Thursday, March 09, 2017

Cancer Sites




I have been wanting to put together a comprehensive list of Cancer Sites together and so here I am finally doing it. These are not one Cancer over the other, merely a compiled list I have put together. Later I will be showcasing more of the ones who has offered me FREE products and such, but you will find a few of them already on the list do that. I hope this helps you in your quest for information, gifts, connections and freebies to some if that is what you are looking for. Whatever your reason, please let me know if any of these links helped you in any way! Enjoy!

Most of what I found was from this original site
https://breastcancerfreebies.com/good-cheer/

They seem to have the most links for freebies and contacts. Check them out even if you don't have Breast Cancer, because a lot of the links apply to other cancers as well and some of the breast cancer ones still will send you something if you are honest with them.

(these are just a few I have for now, but will add more later as I find them)

http://livebyliving.org/live-by-living-2016-summer-retreats/

http://www.campdream.org/

http://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/managing-your-care/mobile-applications

http://issels.com/

https://hopescarves.org/ (Free Head Scarf)

http://www.goodwishesscarves.org/request-a-wrap/ (Free Head Wrap)

http://heavenlyhats.org/ (Free Hat to those who qualify)

http://chemoangels.wixsite.com/chemo-angels-1 (They will send you cards to support you through Chemo and some gifts for free. Apply within)

http://www.cardcareconnection.com/ourprogram.aspx (Handmade cards to create, share and send to Cancer Patients)

http://www.thelydiaproject.org/

https://breastcancerfreebies.com/wigs/ (FREE WIGS)

http://www.divaforaday.org/ (Be a Diva for a Day for FREE)

http://www.threelollies.com/Default.aspx (They will send you a FREE sample box of Queasy Pops for when you are going through chemo)

http://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/learn-about-cancer-types/colorectal-cancer

https://cancercardxchange.org/

https://www.cancer.org/treatment/support-programs-and-services/patient-lodging/hope-lodge.html

http://sharsheret.org/product/financial-wellness/

http://cancercarecopay.org/

http://www.cancerandcareers.org/resume_reviews/new

http://www.cancerandcareers.org/en/community/events/webinars

https://www.cancer.org/treatment/support-programs-and-services/road-to-recovery.html (Free Rides)

http://www.corpangelnetwork.org/ (fly free if you need to get to a treatment far from home)

https://www.extendedstayamerica.com/acs-partnership (Discounted rooms to Cancer patients)

https://www.pparx.org/

https://conquer-magazine.com (Free newsletter)

http://www.curetoday.com/ (Free Subscription)

http://w4cs.com/

http://www.stowehope.org/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chemo-calendar/id385497865?mt=8

http://cleaningforareason.org/

https://www.dolphinsplus.com/dolphin-swim-programs/omas-dolphin-swim

http://sailingheals.org/

http://lotsahelpinghands.com/

https://www.caringbridge.org/

https://www.carepages.com/

http://csc.mylifeline.org/getstarted

https://breastcancerfreebies.com/special-interest-groups/

https://breastcancerfreebies.com/how-to-give-back/

Here are some local freebies around the nation:


Places I do fundraising you might want to look into:

Bravelets (Be Brave Jewelery and Fundraising Opportunties)

https://www.bravelets.com/bravepage/trishatrixie-s-fighting-colon-cancer-fabulously

Life's Abundance (Health and Wellness for People and Pets)
https://www.lifesabundance.com/Home.aspx?Ath=True&hdr=&cat=4&realname=20267252

Dragontree (this is an affiliate only, must be invited)
https://dragontreeapothecary.com/products/dreaming-and-planning-create-a-meaningful-life/?aff=180



Of course there are the basics:

American Cancer Society
wwww.cancer.org

Patient Access Network Foundation
www.panfoundation.org

Patient Advocate Foundation
www.patientadvocate.org

Cancer Care, Inc.
www.cancercarre.org

Patient Services, Inc
www.uneedpsi.org

The C.H.AI.N Fund, Inc
www.thechainfund.com

Fifth Season Financial Corp.
www.fifthseasonfinancialcorp.com

Where There's a Need
www.wheretheresaneed.org

www.cancer.net

www.cancer.gov

www.webmd.com

www.medicinenet.com

www.mayoclinic.com

www.chemocare.com

www.cancerhopenetwork.com

www.thewellnesscommunity.org

www.cancerlegalresourcescenter.org

www.canceradvocay.org

www.lbbc.org

www.netwrokfostrength.org

www.ccalliance.org

www.leukimia-lymphoma.org

www.livestrong.org

ww.mylifeline.org

I am sure there are more I will and can add along the way. If you know of any, please comment and I will add it and update this list regularly. Remember, these are resources i have found and i am sure not extensive enough, but every little bit helps.

