Letter-c Day 10

In a country filled with outrage over the actions of the police departments in Minneapolis and Louisville with the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, my concerns about cancer are minuscule. I agree with Martin Luther King that ” A riot is the language of the unheard” but I can’t condone looting and vandalism as necessary to make a point. The people participating in the looting and deliberate vandalism are no different than the officer that killed Floyd. Crime doesn’t justify crime. Human beings are supposed to be in control of our emotions. Peaceful protests, gathering together in solidarity not destroying businesses that had nothing to do with the actual crime committed by the Minneapolis and Louisville police officers. I’m saddened and sickened with seeing the wanton destruction as would be King. He strongly urged protesters to not be violent but to let love, peace and unity guide their quest for justice. #socialjusticewithoutviolence

Initially, I was going with John Lennon’s Imagine after reading the news showing how much the violence escalated across our country but instead I decided to go with I Don’t Know What Love Is by Foreigner. “There’s been heartache and pain, I don’t think I can go through it again.” I was alive during the riots in the 60’s and 70’s. I participated in the protests then and again in the 2000’s when we went to Afghanistan. Violence begets violence.

“Feels like the world upon my shoulders, through the clouds I see love shine”. I see it in the eyes of my husband, my children, my friends but in  my heart I know that we all need to remember how important love is. Love for each other regardless of our differences is the only way to restore peace.

Today the letter-c is on the back burner where it needs to be, not controlling my thoughts as it has.









letter-c Day 9

Yesterday, when I shared my progress on my shawl on Facebook, I was reminded of an Irish custom to leave a mistake so my soul could escape if needed. I hadn’t heard that applied in crochet but I had in quilting. Nothing to worry about when it comes to my crocheting, I have never crocheted anything without at least one dropped stitch somewhere. Perfection, isn’t my normal. Subconsciously, I believe I’m a born objector in an ordinary world.

Dinner, last night came out exceptional. I tried a recipe shared by Crafty Morning. Three ingredients to make Orange Chicken. I’m not fond of dark meat so I don’t typically order this at Chinese restaurants but I have sampled the sauce when friends have ordered it. I realize restaurants use dark meat because of the lower cost overhead but I prefer the drier texture of white meat. In preparing the recipe, I used boneless breasts that I cut up smaller to minimize the frying time and the amount of oil needed. My husband raved about how delicious dinner was. I’ve included the link to the recipe if your’re interested.

3-Ingredient Orange Chicken Sauce Recipe

I chose Ordinary Day for today’s letter c song. because so many of the lines in the song summarize my conflicted feelings at this time. “Thought I heard you talking softly, I turned on the lights, the TV and the radio. Still I can’t escape the ghost of you”  The damn c, interrupts me at the strangest time. It even dared to cross my mind while talking with my good friend, Marcus, last night discussing his writing piece. The story with the few tweaks he made conversing with me is awesome. Will cancer steal these priceless moments too? I had to push the dang letter c out of my head so I could be in the moment.

I shouldn’t cry  for in my ordinary world I’m blessed with incredible people in my life like Marcus, my awesome husband Vic, my daughter, Amanda and my granddaugher, Olyvia. They made yesterday easier for me.

The humidity was intense yesterday and along with that feeling of being strangled trying to do what needed to be done, I really struggled with blocking my fear of the unknown or the waiting game. Both take me out of my comfort zone.

I lost myself reading Writing, the Life Poetic by Sage Cohen yesterday afternoon for awhile. I tried several of her writing prompts and was pleased with the results. I didn’t go to the darkness in my writing.

I also spent about an hour reading Iron Dawn by Richard Snow. I love reading and usually have two or three books going at once. I don’t read the same genre at the same time which makes reading much less confusing.

Iron Dawn is about the Monitor and Merrimack during the Civil War. We fought a war to free the slaves but have we really achieved that dream of equality. It’s not apparent with all that is happening in the media now. No one should die as George Floyd did or as Breonna Taylor did. Or the many others who have died because of police brutality under the guise of law. That damn uniform does not give anyone the privilege to commit murder.  Our ordinary world sucks in so many ways, I hope the ghosts of all the injustices haunt us forever until we take responsibility and change.



