Monday, December 31, 2012

Ring In The Year

When the children were small , they always wanted me to wake them up on New Year's Eve at the stroke of midnight to ring in the new year . I would prepare a pitcher of kool-aid and pour it into wine glasses so we could make a toast together . When midnight came , no matter how much I tried to wake them , they'd turn over and go back to sleep . That was my New Year's Eve for a long time .

Nowadays , my New Year's Eve isn't much different except there is no kool-aid , but real wine . We've never really gone out  to celebrate in style all dressed to the nines like alot of my friends . Somehow , I've never felt I've missed out by staying at home .

This year , I know people that will be baptized at the stroke of midnight as well as people celebrating at their church with a chili cookout . Some of my friends are having a huge party at home or you could be like Emily and myself with a quiet night .

Either way , we both would like to wish you a very Happy New Year ! See you in 2013 ! Have a Blessed Year everyone !

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Resolutions

It seems lately that whatever social media you click into , everyone is stating their " resolutions " for the coming year . I  personally , don't make " resolutions " . I have goals that I set for the coming year that are realistic goals I can accomplish .

That may involve " being closer to my family " or " setting my finances in order " , things like that in nature . So , as this year comes to an end , I find myself thinking about the goals I want to set for 2013 .

What am I searching for ? What do I hope to accomplish ? No matter what I come up with , it's all centered on one percept . There is nothing more that I want than peace within my heart . I want to be tranquil emotionally , physically and spiritually . How do I attain that ? I want to spend this year finding out .

Does that mean that I give up all my projects that I've been involved in this past year to make room for all the new things that will be entering my life ? Absolutely not , because I feel that these projects are only the beginning . It might also be another extension on where I want to go this new year .

I am not defined in one particular way . . . I am alot of things rolled into one being . I want to spend this year exploring a deeper side to what God destined me to be . So here we go and let's get started .
Have a Blessed Year everyone .

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Highlights Of 2012

As this year comes to a close , I find myself reflecting on the many things this past year had to offer . It's almost funny that I started 2012 with my second bout with cancer and I'm ending 2012 with my third bout . In fact , it seems my cancer likes to make an appearance in the Fall / Winter season .

The first half of the year was pretty rough with my treatments and the side effects were severe . My crying became the normal routine as did the feeling sorry for myself . I became quite an actress in hiding my true emotions from others . Going back to work was a struggle where I almost gave up my position , but I didn't . I stuck it out and  in the second half of the year , was promoted . Thank goodness I hung in there .

Of all the things that have happened this year , my slippers project has been my biggest accomplishment . All of my life , I've had good intentions placed on my heart that I've never acted upon . To have actually gone through with this leaves me in total shock to this day . I'm still amazed how God has spoken to me and I actually heard Him . I feel I have grown spiritually this year more than any other time .

We celebrated mom's 70th birthday with style . That party made me realize just how much I wanted to live to be the matriarch of my own little family .It felt good to finally admit that desire out loud .
I have come to love my grandchildren , developing a relationship with these two that will surpass any that I may have with actual blood grandchildren .

As the year ends , I can't help feeling happy with the way my life is going . These past five years have been a discovery of who I am destined to be . This year , I felt myself slowly blossoming into my own . Two days ago , a new addition was born into our family . That baby signifies hope and a bright future and I can't wait to be a part of it . . . . . no matter how long it may actually be for me .

I love life , but most of all I love my life and the people in it . Have a Blessed Life everyone .


Friday, December 28, 2012

The Best Vacay

If I had to rate this Holiday , I'd say it has been one of the very best times ever . The best part is that we didn't do anything grand , just enjoyed each other's company .

Since the children weren't coming until the 28th , Emily and I chose to spend Christmas Eve just the two of us eating tofurkey ! Looking for the tofu turkey was an adventure in itself . This search has been over a year in the making until I finally wised up and asked people on facebook . Bingo ! It was found . I have to say it was pretty darn good with wild rice stuffing . I would definitely eat it again .

After our big dinner , we sat down to watch re-runs of shows on the food network . With only the christmas lights in the window  flickering softly , we sat around in our pajamas enjoying each other's company . What an absolutely relaxing time !

The next day , I headed out to my mom's house to spend the day with her while Emily headed out to her second , adopted family  for dinner . My mom  chatted to her heart's content about everything that has happened in the last couple of weeks ! I sat there on the couch crocheting slipper after slipper while the hours just flew by without us even knowing it . What a great day that was ! Emily equally had a great time if the video I saw was anything to go on . They just told jokes and laughed through the whole evening .

I guess the vacay was great not because of anything spectacular we did , but because of the company we enjoyed . Isn't that what holidays are all about ? Last night , we had another addition to our growing family . My godson and his wife welcomed their first child, a baby boy Lachlan . God Bless !

Tonight , my littles are coming for an overnight visit so we can have our own belated Christmas . Nothing else could be more perfect .
Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Rehearsal

The rehearsal :
 Because the children were staying after Sunday School , we had to feed them lunch . The children's rehearsal was as chaotic as one would expect for a group of children fed on junkfood . The junkfood ? Pizza ! When they saw it was pizza , a wild frenzy took place and impatience took over causing the small ones to cry . We were not serving fast enough . Once their little bellies were full , the practice began .

As the children went over their songs , I took a step back on the sidelines , watching them . When have they grown so much ? Some of them I've had in Sunday School since they were 4 yrs. old . I've seen their progress from a scared preschoolers into  seasoned 2nd -5th graders . Where has the time gone ?

They were not the only achievers . There was the Pastor's wife conducting the entire rehearsal like a pro . I can remember when she first started helping out , then turning into a teacher and now . . . . Director of the Children's Ministry .

We all have been practicing , rehearsing for the roles we are to fill . Some of these roles we have no idea what they will be . I'm sure our new Director never thought she would end up where she is now . Yet , she has been in rehearsal for this position these past couple of years . Now , she  and the Pastor are in charge of our Church . . . . our new leaders .

What is God preparing me for ? What am I in rehearsal for this time ? What is my next project ? Even though things may not be the way I would like them , there is a purpose to them . A role we have to prepare for , practice on , rehearse over and over again until it is time for us to take on the position we were born to do .

 I can also remember , back in 2007 when God placed in my life a new challenge and the rehearsal began . Look where that rehearsal has taken me . . . Although , it has been painful , challenging and like the children waiting for their pizza . . . . .impatient . Once the bellies are full , excitement takes over . I look foward to the future and the new rehearsal God has placed in my life . Let it begin .
Have a Blessed Week everyone .





Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Little Sparkle

The clock struck midnight and Christmas was  officially here . . . . the most magical night of the year . Looking upward into the  night sky , I searched for bright shiny stars and found none . The sky looked cloudy , almost a smoky grey . The only brightness I see are the glossy Christmas lights hung on houses , bushes and in windows of people's homes . I squint once more looking upward , secretly longing to see that little sparkle of the lone star announcing the birthday .

As I draw my curtain , the bells of my bracelet jingle slightly and draw my attention . I finger the glassy red , green and yellow balls of my bracelet . I think of Linda and Doug , fellow cancer survivors . Linda bought us three this bracelet to wear and remember each other in prayer . I silently say a prayer for each of them , fingering each bead , setting off a small jingle .

Throughout the day , I grasp hold of the beads absentmindedly , hearing the soft jingle . Here is the sparkle I have been searching in the midnight sky . That light of hope that we all live for . . . . long for  . . . . .hold on to . It's always nearby , you just need to know where to look . Or open your heart to it .

