Sunday, September 27, 2009

More on Forgiveness

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

In the book of Matthew Jesus commands us to forgive not just once or twice, or even seven times. He commands us to forgive seventy times seven times. For those non-math people like me, that is 490 times. Now I have to say, this passage sort of bothered me because if someone is treating you badly, you could interpret this to mean that you are just supposed to let them abuse you and you keep forgiving them. But, I don’t think that’s what it means. I am no bible scholar, far from it, but I have pondered this scripture and my own feelings about the character of Jesus and I think he is talking about our own hearts. Let me try to explain what I believe.

Consider how you feel about someone who has wronged you, trespassed against you in a terrible way. You meditate on that person, the wrong that was done and decide that its time to let go and set yourself free from this hurt. So you do, in whatever way that you use to let go of wrongs in your life, whether it be via prayer, or a counselor, or over a glass of wine with a friend, but you let it go. You forgive that person completely and you vow to release it within your heart. A miracle happens. Your heart feels a little bigger at that moment, sort of like the Grinch, it grows a little bit because it’s not weighed down by the heaviness of that bitterness. You go on as a better, wiser and freer person.

Now fast forward. Something happens that brings this wrong back into your life. Whether it be another interaction with the same person, or a similar interaction with another, but the entire trespass against you comes crashing back into your life. We are only human and we are made up of memories. We can’t help it. That memory, that hurt, that pain, comes rushing back into your heart. And you cry. “I let you go! Go away!” But it won’t. It sits there simmering and congealing like overcooked gravy. That is where the words of Jesus come in. You have to forgive again. Seventy time seven times. I think sometimes it takes 490 times to let something go.

I reflect on to the major hurts in my life, the major “wrongs” that were done against me and there are times when I think I have really let them go and moved onwards towards healing. But then BAM something happens and those wrongs are back in my life, back in the forefront of my heart, and I have to forgive them all over again. I have to let them go again and again. I think that is what Jesus was talking about. Our own human hearts.

Forgiveness is essential to living a full and complete life and to truly let your heart grow in love and tenderness. Ponder on how you feel when you are full of bitterness. Think about the Grinch. He couldn’t appreciate or understand how the Who’s could be full of joy because his heart was so full of blackness. But when he let go of that blackness, his heart “grew three sizes that day.”

Can your heart grow three sizes today? Jesus and the Grinch. Both good lessons for a Sunday morning.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Forgiveness. It’s a big word. Three syllables. For-give-ness. There is so much in that word. So much to be said and so much to be accomplished.

Forgiveness is critical to living a healthy life. You cannot move forward until you have faced your past and learned the art of forgiveness. It’s so much easier to hold a grudge than to learn to forgive. We are experts at holding on to grudges.
Think about those who have wronged you in your life. I mean really wronged you. The big ones. The ones you think you’ll never let go of. Where do you feel that in your body? Do you feel it in the pit of your stomach where it churns and burns? Does it create a heaviness in your chest and a weight on your heart? Does it drudge up pictures of pain and sorrow in your mind? Do you think those feelings are affecting the person who wronged you, the one you need to forgive? Probably not. That’s the funny thing about holding a grudge. It doesn’t affect anyone but you. It might affect those directly around you since it impacts your attitude, but really, you are the only one that is being hurt by holding on to the anger and bitterness of being wronged. Unforgiveness affects you. It prohibits the love from flowing freely from you and allowing you to fully experience all the goodness life has to offer.

Can you identify those you need to forgive? It can be a painful process. I mean, who wants to bring up all those old feelings, those painful memories, those cuts so deep? Who wants to actually look inside themselves and acknowledge the blackness within their own soul? Spend some time thinking about that person, the wrongs that were committed and your continued connection to that individual. Are you ready to let go? I think that sometimes we hold on to grudges because we aren’t really ready to let go of that person. We are not ready to completely sever that connection. I think we also feel that if we forgive them, we are saying that what they did is acceptable. However, the truth is, forgiveness does not condone their actions; it simply releases that negative energy from our own lives and sets us free. The actual act of forgiveness may seem like a simple one, but I think that letting go is much harder than we realize. Those feelings just keep popping back up in our hearts and in our minds until we truly and completely forgive. And only then, will we be set free.

Think of the areas in your life where you need to practice forgiveness and how that inability to forgive is affecting your life and your future. It may be deep inside you, a blackness that you have buried so deep that you barely know its there anymore. But it is. Its there, and its affecting you. Are you ready to let it go? Are you ready to free yourself from the chains of unforgiveness? Its up to you. For I believe that only by practicing complete and utter forgiveness in our lives can we truly heal our hearts and our souls and move into the future more complete people, set free from the past that binds us.

Bring forgiveness into your life. Bring that light into your spirit and soul. The healing power of forgiveness.

Friday, September 25, 2009

No Chemo for Me

No chemo for me yesterday. I was right when I thought my counts would be too low, and they were. My platelets were more than 25,000 too low. To put that in perspective, normal is 150k-400k. When I had my transfusion last week I was 34k. Yesterday I was 73k. I need to be at least 100k to have my chemo.

I was very very disappointed. I was afraid this day would come, the day I got delayed, but I was hoping against hope that it wouldn’t come for me. That I would stay perfectly on schedule and sail through this last 9 weeks like a charm. Well no go. Like on Apollo 13, they all had to say “go, no go” for the flight, my blood work was a no go for chemo. I begged and whined a little bit, please please, let’s just go ahead. But, of course, the answer was no. To proceed with a drug that terrorizes your platelets when your platelets are so low is to ask for a trip to the hospital. As Michelle, my chemo nurse said, “you would end up in the hospital and you would make a terrible patient!” Ok, so that may be somewhat true, I’d only be terrible because I’d be working so hard to get out!

My care team is convinced I’m pushing through all this with pure grit, I say I’m just putting one foot in front of the other. I’m fighting fatigue with exercise. Fighting nausea with the right food.

