Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Stages Of Remission

You're all probably thinking that I've gone crazy. Stages of remission? Don't you mean stages of cancer? No, I don't. Having gone through it now three times, I have come to see a pattern in my recovery while in remission.

Stage 1
After we're done with chemo, there is a grace period of just relaxation. Usually during this time, I play hookie from everything. I eat junk food, call in sick to work or get my hair styled if I didn't go bald. If I did, then I'm showing off the stubble and not wearing scarves. Basically, I have fun  breathing in the sunshine and hanging out with others. This usually lasts about three months.

Stage 2
This is my least favorite. After all the fun, aches and pains return throwing a damper into our plans. Suddenly, my knee starts to hurt and the arthritis acts up  in full force. A couple of boils, my nails become brittle and even skin flakiness behind my ears. This occurs like clockwork every single time. It's like the meds have worn off and I begin to feel the pain.

Stage 3
This is where I'm at now. Once we realize that all these aches are back, we do our best in treating them. This time around I've decided to add my dental. There is an urgency at this stage unlike the others, because quite a bit of time has passed and we're worried about remission ending. We need to accomplish all the things on our health list before the cancer strikes again.

Stage 4
This stage is bittersweet. During this time we become hypochondriacs imagining every ache as something serious. I believe it's because my cancer is a re-occurring one and considerable time has elapsed, therefore my thinking becomes it is back. Or worse, it has spread elsewhere.

There is another side to it, a really weird one. There are times that I actually miss the chemotherapy. I know that's crazy, but the day it was administered was totally reserved for me only. No one bothered me in any way. I could read in quiet retrospect and crochet peacefully. No phones calls. No e-mails. No expectations at all. I called it my spa day.

I'm sure there is yet another stage here and there afterwards, but maybe that comes later.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Women Of Faith

I've always wanted to go to a Women's Conference Retreat for the weekend where I can listen to all these fellow women speakers as they speak forth wisdom for our lives. Who wouldn't want  to spend a weekend being surrounded by other women as we discuss and openly share the struggles we encounter?

It's been awhile since I've belonged to a Women's Group or done a retreat at all, even on a much smaller scale. The reason being lack of time and my work schedule. Working on second shift, you miss out on pretty much of the day's activities.

Still a longing is stirring up inside of me. I've been thinking a lot about a group for women that could meet once a month.
Maybe a group that I could start myself. This idea has been lurking within my heart for awhile now. Mostly, I thought more of the future than the now, like in a bigger apartment in a different city.

I have found that women seek other women out. They are looking for companionship, for understanding from someone of their own sex that may be experiencing the same things. They are looking for an ear, for someone to help them forget their problems even for an hour.

What kind of group would it be? What would I call it? Not really sure. For now, it's just an idea, but my brain is ticking away. So let me ask you fellow women out there. What kind of group are you interested in? What are your expectations? The time? The day? What would be the ideal group for women in your opinion?

Waiting anxiously for your replies. Have a Blessed day everyone.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday Vitamins

I have noticed that when we have four-day work weeks, they somehow seem longer than the five. Crazy, right? It seems that they longer we are off, the harder it is to come back to job realities.

The following was residing in my e-mail folder for quite awhile from Grandma Barb. As I read it, I thought to myself how much this describes not only my personal friendships, but also my work associates. Each one of them provides an avenue of escape from the toil and labor of the everyday work week.  

I mean, who likes to get up and go to work, especially on a Monday? Well, there are a few. . . . . but generally that first day of the week can be challenging. Many of times I have sat in the parking lot and thinking I should turn around and call in sick. Terrible? No, human.

Please enjoy and I'm sure you can place a name to each character listed just as I. Where would we be without their daily support of those much needed vitamins that all of them provide?

Monday Vitamins

Why do I have a variety of friends who are all so different in character? How is it possible that I can get along with them all?                         

I think that each one helps to bring out a "different" part of me.

With one of them I am polite. With another I joke - with another I can be a bit naughty.

I can sit down and talk about serious matters with one. 

With another I laugh a lot. 

I listen to one friend's problems. 

Then I listen to another one's advice for me.

My friends are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. When completed they form a treasure box. A treasure of friends!

They are my friends who understand me better than I understand myself. They are friends who support me through good days and bad.

Real Age doctors tell us that friends are good for our health.

Dr. Oz calls them Vitamin F (for Friends) and counts the benefits of friends as essential to our well being.

Research shows that people in strong social circles have less risk of depression and terminal strokes.

If you enjoy Vitamin F constantly you can be up to 30 years younger than your real age. 

The warmth of friendship stops stress and even in your most intense moments, it decreases the chance of a cardiac arrest or stroke by 50%.

I'm so happy that I have a stock of Vitamin F!
In summary, we should value our friends and keep in touch with them. We should try to see the funny side of things and laugh together and pray for each other in the tough moments.
Some of my friends are friends on-line.
I know I am one of their friends because their names appear on my computer screen often and I feel blessed that they care as much for me as I care for them.
Thank you for being one of my Vitamins!

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Calming Joy

I'm grateful, truly grateful for all the blessings bestowed upon me lately.

One of my many faults happens to be worry. I worry about everything under the sun. I worry about the car breaking down, paying my bills, doing a good job at work. I even worry about the future of my adult children.

