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!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

A view of potential

I walked three miles yesterday which may have been the most since I completed chemotherapy in May.  The first segment was one mile.  Getting there was easy, I was dragging on the mile back.  Later in the afternoon the trek was only one-half mile, but again, getting there was easy, the half mile return felt endless.  I am so truly out of shape, but at least I have a reason.  Hopefully I'll keep it up and build some strength and stamina along the way.

Good things happen when you walk.  On the first trek, along the bike path through open fields, there were so many flowering weeds and wildflowers (is there a difference?).  I could only identify the chicory, like wild blue daisies sprinkled in patches.  I need to research the others.  Better than that, I need to draw them!

The other good thing was that, less than a block from home, my friend Karen called me in to see the new puppies.  Karen cares for a female breeder for Canine Companions for Independence and the most recent litter was born about 2-1/2 weeks ago.  Their eyes haven't been open very long and they are mostly a squeaky mass of tumbling fur with flat muzzles, at least that's what they seemed like to me.  But picked up individually, they snuggle and nuzzle and shape themselves to the holder  - in my case the beholder because I was in awe just seeing this beginning of life.  Karen will be exceptionally busy in another week or so when they start roaming the house, or trying to.

You can't tell it from my cell phone photo, but two years from now some of those puppies will be certified Service Dogs walking beside wheelchairs or picking up dropped items (as Demi does for me when I'm feeling lazy).  Or they may be alerting doorbells or other sounds for the hearing disabled.  Or maybe they'll be Skilled Companions for an adult or child who could use some help (tugging open doors, perhaps) and a comfortable presence.  Some may become Facility Dogs - in special education classrooms perhaps, or in District Attorneys' offices consoling victims of domestic violence.

Today it's all about potential; we'll watch and wait.  First they need names.  They are a B litter so Karen submitted a list of B names - lots of surnames from the Olympics - and is waiting for final approval.  When Youngest Grandson returns next week I'll take him to see the puppies, something he's never seen before.

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