I think of them two and wonder what they are doing . Are they also remembering the promise we made to wear it on this day . ... . .Christmas Day ? Did they pray ? Did they finger the glassy , bright beads and think of me ? Of our relationship ? Of our struggle and pain ? Of our faith that binds us together ?

Here we are , the three of us . We are here because of that little Babe that was born so long ago in the manger . We are here because of the promise and hope His birth brought to mankind . All announced by a sparkle in the sky . The little sparkle wrapped around my wrist . . . our hope .. . . . and unity . The glassy beads sparkling like a multi-colored star in the midnight sky .

Have a Blessed Week everyone.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Tis The Night Before

The night before Christmas has always been a huge day in our family . To us , it's more than the preparation for Jesus Birth . It also signifies preparation for new beginnings . Our Polish tradition includes a belief that whatever we do on this day sets an example of what our year will look like .

Come every Christmas Eve , we try to be on our best behavior , waking up early and trying to get along with one another . My mom would drop a whole bunch of coins into the bathroom sink and wash her face with it for good luck . If we argued , then we'd argue all year . If we slept in late , we'll be late all year and so on .

Our Christmas Dinner would also take place on the Eve . One year , my mom placed a coin under everyone's plate as a symbol of prosperity . After dinner , we would open our presents . Now , we only buy for the children and the grownups participate in a white elephant gift .

When the children were small , I would wish that they would behave and play nicely together . My two never got along as siblings and I gave up a long time ago , but come Christmas Eve  I could wish , right ?

Christmas Eve is the biggest day of the year for us . We celebrate the birth of Jesus and also new beginnings . Only Jesus could bring hope to start new beginnings . What are your Christmas Eve traditions ?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Christmas Party

 I love my home and I love living in it . After being everything to everyone else , the time I get to spend in my home is priceless to me . Any invitation that comes our way usually involves willing myself to go . If I could stay at home to live out my life , I would .

I have learned a few things about myself over the years . When it comes to parties or events , I know that when I don't feel like going , it usually means I will have a blast . So when the Christmas party came around from our church , the same thing happened . The day came and I just wasn't feeling up to it . All I wanted to do is lay down .

Having cancer has taught me to take better care of myself . I am very attuned to my bodies needs . If I'm tired , I will take a nap . The problem is that going through chemo , you are tired all the time . If I don't will myself to get up , I'd spend the whole time in bed ! So we went .

We had a great time ! We sang carols and played the white elephant gift game . It was so much fun , but most of all , my daughter blossomed in the company of these people .  I watched her mingle and interact with everyone . I could see how relaxed she was and how grown up .

You know , one of my biggest worry has been in leaving her alone one day . I don't want her to be alone . Joey has a family already , but she doesn't . Watching her at the Christmas party , I realized she won't be alone . She has a slew of adopted Aunts , Uncles and "mommies " here at Church . What a comfort that is to me . Yes, I was glad I went .
Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Friday, December 21, 2012

Spiraling Downward

It all started out so well . With a skip to my step and a song in my heart , I drove to the hospital for my labs , happy as can be . My vitals were checked and blood was drawn , all with great results . All systems good to go ! Merry Christmas , Ms. Krol . See ya in two weeks .

Visions of crawling into bed and sleeping snuggly turned the ride home into a quick and happy trip . The sooner I can get home , the sooner that vision can turn into a reality . Just one more thing I need to do  . . . .

It doesn't take much to let the devil in and when you do , he wrecks so much havoc that your mind spins out of control . Suddenly , everything turns into a negative thought .

All I wanted to do is make a phone call . . . . one purely innocent phone call . I just wanted to let them ( Metlife ) know when my next treatment would be , but . . . . why did I think it would be easy ?

By the time I finally crawled into bed , it was nothing like my dreamed up vision . Gone was the comfy and snuggly rest , instead , there was alot of tossing and turning . Worry and frustration furrowed my brow . Slowly , anger followed with discontent right behind it . All in a flash , all the happiness of the morning spiraled downward into a pit of self-pity . Everything was wrong and nothing was right .

Yes , the devil was in the house and I let him in . With a groan of disgust , I got out of bed angry with myself in allowing this to happen . What is wrong with me ? We are four days from Christmas ! Jesus birthday ! What am I doing ? How dare I wallow in self-pity .

After soaking in the tub , I was able to calm myself out of this downward spiral created solely by the greatest deceiver of all . . . satan . I just realized that my worrying wouldn't change anything . It wouldn't change the outcome . It's just paperwork . It doesn't change who I am . Why would I allow him to take my earned joy away from me ?

So I'm going to work ...tired and sleepy , but at least I'm calm . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hello Everyone

Hello everyone ! It sure feels good to be back after a " health spell " this week . I have not been feeling too hot these past few days as my symptoms re-appeared . Emily also has been down with a virus she apparently caught from someone . The house seemed awfully quiet with both of us in our bedrooms resting . The tough part is that we still had to get up and go to work . There is nothing worse than trying to get through work when you are sick . I just can't wait for the week to end .

Today we are feeling much better and after taking a look at our messy apartment , decided it was time to get up and do something about it . Life goes on even when you're down .

Looking around , it's hard for me to think how far behind I really am . Here it is almost Christmas and I still have some cards to mail . I guess some of you will be getting a Christmas card for New Year's . The gifts are still hiding out in my closet . . .  .unwrapped .
The Christmas Dinner still on the shelves at the supermarket . When have I become so disorganized  ?

It's funny , because at work , no one has a clue that I'm feeling horrible . I can disguise it very well and continue with my work . But . . . . when I get home . . . . .it all goes to hell . I plop down on my bed and can't get up until it's time for work . I guess at home , I can be myself .

So my friends , in case you are wondering what has become of me . . . . . I'm fine , just a little behind .
Have A Blessed Week everyone .

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Blahs Blahs

Since my last blog , I have been feeling a little blah . I have no desire to do anything but lay around and watch television . I have become a regular bum , my mind a total blank .

I've tried to analyze my behavior . Am I reacting to the latest events of the world ? Am I saddened by what is happening to our people ? Has hopelessness descended to dampen my spirits and belief in the world ? Have I lost all hope ?

Or maybe , it's because of my latest project sort of being over . Kathy and I delivered the slippers on Monday and I literally had to fight tears . I sincerely felt a loss . . . . an ending  . Like a mother seeing her child off to college .

I could blame my recent behavior on winter doldrums . Working nights means sleeping in the morning  and by the time I wake the light is fading . By the time I start my day , darkness slowly creeps in . . . . dark and moody in appearance . Winter is gray , foreboding and depressing in a way .

I look at the stack of Christmas cards I haven't yet mailed . The presents , hidden in the closets still unwrapped . Get up . I mentally tell myself . Get up and do something ! How do I will myself out of these feelings of blah ?

Maybe , a cup of coffee will help . I get up and place one foot in front of the other . . . .

Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Normalcy Of Life

Apples . Avocados . Oranges . Milk . Placing each item into my cart , I paved through the aisles of the fruit market . Returning back to work after a week of doing absolutely nothing but sleeping  , produced adrenaline I never knew I had . As boring as it might sound , I welcomed the intrusive routine plunging headlong into my daily errands .

There is nothing like the normalcy of everyday life to keep a person from overthinking about one's illness . Keep your calendar filled and your mind occupied , all at the same time .

