And So it began

"ONCE UPON A TIME"....there came along this little lump...insignificant really when you compare it to the entire world of lumps. That is, right up to the point that it wasn't...insignificant I mean............... and so began my journey.

A NEWER SHADE OF PINK...now I more then SURVIVE...I am learning to THRIVE...

OF COURSE... we all know things are bound to get a little crazy with a surprise around most every corner...not to mention an assortment of bumps and bruises along the way...but I am ever thankful for them all...they have all made me who I am. So buckle up, hold on tight and enjoy the ride thru what I lovingly refer to as LIFE


Friday, October 11, 2013

I am not really sure why I have let things drop and seem to have fallen off the "blog wagon"....I have my theories now that I sit down and actually think about it.  I guess I have just been struggling with a HUGE lack of focus. I have been guilty of just letting the days roll by and with no real plan...just puttering my time away without anything to really show for it. I have finally come to that place where all the stress of the last several months has come to a head...or in my life...hit the wall...then add the fact that I haven't really been making the time to recover from all my treatments...just hit the floor running.

THEORY 1 - I haven't done any real post-cancer programs since it is hard to plan as "the "drop and leave" at any moment" has been the mind frame since Spring.  We are all just plain "tuckered out"!!! Pragmatically Speaking told me to not be so hard on myself and to just realize that I am 7 months behind of where I thought I should be and just start my recovery when this is all over....a wise man....who raised him?!?!?!  I am feeling it physically but poor Random Wisdom has been coping with the brunt of it and her life really on hold.  She has held up really well but the last couple of weeks have been the most heartbreaking to watch.  I just want to be able to fix this for her but we are all at the mercy of that retched visa interview letter.


THEORY 2 -  I have no news to keep you up to date on...stuck in limbo...things are so mundane right now...I would be bored reading about my life....it's just been a whole lot of "hurry up & wait".  I have finally come to that place where all the stress of the last several months (you gotta love US immigration...NOT!!!!) has come to a head...or in my life...hit the wall...then add the fact that I haven't really taking the time to recover from all my treatments...just hit the floor running.  We have been in the wedding/immigration merry-go-round/tornado for months and it is safe to say we are all tired and are ready to get off...we are just exhausted....physically, emotionally, mentally & any other "ally" you can think of.

THEORY 3 - Self-doubt/second guessing/questioning (I think these are the biggest culprits actually) Now that all my treatments & all the whacky side-effects are done (more or less)....do I have anything to contribute of interest/help/insight/worth you spending your time reading????   Then it hit me....I still have the same thoughts, feelings, insights and humor.....the same person as always so just because my treatment is over the healing isn't and that may be just as vital for someone to hear....knowing they are dealing with the same recovery nonsense others are....cause you begin to think you are the only one going thru this since your "lifeline" aka....cancer center and all their focused care is done and you are left back in the "regular" medical world....it can be daunting trying to figure out which doctor to talk to about what stuff now...OYE!!! 

This past weekend was our church's General Conference with 4 sessions of talks. You never know where or how the Lord will take a moment to speak to you and teach you...bolstering your spirit  to enlighten your dim places. More often then not I go into the conference wknd not really looking for anything in particular but there is ALWAYS  just the messages I  need to hear...a miracle in my life for sure!!!  I always come up with my list of "Epic Quotes" when it's all over...just some key insights that will trigger the memory of what I heard to tide me over for another 6 months and the next conference.

"Doubt your doubts not your faith",
Doesn't matter what book of scripture you read....just read",
 "If you're not well you can't help others...do your  "car maintenance"  on yourself...check your fluid levels (spiritually, mentally and physically)",
 "Be wise in the disposition of your own funds"

 The Gospel of Jesus Christ, His words in the scriptures and the words of a living prophet are the greatest tender mercies and gift in my life. The knowledge that He lives and knows me is worth  more to me then anything...I am truly blessed and ever thankful. 

 

Monday, September 9, 2013

More Baggage....I warned you I had a full set of luggage
 
 (QUESTION....what is it about this process that once you start peeking in and begin to take a long hard, honest look at what you have hauled around for so long...you begin to see things differently.  The "Aha" moments just keep coming with such regularity that I wonder why I didn't do this decades ago....Hopefully something I share will light a little spark in you too)
 
 Bag #....
(who knows or even really cares....
lets just leave it at...just another in a long line of Bags)...
this one is labeled...
 
