Posted in Family, Love

Show me the Love

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. My prayers have been answered and I have a snow day today! So I’m going to be writing, editing, making bean soup and running. Ugh on the running part, but it’s a necessary chore if I want to stay healthy. Right? 🙂

Photo on VisualHunt

 

Anyway, today I’d like to talk about how people show love. This post was inspired by my friend Christine and her blog post, “What love looks like when you are Sick.” Here’s the link: https://imsickandsoareyou.com/2018/02/09/what-love-looks-like-when-youre-sick/

 

Photo on Visual hunt

 

It’s a touching post and it got me thinking about the ways people in our lives show their love, and the fact that there are so many different kinds of love in the world. I don’t know about you, but I think it is truly amazing that the kind of love we need appears just when we need it. Have you ever noticed that?

There’s the love of a mother for her sons. The love of a father for his daughters. The love of a husband for his wife and vice versa. The love of a brother for his sister and of a sister for her brother.  The love of one cancer survivor to another.

That camaraderie you can only have by going through something together or through a similar situation. I love the woman who helped me deal with my chemo. She was there as a calming voice in the swirling vortex of my anxiety when my fingers and toes began to go numb from the medication I was given. She understood my fear. The fear that my fingers would stay numb and I wouldn’t be able to type any more. That’s love folks. Love of a survivor holding the hand of someone who wants to survive.

 

Photo on Visual Hunt

There’s also the love of my sons for me. They were bright lights in my dark world at that time.  I remember my oldest calming my fears when my anxiety had ramped up and I didn’t want to do chemo any more. I’d lost my hair and twenty pounds. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Mom. You only have two months left.”

Photo credit: Nick Fuentes on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

He was so calm and reasonable and that’s when I knew I could do it.  I never thought I’d be turning to my son for emotional support like that. It was an incredible moment.

Now that I’m better, we don’t talk about those days. Instead my kids show me love by stealing my blanket and still asking for bedtime stories even though they’re in the tween and teen years. Those moments are precious to me because I know they’ll soon be grown and off to conquer the world. I’ll hold onto those memories and they’ll sustain me when I miss them.

They say that people who live for experiences are happier than people who live for things and I believe that’s true. I wouldn’t trade my memories for all the money in the world.

What are your thoughts? How do the people in your life show you their love? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

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Posted in Health

You Need to be Your Own Advocate

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a harrowing week of being at the hospital with my son who developed appendicitis over the weekend. My poor little guy was in so much pain. Sob. When we figured out he might have appendicitis, we immediately got him into the doctor who then made arrangements for him to go to the emergency room.

Photo credit: AJC1 via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC

We got our son into the hospital and we hoped he’d have surgery that night. Nope. He wasn’t considered an emergency case because his appendix hadn’t burst. According to the ultrasound, it was just inflamed. So they gave him pain medication and anti-nausea medication for the night. He was scheduled for surgery the next morning, but he was pushed back to noon because an emergency case had come in. When he finally went into surgery it was one thirty, and guess what, during our wait his appendix burst. The surgery took longer than expected and so has his recovery. We were in the hospital two days longer than we had planned.

 

Photo via Visualhunt.com

The reason I’m telling you this is because you must be your own advocate when you seek medical attention. I wish we hadn’t blindly followed the doctor’s advice and allowed him to push our son’s surgery back. I wish we had said we feel this is a real emergency and we want this taken care of now.

Another example I’d like to share with you is when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The surgeon who performed my mastectomy originally recommended a lumpectomy because they had only found one spot.

Photo credit: KOMUnews via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

I told him I wanted an MRI done to make sure there weren’t any other cancerous spots. I wanted this to be a one and done kind of thing. I didn’t want to have to go through anything like this again.  His response was, “We don’t do MRI’s on people your age.”

I told him I didn’t care. I wanted to make sure there weren’t any other spots and he needed to order an MRI. He did and there were five other cancerous spots. Now if I had just listened to him, I’d be going back for more surgery and the cancer would’ve most likely spread through my body. My life would’ve been cut dramatically short.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate everything the medical community has done for me. After all, they’ve extended my life and I get to see my kids grow up. But they’re not always right and some doctors have a tendency to cut corners whether it’s at the behest of insurance companies or for other reasons I’m not sure. So the moral of this story is: You need to be your own advocate for your health. Ask questions and push the issue when you need medical attention. Get second and third opinions. It could literally save your life.

 

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Do you have any medical experiences you’d like to share? Please do. I love to hear from you!

Posted in Health

Is Processed Food Poisoning Us?

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about the food we eat. I just watched a documentary titled, “What the Health.” It was eye-opening to say the least. To check out the documentary click the link below.

What the Health 

In this show, the producers claim it is the meat we eat that’s causing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. They feel the public has been misinformed by all the health organizations who encourage us to eat meat. Their spin on the whole thing is these organizations accept donations from the meat industry and therefore, act as advertisers for it.

