on a clear day…

April 29, 2009


aside from the post-chemo-menapausal fog that often sets around my working brain causing me to to be aphasiatic more times than i can count, there are times lately that i feel clearer than i have ever felt before. i don’t remember entire sections of my childhood. i think i was shut down – probably depressed – and i just remember sleeping. or wanting to sleep. or feeling like i was asleep. to this day, i just don’t remember many years.

chemo put me into another world. between the nausea (one of my worst issues) and the steroids and the pain killers, i went into a chemical fog that has only recently started to truely lift 3.25 years later. i have some days when i wake up and think: oh, i’m very much here. very (excuse me) present.

and now i feel that i feel with more clarity. and enthusiasm. and decisiveness. when i talk to people, i am surprised that i sound so enthusiastic. so alive. i guess i am actually glad to be alive. i have a more profound sense of the here and now. i was always planning ahead (or sleeping to get to that ahead which involved more keeping my head down and getting through) and now i seem to be better and appreciating the now.

don’t worry…it won’t last! but it’s good to know i can change.


sing out louise!

April 28, 2009


i’m often asked if i miss having a career as a singer.  or if i miss singing. the answer goes both ways.  i have been a very black and white girl from the get-go.  all or nothing.  i either do it all the way or i don’t.  i never wanted to be some high-amateur singer (i feel a seinfeld moment here – should i add: not that there’s anything wrong with that.)  when i sing, it comes up from my toes.  and yes, i’m loud. very loud (and, thankfully, in tune).  so loud that when a burgler kicked in the back door of our house – many years ago – and i was alone in the living room balancing a bowl of homemade applesauce on my belly while watching tv – the neighbors at the end of the block and around the corner heard me screaming as i fled the house but no one heard the guy kick in our back door!   loud.

this topic is too big for me to truely answer. and i’m the one who posed the question.  i miss the venue to have something to say.  i always had something to say on that stage.  often said through the lyrics of whatever song i chose.  i miss escaping into that particular perfect moment. i miss sitting on pianos.  i miss the rehearsals.  i miss very good hotels.  i miss the people who run them.  i miss the knowing.  just knowing i felt that i got it right.   for that moment.

what i don’t miss i’ll talk about another time.

don’t look behind the curtain

April 27, 2009


i’ve been in a real funk lately.  i guess partly because my commission-based income has come to a complete halt … just when i was basking in the glow of well-earned experiential gravitas.  gravitas and $1.35 will buy me a cup of coffee.  but i’m drinking my coffee at home these days or submitting to the truely awful tepid water-pods in the office keurig.  but more because i have periods where i just wait for something awful to happen.  or re-happen. cancer is not a good thing for an already slightly-paranoid personality.  and this newspaper article from the nytimes today doesn’t help at all.  it was so frightening.  basically, telling us that for all our crowing and donated mega-money to cure cancer and all the happy politically-correct rosey phrases about ‘survival rates’ and “significant survival advantage” we’re essentially fucked. feh.

Yet the grim facts about cancer can be lost among the positive messages from the news media, advocacy groups and medical centers, and even labels on foods and supplements, hinting that they can fight or prevent cancer. The words tend to be carefully couched, but their impression is unmistakable and welcomed: cancer is preventable if you just eat right and exercise. If you are screened regularly, cancers can be caught early and almost certainly will be cured. If by some awful luck, your cancer is potentially deadly, miraculous new treatments and more in the pipeline could cure you or turn your cancer into a manageable disease.

Unfortunately, as many with cancer have learned, the picture is not always so glowing.

i have always held the fear that there was little behind the beautiful couches and soothing music and calming words. i guess i appreciated them when i had a needle shoved into my vein for 6 hours at a pop, but now i feel woken up and furious.



April 26, 2009

it’s been a long road. finding yourself at 51 having had at least 5 careers and a long and tortured relationship with food, body, appetite, control and forgiveness. breast cancer out of nowhere. the road that balances living with agreeing to be a happy eunich. no major complaints really. happy to be here.

i was told by the two nicest women at the health food store that i should start this blog and see where it goes. it all started because i was doing a little late-in-the-day shopping and started espousing over the frozen berry section. trust me…even i was shocked to hear me go on and on and on to total strangers about the cost of frozen fruit, the brands, the repackaging to catch the consumer off-guard that the company is putting less in their already dearly-priced bag, and, lastly, my obsessive start to most days. the super smoothie. other posts for why. but why not start with the goods. the basic recipe:

[i use the scoop from the whey for all these items except the flax oil.
for one full blender of smoothie]:

1/2 large container of organic nonfat plain yogurt.
2 tablespoons barleans highest lignan flax oil
organic frozen fruit: i mix but always one dark fruit (blackberries, blueberries, etc.) and maybe a banana or 4-6 slices of frozen peaches (which make it very icey and light)
solgar whey: 2 scoops. (comes in vanilla, chocolate, berry)
1 splenda (some wheys have stevia or such in them in which case you don’t need the spenda). Solgar Whey is very pure and has only 1gram of sugar.
2 scoops organic ground flax meal. i use bob’s – i like the reg. organic ground flax meal but they also make a golden one.
1/3 scoop of brewer’s yeast FLAKES – not powder. buy the ‘non-gmo’ kind (which is sort of like organic)
liquid: i use ‘kagome’ juice i buy the dark berry blends. this is part organic fruit and part organic greens. i think kagome juice is now discontinued (don’t ask how i’m hoarding 4 cases in my kitchen) but lakewood organic makes a good fruit garden mix that has tons of high-end green stuff in there.
an 1/8 scoop of Barleans powdered greens…very green!!!

i promise it won’t taste icky-green. i hate icky-green. in fact, i’m picky about such things. if you’re worried, work up to the tiny bit of barleans greens – it took me 10 months to start putting that in.

blend well! i always scrape the top and then reblend to be sure that all the powders mix up very well.

there you go: power smoothie!

first blog done. i am often known as bean.

so i’ll sign off that way too.



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