Tuesday, June 29, 2010



Oh people.  Where have I gone?  I wanted my first post back to be epic but I will not make any promises or even attempts at that.  This is going to be just about what I can type out in the 4 minutes I have before I am scheduled to study.  (I’m trying to be more structured with my fun-employment, more on that later.)

I am about to start my 4th month in my new life, away from my job.  I have gotten a lot accomplished, but not nearly as much as I’d hoped.  I couldn’t sleep at all last night and ended up going to bed with the birds chirping and sky lightening.  I think I’m feeling a little anxious with the lack of routine that I have.  I decided to attempt to be more structured, but in a very productive way.  I tend to get bogged down in the details, then overwhelmed, then sometimes give up.  Aside from the benefits of being detail-oriented, this is not such a good trait.  Someone said to me recently – use your faults to your advantage.  I’m still trying to figure out how that can work for me as my faults still seem like my faults.  I’m trying to embrace certain things but I do tend to get frustrated with myself.

There is no other way to say this next thing, so I’m going to just say it.  My mom has cancer.  It still feels really weird to think/say/type that as my family just isn’t the “cancer type”.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  This all started a couple of months ago and a lot of action has taken place since.  Summary:  annual mammogram found something, biopsy was done, cancer was detected, surgery for lumpectomy scheduled, surgery showed cancer had spread to lymph nodes, further biopsy after surgery showed it had only spread to ONE lymph node, “the plan” for treatment was laid out…chemo starts on Thursday, radiation after that.

I have been trying to count my blessings since this arose and I think I’m doing a fairly good job.  I am close with my parents, but they live 1500 miles away.  I’m making a better attempt to communicate via phone and even set up skype/webcam (could be my demise?).  My family emails each other all day every day, but it is not too personal – weather, what we did, etc.  I went back to Michigan for the surgery, am going back for 10 days again in July while my sister is out too, then we’re planning a week rental on Lake Michigan in August. 

The trip home for the surgery was, to put it bluntly, not good.  I was alone, no husband and away from my house, stuff and timezone.  None of us expected the cancer to have spread – we thought they’d scrape it out then do radiation and onto a somewhat normal life again.  I’ll never forget the feeling in the waiting area when the surgeon came out to tell us.  I was with my dad only and felt completely heartbroken and above all SCARED.  Even though my family is close we don’t get too super emotional and this was a time when my guard just came down.  Seeing my dad upset too wrecked me.  The rest of my visit was really really hard for me.  I’m glad I was there for my parents sake but behind closed doors I was a wreck.  Lots of tears and thoughts and feelings that I’ve been avoiding all of my life. 

It wasn’t until a few days after I got home, when the results of the biopsy of the rest of the lymph nodes came back with good news, that I started to feel relief.  I truly had been expecting the worst possible news so was shocked at this.  So happy.

She still needs to go through chemo and I know that will be really rough.  It will be a huge lifestyle change for a while, especially the losing the hair part, but a necessary part of getting better.  The 10 year outlook for her type of cancer, with this treatment, is very very positive. 

Everything is going to be okay, she is going to be okay and I am going to be okay.  This all opened my eyes to the fact that my parents are getting older and aren’t going to be around forever.  This concept of losing people is terrifying to me and I’m slowly trying to face that bit by bit.  My adventures in yoga and in life are helping me along and making me better able to cope with roadblocks like this.  I am growing and that is good.

I’m not a huge risk taker and this isn’t a huge risk, but the situation of the past few weeks prompted me to carpe diem just a little bit and make a tiny, non-permanent change:


BANGS!  Fringe has not graced my forehead since 1989 so I kind of feel like a new woman…and sorta like the old too:


(Someday I’ll post my Boston marathon report.  I’ll also post about my recent less major trials and tribulations including yoga, garden, travel, volunteering, etc.)