Showing posts from April, 2013

Dear God

What is my influence ? Everything and everyone . I love to read or hear what others are working on . I'm always on the look out for self-improvement ideas .

Recently , my Pastor posted a letter he had written to God ten years ago regarding his personal life . I thought to myself what an intimate act to share with God , very touching and beautiful . I kept thinking about that letter as the days went by . Usually , when that happens I know it is something I need to do myself .

As I sat down to write my very own letter to God , I thought of all the many things that have happened in the last few years . Tears came flowing down my cheeks . I have been so very fortunate . As hard as this may be for anyone to understand since I have cancer , I am truly Blessed . No matter how difficult it may have been , I have not succumbed to depression . I have seen so many that have  and I 'm grateful to the Almighty for helping me get through this time .

So what did I write ? I wrote for my chil…

Turning The Pages

It all started on a trip to Milwaukee , Wisconsin . A conversation warmed the inside of the vehicle as rain splatterered against the windshield . Two women sat inside , sipping Dunkin Donut's coffee bought with coupons .

The conversation centered on a 13 year old 's upcoming graduation and her party . To the two women , she was daughter and a great niece . Each of them remarking on their high hopes for  the  girl's immergence into the high school years .

What do you give to this innocent young lady as a gift ? A gift that will encourage , enlighten and strengthen her character . A gift that will develop her Faith .

As the days turned into weeks since that trip , my mind  focused on an idea . An idea for a One Thousand Gifts Notebook for everyday of her Freshman year . What could be more fitting for the complicated life of a teenager than the encouraging and thoughtful words of Ann Voskamp .

As I started on this handmade notebook filled with love , I imagined her turning the…

A Couple Of Firsts

Sport bras are made for young girls to wear . There are few things in life I can be sure of and that is one of them . For the last five months I had to wear one because of the rashes . Not very flattering for an older woman , such as I . This week I was able to finally wear a bra .

A real first after a long time .

Taking a warm shower after months of two minute freezing ones , was a luxury .  It felt good to feel the warm liquid rush over my body . I smiled to myself , knowing soon I would be able to take a hot bath .

A real first after a long time .

We learn to really appreciate small things when we no longer can have them . There are many of these firsts hidden away in a dusty corner waiting to be relived with the same gusto  as that first time . We go about our daily routine not experiencing nor feeling the simple living pleasures .

I , also forget these things when I'm in remission . As soon as the cancer comes back and I'm denied these simple pleasures , I miss and long fo…

F For Frustration

The door slammed with all the pent up aggravation of the entire month . It felt good ! As much as I have loved my neighbors these past two years , this month alone , my patience has been tested .

Our building has been in the process of being sold . Every couple of days , a letter would be slipped under our door informing us of a building code inspection , a showing , installation of fire alarms etc . The list is endless . All of this in the morning when I'm trying to get some sleep , but I endured it all with some dignity . . . .  and patience .

I've wanted to do some laundry and for whatever reason , the washer and dryer was occupied . I kept running up and down the stairs with my basket and each time it was for naught .
My impatience grew as the hours slipped from one to three . In the laundry basket were  some garments I wanted to wear for work .

That last run downstairs really was the last straw and I lost it . BAM ! The door slammed with full force . I think the entire bui…

Taking The Weeds Out

April has been a pretty good month so far . I feel happy regardless of the chemo . I think that's because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and that makes everything bearable .

If I could define what April has been like , I'd call it weeding out the garden of one's life . After touching base with old friends and new friends , it seems everyone is working on something in their life . No matter if it was acceptability of one's situation to forgiveness of others , people were digging deep and pulling out unwanted weeds .

We all have issues no matter our age . None of us can walk away from a bad situation without being scalded . Pain leaves a scar , one that the devil keeps riverting our eyes to on a constant basis . Look in the mirror and all you'll see is everything that is wrong with you . That's the devil .

I've read somewhere that we are our worst enemy by openly inviting the devil into our home . Then we act shocked at the havoc caused in our l…

The Judgemental Christian

Every Sunday morning , Emily and I take a shortcut across a health club's parking lot to get to Church . Every single time we go through that parking lot , it's full of cars . I , the judgemental Christian , showed my disdain for the lot of them .

If Jesus took the time to go through all that He did by dying on the Cross just for us , the least we could do is give Him an hour of our time on Sunday .

I , the judgemental Christian , actually said this and it took about a full two minutes for the Holy Spirit to instill guilt upon my heart for voicing it . . . . .then for even thinking it .

