Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pink for Seon

(scroll down for updates)
I've been wanting to do over my blog for a while, but I didn't have a good idea of what to change it to. Today I've been inspired to go pink for my friend Seon, who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.

She has asked me to pray for her. I'm not much of a pray-er, unfortunately. And even though I suppose I can pray in my own befuddled, agnostic way, I also ( and much more easily) wish her peace in her heart and in her family, and healing in her body. And every time I open this page, I will see the pink and think of her.

I have decided to use this post for updates, rather than making separate posts every time. So if you click on my Pink for Seon thingie in my sidebar, it will take you to this post, then you scroll down for updates.

Update: Tuesday, July 7
Seon had her double mastectomy yesterday. I went to see her today, along with our friend, Maryann. She is in a lot of pain. They couldn't give her anything for the pain right away, because her blood pressure was too low, and pain meds would make it go lower. That sucks. I think she's on something now, though. The nurses keep asking her to quantify her pain on a scale of 0-10, and she keeps telling them she can't rate it, it just hurts. Doctors and nurses were coming and going in and out of her room the whole time we were there. So we didn't stay too long. Maryann said a special prayer and annoited her with some special holy oil.

Thursday, July 9
Seon is home. Her appetite is better now, and her husband is cooking for her! Her post-surgical dressings and bandages are bound tight around her, making it hard for her to take a deep breath. (And when we were there the other day, the doctors were concerned that she should be able to exhale up to a certain level into a measurment tube. No wonder she had a hard time with that.)

But she sounds stronger already. That is comforting for me to hear. I know she still has a lot of hard work ahead of her. Tomorrow she will go back to the doctor and have the bandage changed. She will have her first opportunity to see how she looks. (She had reconstruction by a plastic surgeon immediately after the other surgeon did the mastectomy.)

Saturday, August 22
I talked to Seon last night. She had her first Chemo the other day. She feels OK so far, but she sounds tired. She will return for chemo every 3 weeks until she has had it 4 times, then she will be done. She says that her hair will fall out by the next time. :(

Saturday, August 29
Seon is doing OK, but her beloved little doggie, Yoda, was attacked by a coyote the other night. He was lucky to escape with just a couple of bite wounds. Most dogs his size (he's a malti-poo') would simply be eaten.

That would have been the straw that broke the camel's back if Yoda died. Their whole family loves him so much.

Wednesday, September 16
Seon called me yesterday. She had her 2nd chemo last Wednesday, and she was still not feeling well. She desperately wanted someone to come and help her clean out the rabbit's cage. I wasn't able to go yesterday, but I went first thing this morning.

Seon has shaved her head already. She shaved it as soon as it started falling out. She has a nice wig, but she only wears it outside, so as not to "scare the neighborhood kids and get the neighbors wondering and talking about her". This morning, she was feeling better, and she was eating a special "recovery soup" that a Korean friend had made for her. It was chicken soup with some strong herbs in it. I guess it doesn't matter where you're from, chicken soup really is the best medicine sometimes.

So we visited a little and then I said, "Let's get the bunny cleaned up." Pinky is an ancient white rabbit. I don't know how old he is, but he has to be at least 12. He is blind, and he doesn't move around too much these days. His "cage" is one of those hinged, multi-sided, bottomless x-pens set up in the corner of her patio room. He has a big tray to do his business in, but he seems to be doing the business everywhere else, including the tray, in which he also likes to sit, so...yucky!

It took some scraping, wiping, and mopping, but I finally got Pinky's area clean. Seon had the bunny wrapped up in a towel. She took him to the utility sink and gently washed his dirty chin and paws with doggie shampoo (not the flea-killing kind).

I told Seon that we should plan in advance for me to come over while she is recovering from her next chemo. That way if she's still feeling crummy, but needs something done, or errands run or something, I already have it on my calendar. She agreed, and we made a date for October 6.

Thursday, Oct. 1,
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Seon had her #3 chemo yesterday. She had been dreading it because she had such a rough time after the #2 chemo. But now it's 3 down and only 1 left to go!

Tuesday, Oct. 6,
Had a great visit today. I picked up a few things for her at the market on my way over, and I vacuumed her floor. We had lunch, and we saw deer in her yard!

Seon credits her feeling so much better to the traditional Korean "recovery foods" she has been eating. She eats little bits throughout the day, and drinks lots of water. It sure seems to be working.

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010
I haven't updated in a long time, partly because I came to feel uncomfortable posting about someone without their knowledge. I have a feeling Seon would not appreciate all this, if she found out that random strangers could potentially read about her, even though I doubt they could "find" her. She is not a blog reader, as far as I know, but still....

I have decided not to update after today, at least not in this format. I will leave the pink ribbon in my sidebar, though.

