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Monday, November 18, 2013

Life is full of colors......

Because I am just sitting and waiting...and waiting and sitting.....I don't have much new to write.  So I decided to share a post I did on my Whimseys-Writings-Thoughts blog. You'll see that it fits in well with my cancer journal.  Have a wonderful rest of today and hopefully I will hear something soon from pathology....although I really don't think I'll hear anything until later in the week.

 *Before I posted this to my Whimseys-Writings-Thoughts blog, this is what I wrote for a memoir writing group I belong to...our topic for this morning's meeting was "free form"....I called my writing........... Life is Full of Colors....


Taylor Swift is a wildly popular young singer/songwriter who recently wrote a song and an album called “Red”.  When asked how she decided on that name for the song and for the album, she said “This album is about emotions. I wrote this song about the fact that some things are just hard to forget….because the emotions involved with them were so intense and, to me intense emotion— is red.”  “There is nothing beige about being in a tumultuous, crazy, insane, semi-toxic relationship”. “Emotions have color.”   I wrote this piece with that thought in mind…….and I call it LIFE IS FULL OF COLORS

Each of our lives have many happenings....some randomly general and some very personal.  As you think about the things that have happened or are happening, the emotions involved in those happenings take on colors of their own.  When you think about those emotions, let them dance across the shiny saw-dusted golden wood floor of the ballroom of your mind, let them bounce back and forth like a white ping pong ball on the green table from one side of your brain to the other.  The thoughts and emotions start out as a tiny brown seed and can often turn into a time lapse picture and begins to grow, pushing its way through the gray mass developing their petals of violet or blue, sometimes red-- that slowly open and form a flower, then a bouquet and then a green meadow full of flowers. The thoughts from an incident or a time in your life, take on a life of their own-- like a tiny hairless chick that works itself out of the shell of a warm brown spotted egg...that soon becomes covered in fluffy yellow newborn down....and slowly wobbles on fragile unsteady gray-brown feet and opens its pale orange beak and tells the world it's here.

Some of those thoughts or emotions can explode into firework colors and develop into stories and some are just thoughts that pass like a colorless raindrop and never seem to find a full story line.

I've had a year full of happenings, a year full of colors. A lot of thoughts have presented themselves to me as candidates for stories.....asking to be given "a voice" but most don't make it to my own personal blind auditions. They ask to be given color and life...but I just can't seem to get the brush strokes right or the color to dry.

When I thought about what I wanted to write two events jumped to the front of the line, the loss of my Dad on March 1st and the trials and tribulations of my Achilles tendon surgery and recovery.

I'm still caressing the soft fragile black clay of my Dad's passing and as the potter's wheel continues to spin in my mind and my heart, it throws off wet globs of sadness over that event. I know the clay will have to harden a bit more, before I can find all the words, phrases, characters, and emotions to be able to write that story. ......I'm not ready to write about the slate gray cumbersome clouds and the blackness of that day.

And on a daily basis, especially when I spin wildly on a stationary bike, do calf raises, lunges, squats or power walk 5 miles I am reminded that the recovery of my torn and now repaired Achilles tendon is still not complete.....there are red flags telling me that story hasn't come full circle and so needs a successful ending to merit itself as a complete story.

But something happened recently and is still happening in my world that makes me want to write about a little girl's favorite color....the color pink.  It's the color most used in the blanket, booties, cap and first dress of a brand new baby girl. It's what we all grow up hearing is for boys and pink is for girls.  It's the color of the tiny bow placed on her head if she doesn't have much hair……......
it is all those things……..but today it is a color not associated with the innocence of a little girl, a color that doesn't necessarily speak of softness and is a color that represents to many women, some men, and now twice for me.....the strength and courage to fight and survive a scary monster called BREAST CANCER?

Having a mammogram is far far far from being even remotely pleasant.  But add to that the words ..."um, we'd like to take a couple more films"....or worse yet, "we see something that doesn't look quite right...that wasn't there last year...something that needs to be biopsied."  You don't feel pink and girly when you hear those words. You feel burgundy anger, queasy green, and white-knuckle scared.  First only one word comes to mind when you wonder frantically if you heard's a single word question ....WHAT? Then the second single word question -- WHY?  And then as gray fear covers your thoughts a two word question forms -- WHY ME! You don't actually say these words because the red of your blood has now drained and left you pasty white and nearly incapable of speaking. Only to be outdone by your lack of voice and the sparkle fading from your eyes when they confirm that it is indeed malignant....not only malignant but ..... Not "Ductal INSITU" which would mean it is encapsulated in the it's malignant and "Ductal INVASIVE" which means it is moving out of the duct. It is news you cry about...or at least I did....and even though you listen to all the terms, decisions and information that take on the oranges, blues and yellows of the bombs going off in your brain, you try to remain calm and you try to appear brave and confident. You get through the surgery... You somehow make it through the jaundice yellow the chemo makes you feel and the beige tiredness that comes with the red beam of radiation.  And the days pass, as do the weeks, the months and the years....for those of us who are lucky enough to win this battle.

But even though several years pass, you still get a pale blue icy feeling each time you get your yearly checkup, until the color of joy comes back to your whole body when you hear the words...."Everything looks good.....see you next year."

And when 11 years have passed, you walk through that door that says "Mammography” confidently, expecting to hear those very words again ..."Everything looks good.....see you next year."

You don't expect to hear the gut wrenching words déjà vu – "We see something that doesn't look quite right...we need to do a biopsy...  I'm so sorry to tell's cancer." 

Again you silently in your mind your fists beat on the blood red face of the fire breathing dragon monster that has once again invaded your body.... And like the Charlie Brown cartoon when all he hears from the teacher is wha wha wha wha, your mind goes blank to anything said after the word CANCER...and then those two word questions and statements scream silently in your brain....WHY ME?  NOT AGAIN!! 

And this time it's discovered in October....How's that for being "AWARE"!  And you strangely realize that part of the treatment may well fall on the day you become Medicare eligible and part of it will fall on the day you turn if that might have been a special birthday.

Your world becomes the greens, yellows, and purples of a fading bruise....and for a moment your whole world turns black and gray and blue....your very soul feels battered.

But then you remember you're a girl....and PINK is your color...and you had the courage, determination and positive attitude to fight it and beat it as you did before.  Can you do it again? OH YES YOU CAN!  

I am reminded of a quote by Dr. Seuss:
I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind
Some come from ahead and some come from behind…
But I’ve bought a big bat….I’m all ready you see
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!

So I shouted bring on the surgery and bring on the treatments....I'll get through this just watch me.... 

Last Friday, I had the surgery and that day was filled with hazy blues and soft faint greens that made up the Lidocaine injections, the stark blackness of the anesthesia and the pale airy colors of a rainbow brought on by nausea and pain medication.

Now I am in a world of emotions that are non-descript white – the world of waiting,,,,, waiting for the pathology reports to be returned; Reports that will bring me the passionate purple predictors of what my treatment or treatments will be….

But someday soon I'll have this all behind me ....again....and once again with a twinkle in my eye....I'll say....

"I'm doing just fine..."


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