Picture This…Part One Summer 2013


I’ve been rather absent from here as of late.  A lot going on in this head of mine.  A lot going on in this life of mine.  I am trying to center myself and get back on track with a host of projects. What I realized is that I have to make sure I’m healthy.  Not just physically but on every level, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, etc.

I like to head out with my camera and try to capture a little of the world that I reside in.  Because words are currently a little hesitant to make their way onto the page these days, I thought I would share some of my favorite photos that I’ve taken over the course of the last year.

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English Bay June 2013

Just prior to surgery I headed down to the English Bay which is a favorite place of mine.  I like to stroll along the surf and get my toes wet.  This little guy was totally ready for his close-up.  I was feeling quite a bit of anxiety leading up to surgery.

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Get well and the view from my sofa.

Friends stopped by to wish me well.  For two weeks I took up residence on my sofa. Short walks became a daily ritual. I had to take it easy for six to eight weeks.

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As summer progressed I extended my walks.  Queen’s Park hosts a petting zoo from May to September every year.  On one of my walks I grabbed the camera and stopped by to say ‘Hello’ to a goat or two.

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The Queen of Soul (as a Chicken)

This is just the craziest chicken going.  Love the ‘hair-do’.  This lovely chicky-poo is, in my mind, is a cross between Tina Turner and James Brown.  I don’t know if it is male or a female but talk about attitude.

And look at that head of…feathers?

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I love all the colours of summer.  I managed to get cozy with some bees.  After photographing them I was curious as to their life span.  Bumblebee queens live on average of a year.  Some of these bees live for only two weeks.  From birth they are part of a process to keep the system they are born into going.  It is basic and instinctually programmed into them.

These creatures benefit our existence in such an enormous way.  Beautiful, really!

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Honey Bee July 2013

I loved the way the light caught this little guy.  Amazing little creatures.

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I don’t know what these are called.  At times they remind me of a baby dragon fly.  I wasn’t even aware that I had captured this anonymous little creature until I downloaded the images.

I was enjoying the shadows being cast and how the foliage was proving to be so dynamic.

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As July slipped away and August pulled us into the dog days of summer I headed down to Vancouver’s annual firework’s festival with my photography group.  I haven’t done a great deal of night shooting so this was exciting.  And I once I figured out what I was doing, I just had fun.

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And as summer faded I found myself gazing at these images, amazed and in awe of the life force that surrounds me.  Of the raw beauty that exists, of the magic we are capable of.

Perhaps because of the cancer that had invaded my body, I was seeing things in a totally new light.

And I was appreciating the fragility of life but also the tough and driven aspect to it as well.

There are no guarantees.  I have this day.  Nothing more.  If I can close my eyes at the end each day with the remembrance of having lived it well, then I can ask for no more.

 

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The Brighter Side of Life


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I’ve been visiting the dark side of the moon these days.  That lonely, cold void that feels like terminal infinity.

For that reason alone my posts on here have been few and far between.  I don’t want to be on here ranting all the time and bleeding out emotionally.

I’ve been doing my bloodletting sparingly.  Plus I really don’t want to depress anyone.  Bad enough to be feeling out of sorts.  Thanks for all the positive feed back and love though.  I really appreciate all of you who’ve reached out.  It helps tremendously.

I will be setting up some counselling sessions this week.  Hopefully I will garner a little more insight into the current cesspool that I’ve found myself in.

So I’m going to make a concerted effort to be a little lighter, a little brighter.  I’ll paste a smile on face and make it stay there, dammit!

On to the brighter side of life.  It may not be shining brilliantly in this life of mine at the moment but a little rain is necessary at times.

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It’s the wind I can’t stand.  At the moment it’s cloudy but far more appealing than the desolation of the moon.

I signed on to run my 5th Sun Run on Sunday.

I am actually feeling incredibly emotional about the run this year.

This event has come to mark so many life moments in terms of growth and milestones.

Last year I was celebrating having a healthy heart.  I was also running for Boston after the tragedy that occurred at last years marathon.

What I didn’t know as I ran the race last year is that I had cancer.

I will begin again.  This time free of illness.  My physical self has gone through punishing treatment in the last year and it shows.  The emotional side is a wee bit tender these days as well.

