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Showing posts from April, 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…

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 s…

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…

A Calming Joy

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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 wo…

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 t…

T.G.I.F.

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 wi…

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, becau…

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 no…

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 unhap…

Swing On Up

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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. M…

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 W…

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 …

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 exhau…

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 …

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 o…

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 …

Day 30

Nothing demonstrates God's power more to me than the weather. Just take a look outside. When the sun is  shining beautifully upon us, we are witness to His greatest Creation called Earth. Just look around at all the wonderous things He has made for us to enjoy.

 The same applies to snowstorms. I love to sit by my window and watch the snow blanket everything in it's sight. It's almost as if all the ugliness of the world is covered with the purity of the white snow. Isn't that the same when we are forgiven and God provides us with new clean clothes to wear? 

Spring brings along with it rain. Don't we all know it? Just the other night, majority of people were experiencing thunderstorms, strong winds and threatening twisters. We could feel the ferocity of the storm. The lightening flashing across the sky, so beautiful and scary at the same time. When my children were very little, I would read this book with them. It was a book that had no words, just pictures. It was ca…

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…

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 …

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 foun…

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 care…

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 …

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…

Day 22

A smilecosts 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, laundr…

Day 21

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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 hi…

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?



Checklist
  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 t…