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Showing posts from May, 2012

Live From Midsomer

One of my favorite shows to watch is actually from Britain called , " Midsomer Murders " .  I love murder mysteries and I love Britain's shows/movies . Honestly , I'm in love with England . The villages and scenery ...........the cottages and country living .
   Long ago ( anything before cancer is long ago ) I would envision my forties as a time for myself . Having my children very young permitted me to think of what my middle age would look like . My children should be adults and settled on their own leaving me to live out my dream .
  What was my dream ? Back then all I wanted was to live on my own . To have a place totally to myself where I decorated  it the way I wanted . Where I could sleep when I wanted . . . .cooked when I wanted . Basically , no schedules .
   I think all mothers have that dream after raising their children . After spending a huge part of our life cooking , cleaning and being everything for everybody else . . . . we dream of a time wh…

I Love The Night Life

I love staying up at night . So peaceful and quite . Everyone asleep and the house is in slumber . There is always a nice breeze coming through the windows . No cars and no people stirring about not even a mouse .
    Eversince  I started working nights many years ago ,  staying up all night has always been a part of my routine on my days off . I would do my laundry or housework while everyone was asleep . Watch all my favorite movies or shows . Write letters and pay bills . That was my life . . . then .
  Since the cancer came into my life , staying up is almost impossible . I just don't have the stamina to do that . I'm tired all the time and taking naps has become the norm for me .
  Once in awhile though. . . . I stay up . Not all night but maybe until 3 or 4 in the morning . I sure get alot done that night . There are no interruptions . No phone calls . No people . Just you and the night .
  This  past weekend I did just that . . . . . for one night . Even though a…

A Hairy Business

Hair has taken over my life . With the chemo ending 3 months ago , I have been waiting , impatiently , for hair to make a return in my life . Everyday , I would stand in front of the mirror looking for some signs of growth upon my head . Come on hair ....GROW !
   Hair did grow , but where ? My moustache !!!! Of all the places this was the last place I wanted hair ! What came next ? My legs !! Come on  ! Hair started growing all over my body except my head . That was last to appear .
  I have to say that I've never waited for anything with such anticipation as my hair . When my eyelashes started to grow I felt beautiful . I never appreciated them before .
  My hair is growing but not at the rate I want . We are never satisfied , are we ? With the summer heat upon us , I'm very hot wearing the scarves .  So why don't I just take it off ? Because. . . . .
   I remember the first time around five years ago , I took off my scarf as soon as my hair was just stubble , fee…

In My Likeness

Whenever I see a parent who has a  child that is a mini replica of them , I feel envious . I've always wanted a child who looks just like me . . . . completely .
   I had four children , two that died when they were babies and the other two are adults now . As I look at my Joey and Emily , I see a small likeness but not much . They both had different fathers and it seems they took after them in looks . When we were young and in love , we wanted them to look like their dad, didn't we ?
   The older we get , the more we want to leave something of ourselves behind . We want to see ourselves in our children . The fact that I have cancer plays a big part in all of this . I was here and I want to be remembered .
   As any parent out there , I wanted to see grandchildren before I died . Not only did I want grandchildren but also to have a relationship with them . That takes time and time is something I really don't have .  I am Blessed that God answered my prayer by my son mar…

Sharing The Stories

During my journey I have encountered many people with different illnesses , not just cancer . Their stories really not much different from mine . It seems that once you have become ill , you want to hear and know others in similiar circumstances . In my case , it seems everyone in my life knows someone with cancer . Suddenly cancer is everywhere .
   I can remember how important it was for me to hear of another woman with ovarian cancer particularly her survival rate . Once , I spent an entire week searching on the web . Reading each story and growing in despair as I found how often the cancer came back . That made me even more determined to find at least one story where it didn't .
   My doctor said it best . Don't spend your remaining life waiting to die . Keep living a full life . I'm definitely trying my best to do just that .
  Still , it's very difficult to go on when others around you have not made it but passed on . Their stories are not easy on the ears . …

A Room Full Of Women

Just a few days ago , I hosted a food tasting party . The party itself was really no different than the candle or tupperware kind that we women host . It's just an excuse for a group of women to get together and spend some money .
   Looking around the room , I noticed how different they all were . . . . their clothes . . . their appearance . . . their ages . . . . their ethnic background .  They might have been different but each of them was connected to me .
  My need for other women in my life has changed drastically as I age . In my youth , I tended to be more of a loner with just a couple of very close friends . That has changed alot . I have no idea where or when I've acquired so many girlfriends .
  I think in our younger days we are so busy raising children and being wives that we have no time for other women in our lives . Being in my late forties , with my children adults , I have the time to spend with friends .
  Each of them has become familiar with a certain…

