Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm sexy & i know it

yeah that's a provocotive title
and a questionable song
my daughter hates it
i love it - much to my daughter's chagrin
it actually is one of my tear trigger songs

really this post is about Zumba
I have been taking a Zumba class at the YMCA downtown with a teacher named Nikki.
Nikki is the bomb

actually this post is about how amazing Zumba makes me feel and how i think that it is a freakin fanatstic excercise for breast cancer survivors.

it's FUN - and after all that shit it's really fun to just have fun
it gets you moving in fluid ways - ways that really open up and move the areas affected by surgeries.
but more than anything - it makes you feel sexy
that's so incredibly important after having gone through something that challenges that aspect of yourself so profoundly. 
I think i have spent a majority of my life reserved in my physical body, not totally free. self concious.
After treatment - i feel both more reserved - yet also more not giving a shit about small stuff. So the reservations are shedding.
Class means i do that cliche "dance like no one is watching" - yet i'm in a room full of other women (and men) of all ages, shapes & sizes, all shaking our booties and shimmying our shoulders, channeling shakira. everyone is smiling, you can't help it.  It's truly one of the most liberating and happifying things i've done in a long time
I don't know if all classes are like this, i have a feeling that Nikki's choreography, song choices & enthusiastic energy make some magical concoction
So back to that song - when we dance to that song - i get a little emo - cos yeah, it's the truth, and it's the truth for every lady in there. i feel hot, sassy & strong. I don't care what i look like, i feel like that. 
Nikki's Zumba classes are therapy. physical & emotional. pure joy!

(i'm pretty passionate about excercise during and post treatments - it's like a new journey in learning about my body, what works, what i can do, what i can't do, what is really beneficial - i have more thoughts on this, i think i will turn them into further blog posts)

Friday, November 11, 2011

help magnet

so a thing that happens now - and i asked the universe for it actually - is that when somone's friend, family member, neighbor, or self gets a cancer diagnosis, they tell me about it and/or ask me for some advice or support. Whenever i open that email and see the first sentence, my heart both sinks & soars.

The sinking: why?? why more people? why that person? sad, dread, sad. My mind jumps clearly & swiftly back to my beginning time of fear & confusion an my heart breaks. I usually cry

The soaring: maybe i can give back, support someone else, guide someone to the right path for help.

I want this to happen. even when it's kind of harsh. So bring it on.  I'm one of the lucky ones.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

4th Graders Rule

I soooo wish i had taken a picture! i need to be more diligent with my camera

On Friday I spoke to my son's 4th Grade class about my experience with breast cancer as part of awareness month. The do an amazing job at that school with it - spearheaded by a male 4th grade teacher there. The kids were all wearing pink and/or had little pink ribbon stickers on their shirts, some funky chickens were wearing the stickers on their  foreheads.

The focus, or how my kid's teacher was tying it all in was about the importance and advancements of modern medicine.

I totally offered to do this but then was so nervous. Not sure how much is appropriate, how much they know, worried about scaring them, or introducing heavy concepts....I'm so open with my own kids about the nitty gritty, but that's because they live it and live with me.

my son was a little worried about it - but when i got there and was up front, he looked very happy and proud, that's a huge part of why i do this stuff

I was relieved to hear that they had prepared questions....
So i pretty much let them open it up and wow, those are some intelligent thoughtful kids! They asked great questions. I noticed that the majority of question were about emotions and feelings "was it stressfull?" "were you scared?", "what were you most scared of?", "how did you feel when you first found out" - amazing

I think an important message i conveyed was that i was scared when i first found out, and that what i was scared of was the unknown - and the truly once i learned more, and had a plan, and trusted my fab doctors, much of the fear was gone. The teacher related that concept to the children by talking about new math concepts being scary until you understand them :)

I also explained a little about why chemo makes your hair fall out, that question was asked, i touched on the physical limitations during treatments, and we talked about how early detection is important and how with that and new medicines i am healthy now.

I was really glad they didn't ask if i was scared of getting cancer again, or if that was even a son already knows the realities of cancer including that one, and i just couldn't bear to introduce that lack of truly knowing to the whole group - it's a fine line....