Of course , that doesn't mean that I'm not tired or not feeling well . The symptoms are here full force and a couple of new ones , too  . The Christmas cards took alot longer to fill out than usual this year , but they did help take my mind elsewhere even for awhile .

Everywhere I go , I am asked how I'm feeling . I mean , I look great , at least , that's what I'm told . That's the difference this time . I think my own acceptance of my new lifestyle reflects outward to others . It's something that they may find comforting to see . It reassures others of my state of mind and wellbeing .

When it becomes too much , I will take a break . For now , I welcome the normalcy of my life . The schedules to make , the problems to solve at work , the blogs I'm always late in writing and a new batch of slippers to make for a new hospital . Yes , it was a good idea to work this time around . Or at least for now . Now , if I can just get my blogs out on time .......
Have a Blessed Week everyone .




Friday, December 14, 2012

In A Moment

After having spent this week away from everyone , sleeping , I was ready to go back to work . Being in seclusion  , I wanted to orient myself with the world . Flipping through the channels , I came across the school shooting .

For the rest of the day , Emily and I sat riveted to the screen . The last time we did that it was with the movie theatre . We were shocked . What in the world possesses a person to go into an elementary school and kill those children ? What could those little ones have done to that young man ?

In a moment , life was changed forever . . . . . for everyone . Not for just the people in that school , but for all of us . How do you explain this to our children ? To ourselves ? You can't . I don't think we will ever learn the why .

I feel totally helpless . All I can do is pray for the families and everyone involved . That's all we can do . A very sad day today , my friends .

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Finish Line

Hanging up the phone , I sat back in shock . The moment really has come . The finish line is in sight . That was May , my chemo nurse , and she has found a home for my slippers .

When can you drop them off ?

I can't even explain to you how I feel at this moment . It has been exactly a year since that family from Church donated yarn for me to live out my dream . Since that moment , I have felt as if it has been out of my hands . It wasn't me , it was God the whole time , propelling me to do His will . He has paved the way from beginning to end in making this happen .

Now , that we are at the finish line , I somehow feel at a loss . I have birthed this ministry , matured it and now have to let it go . It's like watching your babe grow up and leave home . Am I emotional ? You better believe it .

So where are they going ? They are going to U.I.C. Children's Cancer Center . My niece Kathy and I , will be dropping them off on Monday .

I am unbelievably nervous and scared . There has been so much more behind this than crocheting a slipper . Everytime  I think about it , I get choked up with tears . This means so much to me . What a journey these slippers have taken me on . Is my journey over ? I'm not sure , but I do believe an answer will happen . In the meantime , let's keep praying for the children that will receive these slippers .
Have a Blessed Week everyone.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

More Links And Tips

People are always sending me links on places that offer free service for people who are going through cancer . Today , I want to share some of these places with all of you . Maybe , you know of someone who could use these services or maybe you would like to volunteer or help out financially .

Phil's Friend's :
1350 Lake Street
Suite I
Roselle , Il 60172
www.philsfriends.org .
Great place ! Not only do they send you a overnight bag filled with things you may need for a stay at the hospital but also send you every week a handmade card , a testimonial letter , a CD or book . They have a Prayer Team that prays regularly for the patient .

Imerman Angels :
1-877-274-5529
www.imermanangels.org
This is a website that connects 1-on-1 cancer support for cancer patients , survivors or caregivers . They will connect you to a matching mentor to your age , type of cancer , sex , city etc . to offer support as you go through treatment and after .

Cleaning For A Reason
Debbie , Founder & President
www.cleaningforareason.org
Cleaning For A Reason partners with local cleaning services  to provide free housecleaning for women currently in treatment for cancer . How great is that ? !

Thousand Wave Spa For Women
1212 W. Belmont Ave
Chgo, Il 60657
1-773-549-0700
This is a spa that offers a stress management program for women with cancer . They offer five free massages and five free spa visits complete with herbal tea . One place I plan on visiting .

This concludes my links for cancer fighters and survivors . Hopefully , you know of someone who can take advantage of these wonderful offers from people who really care .
Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

More Updates

I have some great news regarding Linda  . . .. the chemo has been working . She was so jubilant this past Sunday , she wanted to stand up and shout her thanks to God in Church . Her words . As to me , she seems to be having a hard time accepting mine . As I've said before , this illness binds us together as one .

Speaking of Church : I have been asked why I go to Church when I should be at home resting after treatment . I go to Church for several reasons . One : I need to lay down all the bad , the frustrations of the past week at the Cross so I can be refreshed in spirit to face the oncoming week . Two: I also need to be thankful even for those frustrating weeks not just the good ones . We need to count our Blessings and give thanks to Him for getting us through it . Three : If Jesus took lashes on His back , a Crown of Thorns  and  nails in His palm to die for ME , I think I can show up at Church to praise Him no matter how I may feel . It's that simple . I will be coming every Sunday .

I have a request regarding my slippers . There have been numerous contacts with  places where we could donate these slippers . My request  involves praying for these slippers to go where they will be needed the most . Let's all pray for God to show us where that place may be . So far , I have around 650 pairs made . It seems that the time for donating them may happen very soon . Please take the time to pray with me for the children who will receive them . These slippers are very ordinary and simple , but the act they stand for is huge . Please pray with me .

Finally , I want to thank a special friend who cooked for me . What a guilty pleasure . I have been feeling very guilty that she spent a whole morning preparing food for me . Thank you , Doris . I love you .
Have A Blessed Week everyone .



Monday, December 10, 2012

And It Begins

She ran into the room with a rush and plopped down into the recliner . Without taking off her hat or jacket , she verbally barked out orders to the chemo nurse for two hot blankets and some saltine crackers . For the rest of my treatment , she laid there shivering and vomiting . I've never seen anyone so sick during their infusion . I realized her brusque manner was born out of a long illness . She's been at this for a long time .

Even now , a couple of days later , I still think of that woman wondering how she is feeling . I've never been so sick so quickly as her .  For me , that first day , I'm just very overwhelmingly tired and achy . My sickness happens within the next few days after treatment . I can almost predict the exact time and sequence of side effects .

The minute Emily told me my face was getting incredibly red , I knew it was beginning . It always starts with the redness and bloatedness . As the day progressed , constipation set in . Drinking tons of water produces belching and burping . I become even more bloated . The queasiness and nausea follows and it begins ....

I've settled in for the week , on purpose , not going anywhere to reserve my strength . I only have this one week and then it's back to work . I literally drop in a haze of sleep whenever exhaustion overtakes me . Yes , it begins . . .

Have a Blessed Week everyone.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Celebrating Life

Someone was laid to rest today . A someone who spent a full life of living . As I walked from picture stand to picture stand , I saw her life from beginning to end . Yes , she lived a full life .

Her family related one story after another of their most favorite memory of their time together . They called it a celebration of her life .

Sitting in the pew beside my mom ,  I hear the eulogy of a woman whose life wasn't always easy . We all have something in our lives to work on , to deal with , to endure . No life is perfect or ideal no matter how grand it may look from the outside .

When an older person dies , we celebrate their life . When it is a young person we call it a waste . Did I waste my life ? Do I have regrets ? Do I wish it turned out different ?

Absolutely not . I have lived my life . I have given birth to four children ,  two of which died . I did not have a successful marriage and I'm alone right now . I have lived my life  and it may have not been a great life , but it is mine . Of course , I have regrets , but we all do . I have made mistakes but I've learned from them . I have not wasted my life , I have lived my life  and when I die , my children , will celebrate my life .