Who am I , to say such a thing ? Have I been a Christian all my life ? Have I been to Church every Sunday ? Even worse . . . . now that I am a Follower , do I observe the Sabbath in every way ? Do I rest on Sunday ? Such guilt filled my soul .  Suddenly , I have become such a know it all . When has this happened ?

It's  so easy to judge others , isn't it ? I certainly don't know any o…

Meaningful Things

There are things in our life that have made profound difference whether they maybe a book , verse , song or movie . Sometimes , even a person . Here are some of these things that have helped me face the many storms that rage in our lives .

The God who sees me :
That line alone instills a sense of being watched by God . Anytime , there is a desire to fall to sin or do anything questionable , I always feel like God is watching all I do . A sense of guilt envelopes me almost immediately . Think of that verse  when doing something we shouldn't and see how quickly a person can recover to righteousness .

Be still and know that I am God :
I think this is my favorite and most inspiring verse of all . Many of times , it has comforted me when all else failed . Even now , I can see myself slumped over in total defeat , handing over all my troubles to the only one who can make them better .

I can only imagine :
This song by MercyMe moves me beyond words . I cannot listen to it nor sing it witho…

Stormy Days

The storm raged all day and night . Lightening flashed across the sky . Streets and basements flooded , water spilling over through any convenient opening . Huge puddles littered the sidewalks and the splatter of heavy raindrops could be heard on the window pane .

The storm raged on .

In the morning , people awoke to flooded basements , flooded streets and flooded cars . All over Facebook , people were seen sifting through the storm that passed in their lives .

Storms come and go , but the cleanup remains .

This past week , storms have been chasing me . It started with Sunday's sermon on storms . Emily's Bible group focused on the storms in their lives . A few of my friends  recounted to me the many storms they are facing . The aftermaths of my chemo affected my feet . Then the rain began . . . .

Storms . You're either in one , or coming out of one  , or heading into one  .

Many people think my cancer is my storm , but somehow , I just don' t believe that . Cancer has b…

Cancer Blessings

Whenever people learn of my three time cancer status , I get alot of sympathy and disbelief . I guess , people are surprised at my calmness regarding my illness . Another reason , they consider my illness a major depressing setback .

I think otherwise . To me , cancer has only brought Blessings in my life . I know people find that strange , but it's true . Here are some Blessings in my life since my cancer .

1. This one may be difficult to believe , but I'm happy that the steroids made me gain some weight . I actually like myself with these curves . I would like to lose my stomache  , but the rest can stay . Before all of this , I was a size 4 . Whenever I look at some old pictures of myself , I realize that I looked too skinny . At least now , I look healthy .
2. I also found out who I am both on the inside as well as on the outside . I'm very comfortable in this old skin of mine . My relationships are healthy and strong . I'm also mentally stronger to handle any diff…

I've Got A Feeling

Well , this concludes my week off from writing . I hope you enjoyed going back in time with me . Here's the final story of my vacay .. . .

I've got a feeling......oooooooh , ooooooh .

That's right . There's something happening . I'm on the verge of something big . Only HE knows what that is . You're all probably wondering what the heck is she talking about ?!

You see , this past month hasn't been good at all . Many things have happened --- alot of it not pleasant . Just when things couldn't get any worse I had the rug pulled from under me . Didn't see it coming . It always hurts the most when you don't see it . Shock . Disbelief . Hurt . Anger and stupidity . Yes , stupidity . Why didn't I see it ?

I literally fell to my knees and prayed . Made me think of the Book of Job . You see I didn't just pray but howled as I prayed just like JOB . I prayed out loud in my car while I was driving . People must have thought I was CRA…

I've Got A Feeling -Take 1

I'm sure all of you have noticed that I've taken this week off from writing . Instead , I've been posting some stories I wrote from awhile ago , but never posted . So .........without further ado , here's another one .

Hello Everyone!!
Lately , I haven't been feeling like writing . It seemed like a cloud was over me . My mind would become a total blank . Sometimes life is just too much , coming at you from all sides . There's only one thing to do . Call in a prayer request from my girls and pack it up AND GO ON A TRIP !!!!

This trip started out with two goals in mind , but I added in a third one unconsciously . I didn't even know there was a third until the trip was over .

The week before the trip , I was ready to jump off a cliff . Did you ever feel like getting in your car and driving to nowhere ? With no particular destination ----- just drive and blast the music . Thats how I have been feeling for quite som…

My Spiritual Testimony

Today, in church , I sat there and reflected on my love for GOD . I felt such profound peace and love inside me .

