Tuesday, May 31, 2016

GOD HAS GIVEN ME MY JOY BACK!


Sitting here thinking about the last 5 years. In five years so much has changed. Divorce was never a word I thought would ever enter my life. Then again, when the truth did come out, the things I learned I never would have thought would enter my life! To be in the middle of a nasty divorce and be told you have Ovarian Cancer was a life changing event. I have gone from owning multiple homes, multiple cars and thinking my life was exactly what I thought is was going to be to having a condo I love and a car that I bought all on my own!



I have come to realize that while I no longer have the homes, I no longer have the UP KEEP on the homes and I am happy with that! I have never been one to enjoy doing yard work… now I don’t have too! I do enjoy getting the things I have gotten done! My kitchen, living room and bedroom are now done! Second bedroom and bathroom I think will be next year.. need a little time off!



I have managed to make each of the rooms free of possibilities of getting sick! Cloth is now leather and carpet is now a beautiful laminate floor. All rooms are painted and look amazing. The colors are now light and airy, no more dark brown and orange!



While this has been a lot work, looking at the rooms and realizing “I DID THIS” has been rewarding. I am so thankful God has given me more time. To be able to say 5 years ago that my life would get to where it is today, was, at that time, impossible. But, with the help of God, it is now proven to be possible.



I have learned that while I had all those things all those years ago, I am happier now with what I do have. God is good and has given me MY JOY BACK! YEA!


Thursday, February 25, 2016

What is Unconditional Love?




Unconditional love is defined as - known as affection without any limitations, it can also be love without conditions. This term is sometimes associated with other terms such as true altruism, or complete love.

 I’ve been thinking about this the past few days. I have come to realize that the marriage I had for 21 years was a conditional love. There were expectations placed on me that I realize now where not fair. I realize that I had to react a certain way, act a certain way or be the way I was expected to act. I realize that the manipulation that was used really was conditional. I always had to be perfect. Making mistakes were not acceptable in his eyes. I realize that I hid mistakes made for fear of how he would react, what he would say or how he would cut down others who were not perfect by his standards. I’ve come to realize that when a person lives the life of a condtional love, you begin loose who you are. I lived for years to make everyone else happy. I lived to make him happy. I lived thinking that if I did something wrong, said something wrong or stood up for myself, the love would become elusive and I would find myself alone.

The love did become elusive. The love was there only when he thought he was going to loose what he had. Not me… his things.

I came to realization during the divorce that when he said “The one with the most toys wins” is actually something he really believes. I choose not to think like this. I believe that the things we have in life are miniscule compared to the people we have in our lives.

There are some that I do not see as much as I would like. But, I cherish the times I am blessed to have with them. I love that my family picks up where we left off every time we are together. We could be apart for months and when we see each other… it’s like there really is no lapse of time! We don’t expect each other to be perfect. We love each other not matter if we are loved in return because that IS unconditional love.

I have made many mistakes and had many ups and downs. I have been hurt, angry, frustrated and mad. But, my family has been there through it all. There are people in this life that do not understand this type of love. The best way to describe it is a love that never fails. A love that no matter how many times I say things, do things or act just like I am, they love me no matter what.

 I found this poem online… how true it is….

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE



Love is patient, Love is kind
Love is learning to be blind.

To others faults, it keeps no score,

Love is learning much much more.



Love protects and always trusts,

Perseverance is a must.

Love is facing stormy weather,

Hand in hand we walk together.



Love is honest, not deceiving,

In God and others we keep believing.

Love is learning to forgive

As Jesus taught us how to live.



True love we find will not forsake

But always gives more than it takes.

Love is learning to rejoice

In all we face, it is our choice.



We are learning the meaning of love

As given to us by God above.



God’s peace everyone!






Wednesday, January 13, 2016

NEW AND EXCITING ADVENTURES!!


I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN LIVING LIFE AND DREAMING OF WHAT IS YET TO COME!

