Getting Started…

So, this is long overdue…Geminigirl was a huge part of my life years ago. I think blogging was my therapy back to some kind of “new normal”. I don’t have my old blog posts and I regret this as they really contributed to a sense of who I am and how I evolved.

I have to admit, however, I’m in a much happier and healthier place in my life now. I’m proud of my journey, the choices I made to get to where I am today, who I’ve grown into. It truly has been a journey. There have the usual hills and valleys people talk about when they describe their lives as a journey, but every single moment has been of value and has been appreciated.

I know it sounds trite, but I’m full of gratitude. I have MUCH to be grateful for and I sometimes wonder how I had and have the good fortune to be here. 18 years ago at the end of this month I completed 6 months of chemo and radiation. March 30, 2000.

My daughter, who is now 24, was 5 years old. I’d been given a 50/50 prognosis. My odds of survival went up by 15% if I had chemo and radiation. I wanted the 15%. In retrospect I’ve got mega respect for the courage that woman had. I didn’t know what I was in for and the price I would pay and my family would also be required to pay.

This blog isn’t going to be about cancer, but it was and is part of who I am, so it will definitely be part of my reflections. It sucked. It’s impact resounds through time…through me, my daughter and my ex husband. It was just the three of us being tossed about on a raft in the fucking storm of the century. My own family didn’t really get it, my ex husband’s family were pretty damn amazing.

Life is hard, except when it isn’t. We don’t remember the “isn’t” as easily as we remember the hard. It’s too bad our brains work like this…we need to train them I guess.

I look at where I am now and my heart wants to explode with happiness and disbelief at my good fortune. It’s as if every challenging, demoralizing, frightening event in my life turned me into a woman. A woman who trusts herself, her judgement. A woman who knows she walked through Hell and kept going and it was worth the journey.

My daughter is a survivor. In so many ways. She makes me proud every moment of every day. She is no more perfect than I am, but she gets herself out of bed every morning and gets on with life. Her heart is good. Her soul is strong. I love her with all that I am.

I have a man in my life who is the most loving, stubborn, caring, self-aware, imperfectly perfect man. I didn’t know a relationship like this could even exist. It’s rather like someone wrote a book and developed to real human beings, both with histories and hurts, who found each other and just fit.

I have a Great Pyrenees, Teddy, who is also perfectly imperfect. I love this dog with every fibre of my being. He is amazing! He’s 4 years old, and I completely believe he would give up his life for me. I never want this to be a thing, but to know this love and devotion is something every person should experience at least once in their life.

I realize now I spent a great portion of my life on guard. I, with good reason, saw the world as a scary place. I was pretty tough because I believed I needed to be. Now, I feel safe. Teddy is a good judge of character. He accepts most people, but can be quite clear about who makes him uncomfortable. I listen and watch his body language. He is my absolute best bud.

This first entry wouldn’t be complete without including Stuart, my 7 year old tuxedo cat. He is a monster, but he is my monster. Love him in spite of himself. Lol! I still miss Chloe. She was also a tuxedo. She came to live with us in September of 1999 when I was first diagnosed. That was the week from hell, will be the subject of it’s own entry. Chloe was feral and my then 5 year old child needed a comfort if I didn’t survive the surgery. Chloe was tiny, with the world’s biggest heart and the courage of a lioness. I miss her every day. She died two years ago at 18.

So…Gemini is back.