Monday, April 28, 2008

Two Year Survivor Anniversary!!

Today I am a Two Year Breast Cancer Survivor! Two years ago it was confirmed that I had breast cancer... I think I knew from the moment that I felt the lump. It felt different than all of the others that I had had in the past. Then there was the silence when my OB/GYN felt the lumps. Then confirmation on the mammogram and ultrasound that there were lumps. Then the painful biopsy when they took 18 cores out of one breast and the looks that doctor and nurse gave each other during the biopsy. I was told if my OB/GYN called me it would be bad news. So two years ago at 9:30AM I knew when I answered my cell phone that it was bad news. "You have breast cancer", when I hung up the phone all I could say was "shit". It was one of my Mother's only swear words - that and "damn" and it was so appropriate at that moment.

Now I have gone through all of my treatments, I am in remission and just had clean scans. My hair is getting back to its old texture and growing into a style. I am so blessed that I found the lumps in stage 2 and that I am cancer free. I am exercising more than I have in a long time. I am trying to build a new creative life. I still have so much more that I want to do in this life and I am glad that I have been given another chance.
I do have a few lessons that I learned from cancer:

1. Stop and Smell the Flowers...

It seems so small, but I used to run around so busy like most people that I did not stop to smell the flowers unless they were sent to me in a vase! During chemo my life slowed down to a snails' pace so I could actually take the time to enjoy them. Now as I get busy again and I see a pretty flower - I think "I would like to stop and take a whiff..." and then I say "remember the lesson" so I stop for that instant and enjoy and I have learned that everything I wanted to get done still gets done, but I had that moment....

2. Don't Worry About Everything -Just the Important Things...

I am a worrier.. Durning chemo I was the most exhausted that I have ever been. You are so tired that you can not possibly do everything, solve everything or worry about everything. You must choose only the inportant things so you can save your energy to heal. Now when I start to worry about too much - I have to stop and remember the lesson. I do not have to worry about it all - only the important things.

3. Make a Memory Each Day...

I am trying to make a memory each day... I have to say they are not all good memories, but I am trying. I am also a planner - so I guess this one is to have fun each day but make some kind of a memory... none of us know what is in store for us so we may as well try to make some pleasant memories as we go along.

4. Balance...

It is good to have balance in our lives, yet it is hard for many to achieve. I think when you go through cancer or something traumatic you learn that it is a must. I also think it is a work in progress. Something to continually strive for.

These are my lessons for now, I have more but these are the only ones that I have painted so far... So please anyone reading my little blog please take a moment today ...If you are over 40 and have not had your Mammogram this year call for the appointment. If you are 20 and over do a self breast exam -SBE -(if you do not know how to do one visit and you can learn) infact even if you are younger than 20 you should start to do a monthly BSE. You must know yourself so you can tell if there are any changes. Your greastest risk factor is being a woman. Early detection saves lives. You are your best advocate. So go smell some flowers, don't worry, make a memory and find some balance!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Alpha Cat


It has been 3 weeks of transition with Mario. The cat did not appear for the first week, then came out more during week 2 and did a bit of chase. Rocky has now established who the Alpha male is... Lucky for Mario that Rocky is declawed!


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