Wow. Hard to believe my last post was over a year ago! This place must look like a ghost town. Where does the time go? I have an interesting job these days, that I’ve been getting used to for the last six months. It has created a very interesting perspective on my cancer experience! What [...]
Wow. Hard to believe my last post was over a year ago! This place must look like a ghost town. Where does the time go?
I have an interesting job these days, that I’ve been getting used to for the last six months. It has created a very interesting perspective on my cancer experience! What I do is screen massage therapists for an on-demand massage network. I work for Soothe, interviewing therapists and accepting them into the network (or not). The part that’s taking some getting used to is that the job includes receiving 30 minute practicals from candidates.
Sure, it’s great to get massages every day I go to work. It’s fabulous! My office mates tease me about my tough job, lol.
What I didn’t think about was how it would be explaining my contraindications at sometimes three times a day, up to ten times a week.
Before I can proceed with having a therapist give me a massage, I have to tell her about my lymphedema, the tight fascia on my left side, and the neuropathy on my feet. At first it felt a little weird. Now I’m used to it. It takes the edge off after you say it enough times.
I am 5’7″, have blue eyes, spend more time at a computer than I’m used to, and I have lymphedema. Oh, and there’s no breast there on the left. And the sky is blue.
Technically, I still have breast cancer, and I’m in remission. To me, I had breast cancer. Once I had cancer that I could see and feel, I could watch it shrink, and after surgery I could joyfully believe it was gone. NED, no evidence of disease, means that chances are good that it’s gone. It’s been eight years now. If I don’t think it’s gone, and that I had (past tense) inflammatory breast cancer, I could go crazy with worry and not live my life.
I recently started downloading and editing the Caringbridge journals that I kept while I was going through it. Soon I found myself drawn in, even though I’m just mostly downloading. One night after getting lost in the journals, I became fixated on the risk of late recurrence and kept myself up all night noodling on the internet and worrying.
It’s always there. It’s probably good to just relegate it into another fact I recite to a massage therapist so I get a great massage.
I feel a bit sheepish for staying away from here so long! For every woman out there who’s just been diagnosed, I’m still here. I’ll try to be here in my cyber room a little more often.
I am amazed over and over again by how the things that come out of my mouth for the benefit of others are invariably for me also. I had a moving conversation with a client last week, which left both of us breathless. She was deeply stressed and had been coping with far too many [...]
I am amazed over and over again by how the things that come out of my mouth for the benefit of others are invariably for me also. I had a moving conversation with a client last week, which left both of us breathless. She was deeply stressed and had been coping with far too many overwhelming events in her life. I had shared a bit about what I learned from facing cancer that I thought might be helpful. She asked me how I coped with the fear of the cancer coming back.
I surprised myself by telling her that dying doesn’t scare me. It’s dying without completing the urgent demands of my soul that scares me. When I have accomplished what matters to me in this life, I can go. I do not fear dying. I was with my father when he died of cancer at age 44. I know without question that death is not the end. I know what a body looks like with nobody in it, and it’s just a discarded shell.
On the day my father died, I felt him all around me. I felt his love. I felt the power of who he really was, as the Big Him. I was cradled in peace of a kind I have never experienced since. From that day, I have no doubt that I will not cease to exist the day I die.
I needed to be reminded of what I have yet to do. I have been off course.
After that conversation, I took a little time the next day to revisit what was imperative for me. I am going to be fearless and share. Doing this will establish between you and me that I am committed to keeping this at the forefront of my mind and my days, so I can leave when the time comes with no regrets.
The Six Imperatives:
1. I need to write. I have been told many times that I have a book to write. I know I have a story to tell. I must tell it.
2. I need to sing.
3. I need to finish raising my children. They were 7 and 9 when I was diagnosed. I got to get them this far. I’m not done yet.
4. I need to leave no unfinished business. That means that the clutter in my house and garage are not left for my kids to clean up, among other things.
