thebluefolder

September 4, 2012

Onward…two kids, two dogs,three cats and I.

Filed under: Uncategorized — by The Blue Folder @ 8:45 pm

     The days are passing, the surgery is behind me and my head head is clearing. The cancer is 100% gone which only happens in 25% of the cases, gonna chalk this up to prayers and good medicine.  I still need to do the radiation as a preventative measure for down the road. 5 weeks 5 days a week, like most of this cancer treatment it will go by fast and before I know it Fall will have arrived.  My hair is growing back, and I no longer feel like I am rotting from the inside out. Boy was that feeling gross!

     Ready to move on yet I still have radiation to go through and I have no idea where I am going or how I am going to get there.  So looking forward to that “aha” moment when I get it all figured out. 

      Daily I am reminded of how very blessed I am to have the people in my life that I do. Your images float through my head like a big hug throughout my day.  People have done big things and small things to help and they all add up to Simone healing as fast as she can! 

Much love and thank you’s to all.

 

July 26, 2012

And I have cancer

Filed under: Uncategorized — by The Blue Folder @ 3:33 pm
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5:45 am, let me sleep, let me hide, no such luck, I must rise. Too much to do, too much that won’t get done.  6:30 and I’ve already cried. 6:45 tripped and fell, dropped it all trying to do too much too fast. The real injustice was I still hadn’t had my morning cup of coffee.  7:03 woe is me.   Wonder what is going to slip through the gap, wonder if I’m going to crack.  I’m not who I was anymore, such a bore. Too much drama (What the hell!) wonder if my friends will tire.  7:54 the tears do flow, so much worry on my mind, so many answers I seek to find.  Guess I should shut up and get going, it’s going to be a rough couple of weeks…monthes…years.

Chemo effects slowly slipping away, yippee. Went in yesterday for the  pre surgery appointment  (with my three YaYa pals, bless their hearts) and was told the tumor had shrunk from 5×6 to 1×1 thus so much less cutting.  Basically they will do a lumpectomy on the right, cut the left to match and do a lift to pull the tissue up so nothing in blocking the area to be radiated (The tumor is on the underside of my breast) The surgery is 3 1/2 hours and I will be there over night. My Sis (Thank God) will be coming to stay with me. Surgey is 8/7, would love prayers for speedy healing so I can get back to work quickly.

Sorry so glum, it’s complicated right now, oh and I have cancer.

On a happy note, my heart is filled with love and gratitude for the help/love from family and friends. This is the wind beneath my wings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 13, 2012

Coming up for air :)

Filed under: Uncategorized — by The Blue Folder @ 8:36 pm
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Coming up for air, clearing my head, feeling blessed, licking my wounds, clearing my desk, packing boxes, preping for surgery and doing a little wishful thinking.

WHERE THE RAVENS FLY FREE            Simone J. Ewing

I long to be

where the cool clear waters flow

where the willow and penny royal lap at the waters edge

where the angelica grows taller than me.

I long to be

where the golden needles of the larch trees make giant yellow clouds in the fall sky

where the elk bugle a symphony in the night

where you can hear the snow fall.

I long to be

where there are millions of stars almost within my reach

where you can meet a gray wolf in the early morning light

where the world is still.

I long to be

where an old cedar tree stands alone in a grassy meadow

where Mt Henry’s top peeks over the ridge

where the ravens fly free.

July 11, 2012

Important jobs

Filed under: Uncategorized — by The Blue Folder @ 4:13 pm
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I found myself bored one February.   Idaho winters can really do a number on you if you’re not careful. So I decided to set up a company booth in a local Home and Garden show. I knew the chance of drumming up any business was slim in this tiny town but hey I was bored. So I went all out of course. This was going to be the best garden booth ever to be entered. They gave me a premier spot right in the center that had a big round skylight overhead. And I was not going to let them down.  The best part about my space was that people could walk all the way around and also through it. So I set it up a romantic secret garden, complete with an ivy, rose and tulle covered arbor, a romantic garden table with chairs, a babbling water garden complete with goldfish. The space was filled tall palm plants, tall ficus trees, ferns and azaleas in abundance.  It was a place to pause, and people did as they took it all in.  The two front tables were adorned with two 3’ tall garden urns filled with my wildest dreams in flowers making them over 6” tall. These arrangements were worthy of any fine hotel lobby or museum hall.