The problem with worry is that one never ceases. There's always something to fret about. Besides, worry is not trusting God to take care on His promise to us.

So I'm trying my very best to be the opposite of worry. My goal is to look for things to be grateful for, because He does provide for us even in the smallest ways. They don't always have to be grand gestures. We need to start seeing the good in all bad situations that we are faced with.

So when my mom called regarding that daybed, I didn't worry about the how. I just knew God would provide. Of course, we prayed about it and left it in His hands. I thought to myself that I needed to take care of first things first and not worry ahead of time.

We broke it up into three stages. Stage one meant getting rid of the existing bed, which we did ourselves. Stage two meant getting the daybed into my truck somehow, which we did with the help of my mom's neighbors. So here we were, three old women and an old guy, carrying this daybed down twists and turns of an apartment building into the truck. I don't know how we did it. Stage three I left to Emily and asked her to find someone at church while she taught Sunday School.

Well let me tell you, there is something about men and their strength. They lifted that sofa like it was nothing. The entire episode lasted mere minutes for them to hoist out of my truck and up a flight of stairs. I'm embarrassed to say how long it took us women to do the same.

Either way, I am a so very blessed by all the help that was bestowed upon us. Even the fact that I have a new bed is amazing to me since I didn't even ask for it. He just provided as always.

I hope I continue to stay on this quiet path of no worries. I'm sure I will definitely slip since it is difficult to break a bad habit, but I will do my best to try. So grateful. So blessed. So lucky to have God in my life.

Have a blessed day everyone.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Dilemna

There is a Native American saying: “Tell me, and I’ll forget.  Show me, and I may not remember.  Involve me, and I’ll understand.”

I woke up to the pitter patter of raindrops against my windowpane. I knew today would be a rainy day spent indoors lazily crocheting and some writing. That's all I planned on my agenda, even debated whether or not I should do a load of laundry. Chores eventually won.

Somewhere mid morning my mom called informing me I could pick up that daybed anytime and that she would be home by seven that evening. You see, the rain didn't stop her from getting up early and heading out the door in search of a new couch, some grocery and light window shopping, then Church.

My new couch is coming Monday. Come pick up the daybed.

I looked around my bedroom, the last thing on my mind was redecorating anything. I've been wanting to catch up on some of my writing for weeks now. I've had a couple of stories started for my niece's journal that I've wanted to finish. Besides, writing can't be turned on and off like a switch. One had to be in the right frame of mind.

Instead, I have to worry  about how in the world I'm going to move the old one down a flight of stairs and pick up a new one. I wasn't always so helpless. In my younger days, I had the strength of a bull or at least my mother would tell me. I'd probably lift that daybed all by myself then. Now, I just plain struggle. 

Resigning myself to my new appointed task, I set to work making room for my new addition. I'm both thrilled  and worried at the prospect of getting rid of the bed I've had for years. This new one comes with storage space underneath, something I'm in great need of. That alone, makes me grateful for this wonderful surprise gift. 

Now, how am I gonna bring it here?

Have a Blessed day everyone.              

Friday, April 24, 2015


Four more days until the weekend, Lottie.

I hear that line every Monday at work from my friend Roman. It's a game we play until Friday comes around, counting down the days. You see, we speak of the upcoming weekend as a reward for all of our struggles during the week that we 've endured. It becomes a goal to look forward to.

There was a time where Friday was something that I dreaded. The night before I would spend in agony losing sleep with my stomach in knots. All that stress all bound up inside of me. All I could think about were all the things I still needed to accomplish before the week ended. When the night finally came to a close, I would stumble out of work, my feet and head both aching. I couldn't wait to get home and take my shoes off to relax with a glass of wine.

That no longer happens. I have come to appreciate my days off from work, even if they are shut-down days, because of no orders. I have learned that our bodies need rest and we cannot function properly without it. Stress and tiredness affects our health, especially our attitudes. A smile goes a longer way than a frown.

We are a society that feels we need to be productive all the time. We fill our schedules with overflowing appointments and duties, so we can feel we are living life to the fullest.

Well, you can live your life and miss the boat entirely.

When I visit my grandchildren, they both fight over whose bedroom I should spend my time in. All they want is for me to sit with them and watch them play. They show me all their writings, any new toys or dresses. Look grandma, look grandma. That's all I hear. They don't care if I join in that volleyball game or not. All they want is to see or feel my presence near them. They want my undivided attention.

So you see, I've come to  really appreciate the weekends for what they truly are . . . a time to spend in the company of those we love. So relax, unwind in whatever fashion is de-stressing to you. Take that time that God has provided for our bodies to rest and stop feeling guilty over it. Pamper yourself so you can be around for the people in your life.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday

I can proudly say that my room no longer resembles a hoarders paradise! The minute it begins to get crowded in here, I know it's time to make another delivery to a charity.

As to the rest of the house, organization is an ongoing process on which we constantly try to improve on. I have found that I no longer hold onto everything. I have become very choosy as to what I want to keep to pass on to the next generation.

Everything else can always be donated. In my Ministry I have found that there are various organizations that would love to have any kind of support. Women shelters, both homeless and abused, are always on the lookout for items, especially the household type. These shelters also help the women in finding jobs and apartments. Since they usually have children, they are only too happy for any donations pertaining to the home and suits plus accessories for interviews.