If there is anything else I can do to try and help you while I am also on this journey, please do not hesitate to ask.

Also I welcome any stories or comments you desire to share regarding your journey or someone else while along this path.

Until Next Time,

TrishaTrixie



Suggested Cancer Fighting Foods and Supplements



I found this site today while looking up what other supplements I should be considering. the good news is that I already am taking most of these. I will have to do research on the rest of them and give the list to HunePants to explore as he is the best researcher int he house and knows more about the herbs and things than I do because his family has a Health and Wellness shop in Racine, Wisconsin called Sheepish www.sheepish.us if you want to check it out. Here is the info I gathered from the site linked at the bottom off of Cancer Tutor...

(mind you this is not MY list, but one that I found and have combined a few of the articles together. please check out the links for further detailed information)

CoEnzyme Q10
Vitamin A
Vitamin B Complex & Folate – a B vitamin
Vitamin D(D3)
Vitamin E
Cod Liver Oil
Selenium
Potassium
Ginseng
Echinacea (herb)
Vitamin C &
Bioflavonoids
Green Tea
Tumeric (Curcumin)
Berries (especially blueberries / bilberries)
Soy (Genistein and Isoflavones) – e.g. soy sprouts
Garlic
Red/yellow Onion / Quercetin
Watercress
Broccoli and other dark green leafy veg
Whey protein
Zinc
Borage seed oil or Evening Primrose seed oil &
Fish (or fish oil) (but not shell fish)
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)
Lipoic acid
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
Melatonin (sleep hormone – take at night)
Chromium
MSM-Methylsulfonylmethane or Dimethylsulfone
Cox-2 Inhibitors


No more than 25-30 percent of a person's diet should consist of foods high in Vitamin K, which include:


  • broccoli,
  • brussels sprouts,
  • cabbage,
  • collard greens.
  • cucumber peel,
  • endive,
  • green scallion,
  • lettuce,
  • mustard greens,
  • spinach,
  • turnip greens,
  • and watercress.

Garlic should be avoided for other reasons. Onions should be eaten in moderation.
While proteolytic enzymes are blood thinners, it is best not to try to balance blood-clotting foods and blood thinners. It is best to use moderation on both sides of the issue.

With regards to a cancer treatment, every food that we eat or drink can be categorized into categories:
  • Foods that feed and strengthen the cancer cells and/or the microbes in the cancer cells and body. Examples would be refined sugar (e.g. see: Challenge Cancer Website), refined flour, soda pop, dairy products, etc.
  • Foods that cause cancer (e.g. trans fatty acids [margarine, French fries and virtually every other processed food you buy], aspartame [Diet Coke, NutraSweet, Equal, etc.], MSG, polyunsaturated oils [e.g. corn oil], etc.)
  • Foods that directly interfere with alternative treatments for cancer (e.g. chlorine, fluoride, alcohol, coffee, etc.)
  • Foods that occupy and distract the immune system from focusing on killing the cancer cells (e.g. beef, turkey, etc.)
  • Foods that contain nutrients that kill the cancer cells, stop the spread of cancer, or in some other way help treat cancer (e.g. purple grapes with seeds and skin, red raspberries with seeds, strawberries with seeds, broccoli, cauliflower, several herbs, carrots, pineapples, almonds, etc.)
If you are too weak to eat, there is an absolutely required food: organic beef broth.

Foods to Avoid :

Meat
Sugars and refined grains, including white flour
Salt (and salty foods – e.g. soy sauce)
Corn oil and most common cooking oils (use olive oil)
Margarine and other products containing hyrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils

https://www.cancertutor.com/cancer-diet/

https://www.cancertutor.com/mirror_lymphoma/

Hope this list helped you out in some way for yourself or for someone you love and care about. I knowit opened my eyes to foods and things I might need to take a closer look at!

