Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ooze blues

I was just blog-surfing, and found one whose writer calls herself "wifey to my hot husband", and adds that she wishes she "could spend all her time scrappin [sic]", instead of working at her part-time job as an accountant's assistant. I'm afraid my life is quite dull by comparison, which is why you haven't heard from me lately.

I should stop being nasty. We're all buddhas, supposedly, but sometimes I just can't resist.

I've been very tired lately, having difficulty with even the short walks John and I usually take. Yesterday we took a walk at a state park in Cromwell that has a number of blazed trails. We took the main trail, which has a brief hike up to a bluff that overlooks the Connecticut River. It was beautiful, but I was wiped out almost before I started. I haven't worked for a couple of weeks, either.

I'm pretty sure that I'm hypothyroid, which is what my thyroid tests indicated, but the endocrinologist wants to wait and retest before treating me. That will basically mean I won't get any relief from the fatigue until at least July. It's gorgeous here, and I want to get to the woods and beach, not sit here and uncharitably make fun of other people's blogs, even if they are goofy.

Anyway, hope y'all are well out there.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

I am sitting in front of my computer in early evening, listening to John Rutter anthems. I have goose bumps on my arms.

It isn't chilly. It's the Rutter. There are few things in life that still give me goose bumps, but choral music hasn't lost its magic.

There's a Yahoo group for people to post their own poetry. It might be fun. Once I run out of my repertoire, it might give me the creative boost I need. I feel like such a lump lately. No art, no poetry, no music.

But there is the I suppose all is not lost. I am thankful to the still unknown creator for this beautiful spring.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Beginning the labyrinth

Well, considering how big my three-course labyrinth is, I'm amazed I ever thought I could fit a seven-course in the yard. The paths would have to have been awfully small.

I realize this picture is hard to focus on...what you're seeing is part of the line that will ultimately be covered by arkose rocks (red sandstone that I painstakingly collected from Manchester, Connecticut), which will form the borders of the paths. A few stones are holding down the clothesline I'm using.

Geez, the labyrinth is a confusing geometric figure. The first time I did it all wrong, since I followed my drawing incorrectly. (You can click here to see how a seven-course is drawn; the three-course only has the cross and the four dots.) I was out there for several hours just doing this. When I finish, the paths will be two feet wide, minus the amount taken up by the stones. My plan is to fill in the walking spaces with a dark color mulch, but I'm not sure yet. Anyway, I'll post another pic when I get more done!

With metta,

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The word is out (or in)

Just an hour and a half after John and I got back from Hartford Hospital, my oncologist called to tell me that my PET/CT still shows no evidence of tumors--I'm still in remission! It's just starting to really sink in today. I'm sitting at my computer looking at the same beautiful spring scene as I wrote about on Tuesday, though it's going to be warmer today and I'm going to start building my little labyrinth.

I am very grateful.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

In my mind...or not

A decades-old James Taylor song below. Ya gotta love him, at least I think so. Found it on the CaaT artists' site on, and just had to spread the good feeling.

Even though it's in the fifties today, I'm not going anywhere (warmer) in my mind. My PET/CT is tomorrow. It'll show whether or not there's any progression in my breast cancer. I'm hoping, of course, that there isn't; I can do practically everything I want now (well, maybe that's a slight exaggeration) on Navelbine, my current chemo, and I hope I don't have to change just yet. Of course, I'm a little unsettled, even though I know that whatever is, is, and no amount of worrying on my part will change it. I'm human, though, so of course I have to do a little work to stay in the present and not get anxious. Fortunately, despite the rather cool temperatures, it's a beautiful day here, and I can see, among other things, forsythia in bloom and bright blue skies . Life is good.

With metta,

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I've had metastatic breast cancer for three years now.

Today, I asked my oncologist if my upcoming PET/CT on April 17th would cover me for colon cancer. Since my mother died of it, I started having colonoscopies every three years about ten years ago, and I'm due.

He said yes, it'd detect cancer, but not the polyps that precede the cancer, so I should go ahead and schedule another colonoscopy. I said, well...but how much longer can I realistically expect to live (i.e., is it worth the pain in the ass). He lifted his eyebrows, smiled, and said, basically, that I appear to be a chemo responder, and that that fact, in addition to the many new treatments in development, made it look as if I might live a while.

So I guess I'm not going to give up the ghost yet. :-)

With love and squalor (remember J. D. Salinger?),

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hi folks,

A group of eBayers who've now moved to etsy to sell some of their art have formed a blog, called CaaT ~ Complementary Art and Things. Or, more accurately, I should say that their fearless leader, Katey (aka blueyeduck) established the blog, and gradually each member will have one post dedicated to introducing him or her.

My intro is up! Also, there are two wonderful artists who are on there in the first two posts. So stop by and take a look.

On another matter...I have to have an ultrasound of my thyroid tomorrow. There is a nodule on it. Chance of thyroid cancer is only around 5%, and, to be honest, that diagnosis would feel rather anticlimactic at this point. I haven't been thinking about it much.

I did some actual yard work today, getting a pretty large part of the back yard raked. The area where we'll have our veggie garden and where I'll build my three course labyrinth is now clear.

In case you don't know what a labyrinth is, here's a picture of a seven-course one, the famous Cretan labyrinth.

I had wanted to build a seven-course, but I couldn't convince myself that there was enough room to make the paths large enough without going to the edge of the yard, beyond which is a 60-or-so-foot fall to the brook in the gorge. So I'll have to be contented with a three-course, the smallest. You can see another famous one by searching on the Chartes Cathedral labyrinth, which is in Chartes Cathedral below the main floor.

The purpose of a labyrinth is a sort of walking meditation. One must be mindful of the path itself, of the journey. As you can see, this type of labyrinth is not a maze; there are no 'wrong' paths to take. The walker simply follows the path as it winds around, until the center is reached. The walker may choose to stay in the center for a while and do whatever he or she desires. Then s/he turns and walks back out again, re-emerging into the world. I plan to take a small stone in with me each time I walk it, to replace the cairn I built when we lived in Hebron.

More than one person can walk a labyrinth at the same time. It is simply necessary to be mindful and considerate of others when doing so.

Besides the mindfulness that labyrinth-walking produces, it also tends to provoke a feeling of going deeper and deeper inside. Some have said that they can solve a problem by using a labyrinth. In any case, I do think that going deeper, reaching the depths, and returning to the outside world is a subtle psychological journey that can be used as an effective spiritual practice.

In my research, I found an interesting rectangular shaped labyrinth that I would like to adapt to build next to the three-course one. It has two centers, and it immediately occurred to me that the two sides with their two centers were the life walk and the death walk. I hope to finish these while I'm still well, so I can walk them throughout the summer months and into the fall.

I will post pictures as I work. I haven't decided for sure what building materials I'll use. I have a lot of red arkose stones from Manchester, Connecticut, that I'd like to use as the walls, and I'm thinking of dark brown mulch for the paths. But I may change my mind before I start to build.

Well, I've rattled on long enough.

With metta,