Wear A Cape

It was cool in the house this morning, so I reached over and grabbed my cape. When it was time to manage a Chemex of coffee, I tied the cape around my neck. It’s draped around my shoulders as I type.

Between living in Texas, and going through Chemo, I get chilled easily. If it’s below 60 degrees, I’m cold.

I read once, when you feel a need for comfort, wrap something around your shoulders. All of the shows that have an ambulance in the scene, have the injured person sitting at the back of it wrapped in a blanket. The EMT’s know this secret.

My cape is actually a lightweight blanket.

It comes in it’s own pouch, so my cape travels well. I take it to the grocery store, and movie theater. Anywhere I might get chilled, my cape comes along.

The brand name is ‘Caffeinated Sloth’. You know my love fest over coffee, and the Sloth is a most intriguing animal, so imaging a Sloth on Caffeine makes me smile. I happened upon this blanket in a local coffee shop, and became friends with the owner.

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I bought this for Mother’s Day.

Today, I don’t feel a need to change the world, but I do want to make a difference. I love how this sign reads, ‘nice tiara’, as if there are some ugly ones laying around. I’ll be on the lookout for a nice tiara to complete my ensemble.

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.

The Good Stuff

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I am looking at my drafts folder each day.

As writer’s we start writing and lose our train of thought. When I saw this one in drafts, I knew what I was going to write. This picture, and title was all there was, but that was enough.

My daughter and I bought this Snowman hat last Christmas. It started out to be funny, because the store we were shopping in was freezing!!! My head was bald from Chemo, so when she saw this hat, she said, “That would keep your head warm!”

I put it on in the store, and passerby’s look highly amused when they saw me wearing it. I plunked down $5.00 at the cash register, and wore it home. We got more than $5.00 worth of enjoyment out of it.

It wound up being a part of our Christmas card photo, and my daughter would leave it laying in obvious places with a note. The picture above is when she left it on my laptop.

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The little things in life, add up to the big things!

There’s a coffee shop I stop at called Mojo.

A group of young people work there, and I am nice to them all. Some will come over to the window, and visit with me while my drink is being made.

I love on them, and am genuinely interested in their day. The last time I stopped there, the girl handed me my drink, and I sat it down in my cup holder, smiled and drove away.

It wasn’t until after I stopped my truck, and looked at the cup, that I saw what she did. She had drawn a heart on it before she handed it to me.

 

It’s easy today to lose touch with the good stuff.

 

Feel the Music

This song came to mind as I was driving to my mammogram appointment Thursday.

As I mentioned in “Test of Faith“, Seymour saw me as ‘suffering in silence’, during the Chemo part of my Breast Cancer Journey. I did get quiet during The Red Devil part, but I want to assure you, I saw every message, email, and text come into my phone.

It was laying on the bed beside me, and would sometimes wake me up with the vibration.

My daughter’s bedroom is across the hall, and I heard her playing this song, as it floated across into my room. Those last two doses of Red Devil had me under a spell, and this song described exactly how I felt physically.

In the song, he is talking about leaving/dying, which I knew I wasn’t, but I was thinking. “This has got to be what dying feels like.”

It’s not that we want to be alone, and thanks to you, we don’t feel alone. I would pick up my phone, and look at it with one eye closed, trying to focus on the screen, but it hurt my eyes. I could see, and feel the love, but could not physically respond for several days.

Friends were reaching out, but I couldn’t respond.

I dedicate this song to the loved ones that want to help, but don’t know how. Your presence is known, even if it’s not acknowledged. We’re just soggy from the Chemo.

PS. Twenty-One Pilots remade this song as a tribute to ‘My Chemical Romance’, who is the original artist.

It’s Almost Over

A year changes you a lot. It’s hard to believe that a year ago, the lump in my left breast was so painful, I could hardly breathe. Fast forward to this moment. I have one more Radiation treatment left. That lump is not there anymore, and this Breast Cancer Journey is ending.

Every ending has a new beginning. Sitting here at my laptop, I’m not certain what that looks like, but I know it will come. My daily routine will have a hole to be filled.

My daughter didn’t sleep well lastnight because Numi was in her room. She wouldn’t settle down, and go to sleep like she normally does in the hallway, so tonight Numi will have different sleeping arrangements made for her. A good night’s sleep is very important. It sets the tone for the following day, and tomorrow is a day of celebration.

There were parts of this journey that taught me to celebrate something as simple as breathing. I couldn’t have coffee during Chemo, but today I am savoring a cup of freshly ground drip. Each day is a celebration. It has taken time, but it’s almost over.

People Mean Well

My daughter and I live in a very small town. We found out recently, that people ride by and look to see if our vehicles are here. They know when we’re home, and when we’re not home. I’m sure they mean well, but in today’s world, that could be considered ‘stalking.’

There is a man who lives in this little town that seems to know everybody’s bizness. He knew when I was going through Chemo, when I had my surgery, and he knows I’m going through Radiation. He didn’t hear it from me, but somehow he knows these things.