I went for a massage a couple of weeks back.  Foolishly I asked for a really firm rub down. I wanted all the kinks and knots worked out.  No, this was not going to be a nice and relaxing experience.

Reflecting on this now I should have requested something a little gentler.  But I didn’t.

She steamrollered me.  Got her elbows in and worked out each and every knot, kink and strain that existed.  Afterward my muscles felt as if a meat mallet had pounded them out.  I was ready to be barbecued, baked, roasted…!

It took a good week to recover.  The good news the knots and kinks are gone!

Another cool offering is that I was asked to share my story with the Rick Hansen Foundation.  I participated in the 25th Anniversary Relay a couple of years ago.  I received an email a few weeks ago and have been working on a very abbreviated version of this life o’ mine.

I want the premise of the story to be focused on the nurturing spirit of forgiveness and love. A brief nod to the hardships but I won’t dwell on them.

I’ve been dwelling too much on the hardships.  And I don’t want to be in this space any longer.  I will smile ’til it hurts and laugh even if it is inappropriate.

Actually I better not do that. It gets me into too much trouble.

I’m on the mend and on the rise.  Here’s to brighter days ahead.

Peace.heart

Reactive…Spring is Springin’ after all..


An interesting passage of time and the emotions that have accompanied it.

Realizations and reactions.

My three month cancer check-in occurred this week.

My reaction was a surprise.

Even more profound was the discovery that I really had not honoured or accepted many of the emotions that tried to surface.

“You’ve got cancer.”

For me, those were fighting words.

“Fuck you!” I screamed inside my head, “Just try to take this life from me!”

For the last nine months I’ve been in warrior mode. Don’t mess with my equilibrium as I am redefining the concept…you bastard!

Every time fear and anger reared their ugly heads, I shot them down with my ‘positive’ reinforcement.

During chemotherapy, with a needle in my arm I sat with my Rose Quartz and Jade Stone in meditation relinquistioning and reconciling the shit that was being put into my body as necessary.

And I begged for acceptance from my physical sense, my spiritual sense…

The last few months have been a big ‘Fuck you.  What were you thinking?”

Each word, feeling, condemnation being recorded for what?

I’ve a vision of where I want to go in this life.  Why do allow these foolish images to invade and distract?

I am past the cancer shit. I’ll survive. LIve a long life.

It’s not a competition.  It really isn’t.

I’ve been in this odd mindset.  I have to rectify why I feel the way I do.

Notable issues have arisen in how I respond and react.

What I’ve realized is that I might well have an awareness of my inabilities, it does not translate into the generalalities of global perception.

I am not a statistic.

I am a woman. I feel.  I hurt..  I  want.  I plead.  I beg.

This animated thing I am pouring my soul out to… I can’t say.

But we are human…we feel..we share….

I love you all.

Time for sleep.

Pain in the….


 

happy face

It’s my lunch hour.  Well, sort of.  Unless I physically leave the office then I’ll pick up the phone if it rings, sign for a courier, or direct a client.

I’ve been trying to get my fitness schedule back on track since January.  It started off pretty good…then I tweaked a muscle in my right calf.  Of course being the fool hardy gal that I am, I kept running on it, kept hitting the gym and tossed in my weekly Yoga class for good measure.

I was certain that it would just heal.  At some point in time I recall reading an article that you had to work through these pains.

Perhaps I should have researched what the operative word ‘work’ actually means in this context.

The injury became worse, to the point that I was limping a bit.  I finally clued in that I needed to rest the leg and roll it out.

Three weeks later and I’m once again beginning the slow climb back up the fitness ladder.

And I’m sore.

I went for my first run in three weeks last night.  I felt sluggish and heavy.  Gravity had surely become denser, yes?  I was at the gym this morning for a light workout.  The body has that familiar tightness that comes with the start-up of regular exercise.

Oh, I do know that I have to go through the pains….again.  Doesn’t mean I have to like it.

I want to get fit though.  I miss the energy I had just over a year ago.

I’ve put about 35 lbs. on over the course of the cancer treatments and my body core is ridiculously weak.  This is understandable considering it was my mid-section that has taken the brunt of the abuse.

