Day 1…Tumor Can’t Be Removed

While the doctor explained the situation to me, my mind tried to open up to understand every word he was saying.  He drew little pictures which I now know I misunderstood (he is the surgeon and I am the stunned wife with only Dr. Google to rely upon). We both were doing our best and I just wanted to see my husband but was assured it would be a little while as he was waking up in recovery.  Were these all the answers to my questions about his disease? Never, but it would have to be enough for now.

What seemed like forever came to an end and I went up to the floor of this modern hospital and glanced out the windows when the elevator doors opened.  The storm during the night had rattled the nearby hotel we had booked, but now the day looked bright and sunny.  I was trying to hold on to the faith I profess and knew that God would make all things right when I surrendered to whatever His will might be.  So the sunshine was a pleasant answer from Him–everything would happen as it was supposed to happen.

I saw my husband lying in a bed with tubes running here and there–the nose tube was the one that looked the most uncomfortable and it would be there for a while the nurse reassured me. It’s purpose was to drain out the mucus I guess. The catheter was  collecting the urine and that bag was hanging on the far side of the bed. Better there than to be visible from the door and hall. At least there could be a little dignity for the patient that way. All this may seem pretty graphic for some of you, but that’s the way it is when a person is recovering from surgery. The room was huge and the bathroom was well stocked with toiletries and towels.  (It was for my use as well and I would appreciate it for the night to come.)  It would not be shower time for a while for this patient, but the nurses would let him know. Just sponging off for a few days would have to be okay for him.

The tubes running here and there were signs that he had just had major surgery, but the smile he managed told me he was fine. Faith and acceptance is his mantra.

That night was a nightmare with nurses running in an out, but I was happy to be at his side just because.

Whatever that doctor said to him in the first few days was lost in the fog of leftover anesthetic and I tried to remember everything I could.  He is tough, but the most important thing to remember these days has been his handicap and most recent golf score…don’t ask him because he will deny that’s true.  Maybe he doesn’t need to analyze every single word like I do because he accepts what God has in store is God’s business.  What faith!

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Someone is Living Rent-free

In my head and sitting at the table (uninvited) at meals with me, some unkind person is invading my space! It’s fair to say I have a resentment and I am letting this person take hold of my every thought and action. It is a sad state of affairs and I am ashamed that it has come to this point.

Deep down, I don’t really care what this person thinks or says but I can’t get over wanting to hear some form of apology for how I’ve been snubbed. Yes, that is stupid and narrow-minded and expecting one hell of a lot from another human being. I know we can’t all be aware of how important my feelings are! That is the baby in me…the selfish little child that refuses to let the world exist for its own self and not just for my benefit.

Sadly, I have learned to keep score. I have slipped back into old behavior that announces I am good and you have a lot to live up to. It is always a contest with me and no matter how much you do, it’s never enough!  The balance sheet must be in my favor or you lose points.

I am very sorry to admit these sins..I am ashamed. I pray but God only gives me more challenges.  That’s the point, but I miss the message every time. All the second chances go unheeded and so I have to go through the pain of self-hatred each time I fall into my old habits of resentments.

Someone told me once that Life is tough…so get a helmet.  I need to accept those challenges and give up the resentments. Those free loaders that live in my mind are there because I let them stay there and keep repeating how they have been unkind to poor me.  They should know better?? No, I should let them do whatever they need to do and I should forgive, ignore and be grateful that I understand that I am not the center of anyone’s universe but my own.

Life can be easier when I let go and invite God to remove the root of my resentments. Finding peace is a journey that takes discipline and right living.  There is literally no room for hateful attitudes and self-centered behavior or thinking.

Today at least I recognize that pain as the resentment begins and if I want, I can work on overcoming it. How? Well, maybe with some loving thoughts about the person, I can find some peace of mind. Surely there is something good in each of us! I just need to look harder for the good and stop focusing on the bad.

active activity adventure backpack
Finding something good in everyone.

 

Dancing with Your Disease

No matter what is the matter, there are answers.  Some are not what you want to hear, but nonetheless, they are out there! And research is being done around the clock to bring more answers!

There is a quote in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous that says in part “…are you willing to go to any length…” and this means in search of an answer for a solution to the disease of alcoholism.  It doesn’t say for a cure, it only means for a solution for today.

Some diseases are incurable, inoperable and totally unmanageable without the help of some medications.  Let me be clear…some diseases bring about major and unbearable pain, but when the patient is willing to learn as much as possible about the disease she or he will hold the winning hand.  Knowledge is power and that is the reason so much information is given to the cancer patient about the specific cancer being treated.  Hopefully the patient will go to any length to learn what to do to become stronger in fighting the cancer and following good health practices.

