Gratitude Sunday – October 19, 2014

Grateful for Photos:  College Memories

Several week ago, my friend, The Librarian, sent photos of several of my most remembered buildings and places at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I spent my days, 1969-73, as student.

Today, I am grateful to The Librarian for sharing these photos, not only for the past memories, but for opening up my space to write, “Past Memories:  College Days;”, which, I will post on Monday, October 20.

Each of these photos bring back different memories.

The Red Gym. Every semester, I waited hour-after-hour standing in long lines with thousands of other students to register for my new semester classes.

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Bascom Hall.  This is the buildings where I took a number of my classes.  I remember, many times, walking from the Red Gym up the hill to Bascom Hall only to learn the class I registered for was no longer available.  This required trekking back down to the Red Gym to find another.  Then, backup to Bascom Hall to confirm the class.   The walk up to Bascom Hall, which was located on top of the highest hills on campus, was a workout.  Today, I am Thankful for the daily uphill walks to Bascom Hall, which caused me to give up smoking.  I couldn’t handle both.

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Old University Hospital.  Fortunately, we were young and healthy, so routine family physical exams were the only times that I had to enter this building.   There is a new hospital on campus now; and this building now houses the UW Medical School.  But, even though I didn’t know it had the time, the building will always hold a special memory for me.  Our eldest daughter, a 9-year-old when we enrolled as freshmen students, attended classes in this building and graduated with her medical degree in 1985.

WisconsinGeneral

 

The Ratskellar.  This is where the students gathered to socialize and grab a meal.  We spent our rare Family Date Nights there.  Hubby and I with a tap beer and the kids enjoying the best ice cream I have ever tasted.  Oh, and I can’t forget the free bowls of popcorn which continuously popped throughout the evening.  There were other times, after an evening class or hours spent studying at the Library, Hubby and I would end the night with tap beer and popcorn.  I just recalled that the first time that I drank beer from the tap was at the Ratskeller.

 

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Eagle Heights.  This was the married student housing on campus.  We lived there for four years.  The housing was restricted to graduate students and their families.  How we ended up there.  Hubby, being unaware of this restriction, applied for housing.  He used our student advisor’s name as a reference, which unbeknownst to us, also was the name of the Chair of the Business School.  We later learned that Graduate Business School students received preferential treatment.  Why, I am not certain.  The good news is that when they finally discovered their mistake, we were never asked to move.  Looking back, I can see how the mistake was made.  We didn’t, meet the freshman student profile — 18-year-old and single.  Instead our family met the profile of a graduate student — late twenties with three children.

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Again, so grateful to The Librarian for taking the time to shoot these photos and share them with me.

Finally, Expressing gratitude is healthy for my mind, body, and spirit.

Why I Choose to Live Beyond 75

One day last week, I had to stop, listen and process an interview on one of the cable news stations.

I was shocked!!  Why, was Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel saying he wanted to die at 75?

It was unbelievable.  And I asked Hubby, “was that the same Dr. Emanuel who shows up on so many national news programs speaking as an expert on health related issues, especially, the Affordable Health Care Act.”  He said, “yes, but didn’t recall the details.”

Because we both missed most of the interview, I wanted to learn more.  So, I went to my IPad and googled, “why I want to die at 75 Ezekiel Emanuel.”  My friend, Google, found a lengthy article featured in the September 2014 issue of The Atlantic written by Dr. Emanuel.  

Why I Want To Die at 75:  Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D.

“I am sure of my position.  Doubtless, death is a loss.  It deprives us of experiences and milestones, of time spent with our spouse and children.  In short, it deprives us of all the things we value.

But, here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist:  living too long is also a loss.  It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived.  It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world.  It transforms how people experience us, and most important, remember us.  We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.”

Dr. Emanuel is a healthy 57-year-old and does not plan to end his life at 75 either by assisted-suicide or euthanasia.  But, he does say, “At 75 and beyond, I will need a good reason to even visit the doctor and take any medical test or treatment, no matter how routine and painless.  And that good reason is not — ‘it will prolong your life.'”

He also contends that in America we are so focused on doing things “like exercise, strict dieting, popping vitamins, etc., in an effort to cheat death and prolong life as long as possible.  This has become so pervasive that it now defines a culture type – what I call the American Immortal.”

Why I Choose to Live Beyond 75

Dr. Emanuel says he only wants to live until the age of 75; and, I respect his right to make this choice.  But, two years from now, if I reach the age of 75, I will continue to make healthy lifestyle choices.  These choices will be made not to prolong life, but to live life to the fullest.

While physical ailments, dementia, feebleness, memory, problem solving and other health conditions, relating to the aging process, may occur; I believe, forecasting what may happen in my future, inhibits my ability to live authentically in the present moment.

Today, I am a relatively healthy, 72-year-old with several manageable chronic illnesses.  In 2008, at the age of 66, I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer.  Dr. Emanuel contends if he were diagnosed with cancer, after the age of 60, he would refuse treatment.  Again, I respect his right to make that decision.  But, I chose treatment.

And, over the past six years, I have been gifted with being in the present moment when my:

  • eldest grandson graduated from college
  • eldest granddaughter graduated from high school;
  • eldest grandson graduated from high school;
  • youngest grandson, graduated from middle school; and,
  • youngest granddaughter’s birth seven months after my 2008 breast cancer diagnosis.