I noticed a women lingering and looking at the flower arrangements in awe but she was also looking at them different somehow, different than sheer delight at all their beauty. She seemed dwarfed by the size of them and craned her neck to just look at them. You could see she was a women who had not experienced the finer things in life yet had dignity and a heart of gold. I could tell she wanted to talk and it was not going to about my landscape services.  “Can you make a smaller version of this” she asked fully intending to pay, fully intending to sacrifice if she had too because nothing less would be good enough for her daughter and baby granddaughter. I am sure she no idea how expensive even a quarter of the arrangement would be. “My baby granddaughter just passed away and I would like something for the funeral chapel in two days.” “My daughter is heartbroken.” “We don’t have much money you see but we loved her so much.” I gave her a long hug and explained the enormous cost for such an arrangement but assured her that at no cost I would have flowers in that chapel in two days for her granddaughter. I gave her my phone number and my promise. And I was not going to let her down.  I received a phone call filled with much grief and much gratitude from her daughter the next day. She had no idea what I had in store for her and her baby girl.

It just so happened that the Home and Gardening show was ending in two days so I took the palms and the ficus, the ferns and the azaleas and of course those two giant urns filled with flowers over to the funeral home.  It was in the old quaint part of town on a grassy corner.  They lead me into the chapel where I would do my magic. The room was old and special, not too big, not too small, not too dark and not too light, just right. It was also deathly quiet, not a sound.  I worked alone and at a slow pace making sure everything was more than perfect.  At some point they brought in the baby girl, they placed her very small open casket at the front of the chapel nestled among the plants and flowers, and then left.  Seemed very natural to the people working there but to me there I was alone with someone’s child taken way too soon. She seemed so tiny even in this small chapel yet her presence filled the room.  I felt honored somehow and even more slowly carried out my work not wanting to leave her alone.  When the chapel was just right and the service just about to start I scanned the room one last time then went and kissed her little head goodbye. Then slid out the back door.

I can’t tell you what February that was, or the baby’s name or how she died. Didn’t really matter all that mattered was that God have given me one of the most important jobs of my life.

July 6, 2012

Chemo and Gratitude oozing from my pores. Final Final!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by The Blue Folder @ 4:19 am
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Chemo sessions one for the history books now.  My brother took me today and made the day light, airy, funny and easy.  My blood counts were low (Which explains the humiliating pass out incident in the bathroom with my pants around my ankles) (And was told my little to jaunt to high altitude Lake Tahoe was not such a good idea for a person with my numbers, oh well I survived and had sooooo much fun with my pals) and I was told that they would go lower so be prepared to have people around, to do things very slowly for two weeks, to keep hydrated and eat super well. I’m a little nervous but it’s almost done.

Now I must rest, good thing I already wrote a special story for my next post.

Blessed, S

June 30, 2012

Dreams, plans and other stupidities

I’ve been thinking a lot about the dreaming and planning we put into our lives.  Each and everyday this process plays out in our head. Dreams and plans such as looking forward to pancakes for breakfast,  to a favorite weekly show being on TV that night, to a visit with people you care about, to a special vacation, to starting a new endeavor.  They are all equal and require the process of thinking about them. In my mind this thinking brings me joy and angst.  Joy in using the brain and heart, angst that everything does not quite manifest they way I had it pictured in my mind. Kinda pisses me off.