Now working and enjoying my job. When I began this position I had many who had different reactions. But, the one thing I knew is that that throughout the time of medical treatments, many phone calls were made to different call centers. I had some awesome people who did all they could to help me in my fight. I had a lady who during my treatments worked as my caseworker and did all she could to answer any and all questions I might have. She went as far as researching out questions she did not have the answers to. I was surrounded by people who did what they could to help any way they could.


But with the good comes the bad, I had a lady once say to me “well you know that cancer is not one people actually survive so why are you even trying?” I remember wanting to reach through the phone and smack her. I had some that were rude, obnoxious and just downright awful to work with. I realized some of them were probably just having a bad day. But, I also realized that if I want to make a difference I need to make sure that I am doing the type of work that helps others that are dealing with something that is difficult for them at that time. I had the opportunity to make a change in my life and what I do for a living. I chose to go into working in a call center. I wanted to be the one who provided the good customer service. I want to be the one that when a person gets off the phone, they feel better about what they are going through. I wanted to be one of the good ones.
 

With this, I have to say I have had a positive experience with this type of work. I am not saying that there are days (to many to count) that I get up and say I don’t want to go to work. For me I know it is because I have to get used to working the hours I am working. But, I know that once I am there I am good to go.
 

I believe that it is with this that I can honestly say I believe I have found my dream and purposeful job in my life. This is not a job for everyone I know that. I know that many could not do what we do and the level of patience a person needs to have – not everyone does. But, for me I believe that this is the place that God has led me to and this is where he says .. you belong here. You are someone who has a gift of gab and can lead people, through difficult situations, to a calm from the storm. I thank GOD for leading me here….
 

Peace everyone!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Appreciating each and every day I have been given


Over the past couple years, I have realized how much I have changed not only in being healthy of the body but also healthy of the mind. In this time my perspective on life and priorities have changed. I have come to realize that my life is about having purpose and reason.

Since being diagnosed I have had, I believe, so many emotions that sometimes it feels as if I was on a rollercoaster. But, with this EACH of the emotions helped me to become the person I am today. With the anger and hurt from learning the truth of my ex-husband, to the pure fear of learning of the diagnoses, the determination as I dealt with each surgery, chemo, scan and test result, relief of hearing the words that I was clear to the true appreciation of the day that said the divorce was over. It has been orchestrated by God for all.

Let me explain….

The first was the anger and hurt from learning the truth about my ex. It took so long to be able to function and deal with the truth. I never thought I would get past it. But, then God had plans for me the day that I was told “You have ovarian cancer”. You see, it was not long after that diagnosis that I came to the realization of how miniscule the situation was in the whole scheme of life.  Now, I am in no way saying that the truth of that situation was not a huge deal for me at the time, but when the diagnosis came I came to realize that what was most important, was me. My health became first and foremost for me. I always fought for others.. my ex, my son, those that needed me.. for once it was about me and fighting so that I could continue to be here for those that wanted me around.

With the surgery I started to learn how strong I really was. In the weeks leading up to the surgery, and with my sister with me at each appointment, I learned that I was a lot tougher than I ever thought I could be. Yes, I was going through divorce at the same time, but I had a judge that gave me the time to fight. The judge put it on hold for 6 months so that I could go through the surgeries and chemo and fight without the worry of dealing with court. I knew once I was done I would be back in the courtroom, bald head and all, but by giving me the time it gave me the chance to begin to heal both physically and emotionally. I will always be grateful to him.


My Motto through the fight was always.. “Let’s kick this”. Now, not everybody LIKED that Motto but for me it worked. I rocked that bald look! It was wonderful because a) I didn’t have to worry about my hair anymore and b) It started many conversations about ovarian cancer. I don’t know if I can say that it made a difference, but I hope it did!


I learned through this experience about how to talk to strangers. I learned not to take for granted any time we are given. I learned how to say I need help. I learned that each thing God puts in our path is an opportunity to shine. I learned about true determination and most important.. I learned how to Love with my whole heart. I learned that not everyone is going to accept that love and that is OK. I learned that if I want something, it is ok to work to get it.


