Tag Archives: healing

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I watched President Donald J Trump get sworn in yesterday.   I didn’t see him grab anyones whowho, nor did I see anything improper go on, but I DID catch a glimpse (and watched it several times) of the perverted former president who was ogling someone other than his tyrant wife, who was caught and given the “dead stare” that I have given before!   I found it funny.

I do not understand the marches.  Yes, I said it.   I am a woman (looks down, Yup!)    I am for womens rights.    But I do not agree with the vagina hats or very crude signs that some were holding up, many.  I know good women who marched.  I support them, because it was important to them.  But really, I’m very confused at to what this was about.  Who has lost rights?  He hasn’t been in for more than 24 hours and he’s already destroying lives and families!

I don’t profess to agree with everything he has said or done, but I have heard men share (and women, for that matter) talk locker talk in front of others.   And I’ve been called a racist for years, since I decided I didn’t like the politics of Obama.  But I was respectful.   I lived through his presidency, and was mistreated by others because I didn’t like him.

You know, it’s getting really old to me.   The country voted (oh yes, we ALL KNOW CLINTON won the popular vote) but Trump won the electoral.   HE WON.   He is our President.  For those of you who say “he’s not my president” I say, go live in another country and see how well you have it.   And take those self professed important movie stars and comedians who have been threatening to go if he got elected!

If you want to march, march.  If you want to protest, protest, but destroying property that doesn’t belong to you, throwing things on those who attended the Inaugural Ball, is NOT right.  Frankly, it’s violence, and it’s a crime and they should be arrested.  Let me further add that bullying a child (The Trump son) on SNL skits or whathaveyou (and yes, you too Rosie!  I’ve lost all respect for you, calling him austistic)   How is this okay?  How is this okay and acceptable to ANY OF YOU?   Or Ashley Judd, really?  Referring to his wet dream of his daughter?   How is this ANY LESS nasty than what Trump said in the presence of other drunk men?  How?

I read last night that there is already an impeachment started.   This is so sad.   What happened to democracy?   I will tell you, I’m a registered democrat.  I haven’t voted that way in a long time because I’m appalled at what the party has become.  That doesn’t mean I jumped ship and joined the republican party, although I will say, I voted for Trump! gasp!  I know, how dare I?

Here’s what has happened.  You have college students who are being excused because they are emotionally unequipped to accept Trump was elected.  My God, we watched the Space Shuttle blow up and still had to go back to school or work!   Get a grip!  But I have found humor in much of this.   The over inflated  egos of actors and actresses who haven’t a clue what “reality” is, or what it means to be a working class single woman trying to make ends meet.   I think the election was a blow to all of them who realized their “importance” didn’t make a difference in the election!   Get over yourselves!   And what a shame (but nonetheless the same as we’ve been living, for those of you who join me in NOT liking St. Obama!) that you would punish a peer, because they don’t agree with you.  Really?  I will say this for the Obama’s, there were no scandals!

When Trump was elected I had put his picture on my fb page as President Elect.  “An old friend” who is gay, and whom I defended his rights since his early teens (I think he’s in his 40’s now) told me he couldn’t be my friend anymore because I stood for hate!   And then he private messaged me and told me to f*(* off.   When I blocked him, he kindly went to my business page and wrote that I’m …..  all the names we’ve all seen and heard TOO MANY TIMES.    On my business page!  “And don’t you contact my family again!”.  Well, that’s funny, because his aunt (who he treats well, depending on what he needs) is a good friend of mine.  He speaks for her?  NOT!    This is the thanks I get because I have a different view on politics?  How is this behavior helping your cause???????????

If rights are being stripped, I will stand up for what I believe in.  I believe in womens rights, and a right to choose whether they want an abortion or not, I will stand up for my gay friends (who have not unfriended me in the very manner in which they wrongfully unfriended me!   But I’m not going to jump on anyone’s bandwagon against President Donald J. Trump.  Why?   Because like it or not (and apparently a large majority do not) he is The President of the United States.  I live here, you live here.    Adjust, like many of us had to do with Obama.

And yes, we know, Obama was better than sliced bread.  I’m just waiting to hear how Trump (in his 24 hours of service) has caused this divide in our country.   And for those of you who are brave enough to do extensive research on the “dead pool” associated with the Clinton’s, because in my view, she was no prize! I think of her what many of you thinking no of Trump, at least he’s right out there. I am not impressed with the dual personalities that Clinton has “for the public” and private,NOT AT ALL!

