Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Past the Sky

Wow, what an intense, happy day.  I will not include the rough morning, in which i made my husband very grumpy, snoozing my alarm for 1.5 hours before turning it off, then oversleeping with 5 minutes to both get ready and be at the hospital.  we were very late.  he got no breakfast or coffee because we were late.  his cafeteria lunch sucked. this made him grumpier.  i ran the battery out on his laptop.  oops. grumpier.  had a typical argument about money (evil green relationship saboteur!).  lets just delete that part of the day. we hugged it out later.  It's supposed to be all about me today anyway!!

I put a flower in my head scarf, some lip shimmer and off we went.  Got to the hospital about 20 minutes late.
a nice man in blue scrubs named Christopher (who was very kind about my tardiness) tested my heart today with the little echo machine and the blue jelly.  "your heart still looks strong.  this is veddy' veddy' gooood.", he said.

headed downstairs to meet with my amazing oncologist named Dr.T.  She spent so much time answering all our questions and telling us what to expect going forward after Chemo.  She palpated all around "does this hurt?... this?", did her stethoscope tests, and said, "your doing really great, erica.  really great".  She doesn't give you any B.S. though and i like her honesty about my future.  Then she gave me a big hug which made my day.

Then headed down the hall to my final Chemo treatment (6 of 6, i jump for joy!)  Someone asked me how I felt about this being the last day?  " sad, scared, and elated, all at once", i said.... Sad only because i love the nurses and all the people there dearly.  i will miss them but will still be there every 3 weeks for a year for a quick infusion called Herceptin.  Scared because the chemo, which although it is pretty toxic,  it's oddly very comforting knowing your actively fighting those little cancer buggers that might have got away... (now how do i keep fighting?) Elated, because, hey - i probably don't have to explain - chemo kinda sucks and i am nearly through with this suck-fest after a few final weeks of annoying side effects!  can i say, "woo hoo!"?.  Oh and i got a glittery smiley face sticker.  (-:   If i could do one of those goofy little heel click jumps out to the side on my way out of there today, i would have. high fives all around instead, so i don't hurt my clutzy self.

Mom and dad and Lucy came for dinner to celebrate a little.  Felt very happy to be with all my family who made sure i was never alone during one treatment, and even spent overnights on my couch taking care of me when my husband was away for work.  You guys rock.  you too, stewie and lucy!

 It has been a long road so far, but at the same time it really does pass... the chemo, the surgeries, the pain, even when you think it will never be over.  It is all up from here. 

My hair will grow back.  
My nails will grow back. 
I will get stronger. 
I will dance again.  
I will meet more lovely people. 
I will become whole again. 

Life will never be the same in so many ways.  I plan to just reach for the sky now.  Who knows... maybe I'll make it past the sky. 

love, e

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

S.K.B.F. (Shameless Kitty Blog Filler)

Sorry people.  i haven't done any art lately, and haven't had anything special to write... so i will just say hello & share some cute pics of my sweet Stewie Buddy when he was a baby.   He is seriously part human i think...he sits in chairs, eats ice cream, gets (very thorough) therapeutic hand massages, and makes funny faces.  Maybe someday I will start a separate Stewie blog... because I know most of my (awesome 5) visitors don't come here for silly pics of my cat.  Anyway, he is part of my healing process, and I hope he brings you a smile today...
love, e

Sunday, May 9, 2010


You are the one, who drove me to every lesson.
You are the one, who sewed every sequin.
You are the one, who taught me to dance.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom.
love, e

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cloudy with a Chance of Cats and Dogs

When I just can't seem to get my mind off the clouds and gloom, when my bones are aching....
when everything tastes like garbage, and i just feel like I'm mad at the world...
I take a fluffy little dog, and a sneaky little kitty,
bring them into my sunny little studio,
and the mischief ensues...

let the wild rumpus start!

I am telling you, the clouds disappear,
the bones stop aching, I forget about the yuck mouth,
and I can't help but join in the fun.
These are the moments that take the edge off.
 These are the moments that are necessary for getting well.

Stewie Buddy and Lucy Lu.  My Sweet Little Wild Things.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chasing Rainbows


I didn't know she'd be passing through...
she arrived at the most perfect time.

In her backpack, she brought
healing herbs,
healing powers,
healing light.
She warmly shared her gifts with all those
who would agree,
she arrived at the most perfect time.

She did not know we would need her so,
but we did more than she will ever know.
Because of her we have LIFE!
A more beautiful life than before.

