Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014

What a year. I basically have no words to discribe all that has gone down.  There has been highs and lows. Growths and disappointments. And here we are on the last day of 2014, looking back but also looking forward. 

First a summary of 2014. 

The year started with a bang, literally. I went to 2 NYE parties that week. Which was something new. And an interesting experience.  Yoga Teacher training started shortly after that and it was a whirl wind from basically the first day.  I had a slight inside track from knowing so many people that had done it so when I had to teach on the first day it wasn't a complete shock.  In this wonderful vortex came the cancer diagnosis. It's word a that you never want to hear and especially never want to hear twice. I mean seriously.  But even the diagnosis as brought some interesting turns throughout the year. The spring and summer were treatment heavy and hospital heavy with dad joining me in a medical mess when he had a stroke on June 14th.  So let's say everything between February and about October is a bit of a blur. I know CC became a college grad and moved to NC. Congrats to my sis for becoming a real grown up (or employed grown up.... Juries still out on when one truly grows up)  and I finished treatment and Dad came home.  The final months of the year were still very much in recoop mode. I mean that's allowed I think.  With a wonderful trip to see stanley and Ricky (not the same trip) rounded out with me cooking the pork this year and getting pneumonia for NYE. So, it's been a whirlwind year. 

It's amazing to me that even in this mirriad of a storm of both good and bad, so much reflection has happened and I actually feel somewhat more intune with myself in ways that I never had before. Granted I still forget but I am much more aware of what I want the ideal to be. 

I am in the very beginnings of a career change. I have known for awhile that I didn't like what I was doing but it's finally solidified into something I think I could love. I'm a lot braver. I know I need to take things slow, especially since getting sick in December I have the reminder to listen to my bodies sudle suggestions to take it easy. Then I can hopefully avoid my body putting on the emergency brake and getting really sick. I know how I want to approaching romantic life and have started to work toward that, and I know I am mentally and physically stronger then I'll ever give myself credit for, but maybe sometimes it's ok to toot your own horn.... And taking it easy on day does not have any baring on your total stretgth quotient as a person. I've met a lot of amazing people in 2014 and I hope 2015 brings further development with those relationships.  

And finally I want 2015 to continue to develop myself.  Some words I keep in mind frequently. 

Calm, peace, love, strength, balance, back bone, smooth, let go. 

Through this year I will continue to journey into the relative unknown. I will play the "long game" and realize that even if you take the slow route you still get to where you're going. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Year 3_ it was a biggie

7dec14 

Today marked the third anniversary of the start of my cancer journey. 3 years ago I woke up at the crack of dawn (4am) and checked into MGH for the bilateral mastechtomy that started me on a very different path then I imagined for myself previously.  Lots has happened including a replase. Which is probably the last word anyone wants to hear come out of a medical professionals mouth. But that is even done now and I have to believe that brighter things are coming. 

The interesting thing about being a cancer survivor is of course if you approach your treatment with outward signs of strength that is all the comments you get. When inwardly it's easy to focus negative, sad aspects of the fact that I've gone through a lot of crap.  Though I don't ignore the negative I chose to turn back to the positive aspects of my life and live that way. Making note of the negative and moving back to the positive at each point in my day. 

In celebration of the day I had a few thoughts. Last year I spent the day outside I have decided I want to incorporate that in all future years, using today to celebrate consciously the power of my body.

So the day started off by meeting my rowing partner at the gym.  The workout on tap was a killer. 
2 x 1000m 5 min rest in between 
2 x 500 m  3 min rest in between 
2 x 250 m  1:30 min rest in between. 

It was a tough but I rocked it. I was really happy with my times negative splits the whole time (which basically never happens) and broke 2min/ 500m for the last two pieces so that was amazing.  And tiring. 

After the workout I swung by Traders and got a green juice (sold at least at the TJs in Coolidge Corner) and went back to the parents. I had decided my outside adventure would be me and dad going to the arboretum. Which we did. 
 
I pushed dad to the top of Peters Hill, which was an event in itself because dad is heavy and that whole gravity thing. We made it up and it was worth it. Great view, and windy. And clearly cold.  Fortunately there was also a Good Samaritan that helped me get dad back on pavement. Wheelchairs are not meant for off roading. 
 
Just saying. 

After the mounting of the hill we actually went home because I wanted to go to a mediation group I've started going to. It's called Wake Up Boston.  Which is a group that study's the teachings of
Thich Nhat Hanh.   This was only my second time but I liked it a lot. We do a seated meditation, walking mediation And then discuss.  Today's was a bit different because instead of discuss there was a potluck. It was really fun and the people see nice, so I'm excited to keep going. 

I had a wonderful day and am continuing
To be happy to be alive. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

26nov14-29nov14

This thanksgiving brought a change. For the first time in recorded history the Holm family did not celebrate in newton. We went to Delray Beach to see the brother, and it was great.  

First off, having a sibling in Florida has it's advantages. It's like awe shucks I have a family thing... Just happen to leave somewhere where it's sleeting and go to somewhere its sunny and 60s. I'll take it!!! 

The one bold move on my part was leaving only a 36 hr window between coming back from San Francisco and leaving again. That was a bit too bold a move for the future.  For the fact every bone in my body did not want to get back on the plane it wasn't bad. We had to get de - iced which took some time, but the flight itself wasn't aweful.  

Side note. I wouldn't necessarily recommend Spirit air to anyone in the future. The seats are ridiculously close together (I barely had leg clearence) and you have to pay for EVERYTHING. I'm talking carry ones too people. Don't bother. That being said the actual plane was nice enough and the staff was helpful.  

We arrived and had our first airbnb experience.  Overall I am a huge fan.  It was nice to have an actual house with an actual kitchen.  And the post use clean ups wasn't hard.  Highly recommend. 

It was a very casual time and I was just happy to be in the sun in not as many clothes as I would be when I am home.  CC and I dipped our toes in the ocean (always pleasurable) and just walked around and got sun.

Thanksgiving dinner was actually at a Danish restaurant that Ricky found.  It was fun to do something different for the first time... EVER.  And the food was good.  It was a multi course affair and even though I paced myself it was a HUGE meal!! That was probably the only really typical thing... Being REALLY full.  But the food was delicious and it was fun to have a different thing to do.  


Overall it was a good trip and a good holiday.  And I am looking forward to different things in the years to come. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

San Francisco Stan time 3.0

15nov14-24nov14

Another year another adventure with stanley and Terese.  This year the adventures took place on Stanley's home turf of San Francisco. And it was an excellent trip.  I needed to get away like nobodies business and spending time with an best friend is the best way to do it. 

The week started with a trip to Napa. This was one of the few things that I didn't do in terms of semi touristy from my previous trip.  It was about an hour drive and I had a fury friend to keep me company in the back seat. Napa is super pretty. And we went to Chandon winery. We ended up just walking around cause we didn't time it good with the tours. But it was still cool to see. And we did a tasting which was fun. 



