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faith / Family / Fear / Feeling

IMG_7558October has been deemed breast cancer awareness month.  Most of us are aware of this. (Especially we women). It has not been as acutely relevant to me until this year. I believed I was fairly well educated on the topic of breast cancer until this past week.  Since then, I have read and learned a lot more.  I have found information out there both confusing and conflicting.  This is not a blog post intended to encourage people to go get mammograms either.  Personally, I have not chosen to get my little boobies smashed in the machine for several years.  I am not necessarily intending to do so any time soon either-so please don’t attempt to lecture me on the need based upon reading the following.  I am of the opinion that our bodies are our own and that I am a grown woman capable of making my own decisions about my life and associated health and health care needs. IMG_7559

IMG_7560That said, my “F” word for the week is F*#K and it’s followed by the notorious “C” word!!!   Yes, that’s it!  Just two powerful words tonight.  I thought (again) about ending the “F” word blog, now that a year has passed and my 50 or so “F” word posts have been used.  But, I couldn’t resist using the BIG “F” word after finding out my sister has breast cancer last week.IMG_7665

Last week, I didn’t start out “feeling” good.  Call it intuition, call it what you may, I just felt “down”.  I cannot describe it. Something felt “off” and I felt sad about a lot of things.  The end of the week proved worse than the start of it when I found out my sister’s mammogram was suspicious and the subsequent biopsy revealed a malignancy. I am still processing the news and trying to gather more facts.  I guess I’ve discovered I cope better by having more information.  I realize people cope in myriad ways.

I learned this week that the best part of the diagnosis is that the tumor is likely only stage 1 and that a stage one diagnosis is almost always curable.  However,  the specific tumor cytology that presented, will evidently require her to have surgery, chemotherapy and radiation to blast it most effectively.  At this point in time, neither the specifics of treatment nor the order of treatment have been decided upon.

It just fills me with fear, anger and anguish to know another person (especially someone whom I love dearly) has to go through the treatment and embark on a journey of this nature. Certainly, I have accepted that blessings along these journeys arise (mostly spiritual, intangible and esoteric in nature). In my own case, I am not sure the rewards of traveling the arduous journey have been worth the agony of the trip?  Will those rewards ever outweigh the price I subsequently pay? The questions and ensuing answers are perhaps private and personal.  For myself, considering the journey I’m still on (as it relates to cancer), I can’t render a final decision at this juncture yet.

In the meantime, the disease which someone recently put so eloquently and captured so well visually for me after Marit’s last scan: “Cancer in the rear view mirror”, has unfortunately been placed in front of me again.

Serendipitously (which I often feel my entire life has elements of), I attended an annual CaringBridge 2-day Executive/Advisory Board meeting last week.  It felt very comfortable and meaningful to be surrounded by fellow board members who have had similar life/health experiences as me and whom I felt care about me. I was an enthusiastic “user” of the CaringBridge site initiated by my sister-in- law who started a site for our family in the early days of my daughter’s brain cancer diagnosis over 7 years ago.  Though it’s the organization’s longer term goal to have CB used as a vehicle to use to document our life health journeys, I know it’s not a preferred communication source for everyone.

That said, my sister has not started/may not start a CaringBridge site – If any of you reading wish to communicate directly with her, you may private message her or me via Facebook or email.    ***PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL TO NOT POST ANYTHING CANCER RELATED ON HER HOME FACEBOOK PAGE AFTER READING THIS ***.   I know she would appreciate that.  She is aware I am posting this information on my blog and has given me permission to do so.

