Wednesday, December 22, 2010

So it is nearing Christmas

After we put out a few presents, Monty moved them with his nose
to make his place under our Christmas tree.

Well, 2010 has been a very trying year. I can't say I've enjoyed it very much, but I've definitely learned much about myself and others, who is or isn't on my side, what really makes me happy, and that I'm done with snow. I've learned about PET CT scans and a little about a rare cancer called PEComa. I've learned that I recovered physically well from surgery and that there is a lot of love in my life. It has been a year about reassessing my life and honoring what makes me tick.

As I clean my house, wash curtains, bake cookies and stollen, get ready for holiday visitors, there is much to be thankful for. I've spent a lot of the blog this year talking about being thankful, I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but I am. I'm healthy. I'm here. I'm powerful and unique. I have a lot to say and share. You are kind enough to read my blatherings!

2011 will be a break-out year for me. That I know. Many projects are in the works, my creative juices are running rampant, I continue to challenge myself. As long as I continue to practice yoga everyday, life seems to go smoothly. Whenever I stop, I become recalcitrant and unpleasant, so which way is better for me?! I will share my doings as they come and go, but be assured it won't be a typical, run of the mill experience, because I just can't seem to function like "normal" people. My mom always told me I would do one thing in life which has been an albatross for me, I am happiest when I'm doing many different projects at once, such is my creative nature and I must honor that.

Late in 2010, we brought Monty the cairn into our home after losing our beloved Max in October. While Monty and Max are very different, they teach/taught me much about what is really important in life. Monty is a happy soul, so excited to go out for a walk, eat a meal, hang out with us. He doesn't know an enemy, except, perhaps squirrels! He wags his tail at us and looks up at me with big eyes, life is a joyous experience for him. And so should it be for all of us, we have so brief a time here on this earth, why not fill it with happiness, because if we are happy, we share it with the world. That simple.

This year, I've spent a lot of time being "in the moment." I don't have on the radio in the house as much as I used to, I walk the dog with my ears free from a phone or music so I can share the experience with my dog, I'm keeping my ears open. My hearing is so acute and there is much to be heard, and I need to listen, so actively listening has gone beyond listening to music, I'm listening right now. That brings me great joy because I am present. It is a meditation and fills me again, with gratitude.

I wish all of you a holiday season of gratitude and joy, because they go hand in hand. Let's hear it for true friends and fun!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Observation and Thanks

Hans Peter Dettmar, the Hans-meister, November 2010, Baltimore Harbor

Well, I met with my GYN/oncologist yesterday and here's the plan - observation. I'll see him every three months, for the next two years I'll have a CT scan every 6 months, and then for the following five years I'll have a CT scan every year. After that, I'll be considered non-risk. Since the tumor was small (under an inch in diameter), and was totally removed, the prognosis is good. Thank you, see you in three months.

Is that all? After this crazy, over-the-top emotional year I was expecting more confusion and drama. Not to be. We have a plan in place, stop the drama. Sloan Kettering is a non-factor, really. The fact is that the expert at Johns Hopkins had never seen a PEComa nor has anyone at Sloan Kettering. They don't have any new information at this time. So I'm on a new path with this doctor, and since his office is a 6 minute drive from my house, even better.

I came home from the appointment and sat in a chair, the same one in which I called my parents to tell them the news in July. It was 3pm, it was quiet, and I suddenly didn't know how to feel. My husband told me to fix myself a stiff drink, but I didn't, I just sat. So much of my angst from the last year has been lifted, unfortunately angst has been a defining factor in my life for a year. I find myself crying for no reason, I think the release of the emotions I've been quietly carrying are going to come out, and they should. NO ONE should ever have to experience the confusion and mixed messages I've been given since April, just an awful roller coaster ride. Being in survival mode is not fun, trying to make through a day, an hour, a minute, a breath.

So many people have been supportive, some wonderful words shared, my cousin telling me she lit candles at every church while in Europe this summer for me, people putting me on prayer lists, my sister offering to come stay with me if I needed treatment, my parents with their medical constancy, my brother calling my parents every night to see how he could help, friends making me laugh to keep perspective, my pets, but most of all, my husband. It sounds a cliche, but he is truly my best friend and is ALWAYS there for me, always. He never once panicked (at least on the outside!) and helped make my life continue on with a sense of normalcy, even during those dark days of July. Thank God for the Tour de France this year, my yearly July obsession, that gave me plenty more to focus on than all the information overload I was getting, and Hans and I watched the Tour every day for three weeks. Hans Dettmar, you are a great man, a great husband, you make me laugh, and most importantly, you love me. There is no greater blessing in life than to be loved and to love fully in return.