 The Self-imposed Guilt...
"MOM GUILT"
 
     After visiting with a bunch of my "mom" friends we were surprised to  discovered that every single one of us had this one bag in common in various forms and intensities.  Needless to say we compared notes and came to agreement on the following...
 Thanks Girls

     Our most common discovery was this biggie...the "if at first it isn't my fault....I will work being sure to twist it around in my head so in the end it ends up being my fault some how".  We may all suffer from this and I don't really think it is exclusively for moms...it just got labelled that way because as moms we have it thrown at us sooooo easily and effectively by those loved ones.  Now...we/I couldn't just lump the rest of it all together because there are so many other things that get  tossed into this because it is and ever evolving and never ending....so here are just a few more common ones we came up with:
  • "THE THINGS YOU SAY"- your tone was wrong, your cadence was different, you moved your eyes at the wrong time in the wrong way (maybe rolled them), you didn't comment quick enough, too short or too preachy...etc, etc
  • "THE THINGS YOU DID NOT SAY" - so you are out of the target zone...or not wanting to be accused of the last one
  • "NOT REMEMBERING" - who said what (if anything), who didn't say what, who said it first (even if it was me...sigh), the decisions/outcome (if in fact one was actually made and not just alluded to).
  • "MOTHERHOOD/PARENTING" - nope...I am defiantly not brave enough to crack the top on that Pandora's box...just sayin!!!
  • "HOW ALL MY CHOICES HAVE RUINED THEIR LIVES" - being soooo unfair to them and crushing their "agency"
  • "NOT SPENDING MONEY" -  on our selves cause we are trying to play they sympathy/martyrs...oh please...it's called priorities
  • "WHEN I TAKE TIME FOR ME"- sit and do nothing/missteps even mistakes...I am a HUGE failure and disappointment to them.
 
     I think I covered all the things we talked about....(feel free to add your own "mom guilt" list...I am sure we could collect them all and write a book...a "They say.." 1) cause we all know "They" know everything  and 2) "they" are known to the world...hmmmm... There are so many sub-lists of guilt to choose from because we are constantly but casually gathering those new guilt causes every single hour (sometimes more often).  It is such a harmful vicious downward spiral...I sometimes marvel at our ability to even open our eyes in the morning and face a new day.  We need to be there to help each other realize that we are all in this together and sometimes you just have to sit down shake your head at how ridiculous you are being and laugh like a lunatic til we figure it out.  And that my friends is what popped into my head and has refused to leave til I shared it with YOU.....whoever you are that needed this
 
     I am serious when I tell you that there really are bags full of "stuff" I need to just leave behind me so I can completely move on fearless, but there are some I am not prepared to talk about yet...maybe never....I could just not talk/write about more personal, private & spiritual moments of growth.  I do know that this "unloading of dead weight"  is a HUGE part of our growth and why we are here.  I see that in me....and I know that most women I know, not only struggle with baggage but also with the constant fear of exposure (we only want people to see what we are willing to share)....don't worry...sadly there are way too many of us living with this fear everyday (usually only fooling ourselves) but who proudly haul that bag around on our back for far tooo long.

Again I ask....WHY????
 
                                                        
 
 


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Back to the Recovery Wagon business for a minute...
 
I met with my surgeon this week....hold up a second....let me back up a few days.  Wednesday last week I had my first mammogram on my one lonely "girl"...no big deal....I have already been thru the "worst that could happen/biggest fear" that all us women have so whatever.  Then FRIDAY came and a phone call from the hospital telling me "they saw something but they aren't sure what if anything and need to redo the mamm and follow with an ultrasound just to be sure. 
 ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDING ME!!!
I will shamefully admit that there were some not so nice things running thru my head.  I ranted and swore (tiny ones) at my surgeon, oncologist, radiation-oncologist....pretty much anyone with medical training that had come near me in the last year.  I had wanted them to take both "girls" right from the beginning and they wouldn't and this is what I get.  It lasted about 5 minutes and then I just threw up my hands looked in the mirror and said "whatever....we have danced this once...whatcha gonna do...shoot the swans?" (name that movie quote).  I concentrated my resolve from before to not let this happen again...this "girl" is just waiting to betray me too and frankly....I won't let her.  After I calmed down and actually thought about it....the redo mamm isn't until the end of Sept....and my file is still probably "red flagged" since it hasn't been a year and so ANYTHING gets a closer look...and if it had been something to worry about they would have hauled my butt in there WAY sooner.
 
Now back to the surgeon appt....he wasn't concerned with the redo....just told me to follow up with oncology for results but he would gladly set me up for a consult with a plastic surgeon to talk about losing "old lefty" and reconstructing the "girls 2.0".  So I got a hold of my Breast Action Group to get some peer support calls and recommendations from other women that have already done this.  I have learned a ton and have narrowed down my search to a couple of doctors.
 
SIDE NOTE....btw....we went away for the long weekend (a road trip) and discovered I still get really car sick....it was 12 hrs of not much fun.  Hopefully over time that corrects itself or I will be ticked...I love road trips...just not this year apparently.....sigh  But I must add that it feels like overnight the weather has turned a page.  No more air conditioner and windows wide open (to the chagrin of other members of this household) it was a balmy 16*c in my house yesterday....needless to say...it didn't take them long to run around after work and shut them...double sigh!!  My favorite part is that the evening smells have gone from onion and garlic loaded BBQs to fireplaces....I LOVE FALL!!!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

 

 "It's hard to see where your going when all you focus on is your past"


...NOW...for that DARN REAR VIEW MIRROR!!!

 
I can't tell you when exactly I took on the roll of "BELL HOP" but I know it was WAY BACK!!  I can't/won't tell you about all the heavy bags I have toted around but suffice it to say I have had WAY TOO many over flowing TRUNKS really.  Let me tell you about the one I blew the lid off this last week.  I know it may sound trivial to many of you (and compared to some of my others) but it was a LONG time coming and so for me A BIGGIE!!!
 
