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not the birthday post I hoped to write

This post was supposed to be about my 45th birthday.  I have dubbed today my "50% birthday," setting the intention that I am only 50 percent done with life, fighting on and yelling "90 here I come" for 45 more years.

This post was supposed to share my excitement about renewing my passport, complete with a new curly haired picture that actually looks like me.  I ordered the book with "extra pages" and set an ambitious goal of filling all 50 pages before it expires in 10 years.  

This post was supposed to shower encouragement and gratitude on Allison who is running a half Iron Man triathlon in my honor this weekend.  Allison, I am so sorry I can't be there to cheer you on and drive you home.  

This post was supposed to celebrate reaching my FitBit Sahara Badge and walking 3,000 miles in under 2 years. 

This post was to brag about my newest painting, a thank you card to Lady Ridley-Tree for her $12 million donation to the new CC.

This post was supposed to be about my plans to hike the Milford Track next month with Lee Heller and walk the Japanese Shikoku Buddhist Pilgrimage Trail with Bruce during winter break.  

Instead, I have the most heartbreaking news... my cancer antigen marker is way up.  I had PET and CAT scans yesterday.  Today we meet with my oncologist to hear the dreaded news -- I am in recurrence.  There are no good options from here. The fighting gets more taxing for much smaller gains.  Surgery is not an option so chemo starts next week.  Please don't ask about medical details.  Don't ask me how I am doing, don't bring up cancer.  I will post news.  When I am asked for updates, Porlock get a few more minutes of my life.  It is hard on me, going over it again and again.  Every moment I am angry, anxious, sad and mad is a moment Porlock steals from me.  Every moment I  create peace and joy -- I win.  Help me be in the moment and create joy on even the hardest days.  Things that are helpful....spend time with me and Bruce, join us for dinner parties and card nights, walks, and lunches; join me with errands; plan staycation activities with me here in SB and another fabulous trip next summer.  I also look forward to skyping with my friends scattered across the globe.  I know you don't know what to say.  You don't have to say anything, or fix it, or have some profound wisdom.  Just be with me.  

Much love,   Michelle

P.S. This is insane, in an overly dramatic and absurd Shakespearean tragedy sort of way.   Seriously, who wrote this script!  I want a new playwright.  

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