Besides, I think that we all have a little bit of a hoarder inside of us. We love to hold on to things, because they are our memory treasures. They remind us of the good times and even the sad times. So go easy on yourself, you are normal.

A Hoarders Life It Is
  Remember those boxes in my bedroom that I shuffled from corner to corner ? Well , they are unpacked . In their place are plastic storage boxes that I organized all these things in . My bedroom is the only room in the apartment that is always full of stuff . I'll clean it up and in a day or two , something else will take their place . All the other rooms are  organized neatly , except my bedroom .
  It's very symbolic , reflecting my personal life . By nature I am a very frugal person and I do not believe in waste . I reuse and recycle . My room is full of stuff that I don't need but will not get rid of . I am a hoarder .
  Here I am on the eve of my chemo staying up all night (03:24 am ) going through this stuff . In a few hours , I will have my third chemo .It's a halfway point .I'm halfway there . I'm almost done . Trepidation and anxiety take over because I'm not ready . I'm not where I should be by now . I'm still surrounded by a mess .
  What am I hoarding ? Honey , I have a jar of mix-matched buttons because one day I will look in my closet and see that all the buttons went missing and I'll have buttons to sew on again . I have all my taxes going back to 1984 in case I'm audited . I have recipes from all over the world because one day I will make sausage by scratch  and smoke it , too . I still have my skinny clothes  ( size 7 ) because in a few hours I will step onto the scale and a miracle will happen and I'll need those skinny clothes . It could happen . Miracles happen everyday . Stop snickering .
   I have box upon box of craft materials like doll heads , eyes , beads ,sequins , felt , magnets etc. because I plan on going into a frenzy making crafts for everyone in my family for Christmas day . I have knitting needles of every shape and color . I have knitting patterns and I don't even know how to knit . I crochet . I don't have any crocheting patterns .
    Under my kitchen sink I have hundreds of plastic bags . I made a vow last week that I refuse to buy anymore trash bags until all of these plastic bags are gone . I have a huge stack of poster
board that I have been saving up for my kids at Sunday School for all those projects that may come up . I made the first step in my addiction to hoarding .....I cut up all that poster board in different shapes for the base for Emily's cakes . I made a care package to send to my family in Poland of those skinny clothes . I maybe a hoarder but I'm a frugal hoarder !

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Medical What?

I never  wanted this blog to become filled with medical terms. Instead, I wanted this to be about a journey of acceptance. Of being able to live as normally as possible while enduring a chronic illness. I wanted this blog to be an encouragement to others rather than a depressing list of medical endeavors.

Honestly, unlike many other patients, I don't really pay that much attention to what are all the names of the various drugs and treatments. I just wanted to get on with it and move on. Not very smart on my part, I guess.

I wanted to get on with my life and not be focusing on all the cancer medical stuff. Whenever I'm in the company of other people with a chronic disease, it is quite the opposite. They know everything about their disease. They remember the names of their first, second, and third treatments. I, on the other hand, can only remember the one that hurt the most.

I end up walking away from the encounter feeling a little put out, but only for a second. My mind may not retain all that information, because it doesn't care to. I'm so focused on the here and now that I push out the depressing. I have no desire to spend what little time I have left consumed by the medical.

This is in no way a reprimand to those that are doing the very fact I mentioned. There is nothing wrong in doing so. In fact, I admire anyone that can remember all the medical terms years later, but it's not for me. I know what I need to know for that moment and then I'm off. God controls everything. Whatever decision I make , the outcome already has been predestined. My story has already been written, both the beginning and the end. I particularly like the end.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Praise

What are you trying to do? Raise the roof?
That's exactly what I want to do this week. Let's try to turn this four day work week into praise, thanksgiving and glory. Things are ahappening on the avenue so let's get to it!

When I made the decision to stick it out in my current shift/position, I've decided to embrace any situation with thanks and praise for what I have.  Of course, the minute we make a declaration, God decides to put you through a test.
I've been good all week whenever something chaotic and frustrating occurred to bring myself out of that pit of negativity. How? By looking for the positivity that is around me.
Just think of Ann Voskamp and her " 0ne Thousand Things  to be grateful for "  and almost immediately all sorts of things come to mind. Start a list and it won't be long before your mood changes out of the pits of despair.  

I should have done that yesterday when I was so edgy and restless. Instead, I paced around the apartment unhappy with all I did. What a waste of a day off! In my mind, all I wanted to do is write and I couldn't. The weather was affecting my internet service going on and off all through the day. 

It's a good thing that everyday is a brand new start. It may be drizzling and my arthritis may be acting up, but I'm ready for whatever the week may bring. Let's raise the roof!

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Swing On Up

When I was a little girl, the swings were my favorite part of the park. I didn't want  to do anything else, but swing as high as I could go. It seems that everyone else loved them too, since they were always occupied.

It's like that in life. Everyone wants the good things in life. If we could have chosen our own lives, we certainly wouldn't choose the one we have, right? I mean, back then when we were babes, nobody would choose ovarian cancer as their lot in life. Yet, I can't imagine my life any other way. This is who I am and I like the person that cancer has made me.

My cancer is like my third arm or leg. It is attached to me in a way that I hardly notice it's there. I guess I have become accustomed to it as part of my everyday living.

