Find Joy. Seek Truth. Be Kind.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Whee!  We just got back from a fabulous road trip to Yellowstone.  We met up with family, a cousin and her kids that stair step in with my younger two. It was planned, and reservations made, well before my cancer diagnosis, and I'm so glad we got to go, slipping this trip in between chemo treatments.
Here was something that I remembered from my first trip to Yellowstone - Bison always have right of way.

Yellowstone is a magical place to me. I've been there at least 3 times before this, and each time is different and special.  I was looking forward to seeing it through my kid's eyes, but mostly they were full of excitement and sillies because they got to meet up with some favorite cousins.  It's wild beauty was a bit lost on them.  :-D

Old Faithful just after noon
When you go to Yellowstone you will see a lot of this-  crowds around the most popular sites.  You'll have to put up with typical tourist behavior, but it's worth it to see things that just don't exist anywhere else in the world.   Don't miss the famous spots just to avoid the crowds, just get up early.

With just a little effort you find treasures that will make it your own special place.  My cousin did a little hunting and found a place where a hot river met a cold river and made a warm bathing spot.  Although this "hidden" gem was one we had to share with many other people, it was one of the highlights of our trip.

And if you are willing to just walk for 10 or 15 minutes on a well beaten trail, you can suddenly find yourself all alone, with not a soul in sight, surrounded by wild flowers, and the big blue Wyoming sky topping the vast horizon.

Of course, if you venture on to the less traveled paths, you have to be willing to deal with what you find there.  On this walk it was a couple of male bison on either side of the path on our return.  Despite one teen's great desire to get up close and personal with said bison, and much discussion on how one should best retreat from a charging bison, we discreetly choose a different path back to our car. 

The Bison on the path not taken

Monday, July 9, 2012

Silver linings on an f'n big cumulo nimbus

Cancer comes with some unexpected blessings.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not glad I have cancer.  Treatment sucks.  It is barbaric and cruel.  (For an unblemished read of cancer treatment check out "Memoir of a Debulked Woman")  I hate having to think of the very real potential of my kids growing up without me.  And I despise what this has done to me and my family.  This is not the childhood I wanted for my kids.

I would never wish it on anyone, and I'm not the sort the believes "everything happens for a reason".
I think random shit happens and we just have to deal.  In my case there's a family history of breast cancer, so I guess it's not so random.  But I still have to deal.

My way of dealing is to bitch and moan, whine and complain, and then try to make the best of it.

Making the best of it has included:

Making an effort to do fun things with the kids when I'm well enough, things we always "meant to do" but hadn't gotten to.
Being surprised and enlightened at the friends who've "stuck" and the ones who haven't
Being amazed and humbled by the supportive community we have
Getting to spend time with distant, but beloved, family members
Having a bit more time to read and watch movies
Enjoying mindful moments with my kids
Not worrying about how to pay for living until I'm 90
Fun play with  my hair that I would have never tried with out knowing that I was going to loose it all
In prep for the first hair loss I bleached it and dyed it pink.  Really, really, pink.

It grew back in between treatments, I call this Buddhist monk look

It started falling out again, so Firelord had some fun with it before he buzzed it for me.