5. I need to see the world. I have always wanted to do that! Somehow I must make it happen.
6. I need to master the art of living from my spirit and not my limited ego. I have had friends joke that I want to be Mother Theresa. While I don’t feel called to go work in the slums of Calcutta, I do aspire to have the kind of trust that she did. Love takes risks, fear lives in safety. I aspire to live boldly.
These six agreements are between me and my soul. The people who are in my life, who I love, are people I trust to support these imperatives. I have the most wonderful friends and the dearest husband in the world.
When I got sick, I hadn’t been on a stage in 20 years. Now I am singing in a quartet, and we rehearse every Tuesday. I don’t know how I survived without this. I discovered how much I loved to write when I started my Caringbridge blog. It started as a way to keep people informed, and it became my lifeline. When I emerged from treatment, everything was beautiful to me. The world sparkled. I was in a state of bliss much of the time, continually grateful to be alive, expecting the miraculous. I told myself I would not lose this feeling, but over time I did.
I will not name my client to protect her privacy, but if you are reading this now you know who you are. Thank you, thank you!
Helen Keller said, “Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing at all”. I will not fall asleep and miss the adventure!
My Mom is a writer. She just published her third book of poetry. Go Mom! My sister is a writer. She published a short story once, but unless she publishes, she doesn’t show us anything! I discovered that I was a writer on my Caringbridge blog. I guess that’s another unexpected gift that cancer gave [...]
My Mom is a writer. She just published her third book of poetry. Go Mom!
My sister is a writer. She published a short story once, but unless she publishes, she doesn’t show us anything!
I discovered that I was a writer on my Caringbridge blog. I guess that’s another unexpected gift that cancer gave me. For a long time, I thought that writing was Mom and Emily’s gig, not mine. I had a long chat with my mom about it. She told me that even my brother Paul has published an editorial in the local paper! Who knew? I already knew he is a fine musician. I guess I come from a talented family!
So, I’m embracing this new calling of mine. I have been blogging for awhile over at Everyday Health, and recently I got an e-mail from my contact there that I would be reporting directly to the editors, because (drum roll….) they like my writing!
I’ve sorta been quiet about it. It’s my own private thing, or has been. When I started my blog at Caringbridge, I did it to help me get through the toughest time of my life. It was for me. When I started getting comments from people I had never met, it felt wonderful to know that what was so satisfying for me to write had value for someone else. Still, I would not call myself a writer.
Now, I am summoning my courage to write “on purpose”, and try to get good at it.
Will you tell me what you think? Give me some feedback?
I just published an article on Associated Content. It was an assignment. I thought it would be fun, so I took it and did my best. Will you follow the link and take a look? If you like it, will you become a fan? If you like it a lot, will you tell your friends?
In the meantime I will (as Jo said, in “Little Women”, one of my favorite books of all time) up and take another.
And for Linda, and for Pat, and others who have asked. It’s so hard to know where to start with Complementary Therapies! My first thought when I was diagnosed was that I would use all the big guns my oncologist recommended, and all the big guns from the Complementary Therapies arsenal. At the time I [...]
And for Linda, and for Pat, and others who have asked. It’s so hard to know where to start with Complementary Therapies! My first thought when I was diagnosed was that I would use all the big guns my oncologist recommended, and all the big guns from the Complementary Therapies arsenal. At the time I was diagnosed, I had been a full time professional Massage Therapist for nearly 20 years. I knew all about complementary therapies, but I had been neglecting myself, badly. I wasn’t just a wounded healer. I had been limping for a long time. I had just emerged from an awful divorce, huge work stress (the hospital where I worked was downsizing, and the pressure was on!), and my children were suffering. They were 7 and 9. I knew something had to give, but I didn’t really know how to get out of the quicksand I was in.
