month now, and I've noticed a few side effects, but nothing like those few horrid weeks during chemo when my Ovaries totally shut down the Estrogen.  (also known as the crazy period of this journey).  I've been feeling slightly depressed, but then again, I'm reading about children killing children, at home by myself most of the time and Estrogen deprived.  I figured I could curl up in a fetal position until my LTD ran out and kicked me back to work or I could take charge of my life and go to the gym.  I started running- something that I told my hubby I would NEVER do.  I'm on my third week of week one of the NHS couch potato to 5k in 10 weeks podcast on my iPhone.  I think I may be able to try week 2 next week.  My goal is to be ready to run the 5K Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in September.  Last year, I had just started chemo, and I could barely make it around the 1 mile community walk.  I'm frustrated because I'm underfit.  I've been doing yoga through this whole thing, in some form or another, but no cardio- my nemesis.  So now whenever I feel that blue feeling pulling me back to bed, I grab my gym bag and go to the gym and work out for 30 minutes...either running, or on my off days, elliptical, treadmill or recumbent bicycle.

I'm also dedicating my fundraising energy this year to the ACS Relay for Life this June in Lowell.  I've raised over $300 so far for my friends and family team, and I'm also on the Gilda's club team, so I'll have to walk twice as much since I'm participating on two teams.

I'm dedicating my walk as well as purchased a Luminaria for my girl Victoria, who is currently fighting Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer with lung metastasis at age 39..  She is handling it so well that it gives me inspiration when the small annoyances get to me.  Her doctor's can't even give her a prognosis until they see how well she is responding to her treatment.  She described it to me, and I was horrified and so grateful to feel like I got off easy.  Now, I've just read that one of my followers, and fellow blogger- Lena- has been diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer, not even 1 year after her initial Breast Cancer diagnosis.   It made me so mad and sad to read her post, that I'm going to need to purchase another luminaria in support of her.  

The strangest thing is that I went to knowing 2 people who have had cancer in my large group of acquaintances, to knowing WAY WAY too many. I could raise my $100 goal just buying luminarias for all the people I've met battling cancer or who have lost the batttle.   This is one reason why I chose to do the American Cancer Society's Relay as my main fundraiser.  

Here is my Relay for Life webpage, if you'd like to contribute to the cause, or buy a luminaria in honor, memory or support of someone with Cancer. If you sign up online, you can have a message printed on the bag.  They line the high school track with them, and light them at nightfall.  I've never done this before, but I think it's going to be pretty overwhelming.

I guess Bilbo was right.....the uncomfortable and gruesome do take some time in the telling.

Until next time- om shanti


  1. It is funny, (but not funny ha ha) when I read your words about myself on your blog. I still can not believe it is me that you were talking about, because I can not believe the turn my life has taken these past few months. But it is me and it brought tears to my eyes when I read your post.

    I am honored that you are having a luminary in my honor.

    Bless you.

    1. Lena. Would you be willing to email me a few photos of you or of some of your favorite things and I'll decorate your bag with them. In the meanwhile Ill be holding you in my thoughts.

  2. I just saw this today. Sure, what is your e-mail? I don't see it on your blog.


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