Sunday, July 31, 2011

Life and Ironies!

There is a saying "what a difference a day makes" and right now I know exactly what that means.   The last time I wrote I was talking about such benign senseless things...which is good for a time.   Now in the past week or so life has been so serious it is hard to believe that that time even existed.   Ironies are a part of life, but when they teach such important lessons......

This week has been a week of ironies.  I am made to realize that nothing is for certain no matter what we think.   I would assume that someone like me would be as far removed from cancer and dying as a person could get.  Yet in the past week I have witnessed two deaths from this horrible disease.  One, a short and gentle battle of an aged person who felt that he had lived his life and was prepared to say good-bye.  The other a young family man who desperately wanted to live at all won his battle the other lost.. yet both died! strange that the same thing can have two completely different ends!
It has made me so sad and exhausted....I cried like a baby last night.  I don't want to be reminded that the choice may be mine sometime soon. Which one would I choose if the time comes?  There are positives on both sides.   Having been through this hell twice before, I think maybe I don't want to go through it again....and then I would give anything to be around to watch my daughter enter her adult life and the wonders that she will experience.   Life is full of ironies!!!!!

In the end, do we really have the choice?   I think in some way life is mapped out and we are just floating along in its breath....but then that means that I have no choice....I don't like to have NO then I start to think perhaps the choices I have are not whether I live or die.....or when I die.. or even how I die,but rather how I choose to live.   What do I want people to remember after I am gone?    Yesterday, that was made very clear while listening  to the wonderful testimonials.   I must live my life in such a way as to hope that I too will be given such wonderful words at my funeral.   I think I do, but it has made it clear what my choices are.   So as I move on to another week, hopefully much quieter and happier, I will try really hard to live every moment as if the world is looking on and taking notes.     I guess that is what it is all about........

Whether you are sick, or not you must be part of the fabric of life.  That means being a part of the lives that you are in touch with.  I guess I have been blessed to be a part of some amazing lives even if they aren't all happy, fun loving times.   It really is the sad, the suffering, the tragedies that bring us closer to the people in our is times like this that things get real and we come to see each other without all the masks.   I feel I have become very close to some special people these past few months and I wouldn't change my part in it for all the world......I wouldn't be so blessed if I did......again another irony!

Oh and one more change.....I aged a whole year!    Yahoo I love to get older as the alternative is not so great!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Perspectives on many different ones!

So again last night I was uplifted by spending time with an amazing group of strong, beautiful women who love to laugh, eat and drink good food, and talk about many many things.    I learnt some very interesting things listening to the talk.  One of the things I learnt was  how differently I look at the world.   Whether this is because of the experiences I have had I will never know but it was very thought provoking nonetheless.

I have come to be so happy to be here living and experiencing life that I don't spend much time looking at my aging process as a negative.  Now don't get me wrong, I too look into the mirror and wonder who it is looking back at me.   My brain tells me I still look 18 but my body argues the point silently!!!!   I just don't really want to change anything.   I see nothing wrong with people making decisions about how they want to deal with the ravages of age, the wrinkles (character lines as some call them) etc., because esp in our day that is important.  It just doesn't register for me on any scale.   I listened with fascination to my friends talk about stuff that I probably have never really seriously given any thought to.   I was so interested in hearing how they felt, what they thought they should do, and even what is actually involved in all the products and procedures available.  I must say, some I am not interested in and never would do in a million years, but it was fun listening.  

I have reflected on how I felt about this and I have come up with this understanding.  I think I have had so many things done to my body against my will, so many changes that were made because I had to, that having the choice not to do anything else is important to me.   It is very interesting how we all see things based on what we have lived through.   I just couldn't imagine doing anything, putting anything, or cutting anything, simply for cosmetic purposes, although I totally understand the reasons for it.   I just don't want to see any kind of doctor (especially another specialist) no matter what it is for....I have seen enough over the past 10 years that I could go the rest of my life and not see one and I still wouldn't have enough time to make up for it.

So, as I participate in this life, I am continually amazed how much my own experiences (esp my cancer ones) have given me my very own unique take on life and how it unfolds.   Don't be fooled though, I was just as intrigued as anyone else to listen to the details of various procedures that are available today to make us look and feel the best we can.   These women are so confident and successful that anything they choose to do would simply be for their benefit and how they feel and not for anyone else.....that is the difference when it comes to making these decisions.....

......I just sat, listened and had another glass of wine.....oh life is good!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Living in the Moments.....

Haven't spent much time lately on or around the computer.   It is beautiful outside and who wants to waste time inside when the sun is shining and birds are singing.  Also, I find it really easy to forget all my troubles and just live each day at this time of year.    Things are the same old same old, but my mood and spirits are good and so the last thing I think about is sitting down and talking about me and my maladies.    I would like to share a beautiful quote that I read recently:

"rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite.  It actually takes guts.  Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior's world.   We can do this even at the most difficult moments.  Everything we see, hear, taste and smell has the power to strengthen and uplift us."   Pema Chodron

So with that in mind....take time to enjoy the world around you and 'live in the moment'..........

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Not always feeling great!!!!!