Migraine sufferers shouldn’t give up.  There are so many different treatments to follow and much information to consider.  Learning and researching is far more engaging than just letting the world go by as you suffer in your incapacitated state. Overwhelmed by pain and suffering accomplishes nothing more than defeat and being proactive is a much more healthy way of dealing with pain.

Even when a cold hits you square in the sinuses, it is better to do all the symptomatic treatments to help ease the pain.  There is no cure…avoid situations when you can and this means setting boundaries around those who are coughing, sneezing and blowing!  Wash your own hands and use sanitizer and clean the mouth piece of that office phone and other equipment your co workers touch.  If you are sick…STAY HOME.  Temperatures indicate illness.

Diseases can range from life threatening to life disrupting.  Cancer threatens lives, IBS disrupts lives. IBS is different for every sufferer.  Learn to live with it! Sad but true, it is not going anywhere and you can’t trick it.  Go to any length to learn your dietary and lifestyle limits.  You can’t cheat because IBS keeps track!  It is very cunning.  Bless those days of harmony when all is well.

Some diseases are discovered too late.  COPD is one everyone wished they had known about when they were young.  When it’s too late for the sufferer, he or she may want to become a spokesperson for that disease. Grandchildren are lucky to have written materials and support from family members who will guide them in avoiding the pitfalls of COPD.

Alzheimer’s has many clinical trials and hopes to find a cure soon. If you have lost a love one from this disease, you have been robbed and so was the patient.  What can be done now?

Some diseases are just your legacy, passed down through the generations and until there are cures, research will continue.  Be active, please, in any research program you can.  Contribute your time, your family profile, and volunteer to help in any way you are able. Dancing with your disease may help someone live a disease free life…it may be you grandchild!

I Bet You Know This Stuff….

There are little hidden secrets that will make everyday living so much easier and in some cases, so much more economical. I feel like you probably already know most of these tricks, but got those who don’t let’s get started!

1.) Refill bathroom hand soap dispensers with slightly diluted shampoo. Pick a color you like! The move away from antibacterial hand soap has allowed this to be an option.

Come back next time for another tip. These are just easy steps in making that buck stretch further or saving a minute here or there. If you are like me, there’s always a need to save time and money.

Hint for the upcoming blog:  Time saving cooking techniques!!

 

A New Start on Living

When the clock struck midnight, the celebrations continued and with kisses and wishes exchanged what were your New Year’s Resolutions?

There is an easy solution to honoring your resolutions. First, realize that you are a human being and not a perfect creature. When you realize that fact it will help to accept your little failures as the year wears on. Second, SAM_1839realize doing this on a twenty-four hour basis is a lot easier.  Don’t stress about old failures and don’t worry about your score for the day yet to come. Live in today and learn to manage the minutes and hours.

Celebrate your daily successes by loving yourself and respect your failures by accepting them…tomorrow is another chance. Learn from failure and stay humble with your success.

Happy New Year and may 2016 give you joy and health.  You must earn those wishes by doing the next right thing. Take care of yourself, your family and your friends!

Finding Hope

church In 1863, on Christmas Day, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned the poem Christmas Bells as he struggled to find hope in his changed world.  In 1861 his wife died due to a tragedy of fire in their home and his eldest son soon became maimed by the violence of the Civil War. But as Longfellow heard the bells that Christmas Day in 1863, his hope was beginning to return. He was inspired to write Christmas Bells and his soul poured out onto the paper

The poem was set to music by John Calkin who took the liberty of removing two of the original stanzas about the Civil War making it another sweet Christmas carol. You know the carol as I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. Longfellow longed for hope and peace. Our country is longing for the same, but we are confused as to how to accomplish the goal. Hope is that expectation of something good to come about, but it cannot come if we don’t work for it or strive to find it.  

Writers write and that’s what Longfellow did in his quest for hope. Today the world is caught up in the power of anger and the turmoil of bitterness. Nothing can be accomplished this way. Do the next right thing and no matter the cost of that effort, the reward is priceless. Stand up for the goodness and power of believing in the sound of those Christmas Bells with their message of hope and peace.

However, maybe you don’t hear the bells. Maybe you don’t see the stories that others show you in their actions, but in order to find hope, you must listen intently with your ears and with your heart. It is then that hope will come to you because you will realize that “…God is not dead nor doth He sleep…” as Longfellow wrote and peace and joy will fill your soul.

Longfellow and many like him can inspire us to live a hopeful life, to erase the bitterness and discontent from our moods and surrender to the next right action for ourselves and our families and friends. Some years ago during the Los Angeles riots, Dan Rather, a  notable and admired newscaster said it all begins in the heart of each man. Hope can be contagious. Find hope and spread it around.

Do You Fear Being Mediocre?

