Tag Archives: honestwomenover50

Amazing Women over 50: Gwendie’s Struggle with Cancer


Gwendie, who writes occasionally for this blog, has been struggling with cancer for the past four years.  She just suffered another setback, as she describes first in an email she sent and then in a blog entry–but, amazing woman that she is, she is still managing to keep her incredible, positive outlook on things.  I think Gwendie should be a role model for all of us in how to meet life’s challenges head-on and never lose hope.  As my friend Barb said, Gwendie is “living with cancer, not dying from it.”  Jane

Gwendie’s email: Well, guys and gals, it had been a relatively quiet several months here in Gwendieland until about 3 weeks ago when I suddenly “lost” my voice and developed a dry cough.  After considering (and eliminating) the various possible causes (virus, allergies, bacterial infection), a CT scan confirmed that I have more and larger tumors in my chest and neck.  So the assumption is that the loss of voice is related to something pressing on my larynx or perhaps a nerve that innervates the voice box.

Anyhow, of course that means a change in treatment.  So, Monday I’ll be starting a batch of new (to me) drugs.  For those of you who have seen me with short frizzy white hair, forget that look.  It’ll be gone soon.  Hopefully the replacement, should we ever get to that, will not have the frizzy component.  And if you call me, I can at the moment speak only in a croaky whisper.  Also, I may be heading off to Duke Medical Center for a consult there.  Sigh.  But at four plus years and counting (since diagnosis), I can’t complain.  Well, I could complain, but I won’t.


I’m shifting gears again.

I’ve been in “drive” for a number of months, cruising along with the same meds, the same side effects, the same tumor markers, for long enough now that it—the condition—was beginning to feel “normal” (to paraphrase Prince Charles—whatever “normal” is).  Anyhow, the bizarre night about 3 weeks ago when I kept waking up with a sharp cough (and now realize I was probably trying to catch my breath) was the beginning of the shift in the gears—a slide toward reverse, which I hope will somehow come to a stop and then shift again, probably at the beginning, into first gear—slow and with lots of effort, but hopefully, quickly move into second and third and even fourth or overdrive—although I’d be more than happy with third gear!

Just not this reverse, please.

Not only do I not like the physical symptoms, but it scares me.  I’m not a big fan of backing up.  Going forward has always felt a lot better to me.  Oh, my.  This analogy is bringing on a cough.  A bad sign that I’ve slipped out of neutral again into reverse. Damn these gears, shifting without any input from me.  Well, I’m ready to take control again.

Bring on the new chemo and let’s shift back into first gear.

Beautiful Women over 50: Katina!



I’ve known Katina since 1983.  We were young and had no fears about anything, and, we laughed a lot.  We share the same guru, we share astrologically, the same degree of moon and sun, and we share that wonderful connection of being loved and accepted by each other, no matter what.

I hope you enjoy what I found out about Katina that I didn’t know before this little interview.

1.  What was the name of the first record you ever bought?

I remember buying the Beatles album with the song, “I wanna hold your hand”.



2.  Who did you like more, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

The Beatles.

3.  What is the one thing you have to put on or have on that makes you feel good before leaving the house?

My push-up bra from Chantelle!

4.  What’s your favorite lipstick?

I like lip glosses instead of lipstick.  I like to go to Sephora online and try different ones.  I like one now that’s called “Sephora: Nectar Shine”.  It’s in a tube.

5.  What is your favorite comfort food?

I would have to say it’s a glass of Shiraz or a Zinfadel.  Lately I really like the Predator 2008 Red Zinfadel that’s around $13.99 a bottle.  Oh, and Archer Farms Cheddar Sourdough Twists!

6.  What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about being over 50?

My favorite thing is that I still feel and look OK.

My least favorite thing is that I have been dealing with a back problem for the last 7 years…and thankfully it’s getting better and I am starting to feel like my old self again.

7.  What is your most favorite thing to do that is “creative”?

Meditation is my most favorite thing to do because it makes me feel so good and connected and I’m creating awareness within.


Ah This!




Sadhvi Sez: The World is too Full to Talk About


It’s been tough, as in, hard to keep up with life, this past week or so for me.

Mercury, the planet of communications and anything to do with that (i.e. computers, cell phones, etc.) went retrograde and still has a week to go until it goes direct.

No one is getting back to anyone with any of the many ways we can be in touch: cell phones, email, texting; it feels like we all need a nap from the world as we know it.

At least I do.