Been thinking lately.  Saw a pic of me just before diagnosis and boy I looked different...not necessarily healthy just different.  I was so thin and a bit gaunt.   I remember that weekend so clearly (25th high school reunion) because I was also very tired and even had a lot of anxiety.   I was actually reading a book on how to redirect panic attacks in order to over come them cause I was having so many of them (it would be something that I find happens whenever the cancer comes back!). I wondered what was up but thought maybe I was just too stressed out with school, parenting, and life in general.  I forgot how out of sorts I was feeling and had even considered not going to Montreal for the reunion.   At the time I didn't think anything of it mainly because when you work in education and the end of the year looms close you just assume that the exhaustion is from the last ten months.  If you haven't worked in a high school you can't imagine the amount of energy it takes just to be there each June you are barely getting through the day.   Ten years ago I thought that was just the case.  I recently was reminded of how I had not been feeling well at the Prom that year. I had felt so bad the day of the prom I actually was scared about what was going on....I only shared it at the time with one person but had forgotten all about that till this past week when she reminded me of it. My girlfriend and I had been organizing it for about 4 months with a group of amazing young girls in grade 11.   What a time we was "Under the Water" theme and each piece of seaweed was hand made and strung....and we did it all in the Chapel.  I am sure there were many who thought that a sacrilegious use of the Chapel, but I am sure that Jesus was enjoying the time as much as we were.   The night of the Prom I had two really bad what I thought were panic attacks....a bad thumping in my chest and a was actually frightening.....I wrote it off to nerves afterwards but I remember now how frightened it had made me.  It would be less than two weeks later that I would be diagnosed with Stage III, Grade 3c, Ovarian Cancer.....notice the capitals,,,,,seems to be necessary to make it as shocking as it actually was!

It was during this time that I came to meet and become friends with one of my dearest friends today.....Sandy!   I just spent a week with her in Florida and she has been such a blessing in my life over the last ten years.  God really does put you in the right place no matter what you are about to face.  I don't believe that God tests me or gives me diseases in order to build character, I believe that God allows me to be completely surrounded by people who will be vehicles of God's love during these times though.  

So much has been going through my mind over the past few weeks.   There are moments of great depression and then moments of great joy.   I didn't realize how this would effect me.....but all in all I don't have too much to complain about.   That hasn't stopped me though!    I have at times had this horrible foreshadowing that I will not make it this time....for whatever reason.   I have a hard time being so honest about these feelings because I don't want people feeling sorry for me.  It is just how I feel sometimes.   When I do things lately they just seem so vivid and alive it makes me think perhaps it is because I will not be doing them again.   I sound so dark but I haven't been able to shake this feeling lately.   I am sure that it is just a normal way of feeling, but I am not always able to express the negative...I like to be up and keep everyone thinking that all is rosy.  But like everyone else, I have my very down times and I tend to keep these times very close to my chest....I don't want or need anyone discussing them with me or telling me I shouldn't feel that way....I just feel the way I do...sometimes great and sometimes really awful....isn't that just what being human is all about????

I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that my mind continues to go back to the time ten years ago when I thought everything was fine, I was just a little tired, and then my whole world fell in.   Then I am reminded of the wonderful people that God placed in my life, and how different my life would be if they weren't my friends.   I am truly blessed, and Sandy and her family are a very big part of that blessing.....and since meeting her ten years ago I have become friends with so many amazing women.....It is so wonderful to come to know how much you are loved in your lifetime......glad I dont' have to wait for the eulogy in order to know how blessed I really am......

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cancer sucks the energy from you!!!!!!

Had a blast last night....boy the Americans really do know how to celebrate their independence day....there were so many fireworks going off you didn't know which way to look.

There is one thing that is making me really down though....this fatigue....I am so tired and just can't seem to keep up.  I was always an early riser and never would I have slept in when in Florida...but I can't seem to get going early at all....I hate it. In the past I was the first up and had coffee sitting looking out at the boats on the inner-coastal and now I am the last one to even wake up.....yuk!  My body just feels exhausted all the time.  I hate this disease for taking away the one thing that I always had which was energy unlimited.  I feel like an old lady these days.  I am staying close to home today...they are all off shopping but I really don't have the stamina nor even the desire.  Oh well, I guess I should just suck it up and be grateful for the fact that I am in sunny Florida.   Will have a quiet day by the pool and maybe feel better tomorrow.   The upside is I will not spend any money today!@!!

So the bus is stopped and the driver is snoozing....shhhhhhh...stop all that clicking girls!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

July 4th in the US of A

Posting from sunny Florida.   What a way to celebrate life....sun, sand, and good food and friends.  I am having the most amazing time....can't believe how blessed I am.    We have spent many hours at the pool and beach, have eaten more seafood than a person should be allowed to and of course, shopped up a storm.    Bargains, bargains and more bargains.  Haven't been to a yarn shop yet, but that is still on the agenda.   Tomorrow is July 4th, a crazy time to be in the United States of America but do these people know how to party....the fireworks can be heard everyday since Friday.

Life is good, my health seems fine and so to all of you on the bus.....not driving anywhere cause the wine is pouring......sit tight it may be awhile before we start up again......