The weather is decidedly ffffreezing and I am having a very hard time staying warm, unless I am wedged between Popster and Butterbean. I am trying to pack on the pounds to get ready for chemo, but I think I just end up shivering them off. Tomorrow is my first oncology appointment to decide the schedule.

I hate to admit it, but yesterday and today I was feeling a bit… well just feeling so cold and tired that I wondered where am I going to muster the strength from. Though from the very beginning, the day the doctor said “cancer”, my response was I will  get rid of this because there is no other choice. There is only the choice to fight, to prosper, to live.

Today I took this ridiculously hot shower and while the water and steam made a cocoon warming my bones it occurred to ask if you have ever skirted death. Because while trying to push the notion out of my own head, I thought about all the risky things I did as a teenager, and then was reminded of a time when I was in Jamaica with my parents and sister. Probably 16 years old. We were in Negril for the day and while everyone was eating lunch I was cliff jumping. Higher and higher. The last jump was really high and for some reason I held my nose. When my body shot down into the water the pressure of the ocean forced water in my ears and out my mouth. Beside choking on the salt water, I was also blacking out and there was no one there but me. I fought the darkness swamping my brain to focus on the ladder. I was so conscious about the fact that I was losing conscious. “Don’t let go” my internal mantra.

Obviously I made it out and spent the 2 hour drive back to Montego bay curled up in a ball on the floor in the back of the car, blood seeping out my ears…. and though I very nearly didn’t,  I freakin’ made it.


One of our longish/short term goals is our new house. We are remodeling a 1890 farm house… As if we didn’t have enough on our plates. But I need the goal and the artistic release. My other new idea, that is helping me get through these darker colder days, is revitalizing a party idea. I was supposed to have a big old 40th fest, but turns out I’ll be having a liver resection for my birthday this year. So instead I am hatching a ‘cancer cured’ party for the end of the summer… keep it in your thinking caps.

Love, Lina

17 Responses to “Wednesday…hmmm”

  1. Shajen Says:

    What a Great Party it will Be!
    Thinking of skirting death, what a story about your jump into the abyss. I can remember once when I was young and in FLA. I was swimming by a pier, and right before my body and eyes a fisherman pulled a white shark out of the water. He had caught it…and it was right next to me, I never even saw it in the water. That was a day I will never forget.

    In terms of mustering strength Mama, you have it times a million. Your courage and grace are so amazing and daily you inspire me!
    Love, Strength, warmth and Energy to you Lina!

  2. pam winters Says:

    I love the analogy of jumping into the abyss…I think of how many times
    I did that when I was younger and managed to survive,….
    Really, every day of our lives is like jumping into the abyss…you never
    know what it will bring.
    Keep eating….I wish I could give you about 20 of my pounds, particularly
    this week we are in gastonomical heaven and when you get to be 60, a
    few laps in the pool doesn’t do much. We’ll be back on Sunday…I’m not
    looking forward to the cold….but am looking forward to your party.
    I was your age when I got married…a new life..and 40 will be for you too.
    Wishing you to stay warm and hug the kids and Adrian.
    Lots of love….Pam

  3. Matt k Says:


    I hope your appointment went well today.
    BACON, the answer to weight and of course Ben and Jerry’s these are good things!
    Boy as far as the cold goes, it’s 42 degrees here in the hills outside of Fairbanks today some weird weather after our -40 snap, I will see what I can do about sending some of it your way.
    Definitely stay positive! We are thinking of you and your family all the time and send you all our love and good thoughts.
    Good luck with the house project… You and Adrian really are a little crazy. Maybe hold off on working on the furnace until spring.
    We are looking forward to your party, you better set a date so we can get tickets early.
    Love Matt

  4. Sharon Fantl Says:

    Oooh I love parties. Especially real celebration parties. Count me in.

    Can’t say I have evere skirted death- I’ve had a few moments over the years where my mortality became a very real concrete thing, like this dawning of “i really could die right now, and i don’t want to, i can’t yet” but truthfully these moments were not based on personal trauma or sickness.

    I saw my mom skirt death though when she needed her liver transplant. She was so sick and would not have lived without it. She decided to fight- like you she just made up her mind that she would get a liver, and goddamn it she was going to get better. And she did. That was 8 years ago by now. At the time I was being tested as a possible liver donor- and that was a moment I thought about the risk of surgery, even though I would’ve gone through with it- but as it turned out they didn’t need my liver after all.

    In any case, I learned at the time what a hearty, interesting and resilient organ the liver was. You take a piece off of it, your liver regrows- like the arm of a starfish. Pretty amazing.