I've been feeling restless all day today, not sure as to what I should be doing. Everything I tried held absolutely no appeal to me at all. My left leg was hurting all weekend long, throb after throb, making sleep difficult. My taste buds fared the same. Nothing satisfied me.

If there ever was a day that I wanted to go swinging high up to the sky, it was today. Maybe that would have cleared the cobwebs from my head.

There are days that make no sense or have no real purpose. There is no great accomplishment to be spoken of, it's just a lazy day filled with lazy happenings.

I don't want anything right now. I just want to go swinging!

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Here Lies Walter

Few people know that Lottie isn't really my name. I was born in Poland as Wladyslawa, named after my father Wladyslaw. Yes folks, I'm a Junior.

How did I get the name Lottie? Well, when we came to this country and I was a mere 7 year old, this is the name that my cousin claimed was the English translation. How she came to that conclusion, I'm not sure since Lottie is a diminutive of Charlotte and Wladyslaw is Walter in English. There must be some truth to it since I do know other Wladyslawa's who are called Lottie. I actually work with one.

As a small child, I wanted to be an Ann or Laura or Susan, anything but a Lottie. I even named my children a very traditional names like Emily and Joseph. I wanted to be normal.

Now that I'm much, much older I've come to love my name. As an adult, I've wanted to be different and follow my own path. The name Lottie is pretty much different. I've grown accustomed to it especially since one of my bosses used to call me Wladyslawa.

As I age, names really don't matter to me anymore. I laugh at myself when I recall the past. We put so much emphasis on naming our children as if we are the ones that decide the type of person they will become. No matter what name we give them , it will fit their personality and they will make it their own.

My mom wanted to name me Elizabeth, but my dad came from a long line of Walters and wanted this name to be carried on with his child. Of course, my mom was totally against it, but as every new mom, she was tired and fell asleep after delivery. My sneaky dad took that opportunity to fill out the forms and sign them making me the lucky one becoming Junior.

When my mom woke up, she was not a happy camper and refused to call me by that name. When we were alone, she would call me Beth or Lizzie, and it wasn't until we came to America seven years later that she finally called me by my American version Lottie. She preferred that over Wladyslawa.

One of my close friends heard my story of my name and calls me Walter. I love it! When we last saw each other, we were kidding around that my epitaph should say Here lies Walter. I'm mean, come on folks, who else has a name with such a storyline behind it?

Besides, her calling me that, just specifies our closeness and the type of relationship we have. So whatever name you give your child, believe me, they will look like it and act like that name. What's the story of your name?

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Pure Innocense

How does a person prove their innocense?
We live in a society where anyone can say whatever they want about someone and others will believe it instantly without any verification nor facts. Even the closest friends and family  will believe the lie no matter how close the injured party was to them.
Our reputations are carried around in a fragile case like imported glass. They're so easy to shatter, never able to be put back together again. It is so easy to think the worst about someone and yet so difficult to believe the good.
There was once another on Calgary Hill, a man that was accused wrongfully. All the good He had done and all the miracles were He performed were forgotten, as the same people that hailed Him as their King, strung Him up, nailing Him to the Cross.
How does a person prove their innocense?
Do all the years mean nothing? They can be dissolved into thin air? Jesus life before that Holy Week didn't even enter into any of their minds. It was completely erased as if He was no good.
Why do we judge people wrong when we have nothing to discredit them except the hurtful gossip of others?  Have we walked in their shoes? Have we examined all there is to check? To  compute? By what basis are we judging their innocence? Were we a fly on the wall?
How does a person prove their innocence?

Have a Blessed day everyone and let's not make assumptions until we have all the facts.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Throwback Thursday

When we moved here, almost immediately I found out my cancer returned. Our first Christmas was also the last time we decorated  fully, except for lights in the windows. It simply is too much work with a pet around. Diamond either eats or knocks down all the decorations. I would love a Christmas tree, but she loves to eat tinsel and the plastic fir.

The family I speak of below is doing as well as expected with ups and downs of a chronic illness. Yet, that family is filled to the top with love for one another. This disease has brought them even closer. I've taught their children in Sunday School  and I haven't found more well behaved ones or mature, than those set of twins.

As to cancer, it has a way of taking all the joy away. Every treatment begins in the same way. The first two times or so, our bodies are still strong so our recovery is a lot faster. With each treatment given (majority of them every 3 weeks ) our bodies become weaker and weaker, to the point where we are exhausted.
The treatment I went through in 2011 attacked my immune system where I had to go for shots the day after each treatment and a blood test the next week.

I certainly don't miss any of it.

