Ooh a mystery! I'm leaning towards Griffin. They're supposed to guard treasure. And there's sure plenty of that at the Hamptons.

When I think of home
I think of a place where there's love overflowing
I wish I was home
I wish I was back there with the
Things I´ve been knowing

Wind that makes the tall trees bend into leaning
Suddenly the snowflakes that fall have a meaning
Sprinklin' the scene, makes it all clean

Maybe there's a chance for me to go back
Now that I have some direction
It would be sure nice to be back home
Where there's love and affection
And just maybe I can convince time to slow up
Giving me enough time in my life to grow up
Time, be my friend
Let me start again

Suddenly my world´s gone and changed it's face
But I still know where I'm going
I have had my mind spun around in space
And yet I've watched it growing

Oh If you're list'ning God
Please don't make it hard to know
If we should believe in things that we see
Tell us, should we run away should we try and stay
Or would it be better just to let things be?

Living here, in this brand new world
Might be a fantasy
But it taught me to love
So it's real, real to me

And I've learned
That we must look inside our hearts
To find a world full of love
Like yours
Like mine

Like home...

Our summer in NYC is almost at its end. Thought I'd share some of the beautiful photos that Lynn took during our wanderings. This was at the American Museum of Natural History where they have "The Horse" exhibit going on until January.
Waiting for Broadway in Bryant Park to begin.
The Big Apple decorated with pennies at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital.
We spotted a blimp while waiting for the Museum of Natural History to open.

Today, the 28th of July was my last day of radiation. We went to Central Park to celebrate.

Strawberry Fields in Central ParkDumpling enjoying a view of the Bethesda Fountain (also called Angel of the Waters) in Central Park
Beautiful tree-lined avenue
Yesterday we had dessert at Serendipity 3. Lynn had the humongous hot fudge sundae and I ordered the trademarked Frrrozen hot chocolate. When we left, all Lynn could say was: "What the hell happened back there?"
View of the Queensboro/59th st. bridge from the Roosevelt Island tram

Last day of cancer. I win.

Lynn and I joined the American Cancer Society and NYC Police Relay for Life yesterday in Washington Heights. And what a lovely time I had! 8 us from the Lodge went. We were met by Gina, head of the Survivor committee. She hosted a little reception for us, gave us delicious purple cake (not ube though), t-shirts, gift bags. We even got sashes that said Survivor and Caregiver. There was a banner on the wall where we could put our purple handprint and write messages of support. I felt like a little kid again dipping my hands into the purple tempera paint. It washed right off.

After the national anthem, the opening remarks and emotional speeches, which left me teary-eyed, we opened the event a little before 1 PM. The survivors and caregivers walked the opening lap. It was an honor to walk with these amazing courageous people. Celebrate, remember and fight back was the theme. I was touched and moved by these people's stories.

We hung about for a while, checked out the merch, walked around the track a little more before heading out. I could have stayed longer but we had to meet a friend to watch "Mamma Mia!" (which was another treat!). And we had Gray's Papaya hotdogs for lunch. Lynn gave it two thumbs up. I finally ordered the papaya drink, but I'm not convinced it was made from papaya. A mystery concoction.

And to top it off, my sister had the brilliant idea that perhaps we should make a conciliatory move towards our estranged father and try to comfort our poor suffering mother. He sent me a text message on Friday expressing love and concern, which apparently he thought I totally rebuffed. I started a text war and made both parents even more upset. I rocked the boat and didn't know how to fix it. So last night Lynn and I both wrote letters which we hope he'll see in a positive light. It was therapeutic. Ball's in his court now.

Mike, Lynn and I went to dinner before watching [title of show] last night. Mike was running late so Lynn and I ordered appetizers. I was sitting by the window of the restaurant and noticed this couple walking towards us. I told my sister the guy looked like Ben from Lost. And guess what?! It was Michael Emerson! And his wife! He was tinkering with his mobile phone. We couldn't get a stalkerazzi photo of him either because Lynn was sending a text message at the time.
Totally awesome celebrity sighting.

(photo from TV Guide)

WARNING: These are pictures of my post-craniotomy and post-radiation head. Images may be disturbing to some. Viewer discretion advised.

I'm losing my hair?!!!!WTF?!!

Doesn't the phrase Pet scan make you think about animals doing the scanning? Maybe a shihtzu massage? Well today ended up being a better day. I had my radiation treatment then went to the PET Center. Lilya the nurse put me in a small room, gave me a nice warm blanket and let me watch TV. She checked my blood sugar level and fifteen minutes later, injected me with the glucose radioisotope. I laid down for an hour waiting for it to metabolize. As soon as I was starting to fall asleep, the nurse comes back and brings me to the trailer outside where the humongous machine is.

Brain scan: 15-20 minutes. Then the total body scan: probably 30-45 minutes. I lost track. I can't believe I didn't fall asleep, although George the technician said I was allowed to sleep during the total body one. Meditation really helps me relax and keep still.

