Wednesday, July 27, 2011

You're not going to like me.

But, I'm on vacation. Again. Yes, I know, it seems I'm just back from Fiji. But really, that was two months ago. So obviously it was time for me to be here:

Outside the tasting room of Winderlea Vineyard in the Willamette Valley

Chris is with me, of course

And I got to see a longtime (we're not "old"!!) friend (we were 14 when we met... a few years back)

But this is a working vacation. It's work! See--Chris has a notepad!

Sure, we were in places that look like this and there is wine (a lot), but it's work I tell ya!

Look, there was even math!

And look how serious these boys are with their barrel tastings. Serious, serious stuff

And don't think Bella, throws that ball herself. Nope, that was my job.

Yep. 5 days, 12 wineries, 90 wines (and one cheese shop). And today was mostly a driving day. Tomorrow-- look out Lake County, CA wineries! I'll blog more when I get a moment. I also have lots of exciting stuff coming up for the interviews, a movie you all need to know about, probably a few wine recommendations, all good, good stuff.

Cheers to you!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More Famous-osity

Seamus has always had a thing for big, handsome, hunky dogs. His first true love was Will:
Will admiring Seamus (on Chris's lap)

(Note to self: get better photo of handsome Will).

But now, I think he may have an online crush. Allow me to introduce you to Blogging Bob...the handsome and erudite pitbull. Seems they may have a mutual admiration thing going on. This is Bob:
Is that not a handsome dog? Seamus has good taste.
Oh, and if you hope on over to Bob's'll see how Kevin Bacon introduced them. (You'll also see Bob's adorable frenemy Smudge...but please don't tell Bob we mentioned Smudge.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Another Anniversary

Two Years.

Two Years ago today I finished treatment for triple-negative, Stage 1c, "highly-invasive", ductal carcinoma. I have a diploma to prove it. See:

Teresa with Radiology Oncologist Dr. Janet Hocko 7/14/2009

A whole different "cap and gown" experience, no?
Two years after getting through it all...two years of "survival".... here are my, admittedly random, thoughts:

1. I hardly think about it anymore. I forget that I ever had cancer. I can sometimes be surprised when I remember that I am, in fact, a breast cancer survivor. The other day I was alarmed when I saw one of my radiation tattoos...until I remembered how it got there. I also forget the impact the word "cancer" can have on other people. Thanks to Seamus's survival and my own, when I hear cancer I do not hear "death."

2.  I feel better. And I mean better than before I had cancer. I pay more attention to the important things (and by that I mean what's important to me--and I don't really care if that sounds selfish). I'm exercising more and eating a bit healthier, which is huge. Huge.

3. Not unrelated to #2, I weigh less than I did pre-cancer.

4. I hope I've been able to help other people (and other people's dogs!) get through their own cancer odysseys. I've enjoyed the online/ blog friendships and I've been happy to be able to talk or email with  friends, and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends, when they were diagnosed and to refer them to the good and great Dr. Karam, to The Pink Ribbon Place or to some other appropriate place (second opinions!!). I'd like to think I've helped in some small way and will continue to be able to.

5. I might be slightly less cynical post-cancer (see #2 and #4 above). I might be able to say "Life is Good."

6. I'm also likely to say "I've worked out twice this week, why the hell aren't I a size 2?"

7. I'm a work in progress. But, at least I'm around for the progress.

Teresa and "Dr." Seamus--7/14/2011: Thriving
P.S. Yes, that's all my hair...if not my natural hair color. ;-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Garden

I've been away. Did you notice?

There are myriad reasons for this, but none that I feel like discussing at this point (which sounds very dramatic, doesn't it? It's not. Really.) But there is something I wanted to share. It's this:

Beautiful isn't it? But it's more than that. It's a Cancer Survivor's Garden! I stumbled onto another one...and once again by accident. And even more interesting (to me, anyway) is that only recently another blogger (she is a foodie blogger but temporarily also became a breast cancer blogger when that beast came knocking--she's dispatched him away and has returned to food, glorious food blogging) posted about stumbling into the very same Cancer Survivor's Garden in Chicago that I had also discovered one month out of treatment. Here's a link to her posting: Dine In Diva on the Chicago garden. And here's a photo from 2009 when I stumbled into that garden (hair comparison alert!...not hers and mine; mine then and mine now):
And...ta dah! Here's the Cancer Survivor's Garden in Rancho Mirage, CA with yours truly (and about 8 more inches of's wonderful what a couple of years will do):

Okay, well, it was 106 degrees out and so my hair is actually pulled back in a ponytail (a ponytail!!!) and well, I've lost 15 pounds but that dress is not doing me any favors in that department, but's not about me. It's about these wonderful gardens/ park that Richard and Annette Bloch have put in in so many locations. I now know there are 14 of these parks. I kinda want to visit them all (especially the one in New Orleans!).   At this particular park there is also a "Positive Mental Attitude Walk" (and a part of me knows there are those who object to this insistence on a positive attitude and those same folks have, in a way, kept me from wanting to blog, but I still think this is pretty neat).

You can walk through the garden and read these plaques with advice and encouragement as you stroll. Here was a favorite of mine:

Because I was so lucky to find the good and great Dr. Karam and he just happens to be male, I'm even going to overlook their masculine pronoun usage. (Slightly harder to overlook was the "a myriad of treatments"  on another engraved plaque!!)

And then there is the sculptures--depicting cancer patients making it through the cancer maze. I was trying to get the sign in the photo, so I didn't really capture the essence of the sculpture (106 degrees out...did I  mention that), but I think you get the idea:

And the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation, Inc. Also runs a referral service and keeps a registry of survivors (five years or longer). I think that's pretty cool. And I'm looking forward to registering. I'm half way there. They count from my surgery date because ever since then I've been NED (no evidence of disease). So July 28th will be the 2 1/2 year mark. But before we get to that....July 14th will be the two year anniversary of when I finished treatment.  We're celebrating with a little trip. And there will be wine. Stay tuned. (I'm going to get better about the blogging. I promise. I think.)

P.S. We were in Rancho Mirage for one of Chris's Sunday Night Chef Fights, which took place about a mile down the road from the Cancer Survivor's Garden and Park. It's like we were meant to find it!