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The Bold Soul(tm) Blog by Lisa Taylor Huff, Copyright (C) 2005-2009

The Bold Soul™: A Writer's Life in Paris - 5 new articles

Keeping it brief

Surgery was Thursday. I made it! It went even better than they had expected, good to hear. Spent whole night in recovery room, NOT a restful place to recover. Back in my room since yesterday. Can't do freaking much of anything. Every movement, cough or deep breath is agony due to super long scar that goes across entire upper abdomen. Also severe back pain and spasms triggered by the type of OR table used. They think they're getting me out of this bed and into a chair today; I think they're nuts. I can drink liquids only for the moment. They seem very concerned about am I farting or not, as a litmus test of when I can start eating solids. So many doctors and nurses I have given up trying to remember names. Food here sucks. But I can't eat it anyway. I win.

 
    



Need a little Christmas NOW

Today I was feeling pretty good, no pain at all and feeling less tired than in recent days, so today we put up our little Christmas tree. It's the first time since I moved to France that I was able to use a lot of my own ornaments that I brought over last year from back home. I have a lot more still stored in NJ but they're all the really fragile ones and will have to be carefully packed and shipped at a future date. But it made me really happy to see familiar ornaments on our tree -- including one very tiny red glass ornament with blobs of old glitter, circa 1961. It was from my first Christmas tree and the only one that survived. It's nice to see the tree up now, and it will really cheer me when I come home and it's already here to...

    


The compassion of a child

Thank you all so much for the outpouring of support and affection after my announcement about having kidney cancer and my upcoming surgery. The date is now set for Thursday, December 18th and I'll be in the hospital from Tuesday the 16th. I could be in from 8 to 12 days in total, depending on how things go afterward. (Based on my gall bladder operation I think I'm a slow healer.) I'm relieved that they're doing the surgery sooner rather than later, even it it may possibly mean I spend part or all of Christmas recuperating in the hospital (because they won't kick me out until I'm really ready). And I have an amazing team of surgeons lined up, so everything is perfect and in place. The sooner the better to just get it over with and move onto whatever is next afterward. Your messages of support have warmed and...

    



Not a symphony at all

In my 8 years living in France and writing about it, about the cultural differences, how much I hate the dog poo on the sidewalks, the many fun things to do, falling in love and integrating into a French family, the food and the wine, the frustrations with the bureaucracy and even becoming a French citizen, there is one sentence I never, ever expected to have to write on this blog. I have kidney cancer. I'll pause for a moment to let you catch your breath. I've known this since just before Thanksgiving, and I'm still catching mine. ... OK then. Let's all exhale together. What seemed at first to be a whopper of a kidney stone attack nearly three weeks ago has turned out to be something much bigger and more serious. There's a tumor on my right kidney (there is also a nice big stone in there for...

 
    


Unexpected blessings

For this Thanksgiving, I find myself in a very unusual, unpleasant, and unexpected situation, where as much as I wish I was anywhere but where I actually am, I am also filled with gratitude for so much of what I am experiencing. I am in a French hospital. Although I am not yet prepared to share all détails -- so if you ask questions I might not reply -- I can say that there is a serious situation with one of my kidneys. There is pain. There are still some unknowns although more pieces are falling into place, and I am very happy with the care I am receiving. It began a week ago when, out of nowhere, I experienced debilitating pain in my right side, followed by uncontrollable vomiting and blood in my urine. My gall bladder is long gone and the pain was too high to be the...

    



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