Brookside Bliss


Now that I’m 50% of the way through chemo, I’ve come to have an understanding- a reconciliation, if you will-of the rhythm of chemotherapy (for me).

In other words, I’ve created a “new normal”.  For years, I’ve described this concept of creating a “new normal” to patients with whom I’ve worked. No matter how bad things seem to be at the dropping of the first F-Bomb, a “new normal” will eventually present itself.

In fact, this concept was one of the first things (between dropping F-bombs) that came into my head at the time of diagnosis.

So, for me, this means having chemo on a Tuesday and then having 11-12 bad (ridiculously, abnormally bad) days in the chemo pit of despair…and THEN, as if on cue, magically the dimmer on the lights go up…the curtains open…the sun shines a little more brightly…the birds sing a little more loudly (Silver Lining!).

As hard as it is (brutal at times) to endure the bad days, I hold onto the anticipation of the good (no, great) days.

TODAY is that day of bliss for me. No more chemo-sobby.  Only tears of joy and gratitude for feeling a glimmer of health (physical, mental, emotional and social).

The day started with hiking and included visits with friends. I even made dinner (GASP!).  The Husband’s eyes and smile were huge when he came home to an oven (and corresponding aroma) of baking brussel sprouts and me at the grill cooking his favorite salmon.  “She’s back,” he said with a high five.

Having these good days gives me so much appreciation for the teeniest of tiny things…like cooking for my family or taking a photograph of a beautiful flower.

Even though it is off-center, I like this photograph because at the moment that I took it, Finally Five gave me a big hug and nudged me. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder.

Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture.

~Kak Sri

Leave a comment


  1. Lorena says

    I want to hike with you! No fair!
    Anyhow, I'm sure you'll be ready for Pilates in no time!!!
    I LOVE your positive attitude!! I love you!!

  2. Todd Jacobs says

    That beautiful impressionist photo is not by any means off-center. It only heightens the awareness that we should never forget what is outside of the frame.

  3. Michele Cuttler says

    You were back with a vengeance on the trails today! Thank you for kickin' our butts! Looking forward to another hike with you this week. Just don't show up looking so darn glamorous! xoxo

  4. says

    I'm sitting at my computer this morning, trying to write, and feeling sorry for myself because of back pain (neglected all last year doing those stretching exercises for the "affected" mastectomy side). Then, I thought, I'll see what Hollye has to say this morning – her humor (no matter what) cheers me up. Yep, you, your flower, and Finally Five did!!! Thanks.

  5. Nancy Weltchek says

    My F-Bomb breast cancer experience was seven years ago, but I can still feel the physical and cyclical transformation that you so brilliantly describe! And when the chemo is over and you return to health you will experience bigger and bigger versions of this great feeling all along the way back.

    We have never met, but I am now, without doubt, one of your biggest fans.


  6. Carrie Riley says

    What a blessing to awake to this beautiful day; and to feel a semblance of your normal, perky, happy self. I'm glad you've seen the pattern of this cycle, as right now you are in the "new normal" (for the next few months), and you are finding an acceptance of this trecherous road…the fact that you find SL's at all during those "pits of despair" is a testament to your amazing spirit. Enjoy these moments, minute by minute, revel in all that is good and beautiful, in the love that surrounds you.

  7. says

    My friend Vince Kamin directed me towards your site and I am deeply moved by your writings. Best wishes of more silver lining days. My friend has completely recovered colon cancer when they removed a tumour the size of a cantalope. I swear it is because she has been practicing pranic healing for years. If interested

  8. Paula says

    So grateful that you are feeling well! Keep writing your thoughts — on the good days and not so good days. It is so uplifting to hear from you!!!!

  9. Theresa Edwards says

    now that cheered me up! I am "man down" with a chest infection and full of antibiotics …. so glad you having a really great day!!!!