Tuesday, September 5, 2017


We are searchlights, we can see in the dark

I had my 3 year follow-up exam at Royal Marsden today. It is always an anxious time the week leading up to the appointment.

I had more than 10 hours to think about the appointment and life in general and in detail during my drive down to Falmouth last weekend to drop the oldest off at uni. Do you know how much thinking you can do in 10 hours? To make the journey more bearable, I had my new favorite song on repeat for a few hours. Listening to the same song, over and over again, allows your mind to wander on many levels. (Too bad I still can’t sing.) Here are my “life thoughts” while letting P!NK’s new song "What about us?" carry me home.

Being in remission is sometimes dark because you are frustrated that your body is not like it used to be and in most cases you can’t do anything about it. The searchlights are friends that care about you just the way you are. I am blessed to have so many searchlights shining right in my face. That’s on a personal level.  

The world is an amazing place but there is always darkness and we each need to be a searchlight. We are all humans. Why do we say nasty things to others? It serves no purpose to use negative adjectives before someone’s name. It shows lack of respect and compassion. Why is this so rampant today? Have these people never heard of the “20-second hug?”

Who is your searchlight?

Driven past numerous times now, must visit soon.

We are rockets, pointed up at the stars
After chemo:
Year 1 for me was life with a chemo brain “fog” (don’t know how I did so many things and don’t remember half of them)
Year 2 for me was “ok, it’s time to move past (ignore) the chemo brain and focus on training for the London to Paris cycling event for Bloodwise.”
Year 3 has been “sitting on the couch” trying to get the energy levels up but still do all those things that make life amazing.
DREAMS AND GOALS for YEAR 4 will be finding purpose and that journey begins now!
DREAMS AND GOALS for YEAR 5 will be tackling London to Paris with Bloodwise and making it up every single hill without cussing and to actually enjoy the experience while it is happening. (Who is with me this time?)

We are billions of beautiful hearts
We are humans. My children attend an International School. There are over 50 different nationalities and 20 languages spoken. I have “mom” friends from many different countries. There are many types of greetings and it took a while to master who gets what, i.e one kiss on the cheek, one kiss on each cheek or in some cases three kisses alternating between cheeks. (British, French, Dutch)
At the start of this school year, I’ve decided I am just doing hugs (although not a 20-second one). I feel better and I hope they do too. It puts us heart to heart. So far so good. One small action can make a big change.

And you sold us down the river too far
Don’t we all want to believe in the good? I can not understand the people who think they are better than anyone else. LET ME REPEAT: WE ARE ALL HUMANS.

What about us?
What about all the times you said you had the answers?
What about us?
What about all the broken happy-ever-afters?
What about us?
What about all the plans that ended in disaster?
I have experienced all of the above this year: know-it-alls that know nothing, dreams not being fulfilled, vacations that had to be cancelled.
In the moment, I didn’t always handle it the way I wanted but as time goes on that never give up attitude bubbles up and lets me make new plans. I am ever hopeful. (A perk of being a cancer survivor is living to see another day in this amazing world and appreciating it.)

What about love?
What about trust? What about us?
Do I give enough love? Am I open enough to receive love? How do I handle broken trust? Are my expectations unrealistic? I am me. Not everyone agrees with me. (that’s ok) I always make better decisions once I have perspective and facts. I feel confident being me. A 20-second hug usually helps when it’s from my youngest son. He is the best hugger.

Who can we trust in this world? Are we critical thinkers? I am fascinated by social media and how it affects us. We are humans. We are complex. We have more in common than we realize. We all need a hug. (It can’t hurt anyway, right? ;-)

We are problems that want to be solved.
OMG – all these problems in the world and I can’t fix all(any) of them (and would never claim to be able to.) The only one I can fix is me. If something is missing in my life, I do try and fix it. (This leads to way too much stress sometimes but life would be boring without it.)
Missing Sophie, our black lab that passed away December 2015, led to a spontaneous decision to get a new puppy. Skye arrived into our family home on April 23, 2017. I had forgotten how it was with a puppy…….
Now she is six months old and she is not Sophie, she is Skye. She has her own personality and little idiosyncrasies but our house is again filled with dog hair and chewed up items. (gosh, how I missed that)
Skye, two months old

Skye, 3 months old

Skye, 5 months old

We are children that need to be loved.
My three children have had to take a lot of shit from me when my chemo brain clouded out reasoning during the last three years. Less patience, and small problem becomes a big one quickly. Don’t we say these things out of love? “brush your teeth now; take a shower you smell slightly; do your homework; elbows off the table; unload the dishwasher….”
The pressure to raise children that will contribute positively in this world and be secure in themselves is immense. (for me, anyway) I take my job seriously. Upon reflection, they are three fantastic kids that are well on their ways to becoming responsible adults. Lucky me to be their mom. Blessed.
(Reminder to self: tell them and show them more often)

We were willing, we came when you called.
But man, you fooled us. Enough is enough, oh
You get to the point where “enough is enough” and sometimes don’t even realize it but then you react and take action and hopefully make a change. It is so hard to realize that you have been fooled. The only option as I see it is to do something about it.  (chemo side effects, neighbors, dog training, different opinions, travel plans, world views, politics, manners…….)

Sticks and stones they may break these bones. But then I’ll be ready. Are you ready?
No broken bones, but I told the doctor today how I was feeling every morning as I get out of bed and all my joints are sore and slow to get going like a really old person. His response “that is typical with chemo.”

OH MY GOSH. Now he tells me this. Tomorrow morning I will be ready to rock and roll and shuffle out of bed and into the bathroom to start the day at 100 miles per year (;-) knowing that’s the new normal for me.

A barrier or a wall put in front of me doesn’t deter me it just makes me more determined to get over it, under it or around it any way I can. That makes me ready, right?!!!!   I AM READY for what life is going to throw at me!

It’s the start of us waking up, come on.
Are you ready? I’ll be ready.
Three years in remission. Yeah! The doctor examined me for any lumps, I cracked some jokes, he said “the results of your blood work was unremarkable” (got me thinking what he meant). I left him a copy of my blog post from the London to Paris Bloodwise experience and raising a huge amount of money for blood cancer research and he congratulated me. “OK, see you next year” he said. It was over too quick. I made next year’s appointment and left the Royal Marsden in a daze. I DID IT. I SURVIVED THREE YEARS. Thankful for all the good and bad times. Looking forward to more good times.

I don’t want control. I just want to let go.
I am a control person. Does anyone have the answer on how to “just let go?” I dream about this.

Now it’s time to let them know we are ready. What about us?
We can’t just sit by and watch things happen. We need to react and act on every level. (personally, our family, our friends, our town, our country and our world) We only get one life!!!    I AM READY. I am ready.

I am ready to: be more happy, raise more money for blood cancer research, show more love, laugh more, be brave, love life. 
Are You Ready?

What about us?  HUMANS
What about us?  HUGS
What about us?  HAPPY


  1. Note: for better reading experience, play Pink's song in the background while reading this. xx

  2. This is so You, and it made me happy and energized. Big 20-sec hug!