I felt like my body has betrayed me. I mean, it knew the importance of a rebound. My body knew that it had to get those platelets up or it would be a no go. But my body is tired and I guess its time to give it a break. We (me and my body) have been at this for 12 weeks now with no break. I guess its time to give her a little R&R from this slightly toxic remedy and let her just breathe and rest. So that is what I’m going to do. Dry the tears and cowgirl up and take this week as a blessing. Use this time to reenergize and refortify and prepare for the last 9 weeks. So I have 10 weeks to go rather than 9 weeks, no biggie. I remember four years ago going through radiation and I was delayed numerous times because of burns, the last time being when I only had a few treatments left! But the doctors know when you have had enough and your body can take no more. At that point, they have to back up and let you recover. That is what I did then, and that is what I will do now. Back up, take a few deep breaths and recover. Eat right, moderate exercise and rest. That is the key to recovery. Balance, all things in balance.

My dad said I’m vying for another trip to the coast. Sounds good to me! Let’s go papa!

Like I said yesterday, you can’t control the wind, but you can adjust your sails. Well that was somewhat prophetic for me. Because I can’t control the wind on this one. It is what it is. However, I can adjust my sails, my attitude, towards what is happening. If you have never been through this, you can’t imagine the overwhelming disappointment it is to get delayed. I was talking to a fellow survivor last night at T’ai Chi Chih and she understood perfectly. You feel SO let down. You are ready to just rock n. roll on through it, and when you can’t, well the wind is let out of your sails. So, you have to just adjust those sails and move on forward.

That’s what I’m going to do. Just keep on sailing. Despite the direction of the wind.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Through the Storm

“You can’t change the wind but you can adjust your sails.”

I like that quote. You can’t change the wind in your life. Wind just comes. It’s the nature of life. Especially if you live in the tri-cities! Ha ha. Actually, I have lived in many places, Michigan, Colorado, California, North Dakota and Washington, and they all have on thing in common…the wind. It one of the major forces of nature. Its one of the major forces in life. You can’t really do anything to stop the wind from blowing, once its gets a-going, you just have to wait it out. Sometimes its just wind, sometimes it’s a tornado, sometimes it’s a blizzard and you can’t even see to the other size, sometimes its sleet and rain blowing so hard sideways that it stings your face, and sometimes it might be a full category 5 hurricane that turns your life completely upside down. But then it ends. It always done. And there is the aftermath of the wind, but you know that any repairs can be done. Things that are broken can be fixed, your life can be put back together.

That is how I feel now. I feel like I’m in the middle of a hurricane and sometimes the wind will let up and I see the other side, I see the end in sight, but then the wind picks back up and it’s just a gale force storm. Sometimes I get angry, you bet. I have my days when I’m just plain pissed off and tired of being in the middle of a storm. Tired of the monotony of the days, the constant water in my face, the constant wind. Somedays I’m just plan sad, with a sadness so overwhelming and exhausting I just want to lie down and let the storm take me over and just put my head under the waves. But most days I keep walking. Just putting one foot in front of the other, pushing against the wind, pushing against the water and I find that when I move forward, the storm doesn’t feel as bad. I can adjust my sails where the wind actually helps me move along, move forward, towards the end of the storm. I just have to keep moving.

I am more than halfway through with this hurricane. I am entering round five of seven. Nine more weeks to go. I can do this. I know I can. I have a good attitude to keep me warm in the storm and I have my friends and family guiding me through. When I get lost, I hear them calling and when I get tired, they pick me up. No matter how much I might want to lay down and call it quits, they are there for me, never letting me go.

I go get my blood work done this morning before chemo and see my doctor. I wonder how my counts are doing, I had the transfusion last week, but I still feel very short of breath and the bruising continues. I am concerned that my counts haven’t rebounded enough for chemo, but I am going to think positive! I don’t feel bad at all, my energy is pretty good, I just get short of breath easy. That could be anything. That could be the cancer healing! That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it! If all goes well, I’ll have dose one of round five today.

I am excited because I’m starting my T’ai Chi Chih class with Tina and Melissa tonight at Therapy Solutions and its going to be great. T’ai Chi Chih is a series of 19 movements designed to move and activate the life force in us, the Chi. When you complete a series of T’ai Chi Chih moves you feel so refreshed and reenergized. It is amazing. Next week Tina and I are starting our yoga classes twice per week which will be fabulous. I’ve been doing yoga here at home once or twice a day on my own, but only about 20 minutes at a time and I know that I could do more and do better on my poses. So I am looking forward to being in a class. And I continue to walk my dogs every day. At least 20 minutes once to twice per day. I love it. I love taking them down to Amon Basin and just letting them run and play in the creek. They don’t care how slow or fast I walk, they just do their own thing and play and play. I love watching them, it makes me smile and brings so much joy in to my heart. They are getting to live out their true nature, being dogs together. Running free.

That is the best thing that I can do to fight the constant fatigue. Its funny how exercise fights fatigue, but its true. I find that if I keep exercising, just a little, the fatigue isn’t as bad. Sometimes its hard to get moving, but once I do, I’m glad I did.

So it is true with life. You just have to keep moving. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. You may not know your ultimate destination or what sights, sounds and experiences you may encounter along the way. Your journey may take you into great valleys or up the sides of steep mountains, but you just have to keep moving. Sometimes you can skirt around the obstacles, but mostly, you just have to work your way through them. And sometimes the weather will be on your side, but mostly, you have to work through the forces of nature and do all you can to keep putting one foot in front of the other, despite what may befall you.

Life is all about the journey. Live the journey no matter where it takes you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Autumn

Yesterday was the autumn equinox.

There is real cosmic and spiritual significance to this date. It is the time of year when the day is the equal time to the night. It is the time of harvest and the occasion to give thanks for the bounty of our mother earth and to recognize that death is also a time of rebirth. Take some time to think of where you are in your life and what you are thankful for and for all the abundance in your life. Know that for as much has been given us, as much as we have created for ourselves, we are capable of so much more and the adventure lies in the fact that greater things are on their way, whether or not we can see them now.

Symbolic of the equal night and day, it is a time to find balance within our lives. The autumn equinox is the perfect balance between light and dark. Without darkness there is no light and without night there is no day. So it is in our lives, find the balance in your life, take the time to let go of those things that cause stress and bring into your life those things which create joy and love in your life.

Last night some of my awesome girlfriends came over on very short notice and participated in an Autumn Equinox ritual, the writings above are part of what I wrote for that ritual. We welcomed the four corners of the earth and cast a circle of love and gave thanks for all of those wonderful things in our lives, for the blessings that abound in each of our worlds and for the time together. What a blessing my girlfriends are in my life. They inspire me, they energize me, they love me. I hope that they received some blessings from the ritual and from the time they spent in fellowship with other women at my house.