I just remembered I was supposed to have won an Oscar this year as well, was I not?  I do recall writing a blog early last year stating precisely how this was to come about.

Well, there is always next year.  Perhaps Ellen will order Pizza again.  Mind you, on Oscar night I had a ridiculous craving for Chinese take-out and that was my indulgence for the night.

What I have come to learn is that the tightness I am feeling in my musculature these days is likely related to the chemo and radiation treatments.  Apparently the debris and carnage remains in the body for up to a year.

Boo! I say, Boo!

The pain I am feeling then is not the typical aches that come with beginning a workout routine.  And in truth, I did workout throughout the whole cancer thing, albeit on a rather minimal schedule.  Still, it stands to reason that the body wouldn’t be completely out of shape then.

I spoke with a woman at my running group last night.  Angela is a nutritionist at Inspired Health.  The organization works with cancer patients on a more holistic approach.  They offer up nutrition advice, meditation, yoga, etc.

Angela mentioned that I may be feeling extremely tight as my electrolytes may be completely out of whack.  She suggested that I add a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to my water before drinking it.  Also, coconut water is really good for restoring the electrolytes as well.

So I will implement this into my daily routine and let you know if it makes a difference.  I’ve got a few good recipes for drinks designed to flush out the organs and am on the hunt for more.  This, in my mind, will perhaps assist the body in ridding the residue that remains from treatment.

I will carry on.  I’ve been told that the very fact that I’m managing the exercise level that I am at this time is remarkable.  I can’t say if this is true or not.  I don’t have a lot of experience with illness.

I love and appreciate that I can still run, that I can still hit the gym, that I can move.

I was reading a few quotes from writers yesterday.  I thought I would share a few and I’ve come up with one of my own.

Have a fabulous day!

“And what does writing teach us?  First and foremost it reminds us that we are alive and that is a gift and a privilege, not a right.”               

-Ray Bradbury

“Writers see the world differently.  Every voice we hear, every face we see, every hand we touch could become story fabric.”

-Buffy Andrews

A good writer can make you see the image that has been painted on the page.  A great writer will make you feel it. 

-Nancy Pilling

I Was Here…


cave of forgotten dreasm hand 2

Above image from ‘CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS

The image you see above is roughly 34,000 years old.  Throughout this documentary they will come upon this hand print a few times, distinctive because of the crooked index finger.

This film remains one of the most powerful I’ve ever seen.  Something happened during the viewing that connected me to the spirit of these hand prints.  Their energy reached across the spans of time and touched me so deeply that day I still feel shivers in remembrance.

The commentary throughout this documentary is provided by scientists who are so completely giddy that they were at times like school children.  Their wide-eyed wonder at the pristine beauty of the art worked that covers the walls of the Cave Chauvet in France is infectious.

cave of forgotten dreams hands

 

But it is the hand prints that got to me.

“I was here” is what these images speak.

We have an innate human condition to leave our mark on this world, to have somehow mattered, to not be forgotten.

Yesterday I had a moment where I felt incredibly small and insignificant.  I was out for a walk taking some pictures.  A lot of thought moved rapidly through this head of mine.  I came home and looked at the clay hand print my daughter made for me when she was in kindergarten.  Some 25 years have passed yet it still hangs on the paper plate it was mounted on with a little poem written beneath it.  Two holes were punched out and a length of twine was fed through and knotted so that this item could be hung on the wall.

It has done so ever since.

I smiled when I saw it which triggered my memory of “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”.

When I leave this world I hope that somehow my energy will have left a positive foot print or hand print as it may be.

In the last year I’ve had many moments when I wondered, however briefly, if I would be alive in a year from now.  Cancer has a way of introducing thoughts that I had never before anticipated having…at least not yet.  And as much as I entertained the notion that ‘death was not an option’, there were times in the dark of night when the tentacles of fear teased me.

Sometimes the weight of all that has transpired seems quite evident in my physical appearance.  I look heavy.  I feel heavy.  And I am.

On days such as yesterday though when I am feeling less than, I’ll remember the hand print I saw in a film.

The hand print that spoke to me and I’ll whisper ‘I remember you.  I know you were here.  Thank you.’

