Under my tree

I had a particularly good day yesterday for a number of reasons, one big one being the boost of steroids and food. But this experience I feel is worth turning on the computer to capture at 2:40 AM.

Zsolt and I were relaxing on the front porch last evening, enjoying the massive sway of maple leaves mixing with a breeze and the gold evening light. Zsolt was mentioning how his friend enjoys recording short videos to remember the feeling of a place, rather than what it looked like alone with a photo.

This made me think a little.

I think, I replied, that I like to actually be in a place that has captured a piece of who I am, rather than a picture or a video…. being there, in that spot, whether it be an evening by the lake in Balaton or sitting under the tree I have literally grown along with all my life . . . that is what is really is to remember who, and what i am. That is when a piece of what makes me, me, shines. It reminds me that life is far more than a picture, or film, or a place to sit, a thing to let happen, a bed. These experiences are pieces of what I am. They make me, and they remind me of what I am.

So, I like them best. Far better than any form of art or screen.

Places that make me:

Under my tree

Balaton in the evening

The pond in Rockliff

The lake in Jasper called Horseshoe

The pool with family on a hot day

A drive with the window down and the music blaring

Eating into an orange that drips with sweet tangy juice

Sticking my face into a watermelon on a hot day

Warm cookies that are home made, not too sweet, and mine

A cup of tea and milk

Ice water

Little mountain villages with water down the middle

Home

Travel

Love

Zsolt

Dusk

I am all of these things

 

try to keep living until you feel alive again

Which is what I will try to do.

It’s official, I’m being moved to pallative care. Zsolt and I visited with Dr Canada who, and he officially bowed out. There is nothing more that he can offer in the form of treatment. Now I move into a different circle of suppourt that involves home visits, wheel chairs, IV for hydration and more. It is very hard to accept. But I will do as the saying goes – try to keep living until I feel alive again.

In the meanwhile, I’ve just today discovered that I enjoy filtered apple juice.

This is all I can manage to type. It’s a sad day for us.

Missing Mandi

Today I learned that Mandi Hudson has passed away. She wrote a wonderful blog called Darn Good Lemonade, and she was an advocate for raising awareness about stage four breast cancer. That women was relentless – she just kept advocating and advocating. But also she kept living and living – traveling, and RVing and being with her husband Mike. Despite all the crazy medical stuff she had to endure, Mandi pushed life right to the end. And I cannot believe she is gone.

Way back when I was first diagnosed, her voice was one of my first discoveries of online support. She was about my age, and determined, and going through much of the same. Our cancers came back around the same time. We would sometimes compare notes, or suggest ways for coping.

What do you do when an online friend dies? How can I sufficiently mourn her? I know there are many, many in the #BCSM community who were made to smile by Mandi. Where do we gather to share our stories and give one another a hug?

You don’t of course. It’s simply a question of sharing a bit of love on Facebook and crying in your room for the loss. Mandi, I believe, would have just pushed harder. She and many other women were not going to take the pain of loss lying down. While I often choose to hide, I know she would have been lining up her next conference or speaking opportunity and raising more awareness.

Well, I’m going to remember Mandi not only as a strong voice, but as a friend. I never got the chance to hug her in real life, but I feel we were there for each other as often as we could be online.

I will miss you Mandi. Keep shining wherever you are now.