Thursday, March 29, 2007

100 Days

YES! I am so glad to hit day 100 of my latest walking log and manage to get in a good walk today so I have walked or walk/jogged 50 days out of the past 100. I was shooting for more like 4 or 5 days a week but it was important to me to average at least every other day. I've done it in spite of one week where I didn't walk at all because I had a virus of some kind, and another where I was having too much trouble with my physical "issues". The point though is I had enough weeks where I walked 5 days to balance out the ones where I didn't walk at all (or rather didn't do an exercise type walk). It is a cold, and rainy day which is nice since we need the rain but I managed a 2 mile walk during an interlude where it stopped raining just for me, ha! I love walking on days like this when everything is so happy to have had a nice drink of rain water and besides happy plants, the birds were hollering out their love songs, furious calls, and general chit chat. After my walk I got a call which made me very happy. Odd what makes me happy these days. After I realized that my December bone scan had a significant uptake in the shoulder that's been giving me a fit, I sent my RHEUM. Doc a letter with a copy of the report. I explained that when I had my appointment with him I said the bone scan was fine and that although from a cancer view point it was, I realized after picking up the report along with my March PET scan report, that my shoulder was lighting up on the bone scan. His nurse called to say that I should get a plain x-ray and they would get the script to me. I am so glad that I will get that script so I can have the results before I see the pain specialist in a little less than 2 weeks. At this point if someone could figure out what's up with my shoulder and treat that, it would go a long ways towards getting my pain issues to where I might not need such strong medications. I'm beginning to realize that although I still have some problems with my lower body and occasionaly with my spine, it's the shoulder which slows me down the most. Mild lymphdema and a few spine bulges are increasingly manageable but the shoulder isn't. So hoorah for answers starting to stack up which get my mind off of melanoma. It's not that I ever thought melanoma was the cause of everything but it seemed so coincidental for me to start falling apart so soon after finding out that I had stage III melanoma. So the way it stands now, the vitamin D supplements have improved my balance and helped with the bone pain, the disc bulges and femoral narrowing may explain some of the spine and leg pain, the groin dissection and adhesions explain the pain I always understood, and perhaps I'm close to an explanation about my right shoulder. I think with this much information it will at least help the pain doc to stop looking at me as someone with chronic all over pain which is not what I've ever had. Yep after two years chronic fits but maybe in my case with answers it can become less chronic. The sounds, colors, and scent of flowers in the air, continue to intoxicate me in the best possible way. I am able to risk otimism. Not merely optimism about survival but optimism about things continuing to improve. I replaced so many of my turning 50 goals with a nebulous goal for purely surviving to 50 which is a lot but it's nice to start thinking about about goals which include new experiences and improvement. I may not hit 50 being able to run or even walk my old 5 mile route but perhaps I can hit 50 able to have pleasant 3 to 4 mile walks most days. Maybe I'll hit 50 with my confidence high enough to go on a long trip by myself without concerns that something dehabilitating will happen. Part of it is my personality. Many people with problems much worse than what I have wouldn't think twice about taking a trip and have fun in the bargain. Many people travel long distances just to see their oncologists and have to fly or drive over several days to get there. But that's them and I'm me. Trips to the mountains and coast of my state have been all I've had the confidence to do since my melanoma diagnosis in February 2005 and even with those relatively short distance trips, I've had Bill with me. I enjoy vacations with Bill and it's not that I particularly want to take a trip without him but I don't want to fee l too insecure to go on a trip that doesn't include my rock who is my dear friend and ex-husband. I find myself regaining my optimism as I think I said a ways up on this blog entry and that means a great deal to me.

