leukemia

2nd Act Continues…

Posted on February 9, 2015. Filed under: APL, Cancer, Just fun!, Lending Color to the Otherwise Absurd, leukemia, Poems, Poetry, survivorship | Tags: , , , |

group on stage1e

The Cast of 2nd Act: Survivor Stories from the Stage

 

Yesterday was wonderful! I took the stage at the Athenaeum Theater with 11 other women who have had their own run-ins with cancer. The cast and I, with host Roz Varon from ABC7 shared our stories of how our lives have been redirected by cancer. Hopefully, we inspired others to ride their own waves of change.

My story is about FINALLY publishing my poems and adding the paintings to the collection that became Lending Color to the Otherwise Absurd. I have so much gratitude for all the dear friends and family who attended the show. Special thanks to Judy Pearson and Karen Shayne of Women Survivors Alliance for providing an inspiring platform that demonstrates such positive ways of meeting challenges. Next year, the organization will produce another show in Chicago, and I’m very proud to be chosen for the inaugural 2nd Act.

You Haven’t Heard the Last of Me! 

Today, I’m updating my website, Facebook and social media with upcoming shows because I still have about 100 books to sell. So I am booking readings, driving around with books in my trunk and carrying my “I take credit cards” phone thingy in my purse. If you know of anyone who wants me to read, just reply and we’ll nail a date.

I’ve had some wonderful, and unexpected feedback from my book. The best part comes when people tell me how reading a poem really made them feel better; how a poem made them smile, be surprised or simply a bit of the warm fuzzies. That’s what makes me happy about painting and writing. Adding a little bit of peace and beauty to the world that, too often is anything but peaceful and beautiful. Peace, folks.

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Weighty Issues

Posted on April 19, 2014. Filed under: APL, Cancer, diet, leukemia, survivorship, weight loss |

My last post was about losing weight. They say this is difficult as we age, but I tend to do things out of order, so maybe I will have better luck. As of this week, I’ve lost about 12 pounds since the beginning of February. Not bad. And, I don’t feel like I’m suffering. I still eat chocolate, but portion control is king. The girl in the refrigerator still works and she’s expanded her influence to other behaviors, like procrastination, exercise avoidance, etc.

However, I have hit an energy plateau. I feel very fatigued. I’m in bed by midnight-ish, which is good for me, but I’m usually not awake until about 9 or  dressed by 10:30–unless I have to be somewhere.

I don’t get tired. I get leukemia–NOT.

For awhile, I was concerned about recurrence, but I’m lacking the stupendous bruises and extended bloody noses. I have a blood check scheduled for mid May, but it will probably by fine. Google searches only turn up studies on recurrence, not long-term symptoms. For some answers, Scott and I attended a seminar on what to do after cancer at the Cancer Wellness Center. The facilitator discussed recurrence and suggested talking to the doctors when symptoms arise. I asked, “What does one do when they tell you that you should be feeling fine?” Others in the group let out a few, “Yeah, what do you do then?” No good answers followed. The result: I dragged myself around feeling like a failure at recovery for a few days.

Hence, Facebook. I’m in a group of APL survivors. It’s small—not because few survive, but because this form of leukemia is rare. I posted my woes and received enough responses to know I’m not alone. Most group members are younger because younger people know how to join a Facebook group and APL is a younger person’s disease. One member said she’s finally starting to feel better 1-1/2 years after treatment ended. Another is now experiencing chronic fatigue. I’m only 5 months out so now I’m cutting myself a break. Many others mentioned having the sleepies. Meanwhile, I’m taking more naps and trying to increase my energy with exercise. Yuck, exercise. Well, maybe I’ll lose a few more pounds.

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    About

    A writer and cancer survivor chronicles her renewed dedication to art and words..

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