The Cone Down

A pretty sight for me is this red tea in a pink mug. It’s cold and rainy here in Texas, and I am back at my farmhouse. I learned today that Radiation is going to get better tomorrow.

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Radiation is better than Chemo. Thanks to Chemo, I guage life’s upsets upon it. If something happens that is disturbing, and going to take some walking through, I ask myself, “Is it as bad as Chemo?” Nope. I haven’t found anything as bad as Chemo.

Tomorrow at Radiation, they begin my cone down. I’m excited because the radiation will no longer be pointed at my chest. It is already looking quite lobster like, so no more burn.

For these final few sessions, they pinpoint an area about the size of a quarter, where the lump used to be. This is the left side of my breast, up under the armpit. They will zap me right there in that spot, and after 8 more zappos, it will be over! That is called a cone down.

I have met an amzing group of women at Radiation. It’s worth going just to bond with them each day. They were intrigued to discover I write, and looked up my Blog. Those sweet souls asked if they could refer other patients to it. I am humbled and honored.

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We do life together, and so did the women at Chemo, but I was usually unconscious within minutes at Chemo. Those women took care of me when I couldn’t. They still hold a space in my heart, but Radiation is nothing like Chemo. You walk in, and you walk out. You drive yourself there and back, and you don’t feel the urge to take a nap as soon as you get home.

Every part of this journey has held me exactly where I needed to be.

My life feels pretty Zen about now. I am so grateful to have had this journey, but I’m also excited that it’s almost complete. If you or someone you love is going through Chemo, just know, that is the worst part in my opinion. It does getter better and you will get through.

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Barbara is a Writer, a Letting Go Coach, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. She found out in March of 2016 that she had Breast Cancer. She has completed Chemo, and is going through Radiation. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

One More Day

I am going to post two Blogs today. It doesn’t happen often, but I have another one in me. If you are reading this, you may want to read the one from this morning, “Which Way Home.” A change of events occurred after posting that one, and I got my one more day.

Note to self. Do not let the dog outside as you’re loading up your truck.

Mr. Smith has a Min Pin, (miniature Doberman Pincher), that decided to race out the door as soon as I opened it. I didn’t think too much about it because he usually comes back in a few minutes. Once I finished loading my truck, I noticed the time was moving closer to my Radiation appointment, and he hadn’t returned. I was going to have to go look for him.

My left breast has a deep burn going on after 21 treatments. I started putting pure Aloe Vera on it yesterday, and thought, it would be nice to have one more day to keep it covered in Aloe. Thanks to Mr. Smith’s dog, I got my one more day. He came home an hour later.

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There was one thing I wanted to do while Smith was at work. To clean up my room.

Smith gave me this room to enjoy as I write, and tinker with stained glass. It got covered up with boxes from Christmas, and the table was full. I love this room and the view! By taking one more day to soothe my soul, I would also have it to heal my burned boob. I took a shower, put on Aloe , my Yoga pants, a comfortable t-shirt, and walked into the room.

I tore down all the empty boxes, and have them ready to be picked up. Then it was time to organize all this glass. Smith’s grandmother used to work with glass, and I am blessed to have all her leftover pieces. The tool caddy needed to be put together completely, so I did that as well. While looking at what I had in the caddy, I realized two things I would need.

While doing a Google search for the items, I felt my heart prompting me to look through the box of glass. Pulling out all of the pieces, and getting down to the bottom of the box. There is where I found the items I needed. The tool caddy is complete, and the room is cleaned, and organized. Sometimes the body and soul just need that one more day.

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Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. She found out in March of 2016 that she had Breast Cancer. She has completed Chemo, and is going through Radiation. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

Which Way Home

I started writing a Blog lastnight, but again didn’t publish it. With this 30 day challenge, I’m learning I can write anytime of day. Mama always said, “Nothing good happens after midnight.” Well, in my mind there is nothing publish worthy after 9:00 pm.