 

 

Gravity


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Many preponderances have been dancing through this head of mine as of late.

I’m on fire. Focus, now.

I have been devouring my fellow blogger’s articles

Helen has had success with her Lymph Node Transfer and I couldn’t be happier for her.  Cristian is trying to raise funds for a medical procedure that he needs.

People are chatting about anything and everything these days.  I can dig it..

There have been several articles regarding health and body image offered up.

Women cry out vehemently about the state of the ‘Barbie Syndrome’ and how it is affecting our culture, sub-culture, confidence, health, relationships, etc.

There is a whole hell of a lot more going on here, folks.

Cristan posted a sketch the other day depicting what ‘real women’ looked like.

This was interesting considering he is a young man who lives in Romania and is now disillusioned by the truth of the female anatomy.  Of course, I say this with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  I’ve never met Cristian.

It got me thinking though.  What I pondered briefly is what would I look like with a boob job?

I’ve got big enough ones, by the way.  Size isn’t the issue here, stamina is quite another.  Trying to prop these babies up is a lesson in futility.  They fight me every step of the way.

When the bra comes off I swear the ladies heave an enormous sigh of relief.

Now if I were successful in getting them to be the perky little darlings they once were, what picture would that paint?

The beauty of aging is that everything begins to sag in unison.

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I would look rather foolish with boobs that were army ready when the rest of me began to succumb to the laws of gravity a few years back.

And if these lethal weapons of mine were plumped up like an Oscar Mayer wiener all the time, then the massage I had tonight would have been incredibly uncomfortable.

I was laying face down and lifted myself briefly to sweep my boobage into their respective armpit.

I’ve never liked Barbie, by the way.  She’s always kind of pissed me off, though I don’t know why.  She is a doll after all.

I can’t tell you how proud I felt when my daughter and her friend at the age of eleven years laid their dolls out on the road in front of our house to watch them get run over.  Ken was included by the way.  He and the gal both went down without a fight.

I might well have strutted about like an abstract peacock, albeit quietly.   After all throwing someone, even a doll, under the bus isn’t a good way to teach problem resolution.

The other thing though is just how reliant we’ve become on what is on the shelves in our grocery stores.  It’s changing us, messing us up.  Processed foods are killing us, slowly.

I picked up a can of Lobster Bisque soup.  It had 46% sodium content.  My arteries began to harden at that point.  I never made it to the sugar and saturated fat percentages as I returned the can to the shelf.

Soup is one of the easiest and least expensive dishes one can make.  Perhaps not Lobster Bisque, mind you, but chowders, bean soups, etc.  Good stuff.

I don’t buy into the ‘stick woman’ ideal.  I never have.  A healthy weight for me is in the 145 to 155 lb. range.  I’ve got to drop about 50 lbs. to reach that goal.

The effects of the Cancer treatments threw me into a tailspin of sorts.  But hey, I’m turning it around.  I’ll get my health back.  I’m easing back into my fitness regiment now and will step it up gradually.

We all want to be beautiful, I suppose.  We chase it, covet it…but what is it?

Like art, beauty if very subjective.  What I may find incredibly beautiful another might well scoff at.  In turn, I might shudder in horror at someone elses choice of ‘beauty defined’.

A while back I was at a friend’s house watching the Rolling Stone’s 50th Anniversary special.

Scary, eh?

In any case, Rose and Kathy gushed about Mick.  They would have sex with him in a heartbeat.  Rosey’s hubby seemed to be in agreement that should the occasion present itself, then yes, his wife should do the nasty with Mick.

I shuddered as if a thousand creepy crawlers were on me at that moment.

As the show progressed, The Boss…the one and only Bruce Springsteen came out to do a number.  I felt the juices begin to flow.

“Now there’s a real man!” I proclaimed

My friends both shuddered in horror emitting an exaggerated ‘Ewwww!”

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I’ve stood in art galleries spell-bound by the piece before me.  Emotions that are elicited are at times incredibly deep.  I’ll glance around to see if others are having a similar response and at times want to scream incoherently ‘Don’t you see it?  Don’t you get it?’