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His wife has had Breast Cancer, and from what I gather talking with him, she is battling it again. He didn’t go through doctor’s to heal her. He knows people from years ago that cured Cancer naturally. He stopped by my house yesterday, and handed me a bottle of dark liquid.

How do we discern the right path? I believe there are signs along the way.

God has healed me, and He used everything I went through to do so. Will the Cancer return? I don’t know, but will cross that bridge if it appears. I thank God everyday for healing me, and I haven’t asked Him to send backup. In other words, I haven’t prayed this man into my life.

That was the first sign for me. Another sign is, whatever he just handed me is illegal. He told me he could go to jail for giving it to me. That was a big red flag because I don’t do illegal.

I would love to meet his wife one day. To see her, and hear her story. He said she has lost 40 pounds, and is healthy as a horse.

Going through Chemo, I lost 20 pounds, and I didn’t feel healthy. I felt very frail, and missed that extra weight. Slowly, I am gaining it back, and 20 pounds kept me in the safe zone. Losing anything more than 20, I would be skin and bones.

As if I hadn’t heard enough, he just had to throw this in. This liquid tastes like death itself. For it to work, I will need to cut out ALL sugar, wheat and pasta. Welp, that did it for me!

I love wheat! My man has taught me how to make our own pasta, and I cannot imagine my life without chocolate. So, he was handing me something illegal that tastes like death, and I may lose 40 pounds because I would have to stop eating! I eat healthy, but love my treats.

When people come into our lives, there is always a reason. I haven’t quite figured out the reason behind this man, but God will show me in time. Maybe it’s just that people mean well.

When Worry Assails

Many of my daily devotionals recently have been about trusting God. It’s not so hard to trust Him, but to lay your life at His feet, and to trust Him completely with the outcome.

I’m still working on that.

Looking back over my life some rather large mountains have been removed. Things happened that I had no control over, and I worried how to get through. Worrying about the future. It’s human nature to visualize ourselves coping badly in those situations.

It’s my nature to devise a plan, and fix it, but that is not including God. I’d rather have God lead.

He is the master fixer of my life. My life is very simple today, and I don’t stir things up like I used to. When a situation presents itself, I know it’s going to be an opportunity for God to show up, and show off. I will need to stay out of it, and respond as little as possible. The most recent being my Breast Cancer Journey.

Sitting here this morning, pondering my appointment with the Radiologist this afternoon, thinking my journey would be over by now. Having the lumpectomy a few weeks ago, and the Cancer being removed, we should be done.

Obviously not, or I wouldn’t be sitting here dreading my appointment! This is me worrying about the path ahead, and not including God.

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A dear friend sent me this earlier this week. She knew nothing of my upcoming appointment, so I’m sure it was God prompting her to send it. It brought the whole Breast Cancer Journey back into view.

‘You are living through a major expansion of your faith’, describes this journey perfectly. I’m uncomfortable, but that is okay today.

I told everyone that would listen that I didn’t want radiation. In my mind, after the surgery, I was done. It sounded good, but I must keep walking through open doors.

When I told my surgeon I didn’t want radiation, she gasped, looked at me and said, “Barbara. How can you come this far, and not finish the journey? This is the last leg of the path!”

Thanks to Chemo, I am not afraid of this path.

Chemo could have easily been the worst thing I’ve ever been through, but God was there. Chemo was a dark, and lonely path, but it could have been so much worse than it was. I wasn’t sick during it, and the only side effect I really had was the extreme fatigue. It knocked the wind out of me for three days.

I didn’t write much during those dark days, as friends tried their best to encourage me.

They would say, “You’re so brave”, and “You kicked Cancer’s butt”. Oh no darlings. My body was curled up in a fetal position in the middle of my bed, and I was gazing out the bedroom window depending on God to get me through it.

He did, and He will continue to do so. Radiation may look like an inconvenience to me, but it’s really an opportunity to be used by God. What I wanted to be complete, is obvious today, that’s it’s only a curve in the path.

Stay the Path

I slept through the night. That in itself is a miracle.

I woke up thinking about a Blog I wrote lastnight before bed entitled, How to Fly. I wanted to pull it up, and delete it because I wasn’t happy with it. Since when is this Blog about me? I just write what’s on my heart.

It’s Tuesday, but I don’t have Chemo. Week two begins of the three week break. There is no feeling of dread this morning. No dark cloud following me around. It’s a new day full of possibilities, and more healing.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about life it’s this. There is a reason, and a season for everything. God doesn’t reveal the reason for the season while you’re in it, but as you stay the path, it becomes more clear.

A season can last a long time.

I have a friend that has been battling Breast Cancer a lot longer than me. To look at her circumstances, it seems to be getting worse, and not better. Let me tell you that God gives His biggest battles, to His toughest soldiers.

When her battle is over, it’s going to be obvious that God did for her what she couldn’t do for herself.

I have another friend that is in a season of quiet. She doesn’t feel she is being used by God.

