Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Salon: March 15, 2015

The Sunday

The Scene: 8:33 am, Sunday: on couch with my trusty sidekick, Prince. He is back from vacation in Florida (he has been down there with my parents since I went to South Africa after the holidays).  They have taken great care of him but I am so happy to have him back.

Reading: While in Florida last week, I was drawn to books with a beach setting so I started reading Silver Girl by Elin Hildebrand.  The book has been on my shelf for a few years and it seemed like a perfect choice for the beach.  I am tearing through the book and glad I picked it up. Prior to that, I finished The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (review coming soon). It is a historical fiction set in France during WW2 and tells the story of two sisters  - one who fights for the resistance and one who lives in the country and tries to survive wartime while her husband is at the front. I loved this book - I even cried twice while reading it. 

Listening: For a while now, I have been listening to Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe - it is the letters of a British nanny in the 80's (Nina) to her sister. The book was lauded as a best book of 2014 but so far I have not seen (or heard) the magic. The re-telling of her mundane days is not capturing my attention but I am nearly done with it and we will see if there is a revelation before the end!  Have you read or listened to this one? 

 Blogging: Last week a blogger and tweeter that I follow, Lisa Adams (@adamslisa) died of metastatic breast cancer. If you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed that I have been re-tweeting the many articles written about this impressive woman. Lisa was first diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 37 and, following a number of years with a status of NED (no evidence of disease), she was diagnosed with metastatic disease in 2012.  When she died last week at the age of 45 she left behind her husband and three young children. 

Photo credit: Lisa Adams

Lisa wrote beautifully on her blog about living with breast cancer and her fears about leaving her children at such a young age. Her posts were poignant, direct and moving and articulated difficult emotions so well. Her tweets were a mix of pithy insights into the grind of constant treatment for her disease, observations about her children and commentary on the last show she was catching up via Netflix while trying to regain her energy following a treatment. I found myself looking for her tweets everyday and hoping to see that she was getting some relief and evidence that her latest treatment was working to give her a little more precious time.

Lisa's bio on twitter includes the statement: "Doing as much as I can for as long as I can" which I think perfectly demonstrates the way in which she lived her life with incurable breast cancer - she eschewed any notions of "battling" cancer or outsmarting cellular biology but intelligently developed treatment plans with her oncologist to control her disease as much as possible so she could spend precious time with her young children. She focused on the present and encouraged people to "Make the most of this day. Whatever that means to you, whatever you can do, no matter how small it seems" and urged on twitter "Find a bit a beauty in the world today. Share it. If you can't find it, create it. Some days this may be hard to do. Persevere." Persevere she did and took us along in an effort to educate about metastatic breast cancer, living with the disease and in an effort, I think, to connect and fend off isolation. She will be missed.

You can read her most popular posts here (including one about what to say and not to say to someone with cancer) and also see a collection of the remembrances that have been posted since her death including one by Bethanne Patrick (aka "The Book Maven") and Katherine Rosman of the New York Times. Lisa established a fund at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to fund research into metastatic breast cancer. 

This picture below from my visit to Florida last week is my "bit of beauty" today in honor of Lisa. 


  1. So sorry to hear about the passing of this blogger.

  2. The Nightingale is waiting for me.....Glad you liked it!

  3. Oh, so sorry about Lisa....and what an awesome way to live, though. We all should take a page from that we never know what each day will bring.

    Living in the moment works....

    I have Silver Girl somewhere...on Sparky, I think, and want to read it soon. Loved The Nightingale.

    Enjoy your week...and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

  4. This is such a lovely post, Colleen.

  5. Beautiful post... I was sorry to hear of Lisa's passing.

  6. What an inspiring woman. I'm sorry that's she's gone, but it sounds as if she lived life on her own terms and I love her philosophy of finding a bit of beauty and if you can't, create it. Words of wisdom and hope.

    Have a good week, Colleen!

  7. Oh that's awful. So very sad. My sympathies to her family. You gave her a nice tribute. I think I want to curl up with my dog now

  8. So sorry to hear about the death of your blogging friend. So tragic. Even when we don't know our blogging friends they make an impact on our lives. My Sunday Salon, March 15

  9. Lovely post, Colleen. I didn't know of Lisa Adams until her passing, but I've heard so much about her in the past week. She was a beautiful person who will be missed by many.

  10. I am so sorry about Lisa. My cousin is battling breast cancer right now. This is a beautiful memorial to your blog buddy.

  11. It was so sad to hear of Lisa's passing, but I think your bit of beauty perfectly captures the spirit of what she encouraged us all to find in each and every day. Beautiful photo, and a beautiful tribute to her.