Monday, March 26, 2007

View from Outside the Secret Garden

Whenever I walk on the side walk that runs along my neighbor's side and back yard, I look across his backyard to see how secret my secret garden is. Not only is it looking like a well kept secret at the moment, it's almost a better view than inside it because I don't have to get distracted by all the undone tasks, the repair jobs on structures that I need to hire someone to do, and all those circular thoughts. For fun this weekend I took a few photographs from outside my secret garden, shot across my neighbor's backyard from the side walk. The red bud is so pretty this time of year. Never understood why a tree that is lavender when it flowers and has green leaves after it flowers would be called a redbud but that's what it's called. Some people might wonder how someone who has ended up being hopeless with a carving knife would end up being named Carver. I am pleased with how private my back yard is from the view most likely to have people walking by. I have friends in my neighborhood and I ended up joining a woman on a walk, who lives a few blocks from me, that I've said hello to for years as we passed each other on our walks but never met. She said hello and asked me how far I usually walk and while we were discussing that, she asked if I wanted to walk together and I said sure. It was very pleasant and it turns out that her garden is one I've always admired for it's woodland planting in the side and back and sun garden in the front. It has naturalized and formal garden areas but she's neat as a pen so I imagine anything but a distant view of my garden would probably make her twitch. A nice lady though. My point is I'm not anti social but I like to have at least an illusion of privacy in my garden. Although my front yard is fairly exposed to the street, my monster azaleas and oak trees give me hiding places. Just kidding. I sit in my back garden for privacy and am aware that my front is more exposed. My azaleas are so big that some people can't believe they are azaleas except when they are in bloom and even then they are so distinct from the compact pruned ones everyone else has in my neighborhood that I've had people say they can't believe they are azaleas. The funny part is I have some of the same varieties everyone else has but I've let my azaleas rule the world and it works for me. Today was my two year checkup with the surgical oncologist's NP. It went well. No problems in terms of the exam and it wasn't that awkward explaining that I'm getting my scans in Raleigh now and am seeing a medical ONC too because of the C reactive protein which has stayed high. She said that was fine but that if I keep getting my scans at home, I should keep bringing the CDs because the surgical ONC she's with will probably want his radiologists to read them too. I see him in six months since I see her every other time and him every other time. So that's it for melanoma follow up until June when I see the medical ONC. My only other appointment any time soon is with the pain specialist who manages the pain issues I've had since my LND, but that's not for a few weeks and I'm used to the process now. Good to be done with these two year scans and appointments and especially good that no problems have surfaced. I am feeling very fortunate.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

All this and asparagus too

Each day a new surprise awaits me. A new bud, a new flower, a branch which seemingly leafed out over night, and an edible plant I didn't expect. Lately I feel like I'm getting messages about where my energy should be focused. I got my mail the other day and opened up the American Gardener Magazine. The story that I turned to, by chance, was a feature about how gardening is good for your health. It even included ways to protect yourself from strain and modifications for gardeners with physical challenges. Don't you just love that word. Challenges. To put it rather crudely, one person's challenge is another person's shit but it's shit all the same. I digress. Gardening is good for your health seemed to be a message planted there for me to stop focusing on a puzzle I'll never figure out, and move to something positive. The other thing in my mailbox which held some kind of message for me was an invitation to an event co-sponsored by the NC symphony and the Rex Cancer Center. What caught my eye was the title: The Healing Power of Music. The event will take place in a local concert hall beginning with breakfast, a lecture by a cancer survivor who uses music to help others, and will be followed by a rehearsal of the NC Symphony. I really should go. I haven't been to the symphony in ages. Occasionaly a friend invites me to go hear music with her and I beg off, worried I'll be uncomfortable and won't feel like I can leave. Stupid of me. I think of what some people do in horrendous pain and wimp becomes my middle name. I didn't even go hear my friend play violin in a Christmas music program. I tentatively plan big trips in my head, seriously consider them, and then don't even go out to hear music or see a play. I really should go to the morning event because I do so much better in the morning. Even if I don't make it to that event, I think music could help me right about now. I am listening to music more at home which is a good sign. The other thing I should do soon is go to the art museum for the inside and outside walk and view. The NC museum has an outdoor artwalk now which includes miles of trails with wildflower, meadow sections, a pond, attractive plantings and outdoor sculpture. It really doesn't need the man made art but it's interesting to see the light play on some of the large sculptures. I guess it was last year that Bill and I went on that walk and briefly into the museum. Another friend and I went to the museum about a year ago but it's so close and the outdoor walk is so pleasant, I ought to do that on a regular basis. I need to change my environment more. Change it by leaving one environment and visiting another. As lucky as I am to work from home, particularly now, I feel like the main places I go are doctor's appointments and that's not necessary. Sure, I need to go to the string of specialists I see to get better in terms of some of them and to have the melanoma follow up from some but I could do more pleasant outings too. It's not that I never do anything but sometimes it does feel like I go with the minimum instead of the maximum. The only thing I've really pushed is my regular walks and sometimes I push that too hard and end up being set back. That's the good thing about museum walks, they are slow, leisurely, viewing experiences. When I walked outside yesterday all I could think of was all this and asparagus too, thus the title of this entry. My asparagus bed is over 15 years old and I think 10 years is the average for asparagus. There isn't a lot yet but some early stalks shot up and now I know to watch for them to cut when they are new and tender. Another of the goals formulating in my head is to develop enough patience to capture a photograph of one of the cardinals perching on the head of my St. Francis statue. I like the statue because it makes me think of my parents since he was delivered to sit in their garden when I was a child. The birds frequenly sit on his head but I haven't gotten that shot yet.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

