Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Spinning Spring

I thought I would recognize it when I found it. Spring is hopeful and depressing at the same time.

Flashbacks From The Month Of March

March 20, 2005

*When I grew up my parent’s financial situation seemed an all or nothing affair. We either had or we didn’t. I didn’t really notice not having, but at the same time there were times we didn’t have. The prevailing attitude about money was when you had it, you spent it, when you didn’t have it; you tightened your purse strings. I think what was positive about my family’s values regarding money; was they weren’t afraid to spend it. What was negative was they weren’t afraid to spend it.

*I liked that my parents would spend the money and have it provide luxuries, but I don’t think they worried about a rainy day. On the other hand, I’m glad they weren’t frozen with fear regarding only rainy days.

March 21, 2005

*Digging for the truth: I almost know who I am. I almost feel happy. I am tired of hiding my emotional failure with my weight from myself.

*There is nothing that I pretend never happened.

*Know what you really know; feel what you really feel; and say what you really mean.

March 3, 2006

*Mugga scan. Had chemo and also started a new drug for calcium replacement. The new drug ‘Pamidronite’ is given in my PICC. My chemo is Docetaxel (Taxotere).

March 10, 2006

*Went in for chemo but platelets were too low. Chemo postponed. However, excited I did receive Herceptin. Maximum dose for 1.5 hours. Will be getting blood transfusions on Thursday.

March 15, 2006

*Went to see Dr. Akra (radiologist) for my bone cancer. Cancer is on nodule 9 in spine. Told me not to bend or lift anything and to use common sense. I went for x-rays to determine the exact location. Radiation and chemo don’t happen at the same time so for now I will need to continue with chemo.

March 16, 2006

*I went to the Health Sciences for two more units of blood for a transfusion.

March 22, 2006

*Went to see Dr. Dubroska – waste of time, she checked me over than left. Wahid and I sit there for another 20 minutes until I go in the hall and ask a nurse if she is coming back. The nurse said no, that she was finished. I said, well next time, maybe she should think of telling me that.

March 22 and 29, 2006

*Went to stress reduction/relaxation support group where I met Jill, Angie and Helen. It was emotional but good.

March 31, 2006

*First time I have had taxotere, pamidronite, and herceptin all together. Felt aches and pains.

March 28, 2007

*Happy Birthday to me!

*Don’t think the xeloda is working because of the evidence of the skin cancer. I will see the doctor on Monday.

*I am 51 years old today and I am thankful to be here. Angelique will be having her baby soon; Nathan will be graduating with his Arts Degree in Philosophy; and Nadalene will be getting married. I will be here. I will be happy.

*Fear is the mind killer. When I start to fear I try to live in the ‘now’ and it helps.

*Physical attributes of fear for me are a rock in my stomach, headache, wanting to shut down and not be here.

*Mental attributes of my fear are depression, trapped; wanting to close my eyes and pretend it will be gone, deep sadness, a sense of failure.

*I am not alone, even if I feel that I am.

Flash Forward

I just turned 53 and I had the most amazing birthday. I am still alive. I am still here. I am still able to love. I am still able to cherish.

Don’t ever give up.


Aleksandra said...

You dear,brave,sweet soul,thank you for beeing my friend,love Sandra.

Tumbleweed Trails said...

Happy Belated Birthday to you on Mar. 28. Wanted to pop in and say hello. I wish I could reach out and make you happy, healthy and whole. I wish I could reach out and make you smile. I wish I could reach out and make those birds quit circling your head. I wish I could...

Rebecca Ramsey said...

You are not alone. We're all here, enjoying your presence, happy to be with you!

Deborah Ross said...

Renee, I don't know you, but I feel as if I do. I'm so glad for you to be here and able to celebrate another birthday.
This is not the same, of course, but I almost lost my life in 2003, I was shot by my husband ( he committed suicide). So I'm thankful for every day, even though I'm paralyzed now, and I am especially grateful on my birthday and the anniversary of the incident.
So you can count me as a new friend. And I'm going to come back to check on you.

Daria said...

What a great party you had ...

How is Spring coming along in Winnipeg ... we're still pretty Winterish over here.

We've got quite a bit of snow and more snow/cold weather coming.

MarionL said...

I am SO very glad you're here, too. God bless and keep on truckin'!! YOU are an inspiration to us all....

Sarah said...

