Scars

Have you ever accidentally slipped and cut your finger with a knife?

In that instant you know as the pain socks a punch, the blood begins to leak, and the shivers begin as you rush to cover and pinch.

But at Halloween, adding a jagged scar left over from a gruesome cut, perhaps with stitch marks achieves a great chilling affect to our costumes, decorations or pumpkin carvings that perhaps directly connect us to our own senses. We remember our own fear and pain. Scars are ugly and creepy…

But when Halloween is over some of us cannot remove those creepy imperfections by using soap and water; they are permanently a part of us and the true horror could be a mirror or the nightmarish memories. 

But not for a brave teenage Nigerian girl

who looks at scars with a powerful perspective…

“…I ask you right here to please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty, okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.

(Little Bee by Chris Cleave, page 9)

God bless my sisters and brothers in cancer who are beautiful with scars.

Never forget, no one can cut your spirit!

Celebrating Cancer Awareness Month

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The News

Dear One,

You just got off the phone.

You have received the news.

News you never ever wanted to hear.

Someone you know has the “C” word.

Or it is you…

You heard it but it could not be real!

It can’t be.

How you must feel…

I know.

I felt it too.

You are numb.  In shock!

You may want to cry.  You may feel nothing.

You may want to hit something or scream out loud.

You put your hands to your face and bow your head.

NO!  It can’t be Cancer!

“What do I do now?”

This is the question to be answered from this blog.

Come sit and let us hold on to one another.

This is not only for the newly diagnosed.

It is for the neighbor who wants to know how to help a little.

A friend who wants to know how to help a lot.

A child who feels something is wrong but does not understand and wants to know what to do.

A husband who does not know how to comfort when he is trying to believe it himself.

A parent trying to make it easier for their child but in shock.

A brother, father, or son who does not know how to talk about it if it is female related.

I am a cancer survivor! I have worked very hard to get through my cancer experience using my own gifts, talents, and survival techniques. I am not a therapist, but I am an expert on living through it.  This is a blog to share simple, uplifting tips and ideas with you and give you an invitation to share any uplifting ideas that helped you get through your journey.

What do I do now on this first day?

Here is what you can do today…

Tip #1:  Be still and stay close to somone!

This is the beginning of one step…

take it slow.

You can do this!

Preparing for Surgery

Preparing for surgery, for me, was to run around as fast as I could and do everything possible to not have to think about the nightmare I was living and how afraid I was. From diagnoses to surgery was a 2 1/2 week span during the Christmas holidays and I was trying to forget and go on autopilot by “distractions.”

A dear friend of mine asked me if she could come over and explain how to calm down before surgery. She had been faced with a rare nonmalignant tumor and had her share of adversity. I was bitter, angry, terrified and closed hearted! But she was persistent, patient, and I am sooooo thankful she was both!

This is what she introduced to me.  Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster by Peggy Huddleston.  I remember sitting on a bean-bag chair with J, in our family’s play room.  I was uninterested,bored and couldn’t wait for her to leave so I could distract myself some more.  I hated sitting quiet!

But I changed in those few moments.  A change that I needed to experience, which pioneered the beginning of being open to many many more changes to come. As I sat and listened to a tape of how this book came to be, and why it was important, I felt this feeling that I NEEDED to hear this.  Without going into too much detail, here are the steps that saved me not only through surgery, but many terrifying procedures that I needed to face that I was unaware at the time.

1.  Your mind is a powerful part of healing and how you think of things will determine how you will heal.  I HAD to change my rage and anger statements to positive statements that were less fearful because I was pumping those negative feelings into my body to feed my anxiety.  Things like “I am so thankful for modern medicine to help me heal.” or “I will be comfortable and heal well,” were more healthy than, “I hate this experience and it is all bad for me!”

2. Emotions and attitudes lesson pain and anxiety.  That is a powerful thought and I wanted to believe it.

3.  The book explains that you can hear during surgery and that it is important to be in a relaxed state for your body to respond at its best. Dr. Huddleston explains to have positive statement told to you during surgery, that you bring to your anesthesiologist to read to you while you are asleep.

4.  She has a 3 step process that helped me so much.

a.  Anchor to peace by listening to a relaxation tape to learn how to calm yourself. This was difficult for me as I was not “in” to yoga and mediation at this time.  Peace speeds recovery and allows for less medications.  I liked this statement because I was not a pill taker.

b.  Think of someone you love and get heart centered.  This brought good feelings of comfort and warmth to your body.

c.  (My favorite) Call on some special people to be your “Pink blanket of Love” and ask them to think or pray for you at the exact time you will be having surgery, a procedure, chemo or radiation.  Tell them it will be at 9:30 a.m. on  this date.  As you are there ready to go into surgery at that very moment, think about that support group sending powerful positive messages to you or praying for you.  As Peggy   puts it, it will feel “utterly delicious and peaceful.” I have done this and it works!  I testify of the power of prayer!

d.  Tell your doctor and anesthesiologist to say positive healing statements during surgery because you can hear them! You are the consumer and you have the right to say what happens to you.

5. Patients who feel empowered by being involved in how they heal do better as they heal.

My friend J gave me a gift that day that I didn’t know I needed.  I am posting it because often, in our fear we stay closed to things that may be the very thing we need.  For me, it was these wellness ideas.  I have passed them along to others.  If you have something that helped you, don’t hesitate but pass it forward.  We need each other.

Creating a Ripple

Racking my brain…

My family is at the stage now,

of counting my sweet mother’s breaths…

But I live so far away I could be in mars. At least it feels like it!

I want to be with her for all the last breaths and hold her hand.

She has given me so much, I don’t want her to go.

My mother turns 89 the beginning of Oct.

