Monday, September 29, 2008

Waiting and Hoping...

Once again, it's been a while since I have posted. I have had quite a bit going on since my last post, and mine and my family's lives right now are turned upside down. I have a lot of family and friends out there that would like to know how everything is going, and I was hoping to know more before I posted.

For those of you who don't know, my doctors seem to think that I have leukemia. They have been watching my blood work over the past few years, and my numbers keep climbing higher and higher. I have started showing a lot of symptoms of it, and they are running tons of tests on me. We just have to keep waiting and waiting for results, each time getting reports back that are pointing to leukemia. There is a small glimmer of hope that it could be something else related to medications that they have had me on, but not that likely because the numbers started climbing before those were given to me. More than likely, if I do have it, it will hopefully be the chronic kind and not the acute form. The "chronic" form of leukemia is easier to treat with a higher life expectancy rate, which is good. Not to fret, I am a survivor and have been through a lot of medical things the last few years, and I can handle whatever comes my way. That's what I have to keep telling myself. I have two beautiful girls, a wonderful husband, and an amazing family to live for and to fight for. We just keep holding on to that small glimmer of hope that it is something else.

During all of this, I don't know what we would have done without my parents. Like my Father-in-law said, "they are the angel wings" holding our family together right now. They stay with us during the week and do everything for me - cooking, cleaning, laundry, getting the girls to and from school, grocery shopping, etc. I have been confined to "house rest" meaning I can't do anything at all except rest and cannot leave the house except to go to the doctor so as not to put myself at risk for any form of infection. I don't know what we would do without them, and it is so hard and frustrating to me to have to let go of the reigns and let these two wonderful people who are twice my age handle everything for me. It is such an amazing act of love and selfless thing to do to give up their lives for me during this time. Hopefully we will know something for sure soon so that I can get on with my treatment and work on getting well. They just have to do every test possible so as to make an accurate diagnosis, and we just have to be patient. That's the hard part...I'm running out of patience. I want to find out what it is and get on with it. This waiting is hard...very hard.

On a lighter note, because of all of this I have been spending a lot of time in my studio, and have done quite a few pieces. I will be posting them as I get the pictures taken. It is interesting to step back and look at what I've done and how the current situation affects my work. It is much deeper than before, and you can see my form of expression without me even realizing at the time that I am doing it. I have always said that my art is my release, my therapy, and my form of expressing my deepest feelings, and this is definitely true right now. I'm so glad I can turn to it right now and to be able to forget about what's going on around me while I am in the "create mode." I have run into artist block several times, but am usually able to get past it by browsing through my books, magazines, and internet for inspiration. It doesn't take long before I am back in there creating.

I will try to keep everyone posted as much as possible through my blog, I know a lot of family and friends visit often to see if I have posted anything that I have learned, and I promise I will keep you updated as I get results back.

These are ATC's that I created for the "A Little Birdie Told Me" swap from one of my Yahoo ATC groups.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Trying to Catch Up

Wow, I am having the hardest time catching up! As I mentioned before, I ended up getting really sick with severe bronchitis, and finally after 3 weeks, I am finally getting better. I am just trying to get my strength back while fighting this flare, and it has really put me behind on things - especially my blog. I have only painted just a few things during this time, and am so ready to get back into my studio! Since my last post, my girls have both started school - now my baby is in kindergarten! sniff..sniff... They have also started gymnastics. I decided it was time after I tried to show them a straight somersault, and I swear I heard every bone in my body crack! I just laid there for a while doing a system check - o.k. my toes move, now my legs move, etc. To sum it up - it's best to leave that stuff to the professionals to teach my girls. I officially think I am too old.
This is a picture of the girls on their first day of school. They looked so cute! Although, I'm not sure how much longer they are going to let me dress them alike. They let me occasionally, but it is getting fewer and farther between. The only thing different about what they were wearing, is that Ashlyn absolutely refuses to wear bows anymore. "First graders do NOT wear bows, Mommy!"

Here are a few paintings that I did manage to finish over the last couple of weeks. I have to explain how my very creative daughter had a part in the "Bird on a Tree" painting. The girls had been down at my parents for a few days. Both of them are extremely creative, and good little artists in their own right. They both are fully aware of how I am always on the lookout for something to put in my art. They love to help me look through old books for pages for backgrounds and looking at different ephemera. Well, while they were all supposed to be getting ready to leave to come back home, and Ashlyn slipped off and collected several pieces of the prettiest thin bark pieces for me to use in my art. She put them in a little gift sack and wrote my name on it. She managed to get in their car with it, and make it all the way home without anyone noticing her precious little gift. Everyone was just amazed when she presented it to me that she for one, was so sneaky about it, but mainly that she put that much creative thought into finding me something that I could use in my paintings. I was just so touched and amazed that she did this. So, the first painting I did after that, I incorporated into the bird painting. She is very pleased and just tickled pink that I used something that she found in my painting!