Sunday, June 29, 2008

Keeping an eye....

With pcr time approaching again - here's to "keeping an eye on the bug" :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Rambling thoughts.....

There are always thoughts flowing around my mind that I want to put down 'on paper', but then time goes by and they change, morph into something else and even sometimes, the questions or queries in my mind become just part of life - no longer something to look at finding an answer for.

Right at the end of the work day today, a young guy came in to the shop for some computer repair. After getting started on his, or rather - his computer's, problem we started talking about other things, namely cancer. He mentioned that his dad had died two years ago from cancer, and my immediate response was "oh, I am sorry to hear that!" Now this is where this ties in to the things I have been thinking about this past week or so.... His response was to wave in the air and say that it's nothing to be sorry about, it just is life. He said they made the very best of his dad's last months and that when he died, he, the father, was happy and content. This young man realised at his age that death is a part of life and there is no need in being sorry about something that is going to happen to all of us. I am absolutely sure he mourned for his dad but thats not what I am talking about. He was not devastated - he was accepting of his dad's passing.

So I then asked him what he knew about becoming a marrow donor. He said he was already a blood donor and had heard that marrow donation was painful - very painful. Well, thanks mostly to Adrian, I was able to tell him just the opposite! It was a wonderful moment when he promised to sign up on the donor list next time he went to give blood! Here I got ONE person to do this and Adrian has probably got many THOUSANDS across the world to sign up for the donor list - Adrian, I sincerely hope you feel absolutely, incredibly, fantastically proud of yourself!

Here is a poster from the Anthony Nolan Trust in the UK with Adrian as the very handsome Poster Boy! Remember - that one extra person that signs up to the donor list could save someone precious in your life..... join the donor list, no matter where you are in the world. You could save a life and by saving a life, you will save a family, and a community.

Just look at what Adrian's donor caused to happen........ :) If you cannot join for whatever reason, see if you can help someone else do so. The "Sudders' Campaign" will have a worldwide effect, which makes it a worldwide campaign in my eyes.

Make a difference - talk to just one more person about becoming a donor.

Religion is based on the life after death, which is apparently a wonderful place, yet its a tragedy when people go to this amazing place? It's a tragedy that all the worries and aches and pains, both emotional and physical, is left behind to go to a better place. Yet we call this a tragedy. Makes me think. I am not concerned about my dying at all. Besides the fact that its pointless to worry about it and that takes up time out of the time of living, its something that I totally accept for myself. The tragedy, I think, is in the pain of the living left behind to try to fill the space of someone who has moved on to the next stage..

Many people think that reading these blogs of people with cancer is depressing, but its quite the opposite for me. I get so much good from reading what others feel and write about. There is so much to learn about, so many things that I can and do apply in my life, in my dealing with my children and others too. I do find that at times I need to wait till the next day to read certain entries, or just later that day. I find that at times I must listen to my soul and just step back for a while. But they always draw me back. There is so much to learn. Just the other day I was listening to a fundraising drive on the radio and parents were calling in with their stories..... well, I had to turn it off after a while - even though I tuned back in after drying my eyes. I tend to get too emotional at times. Fortunately it does not stick around long, but I find the tears flowing, my chin wobbling and my throat closing up very easily these last two years.

It's not only limited to the sad stories - I howl just as easily at the happy stories, the smiling faces of success after some or other treatment or the kindness of a stranger.. Are these my 'old age hormones' kicking in or have I just become much more sensitive or silly? Maybe it's because I am actually listening to these stories now. Before cml came into our lives, cancer was something that happened to others and those fundraisers........... geez were they everywhere and surely not necessary! Oh Boy! Now I know... now I listen and now I feel so much more. I think I 'get it' now.

Oh - and here is a question that has been screaming around my mind lately...... If I was diagnosed today with a terminal illness, how would I live tomorrow differently? And then - if I did live my tomorrow differently, I need to think carefully about how I am living today! We all have a terminal illness - LIFE!

My aim is to make a positive difference in someone's life each and every least one! What's yours?

Love and light
and a big hug for you, Kay

Sophie with a new look

Introducing Sophie all newly trimmed and looking like a puppy and not a mop ready to go to work on the kitchen floor :)
........and Allie still enjoying.
...and us? So enjoying both of them

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Life's bugs.....

Here is a photo of one of the African Violet plants that used to sit on the window sill of my kitchen. If you look closely, those white things are not pollen - they are the discarded carcasses (I know there is a fancy word for them), and there are bugs all over the thing! Now you know why the plants used to be inside and are now outside on the porch. I itch just typing this!

So of course this got me thinking. Something beautiful, something I had always wanted - a beautiful flower that actually grows in my home, one that does not shrivel when I walk in the room, something beautiful I have relegated to outside. I have the reputation of making plastic flowers die...... But here I have this beautiful flower that I tended carefully and lovingly. And it has bugs! And I put it outside........

We have things and people in our lives that we love and so many of them are less than healthy or have some bug or other. No no, not literally! A bug like cancer, diabetes and other issues.. But we do not simply put them outside and get rid of the problem like that, we keep them close, we tend them even more and at times - we even get to love the bugs. They are, after all, part of the person we love.

So many times photos, or rather - nature, makes me think of things that go far deeper than I could have imagined my mind going. When I took the photos of this bird flying - I thought of all the times I just wanted to fly away from all the pain and anguish.....and I think of a good few people that I know of that are going through incredibly rough times, but are doing absolutely incredibly well under the pressure and pain who are doing anything but flying away.

And I think about how many people cannot deal with others going through rough times. I used to be one of them. I am sad that I now understand better the pain some are having, and sorry that I had reason to find out how to deal with it - but so incredibly glad that I am no longer afraid to confront cancer, death, end of life issues and so on. I have found a depth in myself and in others that was obviously missing before and I feel so much richer because of it.

I found in the early days of diagnosis, that one very important thing was missing from my life. Normal. Normal had flown away - gone without a trace. I used to lie in bed and just want normal. I wanted, no - *needed* - normal in my life. I wanted to know other's problems like before. I wanted to be told the little irritating things in the lives of others, I needed to have jokes shared, laughs created and ..........well - normal! Almost everyone around me became quieter - literally and figuratively speaking, they almost spoke in hushed tones and really had no idea what to talk about. That's totally natural and I am not criticizing it at all. It's just that 'normal' is one of those things that is most wanted during the roughest of times.

So next time you bump into someone having a rough time, acknowledge their problem of course, ask about it, but please move on to something normal too. Whatever you tell them probably won't change anything and they might not even remember what you said, but that ray of 'normal' in a dark space shines like gold in bright sunlight. I know it's difficult to do this, but it's really so important. It was to me.

Ok - here are some people you need your thoughts/positive vibes/prayers - whatever you have got to give......... Adrian is really in a rough spot right now - his family too, with no meds working and time getting really short. What an amazing young man this is. And Cam and Cora - Cam is heading for a second transplant after the first failed and Cora is right there with him all the way - even having to leave their children on one side of Canada to get the treatment he needs on another. So many things to deal with in both these families and extended families.

There are so many people out there that are hero's in my eyes. Not in the typical way we think of a hero - but in a strong, determined, quiet and incredible way. The partners and parents, siblings and friends of those in difficult situations. Kay, Lea, Adrian, Diane, Shane, Cam and Cora are just a few that give me the ability to laugh, to smile, to enjoy every day ........ they give me hope and the knowledge that no matter what comes my way, I will deal with it - like they are. They make the space for me to breath. A big thank you!

Steven is doing and looking great! His next PCR test is next month and again I have decided not to worry, but at the same time accepted that I will. That's life - and I am most grateful for it.

love and light