Sunday, July 17, 2011

Back again from hospital and one more to go!

Just returned from my second to the last hospitalization and chemo treatment. It gets harder to go back as I near the end of my treatment. I really don't want to be there.

Its an interesting time in my 9 months of leukemia diagnosis and treatment. What I feel the most is fear. I'm afraid of the future. The latest stats I learned are interesting and alarming. The chemo regimen I received for the past 9 months is 95% effective in keeping the disease in remission. The second statistic is not so encouraging. The return rate of leukemia, the ability for the disease to return is 50%. Which way to go: the glass is half empty or the glass is half full? Right now I can't seem to see beyond the glass is half empty. I never thought at this time in my life I would be dealing with my life longevity. How long do I have on this earth?

I am expressing this fear now because I believe I am going through a series of phases in my recovery that I must accept. I've had very little feelings of relief that my treatment and hospitalizations are soon to be over. There is some. The overwhelming emotion is fear.

I've spoken to a few nurse practitioners and doctors at the hospital about my feelings. One wonderful practitioner told me that I needed to get out in the world and seek out some leukemia survivors. Meet with them. Learn from them. What have they gone through? How have they dealt with their fears? This was the best, most practical advice I could have gotten. What a smart girl she is! Stephanie, I think is her name. She also said to keep in mind that all my months, in and out of the hospital,  were spent with sick patients. This has been a very one-sided view of people with cancer. Some patients are sick but others are very, very, sick. I have known of (roomed with one) two patients who died in the past 2 months. This has been very, very frightening.

So, I am giving myself an assignment. When my next, last and final chemo and hospitalization takes place - happening in two weeks - I will seek out some survivors. There is a group I read about of cancer survivors that meets once a month in San Francisco. There is also a Leukemia Yoga group that meets once a week. It sounds like the people attending are not the types who have the latest Yoga attire and fabulously toned body so this suits me just fine! If this works out great if not, I will try to find other resources to help me.out.

As always, I'm still making jewelry during my hospital stays. I'm posting like a mad woman on Etsy -
http://www.etsy.com/shop/estudiomartita?ref=pr_shop_more - and have made a couple of returns to my studio to organize and clean a bit.

No matter how much time I have on this earth my life is rich with family, friends and artwork

Here's some photos of some of the jewelry I've been doing.

all my love to you and yours,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Quoted in the SF Chronicle about Ed Lee running for mayor

Was interviewed last week by a reporter from the SF Chronicle. I was sitting in a cafe in Glen Park with fellow artist Catherine Mackey, when the reporter walked up and wanted to know whether our appointed San Francisco mayor should run for office. ME...with opinions???

Here's the quote and the article follows:

But those following the mayoral campaign almost universally wanted him to enter the race.
Martha Rodriguez, a Glen Park artist, likes that Lee lacks his predecessors' gossip-worthy social lives.
"The city needs someone like him who's not all flash and mouth and money," she said. "He's one of us."

Ed Lee says he does not intend to enter the race for mayor.
Imagine that every time you leave your house, you see a big cartoon of your own face smiling back at you from your neighbors' front windows.
So it goes for appointed Mayor Ed Lee, who is the focus of efforts by at least three groups trying to persuade him to change his mind and run for a full four-year term as mayor.
But are these really grassroots movements urging Lee to add his name to the November ballot or simply AstroTurf campaigns being rolled out by seasoned political operatives to appear as if there is a public groundswell?
Until campaign finance reports are made public Aug. 1, the answer is unclear, although it appears there are elements of both.
It's easy to spot the "Run, Ed, Run" signs in the windows on steep, leafy Hamerton Avenue in Glen Park, though one house boasts a "Bevan Dufty for Mayor" sign.
Carole Brown, who has lived across the street from the Lees for 15 years, said there was no campaign push to display the sign in her window. She requested one online because she thinks her neighbor should run to keep his job after being appointed in January to serve the final year of newly elected Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's term as mayor.
"We're all hoping so. He gets things done," Brown said, explaining that she likes Lee in the neighborhood and in Room 200 for the same reasons, "His general rapport, his honesty. He's very effective."

Storefront signs

More than a dozen "Run, Ed, Run" signs dot storefronts and office buildings along busy Stockton Street in Chinatown, but none of the half dozen managers or business owners interviewed said they asked for them. Instead, a group of teenagers came by two weeks ago, asking to put up the signs.
Mendy Jiang, manager of Hop Hing Ginseng Co., a traditional Chinese herb shop, said she was glad to accommodate.
"Many Chinese support him," Jiang said. "He's doing good."
But an assistant manager at a nearby hair salon, who had a picture of herself with Newsom, didn't know who Lee was, despite the sign in the window.
A silver-haired shop owner at Wonkow Food Products, a neighborhood store with a "Run, Ed, Run" sign just a few feet from a "Wilma Pang for Mayor" one, shrugged when asked if she wanted Lee to run.
The first group urging him to jump into the race, the Draft Mayor Ed Lee Organizing Committee, was started by former Supervisors Michael Yaki and Jim Gonzalez, both political consultants who could benefit financially from working on a Lee for Mayor campaign.
Enrique Pearce, a political consultant being paid through funds raised by a second group of Lee backers to organize the "Run, Ed, Run" campaign, said their effort was a true groundswell of public support.
That group, calling itself Progress for All, has the active backing of Lee confidante and Chinatown power broker Rose Pak, an ally of former Mayor Willie Brown, who has also called for Lee to run. Its co-chairs include Planning Commission President Christina Olague and outgoing Chinatown Community Development Center head Gordon Chin, whose nonprofit group got $1.1 million in contracts with the mayor's office during the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Progress for All, despite being registered as a general campaign committee not affiliated or opposed to specific candidates, this week started going after four announced candidates, buying advertising on Google tied to searches of their names. One is Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, a Lee ally. The ads say, for example, "David Chiu needs competition - Sign our petition to Mayor Ed Lee."
The group has so far gathered at least 20,000 signatures using volunteers and the online petition, Pearce said.
"The proof is in the pudding," he said. "You don't get 20,000 San Franciscans urging Ed Lee to run in November without a solid grassroots movement."
Still, in interviews with dozens of people in neighborhoods around the city, at least half had no idea who Lee was, let alone whether he should run, Ed, run.
But those following the mayoral campaign almost universally wanted him to enter the race.
Martha Rodriguez, 56, a Glen Park artist, likes that Lee lacks his predecessors' gossip-worthy social lives.
"The city needs someone like him who's not all flash and mouth and money," she said. "He's one of us."