End of March

Hard to believe that March is pulling up to a close soon. I like March with it's mix of weather and flower's beginning. In some ways the blooms have been more like April, particularly bushes and some of the trees. But we've still had the mix of temperatures I like. Some cold days, some warm, but none that are down right hot yet. Looks like that's changing next week where we go from below freezing nights to mild nights and up to 80 during the day. I'm starting to sound like a weather channel. I wrote a song back when I was doing that which had a line, "I talk too much but rarely about the weather". Seems like I talk and think about the weather more and more. I suppose there are worse things to occupy myself with although I have as little control over the weather as I do over anything else. I'm not even controlling what I can control in terms of gardening with the weather. I used to have seedlings started in my garden boxes this time of year and would put the tops on at night and take them off when the sun was shining brightly. I get a kick out of the fact that although I'm not doing that kind of gardening anymore, I still get volunteers from past plants in the boxes that went to seed. Kale, carrots, cilantro and broccoli are amongst the volunteers I have at the moment in my garden boxes which are in front of my greenhouse. I have tons of volunteer plants that will provide flowers this summer although some got zapped by the last freeze. Still there are more popping up daily: coriopsis, echanasia, queen anne's lace, hollyhocks, and on an on and on. The early daffodils are already finished blooming but I have later ones as well as narcissus going into bloom. Everytime I step outside there is something else to see. I have some kind of virus at the moment so I'm not venturing very far but all I have to do is step into my back yard and I'm greeted by sights, smells, and sounds of spring. Gee, I sound like a greeting card. There could be worse things to sound like I suppose. Funny how it's almost a relief to have an old fashioned flu bug. This is my first one since my MM dx. I know what this is. The unknown is what freaks me out.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

90 days

Hard to believe that it has been 90 days since I started my latest effort to maximize what I can do physically. As of yesterday, I have walked or walk/jogged 46 days over the past 90 days and it may end up at 47 if I walk today. Starting fresh with a log beginning with day one has helped me psychologically. No point in comparing what I was doing prior to my lymph node dissection or even shortly afterwards. I know that I had a strong feeling after I was diagnosed with stage III melanoma that all I had to do was get back to running and everything would be okay. Not that I was naive enough to see it literally being like that but that's what I felt in my gut. Odd in a way because I'm not an athlete. The last time I had run track was in junior high school and by ninth grade I was sneaking smokes to the point that my breathing was impaired and I dropped off the track team. I tried to run briefly in my early twenties because I always liked to run but I was a heavy smoker and I suspect allergic to smoking. It wasn't until I stopped smoking in 2001 that I considered trying to run again and it took a few years to lose my extra weight and get physically strong enough to start jog/running. I was over 45 when I was able to start jog/running again and at 47 was diagnosed with stage III melanoma. I know I keep returning to this in my blog because prior to melanoma it was a major focus for me. Most of my future goals were physical ones: adult tailored outward bound trips, running longer distances, ambitious garden projects. I've been grappling with new goals and it's important that they go beyond day by day. I guess I'm afraid to forumulate new goals, at some level. I should probably get involved with some kind of volunteer work but I haven't come up with the what or started it yet. Part of my current physical goals is to go as far as I can on my own and then consider going to one of the integrative medicine clinics. I am not ready to accept that I'll need to take presciption medications to manage pain for the rest of my life. The problem with going to an integrative medicine clinic is I know that the first thing they would probably mention is that I need do lose weight, and I do. However, that is a red herring although it doesn't help to be over weight. I gained weight because I couldn't continue with the physical exercise I was doing before the problems began. The problems didn't start because I got over weight. I got over weight because of the problems. I tended to be under weight when I was younger but as my metaboloism changed and smoking slowed me down considerably I did get quite heavy in my early 40s. I stopped smoking, changed my metabolism by becoming active and got back to a healthy weight. Over the past two years since my LND, I gained back most of that weight. I am slowly but surely dealing with that and by next fall I hope that I'll be in the healthy weight range for my height. It could happen a lot sooner than that but I'm not interested in any leaps at this point. I'm interested in baby steps. Also, in a weird way my appetite has been the one thing that hasn't gotten screwed up except for the fact that gabapentin (neurontin) makes me hungry all the time. The good part of having an appetite is that so many of the places I've feared that I was having a problem in terms of the melanoma spreading tend to have weight loss as a warning sign. That has been one thing that hasn't been happening until recently when I started making it happen by intent. It's been oddly reassuring that I haven't had an dramatic drops in size. However, at this point I need to have planned, slow drops back to an optimal size. After that, I will have to seriously think about going to an integrative medicine clinic.

