Sunday, June 26, 2011

Extra, Extra...

  So you didn't hear it first here, maybe some of you have.  The chemo is over, I graduated!  The chemo also reduced the mass by 50%, so July 7th I will be having surgery to remove it and shortly thereafter, will be considered cancer-free!

  This is the best news I have heard in a long time.  I never gave up hope, never stopped believing in my faith. 

  I will tell you that a lot of changes are coming about and for that I am very pleased.  I have taken back control of my life and are asking people that have been a burden in it to kindly remove themselves. 

  Very soon, everything will be back to normal and I can finally go on with L. I. F. E.   (living impulsively, finding employment).  That is my new acronym for life.  It also has a new meaning for me. 

Life:  Breathing in every breath you can while enjoying everything around you.  Attaining your dreams as long as they are reasonable and cause harm to no one in the process.  Taking the time to actually listen to your children and hear what they are saying, although you may not agree with what they have to say, you can still listen.  Spending time with your children, whether it's playing some video game you dislike or sitting down to a wonderful, classic board game... they will remember this and that itself is priceless.  Finding a job you love, something that you will look forward to doing every single day until you retire,  not settling for something you hate because you are broke and desperate.  Finding the love and faith Our Father provides us the minute we are born and cherishing that for eternity.  Make more time for friends, for they will get you through any obstacle in your life, all you have to do is ask.  Get rid of the negative influences you are surrounded with, they will only bring you down and decrease your energy.  Strive to become a better, more compassionate person.  There is not enough people like that in this world.  Be not afraid of who you are, but be proud.  You are your own person and individuality is beautiful.  Love yourself, for you are amazing!

  So that my friends, is my new definition of life. 

I hope some of you take it to heart, for you are speaking to someone that has stared death in the face and did not like what they saw about their past life and hoped for a second chance to change it.  I got my second chance, and I plan to implement everything I have just said.  Not everyone gets a second chance or a wake up call, so I am passing along mine to you, are you up to the challenge?

I hope so, the world could use a new you.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lovey Bunny

  My 2 year old daughter's favorite stuffed animal in the world (at least at mommy's house anyway) is a half-blanket, half-rabbit that we have called Lovey Bunny since birth.  I received it as a shower gift when I was pregnant with her and on the blanket part it says "Thank Heaven for Little Girls".  It's so perfectly pink and soft and the moment I received it, I knew it would be special to her.  I didn't realize how special it would become to me...

  She doesn't part with it, she takes it where ever she wanders through the house.  I don't let it leave the house for fear of her losing her best friend.  She has a fit if she leaves it in one room and can't find it in the current room she is in, playing.   It's best Lovey just stay here when she goes to Grandma's for the weekend, or an extra few days as this visit turned out to be. 

Mind you, this last chemo was a rough one on my body.  The energy loss was worse and the heart racing hasn't stopped yet, although it usually does.  I have felt like I was on my death-bed.  Truly.  I didn't have Reni here to make me smile, laugh and giggle along with her as we played and tickled each other.  The other kids are so much older and they have their plans, their friends and their precious video games... and they would get mad if I chased them to tickle them.  Oh yeah, no energy to chase them, at least Reni sits still for it. 

  Being very sad and depressed over how I was feeling all day yesterday and into the evening, I needed comfort.  Something.  Anything.  Teenage boys, ha!  Their version of comfort is to throw you a tissue when you are crying and shoot you a look like you are a three-headed alien!  My teenage daughter was at a sleepover, so no compassion from her either.  It's hard when you are a single mom, where do you turn when you need comfort, some TLC and love?   LOVEY BUNNY!  If it works for Reni, maybe it will work for mom.

  That little bunny/blanket worked miracles.  Not only did it ease the pain of Reni being gone on a visit to grandma's house, but it eased my discomfort.  I understand why she loves her so, this sweet, pink little bunny.  I know Lovey Bunny has no magical powers, but magic did occur.  I felt close to my daughter just by cuddling her Lovey.  It made me smile.  I fell asleep cradling Lovey Bunny in my arms and woke up with her in nearly the same position.  I am looking forward to Wednesday when I can give my own Lovey a big hug and kiss, I have missed her so much while she was gone.  When I feel like utter crap, I really don't like Reni gone, her pure soul and beautiful spirit raise my own through the stratosphere.  Family is important to me and keeping her Grandmother in her life is as well.  Next time, maybe it won't be for so long.  If it is, I at least have a new companion.