Until Next Time,
TrishaTrixie

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

7 Steps to Caregiver Love

My mother recently reminded me, as a caregiver herself, that we on this side of the fence often forget our wonderful caregivers who are there to help us.

I am so ever grateful to my Hunepants for being my caregiver and honestly don't know what I would do without him. So to pay respects to all caregivers, here is a little post just for you. This is for US patients and those around us to remember the caregivers as well as the needy.

I recently was hospitalized and didn't even think about how much he needed a break from me as well. Times like these help those us who have caregivers hopefully realize that they do a lot for us and we need to not be so dern grouchy, irritable and insensitive. We need to be thoughtful of those who cNOTare for us and do so much. So here is a little post for the patients to remember the caregivers. This is NOt a post for caregivers on how. This is for YOU the one who NEEDS that caregiver to remember them and be thinking of them.

1. They probably won't do it YOUR way.

No, they probably won't put the dishes away where you want them to go, and no they probably won't do the laundry the way YOU like it done. Who cares? At least they are TRYING to help out and do their part.  Be happy and THANKFUL they are helping. they could just leave everything for you to do as well as trying to be the patient. Even if they only do ONE thing. Say thank you. Be thankful. show them thanks the way they like to be thanked. If you don't know how they like tobe thanked....find out. It matters.

2. Consider hiring help

Maybe you can't afford to hire help as in a home health aide or maybe insurance won't cover it. My insurance won't cover an Aide, like my sister is, to help people clean and do shopping, but they will allow me to have a Health Nurse. This week we are considering hiring one to help out so he doesn't have to be the doctor, the nurse and everything else too.

We also have started hiring someone to come in and do Prep Meals for us and clean every other week. I can't do most stuff, but getting down and scrubbing toilets and showers are not in my wheelhouse right now and he is the one working and paying the bills so I don't think he should have to either.

Plus, as a joke, now we always have someone to blame as in "Oh, where did M, put that this time?" or "Must be M's fault we can't find anything." I told her and she laughed so I know it doesn't even bother her and this takes the stress off us.

3. Do little things for them once in awhile

This morning, after being in the hospital 4 days and nights, I was so thankful to be home, that I got up early and made Hunepants tea the way he likes it. I also woke up early and told him to get in bed, because most nights he sleeps on the couch as not to disturb me and sometimes him to so he can get some rest. I would have made him breakfast too but I actually haven't been paying enough attention to know what he eats in the morning anymore.

Note to self: pay attention to the little things as well

By the way, he made an English egg muffin with turmeric and cheese. simple. DUH. Maybe tomorrow If I am feeling well I will make him tea AND breakfast.

4. Use your resources

I have a church family who offers me meals. Many churches offer this or other community members. Think about your friends and other family who may be able to give you rides, clean, do things for you so the caregiver doesn't have to. There is no reason on earth and no one said

"The caregiver has to do it all for you." So stop expecting them to. Use what your momma gave you, yourself and use your resources.

5. This may not be "short term"

You or your caregiver may have thought "Oh I'll just help out for a bit." Next thing you know it's 4 or more years down the road and they are still helping and you are still griping.

"Did you know, most caregivers have been helping out their loved ones for 5 years or more?"

That little bit of helping has maybe turned into a lot of helping. If they, like my spouse, are the breadwinner too (meaning they bring in the $$), that is a lot to take on. Be aware of your needs as things progress as not to over stress your caregiver. think about the other things I have mentioned, like hiring help, using your resources, etc as a way of helping out.

6. Caregivers have mood swings too

You don't get to be the only one who gets to fly off the handle one minute, cry the next and then be happy. Sorry folks, we are both humans here. Unless you found a way to have a robot as a caregiver and are rolling in the dough, most likely your caregiver is human and has emotions JUST LIKE YOU.

GO FIGURE.

Remember that. So give them a break like they give you a break too. Let it pass. Breathe. Let them have their mood swings too. Realizing that you both are gonna have these up and down days, moments and time really will make things a lot easier.

