Friday, August 29, 2008

Managing and Improving

These last few days, I am starting to have glimpses of seeing through the chemo and the cancer. I can't put it into words. Like a veil is slowly being lifted. I have been able to stand and make dinner, and not hurting by the end. I have had clarity of thought for longer stretches (if I have taken good care and napped), and am thinking out beyond myself and my families basic needs. It still is taking energy and planning, but something...shifted.

With help, naps, and good tlc, the times I do have feel more normalized. I am so grateful for that.

For the first time, in awhile, I had enough energy to go out after 7:00!!! Whooohooo! I know, I know, you think ... Party animal!!! I went to a movie with a friend. Oh my, how normal. I napped before I went, that helped. But before, even that seemed like too much. But a I am moving on up. hehehehe. (As a chica with cancer, you learn to be like a cat, and curl up in the thin thread of light coming in through the matter how small it may seem).

I also am learning limits. Went to Fred Meyer to get schools supplies for Bug and some much overdue household items. By the end, I felt very weak and it was hard to think straight. I snapped at the cashier!! I also apologized. It gets scarey at those mundane moments that are too much. But I just rest, and remember where I started with all of this. It is getting "better".

I just keep telling myself, "those scans in September are going to look soooooooo gooood." (No, I don't know exactly when yet...)

Keeping sending lots of healing energy!!!! Is that the light at the end of the tunnel? I have a ways to go, and need to pace myself, but....maybe?


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Chemo "hit" day, and hallelujah

So, today is turning out to be a mixed day.

Issue Number One: Chemo hit day. Just ride the wave. I know it will pass. Jim is home today. Poor guy. Chemo brain is real. He made breakfast, sat it RIGHT next to me, and 20 minutes later I asked him if breakfast was ready. He was like "Uh, hon, it is right there 4 inches to your right.". Sigh. I am glad he is home today.

Issue Number Two: The HALLELUJAH. Turns out chemo brain effects hearing. After a conversation today with a friend who was willing to ask direct questions (THANK YOU!), I had a HUGE clarification about our insurance situation. Turns out, I misunderstood some aspect of it and we are covered far better than what I had thought. So that is a big relief. We still have a mountain of bills to pay, and we still need help, but it isn't the mind blowing, tear inducing, "ohmygod!" how COULD ANY HUMAN PAY THIS, situation. I figure it up, I need to work a full time salary (in the world I work in), to cover my medical bills every year. I will forever be taking care of this cancer. Just the scans every year will need me to be working. Then the questions build, and the anxiety...will I be able to work? If I do, all the vacations, all the savings for home improvements/care go away. No collge funding. And the mind builds to a frenzied peak of FEAR and ANXIETY and drama


And I let it go quickly. They seem so SMALL.

I just plan to be alive to have the luxury of dealing with those issues.

So, some of the numbers I gave before still stand. We need about $1500+ to cover in home help/childcare. That has always been #1 on my list. It is the key to healing, not having martial stress from the extra workload, and a child that isn't being stressed to the max from all angles. Then, there is the issue of bills coming in beyond out income level as it stands, and how could I work? I am STILL all ears about any good ideas. I am looking into helping artist/crafters who do production work, and could use some help from my home. I know those jobs are rare, but exist. I am also thinking of getting caught up on the newest coding, and seeing what I might be able to do from home there. Options. I believe there are always options. It will work out. But the reality is, as it stands, I will be working to pay medical bills and childcare/schooling and that is it...if I work as I have in the past. Might be time to evolve in ways I can't see yet.

I think the hardest part of all of this, is the overwhelm of the mind. People tell me all the time "Just focus on healing.". But all of this other stuff is real. And if I don't look at it, it becomes like a monster under the bed. The fear of it is far worse than dealing with it. There is a relief that comes from dealing. I know my limits right now. And I can't run out and work. (I'd be fired the first day!) But I do believe by knowing what we are dealing with, I can relax, and stay alert to answers.

I am so embarrassed about my brain lately. I do know chemo brain is "real". Even if you aren't dealing with a chemically induced mind fog, just the sheer amount of things to process and deal with would make anyone hit their breaking point. What a rollercoaster. I was always a daredevil.

