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Showing posts from November, 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 …

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 we…

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…

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…

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 …

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 …

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 spotl…

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 t…

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 ,…

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 usi…

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 e…

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 ? Aga…

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 marriag…

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 w…

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 a…

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 kid…

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 . . . . .b…

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 fami…

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 c…

Random Thoughts

Today , my mind drifted into all sorts of directions , never focusing on any particular thing . Some days are like that and for me , it usually means I'm very tired .

Speaking of tired , this whole week has dragged and I mean DRAGGED . I'm so exhausted that I've been looking for Friday way back on Monday . This new position is kicking my buttocks . I just can't keep up . I'm starting to have doubts in my capabilities . Emily , on the other hand , reminded me that God placed me in that position and He knows what He is doing . Every morning , when my shift ends , I open a drawer and shove all the unfinished work for tomorrow . I do this every morning and now the drawer is full . Where am I going to shove today's work ?  

This morning , I left later than usual , heading straight for my repeat mammogram appointment . They call it diagnostic , I call it torture . Ladies , you think the normal mammogram hurts .........just wait for this one . It all came out A-okay , t…

A Little Rip Van Winkle

Remember Rip Van Winkle and how he slept so soundly ? Didn't we think how strange it was that he fell asleep for so long ? And so suddenly ?

I could almost tell my cancer was back , just by how tired I have been feeling .  I haven't started chemo yet and already I'm taking naps everyday .

I was afraid this would happen . Since 2007 , I developed a thyroid condition and now everytime my cancer comes back , it makes it worse . Talk about getting sleepy . I could be fine one minute and the next , an exhaustion overcomes me and I need to lie down .

This has been one of my main concerns , especially since I plan on working  and only taking off the week of my treatment . What if I can't keep up with the workload ? What if I'm too exhausted ?

Since my cancer is a re-occurring one , I need to make room for it in my life . I need to make it work . I will not allow it to disrupt my life , but to  go on  as normal as possible . No more scarves , but wigs . No more looking like …

The Tabernacle Of Thanksgiving

This month is a pretty big month for our family . Not only is it filled with many birthdays ( Joe's included ) , but many exciting familial milestones  . . . . right next to Thanksgiving . We , as a family , have alot to be thankful for .

For many of us , Thanksgiving is the only time we stop and take the time to be thankful for our Daily Blessings . Funny , how it takes a tragedy or illness for us to be thankful everyday .

Unfortunately , it seems that Thanksgiving is a quickie holiday that we gloss over . This holiday is not only sandwiched right between Halloween and Christmas , but overshadowed by them both . A Holiday right smack in the middle of the week where most of us have to return to work the next day . Yes , it feels more like a day off than a time of harvest and thanksgiving .

I am just as quilty as everyone else . I look forward to that solitude . It seems that every year we have less and less family members joining us for Thanksgiving  Dinner . Each of us opting f…

A Flash From The Past

Signing into facebook , I noticed my friend request beaming the number one . Someone wants to be my friend . To my surprise it is someone I haven't seen for many years , a real flash from the past .

I hesitate before accepting . Alot has changed in these many years separating us . Definitely not the same anymore . I'm definitely not the same anymore . In that one moment , my mind drifted back to a time I'm not very proud of , reliving the good ole times .

 I have changed in many ways . My appearance is definitely different . I hardly recognize myself at times . My health has taken a dive downward over and over again . The  being living inside of me has taken the biggest hit . I was reborn in more ways than one . What would this person think of me now ?

For a split second , I felt embarrassed by my life . . . . just a split second . Then  I realized I wouldn't change anything about it . I didn't care what this person thought of me . Let them call me whatever they wan…

The Weak And The Strong

My friend , Belen , came over for a girl chat and some coffee . As usual , we scattered from topic to topic . We will touch everything from A to Z within the time frame of our little get together . Do you do that with your girlfriends ?

Somehow , we came upon the subject of my cancer . I asked her why do people keep calling me a " warrior " or " brave " or "strong" ? I have always found this perplexing because in writing this blog , I have completely exposed myself to all of you . You have been there , especially the last time , witnessing my tears .. . . my weak moments . How does that signify strength ?

Because in all of that , you still got up and taught Sunday School .

I kept living . In the midst of all that pain  and tears , I kept living . To her , that showed strength .  What else is there for me to do , but to keep living ? Should I have broken down and curled up in a corner crying out why ? You honestly think I haven't done that ? But when it&…

Saying Goodbye

When my son died at the age of 5 months , I had to say goodbye to his things . So one day , I locked myself in the nursery and packed away everything . Each item I held in my hands , I replayed a memory in my mind . I can still remember holding up a garment of his and inhaling his scent . That. . . . .  was many , many years ago .

Sitting on the carpeted floor of my bedroom , I opened a drawer filled with scarves . These scarves have been a huge part of my life . For a long time now , they have spelled out who I am and what I was going through . I thought I would never get rid of them .  

With my empty cardboard box ready , I packed each one feeling the textures beneath my fingers . The colors and beautiful designs that so many people passed on to me with love . I thought of the different ways I have worn my scarves so I could look stylish instead of looking like I have cancer and sickly .

Why am I packing them away , especially now when my cancer has come back ? I want to give them aw…

A Quiet Storm

The calm before the storm . . . . .that's how I've been feeling lately .  I walk around carrying cancer on my shoulders and yet , I AM SO CALM . Why ? I am amazed how I feel nothing . As if nothing has happened . As if life hasn't changed . Why ? What has changed ? What is different this time ?

I can't answer any of these questions . All I know is the peace I feel I am Truly okay . Everyday , there are messages from friends and family all expressing their well wishes for me and Emily . How are you feeling ? I am fine . Maybe , this is the quiet before the storm and one day , I will have a complete meltdown .

When I was at the doctor's , making arrangements , I felt at home . I know these nurses and they know me . A few came in to say hello because they just heard my cancer was back .

On my way home , I caught myself humming to a tune on the radio . Stopping , I realized I actually felt happy coming from the doctor's . Could this be joy ? How could I feel joy …

In Preparation

Thinking back to the days of stocking up the shelves , I almost want to laugh out loud . Here I thought I was storing up for the winter , when in fact , I was storing up for chemo . God has been secretly preparing me for what was to come .

There is alot to do . I guess , there is a benefit to going through this again and again . You definitely know what to expect and what to prepare for .

Having spent the last few days preparing the paperwork , I find that I still don't understand FMLA . Lord , I'm not sure if I can deal with these people again . This time around , I'm trying  to avoid alot of these loopholes . I plan on working and taking off only a week for my chemo treatment .

My one concern is that my body won't be able to handle it as time goes and I will be extremely tired . Also , I will be given a new chemo and with that come additional side effects . Who knows if I will be able to handle all of it  on top of working ? I need to prepare myself .

Today , we're…

An Offering Was Made

Placing my offering into the basket at Church , I felt shame . I haven't been much of a giver this year . I've fallen back on my tithes for the first time in five years . I have nothing but excuses to offer . There were times where my tithe envelope would lay inside my purse , forgotten , because I became busy with the children . Not remembering until I came home and saw it inside my bag . Yes , I've fallen back on my tithes .

While writing my blog yesterday , something inside of me , told me to take that money I had in my wallet for that couch I never bought at that Estate Sale and place it in the offering at Church . There was no arguing or excuses , just obedience . The message was clear to me . Yes , I will place it in the offering plate .

It didn't matter that it may have been a bit of money to me , it just felt right to do so . I know with a certainty that I will get a couch . God will provide that opportunity and it might be even better than what I imagined  .

I…