Sow Some Seeds (Part 3)

What resonated with you in yesterday’s post?

My daughter’s favorite part is, “I will live as all good actors do when they are on stage-only in the moment. I cannot perform at my best today by regretting my previous act’s mistakes or worrying about the scene to come.”

My favorite is, “I will embrace today’s difficult tasks, take off my coat, and make dust in the world.” Make dust in the world. Let’s replace dust with ‘glitter’, because that is why I’m here. To sprinkle some glitter over someone’s day.

Here are today’s seeds:

I will remain aware of how little it takes to make this a happy day. Never will I pursue happiness, because it is not a goal, just a by-product, and there is no happiness in having or in getting, only in giving.

We are designed to live happy lives. If we sit in stillness, and devoid outside interference, we find happiness. It’s when we allow people, places and things to influence our surroundings that happiness becomes more difficult to see and feel. We don’t pursue happiness. It’s in our hearts.

I will run from no danger I might encounter today, because I am certain that nothing will happen to me that I am not equipped to handle with your help. Just as any gem is polished by friction, I am certain to become more valuable through this day’s adversities, and if you close one door, you always open another for me.

Trusting God. I didn’t want to go through Chemo last year. It went against everything I believed in! Every doctor confirmed it was the best route to stop the Cancer growth, and then shrink it down for removal. There is a saying out there that says, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” Today, I compare every obstacle to Chemo.

I didn’t know I could get through it until I did.

We are called Diamonds for a reason. There is polishing through adversity. We can go it alone, in our own free will, or follow God.

First and Last

The appointment with my Oncologist went very well on Monday. We basically thanked one another for being there, and said our good-byes. He said if anything comes up where I need him, to just call. Well, let’s just say, “Thank you Doc, but I hope this was the first and last.”

I have my mammogram tomorrow morning.

This will be the first one in exactly one year. The first time I had one it showed the lump in my breast, and was extremely painful! They are not supposed to be painful lovely. I had waited until I couldn’t wait any longer to go have the mammogram. I was standing there, hugging the machine, and sobbing.

This one won’t be painful, unless I have a really sucky technician. My hope is that I have the same one I had the first time, so she can see what God did in that year.

I’m a completely different woman from the first time, but it won’t be my last.

My surgeon wants me to have one every 6 months for two years. I looked at her like, “Gosh! Will this journey ever end?” The journey continues, and I’m just better than I was at the first. Thank you God it wasn’t my last.

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What A Year

I went to see my Breast Surgeon this morning for a follow up visit. She said, “You look great! You cannot even tell you’ve been through an all out war!” All I could say was, “God is good.”

She always hands me a list of my next steps. She wants me to wait a few weeks, and have a mammogram, but let my breast heal from the radiation. She said, “If you wait one month, you will have your mammogram exactly a year from when you had that first one.”

The journey began around March 7, 2016.

I had to stop Googling first thing.

That will scare the crap outta ya. Instead, I found Blogs written by women walking a similar path. This one woman was ahead of me on the Cancer path, and she was a comfort. She gave an in-depth description of the Chemo I would be receiving fondly known as The Red Devil. She is a truth-teller, and that is all I needed.

The last Cancer post I read, was written by a woman that was nearing the end of her journey. She was looking forward to it being over and feeling that sense of elation. I thought I would feel that too, knowing that the worst is behind me. It has been different for me.

It’s like everything in my life is more vividly colored, more intense. I notice things now, that I had missed before. I am more in-tune to my heart, and listen to my body, and soul.

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I have a myriad of feelings, but, “Whew! That’s over!”, hasn’t been one of them. This quote sums it up, “New Year, New Feels, New Chances, Same Dreams, Fresh Starts.

When I have my next mammogram, it will show nothing, which is better than something. It’s been a year.

Where You Lead

I heard the best line ever yesterday.

My daughter, and I were sitting in a restaurant, when this little old man approached our table. He nodded at my bald head and said, “Is it medical? Or do you want your head to look that way?” I busted out laughing.

I thought when I lost my hair thanks to Chemo, I would learn how to tie all these beautiful scarves to cover my head. Well, that didn’t happen. I live in Texas so, scarves are hot! In the beginning stages, I thought I was covering my head to make myself less scary looking.

It turns out, I was covering it to mask what I am going through. No scarf? People approach.

This has been a week of love, and learning.

My daughter turns 17 on Monday, August 8th.

I took time and gave her a little something each day that reminded me of our life together, or something I wanted her to know for the future, along with a note. On Day 5, yesterday, she looked at me after reading the hand written note, and said, “It’s sounds like my Mom, and a Writer.”

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She texted me this picture last week, and it made my heart smile. I’ve been chastised for being her friend, more than a Mother. Who says I can’t be both? She is my very best friend, and these last 3 years have held the happiest moments of my life. This week, we have been Netflix binging on a show called The Gilmore Girls. This show describes our relationship.

 

I give her some of the craziest advice coming from a Mother, but to her, it always makes sense. She would write the really good ones down, and go back to look at them later, when she needed a good laugh. I have always asked her not to call CPS on me, and she never has.

