Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Last night was a very bad one for me. Earlier I had fun with the corn husk angel (see previous post), but later in the evening I had a terrible bout with the pain that has plagued me since my colon resection in Nov. 2007.  I've had IBS for a long time, so I'm no stranger to abdominal pain, but this is a whole new animal. When that pain grips me, all I want is to either pass out or be so drugged up I can't feel anything.

I do have Hydrocodone to take when it gets that bad, and last night was one of those nights. As I rolled and screamed, "Help me," I think Bill felt helpless to know what to do. He thought I was begging him for assistance, but I was really crying out to God.

Perhaps one day the doctors will find a way to keep this from happening. Until then, it's a very painful reminder that I'm eligible to wear the Relay For Life shirt labeled "Survivor."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Corn Husk Dolls!

Okay, this one is technically not about cancer. Not totally, anyway.

I've been helping with Vacation Bible School at my grandchildren's church this week, and my assignment was to assist in making corn husk dolls. I was a tad nervous when told about that, but I figured I'd be crafty enough to make a go of it.

They are so stinking cute!  I love making those dolls! Tonight I experimented with making one into an angel, because I'm thinking they would make cute Christmas ornaments. I was fairly pleased with the results, but I know if I do decide to make them as Christmas gifts, I will go to Hobby Lobby and make sure to get the cutest elements to make them totally adorable.

Here's the cancer portion of the story: since I had my little trip down cancer lane, I've made a real effort to find things that make me joyous  and allow myself to be fully immersed in them. Crafts are relaxing for me, until I get to the point where the items are finished and looking very cute. That's where the jumping and getting excited appears! My advice to anyone with cancer or any serious illness would be to find the fun in each day. Indulge yourself in what makes you feel good about yourself!

I have to sign off now, because I want to go look at my angel again. *grins*

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Camping With the Boys

What a fun weekend! Bill and I took our two precious grandsons, 8 and 4, on their first tent camping experience. We only did one night this time, because we weren't sure how it would go over. We all LOVED it, so I suppose we will be purchasing a tent and going for longer stays (we borrowed a tent from friends this time). Owen and Andrew were particularly fond of helping to start our campfires, and we all enjoyed our pancake breakfast cooked in the cast iron skillet over the fire.

Being in the beautiful outdoors and cuddling in the tent with my boys, I reflected again on the joy that can be found in life. After an experience like cancer, it is tempting to think that life will never be the same again...and it won't. The exquisite joy of being alive adds extra flavor to everything!

The pictures we took will be a lasting reminder of the fun we had, and my heart will always be full when I think back on the laughter and good times.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The "gift" of cancer

Cancer is not something you would ever ask to have happen to a loved one or yourself. It's a scary, worrisome business. So it might seem odd to say that there can be any gift associated with cancer, but I believe there can be.

For me, the gift has been being able to use my experience to help others who are diagnosed. I've been on my county's Relay For Life planning committee the last couple of years, and I've made contacts and learned about programs that I can suggest to people who are newly diagnosed and feeling lost. That is VERY rewarding for me.

Relay itself has brought me the gift of so many dear friends that I would not have known otherwise. We are bound by our status as survivors and people who are determined to fight the BEAST. Although I wish I had met them another way, I cherish having them in my life.

As I write this tonight, I have a heavy heart, because one friend our Relay committee is probably near the end of her life on earth, and another friend from church just got a fairly daunting diagnosis. *sigh* My work is not done...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Don't put this burden on cancer patients!

I have to share a pet peeve of mine. I know people mean well when they tell cancer patients that "attitude is everything." No, it's not! Life isn't fair, and sometimes the sunniest, healthiest, sweetest people you know will get cancer. And when they do, they might be joyful in all things most of the time, but cancer will get you down sometimes. PLEASE! Let them have that down moment.

It's really placing an unfair burden on someone who is scared, may be in pain, and who may be trying to simply maintain under a regimen of chemo or radiation, or both. And how about someone who HAS been cheery and is still in the last stage of life? How do you think they feel?

I suggest a hug and a few words about the fact that you care for that patient, and they have been in your prayers. Unless you've been in their shoes (I have), you really DON'T know how they feel. Trust me on this.

Monday, June 20, 2011


So, I set out to post a comment on my daughter's blog,  and it looks like I have to be a blogger to do so. So, here we go!

A major emphasis for me the past 3 years has been surviving cancer. I was diagnosed with colon cancer Nov. 21, 2007. So my blog will mostly be about health tips, feelings about survivorship, etc. I know I need to eat more healthy food and get more exercise, so hopefully this will be a kick in the pants!