Now the order of the rest of the week is a bit hazy but that's ok cause really what is more important than when. :-) 

One this you may or may not know is stanley and I have a love for cooking, bad television and 80s movies. So a lot of that happened. We had multiple low key evenings eating and watching stuff.  One such movie we watched was Troop Beverly Hills. Which if you haven't seen it, is hilarious. But basically is about a Girl Scout troop in Beverly Hills and had all sorts of ridculous and 80s/90s movies shinannagans.  It's an awesome movie and everyone needs to see it. 

One afternoon we also took a trip to the Indoor gardens in Golden Gate park, called the Conservatory of Flowers. It was really cool and a good size. Not too big. They had sections for different types of plants and it was pretty. 
There was also a nice bench out front where we could sit and drink coffee and have a wonderful chat. 

In addition to having a lot of hang time with Stanely I had some time alone, while he was at work. Jobs are so pesky like that. 

Multiple times I did some yoga. I found a studio that was about a 5 min walk from the apt and went there a total of 4 times. It was called Yoga Tree on stayan st.  An excellent studio :-) I went to 4 differnt types of classes, and was a good reminder about what you can learn when you change up your teachers and styles. I'll need to remember to branch out when I'm home. 

Another thing I did with my solo free time was go to Grace Cathedral. Which to start is up a very long hill. 
Yeh I walked up that, which was less fun. But whatever. Hill training while on vacation isn't the worst thing in the world. But the cathedral itself was pretty. I love churchs and this one filled that. It has a labyrinth on the floor which was cool, and one outside in the courtyard (set in the stone.. In both cases) it was very calming and a great rainy day activity.  There was also some extra exhibit that involved ribbon (I don't know why but the rainbow effect was cool) 

The final major event was my jaunt to Sequioa national park. This I did solo because someone had the nerve to be on call. But hey, that's important. I will first say it didn't quite set in how far away it was until the night before. But in the end it was worth the drive. I rented probably my third rental car ever (which stanley and I enjoyed the night before) 

And headed out.  The drive other then long wasn't bad and I made it with some daylight. I plopped my stuff at the motel (I cheated a little) and went up the ranger station for some info. 
Passing the offical park sign in the process.  

I think I'll make a seperate post with the pictures, but it was amazing. The following day I drove up to 7000 ft and started at the General Sherman tree.  I admittedly didn't contend with the elevation and quickly realized extensive hiking was out the question.  But I did some short ones around there mostly. 

The following day I decided I wanted to drive home by going through the park. Fortunaly I didn't need tire chains so off I went. Unfortunately I hit the worst fog ever coming down the other side of the mountain and was very happy to make it to the bottem.  Other long drive and I rolled home pooped and happy. 



One the last day I had most of the day to kill before heading to the airport for a red eye flight. I ended up heading near the airport pretty early because I was warned that the traffic could be bad. So I had a bit too much time to kill. I ended up walking around San Bruno a bit and went to a very extensive Indian grocery store.  It got boring cause there wasn't enough to do but I was happy not to feel rushed. I dropped the car off and made it in without incident. The red eye was rough but double and made it home without any real drama. 

The trip was amazing and travel uneventful, which is all and all great. I'm very thankful to have a good friend to visit and the ability to rejuivinate myself in good company. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

What happens when your internal body changes but you're life hasn't yet.

In going through an upheaval I think it is totally natural to go through a sort of crisis of identity. For me at least I now feel that the things I hold as important are in clear focus and the other things are almost intolerable. And though it makes doing thing like being a productive member of society a challenge because part of the problem is my feelings about work. My internal brain knows I need things like benefits and stuff and that keeps me from doing anything horribly rash. It does not undermine the feeling. 

So that begs the question. What am I going to do about it? I am completely impatient for change so that's going to be the biggest mental issue. But I'm going to meditate and get on my mat, and in the immediate sort term enjoy my
Vacation ( side note I'm actually writing this from San Francisco ) heheheh. I'm going to continue to explore my options and evaluate my opinions and I know in maintaining a relaxed and open mind the universe will plop the answer down on my head... And I have to just wait...research and breath 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Back in the saddle again

Renagade rowing started today! Woohoo! The last couple weeks have been stressful and I'm very much looking forward to my California adventure with stanley. But I have slowly been wanting to get back into more vigorous forms of strength and conditioning. 

So the indoor rowing season seemed like the perfect way to easy in. I had to this point been a bit hesitant to go back to crossfit Boston beginning in a position of having to modify everything and still finish last. I'm really ok with finishing last because I have always prided myself with my form. And if focusing in my body and taking a few extra seconds to make adjustments means finish last then fine. The doubleheader of doing a "modified weenie work out" and finishing last, my ego isn't quite ready to handle.  Even though I know, the only person that would care would be me.  

But rowing on an erg, feels differnt. Because of my height I know when we row for distance I will be last or close to it, simple physics people. But I much more enjoy the internal struggle of maintaining form to be consistent for a certain goal, not just GO. And that feels right at this point in my  physical journey. 

Actual work wise it was pretty light. Pat spent a fair amount of time reviewing rowing basics. Then we did a 1k row and 6 x 250 m row at varying stroke ratings. It was really fun to get back on the erg and do some cardio. It was basically the first real cardio I've done since march, especially if sprinting to the PT doesn't count, and it doesn't. So there. 

And now 12 hrs later. Oooh nelly my legs are talking, but it's feeling mighty fine. Can't wait to hit it again tomorrow night. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Learning how to get people out of your grill

People have opinions.  I know this may seem obvious but as someone who until recently felt like I didn't show up in people's radar, it's sort of a new concept. I also more recently have felt more sure of my decisions and feel possibly less reseptive or less tolerant in people's opinions, in certain situations.  

It's hard to not swing completely one way or another when you go through something so specific that makes so many people royally uncomfortable. As a consequence people give you their opinions about things that you do or have happen to you without you asking.  When I ask, I want it and when I don't I don't.  

So, I am slowly learning how to get people out of my grill.  

This has mainly occurred at work. I work with a number of individuals that act that if you aren't doing things to further your career in the way they would, then "you're doing it wrong". As a consequence this results in a lot unsolicited advice about how I should further my career. 

This senerio is actually the perfect time to learn to stand up for myself and stop the behavior, without getting too mad and not revealing my whole "hand". I'm almost at the point where I'm going to scream "I have a career plan and it has nothing to do with you" but I realize that is unproductive. So, I'm learning how to get around the behavior without killing people and slowly getting there. By standing up for myself I've realized I can stop people from doing certain things and I deserve to not have go suffer through behavior that annouyes me. 

Having cancer doesn't alwAys mean you act sick, or two steps forward one step back

So you know the shitty thing about cancer.... Wow quite the opener and yes this could be basically anything. But today I'd like to talk about the challenge created between your mental and physical body. 

The weird thing about treatment is the complete unpredictablity of how you're going to feel. The doctors will always tell you to take it easy but that doesn't mean that you should or need to. But that doesn't mean you should go to work either. What some people under or over estimate is the mental strain on your body. And really that's the thing to be comtended with. 

