CDC Symptom Diary Card

Friday, September 30, 2011

This is my dear mom.  Looking at her in this photo I see the true spirit of my mother.  She has in her hands my sister's Sketchbook Project booklet   Mandy is such a natural artist, as is my mom.  Even my brother is greatly talented.  My mom loves art.  In this candid moment I see her sincere deep joy in seeing my sister's works, and just being so so so happy for Mandy.

I am here to witness this joy!  I am here to participate in life and be with my family. There is no greater joy to me, other than my reverence to our dear Lord, than to be with my family.  All of my family, which includes you.

Thank you all for supporting Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, and a shout out to Tammy G. for wearing her teal shirt as she holds her precious daughter Lila.

The point of this post is that I could have missed this moment, but I didn't.  Thank you God.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dr. Oz and the test you can take to your doctor

Dr. Oz is a champion in the campaign to "Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer"  These images are selected from  Dr. Goff of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance appeared on his show and is a re-assuring presence in this fearful arena of OC.  

Please visit his website to learn about the lifesaving measures we can take to prevent Ovarian Cancer from growing out of control  

There is nothing I can personally add to this informative program accept to say that I wish my gynecologists and PCP from my pre-OC life were paying attention.  Don't let your doctor fall asleep at the wheel.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beauty in my Sister's Paintings


I am THRILLED to be participating in Poppytalk Handmade alongside so many talented artists. I invite you to view my latest collection of acrylic paintings and limited edition giclée prints from my DUST BOWL GLIMPSES series.
I live with my family in Seattle and have an affinity for the old ways. When creating my shop name I immediately thought of my great-grandparents and their parents who homesteaded in the early 1900s on the prairies of Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico. "weathered silo" pays tribute to my ancestor's resilience and resourceful ways of living off the sometimes unforgiving land and it's untamed beauty.
I look forward to meeting you. Cheers, Mandy

Friday, September 09, 2011

Mom I admire you

I have been asked many times by my Seattle doctors, and recently a psychologist, to identify what really kept me going every day.  It is not easy to identify the force that drives us to live, even when we are healthy.  When we are healthy, we wake up and live our lives.  

We go to sleep and start over the next day.  "Living" is up to God and is not in our control, but the "will" to live comes from another place.  I always look to God and find that the people around me give me the desire to keep going.

My mom was and remains a driving force behind my will to traverse the path of a new life, even when I just want to quit.  I'm in a tough spot, and need to get an actual life started again.  It's more about resources.  I have none....ha!  I just have to think positive and believe that I will be able to take care of myself financially.  That's all I can do.  

My mom believes that I will make it.

Although my mom has started dialysis, she is determined to remain independent and that means that I am being requested to keep looking for a new place and resume some sort of life, after cancer. 

 I could stay here forever, because I want to be here if she needs something.  She is so strong. I will miss her so much when I move out.

My mom is AMAZING.  She is more driven and determined and motivated to live than anyone I know.  She is a Type I diabetic, has been for over 40 years.  Usually Type I diabetics need to start dialysis after 20 years, but my mom has taken such good care of herself that she has been able to wait 40 years.

She has to work to keep herself alive every day, maintaining her insulin pump, checking her blood sugars, watching every calorie, and type of food.  Now that she's started dialysis, we find ourselves spending 15 hours a week at a treatment center and she is hooked up to a machine that cleans her blood.

This is her new life, machine one and machine two (insulin pump and dialysis).  If she decides to stop connecting herself to either machine, she will die.  

So she wills herself every day to connect to a machine, and live.  She too has pain, and complications, but just keeps on keeping on.  

She is so forgiving, so forgiving.  Puts me to shame.  One of her doctors could have given her a little better advice and it caused her some problems, but that is over now and she is just moving forward.

God asks us to be forgiving and love our neighbors.  I believe that God uses people around us to talk to us in subtle ways, and we need to just listen.  Be quiet, and alert, and open to the cues.

There are many other people in my life, family and friends, who give me "will" to keep going to find my new life, but I just wanted to spend a little time talking about mom.  

She is an artist, a debater, an activist, a rebel, a great caregiver, and a great grandmother.  Her creativity is endless and she is passionate about all people having equal opportunity and that all humans are treated with dignity.  She is so intelligent, and strong-willed.  She is very loving. 

I love you mom.


Friday, September 02, 2011

Direct from President Obama on Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Presidential Proclamation--National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Ovarian cancer continues to have one of the highest mortality rates of any cancer, and it is a leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States. This month, we remember the mothers, sisters, and daughters we have lost to ovarian cancer, and we extend our support to those living with this disease. We also reaffirm our commitment to raising awareness about ovarian cancer, and to advancing our screening and treatment capabilities for the thousands of American women who will be diagnosed this year.
Ovarian cancer touches women of all backgrounds and ages. Because of a lack of early symptoms and effective screening tests, ovarian cancer is often not detected in time for successful interventions. It is crucial that women know how to recognize the warning signs of gynecological cancers and can detect the disease as early as possible. I encourage all women to learn about risk factors, including family history, and to discuss possible symptoms, including abdominal pain, with their doctor. Now, because of the Affordable Care Act, a wide range of preventive screenings are available to women without any copayments, deductibles, or coinsurance.
My Administration is committed to supporting the women, families, and professionals working to end this disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services have started a campaign to educate women on cancers affecting reproductive organs. The National Cancer Institute is researching new ways to detect ovarian cancer, publishing a comprehensive study of the most aggressive types of ovarian cancer, and conducting clinical trials for new combinations of therapy. And this year, agencies across the Federal Government, from the National Institutes of Health to the Department of Defense, have committed to supporting ovarian cancer prevention and treatment research.
So many lives have been touched by ovarian cancer -- from the women who fight this disease, to the families who join their loved ones in fighting their battle. In the memory of all the brave women who have lost their lives to ovarian cancer, and in support of generations of women to come, let us recommit to reaching a safer, healthier future for all our citizens.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2011 as National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. I call upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health-care providers, and research institutions to raise ovarian cancer awareness and continue helping Americans live longer, healthier lives. And I urge women across the country to talk to their health-care providers and learn more about this disease.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.
Thank you Ovations for the Cure for letting us know