I never would have thought it possible for me to love being in church let alone looking for Sunday to come . Never have I thought I would be so fulfilled and sated spiritually . I , am not bored in church . I love going to church and the best part ...I could stay there for hours . I can't even believe I am saying this .

There are times that Sunday can't come fast enough for me because I NEED to go to church . So I sat there and thought to myself how much I have grown . It reminded me of Psalm 116 .

I love the Lord , for He heard my voice
He heard my cry for mercy
because He turned His ear to me
I will call on Him as long as I live
the cords of death entangled me
the anguish of the grave came upon me
I was overcome by trouble and sorrow
then I called on the name of the Lord
O Lord , save …

Big Adventure Final Day

My body is slowly healing from my sores which means I'm peeling all over . I'm so incredibly itching and my skin is feeling so very raw .The bright side of this . . . . my skin , in the end , will be very soft . Here is the final installment of my time in Texas .

It all has come to an end . Even though it took me hours and hours of being delayed coming home I would still take the train again . I love the train and one day I want to be on the Orient Express !!! I'm already planning my next trip out to visit Carolyn in Florida . I don't know exactly when but I'm going .

I did hear on the news when I got back that Dallas had a tornado in downtown Dallas .Wow !!! That's where I was . Now I know for sure Emily will never go with me .

Another thing is I never left my car before unattended at a train depot . It was taken care just fine . I did pray all around my car before I left and also the house right along with my family .

I have to say that when I got home and jum…

Big Adventure Day 2

As I re-read the stories from long ago , I find myself thinking how amateurish they seem . I feel like my writing has improved since then .

Hey everyone,
                I   slept very well last night . Couldn't believe that I didn't wake up in the middle of the night like I usually do . Last night , Anna made brownie sundaes and we all settled down on the couch to watch a movie .The kids were so excited for me to watch this movie with them . All I know folks is that Matthew Connaughy was in it with that Alias girl . The next thing I know it was morning .

I know , I know . How can I behave like this at someone's house ?At least , I finished my sundae and then fell asleep .Why waste food .

There is so much to see here .There is a Cowgirl Museum , another Wax Museum , a Water Park , Great America Six Flags etc . I wanted to go to the Zoo . It's been years and years since I last went to the zoo .

By the time this family got up…

Big Adventure Day 1

Since lately I haven't been feeling well , I've decided to share some of my old stories that I've written way before my blog ever existed . This one comes from a visit to one of my Anna who happens to live in Texas .

Hey all ,
Guess what ? It's time for another great adventure , but this time I'm visiting my good friend Anna in Dallas Texas.

My big day begins here at home in Chicago as I attempt for the very first time in my life to RIDE THE METRA INTO UNION STATION ----ALL BY MYSELF . That's right . I'm not kidding . I did it .Yes , I did . I have to say that the whole experience reminded me of the movie "Romancing The Stone" .The scene where she is taking the bus in Colombia with all these people and the chickens . All those people with their feet dangling up above me.

I took Amtrak like I always do . I love to ride the train . For me it is so relaxing with their comfortable chairs that have a footrest that pulls out .Th…

A Broken Mirror

I wrote this in 2011 .It has become one of my favorites so I hope you enjoy it , too.

It all started when I broke a mirror . It was in late September on a Saturday night as my mom and I were getting ready for a wedding . I completely shattered the entire full length mirror into kazillion pieces!! Not a million but kazillion pieces!!!!! Oh well , seven years....

Yet , I had the best time ever . I can't even remember when I enjoyed a wedding more .This wedding was something else . It was full of young people who danced and danced the whole night .The DJ didn't take a single break ! I felt like I was in a club .That's the way it should be . Life is for the living .

I looked around and saw us old folks just sitting and watching .Thats how life really is .The young are so full of expectation and wonder but most of all.....impatience for tomorrow to come .What are we?We're tired .We know what tomorrow will bring and it won't always be pretty .

In the same week , Emily…

Hello Joyce

For a very long time , I have wanted to venture out of my spiritual comfort zone . Spending the last six years in home groups , reading materials on my own , I've a desire to do more . I want to learn and develop my spiritual relationship with Christ as much as I can .

At the start of this year , I've made a mental promise to myself to get out into the world and do workshops , lectures , conferences and retreats whenever possible . . . . anything that will challenge me .

When I found out that Joyce Meyer's was coming to Milwaukee , Wisconsin I knew an opportunity presented itself . I also knew whom to ask to join me . My niece Kathy is a person who loves an adventure and has an open heart to try something new or different .
Of course , we were going together .

