CDC Symptom Diary Card

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Be The Light

Do you sometimes feel like this?  Doing something other than the intended activity???  In this clip I thought I was taking a selfie...ha!

I was up all night with never ending flushes of hot flashes and night sweats.  I am not sick, that I know of.  Today it has been one hot flash after another, after another, after another.  My ears won't stop ringing, I am exhausted beyond measure. I can't get comfortable in my own skin today.  Not sure what is going on.  I had an infusion of Rituxan and IVIG in the last few weeks, maybe that is it? 

I can't focus. So I write in my blog hoping that it will help.

When I feel like I do today I rely on prayer and reflecting on my retreat experiences, along with looking through photos of happy times with loved ones.  I don't have the energy to walk outside today.

This little clip was taken at a retreat center near Carroll, IA. I drove Sr. Anne Marie back home from our retreat for women with cancer. She had injured her back. It was an honor. Tiring indeed, but well worth it because I had precious 1:1 time with our Sister in Mary. I knew that she would bring along an abundance of protection for us with her guardian angels.

My mind and heart wander frequently to the memories of our retreat because those times nurtured my spirit and replenished hope for my future, no matter how it is revealed.

Please say a prayer for all those suffering with pain and angst from cancer or any other chronic condition, for those people are in need of light. 

Be the light.

God Bless you!

Visit Sr. Anne Marie's retreat:

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Prayer For Peace In Time Of Sickness

A Prayer For Peace In Time Of Sickness 

O Lord, Jesus Christ, Divine Healer, 
grant me peace of mind 
and perfect trust in You 
in my time of distress. 
Give me control over my fears. 
Grant that I may be cooperative 
and patient with Your Will, 
trusting that You will restore me to full health.


Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Reflections On Our Retreat

Reflections On Our Retreat:

The richness of this past retreat for women with cancer cannot be expressed or summarized in just one post.  

I walked away feeling so much lighter as we had released some of our spiritual and emotional baggage!

This retreat is: A Place of God's Love and our Blessed Mother's Love

A space of quiet calm where God’s voice can be felt and heard.
A place to see old friends and feel their hope and courage.
Where one newly diagnosed woman was being comforted by her sisters and the Lord, through the intercession of our Blessed Mother.
Where a woman who feels she is coming to the peak of her life on earth says she is now ready for the angels, after being in chemo for 6 years straight.
Where women who are NED living with the scars of cancer are seeking solace. 
Where women who are in treatment now wait scan results with greater peace and strength knowing there are no bad outcomes because our ultimate destiny is with the Lord.

Part One:

We are immortal!  This sinks in as I calm down from the tediousness of traveling to Corpus Christi.  The first night we gather for dinner, talk a little amongst ourselves, to get oriented to this place of peace. I call it my "oasis of hope".  It was wonderful to see familiar faces and to see new faces.  We take a deep breath of relief knowing that for the next 3.5 days we get to "Be with God" without interruption.  We will get to know our Blessed Mother and learn about how she helps us to reach our Lord, especially in times of sorrow and pain.  

Our first talk with Sr. Anne Marie is powerful, a gentle yet striking reminder that living on earth is not the endpoint of our lives. Our immortality is the foundation upon which the remainder of the retreat rests.  What matters to God is not our jobs, our income, our fashion, our hair, our cars, our clutter…..what matters to God and matters to each other is HOW WE LOVE.  How we love effects the manner in which we enter into our immortality.

How I interpret this:
Our baggage and emotions can and do interfere with how we love.  Releasing baggage frees us to live and Love greatly.

Before I go to bed and upon awakening in the morning and during the day I check myself:  How did I love today?  When I interact with family how did I love?  When I speak to my doctors and nurses, how did I love?  When I go to the store and greet my neighbor, how did I love?  These things matter and the energy we give is the energy we receive.  This effects our health, our pain and our outlook on our lives.  I am choosing to Love as much as possible.  I have not always been this way, especially when I was angry about my diagnosis. 

Ask yourself: How did I love today?  That is my question to you for now.  

Peace and Blessings,



Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Physician Assisted Suicide Is Not For Me

It is time for a serious discussion. Colorado is now opening up the option to allow physician assisted suicide for "terminally ill" patients and this is the wrong move.

As a cancer patient I am opposed to physician assisted suicide. As a person of compassion I am opposed to physician assisted suicide.  As a child of God I am against physician assisted suicide. As a human being I am opposed to physician assisted suicide.

Let me tell you why.

First trust that I know what stands before me in terms of suffering a death from ovarian cancer or its treatment side effects. Lying in bed with a swollen belly suffering concurrent system failure. I do not want to have this pain and suffering but I know that hospice and ongoing palliative care beforehand will minimize the pain. Maybe I will be graced with a death in the middle of my dreams and all my worries are for not......but that is not for me to decide.