I remember one of the most helpful phrases I heard within days of my daughter’s diagnosis was this: “Cancer doesn’t just affect the person who has it, it affects the entire family!”  In addition, it affects friends, communities and others as well.  I’m a proponent of rallying prayers and support from many places.IMG_7503

I know I am not the only person who has coped with cancer.  It helps me to know I’m not alone. I hope to be a valuable/loving support person along the healing journey my beautiful, strong, loving sister will take in order to restore her perfect health!!!IMG_7566

With the ultimate healing powers of God, the power of individual and collective prayer,  positive thoughts and effective medical, surgical and radiologic treatment, my hope and prayer is to F*#K Cancer Forever!!!IMG_7561



FALL FOOTBALL? Nah…Forget it, this post is about Fine Fashion: Fresh? Flamboyant? Frivolous? Funky? Faux Fur and Leather? FALL FASHION FINDS!

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Although it isn’t quite officially Fall, it’s safe to say that fall fashion has definitely arrived! Though I’m not fond of the thought of snow potentially flying soon, or much of a fond football fan, I DO love the return of sweaters, boots, turtlenecks and coats!

I was THRILLED to be in NYC during the midst of Fall Fashion Week last weekend.  Last year I got to attend a fashion show. I am still trying to figure out some reason in my future that I may NEED to go to NYC (or Paris) every year to attend several fashion shows so that I may drool over and or buy the latest fashions.  Anyone with big ideas for my consideration, please feel free to share them with me.IMG_6970

In the meantime, I was simply able to window shop the finest fashion by perusing the merchandise within many stores and observing the streets.  In addition I was accompanied by my ultra trend aware husband who eagerly participated in identifying a few trends that I may not have even paid attention to. I’m not sure about anyone else, but I automatically gravitate towards colors that I like or the ones I know are more flattering for me.  Therefore, I didn’t even see the “In” color of the season like he did.  Once he pointed it out, I began seeing it everywhere. In fact, I was at the grocery store this afternoon and there it was on the front of the magazine “Real Simple”.  Last evening I was at a party hosted by J. McLaughlin en behalf of St. Jude.  My friend and store manager showed me a few sweaters…I immediately gravitated towards the one with shades of grey (my “go to” winter colors).  Then I decided to “branch out” and consider buying the one that is at least in the same shade family as claret and proverbially “bit the bullet”. I will tell myself I am “trend right” while wearing it.  I hesitate to give in to every trend out there for I prefer the classics or the tried and true styles that flatter my body best. Yet, I enjoy trying to get out of my own box here and there and succumbing to a trend or two..(Ok, maybe a few more than that…???).

So here are a few of our observations from the weekend I spent in NY:

1. The color trend:  CLARETIMG_6979


2. Extreme Textures-Fur, Faux Fur, Suede, Leather, Luxurious cashmere with cabling etc. IMG_7007




I love how these last two items are trend right on two levels.  Faux fur with the claret colored dress and suede claret colored shoes!!!

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And check out these FABULOUS over the knee (also trend right) boots soon to arrive from Prada.  They are all suede and one of them is black patent leather.

3. Back to the 70’s-BoHoIMG_7171


This last picture shows the claret colored boots and right next to it the “Boho” patchwork 70’s looking bag with claret colored patch-next to it is a bag lined in shearling-which was EVERYWHERE !

4. Shearling-Shearling-Shearling!IMG_6955

I tried on this beautiful shearling coat!

Shearling will be a great “wear” for those of us in colder winter climates this late Fall and Winter seasons respectively.

And just in case you need more identified trends, here is a nice little summation my sister sent me the other day which identifies several more: See Corresponding link and also note CLARET color AGAIN in each one of the model’s outfits.  IMG_7226 (1)


Any of you reading today who aren’t fancy on fashion, this post will be a boring one.  For those of you who enjoy pursuing or knowing the latest trends in fashion, I hope this is a little starter!  Let me know if you think I correctly identified a few top trends or if you find more.  I would love to read about what you’ve seen emerging!!! Happy Looking and Hunting to my fellow shopping lovers reading this! Oh and football lovers out there, let me know who to vote? cheer? ROOT for.  I would probably just cheer for the teams with the best color coordinated uniforms or the ones whom I thought had the most attractive color schemes!