Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Family Gathers

I am so sad to have this news for you all,  but David Sr. passed away the morning of May 28th.  He had fought a hard battle for two years with Multiple myloma and kidney failure.  He fought hard against the odds, keeping his spirit and positive attitude until the end.

David Jr,  Will, John and Tyler helped were and are being strong but feeling a great hole in their hearts.   He was a very good man who had wonderful words, stories and heart to share.  His obituary can be found here:

Monday, May 1, 2017

Anticiipation and Motivation

This has been a wonderful Spring.  Daffodils are up holding their heads up proudly in the rain today.  Their color is even brighter than yesterday.  I have had some wonderful trips seeing old friends with more to come.  My health continues to be good and my energy level as well.  The side effects continue, but I am adapting.  No more cowboy boots on these swollen feet! Another sad [paradox,  I am married to a fabulous cook and my taste buds have gone cofluie.  Oh well.   I have a lot to be thankful for.

For Example.....  John and I planned a trip to Dallas, intending to  visit my son John in the town he lived in.  Unfortunately,  NO FORTUNATELY,  John called while I was planning, to tell us he was coming to Boston for an interview!  I had no idea he had even put together his resume!  All went well and a month later, he arrived in Boston for his new job the day before we left for Dallas.  He is enjoying it, seems very happy, and making his way.  I am very proud of him, not to mention so pleased to have him so much closer.  I anticipate opportunities to spend more time with him in the future.  He is working for Perkin Elmer at a customer lactation with responsibilities for (P&E's) testing equipment.  I  think I have that close to right.

BUT WAIT,  THERE IS EVEN MORE!  I am finally able to pass on some other news that pleases me no end and gives me a longer term perspective on my planning that I have allowed myself  since the diagnosis.  Yep,  Will and KA are going to make me a Grannie in October!  Gotta stick around.  As you can imagine,  I get a little weepie when I think of Will holding his own baby.  I am so looking forward to this.

With all this wonderful news,  I also have a longer re spit between doctor visit and can,  for a few moments at a time,  not be conscious of the diagnosis because I am so lucky to be with great friends and family.   There is great anticipation in upcoming events as well as more motivation to keep positive and strong.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


After a little difficulty dealing with "side effects" John and I had an incredible week in Dallas.  We saw only a few old times friends, but I saw each at least twice.  Under the circumstances (mine), getting more than one visit in made us all feel the ongoing friendship.  Didn't plan it that way but am so grateful to have learned that.  

John and I were entertained like dignitaries visiting many beautiful, elegant, tasty, very Texas places in Dallas with a side trip to Mineola.  

Before the trip, I was experiencing some psychological sadness... dare I say anger... about many little things in my life.  Trying to work through them I realized that a lot of it comes from my growing anger, frustration, and lack of control on many aspects of my life.... I was and AM really, really angry at the CANCER.  

I have not made peace with that, but I my anger is counter balanced by the realization that this beautiful trip and another incredibly emotional ladies lunch would not have had the intensity if it weren't for the cancer.  Such paradox's and serendipity.

To complete the circle of feeling that this a global reality I am experiencing, I just received a new word from the labyrinth.  This is the 28th from me dear friend Suzan Zeder.   So appropriately, the word is COMPANION.  I can't pretend to summarize - her usage of words is too important.  Please read and enjoy:

As I walked this morning I carried the complexity of many conflicting feelings. I struggled to find a word wise enough to bring insight and elastic enough to hold all of the opposites I felt. As I walked everything was quiet, even the birds seemed to be thinking! Zack crossed his dog paws and pondered. Then I noticed my own shadow as my silent companion, growing larger or dwindling as the sun splashed over me. So, the word for today is companion. 
                  Companion: One with whom you spend a lot of time. 
                                   One with whom you travel. 
It occurred to me that all these conflicting feelings are really not enemies but 