Wanted - Ooomph!
   I was up and out early this morning ,  anxious to get my checklist done . After making sure I had plenty of crackers , miralax and anti-diarrhea medicine ......I headed home looking forward to a hot bath and some tea with lemon .
  Walked in to find my little bitty kitty went after all my ornaments , DVD player laying  on the floor and the lamp was overturned . Bless her heart she was nowhere to be found . As I  was cleaning up this surprise that was left for me , I noticed out of the corner of my eye something furry ran past.......very quickly ! Feeling disappointed that I can't thank her properly , I walk into the kitchen . Her face is the size of a child's palm yet the way she eats makes one think she is an ogre !! Cat food all over my floor .
  You think I would be mad , but I feel nothing . Not even a smile . I've lost my oomph ! At first , I was worried that maybe I'm slipping into a depression but I quickly realized its not sadness I've been feeling  . I simply feel nothing . My body and mind went into a neutral zone .
  Yesterday , I have told you about my friend , Linda . Today , I want to tell you about the third cancer patient at church  or rather his wife , Adrianna . They are a young couple in their early thirties with three children ( a set of twins 8yrs and a baby 1yr). Her husband just had a bone marrow transplant and they were awaiting test results . She said to me , that it didn't matter if the results came out great because they were at the point where nothing fazed them anymore . It's like , okay , what's next ?
  I understand what she means . This is exactly where I'm at , too . Things are going good. Chemo is taking effect ........for now ......until the next time . It has turned into a lifestyle . A way of life for all of us . It will never be the same matter what happens .
  Can't shake this feeling that my neutral zone means something . I really don't think we just stopped feeling , rather , I think we 're beginning an acceptance of our new life . Are we on the brink of a new chapter ? A very scary emotion for me . Who knows what He  has in store for me now . It could be something I don't want to deal with at all . Especially , since this time I don't want to deal with anything .

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Oh, Grant Me Patience

The waiting room at the dentist was full when I got there 30 minutes earlier than my appointment. I was hoping she might take me  before my scheduled time if she was caught up. Looking around the room, I could see that wasn't going to happen.
For the next two hours, I read my e-mails and checked my facebook. I watched a quiz show and the news, growing impatient with each minute going by. Oh, why didn't I bring my hook and yarn?
By the time I finally left, my frustration levels have skyrocketed. All that waiting for an x-ray and a referral! Not to mention a tardy for work if I didn't step on it and get going.
I did make it, tired and hungry since there wasn't any time for breakfast that morning. I grabbed the first cannister out of the refrigerator for lunch ( mashed potatoes ) plus, I wasn't even able to finish my morning coffee.
As I went about my daily routine at work, I fast realized I needed to re-adjust my attitude or my day would go south in a hurry. It is so easy to fall into a pit of despair when things don't go according to plan. The devil is always lurking in the shadows ready to steal our joy away from us.
I thought of all the good things that had happened to me that day. I was one step closer to that perfect smile. Another item checked off my "to do" list. My car was working just fine. The sun was shining and my bills were paid.
It was definitely turning out to be a terrific day!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Baldness Of Cancer

I've been watching Cancer: The Emperor of Maladies in my spare time. There is a scene where an oncologist, upon finding out she has breast cancer, has a family member shave her head. Her mom and husband sitting around her, the room becomes very quiet as the shears do their work. No one says a word, but they cannot take their eyes off her.
My eyes teared up instantly as I thought of my own experience. You could see her fighting to keep her facial expressions as normal as possible. I remember that moment so well.
There is no one that can go through that and not feel emotions stirring. There is something about going bald that makes the whole situation seem real and dire. I always felt  it was because being bald could only mean  one thing to the outside world ------- cancer.
Let's be honest with one another. When we see others with no hair, our first instinct is to think of  that horrible disease. We think of them as frail and weak. To me, that is the worst part of cancer, loosing one's hair. When I look into the mirror, it's almost like losing my  identity. I look so much like a victim and that's the last impression I care to make.

I don't want the pity, but show me compassion instead. There is a difference. Show me compassion by helping me in some way. Is there a chore that needs to be done? A dish that can be donated for dinner so I don't have to worry about cooking? Maybe I need something from the store? Pick up a prescription? The list is endless for ways to show compassion to a fellow cancer patient.

I'll never forget a time when I visited a family at the hospital of a dying family member. I brought coffee and bagels. I'll never forget the gratitude in such a small gesture. They didn't even realize how hungry or thirsty they were until they saw me walk in with these goodies.

Phew, I'm really get ahead of myself, but this documentary really has stirred up mixed emotions inside  of me.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sweet Monday

The big moment has finally arrived! I can have sugar! Yet, I find I'm feeling guilty and cannot bring the mug of  coffee to my lips without shame. Isn't that silly? It's only a spoonful of sugar.
I feel as if I'm changed inside somehow, because of this experience. What is different? Why am I even feeling ashamed?

I went out and bought chips, had some cake and a coffee. I can honestly tell you that I felt a sugar high. Ended up drinking tons of water to flush it out. Now I'm done with my sugar and junk food overdose, I can go back to a minimal glucose intake on a daily basis.

Yes, you heard me right. I've decided to keep going with less sugar in my life. There will be sugar in my coffee everyday, but only a slice of dessert once in a while.

I think I have overcome one of the most difficult challenges in my life. I've purposely stayed away from going that way during a fast, because of my weakness. Now I know I can do it.

There is a liberating feeling in knowing I've overcome something that had a hold on me in the past. I felt the same way when I finally learned how to drive at the age of 35 and when I've moved on my own. Now, if I could give up these two mugs of coffee . . . .

On the other hand, Emily and I headed out to the Social Security office to reapply for her card that I "lost" somewhere. That's what she gets for leaving it in my capable hands so it won't get misplaced. Well, I really hid it well, because we turned this place upside down and no card.

Boy, God is great! We prayed before we left that things would go well and we would get in and out without much waiting. We were out in 44 minutes from start to finish. How's that for answered prayers!

On our way out, I wished her "administrator" that handled her paperwork a very pleasant day.

A pleasant day only? he answers.

