I Hate That Word

The nurse smiled and asked me to pull up my sleeve. I exposed the crook of my elbow and got ready to have my blood drawn for tests. This was all routine I had been assured, but there was still a knot in my stomach I could not shake.

***

I finally was called into the doctor’s office. He looked at me and said a word I will never forget. “I am sorry to say that your test results were worrisome.” Then he told me about the cancer I had. To this day I still cringe when I hear that word.

Happy and Grateful – Day 314

November brings a chill in the air and the start of the holiday gatherings of family and friends.  I can’t believe I am down to the last two month of my challenge to find happiness and feel gratitude every day.  I hope you join with me in the comments or your own blog in this challenge.  No matter how small there is always a little good in even the worst day.

I feel like I have to make this a fairly quick short and sweet post.  One reason is I am exhausted and afraid I will fall asleep before I am done.  And the other is so I don’t get sidetracked talking about my depression.

It was a cold day, but once again I did not have to venture out much in it.  I did get out in the cold to go and fix my Dad some dinner,  And on the way there I mailed a Christmas card.  No, believe me I don’t normally send out cards this early but this was a special request.

The local news website had a story on a little boy with neuroblastoma who may not make it to Christmas this year who wanted a card shower for early Christmas cards.  So I went into my craft corner and created a little something to send.  This had two benefits.  It made me happy to get ink on my hands and I was grateful to have a very healthy daughter.  It also made me happy to try to bring a little bit of joy to this boy’s difficult last days.

That is all I have in me tonight.  Sinuses are killing me, and I am so close to sleep… yawn!  I hope you remember to find your happiness and feel your gratitude.  Have a wonderful night/day!

Happy and Grateful – Day 273 and 274

As we transitioned from September to October I have been extra busy and got a little behind on my posts.  I hope I can manage to catch up in the next day or two.  I will read all the posts eventually I promise!

On Saturday we celebrated my daughter and niece’s birthdays as they are only 4 days apart.  It was not quite the party we had planned because my Dad was still having a lot of pain in his leg from the swelling that took him to the emergency room Friday night.  But we were all able to gather at his house and share some pasta for dinner and ice cream cake for the girls.  I say girls like they are still young… they are now 23 and 25.  We made a big point of reminding my niece she was now a quarter of a century old several times.  It was a day of some laughter and family.  It was a happy time.

I had some sad news from a friend just before the birthday party.  She lost her son to cancer.  It brought to light the same question I have had many times.  Why was my fight with cancer won, when so many others have not made it.  I once again felt grateful that I was one more year cancer free.  I may not know why I survived, but there must be some reason.

Sunday was in keeping with the birthday theme.  My boyfriend’s great-nephew was turning 4 and his parents arranged a surprise party for him.  He was definitely surprised.  By the time the stun wore off he had a great time.  His grandparents had gotten him a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bike and helmet.  He rode it from his house to the park, less than half a block away.  We had gifts and cupcakes at the park and all the kids played on the equipment there.  By the time the day was over the birthday boy decided it was, “the best birthday EVER!”  It made me happy to see all the kids with smiles on, especially the birthday boy.

Sunday evening I checked in with my Dad again to see if there was any improvement in his leg.  He has been icing it with no reduction in the amount of swelling.  It is worrisome to me what he is going through.  He agreed to consider calling the doctor on Monday if it was not better and I was grateful for that.

Now I need to read some more posts and start work on today’s daily prompt.  Hopefully I can post later tonight before the fatigue from all the activity catches up with me.  Remember to find your happiness and feel your gratitude.  Have a good day/night!

Yearly Mammo

(Just waiting for my check up and trying not to worry so I thought I would write out some of my frustrations and worry.)

 

An hour to go until I am

Smushed smashed and squished

The pain doesn’t bother me

It has become routine

It’s the waiting

And not knowing

That give me the grey hairs

But at least I have hair

It left for awhile

Fourteen years ago now

So this should be no problem

The worry should be past

But there is always a chance

And for that I always worry…

Happy and Grateful – Day 254

The kids are all in school, there is a growing crisp in the air.  Football games and shorter days fill the weeks.  It is September.  I have accomplished another month of acknowledging my happiness and gratitude every day.  Join me as I continue my goal of one year on this journey.  Please join in with your happiness and gratitude in the comments or your own blog post.  No matter how bad the day is there is always something worthwhile in the day.

I write this tonight with a heavy heart.  A friend I used to work with lost her battle with cancer last night.  She was such a positive spirit, always had a smile and a hug for everyone.  The last time I saw her she had said the doctors were giving her only a month to live, but she was still at work and smiling.  She was at peace with her fate and only (as she had most of her life) was concerned about her children and grandchild left behind.  I am grateful for the time we were able to cross each other paths.  I will never forget her and the grace with which she lived and died.

Earlier in the day I was able to assist my father with his home alert system.  The battery on his button he wears went bad and was setting off an alert/alarm on the main system that went off every minute.  It took nearly 50 minutes on the phone to get the system back up again.  I was happy to know he once again has that safety net should he fall and not have his phone with him.

I now must close my eyes for a new work week begins for my boyfriend in the morning and I will have to take him to work.  The main road we take is under construction now so we will have to take an alternate longer route for a while.  Remember to find your happiness and feel your gratitude.

(Oops, the fatigue got to me once again.)

Happy and Grateful – Day 243

Seven months are gone now and surprisingly I am still plugging along with this challenge to post about my happiness and gratitude every day this year.  August brings the state fair here in Iowa and lots of heat and humidity.  It is the time to see the back to school shopping start with kids dreading it and parents loving it.  As I continue my challenge I hope you will take a minute to reflect on your day too.  You can even share your happiness and gratitude here in the comments or on your own blog.  There is good in every day!