I love eulogies . I love to hear what people say in their eulogies about their loved ones . What will mine be like ? Whatever it may be , I know it will be a celebration of my life .
Have a Blessed Week everyone  and live your life .


Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Chemo Day

Walking into the Cancer Center , I drew a deep breath . I spent  the night at work thinking with trepidation of what was to come . There is something about that first day . . . .

People have a misconception of what chemo is like . It is not a dark and gloomy atmosphere . The nurses are very loving and caring . The room itself is very accommodating with a recliner , a television and warm blankets . There is a refrigerator in the hallway filled with different kind of juices and crackers . You can bring anything with you to keep you occupied like a laptop . My very first time with chemo , the room was huge and  all the patients shared . This hospital has no more than two people in a room . Very cozy , very private .

Normally , the first thing that happens is that they take labs to check your levels . This times , my labs will be taken ten days after my infusion . Then you see your doctor . Not all doctors do that , but mine likes to see me and how I'm doing . Then I'm given five tablets of steroids which again , is something different this time because usually I have to take it for five days straight before the treatment . Then the infusion begins . My chemo is red this time which I find to be cool .

During my infusion , the nurse ( Vera ) makes all my appointments and prescriptions . Some she even fills right at their pharmacy . Vera will be my nurse until the very end . Other nurses stop by for a visit to say hello . You get to know everyone quite well .

That concludes my treatment for that day . All the way home , I drank water and ate some crackers as a percaution to any oncoming nausea . I knew I would lie down the minute I got home . By the time I arrived home , I noticed that I guzzled all 96 oz. ! It did taste great ! Good ole saltine crackers and water ! Still the best thing I ever ate !
Have a Blessed Day everyone .




Friday, December 7, 2012

Gratitude

As I go in today , I want to thank all of you for all the best wishes via e-mails , texts , cards and phone calls . You guys are great . For some reason , that first day always seems so hard to do . No matter how many times you've been there before nor how well mentally you are prepared . So as I go in , I can feel all of your love and prayers .

All I plan to do is go to sleep when I come back home . Emily will be out with a friend seeing Buddy from Carlo's Bakery ( Cake Boss ) . Isn't that awesome ?

So until tomorrow friends ! Have a Blessed Week everyone.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Day Before

Here it is the day before my " big day " and I check my mental list once more :
The house is spotless and sterile . The refrigerator full and the larder stocked . The bills are paid and the errands finished . The chemo bag is ready and the prescriptions filled . The cars' fluid levels checked and the gas tank full . The crackers are bought and laundry folded .

So what's next ? Relaxation . Emily and I are spending some time together . We're turning off the phone and locking the doors . Tomorrow , after my chemo , I will most likely be passed out sleeping . Emily has plans for the evening with a girlfriend , but today is just for us .

So my friends , see you in my dreams . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Chemo Bag

A few years back , my friend Anna , gave me this crafts totebag that I just love . It's brown with pink flowers on the side of it . It's very sturdy and durable . I've been using it primarily as my chemo/doctor bag .

The contents of the bag vary depending on two things .
1. am I having a chemo treatment ?
2. or am I on doctor visits only ?

If I'm just seeing the doctor for my regular visits while my cancer is in remission , I only carry yarn in  it . If it's the other , well , I'll need some supplies . Why ? Because we are there for the morning or afternoon or even the whole day . There are some people who take their chemo in a shot , but the majority of us take a seat for awhile .

Everyone brings a bag of some sorts . In mine , I carry my puzzles that I've had now for 5 1/2 years .  I also , bring some snacks like crackers or fruit as long as it's light . In the beginning , I used to eat a meal while there , but I've learned that in the end light is better . Don't forget the nausea that is coming . . . yeah , light is better . I'm always extremely thirsty while there , not very sure if it's the meds that do that . Water seems to quench that thirst pretty good .

Another thing I like to bring is a writing pad . Many of my blogs have been born right in the chemo room . Or write that letter I've been meaning to send . Then there is my crocheting  which always seems to bring plenty of conversations from other patients . I basically alternate from one thing to the other .

This bag certainly has become my friend . It totally serves a sole purpose . I don't use it for anything else . As I pack , I become sentimental , remembering the many times I've done this before . No matter if in a rush , last minute or tons of preparation . . . . this bag has always sat ready , filled with things to take my mind away somewhere else . So with my chemo bag packed and ready , another item checked off the preparation list .
Have a  Blessed Week everyone .

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Energize Me

After doing absolutely nothing all weekend long , a burst of energy filled my body as I greeted the morning . Or I should say , the early dawn . I woke up with a start at 4:30 a.m. and have been going strong like the pink energerizer bunny . Actually , this reminds me more of the energy boost a pregnant woman gets right before labor begins .

Friends , not only did I clean my apartment , but I scrubbed ! I changed all the curtains , put up Christmas lights , cleaned out that dreaded linen closet and rearranged the contents of my kitchen cabinets before most people had a cup of coffee before work .

I polished and dusted all my figurines , music boxes and carousels . Yay ! Got on my hands and knees and scrubbed behind the toilet . Sat down at the computer and wrote a couple of e-mails and two blogs . Took a hot bubble bath and made a pot of homemade soup . It was yummy . . . . the soup wasn't bad either.

It was noon . I laid down on my bed for a break with Hercule Poirot  as he cracked another case . That added a little sparkle to my twinkle .

Jumped off the bed . . . . .okay , I lied . . . . I rolled off the bed and changed my shower curtain and cleaned the bathtub , sorted my laundry and scrubbed my stove . Are you with me ? Are you keeping up ?

This is just part one of my preparation week before chemo Friday . In another hour , I have to be at work . Something tells me I will be T-I-R-E-D tomorrow . Wait ! I have to full up on the way ....What did you do today ?
Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Monday, December 3, 2012

Rose Of Sharon

" Lottie ", grabbing me by the shoulders , she looked me right in the eye . " I just want you to know how much I love you ."

Her name is Sharon . It was the very beginning of our shift at work . Mentally , my mind was in preparatory mode , wearing the armor of control . She floored me with her comment , throwing me off balance . I wasn't expecting this show of affection . Not here , not right now .

Her remark completely knocked me off course , but it hit the mark . It embedded itself inside of me reverberating to my very soul . There is somethng about love that makes one feel special and cared for . I am loved .

Obviously , she felt a real need to let me know that . I can understand that since I have felt similiar needs to act upon myself . Did God tell her to say that to me ?

I thought about Sharon and her easy going attitude . Her multitude of talents and characteristics . This Rose of Sharon lives up to her name .

Lately , I've been surrounded by negative , bad attitude people . This incident has really lifted my spirits to find some good out there . To remind me of the season we are in right now . As I start my treatment this Friday , God has sent a message of love . Send a message of love to someone you know . Just go up to them and give them a hug . We all could be a little like Sharon .

Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Love Of Jesus

Looking at my Nemesis  at work , I'm always full of wonder on  how this person can live with themselves . The things people do and then they justify their actions as correct . I call her my Nemesis , because I fail terribly in loving this person . Whenever , I get close enough to success , well , they behave in a way that I can't tolerate . Trust is broken , friendship uncoils and hurtful words are spoken .

I'm always amazed at how Jesus loves us all . There are no exceptions , no nemesis , no enemies . . . . . . He just loves . Even when they plunged the nails into his palm , He still loved . They nailed Him to a Cross and He still forgave . How ?. . . . how ? . . . .. how ? How could anyone still love ?

