My girl Jane is in town this week from sunny San Diego. 5" of rain per year, she says. We probably had half that amount in the time it took me to drive to the Hill to meet her for dinner.
Anyway, last night was one of those rare events where ALL of us could make it. And trust me, that almost never happens. It was glorious. (All the folks you see are "graduates" of the City prosecutor's office.)
We ate well, drank well and tipped well. But alas, poor waiter, we sat at the table telling stories and laughing for a solid two hours after dinner. It was SO much fun.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
So I wrote another survivor about it. She and her husband run a business in Alberta. What she wrote sort of sums it up.
Yes, I know waht you mean about getting back to life after Cancer...I find myself happily doing things that used to feel like a drudge....stuff like cleaning the bathtub, now it seems to be FUN. And running the bobcat, and going for parts, and just anything. I love doing it. And heck, just running up and down the stairs for laundry seems great. I too feel lke I don't want to miss a thing...in fact, when I wake up early in the morning, I almost want to get up, and just watch the day start. I love it all, and listening to the crows and whatever, its great. I sure hope I never take anything for granted, ever again. This feels like it has been the biggest wake-up call I
could ever have gotten....just like someone smacked me on the side of my head, to get my attention. Well, they've got it, and now I am paying attention. I smile and smile and smile, even when I'm running the bobcat, I all of a sudden find myself smiling(or grinning I'll bet)
about something that is going through my mind and loving every minute of it. I refuse to grumble about anything anymore, I'm alive, life is good, and I'm so thrilled to be enjoying every minute of it.
So, really, the answer is: I'm beating myself up in the gym for the sheer BLISS it brings me to feel my body work after being so disabled for so long. My friends? Same sort of thing.
Today I don't feel like I could ever take anything for granted again.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
And no, L-Mac, I am not nekkid.
DJ Jazzy Mac thinks I take my hair pix whilst in a state of deshabille. Actually, the laptop with the webcam lives upstairs in our room so that's where the pictures are taken, generally right before bed while in my nightgown. I can't help it if L-Mac has a dirty mind! ;-)
And, parenthetically, I should've worked more on the calves and less on the chest. My pectoral muscles and I are no longer on speaking terms but my legs feel fine.
Why, again, did I think getting back into the gym is a good idea?
Yes, she's been to the Joss Whedon panel, seen the cast of Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog, even seen the panel for Battlestar Galactica. All my favorites.
I was looking for a clip of Numfar's dance of shame to post with this, but could only find the dance of joy. If you are a Whedonista, as I am, you know what's coming. If not, brace yourself before viewing the video below. In any event, this should be reason enough why I consider Joss Whedon to be a deity and all that flows from him good and righteous.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
It was chest and tricep day. I decided to throw in calf raises. HUNDREDS of calf raises. With weights. The only really scary thing is that my chest muscles put the pain in my legs in the shade.
I'll be lucky if I can crawl by Monday.
Well, it's official, Crestwood Mall is in a death spiral. The pretzel place (Auntie Anne's) finally threw in the towel. The paint is chipping, the storefronts are shuttered and it's near to death.
HOWEVER it is a dandy place for a playdate!
L-Mac and princess Mac joined us at the kiddie play land for 2 solid hours of screaming and running while jumping on heavily laquered, brightly colored objects vaguely resembling items found in nature. Vaguely.
Anyway, in any normal mall, the shrieks of our children would've brought some pissy looks from passersby. Here, there are no passersby, unless you count other moms with noisy kiddos.
Then a lunch of pseudo-Mexican at Chevy's. Mmmmmm...chippy-dippies.....
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Not only are my arms still working, but I kicked my own butt in aerobics today. Used heavy resistance for my arms and everything. This is the first time my abs have hurt since I was a real gym rat. I'm so proud.
Finished up Liv's registration in kindergarten. Papers are all in order. It's a done deal. So today not only did we drop off the rest of the papers, but we also went school clothes shopping. This was a very popular activity; I'm sure this surprises no one who knows my daughter.
Finally, I took Her Imperial Majesty to Target to pick out her very first school backpack. She changed her mind three times and enjoyed the process thoroughly. I managed not to get teary only by a concerted effort of will. But I did take pictures of her with her final choice-- Hello Kitty. She was so pleased with it, she wore it out of the store.