Photo via Visualhunt.com

I watched the documentary in its entirety and it did make me question whether or not their claims could be true. There were people interviewed on the show that were taking all kinds of medications for diabetes and heart disease and after two weeks of eating a plant based diet they were either off all medications or on their way there. They interviewed doctors who all claim that meat is the cause of many of our society’s sicknesses.  The popular theory is that all the pesticides and preservatives in our meat are causing these life changing illnesses.

The way our food is processed has come under attack before. In the documentary, “Fed Up,” it illustrated how sugar is added to our processed foods, like canned tomatoes and other vegetables (See the link to the trailer below).  It’s added to our soda and cereals as well.Now sugar is just empty calories, so if we’re adding empty calories to our diet, what happens? We store those calories as fat and now that we’re a more sedentary society, we don’t burn off those extra calories. Where does that lead us? Obesity. What happens when we’re overweight? We’re at a high risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Trailer for “Fed Up”

 

Photo via Visualhunt

 

We are literally poisoning ourselves with the food we eat. How sad is that? So what’s the answer? Well according to the producers of “What the Health,” we need to eat a plant-based diet. But where will we get our protein you ask? From nuts and beans.

 

I’m going to try and eat a more plant-based diet and see how I feel. How about you? Do you feel the way our food is processed is making us sick? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

**** On a side note, there were some conflicting claims between the two documentaries so keep that in mind if you watch them. 🙂

Posted in Family, Health, raising kids

What Cancer has Taught Me

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! It has been a while since I’ve posted on my blog. Sorry about that, but I’ve been busy with surgery, vacations, and the kidlets! I’ve also had trouble finding a topic. It seems that I’ve written either a guest post or a post for my own blog on just about everything. 🙂 (I know that’s not true, but it feels that way.)

Then it hit me. I could write about what cancer has taught me. I know. Another post about cancer, but it’s a good one. I promise. (Insert sincere smile here.) When I was younger and working in the competitive environment of insurance sales and something or someone would bother me. I used to ask myself this question. “If I found out I had cancer, would this particular incident upset me?” Surprisingly, the answer was always. “No.” In that instance, I would put the episode behind me and focus on what I needed to accomplish for that day. I tried hard not to wallow in negative emotions. Although, sometimes I did. 🙂 I am a work in progress, after all.

It’s quite ironic I was diagnosed twenty years later with cancer. Does that make me psychic? 😉

Anyway, it’s funny what cancer teaches you. That’s right. There’s a positive side to having cancer. It wakes you up. It gives you clarity. For example, I struggled with being a stay at home mom. Working has always given me a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. For moms who work hard for those teachable moments with their kids while battling the mountain of laundry that seems to come with them, there’s no crowd cheering you on. There’s no award at the end of the day. There’s no real recognition from your peers, which means the sense of accomplishment gets a bit muddled sometimes. Especially when you’re trying to teach your child patience and they choose to scream their little heads off instead of learning it. 🙂  Cancer has taught me that I don’t need any special recognition from my peers. I just need and appreciate the bond I have with my kids.

Cancer has opened my eyes to the little things in everyday life that I may not have appreciated fully or may have even take for granted. Things I would have missed if I had been working full time. For example, those little conversations I have with my boys at odd hours of the day. Are transformers fiction or non-fiction? Is Texas bigger than Michigan? Is a Tyrannosaurus Rex bigger than our house?

Tyrannosaurus Rex Drawing - Tyrannosaurus Rex Fine Art Print

Another example is a hug. Something as simple as a hug can have a huge impact on someone’s day. When I drop my boys off to school, I hug them and tell them I love them. In fact, I do this every time I leave the house and they don’t come with me. I’ve practiced this ever since they were babies. I know this sounds weird or even a little fatalistic, but I always thought, “What if I get in a car accident on the way home?” I want my boys’ last memory of me to be a hug and my last words to be “I love you.” Surviving cancer has taught me that I’m on the right track. Now, I hug more often and tell my boys I’m proud of them and that I’m glad they’re in my life. I believe kids need to hear that sometimes.

Believe it or not, conventional business theory states that there are ...

I always tried to live my life as if each day was my last, so it would be a worthwhile day. I practiced this as much as I could, but now after cancer I’m even better at it. Now, I don’t oscillate between the two pillars of I should be working and I should be home with the kids. I know where I’m supposed to be.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Please leave a comment or ask a question! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Health

Is Our Food Industry making us Sick?

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. So sorry for my long absence, but I’ve been recovering from my bout with chemo and it has taken a while for my energy to come back. Therefore, I’ve had to pick and choose the things that I can spend my time on and of course, my first priority is my kids.

Anyway, since going through the whole cancer/chemo rigmarole I’ve been paying a lot more attention to my health. I’ve always exercised, but I didn’t always eat healthy meals. Now that I can taste what I’m eating, I’m paying more attention and making sure that I eat more fruits and vegetables. I’m convinced that our processed foods are causing many of the types of cancers we see today. Now please remember that I’m not a doctor, but I find it interesting that cancer is on the rise instead of the decline with all the information we have available to us.