Of course what I see and feel is mine alone to experience and appreciate. That is the beauty of it. Pun intended.

What message then does it send when men tell us they like women with a ‘little extra meat on them’.  Later you catch the guy jerking off with a picture of some emaciated model gazing back at him from a magazine.  Her breast implants seemingly a workout just to maintain her balance on a daily basis.  No wonder the poor girl is so thin!

Hmmm!

The idea of beauty is definitely being marketed big time.  Packaged up and offered for a hefty price.  Women are not the only ones buying into this.

The boobs will cost you $5,000 to $10,000.  A tummy tuck…facelift…Botox…skin resurfacing…

It will add up quickly.

Now as you stand before the mirror having gone into debt to buy the perfect ‘beauty package’ designed to give you the life you thought you wanted, that you thought you deserved…I have just one question.

Was it worth it?

These Moments


 

hourglass

It has snowed for three days straight here in on the West Coast.  One would think having been socked in by so much snow that it would be impossible to get around.  The thing of it though, despite this fact  there is very little snow on the ground as evidence of the weather system that stalled over our heads these past few days.

This is one of the best things about the greater Vancouver area.  We seldom have snow at sea level.  A half hour away though and you can ski to your heart’s content if that’s your passion.  The local mountains are covered in the stuff!

I like to watch people partake in this activity, however, I don’t ski.  I tried a long time ago and discovered that plunging down the side of mountain ain’t my thing.  I also have height issues.  Having an anxiety attack halfway down a steep mountain side?  I’m sure there is a fix for this.  Maybe when I’m 90 years of age I’ll tackle this fear.

sun dial

I celebrated my birthday last Saturday.  My daughter and I crawled home at 1:00 AM and I slept for a few hours then got up and watched the Olympic Men’s Hockey Gold Medal game.  Canada won the gold!  More reasons to celebrate.

I’ve passed another year and I feel great.

A posting on Facebook gave me pause.  A girl I went to school with had passed away.  Reading her obituary it became evident that she had cancer and succumbed to it.  I don’t know the type of cancer Rhonda was fighting or for how long.

At this news, I found myself wondering all the times I was at the BC Cancer Agency last year for my own treatment if she had ever been present.  Would I have known her had I seen her?  I don’t know.

We weren’t close in high school.  The last time I saw her was well over 25 years ago.  Rhonda was always impeccably dressed and spot on with her hair and make-up.  She had a sophistication and grace that at times I found intimidating.  Indeed, my perceived short-comings seemed to become glaringly evident in her presence.

When I saw the notice of her passing it was strange the emotions that were stirred.  We knew each other and hung around the same groups of people.  As with the majority of high school acquaintances, they typically remain just that.  Such was the case with Rhonda.

Perhaps the poignancy experienced is a result of having gone through the cancer thing last year as well.

Perhaps its the fact that with cancer there are only two outcomes.  You either live or die.

From the beginning, from the first utterance by the doctor of ‘You’ve got cancer’, death was not an option for me.  Yet there was most certainly a heightened awareness.

Now there is an urgency that at times borders on panic.  I want to live and do so fully engaged.  Yet I need to slow down a bit, savour these moments.

broken clock

Time is a thief, of this I am certain.  I am left with memories and I want them to be of the variety that bring a warmth to the soul, a smile to the lips.

I have these moments to just be.  Don’t over think it, don’t try to analyse it too closely.  Just feel it.  Breathe it.  Live it.  And most importantly, love it.

Funky clock

Firing up the Neurons…


free_your_mind-1920x1200The brain is back!  Yes, I am beginning to function in the relative term of normalcy once more.  It no longer takes me 10 minutes to figure out a joke!  I am back and able to discern and comprehend the jest within 5 minutes once again.  Yay!  And I can actually hold a thought longer than a nanosecond.

For the last four months I was feeling rather intimidated.  This head of mine that can hold and process a boat load of information with fabulous recall was failing.  I read articles that stated chemotherapy could affect the short term memory. The article pointed out as well that in some cases this could be permanent.

This really scared me.

As my memory seemingly evaporated at times, particularly when I was working or writing, I began to feel incredibly vulnerable.  What would happen if this ‘side-effect’ remained?