Well yes, it's only Monday!

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Day 30

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Day 29

The day began with homemade marshmallows. How many people do you know that can actually make marshmallows?
Apparently, Emily decided to make rice krispies treats, but with homemade marshmallows, for the end of my 30 day sugar fast.
She's plain incredible in the kitchen. 
We all have something we are great at that we can share with others. My crafty Ministry happens to be meeting this afternoon in our living room. I have to admit that I am pretty excited in having the ladies over. The only problem is that we become so busy chatting away that very little crocheting goes on.
I have learned that fellowship with other women is very important to my well-being, even though I'm a recluse at heart. Lately, I've been thinking of inviting other women who aren't crafty at all, just here for a friendly get together about life.
Let's open the door for others to wander in once in a while when their need for companionship becomes great. I want these women to know that we have a place for them to come and express themselves when life becomes too much. No strings attached, just women fellowshipping with other women.
So today, I extended such an invitation. Will there be a woman who needs to laugh, or cry or simply forget? I'm not sure, but the door is always open whenever one needs to enter.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Day 28

Is my plan God's plan?

In my earlier days as a Christian, that was one of my favorite sayings. Somehow, I honestly believed that God's plan was the same as mine. The future I held inside my head would be the same as what God wanted from me. Now, I just want to laugh at that assumption.

Just try to remember a time when our children were small and we asked them to do something totally opposite of what they wanted. Do you remember their reaction? That's how I kind of look at my assumption of  Is my plan God's plan?

It's perfectly easy to follow God's plan when it coincides with our plan beautifully, but what if we are placed in a situation where we are looking for the exit sign instead?

That's how I view my life on second shift at work.

Last week, we were handed a sheet for re-alignment to first shift if we wanted to. I have dreamed of this day ever since my original shift was closed. We all remember how that turned out and I ended up where I'm at now.

Funny thing, now that the opportunity presented itself in my favor, I was stumped whether I should make another move or not. I decided to make a list of all the pros and cons of the situation. Then I emailed my daughter that list and asked her to choose one item from both sides that she viewed " most important". I also consulted the opinion of a friend and her views on it.

Their thoughts were almost identical even though they have never met. They both thought that my position here was needed whereas on first, it didn't matter, they already had someone in that spot. My daughter also chose having dinner with me every night as a pro and car problems as a con.

What about me? What drew me to first? Well, I always held a vision in my head of coming home and enjoying the evening hours like a normal person. My children's childhood was spent with me on Second shift. Family dinners didn't exist. I have missed out on many everyday things such as enjoying an evening with a friend or a bible study  or any event that included socializing after work.

The thing is, I have been kicking and screaming ever since I got here on second last February. Thinking something in your head is one thing, but would it really be any different? Any better? It might be worse.

After listening to Dr. James Dobson's radio program, I heard his son ( his co-host ) tell of how he came to work with his father. This was never his intention, he always wanted to live on a beach, but instead ended up where he is now. The first few years were horrible, filled with financial problems and he often wondered why God placed him where he was.

That sort of cinched the deal for me. I thought of Jonah and Moses and their struggle to accept their path in life. A path that was chosen by God. So folks, I filled out that form and decided to finally obey God by staying where He placed me in the first place. I won't be going anywhere unless they themselves move me.

There is something good here, I just don't see it yet, but I'm  staying where I'm needed.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Day 27

I'm ashamed to say that I've forgotten this story. Yet, the minute I began reading, I also began crying. Why? The intense emotion that enveloped my heart came alive once again.

Oh, to bring someone such Joy, such happiness. Who wouldn't want to experience something so grand?

We take so much for granted that we cannot even imagine something simple like a hug could be just what a person needs the most. To them, it may be the greatest gift one can give them.

As we go out into the world today, let us remember the simple gifts we can give each other to help one another along in this difficult place we live in.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

The Greatest Gift
   I can see His compassion and tenderness toward needy people . His intense love for His followers .
                                                                                                        31 Days Of Praise (pg.43)
        After reading that Quote , I immediately thought of a young couple ( both 16 ) that found out they were expecting  a child . This was on an episode of  " 16 And Pregnant ". Never really watched this program before but that morning there was a marathon of episode after episode on .  There was I , glued to the set , disgusted with the young men leaving .
      Finally , this couple comes on . Both look younger than their 16 age . They decided to give their child up for adoption to a Christian couple . They knew they were not ready to be parents . The tears they cried when their daughter was born were heart wrenching . The tears the adoptive parents cried when they held their Carolyn were heartwarming . I was a total mess for those  30 minutes .
      I witnessed the greatest gift from one person to another . I want to do that . I want to give someone a gift that money can't buy . I want to touch someone's life in a way where they are inspired , encouraged or transformed .
      Imagine a Christmas where the only gifts are those we give of ourselves . Maybe giving  someone who is lonely a gift of your time . Or making dinner for a sick friend . No material gift will bring more joy to those adoptive parents than the sacrifice of the teen couple . How beautiful !!!

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Day 25

Let's confront the elephant in the room. I need to be honest and admit that I am deeply bothered with the death of Linda. I think the reason why I'm so angry, dissatisfied and high strung lately has to do with her unexpected death. 

You see, unlike Lora ( who was very prepared and in acceptance with her health issues) Linda has never accepted her illness. As long as I have known her, she distressed over it . . . . the chemo treatments, the petscans, the doctor visits . . . . all of it.