Letter-c Day 8

I chose Song of Silence as my song choice of the day. In the song, Sounds of Silence one particular line hits home ” in the silence cancer grows”. Yeah, I know. Silence is complicated even in the best of times.

Initially, I felt numb but it’s been ten days now and the numbness has worn off. I’m angry, frustrated and tired of the silence. I try to occupy myself with productive activities until I’m so tired I collapse. Hello darkness, my old friend, let the visions in my overactive brain rest please.



Every evening before bed I’ve been working on this healing shawl. Every stitch is filled with positive energy as I work. In 2005, I was given a lovely pink shawl by a dear friend in Maine that I took with me for all of my chemo treatments. It was really warm and comforting. I remembered the feeling it always provided so I decided to make another one in a lighter yarn using light purple. I’m adding cream and pink with to compliment the light purple. I’m not as skilled as Yolanda, another blogger on WordPress that shows her beautiful work.  I do find crocheting relaxing but my wrist objects if I do it very long.

Today’s goals are to plant Moon flowers to attract bees to my garden. I love the large blossoms and the way the ivy coils around the post as it grows. They look so beautiful in the moonlight, hence their name. I also need to figure out a way to keep the chipmunk out of my planters. I’m not going to murder them like my neighbor… just make my planters more challenging to access. I was hoping the humidity would vanish but that’s not the case.

On Monday, a new month and closer to the tests. Yay!






Letter-c Day 7

All the appointments are scheduled, now it’s just waiting again which is challenging for this proactive woman. I remember the first time I was introduced to cancer was in 1980. I had stage 4 cervical cancer but I was also pregnant with my daughter. My doctor at the time immediately wanted to do an abortion and then a radical hysterectomy. No abortion for me. I’ll support any woman’s right to make a choice but personally that wasn’t my choice. I changed doctors because I wanted a doctor that was willing to put what mattered most first which was carrying my baby to term than addressing cancer. It wasn’t a priority in my life then nor can it be now. That doesn’t mean I’m dismissing the risks, it just means that I have things that matter that need first priority. I could have easily gone in reactive mode instead I chose proactive. I became my strongest advocate.

It’s  so easy to be focused on living in the daytime. I’m writing, gardening, reading, crocheting, and cooking. All things that I love to do. I’ve begun a healing shawl, crocheting each stitch with intent that this battle will be won easily at this point in the game. I’m living every day like it maybe my last even though I know it’s not.

The challenge lies when I lie down at night, and all the nagging doubts surface. I need this cancer scare to go away which is why I chose this song today. I’m not feeling insecure in my relationship with Vic or my family. It’s more about seeing them without me that disrupts my sleep. All the what if’s?

I had the genetic testing done in 2005, the determination at the time was based on the path my cancers had already taken that brain cancer would be next. So that dark piece has always loomed beneath the surface. I’ve done a reasonably good job of not letting it diminish my everyday. This circumstance caught me by surprise rocking my comfort zone. Those c words again, circumstance, caught, comfort, challenges and cancer are making demands when in truth I would rather make the world go away.

Background on this song.  I heard a lot as a child. My father worked nights so in the evening after my siblings and I were sent to bed my mother would play Eddy Arnold and Jim Reeves on the stereo. She would sing along. Even as a child, I could hear the unhappiness in her voice. Their marriage wasn’t a happy one for either one of them, both buried themselves in booze and songs of unhappiness.  Neither of them were proactive about their needs, they wallowed in drunken woe is me.


“Make the world go away
And get it off my shoulders
Say the things you used to say
And make the world go away
Do you remember when you loved me
Before the world took me astray
If you do, then forgive me
And make the world go away”
The world hasn’t taken me astray nor is our marriage struggling but what is happening is a scary interruption that requires more commitment than ever because fear is a voracious enemy that can cause hurt in any relationship. We all say things in frustration or anger that never go away. The words hang like a fungus between us. I highly recommend compassion, caution and concern, they go hand in hand when speaking.
I’m blessed that I love writing poetry, it offers me an outlet that many others on this letter-c journey don’t have.  Poetry makes me feel braver. It offers me a place to go when I can’t talk to people or I’m in need of an answer. Once I write the poem, my feelings are locked into the poem.