I've basically spent the last 9 months (hey as long as a pregnancy but not nearly as rewarding) have many strong discussions about what I want to do verses what my body is telling me to do, and actually the other way, sometimes my body is the positive influence on my mind.  I've been thankful for my yoga practice through all this because it has allowed me to move my body in a gentel and mindful way.  But overall there has been days I've wanted to do stuff and physically couldn't . Days I've physically wanted to do things and mentally couldn't and everywhere in between.  Even through my medical leave I celebrated the days I went to yoga, and sometimes even when my yoga practice was 90% on my back.  And I did so without worry or apology for actually feeling good enough to get off the couch before radiation. 

The other thing no one thinks about is the lasting after effects of treatment.  You think, " yay I'm done with trestment, I get my life back" and to a certain extent you do right away. I mean I don't miss having to go to the hospital 5 days a week. That was just all kinds of not fun. But when you're bodies been to war you forget that it takes a while to bouce back. Even the doctors tell you it could take a year to feel back to "normal".  

Soo, you go back to your old routine or something similar (since I realized my old routine wAsnt working in the long run) but lately I've felt myself slipping that way and feeling a little crazy.  It's a stark reminder that I am not the same. And that I have to be aware of that and make adjustments. And be gentle with myself and be unapologetic about it. Just because I don't look sick any more doesn't mean I don't need some kid gloves occasionally.  It's important to go back to listening to yourself and screwing the worlds opinion. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Reflections on Stupid Cancer


26sep14-28sep14

A week ago I got the chance to accompany Lauren to the OMG East summit in NYC for the stupidcancer.org foundation.  And let's say in brief it was amazing. Just the energy around being with other cancer survivors and patients and knowing that everything I've been dealing with they were also dealing with in their own way. 

But let's get into the details.   I look a half day at work and met Lauren at South Station to take the train down.  As I was going down I realized in my entire life I've only been to NYC 5/6 times including this one. I've taken the train before and though long is a much lovlier way to go.  In my option. 

We enjoyed an uneventful trip down (unless you count a snarky snack car attendant eventful) we arrived in the hub of Manhatten and managed to get a cab over to the hotel. 

The hotel was REALLY nice. We dropped our stuff and went out in search of veggies.... Hard to travel with veggies, just saying. We managed to stumble upon this place called juice jive... It sort of had the vibe of a subway but was a juice and salad bar. We had a really nice discussion with the owner and then walked back to fall into bed. Gotta love NYC. 

Fluffy beds are awesome. 


The conference was Saturday, so we cabbed it down to NY law school and got it going. It was BIG. There were tons of people caregivers and patients alike. In all stages of treatment. We got our swag and settled in. 

The first talk was by Italia Ricci, who is the star of the abc family show Chasing Life. So that was pretty cool. She discussed her role and what it was like to play someone with cancer. It was neat and to know that someone depicting one version of a cancer journey actually does some advocacy too, and had trouble Turning it off was pretty cool.  Humanity does connect us and to know someone in Hollywood who is playing such a role actually cares was neat. 

The next lecture was by a psychologist who sees a lot of cancer patients. It was a very appropriate talk because she focused on getting back into life and reiterated some things I'd been thinking and feeling. I took some notes there and think they'll be helpful in the loving forward. 

Lunch was provided and gave us a chance to chat with people at our table. And explore the vendors.  The people at our table were cool and all I'm saying, check out the etsy store survival organs... Awesome and kind of hilarious. 

The first lecture after lunch sounded good but ended up being a bit of a flop in my opinion. It was about the lobby for chemical controls in supply chains... Like how bad flame retardant is and how stuff like that isn't regulated at all. Which I kind of knew.  But over all it did not give a concrete set of things to do to fix or help yourself.  I am going to try these two aps:  good guide and think dirty... Knowledge is power. 

The last panel was a survivor panel, which I loved. The questions were thought provoking for me and interesting to hear the responses of the others.  As the questions were asked If answer them in my head... I unfortunately don't remember any specifically but they were cool. 

After there was a social hour which I went to for a minute, and then left to go surprise Sarah, who teaches at Lyons Den Yoga, which happened to be around the corner from where I was. That was fun too. Nothing better then surprising a friend and getting the "wait you should be in Boston face" priceless. We caught up for a bit and the I met back up with Lauren... We had places to be. 

Where you say??? The Capitol Grill on Wall Street.  How fun is that?  Lauren had received an award so they planned fun stuff for us, her and guest, including a fancy dinner. 

It was delicious and decadent and fun. We poured ourselves into bed later the. Usual but totally worth it.

Sunday was lazy. Woke up late and made our way to the spa (another surprise for me) before made my way to the bus and back to boston. 

Such a great and inspiring weekend, and our hotel was close to a really famous theater. How cool was that. 











Thursday, September 4, 2014

Things having cancer twice taught me

Before I really get into it, this is not one of those blog posts where the writer spends pages and pages saying how thankful they are that cancer change their life and how much better life is now that they've had cancer. Mainly because I think that all that is a crock of shit.  You can't tell me you're actually happy you had cancer. I mean there are about 1000 easier ways to learn lessons in life. At least 900 of which aren't life threatening. I mean really. I would take bungee jumping over cancer.  And this girl HATES HATES free fall heights. That being said there are a few, or a lot... Not sure till I start writing... Of things of learned in the last few months. 

1) slower is better - most people that know me off line know me as the one who never stops, doesn't sit down, and willingly works out twice a day. And though I had a great time running around town, feeling fit, and fitting "it all in" the plan fact was it wasn't doing me any favors, physically emotionally or spiritually 

2) how I was approaching dating was not serving my end goal - I'm not going to go to far into this, but I sort of woke up and realized that my intention while dating was not correctly set. That changes now, why should I mess around! Done! 

3) my spiritually bears further discovery - since cancer round two is intimately intertwined with yoga teacher training, it sort of makes sense that all of the spiritual awakening is heightened and continues to evolve during this tirmultuous time. 

4) taking care of my body and mind are paramount over all - like I've said above. I was doing things that weren't helping me and making sacrifices of my health for fun, good times whatever... Bad idea

5) keeping kale or spinach or spring mix in the fridge allows me to add greens in weird ways. - including a hand full of spring mix while driving to an apt on a day I felt I needed more greens

6) slightly dairy intollerant - took out dairy and felt better, who knew ? 

7) I'm allowed to back out of things - one characteristic of myself that I really like is that I'm dependable. Unfortunately it's basically to a fault. I don't allow myself to change my mind. Or didn't, and as a result, I tended to run myself ragged and not always doing stuff that really served my wants and needs in the moment 

8) when people offer to help you believe them when they say don't mind, and take their help - this was a tough pill to swallow, I am naturally extremely independent, and I like that. Or did, or still do. But sometimes it's ok to ask for help and it If someone offers it's ok to take them up on it. And they are being truthful. 

So clearly I've learned and am still learning a lot, and maybe cancer has nothing to do with it, and maybe it does. All that really matters is the growth. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

I like hard sequences

Like the title suggests, I tend to like hard sequences. I've been playing a lot with how to get in and out of poses in a typical ways, and have been enjoying trying to incorporate some of that into when I teach. I don't think I've come up with anything super creative yet but it's just the beginning. 


