joy...
passion...
creativity...
power...
wisdom...
love...
life.

Today, is a day of giving thanks to 2009....
for the joy it has brought my way...awakenings that have stirred within me....dreams that have danced in front of me....love that is abundant...and my life.
Today, is a day of giving thanks to 2009...
for the passion that I have found...creativity that has flowed....and wonderment that has been brought to my attention.
Today, is a day of giving thanks to 2009...
for the strength I found deep within...for the power that strength has brought me...and for the wisdom that strength has provided me.
Today, is a day of giving thanks to 2009...
for intentions that were followed through...for moments of true clarity...for the gratitude my heart feels.
As I leave this year behind me my heart is full...my thoughts are clearer...This year goes out with a new moon....a new BLUE moon...reminding me to be ever present in the now....as this new year only comes around once!
Artfully Yours,
Pattie

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

This is the final post I did for my affirmation journal....but I thought I would share it here too...
Tomorrow I will do my list for the new year....from the questions
that I found several posts below this one....I will also tie up my 2009 journal with a ribbon and place it away for safe keeping and begin a new journal with the WORD I pick for the year....and I am starting a gratitude journal again this year....5 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT TODAY! and will design that cover...all in all this year with all its ups and downs has had far more GOOD things in it than bad...
May you head into 2010 with a song in your heart...laughter on your lips and love surrounding you....Blessings and HAPPY NEW YEAR to all who come here....

Oh how sick we are...

The holidays are coming to an end....and we are very ill here! Could it be the flu? Could it be food poisoning? Not sure....but the whole family is down with it.....Don't CATCH IT....it is very nasty!
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL.....

Merry Christmas!

“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.”
Agnes M. Pharo

To all a very Merry Christmas....may your day be filled with love and laughter...making new memories and cherishing old.....

Just what I wanted!

We had our celebration for Christmas yesterday...Yes! I know it is not really Christmas day, but I like to be surrounded by my family for the whole day when I celebrate and not have to run off to here and there and everywhere....Christmas day, now that I am older I like to go to spend time with the extended family and watch them....it is just more tranquil for me!! LOL
Anyhow, the wonderment of a 4 (almost 5) year old opening gifts.....Saying....I think that one has my name on it....Yes...COLLIN.....says COLLIN.....opening the gift....exclaiming....IT IS JUST WHAT I WANTED!!! LOL....To almost every gift....well...accept for the clothing....LOL....
What a joyous day!!
This morning we recorded the Night Before Christmas....Hallmark came out with a book that you can record yourself reading it...Michael and I took turns reading the pages!! Now Collin will always have our voices!! Can't wait to see his face when he hears this.....I think he will be amazed and wonder how we got in the book!! LOL
May your holiday be filled with amazement!!
Because this day was JUST WHAT I WANTED!

Whril Wind....

It has been a weekend of whirl wind partying!! Festive and bright! We have gathered with friends for great conversations...fabulous food and drinks in the decorative homes of friends...We have been surrounded by friends of old and making new ones...What a wonderful time sharing stories...of travel ...of children and grandchildren...of new births...and even of those passing...We were among other Veterans who are going through their own health trials...we talked to WWII veterans...we celebrated young veterans coming home from overseas....
So I pause this morning....and give thanks for being able to once again be surrounded by all this love....I give thanks for my family...my friends...my good life....I pause and I reflect on how far I have ventured with both my professional and my personal life this year....The precious love of a child who adores us...and who is close enough so I get to see him every week...The happiness that is right in front of me that I sometimes over look...
This holiday season that is before me, is allowing me to be more aware of what it is that is most important in my life....sometimes it just takes a word...a thought...a gentle touch from a love one or even a stranger to open up your heart and let everything pour in...
Wishing all the happiness and love of this season....
Open your heart and let it all pour in!

Getting ready for...

The beginning of a New Year!! I rarely make New Year's Resolutions....because I have found in the past that I usually don't keep them for very long! It has been said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit....Not sure if it holds true that it takes 21 days to break an old habit however!! LOL...
But I ran across some questions on a kids site that I go to that made me go HUMMMM...this is something positive....(because I have found that most resolutions have to do with some negative side of myself!) On the 1st of January I will make my list.....Here are the questions...

Question 1

What are some games or activities you like to do that you find challenging and fun? (Resilience)

Question 2

What are some games or activities you like to do that make you laugh? (Emotion Awareness)

Question 3

What are some new things you've been wanting to try? (Goal Setting)

Question 4

What are some things you can do that leverage your strengths and skills? (Empowerment)

Question 5

What are some things you can do that are fun and will make someone else happy? (Optimism)





Approval...

We got the VA approval for the CAT scan and it has been scheduled for January 7!! Now, although this seems to be several weeks off, Michael is happy because it gets him through the holidays without having to face anymore tests should something be found when it is done....Bringing us boldly into another year of survival....February we will be beginning year 3! It has been a long road so far....sometimes very bumpy...other times a few detours...some surprises along the way...
But for now....we count our blessings that we are still venturing down the road of LIFE!
Happy Holidays to all....
May your LIFE travels bring you that much closer to the realization of all your dreams.

Get together...

We want to our first Holiday get together last night....Arriving at our destination around 6:30...thinking that we would make our appearance and stay for a short while.....BELIEVE it or NOT we did not arrive home till after 12:30!!! Time just flew by...we enjoyed good food...good laughs...good company!! And it was amazing that Michael tolerated it so well considering he is usually sound asleep by 9:00 every night....I felt NORMAL....I felt FESTIVE...I was GRATEFUL for the time with friends....and the NORMAL of the night....We have more to go to and I am hoping that they all go this well....Last year we were in such a medical state that we could not go anywhere really....So this was amazing....HAPPY...HAPPY...HAPPY today...
A bit tired....but HAPPY!

this is a great story....

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a
pole which she carried across her neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. 'I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.' The old woman smiled, 'Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?' 'That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.' For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.' Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

still a little fearful!

So we took the little love to see Santa....He was still a little fearful of him and would not sit on his lap....but at least we got him to walk up to him this year!! LOL He wants a Ford Pick up Truck...the motorized kind that you ride....Cost: $360.00!!! Think he just might be in for his first big disappointment! We keep telling him that Santa doesn't make that many....and he says that's OK because they have them at Wal Mart....So then we said that they cost a lot of money...and he says that's OK because I can give him money from my bank...and Mommy's bank...and Daddy's bank...any your bank Moma....and even Papa's bank!! SMART KID!

Update...

Happy Holidays....
A moment ago I realized that I have not given an update.....Must be all those lights flickering on and off! LOL..... We are still waiting for approval from the VA for the CAT scan....Michael's new teeth are being made and he will have a fitting for them on Wednesday!! (yeah!!)
Michael is hoping that the CAT scan is not scheduled till after Christmas (not my wish!) I can understand that he does not want any news to disrupt his holiday....So I will make NO effort now to get this process going faster than it will under normal red tape!
The holidays are approaching rapidly....I am making a list...checking it twice!! Deciding to take on all the invitations that come our way this year if only for a very short visit....It is hard to do this, but I am UP to it!! So festivities are being planned....the calendar is getting filled with parties and socializing....and the twinkle is in my heart and eyes!!
May it also be in yours!!