Ahhh. and as I write this, the sun is shining.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Robert Glenn says it all....

Robert Genn is an artist, who gives us other artists weekly installments of gleanings form his artist journey. Some bits are technical, some esoteric. This weeks topic about unconscious confidence, stuck a chord with me in journey through this cancer world. I keep saying the struggle with the big "c" word is 90% mental.

My nurse in chemo today told me, "I know you guys go through a lot of physical pain, but what you have to endure and overcome mentally is staggering and pushes you farther than anything else could."

So, an artist and a nurse, on the same day, getting to a similar point. After watching the Olympics, he put it this way:

: Focus is the conscious removal of distractions--from a sore toe to the roar of the crowd. The world is a noisy stadium that contrives for us to go off the track. Cutting out ambient hysteria is a learned skill [I placed emphasis, this really struck home]. It means a total concentration on the job at hand. Focus can be understood as a kind of self anointed me-ism--and it's okay to feel that way when the action is needed. In the artist's world, personal mannerisms, processes, techniques and stylistic tendencies are sacrosanct, a mind-state similar to common belief. While artists may be wildly exploratory, the winners need to run like they've already won.

The way I am finding my way through this, as intact or better yet, more evolved as a person/spirit, is to have empathy for the journey of those watching, but in the end, to shut it out and focus on the task at hand. It means I can hear and empathize and really take to heart what a friend or doctor is experiencing or believing about my cancer journey...but in the end, I then have to wash that out of my mind, get my game face on, and proceed with the journey as best I know how. While I notice the "din of the crowd", I can't become mesmerized by the "hysteria".[ I would like to note here, that I define that word, in this context, as an energy not good, or bad, that has built up around an event. It can take form as the hope, or the fear, of the crowd.]

This doesn't mean I don't want to hear my friends, doctors, and well-wishers view of this journey. But it does mean having an acute awareness of what is other's people's fears and not taking them on. Of returning then, back to myself, getting my "Zen" on, and hearing what the next steps need to be.

I am beginning to think, this may make very little sense to others. Or that you might worry I am saying "Don't talk to me about your fears and doubts about this." Not at all. It heals me and makes me feel whole to be in "normal" friend mode!!! In friend mode, I love to hear your journey. Notice I still consider it YOUR journey. When it comes time to make decisions on this journey, I listen, hear what truth resonates, and leave the rest. I then MUST return back to listening to my body and trusting in it's ability to heal and knowing it will tell me which way to go next. Otherwise, I become disoriented and dis a compass gone haywire, looking for true north..and that is NOT the place to be when your making these tough choices.

To read the who article from Robert Glenn, go here.

Blessing to all,

Saturday, August 23, 2008

This is Tricky

First of all, a friend pointed out an "ouch" point. And I want to apologize. She was hurt by me saying "It seems as if some of you still aren't 'getting' it". If she felt hurt, some of the rest of you might feel hurt as well.

I was getting some reoccuring themes in conversations with people. And I realized that it either isn't sinking in what I is going on, or I am not being clear. So, I wrote that post, to be as clear as possible about what is going on.

This is a gigantic beast. And I am overwelmed at the complexity of trying to keep everyone informed. And in the end, it is impossible for me to know what questions you have, or what information you missed. I am relying on you asking me direct and clear questions if you have them. I cannot stress this enough. I know you might be worried about sounding insensitive or harsh or inappropriate. This blog was not intended to be a detailed report on my cancer. But more like a day by day, what is going on for me. And I am ALL over the board. Somedays I am dealing with logistics of getting by. Somedays I am absorbed in pain, yet want to post to keep in touch, and barely make any sense. Somedays I don't want to think about it at all, but just want to focus on some other issues.

It isn't intended to fill in all the blanks, and some of them are left blank intentionally. I am relying on my friends, or people with questions, to ask me directly. Please do not be afraid to do so. I cannot keep track of what I have said or not said right now and to whom. I can even remember what I did yesterday most days. While I do try to think "what is the newest information" or "what do they need to know", most days I am just trying to put something out there to stay in touch. Sometimes, while I am writing, my brain feels like a cat falling down a well and trying to claw into the sides of the well and climb back out. I think "I shouldn't write in this state of mind" but I also don't want to go days without writing, because they worries some of you too.