    You know the power of mind, the power of visualization and love- and so I don’t worry that you’ll conquer chemo and that liver resection will be successful. Your 40th year is turning out to be a wild ride, but we’ll have plenty to celebrate this year, and in the many to come.

    love love love,

    p.s. hey what’s your cell/ home phone number? i seem to only have adrian’s right now. would love to talk personally soon…. and would love to see you guys (any chance you’re looking for a social call on monday? i’m a free bird…)

  5. Ann in Woodstock Says:

    What a lovely party idea. We can walk down the street and jump in the river- Isabel and Poppy are playing their creative games and so generously letting Trey tag along. I gave Poppy three cookies which is generally against my rules BUT they were dairy-free-honey sweetened Oatmeal. Sending some home for Henry and Bill!
    Have been thinking of you all afternoon-

  6. Jenn Sargent Says:

    A party sounds fantastic and i would love to be there to celebrate. I still am hoping for a walk on the beach in LC with you. You will beat this and when you feel low and doubtful remember to tell yourself in your words “there is no choice”.
    I am thinking about you. Remember if you guys need a place to stay in Boston we have an open room not to mention home cooked meals.
    Love to you

  7. Sue-Sue Says:

    Hello Dear Lina,

    I cant’t tell you how many times I felt like I was between a rock and a hard place and just picked my direction and went with it. And on the other side of whatever that difficulty was, I felt stronger and freer simply because I faced my demon–because of the struggle — (I can say success–success in the average life is relative). My advice is to treat each step in your recovery process as an individual battle and when it is over, put a knotch in your gun. In your case, you aren’t only fighting for yourself, but for Popster and Butterbean and Adrian, and that can make all the difference. None of my scrapes with mortality are worth recounting since, at the time, the negative consequences didn’t hit me until after the fact (20-20 hindsight); you, on the other hand, see the gauntlet and have chosen to run it. You are the strongest person that I know, so I know that you can do this. And you have so many people to cheer you on. We love and support you.


  8. Brooke Says:

    I just really want to say I love you so much…!! and I’m with you…and nothing will keep me or my man from that party…Nothing!

  9. Barbara Woppmann Says:

    so sorry to hear about your surgery and battle with cancer. (“Its not fair” as the kids would say)

    All who know you saw you rising to challenges in the past and put all your energy in whatever you take on- so I know you will find the strenght to also master this one.
    All our thoughts are with you. Let us know if we can help with anything- spending a day painting the old house (I am not very artistic but can follow instructions), making cakes in the summer for the big party..

  10. duddie Says:

    I have these new slippers that are keeping my toes toasty warm in our drafty house. Maybe i won’t wait till your birthday to git you some. Maybe you need one of these:

    Dig the party idea. Can JinSo be the DJ? I’ll bring a Lasagna.

    My favorite self destructive memories involve driving to Troy New York to eat at Popeyes. Oh to be young and immortal.

  11. Kim Motylewski Says:

    Dear Lina, I am reading your posts…appreciating your shared thoughts…and holding you in mine.

    I’ve been listening to Obama reading his own, “Dreams from My Father,” as an audiobook on my ipod. There is much in it about identity and strength of spirit that you might appreciate just now.

    Keep warm as best you can,

  12. willow Says:

    Eating fat and root vegetables should help keep you warmer. I have a totally indulgent habit of eating thin slices of butter with raisins. Sometimes I sprinkle a little salt on too, but that is total health nut hedonism. That plus taking saunas is helping me to stay warmer this winter.

    This can be a tough time of year to stay positive, so I understand your questioning the hard fight, but it’s so worth it. Let all our love and energy help carry you through. We’re all looking forward to that party!!! I miss coming to your house parties. We’ve had so much fun over the years.

    love and a full body hug, Willow

  13. Mary Urban Says:

    Sigmond. . . Sounds like the name of the guy at the party who sits in the corner and just plays the guitar to hide the fact that he’s completely terrified of people. You end up trying to talk louder to a friend to try and cover his off key singing of a Grateful Dead song. Nervous clenched-toothed smiles and cursing through their peripheral vision.

    You. . The girl with the beaming smile whose hanging by the drink counter. You have the contagious laugh and the over all vibe that’s getting everyone pumped up. Whichever room you seem to wander to, everyone else subconsciously follows, leading to groups of high energy, nostalgic rambles till 3am in the laundry room.

    There is no way you and Sigmond are hooking up at this party.

  14. Shajen Says:

    Hi Lina,

    I am getting it together to answer the 25 random things. But I am back at work and in fast motion again. I am thinking of you always, sending you love, light, energy, and peace you beautiful woman. I hope to hug you soon!!!

  15. Polly Mahoney Says:

    Hi Lina, I am thinking of you, and hoping you are keeping warm. — If you want anything done on your new house that I can help you with, pls. let me know. I am not very skilled, but I can scrap and paint and I can pick up supplies at Home Depot etc. –polly

  16. charlotte metcalf Says:

    party at the end of summer,YES! and a hayride with everyone on Hogwash Farm in the most welcome fall ever. Blessings and kisses

  17. Francisca Matos Says:

    Sweetest Lina:

    All your blogs bring tears to my eyes because of how heartfelt and beautifully written they are.

    Re: the word God vs. Truth — no matter what you call it — the essence that can’t be destroyed — is inside you. That’s what makes you beautiful. Here’s a quote from my teacher Prem Rawat that I remembered when I read your latest blog:

    “If you go into that beauty from where the source of all beauty is, you can’t even imagine how beautiful it is. Within you is the source of that beauty. I can’t tell you how blissful it will be, how beautiful it will be. It’s completely unimaginable.”

    So, trust the love inside you and toot your own horn as loud as you can.

    Lots of love… Fran

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: