A word before I begin: I’ll be completely honest. I feel a bit silly blogging about my life this evening when Paris is still reeling from a terrorist attack, and the number of states that will refuse Syrian refugees cotinues to grow. To be honest, I scan by the majority of these articles and statistics, because what is being done is so far the opposite of what I know to be true and loving. The opposite of Jesus’ example. However, I do know that a future exists where there will be no terrorism and no need for countries to decide whether or not to accept refugees.

For the past few days, my vision has been blurry when looking at things closely. I’m writing this blog right now, and the letters are blurry. I don’t know why. I think I noticed it on Saturday for the first time. It comes and goes, but I don’t know what caused it. Anthesthesia maybe?

Let me back up. Thursday morning I had a sentinel node biopsy (Doc removed three nodes) and my porto-cath implanted. That afternoon I took my Percocet and slept. Friday was a little better … except that the skin around my incisions (and especially under the adhesive bandages) was really red and quite itchy. By Sunday, a rash had spread down my left arm, across my chest, and on my neck. Evidently I am also allergic to the surgical soap they typically use during operations.

So, I’m on steroids, but I am still good to go tomorrow morning for my first chemotherapy appointment. Question to my small readership … should I take a picture each time, noting the countdown to the final chemo? Part of me wants to photograph each step so I can see for myself how I am affected. But the other part of me thinks that it could contribute to making cancer my whole life, rather than it being something I schedule my life around. Plus, aren’t we over-run with images like this on social media? Please provide your thoughts.

Since chemo is taxing on the liver, I am not allowed to drink alcohol for two days leading up to and after my chemo treatment. Oh the horror! No wine. No bourbon. This is stressful on the already stressed Ladybug (me). Therefore, I am turning to herbal teas for my relaxation. I have already gotten some great recommendations, but feel free to suggest more. I have eight months to go … I cannot receive enough suggestions.

As I got comfortable in my bed tonight, I had the Voice on tv. I wasn’t entirely watching it, but I tuned in as Madi Davis was getting ready to sing “Who Will Save Your Soul,” by Jewel. Please do take a moment to watch the video.

Good! You’re back. Did you like it? I did. Now get this: she is only 16 years old! Sixteen! At 16 did I know what I wanted to do with my life? Was I that sure of myself? How about you? Were your goals at 16 in line with what your goals are now?

My immediate thought was, “I am nothing like that 16-year-old child.” But, as I look back in detail, maybe I’m not so different …

Sixteen-year-old me wanted to be a Journalist. I wanted to write for a living … preferably as a travel writer. I dreamed of being sought after by large travel book publishers or sophisticated newspapers that would pay me to review the most exotic locales and resorts.

Thirty-eight year-old me still loves to write. I never got a phone call from Lonely Planet or The New York Times, but I write. And I write real life. And sometimes people even like what I write.

The Cure was my favorite band at 16. While I never fully embraced the gothic lifestyle (I wasn’t nearly macabre enough), Robert Smith sang to my soul. I loved him, and fantasized about somehow winning backstage tickets. But then I worried I was too happy for him, and I didn’t want to ruin the illusion.

Today, The Cure is still my favorite  band. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy lots of other music (especially since The Cure hasn’t released anything in years; and their later music didn’t touch me like the earlier stuff), but The Cure still gets me everytime. In fact, they’re going on tour in 2016, and if I can land tickets, I will go with a red-lipstick-stained mask and a Robert Smith wig.

I had my first boyfriend at 16. I think I’ve mentioned before that it was a typical teenage romance: poetry, parents who didn’t approve, mystery, and after a year-and-a-half romance, a broken heart.

This is one area that I am in no way like my 16-year-0ld self. My husband of 15 years is not particularly romantic, and he definitely doesn’t write poetry, but I wouldn’t choose anyone else to be my best friend and life partner. I am so glad I went with someone who made me feel loved and safe.

My junior and senior years were when I first took an interested in psychology, a hobby of mine down to this day. I still love fashion and edgy trends (love my Doc Martens), like I did at 16. And while I’ve learned to compensate for my introversion since 16, I still need some downtime to myself.

I don’t go to concerts nearly as often as I did as  teenager and young adult; but I think part of that is due to living in a small town, where the nearest decent performing space is over an hour away; and the only decent arena is about five hours away. But I still love to write, and I love music, and I’m still a bit too happy for Robert Smith.

The changes I’ve made in the last 20-plus years are good. My faith is stronger than it was; I have a beautiful child; and I have a husband I love and trust infinitely. Plus, I am part owner of a shop, where I get to make people happy every day. And, I still get to write.




4 thoughts on “Introspection

  1. I don’t think any of us really know what/who we want to be at 16. Until you live life and see how things work you can’t begin to fathom what you really want out of life. There are a lucky few who know from the beginning what they want to be. But most of us schlubs work it out along the way. Either way, you have grown into a really good person and I am honored to call you friend – even though it is across the miles.
    Thinking of you,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pictures as you feel like it! But don’t pressure yourself by making a commitment to every day, etc. because don’t we have enough deadlines already? 🙂

    Tea! I love David’s Tea!! Here are three very relaxing ones from David’s Tea: Mother’s Little Helper, Serenity Now, and Detox.

    Liked by 1 person

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