Humanity, life itself exists in conception, birth, and natural death. We are advanced now and have more and more resources than ever before to support a person moving from this earthly life so that their final days can be in peace with family and friends, to help them, hold their hand as they make this most precious transition.

The desire to control our lives and our bodies is so strong that we will go to immoral lengths to maintain this illusion of control, going beyond reasonable and ethical means to achieve it.

To induce premature death is wrong in every way conceivable by me.  I look at this from a spiritual view and it is obvious to me that such actions are against God's Will. From a human perspective it is cruel and inhumane to deny any living person the right to pass naturally for in this process we also are allowed very special and unique graces that prepare us for eternal life.  This process allows everyone to grow and love beyond what they could have imagined and this can be done in a way that is not unruly and unbearable. Medicine has now advanced to allow for dying in peace without prematurely killing someone before the time has come naturally.

I need you to hold my hand as I go, not counsel me on taking a death drug so that everyone else can feel better about my death. The fear of death is so strong that we as a culture have fabricated in our minds that it is "ok" to kill someone before they are ready to go as some form of dangerously misguided compassion.

To help form some sort of boundary: If a person requires super extraordinary means to live of course they need to be let go to pass from earth naturally.   If a person is terminally ill and suffering as they are on their way to die naturally,  we are obligated as children of God and in all matters of human compassion and dignity to provide the best comfort care possible so that person is most restful and peaceful as they die.

Please do not tell me that you have given up on me and that you do not want to be with me as I go in a natural way.  Please do not abandon me in my hour of need.

God created me.  God is not to blame for any suffering I endure, either now or when my time to go has arrived.  God, through the death of His son our Lord Jesus Christ, knows fully and understands every detail of pain, angst, fear and suffering.  By living the Way of the Cross with Jesus I find comfort in my own suffering.  What this means is not that it is "okay" or "easy", no it is the opposite: pain is pain.  What this means to me is that there is purpose in this suffering, for each moment that I endure any form of suffering brings me closer to Jesus who suffered for all of us.

Knowing God and loving God is the way to learning how to face our death, to face our fears and to face our pain.

We are not here on this planet to kill each other, as some sort of mercy killing. No no no. We are born to be loving and to help each other, to serve each other.  If we stay on that track we will not abandon each other in their time of death but do the opposite: We will embrace this most holy time and support that person as they pass naturally from this earth into eternity. THAT is Love!

So instead of voting to support physician assisted suicide, vote to provide more resources to those who are dying and their families to afford time off from work, to make sure their are no financial barriers to palliative medications and to increase services covered by Medicare and Hospice that allow for companion care, nurses aides and paid family leave.

On a side note: At the heart of this problem is the independent nature of the typical "American" person. If you are from an ethnic family, such as an hispanic or asian culture, there is an automatic response within these cultures to adapt to changes within the family.  They move their parents to live with children as the parents age.  This process allows for the aging to have the support they need. People are honored more than money.  Making America Great again SHOULD mean enabling families to continue to honor their loved ones, NOT just acquire wealth and property.  Richness comes from people, love, relationships and loving God.

Our "independent" culture is not prepared to increase and maintain the resources necessary to allow for a terminally ill person to die naturally, painlessly, with their loved ones able to be at their side on a daily basis.  Never give up on believing in the true value of life and the life of those you love. They deserve to die naturally, supported with care to make this process as painless as possible, so that they can spend time enjoying each drop of sun, each drop of rain, sharing memories and smiles, and to say goodbye without haste.

On another side note:  I know that people in the medical profession are probably the most hardened when it comes to experiencing angst with human suffering, I understand that.  Take advantage of all possible resources available to help you, as a person of compassion,  cope with the ongoing exposure to suffering.  Your job is very important and if you are burning out seek a chance to work in a different area for awhile. Your heart and love is important, take care of yourself if you are facing too much suffering.

Strengthen our culture of LIFE!

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Food For Thought On Ostracization

Food For Thought:

I started researching this today because I saw an article about how isolation can
lead to an early death.

Being ignored is a form of ostracization, a slow social death.  Something to think about as we ignore the elderly, the sick, the homeless, those who aren't cool enough, those who aren't rich enough, those who are not "like" whoever thinks they are so important that everyone 
must be like them to be worthy of their time.  

I personally know women who have experienced this and it is unfair because when someone is on the receiving end of being ostracized, there is no two-way communication, no chance for reconciliation.  

And if you are in a position of being isolated, ostracized or abandoned, please seek counseling and participate in discussion groups, church activities, community activities and find old friends who can be there with you to help strengthen you heart.  

Prayer is a wonderful way to offset the effects of loneliness.

Peace and Blessings