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    From the monthly archives: January 2012

    Turning 50 was rather cool.

    I was diagnosed at 45, so getting to 50 was a double milestone. I am one month away from that magic number, five years from diagnosis.

    The truth is that breast cancer can and does recur after five years. It just doesn’t happen as often. I also read recently that late recurrences have a better prognosis than earlier ones. It’s all good. After having a bunch of tests done and coming back normal, I am breathing a great sigh of satisfaction and relief. I didn’t really understand how much I had been putting on hold.

    One thing I am amused by is that suddenly I am not in denial about being in menopause. It was as if some tiny part of my mind thought that maybe my period would come back! Now that I am at the age when my mom had hers, I can go right ahead and have a midlife crisis. I’m having fun with mine.

    First, I went with my daughter to get her contact lenses and decided that it was time for me as well. So, last Thursday I saw my own eyes right up close for the first time in twenty years. Cool! Right along with that I got to see the wrinkles and dark circles that my funky blue eyeglass frames were hiding. Hmmmm. Then there were the gray hairs…

    Yesterday I went to Lady Foot Locker and bought myself a really good pair of running shoes. I was feeling nostalgic for the good ol’ days, when I lived in Seattle and ran Greenlake regularly. I have very fond memories of runner’s high. I surprised the sales guy by asking him, “which shoe would you put your mom in?” It was a great question and I got a clear answer, so I went out and ran in them this morning and it felt great.

    If 50 is the new 30 (really?) then it’s downhill from here. One advantage to having so many tests and scans is that I have seen with my own eyes that I have wear and tear on my hips and low back. My doctor says that it would be strange not to have these things at my age.

    So I’m an old fart. That’s ok. Beats the alternative, it’s true. All the same, I’d like to slow it down a wee bit.

    Spring’s comin’!

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    Well, the holiday hiatus is over. I went to one of my jobs yesterday, so I am gearing up for the routine.

    I worked on the break, but it was fun work, not scheduled work, and I could do it as I liked. I wrote some articles for Yahoo and had fun poking fun at politicians. I did a lot of reading, thinking, focusing.

    It was a tough time among my blogger friends. Sometimes when that happens I just drop out for awhile. That doesn’t help them and it doesn’t help me. What helps me is being engaged in making things better. As 2012 begins, I am again grateful that I am still healthy.

    What I was certain of when I emerged from cancer treatment in 2008 was that a life I loved would be the best medicine to get me well and keep me well. I am continuing to discover what that means exactly. Advocating for the cure for breast cancer is important, and I feel driven to do that. I also have realized lately that it isn’t enough. In a way I’ve lost track of the strategy I used to get well, the decision to really live a life that is joy to me in every way I can discover.

    Yesterday I went to work at the hospital for the first time this year. It was a difficult, sweet, rich, frustrating day. I can’t imagine doing anything else than what I did. I gave massage to four very sick children, and made a difference for them. They broke my heart and made it sing at the same time.

    A friend on an email list I follow asked us to state what we were creating in 2012. Here is what I’m creating:

    In 2012 I am doing more of what matters and less of what doesn’t.

    I am going to see my first e-book at work helping people.

    I am becoming a better and better writer.

    I am continuing my commitment to advocacy, and learning how to balance scrapping for progress with feeding my own soul and staying balanced. Donna, Susan and Jaydub, you are the winds I sail on!

    I will see my invention, which I’ve been sitting on for four years, come out of my brain and into the world. To see it and vote on it, go to quirky.com and search the Comfort Unibra. It costs nothing to join, and once you do you can vote. The inventions that get the most votes go to the next step. By the end of the year I want to see it in production. If it doesn’t make it this round, I’ll do what I need to until it does.

    I am posting on this website more often! When I was in treatment, I blogged to cope with what was happening to me. Life after cancer is a different set of challenges than life in cancer treatment. Blogging has to remain what I do for the love of it, not because I think I have to accomplish something. I’ve flailed around a bit in 2011 discovering this. My focus this year is on congruence, a life in which all of the parts are harmonious with the whole, and something new and wonderful is created.

    I am enjoying my family even more in 2012.

    Happy New Year!

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