Archive for March 2015

Resolution Chronicles: anxiety and thought labeling

Resolution Chronicles: anxiety and thought labeling
I woke up this morning as I have so many mornings lately. Dread is a pit in my stomach and a hollow place just above my diaphragm. It was the sort of night that I’m now calling “the evens.” I woke up at 2:30, 4:30 and 6:30. I rarely wake up on the odds. Who... Read more »

Being a proactive patient: three things you need to know about CT scans

Being a proactive patient: three things you need to know about CT scans
If you have cancer, you’ve almost certainly had a CT scan (sometimes called a cat scan). Despite the fact that a CT is how my cancer was diagnosed, I’ve always had a sense of wonder about them. When they put the contrast dye into my IV, they said, “You’ll feel warmth throughout your body.” And,... Read more »

Cancer and the cycle of life: empty nests in bare branches

Cancer and the cycle of life: empty nests in bare branches
I’m walking my dog, Freddie, again. Three months post ACL reconstruction and I’m able to walk outdoors without fear of ice and without a crutch for support. We’re going slowly, but we’re going. When we stop for Freddie to sniff and roll in the grass, I’ve been looking up. I’ve been struck by the nests... Read more »
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In praise of the Great One, the mountain Denali

This is the Great One, photographed from from the Chulitma river in Mat-Su. It is one of hundreds of drop-dead gorgeous photographs from Janson Jones' <a href="http://phostracks.com">photo blog</a>  Used with permission of the artist. The mountain is officially named after William McKinley, who has no connection at all to Alaska and was never in the state.
Alaskans reliably call each other and post on Facebook about three things: moose bedded down in their yards or driveways, the Northern Lights, and sightings of Denali. It was named Denali, or the Great One, by the Koyukon Athabaskan people who are its indigenous people. We ask, “Is the mountain out today?” Not, “Can you see the mountain?”... Read more »

Resolution Chronicles: I don’t have to catch the ball the universe throws to me

Resolution Chronicles: I don’t have to catch the ball the universe throws to me
It’s a been a rough 48 hours here in my head. When March rolls around and brings longer days and more light, when the weather clears up and brings sun, I experience the paradoxical effects of SAD. My worries and insecurities get roller skates. This light is a kind of Kryptonite for me. It’s familiar... Read more »

Resolution Chronicles: I'm grateful for a crazy little thing called love

Resolution Chronicles: I'm grateful for a crazy little thing called love
Two of our pets were strays in search of a home and one was a treasure found on Craigslist by a kid in need. Maybe it’s hyperbole to say they saved our lives, but it isn’t to say that they enriched our lives in times of need. Freddie, our rescue dog from South Suburban Animal... Read more »
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It’s Donna Day: I will be a witness to your life

It’s Donna Day: I will be a witness to your life
I never knew Donna, but I know her mother. She’s one of my role models for blogging and for coping with the ravages of life and suffering and death. Donna died at the age of four from a brain tumor. (Read her story and meet her mom here.) Of all the losses human beings can... Read more »

Holding on to small moments: happiness is different than I thought it would be

Holding on to small moments: happiness is different than I thought it would be
Life is made up of so many little moments, sewn together with the repeated stitch of daily life. When I was little, about eight I think, I remember riding in the backseat of my parents’ car along Menaul Blvd. in Albuquerque, NM. In my childish way, I was thinking about the blur of these moments... Read more »

In Memorium: What Lisa Bonchek Adams taught me about cancer and blogging

In Memorium: What Lisa Bonchek Adams taught me about cancer and blogging
Lisa Bonchek Adams died on Friday night at 9:45 of metastatic breast cancer. If you put “cancer” and “blog” into Google, one of the first hits will be her blog. She became a lightning rod for criticism about both when journalists Bill Keller and his wife Emma Keller criticized her for her choices about how... Read more »
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Scanxiety, trauma, and the power of medical images

Scanxiety, trauma, and the power of medical images
I’ve already started thinking about May when I have my next set of tests. I’m currently on the six month plan, hoping to graduate to the yearly one. Like most of the others in my support group, I struggle to control the anxiety. We were talking the other day about how miserable it is to... Read more »