Moving Forward

 

It’s here. That New Year. Time to shape up. Get that ball rolling in a new/better direction. Take what you’ve learned over your last year to make this one, this shiny new one even better!

Peeling my right eyelid open on Sunday, the 1st day of 2017, I noticed a green light glowing on the wall. It seemed new. Shifting my focus slightly downward I discovered my charging laptop was the culprit. I must have forgot to put my hat over the charging light. Wonder what else I forgot after yesterday’s late evening out. I closed my right eye.

I am finally off steroids and thus, sleeping and dreaming again. It’s awesome! I protested taking each daily dose. After countless months on Dexamethasone, the negative side effects were obvious. Blowing up like a balloon, craving sugar, irritability, achy joints and unable to sleep were just a few.

Weeks ago, that Ah-Ha moment happened, I was able to see a few good things it did. Breathing was easier. Moving about was challenging but possible. Getting in and out of my car was a cinch. Going to the bakery at 6 am for just out of the oven doughnuts was easy since I was already awake!

I still don’t want to be on them again. Ever. Not long term anyhoos. I know it may limit how doctors treat my cancer in the future. For now, this is where my line is drawn in the sand.

Now, laying still; thinking I’m supposed to get things rolling today. Huh. The only rolling I’m going to do is roll myself, gingerly to my right side. My right side remains difficult to lay on. The Ol’ Noggin is still quite ornery from my craniotomy last May. Not much I can do to change that.

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Unable to fall back asleep on my right side, I fought my way out of tangled blankets to sit on the bed’s edge. Dangled feet search for slippers. My mind decides I am ready to take on 2017. Refrigerator shopping – here I come!

Hello 2017.

 

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I got the Waiting Room Blues

Wow.  Is this really happening?

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What time are my scans scheduled again?

 

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Ten Down

televisionWhen I set out to watch 10 American Classics I expected to be wow’d. I sure was right. Wow’d I was! I finished the last film, Some Like it Hot, two days ago. Saving this for last was not intentional what-so-ever. My local library had a long wait list to get through before I could borrow it to watch at home with my lap warmer, Yam. I watched it immediately. I wanted to close the chapter on this 10-classics endeavor.

Looking back on my 10…  I really liked two; mostly liked one; the remaining 7 were so-so. Many took multiple sittings to get through. I can see myself picking up the American Classic genera again in a few months. For now, I’m watching silly, laugh until your belly hurts comedy.

There is a time and place for everything.

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Lung Force Expo

fullsizerenderI’m looking forward to connecting with lung cancer folks at the forthcoming Lung Force Expo, which takes place on on Friday, November 4th just outside of Portland, in Clackamas. It would be great to see you there!

You will find resources, information and support at the LUNG FORCE Expo. This one-day, educational event at the Monarch Hotel and Conference Center on November 4th is designed for lung cancer survivors and their caregivers to learn more about the latest resources, research and developments related to lung cancer.

Topics include:

  • Being Your Own Advocate
  • Immunotherapy
  • Questions to Ask Your Lung Cancer Doctor
  • Stress Reduction Techniques
  • Nurse Navigation and Palliative Care
  • Caregiver Support

Learn more on the Lung Force site.

 

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Death Happens

I’ve discussed my Certified Life Cycle Celebrant and friend, Holly Pruett, on my blog before.  She’s great in countless ways.  When you are in her presence, immediately you pick up the calm and compassionate air that surrounds her. A gift she generously shares.

Today, I read about Holly in Willamette Week, a Portland weekly newspaper. She is one of two women featured in the cover story: Meet Two Portland Woman Who Make Their Livings Talking about the Ultimate Taboo: Death.

Satisfied grin evolved to big smile when I read a short section that anonymously discussed my “Death Over Pizza Party”.

Take the time to read the full article here.

Curious about my “Death OverPizza Party”?  Read about it here.

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Glamping, Hands Down

Terrebonne, OR bound to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary. Located roughly in the middle of Oregon, it is no booming metropolis.  What they do have is Panacea At The Canyon.  Hello Glamping!