What is that saying "You can't please all the people all the time."

I can see the focus of the blog is shifting. And it is becoming more public, and stretching out beyond it's original purpose. So, the tones and entry content may change as well.

Off to go back to sleep,
sweet dreams,

Friday, August 22, 2008

Goodbyes, transistions, and good quotes

Just now, we said good bye to Becky. Becky, this is a shout out to you for making our summer healing, stable, and balanced!!! And thank you to the families that made this possible. I can't say enough how much has helped. I think Bug would be a mess, and the house would've been stressed out without the help. Thank you Becky!

I am adding a quote to the sidebar. A friend from the midwest has been sending me these amazing cards with pictures of her garden on the outside, and quotes on the inside. SO many have been spot on timing with what I am going through. So inspiring. The first one starts today.

Also, I am playing around with design and layout. So expect multiple changes as I find the right fit. I would like to expand this blog out to help others in the area, or going through metastasized breast cancer. Anything we can do to keep each others heads up and hearts open!!!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

what is a day like for me

So, I am a pretty, "let's make lemonade out of lemons" kind of person. I am still hearing and sensing from some of you aren't "getting" it.

When I say "I am having a good day" means I am not in pain or chemo stupor where the world is managable. It means I MIGHT be able to walk around the park for 1/2 mile before my hips give out to pain. It means I am not overcome by the unbearable dread of dying and leaving my daughter behind.

I have always been the kind of person who believes in the light/dark of any given situation. I might be smiling, beaming, even when I see you, and while we talk, be delighted....but when you walk away, I need to recoup. I may sleep for an hour or four. It doesn't mean that I am being fake when I see you. It means I am delighted to see you. It also means I need to rest, because I am trying to get as much of the cancer into remission as possible before chemo is too much and we move into managing what is left......TONS, SOME, NONE.... I don't know. I don't know how long any of this will take. I keep being asked that. NO ONE knows.

They found cancer in both breasts, my liver, my bones (hips, shoulder, vertebra). This is Stage IV. Stage IV by the books means "incurable". Now, with my kidn, it might be managed chronically for decades, or for year. NO ONE KNOWS. Nor do I.

Does this mean I am suppose to walk around crying all the time? I can't. I don't have time to waste crying. When I see you, I LIGHT UP, because it makes life sweet. It also means, (if I knew in advance I would be seeing you) I gathered up my energy to see you.

It means not being able to lift my daughter, because the tumors in my spine prevent me from lifting anything beyond my purse. For awhile, my purse was too painful. Now, it is not.

Somedays, I can clean my own house. Somedays, I sleep.

Somedays, Becky (the person helping me this summer) let's me rest, while I listen to Bug's sweet voice playing in the room next to me.

Somedays, Becky focuses on cleaning for an hour, because I have energy, and I revel in cuddling with my daughter and reading or building something. I get run down, Becky steps back in.

Yesterday, Becky helped me unpack three boxes, and I fell asleep.

So far, I have felt Taxol take my breath away, and I have seen tumors shrink. I have so many tumors they stopped counting. But ONE of the ones I can feel, is going away. I worry the ones in my liver aren't.

For months, sleeping was hard, because of the pain. I could only sleep on my back. NOW I can sleep on either side. THAT is wonderful! It is what I hold onto while my life goes swaying back and forth.

I have had people tell me I am "too positive". I have people telling me how I don't act "sick enough" to make people understand. I don't know what else to say.

There isn't a day that hasn't gone by since they told me, since my body told me, that I don't revel in the good but also struggle with the sad.

I am having a mixed day. Again. Good (my acupuncturist relieved me of some pain) and horrid (I found out my uncle passed away form his cancer).

Yet I look outside, and adore the golden light cast upon the Evergreens, and yet have this ache inside of me of pain (literal) and worry for my family, and hope that I can be a LONG term chronic case.

My days are DAY BY DAY. One day I have great energy, the next, I am laid up on the couch.
It is a bit over everything. Again, back to the NOW is all I have.