Sequence one 
Down dog 
Three legged dog 
runners lung 
Easy hamstring stretch 
Revolved triangle 
Revolved half moon
Standing leg split 
Half moon 
Warrior 2 
Reverse warrior 
Side angle lung 
Half or full bound side angle 
Warrior 2 
Reverse 
Vinyasa back to down dog 
And switch sides 

Sequence 2 
Down dog 
Warrior 1 
Humble warrior 
Toppling tree (aka bound. Standing leg split) 
Bound forward fold 
Toppling tree (other leg raised) 
Humble warrior 
Warrior 1 

That beening said I think in general for a "regular" class I like teaching a more athletic crowed. I also have been gaining a lot of comfort teaching a resorative flow , but it's really hard to pair down a regular flow class. I have yet to try teaching a beginner class ( minus my guinue pigs from biogen.. Thanks guys) and I definitely think I'd still been sweating a lot. But I'm loving the growth opportunity and seeing where all this will take me. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fancy title

That's code for I have no idea what this post is going to be about, cause I feel like of nuts right now.  I feel like I've been playing a bit of an emotional ping pong game with myself in a seven sided board. One minute I'm happy, then pissed, then sad, then ok, then scared, then anxious. It's exsausting I mean really exsausting.  

I've definitely been noticing the exsaustion more lately. It's been challenging to get up in the morning, and not just on the days I have insomnia or sugar induced insomnia.  Which is completely legit, and at least is an explaination of being tired or sleeping poorly. The inability to sleep for a not good reason is a really hard pill to swallow.  At least if you're exsausted let it be because I was at some really great party and danced the night away, I mean much better then my body decided it didn't want to cooperate.  On a side note related to that I've gotten a lot better at slowing down and giving myself more time to do things, and more time to just be. I don't try to fit a million things in, in a day and I think it's really made me move slower through life and I think it's a good thing. I mean in mechanics the parts that get pushed to much wear out faster... Right, so why can't that be applied to bodies to. Let's find a homeostatic pace and stay there. And if it is slower then the previous one that is ok.  

On a different note I also had one of those weeks where I was very thankful for the yoga in my life. The realization coming sort of in a weird way.  A brilliant yogi died at the age of 95 this week.  BKS Iyengar, who is pretty much the father of modern yoga flow.  And in reading about him I came upon this quote. 

"Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured." - BKS Iyengar

And It made me very thankful that I found this ability to heal myself, even just a little bit. I know yoga can't heal everything but it sure shows me how to deal with everything. Through cancer and yoga I realize that a lot of stuff I used to make a big deal about aren't really a bit deal. 

My friend tony put it in a different way. 

"Sometimes your day is like toes pose" . It feels completely unbearable but if you send it some breath you realize it isn't so bad. That doesn't mean you're not allowed to bail occasionally, cause that's legit too. Certain times stress is just too much, breath allows us to endure to a certain point.  But sometimes you know that if you just sit with the intense sensation for a few more minutes you realize it ain't so bad. 

I also realized recently that I've sort of been developing my art of practice for a long time.  Some people know I've was an avid musican since about the age of 5. I started with recorder,  then flute, and bassoon for 15 yrs.  and I think that in practicing music and learning the discipline of practicing I was priming myself for the practice of yoga and really the practice of life.  It's through all this practice that I finally feel like I can accept myself on my terms more on a daily basis. And realize that some days aren't going to feel or go as "planned" and realizing that is ok. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Side effects can suck it/ ok life is pretty good

I've had a lot of side effects happen to me in my day. I historically get most of the common ones, and sometimes some  a typical ones. All of them suck. I mean really they suck. And cancer brings on a whole slew of side effects that almost counteract each other, so it feels a little you're on an episode of candide camera


This first paragraph was started a while ago. And now that I've had a little more time, and actually some of the side effects have warn down a bit. I realize things are actually pretty good.   Though sometimes I still feel like I'm getting punked with what I have to go with, that whole you're only given what you can deal with mantra (admittedly not my favorite but applicable at the time) came through and most of the chemo side effects have lessened. In other words I don't feel like a 90 yr old women when I stand up. I'll take it. 

Radiation has been going along and it wasn't until recently that things started to get interesting.  Radiation for those new to the party is when they send photons into your body to kill shit.  Topically this results in, can you guess, a burn. An it just keeps getting worse, like you got a bad tanning bed experience in really stupid places( ex. Mamory fold, arm pit) yeh who knew those would be fun places to tan. But anyway. It wasn't a big deal at all until this weekend when skin decided to blister and crack... I will be asking about infection tomorrow. And now it just hurts. Bring on the pain and sleep aids... Two weeks to get through and we'll be good.  

Otherwise things are going pretty well. I've been teaching yoga a bit, or occasionally, depending on your unit of measure ;-) and it's been awesome. I've also been focusing on see people in small or single groups. Large groups haven't been calling my name lately. Taking care of my self with lots of bad TV dates. Experimenting with dietary changes and cravings. ( I have to admit I caved today and had a vegan chocolate chip cookie) damn sugar you scream at me, but bright side... NO DAIRY!!! Hey I'll take it.  And trying new things, or old things in new places. 

Off to yoga cafe @ south boston yoga. 90 min class with live music.... It's going to be awesome tastic 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ode to femininity

I've been thinking a lot about what makes you feminine and what makes you not. In an age where gender has basically become relative and one can use whatever pronoun one wants to describe onesself, what makes me a girl.

I think I've been thinking about this mainly because it's hard to feel pretty when you're being medically assaulted regularly and you are legitamatly unsure on what part of your body is going to work at any time, it's hard to feel like the lady you know you are. 

I'm not going to lie and say before this I always found myself pretty, because that would be a joke. My outward and inward appearance has been a constant re-evaluation for basically my entire adult life. 

I'm at a point in my life where I'm pretty happy with the inward. There are things I would change, thoughts I wish I could erase, but overall I think I have very pretty insides.  The outside has been more of a struggle.  So at a time where I am not a huge fan of the way I look, and the fact is out of my control that I look this way, why not examine things that I feel are truest feminine, especially when my very essence of femininity (estrogen reseptor positive tumor and all) is really the cause of it.  

Maybe a better title would be "what makes me a women" 

We'll start with the obvious... Lady parts. Them I've got and them I'm a fan of.  Even if boobs get in the way sometimes. Long hair... Oops don't have that, but does that make me womanly... I'm going with no. Yes I'd like more then I currently have 
Still a bit sparse up top. But I've spent a long part of my adult life with short hair and I think that wear I'll stay.  Lady like eyebrows... Ok don't laugh... Naturally I have eyebrows that look sort of like I was related to Andy roonie.  They are sparse right now, which I can deal with. And I already have a close and personal relationship with an esstitition (think that's 
How you spell that word) which brings up my next point... Body hair.  This is actually something in general I've never minded. Who gives a shit if I'm a girl with hairy arms? What they forget to tell you when they shut down your ovaries is that your ability to grow a mustache exponentially increases... Thank god I already know someone who's good with the hot wax.  My desire to or desire not to wear makeup, jewelry or "girly" clothes. And this is where I think today's society is kind of awesome.... Whoooo cares? Being someone who does or doesn't do those things does not make me any more or less pretty. Granted if I feel better in something that's one thing( yoga pants anyone) but otherwise big freakin woop.  If I am someone who wears a dress once a year at Easter it really doesn't make me any differnt. 

