Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Adjustment in Attitude

Anything new in life requires an adjustment of attitude. If you marry, you have to adjust your attitude to compromise and make a good life with your spouse. If you have a child, you make a lot of adjustments, like getting up several times in the night to care for your new bundle of joy. If you get cancer, you make adjustments, too. For me it has been learning that every cycle of Chemotherapy has its ups and downs and also learning to look at the benefits of Chemo - first of which is shrinking of tumors. Tagging along after that is *no acne, *no shaving of legs, *no bed hair, *easy showers, *no bothering with hair in the morning. Those few things give me a lot more time to sleep every day. In all seriousness, I have found that if I can look at the good side of things during this time, it keeps me in good spirits. I try to find one small miracle in every day. Occasionally it is the same miracle,but hey, miracles are worth repeating!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Dreams and a Change in Venue

It has occurred to me that my initial desire to write about the artistic life has been a bit interrupted and some of my writing will now be about cancer and living with cancer. However, today I want to want to write about dreaming about art. It happens once in a while for me and is sometimes very intense. A few days ago I dreamed about a piece that I will do. The dream created the piece in its entirety with specific detail and color. I was amazed at the ease of concept within the dream. Conceptualizing a piece is sometimes the hardest work an artist does. In this dream it was already present, and now in real life it is already prepared for me. The only thing that the dream didn't specify was the medium. So, as my artist sister-in-law says, perhaps it is a series. I am thankful for this art activity, even if it is in my dream life. It means my creative spirit is still alive and shouting. With cancer it is sometimes difficult to remember what else you did with your life before cancer hit. Remembering in a dream is a great encouragement.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


It is amazing to me how much sleep is required to heal. Today was about one thing: healing.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Who Would Have Guessed

It has been a long time since my last post. I've been busy, just not with the art kind of life I enjoy so much. We have been on a couple of trips, totaling about 7,000 miles in driving miles. In the middle of all of it I was diagnosed with cancer - follicular lymphoma to be specific. I had a pretty intensive surgery to retrieve one of the tumors and ended up with a seven inch incision on my abdomen. It didn't heal well, so we packed it with sterile gauze for two months. The first part of July saw me again in the hospital to have a Port line placed in preparation for chemotherapy. I have had three sessions of Chemo now.

Nothing that I know in this world could prepare me for what chemotherapy is like. Most of all it is extremely tiring. Of course, that was one of the early symptoms for me - profound fatigue. The vomiting thing is pretty well controlled with drugs, and then more drugs to keep my white count up, and more drugs to stop the constant intestinal irritation.

When I began this journey I woke up one morning wondering, "What is the job description for fighting cancer?" Text will follow on further installations.

The important thing to me in this passage, if that is what it might be called, is that I intend to arrive on the other side of it a better person, more alive than I have ever been in my life and completely cured. I will not be beat!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Flying Lessons

When I was a kid I would go to the playground with my friends on Saturdays and swing. During the week at recess we had to be careful and not go too high, but on the weekend there were no teachers to caution us. I would imagine that I was a bird flying high in the air and it felt amazing to go so high. It was daring, exciting, and the fresh air across my face completed the feeling of actually flying. I wonder what a kitten thinks when jumping so high that it is flying through the air. Yahoo looks like a flame in the air, and appears to have more height left to go after the photo was taken. What fun we are having with these two special little lives.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

There WILL be Consequences!

Cats hate water. Well, most cats hate water. Tigers swim, and there is some other breed of house cat that likes to swim - perhaps it is a Turkish Van, but to sum up the issue, cats hate water. They don't just hate it, they think it will make them die, so they avoid any contact with it except to quench thirst. On the other hand, people love baths of many kinds: showers, steam baths, long relaxing baths, Turkish baths, hot tubs, and the list goes on and on. People like to swim, too and that list is even longer. People like to be clean, but I must generalize here because I have encountered a few people in my years who tweak the ability of my odor sensing nerves, though those times are rare. So the quandary between human and cat is how to find a middle ground with the water issue. If one appreciates the freshness of a clean cat and a clean human, then somebody is going to get wet in the process, and if the cat can help it, then it will be the human. I have found a solution to this issue. I just bathe my cats when I take a shower. I put a plastic stool into the shower so they can find some "high ground" and away we go using a shower head with a cord. Cats are wet, human is wet, cats are upset! I find it pretty easy to read the look on Google's face in this photo. Refer to the title above.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Together For Life

Reunion means an array of different things to a lot of different people. For some of us it is filled with pleasant, warm and fuzzy memories and events, for others it is reminders of hell-laden situations. Nonetheless, reunions take place at a fairly regular pace in our lives here on earth. I have a friend I meet with to knit and talk, I sing in a choir that meets twice a week, I embrace my family daily. Sometimes we are torn from situations where we think we will never see someone again, though this is much less common than a century ago. Wednesday Yahoo and Google thought they would never see each other again. They are the only two kittens from a litter. In previous posts I have alluded to their story. It is sad up until now. Their parents are "drop-off" cats from uncaring humans and the kittens are the result of no birth control. Their mother was live-trapped and now lives with some loving humans, Yahoo (girl) and Google (boy) were also live-trapped, sterilized and have been reunited to live out the rest of their lives together in a loving home. They have had an amazing reunion with loving snuggles and kitty kisses. An interesting fact is that approximately 95% of orange (red) tabby cats are male. Of the remaining 5% that are female, most have white somewhere on their bodies. Yahoo is in the tiny minority that has no white and is a dark red. Yahoo is in back, Google is in front. Note the "bracelets" on Yahoo's legs.

& Google

I have believed for most of my life that things always work out the way they are supposed to work. Perhaps another way of stating that idea is to say that one can always look for the best in any circumstance.I still worry (probably too much) and get angry or disappointed when things don't seem to be going my way, but like the last leaf on a tree I hang on to my belief. Sometimes I wish I didn't have that belief because it means I won't get my way, but I choose to believe that way anyway. Yesterday that belief was tested beyond all odds. It was a day that appeared to be set up for disaster, but I held on, asked others for prayers and good thoughts and waited out the time until at 5:45 in the evening when I was to find out if Google was going to get to live with his sister and us. Somebody had put a "hold" on him at the last thing the night before when I had taken his sister Yahoo home. It was a series of unfortunate events, but with a great ending and even greater reunion. Yahoo and Google are now for life sister and brother in the same home - our home. Purr!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


In the course of one's life many events occur: birth, growth, marriage, homes, children, pets,death. As well, many emotions are felt: happiness, dreariness, love, hate (sometimes), joy, anticipation, grief. To experience death and then life in the same week does not happen often, but to experience two new lives in the same week's span is most uncommon. Last Friday our dear cat Cjazz died, and today I met Yahoo, a sweet little girl kitty. She has a brother, but he didn't get to come with her. After much conversation, it was decided that these two siblings should be together and so tomorrow, Google will come home to live with us and his sister. The clincher in the decision making process was when we were choosing names. I kept finding names that would work for a pair and all of a sudden I thought of the perfect names for cats that live in a computer person's world - Yahoo and Google. My husband loved it. Death, Life; Grief, Joy!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

On coming and going

It is so fun to get a kitten or puppy or new baby, or for that matter to see the new flowers bloom in spring. New life is wonderful and so is the process that we live each and every day. But, the reality of life is that it ends and January 20 we had to say goodbye to our long time cat friend Cjazz. I'm sure that as much as the heart delights at the little things that a new kitten does, my heart grieves as I see a toy he played with still on the floor, and see his water dish needing to be put away. I can't let go of these things yet, it is too soon, but there will come a time when he is just a memory in our hearts, a very, very good memory of a profound friendship. Like posts in the past, his picture is there, but he will not be in this one.