Friday, April 22, 2011

Someone you know

I've often heard the expression, someone you know and love will be affected by cancer. My sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor about ten years ago and an aunt and another good family friend were both taken by breast cancer, so i figured that took care of the quota for the Bradleys. Seems lately, however, like cancer keeps raising it's nefarious little head just about everywhere i look. Last night i attended the Honors College Annual Awards Banquet, where scholarship recipients and seniors who are graduating with Honors are recognized. As i left the banquet i walked out with one of the graduating seniors who had taken my writing class 3-4 years ago. We struck up a conversation, i congratulated him for graduating, and he mentioned it would have been a year earlier, but he had been diagnosed with cancer, and so had to take a year off for the chemo treatments. This young man is only 24 years old. I smiled, showed him my prosthetic leg, and we shared that moment of solidarity knowing for the time being, we had kicked cancer's ass!! I walked to my car and enjoyed the sunsetting over the great salt lake out over the west end of the valley.

Recently T-dub's step mom Cort was also diagnosed with ovarian cancer (on top of Tayler's mom who also had cancer; yea, the list just keeps going on and on). She had a hysterectomy this week, and fortunately there weren't any signs of other tumors beyond the cyst they had removed a month or so ago. They're waiting for biopsies to determine the best chemo regiment, but things are hopeful. So Congratulations Cort!! Like you told me the first time i saw you after your diagnosis, you're going to kick some cancer ass and be a survivor!! You're in my family's thoughts and prayers!

Friday, April 15, 2011

spring time in the 801

Means racing in inclement weather.

Photo: Kristin Portolese-Petersen

And lots of grading.

I did finally get my chile and tomato seeds started, though i'm a few weeks behind this year. I figure it may not matter so much, however, since the last two years i haven't planted till the end of May anyway on account of the late snowstorms.

I've also started to get fit for my final "socket" (the carbon fiber mold that actually fits around my leg to which i mount the prosthetic foot). I've outshrunk four sockets already (insurance only covers two), so the one i'm in right now is not too comfortable because i've got about a dozen layers of socks just to keep it fitting snug, but hopefully my residual limb has just about stabilized and i can get into something permanent.

I also just received notification that i was awarded a grant from the Challenged Athlete Foundation for a new cycling prosthesis, so i'm looking forward to working with Joe at Peak Prosthetics to create something for the bike. CAF is a great organization, go "like" their facebook page, add them on twitter, support them, do whatever you can because they do really incredible work with a lot of amazing people worldwide.

Friday, April 8, 2011

My Alma Mater and school pride gone awry

I graduated from Alta High just over 20 years ago. Recently Alta has received national attention for an incident in which a white student donned a white pillow case that looked an awful lot like a KKK hood at a spirit assembly. Not long after this initial incident, the picture posted above was sent via text message to many of the students at the school by a few of their classmates.
As i've read through the comments on news pages and the blog of a young bi-racial man who confronted this incident face to face, i reflected on my own experience growing up in a majority white community where the reality and consequences of racism were far from my daily experience, and even trivialized by our ignorance. I recently posted some of these reflections on the blog of the Mestizo Arts & Activism Collective, but wanted to post a link here as well because the issue merits the discussion. You can read my post here.