Then I waited a few more minutes while the doctor looked at the images. George gave me OJ and cookies. Cindy the nurse practitioner wanted to get more blood work because yesterday's revealed anemia. So I made another brief stop at the Neurological Institute. They were having a meeting at the Brain Tumor Center.

Oh they gave me a letter saying I had the procedure done today. In case I set off any alarms or counters. Nurse said even department store scanners might detect it. Radioactive ME! Of course I made sure I steered clear of small children and visibly pregnant women on my way home.

After my non-PET Scan day yesterday, there was a fire alarm at the lodge. And of course, people were saying that Penn Station was being evacuated, that there were no trains running. The street was crowded and there seemed to be smoke. Our alarm turned out to be burnt toast. Never found out about the Penn Station situation.

Anyway, pizza night turned out to be little breakdown night. Had a fight with my sister over the stupidest thing. But the anger, the tears, the frustration and the venom kept flowing. Resentment towards my father, my mother even. I did feel better afterwards. Maybe it was what I needed.

Don't believe it when they say whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Whatever doesn't kill you, very nearly will. I kid of course...hahaha! Ermm...*scurries*

I had my PET Scan scheduled at 930 AM today. I showed up and they told me I was an hour early. I called 2 weeks ago to make it earlier but apparently Luz didn't change it. Then the Filipino nurse asked me if I had blood work done. I'm clueless; they're supposed to do a pregnancy test! Again, I wasn't told that I had to do that. So I was swearing to high heavens that there was no chance in hell that I was pregnant, that I'll sign a waiver, etc. But they made me march over to the neuro-oncologist's office to do the blood work.

So now I've been NPO since midnight. I'm tired, hungry, cranky. They said they send out the blood work and it'll take 3 hours to get the result back. They made me hang out. I got a magazine and did crossword puzzles, only to be told at 2 PM that the results weren't back. They couldn't do the test anyway because the isotope was degrading. I had to reschedule for tomorrow anyway. Luz was apologizing on the phone but it sounded like it was my fault.

I can't believe how upset and angry I got. Doesn't help that I'm hormonal. I guess I'm still sweating the small stuff.

Lynn and I went to see the NYC Waterfalls after treatment today. Nothing like sitting by the Hudson River, with the Brooklyn Bridge right in front of you. Lynn even managed to catnap. Unhurried moments with the wind in your hair, maybe some sunlight on your face, although it did cloud up every now and then. No rush, nowhere to go. And there were plenty of other people just sitting. People just need to do that, slow down, just sit and be.

Then we had lunch at the Shake Shack. Thick chocolate milkshake, greasy cheese fries and burgers...it was my day to be bad! Then we sat in the park some more. Again, just watching the world go by, talked to Cecile (thanks for bench photo!), watched the kids play, listened to some live music before heading back to the lodge.

T'was a good day.

I was in the computer room yesterday with a black lady when a white woman came in. She couldn't get her computer to turn on so she asked the woman next to her. Ms. B just smiled and shook her head, to which Ms. W remarked, "Oh you don't speak English?" How could she just assume that? So she asked me but I didn't know why her computer wasn't turning on either. I gave up mine and left.

Being with old friends is like coming home.

It is bad enough to lose a parent. But to lose your father this way is unfathomable. I spent a sleepless night thinking about his last hours, what his family went through and are going through. My deepest condolences M. May the perpetrators rot in hell.

Faced with a life-threatening situation, one's belief system is challenged almost immediately: Is there or isn't there a God? I have never doubted His existence. The universe, our world, our bodies are too intelligently designed to be random.

I've been going to a church near where I'm staying while I undergo treatment. I was pretty much a non-practicing Catholic. I didn't think you had to go to church to be a good person. One's life is the truer testament. I am not hypocritically trying to show my religiosity now, but it's been very comforting to come almost everyday.

Two weeks ago, I had a moment inside the church where I felt so sure I had been cured, and I was at peace. There still are times of doubt and fear, but for the most part, I am certain I am healed. Thank God for that moment of grace, and eventual surrender.

I was talking to two other patients today while waiting for a meditation class to begin. One of them had attended a class before, and said the instructor was basically telling them to let go of all expectations and worries. That your body does its own healing after all the treatments are done. One guy had only just started radiation, and didn't seem to be handling it well for now. He was questioning a lot of things, and asked us how we were dealing with it.

I realized then that I'm in the proper state of mind, thinking that treatment is not violating my body and it is curative. And it makes a big difference. I hope every cell in my body gets that message, so that I will stay free from whatever ails me mentally, emotionally and physically.

Fifteenth day of treatment WOOHOO!

Happy 4th of July! Let go of unhealthy thoughts, feelings, insecurities. Stay away from people who suck the life out of you---yes I'm talking about your dementors! May all of us be free from worry, rage, fear, and regret. Live life and love life.



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