Wednesday, December 31, 2008
At any rate we had a pleasant day, just three of us and my newest employee who is young and eagar to learn stayed with me until closing so she could learn to do that. She is very smart and I hardly have to explain things to her and she's got it.
My parents are taking their travel trailer to a campground not too far away just to get away for a few days. I always envy them this, I'd like to get away too.
It is not even five thirty here in the morning and I've been up for an hour. What can I say? I was done sleeping.
As this year comes to an end and I think about the year we are leaving it all seems so surreal to me. In January I made an appointment with a gynecologist only to cancel it when my step father had to have a heart cath and my mother needed me to go with them. In February I called again and made the appointment but I couldn't get in until March 3rd. On April 22nd I had a total hysterectomy, going in knowing there were some odd cells that looked very much like cancer cells. I was sent home to recover and then had an appointment with a radiologist. My son came from Washington and spent over a week with me and got to celebrate my birthday with me for the first time in a long time. Little did I know that was the last peaceful moment in time I'd have for quite a while. The day he flew home was also the appointment with the radiologist and he went with me, with the hope that I'd be told I didn't need any treatment. That was not to be. At first he planned to have me do 22 treatments but he wanted a Pet Scan first. With that news and Matthew leaving, that was not a good day.
Two weeks after this, my other son, my eldest, took his own life. Matthew got to come back but not for any celebrating. Haleigh and Amy came later. I can barely remember those last weeks in May. I don't know now how I functioned. Maybe I didn't.
In June I went for the pet scan only to find out cancer cells had spread and I was sent to the Chemo Dr. My nightmare just went on and on. I had one day surgery to have a port put in. I spent the whole summer and into the fall undergoing Chemo. Most of you went through it with me, thank you for that. And at last done, I had a little episode with the Port coming out, supposedly a simple procedure that turned out to be the worse experience my poor body ever went through.
After another scan in November I was declared Cancer Free and I went back to work the end of that month.
And now I look back and I just can't believe the year I had. It left me with battle scars for sure, both physically and mentally but the important thing is that I survived, and that's what life is all about. I put on my catcher's mitt and tried to catch all those crappy pitches life was throwing at me. And I just tried to do what I had to do and I found peace in knowing that whatever happened, it would be ok in the end.
And so I am not sorry to say goodbye to 2008. I have no idea what 2009 will bring but after a year like I've had I am hoping things will be better. It wasn't entirely a year of loss though. I found out that most people really care, I met people I wouldn't have known had I not had cancer. I got reacquainted with a granddaughter that I thought I'd never see again and though we are not close she does keep in touch with me with her cell phone and google chat and it warms my heart and I know Jonathan would be proud.
I am looking forward to my big adventure in 2009 of moving across the country to a new and strange land although each time I've visited it does not feel strange to me but very familiar. But then again home is where your heart is and my heart is definitely there.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
It started getting bad I guess a couple of years back. She and I would have a conversation about something and I'd state my opinion and then a couple of days later she'd say, John (my stepfather) says and then she'll repeat verbatim what I'd said a few days before. At first I'd ignore it, but after it happened a few times I'd say, "Mama, I said that." She quickly snap "Well John said it too!" Alrighty then. No big deal I guess if she wants to discount what I say and give her husband credit for it.
The really hurtful one came the other night though. A few weeks ago I shared with her a moment I'd had with Jonathan. He'd come to me and asked me why he couldn't just be normal, why he couldn't have a relationship, keep a job, manage his life. It breaks my heart every time I think of his questions. It hurts my heart that he was so lost and I couldn't help him. Well, the other night we were talking about him and sure enough she starts telling my story to me only it was her he'd gone to. I stopped her and said, "Mama, he came to me, I just told you this the other day." Quick as lightening she responded, "He came to me too!"
Perhaps he did go to her with the same questions, he was searching for answers but I doubt very seriously her answer to him was the same as mine. I reminded him what the last therapist had told him, that "normal" was just a setting on a dryer. I told him that I loved him the way he was and he would get it together one day. That was exactly what my mother said she told him.
I'm not sure why she does this and I've no doubt she doesn't do it intentionally, I just wish she'd admit to me when she does do it that she remembers our previous conversation, but she won't do that.
Ok, I'm done venting now. I am lucky to still have my mother in my life and without her with me during my last few months I don't know what I would have done. She is in good health but this habit of hers really gets to me sometimes. I try to understand it and not let it get to me, but it was hard to let that one slide off my back.
The mother/daughter dance is not an easy one sometimes.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday night I did not sleep good and Saturday morning I did not feel so well, but thinking I'd be better I went to work anyway. Not hardly there I knew I had to come home. It was some sort of virus I guess. Yesterday I ached and had the chills but today I am much better thank goodness.
Hope all is well with everyone. I'll post a real post soon. Just checking in to let you know I've not fell off the earth.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Happy Birthday Haleigh, Grandma's coming!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I close today so I don't go in until noon. But as usual I am up early and working on the pot of coffee. Today is our Christmas party at work. We call it a party but we still have to work, so we just party in between patients and we eat. This year our White Elephant gifting should be fun.
We were busy yesterday which just proves you can't predict retail sales as this week is not generally a week that we are. Glasses are not a big Christmas item but there are people who are trying to use their insurance benefits before the end of the year so that helps us. And we love Flex cards as some people have money left over and glasses are a good way to use that up. SO who knows! Today we could be slow or not. No way in knowing.
