Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Finding Comfort

Previously I posted about my thinning
hair.  Turns out it was just about two
weeks ago, and I am not bald yet!

For someone who was losing a lot of
hair at a time, it now barely comes out,
but there is a lot less left.

Despite the encouragement of others to
shave my head, I think I made the right
choice for me.  I think it has given me
the chance to get used to the idea of going
bald. I won't like it when it actually happens,
but it really isn't much of a leap from here.

I took this pic, by the way, as I was adjusting to take a picture
(it was a slip of a finger).   I thought it was kinda funny, so I
just went with it.  In case anyone notices the Santa in the
background...and wonders why it is there in August...it is a
book from my childhood.  It is Twas the Night Before Christmas.

I remember getting the book in first grade, and me and two
others from my class went around school from class to class
to read the book to other students.  It was something I really
enjoyed doing.

That book and a yarn doll that a relative made for me as a
baby are a couple of things that I still have all these years.
I am not sure what it is about them, but there is some comfort
I get from them being around.  Maybe one day I will take a
picture of the doll.  Although I warn you, someone told me
she looks creepy, LOL.

Comfort comes in many different forms, doesn't it?

My Own Personal Battlefield

This was me in 6th grade.

The other day I was looking at an old photo album,
and from first to sixth grade while I may not have
been the thinnest kid, I don't think I was at a bad
weight, at all.

I share this because I remember my grandmother
at one point making me feel ashamed and self
conscious me by talking about shopping in the
"chubby kid's department."

I have felt like my "whole life" I have had a weight problem.  Looking back
at these images, it is clear to me that it has NOT been my WHOLE life.  I can't
help but wonder if somehow a seed was planted that I was fat, and ultimately
my body caught up to it.

I am not sure what to do with this information at the moment.

I look at the image and see my hair, and can't help but wonder when my hair
changed to the curl it had until recently (although back then I was trying
desperately to make it straight). I also can't help but wonder how my hair
will be when it grows back.

I am emotional looking at this image, thinking back to what my life was like
then.  At a young age I had to be responsible.  I lived with my grandparents,
and they needed my help.  I did the laundry, I cooked, I grocery shopped,
and I went to school.  They depended on me.

At the time I felt good about what I was doing.  I even remember my
grandmother laughing when I thought about when I got older and would
still be taking care of them.  I couldn't imagine what life would be without
them.  In many ways they were my parents.

I loved my grandparents.  I look back through the perspective of time, and
with the eyes of an adult, and I see the cracks.  I see how I was manipulated.
I see the unhappiness in their faces and eyes in pictures of them.  I see things
that I couldn't have possibly have seen back then.

I see these things, but then I am not sure what to do with them.  There is a
mixture of emotion.  A part of me doesn't want to tarnish the feelings I
grew up with.  A part of me doesn't think it is right to think anything
negative after all that they did for me.

I don't know what life would have been like without them.  My mom says
she did what she was told was best.  Funny how I have always thought my
mother wasn't ready to be a mother.  SHE never told me that, so I am not
sure where that came from.  Although I could certainly guess.

There are so many issues that I have in my head about my mom.  I could
say about my parents, but my father was absent from the picture.  I suppose
there are issues about him, too, it is just that the issues come more from
what wasn't my experience with him, rather than what was - as in my
experience with my mother:  my mother was "available," while he was not.

I wrote a whole long blog entry about my mom, but that was the one that
just *poof* disappeared a bit ago.  Funny, as I type that, and remember
that I was going to start writing differently (writing somewhere else, and
then transferring it here) I got a message that there was an error, and my
post was unable to be saved.

And I am still typing in the
editor for the blog, and not
somewhere else.

Funny animals, humans.

At least THIS human.

At the moment my friend is out and about, having some solo adventures.
I look forward to his return.  His presence has been a wonderful
distraction from what has become my life.

At some point I will need to revisit this more. There are so many emotional
touch points.  It is clear there needs to be a clearing out.

Some people say cells have memory.  If that is true, the unconscious hurts
and pains and wounds that I have likely still reside somewhere in me.  I
find it interesting that chemo has an effect on cells.  Maybe this is an
opportunity for me to purge the cells in more ways than one.

I am sitting here emotional, and thinking I need to stop writing and need
to do a few things.  My conscious mind says that.  I wonder if it is a way
to distract me from this way of thinking, or if I am "just" being practical.

It doesn't really matter, though, as I really don't feel like doing anything,
regardless of what is causing that feeling.  Of course, it is not like I am
doing nothing, as I am writing this.  Somehow, though, writing when it
flows as this seems to be, never feels like I am DOING anything.

Yesterday I was touring a national battlefield.

Today I am travelling through my own personal one.

Out and About

Yesterday I went to Gettysburg with
a friend.  It was nice to have a day
that seemed almost "normal."

We took a bus tour which was quite
wonderful.  My friend got a bit more
of it than I did, as extreme tiredness
overwhelmed me at one point.

I felt grateful to be there at all.  It has
been very difficult to plan anything,
and yet here I was out and about - and
better yet, enjoying myself.

It was a very somber place to visit.  So many died there fighting for what they believed in.
If it wasn't for those in the Union army, we would not possibly have a country like we do
now, as it is known as a pivotal war in this country's growth.

Many might think those in the south were "wrong" in what they believed, and the bias is
evident on the grounds as there are many tributes to the Union soldiers, but not to the
Confederate ones.  Thinking about this I think about how things labeled have a tendency
to divide us and set up a fight - and that can be anything.  "Good" and "Bad" people, and
food, and places, and things.

I think about how when I think about the chemotherapy I am doing my best to see it as
a "good" thing.  Many see it as "bad."  Which one is "right?"  Of course those who see
it as bad would think they are right.  I am going to go with I am right, though.  At the
same time, I will say that given their perspective, they are also right.  How much of
what we label one way can be labelled another by another?  I suspect quite a bit.

As with anything in life, what we do and think and say all seems to contribute to an
outcome of some sort.  One of the outcomes of a conflict about whether or not slaves
were something that was OK was a war in which thousands died.  Those who were
involved were more interested in protecting their interests than protecting life itself.

Makes me wonder what I am fighting for.

Saying that makes me think it could have a dual meaning:
Why am I fighting in the first place? (as opposed to some other route)
What am I so focused on that I might fight to the death for it?

I would guess these are good questions for me to ask myself.  I have to admit, there
is something about them that makes me uncomfortable, and it may have something
to do with the word/idea of death.  I am uncomfortable with the idea of death, but
I am not exactly comfortable with the idea of life at the moment.

Interesting paradox.

A few years back I had a moment in which I was thinking about Lincoln's Gettysburg
address and how it might be interpreted in a much broader way than it has been.
While he was talking specifically about the war and those who fought in it, I wondered
how it would be to interpret it in a way that spoke more of the human experience here
on this planet.

