scottishlass: (Dogs Cenour Evil Santa)
[personal profile] scottishlass
December 4th .. only twenty days till Christmas and I still haven't decorated the house yet. Okay, I put up the customary three fir branch wreaths on the windows of our downstairs floor but apart from that and buying two poinsettas I haven't done anything. It is such a hectic time and I'm too pissed off with all the ppl around me shopping like crazy and making this time of reflection and peace into some frenzied time of materialism. Where the heck did my favourite time of the year go? With baking your own cookies? making your own crafted gifts? When you give hand made presents you are considered cheap, even if it is a well crafted sweater or quilt or anything. All ppl want are presents with a price tag and I'm so boycotting this.

What else happened? Last week I had my final exam for this year as well as after 5 years of remission and yesterday my PET/PSA results came in. After 16 years (since late 1996) I am now cured of cancer but still have a 25% chance to get it again in the future. Still, it's something. The first time in 16 years, where I have been without the scare of tumors in my breast for five consecutive years. YAY!
Strangely though, I feel kind of numb inside. There's no booty dance or full blown happiness. I guess my mind has to catch up yet that this scare is over for the time being. I'm officially a survivor now.

Date: 2012-12-05 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is huge, congratulations! Even if you have not settled with the news, you'll process as the time passes, meanwhile, enjoy being healthy. It is one thing the money can't buy, but is the most precious of them all, since without it, you can not truly enjoy all the wonderful things in life, like the first snow, or getting ready for Christmas or doing whatever it is you love to do...
So, so happy for you!

Date: 2012-12-05 10:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know. For the last 16 years the only thing that I wished for Christmas was health. Before that it was stupid, materialistic things. I was stupid back then and the illness really taught me about humbleness and gratefulness, in a very strange and twisted way. It didn't make me into a saint or even made me religious but I learned that I do not want to put up with bull shit anymore and that I can achieve almost anything if I only set my mind to it, even if there are set backs from time to time.
And you are right without health what is the point? It is the most precious gift you can have and I will never ever take it for granted. Life is too fickle and precarious for that.
So this year, my Christmas wish is health for all my family and friends (on- and off-line).
Edited Date: 2012-12-07 05:33 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-12-05 10:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is wonderful! I've been cancer-free since 1994, so I know how this feels, because every year I still get nervous before my mammo, and there have been a couple of scares over the years, so I'm always afraid to truly believe. But it's real, for me and for you, and I'm thrilled.

Date: 2012-12-05 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't know you had breast cancer as well. It's strange isn't it ... you live with this kind of scare and it turns into normality and once it is gone (well it is never really truly gone but you know what I mean) there is this sense of ... loss? It sounds strange and quite off but somehow it's how I feel. Not loss really but knowing a very important chapter of my life is closing for now and I'm glad that it does and yet ... I guess the way I'm feeling right now is because over the last 16 years I have changed so much, cancer did change me and my outlook on life. I have been a bitch before and the illness taught me humility and that every life, every minute of said life is precious and that I don't want to deal with bullshit anymore or with ppl who bullshit me.

We are survivors, we battled that shitty illness and won! :D
Edited Date: 2012-12-05 10:27 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-12-07 04:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know exactly what you mean. It's not that cancer dominates my life - I used to think I'd think of it every day for the rest of my life, and I don't - but it's an inextricable part of my life now. I'm definitely different, I hope better, but I suppose I'm not the one to be the judge of that. My therapist told me I dealt with it with grace, and that still feels like a very high compliment to me.

It's funny, though. In a 2-year period I got divorced, had cancer and lost a beloved cat much too young to cancer. And if you told me I could change any one of those things, I would bring Lorna Doone back. I certainly wouldn't want to be married to my ex again, and cancer taught me things I probably needed to learn, but losing Lorna so young? That still feels so unfair.

Date: 2012-12-07 05:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It feels so good to talk to someone who understands what kind of mind set one has as a survivor. My friends and family who only had to deal with it arbitrarily through me are all: "Now, come on, be happy, it is over!" and "I can't understand why you are not jumping up in joy!" It's not I'm not grateful my body decided to become healthy well relatively healthy as I still suffer from some side effects from all the chemos and my body will never be 'healthy' completely but at least cancerfree but as you wrote it is an important part of our lives where we have grown as human beings.