Tomorrow we are open and I am working but we are only open until three o'clock so that will be a pretty short day. I have one of our part timers working with me, and the other girls have kids or family visiting or grand kids, so I try to always give them Christmas Eve off.
And so we are almost there and I wish you all the Merriest of Christmases. And have a great day today.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
My Christmas pasts were wonderful as a child. Santa came to see me early on Christmas Eve because my mother just couldn't wait. She'd arrange for us to go somewhere always right after supper on Christmas eve and lo and behold when we returned home, Santa had come. I never remember waking up to Christmas morning Santa. I thought I was special because he came to my house early.
When I was a teenager Christmas got a little sad and I learned it was so much more fun seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child. When my parents divorced we moved near my Aunt and her kids so for the next few years it was nice. And then of course Christmas was fun with my own boys.
But suddenly I found myself all alone, with my grandchild far away and Christmas became more of a chore than a joy. As I browse other people's blog and see their families decorate the tree I realize what I've missed for a long time now. I can't remember the last time I have felt the Christmas spirit or felt true joy.
This Christmas I am extremely grateful to be alive and well. This Christmas I miss Jonathan who in his own way brought a little Christmas joy to me if only to just show up on my doorsteps and ask me to babysit his dog while he went to a Christmas party, like he did last year. Since Matthew moved away from home, I've seldom even had a tree up as he was the one who always made sure I had one.
As for my Christmas future, next year I hope to be helping my family decorate the tree. I hope to find magic through my granddaughter's eyes. I'm tired of being alone during this season. I'm tired of going through the motions and feeling short changed. But next Christmas I hope to be with the people I love the most in the world. Losing Jonathan, going through Cancer, these things have made realize more than ever that we're not promised tomorrow and I've wasted enough time!!
Friday, December 19, 2008
I laughed and told her nothing, that I was still bald from going through Chemo. She told me her daughter had had breast cancer a few years back but that it was discovered really early and she was ok now. She then very shyly told me she'd since been crocheting hats for Cancer patients and wondered if I'd like to have one. I told her I'd love to have one. We finished her glasses purchase and she left.
Much later in the afternoon I looked up and there she stood, with a bag in her hand and her husband with her that was just as handsome as she was beautiful. I went to her and we sat down, she had brought about ten hats for me to choose from but almost immediately I saw the Turquoise one. I have hats and coverings to match almost all my clothes but I have a few things in turquoise that I've not been able to match and so I knew this was the one I wanted. In fact I hardly looked at the other ones. Her hand work was beautiful and I chose that one and gave her a hug and she says, "Now, if you really don't like it you don't have to take it."
"Are you kidding me! I love it and mostly because you made it and I will think of you every time I wear it." Her face just lit up and it was at that moment I knew she was an angel for sure. So I now own a crocheted turquoise hat that I will treasure forever.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I think I have an eye infection but the good thing about that is I work with an eye dr. I'm not sure that is what it is. My eye is sore, and feels like there is something in it but I can't see anything. I'll let him check it out when I get to work.
He treats a lot of eye infections and it is amazing really that we don't get many infections ourselves, I think I've had one in all the years I've worked in this field.
Other than that I am feeling really well. I am grateful for everyday. You tend to take that for granted until you go through something rough like I did.
I think for our party I am going to make Shirley's cheese ball and some sausage balls and maybe some butter cookies. The Dr.'s wife is bringing brownies, two different kinds. Brownies are my favorite. And I've still got to come up with my own White Elephant gift. Our party is coming up fast, it is on Tuesday.
I have beautiful eyebrows but not too much on my head yet. I'm beginning to wonder if I'll be bald forever. I have sprigs about an eighth of an inch. I'm trying to be patient. I read where someone used Head and Shoulders shampoo and she thought that helped so I'm using that.
Hope your day is a good one ,
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Today is my day off. I have to go have one more blood test for the blood thinner clinic that has managed that for me. I will stop taking it today. Actually I've not taken it like I was suppose to for the last week or so, but the blood test is only to not leave me hanging and to make sure the blood is not too thin. I also have to go to the laundry mat. I have a new book to start, (a must have when you have to go to the laundry mat) and not too many clothes to wash so I should be back home by noon.
Our customers yesterday seemed to be on edge a little, but that is not unusual for this time of the year. We always just try and bear it the best we can and say, "Tis the Season". Christmas stresses people out and if you work in retail you are the enemy sometimes, even if you are as nice as you can be. Just goes with the work.
After the first of the year I've got to start packing my things. I am not taking anything big, just my personal stuff because I am going to live with my son and his family at first and I don't have anything big of real value to me or meaning except of course my cedar chest.
Anyhow........not much else going on for me. Hope your week is going well.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I can hardly believe next week is Christmas. It is coming fast for sure. The girls voted to do the White Elephant thing for work and everyone will bring food. We'll do that on the 23rd as we are all working that day.
Our weather is weird this week, after weeks of cold weather, this week the low all week will be in the fifties.
