Bye Bye, “Boo Radley”: Takin care of business in the garden, the body, and the soul


Boo Radley Buna.  If you saw my yard and ever read to Kill a Mockingbird in middle school, my garden met the description of his.  Overgrown and neglected.  And the perfectly pitiful pout on one of my all time faves, Kristen Wiig, in this meme above?  Yup. That’s me, too.  Every. Single.  Morning… as I try to find some eyelashes to put mascara on in the sun-visor of my suburban.   Really?

After the past few months of trying to figure out what to do with my new achy body with my new meds,  daily routine of brushing on my still barely there eyebrows and wondering when (or if) my eyelashes would grow back, I can just imagine my grandmother’s voice,  “PPP.”  (Poor Pitiful Pearl).

Clearly, I’ve been raised by some strong women that while very loving and always ninja-like prayerful for your needs, they know just what to say (whether spoken aloud or not) to let ya know when it’s time to stop crying over spilled milk and DO SOMETHING.  At this point in my life, it’s my late grandmother on my mother’s side (who also had survived breast cancer, along with many many other near death experiences and came out on top time and time again, until the good Lord took her home eventually,  in His perfect timing. )  She was one TOUGH lady, no doubt, and a little tough love is just what I needed now.


Quite clearly, I’ve been dealing with PTSD, yet at the same time,  looking out in my clear moments (that do in fact come each day, mind you) at the beauty in the world around me in my kids, my hubbie, my friends and fam, and snap out of it! I find myself forever trying to figure out the balance between…

…wanting to hold my fam as close as possible and not move another inch

…or get out there and take the world by storm, never missing a moment of what life has to offer! 

I’ve spent a lot of time in thought about all of this.   Whether it was in  some of my off in space moments frozen in time, as I’d mentioned before, or awake and at physical therapy appointments, or in conversations with family members, docs, or fellow survivors, trying to figure out just HOW I could even ATTEMPT any of the things I want to do since my normally very physical self hasn’t been able to keep up with my usual workout routines and hobbies.  My knees creak when I use stairs,  I somehow have a disc that’s gotten agitated and out of place in my lower back….  You’d think I was decades older than I am.  All these throwbacks remain from treatment last year along with new side effects of my preventative meds to block reactive estrogen cells and protect my cancer from returning until my cure … or possible longer.  ?!?!?!!!!!

  And this is why it’s hard to say,  “I FEEL GREAT!” when people ask how I feel.

But ya know what?  I’m soooo over it!

I want to feel great.  Heck, I want to feel good!  I’m so ready.

too tired...

If this is what I need to do to protect my life and ensure that my kids have a mommy, my hubbie has a wife, and … I HAVE MY LIFE,  A LIFE WITHOUT CANCER,  then I’m not gonna sit around here any more like BOO RADLEY BUNA, just waiting it out until the cure!


only one portion of my “before” (Boo Radley-esque)garden. the other half was twice as overgrown, just attacked it too quick before I could snap a pic




So for now,



The good pirate doc is helping me to detox from the current med before we start a new form.  I’m also beginning taking francincense and thieves oils daily through my oils as well as my Melaleuca AM and PM daily supplement packs to help my overall energy and calcium growth, as well as daily fiber to help decrease my chances of a recurring breast cancer diagnosis.

My docta is the bomb and is cool with anything I can do to live well and assist in what he’s doing for me and my family in the wellness dept.  We’re both determined to find the BEST plan of attack to keep me  CANCER free and as PAIN free as possible so that this life that I’ve been blessed to have now is a great one!




I’m pulling the reigns in a bit more on our family nutrition again.  Never crazy, as we do in fact need to live and celebrate; yet we do everything as a team over here.  And if I can do more things to help the inflammation in my body, than I’m going to do it for the whole fam to help them and protect their bids as well.  We’re big on that and I’m happy to get back on track with my clean eating again.