My hubby and I watched a documentary recently titled, “Fed Up.” This movie reinforced my belief that processed food is making our population sick. Not only are the preservatives a problem, but the added sugar is also a danger to our health. The added sugar not only causes cancer and heart disease, but it also increases the likelihood of obesity and diabetes, both of which are on the rise in the United States.

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According to the documentary, the food industry is removing the fat from the food they’re manufacturing, but then adding sugar to enhance the flavor. This sounds an awful lot like what the Tobacco industry did. Didn’t they add nicotine to their product so that consumers would become more addicted to it?

Did you know sugar has the same effect on the brain as cocaine? I find that incredibly interesting and it explains the struggle we have with weight and sweets. Did you know that more and more Americans join Health clubs every day, but the average weight of the American is on the rise? What this means is that more and more of us are exercising, but we’re still gaining weight.

That’s certainly cause for speculation, wouldn’t you agree? Now, there may be a variety of reasons like people are joining the gym but then not using it like they should; technology has allowed us to become lazy; I don’t have time. I agree these reasons factor into the obesity problem. However, the added sugar to our food is a much bigger culprit.
Here’s where you can watch a trailer of the movie and order a DVD. I believe it’s also available on Net Flix. http://fedupmovie.com/#/page/home

If enough people complain about the added sugar in our processed foods, maybe we can get the food industry to change the way it manufactures our food.

Until this change occurs, however, try to eliminate processed foods from your diet as much as you can. I know it’s hard to do with our busy lifestyles, but isn’t our family’s health worth it?

***photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons. Here’s the link: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Posted in Uncategorized

Chemo Update Number Seven

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you.  I’m back today with another chemo update. This one is late in coming because of the holidays and the emotional issues that go along with chemo.

I was prepared for the physical side effects, but sad to say the emotional ones have blindsided me. I wasn’t prepared for the anxiety and depression that seems to go along with treatment.

The anxiety hit me like a runaway freight train. One day I was fine, the next day I started worrying about everything. Even little everyday things seemed to cause an inordinate amount of stress for me. Couple that with the stress of raising two little boys and there are some days I’m wired tighter than a piano string.

I was able to get some anti-anxiety medication and it seems to help, but I still feel anxious sometimes and it makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide out until this process is over.

Of course, I still have some physical symptoms like the nausea, but that’s not as bad as it was in the beginning, which does help. The newest side effect is the numbness in my hands and feet. This is scary for me, because it generally goes away when you finish chemo, but it can be permanent. So of course, this causes me some anxiety as well, but there’s really nothing I can do about it except pray that it’s not permanent.

However, it does help to write about all of this, it eases some of the anxiety, and hearing from all of you helps. Your kind words and prayers make me feel less alone in this battle.

I also have a wonderful support system. My hubby who has picked up a lot of the slack even though he has encountered some health issues of his own. My family and my husband’s family as well as colleagues from work have all stepped forward and made offers of assistance.

I want to say thank you to everyone who has assisted me at this time in my life. I’ve been blessed by not only strong family members and colleagues, but by authors, editors, and publishers as well. Thank you so much for your support and prayers they mean a lot to me. Thank you. I am truly blessed.

Posted in Personal

Chemo Update for Number Six

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. It’s been awhile since I’ve given an update on my chemo journey. Therefore, I’m back today to fill everyone in. My doctor cancelled my sixth treatment due to the fact that I have some numbness in my toes and fingers. After talking with my friend from Gilda’s club, I spoke to my doctor and let him know that I was concerned. He recommended that we cancel the treatment and then lower the dose. So instead of bi-weekly visits, I’ll be doing weekly visits. My friend from Gilda’s had to do the same thing and she said that the weekly chemo treatments were tolerable. The only bad thing is that it puts me out a week longer on my timeline.

There have also been some emotional side effects that didn’t occur until the second half. I’m not sure why that is, I’m guessing that being sick is wearing me down and causing some anxiety. I seem to worry about everything whether it warrants it or not. I’ve spoken to my doctor and he has prescribed some medication. All we can do is see if it works.

I also had some sort of infection and the doctor prescribed an antibiotic for me. I didn’t even know I was sick, I figured I felt lousy because of the chemo. So a word to the wise don’t get lackadaisical about checking your temperature. When the nurse informs you to check it every day, do it.

One last note for everyone, the fatigue is still hanging around. I have this fear that it won’t go away although everyone assures me that it does. 🙂 It might take me a while to get back into the swing of things. I hope it doesn’t take long. I know it’s different for everyone, but I hope I have a speedy recovery. Anybody else have any thoughts on that?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I appreciate your taking the time and if you could leave a few words of encouragement, I’d greatly appreciate it!