Thursday, November 8, 2012

Being Brave

Ever since I had cancer, I have felt more vulnerable, pretty much in all aspects of life. I think it has to do with the realization that anything can happen. So I've felt more cautious, more in need of being near family, particularly my dear husband.

So I'm trying to conquer that, or at least mitigate it somewhat. And tomorrow I will be off on an adventure! For the first time in my life, I am driving off a couple of states away for a conference for work. I'm not that much afraid of the drive, but I don't relish checking into the hotel and maneuvering around a strange place alone. I'm doing it, though!

Praying I don't get halfway there and panic. I REALLY want to go to this conference, and I REALLY want to be a strong woman. So here goes!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lab visit

So tomorrow I go once again to have my blood drawn to check my CEA (cancer marker). That number has always been good, so it doesn't cause too much anxiety, save for the fact that I HATE needles!!! I do confess that I always call the morning after the blood draw to check on the number, and I do give a sigh of relief when I hear it's in the normal range.

I do pray for the less fortunate patients I see when I go to the cancer clinic. I know they would love to only be having a periodic blood draw. What a relief to not be lying there for hours as the dreaded chemo enters their bodies. I was given the gift of an early diagnosis. I know I can handle the needle!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Giving Back

It's been a busy summer for me, and I've been pretty tired the last couple of months. It's good, though, to know that the tired feeling is from doing important work and something that I enjoy (working with the children and youth from my church).

While I've been occupied with events and such, unfortunately too many of my friends have been consumed with worry about their health. And now one of the strongest ladies I know, my dear Kathryn, is in a very tough battle with a recurrence of her cancer. If anyone can beat it, I know she can. She is nearly fearless and totally persistent in her quest for freedom from "The Beast." Right now, though, there are many factors that are conspiring to test her spirit and her strength.

My prayers and my love are with Kathryn and her family. I pray that she will be free of this disease. I know God will answer that prayer, but I don't know His time or His plan. He will take care of her, I know that.

Again the question comes to my mind. Why was I so fortunate to have my cancer found in an early stage? Why am I (so far) still cancer free? I don't know the why. I just know that because of this great gift, it is my task to give back, and I will do that...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I haven't been a very faithful blogger, but I have some perfectly good excuses. The main one is that I have been very busy with Relay For Life preparations the past couple of months. I'm the captain of the team from my church, and I am also on the planning committee for our local Relay. It's the most important volunteer work I do.

This year's Relay was so special and beautiful. We dedicated to our friend, Gail, who passed away exactly 2 months after she spoke at last year's survivor area at Relay. We had a ceremony to honor her, and the committee walked a lap with her family. So much emotion for a much-loved angel.

Gail loved the beach and had "a thing" for pink flamingos, so our theme this year was "Flamingos Flock, Relayers Rock." It was awesome to see how the teams went with the theme. Flamingos were everywhere!!!
I know Gail was smiling down on the event.

And now to catch up on other aspects of life, being thankful every day that I am still alive and able to be busy. And I will continue to Relay, to carry the torch for those who Relay in Heaven now...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I Would Have Missed

A couple of days ago, my oldest grandson sent me an email to share some stories he's writing. Owen is 9 now, and it's so fun to get emails from him. I'm saving all of them and plan to print them out and put them in a scrapbook.

While reading the stories, I thought back to earlier days when Owen would endlessly dictate stories to me. My role was to suggest some ideas, although he thought up most of the content, and then we would draw illustrations. That's pretty funny right there, because I have many skills, but drawing is absolutely not one of them. However, I did my best, because I would do anything for my Owen.

The reminiscing took me back to the time when I was diagnosed with my cancer. Right about then was when the stories were a big part of the day when I took care of Owen. I was also caring for little brother Andrew, soon to be 5, but then a 6 month-old baby. If my cancer hadn't been discovered so early, I might not have had the chance to see Owen blossom into the writer of his own stories. I might not have seen Andrew learn to walk and talk and become the funny little character he is. I might not have known Caroline at all. That precious little princess came along about a year and a half after IT came into my life.

Once again I am grateful to still be here...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Get your colonoscopies, people!

This is March, which means it's colorectal cancer awareness month. Since I had the dubious "pleasure" of having that particular form of the beast, I like to remind people in March that they need to have their colonoscopies. They're not pleasant, but they're not nearly as unpleasant as cancer!

Do it, people!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Another one gone...

I lost another friend today. This was a dear, precious lady who was a very caring member of my online cancer support group. *sigh* The fact about that group is that it has been so comforting to me since my diagnosis, and I've been able to use information I've learned there to help others. So it's a good thing. But it sure does take a piece of my heart on a regular basis.

Rest in peace, sweet Lisa.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Life is funny sometimes. I've passed my 4-year mark of being NED (no evidence of disease), and I'm doing fairly well, except for that pesky chronic pain in my abdomen. But just the thought of the oncology clinic throws me into a tizzy. Today I went up there to deliver a survivor/caregiver newsletter that I help produce for our local Relay For Life committee. All I had to do was walk in, let them know what I was bringing, place it in the waiting room, and go.

I realized as I was going up on the elevator that I was breathing more heavily, and a feeling of sadness rolled over me. I can face many things in life, and I have, but that oncology clinic always makes me feel like a little girl who wants her mommy.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rest in Peace, Lib

Yesterday I said goodbye to another loved friend who had battled cancer. Although she had lived a good, long life, her loss will be felt greatly by her family and friends. I also regret so much the pain she had to go through on her journey.

Lib's funeral was at our church, and I was a member of the choir. As I looked out at the congregation and around the choir, I could identify several others who, like me, had faced cancer and won (so far). Once again I had to count my blessings and thank God for protection and healing. Oh, that I could grant the same to others...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Walking in the Rain

I know sometimes people probably see me walking down the street to work and wonder what's going on in my head. On days like today, when it was a bit cool and rainy, I was still smiling and bopping along. Every now and then, I lifted my face to feel the cool rain and to drink in the fresh smell in the air. After having cancer, I savor times like that, because they make me feel very alive. To someone who faced a life-threatening illness, feeling alive is FABULOUS.

Even if you've been blessed with the best health ever, try to live with appreciation of every moment, because we never know how many moments there will be.