I will leave you with it, and my interpretation (words in [ ])

Four score and seven years ago [Once upon a time] our fathers [God, Our Father, Higher Being] brought forth on this continent [earth] a new nation [life], conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men [all people, everywhere] are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war [man against man], testing whether that nation [life] or any nation [life] so conceived and so dedicated can long endure [can life as we know it continue?]. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field [anywhere on earth] as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live [that life as we know it can continue]. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground [it is already dedicated, consecrated, and hallowed]. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here [people throughout all time] have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, [human memory can be short-lived] but it [God, Our Father, Higher Being] can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work [the process of learning and growing for which life has been created] which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause [the pursuit of life and living] for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation [life] under God shall have a new birth of freedom [a renewed vision of life], and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth [that people - who are all One as humanity - will allow the cycle of human life to continue].

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Who says? And more importantly...

and more importantly...why do they
get to have a say?

I have been thinking about this for
a while now.  I had seen an article
on a website about how not to buy
"mom" jeans.  It was like it was the
most horrific thing any woman 
could do.  

It is not to say that input isn't helpful.  But when the 
input is designed to make you feel badly about you or
your choices, it would seem to me that it is more about
manipulation than being helpful.

Having said that, does another's input get valued over
one's own?  Who is to say that that thing is in, while
another is out.  I remember seeing an image of Oprah
with a blouse with the poet sleeves.  That was quite
a while ago.  What a terrible thing that she was wearing
something out of date.

I still see the style sold, and I have a few blouses of
my own that have that style.  I love it.  It fits the poet
and creative in me.  Will I still be wearing them for
a while?  As long as they hold up I likely will.  They
are some of my favorites.

There are things like this in every aspect of life.
A naturopath doctor thinks she knows exactly what
I should eat to get better.  Is she "right"?  I am
uncertain what I think.  After all, there are people
who live to be 95 who smoke, drink, and eat all
kinds of stuff.  How does one explain that?

I won't discredit something I don't fully understand,
but it makes me wonder what to think.  After all,
if changing one's diet was a sure thing, it would
help every sick person, wouldn't it?  And I suspect
it doesn't.  I once heard something to the effect that
every disease was able to be cured, but not every
person.  Makes me wonder what is "behind" the
experience of another, as no two have the same
experience.  As one medical professional told me,
"Cancer hasn't met you yet."

Then there are the things we do, and the things
we buy, and the people we befriend.  Who tells
us what is, and who is, OK?  Unconsciously we
make decisions all of the time from the
programming we received as children, and
whatever else comes our way as adults.

I cringe at some of the things that I was taught
growing up.  Thankfully I don't believe that it
was all ingrained perhaps the way that was
intended, but it doesn't mean I wasn't affected
by it.

It is all too easy sometimes to go with the tide,
and to let others make us question ourselves
and our choices.  We may not even realize
what is happening, and when, which makes
it all the more difficult to combat.

But I suspect it is the times that things go a
bit out of step, that things don't go as planned,
that things make us reflect, that we have an
opportunity to look at things differently and
to interact with them in new ways.

The hypnotist in me agrees with a theory of
a book that says we are always hypnotized,
and that "official" hypnotic trance helps us
to undo what has been done.  And as those
in the world that I know get more and more
stressed, it is easier and easier to bypass the
part of us that should be in control.  We
become more reactive.

And when that happens, it is so much easier
for others to tell us how to be, what to say,
what to do, how to do it...

It takes effort to pay attention.  It takes even
more effort sometimes to act upon that thing
that got our attention.  Often it would seem
easier to just keep going.

I think there may be something helpful that
come from the input of others, I am just
not sure it should be a replacement for
what we want or think or believe, but
perhaps an enhancement of our experience.

I have a pair of jeans that don't fit "right"
(by the blogger's standards).  But they are
comfortable, and I think they look OK.
Does it matter to me what the blogger says?
It was interesting what she said, but in this
case, No.

I guess after a time one learns when it
makes sense to listen, and when it makes
sense to have a deaf ear.  I just wish it was
something that could be automated, but
then I suspect it would defeat the purpose
of what could be empowering.

It seems that the ability to be aware and
to choose is one of the greatest things in
life and in the human experience.  Going
along with ideas and people seems to me
to be quite a numbing experience.  But
give me a moment in which I am aware
and can make choices I feel empowered.

In order to do that, one needs to know
what is in one's mind and heart.  Sometimes
it seems to me that could be a tall order.

So many I have spoken to say they don't
know what they want.  I have been there
many times myself.  However I suspect
we all know more than we think we do;
it could just be we're too afraid to know
because of the possible repercussions of
acknowledging that thing.  It could upset
the whole apple cart.

Hmmm.  Interesting for me to note that
apples metaphorically can mean knowledge.
So maybe upsetting the cart means
a rearrangement of our pieces of knowledge,
and perhaps even brings to light the "bad"
apples:  those ideas and thoughts and beliefs
that don't really help us.  When we reset
things, we will have only those ones we
want to have, and not the rotten things that
might be hiding below the surface.  When
there is a spillage, we find ourselves having
to pay attention and look at what is in front
of us.  We have to stop.  We can't just
blindly keep going.

My head is a whirl.  I am thinking this
through as I am typing.  I am certain there
is more to this metaphor, and I am certain
there is a message in this for me.

Many times in my life I felt on the outside
looking in because I wasn't "wrapped" the
right way.  I didn't feel good about how I
was different, but I couldn't seem to get
it "right."  I am not really sure how hard
I tried, though.

The result was that I never felt like I was
on solid ground.  I didn't know me well
enough to love me, and I always felt like
I needed to be someone else.  If I was
someone else I could be popular, have
more friends, have a boyfriend.  If I had
more money for clothes I could have
dressed in a more "cool" way.

Would I be having this conversation if I
hadn't been diagnosed with cancer?  I am
not sure.  I have often asked questions and
been thoughtful about things, but it seems
to me in reflection that I was living a
pretty numb experience up until May 14
of this year - the day my cart got upset.

As I am cleaning up, I am happy to
share some of my apples with you,
but they may not fit your tastes.
But if that is the case, I bet the ones in
your cart are pretty darn wonderful.

But who's to say?

Friday, August 24, 2012

What are you doing over the weekend?

I have said that I wanted to be treated normally,
so what I am about to say may make the idea
of that a bit awkward.

Someone I know once had a friend whose wife
was dying of cancer.  His friend put his wife
on the phone and without thinking he said,
"How are you doing?"  To which she responded,
"How do YOU think I am doing?!" and she
proceeded to go off on him.

I can't imagine how it would be to be in a
situation like that.  I personally have never
known anyone who has had cancer.  Odds
are before this I would have tried my best
to be supportive, if I could get past not
knowing what to do.  I would also probably
have had the best of intentions, but have
done a crappy job.

I can only imagine how difficult it is for
some to talk to me.  Life for me isn't "normal,"
and yet it is likely best to act like normal.
But when one acts like normal one will
ask questions like "What are you doing
this weekend?"