And as perfectly as she arrived, she as swiftly must go.
To bring her light to others who love and need her.

Though she rolls up her bedding, and heads for higher mountains,
her light will remain here forever.

We hope she will pass through again.
Until then we will wait... for the next lovely traveler.


I had to say a teary-eyed so long today to one of the wonderful nurses who has cared for me throughout my chemo, which by the way... I only have one more round of!  Unfortunately for us, she is a traveling nurse and she is now on her way to new adventures, and new patients... but we are so lucky to have had her here, (at the most perfect time), and we know she will bring light wherever life takes her.  She always knew the perfect thing to say, and her voice got me through many needles and difficult moments... even when she wasn't there.  "Don't get yourself more worried than you need to be sweetheart", she would say..."it only makes it harder".  I paraphrase, but I can't tell you how many times those words get me through.  Somehow she knew just the words I needed to hear, and now somehow I feel stronger. I am lucky to have so many other wonderful nurses as I continue my journey, but the warmth of this traveler's voice will never be far when I need it.

I made this little book mark for her, of leather, wooden beads, and paint.  It was inspired by a pair of Eeyore scrubs she wore that always made me smile.  They said, "I'm always chasing rainbows".  

Thank you to all my caregivers.

love, e

p.s.  No... my hair has not magically grown back long, awesome and straight.  (darn it!)  This is my awesome wig, from Tonkin's Wigs in Waterbury, CT.   (-:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's Good to Laugh About It. And I'm Still a Girlie Girl.

Ok, so this is not my best look, 12am, exhausted, no make-up, wearing my favorite kitty clawed to bits T-shirt.  Even my lumpy little port is showing.  I actually can't even believe I am about to post this dreadful picture to the public, but hear it is.  It, like a thousand words, tells me a story when I look at it...although not the best photo (so I'll make it bubblegum pink to distract us all from that). 

My husband (he is the creepy looking guy behind me) (haha just kidding, he's so cute, i love him), is about to shave my head in this picture which was an extremely dreaded moment for me in this whole experience.  I was home alone a few weeks earlier when the first clumps of hair started coming out exactly 14 days in to my chemo.  I called my husband and tearfully said "it's time."  Busy at work, he stayed on the phone with me, until my tears were gone.  A few days later, he took me to the wig shop where the amazing woman who owns it helped me cut my braid off.  I cried, but by the time it was done I was laughing.  I was fine.   The buzz cut was even more difficult.  However, I was so blessed to have someone there, for both of these experiences,  to make me laugh, to tell me how beautiful I still am, and to help me to just do it with all the dignity in the world.  ooooh... i'm telling you, i did not want to do this.  I've had a major life-long love/hate relationship with my "unique", not straight, hair, and I had only recently learned to simply LOVE it... I knew I was lucky to have it,  it made me feel girlie, even on the rainiest, drizzle frizz days (not the gray though... did not love the gray).  Cutting it sucked, but not nearly as much as it would have sucked without my husband powering me through.

This person for me happened to be my husband (we look better in orange, yeah?), but it could have been a parent, a sister, a friend, a great hairdresser, an awesome wig lady, etc.... and it made all the difference.  I look at these photos, and find it hard to believe I could look so smiley, so at peace (although very tired), moments before doing what I was about to do.  'Will I still feel like me?  What if my head is shaped weird? Will I still feel feminine, at all?  I'm a delicate flower!  I need my hair!'

Most importantly, what I will always remember about my hair farewell, and many other dreaded moments, are the wonderful friends and family, doctors, nurses, volunteer workers, and some total strangers, that were there for me in those moments, making me laugh... deep belly laughs, giving me strength, and making me feel like myself during each step of this crazy head to toe body-transformation.  (I hope you find these lovely people surrounding you, in the moments when you need them.)

Many people like to tell you, "it will grow back".   Yup, it will.   In addition, I would like to think, "I will grow back."  "I will grow better".  "I already am"... with a little help from my friends... and a magical prince.  Rapunzel lives.

oh, and I will always be a Girlie Girl. 

love, e

Saturday, April 3, 2010


The cutest little confection appeared on my doorstep today.  All alone, gooey, sugary, stale, wrapped in plastic, laying on his side, spreading Easter cheer.   I thought about eating him for a moment, but he was much too cute to eat.  Besides, there are a lot of sickos out there.  I decided to take his picture instead.

Would you believe there is a Peep Fairy?  Well there is.  In my town, there is.  Weird.  

I suppose, even the Easter Bunny doesn't have job security these days.

Happy Easter.
love, e