2015: Blogosphere and ME

It’s A New Year

I am excited to begin 2015 focused on:

  • improving the quality of this blog, and
  • uplifting ME spiritually, emotionally and physically.

Blogosphere

Because of the holidays, family member illness, and the death of Hubby’s last remaining aunt, I had to step away from blogging for the past several months.  Life is getting back to normal and I am happy to reconnect with my blogging friends.

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This month, January 13, I will celebrate my second anniversary as a blogger.  This blogging experience has opened the door to new experiences, new places and new people both in this country and other parts of the world.

Virtually, via blogging friends, I:

  • traveled to other countries as well as different places throughout the United States;
  • received helpful information on nutrition, meditation, exercise, alternative health care; and
  • entered a new world of books, poetry, religion and music.

Thank you, blogging friends, for uplifting ME spiritually, emotionally and physically these past two years.

Finally, thanks to the information shared in a WordPress recent post,“Make 2015 A Great Blogging Year,” I have the tools to take my blog to the next level.

ME

Hubby, family, friends, and bloggers have all served to improve the quality of my life.  I am grateful.  But, recent acquired self-acknowledgement and self-awareness skills, guided me to the recognition that this responsibility is solely mine.

To improve ME in 2015, I will:

  • Nurture my Healing Container Garden as it brings peace, bliss, and tranquility into my space.

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  • Write daily notes to place in My Gratitude Jar, to express gratitude for the good things in life.

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  • Seek out those things which serve to keep ME grounded and directed in a positive way.

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  • Hone my photography skills because it is always good to learn something new and interesting.
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Camera Purchased Two Years Ago – Still a Work-In-Progress
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Upgraded Camera – Gifted to ME – Christmas 2014
  •  Incorporate healthy recipes into my menus and “go to” the healthy eating cookbooks purchased over the past five years and are never used.
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A Small Sampling of Healthy Eating Good Books
  • Research and explore different options to address my health issues.

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  • Continue to value and appreciate the love of my life, Hubby, as we approach our 55th Anniversary on April 11, 2015.

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  • Remember there are always new things for ME to explore.   

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2015, Here I Come Ready Or Not!

Freedom Friday – October 24, 2014

Blogging friend, Iman, last week launched Freedom Friday writing, “It’s Freedom Friday, so I reserve the sole right to say what I have to say … .”

I decided to participate.  After all, I needed a day to freely express, WHATEVER!!, and why not on Freedom Fridays.

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So here goes….

Oops I Missed the Sign-up for Blogging 201

It’s Freedom Friday and, according to one definition, freedom means:

“I have the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.”

Though Blogging 201 was closed when I attempted to sign up, I choose to exercise my right on Freedom Friday to complete the first assignment, which was to:

“Consider what you want to accomplish with your blog.  Write down three concrete goals you want to achieve.”

This assignment, hopefully, will lead to an improved blog before I begin my third year of blogging in January 2015.

Why I Blog

Almost two years ago, I initially decided to create this blog for:

  • Self-Education to access information shared by other bloggers who were living with either breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, or fibromyalgia.
  • Self-Management to distract and re-direct my attention from negative thoughts, emotional stress, and physical pain.

Blogging also helped, as a fill-in, for the lost of family and friends when we retired and relocated to Orlando in 2010.

Though, I have friends now and enjoy spending time with them, I still blog to:

  • Interact with diverse people;
  • Tour different places around the world; and,
  • Learn new things above and beyond my wildest expectations.

Because either my IPad, MacBook or Blog are always within reach; I have the ability, when I want, to:

  • Express Thoughts
  • Rant Opinions
  • Expand Awareness
  • View Events
  • Explore New Cultures
  • Visit Different Places
  • Meet New People
  • Network with Bloggers
  • Share Memories

All of the above satisfies my needs as a blogger.  And, I have no interest in gaining notoriety, becoming a leader in the field, or self-publishing a book.

My Ultimate Blog

I decided to take a critical look at my blog layout in preparation for completing this assignment.  I concluded that my blog needs a makeover to improve both the look and flow.  I hope to acquire new ideas and techniques, when I participate, in the Blogging 101 Class beginning November 3.

