lately i’ve started reading again. really. with small incremental exceptions, it’s been years since i’ve put down one book and started the next and onward from there. i used to be a voracious reader. whenever i get really busy coupled with getting older and needing to focus on whatever is making me busy, i tend to push comprehensive reading away. now bring into the picture that 5 1/2 years ago i was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and you will understand my that my tendencies became deep ingrained exercises in ignoring the big book read. i couldn’t bring myself to concentrate when all i wanted to do was get through the hours and days. i distracted myself with tv – the more forgetful the better – and games of bubblet on my itouch. and those bubblet games took hold. 5 1/2 years later, you’ll find me on the subway or waiting in a doctor’s office or any waiting scenario and i’ll pull out my itouch and start tapping …i self-soothe – getting lost in the puzzles that are never the same way twice but always let me get through minutes…sometimes hours…of time where i cannot concentrate on anyone else’s stories. lately, i’ve been trying to make myself read on the subway. i promise myself that i will read one chapter before pulling out what my husband has nicknamed ‘the tapper’. sometimes, i cannot concentrate and find myself reading the same lines over and over – but it’s all in the practice and i make myself move through it. after-effects of chemo and tamoxifen combined with middle age and menopause do not make for easy concentration. the bubbles on my tapper let my mind go mercifully blank and quiet. i play a bit before i go to bed each night…letting my mind go still before knowing that i’m ready to fall asleep – otherwise i stay up late into the night with worst-case scenarios playing over and over in a loop. now what i have to work on is reading each chapter and bringing it inside myself knowing that the tapper can be left aside. it’s like teaching a little kid to stop sucking her thumb. her thumb. my tapper.