In my opinion the. Best part about being a women in today's society is the ability to be whatever. If I'm never described as glam, or fashionista that is not going to break the bank. I'd rather have descriptors like 
Strong
Kind
Self reliant 
Muscle- y 
Good listener 
Great cook 
Healthy 
Adventurous

And really the rest doesn't matter one bit

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The day I taught two yoga classes

17jul14 

A little while a go I  offically made it on the the substitute teacher list at prana power yoga. Woo! That was exciting and then it was just trying to get up enough nerve to sub a class. Which actually took some nerve. I mean you have the power, but to know that you can actually use it and try and teach real people who won't know that you graduated teacher training 3 months early. Yikes!!!! Excited but scary. 

Anyways I woke early and made my way to prana newton. I wanted to be awake long enough that I'd be decently chipper by 6am.  I had a good group. I noticed I tend to repeat the same word a lot while teaching. In this case it was begin. I just kept saying it... Like I couldn't help it. But otherwise I was pretty happy with the class. 

I continued on with my day and around 4pm got the call to teach the 730 in Cambridge. I was already going to be there anyway to assist so teaching was an added bonus.  The second time was even better. I didn't forget to teach bridge (note to self... If you miss bridge,  don't try to put it after pigeon, doesn't work) and I fit in more stuff in a better amount of time. 

Overall it was a really awesome time, and I'm really glad I tore the bandage off and started teaching 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Tired... And pissed

I've addmittedly been in a bit of a funk as of late. And though I think it's perfectly reasonable to just be in a funk, a slightly longer term funk needs to be examined for causes, if there are any. 

So I've been doing that and I've come up with a few things. Not sure why they all of a sudden might have started bothering me, and frankly I Don't care. They do and possibly it's the additive affect that is finally starting to take its toll. 

#1 - the stares, I HATE the stink eyes I've been getting from perfect strangers. Who when I catch them flat out staring don't even have the decency to avert there eyes. I know me walking around with no hair is a bit odd, annomily, cause celeb, whatever but get over it people. On of the things they don't mention about cancer is how weird people get around it.  I'm lucky that my close friends have taken all my physical and emotion changes in stride, but the fact is aquantances and stranger get a D+ in how they act... Yes I'm asking a lot of strangers but still I should. Stop being a weirdo and avert your eyes god damn it. I mean it's hard enough functioning when you have cancer, getting stated at really doesn't help. I would wear a hat world if it wasn't for the fucking hot flashes... You try menopause at 31, in the summer and see how you feel. 

#2 - this stress is largely of my own doing. I am naturally a giver. I want to help and comfort and be there. And now my dad has moved to somewhere extraordinarily more depressing then Spaulding. He's in a rehab center/ old age home. Not only are the long term residents sort of sad( not that I'm saying old age homes don't serve a place... This is a gross generalization) but the building is cemenent and basically just depressing. The hard part for me being it's in west Roxbury... You know how long it takes to get from Malden to west Roxbury... 40 god damn minutes... It's not close. Even after a month I'm still trying to work out what is a comfortable amount of time for me to visit, that isn't going to wear me out and isn't going to make me feel guilty for not going. Still trying to work that out. I think this week we'll try less because I realized I've got basically 13/14 days... So that's too many. It's starting to frustrate me. I used go every day I could because I knew there would be days I couldn't, but clearly that isn't working.  Need to revamp... Definitely making me tired. 

#3 - just being tired , but then not sleeping well, and feeling guilty for being on sort term disability. 

I'm hard pressed to think that radiation is already taking a toll but maybe it is. I've basically been tired since the first day, and it's getting worse. I wish I slept better so then I would feel a bit more accomplished, but I don't... Fuck this long haul. 

#4 - it's been a little over a week and let's just say going to the hospital. 5 days a week is NOT fun ... There is nothing else to say about that. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Contemplation

It's been a big month, and today is actual the BIG day. Radiation starts today. But this month also I've had a chance to sit back a little, and reflect... And have a different short of craziness enter my life. 

So my dad had a stroke on June 14th (aka the day before Father's Day) the sort of weird timing is especially odd. But yeh, so what was going to be a relaxing two weeks before radiation, not so much. I've really had the chance to reflect on what is really important in life and to me, and really focus on what I need in a lot of ways. 

I've been lucky to have to ability to go and see my dad most days (he's currently at Spaulding in charlestown) but have also had to realize my zeal to do "it all " has somewhat negative consequences to my mental and physical  being. The truest example manafesting in a bit of a cry fit when I missed visiting hours one day, after having worked a full week for the first time in AWHILE (quite honestly I can't remember ) and trying to please both myself and him.   In being tired the gravity of the situation ( really not grave at all) was magnified to epic proportions. And it was in the breakdown that I realized... I'm trying to so it all, and I really can't. Not because I'm dealing with cancer, but because it's a recipie for disaster.   I need actually practice in how to prioritize myself over others and here's really the learning point, NOT FEEL BAD about it.  

I'm a believer that everything in life is a lesson meant to grow, and I've been reading this book 
That in it documents some tips of what people did to beat cancer when basically doctors said they were going to die. And I've been realizing more then ever the energetics and mindfulness practices are really what helps to live a long life. Obviously you have to eat a clean and healthy diet...I'm actually trying something new now, we'll see how it goes.  But most of the things the book discusses are spiritual and mental. If you don't take time to forgive yourself, slow down, listen to your intuition, then really what's the point. 

I had a lesson about that this week in fact. I'm realizing the importance of advocating for my own needs even when you get some push back from people like umm doctors. Especially when everyone else in my life agrees with me, not the docs.  Though it's been tough to let things go, and trust that it will work out. Let's just say the planner in me kinda goes haywire when stress is induced... Still very much learning in the it will all work out category of mental abilities.  But also stinking to my guns, and though I feel bad..... I really do, that I last minute changed my mind and left people at work in a pinch, realizing also that what I'm asking for is reasonable and right and I deserve to get it.... Even if people don't always agree. 

On that note I'm going to wrap up... Cause I feel rambly. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Chakra cleanse

08jun14

Today I did something a little different.  I had been hearing about this workshop offered a few times around town called the chakra cleanse, led by Jaquei Bonwell.  I had heard that it was amazing and since she used to teach at prana a lot of the instructors from teacher training had mentioned her. So I said why not. I needed some make up hours so it was the perfect modivator....

The workshop was held at south boston yoga, which I had never been too. Hence the extra modivation because I parked at work and took the T.  All of that was extremely uneventful and I arrived in southie VERY early. Found a bench and read a bit.  The weather finally broke so that was good and warm. 