In addition to revamping this blog, I want to add photos to my posts.  So, I registered for the Photography 101 Class which, also, starts on November 3.

I am not concerned about the number of followers, but would like to keep the current ones.  I now see them as my blogosphere friends.

I plan to continue publishing three times per week.

Four Specific Goals

  1. Publish three times each week during November, December, and January.
  2. Spend 2-3 hours each week visiting my followers’ blogs, reading their posts, and commenting on their work, from now until April 1st.
  3. Establish a new weekly feature on my blog by December 31st and publish each week through June 30th.
  4. Create an editorial calendar for the next three months by November 1st.

Finally, I am grateful to:

  • Iman for inviting me to take part in Freedom Friday.
  • Blogging 201 for this assignment, even though, I crashed the course.

 

Thankful for the OLOGISTS in My Life

Before Breast Cancer Diagnoses

For more than fifty years, the only OLOGIST in my life was the GynecOLOGIST.  

Annually, I scheduled appointments for three health care examinations.  One with the  GynecOlogist; and, the other two were for a yearly physical examination and mammogram.

For years, I chose to ignore the potential health hazards of being:

  • a smoker;
  • overweight;
  • overworked;
  • an exercise abstainer;
  • stressed out;
  • sleep deprived; and
  • spiritually undernourished.

In 1993, I was diagnosed with two chronic conditions — Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia.  Now, I needed a second “OLOGIST,” the RheumatOLOGIST.  

With these two diagnoses, the frequency of visits for health care treatment increased from three followup exams per year to monthly followup visits, bi-monthly lab testing, and a host of prescribed medications.

After being diagnosed, with two chronic health conditions, I made some healthy lifestyle choices.  I —

  • no longer smoked,
  • found outlets for spiritual nourishment, and
  • committed to a formalized exercise program.

But, I failed to address some of the other health hazards

  • Stress;
  • Overworking;
  • Weight Fluctuations; and
  • Sleep Deprivation.

Despite the continued health hazards in my life, for more than fifteen years, my two chronic health conditions were adequately managed and controlled with —

  • Medications;
  • Self-Management Tools;
  • RheumatOLOGIST Medical Management; and
  • Lifestyle Changes.

Then, the Breast Cancer diagnosis came in 2008.

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Medication Side Effects

Between 2008 and 2013, I was diagnosed with five different health care conditions.

Each diagnosis, including breast cancer, was attributed to a side effects from a different medication; and, all were prescribed to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis.

To treat these conditions, I had to add five more OLOGISTS to my healthcare team:

  • OncOLOGIST;
  • PulmonolOLOGIST;
  • CardiOLOGIST;
  • PsychOLOGIST; and
  • OphthamOLOGIST. 

There may even be a sixth OLOGIST, after my consultation visit in two weeks with a DermatOLOGIST.  A cluster of bumps appeared on the right side of my face several weeks ago.  This may be a side effect of a new Rheumatoid Arthritis medication; which, was added to replace one that was discontinued because of a side-effect that affected my lungs.  I will share the results of this visit in an upcoming post.

Despite the side effects and added health care conditions, I AM Thankful for the OLOGISTS in My Life

And, when, I Grow Tired of the OLOGISTS, I

  • STOP
  • BREATHE
  • EXPRESS GRATITUDE

And, quietly say, “I LIVE Because of the  OCOLOGISTS in My Life.

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What I Want for Everyone

I WISH that every underinsured or uninsured person, in this country, one day will have access, like me, to OLOGISTS and other health care providers.  

 

August 2014: Mother-Daughter Vacation in Martha’s Vineyard

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Chronic Pain flare-up

Despite the fact that weeks before this scheduled trip, I was dealing with a pain flare-up in the right knee; I was going on the annual Mother-Daughter Vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.

I have struggled with chronic pain since 1993 related to diagnosed conditions of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyaglia.  Over the years, I developed various self-management tools to control the pain levels.  However, my bone-on-bone knee pain needed either an injection or surgery.  And, neither was available before this vacation.

