Giraffes, Flamingoes and Other Friends

Posted on March 17, 2013. Filed under: Art, Cancer, Just fun!, Paranormal, Poems |


This is the most hair I’ve had since chemo started!

Oh geez…It’s been about a month since I’ve written a post! I’ve thought about it, though. I will blame our vacation. It was LONG overdue and well-deserved, I might add.  Mid-February, Scott and I flew to Florida—Tampa to be specific. Our friends live just south of Tampa and invited us to stay with them. My dad used to say, “Fish and house guests stink in three days,” so I’ve continued to use that as a guideline for visiting others. Since we wanted to get away longer than three days, we also planned a road trip to Jacksonville to rendezvous with my friend there before circling back the other side of the coast and flying home from Tampa 10 days later. The highlights?

Favorite line: “Another boomer down!”  –which Dick informed us is the local response to a siren in a retirement community, which is everywhere in south Florida.20130226_125248

Favorite museum: Salvatore Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. I think I finally “get” his work.

Best Sub-trip: Afternoon with girlfriends in Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp, a town of working psychics and healers. One told me I’d gone through a lot of changes and was supposed to be more creative and artistic with my work, but I was trying too hard to make it happen quickly.

Favorite restaurant: Hmmm…tough one. Perhaps our last breakfast with our hosts in the little house-like building with the fireplaces. Or maybe the fun grease pit on the water somewhere on our way back from Jacksonville.20130227_104930

20130225_143313Dumbest Act: Tripping over a cement parking thingy, falling on my face and cracking my phone’s screen. No injuries, though.

Best deal: Hotel in Jacksonville for $59/night. It was no palace, but it had everything we needed and it was clean.

I gave this guy a branch of leaves. What a tongue!

I gave this guy a branch of leaves. What a tongue!

Most novel deed: No, not getting a psychic reading. It was feeding giraffes at the Jacksonville Zoo.

Best souvenirs: cool earrings, fudge from Fudge Bucket in St. Augustine, where the salesperson amused me with her ample enthusiasm, and a T-shirt with a guide to venomous snakes.

Oh yeah, I’m in treatment for leukemia.

To get the most out of this getaway, I had to figure out how I’d have energy to do all the fun stuff. This meant playing with my med schedule so I wouldn’t be so tired. I asked Dr. G for advice and he said I could move the week that I take medication “a week or so.” I stretched that to two weeks…oops. The only problem with that was, to get back on track, I only had two weeks between treatment weeks, so the effects were sure to pile up. They did, but not as badly as I expected. It was worth it.

Not only did I have more energy to see friends and Florida, I experienced a taste of what it will be like when I quit taking the meds in the fall because I had five weeks between meds on the front end. I wasn’t quite my old self, but I came close.

I had such a good trip that I totally forgot about my doc appointment the day after I returned. I eventually noticed it and rescheduled for Wednesday. Oops.

Signs of a Great Getaway

You’re looking forward to sleeping in your own bed.

You forgot you bought a new robe until you go looking for yours on your first day back.

You didn’t rack up debt.

Your immune system withstood airline germs.

Every day offered great memories.

You had time with friends, nature, culture and your spouse and yourself.

Back to Life

I’ve also been painting like crazy. I’m still in the process of building inventory. I also signed up for another art class and have more images in my head to paint. I’ve also entered a few juried shows. I’m moving forward, but not too quickly. I’ve also written a couple of new poems and painted a new poem painting. On the business end, I doodled out a marketing plan for my art. Wish me luck.


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Wednesday, June 7, 2012

Posted on June 8, 2012. Filed under: Cancer, Paranormal | Tags: , , , , |

Wow, the treatment has caused me to gain 10 pounds in the past few weeks. Since it’s mostly water, they threw a diuretic into the mix. Thoughtfully, they did it soon enough that “there won’t be any need to look for a gas station washroom every two miles on the way home.”  But get up every 30 minutes and drag the IV to the restroom…oh yeah.

This being my second Wednesday of IV arsenic for my leukemia, I fell on my face when I came back home just  like last week. Is Wednesday some sort of “hit the wall” day. I asked if the effects were cumulative and the med staff dances around before saying, “well, for some people.” I sound crabby.

After catching a second wind, I went to my office and filled out some disability forms, but not before spilling some of my sugarless lemonade on my laptop’s keyboard. I thought I’d cleaned it all, but did a back up, just in case. Sure enough, a couple hours later it was beeping and blinking like a carnival game. “Scotttttttttt, helppppppp!”

Scott worked his magic by tipping the machine on its side, which drained out a bit more lemonade. Then he put it in the dryer to sit on a sweater rack for 30 minutes at low heat. When the dryer beeped, my little Toshiba was too hot to touch. He put it on the dining room table with a hot pad—no trivet needed—and let it cool. A few hours later, it seemed to be recovered. Then Scott went to a Meetup on WordPress SEO.

Introduction to Emily’s Even Weirder Side: I decided to fulfill my daily obligation to walk a mile. That’s not the weird part. There’s an area in the park across the street that’s creepy so I thought I’d bring my phone that has the app Ghost Radar since it never shows anything interesting in our house. My 9-year old grandson recommended the free app on Sunday and I thought it looked fun. Really, spud pickles? Never mind that the app claims to detect anomalies in the atmosphere and put them on a radar screen. Never mind that words appear as they are supposedly picked out of the airwaves. I am of the belief that even if this app was authored by a band of Nigerian con artists, if a spirit wanted to use it as a communication tool, they might be able to do so. And, after many years of serious paranormal study, I am aware of the perils of creepiness. However, walking the park’s length and back is a mile, so it’s a practical destination. There’s also a hill in the middle that offers a great scenic view. I was determined to reach the top no matter how my heart pounded with arsenic.

OK…I get my phone going, wrap myself in protective light and Ghost Radar fails to pick up anything. Half way across the park, I decided to invite my dad to comment on my current battle with leukemia. Blip…I get a blue circle on the radar. “How do you feel about my current situation, Dad?” In relatively quick succession, the words “differ” “for” and “badly” show on the screen. Interesting. There seemed to be some sort of response. Was it a sentence with words dropped out? A few more questions yielded zip. I changed my strategy. Let’s talk to a friend who died of ALS last year. He was a beautiful person who knew how to appreciate life in every way. I questioned about my outcome, but “watch” and “mountain” appeared along with another blue light. It was time to walk to the hill. Cool.

I headed to the top with my head down because one never knows what one might step in. “Mountain” stayed on the screen. About half way up, I started getting breathy and “notice” came on the screen. I looked up and found I was exactly at a point where the evening sun hit the top of the hill and shown through the trees. It was spectacular, so I decided to take a photo. “Notice” was still on the screen. As you can see the photo revealed an aura around the setting sun—that was otherwise undetectable. “Notice” stayed on the screen until I was home. Nice message for anyone. I’m not crabby anymore either.

Séance anyone?

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


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