In all fairness, since I have worked for
myself for years, I never really had
"weekends" for years.  I don't get upset
when I hear the question, but I so wonder
if I will in some way disappoint the person
asking with an honest answer.

I wonder how the person will feel when I
tell them I don't have much of a life at the
moment.  That I can't make plans most times
in advance, as I never know how I will feel.
That I live day to day, and that many days
I can't do much of anything but sleep and
visit the bathroom.

I could pretend otherwise.  Most people
who are healthy do.  Healthy people ask
each other how they are doing often
without a real interest in how the person
REALLY is.  Often people don't want to
hear the truth.  They just want to be

So many times in the past when someone
asked how I was, I knew I couldn't really
say.  I knew they didn't really want to
know.  It is one of those "games" we
play socially.

It also, I suspect, limits our ability to
truly be ourselves and to connect on a
more intimate level.

There is freedom for me in being able
to be honest about my circumstances.
I don't tell you these things in a "woe
is me" way and I am not looking for

I realize that how this is bumps up
against the game, and it can be quite
uncomfortable in that it doesn't fit
the mold.  But I ask you to play a new
game with me.  I ask you to allow us
both just to be who and how we are.
To be able to be in the moment, call
it for what it is, and to move onto the
next one.

It is about all I can do these days.
For some it may seem to be a sad
place.  But how many times have
we heard, "live for the moment."
And how many times have we
heard that and just kept going?

My circumstances more than give
me the opportunity to truly live
that way.  I would rather it have
been more by choice than necessity,
but when things only come from
choice, they often cannot (or won't)
be chosen.

It is not that I don't think about
the future.  It is more that the
present moment has more immediacy
than it ever has had.  "A" type
personalities would really have
a hard time with how things are
for me at the moment.

I am not one.  But I am a person
who has often wanted to have things
under control.  I have wanted to be
able to manage things in a "predictable"
way.  Over time I have learned that
that isn't always possible - or even

Now I am learning even more.
(oh boy! :P)

At the same time, the world outside
of me functions in a very different
way.  As I write that, I think about
a story I just read today about the
world's "oldest family."  It spoke
about several siblings in their 90s
and older (if I remember correctly).

One member of the family is quoted
in regard to the word stress.  She,
I believe, essentially said she doesn't
get what people mean by "stress."

I lived a much more right brained,
organic life than most people I
know before this, and now I have
moved even farther away from what
is often the "norm" for many people.

I was odd before.  I wonder if this
makes me odder still. (Is that
possible?  LOL)

In my chosen way of making a
living, I have spoken to thousands
of people over the last several years.
As I write about my differences, I
think about those I have spoken
with.  Many of them have struggled
to be who they are, and to live the
life they are meant to live - for
themselves, and not the ones others
want them to live.

I suspect that what I have, and am
developing, is not something so far
away from what many might want
and would like.  It probably is more
likely they just don't know how to
get there.

Maybe it is like learning a language.
You know you want to communicate
with that person who speaks Spanish,
but you don't understand a word,
at first.  You go on the best you can,
coping with the situation as it is.

But you know you want things to
be different, so even though you
don't understand, you begin to try
to figure things out, building a
bridge to a future that has a
different result from your ability
to speak the language.

Of course, you have to want it
if it is going to resemble what I
just said.  But there may be times
and conditions that necessitate a
change, whether it is desired, or
wanted, or not.

Other times, you might just walk
away.  I guess what does or doesn't
happen at any stage along the way
depends on how invested you are,
and how important something is to

I guess what I am saying in the end
is that perhaps we aren't speaking
the same language right now, but
that doesn't mean we can't

What am I doing over the weekend?

Pretty much the same as any other
day, however I am doing what I can
to get ready for a friend's visit (which
was planned a couple of months ago).

I am very much looking to having
the possibility of a change of pace.
At the very least, I will have company
when I am not sleeping or visiting
the bathroom.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

I wonder...

I wonder...

how many of the reportedly 44 million people
of the US without health insurance are against
the health care plan.

and how many of those who are uninsured
and are against it are in need of a plan.

and how many of those who do have health
care insurance are against the health care plan.

and how many of those who do have insurance,
but it was lost due to unforeseeable circumstances
would change their mind.

I wonder because, while I have health insurance
at the moment, it is costing me $560 per month,
and it is likely to go up to over $700 next year.

I really can't afford it, but I can't afford to be
without it.  I don't yet know what I think of
The Plan, as there aren't enough details.  What
I hear is uncomfortable to hear.  I don't want
to see our country go down the tubes fiscally,
but I also believe that we can go down the
tubes in other ways, if we don't take care of
each other.

Some may think that what I am saying is
Socialistic.  If that is a political term for
doing right by those who share the planet
with us, then I suppose it is.

But if it is treated as a political term with
political baggage, it will get in the way of
something that should be basic to our
way of life and survival here.

It is easy to judge something more harshly
or in a more limited way when it is something
that isn't needed or is easily gotten in our own
personal experience.  But the minute that
the experience of life changes, so too might
the perspective.

I suspect it is really easy for many talk about
minimizing or ignoring things that don't have
a direct effect on them.

It isn't just about healthcare, and it isn't really
about healthcare.  Like much of life there are
symptoms that get treated without addressing
the core issue.

What is the core issue?  I am not sure I know.

But I suspect in the name of progress our
attention has gone to what life can give us
instead of what we can bring to life.  I suspect
it is more about what we can have and collect
rather than what we can share and direct.  I
suspect for many it is more about the world
outside of us than the one within.

This is not a judgment,
but rather an observation.

If one has a limited experience and exposure to
the world, it is difficult (if not impossible) to
be able to interact with something outside of
what is "known."  Think of those who once
thought the world was flat.

However, even with a limited world knowledge,
it is possible to break out.  To continue with
the analogy, break out just like Columbus did.

He was willing to take a chance that the
prevailing knowledge was wrong.  He was
willing to step out of the comfort zone. He
was willing to question what others believed.

In order for our world to shift, we have to
stop accepting the prevailing knowledge as
right without questioning it.  We have to be
willing to step out of our comfort zone.  We
have to look at our own world and its existence
and make changes before we can effect change
in the outside one.

Columbus' personal world changed first.
Then the rest of the world followed suit.

I know this is so much more
easily said than done.

As I write this

I wonder
what it all means for me.

I wonder
what I have
accepted without question.

I wonder what
changes I can make.

I wonder who
I am meant to be.

I wonder how
this time post diagnosis
will leave its mark on me,
and what changes I will make.

I wonder how I, in turn, 
will leave 
my mark on the world.

Not easy questions to ask
because the answers aren't
always clearly (and often
rarely?) marked.

Wanting to have everything
figured out often limits us
from figuring things out as
we may settle for an answer
long before there truly is one.