 I can't begin to even guess how may decades but for almost as long as I can remember I have been an "on Spec" shopper.  I think it started as I started "borrowing" things from my sister's closet (her stuff was always so much more grown up and cuter - just sayin) & getting to keep the stuff she didn't want.  She is a few years older then me so I hadn't grown completely into them yet - Thus "On Spec" part of my brain was ignited.
 
Now over the years...as with any NORMAL woman...we all experience the "WEIGHT FLUCTUATION"...one year you're the "Barbie doll" (miracles do happen) then the next your "Mrs. Potato Head" (all good things must come to an end...even miracles sometimes)...sigh
 
So...I began buying things thinking I would easily loose those few (sometimes more then a few) pesky pounds and look Fab  I had never really thought to define it until watching an interview with Luther Vandross (sigh...) and he talked about his ever changing weight and how he had created 3 closets in his house. LIGHT BULB MOMENT...sadly not really any bulb I ever wanted to see but at least I wasn't alone.  We had even both named our closets (mine was duffel bags...who really can afford 3 separate closets)

"Fab", "Fatter" & "Whatever"...(cause this is a temporary stop) Well, that temporary stop has been a long and winding road with an extra here and there so of course has the "On Spec" shopping. I will tell you that for the most part....I hate shopping so it doesn't happen often...but it still happens. 

 So now facing the new and very daunting task of finding a "Mother of the Bride" (MOB)dress and having to face myself in a fitting room mirror in all my cancer battled glory (weird chemo hair, those blasted 30lbs and one boob)  I came face to face with ME.  I don't know why this  HUGE light bulb came on for me but I suddenly realized that I had been looking at life - ME - thru a blurry rear view mirror. I saw all the time I had spent wishing and wanting my stupid closet to change...saw all the money I had thrown away over the years on things I had never worn but had taken up room in my closet..."on Spec".  Remembered all those times I had really worked the "Fab" closet & and how easy I had told myself it was gonna be to get there again. Suddenly I was seeing it for what it was....the dead weight baggage I had been faithfully hauling around with me and my skewed view of the past....by closets.
 
Something snapped (into place finally) and I blew the top off this piece of luggage!!! 
 I AM DONE HAULING THIS AROUND ON MY BACK!
 
I walked into my closet with tears on my cheeks....looked around...and started to YANK. I pulled everything out that didn't fit right or make me feel comfortable for one reason or another (losing a boob will do that to ya...just sayin) and made a HUGE pile in the middle of the floor. I can't begin to tell you how it felt...but by the time I had finished my closet and  the "actual" duffel bag of "on spec" clothes in my basement I was crying an entirely different kind of tears. I walked into my almost empty closet knowing I can wear everything in being a confident "Uniboober" is beyond words.  To look at ME thru a clear window not a warped rear view mirror and not making excuses to myself is one of the greatest gifts I have ever given ME!!  (Some of my friends think this was the best gift I ever gave them)
 
Well here I am almost 40 yrs later and what have I FINALLY figured out (slow learner argg)....OLD HABITS DIE HARD & self esteem/weight issues apparently even harder. So ...what I am left with...besides weird chemo hair, those renegade 30lbs and one boob...
....REALLY AMAZING 


 


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

*Just to get this business out of the way....
 Latest update - Car is still NOT sold
                                     -  NO word from Immigration
 
 It is amazing to me how you can read something totally unrelated to anything you have been thinking about and WHAM....you suddenly see it with an entirely new viewpoint and the application comes into your mind seemingly out of nowhere.  I used to rarely even notice them or just dismiss it quickly as whatever. I have learned that paying attention to these teaching moments when they happen, because that is exactly what they are....lessons sent from a loving Heavenly Father to guide me back on course to where I need to be.  When I pay attention my testimony of my the Savior and His plan for me are strengthened.  Life is full of quiet lessons and tender mercies from a loving Heavenly Father we just need to take the time to learn from them and acknowledge the treasured gifts and blessings that they are.
 
I have been spending a lot of quiet time reading and reflecting on a lot of things....and especially while Random Wisdom is sorting thru her stuff prepping to leave home for good and I have started to take an even deeper look around at my life and all the KRAP I have drug from place to place both physically and internally.  I have begun to realize....
 

The Dangers of Baggage.....!!!
 
I have been thinking a lot lately about all the stupid, heavy useless krap we insist on dragging with us every single step we take... the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual baggage.  Then there is the "just junk" that doesn't really fit in any particular pile...but we faithfully carry it along too...just cause we can...with a big HUGE Rear view mirror strapped to our foreheads (more on that darn mirror later)  we ALL have  them no matter who we are or where we come from. 
I'M JUST ASKIN...WHY??? 
 
 What is it about that ugly old broken down luggage?
 What is it that makes us hang on to it sooo tight?
Why do we continually let it cut us so deeply??
Why do we accept it as part of who/what we are??
Why do we allow it to have all the control??
Why do we let everyone around us think this is who we really are?
Why do we let guilt & shame continue to use us for a punching bag??
 
