Sunday, December 31, 2006


Today is a bad chemo day, probably the worst so far. The visual disturbance from the drug is freaking me out. My energy is low. I feel completely out of it, kind of loopy. I'm cold, then hot. Sweaty, then clammy. You name it, I've been there today. I'm being horrible company with friends and just need to sleep. I feel like screaming, unfortunately, I don't have the energy to do that!!

Must nap now.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Santa Fe Snow

My friend Carolyn has relocated (permanantly) to Santa Fe, NM. I checked in with her yesterday to see what it was like to live in snow again. Her response, "Effin Great!!"

Here are some cool photos of the process:

Chairs before

Chairs after

Cat before

Cat after...just kidding!

Blindness trumps sleep

Well, this royally sucks. The blindness causing drug was also the drug that allowed me to sleep through the steroids!! Here is is, 3:09AM and I'm wide awake. I've been cleaning my room and throwing away stuff. I'm just bored with that, so now I'll complain about it online! My ankles are hurting, so I can't really stand around doing cleaning. OY OY OY!!!

Whew, that felt better. Nah, not really, but at least I'm telling you all how it really is with me right now. Being honest!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Round 3 gone, 3 more to go!!!

Well, I have to say, this round has been the most interesting so far. My dear friend Cindy accompanied me on this trip. As I've said before, I worry about entertaining my friends while I'm having chemo. I think they'll get bored. Everyone tells me to hush and that they're here for ME, not the other way around!! Okay Okay, I get it. I am loved. :-)

I knew Cindy would be okay because they keep a HUGE jigsaw puzzle going out in the lobby of the chemo area. While I was asleep, I think she got a good fix of jigsawing.

This go round, lots of things changed. My premeds(what I take just before chemo) and some post meds changed. Nausea has been my side effect of choice, so they really brought in the big drugs for that. Well, I'm happy to report, the nausea is nonexistent. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of one of the anti-nausea drugs has been a blindness of sorts. Not complete blindness, but definitely bad enough vision that I shouldn't have been out driving last night!! It's as if I'm not wearing my glasses, except for close up things. Not good!!

I called Delma, my friend and resident Cancer nurse. She suggested I stop taking one of the drugs that I had been prescribed. It apparently causese some weird neurological side effects. I'm happy to report that vision is almost back to normal!!

Debra called to congratulate me on the half way mark and encourage me that it's all down hill from here. I certainly hope so.

It's wonderful to have such love and support all around. Friends driving me places, picking up drugs, scooping cat name it, I have support for it! I do continue to feel loved.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Holiday festivities and more

I spent the night of Christmas at a Jewish Lesbian potluck. At first, I thought I'd be the only non-Jew there. Wasn't the case at all. It was about a 50/50 ratio. Didn't really matter anyway. It was fun hanging out, meeting new people and getting to know my new friend Val even better. The food was good, conversations were lively. Once everyone left, we played Jenga with another friend and her daughter. By the end, we were doubling the height of the blocks before they came crashing down. Very fun.

I really enjoy meeting new people that I think have long term possibilities for friendship. That's definitely the way I feel about my more recent meetings. At my age, you don't often add friends to your circle, but this feels differently.

Tomorrow is round 3 of chemo...wonder what's in store for this go around?!?!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas, Part 2

After leaving mom's, I headed NE(only slightly) to Stokesdale to help Daddy celebrate his 62nd birthday. I got there just in time for him to finish frying his turkey, grab some lunch and take a nap before the birthday festivities.

Daddy's birthday gathering/pre-Christmas festivities were celebrated at my step-mom's ex-husband's house. Yep, you read that right. Our family is a forgive and forget kind of family. When that first rolls off my tongue, it sounds odd, but it's kind of the way it should be. Debra and I are following along in those footsteps, therefore making Sofie's life easier. It works for everyone!

I won't go into a lot of the birthday festivities, because, let's just say, there are differing opinions about many topics that make me uncomfortable there. I just hang out and move from room to room to avoid any confrontational subject that occurs. The thing that amazed me most...they their HOUSE!!! When we got back to my dad's, I quickly put everything I was wearing into a plastic trash bag and sealed that puppy up!

Next morning, Daddy, Shirley and I opened gifts and went to Huddle House for breakfast. This place is more redneck than Waffle House, something I didn't think possible. After waiting an hour for our food, we ate a mediocre meal and headed back to there place. I jumped in my car and started the hellish trip home in the pouring rain.

Got home in one piece and started my first meal in my newly acquired crock pot...Vegetarian Chili. Took it to a potluck that will be written about in my next posting!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas, Part 1

Being that I am a only child from a divorced family, I often split time between families over the holidays. (That is unless I'm boycotting the holidaze and go see no one!)

Part 1, section A involved Christmas with Tracey and Sharon on a hectic, rainy Friday afternoon. Each respective unit was feverishly packing, running errands and planning our departure time for our Interstate drives. Initially we both were going to leave Friday afternoon, but as the day went on it became apparent a Saturday Morning departure was in our futures. We shared loving, thoughtful gifts. As some of you know already, I got a crock pot from Debra and Sofie for Christmas(per my request!) Sharon and Tracey must have known this, for present #1 was 101 Thing To Do With A Slow Cooker. The second part was the creme on the pot...they got all the dry ingredients for THREE of the recipes in the book! Sharon figured that if I had the ingredients, I'd have to use the crock pot. She was right, I used them Monday for a potluck I attended.(More on that in a later entry) Sharon, being the good friend that she is, also bought a cribbage board for me...unfortunately, being the absent-minded friend I am, I forgot to tell her I bought one already!

Part 1, section B involves spending time with my mom, a cousin, Maw Maw Lamkin(that's Grandma for the Southern challenged) and a slew of Aunt's(again, "ant", not "ahnt"!!) Also an impromptu stop by the daughter of a childhood friend of my mom's.

I awoke early on Saturday, began doing chores, packing up the car and heading South for Charlotte. I planned to stop at the Pilot Truck Stop/Gas Station on exit 152 on I85/I40. (This is where my dad's job has him bringing gas/fuel from Greensboro to this gas station ONLY about 4 times a day.) I knew Saturday morning was one of his days on, so I stopped, called him and found out he was 20 minutes away. I decided that even though it might put a crimp in my day with Mom, I'd stay and have breakfast with my Daddy. Boy, was he a big spender( we joked about this all weekend, so this not a dig at my dad by any means!!) I got free coffee, since he works for the company and we shared a 2 for $2 at the attached McDonald's. So he laid down a whopping &1.07 on his only child! And I love him for it. We chatted, caught up a bit. He rubbed my bald head and said the pictures didn't do it justice and that I look much better in person. His way of a compliment. I felt the time crunch approaching, hugged him and bid adieu.

