Saturday, February 2, 2019

A sewing, living, melanoma, adenocarcinoma mash up and up-date!!

I've been pondering a lot of disparate, complicated things lately!

  • Race relations.  Prejudice in its many horrible machinations.  
  • Melanoma odds.  
  • Does adjuvant CAPOX do anything good for ex-goblet cell adenocarcinoma of the appendix?  Is CAPOX following immunotherapy the perfect recipe for neuropathies and arthralgias that make you unable to sleep and most movements painful?  (FYI - it is!!!)  Will these lovely conditions resolve?  Or is this just the way things are now?  
  • The weird uncomfortable position of knowing I am LUCKY for same.  What do you reckon is going to kill me?  What am I to do with the rest of my life?  
  • Our eff'ed up political system.  As per a discussion with B just moments ago....noting that in other democracies across the globe, leaders are OBLIGATED to make sure all parties, whether a binary system or not, are incorporated into the ruling party.  Just saying, "Nanny, nanny poo poo.  We won!  You lost!!!" is insufficient at best.  Further, while leaders may be elected for a term of "x" duration, the possibility of a vote of "no confidence" holds them accountable and can remove them from their position if they do not enact policy and legislation that reflects the will of the people.
Reading "The Goldfinch" may well have worsened my current mood!  HA!!  That story has some seriously dark crapola in it!!!  Anyhow, probably best if I start with an update!!!

Overall, things continue to improve in regard to my health.  I am getting stronger.  I am running a mile up and down my hills or exercising on our elliptical most days along with core work.  I can do more than 60 sit-ups in a session.  I am consistently hitting 1 mile per 10 minutes on the elliptical even though I've bumped up the resistance and the time!  Pretty proud of that.  I have added a lot of strength training with 5 pound weights.  It has been weirdly wonderful NOT to experience shortness of breath and wheezing in this convalescence!  Given my life with asthma, recuperating after the removal of the right upper lobe of my lung due to melanoma, repeated pneumonitis after immunotherapy infusions ~ it catches me by surprise that I can complete my current efforts and still breathe!!!  The ugly brown scaly CAPOX induced skin lesions are improving/resolving.  However, the neuropathies to hands and feet are essentially unchanged and on some days are even worse rather than better.  My knees in particular (though hips, ankles, wrists and shoulders are affected) cause constant pain.  And before you yell, "STOP exercising, then!!!"  Exercise makes it no worse, no better.  I've tested that. In fact, going for a run or an elliptical workout tends to loosen things up in a good way.  I am back to my normal weight.  My abdomen (mostly) is not bloated to the point that I appear to be 6 months pregnant.  I am eating well with few limitations.  That said, a couple of weeks ago I had a revival of colitis and pain identical to the experiences I had while still taking CAPOX!!!  Three days of complete yuck and inability to do anything!  Crazy.  No identifiable cause.  Just was.  Thankfully, that resolved and gastronomically speaking, things are pretty good.  

Lack of sleep due to pain is a downer.  As is pondering whether you've 'done a body good' with the treatments one has selected, or merely 'done your body in'!!!!  So is the state of all too many things in our world today, from the state of the planet to the state of our politics.  Seeing the discord and animosity (by a few) in the sewing community, a group that I've so admired and who played a crucial, positive role in my ability to survive my 4 months of incarceration, has been difficult.  Don't get me wrong.  I value and applaud having hard conversations.  That's how we get through difficult shit and make things better!!  However, being ugly to fix ugly doesn't seem to be effective at best and is merely utilizing and embracing the very tactics and attitudes that are the problem in the first place at worst!  (You can see all my posts on this topic here, here, here, and here.)  I lost a dear friend - again.  Another has dropped off the grid.  I fear I know what that means.  I wonder what will be the cause of my demise.  I figure I have a few more options than most.  Wonder if I will develop more.  It is hard to feel LUCKY in my circumstances.  Yet, I KNOW I AM!!  Lucky to have been diagnosed with all my maladies as early as I was.  Lucky to have gained access to treatment.  Lucky to have survived my treatment as unscathed as I am.  Lucky to be able to run a mile.  Lucky to be here at all.

I will pick myself up out of my funk.  Things are not all doom and gloom.  I have the bestest, sweetest, loveliest man who will do anything...even things he would NEVER choose to do on his make me smile.  I mean who does that????  B does.  That's who.  I have an amazing network of the craziest, dearest friends - near and far.  There are some writing projects on the horizon.  I have all sorts of gardening, making, and even a few trips, planned for the coming months.  A decadent and blessed way of living to say the least.  And in my ongoing search for growth and answers to all things, I have found a great deal of inspiration, not surprisingly, from many in the sewing community!!!

Today, I bring to you some wisdom and joy from Erica Bunker, a fellow Alabama girl from Birmingham!!!  Check out her blog in the link above or her IG feed @ericabunker.  She provides lots of sewing inspo and fabulous tutorials!  But, lately, her wisdom has been the part I've liked best.  To whit....
  • An unhealed person can find offense in pretty much anything someone does.  A healed person understands that the actions of  others has absolutely nothing to do with them.  Each day you get to decide which one you will be.
  • The strongest actions for a woman is to love herself, be herself, and shine among those who never believed she could.
Excellent.  But I would say:  "...and shine among those who BELIEVED she could ~ in spite of those who believed she couldn't!"

And finally...
  • Easy to spot a yellow car when you are always thinking of a yellow car.  Easy to spot opportunity when you are always thinking of opportunity.  Easy to spot reasons to be mad when you are always thinking of being mad.  You become what you constantly think about.  Watch yourself.  If you seek positivity, you'll find it.  If you seek negativity, you'll find it.
The sun is shining.  The birds are singing.  My children are strong and healthy, out in the world giving it their best.  My friends have my back and then some.  B is about to dig a ditch!  Just for me!!  I am strong.  I am present in this beautiful, crazy place in time.  It is good.

B's cherry blossoms will be coming soon!!
Much love to each of your world...whatever you find it to be.  May this moment shine for you.  ~ les

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