October 4, 2012

A Little Help For My Friend...

I met Caitriona when I was 12 years old.

We attended a private school in Ojai together where my father worked. With a small student body, everyone knew everyone. Even so, Caitriona seemed to get along well with everyone and I think it is fair to say she was well liked, in fact she is still friends with many of our former classmates!

Born in Korea, Caitriona was adopted by an American father and an Irish mother. It is an understatement to say she has a wicked sense of humor and a penchant for naught words.

Over the years, our lives have taken us in different directions. Her path took her north for school and eventually to Seattle where she started a family. I moved south and went to school and also started a family but we both ended up back in Ojai.

As a busy mother of three active boys, she still finds time for her creative endeavors and is a talented silversmith. Ever generous with her time and talent, she has shown me many of her techniques. I am proud to own several of her jewelry designs!

She had been struggling with what she thought was intestinal inflammation from a food allergy. A hard knot grew in her stomach and was keeping her from eating. A trip to the doctors revealed something more serious. Her wicked sense of humor in tact she issued this announcement to friends and loved ones...

"Fellow humans, and others!
I am writting to you today because here I sit at 43 years old, pondering what my life is all about..... a most irritating exerercise I don't recommend it!, (I'll spare you all the details, or even the basics!), what I am writting to say, is that I have most recently been diagnosed with the big "C", no, that is not constipation or canker sores, it's one of our more uncomfortable friends, cancer (mine has found a cozy spot in my liver).  My cancer, or should I say cancers, (we don't want to limit it to one small little tumor, we want to spread the wealth for that bigger and harder challenge!) is called Aliena for her strong resemblance to an alien protruding distortedly and disruptively from my abdomen and of course her offspring (I chose not to name them for fear of unnecessary attachment and potential death bonding). So, I wanted to let you all know where I am in life, kind of like, "Where is Waldo", but in my case, I'll always be found on my couch, bed or under some fantastic ultra nifty high technological scan while being exposed to high doses of radiation, so they can determine how much more dosages of radiation they can give me. Frankly, I'd prefer to be hit by a semi but that was not my journey and this is. So, my dear friend Janice came up with this great site that allows us to keep people informed, should you have any interested. Please take note, I will not ask whether you are reading, I will be too busy suffering :)
Good luck to you..................... I mean, good luck to me , the good luck to you, is putting up with me because the way I see it, if I suffer, I do my best for all around me to suffer too, after all -sharing is caring !!! 
With Love and better health to you all,


Laughter is the best medicine. (that and an expensive dose of daily chemotherapy.)

Knowing how cheap medicine and doctor visits are I thought sitting back and doing nothing would be the best bet. Oh. What's that you say? They are ridiculously exorbitant? Well then, look for the "Caitrionas F*ing Journey" listings in my etsy shop tomorrow at 10. The entire listing sale (except for the shipping) will go to Caitriona. If you think that isn't going to cover the thousands of dollars in medical expenses or time off from work, or feeding three hungry teenage boys, you are probably right and you can donate directly here...

Donation items will be listed in my etsy shop 10/5/12 at 10 am.
Caitrionas beautiful designs can be seen here...
Many thanks, Gaea


Shannon Chomanczuk said...

I am sorry, I don't have the right words to say here. Are there right words? FU Cancer perhaps? Her letter is so well written and brought a smile. I hope she kicks cancer's ass! I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers.

HeatherFig said...

She is a fighter!! My husband has been "battling the beast" for 9 years, so I know the gamut of emotions you and she are going thru. I will see you tomorrow and stay as positive as she is. Hugs to both of you.

Gaea said...

You are so right, Shannon! I saw a bumper sticker in town the other day that said "Stupid Fucking Cancer". Yep.

Hi Heather! I am so sorry to hear that! I hope he is putting up a good fight... and is winning!

Hugs to you both!

SummersStudio said...

Oh, I just have no words at all for this. As a recent big C diagnosis myself, I know how this rocks your world...and not in a perfectly good way. So I am going off now to muster up some positive energy and other strong mojo. Oh, god, I feel so sad when I hear about anyone at all going through this. But I will say that a strong dose of humor and a willingness to just embrace each day as it comes goes a long way.

Heather said...

Thanks Gaea. We luckily landed under the care of a top prostate cancer researcher at a premiere cancer hospital in Toronto. Ron has intermittent therapy which knocks it dormant for a year or so and when the tests show it is on the move again..back on the drugs. And as you know, we don't pay a cent for medical care in Canada, thank god!! I will be thinking of your amazingly upbeat friend and pray the chemotherapy kicks the hell out of it!!


Mellisa said...

How horrible and way too common of a story to hear unfortunately isn't it? It sounds like she has an unbreakable spirit though...and you are a great friend

Gaea said...

Thank you so much for your support! Artists are the most compassionate of souls!