Archives for posts with tag: social support

I’ve had a couple of difficult days. We all have them. It’s just part of life. Something throws you on your butt, you rally, you still feel kind of bad, maybe another thing knocks you back on your butt, you rally again, and keep inching your way along until you re-right yourself.

Today, I had paperwork to do but did not have to go to the office to see patients. I had been knocked on my butt a couple of days ago and still felt knocked down this morning. I meditated for a long time and thought about my life. My past, my present, and my future. I gained some clarity. I had some really wonderful thoughts about perfectionism, which I had planned to share on my blog, but promptly forgot as soon as I got out of bed. (Darn!)

The sky was blue today. I went out for my walk. The sky was not only blue but the mountains were visible. I walked to Bird on a Wire, my neighborhood coffee shop, which is quite excellent. It was as if the universe knew that I needed to be cheered up. Maddie said, “Oh, Elizabeth I’m glad you came at this time. (It was a slower part of the day.) We hate it when people we like come at busy times and we don’t get to talk to them.” Then Adrian noticed that a gluten-filled biscuit was being prepared for me instead of a gluten-free one. She saved me from some major eczema. Adrian keeps an extra eye on this, I’ve noticed and I very much appreciate it. And finally, Angel told me that I was one of his favorite people. The people who work at the coffee shop are always friendly but this was much more than usual. I told them that they were awesome but I did not let on that I was having a hard day and they have no idea how much their kindness meant to me. I also experienced the incredible kindness of a friend in the past couple of days who knew that I was having a hard time, who has checked in on me periodically over the past couple of days.

I continued, with coffee and gluten-free biscuit in hand on my walk. It was WAY too nice not to go to the beach. I didn’t have enough time to walk there so I walked a half mile back to my house, jumped into my car, and drove to Lincoln Park, which is on the Puget Sound. There was new snow on the Olympic Mountains. The sun was bright and the sky was a brilliant blue. The wind was strong and it was cold. But it was amazing! The water, the islands, the Olympic Peninsula, and the mountains were glorious. I saw osprey flying over the water and then suddenly drop to the water to fish. I saw cormorants and a few species of duck. At one point, I saw black figures as the waves broke. They were two harbor seals about 20 yards off of the coast. They were swimming along and coming up every several yards. I was able to walk along the beach fast enough to continue to observe them for several minutes. I have seen seals at this beach, but only 2 or 3 times in the past 10 years. The Pacific Madrone, one of my favorite trees, which only grow near salt water, were beautiful. The orange trunks with their peeling bark were beautiful against the blue sky. The towering Douglas fir were majestic.

I’ve had a stressful life for the past many years. The reasons for this are many, most of which I have written about here. One of the ways I deal with the stress as well as to help prevent recurrence of depression is to get a full body massage every three weeks. I have gotten them from the same lovely person, Jann Coons, for the past 13 years. The first massage from Jann was a gift from my husband for my 35th birthday. I got the first one and have never stopped going. I’ve had massages from three or four other people and no one holds a candle to Jann!

Jann surprised me today. She told me that she had a Christmas present for me in her car and noted that she couldn’t keep it in her office. She walked me out to her car and I could see that she was getting ready to open the trunk of her car. I said, “Oh, well I am guessing that you are not giving me a puppy!” She pulled an amazing variety of home grown vegetables, artfully arranged in a basket, from the cool depths of her trunk. The basket contained red chard, two kinds of kale, delicata and other squashes, red and yellow onions, mizuna (a type of green), and beautiful red beets. I’m sure Jann could tell that I was moved by her generosity. I gave her a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. I still can’t believe it. I almost cried.

I am not a traditionally religious person but I believe my faith in the spiritual beliefs I do have is very deep. Today, I experienced an overwhelmingly beautiful display of nature’s bounty. The bounty from the sky, the water, the mountains, dirt, and from other human beings, who are also part of the natural world. And I know this is only a fraction of the bounty that I enjoy. I have so many wonderful people in my life, friends and family. There are so many wonders of the Earth.

I know that Thanksgiving is not for another eight days but today I feel very thankful, very blessed, and so loved. My heart is bursting.20131120_121619






Jann's Christmas present to me. A basket of health that she grew with her own hands.

Jann’s Christmas present to me. A basket of health that she grew with her own hands.

I had my long awaited MRI this morning. The results should be available next week. In the meantime, I will concentrate on having the best weekend that I can.

But first I want to tell all of you something. As many of you know, MRI’s are enclosed and noisy. And the noises they make are like ones you might expect during an intergalactic war. Last time I used visual imagery to deal with it. I visualized Space Invaders-type old school video game images advancing down the screen with each rapid series of  “EEEEE! EEEE! EEEEE! EEEEE! EEEEE! EEEE! EH! EH! EH! EH! Chu chu chu chu chu chu.”

Today, I did something different. I thought about my new coping statement, “Never underestimate your team.” I visualized my friends and family. Yes, that means you, too. When I didn’t have a face to attach to you, I thought of the many words of comfort you have given me.

Thank you. I wish you much health and happiness.



This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Art, Science, Heart ❥

journals of a mature student nurse

Heart Sisters

For women living with heart disease

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (


Keeping our eyes and ears open.....

4 Times and Counting

Confessions Of A 4 Time Breast Cancer Survivor

Nancy's Point

A blog about breast cancer, loss, and survivorship

After 20 Years

Exploring progress in cancer research from the patient perspective

My Eyes Are Up Here

My life is not just about my chest, despite rumblings to the contrary.

Dglassme's Blog

Wouldn't Wish This On My Worst Enemy


Today is Better Than Yesterday

Telling Knots

About 30% of people diagnosed with breast cancer at any stage will develop distal metastasis. I am one.

The Pink Underbelly

A day in the life of a sassy Texas girl dealing with breast cancer and its messy aftermath

The Asymmetry of Matter

Qui vivra verra.

Fab 4th and 5th Grade

Teaching readers, writers, and thinkers

Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

making sense of the breast cancer experience together

Telling Knots

About 30% of people diagnosed with breast cancer at any stage will develop distal metastasis. I am one.

Entering a World of Pink

a male breast cancer blog

Luminous Blue

a mother's and daughter's journey with transformation, cancer, death and love

Fierce is the New Pink

Run to the Bear!

The Sarcastic Boob

Determined to Manage Breast Cancer with the Same Level of Sarcasm with which I Manage Everything Else


Life after a tango with death & its best friend cancer