The brain is of course a muscle in many ways and needs to be exercised just as the rest of the body does.  And like the rest of my body the grey matter suffered during treatment.

December 4th was my last radiation treatment.  Over the last couple of weeks I feel as i though I am awakening from a long slumber.  I am a little achy yet but the energy is rushing through me, feeding every nerve ending and firing up the neurons.

On Saturday I did my first Yoga class in about six weeks.  On Sunday I went for my first run in over a month as well. And, oh, to just move again.  To feel the crisp morning air cool the body, to feel the motion of the body and the breath as it moves throughout.

I’ve got my work cut out for me to get back in shape but to still be able to do all of these things is truly a blessing for me.

I’ll take the weight off that accumulated during surgery and the subsequent treatment.

And I’ll continue to exercise this brain of mine.  Get it back in tip top condition.  With the new year now upon us, I’ve a book to release.  Gotta brush up on my photography and I’ve decided to take up hand drumming.

I am on the hunt for a Djembe drum.

A few years ago while I was practicing my Yoga from Prana Yoga College, I took a hand drumming class.  Pepe Danza and his wife Shakti Mha were the owners of Prana.

Pepe is a well-known percussionist.  He offered weekly group lessons and I decided to try it out.

After that one class it got into my blood and its been there ever since.  Of course, at the time I told myself I would take drumming up when I could find the time.  Now I tell myself, if you want this you’ll make the time.  And I want it.

When I think back to that class something was stirred deep within me. It was primal, exciting and the energy was electrifying.  I worked up one hell of sweat.  Didn’t have a clue what was happening to me but loved every moment.

The vibrations from the drum positioned between the legs just moved through my core. I had that odd sensation that I done this my entire life.

My focus will be on perfecting the things I am most passionate about.  I really want to work on not getting side tracked as so often happens.  I’ve a curious mind and if something catches my attention, often I am swayed to check it out.  That is not to say I shouldn’t but I need to just become a bit more disciplined in certain areas.

It feels good to be coming out of the storm relatively intact.

May the ebb and flow of the year ahead be a bit calmer.

Peace.

Getting Back Up


This body of mine, having gone through extreme abuses this year, is now beginning to heal.  What I did note is that every part of my being has suffered in the process.  At times I have felt worn, awkward, painfully trashed.

I tried to treat the cancer and subsequent treatments as a ‘minor inconvenience’.  In other words, I wasn’t going to let it rob me of the life I’ve worked so hard for.

And I wish I could have maintained my perspective, but cancer can really mess with your head at times.

I tried to deal with the fear logistically, yet fear is nonsensical.   It will wrap you in its arms and try to convince you that you’ll never get back up.  After all cancer is equated with death.

And I had just found this beautiful life.  I had begun to explore so many remarkable paths that were opening before me.  I was expanding and blossoming.  Everything that was opening before me I could never have conceived possible at certain times in my life.  Yet it was all there before me.  These energies were infusing me, inspiring me. I felt so good.

IMG_2505Now I need to get back up and find that again.

The cancer sidetracked me far more than I’d like to admit.  And not just physically.  Every aspect of my being suffered as a result but I’ve come through the darkness and bear the scars.  I could be bitter and angry.  I’ve had my moments…and that’s all they were when I let those emotions wash over me.  I released them as quickly as they came upon me.

I want to be healthy, happy, free, uninhibited and curious.  I want to explode creatively.

I was driving back from my friend’s house and George Harrison was singing “My Sweet Lord” on the radio.  It has been a long time favorite of mine.

And I got to thinking will it only be in death that I find redemption, solace or peace?  I hope not.

For me ‘hell’ is a state of mind, an energy just as ‘heaven’ is. I’ve known far too much hell.  And I was discovering heaven.  I was finding this beautiful energy and just surrendering to it.  I was letting it direct me, find the path where I could be of the most benefit in this world that surrounds me.

The cancer weighed heavy on me this year. It has been tough.  The fragility of this life has never been more apparent and never more appreciated.  And while at times I felt consumed by the process, I began to understand the machine is designed as such.

Cancer is a business and I’ve paid my pound flesh.

At times I feel I’ve died a thousand deaths and just when life begins to surge once more, yet another obstacle presented itself.