Now, that being said, I don't think it is wrong to point it out on either side of the scale. Sometimes, maybe you don't realize that you are being a raging B* and sometimes maybe they don't realize they are being a royal arse. Not rudely, but kindly maybe ask if things are ok and if they realize they are being that way. they can do the same do you. This is a rule in our house we allow. That doesn't mean either of us are going to stop being that way, because in reality, sometimes you just need to let those emotions out. We just go to our own corners (areas of the apartment) and let the emotions surface and then it tends to dissipate on it's own. That may or may not happen for you, but it works for us.

7. Make sure they have their ME TIME too

They need to take care of themselves. They need time to themselves. They need to do their own thing and release all that they are dealing with...YOU. They need to nourish their own souls too. Let them have that time. Make sure they have that time if they aren't already. Be patient when they want or need that time.

My Hunepants likes to play video games. he likes to code. He likes board games. He likes to read news online. these are none of the things I particularly like to do, except the Board Games part. So I give him his space. I let him have his morning to read Reddit (boring to me) or listen to CPR (Colorado Public Radio) in the car (again boring), but I know it makes him happy so I let him do these things.

Whatever your caregiver likes to do for their time, let them do it. don't make fun of it. Don't hassle them about it. It isn't YOUR TIME it's THEIRS, so ZIP IT and just ALLOW IT.

You both will be  happier.

My mother likes to help others, sew, craft, bead, quilt and write. Sadly, she doesn't always get to do these things and I am on her constantly about her having her own time. She can't just be the errand girl or the doctor girl or the nurse. She needs her time too. (Are you listening mommie dear?)


*********************************************************************************
All in all, obey the Golden Rule. Treat others as you want to be treated. 

Until next time,
Always Be Fabulous
Trisha Trixie













Saturday, January 14, 2017

Feisty, Fierce and Fabulous in 10 Easy Steps

This year I have been working on focusing my goals, desires and habits towards positive and uplifting things. a friend recently bought me a gift of Brave Girls Club courses and then today I got invested in Daily Om Courses.

Out of all the things that seem to resonate with me the words of my title are what keep popping out to me

 FEISTY FIERCE AND FABULOUS!!



I strongly feel that is what I need to power through this year.

I need courses and guides and planners and dreambooks that put me and keep me on this path.

So far January isn't over yet but I already feel like I have a great plan for my upcoming year to do just that! Stay on the path. I laugh inside because my mantra for my successful businesses in teh past few years have been "Stay True to the Brand". Of course, why wouldn't I do the same with my own personal life. Stay True to My Path. or Stay True to the Path.

To do this, here is what I have done so far.

Step One: Buy Dreambook and Planner from Dragontree http://dreambook.vision/



Step Two: Work Dreambook consistently to focus on my one year, three year, ten year and lifetime goals. (not an easy task mind you when one is fighting colon cancer) As well as stay up to date on regular planning, note taking and journaling.








Step Three: Stay active in Dragontree Facebook group for inspiration and motivation for the plan
https://www.facebook.com/groups/dreamingandplanning/?ref=bookmarks&qsefr=1


Step Four: Get reactivated in Brave Girls Courses (These really helped me back in 2011 when I was really struggling with some interpersonal things and I just knew it would do the same for me now. I am very grateful to my friend who bought me a 3 month subscription to this as a gift)
http://my.bravegirlsclub.com/courses



Step Five: Join Bad Ass Habits from Daily Om (I have done the first two days and am already enthralled with this course)  The habit I have chosen to focus on is Daily Yoga practice. I have had some pretty severe muscle fatigue and neuropathy in my body and hands from my first round of Chemotherapy. Lock jaw, teeth sensitivity as well, and slight nausea, but those went away in a few days. The muscle fatigue and the pain in my hands has been more than I can bear. Luckily after doing two days of yoga, I can type and function with my hands again. Which, for a blogger, make a HUGE difference in my overall emotional well being. I jsut always feel like even I am just typing my words down and no one reads them, I am getting those emotions out and that alone makes me feel better. Then add to it the fact that someone MIGHT see my posts and I MIGHT make a difference in someone elses life, that means the world to me. http://dailyom.com/cgi-bin/courses/courses.cgi



Step Six: (This is SUCH a girl thing) Only use the Bad Ass Purse. The Bad Ass Purse is black leather, studded and looks like a motorcycle bag to me. Motorcycles are bad ass, so to me, this purse is also bad ass, kick ass. It makes me feel empowered to use it and make me feel like I can conquer anything.