No hon don't ever give up!!! I look forward to your next birthday!!
As I read you entries of the past, I am so touched by your willingness to open yourself up this way. I also wonder how much my Mom didn't share with me as she went through this and marvel at what she did. I was young and surely didn't understand as I do today. Love you, Sarah

pRiyA said...

When I read a post like this and think about the person writing it, my heart wants to burst from all the strange emotions that have filled up inside...

Big tight hug for a long time.

glorv1 said...

Hi Renee. It is good that you let us know how you are feeling, because we want to know and want to be there for you. You are a positive person who draws from all the energy she receives and you know something, you inspire me with your words. I hope you have a great Tuesday Renee and of course rest of the week. I have to go mail some bills and then I think I am going in my studio for some quiet time. ::hugs::

Shelly said...

That picture so shows someone alone with her thoughts ...I am so grateful to you and so hopeful for you.
Congrats on the Renee award – it is beautiful and strikes a stunning resemblance! You keep telling me I should blog – but are you kidding me, do you not realize what a tough act you would be to follow?

Karin said...

*There is nothing that I pretend never happened.
*Know what you really know; feel what you really feel; and say what you really mean.

If everyone lived by these simple rules - ah what a world we would live in.
We have these time lines that mark our accomplishments, our challenges, our experiences, our triumphs - and your light, Renee, is like an amazing laser beam that shines through it all, proving to me time is more illusion than real. You transcend it all. Love, Karin

Karin said...

a little comment to Shelly :) after reading your wonderful writing, and getting to know your beautiful sister, I am sure that the blogging stage would only be greatly enhanced by your presence - not as an act having to follow anyone, but a great one standing uniquely on her own!! We each have a voice worth sharing, and yours is obviously a talented one...

linda cardina said...

OH my beautiful friend. I am so thankful that u are such a strong, tough girl. i am so grateful i have gotten to know u and that we became friends. u have no idea what so ever how much you inspire me. i pray always for u, with u in my mind, not only for your health but that the beauty u pass to me. i want so badly to bring joy and inspire like u have done for so many. like shelley said u are a VERRRY tough act to follow. one can only hope to be half as good.

u will never go thru this alone. we all love u so much and need u here with us. be brave my sweet renee and god bless u.

((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))(that's a tight one.)

studio lolo said...

What a ride you've had, sweet lady. And here you are with another birthday celebrated!

I love the Renee Award by Bella. I love the acorn symbolism ;)

I'm worried that you haven't received a package from an artist. It's a tile. I'll ask her when she shipped it but it was a week before I mailed my card, at least.
I'm glad you liked the card. You are my sister raven ;)


Kelly Kilmer said...

No, don't *ever* give up. We got your back...even though we may be thousands of miles away. We're here for you and we don't want you to *ever* give up.

And smack the crap out of that silly nurse who kept you waiting!

Anonymous said...

"Use common sense"? Hoe=w can you when it doesn't seem to apply much of the time? And maybe your approach to it, which rejoices in the face of nonsensicalness of cancer, is the best one. I'm in awe.

Snowbrush said...

Dubroska stood out to me, because I want to kill, kill, kill doctors who think only of themselves, esp given that they're being paid so damn much to think of their scared and suffering patients who can hardly find the strength to make it to their offices.

I really appreciated this entry. It provides a good overview of you and your life.

Megha Chhatbar said...

Many happy returns of the big day...:) You are such a nice person. Its my first visit, but its a pleasure to be on your blog. Love and Hugs!! BTW I have started a new blog dedicated to my sketch work — Art on Sketchbook

Michelle said...

*There is nothing that I pretend never happened.

Yes indeedy.

Sometimes this is painful :)

I love the fear is the mind killer litany from "Dune".....have you read it?

I wanted to be a Bene Gesserit.

How are you feeling after your chemo?


kj said...

oh renee, you sweet wonderful precious woman: i have read this post all too fast because my tears will otherwise obscure your words. you are amazing renee. i consider myself blessed to be in your company, to count you as a friend.
i will be back to comment again after i have SLOWLY taken in your courage. it is medicine because it gives strength to me and everyone else.

oh, did i say i am speechless? funny how that goes.

you are loved, ms. renee, and please i love you too.


Lola said...

You are not alone, Renee. Your family, your friends and us, your blog community. We're all here, gathered in your salon, enjoying your presence, your wonderful writing, your outlook. I'm happy to be there with you, because in just a few days I've known you, you have taught me so much, touched me deeply and transmitted a feeling of huge empathy. Learning of your illness and how wonderfully you deal with it today, multiplies my respect and admiration tenfold. You're special.