Then I went in to do 3 hrs of yoga awesomeness. First let me start by saying I knew going in this workshop was going to be challenging. But it also was coming at a good time. I feel like I've been working through some stuff and consequently had been feeling very stuck and stagnant. I know physically I'm a bit of a mess at the moment but mentally too and at this point in my life I know the two are connected. So a chance to really try and zone in on stuff was really good timing. 

That being said it was amazing.  I had reactions to stuff that I didn't even realzied a few things that I didn't know I was holding on to.  I got practice with two of my peps, kyle and Angela, so that was awesome as well. It never ceases to amaze me about the powers of yoga and meditation. There are things that we hold on to, and in some cases some deep seeded stuff, and through a sequence of movements and some talking emotions and stuff come to surface. And they may be things that you hadn't thought about in a long time. 

Though I still feel emotionally raw, it's an amazing experience and I will be doing it again. 

Food Truck Fest

07jun14

So in Boston and other places there is a very extensive food truck presence. I love them.  There are a few that I've visited that come to Kendall during the week and then a few that you run into around town. But the ultimate fun is when they gather together and festivalize. 

Yesterday was one such occasion. They all centered at assmebly row in Somerville. Which as a side note is being built out to be what seems like a very nice outdoor mall space. And it's 5 min from my current abode. Score!  

So I met Sarah and peps there yesterday and we partook. I was warned that you get full portions of stuff so to choose wisely.  We ended up dividing and conquering, which gather us all a chance to try a bunch of stuff.  I waited in like at Fugu truck... 

Oh did I mention that it was a long line. But in the end I got a bibimbap bowl and some pork buns. And we all found some cement and shade and chowed down. 

It was a successful day, had some nice company, tried some different stuff and enjoyed some fresh and finally nice weather.   

Food trucks...... Keep umm coming 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Chemo 4 squared

30 may 14

So it's done. I managed to get through another set of chemo action. Thank goodness. I was actually thinking today that it's so weird that cancer has been a part of my vocabulary for going on three yrs. part of me thinks, when did this happen, why is this my life... But then I think this is my journey. Just go with it. 

So chemo recap.  I got up early as usual and my sister drove me in. This day was a two asana day 
Warrior 3... Ish to get things going. It's actually funny to see pictures of myself in yoga poses because of course, I thought I was flat. Ummm yeh not exactly.  I dig it, but I'm far from starting my yoga journal modeling career. 

Traffic wasn't bad and we made it in with lots of time. Coffee was had and blood work was taken. All good and had lots of time to sit in the meditation garden. 
For those that don't know there is a roof top garden at MGH. It's really nice, minus the continues ambulance noise.  

So I got some reading done and then headed in to meet the doctor. Then the schedule went to shit. There was lots of sitting, and I eventually saw the doc. Which went fine... There is always a discussion on symptoms and stuff. Got a new sleep aid to try and going to try omega 3 for hot flashes... Couldn't hurt right? 

But because of that, or maybe just cause it was that kind of day. I had to wait in the infusion room too... Wahwah!  But when I finally got called back I got a private room. Woot woot. 
Let's just say it was a bit chilly.  But once things got going it was pretty smooth. My arm felt funny for a bit but turned out to be me... Not an actual problem.  And the lovely Christina and Kate kept me smiling and amused while things wrapped up. What else is there to do when you visit someone at chemo? I mean really... You are there for their amusement. 

Once I was finally unhooked it was time for the celebratory flying frog (crow) 
Even after that I got both feet up... Boo yeh. And Christina drove me home... To pass out from a long day. 

But as weird as it is to say I've been through chemo twice... I've been through chemo twice and I slapped that bitch... Now the bitch better stay slapped...

Just saying




Friday, May 23, 2014

Compassion

Something I've been struggling with lately is compassion. Both for myself, and actually others, in relation to my cancer and just in general.  I feel that cancer has the ability to amplify whatever your feeling, makes sense, and in doing that it's like getting hit over the head with a feelings brick. Hurts a little bit, and is impossible to ignore, as opposed to the usual annouying poke that a lot of feelings tend to do. As an even tempered person, for the most part, sometimes I need a stronger internal signal to sense the blip on the radar. 

So that is basically a long winded way to say I've been having a lot of feelings lately. The self compassion is something that I have struggled with in cancer and not. I am admittedly very hard on myself, and in the past would just muscle my way through things, not really paying attention to how I felt and frequently to my own physical detriment. Ranging from just sleep deprivation to full on getting sick.  So now that I quite literally have no choice but to slow down, it's sometimes hard for me to deal with.  Lately in particular I've had trouble.  The thing about chemo is that it breaks your body down 
Umm yeh, wouldn't have a shinny head if something wasn't breaking down. So eventually your body pushes back. Saying nope you have to slow down even more. Sorry you're plan ain't going to work because I have other ideas. And let's just say I don't take that well.  First off I regard my 'cred' as very important. To me saying you'll do something and then not doing it / canceling at the last minute is the worst.  It makes me mad, especially when I already think I'm slowing down a lot.  It's been a very important lesson in listening to myself and though emotionally sometimes I turn into a two year old child having a tantrum, I have gotten better at listening to what my body is telling me that I need. This may or may not what other people think I should be doing. 

This goes into my second point. Unfortunately people have opinions and sometimes they share them when they are unsolicited.  Lately when talking to others, including medical professionals, don't really understand my situation. I've heard this from other young adult cancer patients, basically I'm in a very special group of people and people don't understand what is important to someone my age.  I had an appointment recently with radiation oncology and though they seemed very nice something they said really erked me. I was concerned about how tired I will be during treatment. And I was told it was good that I didn't have a family because I can just go home and go to bed. I mean really. It was sort of insensitive. And what I have come to realize is that people don't understand the need that may exist to be social, to go to yoga, to do basically anything that doesn't involve work. And really that doing those things will keep my mental sanity, maybe more important they sleep, and definitely more important then work. So let's just say I'm not looking forward to going back to them. But I will focus on being compassionate and tell them what I need.  Because it comes down to realizing that cancer docs don't deal with people my age that often and I have to advocate for myself. 

And I will continue to do what I need to do, with as little remorse for it, and attempt to not let others opinions for how I should be a cancer patient influence my decisions. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Labels

I Or more specifically reading labels. That is something that people associate with food. But really why should you read the labels of everything you're putting near your body.  We live in a pretty toxic word in general and the more I learn the more I realize there are some pretty basic things that can be done to minimize toxins. Only one of them being really food related. 

So first where do the labels come in? Well did you know that the FDA does not require a complete ingredient list on some body products, or cleaning products.  Also anything that toats a shelf life of 3 years or more ain't natural.  I'm sorry but anything that claims to maintain its molecular integrity for that long is far preserved all to heck and really I don't think should be going near my temple... Body. 