I want a woman President.  I do.  But I want one who is worthy, not one who has been bought and sold one hundred times over, who has stayed in a repulsive “marriage” for power.

If you want to bitch and moan, go ahead, but do not do it on my blog, and do not do it on my facebook page, because I’ve had enough.     For you Clinton lovers, I’m so glad you can believe in the fairytale, but there are many of us who know differently.  And as I watched Bill ogle over whoever it was, rumored to be Ivanka or Melania, I took great pleasure in knowing, there would be no more scandals of the Clinton’s.   Remember?  The ones who left the White House broke and stole all that stuff they had to bring back?   Yes, it was a while ago, so I supposed we aren’t supposed to talk about that!

I support President Trump, even though I despise his tweets and his need for attention.  I support the men and women he appointed to positions to help our country.  And if you want to unfriend me, please do so. I’ve reached a point in my life where other peoples opinions of me do not effect who I am, my purpose in life, nor does it define me as good or bad.   My view may be different from yours, if you are a true friend, you’d respect my views, you don’t have to agree with them, but certainly mistreating me…..  How is that helping your cause?  I don’t want anymore fair weather friends.  I want friends who know me, and may disagree with me, but see value in me as a person, as a woman, as an artist, a daughter, sister, aunt, friend…  If you aren’t one of them, I can live with that. But I ask you, exactly what do you expect from those of us who support you, but not this long drawn out dramatic tale that has yet to happen?  Are you strong enough, is there enough courage in your convictions to give this guy a try? Are you brave enough to accept that you MAY not be the most important priority right now? What are you willing to do for  your country?

I leave you with the words of one very popular President.  “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy   

Family

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Today I took my mom to her parents graves.   She wants to plant some flowers on them and couldn’t decide what to buy so we went there first.  My mothers youngest  brother died a few weeks ago.  We just got access to clean out his apartment.  We’ve worked hard the past couple of days, last night we received some very difficult news which left us both feeling very disappointed.  This morning I woke up, she was in tears.   My mother seldom cries.   She read some of the police reports when he had disappeared for 2 years and she couldn’t find him.  His then short term wife brought him somewhere and he had brain surgery, then put him in a nursing home and filed for divorce.   It took two years for the sheriff to find him.   The past couple of days she has relived her childhood, the auto accident my uncle was in that caused damage to his brain.   He could still walk, talk, but his thinking had been altered.   On my grandmother’s death bed my mother made a promise to her mother that she would take care of Hank, and she did.   I just listened to her this morning for a couple hours as she shared stories from her childhood.   This was why I suggested we go to the cemetery.   It ended up being a good thing to do.   She reminisced and shared childhood stories from the small town she grew up in, and where my grandparents, uncle are buried.  I think it was healing for her.   Then we went flower shopping!

We had a credit coming to us at Tractor Supply, so we bought some birdseed and annuals.  Then she wanted to stop at a local nursery on the way home.  We had an enjoyable time “just looking” and a basket full of plants!    My mom loves to be outdoors, garden, she loves to watch the birds, so we filled up the feeders, some for finches and others for bluebirds.  We trimmed branches on my “tree of life” so the blue birds can get a clear view of it and the blue bird house several feet behind.   We’ve always had blue birds, this year we do not.  I only saw one.  So we’re trying to entice them back.

As I drove her around and listened to her stories I felt grateful that I have this time with my mom.   I’m grateful I still have both parents, and I’m grateful that I can be there for her when she needs support.    She is spending the weekend at my house so we’re going to do a lot of small projects including planting the beautiful assortment of posies we bought…   How nice making these good memories.   I need to keep busy right now, am struggling with some things myself, so I think this will be good, for both of us.    I like doing for my mother.  My efforts and actions are not to seek her approval, but to be the best daughter I can be.  This makes ME feel good.  I love taking care of my animals.  This, too, makes me feel good.

We’re planning on what we can use for props in the flower garden and beds.  I found this old shovel at a friend’s dump pile and it’s going to be a perfect prop.   I bought a very old wooden wheel barrel at a flea market years ago.   We plant flowers in it every year.   I’m excited about the weekend.

I shall now retire to bed, watch a couple Golden Girls or Frasier reruns and will hopefully sleep well as I have an early day tomorrow.

Have a great weekend.   Be safe!

