Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'm a Sucker for Fainting Robins

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.  Emily Dickinson

You ever watch Star Trek: The Next Generation, and know the character Deanna Troi?  She is half human, half Betazoid, an alien species with telepathic abilities.  She is an empath, sensing deep emotions and feeling the vibrations of other creatures.  On some of her story lines, she is taken over by aliens and used to communicate with Starfleet command.

I am an empath.  I'm not telepathic but I do get a deep sense of what people feel and think and need.  I've always been like this, since childhood, and being made this way is both the proverbial blessing and curse.

It becomes very easy to take on the energy of others, and I can see now most of my life I've been an emotional sponge.  I do not consider myself a people pleaser, but I do feel a great sense, almost duty, of wanting to help, heal or bring balance.  I know people feel very comfortable with me, telling me their stories and their secrets, their confessions and deepest needs.

I know I see people, and hear them, and I know they know that.  That part is the gift.

The problem is keeping things light for myself.   Can I find a way to be a healer and a teacher, without being taken hostage to all that I feel, some of which I don't even own?

Sometimes I think about my breast cancer as a metaphor for all that I held so tight to my heart, and that pain and suffering made a home for itself, and made me sick.

Can I find a way to move through the world, listening and loving and healing, without sacrificing or martyring myself?

I don't even know where to start, I just know I need to.  I need to find a way to use my gifts, but preserve and protect them like a natural resource.

I don't know if any of this is making sense to you tonight, but me thinks I have stumbled on something here.

I need to find a way to deeply connect and serve
without draining the source,
me.

Friday, May 27, 2011

On Your Mark, Get Set, Wheeeeeee...

I have lots of work to do.
I've been mulling.
New ideas.
A new direction.
A new focus.

I am ready
to let the first year of the sacred ordinary stand on its own.
I'd like to make a book out of it,
blow on it like a dandelion
and then put it
on the shelf.

Here in this space
now
I am ready to
be born again,
again,
and start growing
something new.

the sacred ordinary.

finding the sacred in an ordinary life.

Come with me as I ramble
and whisper
and take you to the secret places
inside my head.

I am lighting a candle
and making a wish,
bon voyage cancer girl,
hello writergirl.



Ok Heart.

Lead the way.

I am recklessly creatively fearlessly selfishly ready
to
inspire
myself.

Oh dear,
what will she do next?

I can't wait to find out.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Time Out

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.  ~Bernard-Paul Heroux


Sometimes
you must take a sabbatical
from what troubles you.


You can do this in your own kitchen,
by putting on a pot of tea.


Use clean filtered water, a whistling kettle is preferred.



While the water heats up, set your place for tea.


You will need a teapot,
a lovely cup and saucer,
a sterling spoon,
honey or sugar cubes,
and cream if you are English,
or want to be.
A flower from the garden is good too,
like a present
from me
to me.


Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.  ~Henry Fielding, "Love in Several Masques"


I love the sound the kettle makes when it's ready;  it cannot be denied.


I pour the hot water over a tea bag or loose tea into my teapot.  This is the only proper way to have tea, you must make it in a teapot and let it steep for at least five minutes.


A bit of honey.
A bit of cream.
I chose chamomile today,
and sipped a cup
of calm.




Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company.  ~Author Unknown

Monday, May 23, 2011

Show Me

Show me Lord.
Show me how to work this.
This body altered by cancer and cancer treatment.
Show me how to accept things as they are,
keep my focus forward and moving towards the open door,
be patient with me when I doubt and look back at the closed door.

Show me Lord.
Show me how to work this.
Show me how to live in a body that feels foreign
and limited and hurts.
Show me how to soar with a broken foot
and a broken wing.

Show me Lord.
Show me how to work this.
Show me how to surrender to everything that happens in my life
as training
as opportunity
as grace
as destiny towards my greatest good.

Show me Lord.
Show me how to work this.
Show me.

