Saturday, February 20, 2016


The way I see it, there are a couple ways of dealing with cancer. I can let it have the power, consume me, wallow in it, embrace its misery or just be me. I consider myself a realist with a fairly positive point of view. I saw a side of the cancer me on Thursday, briefly. It was not pretty. I awoke at 4:30am, drove across the bridge for an appointment with my oncologist. It was basically to inform me of the dirty facts on the chemotherapy and HER+ drugs on my list. My friend Becky accompanied me. She was a great diversion (We are good support partners as we both experienced a summer from hell together) I started all the pre-op stuff, blood work, X-ray, EKG. All went accordingly, no drastic news, nothing to "turn" me. At some point during the day, I became angry. Everything, everyone.
I started to ease up as we drove to Easton, knowing I was going to see and hear Anders Osborne. Amy Helm and The Handsome Strangers opened up and what a delight they were! More ease. Anders came on and stared rocking the house right away. People were up and dancing and pretty soon making their way into our space. That anger started coming back.  I couldn't see or hear anything but my own frustration and anger. It was aimed at the concert goers but I know that was not the true source. At one point the energy on stage and off was so in sync, it was almost like it was a heart beating or one breath. In that instance I knew I had to let it go...and miraculously, I did. The show ended, everyone was up clapping, hollering for an encore. When Anders came out he asked if there was a Dana Miller in the audience, addressed me and dedicated the last song to me. I am still in awe. He took the time to read an email from my youngest who just asked him to watch out for me, that I had a long, probably rough day of appointments and could use a hug. That act of tenderness and thoughtfulness made me feel the love coming from so many sources. So Anders, while I said I might have a hat for your next time in town (and I still might) I am going to concentrate for a while on passing that love forward. I will make hats to take with me to my chemotherapy treatments and give them away. I will let the recipients know that healing thoughts and love went into each stitch. This will be my healing also and will ward off the anger.  I truly am the lucky one, My Handsome Prince by my side, my daughters and their men, my family, my friends and some random people in there including an artist from New Orleans are all on my side. Yes, I am the lucky one.

This is the song:

a serious car wreck
a bad fall from a cliff
and the raging blue river once took me from a raft in breckenridge
i've been held up in new orleans
and strung out in stockholm
and i've slept on those cold cold streets of new york city alone
I can't explain why I'm still here today
I'm just thankful that i am
Yeah I have survived more than I should
pushed it as far as i could, reachin for the skies
and I walked on the edge more than most
heaven knows i have cut it close
But I'm alive... after all that i have done
It's you... that makes me the lucky one
Yeah my heart has been broken
by love and by death
and i've been down on my bad knees prayin to Jesus with a devils breath
and i lost all my money, 
you know, faith, and beliefs
but somehow the world around me showed nothing but sympathy
and everyday that i wake up to see the sun
and i thank God, you still think that i'm the one
pushed it as far as i could, reachin for the skies
and i have walked on the edge more than most
heaven knows i've cut it close
But I'm alive.... after all that i have done
It's you.... that makes me the lucky one
It's you.... that makes me the lucky one

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


The sky blue
The tide low
The trail sandy
The pines fragrant
The herons sighted
The solitude unbroken...almost
This was a much needed diversion from the anxiety that was threatening this morning. My solitude was  broken by a phone call from the court system saying I was truly excused from jury duty, one less thing on which for me to dwell. My oncology appointment is tomorrow morning which means I will be leaving before the sun rises. I have a friend who will be my second set of ears and My Handsome Prince will be home with our dogs, again one less thing as I do worry about them. I will have lunch with Audge, a bright spot in the middle. It will be a long day but it ends with none other than Anders Osborn, and you know how I feel about him. He is knit worthy.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Family Motto

I think this statement defines my family, encompassing much, from job changes and insecurity to graduating early to a cross country move to numerous cancer diagnosis. It has saved us. And it will pull us through yet again, even across miles. Funny how I see it at work every day.  Three weeks ago I found a lump in my breast. I immediately had my order changed from a screening mammogram to a diagnostic one along with an ultrasound. From afar, my Dr. was all over it. Suspicious they said, along with "you have dense breasts". A biopsy was quickly scheduled and within two days I had those results, positive for cancer. Wednesday, My Handsome Prince and My Sissy accompanied me to the GBMC Breast Care Center. This is a recap of my day:
Wow! What a day, marathon in length and overwhelming with information.  I did not realize how many factors there are in the various ways breast cancer presents itself. Needless to say I would have been happy to have remained naive. I have a small, aggressive tumor, nothing unusual. Treatment will take about a year. It's nothing they haven't seen or done many times. My treatment protocol begins with treating the whole body first with chemotherapy for approximately 3 months, intravenously about every 3 weeks. I'll get a break for a few weeks then will have outpatient lumpectomy along with a possible lymph node biopsy(currently there does not appear to be any invasion-woohoo!). After chemo has knocked out any stray cells and shrunk the lump and the lump has been removed, radiation will take care of anything possibly left in my breast. There is one medication that is a cancer cell growth inhibitor that I will be on for a full year.
That's only a small portion of the information I received. There was nothing we did not like about my Doctor her communication, her thoroughness, her explanations. I will not seek another opinion. I DO have an appointment with an oncologist next week which I believe will cover the treatment plan, yet again. 
I received a pink rose which I still can't decide is sweet or just a really sucky consolation prize. Phrase for the day? "You have very dense breasts". Yeah, I know. (Wish I got money every time they said that)
Good news? I'm getting out of jury duty, I think.

I circulated that as an email to my family, my friends, my ministers, and I have started spreading the word that I would like prayers, meditations, strength. I am overwhelmed, this time with love and gratitude. 

I had been thinking about resurrecting my blog, filling it with creative endeavors. This is not what I had in mind but it, along with my knitting, will be therapeutic.