Thursday, February 28, 2008

carpe diem in context, and a book of people

I think I speak for everyone in Utah when I praise the the Lord right here and now for all this beautiful, warm sunshine!!

It gives me energy. I need it this week as Josh has been gone since Sunday for work. Last time he left me alone I lost it. Today (after 5 days of him being away, but with help from my mother in law) I cleaned all the treasures that have been buried in the snowy backyard, went walking with my neighbor, weeded my flower beds, finished the laundry, cleaned the house, potty trained my 2 year old (yea Luke!), shopped at Target for bribes, visited with my cousin (thanks Jill), took the boys bowling, got them fed and in bed by 7, watched American Idle (can someone fill me in on what the connection is between David and Alexandrea? Cause he was bawling), brushed the animals, read my scriptures, and now I blog.

It occurs to me that if I can get that much done I better start checking off my list (of things to do before I die, see my September blog, crazy eights). Not that I'm going to die, but I want to get those things done so I can start another list.

Heres the thing: I could do laundry and sweep my house and cook and clean and watch TV all day. Really, I could. There isn't time or energy for anything on that list. I keep thinking all these dreams of the future will just happen when I'm not chasing around little kids.

Luckily, I'm learning a lot about living in the present. Not that the past isn't great. Not that the future shouldn't be anticipated. But you can get caught up in what things were, or what they might be. What about now. How about today? How great is this moment? Your stomach is full, your legs are resting, the sun is streaming in your window. You feel great now. It doesn't matter that tumors might be ravishing your body. Let them come, and enjoy things about those days too. Things like sleep, and medications. It doesn't matter that your extremities are blowing up. Let them grow, and enjoy the fact that they are there. Your kids are the only ones that notice it now. It doesnt matter that your hair is falling out. Its just what you look like, not who you are.

I bet most of our unhappy days (for sure not all, cause some days are just plain sad) are due to anxiety about the past and future. All that time you could have been soaking in the pleasures of the day. And you could have felt the joy of being alive and healthy.

No, but I'm trying to say is that life is too short to wait around to get things done you want to do. If you want to have friends, invite someone over. If you want to paint, take a class. If you want to run a marathon, get registered and start training. If you want to be a nice person, act like it. If you want to be happy, do something simple to make yourself that way. Dont be stupid about it of course. If you don't have the money to get to Paris-save up for it today. There is always something you can do about it today.

If you want to write a book, start your chapter.

This is where I find myself. Although I don't want to write a book, I need to do something about all the amazing people in my life. Before I die I want to tell them I love them. So in 2008 I am going to share my love for them.....with you.

So at least once a week Ill add a chapter (to a 'book' that will never be published) and honor someone Ive been thinking about. I cant write very much or the posts will end up long and unread, much like todays. So Ill pick something small thats touched me and changed me big. It might be boring, but its my blog, and I wont be offended if you skip over these chapters. But who knows? Maybe you could learn something from them.

Wow! Long, muddled, obnoxious post. Sorry.


dont ask-it is forbidden to know
what end the gods will give me or you. Don't play with Babylonian
fortune-telling either. Better just deal with whatever comes your way.
Whether you'll see several more winters or whether the last one
Jupiter gives you is the one even now pelting the rocks on the shore with the waves
of the sea — be smart, strain your wine. Scale back your long hopes
to a short period. Even as we speak, envious time
is running away from us. Seize the day, trusting little in the future.
-Horace

Thursday, February 21, 2008

'the resurrection of departed pride....'

Just wanted to give a quick update since some get anxious when I don't. To please those in that category (which, oddly enough, includes me).....

I started up my shots again last week. I feel as tired as I did before, but not sad and hopeless. Thank goodness!!

I have only enough energy to take care of my kids, take a walk, and do a little housework. Most everything else Ive dropped out of for a while. For example, I have like 50 messages on my phone right now and it stresses me out so much that I have no intention of listening to them. My ringer has been off for 4 days now. If you need to get a hold of me email might be your best bet. Even then, I have lots of emails I need to respond to. I'm sorry! I do hear you and love you, I'm just dang tired.

Oh, and I need to share the great success Ive had this week with my leg. I had two therapy sessions at the hospital where they wrapped up my leg with bandages to push the fluid out. When I took off the bandages I was looking at the smallest Ive seen my limb in months! Peasant surprise! The therapist told me to compare lymphedema with diabetes-not curable, but defiantly manageable. I like that way of looking at it!

Ive been wearing capris and skirts despite the ugly stocking. I just tell people "its my prosthetic limb. They did a good job, hu?" And then I fake a limp.

Now that Im in my right mind, my leg really doesn't bother me, and I realize its a small price to pay to cut out the cancer. I'm sure you could all see that, and I feel like a brat for complaining.

Today, though, there is not one thing to protest. Including the weather.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

true love

I thought of you, Josh, when I read this today:

And in Life's noisiest hour,
There whispers still the ceaseless Love of Thee,

The heart's
Self-solace and soliloquy....

-Coleridge


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

winter of my life

After 8 weeks of an unusually cold and stormy winter, today we had sunshine for 10 hours and hit 50 degrees. I soaked it all up in a profound happiness, and pledged to remember this feeling. It was like God reminding me that there is a warm sun behind the clouds, and green grass under this foot of snow.