I suspect the minute we stop
asking questions is the minute
we stop expanding and growing,
and it is also the minute we
might just be in big trouble.

At least if we ask the question
if we can fall off the earth, we
can be prepared for its possibility.
If we don't ask the question, and
explore what is possible, we are
limited to the box we have put
ourselves in.

I don't know about you, but it
seems my box has stopped working
for me.

It is definitely time to explore.

Have I got this handled?


But I will keep asking questions,
and hope that I don't fall off a
cliff.  But if I do, hopefully I
will find a way to appreciate
the scenery on the way down
and/or find something unexpected
and wonderful when I land.

Love when the optimist in me
shows up.

Monday, August 20, 2012


I just wrote a really long blog entry.

But you'll never see it.

It just disappeared.

That is the second thing in the last
couple of weeks that had disappeared
on me after a significant amount of
thought, time, energy.


Given how I am feeling, I won't be trying to recreate it at the
moment.  Maybe I won't even try.  Maybe it was more for me
than for you, at least at the moment.

Maybe next time I will be more careful about how I go about
writing what I do when it is done electronically.  At least words
can't disappear so quickly on paper and written in ink.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Quote | No mud, No Lotus

"No mud, No Lotus."
-Thich Nhat Hanh

I saw this quote today, and
went looking to confirm the
authorship.  I found a blogger
who talks about it, and the
significance of the lotus.

The idea of the quote alone
spoke to me, but if you want
to investigate it further, just
click the link above.

The lotus also has a reputation
of being easy to bend, but
difficult to break.

So we grow in the mud, and
as we go, we bend easier and
become more difficult to break.

Not such a terrible thought...
and maybe even downright

I am Tired...But then...

It is getting harder and harder to get
out the door the morning of chemo.

It is getting harder and harder to get
myself to sleep the night before chemo.

It is getting harder and harder to get
myself to do the things I need to do to
prepare the night before.

It is getting harder and harder to get
myself to do what I need to prepare
days before.

Maybe unconsciously I figure if I don't
do the things I need to, I am not going
or won't need to go.  If I don't go to
sleep, the day of chemo will never come.

I more than suspect this needs to be
come to terms with somehow.  After
today I will be one third of the way
through, with 12 more to go.

Part of what I am feeling likely has to
do with the Port issue.  Today I will
consult with someone about the Port
and the PICC.  

I am hopeful s/he will tell me that an
arm port is a possibility.  I have
decided that part of my resistence
to the Port is definitely psychological.

It isn't so much about it being in me,
even though I am not thrilled about
that, either.  It is more about where
it is placed, or even more to the
point, the scar it will leave.

I think I will be able to handle it
better, if it is in my arm.  I think I
might prefer the PICC, but it will
mean more care and caution, and
likely cost, as I will need to flush
it atleast once a day, and maybe 
twice, and I will have to buy the
supplies to do that.


I am feeling much better now.
Amazing what a difference a day

The nurses were able to find a
vein pretty easily today.  It only
took two tries.  They feel so 
badly about doing it.  I really
tried to put them at ease, as I
am really OK with it.

At one point in my life my sister
called me a wimp when it came 
to pain and physical things.
When I hear tales of other 
people's experiences, I tend to
think I need to get rid of that
conversation in my head.  The
nurses often seem surprised 
by my choices and how I react
to things.

I was really happy, too, that 
I did not have to get a brain
MRI.  I was told to get one
after I described symptoms
that, to me, sounded like what
they refer to as chemo brain.

The nurse told me the doctor
was just being careful.  When
I thought about it, though, I
didn't want more radiation.
My body has been through so

I really suspect that many 
people just do what the doctor
says, and do not ask questions.
I was told the Port, if I got one,
would be put in my chest when 
I was first told about it.

When I looked online - the thing
I did not want to - I read that
some people got ports in their
arm.  Interestingly, and 
intriguing to me, is that many 
do not seem to know about an
arm port.

When I had my consult yesterday
I was told that an arm port was
a possibility, no problem.  It was
a relief.  I would so much rather
have it there for various reasons.

So...I am getting a port...and...
even better, I dare say I think I
feel good about it.

As I think about it, I wonder if it
was my intuition guiding me in the
search.  I would have been in such
a different place about getting one,
if it had to be in my chest.

The "bad" news about it is that 
I have to keep it for approximately
3 months after the chemo is complete.
The reason is that they will do a 
follow up scan, and if there is any
reason they feel they need to do
more chemo, it is best if it is still in.

Given that anesthesia is given to 
take it out and put it in, and the fact
that the procedure has risks, it 
makes sense to me.  But I am mixed
in my feelings about it, as you might
imagine, especially if you know me.

If, at any point I need to fly, I can
probably look forward to a TSA 
patented patdown, as the port is
made of titanium, so I will definitely
beep if I was to go through a metal
detector, and I refuse to let them
body scan me.  If that happens, I 
am sure to come back and share my

Last night the driver who took me 
to the train told me that he would
like to open a center for abused 
women.  It was an opportunity for
me to share a past relationship
experience with him, and offer 
some perspective.

He, like many people (one of which
used to be me) doesn't understand
why a woman would stay in an
abusive relationship.  In speaking
with him, I not only shared what 
happened with me, but also insight
regarding how our unconscious 
mind works, and how it contributes
to an unhealthy situation.  I 
explained that for some, pain can
be how the unconscious mind says
it is loved.  Take away the pain, and
the person feels like they will lose
that feeling of love.

I know it sounds wild to some, but
we make unconscious associations
all of the time, and once the 
association is made, the unconsious
mind now considers it familiar, and
therefore comfortable.  As a result
it fights to maintain it, and seeks
it out over and over.

It was an amazing conversation that
we got to have because it took 
forever to get to the train because
of unanticipated construction.  I 
didn't actually think about that til
now.  My train was also delayed,
Maybe as an insurance policy for me,
but even with the construction delay
we still made it in time.  

That is two weeks now I made it to 
the station in time for my scheduled 
train, only to be delayed by the train, 
itself.  So many weeks due to my
treatments and scheduling, I had to 
move to a later train.  A bit ironic.

I also had a interesting conversation
with the morning driver about different
facets and experiences in my life.
He was fascinated by me.  He thought
my stories were great.  I find that 
others do, too, and I am not yet sure
what that is telling me, other than perhaps
perhaps reaffirm for me that I need to
write, talk, and share.  Perhaps it was 
showing me that in my presence and 
experience I have value.

I spend so much time alone.  It isn't 
good for me.  I feel so energized when 
I get to share things with people.  I even
told one of the hospital workers 
about a homemade cream for my hair 
that worked really well.  I just now need
to find the recipe.  I can be a sharing
information machine, when given the
opportunity.  I told another woman
about a Reiki Group that might help
her mother.  

It is no wonder the person going to
treatment wasn't the same one going 

I have been exploring, and asking 
questions..it would seem I might just
be getting answers.  I am also
reminded of a short tale I wrote
you click the title, you can read it 
for yourself, if you like, and let me
know what you think.  