I was on the road to my mom's house and my cell rings, "Where are you?!? It's 10:30!!" "Uh, on your road, turning into your driveway in moments" I guess my mom had reason since I told her I'd leave Durham at 6a...which I didn't do. Then I was waylaid at exit 152!! I arrived and within 20 minutes my cousin stopped by. We visited. She said she preferred the hat to my bald head. Uh, not your head, not your life and you try wearing a hat 24/7 and see how you like it!! But I digress. After her departure we headed over to Maw Maw Lamkin's house(yes, this the mother of my father who is no longer married to my mother. Trust me, this only gets better in my next installment!!)

We arrive at Maw Maw's house and I immediately smell a fresh pot of her famous Russian Tea! (I had called her the day before requesting it...and the recipe.) I gave her a huge Jamie hug, where she comes to just below my armpit. She sent us to the living room so she could call my aunts to let them know I was there. 2 of the 4 of them showed up. One was in the middle of something and the other didn't come because we were stopping by her house after leaving Maw Maw's.

I admit, I don't visit my grandma often enough. I love her to bits and she's the only grandparent remaining...although I've only been down to 1 grandparent for 5 years. I feel grateful that I had Maw Maw Bess live to 99 and Paw Paw Lamkin live to 83. (If you look at my bald photos, you can see what my Paw Paw looked like...there's a lot of him in least being bald!) I'm going to try to visit her more often this year. I want Sofie to know and remember her, so it's important that she be around her more often.

After visiting with Maw Maw and my aunt's Kathy and Julia, Mom and I headed over to my most favorite aunt's house...Linda. Linda is a free spirit. She and I come from the same family and both created our own set of beliefs that were beyond the families. We listen to NPR, can chat about crystals and healing and other sorts of things I can't imagine talking about with most of my family. She recently moved back from CO, after being gone for at least 25-30 years. She bought a cute mill house in Cramerton(a little mill village in Gaston County) and has proceeded to gut it. When she finishes, it will be an incredibly cute house...and just what she needs!

While visiting her, we discussed planning a family reunion for the summer. Maw Maw's brother and sister-in-law live in Hayesville, NC and that's the area my dad was born and my grandparents were raised. My people are there in the beautiful mountains. Again, I'd like Sofie to meet them before they die and I'd love to see everyone in the same place, that's neutral and won't cause strife for any family drama! I'll do part of the planning, planting the seed and see how it blooms.

After leaving Linda's and heading back to Charlotte, we drove by the house of the daughter of one of my mom's best childhood friends. They lost the Husband/Dad a few days after Christmas last year to Prostate Cancer. They were out raking leaves, spending time together and really just taking it one day at a time until the Anniversary. Missy, the daughter, was very close to her dad...much like me. She's a lesbian, like me, too. Unlike me, her dad didn't speak to her for a while after she came out. That's always sad to me. I'm glad it all worked out and their relationship became what it was before the coming out. I'm glad we stopped by. It was great to see them and send them loving energy to have a better year.

Back to mom's we head for a wonderful home cooked meal and an afternoon/evening of watching cheesy Christmas movies on Lifetime. I went to bed on the early side, slept fairly well, until the heat came on and baked me out of the bed. Got up, had breakfast and headed to Christmas, Part 2 as my mom and her husband headed off to Christmas Eve service at her church.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

On writing and "The Story"

Today, as I rushed out to grab lunch, I was fortunate enough to catch today's airing of "The Story", a locally produced but nationally syndicated show on NPR. The guest and subsequent discussion hit home with me. I wrote in saying so, which is something I never do.

Here's what I wrote:

What a pleasure it is to hear Dick Gordon so caringly draw the stories out of everyday people. All stories deserve to be heard, however, often folks don't quite know how or what to tell. Mr Gordon brings mastery and sincerity to his profession. The amount of tears, laughter and ontemplative sighs that the stories evoke are awe inspiring.

I want to *thank* him and especially the guests who are professional writers for evoking ideas and encouraging this particular writer who struggles daily with telling her story...or those stories surrounding her! The show today discussing Sarah Ruhl's obvious love for her craft literally rubbed off on me, inspiring me to write in and to continue my daily writing, however painful it is.

One idea came to mind for a potential story. Blogs. Weblogs are used in a multitude of ways. Often very personal stories are out there for the world to see and read. Some blogs develop a "following", but often those are political or socially aware minded folks who have an agenda. The blogs I love to read are those who are human interest in nature. Humans seem to have a need to tell stories, however mundane they may seem. The ironic part is...they're not mundane. Stories have a way of reinforcing our own existence, trials and tribulations.

Initially, I resisted writing my own blog, fearing boredom from the webworld. After being diagnosed and starting treatment for Cancer, I decided to make my "private" blog available to friends and family. Months ago, I started an anonymous blog that I used to vent, process and write about a personal relationship I had. That blog is still out there, but I don't write on it anymore. I've moved on, creating another blog that doesn't diss anyone (except ME occasionally!)

Blogs are the newish face of human stories. I have fanciful ideas that my 6yo daughter will one day be searching the Internet (or whatever it'll be called then) when she's a teen or older and stumble upon my blog or her other mom's blog. Seeing just how much she meant to us at that point in her life when she had two bald moms who were both going through treatment for Cancer.

Just a bit of my story. Wishing for continued success for "The Story" in the coming years.

Personally, I don't care if they respond or even read the letter. Just telling my friends about it is enough for me. If you've haven't had a chance to hear this show, go online, download it to your iPod, listen however you can. It's worth it.

Parenting and Chemo

The original title idea was "Bad Parenting and Chemo," but I decided I'm not being a bad parent intentionally...just a parent who's going through chemotherapy and does bad things occasionally.

The bad started when I picked Sofie up from school yesterday. All the kids in her group were lined up at the door, because we know how well schools love children in lines!! I noticed some of the kids had paper masks. Before I even got a chance to ask Sofie where her mask was, three different children yell out, "Sofie's mom...uh, all the good kids got masks and the bad kids didn't. Ask Sofie why she doesn't have a mask." (I swear I heard a kid think, nah, nah, NA nah nah!) Before it was out of my mouth, I asked about it...regretting it as the words came falling out. (I honestly didn't care about some way they chose to differentiate "good" vs "bad" kids!) I was pleasantly surprised when one of the boys actually said, "I think Sofie is not bad...she is wonderful." How cute. Sofie didn't like the confrontation and of course denied any wrong doing. I dropped it...until we got to Debra's. My nosiness got in the way. Only curious about what the "crime" was that prevented her from getting a mask, I pushed a little. Explaining we weren't mad, just curious. It didn't fly. I still have no idea, and really don't care.

We had stopped by Debra's to check on her, help her out with any heavy lifting and take her to get cat litter for the extended absence. Sofie was a little bummed because she had visions of video games nestled in her head. Luckily, the neighbor kids were jumping on Sofie's trampoline, causing temporary amnesia from any other things.

I went inside and quickly hit a wall. I was so incredibly tired and just wanted to sleep. (It seriously happens that quickly!!) We decided I'd get the litter later and Sofie and I head home for an evening of pizza making, video gaming and all the other activities associated with being six.