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

markers of time

tonight i went to back to school night at my daughter's middle school. She's in 8th grade so it's the last year. I went with excitment, i know weird, and i had actualy fun. superweird.
but there's a significance behind that attitude. 3 years ago for 6th grade, i didn't attend, i thought of it as an inconvenient pain in the ass. Find child care to attend, mingle with parents i didn't know, blah blah blah blah.
For 7th grade last year, i was undergoing chemo, a good excuse to miss this time! but yeah, i remember feeling exhausted, and probably was losing hair, to much to deal with.
So this year i was so  happy to go! happy to be different, happy to be in a different place, happy to be happy!
then later tonight, on facebook, you know how they have those new side bars that have your status update from a year ago? well mine this day a year ago was about how shaving my head was so hard
brought back a flood FLOOD of memories and emotions. and just brought home the difference a year makes

Monday, August 8, 2011


it's been a whirlwind of late - so many little moments, big revalations, lofty plans & tiny successes

I went on a crazy road trip to Utah, Park City, Deer Valley Resort to be precise. My friend needed someone to help work at an expo, repping triathalon gear. It's party of my new happiness to choose things out of my ordinary. It worked out with kid & work so off i went in a GMC pick up to parts unknown. It was incredible. My friend Joey & I got on so perfectly, we had totally compatible traveling style. The scenery to park city was breathtaking. Park City itself is my new fav place on the planet - even more so in summer. I have zero desire to ever ski so visiting places like this is usually unlikely, but i have always wanted to.
I had no idea it was a mountain biking haven in the summer. The expo was really all about bikes, retailers came to check out the brands, literally, they checked out bikes all day and rode them up and down mountains. Joey & I talked about our best wetsuits ever - Rocket Science Sports - google it - cool story.
I didn't ride a single bike, but i did ride a ski lift! one of my biggest fears. and i love it!
Joey's influence, and that of all the groovy athletic people at the scene have inspired me. I'm "not ruling out" Iron Man in my 5 year plan. Do you think i'm nuts?
I don't swim or ride. hahaha - working on changing that now. little by little

I took a zumba class, that was fun as hell, but at some point that song "I will Survive" came on, and i had a hard time not crying, i know it's not about surviving cancer, but the words in general have a powerful passion. I never know when it's gonna strike me. Like the other day when i went to my doctor for a yearly check up. That set me off in a few ways, one the last time i saw that dr was when my mammogram was ordered, s last time i was there, was the last time my life was normal. Also it's all up in the same place as my surgeries, so odd how it makes me feel just being around there.

my hair is growing so slowly i lovehate it. but the other day at the pool a lady told me i looked glamorous and asked me where i get my hair cut. That made my damn day. So nice to hear when i feel about as sexy as a flower pot with this hair.

ok this is a rambler, just been so long since i posted i felt i needed to chat about stuff

Monday, July 11, 2011

i blame tamoxifen

yay, just spent the evening googling tamoxifen + various words - not really a thrilling way to spend an evening.
I've decided today that i blame tamoxifen for running being hard, for my hips feeling like an old lady's, for my legs like logs, for my inability to lose weight, for being too tired to clean my house, for forgetting stuff
4 years 3.5 months left of taking it

my friend said that i still could be having chemo and anesthesia affects in my body.
i also could be 43

i will keep on truckin
and i'm glad i have it in my arsenal

oh, i just had a hot flash while typing just in case i forgot i was on tamoxifen

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dear Boobs

today is the year anniversary of my mastectomy - i feel mostly fine but when i type that my eyes well up. i'm not sad sad, i'm emotional, and i can't beleive there was a day like that one year ago.
I remember goofing around pre surgery in my gown with my friend Kati. Then when the IV was put in and they started the drugs, i broke down, i finally thought the thought, this is the last day of this life i knew, the boobs i was born with, the boobs that fed my babies, the ones i recognized. I had zero, ZERO idea of what my life would be like a few hours from then.

it was fucking hard the next few weeks recovering, but i also look back at it as one of my favorite times of my life. fuzzy & cozy & so full of love from my peeps. i felt erased somehow, that's not really right, i still felt my old life but i felt a definite division, the past didn't matter and i was a new person, anew. it was oddly freeing. it started a phase that continues where i give less of a shit about the little things. and i know what i can go through, and deal with.

now i'm suprisingly well, i like my new boobs well enough, they certainly look great in clothes, scars ect are on their way to being faded and part of my norm. I still often avoid looking at myself fully, it's like looking past that person in the store you sorta know but dont' want to catch their eye.