 

The journey to wisdom…

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Another day that I feel was wasted with sleep, rest.   Shaking my head.   Tomorrow will be better.. .tomorrow will be better.   The antibiotic seems to be working however, I feel better.  Not so much that someone punched me in my face but more like a baby swinging their head back and getting me.    Softer…

I have been contemplating my life, my life accomplishments, failures, and more.   Sometimes I look at my life and think I’m the luckiest person in the world, I do what I love for work, I love my family and many friends, I’m surrounded with furries, I live in a beautiful part of the world where I get to often see nature’s creatures.    I can look at my designs in art, jewelry, needle craft, and read my writing and think “Damn girl, you’re doing okay”.     Other days, not so much.

On these days I have to remind myself that I should not measure success by way of my bank account.    I would barely get a few feet.  I’m not materialistic, though I love nice things.   I want my home to be a reflection to who I am, and offer warm comfort and welcome to guests.   I’m told that I have succeeded here.   I think about the unfinished mural of Tuscany in my kitchen, the hole in the wall to fit the stackable into it’s new location upstairs, the broken and old windows that offer no insulation, and the many other things that I know and some days, is all I see.   I have to look further.    My home, my body, my life is a work in progress.    If everything were to be put in proper place and fall together, wouldn’t that be boring?     Sarcasm (to tear flesh)……

Have been thinking about something and last nights conversation with my bestest girlfriend took this even further.    I, we are forever changing, growing.    We may watch a movie one day, and then years later watch the same movie and see it’s message so differently.  Why?   Because we are not who we were the first time we saw it, therefore we have grown, evolved from there.    It’s like driving the same road for years and then one day seeing something, sizable, that we had never seen.   It happens.    Instead of getting flustered with why we didn’t get the goodness, the message we are getting from it now years later, perhaps we can look at it as if whatever we saw then, was what we were ready to see?

Hindsight is always 20/20.  I enjoy asking people this question “If you could go back and do it all again, what would you do?”  You may be surprised to hear “I don’t want to go back”.   I feel that way.   But I can dare to look at the things I would have done differently.   Not failure, or regrets, just knowledge.  There is a difference.   Knowledge comes from truth.     No one goes through life without missteps.

As I mentioned before, I am trying to look at my life for what it is.  I recently have been getting my will together, and making known  my end of life choices, and realize on days that are difficult, that I have not all I need to live an unfrustrated existence, I can easily whip myself into self loathing, feeling bad about the decisions I once made that reared me where I am today.   Which feels like rubbing my nose in it, in a cruel manner to self.   What good does this do?  And also, is it accurate?   This is where self doubt is a good thing!

I sat with a woman yesterday who was trying to help me in one area of my life.  Tears started to fall down my face and she said “What’s wrong?”  With my eyes looking outside into the woods I said “This is not where I expected to be at this point in my life.  What have I done wrong?”   She looked at me, smiled, and kindly said “Did it ever occur to you that you are not doing anything wrong?”     Her words startled me.  “Um, NO!”     Flooding back are the words from close friends who have encouraged me through my life and the challenges, and the highs that comes with it.   Why am I so quick to blame myself for everything?   Why am I so quick to think that I am not “good enough”, something that I have learned once was the center of my being, ruling me, proving to myself and others the validity of those two words.  I am happy to say that I no longer have this belief at my core.   It still hangs around, surrounding my feelings, and there are days I can roll my eyes, push them off, and other days I begin feeling caged within them.    My girlfriend Pam has said to me on numerous occasions, “Why do you think you need anymore purpose than who you are right now?”   I don’t know.  I guess maybe I don’t!

I listen to my mother, colorful creature whose hard exterior covers a woman who has withstood much pain.  My mother is a highly intelligent woman.   At 52 I can finally see that! 🙂 ♥    Oh if I only knew half, then, of what I thought I knew now!    She is more intelligent than I am, and gives very good sound advice.    At 52 I do not hear or view her words as personal.  I listen, don’t always agree, but give her the courtesy of sharing her wisdom.   We can learn so much from our elders, from each other.  We just have to shut our mouths and open our ears, our eyes.  Something I forget to shut my mouth!  :0  We hear talk of others “he is an old soul.”   My youngest sister I would describe as an old soul.  Why?  Well, for one, she observed a lot.  Would watch with her eyes, listen with her ears and put the kibosh to blurting out whatever stupidity may have come out merely from age, lack of knowledge!   Not me, open mouth, insert foot.

