Sunday, November 27, 2016

Nausea and Fatigue and Cancer -

I was asked to write a short blurb about the chemo and radiation side effects of Nausea and Fatigue. Oh goodness, thinking back on those times is tough, really tough. But in the name of getting the word out, this is what I shared:

Ginger chews, morning-sickness lollypops, ginger-ale, soda crackers, dry heaves then eat, deep breathes of cool air, "I think I can, I think I can," cool wash cloth, sit up - don't lie down, Zofran, Benadryl, Phenergen, Marinol, marijuana, puke, puke, puke, Ommmmmm. These were my remedies for chemo-induced nausea. The ones that finally worked were ginger chews and dry heaving before I ate, puking bile instead of breakfast. Yuck.

Just let me sleep for 5 more minutes. Why am I so tired, I've already slept 10 hours. Oh morning naps feel so good, just like a cat soaking in the sun. Pushing a grocery cart down the aisle - stop, rest, lean against the cereal boxes, just a little more, one foot in front of the next. 30 minutes of walking a day? I'll need to hold on to someone, unsteady, but determined. One foot in front of the next. How long does this last? No one mentioned fatig . . . . . . .

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Safety Pins and Thanks Giving -

I won't wear a safety pin, I won't put a pink ribbon magnet on my car, and my rainbows are actions, not bumper stickers. Yet - I have a love for the "other." In fact, my passion goes beyond text books and degrees and certifications and councils and publications. I like to think I walk this love, every, single, day. And my daily prayers ask my Higher Power to let me be the love, let me look for those whom I can give love, accept, welcome, embrace.

And if this is not enough, well then, so it is. But I will not be swayed by popular media and political arguments and diatribes. I won't get on anyone's band-wagon for the sake of bowing to public pressure. If I can't look at the "other," how on God's green earth can I expect them to look at me? I am the other, just like many of you are others. I haven't always belonged, I haven't always walked the straight and narrow path, I don't always match what's going on around me; I have been the "other" more than once. As much as I've wanted to blend in, I haven't, I can't, and these days - I won't.

All you need is love? Nah - all you need is an open mind and open arms, and just one encounter with someone different than you. That's it. I won't be closing my mind any time soon.

Tonight - this popped across my screen. Seemed to pretty to be true. So I did some research. Although it's posted on multiple "faith" channels, it's the real deal.

Are we not all refugees, fleeing from something, looking for safety, looking for home? And wherever you may find home tonight - May Love Fill You. And to whomever you thank, give thanks. And I - I will give thanks for being different, enough.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Ecclesiastes 3 -

At this time of the year I become a sentimental fool - which really is rare for me, I'm not one to dwell on sentiments; I'd rather explore them! But I'm always pulled to Ecclesiastes 3, thinking about a time and a season and how as the year draws to a close I am grateful for the abundance I have, and the peace I have going into the most giving time of the year.

As well, I'm touched by the song, Come, ye Thankful People, Come. Harvest, gathering in, bringing home, safely gathered, winter storms brewing -

Both of these pieces remind me that for everything there is a season - a fine lesson to learn.
In fact, I made this stitchery a few years ago, just to take in the goodness of Ecclesiastes and harvest and peace and home. Not terrible viewable here, but here it is, nonetheless.

Happy Thanksgiving -

Friday, November 18, 2016

Achoo -

I ALWAYS get a cold this time of year. 
Grateful for the week-long break UVU gives their students for Thanksgiving. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Salmon and Swimming Upstream - Determination

Watching this video clip, on the news, made me think about determination, and my desire to reach my goals. Yeah, a couple of times I've even put my life on the line, risking losing it. Thank heavens, I haven't. Yet I don't think I'm all the way across the street - and this still makes me tired of the swimming against the current, but I haven't lost my desire or my will to reach these dreams. In fact, there are often times when it's not just my will forcing me up the river, it's an inner/outer drive, pushing me, pulling me, motivating me. 

When was the last time you were so determined to do something, 
that you would do anything, to get there? 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Characteristics of a Sexually Confident Woman -

I read an article on Huffington Post about, "14 Characteristics of a Sexually Confident Woman," and I was disappointed - mostly because it had to do with sex, not confidence in our sexuality. In my humble opinion if a woman's sexually confident, she are so because of the points below:

1. A sexually confident woman walks tall, head held high.

2. A sexually confident woman does not apologize for, or shame, her physical characteristics.

3. A sexually confident woman uses her voice calmly, clearly, rationally, thinking with her intellect and her emotions.

4. A sexually confident woman does not jump on the bandwagon with every "hot topic" or topic of the day. She thinks for herself, and shares her thoughts confidently.

5. A sexually confident woman knows how to be appropriate in all companies. She opens the door when she wants, yet will allow a man the same opportunity - a woman is not surrendering to stereotypes but is not ashamed to share.

