my weblog

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A brief year-in-review post...

Overall, a good year. I'm still here! The beginning of this year my oncologist wasn't sure if I'd still be around by now, let alone feeling well. I'm here, and I still feel well, ten feet tall and bulletproof even! She, and my entire medical team, have done truly great work; I owe it all to them.

I made considerably more me time this year, in all of my walks of life; reconnected with many old friends, met and saw some new friends as well, and have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them all! I hit several new/different restaurants and drinking establishments this year, even developed a liking for wine! At this point in my life I am totally comfortable with and enjoying going anywhere; while I have no illusions about my beauty (but to be fair I'm not totally homely... at least I don't think so!) I really have no problem going out anywhere; again, while maybe not stunning I can and do pretty much blend in as a typical 40-something woman, which is what I've sought. (Either that, or people are simply kind to the Poor Cancer Girl!) There are still a few folks, from all of my walks of life, that I hope to see in the coming year but socially, this has been a pretty good year for me, finally made/took a lil more time to socialize with good people more often! And one more thing on that note; I've been blessed my entire life to know and to be surrounded by so many truly good people- I appreciate you all, more than you know :)

Been struggling a bit ATS this season; I'm still in the black (barely) but college hoops haven't been as kind to me so far as they often are, I usually do quite well, especially in early-season, November/December, games. Not so much this season. Need to do a lil more homework and research... Pats are in the playoffs yet again- yay! A truly great coaching job by Bill Belichick, with so much player turnover and several injuries to key players, on both sides of the ball, and a great job from players stepping up. The only team I truly fear in the playoffs is Denver; Peyton Manning is playing like he did 10 years ago, and they are just pretty solid in all three phases of the game. Go Pats!...  My workouts have, on balance, been good (got in a decent last-run-of 2013 this morning) but I could still stand to step them up a but more in the coming year. I hope to increase my running mileage and pace, hit cardio @ the gym a little more intensely, resistance-training I could actually stand to gain a slight amount of muscle mass, always improve my muscle tone, and I need to mix it up a lil more, change my routines a bit. My weight is fine. I can seem a lil over-the-top re. my workouts but they help on several levels- first, they simply make me feel normal, doing things that I did before I was diagnosed with cancer; second, I like to think that working out is keeping me strong as I deal with the cancer, better able to withstand treatment as well as the disease itself; third, working out helps keep me fit so that I look better in clothes, etc... Yeah, vanity plays a role!

I don't know what the coming year holds for me. This spring will be three years since I was diagnosed with stage IV cancer; the five-year survival rate for CRC is 8%, so I'm obviously aware that I'm further long into all of this, that time may be- heck, is- running down a bit. Hopefully I'll be writing one of these this time next year! I still feel well and, for as long as possible, intend to keep doing what I'm doing, living my life as I always have for as long as possible, while making/taking evermore me time, to see and share and spend time with the many great people in my life.

Best wishes to all!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Christmas (or, for the politically correct, "holiday") season is upon us! While we- fortunately- haven't had the winter blast and snow that other parts of the country have received we're having a few flurries today, whitening things up just a lil bit, making it look a lil more Christmasy! I have much to be thankful for as the year winds down; first and foremost, that I'm still here! And still feeling well. And I know I've said it before, but it's true, and this time of year (as well as my health issues) makes it more relevant; I've truly been blessed throughout my life to have been surrounded by soooooooooo many good people! Family, friends, romantic interests, neighbors, co-workers, from all of my walks of life, they've all made, and continue to make, my life journey an enjoyable and fulfilling one. They fill me with humility and a tremendous sense of gratitude. I cannot thank them- including some of you here!- enough.

Over the years I've read, and occasionally still read, blogs, journals, articles, etc... by and about trans folks. One thing that has always saddened me, and at times has irked me as well, is the amount of anguish, self-pity, victimhood, just plain unhappiness expressed in so many items. The "why me" "woes is me" "no one understands or accepts me" "being trans is such a burden" mindsets. While almost all of my trans friends seem to be reasonably happy and secure in their lives and themselves, I don't minimize some of the more legitimate complaints. Violence is unacceptable; harassment and the like are also wrong. I understand that folks may find themselves with unaccepting family, spouses, etc... But at some point folks have to take ownership of themselves, their lives. Time spent wallowing in self-pity, in a the-whole-world-is-against-me/no one cares or understands me mindset is time that could be far more productively spent on efforts to change/improve one's circumstances. I've had stage IV colon cancer for the past 2 1/2 years, a far more onerous affliction than being transgender. I've been on hormone therapy for 4+ years now but due to my illness, SRS is out of the equation.While I hope that it's not the case, the more likely thing is that I won't be around this time next year. I suppose I could sit around and bemoan my fate, wallow and moan and whine about how unfair it is. But that won't change or improve things, make life more pleasant, tolerable, enjoyable, for myself or for those around me. Whether it is transgenderism, or any life challenge, it seems there are three potential courses to take: actively work to change/improve/create the situation, the life, one seeks; make accommodations with the challenge to allow it to fit into the framework of one's current life; wallow, whine, moan, throw in the towel and give it up. While there is much we cannot control in our lives, we can control how we choose to respond to life's challenges- whine, or win!
A few items of interest...
The 20 Things You Need To Let Go To Be Happy  Everyone has one common goal in life: to achieve true happiness. The biggest factor holding us back from achieving our dreams is, simply and sadly, our own selves. We put limitations on ourselves everyday, whether intentionally or unintentionally. There are so many ways we can alleviate these restraints. Remember, life can either be something you embrace or something you hide from. Stop making things complicated and just live your life. It would be so much simpler and more enjoyable if we learned to just release certain limitations.
How To Recognize “Big A**” Opportunities  Entrepreneurs have one thing in common: the ability to see and seize opportunities when others don't.
Male or Female? Why a Cell's Sex Matters
How Squinching Will Make You Look Good In Photos I seldom take a good picture :( 
11 Transgender Stars Weigh In on Trans Images in Entertainment  Some interesting- and refreshing- takes on the subject.
5 rules for a perfect first kiss  Just in time for mistletoe season!