Against the draft

But Pamela Clark, who was waiting for the 14-Mission bus in front of the "Run, Ed, Run" campaign headquarters, disapproves of the effort.
"If he doesn't want the job, they shouldn't try to draft him," Clark said.
That hasn't stopped Michael Breyer, a library commissioner and co-founder of the company Courtroom Connect, from creating a Draft Ed Lee Facebook page, boasting over 1,500 fans.
With handmade signs of office paper glued together, Breyer and a couple dozen others hoisted beers Thursday at 1300 on Fillmore as part of "Drink a Draft Beer to Draft Ed Lee."
Mohammad Ibrahim is not so energized. He has a sign backing Supervisor John Avalos for mayor in his Mission District smoke shop, and thought he also had a Lee sign, until it was pointed out that the sign was for state Sen. Leland Yee, another candidate. Ibrahim said he lets any candidate post a sign.
Really, he's not excited about any of them.
"You can't ask too much these days," he shrugged.
This article appeared on page D - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/09/BAFS1K7AH5.DTL#ixzz1RihtNt6t

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chicano Pop-Art - A few new non-jewelry items

~picked up a paint brush for the first time in 8 months & it made me so happy~

After spending months in the hospital, I finally found the time in between hospital visits to pick up a brush. What a relief! Finding my hands a bit wobbly, I was still able to put together two gift items that I felt okay about. If I had felt focused enough during my 8 months of hospitalizations and treatments to paint, I would of. Unable of course to paint in my hospital room, I couldn't seem to find the motivation to paint in between my visits. As my treatment and hospital visits come to an end (2 MORE LEFT!!), I see an end in sight and a new beginning. I can see my studio time coming back to me. One thing I'm absolutely sure about is that I am too restricted when I paint at home. I am too worried about staining the sink with my paints, dropping paint on the hardwood floor or getting paint on the cabinets. I paint in the kitchen and hate the thought of mixing paint with our food or utencils. Am I being too anal? Probably. Possibly. I just have an alternaitve space to work out of and it is coming back to me. Two more visits and Studio 318 is mine again!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Some inspirational words on life and living...

"A young man asked his grandfather why life had to be so difficult sometimes. This is the old man's reply."

"Grandfather says this: 'In life there is sadness as well as joy, losing as well as winning, falling as well as standing, hunger as well as plenty, bad as well as good. I do not say this to make you despair, but to teach you reality that life is a journey sometimes walked in light and sometimes walked in shadow.

"Grandfather says this: 'You did not ask to be born, but you are here. You have weaknesses as well as strengths because in life there are two of everything. Within you is the will to win as well as the willingness to lose, the heart to feel compassion as well as the smallness to be arrogant. Within you is the way to face life as well as the fear to turn away from it.

"Grandfather says this: 'Facing the storms of life, knowing loss, feeling sadness and heartache, and falling into the depths of grief can give you strength. You must stand up in the storms. You must face the wind and the cold and the darkness. When a storm blows it is not trying to knock you down, it is really trying to help you be strong.

"Grandfather says this: 'Being strong means taking one more step towards the top of the hill, no matter how weary you may be. It means letting the tears flow through the grief; it means to keep looking for the answer though the darkness if despair is all around. It means to cling to hope for one more heartbeat, one more sunrise. Each step takes you closer to the top of the hill, closer to the light of the next sunrise, and the promise of a new day.

"Grandfather says this: 'The weakest step toward the top of the hill, toward sunrise, toward hope, is stronger than the fiercest storm."

-Joseph Marshall III
Joseph Marshall III is a member of the Sicangu Lakota (Rosebud Sioux) tribe. Raised by his Lakota grandparents, he spoke Lakota as his first language. A teacher, lecturer and writer of several non-fiction books, novels and essays, he has been published worldwide. In the Lakota tradition, he has also learned the ancient art of oral storytelling.

The Sacred Hoop, ancient teacher of the four holy powers and seven directions.
The Four Winds, Father Sky, Mother Earth and the Center of All, divine and
holy. Timeless Lakota wisdom and knowledge of the four changing seasons,
elements, and life stages. The Medicine Wheel, sacred instructor for life.

Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July weekend. We could be celebrating independence from the troubles and anxieties that prevent us from enjoying life to its fullest!