Thursday, May 28, 2009

Carolyn & Susan

Today, this morning, Carolyn arrives. I have known Carolyn since 1986, when I moved to Seattle, and I have loved her since the minute I met her. Since she lives two states away, I rarely get to see her, but somehow, when we do meet, the time just slips away and it feels like we've never been apart. Somehow, even though our lives look different on the outsides, when we are together, we are simply one.

Today, I will cry tears of joy when I pick her up at the airport, because that is how it works, but we will laugh and laugh when we're together.

Carolyn is coming in a day early for our girls' weekend so that she can spend time with my family - Tessa is excited to see Auntie Carolyn, and is also excited for the prospect of getting pedicures together.

And then tomorrow, dear Susan joins the fun, and will pick up Carolyn & I for the road trip to Portland. Susan and I met in college - was it 1991? I always forget! - and we were roommates for four years after that, and we worked together at Microsoft, and we have shared so much together. I watched her children's births, and she watched Tessa's birth, and she is a part of me and I am a part of her.

Well, this year, all three of us turn 40, and so this weekend is a celebration of that, and of each other. We're having high tea, going to a spa, staying at a nice hotel, maybe going to the art museum.....but the moment I look forward to most is simply hanging out in our PJs in our hotel room. Slumber party for the 40 year old set - I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Anniversary time

This is the time of my cancer-versaries.

May 25: found lump
May 26: doctor confirmed lump
May 27: mammograms, ultrasound, and "I'm sorry, but it looks like cancer"
May 31: biopsies
June 1: official diagnosis
June 13: left mastectomy
There are other dates, too - first chemo, date of the allergic reaction to Taxol when I nearly died, last chemo, first radiation, last radiation, but those are spread through the year. This is the time of year when all of the dates are close together: wham, wham, wham.

Every time I remember one of these dates it gives me a little jolt. I remember it all quite clearly - how could I not?

It shakes me up to think about it; to think what I have lost. Still, I've come a long way, and I'm not in "that place" any more. So what do I do with it all? I have no idea. Right now, I'm reflecting, but I don't have any conclusions to draw. I find it all so very confusing, so mixed up with so many things both good and bad.

I am here. I am alive. Of these things I am certain, and I am very grateful.

But the rest is confusing.

Mary Oliver is funny!

Tonight I went with girlfriends to see Mary Oliver, the poet, speak at Benaroya Hall. It was lovely, if a little too short, and I'm so glad I went.

But what surprised me most was her humor! This woman, who writes of sorrow and death and compassion and nature is just simply quite funny, and it was in her poems all along but I'd been reading them too seriously, I think. She paused for great effect and everyone in the audience was laughing, and I was delighted.

I can't wait to read her work with a new sense of humor.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Four years

Four years ago today I found a lump. Life hasn't been the same since.

Maybe it's a good thing I couldn't get my MRI this month.

I want to reflect on this moment, but the mere idea of it exhausts me. I no longer know what to say...

Except that I am glad to be alive, and I do not take it for granted.

Pictures from Bellingham

We came home last night after a lovely time, and today we're enjoying being home.

Chincoteague ponies, fresh air, a street fair, a farmer's market - lovely!