Sunday, January 13, 2013
Well, today as I was preparing and doing my platoon duties, I have also done a lot of soul searching. I'm not sure why God continues to bless me so, but I am grateful.
On last report in with my oncologist, I am proceeding as well as or better than it was anticipated that I would. I can barely wait for my next month's appointment to see how my blood work has been doing the past few weeks. I just love that I am getting to be seen here locally instead of having to make a 3-hour drive to Kansas City and back.
The goal is to get me well enough to go back to KU hospital in KC, and have the benign tumor removed from my brain stem that has been growing considerably in the last 6 years. If I don't get it removed, one of these days I may lose muscle control and not be able to take care of myself or even be able to walk. So I am making getting healthier a priority in my life right now. Hopefully, the leukemia will go into remission and then I can have the surgery (although it is a very delicate surgery).
I am also waiting to hear the results of the rest of my siblings testing to see if any of them will be a match for bone marrow transplant in the future. It seems as though the doctors are wanting me, if at all possible, to have the brain surgery completed and me back on my feet and doing well again prior to the transplant. So, yes, I have a lot on my plate right now. One brother is not a match. It is my understanding that the chemo therapy should take me into remission but the only way I can even hope of a cure is by having a bone marrow transplant. (Incidentally, the benign tumor on my brain stem has absolutely nothing to do with my leukemia except that the leukemia hinders getting the brain tumor removed even though is need to be, and the brain tumor is a concern to all the doctors including my oncologist in case I should need a spinal tap in the future--as it stands right now a spinal tap is out of the question unless it is a matter of life or death as it could cause the brain tumor to cripple me in an instant.)
However, through all of this, it is my plan to stay as positive as I can, to exercise when and as much as I can (right now am recovering from a broken toe due to fall on my icy front porch concrete steps), so it's almost going to be like starting over for me. I have tracked my food to a certain degree but not been dedicated to it since getting out of the habit while being so ill. I have done so little intentional exercise since becoming so ill as well. But too shall change.
My goals at this time for SSS are:
1. Track all I eat.
2. Try to maintain between 165 and 169 p0unds where the doctors are happy as they do not want me "dieting" right now but I do have some limitations on what I can eat--just not how much. A nuetropenic diet is a real pain but if it keeps me alive and well so be it.
3. Get busy exercising where and when I can for at least 20 minutes x 5 days per week.
4. Do my best to encourage and support my teammates for the next 12 weeks.
5. Keep my sense of humor alive and well, keep a smile on my face, and remain gratefulness in my heart.
6. Drink more water. I am pretty much limited to water or weak tea (never did like full-strenght tea). I like a little lemon juice or lime juice in my water for a change of pace, but I do love my water these days. I just need to drink at least the 8 minimum cups per day and I haven't been succeeding at that the past week or so.
Anyway, I am ready to put on my fatigues, stand up straight with shoulders squared away, and march right into this next round as any good soldier would.
Here's to us, our team, and may we do well again this round.
Last, but definitely not least, a big thank you to my team for caring and being so supportive! I love you all and I want to also say thanks to everyone who is wearing the orange bands showing their support.
And thanks to all our leaders for making this team a good one--I appreciate your hard work.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
I know it is Halloween. I just got a glimpse of a witch in my bathroom mirror. Oh how I long to look at the lovely lady I have gotten so used to gazing at lately and dreaming of her at the 165-pound goal. My face, arms, especially my hands and my feet and legs are so huge with water weight. It is almost overwhelming so I don't concentrate on it too long at a time. I just have to remember underneath this frightful exterior there is a loving, caring, special person who is currently in survival mode. That is the top priority at this time. Cancer treatment is on schedule and looks promising at this time. one moment at a time is my motto right now.
I've contributed so much to Dracula; I know he is gonna party hearty tonight!!! LOL
Friday, October 26, 2012
WHAT HAPPENS IN HEAVEN WHEN WE PRAY?
This is one of the nicest e-mails I have read in a while. so I wanted to share it here, Juanita
I dreamed that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels. My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, "This is the Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received."
I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world.
Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.
