Now you may be asking what my cancer journey has to do with a load of laundry. I'm going to ask you to bear with me and I will make the connection. In the meantime there is a story. I'm afraid it will take about ten minutes. Would you expect anything less? It's a good one. I promise.
Day 1 - June 30 - Morning
Once again I have no clue who will show up. There were more than a few surprises (and some great stories) last year.
July 25th is my birthday. And in my honour, I'm doing it again. And no it is not a Celebration of Life (ie funeral before I die.) But it is another year that a few years ago I didn't expect to have. So I'm celebrating. I promise not to use an old angel food mix this year so I do actually have a proper angel food cake.
Less and less is my life about cancer, and more and more about living each day. A few days ago I used the phrase "the drumbeat of approaching death" with a close friend. The immediate reaction was "Is this your way of telling me that there is progression?" No it isn't. It is a struggle to live with the reality that someday this drug is going to stop working. There won't be many options.
As a very close friend said when I told her about Deuces' death, "End of an era." I suspect, though I have no way of knowing for sure, that he died of a broken heart. The three brother cats mourned Yvette's loss. When Limerick died the remaining two seemed to bond more closely. I would often come through to find them curled up together like yin-yang symbols.
I miss him a lot. Several weeks ago I said a final good bye to my friend O'Keefe. He is the second to die of the three cats that I brought to Canada with me. He was the talkative playful one. His unflagging enthusiasm for the cat toy and the laser pointer kept me well entertained in this pandemic lock-down.
Thinking about O'Keefe's larger-than-life personality, I needed a way to say farewell. He was after all my lock-down companion. Hence a eulogy for a cat.
When I started running people told me that it was a mental challenge. No, I thought, it is a physical challenge. Over the last few days though I have been thinking a lot about that. Jess Movold in an article in “Runner’s World” asked a question I’ve been thinking about. “So then why do we do [run]? For me, it comes down to this: Running trains me how to hurt. The end of a hard workout is a benchmark that tells me how much hurt I can handle. It gives me the confidence to hurt a little more the next time. And a little more, and a little more.”
I have received a wonderful deluge of Christmas cards this year. Pandemic I expect. And they have made me feel a wee bit guilty.
So I took the opportunity to produce a calendar for you. It is in a pdf format which should allow you to print. I printed mine two to a page but I don't think I can force this on you.
About two months ago, The Canadian Cancer Society approached me. A cancerconnections.ca moderator was taking a digital story workshop. She needed a guinea pig to coach on how to produce a digital story. She asked if I would be her student. How could I turn down a chance to tell my story? And digitally was a bonus.