Yet , He loves us .  . . . the believers and nonbelievers , all rolled up into one . The abuser and the abused . The hurt and the healer  . We are loved and forgiven over and over again . He keeps extending His hand of friendship out to us . Why can't we do the same ?

As I look out into the everyday world , the bad and the good , that's what I have been reminded of all week . Oh , how He loves us . Here we are on the Sabbath , how many of us actually thought of Him  today ? Thanked Him ? Worshipped Him ? Yet , He still  reaches out to us . . . at times . . . . rejected . Oh , how He loves us . . . . 

Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My Roots

When I saw my mom walk into her surprise 70th birthday party , I got all choked up . This was certainly a milestone . The chances of me reaching that same age are very slim . I want to have my very own set of roots . I want to be the roots of my own family .

I believe that is why I have been  experiencing this disconnect at family holidays . This something that feels absent  . . . . missing  . . . from my life . I want to see myself in the faces of my future grandchildren . Their mannerisms reflecting generation after generation of my roots .

Even with Hannah and Timothy , although not blood , traditions can be passed on . A renewal of my favorite hobbies and talents can be taught . Knowledge and stories can be told and remembered . Not to mention the hugs and kisses that can be shared .

I want to spend my Holidays surrounded by my children and grandchildren . I want to see them bicker and drive their parents crazy . I want to see them advance from one stage to another . I want to see them grow up .

Yeah , I want my own family tree and I want to live to see it .

Friday, November 30, 2012

Another Broken Record

As Emily prepared supper in the kitchen , she remarked how incredibly fast this week went by . Here , it was Friday already . Yes , it did go by quickly .

Sitting in my room , I can faintly hear her movements and I'm grateful for her presence . In my moments of immobility , she just takes over . I'm not sure how she knows whether by my appearance , feel or actions , but somehow she knows . She knows when I just can't .

I'm tired , I'm tired , I'm tired  . . . .

My body feels different this time . I feel tired , achy , and at times , nauseous . Usually , I felt like this after the chemo not before . Maybe , it's all in my head , fully knowing what is coming . I know I sound like a broken record .

I'm tired , I'm tired , I'm tired . . . . .

I think back to the other chemo times . I remember how she took care of me then . Usually , after coming home from treatment , I would plop down into bed . She would quietly close the door after me , taking my cell phone with her . Supper , cooked and ready on the stove , waited for when I was able to stomache food .

I'm tired , I'm tired , I'm tired  . . . . .

How many times has she heard me say that ? How many more times will I say that ? Too many . Thank goodness I have her in my life . What about people who are alone ? Who have no one to offer them comfort ? I feel for these people . No one should be alone during a time like this . We all need comfort and soothing when we are tired . Someone to make supper for us . . . .to let us know they care . Let's not forget about those people . Let's offer them kindness and comfort in their need .
Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Untitled Blog

Our linen closet is overbrimming with stuff . It's cluttered and just looks a mess . Everytime I open the door , I grimace , waiting for the mess to come crashing to the floor .

We really need to clean it up .

But not today . Today , I'm too tired or I don't have enough time . All these excuses pop into my head . The problem is that I just don't feel ready to undertake this project . It's just too overwhelming . Instead , I just keep piling other stuff on top of it . That's a conversation I hold with myself everyday .

In the kitchen , our stove needs a good scrubbing from the last couple of days . I can feel my shoulders droop everytime I look at it .

We really need to clean it up .

So , why don't I just roll up my sleeves  and get to it ? Because I just don't feel like it . I don't want to do anything this week . Keep making excuses on why I'm too busy . The reality is that I can't deal with anything right now . My chemo is coming up in a week and that has always been pretty dim . I need this quiet time to myself .

Sometimes , I wonder how young people deal with an illness . I have no small children or husband to take care of . I can always retreat into my unreal world . I can escape , but they can't . Their families have needs , they have responsibilities . How or when do they escape ? Maybe , they never do and for that I feel for them .

There are days that I don't want to think about my health , or FMLA , or what to make for dinner . I can't even come up with a title for today's blog . Today , I just want to " be ".
Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tips , Tips And More Tips

It seems that we all  know of someone who has cancer or other forms of illness these days . We are faced with sticky situations as to what to say or what to do when confronted with an ill friend or family member . Here are a few tips that I found work great .

1. Next time you need to visit someone at home or in the hospital , try bringing muffins or coffee instead of the usual flowers or candy . Of course , not everyone can have that per doctor instructions , but it works great for the family who are by the bedside . The last thing they're thinking about is food . Sometimes , they just don't want to leave the patient alone even for a second . Or maybe , you can prepare a casserole for someone who had chemo and doesn't feel well . When you're sick , the last thing you feel like doing is  cooking . Believe me , it will be greatly appreciated .

2. We never know what to say to someone who lost a dear one or is faced with a disease that has no cure . The best thing . . . don't say anything . Talk about mundane things as a starter . I have found that I don't always want to talk about my cancer . Let's talk about something else . I'll bring it up at my pace  and choice . No uncomfortable silences and chats .

3. Back to food again . My mom will make a huge pot of soup which she ladles out into small containers . I keep them in the freezer and when needed just pop them into the microwave . Same thing with cancer foods like beets and cabbage . Any salad she makes is always in a small container . When you're sick , you can't  really eat a regular size meal .

4. Water is your best friend . I know , I know . People hate to drink bland , ordinary water . Water works great on any illness . If you have nausea , constipation , heartburn , bloatedness . . . . I could go on and on . Here's a tip to make water taste a whole lot better : I use a 96 oz. juice bottle that I washed out . I fill it halfway with water and place it in the freezer . When frozen , I fill the other half with fresh water . Ice cold tastes the best . You could also flavor it with lemon or orange wedges or any kind of fruit . Try it , you'll feel better .

5. This is my favorite thing that I do everyday . When you 're sick , you don't feel up to par when you get up . You feel groggy , tired  and just plain blah . I take a washcloth and run very hot water to soak the washcloth completely . Squeeze it out ( careful , it's hot ) and place on your entire face for a few minutes . How refreshing ! You feel so much better instantly . I love it .

Well , that's just a few tips . Hope you have a Blessed and healthy week .

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Believe In Hope

Scenario:
                 You're having a conversation and the other person has a slip of the tongue . They're not even aware of what they just said , but you do . You realize a confidence has been broken . There is only one person who could have told them . You're heartbroken and angry . You trusted someone and they betrayed you .

Yesterday , that happened to me . You know , I write this blog knowing full well that people read it . I would never write something that I didn't want repeated elsewhere . The people that read my blog have shown me a courtesey that I've come to admire . Many of them are my co-workers  and yet , what I write here never gets repeated as gossip at work the next day . No one makes unprofessional comments or hurtful remarks . In fact , for some of them , it's months before I'm aware of who they are .

They show me a professional courtesey and I admire them for it . I don't want to get into what happened . When it comes to work , I don't have to tell anyone about my cancer or anything about it . The fact that I did tell someone wasn't for personal reasons but professional . I wanted to prepare them for my being off on FMLA during my treatment . Basically , they abused that right .

All day long , I can't wrap my head around this need that some people have in hurting others . Why do people do the things they do ? Why do we have this insane need to disobey ? To hurt ? To lie and cheat ? To break a confidence ? To justify our bad behavior ? What's the big deal ? You write a blog !

Emily says I should have known better because just look at these two ? ! When have their actions ever been appropriate ? Why do you expect them to behave better ?