And NOW I am so grateful for dear friends, and golden sunlight, and a kind husband. And NOW I am in pain, my stomach, from chemo. BOTH. My days are spent in flux, in limbo, trying to maintain the good and sweetness in life and not let worry and pain take those things away.

Those are my days right now. Some of you said I needed to be more clear. I can't be more clear than that. I hope it helps.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bring me to my Knees


So, last night. My dd5 says:

"Mom, I can't wait until you are better enough to pick me up again!"
"Oh, me too Bug, me too!"
You know Mom, your gonna to make it through this, WE are gonna get you through this."
(Mom, loses it as she wraps her little arms around me and pats my back...tears just flow at her generous and kind spirit)
Oh, Mom, don't cry! You aren't alone, we are all here to help you through, and we will."
(Mom just cries harder, she just take my breath away)
Ah, Mom, we are going to take such good care of you, so you can be all better again."
"I'm not crying because I am afraid, I am crying because I am so happy to be your mom."
I love ya' too Mom."

If my heart had knees, it would be on them.

Tumors are stills shrinking. I think my heart is getting bigger though.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Wisdom of Tea

My mentor, said her mentor taught her, that the most powerful thing one person can do for another is drink tea and unconditionally, and without agenda, LISTEN.

I drink my tea daily. And I listen. When no one is there, I listen to my deepest self. Without judgment, and without agenda to change the incoming information, to fully love and accept the information. The best information comes from listening to that still voice.

Another friend, a cancer survivor, takes 30 minutes every evening, sipping tea, and sitting with her dog outside - listens to the breeze. She says wisdom comes in when we are still and listen to the subtle breezes. Voices of our ancestors and helpers can be heard.

I am brewing my tea for today. Today, it is Yogi tea, Lemon Ginger (my body requests some tummy soothing herbs). On the tag are little sayings...I thought I would leave this one with you:

Todays Tea Wisdom:

DELIGHT the world with kindness, grace, and compassion.

Can you let these qualities flow today without inhibitions and doubt? Powerful stuff.

Love to you all,

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's a First

So, here's a first. Blog entry while hooked up to chemo! One very funny lady, in a tee-shirt that read "The Chemo Made me Do it!", gave me a good laugh, calling her chemo unit on wheels "Fido". She had to take Fido for a walk and the leash got all tangled up. Oh, us sick and twisted chemo-girls.

I tried looking up a good cartoon or joke about chemo. In the cyber-land of too much information, there was very little in the way of chemo humor. COME ON! Someone has got to step up and make fun of it. Oh well. Fido and I are friends.

I do have this weird, underwater-type feeling that hits. I think it is a pre-med side effect. To make me sleepy. So this may be all disjointed and nonsensical.

So, you may notice over to the side, a DONATE button. This links up to a paypal account that anyone can use to leave a donation. I have been surprised at how many people have said they were waiting on that button. Well, VOILA!

I have also talked to friend and family, and it sounds like some really great fundraisers are taking shape. A yardsale on the west coast. A yard sale and fundraiser on the East coast. An ArtBra auciton in Seattle!!! Fun stuff! Thank you everyone!

Soon to come, on this website, I plan to create a line of cards that you can either download or email. They will be inpsiring, silly, and sometimes irrevrent. (gasp!). Some will be cancer specific, others, just to help everyone overcoming an obstacle life through their way.

Okay, chemo brain is realllllllly hitting. I am going to go cat-nap.

Love to you all!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What Do You Say

I know have been quiet on the blogging front. We've hit this kind of stride and rhythm. It is also mentally challenging. All those little fear voices ("is it working?") trying to rob me of my time today. Lots of heart strength spent in recentering in the moment and not in the fear.

Spending a lot of time grasping the situation, integrating, and then there is the big to move on with such an undeniable uncertainty. How to make decisions, when the next day is so uncertain, and then long term, even more so. The challenge, how not to get stuck by this huge unknown.

And that is where it is sooooooo easy to get stuck. I was beginning to get to tight a grip on "I MUST HEAL". And there is the tension....this fear, that can just stops everything from moving and flowing like it must to truly live.