As much as I would like to say “I hate” what I’ve experienced, I cannot.

There are lessons being woven into my being as a result.  I will take nothing for granted.

And on shaky legs, I will continue to offer my words to the world.

Offer a view-point, discuss solutions.  I look for equality in this world, fairness.  Should we all not be afforded education, food, shelter, freedom?

IMG_2599The power of pure thought without the influence of hate, greed and a host of other prejudices.

And why is it so hard to love?

We see its beauty, want it, covet it, but cannot commit to it.

For many years I feared love.  Thought it would make me weak and vulnerable.

Yet when I was at my most vulnerable, when I stripped down and bared my soul for the first time, never had I been stronger.  It surprised and humbled me.

And so I will move into the next year in the upright position once more.  I’ll find the joy in movement once more.  The pleasure of each moment.

The cancer is gone and I will not tolerate its return.

I hope you all have a very Happy New Year!

Namaste.

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A Look Back and the Promise of 2014


I have had this blog going for two years now.  When I began this process it was simply to be a little exercise in the discipline of writing on a consistent basis and to focus on wellness and optimum health.

At some point it turned into something of a diary of sorts, a place where I could spill whatever happened to be on my mind.

Some of the posts are very well written.  Others, well, there is always room for improvement.  Despite the fact that I have at times wanted to explore improving the traffic on my blog, I am content with things as they are.  I have also explored a few varieties of writing.  Comedic, poetry, fiction and of course, my typical diary posts.

And thanks to all of you who’ve hung in there and followed this odd little journey with me.

I was moved to begin this blog the day after having had heart surgery.  And here I am two years after the fact.  The heart is in stellar condition.  I no longer have any of my female organs as a result of cancer and as I write this my hair is growing back as are my lashes.  And there are those odd hairs that I had hoped wouldn’t grow back that occur as you age.  I have a long white hair that grows from my chinny chin chin.

I gained about 30 pounds through the process of chemotherapy and radiation.  My mid-section as indeed been assaulted mercilessly over the last six months.  Now I can put that behind me and begin the quest once again of having a healthy body, mind and spirit.

There have been times when all levels of my person have been sorely tested over this past year.  And it began with such promise, as years often do.

I signed on to run my first 1/2 Marathon and lived like a nun on sabbatical for the first four months of this year.  Yet the goal of optimum health once again alluded me.  Instead of becoming the trim and fit running machine I’d imagined, my energy began to seep from me and I was bloating up like one of the giant balloons in the Macy’s parade.

Something was wrong.

I toughed it out though and ran the race.  My time was 2:56.  I had wanted a time of 2:30 but considering that I ran the race with Stage 2 uterine cancer, I think that’s a decent time.

And yes, just four days after completing the race the cancer was revealed to me.

A month later I had surgery and now I was being swallowed by the vortex known as cancer treatment.  It is an enormous business and a volatile machine designed to purge any and all cancer cells from your body along with a host of good cells as well.  It is merciless, intimidating and at times incredibly frightening.

As is my nature, I asked a lot of questions.  I didn’t receive answers for the majority of my inquiries.  I guess the thing of it is you don’t really have time to consider much in the way of options.

Upon being informed that I had uterine cancer, I wanted to rip my uterus out of my body.  I wanted it gone.

I have, of course, chronicled all of this over the past several months so I’ll not delve into this once more.  This is more or less just a few observations of the year that is about close.  It’s been a challenging one and not just for this gal, but for many people that I know.

And any challenge, regardless of its origins, should ultimately help you become a better person.  At least that’s my take on it.

The promise of 2014 now beckons.  I have planted the seeds for a year that will no doubt have its challenges.  I will release my book.  During treatment I finally accepted that releasing it during that time was likely not a very good idea.  I will continue on my health quest.  My body is bouncing back remarkably fast, or so I am told.  I am just three weeks past finishing off the radiation treatment.  Over the holidays I decided to just let the body rest and recuperate.

2014 will be a transitional year.  I will embrace the year to come just as I have years past.  And always I will make the best of what is given me. 2014 though will see me commit to my passions in a way I’ve never done before.

Bring it on!