Because I have hope . I am so full of hope for these two , my family , for the world , for everyone . Because I believe that there are good people out there who are trying their very best to lead a righteous life . I believe that people can change . When a person extends their hand to me in friendship , I have to take it , no matter what their true intentions may be . . . . . because I am full of hope . . . . .because I believe .

Now I hold alot of power in my hands right now . I could turn this power into revenge filled with anger and report them to my H.R. manager . I could , but what would that really solve ? Would they be sorry ? No , they would justify their actions . The best thing for me to do is leave them in the hands of God . God's wrath is far worse than anything I ever do to them .

Thank you for listening and reading . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blog Updates

Remember the family that disappeared in my apartment building ? The one that left a totally messy place with worms and flies all over the building ? Awhile ago , they came back , looked around and went down into the storage area but never took any of their belongings . They just left . Why come here in the first place ? The apartment was completely remodeled and yet it stands unoccupied to this day . Everything about it is strange . Their storage unit is still filled with their belongings .

Now , about the Louds Family . After receiving their Blessings in a Box , they apparently showed up at our Church's Potluck Thanksgiving Dinner . Emily and I weren't there because of a baby shower . How exciting especially since I prayed for this family . I can't wait to see what else God has in store for this family .

I ran up to Linda during Church service this past Sunday . I wanted to give her some Avon and also ask how her petscan went earlier in the week . We really had no time to chat but she did tell me it went okay . I'm so glad because , you see , she was actually smiling . I haven't seen that in awhile .

You have read many of my blogs regarding my weight , blah blah blah . Well , I've started exercising on my elliptical machine . I know , I know , I have sworn many times I would not exercise anymore . I thought that maybe it will help me both physically and mentally . I have said how afraid I am of not being able to handle both work and chemo at the same time , so  . . .. . . . .maybe , this will help . I'm willing to try .

So , everyone , I have to go . This is my last full week before the chemo ( Dec. 7th.) and I'm really busy and of course , behind . See you tomorrow and have a Blessed Week !



Sunday, November 25, 2012

This Is The Story

This is the story of a couple of blankets that I made last year  , actually it might be longer than that . I started a project where I would make blankets for the nursing home . I gave myself a deadline of Christmas which at that time wasn't more than 6 months away or so . Not much time , I know .

The game plan was for my neice Kathy to take her daughter and their tiny doggie (Jackie ) to entertain the seniors and to pass out the blankets . After leaving several messages , we found that no one was calling us back . Christmas came and went  and still no call back . It seemed no one was interested in what we were offering .

I was extremely disappointed . Maybe , my blankets were just too plain and simple for the city . In a situation like this , you're self esteem plummets downward .

A few months pass and my Joe ends up speaking at Farmer City Nursing Home . A lightbulb appears above my head and the next time I see him , I hand over my stack of blankets for him to deliver to this nursing home .

Now , what I'm about to tell you next will place my son in an unfavorable light . Just remember that he is a MAN . I believe it might have been at my chemo party that I asked him if he delivered them .

Oh yes , the children made cards and presented them to the seniors along with the blankets .

Last July , we all went on vacation together . As we pulled into their garage , my eyes were drawn to a box that was filled with my blankets . At that moment , I remember faintly hearing excuses being made as I got out of the car and proceeded to stuff as many of the blankets I could into my suitcase . That totaled about two .

I believe now , that the blankets are meant for a different purpose in a different place . I do have an idea , but I will keep that to myself for now . And yes , I have forgiven my son , after all he is just a man . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Soul Cleansing

I awakened  with a start , glancing at the clock , I realized just how long I have slept . Yesterday , I had no time to lay down when I came home from work . Another family event and I didn't get to lay down until evening . I got up thinking I would write my blog and go back to sleep . . . it was only 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning .

That one blog story turned into four and the next thing I knew it was time for Church . That set the tone for the rest of the week . I have no idea where this bundle of energy came from , but I certainly took advantage of it .

With my chemo just around the corner , I need to sterilize my apartment . Yes , sterilize  . Get down on my hands and knees to really get into those corners and hard to reach spots . This place has to be as germ free as possible . This extra burst of energy  really helped in that department .

As I scrubbed the kitchen floor on my knees , a deep sense of satisfaction filled my soul . It's always like that when every corner is spotless . It resembles our life and sometimes we need to thoroughly clean it up to feel whole again . In a way , having chemo come back over and over again is like a soul cleansing . A time to reach deep down into our being and see what comes up .

Remember those clorox wipes from the last time ? Every morning , I would get up and wipe down the entire place . I was home then . This time , I'll be working and time will be limited . I'm not entirely sure if I can handle it : work , chemo and the daily grind of it . I must be crazy .

Having three days off from work this week surely helps . Sometimes , I look at my life and wonder how I never have enough time . My children are grown but my life is so full of extracurricular activities that my calendar is always full .  

I went out and bought alot of those wipes  . Funny thing is , I find myself getting out the rag and soapy water more this time . Maybe this time , I want more of a heavy duty cleanup job instead of just skimming the surface .. . .not  a quick fix . Have you had a soul cleasning lately ? Maybe , it's time .
Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Word Of God

Just finishing up with Thanksgiving , once again , I feel a void . In the last couple of years I find something missing in my Holidays . A sense of emptiness engulfs me , a dissatisfaction  , a wanting of something " more " . Is this all it is ?

I love my family and they love me . The conversation was great and so was the food . Yet . . . . something was missing . It has nothing to do with the people I spend it with or the food . I believe it has to do with the world .

The world is forgetting the meaning of each Holiday . The reason why we are celebrating . We are focusing on the materialism of each day . How big is the feast ? How many presents will I get ? The bigger the better . The more extravagant the better . I hope the turkey is juicy .

Yes , another message on materialism , yet , here we are still participating in it . We know it , we understand it , but we still keep on doing it . What's really important to us ? Is it Christ ? Is it the Word of God ? Is it about teaching our children  family values ?

No , what's important to us is waiting in line to get that flatscreen or computer for my kid so I can teach them what Christmas is all about . Let's buy the biggest and best turkey because that's what Thanksgiving is all about . Easter is not about Jesus' Resurrection but about the egg hunt . Black Friday isn't just on a Friday anymore . . . . it's Tuesday and Wednesday etc .

I sound hot , don't I ? I am . You see , we never know when our time is up and I'm sure you don't want to hear about it again , either . Why should you ? You're young and healthy and you feel you have many years to go before you have to worry about dying . I can do all this next year .

Maybe , you do . I , on the other hand , can hear my clock ticking . I'm not worried about myself , but I'm worried about the world my grandkids will be mingling with . Folks , we are teaching our children the wrong things . All these things will not satisfy their hearts . . . will not feed their soul .

My favorite Christmas was when both my kids decided we would give each other the gift of time . There were no presents that year . Instead , we ate , played games , Emily wrote a story and we watched a movie .

Now that I've ticked everyone off  , I'm leaving . Have a Blessed Week everyone .




Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving From The Past

The story begins  quite a few years back when Joey first moved to Carlinville . Kathy , Destiny and I were driving up with a truckful of wicker furniture for him . It was the Friday after Thanksgiving and we were planning on having our own belated dinner .

As we walked up to the reservation desk at the hotel , we found that Joey left us a plate of homemade cookies . When we bit into them in our room , we found they were raw . My son bought the kind that comes in a roll-can and you slice them . He , apparently , thought that's all you had to do to them

Since Joey had to work  Thanksgiving Week , we all met at his apartment in the evening to have our dinner . Joey lived in a not so nice area and his place was even worse . The kitchen had this ancient stove with numerous knobs to operate it . Honestly , Kathy and I looked at that stove and tried to figure it out , but how ?