When do we finally stand up & and yell...
....THIS IS STILL MY LIFE
 
 
 
I do understand that it's not often as easy to do as that and a ton of our baggage can't be thrown off on our own.  We need to find the help to work thru and unchain ourselves but I believe that if we humbly and earnestly want to cut ourselves free the FIRST call we need to make is to our Heavenly Father...then quietly listen and act on what he tells us to do.  I know that being quiet and listening can be a challenge all on it's own.   What will probably take the biggest leap of faith and bravery..."TO DO" and not just hear....cause I am pretty sure it WILL be outside our usual comfort zone.  That is just kinda how that "growth" thing tends to work
 
What we need to remember (cause I know it is tough sometimes) when those chains start to tighten and those wretched bags get heavier is that...we need to Keep faithful &  obedient He will NOT leave our side.  He knows how we feel because has cried these tears and felt the anguish of our baggage before us. He is the only one who really knows and understands exactly what we are feeling and how heavy our baggage really is.
Ask Him
He is There
I have Felt Him
 
 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

    I think it would be a gross understated to say my life hasn't been completely over-run with all things wedding. On one hand time is dragging on and on the other it is slower then a snail.  As much as I feel this.....it is a million times worse for Random Wisdom and her fiancé.  They have been waiting for 7 months for US immigration to issue a fiancé visa so they can pick a date and get married.....sad and frustration for them.

    Finally this last couple of weeks we have gotten some updates so the end is in sight....even if the date can't be set yet.  We now know that there is a packet on its way here with instructions for her on the interview and the medical along with a list of all necessary paperwork she needs for this interview step.  Talk about all the hoops they make you jump thru!!!  It some days makes you stop and think that even though we have done and continue doing this the "legal" way ( the only way we would ever consider doing it)....the get married and figure it out later seems like the easier path....I guess that saying is true "nothing worth while is ever easy"

     It was a difficult day when she had to cancel the Temple, photographer, reception venue and the decoration people.  This long & frustrating path has one major benefit/blessing ..it has shown them that can face & overcome whatever challenges that will get thrown at them in the future...it  has brought them closer together and jelled them as a unit solid in their love and fully committed to each other...a real team...it has been inspiring.   There could very easily (& understandable) been much "weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth" during this time but they owned up to the fact that this was their decision so they have no right to be angry & miserable about it...instead they just take each day at a time moving ever forward...I am so proud of both of them!!!

    Our job at this moment is to just sit back and continue in faith knowing that the Lord is ever mindful and that in His time all will come together as it should...but to be honest....some days that is WAY harder then others..

The first order of business (while waiting for the visa) is selling her car.  It has been listed on every site we could find and though there have been a lot of hits and views....no calls...argg!!!  It allows her great independence and convenience..it needs to go and get this financial burden off her back.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

     So....with this latest heat/humidity wave we have been in...(which by the way...feels like it has been forever...just sayin) I have to admit I have been doing....well....not much that involves any physical excursion.  To say I have been hibernating in my AC house would be pretty accurate...we all gotta do what we gotta do.  I am definitely the odd person out in my family as they all LOVE the hot summer days and according to the ever-wise VoR...."you can't whine about the heat, then complain about the cold"....so I don't....complain about the cold that is....lol

     Consequently (when wedding planning is in "PARK" mode) I have been enjoying some old favorite movies and picking up the occasional book.  I say "occasional" cause I kind of  have a love/hate relationship.....if a book doesn't grab me within the first 40-50 pages it doesn't get a second chance and it has been a serious drought these last quite a few months....so I have returned to an old favorite (light mindless fluff really) and it has hooked my interest in the printed world again.

     The upside is that I have widened my focus and started researching the "fitness" side of things...walking, diet and fitness as I have started to try and build up some cancer lost stamina and interest.  I have started working out again (now that my boobless side is beginning to be less tender and swollen...thanks to lymphatic drainage massage...don't knock it till you try it...and hopefully none of you will feel the need to try.  Now don't get all impressed...I am using the phrase "work out" very liberally....what I am actually doing is walking and kitchen dance partying a little again. I find it totally unfair that my mind remembers all the hard/great work I did last year losing those 30+ lbs (pre-cancer) but my body/muscles don't have the slightest clue what I'm talking about or that it ever happened...ARGGG!!!! So much for that "muscle memory" theory krap!!! 


 

    Now...I am NOT willing to give it up but boy do I have to start slow all over again...BTW...still don't have that pacing myself figured out...so I will just crank my tunes louder so I can't hear the "are you out of your mind", "WE don't do this", "you are gonna pay in pain when we get home", that my body screaming at me.

 It isn't fair (not that having cancer is) having to lose that same 30lbs all over again...
& NOT because I decided to slack off it REALLY SUCKS...just sayin

Monday, June 24, 2013

 
REALITY vs GIVING UP/SETTLING
...continued...
 
     Here stands another huge boulder on the bridge of understanding that we need to crumble it before it buries us.  As these "our Krap happens", we are faced with 2 completely different options....accept your "new Normal" or live the rest of your life glued to your rear view mirror looking back spending your energy on "I used to..." or "I wish I..." or "I'm never gonna do/be or race thru life like before"  All of which are seriously dangerous roadblocks we pile on our backs and then wonder why we crash and burn and sink into self-pity depression.
 