Do you?

Believe in signs?...Things that come your way to give you a message? That if you are aware of them they will show you things that perhaps you overlook...
I know people who think that things are just a coincidence...that nothing is connected to anything else...that things just unfold...or you make things happen....
I do not follow that theory....I believe in signs....I watch and listen...some signs smack me right upside the head...others have to come a series of times before I actually see them...actually hear the message....
And this has been the case this past weekend.....Signs ....Telling me to reach out....telling me to seek out something that I lost....showing me that perhaps now is the time to do that....Signs....I'm not sure why...but these signs have shown up in the past couple of years a little more....but the one that came across my life on Friday...was loud and clear....reaching my heart....and this is the coming year that I will do something about it....
Do you believe in signs???

Getting Ready....

I did a lot last night....moved furniture...dusted..vacuumed and cleaned...I would say this is nothing new...but....I am getting ready!! I put the tree up last night...lights on...and now I am waiting for the little love to come....TODAY we decorate!! Put on the carols...break out the eggnog...and get festive! Today...the season of Christmas begins here for us...and we will prepare to make it the best ever!!
We are still waiting for approval for the CAT scan from the VA...and the mind set is not to fret over when it will be or not be....but rather to just get ready....to bask in the warmth and the love of the holiday...

Random morning thoughts....

So I was talking to a dear heart last night on this machine....we had a conversation about what we and anyone exposes of our self to the world....I mean, how many people REALLY know us?....
I am under the impression that you expose that what you are comfortable with to most people ...but there are a select few who know your heart....Here....I try very hard to expose my heart...to all who read it...but here are some random thoughts this morning that expose me just a little bit more....
I adjust...I am a survivor...I am a strong person (even in times of weakness)
my life has never been nor will it ever be based on what I have...or where I might be going next...for all of my adult life it has been based on the simplest of things
Perhaps to some that is a lack of ambition...not to want to be head of the class...top of the pole...leader of the pack....for me...it has worked...allowing me
to accept and enjoy the smallest of things in life...laughter...love...joy...things that money cannot buy...I have never been one to believe that my situations now or ever was SO BAD that I would not carry on (well maybe a couple times but only for moments in the big scheme of things) but rather I would take a hold of whatever was going on...face it head on...deal with it...and get on with it...
Find the best in whatever was happening...the lessons...and learn and grow...
I believe I have done that a few times in my life....and I know it has served me well....Some people strive for fame and fortune.... but fame and fortune is not high on the list for me...personal satisfaction...love...happiness...top of my list!
my life lessons have served me well to get through what I am going through now...this part of my life where although I am a caregiver I am not the person who is dealing with the struggles...The one thing that it is teaching me...a lesson that is coming through loud and clear is PATIENCE....something that needed to be worked on...and something that I hope I am working on....

And then...

there was NO chemo today! There are just to many unanswered questions...to many symptoms that Michael is experiencing that he will now have to have a CAT scan done to see what is going on...He has a great deal of pain in his legs making it difficult for him to walk sometimes...there is the memory loss and confusion which we thought was chemo related , but are finding out that perhaps it is not....He has constant pain in his neck and shoulders....and trembling in his right hand....Some of this I knew....some of it was something I learned today....When the Doctor was checking his legs he only started to feel her movements around his knee area....
So now we have to wait to get approval from the VA to have the scan done....I am making phone calls today...and tomorrow to get this on the fast track.....
Life continues on!!

Chemo...

Michael's maintenance round of Chemo starts today...This morning so many questions are rolling around in my head that I had a difficult time sleeping last night...And although I am tired I am armed with my list of questions I would like answered if possible....
Wish us luck!

Time doesn't matter....

Last night I had the great pleasure of visiting with a friend from High School....A wonderful woman who I have not seen in perhaps 39 years...(she moved back to her native Greece in 1974)
But time does not matter....
we laughed...we talked...we hugged...we kissed...we connected on levels that were past and present...It was an awakening of the heart...
Life sometimes gets in the way of simple pleasures...we pass over going out for staying in...we pass over bringing people into our private space out of fear...out of time...we pass over the things that perhaps are heart awakening for the routine of our day...we get stuck sometimes in the rut of doing things exactly as we have and forget to put our selves out there...
This reunion of friendship will now become part of my getting out....connecting with others to better myself...to see myself more clearly...to allow myself time to be the girl I once was and the woman I am now...
Yes...this reunion was an awakening of my heart....and my heart sings today because of it...
May you awaken your heart in some small way today!

Happy Thanksgiving....


Glitterfy.com - Glitter Graphics


HAPPY THANKSGIVING....
As you go about your day, take a moment to reflect on what you are truly thankful for....Feel it deep within you...listen closely to your heart....
My wish this year is that I am aware of all the GOOD things that have happened to me this year.
To be surrounded by the love of family and friends and to smile and laugh with my heart...
To be grateful for ALL the time I have been able to spend with those I love....
To take the moments of joy and cherish them to the fullest...
Happy Day to all....

MY LITTLE LOVE!





My little love had a photo shoot today!! Hamming it up for the camera at 4.5 years old! He bought that Fedora himself at an Antique store...and in all the photos he has his Captain America Costume on underneath his clothes ....The very talented Hannah took these photos....She is a friend and client of my daughters....Take a look at what she does....some people just have such a great eye!! LOVE THESE....
http://www.hannahbetts.blogspot.com

COMPLETE!

Early this morning the Dentist completed the work....All the stitches were removed!
Now...as we approach the holidays they will begin to make the stint and the new teeth!
A beautiful day!!!

Magic...

It took me many years to be able to put my car in the garage....BUT this year I did it!! The garage is clean enough to place one new Kia inside it for the winter months ahead!! All the summer gear is put inside too...the table.. the chairs....the grill.....
AND THEN MAGIC HAPPENS....
It is a beautiful day here in upstate NY....A day for being outside in the sun... for perhaps the last time without a jacket on.....So with no table to sit at....a blanket was spread on the grass...which is longer and will not be cut again before winter....so it gave a soft cushion....and breakfast was served on it...fresh coffee and fruit...french toast and warm maple syrup...apple cider...
and LIFE just can't get much more MAGICAL than sharing this with a 4 year old.....

And so it is...

Healing time....went to the dentist bright and early this morning....have to return again on Thursday....It is now healing time! They got a bit upset with him this morning for not drinking enough fluids yesterday...or having soft foods.....He said .."they kicked my ass" yesterday and he slept on and off ...only waking enough to take a pain pill or an antibiotic...It's just the body's' way of shutting down when we have so much going on I think....sleep...the cure to all....Wonder if I could master that one! Might be a good idea seeing as I survive on about 5 hours of sleep a night....(but then I do take those beloved naps!! LOL)
It is a typical gray and cold fall day here in upstate..(high of 40!) So the heat is on....the car is in the garage....and me....well...I am getting into the paint today....FINALLY!

Finally....if you can imagine...

