Wednesday, March 16, 2011


honeymooning in capri
Be the kind of person you want to be around.
Protect the names of others in the same way you would hope that they would protect your own.
Choose only to participate in conversation that uplifts, edifies and makes the world a better place.
Consciously turn down the volume on negative influences in your life. STOP WILLINGLY GIVING THEM POWER OVER YOU.
Focus on ways you can contribute to the wold in lasting and meaningful ways.
Concentrate on your unique gifts and talents and how you can use them to make real waves for good.
Forgive with your whole heart, even as you would seek forgiveness for your own mistakes. You need never be poisoned by the feelings of hate and revenge that come from an unforgiving heart and mind.
Love. Love yourself. Love others. Completely and without ulterior motive, fear or judgment.

Natalie Norton

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

182 Days

Last night, as I do on most nights once dinner is done, dishes are washed, and lunch is packed, I sat down at the computer to unwind.  I usually catch up on some blogs, read the news, browse Facebook and then put away the computer.  But last night, I sat down for a good 2-hour chunk of time and simply could not rip myself away from one particular website.

I've always known cancer as part of my life.  My godmother died of cancer, my favorite cousin died of cancer, my little best friend Liat died of cancer, my sweet mother-in-law had cancer before I knew her.  Cancer, cancer, cancer.  It's evil and it sucks and it changes you and everyone around you.  It takes you on a tumultuous, unkown path and it rages like a war inside your body.  And, I would imagine, if you were given 182 days to live out your "bucket list" before you lost your battle against it, you'd change the way you were living your life too.

Before she had her 182-days-left-to-live timeline set for her, Crystal Marston wrote the letter below.  I strongly encourage you to get sucked in by her website as I did.  She is living the life that every single one of us should be living, cancer or not.  She's making time for things like holding newborn babies and learning to make espresso art, surprising an old friend and having a proper tea party.  You'll come out a different person after knowing her (albeit virtually), maybe just for one day or maybe forever...

When people talk about cancer, they talk about winning.  They talk about beating it.  I imagine myself in a runners lunge, at the starting line with my left foot pressed hard against the block and my fingertips in red dirt.  I imagine my heart racing as I glance to my right to size up my opponent, and gulping as I wait for the doctor to pull the trigger on the pistol to begin the race against time.  The problem is, I can’t see my opponent.  I can’t size up what I am against, or train or practice for better odds.  I don’t know if this is a win or lose situation.
 I turn to medicine.  I turn to doctors who I trustingly allow to poison me in order to make me well again.  I check my hair, my eyelashes, my fingernails.  Every day.  I feel my organs inside of me wishing they could jump ship.  I felt better before I knew I had cancer, when my body was riddled with it.  And now I’m trading problem for problem, spade for spade.
I try to live my life to the fullest, even before cancer (I have people who will vouch for this).  I’ve been called an inspiration.  I’ve been called irresponsible.  Sometimes my fullest is too full for other who feel I’m reckless with my health.  The judgment of those who feel I should be more respectful of the disease that could be killing me slowly.  I have no respect for my cancer, and I refuse to.
These medications have made me lose my mind.  I try to view my memory loss as endearing, although I know it becomes irritating.  I get frustrated with myself on a minute by minute basis, wondering if I’m even the same person anymore.  But I can’t remember.
I will not be humbled by this experience, I do not feel small.  I feel huge and loud and lucky to have the life I’ve had.  And you, the people in it.  In my quiet moments I silently ask questions to no one in particular, and know there are no answers.
I will go to my grave as if I were stepping on a soapbox.  It will not be a loss, because there was never any winning.  In life it’s only a “thanks for playing.”

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Once you go Mac...

In just 24 hours, the Apple stork will deliver this little baby to my doorstep:
The all-new Macbook Pro
I'm so excited to join the 21st century!