Lovey Bunny.

Friday, June 3, 2011

....Until I Saw a Man with No Feet

You know the saying... I felt sorry for the man with no shoes, until I saw the man with no feet.  Another angel came to me in chemo yesterday and made me halt all my jealousy and pity for myself. 

  Recently one of my friends was deemed "cancer free" for the moment and boy, did the jealousy rise!  No chemo, no radiation, just surgery and yet is future his still uncertain.  But the moment I heard the current diagnosis, I was envious.  I know, pathetic right?  I felt a certain self-pity for myself that I have to go through all this crap and then my angel sat next to me in chemo yesterday.

  He wasn't an old man from the looks of him, but not close to my age that is for sure.  We started talking about our cancers and I found out he has an inoperable tumor on his brain and chemo is his last hope.  He has lost all movement in his left arm due to the location of the tumor.  If the chemo shrinks the tumor, he will gain it back, but it's still inoperable.  So, I became the (wo)man with no shoes and he became the man with no feet.  I felt horrible for even feeling a bit sorry for myself when I was literally talking to a dead man.  We prayed together both believing that God's healing hands can still work miracles on him.  I hope they do.  I loved his spirit, he was not depressed at all, he felt no pity, he accepted it for what it was knowing he was in God's hands.  Now, I know this too... that God is carrying me right now, but every now and then I let that knowledge slip and crawl back into my shell.

  Today I graduated from chemo!!  I will say "for now".  I have a CT scan in 2 weeks to determine if it worked on shrinking my tumor.  I am afraid it didn't but I can't let my fears get in the way of my faith that God shrank it for me.  I just don't want to repeat chemo.  It's been the worst experience of my LIFE!  I will take spousal abuse over chemo, I will take date rape over chemo (and yes, I can say that because I have been there and done that!) and I will take childbirth over chemo.  It's taken it's toll both physically and mentally.  I know I repeat myself a lot but I want to take care of my children, I want to work, I want to enjoy activities with my friends and not be a crumpled tower. 

  Rule #32:  Enjoy the little things in life (thanks Zombieland!)
I have decided to do a reverse style bucket list and appreciate what I have seen and done so far.  I am not ready to make that bucket list yet!!

1.  Sights I will never get sick of seeing:
     a.  My children's faces.
     b.  The Manhattan Skyline
     c.  My friends laughing/crying with me

2.  My 2 summers spent in Toronto

3.  The fact that I gave the greatest gift of all:  a child of mine to a couple that couldn't have them.  God Bless you Y and P for taking care of her, she is a magnificent young woman and I am very proud to call her my bio-daughter :D

4.  The times I had with my mother and the short time I had with my biological father before he passed when I was 2 1/2.

5.  Living in Tampa with my very first fiancee.

6.  Marrying those I married for each brought me children or a valuable lesson.  I still hold you all dear.

7.  The love of my life, which shall remain nameless, I am so sorry I let you get away.

8.  Living on a farm throughout my childhood.  It was the happiest place on Earth, forget Disney!

9.  My sister, without whom I wouldn't have had a strong woman for an influence in my life growing up.

10.  My brothers (at least SOME of them) who love me unconditionally just like my sister.

11.  Best friends who have stuck by my side through thick and thin.  Friends that continue to love and support me in many ways.

12.  My children that never waiver in their love and my final blessing from God, Reni whose laughter and smile make it all worth it.  (not saying the older ones don't .. she is just another one of my angels and I now know her purpose for being here, coming to me when the odds of getting pregnant again were stacked against me)

13.  Strangers that give, that teach me something new everyday and show me life is NOT over.

14.  GOD

15.  Starbucks

16.  My beautiful nieces and nephews and their children ( the ones that have kids at least), I can't wait to see them!

17.  Being an Elliott... so much pride in that name!

(these are in no particular order, just typed as I thought and I am too tired to rearrange them!)

I tell you all, take the time to enjoy the little things, count your blessing daily and you will be amazed at all you do have.  Stop worrying about what you don't have, for it will come in time when you least expect it.