Well, it’s been quite some time since I posted anything here.
“Where the hell ya been?” you might (or might not) be asking. Well, let me tell you. The primary reason for blog neglect was to focus on the wrap up of my original writing project, a memoir that was emotionally slow going. Remember? I told you in my intro post that it was the reason I began this blog in the first place…to encourage the ‘habit’ of writing. I’d say that goal has been achieved…well, up until four months ago anyhow. Since January and as springtime turned to summer, not only did I have close to 50,000 words for my memoir, but my hubby and I had also managed to market and sell our home. It seemed the thing to do in the midst of a red-hot sellers’ market (but still no easy task, I might add. Feats included staging, creating a website, creating marketing brochures, and holding open houses). Then much to our delight, we sold our home (success!), held a massive garage sale, made endless trips to Goodwill, and with total serendipity we stumbled upon the home of our downsized dreams…by which time we were exhausted.
July rolled around and while we were busy unpacking a multitude of moving cartons, we realized that fifty percent of what we’d moved with us was going to have to live in the garage because there was just no place to put it. Soon it was clear a small addition to the home would be wise…so we set in motion a few contractor interviews and requested detailed write ups of our remodel scope. All this was going on while we both continued to juggle our working lives. It was a very busy and highly stressful time, when it should have been a very busy and joyful time.
The stress came from several directions. First, we sold to the buyers from hell. They were delightful up until closing day. They’d offered us a sixty-day lease back period, which we thought was great because it allowed us the time to find our next home, but in actuality it turned out to be an absolute nightmare because these people morphed into snakes in the grass. To call them incredibly brash and intrusive landlords would be a sweeping understatement.
By the time our moving van finally arrived to whisk us away, I was ready to torch the place. These buyers were so toxic that they oozed an insipid sense of creepiness throughout the property that I just couldn’t shake. My husband asked me, as we were pulling out of the driveway for the very last time, if I wanted him to stop the car and take a moment to say goodbye to the property. “No, I want to flick a match behind me, so you better just keep on driving before I absolutely do it.”
Ahhhhhh…finally with all that behind us I was really looking forward to some well deserved vacation time and ultimately getting back to my memoir. And I missed blogging. But trust me, it’s a good thing I’d stayed away from blogging or you’d all be reading about those nasty people, post after post.
So, now we’re into July, and my stress level is pretty much off the charts. I’d had an alarming discovery just weeks earlier (while still in the throes of the lunatics who’d bought our home), and now I’ve been to see my surgeon. My cancer surgeon.
And this is where life throws a major curve ball my way.
For those of you who have an interest, I’ve created a category (in the column to the right, towards the bottom) called MY CANCER JOURNEY. That’s where you’ll find my posts which are specific to this part of my life, and you can follow along accordingly if you so choose. I wanted to create a special spot for these types of posts so that my entire website isn’t just loaded with nothing but this topic. Because, after all, you and I both know that life is never just about one thing. (my first post is titled ‘Cancer Will Never Define Me’, and here…I’ve got the direct link for you in case you are computer challenged and can’t find that column to the right easily. Um, Mom, I might be speaking to you here…LOL. http://wp.me/P2dc6t-fa) Just to be clear, CANCER WILL NEVER DEFINE ME. It might dictate a new normal, but it will NEVER define me. So, for those of you not truly interested in all this medical crap…no worries. It won’t hurt my feelings one iota, because if I could, I’d be running in the opposite direction myself.
Congrats on finding a new home and sorry you’ve got to do it with so much on your plate. You are right not to let cancer define you. And brave no doubt. I’ll slip over in a minute and start reading but wanted one of your old memoir classmates to thank you for sharing your brave and courageous journey forward.
Blessings to you! You are in my prayers.
Thanks, Clarike. It’s been the most unexpected turn of events this summer, but I’m motoring forward. I’ve enjoyed watching your progress with the children’s books and I hope your memoir project is moving forward nicely too. I know how painful that’s been for you, and have admired your perseverance!
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Ann: Wow! So great to get caught up again. You are a courageous and amazing woman who I admire greatly. Keep pushing and fighting and finding the inner peace! I’m on your side always!
Thank you Leslie. I’m enjoying following along on your memoir…great to see the progress unfolding!
