Monday, January 5, 2015


Dear Friends & Family,

At my very first chemo-extravaganza last winter, Paul set us up to watch our first episode of Downton Abbey. During the slow times last year, we watched it all, including the bootleg version of Season 5, which we just finished off. Decided to underscore our viewership by attending the Dowtown Abbey Ball this Saturday night, a fundraiser for our local public TV station. Here we are with dear friend (& acupuncturist extraordinaire,) Lynn Curry, where we ballroom-danced the night away to The Masterpiece Ballroom Orchestra, playing period music, think: Foxtrot! The point being, even at the tail end of the cumulative chemo-rah-rah, Paul doing the lion’s share of cheerleading, information gathering, emotional support and random heavy lifting this elongated, somewhat strange year …. I think we still clean up pretty darn good!

Downton Abbey Ball January 3, 2015. The Log Cabin, Holyoke MA
Also this:  a neighbor called a few days back to tell us a bobcat had just walked through his backyard and was heading to ours. Perched from our upstairs bathroom window, binoculars fetched, Paul & I watched incredulously as the stubby-tailed, broad- shouldered, tawny cat slinked through the raspberry patch and around the garden gate. Bob came to stand sentry at the (one of our sad to say, many) groundhog holes, then sat majestically back on his spotted-like-a leopard-hind legs a moment, and poked a curious, husky paw into the opening. He soon gave up and sauntered across the lawn to our fire circle where he hopped up, like a tiger at a circus show, onto one of the tall log stump seats, lingering a bit before nonchalantly ambling off, stage right.

As I lay in the reclining chair today taking in what I hope to be my last-ever chemo cocktail, I thought about that cat, comfortable in an unfamiliar setting, but not too interested in sticking around. That’s how I feel about this year. I was comfortable enough in the medical worlds but BOY, am I ready to move along. Of course there are scans and blood tests and lots of follow up, which I aim to do with my usual cheerful demeanor; I will stay with the pristine lifestyle and all the prayer, song, dance, time with loved ones, satisfying work, etc., I can muster. I know with a confident mind and strong heart I have done everything in my power and taken advantage of all that both conventional and natural medicine has to offer. Really, all I can do is hope for the best.

I will sign off today wishing you every blessing and with my deepest gratitude for your year’s worth of being there for me in the myriad of ways you have shown up: prayers, humor, cards, little gifts, food, love and care-- I will not soon forget your kindnesses and the time you took to be with me in your own way. And god-willing, I will soon be back to my usual posture of giving-more-than-taking from this life-affirming-community pie!
Love & light,