So now I’m thinking back on this day of rest.  Was it a wasted day?  No, I’m healing, I need sleep to get beyond this illness.   Did I accomplish what I wanted to?  No.   Is that okay?  Yes.    Now looking back at my accomplishments I can view them with much kinder, softer eyes, perhaps even gently!    I may not like where I am today, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like myself as I do.

What does this mean?  What does this leave me with?   A choice.   Is what I do not like in my life worthy of change?  If it’s shunning me from self love, of course it is.   What, then, do I need to change?   I can, and I do, ask the advice of trusted others.   I can work through my feelings, my thoughts and get to a point where I am looking at myself reasonably, whole, not just negative or just positive boasting.   I can then pray or ask my higher power to guide me, help me to become who and what I’m supposed to become….knowledge and go about my day more open minded, more grateful, more observing than lashing, judging.  I believe many of us are our own worst critics.   I can be closed minded, judging myself unmercifully.   Does that make it true?   Ahh….. Nope!  Because feelings aren’t facts and our thoughts may not be truthful.

Here lies, then, the conundrum….   How do I decipher what I “know” (wisdom, six sense) and what I “think” I know?  Should I not listen to my inner voice warding me of peril?  Of course I should listen.   Should I not listen to my gut instinct, which is telling me to stay away from this, or that?  Of course I should listen.    I do think, however, when I start to bang myself around, subjecting myself to self judgment and loathing… perhaps I should THEN question, heed my own words.

The older I get, the more intelligent I get.  Unfortunately, however, I can’t always remember!   Ain’t maturity fun?  I am looking at life as a journey to wisdom.   I will not do everything perfect, and something I may dwell on today may become insignificant tomorrow, I may look back on things I would do differently, having given the chance… but when I start to beat the crap out of myself?  It’s time to put the stick down and walk away.  It’s useless, it’s abusive, it’s unproductive…. and chances are, I have not all the information to pass judgment on myself.   Perhaps what I am thinking is NOT fact?  That means, it is also is not knowledge.  So why do it?

I’ll leave you with the most valuable lesson I have learned ….  Life doesn’t revolve around me…. who knew?

 

My sixth sense….. HUMOR

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Lesson #3:  Be sure to take the time to tie the laces on your Sorels (boots) before carrying your dog to poop.   Stepping out of a boot into a foot of snow is NOT fun!

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“You girls get out there and pick up the table”…my father used to say every night after dinner.  So my sisters and I would go out into the kitchen, pick up the table and wait til he saw us.   We would have to take turns at who washed and who dried the dishes.    I preferred to dry because my sis would always give me back a dish and say “It’s dirty”.   Then she would turn her head and smile.   “MOM, Darlene is making me wash clean dishes!” …. My mother replied  “Well, there are worse things that could happen, Donna!”

I love my family’s sense of humor.  Every one of us, including my parents, my aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins all  have wonderful sense of humor.    My father, a kind, very gentle man would include his on his very infrequent bouts of anger.    My mother was in a particularly bossy mood one weekend.  “Do this, do that, get this done, get that done…not to just us kids but also my father.    She and I were backing out of the driveway to go get groceries and she hollered out the window of that big old Ford wagon (with grained sides) “Don’t forget to do fix Pooey’s chain!” (our black lab).   My father, with a look of disgust, with force in his voice said “Would you like me to shove a broom up my ass and sweep the floor while I’m at it?”   I will never forget that.   I was laughing so hard, turning my head so my mother couldn’t see, which was stupid because she could certainly hear me! imagesCAADX7KJ

My former fiancée had a wonderful sense of humor as well.   When I would be in a less than flattering mood he would put his finger up in the air and say “One minute, I’m going to run downstairs and see where you left your sense of humor!”

I don’t know where I would be in my life without my sense of humor.   I have learned to find humor in almost anything.  It is a coping mechanism, it is a light and airy twist to the toughest of times.    It used to be a person could be a complete jerk, but if he had a sense of humor, it was his redeeming quality.  I still laugh if a jerk is funny, but I’m not so quick to befriend him/her.  fake I sometimes think the more difficult experiences, the deeper our sense of humor grows.  This is a t-shirt my niece sent me while I was going through breast cancer.