I knew you had taken some time off to write your memoir and have often thought of you these many months, wondering how you are doing, getting on. Then, I read your beautiful message over on my blog and was troubled so at last I am able to get over here and read. And what a time of it you have had, on ever single level. So, so sorry. So happy you have your new home (and the buyers from hell behind you at long last, what an absolute nightmare that was) and also that your remodelling goes to plan, but any move or changes like this are incredibly stressful to say the least. I will read on but I just want to say you write so beautifully and eloquently and I admire you so very much for your brave words and even in the midst of all your horrendous stress, you still took the time to visit me and exhort me to keep writing…bless you my dear friend. We’ve shared our journey for a long time, despite the long gap. I will continue to do so… send you an abundance of peace, blessings and calm amidst the storm… and a huge hug… ❤
Sherri, dear friend,
We will continue to cheer each other on as our individual journeys move forward in their most unexpected ways! It took some seriously hard thinking to decide to go ‘public’ with this new turn of events, as I typically like to keep this type of thing very private. But, in reading through an online cancer support group set up specifically for the unique diagnosis that I now have, someone remarked that by going through the journey privately it was a road much more daunting to travel because a secret of this kind creates an even larger burden emotionally. And that remark got me to thinking and made me realize that this was a secret that would be impossible to keep anyhow given that I would visually look very different going forward, and scheduling my life around trips to the hospital for drug infusions every three weeks (and ongoing indefinitely) would also be somewhat difficult to keep a secret over time. So, to you I say thank you from the bottom of my heart, sending huge hugs right back to you as well, and I look forward to reading more from your blog! xoxoxo
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Yes, I can see the wisdom and indeed the necessity of sharing your very personal story in this way. As you know, I’ve shared some pretty personal things on my blog (my dad being an alcoholic and in prison for one thing) but I realised that if I didn’t I wasn’t sharing that true part of my life. It is a fact of life, I can’t change it, there it is and I can’t pretend things are different. If some people don’t like it or can’t handle it then I can’t do anything about that either. So my dear friend, we will indeed keep travelling down this road filled with the unexpected and keep looking forward. You are not alone in this with your family, friends and loved ones. I love your writing and I am glad to be able to get back in touch again…but I knew you were there. Moving forward from here…see you soon! More big hugs…and thank you for yours too 🙂 xoxo
What a wonderful blog you have! This post touched me in several levels.
We, too, moved from a much larger (3X) home to a smaller one, and we also held yard sales and made numerous trips to Goodwill…and Salvation Army…and The ARC, and then we had to build a storage shed in the far back yard of the little house. That was 6 years ago, and we’re still giving things to family and friends and getting rid of things.
This summer I went through grueling tests because I had 4 of the indicators of Paget’s breast cancer (in the tissue but often doesn’t develop lumps or cysts until the cancer spreads). Finally, after more tests and tissue biopsies than I thought would never prove one thing or the other, all of the specialists agreed it was neither Paget’s nor even pre-cancerous at all. I remember how it felt to breathe deeply again without trembling, so I’ve very sorry for all you’ve gone through. You’re right–we are not defined by cancer–but I’ll be praying for your full recovery so you can define yourself by other terms.
Seems we’ve been through some similar experiences! We were barely moved in to our new home when this cancer diagnosis came along, and so we’ve not made much progress on getting ‘settled in’ due to all the driving back and forth for medical appts. But, that’s okay…we’ll have plenty of time to eventually get to it! I really love your blog posts…didn’t have much time to keep up with the blogging sphere this year with all that was keeping me so busy, but am finally circling around to see what my favorite bloggers are up to…I always love your posts…they are so very poignant and lovingly written about your mom.
Thanks so much for the well wishes. I’m feeling really well after this 2nd round of drug infusions yesterday. Its been very manageable thus far, and for that I am grateful and feeling blessed!
[…] Here is Ann Jewett blog post on where she says Cancer doesn’t define her. And again it gave me pause. Because even though her disease doesn’t define her, mine does define me. Bipolar Disorder does define me in many ways. I have to struggle daily in keeping a schedule and be religious in taking my medicine. But Ann made me think in other ways as well. […]