Friday, August 11, 2017

Head Collection

From the beginning of this cancer journey, one of the more fun parts has been the wigs.  I've enjoyed naming each one and using my baldness as a way to get to try out different looks through each new hair style and color.

My sister once asked if it's anything like the movie "Return to Oz," and Princes Mombi.  (For those not familiar with this one, I'm shocked how often movies of the 80's has provided scenes of pure terror for its children.  I'd almost forgotten about this one!)





I guess it can be a little like that, choosing a girl for the day.  Hopefully, it's not nearly as creepy, minus the Powder of Life!



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Book Sale!!!!

For a limited time only!!!

My book is now on sale at Amazon for only
$3.45!!!

The link is on the side of my blog.

Anyone who buys the book and leaves a (positive, hopefully) review, COMMENT, and I'll donate money to a local cancer support group!

If you already own the book, why not buy a few for gifts?  
Can you really get much under $5.00 these days?  

Host a book club.  The possibilities go on and on.  

Plus, I am happy to sign your book--if you're not local, we can work something out! 

Happy Reading!!!  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

H&P #26

Someone recently told me she loved my wigs.

"How many do you have?," she asked.   
"Several, in many colors."  
"You don't have a bright red one."  
"Oh, but I do!"


Ariel just spends a lot of time under the sea.  
(I realized there haven't been pictures of me in every wig, 
so treatment day was time to change that!) 



I heard a quote this week that has me thinking:

“There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.” (It's attributed to Albert Einstein, but the interwebs aren't all in agreement on that fact.)

One thing cancer has taught me is to look for the good in everyday.  I am NOT a naturally-born optimist, so this was obviously a lesson I needed.  However, over the last four years on this journey, I have been transformed in more ways than one.   One of the biggest changes I've noticed is my every day outlook.  I try to see the blessings, the tender mercies, the many miracles that have added up to my ability to beat cancer and to dance IN the rain--not just when (or if) the rainbow appears.

And then I realized:

This quote isn't always about the moment.  There are plenty of moments when we don't like where we are or what's happening to us and the only focus that makes sense is to wish things would change---not the good things that are going on at the same time.  I don't like cancer, and I don't think it's a miracle, but miracles haven't ceased in my life.  There have been plenty of days that I am not happy to carry the cancer cloud, but the sky is not all dark.  I will not mislead and act as if my life is sunshine and chocolate all the time, or that I believe that EVERYTHING is a miracle.  The quote is to describe life over the long run.   Do I look for the blessings and the light?  Can I be grateful during difficulties and notice the thousands of tiny miracles that happen, even while life is at its worse?  Do I TRY to do so, even if I don't always succeed?  Then, I am (trying) to live my life "as though everything is [a miracle.]"

It's only through a chain of thousands of miracles that any of us are even here, born healthy.  Then, we leave the hospital, and the fun begins.  I think back to all the times when I actually witnessed that my life has been saved; I can only begin to imagine the total amount of blessings that have been poured out in order for me to have learned all I've learned and accomplished all I've done.  Miracles.

Every so often, huge arrows point out the exact moment something miraculous occurs.  Other than those specific moments of light, it's up to me to open my eyes and see.  It's crucial that I learn to place the spotlight on all that I have and to show my gratitude for blessings that pour out every single day.

Numerous studies have found that gratitude leads to a happier and healthier life, two things I need, especially now.  So, as I strive to live as though everything is a miracle, worthy of my gratitude, I can train my brain and body to feel even more happy through tough times and to be more healthy through them.  Win-Win.

It's not an easy task or something done once and never again.  It's a practice in humility and in training my eyes, mind, and heart to turn to God.  

  

 Continuing to kick cancer to the curb, one step at a time.


It's much easier with help! (Evan at church.)  


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Strike Out Cancer


Last night, our local baseball team had their annual Strike Out Cancer night.  I didn't get to go last year because we were out of town, but the stars aligned this year!



I'm sad this isn't advertised better in the community.  It would be fun to get a bunch of Pink Alliance ladies out here, too.

After the bottom of the 4th inning, they invited cancer survivors and their families and friends to do a walk around the bases, in honor of either yourself or your loved one.  During the walk, they announced the names of survivors.



Finally, we released balloons in the many cancer colors for the honorees.  