My brother was the youngest of us five children and the only boy.   He walked into the house one day just as my sister, Karla, was explaining what a “front” was.   Honestly this girl should have been a weather reporter.   “It’s when the hot air hits the cold”…my brother walked in as she was explaining this to me and my youngest sister.  He says “Well, I just fronted then!”

I believe that to be able to laugh at another you must first be able to laugh at yourself, really laugh at yourself.   I am fairly adept at that now!  Sometimes when I’m driving or sitting in my car outside a store trying to talk myself into going in, I get to laughing at things.  I bet on more than one occasion a passerby thought I was nuts!   (No comment from the peanut gallery is necessary here!)  What is most interesting is that each of us have our own sense of humor.   monkey Some of you will not laugh at this, I think it’s hysterical!  You just have to take what you like and leave the rest! This picture was taken upstairs at the Vermont Country Store a couple years ago.  I assure you, all I did was snap a pic!

I remember one year teaching at HOOT (a decorative arts convention in Columbus Ohio).  I had a full class, 35 students I think.   I like to entertain my students in between instruction because first, I find most of us learn better in a relaxed environment, and second, it tends to keep their focus on whatever the joke or story is and fuss, worry less about their painting.   Well, I thought I was being particularly funny, and only one of two people would laugh.  A couple of minutes later there would be laughter in the room and I wanted in!  “Hey, what are you guys laughing at?”  “We just caught on to the joke you said five minutes ago!”    It has been suggested on numerous occasions that I do stand up comedy, but I couldn’t do that.   I am really good about beating myself up as it is, if I were to do comedy I wouldn’t want to target anyone but myself….  my therapist surely wouldn’t like it!

Off to give my Lilly some lovin!   That’s another thing, how humorous my animals are.   It’s fun to observe them.   Have good night, day, weekend, …..life in case I don’t see you again!  I hope today you have been able to enjoy a sixth sense…. “Humor!”

I  call this painting “Winter in New England”   imagesCAAAWH53

Aside

This blog is based purely on thoughts, feelings, emotions…reflections

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Seventeen years ago tonight I had an extraordinary experience that shifted the course of my life.  It is said, when you die your life flashes before your eyes, I know this to be true.  33 years of life experiences (many of which I wouldn’t give a second thought to) appeared and departed with a nimbleness I could never believably describe. Tears that were shed, bruises and scars that were hidden below flesh and bone, kind gestures, smiles and more disclosed its relevance. My life, my purpose was playing out like a movie script, each clip taking with it the heaviness that had once filled my chest until my soul was free. A peacefulness, acceptance blanketed over me, weightless, knowing. It was one of the most profound experiences of my life.

What happened that night? Roll your eyes if you must, I am hesitant to share because I never want my memory, my experience tainted. In an interview 30 years ago, Bob Dylan warned of sharing your visions, your inert knowledge with others as they will not only discourage you but also squash what you are being guided, lead to. How easily we allow others to influence us to dark shadows.

Seventeen years ago tonight a very kind, generous, caring, intelligent man came into my life. He would be the first man ever to caress my face, my hair. He would be the first man I ever allowed to look me in the eyes. No match to God, the energy that exuded from his hands was, however, positive. So there we were, two naked souls fully dressed. If I never saw him again, it wouldn’t have altered the depth of this experience. I repeat “If I never saw him again, it wouldn’t have altered the depth of this experience”. With absence of sexual play, the truth fell into the innocence of broken, busted souls. Hope… there is nothing quite like hope.

We spent many wonderful years together. We enjoyed each others company, laughed hardily, nurtured each other. No person can fill or complete another, two “halves” don’t make a whole, two wholes do.

I wish I could tell you that we lived happily ever after, that we grew old together but that wasn’t the case. I wish I could tell you that he is alive, well, and full of life. I wish, I wish, I wish. If only he would’ve placed those warm nurturing hands on himself.

Everyday I think of him. Everyday I miss him. The sadness of reality catches me off guard at times. I still sometimes shed tears, though the majority of the time now, I smile when I think of him. I can still see those big beautiful blue eyes looking back at mine, at times I feel his presence. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that powerful spiritual experience that taught me. As I cuddle up next to the fireplace, feeling the warm penetrating heat soothe my tired body, I think back on that night 17 years ago, I smile. I laugh at his antics, I smile at the memories, and I remind myself… Everything happens for a reason. Everything happens for a reason………………

17 years ago ….