When I got the diagnosis, I knew I had to fight and fight hard. I decided that I had an opportunity to heal my whole life, and that embracing that task would give me the best chance to survive. I sought healing of body, mind and spirit, and most importantly to mend the rifts between them. The word “congruence” was my operative word, and still is. So, my take on complementary therapies is really an approach rather than just a list of modalities. having said that, I pretty much used them all!
My practices for myself:
1. Say “yes” when anyone offered help. Accept with gratitude. Believe that I deserved the help and that giving it was a blessing to the ones who offered.
2. Put myself first, for the first time ever in my life, no matter who it upset. I was fighting for my life, and I knew it. A total stranger told me to do this, and I believed her.
3. Actively and deliberately sought my own happiness. It took awhile to figure out what that looked like.
4. Made a decision to stop beating myself up, period. Nothing was gained by my perfectionism, and I was beating myself down. Now I question my tendency to self blame, and if I find something that needs to change, I take note and move on.
I had to rely on #1 a lot, because I was not in a financial position to pay for everything I received. Still, I accepted it, and it all helped, more than the sum of it’s parts. Here’s my list:
1. Massage Therapy. I received a massage once a week while I was receiving chemotherapy. My colleagues at the hospital did this for me voluntarily, on their own time. I will always be deeply grateful for this.
2. Healing Touch. I received this through a Stanford University study called Healing Partners. I received one session per week for six months.
3. Acupuncture. My mom offered to pay for this because she knew it would help. I was a struggling single mom when I went on this journey so I did not have the funds to do this. I received acupuncture once every two weeks.
4. Guided Imagery. I believe this had a huge impact on my treatment. I used it to keep my blood cell counts up, to maximize the effectiveness of my treatments, and for healing after the treatments were over. I’ve already written a short article about that on the pages for Complementary Therapies. Excellent Guided Imagery CD’s and MP3 downloads are available from Health Journeys.
5. Support: I went to an Art and Imagery support group. This was a combination of Guided Imagery and using art therapeutically. It was very helpful. That program closed at the hospital and I really miss it. I also found my Caringbridge site to be a huge source of support.
6. Counseling. Fortunately for me, this was available through California Cancer Care where I received my treatments.
7. Laughter! I didn’t do “laughter therapy” (whatever that is…I haven’t tried Laughter Yoga but I have a friend who’s into it and loves it) but at the time I was diagnosed I had been attending a comedy improv class every week, and I made sure to continue. I timed my chemotherapy so I would be up for my class, and I didn’t miss a single one! Even after my surgery, I couldn’t play, but I could watch. I’m convinced that laughing my head off every week was very good for me.
8. Exercise is very important! I took advantage of the “Living Strong, Living Well” program at my local YMCA and did weights, cardiovascular exercise, and whatever else seemed like fun. I also did yoga at home, and some chi gong. I had a couple of videos and they worked well for me. I have a chi gong video that offers a 10 minute sequence for cleansing, called simply “chi gong for cleansing”. I am convinced that my complete recovery from surgery with my range of motion intact is because I did yoga.
9. Nutrition: My doctor told me, “Eat what looks good to you”. I wanted to be a martinet about what I ate, but I had decided to accept all help so I indulged in comfort food when it was offered. What I did do is create a smoothie that covered all the bases, and I had that every day during chemotherapy. Now I’m a bit more careful, but not super strict. I find the information on “Food for Breast Cancer” useful and I read the research they publish.
10. Cultivate hope, actively. I read everything I could get my hands on about recovering. The book “Remarkable Recovery” was my constant companion. I read the stories over and over, especially if I was feeling worn out by it all. The gist of what I got from it was that beating the odds was about doing it how you do it best, and it’s different for all of us.
11. Self expression and creativity. Everybody has her own way to do this. I found blogging, and loved it. I also got tons of support online, which was a huge help. I picked up a paint brush for the first time in 20 years or so. As I went through radiation, I was also rehearsing for a musical, again for the first time in 20 years. For you it may not be this sort of stuff, it may be something else, but whatever it is, it makes your spirit hum! If you’ve forgotten what that is, it’s time to discover it again!