I've drank way too much coffee this morning and need to get up and start getting ready for work. Hope you all have a good week and find a little Christmas magic somewhere along the way.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
My grandchild is there. She will be eight years old the day after Christmas. I have seen her only maybe twice a year since she was two. The only person I had left in the world that could call me Mama is there. Jonathan was always in favor of me moving there and after his death, I just knew I had to. I am so alone here. Sure, I am here when my mother's computer breaks down, I am here to add a third chair to their table at holidays. But I am not a part of their lives really. And they don't need me at all. They are healthy, and have each other. I have lived my whole 51 years within 60 miles of where my mother lives. Mostly I have lived on her land. We once, Matthew and I, asked them if I could buy my little piece of land, so I'd at least have something that was mine, but they would not sell it to me.
I understood Jonathan, he was the child most like me, only the feelings and pain that come from deep inside, I learned to handle years ago. Jonathan never learned that. Matthew is the child of my heart. It is hard to explain to someone who has not had that experience with another human being how that works. We can finish each other's sentences. We both have a lot of respect for each other's opinions, even when they differ. We share together the whole Jonathan experience in a way no other people did. We knew the "real" Jonathan. Jonathan almost made me have a nervous breakdown when he was a teenager and Matthew saved me. Even at thirteen he had the calmness, the stability that I needed. He is the one person in this world that accepts me unconditionally and allows me to be me without making me feel that is a bad thing.
Why exactly do I want to move to Washington? If I have to explain that to my mother, I suppose she'd not understand it anyway. AND that breaks my heart. But it doesn't surprise me at all.
Do you know the Legend of the Poinsettia? I first heard it years ago when I was decorating our store for Christmas. In one of the display cases I decided the theme would be Poinsettias and Steph had just gotten a computer so she and I searched for some info on the plant and we came across the sweet legend. I've loved it ever since.
I found it on this site but I've borrowed it and copied it here.
The Legend of the
A charming story is told of Pepita, a poor Mexican girl who had no gift to present the Christ Child at Christmas Eve Services. As Pepita walked slowly to the chapel with her cousin Pedro, her heart was filled with sadness rather than joy.
"I am sure, Pepita, that even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes," said Pedro consolingly.
Not knowing what else to do, Pepita knelt by the roadside and gathered a handful of common weeds, fashioning them into a small bouquet. Looking at the scraggly bunch of weeds, she felt more saddened and embarrassed than ever by the humbleness of her offering. She fought back a tear as she entered the small village chapel.
As she approached the alter, she remembered Pedro's kind words: "Even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes." She felt her spirit lift as she knelt to lay the bouquet at the foot of the nativity scene.
Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into blooms of brilliant red, and all who saw them were certain that they had witnessed a Christmas miracle right before their eyes.
From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night, for they bloomed each year during the Christmas season.
Today, the common name for this plant is the poinsettia!
© Paul Ecke Ranch All Rights Reserved
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I just couldn't do it, I was tired and felt like they were just passing me back and forth. My mother, hysterical for someone who claims she doesn't need a computer, just couldn't believe I couldn't fix her computer. I suggested to her to take to someone and she gets upset because they will charge her a fortune!!!
I set it up to restore itself to an earlier time and came home. My mother is in such a mood that brings me down, she is stressed, and well, it was just better for me to come home. About an hour later she calls me and tells me she's fixed her computer! She says a window popped up saying it couldn't restore back to the earlier date and she just started clicking and the next thing she knew it was working, so HALLELUJAH!
Somewhere in between there we managed to get our boxes shipped to Washington, so I feel good to have those off in time for Christmas. I was beginning to think we weren't going to get that done.
Today I'm working and very glad!
Hope your weekend is a good one.
Friday, December 12, 2008
We have a few kids who are regular patients of ours that come in on their own while their mothers are shopping. They are funny in that they feel comfortable enough to follow us right into the lab while we fix their glasses or clean them. They are not suppose to be in the lab but I've never said anything and they chat or ask questions about all the neat stuff in the lab. One such little fellow came in yesterday.
His face broke into a smile as he recognized me under my hat. "Where have you been?" he asked, "I wondered where you were." I smiled and told him I'd been off for a while but I was back now. He followed me into the lab to fix his glasses and he told me what he'd been up to in his ten year old enthusiasm and told me he was getting a Wi for Christmas and what games with it. All at once he says to me, "Did you get a haircut?" Now, my hat completely covered my bald head so I thought it was funny he asked me this instead of why I was wearing a hat. I explained to him that I had been sick and had Chemo and that made me lose my hair. His little face became so concerned so I quickly told him I was ok now and he smiled a big old smile and just like that he went off into what else he was getting for Christmas. Kids are so funny and honest and unafraid to just ask.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Our weather is heavy rain and winds. I don't have to get out in it until noon today as I am closing and maybe by the time I get off it will be over.
This weather is a business killer if you depend on customers to make money, which we do. Lots of no show appointments yesterday but maybe today will be better.
Thanks to all of you who gave me ideas on what to bring to our potluck. TOday I'll put it up to a vote about the gifts.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Usually Wednesday is my day off but this week we are working a weird schedule, so I'm not off until Friday. And that's ok because I seem to feel better on the days I work. AND...my eye brows are coming in! YAY! They look strange at the moment but that's ok too, I can live with that.
I can't believe it is almost Christmas. I feel like I missed the summer. I feel as if I fell asleep in the Spring and woke up and it is Christmas time. Along with that though came a wonderful Christmas gift of being Cancer Free and everyday my body gets stronger.