It all goes back to that clarity I had the weeks that started this journey. In the end, all we all have, really is this moment. And at this moment, I know my limits. At this moment I know my strengths. At this moment I can let all my past triumphs and mistakes be behind me, and just embrace this moment. When I try to control the future, I wear myself out and quickly become self-defeating.

In the end, the thing that gets me the most....that will choke me up EVERY time the people in my life really understand the love and admiration I have for them. Do they KNOW, I love them. Did I show it enough? Did I hold back to much? And how to let all those insecurities that have held me back in the to let them that whatever time I have left...10 months...or 20 to I live everyday without holding back Love.

I am learning to forgive my past shortcomings. Wipe the slate clean, and live without fear and only with Love. It is my only regret...the times I have held back Love out of fear. Whatever that fear might be.

Go love someone today,

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Something Fun

So, my friend over at CraftyDabbler blog, did this really fun thing. Instead of anything grand, or enlightened, tragic, or soap-dish-ish, (I have taken a week off from cancer), I just did this really fun thing.

The concept:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.

The Questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name

You can play too. Found at Pea Soup. (This is a copy from CraftyDabbler, but the link seems to be dead.)


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Jenna's Personal Update

So, today my energy is back. I can't get over how one really must move through this process with day-to-day in mind. One day (like last week) a new drug to help my bone lesions, gave me a 104.5 degree fever, and felt like someone was IN THE PROCESS of breaking bones and taking apart joints. I took all the pain drugs I could, then went into a hypnotic state for two days (literally). And slowly and day by day, climbed back out. The acute exhaustion and pain...woah.

Then there is today. I feel.....good. I think I can see where that new medication will be taking me. I have to take it once a month..."indefinitely". But the side effects are so severe with each dosage. I was told the first one is the worst. Again, wait and see.

Which brings me to a new point. I can tell from talking to you, some of you don't grasp. I will be doing Herceptin (blocks cancer cells from reproducing) and Zometa (stops bone tumors growing and fortifies the weak bones) indefinetly. Which is the gentle way of saying "until the cancer figures out how to get around it". Now, they have people on this for 8 years now. So it is good. But it is indefinite how long it will work. My port is permenant and I will be in treatment "chronically".

People keep asking when chemo will end:
When the tumors go into remission, I will be taken off of Abraxane.
I will then continue, once a month, with Herceptin and Zometa.

I however, I have hope in some CAM therapies that will really help the body hold in a healthy, I can keep this gone with my own immune system. I have read other who have. Can I? I don't plan to forgo medical care. But do what I can naturally to help. I daresay, forever !!!! My plan. We shall see.

Anyway. Had to give a reality check there for some of you. I think I have eased you all into this gently. Like the doctors try to do for me. So your head doesn't shut down and you keep on moving forward.

Most cases of breast cancer are "done deals". Those wonderful stories where it is all behind them. It is great we have come this far. There are those, who go to Stage IV, that I wish to give a voice to. We are kind of pushed out of the discussion table. Like cancer used to be in general. And to me, that is dangerous. To think "it is done". The work on breast cancer is NOT done. Cancer is luckily NOT a death sentence like it used to be. But there are still us Metastisized chics, who struggle through and hope. I am a lucky one. Herceptin seems to be working. And that gives me a LONG time to live and hope and work for a cure.

The past few weeks I have been struggling with this. How to live when you feel like you are dodging bullets all the time. And will be, if they are right.

I hope to find some other way to live through all of this. And I am. I return back to NOW as much as possible.

And today, I feel soooooooooooooooo great. Peaceful. Pain free. Loved.

Love to all of you,

Part Two Giving

So, part two about Giving.

This summer has been so healing because a very kind couple donated enough to cover the cost of in-home help for Bug/myself for the summer. Just 24 hours a week made the differences between extreme stress and balance. Just enough help, not too much help.

I know from talking to some of you, our situation surprises you, despite reading the blog. So I will explain.

I have tumors in my bones. This has been extremely painful and building since January. For months I thought, "I must have hurt a legiment in my hips doing yoga." or "I feel like I am going to fall on the floor and turn into a puddle...what is going on?". It ended in May with me going for help. I would sneeze, and end up on the floor cussing in pain. It got to the point where I had to lift my leg with my hands and get in into the car, the pain of lifting my own leg was unbearble. And I am one tough cookie.

