The stark beauty of the rugged landscape of a lava field in Hawaii Volcano National Park.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Approaching sunset at Mokuleia Beach, North Shore, Oahu.

An old water tank in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park forest.
Wow.  It's been awhile since I've posted (over a year) and I apologize.  I was a rough year for me and I'm planning on a strong comeback.  I've been sick for awhile, well to be more frank with you, I was and I'm still in the recovery and reconstruction stages of breast cancer.  Last year I decided to get healthy because of my diabetes.  I got into a exercise routine and lost quite a bit of weight which I am proud of.  Then a month before my annual mammogram I felt a weird bump, more like a welt. I though it was a heat rash. It didn't disappear and grew rapidly into a hard ball and by the time I got to the mammo it was huge.  I had a lumpectomy right away and 3 days later I was told I had a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer and would need a mastectomy.  I was also informed that I wouldn't undergo chemotherapy or radiation because it wouldn't have any affect on this form of cancer.

Native Ohelo Berry plant in the middle of the lava fields.
 So, here I am 10 months later, going through the last half of reconstructive surgeries and lots of free time on my hands.  You see, in February my boss passed away unexpectedly and I am currently without a job.  Yes!  It's been wild!  With all this free time in between surgeries, I've been doing research and planning to start a small business.  Beginning with craft fairs this upcoming Christmas season to get a feel of the market.
 Steam from the active volcano.
I need to really decide on products that I would love to make and sell.  I would like to manufacture a few dresses, hand printed pareo (sarong), tote bags and some jewelry, along with some holiday decor items.  I would need a easy-up tent, tables and a camera.  Yes, I need a new camera.  Sand dust got into my Nikon and scratch the lens in the body.  Augh.  Oh yeah, and man power... to help me set up and break down.  Gotta start cracking at the whip now to have enough product by October.

I have a positive outlook on my situation.  I get that from having faith.  Think a little about my situ, a rare (less than 1% of all breast cancers) breast cancer which means almost non-existent research.  Before becoming a cancer patient I always told myself I would choose not to have chemo/radiation because of the bad rap that it has.  But now, I wish I had that option as another layer of protection.  I don't have that option. I am unemployed which just throws another monkey wrench into the mix.
Trunks of the native Ohia Lehua tree are tinged bright orange from the sulfur coming out of the volcano steam vents close by.
And some other factors that I won't mention here for privacy issues make living with cancer and diabetes more challenging for me.  One of the first challenge was finding a internist.  My surgical internist was not the first choice that was selected for me, but a recommendation from the nurse practitioner from my primary dr because the first was unable to take new patients.  The surgical internist oversees the OR drs and critical ICU at the hospital I was set up with. She is a firecracker and set me up with the plastic surgeon and oncologist, both excellent drs.  She held my hand, guided me and provided me with the structure I needed when my world was caving in.  She pushed and reminded me of my strength and of my fighter instinct. "I think you are a brave person.  I don't get too many fighters in my office", she said as she hugged me.  I felt a great weight was lifted and astounded to receive a great team of doctors.
Angel statue in my Moms garden.

 I have faith in God and have many prayer partners who I am eternally grateful for.  I get my strength from God, whom I rely on and continuously give thanks to.
Also, my Mom and brother helped and support me a lot.  I couldn't do it without them and love them dearly. My true besties are great and stand behind, encourage and love me.  It is a blessing also to have the love and support from my extended families

Plant and white berries of the native Pukiawe plant grows in the lush volcano forest.  Favorite food for the endangered  State bird of Hawaii, the Nene Goose.
A shout out to a dear friend and her family (her parents, sister and her family) came for their Christmas holiday vacation and took me with them on a day trip to Hawaii Island (The Big Island) to cheer me on and spend some time with me (that's were I took the volcano shots) before the mastectomy surgery.  Last but far from least, to my friend who is going through her own journey with breast cancer (love you).  We both share and swap stories, cry, laugh, encourage and sound off with each other.  What a great bunch of people! Thank you all for my many blessings.
An overhead canopy of bouganvillea blossoms on a portion of my walking trail.

So, there you have it.  I will start to post regularly and use an old camera to take photos until I am able to purchase a better camera.  But, for the next few postings I will use older pics.  Hopefully ones that you haven't seen from me previously.
I think this is enough for now.  Until my next posting.

Sois Sage (french for be wise) and Aloha,

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