Speaking of Christmas, the girls and I at work need to decide what we are going to do. We usually draw names but this year because nobody seems to have money I wonder if they'd rather skip the gifts and just have food or maybe a white elephant gift. Very seldom do we all work at one time but we're all there on the 23rd so I'm thinking that will be the perfect day. Steph always makes those little sausages in the crockpot and Loni does punch with ginger ale and sherbet and I need a yummy something to take. Any suggestions?
I hope your day is a lovely one today.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
This is my mother's Christmas Cactus or is it the Thanksgiving Cactus, she has both and I never know which is which, but I always think they are pretty.
I am up early as usual. This is Conference Call morning but I still have over an hour before that. Sweetie is outside exploring as it is not so cold this morning and she is staying out longer than usual. I have my coffee and I don't go into work until noon because I have to close tonight.
I still have no hair. I have some baby fine stuff that you can't even see, I can feel it. I'm beginning to worry as it has been about seven weeks since my last treatment and some of what you read says it starts coming back within six weeks for some folks. Oh well, I'll just have to be patient I guess.
This Friday is payday and will be the first whole check for me for quite some time. So grateful that I had the disability insurance, it sure got me through while I was sick. Insurance is a wonderful thing on so many levels and I am so grateful I had it.
And over the weekend I got an email from Haleigh that said something like this, "Dear Grandma, I am so glad the Cancer is all gone. Are you coming, huh, huh, huh?"
Yes Haleigh, I'm coming, you can bet your bottom dollar!
Monday, December 08, 2008
Today starts a new week and it is COLD this morning but rain is coming and the next few days will be warmer, just wet I think.
And getting up and going to work is still wonderful to me. I guess when you aren't able to work it makes you really appreciate when you can. I hope the next time I'm off for any amount of time it will be to move.
I'm reading a new author, Jane Green. The book I'm reading is called Beach House. I swear I've read at least three other books called Beach House or some variation of that title. And I'm drawn to them every time. This one take place in Nantucket. It is a good read and I'm almost done with it.
And that is about all I know, my life is pretty boring at the moment, thank goodness. Hope your week is a good one.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Our Dr. is off today so it will be slower and I don't go in until noon so I get some extra rest this morning but I had a good night's sleep and I feel good this morning. I am off almost all meds which is a good thing. I am sleeping now with no help from drugs and I'm off the iron and have only a week and a half to be on the blood thinners.
Tomorrow I am off and I have three Movies to watch and two books to read and so that is all I intend on doing. Oh, and I have to redo one of the bracelets I sold to the lady at the Cancer Clinic who wanted them, she asked me to make one with two extra beads and now she's decided she needs one bead off. URG!!!! That will mess up the pattern and I just about can't stand to do that and it is one of the reasons I don't like to make jewelry for people. But I will do it.
Anyhow......that is my life at the moment. Hope you have a good weekend and get to spend it with the people you love the most.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Matthew told me to quit making excuses now about moving, lol. I'll still have to have check ups for a year every three months, and I'm still trying to get over chemo but I feel really good and work has been easy.
And so I am really celebrating today and just so thankful.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
My Mom and I have to get busy and get our Christmas box mailed out to the kids in Washington. This time of year the mail starts moving kind of slow so we try to get it out early. Yesterday I was off and wore myself out doing laundry. I have to go to the laundry mat as my washer and dryer both died last year and I've not replaced them since I am moving and not taking too much with me. And everything I owned was dirty. My mom did my laundry for me while I was sick, but I only took her what I had to have so I had some catching up to do. But now everything is clean.
Whatever you to today, I hope you have a good one.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
And so I guess that explains why starting last year I've made sure my little name sake has a pair of boots. We bought this years yesterday, and I know she loves them as much as I ever did. Having a pair of boots is a MUST when you are a little girl and that's the truth!
> And anyway, putting a smile on a little girl's face is always worth it, plus, no little girl should go through life without a funky pair of boots. And that's the Truth!
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
I do have some hair, single little sprouts, about an eighth of an inch long and so far no bottom lashes. But it has only been six weeks since the last chemo and most of what I've read says two to four months before enough grows back to really see.
It's my day to close at work so that means I go in at twelve thirty and get off at eight thirty but I'm up very early, and the regular Tuesday conference call has been put off until tomorrow. It is cold this morning but I'm thinking toward the end of the week it will warm up.
And that's about all I know this morning. Coffee's ready and calling my name.
Hope your Tuesday is a good one.
Monday, December 01, 2008
Yesterday my five hours were long, I didn't have too many customers and I got all my paperwork done and then I worked on a training I'm behind in. But the hours went by very slowly, but it was a nice day. After work my mother called and invited me for a bowl of vegetable soup and after that, so tired was I, I came home and soon went to sleep.
Now that the Contact Lens sale is over, the company will focus on people who have insurance and flex accounts, reminding them by automated calls and post cards that it's close to the end of the year and if they don't use their plans they'll lose them.
I just heard my coffee pot make that last big puff so I'm going to get my first cup and listen to the news and then I'll get ready to start my day. Smiling, and so glad I'm able to.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
At some point we've got to decorate for Christmas and so Steph and I at least put the tree up. We have one of those that you buy that already has lights on it and we fought with it because half the lights were out. We finally got all of them to come on except the top third of the tree and we ended up having to change out every little bulb. IT was a pain but it is up. The girls will decorate it the rest of the way Monday, I hope.
I have to work today, but it is only a five hour day and it is the end of the month so I have paperwork to do, so I'll be busy, even without too many customers.
Next week I have to go get one more blood test for the blood thinner and then I only have to take it a few more weeks and I'm off of that and also Thursday is the day I go see the Radiologist to see what decision they came up with for me.
It would be nice not to have to see anymore Dr's for a long time but we shall find out. I'm ok with whichever way we go. And that is a good place to be.
In the meantime, I am feeling fine and that is a very good thing. Happy Sunday to you all,
Saturday, November 29, 2008
We had a pleasant day at work, the big store was busy but we stayed pretty busy as well and although we are a little behind our budget, I am pleased we've done as well as we have in this economy.
After work I stopped by for left overs for supper up at my Mom's and I hardly remember anything after that, I came home and not too long afterwards went to bed.
Back in July when we had the Family Reunion here, one of my cousins came up with the idea of having just a "Cousin's" reunion. She and her husband live up in the Georgia Mountains and are care takers of a group of cabins and they can have people stay there if the family that owns them aren't using them. I figured she was just wishing and talking about it but it looks like she is really planning it and since I am planning on moving miles away in the Spring she wants to do it before I move.
I'm not much on reunions but this would be different, just us cousins who've always loved each other but never gotten to spend much time with each other since we've been grown, so if it happens I think I'd love it.
And so, that's about all I know for now.
Have a good day!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Anyhow....today it is back to work and I'm ready. We have a Big Contact Lens Sale twice a year and today starts that, so we're all there. It is cold this morning and I'm waiting anxiously for my coffee to get ready.
Our Thanksgiving will be just us, my parents and myself but my mother was trying to figure out the menu and was going shopping late last night to avoid the crowds.
The economy may be bad and we may all be watching our spending but most of us are going to eat for sure. I wish every American Family would have a nice warm meal tomorrow but I know not everyone will.
And so, I've got to get my day started and I hope for you all a good day and a Very Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I am off today, after the conference call at least.
I was very tired by the time I got home, really only hit me when I finally sat down, but it was a good kind of tired.
Be back soon!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
2. Broccoli Sprouts
As excited as I am to go back to work, I am surprised that I am also nervous. My stomach is churning and I have that anxious feeling and it finally occurred to me it has to be all about tomorrow.
It was weird to go back after being out for six weeks when I had surgery, but this time it has been 4 and a half months. That's a long time!
As I look down the road ahead of me, it is my plans to be able to move to Washington in the Spring. I am told the people at work, (because they know I've wanted to do this for a long time, and spent a year trying to decide if it was the right move for me)thought I'd just not come back to work here, but it is not that simple. I've got to have a job lined up, I've got to be able to pack stuff up, it has to be a time when Matthew can come help me and get me. My boss is aware of my plans and she will help me however she can as far as a transfer. My mother, knows my plans, although I don't think she really believes I am going to. She doesn't understand my son WANTS me there. And of course after all I've been through and having her to go through it with me, it throws me back into that mode of feeling guilty for leaving her. But like Matthew says, when she and my stepfather needs us, we can come back, I am not deserting her. It will be hard, but I'm not going to doubt again what I want.
Some people say having Cancer was the best thing that happened to them. I'm not at that point. I am very thankful that I responded to that nasty Chemo, and I have realized in a double way, dealing with my son's suicide and my disease, how precious life is, and how you can be sailing along in life and POOF! Everything changes.
So, as I take my first step onto this road ahead of me, I am going to try and live the best I can, and we will see where it leads.
Hope you have a good Sunday,
Friday, November 21, 2008
I've finished my six bracelets and got them boxed and ready to deliver. And I'm reading a book by Lance Armstrong called "It's Not About the Bike, My Journey Back to Life", which is pretty amazing. I didn't think I'd care for it because I figured he talked a lot about cycling and he does, but it is interesting.
It is still cold here in Georgia, and suppose to be really really cold tonight.
And the Radiologist called me today and he is leaning toward me NOT having radiation....but as I've learned with this ordeal, don't believe anything the first time you hear it. My case has to be presented to the Cancer Board of the hospital and though he thought they'd agree with him, I am ok either way. That board of Dr.'s are a lot smarter than me on the subject and so I'll find out on Dec. 4th when I have an appointment with him.
Other than all that, I've had a pretty uneventful day. This is the last few days of me staying at home and I can't tell you how glad I am to be going back to work, even if I am bald! BIG DEAL! I'm alive!!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
And then I had to buy groceries, which isn't my favorite thing, and then I came home to see my supplies for the bracelets are here, so I made three of the six and then my Aunt called and I promised her one (I'm nutty). Anyway, my legs are a little wobbly but I tested my strength today and I think I'll be fine for work on Monday. I still have heard nothing else about radiation. Not sure that is a good sign or a bad one. Anyway, it is going to be a good thing for me to get back out in the world. I am sooooo ready.
I hope your day was a good one.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
My friend and fellow warrior, Tammy, did a post on me yesterday that featured this beautiful Angel of Courage and although I can't believe someone as courageous as she gives me so much credit, I did want you to visit and read it and the poem she wrote. It is just beautiful and I am honored to have her as a friend. Thank you Tammy with all my heart. I'll never forget the day you emailed me and told me I had to be a WARRIOR. And after reading your blog, I knew you knew what you were talking about. You truly live the life of a Warrior everyday and have done so for a long time.
Ok, this is my 4th post for today and I'm done. (Maybe)
When I saw the Dr. he took his sweet time telling me. He was really jolly though and I thought surely if he had bad news he wouldn't be so happy, but you never know about Dr.'s. They are indeed strange creatures for sure. He said, "Now you've only had five treatments?" And I said, "NO! I'm done with the treatments, I've had all six." He says, as he searches his notes, "Well, I just don't see where I recorded that." I was getting a little impatient with him so I said, "You're suppose to have a CT scan. HE says, "Oh, that I do have." And he still is searching his notes. I sit there, my heart I think is simply going to jump right our of my chest. Finally he says, "The CT scan looks wonderful, you are completely Cancer Free!"
At first I thought surely I did not hear him correctly, so I was silent for a minute and then I just burst into tears and told him I loved him, lol. He told me he loved me too. I don't have to see him again until three months.
We discussed Radiation. He's never seemed to be real keen it seems to me on the radiation if I responded so well to the Chemo but he has to refer me back now to the Radiologist that referred me to him and he says that since I'm only 51 and could possibly have 20 or 30 more years to live, they would want to do any preventative measures to keep it from reoccurring and you know that is what anyone with Cancer always fears. So, I still don't know if they are going to do that or not, they are trying to figure it out and maybe I will hear soon.
Radiation will not be a party, I know and it has its own side effects, and I will have to work while I do it. Radiation is usually every day of the week for five or six weeks. But I will do it if they think I need to. After these last four months I feel like I can do this one last thing. SO we shall see.
I am looking forward to going back to work this coming Monday. I am having lunch Thursday with Steph, my best friend and my assistant manger at work. She got left with it all and has worked hard and I appreciate her keeping things going so much. She has done a good job but I know she is tired and has missed many days off. Somehow I need to make that up to her.
I'll end my rambling for now. I hope you are having a good week. I got to start thinking about moving. I'm getting closer and closer to being where I want to be and I'm over the moon!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Those are the words that belong to me! I am so happy, so glad, and so very thankful. Thankful to God, and to all of you who've been on this journey with me. How can I ever thank you? Some days your words are what got me through. It is still up in the air about radiation, the two Dr.'s have to discuss it but that's ok. I am going to be ok. And at last I can move forward.
I'll tell you more tomorrow, for now I'm just going to enjoy knowing that that Chemo did what it was suppose to.
Thank you again, all of you so much,
Monday, November 17, 2008
Since I'm going back to work a week from today, this week I'm going to try and take a walk every afternoon and test my strength out. I will however wait until this afternoon when it is a little warmer. Sweetie has gotten fat! Although I can let her out alone out here in the country and trust her not to go to the road, she never wants to stay out long and so a walk will do her good as well.
Tomorrow I see the Dr. for the results of the CT scan. I'm a little nervous. I never trust them because it has been my experience they'll tell you everything looks good and then all of a sudden it doesn't. Well, that happened once and it scares me.
Anyway, I have the faith that it is going to be good news. I expect they'll want me to do radiation but please, please, no more chemo. It is what I fear the most.
But I'm thinking positive for good news and so we shall see.
I finished Edgar Sawtelle and it was a good book. A very different book, but one that caught me and held me and the characters are still with me. At least Edgar is. I especially loved the way the author talked of the dogs. That's about all I can say without giving anything away but it was a book worth reading for sure and I'm glad I did.
Other than that my weekend was quite.
And so another week has started and we are closer to me getting back out into the world. I think that will help me more than anything I could do. Living alone through this, there have been times when I've felt so isolated and alone. I'm a loner anyway but this time has been way more than even I've ever wanted.
I hope your week is a good one.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Remember when my friend Tammy did the walk for ALS? Well, she wore this band during her walk and guess what? She sent it to me. I don't think she realizes how special it is for me to have it. It says "Never Give UP" and I am so proud and honored to have it. So thank you Tammy. I love you and if I ever knew anyone who Never Gives Up, it is you. You are my inspiration for sure.
It is my company's policy that once you go on long term disability and you're on it for thirty days they can terminate you. I had read this in the policy book before I left work and I didn't know exactly if that meant you'd really get terminated or what. Yesterday I spoke with my boss and guess what? They really mean it. She got an email from the girl in HR and it told her to please send in my termination paperwork. My boss was shocked and not aware of this policy and so she called her and said NO! I don't want this person terminated and so the HR woman told her she'd have to get it approved from a company exec and so thank goodness she did. I was very appreciative because if I lost my job, I'd lose my insurance and oh brother! Can't even think about that without shaking.
SO, that was a relief and I am grateful to have a boss who stood up for me. She is the district manager but she was a manager when I came to work for the company and she originally hired me, so we go way back.
I am planning to go back to work in nine days and I'm excited about it. Regardless of whatever the DR. says on Tuesday, I'm going back to work. And I am so ready. I'm on straight salary but my boss told me if I can't start back full time they can pay me hourly and I told her I wanted to try and start off full time, we'll see how it goes. If I have to have radiation I can still work but I may have to goo hourly if that happens.
SO anyway, this morning I am grateful for my boss and for the company I work for and to God for not letting me lose my job.
My friend over at Rapunzel's Castle mother is fighting Lung Cancer (please add her to your prayers) and on her sidebar she has this which I'd like to share because it is so true.
Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple love
It cannot shatter hope
It cannot corrode faith
It cannot destroy peace
It cannot kill friendship
It cannot suppress memories
It cannot silence courage
It cannot invade the soul
It cannot steal eternal life
It cannot conquer the spirit.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I know that life is not fair and can change in a heartbeat.
I know that you can't control other people but you can control yourself.
I know that you can live with a broken heart but it is hard.
I know that most people honestly care, even the ones you maybe think don't.
I know that good things come out of bad things sometimes.
I know that you have two choices when you face adversity, you give up or you fight like a warrior .
I know that you can love people you've never met face to face.
I know that life is a gift and we are here to help each other.
I know how strong my spirit is and that there is devine intervention that keeps me going.
I know that being a Grandma is the best feeling in the world.
What do you know for sure?
....and having Hazelnut coffee and you know how you get it in your mind that it is a certain day of the week but it really isn't? I keep thinking today is Saturday and I have to keep reminding myself that it is not. Not that it matters that much to me at the moment. All my days seem to be the same.
Today we have bad weather predicted, bad storms and tornado warnings. I don't mind so much, well, I don't want a tornado but I like the rain. Especially if I can stay home, which is what I do most of the time anyway.
I keep checking my head to see if I can spot some hair growth. So far not anything. I have a little fuzz in some places, but nothing else. I am ready to see something growing there!
I can't start on my bracelets until my materials come in but I may work on making some pieces today. Usually I make up some this time of the year and make a little extra money selling it for Christmas gifts. Actually my mother does a better job at selling it than me.
Oh and yesterday I got two cards from customers of mine. Very sweet that they miss me and care enough to send me cards. A few weeks ago I go one from another one too, an elderly lady that is a favorite of mine.
And so that is about all I know for the moment. I'm still into my book and so reading and jewelry making and my computer will keep me occupied today. I hope your day is a good one.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I'm all done with the CT scan and it is a dreary, cloudy, misting day. Perfect day to curl up with a book. At last I'm able to read, I couldn't for the longest. And it so happens I'm into a really good one too. I'm mostly a sucker for Oprah's picks and although I don't buy all of them, she was so excited about this one I just figured I had to have it. So far it is very good, has me captured. It is also the author's first book and it is my experience that the first book an author writes it usually the best. Not always, but most of the time.
So, I am going to lose myself today in this lovely book and take it easy. I'm not feeling as good as I have, nothing big, just tired and my legs ache. Hope you all have a good day.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Yesterday my blood work was good so I don't have to change the dose of the blood thinner I'm taking and she said if it stayed good next week I wouldn't have to have blood work every single week, they could spread it out. That is very good news because I cannot tell you how tired I am of being stuck!
And, yesterday afternoon my Nurse called me and told me she had a lady there that saw the bracelets I'd made them and she wanted to know if I'd make her three of them except with a breast cancer ribbon. She caught me off guard a little and I really quoted a price that is way too low, barely pays for my materials, but that is ok, and then she called back and said the lady wanted two more, and then she called back and said she wanted one more, so six all together. WOW! I got work to do now. I have all I need except the ribbons so I had to order them. But I was so excited that someone actually wanted them! So that made me happy.
I also got some Christmas shopping online done. I've always wanted to give my granddaughter the world so I bought her a globe. So all in all, I had a very good day. We'll see how today goes and not think about tomorrow morning when I have two big old jugs of that chalky stuff to drink for my CT scan, YUCK! But then I remind myself that this would have been the week I would have had Chemo so the chalky stuff is really NOTHING! Have a good day!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
And so maybe the chemo is not going to leave me with any lasting effects which I've feared for sometime now.
This week I get the scan on Thursday but I won't see the Dr until next Tuesday. So I have that to look for.
I have to go out this morning for blood work since I'm still on the blood thinner. I have to stay on that for three months, well, actually only two more months now. And I'm looking forward to returning to work on the 24th of this month.
But thank goodness the depression left me and I once again feel hope for whatever happens.
It is cold here in the mornings and I can't seem to stay warm. But it warms up nicely during the day.
I got a jewelry catalog yesterday and there was a necklace in it that had a quote I liked and think it will be my new mantra, it said, "Don't worry about tomorrow because God is already there." I liked that. It works for me at the moment.
Hope you are all well, I have some catching up to do reading every one's blog. Thanks to all of you who've left me comments last week and this week.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
And so today I'm going to try and get some things done around here and at some point I need to go grocery shopping. I feel stronger and I'm pretty sure I can handle that.
I cannot tell you how glad I will be for this to be over and for me to go back to work. I have too much time to think here, and work will help that.
That's about all that is going on in my world at the moment. Hoping you have a good weekend.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
We shall see what changes are to come and I hope he can accomplish great things. Its been a long time since we've had a president that accomplished great things. I'm hoping. And not too far off in the future maybe a woman will be added to that list of presidents. And I'm all for that!
Have a good day.
Note to Marge, all morning I've tried to leave a comment on your blog but it won't let me so if you read this I just wanted to say your daughter is in my prayers and so are you! Love you!
Monday, November 03, 2008
My body and spirit needs this time to heal and regroup.
