After a pretty epic weekend, I’m not really in the mood to talk about cancer crap. So, today you get a post about all things wonderful, and about a bajillion photos of things that have made me very, very happy as of late. Real quick though – the nerve block didn’t do a whole lot to reduce my headaches, so I’m pretty sure I’ve decided that it’s not worth going through the procedure weekly. I do have a full spinal MRI this Thurs, and a brain MRI this Mon. I’m super nervous, because my symptoms have amped up like crazy over the last week. I am now back to sleeping completely upright on the couch, because if I lie down I am just wrecked by the headaches/nausea. This feels like it does not bode well for my scan results. But we shall see, and I’ll update when I can/feel ready.
For now, I’m going to sit here with my Americano, take a Percocet if needed (these headaches, man, I’m telling you. They suck.), and write about all things joyful.
- The bare screening this weekend went SO well! Evan said he counted 58 people in the audience, which is well above what we were hoping for and felt like a full house. I was stoked. To everyone who came out to support us, and to everyone who donated to METAvivor – I cannot say thank you enough. It meant so much to me to share this film with my home community. And we raised almost $1k!!!! All of which is going straight to METAvivor, which will go straight to stage 4 metastatic breast cancer research. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And while I’m gushing with thank you’s – to April, who organized and moderated the event – I could have never done this without you. You are amazing. To our panelists – good god, I am so impressed by each and every one of you. I mean, I had a suspicion that you’d all be amazing (that’s why we asked you to be a panelist!), but you blew me away. You were each so articulate, each offered such a unique and valuable perspective – you truly did fantastic. I have received SO MUCH positive feedback about each of you. You are all kind of celebrities in Santa Cruz now, be ready :).
- Speaking of bare related awesomeness, my radio interviews were so much fun and went so well. Turns out I really enjoy public speaking. Who knew? Everyone at KSCO has been so kind and helpful and has just made the whole process so enjoyable for me. You can listen to the first interview here (which is the longer one on Walk the Talk, about an hour long) and the second interview here (which is shorter, on Good Morning Monterey Bay – just under 15 minutes).
- In between all the bare and advocacy work, I seem to have found a better daily rhythm that has really helped me emerge from my emotional funk. Mostly this involves spending as much time with Evan and my family as I can, while paying close attention to when I need to rest and have some quiet/down time. It’s also helped that I’ve found things to keep me occupied when I’m by myself that I really enjoy and that I find calming. Turns out, I’m super into sewing. It’s so meditative! And I can make little gifts for people, which I love. Sophie loves sewing too, which of course makes me happy because we can quietly sit on the couch together and sew heart pillows. It’s so much fun. (I say “quietly” loosely, because she has not yet mastered the art of having a thought and not saying it out loud. But thankfully, I love hearing all of her thoughts, so we have some nice little chats while we sew). Also Anna and I made soap last weekend, which was really fun and another good activity for me. Look at me, getting all Martha Stewart.
- The freedom that my trike and Uber has afforded me has been game changing. I LOVE MY TRIKE SO MUCH. So does everyone else in Capitola, apparently, because every time I ride it I get at least 5 compliments. People, I’m telling you, put a third wheel on that bike of yours. It’s amazing. And Uber? Not only is it easy and freedom-giving, but I have the most amazing conversations with my drivers. I feel like I’m getting to know my community in such a special way every time I get in the car with someone. I love it.
- Speaking of the girls, Zoe and Sophie each had a sleep over at our house and it was so much freakin fun. I can’t remember if I already wrote about Zoe’s sleep over, and I’m too lazy to go back through old posts right now to find out, so I apologize if this is repeat. But we went for a bike ride and made fairy gardens and did bedtime yoga and colored and it was just delightful. When she first walked in when Anna dropped her off, she casually strolls in pulling her suitcase behind her and goes “Guess who’s here!!”. It made me guffaw in laughter.