Friday, March 16, 2007

All this and Rain Too

Going on my neighborhood walks this week, it's been all I could do to keep myself from bursting out into Mr. Roger's song - It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. I can't remember an earlier spring. It's not just the spring flowers that always come fairly early here. The trees and flowering shrubbery are way ahead of schedule. The only missing ingredient has been a rejuvenating soaking rain and starting last night the rain came and is continuing today. We're supposed to get a hard freeze tomorrow night but I don't mind that either. I enjoyed having a warmer week and was knocked over by how beautiful everything has looked, but I'm not in a hurry for hot weather. It's nice to get the back and forth days of spring where one day is a hint of summer and the next a cold blast of winter. The timing of the rain is perfect too because in addition to needing it to nourish the hordes of seedlings that are sprouting, the birds are going to be happy. The robins have been out in full force and it's hard for them to have to peck at dry ground. I can't wait to walk around after the rain stops and see the robins going to town on the soft ground. The timing of the rain was good for my exercise efforts because I've been walking farther and more frequently this week and I need a day of rest. I also have a lot of work I need to get done. I've had some success this week listening to my body. Figuring out when to slow down, where to put my weight, which way to lean. Sounds nutty but it helps. I can do short jogging intervals as long as I don't stretch out too far. I've always had a very long stride and like to extend pretty far but I can't do that beyond a walk without causing problems. I'm not sure but it may have something to do with the nodes which were removed from my adductor muscle. A physical therapist is the one who told me I have a hole in that muscle and I recalled mention of the adductor muscle nodes on my pathology report and asked her if that was the muscle she was talking about and she said yes. I would think that it would have filled in and repaired its self but I don't know the mechanics of how that works. Oh well, I am doing much better now that I am considering how movement feels and finding ways to move that aren't aggravating this or that pesky dealie.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The fine print