 

When I left her Father, it was right before my 50 birthday. I told my daughter, “I’m not counting anymore birthdays. I will buy cake, because we will always eat cake, but no counting years.” It worked too, because when people ask me my age, I have to really think before answering. With her birthday coming up, she made the same announcement to me.

Growing up is bittersweet, but growing old is optional.

My darling girl, always remember, “Where you lead, I will follow, Anywhere that you tell me to. If you need, you need me to be with you I will follow where you lead.”

I Like We

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Strong and independent is she. Slaying dragons in her world, and anyone else’s dear to her heart.  Pushing her way through every storm, and obstacle. She is strong, but tired.

She is not alone. Those same people she wields her sword for, have swords of their own. They may not be just like hers, but they are fit for a battle none the less. Can she rest her weary bones, and allow others to stand guard? Can she trust others to fight and win?

I believe so.

There is not much difference between being a “loner”, and being “alone”.

Do you feel alone in your battles?

There is a quote I have in my house that reads, “The battle is God’s, not yours.” It’s a little reminder that I don’t have to fight every battle today. To be honest, I stay away from drama, and my sword is pretty dusty from not being used. I have fight in me, but it’s has to be of high importance for me to release that fight. Breast Cancer falls into that category of fight.

I do what I can, and let God do the rest.

Letting people help me through this time in my life, was extremely difficult, but I finally surrendered, and became good at it. If I am to win this battle, I must take care of me. The people I love want me around for a while, so to do that, I must pick and choose my battles.

It’s not all about me. It’s about ‘We’. I like we.

Thank You Chemo

God knows when to talk with me. It’s either in the shower, or while vacuuming. Both are a mindless movement where He can get my undivided attention.

Taking a shower, and relishing in the fact they’re so quick now. I hop in, lather up, rinse, and step out. Ten minutes max, depending if I take time to stand there under the rain head.

I will save a small fortune on shampoo, and hair products, during Chemo. There is less to pack to go away for a weekend. The hairdryer alone, took up a lot of space.

The same amount of time it took to style my hair, is now used more productively. Like getting out the door on time.

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The first week of Chemo, I dropped 10 pounds. What girl wouldn’t love that!

Years ago, I drove to Austin, TX once a week for 6 weeks, for laser on my chin. Standing in front of a mirror every morning, plucking the chin hairs out of my chin, was not my idea of fun. Genetics in action.

I was advised to shave the area, just like a man would, and come in for laser. It worked for a while, and then they switched machines, and it stopped working.

I just kept shaving my chin, up until a week ago. No more chin hair! Love that!

I hardly have to shave anywhere now, and I am loving that. Sliding into a pair of shorts, at a moments notice is now awesome. Don’t haveta check my legs for hair because there is none. This might actually get me somewhat excited for swimsuit season. I’m digging it.

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No matter what life brings Beauties, it’s how we see it that matters most. Look for the unseen, and strengthen your Faith. God will use it, but be warned, Satan will too!

Look for the good in everything. Some days are easier than others, but that’s when God sends people into your path. Following this Breast Cancer Journey, has brought so many amazing people into my life. Like never before! I feel loved, and I get to love them back!

I still feel a little awkward when I see people today, that saw me a month ago with a head full of hair. A vendor at The Farmer’s Market looked at me and said, “Is everything okay with you health-wise? Because the last time I saw you…you had hair.” I appreciated his candor. His mother died from this.

My hairdresser/friend that shaved my head twice, didn’t charge me anything. I told her, “God is going to bless you for all the good you do for others.” She said, “I don’t even haveta look for the blessings anymore. They’re just there.”

To Be Brave

I have not thought of myself as brave. I can be a Badass, but that occurs when  something, or someone pushes me too far. My daughters says, ‘At that point, you better run.’

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I have just enough redneck in me to be scary. People are calling me brave for this Breast Cancer Journey I’m on.

The ones that are brave, are the ones that went before me, and shared their story. This lights my path, and helps ease my fear of the unknown. Those women are Badasses.

Fear is of the devil himself. His goal is to kill, steal, and destroy. He is such a coward, and you will notice this, if you look at when he attacks. It’s in the timing of it all.  While we sleep, and right before we wake up.

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No matter what you’re going through, you are not alone. Another tactic of the devil, is to keep you in solitude. Put that stinkin’ devil under your feet! I knew God wanted me to share this journey, but at first I was afraid. I’m more afraid of being disobedient to God than anything else.

Surround yourself with people who will love you through it. Mr. Smith shaved my hair down to almost the skin this weekend. It was falling out anyways, but it took time and patience from a good man, to get me there.

He is a chef, so he tied a bandanna to resemble a Chef’s cap. Be brave Beauties, and unleash the Badass in you.

P.S. Another fear of mine was the port for Chemo. You can see the stitches in this pic. I love wearing tank tops when it’s warm, but there again, the scarring. My daughter said, “Own that tank top Mama! You look like you got into a bar fight, got stabbed in the chest, and won!”