6. A sexually confident woman does not talk poorly about other women. She has no time for "catty" talk.

7. A sexually confident woman owns her story and lets others own theirs.

8. A sexually confident woman does not depend on anyone, or any article, to affirm her sexuality.

9. A sexually confident woman is kind to animals, children, elderly, and herself.

10. A sexually confident woman is comfortable in the kitchen, the garden, the tool shop, and the bedroom. And if she isn't, she asks for guidance, and listens.

11. A sexually confident woman is comfortable with a man in the kitchen, the garden, the tool shop, and the bedroom. And if he isn't, she guides and listens.

12. A sexually confident is poised, carries herself well, and doesn't rely on a loud laugh or bold makeup to get attention.

13. A sexually confident woman talks about ideas as well as shoes.

14. A sexually confident woman does not rely on the stereotypes of the moment to define her sexuality.

15. A sexually confident woman takes care of her health by eating right, exercising, meditating, and wearing clothes that fit.

There you go - my list.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ear Worm -

Do you ever wake up in the morning with a song in your head - and you have no idea what triggered that tune? Lately mine have been:

The Mormon children's song: 

And every tune in this very fun dance mashup - 

I hope some of these tunes stick with you! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Life Goes On -

Four years ago today, Nov. 9, Scott's father was buried. Four years ago today I was too sick to attend his funeral. Four years ago I wondered if I would live - honestly wanting to die because I was sick and afraid.

Today - I'm alive; I'm healthy; I'm confident; and I have learned so much from all of what I have gone through and what my family has gone through because of my journey. In fact, if I have learned one thing during my cancer journey and beyond, it is this:

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Socks and Sandals - Memories -

Both of my parents have chests (cedar and military) where they have kept memorabilia from their pre-7 kids lives. As a child I loved opening my mother's cedar chest, smelling the cedar, and looking at never-used wedding gifts, my baby book, towels crocheted around the edges. And my father's was filled with dance costumes, his Navy uniform, and souvenirs he bought while living in Japan during the Korean war.

I was most fascinated by the scenes created from the beautifully intricate Japanese figurines he brought back to Rigby after the war - tea time, clipping nails, Geisha girls, wise men smoking pipes, all made from ceramic and fabrics. I liked the details and the stories they told, or rather, the stories I made up for them. 

Dad also had some kimonos - male and female, and he used to help us dress up in them, complete with the little "pillow" in the back of the woman's kimono. 

And yesterday, I was outside picking a few carrots, still growing just fine in the garden, and I didn't want to get my feet wet, but they were cold, so I had socks on, so I stuck my feet into my flipflops, and goodness - 

(Not my feet, or socks, or flipflops)

I remembered the wooden sandals he brought back from Japan, that were in his trunk, and the crisp cotton socks made especially for these sandals. 

And I remember putting these on after being dressed in the kimono and attempting to walk, like a Japanese lady, in these sandals. 

I'm grateful for a garden producing carrots which warranted my harvesting, warranting my socks and flip-flops, taking me on a quick trip down memory lane. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016


There are days when I adore my life and days when my life sucks. On the sucky days I find myself doing some self-destruction, stinkin' thinkin', or just knocking myself down.

And then I remember that I've been through hell, more than once, and back, and I don't want to go there ever again, so why would I start back down that road?

So I think: Am I Hungry, Am I Angry, Am I Lonely, and I Tired, and if so, I take care of those needs. Whether that means food, a nap, a text or call to a friend, or mapping out what my triggers were, why I was triggered, and how I can resolve those triggers - I can pretty soon be moving up instead of down.

This week has been lllloooonnnnggggggg. I've worked at the hospital more than I planned, I've been at UVU way more than I planned, and I've let folks and issues out of my control get under my skin. Then I get anxious, tired, hungry . . . . Got the drift?

But in the long-run, I have to step away from the future of unknowns, stay in the day of knowns, and let the world turn while I'm working on my own world. Life is so much better then.

So it's the weekend, and I'm tired, but I've eaten better, I talked to a couple of friends, I've exercised, and I'm looking forward to some scheduled free-time (oxymoron that this is).

And you?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Ta Ta Tatas - Good-bye October -

Oh goodness, I'm so happy to see November here. October is always a hard month for me, but this year October and Pink and TaTas have been a huge irritant. I guess this means I'm ready to move forward - or at least that I'm glad the month isn't any longer than it's been.

I received a beautiful silver ribbon (similar to the pink cancer ribbons) with a rose quartz necklace, that I promised I'd wear all of October, and this past week I've felt like I've had an anvil around my neck, and I all but broke my promise to myself, ditching it early.

But I didn't, and I'm grateful for fundraisers and pink trees with survivors names on hearts on the trees, and I'm grateful for yummy chocolates given to women who have mammograms in October, and I'm grateful for billboard reminders.

And I'm grateful that I can move on - with scars fading and health returning and brain capacity pretty much at its max - it's time for November to carry me toward a heart filled with gratitude.

Goodbye Pinktober. 

Hello Movember