Home » Uncategorized » What a girl wants and what a girl needs…

What a girl wants and what a girl needs…

It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down and thought over what needs to be said to myself. Because that’s what this is, a note to self. So I don’t forget why I’m doing this.

Because I’m back in chemotherapy, starting next week. And surgery again to put the port back in.

Yeah, it came roaring back, that bad ol’ bitch. Just as I thought ‘Spring…time for planting.’ ‘Summer. It won’t be like last summer. I’ll walk everywhere, maybe get a little color in my face and go back to work full time.’ and, worst of all, ‘In the Fall, I’ll take a train trip to New Orleans. See New York City and D.C. Visit some Civil War sites and pay my respects.’

That’s what I thought was going to happen.

Then the numbers jumped up a lot in March. We tried oral cancer treatment. It had no effect and the numbers jumped to the 1000’s…so I go back into the chair. Back to the 8th floor. Back to sun sensitivity, exhaustion and neuropathy and side effects like losing my hair.

I can’t work enough to not be desperately poor. I can’t walk very far. I’m tired. Not physically as much as mentally. I sit and look out the window at the grass and birds and I can’t imagine ever feeling well enough to want…to want more. I want BIG things. I want travel and parties and dinners out and road trips and friends sitting around drinking and talking…I WANT my life back.

I want to WANT to go to karaoke sing and make people laugh. I want to WANT to go to Seattle and roam around the amazing brew pubs and fantastic restaurants. I want to WANT to go out dancing in high heels, drink cocktails, and look up surprised to find out it’s closing time. I just want those things to seem enticing again.

Instead, I lean out the window and listen to birds. I watch the sun pass overhead and I lie in bed and get my head straight. I don’t want any of those things. Not those big things. Not really. I just want to be clear. To be very clear. I need to accept this.

All the plans I made…they’re still there. I can do them. Just not this summer.

I am ready for this. It took a while to get there mentally. I spent the last couple of months wondering what I had in my life that made this fight important. Not just to forestall the grief of my family. Why am I fighting? Me?

Seriously. You think of these things.

Is it worth it? What do I have to live for? How long do I have? What if I’m dying? Have I done everything I can, everything I want to do?

It’s not a question of self pity. Far from it. These are questions you ask so when it gets bad you know why you’re doing it. You need to be very, very clear as to why you’re fighting so hard. You can pull these hopes and dreams of the future out of the back of your mind and shine them up. Look them over. I already know why I’m doing this. Now I know.

Because some things are worth living for that are small and manageable.

Things like a small, clear stream tumbling over rocks.



It’s cool in the shade and it sounds beautiful. That’s my sketch pad there.

The smell of coffee, a chestnut tree in full bloom, train whistles, and dog smiles.


cat nudges, cold mountain lakes with clouds reflected in the water, lilacs.


Chet Baker, a new book that catches you right away, fresh oysters and cold dry rose wine.


Patios and umbrellas. Grass under my feet, peaches, the sound of a motorcycle roaring past, an open winding road with the ocean crashing nearby, sweet peas…there are so many things.

I needed to accept that I’m not getting better. Not yet, anyway. I needed to find the things around me that replace the big things. So, I’ll take it.


Today, I started with a cat nudge.


26 thoughts on “What a girl wants and what a girl needs…

  1. Oh no Laura, I’ve been thinking of you for the last few days wondering how you were, so I’m sorry to read about this. Dogs smiling are worth living. Yes, I thought I was the only one that believed dogs smile! And cats cuddling in the morning too. All these small things that give us pleasure is what we need to enjoy every day. Sending you a warm hug!


    • Thank you Sofia. I am trying to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again. I am working on something right now that is more cheerful and upbeat because that’s how I feel.
      I just need to write this out…thanks for reading. It means a lot.


  2. My prayers continue to be with you. I have no words that come to mind that would be right, other than to say, I care, and I’m your NC friend. I hope one day to share a laugh and a glass of wine with you. We’ll reminisce about the hard days. Hugs and Luvs to you!


    • All I have to do is look up and see the beautiful drawings you sent to make me feel 100% better! It’s been a rough couple of months and I’m thinking I’ve got myself back on track and in the right frame of mind. I have it in mind to visit some Civil War battle sites this fall when I’m back on my feet, so maybe we’ll have a chance to have that glass sooner than you think!


  3. Laura, poor bunny, it must be hard when you know what’s ahead with the treatment too. So sorry you have to go through this again…still. Hang in there, maybe I can take a side track from Sturgis next year and have a beer with you…maybe get that bike running and shiny for ya. I’ve missed you. Love Red


    • This is the third time I’ve replied to this comment and it keeps vanishing. WTF!!!
      Thank you Red…working on my motorcycle diaries and getting my head out of my ass. I really do wish that whining and ignoring things worked.


  4. The small things are the really important things. It sounds like you have a solid game plan. Your animal family is gorgeous, your land exquisite, your heart large, your brain brilliant. I can only send some strength, hope, prayers and joy – your way. Take what you will~and heal. Thinking of you.


    • Right now I will take all the prayers and strength and hope and joy I can get. Feeling better each day. More able to manage, more sure of myself, more in control. I know what’s happening inside me and I’m deaking and dodging, trying to convince myself that the 16 oz glass of kale/spinach/chard juice I just drank is going to do something magic…I visualize a healing energy. I think it looks like I imagine you do.


  5. I believe that dogs do smile! Maggie is a fury bundle of happiness that can sense my emotions. They know what we need. I will continue to pray for you as you once again walk the chemo road. Patrick


  6. Keep going, mini steps. It’s the little things that count. Listening to birds, feeling the warmth of sun on your face. Watching clouds flick past. The little things become big. Each day, mini steps.


  7. Pingback: Why do you Write? | Maison Bentley Style

  8. We want those things for you too, Laura. I WANT them. And in case you don’t know yet, what I WANT, I get. Or I will throw one of my epic tantrums. And trust me no one wants that. So give me what I WANT, ya hear! How’s that for positive energy? Coming at ya, baby!
    Now, we have a joint homework assignment to do for the lovely Kate so I’ll be round after I have me lunch to copy your answers. Don’t let me down. My name’s on this too.
    And I WANT to see you in heels drinking cocktails in NYC soon. Just wrote a post about a little spot that has your name all over it. So start saving your coppers and let’s make it happen!


    • I saw that post and you’re right…my kind of place. I have NYC in my sights, high heels and all. The Met, Broadway for a show, The Guggenheim and at least one day wandering around with no plans at all.


There is no sin except stupidity.

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