          Sorrow is softened by joy
                      Fear is tempered by Courage 
                              Concern is leavened with Celebration
                                 Even Grief is comforted by Gratitude. 
As we walk with our shadow selves and with the memory of those we have lost, we often find ourselves caught between the conflicting ends of an emotional spectrum. Perhaps the best plan is simply join hands and hearts and to embrace the paradox of opposing forces so we may walk with grace through this liminal space. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Traveling Snaffu's

John and his cousin Allan admiring the ocean
The trip to Florida didn't go as planned!  I worked so hard coordinating with different people and places to Chris cross the state and reconnect with great friends.  What  I didn't plan for got me.  Side Effects!!  Low Resistance and side effects.  After only five days I had to beat a quick retreat back to the safety and comfort of home.  Thank goodness we could change the tickets and get home within a day.  John worked miracles and took good care of getting me back as quickly as possible.

With my cousin and his wife - Dan and Doreen Christensen at Lago Mar
We did get a couple of great visits in around Boca and Fort Lauderdale.  John's (and mine now) friends fro Longmeadow entertained us for three days with their friends, fine dinners, John's cousin, and a trip to the casino to see Paul Anka!   Then we moved on to the Lago Mar in Fort Lauderdale where my folks used to have a condo and had a great dinner with my cousin and his wife.  We also stayed in what was one of the most wonderful rooms I have staid in.  Right ON the beach. - check out the pictures.  It was right about here things started to fall apart as my tummy went crazy and a my lungs turned to a gross sounding hacking cough..  We stuck it out for one more night, but before we could start visiting friends, it was time to retreat.

I called the oncologist who recommended going off the chemo for a couple of days to help me gain strength.  That didn't do much so another doc diagnosed as possible pneumonia and treated it as such - recovery began and I am almost well.  Well enough to have gone back on the chemo.  Still a little gushy about traveling but we will get back on the road soon.

Hopefully, just a blip,  but these blips scare me.

Meanwhile,  Will is starting his new job and setting up his office in Suffield.  All seems very happy there and full of hopefulness.  On another front,  John Anderson, is also making a big move - and I am so proud of him.  He had been talking about looking for  job out East.  When he sent out his resumes he was pleasantly surprised that his education and experience were both well received and quickly.  Before I knew he had written a resume,  he was being flown east for an interview... and he Got the Job!  John will be moving to Boston in two weeks to start a new venture on many fronts.  I will keep you posted!

Sunrise outside our room!

I intend to learn to avoid these cancellations and needs to change plans at the last minute,  because I do NOT intend to stop the traveling and visiting with friends. I hope to make up the time lost from the Florida debacle - and connect with each friend in the near future.  Meanwhile,  we will be heading to Dallas in 10 days to do more celebration of the moments of our lives.  It is not without challenges, but they make the victory that much more savory!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Happy Day - Good News

Test results are in from the Monday PET scan and it looks like the medication is working!  This is the first scan since the one in December that showed that that regiment had ceased to be effective.  Whahoo!   This pill form of therapy has less side effects and allows more freedom for me - this is all good.  I still have tubby toes - no TUBBY FEET - no ankles and need bigger shoes - some tummy issues,  but nothing to seriously hold me back.  I feel like jumping out of plane again - the exhilaration from good news is close to the same

OK - this was a while ago but it's all part of the feeling of celebration.

The mental games that go on with this up and down routine are amazing.  Although we all know we are mortal,  that reality has a lot of different levels of appreciation in our daily lives.  It is easier to live "as if"... or is it easier?  We all do.  Making happy plans for the future - Anticipation as Carly Simon put it.  This adds hours, days, weeks, years... to our pleasure about an upcoming event.  The anticipation is a big part of the fun.  In my situation, the anticipation for happy events in the future can only look a short window ahead to allow me the joy and faith that it will come to fruition - so I anticipate everything with greater vigor!!  The flip side is the joy we get from reminiscing.  Perhaps this ties back to my scrapbook days, but that the looking back has brought me pleasure reliving many things.  As the anticipation window is shortening the reminiscing window is panoramic!  And,  surprise among surprises - the panorama includes some beautiful places, but mostly some beautiful PEOPLE.  I have been blessed to share many important occasions, adventures, moments with some wonderful people.  Many I have lost track of - but they are still with me.  Some of you are here - more and more with each new post.  People are who have formed me, guided me, taught me, led me.....  I have choseN the direction and the people... and I am so glad I have had the opportunities.