When I was young, about ten, I thought I would be a writer, all my life I thought I was going to be writer, but it just never happened.  Well not on paper anyway. I write in my head, all day everyday.  The cool thing about writing the story in your head is that unlike life you can rewind and write a new ending until it suits you. But rarely did the poems, stories, books or movie scripts make it onto paper.

When I was young, about eighteen, I wanted to be a pilot who flew big jet planes. I can still feel that same desire I felt then to fly. But it never happened. Which makes me think of the time I didn’t want a big black and hairy dog and I ended up with two. I love them so very much.  What happened to my planning there? Was I ever really in control of making my own plans?  Howard and Sade (The dogs) are happy with the outcome.  What about the time I planned for my daughter’s piano recital which she dreaded/feared going to.  After much ado the family was off to  help her conquer her fear and cheer her on.  I can still picture her in that beautiful cream and burgundy dress with tears running down her cheeks.  When we pulled into the church parking lot it was empty, I went inside in a slight panic and found out it was not this church and there was no way to find out the correct one.  No way to fix this one, Miranda was ecstatic with outcome of these best laid plans. I remember throwing a coin into a beautiful giant water fountain in Golden Gate Park. I closed my eyes, made my wish and tossed that coin with the best of intentions to live happily ever after with the person who was standing beside me. Boy was that a mistake.  I could go on and on but for the most part things just don’t seem to play out like we dreamed and planned. So why bother dreaming and planning at all? So easy to say, not so easy to do.

When I was young, about twenty-five, I wanted to get my fruit tress and roses planted that I would be picking from and gazing upon in my old age. As a gardener I knew it would take a good ten to fifteen years for them to become fully mature and magnificent, I had to get going. I have not planted those fruit tress or roses yet.  It’s not too late as I am only 50 but I sure thought I would have been planted somewhere permanent so I could have had them in the ground by now.  Well actually I did get them planted once but it turns out they were not to be the ones I would be gazing upon when I am old. Once again best laid plans. I still yearn for this as much as I did when I was young.

When I was young, about fifty, I lost (the word lost is used as an emotion not a fact) my husband and developed Breast Cancer.  I can assure you this was not in my dreams and planning process.  And now I question every decision I have ever made and every one I will make in the future. But since I really have no control, why bother?  Well off I go head and heart first to dreamimg and planning, to which I remain ever hopeful.

June 5, 2012

Underneath the holly tree

Filed under: Uncategorized — by The Blue Folder @ 3:42 pm
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Saturday morning up early with the birds. The dogs have been fed and gone back to bed. Here I sit with my morning coffee underneath the Holly tree. The cats are milling about; the goldfish in the water garden are enjoying their morning feeding. The wind chimes and the bamboo make music in the wind. A Woodpecker bathes just a few feet from where a sit while a Warbler sings from a tree top.  My coffee is cold and almost empty yet I dare not move. Rufus towhee, tit mouse, junco, finch, mourning dove, sparrow, blue jay, chickadee, fly-catcher, as well as a few I cannot name (yet) are a glorious site as they eat the birdseed I have put out. They are so close I can see minute details on each one. It’s amazing the way nature has taken grey, brown, black, white, orange, blue, red and created individual masterpieces out of each and every one. There must be close to one hundred birds in the trees around me, all with a different call to delight me and all the while the Warbler sings from high in the tree top, his song the most beautiful to me. The Warbler most often heard but not seen, he showed up sometime in February still don’t know what that bugger looks like.

