December/January Adventures

As I begin to type, rain is pouring from the dark sky.  I can hear it popping up from our black-top parking area and I love the idea that all will be clean and fresh after the storm passes.  I’ve been in bed all day and it has been a day of memories raining through my brain.  Some of the memories are begging to be captured and written down.  Some of the memories are like thunder and lightning; they are here for the brief jolt and then the memory fades.

The adventures I want to share were big events for me.  Seeing Fleetwood Mac play has always been a dream of mine. I was able to see them in concert on December 8th with my life-long friend, Lori.  The concert was awesome and I could share so much about that experience.  The truth is, the experience was more about who I was with for the event!  We had an amazing time just talking and being together.  She is one of the few people who knows there was a husband #1 before husband #2.  At one point in our conversation, she asked, “I wonder whatever happened to good ol’ Bob?”  It  made me smile because she knows and remembers the young me and I remember the young Lori.

Staying in Newport the week before Christmas was the next big adventure.  This was our family Christmas time together.  We had a great room that had a harbor view.  Watching the boats in the bay was wonderful.  Experiencing the boat parade was on my wish-list and that made the stay perfect for me.  However, the trip was about who was there and sharing the experience together.  Important conversations came up during that time and emotions were shared.

Warner Bros Studio was the next big adventure.  Brianna gave me this trip as a Christmas present!  She made sure it would be an easy trip for me.   The tour is mostly done in a shuttle.  When there was walking, I had my walker.  I enjoyed seeing the sets, but again it was about sharing the adventure.  Bree and I have spent hours watching Friends and Gilmore Girls.  To see the sets with her, took us down memory-lane and gave us a gift of all the times we have solved world issues on the couch as we watched these shows!   We both have great ideas for saving the world!

As it continues to rain, both outside and the raining of memories in my head, I know the  importance of family and friends.  Being on the cancer/hospice journey without the help of family and friends would be extremely difficult.  I am so thankful to all of you.  I am moving at a slower pace and don’t always respond in a timely matter, but I am treasuring each of you and your outreaching to me.  I guess this a good place to give an update on my health:

I have slowed down and use a walker now. Using oxygen is a big part of my life now.   The mass at my rib is growing outward and I am really bloated everywhere.  There is a new mass on my throat and it is growing toward the rib.  Texting is easier than phone calls for me.  I am still in good spirit, and I am thankful for every moment and for every adventure.  Life is still filled with possibilities!!!

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Alive with Wonder!

Hello All, I was a couch potato all weekend!  My right shoulder/arm was painful this weekend, so I decided to have a “do-nothing” weekend.  I even subscribed to a TV service (I haven’t had TV for awhile)!  Many friends called and/or texted this weekend.  I always enjoy hearing from family & friends.

Radiation begins today!  I’ve had radiation before (with the original scalp melanoma), so I go into this part of the journey with some experience.  Last time I had radiation, the “radiation fatigue” hit me pretty hard.  I’m hoping that since I’m on medical leave, it won’t be as difficult to manage.

The Meal Train meals start today too!  I am very thankful to the Kimberly parents for putting this together.  It is always fun to visit with the families bringing the meal and getting to try out new meals.  You all make this journey easier!  Thank you!

This morning I had an interesting dream right as I woke up:

I woke up with an image of a little girl (5 or 6) holding the hand of a parent.  Her hair was long, blonde, and parted on the side.  It was very straight.  She looked at peace and was gazing around- taking in all the wonders of life.  I think it was me!  My first thought was, “Alive with Wonder!”

Alive with Wonder is how I always hope to view this world.  I love watching the sky, cloud formations, and weather patterns.  I love being outdoors and watching the leaves and birds.  I love listening to the sweet song of the breeze tickling the leaves.  I love to sit or stand still and watch the creatures emerge from hiding.

Of course, I love going to the beach in the early morning hours.  I love watching the sunrise over the ocean, the sound of the waves and the birds, the breeze, picking up shells, watching dolphins & other sea creatures, and watching & talking with other early morning beach people.

I love sitting by mountain lakes and rivers.  Watching the birds soar high into the heavens always leaves me with a sense of wonder.  Watching the fish swim idly by can keep me entertained for hours!

I am thankful for all that I have experienced in this life.  This world is really a beautiful place to live and be.  Even when there is “foulness” in some area of life, hope and beauty can usually be found if we stay still and watch and listen.  I think I’ll address this on a future post!

Thank you for reading my thoughts and sharing my journey.  I could not do this without all the love and support each of you have shown me.

With love and Alive with Wonder, Cindy

#Alivewithwonder

Journey through cancer, again

I’ve been struggling over blog topics.  I want to write about everything! I want to write about hiking, beach trips, road trips, teaching and embracing life.   I wish life were neatly packaged and even thematic.  I would be able to write more easily about Living Life to its fullness.  However, we all know, this is not the case.  Life can be messy and complicated and shitty and beautiful all in one package deal.  The trick is to find the beauty in the thick of it all.  At times, that is incredibly difficult! At times, it is incredibly simple!   At times, it all merges together somehow…

2018 was supposed to be a year of new beginnings for me. My divorce is soon to be final, my house will be listed, and soon my debts will be clear. My adult children are doing well.  Freedom!  I was really looking forward to all these positive changes.  I was going to blog on a regular basis!   A white spot on my lung changed my perception.  Cancer.  Again.  Ugh.

Malignant Melanoma invaded my life in May of 2015.  On June 12, 2015 the growth was removed and staged at 2C.  Radiation followed in December/January and I was on the every three-month track for doctor follow-ups, PT Scans, blood work.  I consider my skin graft scar and the scar from the growth and radiation, badges of a battle.

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Fast forward to January 3, 2018.  I went in for a regular PT Scan and didn’t think this one would be any different from the previous scans.  On January 17 my oncologist spoke the dreaded words, “There is some reason for concern,” as he showed me the white spot on my left lung.  I knew there was a possibility of the melanoma spreading, but I had dismissed that thought.  In my mind, I was in the 12% of patients that did not deal with the melanoma popping up elsewhere!  Now I’m waiting for February 23, 2018 to arrive and have that white spot removed!!!

Now I have a blog topic!  I am still thankful for Life’s Possibilities.  I fully intend on living life to its fullest.  I would like to share my journey of living life while dealing with cancer.  2018 will still be a year of new beginnings for me.  A rather large hurdle has been thrown in the mix, but even in that, there will be joy to be found in the journey!