Thursday, March 18, 2010

The one year anniversary of that horrible evening when my doctor told me I had breast cancer has come and gone. When I think back on it, I am astounded at how much can happen in one year. Not just in terms of the day to day events and activities, but also in the evolution of my psychological and emotional life. If you had asked me about my life on the day before my diagnosis a year ago, I would have had quite a tale of woe for you. I felt mired in crises, not just one, but many. I tended to lump them all together under that very useful umbrella term "mid-life crisis." In truth I felt like my life was falling apart. And then it almost did for real.

It became clear to me over the course of this year that all other crises lose their urgency in the face of the ultimate one. I had witnessed this truth as Kristen faced the end of her life, but I didn't really get it until I tiptoed my own little self up to the edge of that abyss and peered over. When your life is threatened, nothing else matters. All other turmoil and trouble shrinks.

I feel like I've been whisked away from that treacherous edge by modern medicine, my friends and family, my own will, and a measure of luck. But I know now how close I live to that edge. And so while I am back to fretting over certain of life's offerings, but I won't let myself be buried under worry and stress again. Because were it not for luck and love and science, I probably wouldn't be here right now. Being here, right now, is all that I want or need. The rest will work out.

As you've probably noticed, I haven't been inspired to write much lately. I began the year thinking that I'd write once a week, sometimes about cancer, sometimes not. But I've found that the subject of cancer is bound to this medium for me, and if I don't feel like writing about the c word, then I don't feel like writing at all. And I feel like writing about it less and less.

So I think I'm going to let this blog go. I'm in the process of opening a studio and shop in Bar Harbor with my friend Michelle, and I think that maybe we'll begin a new blog on our store website. Eventually. First we have to have the website. Well, actually, first we have to have the store. Wish us luck. Once there is a store, and a website, you'll be able to find us at Spruce & Gussy (

Thanks for being out there for me over the course of this last long year. It meant the world to me.


  1. I'll miss your blogs here but I understand why you won't be writing here again...closing "doors" is what life is about...opening doors to a new adventure is the wonderful, logical next step, love, love you...Mom

  2. Patti,
    I am so glad that you found my blog, because it brings me here to you! I wish I'd discovered your blog months ago, so I could have followed along with you on your road to recovery. What a year it has been for you. I always knew you as a strong, resourceful person. Clearly, you are still so, perhaps now more than ever.

    I will certainly follow along with your next adventure when you begin your store, website, and blog! It's funny; my life sort of fell apart three years ago, and I thought it was the worst thing in the world, but I eventually moved on, stronger and wiser for the struggle. Then my husband was diagnosed with a rare skin disease last year that he is still in treatment for, but he is doing remarkably well, and I think his course of treatment will end this coming summer. There was a period of time when his prognosis was uncertain. That window--as dark and scary as it was--was actually, looking back, the best thing that ever happened to us. It put everything into perspective. Every day now (even the lousy ones, and there have been some lousy ones this winter) is a blessing--truly.

    When you have time, and if you care to, please email me and fill me in a little on your life. It's been ages since we were in touch, but I'd love to hear about you! What will you be selling in your studio and shop? The jewelry you have in your Etsy shop is wonderful!

    Thinking of you, old friend, as you embark on your next adventure.


  3. Hi Patti,

    I've surely enjoyed your blog, especially every mention of Kristen. I understand your desire to start a new one, and look forward to reading that as well. Best wishes for your new venture; how exciting!

    Sending tons of love from sunny, warm California!


  4. 不要讓挫敗把你擺平,再給自己一個機會,從新再出發.............................................

  5. 一個人就像一個分數,他的實際才能是分子,他對自己的評價是分母。分母越大,則分數的價值越小。..................................................

  6. 要求適合自己的愛情方式,是會得到更多,還是會錯過一個真正愛你的人。.................................................................

  7. Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it...................................................................