 I don't often miss the old me, i decided a long time ago, when i got divorced, that there was no point hanging on to stuff you couldn't change. non attachment. vairagya in Sanskrit, I also draw on the notion of Santosha - contentment, my fav sanskrit word and a guiding principal of yoga philosophy.

Clearly it saved my life to lose them.

I'm having a great year

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Little Success - 3 mile run!

this morning i ran 3 miles at the hike & bike trail without any walk breaks for the first time since before cancer - 5 days before the year mark since my mastectomy. I really almost cried, both from the relief of the agony AND from the milestone significance. It felt almost as big as crossing my first half marathon finish line over 3 years ago. I'm planning on running a half marathon in October - The See Jane Run half (look it up, sign up, JOIN ME!) but this time i'm not signing up for an official training group. I'm gonna follow a 10 week training from Runner's World Magazine and get tips from my former running coach Joey, which is really just an exuse to meet for smoothies & talk about running.

I ran slow, probably 12 minute miles, it was hard, my legs hurt, but i know that if i could just do it one time, the first time, that then my body would know i could do it, and then the rest of the times would be cake. I started from scratch the last time too, although i was younger and i hadn't been thru the cancer wringer.
thoughts that got me thru it:
- writing this post & tweeting it
- the feeling of the finish line
 - being a cancer bad ass role model
- the tee shirt i want to design & wear at the race (see end of post)
- losing 15 lbs & wearing a running dress that i'm obsessed with
 - listening to music from the 90s & remembering how much fun i had being young & energetic & wanting that feeling
 - making my mom proud, & my kids
 - and finally the good old "just do it" philosophy

oh, about the tee shirt, i'd really like to get a custom tech tee in pink that says "fuck cancer" but i don't  want to offend people, maybe "F U Cancer"? any other thoughts? I want max impact in your face simple.

also, i want to thank my twitter friends who happen to catch & congratulated my braggy tweet this morning - i want you ALL to know that it all means a lot to me and makes me feel so good. If you ever wonder wether to tweet back to someone a hug or a congrats or a kind word even if you don't know that person - DO IT - it matters, i discovered that big time on this journey


ok, let's hope i didn't peak today :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Ink

but not a piece of art unfortunately

yesterday i had the nipple tattooing - OUCH

it's cool that it's really the "last step" in the reconstruction process besides any touch ups in a few weeks. But i've noticed that i am wimpier with pain now, rather than being used to it, it's the opposite, i feel much more fragile about it.
ALSO - i realized that i now that i feel pretty normal and strong and myself i didn't even consider asking anyone to go with me yesterday, just didn't think it necessary, but going to bed the night before i suddenly wished i had. I need to remember that i can always always use the support of my loves

I owe a very belated birthday post from a month ago!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Milk + Honey Mommy Makeover

The Lovely Austin spa Milk + Honey had a mother's day makeover contest for mother's day. My own sweet mother KNOWS how much i love spa stuff and especially Milk + Honey - so she entered me, told my story of the past year and why i deserved to win - and i did!! They had 2 winners, one for the downtown location (this is the one i usually go to for massages with Paul), and one for the Hill Country Galleria - which i won.
I'm kind of glad i won that location - i imagined it would feel more like a getaway escape day!

It really was.

here was my day:

Facial with Shayna - dreamy, relaxing, i loved it

Manicure with Adrienne - she encouraged me to pick a hot hot electric pink. super fun and it lasted ages.

Then Hair Color AND cut AND makeup application with teh fab Jessica M - she was so awesome how she explained ways to style my hair now that it's so short AND wavy, different then before chemo. She also explained how some of the hair styles i had pictures of were different in terms of growth & length and how i can goal towards them.  I'm sort of protective of my hair length, i like it short, but i want it a bit longer, so even tho i needed a trim i didn't want to cut it too much.
I also got a goody bag with some shampoo, condish, and makeup

I loved it all, and i loved just being away from my usual daily schtuff and being pampered.

"before" puffy unruly hair & chipped nails!

