Archives for posts with tag: grief and loss in breast cancer

Ugghh… I really didn’t want to write about this. This is the blog idea in the bottom of the barrel, the one I pretend I don’t see every time I reach in and randomly pull one for new ideas each week. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

I am reminded of the movie, The World According to Garp; the scene where Garp is with the realtor looking at a house he is about to buy, and as they watch an airplane sputters out and crashes into the house setting it on fire. “I’ll take it!” Garp yells, “It’s been pre-disastered!” Read the rest of this entry »

In the last month I had toyed with the idea of sharing some of the “mission statement/status update” emails I sent out en masse during breast cancer treatment. These emails served to keep people up to date on my treatment, to offer gratitude, to let them know where my head was, and respond to offers about what they could do to help. In hindsight, I think it allowed me a platform to state who I was, just in case….so people would always remember what I was about and how I handled cancer. Read the rest of this entry »

There I was, just sitting in the chemo lounge, politely minding my own business. All dandy in my barcalounger, port numbed and plugged in for my five hour poison infusion; a couple of Star Magazines and a National Enquirer in my lap, blanket nicely tucked in, ginger ale and a box of DOT’s (aka anti nausea meds) at the helm.

That was at least how she left me. But that is not how she found me.

Chemo Nurse Extraordinaire Marci was quite used to finding me engaged in the bizarre rituals I used to manage my anxiety. But even a seasoned pro like her was not prepared for what she saw when she turned the corner to find me well, lets just say, far from how she left me. National Enquirer splayed on the floor, tears streaming down my face, fingers in both ears, frantically and loudly humming the theme song from the Flintstones. Without skipping a beat (as if she saw this every day) she calmly said, “Lauren, what in the world is wrong now?” Note the word “Now.” If I thought 15 months of chemo was never ending hell, well imagine poor Marci…but I digress. Read the rest of this entry »

My 84 year old neighbor Frances has taught me a lot about the world, like the difference between lima beans and butter beans and that you need to wrap a folded paper towel around a can of Coca Cola to have with your pack of Nabs. One of the more important things I have learned from her is the difference between “over yonder” and “way out yonder.”  Over yonder is someone up the street from us, you can walk over yonder, but way out yonder is like someone in Missouri.  I just love Frances. Read the rest of this entry »

Mammogram today….upstairs first, back down here for chest xray…new insurance card…copay 40 dollars…change in here… locker won’t work try another… here take your key Read the rest of this entry »

Once, when Colton was just learning to read he was given an assignment by his teacher to write something about one of his grandparents. He brought me a piece of paper, which still hangs on the fridge to this day. Penciled in little boy hand it said, “Grandma Ellie was my mom’s mom. She loved dogs. She is in heaven.” Boy did she.

Scout claimed me. I had been trolling on the SPCA website pulling up pictures of available dogs and to be honest, I was really looking for a Basset Hound as that was all I had owned for years. Amelia, who was only about 3 at the time, stood next to me as I scrolled through the pictures. When the picture of this white fluffy dog flashed up on the screen she blurted, “Oh! Look how cute that one is!” Read the rest of this entry »

Once upon a time, I was riding along, listening to a radio interview with a woman who ran a summer camp etiquette school for girls, still even in the year 2009. She hosted this camp in her home each summer, teaching young ladies the social graces. As the girls followed her through a day, she was heard teaching them lesson upon lesson. A gentile sounding woman, I imagined her in very sensible shoes, immaculately appointed in Pendleton wool…perhaps a bit grandmotherly. I was mesmerized by her smooth perfect inflection saying to the girls, “We never call it a trash or garbage can, it’s always a wastebasket; it just sounds nicer that way.” Read the rest of this entry »

Like a hoarder, I collect experiences. My brain is cluttered with a snippet of a memory here, a quote there. The Gandhi and Mother Teresa bin is overflowing and I have a temporal lobe chock full of song lyrics.  As I meander through life and come across a new one, I always experience that delighted gasp that I first felt as child coming across a freshly hatched robin’s egg for the first time; enchantment at the uniqueness; wonder at the preciousness of such a delicate thing. I am awash with awe at the inherent depth of something so simple and small. As with the remnants of that soft blue, blue egg, I gently tuck my gatherings away, certain they will eventually have some use for me in the future. Certain they will serve some vital role if not now then later, as I try to make sense of the world. Certain they are gifts that deserve protecting. Perhaps these collections are the evidence of my belief that almost always the answers to life queries (both large and small) are laid before us like a field of daisies. We just have to choose not only to see them, but gather them up one by one, making in the end a whole beautiful and complete bouquet. These are indeed, my tchotchkes of the mental world.

Read the rest of this entry »

Last week I sat in the home of a very wise woman; okay so she is my therapist but I prefer to think of her as a wise sage, like Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas. This woman has seen me through a rather nasty and painful divorce and breast cancer, job loss and creating a new life…several times. She has held my hand through oodles of cases of the willies and frequent niggles of self doubt. I have grieved openly and rawly in her presence. And last week, after I informed her that in December I had crossed into year five of of breast cancer survival she said for the gazillionth time, “You know you have a book in you, it’s time.” “I can’t,” I whined, “I just don’t know how to tie all these things together in a meaningful way,” and she said, “Blog.”

Anne Lamott offers in her book Bird by Bird, that while growing up, her brother was once faced with the overwhelming task of writing an entire paper about birds. She writes, “…he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'” So, here standing bird in hand at the place where many of us are “immobilized by the hugeness of the task” that is breast cancer, I will begin this blog. Launching a bird at a time from my cupped and loving hands, setting them free to carry the lessons and hope and insights I have learned navigating breast cancer…after five years.

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: