Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Role Models

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, mostly about cancer and what do I have and how will they fix it, and what will my life be like after cancer.  Will I be able to do all the things I do now?  Do I want to do all the things I do now?  Will my life be the same or different?  Will I appreciate the moment more or just go back to a normal life of missing all the small delightful moments.  I think I catch a lot of little moments.  Like right now, sitting on the floor just inside my back door, computer on lap, Bob, next to me, a baby bunny sleeping on my chest, looking out to my gardens that need so much work.  Work and energy that I don't have as much of right this moment.  Watching the hummer and butterflies flit from flower to flower to feeder to flower.  Petting Bella Luna as she comes by for a little attention.  These are lovely moments right now and this is where I am this morning.

I am in a reflective mood.  That is not new to the cancer.  I have always over thought things.  Today I am again counting my blessings and thinking about the lives of the people I think of as role models.  There is a tall handsome man at the Opera House that we all adore.  He had melanoma of the eye.  See, they tell you not to look directly into the eye.  I know lame joke.  But he fought the cancer for a long time.  I don't really know how long because he doesn't talk of it, but then last November the doctors told him that they eye must go, and much of the tissue around the eye, so that would mean he could not get a glass eye.  So he flew to Philadelphia had his eye removed and the next day flew home and was on stage for the Radio Play.  I broke my little finger trying to smash a cabbage with a stick (I am half of the foley team, The Miller sisters with the dear Ms Moon).  I went to hit the cabbage, it sounds like a fist fight and is a great visual, and missed it and made a hard direct hit on that pinkie.  The cabbage flew out of my hand just barely missing the rest of the cast.  The audience thought it was a hoot.  After the performance I showed Ms Moon who was so upset over my finger.  My comment was, "well it is not like I just had my eye removed"  Keep things in perspective.  After all Mary had damaged her entire foot way more seriously the year before kicking a metal garbage can in Our Miss Brooks bit.  Yes, this man is the first on my list of role models.

Next up is Sweetie, a 13 year survivor of bone cancer.  She is part of my team, not just because she has been there and now has a wonderful life, but because we have been friends for almost 20 years but more like friend ships passing through life only getting to spend short times working together at ITC or other Department related activities.  Now she lives here in Monticello and is someone you can't help but love and admire and want to be on your team.  She is a warrior, and survived her cancer by fighting it like a wildfire.  I admire her spirit and her strong beliefs.  

Funny how the word cancer is so close to cancel, and that is how cancer has been for so long, a cancellation of your normal life.  But not anymore, it is amazing how many people I know that have survived cancer.

My friend Stephanie is another person I list as a role model.  She is a breast cancer survivor.  She has many people in her family who have also fought the disease and she is beautiful and wonderful and leads a very happy full life.  And then my Friend, the owner of Wild Child Art Gallery .  She also is a breast cancer survivor, and you have never met anyone with so much talent.  Not just with her metal sculpture fountains and other creative crafts, but how she has built up this amazing art gallery filled with the most amazing talent.  And she is so active in her community.  She is a hooker and a was one of the main sponsors of Christmas Bliss.  The Christmas festival held on Pine Island.

And then Linda Williams.  It is not like we see each other all the time.  But I admire how open and up front she has dealt with her disease.  

And Lovely.  She has not had cancer, but she was a caretaker for Sweetie and she is an amazing person.  And trust me when she says something, I listen!  I have only known her for like a year, but you can't help but love her immediately.

Oh and as role models go, Ms Moon is amazing.  So loving and nurturing.  And if you have ever read her blog she is even more wonderful then her blog.  Really, I know that doesn't seem possible, but she is.  She has the most wonderful hubby, Mr. Moon and 4 of the greatest kids you would ever want to know, and then this extended family of beloved people that are like totally amazing.  

Yes, I know I use the words wonderful and amazing a lot.   But give me a break.  For those of you who know the people I am talking about, you know that wonderful and amazing are the best words to describe these people.  These role models, these people who keep me sane, and love me even when I have a party of cells going berserk in my body and makes me cranky at times.  

And then beside the role models, I have this extraordinary (see new word) group of friends that include many of these role models, plus other beloved people like Henry and Buttercup, the BelleMeade farm group, The tall handsome man at the Opera House' s gorgeous inside and out friend from the south of France who is here visiting right this very moment.  Oh, and I can not forget the Preacher and his wife, the beautiful Hillary.  And then there is this man that I love so very much, and he just gives and gives and gives.  He is such a dear person to me, and I love the fact that we are friends and that I can trust him in every way because really we are more like brother and sister to each other then even good friends, and he made me dinner last night because he knew I was tired and he wanted to make sure that I ate, and then sent yogurt and fruit home with me so I would eat breakfast.  And you know I could go on and on I have so many beloved people in my life, here in Jefferson county, and at work and spread across the country.  

And I am back feeling better.  Writing about all the positive things in my life is helping me so much, and most of all it is helping me to realize how fortunate I am to have this disease, this group of cells that have gone insane and are spreading through my body.   Because it will give me a new perspective.  I have already learned so much about myself and my beloved ones, and we have just started to scratch the surface when it comes to this cancer trip.  Some time to eat and rest.  Big doings tonight at Casa La Luna.  ok, just a little get together of us Opera house people.


  1. "Just gives and gives and gives." Ha! Yes, our dear, dear friends.
    I wish you were going to be wearing the red dress tonight but since you have another new outfit, it will be okay.
    I plan on washing my hair. Beyond that, who knows?
    Love you, dear.

  2. Hi Kathleen, I'm Jo. One of Ms Moon's waifs and strays :)

    My homeopath survived leukemia, and then a brain tumour. With no allopathic treatment, not that I think that is the road that suits most. It wasn't an easy one, and she was prepared to surrender to it, and nearly did more than once.

    But she sees it as a journey, an opportunity to reevaluate your life, your health, your habits, etc. An opportunity for change.

    I like the idea that you don't want to fight it.

    To me, people talk of 'fighting' their cancer, when all they're struggling against is the side effects of chemotherapy - but maybe that is what some people need to do.

    My mother was more interested in why the cancer came and what it meant to her. She felt if she had hers cut out of her she would miss a huge learning opportunity. In the end, she took that attitude too far, sadly, I think perhaps she was scared to really look at the disease and its implications head on - which you're doing, admirably.

    I hope your journey goes as smoothly as it can, and that you can flow along with it smoothly too. Best of luck.

    Jo x

  3. Another one of Ms. Moon's internet friends...sending you lots of love as you kick cancer's ugly little ass.

  4. I am fashioning a large sign that reads, "No Cancer On the Porch!"


  5. Ms Moon - I will save the red dress until a time that we all go out for fun and maybe some dancing!

    Jo - thank you for your comments, one of the most interesting parts of this adventure is to hear others stories. As you said we each must choose our own paths, but learning from others is part of what I hope to do here.

    Nancy C - aw, the amazing Ms Moon, thank you for your love and wishes.

    LPR - I love it!

  6. Droppin by from Ms Moons, it was good to sit awhile and listen to your story, Kathleen. We members of the Church of the Bat Shit Crazy have had you in our prayers for awhile now. Sending some healing white light right over. x0 N2

  7. Hello, wandering over from Ms. Moon's "yard". I would love to spend some time on your porch as well. And I agree with others, that you must face this journey on your own terms and no one else's. Peace and blessings to you!

  8. Here from Ms.Moons :)
    It's amazing what a little positive thinking will do.... you are incredible!
    And I think I'm adding you to my list of role models. Thank you for sharing your story here.

  9. I've enjoyed Ms. Moon's blog stories of you, Kathleen, your irreverent sense of humor and zest for life.

    So I was glad when she said you'd started a blog, and sorry when she said you're dealing with cancer. It's a tough road, harder maybe in the beginning when so much is unknown. But there's always hope. I'm 13 years past breast cancer now, my mother is 30 years past breast cancer.

    I'm going to put you on my hope list. For health and comfort and peace.

  10. love the image of you sitting with your laptop and the bunny.
    you must have such wonderful friends because you are amazing wonderful yourself!

  11. My my my! What is going on over here? Oh Kathleen! It is so late and i am so tired and I just stopped over to see your new blog and maybe read one entry before bed, but I've read them all. I can hear your voice as I read and I just love it so much. Mama and I keep saying, "She is SUCH an amazing woman." we do. You are.
    I'm so glad that you are writing about this journey because you are a thinking woman and a learning woman and as you write about it all, perhaps I can learn some things too. Thank you.
    If you think of things you would like to eat give me a call and I will make them for you. I would love to that.

  12. I'm thinking you may become a role model for all of us out here in blogland

    Have a good Sunday