We had fun making our very own pepperoni pizzas, playing games and eating dinner. Then I a serious way. I couldn't hold my eyes open anymore and it was only 7PM. Instead of bathing, reading and doing other parental duties, I pandered to my own needs. (Here's where the bad parenting begins...with creativity of course.) Sofie wanted to watch a movie, which usually doesn't happen on a school night. I saw an opportunity and ran like the wind. We played "movie theatre" using the TV in my bedroom as the screen. We got cozy in PJ's after brushing teeth(one parenting duty accomplished) and snugged down in my bed. We proceeded to watch the movie and I quickly fell asleep. When the movie ended, Sofie woke me up saying, "I want to watch the extras!!" ABsolutely NOT! Off went the TV, I rubbed her back and tummy and Ms Sofie was asleep(yes, in my bed) in 5 minutes.

To pry her out of bed this morning, I gave her a special treat. A little time with her video game since she wasn't going to be her for awhile. I'm glad I did. The Shrek game uses an actual clock face to teach telling time!! She did well, once I explained what it all meant. So we had a bit of learning this morning after a night of bad parenting.

Off to school we went for her last day before the break. I was feeling a little guilty about last night, especially that Debra now has to bathe her, but I know in my heart it could have gotten worse if I didn't play it out the way I did. The skills of parenting are still enriching me daily and giving in sometimes is skill most parents I know utilize.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Suspended Disbelief

I love that time in a child's life where the lines of fact and fiction blur. Santa is a prime example. The trust and awe that Sofie is experiencing right now is incredible to observe.

On Sunday, Sofie came to stay with me for a few days. It's a mixed bag of reasons, but one was so we could do Christmas before she and Debra head to California for the holidaze. After a very hectic weekend of parties and festivities, Sofie arrived at my house ready to open more presents. "Santa" had gotten her something that I knew she'd want to play with for longer than we had that evening, so I diverted her attention to the boring presents(clothes, books, art supplies) I had gotten her. I did, however, point to the pile of presents wrapped differently. I explained that because he knew she was going to be out of town for Christmas Eve, Santa sent a couple of his elves by with a few presents for her. I can't begin to describe how wide her eyes and mouth became. Ah, the joys of suspended disbelief!

We waited until last night when I thought we'd have a bit more time for her to play to open Santa's gifts. Being in the know, I directed the order of opening. First her stocking with a Scooby Doo cup and straw, her very own Chapstick and a bit of candy. She was pleased but quickly tore through the next box...the BIG ticket item! Her very own video game! That's what she kept saying over and over..."my very *own* video game!!" Her final two gifts from Santa were cartridges for her "video game"...Scooby Doo(math, reading, logic, spelling) and Shrek (more of the same.) Ah the sneakiness of Santa! A learning tool that's FUN?!?!

This morning, I explained that kids at school may not believe her when she tells them that Santa visited her already. I advised her to stick to her guns and assure them that he knows ALL and really wanted to make sure that she got her presents on time. When I dropped her off at school, she ran over to one of friends proudly exclaiming, "Santa came and I have my own video game now!!" I saw a bit of disbelief in the other child's eyes, but Sofie explained and the disbelief washed away. All was well with the world. I'm worried that a 3rd grader will burst her little Santa bubble today, but I feel confident that she will hold to the truth as she knows that Santa knows and sees everything.

Raw nerves

My skin seems to be thinner than normal these days. Emotions seem to be particularly raw this year, so I'm guessing the chemo is adding a layer that I wasn't anticipating. Several times over the past few weeks, I've wanted to flee situations where I've felt I was being, for lack of a better word, attacked. That's a very strong word and it's not really what I mean, but in that moment, it's how I've felt. I admit, it's hard for me to write this, but I'm trying to be true to what's happening and true to the the blog.

I'm not one to really enjoy this time of year. There are so many long standing reasons I tend to get in a mood around the holidays. Unfortunately, things seem particularly sensitive this year. Is it chemo related or just the Christmas blahs? That, I cannot tell you because it's unclear. Just know that I may get my feelings hurt without you even knowing it. 'Tis that time of year. Just know, I'm trying not to take everything personally.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Steroids ROCK!!!

As my last post, you know I was dealing with residual nausea from the last chemo. No more, thanks to a power pack, three day run of steroids. Another great side effect of steroids is major major major energy. I could move a mountain today, if I wanted to.

So, I'm spending the rest of my steroid induced power blast day cleaning and organizing and wrapping presents. Don't know how much longer this will last, so must utilize the power NOW!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Chemo sucks...well, currently it does

You asked how I was really doing. Ask and ye shall receive.

Well, I've been doing pretty well with treatments. The pain is being managed, but oh, the nausea! I've been slightly nauseous since treatment last week, with a short break over the weekend. I stopped taking the big anti-nausea drugs and it's come back with a vengeance. Yesterday, my nurse at Duke called in THREE prescriptions. Of course one of the meds is a steroid, so I'll want to eat like a horse. OY!! I feel like my body should be rattling with all the pills I'm taking.

At this point, I just have to say how fortunate I am that I have good health insurance. There are a few benefits to working in corporate America. It makes me take pause and wonder, how do people without insurance handle this financially? How about a national health plan, Georgie Boy?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Honestly... I'm doing OK!!

Several friends have emailed me recently to ask how I'm really doing. I made this blog public, just so people could keep up and know how I'm doing and to avoid typing the same stories over and over again.

Many seem to doubt that I'm really sharing the truth. I'm posting to assure you that I am sharing most of how I feel. I even posted the fainting episode. If that's not sharing, I don't know what is!!

I will share more about the post chemo week. Maybe that'll satisfy the need to know that I'm not *always* doing well.

This round of chemo has been, well, odd. I did great the first 48 hours post treatment. And that was without any medications. I did have a weird stomach thing happen. Those who know me well probably aren't surprised that my stomach acted up. My nurse changed my nausea medication and that helped tremendously. You know about the passing out incident, that was just stupidity on my part. Now I'm dealing with hives. So, in a nutshell, I'm not perfect, but I'm doing OK. I'm back at work, trying to concentrate enough to make it through a days work. Friends are checking in and that's nice. I get random IM's from friends allover and that makes me smile. So for those who are concerned, I hope this posting assures you that, all things considered, I'm doing A-OK.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Please take with food

What happens when you take ALL your medications, don't eat breakfast and rush off to church? Well, if you're me, you pass out. It clearly states on one of my pain meds, "TAKE WITH FOOD." I love to buck authority...not really...I just wasn't thinking.

