Carpe diem

Jan 31

Me: “Brad!  A lot of people are commenting on the blog and telling me I should go to the writing workshop!” Him: “Well, duh.”  Laughs.  “What did you think was going to happen?” Me: “Well, I dunno, I thought that there would be mixed reactions or not many comments or…,” I trail off.  “I dunno.” Him:  “No one is going to comment and say don’t go to a post when you titled it ‘Dream Chasing.'” Me:  ::face palm::  “Doh.  You’re right.” To those of you who commented so enthusiastically (so enthusiastically!), thank you.  There are some (many?) of you who feel we are friends; you think about me when your life reminds you of my writing or the other way around.  My brain can’t wrap itself around this stranger love.  I keep trying and my brain just doesn’t bend that way.  I’ll keep working on it.  I do know that our connection means a lot to me, too.  I wish that everyone blogged because I would like to know you as well as you know me.  Please, do start over-sharing on the Internet and then tell me about it! Brad said I should seize the day and go for it.  My dreams become his dreams, and his dreams become mine.  Carpe diem, indeed.  I am lucky to be loved by such a man. I will figure out a way to get to the workshop.  I don’t have the details worked out, but I trust they will be soon.  Thank you for your support; I don’t even know what to say, and that is saying something. Dream chasing.  It feels good, but I have to admit: I’m...

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Dream chasing

Jan 30

You know, I live a pretty great life.  I love it. Lately, though, I’ve been in the business of dreaming.  Not all of my dreams are about my kids and my husband… some dreams are… just mine.  It feels selfish and decadant to wish these dreams, but I know that my dreams are essential to preserving my Jen-ness.  And my kids and my husband are rather attached to my Jen-ness, so I need to keep it. On the same day I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, I discovered that I have a passion for writing.  It’s a great example of “life is brutiful”: the magnificent and the ugly, squashed together. So, I’ve been dreaming… And funny things are happening… Funny Thing Day #1:  Last weekend, my parents came over for a casual night of pizza and hanging out.  They brought with them a gift from my Australian relatives.  The mob from Down Under banded together and bought me a new computer.  Just because they love me so.  It’s no strings attached (because that’s the kind of family we are), but it’s a gift so that I can write.  I am so blessed and they are so ridiculously incredible. Funny Thing Day #2: On Sunday, my friend passed me three times at church.  Each time he met my eyes and said, “Have I told you that you should write a book?”  He was flippant and funny, because that’s how he is, but it was another drop in the bucket of evidence that I should write. Funny Thing Day #3: In the Chemo Room on Monday, I was talking to one of my favorite couples.  They are in their seventies, and what I hope Brad and I are like as senior citizens.  She is the fragile but brave patient, he is the everpresent pillar of strength at her side.  We’ve had half a dozen conversations over the past months, mostly offering encouragement: you can do this cancer thing.  I’ll be praying for you.  See you next week.  Mid-conversation on this day, the husband interrupts his wife (uncharacteristic) and tells me, “I feel I need to tell you it is really important that you write.” Me, “Urm, yes, okay.  I do...

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Banana fana fo Freta

Jan 29

Since Greta turned about six months old, it has been necessary to sing to her so that she will hold still for diaper changes.  If there is no singing there is much flailing.  Flailing and poop is a bad combination, people.  Bad. Other parents seem to have children who lay quietly on their backs and coo softly and eat their vegetables and play independently and hold hands in parking lots. Mine don’t. So, three (or eleven) times a day, you will find me using my dubious musical abilities to woo my daughter into holding still so that we can avoid disaster.  We I sing lots of songs, and Greta has recently been interrupting me mid-song with her requests.  Her latest favorite is the Name Song.  I don’t even know if it’s a real song, but it goes something like this: “Name Name bo bame, banana fanna fo fame, me mi mo mame, Name.”  Repeat with a new name.  Endlessly. At twenty months, Greta has started saying the last part of the song herself, the Name, and she is using the correct tune.  It’s adorable, and she giggles and is so pleased with herself. I also caught her singing Skidamarink to her baby doll today. I love that it is music that stops her in her tracks.  It’s such an innocent, childish, in-the-moment reaction. We are very hopeful that she will be blessed with her father’s musical abilities, rather than mine. I pray that her love of song will grow as she...

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It flies

Jan 28

Time in the Chemo Room flies.  It flies, I tell you. I am in the recliners of the Chemo Room every week for about an hour and half.  I haul a large bag with me; in it I have projects I am perpetually working on.  Books, correspondence, lists, and coupons are with me most weeks.  I should really stop toting the heavy bag around though, since I haven’t used my time in the recliners of the Chemo Room to be productive in months. Today I sat by two of my friends. One is an “old friend.”  I met her last summer when I was getting weekly chemo.  She is a “Lifer”; she has Stage IV cancer in her bones and liver, so she gets chemotherapy and Herceptin every two weeks.  This has been her routine for the past five years.  During those years, she has watched her daughter graduate high school and other milestones that she, statistically, never thought she would see.  She is a magnificent example of living life with cancer instead of dying of cancer.  She does it right, and I admire her so. My other friend is twenty-five (twenty-five!), and she is undergoing treatment for Stage II breast cancer.  She got married in October and was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks later.  And she almost died of leukemia when she was a teenager.  There is no rhyme or reason to how or when cancer strikes.  She is happy that the doctors have tools to combat the cancer, and I tell her that she really needs to work on being medically boring.  She laughs as she agrees. Today in the Chemo Room we laughed.  Oh, we laughed.  We talked about how the Chemo Room is a special place, that the world is kinder, gentler, slower and beautiful here.  We each glean lessons from the Chemo Room each week and try to implement them in the rest of our lives.  We relate to each other and help each other process.  We talked about breast reconstruction options and how our children have handled our diagnoses.  It’s not normal conversation, but, to be clear, it’s not sad conversation. We are upbeat, we are hopeful, we are living. When you...

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A thankful heart

Jan 27

Cancer free. NED. I am so grateful. I hope I can honor my God, live my passion, love my husband, and raise my daughters in the spirit of the blessings I have received.  I hope I can pay my blessings forward.  I hope I can Do Today Well, every day.  I hope to be a beacon of light and hope and the goodness of God.  I hope to empower others to be the best version of themselves.  I love hope.  It’s daunting and scary and requires heart, but it’s worth it. I hope.  I dream.  I pray.  All with a thankful heart. I am so blessed.  Thank you...

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