My StudyWelcome to the Wider World of Nancy Conyers!  Yes, I’m taking the plunge and dipping into the ponds I’ve crossed and the ponds I’ve lived in and I’m going to start blogging.  I’m not sure yet how often I’ll be posting, but I do know I’ll be musing on the difference between traveling somewhere versus living there, and posting about things that have deep meaning to me after living in twelve cities on three continents in my adult life.  I’ll also be talking about the craft and process of writing, and the concept of being a writer/calling yourself a writer before you’ve been published.  I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Farther Along

I love The Flying Burrito Brothers and their version of “Farther Along” is my all-time favorite. I’ve listened to that song since I was in my 20’s, for almost 40 years now. Am I really that old?! Yes, yes I am, and after the year I just went through, I am ok with that. Actually, more than ok with that. I’m glad I’m that old. It means I am alive.

I’d listened to Gram Parsons sing “Farther Along” with Sneaky Pete’s distinctive pedal steel floating behind Gram’s vocals for years before I realized that they didn’t write it. The Burrito Brothers’ version was the only version I’d heard until 1976 when I took a cross country trip with my friend Carol Anne. Carol Anne was in Vista (remember that?) in Hill City, KS, a tiny town one street town. She was helping to build a community center to give the kids in Hill City somewhere to go, something to do. A local farmer, Ralph, and his wife, Mary, took Carol Anne in while she was there. Their kids were grown and gone and Carol Anne became their surrogate daughter. When I went to meet Carol Anne to start our trip, Ralph and Mary took me in for a bit too.

Carol Anne and I took off in her Pinto on our adventure and sometime during our travels, Carol found out that Ralph had died. How she found out, I can’t remember. We were driving all the backroads of this beautiful country in that Pinto without a plan, hardly any money, and no means of communication while we were on the road. But when she heard about Ralph we headed right back to Hill City to be there for the funeral.

The organist at the church was playing hymns for background music as we all filed into the pews. After the funeral service started, the first song we sang was “Farther Along,”

Tempted and tried we’re often made to wonder
Why it should be thus all the day long
While there are others living about us
Never molested though in the wrong.

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
Cheer up, my brother, come sing in the sunshine
We’ll understand it all by and by.

When death has come and taken our loved ones
It leaves our home so lonely and drear
Then do we wonder why others prosper
Living so wicked year after year.

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
Cheer up, my brother, come sing in the sunshine
We’ll understand it all by and by.

Faithful till death said our loving master
A few more days to labor and wait
Toils of the road will then seem as nothing
When we sweep through that beautiful gate.

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
Cheer up, my brother, come sing in the sunshine
We’ll understand it all by and by
We’ll understand it all by and by.

I had listened to this song thousands of times but it was like I was hearing it for the first time that day. The only instrument was the church organ, not Sneaky Pete’s pedal steel and Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman’s guitars, and the people I was singing with were salt of the earth farmers in cowboy boots, dusty jeans and Stetson hats with flasks of bourbon in their hip pockets, not kids my age in bellbottom jeans and flannel shirts with wire rim glasses and dime bags of pot in their glove compartments.

After the service we all went back to Ralph and Mary’s farm where the women laid out the dishes they’d made. We ate while the men told stories about Ralph. Pretty soon all the men got up, got into their pickup trucks with the rifle racks on the back window, and drove down to the field we could see from the picture window in Mary’s living room. Those good old boys drove around in a circle, shooting their rifles in the air, drinking from their flasks until I felt dizzy and drunk just from watching them. When they came back to the house someone sat down at the piano and started playing “Farther Along” and we all chimed in.

I’ve been listening a lot to The Flying Burrito Brothers recently. One day a few weeks ago I woke up singing “Farther Along,” and since then I’ve been listening incessantly to Hot Burritos! their anthology album. Since Ralph’s funeral, I’ve always thought of “Farther Along” as a song about death. Now, I think about it as a song about life. I am trying to sing in the sunshine and understand it all by and by.

Today, appropriately, is Carol Anne’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Carol Anne.

As always, thanks so much for reading, and remember, don’t trust those mammograms.

 

 

Goodbye, 2014. Hello, Gorgeous, 2015.