Step Seven: The Bad Ass clothes (again such a girl thing) I have a black vest that I wear as often as possible. I have been using black eyeliner nearly every chance I get. I put hair chalk in my hair to bring out the fierce and feisty and fabulous in me. I wear what I want, when I want even if others think my style might be a little outrageous. The more outrageous the better! I wear my kick ass (but easy to get into) suede boots or my little gray ones with a silver buckle because both of them say FIERCE to me.



Step Eight: Use Asana to keep all my projects in line and to stay on top of my goals and habits for this upcoming year of 2017 www.asana.com



Step Nine: Update and follow my Pursuit of Excellence Goals for this year. Also place in Asana to stay up to date with it. https://trishatrixie.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/pursuit-of-excellence



Step Ten: Live life to those ideals I have laid out. Remember to be Feisty, Fierce, and Fabulous no matter what, all year long, every minute of every day!






XoXo~ Trisha Trixie

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Long Distance Cancer Love: How to Support a Cancer Friend when You Live at a Distance



Many people do not know what to say or how to support their Cancer friends when they live close by but it is much harder when you long distance and really want to reach out or help or connect with someone you know who is going through a cancer battle.

Here are some tips I found from "When Your Life is Touched by Cancer" by Bob Riter


  • Send notes of support. Let them know you are sending positive thoughts
  • People with Cancer often get lots of cards in the beginning but after things go on, those cards of support trail off. Be there for them by constantly sending cards and letters of support throughout their WHOLE battle. Not just at the beginning. The cards and notes they receive weeks and months after are especially treasured
  • Don't be discouraged if you don't get a response or they don't answer their phones. People in treatment often need to conserve their energy.  Know that your contact and attempt at connection really does mean a lot.
  • Educate yourself about their cancer. (Mine is Colon Cancer) Colon cancer is much different than lung or breast cancer. Knowing things on your end makes it easier for them so they don't have to keep explaining which can and does gets very exhausting.
  • Call, even if it feels awkward at first. Though they may not always remember what you said, they will remember that you called and cared.
  • Small gifts, unrelated to illness, are always welcome
  • Reach out to the primary caregiver as well. They are facing a rough road as well having to be the strength and support for their loved one.
  • Take part in cancer walks and donations to help out. It means a lot.
  • If you cant call or write, let them know via social media or text "Thinking of you" or things of that nature to help keep them boosted and supported.
More than anything the person dealing with cancer will appreciate the support in whatever forms you can give.

Distant friends and family can help people with cancer maintain the sense of who they really are and were before cancer.

Don't make their cancer or diagnosis or treatment about you. This isn't a time to be concerned with you, or your feelings, or how their cancer life affects you. This is a time for them. To be there for them. To love them. To care for them. I know I have had a few people say to me how much it hurts them that I have cancer and they can't be around me. It hurts when I hear that because I really want to say to them "You know this isn't about you right now, right?" But I don't. However, I will and am saying so right now so you understand how hard that is for a cancer patient to deal with because it isn't fair for me to have to console YOU about MY cancer.

If you feel cancer is changing your friendship, hopefully it is for the better. Be there for them. They really need you right now. they need your love, care and concern.

If you live close, then by all means, help out when and where you can. But don't bring sickness, illness or sick children around them as that could hurt them more than you know. their systems are weakened by the chemo and illness is deadly to a cancer patient. As much as you want to help, being sick doesn't help in the slightest.

Overall, just being there matters.

Show you love and kindness for them in the best way you can, just show it, do it and be there, one way or the other.

It will mean more than you know, even if you never get a thank you. A cancer patient is overwhelmed and going through a lot more than they proably share or talk about it. Be respectful and help them through it by not making it harder.

Send your love and light and let them know how much you care.