12. Prayer. Whenever anyone offered to pray for me, I said yes, by all means please do! Acknowledging that my life was worth praying for, and allowing total strangers to pray for me (I was on a ton of prayer lists) was an important act of self love. There is research that supports the effectiveness of prayer, and I believe deeply that true self love sets all kinds of positive cellular happenings in motion.
13. Substitute “Feel Everything” for “stay positive”. I heard that stay positive stuff all the time from well meaning people. Being a Pollyanna does not help. Neither does denial. What does help is honoring what you feel, give it expression, and keep things moving. I didn’t elevate my lousy mood by pretending I didn’t have it. I blogged, “feel like crap, going to bed” and then later absorbed the messages of hope from my friends on my guestbook. I cried my way through a few infusions, and then felt better. After I cried I could make art or settle into my warm bed with some hot chocolate. Everything is allowed!
There’s my first stab at it ladies, for my dear IBC sisters and anyone else this may help. If you have any questions about what’s here so far, or want me to elaborate some more, please send me an email at email@example.com. What you tell me you want is what will be in Part Two. In the meantime, I am sleuthing out links and resources.
I hope this helps!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 12:46 PM, CDT Feeling anxious and discouraged today. I guess I get to have a bad day sometimes… could be worse. I’m nervous about the next infusion, and I’m tired of it all. I’ll be getting infused every darned week, and I am not enthused. Improv was great last night! Worth [...]
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 12:46 PM, CDT
Feeling anxious and discouraged today. I guess I get to have a bad day sometimes… could be worse. I’m nervous about the next infusion, and I’m tired of it all. I’ll be getting infused every darned week, and I am not enthused.
Improv was great last night! Worth saving my energy for. I was lucky to get to go, because the children’s father is out of town and he usually keeps the kids on Improv night. My wonderful neighbors, Becky and James, took over so I could go. Thank you, thank you! Improv is therapy. I’ll keep going even if I just watch! Fortunately last night I played.
I’ll see Dr. Brown today, and maybe she can ease my fears. I just don’t know how my body is going to react to these chemicals. Once I have it behind me it will not be so bad… Flo says the anticipation is much worse than the real thing. I’m also discouraged because I will still get herceptin every 3 weeks after the rest of chemo is done, until it’s been a year. That’s next April! It seems like such a long time to wait to feel really well.
There’s my whine for the day. I’m still lucky when I consider the alternative!
My Aunt Darlene is coming today for a few days. No doubt she’ll cheer me up!
Present time postscript:
Dr. Brown confirmed at the time of this writing that the cancer was in retreat, which made all the difference. It was timely right now, after how I’ve had a fear recurrence, to be reminded of how well chemotherapy went well for me.
I wonder, does the fear ever go away for good? I would like it to, because it is unproductive.
Seeking the formula…
When I look back at the entry I posted yesterday, I am reminded of the amazing way that so many people stepped in to support me as I went through treatment. What’s interesting to me now is that I don’t recall anyone actually asking me what I would like them to do! I was blessed [...]
When I look back at the entry I posted yesterday, I am reminded of the amazing way that so many people stepped in to support me as I went through treatment. What’s interesting to me now is that I don’t recall anyone actually asking me what I would like them to do! I was blessed in the extreme. Very seldom did a need pop up that wasn’t met before I even asked.
What everybody did was perfect. It was not usually what I might have expected, but it was what each person did best and it was always wonderful.
The Charge Nurse on the 5th floor at Mills (where I had been giving inpatient massage once a week) organized a meal sign up for my family. She put out the call, and many of my co-workers signed up to bring meals. All I had to do was tell her when the infusions were, and when the worse days would usually be.
Several of my colleagues in the Massage Therapy department took it upon themselves to see that I got a massage every week while I went through chemotherapy. One of the therapists chose to make soup instead. Every Friday she came over with fresh, delicious soup and a little visit to cheer me up.