So as such I'm in the process of making a few changes. I've switch most of my
Cleaners to vinegar and water and the occasional bleach.. I won't give up my
Toilet wand, but otherwise we're pretty natural.  I gave my sister almost all my lotion and perfume. Replacing the lotion with Shea butter, coca butter and coconut oil. I'm planning to use lanolin in replacement of Vaseline.  My lovely friend Abby found a natural deodorant that has stood up to a hot yoga teacher lifestyle... So goodbye secret. And dr brommers 18-1 soap instead of body wash and for right now shampoo. 

I won't say I'm completely free of that stuff, or that I'm never going to use it again, but I'm working toward that and have been slowly aquirring the necessary alternatives. 

The other big change I made was a three away almost all my plastic Tupperware. What!!!!! Ok so the plastic thing has been a thing for awhile, but I finally said screw it. Let's give it a go. No more plastic. Storage for this kid. I feel like I'll still have to get some containers... Though I found out  H Mart has them.... Can we say post yoga shopping?  But anyway, so right now my cabinet looks like this 

Yes the glass at the top has plastic lids, but I don't think glass lids exist. And if I'm wrong please correct me. But form now in its ball jars and Pyrex for this kid. 

Chemo 3 to the 2 power

09may14

It's offical, we're on the tail end of chemo. Thank goodness. I mean it's so fun and all but not really. I'll be happy when it's over.  This time felt differnt after taking some time off.  It was like I got in all the activities I would like to do and the. I was a little, we're talking a very little, bit ok with being hooked into the toxins again.  I also started to detox my house, but that is for a differnt post. 

I slep poorly as usual but that wasn't a surprise. The fun thing was that my sister was there. We had a bit of a sleep over, which was really fun. So I got up early to get all my ducks in a row and she got up at the last second, and we loaded I the car.  

I sort of developed a method to the Fridays now which is weird a little but sort of comforting.  Blood work, coffee, browse hats... Purchase hat

See the doctor and then infusion. 
 
Seeing the doctor was boring are usual, though I did see the actual doctor which was nice. Ironically I had a form for him to sign, and did I remember to have him sign it.... Nope. Oh well. 

After the doctor I had just enough time to go out to the mediation garden for a hot second. It was a little chilly so that's all that was called for anyway. 

Infusion was fine. I actually had a differnt nurse who I went to high school with.  Talk about a small world. And I got a window seat.... Woohoo. Nice to look outside, not nice cause it was kind of drafty.  Fortunately they kept the heated blankets coming, so I was fine.  

During infusion I got an acupunture treatment, ear needles and a massage. Not too bad. And then I had two visitors. Susan and Kate came to visit. Kate has come the other two times and susan just this time. But after an entire day of being alone it was really nice to have some company to finish it off.  I appreciate all the kindness and large and small gestures people have done all through this.  Susan also kept me company waiting for my ride, Bruce who was my
Ride a lot the previous time, and then went home, Pjamed and bed. 

The one thing we forgot to do was a yoga pose... But it was rectified the next day 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The pause button

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and it's sort of funny that ABC family seems to be putting on a show that seems to struggle with this a little.

I cause it the cancer pause button.  I think this is something mainly encountered by the young cancer patients. I mean I don't know if I'd feel this way if I were retired and had lived a full life, but especially lately it feels like there has been a giant pause button put on everything.  

After the first time it took a really long time to feel "normal" or "good" again. And finally when I did start to have mostly good days I get smacked in the face again. 

I've I'd this feeling lately that my life is not going anywhere. I'm stagnant. And I don't know what to do about it.  

Though I guess the only good thing is that with any pause there is a chance to go again, and I just have to try and be patient for the go. Whenever that is meant to happen. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Slow it down, even more

So most of you that know me well know I have a hard time slowing down. I like to do lots of things that aren't work related so as a consequence I tend to push myself pretty hard.  And I like it. I love all the activities that I do and don't really have any desire to stop them.  Until I get cancer... Then I really don't have a choice.

I thought I'd been doing pretty good with planning my rest accordingly, and honestly I had been, until this past weekend. I basically had 4 things to do in 3 days... Theoretically no biggie. Haha I was wrong.  The end of that week was rough because the bone pain decided to kick itself into high gear. So by Friday I was pretty wiped.  Mom and I had plans to go to Book of Mormon, which we did and was awesome. But it got out super late..... Like 11. And so sleeping wasn't the best that night.  Worth it but it threw me off for the next day. 

The following day I had plans to go to nates class and then self care Saturday to make up some training hours. And unfortunately because of exhaustion, the make up hours won.  We won't have to mention the really bad bloody nose that happened during the class... No let's leave that out.  We all went to masa for a bit which was lovely and then I poured myself into the car. 

And Sunday I taught... Which I knew would be exhausting so I spent the entire day on the couch... I'm serious.  I think I sort of watched 4 movies.  

The main point is that I realized more then anything I have to be even more selective with my choices of activities.  Mainly annoyingly enough I do still have to go to work... Damn it... So that makes me sad. But I'll make it work and make as much of it count as I can. Damn it 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

First yoga community class

27apr14

I taught my first full 90 min flow at Prana Power yoga in Winchester on Sunday.  To conserve my energy I spent literally the entire early part of the day on the couch, and surprisingly relaxed.  I came to the realization this weekend that even my original version of cutting back wasn't going to cut it, in terms of where my body is at.... So to be on the safe side couch it was. 

I knew the nerves would hit eventually, which they did on the Way over.  Not surprised and spent the car ride breathing. Fortunately because I didn't have a key I had to get there really early, so that stress was gone.  I chilled out on the curb waiting till I could get in. And then I made sure I was situated with the computer and stuff. 

Checking people in went pretty good, especially since I knew 4 of the 8 people that came. And there wasn't really a rush on things. I got the door shut and made my way to class. 

I changed the first half of class a bit, which was scary but fun.  I started them in child's pose which is how I like to start,  a good thing about teaching irregularly...you don't feel as repetitive. I also changed up the crescent twist portion, bringing in revolved half moon and standing leg split.  The two funny things that happened in the first half were I actually noticed when I said chatturunga instead of uttcatasana, which apparently has happened before but I had never noticed.  The second one was that I cued for everyone to take a high twist before going into crescent lung and literally one person actually did it. I was extremely glad for that because otherwise I probably would have thought I didn't say it.  So if helped to know that at least I said what I intended. And hey, apparently people really don't listen to you while teaching. 

The second half was more vanilla flow. The funny thing that happened there was I had sort of a ton of time left (an indication I could have probably held things longer) when I got pretty near the end of the flow that we learned.  So what did I do, held a really long half pigeon and added the quad stretch, cued supported fish.... Because who doesn't love it.  And did a whole 10 min savasana. Which of course meant I could assist everyone.   I'd say overall a win.  

I'd say I'm mainly excited that I got one down. Woot woot. And I also realized something else. I can time holds out by assisting. That way I'll be more likely to be balanced on both sides... Cause there is nothing more annoying then when one side is held longer then the other.  

Overall so excited to teach again, and looking forward to improving my skills.!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Becoming relaxed

Today I met my friend Anna for breakfast. This is not a surpremely revolutionary idea to most people, except its wednesday and I went to work after.  Granted me met early, 730 am but other then actually having to get out of bed when I was supposed to I didn't really wake up any earlier then I am used to doing.  We went to Commenwealth cafe in Union Square and had a lovely breakfast and chat and still managed to pull into work at 915. So not really much later then I get there on a bad day. 