Since there was nothing I could do to make the “Pain Go Away”, my only option was to “Grin and Bare It” 

Wheelchair Transport Through the Airports

Since Hubby was not going, he ordered a wheelchair to transport me through the Orlando Airport.  This is a long walk through one terminal, a short train ride, and a longer walk through a second terminal.  Trust me the need for a wheelchair was the topic of more than one discussion in the days leading up to my departure.   Finally, I gave in.

My son picked me up at the Milwaukee Airport and we were off to meet-up with the daughters.  After the traditional hugs and kisses, they said, “Mama, you are limping.”  While the limp was noticeable, I am certain Hubby had telephoned with his concerns.

After discussing the pros and my cons of a wheelchair; I lost and they ordered one for the next leg of my trip.

When I arrived in Milwaukee, I was an “Unhappy Wheelchair Traveler”;  but, I left as the “Grumpy Wheelchair Traveler” as my 14-year-old grandson pushed me through the Milwaukee and Boston Airports.

Was it not just a few years ago that he depended on me to push him around in his stroller?  I was not ready for this.

Having someone push me around in a wheelchair was not a pleasant experience; and, I felt —

  • Stressed
  • Powerless
  • Depressed
  • Angry
  • Embarrassed

The Airline Flight

On the airplane and seated comfortably; I closed my eyes, breathed deeply, and let go of the negativity.

Through Self-Talk, Self-Awareness and Self-Acceptance; I embraced and accepted the gift of wheelchair transports from my hubby, son, two daughters and grandson.

No longer did I feel —

  • Stressed, I enjoyed Relaxing
  • Powerless, I gained Power
  • Depressed, I discovered Peace
  • Angry, I achieved Happiness
  • Embarrassed,  I reflected Pride

 A Few of My Favorite Mother-Daughter Vacation Photos – 2014

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The 14-Year-Old Grandson, CJ with His Friend – Lunch on the Ferry
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The Ferry Deck
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First Night. First Order of Business – Glass of Wine
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My Play Daughter from Another Mother, My Youngest Daughter, and Their Two Boys Playing Monopoly on a Rainy Day
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The Moms Won
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Could This Be The Reason The Moms Won At Monopoly? IPhones, IPADS, Laptops, X-Boxes, etc.? I’m Just Saying!!
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Main Street – Downtown Oak Bluff
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Oak Bluff Pier
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Love The Old Vintage Homes on Main Street – Downtown Oak Bluff – Facing the Atlantic Ocean
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Lunch on The Upper Deck of Nancy’s Seafood with Grandson, Two of His Friends and the Daughters
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Surprise from The Daughters – My Favorite Appetizer Before the Crab Leg, Lobster and Shrimp Boil
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The Grandson CJ – Adding Crab Legs to the Boil
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It’s Crab Boil Night – Because CJ Hates Seafood, He Had A Burrito. His Friend Enjoyed the Crab Let Boil and the Burrito.
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Relaxing and Sitting on The Oak Bluff Pier
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Look Up In The Sky – Air Force Helicopters Flying Over Prior to The President’s Vacation Visit in The Next Several Days.
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Beautiful Sunset View Sitting on The Front Porch
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Last Night. Busy Week. Grandson Massaging Mom’s Feet. He Is Special!!!
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Goodbye Rental House – See You In August 2015

Today: Pain and Happiness

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I woke up this morning in pain.  It’s been a long-time since I experienced the long lasting, penetrating, stabbing and burning pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis.  But, I was determined to stick with my “routine” – 5:00 a.m. morning meditation, inspirational/spiritual reading, and quiet time.   While this was spiritually and inspirationally uplifting, the pain remained.

So, I returned to the bedroom, looked at the unmade bed, and crawled under the covers.  This lasted for no more than five minutes; I hopped out, made the bed, and said “not going to let this happen.”  I began thinking back to those days when I allowed pain to control my life.  The many days of lying in bed, the darkened room, the heating pads/ice packs and receiving no relief from the prescribed medications.   These memories were enough to get ME up and moving for breakfast.  Even though the pain was more severe with walking, arm movements, sitting down, and getting up, I joined Hubby at the table.