My friend Becky, who went to comedy improv class with me, heard the news of my diagnosis and announced, “give me your address. I am going to send you a wonderful healing card”. And she did. Again, and again, and again, pretty much once a week. These were not just cards. They were wild, wacky, exuberant, sometimes soft, always beautiful amazing works of art. Even the envelope would make me smile.
My boyfriend, Steve, would call me every day on his commutes, and make me laugh. He also helped me get through it knowing I was still a beautiful woman. On rotten weekends he would take care of me, and on good weekends, our four kids and the two of us did normal things. That was all so important. He stayed with me for most of the journey, and we parted friends.
My mom, who was far away in Seattle, surfed the net for information and hope, and passed all the good stuff to me and kept the scary stuff to herself. Poor mom. That was a heavy burden, and she bore it without complaint, or even letting me know there was anything but the good stuff.
Other parents took my kids to school. Flo, my #1 sidekick and all around support person, recruited her husband Don and they took the children out regularly, and helped me get them to bed. When I would call Flo up and complain of how miserable I felt (she knew about it, she’d been there) Don would call out in the background, “remember to tell her it’s TEMP-O-RA-RY!” and I would sigh and take heart.
Several dear friends and family members flew down from Seattle, or ventured across the bay, to stay and take care of me during the yucky chemo days. Susan (I’ve known her since 6th grade. The kids call her Auntie Pickle), Christie, my mom, my sister, Holle, Aunt Ding Ding (Darlene, Ding Ding since we were babies), my sister in law Andrea, they all took their turn.
Terry took me to Filloli gardens once lovely spring day. It was perfect.
My brother set up a Netflix account so I could watch funny movies. The night after my surgery, my mom and my sister howled as we watched “the 40 year old Virgin”. Mom hired me a cleaning lady at the very beginning, and kept her until I was strong again.
My friend Melissa made me the most wonderful collection of delightful, wacky hats that I had the audacity to wear frequently. They always brought a grin when I went to the infusion center with one of those on my head!
So many people watched my Caringbridge journals, and left wonderful messages in my guest book. I would go and read them when I felt really rotten.
If someone you know is facing cancer, don’t stress about what you can do to help. Do what you love to do, do what feels natural. You will certainly be a blessing.
Looking back, I am again amazed and in awe of my army of angels.
Saturday, April 14, 2007 11:45 AM, CDT Four down and four to go, and I am so grateful that this one has not been so bad. Had a great night’s sleep, lots of peace and quiet, kids are having a great time in Seattle so no worries. The last two infusions left me so weak [...]
Saturday, April 14, 2007 11:45 AM, CDT
Four down and four to go, and I am so grateful that this one has not been so bad. Had a great night’s sleep, lots of peace and quiet, kids are having a great time in Seattle so no worries.
The last two infusions left me so weak by Saturday that I couldn’t even drive myself anywhere. Not having so much growth hormone in the shot has made such a difference. Today I’ve already been out, and will go drive myself to Steve’s later this afternoon. Hooray, day 4 and I can enjoy myself!
Got a wonderful care package from Becky the Unquenchable, with the usual absurdity all over the outside of the package. Wonderful stuff. I luxuriated in the bath and the shower last night and this morning, with all that wonderful just the right kind of soothing smelly stuff.
I am also so enjoying my guest book entries. Amazing to hear from people I haven’t met, offering encouragement and hope. Lots of survivors out there! Thanks Diane, you’re as regular as clockwork, and Flo, you’re like warm sunshine on my back on a summer afternoon.
Isn’t the rain lovely? I feel the soil soaking it up and nourishing my plants, just as all the love and prayers nourish me. I am soaking it all up, and thriving.
Why do I sometimes embrace the pain of life without allowing myself the pleasure? When I was diagnosed, it had been 20 years since I had been on a stage. It had been longer still since I picked up a paint brush. I hadn’t taken a walk on the beach for months. Rediscovering these things [...]
