Traces - One artist's Breast Cancer Journey. Finding wellness through art, writing, photography, and travel.
I always thought I had the most handsome father in the neighborhood. I do apologize to all of the rest of you who grew up in my neighborhood. Perhaps you felt the same way about your fathers. However, mine is truly the most handsome (although I did think Mr Gailey was awfully cute, and I had a huge crush on Mr Farnsworth).

This past week my handsome dad, Jack, gave us all a scare. He woke up one morning and his left eye wouldn't move where it was supposed to, which caused him to experience double-vision. My mom took him to the doctor, who sent them on to the emergency room at Pioneer Valley Hospital, and they ran every test known to science to try and figure out what was causing the problem.

Each test came back as normal, which rather surprised me, since I have never thought of my dad as being normal. Larger than life, tougher than a junkyard dog, able to leap... you get the picture. Anyhow, the tests confirmed that he is a human without superpowers, and that there was nothing wrong with his brain or his body, other than that one eye. They kept him overnight, which was enough to make him a crazy man, and finally, I believe a sense of self-preservation on the part of the doctors and nurses prevailed, and they sent him home the following day.

As it turned out, it seems the culprit was likely a pain patch he'd been using since a recent shoulder surgery. We can't be certain of this, but he has removed the thing. His eye continues to improve, thank goodness.

In the same week, we had July 4th celebrations and our eldest granddaughter, Aria's, 8th birthday. I can't believe she is so old! I can't believe I am so old!

Each day brings another trip to the South Valley U of U clinic, where I have radiation therapy at 9:45am. The techs are so sweet and take such good care of each patient. I have watched them gently supporting those who are more sick than I back to their waiting family members, and each time it's my turn to climb up on the table and back down again, they are right there to make sure I do so safely.

The radiation therapy is a bit strange. I have noticed that at the moment the machine switches on I see a blue light (with my eyes closed), and instantly I smell what can only be described as a faint whiff of chlorine. It goes away as quickly as it comes, and when the machine moves around to the other side of my head, the same thing happens, except that the blue light is not the same shape or size.

I just have to say that I am so grateful for people who go to school to learn how to take care of people like me and my handsome dad. I'm glad I live now, during a time when there are ways to diagnose disease early, and fight it more vigorously.

I hope your summer days are not spent in any doctors' offices, and that your health remains strong. Thank you again for all of your support, given in so many different ways, but most especially in your prayers. You are in mine, also.
July 2003 - Three of my brothers with my dad in Oregon. Left to Right: Steve, Kent, James, and Jack Brown My second oldest brother, Warren, passed away before this photo was taken, but I'm sure he was with them, just the same.