After breakfast, Hubby encouraged me to at least lie back on the recliner chair in our bedroom.  Within five minutes, I was asleep.  One hour later, I woke up.  The pain was still there, but bearableBearable pain, for me, is doable painI can function.

Dressed in outdoor work clothes, I began the long-delayed job of cleaning out our container flower garden area around the pool.  The pruning, cutting, and bending, though far from pain-free, distracted ME from focusing on the pain.  When finished, I immediately cleaned up the area, stood back and admired MY work.

Following lunch, I was geared up to complete the remainder of the job; but Hubby said, “let it wait until tomorrow.”   I took his advice.

I am thankful for a Hubby who reminds ME to stop, rest, and pace as I carry out these many different projects that I proclaim will make ME happy.

I learned today it is not necessary to “finish” a “happiness” project.  There are times when happiness will come from just “doing” the project.

The movement today as I gardened brought pain relief.  The distraction of gardening brought ME pain relief.  Just the “doing” of gardening brought ME happiness.

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My Journey: Building Self-Awareness and Living Non-Judgmentally

It is not our purpose to become each other;

it is to recognize each other, to learn

to see the other and honor him for what he is.” (Herman Hesse)

For the first time, I “recognized,”learned to see the other, and “honored my neighbor for “what she is.”   She was the first neighbor to come over and welcome us to the neighborhood when we moved in three years ago.   Within a year, she had her first cancer recurrence.  As she went through chemotherapy, Hubby and I, along with other neighbors drove her to treatment.

Recognized

Until our long conversation over breakfast several days ago, I only recognized my neighbor as a:

  • Sister Breast Cancer Survivor;
  • Religious Person – Interdenominational Religion that promotes evangelism;
  • Single Female, Never Married, with No Children; and
  • Far Right Conservative Republican – Follower of Fox TV, Glen Beck, Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, etc.

Politically, as far right as she is; I am as far to the left —

  • Religious Person – Protestant Christian Denomination with liberal views on social issues, social justice and equality; and
  • Far Left Progressive Democrat – Follower of Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, with the exception of Morning Joe, all the other MSNBC news shows.

It wasn’t long before we both realized that talking about politics and/or social issues were toxic to our “friendly neighbor” relationship.   We avoid these topics, but we still:

  • schedule occasional lunch dates and other outings;
  • attend church services together from time-to-time; and
  • watch each other’s homes and act as designated emergency contacts.

For more than three years, we have been just “friendly neighbors.”

On Saturday, I invited her to breakfast to celebrate my Six-Year Cancerversary.  I really wanted to celebrate with another survivor.  Before, I could tell her the reason for the invite, she said the dreaded words, “cancer recurrence.”    After hearing this, I deleted Cancerversary as a discussion topic.   I sat quietly and listened.

Learned to See the Other

I truly listened.  I opened my heart.  I looked beyond differences.

I did not challenge her decision to forego any further chemotherapy.  She wants to take whatever time that remains to travel and visit old friends.  This meant tapping into her 401K, but at 60-years-old she believes “death will arrive before retirement.”   Also, after meeting with her Financial Planner, she feels comfortable in drawing down some retirement funds for travel.

Her first stop is Scotland in 45 days.   I enjoyed listening to her stories about when she lived and worked there — the culture, her friends, her work, and the food.

Within 30 days after returning from Scotland, her plan is to visit a close friend in Hungary.  Again, I could have spent hours hearing about the young college students she worked with from all over the world.  She is excited about reuniting with the young man she had mentored while living there.

She is from Massachusetts and we talked at length about the annual vacations with my daughters to Martha Vineyard.   Though she lived in Massachusetts for a number of years, she never visited the Island.  But, she definitely said a visit is in her future.

She talked at length about the close relationship with her mother.  After the death of her father, she gave up world travel, accepted a position in her home office and joined her mother in Florida.   She cared for her mother who died six years ago from Breast Cancer.  And, shortly after that she was diagnosed.   I talked about what it meant to care for my mother the last two years of her life.

