Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween...November is here

I am so wiped out. I need some Sunny D...some Vitamin D and I need to stop living in a world of flourescent lights...I need daylight and fresh air....ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Anyway, Happy Halloween. Does it sound like I'm getting the blues because the days are getting longer. This happens every year...and especially as I approach my birthday. Stepping into November does it to me. The beautiful fall foliage is going to be clumping on the ground and it takes the romance away from fall...technically we're still in autumn but November always feels like winter.

I am already thinking about visiting some place warm on holiday break in February...My friend Kevin called yesterday suggesting L.A. as a destination, where he lives. He lives near the beach...I can't say that this sounds too bad. I've been wanting to visit my friend Jackie anyway, along with a few other people I've met along the way that live out there. Never been, it's a possibility. How is it that I've been to Hawaii twice but never California. Well, LAX does not count...sitting in an airport does not qualify as time well spent in a state. Please see my post on Minnesota back in May.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pretense, parlor tricks and fear

I forgot to blog about this Blue Carpet event I went to at Club Tribecca a week or so ago. It was a party for the launch of Metromix. I've written for Insider freelance for over three years now. I don't necessarily like the way things are going, especially with the departure of their editor, who I respected. He is someone that over the interaction of mostly email all these years, I really trusted and valued his opinions. We won't discuss what the upper management forces did... since I really don't know the whole story, but the handwriting on the wall is there---and change is a brewing at Insider.

Being there on the "Blue Carpet" and wearing those shoes that I can't walk in made me miss my comparatively careless flip flop wearing days only weeks before...and eating those African berries that cost several $100s a pound I kept thinking why am I here? Everyone else in that room was circling around and I just looked at my friend Megan...and probably we were both thinking the same thing. Sometimes you just want to ditch the pretense. I wanted to be somewhere else...and not sure where. It's because I'm getting older that the restlessness appears at random moments.

So I happened to see they had hired a psychic for this event...and sectioned her off in a little alcove. Since this event is where they spend way too much money on things that essentially make them look cool, I decided the only thing to do is capitalize on it...and then chastize them later. My psychic told me some very interesting things, some of which I will not share here.

But what she did tell me was that I am in the Death stage or Death cycle. Now the horrified look on my face was enough to get her to rephrase..."your birthday," she said..."you're about to turn over a new year..."and she remarked that everything I do up until now is just kind of wrapping up in my cycle and something about the alignment....some more stuff that made no cosmic sense to me. I listened intently but this for me always seems more parlor trick than something I should lean on or trust.

Okay, so she told me I was fairly independent, duh...yeah. She told me I was looking for something I couldn't find. Okay, yeah, sure. Easy to see...So she told me I was making changes in my life...isn't everyone? But when she told me I was not facing my fears and putting effort into a task I need to finish...I breathed in deeply. I know what she is talking about. It's in my computer...maybe I need to print out the pages and start doing this the old fashioned way. Fear...fear. What am I afraid of...I'm a writer...this is not I afraid to finish? Or am I afraid that finally finishing the story of my life will make it all there on paper to really see.

Okay, I know we celebrate birthdays...but I've discussed this before...I don't feel this age thing. I feel like sometimes I'm age adjusted and that age that I am should be the number minus the years I've lost in between so depending on the variables and the mathematical computations...I'm anywhere between 17,18 or maybe 26 or 27. So we'll round it out and say I'm 25 if you were to "age adjust" me.

But here I am ruminating over age and worrying about nothing. You all know my friend Zach and the battle he is facing...worry is not in his vocabulary. He is the most courageous person I know, fears nothing. I've been thinking about this a lot actually especially this weekend when I watched this seemingly frail and fragile man scale to the top of a rock wall--and I convinced myself that whatever my fear was in doing this I had to try because I had to prove it to myself I could too...and I did.

I love this picture because it shows everything I believe in someone's strength of character and heart. Yes, the climber to the left is physically strong, but the climber on the right is full of something that in this life I may never be able to fully understand. Worrying about turning a year older really seems stupid when you look at it through that lens, because time and another year are a gift.

