Thursday, August 27, 2015

Adventure -

I am a sucker for an adventure - I love to travel, explore, learn, experience, discover! I know my boundaries physical exploration, risking my body, is my least favorite - but then I made it through cancer treatments, and that was quite the adventure!

I like to try new foods, visit new places, take the unpaved trail, the dirt road, the small town. How about a new hairstyle, rearranging the furniture, eating peaches with basil, grapefruit with chocolate. It's one of my most favorite things - adventure - 

Every new semester brings with it an adventure and a challenge - take 23 students, mostly strangers, get them to talk with each other and me by the 3rd class, create a community that is engaged and learning. Quite the experience! 

I've been seeking new adventure - what am I thinking - and it is just around the corner, with processes just about finished. I'm excited. 

In the meantime - this showed up via email this morning: 

“Then, one day, when you least expect it, 

the great adventure finds you.”  


Another of my favorite adventure quotes is this: 

"Go out for adventure, come home for love." 

This has been a motto of mine for years - decades. I'm not seeking outside love and recognition, just adventure. I have all the love and support I need in my home, my heart. 

May you all find a little adventure this week - it's worth the energy! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

School Starts - UVU -

I've been going to college since I was 32. I am 56! I love learning, teaching, being among 20 year olds, watching them, listening to them, seeing what they are wearing, what is important to them. Every year when I step onto campus I feel like I am the one who has changed, and for 24 years the college campus has remained the same. It's almost as if I'm stepping back in time, and I love it. I feel secure in this environment.

Ladies and gentlemen, the world is in good hands - 90% of my students are amazing, and I trust them, honor them, and I look forward to collaborating with them.

I am teaching 3 1010 (exploratory writing) classes this semester. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30am to 2:15pm.

Today's conversations will begin with:

Share one thing you did this summer that was unique -
Share one thing you did this summer that was normal -

I look forward to hearing what they have to say.



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Chemo Brain and US News -

Last year,  mid-September,  I wrote a post on chemo brain. I'd link,  but I'm working from my tablet,  and I can't figure out how to do that.  Anyway,  Living Beyond Breast Cancer,  lbbc.org, shared it.  A week ago I received a call from an LBBC media rep.  Lisa Esposito, from US News wanted to write an article on chemo brain, could they put her in contact with me.

We had a great conversation,  and the story came out today.  Very nice, and I don't think she misquoted me or took things out of context.  Good reporter!

Here you go -

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/08/19/getting-the-better-of-chemo-brain

Thanks for the opportunity to share,  Lisa.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

All My Ex's Live in Texas -

This story got me thinking about two of my ex's.

Last week Tempest turned 5. 5 years old, and I remember the moment she was born - seeing her beautiful top lip, knowing it was exactly like her mother's, and feeling so blessed to be at her birth. I've been blessed to be a part of her life, she was one of my biggest cheerleaders as I went through my cancer journey, and we have tons of fun together. But - this post isn't about darling Tempest.

This post is about my ex. Our divorce was final 12 years ago, right around this time of August. We were married 25.5 years (almost a marathon!). We had a troubled marriage, and I blame a lot of that on being too young to marry, living too close to a controlling father (his), and growing apart rather than together.

We've both remarried, we live in the same valley. We have rarely spoken since our divorce, coming together, congenially, for children's marriages, grandchildren's births and birthdays, a couple of funerals, that's it. And we've greeted each other with a civil buddy hug, then quickly separated and tried to not make eye contact with each other.

I tried, once, at Tempest's blessing (similar to a christening), to have a conversation, just to tell him how grateful I was that we were able to rear such beautiful children, but I think I scared him, and that conversation didn't happen.

Last week his wife did not come with him to the celebration. Scott and I, and my mother, arrived, I said hi and hugged other family, then walked to him, seated on the couch, he stood, we hugged, and then I sat down, next to him, just to see what would happen.

We visited! It was mostly a catch up on the latest news we'd heard about each other's lives and family, through our children, but we conversed. It was interesting to visit with him. In some ways I could have probably finished his sentences, and in others I was speaking to someone I'd met in the elevator. Small talk with absolutely no commitment. We were comfortable, and the conversation was good, and I had so many questions for him, so many things I wanted to share. I wanted to say to him, "Good to see you my friend, good to see you again, my friend," and as Scott and I left that evening (so glad it was Scott I was going home with), I wondered if we'd ever have a chance to do more than lightly catch up. I wonder if he'd even care to.