Streisand

Some mornings I wake up and and ask myself have I really spent this whole year dealing with cancer? Me? After all I’ve been through this year–the waiting, the worry, the uncertainty, finally a proper diagnosis, a lumpectomy and axillary dissection, chemo, radiation, more surgery to remove all the lady parts–it still shocks the hell out of me that I have cancer. Hopefully have cancer has turned into had cancer. As much as I hated, and was completely grossed out by getting a PET scan earlier this year, I am looking forward to another one in April, looking forward to nothing lighting up so that, for this moment, I am cancer free.

My world is different now. There’s no going back. Even if nothing lights up in the PET scan in April, I still have to get through the next two or three years cleanly before I can let down. Foolish me, I thought that when the treatments were finished, it would all be over but that’s not true.

As this shitty year comes to an end, I’ve been trying to figure out if I’ve learned any lessons from having cancer. Now that cancer is part of my lexicon, I see it everywhere. I’ve read all sorts of articles by people who’ve learned all sorts of important things through their experience with cancer. They see things crystal clear now, they’ve gotten rid of their anxieties because they realize how petty they are compared to the Big C, they develop empathy and compassion, they value their loved ones more, they start truly living their lives because coming up against their mortality makes them realize the value of living and time, they stop sleep walking and wake up to themselves, their world and the people around them.

This has not been my experience. I didn’t have all those revelatory moments because I got cancer and was probably a year away from leaving this life if it hadn’t been caught. All those big, important lessons those people learned through their experience with cancer I learned a long time ago through hard work in therapy and an overwhelming desire to truly be who I wanted to be, do what I wanted to do and go where I wanted to go. I didn’t need cancer to wake myself up. I woke myself up a long time ago with the help of wonderful people and my own desire and willingness to dig deep.

Mostly I’ve been annoyed. Cancer is annoying. I’ve been annoyed with it, with the treatments, the side effects of the treatment, the disruption to my life. That’s not to say there haven’t been moments of grace through all of this. There have been incredible moments of grace and kindness and love and laughter, way too many to go into here. Moments I will be forever grateful for. But annoyance is the blanket that has covered and sometimes smothered this year, and I am glad to be throwing off the covers into 2015.

Happy New Year to you and thanks so much for reading. Writing this blog, knowing people are reading, and getting messages from people reading have been one of the many moments of grace this year.

Goodbye, 2014. Hello, gorgeous, 2015.

 

My Diet Pill Is Wearing Off

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I love the original movie Hairspray. Love it. Divine was divine. This is my favorite line, “my diet pill is wearing off” and it’s even more so now. I am so over cancer and I hope that cancer is over me because my diet pill is wearing off. I’ve had it with all the doctor appointments, research, the all-consuming nature of cancer, being a patient (patience was never my strong suit), being apart from Libby, medication, radiation, chemo and surgery. Gou le/enough!

I’ve got one more surgery next Friday, 19th. All the lady parts have to come out. After that, with the exception of Herceptin infusions every three weeks until the end of April, I am done. You hear me? Done! At least that’s what I’m planning on, though what I’ve been grappling with lately is that the next two years are crucial. The frigging cancer could come back. When I started this process I had it in my mind that once I was finished with all this it would be over. That may not necessarily be true, but I am going to do everything in my power to make it so, make sure there’s no recurrence.

I’m asking for your collective energy to help me will myself to complete health, to help me make sure I stay cancer free. Please, lay it on me. I’ve got nothin’ but hampers of ironing to do.

Thanks for reading, and remember, don’t trust those mammograms.

Taking A Break

Tatas

I’ve been taking a break from my blog. Well, actually, I’ve been taking a break from having breast cancer.

I know it’s breast cancer awareness month because everywhere I go I see pink ribbons–checking into a hotel in Palm Springs for a wedding huge digital pictures of pink ribbons adorn the outside wall of the entrance when we pull up; filling up the waiting room of one of my doctors at Cedars-Sinai in LA are huge pink balloon bouquets with huge pink ribbons; every time I get on the internet pink ribbons practically slap me in the face. It’s jarring to constantly see these huge pink reminders that I belong to this club. I keep thinking of that old Groucho Marx joke: I wouldn’t want to join any club that would have me as a member.

I’ve been in LA for three weeks now getting radiation treatments. Compared to chemo, radiation is practically a pleasure. I haven’t started feeling fatigued yet from the treatments and I can feel the chemo effects leaving my body, so for the first time in six months, I’m feeling like myself. I have some energy, I’m able to read again (what joy!) and I’ve started picking up my pen. I’ve been getting together with my wonderful friends and having fun, way too much fun for a gal who’s got cancer:>).