This is what’s happening in real-time. I’m sitting at the dining room table at Smith’s house, listening to my favorite CD, drinking coffee from a red mug, and looking out the sliding glass doors at the lake. It rained lastnight, and brought in fog, so the lake is not visible yet. I know the lake is there, but I cannot physically see it. Does this sound familiar?

This reminds me of this path of life we’re on. We know we have one, but we can only see so far ahead. God gives us just enough light for the step we’re on. We take a step, and there is more light, but just enough for that step. Sitting here this morning, I wish to see more steps.

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You can see how bright the light is over the lake. The sun is trying to burn away the fog, and restore a visual of what’s there. God is in that ball of fire. He wants us to trust Him even when we cannot see very far ahead. To enjoy the present moment, but keep stepping.

Some ducks swam across the lake, as I made more coffee, and ate a piece of chocolate covered caramel. It would seem I’m on a path with many detours, but they all lead back to my  heart. During the week I am in my little farmhouse, sharing a life with my daughter.

The weekends, I’m usually at the lake with Smith. He is a Chef, and normally has to work on Saturday’s. He’s at work right now, and there is a void where his presence is absent. If he was here, I can see him sitting on the couch trying to find some football on TV. My laptop and I would move to another room and continue writing in a more serene space.

He would come and find me periodically, and make himself known. I can feel him walk into the room, and he may touch me, but he wouldn’t disturb my writing. He enjoys that I write, and encourages me with that. He also tolerates being the subject from time to time.

The sun is becoming brighter as I finish up this Blog. It will be time to start repacking my things, load up my truck, and head to Radiation. Today will be #22 out of 30 treatments.

I was tempted to call and cancel today’s appointment, but that would just prolong the inevitable. Once Radiation is complete, I will have more options. My daughter is staying with her Dad until tomorrow, so it’s very tempting to stay one more day here at the lake.

I used to know where home is. Over time of driving back and forth, I’m not really sure anymore which house is home. For some time now, when I return to the little farmhouse, and walk inside, it feels like a house. My daughter gets there, and it feels more like home, but there is still a void. I find myself each day looking forward to going back to the lake.

Smith is the most patient man I have ever met. He has been waiting for me to decide when to bring all these paths together as one big path, and the three of us to live this life together. Home is where your heart is, and today it’s in this lake house, but getting ready to leave once again. I believe it’s time for me and my heart to decide, which way is home.

 

Eye See You

I started a Blog yesterday, but didn’t allow myself time to finish, and publish it. This 30 day challenge of writing is showing me many things. Not everything has to be published.

Yesterday, I drove to the lake to see Mr. Smith. On the drive here, I watched as the outdoor temperature dropped. Checking the weather before I left prompted me to pack items for 70 degree weather. The temperature outside went from the 70’s to the 50’s upon arrival.

Mr. Smith had the doors, and windows of the house open. He had been enjoying the 70 degree temps as well. I walked in, and saw him standing in the sliding glass doorway, and he looked so different. We had not seen each other since Christmas, but we talk everyday. He was wearing flannel lounging pants, a white tank, and had a bandanna tied over his hair.

Mr. Smith is a Chef, and yesterday he looked the part. He looked at ease in his skin.

It caught me off guard, and I tried to respond naturally, but I could not connect. I know who he is, and what he is, but my heart was arguing with my head. We were disconnected.

I started pondering what love is, and that is what I started writing about. Today, I see what my eyes were seeing, and what my heart was showing me. Let’s look at a few examples of love in action. There are many ways he displays his love, but for the sake of brevity, we will stick with examples from yesterday, starting with the state of the house.

Chef knows I live an uncluttered life. He has been doing some ‘spring cleaning’ he says, but I see it differently. The closets, and inside the cabinets have all been cleaned out and organized. You can look around and tell that Chef is willing to share his life.

He has a knack of doing things for both of us, but I believe I receive the biggest thrill. Chef and I love music even though our taste in music are different, there’s one thing we know. It feeds the soul.

