Friday, August 28, 2009

Swimming in that River

You may have noticed I haven't been posting as much lately. It's true. When I was in BC treatment I blogged daily for the most part. And I hope this doesn't hurt your feelings too much, but I think I was doing it mostly for me. The blogging really helped me sort through what was going on and how I was feeling (and let me just mention how much more comfortable I am with a totally made up trendy word like "blogging" then I ever would have been had I had to type "journaling" and "feeling" in the same sentence). Of late however, I don't find the time to blog as often. I don't have the (sometimes funny/ sometimes tragic) daily or even weekly crisis going on. And, in fact, I don't need to blog as frequently. It's one of the signs I've returned to and begun swimming in that River of Life the doctor mentioned. Heck, I'm even weaning myself off my dependence on the good and great Dr. Karam and all his helpful advice and immediate answers (although I do need to email about our next wine and food extravaganza get together).

Another sign of my swimming--I forget that I ever was a cancer patient. I forget that people who haven't seen me in a few months might not recognize me. Or that people who know me but perhaps not well may have heard all sorts of crazy things about me having this disease that starts with a "C" and is almost as hard to say and rarely spoken of as that other "c" word. So I can get caught off guard now by responses. Yesterday we (that would be me, Chris, Seamus and Roryann and Seamus's new BFF--but only when he can't be with Will--Harold) went to an open house at the RHS Pet Adoption Center (aka how Seamus came into my life). I've been a volunteer there, on the board of directors, past president, and cable tv show host for them over the past 20 years. 20. 2. and then 0. Two decades. A person who has been there almost that long did not recognize me at the door. And apparently, she also was not happy that I was bringing my dog with me (oddly, she couldn't recognize me and thus didn't recognize the dog--I'm the other way around, I recognize humans by the dog they are walking). I spent a good five or ten minutes wondering what on earth I had done to piss this person off before finally realizing that she didn't know it was me. (And yes, I have special privileges to bring my special needs dog with me). I went back over to her, wearing a name tag with my name in really large letters, and the light bulb went on. She was no longer mad at me. Or, whoever she thought I was (rude guest bringing a dog to a cocktail/ social function).

At this same function--and let me be clear, this is one of those business/networking/ gab-fest functions where business cards are exchanged like spit at a junior high dance--I kept answering the "How are you?" question with "I'm great, how are you?" and then got the "No, I mean how arrrrrrrrrrre you?" with the scrunchy face. The face that says "I'm really concerned about you and heard you were going to die but don't know how to ask if that's really true." Yeah, that face. And I'd say, "Oh, right. I'm great. I'm all through treatment and everything looks great." And usually, I'd get a hug. (I'm not a hugger but I've learned to adjust. People hug cancer patients. This is apparently a fact of life). Sometimes I'd get a hug before I even got the scrunchy face. And I forget that I ever was a cancer patient! I've even gotten used to my hair. To me, really people, my breast cancer is so last month.

I've also lately been feeling like a bit of a slacker. Not just because I haven't blogged as much. But because I've been reading other blogs where people are doing things like attending Global Cancer Summits. And I think ,um, wow, no epiphanies for me and I went through breast cancer and all I have is a few t-shirts. But that's not quite right. I have a lot of knowledge about this breast cancer thing. And I have my energy back. I am doing something with that. No, I am. I swear.

I'm involved, as I mentioned before, with the start up of a Breast Cancer Resource Center in my county (Riverside; and actually the neighboring San Bernardino County too). That's part of my reason for blogging less as well. We're really moving on this!

Clearly, it's time for some adjustments. I'm still going to blog. Because I just might be addicted to it (hey, no one forces you to read it) and there is lots going on with the Breast Cancer Resource Center. We have an "amazing" committee (yes, it's like a reality TV dating show--it's amazing and we're going on this journey and we're not here to make friends we're here to win...oh wait, okay, maybe not that last part. But sure, stay tuned). And in fact, it deserves and will get it's own post. But I do believe I will blog more like twice a week. At least now when I don't blog daily you won't think I was rushed to urgent care holding my precious last 2 white blood cells in a paper bag.

When not blogging, I will be continuing to build my law practice (and yes, yes, yes I continued to work through all the treatment; if one more person says "Have you gone back to work yet" I think I will scream. I didn't stop working. Homelessness and starvation were not going to aid my recovery!!). I am also working on that memoir of mine (as soon as I stop saying "does the world really need another cancer memoir?", because it's not about me--Seamus wants his cancer battle and all the ways he paved the path for me shared with the world...or at least 8 family members). And, I will be launched into starting up this Breast Cancer Resource Center, which you will hear more about in the next blog post.

In the meantime, for my writer friends mostly, I give you this link to a hysterically funny blog. Specifically today's post really helped a little mental block of mine while working on the memoir (which oddly, I just find easier to think of as little personal essays all tied together). The Intern says: "You stifle your memoir in the grave when you consider it a passive account of things past rather than an active, completely new and surprising encounter with the music/your fascinating life. It's possible to know exactly what's coming, and still have a scene/character/entire book be new and unusual and awesome and completely uncanned." I think this is really my issue--the blog was a discovery for me, so (I hope) the writing was interesting. Must discover as I write the memoir. Hmmm...... (okay right, so she probably meant we stifle it in the cradle because if it's in the grave, well, who cares if it's stifled; but still, this is worth thinking about. Besides, she's probably in her early twenties, really smart, quite funny and working in the publishing world. All hail the intern. Okay, well, sure, she's working for free, but whatever.... I'm still in awe. It is my path not taken.)

(photo is Seamus and Harold, hanging out while their humans enjoyed oysters and champagne on a hot, but beautiful, downtown Riverside summer evening).

1 comment:

  1. Hi just came across your blog. Like to share a story my dad told me. It was about a friend of his who was diagnosed with cancer and was given 9 months to live. He was a businessman. He dropped everything, took all his money, brought his wife for around the world vacation. He was happy. All the sadness removed.
    When he returned home some months later, a visit to the hospital showed that the cancer cells were gone. He was in the clear of the disease ... now happy and broke.

    Perhaps it had something to do with removing all stress and things happen to your body.

    Anyway that was 10 years ago, he is still alive.

    God Bless.


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