Landing on the chair next to me is a small brownish bird. Jumping from arm to arm and back again, to the back of the chair, to the table and then onto the arm of my chair just inches from me. There he sat delivering his message. What was his message I wondered. I was not familiar with the type of bird this was.  The next I saw a post on face book of a wren someone had photographed in Yaak, Montana. I shrieked with delight, it was my bird. I rushed to look up the Wren and it’s symbolic meaning.  “A messenger from the God.  The Great Creator sends the little birds around to check up on us, to evaluate our behavior, and to listen to our prayers. The wren is an active little bird, and so it’s symbolic meanings include activity, vibrancy, alertness and efficiency. The wren is rarely seen resting on her laurels.  Further, the wren is quite sociable. She reminds us to keep a happy heart and be kind to others. If wrens have come into your life, it is time to ask yourself some important questions. Are you using the resources available to you? Are others? Are you not displaying enough confidence? Are you so wrapped up in daily worries that you are forgetting to sing? Are you not staying grounded? Are you not seeing the forest because of the trees? Are you not attacking your life with enough gusto? Wren holds the medicine for using what is available, and can teach you the most effective means to build within your own environment. Prophecy: Living life to the fullest, making progress each day, protecting yourself when necessary.”  I had asked God for a visible sign, I thought it would be a big sign not a big message sent in a tiny package.

It’s been a crazy ride here the last few weeks. Finding out how much of a mental game having cancer is, having to dig deep and reach far to find my center.  So please forgive me if I have brushed you off, ignored your call or text etc. I will be back soon to annoy the heck out of all of you.

A few kind words, a few reminder words, a few stern words, a few cards in the mail, a few checks, a few food cards, a few chores done, a few meals dropped off, a few meals bought, a few bouquets of flowers left on the door step, a few pink baskets filled with goodies, a few hugs and a lot of big-hearted people. Thank you all for your love and support.

May 17, 2012

Simone has left the building

Filed under: Uncategorized — by The Blue Folder @ 6:55 pm
Tags: , ,

Chemo #12 over and you would think I would be happy, but I am not. I am amazed that the twelve weeks have flown by so quickly but it is a much different feeling than having been on a European vacation that flew by.  Much more like that last guy to cross the finish line in a 10K race, poor sap, but people still cheer as he collapses just over the line, and oh the recovery time, oh my, poor sap.  I guess there is no fan fare for #12 because #11 and #12 were so difficult and then top it with the dread for the next round of double chemo so strong that it needs an extra weeks recovery time.  As my body weakens and I enter further into the portal of dealing with each day, I no longer see tomorrow in fact I dread tomorrow for it carries the worries that I may not be able to do it. I have given up planning, no more planning as it only cause me stress and then disappointment when I can not follow through.  My world is getting very small and that is all I can handle right now.  Simone has left the building, but I understand she will be returning for another show sometime in October if all goes as planned.

Sorry to be so glum, too much financial pressure combined with a collapsing body that just wants to be left alone to heal and must press on has me short on patience, humor and sunshine.

Happy things, Getting Miranda ready for the Senior Ball, Sherman (and Trevor) arriving home tomorrow, skipping chemo this week, getting back to work for better or worse, the love of friends and family which makes my heart glow even if I can’t be in contact because frankly it’s just too much effort but I know/feel them there. And of course my pets that are always here by side.

With hugs and much gratitude, S

ps If you lock your purse in the car and leave the back window down it will be stolen.

May 3, 2012

Ten golden toes

You know that song when I’m 64 by the Beatles, well they were off by 40 years because I feel like I’m 104.  Cancer therapy is a bitch!  As Armando would say in his broken english “I cry, I cry”.  Just typing this after my third hot bath soak, today hurts. Whine whine whine…Oh poor pitiful me!  I wish it was wine wine wine, give me Rombauer, Frank family, anything from Italy…Instead it’s meds meds meds.  Where is my sense of humor? Not much seems funny, I feel like a wounded animal that wants to crawl under the deck and lick my wounds. I have my brief moments where I put on a hat and a pretty dress, I try to enjoy this life of farawayness.  That is me far away from you. (Tears down cheeks)

As strange as it seems or as much as I whine considering what I am going through physically I am doing great! LOL, no really I am!  I think. What else are you going to do but get up each day and do as much as you can under the circumstances.  Most of the time I don’t know what the circumstances are untill they hit me in the gut or the feet which ever comes first, but I know there is always tomorrow and when this is all over.  Brings to mind that stupid saying “This too shall pass”, must say I’m tired of hearing that.  Yes it is passing… right out my a–!  ( Sorry couldn’t help myself )