     We can't change who we now are so we need to accept and embrace the "new normal" with all it's new and exciting twists and turns....but don't get me wrong....this is very difficult to do some days and even harder for loved ones to begin to understand.  As this journey continues I am constantly trying to learn my new life rhythm/pace and marvel at discovering what NOW makes me happy and brings me peace and joy....and ya....most of it is 180 degrees from where I used to be.  I have learned that life is short and precious and we are not invincible, and a lot of the "stuff" I used to fill my life with just doesn't really matter anymore.  I live my life for me now....I don't get "guilt tripped" into saying YES to everything and everyone, living at a frantic pace 24/7 always looking to the next thing, and too late realizing that I missed precious NOW moments.  I have learned the healing power of peace and embrace the quiet stillness of those moments when the Spirit speaks to your heart as I ponder things I have read or heard or just seeking guidance on my new path of getting to know who I truly am and why I was put on this earth.  I treasure those times that just belong to me...that I don't need to justify to anyone or feel guilty cause "I should be doing something else". My life is much calmer and peaceful..NOT a depressed boring hermit  and NOT spent feeling sorry for myself or harping on the past. 
 
     A New Reality is just that....NEW....and with every "new" there is a learning and growing that happens for not just me but for all those loved ones around me....and sometimes it is hardest on them. I have been thrown head first into a rushing river and had to fight to find my footing while my loved ones have been forced to stand by on the banks and watch...shouting their encouragements but unable to assist me.  So as a result of my plunge I see things (life and them) from a different vantage point.... looking back at the shore at them, not standing around them.  Those were certainly a couple of huge undertows that tried and almost won the battle to keep me pulled under but my Savior was there helping me find my footing.  But I will never see that rushing river in the same way as before....it changed me and my world...my outlook on what is important.....and what brings me true joy and peace......I am not complacent....I am content and savor the everyday miracles acknowledging the Hand of God all around me.
 
For example....
   Yesterday I was sitting in my chair looking out the window at a beautifully leaf filled tree and was struck by how each one was blown independent of the others.  Each leaf was affected by the wind in its own way and moved to its own rhythm in reaction to how it was touched.  I got lost in just watching for a few minutes then began to see (tender mercy of the day) the parallels to my own life and understood that how we react to the Master's hand (whisperings of the Spirit) can add our light and beauty to that of others around us.  We are a small separate leaf on the tree of life but it is up to us to be in harmony and share our light with others that are in need of what only we can give.
 
     I am so truly blessed to be who I am right now open to these private teaching moments and the insights that I am gaining because I have been forced to slow my pace and taken the opportunitie to heed the council given in Psalms 46:10
 
"Be Still and know that I am God"
 
     I guess to sum up these 2 posts is that it saddens me to know that not all will understand/accept the differences in these 4 words and that REALITY is not a bad/negative word.....that I have not and will not settle...nor have I given up.  I have chosen instead to embrace my "NEW" and all that means and that I will strive to become the best "NEW" I can be with Faith, patience and courage ....because...despite the changes/adaptations my body has  been forced to make...
 
I am still the same spirit always and forever that my Father created

I AM HIS DAUGHTER


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Let me begin by sending out
"Much Love to my Home...Alberta"
and to all those trying to deal with their own personal
"KRAP Happens and you're changed forever"
while coming to terms with and embracing their
"New Reality".
 
 
We are tough prairie folk and we will rally and be better because of this.We pray for you and remember....
God is ALWAYS with you!!!!
 
     It is kind of interesting to me that as I watched the coverage of this enormous life altering event, thoughts just kept coming to me and I reflected on my own "krap happens & it changes you" moments.  To be honest it wasn't until Random Wisdom and I had a great heart to heart, tear filled talk today that I realized just how you can speak the same English but be miles apart when it comes to definitions of the same words.  It was a very enlightening time for me and I think (hope) for her too.
 
     As I started writing all the things that kept pouring from my heart/head and pen I realized that this was gonna have to be split into 2 posts or you might never get thru it...and I feel it is important for all you loved ones of people like me who struggle sometimes with the feeling of not REALLY TRULY being heard....
 
"REASONS vs EXCUSES"
 
     To me these two simple words couldn't be more different but I guess it all depends on how you look at it.  If you haven't lived someone else's life or walked in their shoes for any amount of time...the lines between these words can become a wall between you and your loved ones (anyone not just immediate family) built with huge boulders of frustration, anger, judgement (mostly internalized where it is ripe to fester and grow) and disappointment held together by globs of misunderstanding, a lack of empathy and not seeing the entire picture.
 
     I will admit that in the past I have always been the loudest voice of "suck it up princess" judgmental type thinking that people just need to "get over themselves and move on".  I will tell you that I still believe it to a point but the Lord has done some serious smoothing off of those harsh rough edges on that "judgmental pedestal" I so arrogantly, with great pride, stood on spouting my opinions/judgments. I also saw a lot of empathy towards those who suffered with what I understood (lived thru).  It is easy to do when you have common ground and a point of reference to focus on....shared experience.  BUT....I understand and realize now that "Krap happens" and like it or not....you change and hopefully grow as a result of it.  We all change and grow differently but we all change.....because "krap happens" to you or a loved one...Thanks Krap!!
 