"After" - my daughter called my nails "jersey shore" humph
Thank you Milk + Honey people (chance & summer & all of you) for picking me!! I will forever go there.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Year Ago

today is one year anniversary of the day i got my breast cancer diagnosis. I guess i have been aware of the upcoming date, i guess i also knew i would write a post. but my mind was blank as to how i felt, or imagined i would feel.
I'm happy i'm well, i'm happy i'm here a year later, i'm happy my life is pretty intact, my kids, my work, my people. I'm happy i'm making summer plans, Disney World -  even 2012 plans (Broadway Accross America tix!)
Sometimes i only allow myself to think superficially about everything.

I distinctly remember the friday before - i said to my boyfriend "i don't want my life to change on Monday" and then it did
I remember "before" getting accupuncture, talking to peopel.
of course i remember the fucking phone call
I sorta remember calling my mom
I remember telling my kids with the help of my Elizabeth
hmmm actually i remember a lot.
but looking back the part that's so different from now is that looking forward with clarity.
the unknown of a year ago today was the worst part. i couldn't make a single plan, except surgury dates & dr appointment, i couldn't envision what i would look like or feel like at any future point

i guess i feel sad today and also happy
i feel so thankful for all the people that took care of me.
and all the people that gave me gifts or came over with food or cleaning. You know, sometimes i don't even remember all the people, and it will suddenly hit me that so and so came over or called or sent something.
i swear i'm gonna buy a stack of thank you cards soon and write down a list of everyone

i feel sorry for myself for having had that year
i feel proud of myself for getting through it
I feel sad that my life, and my kid's life has changed so much
i feel happy that i've had the opportunity to grow through something like this and have my life enhanced by the experiences and the people.
i feel very tired
i feel lucky
i feel amazed
i feel strong
i feel hopeful
i could write all night about how i feel
i guess i don't really have a nice wrap up - i will always remember this anniversary with some melancholy & some hell yeah i kick ass as well.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Unicorn Tears

My son is so sweet it's crazy  - for mother's day he drew me this picture - it's of a unicorn - i love unicorns, and the unicorn has a tear dripping on me because unicorn tears have magical healing powers. It's almost too much to take.  But then he gave me a book of poetry he wrote and that really sent me over the edge i'm going to copy the most amazing one here.

Inside My Mom
Inside my mom is the power of a butterfly.
She can fly and spread love.
Her big wings protect me.
She sucks up paparazzi with her beauty

Inside my mom are unicorns healing her when she is hurt
Inside my mom is time for fun.
Inside my mom are pans full of Indian food
Inside and outside my mom is beauty
My mom is good, great, and best,
She is fun, playful, and crazy.
Inside my mom is my mom.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Magic Flute magic night

That title is kind of cheesy and a little much, it's never entirely magical when you are out somewhere late with two kids...
anyway, last night the kids and I got to go see Ballet Austin's Magic Flute on what is known as community night. The night before the real deal starts, they perform a rehearsal, and give tickets to various non profits for their clients to enjoy a night at the ballet! It's a casual event, open seating, and a cozy atmosphere knowing that it's such a night, of giving to the community

We got ours courtesy of the amazing Wonders & Worries.
I was so happy to get them - i had wanted to buy tickets. I love ballet but more than that i was acutually obsessed with the Magic Flute opera as a kid. I know weird, i was really into Mozart, read a bunch of biographies with my Dad, and then the Magic Flute in movie form came to a theater in NYC and my Dad took me, i loved it so much my Mom took me another time. I was completely smitten.

This of course was different, no words, but nonetheless when the first musical strains soared from the orchestra pit, i could not hold back a few tears. the familiarity, the memory of  innocent times, contrasting with where i am today. sitting with my kids. only there at that point as a result of what has happened.

It was a beautiful performance, the kids loved it. we were happy, so i guess that is sorta magical

Thursday, April 28, 2011

final phases & cancer gifts

i'm sitting here counting down my last 15 minutes of drinking water/clear liquids before i must stop at 10 am in preparation for surgery, i'm drinking a kombucha, i hope that counts :)

i have hesitated naming this surgery on here because it sounds embarassing and too graphic, like now y'all are gonna be picturing my boobs. but i guess if i don't talk about it, who will, it's a reality of breast cancer & mastectomy & one i certainly never contemplated till it became a decision i had to make. i go to my plastic surgeon to get nipples, actually get them made. part of feeling more normal. hopefully part of being able to get back to my formerly un modest ways in gym changing rooms or whatever other situations may arise
Tattooing for a more real look comes in a few weeks.
Not all women choose to have this, many just get tattoos which i've heard look awesome as is.