I have two vetabrae with tumors in them. I had to stop lifting things as to not lose them.

Add in pain meds and chemo. I became pretty unable to do much for a long time there. Most mamma duties (like doing dishes) were too much.

So we needed help. And just in time. We were falling apart at the seams around here with me being able to take Bug to school, do dishes. Jim has been incredible. But still, no one can do that much.

When Becky started, life became centered again. She lets me do what I can, and then steps in where I can't. On days I can do more, I do. Last week, she came to help me through the 104.5 degree fever that had me unable to even sit up or roll over in my bed. Today, I feel great and she will do the running errands and lettting me read to Bug.

I say all of this because Becky is leaving. She is a teacher, and it is almost school time. We need another helper as I heal and literally get back on my feet.

Here is the issue. The money for new help is not there. And of course, the chemo bills, and scan bills are pouring in. On average, this adds at least another full time job per week to just cover the cost of childcare and medical care. Yet, I can't work (I am plotting and looking into what I could do from home......any ideas! Send them my way!!!!!)

How can you help? I hear panic. Feel the pulse increase. Stress. EEK! Stop that. Now.

Calmness and thoughtfulness get us through.

I can think of two things. I am going to add a "Donate" button to my blog. If you are friend, and want to help, you could do it through paypal. If you are a stranger to me, and find this blog inspiring, you could donate that way as well. I am working on the technicalities of that this week and hope to have it working by Thurs. I am also thinking of ways to say "Thank you" in return. I may post artwork I have done, and allow you to download it and use it as you wish. I am not sure, but I am simmering some ideas.

Any donated money will ONLY go to childcare/medical expense. Chemo alone is running us $1500 out of our pocket EACH WEEK. I am not going to panic. But it is a real issue and I know I/we can come up with some ideas on how to make sure we don't become one of those "They lost everything when cancer hit" stories. AH! Eeek! hehehehe. Not going to happen.

So, it is time to roll up those sleeves and think outside the box. Let's get creative! I know times are tight. But even 10 will add up to cover an $120 perscription. you:

Have the energy to do a fundraiser? Large to small? Some ideas:
  • Host a dinner party, and charge a cover fee. Make the sum a donate to help!
  • Have artwork or a handicraft you could donate to an online auction? The donation could help!
  • Have a business where, a very small percentage of sales on one item would go to help.
  • I know one friend is arranging a Yard Sale to create a donation.
  • Do you have a church that you could create a fundraiser through?
  • Are you a fundraising guru, and would like to talk? Give me a ring!
  • Want to hold a theme party and charge a cover? Give me a ring!
  • One famous CancerGirl was a DJ, and did a music showcase, all proceeds help cover help medical expenses.

Think outside the box. Get creative. I would do more of this myself, but really do have limited/unpredictable energy right now. But I have done them in the past. And nothing beats the rush of fundraising for a good cause. It is really fun, and a great challenge.

But I do need help. YOUR help. I am generating ideas on my end on what we can do in a variety of scenarios.
(the segment below has been modified from it's original numbers! These new numbers are lower and more accurate!)
So, the goal, cover childcare and some medical expenses for the rest of the year.
Childcare/in home care as need: $1000 month.
Chemo/medical expense: $1,200 a month.

This is beyond figuring it out solo. So, I reach out. To you. All of you, and ask that we see that communities of people are there for each other. Life isn't solo. Let's do this thing ;)

Much thanks, much appreciation, much love

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Flow and Cycle of Giving

Hello friends, family, and lurkers of the saga.

Pulling out of the new drug "horrid" zone. Nasty nasty week physically.

But it is passing. And I am moving on.

Onto practical matters. And matters of faith, giving, and receiving.

We need to talk. This a two-fold entry.


I have heard, one to many times, value judgements placed upon yourselves for what you can/cannot do, or give of yourself to help.

What it means to GIVE of yourself must really evolve.

