PCOH051610   51,181
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For a dear friend with only days to live.....

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I have a young friend who is in the final stages of her battle with cancer. While the disease has ravaged her body it hasn't taken away her spirit! She visits me at work every so often and asks how I am doing! Although she doesn't smile as much anymore (who can blame her) she has continued to go to school each day because she likes being around people.

I keep wondering if I would face a terminal illness with such grace? I think I would want to crawl under the blankets and feel sorry for myself and not be thinking of going to school and seeing people! God bless you, my friend, for you have taught me so much about spirit and positive attitude!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_BEAR_69 10/7/2010 8:31PM

    What an inspiration she is with her AWESOME attitude and such an amazing spirit. Praying for your dear friend...may God continue to bless her and touch her with His comforting hands.
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Helen

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CALGARYNEWF 10/7/2010 1:44PM

    Wow! It's sad that we don's all appreciate life like that. Your friend is an inspiration, for sure! Thanks for sharing with us. We all need a perspective check every once in a while.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 10/7/2010 11:39AM

    I have a friend who, in the last week of her life, made sure that a fellow worker had a cake on her birthday. From where I sit it seems really trivial, but I think when your days are numbered, the ordinary becomes VERY significant. You are blessed to know this young woman and to learn from her how precious today is.

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FLOWERDALEJEWEL 10/7/2010 6:46AM

   
Stinking rotten way to go, cancer. I don't know if I'd have too much grace either, I'd be as mad as hell.

Comment edited on: 10/7/2010 6:54:14 AM

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JHADZHIA 10/6/2010 11:52PM

    So sorry to hear about your friend. She sounds amazing. I agree with her. languishing in a hospital bed would be no fun. That she is able to get out and around is much better. This is giving you a chance to say good bye and cherish her memory all that much more..try to enjoy every last moment you have with her, its obviously what she wants..
In our province they have a Childrens Wish Foundation charity that I always support -it basically gets dying children (and young adults) anything they want in their last months, like a trip to Disneyland, meeting a celebrity, or even a computer, etc. Its sad there is a need for it, but its a wonderful idea..
Humans are very resilient. They take a lot of grief, horrific accidents and just about anything life throws at them, and somehow still manage to put a brave face on.
My thoughts are with you and your young friend
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TEMPEST272002 10/6/2010 10:22PM

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POOH_BEAR_69 10/6/2010 10:03PM

    What a difficult thing! It is amazing how the human spirit can thrive and go on even in the face of unimaginable adversity. The fact that she still wants to reach out and connect with others says a lot about her as a person. Please give your friend a big hug from me and tell her that we'll all be praying for her!

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OUBACHE 10/6/2010 8:27PM

    So many times good, dear, people are taken away from us too soon. I do think we are meant to learn from them and to keep them alive in our memories. Your friend sounds very brave and I envy her for living each day the best she can. You know, none of us can be sure how many days we have left, and should follow her example.

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GAYLE-G-63 10/6/2010 8:16PM

    Wow! What a wonderful young woman. I know I wouldn't face dying with such grace. Makes you really take a look at your own life.

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BTRTHANEVA 10/6/2010 8:05PM

    We only have moments to live. Sounds like your friend is making each one of remaining ones the best she can under the circumstances.

Perhaps there's a lesson here....

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KOOLNANA5 10/6/2010 7:37PM

    Prayers for your dear friend emoticon I don't think I cold have her awesome attitude.
Take care
emoticon Joan

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METALLICAT1 10/6/2010 7:02PM

    Sorry to hear about you're friend. She's a brave person and so should you be. It seems as if she's learned to cope very well, at least in front of her friends. So should you. Just think of all the fun times you could be having together now. Don't think about the future. Just start to worry when you don't see her visit you at work. But for now, just laugh and hang out with your friend...Enjoy life together.

Prayers to you and your friend.
Em emoticon

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Why God only lets our beloved animals live so long......my view!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Hello friends ~

I've just been exploring my SparkPage and am only now discovering all of the wonderful sparkgoodies people have sent me since I started my journey about one month ago. What was even better than the actual goodies were the accompanying notes! Gosh, you are such a supportive bunch and my wish is that I can return the favour!

