Jane Roper

Writer. Blogger. Hater of Olives.

Tag: blogging (page 1 of 2)

Out, Damned Port!

Upcyling oral syringes to make Pollock-esque masterpieces. Art > Cancer

Upcyling oral syringes to make Pollock-esque masterpieces. Art > Cancer

Hi there. It’s been a loooong time since I posted. The fact is, I’m feeling a little bit adrift as to what I want to blog about these days, and how I want to use this space now that the most intense and perilous  phase of our family’s cancer journey crappy little boat trip has come to a close (knock on wood).

In the months before Clio was diagnosed, I’d started feeling meh about blogging, and unhappy about the direction Babble, where I was blogging at that time, was heading.

Then, enter a Big Bad Life Event, and suddenly I was clinging to blogging like a life raft (I sure do like these boat metaphors, don’t I….) using it as a form of therapy and a source of support, while also maybe, I vaguely hoped, contributing something to the world. In that first year, I felt compelled to blog. But now…not so much. There are fewer stumbling blocks and milestones. Life is much more about just life. 

Meanwhile, after two years of putting attempts at a new novel on hold, I’m able to start that crazy climb again. (Mountains, marathons and drives at night in the fog seem better metaphors for book-writing than nautical excursions do). So I’m inclined to put my writing energy — and the precious few hours I have for non-work writing — there.

Anyway. I’m just musing here. Not declaring an end to blogging. Just acknowledging that my relationship with it is shifting yet again, and I’m not sure where it’s headed.

But enough about that. Let’s talk about Clio’s port removal. Woo-hoo! She no longer has a little piece of metal and plastic inside her chest, channeling blood and chemo, rudely collecting blood clots, and whatnot. We don’t have to panic when she gets a fever, because it might be an infection in her line. We don’t have to put a dab of Emla on her chest, covered with Press-n-Seal, before we head to the clinic to numb the area. (On the downside, when she goes for checkups now, she has to get blood drawn from her arm, which is no fun.) Continue reading


Our Fellow Travelers

One of the the silver linings of having a child with cancer is the wonderful people you meet along the way who are on — or have been on — the same journey crappy little boat trip.

We’ve met Destiny — the 12-year-old girl we shared a room with one of the times Clio was inpatient – who made her way successfully through a harrowing bone marrow transplant after relapse (her twin brother was the donor) and who seems to be doing well. Her mother is an incredibly strong and determined woman with immense faith that has helped her get through the ordeal.

Through the Jimmy Fund Clinic, we’ve met Bennett and his awesome family — Bennett is the silly superstar in Alastair’s “When I get Bald” video, and both he and his sister Lily sing on Alastair’s album.

We’ve met Ari and his parents. His mom, JulieSue, also a blogger, is even more sarcastic than me, and I love when I see her name in my inbox.

We’ve also met Maddy and her parents, from my hometown in Connecticut, through my aunt, who goes to the same church as them. (Maddy is the teenage girl in the video rocking the bald head.)

And there are lots of others we’ve met, too — through the clinic, at Camp Sunshine, at various events, through friends, and friends of friends. Continue reading


Keep Your Day Job


This picture of the girls, on the boat as we left family camp, has nothing to do with this post. But isn’t it lovely?

We just had a marvelous week at the family camp we go to at the end of August every year. Alastair has been going with his parents since he was four years old, and many of the same families come back year after year, the same week. So there’s a lot of socializing over meals, etc., in addition to relaxing, playing various sports and games, swimming and boating, taking mambo lessons with Johnny Castle, etc. (Well, not that last one, alas.)

Anyway. People spend lots of time catching up, and I’m frequently asked about my writing. People often say they  read my blog (which is nice!), ask how my book(s) are doing, whether I’m working on a new one, etc.

Then they usually say something along the lines of, “But it must be hard to find time to write given what’s going on with Clio.” To which I answer yes, it is. Between that and my day job and all the other demands of everyday life, it’s very tough.

At which point they do a sort of Scooby Doo double take (insert wacky percussion here) and say, you have a day job, too?? Continue reading


What Will They Remember?

Me, circa 1981

Me, circa 1981. I remember little bits and pieces of being in our church choir.


The other day I was trying — really trying — to try to remember kindergarten.

I didn’t come up with much: a vague sense of the layout of the kindergarten classroom (for some reason I’m pretty good at remembering spaces), the face of my kindergarten teacher Mrs. McCarthy, her giving us some stickers once and joking, when someone asked where we supposed to put them, that we could put them on our noses, and then saying, disdainfully, “you all look very silly,” when we did just that. (It felt like such a betrayal!)

I remember a few of my experiences beyond school as well, but I can’t quite distinguish between what’s a bona fide memory and what’s a photograph in the family albums at my parents’ house.

My memories of myself at seven, eight, nine are equally hazy. It’s not until eleven or twelve that I start to remember more, and have a clearer sense of not just what I did, but also how I felt.

And thinking about all this leads me to wonder, as I’ve wondered in the past: how much of this whole cancer thing will the girls will remember when they’re adults, or even adolescents? Continue reading


Ye Olde Blog Archives

Summer, 2008

Summer, 2008

Every so often, people ask me if there’s a way to go back and read my old blog posts from my blog Baby Squared on Babble, where I blogged from mid-2007 (when my girls were 6 months old) through Summer 2012 (when they were 5-1/2 and, you know, we got cancer and all.) And the posts even before that, before I moved to Babble.

There’s never been a terribly easy way to to find and go through the old posts, and I kept meaning to build an archive here and never got around to it. But finally – FINALLY! — I’m doing it.

Below are word documents with the blog posts for each year. Be forewarned: They’re not carefully formatted. Most of the pictures aren’t included. Some content may be missing. Any links left in may or may not work. But it’s the best I can do on limited time.

Continue reading

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