For this week’s post I thought I would share a really good recipe that I use for making bread that’s about as simple as brushing your teeth, except since I left the flour in the bowl for a day, it didn’t turn out to be all that easy to make!  So I won’t be sharing that just yet (no pictures!).

Then I thought I’d share some pictures of the green explosion of plants and flowers since there have been days almost reaching 90 degrees here, but also tornadoes, hail, constant winds and thunder and lightning.  Every day is so different from the last.  It’s feels unreal.

I won’t even go into politics, earthquakes, nuclear meltdowns, Monsanto, the price of gas, or anything else that I cannot bear to hear about any more.

So instead I will share with you a poem from Rumi because some things don’t change, and he expresses what I cannot on how I really feel lately.

There is a field

out beyond ideas of wrongdoing

and rightdoing

there is a field.

I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass

the world is too full to talk about.



Care-giving for Husbands and Dogs


Just when I thought my care-taking days and nights were diminishing, life decided otherwise.  For starters, my husband’s surgery to pin his hip back in place failed, and ten days later he was back in the hospital for a full-blown hip replacement.  While I know this is a very common procedure, it doesn’t mean it’s easy or pain-free, not to mention what it’s been like for moi.  This time, the doctor recommended home health care, and thank god for Care Partners (and drugs).

Care Partners is providing quality nurses, physical therapists and even an occupational therapist who come to our house for support and care which is not only needed but greatly appreciated.   But, it’s a slow recovery, and my husband hates being dependent on anyone, even me.  And he won’t let me insert a photo of him doing his physical therapy, claiming he has privacy issues.

And for those of you who asked about my sweet rescue, Gus, I’m happy to report that his anal infection is practically gone and he’s doing much better thanks to the very expensive auto-immune drug treatment he was on for thirty days.  Now, he/we have a new problem.  Well, it’s not entirely new as he already had a bad knee (ACL) so, you can imagine the beating his knee took while being severely constipated and forced to squat to do his business.  This all happened while Len was in the hospital, and I had to actually help Gus (all 85 lbs. of him) get up and down despite the customized dog bed I had made for him and Carli.  Thank you Kathleen for making such cool looking beds for both my dogs.     

In between Len’s surgery, I found myself scurrying home to help Gus go out and then finally taking him to the vet – very difficult getting him into the car.  The doc gave him a stronger anti-inflammatory (short term because it could damage the liver) and after 2 days he was improving.  Now he is back to himself and Len is home and I’m exhausted.

And just when I was feeling sorry for myself, I turned on Dr. Oz (daytime T.V. is quite an experience), and  on that particular day I saw a short piece about a young mother who has three (NOT 1 but 3!) autistic children.  That certainly put it all in perspective for me.

What do women like and dislike with being over 50: Yvette?


Now that I am definitely over 50, I have been thinking and really trying to figure out what it is that I like, and honestly, I cannot think of anything yet.  

And since I don’t want to be thought of as a whiner, I won’t just write about what I don’t like, so I will just take a bit more time until I can come up with BOTH answers, OK? 

I thought it might be interesting to ask other women and Yvette just happens to be the first one, so I hope you enjoy what she has to say. 

Yvette, what do you like the most about being over 50? 


I love seeing the maturation of my kids.  I’m really enjoying what feels to me like a return on the investment of energy and self spent on parenting.  I love seeing their characters, ideas and creativity begin to bloom into adulthood. 

I’m so happy that they are such nice people.

Yvette, what do you like least about being a woman over 50? 

What I like least about being over 50 is learning the lessons of letting go.  It’s hard enough to let go of your children as they go off to college (luckily I still have one more at home for a few years…) and to let go of youthful beauty and shape, such as it ever was, and to let go of owning so much junk (I need to work on that but there’s time). 

But there’s deeper letting go going on.  I have only recently let go of thinking that there are interests and talents not yet developed that realistically just won’t grow at this time of life (for instance, I don’t think I will ever be the conductor of a major orchestra).  It’s as if I can see the neural pruning happening right before my eyes!  It time to let go of so much and focus on what I am doing best.  It’s not that I’m inflexible or rigid in my path but rather that, well, for example in my younger days I was sure I could catch a  whole bucket full of ping pong balls tossed in my direction.  Now I know that focusing on and keeping my eye on one ping pong ball at least improves my chances of catching ONE instead of missing them all. 

And in this hologram of existence I see that in the hard work of letting go I find a gift of the freedom of being let go which is both frightening and wonderful at the same time.