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a thousand words

Moving on, Moving Up

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The first time it happened was in the middle of my freshman year of high school. It wasn’t the first move we’d undertaken at my father’s seemingly cavalier whim, only the one that came after the longest stretch we’d lived anywhere. From even before I was born, my family moved roughly every two years. Eight

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Come Here Often?

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I never thought I would be cruising chicks as a 34-year-old heterosexual mom of two. But here I am, five months of living in a new community, and I am trying to make friends the only way I can: picking up women at the playground. I am trying to make friends in a new community, and

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riverview

New town view

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Our first six months in Petaluma were spent in a 2-bedroom townhouse on the river. I picked it online from Chicago because it was in the school district I thought was best (Kindergarten at McNear exceeded my very high expectations). the townhouse was chintzy and small, but offered an incredible location where Petaluma could show

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Eclipse

Not Quite Total Eclipse

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But still pretty cool.

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Busy Enough for You

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Waging the Internal Battle Over my Stay-At-Home Path Just when I thought I had come to terms with my rank as a stay-at-home mom, my working-mom neighbor asked me: “So, Kate, what’s keeping you busy these days?” Was she kidding? Was she being cute or facetious? Or was she effectively dismissing the validity of being a full-time

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whipdock

The dock

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one of my first photographs, taken down the street from my house at Whipppoorwill Lake, in 9th grade for my elective photography class. How I miss the darkroom. And that quiet serene lake.

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HPtrees

Best of walks and best of trees

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Helen Putnam Regional Park. We are so lucky to have this gem of a county park, named after an historic member of the community. Hills roll out in all directions, making for some steep butt-busting climbs and transporting vistas. I love the sound of red-wing blackbirds by the little lake, the million different shades of

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Great news on a gray day

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Even when I haven’t been through the ringer, I have a tough time getting going when it’s overcast. I’d like a little sun on my face or even just a glimpse of blue sky to get that Brand New Day feeling. Sullen gray skies make for sullen gray insides.

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Day 8 post op

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Hi people! Thanks Jen for posting updates for me, and thanks to everyone for following along with your good wishes and love and strength. I quite needed it. Surgery was harder than chemo by a long shot, partially I think due to the fact that I was still only weeks out of that badness.

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Hello see ya

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A quick note on this first day of December before I get surgery tomorrow. I will be in the hospital and offline for at least 5 days, and then will clock out with more days of being under pain meds and restricted movement, so I’m not sure when I’ll be back in the larger world beyond

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Peacetime adjustments

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Amazingly and mysteriously, this last round has been the easiest. Symptoms have been spotty and milder, I got out of bed faster and have been running around town days earlier than before. Still not back to normal (ask me about my eye twitching, it’s charming) but it feels safe to say the worst is truly

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Coming out from under

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It never gets old, coming back out into the world after treatment, seeing my life with fresh (albeit twitchy and tired) eyes. I descend from the cave of the upstairs bedroom, delighted again to see the decor of our still relatively new home. I curl up on the couch in the TV room, still rather too

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4 Down

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It’s day 10, nadir day when everything is supposed to be the lowest of the low, and I am out of bed. I had coffee and eggs this morning, and I’m not doubled over in crampy pain. I spent most of yesterday out of bed too, rewatching “Deadwood” with John. [If you haven’t watched it

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Progress I guess

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I guess I can call it now: Halfway Home. And yet I’m not feeling nearly as celebratory as I could. yay. halfway. three more. oh great.

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Almost halfway home

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Third infusion was yesterday and it went smoothly. I hummed along working on a Photoshop job throughout most of it – time flew. I have been doing a lot of that, maybe too much, this last week: pushing through the sicker aspects of my days into chores, work, and ye olde beloved volunteer gig of helping

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NOW it’s 2 down

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That was a long stretch. I went in with a glimmer of hope that it’d be easier, but it was not. Bloody noses were cut down from 15+ to about 3, so that’s good. But other than that everything was the same. Hard, long, unrelenting.

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2015-08-08 11.52.15

#2 down and yet just begun

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I was remarking to my friend Jenna on the way home after the infusion yesterday that it doesn’t quite feel like an accomplishment to have gotten the chemo itself: yesterday was a pretty easy day. Jenna and I had a lovely time visiting, I ate and drank well, we played cards and read and talked

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2015-08-03 14.11.39

The hair

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I have gotten some very sweet, supportive feedback about my writing; people often remark about my honesty and how open I am in sharing what I’m going through. Then I had a talk with my dear friend Beth, who is reading along from afar, and she was shocked to hear that I spent 9 days in

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2015-07-26 13.27.23

Knocking all the wood

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I got through all of Sunday (day 10) outside of my bed, and I can’t properly articulate how pleasurable it was. I had a lay down a couple times for quiet, but was able to put my feet up in the TV room and avoid the cave of the bedroom. I was reminded low lovely

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J’suis fatigué

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I was going to start off trying to coin a smattering of new words for Tired that this chemo treatment is inspiring — the deep exhaustion that shuts the body and mind down completely, the utter disregard for anything beyond lying down, the inability to finish the last two bites of food, the need to rest after

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First one down remarkably smoothly

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Day one went as well as can be expected. The process itself was longer for the first time, they push everything slower to not assault the body and to gauge for reactions. I went with my mom, and it was super quiet in the large Infusion Room for most of the morning. I was sharing

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And so it begins

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Yesterday I got the port insertion and felt for the first time in 16 years like a cancer patient. Pokes, prods, explanations, hospital beds… tenderness, grogginess, feeling beat up. I complained to a nurse that my neck was sore and she was like “Yeah, you got punched in the neck pretty hard.”

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A possible wrinkle

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I went pretty quiet after yesterday’s appointment with the medical oncologist. We really liked him, and it felt informative and clear, exactly what we were expecting. The timeline looks like what we were hoping for: starting chemo at the end of next week, finishing before Thanksgiving and healing in time to have surgery before the

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Mindblowing history

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It’s been a weird day, starting with genetic counseling and going through an MRI, a blood draw for genetic testing, and a nuclear-based MUGA heart scan. I had an emotional moment getting the IV put in, a shuddering remembrance of what it’s like to be a cancer patient, and I felt the deep sense of

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Upcoming Appointments

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I was hoping I could just fill stuff in on the planning calendar but it’s all tasks and requests over there. So this is what I’m facing this week: Monday:

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The Diagnosis

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Here is the info if anyone wants it for a reference:

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EagleWA-1024x681

Where Eagles Tread

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I was lucky enough to head out to sea from Bellingham, Washington and go whale watching around the San Juan Islands. We spied the orcas from afar, the captain of the boat lent me his incredible zoom lens to try to capture them. I may not have needed the powerful zoom for the eagles, but

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LitTrees

Sunbeam tree

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In the summer of 2013, family descended on NorCal. Before my sisters joined us in San Rafael, my brother came from England with his wife and three daughters, and my parents rented us a place in Half Moon Bay. We drove up to higher ground and found this super cool place to hike (leave it to

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Writing Prompt: My biggest mistake

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It took me a minute to realize the mix-up, since so much of the process had been out of my hands. I knew what was supposed to happen. First, answer the generic questions that can be used on more than one application (“What has been the most formative experience in your life?”), then write the

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Dresses1

Rivertown Revival

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Every year the riverfront in Petaluma is taken over by the steampunk fans of ye olden days. From washtub bands to boat races, the aim is to celebrate the town heritage while enjoying food and entertainment in the summertime air. One of the features up on a hill is the makeshift wedding chapel, where for

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Horse

Petaluma cowboy

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Gotta keep your eyes open out on the street, you never know what you might see in the town where you live.

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