I was really enjoying Don's sermon on "'Tis better to give than recieve"...unfortunately, I don't remember much about yesterday's service. I think I was pretty out of it before I even sat down. Definitely not feeling myself. All I know is just before the offeratory, I thought I was having a hot flash. I looked over at Debra and she said, "It'll pass." Well, it didn't but I certainly did! Not dramatically, mind you. Just simply laying down on the pew. I did have this quick thought of needing to get out of the church because I was too hot. Thankfully, I didn't!! After the escape thought, I just went out. I woke up with approximately 20 smiling/concerned faces looking down at me. My head was in as strangers hands and they were asking questions of me. "Where was I?" "Did I eat breakfast?" Apparently a couple of people called 911. The paramedics/fire people arrived, took vitals, talked to me. Recommended that I eat a FULL breakfast. Kimberly, Matt, Joy and Susan volunteered to take Sofie for the afternoon so Debra could take me to breakfast and then make sure I was okay. A big shout out to them. We have wonderful friends and everyone at ERUUF was so thoughtful and concerned!

After a hearty breakfast, I went home, napped and felt much better. I felt well enough to join in birthday festivities for my dear friend Kim. Low key, fun, good food and nice people. Just a great way to end the weekend. Happy Birthday, Kim!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

For the Christmas Impaired

I've never been one much to celebrate or decorate for Christmas, especially as an adult. Call me Ebeneezer or say "Bah Hum Bug"...go ahead, I've heard it all. I don't remember at what point in my life Christmas became so taxing. Maybe it was after my parents divorced and I had to "choose" between holidays. Maybe it was after that, when I came out as a lesbian and put a self imposed divide between me and my family. Guess it doesn't really matter how or when, just that it occurred naturally and over time.

Add a kid to mix and see how long the Christmas Blahs last! This is the first year that Sofie has taken a *real* interest in the holidays. She's very aware that she has a mixed family. One Jewish Mom and One not Jewish/not very Christian mom. Sofie knows she gets to celebrate Hanukkah AND Christmas and she's thrilled about it...what 6 year old wouldn't be?

A few weeks ago, she reminded me of the "Christmas" Tree that I had a few years ago that lights up by itself. (Fibre optic, table top, kitch!) She wanted to rush home and put it out. So we did...five minutes later, a tabletop tree adorned the livingroom in my condo. Now what? She was a bit distraught that I didn't have lights, but understood that I didn't really have trees or a yard to decorate.

Later that week, after she was back at Debra's house, she argued with her that she's both and that she SHOULD be able to have lights. Debra succumbed, but tried to opt for white lights only. Sofie empathically stated, "No white lights, only COLORS!!" So the search began. The Jewish mom who had never decorated outdoors, was now tasked with finding lights that satisfied Ms Sofie's requests. Debra did a great job and Sofie has taken those lights as her personal responsibility. Just last week, I was dropping her off at Debra's when suddendly, her door opened and she hopped out of the car. Luckily I had stopped and was already parked!! She ran over to the plugs for the little trees she and Debra decorated. After plugging them in, she beamed(brighter than the lights on the tree.)

That my friends is Christmas for the celebratory challenged!!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Round 2 and all is well

Tuesday was Round 2 of chemo for me. My friend Angela volunteered to be my Chemo Buddy for the day. Lucky for you, she brought her camera, so you get to share in the experience, too. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware enough to take pictures of our cribbage game. Something I'm now addicted to and I'm teaching myself to play to be better next time!

The morning went incredibly smooth. All appointments were on time and the medicines dripped out of their bottle and bags at an appropriate pace and all was well. Angela journeyed down to the cafe and gathered sustinence for our long morning. We played cribbage until I just couldn't keep my eyes open due to a Benedryl give pre chemo. I was sitting under an incredibly bright light, so ingenuity took over in my out of it state of mind and here's how I slept for a while:

Unfortunately, I slept too long and we only got to play one game of cribbage and that left Angela to fend for herself for much of the time. I'm glad I brought Debra's book, Cancer Vixen along. It's a hoot and highly recommended and it kept Angela entertained.

After leaving Chemo Central, Angela dropped me off at Tracey and Sharon's house. Angela checked out and loved ALL the colors of the house...even the bedroom! She left after a quick house tour and Tracey treated me to a wonderful massage. As she was finishing up, Sharon came home and Tracey headed out to massage other folks. Sharon and I hung out, watched Al Gore on Oprah, ate Turkey soup, a sleeve of saltines and pound cake. After some quality friend time, she drove me to Harris Teeter to pick up the good drugs and off to home I went.

After a lovely soaking bath, I anticipated drifting off to sleep and waking up refreshed the next day. My body, however, had another plan. After a difficult time falling asleep by midnight, my burning stomach woke me up at 3a. After a few tums, tossing and turning and some time online, I feel asleep by 6a. I woke up just in time to get dressed for my acupuncture appointment.

Today has been back and forth with my nurse about controlling this stomach ache that's not nausea. Her suggestion was Ativan. So, here I sit in an Ativan induced state writing about life. Maybe it's time I give up this post and turn in for the night. More later.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Religious Hospitality, Aloneness, I'Hare and a Minister Installed

Sunday was a great day of enlightenment and thoughtfulness. Our new minister, Don Southworth, was installed in a beautiful, enlightening and electrifying service late Sunday afternoon. I'd never been to anything like it. I left knowing the congregation made a great choice and that there are things that which we have no idea that are on the horizon. Don is a self professed UU evangelist, two concepts you might think wouldn't mesh. He's opened my eyes to the idea that evangelism can be a positive word. I'm sure I'll be writing more on this later.

For the regular Sunday service Peter Morales, a former classmate of Don's at Starr King, the theological school that many Unitarian ministers attend, delivered a wonderful sermon on Religious Hospitality. I wasn't sure what message I would take home from this sermon. He spoke of things that I did expect, like reaching out to visitors. However, he tapped into something that has really been hitting home for me lately. He quoted some statistics(that I'm totally blanking on right now due to chemo brain!!) from a study that was published in American Sociological Review One fact did stick out though. The study reported that in 1985 the modal(most commonly reported) response was that Americans had 3 people(kin and non-kin) that they confided in. The shocking part was that in 2004, the modal response was ZERO confidants! How incredibly sad it was to hear that statistic.

During that sermon, I started thinking about how this applies to my life. How many people to I truly confide in...other than my therapist(and that's even debatable)? I guess, honestly, two and 1/2...again debatable and up for discussion. Since the whole Cancer thing, I've opened up more and I'm learning to ask for more, but it's still incredibly hard to be real with people. Something I need to explore more.

The installation service for Don included an awe inspiring performance by the Eno River Singers that was actually the world premiere of the piece. The music was entitled, "I'hare" (ee har ay). In the composer's note, she states, "I'hare is a Pawnee word that is invoked when calling people to be fully present, to enter a state of thoughtfulness and reverence." In my opinion, it was the perfect choice to be performed at this ceremony. I noticed many gaping mouths and teary eyes as the music swelled and exclaimed the word, I'hare!