RULES FOR "GIVING" (wether it be money, time, effort):

  • Give from the heart (not pity or fear, or shame, but hope and love)
  • Give only what you have free (to do so, this means you must build up reserve)
  • Give of yourself (if you are a painter, would you offer to do my taxes? No! Give you talent)
which leads to the last and maybe, most important rule:

  • DO NOT JUDGE WHAT YOU CAN OR CANNOT GIVE!!!!!!!!!! This blocks the flow of giving and you tend to "give up". eek! If the goal is to help, this really doesn't.
When the above rules are applied:
Listening for 2 minutes to me cry = driving me to chemo.
Cooking me a homemade meal = sending me a card.
Sending $50 to help cover costs = $1000

ZERO listening = Jenna gets depressed
ZERO driving = Jenna doesn't get to chemo with stress
etc, etc...

We are generous beings, but we tend to judge what is "good" giving.

We must think creatively and authenically when we help others. We MUST honor what our gifts are and give them to the pool. When we trust that we are all apart of the a larger net. This is what happens:

"I am a great cook, I will give that because this week, I can." Jenna is fed and healed.
"I can't help pay for a nanny directly, but I know how to run a yardsale, maybe I could raise money that way" Jenna can pay for a anti-nausea drug for a week.
"I know I have a peaceful heart right now, I can listen". Jenna can cry or laugh, and be healed.

When we view giving in very rigid terms, this all breaks down. The flow stops.

"I can't give much, so I won't at all" is just the silliest thing in the universe. It stops the flow.

Please don't judge what you can or can not give (time, assistance, money, friendship time). I value each and every effort. Sometimes, it really is the smallest thing that renews me energy and gives me the feeling that I am support and can relax into healing.


I think of it like rain in a dried garden. Every drop counts if the cloud has it to give.

This is my lesson. To receive. To ASK ( ouch! that pride).

Don't judge. Just do whatever you do with love, hope, and/or faith in the bigger picture.

Love to you all.
Part two in the next entry.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Ouch. Sorry for all of you waiting on return phone calls from me, but i have been incapacitated.
New drug. OUCH......owie, owie, owwwwwwww. 105 degree fever. Today it is down to 102-104. Sleeping. Pain is diminishing slowly too.

So if you have been waiting to hear from me, this is why you haven't. I will get through and call you back then.

Thanks for the blueberries Anna K. and for the phone calls Evelyn and Mel.

Sharon, ring me when you can.

Can anyone help us move back into our house this weekend? Saturday during the party maybe? Or Sunday as well. We will have a truck, and Jim will definitely need help.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Edgy Girl

I cried in my doctors office today. She looked bewildered, and started asking Jim what was wrong. hehehehehe. He gently explained that it was just adjustment and the perplexing nature of everything in my body in a constant flux. It was getting me fatigued, and weepy. So do those sterioids. My doc is NOT a therapist, it is not her calling, but saving my ass is and for that, I am grateful.

Todays experiment. Grow bones. Kinda. And it is probably gonna hurt.

So most of you know that I have tumors in and on the bones in various places. Shoulder socket, two vertabrae, and my hips. This HURTS. It has hurt since January. I thought I just overdid a Downward Facing Dog. But it is those bones. kinda getting eaten away at.

Can't says I understand how, but in the end, the drug that added today will reinforce my bones so they don't go crumbling down.

Don't get me wrong. My day isn't all sad. I am just willing to cry when crying is helpful in letting anxiety go....or crying because life is beautiful....or crying because my ass literally hurts. hehehehe.

I ran into Jane today, who gave me the most power infused hug I have had in awhile. She really gave me a zing of positive energy that carried me through my day, until mention was made of growing bone in kinda a painful way. Then medical fatigue set in. Thanks for the great strong hearted hug Jane. POWER HUGGER.

I am setting up to feel like "you will have a flu, with fever, bone pain, and aches" for 48 hours. The brochure said up to 5 days. Whatev'. Wait and see.

So I might be off the blog radar. Again. This weekend, I needed cancer-free living time. I got my haircut!!! Some kickin' cleanser for this acne prone face, and had some girls-only time. Good stuff.

Well, kiddo is back to tell my all about camp today. So I am going to hang with her and hear all about it. Then sleep.

Anyone want to make a realllllllllly simple veggie/bean soup? Would appreciate it much.

Love to you all!