I know what you mean and I'm sorry about Lorna Doone. When Chica was diagnosed with cancer in my first year of remission after my last chemo I was like ... wtf? I can deal with this shit but please not her and I would have gladly traded another chemo for a happy healthy long life for her because I knew I could somehow manage that better than watching Chica die.
I guess such a grave illness puts a lot of things into perspective and it is up to us to make the best out of it. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we don't but somehow there is always some kernel of something we have learned that stays with us and is woven into the fabric that defines us.
Edited Date: 2012-12-07 05:32 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-12-05 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
CONGRANT! My mother had a similar scare a few years back and I must admit that while I haven't had such a scare (I do my check ups like my mom's doc recommended) I know how brave you guys are! Congrats! *booty dance in your honor*

Date: 2012-12-05 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you :) It's been along time ... and I still feel a bit off. I'm just glad that I made the five year time limit now. Since 1996 it was sometimes 4 1/2 years, sometimes only 2 years and so on before that shit returned but for the last two years now, ever since we moved ot the sountryside, my blood results have gotten better and better and no more new tumors in sight.

Glad your mom battled cancer as well. And yes, please go to the regular check ups. When I first was diagnosed with it, I was 29 and thought why me? I'm too young for this. You are never too young for taking care of your health :)

Date: 2012-12-05 11:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's awesome - congratulations!

I agree - handmade gifts are the best (and most expensive) because they cost and effort, not just money. I like to bake things to give away.

Date: 2012-12-05 11:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you :)

Yep hand crafted and self-made gifts are so much more personal. Especially when you make a quilt that takes hours and hours of planning and sewing and stuff. There is so much love poured in.

Date: 2012-12-05 11:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just realized I typoed. I meant to say "they cost time and effort". Yes - a quilt is an epic gift. Definitely efforts of love!

Date: 2012-12-06 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Last year I gave one to a friend and only found out she gave it to good will in the beginning of this year. :( When I confronted her she told me some stupid lie about how allergic she is (but hey she keeps a cat and dog and her house is full of carpets and throws and what not). Truth be told she is not a friend anymore, anyone who throws out something that was done with consideration and affection and a lot of time and effort is also someone who throws away friendship (which she did later on anyway but that is a different story).

Date: 2012-12-06 12:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That is awful! I have to tell you, quilting is one of the few endeavors I have yet to be brave enough to even try! We have a big quilt show here every year and it's amazing how much work goes into every one of them. You've got my respect for making them. And it's a shame your friend didn't appreciate it.

Date: 2012-12-06 12:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh yes there are some amazing quilters out there who create the most amazing quilts. I usually do block or log cabin quilts which is the easiest LOL but I always consider the person I do the quilt for, their favourite colours, their usage of the quilt etc.
I even made two little quilts with names for a friend of mine and her dogs. Now all three have matching quilts and they love them.

Well I'm off to bed now (it's a quarter to 2 AM over here, so any replies will be tomorrow morning :) Take care and good night :)

Date: 2012-12-06 01:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good night! Cooking dinner here so I guess I should get busy.

Date: 2012-12-06 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'll do your booty dance for you. As a daughter, sister, and niece of survivors, I can tell you I admire you folks so much. It take a lot to get through the C, and you did it. At the very least it should be a notch on your warrior-woman sword.

And I'm Christmas-shopped out, even though I haven't actually gone to a store for the purpose. The things I'm looking forward to this year are just hanging with the family, playing some board games, singing some songs while my uncle plays his guitar. Good times. Some cool weather would be nice too.

Date: 2012-12-07 05:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I guess that make up several notches :)
I'm just glad that I now have almost the same chance again to either stay healthy or get ill like any other normal person. I will never be 'healthy' healthy as I suffer from too many side effects from those 5 chemos I had but at least I have a relatively clean slate.
With so many survivors in your immediate family I don't need to tell you to go to regular check up, right? *hugs*

My mother in law is getting a new quilt which is almost finished and a friend of mine gets a kilt for his birthday which is still in the planning phase as I have to score the pleats. But I think I'm all finished with Christmas presents for this year :)

Date: 2012-12-07 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
When you give hand made presents you are considered cheap, even if it is a well crafted sweater or quilt or anything. All ppl want are presents with a price tag
yeah, I never got that, like a price tag shows how much people care about you *shrugs*

that is such great news *huggles*

Date: 2012-12-07 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yup .. I mean anyone can buy something, but when you work on a hand-made present all the love and consideration goes into it, and it is much more personal than something you bought with money.

Thank you :)

of the moment

Yozora no mukou ni wa mou asu ga matteiru

ano toki kimi ga ushinatta mono wa
yozora no mukou no hoshi ni natta
nurashita hoho wa itsuka kawaite
kitto habatakeru kara


December 2012

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