Today was the final day of the extraction of ALL of the teeth....bone had to be removed today also.
Tough day....lots of TLC going on here....
Can you imagine? I mean really having to have all your teeth extracted! I've only had one done here and there....and that was an ordeal....The dental team is giving out medals for this procedure!
So now he heals.....waiting for the swelling to go down....and the last of the stitches to be removed.
Then on to NEW teeth....to be made and fitted....another series, but the end result will give him something to SMILE about!
Chemo has been postponed till the end of the month...BREAK TIME! Finishing up just before Christmas....So here we are still hanging on....still moving forward....
Makes you stop and think of how strong you really are!
SMILE WIDE TODAY!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month...

I just finished interviewing Anne Marie Bennett the author of BRIGHT SIDE OF THE ROAD...
She has written a powerful and insightful book about her journey with and thru breast cancer...
Come on over to the site and have a cup of inspiration!
ARTFULLY YOURS

Lazy week...

It has been a very lazy beginning to this week...We could not do Chemo as Michael and I both have colds....We are on the mend but they want this gone before we start....So we have been lazy...sleeping ...drinking plenty of fluid...taking cough and cold medicine...sharing the love of a cold...
Again, today I would like to share with you a daily news letter that I receive from Dawn at Daily Sparks....She always has insightful things to ponder....

Be real

The world will often discourage you from giving love. Give love anyway.
Many times, despite your best efforts, you will not be understood. Keep giving it your best anyway.
The treasures in life are not what you get back. Those things are only shadows of life's true value.
The real treasures are what you're able to give of yourself. And as long as you give authentically, from the heart, with the best you have, it doesn't really matter what comes of it.
It's nice to be acknowledged and respected and understood. Yet even when you're not acknowledged or understood, there is still great value in doing what you know is right, what you know is best.
Smile a peaceful smile to the depth of your being. Be real, and know that all is well.
-- Ralph Marston

You can read more and sign up for the Daily Sparks HERE!

Sneezing and Coughing!

Chemo was suppose to start today....but here we are....Sneezing and Coughing!! Fall colds in full force! With Michael's immune system already in a lowered state it was wiser to stay home then to go to the Oncology lab....He is only able to take certain medication too.....so off to the store I will go to stock up on those.....and we have to wear masks at home....so I will be disinfecting everything around here sometime today!! You know what they say.....A woman's work is never done! LOL
and in this case they are right.....as I am winterizing the house also! What fun! And I thought I would be in the studio this week!! Perhaps sometime! Right now there are things to be done!!
Wishing everyone good health! And Happy Columbus Day!

Moving Along...

We continue to move along with the process...3 more teeth were extracted on Tuesday...a visit to the Dentist yesterday....and again on Friday of this week....A week off from the dentist as Chemo begins and the adjustment to that....and then back in on the 27th for some more teeth extraction....
PHEW! How much can one person take? (and I am not sure if I am talking about Michael or myself!) Not to mention we are both in the stages of fall colds (change of the weather!!) and I am knee deep in nesting!
My AHA moment came at 2:00 this morning.....
RELAX! SLEEP! (everything will play out exactly as it is suppose to!) CALM DOWN! GET WELL!
Fine advise if I can follow it!!

Thankful...

she closed her eyes
and thought of her year.
it couldn't be just the "good" she was
thankful for.
it had to be the "all"...
the fullness, the depths, the journey.
the dance of Life.
for these she gave thanks.


~terri st. cloud

brought to you by bone sigh arts - www.bonesigharts.com

I signed up to get this daily bit of food for thought from the wonderful and insightful Terri St. Cloud every morning in my mail box.....This one this morning gave me food for thought....It has been a year now that Michael (and I) have been on this journey....Last year at this time he was in the hospital close to dying....And here we are a year later....30 pounds heavier (he weighed 120 last year) and a bit healthier...(the protein levels are holding at the mid range) Today, I am remembering some of the lessons that this year has given me....the main one is to be thankful for all the time that we do have....to enjoy....to gather strength...to be aware...to love...to be loved...for there is not one of us who knows what today will bring our way....

Today, I am thankful....

Thank you Terri for your wonderful wording for this insight....

Visit Terri at: http://www.bonesigharts.com


Drinking wine....

The rain has stopped and the sun is out here in upstate NY....A beautiful fall day! And the freedom of exploring it today is upon me.....Having had almost a whole week off from the Doctors has been a fabulous experience....I have been nesting...getting ready for the winter ahead of me by cleaning and rearrange some of the chaos that I have been neglecting...and it feels pretty good! The results of this nesting is clearing out cobwebs both physically and mentally! Next week begins a month of Doctors appointments once again with several a week....I am prepared....I am stronger...I am ready for whatever comes my way (or at least that is how I feel today!)
There are many things I still have to do around here....but because of the shift in my thinking I am feeling as if I can and will get them done....Strange how one day you just seem to notice cobwebs that are hanging right in front of you and you JUST HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THEM!
I am getting back into my journaling.... A habit I enjoy but have taken a break from...allowing me to learn and grow more....Michael is fond of saying...."One day you're drinking wine....the next day you're picking grapes"...(similar to "some days you eat the bear....some days the bear eats you"!)
Today.....I drink wine!

PRICELESS!

We decided to take a road trip to visit with friends in Baltimore....I have known the hubby...for some 50 years or so....we were in grammar school together and grew up in the same neighborhood!
And when he married....Some 39 years ago I became friends with his wife....SO very DEAR FRIENDS....We have not been able to get together for the last couple years...with what has been going on here...and things going on there....So we got into the new Kia...(to break it in!) A 6 hour drive...playing 60's music all the way....singing and laughing....arriving safely and having a wonderful time....so many laughs....so many moments shared....IT WAS FABULOUS! They listen...they care...I listen ..I care....their children are my children...there grandchildren are my grandchildren....Life is SO GOOD when we are all together....It was a wonderful time...bringing me back to my roots...bringing me back to my importance....bringing me back to what I need to focus on....
Friends that do that for you...are very very dear friends indeed! PRICELESS!

The good and the sad...

We have not been to the Oncologist office in several months....that is the GOOD....Seeing the Doctor we love and the nursing staff that is always so friendly....that is the GOOD...Finding out that the chemo treatment will be held off til the teeth are complete....that is the GOOD...
Finding out that some of the people we met and held close to our hearts have lost their good fight with cancer...that is the SAD...

Counting Blessings...

It seems that everyday I hear of someone else who has been diagnosed with cancer....every day it affects someone and their love ones...We are never alone in our struggle to understand and accept what this disease does to our loved ones...and to us....
But what we can do is count our blessings....count every day that we have together...count the number of times that we laugh in a day...count the sun coming up every morning and the moon rising every night....count the number of times we say the words I LOVE YOU...count the moments that bring a smile to our faces...count the love....that we give and we get.
Today....I am counting my blessings!

Ready to Go....


Here is the Guardian Angel box that I am donating to the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester for their fund raiser....Usually I donate a much larger item...but this year is a bit different for me!
I have been making these boxes since 2000....I started by giving one to a friend who needed a little TLC....I now send them randomly (smaller versions) to those who touch my heart in one way or another....The box has elements inside with wishes that go along with them...(.there is a bird ...a bell...a star...and a shell....) Seeing as I have met the deadline of the 28th...I believe that I will start the large flower pot also....(the bird on this box was painted on 140 weight paper and then cut out and 3-D onto the box...something I have not done before)
Being part of a community fund raiser does my heart good....focusing on helping others....Have you done that lately? Give a little time...give a little art...give a little heart....it feels SO good!
All went well at the Doctors (all of them yesterday) they decided to hold off on any more teeth extraction after taking out the stitches...letting this area heal a little better....And to find out the game plan for the chemo as both cannot be done at the same time.....So Monday we will know more....
I am in the cooking and happy mode!! I am throwing a BELATED birthday party for myself with friends and family gathering on Sunday...(actually it is just a good excuse to make delicious Sangeria!!) And celebrate the beginning of fall (or the end of summer!)
Wishing all a wonderful weekend....surrounded by those you love....and those who love you!

