Showing posts from December, 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 Ye…


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 ? Absolut…

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 t…

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 …

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 a…

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 …

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 …

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 . I…

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 r…

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 …

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 hav…

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 …

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 .

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 . The…

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 .
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 :
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 & Preside…

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 ev…

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 wate…

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 , bu…

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 …


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.

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 .

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 b…

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 crack…

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 …

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 ?…

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…