Now,  with my Cancer reality and attitude I am endeavoring to balance the importance of reminiscence with the joy of anticipation.  I am on a quest to reminisce with those who shared some great giggles, events, life changes, or just passed happy time,,,, AND look forward to experiencing another new adventure and sharing  - with great anticipation.  

With that in mind,  I have been coordinating a trip to drive around Florida and visit old-timey friends and share the moment.  John and I are leaving tomorrow.  I am also planning a similar trip to Dallas with John to reconnect.  My anticipation is huge and happy.  I hope I don't overlook anyone - time is limited - but we always knew that.  So as they say,  all we have is the present,  but I am using some of that to celebrate the past and rejoice in the future.

Thank you for taking the time.... hugs to each of you.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Seeking Warmth

All is well here and continues on the same course. The new therapy has milder side effects for which I am grateful. I am hopefully building strength - but it's hard to stick to a routine when my husband keeps whisking me away to wonderful spots. not complaining!

 A week or two ago we went to the "cabin" at Raquette Lake - had to take a snow mobile!! It wasn't bitter cold but still winter. The pastel colors were spectacular. We followed that excursion with 5 days at Okemo - skiing with the John's sons, daughter in law, and grand children. I enjoyed watching the DeWeese's all ski together!

 After a couple of weeks at home for Doctor's appointments and a PET scan, we will be heading to Florida for a little less snow and some more sunshine. We plan to visit friends while we are there - as many of our friends migrate there - thought we'd check it out and have a little time with each. Coordinating this is tricky, as plans change to different situations, but I am really looking forward to catching up in person.

 So - we continue on in a healthy style - blessed with many beautiful days and wonderful friends. I hope this finds you well, as well.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Fairy Tale

I have been "away" - and when I returned I found this lovely card from dear friends in my mailbox.  The cover read " Sometimes, right in the middle of an ordinary life.." and on the inside it read "... love gives you a fairy tale."  That summed up exactly where I am right now - and especially where I was when I was "away."

"A fairy Tale" is truly an apt description of the life I am living. not the Fairy tale of "folkloric fantasy characters, such as dwarfsdragonselvesfairiesgiantsgnomesgoblinsmermaidstrollsunicorns, orwitches, and usually magic or enchantments.
 the term is also used to describe something blessed with unusual happiness,s, as in "fairy tale ending" (a happy ending).  
, a "fairy tale" or "fairy story" can also mean any far-fetched story or tall tale; it is used especially of any story that not only is not true, but could not possibly be true. Legends are perceived as real.

John and I had just returned from an "unreal"  trip to Kauai with a stop in Coronado to see family on the return.  Need I say, it was phenomenal.  The surf was spectacular, the weather perfect, the :"Garden Island" a wealth of colors and lush greenery.  I had never been to Hawaii so it was exceptionally special - again,  "Make a Wish" material.    I am still pinching myself because it does seem so far-fetched.  But it was true and I can share some pictures.

helicopter ride around and over the island

sunset cruise up the coast

rainbow from the helicopter

zip lining

Many of you say you admire my bravery and my positive attitude through this blog - and I am here to tell you, the blog MAKES me put on a positive attitude and bolsters my courage because I know I have friends who care.

The Irony cannot be lost, though, as I am living this fairy tale under a very dark cloud.  The possibility of this dichotomy of circumstances is such a paradox that it makes my mind spin.  The joy of experiences and sharing with my amazing husband, and the sadness that sneaks up on me in the middle of the night...  It's one version of a fairy tale when a combination of John and me actually did connect - that in itself is a bit of a miracle - add that to my diagnosis and we are doing our best to make this the happiest of endings. 

The Family Gathers

I am so sad to have this news for you all,  but David Sr. passed away the morning of May 28th.  He had fought a hard battle for two years wi...