All good on the home front...

Everything seems to be falling in place the last few days....My mother is going to the surgeon who replaced her hip and knee to see about the problem she is now having with what we call her "good knee" and my niece is taking on that role....Michael has 3 Doctors appointments tomorrow...but that is OK....gives me time to work....We believe that the chemo is starting again on Monday...will know more tomorrow or Monday I guess....and I have been elbow deep in a fund raiser donation for the breast cancer coalition of Rochester....I donate a piece of art every year....this year I did not think I would do it....but alas....I HAD TO!! Just plain makes me feel good to do so....so the 11th hour deadline looms before me...and I have almost finished one donation and have decided to do 2!!
What the heck I love the pressure! LOL.....I will post pictures of them when completed....A large Guardian Angel box and a Large flower pot...(which I am hoping I can still get a local grower and old school mate to donate a large mum to) ...
So all is good on the home front....Hope all is well with all of you!

Days off...or not!

Michael is healing much better this time with the removal of only a couple teeth....so well that they are going to remove a few more on Thursday...giving us a few days off....which is good because I have a plate full....My mother fell and hurt her knee and so she needs to be attended to...I have to go and meet the little loves teacher so I can pick him up from school on Thursdays....and I am elbow deep in deadlines! Along of course with the "normal" things that need to be done every day...I was thinking yesterday that this nursing profession that I have been forced into might of been my calling after all!! (LOL) Seems I am not so bad of a caregiver!
I received word that I will be published in a national magazine for my journals....I am so excited but now have to write a huge article about journaling and how it can be helpful....(the price of fame! LOL)
We have 3 Doctors appointments on Thursday....luckily they are all in the same building....So it will be a long day! I'll bring my book and start writing my article...
Fall is really here in upstate NY.....the leaves are turning....the air is getting cooler....and the geese are flying overhead!
Wishing all a day full of observing all that is around them!

Getting better all the time...

I am starting to feel better....and actually took an outing to a local Art show yesterday....The day was sunny but just the right temperature! And I got to run into many of my local Artist friends who spur me on to make more art....write more articles...do more things! FOR ME! LOL....
I feel as if I have been in a resting mode lately....but now with a deadline or two looming in front of me I guess I best get on the stick as they say! Fall is in the air....and we are now one year into this journey....not knowing exactly where it is going still... I proceed with caution...Life has a funny way of continuing on despite some swirling and twirling...We fall...we get up....we twirl...we swirl...we laugh...we cry....We do the best we can with each given day. As I approach the anniversary of this year and all that has gone on....I wonder about some choices I have made...Right or wrong...I am aware today that trying to go back and redo some things just doesn't make sense....it just causes more and more questions to come up....
So I embrace this beautiful fall day....thankful that the sun is shining....the birds are singing...and life continues on...
And being a Hallmark day (Grandparents Day) I get to have a day with the little love....life just can't get better than that....

OH NO!

Seems I have the FLU! How in the world did that happen?!
Laying low...sleeping alot....drinking plenty of fluids!

ONLY 2 ...

Only 2 teeth were pulled today....Which is a nice change of pace...but I do get to place my gloved hand (plastic ones that were provided) along with dental hygiene instructions inside someone elses mouth for the next three days to pop out a plastic stint that was made and then use a special rinse to clean the area....Now doesn't that sound like SO MUCH FUN!! LOL.... So I am now learning why I did not become a dental hygienist!! Hopefully however this will be a much easier way to go then the last time....They did not change his meds and he seems to be clotting much better this time around. We will go back to the Dentist tomorrow and Friday to have things taken care of there in the morning....and then on to more teeth next week....All has to be done by the 21st so that it does not interfer with the chemo treatment. I will say, that I seem to be handling this a great deal better than the shots! Or maybe I'm just getting use to all this medical stuff that I have to do...HUMMMMM.....interesting!!

Birthday Gift!

On September 3rd I picked up my brand new Kia Sportage for my Birthday Gift!! Black Cherry in color....BEAUTIFUL! And what a wonderful surprise! Drove it right out of the show room in a painless 3 hours! And I also had a wonderful R and R....now I am feeling good...rested...refreshed and loved....Tomorrow starts a new week for all the medical stuff and I am ready!! I will keep everyone updated....
While I sit here filled with happiness for what I have....please keep all those who have things going on in their lives close to your heart....especially bring some positive thoughts to Pat and her son Dan and their family....Pat has done a great deal here for me....and I know that all your positive thoughts here have helped me....so please place them in a very special place right now...
Sending warm September thoughts to all....

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday....To all the Virgo's!!! I am taking some R and R for my Birthday.....The bottom teeth start next week....
Have a safe and wonderful Labor Day!

Just a glimpse!

Here is a glimpse of my garden.....Before there were Arborvitae that flanked both sides of the window....and a huge burning bush that covered the window.....NOW.....flowers and color ONLY!
and of course ME!!
Off to the Dentist again today....things are on the upswing with that....This is a busy month with eye Doctors....Dentists....Oncologists....
I am celebrating my 58th Birthday on Friday!!! Rapidly approaching 60!!! What happened to the girl in the Senior picture????? When and how did I get so old????!!!! LOL.....
Well...at least on a good day I feel like I am 25!!

Recovering....

That's ME...first on the left along with fellow classmates....we are all older!! LOL....But still very much the same in a great many ways....Great fun had by all!
Back to normal now!! Off to the Dentist today and Wednesday!

40 years ago!!


This is ME....40 years ago!! My senior picture for the year book! Notice how that hair style is back in fashion!! LOL....
I am off to my class reunion of 40 years this Saturday! I had a conversation this morning about the discomfort/comfort of those years...connections and disconnections over the years....Life has a way of going on doesn't it! What we thought was once so important sometimes loses meaning...and the things that we thought we would NEVER do somehow have been done....
40 years! I still see glimpses of that insecure very shy girl....I still feel the passion that she once had/still has....I still hold her in my heart and sooth her when she needs to be...and I still walk in her shoes....she has grown and made a life....one to be proud of even in the face of diversity...

Update...

The Dentist is extremely happy with how Michael is finally healing!! And they are starting the process of molding the impression for this NEW top teeth.....The new game plan for the bottom teeth is that they are going to put small implants around the very loose teeth to loosen them some more so that perhaps they fall out naturally.....sort of like tying a string to your tooth and pulling ...just like when you were a kid....wiggle...wiggle...wiggle...out it pops! (or at least this is the hope!) If he puts these teeth under a pillow I will go broke!! LOL.....Have to laugh at this whole process at this point! Anyhow, the Dentist (whom by the way we really adore!) is a wonderful woman....the one very impressive point is that she takes me aside....in a separate room and explains to me step by step what she is doing and WHY! She really makes ME part of it....and is concerned not only with the work being done on Michael but also the work I have to do as the caregiver....Not to many Doctors take that into consideration....We also talk about details of our lives...children...hobbies...taking it to a bit more of a personal level....which makes us both human! I have to say, I like that! So this process will start next week.....before the chemo restarts which is very important.....the Dentist is going to have a telephone conference with the other 3 Doctors involved and find what will work best for everyone involved....but most importantly what will work best for US! Got to love that!

