What is NOT Cancer 9

Spending time with beloved friends, at their lovely house in Pebble Beach. When we drag in at 10 p.m. on a Friday, they’re still up with a smile and a glass of wine.

A stone offering to?

Sitting on a rock near Point Joe in Pebble Beach on a fall morning, marveling at the lack of fog and the warmth, watching my dog frolic in the surf, and my kid build a ritual stone pile, a Himalayan tradition that has become popular along parts of the California coast. Her stones can’t be offered up to the spirit of the mountain, perhaps to the spirit of the nearby cliffs?

Watching my stepdaughter Maureen smooth the way for her best friend Liz, moments before Liz gets married in the Carmel Mission.

So much to do before processing down the aisle!

Tim Tams! If you’ve never thought of serving these crunchy-creamy, chocolaty Aussie treats at a party, you should … if you can find them. The groom is from Australia.

Tim Tams, at bottom. Better than Oreos, really!

Noticing how nice your daughter looks in her first “grown-up” dress.

Erin, in a silk flapper number, checks out a grill at the Mission.

Friends who forgive you when you drive 50 miles roundtrip in the wrong direction and end up an hour late for a dinner reservation, then understand when you’re too zonked to stay for dessert.

Services at the parish where our daughter was baptized, brunch with old friends afterward.

Pizza and a James Bond movie upon returning home.

A day to make sense of a three-foot pile of papers that have piled up in our temporary apartment.

Haggling with a contractor over renovation details.

Not thinking too much about cancer for three days.

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About leftbreast

I have had breast cancer. I was diagnosed at 47, and am now 49. I have finished "active treatment," two surgeries, chemo, radiation, monoclonal antibodies. These days, I only take a drug to suppress my uptake of estrogen, since my tumor was highly reactive to that hormone. I have been married to my husband Pete for 21 years. I have a stepdaughter, Maureen, 30, and a daughter, Erin, 10. I've been a freelance magazine journalist for 20-plus years, covering everything from Chinese foreign policy to Catholic nuns to endangered species. I have had a great life. I have lived in Asia and all over the United States. I have spent nights with tree-sitters in Oregon and with astronomers at the Mauna Kea observatory in Hawaii. I've been to a cocktail party on the poopdeck of a British destroyer docked in Shanghai. I've taken the bus to Tibet, and tramped through the cloud forests of Panama with biologists. A magazine sent me on a raft trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon; another sent me to cooking school for a week. I have spent time with celebrities, presidents and heroin dealers. I love my work. I have a loving, supportive family and more friends than I probably deserve. I have had the space and time to camp, ski, cycle, garden, cook and spoil my pets (an Australian shepherd, a German shepherd and a tabby cat). If it all ended tomorrow, I would have to say that it has been a really, really good ride. When I was in thick of treatment, I was simply fighting for more time. Now, I'm trying to connect the experience of cancer with the rest of my life, with the time that's been won. I hope the cancer never comes back, but if it does, I'll be ready. That's what this blog is about.
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