Amen.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

That Is Who I Would Like To Be

This comment is from a new reader (hello sweet DesertPirate), who has gone back to the beginning of the blog and is reading forward.  This is from a post I wrote entitled "Mother May I..." from last July.


I suppose there are always things in life that make you angry and sad and anxious.  There will always be tragedies and challenges.  No one is without these.  


This usually comes so easy to me.  So easy.  I suppose now though is when it really counts.  Now is when I put my money where my mouth is.


Do I really believe in grace?


Despite this serious challenge, can I still find a way to savor and be grateful for the moments of contentment and peace whenever they present themselves?


There is a place for crying out about the why why why of the bad that comes in life.


I would just like to sing louder about the good things than the crying I do about the bad, no matter how loud the bawling and cursing gets.


Kitty called me today, my chemo nurse.  Just checking on me, wondering if I'd had a better week.  Yup.  Physically much better.


Mentally not so much.


Mother May I?  Yes You May.  You must.


Today is another day I showed up and kept on writing and telling you the truth.


Every time I do that lately, it is a victory.


Thanks for being there with the light on, waiting for me.


Here's to singing louder than the crying and the cursing.  That is who I would like to be.


Amen.


Here's what Desert Pirate wrote as she read that post for the first time today.

Here's to singing louder than the crying and the cursing . . . what a perfect vision. I can't believe no one responded to that. That is who I want to be too. I want the damn cancer to teach me how to love more deeply. To teach both my husband and I to communicate more intimately. To appreciate one another more fervently. Can cancer do that? I suppose it could if the singing is louder than the crying and the cursing. I hope my chemo brain will let me remember this. It is one of your best and most succinct thoughts I've read so far. Love you writergirldreams. Love you. Desertpirate


This is a very good question, can cancer do that, can cancer teach me that?

That would be a hell no.

Cancer doesn't do shit except ruin and destroy and be greedy and opportunistic.  There is never and will never be anything redeeming about cancer.  I see now though, adversity is an opportunity to rise, it's a chance to test will and spiritual muscle, and most of all, it is a call to be awake in your life, to love, to celebrate each moment of peace and contentment, even the ones that happen in the storm, as a precious gem.

Cancer won't teach you anything Lady.  Everything you are learning and embracing and opening to right now is all about you,

all the praise and credit goes to you.

Thank you for the love, thank you for what you all give back to me.  There are still rough moments for me, where I could stomp my foot and have a tantrum like Tink, and I feel sorry for myself.  And then a message comes from one of you, I see you reaching and blooming and opening to all the beauty that is your life,

and just to know I had a little somethin to do with that,

it makes me gloriously happy.

Every day I am learning what it is to be a survivor, and that is not defined by whether or not I survive a cancer diagnosis.

It's about showing up.
It's about being resilient.
It's about being present.
It's about loving the stuffing out of life.
It's about finding joy and delight in the most simple ordinary things.
It's about singing louder than the crying and the cursing.

Damned cancer ain't teaching you nothing DesertPirate, but you're learning just fine.

Just fine.

Keep going.

That's what I'm gonna do.
Keep going till there is no more to go.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Survivors Day Coming Soon

Here's the link to an article about the Survivors Day Celebration I will be speaking at.  If you'd like to attend the free event, make sure you pre-register by calling the American Cancer Society at (707) 425-5006, Option #3.  Today I helped with the blurb, all about moi, that will go in the program.

Cancer survivors to celebrate in Fairfield - The Reporter

Just one little thing the article got wrong - the blog has not been read by 10,000 people, but has received over 10,000 visits!  I posted a comment below the article to clarify that.

I am so excited to attend the event with all my peeps, and so nervous about giving my speech.  I want to do a good job and not cry through the whole thing.  I've organized my speech and torn it apart several times now.  Sheesh.

At first I thought I'd be doing this whole thing with Barbie dolls, then I scrapped that, I'm no Gilda Radner.  I just decided to go with what I know.  Mostly the speech will be excerpts from my blog, minus the eff bombs thank you.  I gotta be nice!