The conference started at 10 a.m. which meant we had to leave like 7 in the morning . Since I work all night , it meant there would be no sleep until late afternoon . Actually , I slept only 2 1/2 hours before going b…

News Flash

Well , my fears have been confirmed and the building has been sold . We have new owners . The change will occur halfway through May . Am I pleased ? Far from it . Not all change is good . I'm afraid of our rent being raised considerably  among other things . Just the thought of packing everything up and moving is overwhelming , definitely not what we were planning for quite awhile. Besides all that , I'm not really surprised it sold . The building has been kept in great condition . You could see the previous owner took great care of it .  Change , we don't like it , do we ?

On to better things . My health has been great so far all because of my attitude . Eversince , we have made the decision to cancel this current treatment  and opt for a different one , I'm just so happy that this worst chemo ever is done . It's done ! I don't even dwell on the symptoms . They won't be coming back anytime soon .

Now . . . .for the good stuff . Tomorrow , I plan on going so…

An Obstacle Course

When I first learned of my cancer , my thoughts centered entirely on my recovery . That's everyone's first priority . Unfortunately , that only exists in a perfect world and we all know this isn't one .
In this society , a person facing a chronic illness , also faces unsurmountable obstacles thrown at all angles and red tape .

Who knew your job could be at risk ? Not many people have short term disability at their place of work and therefore , are at risk of losing their position because of attendance or capability issues . Sometimes , you have to walk away from your job because of your physical handicaps .

Another major issue happens to be your health insurance . We never really examine the options when the time comes to renew our health coverage . What does it really cover ? Or maybe you have no health insurance at all . What does a person do then ?

Then there is the financial side . Most of us , live paycheck to paycheck without any savings hidden away . No one really ex…

Getting Results

Every week , an organization called  " Phil's Friend's " sends me a Get Well card with an encouraging note or testimonial inside . This week , it was a letter from someone who was about to get test results regarding her cancer . As I read it , it dawned on me how very much alike we all were when it came to an illness .

Did my cancer get better ?
Was it worse ?
Was I completely healed by a miracle ?
What would be the next step or course of action ?
Would this next bit of news change my life forever ?

Immediately , Linda comes to mind . Just a few days ago , Linda came up to me asking for prayers since some tests were due and she was afraid of the results . I instantly wondered if Linda was asking herself those very same questions . I'm almost sure she did .

We all seem to feel the same emotions , think the same thoughts , have the same doubts and fears . We all want the test results to say the same thing . We all hope for the illness to be kept at bay or gone forever .


A New Project

God amazes me continuously not just with His Power , but just with who He is and what He does .

 Last Fall , my huge project ended and I was left feeling a little like an empty nester . That project overtook my life so much that when it was gone , I felt empty . I felt like I needed to be doing something else , but couldn't figure out what that " something "  was . I continued making more slippers , but somehow that didn't feel right . I tried making children's hats  and again , the same feeling persisted . Nothing felt right .

Now , looking back , I can see why He wanted me to wait . During these past months , I haven't been physically able to crochet . He knew that . He knew my hands would be crippled by the chemo . He was telling me to wait . Heal first and then we'll start something new .

It's so difficult to wait , isn't it ? We don't want to wait for an answer, we want it now . If we don't get one right away , we try to force the issu…


There is yarn laying in a heap upon the living room rug next to my favorite arm chair . A remnant of what looks like a blanket tucked away in the corner of it with a crocheting hook on top . The mail littered the cocktail table , mostly ads . On the book shelf , an unfinished cup of coffee . In the kitchen sink , some dishes waiting to be washed  . A laundry pile in the corner of a bedroom piled high .

These are some of the messes one will find in my home . No matter how much I try to keep the place looking untouched as if in a magazine ,  I never quite achieve it . I gloss over the pages of newly
organized rooms pictured to such perfection and I dream .  I love organization , but I'll never get there . I dream of it , but know deep down inside , I will never achieve it .

Whenever I'd voice my thoughts on the subject , Emily would always reply . . .

But , mom , we're living not sitting . We're living life .