No More Pain

I caught our landlord, Pete this morning taking the trash down to the street. Pete is happily married, and he and his wife treat me like a daughter. It’s nice, you know? He takes care of all the manly stuff around here, and then goes home to his wife. I like it.

He asked how I was feeling, and I just beamed and told him, “Great!” He looked so perplexed, and said, “You are handling this whole thing so well.” (The Breast Cancer )

I looked at him and said, “It’s not me. It’s all God.”

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Breast Cancer was my secret for a while.

I ignored the symptoms for months, and self diagnosed continuously. Reaching for some other conclusion besides the big “C.” How can God get the glory for the miracle in store if nobody knows? I am sharing this journey in hopes of encouraging others through.

An ordinary woman, walking into the second half of her life with a daughter, a few of my favorite things, and God. If I can do it, so can you. How was I going to continue this mission with Cancer? For me, it was an ugly word, so how was there going to be beauty? Because God is a master at beauty.

God knows I am stubborn. He knows it’s going to take time to get me where I need to be. The best way to get my attention is physical pain. God doesn’t cause pain, but He will use it.

I was in a lot of pain. It took time, but it got to the point where I dreaded going to bed at night. I knew it was going to hurt when I laid down. I didn’t share this with anyone. Only the few people who saw me, could tell I was in a world of pain. They watched and waited.

They knew it was going to have to be my decision to go see a doctor. Finally, I surrendered.

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Do you know, the day I left that doctor’s office, my pain subsided? That night was the first night in months, I slept all night with no pain. By surrendering, and taking that first step into the doctor, and onto this path, God was pleased. I was terrified, but God was happy.

At first, I didn’t want anyone to know, or anyone to pity me. There is a difference between pity and sympathy. When I wrote the initial Blog about it, some friends were taken aback, and not sure what to say, so I just let them be. Others embraced it, and stood up as Prayer Warriors immediately.

My life seems more beautiful recently than ever before, or maybe I am seeing it through eyes of no pain. Whatever it is, there’s no more pain.

Tips During Chemo

I am grateful to so many people right now.

People that God has given me, so I don’t walk this journey alone. There is a Blogger on this site I am extremely grateful for. I don’t even know her name, only her Blog name bookjunkie. She wrote this yesterday, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. She is ahead of me on this path, and blazing a trail for us all.

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Once I stepped outside, my morning looked like this. It’s a new day. Here’s what I can share, for anyone else walking this path is.

*Don’t let yourself get hungry.

Eat small things throughout the day, and keep your body fueled. My new fave is Parmesan Goldfish crackers. They taste divine! Fruit, veggies, crackers, and plenty of water will make your body sing. Don’t eat pizza after Chemo. I waited until I was starving and did that. Haven’t been that sick since in years.

*Make sure you are getting the best possible care.

It’s your body, so be picky. The first Chemo treatment I had, my port was newly installed. Being protective over it, I was very nervous about the treatment. The nurse picked up on that, and missed my port completely. The Chemo needle went straight through my chest. I left and went to another location for treatment, and had the most loving and gentle care.

*Get plenty of rest.

If you haven’t read yesterday’s Blog about that, here it is. My body is fighting cancer, and being an otherwise healthy body, it doesn’t know what to do with the Chemo. Give it plenty of water and rest my friend. This too shall pass. The day of, and the day after Chemo, don’t make any plans. Give yourself that time to let your body fight to heal.

Just remember, this is a temporary situation for a long term result. You’re stronger than you know. See you on the other side.

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Badass or Stubborn

The pain in my breast woke me up early this morning. It was dark outside, but as I sat up to assess, there was light in my room coming from my phone. A friend was posting one encouraging post after another on Facebook. I just sat and read them, and then told her thank you. I needed the encouragement.

**If you are confused by this post, please read yesterday’s Blog entitled, While I Wait.

Romans 8:18 says, “The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.” I’m standing on that and many other promises today.

The pain wasn’t from the mass itself. It was from the biopsy. An instrument was used to take 3 bites of the mass in two different places.

God doesn’t put us in pain, however, I do believe He will use that pain to push us towards our destiny.

Last October, I wrote a Blog entitled, Low Level Pain. I didn’t reveal it then, but my body was feeling a low level pain from that breast. Oh yes….The body knows everything we’re going through, and will speak to us if we’re willing to listen. I didn’t want to listen.

My pain increased over time. This is where the badass part comes in. I have a very high tolerance to pain. I can take it, and a rather large amount. It wasn’t until I had reached my limit, and couldn’t take it anymore, that things changed. I had to stop fighting and surrender to the pain.

After that initial doctor visit, my pain was gone. Thank you Jesus.

Looking back it amazes me how I accommodated the pain. It took forever to get comfortable at night to go to sleep. Then to stay asleep was the trick. Toward the end I had to fall asleep propped up in a semi-sitting position, because it was better than laying down.

Am I a badass, or just stubborn?

I dunno….but the one thing I do know is I’m ready for less suffering, and more glory to God.