Stepping Forward

“I have no past–the steps have disappeared
the wind has blown them away.”
James Kavanaugh, There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves    

I love James Kavanaugh’s poetry.  There are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves is the only thing I remember memorizing and not forgetting.  But I really liked the above quote which I found today.  Our lives are like that….footprints in the sand..but the wind does blow over them and the only direction is forward to new footprints.  Because the old footprints have disappeared.

Interesting thoughts.  Our past is like that.  and probably best forgotten, so the path ahead is open.  We cling to a lot of things from the past, perhaps because they are familiar; perhaps because we ‘think’ we ‘should’ because of roles we play or think we are assigned.  Perhaps the answer is in the wind.

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Back Online! The Pink Elephant in the Room.

unpluggedHey I am back!!  Been getting my blog site unscrewed up, and it has taken awhile.  Victory, today we are back up and running!

Its all so exasperating.  I spent two weeks going crazy because I could not write, and now I can and I can’t think of anything to say. LOL.  Isn’t that like women?  Okay okay I will not bash my own gender!  But we are a wonderful lot. I think all you men are lucky! So you better take care of us!  We need you.  Whether we show it or not all the time, is I know questionable.  But we do need you.  Everybody needs somebody.  Its just hard to be vulnerable and expose your soft side to someone.

I think what we need to remember is that we are all just doing the best that we can.  And accept each other right there.  It is very hard to forgive someone, that has done you a big wrong.  But the longer you take, the more damage it does to you.   So spend your emotional energy somewhere, where it is worthwhile.

Someone once said “That truth will set you free but first it will make you miserable”.

Just don’t let it make you miserable too long.  I am off to gym to get some exercise. I have found this really helps me feel better all day long.  Find what helps you feel better and do it!  Have a great day.

 

 

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HealthCare in 2014 in Obama Land!

Hi Everyone,

Do you have your healthcare figured out for 2014?  Then you are among the lucky ones!  Let me tell you what happened to me in my adventures to obtain new healthcare in 2014.

We have all heard the complaints about the government website.  Fortunately, I live in a state that is full of techie nerds that seem to have put up a fairly good web page.  In November, I had some trying days with it but without to  much effort, I was enrolled in late November and very happy with my choice.

Unfortunately, the State of Washington interveened in my healthcare choice because they decided, I could not financially afford what the plan was offering for me based on my expected income in 2014!  Now granted, I am still looking for a job and I am attending school full time.  So I loaded my information with what I knew I would have, which wasn’t all that much.

I was bumped out and put on the state plan. Hmmmmmmm.  This complicates life because in January I was planning on doing all my cancer follow up.  One year cancer free and of course the doctors are going to run all the lab tests again, poke and prod and figure out what the next treatment, if any might be.  I passed everything with flying colors and I am feeling great!  So I use the State healthcare plan. Boy if there is discrimination alive and well it is in being on Medicaid.  Although right in the health care information, it says you have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.  THAT should have been my first warning.

My first trip into a medical facility.  “Oh” is the response I got from the receptionist.  “This”.  She took a copy.  The doctor’s response is next.  “Oh”  “This doesn’t pay very well.”   Interestingly enough, I don’t have to pay anything although I personally, signed up for a plan that had a 1250 deductible and 20 dollar co pay.  Not on medicaid you don’t pay anything.  Ok.  Then why the hesitation from the doctor’s office.  Oh I get it.  THEY don’t get paid.   Apparently they do not like the payments that they get.  Now we have it.  It’s not about YOU personally, just go get some other insurance so we can treat you differently.  And we can make more money.

Is this right?  I didn’t have a choice.  Due to my income the new plan charged me this much and they pay whatever their plan says.  However if you were already under an existing treatment through a doctor,, which of course I was, then they have to take you as a patient.

I am so sick and tired of all this cancer crap (even if its over) and going to the doctor and figuring out treatment; or not. I just want a new normal life.  Is that too much to ask?

I may just disappear and become somebody else.  If only I could…..if only I could.

