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!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Calming down

For months I've been waiting for this book to hit my front steps - ONE ZENTANGLE A DAY - by Beckah Krahula.  It's a six-week course on the art of zentangle starting from the very beginning.  I already know many of the tangles that are introduced, especially the beginning ones, but I get confused about the shading and other intricacies so am grateful for the refresher.  The later skills will be completely new to me.

The first lesson introduces three tangles, beginning with Static, a truly easy pattern to learn.

I'm hoping I
stick with the entire book because it would really help me improve my skills quickly and with a better theoretical underpinning.  Also, there are an increasing number of tanglers who have made zentangle a daily spiritual practice because it is so calming and orderly.  It appears to me that it has my name on it because it requires some kind of action, not simply keeping a still mind, and I believe I would benefit.

Today was a great day.  The new medications I was prescribed yesterday are working like miracle drugs with very limited side effects.  I can't even begin to measure the difference between yesterdays' doubled-up worst-of-the-worst pain compared to today's comfort.  I see so many doctors, I can't help but wish I had received this sort of help a bit earlier.  The one thing I learned is that Anger + Pain = A Very Bad Combination.  I was truly rude to the doctor yesterday (she was almost an hour late and so many of my appointments with her have been canceled), but the truth is, her thinking and prescribing worked in a way no one else's have.  I have a followup telephone appointment with her tomorrow and owe her a massive apology.  (sigh, I clearly am an imperfect human being.)

Today was the first day of a new-to-me chemotherapy agent, Gemzar.  It's actually been around for a quite a while, but I've never received it.  So far so good, but this is just Day One.  I was back in the chemotherapy suite where I've lived for almost eleven years now.  Demi and Steve were with me.  Steve brought the Greek pastries that only he knows how to bake and which are always well received.  There were no glitches or surprises and all went well.  I'm going to receive Gemzar every 15 days, not a typical schedule, but, because I've had so much chemotherapy it was thought to be a good match for me and will help me avoid the pesky Neupogen injections.  In the pre-chemo labs I was noticing that my creatinine has fallen to an all time low (YES!) after all those scary rises during the winter from the allergic response to contrast dye and I'm only the merest tad anemic now so clearly have made substantial progress in recent months.  I've never had a blood transfusion and am working hard to avoid needing one.  And so far, the working is working.

So, I'm going right into November with a surge of new hope, something I haven't felt for a very long time.

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