should be easy, recovery should be a breeze. but of course anticipating the procedure makes me have lots of emotions. on one side, i'm so used to this and after everything last year, this is easy peasy..
on the other, i'm still "over" needles & pain. I hate the IV, for some reason that part makes me feel fragile & scared & emotinal. it's hard for them to get the IV in on me, always takes more than one try.
Even though i have been told recovery is nothing, i'm still anxious for it. I have been running and yoga-ing and working my booty off at real estate, feeling good & vibrant and energetic. I don't want that derailed. i want to be myself and get on with stuff TOMORROW.

when i think about going thru this today, and really any random time in my life, i sometimes get sad, and feel sorry for me and can't believe this has happened to me. but at the same time, i truly cannot imagine my life continuing on it's path as it was before. I feel heightened to life & joy & potential....and it's because of my experience. of overcoming hard shit, of meeting amazing people, of feeling such love and support, of appreciating the value of the many gifts from cancer.

i know that sounds weird

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Graphic V goosebumps

last night i went to my first Graphic - the art bra fashion show that benefits the amazing Breast Cancer Resource Center.
I remember last years, it must have been later because i remember i had just been diagnosed, and had the lumpectomy and just was not in tune or in shape to go to such a moving and fabulous shindig.
I wish i had pictures.
on one level it was fun to dress up, hang with my best friend Elizabeth, have a Pink Drink (from opal devines), look at all the silet auction stuff, mingle and people watch.
on a deeper level it was so meaningful to be around so many incredible survivors. There were ladies i had heard about or read about.
There were gorgeous young women with shaved heads. brave beauties
Women of all ages. Stages. There were all the supporters.
I felt like a groupie & like a lucky club member on the inside.
Then the emotional video, seeing the faces of cancer is always so touching and hard
It's overwhelming, so many people affected.
Then the live auction - exciting to see people bid and watch the $$ get higher & higher!
the models were fab & sexy & fun
My dinner was basically fritos & donuts - the only vegan things there! Yes, donuts. The Red Rabbit Cooperative Bakery provided the dessert - i have heard vegan rumors about their amazing donuts around town and they did not dissapoint. The mexican chocolate....omg.
I really felt proud to be there.
And i realize that the love & support out there is bigger than the cancer

Thursday, April 21, 2011

live now

one thing i noticed last week during the worry & doubt days - was that i put life stuff on hold. I had decided to call my tattoo guy and schedule something, but i conciously didn't last week. I am planning to join the Y, but whenever i had a time slot and thought about going there. I didn't. I need a hair trim, but wasn't about to plan that if i was gonna lose it again. I didn't fill my surgery prescriptions. I put off lunch plans. I evaded my friends prompting to talk about our disney trip this ummer.
If i did talk about future stuff i felt aware that inside i wasn't meaning it, i was just talking to keep up appearances.
One of my new years goals this year was to Live Now - this includes even stuff like wearing a new item of clothing or new lip gloss right away, as i have always had a tendency to save stuff i love for some nebulous ideal day or situation. Or for when i deserved it - whatever that means.
feeling that on hold feeling last week was familiar and yucky and i won't do it!
so now if i don't join the Y or call Chris Gunn, it's cos i'm just lazy :)

a dear friend pointed out that as lovely as living in the moment is - it is also a great comfort to have a list of things to do tomorrow or the next day, because you know you have time and will be there to do them. . So the counters to putting life on hold are both living for the moment AND making plans..

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 the road

yeah so last weeks feelings got a chance to max out....

those feelings of realizing my life is now like "this" and not how it was, merely because i have had cancer. it's frustrating.

so, i was at a pre-op appointment at my plastic surgeon (i'm getting the final "real girl" addition to the reconstruction process) and i was complaining about pain and tighntes on my chest, pec muscles sort of, above the left breast. I figured it was a result of surgery recovery, that was the jacked up side. The side that had cancer, 2 surgeries, lymphnodes ect...
So Dr H feels around and says, something like "yeah you oughta get that checkd out"
I'm like, oncologist checked out checked out? yep. fuck.
i mad an appointment for tuesday, today. so i basically spent almost a week worrying. Dr K was not worried. No scans ordered, proceed as normal life.
but jeeze, this is it, this is how it is now. I will be nervous and SHOULD be nervous about anything out of the ordinary.
Of course i'm glad it was nothing. i'm more than glad. i'm thrilled, releived, grateful ect.. But im ANGRY that this is how my life is, with an element of fear & doubt at all times.

back to being crazysexygirl and conentrating on the happy

oh yeah, i wore glitter eyeliner to the doc

ok, moving on, my surgery is April 28th  - should be a piece o cake. after that, the final step of tattoos.