     It is very easy to see the reasons for the changes to yourself, and the reasons are perfectly sound and make complete sense, but to an outsider (loved ones) it just all sounds like nothing more then me just making excuses so I don't have to do/be what I used to be cause that would take too much work and I'm just not motivated.  I have learned over the last few years of my Krap (a bad fall resulting in a permanent brain injury and now cancer) that it IS NOT making excuses it is just my attempt at trying to explain my "Krap changes" so others will understand why. The ugly truth of all this is that regardless of how frustrated we all get (only seeing our own side)...trying to find that common ground of true empathy and honest understanding on both sides only happens in small moments before the wall comes back up.
 
     I guess what I have learned is that to Others it is always gonna be an "excuse" because no matter how much we love each other and try to see thru my eyes...they have not "LIVED my experiences and human nature only allows us to accept changes in others that are positive and "better".  There will always be wall in the middle of that bridge of understanding - we just need to keep chipping away at it but also acknowledge that it is there and just move on.
 
The bottom line is....
 
I am NOT who I once was and yes......some days we all miss her!!
 
.....to be continued....
 


Friday, May 31, 2013

YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP.....

     Seriously....they only write this stuff for movies!!!  Pragmatically Speaking and VoR (along with his father-in-law) decided to dig out the coal chute in his new/old home (build in 1900...but fully renovated).  Now we all tease them about the "finding a body buried in the cellar".....well...after a couple hours of hard labor what do they encounter....a headstone from 1998....SERIOUSLY!!!  We were all stunned and hoped that that was all there was.  After some frantic online searches and a call to the local city cemetery to confirm that he was actually there and NOT here and that there had been a headstone change at some point...we all wanted to know what the story was.  

     We discovered that he was in fact a previous owner who had died in a nursing home with Parkinson's disease.  His lovely wife had died 8 yrs later "at home in her sleep"....yup...right here in this very house....now we are all just curious as to which bedroom it was (okay...I am not wanting to think about it honestly).  As we searched deeper we found out that these 2 had been high school sweethearts had lost contact with each other and gone on to live their separate lives.  They had found each other some 60 yrs later and married....spending his last 8yrs together.  I know you are all feeling a warm and fuzzy and frankly so are we.  

     The sad part is that his headstone had been changed at some point for a plane generic marker and she is buried by his side with no maker at all.  Tragic really thinking of how long it took them to reunite.  The consensus it that "our" headstone needs to be engraved with her info on the back and put the stone between them...a final romantic end to their love story.

Ain't love grand!?!?!?! 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Many things have been going on since Mother's Day....but I will spare you the boring mundane and give you the highlights....

    After weeks of trying to self-repair my lousy left wrist....it is still mucked and more painful every day.  I mentioned it when I had my oncology follow-up and WOW did I get the "full service" package.  My appt was at 9am and I got home @ 4:30pm.  In that space of time I had blood work done, 2 IVs put in (first one would run) full xray panel (along with this nasty PAINFUL invasive one where they pull fluid out of all you wrist joints to test for a bone/joint infection...NOT FUN!!!) then finally ending with a cortisone shot & a removable half cast. It is feeling better (but still painful) but the day after....I wanted to chew my arm off it hurt sooooo bad (like a charlie horse you cant stretch out for about 18hrs).  So you can imagine that writing this....actually everything has been more then a little challenge. Trying to get packed and organized for the "Gram's Tour" (GT)....let's just say I have WAY more sympathy for the entire monkey population....opposable thumbs rock...just sayin'.


     Now having qualified that...I am off and running on the GT and so far....only some minor hiccups.  The first leg started out with a bang....almost 2hr delay.  Good thing I got up at 3am after 4hrs of sleep...argg!! Oh well...I had a 9hr layover so I will try to find a quiet corner and grab some zzzzzz.  It was all worth it to see my 2 oldest girls Amp and Beb.  We had a great time getting reacquainted with them....they change so much so fast. Beb is the funniest little person that would put the EverReady Bunny to shame.....oh ya...her parents were good too....LOL!!!...& what can I say about Amp...she is still amazing...duh


     The 2nd leg was to be a 12 hr layover again after only 3hrs sleep and that gosh-awful 3am alarm...I had fewer hopes of finding a nap-worthy corner at this airport.  As I got off the plane the thought came to me to see if there may be an earlier flight I could catch to my destination.....THERE WAS!!!!  So I actually landed at 4:30 instead of midnight and only 4hrs layover.  Now imagine how I am suffering with a little sleep deprivation and walk down from my flight to see VoR standing there with a welcome sign. I know you are all doing the "oohs and ahhs" because he was able to pull off this HUGE surprise to come and spend a part of my tour with me.....me on the other hand could only keep looking at him repeating "What are you doing here??"....so much for your Hollywood romantic rendez-vous...sigh.  It was so totally gooey romantic of him (not surprising cause he is such a big hearted/selfless romantic cuss) and I am so WAY BLESSED!!!!!