Wednesday is my mother's birthday and we will celebrate that with just supper and a cake and just us. She needs a little attention as for months now she has had to deal with me and my problems.
I am also glad the election will soon be over. For two years we've been listening to this and I'm ready for it to be over. So ready.
And that is about all I know for now. Hope your coming week is a good one.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
The way I look on the outside is not who I feel like and so each time I see myself it sort of shocks me.
I'm a little blue tonight. And I can't sleep. I went to sleep earlier, too early really and now I'm wide awake. I'm tired. I'm weary. I'll be ok. I'm tough you know. I search in the mirror beyond the puffy face, into my eyes. I search for a spark, a light, but even my eyes stare back at me empty. I don't like that. I need to see something in my eyes. I need to see a tiny piece of me left, that piece that has faith and hope and desire. And passion. But nothing is there. Where have I hidden that part of me? When will I be back and who will I be? And then I see something. It is compassion. Compassion to my own self. Compassion to all those who've walked this path before me and after me and with me. Those eyes, dark and lashless and empty show compassion to my own soul and others, for all the hurt and fear and unknowns. My Spirit is still right there if I stare long enough and then I smile and there is light there too.So I must remember to smile, keep smiling. And I know it will be alright.
The port came out but there was a part of it, a big chunk of it missing. So when the surgeon goes back in to find the rest of it, he couldn't find it. After an xray there it was in the heart chamber. Things got interesting and scary after that. I was not allowed to hardly move, I was rushed by ambulance to a bigger hospital about an hour away. They assured me that this had to be done sometimes and that the surgeon there had done it lots of times, making a lasso of sorts of some kind of tool and "fishing it out". Well, this is me we are talking about and it wasn't that easy. After three and a half hours in a freezing operating room on a skinny little table, they finally got it out. Just before they had to open my chest up and take it out. I was awake the whole time, I'm not sure why and it was the most horrible experience I've ever had in my life but I'm getting past it and going on and don't want to think about it much anymore. I am grateful they got it out, it was a very serious deal and the important thing is I survived thank goodness and lived to tell the story.
After I was released from the hospital and went to WALGREENS to have scrips filled my sweet nurse's voice that had stayed with me while I was still at the hospital here came up behind me and although I wouldn't have recognized her face, I'll never forget her voice. She hugged me and introduced me to her husband like this, "This is my patient I was telling you about yesterday honey." I never ever wanted to be a "patient that someone went home and told her husband about" but I was that day. I wish I could have taken her with me to the bigger hospital. At that place the nurses weren't nearly as caring and assuring as she had been to me.
And so that is it in a nutshell, there was a lot more to it but I'll spare you the gory details. I don't know why the thing came apart inside of me, I'm just glad it is out of me, ALL of it. And I thank God I am ok and survived it. CAN you believe this? It just goes on and on and on.
But, forward we go one more time.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Lately I've not been able to show off my cute Granddaughter but Amy did a cute post that shows her from nearly every HALLOWEEN since her birth, go visit and see my cutie if you haven't already. Go visit here to see. The one above is her gift from me right after her soccer game.
I'll be back soon to catch up on things. Thanks for your prayers and thoughts, I can assure you they work.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
You just never knew about Jonathan when it came to family affairs. If he showed up, which was mostly not, he'd mostly find something to get upset about and no matter how much we wanted him to know how loved he was and how special he was, he found a way to make the occasion a little uncomfortable.
Last November he didn't do that. He was happy to be there, he enjoyed his time with his brother and he made his grandmother very happy by handing her his dozen roses and wrapping her up in his big bear hug way he had of hugging you.
I held my breath that he would show up, even though he had promised me, that didn't always mean anything. But he came and after the party, that night when we came back to my house, just my sons and me, we had the best time talking about the party, discussing the guests, and being very proud of ourselves at how we'd pulled iit off.
I will forever have that memory, and for that I am grateful.
Monday, October 27, 2008
I'm feeling ok so far, I've lost my voice nearly again. That happened to me last time too and I stayed hoarse for a week or so. Just a side effect that is not too hard to deal with. Yesterday I stayed in all day and watched movies and slept.
On Wednesday I have an appointment with the surgeon who will take out the life port on Thursday if everything is ok. I'm ready to get that done with.
There's nothing much to write about when you just stay home and watch movies and sleep. I am so anxious to get back into life. And it feels good to know that the Chemo is over and I am closer to getting to do that.
And so that is about it for now. Hope you have a good Monday and a good week.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
This year has not been the best year. I will always remember 2008 for sure.
I have my first usual side effect, a sore throat, but other than that I am feeling really good this morning. I even slept all night, sort of. I went to bed early, woke up at two and then slept in the recliner from about three to seven. Not bad since I'm on the steroids. I have two more days of them and hope I never have to take those little suckers ever again. They are also the culprits of the high blood sugar. But they help me from being sick, sick like hanging on the toilet sick and thank goodness I've not had that to deal with.
Yesterday we had a nice slow rain all day. No more rain today but I think it is going to be kind of balmy looking, at least it looks that way out there now.
My thoughts are with Tammy today as this is the day for the ALS Walk. She is actually going to walk too and I'm so proud of her and she's raised so far almost two thousand dollars which is awesome. I wish I could be there right beside her walking away. She's in California and I'm way down here. But my heart is there.
And so, that's about all I know for today. I hope your weekend is a good one.