On a technical note, ever since Blogger went down, my posts are not automatically posting directly to Facebook, as they did before.  Any of you bloggers on Blogspot that can offer advice on how I fix this, let me know!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Sweet Note, Hope, and Hopes Dashed

ok, so I am not sure how this works, commenting on a blog you posted so many months ago. Will you even know that I did? I had to start reading your blog from the beginning. The very beginning. Because that is where my cancer journey begins. At the beginning. Your humor, honestly, musing, poingnant (I give up on the spelling but not on the use of the word) insights, medical information, tips, heartaches, joys are all so heart felt. You are helping me so much. thank you. Desertpirate


Hello Desertpirate.  Yes, I see all the comments, even when a reader comments on an old post. I am acknowledging you here, because I wasn't sure if you would go back to the post again.

Welcome Sister.  Welcome.  Big hug to you.  Please come again.

I had an appointment with The Good Witch on Friday, my regularly scheduled 3 month check up with CBC (complete blood count).  It was so great to see her, always is, and of course all the staff I am so fond of.  Hello Vonda.  Love you girl.

It was the first time The Good Witch had seen me since I acquired fake boobies, and she thought they looked great, and couldn't believe all my hair!  All my blood counts were excellent - red blood cell, white blood cell, kidneys lookin good, and tumor markers excellent.

We talked about my return to work, and I gave her the good, the bad, and the ugly.  The good is how great it feels to be back among my coworkers and all the lovely guests I wait on in the glorious Napa Valley.  The walkway into the restaurant is so beautiful this time of year, with apricot roses blooming and white wisteria hanging from multiple arbors trimmed with white lights.  I love coming in to work, hearing the specials of the day, and preparing to meet all kinds of characters from all over the world.

The bad and the ugly is how this body of mine is feeling on the job and after work.  Lemme tell you folks, it is brutal.  I push and push and push and by the time I make it out to my car at the end of each shift, I feel like I could bawl my eyes out for the aches and pains, and stiffness in my hands and arms and chest.  Thursday night was the worst, after three consecutive nights of work.  I told The Good Witch how laying in bed that night, I realized I was all curled up in the fetal position, my hands stiff as claws.  I've been downing ibuprofen like M&M's.

I told her I was ready to try something for the neuropathy, cause somethin's gotta give.  She promptly wrote me a prescription for Neurontin, generically known as gabapentin.  It's actually an anti-seizure drug they found had the collateral benefit of helping with peripheral neuropathy.  My Duncle Dody is on it, with great success.  Hello Duncle.

I caught up The Good Witch on all my stuff, including my hysterical-oscopy, and she cringed when I told her about the scene from Psycho with the IV in my neck while awake.  I cried when I told her how traumatized I was, and she understood how after this last year and soldiering through, it caught me by surprise and knocked me down.

She agreed that there are still a lot of misconceptions and misinformation out there, even among medical professionals, regarding lymphedema.  She said I did the right thing by not using that arm.  She asked if I was experiencing any side effects from Tamoxifen, and how often I miss a dose?  I told her I don't miss any, I'm good about that, and so far, I have only occasional nausea.

As she examined flattened Flopsy and Mopsy, she asked if I had any other physical concerns, any bone pain?  We discussed it might be good for me to continue with physical therapy visits here and there.  I asked her "Since I won't be having mammograms, but still have my nipples and breast skin, how will we know if cancer returns there?  How will I know the difference between hard spots that are radiation scar tissue and something new?"

"You won't.  We'll just have to do exams and we'll establish a new standard for how things look and feel.  If we notice anything suspicious or out of the ordinary, we'll check it out."

She was running late with a very booked schedule, but it didn't keep her from giving me more than my fair share of attentive listening, discussion and empathy.

She always makes me feel better.

They called in my new prescription, and refilled Ativan for me.  Since returning to work, I've needed the occasional "Vitamin A" to help with some anxiousness I've been having.  After spending much of the last year at home, I get a little unsettled out of the nest.

