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April
Cental Coast, California
In March 2012, at 35, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal breast cancer, Estrogen-, Progestorone-, Her2+. With a 4-year-old daughter, this is my journey to cancer-free and parenting with cancer.
Recent Activity
In these months following my dad, George's death, I've begun to write a book. It is a memoir, a self-reflection, on my journey from cancer to caregiver, from loosing my dad in my 20s to finding him again in my 30s, only to loose him again for good before 40.... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at I [Heart] My Life
"The color of simplified happiness" -- Jen, I love that! I feel that, too. A yellow chick, a sunflower, the dusky, golden hour. I think my happiness with yellow will come back. But like you said, it is something deeper now... Thanks, A.
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2015 on Yellow as September at I [Heart] My Life
Thanks, Beth. That means a lot coming from you since I know you are hurting now, too. My heart goes out to you.
Toggle Commented Feb 8, 2015 on Yellow as September at I [Heart] My Life
<3, thanks Whit.
Toggle Commented Feb 7, 2015 on Yellow as September at I [Heart] My Life
Torie, I wish all my friends could have known him. He was quite the guy. :)
Toggle Commented Feb 7, 2015 on Yellow as September at I [Heart] My Life
Thanks, Pam!
Toggle Commented Feb 7, 2015 on Yellow as September at I [Heart] My Life
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Greetings! I've been a bit MIA from my blog recently. But trust I'm well, and I'm writing! Here is a piece I wrote yesterday on World Cancer Day... Yellow as September It started with yellow, Ended with yellow, And yellow lived at the core. Yellow, goldenrod, canary, No. 5. Yellow:... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2015 at I [Heart] My Life
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This last weekend, my brothers and I, along with many relatives, buried both our parents in the family plot in Tennessee. In the past several months, I've spoken a lot about my dad, his cancer, and our relationship, but besides this solitary piece, I haven't shared much about my mother.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2014 at I [Heart] My Life
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I remember picking up my flannel pillow and pulling my twin-size down comforter off my bed. I balled them up together as best I could and then lugged the heavy bundle up the stairs, dragging a large portion of it on the floor, stepping on parts of it in my... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2014 at I [Heart] My Life
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The afternoon before my father's memorial service I still hadn't written my speech. I'd been thinking about it off and on all week, but I'd been busy with other things: lining up the other speakers, writing the programs, coordinating with the mortuary staff re flowers, food, audio / visual, room... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2014 at I [Heart] My Life
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George Herbert Johnson November 15, 1952 – September 5, 2014 George Herbert Johnson, 61, passed away peacefully on Friday, September 5th, at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, surrounded by his three children, April Johnson Stearns, Dale Johnson, and Kyle Johnson, and his two brothers, Milo Johnson and Craig Johnson.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2014 at I [Heart] My Life
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Wow, you look really good! People (well-meaning to be sure!) say this to my dad all the time. Later, we discuss this: What does it mean, exactly? What should a stage IV cancer patient look like? Should he be more bald? Even more thin, weak? Less dressed? Less up-right? I'm... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at I [Heart] My Life
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This is a necessary post, and yet it is one I don't want to write. I need to let my dad's community know that his condition is worsening. I keep hoping the bad days are a fluke, an anomaly, but unfortunately, the more he has and the longer they are... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2014 at I [Heart] My Life
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I didn't know Robin Williams any more than we can know an actor from his films and interviews. We think we know them because they've touched us, but we don't. I have no little personal story of running into him in the Bay Area (though I always felt a little... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2014 at I [Heart] My Life
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A little Q&A on how my dad's doing lately: Q. How is George feeling these days? A. Whenever I ask my dad how he is feeling he always says the same thing, no matter what: "So so." Translation: "I've been better... and I've been worse." He's a stoic guy, to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2014 at I [Heart] My Life
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I remember three little vignettes in the Learning to Drive chapter of my teen years, all featuring my dad. I drove a lot with my mom, too, but I prefered having my dad as a teacher. He was always calm. Fashion: Dad said, "Always wear sensible shoes and your sunglasses."... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2014 at I [Heart] My Life
Last November, while out doing some errands before Thanksgiving, my dad suffered from an out-of-the-blue grand mal seizure (now called a tonic-clonic). He collapsed in an automotive store, was taken by ambulance to the hospital, and then was unconscious for a week in the neuro ICU. Eventually he was diagnosed... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2014 at I [Heart] My Life
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It goes without saying, I'm not the only one heartbroken over my dad's cancer diagnosis. He has a whole community grieving now, but more than that, I have two younger brothers. We've been through a heck of a lot together, and I cannot imagine facing any of this without them.... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2014 at I [Heart] My Life
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After posting this picture of this morning's Mineral Broth-makings on Facebook & Instagram, I got a few requests for the recipe. I can't take credit for it. It comes from Rebecca Katz's The Cancer Fighting Kitchen. Both the book and the broth are life-savers! This is my Rosetta stone of... Continue reading
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Over at Green Tea & Chocolate I'm salivating over a few of my family-invented green smoothies. Pop on over and let me know your favorite flavor combinations. Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2014 at I [Heart] My Life
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One hundred and fifty days of green smoothies. What does that mean exactly? That means I kept my first New Year's Resolution. Ever. It started off as a 30-day challenge and then I was hooked. A "green smoothie," by the way, is a smoothie containing some sort of dark, leafy... Continue reading
Early on in the diagnosis days of my cancer journey, Joe and I met Doctor #2. The surgeon of the team. Eventually there would be three: a chemo oncologist, a radiation oncologist, and a surgical oncologist. His office was messy, with papers and books all over, like you'd want to... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2014 at I [Heart] My Life
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This week marks George's second chemo infusion. With the regiment he's on, he gets an infusion every other Monday (with continuous drip for an additional 48 hours after leaving the infusion center, aka the "Chemo Lounge"). This particular regiment takes 5 hours to dispense, which is similar to my time... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2014 at I [Heart] My Life
There is a new normal round here. Alarm goes off at 6a. I reach for my phone & clumsily scroll through a few social networks while I blink hard to clear away the bleariness. Wake up! Between 6:15 and 6:30 I pull on yoga pants, a sweatshirt, a hat, and... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2014 at I [Heart] My Life
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When I was going through chemo for breast cancer two years ago, I ate these bars a lot. Little protein punches designed to satisfy whenever food actually sounded good -- hence, "anytime." Oddly, food sounded most good when I was in the Chemo Lounge, receiving an infusion of medicine! But... Continue reading