Saturday, December 19, 2009


Drawing in my eyebrows really helps the end of treatment look. It's hard to be looked at like I have cancer all the time...lots of advancements coming our way so hopefully the next generation won't have all these yucky side effects.
Goodness...only one more treatment and it won't be done January 1st as planned...that would be a yucky reminder. I'll have a five day break where hopefully I am feeling good for the beginning of the year. I'll be interested to see how I feel with the last's been such a long road.

Friday, December 11, 2009

my walks

Finally seeing the light after last Friday's treatment. Try to take walks around my neighborhood and this helps with the cabin fever and some of the nausea. I've been thinking about what I'm going to go back to after I'm done with the chemo and I'm most excited to go back to just how my life was....doing all those little things like cooking dinner and playing with Ian. So basic, it really has surprised me what matters most to me. I used to be so worried about finding a new career or doing something that I thought would impact the world a little more. Turns out, I had it pretty good and I just know it now. Thank goodness for the little things.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Yerba Mate

In Argentina, there's a great tradition of passing around a "bomba" of mate to your close friend or family member. Just sipping through the metal pipe, having conversation, passing it back to your server for more. For some reason the caffeine-effects are not the same as while chugging a venti-size on a playground keeping one eye on Ian and the other on my cold neck. Having no hair makes me feel like a helpless seal in the cold. I am still up, having had a blissfully good feeling day even through some of Ian's emotional rants: "I don't want to go hoooome. I want to go home! Help me! Help me, my head is stuck! I don't want a sweater- said I don't want one!. I want a sweaeter on, I'm coooooold." All the while chugging my tea. Now I'm up thinking about starting the CD compilation exchange group thing Christina set up. When I'm feeling goo, the list of things to get done before "I"m down" seems to grow. Stuff like, get Ian bigger sized underwear sounds like a funny priority, but needed!
Wrote a few songs down and will try to share later. Embarrassingly have to figure out how to burn a cd first.

Merry Scary Christmas

L'annee sans lumiere

Woke up to this song last week (Arcade Fire) and I thought "how fitting". The closer it it gets to the end the year, the better for this household. Ian's really wanting me to grow my hair back....his level of stress about it gets worse after some time away. I tell him it'll be back by the time he's four. And that's what he EVERYONE: the checkout guy to the random parent at school. I need my own superhero costume to hide inside, what do you think?
These last three treatments are promising to be an, um, challenge. Thank goodness for you, K.

As a Christmas aside, my Mom began the holiday season by gifting Ian a four foot tall, realisitic-looking Santa to put in his room. Pics soon. Sufficed to say, it did not make it to his room and she was a little huffy that it was in the trunk of the car over the weekend. Where it may return.....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shopping Therapy

Cute shoes for my cute little guy. He requested laces.

Ian really needed a new bed. That was a big, fun purchase.

Sweet, sweet, Marc Jacobs. I love you.

I've been busy trying to make self feel better for the cards I'm holding now and shopping really works!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Artistes wear Headscarves

Had lunch with a new BC friend at Sal's a few days ago. She was deep into telling me her story when the woman in the booth behind her interrupts us: "Excuse me (to me)...did you go to the Academy of Art years ago?" No, I didn't, but she gave us a good laugh.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Train Under Water

Coming out of a self-pity phase.
Keep meaning to write down all the funny things Ian says. "Looks like a coconut hit your head." And then, "Mama, you are so beautiful", when I am make-up-less and so very hairless. To be three!
Profound thoughts because I have so much time to think about things. Everything moves so slowly. It's like being stuck on BART forever, in the damn tunnel. I know it's going to move at some point, but the WAITING.
Grateful to be on pre-school pick-up this afternoon.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Round 6

Everybody knows me a the hospital now. It's a big party! We're all semi-sedated and making friends. One woman told me she grew two toenails from her new post-chemo treatment barely able to control her laughter. What do you say?
My cousin Margaret has started driving me and we've started having lunch afterwards which is nice. I like to get out of the house as much as possible because I can have a lot of down days watching HGTV. I have decided that I do not want anything to do with marble countertops, ever.
Things are going pretty smoothly, despite the fact that Ian is peeing the bed almost nightly. Not sure how to handle his emotions. There's so little direction on what to do when you have such a little one in this case. Probably because breast cancer and small children don't often mix together. Ian has just laid up on asking me to put my hair back on. For a long time he was saying that he gave me "the owie". He's as honest as a person can be, really. This isn't pretty. I just want to hold him all the time and protect him from the yuckiness of it all. We try to tell him the truth and he covers his ears. He wants this all to be over NOW.
We have those feelings,too, but have trained ourselves to reign it in. I want so desperately to throw a tantrum, but it won't come out. So I clench my teeth all the time.
I'm so grateful for all the kind words and food and love that come our way weekly. Little pushes upward.
Returning to the guys in my bed. Thinking about getting a king-size!

Friday, September 18, 2009


There's a time in the afternoon, about 3 or 4 p.m. when a cross appears in our bathroom window. It like one of those 70's looking images...shining through tall redwoods. I am not saying it's Divine, but it is a little eerie if you're a little (LOT) bit superstitious like I am. A few days ago, swear I felt the light of that cross warm my neck. As it was I was really praying for strength. It was a low day. Zero strength. Mass exodus of hair. And itchy and painful.
Strength really came just when I needed it and with good news. My cancer will in fact be cured and has a zero (!!!!) chance off recurrence according to genetic tests.
Ian keeps asking me when my hair is growing back. Daily. Loudly. Instead of cringing, I just tell him the truth: when you're four. He still wants me to put my hair back on (I bought a wig). I don't blame him. I want my hair back, too! I don't think bald is funky and don't really feel like 'rocking it'. But the question doesn't sting anymore because it's true, it will grow back in time for his fourth birthday. Maybe even for our 10th wedding anniversary.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

At least it's not all jumping out at once?

I'd like to clarify that I was never one to think about shaving my head, not even when Doc Martens were my shoe of choice. I don't think it's liberating or mystical. It's not going to make me do yoga. At least in the near future.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Painting Snow

It's 12:40 and I am staring at a picture of a street covered with snow that someone has sent to my husband. It's a bright, peaceful picture, mostly white with the exception of a sign on the street that reads : No Parking This Side. I imagine the photographer could have moved five feet ahead to as to not obscure the sereneness of the picture. However looking ahead, there's a man either entering or exiting his car past the sign, one bright light shining from his car. I guess the photographer made a choice here. This picture was not going to get anymore perfect. And maybe that's why the photographer has sent my husband this as a postcard...a beautiful scene, but not one to keep.
It's 12:50 and I"m thinking, no, my mind is racing with thoughts. I want it to be quiet as snow.
I have breast cancer. My hair is beginning to fall out in strands. The chemo is not as bad as I thought it would be, but it's not great and I keep comparing it to pregnancy. People are not looking at me like I'm pregnant. This is not pregnancy. And today I saw myself through their eyes. I have a three-year old son. I am 35. This is not supposed to be happening to me! I am brave. I smile. I laugh. But I never forget I have this lump. I never forget that I am close to losing it all and surviving at the same time. I can't sleep, but I will. There are a few obstacles in my pretty picture right now, but they belong there, too. I try to remember that the picture is mostly pretty.