Have a nice day.  i am going to go pull my hair out.Unplug

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Another Cross Roads

Unplug  I don’t know if this would work or not.  I think not.  But being in Information Technology business, it is something to think about.  I hope I am never on life support.  That’s a gruesome thought isn’t it?  Tubes.  I hate tubes.

I guess I am pretty fortunate because before age 60 I never gave health a second thought.  I managed my type 2 diabetes but it had never really given me any trouble.  The meds gave  me more trouble than the actual disease I thought.  I think before I have written here that I thought it was a gift, because I change alot of my eating habits after that diagnosis in 1999.

But as we reflect over our lives and the choices we made , I am sure there is always going to be regrets.  The one thing I find interesting is that we don’t even have an awareness of what most things are….until it hits us personally.  We don’t have a clue.  Hey…maybe that is the safety net?

This weekend I am suppose to get together with some other cancer survivors for a retreat out of town.  It suppose to be fun.  I have a cold that appears to be coming on and if it doesn’t disappear by tomorrow I will have to cancel.  I surely would not want to make other cancer survivors sick.  My roommate for the weekend just finished chemo yesterday.  It would not be right.  I am just not sure I even want to go.

I just want to pack my bags and move away.  That’s what I have felt like lately.  Seattle is a hard place to live during January and sometimes February and usually March ! LOL   Oh how we wait for the tulips!!  A sign that we survived yet another winter in Seattle.

Lately, I have just been thinking about retirement.  I have been trying to figure out how to find a job.  That hasn’t happened so I am open to maybe retiring once and for all.  That is a tough decision.  What does that mean? What will I do?  Where will I live? Can I survive on that much money?  For how long?  and the ultimate question am I ready for the winter of life?  Maybe retirement doesn’t have to be that? Maybe it could be fun.  Maybe it might be wonderful.

Maybe not. Maybe not.  Maybe so.  I sit on the fence posts of life.SIgn

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Before and After – A New Dawn

Happiness-Hands1

This morning I was watching CBS news and probably for the first time I heard what the pilot Sully Sullenberg had to say about life after the crash on the Hudson River.  If you recall Sullenberg was the pilot.

He talked about the fact that as the plane was going down, he didn’t at that moment,   think about how this would impact his life.  The news anchor had asked him if he had an epiphany at that moment or an awareness something had happened that would change his life forever.  He was thoughtful in his answer, and he said no, not in that moment.  After he called his wife, he said he knew it was one of those moments that would change direction in his life forever.

We all will have those moments.  Its a matter of when they come.  I was thinking about that this morning as I laced up my Nike running shoes.  Three years ago, I would not have ever thought…well I may have thought about it…but I would never have done it. It  is getting out and running or walking three miles every morning.   Those significant life events, open our eyes and it is a new dawn in our lives.

Its just like the picture on my timeline.  The sunrise…I never take it for granted.  Oh I have another day, another day. Yes!

People that have not experienced this yet, are very difficult to communicate with about it.  That’s a topic for another blog.  Also a very interesting one, because us survivors are always wanting to help others gain awareness.  It just can’t happen until you have that moment yourself.  What I have learned after my first year in recovery, is that it is not necessary for me to talk about it unless someone else brings it up.  The opportunities come to me.  I don’t have to go to them.  And I need less and less to talk about it.  I have discussed it with other bloggers, and alas it to is the reason the blogs get fewer and farther between.

Sully Sullenberger and the other survivors of the Hudson Crash stood on the edge of an airplane wing in the cold river and are forever changed.  If you meditate or believe in sitting quietly and envisioning things, take a moment to close your eyes and take a deep breath and envision yourself standing on a wobbly plane in the freezing cold with many others around you wondering if this is the moment.  Are you going to die or is someone going to come at the last moment and save you?  Is there a God and if so why is he having you go through this?

It is your oh shit moment.  I call it that.  The impact of things you go through don’t always ‘hit’ you at that moment.  There is no time to think, it is a time of action or inaction.  My brother Roger had a moment like that.  Unfortunately, he didn’t get the option of reviewing his choice.  He choose wrong and died at 26 in an accident that might have been prevented, had he chosen differently.  I have thought about that moment, many times in my life.