She is right ! We are living , breathing the very life God bestow…

Cancer Wellness Doctrine

Cleaning out some papers , I came across an old poem that came from my old Oncologist's website . I thought I'd share it with all of you .

my health is my responsibility
but I did not cause my disease
I will always have hope
what I hope for
may change over time
my doctor and I are partners
we both have things to learn
death is not failure
personal dignity and
quality of life
are my measures of success
cancer provides me with an opportunity
I don't have to feel grateful for it
I am willing to change
the way I feel with stress
the past is only important
if I make it so
cancer is a family illness
we all need attention and support
I have the power to make a difference
in my care
I need to look inside
for the proper direction

One of my sister-in-laws gave me a necklace with a similiar one . Six years have passed since then and suddenly , all the words seem so very true .
Have a Blessed day everyone .

Changes In The Air

After I left my doctor's office , I felt like changes were in store for me  . Each time I go through treatment , sudden new changes emerge from the experience . A growth . . . . an acceptance . . . . an adaptation to this lifestyle .

All of my life , change has held me back . Or I should say , fear of change . I've always been afraid . Afraid of not making it financially : or failing in a  lasting relationship : or of making a huge mistake with decision making . I would surround myself with people that I could run to whenever change happened . Let them take care of me . Sometimes , I'd run from situations because of fear .

As I've  traveled on this journey of mine , I've asked God for spiritual growth . My , has He provided the experiences for that growth ! My tendencies have always included clinging to people to take care of these changes , instead of clinging to God . His response ? To take away these people .

As I sit here , fully knowing that changes are here ye…

Who Are You ?

Recently , I've read an article on discovering who we are just by what types of things we pin on our Pinterest Board . Imagine that ! Over the years , I've read similiar articles using other things such as " colors we like " or " foods we eat " that determine what we are all about .

It seems we spend alot of time and energy in trying to find out who we really are on the inside . I think you can pick up any magazine and find an article based on self - exploration whether spiritual or mental .

Who am I ? I know I have changed many times during my lifetime . I have been many things to many people . I've adapted to the situations and surroundings at any particular time , but none have been as meaningful as these past six years .

In my younger years , I have never thought possible to find such a satisfying and fulfilling purpose in life . I've always felt that my role was to be a wife and mother and when that role was done . . . . then my life could be f…

Miss Sunshine

Have I ever written about the parking booth lady at U.I.C. ? There are times , when I have no paper to write anything down , but a story forms in my mind . So I'm not exactly sure if I wrote about this or not . Oh well , here goes . . . .

I use the U.I.C. parking lot whenever I'm there . On my way out , I somehow always seem to get this one elderly lady parking booth attendant . I call her Miss Sunshine  , but she is anything but that .
Life must have been rough for this woman if her sourpuss expression was anything to go by .

In the beginning , I would try to avoid her as much as possible . At times , that wasn't a choice I could make . Pulling up to her booth , I'd take a deep breath and steel myself for another unpleasant encounter with the unpleasant woman . No matter how nicely I asked about her day nor wished her a pleasant week , the only response I would receive would be a mumbled under her breath grunt .

After awhile , it became a challenge I wanted to overcome …

Aubrey's Shower

I've been thinking quite alot about my Aubrey  . Sometimes , a person stays on your mind because you love them so much . It's been two years since she has become my daughter-in-law and I couldn't have chosen a better woman for my son myself . I came across this poem I wrote after a party , Emily and I gave in her honor . Here's to you , my love . . . .

Once upon a time, a young man named Joe got down on one knee and proposed

"Will you marry me,Aubrey?"

"Yes sirree,Joey!"

with a whoop and a holler

the mother-in-law declared

"It's time for a Wedding Shower!"

friends were called and family,too

the table was set with care

Emily,with her own two hands unwrapped the Costco wares

with the help of her sidekick Destiny

Tom took a look and sighed

"There's just too much estrogen around'!

he picked up his keys and left

"Call me when it's all said and done"

the neighbors all heard the laughter and cheers

wondering hey...…

Happy Easter

A Happy Belated Easter to everyone . I have to apologize for the lateness , but as usual with my treatment I became very tired and slept most of the day away .

The day started at 7 A.M. in the morning , with Emily anxiously getting ready for the Big Event at Church . This year , I handed my resposibilities over to her since I wasn't feeling very well . All I did was supply the candy and eggs . She took everything over to E.P.I.C. ( her twenty-something group ) and they spent a day filling over 1100 Easter eggs . I think they ate more than they stuffed , but we have to pay them somehow , right ?

Her group also spent a week passing out 7000 fliers in the neighborhood inviting people to Church . Talk about wearing out the soles of their shoes !

As the morning progressed , I could tell she was extremely excited about the Easter service . You want to see the fruits of your hard earned labor . She wasn't disappointed . It was standing room only with seating arrangements well into the…