I have learned that I have purpose. My Grandchildren are my love and my life. My children are my Love. My sister is my best friend and the person who always made me believe (even though she probably was not sure) that everything was going to be OK. Each of these wonderful people In my life gave me purpose. My girl (birthdaughter) was there each time I needed to cry, vent and just laugh. My Sister was there each night to giggle (and we did a lot!) and just made me smile, My son while he was busy getting his life together before marriage, still made time.  My Best Friend Helen.. well she has always been there, taking lunch times with me, watching Molly, or just being an ear when needed. 

With that, I need to say my priorities are now my health, family and friends. It’s about appreciating each and every day I have been given, they are a blessing.. AMEN

Saturday, November 7, 2015

My journey over the years.. and the final diagnosis

So, this might be a little graphic.. and yes it does include some parts of my past writing but if it helps to maybe give someone a chance to see themselves and begin to say there is something wrong.. it's all worth it!

My very first “time of the month” was when I was a sophomore in HS. I believed I was dying.. it was so heavy that I had to leave school, walk home and climb into the basement window because nobody was home. By the time I did this, I was covered in blood to my knees. When I entered the basement, it was right next to the washing machine. Now, back in the day a washing machine would drain into the industrial size sink after the rinse cycle .. So, off came the clothes, grabbed something to cover me and ran upstairs to get cleaned up and changed.

I took a shower and went up to my room to get dressed. About a half hour later I heard my Mom scream when she looked into the industrial sink and it was filled with blood colored water. She came running up the stairs and screamed up the stairs to my room to see who was upstairs, me or my sister. I had to tell her it was me. She asked me what happened and I had to tell her. It was so embarrassing and she was convinced I was hemorrhaging. I was only a sophomore and it was not supposed to be like that! I was so bloated and my pants didn’t fit for about 2 days.

For many years after that, it continued. When I turned 16 they decided to try me on the pill to see if it would regulate my time. I would go through weeks of heavy times and just learned to deal with it. It was during the pill that every month I would get a cyst that would grow and pop. It turned out.. when I stopped taking the pill, the cysts would go away.

Then at the age of 19 my son was born. He was a difficult pregnancy, long long labor and a very difficult delivery that became a c-section. After my son was born – just 4 months later, I learned my little girl was on the way. After having her, I tried different things on the market for birth control, including the sponge and about 5 yrs later the cysts started all over again. I learned to deal with it. I would talk to my doctors and they all said the same thing.. it’s just your cycle.

In 1999 I was standing in my living room against the wall when I had a pain that was so bad it dropped me to my knees. In all my life I had never had a pain like that. It felt as if a knife had been lunged into my abdomen. The doctors told me a cyst had popped. We now belive this was the beginning of the cancer.

In 2007 they did an internal ultrasound for more pain.. was told it was a cyst. Years later after beating this beast I got a copy of this test.. it was a 2.5 cm mass. This was the first time the cancer was seen.. and they missed it.

In 2010 I lost 45 lbs in 3 months. (don’t worry.. have since FOUND those pounds LOL) I found myself having my time of the month for three weeks – heavy the whole time, off for a week and right back all over again. Tests were next to impossible to do because the timing was.. I always had it. I would tell the doctors, they would do bloodwork and say I was exaggerating because my iron levels were to high. I was not.

On September 3, 2012 (46 yrs old) I was in court. As I stood before the judge regarding my divorce the pain I was having was excruciating. I did a pretty good job not showing it. When I left the court house I returned to the hotel in which I was staying (there were extenuating reasons for this). About 1 hr after arriving I used the ladies room and found that as I got done the pain was unbearable. I looked into the bowl and realized that I was bleeding. As I left the bathroom I hit the ground in pain. I immediately called my doctor who sent me to the emergency room. They believed that I had kidney stones and me to have a CT scan.

  Little did I know how my life was going to change. The CT scan showed something that concerned my doctors. They sent me to a surgeon who scheduled a biopsy. On September 20th I found myself an outpatient going in to have a biopsy done. It was after the surgery that my sister said “you have ovarian cancer”. I have stage 3b low grade papillary serous carcinoma ovarian cancer. I remember saying to her, OK… so what do we do next.

