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.


April 8, 2012

I have a dream

Chemo #7 complete, tumor is almost gone! Wish I could just take my ball and go home now.  Getting into the rhythm of this portion of the treatment, dealing with side effects as they come and go.  Funny I feel so normal, yet so abnormal. Well we all know I’m abnormal but you know what I mean. Trying hard to get on with my life despite the trials and tribulations associated with cancer.   Actually been keeping busy, getting out a lot during the day, early to bed and up early to get at the day while I have energy.  Noticed I am becoming OCD, trying to stay ahead of my lack of stamina and chemo brain.  Am really surprised how much time it takes to take care of a cancer body.  My body and my brain are slower yet my soul is soaring with hope, love and gratitude.

     I’m in this large water canal filled with brown murky water, swimming along a giant old rusty white ship trying to figure a way out of the massive canal, thinking I can swim under the bow of the ship to get to shore on the other side, my legs get pinned under the ship as they are sucked into some part of the motor, I struggled to break free and wonder why I did not realize this would happen, of course the water would be sucked in the front end and then out the back, somehow I break free, I decide to climb up the front of the ship hoping someone will see me, end up very high on a small ledge, no one sees me, with nowhere to go but back in the water I jump, falling, falling, falling, falling, how could I have not realized how high up I was. I decide to swim to a shore I see in the far distance, I close my eyes and focus on fighting the current, when I open my eyes I am swimming in a dark walled tunnel with trains tracks overhead and goose poop floating thick in the water, I keep swimming and wonder if I well die before I reach the end of the tunnel which I cannot see,  finally light, I swim harder excited to burst free, I come out to find the banks covered thick with black beery brambles, they have also grown into the water shore to shore, nothing to do but swim right through them, it’s gonna hurt, I can do it, here goes.

Getting out every day for the mandatory walk for myself and the dogs, yesterday I ran into a women who really wanted me to contact her friend Julie who cured her breast cancer tumor three years ago.  No Chemo, no surgery, no radiation…she smokes a joint a day, drinks 5 cups of green tea and changed her diet.  “Cured” she said, wondering if I should change to her doctor.

The love and kindness of people has me in awe and holds me up. Armando comes weekly to let the dogs out on Chemo day and wraps me in big bear hugs every time he sees me.  Juliana is a cleaning tornado and makes the house feel exactly as OCD as I like it.  Cherris brings her giant heart and the “Traveling Pink Basket” filled with the most wonderful uplifting goodies, it’s kind of like Christmas. Chris and Lindy bought me some adorable hats and a soft pretty scarf to cute me up, it worked! Tara has been sending weekly beautiful cards to counteract the bills in the mailbox; she brought me a delicious dinner one night and spent two great sister filled nights. Bob makes me great food, brings me flowers and took me out to another delightful dinner.  Donna (Who is a school teacher) sent a package with cards made by her students. They were on pretty paper with get well wishes and a joke in each one, it was a joyful heartwarming package.  Betty sent an adorable bunny basket filled with skin moistening products.  Coralee and Anna brightened my mailbox.  Chris, Karen, Terry and Lindy are keeping the word “We” is my cancer battle. These ladies are amazing and put joy in this journey.

Charlie the bad dog, ate all of the candy for Miranda’s Easter basket before I could fill her basket, chewed up her tube of Burt’s Bee’s lip stuff and killed the cute yellow cheeping chick too. Not sure if was his diarrhea or mine that prompted this dream…

     It’s my birthday tomorrow, my Mom didn’t make me a cake, I need a cake, going to make my own. Go to Safeway, trying to find ingredients, the lights go out, I am frustrated, Oh no gotta use the restroom! Now!  Hurry where is it? I find it, my friend Chris is there, she has diarrhea too. There is only one stall and it is taken, there are at least ten other people waiting, men and women and they have diarrhea too. Frustrated I think I can drive the forty five minutes home and make it.  My car is the room I jump in it only to find the steering wheel missing.  Lets just end this dream here, I did not make it home.

Love and Hugs, S

ps   You know you have cancer when…you can’t wait for the seson premiere of “The Big C” (Showtime tonight)

March 17, 2012

Not a good time to commit a crime

Boy what a week, three trips to UCSF for progress tests and Chemo in addition to Sherman being  home on spring break.  He is doing great and it’s nice to have  home. This was our first visit since all the cancer stuff went down. He sure wanted to be here for me , kept assuring him I am good hands is so many unbelievable ways and to get on with his new life. He went to two of the appointments with me. Twas very nice.