I am really liking how I am feeling
mentally at the moment...now my 
body just needs to catch up.

Sharing | Video

Something is telling me to share things with
you that I have done, so I am listening.
Over time, in addition to my random thoughts
of my current experience, I will share other
pieces of me through the work that I have

Perhaps you will find some of it useful, or
of interest, or maybe you know someone who
will appreciate it.  Or, maybe you will just
ignore it, LOL.  Well, it is your prerogative. :)

I think one of the best things about life is the
variety of things available, but even better is
our ability to find the things that are the best
suited to me.  I love the term "cherry picking,"
when it comes to the subject.  Pick the juicy
things that work for you, and leave the others

As for me, it will likely be an interesting
trip down memory lane.  I have created so
much over time, I don't always remember
everything I have done.

So here is today's "oldie."  If you are stressed,
this might be a good one for you.  It is very
simple, and for some very effective, for

More Creativity

Here is another image you might enjoy.
Click to see full wallpaper size.
If you like it, you can see others here.

I am loving that my creativity is
back in action!
Woo hoo! :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pretty Please

There is no easy way for me to say
what I need to say.  I am not even
sure how to go about it, but I am
going to try.

I put up a page asking for financial
help.  On it I have made it clear,
or so I would hope, that even just
$1 would be helpful, and I TRULY
do mean it.  If 1,020 people gave
me a $1, it would help pay my
health insurance for two months.

Which is no small thing.

I am feeling antsy and scared tonight,
as my savings are dwindling, and I
have 4 more months of treatment
to go.  I have tried to be honest and
forthcoming about my situation, and
even link to this blog in the hope that
if people who don't know me get to
know me perhaps they would consider
helping a stranger in a time of need.

It took a lot for me to put up that
page, and it has taken a lot for me
to reach out to some people specifically
asking for help.  The response I have
received several times is, "I can't
help right now."

I understand that money can be
tight, and if you truly feel that you
are unable to do anything financially
you can still help if you could see it
in your heart to tell others about
my situation and endorse what you
know about me.

One just never knows what is
possible with efforts big and small.
The bulk of donations so far came
from one person's efforts and request
to his friends to help me.

For any and all, I am grateful.

At the same time, there have been a
minimal amount of donations.  I
am wondering if there is something
else I could do, some other way I
could communicate my need.

I have seen how people can get
help, and I would SO appreciate
being one of them.

Maybe I didn't paint my situation
as dire enough?  Maybe it is
because I am not yet on the
edge of the precipice of financial

Well I am close.

I am not looking to go on vacation.
The "vacation" from work that I am
on now isn't one I would choose.
It is a stay at home one that has me
in pain, tired, constipated, cramping
from diarrhea, and is affecting me
in all kinds of "delightful" ways
from the chemotherapy drugs that
my body now has to play host to
that makes it difficult to do anything
outside of home without significant
concern and planning.

People sometimes ask me what I
am doing for the weekend.  As if
my life was normal enough to have
weekend plans.

I am not looking for pity.  And I
am not feeling sorry for myself.
What I am attempting to do is
describe my situation in a way
that speaks to my very real need.

I am happy to do something in
exchange for your efforts, if we can
figure out what would be of benefit
to you, and if you can work with me,
as it may be a bit before I can deliver.

Words are wonderful things, and to
those who have delivered words of
support, thank you, and please continue.

At the same time, I can't pay my bills
(which now includes my medical bills
which exceed $10K) with your kind,
supportive words.

Pretty please - with sugar on top -
help me.   If there is any way that
you can spare even just $1 to help
me get through this time I need the
help, and I really don't know what
else to do.

Maybe you do?

Thanks for listening and, if what
I say speaks to you, for any help
you may offer.

Meaning of Life

When faced with something that could
end my life, I can't help but think about
what life means.

When I went looking on the internet,
I found a rather lengthy page devoted
to the subject on Wikipedia.  Much of
what was there was tied to religious
beliefs, although it wasn't everything.

I started to think about the word
"meaning."  What means something
to one person doesn't necessarily have
any meaning to another.

Since we have the commonality of
being human, one might think that
there would be certain things about
life that do mean the same thing,
perhaps even that whether there is
an exact meaning to life to life (or
not) life itself means something.

The problem with that is there are
people who have unfortunately
murdered others.  If one murders
another it would seem doubtful to
me that there is any meaning that
life as a whole offers them.

So since inherent in meaning is the
possibility (and likelihood?) of
variances from person to person,
can there be ONE meaning to what
life is?

When I looked up the word, another
word suggested was "significance."
I found myself questioning what is
significant about life: what is
significant about MY life.

I realized that if I attribute the
meaning and significance of my
life to something outside of myself,
that thing could change or disappear.

As I write that, I think about businesses
and products over the years.  At one
time they had meaning and significance,
and once the meaning and significance
changed (which many times they
probably felt invincible...which also
makes me think of empires and nations
for that matter) the product/service
disappeared, and ultimately the company
if it was only hinged on one thing/one
type of thing.

If the meaning of life is something
outside of myself, it would seem that
it has the potential of being a moving

If I have no meaning, then there is no
reason for me to be here, is there? Or
is there?  Some people believe that
there is no meaning to life, and others
believe that we aren't meant to understand
the meaning, and yet others would swear
a multitude of other possibilities.  All
the while, there is a large world
population that is growing by leaps
and bounds every day.

As much as I wish there was an exact
science to things, I wonder if there is.
There might be, the equation of which
is yet to be known.

I find that many points that I ponder
seem to head in the same general
direction:  what do *I* think, what
do *I* believe.

There are many people who are more
than happy to tell me what they think
and believe.  Some will even sell it
to me (lucky me!).  So many "secrets"
are being sold today.  Have you

Over the years I have found that so
many times what works for another
doesn't necessarily work for me.  In
those cases, it would seem that there
was something wrong with me, or I
didn't do it right, because it is
"guaranteed" to work if I only do
what they tell me to do.

I have a sneaking suspicion there
might be others like me who did
what they were told, and did not
net the same results as those they
were told it by.

Was something "wrong?"

I am not sure there was or is.  I
am tempted to think that there are
things that we don't yet understand
about life or ourselves that can
sometimes alter our experience of
an event.  Those times we may
learn something about ourselves
and what is important to us.  Other
times we may be left holding the
bag, going "WTF?"

Even a perspective about lessons
lived and learned is a way of
assigning meaning where there
may not be any.  Is meaning a
necessary or important part of life?
Is it the engine of life itself?

It certainly would seem so as
much as we tend to do it in our
day to day lives.  He didn't tell
me he loved me, must mean he
doesn't!  She didn't call me back;
she must be angry at me.  He
cut me off on the road, must
mean he is a jerk. And on and
on and on and...

