Monday, February 13, 2012

You Are So Beautiful to Me

In case you haven't heard Tom and I shouting it from the housetops.  I got an all clear from Mayo Clinic.  No sign of cancer or other problems and since it was caught very early they feel sure that I will remain cancer free!   I have my life back!  How do I say thank you for that!   Where do I begin?  With God.  Yes.  With the skilled and talented doctors and nurses at Mayo Clinic. Yes.  With Tom.  Definitely yes!!   And how do I say "Thank You!" 5525 times!   That is the number of times that one of you has checked in on my blog.  Just to see how I am doing. To sometimes leave a message.  And even when you didn't say anything  the count on the blog showed me that many people had thought of me that day!  That amazed me and encouraged me!  And I felt the caring so a "Thank You" to each of you.

  And strangely, I have found myself saying thank you to my badly disfigured left breast.  When I was first diagnosed I was angry at the body part that had betrayed me.  It became alien to me, a parasite, just hanging on that I really just wanted gone.  Or to stop hurting. .or to be better, quickly.  I was impatient. Very impatient! Then as time went on  I slowly began to say thank you,L.B. , for not hurting so much today, for healing, however slowly, for becoming part of my healthy body again.  When I met with my surgeon oncologist last week, he happily gave me the good news, that I had dodged the big C bullet.  That I was cured.  Cancer free! He was smiling as broadly as Tom and I.  And then he apologized for the disfigurement caused by the removal of so much tissue and eagerly offered to restructure the breast.  I said no thank you.  This part of my body has endured so much and become healthy again.  I am happy with that!  To me healthy is the new beautiful!

  Again, as I have tended to in this blog, I have rattled on, a bit to deeply, maybe too bluntly.  It has been therapy for me and from time to time probably caused a few red faces out there.  It would take a lot of space to say all that I am grateful for right now.  But I am especially grateful for the kindness and  support from old friends, new friends, Quaker Friends, and friends I never even knew I had.  You are all so beautiful to me!

My love to each and every one of you,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Toenails Polished-Ready For Scottsdale!

We leave in the morning for my" after surgery, radiation,infection, more surgery check up" at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale.  Am feeling well and was anxious to get this appointment, but am also a bit on edge about it.  I am hoping to get the total blessing on my recovery, but realize that is a sometimes thing with breast cancer.  All indications are that this will go well.

 We have had good weather for February here in Silver City but I am anxious for a couple days of warmer in Scottsdale.  Toenails are polished and I am looking for a couple pairs of sandals to pack!   And we are staying across the street from a major mall with Dillards, Macys, etc.  That has got to be a plus for the trip.  We have already planned two dinners at our favorite restaurants and will be watching for a Trader Joe's to pick up our favorite ginger snaps.  I hope I can work in the 3 appointments at Mayo on Thursday! (just kidding)

  So time to take care of the before the trip chores here and get packing!  Will report back!   Gratitude continues for the good care by Mayo.. and Tom and the love and support of all of you. .and Tom.  I am fortunate in so many ways!

Sandy( the grandmother with the pink shiny toenails)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Frybread and Other Happenings

It has been a busy 10 days or so.  We have been to the Bluff Balloon Festival and were blessed with beautiful weather including the last day when we arrived at early, early at Valley of the Gods to see the balloons take off on Sunday morning from that amazing location.  The sunrise we saw that morning would have been worth the 8 hour drive north. It was breathtaking!  The balloons were gorgeous but almost an afterthought  to that sunrise.      I have gotten to be a slow riser in the morning.  But for 3 days I found I could be up and ready to go by 6:30ish and even fully conscious without 4 or 5 cups of coffee! We probably took a thousand photos between us, enjoyed frybread and Navajo tacos for 3 days and great entertainment at the Friday night talent show put on by the local school.  That is two of the young performers above.  We also sold our photography on Saturday.  Busy days but it is always a great time to be had with the nice people of Bluff and the balloonists that come in from all over the country. 

Sunday noon we were off to Mancos and stopped by Hovenweep National Monument for another photo safari.  Much better than the time we were there before when the paths along the canyon were covered with ice. This time I could stay upright!  I felt good about our photography there and it was just a neat place to see.   We journeyed on to Mancos, had the barbeque special at our favorite dinner spot ,woke up to a snowstorm  and visited with some old friends in Mancos at the community breakfast the next morning.   Like a couple of escapees from the snowbelt we headed south and were home by an hour or so after dark.  Don't like to travel after dark but it happens!  Particularly when you have driven through, snow,rain, and wind to find your way home.

 It was a couple of days of recuperating and laundry and getting reacquainted with Scooby Doo,Sophie and Fifi.  Not to mention processing all of that fun photography!   The Red Paint Pow-Wow in Silver City started on Friday and went on through Sunday.  We went for a only few hours on Saturday as we  both are fighting a cold.  Some of the ceremonies and dancing were considered sacred and photography wasn't allowed but there was much to see and photograph in what was allowed.  This event was huge!  And Native Americans from all over the country.  The Indian ceremonial dress was fabulous.  It appeared to be a very structured and well run event.  And we had. . yes. .more fry bread and Indian Tacos again!  They didn't call them Navajo tacos here.  I guess because there were many different tribes at the event. Quite a contrast between the casual performances that we saw at Bluff and the very serious, structured performances that we saw in Silver City.  Both events interesting and fun, just different. 

  We are back in a week of somewhat normal.  Getting the camper ready for using this year, catching up on what is going on with different happenings about town.  We are signed up for classes at Western Institute of Lifetime Learning that start the first of February.  Woo-Hoo-Tom and I are taking line dancing!  I'm excited. . Tom isn't.  .but I hope he will find it fun.  There are also some educational classes that we  both are taking and looking forward to.

  I am tentatively scheduled to go to Mayo for a checkup on February 9th.  I am not having any problems so am trusting it will be all good.   I am hearing of more people dealing with cancer and not doing as well as I have so I am very grateful for my prognosis.  Just wish they would figure this dreaded disease out so that so many did not suffer. Someday!  In the meantime, my heart and prayers goes out to them.    Love and hugs to all, hope life is treating you good. . . . Sandy

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Balancing Act

We were at a little theater performance last week and I saw this piece of art in the theater courtyard  that rather fascinated me. It appears to be balanced stones on a metal structure,although I imagine that some "super glue" of some sort was involved.  Actually, maybe not an illusion of balancing at all but still intriguing and yes,somehow artful.

  Although I have no reason to believe that I am not doing well, balancing all that needs to be done, and yes, that I want to do, seems more difficult as time goes on.  My energy leaves me too soon. I need a nap many days.  I appreciate being able to be here for my 69th year but I just want more from this 69 year old body than it delivers!  Right now, I am sitting on the couch next to my sleeping Scooby Doo, knowing that my bags need to be packed for our trip tomorrow to the balloon festival in Bluff Utah.  And the body is tired, and wants to do no more today!  Tomorrow  will be a day of travel and Friday we will enjoy the beautiful redrock country of Utah, hopefully sunshine and the spectacular show of hotair balloons flying high above it all.

 I guess I had better go pack that suitcase, cause when it all comes down to the nitty-gritty, I don't want to miss a thing!  Love and hugs to you all. Healing is still slow, but happening.   Teaches patience, I tell myself.. And I guess I had better work on gratitude for what I can do!