Saturday, November 2, 2013

Tell me a story about how you adore me...

my fave Stone's lyric...

people always say it's hard to take compliments
you feel self conscious when you hear someone tell you how fab you are, especially face to face
but we all wanna be adored right? maybe we all need to hear how adored we are.

I used to want to "pshaw" people who would tell me how brave Iwas during cancer - "I'm not brave, I don't have a choice..." the answer in my head. but people still said it in various ways

also I think sometimes people think that saying stuff on social media is not genuine, or won't mean anything, or they don't know them well enough...
but remember the "love bomb" I got on twitter? when I woke up to literally hundred's of tweets from total strangers telling me great stuff. Every day waking up at that time was a struggle, wondering how I would feel, dreading pain or feeling sick, but that love bomb day, I'll never forget made me feel invincible, loved, special, carried by a giant invisible hand. To this day, I love to hear these kind of things anywhere

 I think it's an inherent desire to hear that you are adored. why we have come to feel uncomfortable around it Idon't know. and conversely, why we feel it will "go to someones head" if we compliment them, why is that a bad thing...

I realize now that it's wonderful to hear these things, it does help, it get's ingrained, it's like affirmation power coming from the outside before you can believe it. I'm a believer in affirmations.
now I crave it, and I give it, because  I know what it can do
Even if you think you don't know a person well enough on Facebook to comment, do it, believe me, it makes a diff.

even itty bitty compliments like "I like your dress" can make a day

or a note to a friend telling them why you treasure them, why you adore them, and how amazing they are

I'm just sayin....I can take a compliment
 and don't forget to tell someone how you feel, comment on a post you almost skimmed over, tell a barrista that that was the best latte in the world

Oh this peeps, it's great

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I love nostalgia, i love drifting through memories, looking at old photos, i usually get teary, not from sadness, unless it's sad, but from that hard to grasp, hard to explain feeling of remembering moments, people, feelings

I just don't keep so many souvenirs now - mostly because i don't know where to keep em, i don't make scrapbooks anymore, because I have no room to scrap, and all my photos are on my phone...

And since cancer, i really almost completely live in the now, or actively work on that. I mean i reminisce, and enjoy traveling through old times, but i don't dwell or regret or pine...

Today i was cleaning out a shit ton of stuff that my cleaning angel had cleared out of my bookshelves and put into bags for me to deal with.  Had a lot of memory lane moments. But i kept finding various items from the cancer year, folders from the hospitals with after care info, notes from medication timing and dosing, pamphlets on whatever, evena a hospital bracelet, they kind of gave me a stab of pain, and for a second i felt i needed to put them in the "save" pile, but really a millisecond, then i thought, are these "souvenirs"? I don't want to deny or forget that time, i value all of the lessons, i very clearly remember how goddamn hard it was, i am crystal on the love and care i received, but i don't really care to remember the little details like that, in a concrete physical way.  So they are gone
I did keep the cards from my friends though....those lift me like nothing else

What about you? do you keep any "souvenirs" from that time?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ain't no Mountain High Enough

i've been working out super hard lately, started going to a new gym called Beyond Fit and it's pretty gnarly.

sometimes it's so hard i want to cry or stop.  I remember when i first started exercising post treatment, if i had to do something that was challenging to my chest area, like planks or presses, i would feel super sorry for myself, and think, holding back tears "i'll never be the same again" - now, as i get stronger and healthier, i think "fuck yeah, thank god i'll never be the same again" - i'm different and better for it and the lessons.

I know what it takes to push through, i know about focus and vision.  But i've had to develop some new ones of late.
Sometimes we do these exercises called Sandbell Slams, where we pick up a weighted sand bag thing, raise it over head, stand on tippy toes, and SLAM it down on the ground with a squat. Our trainers sometimes tell us to "break the floor" with that thing. When i slam it down, sometimes these are the thoughts i have to really really slam. "fuck you cancer", "fuck you tamoxifen", "fuck you single parenting" and all things that have threatened to make my life harder. I  don't really get angry at all the stuff but it sure feels good to say that shit now and then.  Sometimes when we are doing Mountain Climbers, my most dreaded, thanks to it being a plank type move, all i can focus on was how this is NOTHING compared to recovering from a mastectomy, or walking around the block during chemo, and that of course i can do this heinous move for 15 more seconds.

These thoughts were swirling in my head this morning, when i came upon a blog entry by a fellow survivor, a gorgeous woman with stage four, currently dealing with brain mets and daily brain radiation.  She wrote about the trade offs, how when you first learn you must have something dreadful done to you, it's unbearable, unthinkable and devastating and not dealable, then you come to realize, that it's nothing but a thing, a trade off, a trade off for LIFE and not just life but QUALITY LIFE.  Body parts,hair, discomfort, - all for time with kids, family, pleasures, experinces...worth it.

Think about it, life is all trade offs, we all have them, you go to work for 8 hours a day - you have money for living. You miss a show of your fave band, you get to spend time with your kids. you get it. it's a daily thing

I go to the gym and sweat and push myself for an hour, i get strong, healthy, mental clarity, self esteem, badass muscles, community, friendship - definitely worth it.

 And knowing how lucky i am, to be on this side of the battle and doing this -
the gratitude i feel is almost overwhelming

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sittin in the waiting room

This waiting room inspires mixed emotions.  I come here every 4 months so I'm used to it, yet it can bring a spirit Dow.  But the first radiant smiling face I see is a dear old friend - rekindled through this journey.  
Then I pass time scrolling through my Facebook timeline and am grounded and inspired by the awesome people I know. Great achievements, small successes, hard times endured, humor abounding,babies, puppies, rock shows to look forward too.  And I am so grateful for the distraction and perspective it provides.    As I sit in this waiting room that I didn't wish to be in. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Intensity in 10 cities

last night i had truly one of the most moving of serendipitous magical moments of meeting someone I was supposed to meet. there's not even a way to write about it to exemplify the intensity.