Love Thy Neighbor

Love thy neighbor . How many times have we heard that phrase ? A phrase I can't escape from it seeems . From my childhood until now , this phrase follows me around . Love thy neighbor .
    During my life I have loved and hated my neighbor . I have been jealous and I have ignored my neighbor . Out of all the commandments , this one is the hardest . Our relationship with others goes through many levels .
    How many of us have that one person we both love and hate ? That one person we keep wanting to sever all ties with but can't ? I have a someone like that . I don't hate this person but they really aggravate me . I struggle with our relationship . Many times , I have thought of ending this relationship .
   What stops me ? Love thy neighbor . Everytime  the idea of ending it comes up in my head , I run across that phrase . It happened again this weekend . Again . this person's ways and character  begs me to run for the hills .Something always pops up to preve…

A Neighbor's Eye

There was a knock on our door late one evening . Surprised , Emily and I looked at each other . Who could that be at this time ? Answering the door , it was one of our neighbors holding in her hand my keys . Apparently , old age has visited me earlier and I left them in the front door keyhole .  
    How did this young woman know it was ours ? There are eight units in our building and only two of them have been here awhile . The other six , including us , have moved in less then six months ago . We are new to each other .
    My grandma , living in Poland and in her nineties , loves to sit in front of her house for hours watching people . Sometimes , she calls out to them with a remark or two . She doesn't know them all by name but she does KNOW about them .
   We can learn alot from watching others . Especially , if we are neighbors or share a building . As my grandma sits there in the shade , she observes everyone's movements and habits . She can tell you their story . …

Being A Duck

Have you ever watched  ducks in water ? The way they constantly flit in and out on the pond ? Bobbing their head in the water and spraying themselves ? They're constantly cleaning themselves . The is quite a job trying to keep oneself clean of filth .How about the dangers a duck in water constantly faces ? Always in danger ....always on guard . Isn't that a little bit like life ?
   I have been very naivee . I really thought I had myself covered because I have gone through this before , haven't I ? I have been naivee .
  Being at home , while going through treatment isolated from the world , makes one feel safe . You let your defenses down . You isolate yourself from the world outside by surrounding yourself with a closeted life you created . You let in only the safe people , closing the doors on everyone else who is a threat to your little existence .
  Going back to work , I have forgotten how to keep myself safe from the devil . You are attacked constantly , flitting…

Memory Set Go !

If I asked you , what is the very first memory that pops into your head right now  . . . . . .what would that memory be ? Mine is always the same . It's my brothers and I when we were extremely young back in Poland running through the fields . Now , I'm not very sure of our age or what followed after that because we were very young when we came to this country . I was 7 years old .
  That memory always comes to mind . I find it funny that I think of my brothers rather than my children . I think that has to do with my age . In our twenties , we think of our friends . In our thirties , we think of our children . Any age  after that , I believe we think of our childhood .
  My grandmother is well into her nineties and all she talks about is her childhood . That's not because she has reverted to childlike behavior . Not at all . She simply seems to like that time better .
  I believe it's because that was a time in our life where we were free to roam and all we knew wa…

Oh That Sun Shiny Day

Waking up this morning to a room full of sunshine and a slight breezy wind coming through my windows . What a glorious day ! Full of energy and a smile on my face , I jump up ready to start my day . Don't you wish all days could be like this one ? All the time ? If they were , would be appreciate them ? In the end they might become boring and not appreciated any longer . We are creatures of complaint . We are never happy .
   The more I thought about all what is ahead of me to come , the more excited I felt . My trip , my vacation , summer sunday school , sunny days of summer , the barbecues and long walks . Yes , every season brings renewed energy and hope . It vitalizes our being . The seasons are not just for the earth but also for our health .
   I realize just how much I miss the things in my life that I use to do . The long trips with my mom . I love to drive ! I find it very relaxing . My mom is the perfect person to take on a car trip . Even though she may talk my ear …

The Gift Of Gab

For half my life , I felt an emptiness inside spiritually . The seed has been planted many times  during my life by many people . The fruit of those seeds ? Well , that process was slow .
    When I chose to be baptized , my girlfriend asked me to write my testimony to share with others . I didn't . It seemed too personal , but deep down insides I felt scared and inadequate .
     As I have sat in Bible study on numerous occasion discussing evangelism  , I have always marveled at people who had the gift of preaching . There are people who can come up to a stranger and start preaching the Word of God . They can quote verses and somehow seem to know just how to answer those tough questions .
   Where am I in all of this ? I have learned this about myself . When there is a confrontation of my Faith , I get all tongue tied and can't think of one thing to say . The harder and more aggressive the confrontation the more I retreat . Now , when it is all nice and pleasant and sa…