Until next time,

Trisha Trixie 



Monday, January 09, 2017

Cancer Life: Timing is Everything


When the stars line up
And you catch a break
People think you're lucky
But you know its grace
It can happen so fast
Or a little bit late
Timing is everything
You know I've had close calls
When it could've been me
I was young when I learned just how fragile life can be
I lost friends of mine
I guess it wasn't my time
Timing is everything
And I could've been the child that God took home,
And I would've been one more unfinished song
And when it seems a rhyme is hard to find
That's when one comes along
Just in time
You can call it fate
Or destiny
Sometimes it really seems like its a mystery
**************************************************************************************************************************

I know that some people find it every hard to watch me go through this trial of mine. It isn't easy actually going through it either. When I hear this song, I think how lucky I was for the stars to line up at this time. I am sure many who know me might think what a whacked statement that is, since the doctors did NOT listen to me for the past few years when I kept telling them something was wrong. But you see, I can't stay mad about that. I had my moment and now I am passed it. Time to move on. Timing is everything, in all ways and in all places. The timing for me to meet Dr. K, was perfect. The timing for him to find out what was wrong with me, perfect. I got the right doctors, at the right time to get the best treatment possible. I feel like I caught a break. I got lucky. If we didn't find it now, it would have progressed further and I could have died. Now, I have a fighting chance.

I've had a few close calls in my life. Not just with this, but with other things and it wasn't my time. I was young, ten years old, when my father passed. I learned very young, just how fragile life can be. I've moment since then, that by the grace of God I am still alive.

I could have been the child God took home.

But he said "Nope, not done yet!"

I still have lessons to learn and life to live.

I still have starfish to make a difference to. I might be the only one throwing them back in the ocean, stepping into their lives and making the change in their life, that puts them on a better path or on the straight and narrow, or even that ONE someone who changed their whole life. I will never know, but I Do know that I am called to save those Starfish. If you are one of them, thank you for allowing me to make a difference in your life. Thank you for allowing me in. If I don't know you, and you are reading this, perhaps my journey will the difference you need to see. Believe in love. Believe in faith. Believe..
Together we stand. 

You and me babe! We've got this!
Until Next time,
Xoxo Trisha Trixie


Living with Cancer: Know When to Hold em



You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done
Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away
And knowin' what to keep
'Cause every hand's a winner
And every hand's a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die
in your sleep


Life gives us all different hands. We are dealt those hands and can fold and walk away or we can be strong. Right now, I'm holding em! I am holding my own and fighting the best I can. I am keeping my poker face up and trying not to show my hand. If you look at me, I want you to wonder what I have in my hand. I don't want to show that my aces are gone. I am not going to think too much about this all because "There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done"

Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away
And knowin' what to keep
'Cause every hand's a winner
And every hand's a loser

I always see my hand as a winner, even if it were my time to go because this is the hand I was dealt.

I wear my pain with a smile on my face and encourage you to do the same. No matter WHAT you are going through. You can do it1 If I can do it, you can too!

Fight.

Go to the mattresses.

POW POW

Now, let's kick some cancer butt, shall we?

Until next time,
XoXo Trisha Trixie


Friday, January 06, 2017

Shooting Out the Walls of Cancer



Shooting out the walls of CANCER BANG BANG  I AM THE WARRIOR!
Today is Friday January 6th and I keep thinking about Monday January 9th, my Chemo day. Day one. How do I approach this? For me, there is only one way...to be a WARRIOR. Fight this with everything I've got! Put up my dukes, bounce around on the stage, and fight. POW POW!

What other way is there? To lie down and let it take me? Hell no. I've gotten this far through everything in my life, I am not about to let Cancer win this battle! I am a fighter, I will fight Cancer, I will beat chemo and I will succeed and survive! 

Bang Bang, I am the Warrior!

Watch out Cancer, I'm coming for you!

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Hardest Year

It's 2:40am and I have been up since Hunepants came to bed at 1 am. No matter which way I turn, my chemo port hurts, is uncomfortable and bothersome. I finally decided to get up about a half hour or so ago because I couldnt' take it anymore and I started getting very hungry. As I finished a show I had been binge watching (FRIENDS) I started balling and crying my eyes out. The only thought that came...THIS WAS THE HARDEST YEAR...

I looked back and remembered this time last Christmas. We were newlyweds, enjoy our first Christmas. First Christmas as a married couple. First Christmas in Colorado. First Christmas away from family.

We sent small gifts and I made treats for everyone. We sent my mother in law holiday cups from Williams Sonoma...this year we drank from those cups and as I set the table, it took all my might not to burst into tears.