What I do for FUN!





NOTHING IS SIMPLY BLACK AND WHITE....BY: Patricia J. Mosca
Front...back...sides...and a close up!!
This is what I do for FUN!!

Smooth Sailing!!

Got thru the weekend....got thru the shots....perhaps I did miss my calling of being a Nurse after all!(NOT REALLY!!)...I certainly do not have a fear of giving shots anymore....Fatigue was a big factor however for him this weekend....So I will be glad when his blood counts are done at the Oncologist...We have not had a visit there in a month....and although that is a good thing....it can also play a little guessing game with your head when you start to notice the difference in how he is feeling....I have taken into account the ordeal with the teeth....So I guess I would be tired too!!
Speaking of tired....I am tired of this chair!! LOL....actually I am loving it!! And I promise to post a picture of it....Funny thing....I have been working on the chair non stop this past week, and neighbors have been walking up the driveway to see what the heck it is that I am doing in that garage and see the chair as they do their routine of walking morning and night...The funny thing is that I have lived here 23 years now...the neighbors have changed and these are people I have never met before and probably would never meet.....I have a young couple across the street that I have become good friends with.....they are so nice and have 2 small children....I enjoy them so much the laughter that comes from that house fills my heart....I am not sure if it is because of their religious beliefs or not but they (in their late 20's) are the most giving and caring young people I have had the pleasure of meeting in this neighborhood.....No complaints coming from them at all as they go about their daily life.....A lesson to learn here!
I wonder if I complain....if I moan or look as if I need a helping hand....Some days are better than others I do know that....Today, I will remember to laugh more!!

OK then.....

We received 2 phone calls from Doctors late yesterday afternoon.....and GUESS WHAT?!?!
Have to start up the shot again!! Thrill of thrills!! Seems his levels are low and this is the only way to get them back up....We had blood draws on Thursday, so that is how they found that out! And they increased the pill dosage also.... OK THEN!
The lesson learned....Don't get to comfortable with this process!

No more shots!!

Yes Pat.....NO MORE SHOTS (at least for the moment!) What a relief as he was starting to get really bruised up from them....way to many! Completely back to the oral meds now....and the Dentist gave the thumbs up on the healing today...more stitches removed...controllable bleeding and after 1.5 hours in the chair he is resting now!
Last night our little love came over for dinner.....We had decided that we would buy a tree to go in the new garden I put in the backyard....So we purchased a Japanese Red Maple....The boys dug the hole and filled it with water....placing the tree in the garden....It is now named: THE PAPA AND COLLIN TREE! It is small right now....a little taller than the little love....So, we will watch them both grow!! Hopefully everything will get though the winter intact....and I mean EVERYTHING!
All is good on the home front as I type!!
The chair is coming along.....and I love the graphics now...but the humidity is playing havoc with me, so I can only work on here for a couple hours at a time before I become a puddle of water!
My goal is to have it completely done by the end of the weekend....WISH me luck!

Improvement!

This Beatles song is playing in my head this morning....

"I've got to admit it's getting better...it's getting better all the time....can't get much worse"!

And that is how I feel...A bit positive...A bit negative!...the Dentist says things are coming along....No blood .... No pain....and healing! 3 weeks now into this process. We go again tomorrow....So only twice this week!
I am progressing with the Adirondack chair that I am working on for a fund raiser....and completely changed the theme....finally the title: NOTHING IS EVER SIMPLY BLACK AND WHITE!
A theme that lately has been playing out over and over in my head! When completed I will try to post a picture....I have one more week till the deadline!! LOL....Nothing like adding a little fuel to the fire! But, feeling more comfortable with the design makes things go a lot faster....the humidity is not helping any....so I am only able to work on it an hour here or there to give it enough drying time....Summer in upstate NY has FINALLY arrived! The sun is shining and things are improving!

falling behind....

FOCUS.....FOCUS...FOCUS....
That is what I have been telling myself the past few days.....I have deadlines looming! And I have started some of the projects....then abandoned them!....I dislike them....nothing seems to fill me up....nothing seems to satisfy me....nothing seems to be "good enough"....NOTHING!
I hate that! So I walk away from the projects....I get myself into a mind set that I just won't meet my obligations....I have to much on my plate....life is NOT for my living!!
GOOD THING THAT PASSES!!!
This morning I woke to realize that these projects are not getting done because I am not focusing on ME.....I am not focusing on my art that makes me happy and whole....I am not focusing on a part of ME that needs to be kept alive and flourishing.....Not to mention that the projects that I have deadlines for....WELL....I was trying to go off the beaten path of what I normally do with my art...and today I realized.....WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?
I am color....I am full of fun....I am my art....my art is ME.....
SO today.....I have re primed not only the pieces that I am working on.....BUT hopefully myself!
Sometimes you just have to realize when to start OVER and BEGIN AGAIN!

Friday....

And yet another trip to the Dentist!....But she says things are progressing in the right way now...FINALLY! And good news....ONLY 2 more shots in the stomach and then just the oral blood thinning pills.....This has now taken over a week and a half to straighten out....but at least it is coming along....Only 2 visits to the Dentist scheduled for next week.....They are going to hold off on the bottom ones for some time....Not sure what the game plan is at the moment...
I am spinning out of my "funk" slowly also.....The little love (our grandson) has come to stay with us for a couple hours on Thursday and 1/2 the day today...He just might be better than any pill I could possibly take!! He is a very loving boy...full of hugs and kisses....along with a great sense of humor for a 4 year old!! Today, I had to put a transformer together for him (has anyone tried these things...they say they are for 5 year olds....HA!) Anyhow....I usually can figure them out and once I did...he proclaims with a hug and a kiss....MOMA (his name for me) you are amazing! Made me laugh right out loud....We got talking about making milk shakes and so we got out the blender...seems he had never seen one before, so we let him push the buttons....and was thrilled with the process of making the shake....afterwards saying....I've got to get one of them babies!
JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED! I'm still smiling!

At a snails pace....

Back to the Dentist today....they work on him for about an hour each time....things are improving...slowly....slowly....slowly....and we have to go back on Friday....The Dentist says that he is improving...but certainly not as well as expected nor as timely as expected....but improving none the less....Not sure how much longer we will have to go before the stitches can be taken out. And hopefully the blood thinners will be regulated soon so these shots in this stomach can be stopped.
They are not fun for either of us....
I am feeling a bit overwhelmed again today...realizing that perhaps my depression level has been altered...I can usually pull myself up and out of these fairly easily (having once suffered from both depression and anxiety attacks and no longer on any medications for these) but this one is harder to shake....My hair stylist noticed that I also have signs of my Aleopecia returning....For those who do not know what this is....your hair falls out in round spots...7 years ago I completely lost all my hair to Aleopecia (and I do MEAN ALL MY HAIR on my entire body!)....and it took some 3 years to actually come back (which surprised the Doctor)
I had grown accustomed to NOT having hair...and to NOT wearing a wig when I started sprouting hair....and now the thoughts of this happening again causes me some discomfort. I know I am NOT defined by my hair....but I was getting comfortable with having it! A lot of what they believe about Alopecia is that it is caused by stress.....GO FIGURE!
Think I just might need a BIG NAP today!