I attended a wonderful swanky dinner/cocktail party, an event of the American Institute of Architects Austin, it's the kind of thing I go to a lot, and meet fabulous creative people i've always wanted to meet, see design and architecture I've always wanted to see. Learn stuff and contribute to a good cause.

This night, i felt lucky because I met the semi celeb designer of the space, and he sat with us and we were all bondy and fun and stuff. The food was from Sway. good life stuff.

I had spotted a fabulous older lady, with groovy glasses, super chic short hair and a daring red tunic ensemble. I pegged her as an artist, or art collector.  I wanted to meet her, and found myself in her circle later in the evening. It took about 2 minutes for us to realize we were both Realtors, and i learned she was a realtor of note - one I had heard of, one that had been around. We felt kindred and exchanged cards. She asked the inevitable about my tattoo, i gave the inevitable reply including breast cancer. That was the first moment
She pointed at her totally flat chest and said "do you think I was born this way" -  22 year survivor.
we hug, i get a bit teary, we bond. - funny to think that yes she actually was born that way, but i got the point.

Moving along, she mentions her son works at The Heart Hospital as a surgeon. I glibly mention that the Heart Hospital saved my dad's live and touch upon the fact the he was kind of a legendary miracle there, You've probably figured it out at this point, but I hadn't
And I wouldn't have, if she hadn't been a Realtor, and if my parents hadn't been selling their house right after my dad lived, and they hadn't meet when she wanted to show the house, and they made the connection that her son was indeed the surgeon that saved my daddy's life. And I hadn't mentioned they lived off of Far West and....
She remembered my dad's story. and if you remember, i was diagnosed at the tail end of my dad's ordeal. we were drained as a family, it was an intense time that is hard for me to think upon without getting emotional. Her son saved my daddy's life.

we were both just so blown away by the coincidence of us meeting, crying and huggin there in the mega hip designer offices of What a scene.
Anyway, i feel so validated in the purpose of stuff. I feel blessed by the powers to have met her.  I feel incredibly grateful her son exists. I feel lucky, touched, special and perfectly placed in this planet. I know we are meant to be friends.

Don't you ever think about things like this, why was I there? why was she? why did we talk?

ok, enough intensity - here's a couple of pictures of groovy Alterstudio work with Joel Mozersky design to take the awkward edge off of my moment

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Waterproof Mascara

Yesterday was my birthday, I went to Sephora and bought myself a new Benefit mascara called They're REAL - cute
today I learned that it is definitely waterproof, today I learned that a sweet friend Kate died.
It's been a rough day. She was young, very young, her darling husband is very young.
She died of Cancer.
Skin cancer, that had spread, to various parts of Kate's body, and ultimately her brain.
She fought this disease for many years, with varying levels of success with different treatments.
I know that people tend to say about most cancer patients that they are so positive ect... but ask anyone who came across Kate, and you will hear that she was truly the most positive and inspiring shining light in her battle with damn cancer than anyone.
She never doubted that at treatment would work, she never gave up, she always had a positive spin. I recently visited her in a hospice, where she went briefly to get a handle on severe pain, and even in there, unable to walk by herself, scared of the pain, no hair, she laughed, she talked about the future, she told me her various treatment options, she was having a birthday celebration. I was hardly sad myself when i was there.
Get this - when I was diagnosed and going through treatment - Kate called ME an inspiration. She was incredibly supportive. Wow
I guess when you are a cancer survivor, and someone else dies of cancer, you will never NOT have mixed, guilt, emotions, questions of why, fear, humility, and more strange hard to handle emotions. Beyond the grief.
I am having all of those - and before you tell me that that my journey was far from easy and all that - I know, I know what i went through was traumatic and scary and hard  - but still, I can't help it, I had a cancer that didn't spread, that could be removed by surgery, and zapped with a bit of chemo, I had a beginning and an end of it, and a clear path of HOPE. Kate did not have that luxury. But she did have HOPE nonetheless.
There are no answers. She is free now. And I can only assume that her life here on Earth was to touch us all, inspire hope, do good work, and remind us to be happy and strong
I miss you Kate

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Family, Loss, Love

This post isn't really a cancer post - but it is about grief, love, family, remembering, loss....a lot of the emotions surrounding cancer and diagnosis and stuff.

at almost 3 years since starting this, there is less to write about directly, so i have thought that i would sometimes post about other life things that don't have a place on my Real Estate blog or my Vegan blog.

So today is the birthday of my cousin Chris Davis, who died. he died a few years ago when he was only 32, a bike accident involving a car. Of course he was too young.

My uncle, his dad, likes to honor this day by having a family lunch together. Today it was at Mothers's, the place where he and Chris had their last meal together. The end of the physical parenthood. Not the bond

This is also the place I told Tony, my now ex husband, that i was pregnant with our first child Claudia, 15 years ago. The start of parenthood. The start of the bond

We looked at a binder of photos of Chris. We chatted here and there about him. At the end of the meal, Harvey spoke, thanking us, and talked about how time does ease, but how every day still hurts. And he talked about he thinks of the Sandy Hook parents. And how when you lose a kid you think about all the moments right before, and all of the things you don't get to see through to fruition.... Then he recited from memory a poem about grief and loss.

I don't know, i just was so overwhelmed with the idea that it doesn't matter the age of the kid, the loss is so deep and awful for a parent. An altering beyond my comprehension.

After Harvey's poem, my 97 year old grandmother recited a poem from memory - a poem the she felt represented Chris and the legacy he left.

I felt so warm and happy right then to be surrounded by such smart, loving, feeling people in my family.