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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Addressing the Huge Elephant standing in the center of the Room

First off, let me just say that I've missed this space these last two weeks. I know I've been nearly silent and for that I'm sorry - especially when there are updates on vegetables (THRILLING), loads of doe-eyed cows (CHARMING) and the cutest darn vintage mug I've ever found for only two dollars (HEART-STOPPINGLY FABULOUS). I want to tell you about all these fascinating bits and pieces but I've been paralyzed and mute in the corner while a huge wooly mammoth stands between me and this keyboard. So it's time to tell you the story of "what's happened to Umber in the month of April."

The truth is, times have been tricky and I've really struggled with even opening my computer for the last two weeks. And I promise, it's not you, it's me. Do you remember last month when I wrote of a medical scare and then said something along of the lines of "I don't plan on saying much more in this forum?" Well I misspoke.

At that time I had found a lump (which, by the way, has become one of the most ominous words in the English language) in Lady Lefty which I had checked and imaged. The doctors told me they were "not at all worried" and that they "would be shocked to find out if it was anything but perfectly normal" but in the name of being 100% sure, recommended I wait until I moved to California and then have it biopsied (that was when I wrote this blog post). Well a few days later I received a phone call from the doctor's assistant, who told me that after the full report, they thought I should come in sooner than later to have the biopsy preformed just to be positive. Which, of course, I did.

And then on Friday April 2nd, sometime early evening, with a moving van sitting our driveway and piles of boxes every where I turned, I received THAT phone call. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and so many things flipped upside down in that second, it took me days to figure out gravity again.

Fast forward to present time, here and now in Northern California: I have found a doctor in San Francisco at the UC Medical Cancer campus whom I met last Friday for my initial consultation, plus a team of other professionals who I feel good working with and entrusting with my needs. The good news is that the area of concern is small and that I caught things early on. I'm waiting to be scheduled for a MRI which will give me a wealth of information to make informed decisions with (decisions such as my surgery options, radiation options, etc.) and then be scheduled for my removal of the big C.

As a whole, I've been in incredibly good spirits and I attribute this WHOLY to the women and men out there whom I know have been sending their love and prayers my way for healing and strength (you know who you are. I'm so grateful for you it nearly brings me to tears). But the truth is, this is one of the scariest roads I've walked and even though I KNOW I'll come out on the other side more sinewy and polished than ever, it's still hard.

I will heal.

And I will try my very hardest to love my body through this.

I have no desire to make this blog my vent space for this issue but this is now a part of my life, and I will turn and face it, I will be proactive in every way possible and I will be unable to not share this journey with you. So there is it. And now here we are. Is it time to start talking about cherry blossoms yet?


Widge said...

I'm so sorry this is happening to you :(
will def keep you in my prayers.
this same thing is happening to another bloggy friend I read who was just diagnosed in Easter. Delissimon, she is on my blogroll if you want to connect with her in anyway.
Look after you

kerin rose said... shanti....shanti....shanti....luminous spirit you are.....! ox

Shell (aka Songsmith) said...

Sweet lady, my prayers are for you, and BC and all of your family. I know you are strong, smart, logical and gracious - but let us all stock you up with love and courage for this difficult journey. For me I know I want to hug you and make some tea for us to cry and then laugh into.

In short, I am holding an ongoing prayer, for your good health and high spirits.

Bless you for sharing.


resolute twig said...

Kelly I am praying for you and sending all the good vibes and strength I can muster from the east.

Karen M said...

I've been reading your blog for a long time, although I haven't commented before. I really admire your work, and the spirit with which you pursue your life. Just wanted to let you know that there are lots of prayers and happy thoughts beaming your way.

Sunny Rising Leather said...

Speechless. You are grace itself.

Andewyn Designs said...

Oh Umber, I'm thinking of and praying for you and your family on this road. I see your strength and resilience.

You are a beautiful soul~



emmy d said...

Oooh Dear One, although we have never met and only chat occationally through this tiny window, I KNOW that you have the strength to get through this! And if you ever doubt that, you have love coming in from ALL over the place to encourage you along! So glad you were able to find it early, and though its obviously not a good thing to have to go through, it comes as a kick in the rear to us ladies who are your age and "never thought it could happen to me."

