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.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Rockin' The V

My friends and employers started the V stance at work. We stand arms raised in a V and send out our wishes for a good day. Yoga, prayer, whatever you want to call it, it feels comfortable for me. My feet rooted firmly to the earth and my energy flowing out, and my heart open and ready to receive. Feels so much more natural than to be closed up with my head bowed, hands clenched. So yesterday on my walk on a trail, I unloaded my thoughts concerns, joys and thanks. I stood at the water's edge, listened to the wind and the waves and was renewed and refreshed. I think I am gonna keep on rockin the V.

Monday, April 21, 2014


It was a lovely weekend, a lovely day, like old times. The only thing missing was church (well, and other family members) and that's not due to lack of faith, belief or desire. It just happens that way when the whole gang is visiting.  We hung out, played games, cooked delicious food, drank good beer and just rejoiced in our time together, in good health, rejoiced for future events and I know a few of us rejoiced for the risen one.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Today I am 50

And I am genuinely content, satisfied, dare I say I? Happy. I have made significant changes in my life the last several months. I have discovered things about myself this year and drawn on an inner strength that I did not know existed. I have loved the man in my life so fiercely and protectively and he is still here with me, 28 years and still counting. My girls are both in good places in their lives, though not without challenges, and have faced their Daddy's illness with such grace and strength that I am brought to my knees.  I have  renewed friendships and really made some genuine ones here in Delaware. I have developed my knitting to a higher level and it has brought me so much peace, meditation. One year ago, I was crying in the shower, dreading the day. It was the day we were to visit the medical oncologist and get the schedule of treatment. And afterwards, dreading dinner out, something I usually thoroughly enjoy and anticipate, making nice after receiving who knows what kind of news.  It was not the way I wanted to celebrate my birthday and yet, I survived the day. And look, I survived the year, on top. Happy Birthday to me. This year, My Handsome Prince threw a party for me like no other. Today, it's been a day spent with my Maminka, who came over for breakfast in the morning (another joy, that we can do that), an incredible post from my Sissy, another from my eldest and a phone call from the youngest and my father, knitting, working out, being serenaded by my trainer and her daughters (another reason to love her), knitting, snuggling with my Little man, and best of all chillin' with My Handsome Prince, making plans, watching movies and just being us. And here I am full of attitude for what's to come, for I know that I am in the moment with my contentment and there are challenges ahead.

The Rest of the Story

Remember this post? Well, I knit the hat, packaged it in a little gift bag and managed to stand at the front of the stage at DFH while my favorite musician, Anders Osborne, performed. I was close enough to smell his spearmint gum and felt like a little girl holding this package, all nervous to present it. At the end of his set, he exited  and everyone cheered for his encore. Before he began, I lifted up my bag, and with a tilt of his head, a surprised look on his face he said "for me?" And I nodded. The joy and smile on his face was perfect. I gave a gift, no expectations, and the response was genuine.
But wait, there is more.
This year, during a morning check in on my iPad, I came across a photo in my Facebook news feed and exclaimed "No way!"  I turned the screen around to show My Handsome Prince and he knew right away. He said, with some pride in his voice," He's wearing your hat". A professional photo of Anders Osborne performing, wearing the hat I knit for him. How cool is that? I saved the photo to my album and that was the end of that.
But wait, there is more.
My handsome Prince planned a party for my 50th birthday. It was at our favorite pub, the same place where Anders performed, the place where we have found our community of people, the place that we look forward to going every single week.  Family and friends from near and far joined us and it was a great evening. At one point, MHP wanted me to open the gift from him, a large package wrapped in brown craft paper. As I opened, I laughed. It was a photo of Anders, focused on his guitar, wearing my hat. It was signed, Dana, thanks for the hat, Anders. And I laughed again. Just call me knitter to a rock star! 
And now you know the rest of the story.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

We were cleaning for our the Christmas celebration we were hosting and found some old gift tags. They were from a present from my friend and I kept them because she made them. They were creative, lovely and I liked them. One of them read something along the lines of 2013 will be the best year yet! I voiced aloud, oh yeah, the best year yet, very sarcastically. There was a pause and then My Handsome Prince said but it was. And then he listed all the great things that had happened, most importantly the fact that he made it through. So yes, 2013 was the best year and do you know what? So will 2014. Happy new Year. May we all find the best yet in every year.