Interestingly enough, I chose
"negative" examples of meaning.
There could be "positive" ones,
too.  However, any meaning
assigned always has the risk of
being incorrect by another's

Does another's interpretation
matter?  Guess it depends on
what that means for you as
an outcome.  There is pesky
meaning once again.  :P

I feel myself in a void at the
moment.  I am at a crossroad
that I feel is very important
to what happens next.

All of this conversation ultimately
is me working through my
definition of a life that has meaning
to me in some way and is worth
sticking around for.

I suspect it was the same for me
in January and last year, and five
years ago, and for my whole life.
It just became a lot more urgent
for me to understand and claim

I can't help but wonder that if I
don't figure it out if my time here
could be done.  I know that is
something that sounds dramatic,
and I almost don't want to say it.

The problem is that it is what I
have wondered and thought, and
for that reason it would be in some
way dishonest not to include it
in this writing.

There is a lot I don't understand.
Question in my mind is if I ever
will...or if I need to just focus on
those things that I DO understand.

That doesn't sound like a bad idea,

Hmmm...so what's next?

Sharing some creativity

In my recent creative resurgence, I created
the wallpaper below.  If you like it, it is
available in other colors as well.

On the above site you will also find other
images that I have created of many different
types.  Please share with others, if so

(click to see larger size)
(for PERSONAL USE ONLY please)

Have a great night.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Depressed? No. Coping. Yes. | Video

My hospital stay lasted 17 days.  I didn't even
realize, given the state I was in, that it was as
many as that.

It was a difficult time for many reasons, and
for several days I was significantly drugged
by something.  I don't even know what.

I tell you this because of the experience I had
in the hospital.  At some point one of the staff
told me that there was conversation around
the water cooler (not really, but it sounded
good) that I was depressed.

The group of staff that were working on my
"case" would meet every morning to discuss
me.  Apparently they were coming to the
conclusion that I was a depressed patient.

When I spoke with this person I suggested
that how I was being had much to do with
my circumstances.  Within a relatively short
period of time I was diagnosed, had surgery,
and was now left to heal mentally, physically,
and emotionally in a hospital bed.

I also suggested that how I was often is quiet
and introspective.  It was also a quasi conscious
choice on my part at some point to be quiet.  I
thought it would be too easy to get distracted
by other things.  Maybe this was a time to
focus on ME.

We spoke at length, and then later that day
someone else from the "group" came by and
said something about the depression as well.
Another long conversation followed.  A part
of me wasn't happy to go over it again, but
since it was in the same day, I decided I
couldn't be that upset.

At some point a day, or a few days, later,
I get word that on on-call doctor from the
night shift that I only met one time to discuss
some medication he wanted to give me (that
resulted in me getting an incredible rash
needlessly, btw, since I didn't need it) decided
to ask for a psych consult for me.

Needless to say, I wasn't a happy camper.
Dang it!  I wasn't depressed.  I was coping.
I was also hospital "doping."  I didn't really
think about the drug part to later.  But I realized
at some point when I came out of the fog and
started to be myself more, my body didn't
feel the same and I probably even had less
"depressed" body language.

It also didn't help that I didn't have the blinds
open most days.  The fact is, though, that I
love the dark.  There is something about it
that works for me.  Often I will work with
a bare minimum of light.  Come to where I
live, and you would see/know that.

I also was discombobulated in that two of
my coping mechanisms weren't available
to me:  sleeping and eating.  I could barely
eat at one point, and sleeping was often
interrupted by bells, whistles, needle stickings,
blood pressure readings, pokes, and mental

Just how happy would anyone be in a
situation like that alone, without having
had major, life altering surgery with a
diagnosis of cancer???

Apparently in the scheme of things this
didn't seem to occur to those who were
so ready to put me in the "depressed" box.

A doctor at one point discussed this entire
situation with me, and didn't quite understand
how I felt/why I felt that way.  I explained to
him that part of it was the labeling, and part
of it was that somehow the conversations
I was having, and the insight I was offering
wasn't seeming to get through.

Plus...it was a "psych" consult.  What if s/he
wanted to give me a medicine for my
"depression?"  Would I have had a choice?
It also all was in my hospital records, as
well.  What implications were there in that?

I share this with you in part because I have
been wanting to write this entry for a while,
and in part because I saw the video below
today.  There were things that Jon said I
think speak to my experience.  It also
speaks, I think, to the difficulty professionals
may have in their assessments.  What if I
was depressed, after all?

My suggestion to them was to LISTEN and
ASK ME what I think.  Part of my problem
was that they didn't seem to do either.

If you have the time, check out Jon's talk,
and have a great night.

The Last Hurrah

Pretty soon I will be bald, one way or another.

Since I took pictures of me in wigs lately, I
thought I would also take one last one of me
with what is left of my hair.

If you look closely at the top and side of my
head you see scalp.  I have it pulled back in
the teenie-tiniest ponytail.

I am going to miss being able to put my hair
up and pull it back.  Since hair only grows
about 1/2" a month it will be a good long
while before I will be able to do that again.

Oddly enough perhaps, the way this image
looks is at least one of the reasons I haven't
shaved it off.  It looks enough like the me
I am used to seeing in the mirror.

It almost looks "normal."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I've been missing me

Recently I posted something on Facebook asking
people what inspires them.  I did it when I was
feeling very down.  While what was written was
wonderful, I have found it very difficult to be
and act inspired lately.

I guess you could say I have felt stuck.
In the muck.

And it is no ordinary muck.  Even when I try to
act as though everything is just fine, I don't
always feel that way.  It is like something is

Today I was speaking with someone who does
intuitive healing work.  While I know it is not
everyone's cup of tea, and there are those who
might think it is a bunch of...muck...I feel
different now.

I feel more like me.

I feel creative for the first time in a while.

I took some more wig images today, and was
playing around with them.  As I played, I was
thinking about how I, as a woman, want to
feel as attractive as I can.  That is why, prior
to my diagnosis, sometimes I would dress up
and take pictures.  I would take lots of pictures.

The ones that would wind up online were the
ones that I felt the best about.  Sometimes I
would take 100s.

For some that might seem to be a wild thing
to hear or even consider for themselves.
At the same time, it is what the pros do.

If the women that we see in our day to day
lives have the advantage of good make up,
lighting, Photoshop, etc...why shouldn't
any "average" woman be able to have the
same?  Technology is making it easier and
easier to have that be a reality.

Of course some would say that we should
accept what is, and find beauty in it.  I
wouldn't disagree.  At the same time, if
a little extra this or that can make someone
feel even better about themselves, why
shouldn't s/he do it?

(I say s/he, but I think it is more likely to
be a "she" thing...curious to know, do you
think I am wrong?)

Once again this conversation is veering in
a direction of a topic I am still not sure I
am ready to discuss.  I guess I still don't
know what I think enough to entertain
a discussion about it.

