On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Back to work

I finished another good read last night, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas', THE HIDDEN LIFE OF DOGS. What do dogs want, she asks. Other dogs. Belonging to a group.

I feel sorry for our little Parisse, the youngest and the dog of least status. She is fearful, flees when she sees me pull out the vacuum cleaner, skedaddles whenever anything new or noisy or different crosses her path. She isolates, runs to her bed and curls up for safety. I try to help her gain confidence but her little terrors are so upsetting she can't accept treats as lures and stands stiffly when I stroke her back.

Little by little, however, she has become part of the pack. I can take her for walks now, something that was impossible a year ago when she would crouch in front of the house afraid of an overwhelming world. She doesn't hyperventilate in the car anymore and seems to understand that driving is a good thing and we will end up back at home. But when the other dogs scramble to a place on our bed, Parisse retreats. When I sit on the sofa, she jumps off. She sleeps more than the others and, for her lack of exercise, is the thinnest and needs to eat the most. It's all that nervous energy, I suppose. At any rate, reading this book has led me back to Parisse, wondering what would help her feel safe in this big scary world.

I'm working this week, although not too strenuously, and also navigating my way to the new year. I always make New Year's resolutions, a few of which actually are kept. My mother used to sit me down with paper and pencil and expect an annual list -- which she would then correct to be sure I was aware of my many defects of character. The legacy is that I am painfully aware of my imperfections and could no sooner begin a year without that list than I could overlook Christmas, the ending of a year and the hope of the new beginning.

In the meantime, there are Zentangles to draw. I am so hooked!


  1. Love your tangles I went to the site -thanks for the link -I'm going to try to make one without the set -but may have to break down and order the kit -

  2. I love your zen tangles! Have you thought about adding color to them? They are excellent in black and white though too. What fun!


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