The remainder of the ceremony was as thought provoking and invigorating as the morning ceremony and the performance of I'Hare. The Charge to the Congregation garnered a standing ovation for Gini Courter, moderator of the UUA. I wish my chemo addled brain remembered the 3 points she laid out for us. (Here's hoping there's a transcript of the service available at some point. Peter's Charge to Don was full of love and compassion and both men were in tears. Peter's final charge to Don was "To continue being Don." From what I've witnessed as a member over the past few months as Don has settled in, Peter was absolutely right. Don, just keep being Don and things will grow in ways we can't even predict. Personally, I'm looking forward to growing right along with the fellowship with Don and Mary's guidance, partnership and love for Unitarianism.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

A Day in the Park and Snow

Sofie and I spent an hour or so at her favorite park today. This park has the tallest slides and the coolest play structure. Initially, it was her and 3 toddlers; however, 15 minutes later she was happily playing with kids her own age. It was a beautiful, crisp late fall day. Unlike the days we've had with temperatures in the 70s. I'm glad it's cold again.

This evening we joined friends at the mall to enjoy the "snow" the mall provides daily at 715p. The kids were excited with the "snow" which was nothing more than soap bubbles being blown from the tops of a few stores. Whatever it takes to make kids in the south enjoy the hopes of snow!!

Friday, December 1, 2006

New Camera

Nothing like an impulse buy for myself 3 weeks before Christmas! I was in Costco this morning picking up a Costco size of Purell Hand Sanitizer. (I oppose the use of those hand sanitizers on the general principle that germs are actually good for you and help build your immune system. Don't even get me started on the fact that kids aren't exposed to enough germs!! Anyhoo, a side effect of chemo is a low white blood count which leaves me susceptible to infections, et al. My nurse called and recommended this stuff along with constant hand washing and staying away from sick people. So, I had to buy those silly bottles of Purell.) Side note ends.

While walking through Costco, I noticed a table full of a variety of Digital Cameras. My camera stopped working recently, and although I hadn't intended to replace it at this exact moment, there had such a great price on a Sony Cybershot. You can see the camera here:
Cyber-Shot W70 The price at Costco was considerably less than the Sony website! So far, I'm very happy with it. I've taken a few pics of Sofie and will take more over the weekend. It's pocket-sized and has some great features. I've rationalized this purchase to death, but the fact of the matter is, I wanted it and I haven't bought anything for me recently, so I did. I enjoy taking pictures and with this smaller camera, I'll be able to bring it with me everywhere and capture more moments of my life. I don't want to miss anything and I want to share some of those moments with my blog readers.

Cold Running Creek and Baldness

Last night I enjoyed the company of Angela and Annette for a quick bite at the Mongolian restaurant on Ninth St. We met there to quickly eat, then we headed up to the independent bookstore for a reading. My friend and writing goddess teacher woman Zelda, just self published her second novel. This was her first reading since publication. I had read her first novel and enjoyed it, although the subject matter was a little difficult to read. I wasn't sure what to expect from the second novel, but I wanted to be supportive and attend her reading. I'm really glad I did. She's a great reader. I admit, I haven't been to that many readings, but I have gone to some. I loved the way she read each character in a unique voice. Her enthusiasm and general presence made the reading fun. Afterwards the question and answer period was quite informative, too. Zelda is someone who I see really sticking to her convictions. It may have not always come easy for her, but she practices what she preaches and I admire that in her.

It's always interesting to hear what goes into creating a story...the blood, sweat and tears that were poured into this story became quite evident as she talked about the process. Her answers were genuine and real and the subject matter is fascinating. To read more about it, go here:
Zelda's books You can read about Fifth Born, her first novel, too.

Something interesting happened at the reading. I wasn't the only bald woman there! I was the only bald woman due to chemotherapy, however not the only bald head. I wonder if it's cultural thing, since I've seen several African-American woman with hair shorn as closely as mine and they don't seem to surprised by my baldness. There baldness seems to be by choice and so much more natural than me walking around with no hair. As a side note, every woman I've seen with little or no hair has looked beautiful! I personally think I look like my grandfather! However, I have gotten many compliments from all types of women. It's a nice stroke to the ego during a time I may not be feeling my best. I've been told that I'm "brave", "cute", "hot", "sexy" and other such things. I find it hard to grasp that I'm hot under any circumstances, but it is nice to hear while I'm sans hair. The worst thing that happened to me since the shaving was a woman followed me into the bathroom at a basketball game and looked up, went back out the door to see the sign. I heard her husband ask if she went in the bathroom because they thought I was a man. I just smirked at her when she walked back in. Have they never seen a person who's had Cancer before?!?! I'm sure that'll happen more than once, but it's something I'm unfortunately used to having happen.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Well, I guess I can't deny it now!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The South

That's a Southern accent you've got there. You may love it, you may hate it, you may swear you don't have it, but whatever the case, we can hear it.

The Midland

The Inland North

The Northeast


The West


North Central

What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Nurturing Differences

Learning has always come very easy to me. I was an early reader and I loved going to school. Until recently, I had a mind like a steel trap for details. Unfortunately, that's all changed... but I digress. I'm also a dyed-in-the-wool procrastinator, so getting me to do homework was challenging for my parents. When I finally settled down to do my homework, I did well and actually enjoyed what I was learning. Heck, I liked learning so much, I became a librarian!! My grades weren't always the best once I got into higher grades, but that had to do more with my own laziness than my intelligence.

Today, as a parent, I'm faced with a much different situation. (Debra is facing the bigger impact of this, but she can write about her feelings around this on her blog if she chooses to.) Sofie is struggling with homework and many aspects of learning in first grade. I witnessed it first hand when I was helping her do a simple math work sheet a few nights ago. The frustration on her little face was so sad to see. She has only had homework for a few weeks now, so this is the first glimpse we're actually getting of the struggles she's having with learning. Sofie is a very bright kid. She grasps so many things. This is the same kid that told a teacher in kindergarten that your eyes dilate when you go into a dark room. (Never mind that the teacher was only looking for an answer like, "you turn on a light" or "you look for monsters" when you enter a dark room!) I hate to see her get so disheartened around schoolwork.

Many of you know Sofie's story. Her early life was challenging for many reasons. Her strong spirit is probably what kept her going. I can only hope that same spirit stays strong during these first few years of school. I know Debra has done all that she could to make sure Sofie's had the best resources to encourage and assist her learning since an early age. She has an IEP (Individualized Education Plan), but just how beneficial this will be for these particular issues is yet to be seen.

Debra and I are not professional educators by any stretch of the imagination. We're just concerned parents, with great intuition, who think there's something going on that's not getting identified. We've both commented to each other that we suspect dyslexia or her vision problems are hindering her learning.