I know that I am thankful for so many things. Too numerous to count here, but at the top of my head comes Mike, my family, my incredible friends, my job, my house…then there are the non tangible things, butterflies and sunshine, walking in the fall air and going to the river. There are so many beautiful things in our world, everywhere you look, everywhere you see is beauty. Walking my dogs, gardening, working in my flowerbeds. All blessings. What blessings do you have in your life? Sure, there is tragedy, there is strife, there is heartache, there are tears. But how much would we appreciate all the goodness if there were no tears. Would we smile as bright if we had never shed a tear or felt our heart break? Would we treasure our family if we’d never know loss or anger or bitterness? No, probably not, we must have the darkness in order to understand and appreciate the light.

As it is with cancer or any other major crisis. Without those, we would never know that there are better things out there, things to be grateful for, things to treasure and hold dear. Our trials give us a perspective that we otherwise would not have. The challenge is to not get lost in the crisis and forget that there is light waiting for us, we just have to persevere through the darkness with hope in our hearts.

Happy Autumn. The blessings are plenty, like the harvest.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Home again. There is nothing like home. No matter if I’m am gone one day or 100, there is a good feeling when I walk through that threshold and enter the place I call home. My family is there to greet me, my dogs are ecstatic, even the cat shows her appreciation for my safe arrival. I returned home a more relaxed and renewed woman than when I left.

My fear and stresses temporarily suspended while I rejuvenated my soul at that magical place called Breitenbush. Rejuvenation, a soul reborn, reenergized, soothed in love and healing energy. Calm warm healing waters to soak a tired body in need of the restorative powers of the hot springs. Surrounded in fellowship with other woman, so wiling and able to give of themselves, their gifts, the abilities, their love and curative energy.

The trip reinforced my commitment to self-care. It reinforced my practices of meditation, yoga and daily walks. It reinforced my commitment to eat healthy. It reinforced my commitment to my relationships with other women and the importance of continuing to nurture those relationships. I would like to share an experience at Breitenbush:

We went to the New Moon Ritual. There were 25 women in the small sanctuary, the most spiritual of all the places in Breitenbush. We were led by a long time Breitenbush resident, Alia, who is a joyful and grounded spiritual woman. After preparing our alter honoring the goddess and the four directions of the earth, we were each individually welcomed into the circle, where we sang a song together about the sacredness of the earth and then shared a ritual of giving and receiving compassion from each other. The new moon is about setting intentions, so we each received a stone where we set our intentions and placed the energy of that intention into the stone which we will plant into the earth so that our intention can take root. She then asked if there was anyone in need of special healing or energy. Me, being me, spoke up that I had 10 weeks of chemo left. There was no hesitation, not from anyone, they immediately moved me to the center of the circle and surrounded me, laying hands on me where they could and those who couldn’t reach toward me or laid hands on those with their hands on me. I lost track of time, my body’s temperature begin to rise with the incredible amount of healing energy that was pouring into me. And if that wasn’t enough, they sang a chant “We send you healing, we send you energy, we send you love.” Over and over and over they sang to me, each person focusing their love and energy on me and my healing. It was one of the most transformational experiences of my life. I felt overwhelmingly loved and protected. But most of all, I felt even more hope for a positive outcome than ever before. I was thinking, “give me a CT now and see, it will all be GONE!” I had a beautiful women tell me that she sent two guardian angels to watch over me to get me through, and she sent the biggest, toughest ones she could, I believed she used the word “bouncers”. So I have on either side of me bouncer angels (I imagine they look something like Dirk Pitt) to keep me safe. How cool is that. As I left that night, I got prayers and hugs and more prayers, all these women that I didn’t even know were reaching out to heal me. How incredibly profound and humbling. But of course, I should never expect anything less from women. If it is asked of a women, she will give, and she will give from all her heart and all her soul.

Tina and I had an awesome time together, sharing our friendship is one of the most special experiences of my life. She has been there for me for almost 13 years and this was the first time we had taken a trip together. We talked, we laughed, we cried. We strengthened and deepened what was already a great friendship. We just keep getting better together. She is part of my heart and soul, I don’t know what I’d do without her. We are already planning our next trip. And, true to our womans hearts, we stopped at DSW in Portland on our way home. Yes, I have new shoes for chemo this week (and next week too!). Girls gotta be girls.

I am feeling wonderful and refreshed. It is a beautiful place, in more ways than I can count. I can’t wait to go back to Breitenbush again. Its purest healing energy is calling me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Update before I leave town!

Well, my blood counts tanked yesterday, again. Luckily I was able to get scheduled for a transfusion in the afternoon which really screwed up my day. I had my day all planned, and a transfusion takes so many hours! I guess the good point is I was able to get all my Kadlec work done, but unfortunately it wasn’t like working on my patio office. My patio office is much nicer and provides such a spectacular working environment. But there were other things I was going to do, including delivering peoples dishes back to them, but that’s didn’t happen either. I didn’t leave the hospital until 7:30 at night and then spent time packing and getting ready to leave for the weekend. However, I have to say how grateful I am that there are people out there willing to donate blood. As I sit there getting that blood, I think, someone did this for me and they didn’t even know me. I used to donate blood, BC (before cancer), and never really thought that much about the recipient of that blood. I just knew it was the right thing to do and that someone, somewhere would benefit from my donation. Now that I am the recipient of that blood, I know how much that donation means. How lifesaving it is. Without that blood I don’t know how or when my counts would rebound and how sick I would become while waiting. Those people who gave me blood truly gave me life. What a profound feeling. Whoever you are, thank you. Your selfless act saved another. What a blessing.

I am so excited to leave! Breitenbush is one of the most special places I’ve every been. It is a spiritual center. When you are there, your heart rate slows, your blood pressure drops, you simply relax and feel better. The stresses seem to fall away and the most important thing on your to do list is to make it to dinner on time. You can turn your cell phone off, since there is no cell phone coverage anyway, there also is no radio, no TV, no internet. It is pure uncomplicated life.

As I sit on the patio this morning its still dark. The light is barely starting to peek out over the horizon and the dawn is upon me. Dawn. I like that word. It has such promise, such hope. The dawn of a new day. Its like every day you get another chance. A do-over, if you will, to make your life a better life. No matter how dark the night is, dawn comes. It always comes. And when it does, you feel better. You know you have traversed the darkness and have walked into the new light. As my new blood flows through me a new day begins. A day full of possibilities. A day full of hope.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I am not cancer.