Then, while messing around on LinkedIn, I found a cousin I thought had disappeared forever. Next I heard from an old college friend I hadn't spoken with in years AND got a letter and photo from my friend Jan and her family from Niagara Falls. Finally, to cap off a wonderful day, my dear, dear friend and fellow BC survivor, Gladys, sent me a wonderful care package from Canada including many handmade items I will treasure for the rest of my life.
In addition to the already near and dear, I have made or rediscovered so many friends in the last six months, I am absolutely overcome. Cancer is nothing in comparison. I am clearly the most blessed woman ever.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Similar in magnitude to China's 1961 Great Leap Forward, I, this morning, have taken the historic step of hauling my lily white a$$ back into the weight room. I have not darkened its door since surgery many, many months of inactivity ago.
As I am writing, I am bathed in Tiger Balm, thoroughly ibuprofen'd, and wondering if, by tonight, I'll be able to lift my arms. I think not.
So, if you don't hear from me you'll know it's because flinging my useless appendages at the keyboard does not a blog post make.
(apologies for the repeat to some of you)
One of the nurses caught us cackling over something silly this morning. And, of course, we all look a lot alike-- mostly hairless, dressed in blue gowns and (in our case this morning) black caps, sipping cups of coffee.
A nurse stopped in her tracks and remarked on this.
We decided then and there that we WERE, in fact, a gang. The Legion of Doom, in point of fact. And, as you comic book types no doubt are aware, the radiation only enhances our mutant powers!
Consider yourself warned.
Speaking of Legions of Doom, the photo below almost killed me.
Monday, July 21, 2008
At least if there's going to be "another man," it's good he's fictional! :-)
Oh, and since we're on the topic of my nerdly literary fixations, check out the Watchmen trailer. It is a thing of eerie beauty.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
So we are up in the mountains at about 0100 hrs looking for a bad guy that we thought was in the area. Here are ten of us, pitch black, crystal clear night, about 25 degrees. We know there are bad guys in the area, a few shots have been fired but no big deal. We decide that we need air cover and the only thing in the area is a solo B-1 bomber. He flies around at about 20,000 feet and tells us there is nothing in the area. He then asks if we would like a low level show of force.
Stupid question. Of course we tell him yes.
The controller who is attached to the team then is heard talking to the pilot. Pilot asks if we want it subsonic or supersonic.
Very stupid question.
Pilot advises he is twenty miles out and stand by. The controller gets us all sitting down in a line and points out the proper location. You have to picture this. Pitch black, ten killers sitting down, dead quiet and overlooking this about 30 mile long valley.
All of a sudden, way out (below our level) you see a set of four 200' white flames coming at us. The controller says, "Ah-- guys-- you might want to plug your ears". Faster than you can think a B-1, supersonic, 1000' over our heads, blasts the sound barrier and it feels like God just hit you in the head with a hammer. He then stands it straight up with 4 white trails of flame coming out and disappears.
Cost of gas for that: Probably $50,000
Hearing damage: For certain
Bunch of gunners thinking twice about shooting at us: Priceless.
**** The donor of this story says it's an oldie, but a goodie.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
So I asked for a pedicure.
Wouldn't you? It's dark, there's soothing music, I'm lying on what looks for all the world like a massage table...I want a mani-pedi, dammit.
Brett, one of my all-time favorite techs said I'd just have to wait until one of the gals came in. (He ducked when I swatted him, the cur!)
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Any of you who know me pretty well know that I generally think I'm 10' tall and 8' wide and completely bulletproof. Thus, I was fairly confident when they told me radiation would make me tired, that it wouldn't.
When I had a particularly vigorous workout Monday morning and a bunch of lawyer stuff in the afternoon I found myself literally shaking by 7 pm. Whoops.
So. As I've probably said 800 times since my surgery, I really REALLY am going to try to take it easy for a while. Really. (Quit laughing, dammit, L-Mac.)
In keeping with my family tradition of ballet-- my cousin Suzi is teaching a class right now; me, I quit when puberty announced that my body was not going to be that of a dancer-- darling daughter is taking a dance class.
Liv was the BEST dancer at the parents' day "performance" today. Never mind that there were only three kids there today. She was the best. 'Nuff said.
