Baby steps…#MondayBlogs

Short, but sweet tonight.

Today was another 6 month follow up with my oncologist. I’ve been so looking forward to graduating to that 1 visit per year stage that I was pretty disappointed when some of my labs didn’t let that happen six months ago.

Today, the labs were on the money. I’m over 5 years out, I’m fully cancer free.

I can come back for a follow up in anywhere from 6 to 12 months.

So, Lara and I split the difference. 9 months, it is! 😉

Lara watched me waiting for my appointment with my usual anxiety today. My poor cuticles bear sad testament (yes, I am the person with THAT kind of anxiety).

She asked me, “are you really worried? Should you be?”

It’s funny. I’m afraid to NOT be worried. It’s like my anxiety has become a superstition. If I’m not anxious, I’m gonna get it! Ack!

Still, compared to even a year ago, I don’t have the fear perched on my back like an 800 pound gorilla.

So, not a writing update at all – just a happy little stream of consciousness.

Cancer free. Every day. All day long.

Blessings to you all!

Friday Philosophy…History

Traditional history: A story written by the winner of the war. HIS story.

Revisionist history: a story told by the loser of the war. HER story. The stories of thousands of voices we have delegitimized over hundreds of years. History that has been adapted to account for scientific facts more recently discovered.

History is a living, breathing story that has room for growth and change. So, for today’s Friday Philosophy, some quotes on history.

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” ~ George Santayana

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” ~ H.G. Wells

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” ~ Michael Crichton

“Every moment happens twice: inside and outside, and they are two different histories.” ~ Zadie Smith

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” ~ Maya Angelou

Who will tell your story, if not you? Who else can come close to getting it right?

Blessings to you all, never give up!

A Feminist Lyric… #MondayBlogs

There is a poem in the pick-up line
The waiting hours of each day
A poem in the pick-up line
As I bring my children back home to stay

There is a poem within the daily routine
In the mundane the world disdains
A poem in the daily routine
Where the extraordinary hides in spills and stains

There is a poem in the quiet mother
Who never burned her bra
A poem inside the bookworm mother
Whose rebellion is a laughingstock

There is a poem in our unity
A power in women’s voices raised as one
A poem in female unity
And how I long to see that day come

Woman is a poem
Rhymed or slanted, structured or free
Each woman is a beautiful poem
And her choice dictates who she will be

We are stronger together than we will ever be while we are at odds, my friends.
Blessings to you all…

Friday Philosophy…Escapism

We all like to get away once in a while. Whether you run to the mountains or dive within the pages of a book, escapism is a very valid way of taking a break from the day to day routines.

So, for our Friday, some thoughts on escapism:

“Expeditions are escapism. The stuff that we’re normally concerned about just doesn’t matter out there. Tax returns, gas bill, none of it. Life becomes very simple, it’s about moving in a certain direction – north if you’re going north – staying warm and not getting eaten. That’s it.” ~ Ben Saunders (This really boils it down to the essentials, I think. Except, you know, I would need to escape from this escape. Haha.)

“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.” ~ Shirley Jackson

“As JRR Tolkien reminded us, the only people who inveigh against escape are jailers.” ~ Neil Gaiman

“If you think you’re free, there’s no escape possible.” ~ Ram Dass

“Bond was escapism, but not meant to be imitated in real life.” ~ Roger Moore (Except the theme song!!! That was meant to be sung and hummed and imitated all day long!)

“Man staggers through life yapped at by his reason, pulled and shoved by his appetites, whispered to by fears, beckoned by hopes. Small wonder that what he craves most is self-forgetting.” ~ Eric Hoffer

And that last one hits the nail on the head, doesn’t it? We all need those moments where we can forget ourselves, escape ourselves. Books, music, art, film – all present avenues of escape. Travel and nature offer us other routes out of ourselves.

Happy Friday! May the weekend allow you a moment to escape.

Blessings to you all… Never give up!

Half of the Whole…#MondayBlogs

A couple of weeks ago, I made a decision. It was minor, as far as earth-shattering decisions go, but a big deal to me. I opted to switch my race from the whole marathon, to a half-marathon. As of September 5, I was finally given the all-clear to do resistance training and core work again.

Surgeons can be pretty picky about core work after any kind of abdominal surgery.

My marathon training continued, without strength training and abdominal work.

My running suffered.

On my last high-altitude training run, I realized I felt pretty darn good around 11 miles, and crummy after that. I told Lara that I thought I might want to postpone the marathon. She was beyond supportive, even going so far as to point out that waiting until next year would put me at the youngest age in my bracket, instead of the highest.

For those of you who don’t run, I’m currently in the 35-39 group – until Halloween. The next bracket is 40-44.

Yesterday, on 9/11, I ran the half-marathon in Ventura, California. At the halfway mark I realized that the 10k is my favorite distance. I still had another 6.5 miles to go, though.🙂

During this time, five years ago, I was getting chemo infusions. Now, I’m running a half-marathon. I can’t think of a better way to tell cancer to f*ck off.

My Maddie took some photos, and they were very instructive:

1.) I am THAT meme about running, and
2.) When I think I’m sprinting at the end, it only feels that way.

I hope this comic relief has brought you a bright point on your Monday. Never forget all we’ve lost, and never stop moving forward.

Blessings to you all!

running-meme

That bottom image? Totally me. 😉

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Before! At check-in on the 10th.

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Results. My goal was 2:30. I beat my own set time, so I’m pretty happy. Okay, sore, but happy.

Some actual footage. When I see this I recognize that I look damn tired. 🙂

Now, to bed I go. Okay, not quite. But as soon as 8:00 p.m. rolls around, goodnight!

Friday Philosophy…Scars

I was reading some blog and articles this week from Breast Cancer Survivors who are fed up with campaigns for “breast cancer awareness” that keep touting women not wearing any bras. I recall the “carry a coke with your breasts” thing that some claimed was for breast cancer awareness, but it seemed more like sexy coke ads to me. 🙂 In a world that deems breastfeeding to be inappropriate because of sexual overtones, this “quick, take off your bra!” crap seems a little hypocritical. But, I digress from my digression, because these posts made me think of scars – literal and metaphorical scars.

So, thoughts on scars.

“A really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars.” ~ Carly Simon

“There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with.” ~ Harry Crews

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.” ~ Rumi

“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.” ~ Cormac McCarthy (I especially like this one – it sort of transforms those scars into souvenirs.)

“Sorrow spares no one, and scars respect no person.” ~ Sherrilyn Kenyon

“Chicks dig scars.”

I hope your wounds have healed, and that all the chicks dig your scars. 😉

Happy Friday, and blessings to you all!

Finding Motivation After a Difficult Week

We all need that rest once in a while. Hoping for smoother sailing for you, Barb!

Barb Caffrey's Blog

Folks, this past week was extremely difficult.

Why? Well, part of the story — as per usual — is not mine to tell. What I can tell you is that I had a bad allergic reaction and also had to deal with a family health scare…both are resolving well, but at the time they were both major obstacles.

It’s hard to be motivated, after you’ve been run ragged for a week to ten days. (Yes, even for me — “Mrs. Persistence Herself,” one of my friends snickered a few years back — I sometimes run straight on into a brick wall.) Sometimes, all you can do is rest, think about your stories, and prepare to meet your commitments as soon as you can with a whole heart.

“But Barb,” you say. “I thought CHANGING FACES neared completion. Is that what’s getting you down?”

Partly, yes.

I want CHANGING FACES to…

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