Thursday, June 14, 2018

So, how are you...REALLY?!

Support is so awesome

I have mentioned that I receive emails, texts, phone calls and cute little gifts from the world over and everyone makes me smile and connects me to my friends all over the world. It's really awesome to be thought of, more so to be wished well and prayed for. I can't thank everyone enough, you know who you are!
Here are some of the latest batch, a "chicken soup" get well card, a good luck horseshoe card, a "fearless" Buddha statue to inspire fearlessness in me, a happy dancing nun, some origami birds...

So how are you really?

I laugh every time someone asks me that, usually direct message after I post one of my happy posts on Facebook (Maria's page). How am I really? I am REALLY fine, just like I say I am. I am not hiding a deep dark depression and I am not hiding a horrible prognosis from the docs. Really not, I really am just like "I sound."

"MY" Datura garden at the park

Take today for example, I started my day early and took a walk in the park with the pibble Alegria, checked on "my" Datura garden in the wash, growing like crazy! Then I got back, cooled off, shipped some Peace Puzzle books to a friend who is exhibiting the Peace Puzzle project, shipped two prints to collectors, prepped the studio for printing on Sunday, drew a Datura flower on a tiny engraving block. After lunch (no nausea here so I eat heartily and healthily!) I rested, went for a swim, roughly 35 minutes and 1/2 mile, showered, caught up my art database and here I am! Fine as wine and aging even better. Really.

Last onco visit was good, one of my tumor markers are still up but my health is improving, red blood cells are in the superwoman range and white blood cells coming along, putt putt putt slowly but surely. We increased the dose of poison again so I can continue to kill cancer cells; the tradeoff is that I still have to blood-let every week but I'm used to that by now. Let's publish another gruesome medieval blood-letting illustration, shall we? heh heh yep, just like that!

Luckiest woman in the world

Does that sound like your typical cancer patient? I don't know, I don't know how to be a typical cancer patient or if there is such a thing. I don't think of myself as a cancer patient, I think of myself as the luckiest woman in the world: Maria with a tiny bit of cancer rummaging through my body. Yeah, it's more than a tiny bit but it is receding slowly. And yeah, it may kill me any year but not today, not this week, not this month...not today, I have today. I say that every single morning.

But why lucky? My friend Suzanne just got diagnosed, she already has MS and now has to go through chemo, probably radiation and maybe surgery. Another case I'm following, a lady online, her hormone therapy stopped working and she is too weak to go through chemo, her cancer is growing slowly and there is nothing anyone can do; she thinks of life week by week, soon day by day. A relative passed recently after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, spread to the lungs, five weeks to live, they said. How horrible, how sad this disease that mercilessly attacks the weak, takes good people suddenly, spreads silently. Direct your prayers and good wishes to them.

I am the luckiest, I am the luckiest. I walk and swim and am able to enjoy life. I hike to 8000 feet in a meadow I marked with my GPS and named "Fuzzy Meadow" because the grass is 3 feet tall and fuzzily bends with the wind, long strands like mountain spirit's hair flowing and cooling off the ground. This very forest burned in 2005 and it is now greening every spring with grasses and new tiny pines, fir, gamble oak and a myriad of tiny flowers.
I breathe this air after climbing 2 miles, I am tired but I fill my lungs with this air, something I was unable to do all year. I am tired but it's a good tired, a "I've been working on getting better type of tired." That's how I am, I am well, I am hiking, I am enjoying every tiny flower, every piney breeze, every broken ray of sunshine and blade of fuzzy grass.
Fuzzy Meadow, at Mt Charleston Nevada

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