How do you take a child with such individualized learning needs and allow her to succeed in a setting that's geared towards group learning? How do you nurture and assist someone you want to succeed without having any idea how to teach her? I really want to be a hands on parent in all respects, I just don't want to let her down or discourage her. All you wise souls out there, any tips?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bald is Beautiful

Well, I did it...actually, Sharon did it. My hair is gone and it feels great. I was sick of waiting, so I did a pre-emptive strike on Sunday. Pictures will be posted later, so go ahead and rev up those funny bones for any witty comments!!

Friends are also offering hats for the winter. I've gotten a very cool leather beret from Angela and a co-worker just crocheted a really cool wool hat for me. Since the weather has been warm this week, I've been hatless. It's really interesting the smiles, nods and general comments being bald elicits. Some have just been blatant and asked if I'm finished or starting chemo. I love that people are so forthright. I smile, nod and comment back. I'm all for human connection, whatever way it comes.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Up to speed

So with all the previous posts, most can be up to speed on my life. I'll try to post more regularly. Ever since my writing workshop, I have been looking at the world through a writer's filter...I just need to WRITE!!

Post Thanksgiving Blahs

Previously posted November 25, 2006

Yesterday, I was feeling sorry for myself. No one called to check on me. I just felt super lonely yesterday. My parents had called the day before, but I had been out at my best friends giving thanks and eating WAY too much food!! By the time I woke up Friday, all the tryptophan had worn off and I was in a funk. Sofie called to ask if I wanted to go see the penguin movie. We chatted, she cheered me up a little...just being who she is...Debra and I chatted about how we'd make the transition, which was going to be at the movies. After making the plans I hung up, and just keep going lower and lower. I kept postponing showering and that just kept me laying on the couch, watching good, bad and indifferent TV. Maintaining a cheery, positive outlook can be a bit daunting for someone. Today was as real as I could get, however it was real and alone.

My mood has shifted dramatically since Sofie, Debra and I saw Happy Feet yesterday. Sofie is soooooooo damn cute. She sat between Debra and I. At one point, she stretched her arms out and put one on my neck and one on Debra's neck. She keeps trying to reconnect Debra and I. She's said she wished we all lived together. Apparently, her little mind has amnesia from the disagreements that Debra and I had while we lived together. We're much better friends than partners. Boundaries are kept and Sofie tries her best to breakthrough and bend those boundaries. I assume she'll get that it's for the best one day. :-)

Today, Sofie and I are taking my cat Boone over to Debra's to see if and his sister Gracie might be able to live together again. Since we separated them a year ago, they've both become incredibly needy and whiny and cry-y. Poor babies. I just hope they can live together and be happy again. I'll miss Boonie's cuddles, but I will not miss the incessant crying that occurs after I've been gone for the day.

After the cat experiment, we'll head over to a friends house for a post wedding celebration. Sofie really just wants to go for the pool(hot tub), but that's the negotiations we all make when we have 6 year olds living in adult worlds.


Previously posted on November 6, 2006

Yesterday, I completed my first round of chemo. Today, I'm feeling great. I'm at work, trying to stay on top of some projects. I decided that it was time to send out a note to my colleagues that I work with on a daily basis. Below is the note I sent out. Should update most on how I'm doing. I'll really try to write more. I can say, the writer in me has seen a thousand possible stories just by sitting in the waiting rooms in various treatment spaces at Duke. I know each person there has their individual stories and I'm itching to create those from my perspective.


Hello All,

I wanted to send out a note to everyone to make you aware of some things and ask your assistance, too. I'm not a person who keeps things close to the vest, so I'm just getting this out for those who have been afraid to ask questions. (BTW, feel free to ask many anything you want to know about what's going on!) As many of you already know, I'm currently undergoing treatment for endometrial cancer. Actually, the surgery took care of the cancer, so I'm theoretically cancer free. I'm just being treated aggressively since I'm *so* young!! ;-) The treatment is considered adjuvant, which basically means they're making sure nothing escaped the hands of the surgeon and went cursing through my veins to other locations in my body!! I've already finished 25 radiation treatments and an internal radiation procedure. Chemotherapy started yesterday.

With all of that said, I just wanted to warn you of some changes that will be occurring shortly based on the chemotherapy I started yesterday. The most noticeable change will be my big bald head that will grace the presence of the office in a few weeks. I've chosen not to go the wig route, so I'll be donning hats of different sorts. I've already purchased the hat I'll wear on casual Friday's. It's a ball cap that's emblazoned with "NO HAIR DAY" on it's front. Make all the jokes you want. I've already been asked by a few if I'm getting a tattoo on my head. My initial response was maybe I'll turn my head into a globe since it's so big!! Someone else asked if I had considered advertising on my head. Help offset the costs of all this stuff. Nah, not for me. So, with the baldness being a shocker of sorts, I just wanted to give you a heads up. (For the folks in EMEA and AP, I can always send photos so you won't miss out on this lovely experience.) Extreme fatigue, nausea and pain are often associated with chemo as well.

The other big thing that will happen is a phenomenon called "Chemo Brain". There have actually been studies done on this particular side effect. These are the cognitive side effects that go along with Chemotherapy. Big ones are forgetfulness, lack of concentration and difficulty multitasking. Who knows what will effect me. I'm letting you know this so if you ask me a question, do it in writing!! Walking over to my desk and asking me to follow-up on something w/o written back up will often result in nothing being done. (This is something I'm already experiencing from the other therapies I've had.) Don't avoid me, just remind me. I may forget words, heck I may even forget names. Just know, I'm still me and laughing will be the key to getting through all of this.

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers( or whatever you do.) It's all appreciated very much.


That's it for now. Peace, love and wellness.
Previously posted September 21, 2006

If I were into sports, I'm sure there's some metaphor there!

I've survived week one of Radiation. No side effects to note yet. The process takes no time at all, but it occurs each day. I'm getting blasted in 4 different spots for about 10sec each. When it's over, I joke to friends that I've just gotten microwaved.


Two weekends ago, I started a Women's Writing Intensive workshop led by my friend Zelda. I've heard from way too many people that I need to write more. A psychic has encouraged me for several years to write. The last time I saw her, she encouraged me to pay attention to the synchronicity of Zelda entering my life when she did. OY!! Damn psychics!!

Since I've been living in a tunnel and not writing anything, I only had my blog to use as writing samples. I was really nervous about sharing such personal stuff with 3 women I didn't know. So, with breath held, I took a big leap of faith and just did it. The response was really good. Of course I'm a "raw" writer. But everyone was encouraging and one woman said, "I'm hooked, I want your blog address." No WAY, but it made me feel good.


Started back to work on Monday after being out 2 months. UGH. Let me just plow through the days, weeks and months until I'm finished with treatment.

The long road ahead

Previously posted September 5, 2006

Well, dear readers, it's been awhile since I last posted. To do a quick catch-up: Six weeks ago today I had a hysterectomy. To the shock of my surgeon and pretty much everyone, cancer was present. So, just like that, I'm dealt a new hand to deal with. Stage IIIa endometrial cancer at 40. Whew.

