Archive for August, 2008

Look! I’m European!

European Hair

European Hair

Sit back and relax. It’s a long one.

Grab a cup of coffee, I had a busy weekend.

This weekend was Planina’s 20th reunion concert.  To back track a bit, I started singing with Planina, a group that sings songs from Eastern Europe, in January, right before my cancer diagnosis.  Now I could have quit and nobody would have thought less of me, but I really wanted to keep this for myself.  It had taken me a long time to find a group to sing with (the most singing I’ve been doing the last few years is to my children.  LOTS of Twinkle Twinkle.  I think I might even be able to sing it backwards.).  The members were very understanding and supportive even when I could only come to every other rehearsal and needed to use note cards during performances because my chemo addled brain had trouble remembering my own name, much less languages that I’m barely familiar with.  They brought me beautiful scarves to wear when I lost my hair.  I’ve learned so much since January.  My Balkan music learning curve has been pretty much vertical.  This weekend I got to meet the former members and hang out with the current ones as well.  The beauty of the music is only enhanced by the greater number of singers.  Just gorgeous.

On Friday night, at one of the parties/rehearsals, I met the wife of one of the former members.  She told me she loved my haircut and how bold it was.  My hair is coming in pretty nicely, but it’s still at the older Sinead stage.  When I mentioned it was actually growing in rather than cut off, she had said she never would have guessed.  She just thought I was European, maybe German.  I loved it.  It’s the first time I’ve really felt that I don’t look like a cancer patient.  Apparently I look European.  Hooray!

The concert was amazing.  So.  Much.  Fun.  Planina concerts are very audience participatory.  People sing along (You’d be amazed how many people know songs in Bulgarian!) and even dance in the aisles.  I sang Hajdutin in a trio.  It’s a beautifully sad song about a man’s last request of his love.  I also sang a duet on More Sokol Pie (Moray sohkohl peeyay).  Yeah, I pronounce it in English in my head, too.  Yes, I’d like my More Sokol Pie with whipped cream if you don’t mind…  I feel very proud and a little intimidated to have sung solos at this concert where there were so many experienced singers.   I had so much fun though.  Nothing is as gratifying as performing in front of a truly appreciative audience.  Thanks so much Planinas!

We’ll be performing again on Sunday, August 31st at 10:00 am at the Taste of Colorado.  See you there?

What she said.

Fanny Pak, Kindergarten, and the Radiation Oncologist.

You might be asking yourself, “Self?  What the heck to all these things have to do with one another.”  The answer would be…absolutely nothing. Yep.  Nothing.  I’m going random today.

Number 1 on the agenda.  My beloved Fanny Pak has been voted off the island.  Apparently it’s one of the most controversial votes in the single season history of America’s Best Dance Crew.  (Yes, there is some sarcasm in the previous statement…)  So here they are, a clip from their last show.  Loved those guys.


Number 2 is that dearest L went to Kindergarten today.  In the same school and same room as I did back in ’79.  Same green carpet.  Same pea gravel.  Totally new Smart Board.  Those things are COOL!

L's first day of Kindergarten. *sniff sniff*

L's first day of Kindergarten

Last, but not least, I saw the Radiation Oncologist today.  7 weeks of radiation, left front, left back, and left axillary nodes (or where they used to be…).  Basically fry me to a crisp.  They do it at an angle so as not to damage the lung and heart, but there is a 5% risk of damage.  There is also an increased risk of lymphedema (yippee.) with the radiation to the lymph nodes.  I go next week for the CT scan and probably will start rads the following week.

The last day of summer.

Today was L’s last day of summer vacation.  She starts kindergarten tomorrow.  When I was little (heck even when I was teaching!) I could never sleep the night before school started.  So where is L?  Sleeping like a baby.  Where’s Mama?  Writing a blog post at 11 at night.  Hello insomnia, my old friend.  I will say this.  Not sleeping means I’m getting caught up on my knitting.

Voila!  Baby Surprise Jacket in Cascade 220 Superwash!

Cascade 220 superwash Baby Surprise Jacket

Cascade 220 superwash Baby Surprise Jacket

Knitting this was crazy.  It looks nothing like a baby sweater at all and more like a deformed kite when you’re finished.  A couple nifty folds and suddenly it’s a cute jacket!  EZ was one brilliant lady.  I can’t even conceive of how she designed this.  Anyway, loved it so much, I’m making 2 more for my friend who had the twins.  Must finish baby sweaters while the babies are still babies.  🙂

For L’s last day, my good friend Pam (who just got married at the coolest wedding) suggested we head down to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs.  We had a great time, though I think they should call it the Cheyenne Giraffe Zoo since they have so many.  One of the best parts for me was it was all walking on an incline up the side of a mountain.  Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself, how is this good?  One month ago that hike would have kicked my a**.  Today I survived it.  My body is finally but slowly starting to recover from all those toxic drugs.  Don’t get me wrong.  I hurt like crazy when I got home, but at least it was hurting from actual physical activity.  My poor body is probably the most out of shape it’s ever been.  I’ve been heavier, but I was still active.  5 months of sitting around has not done much for my cardiovascular system.  Anyway, it felt good to hurt.  And then it felt better after I took some pain relievers.


So I leave you with some pictures of my other favorite things at the kick-your-butt Mountain Zoo.

C, J and L (who is pretending to be a giraffe)

C, J and L (who is pretending to be a giraffe)


Real giraffe

Real giraffe

Look! I’ve been de-ported!

A little cancer humor for you there. 

The surgery wasn’t too bad.  In fact, I didn’t really hurt until now (about 10 pm).  Tramidol is my friend.  Did I mention that my surgeon is a knitter?  Very fitting I think.  She’s even on Ravelry.  Heh.

Oh yes.  By the way.  Have you met my little Dr. Horrible?  He dressed himself this way.  I had nothing to do with it.

Are you disrespecting the House of Cooper?

Ok.  So this will out me as a complete Dr. Who dork.  But it made me laugh.  And I needed one today.