After talking with my neighbor yesterday, I no longer “focused on our differences.”  I listened.   I opened my heart.  I “learned” our “similarities” outweigh our “differences.”

Honor

I honor my friend, a Breast Cancer Survivor, for her strength and courage.  She is choosing to follow “her path” on “her journey” to live life to the fullest.

I am grateful our paths intersected and our relationship blossomed from “friendly neighbor” to “friends.”

We both want a  “healthy friends” relationship, and have agreed to read, “Conscious Communication:  How to Establish Healthy Relationships and Resolve Conflict Peacefully while Maintaining Independence,” by Miles Sherts.   As stated in the book’s introduction, we want to:

“learn to communicate with each other in a way

that supports our individuality while also

recognizing our interdependence.”

“Healthy friends” ought to have discussions on politics, religion, social issues, etc., and still respectfully disagree without being disagreeable.

I am on a journey to build self-awareness and live non-judgmentally.

Weekly Wishes #7

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Wish is a “desire or hope for something to happen” (Merriam-Webster.com).  I write about the failure to fulfill past Wishes because I choose to hold ME accountable for MY failures.  Especially, when they are under MY control.

Unfulfilled Wishes Weeks #3, 4 and 6

Since I failed to complete the Wishes below, I added them to MY Wishes for Week #7:

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 Learning to use the Digital Camera is the only remaining Wish from Week #3 and #4 that remains unfilled.  However, it is a work-in-progress; this week, I viewed a number of instructional You Tube videos and reviewed the manual.

I failed to Prepare a Healthy Dessert as Wished for in Week #6.  Devoted quite a bit of time looking at a number of recipes to find just the right one; finally, I settled on a Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe found in one of my cookbooks,  “Fantastic Food with Splenda,” by Marlene Koch.

Things “outside-of-my-comfort zone”, I will push to the bottom of MY “mental to do list.”  This is the case with Desserts whether healthy or not, I can recall only a few successes; and, the last camera I used was a Kodak Instamatic in the 1970s.   Yes, I am on a mission to overcome these challenges.   Facing them week after week may open ME up to bringing  the “unknown” and “uncomfortable” into my “comfort zone.”

 Fulfilled Wishes Week #6

This past week was busy.  Despite, the number of things on MY “to do list” and the “scheduled appointments”; I completed the following Wishes:

  • Viewed instructional YouTube Videos on Canon Digital Camera;
  • Created a Calendar of Activities:  Breast Cancer Awareness;
  • Posted “A Grateful Five-Year Breast Cancer Survivor; and
  • Visited and commented on Six Breast Cancer Blogs

I opened MY eyes, looked and learned so much from the Six Breast Cancer Blogs, I visited this week:

  • Misifusa’s  Blog“Life is about the now, not the past, not the future.”  I am inspired, motivated, and uplifted after reading her posts.
  • I Hate Breast CancerI had just graduated from high school and seen my mom die from metastatic breast cancer.  Now I have it.  But this isn’t about me – it’s about making a difference for other people.”  Reading this blog peaked my interest to learn more about metastatic breast cancer. 
  • Telling Knots  “Empty Promises:  If we’re not aware of metastatic breast cancer, we’re not aware….About 30% of people diagnosed with breast cancer at any stage will develop distal metastasis.”   Living as a five-year breast cancer survivor unaware of these facts until I started to explore the cancer blogs
  • Rethink Breast Cancer –   Young women get cancer too – Their concerns are unique.  Their needs are distinct and their survival rates are lower than those of older woman.”  I plan to share the link to this blog with my young survivor friends.  This advocacy and support blog as well as the listing of over 30 books recommended by young breast cancer survivors may be helpful.
  • The Perks of Having Cancer “Being a survivor is not all about being cancer free….it is about attitude.”  This blogger and her blogger friend have joined together and published a book, 100 Perks of Having Cancer Plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It.”  Ordered the book from Amazon.com; and, I look forward to reading about the “perks” and “tips.”.
  • ChemobrainIn The Fog “I was the person with an organized spice cabinetToday, I may not bring my mail in for three days.  Might not open it for another three.”  At this blogger’s suggestion, Signed up to with the Army of Women, I want to be a part of their “mission to move beyond a cure to find a way to prevent breast cancer.”