For the past 6 weeks, I've been healing and dealing with the road ahead. I've determined my attitude will be one of the best things I have going for me. Some friends fear I'm in denial, but I assure you all, I know this is *very* real. I ride an emotional roller-coaster everyday. What I choose to do is live in the moment and do life as usual.

The road ahead is pretty long. Five weeks of radiation five days a week, a possible surgical procedure after that, then wrap it up with 6 sessions of chemotherapy. YeeHaa. Well, bald is the new sexy, so we'll see how my big head presents itself post head shaving later this Fall.

That's all I'm going to write for now. Still processing it all.

Quick Check-in

Previously posted on July 29, 2006

Wanted to let everyone know how I'm doing from the surgery and what happened. On Tuesday, a total abdominal hysterectomy was done due to the fact that endometrial cancer was present and accounted for. Ovaries and tubes are gone along w/ a few nodes. Pathology report back next week. Worst case scenario is radiation, but surgeon thinks it was all contained in uterus. Exhausted. Incision was vertical, so the toughest to heal. Will post more when I can.

Much love to all.

Emotional release...FINALLY!!

Previously posted July 20, 2006

My, oh, my. It does feel good to cry. I can't even remember the last time I had a really GOOD cry. I was pretty emotional when Debra was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, but still not a full blown cry...just weepy.

Today, the floodgates opened up.

I've had Sofie with me for quite a bit of time over the last few weeks. For the most part, we had a great time. I love that kid so very much. After I dropped her off, I immediately started to cry. Those cries quickly became sobs. Fortunately, I needed to drop her snakes(not real), clothes and blankie off at Debra's house, so I sat in her living room and just sobbed for about 15 minutes. After getting it together enough to drive, I proceeded to work.

Down the road a bit, the waterworks started again. I then called my best friend...who is a source of much of my laughter. I cried into the phone, "I command you to make me stop crying!!!" She asked why I was crying? "Because I'm having surgery on Tuesday and I might diiiieeeee!!!!" She laughed, and assured me I wouldn't die on Tuesday...maybe she'd kill me after I bossed her around a few times too many post surgery. Mission accomplished, I was laughing hysterically.

So, why the water works now? Because I'm human. I love. I feel. I experience.


Previously posted July 12, 2006

I am having SUCH a hard time concentrating on anything these days. My mind wanders here, staggers there. I think I'm on-line too much and my mind is now forever surfing something! It doesn't help that I'm librarian who's job is to search ALL day!! But I digress...

A very cool thing happened today. Some of you know I hate my current job. I work for "the man" and really don't like corporate america. It's soulless and soul-sucking. I want to work in an environment where I can be excited about what I do...or what the organization does. On Friday, I had a "non-interview" with the Program Director at the up and coming Integrative Medicine clinic/facility/?? at a local university. She took time out of her extremely packed day to chat with me for 1 1/2 hours! She loved me. She loved my background, my enthusiasm, my commitment to the program and my personality. She just loved me. Unfortunately, I don't really fit into any of the current jobs they have available. I knew that going to this meeting, but I wanted to go anyway. I'm glad I did. She really wants me to have a place there. Today, she emailed me for a writing sample. Unfortunately, any writing I've done in the area she wants is owned by a now defunct company who has no presence anywhere! I told her I'd be happy to write something on a topic of her I wait patiently.

There lies the rub...I think I suck at writing. I get writer's block big time! I've got to move past this. I enjoy writing, especially in the health field. I just have to get and maintain a confidence about this. I trust it will all work out because that's the way it's supposed to work.

Coming up for air

Previously posted July 8, 2006

It's been awhile since I've posted. Mainly due to life being hectic, but also having to do with a lack of words coming to me. I'm still dealing with both issues, but wanted to post something!!

Surgery is scheduled for July 25th. Still lots of unknowns. Will the ovaries stay or go? At my age(40) it's better to keep them. However, if there's any cancer, they go!! Will it be laproscopic or a larger cut? Apparently, that depends on the size of my uterus...who knew? So, all of these decisions will be made on the table based on criteria the surgeon and I discussed. If A, then B. If B, then C. You know the drill.

Sofie and I are heading south for a visit with Nana(my mom)today and to attend the birthday party of my longtime friends kids. It'll be an overnight with a return tomorrow so we can attend a pool party with other single moms who are lesbians, and our kids!! Should be fun, as Sofie is quite the dolphin...and charmer.

Water Works

Previously posted June 19, 2006

Some know that I'm in a year long program studying Polarity Therapy. I know most folks have never heard of Polarity Therapy, so I'll just briefly describe what it is. Polarity therapy is energy-based body work that works with the nervous system, chakras/elements, nutrition, self awareness, movement and other means. A session can be transformative and healing. The focus is primarily on self-awareness leading to self-healing.

I spent this past weekend in my Polarity class studying the Water Element/2nd chakra which is, you guessed it, the area that includes the reproductive system. There was much support from my class and instructor around the process I'm entering surrounding my hysterectomy. I've really come to terms with this. In fact, I've never had issues around it. My reactions are totally reactive to societies issues about hysterectomies. Interestingly, the communities that have the hardest time with hysterectomies are alternative healers and very own communities! There's sometimes judgment around removing organs and what it will do to your "womanhood."

I've spent much time thinking about this and over the weekend, I was able to tell my story, let it be heard and feel supported around it. My relationship with my reproductive system has always been adversarial, at best. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome at the age of 19. Basically, I *never* started my period without the assistance of pharmaceuticals. It was always a pain, wondering when/if I'd start my period. Sometimes I'd have *heavy* periods for weeks, sometimes I'd have NO period for YEARS. My reproductive system = bane of my existence. Energetically, I feel my dis-eased uterus is blocking my creativity. The 2nd chakra is your creative center, among other things. I have a colleague who told me that after her hysterectomy, she started painting. Her creative block was removed! That's the sense I get intuitively about my situation. This was a lot of words to just say, I'm really okay with the hysterectomy!!

Hysterical? Hysteria? No, Hysterectomy!

Previously posted on June 13, 2006

Today, I got the path results from my uterine biopsy. Not great news. The cells that had been there prior to my D&C this past Fall, have returned...and meaner. It's yet to be determined if it's cancerous, that won't be known until post surgery.

Hysterectomy, wow. I never thought I'd have a hysterectomy before my 41st birthday. Only having this news for 6 hours or so, I'm swirling with emotion. I'm sure I'll write more as the process unfurls.

Processing, processing, processing

Previously published on June 12, 2006.

I had the most wonderful weekend. I was responsibility free as Debra and Sofie are out of town for 10 days. I miss Sofie, but I know she's having a great time with old friends and family and Debra is getting her "gay male" fix. (When we lived in CA there were so many gay men in our lives...not so much where we are now) So, without all the responsibilities that come with family, I was able to have a weekend dedicated to ME!!! And it was just awesome.