Why do I sometimes embrace the pain of life without allowing myself the pleasure?
When I was diagnosed, it had been 20 years since I had been on a stage. It had been longer still since I picked up a paint brush. I hadn’t taken a walk on the beach for months. Rediscovering these things brought me back home to myself. In the weeks before my mastectomy, I painted my room purple, so I could bask in my favorite color while I recovered.
The day after surgery, I began a piece of art with a Sharpie. I thank my lucky stars that it was not my right side that was compromised!
Just after I began radiation treatments, I auditioned for the part of the White Witch in a local production of “Narnia”. I had very little energy, and I saved it for rehearsals. I worked out my cancer angst rampaging around and turning little creatures into stone, and cackling madly! Did I feel worse for it? No! It was SO MUCH FUN!
What’s the big deal about fun?
Pleasure and fun make me feel the thrill of being alive, and gratitude for it. Fun is exhilarating. Exhilaration means endorphins, the body’s own painkiller. It’s wonderful medicine.
Things that give us pleasure take us to that place where time stops, and we can become lost in what we’re doing, hypnotized, oblivious to pain or worry. When I’m doing mindless tasks that I don’t enjoy, the clock ticks away slowly, but at the end of the day I feel that time has slipped away between my fingers. When I am completely engrossed in something wonderful, every moment is timeless. I am utterly and completely in the present. This brain state is known to be a healing state.
I certainly felt that as I sought these experiences, I came back to a life I had forgotten I had, to joy that I had forgotten I could feel.
Where my life had felt like I was trying to climb out of quicksand, now it felt like my life was something worth fighting for.
Simple, physical pleasures can make pain fade into the background. When I was receiving chemotherapy, and my body hurt, I was blessed to receive a massage every week. I will never forget the generosity of my colleagues at Mills hospital who came week after week and gave me massage; Jim, Lee, Mike, and my dear friend Susan who came all the way from Pleasant Hill and gave me the comfort of touch. During the hour I received, the aches went away.
Cuddling with my children, reading them a story, or singing them a lullaby took my focus away from illness and brought it right into the stuff of life, right here, right now.
Even now, when the spectre of a life cut short is not so directly over my head, I notice that when I neglect these pleasures I don’t feel so well. I feel tense and stressed when I don’t make art, sing, or take a stroll on the beach once in awhile. When life feels like it’s all work and no fun, it’s time for an adjustment. Once I shift my priorities, I actually have more energy and am more productive.
I also believe that what is most satisfying is usually something of value that I can offer to the world. When each of us expresses most truly what’s unique to us, we find our niche, and the world is a better place for our being there.
What’s really good for me at the deepest level is a win-win for everyone in my world, and my cells know this.
My Caringbridge blog was good for me. I looked forward to blogging. When I stopped feeling that I had anything to write there, I slowly became susceptible to the blues. Picking up my blog again, in a new form, makes me happy.
What makes you happy?
As I read through that old post, I remember the feeling all over again, and wish I could always hold that same reverence and appreciation for my health. Painful experiences are soon forgotten, because we’re human, they’re a downer, and we want to get on with life. The part of my painful experience of cancer [...]
As I read through that old post, I remember the feeling all over again, and wish I could always hold that same reverence and appreciation for my health.
Painful experiences are soon forgotten, because we’re human, they’re a downer, and we want to get on with life. The part of my painful experience of cancer treatment that I want to keep is tenderness toward my body, and appreciation of my health every day.
I had great intentions of never taking my health for granted. At the time, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I would never fill up on sweets, burn the candle at both ends, forget to take my vitamins or skip eating my veggies. I never intended to let my children know they were in trouble by using their full names either, but that’s another story!
Guilty on all counts, alas. Life gets going, ambitions reawaken, perhaps with a greater sense of urgency than they did before, and I forget how good my body has been to me. My body rode the wild wave of chemotherapy without interruption. My body has bounced back amazingly well. I think of this and feel guilty for forgetting to do all the things I couldn’t wait to do.