Another cool thing:  All the Boobers! had their names on the jerseys that were auctioned off!



It was a pleasant, cloudy July evening, where we could support our fellow survivors and hope for a cure.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Goble that Cancer + Hair + Shoes!!!



My doctor appointment interfered with a swim party, so I left early, letting the boys swim, headed to Dr. G, and went straight back to the pool.  

Things seem to be going well.  My MRI looks good from the radiation oncologist's POV, too.  Dr. G checked my breathing, reflexes, and strength.  He didn't know about my bone infarction, but after I explained, he mentioned what a crazy year it's been for me!  

My only question was if Dr. F should schedule my MRI's, or if he wanted his office to do that.  We discussed it would probably be better for Fleener's office to schedule, so that my other tests could be organized the best.  

As the doctor who told me my hair probably wouldn't grow back, he also noticed that, indeed, it IS GROWING BACK!!!  I shaved it all off a few weeks ago.  It started in slowly....


...and then it kept on growing!  It's all nice and gray, but it's growing!  



Oh, yeah.  Big news:  I wore heels to church for the first time since my bone infarction.  It's a red-letter day!!!  






Thursday, July 6, 2017

H&P #25


I'm changing things up and having treatment on a Thursday.  (My regular schedule for next week would've put me needing treatment while on vacation.  I had a visit with Dr. Fleener first thing.  She again smiled while discussing the results of my latest MRI--it still looks great!  We talked about my vision issues, which have-thankfully-not been too much of a problem since our last appointment.  
"Maybe I'm just getting old and need some reading glasses!" I said.
"You're not old!" was her response.  
I'll see her again in a few weeks to revisit the pill, as long as my body starts to cooperate!

I met a few new patients in the chemo chair today.  The husband of a woman who was getting her first treatment told me, "Just getting to talk to you and hear your story is such a comfort to us.  Thank you for that."

The COMFORT stood out to me, for in my scripture reading a few weeks ago, I came across a verse that stood out to me like it never before had:


For the Lord God shall COMFORT Zion, 
he will COMFORT all her waste places; 
and he will make her wilderness like Eden, 
and her desert like the garden of the Lord.  
JOY and GLADNESS shall be found therein,
thanksgiving and the voice of MELODY.
                                                           2 Nephi 8:3


Obviously, the "Melody" caught my attention, as if He was speaking straight to me.  I was also touched by the testimony that God comforts us in our "waste places."  Whether that be in sickness, hardship, trials, or temptations.  He doesn't take all the bad out of our lives, but comforts us while we are in our wilderness. He can provide enough comfort that walking through our deserts can seem like a plentiful garden.  God offers protection or help to weather the storm, by strengthening our souls and through people He brings into our lives or even through prayers and kindness of strangers. 

Beyond just the comfort to make it through hard times, we can actually have joy and gladness if we strive to find it.  There is always a reason for thanksgiving, even if it might seem small to others.  Honestly, I'm not one of those people who is truly GLAD for cancer.  I wish it didn't have to define my life.  There might be lessons I've learned through the experience that could have been difficult to learn other ways, but even that doesn't make me happy that I have cancer.  I do have gratitude for remission and in the little things.  I can give thanks to God for each day I have to spend with my family.  And, I have felt joy and gladness over more days than I can count.  It's not as if I dance around, smiling and singing, without a care in the world,  all day, every day.  God's comfort has allowed me to see sunshine in the storm and seek out and find the many blessings I have.  That has helped to notice joy and gladness through the pain.  

Although it looks as if I'll never "beat" cancer in this life, there is still hope.  I hope I'll be healthy enough to raise my boys for many years.  I hope I can be a support to others.  I hope for the strength to accomplish daily tasks.  I hope that I can endure whatever challenges come my way.  Hope opens the way for joy, and everyone deserves to feel it.  

(You heard it from the voice of Melodee.)
  






Wednesday, June 28, 2017

MRI

   

I had my 3-month MRI today, several weeks early. Even though the techs were running behind AND couldn't find a vein for the contrast, it was pretty easy. (They stuck my hands a few times and dug around before asking if I wanted them to call a nurse to access my metaport. Ummmmm.....YES!!!!)

Dr. Fleener's office called to give me the good news that the report looks "great". Both doctors looked at it, and reported good news. 

Still in remission and feeling better every day!!!