A lesson in gratitude....

This came across my mail today.....We always THANK veterans....hope this moves you to also...
(30 second video)... Have you ever seen one of our military walking past you and wanted to convey to them your thanks, but weren't sure how
, or it felt awkward?

Recently, a gentleman from Seattle created a gesture which could be used to express your thanks and has started a movement to get the word out..

Please everybody take just a moment to watch..... The Gratitude Campaign ...and then forward it to your friends! THEN START USING THE SIGN.

Visits...

We were out of the house at 10:30....returning at 4:30! ....Lots of Doctors today!! Originally we only had the eye Doctor visit today...fitting for glasses that might help his one good eye....but we had to go to the Dentist....and he is starting to heal (finally) He is not out of the woods yet by any means but the area is looking better....He will continue on a new mouth med for another 7 days and we will be back at the Dentist on Wednesday and Friday....We had to do blood work, so they can start to get him back on a schedule for his blood thinner meds....and we had to go to the Doctor....PHEW!
I think I might just see if the car can automatically drive itself to the offices next time....LOL
Anyhow...things are improving ....but we still have to have a game plan for the bottom teeth....and I know that they will not be doing it all at once....they are thinking that perhaps they will put him right in the hospital next time...this way he would be monitored 24 hours.....
Michael said they use to have a saying in Viet Nam...."this shit ain't fun anymore"..... He is feeling that way again....and I can't say I blame him at all....

Sending out cheers...

We got through the weekend!! Did NOT have to go to the Emergency room....HIP-HIP-HOORAY!
Tomorrow is another day at the Dentist.....they will be doing blood work also to get him back on his meds...slowly...carefully....
On a happy note...I finished the garden that I was planting to flank my new walkway...and in front of my house (I tore out scrubs that were 22 years old) and started from scratch....I found the coolest solar lights that change an array of colors(red...green...blue...white) that are glass orbs... I love them....This has been my saving grace this summer....So, I am starting on another one in the back yard....I mean....why not! LOL...What else do I have to do?!?! (that was a joke son!)
Life this summer has been a series of ups and downs....in all aspects of my life...I am trying very hard to stay on the positive side of things...hoping against all odds that things will work out and that everything will return to some sort of "normal"...(whatever that is!! LOL)
Thank you to all who have stood by and supported me....who have held me up when I was down...who have wrapped their arms around me when I needed emotional support....who have shown me a tenderness that touches me deeply.....THANK YOU!

Dental Day 4....

We have been at the VA dental every day since the surgery.....today was the complete day....
Michael is not clotting properly because of the blood thinners.....Once again they had to stop the bleeding today....new meds were ordered....the Oncologist...the Dentist...the Doctor (and perhaps an Indian Chief) all had a phone conversation and it was debated if he should go in the hospital or not....Of course Michael vote was a NO.....Finally after getting things under control once again they decided to send him home with specific instructions not to bend down...no heavy lifting....no strenuous activity...medication every 6 hours....and if any bleeding occurs....STRAIGHT TO EMERGENCY!! They have taken him off his blood thiners and of course that is something we have to watch for because of the embolisms......
And we still have the bottom teeth to go.........
HELLO.....Can anyone say OVERWHELMED?!?!

24 hours later...

24 hours later....we are back at the dentist office.....(after hours) I have to say first that the VA was excellent with us tonight....Michael started bleeding badly from his gums.....the Doctor went straight to the office and some 2 1/2 hours later he is home resting....His gums would not clot because of the blood thinners....so they had to take all the stitches out....then get the bleeding to stop...repack the opening....restitch....and then they made an impression of his gums and made a template that would cover the stitches...put that in place so that there will be constant pressure on his gums.....we will be back at the office at 9:00 tomorrow morning.....checking on the progress...
He will have to go to the dentist every day to make sure this heals.....
One heck of an evening!!.....
I feel bad for him....as there is nothing I can do to help this situation....can't take the pain away...
can't make him comfortable....but at least I know that the VA is on top of this and the dentist and her assistant were so kind and wonderful....that at least helped ease us through this....
There will have to be a new game plan for the bottom teeth.....that will be discussed tomorrow....
For now....only jello...pudding....ice cream and pain pills!

Surgery Went Well...

Michael is resting comfortably this afternoon.....The surgery took about 2 hours...and the dentist took out all of the remaining top teeth...Once she started to take the teeth out and saw that he was tolerating everything well, and saw the amount of damage to the bones in his mouth...she felt it important to go as far as she could today (which will make the Oncologist happy as she wanted it all done at once...I can't even imagine that pain!)....I believe he had 8 top teeth removed. (There were already quite a few missing) The dentist packed his mouth and stitched him up....He has all sorts of medication and mouth washes....we will return on Friday to get the stitches removed and check on the healing process....and then they will set up the time and date for the removal of the bottom teeth that remain....

Peripheral Neuropathy....

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy describes damage to the peripheral nervous system, the vast communications network that transmits information from the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system) to every other part of the body. Peripheral nerves also send sensory information back to the brain and spinal cord, such as a message that the feet are cold or a finger is burned. Damage to the peripheral nervous system interferes with these vital connections. Like static on a telephone line, peripheral neuropathy distorts and sometimes interrupts messages between the brain and the rest of the body.

Because every peripheral nerve has a highly specialized function in a specific part of the body, a wide array of symptoms can occur when nerves are damaged. Some people may experience temporary numbness, tingling, and pricking sensations (paresthesia), sensitivity to touch, or muscle weakness. Others may suffer more extreme symptoms, including burning pain (especially at night), muscle wasting, paralysis, or organ or gland dysfunction.

Some forms of neuropathy involve damage to only one nerve and are called mononeuropathies. More often though, multiple nerves affecting all limbs are affected-called polyneuropathy. Occasionally, two or more isolated nerves in separate areas of the body are affected-called mononeuritis multiplex.

In the most common forms of polyneuropathy, the nerve fibers (individual cells that make up the nerve) most distant from the brain and the spinal cord malfunction first. Pain and other symptoms often appear symmetrically, for example, in both feet followed by a gradual progression up both legs. Next, the fingers, hands, and arms may become affected, and symptoms can progress into the central part of the body.


So this is what we have been dealing with...(Michael is having a very difficult time walking and climbing up stairs)...along with starting tomorrow with oral surgery...Michael has so much bone loss in his mouth that he is at high risk for infections from his gums and teeth....so they have decided that the best course of action is to remove the teeth that he has left....they have to see how he will handle this by first taking out a few....and then see how he heals ...after that things will progress quicker...the oncologist wants them out as quickly as possible...as he will be starting chemo again in September....