Upon reviewing my list of SparkFriends, I've noticed that a lot of you are animal lovers like I am. Some of you have had a hard few months dealing with our pets' ailing health and having to make the painful decision that all of us must make at some point. I know what it is like because I've been there....twice....and it hurts.

During our most recent loss (May 2010) we had to say goodbye to our litte Peaches. Although I cried the day we brought her to the clinic it wasn't until a few days later that I really allowed myself to "let it out". I drove to a favourite walking spot of ours, sat on a huge muddy rock (in the pouring rain!) and basically "told God off" for taking her. Mind you, she did live to be 17.5 years but that was a mere pittance of how long I felt she should live.

Anyway, about an hour into my wild fit of grieving, sometime clicked with me and it has made a huge difference to my life. I'm a firm believer that animals are put into our lives for a reason and that we are the lucky ones to have them as opposed to the other way around. I remember thinking that I only had Peaches for 17.5 years but then I said to myself, "we were so blessed to have her for a day let alone all those years".

It is funny how simply changing the way you "say" things makes you think differently. I mourn her at different times but not as bad as I ever expected but I think it is because I keep telling myself how blessed we were to have her. It is my humble opinion that God only lets them live so long because he wants them in his life! Think about for a minute!

Don't forget to hug and pet your animals today! Also, get them spayed and neutered....there are so many little bundles of fur just waiting for the right family to come along!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CBEVNOW 10/7/2010 11:20PM

    So true, I rescued our Lexy , a Shar Pei from a Meth Lab. When i looked into her eyes i believe she rescued me.She is 3 years old, and I'm hoping God will bless her with a long and healthy life. If something should happen to me my son will take her. She loves him very much also. He takes her for rides in the car, and baths her etc. We take her for long walks, and she has neighbor dogs to play with. She eats organic foods and snacks. Of course i sneak her a shortbread cookie once in a while, as do other in this family, she is loved. But as you say she has given us all so much in return, her love ,her smooches ,her paw when she wants something. Yes Love your Dogs. Thank you for this beautiful blog. Caroline

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GOOZLEBEAR 10/7/2010 8:52PM

    I agree with you, wonderful blog and I so enjoyed reading it. You are never prepared for the passing of a beloved pet but you are right our lives are so blessed just by them being with us however long that is. I had to make the decision in Dec. to put my 14 yr. old yellow lab down and it was so hard and I miss her everyday but am very thankful for the time we had together.

Hugs to you and I know Peaches is playing with Honeybear now at the Rainbow Bridge,
Sandi

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 10/7/2010 8:34PM

    This brought tears because it is from the heart and so very true. What a beautiful tribute to you beloved Peaches.
Blessings and hugs,
Helen

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POOH_BEAR_69 10/7/2010 8:07PM

    AMEN! I agree completely... The pain is still there, but adjusting your perspective makes it so much more bearable! Thanks for sharing your epiphany... emoticon emoticon

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FLOWERDALEJEWEL 10/6/2010 6:09AM

   

It's hard to say goodbye to our beloved pets. I've said farewell to so many pets and I can remember every one of them, all their foibles and the funny things they used to do. I look at my beauties now and the silly things they do and all the cuddles and kisses they give and I figure whatever time I have them for is worth it.



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S3XYDIVASMOM 10/5/2010 9:11PM

    I've had my kitty 20 years. I tend to think we're on borrowed time. She's been with us through good and bad; it will definitely be the end of an era when she goes.

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TUBLADY 10/5/2010 1:07PM

    I know how you feel. I have often wondered why their lives have to be so short in comparison to ours.
When my beloved Honey Girl got leukemia and I had to make that heart wrenching decision to let her go to a better place. I never felt so much loss and grief . Still to this day I tear up when i think of her. She saw me through some rough times.
She herself I rescued from Hurricane Andrew back in 1992.
I am ever so grateful for each day she was in my life.
I have a cute lovable little Yorkie, Titan ,and I pray that we survive the rest our our lives together. I'm 68, I don't want to lose him and be alone. And I don't want to go and leave him. Although my daughter has said she will always care for him. I guess I shouldn't think such thoughts, but one has to be prepared.