After seeing the Good Witch, I met with KarBear, the oncology nurse navigator, so we could talk about my upcoming speech, and do more brainstorming for the writing workshop we are going to give together at the Cancer Center.  We always have a great time, and creatively spark each other.

I got all kinds of needed TLC on Friday, and was very excited and hopeful to start the new medicine.

Fast forward to Sunday morning, when I woke up with an extremely dry mouth, and a very swollen tongue and some blistering.  Oh dear.  It took me a minute to realize, oh no, is this a reaction to the new med?  Husband said I shouldn't take any more, and I called the pharmacist.

Pharmacist asked lots of questions, concurred that it was an allergic reaction, and seemed to be urging me to go to the ER.  I reassured her I was not having trouble breathing or swallowing.  She said I should be very diligent to monitor myself over the next 24 hours, and do not hesitate to go to the ER if anything changed, and be sure to check in with my doctor, and of course, discontinue the medication.

Aw geez.

I emailed The Good Witch, giving her the update, and she said "oh my" and agreed with the pharmacist, additionally suggesting I take some Benedryl to help with the "allergic" reaction.  She suggested we try Lyrica next, and said she'd call in a new prescription on Monday.

Sunday evening I still had a swollen tongue, and my skin felt very creepy crawly, like I was going to get hives.  I did take the Benedryl, which knocked me out, and took more again today, which knocked me out again.  Tongue is still sore, but much better, although extreme dry mouth, like during chemo, continues.

I didn't go pick up the Lyrica.  I don't even want to think about trying it until my mouth feels better.

Sheesh.  I guess my reign as Queen of the Glitch ain't over.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I'm a Fairy GodMother


Little Babies in the nest, eyes open, sprouting feathers
 A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.  Chinese Proverb

You singing Little Bird?  The moon and stars are waiting on you.

Sing.

Blogger is Back Up Again!!!!!!!

Oh my goodness, blogger has been down since early Thursday morning, my Wednesday night post went to NeverNeverLand, they got it back, and just now was able to get back into my blog!

That was scary.

Sheesh, I need to start backing this thing up.

Talk to you later tonight!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Maybe I Could Be A Pole Dancer, At the Home for the Blind

Y'all are so damn cute, begging me to keep writing.  Sheesh, you don't have to beg.  Ok.  Beg a little more.  Hell, I'd do this for free.  Oh, I am.

So I will post when I am inspired, ok?  It won't be everyday.  You will just have to savor me.  Savor away!  Damn that was some mountain of a marathon I set for myself, and I did it!  I am very proud of that, daily blogging for one year, in cancer treatment no less!

I just don't have so much to talk about anymore, and I fear the transition I'm in right now I'm feelin a little whiny folks.  I thought I was through the hardest of the stuff.  I never imagined how difficult this transition back into my life would be.  Wow.  It's hard people, it's real hard.

Don't get me wrong, I am like the most grateful person on the planet but tonight after work as I got out of my car, I felt like a damned old lady walking up the front path.  Everything hurt.  Forget about the foot, it's half dead and the other half hurts like hell.  My back and shoulders ache, and the left wing is so tight.  Um, I hope there are some good drugs in my immediate future, or I need a new line of work baby.  A desk job?  Oh geez.  What'll I do?

Was texting Husband about it today, and said "Maybe I could work for you Honey..."

He texts back "You would have to do everything I say..."

I text back "I quit."

Damn, when you ain't worked in almost a year, and spent that year doing crazy cancer shit, wow, it is so hard going back to work.  Especially my job, which is so freakin physical.

Somethin's gotta give baby, cause between chemo brain, menopausal brain, blond brain, and old lady-itis, I am hurtin bad after each shift.

Not to mention, my brain is like a colander!!!!  Oh em G.  I can't remember shit.  I have to write everything down, and I mean ev-er-eeee-thang.  Tonight a guest orders a Prickly Pear Margarita, one of our signature cocktails, and I write down the abbreviated version without even thinking - "prick."  Then I look back at my server notes and startle myself thinking why in the hell did I write prick when he was a perfectly nice man???