Stay strong! You are in my heart!

Snail said...

Umber, I know it must be strange receiving messages of encouragement from people you don't even know, but ever since finding your blog, and owning one of your beautiful pieces, I think I've come to know a little part of you that is simply amazing. If you are capable of transmitting so much positivity through such small things, I can only imagine that your being in full swing can conquer even the hardest and highest of C's. Much love and blessings!

susie said...

I know that we have never met, but know that you are in my prayers.

ink : paper : lead said...

Umber, let me add my voice to those who've never met you, but have come to be inspired by your words and art through this blog. My thoughts and prayers are with you, lady. You will soar above this!

MrsLittleJeans said...

As a scientist, I am sorry to hear this and don't quite understand why it happens, and as a friend who dearly loves you I am again sorry and want to tell you that i wish I could carry your burden for you...seriously! Having said that there are good sister-in-law in a similar situation came through stronger and better and happier...not sure how she did it but there you have it! I am still trying to find the wooly mammoth...I always tell my sweetsie that one day when he comes home he will find a red fox added to the household.

Loving you from down south...


PSS- one of our profs here is doing amazing stuff with this type of cancer, inspired to do so because of his wife...will send you some links soon

Melissa said...

Kelly. I'm actually gleaning strengh from you in my piddly time of stress. I'm thinking of you.... and I have a feeling I won't stop. Sending lots of love your way.

John said...


Your tone is confident and strong, and although I'm sure you're familiar with the part of you that doesn't feel that way, this post tells me all I need to know about the outcome of this challenging little chapter of your life.

We are thinking about you and look forward to seeing you guys sometime.


UmberDove said...

Inside: I'm feeling like one of those fountains whose water bubbles up and overflows from the very core...

Thank you.

Thank you.

A million times over.

I feel so surrounded.

lulu said...


I'm shocked, you're so very young. It's a definite reality check for all us gals.

No doubt your beautiful strength and spirit will pull straight threw this!

Stranger or not we are all here for you...

Sending all healing-vibes your way.


mme. bookling said...

"Lady Lefty"

way to be fucking positive.

you're kinda my hero right now.

CrowNology said...

Sending you wishes of health...
...I'm not a prayer type but I'll do that too...
Your body will need all you love you have for her...Be kind to yourself.

mme. bookling said...

i just read all these comments and i am teary-eyed. you have made such a difference in your lifetime, and you are still so young. i can't imagine the tears of encouragement and fullness we will share in our old age as we sip a little somethin' on your porch.

she said...

i love you, bell. and that's just what you are, a clear, high bell ringing across the horizon of my heart. it sounds like the singing of a deeply rooted tree, it sounds like natalie merchant, it sounds like the pull of thread through fabric, it sounds like the almost-inaudible growth of green in the spring. it sounds like hope, and it sounds like life. and it's completely, unmistakably your song, the truest strength of you.

with everything,

Anonymous said...


The little brown birdie you sent me, a lucky winner in one of your ever-generous giveaways, hangs parallel with my little bathroom window; and being as she landed just as we were setting up the new apartment, she altogether inspired the shape of that room which has indeed become one of my very favorite little nooks in my new home. From her perch she can watch the birds that land next to her on the windowsill, and I think she communicates otherwise unspoken truths with them. She is strong and graceful and I entirely expect her to take flight one day herself, once more.

I'm sure I'm not the only one awaiting the reopening of your etsy shop(s) with great anticipation, and I'm so glad for your return to the blogosphere, though I can only imagine the pain you're feeling and intimately communicating here. You are so strong and so lovely, and my thoughts are with you from the southern half of the state.

Zorah said...

Like others, I have only ever met you briefly. We talked over cat food of trees and tattoos. I have some of your magnificent art hanging on my walls. I am shocked to learn of this. I cannot imagine going through this, let alone doing it while moving. Your strength is palpable though your words. These other commenters are right; it is truly amazing how many people you move through your art. Hopefully this experience will only foster your intense creativity even more. Much love and support from eastern Washington!