My hair is growing back. I’m engaged in my life. There’s still a long way to go: more surgery in December, Herceptin infusions until next May, estrogen blockers for who knows how long, follow up appointments every three months for two or three years. It’s the new normal. I don’t like it but it is what it is. And, I’m alive.

As usual, thanks for reading, and remember, don’t trust those mammograms!

 

 

The Elephant In The Room

Pink Elephant

We all have cancer cells in our bodies one of my doctors told me during the diagnosis period, then went on to say, “We just can’t predict when they will explode and start replicating.” I was like a four year old asking, “Why?” all the time. I wanted to know why I had cancer. Why? Why? Why?

He went on to tell me that I had probably had cancer for seven or eight years, which puts me squarely in Shanghai when the cells began to replicate. When I asked him if China gave me cancer, he answered, “We can’t say definitely, but probably.” Every other doctor I’ve seen–two oncologists, one women’s cancer specialist and one radiation oncologist–had a variation of the same answer. One of the most difficult things I’ve had to deal with since being diagnosed is accepting that my cancer started in my beloved Shanghai, my beloved China.

I’ve never felt more at home, more like myself than I did in Shanghai. From the moment my feet hit the pavement I was off and running. I got China and China got me. Shanghai made sense, China made sense and I embraced them for all they were, rather than complain about what they weren’t like a lot of expats spend their time doing. Six weeks after I arrived I started taking Mandarin lessons and spent the next two years studying it. Everyone says Mandarin is so hard to learn, but it never felt hard to me. I wanted to be able to communicate so badly that I threw myself into it and delighted in every step I made. I could feel the synapses in my old brain pinging as I bore down and learned more and more Mandarin. The first time I strung a sentence together correctly without consciously thinking about it was a moment I will never forget. I’m not fluent by any means but I can get by in any situation. I didn’t study writing Chinese characters because it felt too difficult, but I can write pinyin (the Romanization of Chinese characters) like nobody’s business.

Libby’s mother, who is Chinese, has told me more than once that she thinks I must have been Chinese in a previous life and that I am more Chinese than she is. My dear friend, Xiao Bin, who I call my didi, my little brother, and who is more like a brother to me than my own brother, told me shortly after we were getting to know each other, “I think our ancestors knew each other.” When he said that I got goosebumps. Xiao Bin didn’t know at the time that one of my ancestors was a Presbyterian missionary to China in the mid 1800’s and was buried in Ningbo, a city close to Shanghai, or that another was the fifth American ambassador to China.

I’m not blaming China for my cancer. I hate when ignorant people go off on China and play the blame game. But the pollution is a real thing and it explains how I got cancer, what my cancer cells responded to. Mind you, there are lots of people who live in China who don’t have cancer and lots of expats I know who’ve lived there 10, 15, 20 years who don’t have cancer. Whatever cancer cells I have in my particular body just responded to whatever is in China and they were off and running too.

I’ve been told, and have read that stress contributes to, and is a factor in, getting cancer. As much as I loved living in Shanghai, loved living in China, I had stresses  my other expat friends didn’t have and I wonder if they contributed to me getting cancer. My visa situation was always tenuous and quite frankly, based on a lie. All the other expats I know who were families came to Shanghai on family visas. One of the spouses, usually the husband, came for work and the whole family was easily given a family visa, something they likely never thought about.

Not me. Libby and I weren’t even considered a legitimate family in the US in 2004 when we went Shanghai, so how could we be considered a legitimate family in China? Libby’s company got me six month business visas where they wrote a letter, inviting me to do business with them in China. Don’t worry they told me, everybody does this. People have lived for decades in China with these visas, just don’t say anything about your relationship, don’t tell anyone about your relationship. We wanted to go to Shanghai so much that we agreed to that.

Every time someone asked me why I was in China, I told a lie. A lie sanctioned and demanded by Libby’s multinational company. Every time there was an unexpected knock on the door I froze, I panicked and wondered if this was the time when the jingcha, the police, were coming to escort me to the airport and put me on a plane. Every time our home phone rang late at night I wondered the same thing. We’d been told to expect that our phones were tapped and to be careful of what we said when talking on the telephone, but after a while you forget, or just don’t care, and you stop censoring yourself. Maybe they knew. Every time I left Shanghai or came back and went through customs at Pudong airport I was jumpy, and if my passport was scrutinized longer than usual I was even jumpier. Every six months when it was time to renew my visa, I wondered if this was the time I’d get turned down and told to leave.