Deny the Demon © Lyn Crain

A terrified woman

  desperately seeks witty prose or

 maybe a profound verse to

silence the fearful words cast out

Words daring to tread

 the dark vortex of her mind

Every uncomfortable syllable spoke

 Rips into her like a river raging across rocks

 hoping they meander to a calm sea but

 instead, the brief sardonic pauses spring

like crickets on grass blades before

 every word penetrating

 like a cat’s claw into tender flesh.

 Every agonizing sigh expires

 with a fiendish cascade of silky tears.

The unspoken fears break down

 every beat of  the mind and heart

In to a desiccated submission

 as the sun rises.

A new day where

Inspiration  refuses to wither.

Letter-c Day 6

Ever consider how many times spirals or circles exist in our lives  Like for instance, in our DNA, the galaxies, in a coiled tendril of a vine, or even the tracery of a fingerprint. Circles, so many different incidences around us all the time but like most minute details simply taken for granted. until a chain of events occurs and we question why.

Think about a spiral for a second, it begins at one point and moves onward in a smooth and steady spinning around and around creating circles. Life at times feels like we run in circles and we can’t get out of the spiral. If only every circle was as beautiful as a coiled tendril of a vine or the sparkling stars above us in the galaxy we call the Milky Way.

I did have my DNA done, my family history took place in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, England, and Norway. I was raised to believe I was French and Irish. French was missing in my DNA. No real surprise. Its one more lie among many.

I often study the tips of my fingers and wonder what stories my tiny circle cells would share and what they would hide from prying eyes after I pass. I know its harder to hide the creases in my fingers embedded with dirt. I’m not ashamed to say it’s typical for this time of year. So Thanatos if you’re looming forget it, I’m not done yet.

I’ve never lost my passion for working in the soil, helping mother nature nurture her circle , Earth. My carbon footprint matters immensely to me. If only everyone would feel the same especially after seeing the pictures of the beach in Scarborough In the UK. That was disgusting. I feel ashamed that this is an example of the human condition on Earth. We’re taught that we’re superior beings because we evolved but in reality the animals don’t damage the environment as humans do.


As beautiful as a rose bloom is, we’re reminded that beauty often comes with pain. In this incidence quite prickly and painful.  Mother Nature believes it’s a necessary lesson so we appreciate how blessed we truly are. Which brings me to the other sharp and prickly attack of my day. A simple envelope…

The envelope from Cooper with the scripts for my tests decided to slice my finger. Maybe, another reminder that warriors are frequently wounded but keep going. Once I squelched the blood I looked at the forms my doctor sent with the necessary pre-certifications from the insurance company.   Finally, I have the phone numbers to call to set the appointments in place. This hurry up and wait game is mentally challenging. My merry-go-round of uncertainty has a destination now in this spiral of life instead of feeling like the water spiraling down a dark drain into a watery grave.

I couldn’t resist studying the night sky, hoping for a shooting star….

And my spiral has a central axis…

Letter-c Day 5

Nerve block this morning went as expected except for the fact we didn’t calculate the travel time for these times. We left two hours prior to the appointment as usual but arrived one hour prior to the appointment. Oh well. Not like I have any pressing commitments.

No temperature check today, so they’re relaxing a bit. Face mask and hand sanitizer available on table before you can proceed upstairs. Upstairs, a receptionist checks you in and gestures you to the chairs labeled where you can sit and where you can’t to keep us socially distanced. My doctor took me in early, actually before her first appointment so everything worked out well except I probably interrupted her coffee time.

I don’t know about you but I’m so over the word socially distanced. Times like now are when I really miss embraces from my close friends. I have always found comfort in being able to just lay my head briefly against their shoulder and know in that moment I’m not alone. Comfort is an enjoyable c-word especially when it comes from close friends and family.

This world is different for all of us but what concerns me is how this cancer treatment plan will differ from the previous cancer experiences I’ve had.  During those times, I was blessed with compassionate nurses that didn’t look like they stepped off a space ship with face shields, gloves and paper suits that crinkle with every move. That’s what my doctor looked like today with the nerve block… face mask,  hair covering, plastic shield, crinkly coverall and gloves. I could barely see her eyes. No comfort visible.