I can’t believe this is the last day of the month already, August has flown by!  I just wish it was ending on a happier note.  A friend of mine I used to work with is battling colon cancer and her daughter just posted that she is now in hospice care.  She has lost a lot of weight, but still in each picture she has an unending smile on her face,  She just became a grandmother this year for the first time… so sad that baby will not remember her grandmother.

Today was another day in my flare with more fatigue.  I was able to make my appointment with my therapist though in between naps.  It was another rough session with too many tears.  There is just too much loss around me.  But I am grateful I can finally cry about some of it.

My happy moment would have to be when I got a chance to talk to a good friend on the phone.  He has recently gone through some family loss and is struggling, but it was still so good to hear his voice.

I need to make a lunch for my boyfriend and then take him to work now.  Find your happiness and feel your gratitude.  Have a nice night/day!

It Sleeps…

It lies beneath the surface.

It is quiet and in the shadows

Like a dormant volcano

Just waiting to erupt.

The proper term is remission

And I fear it’s end.

Testing comes yearly

But fears are there daily;

Not strong like they used to be,

But still ever present.

Maybe someday it will return

And I’ll be ready for the fight;

I’ve already been there and done that.

Until that day I just wait,

For now the volcano is asleep,

Who knows when or if it will awaken.

Happy and Grateful – Day 184

July brings fireworks, picnics, pools and air conditioning. It is a time for those of us in the USA to celebrate our “birthday” and a personal time for me to celebrate life. It is hot and humid days and thunderstorms cooked up at night. I am continuing my challenge to find happiness and gratitude in every day. Join along in the comments or on your own blog. There is always good in every day.

This day is easy!  This is what I call MY independence day… I have been saying that for 14 years now.  Back on July 3rd in 2003 I had the surgery that confirmed I had breast cancer.  The surgeon, radiologists and oncologist all worked their magic and I am still here today.  So easily I am grateful for three great doctors that took care of me and made it possible for me to kick cancer’s butt!

Happy… well there is almost always a fireworks display somewhere to celebrate my freedom from cancer (you know they do it on the 3rd just for me LOL).  I am still working on the year when I am happy about the fireworks photos I took.  But until that happens you have to settle for a couple of fair ones from tonight.

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I am trying to decide how I should celebrate next year at the 15 year mark.  At 10 years I got my tattoo… maybe another tattoo? Or maybe just some champagne and a toast with some family around.  I do still have a year to plan.  Do you have any ideas?

In the meantime, it is time to close the day and get some rest.  We do the fireworks tomorrow for the US!  Maybe a better picture will happen?  Good night and keep looking for your happiness each day!

Happy and Grateful – Day 150

May has arrived and I hope it brings lots of Spring cheer with it.  I am in my fifth month now of taking time to acknowledge the things that make me happy and grateful every day… almost half way to my goal of a full year.  If you want to join in on this challenge please add your thoughts in the comments or start your own blog.  There is a lot to be happy and grateful for!

Today was mostly good.  It was another picture perfect spring day with blue skies and a gentle breeze.  I got to do one of my favorite things today… spend time with my daughter.  We went to the local library to pick up some books and DVDs.  And then shared a little conversation with coffee.  It always makes me happy to see her.

Then came a turn in the day.  I went to pick up my prescriptions and ran into a friend I used to work with.  She has been going through treatments for cancer.  I asked her how things were going and she said the chemo was done.  Not because she was in remission, but because that was all they could do for her.  The doctors say she has 6 months to a year left.  She just witnessed the birth of her first grandchild, she has three wonderful children, and is a friend to many… she has a lot to live for.  Why is she losing it all?

I feel a lot of frustration having gone through both chemo and radiation nearly 14 years ago and I am fine now… why does cancer have to be so unfair?  I do take some comfort in the fact she is dealing with it well.  Even has a vacation planned with the family to an ocean get away.  She is going to live life until the cancer will no longer let her.  She is still working at a job she enjoys and not going to quit until she has to.  She is a remarkable woman.  I have heard it said before that death is only hard on the living… seeing her life force still strong I think of that.  She has come to terms with her mortality and is facing it with great dignity.  It is those of us left behind that will mourn her spirit for many a year… I am grateful for the time that I have been blessed to know her.

Day 35 – 100 Days of Happiness

This day… it holds mixed emotions for me.  Growing up my Mom always made a very big deal about birthdays.  I still miss her on my birthday.  Plus her birthday is just less than 2 weeks away… hard to believe she has been gone for 6 years.  Hard to believe I made it to today.

I was told 13 years ago I had breast cancer.  So in light of having what is too often a death sentence I survived.  And am glad to say I am another year older.  I just am not too sure about this year.  I have no problems saying I just turned 50, I have problems being 50 with very little to show for it in the midst of my battle for disability.  I never thought I would be here so soon.

But today is about happiness.  That extra year I have survived.  The wonderful memories of birthdays of the past.  And making memories of new.  Today was a nice day… had dinner with my boyfriend and daughter at a local Mexican restaurant – the fried ice cream for dessert is sinful!  Then we came home and played a card game.  It is moments together with family that give me the most happiness.  And lucky me I get to do it all over again next week when the rest of the family can get together with me and wish me a happy (this is from my older sister) half a century.

The candles have been blown out and the games put away.  I may not have the youth I wished to hang on to, but I have the greatest gifts – life, love and family.  (((HUGS)))