I think about women, though, who are in
my situation and wonder how they are
working their way through it.  I was
searching images of bald women today
and came across an actress who had
ovarian cancer.  She lost her hair in the
process of chemo, but has continued to
shave her hair even though she is now
healthy.  Her name is Sharon Blynn and
her site is BaldisBeautiful.org.

Sharon talks about how she really saw herself
for the first time when she became bald.
Oddly enough, I think about what Miley
Cyrus said recently about her haircut...
something about feeling more like herself
than she ever has.

Even though Sharon has chosen to stay
bald, she talks about how people would
be benefitted by being in touch with their
inner bald selves.  It makes sense to me
that we can be distracted by those things
outside of ourselves - including the things
we consider a part of us.

I think the journey I am on is one of
discovery.  I just don't know yet what
the treasure is.  It could "just" be that
I uncover and discover more of who this
person is that is packaged the way I am,
and enjoys the things I do.

I got more enjoyment out of playing
today than I have out of almost anything
since my diagnosis.  I feel kinda sad
saying that.  At the same time, I didn't
even realize how much I was missing
of myself until now,
and the discovery of that
is actually
pretty darn

In Silence

In my mind's wanderings just now I was
thinking about silence.

In silence, there can be desperation,
as in a "silent scream."

In silence, there can be peace,
as in a "silent night."

In silence, there can be a somber note,
as in "let us have a moment of silence..."

There are probably others.
Life is rarely ever simply defined.

We want it to be;
but it is not.

Then again.  As I think about it,
each moment of life has a level of
simplicity defined by the parameters
of the focus that we choose to give it.

So maybe it is simple.
But no one said it was easy.

Or is it?

Welcome to the maze of my mind.

With some help...

Me: trying to make myself feel better.
Thank goodness for make up, wigs, the right angle, good lighting, digital imaging and Photoshop
LOTS to be grateful for.

Monday, August 13, 2012

One of those days...

Today is one of those "bad" days that
I am trying my best to ignore, and act
like everything is just fine, even though
things feel like they are going in slow

I have so much to do, and it just seems
to take forever since it is difficult to
have the motivation to even just get
started.  On top of that, I have someone's
voice from therapy in my head telling me
to be careful what I do one day, even if
I have the energy, because it may have
me crash a day or two after, or more.

I really hate trying to balance what is
"known" and to be looked out for with
the ignorance that might allow me to
be without a particular symptom.

I am not doing a very good job.

On top of everything else, I am really
aware of the idea floating around in
my head of things getting worse.  I
haven't figured out how to shake it or
work with it - and it scares me, big

Then there are those of you who want
to fix things for me.  As I thought of
what I wanted to say in this regard, I
wondered how I would come off

I want you to know that I appreciate
every single person who cares enough
for me to want to fix me and my
situation.  It means a lot to me that
you care.

The thing is, though...you and I both
know that you can't fix this.   And when
you say things to me (the biggest one
being about me and my hair) that
attempts to fix things, it doesn't really
work.  Odds are someone has already
said the thing you have. I wish your
words were more magical than anyone
else's and that things would suddenly,
magically get better, but I can tell you
that pretty much won't happen.

Before I was diagnosed I started to
look at how we live life with those
around us.  I already was seeing how
so many react to what others think
we should do, and how often it doesn't
align with what we think is best for

I tend to think there are many problems
that are a direct result of people not
listening to their own inner voice and

Granted there are times we can be led
astray by those things jumbling around
in our head, but I tend to think that we
are often just fine as we are even if it
doesn't fit someone else's standard and
pre-conceived notions of what is
"right" or what is "best."

Of course this could just be my way
of rationalizing the choices I make.

It could also be that the way I am
doing things is the way that I need
to do them, for me.  As odd as it may
sound, I am almost intrigued by what
is happening with my hair and my
experience of it.  If I decided to shave
it off I would lose that.

I know it is probably (likely) difficult
for you to read what I write.  If I were
you, I am not sure I could.  It seems to
me to be human nature to read something
and want to fix it.  I recognize now how
much I tried to do that in the past, and I
cringe.  I cringe because I can't help but
wonder how my attempts to be helpful
may have been met in the same way that
I am reacting to those who are reaching
out to me.

I have said before that I just want to be
treated normally.  As I say that I realize
that when our interactions revolve around
what I write it would be difficult to step
outside that sphere.

But if you really want to help me that
truly is the best way for you to do it.
Treat me normally.  Talk to me about
what is going on with you.  Talk to me
about life, about what you love, interact
with me.

The conversations that are the most "normal"
are the ones that are the most beneficial.
Quite frankly, I don't even know much about
what is normal at the moment, as my life has
never seemed all that "normal" to begin with.

However I would welcome creating whatever
that would be.  I would welcome getting to
know you and interacting with you and just
being in the space within the world with you.

I have a yearning to connect.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


So much going through my head today,
where do I begin?

I wanted to write an entry about my
actual Day 5 before it got too far
away, and I forgot things.

I suppose I could start there, after
all, things that happened that day
still linger in other thoughts that
I am having.

For starters I met someone in the
morning that was quite happy.  He
was told his cancer was gone.
Quite frankly, given how I was
feeling, his enthusiasm and wide
smile was a bit much for me.

He wanted to talk.  I wasn't so
sure I wanted to.

I was really happy for him.  He
seemed to be a great person, and
I wanted to be more open.  After
all, this was GOOD news that I
could embrace.

We spoke a bit, and then went our
separate ways until a little while
later we ran into each other again.
We spoke a bit more, and I got a
nice compliment.  He thought I was
considerably younger than I am.

That usually does a woman's ego
good.  It was good to hear, given
I have wondered how I will be
affected by the surgery I had,
and everything else that my body
is going through.

Age is just a number people say.
Interestingly he told me his age,
and I couldn't believe it.  The
way he seemed to be was also
younger than what the number
would indicate.  It would seem
his enthusiasm and smile were
carrying him far.

While I wasn't anywhere near
where he seemed to be mentally,
I was taking notes.  There had to
be a reason why we had met, and
not only that, the fact that we
met more than once.

As my day progressed, I met with
a nurse for an assessment.  Without
it, I am not cleared for chemo.
As we spoke I mentioned how my mind
seems to have some issues at times.
I was pretty much chalking it up to
"chemo brain," and had said I had
said something to the doctor the
previous week.

I also mentioned how I was
considering a PICC.  She basically
tried to tell me how wrong I was
to be considering it, and told me
how difficult it would be to manage
one, and how dangerous it could be
for my health if it wasn't
maintained properly.

She wouldn't let up.

By the time I was done with her,
I felt lousy (actually sh*tty more
fits) and had an appointment for
an MRI of my brain and needed to
get a consult regarding the PICC
and port, as well as talking to a
speech pathologist.

That's what I get for being honest
about what is going on with me.

