All about my circuitous navigation, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, through conventional Western medicine, alternatives to conventional Western medicine, and the ensuing mind/body/spirit explorations and epiphanies (plus numerous digressions).
Exciting News from the Proud Mom: my son Will and his hand-to-hand/Chinese pole partner Heloise WON A GOLD MEDAL at the Festival du Cirque de Demain (Circus of Tomorrow) in Paris. This is a huge honor. They competed against 23 other circus acts from all over the world (who were chosen to be in the competition from a pool of more than 1000 applicants).
I'm not a New York lady, nor have I ever lived in NYC. But I still get a real kick out of this video! I'm wearing two necklaces today instead of just one...and am working up to five or six at at time. Also mulling over the intriguing idea of going wild and delving into the realm of cacamamey (sp?) hats and eyeglasses.
I hope everyone takes the time to read this. Scary stuff for those of us who believe in the Internet as a source of great freedom and communication for all those who previously had no voice in the world, or voices that could not compete with the Big Authoritarian Powers - governments, corporations, etc.
I would rather people be able to "pirate" my photos and even my writing than have the Internet policed and controlled as it would be if these acts are passed in Congress.
I think about life and living every day. These days, those thoughts include more about death and dying, which are not separate from life and living. Life includes death. Living includes dying.
I can say this with a smidgen more confidence now than yesterday. My hope is that each day, I grow another smidgen of confidence when it comes to this topic. I can be a real slow learner, but I plod along nevertheless, smidgen by smidgen.
Today I went back to the article I posted yesterday and read some of the comments at the bottom. One of those comments included a link to this YouTube video. Short and sweet (bittersweet). But for me, helpful.
It's been a while since I've posted here, obviously. Nov. 11th, to be exact. Wow. Two months! But now you know that I am still here, not dead, not even sick or miserable or suffering from some new awful medication. I'm in another "good" phase of having breast cancer. And I'm not being sarcastic. I really do see it, now, as a long-term (hopefully) experience that is full of ups and downs, good phases and not so good phases.
The whole first half of 2011 was a very bad phase for me. Most of the second half of 2011 was a successful, although very slow-going, attempt to get out of the bad phase rather than die.
So now I am out of the bad phase. Not out of the woods, but out of the bad phase. Which I am very happy about. It's getting easier and easier to take life "one day at a time." I am overjoyed to be able to post this post. Overjoyed to be able to sit (not lay) on my couch . . . and to do so without horrible discomfort or pain. In short, I am overjoyed that I am back to living a relatively normal life - driving a car, working to earn a living, seeing my friends, enjoying my relationship with Jack (and my beloved pets), doing photography, writing, all of it. Just being able to get dressed and leave my house again is a huge wonderful thing.
What prompted me to post something today was the following article that one of my fellow "breast cancer discussion list" members forwarded to the list. It's easy to read and was, for me, compelling. It makes so much sense! I hope every one of you will read it and benefit from it. Here's how it starts:
Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. He had a surgeon explore the area, and the diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. This surgeon was one of the best in the country. He had even invented a new procedure for this exact cancer that could triple a patient’s five-year-survival odds—from 5 percent to 15 percent—albeit with a poor quality of life. Charlie was uninterested. He went home the next day, closed his practice, and never set foot in a hospital again. He focused on spending time with family and feeling as good as possible. Several months later, he died at home. He got no chemotherapy, radiation, or surgical treatment. Medicare didn’t spend much on him.