I have been somewhat in a shell....the change in my system from not smoking caused a lot of ME to close up...well, at least the ME that use to smoke...I also took sometime off and went to the Boston area for a little R and R....I am happy to report that I am starting to feel more like ME again and I am rediscovering my voice.....Thanks to all who have written here and off line to me sending well wishes and concern....

my heart is full....


a message sent my way...

The Sack Lunches

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my
assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight.. 'I'm glad I have a good
book to read Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and
filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to
start a conversation. 'Where are you headed?' I asked the
soldier seated nearest to me.

'Petawawa. We'll be there for two weeks for special training,
and then we're being deployed to Afghanistan

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that
sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several
hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would
help pass the time..

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if
he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for
just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait
till we get to base '

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch.
I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a
fifty dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed
my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked
me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like you are doing it
for him.'

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the
soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you
like best - beef or chicken?'


'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked.
She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute
later with a dinner plate from first class. This is your thanks.'


After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane,
heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I
want to be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five
dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming
down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he
was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers
only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled,
held out his hand, and said, 'I want to shake your hand.'

Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's
hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a
military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness
I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all
of the passengers.


Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my
legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached o ut
his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars
in my palm.


When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane..
Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put
something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word.
Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their
trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five
dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be
about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.'

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of
their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I
whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were
giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals.

It seemed so little...


A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank
check made payable to 'The United States of America ' for an amount of
'up to and including my life.'

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country
who no longer understand it.'

ever feel like.....

One day just melts into another...into another...into another....and then before you know it weeks have gone by and you are still standing in the exact same spot???????
I was reminded yesterday, that I have been silent here....Causing me to wonder where have the 13 days of this month gone already....Always the series of Doctors' appointments weekly...always the regular mundane chores that have to be done...always a matter of balance....I think I have been mentally checking out...dropping one plate or two...trying to focus on different things....happier things...things that cause me to feel alive...
I will confess that I have been letting go of some of my own "bad habits"!! (Yes...I know it is hard to believe that I might have them!! LOL....but trust me I DO!!) and I will now share that I am on week 3 of NOT SMOKING! (again, a hard thing to even admit that I do! Or should I say DID!!) But today, I feel good...I feel human....I feel normal....I feel full of inspiration....and finally today, I know that it is MONDAY
it is the 13th of JULY....my name is PATRICIA....I am determined....I am strong....and I am full of inspiration!!

How many things can I put on my plate????

So this morning I am testy....out of sorts....am I setting myself up to fall flat on my face???
Just how many things can I put on a plate?....How many plates can I hold in my hands?....
I am reminded of the jugglers that you see....spinning plates on sticks while standing on chairs
balancing.....while the crowd oooh's and ahhhhh's!
That is how I feel this morning.....but the balancing act is not going so well......

SMILE!

We went to the VA dentist yesterday....all the stats came in from all the Doctors.....The bone loss in Michael's mouth is so significant that they all agree that he has to have the remainder of his teeth pulled because of the high risk of infection....now, with that being said....there is also a high risk of infection from having his teeth pulled.....HUMMMMMMM.....He has most of his top teeth...but only the back teeth on the bottom with a few on the front left side....He has started medication for the surgery which will be done in a month....They will take out a few of the back ones to see how he tolerates this surgery....The dentist (surgeon) will be doing this, but there will be a team of Doctors on call in case of any complications....The Coumadin will have to be stopped one week before surgery and he will go back to the shots (hopefully I will be able to give these to him in his arm and not his stomach this time!)
So the moral of this story: Take good care of your teeth....SO YOU CAN SMILE MORE! If you find that you are having a lot of problems with your teeth make sure you see a dentist...or a doctor and let them know as it may be a sign of something else going on in your body....

Sometimes....

Sometimes...you have to take the focus off yourself...and look at the situations of others....to remind yourself that things are not so bad.....and to see the positive energy that surrounds you....even when you feel as if you are in the middle of muddle! For several days I have been doing just that....I have been helping others....seeing different situations from the eyes of others...looking at the positive I have in my life....
Once we get ourselves in that "negative" mind frame, it is often difficult to get out of it....I have never been one to say..."WHY ME?" but I have been know to say..."What the F@#*!" ...(not very lady like I humbly admit, but I did grow up in the city!!)
I have been looking at the wonderful...loving...and positive side to my life these past few days, more so than normal.....I have been trying to see how I can better help someone else in order to better help myself in the return....I have been dreaming and focusing on artwork that I will donate to different causes (my favorite: The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester) I have been surfing the net looking at inspiring art by people living with cancer...I have been blessed to be cancer free myself some 22 years now....I have been acting and behaving more like ME than I have in the past 10 months since this journey began....
Sometimes.....you just have to pull up your boots....pull on the big girl panties...and walk forward
through the mud...through the rain...through your life in order to reach an oasis....where you can rest....Today I am standing at the oasis....

What stage are we at?

I get that question a lot...what stage?...what is the prognosis?...how long does he have? I realize those are questions that are normal when dealing with cancer....
This rare blood cancer that he has is unpredictable....it has no rhyme or reason to it...So I always have a difficult time answering those questions...
What stage: Stage IV
What is the prognosis: There is no cure for this cancer
How long: No one can tell us that (and I am not sure I would even want to know)
Today, we went to the dentist...Michael has lost a lot of teeth from this cancer (it is one of the weird things that it does) and now we have found out that he also has significant bone loss in his mouth...
So...the dentist is going to consult with the oncologist....who will consult with the VA doctors who will council us (do you follow that!! ) Because of the blood clots and being on the Coumadin plus the fact that his immune system is compromised they are not sure what the next steps would be....leave it alone....pull the rest of his teeth to prevent infections...So now we will wait till next week to find out the best plan of action. And take it from there....
So what stage are we at?
We are at the stage where we just do the best that we can each and every day....we smile when we can....we laugh when we can...we sit and talk...or just sit....we tell jokes and we play with our grandson...we get together with family and friends more...and we live life the best that we can each and every day.

Questions....

Many people offer me support here and off line....many people have eased my troubled mind...helped to sooth my soul and given me the extra strength on days I thought I had no more...and given me a shoulder to cry on when my defenses were down....these questions were written to me yesterday....and I have tried to answer them....I have touched them...turned them over gently...and held them... smoothing out the wrinkles that are ME to get to the truth of how I feel....They have been food for thought over the past 24 hours....and teach me a little more about myself....

I understand what you say about how you can't make people do what you think they should do, but what do you THINK they should do? After all you've gone through over the last year, do you think that you should carry things through? Are you OK with just quitting now?