It was so cute! They learned to count to 10 in French (necessary for counting the walls and corners in ballet class, seriously), a bunch of little jetes and arabesques and some barre work. It almost made me weepy, it was so adorable!
Gads, I am so going to be a "ballet mom" if she sticks with this. A little dance experience in a mom is a dangerous thing.
Monday, July 14, 2008
I was chitchatting during water aerobics class with the teacher, a 23 y/o who is planning, she said, to go to Lollapalooza in Chicago this year.
It just so happened that I'd worn to the gym today my 1993 Lollapalooza shirt. Strange coincidence? Rage Against the Machine played the festival then and is playing this year, too.
The funniest part for me was to see her face when she realized that I, a middle-aged suburban mom, had been to multiple Lollapaloozas. When my buddy Jessica told her she'd been to the same show and gotten her ears pierced there, I thought the teacher might drown!
I guess telling her what's on my iPod is just running up the score, right? Anyway, apparently I am now the coolest suburban mom this gal knows.
(Ticket stub, above, thanks to Flickr; gawd knows where my ticket stub ended up...)
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
However, it became somewhat apparent during the meeting that even given my strength and comparatively simple diagnosis, I could still die and fairly quickly at that. Also apparent that many of my fellow survivors have had to endure recurrences which were equally as bad, if not worse, than the first. Neither a particularly happy thought. Cancer sucks the big whazootie.
That nothwithstanding, a delightful dinner was had with the T family at Hodaks. John and I both worked as prosecutors in the same office and as appellate PDs together. He's my boy.
Four kids amongst us, all Asian, all high-spirited, to say the least. We were something of a spectacle. But fun and much excellent fried chicken was had by all.
If you're not a City kitty as I was, and have not tried Hodak's, you must go immediately. Prepare to break your diet over the most delectable fried chicken that ever graced a plate. Also prepare to wait in line for a table.
Parenthetically, I've only been going there for 10+ years so I'm a comparative newbie. It's St. Louis institution for the South City crowd and some downtown City workers. It's that kind of place. And, as always while in season, the Cards game was on. Heaven.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Then L-Mac took Liv for a few hours while I had lunch at Duff's with my boys from The-Insurance-Company-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named. Didn't realize how much I missed my guys til I saw them. Cell #s exchanged with promises of future lunches and possible drunken debauchery. Or at least a beer or two.
Picked up Liv from "Old McDonald's" where she, Princess Mac and the Princess' cousin had been running wild in the playland for two solid hours. L-Mac and Mac-Mom were both there and a nice visit was had.
Evening rounded out by some Guitar Hero with El Freddo. I played bass since, as we all know, bass players get all the chicks. heh.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Remember this one, El Jeffe?
This was at The Lake; can't remember which course. But isn't this the most idyllic golf pic?
Quoth El Jeffe:
Yep! That is Sycamore Creek. Nice pic! Here's the link to the course:
However, at the 30 minute mark, we've gotten down to crunches and other isolation exercises. Thus, I simply put her on my back for increased resistance. Voila.
She's pretty loud for a free weight, though.
Monday, July 7, 2008
1) Despite the occasional post-radiation redness, my onco-radiologist says my skin is NOT the type to burn in radiation! I may get a little sunburn, but compared to the bubbling, oozing burns some folks get, I'll take it;
2) I have officially lost another dress size. I still do not recommend this diet to others. Except maybe Lindsey Lohan. Or Paris Hilton. Whichever.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Auntie Stacey actually tried out her beer-drinking skills while on tons of cancer meds. Seemed to work out just fine, hot flashes notwithstanding. :-)
Friday, July 4, 2008
Kirkwood is like living in an episode of Leave it to Beaver sometimes. We walked with a throng past pretty houses mostly displaying the flag, as we did. Lawns were mowed. People were polite.
We passed the ice cream truck while walking to the park and bought Liv some ice cream. (In the first picture, below, El Freddo thinks Liv might be throwing a slider.)
The evening was slightly cool and clear and the stars were out. We stood for the National Anthem. We laid on a blanket in the grass and watched fireworks. Perfect.
In other news, I'm heartbroken to think it, but my Jim Edmonds, my favorite Cards fielder for years, returned home tonight in a Cubbies uniform.
That nothwithstanding, the exceedingly classy Cardinal Nation crowd gave him a standing O. I'm so proud.