My song feels appropriate today with What’s Up? Both versions are awesome!  I feel like screaming too! I need normalcy in this damn world so I can focus on beating c.

Letter- c Day 4

I began this writing journey with the Letter C, capitalized but I’ll be damned if I give the word cancer or even the letter c high priority in my emotional being. My emotions are candid but not ever carp. That’s not my nature either. I’m just choosing to go a path of certitude with the love of my life.

Last night was my first introduction in food reaction since they removed my gallbladder. I wasn’t expecting my body’s reaction to the Cauliflower Au Gratin. Yup, another c word got my attention very rapidly with a mad dash to the bathroom and a very potent smelling excrement. Cheese is one of the foods they list as a cautious food because it is fatty and without the added enzymes from your gallbladder the pancreas isn’t able to process it the way it needs.

As some of you know I’m a huge cheese fan, probably right behind my love of coffee. I’ve had grilled cheese sandwiches and macaroni and cheese with no reaction so this caught me unexpectedly. This is first time I’ve had gryuere cheese since the surgery. The Cauliflower Au Gratin was amazing with the cheese, nutmeg, and garlic bread crumbs. It complimented the grilled salmon so nicely.

It was reminder that I will need to consider what foods I choose to eat in public once this pandemic ends. It also reminded me that my dietary choices cannot continue as they have, my future has different needs.

Yesterday, my day was overall peaceful. I finished reading Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, I highly recommend the book.  Vic and I sat on the deck for a while, each reading our own books in the afternoon sun until the neighbor’s voice became too much. He was entertaining and their voices escalated into our quiet space. I enjoyed  having the normalcy with Vic.

Vic and I are both avid readers, we both love writing and that shared passion has been our rock through many difficult times. I’m sure it will carry us through the times ahead as well.

Which leads me to my song choice of the day. I chose More Than Words by Extreme because I am truly blessed to have Vic in my life. I never knew how wonderful love could be until him. He shows me everyday in so many ways more than words.


Letter c day 3

The word correlation, another c-word that comes to mind when I think about the past year. Continuous stress played a prominent factor in my world. Johnny died, than Derek and Ian.  When Johnny died in that fluke dirt bike accident, my world shattered. It didn’t take rocket science to realize how fragile life really is. I watched my eldest son struggle with the loss of his son. We almost lost him too. I was so scared all the time.  I watched my other son relive the losses of his own babies. No grandmother, mom sees their future standing beside their babies as they bury their babies.  Life is cruel.

The nightmare continued with first Derek’s suicide and then a very short time later Ian’s.  I had known both these boys since they began school. I was their bus driver. I  never dreamed that I would also be a part of their lives when it ended.

The emotional roller coaster took us all on a path filled with darkness and despair as this gloomy cloud of death shrouded us all.

Collective memories helped us find our way but at what price. That’s where correlation came in my contemplative state. Our bodies aren’t intended to handle chronic stress without some kind of reaction. Stress has a profound affect upon how our body functions.  Maybe this is a wake up call that I need to change my focus.

Choose… today, I made you a lower case c,  because I will not let you ruin my life.

My song today is by Tracy Chapman, Give Me One Good Reason. I’m blessed I have many good reasons.


Letter C day 2

I woke many times during the night. I listened to the sounds of the night before the pitter- patter of the rain began in the early morning hours. So it makes sense that Otis Redding’s Sitting on the Dock of the Bay. Contemplation about the journey ahead and the journeys behind me. “Contemplation seems to be about the only luxury that costs nothing.” ― Dodie Smith.  My life appears to be dwelling with the different letter-c’s.

Now is the time to ponder before the tests and treatment plan begins. Cancer requires you to be totally in to the game. Half-efforts and denial aren’t productive in life or with cancer.  “Never hide things from hardcore thinkers. They get more aggravated, more provoked by confusion than the most painful truths.” Criss Jami.  I’m lucky my doctor understood this part of my nature.  He gave it to me straight.

I’m a firm believer that knowledge is power. Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.” ― Lao Tzu