So, this blog was suppose to start with a cute little story about the deliberations behind the title…and the purpose of this blog was suppose to document my transition from teaching in a small rural public school to my post-retirement adventures in civilization. But, life has a way of altering our plans.

As I write this, I have to stop every few minutes and rearrange the bag of frozen brussels sprouts tucked into my arm pit. I am snuggled into my comfy bed, The Chew is on  TV, and a pile of books are stacked on my side table.  There is a vial of strong pain meds in the decorative box that holds my glasses, pens, and an assortment of lovely cards.  This is not exactly where I thought I would be today…of course, I can think of worse places to be at 1:44 on a Tuesday afternoon…but, this had not been a planned stop on this journey.  But, cancer has a way of reorganizing your days and throwing your calendar out the window.

I think the hardest part of this whole detour is the uncertainty of it all.  One minute you are driving to the store, singing in the shower, bitching about work and as far as you can tell you are perfectly healthy.  Then comes the phone call that signals an abrupt change of course.  Your reality was actually a ruse — a deceit.  You never really knew your own body…and you realize you never will.

So, this blog starts with a big reality check.  And yet, somehow it still fits.  This is both a transition and a transformation.  I am coming to terms with the idea that somehow things like this can, do, and will happen to me.  And, now that I’m in this new space, I am indeed a “new person.”  I can’t go back to the earlier version of Christine who thought she had forever to make her dreams come true.  I now embrace the notion that I must do it now.  I am transformed…I am newly awake.

And I have so much to do, so much to say…so many places to go, with or without the shadow of the cancer we’ve just kicked to the curb.  I will write about the things that amaze, enrage, inspire me — hopefully in an engaging and passionate way — without alienating you.  I will still document this transition phase from classroom to retirement….and beyond!  And I will also share the successes and failures in my bid to start a new career, proving to all ageists that “women of a certain age” are the best investment an employer can make.

The journey continues and all is uncharted territory…Christine continues and begins again…


11 thoughts on “Transformation

  1. “The New Adventures of Old Christine” was already taken, darn it! I didn’t realize you had stared down cancer, but I’m grateful for your grit and determination that naturally made it avert its eyes in defeat. I’m looking forward to your posts for many reasons, but mostly because I think you’re awesome and I miss you!

    • Thanks Molly. I had to laugh — that title “The New Adventures of Old Christine” was the first thing my daughter Emma and I thought of! I have seen every episode of that show…and many more than once. I love your fb postings and I enjoy visiting your blog. I love all the pictures of your family reunion — you did such an amazing job transforming the barn. Your daily life photos are just stunning and your house looks so beautifully decorated and welcoming. So you!

  2. Wishing you well in your recovery. Your daughter, Emma, is in my class at IC this semester and she is a gem. And as a fellow North Country girl (grew up in Tupper Lake), I have a particular appreciation for her! I’ve shared with her the story of my own mother’s breast cancer experience. Sounds similar to yours so far – and my mom is now a nearly 18-year survivor! So onward you go. I look forward to hearing of – and being inspired by – your many adventures to come!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. Emma set this entire page up for me over October break. I am so fortunate to have such wonderful support. So glad to hear about your mother’s journey to health…continued best wishes to both mother and daughter…and special thanks for all you do for Emma and all the IC students who are lucky enough to be in your classroom.

  3. So now you can cross this off your bucket list…so proud of you…you are such a strong person, I am so lucky that we have gotten closer since coaching together…I will be over soon to see you…have a wonderful day 🙂

  4. Love the idea of your blog. I look forward to seeing what paths your transitions take. Our lives and paths can take some incredibly sharp curves. Last July 4th a friend was diagnosed with an aggreesive strain of breast cancer, She had the genetic tests done after her biopsy. The results indicated that she was pre-disposed to cancer genetically. Double mastectomy and hysterectomy followed plus chemo and radiation. She worked through the treatments taking time off for surgury recovery and chemo days; our American healthcare and business system made it imperitive that her salary continue. I spent the year hiking with her at least once a month and walking routinely. I learned the joy of winter time mountain tops in the Southern Adirondacks, I witnessed her pain and I saw exhustion but mostly I saw courage. I was embraced in the love that came to her from so many parts of the world as old friends made the trek to visit. We played board games, laughed and talked. Love grows in this type of atmosphere and makes recovery much more positive. She is in remission now and just started a new chapter in life; a new job, a move out of the Adirondacks. She is embracing life and love. Her transitions are continueing; she is welcoming them. From the year’s experience I know that she will be a dear friend for life and an inspiration to face difficult times boldly, honestly and in the company of friends. I saw your post today that your tests came back and nodes are clear. Wonderful news! Write and share. The world will get to know that you & our generation of women has a lot to offer!

    • Again and again, I am amazed at how this disease brings women together. I am so glad your friend could lean on you as you walked beside her in this challenging journey. Thank you for sharing her good news with me. You are fortunate to have each other, and now I am blessed to share in this journey with you.

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