Feeling a mix of assorted symptoms , some constant, some come and go but nothing more than slowing me down and causing me to put much more thought into everything I do, if I can remember to do it.  Chemo brain is quite present and I am finding my way as to how not to be so affected by it. I keep a note pad close by and hope I remember what to write down.  It’s actually quite disturbing. A few examples of fuzzy brain:

I was dishing up dinner plates and put the salad dressing on the plates before the salad

I get a thought I rush to grab the note pad and before I can get out the note pad the thought is gone

I was putting away dishes and had my frying pan in hand and I just stood there stareing at it for the longest time  trying so hard to remember where it goes in my kitchen

Sent Miranda to a doctors appointment which I logged into my calender on the wrong day

Went to Safeway to pick up a prescription, got home and thought “Shoot I forgot to pick up my prescription” but then remembered I did. The next day waiting in the doctors office ‘Shoot I forgot to pick up my prescription”  but then remembered I did.

My typing skills are severely diminished

There are many more but I can’t remember what they are.

Shaved my head, couldn’t take shedding more than my dogs that I have to vacuum up after daily. It was so yucky having hair everywhere and I mean everywhere. Not a good time to commit a crime as your hair samples would surely be left behind. I went to a salon owned by a dear sweet lady, filled with such caring and loving women who took extra good care of me.  When I checked in at the front desk there were three ladies behind the counter, I told them my name and they gave the “You’ve got cancer look on their faces” but quickly swaddled me in love and laughter. They shaved, washed conditioned and massaged my head. Sent me off with promises to pray for me.

I have one friend who volunteered to shave her head is solidarity and one who volunteered to shave hers legs, such good friends. Just too much to ask though.

Today I planned an impromptu “check out my bald head” get together at a friends, made an awesome baked goat cheese appetizer, we sipped wine and tried on my wig, hats and scarves and had fun, so nice to have sisters and girlfriends. Two hours of  fun was more than enough fun for me, came home took a hot bath and went to bed.Think I’m getting a virus.

Eeeeee gads, I’m bald! Not nearly as bad as I thought. I bought a very cute wig, I have hats, I have scarves, but for now bald feels best.

So many loving hearts with me and for this I am sooo grateful.  What would I do without all of you. See that smile on my face in that bald photo, It’s because I am loved and cared for by you.   XO S

March 7, 2012

Ok I admit it, I slept with another dog

Filed under: Uncategorized — by The Blue Folder @ 5:43 pm
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Another gloriously heavenly day here is California, sometimes I feel like God planned this years very beautiful winter/early spring weather just to lift me up. It would be the pits if were cold and rainy. It helps to get me out for the mandatory daily walks needed for good circulation as well as helps the dogs blow off steam adjusting to the being at home and quite more schedule. (Miranda has also been a trooper helping get them out as well)  Charlie is still a bad dog and a great dog. Both dogs sense something is amiss and try to lay close to me in bed with their head on my me as if they need too. Kinda nice, kinda crowded.  Both dogs greeted me with utter jubilation the other morning when I arrived home from spending the night at a friends who’s husband was out of town.  We had a girl’s night (bible study lesson, dinner and watched “The Bachelor” with is so stupid and useless I love it!)  I love her 13 year old dog Buddy who used to sleep on my bed when he was young, well  now he is an old man and looks up at the bed begging for us to sleep together again. So I got the idea to move a chair and two tables then I put the mattress on the floor which drives my friend and her hubby nuts because the guest room is utterly gorgeous but I can’t help myself. I can see them rolling their eyes and saying what are we going to do wth her. In the morning I put the furniture back, damn that mattress is extra heavy now that I am weake,r and the room is back it’s beautiful self.  And Buddy and I are happy.

You know you have cancer when…

~You meet friends of your friends and the look at your breasts and say”Oooooooooooooooooooh your Simone”

~You start looking for other women with Breast cancer blog sites and feel like you can relate and it brings you joy

~Day after day people call to check on you  (which you appreciate)

~Cancer spam starts showing up

~People call to you how you should try this or that to cure cancer

~You meet a women with cancer and in an instant you are soul mates, and she tells you everything you are going through that you yourself could not put into words.

People I am beginning to think I have cancer, still feels like I am on another planet.

I did not tell Charlie I slept with another dog.



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