Monthly Archives: April 2015

Onward and Upward…

Beautiful Water off of Baja

Beautiful Water off of Baja

Oh, I need to let y’all know, Wendy’s Pity Party has left the station. Yikes! Even I was cringing as I read that post this morning. I am duly embarrassed, shamed, wimped out, and so many other words I can’t even come up with right now. I do know I need to do it every now and then, but perhaps not quite so proudly??? Sheesh!

The wonderful thing that post brought out were the comments, here on the blog and to my personal email. I have some truly wonderful, inspirational, honest, funny and worm-free friends. (More on that later.) You all lift me up so stinking high, I don’t know how I ever got in that position to begin with. One friend commented on the similarities between life and a battery: ya can’t stay charged up without both the positive and the negative. I love that one! Another friend said to get the anger out so I can make more room for the good stuff. Some shared their simple philosophies for hanging with this day to day crap that makes life, LIFE, and what they do to find some of their peace of mind. Others offered up simple encouragement to get me on to the next day, today, and on to the next phase of trouble making. Of late, it has been alot of ups and downs, but this is what life is, and I’m determined to smooth out some of the bumps. My favorite season is just around the corner, giving me the opportunity to spend more time on or in the medium I love, and I’m gonna do it. Why whine about it when I can change it?

The story from my worm-free friend had me laughing straight out loud. One of my former workmates routinely gets a headache when he works the graveyard shift. Changing up the ol’ circadian rhythm stuff can be tough on the body, and he’s been doing it for 28 years. So, on the nights off, he sets up some Aleve for the middle of the night headache, right next to a glass of water. This allows him to blindly fumble exactly for what he needs and not really wake up. Well, his young daughter wanted to make sure he didn’t forget to de-worm the cat, so she set out the de-worming medicine right next to his four Aleve. Needless to say, he took four de-worming pills instead of four Aleve and went back to bed. Not for long! Boy, did he get sick! After a twelve pound weight loss and alot of belly distress, he consulted both his doctor and his vet. The consensus: He would be very ill but will recover. But if he starts licking himself in strange places and chasing birds, the damage could be permanent… He has a great relationship with his doc… Thank you for this one, Erik. Dragged me right outta the pit! You rock!

Thanks for everything, including the kind, caring, heartfelt and funny words. I couldn’t have done it without you!

About Time…

I guess it was bound to happen, and I guess putting it off doesn’t help much, BUT I’M PISSED! I’m not going to apologize for it because I think it’s a natural, eventual and honest feeling. I’m not proud of it in any way. I wish I could be one of those gracious heroines on TV or in the movies, but that ain’t me, and it ain’t gonna happen. I’ve said it before and I’ll most probably say it again: Cancer sucks.

From the Woe is Me file: I’m supposed to be on Willow in Hawaii right now, bucket listing warm water outrigger paddling. I’m supposed to be figuring out the next leg of my voyaging, most likely the South Pacific. I’m supposed to be sitting on the shoreline next to a camp fire and contemplating the constellations. I’m supposed to be continuing the simple life I chose many, many years ago. Instead, I’m trying to figure out how to stream in to a TV through my computer and taking pain pills. Not very simplistic, and I find this modern, ‘convenient’ life oh, so boring. A machine washes dishes for you, a machine washes your clothes for you, a machine dries your hair for you, a TV entertains you or conversely, puts you to sleep. UGH! (Boy, am I ranting now!) I feel stuck to this (wonderful) apartment, and don’t even want to go check on Willow because it makes me sad thinking of where I would be right now. I’ve been back from Mexico for a year at this point, and what a year it’s been. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I’M SO PISSED!!

I’m sitting here after my morning coffee with tears running down my cheeks feeling pretty dang sorry for myself. I don’t like it very much, but I think it’s all part of it. Life gets in the way of the best made plans. I’ve found I need to wade through this muck and get through to the other side in order to find any peace. The frustrating part is the peace is segmented and full of speed bumps. Deep breath. It’ll be much easier to gain insight from all of this once I’m past it. I can do this. I’ve done so many amazing things in my life, there’s no reason I can’t do this. This is, actually, a pretty amazing thing to go through, in so many different ways. Deep breath.