EXERCISE:  I met my hubbie while training for a marathon at the gym that we both worked at right here where our children all still swim in the summers.  I danced my whole life, taught kickboxing all through college, etc., etc. ….   In other words, to find myself in pain simply walking down stairs or getting up from sitting to standing is a night mare!  However, I know that, being an adrenaline junkie and an extrovert, “social morphine” would kick in if I walked into a kick boxing class and I’d find a way to do a brand new class at the highest impact and love every minute!  As the music would end and the attendants would leave, I’d collapse in pain, suddenly realizing and feeling my joints that were screaming at me all through the class, unbeknownst to my psycho-self.  I’m weird like that.  Therefore, with incredible self control, I’m not entering those classes right now, even though every pretty long-locked-blonde-super-fit-mom-friend has invited me to at the local club that I’ve been going to with my trial membership (my physical therapist is there… doing some BUTT KICKIN’ DRY NEEDLING!  SHOUT OUT TO Eric Cedor  & Troy Bourgeois of “The Science & Movement Center” WHOOP WHOOP!!!)

So what can I do?  Now that Eric’s really helping me get some relief in my back again,  I’m stretching each morning either during or after my morning prayers,  I’m getting movement again (and breaking up scar tissue from my surgeries!).  I may not be running in this gorgeous spring weather the way I’d like to, or trying out all of those cool classes like I’d like to with my friends, or even flying through my Beachbody DVDS that I have on my shelves as I did before.  Instead,  I’m babystepping through good ol’ Mari Windsor  with dancer-like pilates that I grew up doing since I was in kindergarten or younger.  And ya know what,  it suits me just fine,  I can do it with my girls who are prepping for cheer try outs, and who knows… maybe I’ll even be doing my splits again soon!





What it all comes down to, is that,  the weeds that had overtake my garden were so symbolic of how I see everything.  “GO BIG OR GO HOME!”  Often times, that’s true.  As a performer and choreographer, that’s perfect for the stage.  But I treat the world like a stage.  If I can’t do it BIG, than I don’t’ want to do it at all.  Well, when I looked out at my Boo Radley garden and spent time (With my belt wrapped around my back for support.  Nod to my P.T. So he knows I’m being cautious) thinking and realized that about myself.

I made a decision.  This time.  I’m taking baby steps.  FOR REAL THOUGH.

I didn’t need to go spend a ton of money buying new plants, flowers, soil, and mulch, and break our backs and budget on an over the top garden that I’ll probably forget to water and kill half it (let’s be honest).  Nope.  Just like everything else in my life right now,  I’m just gonna start with pulling the weeds out and seeing what we’ve got to work with.  And that I did.  And it turned out, that after just a little pulling, pruning, and weed eating, what was there was simple and lovely and just what we needed for this Easter.  In fact, we even had some brand new little decorations given to my kiddos (for free! Thanks, Jenny!) to put in the bare spots that we normally would have planted a money pit of flowers.


LESS IS MORE… symbolically simply lovely (notice our pup peeking out the door window!)


And there you have it. 

We’re saying good bye to Boo Radley Buna.   In fact, very unlike ol’ Boo,  we’ve pulled our old porch bench out in front of the garden to watch the kids play and visit with neighbors more.  Now would ol’ Boo Radley have done that?  I think not!

We’re taking baby steps not only to gardening, all things exercise, food, but life in general.

I may not be attacking everything like the WONDER WOMAN MOM that I’m itching to be and feel like I should be on the days when I come out of my fog and suddenly want to make up for lost time and seize the life I’ve been gifted,  but  I am enjoying each day, one day at a time with my family: some challenging, some easy and breezy.  Some days we’re playing in the back yard, some just watching my toddler stopping to smell the clovers with her imaginary friend, “Mr.Firewalker“, on the side of the road (literally. Ha!) and some just laying on the floor doing old school Mari Windsor Pilates in my living room hoping to get into those Pilates classes in the gym or on the elliptical… maybe one day?  Just not today.


Either way, today, I’m moving forward.  I’m not letting the weeds grow over thoughts, holding me captive to my own brain.  I’m not letting my body go stiff at its joints, refusing to let me dance as I always have.  Every day, I’ll get up slowly, stretch and get moving… and as the day goes, I’ll move more, and by the end of today…







*Please do yourself a favor and click below.  Just a little song that always gets me through.. even if I’m listening to it in the parking lot of Target on an alone trip for errands late at night. (Like I did just yesterday!)  Sneak ’em when I can:

Matt Maher: Lord I Need You


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