Had I elected not to pursue treatment, I possibly would not have lived to see these major family milestones.

Additionally, beyond family milestones, I would have never witnessed the election of America’s first African-American President.  Something that I never expected would happen in my lifetime.

So, if I continue to be blessed with sound mind and body, I plan on being an active participant in managing my aging process beyond age 75.

And, I will not:

  • wait for death;
  • refuse medical treatment; or
  • accept that living a quality life ends at 75.

But, in addition to as-needed medical care, I will continue to manage my aging process by:

  • Being Positive
  • Practicing Forgiveness
  • Staying Physical
  • Embracing Family and Friends
  • Loving Me
  • Performing Random Acts of Kinds
  • Living A Spiritual Life
  • Trying New Things
  • Exploring New Places
  • Blogging About My Memories, Life Experiences and Random Thoughts

Rather than attempting to “cheat or prolong life” I choose to live life to the fullest until God guides me down a different path.

Gratitude Sunday – October 12, 2014

Grateful for Pain-Free Knee

Though, my right knee is bone-on-bone, I am pain-free.  I completed six weeks of physical therapy on Friday; and, although, the pain may return I am grateful for having been blessed with pain-free days for three weeks.

Grateful for Physical Therapist Comment

Last week, while setting up this weight machine, for me,  the physical therapist said, “you’re lifting 125 pounds, I can’t even do that.”  When I asked if she was joking, she said, “I’m telling the truth.”

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I am grateful that, at 72-years-old, I can push more weight on this machine than my 35-year-old physical therapist.

 

Reiki Touch As A Cancer Treatment Complementary Therapy

I am exploring Reiki, as an alternative therapy, to manage my Fibro and RA conditions as well as stress.
Thanks to Diane awww.breastcanceryogablog.com for sharing.

Breast Cancer Authority

Reiki Healing For Breast CancerReiki Healing for Breast Cancer

By: Diana Ross, E-RYT500 founder of Breast Cancer Yoga.

Both powerful and gentle, Reiki has aided in the healing of many illnesses, including headaches, colds, insomnia, fatigue, heart disease, broken bones and cancer. It has been shown to relieve pain, assist the body in clearing toxins from chemotherapy and radiation treatments. After even one Reiki treatment patients have expressed an increase in feeling wellness and in a quicker recovery from injuries, surgery or trauma.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese touch therapy and relaxation technique and one of the fastest growing forms of Energy Medicine. It is a complementary therapy option that promotes relaxation, decreases anxiety and discomfort. Used as an effective healing touch therapy for stress reduction and pain control. It assists patients both when in the hospital, and during their continued recovery after leaving the hospital.

It is at its simplest…

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The Death of A Friend

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On Tuesday, I had cataract surgery; and, by choice, I spent all day Wednesday, in my bedroom, resting, relaxing and recovering.  Around 6:00 p.m., I heard the doorbell, which was unusual as we rarely have unexpected visitors.  A short time later Hubby said, “Yvonne can you come out for a minute Terri is here.”

I knew something was wrong.  Terri is our next door neighbor; and, I know her only as my friend, Wanda’s, roommate.  I entered the living room with a heavy heart and learned my friendmy next door neighbor and my breast cancer sister, who fought the battle for many years, had lost the fight six minutes earlier.

I am sad, but ever so grateful that Wanda was within my space for almost five years.  During that time our relationship developed into a true friendship.  Despite the differences, we opened our lives up to receive, accept and trust each other.

Ten days before her death, I felt blessed to act as her caregiver for five hours.  During the visit, we talked continuously about any and everything.  I knew it was probably our last conversation; and, I am certain she felt this as well.

I write this post to:

  • address the sadness of losing Wanda, my friend;
  • accept Wanda’s death understanding all things happen in accordance with God’s Plan; and
  • embrace the memory of Wanda’s friendship.

As I move beyond the sadness, I know that:

“Our earthly loss is always a heavenly gain.  Although, our hearts hurt and mourn in humanly pain.  The fact still remains the same.  That Heaven has gained more Love to sprinkle down from above.”  (Antonio Talbert)

Sprinkle Down, Wanda.

Learn Natural Breath Breathing Exercise For Breast Cancer Treatment

Extremely grateful to Diane over at the breastcanceryogablog.com for the mind, body and spirit info she shares daily.

Breast Cancer Authority

Yogic Breathing For Breast Cancer

By; Diana Ross E-RYT 500 Co-Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga.

Learning breath exercises will aide in the recovery process from breast cancer. First it is important to learn to breath correctly. Breathing correctly is done by taking in air deeply through the nostrils so that the lungs expand. Second, learn to use breath exercises so that they are used as treatments for specific situations, such as stress reduction or increase energy.

Natural Breath is used for stress management because it has the most calming effect of all the breaths. This breath reduces stress and tension by turning off the sympathetic “fight or flight” autonomic response.

Positions for breathing exercises during breast cancer therapy can be done in either a seated, laying down, or even in a standing position. However, you must be in a comfortable position so that the mind stays focused. Make a conscious decision to start with…

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