I’m gonna go wash my face, take my clothes out of the dryer, empty the dishwasher and plan my day. I have this day to have. That’s nothing to be pissed off about, and is something to be pretty dang thankful for. I have all of my family and friends to help me, support me, and make me laugh. It’s time to move on to the next speed bump and greet this world. I can do this. Deep breath.

I love you all…

Time, Fickle Time…

Beautiful hues of blue a hundred miles offshore…

Hi Everyone!

As many of you know, since the beginning of 2015, I have been seeking my care at City of Hope up in Duarte. I couldn’t be happier, and their aggressive trial treatment has proven quite successful for me. Woo-hoo! If you look back a couple of entries, you can see the difference in my chest scans. Without being a radiologist, just looking at the areas of black (good) on the second scan compared to the first, the benefit is obvious. Yay, me!!! And many thanks to City of Hope! When I go to the facility, I always feel enveloped in skill, knowledge, caring, and yes, hope. It’s a great place.

I am also about a month in to a pulmonary rehab course at Mission Hospital. Due to their willingness to lend a hand, they’ve given me an affordable option so I can participate and take this upswing as high as I can take it. The nurses there are working with me, oh, so patiently, to increase my pulmonary capacity and efficiency so I can do more with less. They are special, special people.

What a life, right? Everything’s going the way one would want it to, so what the heck is my problem? I’m finding myself frustrated, in pain, sad, and confused. I mixed up my priorities, and now they’re difficult to streamline again. And streamline in the right direction. My doctor helped me a little yesterday, and I think I’m beginning to work through my “Ah hah” moment.

During my second admission at UCLA, I was so sick, there was never a plan for discharge, and a discharge plan is something they begin pretty much as soon as you’re admitted. One night, my family was called because the doctor wasn’t sure I was going to make it until the morning. I was a pretty sick puppy. My stubbornness won out, and I fooled them all. I had one more admission to Santa Monica for a couple of weeks, and then moved on to an oncologist down in my area. That didn’t go so well, and I got kinda sick again. With his unresponsiveness and arrogance, perhaps a gift as I look back on it, I was able to move on to City of Hope.

It’s an amazing place your brain can take you to. I have always been pretty upfront and matter of fact about stuff in my life, and this was some pretty big stuff. Being told I have Stage 4 adenocarcinoma of the lung with mets to various bones was pretty dang sobering. Upfront, it means I’m gonna die. This will kill me, unless the bus flies out of the sky and hits me first. And with my condition prior to City of Hope, it seemed I would die sooner than later. Being that matter of fact person, I have spent the last six months preparing to die. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not walking around dressed in black with my arm around that guy with the black hood and the real sharp scythe-thingie. But I’ve been making plans for bills, final affairs, not buying things that someone’s just gonna have to get rid of, stuff like that. I need to get Willow ready to sell, and then just sit around and wait for it, right?

WRONG!!! I’ve been given a huge, incredible, wonderful, life extending gift, and it’s thrown me for a loop! Can you believe it? Now, living confuses me! What a dork! There I was, “ready” to die whenever, and it looks like that’s not gonna be anytime soon. And that’s a good thing! But I need to swing my brain back around to not expecting death just around the corner. I need to get back into my living mode, having fun mode, traveling mode, laughing mode, and experiencing life mode. I need to meet more new people, people who don’t perhaps speak Ingles, need to swim in the ocean again (once I get rid of these dang tubes), sail Willow again, drive cross-country, paddle again, have adventures again. And why the heck not??? I’m done sitting around waiting for the other shoe to drop. I can hack and move past the chest discomfort, so I CAN work on doing the things on my bucket list. So stand by. I’m back!!!!!

Thank you, Dr. Reckamp!

Much love and best fishes!!!