I spoke to her a month or so before her sudden death. Even then, she was so distraught over her inability to eat. She was so scared that she would die, because she wasn't ready. In her mind, she still had so much unfinished business here. God couldn't possibly take her now, she was needed here.

As a fellow mother, I can understand her feelings. We want everything here to be good when we do leave this earth. We need to know, to be reassured that things and people we love would be taken cared of since we will not be able to do so ourselves.

What upsets me is that death comes whether we are ready for it or not. It happens suddenly and we have absolutely no control over it. It doesn't matter how things are here, when it's our time, it's over. I know that deep down inside I have always known this, but somehow it seems so close and personal this time.

I'm not ready with my things here, either.

I have dealt with the act of dying a long time ago. In truth, I've always thought my here would be taken cared of already, but it hasn't. Linda's dying so suddenly and unexpectedly has made me aware of the very fact. Are my things in order? Absolutely not.

I certainly don't want to be in the same place as Linda and unprepared. I'm afraid that things here won't be settled when it's my turn. If I won't have time settle things here, who will do them for me?

I know I have to believe and trust God to leave in His hands the people I cherish most, but it's easier said than done. I have seen people suffer after losing someone they love. I don't want that to happen here. So I'm upset and I know it makes no rational sense for my emotion, yet here I am . . . worried what the future holds for them.

Did she leave peacefully? I certainly hope so. I have prayed that if God chose to take her, let her go peacefully and quickly, not worried about the here.

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Day 24

Hello everyone. The story below I wrote a few days ago, but decided not to post, because I felt it might be taken as another negative entry made by me. There have been too many made already.

Having had some time to think things over, I've decided that it would go against everything I believe in when I began this blog.
1.I've always wanted to be honest regarding  my emotions
2.This journey is about my growth, my experience and not about entertaining everyone else.
3. There is a reason, a highlight to all of this buildup

So bear with me folks, I'm going through some things.

"You know, things happen. Mistakes happen, but it's time to pick yourself up. You have another event."
Shawn Johnson's Coach Chow.

 In my journey, there were times where I struggled to the point of wanting to give up. I moaned. I groaned. I complained. Yet, God reminds me, each and every time, to get back up. I could have a horrible morning and I'll open up scripture or a devotional only to find an encouraging word inside made just for that occasion.
On the kitchen table lie chocolate covered Easter eggs, staring up at me everytime I walk in the room. Yet, I resist. I have given up so much over the years in the hope of losing some of my weight. Not much, just some. It is a disappointment to me when I get on the scale. I just don't drop pounds like some people. Last ten days I lost 4 pounds and absolutely nothing this week. I want  to cry. What was all that misery for?

It is the same at work. I strive to a higher level of achievement and truly care how I do my job by being a team player and working hard. In the process, I am the one who ends up getting shortchanged by giving up prized vacation dates, or coming in as a replacement for someone else. During those times, I'll end up working with no computers, short staffed or inadequate tools to do my job.  everyone knows how unhappy I am at work.
 Why? Why do I continue bothering to do that to myself fully knowing it will be a horrible time of it? Why does my hand automatically rise up to volunteer when I know I will regret later? Why can't I say no? Why do I take on more than I can  chew?
All my misery these past few weeks have been my doing. I wish I could turn off my caring button, but I can't, because of who I am in Christ. Even now, as I write here frustrated and declaring to take a vacation day today, I know I won't. I know my duty and my responsibilities. I can feel the Holy Spirit inside of me saying: Get up! You have another event.
Have a Blessed day everyone.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Day 23

Today, there is only One who deserves our praise and honor. Today, it's all about Jesus and His great sacrifice for us. By His death, we are born again. Happy Easter everyone.

The Potter's Hands

Beautiful Lord, wonderful Savior
I know for sure, all of my days are
held in Your hands
Crafted into Your  perfect plans

You gently call me into your presence
Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit
Teach me Dear Lord
To live all of my life through Your eyes

I'm captured by Your Holy calling
Set me apart
I know You're drawing me to Yourself
Lead me Lord, I pray

Take me, Mold me
Use me, Fill me
I give my life to the Potter's hands
Hold me, Guide me
Lead me, Walk beside me
I give my life to the Potter's hand.

And ..........

You're a springtime
kind of person,
and there's sunshine
in your smile.
There's warmth in all
the gladness you impart
And here's the special reason
you're so like
this lovely season
It's the Springtime
that you keep
within your heart.
Happy Easter , Happy Spring!

Day 26

I am so excited that this is my last week of this sugar challenge! I cannot wait to have a coffee, a real cup of coffee. Even Emily claims she will bust out baking when I'm done. I'm almost afraid at what she's planning, because she's been baking the whole time.

My mind has been preoccupied with a small decision that I need to make by the end of this week. It is an opportunity, but as I've found out last year, not all opportunities are good ones. More on this in the next few days.

Also, if you have missed the Cancer: Emperor of Maladies special on PBS, you can go on their website and watch it via the internet. I highly recommend this documentary if you are going through cancer or lost someone dear to you. It focuses on cancer through the ages, it's remedies and where we are now. A three part series that I'm watching in spurts. I'm on the prevention part.

