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    From the monthly archives: March 2012

    Well, one teen and one pre-teen. She’ll be 13 in August and she’s practicing.

    This morning I was appreciating that I didn’t have to rush so much, not the way I did in the pre-cancer days. I would, like so many parents, get myself ready for work and get my offspring ready for school, then race out the door for a busy day and not get home until the day was done. I have it set up differently now.

    They get me up. I make coffee for me and tea for them, and see that they are well fed. I pack her a lunch and give him lunch money, which is how they like it. I enjoy my coffee with them, and then I take him to high school and her to middle school. Sometimes the journey is friendly, sometimes not, usually amusing if my sense of humor is intact (sleep?). I get home and leisurely prepare to work. I either prepare to see a massage client, do some writing, or work on theater stuff for the drama club at the elementary school. It’s lovely. I am tickled to report that as of today I have replaced all the income I will lose next month when my disability expires. I have added four hours per week at the children’s hospital, and I am getting some new clients. How can I not believe in a benevolent universe?

    This morning was hilarious. My daughter, the great leaver of messes and trasher of the car, was berating me for a banana peel that I had left in a Starbuck’s cup that I then threw away. An exchange ensued, wherein she was reminded by her brother and me that she uses the back seat for her own private closet. As the volume and irritation began to crescendo, my son began singing “love is in the air” plaintively. After we dropped him off, my other child leaped over the seat into the front. It would not do to arrive at Middle School being visible in the back seat!

    When we arrived, she announced that she was going to “chill” for a moment. I stopped the engine, and she applied lip balm, sent a couple of texts, and enjoyed her favorite tween song (boring) on the radio. Then with a great flourish she exited the vehicle, it seemed to me to greet her fans.

    I sat there for a moment and thought, I could have missed this. I wouldn’t have even known what I was missing.

    I thought of my friend Susan, who had to leave her babies while they were in kindergarten. Sometimes life is unbearably cruel, even in a benevolent universe.

    Today, if the rain gives us a break, some 2nd and 3rd graders, 4th and 5th graders, the choreographer and I will dedicate a school garden.

    Life is ever so sweet today.

    The C word…

    Cancer, or cure? I have passed the five year mark, and my oncologist told me two years ago when she became my doc that she thought I was cured. “and, we’re keeping a close eye on you” she said.

    Technically, there is no cure for breast cancer and what I am is NED. I am in a remission that I hope will give me a lifetime, a normal lifetime if there is such a thing. I have already had the equivalent of the lifetimes of my friends Susan and Rachel. They didn’t make it to 40, but they did so much with their lives. To my new way of thinking, what I could have before me is a second lifetime.

    I am 50 years old, and I could live another 40-50 years if I am blessed and take care of this gift I have, my healthy, cancer-free body.

    There. I said it. Cancer-free. Have I jinxed myself? Do I dare say that what I write about is life after Inflammatory Breast Cancer?

    Do I believe in a kindly or cruel universe? Many ancient cultures believed that if you were too fortunate the gods would be jealous and put you in your place. I think I believe in a kindly Source who has held my hand all this time and has plans for me.

    Love or fear, which will it be?

    Today my life is richer than it ever has been. I live a designed life, that is becoming more and more the canvas that I paint on. I have the experience of facing cancer to thank for that, but truly cancer sucks. It does. I wouldn’t wish is on anyone.

    I don’t really get it. I’ll just continue painting.

     

    Back to the mat, this time to avoid having to take even half an Ambien!

    I’ve been reading the headlines with dread, the ones about sleeping pills causing death. A new study is all over the internet, terrifying millions of insomniacs, myself included. Fortunately I was able to stick with the subject long enough to investigate further, and this sleeping pill study everyone is upset about is seriously flawed. While the study authors controlled for some variables, they failed to establish that the link between sleeping pills and early death is actually causal. It could be that whatever caused the study participants to be insomniac in the first place was what predisposed them to dying prematurely.

    All the same, yoga is cheap, has no side effects, and best of all, helps me sleep. So yesterday I got started and last night I slept very well.

    I know that yoga is essential as well for me to manage my lymphedema. I am writing a lot these days, hence the somewhat sad neglect of this blog…been busy gearing up for the designed life I’ve been envisioning since I went through treatment five years ago now. That’s right, it’s been five years! I was diagnosed in February of 2007. I’m one of the lucky ones, and I don’t forget it.

    I’m almost afraid to call my blog “life after cancer” or something similar, for fear that I’ll jinx my good fortune. I know that’s silly. If the beast were to bite me again I could always call it something else. Right now, though, cancer is in the past. I am enjoying my work at the Children’s hospital, and some regular maintenance is keeping my arm from swelling up. I am starting to add more private clients, who just magically appeared after I said I was ready. I have been very busy writing for Yahoo, both on Voices and for Yahoo News. I actually get paid to be opinionated! I love that! Here are some links if you want to check it out:

    Complementary and Traditional Treatment Together to Beat Cancer
    What Your Insomnia May Be Costing You

    It’s the writing that makes my arm the most unhappy. All of it is really fun, and I have to really be committed to self care to make it doable. The yoga really helps.

    Oh yeah, there’s the mom job too. My offspring are now as tall as I am, and I am at the endless taxi driver stage.

    Life is grand.

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