I still come back to the same answers...We are all responsible for our self....no matter how much ranting or raving we do, that causes our heart to ache or our hearts to break we CAN NOT make anyone do what we think is best for them....what we think we may or may not do ....everyone must make decisions for them self....We can guide our children in directions when they are young...we can give them the tools to make choices...but eventually we must allow them to use their own judgment...to fly or fall....and as adults we may seek the advice of others when faced with decisions....we might take it....we might not...ultimately I have found that we are really just thinking out loud....we are trying to figure it out and rather than letting the questions we have for our self roll around and rattle inside our heads we verbally pass them outward...to a friend...to a relative....to a stranger at times....not always seeking an answer from them, but rather to hear the question from the outside rather than from the inside....
So what do I think should be done????? I believe I would do the MOST I could do to prolong my life....but does that mean that I would take chances...bet on the outcome...know at this moment what is right for me? NO....I do not believe that....for I can not know what it is like to walk in his shoes....His shoes at this moment are way to big for me....I flop around in them...they are not comfortable for me...they are heavy and cumbersome with steel toes that hurt me...and I can not make them fit me no matter how hard I try....
DO I think that I should carry things through????
I believe that my role will continue to be exactly as it is....that I will continue to transport him to Doctor's appointments...that I will continue to be chief cook and bottle washer....that I will continue to handle the responsibilities that come along with being a caregiver....So in that case I am carrying things through....I am continuing on....I have not changed my direction in any way...
Am I OK with quitting now????? I am not quitting.....and is Michael quitting? Or is he following his heart and doing what is best for him? That is a question that only he can answer....I will not and can not allow myself to go there....for I truly believe that it is my role to accept the decision that he makes for him self (it does not mean that I will necessarily like his decision)....I can give him information...I can gently voice my opinion (but I tend not to) I could talk till I am blue in the face....and he will still make the decision that is best for him....When we do something because some one else wants us to we often become resentful and it is done half heartily...and we do not give our all....
As we all go through life we walk to edges....sometimes we run backwards in fear...sometimes we leap with faith and learn how to fly....sometimes we stand at the edge waiting....waiting for a good wind to show us a direction....
That is where I am right now....on the edge....waiting....waiting for the wind to show me how to best use my own wings....



Chicken Soup...



They have all sorts of books out called...Chicken Soup for the Soul...Chicken Soup for the Teen...
Chicken Soup...But there is nothing quite like a bowl of homemade Chicken soup to heal the soul with love from one heart to another....Thank You Phyllis! You did my heart good! And reminded me of a song that Carley Simon sang...and my kids use to love....a poem written by Maurice Sendak....My heart is still singing!

January
In January it's so nice
While slipping on the sliding ice
To sip hot chicken soup with rice
Sipping once, sipping twice
Sipping chicken soup with rice

February
In February it will be
My snowman's anniversary
With cake for him and soup for me!
Happy once, happy twice
Happy chicken soup with rice

March
In March the wind blows down the door
And spills my soup upon the floor
It laps it up and roars for more
Blowing once, blowing twice
Blowing chicken soup with rice

April
In April I will go away
To far off Spain or old Bombay
And dream about hot soup all day
Oh, my, oh, once, oh, my, oh, twice
Oh, my, oh, chicken soup with rice

May
In May I truly think it best
To be a robin lightly dressed
Concocting soup inside my nest
Mix it once, mix it twice
Mix that chicken soup with rice

June
In June I saw a charming group
Of roses all begin to droop
I pepped them up with chicken soup!
Sprinkle once, sprinkle twice
Sprinkle chicken soup with rice

July
In July I'll take a peep
Into the cool and fishy deep
Where chicken soup is selling cheap
Selling once, selling twice
Selling chicken soup with rice

August
In August it will be so hot
I will become a cooking pot
Cooking soup of course-why not?
Cooking once, cooking twice
Cooking chicken soup with rice

September
In September, for a while
I will ride a crocodile
Down the chicken soup-y Nile
Paddle once, paddle twice
Paddle chicken soup with rice

October
In October I'll be host
To witches, goblins and a ghost
I'll serve them chicken soup on toast
Whoopy once, whoopy twice
Whoopy chicken soup with rice

November
In November's gusty gale I will flop my flippy tail
And spout hot soup-I'll be a whale!
Spouting once, spouting twice
Spouting chicken soup with rice

December
In December I will be
A baubled, bangled Christmas tree
With soup bowls draped all over me
Merry once, merry twice
Merry chicken soup with rice

I told you once, I told you twice
All seasons of the year are nice
For eating chicken soup with rice

Written by: Maurice Sendak

Making lemonaid out of lemons....

There are days when you just have to take all the lemons and make lemonaid! Today was just one of those days!!! We had an appointment with the eye surgeon....Michael had his retina operated on in March hoping that it would improve his eye sight....He also had laser surgery done on his other eye to stop the bleeding behind his eye...The surgeon told us that the surgery was not successful...(of course we already knew that as his eye sight never improved ...although the eye that had the laser surgery has not gotten worse) The surgeon wants to do some more testing on his eye by injecting some dye and seeing if he can tell if there is more bleeding and where it might be coming from or if we have to accept the fact that his once 20/20 vision is now....20/500 in the bad eye and 20/100 in the good eye....which means the bad eye is profoundly low vision...or legally blind and the good eye is mild vision loss...although everything is distorted....
After coming off of yesterday and now today....we sat in the glider swing and sipped lemonaid...we watched the world go by as the sun was shinning and a cool breeze danced across our bare feet....Life should always be like this I thought.....sitting comfortably...dreaming....no troubles....just swinging and sipping lemonaid...

And So it begins...........OR So I thought!

Off we went to the VA today to talk to the Doctor about the next steps that need to be taken to start the paperwork to see if Michael will even qualify for a bone marrow transplant....going through the VA it is a bit different....we have to apply by seeing if he is physically and mentally able to even take the tests to see if he would be a candidate....PHEW! Do you understand that?! Sometimes I don't!
Anyhow, the Doctor had talked to us for some 45 minutes and was setting up dental appointments, stress tests...Physic exam...and an HIV test......WHEN BAM!
Michael got hot under the collar.....and HIV test....What for? He had never used drugs...never used needles....WHAT EVER FOR! They have to rule it out...it is just part of the process.....
Well then....there will be no process....
I sat there in total shock.....why would this drawing of blood make any difference....they draw blood from him every week and check for all sorts of things....hell...they might of already checked for HIV and he wouldn't even know it....
The Doctor said she understood....she did tell him that he only has a window of opportunity here to get the paperwork in and these tests done....then sent off to Washington to have someone look them over to see if we can go to Nashville for the candidate testing....and that once the window closes...we would either have to start all over again....or the biggest threat would be that it would be to late to harvest his stem cells....
We all have said it...."WHATEVER YOU DECIDE...I WILL ABIDE BY"....but do we actually mean it when it comes to situations like this....
I tried calmly to explain to him that it was just something they had to do...it was not personal....
But he would have NO part of it.....I think now....hours later....it is just his way of saying....NO...
No more....I don't want to go through anymore....and for that I guess I can't blame him...but if you don't at least TRY how will you ever know if it would of worked?
I thought his decision would be easier for me to accept....

Another week down....

I have been actively working on the yard....and happily doing so! Today, the workmen are coming to trim all the bushes and make way for 2 new garden areas....it is very exciting to me! Something about planting gives way to life....allows for the growth and nurturing one must do every day....
I have been UP and DOWN a million times over the past month....a roller coaster ride of sorts...trying to make decisions without enough information...or with to much information....Today, I am listening to my heart....Today....I follow it...weighing decisions brings about confusion and I can never make a decision when I am in the middle of confusion! LOL....who can? So I push aside confusion....I push aside guilt...I push aside right or wrong....I push aside the uncontrollable...and go straight to the core....
I am taking time off from here....from illness....
Sometimes a girl has to do.....what a girl has to do!
The week of the 15th starts a whole new series of tests... So, for now....I will relax just a little!