I'm in trouble folks.

Don't mix Cancer Camp, with Camp Menopause, with Fiddy Two Year Old Lady Shit.

It's bad people.

Real bad.

I am turning into the breast cancer menopausal cursing Erma Bombeck.

It's gonna get ugly.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

just checkin

Will you miss me?

I'm gonna miss you.

Bad.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Answer the Call

What incredible blessings the writing and sharing of this blog have brought into my life.

Friends and readers all over the world, and it keeps growing.

The support and friendship of amazing Sisters who walk this path with me.

Over 1,000 comments.
Almost 30,000 page views.
Over 10,000 visits to the blog.
So many beautiful gifts sent to me by strangers,
including two heart pillows to tuck under my broken wings,
and a badge of courage - a purple blown glass heart all the way from England.

Cancer shook me and emptied me.
I cried and felt alone and hopeless.
That's when the Angels started to arrive,
rushing to fill me,
displacing all that grief with
overflowing love and support,
encouragement, gratitude and kindness,
and Sister wisdom and humor from all over the planet.

Thank you for loving me,
for carrying me,
for whispering to me when I cried,
for making me laugh my ass off,
for being the starlight in my pocket.

Thank you thank you Dear Reader.

We never know how good we are until we are called to rise.  Emily Dickinson


Thank you Kimberly for sending me that quote, one I used in the early days of the blog.

I'd like to add something to that dearest Emily.  Yes we never know until we are called to rise, but first,
you must answer the call.
Every new day you are given,
Awaken,
Breathe,
Live,
Love.

Peep little bird.
Come on now.
Peep.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

It crept up on me.  One year of writing this blog.  It took so long, and then whoosh, it was here!
Wow.
I did it.
I done good.

Look Ma.  No Hands.  Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

The mother who gives up her life for her children does them no kindness, but rather burdens them with the legacy of a life unlived.  Janet Faldron

See me kids?
See Mommy?
I am living
the life
out of this life.

With all that I learned about life and myself while in Cancer Camp, this little quote sure sums it up good.



No kid should ever have to hear the words "Mom has cancer."  With all of the losses that come with a cancer diagnosis, one of the most painful, as a Mother, was having to tell my boys, knowing the silent worry and grief they would bravely carry.

With whatever cancer took away from them and may someday still,
it gives me great peace
knowing my boys saw me at my worst,
dancing in the rain.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Half Empty or Half Full? What's It Gonna Be Baby?

The glass is always half empty.  And cracked. And I just cut my lip on it.  And chipped my tooth.  Janeane Garofalo

It's all about the math.  It's what you count.

It is a good day when you go to get your labs, and favorite Lab Lady is as relieved as I am when she gets me with one stick.
It is a good day when your boss calls and says "We want you to take Mother's Day off, have a great Mother's Day, and we'll see you next week."
It is a good day when Son Number Two texts from a friend's to say "Pick me up at 6." I text back "Please Mommy, pick me up at 6."  He texts back "Please my beautiful, amazing, charismatic mother of awesomeness, will you care to arrive at such and such address to pick up your extremely admiring son who loves you?"
It is a good day when you turn sprinklers on and the sun is shining and a rainbow appears over the lawn.
It is a good day when baby finches cry to be fed inside a nest decorated with twigs and herbs you picked.
It is a good day when you can take a nap, with two Sister dogs flanking the bed, and one poodle tucked between your feet.
It is a good day when flowers and books are your satisfying company.
It is a good day when you have hair to wash, that will soon be long enough to use hot rollers again.
It is a good day when you can embrace adversity as a good education, and your woundedness as an opportunity to love tenderly.

Is it as simple as this?
Is a good day good because you decided it is?
Make all your days good then.
You only have yourself to convince.

Every day is a gift - even if it sucks.  Sherry Hochman

Friday, May 6, 2011

Start Here

You ever say "Yes" when your gut wanted to say "No"?