I am not cancer and cancer is not me. I know its hard to differentiate the two, but I am determined to keep them separate. I am the same person that three months ago you talked to about your thoughts and desires, your problems, your fears, your hopes and dreams. I am not to be pitied. I have cancer, but it is not who I am. I am a woman trying to get through this challenge with minimal disruption to her life. I am a woman trying to work, raise her daughter, make ends meet, nurture relationships, take care of her grandson. I am a person with hopes, dreams, desires, problems and fears separate from any diagnosis. I am just like you.

When you ask me how I am and I say I’m fine, I mean, I’m fine. It doesn’t mean that I am harboring a secret sickness. It also means that I don’t want to talk about the cancer and I don’t want to review my list of medical issues or go over the list of side effects I’m experiencing. It means I’m fine. It means I don’t want to focus on the cancer. It means, please please please, talk to me about your day, your family, your job, your kids. Try to remember when we were friends and you shared your problems too. It means let’s focus on you for a change. It means lets share about work and weather and kids and men and grandkids. It means let’s just be us before there was a diagnosis. I know you care and want to hear how I am doing, but I want to have a conversation that doesn’t include cancer and I know you have things in your life that you want to share too.

Don’t feel sorry for me. I’m the same woman I was three months ago. Remember her? She cares about you and your problems. She cares about what is going on in your life and in your world. She cares about the societal issues that are facing us and has opinions about pretty much everything. She is still your friend that you can call on when you are scared and lonely. You aren’t dumping on her, she wants to be there for you.

Cancer has a tendency to take over your life. It seeps in to every conversation, every word, every thought. It permeates every section of your life and you become the very disease you want to eradicate! My deepest desire is to beat this cancer, but equally important is that I live my life. I will not live this sickness. Its there, I acknowledge it, but I will not give it the power to control my life.

So next time you see me, let’s talk about you. Treat me like you did before I had cancer. Share with me how you are feeling, spare no details, I’m not fragile, I won’t break. I have 10 weeks left of this current cycle of treatment. I will have my ups and I will have my downs. But I will make it through. Some days I will be tired and some days I will be sick. Underneath it all I will ache, my teeth will hurt, my fingers and face will go numb. That is the truth of what I am going through. But the reality of it all is that, I am doing fine. Better than fine most days. Some days downright fabulous.

So, my friends, my dear friends whom I love and appreciate so much, help me to live. Be a part of my life. Keep me in your prayers, lift me and my family up and send us your good and positive energies. And when you are with me, help me to be as normal as possible. I don’t want to be looked upon as the sick woman, the girl with cancer, I want to be looked upon as your friend. As one who cares for you as much as you care for me. I want our relationship to be reciprocal, for I care deeply for you. And I always will. Let me share in your life as you share in mine.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Nothing much to say...just a synopsis of the day!

As I sit in my normal spot on the patio on this beautiful end of summer day, it’s unusual, especially for me, but I really have nothing to say today that I feel won’t be a repeat of what I have said before, or boring or dull. I want to impart some great wisdom with you, and I am not feeling very wise today. Maybe my senses are dull, maybe it’s that “chemo brain” that people talk about all the time. My nurse told me that anytime I forget something, or lose something, I can simply say I have “chemo brain”. It’s true that I have found I’m more spacey lately, I have lost a few things, important things, and I sometimes can’t remember a name or place, or that word is just on the tip of my tongue and I can’t get it off the tip and into my head. Now I know that happens to everyone, but it seems to happen to me more frequently. I hate it, not having my senses complete and my brain as sharp, but I can poo-poo it off and hope my mind comes back when this is all over. If its just old age…well then I’m screwed.

My son’s best friend from high school, Johnny Alvarez, came by last night with his girl friend Savannah, while they were in town from Idaho Falls. What a treat. Johnny practically grew up at my house, breaking things, fixing things, eating my food, talking my ear off… you name it. What a joy it was to see him and meet his lovely lady! He is making quite a success for himself in Idaho, working at INEEL as a heavy mechanic, making good money, in love with a good girl. Memories of Johnny are bright and joyful and his legacy lives in my house even today. Every year I put out penguins as part of my holiday light display. I have one that got put backwards all those years ago and it became the “Johnny penguin.” To this day, one of my penguins is always backwards, my Johnny penguin in honor of this wonderful kid who touched my life. When Mike met him, he said “is this Johnny penguin?” I had to laugh!

I spent the most of the day yesterday in love with my grandson. It was perfect and I totally overdid it and was exhausted last night and didn’t make another event I was planning on attending, but that was okay. If I had, I wouldn’t have gotten to see Johnny, so it worked out the way it was supposed to! When I got back from walking the dogs yesterday, Elena and Houston wanted to go to the Parade of Homes and of course, a two year old is definitely not conducive (or allowed) on the Parade. So, I asked Jessie to hang out with Nana for the day. We went to the park and saw Mike come out of the river after his swim across the Columbia (begs, to ask the question… why swim across the Columbia?) Which Jessie thought was great fun, and even more fun playing in the back of Mike’s truck with Asher and Amrea while the adults talked! Then we went off to the farmer’s market and fiery food festival in Pasco to pick up all sorts of wonderful food, but best of all… berries. Jessie LOVES berries. As soon as he saw them, the apple was out of his hand and he was ready for some berry bliss! So he ate his way through a pint of various berries, turning his mouth and clothes a fabulous red and blue, hands and legs stained with their sugary sweet juice. He was in heaven, that kid loves berries! Don’t you wish that you could eat something with such abandon? So we went and bought groceries and he was the perfect little boy, sitting in the cart, eating goldfish, helping me select items and put them in the cart. By the time we got home it was past lunchtime, so we had some lunch, and settled in to watch a movie and read books for quiet time.

After he left I was supposed to go to a Kadlec party at a co-workers and then a group of us were going to go to the Robert Cray concert last night. But after the day, my body just felt heavy and achy and full of lead and I knew that I needed some rest. So I bailed and stayed home and Mike came over, we had some enchiladas and kept it low key, watching some college football and taking the dogs for a short walk. I’m starting to get smart now. After this many months of doing this, I am realizing when its time to just sit down and rest. Time to let my body regenerate and heal. I know I missed a great party and a wonderful concert, but the price that my body would have paid is too high. It’s not worth the risk to let those blood counts plummet and give this cancer a chance to grow again. Like I said, I’m starting to get smart about this! ‘Bout time.

