I had one job when I walked out onto the field during halftime at the Seahawks game Sunday: walk in a straight line, wave, and don’t trip.
Oh, and don’t pee your pants.
Why was I out on that field? I had the opportunity to join several other survivors in representing the thousands of women who have battled breast cancer in the Seattle area.
Of course, moments like this always seem to involve a lot of waiting…
And, a lot (A LOT) of walking.
Just to keep things interesting, I stepped on a piece of broken glass two days before the game. I drove myself and the little one to the ER and ended up getting seven stitches -and then all that walking in the stadium, and across the field, took place wearing this gorgeous bootie.
Don’t worry about the foot, it will be fine.
When I walked out on the field, I wasn’t worried about my foot at all. I had other things on my mind.
As we lined up under the goal post in the end zone, I suddenly realized that I had to pee. Fortunately, we were encouraged to dance. So that was me doing the potty dance to Katy Perry’s “Roar” as we walked across the field from one end zone to the next. Whatever works, right?
I also managed to get on and off the field without actually tripping, but at the first 20 yard line, I turned to look at my friend Pam who was walking behind me, and the guy in front of me stopped – so I walked right into him. I’m pretty reliable on these things.
I’m not the world’s biggest football fan, but I do love the celebratory feel of sporting events.
And the views…
But my favorite part of sporting events is the people watching. These were the people sitting right in front of me.
I was one of 5 authors reading our work about living with breast cancer at Courage Night.
I was challenged to chronicle just one hour of my life for a blog post, and the results were magical.
I realized that I am still re-learning how to dream after cancer. “I’ve reached the point where I understand what I have been intuitively trying to do, yet simultaneously resisting – to improve the flexibility and range of my imagination, of my ability to re-dream my future.”
Two years after chemo, I finally got my hair back into a ponytail.
Every year, I run away with my girls from the Young Survival Coalition (young women with breast cancer) for a retreat at the Harmony Hill Retreat Center. It’s a slumber party for grownups, but even more important, for a moment, we’re in a place and group where life with cancer is normal, and everyone understands what we’re going through.
I wrote a piece for Survivorship Partners on Cancer and Guilt, when I noticed how much judgement there is around a cancer diagnosis. Nobody deserves cancer, not even me.
I traveled to Indianapolis to attend the Affiliate Summit for the Young Survival Coalition, and to participate in the process of changing much of the structure of that organization. The experience left me with a powerful lesson in change management.
My husband went to Istanbul to present his research at the International Society for Iranian Studies Conference. While he was there, he had a significant health crisis. I didn’t blog about that part, but it was more terrifying to me than my own cancer diagnosis. He’s healthy now, however, and he did manage to get a few great photographs of Istanbul while he was there.
We attended the cutest birthday party ever. Our cousin’s daughter’s 3rd birthday party had a dinosaur ballerina theme. Perfect, as Gem is into dinosaurs and ballerinas, as well. You really can’t go wrong with homemade dinosaur tails and tutus for each of the kids.
My husband and I celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary, and I reminded the universe that the sickness and poorer parts of our vows were not an invitation. I also challenged to universe to remember that there was a richer and health part in there as well.
In Taking Back October, I mourned the loss of one of my favorite months, October, to the Breast Cancer Awareness money making machine, and I discussed the difference between working towards awareness for the most well known cancer, and working towards a cure.
Plans for my second mastectomy and reconstruction surgery started in earnest. My surgery is scheduled for 2/4/13. Mom will be flying down from Alaska to take care of my little one.
We officially head into summer this week, and flowers are blooming all around us.
These photos were taken last weekend on my retreat to Harmony Hill on Hood Canal. I have so much to say about that retreat, but I’m still processing. I’ll write something up when I’m ready (Update: here it is).
We spent the evening walking down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, The Big Easy. It’s Friday night, and I’m told much tamer than the partying a few nights earlier on Fat Tuesday.
My friends and I stand at the corner waiting for the light to change so we can cross the street, while revelers around us brazenly jaywalk – behavior that seems foreign to this group of girls from Seattle.
We stop for drinks at Howl At the Moon, and when they are delivered in 36 ounce plastic cups, the server explains that the 3 for one special means everyone is automatically upgraded to a triple, and the cups are plastic so we can take them out in the street.
We look outside: Everyone does carry their drinks with them in the street.
Don’t worry, we adjusted. It wasn’t long before we were jaywalking while carrying open containers. Talk about multitasking.
Beads hang from balconies, street lights, stop signs, trees, public art, and anything else that will sit still long enough to be draped with the twinkling strands in all colors of bling.
A sprinkling of rain and a sturdy breeze lends more sparkle and movement to a street that is already teeming with life; humans, pigeons, palm trees, flowers, moss, mules, dogs can all be seen in a single glance.
The next block we walk through is closed to traffic, and pedestrians fill the area between the buildings as they laugh, dance, and wander amongst the street performers and live music wafting from the insides of bars and restaurants, music so rich and textured it seems to hold a physical presence in the space as well.
Bright lights and dark corners, high contrast colors, bricks and stucco, trolleys and mule drawn carriages, trees and bling,
and ornate balconies populated with blow up dolls
conspire to create an environment that is, to me, both fun and foreign.