Delwyn said...

Hello Renee,
I'm glad you had a lovely birthday and that we could all celebrate it with you,

Happy Days

lakeviewer said...

Renee, you're an inspiration!

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

Dear Renee:

I agree with Gloria. You are "so positive" and I am always inspired by your words. To recap what you wrote:)

1) You are NOT alone, no matter how alone you may feel at a given time.
2) Don't EVER give up.
3) YES, you are still alive. You are still here. You are still able to love. You are still able to cherish. And, THAT's the best birthday gift of all:)
4) Fear is your worst enemy. And, of course you need medical treatment and the wisdom and advice of good doctors. BUT, it is my belief that many in the medical field give "death" sentences by saying "since your test results show this, then it MUST mean THIS." When humans make mistakes all the time. And, if a doctor tells his patient, "Since you have this type of cancer, well that means you only have this percentage to survive." How is the mind supposed to act but to start believing what the doctor reports? I've said this before, but MIRACLES happen every day. People heal every day from all sorts of things.
5) And, we are ALL dying, we just don't know when. So your last part about cherishing and staying positive, are pearls of wisdom for you and me and everybody!

Love ya (your long winded friend)

BT said...

Renee, what an inspiration you are. I am so glad you you had another birthday and that you were able to celebrate it with those who love you and whom you love.
We love you too.

Sonia ;) said...


I have found so much in common with you in such a short time...Thank you Lady....come by my site I have a present for you.


Sonia ;)

Manon Doyle said...

Don't ever give up Renee! You are so right! You are an inspiration to all! I believe that having a positive attitude like you do can make all things possible!

Bella Sinclair said...

Well you know, my dear, it is such an honor that people think I'm one of your best friends. It would, in fact, be an honor to be merely your acquaintance. I would have to say, in my world, whether it's in blogsville or flesh and blood, you are definitely one of the few I hold close to my heart.

I was just telling Ces the other day that you are a walking miracle. I believe your keep-your-chin-up attitude and your ability to face challenges head on have made you a survivor. Six months? Screw that. It's ok to be fearful sometimes and depressed. You NEED to feel fearful and depressed sometimes. You, Renee, take it in, trudge through it, and then emerge out the other side. You don't deny it or wallow too long in it. And the ability to be honest with your emotions and to work through them is such a valuable skill to have.

But please, my dear, do not ever ever think you are a failure. I cannot even begin to address that one, because nothing could be further from the truth.

Now. Your other best friend, Ces, has the original of that acorn award. I'm sure she would be more than happy to send it your way.

Beautiful painting, by the way. She's contemplative, but she seems happy with her books. Journals, perhaps? And the rich red of that room suits her. How Aries.

xoxo - bella

Ces said...

Well, that is deep!

Ces said...

Okay, I had to get that out. I am going to copy and paste Bella's comment except instead of "Ces" I will replace it with "Bata Batuta". He is quite delicate indeed especially between his crotch after I kicked him twice for making advances on me. Oh I am sorry, I need to stop being fascetious.

Renee, really, I don't think I can add anymore to the eloquence around here, that is why I decided to be the class clown tonight!

There is so much love going on around here. Do you know that in my language, "love" has many terms based on the recipient?

towards parents, among siblings, friends and towards children - palangga
between lovers - ginahigugma
from a suitor - naluyag
Others, I can't remember

Ces said...

That bed is so close to the fireplace! If she sleeps like me who trashes about and kick the pillows and other people's crotch, the pillows and sheets may cath fire! Better rearrange the bedroom firniture!

Ces said...

No NO NO NONONONO. I am not Tagalog. I am Ilonggo. That would be

"Renee ginapalangga ko guid ikaw"
(Renee love I very you literally but as a sentence it means "Renee I love you very much"

You have to use "guid" to emphasize a level or intensity of love and no "guid" when it is just love and caring but you are not really ready to give up one of your kidneys for the recipient.

Ces said...

Kicking pillows towards the fireplace may cause fire. Kicking people's crotch make them feel they are on fire!

Ces said...

Kicking pillows towards the fireplace may cause fire. Kicking people's crotch make them feel they are on fire!

OOOOOHHH. This can't BE!! The WORD VERIFICATION IS "SUCKS". I KID YOU NOT. IT'S the truth. I will make a copy of it. This only happens to me!

Ces said...