So, no wisdom to impart with you today, except to say, do what is in your heart and do what your body tells you to do. If you need to rest, rest. If you need to be uplifted with those you love, take them with you and let them lift you up. A day with my grandson was just what the doctor ordered. And when that beautiful little boy grabs a hold of me with both arms and pulls me tight and says “my nana”…well my world just becomes complete. Find what makes your world complete and hold on to it forever.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Friday night party!

What a wonderful evening I had last night. I got to spend some time with my friends from the Kadlec Foundation Board at Meadow Springs for dinner. Laughter, love, fun, fellowship. What an amazing group of people. This is one of “my” Boards (I call them all mine) that Wendy has taken over the care of, and while I still over see the work, I don’t actually get to go to the meetings anymore, they fall on my chemo day. Which makes me sad, because this is such a remarkable group of people! But, they are having a workshop this weekend, which started with a nice social dinner on Friday with guests, and I just couldn’t miss it. Not to mention I had put together a pretty fabulous menu for them, Larry had chosen great wine, so how could I not attend? I got to see my sweet ladies, Peggy, Dottie and Irene and catch up on their lives and health. Irene is moving soon, and that makes me unhappy, but I know she is going to make such an impact at her next destination. She is a woman to be reckoned with and Savannah River better watch out, they aren’t going to know what has hit them! Dottie is healing from back surgery and I just love that woman and her gentle spirit. She looks into my eyes and I see pure care, concern and compassion, for me, for those she loves. I am so honored and blessed that I get to call her my friend. Peggy make me smile, she is so full of life! Widowed for years, she has found a whole new life that is incredibly rich and fulfilling. I aspire to be like her, to make a difference in the world like her, to face challenges like her. She is someone to look up to.

I got to catch up with my friend Michele and her husband Mike who have been facing some pretty remarkable challenges. Yet, they just keep plugging along, keeping the faith, putting one foot in front of the other and trusting that God is in control. My Mike was, of course, by my side the entire night, taking care of me, holding my hand and keeping me steady and safe. He is my angel in the flesh.

I only mention a few in a room full of beautiful people, not to minimize one person there. Each person in that room has impacted my life in some way, with a kind word, gesture, smile, prayer of healing and hope. It’s amazing when I think of it, how many people are in my world. How many people I call friend, and that I could call on in a time of need. People who are praying for me, pulling for me and sending me their positive energy.

Growing up I wasn’t the most popular girl. Far from it. It might surprise a lot of you to know that I was the outcast girl, the one that was picked on at recess, the one that was terrorized by the cheerleaders and cliques. I remember praying to be left alone, praying to have a true friend, and vowing I would never treat people the way I was treated. By the end of high school I had a solid and small circle of close friends and a very thick skin. But thanks to time, age and maturity, we grow up. Those awful memories fade into the background and we enter into an adult world, leaving behind those trials, bringing forth those lessons. And lessons they were. I learned to have a friend, you must be a friend. To receive, you must give. Relationships are reciprocal. If I am kind to you, chances are, you will be kind back. If I show you love, more often that not, I will receive love in return. It’s a risk, throwing your heart out to people, wondering how they will treat it, but it’s a risk worth taking. For I have thrown my heart out there hundreds of time, and it just keeps getting bigger and fuller. And every time I share my heart and receive it back, I have more of it to give. And the circle grows. And I have found myself blessed beyond measure. Have I been hurt, let down or disappointed? Of course. Everyone has. But that doesn’t mean that you stop putting your heart out there. You let the hurt go, put a Tinkerbell Bandaid on the disappointment and just try again. The rewards are worth way more than the pitfalls. You end up where God intended you to be, in a circle of love and light.

I’m feeling good. I like to say, all things considered, I’m feeling great. I could list the side effects from the chemo: fatigue, nausea, peripheral neuropathy, flu feeling, bloating (my face is a MOON), more fatigue, can’t sleep well, sensitive teeth… But each of you look at your day and what do you feel every day? Tired? Yup. Ate too much at dinner and sick to your stomach. Probably. Feel achy like you are coming down with something? Somedays. Bloated? Ask any woman. Exhausted? Worked too much this week? I guess what I am trying to say is that we all experience these things in some way or another during our days and nights (except maybe the peripheral neuropathy). So really, what I am going through is nothing more than what you are going through too, I just have them more often and all together. Collectively, they become a little more challenging, but nothing that can’t be overcome. It’s not like I am deathly ill, Praise God, with my head hanging over the porcelain god all day. I mean, I can deal with this. There are people that deal with way worse than this every day. I am not minimizing the side effects, just assuring you know that I am doing okay. Your prayers and support are surrounding me and keeping me at a place where I can work from, a place where I can heal in.

A place of hope. I am a lucky woman to have all of you.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Be the light.

How do you deal with negativity in your life? There is no way around it; negativity pervades our world at every turn. Read the paper, listen to the news, go to the store, work, church, school… there are negative people. The media loves negativity. All that drama makes for good copy. But what about the people around us everyday? I think some people are just naturally negative, half-empty kind of pessimists. Seeing the world as a bad place that is just out to get them. Which I think is pretty sad. How awful to go through your life with that kind of perspective? There are those that are just complainers. They just whine whine whine and can’t seem let go of things that have gone wrong, sins that have been committed against them, seeing the world as a huge dumping ground.

I don’t like to be around negative people, but sometimes you just can’t help it. They are part of our lives and you have to think, what is this person bringing to my life today? Do they have something to say under all that negativity that I should be listening too? I think most of us handle this type of interaction in a few different ways depending on the situation and our own attitude that day. Sometimes we key into the negativity and become a part of the drama, joining in, adding our own complaints, agreeing at every comment, and expanding the tale of woe. Maybe we might get upset with the person and annoyed that they brought this negativity into our world at this point in time… I mean… how DARE they! Sometimes we might tune them out, nod at the right moments and find an opportune moment to bow out of the conversation! But I think the preferred way to deal with it is to find a way to interject the other side of the perspective into the conversation. How can you turn the perspective from a negative to a positive? Can you bring them over to the light from the dark side? I know this isn’t easy, in fact sometimes it’s downright impossible, but think about trying it. The next time you are confronted with a complainer or someone sharing a tale of perceived woe and despair (not real, if they are really in despair, you should probably offer up a good dose of empathy!) try to help them to see the optimistic side. The positive perspective. The side of unwavering goodness and faith. If nothing else, then you have interjected some good energy into their world, and maybe given that person something encouraging to think about. And best of all, you have not taken their negativity into your world and into your spirit. You have protected yourself from the damaging thoughts and not let it invade your soul.