We learn from those moments of decision.  We live with the consequences.  We have a new dawn or not.  As for my new dawn, I am quite aware that this life can change direction.  A single day can take you off the course you planned.  Like John Lennon once said “Life is what happens, when you are making other plans.”  Yes, tell him about it as he was murdered on the streets of New York.  No choice.

The thing I have learned is that I have a choice now. I have a choice each day.  I am constantly reminded of how  my life has changed since that phone call late on a Friday afternoon in a field outside Fall City in 2012.  I am constantly reminded, in a good way that  NOW I can still put on my shoes and go for a run.  In the afternoon I can still go for a swim.  I can still feel the sun on my face (if it would ever come out in Seattle).  Life is good.  I put a passion in everything I do now.  My priorities have changed.  I am my priority.

I use to worry about the most trivial things.  Do people like me? Am I doing a job that somebody else thinks is good?  Are my kids satisfied with me?(oh please on that one)  Do I look ok?  Does anybody know me?  What should I do.

Thank you cancer for the awareness of what really matters.  I have the gift of choice, and I don’t take it for granted because I know it can be removed in one breath!  I might still make a choice that is not the best choice but at least I am aware of it.  Oh I need to remember that!!   I am no longer tied up in other people’s opinions.

I can say with no regret that I was not satisfied with the person I was before cancer.  I can also say with confidence that I like the person I am now.  I am happy.  I know who I am.  I am free from the old chains, and in many instances old circumstances and all to the thanks of a deadly disease, that for now is gone but forever in my mind.

It does take almost dying to get living.  Better late than never.

Have a great day.  Tie those laces and get out there! The race is on and you are still in it.

Bonnie

Bonnie

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Alice In The Waiting Room

Okay so its the second sixth month oncology appointment (after the end of treatment 14 months ago) . I guess somewhere I got the idea that this would be the end of it.  Ha HA  followups for ten years…hmmm guess that is a good thing!

Wishful thinking huh?  I had to go in today and repeat my blood labs because someone lost them; or they didn’t take them; so here we go…let’s wait again.

It was during one of these waiting games I sat next to ‘Alice’ in the waiting room.

hey Alice, I am Bonnie!

hi Bonnie, call me Ali…How far out are you?

Oh, I am 12 months, from mastectomy.

Are you broke or homeless yet? 

Ah, no.  Came close but I think I will be ok.

Oh well lucky you! 

How far out are you?

Oh, I am not out at all.  I am stage 4 mets.  (This is not anything you want to hear)

Oh, (I am grasping for anything to say)  ….did you get social security disability yet?

Nope, 18 months and counting, still waiting.  Living on 197.00 a month from the State of Washington, but I get food stamps. 

I have now become very quiet.  I am not sure what to say next.  I secretly tell the good Lord right there on the spot, thank you that I am not her.  Thank you that this is not my journey today and please God don’t let me have to take this journey tomorrow.  Can I do anything to help you? 

Can I do anything to help you are the nicest sweetest words in the world when you feel so terribly alone.  And cancer is walking a journey that feels quite lonely.  Most of the time your friends just avoid you cause they don’t know what to say.   Those that stick around are usually those that have been around some kind of devastation in their life.  They know you will too survive this; or not; and its about the journey not the final destination.

Those friends know the right times to slip you a fifty dollar bill or show up with a bag full of lemons, or a half gallon of your favorite ice cream.   Those friends send you cute pictures and words of encouragement or just sit with you on the sofa and watch I Love Lucy reruns.

Friends don’t try and talk you out of your faith – the only rope you are hanging on with.  Friends encourage and uplift.

So back to Alice in the waiting room.

Can I do anything to help?

Nope I don’t suppose.

Wanna go to the new Meryl Strep movie after this; my treat?

Yup that sounds good.

Great, I will wait for you.

Maybe we can swing by and get a burger on the way?

Sounds good!————————-

Sometimes just being there is what its all about.

:)   Have a great day.  The movie was terrific.

 

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My Body is My Business – Is Your Body Your Job?

NOWpearsMy body is my business.  I am making it my business.  For the next thirty days, I am on a positive mission to to make my body a Spontaneous Remission project.