I went by my local hospital to pick up a copy of the PET/CT scan report yesterday. While I was there I picked up the bone scan and MRI of the brain reports from scans I had in December. The PET scan report didn't have anything like as much information as they do when I have the scans at UNC. That suited me fine because the bottom line was the findings have gone from no definite evidence of . . . to no evidence of. . . I know it's just one word less but it made a difference to me. Also, there was no mention of FDG uptake in lungs, thorax, or thyroid which are places past tests had uptake. The only uptake was in the area of the groin dissection and that was minor. I don't get why two years after surgery I still have uptake but I'm over that and accept it. The MRI of the brain was pretty much identical to the one I had done well over a year ago. Normal, normal, normal. So it's confirmed my brain is normal which in this context is what I want to hear. Now to the scan that bugged me. The bone scan had that extra word put in - no definite evidence of . I'm not worried about the cancer angle since my PET scan was fine. It did bug me that in the finding the bone scan mentioned, a prominent focus of increased uptake in right shoulder and recommended correlation with plain films. Okay, I understand why that wasn't of concern to the oncologist. What bothers me is the severe pain in my right shoulder has been that extra ingredient that has made my pain doctor and other doctors consider that I have all over pain which is not what I have. I have talked myself blue in the face but I know when the shoulder gets added in to the equation, that's when they start writing down diffuse pain, all over pain, and consider fibromyalgia which I don't fit that well from what I've read. I've had MRI scans of the spine and they know I have disc bulges and some narrowing. I have issues with my left groin and leg which can be explained by the groin LND but the right shoulder has been that one extra thing that makes them click ahead to pain all over. By them, I mean in particular the pain doc I see and the pain clinic where I had a consultation. I know I don't have pain all over. I have 4 distinct issues which combine to be a pain in the right shoulder, right side of neck, spine, and below the waist on the left side. The rheumatologist is the only one who has dealt with the right shoulder. He realized I had lost range of motion in my right arm because of the shoulder pain which radiated down that arm and he sent me to P.T. where I regained range of motion but still require meds for the pain. I saw him last week and told him the bone scan was normal because that's all I knew not having seen the actual report. I didn't realize it was normal from an oncology end and I didn't know the radiologist recommended correlation with plain films. Who knows, perhaps the shoulder issue is why my C reactive protein is getting higher. I am sending the rheumatologist a copy of the report and I'm also taking it with me to my 6 month check with the pain doctor I see in April. Hopefully one of them will order an MRI of my shoulder or even just a regular x-ray. I am getting stubborn. I also had some tracer uptake in my spine but it wasn't enough to be included in the findings part and since I've had MRI's of the 3 parts of my spine, I already know about disc bulges and femoral narrowing which may explain that. But the one place where I have extreme pain which has not been looked at closely is the shoulder. I feel like a total whiner to go on and on and on about this ache and pain and that ache and pain. My problem is that my quality of life has been impacted. I take significant amounts of medications each and every day and have done so starting 2 months after my lymph node dissection. It has also made it hard for me to belive that the cancer is a thing of the past. I have this little voice which keeps saying something is severely wrong and until I find more satisfactory answers than I have found so far it is hard for that little voice to realize it's side issues and not related to cancer. Intellectually I know that everything doesn't have to relate to the fact that I am a stage III melanoma patient. I get that. It may be coincidental that I started to have problems a few months after my lymph node dissection. However, I need better answers than I've gotten thus far to be able to tell that voice to shut the hell up and leave me alone. I feel like an ungreatful whiner when I think about all the good people I've gotten to know through the MPIP who have bad scans and active cancer. I'm not ungreatful but I am frustrated. I am very happy to be N.E.D. on my recent P.E.T. scan and I am starting to believe that I really don't have any active cancer. Who knows perhaps finding out what's wrong with my shoulder will be the first step in getting to a point where I don't require all these pain medications. If my shoulder is fixed, I would be able to swim laps. Perhaps this will end up being a good news report and I'll start moving to answers. I wish, however, that I'd picked up the bone scan report in December.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Day 81

Hard to believe that it has been 81 days since my latest effort to rehabilitate to an extent that I can get in the best possible shape I can. Rehabilitate is a weird word for me to use in a way. I know first hand what some people have to rehabilitate from. I went through that with my mom after her stroke. In her case, the the main emphasis was for her to be able to assist in transfers from wheel chair to bed and to chair, etc. I am well aware of how lucky I am. That said, I want to be able to go on long walks and not have to pay for it for weeks. At first I wanted to be able to jog because I like the way it makes me feel but I'm accepting that won't be likely beyond very short intervals. I haven't completely given up on it but it doesn't seem likely. Swimming has it's own set of issues because of my right shoulder. I still don't know why that's such a problem because my dissection was left groin. It has been two years since my groin dissection or close to it. My big hurdle was making it past the two year mark from my melanoma diagnosis which was February. People who have a thick primary like I did are far more likely to recur quickly. The average is much sooner than with a thin primary. Now that I have a normal scan to back up the fact that I am N.E.D., I feel like I'm in a good place to start to believe that melanoma isn't the direct cause for the aftermath and now my battle is to make the most of what I have to work with which is actually quite a lot. Over the past 81 days I have managed to go on a walk for exercise for 41 days so it averages out to every other day. At first I was doing it more like 4 or 5 days a week but the big thing for me is not to give up. It has helped to look at my log and think, I have to walk today because I don't want to go below that every other day average. I have been able to do some work in my garden and I can always go outside and be blown away by the afternoon light and take some pictures.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My Latest PET/CT was NORMAL!

I called the nurse at the medical oncologist's office this morning and the impression part of the report on my PET/CT said no evidence of metastatic or recurrent disease. WOOOHOO! I need to get back to work but had to take a moment to celebrate. She said the doctor hadn't looked at it yet and would call me if there was anything I needed to know but that she didn't see any mention of the lung nodule or liver cyst which the last scan noted. I'll eventually get a copy of the report but I'm going to celebrate good news and forget the details for now.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Under the skin

