Friday, January 3, 2014

happy 2071!

on new year's eve we went to the zoo, because it, like the frederiksborg castle, i learned, is also open 365 days a year.  i will show you pictures of it in a minute after they finish downloading (or is it uploading) to my computer, along with about a hundred other photos (this time from my phone), except now as i type this i realize that the zoo pictures are probably on greg's phone and so you won't actually get to see pictures of lions and tigers and hippos (oh my), at least not this time.  well, we'll see what other adventures we can give you in the hundred or so photos i've failed to do anything about until now.

while that's happening, i can tell you about something.  i found a lump an inch or two above my mastectomy scar, on the same side as my original tumor, pulling my skin inward so that it's created a dimple in my skin.  i am going to spoil it for you right now and tell you that it is only scar tissue (apparently the tissue is attaching itself to the muscle in the process of healing itself... something like that).  i learned this yesterday through an ultrasound, but for five days i wrestled with my fear that the cancer had returned.  and i realized something... that i have been living with fear, and in living with fear, i've never allowed myself to fully believe that i'm not going to die of cancer.  i've hoped, of course, i've hoped and hoped and hoped and prayed and prayed and prayed that i'll be healed and go on to live a long and healthy life.  but i haven't believed it.  and before now, i haven't figured out a way to get rid of that fear.  i've hardly understood what a big role it's been playing... it's been with me since the beginning of this cancer diagnosis... i'd say it's been there since before the diagnosis... when i'd say to greg that i was worried that one of us was sick... this ambiguous fear that finally got to unmask itself upon my diagnosis...

cancer... and fear... if ever two things went together... you'd figure they were meant for each other, like there was no tearing them apart... but they are two separate things... i see that now finally... i thought i knew that before... i remember sitting outside this summer eating dinner and realizing that fear is a place i have to choose to go to... i wasn't living in it like i was in the very beginning, when i thought, but didn't know, that i had cancer... when i waited to learn if it had metastasized to my bones... when i waited for the chemo to begin... but even then, even when i realized i was no longer living with fear, i didn't know just how willing i was to go back to that space the moment i thought the cancer might be back.  like i had no choice in the matter.  the cancer is back and so i must be afraid.  i must give into the fear and all of my negative thoughts, letting myself imagine this cancer killing me and justifying myself giving room to those thoughts by saying that i'm just coming to terms with the idea of death so that i can be less afraid of it.  no... that's just me being a pessimist (dressed up as a realist).  but it's not the way to survive cancer.  not for me at least.  i realized that whatever the ultrasound might reveal, i had to believe that i was going to live, no matter what, until i'm 91.  (hey, i might as well think loftyish, right?)  so that's what i started to do.  i had to cut off the bad thoughts as soon as they started creeping in, and replace them with good thoughts.  wow... hard work for someone like me... (i'm sure it comes more naturally to others) and yet... simple enough instructions... i'm sort of embarrassed that it's taken a cancer diagnosis and a recurrence scare to finally learn that.  well... better late than never.  tomorrow i have my CT scan ahead of radiation, which starts on the 14th.  i was nervous about it, but i'm feeling much more confident about it now and i know that if it reveals bad news, i am much more prepared to handle it than i was a week ago.  because i'm going to live to be 91. so, happy 2014 and happy 2071!

and now some pictures.

well, it turns out the zoo pictures, though on greg's phone, are on my computer already, so here you go, though there aren't any lions, tigers, or hippos... but there's this guy...


of course he didn't spend the entire time sitting in the wagon like this.  my favorite is when he balanced on his knees on the back, on that red bar... i'm sure that's what that bar is for.

my favorite part of the zoo was the room with all of the frogs and bugs and snakes... finding the creatures that lived in each little aquarium...





this is the crocodile...

our boys... you can see that it's not nearly as cold here as it is where you live (unless you're reading this from arizona)...

the labyrinth maze they had at the playground.  i have this idea that they wouldn't put this in a playground in the u.s. because you very quickly lose your two year old child in it...


okay, now for some older pictures.

this guy, at the christmas tree farm where we cut down our christmas tree this year...

finding the 'perfect' one... the perfect one to coincide with our bus schedule...


we carried it back to the bus stop.  this was not so long after my surgery so i probably wasn't supposed to be helping to carry christmas trees to bus stops and home from bus stops and all that, but i think it's all worked out okay...

on the bus...

w.

this year's new-to-us advent calendar....

and our advent candle...

and back to vienna!

the city hall...

and the christmas market outside city hall...

and the cute little stations inside city hall for kids to bake and paint coffee mugs and other gifts...

i know these went up on facebook, but here they are again for the blog crowd...


and the palace we visited the next day... schoenbrunn... the summer palace...

and the airport...

and the airplane...

and making cookies...

and playing on the beach on new year's day...

finding a bone and taking it home for the museum in their room... i find it a bit disconcerting...

i didn't mention it was nearly four o'clock when we got to the beach, so the pictures quickly get dark...



you can barely see it, but henry wrote an H in the sand with that pole william found for him in the picture above.  i was so proud!

and they found a decoy duck and attached him to the pole...


and yesterday william wanted to go to the toy store to spend some of his money that he's been saving forever and forever... so we went.  henry got the umbrella... william got some legos...

and my walk today...


now onto dinner prep!  happy new year!

3 comments:

nina said...

Fear is an odd duck. Comes and goes, grows and wanes. Rare is the bird who does not recognize it (oddly, I've never seen Ed be afraid -- having no kids makes you less vulnerable I think). Strong is the person who can learn to control it! So, to strong years and good years and to many many adventures!

Sara said...

Regan

I didn't stop living in fear for 2 years at which time I made a decision that I just couldn't live as though any minute cancer would come back. Of course 2 years of good health helped make that decision and waiting for annual mammogram results will always be dicey but giving up fear based living means that now is a hell of a lot better.

Sara

Phyllis Noble said...

About the photos — Henry's "H" blows me away! What a guy!