I am Grateful to God that “MY eyes were opened” to review and comment on the Six Breast Cancer Blogs.   The lack of knowledge about Breast Cancer is a “self inflicted wound” that could well affect the quality of MY life; and, I choose to become a knowledgeable and informed Breast Cancer Survivor.  In the words of Peter Drucker, “Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.”

Weekly Wishes #7

In addition to the two Unfulfilled Wishes; I Wish to:

October is dedicated to increasing MY awareness of Breast Cancer and sharing MY five-year journey as a Breast Cancer Survivor.  Every day, I will express Gratitude to God for His Gift of Life.

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A Grateful Five-Year Breast Cancer Survivor

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First in a Series of Four Posts

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  And, I am a Grateful Five-Year Breast Cancer Survivor choosing to share my journey by:  (1) stepping outside of my comfort zone; (2) moving beyond the “mere act” of wearing pink; and (3) writing this blog series.

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First and foremost, I express gratitude to God for the Gift of Life since my Breast Cancer diagnosis in February 2008.

SEEKING ANSWERS

In the early stages of my journey, frustration, anger, fear, and depression prevented me from expressing gratitude and appreciation to God or anyone else.  Instead, I was seeking answers —

  • HOW?             I had a clean mammogram seven months ago.
  • WHY?             There is no history of breast cancer in my family.
  • WHAT?          Is my survival rate?

TREATMENT

While I never received a clear medical answer to the HOW and WHY; my five-year survival rate is 97% based on the success of the following treatments:

  • Lumpectomy (Left Breast) – removal of the cancer and some of the normal breast tissue around it.  (Medline Plus)
  • Chemotherapy – IV Injection, eights hours one day per week, for 12 weeks
  • Radiation – Five days per week for eight weeks.

Prior to the Lumpectomy procedure, they warned me about the possible pronounced and disfiguring breast asymmetry.  For me, this was not an issue.  At the time of diagnosis, I was 66-years-old, married to Hubby for more than 48 years, and knew HE would continue to love ME as well as MY lumpy and disfigured left breast.   The size difference between my breasts never concerned me.   If I had been younger, it might have been different

Beyond the five daily treatments, irritating skin burns, and feeling worn out; there were no significant problems with Radiation therapy.

I faced several challenges during the Chemotherapy phase.

  • Challenge #1 – After working for almost two years coordinating a Family Reunion scheduled to take place in our city, I could not attend.  Two days earlier, based on lab findings, the Oncologist placed me on home quarantine; and I was told to continuously wear a surgical mask.  Not because I was dangerous to “others,” but “others” were dangerous to ME.   Feeling miserable and alone with over 200 family members arriving for a full weekend of fun and activities, Hubby and the Middle-Aged Kids allowed those who were closest to visit me at home for a short time.  No hugging, no touching, no bodily contact and they were only allowed to stand outside of my bedroom door.   Not sure if my Oncologist would have approved.  But, in this case the benefits outweighed the risk – at least I thought so.
  • Challenge #2 – I did not complete the full 12 weeks of therapy as ordered.    In Week #7 the Oncologist cancelled my chemo; after, I reported unusual sensations in my feet and toes.  The Oncologist said this was a side effect of one of the chemo drugs.   I was diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy (Nerve Pain).  I knew there were side effects.  But, the benefits of the chemo drugs outweighed the risks.  So, I now must live with another chronic condition for which there is no known cure. 
  • Challenge #3I was depressed.  It was difficult to watch my hair fall out braid-by-braid, a little more everyday, and, finally total baldness.  Eventually, I was able to overcome the depression by repeating over and over  the proverb, “This too will pass.

