What is NOT Cancer 12

Picking a paint color for the walls that is NOT white, but not too bright, while preserving my marriage.

Finding all the marble mosaic floor tile needed for the not-so-big bathroom. It only took trips to FOUR Home Depot stores. Why they say stuff is in stock if it’s only enough to tile 3 or 4 square feet? Who’s ever heard of a bathroom that small?

Finding a sturdy wall-to-wall carpet that doesn’t cost a mint and wlll look nice with Oriental area rugs over it.

Enjoying all the incense and high church pomp as a new dean is installed at Grace Cathedral. Being glad that Erin gets to carry the banner during the procession of 45 kids bringing their baptismal lights up to the altar for the new dean. Thinking that it will take take time to really know this congregation, but it feels good so far. Hoping that my husband will get used to the high church stuff.

Sewing red ribbon onto my daughter’s jeans so that she can got on a “living history” campout on Angel Island as a civil war soldier. Realizing that gold nail polish painted on the buttons can sort of turn her jean jacket into a Union Army jacket.

Being glad that Erin has a new sleeping bag as we watch the fog roll in on camp out night.

Realizing that the grass starts to grow on California hills almost the moment the rains begin. The hills don’t get green from a distance until January or February, but if you hike on the hills, the green is there now. The creeks are running. The wildflowers are starting to appear. Only in Northern California does winter come in like spring.

Becoming expert in twisting ticks off my dogs muzzle and eye brows. She’s got too much Australian Shepherd hair for the ticks to find purchase anywhere else, but she’s had five in the last week. The ticks resurrect as fast as the grass, apparently.

Getting ready to do chicken broth for Thanksgiving dinner. No, I’m not going all out this year. But homemade broth really does make a difference in the gravy and the stuffing. Looking for leaf lard for pie crusts. If anyone knows a source in San Francisco, let me know!

Looking forward to the arrival of dear pals Kate and Theresa. It’s always a bonus when you like the parents of your kids’ friends.

The cat getting out on the window ledge on the 10th floor, AGAIN, just now. We’ve got to get out of this temporary apartment before he does a swan dive to his death.


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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