Anyway, she finished her chemo in November, had her implants put in in December (I think), and has been struggling with pain from the implants. She didn't get much sympathy or help from the doctors, but she finally made a connection to a Korean woman who had a double mastectomy ten years ago, and also had trouble with her implants. This woman actually started a support group for Korean women. It's kind of far away for Seon to attend the meetings, but at least she found someone to talk to in her own language.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I was tagged for a meme, so here goes

I was tagged by Anna with this one.

What is your current obsession?
Collecting Color Schemes. when I see a print or pattern I like, I try to take a picture of it for future reference.

I actually took this picture of a little girl's shorts at summer camp the other day because I liked the colors.

What are you wearing today?
Old faded capris and a tank top

What’s for dinner?
Pizza on the grill.

What’s the last thing you bought?

What are you listening to right now?
The Angels vs. the D Backs.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Sonoma Coast State Beach

Which language do you want to learn?
If I had to pick one, I guess I’d go with Chinese.

What do you love most about where you currently live?
I know where everything is.

What is your favorite colour?
Green :)

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
Any t-shirt that has a picture or the name of someplace special that I’ve been.

Describe your personal style?
Messy and half-assed. (Sad but true.)

Name a famous person you share a birthday with. (This to replace the what-would-you-do-with-$300 question.)
Oh, Walter Cronkite for me.

What are you going to do after this?
Mess around on the computer a little more, then maybe take a nap.

Your favorite smell?
Favorite organic smell: I have many. Rosemary comes to mind right now.
Non-organic smell: gotta be new car.

Do you collect anything?
Cacti and succulents. Praying mantis-obelia.

What makes you follow a blog?
Human interest. Honesty. Art.

Do you like to comment on blogs or just lurk?
I comment occasionally on a few blogs. I lurk on a great many more.

What’s one thing you dream of doing?
Having a fun life with Jerry when he retires.

What is your biggest regret?
Losing my virginity at age 17 to a total @$$hat (that I thought I was in love with at the time) Boy, was I dumb.

What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
I like to put out big jars to collect rainwater that runs off the roof.

Do you have a tattoo?

Do you play an instrument?

Who was your hero (or "shero") when you were a child?
I don’t know if you can call it a hero, but when I was really small, I loved Howdy Doody. I had a Howdy Doody hand-puppet that I pretty much carried around 24/7, until there was nothing left but his plastic head, and eventually, just a little piece of flesh-colored plastic.

If you find a spider in your house, would you: a) kill it, b) leave it alone, C) capture it and release it outside? (This is my added question)
I do all of the above, depending on the situation.

Meme rules:

1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention & add one more question of your own.

2. Tag eight other people

My usual policy for tagging specific people is that I don’t. But for my handful of readers and any other wayward travelers who want to write stuff about themselves: have at it! And then leave me a comment that links to what you wrote so I can read it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Word of the day: natty

Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): nat·ti·er; nat·ti·est
Etymology:perhaps alteration of earlier netty, from obsolete net neat, clean

1. trimly neat and tidy : smart; natty clothes; a natty dresser

2. Boomer in a tie. (see fig. 1)

fig. 1

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

But, hey...I ate that mystery squash!

Over the last couple days it had grown to almost grapefruit size. I decided it was more of a summer squash than a pumpkin. The soft yellow skin was similar to that of a crookneck squash. I feared if I let it go too long, it would end up getting too big and seedy, so today I picked it, cut it up and had it with my dinner: a mixed vegetable dish with zucchini, green beans, onions and tomatoes. And it was good.

I just wasted 3 days of my life

Glued to my computer screen, watching a real time reality-show-turned-soap-opera that turned out to be a hoax. I won't name the blog (it's been deleted anyway), but it was about a young, single mother-to-be who was expecting a baby with a grave medical condition. After amassing a large following with her heartfelt posts over the last several months, she finally "gave birth" over the weekend and then her story collapsed like a house of cards.

After reading all the birth updates on Sunday, I was beginning to have some suspicions about her credibility. It didn't take me long to find out that other readers had their suspicions as well, even putting up their own blogs where they posted their speculations and their findings. Hundreds of comments ensued. Over a thousand, probably. And I ate them up like they were peanuts. I couln't help myself. As this was happening, the freshly outed scammer was deleting her blog and all her other web pages.

It was like watching a train wreck. I could scarcely look away in spite of the carnage and the murmering crowd gathered beside me. Actually, it is probably the murmering crowd that kept me sucked in for so long. But in my head now, the voice of reason is telling me to move along. There's nothing else to see here.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The play of evening light on my porch chair.

A toad candle from this wonderful place, I finally got a chance to go there.

What's growing

My tomatoes are looking good!

My mystery squash has grown almost to tennis ball size. I don't know what it is, or how to tell when it's ready to pick.