This woman has been used by God her entire life. She introduced me to a church that reconnected me to God, and she was my daughter’s Nanny for a short time. She brought joy and laughter to our lives, and years later, she still does.

When you are in a season of quiet, that stinkin Devil will walk in and make you doubt every aspect of your life.

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I have been in a season of quiet for a long time. Going through Chemo has made it challenging to write. The toxins alone mess with your mind and body, and give ample opportunity for the devil to kick you while you’re down.

I started questioning my mission, and pondered maybe I should stop writing. Am I reaching people, or helping them in any way? I have to believe that God will use this Blog to encourage others. Even if I just reach one.

That same friend that isn’t feeling used by God, took time to encourage me yesterday.

She said she’s encouraged by my Blog.

She has said in the past that she always gets something out of it, and sometimes it feels like it’s written specifically for her. Well my friend if your are reading this, let me assure you that God is still using you. This writer that was doubting her ability to keep writing, has just written another Blog.

How to Fly

I’ve written quite a bit about this Breast Cancer Journey. Talking to a dear friend earlier, it made me realize I haven’t really summed up the changes in writing. It’s easy for me to forget all the small things I went through. My journey has been relatively easy compared to others, but maybe that is so I can encourage them, and continue writing.

All of the hair completely fell off my body. The hair on my head was messy, but the rest went without a sound. I was looking at my arm one day, noticing the longish hairs thinning out. The next time I looked, it was gone, and replaced with a layer of fuzz.

The same with my legs. The sun came through my bedroom window one morning and revealed a layer of peach fuzz. It almost seems cruel to shave them because they fought so hard to get here.

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It’s easy for me to look at this now, and see how God has gone before me. I had no idea what to expect, but He knew, and He has been with me every step of the way. Thank you Jesus.

The doctor told me, this last round of Chemo would show me extreme fatigue. I thought I knew what tired was, because my body was very tired. No…extreme fatigue is something completely different. It’s extreme!

I will be doing something, or planning to do something, and my body just marches off to the bedroom and lays down.

Sometimes I sleep, and sometimes I lay.

I lay differently now. Where I used to curl up under the covers, I now lay on top with my favorite throw. During the night, I get hot, and then cold, so it easier with a throw instead of sheets and blankets.

Pillows are thrown all over the bed, so I have many positions to choose from. The body will heal itself if we only be still and let it do what it was designed to do.

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I cannot drink coffee anymore. Anyone who knows me, knows this is huge. It tastes awful, and makes my body feel bad. I don’t get hungry, and feel no hunger pains. After losing almost 20 pounds, I learned I had to make myself eat regardless of my body being quiet.

It’s like my body only wants good things.

Oh, I’ve eaten cookies, and cake for quick calories, but my body is not happy afterwards. Just like we are coming into the new fall season, God is making me new. Everything that I thought was so important before Chemo, is really not important at all. God has scraped my plate clean, and is preparing me for new.

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” I have carried that verse with me this entire journey. That has been my daily lesson. I haven’t really done anything in this journey to help it along.

I don’t have an agenda anymore, but somehow everything gets done. All I needed was to surrender myself to Him, and trust Him completely. He has caught me every time I fell across my bed, as a reminder to rest my body, so I will be strong enough to fly.

Anti Social Media

I have met three people this week that live in the same town I live in. This came to my attention just by talking, and asking questions to people I’ve run into throughout the week.

This small town, with one 4-way stop, has some darling people living in it. Recently, I have realized how much I miss talking face to face with people. Now, I see people everyday, but to take time to ask questions, and listen to their story is what I miss.

Two years ago, I posted my first Meme on my Letitgocoach Facebook page. I thought it would be a way to reach the masses, and encourage them. It took a year to reach 1,000 likes. Another year has passed, and the page has almost 10,000 likes. There has been almost 1,000 Memes posted to the page. It looks like I am reaching people, but that is not the case.

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One of the most difficult things in life for me is, deciding how long to stay somewhere. God knows this about me, and I’m sure He gets a chuckle out of how long I will hold on to someone, or something, and try every way imaginable to make it work. This is when I have to remember the name God gave this Blog, and Letitgocoach. It is time for me to let it go.

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This year has been an amazing journey through self. As I sit here at my desk typing this, I’m looking out the window, and around at my surroundings. Everything I see is pretty, and has some type of story behind it. The mug that holds my coffee is Vintage Starbucks, with their Mermaid wrapped around the mug, painted in gold. Every item has meaning and love.

When I started this Blog, my dream was to write a book. This has been placed on the back burner more times than I can count. For some reason, my journey through Breast Cancer, and Chemo, has given me remarkable clarity is all areas of my life.

If you are reading this from one of my social media pages, thank you for being here.

It may not make sense for me to be stepping away from social media in this day and age, but I’m excited. Why do people feel so alone today, and live with high anxiety if social media is social? Call me old fashioned but I don’t believe anything can replace the human touch.