Props to you and all your co-horts 
for pulling this one off


It is a few days later and I have seen all my girls.  Can I just say when Hop woke up in the car and giggle and jabbered at me until we got home...this Gram was sunk. She is so cute and has such a personality coming thru even in these 5 short months she has been around.  I so miss the gooey new baby stage...this one is really fun too.  These girls each are strong, delicate and energetic...what great traits to have...I can't wait to see them grow into 3 amazing, powerful & compassionate women.

Friday, May 10, 2013

 

Thursday, May 2, 2013


As my mom used to say...
"Spring has sprung, the grass is ris,
I wonder where the birdies is?
 
Well...I have once again let time slip away from me.  I have decided that with the end of treatment comes the SLOW return of ambition and the ability of actually doing a bit more....I can't say it is a daily return...I am definitely WAY more tortoise then hare...but I am taking steps in the right direction.  The big problem is that I no longer have a bed in my living room (YEA FOR ME!!!) so my convenient location of my laptop (well really ..all the stuff I actually use daily) has also moved...who knew a living room bed could be so handy.  I will try to plan my days/weeks so I can be more regular at those things I did better at when in treatment......but really...who am I kidding, there is no such thing as "regular" at this point....some hours/days are better and some are just not...as I expected.  What I wasn't really counting on (& a point of  HUGE frustration at times)is that my ambition/desire to get up and get things done would bounce back SOOOOOO much faster then my body's ability and willingness to actually join my brain's push back to "normal"....I am trying to be patient and reign in the old brain....again it all comes back to pacing....I am getting better....once in a while.
 
Since my last post (again....way tooo long) there have been some changes happen...again some good some not so....but more good then bad this time....
 

The Big Exciting Fun this time is that Random Wisdom went to her 2nd wedding dress fitting and the dress is AMAZING!!!! The alterations lady is really truly our "Fairy Godmother".  She captured RW's vision to the tiniest detail....she has such an amazing gift....a true artist.....maybe after the wedding I will let you see the dress. Until then....sorry friend.

The Big Fun is that the "Gram's Trip" is book and ticket bought!! I can't wait to go see those (growing too fast) darling  "grand-girls"!!!!...oh ya...their parents too.  VoR is such a great man to surprise me (and insist that I make the time...almost 3 wks....to go) with this gift of a pre-wedding planning crunch time getaway. I have travelled often alone and that is okay....but I have to admit the "suddenly tired" aspect this close after treatment is a tad worrisome.  I have crazy long lay-overs (thanks Aeroplan) so I won't have to rush between gates on my connections so that is a blessing.  You can bet I am gonna take them up on that "extra time pre-boarding" option. 

The Not-So-Good is that somehow/where along this end of treatment road my left wrist started to really give me painful trouble.  Now that in and of itself is super sucky but if you take into account that my right side is still healing and now my left wrist is NOT HAPPY....the "how to's" of holding grand-girls is a little daunting.  I have done everything to try and make it better (ice, wrap, splint, the anti-inflammatory & Tylenol route, etc...) but it continues to scream louder every day.  I don't think it is related to anything...other then "bad timing"...I have had it x-rayed so nothing is broken...just really not happy.  I have a follow-up with oncology on Monday so I will have them check it too...who knows if it's related to chemo or radiation.

And to top it off.....I Bought a BOOB!!!!  I decided with cool weather a thing of the past and recovery from radiation well under way (BTW...I never did blister or have any skin issues except a bad sunburn...SOOO blessed)....I needed to rejoin the "normal world" until we can reconstruct.  So I went and got fitted for a fake boob and specialty bras....since there is no hope of wearing a regular one for now.  It really is cool....it is silicone and weighted so stays in place....not like the quilt batting filled ones....don't get me wrong....it is not like the original "girl" I was born with...but not too shabby either....it would be hard for anyone (besides those who know I am missing one) to know that it's "bought and paid for".  Not that it bothers me to be a "uni-boober" but it does make others REALLY uncomfortable and that isn't what I want to do.  Now I just need to come up with a nick-name for it..."the boob" is just a little boring and since it is needing special care and storage....I think it deserves to be named.....I will keep you posted (suggestions are welcome...tee hee!!)  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It has been a wild couple of weeks in our family....
some great and some not really great at all.

The NOT Really Great -
 
      The day after I finished treatment my dear sister-in law broke her right arm...that alone is pretty sucky for a right handed, artistic and crafty girl.  She was getting ready to head out for some tests on that arm and slipped breaking her arm a second place and her right leg.  Needless to say we are keeping them foremost in our prayers while we also pray for the doctors/specialists  as they scramble to find the root cause and a whole battery of tests.

     It has struck a few of us that we as a family (living 1000s of miles apart) didn't have to deal with both of these major health scares at the same time by allowing me to be done first so now we can all put our focus, faith and prayers toward my dear brothers family.  We are all acknowledging  how blessed we all are by the Lord's timing and watchful eye .