What is my objective in doing this?  My objective is to remove my negative emotions and figure out what my body needs to heal.  I think my project may help you heal; whether it is from an illness or from a injury.  All our bodies have a great capacity to recover from extreme circumstances.  We just need to find the key that will work for the door we need to open.  But negative emotions are like a time bomb in our body; waiting to explode!

In this mission, I am not abandoning western medicine but I am adding to it which will give me a better chance for a positive outcome!  Basically this means I am adding a variety of good fresh vegetables along with herbs and vitamins.  Because I have type 2 diabetes also, I am careful to include portions of fresh fruit, but smaller portions spread throughout the day.  Today a wonderful gift appeared at my doorstep! My friend Mary came home from California with a bag of fresh lemons!  They are right from the tree still with the greens attached!  Oh, score!  I squeeze them in fresh cold water and they are delicious!

One cool thing to do with lemons is to squeeze them into ice cube trays and freeze them.  Then you can use fresh squeezed lemon juice in your ice cubes!  Yummy!  and ….Healthy!!  Plain melted ones can be fresh lemon juice for cooking.  Lemons are a great source of vitamin C.   Here is a link to all your basic fruits and what’s in them for you.  Print it out and keep it for future ideas how to switch your diet around.  Ensure you have good food for your body!

http://www.health-alternatives.com/fruit-nutrition-chart.html

Every negative emotion or negative thought is poisonous to our bodies.  I can watch on my diabetes meter the effect of stress.  We are the gatekeepers of our mind.    We need to take good care of our minds so it in turn tells our mind we are ok.  Our mind is over our medicines.  Its vital we get well.  Our labs may say we are normal but if we are not taking care of our minds we put ourselves at risk.  From diagnosis to death, we are facing mortality.  Did you ever tell yourself if I only knew then what I know now…?  Its been clinically proven that if reduce our stress we reduce our risk of disease.  How exactly does that work?

The nervous system is the key to our healing and the key to our mind.  Controlling the mind is going to control the nervous systems response in our body. Do you know that when you are angry, sad or depressed your body is pouring out chemicals?  When you are frightened, ‘the fight or flight’ hormone is activated in your body.  Your body cannot continually go through this physiological response without detrimental consequences!.

So when did I face some potentially disease causing stressors in my life?  I can absolutely point to the day one key thing happened.  There were several but one of those things is so ‘out-front’ in my psyche!  And my family would not want me to talk about it.  Nope, notta, don’t air our business.   Secrets…it’s another whole topic of which no one wants to talk about it.  I will save it for another day.

New posts will be coming on meditation and controlling your physical responses to stress hormones.  We can reduce our own heart disease, cancer, MS, by practicing a few of these good habits.  Start today!  It’s your future.

Bonnie

 

 

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The Infamous Blood Tests

Okay its the big appointment today to go through all my labs and testing for my one year oncology appointment next week.  Why does this have to be so nerve racking?  Its that fear of the unknown.

Hmmm, been an interesting new year.  And it is only day 2.  Well, I will just go do the blood work and come back here an write again.  And bore you, I hope not, with the details of trying to get Obamacare and winding up getting put on the old Medicaid; and then getting denied for that even!

This disease has taught me a great deal of patience with the ‘process’.  Everything has a process from the labs, to the insurance, to everything.  Take a deep breath and do it one step at a time.  I can sure see how somebody that is disabled can spend all their time just getting from point A to point B; and that isn’t even physically maneuvering it.

I have met some great people along the way.  God bless them for their patience and the jobs that they do.  It makes me appreciate my profession.  Which reminds me, I am going back to work!  Soon.  But I need to finish my degree.  That was my goal, and by gosh I am going to finish it.

One more thing off the buck list.  Off to the oncologist, say a prayer for me!

Bonnie

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Happy New Year! We made it!

Wishing

you all a great year!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy New Year

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Tomorrow becomes Today = Happy New Year!

dancingWelcome to 2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We made it, we are here.   Celebrate the gift of life,, the new year and the future!!!!!!!

 

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