I know you may be thinking that it
is a good thing that I am being
honest, and may not understand why
I would feel like I do about these

I was told the doctor was just being
cautious by ordering these things.
Cautious?  What was there to be
cautious about?  I didn't have the
issues I have in regard to my thinking
until I began chemo.  It has to be
the chemo, right?  Well apparently
they need an MRI to be sure.

Do they really?

I was kinda stunned.  I didn't say
much, but I made the appointment.

Monday I want to ask some questions.

Before all of this, I rarely ever
even took an aspirin for anything.
There have been times in my life
where I have done a bit more, but
they have been rare.

Me and doctors have had non-existent,
to distant relationships.  I have
taken as little medicine as possible.

In the last several months, I was
pumped with medicine, had major surgery,
a number of x-rays, and 3 cat scans
with dye, and now they want to add
an MRI.  This, all in the interest
of seeing how I am?  At the same time,
I know that the tests that they do can
have their own effects on my body.

They must feel the trade off worth it.
At the same time, just the suggestion
of there being something to check out
and consider bothers me to no end.

I am sure I must be fine.  But they
seem to think they need to be sure
that I am.  Part of me says take the
test and know, and another part of me
wants to say NO THANK YOU.

I don't know which part will "win,"
but I will have a better sense after
I get a chance to ask questions and
get answers on Monday.

Then there is the whole speech person
thing.  What the heck is me talking to
them going to tell them?

I have been struggling lately with the
idea that I am headed in a direction
that I don't want to go in.  It seems
in my limited awareness of people's
experiences with cancer that people
get worse before they get better.  It
is a conversation and experience that
I don't really want I want for myself.
I want everything to proceed as "normal,"
without these fright inducing detours.

I have heard that where your attention
goes - even if it is to avoid something,
as that is still attention - that is
your experience.  Just in case it is
"true" I feel the need to work this out
so I can get it out of my field of
possibilities.  It is likely in my
best interest any way, as the fear I
feel sucks.

At the same time, I am trying to
balance my lack of desire to know
things that scare me with being
responsible to myself as a patient.
That is turning out to be one of the
most difficult things to do.

However in the course of being responsible
to myself, I did find out that there are
some people who have gotten their ports
in their arm.  The doctor who told me
about the port never mentioned that as
a possibility.  Some people online said
it was not an option given them, but they
did not say why.  Others told of issues
some had with the port in their arm.

Apparently you can have all kinds of
issues with anything you do, and the
installation of a port can even kill
you, if the doctor does the "wrong"

I don't want to know these things.
And yet, I need to ask questions.
I need to know what my options are.

I am not going to be able to get chemo
through IVs any more, and if I am going
to continue with chemo, I have other
choices I must make.

In the mind/body world constipation is
a result of not letting go, and not
"going with the flow."  Whether or not
these types of things are "true," I
find they often can fit where I am in
relation to my life.  I don't always
know what I am supposed to do with it,
or what the true source of the feeling
is, but it gives me a little bit to
go on.

What is the "flow" here?  Just because
the doctor says "go" doesn't mean it
is the right thing.  After all, the
GI doctor made me do an unnecessary
colonoscopy when I came to him with
my symptoms.  He never once indicated
it could be anything but a GI issue.
Although I would have to think that
because ovarian cancer can masquerade
as a GI issue, he would know there
was a possibility (even if it was
considered "slight").

I have been adamant that I do not want
a port.  I feel the tide might be
changing, a bit.  I also feel part of
my reluctance may indeed be psychological.

I have scars on my stomach and abdomen,
but they do not bother me.  I am barely
aware of them, and they are often
covered by clothes.  The idea of having
a scar on my chest that can, and will, be
seen every time I look in the mirror
bothers me.  I think I could deal with
it a lot better if it was on my arm.

As I write that, it occurs to me that
it could also be a positive reminder
of something good, if I allow it to be.
It COULD be.  If I let it.  If it turns
out that is the direction I am going in,
I will need to see what I can do to
create that for myself.  I almost think
it might be more powerful than avoiding
it all together by it being on my arm.


Today I saw a couple of hairs that may
be from my eyebrows or eyelashes.  I
couldn't tell.  Either way, that was
disheartening, too.  So far they seem
to be holding on, and I am hopeful that
they will stick around, but seeing that
makes me wonder if I will soon have to
learn how to draw eyebrows.

Recently I have been looking at a lot
of women's eyebrows.  I am surprised
how many actually draw their brows,
seemingly because they WANT to.

This slightly heads back in the direction
of the longer conversation I wasn't ready
for in my last entry.

I am still not ready for it.

I do, however, feel a bit better getting
the mess of words and worry out of my head
and onto this virtual paper.

The days that follow my treatments are
pretty sucky.  Thanks to a C-Band on my
wrist, it seems the nausea stays away.
But I am still left feeling not so great
physically which in turn leaves me not
so great emotionally.

All I want to do is sleep.

At some point I likely will give into that
feeling.  I am guessing my body probably
needs it, given what it is going through.
But I also have things I want to do and
need to do that aren't getting done.

I need to find a way to manage the details
that are overwhelming me.  I recently
received a bill for $300 for anesthesia
for my colonoscopy which I am not sure
what to do about it, and I got my first
bill for my current treatments that I
need to figure out how to proceed with
that, as my bank account is only going
in one direction - down, and I really
can't afford to start paying much for
what has been done.

Conversations need to be had.

Every day this situation becomes more
"real," and I can only hope that I have
it in me to get through this.  There
are times I have my doubts about things.

Lately I have heard more than once
"whatever doesn't kill you, makes you
stronger." I heard it before my diagnosis,
but it has a whole different feeling
when the thing you are dealing
with literally has the potential to
kill you.

And then there are times that I am
not so sure these sayings really mean
something in all cases.  I think
sometimes we make up sayings in an
attempt to fix things and make us
feel better about things.

Being human encompasses a range of
experiences, and some of them really
suck.  There is no way to get around
it.  Sugar coating it to make ourselves
feel better is not likely to be the
worst thing, but then again, it might
give us the idea that something is
wrong about the sucky part of life.

And when we feel something is wrong
we don't feel good about it, or ourselves.

We often try to fix things in our
life, and I think often without
great success.  It is probably
because not everything (and maybe
very few things?) is meant to be
fixed, or can be fixed.

Maybe things just are what they are,
and we do our best to interact with
them at whatever level we are capable.
Maybe the idea of the need to "fix"
things is what causes us grief.


I have never really had this
conversation quite like this before.
It is just coming to me as I write.

As I think about life in general, and
how people seem to be in regard to
life, it seems that there are many
who are unhappy because of some ideal
that they haven't met, and maybe never
will meet.  At the same time, they
are told that this product, or this
thing, or this thought will make
everything right with the world.

Often it leaves them still wanting,
and nothing has changed.

My head hurts a bit.

I think this is more than I can
fully write about now.  I do feel
like there is something to it,

I guess time will tell
me if I am right,
or maybe I
will get lucky
and it will
atleast give me a hint.