So here I am stripped down beneath the skin in September 2006. I had the CDs of my PET/CT scans with me when I went to get one today at a different hospital. When we were done they burned me a CD of today's scan to take with me for any of my doctors that would want to take a peek and they gave me back the ones I brought for comparison after copying them. So I have CDs of 6 PET/CT scans and 2 MRIs. The ones I got today don't have a way to export them on my computer so I couldn't really compare side by side to my old ones. I don't know what the heck I'm looking at anyway. I can barely tell which end is which except in the ones like my photo above where they have a good section of the body. But the ones which are of a small section of the body and show the most detail are total gibberish to me. That doesn't mean I haven't been driving myself insane looking at them since I got home but that's it. No more. I am going to have to trust my doctor to tell me that everything is fine or not because I'll never figure this stuff out. If he doesn't call me in a day or so I'll give him a call. I was a little disappointed to find out my C reactive protein has gone up considerably when what I was hoping for was that it would be down to zero. It's stayed up now for 6 months but the problem with these non specific tests is they really don't help much besides driving me crazy. It's kind of like the Steve Martin routine about all the delightful things taking a prescription drug will do. The C reactive protein can go up due to heart disease, cancer, virus, infection, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and pretty much for any reason. My rheumatologist is the one who ordered that blood test because I was sent to him on the off chance I had lupus. He was sure that wasn't what was wrong with me but he did that non specific test and naturally it was not only high once but now has stayed high 3 times with repeat tests every two months. I am not going to drive myself crazy with that one. The RHEUM doctor faxed it to the medical ONC again to see what he thinks and all I know is in the scheme of things I'm doing pretty damn well and I am going to figure out a way to stop thinking about this stuff if it's the last thing I do.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Onward and Forward

In my last blog entry I talked about trying to honor my good fortune. I read something someone else said that hit home. She went on a ride to honor a remarkable woman. The woman whose post I read this morning wrote about how the first part of her ride was to honor that woman but the end of her ride was for herself with the wind in her face, as I recall it. She ended her post with live strong. It resonated with me. Yesterday was a beautiful day where I live. I couldn't get motivated to walk but I did take some photographs. My neighbor's tulip tree was remarkably in full bloom. I couldn't believe it because I didn't think that tree would bloom this year. During a warm spell this winter it budded out only to have the buds zapped when we had some very cold days. Those premature buds fell off the tree and I assumed it wouldn't bloom in 2007. I was very surprised yesterday to see that same tree in full bloom. We have both extremes this time of year. The bare limbs on blue sky in my front yard and across the driveways is my neighbors tulip tree in full bloom. I have a volunteer from my neighbors tree in my front garden but it's under the oak trees and doubtful it will be able to grow to maturity. Even so I'm leaving it be. Maybe later I can transplant it to a better spot.
This week is full of medical check ups. I go this morning to the rheumatologist who diagnosed my vitamin D deficiency and got me P.T. for my frozen shoulder. He's also been keeping an eye on my C reactive protein which has stayed high for no reason we've figured out yet. Hopefully I'll find out today that the CRP is down to zero. Tomorrow I get a PET/CT at my local hospital for the first time. I've had five PET/CT scans at UNC but I jumped at the offer from the medical ONC I've started seeing to have my scans done in Raleigh instead of Chapel Hill. All my slides have been sent from UNC to Rex and although I'll keep seeing my doctor at UNC, I'll get scans done locally. Much easier to have a short drive to my local hospital on an empty stomach than fighting rush hour to Chapel Hill which takes under an hour normally but more like two hours when the traffic backs up to a crawl. Thursday I see my dermatologist but I doubt the PET/CT report will be sent to him by then so I'll probably call for the results if I don't hear within a few days. Onward and forward.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Hard Week

It's been a hard week on the MPIP (melanoma support group I'm involved with). I am so sad for those reaching their last days and for their families who are bereft. I'm shy about talking about anyone on my blog in part because of the privacy issues. I feel easier talking about my daughter because she used to talk about me on her online journal (she outgrew blogging about the time I started). I will always be greatful that I was able to see her grow up and I will always be sad for children who lose a parent to death when they are young (both of my parents fit into that category and my father lost both of his parents in his early teen years). It's almost too much to know that parents can lose children to premature death (my grandmother had that sad burden but at least her oldest daughter, my mother, lived to have her children all reach adulthood before she preceded her mother in death). It's a sad sad world and all we can do is hold those we love close and reach out in the ways we know to when others need us. Also, to honor good fortune by enjoying it. That's not always easy but is sometimes all we can do. I'm uncomfortable using the royal we for I am not suggesting that I can speak for anyone but myself. I guess I really mean that it's all I can do but sometimes I get sick of me, myself and I. Open mouth insert whine.