SAM_1427There was a time when perfection was a goal that nagged at me day and night…I had to be the best and you had to realize it or I had to work harder to prove it to you. Being common was not good enough for me because someone had indicated that was beneath what they considered acceptable, and I was foolish enough to believe I had a standard to live up to for being whole.

Succeeding in all things is not reality so struggle all you want but if you are great at sports you may not want to try out for choir if you are tone-deaf. Struggle all you want with your inabilities to paint or be happy with the stick figures you can draw and amuse yourself.

When I was trying so hard to be the best at everything, I found a way to soften the blow.  I found relief in a few cocktails which convinced me I didn’t care about the outcome of life. I wasn’t happy, but I really didn’t care about that either. The most important thing was to hide my mediocrity in the feel good drunk of some alcohol and then struggle back to reality when the morning came.

Life hadn’t changed and I still couldn’t be the best at everything except for the feeling of disgust with myself for falling into the guilt of caring what someone else had decided should be my reality.  Convincing anyone of my greatness, including myself, was becoming too big a chore. I had let the haunting of mediocrity warp my self worth. I am me and I had worked myself into a hateful relationship with myself.

First things first, I put the booze aside and decided being me would be a process of accepting the good and the inferior.  I am a nice person, but I am terrible at any sport.  I love to cook and do a great job. I don’t have to tell you…just take a bite and see for yourself. Remember you won’t like everything about me, but it is all right.

I am okay with being in  the middle of life…no longer fearing being mediocre. If I can improve on an activity I love, I will endeavor to work harder to achieve success. Everything is not for me. And I really don’t have to be the best.

Do I Have a Right?

If I don’t have a right to kill another human being just because I am having a difference of opinion or some other kind of misconception, what gives me the right to criticize another person’s style or point of view? As an individual, I have the right to be me…right or wrong. Don’t judge me, let me be. Defend yourself if I am ready with gun or other weapon in hand to do you or yours harm, but don’t just walk up and kill me. The same goes in my actions towards others!

If I am a Jew and you are not, so what? If I am a peaceful Muslim, what gives you the right to judge me? What makes any of us God?  Actually I try to live by the motto of “Live and let live”.  It isn’t in my nature to see things your way, but after all, who am I to set out the workings of your world and your mind!.

Let’s get it straight…I have my priorities of right living ever-present in my mind and I do not condone the ugliness of the world, but unless I can contribute a positive action to help mend some of the evil, then I must seek out other souls that might join with me to pray for God’s guidance. Praying is the substitute for complaining and gossip. Praying and positive effort will work miracles in our world, but I do not have the right as one person to be judge and jury of any situation or the right to take lives.

SAM_1389 SAM_1735When I am tempted to judge the hairstyle or body shape of another person, I ask myself how far would I go to prove that I am “all it”?  Being kind begins in my heart and in my tiny actions…if I would character assassinate someone, could I get so messed up that I could actually pull a trigger or make a bomb?  Where does it start? Where does it end? Do I have a right?

Courage in the Face of Cancer

It was just yesterday I was sitting at my computer and President Carter was talking to the press describing the cancer that had gone from his liver to form four tiny spots of melanoma on his brain. I was shocked. He was calm. He chuckled every now and then broke out in that big smile the folks love about him…the peanut farmer who won the presidential race and became the 39th President of the United States of America!

He is quoted as having said he has enjoyed his wonderful life, a great marriage and all the work he has accomplished in his life.

“It’s in the hands of God, whom I worship, and I’ll be prepared for anything that comes,” Carter stated in his conversation. To me, that sounds like one heck of a lot of courage in the face of a real killer. He also said, ” Hope for the best. And accept what comes.”

Whether or not you or I voted for his politics, we have to admire his courage….my prayers are with him and his family!

Slow Your Roll

Sometimes you just might need to close your eyes at night and remember that you are not the one making the world go round…you might wish you were in charge because it would be easier to get your way and direct people to do what you want them to do or say the words you want to hear. Slow your roll and surrender. Taming the world is not your job.

Many people believe in God or a Power that is greater than their own human self. Some people don’t believe in anything and go through life struggling to adjust the world to their own desires. If you are one of these self-serving individuals, I have no answer for you, but if you believe in Something Greater, even a little, then there is hope for you.

I believe I am here to do my job. I think doing something like those 10 Commandments in some form or the other is a guide. Be nice, play fair and be thankful…accept Life with as much of a smile as I can muster, teach my children to do the same until they leave home and face this world as they see it, pray always with a grateful heart and know that He will make all things right when I surrender to His will. No where does it mean that I have to manage other people because that is not my job. I don’t have to pray that someone gets well because God has the person’s best interest planned. I do have to thank Him for being in charge of the situation and accept what He decides.

When you close your eyes at night, maybe slow your roll and ask your Someone special to take over.