I got caught in the run up to the 2008 Olympics that were being held in Beijing. The government decided that laowai, foreigners, would cause trouble at the Olympics so they began rounding up all the foreigners who’d had visas like mine. We were suspect and easy to get rid of. When I was called into the Entry and Exit Bureau in Pudong, I’ve never been more scared in my life. I demanded that someone from the Human Resources department at Libby’s company go with me. We concocted our story, our lie about why I’d had 13 of these visas, why I’d been in China so long and rehearsed it so we both said exactly the same thing. Guan, the woman from HR, had grown up during the Cultural Revolution. She’d been sent down to a pig farm collective and had been through numerous interrogations so she knew how to handle these situations. When we started our rehearsals I asked her, “Can’t I just tell the truth? I’m here with my partner. Won’t they understand that? I know someone who came here to be with her boyfriend and she got called in. When she told them that, they understood and her boyfriend’s company got her visa straightened out.” Guan told me, “No, do not say anything. They will not understand and you’ll make more trouble for yourself.” When my name was called for my interview Guan and I got up and followed the woman who came to get me. She put us in separate rooms and we were each interrogated by different people. Good thing we had our stories straight…

I was told to leave but not for the reasons I thought. I eventually got another visa and got back in, but the taste of the visa problems never left my tongue. When Libby was recruited by another company for a position based in Hong Kong we decided to go, one reason being I wouldn’t have the visa issues I’d had for the last five years. Hindsight is 20/20 and it’s only on looking back that I realize the toll this all took on me. Maybe that stress pushed those cancer cells over the brink, the way it had nearly pushed me over the brink for five years.

All I wanted was to keep my family together, just like people from other countries who come to the US. When I read about those children who come unescorted to be with their parents and who are being sent back to their home countries, I want to help each and every one of them. It’s unconscionable that our government is deporting them. I get it. The families just want to be together. Just like your family. Just like mine.

As always, thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baseball Is Saving My Chemo Ass

Derek Jeter

Time. is. moving. sooo. slowly. TGIBS, Thank God It’s Baseball Season because it’s saving my chemo ass.

I’ve always loved baseball and I’ve been an unabashed Yankees fan since the mid-80’s, but I’ve never loved it more than I do now. It’s hard for me to focus and concentrate while I’m going through this wretched chemo. I can’t write and read as much or as quickly as I usually do. I’m not going out much because i don’t want to be in crowds while my immune system is compromised and I don’t have the energy anyway. What am I doing with my time? Sometimes I wonder about that. Mostly hanging around my house which has become like a beautiful prison, to quote a friend of mine who is also going through cancer treatment right now and experiencing a lot of the same things I am.

The two weeks after chemo go so slowly but I usually have no recollection of how I spent my time, other than watching the Yankees. I’ve been living out of the country for almost 10 years now, and the upside of this cancer mess and being in the US for treatment is that I can be in my home in Santa Fe, watching the YES network on cable TV. I can see every Yankees game clearly on the Yankees TV station instead of watching on my computer. No constant buffering and me shrieking about the damn Chinese or Italian internet connections. No more having to turn down the Cantonese commentary in Hong Kong on the TV and listening to the English commentary that lagged 10 or 20 seconds behind on the computer. Just a clear picture with sound in sync from the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network, every game introduced by the inimitable Bob Sheppard.

The Yankees games are a relief and are reliable. I know I’m going to have about 3 hours of time where I will be engaged, 6 days a week, at least 9 innings of baseball where one team will win (hopefully it’s the Yanks) and the team will come back tomorrow and play another game. This baseball season has been particularly good because it’s Derek Jeter’s, my favorite all-time player, last season. The standing ovations for him on the road have been amazing and he keeps reaching new milestones. I’m glad I can witness this clearly, though I wish I could get to Yankee Stadium for a game.

By the time baseball season ends, I’ll be finished with chemo and onto LA for 7 weeks of radiation. Hopefully, the radiation will be easier to get through than the chemo. I won’t have baseball any more to help get through it, but maybe I’ll have myself back. I’m looking forward to that.

Thanks for reading.