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4ANEWME2DAY 10/5/2010 12:54PM

    emoticon

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GAYLE-G-63 10/5/2010 12:41PM

    Beautifully worded. You made me cry!

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Depression: Is "suffering" the right word?

Monday, October 04, 2010

The idea for today's blog came when I re-read what I had posted yesterday about coming up with, and listing, ten things I like about myself. It has to do with number 8 in which I stated "I laugh a lot....it fools a lot of people because they don't believe I suffer from depression"

I'm taking issue with my choice of "suffering" when describing depression. Sure there have been a lot of days when I've suffered but for the most part I would like to say "I'm living with depression". It doesn't flare up everyday nor everyweek but when it raises its ugly head it sure brings me to my knees fast enough to be actual physical pain.

I was first diagnosed as being "depressed" as a teenager although my doctor and I think I had it as a child. For the most part I was a very happy child except for March and November which brought a lot of gray skies and rain and drizzle. This trend continued into high school and into university and those months also coincided with term papers and exam preparations. Up until a few years ago, I was still having nightmares about not being prepared for a test, etc.

I've been suicidal twice and I don't want to go back there. I've felt like a lab rat at times as they tried to find the right combination of antidepressants to give to me. That, and I truly believed I would only need them for a short period of time and then I would go off of them. Not a pretty sight!

About a year ago, I committed myself to the local psychiatric ward where I stayed for one week. It was the best thing I ever did! It opened my eyes to so much. I know I'm not the worse case scenario but I also take pride in the fact that I recognized myself that I was going downhill fast. I think it takes a lot of guts to admit that!

So, although I said I'm suffering with depression, I'm proud to say that I live with it. I know the medication is working and I know I have to do my part to help myself too....hence the reason I joined SparkPeople! I'm learning to accept myself warts and all and I don't live in fear of depression anymore. Mind you, I don't embrace it either but I know from experience that the episodes will ebb and flow throughout my life. Things do turn around and I do feel better. The down times remind me of how good the good times really are!

Bless you all for reading this and learning a little bit more about me....and for accepting me anyhow!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 10/5/2010 2:02AM

    You are very brave to admit you have this problem, and good for you for seeking any and all possible treatment. A lot of people just sweep it under the rug..or ignore it and wait for it to pass out of the worst. I hope more people with depression read your blog and take heart from it.
Well done!!

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KNOWMOREBBK 10/4/2010 10:08PM

    This is a beautiful blog. It's open, honest and raw. I am so proud of you!

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GAYLE-G-63 10/4/2010 6:46PM

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I suffer from mild depression. You're absolutely doing the right thing. You're honesty is incredibly touching to me and should be to everyone. Kudos!

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Ten things I like about myself........

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hello SparkFriends~

Apparently I responded to a blog that a total stranger wrote last week when she was having a really bad day and suggested that she write out ten things that she liked about herself. We have since gone on to become SparkFriends and I am getting a taste of my own medicine. I'm really good at telling other people they should have better self-esteem but am lousy at it myself.

Can I really come up with 10 things I like about myself without sounding conceited and vain? Here goes off the top of my head:

1. Am a dog lover!
2. Have been blessed with a decent sense of humour
3. I remind a lot of people of my father who was known for his kindness
4. I am spiritual and believe in angels that come in many forms
5. At 44, I'm finally liking my red hair....now that it is turning grey and I colour it....go figure
6. I'm stuck.....okay, I'm compassionate
7. I'm open-minded about people's sexuality...some of my best friends are gay and so is my beloved brother
8. I laugh a lot....it fools a lot of people because they don't believe I suffer from depression
9. I'd give away my heart and soul if somebody needed it.....I gave away some of my wedding presents during 9/11
10. Okay, really stuck here now: I like the fact that I can talk about my depression for what it is and not try to deny it.

I think my face is actually burning from coming up with my list......see, I told you all that I find it hard to talk about my so-called good points! Funny how that is!