So, I had all the symptoms. They were overlooked I believe because they were not all at once. I have absolutely no cancer in my family history so that was not helpful. But, I am still here.. 2 yrs and 7 months clear. I have learned, it is my body and I need to trust my instincts. I will never allow a doctor to say anything is in my head ever again!



Thursday, September 17, 2015

Living and Loving LIFE!


Wow, life is really full of twist and turns but God… What a ride! On September 20th it will be 3 years from the day I was diagnosed! I will also be 2 years and 6 months clear! YEA! The divorce is final, I traded in my mustang for a beautiful 2015 Rav 4. Now, no more worries about getting to work in the winter. The 2nd vehicle I had was not worth the amount of work needed to get it running and had to let that go. No worries! Have a 4 yr bumper to bumper on the new car AND 0% interest! Yes, I made the decision to finance to keep my credit rate in good standing. All bills are paid off and it would have been an issue to have NO bills to pay!

I have such an awesome family and will be doing the ovarian cancer walk this weekend with my beautiful girl, my grandsons and my sister! YEA!! I will do all I can to let all woman know about this silent killer thereby hoping to save just one woman – yep.. that would be worth it!

I am so very blessed. I have great friends, family and even though I have been off for a little bit from work, returning next week, I have been busier then I could even imagine! All my friends have made sure to have breakfast, lunch, dinner and visited whenever they can! My weekends have been filled with catching up on movies I never saw, seeing new movies that are out and doing things that I never would have done before! Saw some great movies in the past 2 weeks and plan to see more before I return to work next Thursday! YEA!!

My life has taken so many twists and turns but it has always been brought back to the peaceful and happy life that I now am living! Next week I will be visiting my oncologist and I am not worried at all! I know that with everything I have already been challenged with and the love of family, friends and God.. I am good no matter what the bloodwork shows! YEA!!



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It has been one heck of a ride!


A 25 yr marriage has come to an end. As of yesterday.. it is done! It was during this divorce that I heard the words nobody ever wants to hear.. You have Ovarian Cancer. Talk about a blow that would rock any woman to the core. But, with this diagnosis came a healing of the pain from divorce. I was told it was Low Grade Papillary Serous Carcinoma Ovarian Cancer. This is a rare form that affects very few women with the type of tumors I had. This cancer had been there over 10 – 15 yrs before it was found. The diagnosis came on 09/20/12 and never in million years did I ever think I would be the one to have to fight cancer. I was the only person in my family to ever be diagnosed.

But, with the diagnosis, I learned so much about me. I learned how truly strong I really am. I learned that no matter what is thrown at me, with God by my side I will win. Now, I have been clear for 2 years now. I know I have a 98% chance of return. I’m ok with that. I know I will fight with everything I am for the rest of the time I am here. In this time, I have become a grandma to 3 beautiful little boys and am blessed to love with all my heart. I have cherished every minute of every day because I don’t know when this disease will show it’s head again but I am not living thinking about that .. I am just living life to the fullest.

This journey has been filled with people who have entered into my life and given me the gift of friendship. People who I have never met gave me more support then some of those around me. I have had a sister that has been there for me and given me the joy and knowledge that I am worth fighting for. Her family has been amazing and welcomed me into their home and their hearts. I have cousins I love with every part of who I am and aunts that never stopped beliving in me. I have a wonderful and beautiful girl who with the generosity of wonderful woman (her Mom) gave me hope during a time that most do not see hope.

While this journey has come to an end and the divorce is over, I know my life is just beginning. Those who were there and giving me the love I now know is deserved, I will keep and cherish those people with all my hearts. I will cherish the friends on FB and those that have come into my life and gave me a gift of Love.
 

So, with a pep in my step and joy in my heart.. I will go into today knowing that another leg of my journey is complete.. Praise God.. With the years in the courts I can finally say we are done! The picture attached is me now.. It has been one heck of a ride!