tumor-o, and tumor-o, and tumor-o. . .

Welcome to my blog, one I subtitle “Musings from a Part-time Mystic.” Since “coming out” about my cancer, I’ve realized how many of you wish me well, in the deepest sense. I have been remiss in letting you  know how I’m doing, and I hope in small measure to let you know now, using this blog space. I cannot guarantee “sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, everywhere,” for there are cloudy days with nary a sweet to eat, and no rainbows on the horizon. While I will not spare you my dark thoughts, I shall not spare the bright ones, either.

Which brings me to why I titled this blog “broccoli for breakfast.” The healing process for this strange and wonderful condition called “cancer” (I use a small “c”) has led to my having ridiculous cravings for meals, not unlike those I got when I was preggers. Having broccoli for breakfast — steamed slightly to reduce (or is it enhance?) something someone told me wasn’t (or is?) good for me if I ate it raw; I get a lot of advice from a lot of people, and if it’s someone I trust, I try to do it (thank you Adrienne, Kat, Leah, and Kevin especially) — is one of the things I eat for breakfast I never would have before. People often think that those diagnosed with a Scary Disease, especially One That Ends In Certain Death! (or that they believe does so), are immediately going to (a) drink alcohol non-stop; (b) smoke pot non-stop; (c) sleep with as many people as they can, non-stop, of course; or (d) Give In To Some Other Terrible Habit, such as cigarette smoking. This has not been the case with me, I assure you.

Last week, for example, one of my dreams came true, something I wanted to see before I died: all my children came to visit me in DeKalb, Illinois, where I’m living now. Katrisa, J.R., and Leah came together for the first time in ten years. J.R. and Leah were able to bring their “spice,” Adrienne and Than, respectively (we missed you Kev!). I wish my granddaughter, Cassidy, could have been there, too, but she was staying in Denver with her biological daddy. (Miss you, Cassers!) I can’t describe what a joy it was to have them all in the Bird Cage, which is what I call my apartment. (It’s at the tippy-top of a three-story house circa 1870 or so.) I had joked with people I work with that “there’s nothing like a terminal illness to get the family together,” but I’m afraid my gallows humor wasn’t appreciated.

That’s another thing, the American way of dealing with death or unpleasant Scary Diseases. The Irish are so much more pragmatic about it. Instead of crossing the street to get away from me, like the Americans did after my mother passed away, the Irish crossed toward me, to offer a “Sorry for your troubles,” or to see if I needed anything. They understand that death is merely the other side of the coin we’ve named Life. We’re all going to face it; I feel lucky to have the heads up on the deal. As it is, I suspect I have more of that Norwegian toughness in me and will probably outlive “healthier” people — out of sheer stubbornness. My  refusal to acknowledge my own dire circumstances (or, when acknowledged, to write about them), I attribute to my bardic, dreamy Irish nature.

And write about this adventure I shall. I realized, as a dribble of butter escaped the floret I munched on this morning, that I may not ever get to the book I’ve worked on sporadically since, oh, 2000, I think, whose working title is “Musings of a Part-Time Mystic.” With this blog, I can throw in the poetry and pithy observations and blurbs and characterizations written in haste on the backs of envelopes and deposit slips, items I know I will find as I prepare to move back to Portland, Oregon. I can read your suggestions and recipes and jokes, and we can share cool pictures. I would like to keep this PG-rated, too, folks — I want my daughter Leah and her hubby Than to be able to participate, so no “F-bombs” or objectionable stuff. You can do that on my Facebook page, should you feel the desire to do so.

Just so everybody’s clear: It’s too late for conventional treatments (which I oppose, at any rate), so I’m going for Miracle Cure, okay? Can the Power of Love keep me alive? I believe it can — along with eating well, thinking well, and moving well. I love being a vegetarian-near-vegan. I want to learn yoga. I think Gillian McKeith rocks, as does Health Resources, where I’m getting my alternative treatments. I believe in the healing power of photographs, like those of my friend Lise, and my daughter, Leah, and even my own. I subscribe to the Healing Power of Squidges (more on that in another blog). My son’s music heals my soul. I love exchanging recipes and talking food and crocheting with Kat. I love nerding out on literature and life with my new friend, Jules. The memory of the conspiratorial chuckles of my Irish friend (miss you, Teresa!) never fail to bring a smile to my face, as do the memories of my other, still-live Irish friends, so witty and wise.

I am blessed with friends, old and new. I cannot even list them all, but I would wager they will show up in this blog. Why? Because it is of friends and family that my life’s tapestry has been woven; its rich colors and texture could never have occurred without them — without you.

Bless you all.

  2 comments for “tumor-o, and tumor-o, and tumor-o. . .

  1. laurenup
    April 20, 2010 at 17:23

    Hey Jen!

    I didn’t know you were still dealing with cancer! Hells Bells, to say the least. Well, consider this my version of crossing the street and offering whatever I can.

    Your words are always an inspiration – sunny or cloudy – and I’m glad to have access to them through your blog. Thanks for sharing.

    Miss you and love you!!

    Lauren

  2. April 23, 2010 at 12:39

    Dear Lauren,
    How kind of you to write! To “cross the street,” as it were — and I appreciate it. You may never know how inspiring you were to me, Lauren! But I hope when I move back to Portland to see you. I’m looking for a place, actually, so if you hear of anything close to The Kids, that would be awesome. Also, I hope to work on Car Dogs, and get that published. You’re an amazing writer.
    Must dash, but thanks for taking the time to read my blog, kiddo. Please God, I’ll see you soon.
    Love, Jen

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