Just A Sunday School Teacher

Sunday School. . . . . . let me tell you about my Sunday School . My becoming a Sunday School teacher is one of those  " God moments " in my life .
   When I joined this church in 2007 , I had a desire to serve but didn't know in what ministry . I saw my fellow church friends join one ministry after another , finding their niche . I'd look at all the volunteering ministries and try to see myself there . Yes , I could be a Greeter or be part of the Tech Team but there was no passion in my heart for either .
   One of my best friends , Anna , taught 1st and 2nd grade Sunday School . She asked me if I would be her helper . . . . her assistant .Of course , I would . Anna and I were inseparable since we both were single and mothers . I have to be honest that it never occurred to me to help out in the children's ministry .
    After a couple lessons , a little seed was planted and a little voice kept whispering in my ear and heart . Maybe , just maybe , I can do t…

Take Me Seriously

Every night , at the start of our shift at work , a line of people come in , one by one , with one issue or another . Each is looking for a resolution to their problem or complaint . The problems can be handled but the complaints are heard and forgotten the minute the person  leaves the office . I watch and sympathesize because we all want to be heard  , acknowledged  and taken seriously . There is nothing worse than being pacified . Take me seriously . Take my complaint seriously .
   I wish I could say that this only happens by my work but unfortunately it happens everywhere . It happens at church , in friendships , marriages and family to name a few . Nothing is exempt . We all want to feel we make a difference , that we are taken seriously . What I have to say actually means something to someone .
  Being taken seriously is hard work . It's exhausting and it's depressing work . There are times we feel like noone is listening . We go on about the same issues over and o…

Sharing My Story Part 2

After my second surgery , I transfered to another hospital because of poor care . That was the best decision I have ever made .  The first four months , I had a hysterectomy , an abcess surgery , a colostomy , 5 infections , a fischula , being fed intravenously and finally a reversible colostomy . The longest I ever spent at home at one time was 10 days .
     During this time , I only had one chemo treatment . We had to stop because of all these above mentioned problems . I weighed in at 100 lbs . I didn't look skinny .....I looked like the people at the concentration camp . I have pictures of myself . I looked awful . What must have people thought when they saw me ? I used to stuff my bra with wash cloths so I would have some sort of figure . I was a board .
     Surprisingly , my chemo wasn't harsh at all . My mom would say it's because of all the pain I had experienced during those four months , God made sure my chemo wasn't bad .
     One thing for sure , I…

Sharing My Story Part 1`

Lately ,  people seem to ask me  how my cancer was the first time around .      
   My story goes back to May of 2007 where my Emily was graduating high school . I remember what a busy time it was with her graduation , luncheons , prom , pictures , preparing for college  . . . . so much to do .
    I first noticed something wrong in March . I actually felt the tumor in my belly . I didn't know what it was but I knew I needed to see a doctor . I would see one after Emily's graduation . There was too much to do now . Now , looking back , I can see how stupid that was for me to wait .
    I think we all make that mistake thinking that it's nothing . When I finally went it was May 25th , 2007 . Believe me , I will never forget that day . They rushed me immediately for tests and when the tests came in , I was ordered into the hospital . Went through surgery where they took out my tumor weighing in at 7 pounds . They gave me a complete hysterectomy and informed me that I h…

Here's An Update

Here's what has been going on lately in my life . Here's an update . . . . .

My Knee
              After yet another doctor appointment , it has been decided that I go to physical therapy . I'm still wearing my adhesive pads on my knee 12 hours on and 12 hours off . I'm not sure how much good it actually does . I have good days and I have bad days . Walking up and down stairs is still a difficulty . Maybe the physical therapy will help . If there is no improvement  , I might have to change positions at work since I spend so much time walking around .