 

Food Is Medicine And People Are Too

Food Is Medicine

I never, ever, thought I’d say this, but yesterday I was glad to have chemo.  I was supposed to have it last Monday but my platelet levels were low, at 85 and the threshold is 100. My doctor said I had to wait a week to build them back up otherwise I’d be at risk for bleeding.  They’ll build up naturally in this next week, she told me.

I wasn’t happy that my timetable got pushed back a week, another week out of my life and another week I can’t get back to my life with Libby, but I have to say I was thrilled to have another week of feeling good, feeling like myself and not suffering from the after effects of chemo.

When I got home I obsessively googled how to build up platelet levels and it all came down to the good old common sensical advice: more Omega 3 oils, more kale and other leafy green veggies with high amounts of Vitamin K, more cold pressed olive oil, no processed or sugary foods, eat organic, and exercise. Even though my doctor said the platelet levels would build up naturally, I was leaving nothing to chance. A girl can always use an assist.

I ate more salmon, kale, drank green drinks, and used more of the olive oil I brought from Italy.  I worked out more with my wonderful trainer, Ramleen, www.indesignfitnessandyoga.com, who did copious amounts of research on exercising after axillary dissections and lumpectomies, who knows just how far to push me to give me the best workout without pushing me over the brink.

Last week was heaven. I was myself for the first time in this whole process.

When I got to my appointment yesterday, my blood pressure was up. I was stressed that I wouldn’t be able to do the chemo. Unbelievably to me, I actually wanted it. When my lab work came back, my platelet levels were 309! In one week, I’d taken my platelet levels from 85 to 309. The doctor was astounded, impressed and wanted to know how I did it.  The levels were higher than they’d ever been. When I revealed my “secret” the doc said, “This proves that food is medicine.” Yes, yes it does.

People are medicine too. I had so many texts, emails and calls yesterday from friends and family wanting to know how everything was. It helped me so much to see all the incoming while I was hooked up to the infusions and to answer everyone and feel the love. My sister, Judy, came from PA to be with me since Libby is stuck in Russia, which is helping too.

Today, I’m pumped up on steroids, feeling like I can hit any ball out of the park, but if history is a guide, I’ll crash tomorrow, so I wanted to write this and say thanks to all of you, too, who are reading and responding and making this girl feel like she’s being heard.

Live Your Dreams

Live Your Dreams

As I head into the second half of my chemo regime on Monday, I’m thinking about things people have said or written to me since I was first diagnosed. Many people, well meaning I suppose, have said that I will learn lessons from having cancer.  Cancer is a teacher, cancer has many lessons, cancer can be a guide, cancer gives perspective, cancer makes you think about your life, and on and on. Someone even said maybe I needed to get cancer for a reason. I have to say that I am very clear about this:  I did not need to get cancer. Nobody needs to get cancer.

I’m 62 years old and if I haven’t learned a ton of lessons by now, shame on me. I’ve spent my whole adult life figuring out not only what I want, but what I need as well. I spent years in therapy with a gifted therapist who helped me dig deep inside myself, helped me be completely honest with myself and helped me so that my gut, my insides, were as strong and solid as my outer core appeared to be. I’ve craved learning, honesty, and making sense of my world and I’ve surrounded myself with wonderful people who crave the same things.

The only plus from having cancer is that I’ve dropped about 20 pounds, but I’m well aware that there are better, more healthy ways to lose 20 pounds and I didn’t need to get cancer to lose the weight. I could have, and should have, been losing it before this all happened.

Cancer does make you think about your life, but for me, it’s no different than the way I thought about my life before. Yes, it has made me more aware of my mortality, but as far as thinking about my life, I have continuously done that as far back as I can remember.

I’ve spent my life wanting to live my dreams and to a large degree, I’ve done that.  For sure, there are still more dreams to make a reality and when the treatments are finished I will get back to doing that with a vengeance. There is no greater feeling than making a dream become your reality. I’ve encouraged my niece and nephew their whole lives to live their dreams, to not take the practical route and settle for surviving. Know who you are, what you want and need, and find a way to make that happen.  I’ve also encouraged all my students to do the same thing. Seeing passion in a young person and watching them take that passion and make it happen is a thrilling reward.

So I’m on the downward slope of chemo and can’t wait until it’s over. Then it’s on to radiation and more surgery. Afterward, back to my own life, my life with Libby, and to living more dreams. Hope you’re living your dreams too.

Thanks for reading.