Look who is quick witted but Madame herself. I look like an idiot laughing silently so I don't attract my children's attention. What happened to Bella. She was with me!

kj said...

renee, i came back and read this again, s-l-o-w-l-y. i remember that you said you started your blog for your children. you are certainly documenting and sharing events and thoughts, but did you know it would become so much more? your kids and grandkids will see this as a living vital piece of you, always. how cool is that?

studio lolo said...

Dear Renee,
I've contacted the artist and she assured me she sent the tile a week ago. If it doesn't arrive by Friday please let me know and she'll make and send another.

The name of my studio/gallery that I had (studio Lolo) was inspired by the French salons. But of course you knew that, we're sisters!

Speaking of sisters, I was called on the carpet by my dear oldest sister tonight who asked me where I ever got the idea that we used to live in Winnipeg. I told her that I got it from Mum but my sister set me straight and told me it was Nana and Bampa's house. So I guess I never officially lived in Winnipeg :( I was at Nana and Bampa's house though!

No, I don't 'know' Ces but we've left comments on one another's blogs here and there. I love her tree drawings and we both love the color blue :)

I hope you had a good day today Renee. I'll be popping in here and there but I have a full week. Add a big move to that and I'm a bit overwhelmed!

The elderly lady's husband came home from the hospital and gave me a generous bonus for taking extra care of his wife and dog. I'd do it for free. I think that was his point ;)
I have a new case, very sad. I'm too tired to go into it, besides, I don't want to make you sad too.

Goodnight sister raven, dear heart.


Anonymous said...

No you are not alone..you got that right..
Thank you so so much sweet Renee(: for commenting so beautifully and attentively on my kids blogs..We are all appreciative of that...I wish you could come to my art journaling classes..I wish I could see you, face to face. and see your beautiful blue eyes and have your open heart beat close to me..

Debra said...

Go to Vegas with your girls Renee. Celebrate and Enjoy!

Mim said...

You are a miracle - and never doubt a miracle.

isay said...

My first time here and it feels so good to know a lot of things about you after reading your posts. actually, i also like your banner---ohhh those beautiful eyes....you are also lucky to have friends and family around you. Well, It's so nice to know many people made you happy on your special day but I think you made them more happier.

Best regards

Ascender Rises Above said...

Happy Birthday Renee; also new here to your blog; wishing to support you. You have a lot circling your head and appreciate your sharing. Like snowbrush; I would like to give those doctors a flick on the head.

Anonymous said...

Hi Renee, lovely to hear from you. Thank you for asking how I am.
I feel ok some part of the day then afternoon I am tired and in pain. Early days. I think it takes around 6 weeks to get over a wisdom tooth removal?

Hope you are feeling great and strong and that your body is behaving itself and keeping you well?

Something to give you a little smile.....
I had a dream a couple nights ago and in it Elivis Presley was giving me a dance lesson. I was an annoying student as I kept trying to teach him new tricks and they were rubbish and he was being very good with me being patient. It was like watching a comedy program. When I woke up the next morning I thought that is it I am officially mad!

Sending you lots of luv and hugs!

ostrich girl said...

Wow Renee you regularly make me cry! Tears of Joy for this one! That is some serious triumph over tragedy! You are a wonderful inspiration!
xoxo Sheri DeBow

Ginaagain said...

Renee you never fail to inspire me. Happy Birthday again and again.. you deserve a week long celebration and a good prank too!

Woman in a Window said...

Oh, sweet and lovely, painful you. I'm new here but your stregth is undeniable. Happy belated.

flossy-p said...

Happy Happy Birthday!!!!!


Jennifer said...

Your spirit is unstoppable!

Taylor said...

this one hit me like a ton of bricks... so many great lessons i almost feel like i'm in my aboriginal class soaking things up like a sponge!! - a true compliment.

your flash forward was just what i needed to read.

i love you, i cherish you.
i need some tea with you.
(I'll take the university student way out and drink coffee... perhaps with some baileys :) )


Peach Street ~ Jamie said...

I love these flashback posts so much! I honestly don't know what I'd do without you and your blog. I don't think you know how hooked I am or how much I "hang around"! Thanks for visiting with me and Aggie says thanks for your vote! ;)

Deborah said...

Belated Happy Birthday to you, my new friend. I was just thinking that you really lived Lent this year...I lift you up in prayer, never ceasing...day and night...a constant prayer on my lips. I am ever so grateful to have met you, and honored to be your friend. Sending you all my love, Deborah