Today Exists

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Yesterday only exists

when you bring it into today.

~ Anne Carlson ~


Humbled by Success

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Taught my first workshop last night using a book I have written and a program I designed.  It went well, and I’m looking forward to the next one in 4 weeks.  All the toil over every photo, and picking over every word was worth it to see tables of open books being read and the people making notes.

I’ve looked forward to this day for a long time and imagined the success of it would be exhilarating, but it is not.  I am humbled by the broken hearts that trusted me to help them learn how to mend.  I am humbled by the love that precedes such great loss, and I am humbled that God answered my prayers of many years, that I could find a way to help people not be so sad.

Next Step Book

~Anne Carlson~



We got a flat screen tv

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I was happy with my  big old heavy T.V. that took 2 people to carry into the house when we moved in. It had a good life, but it finally wore out and my son, Eric, replaced it yesterday.  I know everybody has a flat screen now, but I never thought I would. Its a big deal.  And I like that there is enough kid in me that it is a big deal.

Anne Carlson


Who Left the Stove on?

Chemo brain, where does it stop?

2018.1.21st new-brighton-1239724_640I did.  “Just don’t leave the kitchen when the stove is on.” my friend says.


Embarrassed, humiliated and defensive, Practical Self tells Emotional Self, “From now on,  be more careful so it won’t happen again.”  But I know it could.

“Why does this bother you?” Practical Self speaks, “cancer does not define you. It’s chemo-brain.”  Emotional Self is not consoled.  Like a television, my mind wonders to the place that protects those people that leave the stove on.

These days they call it the memory unit; those days, they called it the psych unit.  Will I be that naked lady with the Albert Einstein hairdo meandering the halls searching for Elvis?   Ouch.

The stove is off …  at least for now.


~Anne Carlson~


Meet Batia, the King of Mischief

18.1.14th Batia

Meet Batia, formerly known as Brat. for a good reason.  He is a Polish cat, so his loving human servant, Anne Elizabeth, found him a more refined, polish name. You have not likely heard this name before, as it ranks 49,597 in the common list of  names. In Hebrew it means “Daughter of God”.  Batia pays no attention to all that.  He is quite happy with the name, and when its time for dinner, he answers to it.

I have begun a series, Adventures of Batia with my friend.  We are writing it for a boy she coaches that has to work extra hard  to hold his attention as he learns to read. We think Batia is just the thing that can get him launched.

I met Batia a few weeks ago when I returned to my hometown to visit my forever friend.  She warned me that anything I put on any surface he would find a way to get at it. Batia is pictured here, stuck inside an oversized cone belonging to his house mate, Luca, the Labrador.

Behind Batia is  a very precious red velvet chair.  I remember this chair because at 8 years old, sitting on it was a privilege.  This chair was once the feature decor-piece in her grandmother’s down stair’s apartment.  It now has a rip in it.

The stories wait to be told, and I’m just itching to tell them, maybe 2 or 3 in this picture alone. I have been delightedly surprised that writing for beginning readers is like writing poetry.  You have a story to tell and a very limited pool of words to say it in, which is great for me, because lately, I am vocabulary-challenged.

Last night we began The Adventures of Batia, or maybe we’ll call it The King of Cat Michief.  We haven’t decided yet, but  we’ll see where this goes.  I promise, more Batia posts in the future.

~Anne Carlson~



Chemo. How to keep your dignity while losing your mind?


Can’t spell catalog, or is it catalogue? Spelling was never a problem but today I have no idea so I guess.  I remember to turn my phone on at 2 pm. It rings.  “Did you see the golden globes last night?”  My conversation runs aground as Maryland patiently waits for me to remember the names of 2 of the famous actresses that weren’t wearing any make up.   I know them, I can see them in my mind.  The names never come.   Maryland gently moves on and we talk about immediate things. 

“How’s the book going?” she asks.   After 25 minutes of conversation, I ask, “Did you hear about Cliven Bundy’s case today?”  Before I finish the sentence,  I realize we already spent 5 minutes talking about it. 

While I type this, It comes again. What was that word?  Cliven Bundy got ____, what?  “I know that word, I’ve been using it all day.  My inner voice yells back, scolding the stubborn neurons that still refuse to fire. Panic, anger and frustration pulse through my consciousness.

I dance around the word fueling the fire with as many available words my creative mind can conjure:  Bundy got released, excused, pardoned, let go out of jail, not blamed?  No.  Close, but not it. It doesn’t come.  God bless google.  The word I was looking for was “dismissed,”  Specifically, Cliven Bundy was “dismissed with prejudice,” by Judge Navarro today.

Friends who are not on chemo tell me, they too, are having trouble remembering. This does not comfort me.  I think, “Why aren’t you doing something about it?  How can you be so passive about your mind being stolen from you?”  I feel like I’m paying out hush money to the mafia under lords. But the payment isn’t in money, its in brain cells.

I thank God for a lot of things. By golly ts good to be here. It’s good to be able to close a car door, pick up a mug of tea and put my shoes on without fear of breaking bones. It’s good to be alive one more day.  Yes, I am grateful.

But as I start another round of  chemo, I wrestle down my resistance and submit.  I take it, but am left to wonder how many memories, words and mental skills will I lose this round?

Living with end-stage Cancer.

~ Anne Carlson ~

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