I’m going to make 2 suggestions.

  1. Book a Big Sky Hot Air Balloon Co flight.
  2. Stay as long as you can + one day.

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Chaotic Mess

Several hours ago I composed an elaborate blog post. It was stunning. Awards were coming my way no doubt! No, I did not accidentally delete it, however, you still don’t get to read it.

Not much more than and hour later it hit me. My post is NOT working. I created a chaotic mess. The written equivalent of that handmade crochet blanket. That one you must lug around from home to home cherish forever because it was made, with love, from the skein remains of Grannie’s last 47 works of art. Fortunately, the words can be reworked.

– Take 2- Action

During the week I pay close attention to my energy level. I’m at my most active between 10:30- 1:00pm. Like clockwork at 2:30 my plug has been pulled out. Knowing that sleeping curled up in my cozy bed is best, sadly it does not always pan out. On comes the television.

Another round of brainlessly watching Netflix or HGTV shows that don’t really interest me. This is not how I should be spending my time.

I’m not going to take up crossword puzzles or read sections of SW’s unabridged dictionary; I’m sticking with TV watching. TV watching with direction.

I’ve started a small, manageable list of 10 American classic films with the criteria: I have not watched the film before; and it is on one of four (onetwothreefour) online lists I deemed credible at 4:27am 8-days ago.

Here goes the 10:

  1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s 3-yellow-jackets
  2. Casablanca
  3. Citizen Kane
  4. Gone with the Wind
  5. The Graduate
  6. Miracle on 34th Street
  7. North by Northwest
  8. Singin’ In the Rain
  9. Some Like It Hot
  10. Wizard of OZ

Slowly I’m working through them. A few are great, and others not so great.

What ranks high on your list?

 

Thanks to my public library I can view the Classics above for free. Lucky me!

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Sinking Rocks

KW+SW“Kim, things are looking good, in both CNS (brain) and body.”

Relief. With a deep exhale I crumple towards my swollen belly. Hunched over, I pause and take a few breaths. In (one chimpanzee)…out (two chimpanzee); in (one chimpanzee)…out(two chimpanzee).

Thrilled, yet over come with exhaustion, I could only mutter that is wonderful.

A great conversation followed between the 4 of us in the room, doctor, nurse, husband, and me. Concerns were expressed. Goals were made. Action plan set in motion – that is as set as can be in Cancerville. My course will continue with 6-week scans, evil-decadron, of course alectinib, plus a handful of other medications to put into this body of mine.

Today, 20 hours later, parked at my dining table, a slight smile barely peaks out of inflated cheeks. Worry, sadness, depression, stress, anger, frustration, – intense feelings stowed away in my body dislodge. As if I were submerged in a pool of soothing warm water, my baggage releases. Plummeting like rocks to the bottom. No longer burdened, I am weightless. I am at peace.

 

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Musings of an Insomniac

Awake at 5 am this morning and out of who knows where, I’m the spider! hit me like a bolt of lightening.

Remember that itsy-bitsy-spider that crawled up the water spout? Then rain. Sun.  Another crawling attempt. That is me in my current state.

My noggin remains a ball of instability. Trapping me in a loop of headaches, hospitals, steroids, insomnia, and scans. Barricades making it feel impossible to squeeze in living and enjoying life.

Finding my way up the spout again.

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Kiln cleaning gear.

Crafting it up with some whimsical stained glass projects. Finally, cleaning & priming my kiln shelf after its last firing countless weeks ago. I’m creeping along which is far better than not.

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Worth Your Weight in Salt

spicedrawerHow is it possible that my sodium level is too low?

I don’t understand. I’m a salter. Not an excessive salter. This home cook absolutely adds a generous pinch or two to dishes while preparing them.

Evidently that is not sufficient for my body.

Avoiding another round of doctor ordered salt pills is high on my list. Whipping up  a batch of Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies before my next set of labs is a no brainer!

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