rollercoaster ride

Everything looks great.

These are the three magic words I've been waiting to hear. My radiologist smiles when he says them. I want to kiss him, I've met this man twice in my life and I want to throw my arms around him. I think I might faint, the good news has made my knees go weak. I don't fall over and I don't behave inappropriately with the doctor, I smile and say thank you and stagger back to the changing room where I let the relief wash over me. Maybe tonight, I'll sleep.  The letter reminding me that it was time for my mammogram came two weeks ago and I haven't slept past 3:30 since.

the better I get, the worse I feel

Irony, no? That's one of the many jacked up things about cancer and its aftermath. Here I am, basically healthy and I don't feel good about it. That's not precisely accurate, I feel great and I feel great about that on some levels, but in other ways it makes everything harder. Am I just a whiny cry-baby? Maybe so. It's still the truth that every day I feel stronger and healthier and more like my old self and that only makes me realize how far from normal I have been. Partly it's the speed of both my illness and recovery. In less than 2 years I have gone from perfectly fine to finding a lump to full blown cancer patient to whatever I am now. It has been both an eternity and the blink of an eye. And now that the worst is over, as far as I know, it's hard to believe it happened at all. But then I look in the mirror and, yeah, it for sure happened. Plus, however good I feel now, is not the same as before. You can't un-know certain things, they become a part of you. I'm different than I was. That's not necessarily a bad thing, some of the changes are positive ones, but none the less, they are still changes that were forced on me - not ones I consciously made.

math is hard

It occurs to me that I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my high school math teachers, Jim Manheim & Burton Tingle. Despite my oft stated belief that math is not my thing and that I want no part of it, I realize that my chosen career is almost entirely about creating balance, order and symmetry with physical objects and within certain parameters. In other words, geometry. And I'm quite good at it so I have to believe that I actually did learn something from these gentlemen. Nice work.

a sad, ugly business

I am very sad about the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Generally, I don't much care for or about the lives of celebrities, but this was a man with a monumental talent. And, apparently, a hole in his heart that he tried to fill with heroin. How does it happen, that a person with so many gifts feels so empty inside? This, by the way, will not be a rant against the evils of drug use. I know people who died of drug overdoses and, frankly, if it hadn't been drugs, it would have been something else. Sad as it is to face, the truth is that they were not going to live very long. 

results, resolve and resolutions

Personally, I'm not much for New Year's Resolutions. It's certainly a tempting idea to start anew and make changes at the dawn of a year. The problem is it's too easy to get off track and then it becomes a promise to start again tomorrow, no Monday, that's the start of the new week and if I can't start from day 1 of the year, at least I can begin the week on the right foot. Wait, does the week start on Sunday or Monday? Calendar week or work week? What if I just start on Sunday? No, that won't work because we have dinner with friends on Sunday evening and I won't have time to workout/don't want to be weird and high maintenance at the restaurant ordering everything plain with lemon on the side/will want to have a cocktail or a smoke or desert...heroin...what-have-you...insert vice of choice here. And the next thing you know it's May and you've gotten nowhere with whatever it was you resolved to do or not do starting January 1st.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should

That should be the official motto of Las Vegas. Sure, it's a neon-lit, 24-7, anything goes free-for-all but all that really means is that there's no lifeguard on duty or any adult supervision and you are on your own to regulate your own behavior. Inner children running amok. And every second of it is on security camera. Big Brother is watching and he agrees that you should not be wearing that.

unresolved issues

In the same way that I believe the universe takes us to the places we need to go, I also believe that people in our lives, the really important ones, the game-changers, they do not come to us by accident. Sometimes the place a person holds in your life is easy to understand - parent, child, spouse, love of one's life. Others may be more difficult to define, but no less significant. I have a dear, dear friend (DDF) whose role in my life seems to be something along the lines of oracle. He is, among other things, adept at helping me face things I might otherwise be inclined to leave unexamined. This should annoy me, but it doesn't.

Recently, DDF and I had a conversation that took me to a place I really didn't want to go. It started out normally enough - we're working on a project together, I had a pretty good idea what needed to be accomplished on this particular afternoon and it took DDF all of about three and a half minutes to steer the conversation down a completely different path. A path I was fine with conceptually, but actually made me squirm.