- A couple weekends later, it was Sophie’s turn. We walked to the park and colored and Sophie taught me how to sew a lavender heart pillow, and I listened to her tell me about everything going on in her life, and I just thought, how lucky am I that this beautiful child wants to tell me about her thoughts and feelings and friendships. It’s such a privilege. She wanted to sleep on the floor next to my bed so that she could sleep in her sleeping bag and it would feel like a “real sleep over,” so throughout the night I kept waking up and peaking over the edge of the bed, because the sight of that lovely little girl all tucked in and dreaming away is a memory that will sustain me throughout any amount of shit that might come my way.
- Once a month I teach a free yoga class for women with cancer through a local non-profit (WomenCARE – if you are in Santa Cruz, are a woman who has/has had cancer or are a loved one, I highly recommend them). The last couple months, my class has been canceled (due to Thanksgiving, and then I had a scan on the day of the class the next month), so this month no one showed up for class, which I totally get because I think there was confusion over if it was happening or not. Anyway, so my mom waited with me at the studio for a while to see if anyone showed so that she could give me ride home if the class was a no go. She happened to have Zoe and Kenzie with her, so they sat in the waiting area of the studio. After a few minutes, it became clear that no one was going to show up, so as I packed up Zoe asked if I could teach them some yoga. I, of course, said hell yes. Well minus the “hell,” but that was my sentiment. So I set each of them up with a mat and did a little kid’s class, and oh. my. god. It was so much fun. They both loved it!!!!! They were so engaged and followed along the entire time – a 1 and a 4 year old! And they tried so hard in each pose and remembered the sequences – it was so impressive. I turned each pose into an animal, so we made lots of silly animal noises and pretended to be actual warriors shooting arrows for the standing warrior poses, and they just loved it. I wasn’t paying a ton of attention to Kenzie, because she is 1 and I figured she’s just too young to really do it, but then I was teaching Zoe tree pose and I look over and Kenzie is quietly standing there in the most perfect tree pose!! It blew me away. Totally made me want to start teaching a kid’s class. Zoe then announced that she wants to be a yoga teacher when she grows up and that she wants to teach at that gym with me (be still my heart). When we left, Zoe walked out the door holding my rolled up mat, which was the size of her entire little body, and she turns around and peaks her head back in the doorway and goes, “Auntie Becky, that was a beautiful class,” and walks out. I said “Zoe, I love you, you are wonderful,” and she turned around again and says, “we are both wonderful people,” and walks out.
- Kenzie is really starting to grow up and it is so much fun to watch her develop. She now calls Evan “eleven” and talks up a storm. She is such a hilarious little affectionate love bug, and I just can’t wait to keep watching her grow and learn.
- Yesterday, Evan and I took Cali and Hudson out for the day. We went for a hike along the beach bluffs at Wilder and then wandered down to the beach where there’s a small cave. The kids thought it was so cool. Hudson asked for the flashlight on my phone so that he could inspect the “symbols” on the rocks – ie graffiti. I didn’t see the point in correcting him, so instead let his imagination believe that they were ancient symbols. Cali just sat quietly in Evan’s lap and enjoyed the moment. I stood back a bit and watched my lovely niece snuggled in my husband’s lap, each taking in the mystery and beauty of the cave, while my hilarious nephew inspected gang tags and “symbols” that looked remarkably like penises. When we were finished with the cave, Evan and Cali went to look for sea glass, and Hudson and I played in the sand. He put me in a circle of hot lava/lightening/fire balls and told me that I could only get out if I guessed the password, which started with an H and/or an M and was 5 words long. Needless to say, I was in that circle for quite some time. But no matter, I loved every second of it.
- One of my old Stanford professors, clients, my mentor in many ways, and all around a very important person in my life, Hans Steiner, has organized an event at Stanford in July which will honor me. How amazing is that? We will show bare and I will likely read a piece that I’ve written. There will be other readers there too, TBA. These events are always great, the caliber of writing is very high, and I always enjoy attending, so I feel extremely honored to be a part of it in this capacity. I will give more info closer to the time, but please mark your calendars – Thursday July 26 at 6:30pm at Stanford (the Humanities Center – Levinthal Hall). Would love to see you all there!
So there’s my wonderful list for today. Things have been hard and shitty in many respects, but in between that crap, alongside it, despite it, I’ve been living this list, too. And it’s a pretty amazing list, if I do say so myself.