I'm trying... and when I turn 31, I'm going to be happy to see another year. Ten years ago, I was celebrating that milestone of legal drinking age (and it happens to fall on the 21st) so you could imagine the fun that 21 on the 21st is for a college's license for a grand celebration. And recently one of our young adult survivors who I knew was turning 22 said she wanted to do it up big...and then I remembered this young woman spent her 21st birthday last year in the she has decided for this year to pretend she is 21 again. What a beautiful for once maybe I can pretend with her...oh, how far off that seems.

I end this post with just a note of levity because I've been kind of crazed lately. I have to slow down just a little bit in my life. My friend Kevin and I were actually talking last night on the phone and we both agreed that we should become plumbers because that's easier to quantify and explain to people. And then I told him about picking out bridesmaids dresses...something every guy wants to here about, right? Perhaps it's a great mystery to guys...well picture this.
I am soooo stretched thin and tired lately I forgot AGAIN that the same day I dressed in an outfit inspired by the 1980s era. It was for our school's spirit week---I swear...Decade day. I showed up at the bridal shop with a crimped mass of hair, frosted pink eyeshadow-tie dyed shirt black tights underneath my rolled up jeans with various other accessories. I could have fit right in in a Cyndi Lauper video. Moments like this...are just too me.
My poor sister. Her wedding....and all she wants is a maid of honor who can help her make decisions...and I don't know where my head is at.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What do Everest climbers eat when visiting Rochester

Sean Swarner came to speak for Melissa's Living Legacy's annual benefit, supporting Teens Living with cancer...the website I am currently working on web content for. One of many projects.

Not for anything, but what a fun weekend. Sean is a delight and if you want to book him to speak for you take my word for it, he's a package deal...entertainment included.

Here he is sharing his nutrition knowledge with none other than Matthew Zachary, founder of I'm Too Young For This, who flew in from San Fran (where he was shamelessly networking at yet another conference) to attend. We told Sean that garbage plates were like the Rocky Mountain oyster equivalant of Rochester cuisine...he bought it...and so then decided he was game. He ate the ENTIRE garbage plate.
I have to give him real props for that.

And if you don't think this proves that he is an Ironman he then decided to give a speech just hours after this. And I was in the audience he managed to keep the stomach churning and gurgling really low on the white noise meter.

Subsequently, Sean is no longer planning the adventure grand slam...he is in bed with a bottle of Maalox, thinking to himself...gee, that God forsaken place where they frequent eat mushed picnic food on a platter for fun....I survived cancer...twice...survived the Seven Summits and the Ironman with one fully functioning lung and now---done in by this. All homage to Nick Tahoe

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Forgotten cancerversaries

Hi everyone...

September 30th 2008 arrived...and for the first time since that infamous date four years ago I didn't dread it....I actually forgot.

On September 30th 2004 I was diagnosed with thyroid was a horrifying defining moment and a dark date in my that I never would forget...or so I thought.

But this year I didn't remember it...or at least didn't mark its approach. When I opened Outlook yesterday and checked email at work the date popped up at me like an old ghost.

I almost smiled when I saw it...thinking that although my life right now is so much about cancer---about helping other people who are experiencing it...writing, advocating, speaking for and fundraising for cancer...that in some way I am moving on. didn't haunt least not today. Not for this day.

Perhaps it was the fear of facing the very word, the anger of having to even accept it into my life that allowed me to dread dates and remembrances. But I've come a long way. I've grown and I've changed a lot in four years. I used to be embarrassed, ashamed and even lonely in the fact that I had cancer. That seems so long ago. Now I obviously am unafraid to put my heart on the electronic sleeve that is my blog. I used to be so hesitant to look in the mirror at the scars. Well, I don't celebrate them...not yet...but I know they are there and I can trace the lines of my story.'s not you...that is a part of's what I gave to myself while I battled you. So there! Cancer.

September 30th
Then May 18th...
A cancerversary?
Really it's just another day.
Just another a life I'm able to live

Life is good.