Sunday, December 30, 2007

All gifts end...

I feel it necessary to note this (again), tonight--an anonymous bit that's floated around the internet for a long time.

fuck the poets of the past, my friends.
there are no beautiful suicides
just cold corpses with shit in their pants
and the end of the gifts.

But what about those of us who hang on and on, can't let go? There will likely come a day when I will have to say, no more treatment. Or there may come a day when bottles of pills may be the preferable way to avoid a death devoid of dignity. I don't suppose that's what this anonymous poet was speaking of...but there's a part of me that spends an inordinate amount of time wondering about this stuff. What happened to staying in the moment, May?

Get back to where you once belonged...

Friday, December 28, 2007

John asked me yesterday if I could name the ten most significant things (not necessarily all happy) that have taken place in my life during the past year. Here they are:

1. Getting my children back in my life.
2. Watching my son Adam blossom and start to fulfill his potential.
3. Watching my daughter undergo worrisome changes.
4. Having the cancer metastasize beyond the bones to my liver, then going into remission due to chemo.
5. Having John's atrial flutter ablation be successful.
6. Moving to our beautiful new home.
7. Becoming so much closer to Pat and Cathy.
8. My first acceptance into a juried art show.
9. Changing from a non- to an insulin-dependent diabetic.
10. Feeling the ever-increasing fatigue that suggests to me I may not have as long as I had hoped to live.

Lots of small New Year's resolutions, I suppose, but the big ones are to live each day to its fullest, to try to stay in the moment, and to strive to become ripe.

Merry whatever, and a Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Poignant childhood memory recalled

Great green globs of greasy grimy gopher guts
Mutilated monkey meat, concentrated turkey feet
One quart can of all-purpose porpoise pus
Swimming in pink lemonade.
And I forgot my straw!!

To the best of my recollection, this is how we sang this well-known camp song, but there are as many different versions of this as there are internet posters, I suspect.

This is called the folk process. It's why there are so many different versions of, say, 'Shenandoah', or 'What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor', both classics in their own right.

I am filled with nostalgia tonight.

P.S. We have passed the shortest day and the longest night. Hooray for the return of the light!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

If it weren't so cloudy, I could've seen the sun rise this morning.

I woke up very early, for me, thinking about (of all things) my aphasia. Aphasia is simply the loss of the ability to speak or, in some instances, to comprehend language--your own, that is, the one you've been speaking for 22 or 47 or 75 years. It exists in varying degrees; a massive stroke, for instance, can cause complete inability to speak, whereas normal aging usually causes most of us to be unable to call up a word or two now and then.

My aphasia is caused partly by aging and menopause, but primarily by that phenomenon that used to be thought one of women's imaginary troubles, like PMS: chemo-brain. During my Adriamycin/Cytoxan followed by Taxol treatment for my primary breast tumor, in April and May of 2004, I could barely get a sentence out. I'd lose words like "car", having to say, you know, that thing you drive. (Nouns are the first to go.) I did improve after treatment ended, but I never fully recovered, and I'm noticing it worsening again on my Navelbine treatment.

"Gee! You don't sound aphasic!", you might be thinking. That's one of the things I love about writing. If I forget a word, I can use an online thesaurus, dictionary, or encyclopedia to track it down (and I absolutely did in the composing of this very post). In a conversation, I just stand there frustrated and embarrassed.

I've been fortunate to have very little of the most difficult symptoms of cancer and side effects of treatment, such as nausea and pain (though I do have significant fatigue). But I realized the other day that, having been a person who made her living advocating for others--speaking for them in various situations, such as providing testimony regarding bills that affect people with disabilities--losing my facility with words, my ability to articulate exactly what I mean--has been absolutely the hardest thing for me to handle about my "new normal", as we call it on my list for persons with breast cancer metastases.

It's a small thing, but it's part of me, and I mourn it.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Quotable Quote

"Life is wonderful, despite the side effects." ---Nancy from the bcmets list (for women with metastatic breast cancer that has spread beyond the lymph nodes)

Nancy was talking about her treatment side effects, of course, but it made me laugh.

I never wrote in to tell you that my endoscopy showed mild gastritis, nothing else. Of course. I'm a freak, I admit it. I always assume the worst. Of course I do have a terminal illness.

I received a beautiful ornament in the swap we did on CaaT (Complimentary Art and Things). Here's my gorgeous needle-felted Goddess, by Bettina Makley (fairywebmother--you can click on her website down below). All her art is wonderful!

My kids and Adam's girlfriend will be here on Christmas Eve. I'm stocked to the gills (mixed metaphor?) with hors d'oeuvres, and we'll open stockings and gifts and munch! I am so looking forward to it!

Blessings to all as we await the longest night.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ice Moon

I realize you must all miss my words terribly. I'm busy. Get over it.

Just kidding, all right??!!

Here's an ACEO (baseball card size collectible art) I listed on eBay yesterday. It's an altered photo of our local reservoir, digitally collaged with a photo of the moon. I took both pics in the summer, but I thought there was nothing much I could do with them, until this occurred to me.

If you click here and buy it, you can be my best friend.

This one is also up on eBay. It's an ACEO of an original 5 x 7 I'm giving to a friend.

This beautiful creature was among many thistles growing in the back yard. You can see the auction here.

Hope you're all enjoying the season (a gen-yoo-wine beginning of winter here, with a nor'easter forecast for the weekend). If you live in Australia and you're roasting, I'll be thinking of you. Try thinking of me, freezing in the northeast U.S. It sometimes works.


Monday, December 3, 2007


I love it
when a poem


takes a hard edge
like a nimbus cloud
and cuts out lies
like a sword.

I love it
when a poem


dives like a falcon to the hunt
pierces the heart
and shows us
the quick red blood
of truth,
with a word.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Little Bird Told Me

Just finished and listed this one. It's fun to do vintage collage every now and then.