Monday, August 22, 2011

My Virgo pendant listed in the California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE Team) Blog!

My Virgo pendant was listed in the latest blog post from the CCCOE Team - 
which I am a proud member of!  Look...my pendant is the first item listed!
The California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE) is a group of independent 
artists, crafters, & artisans from California who sell their wares on Etsy.com.

Born August 23 through September 22 Virgo heralds the end of summer and the nearing of the harvest. Virgo has always been a symbol of fertility and is the only astrological sign symbolized by a women.

Being good analysts, Virgos dig into every possible fact and detail, before deciding on something. Their attention to detail, meticulousness and intelligence make them practical and diligent workers.

Numbers Print 11x14 by BlackberryCottageHD

Risks, any thing which is hazardous to health, chaos and even noise are not in the good books of this personality. Changes, alterations, disorder and asymmetry do not find any room in a Virgo's life.

Famous Virgos include Greta Garbo, Mother Teresa, Michael Jackson, Ingrid Bergman, Richard Gere, Buddy Holly and Stephen King.

This is the 8th post in our series of Astrological signs by Sophie n Me.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

BACK AT STUDIO and a peek at some new work!

papel picado upcycled tray

papel upcycled tray

closeup of papel picado upcycled tray

alternative loteria tray

alternative loteria tray

I'm back at the studio and it FEELS GREAT! I can paint again. I worked on these two items this week and so look forward to making more.

I pulled out a large canvas and sketched a few things. A little nervous about putting brush to canvas but will just go with it. There will be no mistakes in creating - I have to tell myself.

Visited with many friends at the studio. Went to an art opening of my studio mate, Paul Morin's work. His worked looked FABULOUS!

Its been a tiring week but I have to build up my stamina again.

Have a bone marrow biopsy scheduled for this coming Monday - not my favorite test - but have to endure. Reminders of my Leukemia are never more than a few steps away but nevertheless my life feels very fulfilling!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Do Not Look Back

Do not look back and grieve over the past, 
for it is gone; 
and do not be troubled about the future, 
for it has not yet come. 
Live in the present, 
and make it so beautiful 
that it will be worth remembering. 

I've had just two days of living this quote. I have to say, it has given me permission to let go of future worries and left me with a feeling of calm. Yesterday, I was on my way to the studio when my friend Maryellen called. She is a nurse at San Francisco General. She had a day off. She wanted to know if I wanted to go with her to Terra Mia to paint a ceramic dish or cup. Hanging out with a good friend sounded like fun. I decided to leave my studio time until today and hang out with her. It was lots of fun. As always, lots and lots of good conversation and lots and lots of laughing.

I had just told my studio mate Paul and another artist friend Catherine, that I wanted to take some of the stress out of doing my artwork. I wanted to work at it because I enjoy creating rather than I have to create it for a deadline. The latter is very, very stressful. I also said that if I had a friend who called me during the week wanting to hang out, I was going to take the time to enjoy time with them. Well, it had been less than 24 hours that I said this and I heard from Maryellen. I had to believe that this was some kind of sign or message! I decided I wanted to put my words into play. So Terra Mia with Maryellen it was! It was a great day. 

Life can be pretty amazing! 

Monday, August 8, 2011

where y'at? what it is.

where y'at? what it is.

Where y'at is a slang greeting in New Orleans. When you meet someone in the street this is what they  ask. Then you reply with the key phrase what it is. If you respond wrong, the initiator will know you are not local. Where y'at is also a New Orleans way of asking how things have been going for a person in general.

Well lets just say "y'all" just asked me where y'at? Here's my response...

I've been poked, prodded, poisoned, cleared of poisons, rolled into metal cylinders for an MRI, confined to bed for hours for a CAT-SCAN, given multiple units of blood, had bone marrow removed more times than I'd like to remember, ditto spinal fluid. I was also the first patient to contract the Norovirus in the hospital..  Being that most patients on the oncology floor are immunosuppressed, I was isolated from the rest of the patients, surrounded by doctors and nurses in yellow gowns and felt like the big cootie monster. I could handle almost anything that was expected of me but isolate me from people, keep me from socializing and the light fades and the world is eternally grey. The internet and cell phone helped but there's nothing like face to face chats with neighbors.

My ALL diagnosis (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) was made on 11/30/10.  I began chemo therapy immediately at UCSF. I finished my therapy schedule on 7/30/11. I got through it. I stayed strong. A new chapter has opened up in my life. With that comes a multitude of questions about my future, my life span. How much time I have.

These are frightening questions to ask. When I do my internet searches, the results are terrifying. Today when I had to grab some information for this blog post, I ended up on the Web M.D site. Here's some of the terrifying information they offer:

 "adult patients with ALL are at risk of developing central nervous system (CNS) involvement during the course of their disease"

"Appropriate initial treatment...results in a complete remission rate of up to 80%. Median remission duration for the complete responders is approximately 15 months."

"Patients who experience a relapse after remission can be expected to succumb within 1 year, even if a second complete remission is achieved."

Okay enough of that horrible, ugly stuff. The information above was compiled by the National Cancer Institute and was last updated August 2010. There are other treatment alternatives should the ALL return like bone marrow transplants but honestly I don't want to deal with writing about that unless I have to.

So, where do I stand now?

I don't know.

I so want to have the view that my glass is half full rather than half empty. I have been out of the hospital for a week. I feel like I've been trying to stay afloat. I don't want to be driven by negative thoughts. I want to clear the negatives out and focus on what I have in my life now: my husband, my children, my grandchildren, my fabulous friends, my artwork.

Where to start or where to leave off is a mystery. I have work to do. I need to seek out those like me. Survivors.

But first of all, I have to break my fear. Mortal life isn't eternal.I have to return to the idea that each day is as precious as a lifetime. I'm struggling. Yes I'm fearful but I'm determined to keep working to better live with this fear. I'm sad but I still allow myself to laugh. I'm angry - yes, I occasionally say 'WHY ME?" but answer back it just is and we can't control all things in our lives.Finally, I've had days where I can't control any of the feelings and I try and loose myself in artwork or just feel bad. I don't believe in suppressing feelings.Let them out then move on. Feeling is living.

So that's where I'mat.