First of all, since Thursday evening, after therapy, I've been waking up at 4a on the dot! Usually, I have no problems going back to sleep, but Friday-Sunday, I had a horrible time of it. With that said, just know that last night I had the best nights sleep I'd in a very long time. I attribute my Saturday and Sunday activities for that wonderful nights sleep.

Saturday started out with a session with my former therapist who I now use as more of a Spiritual guide. It was an incredible session. I've been struggling with a disconnect between my head and the rest of my body. I'm very aware of this and it's effected many aspects of my life. (This past week I had a massage, regular therapy and spiritual therapy and the ALL stated how I need to be more in my body.) Part of that disconnect involves a tightness in my throat. It's a very significant tightness that occurs when I need to cry or speak my voice. During the session Saturday morning, we did a guided imagery to get to the root of that tightness. Long story short, it ended up being "dark energy" which may sound ominous, but it's not. We all have it at some point in our lives and it is hard to get rid of. Through the assistance of this guided imagery, I was able to find out about that energy...why it was there, how long it was there, if it would was a very cool process. After the guided meditation, we talked about the significance of this. She said that dark energy usually shows up during times of healing and that makes sense based on the past few months. She also said that now that I've gotten rid of it, I should start noticing some very interesting shifts in the way I am. (I want you all to know, I am a skeptic by nature, so I believed it, while simultaneously having my doubts.)

I proceeded through Saturday with an awareness of the tightness that had been in my throat and the pain in my ears. I just sat with it, felt it and didn't try to analyze it.

Saturday evening, I hung out with my good friends Angel and her new girl, Annette, along with Sharon, Tracey, Cindy and Melinda. We had a *wonderful* time, laughing, talking and eating some wonderful SC BBQ that Angela prepared with love. I love moments like those. Hanging out with good friends, not a care in the world and lots of LAUGHING!! It really nourishes the soul.

I had a fitful night of sleep on Saturday, partly due to the processing my body was doing, partly due to the activity I had planned for the next day and partly to the INCREDIBLE thunderstorms we had overnight. I woke up at 4a again, went back to sleep for a little while then at 530a was awakened by an incredible CRACK of thunder accompanied by a brilliant FLASH of lightening. After that, I was up for the day. So with approximately 4-5 hours of sleep under my belt, I prepare for my Sunday adventure.

Sunday's adventure deserves a little back-story as it involves my very first girlfriend from 16 years ago. As most people, I was a very different person then than I am now. Many heartaches and life lessons later, I've come out the other side a pretty self aware person. (Still tweaking, but feeling pretty good about things now.) So, Cathy and I were each other's very first girl lovers...I was 24/25 and she was 30/31 when we dated. So naive for lesbians. It was a wonderful first love experience, until it wasn't. It never became a horrible situation, it just fizzled out. Now that I'm in the process of recognizing patterns in relationships, fixing them and setting the ideal for "the" relationship, I needed to process a little with Cathy. We haven't spoken or seen each other for 4 years, although we live less than 2 hours from each other now. So, it should be interesting to catch up and see if we can heal a wound or two.

Cathy and I have been emailing for a little over a month. I contacted her after I started seeing my new therapist. We were discussing all my old relationships, my patterns, why/how these relationships ended...blah blah blah. I didn't have any answers for that particular relationship and I wanted some. I contacted Cathy and we commenced to emailing. I took a leap of faith on Friday and asked if I could come visit. I put the ball in her court, because I didn't want her to do something she wasn't comfortable with. She said yes, so Sunday morning I headed 3 counties over for a day of hanging out with her. I was so nervous!! Without going into all the boring details, we spent almost 10 hours talking. We processed our past relationship; we also talked about where our own paths have taken us, the similarities in our lives, as well as the different paths we've taken. It was an incredible day of healing. I feel there's finally closure on that relationship 16 years ago.

I feel so light and airy today. No tightness in my throat at all. Last night, I slept from 930p-6a without waking up ONCE!! It was a very restful night and I feel that I'm beginning a wonderful chapter in my life.

Mind - ??? - Spirit

Previously posted on June 8, 2006

I had a very interesting revelation last night during my massage...well, actually my massage therapist did. When I got on the table, face down, I felt like my shoulders were caving inward so nothing above my waist was touching the table. Doing the ol' "protect the heart my enveloping in" posture!! I mentioned that to Tracey, my friend/massage therapist, so she started pushing my shoulders down towards the table for quite sometime. She spent an inordinate amount of time grinding my mid-back with her elbows as well. That's an area I hold stress and emotion.

Meanwhile, we're having this conversation about releasing emotions and how I really feel I need to do some serious releasing. She has a great gift of intuition as well, plus she's my best friend Sharon's partner. Anyway, she kept getting hits on words like release, tolerate, body. While were conversing about these words she had an AH HA moment. Basically, she said that I know a lot about things...I can relate things to one another and see the big picture. I know about chakras and emotions and which effects what. What I DON'T know is my body and how it relates to all of this. I'm really tied into Mind and Spirit, I'm just missing the relationship to my BODY!!! With that revelation we talked about me moving more...or at this point, at all.

Moving my body might just be the key to the emotional release I need. I tend to be very "heady" and process and keep those wheels spinning. If I could convert that head talk to body movement, I think that will be a key to release and growth. I'll let you know!

Today, I started my new ritual of eating lunch at my desk and using my lunch hour to work out.


Previously posted June 7, 2006 - this was the beginning of a new chapter of my life and I didn't even know it at the time

Last Fall, I had a D&C because my uterus was lined with precancerous cells. So, 8 months later and a round of Natural Progesterone pills, my GYN did a uterine biopsy late yesterday. Last time, I barely felt it, so I had no apprehension at all. Well, once the procedure started, I sure wish I'd had the were with all to take Valium or something!! OUCH!!! Nothing like having a long sharp instrument threaded through your cervix for the shear purpose of ripping tissue from the walls of my uterus!!!

I got home from the procedure, took a Tylenol w/ Codeine, ate, laid on the couch, took *another* Tylenol w/ Codeine and called it a night. Woke up this morning just a little achy. Drove to work and proceeded to attempt to work. Let's just say, sitting at a computer is not the most conducive environment when one is in pain. Around noon, I left work, came home, took another Tyl. w/ Cod. and have been couched up all afternoon. Finally feeling a little better. Fortunately, I have a massage scheduled tonight, so I'm hoping that'll make me feel better.

Complex or Complicated?

Several years ago, over the span of about two years, I saw a Psychic and 3 different astrologers. (I was in an "all about me" phase!) Within the first 10 minutes of each session, each person stated quite emphatically that I was a complex person. Over those past few years, it's been a running joke with my friend Sharon that I'm really complicated rather than complex. So with those thoughts, I begin a new blog. I'm really trying to use this place to encourage, force, facilitate or whatever me to write more.

I have a blog that I've kept for some months that I keep private from most people. I'll start with posting some of those entries to catch folks up. After that, I'll write new stuff.