Monday, April 11, 2011

real stuff

i had my first oncologist appointment since chemo, my first 4 month follow up. I was excited to see my onc again, happy for him to see how happy and good i have been doing.
My follow ups do not involve scans, that's a thrill. Just blood work & dr visit.

when i got there though i started to feel fragile. emotional. we went over the blood work and it all looked good, nothing was in an alarming range of low or high. but any # that was in red, or that had changed, i felt nervous about and questioned.

so the rest of the day, instead of feeling happy i felt deflated. Like i think after surgury & chemo and excellent prognosis, along with feeling so damn good, i felt invincible and recurrence wasn't a concern. But being at an appointment, that i know i have to go to probably for the rest of my life, to check on this, made me feel less than invincible, more vulnerable and raw. and scared. 

it was like i had a little bit of the feeling of life before cancer where you know that this stuff doesn't happen to you. getting cancer again doesn't happen to me. but the appointments introduce the option of doubt

of course i know i'm luckier than many - but i still wish this wasn't me

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cancer in the City

I just flipped through the tv channels & caught the scene in Sex & the City where Samantha flings off her wig while speaking at a gala, and all these women stood up & took their wigs off.
It made me cry
I forgot Samantha had breast cancer, i should try and find & watch all the episodes, and see how it was portrayed. I wonder about tv glamorizing.

Today i gave my camisoles, the ones with pockets to hold the post surgery drains, to a friend, i knew it would happen, that a friend would need them one day.
It's sad but i like the passing on of love & support.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

crazy sexy stuff

i've definitely become a Kris Carr groupie - her energy & dedication are inspiring for anyone, not just cancer survivors. Plus she calls people "unicorns" like i do - weirdo.

i knew that i had been leaning towards cleaning up my food, to a more cancer preventive wowie energy sparkle health mode. But it's not easy, i love sugar & coffee. Being vegan i'm not far off, but i love sugar & coffee.
anyway, reading Kris's new book Crazy Sexy Diet was the push i needed. I just love the way she puts everything.  I've heard some survivors say stuff like - cancer isn't sexy - and stuff like that, but Kris's definition of Crazy Sexy is this:

Crazy = bold, out of the box, forward thinking, and status quo chalenging
Sexy = confident, in touch, whole, passionate, and concious

Exactly how i wanna be, exactly how i have always kind of seen myself.

Today is the last day of the 21 day crazy sexy cleanse, i feel amazing. i think the biggest change or noticable effect is my mood. happy. positive. self loving. light.  it's really kind of phenomenal. it makes me emotional to see myself.
Another really groovy result is my sweet tooth, it's satisfied by things like cashew butter & banana on a rice cake, or the raw brownies at wholefoods that don't even have agave.
Not sure to what level i will maintian post cleanse, for sure i will avoid sugar, that's a given for a disease prevention plan. 
I don't want to fall into coffee addiction, but i do miss it terribly, i don't need it in the morning anymore, we'll see.
Gluten i will try and see if there is a difference after not having it for 3 weeks. It's pretty easy to avoid it or restrict it.
Raw salads & more veg, of course and i've been making my own dressings, delish. I'm discovering simple is sometimes best.
Juicing - i'm hooked. I am kind of looking forward to not HAVING to do it every morning. It's hard to keep all the veggies in stock. but i will juice ALOT. and i just got  the coveted Vita Mix blender so GREEN smoothies are also going to be a mainstay.

I've also been going to yoga almost daily - mostly gentle hatha classes that are really opening up my chest, calming my head, strengthening my muscles, and happifying my soul.

all the Crazy Sexy lifestsyle info and grooviness is at  - check it out and thank yourself for loving yourself
me & my unicorn

Monday, March 21, 2011

sxsw in my new era

hmmmmm things do change
At some point early on i thought - yeah, by South by i'm gonna be all better and rareing to go

Then when i was in chemo - it was all about - how long will my hair be by then. Could not imagine having super short hair during a time when i always make an extra effort to look cool & rockin.