The Thanksgiving dinner was probably the most unflavorful ever , yet whenever I think of a thanksgiving memory , that's the first one that pops into my head . Obviously , we had a great time . We played pool at the hotel , swam  and played basketball . I think Joey was just glad to have us there with him at Thanksgiving .

So as we all sit down to dinner today , let's remember that it doesn't matter if the turkey is dry or the jello runny . . . . it's the people we share it with that matter . Have a Blessed Thanksgiving !

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Resident Evil

Ms. Krol , please follow me .

Following the technician into the room for my mugascan , I just nodded as she explained the procedure . I tuned half of what she was saying out . It's just another day , with another test , in another part of the hospital .

Which arm would you prefer , Ms. Krol ?

I showed her both and she frowns . My veins are nonexistent because of all the chemo I've had . The chemo just destroys the veins and it will be years before they return to normal . Which arm ? Take your pick .

After finding a passable vein , she draws blood and sends it to the lab to be mixed in with some radioactive gamma something . She lost me after awhile  , so I really don't remember the name of it . Then it sits for like 20 minutes and then re-inserted back into my bloodstream . The blood mixture will float to my heart or something like that . Then they take a five minute picture of my heart from two separate angles . They want to see how my heart reacts . The chemo I will be using is a sister drug to another chemo that  has a tendency to hurt the heart .

As I laid there , they kept asking me if I was alright . I almost fell asleep . That's how immune I have become to all these tests . Yes , I was alright . I certainly hope I didn't emit a little snore here and there .

That evening , I related to Emily the whole procedure . I felt a little bit like Alice from Resident Evil . That entire test resembled the T-virus that was re-inserted into Alice and it mutated with her blood making her invincible . I can't even wrap my head around modern technology in the medicine world . What they can do ! Will I become a little bit invincible myself ?

All Emily wanted to know is did I wear that same outfit that Alice wore while they worked on her . . . . you know . . . . .the one where two pieces the size of a hankerchief were tied together . . . one in the front of her naked body and the other in the back ?

I can see a bit of myself in her everyday . That's just what I would ask . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Last Frontier

On Emily's birthday weekend getaway , I fell in love with a show called " Alaska : The Last Frontier ." This is about the Kilcher family's life in the wild wilderness of Alaska . They also happen to be the singer's Jewel family members .

They live this simple life where they live off the land . They hunt , garden , build , harvest etc  . This family is amazing ! They make me realize  and appreciate our ancestors who had to survive in the same way . There is nothing these people can't do . They make everything from scratch : their detergents , lotions , medicine , homes , jewelry etc . To me , it's so educational .

As I watch , I fantasize myself there , living alongside them . I know that is very unrealistic since I know I wouldn't be able to survive . You see , I know I'm too selfish . They work from dawn to dusk . All I want to do now is meditate , crochet and write my blog . How is any of that going to provide for the coming winter that lasts eight months in Alaska  .

Emily can't stand this show . She is a lover of animals and a vegetarian and all this hunting going on is too much for her . This slaughtering is too much for her to understand .

Yes , we have become very selfish society . We have forgotten how to show respect for all the things around us . We abuse every single pleasure that God has gifted to us . Yes , gifted to us . We assume that we are entitled to this world and it's pleasures .  

So I sit here , drinking a glass of wine that I won at the baby shower . Someone at our table remarked how expensive this brand  was and I honestly can tell you that I prefer my Kathy's homemade wine better . Even at the shower , when Missy opened her presents I felt awkward knowing that my gift held three homemade baby blankets ,  imperfect and crude  compared to the other machine made items . As she opened my gift , she got all choked up and teary-eyed . She didn't cry when she opened up the $ 300.00 swing set .

When Emily bakes her goods , I  would ask her , Why does it taste so good ? She would reply :
" Because it's made with Love "
Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tidbits Here And There

1. A few days ago , I broke a promise I made to myself . I missed a deadline and didn't post a blog entry . Now , that might have you say " so what " , but I have a list of things that I want to accomplish on a daily basis and on a weekly basis . This schedule provides me with a desire to get up every morning regardless of how I feel . I don't ever want to fall into the darkness of despair . It makes no difference if I had a valid reason or not , it shouldn't have happened . I should have been better prepared .  I want to make sure that I stay in the right frame of mind . It takes alot of work to have a positive attitude regarding this disease , which leads me into my next tidbit .

2 . While I was at my doctor's , one of my chemo nurses  came up to me offering her services in organizing the donation of my slippers to the hospital . Now , I have been worried on how I would accomplish this feat since I never done this before . Who do I call ? Where do I go ? Again , God provided . He sent me a nurse who has contacts at the Children Memorial Hospital here in Chicago . So we might donate these crocheted slippers here instead of St. Jude's . I will keep you posted . Again , this isn't until February when my deadline ends. Right now , we have 608 pairs ready . Not as much as I hoped to have by now . My transition going back to work set me back .

3. Yes , work . Let's talk about work . I'm adapting quite well . I think it has more to do with organizing my time better  than anything else  . As to that aggravating person I'm trying so hard to love ? Emily put it best : With all my health issues resurfacing again , my mind has been preoccupied and I have no time to be focusing on that person , therefore , we get along better .

4 . Family . . . . I have seen my close family members like every couple of days this month . From my mom's 70th birthday party to my Godson's baby shower . This week we have Thanksgiving , which we hardly ever had together as a family . Well , this year we're getting together . Like two days later , my nephew's bowling birthday party .  Now family , I love you , but let's at least give a week before we see each other again .
Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Game Of Life

The William Tell Holiday Inn is a beautiful place . Here we are , sitting in one of their many rooms , having a baby shower . I have Aubs and Hannah on each side of me . Not too long ago , we sat here , in the same room , at the same table , preparing for this same couple's journey in life as they opened their wedding shower presents .

As we watched them play the many silly games , you could see their excitement and happiness as they embark on the next stage of the game of life . These milestones in our lives seem to bring out the sentimental longings within our hearts . Looking at Aubs  , I could see on her face the same thoughts as mine . When will it be my turn ?

This very morning , as I tried getting a few winks before the shower , the girls ( Aubs , Emily , Hannah ) pulled out the game we play everytime they stay over . . . . The Game Of Life . As they played , they each wished for a desire of their hearts . For some , it could be that great career , or many babies or marriage . No matter  what that desire , we all want to experience the life of it . We want to live it and not watch others do it for us .

Oh , how I would love the opportunity of being here to see both , Emily and Aubs . swell with the life of a babe inside of them . To see their happiness and their excitement as they embarked on a journey of their own in this game of life .

 My one desire for my children ? To really think about the outcome of their choices before they embark on their desires . I want them to start life the right way , on the right path . No matter if they fall off that path , it will be easier for them to get back onto it . Make a wrong choice right at the start and it could take you half a lifetime to finally find that yellow brick road .

Just look at me , folks . Look at how old I am . It was a long time until I found that right path .
Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Friday, November 16, 2012

Feel The Power

Feel the love . Feel the loss . Feel empowered . In the year 2007 , 2011 and 2012 . . . . . my progression chart .

