Thursday, June 23, 2011


I'm a granny again!!! My son Mario and daughter-in-law Adela had a girl: Isabelle Lucia Fusco this morning at 7:47. She is 19 inches long and weighs 6.5 pounds. Grandparents Martha & Gary are so happy to have another grandchild to add to the famila. Our very special big boy grandson Leo, at age 6 now has a little sister!

Life is good!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The big P

 me and my daughter Gaby at the Arboretum at Golden Gate Park
June 7th, 2011

Well here I am writing in my blog when I should be taking pictures of my new work and posting them on Etsy and Facebook.I've got some great new jewelry I created during my last hospital visit. Gosh I wish I had someone that could do the rest of the steps for me and I could just continue creating. Anyone out ever feel this way? After writing that I realize I've been away from the studio for too long. Part of doing your art is completing all the grunt work to get it out in the world. Anyway, since I'm now at home, I could also be washing dishes, making the bed and on and on. The truth is I don't feel like any of it. I am doing the big P: I'M PROCRASTINATING! I'm also looking out the windows of my house at the blue skies and admiring the birds flying by and the sound of the wind. Oh boy, I've got it bad.

My last hospital visit was just 6 days which was the shortest I've had in my 7 months of treatment so far. It wasn't necessarily easy but it was fast. The longer I stay, the better I get to know the nurses on the Oncology floor of UCSF. What an incredible group they are. We are talking hard working women and men too. They have to do lots of hands on, sometimes icky work. Working with people who are ill has its merits but also can be quite difficult. I am in total of awe of many of them. Each time they work with me, doing whatever task is necessary at the time, I find myself thanking them. I have this great desire to let them know I appreciate the work they do.

As my stays in the hospital get closer to an end (I have 3 short visits left of one week each) I have discovered that I am feeling better and stronger as I complete each visit. These feelings have just sort of sneaked up on me.  In feeling better I have begun to notice my surroundings at the hospital and the extreme level of illness on the Oncology Floor. It has been eye opening and a bit frightening too. Just last week I was walking the halls to get my daily exercise when I saw some workers wheeling a patient out of his room. I couldn't help but notice him as they wheeled him by. He was young (its all relative) - in his early thirties, with a head of curly, dark  hair and a nice face. It was his skin that was so frightening. He was terribly jaundiced, yellow. He was not moving at all. I thought initially that he could be deceased. I found instead that he was incredibly ill and no treatment regimen had succeeded  in treating him for his cancer. This was shocking to view such illness of someone so young. It made me long for the end to his suffering. I have also begun to notice the parade of extremely thin and pale people walking by my room. I had never noticed them before. I've had to look at myself. I see a person who looks relatively healthy. I feel strong. I can still laugh. I am hopeful for my future. I am lucky.

What I am learning about cancer at this point is the levels of complications the disease can hold. I don't know the specifics of my disease other than I have ALL Leukemia. I can see that my response to the chemo therapy has been positive. For others who have more complicated cancer diagnosis, their response to various therapies varies. This is obvious in the people I see on the floor. It is difficult for me to see the suffering of some of these patients without feeling concern, sadness and a sense of helplessness. I can only imagine what they must be feeling or their friends and families.I have not figured out the solution to dealing with these feelings.

For now, I believe I have so far weathered the chemo regimen. There are however, no guarantees that the disease won't return. I believe the cure rate without any possibility of return is 66%. My prognosis could be worse All I know for sure is that I must enjoy the present: my family, friends, my art and just a great blue sky. Nothing is forever. Perhaps the big P should actually stand for THE PRESENT because that is how I strive to now live my life.

Have a great weekend, all of you!


p,s, if you'd like to see more photos of me and my familia and some flora and fauna please go to:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My First visit back to 1890 Bryant

Took a "field trip" of sorts last Monday, May 30th to my studio at 1890 Bryant. I hadn't been their since my November diagnosis of Leukemia and my chemo therapy treatment of seven months. It was a grand, grand time. I had to shed a few tears when I saw my studio. A few things had been rearranged by my husband Gary and friend and studio mate Paul to accommodate an artist who participated in Spring Open Studios. They quickly went to work along with my other friend and studio mate Michael, and returned everything to its natural disorder. I wanted to cry even more. My space. This was, is my space to create. Its my space to work at projects I decide are the most important at that time. I have the choice to work in silence when I choose to or take breaks, visit with Paul or take a walk and visit with other artist friends.

I managed to see many fabulous friends: Paul and Michael of course, Terry, Catherine, Eszter, Trish, DK. I had such a good time catching up, laughing and crying too. Had tea with Catherine, Trish, DK and Gary. Talked about "you name it" and it was so relaxing and enjoyable. Missed seeing my beau-tay friend Diane K. - aka the wirest - but we managed to catch up by phone which as usual was totally enjoyable. I also did a quick visit with Rocio in Jasmine's bakery. We talked briefly about life being what it is and how we have to accept what comes our way. Isn't that the truth!

I am one lucky person. I have a great space to work out of. I have fabulous studio mates, Paul and Michael. I am nearing the end of my treatment and I have a place to return to with friends welcoming me back. Life with its success and dramas await.

Life is good, really good.