Takes two minutes… Watch these Buddhist monks as they are making a Mandala – it took them six days!


Eastern Market – from the hip

E and I went to Eastern Market on Saturday morning. I walked around with my camera on top of my bag and just kept shooting. Here’s a collage of some of the shots of the morning.

Happy Medium

I’m searching for a happy medium between baking outside in the sun (which I never really did but I would enjoy a little sunshine on a walk or bike ride) and becoming the hermit/vampire I’ve become – only wanting to be outside at night or when it is cloudy. The walk after 8PM last evening with S was very relaxing because the sun was below the trees.

At lunch yesterday, C and I sat in the lee of the building – very shady and I looked for a spot I thought would stay in shade so we wouldn’t have to hurry or move. I told her I knew it was irrational fear then I revised that to rational fear… but I don’t want to live in fear.

Maybe the fear is normal. I’m also wondering which Doc will give me the definitive answer to what this is or more specifically what this is going to be and what we do now. Right now I feel like I’m bouncing from one to the next to the next, waiting for someone to tell me something for sure. I guess it’s just more of that waiting and looking outside at the nice sunny day (although it’s a little cloudy right now – maybe I should get out there!).

So wait and watch…     hmm, the Advent of something new?

Hurry up and wait

Surgeon appt. was a consult only. He’s great! but I wish he’d have talked while he cut so I can move on… He really is great though. His staff worked magic and got us scheduled at the local hospital for Wednesday morning at 10:30. Sooner than he could do in his office – and honestly, I’m kinda happy we’ll be at the hospital. They have all of the stuff and he did say that the lighting is better. I’m all for good lighting.

C took the day off and drove me to wealthy suburb where his office is located. I guess I’m not really surprised; I’m guessing that Plastic Surgeons have a lot of business in that town. It was nice to have C with me. We talked about lots of things. We stopped at *$s (of course) on the way out. After the appt. we did what any self-respecting friends would do – we went for pedis – and then we went to lunch. More talk. Lots of support and love and that helped so much.

So, I wait. Was kinda down this afternoon. Disappointed I guess. I had taken the day off and decided that was okay – so I napped most of the afternoon. I wasn’t very talkative at lunch. Just chewing on the events of the morning I guess.

After napping the afternoon, I made a small din – chicken tenders, lemon pepper pappardelle and green beans tossed with lemon olive oil. I watched Food Network and then went for a great walk with S. We walked about 2 miles. It was a great walk. I feel great after walking – so why don’t I do more of it?!? Makes no sense.

Anyhow. I see more walks in my near future. I feel great after walking. I’m guessing it would be great for my psyche while I wait… and wait. Sigh, I’m just not a patient person. When I decide I want to do something, I want it planned out and done. Fast. Now. I guess maybe there are some lessons to be learned in waiting. In letting people take care of me. In trying not to control things all of the time. Ok, that’s just crazy talk! but maybe there’s something to it… Well, I wait. We wait. And we hope and pray that the waiting is time put to good use…

From my walk-about in the ‘hood last week…

What I Know

I know that one word has the power to scare the poo out of you. Cancer. Whether that word is aimed at you or at someone you love. This time last year it was aimed someone I loved. This year (last week) it was aimed at me. J is no longer with us; he fought hard for five months. Thankfully it looks like I’ve dodged a bullet and learned some amazing lessons.

I had two moles removed the week after my 48th birthday. Mum had been nagging (thankfully) for a little over a year. I finally listened and made an appointment. The doc said, “What brings you in today?” and I replied, “My mother sent me.” Doc agreed with Mum’s assessment and off they came two days later.

A week later she called with the results – one was fine, the other melanoma. Small, probably got it early enough but more tests (blood work and chest x-ray) are needed to be sure it has not metastasized. Doc said, “Thank your mother” – which I have done (a few times). The “more tests” is what freaked me out!

Then began the rollercoaster ride that is my psyche… There were tears. There was regret. There was anger (at my stubbornness). There was fear. There were friends. There were prayers. There were phone calls. There was coffee sitting outside (in the shade). There were text messages. There was contact. There was love.

A couple of friends have said, “I hate June” because this is the anniversary of the beginning of the end of J. We were fortunate enough to be able to be a part of J’s journey. His wife graciously accepted the love everyone had for him and her and their kids. I have never seen a community rally like that – new friendships were made as parts of their lives intersected.

Our community is currently helping another (younger) family thru their own battle with cancer. This is not something I think anyone is ever prepared for – and I often think, “I hope I can handle such a thing with the grace and dignity that I have witnessed.”

I can tell you there was not much grace and dignity running thru my brain from Noon Friday to about Noon Sunday. It was shear madness, “mayhem and foolishness!” Church was difficult because I know that love does not cure this disease. If it did, J and a whole lot of other people I loved would still be here. I know that I am loved – and that cannot fix this.

On Sunday I spoke to “best friend growing up” (we’ve known each other since second grade – 40+ years), she’s an oncology nurse. She said, “I don’t know why your doc is ordering blood work and chest x-ray, it was so small and early.” I instantly felt better. Having some perspective from M was hugely encouraging. Basically my primary care physician was being wicked over-cautious. Knowing that – well, that’s okay with me. Suddenly I could eat and sleep again. In about 72 hours, I lost 5 lbs and got 6 hours sleep over two nights. With that added perspective, I’m okay with wicked over-cautious.

Blood work happened first thing Monday morning – all good! Chest x-ray happened this morning, doc already called – all good! Tomorrow C takes me to plastic surgeon so he can take a wider margin to be sure they got it all. Appointment with Dermatologist is already scheduled for two weeks from yesterday.

This has, as I said, scared the poo out of me. If Mum points something out and says, you should have that looked at – she’d better get out-of-the-way because I’m not afraid to run a little old lady over getting to the doctor! Sunscreen is now among my best friends.

And as always I am truly humbled by the love that my community shows me. Words cannot express the gratitude and love I have for these people who, over the past 20 years, have taken me into their hearts and homes and lives, they have allowed their children to travel the world with me and treated me like family – – because really, that’s what they have become to me… family. I love my family!