My Bucket List
                        My list has basically come to a  standstill . Every since I have returned to work , my life  has become full . I can't seem to get back on track . My energy level is so low plus I have been experiencing health setbacks of one kind or another . Nothing too serious , more of a hindrance .  Performing just the basics daily has been a  struggle . I , personally , think that m…

Becoming A Mother

When I was growing up , I usually was the one who did all the babysitting . My parents entertained every weekend and if anyone brought children they were left with me while the grownups enjoyed each other's company . Needless to say , having children of my own was never a priority .
     While my friends dreamed of getting married and raising children , all I dreamt about was getting an apartment on my own . Funny , that I ended up being the first of my friends to have children and I had four of them . The part about living on my own in that apartment ? Well , it never happened .  That's how life is and sometimes my plan is not the same as God's .
     When I became a mom for the first time , I experienced a love unlike any other I have known . Being a mother is an experience that I didn't plan on but God knew what was inside my heart . He knew how much love I had and He knew of the bond that would develop between my children and myself .
      To me , Mother…

Sowing Spiritual Seeds

A long time ago , someone planted a spiritual seed regarding me . They were not the only planters . There were many planters before that seed grew into  a rich and luscious and plentiful crop . But I'm glad that they took the time and cared enough .
     When did it start ? I've thought about this for awhile . I believe my first introduction was in my teens as I worked as a waitress at this small restaurant , George N Willie's . There was a waitress who only worked there for a short while . Her family was experiencing hard times with her husband being laid off and having two small babies .
     She told me how someone at her church gave her family a hundred dollar bill because this person felt they needed help . Honestly , I felt she was crazy . How could anyone feel that you needed help? I just didn't understand .
     This woman also invited me to her church . Now , thinking back , if I thought she was crazy , why did I go ? Mind you , at that time , I was sti…

Reasons For Living

A few days ago , I asked " what is your reason for living " . I shared mine . Let me share someone else's . Anyone else who would like to share ?


WHAT DO I LIVE FOR ?
There are days that I wish I could just go home, to be perfectly honest! Life is not easy, is it? But then there are days that I wish I had at least another thousand years to live! Life, with all of its challenges, is so wonderful!

I love to see the wonder of life through the eyes of my grandchildren. Beginning college or beginning kindergarten, they are in love with life and it is contagious!
Having raised my kids, that part of life is behind me for some time now. I loved every minute of being a mother! He gave me the best when he gave me a family. I really believe that.
Free now to move on, I am aware of the Lord pulling on my heartstrings to give to Him the best that I have with whatever time I have left in life. Sometimes, I think I have next to nothing to give. But then I see the faces of pe…

Lateral Violence

Why is work so hard ? Of all the relationships in our lives , why are the work relationships the most difficult ? There is always that one person who wants to see you miserable . That takes every available opportunity to make you feel small . Why ? What is it about me that threatens this person ? Goading is their favorite pasttime .
      It's funny how God works . When your hurting , He always lets you know He is there . He is aware of you're situation . During lunch I come across an article on " lateral violence " .
     Lateral violence .
back stabbing , innuendo , infighting , sabotage , verbal affronts , failure to respect privacy .
    Sounds familiar ? I think , I have experienced everyone of these with my " one person ". We all have that person , don't we ?
    After a particularly hard week , I feel drained and hopeless . I turn to the One who I know will help me through this . I am not alone . We all have experienced weeks like this . …

Grudge Free Living

I have spent the last couple of weeks feeling like I have stuck my foot in it . Everytime I open it , nothing good comes out . I have all these emotions bottled up inside and I can't seem to let anyone know how I feel . Whenever  I would blow up , all the wrong things would come out . Whenever I 'ld try to tell someone how I feel  , it all came out wrong .Did you ever feel completely out of whack ?
    It took my friend  to make me aware that I really was hurting inside . Someone has hurt my feelings and has been continuing to hurt my feelings . Whether they are intentionally doing it or unaware , makes no difference . . . . . . my feelings are hurt . What's worse , I'm the only one aware of it . Funny , how people see what they want to see rather than what actually is .
    There are people who will hurt us and we need to forgive them . That's where I'm at  . . . . forgiveness . I find myself at a point where I forgive or let it eat me up . Do I stay in t…

1 Corinthians 2:9

No eye has seen , no ear has heard , no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him .
         1 Corinthians 2 : 9

  Linda has been on my mind . Everywhere I look in my apartment , I am reminded of her . A shirt she has given me , hanging in the closet . On the wall there is a calendar personalized by her . Every page a special note written for me and Emily . On my dresser , a scarf that she wore at one time , now belonging to me .
   Opening a book , the above verse stares up at me . That's Linda's verse . I can picture her saying it to me as we spoke on the phone one day . That day we both were not feeling well , experiencing side effects from chemo . Our conversation focused on our dying and going to heaven .
    Linda recited that verse to me , remarking how much she loved it . No eye has seen . " Can you imagine what we will be seeing ? Something that has never been seen by a living person ". No ear has heard . " What are we gonna hear…