Hanging In and Hanging On

Hang in There

I’m in new territory here. The only thing I’m doing these days is giving myself permission to just hang in there, hang on, and get through this cancer mess. For the first time in my life, I’m not accomplishing anything, I’m not pushing, and I’m not moving forward. It feels weird and strange and quite unlike myself, as if the chemo weren’t doing that already.

When I was nine years old, I distinctly remember vowing that I would not live my life the way my parents were living their life. It was moving day again and my family was piling into yet another rental I was wondering if we’d be able to afford because we’d been evicted from the previous one since my parents couldn’t pay the rent. This was the seventh place we’d lived in in my short nine years and I’d had it with the evictions.

I was standing outside with my father while he took a cigarette break and I asked him, “Daddy, can we stay here? I like this place.”

“We’ll see,” he said as he flicked his cig on the ground and stubbed it out with his foot, “We’ll see.”

I remember thinking to myself, why can’t he be definite about this? I’m not going to live like this.

Since that time I’ve pushed full steam ahead to live the life I wanted to create, not the life someone else destined me to live.  I’ve pushed and pushed and pushed–myself, Libby and everyone else around me to be as good as we can be, to go further, dig deeper and make the life of our dreams become a reality. Some people get it, some people don’t. It’s who I am and what I do, or rather, what I did.

Out with the olds and in with the news, though.  It’s a whole new world I’m adjusting to, new terrain I’m adapting to, and a new set of standards for my days. It hasn’t been easy to accept that hanging in there is the new bar that I can’t raise any higher right now, but it’s necessary.  Just let me hang in there and hang on so I can get back to the life I’ve always lived.

Thanks for reading.  As always, it helps.

 

 

Round Two

Boxing Gloves

As I get ready to head off to my second round of chemo today, I’m reflecting on how I’ve been a different version of myself lately, especially in the last three weeks since my first chemo. I’m weepy and quiet and have much less tolerance than I usually do for willful ignorance, stupidity, idle gossip, and people who aren’t open and honest. Heck, I even started feeling bad for the Red Sox and their ten game losing streak, but that stopped yesterday when Big Papi got his groove back and my good juju helped them win. Damn!

I am considerably more weepy and sentimental and would love to chalk it up to chemo brain, but that would be the easy explanation. What is really going on is that I have come right up to the precipice of my mortality. I am standing as close to the edge as I’ve ever come. I know I just turned 62 last week, but in my mind, I am 19. I visualize numbers in my head as a series of connecting lines, a continuum, where at number 10, the line takes a right turn, then at number 20, another right turn.  I am permanently fixed at the corner between 19 and 20, where all things are possible and endless, life is in front of me to make of it what I will, and the gold ring is out there for me to figure out plans (and contingency plans if the first plan didn’t work) as a way to grab it.

When I met the first time with Dr. Annette Fontaine, my oncologist at the New Mexico Cancer Center in Albuquerque where I am getting chemo, she told me, “If you had come to us this time next year, you would have been in very bad shape.”

“Like, what kind of bad shape are you talking about?” I asked her. “Would you have been able to save me?”

“I don’t know,” she told me and held my gaze. “What you have is very aggressive and life threatening and we need to start your treatment now.”

When I asked her if she could save me now, she said, “Yes.”

I’ve been hanging on that “Yes,” but it’s the thought that I could possibly have only had one year left that is causing me to reflect, re-examine, and think about moving my mind’s eye further up that number continuum in my head.

I’ve dug deep my whole life.  I couldn’t have done what I’ve done or become the person I am today without spending my adult life digging deep, getting help, and being as honest with myself as possible. Knowing, though, that this could have been the last year of my life has pushed me into new territory, into an unknown frontier that I didn’t plan on going to.

Since this whole mess started, I’ve been told more than once that I’m lucky. I certainly don’t feel lucky having cancer or feel lucky being branded with a Scarlett BH (bald head), and I don’t believe in that 8th grade concept of being lucky just because you are. For years I had a quote from Jack Nicholson hanging over my computer that said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

If I’m lucky it’s because I’ve worked hard to make my luck. I have wonderful doctors who have been referred to me by wonderful friends, friendships I’ve worked to grow and maintain with loving, caring, incredible people whose relationships are important to me. I’m hanging on to their love and support.

I’m also hanging on to everyone who is thinking of me and all of you who are taking the time look at my blog.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

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