Maybe some of you will carry forth with this and post things about yourselves that you like!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_BEAR_69 10/13/2010 1:08AM

    Great blog...so glad to see that you were able to come up with 10 things that you liked about yourself!! AWESOME!!!

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GAYLE-G-63 10/4/2010 6:47PM

    Wonderful!!!

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FLOWERDALEJEWEL 10/4/2010 7:09AM

   

Yep us "Rangas" have to stick together even if we have to help it along sometimes with a bit of dye.

Glad to know you like to laugh, it's the best medicine, it makes you and everybody feel so much better.

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JHADZHIA 10/4/2010 12:53AM

    Nice to have a fellow red head on my buddy list. I like being unique with that hair color too. It is rapidly going white though. Although the only people to ever like it were little old ladies. It is hard to come up with a list of self likes. A lot of us are on this journey because we didn't respect ourselves, and gained weight not looking after ourselves as a result. Here is to learning to love ourselves!

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KAYDE53 10/3/2010 7:45PM

    I think we have a hard time listing our strengths because we're taught not to brag & we don't want to sound like we are, so we're afraid to give an honest assessment of ourselves!! In reality, listing our strengths is not bragging at all & you did a great job of it!! Have a great week!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 10/3/2010 5:21PM

    It's always easier to give good advice than take it! Good for your sparkfriend for encouraging you to walk the talk. Good for you for following through and doing it!

Why is it so easy for us to list our faults & so hard to list our strengths? I love your list and feel like I know the real you a little better now. We have a lot in common. We're both open-minded, compassionate, dog lovers who laugh a lot and also experience depression. I only wish I had red hair!



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Halloween Challenge - END of Week 1

Saturday, October 02, 2010

GO TEAM NO MORE BATWINGS!!!! emoticon

Hi!

As promised, here is my blog for the Halloween Challenge - Week 1....several days late, I might add!

Here are the scores I gave myself for the past week:

Nutrition: 3/5
Fitness: 8/10
Support: 8/10
Having Fun : I'm about to post a good site for great costumes 5/5
Blogging: 10/10

I'm attaching several pictures I got my husband to take earlier this afternoon! Don't the dogs look so impressed to be in Halloween gear! I think they are just ticked off that they had to share a costume and a hand-me-down at that!

My goals for the challenge are to be more supportive to my friends who have supported me and to try to get better at the nutrition side of things. I'm still having a very hard time getting enough calories. Somehow I am equating healthy eating with eating less!

Enjoy my pictures!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TANAGRINEWINGS 10/6/2010 2:47PM

    I love the pics! How cute! You are doing great on the challenge. Keep up the great effort!

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FLOWERDALEJEWEL 10/3/2010 5:38AM

   

I think that the pup in the first pic looks a little p'od with the costume LOL, got that look my dog does when I stick a hat on him.

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LOTUSFLOWER 10/3/2010 12:14AM

    emoticon Your dogs are so cute!! So are you! Love the pics!

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JHADZHIA 10/2/2010 6:13PM

    Love your photos! Such cute fur babies!! I love Halloween, its my favorite time of the year.
Keep up the great work!
As for being under calories -keep nuts on hand, they add calories fast with a heart healthy fat boost! I use natural almond butter for my calorie fat boost. I find if I am low on calories I am also usually low on fat too. I am stuck in that everything has to be low fat and no fat so I end up getting little. Even the bread I have has only 1-2 grams per slice!

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TEMPEST272002 10/2/2010 4:56PM

    I loved the dog pics, especially of them sharing the clown costume. Too sweet!

Good job posting your before photo. It's hard for us to do, but it's part of the process and in a few weeks, you'll be glad to able to see the difference.

You're doing great on the challenges! Don't forget to post your week totals on the challenge thread on Sunday.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 10/2/2010 12:39PM

    Cute pictures. I fairly often get to the end of my eating for the day and find that I am short on the calories. It seems odd to need to "fix" it when I'm not particularly hungry. I worry about it more if I'm short in the carbs, proteins, fats, or folate. And usually that IS what happens when I'm short on the calories.

Would it all be easier if I actually followed the prescribed plan rather than doing my own thing? Could be. It's probably not going to happen since I resist rigid plans and restrictions.

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