The REALLY Great-
 
     We just spent a great weekend with Random Wisdom and her fiancé who came up for an extended weekend.  It is so great and comforting (for a mom) to see how much they love each other and especially for witnessing the way he treats and treasures her...I couldn't ask for anything more.  The stress of a long-distance relationship and the immigration waiting game has not been easy or fun for them but the tender mercy for me "mom" is watching them resolve conflicts, short tempers, stress and frustrations and the messes they can cause on a relationship.  They are truly a team and a united unit that face these challenges together with love and laughter.  It makes my heart sing and the "mom worries" go away.  I know they are blessed to have found each other but best of all is that they know it too.....
AIN'T LOVE GRAND!!!!
(trials and all)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Someday I will remember to double check my posts so they don't sit in "draft" instead of posting like they are supposed.....ARGG....oh well, chalk it up to "Chemo Brain"...and yes...I will pull out that excuse as long as I can....just sayin
 
 
6 Months and 1 Day...
 
I would have to say...looking back...it wasn't that bad....a few really lousy days BUT NOTHING like I thought or envisioned it to be.  Don't get me wrong....cause my true feelings are....
 
Would I do this again? -  NOPE (unless I had to)
Could I do this again?? - YUP (if I had to)        
Should I have to do this again?? - NEVER (not really in my control)
 
I do realize that might not be the feeling or view of those that have been closest around me thru all this.  (Maybe it is the same brain trick that happens after going thru labor...forgetting the really hard parts).  Has my body paid the price...NO DOUBT!!! (I can't believe how much muscle strength I have lost...VoR has to actually open jars for me...what's with that?!?!?  Fatigue....can't even begin to describe how crazy it is (they don't kid about that) BUT....faced with the alternative....I will take all this GLADLY!!!
 
There have been such a HUGE amount of vastly different blessings that have c0me as a result of this!!!  I couldn't ever be able to list them all even if I wanted to but I have to start with these.... 
 
                              TOP 5 
 


* Our family (extended too) bond stronger
* My faith in & relationship with my Savior
* Feeling all your love & support
* Friendships strengthened & renewed
* New friendship formed                       


  
I had a dear friend ask me if this would be the end of the Blog?? 
It isn't...my life is forever changed.
I will always  be a breast cancer survivor with my future written in
"just a little hint of pink"
 
 


Monday, March 25, 2013

NOT AGAIN....
 
 
 
      So here I sit....realizing that time seems to be rushing by & I am still not very consistently posting...not that I think I have lots of earth shattering stuff to say....it is just that when I think I am all ready to be more consistent with posting...I have an incredibly tired week and barely make it thru the things that HAVE to be done... forget trying to do anything beyond that.
 
     On the upside....I only have 7 radiation treatments left....break out that happy dance!!!! They sure didn't exaggerate when they warn you you're gonna burn.  I of course assumed it would be a serious burn but in a concentrated area...WRONG!!!  My burn goes from the middle of my breast bone across to my side and from my collar bone down past my last rib.  I actually had to go buy a soft BIG night shirt to live in for the next 5 weeks because they don't want anything touching the burn...DUH!!! As if they didn't come to that conclusion on my own.  I am sore and radiating heat off me like I was an electric space heater....but I am NOT blistered....YET.
 
     Other then the daily trips to the hospital for treatments....which...can I just say....is VERY bothersome since I had hibernated all winter and didn't go anywhere....now I am up and dressed everyday...bummer really...I have developed sort of a friendship with my pjs....LOL!!!  What these trips have done is to get me reconnected with some dear friends I have known for 30 yrs and just lost track of.  They have stepped up and really taken great care of me and driven me to all my appointments without being asked...they just jumped in and took over not waiting for me to ask for help...definitely a "tender mercy". 
 
     Now with  some wedding plans beginning...my mind is racing with "all things wedding".  What a GREAT distraction for me and bonding time with Random Wisdom.  We had the first dress fitting this week ....what a special and fun thing for us to share.  I am truly blessed with a great relationship with all my children.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

 
....continued...

     Well.....after 13 days off radiation....I am finally back at it and hopefully with no more delays....my final treatment is APRIL 4th!!!!!

     Life has been pretty mellow....which I guess comes with a persistent (on again off again) fever, cough and general "YUCKY" feeling.  After a few trips back and forth between the surgeon (having to drain the boccie ball) and the radiation doc (before he cleared me for more treatments) and finally getting put on some powerful antibiotics to "see if that would make a difference" with the cough and tightness in my chest....I am feeling pretty "cancer normal".  If only I was one of those normal people that get sick and actually have tests that come back with indication of what is wrong...instead of just an elevated white count...we may have gotten on these "power drugs" sooner and not missed all this "zapping" time....but then again...normal is sooooo over rated!!

     VoR drove across the country with Random Wisdom who has moved home to save some money (and take care of me) before her wedding.  I am enjoying having her home and being able to spend this last bit of "just her time" before we send her off to her new life....her perspective may be a little different...LOL!!!  She is frantically looking for a job to stash some money away.  Between finishing radiation and starting to do some serious wedding planning so things around here are bound to get WAY more exciting.

HELLO SPRING!!!!
(FYI...Spring always starts on my birthday...just sayin)