Another busy week, but that's how we like it around here. A work associate is retiring and my soul is feeling nostalgic. The Ministry ladies are meeting this Saturday I've been writing up a storm outside of this blog. Lots of news, but we'll have to wait for details.

The following is thanks to grandma Barb!
The Cherokee Indian

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of Passage?
His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone.
He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays
of the morning sun shine through it.
He cannot cry out for help to anyone
Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.
He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.
The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!
Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold.
It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him.
He had been at watch the entire night,
protecting his son from harm.
We, too, are never alone.
Even when we don't know it, God is watching over us, Sitting on the stump beside us.
When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.
Moral of the story:
Just because you can't see God,
Doesn't mean He is not there.
"For we walk by faith, not by sight."

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Day 22

A smile costs nothing, but creates much good. It enriches those who receive it without impoverishing those who gave it away. It happens in a flash, but the memory  of it can last forever. No one is so rich that he can get along with out. No one is too poor to feel rich when receiving it. It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad and natures best anecdote for trouble. It cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen.

I've had a wonderful day at work on Good Friday! For all the worry and stress that I dealt with this past week, it ended up being one of the best days ever. Why can't they all be like that?

On the other hand, it all turned out good, too. Emily ended up being incredibly busy with her Easter Egg Hunt preparation, spending her Good Friday stuffing the little buggers with candy. This morning she was up at 6 a.m. making croissants( a 3 day prep) and off she went to pass out fliers for Easter Service.

What am I doing? The usual cleaning, laundry and enjoying my mystery two day marathon. Today, I'm a very happy girl!

It's a great weekend, I'm thanking Jesus for all He has done. I am grateful for HIS sacrifice for my salvation. It's not the eggs or the outfit we're celebrating, but His great love for us.

Happy Easter everyone! Give someone a smile this weekend!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Day 21

 If there is one thing I want to leave behind when I die, are pleasant memories for everyone in my life. I want a relationship instead of being just an acquaintance.
My Joey was the only boy in our family surrounded by all girls for over 17 years. In the last 13, I have been blessed to have Logan, Luke, Tim, Justin, Ashton, Kai and Lachlan as my nephews and grandson. There were also a few girls thrown in there, too.
Yesterday morning, I was honored to have spent some time with one of them. Luke, a bundle of energy ready to explode any minute and with a hint of a moustache, joined my mother and I on our weekly shopping spree. One would think that a boy of twelve would be bored doing so, but he was beaming the entire time.
He could not stop fidgeting as if he swallowed a spring exclaiming what's next?
He is also my little knitter who with his own  two large hands knitted a pair of slippers for himself. There was a small problem of one being larger than the other. He couldn't take his eyes off my hands amazed how fast I could crochet. When his father called to check up on him, inquiring what his son was doing at that time, Luke yelled out:
 I'm watching Lottie break a record!
My time spent with Luke has me grinning from ear to ear this morning just remembering everything. When I came home from work, he left me messages on my ministry page, making this Aunt feeling special.
I hope that on this Good Friday, each and every one of you will have an opportunity to make someone else smile or share a laugh. Making memories is a beautiful thing, folks!
Have a Blessed day everyone.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Day 20

Here's a throwback Thursday blog from 2011, featuring Linda. My dear Linda.

I believe that all of us who are battling a chronic disease have a checklist of some sort whether it is written down or imprinted permanently in our heads. This checklist includes a list of things we need to take care of before our next chemo infusion.

I would prepare the household by doing laundry and grocery shopping as well as paying bills. Anything that I could do ahead of time, I would get ready so I could devote my time to healing and resting.

Of course, there is that famous chemo bag of mine, filled with some of my basic needs to keep me occupied during the infusion. Right now, it sits in the closet waiting for that next time.

What is your checklist look like?

  On Sunday , I usually run into my friend Linda . We compare notes on the different chemo treatments , side effects we are experiencing and any test results we are waiting on . It's good to know another cancer patient to share this road with . In my church  , there are three of us  going through cancer .
   I was very surprised to find we both have the same routine . We have a checklist we go through before our chemo . We already know what kind of side effects we will experience and how long they will last . We prepare ourselves for those days when we will be out of action .
  I get chemo every three weeks . My side effects usually last 2 weeks and then I get a week break before the next treatment . Being sick and out of commission makes life a little hard . My checklist includes doing groceries , paying any bills , getting all  my medications , doing laundry etc . We also buy whatever we need for our side effects . One of my big ones happens to be nausea .I 'll stock up on crackers  and fruit to help combat it .
   I depend on my checklist alot lately. I find that I stay home as much as possible . In fact , I can feel the difference in my body more now than before . It will only get worse as time goes on . If there is an event like a birthday or sunday school , I have to rest up all week for it . Being sick is a full time job .
  Then there is a checklist for the everyday life until I go in remission . My plastic gloves that I use when cleaning , atm machines and for pumping gas . The famous clorox wipes ....where do I begin ? I use them for everything ! For the steering wheel when I get inside the car and the bathroom ,oh yes , the bathroom . Especially , if that bathroom is not mine . Lastly , the mask , for those times when someone is sick and I have no choice but to be near them .
   My checklist begins tomorrow . So does Linda's . Next day is treatment ....for both of us . Yeah , it's good to have a friend that is experiencing the same thing at the same time .

Have a Blessed day everyone.

Yarn Bombing My Life

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