Thursday, March 11, 2010

Free-for-all-Friday: A Story of Seasons...

Two years ago, my mom came to visit us in the late Spring to help me prepare
for our first baby and to put in our front garden:

In the middle of summer, my husband picked this flower for me to focus on
while I labored for 4 days, mostly in a pool in our kitchen...

We ended up with a C-section, but look how peaceful all that time at home made us:

Eight months later, in the Spring again, I had weaned Ari and learned to carry him on my back so that I could have a bilateral mastectomy. I chose to start the breast reconstruction
process at the same time:

Later, in the summer, my mom was back for a mother/daughter road trip and Ari was ready to get out into the garden himself at my aunt and uncle's house in beautiful Virginia:

It's been two years since that first Spring working in the garden with my mom.
Because my cancer spread to my liver, I have never finished the breast reconstruction
and I've been walking around with really strange foreign objects in my body.
I don't feel like I'm healing as well as I could.

So, next week, exactly the same week as the original mastectomy, I'm having the surgery to take the chest expanders out and not put in implants. Hooray! This decision wouldn't be right for everyone, but we are so excited that doctors have finally declared me healthy enough for surgery.

My mom is coming to take care of all of us again and, of course, we'll be planning this year's garden because every year, life comes back all around us (Come back on Monday to see how to make an easy garden journal):


  1. YAY! You guys are so beautiful and we love you! I can't wait to see pics of Ari helping in the garden!

  2. Gardening is a beautiful gift given to us from Mama Nature herself, in my books. I was blessed with having the opportunity to garden for a woman dying of lymphoma last summer. She had a lovely garden that had been suffering from care in her weakening state. It meant so much to her to see her precious space come back to some glory under my hands, but her supervision. I think that the gift was mine though, as I gained so much from the experience. Get back in there and get your hands dirty. The soil holds beauty, meditation and life. I wish you strength in your upcoming surgery.

  3. Dear Kelly, I lovelovelove the photo of you with sweet baby Ari on your back : )
    You are a beautiful person Kelly, your light is always shining so brightly!
    I wish you comfort and healing, peace and joy during this time!
    I look forward to your return to this space to share your gardening journal, I can imagine your time spent with your mama in the gardens will feel really, really good! May the sun bring warmth to your days and the blooms of the gardens bring inspiration! Lots of love xoxo Nicole

  4. I love the photos and remembering the precious times we've had. I have a poem to share, the author is unknown, that connects to the blog today. I like to read it and remember all my times with my mother and gardening.
    My Mother Kept A Garden
    My Mother kept a garden, a garden of the heart.
    She planted all the good things that gave my life its start.
    She turned me to the sunshine and encouraged me to dream.
    Fostering and nurturing the seeds of self-esteem...
    And when the winds and rain came, she protected me enough.
    But not too much because she knew I'd need to stand up strong and tough.
    Her constant good example always taught me right from wrong-
    Markers for my pathway that will last a lifetime long.
    I am her legacy-
    And I hope today she feels the love reflected back from me.
    Thank you, Kel for reminding me where we come from and where we're going. I love you, Mom

  5. Hi Kelly,what beautiful photos of you and Ari together. There is nothing better than a spring garden to remind us of the renewal cycle we live in. May you have the warmth of the sun on you always, may your garden be filled with only beauty and great things to weeds, and may you find joy with your family there. Here's to you Kelly.

  6. I really don't know how to thank all of your for your wonderful comments. I will carry them with me into my surgery with and into my garden as I recover.

  7. Ah Kel, I love all the great photos....seems like yesterday. You'll do great - call if you need anything and please let me know when those US Weeklys stop coming!!!!!

  8. Love the photos and the circle of life beginning anew. Will be thinking of you during this upcoming surgery--so glad you're healthy enough to do what you want to do! Sounds like it's totally the right decision. I keep wanting to make boob jokes here (as in, who needs 'em? i haven't), but everyone else has been so sweet on here... ;-) big hugs to you, my dear friend!

  9. Now you have me crying again, but they are tears filled with admiration, love and hope for your full recovery. You have the special talent of being able to reveal your positive spirit through not only your beautiful words but your beautiful heart as well. We all look forward to watching your garden and your life flurish once again this spring. God Bless, Aunt Nancy xo

  10. Kelly,
    I remember that flower well! You have endured the past two years as gracefully as you endured your four day labor! Your strength is an inspiration to all who know you.
    Your mom & dad certaintly made your roots strong so Matt and Ari could keep you watered and full of sunshine and as a result I see you as the beautiful flower! Love you Kelly XOXO

  11. Beautiful post. Sending good thoughts to you on Monday!

  12. Hi Kelly,
    I just finished reading the essay you wrote ("This Sucks"), published in the spring volume of Brain,Child. I have never been inspired to immediately respond to an author before, but I was this time, and so glad to find this blog mentioned at the end of you essay.
    What I want to say is this: Your baby is SO smart to have found a way to get what he needs from you, and you are SO smart and loving to just let him do it! Really, he is absolutely brilliant at figuring out how to get his needs met, and so lucky to have such a loving mom.
    You and your family will remain in my thoughts and prayers. Best of luck to you as you battle the liver cancer.

  13. Mary Pat,
    I can't tell you how much I appreciate your thoughts and support. Thank you so much.