The mind blowing thing about this idea was how easy it was.  I won't lie and say I didn't feel bad about it, since there is some sort of differnt  feel of getting to work "late" In my head because I just didn't get up and because I was doing something fun.  But it was really nice. And actually made me feel good for the whole day. 

Hope I can continue to relax into things as the cancer progresses and even after 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The bunny chronicles

20apr14

Otherwise known as Easter.  

This year was a little differnt then others because neither of the siblings were around, so it was very small.  We went to church, no shock there, and dad and I were greeters. This was surprisingly less weird then I thought it would be. I'm not really sure what I thought would happen but the main thing didn't want was to be gushed over.  Sometimes I have this feeling like I have cancer, I'm dealing with it, and I don't want to hear that that I am impressive.  Granted sometimes that is nice, but not all the time. Because as I may have mentioned before it's not really a choice to be impressive, it just is. But now that I'm saying this I guess that is why it's impressive, because I'm not trying to be. 

So anyway, church was uneventful and then we had brunch with the bell choir. Which was tasty.  Dad and I went home and mom stayed for the second service. Most of the rest of the day involved me sitting or sleeping on the couch.  Concluded with dinner at my aunts house and getting a shot via Franni. But I was so happy to not have to go to work the next day.  And of course there was a eastern basket and bunny to be had. 
Who doesn't appreciate a nice fluffy bunny? I mean really, especially since the other ones came in chocolate form. 

The unexpected part of the day was that it really sort of brought me to think about my thoughts on religion.  Growing up we went to church almost every week during the school year. (Yes we had summers "off") but since college my attendance at church was realively sparatik, and the lastfew years  have consisted of mostly Christmas Eve and Easter.  

I started to think why that has changed, was the change intentional, do I want to go back go going to church. A lot of it I'm not sure about, but the one thing I know ins that though the change was not an active choice it is one im sticking with. 

It was a slow thing that I started to shy away from religion and into yoga. Over the years there has been parts about organized religion that never really jived with me. I really think that it was when I had cancer the first time that really put me over the edge. I mean how could I really be ok with a god and "person" that allowed me to get cancer. I was mad, and still am a bit at this person. That being said I believe that there is something out there that watching out for me. I have had to many instances that clearly were the universe watching out for me to not believe it, but the whole organized religion thing.... For the birds, and would I rather worship whoever by dressing up and going to a staunch building, or would I rather link breath with movement and send light out into the world. I'll take the light. 


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Chemo round 2 squares

18apr14

Another day another day of putting poison in my body. I didn't sleep super well again. The anticipation is really the killer. Though each time is similar it's hard to know what each time is going to bring since it's breaking you down a little more, so there is only so much predicting you can do. 

Getting to the hospital was uneventful. Which is always good. I mean it's a little disconcerning when getting there is hard. But anyway. I made it to blood work, easy squeezy. Made my way down do get a cup of decaf. Because of the large span of time in between visits I am much more brazen about getting up an walking around. Cause really there is no reason to camp out in waiting room because it's stupidly boring. 

Browsed for a hats and picked up a new one
Very lady like for Easter.  And very soft. Made it through the doctors apt, and off to infusion. 

Again easy for the most part. My veins didn't want to play so nice so it was a two stick day, but once that got going everything went smoothly. 

Chemo mudra and what not to wear... Sounds good. 

I also had a bunch of visitors which was awesome. Erin came up from peds Orth, which was fun, and brought me fun surprises. Slippers, a yummy candle and a hat "buff" 

Who doesn't like animal print? My head is officially ready for spring.  And chai vanilla candles are yummy :-) 

Then Kate and Keith stopped by for a visit as well. It's nice to have some company for a Long day. 

Oh and finally I capitalized on the free massage service... Foot massage yes please.  All in all pretty smooth and a lovely day 



Saturday, April 12, 2014

Yoga teacher training wk 10

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Oh my god, it's almost over. I can't believe it. It's been an amazing ride and I can't believe it's over. But like when anything ends something else begins. I don't know what that is right now. But I know it will be awesome. 

Friday started with meeting up with Kate and making our way to the studio. Ironically we got a little lost, first time. Typical that is happens on the last Friday. Whatever we made it work. Friday we started with a little meditiation. Which is always nice, because I am lazy about meditating myself. Then we did the flow once through. It's amazing how much better everyone is, and the fact that we do the whole thing makes it energetically better to handle.  Then it was over.... And I was off to shave my head and watch GI Jane... Very appropriate. 

Saturday  I was tired from staying up to late to shave my head. Oops.  We started off with a discussion of what's next. Yikes so much to think about, now it's like do I do more training, get CPR certified, get insurance, where to teach, how much do you make... Ak, it sort of makes my head spin. I decided today (Monday) I'm going to focus on one opportunity at a time and see what happens, that way I won't overwhelm myself. If the universe decides to throw a bunch of things at me at once then I'll figure it out, but I think I'm not going to seek to much stuff out yet. Let's focus on  community classes and screening for sub lists... Though I may look at other studios to get on the sub list for.  

After that we moved into more practice teaching. Which was good. It's always good to move after we sit for a while. I didn't go until the second round in the evening. I got to teach integration and Sun salutations, which was good. It had been awhile since I had done that, so it was good practice. It's sort of funny that I get really unsure of myself then while I'm teaching this very directive authoritative person comes out. Clearly I got this more then my front mind thinks. Because when I let it flow out it comes... So there we go. 
And Franni helped me finish my hair

Sunday we did one more round of teaching, and chatting. And then we had cupcakes and the merryment commenced. 
The whole teacher training family. 
Then I turned into a rocker. Barely able to keep a straight face... I'm a laugher, deal with it.  

I officially have a yoga bandana now, thanks to Nate. 

The party continued at Rae Ann's and it was amazing. Happy graduation to all of us. 




Ode to hair loss


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So this post had another thought for a title but I liked them both equally.... The other one was how to slap that bitch.. So both pretty good right? But anyway I digress. 

So one of the funny things about cancer is when you're feeling good you can kind of forget you are sick. Cause at least I'm lucky enough to not feel shitty all the time.  So that is awesome, but then things like "chemo" and "hair loss" start to happen and then all of a sudden you look like a sick person... And that sucks.  

First it starts with a little

And then you end up shedding so much you quite literately clog a drain. I am not kidding that happened. After that there is two choices, wait to see what happens or grab the bull by the horns. Since I have never been one to wait and see, I grabbed the bull by the horns, and took things into my own hands. 
It's coming off... 3,2,1
I started with scissors.  
Then clippers 
Then even shorter clippers. With a little help from Franni I got cleaned up and all done. 

By hair, hello bald and waiting for the bald spots. At least I won't be leaving a trail of my hair whereever I go :-) and even if I look like a sick person I won't feel like it.  So suck on that cancer... Can't get me down.