Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Back in April I was celebrating yet another birthday. It had been 14 years since I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The TV blared yet another ad for the Breast Cancer 3 day. I looked at the screen and imagined how great it must be for those athletic types to walk in something so worthwhile. I shook my head and went back to work, searching on the Internet for some signs of life in the Real Estate market.
I sent out an email and asked who would like to come along. One of the first to say yes, was my daughter (who also happens to be Patti's God-daughter), then followed by good friends and college sisters of Patti's and mine, Jill and Barbara. We began our training, as Patti began her treatment. After surgery, they found no evidence of disease in her lymph nodes, and so, she began radiation. Patti also began her training with zeal.
There is still time to DONATE. I promise, I will let you know all about this event. This 3 day will help Susan G Komen provide funds for education and treatment to thousands of women just like me and Patti. It will be the batteries in the floodlights that will end cancer. We need your help, please DONATE.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Back when I was a little girl, my mother had a friend, her name was Virginia. I have to admit, in my memory of her, there are only a few distinct ones. After all I was quite young at the time.
The most pronounced was of Virginia coming to our house. She had brought a present for me. She knelt down and held out her gift. She said I was a very special little girl and she loved me. It was a very elaborate book of Fairy Tales. The illustrations were intricate, lush and vivid. I found this to be a strange thing to say and to do out of the blue, but my mother told me Virginia was to be admitted to the hospital for something called open heart surgery. My mother told me it was very dangerous, and she would be one of the first women to be given this surgery. She said Virginia may not make it, but without the surgery she would surely die. I would guess this was around 1957 or earlier.
Then one afternoon my mother got a phone call. She was crying when she hung up the phone. Virginia did not make it. She had survived the surgery but after two days, she passed away. My mother told me she was very brave and what she had done was make it possible that others might live.
After that, I had a hard time looking at the book Virginia had given me, even though there were magical pictures inside, and stories of happily ever after. In fact I started having dreams where a big story book would slowly open and inside there were monsters around the words on the pages saying... Once upon a time.... and then the nightmare would begin.
Virginia was brave, and she did make it possible for others to survive. She made it possible that other little girls and boys would not have real nightmares in their lives. Those who pioneer procedures in medicine are heroes.
Today my father-in-law had an aortic valve replacement. In this procedure a pigs valve replaces the faulty valve. It is a major surgery but in my father-in-law's case the survival rate is 95%. Today as we left his room, he was a little cranky and cracking jokes. He was his old self, only rather banged up and attached to a bunch of tubes. He is 86 years old and hopefully with this new valve he will live for many more years.
It takes an open and brave heart to be one of the first at anything.
Thank you Virginia for your courage... and the book.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
One last thing... if you haven't donated... do.... Click here to donate to our walk.
We had a great little lunch on the deck overlooking the marsh land. Fresh Thai rolls and Tum Kai Gai was the choice for three of us while Barabra ordered some sort of tofu.......
We laughed and chatted and caught us with each other. When we were totally refreshed and ready to go, we headed down Magnolia to the creek with the plan to follow it until Bon Air Road. We were only a few yards down the path when I noticed an animal in the water. Having seen one earlier on a walk near us, I identified it as an otter. The sleek critter was swimming with ease along the concrete wall of the creek. "Hey you guys! OTTER!" Then a second later, there was another and then another..... a total of four otters swam with each other enjoying the warm day and the still water. These guys seemed a little browner than the one I saw near Richardson Bay.
It's amazing that I have seen otters in Marin twice in such a short time! It must be a good sign that not only me, but the creeks are healthier than they have been... don't you think?
On we walked and took a short break at the Children's Memory garden, which always makes me cry. The thought of all those people and their lost is quite intense. Its a beautiful place thought but you can feel the weight of a thousand tears when you walk into the center.
Back on the path we headed up to Magnolia and walked along until Patti announced "I need birthday ice cream!" We swung into Piccolo Pizza and got some yummy soft serve Strauss ice cream then walked across the street to the shaded park on the corner of Magnolia and Madrone and took a few pictures while we finished our creamy treats.
Patti looked across the street and saw the Tavern at Lark Creek. "We should get champagne." She said she was joking but it sounded like a great idea to me. So I insisted ( and everyone agreed) we should go over and check out the Tavern. When we poked our sweaty heads inside we were told they were closed until 4:30, and they suggested we head back down to the Left Bank for our birthday champagne. That being the wrong direction.... I suggested Il Fornoio back where we had rendezvoused int he first place.
And that is where we ended our birthday walk, sitting outside sipping Mumm Cuvee Napa, smiling and laughing and enjoying each other's company.
This 8 mile walk took longer than any other we have done. But come on, how can you argue with Thai food, ice cream and champagne. Now that is what I call training!