I have learned over the course of my tumultuous life that guilt is never a good motivator. When I beat myself with the big shame stick, I only do more of that which I feel guilty about, because shame makes me weak, not strong. What works better for me is appreciation.
As I read through those words I wrote three and a half years ago, the feelings all come flooding back. The amazement of feeling ok after chemo, the exhilaration of anticipating owning my own body again, the sense of accomplishment that I had made it halfway through and was on the downhill slope. I remember those two months of watching my breast return slowly, the red hardness receding with each infusion, feeling deep in my bones that I was going to win. The next four infusions were harder, but I knew that soon I would cross the finish line and begin the next stage of my 2007 Ironwoman triathlon. It was painful to get my breast back and then have to let it go. I appreciate the one I still have all the more.
I can get wildly off track and really neglect myself at times. Then I come to my senses, take the time to feel wonder, sensation, the sensitivity in my fingers and hands that Taxol stole from me for awhile.
So, the challenge and the reward is to still appreciate what I have while I am busy being and doing. I don’t want the slow times I had during and after cancer. Those times of space and reflection were perfect for me then, and the time for that is over. Now it is time to learn how to move towards what matters, doing what makes me happy, but still appreciating the gift of all the things my body is able to do today, tomorrow, the next day.
I still haven’t figured out exactly how to do that. It’s inconsistent at the moment, still learning how to balance reflection with doing. Maybe I need to put up signs.
“Elizabeth, have you thanked your body today? Are you being as good to your body as she deserves? If not, take this moment, right now, to do something nice for your amazing, healthy body!”
I am so grateful for my healthy body, and grateful that I still can cruise in the fast lane when it really matters.
Friday, April 13, 2007 11:58 AM, CDT The sun is out, and it’s what I usually call Bleak Friday, but I am not at all miserable, in fact I feel quite well! Just a little queasy, and the solution for that is simply to nosh all day. Not a bad job, considering. This is great. [...]
Friday, April 13, 2007 11:58 AM, CDT
The sun is out, and it’s what I usually call Bleak Friday, but I am not at all miserable, in fact I feel quite well! Just a little queasy, and the solution for that is simply to nosh all day. Not a bad job, considering.
This is great. The first half is supposed to be the worst, and this is it. Smooth sailing now? !!
I didn’t get outside yesterday, it was cold and windy. Lovely out today, though. Time to putter in my garden, just a bit!
Spoke with my family in Seattle, and the kids are having a fabulous time. Martin is with his second cousin, Damien. Those two have been fast friends since they were 3, and no matter how much time passes, they meet again as if they haven’t skipped a day. This left Felicia with Auntie Andrea and Uncle Paul all to herself. Her Royal Highness had a manicure and pedicure ( she described her blue toes with flowers on them, with great glee ), sushi for dinner, and then dessert at the famous Dilletante Restaurant (it’s all about chocolate… and such chocolate!). Today Felicia is with Grandma Anne, perhaps going on a ferry or some such adventure.
I spent yesterday lounging, reading “The Other Boleyn Girl” (thanks again, Andy!) and reveling in my good fortune to be feeling so relatively well.
Never will I take my health and energy for granted again! When I am through with chemotherapy I will gleefully fill my body with all the nutrition it can hold, and spend my energy in celebration of health. While I am on chemo, I cannot take herbs, or large amounts of antioxidants, because chemo is believed to work best in an oxygen rich environment. When chemo is done, my body is mine again!
Then, after surgery, the cancer will no longer be my constant companion. It is hard, living with it, feeling it in my body, always aware of the size of it, even as it shrinks. I am so looking forward to Dr. Metkus wrapping it up in a neat little package and taking it away.