The paradox in love

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“I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.”   —  Mother Teresa

I have often pulled these gentle words out as a reminder, and this morning as a companion to the truth.   Love is indeed a beautiful thing.  I believe it is one, if not THE greatest gift in our lives, in my life.  To love someone brings out the best in us.   Self centeredness and selfishness turns into a broadening of our sights, unselfishly we want to do all that we can to bring happiness, support to the person we love.  Love can transform us, can heal us, can change us.  Love is a gift, a choice, an opportunity for us to commit to someone other than ourselves.  It’s possibilities, potentials are unlimited. 

To BE loved is a beautiful thing as well.  A mothers or fathers love differs from a siblings, as does a friends, or that of a lover/spouse/partner.  I believe all are important for us to be well rounded, adjusted, accepting of true love.  Falling in love is magical, or is that lust?  I do know that if someone truly loves you their love does not wane in sickness or health.  Lust?  Probably does.  I dated a guy who I was with when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer.  He brought me to my lumpectomy, dropped me off at home, I never saw him again.  I’m laughing now, at the time, not.  He was angry that I didn’t drive down to see him that weekend.  The guy did me a huge favor.  That wasn’t love, that was selfishness.  I deserved better than that.  The next week when I went for my post op exam, told my Dr what had happened she frowned and said “You would be surprised how often it happens, even in long term marriages”.  How sad.

Visiting with my cousin a few weeks ago he shared about a friend who had a back injury and the spouse left them, they didn’t want to take care of someone the rest of their life.  I just shook my head.  I have witnessed some incredibly strong and loving relationships, devotion to spouses who are sick.  Thankfully my sister had this when she took ill with Ovarian Cancer.   While I did not agree with everything that was done, I am so very grateful that she was loved and taken care of in the manner that she was.   A woman I loved very much, Linda, who was like a second  mom to me growing up died of breast cancer.  Her husband was very devoted to her throughout her whole ordeal, right to the end.  Just a couple days ago I visited with a friend who is on hospice who has a very loving and faithful, devoted husband.  She has been fighting breast cancer for 9.5 years, has had 3 other chronic illnesses for a few years longer than that.  She knows how fortunate she is to have a loving, faithful, supportive husband.    He is also fortunate to have married such an extraordinary woman.

The pain we feel when we lose someone is indescribable.  Everyone grieves differently.  For some it is too painful to speak of the person, for others it is important that they talk about them daily, look at pictures, share their memories.   What I have learned about grieving is, there is no right or wrong way to grieve unless we are hurting ourselves or someone else.  There is no escaping the pain, the only way around it is thru it.   I don’t think you ever fully get over the loss, but time helps you learn how to live with it, it becomes a bit easier.  This is now where Mother Teresa’s quote has such significant meaning to me.  I have learned that if you walk through that pain it gets better, and you get your loved one back through memories, wonderful memories.   My very sweet friend Judy said to me a couple of weeks ago “Donna, your memories are yours, no one can take them from you”.  As basic as that sounds, it helped me.  I realized I do not need anyone to validate what someone meant to me, or what I meant to them, nor do I need to justify or explain myself.  My past is mine, my memories both good and bad are mine.  I do not live in my past, it is impossible to go back in time, but I have to tell you, I have some wonderful memories of those who I have loved and lost.  Sometimes I still cry when I think about them, the missing never stops, but it sure does feel good to be able to think of  them, something stupid or comical we did and laugh, smile, and if I desire, share with someone.  Thus the paradox….then there is no hurt, only more love!

What I wouldn’t do for a hot bath!

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Tomorrow marks one week since my last surgery as part of the reconstructive process.    I was told not to get my bandages wet, not to shower or bathe… to do sponge baths.    In short, I STINK! Okay, I probably am exaggerating that a bit, considering I have not been exerting energy into much other than rest, and I have been doing “sponge baths” everytime I walk into the bathroom!  But I REALLY miss my showers and once or sometimes twice a week leisurely luxury bubble baths.    In fact, I even wrote to Hallmark today suggesting that they start carrying cards “Missing You” specific to bath tubs!  Hey now, they capitalize on everything else, why not this?

The surgery went well, though it was a little more involved than I expected.  Either that or I had unrealistic expectations of myself.  The later probably being more realistic.  I forget that I am almost 50, that I do not bounce back like I used to, and not only that, the surgery I had was invasive.  This makes a difference.  Why do I continue to expect so much more of myself than I ever would anyone else?