You ever say "No" when your heart wanted to say "Yes"?

Stop doing that Baby.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Have Mercy

I had a little meltdown at work last night, at the end of my shift.  I was in the office, turning in my paperwork, talking to my Manager about my schedule and realizing my limitations and adjusting to being back at work.

You ever see the Playhouse Disney show called "Bear in the Big Blue House."  That's who this Manager reminds me of, the Big Bear.  He is tall and large and very much a gentle giant.

"I'm not returning as the same person I was when I left..." and that's when the tears started to flow.  He looked at me with a sad face and stood to give me a hug, and asked what he could do.

I've been really emotional lately, processing and accepting this me.

You remember one of my favorite sayings about "When God closes a door, He opens a window, but it's hell in the hallway."  I first read that years ago, it's a little hand painted sign that hangs in my Sister-in-law's kitchen.

I am in the hallway now.

Transitioning towards the open door, which I can't see yet.

I can still see my old self, behind the closed door.
I've had my moments weeping at the closed door.
I guess that's what happened last night.

I know good things are coming.
I know there is a plan for me.
I know I am on the threshold of a very different life.

I know God dreams bigger for me than I could ever imagine.

I have faith.

Um, God?
Just between You and me,
You think You could make this one
a short hallway?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Memorize This

Just a few days left, till the one year anniversary of my blog.  I haven't yet made any decisions about what happens after that.  Talking to you has become a daily practice, and part of my routine before bed.  I think I would feel lost without you.  On da other hand baby, I will have completed my goal, and I'm ready to stop giving breast cancer and cancer treatment such a prominent place in my life.

There's something I keep thinking about regarding this cancer thing.  I think this is especially important for the sweet newbies.  It seems to me that unless you are positive for the breast cancer gene, they really don't know why the rest of us got it.  They throw around all kinds of what ifs, but the truth is, they don't conclusively know.

It's easy when something like this happens to you, to spend way too much time stuck in asking why.

The truth is, you will never know, and you will make yourself crazy searching for answers that will never be revealed to you.

Save yourself the suffering.
Leave that place where you cry for the why.
You'll be crying a long long time baby if you stay there, and still have no answers in your hand.
Step through the threshold.
Accept what is.
Embrace the possibilities.
Ask for what you need.
Believe that help is on the way.
Help someone else who needs help.
Let go of what you cannot control.
Control the only thing you can, your reply.

This is not heaven, although there are heavenly moments.
This place is about birth and death.
Be ready to be born and die a thousand times.
Let go of why.

Memorize this.
Yes.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's Finally Happening

Seven months out from chemo, my hair is really sprouting, getting thicker and fuller on the sides and  crown.  My bangs and at the nape of my neck are not coming in as strong.  I miss bangs!  I have these short little curly bangs that aren't long enough to comb to one side or the other.  I still feel naked without all my big hair, I didn't realize how much I hid behind it.

The crazy growth spurt with my fingernails appears to have come to an end, awwww.  I don't know if it was hand washing dishes, or the return to work, but my Barbra Streisand nails are gone.

Six months out from my BLM, the tightening, tingling and numbness under my arm and on the side of my chest continues.  Since my return to work, I notice my left arm and chest wall tighten throughout the shift, and I really have to work that wing to get it to loosen up.  I am happy that all of the neuropathy in my hands appears to be gone, and I have not had any problems carrying trays of cocktails, or setting them down one by one with a full tray in my hand.  I am still regaining hand and arm strength, which makes opening some bottles of wine a challenge.

Only three months out from radiation, the extreme fatigue I had is getting better, and I don't really have a problem making it through a work shift because of that.  It's more about my right foot.  I realize now, in that year of work prior to my diagnosis, I was so so tired.  I thought it was cause I hit fifty, but realize now it was my undiagnosed breast cancer.  If I didn't have this issue with my foot or left arm, I'd be doing very well at work, considering what I've just gone through.