Driving home from the doctor , radio blaring and I'm singing at the top of my lungs right along with it . In my handbag , the fmla packet all filled out and signed ready for the fax machine . There is no worry or fretting regarding those papers . . . whatever . My mood over brimming with JOY . Where did that come from ?

In my mind a chart is spread out recording my emotional struggles with cancer .
2007-felt the love
2011 - cried with despair and a sense of loss
2012 - I feel empowered . I feel joy .
What is happening here ? I don't know . People are hugging me with tears in their eyes , offering their prayers for my health  and I'm okay . I'm happy . There must be something wrong with me . I'm truly happy .

I have cancer . . . . so what . I'm probably dying . . . . so what . I'm going to a Paradise . I have children who love me . I have friends who would do anything for me . I have family that is there for me  . I have Church that prays and supports me . How am I a victim ? How am I losing ?

I'm winning .  All these years , I've been searching for that JOY and now I've finally found it . As far as I'm concerned I'm winning . I feel the power of Jesus Christ in my life and no one can take that from me . There is nothing to cry about here .

Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Thursday, November 15, 2012

In His Presence

Sitting here in the early hours of the morning , where it's still dark outside , I can feel His presence . Neither one of us are speaking , yet , there is that perfect peace that we can only find in Him . Having spent a huge part of the week dealing with insurance and fmla paperwork , I find myself thirsty for God's quiet reassurance . Slipping on my headphones . . . .

Found in your hands , fullness of joy , suddenly every fear wiped away . Here in Your presence

Closing my eyes , everything melts away . I lay my heart down before Him . For comfort  . . . . for reassurance  . . . . for provision  . . . .for forgiveness . All of my life , I have believed and prayed , but I never felt as close to Him as I have been these past five years . I cannot imagine a life without Him .

Here in Your presence , we are undone
Here in Your presence , Heaven and earth become one
Here in Your presence , all things are new
Here in Your presence , everything bows before You

I am overcome with emotion and the tears start to fall . It is not grief , but the raw feelings of love and being loved . Everything I am is because of Him . Everything I have is because of Him . How can I express the peace I feel when there should be a storm raging instead ? Who provided that calm within me if not Him ?

Found in  Your hands , fullness of joy , suddenly every fear wiped away ,

Everything will be okay .. . . here in His presence .

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Day Of Rest

We love our Sundays around here , especially since lately , we have been so busy during the week . We look forward to this day . After Church , we spend the rest of the day watching movies together . We rarely go anywhere on Sunday . This is our quality time .

Emily is not the only quality time I spend . Many months ago , I subscribed to all these devotionals , videos , audios of all my favorite ministries to be sent via e-mail . Well , I kinda over did it  and now I have about 1800 of them that I haven't even opened .

Every Sunday night , when the whole world is asleep , I listen or read them while crocheting . It has become my personal time with God . There are times , during the week , that I can't wait for Sunday night to come . I need this time alone in the Word to refresh my mind and my soul .

I've also noticed how much Emily looks forward to our day spent together . Even at Church , when I'm actually upstairs listening to the sermon , she takes videos of the kids downstairs so I would know what they were doing in my absence . We have alot of fun watching these . This has become another Sunday pasttime .

I don't think it matters what we're doing , it's just that we are doing something together .Since my cancer , we both are very much aware that time is limited , so let's use it wisely .
Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Linda

Last Sunday , before Church , right in the parking lot , Linda ran up to meet me . There was an air of anxiety in her movements . She saw me the Sunday before last and felt there was something about my body language that worried her . She wanted to make sure I was alright .

Haven't I said we are like one person ? I haven't told her about my cancer's return , yet , she felt something was wrong . I told her then right in that parking lot .

My cancer's return weighed heavily on Linda's heart all during the service . The minute it was over , she ran back downstairs in Kidz Zone to see me once more . I tried my best to reassure her that I'm okay with it . I tried telling her it was alright .

It's not alright . It's not alright . Those were Linda's words . She was upset and couldn't deal with this . I can understand why . We have been dealing with our cancers together right from the start . We want one of us to have a normal life and beat this . . . . .be done with all of this . . . . at least one of us . Just as I'm sure that Doug's family is worried about his cancer returning since it has happened to us both .

How is Linda doing ? Well , she still has been taking chemotherapy and will have her Petscan to determine if it's working or not . Or if her cancer has spread some more .

As she left , she kept hugging me and Emily all full of concern for the both of us .  I didn't want her to be worrying about me . She needs to be worrying about herself , but I understood that concern . Won't you please , take a minute to pray for Linda's peace in all of this ? She has so much on her plate , she doesn't need mine as well .
Have a Blessed Week everyone .


Monday, November 12, 2012

Blessings In A Box

Remember the Louds living above us ? They are still here , loud as ever . We never really see them , but we hear them .

The father , I believe , drives a truck collecting metal . He is up every morning at 4 a.m. and comes home in the evening when it's dark .  On Sundays , he still goes out but only for a half day .  I feel for this man , working so many hours to provide for his family . The sacrifices he makes for his family are evident .

As we prepared for Blessings In A Box in our Church , I thought of this family . I wanted , somehow , to help ease this man's burden . I wanted for him to be able to stay home one Sunday and spend it with his family . Maybe , even go to Church together instead .

As I submitted their name , I felt afraid that this might be taken the wrong way . People can be proud and instead of seeing this as a Blessing they may see it as an Inadequancy on their part . I didn't want this man to feel that way . To me , he was standing up and leading his family . You have to admire that .

You have no idea how I prayed so they could see what this Blessings in a Box was really all about . I wanted them to know they are loved , truly Blessed by our Father . I wish I was there to witness their reaction .  The whole pleasure of giving is seeing the recipients Joy .

If I was given power to change one thing about this world , I would change how we treat each other . I wish we all would reach out to one another in kindness and generousity . What would you change ?
Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Piglet

Piglet : My Aub's puppy going by the name of Missy . She actually looks like a black piglet , hence the name I call her . She stayed by us overnight as the family gathered for my mom's 70th surprise birthday party .

She arrived Friday night as I was making my way to work . She couldn't stay in the hotel room with them .  Joe and Aubrey brought a cage for her thinking she would sleep soundly in my room until the next morning . I knew this would never work . A puppy in a strange , new place all alone in a cage . Who were they kidding ? Even I'd be scared .

We had to separate Diamond and Missy from each other . Diamond went in Emily's room and Missy went in my bedroom . It didn't take long for the texts from Emily to begin . Missy is whining and wants out of the cage . She would leave Diamond and come stay with Missy . Then Diamond is meowing in the next room . Again , Emily goes back to the other room just to hear Missy barking for her .
 
Emily kept darting from cat to dog until 2 a.m. in the morning . Finally , grabbing Missy she fell asleep on the couch in the living room for a mere 2 hours only to be woken up by soft , wet kisses from Missy . Then , it was time to race frantically around the room with renewed energy !

Yes , it was a very eventful night  and as I walked in the morning , a very sleepy Emily handed me the " baby " as my turn began . Another round of " tug and war " only tired me out . Looking around my room for something to play fetch with , I was reminded of all those sleepless nights when my children were babies .

Finally , after a couple of hours , we ended up on the bed so she could watch some show on the Discovery Channel . Needless to say , I fell asleep with the little " piglet " nestled by my feet .

Later , packing up her things , I smiled at my grandson and exclaimed how messy my room became with Missy here .
" Oh , grandma , it's much cleaner than the last time I was here ."
God Bless children !

Yarn Bombing My Life

                            Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey. Some murmur if their sky is clear, And wholly bright ...