Several years ago, and I was single, I had a friend who became more than a friend. And we talked, long distance, for several months, making plans for a long-term visit. We shared, played 50 questions via telephone and email, and these conversations allowed both of us to look at our lives, our dreams, our motivations. In the end, we separated, and we have not seen each other since. He lives on the East Coast, I'm deep in the West, and yet there are times I yearn for a conversation with him, even in an elevator - just to catch up. I want to say the same, "Good to see you," to him. But it will never happen, ever. 

I find it extraordinarily interesting that I can hear a song, read a blogpost, smell a particular scent, see a waxing moon, feel humidity in the air, and I am in a place where I want to share with an ex, and I can't. So I send out a little beam of gratitude - for the good times, the bad times, but mostly, for today and for the memories that surround my todays. 

And - Scott is not one tiny bit jealous. (Fist bump.)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Post-cancer Treatments - Healing -


Scott and I work out every morning. It's either a trip to the gym/Cody, or a 45 minute walk. We get our exercise in, and we're allowed the time to visit, uninterrupted, before our day gets hectic.

This morning we were talking about the need for post-cancer treatment. After I finished my treatments, my doctors said, "Go home, sleep, get healthy."

Pretty vague, but that's all I really wanted at that time.

What I wish now they would have said, is this - "We're now going to turn you over to our post-cancer treatment center. Here you will have medications, vitamins, supplements, support, diet, exercise, that will help you as you put your body back together."

See, I was brought in, given a chemo tutorial, a radiation tutorial, and away I went, with my "care team" killing the good and bad in my body. But where was the care team that put me back to health? There are cancer support groups, online chat groups, "alternative" medicines, coaches, but where is the medical world when it's time to heal? Where's the package? Shouldn't there be physical therapy for post-cancer, just as there is for post-surgery?

I've had to find that on my own. And the hit and miss of this aspect of healing has been very frustrating. Turning my healthcare back to my primary care physician has not been the answer. Hormones, thyroid meds, anxiety meds have not healed me. I've had to be very assertive, at some times aggressive in finding my way to healing. And I don't think that's right! Kill me, but don't heal me! Phfff.

These days I'm exercising, lifting weights, eating clean, taking supplements, drinking lots of water and green tea, and spending some time each day reflecting and dreaming.

It's been almost 3 years since I found my lump, and I'm still finding my way to health. Bizarre.


http://peoplehouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/women-healing-from-cancer.jpeg

Monday, August 10, 2015

Comfort and Prayers -

My dad's in a precarious spot right now - his health is not holding. Prayers of comfort, both for him and my mom would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks -


Friday, August 7, 2015

Proofreading -

I spend a significant amount of time reading and editing. This summer I've been editing a Business English course. I have to be super-critical about the material I'm reviewing - watching for numbers and numerals, quotation marks, commas, periods, spacing, indents, overuse of words such as that, you, misspelled words, font size, and the list goes on and on.

Then when I read for pleasure - I find myself doing the same thing - Aaaha - found a typo, way too many you's in this paragraph, shouldn't that period be inside the quotation marks? And the list goes on. Often these errors leap off the page at me. In fact, I can read a sentence or paragraph two or three times, if it doesn't make sense the first time, to try and figure out where the error is. I think, "Where was their proofreader/editor?" "Obviously the publisher was sloppy."

This makes me a good teacher, a good editor, but it makes me critical of what I should be enjoying.

I've been thinking about that - It's one thing to be professional, critical, but it's another to be engaged in the content rather than critiquing the content.

In life, this likewise applies. I can be the proofreader, the critical one, looking for, and finding, fault in others, in myself, for that matter. As I've been caring for my father these past 2 weeks, there are plenty of times I have found fault - feeding tube kinked, nurses who didn't respond as quickly as they should have, pain meds that don't do their job, a doctor who was a little too knife happy, a room just a little too cluttered.

I have tried, diligently, this time with my dad and my mom, to, rather than be critical, be compassionate. What am I to learn from this experience? How can I be better because of what I've seen and heard? How can I be honest without being hurtful? Am I asking for too much? Can I be patient with the process? How can I care for others, make this experience good for them?

The response has been amazing, if only to me. Instead of finding fault, I have overlooked mistakes (not ignored, but a choice) and in doing so, have found peace, and ultimately, joy in this journey. And honestly, it's easier - not being the proofreader allows for me to enjoy the surroundings, the message. I'm tired, my eyes are tired of reviewing, I need a rest, I need to do something for enjoyment, but joy has filled my heart. I am not frustrated, not anxious, not upset with the situation, because I have chosen to overlooked the "" that aren't up to my standards, the over use of "that" when "who" would be better, and in doing so, I have been able to focus on the content - Dad and Mom.

Hip-Hip-Hurray!

Lord, by Your grace, 
please replace my critical spirit with 
Your love and compassion for others.