Friday, June 29, 2012

Detour

“When nothing is sure, everything is possible.”  – Margaret Drabble
When we encounter a detour, we encounter uncertainty.  We can’t see what’s ahead or where the detour will lead us, but despite that uncertainty, there are always opportunities along the way – learning a new route to our destination, new scenery, new perspectives.
As I was navigating my career detour, I suddenly found myself confronting a second unexpected detour.  My health had decided to head down a path of its own, a very unfamiliar and unsettling path along which I was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, a blood cancer.  I am grateful beyond words to be able to share with you that I am currently in remission and receiving maintenance treatments as a safeguard.  My diagnosis and subsequent fight admittedly stunned, scared and challenged me, but as I found my footing, I gained strength as well as some of those new perspectives that uncertainty reveals.  Love, gratitude and positivity proved to be tremendously powerful in helping me traverse through this rough terrain.
I’ve always considered myself a grateful person, but my gratitude is bursting now!  Gratitude for family, friends and acquaintances, even strangers, who bolstered me with their love, compassion and support, for living within driving distance of Stanford Medical Center and having access to the expertise there, for the medical professionals locally and at Stanford who have provided guidance and care, for rewarding new connections I have made along this journey as well as older relationships that have stood the tests of time and hardship…gratitude for becoming a survivor and continuing to experience and enjoy life’s wonders and blessings.  I am humbled every time I’m at Stanford or in our local hospital’s cancer center, seeing others fighting battles far greater than mine and silently sending them love and healing wishes. 

My "inner little girl" was so very grateful to be in good hands.  You'll be getting better acquainted with her soon...

I was hesitant to divulge this part of myself as it feels very private at times, yet it’s an essential element to fully understanding the impetus of my healing arts journey, so here I am, taking a deep breath and sharing.  In doing so, my intent is to provide a backdrop for my healing arts and art journaling stories.  Please know that these stories will focus on my creative journey and its “vistas” rather than health matters.
Up until I encountered my career and health detours, I wasn’t a pessimist, but I wasn’t a true optimist, either.  I suppose, most often, I was more of a realist.  What could be perceived as negative experiences have actually resulted in many positive moments and outcomes including prompting me to approach personal goals with more optimism.  I’m learning how to become a better dreamer and explorer of possibilities, and my hope with Paper and Ponder is to encourage the dreams and explorations of others!
So, what are you dreaming about...what possibilities are you exploring?