Ever Grateful to God

for the

Gift of Life

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Better Late than Never

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Late Start

At 54 years of age, roughly 16 years ago, I chose to start exercising.   Chronic pain had literally controlled my life for more than three years.  I relied on prescribed medications for pain relief.  While the medications temporarily and sporadically reduced pain levels, I aspired to have a richer and fuller life.  Frequent, pain flare-ups prevented me from carrying out many day-to-day functional activities.  My body was under the control of either Ms. Fibro (Fibromyalgia-muscle pain) or Mr. Arthur (Rheumatoid Arthritis-joint pain).  While I FEARED the prospect of enduring the extra pain likely to come with exercising, the excruciating pain I was experiencing at the time left me with no other realistic choice.

In the Beginning

I exercised three days per week.  I could only endure six minutes on the treadmill and five minutes on the bicycle.  The body was so deconditioned and the muscles so atrophied, 11 minutes of low-impact exercise was all I could tolerate. Those first months were a struggle.  But, as the days, weeks and months passed – the FEAR disappeared — the pain lessened –the body strengthened.

Results

Over time, I have been able to add:

  • 49 minutes to exercise time (11 minutes to 60 minutes);
  • 2 days per week to exercise program (3 days to 5 days);
  • 3 new cardio machines to the treadmill and bicycle (Step, Elliptical, and PreCor); and
  • 10 circuit weight machines

Making the decision to start exercising was not easy.  But, I chose to TRY.

TODAY

Mr. Arthur and Ms. Fibro are no longer in control of my life:

“It is Better to Do Something Late than Not at All”

Why I Blog

Seeking to expand my “Little World,” I entered the “Blogosphere World” in mid-January 2013.   Retired in 2010, my husband and I relocated to a new state thousands of miles away from children, family and friends.

Some three years later, blogging “Launched ME” into Cyberspace.”   My ever expanding “Online World” has “Opened the Door” to new people, places and things all around the world.   Blogging allows “ME to be ME.”  Blogging is the “Voice” that had remained silent for many, many years due to my own self-inflicted anxiety and low self-esteem.

Though, I am a novice blogger, my confidence level is growing daily.   Why – the people, who have supported, aided and guided me since I embarked on this new journey.

  • First, thank you to those who “visited, liked and/or commented” on my posts.  I am grateful and appreciate your taking the time to enter my “Online World.”
  • Second, to those bloggers “I follow,” thankful and appreciative for your enlightening and informative posts.
  • Finally, a “special thank you” to Misifusa’s Blog, http://misifusa.wordpress.com.  I look forward to reading your posts.  I connect with you on a personal level — a “Sister Breast Cancer Survivoras well as your February 19, 2013 “What’s in a Name” post.

So to my new Blogosphere friends the following are a few  —-

Random Facts About Me

  • I am one of the 198,682 people in the U.S. with the first name Yvonne
  • My daily routine upon rising, is writing my “Morning Gratitude Note.”  Beginning with “Bless be the Day for ME and Mine,” and generally followed with a word or sentence expressing why I am grateful.   This note is placed into my “Gratitude Jar.” 

Gratitude Jar

  • Nightly, just before retiring, I write in my online Gratitude Journal” five things that happened during the day for which I am grateful.  I finish with, “Blessed be the Night for ME and Mine.”   If expressing gratitude to a specific person, place, or thing, I attach related digital photos.

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  • Unrealistic FEAR prevents “ME” from performing monthly self-breast exams.  For the past five years, I have lied to my oncologist when asked the dreaded question about self-breast exams.  Hope, sharing this fact in “Blogosphere” will rid “ME” of this phobia.

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  • I meditate for thirty minutes every day for relaxation and inner peace.
  • On my special “Sabbath Day,” which can be any day during the week, I choose to do only what honors, pleases and uplifts “ME.”

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  • I blog because it makes “ME” happy.
  • I took my first Yoga class this past week.
  • When someone or something enters my space and creates toxicity, my inner voice says either:  (1) “This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  Psalms 118.22 (NIV), or (2) “I will not allow anyone to steal my joy.”  Then, I will immediately seek a way to disengage.

Loving This Season of My Life!!!!