I will be frank with you, I gave myself 4 days in between surgery and starting to work again, and I really thought I would be painting, beading, and having fun!  I REALLY DID!  That was not the case.  Though this was not nearly as bad as the mastectomies, it was much harder and more painful than the exchange surgery.  The good news is, this is behind me and this should be my LAST surgery!!!!! Hip Hip Hooray!  Hip Hip Hooray!  Hip Hip Hooray!!!!!

I have been fortunate to have family and friends who volunteer their services, and check in to see how I’m doing.  Never ever underestimate the power of letting someone know you are thinking of them!    It means a lot to me, so I know it means much to others.  If you are wondering if there is anything you can get for me or do for me?  SOAP!  Water!  A hot bath!   I stink!

Thank you all for your good thoughts and prayers.  I am doing well, and I hope you are too.  Thursday I will be going to Boston to get these bandages off, have my post operative exam with my plastic surgeon and meet with my surgical oncologist for my annual exam.   It’s a pretty safe bet that upon returning home I will be taking a very LONG HOT shower!

Pigtails are for grownups too!

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Who says 48 year old’s can’t wear pigtails?   Okay, so I won’t be putting on the brown bikini  made of hankerchiefs that my mom made me and that I wore all summer as a kid…. I’d have to hand out too many barf bags… but pigtails?? Who cares?  I figure my breasts are now about the size they were when I used to wear pigtails…. so why not????   When was the last time you wore pigtails?  Or put your hair up in a bunch of rubber bands?  My girlfriend and I did this last week.    Dare I post the pic? hmmm

When was the last time you did something fun?  Silly?  Something that made you chuckle and feel childlike… not caring what anyone thought?

I can become so wrapped up in my troubles, in my responsibilities that I forget to allow myself to be silly…  Today I allowed myself to be silly…  I hope you do too!

One Year Survivor / Post Exchange Surgery

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Today is officially my one year survivorship date (according to my doctors).  I use the date of diagnosis, they use the date of surgery.  One year ago today I had my lumpectomy.  I came home with the most purple boob I’ve ever seen. smiles.  But rather than focus on what happened then, I am basking in the fact that I am here, healthy, cancer free one year later.  I am a survivor… and I continue to stay that way.

It has been three weeks since I had my exchange surgery where they take out the tissue expanders and put in my “foobs”… to which I chose silicone implants.   I am thrilled with the fact that they are so much softer and more comfortable than the expanders, the shape, contour & symmetry are good, but I am disappointed in the size. I had the largest implants put in (800 cc) which should be a “d” cup.  When I went to get fitted for a bra last week I am barely a “b”.   I contacted my plastic surgeon and he said that what happened is during the expansion process while they were stretching my skin, it also pushed my ribs in (which explains much of the pain I was having).  Therefore the bulk of the implants are filling in that area, not projecting out.

I’m teetering here.  Clearly I wanted larger than what I started with, and now I have less.  I am tired of all of this, want it over, but at the same time I want to be happy with how I look.  I’m also leaning towards just accepting this because I am truly grateful that I am not disfigured from the mastectomies.

I’m going to meet with my plastic surgeon to discuss options.  It’s looking like another surgery…. ugh.

But my healing has gone very well.  If I lift things (which I’m not supposed to do for a couple more weeks) I get pains on the sides, but all in all, they are healing well.  I’m hoping the incisions turn to almost invisible as they were 8 months after the mastectomies.   My doctor tells me I have healthy good skin that over a year will fade to barely nothing.

So, that’s the update on the foobs.   Tonight I will celebrate my one year mark with students.  They do not know it, but we will toast to good health, friends… and more good things to come!

Color me purple, tickle me pink

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Have you ever walked into a room and suddenly felt the urge to eat? sleep? hit someone (well who is undeserving, anyway? lol)   Has or does your mood change when you are in a certain room at work? home?   What is your favorite color?  Do you have one?  Do you know WHY it is your favorite color?   What emotions does this color evoke in you?  Colors are not only beautiful but they can be incredibly powerful. 

I was surfing on google images and found this fascinating website.   jackhaas.net    These three pictures are the visionary digital artwork of Jack Haas.  Amazing !  Even if modern art is not your “thing”, check out this mans website if for no other reason than to study the colors in his art… identify what emotions the colors are bringing up for you.  This guy is truly interesting.  Clearly a man who has led a purposeful and insightful life. 

