Rehab ruminations

Catching up with my life after so many years of radio silence is daunting. After having undergone major surgery on my brain to remove a large tumor and reduce swelling, I had a really hard time recuperating. I spent 10 days in a special ward of a hospital performing various exercises involving physical, occupational, and memory work. The hardest was the memory piece, and I still have trouble with typing and spelling, as if I were perpetually in second grade.

The exercises to regain strength in muscle mass proved to be invaluable. Participating in scavenger hunts at the gift shop, walking around the track and bouncing balls, and getting up from the floor to my feet helped me gain confidence. The gym was brand new, and the amazing kitchen next to it enabled us to make cookies. We also played Connect Four and relished the challenge of creative art projects. I wish I could have stayed there forever.

The next step was staying one month in an assisted living facility. I cried for the first week, but then decided it was better to engage in the myriad activities offered than feel sorry for myself. After that I was fine, even enjoying the great company and wisdom the resident folks had to offer.  Afterward in my journal I reminisced about all the fun I had had.

Now I wonder if all the chemo over the years has caused a rehash of my rehab experience with new accompanying side effects.  As the chemo accumulates over a long period it can adversely affect the brain and other parts of the body. That may now be my newest normal. We shall see how this next phase of uncertainly works itself out.

In the meantime I carry on, as best I can in a stage 4 world of uncertainty, scans, angst, and statistics. Miracles filled with hope and faith still abound as I tiptoe my way gingerly through the proverbial tulips.

Lynn and Jan Vina, CA 8-23-13

Cousins meditating amid the monks


1 comment June 28, 2017

long time, no posting

It has been far too long since I have posted anything. There have been far too many setbacks and scans and appointments jammed into my life these last few years. Regrettably I have neglected my writings and musings. But when Karen, a beautiful blogger whisperer as I now call her, died this morning, I was prompted once again to write a blog post.

As a stage 4 breast cancer blogger with bone and brain mets,  I was forced into a totally different category from those with no terminal illness diagnosis. I felt isolated and alone. The “go-to” place for me was, which gave me a great outlet for my pent-up frustrations and worries. They gave me answers to questions that only very few people could answer, even among the stage 4 crowd. Who had brain involvement? Did it involve surgery or radiotherapy or both? Have they had multiple zaps of radiotherapy? Did they get second opinions? Was more dental work involved due to unending chemo?

These questions should not have to be addressed at all, especially when others my age were enjoying leisurely retirement, including painting, playing ukulule, and traveling to exotic places. But here was I, single and battling this malady with all the dignity of a 90-year old body.

Jealous? You betcha. But life goes on and you learn to live with it. With all its ups and downs. Some days are good and some days not as much. But the people I have gotten to know are the gems. They give me rides, offer food, spend holidays with me, play games and shop and pray. They are what keep me going, getting up every day despite disturbing side effects with pesky annoyances.

In November I will likely reach the 5-year mark since diagnosed with the dreaded stage 4 bombshell. Every 3 months I suffer the scan for the brain and every six months I endure the CT scan for the rest of the body. Life goes on. The cycle continues and I press on, knowing that a day will come when I can fight it no longer. In the meantime I meet up with friends and relatives and do the best I can, no longer so scared of ending up in hospice.  And my first grandchild was born a few months back!

That’s my story for the foreseeable future, and I am good with it. Really!

2 comments June 16, 2017

Survivors and lymphedema patients

Please check out for an on-line community of breast-cancer survivors.

Please check out for connection with others desiring ongoing discussion about lymphedema.

Add a comment September 18, 2008
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New links at

You will note that at my website I have added three more links to my resources page that are not in my book.  Please check them out; they have a wealth of information.


Add a comment August 21, 2008

Book signings in October 2008

I will be signing my newly published book, “Mourning Has Broken – Reflections on Surviving Cancer” (Xulon Press 2008), on October 11, 2008 at the Forest Ranch Fall Festival in Forest Ranch, CA, and on October 16, 2008 at the American Cancer Society Chico office on Mangrove Ave. from 5-7 pm.

1 comment July 13, 2008

Hello world!

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Add a comment July 13, 2008






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