Surround yourself with good thoughts and positive energy. Bring the light of God and the good of the universe into the very core of your being. Before you give energy away, tap into that universal energy, fill yourself up, and then you will have an abundance to give. Then give freely and full of joy. Fill your world with the power of the light. Be the light.

That’s what I want to be. I want to be a light in this sometimes dark world. Life is difficult and it’s hard not to bring the darkness into our lives. There are so many stories of death, sickness and despair; it’s hard to keep an attitude of hope. But that is what we are called to do. We are to keep the faith and keep hope alive. We may not understand the reason, but we have to believe. That’s what I’m going to do, keep believing in a better and brighter today. I’m awake, the sun came up, it’ll just get better from here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More on time.

12 weeks. Such a short period of time. Really. It seems like a long time when you are facing it, but in actuality, 12 weeks isn’t that long at all. It’s only one trimester of an entire pregnancy, a probationary period at a new job, one season, one quarter of a whole year. Its only 90 days. But, what can you do in 90 days? Read the bible cover to cover, buy a house, change a habit, start a work out, get in shape, quit smoking, take a college class, meet a new friend, read a novel or two, start a diet, plant and harvest a garden, fall in love, beat cancer.

Depending on your perspective it can be a short or long time. When I think of the next 12 weeks, its daunting, but I think of the reality of how short a period of time it truly is and how much can be accomplished. I just have to keep moving forward. At this rate I should have my next CT around Halloween and be done with chemo by Thanksgiving. What a Thanksgiving that will be! There will be so much to give thanks for! I know the doctors are going to “beat this back as far as they can” but I plan on beating it back all the way. All the way to nothingness. Gone. Forever. And if I don’t… well I don’t even like to thank about that, and I guess I’ll cross that bridge if I get to it. They are coming up with new treatments and therapies everyday and I heard of a new treatment in clinical trials for triple negative breast cancer that is showing great promise. So I just have to make it until they find a cure, and with all those smart people out there working on it, a cure just has to be looming on the horizon! I plan on hanging around until old age. Older than dirt. That’ll be me. I joke about it, but I had my palm read once and I have a really long life line. That has to count for something, eh?

Off to dose two of round four this morning. I finally started to feel more like myself yesterday and had a little more energy. I have found that I simply can’t and shouldn’t work 12 hour days any longer. It’s hard for me not to work like that, there is so much to be done and so much I want to do. I love feeling like my life is just as it always was, but I know in my body when I get home after a long day like that, it isn’t truly the best idea. My body feels more overtired than usual. I was only there for 11 hours yesterday and I felt pretty good, but cratered hard when the night set it. So, I’m going to take it down to 8-10 hours a day once Wendy gets back from vacation. She is in Hawaii next week (now, I would cure up really well in Hawaii!) so I’ll be holding down the fort, but I know that once she is back and helping me out, I can work a more reasonable schedule!

I am really excited about Sept. 18-20. My best friend and care partner for the last cancer, Tina, and I had booked months ago to head off to Breitenbush Hot Springs for a Women’s Renewal Weekend. When we planned it, I had no idea that I would be battling breast cancer, but God knew, and knew this would be the perfect retreat for me. The entire weekend is focused on emotional and spiritual healing in mind, body and soul. There is lots of quiet mediation and prayer time and should prove to be a most perfect weekend, spent with a perfect friend. I am sure we will find the quiet times challenging, being the chatterboxes we are, but it will be good for us to see ourselves in silence, and feel the tranquility of our souls at rest and peace. I love Breitenbush. It is a spiritual vortex. There is more peace and love and harmony there than anyplace I have ever been. It is my hippie commune, off the grid (they generate their own power), no phones, no cell coverage, no computers, all organic vegetarian food, natural hot springs… As soon as I pass through the gate, I feel calmer, more at peace. So, once I leave, you won’t hear from me for the weekend, but I’ll make sure to tell you all about it when we get back!

So, I only have 11 weeks left. One is already past. Counting down to health. Counting down to victory! “We shall overcome!”

Monday, September 7, 2009


Definitely starting to feel like fall out there. It was very cool sitting on the patio yesterday and the breeze was brisk and cool. Labor day. Not the technical end of the summer but the representative last weekend of the summer. It doesn’t seem possible, does it? Another summer gone by, summer 2009, all wrapped up. Time flies. We say that all the time, but it is so true. And it seems that the older we get the more expeditiously it flies by, like a commuter train, you are barely catching glimpses anymore of all that is happening around you. You feel like you are going from destination to destination and never getting a chance to really enjoy the journey between the two points in time. I want to slow it down. It’s moving too fast! I look at my daughter, my baby girl, and she is 17 and in her senior year in high school. How can that be? When did she get so grown up? How can it be that she will be starting adulthood in less than a year?

Time is so precious. We say that, but I don’t know if we take it to heart like we should. It is the one thing we seem to never have enough of. How many people say, “I wish there were more hours in the day” or at the end of the road say “I wish I’d had more time.” Time. The quintessential gift that you can give to yourself and to others. I was lucky enough to get to spend time with my family over the weekend. Holding Jessie in my lap, eating green chili burritos with the family (made by my mother!), spending the afternoon with my daughter decorating her room, planting blueberry bushes with Mike… its all a gift. And when I feel like I can't put one foot in front of the other, I don't have the energy for one more step, I think of the time that I would miss if I didn't take that step. How could I not take another step? Keep trying, keep going, keep on keeping on and garner every last second out of my life. Time. A most precious commodity.