Then as i neared my reconstruction surgury, and still felt tired a lot - i became overwhelmed by the thought of my SXSW Crew Chief  volunteer job. It's a pretty easy  in comparison job, and i've had it for many many years, but it involves planning and time. So i decided to step down and pass it on to one of my best volunteers over the years. 

So as the week arrived I figured i would just go with the flow an do exactly whatever the heck i wanted. Turns out i didn't want much. I went downtown on the days i didn't have kids, walked a lot, saw the bangles, met susannah hoffs (eeeeeeek), didn't give a shit about what i was missing. Saw two movies. One interactive panel on Veganism on the web.
Got tired too early. went home early. danced to black joe lewis. saw my best friend more than on a regular week. didn't drink coffee or alcohol. 

I did miss a lot of bands i wish i could have seen, and i did feel awkward in my skin sometimes, not totally used to being who i am. - but i guess the difference is that i didn't dwell on the missing of events, or my old self. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

secret society of short hair

so i've noticed as i go about my day that when i encounter other girls with super short hair, a knowing acknowledgment passes subtly in our eyes - not cancer related as that is an unknown - but a yeah, we kick ass enough to dare to wear this hair.

My brother & I sxsw-ing it

Monday, February 28, 2011

Valentines for Me

This post is a little after the fact - but after thinking so much about joy lately and what that means to live in joy and self love - i felt like sharing how i celebrated valentines day this year.
I've always love V day - it's my fave colors, i love hearts & heart shaped things - have since i was a kid. And i already decided a long time ago that relying on traditional romantic expetations are not a way experience a day like this. I make heart waffles for my kids every year, we decorate heart cookies, one year i made mix CDs for my best friends, i make the day romantic all round for whoever is in my life

this year i was my own valentine, and i was really romantic to myself :)  - I ate a Dove dark chocolate heart a few days before, that said in the little message in the wrapper "be your own valentine"

First i went to yoga

then i went to Sugar Mama's Bakery and bought myself these:

Vegan Valentine Cupcakes

Then i took myself to lunch at Mr. Natural and had more desert of these:

And then i went to Book People and bought myself this:

Crazy Sexy Diet is the ultimate love gift, for yourself, or for another

Then i went to Anthropolige & used a $50 gift card i won and found something cute on sale for exactly that amount

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Joy #2

Last weekends TEDx Austin talks were only topped by the Livestrong Austin Marathon on Sunday the 20th. I am very lucky in that i am seasonally part of the organizing team - i book all the bands that play on the route and some of the finish line entertainment. It's fun. but this year was tough, it was hard for me to get in the organizy mode when i was in the middle of surgery recovery & chemo. Periodically along the the timeline of working on this i would forget a meeting, feel too sick for a meeting, fall asleep at night before sending the emails i meant to send. fast forward, i pulled it together, got it all scheduled, planned, booked. But i couldn't have done that without the super sweet generous understanding of John Conely, the race director and all the marathon staff.  Working with John and the team is one of the most glorious yummy fun rewarding warm experiences in my life. Shame it's only a few months out of the year!

On race day, i have a wonderful volunteer Dale who is my driver, he picks me up at 6:30am and we drive around, trying to get as near to band locations as possible to check on them & troubleshoot any issues. We also go to the finish line so i can touch base with the finish line band & the mariachis. So i really get to see & feel the vibe out there.  I see the bands rock, i see the early first runners, i see the 5 hour plus marathoners, i see the amazing austin community that goes out to cheer. There's a lot of love in the air!

I was really moved by the race this year, maybe it's the Livestrong sponsorship, maybe it's the survivors i saw running, maybe it was the good feeling of satisfaction of my job well done. But i felt such joy out there. my bands were awesome. The runners were so happy. I got really great feedback from the bands afterwards, some of them say it's the most rewarding gig ever, a gig with meaning and inspiration. Even though they have to get out there & set up and play at the very un rock n roll hour of before 7am!