He bought something easy for me to play music on. Before yesterday, I had to try and figure out his sound system, and it was hit or miss for me. This morning when he left for work, I hit two buttons, and was quickly listening to my favorite  Jennifer Nettles CD.

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To clear a spot for our simple sound system, he put his knife collection in a closet, but as you can see, he left my Jesus Calling devotional laying out. This is a picture of happiness.

I’ve had a difficult time recently with my part time job, but that is another Blog. Between the stress I was feeling from that, my boob stinging from the radiation, and then this disconnect, I was a mess. I went and laid across the bed, and watched the wind blow outside. Chef came back to check on me, but he knew I was off center, so he gave me space.

Then, I heard it. The music. It started out slow, and soothing, but then it changed.

Chef was in the kitchen, doing what he loves to do. Cook! He was actually cooking a spectacular dinner that I was supposed to be helping with, but I wasn’t done pouting.

He changed the music to country, which I love. I heard Brad Paisley, and some of the greats singing away. Then the music changed again, but this time, it almost made me cry.

I heard Lionel Richie. Ladies, if your man plays Lionel Richie, that man loves you.

By this time, I was back in front of my laptop trying to do my job, but I could feel the words to each song drifting down the hallway to where I was sitting. Chef was trying to reach me without being in my face. He gave me my 3 minute heads up on dinner being plated as I finished my work. Joining him at the dining room table, I felt like a big bowl of mush.

He will read this Blog at some point today, and I’m grateful he doesn’t embarrass easily. I was concerned for half a minute what he would think, but who am I kidding? He already knows all of this; he knew it yesterday. Chef sees everything, but best of all, he sees me.

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Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. She found out in March of 2016 that she had Breast Cancer. She has completed Chemo, and is going through Radiation. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

What is More

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I was reading a lady’s Blog this morning, and the pictures were of her house at Christmas. She had gone all Martha with the decor, and it was absolutely beautiful. It reminded me of my Martha Stewart days, and my formal dining room looked much the same way. I recalled the year I had to learn how to tie cloth napkins to resemble a swan, and rest them on each plate.

The photo you see above, was our living room, after moving to Texas 15 years ago. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long that we had this room designed specifically for this house. Each piece was painstakingly made, and bought for this room. The only pieces I have today from this room, are the two purple chairs. The rest stayed when I left, and I really don’t miss it.

It’s beautiful to look at, but do you know, we rarely sat in that room. This is the type room, that my mother would have covered the furniture with laminate. I walked through the room many a time, because it was a shortcut to my office. I walked through it so much that the hand woven wool rug started to wrinkle. That rug cost more than the truck I drive now.

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This photo is where my daughter and I moved to when we left. The little house on 40 acres. God had taken me from a 4,000 square foot house, to this 700 square foot one. It didn’t happen all at once. We downsized over time, but I can safely say, we lived in every square foot. I missed this earlier, but the round table is from the first photo, along with the purple chairs. I also still have the fringed, silk pillows, but they were replaced by these burlap ones.

My daughter and I have this thing we do. I say to her, “I love you”, and she responds with, “I love you more.” When I saw these pillows in a shop downtown, I knew they were for us. Somehow, the one that says, “I love you more”, always winds up in her chair.

I was thinking lastnight that my daughter was too young to remember all the grandeur. We have simplified our lives so much, I wondered if she realizes there IS more. I believe she does, and I know she remembers the house from the first photo, but does she know she can have more?

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This photo is our current dwelling, a remodeled 1940’s farm house, nestled on 5 acres. We grew to 1,000 square feet, and love every nook and crannie. Look at the shine of the wood floor! As you can see, we still have the purple chairs, and round table, and we spend a lot of time in those chairs. There is something to be said for well made furniture. It lasts for years.

Those purple chairs have held many a conversation. They have been slept in, and cried on.