I battle fatigue constantly. Some days my body doesn’t want to get up and keep going but I know that the hardest part is to make the first move. I sit in my chair and my body wants to just keep sitting. Sit and do nothing. But I know I must move. My get up and go hasn’t got up and went… it just needs a little encouragement! Once I get up and go, I feel better. And I will squeak just a little more of that precious time out of my life. Now, that feels good.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Words On Happiness

I have been reading the book Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert and I came upon a section I'd like to share with you on happiness.

"...people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that is not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will leak away your innate contentment. Its easy enough to pray when you're in distress, but continuing to pray when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments."

Pretty profound, eh? It is easy to pray when life is tossing you about in turmoil and you feel like you’re in the pit of despair. But how often do we remember to pray everyday thanking God for the blessings we have heaped upon us? Happiness is a state of mind. It is something that we can choose to have no matter what our circumstances. You can be in the middle of a crisis, but tactically choose to be happy. I mean, which would you rather do? Bemoan the circumstances of your despair, or rejoice in the blessings that surround you and the experience and good fortune that will come out of that despair? This is a good lesson for me right now. I seemed to have found myself in a funk over the last few days and that is not really how I choose to live my life. I have MBC (metastatic breast cancer); there is no cure, so what. Deal with it. There may not be a cure, but I will live the rest of a very full and productive life with this and I can handle the treatment. These are the cards I have been dealt, so I can either be happy with it or not, that is my choice. This is my lesson that I am to learn and experience. Cancer is a great teacher, if I will allow it to be. I believe I will be a better person, parent, partner, friend, child, employee, human being, if you will, because of what I am facing. I could let it make me bitter and angry, but what does that do other than to circumvent the healing process and basically ruin your entire day! And, I’m not really about wasting days.

I got the honor to go out with a few girlfriends last night, Sherri Manzanares, her two sisters and Donna Zulauf. We are all facing our own personal challenges. No ones life is easy, but together, we are strong and we are full of humor, love and compassion. We lift each other up. We choose to be happy. I love the energy they share with me and the way that we support and encourage each other. Life is tough, no doubt, but there are so many blessings that are also cast upon us, friendship being one of the greatest.

Think about what makes you happy? I know when I start thinking about my happiness; it has very little to do with “stuff” and everything to do with people. Mike makes me happy, beyond my wildest dreams; he is my best friend and “gets” me like no one else. What a complete and utter love he shares with me. My kids, they just make my life worth living. To watch them grow and learn, they have enriched me beyond measure. My grandson, he makes my life complete. He reminds me of the simplicity of life, of pure love, untainted by the perils of this world. My parents, total and unconditional love. The best and most wonderful parents a child could every want. My brother, who knows all my secrets and loves me anyway and supports me like no other. My sister-in-law Rhonda, my nephews, Andrew and Jason, Jessie’s mama Elena… And this doesn’t even start to include the rest of my extended family and the incredible friends that I could list, the pages would be full. Each person bringing something intangible and uplifting to my life. So, no matter what my circumstances, how could I not choose to be happy when surrounded by such magnificent people? And that is just the people! That list doesn’t even include the blessings of a beautiful home, a great job, a decent car… or the blessings of the earth, flowers, rain, sunshine… or the blessings of God, hope, miracles, grace and faith. I could go on and on but I think you get the drift.

Happiness is a choice. And we cannot just sit back on our laurels and let happiness come to us. We must strive to find it within our lives and when we do grasp a hold of it, we must hold on to it, nurture it and make it a focal point in our everyday activities. Actively search for and pursue that happiness like you would a lost child, and when you find it, hold on to it with all your might and never let it go. Don’t let the challenges of life dilute it, let the challenges enhance it, for each moment is a gift. Like they saying goes, that’s why it’s called the present.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Circle of Life and other thoughts

Ok, here is my second try at my blog this morning. I had a whole great blog typed about the Circle of Life, the song, life and death, hugely profound and touching stuff, and with the error of a finger, erased it. So, I guess that’s not what I was meant to write about today after all. Blogging doesn’t have an “undo” button. Just like life, you can’t undo what has already been done. Maybe there is a lesson in there? We can’t undo that word, thought or deed, so we need to think first about what we say and do and how it will affect people. So maybe my previous blog was going to be too depressing to share, and I’m meant to share something to lift you up. In the song, the circle of life, one of the lyric lines “but all are agreed as they join the stampede, you should never take more than you give.” So I’m in this stampede of life, living with all of you and sharing our intertwined lives, and what can I give back to you? How can I positively impact your life?

I am not doing a lot for others right now, I can barely take care of myself, so I certainly don’t feel like I’m giving back all I can or should give to others. So, I have to live and take care of myself so that I can pay all the kindness I’ve received forward when I am well. But I can give you words of hope. I can lift you up and hopefully make you think of all the good things that are waiting for you to enjoy. Life can be challenging, and sometimes we forget how much greatness there is for us out there!

It’s a perfect day on the patio. Mid-60’s. I am wearing my little San Francisco hat to cover my balding head and am beginning to think it would be easier to just shave my head and get it over with. I mean, I’m pretty bald on the back and sides and it is getting harder and harder to cover the bald spots, why fight it. Its all going to fall out in another few doses anyway, let’s just cut to the chase. Peyton wants to be the one to shave my head, which is pretty funny. I remember her being somewhat embarrassed all those years ago with a bald mom, we’ve come along way. She loves me and is proud of me no matter what! That’s a good feeling!

Mike and his son Jason are doing an Olympic distance triathlon today, and I’m really proud of them. I could never even imagine being in good enough shape to do that. Mike has run every day for the last 30+ years. Is that amazing or what? What an inspiration to those of us who can only say that we have effectively got out of bed most every day for the last 30+ years! But he inspires me to keep on going, even when I don’t want to. I have to get up and I have to live the best day I can, rain or shine. I have seen him run in snowstorms, wind, rain, heat… you name it. And he keeps on going. What fortitude. I want to be like that. I want to have that kind of fortitude to keep on going no matter what the circumstances. Maybe that’s part of the reason God gave me Mike was to learn that lesson. Keep going. You gotta just put one foot in front of the other no matter what is going on around you. Just like the weather when you are a runner, you can’t always control the external forces that are pressing on your life; health, relationships, finances, job, stress, but you CAN keep going, one foot in front of the other until the sun comes out. Because it always does. There is even sun in the eye of the hurricane. You know that there is another bad storm coming, but enjoy that sun when you see it, get through the next storm, then there is the sun again. Its always there, we just can’t always see it. Even at night, when it is so dark, the sun is just on the other side of the earth, waiting to warm us in the morning, waiting to brighten our day.