I am adjusting to wearing the mastectomy bra and prostheses, although I notice some distinct wrinkling on Flopsy, due to being folded up into the cup.  Mopsy is very malleable and has no problems being in the bra.  Flopsy, the radiated side, is still considerably stiffer and thicker and doesn't bounce back as well after the bra comes off.  I rub her up with cocoa butter and that helps but I am not wearing the bra during the day or when I don't have to.  It's not that it's uncomfortable, I've gotten used to it.  I just don't like stuffing Flopsy and Mopsy in there if I don't have to.  On a side note, I keep forgetting to tell you that much of the freckling and spots from radiation on the underside of Flopsy are fading.

Every day I am having longer periods of time where breast cancer is not at the forefront of my thoughts.  What a relief and welcome break!  It's wonderful.  I haven't started writing my speech yet, I've been resisting because the breaks from breast cancer are such a treat.

Since my return to work and despite the physical limitations and strapping on fake boobs, this is the closest to normal I've felt in a year. 

It's such a relief, so I'm not looking forward to getting my labs done at the end of the week.  I'm praying my veins aren't going to rain on my parade.  Please oh please oh please.

Every day I am shedding my cancer patient persona, and embracing myself as a cancer survivor.

It's finally happening.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Peep

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches on the soul.  Emily Dickinson

I have finches, three of them; that is what's left of my large flock that at its largest was thirty birds.  Over the last few years, most have died from very old age, living far longer than most house finches.  The flock was two clans, all variations of brown and white, or tan and white.  The three left are from the tan and white contingent.

I have thought about putting a posting on Craig's List for finches, hoping to revive the flock, but I've been a little busy this last year.  It has tickled me though, the persistence of these three little ladies, laying egg after tiny finch egg, and dutifully and lovingly taking turns to make sure one of the three is always on the nest.  They know to wait for clean water in the morning to bathe in, and two splash and flutter while the third waits her turn, watching from inside the nest that hangs high in the cage.

For at least a year now, if not a little more, it's always the same.  Lots of eggs that never hatch, and three tan and whites that pile in together when the sun goes down.  I do what I can to make them happy, mostly collecting nesting material for them, and placing it like a mini Home Depot at the bottom of their cage.  Small sticks and twigs and dried grasses are the favorites.  They go crazy for that stuff, and immediately redecorate the nest.  I love to watch and see the finished result inside their little house, all comfy and woven like a lovely herbaceous quilt.

When the flock was larger, I kept a large flight cage out in the yard, only moving it in to the garage during cold or rainy weather.  When it got down to these last three birds, I moved them into a smaller cage and back into the house.

To my absolute delight and joy and disbelief, there are babies just hatched in the nest now.  At least four, and still more eggs that look ready to crack.  I couldn't believe it.  I was so happy.  What an unexpected grand surprise.

Apparently, conditions were not right, until now, and I was all wrong in my assumptions.  They were right, my little finches, abiding faithfully on eggs they knew would some day bear fruit with feathers, and tiny beaks wide open for Mother food and love.

Three little tan and white finches gave me a lesson in faith today,
and a reminder that often when you least expect it
and have given up all hope,
Good arrives.
Sometimes like a glorious parade.
Sometimes just a peep.

Be hopeful.
Have faith.
Everything is not as it seems.
There is a plan.
Good is on its way.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Big or Small, They Want 'Em All

I was huge busted my whole life, started sprouting Flopsy and Mopsy in 4th grade.  Throughout my life, I got used to boys and men talking to them instead of me, addressing my double D's.  Hello.  I'm up here.  Hello.

It has surprised and cracked me up since my return to work in fake boobs, two perky just shy of C cups, that many of the men I wait on are still talking to the boobs!  It's hysterical.  And even my male co-workers who know these things aren't real; I still catch them looking.

I learned somethin new.

When it comes to men
and boobs,
size does not matter.
Big ones.
Little ones.
Fake ones.
They want 'em all.
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