Monday, June 16, 2008

Could I Have Been Anymore Down and Out?

Okay...I was reading my blog from yesterday and I think I see some confetti on my chair left over from the pity party I held in my honor yesterday. Maybe I am being harsh, but I obviously was in a funk yesterday. I can't say that I feel much better today, but maybe not as defeated. Ryan and I spent the afternoon together and all I could feel was how lucky I was to have him in my life. The glory and wonder of him; of us.

I know we will get through everything fine. We are surrounded by so many people who love us. Prayers and thoughts have been inundating us. Perhaps this is why God has no qualms about us experiencing these challenges? He knows we have the character to endure it. Of course, I would much rather be challenged by deciding what I should pack in a small carry-on bag to go to a pacific island or even changing a flat tire would better than this. Give me something I feel prepared for, darn it! Thank you to all of my fantastic friends who help us get through these stints in our lives. I promise, these things will calm down as the year wears on. I understand I have been taking up a lot of your prayers and energies, but at least it doesn't happen like this every year. We seem to be on a five-year cycle. Thanks for putting up with it all. I couldn't do it without you.

On another note...I would like to say Happy Blogiversary to my best friend Rachel! Her blog turned one year yesterday. What a special moment. I remember when it was only a few posts old. It was so cute. And, I remember when she posted that oh-so-lovely photo taken by some umm...photographic genius in a moment of creative nirvana. Ahhh!

Current music obsession -- Fleet Foxes. They are this perfect harmony alt band from Seattle that makes you happy and relaxed all at once. They would be great to listen to while you sit on a grassy knoll by San Francisco Bay, showered in dappled sunlight reading a favorite novel and drinking a lemonade. Their voices are clear and lovely -- almost reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel. They have that 60's edge that makes me want to just shiver with joy. If you haven't heard them yet...take a listen. They won't disappoint.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Til Tuesday or Cancer Won't Beat Us

I can't believe we are doing this again. On Tuesday, Ryan will, for the third time, endure surgery on his face in order to have a tumor removed. When he went through the first surgery, we braced for the worst. After four hours in the operating room and then several weeks of radiation treatments, we were sure we would never hear the word "cancer" again unless talking in the past tense.

But, on New Year's Eve we brought in 2008 with yet another surgery because we had discovered another lump on his face. "It is just something that happens," we were told. No radiation treatment was needed, but it was still grueling. How many times would this happen?

Well, three months after his surgery at the beginning of the year, another lump was found on his face; practically in the same place where he had his tumor removed previously. It was time for a biopsy, doctor's appointments, MRI and the explanation of what needed to be done next. Another surgery and another blip in our lives caused by cancer. It was hard enough to believe we were dealing with cancer so soon in our lives, but dealing with it three times now, we feel like old hats at this point; something I would never feel at the age of 32.

Now we may be veterans of the war against cancer, but it never stops being scary. It never stops worrying me and draining away my husband's beautiful carefree smile. And, perhaps the worse part about dealing with this illness is that others have such a lack of understanding. They don't really know what to say to us or what to do. Sometimes it becomes frustrating beyond end for me. You can see in their faces -- "should I smile and let her know it will all be okay?" Or, "should I give a look of concern and let her know I am thinking of her?" My advice...just say you will be there when we need you and be genuine about the offer. We'll call you when we need a hug, consoling or help with anything.

To be frank, no one can know what we are going through internally together. And, while I will always accept prayers, thoughts and concerns, nothing can take away the fear. Nothing can take away the fact that everytime my husband has cancer I am facing the possibility of the worst; the possibility of life without my best friend, my soulmate, the other half of my being. No one can truly understand that.

So, life tomorrow will go on as it always does with meetings, obligations, complaints about the mundane, pettiness -- all of the things that don't have as much meaning as the rest of my life, but unfortunately take up the majority of my day. I will spend the evening with the person I love the most, taking in every moment, every second with him. Then on Tuesday, I will go into work once again to work half of the day, acting like my whole life is not on the possible verge of shattering.

What else can I do? My concerns aren't the concerns of others...really. We are an egotistical world where me, I, mine reign. It never is more apparent than when you go through something like this on your own. Ryan and I are on a jagged crag above a canyon on our own. Once Tuesday is over, we will be back on terra firma. But, in the meantime, I am so blessed to have Ryan in my life. I can't imagine facing life's challenges and joys without him.

My sweet, you are in my prayers every day. I thank the Lord for the awesome gift he has given me -- you.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Cultural Experience

I really enjoy reading books that delve into different places and cultures. People and places fascinate me; I absorb this type of information like a sponge (this may be why I enjoy traveling so much). So, when I picked up Londonstani by Gautam Malkani, I couldn't wait to read it. The book takes place in London (my favorite place in the world) and gives the reader insight into an Indian burrow of the city.

What struck me first was the writing. The author writes phonetically in order to give the reader the flavor of the characters' accents. It is almost similar to reading Tom Sawyer except instead we are following the trademark sound of a group of British-Indian players and small-time gangsters. I was drawn into the language and had it swimming in my head long after I finished reading a chapter.

The book paints a rich environment and landscape for its characters and gives you a true look at the way these boys are pushing societal bounds and questioning their parents in order to pass on to becoming men. They question their traditions, culture, and religion while going against the law to make a living.

I won't ruin the ending, but just know that the ending has a fantastic twist to it that made me want to read the book again and re-examine the way I looked at the main character, Jas. Mr. Malkani, whatever critics and other readers may most definitely should not have revealed the twist earlier in the book. It is beyond perfect, right where it is. This is a great book.

On the music front...I have been listening to The Ting Tings. A brit garage pop band, whose album just came stateside. I have been waiting quite impatiently for it to show up for about 3 months when I saw a little bit on them in Q Magazine.