The Best Advice I Ever Received

“You have your whole life ahead of you.”

I was seventeen and in the throes of a toxic relationship with my mother. An English teacher of mine gave me that bit of advice in a long stream of advice that I have otherwise forgotten.

I’m 54 now, but it suddenly occurs to me that the advice is still good: I still have my whole life ahead of me. In retrospect, I don’t think she would have appreciated the Zen of it.

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Fruit, and a first

First of all, I must congratulate Other Patti for writing down my official 2000th comment yesterday! As a celebration, I don’t know what she will do, but I’m going out to get more sushi at lunchtime.

I slept late this morning, so Buck has gone out to find me some fruit (yes, I know I can change the time zone settings on my blog, but the thing is, as Ruben hinted at a bunch of posts ago, I forget to change the time zone back). Fruit is the one thing I crave that doesn’t (necessarily) have added sugar in it. What I find truly amazing is the sheer amount and variety of foodstuffs that have added sugar in them.

I am haphazardly still trying to follow the advice in my new favorite book, “Anticancer: A New Way of Life” (David Servan-Schreiber). Yes, I like it very much. However, it advises against sugar or honey (except as an occasional treat), and Buck and I are finding right now just how many things have hidden sugar in them. Organic evaporated cane juice seems harmless, but is still sugar. On the brighter side, I walked way over a mile yesterday — the book recommends a lot of exercise and activity. Hope I can keep that up today.

Still reading!

When I entitled my last post “Now reading,” I meant it especially much. I am still reading it, almost exclusively out of the pile of my current reading.

What the Anticancer book giving me is a plan of living, post cancer, so as to minimize the possibility of a relapse. As Gail said in her response a bit further down, on “Cancer myths, and recovering,” this fear never really leaves one. It’s always somewhere in your head, buried, it is to be hoped, under many happier thoughts.

What I am doing: haven’t had meat since Tuesday (or was it Monday?), giving up sugar for agave nectar (delicious as honey or sugar, but with much lower glycemic index), trying to eat more plain fresh fruit and dried figs. One can have real sugar, etc, but only as an occasional treat. Meat consumption must be much lower; I figure 0 is lower. And ramp up those Omega-3′s.

And that’s just for the physical side of it. Today, I start reading the chapter about the mental and emotional contributions to cancer.

Wish me luck!

Powerlessness and power

I must start out this blog post by admitting a thing that might make me either very popular here in Cincinnati, or, possibly, unpopular: we have electrical power at our house.

Ever since Monday’s infamous “deluge” by the remnants of hurricane Ike, with huge windstorms and much power outage, the most common question around here is “Do you have power?”

We came home, slowly but surely, yesterday, to find out that we did have power at our house. We came home slowly because, on Sunday when the windstorm hit, we were in a plane in the region of Knoxville, flying home from Ft. Lauderdale. Thus, since the Cincinnati airport was closed, we were rerouted to Atlanta where, as you saw, we stayed the night.

Further slowness in our arrival was caused by a huge fallen tree totally blocking a street leading to our house. So we had to walk the last quarter mile, dragging suitcases behind us, suitcases whose wheels are now probably permanently embedded with twigs from said tree. Several people stopped their cars to say hi and to welcome us home. Our friend Steve and Peter’s friend Betsy arrived at our house as we did, to help check on things.

Amount of damage: many twigs in yard. Many still-green leaves. Two limbs from giant oak broke, one fallen on our roof, and one still hanging from the tree. Apparently no damage to the roof, not nasty damage anyway.

So here we sit, listening to the not-storm (i.e. quiet) out of our window, with the frequent addition of power saw sounds in the distance.

Farewell: Leroy Sievers

Journalist, ‘My Cancer’ Blogger Leroy Sievers Dies : NPR
Journalist Leroy Sievers, who covered wars, genocides and natural disasters in more than a dozen countries — and who chronicled life after his cancer diagnosis for NPR on-air and online — died Friday. He was 53.

I just went to check on Leroy Sievers’ blog for the weekday-daily update, to find out that he passed away over the weekend. I never knew the man, but the blog had become a familiar place to me, and I made sure that I kept updated with it always. And now he’s gone.

Cancer is definitely another country.

What sort of a citizen am I? One with a daily reprieve? I suppose so, though medical practice and habits of not getting checked up on several times a day makes it so that I get chunks of days’ worth of reprieve. But I’ll take it. I guess you learn as you go on.

Late music nite

I stay up downloading some music that I didn’t think that I wanted, and forgetting how to spell anything and everything. Words are my life: I can’t life love live lie without them

Watched a depressing Saving Grace, wherein Ham’s brother gets killed. Then I prepared myself for bed, only to come up with these thoughts in my head. And I type with sleepy fingers.

I reveal my loves

Much as I have grown to love and revere BBEdit as both a program and way of life, and have become an actual card-carrying member of its license holders, I still go to TextMate for my blogly-writing needs. As in all other life, that which you admire is different from that which you use. BBedit may be the grande dame of Macintosh text editors, but it doesn’t have native tools with which I can hack these posts out via a third party package, and publish the post with all the necessary trimmings, like keywords and track-backs as I see fit.

Sure you could make such a thing with BBEdit, but why? I already have what I need in TextMate, and it was installed with the rest of the program. Therefore I use TextMate: it does what I need it to do, and it did so first. So there.

One lesson you have to learn: don’t re-invent the wheel if it’s already been done.

On other fronts, Other Patti and Our Friend Sally have just been over for their accustomed movie night on Sunday nights. I’m glad we have kept this up over the past year, even though I told them that I was healthy at last, at least enough so that they could resume their regular evening lives, and not have to watch TV with me every evening.

We do so now every Sunday evening, because during the process of my recovery, we got to liking the camaraderie of it all, and didn’t want to lose that part. So tonight, we watched Peter Lorre play Mr. Moto. It wouldn’t have occurred to them all to hire an actual Japanese actor to play a Japanese character, though, would it? :/

Sunday nite at the movies!

For movie night, we had I’m not There to watch, courtesy of Peter. This is a biography of Bob Dylan done by lots of actors most of whom don’t look like him, except for Cate Blanchett, who not only moves but looks like him. Now that’s spooky. Also excellent acting.

Each version of Bob Dylan was played by a wildly disparate cast that included Heath Ledger and Hayden Christensen. None of those guys approached Cate Blanchett except perhaps for Charlotte Gainsbourg playing the long suffering wife, and Richard Gere at the end. Gere seemed to have to do with the part of his life where they were playing Sheriff Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

It’s the sort of wonderful movie that happens out of sheer chaos. We get bits and bobs and are trying to put them all together, with the rest of the group here for movie night. We seemed to have liked it.


“I’m Not There (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition)” (Todd Haynes)

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