Today I am going to ignore it, because it’s days are numbered, and I’m halfway through the worst. Thanks Steve, for getting pictures of the rugrats on my website, and for calling me every morning on your way to work. It starts my day right, rain or shine.
Love and Blessings,
About The LIberation of Persephone/ElizabethElizabeth Danu started this blog to provide a postive and useful resource for people facing cancer and thier loved ones. She is now a ten year survivor of Stage IIIC Inflammatory Breast cancer, enjoying her post-cancer life as a mom, blogger, speaker, wellness consultant and unquenchable optimist. She also sings and performs regularly with her a capella quartet, Curious Blend.
- Click here to try a free sample of the most effective pain relief cream on the market.
Share the Love
This blog is a labor of love, and it has to fit into the nooks and crannies of my crazy, busy, wonderful life.
The few ads, affiliate links and other goodies help me enjoy getting my blog groove on here without feeling like I'm playing hooky, since I have dependents and I'm supposed to be at work! I also share the love with my favorite breast cancer research organizations.
Thanks so much!
- after treatment (21)
- Breast Cancer Awareness (4)
- chemotherapy (18)
- children (2)
- Complementary Therapies (4)
- Deadline 2020 (6)
- Feelgood (8)
- Getting Through Treatment (1)
- Guided Imagery (1)
- Guided Imagery (3)
- Humor (6)
- Inflammatory Breast Cancer (12)
- Life (4)
- Living well (7)
- Lymphedema (1)
- metastatic breast cancer (1)
- nutrition (3)
- prevention and diagnosis (7)
- recurrence (5)
- research (8)
- Resources (2)
- self care (32)
- statistics (4)
- Support (11)
- surgery (2)
- Survivorship (31)
- Uncategorized (69)
- Elizabeth on Inflammatory Breast Cancer
- Allan Birmantas on Inflammatory Breast Cancer
- Auntie on Contact Me
- Elizabeth on What to Know Before Your First Chemotherapy Session
- Sheila Warren on What to Know Before Your First Chemotherapy Session
- September 2016 (1)
- September 2015 (1)
- August 2014 (2)
- April 2014 (1)
- March 2014 (1)
- February 2014 (1)
- October 2013 (1)
- August 2013 (1)
- May 2013 (2)
- January 2013 (1)
- October 2012 (1)
- August 2012 (2)
- July 2012 (2)
- May 2012 (4)
- April 2012 (3)
- March 2012 (3)
- February 2012 (4)
- January 2012 (2)
- December 2011 (2)
- November 2011 (3)
- October 2011 (3)
- September 2011 (7)
- August 2011 (9)
- July 2011 (3)
- June 2011 (1)
- May 2011 (5)
- April 2011 (3)
- March 2011 (2)
- February 2011 (7)
- January 2011 (11)
- December 2010 (26)
- November 2010 (29)
- October 2010 (9)
Tagsadvocacy appreciation army of women breast cancer breastcancer breast cancer awareness month cancer cancer statistics cancer treatment Caringbridge chemotherapy chemotherapy 101 deadline 2020 diagnosis Elizabeth Danu gratitude guided imagery happiness healing IBC imagery inflammatory breast cancer liberationofpersephone media medication metastatic disease neulasta nutrition pink ribbons preventing breast cancer relationships research self care sleep statistics survival survive survivor survivors survivorship theliberationofpersephone.com thrive time management white blood cells yoga
DO NOT DUPLICATEAll text and art found on these pages belong to Elizabeth Danu, Copyright 2008 - 2014 unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use of any material on this site is strictly prohibited. For permission to use anything presented here, please contact me directly. Elizabeth Danu
Disclosure:My intention with this website is to provide an oasis of hope for those facing a fierce diagnosis. Any proceeds from this site go towards building this resource and for breast cancer research, particularly directed towards Deadline 2020 for the end of breast cancer. Blessings, Elizabeth
My bedside companion in 2007
- The Liberation of Persephone is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Every item listed with this program has been personally used and valued by the author.