I hope your holidays are wonderful!

I’ve had an incredible six months since I last posted.

I went to Sweden, met warm and wonderful relatives I hadn’t known, saw where my father lived as a child and went swimming in a lake in the forest, attended a Swedish Lutheran service in a chapel next to a lighthouse which felt like it was the end of the world. I left a little bit of my heart there. What an incredible journey this all has been . . .

I came back feeling blue. The trip was over. Having cancer is an ongoing battle. The doctor reminds me that there are other treatments when this one stops working . . . ” the ‘when this one stops working'” part is the annoying thing. One is always aware. I’m glad that I continue to be joyful in the moment a great deal of the time. I did decide that I have a five year plan – I planted the oak tree after all- but I needed to do something for me to prove to myself that I was so much better. I didn’t talk about it . . . a couple of people noticed what I was doing and . . .I was afraid that if I said anything I would feel horrible if I could not finish. So . . . I painted the exterior of the house. Started out with a small pan of paint and worked a little at a time, then a little more and found I was able to climb a ladder – I couldn’t even climb a stepstool after chemo and radiation- balance took a long time coming back. I used a 2 1/2 inch brush and painted the once white house a color called “flurried blue.” Touched up trim (I’ll do that next year). painted the garage door and side door. I love it. I really love that I finished it. Now I have other projects and goals and feel like moving forward again. I know, this isn’t a HUGE deal – there are a lot of people who do this all the time.  I really had felt that there probably wasn’t much future and I felt discouraged.  But I’m a seventy year old woman battling cancer – and I’ll be damned if I’ll throw in the towel. I’m still doing water aerobics twice a week and following a diet. As someone said to me recently – “you’re melting away.” I’m going to continue.

And – the scans were all clear once again. I still get occasional nausea – I still take oral chemo twice a day – I still need to have a port flushed and blood tested every six weeks. Oh, and I planted even more – 12 shrub roses and assorted shrubs and perennials I am looking forward to this spring.