The angel then said to me, "This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them."
I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth.
Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated there, idly doing nothing. "This is the Acknowledgment Section," my angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed.
"How is it that there is no work going on here?" I asked.
"So sad," the angel sighed. "After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments."
"How does one acknowledge God's blessings?" I asked.
"Simple," the angel answered. Just say, "Thank you, Lord."
"What blessings should they acknowledge?" I asked.
"If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy."
"And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity."
"If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day."
"If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 700 million people in the world."
"If you can attend a church/synagogue without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are envied by and more blessed than three billion people in the world."
"If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm. You're unique to all those in doubt and despair."
"Okay. What now? How can I start?'
If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you as very special, and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
Have a good day. Count your blessings. And if you care to, pass this along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are.
ATTN: Acknowledge Dept."Thank you Lord for giving me the ability to share this message and for giving me so many wonderful people with whom to share it."
If you have read this far, and are thankful for all that you have been blessed with, how can you not send it on? I thank God for everything, especially all my Spark people family and friends.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Day 5 @ KU
Assignment for writing class in Salina
You wake up, go to the mirror and a different face stares back at you. Now, you know this cannot possibly be, so your eyes are already blinking as you are moving to and fro, closer and then further away from the mirror staring at the new image. It's obvious that no amount of eye adjusting is going to make any significant difference. So you finally ask yourself why is this happening to me?
Well, life sometimes does this to you. You go to bed one night confident in who you are or at least oblivious to any change ever to subtle. What happens next is so completely unexpected it scares you. But, facts are facts. So you start a trip down memory lane about where you have been, what you have done, who you loved, who you have lost, who your support system is, and you realize you cannot change a thing. The past is just that--the past no matter what.
Next, you take a look at the present and assess just exactly what this entails. It can be exasperating at times, a great opportunity for expanding yourself if you are willing to do so, and of course a whole different journey than you ever imagined you would be traveling. How you choose to react to the formidable circumstances may vary from one moment to one moment, one day to the next day, and even one month to the next. However, the secret to survival is going to be entirely up to you. God provides a way but the choice is still yours to make.
You have a few choices available. 1.) Ignore it and hope it will go away; instead it will, in fact, fester until it boils over making you really ill. 2.) Deny it with much the same results as number one. 3.) Accept it and open yourself to learning enough about it to understand it to the best of your abilities. 4.) Keep a positive attitude/outlook. 5.) Pace yourself: Take one day at a time or even one moment at a time to help you get through the toughest times. 6.) Pray to your God, as you recognize Him, for strength and endurance. 7.) If you have a sense of humor, utilize it regularly because laughter truly is the best medication.
This is what you do to keep yourself as healthy as you can when that new image in the mirror stares back at you.
At least this is what I, Juanita, would do.
YOU WON'T GET THE BETTER OF ME
Cancer, cancer, image new
Go away you make me blue
No wait, it's okay
I won't ignore you today
You're ugly, that I can't deny
And it's ghastly how rapidly you multiply.
I'm going to accept that you currently have the leading role
But my team of doctors and my Jesus are the ones in control.
I've been reading all I can about you
My body has a lamina which is the glue
That holds my body together. It is much like the shape of a cross
Where my Jesus took his loss
When he died for me
In order to set me, a mere sinner, free
Whenever I get weary, I will picture this
In my head and feel the bliss
That God planted this cross in me
I saw a picture of this molecule and I believe.
I'll make a list each day to help me achieve
Reflect on it each and every eve'
So what if all I did not do
I did what I could to get me through
I'll pray when need be and twixt and between
My God has a good ear and he knows what I need and what I mean
Even if words escape me and instead I smile
For he has given me another day, another mile
I even thank Him for sharing a laugh or joke
That maybe helped some other folk
I may be ill but hope to never be curt
But my appreciation show with a kind word
I am adopting the entire staff at KU
They are the kindest bunch no matter what the crew
I'll arrive back home with memories of my stay
Secure that the best kept the worst at bay.
So, my rare cancer mirror image staring back at me
One of these days I will view a new face--one of glee.
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