Thursday, May 29, 2014

happy as can be.....
Here it is nine months since my last update. Reading back, I was not in a good place that day and am sorry to leave the last blog post in such a down mood.

Other than minor colon surgery in January, all has been on the mend since last September. Can't say all things are back to normal though ( "normal" is ever-changing ). The medications that I continue to take for cancer prevention have side effects such as swollen and painful feet and thinning hair, etc., but all is relatively minor to the alternative of returning cancer. A recent "chance" encounter with a guy at Barnes and Noble woke me up to reality. His wife who had had similar breast cancer in size, stage, and type as mine had a recurrence within two years of diagnosis and passed away within a year after that. She had chemo and radiation as well as double mastectomies and it still came back. I didn't have the chemo or radiation but am taking other meds that she did not. I guess I've been in total denial, but I have been operating on the mindset that after a double mastectomy - no more cancer. I knew this wasn't really true, but stuck to the belief that it was true for me, if you know what I mean. But to report good news, my yearly chest MRI shows all things clear!! Yeah!

After hearing of this man's wife passing, my mindset has changed. I'm not more afraid, but rather have become happier and more appreciative of each day I have. I don't fret the small stuff and value time with friends and family and especially quality time with Kenn more. I've really never felt happier! I'm enjoying my painting time more and am no longer putting pressure on myself to "produce" paintings.  All in all I'm just so thankful for the time I have and for all the ways I've been so blessed.

I'm still so humbled and thankful beyond words for how many of you friends and family members supported, prayed for, and cared for us over the time of my illness. Your love was extremely instrumental in carrying us through those tough months and we will be forever grateful! I'm thinking that this may be a way of closing out my "survival journey" for now. My journey of life continues but I do certainly feel like a survivor- no, certainly AM a survivor.


  1. It's great to hear from you, Marilyn. Not hearing from you in so long had me worried. But I'm glad to know you are with us and still striving to appreciate each and every day you have.

    It is all too easy to compare your health situation with those who seem to face similar conditions. I'm not sure those comparisons are helpful. Each of us, in our own bodies and spirits, are unique. The disease you face has been met with treatment and optimism.

    My grandfather is 95, nearly blind and deaf, but healthy other wise. I was there for his birthday where he said something to this effect:

    "Each day your eyes open and you find yourself awake is another day of blessing. All you can do is be happy and be thankful for THIS day. No sense of being unhappy or miserable."

    What a great attitude!

    Life life to the fullest, Marilyn. Quantity doesn't matter. Quality does. Love. Friendship. Companionship. Self-fulfillment. Do the things with each day with a zest for maximizing your happiness as well as you can. That is the best you can do. With God by your side, with you, filling you with love, too, is a stream of hope as well.

    I said a little prayer for you that God provide you with relief, healing, and the opportunities for enjoyment. I'm so happy you are with us. Your blog and story here is courageous and inspirational.

    God bless,


  2. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. your story is inspirational. very thankful for your beautiful art and blog

  3. I blundered across your painting blog by chance and my interest was peaked and I ended up here. Reading your post brought back a saying I saw recently and just thought I would share. It simply said *Lord, Thank you for this beautiful life and forgive me when I don't love it enough." Hope your day is filled with sunshine and peace.

  4. Thank you Suzanne and Angela for your thoughtful words of praise and encouragement. Life is good and God is better!

  5. Robert, sorry to keep you in the dark about my progress. It is now 2015 and still cancer clear. Things seem to be getting back to better than normal and I appreciate everyday I have. Next week my one year check up with the oncologist.

    1. Robert, just now seeing this and pray you are still doing well and better than ever! I’m doing great and have gotten back to painting every day and moved to the beach! Loving life!