Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Forward!!

Spring Forward
Suzanne Harp

The instruction is a handy way to remember what to do with your clock at 2 AM on March 14. But having recently completed breast cancer treatment, this year the words took on new meaning for me.

"Spring forward" is my mantra of the moment. It's reminds me of the changes I need and want to make. Of the fact that things will get better. Here in New York, the landscape is still pretty brown, but you can see the first sprouts of green and the buds on the trees. The timing is perfect.  I asked all of our Loop writers what the season means to them.


My chemo will be finished March 31st, so spring is important to me this year.  Not only is spring an affirmation of life, one we cancer patients have needed during the long, dark winter of treatments - it also means simple things, like the regrowth of hair and the ability to eat fresh fruits and vegetable.  Because my white blood counts were very low all through treatment, fresh fruit as been forbidden.  Soon cherries will be in the markets; I'll have the energy to go, and I plan to sport my sassy manhair throughout the market, with cherry juice dripping down my chin! 
Ann Silberman.

In 1994, the first spring after my first breast cancer, a friend, who had also had breast cancer, left a large bouquet of sunflowers at my doorstep. The card said: "Because it is spring and because we are here."
Every April, I think of her and buy sunflowers.
Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW
Chief, Oncology Social Work
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston
survivor of two breast cancers

I started chemo two Marches ago, at the beginning of a season that's normally so upbeat. But every spring hereafter, for the rest of my life, in which I am *not* facing chemo will feel all the sweeter. I'm looking forward this season to walks in the botanical gardens, resuming outdoor yoga class, and posing topless outside (yup, you read it right) as part of a photo project a friend and I are working on.  Pamela Beth Grossman, writer

Springs store energy. When compressed, the energy that went into mashing the spring down remains there, waiting to be released. That's what spring, as a season, is like. All the energy that went to sleep in the fall is loosed again, bursting out all over: into blooms and bumblebees and bird songs. And as the days lengthen, the sun awakens our spirits, too, and reminds us that we can stretch ourselves out, like cats, and rest in the warmth, soaking up the energy and renewing our souls.
Tara Rodden Robinson
The Productivity Maven

During the period of surgeries and chemo that started in June, 2008, gardening was my therapy and metaphor for the cycles of life, death and rebirth throughout the corresponding seasons.  With my last radiation treatment on March 17, 2009, I felt a deep connection with everything that blossomed around me as I started to heal. Spring is my celebration of life.
Laurie Andreoni (@turban_diva)

Spring represents a rebirth, so I feel this is a special time to think about what one can do to renew his/her life in some way. Stop to appreciate nature and all its glory and do something that is good for your body. Whether you are going through treatment or are finished with it, do what you can to make life meaningful to you -- whether it be reading a good book, taking a short walk on a beautiful day, or simply meditating.
Beth L. Gainer, Writer and Patient Advocate
"Calling the Shots"

 Spring reminds me of our essential elements.  Each year there’s that ‘first day’ in the flower beds when I return, literally to the earth.  I take my hand spade and turn the soil over,  pulling out the weeds (always the first to grow), and pinching off dead blossoms and branches.  It’s physical, it’s spiritual.  There is something sacred in anticipating the creation of a new garden.  Such joy! 
Jody Schoger


  1. Love this! Thanks for the inspiration on a gloomy, cold, wet (and almost Spring) day. Just what I needed. :)

  2. Spring is my favorite time of the year. Like these great women said, it is a time of renewal and new growth. I love all the spring flowers - tulips, hyacinth, daffidills, crocus. For me, it means no matter how gloomy and dark things seem, beauty is already there just waiting to emerge.

  3. What a delightful and uplifting post. I too love the symbolic nature of spring - new beginings, fresh buds emerging on trees, shoots peeping out from the ground, so much possibility and hope all around us.