I’ve grown up

I cry alligator tears on every single drive home from any cancer support group or meeting I have ever attended.

I can’t explain why very well in words.

The guest speakers, mentors, and event planners are always lovely people who support the cancer field which I am grateful for. They put on amazing, informative events for cancer patients and their families.

But it is the audience I can’t keep my eyes off of.

They are just regular people listening with intensity; for it is their lives that are on the line.

And when they share their cancer chapters of their life stories, I can’t help but feel sad and think , “Oh, I’m so sorry, you had to go through that!”

And then it dawns on me that I am next…to tell my own cancer tale. I am one of them!

I can barely hold in the tears during the meeting and then they let loose usually while I scramble to find the keys to open my car door as I leave. I always wish my name was not permanently on the “cancer party list,” even though it always will be now.

But the past meeting was my first time I did not cry.

I seemed to be the winner of the most lost body parts and surgeries.

I seemed to be the winner for tumor size.

I seemed to be the winner of length, of strength, and of duration of healing treatments.

I was the winner with the cancer gene mutation.

And yet when it was my turn to share, instead of sharing the list of things I did not want to be the winner of, the words came out of my mouth;

I was thankful…

I drove home in silence.

It was then I realized I had grown up.

Time does help heal…


Little Heart

I wish to share one of my favorite writings inspired by two mothers I cherish for mother’s day coming up. One was growing a tiny heart inside next to her own heart suffering from hyperemisis while the other was resting an old loving heart suffering from congestive heart failure. I wrote it with my own pleading heart in a fervent prayer that the hearts I cherish would never stop beating…

It will be one of my children’s books someday…

Written to my unborn grandbaby and my mom in the hospital                                                Dec. 17, 2011

Little Heart


Everyone gets a little heart with their body.  It is like your very own light bulb that turns on when you begin.  You can’t see it on your outside like your pinky finger, but you can feel it on your inside thumping.  Do you want to feel it?  On your body above your belly button you have two heart finder dots.  If you put your hand in the middle of the dots and hold very still, you can feel your heart.  What does it say?  thump  thump  thump… like a drum.

Hearts start like magic.  On one special day your heart turns on and begins to beat while you are growing in your mommy’s tummy.  It never stops while you are alive.  It begins when you are smaller than a little pea like this.

That is an itty bitty heart saying “Hello, I am here!”  thump thump thump…

Your heart can beat fast when you run or jump.  Do you want to feel it?  Hop like a rabbit; 5 HOPS.  Now find your heart finder dots and feel.  Thump!thump!thump!thump!  It will slow down soon.

Your heart can beat really slow too, like when you are sleeping.

Hearts can be different sizes. Even though you can’t see them you can see people with different sized ones.  Grandma has a huge heart even though she is not very big. She is nice. Bad guys who are huge have shriveled up small ones. They are mean. But hearts don’t have to stay one size, they can change anytime.  thump  thump  thump…

Hearts have lots and lots of pockets.  You can feel them on the inside.  All kinds of things get put inside the heart pockets.  Happy and sad things; good and bad things; mad and glad things. Some people hold too many things in their heart pockets and their hearts get very heavy.  You can feel that too.  To empty out some pockets all you have to do is cry.  Your tears carry away all that stuff you don’t need any more in your heart pocket.   thump  thump  thump.

The best thing about everyone’s heart is that they are all made from honey, and chocolate, and peppermint, and marshmallows, and caramel, and syrup, and cherries and sugar because everyone’s heart starts sweet when it is smaller than a pea.  Our hearts get sour only when we stop showing love.  Wrap your arms around me and squeeze—can you feel the sugar?

I love you!

Everyone gets a little heart with their body.  Keep going little heart.  thump  thump  thump.

The Third Thing…

Planet Earth

Look at that! It amazes me every time I see it.

“…but there is a third thing you must do.” said Alice’s grandfather to Alice in the children’s book, Miss Rumfius by Barbara Cooney.

“What is that?” asked Alice.

“You must do something to make the world more beautiful,” said her grandfather.

And when Alice grew old and completed numbers one and two, she decided that she would “complete the third, and the most difficult thing of all. All that summer Miss Rumphius, her pockets full of seeds, wandered over fields and headlands sowing lupines… Fields and hillsides were covered with blue and purple and rose-colored flowers. They bloomed along the highways and down the lanes. Bright patches lay around the schoolhouse and back of the church. down in the hollows and along the stone walls grew the beautiful flowers.”

What is your third thing going to be? Perhaps you are still working on it…

Happy Earth Day Celebration this week!

Cooney, B. (1982). Miss Rumfius. New York, NY: Viking.

You are Beautiful

looking in mirror

We like to look at ourselves in the mirror. We can’t help it. We check to see if broccoli is in our teeth, our clothes look right, or our hair looks good– (if we have hair). Although non of us look perfect we still try to look and evaluate and alter our look to make us feel like we look better.

But cancer attacks from the inside and becomes an interior invasion which is damaging to our “look,” even if the source cannot be seen in a mirror. Even though we judge our outward appearances it is really how we feel from our inside that truly makes “our look.”

When you are told there is an evil darkness lurking under your skin, growing inside of you, there isn’t only an evil demon with one horrific objective  but also a feeling of ugliness that does not show in the mirror but hurts really really badly. You feel ugly and dirty and broken from deep inside and that, I believe is far worse than feeling it on the outside. It attacks who you are made of from the heart and soul.

But, I received some powerful advice about this that I want to share. It is this:

“No one can cut your spirit!”

Nor can they burn, poke, poison, break, radiate, amputate, neuter, sever, etc.

We are made from God. He made us in his image and our spirits are made of the same substance that he is made of; light and love. No matter what happens to the little house we call our body, our spirit is beautiful and always loved.

So for those of you who are feeling this dark, ugliness from the inside because of a diagnosis called cancer I just wanted to remind you…

Your are beautiful inside and out!