Not nearly as many bald women as I has thought there would be…other than the women at the chemo center the only one I have seen was in the dog park and she informed me it was not due to chemo but that she was “Butch” (Lesbian for those of you who don’t know the term.) Someone told me Washington D.C. is filled with bald women.  Strangers like to comment “You look beautiful” “How are you doing” “My daughter (wife Etc.) is going through the same thing” Etc.  Not fun to be bald, not a badge of honour as some women have said they feel.  Wig is hot, wig makes a rash, wig feels like I am a different person. Hat on, hat off, hat on, hat off, hat on, hat off.  Hat off feels better but then I feel like I look like a sick person.  Which I am, LOL.

Can’t wait for the other side…the other side of cancer that is.  I feel much like a monk  in my own little world trying to live amongst the rest of the world marching to a different beat. I long to be like I was yet I must do my time.  I feel bad for Miranda (My daughter) having to bare the brunt of the change in Mom.  It’s she and I, day in and day out.  I try hard to fake it, to shine despite my waning self but I know she (Tears down cheeks) has to suffer the most along with me.  Hopefully we can see Paris together when this is over.

“How are you” “What is it like” “Is it like you imagined it would be”  Question questions questions, how to answer the questions. Each day would have a different answer and when this is all over I will have a different answer I’m sure.  For me the most surprising part is the “farawayness”. Partly because some physical items have me distracted, partly because of  worry due to financial issues or worry that something pressing has not been tended to.  This too shall pass, LOL.

I have ten golden toes and I am thankful. Got a pedicure with Miranda and painted them bright shiny gold,  was told not to by the doctors due to infections etc., but I did it any way and am so glad I did.  I soaked the extremely painful little buggers for the third time today in the tub and they looked so pretty.  Apparently this type od chemo therapy (Taxol) can make you finger and toe nails fall off, so I am grateful to have ten to polish thus far.

Feeling feeling feeling grateful for so many blessings from my peeps, where would I be without all of them to send good juju my way, I can’t imagine.

Well Chemo #11 tomorrow

And now for you listening pleasure a link to one of my all time favorite pieces of music.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-mLkzFUzTA

XO S

(Fingers hurt too much to edit/spellcheck, sorry)

April 22, 2012

Climbing Mt. Everest

This cancer is a strange animal putting me in my own little world yet part of a much bigger world as well. I hear the loving voices, I fell the soft hands holding me up and for each and everyone no matter how small I am grateful.  I feel like I am climbing Mount Everest and I have a cheering squad calling me from the top “You can do it, you can do it, here grab my rope and hold on tight, we won’t let you fall”.  This last week has been very interesting in that I needed to let go of the ropes being tossed to me to see what it would be like if they were not there for me to hold on so tightly to.  I climbed, I cryed, I rested and though I let go of the ropes I could still feel  your pull right along with me. I found my own strenghth as well, took the time to look at what was possible for me right now and how to do “what I can” to the max.  This has made me feel less vulnerable and more powerful, I can’t do it all but I can do a lot. I can see the top of the mountian and that’s where I am going.

Chemo #9 over and done.  The doctors seem quite marveled/thirlled with the shrinkage of the tumor, It is no longer mesurable without machinary. Still have to have chemo part two, surgery and radiation. Side effects come and go, yes they are a bummer but not worse than death.  As the saying goes “The best way to get through hell is straight through it”.

Side Effects~

Painful rashy bald head, pain in stomach, bloat,nausea,  darkening brittle painful finger tips and toe tips (This is a real bummer), clumsiness, sinus and ear pain, hot flashes, sore throat, diarreaha, sensitive skin, sore teeth, general slowness and the port hurts alot, could be my least favorite part. (It will be removed with surgery, yippee!)

With the utmost gratitude to all of those who have reached out, your hand feels so nice.

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