I had my daughter late in life. She was a gift from God once I got sober. She hasn’t seen the driven woman building a successful business. She hasn’t seen me wanting for more. She has seen a happy Mother who loves to write. I had all the success I could handle before she was 5 years old, but exchanged it for a simple life, and to spend time with her. We are best friends.

Will she keep a simple life as she grows older, or will she have a lot more? I asked her and she said, “I may have a bigger house, depending on how many kids I have, but it will be minimalistic, furnished with only the things I love.” I said, “Like we did here?”, and she agreed. My choices for us have paid off, but I suppose if we want it, there is always more.

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Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. She found out in March of 2016 that she had Breast Cancer. She has completed Chemo, and is going through Radiation. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

That’s Okay Too

I woke up this morning with no Blog title. How God can give me three one morning, and zero today, I don’t know. Then, I just sat with that realization, and thought. “That’s okay too.”

Stretching myself to write a Blog a day the month of January, is not about having it all together. I believe it’s about just writing even when I don’t have a plan. I have already accomplished three things this morning that were on my weekly list. Just a couple more, and my week will be complete. It’s all good to have a plan, but even when I don’t, that’s okay too.

I  walked into our bathroom, and it looked like a literal towel explosion. There were towels on the floor, tub, and shower. I scooped them all up and put them in the washer, and started the washer. After they are washed, they will be dried and folded, and put back into place. It was an easy fix, and I thought, it would be nice if all of life’s little messes could be so easily fixed.

This was by far the toughest day I had writing a Blog. Writing is a gift, so I’m not even sure how structured that gift can be, but I’ll continue on with my 30 day writing challenge. I have already learned a lot, and I’m curious to see what all I can learn by the end of the 30 days. I am already learning that a writer will write, with or without a topic, and that’s okay too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Humble and Kind

I woke up this morning thinking of these words. Humble and kind. They go hand in hand. When I stay humble, kindness  seems to pour out of me. I learned this lesson the hard way years ago.

Then of course, living in Texas, these words reminded me of a Tim McGraw song.

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“When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you. When the work you put in is realized. Let yourself feel the pride, but always stay humble and kind.” Do you have a dream you’re dreamin’?

My dream is for people to feel loved. To encourage them through whatever life is throwing their way. I have to believe by starting this Blog in 2014, God will use it to reach people. To let them know that life is a beautiful thing, even when it doesn’t look, or feel very beautiful.

I believe it’s easy to get wrapped up in the likes, follows, and numbers attached to it all. This was a struggle of mine, because I like statistics, but numbers are not always accurate. What about the silent numbers. The people who are in so much pain, that silence is all they have.

I have been touched by those people, so I know they are there. They won’t hit ‘like’, or make a comment, but they breathe in what you’re saying. I’ve received private messages from these wounded souls, and I treasure those messages. The souls without a number attached.

My week has not been pretty. Having frozen water pipes over the weekend, and then running out of gas were unexpected events, but both those things could be easily fixed, with time. I want you to know, that whatever you’re going through will be fixed with time. Time is truly your friend. It may not feel that way right now, but give it time. Time tells all, and heals all.

As I say this to you, I am also saying it to myself. My left breast is burning from the radiation.

I pointed this out to one of my radiation technicians yesterday, and she said it was normal with where I am on this journey. I have reached my limit with the radiation, so my skin will stay burned until it’s over. A couple of weeks, after my last treatment, it will go back to normal. This translates to me that I have two more weeks of feeling the burn, but it will end.

We live in an “I want it now”, society. It’s funny how the lessons show up quickly, but the good things take time. I have spent a lot of time on this Breast Cancer Journey, but so have the people around me. The pace is slow, and is physically and emotionally stretching, but I’m gonna take my own sweet time. Even through the frustration, I will stay humble and kind.

 

mescarf (135x240)Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, and loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. She found out in March of 2016 that she had Breast Cancer. She has completed Chemo, and is starting Radiation. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com