Tonight i went to the Thank You celebration, it was at a bar, i don't drink really anymore so i felt awkward to go, and i haven't really started going out at night yet either, but i wanted to see everyone. Cover Girl an 80's cover band was playing, and i danced - JOY

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Last Saturday i was lucky enough to attend the TEDx Austin talks -  read about it HERE - wayyyy to complicated to explain :)

so many incredibly smart speakers, i learned stuff, i felt motivated by some, i had fun seeing friends, i enjoyed the vegan lunch provided by whole foods.

By the way, thanks to the power of social media & twitter the vegetarian planned lunch was changed to vegan after I and a couple of others asked about it on twitter! Yaaayya.

Anyway - really two people impacted me the most and i would have felt satisfied at that....

Robyn O'Brian - talked about "The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It." - I know this stuff, but listening to the time line of when our govt started introducing hormones and shit into our food, and thinking about what it means, i really do wonder if this is the root of my getting cancer. When i first became vegetarian, which is right around when the hormone adding started - i didn't know as much about food as i do now, i didn't cook, i thought tofu & soy milk were the it food, the protein replacement. Plus i still ate a ton of dairy. Maybe more as it also became my primary protein. Dairy & Soy - the MOST hormone modified foods. I'm not gonna dwell, or regret, or bemoan. But it is shocking. And I will continue with more determination my path of mindful eating & smart healthy choices (check out my other blog about cooking from the local organic produce delivery Vegan Greenling)

The other speaker that i adored was Gilbert Tuhabonye - if you live in austin, and especially if you are a runner you probably know of him. Founder of the running training group The Gazelles. Google him & his story of survival & running to live - it's AMAZING, he's really inspiring, and i knew his story before this.  but it was the first few minutes of his talk that just blew me away, it was all i needed. His motto is "run with joy" - and when he came out he led with that vibe and the joy radiated from him. I believe him. And i feel that. And i want that. I want to appreicate that always. 

sometimes it really is the tragedies that make that immense joy so possible, i'm grateful for that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


i really & truly was going to write a post tonight about happiness & some good things - those things and that feeling are still there, so i will write that post in a few days - but in the space of one hour this night, cancer has made me really sad.
On twitter, i found out that a guy i know, is in ICU fighting for his life, this is sudden, i knew nothing of anything. He was fine a month ago. I don't really know him in real life as they say, but real enough. we have twitter banter, we've done business together, and he said some truly kind things to me during my struggles.

On Facebook i got the news that i just don't want to process. A stage IV bc friend is not responding to a new medicine, she will have to go to chemo again, and have new scans, and find out stuff. I love this lady, we knew each other when our eldests were in preschool, maybe 7 years have gone by and we reunited in the chemo room. So odd but one of those blessing moments. Her facebook note among other things said this “Cancer is sad. Really, really sad.” - and it is, it's really fucking sad - that's all

...and i hate saying this, because i know it's futile & not in my control, but i feel guilty for being so lucky to not be in these more dire situatioons.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nippon: a thankful post

I just found this post as a draft - a bit late but the memory of this is still warm

just a shout out and an addition to the billion item long list of amazing kindnesses

my lil toyota has needed new breaks - for ages, i have been driving metal on metal an unable to deal with it mentaly really. but a push and a gift from one friend led me to take my care to Nippon motor works. I was told the guy works on Toyotas & Nissans for the love. i believe this to be true.

I was kind of embarassed my car was so bad, so i just mumbled that i had been busy. Clearly he could see i was wearing the unmistakable head scarf.
I got a call just a few hours later from him (who's name i forgot of course) happily telling me he had just driven my delightfully quiet car. I was like what??!! so fast. He said - it seemed like i had been probably going through a lot lately and he thought it would be nice for me to have my all better car as soon as possible.  Then he said he was going to leave, but i could pick up my car and drop the check in his door box - trust & kindness go so far.

I am touched, grateful and forever a customer.

Monday, January 17, 2011

3 good words


These words are the name of a really wonderful cancer charity - you can read my blog post about it HERE to learn more about it.  The other day in the course of my job & mutual friends i had the oportunity to meet the co founder James Chippendale - we chatted a little about treatments and recovery and it just really got me thinking of how intensly cancer affects people, and how amazing some people are with what they do. James is just so full of energy and passion and does such good stuff. I felt honored to meet him. He'd heard about me through my ex husband who did the Machu Pichu climb with the charity.
I just think those three words really capture the epitome of what you must find when you are fighting a great struggle. As well as what you must GIVE to those in the struggle. Love - Hope - Strength