This is just a season. Not the season I prefer, but one with its own splendor. With its own purpose. Even tulips require long, hard winters to bloom. The deeper you plant them, the stronger they grow.

I thank God for my trials that strengthen me. They strengthen me because I rely on Him. I remember Him. I grow when I get on my knees in complete humility and thank Him for life, and then beg Him for more of it.
I love this picture (taken 2 years ago). Timp reflecting off our window, boys in yellow, green grass, pink tulips, and Luke crawling out the front door to find momma. Come and kiss me baby!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

whine with my cheese

Its been such a great week. I'm glad I'm getting this small break from treatments to remind me Im going to be back to a good pace after the next nine months of therapy. I have been waking up early, showering, taking the kids to the park, swimming, going on walks, trips to the dinosaur museum, cleaning my house, organizing closets, cooking dinner, shopping (and enjoying it!). I have also put on the 7 lbs I lost. My appetite has been great! I even took in my moms dog this week. That means Ive got to be somewhat stable, right?

There was an incident on Thursday that had me wondering. I had an appointment at a lymhedema clinic to get a massage and pick their brains about if it could be spreading to my left arm (you heard it, my arm is slightly swollen at the end of the day now. I keep telling myself its impossible, but who knows?). I get there 10 minutes early (10:50). I walk in behind a lady whos legs are huge, swollen, and infected. The waiting room is full of elderly like her, but in wheel chairs. I feel so bad for them, and so mad at myself for complaining about my very mild case.

The lady who walked in front of me says to the receptionist, 'here for my lymphedema appointment' and sat down. I was up next but couldn't get the word lymphedema out of my lips, so I just said "my name is Alisa Linton." She looked at me, disapprovingly, over her reading glasses a little and said, "Im sorry, your appointment was at 10. We cant get you in now." I felt so stupid. I was sure it was at 11. I got up and out of the house by 10, had a babysitter, drove all the way to Provo. I just stood there trying to say something but instead I just cried. Like a baby. In front of everyone.

I walked back through the snow to my van, got in and had myself a good pitty party. And then Mitt Romney dropped out of the race. Made for more tears. I was so confused at my emotions. Ive always liked a good roller coaster, but this is ridiculous. As I drove to get myself a big fat cinnamon roll to cheer me up I passed the rehab in Provo I think famous for hosting the likes of Brittany and Lindsey. I seriously almost checked myself in.

Of course I was fine by the time I got home.

Which led me to try and find out if this behavior is 'normal.' Ive never had someone close to me go through this. So I gave in and read a few melanoma and other cancer blogs. I was very glad to know they all go through emotional times no matter how positive/faithful/strong they are/were (most of them died).

I will say that they get to do two things I cant because they are against my religion. Swear and drink. I'm a little jealous!

Monday, February 4, 2008

political insomnia

How are we suppose to sleep tonight? This election thing is making me crazy. Could Mitt possibly pull it off? Will I really have to vote for McCain or Hillary? Im hoping its a season of underdogs.

Also Im nervous tonight about Punxsutawney Phils prediction of a long winter. We got a foot of snow on Sunday, and every inch seems to weigh me down that much more.

To my boys every inch is a Christmas present waiting under the trees to be unwrapped. A smooth blanket of snow calls out to them to be the first to walk across it, fall down in it, and gather it up. I remember being a kid and not feeling the cold too. When do things like this change? When do we stop thinking its fun to touch a frogs belly, trap rodents, or catch grasshoppers? When did I decide, just because its winter Ill spend my days inside?

James has even been claiming that he's going to spend his nights outside in his snow cave (big enough only to fit a very flexible child). "Its huge. Theres room for me and even some space for my stuff." All the plans are laid out with his friend across the street for a meeting at midnight to have a sled party. So Tom-Sawyerish. Josh and I laugh at him and tell him he would last maybe 20 minutes. He thinks he can do it, only because he has never felt the air at midnight in February.

Is it better to never experience that kind of deep, biting cold? Or does is make summer nights a hundred times better?
video

Sunday, February 3, 2008

me. right now.


Josh just took this. I'm slightly embarrassed about every single thing in this picture: the baby blue frumpy robe, the seventies-looking tissue box, the sharps container, the Mary Kay moisturizer, the extremely large cat I'm holding (meet Winston, who has gained a lot of weight over this cancer thing), the lego rocket ship Sam made me (and though Im proud to have it, it should have been put away a long time ago), the get well card, the stack of unread Martha Stewart magazines, the glass of water with a straw inserted. Could I be any more nursing-home-patientish?

I'm actually feeling pretty good today as my Dr. suggested I give myself a week or two break from the nasty drug and let my antidepressant get in my system. She said my sad feelings were defiantly a side effect of the drug. It does things to your brain. I think its also because its February. And my leg is swollen (which Ive already discussed). And I have a 50% chance of dying in the next few years.

But dang it I'm feeling so normal today its going to be hard to put that stuff in my body again. Its giving me hope that when this year is over Ill get back to my normal pace.