Michaela Dawn said...

You are in my heart and prayers, sweet angel, always.

Sara said...

Oh my gosh. Oh dearie no.

Big huge paint-smeared strength-sending hopeful-prayful hugs to you.

You shine too bright to let this darkness take hold. I'm glad for your North Cal team. Together you'll fight it all off I'm sure of it. Got my fingers crossed for you from Seattle.

Angelique said...

I'm wishing you strength during this difficult time! I'm sure your passion and creativity will help you as you fight this illness.

Mum said...

You are strength.
You have always been MY strength.
You are the Warrior.

You have been through the fire and have come through singed but not burned.

You will walk tall through this experience and through it you will grow stronger.

And, just by being you, others will be blessed, and strengthened by your goodness.

Seek peace now and always

I love you

Taddyporter said...

dear dear girl,

I think of you this evening and vow to keep you in my heart as I go through my day. I know how beloved you are, sweet Umber, and this love is a balm for the spirit as well as the body. please take care and stay strong when you need to, let down when you can. A Magnificent Cedar you are, may blessings of healing and knowledge flow to you like a cool and steady stream....

Joyful said...

dear umber,
i haven't been on line so much the last few weeks either but for totally different reasons. i didn't know what was going on so i want to add my warm thoughts and certainly my prayers.

i went through everything you are going through last summer so i can fully relate to your emotions. the difference in my case was after the biopsy all was pronounced fine and i didn't need more except frequent follow up. like shell, i want to hug you and make you some nice tea. i hope my prayers and thoughts, along with many others will stand in good stead. big hugs xx

Rachael said...

Just sending you some positive vibes and happy energy! I know many ladies who have been touched by the nasty "C" and who are now stronger women because of it (including my mom!). Hang in there and know you have many people - those you personally know and those who just know you from afar - sending you loads of positivity!

The Noisy Plume: said...

Dearest One of My Best Friends,

Remember the meaning of your name.
I believe in you always.
I carry you in my heart.
You're the bravest I know.
I'm here always. And forever.


thewindhover said...

To the dearest dove I know,

the mind imagines,
the heart loves,
the body heals -

If anyone can walk so graceful and so beautifully through this journey its you.

Love and prayers afresh and aplenty x

Good Girls Studio said...

Prayers sent to heaven on doves wings for you tonight!


Abigail Jasmine said...

Praying for you


Bisquit said...

I think of you very frequently and want you to know that my hubby and I send you Fletcher love from Montana all the way to you. May all these comments bouy you up and keep you strong. You are a bright and shiny breath of fresh air. You are an inspiration to more that you know. You bring light and love to your paintings and sewings like no other. I feel for you so strongly and sense the salty wet pooling up in my eyes when I keep reading and saying back in my own head "And I will try my very hardest to love my body through this"; that would be the hardest. You will make it through, you are a survivor. I miss you on the bliggity blog, come back soon and stay when you can.
Bear hugs,
The Flethchers

Nancy*McKay said...

...i join hands with everyone here in peace, light & heart pounds for your well are in my daily meditations, my daily prayers & my arms stretch far & wide to hug hug BC...

may you both take time to...
rest peacefully
rest in light
rest your weary hearts & minds, bodies & souls in the lap of love...
breathe, smile & play
expand, radiate & dissolve...
lighten up
trust...& evolve.


Genevieve said...

I'm sorry you have to go through this. My prayers are with you and i know you will come through this stronger than ever before.

Kelly Z. said...

My thoughts are with you and all my positive wishes sent your way...I am a more quiet visitor here to your space but would like you to know this & you seem of such strong spirit...stay well.

heatherfly said...

Delurking (finally) to thank you for the beauty and lightness you've inspired and continue to inspire in my life. May it return to you tenfold to guide you through the dark times. Brightest blessings, Umber Dove.

anika ame said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anika ame said...

i admire you for your positive attitude, and your willingness to share your experience with us. every situation, no matter how horrible it seems, becomes a blessing if we approach things with positivty, and learn as much as possible from the experience.

continue to speak your healing into existence. keep your vibrant spirit alive throughout your healing journey.