Most of you want to know how I’m feeling, and I have to say I’m doing pretty well. I feel a little puny, but nothing to write home about. I plan on making it a great day, walking my dogs and have considered either going to the gym or doing some yoga or something. I need to get my body moving and back in shape so it can keep up this fight. I’m in the fight for my life, so I need to give my body all the tools it needs to win the fight. If I’m not fueling it properly, it won’t have what it needs to make it through. And I want to live well in to my 70’s and beyond, so I’d better get serious about this journey. I can’t just sit back complacently and think that the doctors are going to make me better. I have to be an active participant in the healing process. In your life too, don’t sit on the sidelines, be an active participant in your journey. What can you do to make this a better voyage not only for you but for others? How can we do this together and lift each other up and inspire each other to reach farther, love deeper, treat each other with more respect and compassion?

Think about it. How can you be a more active participant in your life and the life of those around you? How can you improve your life and help improve the lives of those around you? Can you take that kindness that is shown towards you and pay it forward to the next person that you interact with?

I challenge you to be kind to every person you come in contact with today and to find a way, no matter what the circumstance, to add something positive to their life. Join the stampede, but never take more than you can give. Give back to this world, and make it a better place to be.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Doctors Update

Well, I have had dose one of round 4 and it looks like I'm going to go 6 rounds, then another CT and if I keep improving then we'll do one more round for good measure and then reevaluate. According to Dr. Rado, my results from the CT were phenomenal, which is a wonderful word when you are talking about cancer.

I think what is hard for me to swallow right now and is sinking to my brain is that there is no cure. This may never go away completely and is treated in some ways like a chronic disease. I may be in and out of chemo for the rest of my life. There has to be a way to beat this, I know there is. I mean, statistically there may be no cure, but I AM NOT A STATISTIC. I will find a way to beat this, I just have to wrap my mind around the enormity of if and find a way.

I talked to Dr. Penney (my former doctor, she is amazing!) and she is back in town but hasn't started her practice yet. She wants me to go up to Seattle Cancer Care and Wellness Center and talk to them about getting a plan that includes some alternative, complimentary therapies including nutrition, exercise, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, naturopathic chemotherapy (whatever that is) that will work with my current conventional treatment to find a long term solution to this disease. She said that once I get a plan, she would be happy to help me coordinate and implement into my life, regardless of whether or not she is back in practice yet. (Is that amazing or what? She is the best!) So I want to talk to Dr. Rado and get his buy-in because I think it is important to have him on board since he is my primary provider and I trust him implicitly. I also need to see if it is covered by insurance, since I am sure this won't be cheap. So, I'll do some research and in the meantime I am committed to making some changes in my life that will help to make the slightly toxic remedy work more effectively.

I need to modify my diet and work a little harder to increase my fruit and vegetable intake making sure I get my protein and iron for my blood, but in a more healthy form. Exercise every day, even if I don't want to! Its hard when I'm tired and have worked 10-12 hours, but its important to my long term well being. Get away from my office and do my Qi Gong and get involved in Tai Chi Chih again to help heal my body (classes starting this month!). Take the time to meditate everyday on healing and hope. There is so much I can do to help the medicine work, and its time I took my part more seriously. I do not want to do chemo for the rest of my life. And, I want this life to be a long one.

I will beat this disease. Nine weeks, then a CT, and one more round for good measure. Twelve weeks, I can make it! I am confident if I work hard during this 12 weeks, I can beat this sucker back to nothing! Join me in the fight!

Keep praying!

Fall is in the air!

Its a beautiful morning on the patio. Not too cold, just right for a light hat over my head and a shawl over my shoulders. I am watching puppy and kitty play and they are so incredibly entertaining. Sophie (puppy) is getting so big! She looks like her daddy, the boxer, brindle colored with long legs. So she trips over herself and tumbles down, not used to her lanky body. She is full of energy, and chases little Betsy everywhere. I worry, because she puts little kitty's entire head in her mouth, but I know that Betsy can get away if she wants and she sinks her tiny claws and teeth into Sophie pretty good too. They are a riot to watch, this little 2 pound kitty, who is never going to be very big, she is a petite little girl, and this 25 pound puppy, trying to grow into those huge paws, playing and the best of friends.

I worked too many hours again this week and was exhausted when I got home. I was lucky enough to have Kristen and Pat Fox bringing over enchiladas that were awesome, so I parked my butt in my chair and just sat for the rest of the night, resting, catching up on some programs and visiting with my daughter. She went and got us some ice cream, which my waist line REALLY needs, yeah right, and both went to bed early. I was so tired. But I got alot done at the office and feel like I'm in a position to rest the next four days and recuperate. Hard to believe labor day weekend already. I mean, where did the summer go? The early mornings already have a fall chill in the air and soon the flowers will start to whither and the leaves will start to turn. But until then, flowers around my patio are still bursting with colors and full of fragrance. The thought of raking leaves is far away in my mind and the cold and dreary days of winter are ever farther. Today, is a perfect end of summer day. I soak it all it, my senses alive with the wonder of nature. God created so much beauty, so much for us to enjoy. How can we not see His hand in all of it? I think I'll walk the dogs this morning before my appointment, since tonight I won't be feeling quite as chipper, they will enjoy it and it gets me out moving.

I am trying to walk everyday, and have succeeded most days. Even yesterday with a full day at work I walked a couple of blocks (in heels!) to lunch to meet a friend, so I got a little walk in during the day. I was going to take the dogs a little after 8 last night, and it was already dark! Another sign of the fall, darkness sure falls earlier! I'll have to adjust my evening walks a little to try to get the daylight!

I see the doctor today and am excited to hear what he has to say. I know the slightly toxic remedy is working, so its a matter of establishing our path forward. I should know how many more treatments we are going to do and will talk about what we are going to do when the treatments are done. I'll sure be glad to get the major stuff behind me and get back to my regular schedule! I have a fabulous pair of new Naughty Monkey's to wear today, thanks to Deana!! I already have my outfit all together in my mind, and despite the lack of hair and the additional weight I'm carrying, I know I'll look fabulous. Because you know, its all about the shoes. Awesome shoes can hide a multitude of sins!

Enjoy the day, its going to be a great one!