At the time of my sisters death all of the rooms in my humble little abode  (with the exception of my bedroom) were painted farmhouse beige with white trim.  Classy, spacial, clean.  Within weeks of her passing I was climbing the walls.  I was experiencing all the stages of grief, emotions that were off the charts.  There was this internal sadness that I just could not get past.  Creativity?  That was gone, and yet my livelihood depended on it.  One night I was sitting in my den looking into my livingroom feeling like I was suffocating… those beige walls offered only a blank canvas to uncertainty, pain and hopelessness.   I needed to do something to help myself, anything, and then it hit me…. I NEEDED COLOR!  Chicago’s “Color my World” YES this dates me, but it is just what I needed.

I painted my walls many different colors for a couple years until I settled on a palette that I was comfortable with, one that worked for me.  Every room in my house has color, and I’m not talking pastel or a light tint of color, I am talking about midtones, darks, powerful colors.   I study color, I crave color, I LOVE color!

Colors have been assigned various meanings in cultures.  A white aura color has been defined as:  Reflects energy. A pure state of light. Often represents a new, not yet designated energy in the aura. Spiritual, etheric and non-physical qualities, transcendent, higher dimensions. Purity and truth; angelic qualities.  This makes sense then that in China the color of white pertains to death.  However, lets think about wedding gowns.  When I think of a white wedding gown I do not associate it with death, though I have worn a white wedding gown and shortly thereafter my marriage died!  Remember mood rings?  (I’m sure they are still available).  White means bored, frustrated.   Well yah, come to think of it, that ties in well with my white wedding! (winks)  I have a bracelet that has 30 beads, varied colors that signify different cancers.  The world is a spectrum of colors!  I am visualizing Vegas with all the flashing lights reflecting off cars, buildings, and a plethora of Elvis’s.  (Though Elvis’s prime was before my time there is a video of  “Suspicious Minds” where he is wearing a white jumpsuit type outfit and he looks HOT!!!!… sorry, digressing).   Sparkle, shine, tactful or tasteless, colors can lift our spirits to the penthouse or us down to the morgue in a matter of seconds.  Advertising, restaurants, clothing, automobiles, packaging… color is everywhere and in most cases there are (hidden?) agendas behind the choosing of them.   If I played hooky from work one day when I returned to work I would wear a color that truly wasn’t my “season”.  If I wear yellow I look washed out, sickly.  PERFECT!  Visual information everywhere and colors create the largest portion of it!

The human normal temperature is 98.6.  Colors have temperatures too.  Warms, Cools (hmmm that is kinda like humans too…. I know many warm people, and I have met some downright cold people! lol)  Different tones can certainly take us on a spiritual journey with Obi-Wan Kenobi or find us grasping for air with Darth Vader!  Placement and use of color is important as well.  Orange for example makes me feel happy, and it is said that it evokes enthusiasm and stimulates creativity… but if I were to wear a bright or vibrant orange dress I just may end up looking like “the great pumpkin” from Charlie Brown with legs and dansko shoes!   Hence, lines, forms, shapes…

Color is a wonderful wonderful gift.  Think about the first time you saw a rainbow, or for me EVERYTIME I see a rainbow!  (smiles)    Color can enrich our lives, promote good health, and when worn, can make us look hot or frumpy!  So if you’re feeling “blue”… “Put color on those walls! as Christopher Lowell says.  Interesting enough feeling “blue” means sad, down, melancholy, while sitting in a room painted blue may just put you in a relaxed, serene state, or place  you into deep meditative thoughts! 

Personally, I would love the job of NAMING the different paint colors, or fabric swatch colors…  Oh yes, this certainly screams out Bahama Blue Mama!   Do you think those jobs pay well?  lol  Seriously, I’m curious!

By the way, my favorite color is purple.    Purple  happens to be the color for people seeking spiritual fulfillment, it is a color mostly chosen by artists, and I read somewhere that 80% of children when given a choice will choose something purple .  (One time I bought a purple sweatsuit at Walmart at the bargain price of $3, I was thrilled with it until I saw what I looked like in the mirror…  hence Barney..it then became rags!)  In some cultures it stood for royalty (only because purple dye was so expensive only the elite and wealthy could afford it), opulance, nobility….

“And when I am old, I shall wear purple!”