Saturday, May 19, 2007

Going Back to Work

I have been remiss by not posting for a while. I have not been much in a writing mood as of late, and come to think of it, today is the first day in a while that I have even entered my studio. Time, time, time.......

Megan went to a job fair at Mohonk this week. She cannot work full time but needs money to live on as she is not making it and fund raising has come to a halt. That is ok as she needs to get out and get back into the swing of things again.

She interviewd for a valet job up at Mohonk Mountain House, which if you don't already know, is one of the more magical places in the world. My friend Bardet always said there were magical powers up there. (photo is a digital piece I did of the Mountain House and Spa)

I hope she gets the job as it won't be too hard on her physically. She won't have to lift too much too far too often, and if she smiles nicely, and is charming (she is already beautiful) she should be able to make some good tips. I do hope that she will be able to pull this off.

She still needs a total hip replacement, but she is not up to doing that yet. I don't blame her. She has been through enough for now.

Dole is away for three weeks for desert training for his reserve unit. (you do know what that means...) He is going or considering going into the Army full time. I wish I could get him out, but he would never listen to me, and never do it. We need a miracle of some sort to happen.

In the meantime Megan is missing him and I have a feeling I will be seeing a bit of her over the next 3 weeks.

Till the next time, Patti

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Tori Amos put it succinctly in her song Little Earthquakes. The refrain sings
"Oh, these little earthquakes
Here we go again
These little earthquakes
Doesn't take much to rip us into pieces

I have moments when I can breathe easily for a while. Just when I get optimistic, something comes along which takes the breath right out of me and twists my stomach and heart into a knot."

I know that Megan never breathes easily. Panic attacks from the stress of all her illnesses invade her life. I know she is strong, but my heart aches knowing she is in pain, and has been facing a life of doctors, needles, poisons and drugs.

Though her chemo and radiation are over, I think the fear of her cancer returning lives deep. It does in me. The doctors are now talking about bilateral hip replacements as her cartilage is shot and she is in constant pain. She does not want to live on painkillers. They still don't have an answer as to why. Megan said it would take more invasive testing and she has not up to this point wanted to put herself through it. I don't blame her.

She is only 23.

She is still planning on going with Dole, where ever he is sent. My heart turns ice cold when I think of it. I can't right now.

I still try and keep optimistic, and just need to get through days like this when I feel our worlds could come crashing in at any moment.

I don't like feeling so vulnerable.

This is a photo of Megan almost three years ago when she returned from Iraq and was pregnant. We went to visit a good friend who had three very cute dogs. That summer was a nurturing time to help heal her and keep her healthy and calm while pregnant. I can remember that summer with a huge warm smile.

Keep the soldiers in Iraq in your meditations, thoughts, or prayers, for many of them are just young kids in deep shit.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

On Being Mary Poppins

I usually don't repeat what I write in my personal blog here, but sometimes my personal blog crosses over with this one. Though the main function of this blog is about my daughter's cancer, progress and treatments, it is also about how cancer and illness affects other people in the ill person's life. And sometimes about LMS, the cancer itself.

I have been away so I have not talked much to Megan about what is going on with her medically. She is having insurance problems so she has not gone yet for the MRI's that the orthopedic docs want done. She is still seeing the oncologist as they are trying to fix her blood which is out of whack (I don't know details) as well as the stomach ulcers which did not heal during her chemo and radiation.

Her boyfriend is considering joining the ARMY full time and if he does, there is talk of her and Alanna moving with him. I worry about that. I can't even talk about it without getting upset and sad. So I won't right now until I know more.

But while at my sister's helping her and her family as she just had a little baby boy, I composed this blog, and I am cross-posting it.

On Being Mary Poppins

"Practically perfect people never permit sentiment to muddle their thinking." --Mary Poppins.

I was in the bathroom at my sister's house doing my routine of massaging in my face lotion, brushing my long hair, applying the little bit of makeup that I wear...and suddenly I felt very sad. I put down my brush and stared off into space in the tiny bathroom thinking about Mary Poppins, and how I felt like I have been popping in and out of people's lives, fixing things, making people laugh, nursing them back to health, loving them, making magic, and then leaving. (or as in this case, perhaps having THEM leave..)

I cried a few tears thinking about new life and how death lurks near, about illness and health, and how I have tried to make things better and how love has given me strength, joy, and wisdom.

I wondered how Mary Poppins felt when she had to leave the people who's lives she had touched and changed?

I had come to my sister's house, befriended her animals, had a wonderful time with her 12 and 2 year old, kept up with basic house cleaning chores like keeping the sink and dishwasher empty, organizing toys, doing some transportation, and did a lot of laughing.

After Mary came home with her baby, we all had lunch together and I knew it was my time to leave. Peter had to put the swing and bed together, Helena needed time with her mother, Mary need to nurse the baby and take a nap. I knew it was time for me to head out onto the highway again and gain strength for the next life I might pop into.

Is that why Mary Poppins had to leave? To recharge for the next event? Did she too shed a tear before she took off?

Before I left I told them how I felt like Mary Poppins, and how I was sad to leave. They were sad too, but my sweet niece said "but Mary Poppins always comes back"....and with that I smiled, got into my car, and drove off with a smile.

And here I am, on the highway, shooting out the windshield of my car......welcoming the greens of spring, the mountains on my journey and thinking about whose life I would next pop into for a bit.

In magic, Patti

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I am a Rock

I have not written for a while as I have been incredibly busy preparing for conferences and to get away to my sister's home in Pelham to help her while she is birthing her little baby boy Alex. She has a 12 and a 2 year old and needed someone here to pick them up/drop them off to various venues, and to be one consistent variable in their life over the next several days.

I am thrilled to do it. A change of scenery, joy in the birth of a new life. Getting to spend some quality time with a family whom I don't get to see often enough. I adore them all.

My boss yelled at me when I told her I would be taking family sick time and said STOP HELPING OTHER PEOPLE. She meant it in the best of ways as she knows how difficult my life has been. But the one thing I have learned over the past six months is that I will give up everything to help my family.

15 year ago, when my children were young, and I was a new teacher, I dedicated my life to my career, not taking time off for things like their school plays during the middle of the day. I made the ultimate sacrifice figuring that I had made a committment to a job that needed me and I had an obligation to be there. What I learned later on, was that it meant very little to the supervisors; there were no medals, no recognition, no thanks. I lost precious bonding moments with my children and missed events that probably meant a lot to them. I cannot bring those times back, but I can put them first before anything else from now on.

These days I am the rock in my family. For my daughter and granddaughter, sometimes for my husband, for my invalided mother, and other close family members and friends when necessary. I am proud to be the rock, to be a woman of strength and fortitude. I am learning how to recharge so that I can maintain strength, but also when to recognize to step away and let them grown into their own pillars of strength.

I have some time off in between my responsibilites here which will enable me to catch up on my blogs, post the links about LMS I am promising you all, and to give strength, wisdom, and love. I will update you on Megan in the next blog.