Shore Thing


The weekend was lovely. I continued to feel fatigued but was able to enjoy it anyway. I had a wonderful visit with Lhianna and saw the new baby. A girl named Mahlon. She is perfect, with a lovely round face and long fingers.It was a very spiritual thing to hold her, smell her, and change her diaper. Babies are from heaven and I have always loved being around them. Surely this is no revelation to anyone who knows me. I have 6 of my own plus I spent 7 years as a childbirth instructor and labor assistant. New babies give me a “good one”. I love Lhianna and Clarence very much. I am thrilled for them. Being around new life is comforting. We know that there is a cycle and life goes on.

Today I went to my second pilates class. Tamara brings me for a private class with Catherine on Monday mornings. She owns a studio called Angler on Montgomery Ave. in Fishtown. They have dance, yoga,acupuncture. All kinds of cool classes for adults and children. Catherine works with me on gaining back a lot of my strength. I leave feeling energized and positive. There are things that I struggle to do even around the house. But when I work with Catherine I feel empowered. It has become something I look forward to. I want to be able to get around better. Grab a jug of milk. Hold Clay. Stuff like that. I want to feel less exhausted by every little thing.

So much of the weekend was tiring for me. I packed a lot for our vacation. Games and clothing. We have activities planned but we are so going to wing it. We were given ride passes for the Wonderland pier by my friend Tamara. Eileen has made all kinds of arrangements for us. We will try to take the kids to Cape May. They have a free zoo. It is small but very lovely. The free library is beautiful. Alec says he will “need” some computer time while we are there. No laptops! I said we can go to the library once or twice. I also have the MOST EXCITING NEWS EVER. Our dear friend Ori is friend’s with Dolly Parton’s manager. She is playing the Borogota casino in Atlantic City on the Saturday night while we are there. He got us free tickets!!!! I am over the moon. I just adore her. Since childhood. My “dying wish” is to take the kids to Dollywood and meet her. For real. Ask anybody. OK somebody vouch for this please. Gina will come down to hang out with the kids on Saturday night. Not babysit since they are all too old for that. Except Clay. We are just going to make the best of this time. Everyone seems excited.

The anticipation has been very helpful in diverting my energy from…” I am going to die” to ” I am living my butt off until then”. A huge difference I think. I am trying very hard to focus my emotional energy on the here and now. I am unable to do anything about the future. All of us are really. Being healthy affords us a certain illusion that we are in charge of our fate. Illness kind of strips you of that. So here I am with nothing left but today. And today is not bad. Today leaves a little to be desired in terms of the damp cooler weather. I wish I felt just a bit stronger. I wish Jesse would talk to me more about his life. I wish the twins hugged me more without me asking. I wish my husband spent less time on the ebay. But really it is a good day.

I think I will not be blogging during the vacation. I think you all should enjoy yourselves, your family, your friends. Maybe you should go the beach too. I recommend hugging people that is always nice. Perhaps start a blog. Or read one of my old posts. Tell me…have I changed? Or just tell me what you think. I’m open. I will be back in town on Sunday the 5th. And leaving for Santa Fe on the 7th. I will not blog then for sure. My plan is to do a lot of relaxing, meditating, praying, breathing and writing. I am writing love letters to some of my friends. And special words for my husband and children. The venue provides me with little distraction from this purpose. Alys thinks I am writing the letters so I can have the last word. She is probaly right.

10 Responses to “Shore Thing”

  1. leah says:

    OMG! Dolly! that is so exciting! but i would have never guessed, really.
    I do take so much from you everyday, i try to be more tolerant of my family and others. We went on our annual trip to Hershey Park yesterday, we had a lot of fun and even tho we were all in separate groups (there were 12 of us) when we were together it was great! even dinner in a restaurant with 12 (only 2 adults) wasn’t as bad as i thought it was going to be. We all slept in today (not on purpose) we did intend on going to work/school but we woke up extra late and just hung out watching DVD’s together. I finally see what you mean by enjoying the children.
    your words, and just being around your children everyday inspire me. you are such a wonderful woman, and a great mother, i want to be more like you, and i am learning from you, you teach me, just by reading your blog.
    I’m so happy you are taking these vacations, and i will miss you so have a great time.
    i love you

  2. Melanie says:

    Andrea, your words are so honest and emotional, and I don’t think anyone could read them without being touched. Every post I an inspired and admire your spirit. Enjoy your holiday!

  3. Toni G says:

    Before beginning treatment back in Philadelphia, Shep begged to be able to go to Disney World in Orlando, as planned, with our grandson 5 1/2 yrs. He got his wish and lasted but one day. Just enough to ‘be there’ to share in Rhett’s joy and wonder BUT Andrea, if you ever desire to go to Disney, please—I beg of you, please—–check with me first. OY an adventure yes. For those of us who are healthy but do not even attempt over the age of 40 if you are not. Even with special treatment, it is EXHAUSTING. Unless you have handy hands following your every move to lead the way and split the sea of humanity. We return to Philadelphia tomorrow to begin the process of treatment. Will be in touch after your trip and after I catch my breath. xxoo

  4. Renee Khan says:

    Andrea have yourself a wonderful holiday both with your family and alone.

    I will be here when you get back.

    Love Renee

  5. Deb says:

    I am saying prayers that you all have a wonderful time and that the fresh ocean breeze will bring you renewed energy, Andrea.

  6. Barb says:

    No day like today….

  7. Donna Arnold says:

    Hi Andrea:
    Enjoy your stay by the sea….even if it is just lying in bed, holding your loved ones, relishing in the moment!!!
    Dollywood is so cool, too. I am taking Cathy there….I LOVE it there!!! And I LOVE Dolly so, too….you are so lucky to get to see her….
    Have so much fun…..see ya when ya get back….:)…Donna in SC
    I will be in Philly this weekend….Media to be exact!!!

  8. Lhianna says:

    will you get to meet Dolly? What a stroke of good luck that she will be performing there! Joy to you and yours, hope the shore is lovely this week!

    Love, Lhi

  9. Wendy says:

    I LOVE DOLLY! We had a DP songbook when I was a kid. The first album I ever owned had the Islands in the Stream duet on it… trivia. I’m thinking of you and hoping you have a wonderful vacation. Enjoy each other. Love you guys, Wendy

  10. Aimee says:

    Andrea- I’ve been off in neverneverland for a month now and it was good to click over and catch up on your life! First of all, there is a woman on the IBC support list, Susan, who lives here in Cali who also was taken off all chemo and put on endocrine therapy. It worked for her and she is NED and didn’t even have a mastectomy! Amazing! If you’d like to get in touch with her, let me know and I’ll pass on her e-mail and phone number. Secondly, there’s a song- “tattoos and scars are different things”. Yes, they are. Tattoos are chosen, scars are earned. You ARE beautiful!! Thirdly- pilates and walking sounds good to me. I know you’re exhausted and will have to push past it (not harming yourself, but keeping yourself consistent), but I think overall you will start to feel better. Exercise is so hard when we feel so awful, so depleted. And especially when we feel so betrayed by our bodies. I’m struggling with it too. But lastly, I also want to encourage you that living in the moment is the only way we truly ARE alive! I’ve often said that learning to live while learning to die is a challenge- it is. But what a rewarding one it is! I have had deeper, richer experiences, moments, because of cancer. So although you might think you are dying, you’re probably doing more living than a lot of people who don’t realize they are dying are doing. 😉