I want to celebrate her life while she is still with us.

HOW?

Then, I received an angel whisper.

An idea…create a ripple.

Every day for the month of September

leading up to her birthday on Oct. 1st

I am sending

all of her posterity

and brothers and sisters

a Fun Fact about her.

There are over 100 of us.

Everyone has LOVED it! 

Including my mother!

It allows me to do something for her

here on Mars.

It has allowed everyone to know facts about her

they never knew or remember back.

It has created a beautiful ripple

of her life which not only

encircles around her

but

encircles out

to all of us.

Here is a peek:

Grandma trusts all people!

At Ruth and Wade’s wedding reception Ruth told all of Wade’s friends where they were going to spend their wedding night, up in a little cabin in the canyons. That was a mistake! It was common in those days for friends to do a sneak attack on the new couple and knock on windows and yell silly comments. But Wade must have had a good friend who tipped him off. Wade got the last laugh when instead of going to the little cabin, he quickly changed the plans and went to his brother, Keith’s apartment. All his friends went to the canyons…but they weren’t there. Ruth wondered why they didn’t go to the canyons like they planned…

You can still have fun at the end of life….

Come on over…

My dear friends and followers,

I am taking this full virtual-space (Cancer Together; What do I do now?) and add it to my other blog-bowl;

 Have Fun With It

to create a big messy gooey life recipe.

I offer you a spoon and hope you will dip in and take some tastes.

I am excited to also introduce to you a new blog on my passion; Preserving that mysterious and wonderful time called “childhood.” Please take a peek and send others.

 Only One Childhood

This space will stay open offering my hand and heart as a continuous life preserver holding to you as you return back to posts.

You will

find those pieces of HAPPY 

you feel you have lost

buried

under the

cancer brick load.

I understand and acknowledge YOU.

Thank you for allowing me

to hold on to you

as my life saver.

I hope you will continue on my journey and enjoy…

Have Fun With It

Scrambled Egg Time!

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This amazing little container can be a source for great fun besides tummy filling. It fits the palm of human hands so perfectly it makes us want to…

yep, throw it.

I admit,

with my rambunctious, energetic family, I  have actually acted on that thought and have encouraged healthy and legal “egg bombing” activities; particularly around Easter EGG-STRAVEGANZA time!

Some egg enthusiasts create confetti filled eggs and crack them on heads of friends or family for strange satisfaction but this eco-friendly family, date, or friend’s activity is so much more satisfying as you hurl these perfect filled egg sized bombs against trees, over ponds, in fields, out windows, over cliffs, at mountains, at self made NATURAL targets and NOT at people or people’s things!

*There is a disclaimer attached because I am not a biologist and wonder if it could create severe neurosis in birdies when they come to feast the treat and see parts of their cousin’s offspring shells amidst the bird seed. (I hope they have poor eye sight and don’t notice.)

Directions:

Tap the top of the egg until you make a slight hole and dump out the contents in a cup, or bowl to make scrambled eggs later on.

Make a carton or two or three or five.

You will wish you had more!

I promise!

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While you let the eggs dry out in the carton go to your local store and purchase a small bag of bird seed. You probably have left over from the Random Acts of Kindness Date ideas in the past blog posts. (While you’re there get a tiny bag of grass seed for another Easter EGG-STRAVEGANZA activity; the grass-hair growing one)

When you return fill up the eggs with bird seed and place them back in the egg cartons.

Optional you can cover the hole with duct  or masking tape but you don’t have to.

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Isn’t that the coolest little container!

You have now created satisfying eco-friendly egg-bombs that can create some pretty fun memories for you and happy birds, mice, rats, squirrels and chipmunks and sometimes bears.

Then,

Don’t forget to go back to your kitchen which is a playground full of fun full-sensory experiments, messes, gadgets and family/friend/possible significant other fun. 

Whip up the eggs and sit down to a warm meal together. Don’t forget to thank that hen for pushing out that perfect little container..bless her heart…and bumm!

Recipe Variations to regular scrambled eggs

(complimentary of Family Fun Cook Book, Pg, 21)

Cream Cheese and Chives Scrambled Eggs: Melt 1 T butter in saucepan. Beat two eggs together and stir in pan for one minute. Add 1-2 T cream cheese, cut into 1/2 in cubes and 4 fresh  chives, snipped into pieces. Yummmm. I can smell a toasted blueberry bagel with strawberry cream cheese just sittin’ next to this on a dish!

Cheddar Cheese and Bacon: Don’t we do this anyway! Pfff! I don’t think we need directions…(Nuke bacon in the microwave between 2 paper towels for less mess and faster in the tummy)

Cottage Cheese and Dill: Add 1 heaping T. cottage cheese and 2 t. chopped dill to the nearly cooked scrambled eggs. The cottage cheese melts like regular cheese but it is light and creamy. Sooo good!

Tomato and Basil: Toss half a small, diced tomato and 1 to 2 t. chopped fresh basil into your scrambled eggs before serving. Add some cut melon or strawberries on the side, Oh my stomach is growling!

Salsa, cilantro, and sour cream: Mix 1-2 T salsa, 1 t. chopped fresh cilantro and 2 t. sour cream into scrambled eggs while cooking. Serve over warmed tortillas.

Or be silly and add food coloring to your egg mixture and eat your egg- color of choice. 

Remember…

HAVE FUN WITH IT

It’s time to play

Be true to your authentic self even if your shoes have splatters of paint…

It brings happiness to the soul.

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How do you find that self?

Go back to your childhood and remember back what you played when you were free to do anything you wanted. And discover a version of it now.

Then go…

This is me completing a mural for the children’s area at the homeless shelter right before winter. A group of children began it this past summer…