In January, sadly right before her birthday, my mother in law passed away. She had Bechets and her immune system was often down. She had a minor cold, that turned crucial. We had just spoken with her the Sunday before. It was all so surreal. A week later she was gone. I was married for five months. Five months and no more mother in law. She was so kind and sweet and loving. Most of all, she loved me for me. I have been married before and I have never felt truly accepted by any of my past in laws, but I did by her.

Looking back, I remember the beginning of 2016. I had such high hopes for this year. I was going to make 200 aprons and donate them to the DSM Womens Club. I as going to be a Mindfulness Practitioner and help those to overcome their trials and adversities in life. I was going to do so many things and accomplish so many goals. I even did the Pursuit of Excellence this year and created a plan in Asana. I thought I was going to conquer the world this year....

Then, death happened. She passed away.

The grief overcame me. We lost her in May but they didn't set the memorial until June to go to Pickeral Lake, where all their family summered each year. Holding onto that pain until June was very hard for me.

It was a culmination of things. Remembering the loss of my father when I was young, losing a mother in law so early into our marriage, being there for Hunepants to be the strength and support for him through this trial and then the hurt from on of his family members who lashed out at me,  constantly telling me to stop being in pain because it wasn't about me. Which to this say bothers me because though I know that mentally, I felt like she was trying to stifle my feelings, and I felt I should have been allowed to feel what I felt.

I found a therapist and learned EFT and talked through the issues. I moved past things. I overcame, once again.

Then I tore my rotator cuff doing my New Year's Intentions to get more fit when I was lifting weights. I found a local doctor and started seeing him for the issue. He was an Ortho doctor and family so I chose him. (later I regretted that) He helped me get the right physical therapy, dry needling for my back issues, and got me back on track physically.

Mid year, we moved apartments to the other side of the building. The week of the move, I got terribly sick. I just kept vomiting over and over. We just assumed it was a stomach flu or something I ate. It didn't let up and I wasn't much help in the move. After speaking with my Chinese doctor, I was given some herbs to help out. My regular doctor was no help at all really. I told him of my issues and complained about bowel problems. He, like all the other doctors, said it was just IBS and not worry.

June we went back to Wisconsin and I felt like I walked around with baited breath. I was afraid I would be overcome again and the family member I had issue with would once again come at me, telling me to stop being so upset, that it wasn't my family and that it isn't about me. I did my EFT training and pretty much stayed to myself. Then another family barked at me for something completely unrelated and I lost it. I didn't even want to spend time with the family out to eat because I was so upset. They never apologized and the matter got swept under the table, like most family issues often are (especially in my family and now I guess this is how his family is too).  The once built relationship I had with those family members now is always tainted in my mind. though I forgive and move on, the apprehension of that issue is still there. The rest of the time, I kept to myself and didn't want to really be around one. I never feel accepted by his family, only his mother in law and his father and Step mom. With the mother in law passed, all I had was the other set of parents and was grateful when they let me hang out with them at  a flea market like I was one of their own.

August rolled around and I remember writing in my journal how much pain I was starting to be in again. I felt he pain was getting worse but I didn't want to talk to Hunepants about it because we had already been through so much that year, and I hate being a complainer. My family is a long line of bitchers, whiners and complainers and I didn't want to be like that.

A few more months went by and the pain in my belly was getting worse. I had problems constantly when I was going to the bathroom and my back was killing me. I kept calling my doctor and never got a response. When I was able to talk to him, like always, he discredited my issues for e mere nothingness.

Come Early October I tried countless times to reach him for my issues. to no avail, no answer, no return calls, even his nurse failed to get back to me. I couldn't take it anymore. I was fed up. I called the Clinic and talked to the head admin. I informed him of my concerns and that I had enough of trying to talk to that doctor. I had seen that there was another doctor int he clinic and I wanted him as my doctor now. I realized I just probably sounded like a bitchy patient, but I knew something was not right in my body, and no one was listening. The admin told me the other doctor was not accepting patients. After beginning a pleading and basically stating that since they are a business they mgiht want to keep me as a "client", that I could either take my business elsewhere, or see if this doctor would take me since the other one at their clinic had no desire to get back to me. LAter that week I had an appointment.

My first visit with Dr. K I am sure to him was an interesting one. I told him of my ailments and issues and to say our first few visits were "rough" might be an understatement. Yet I persisted. My spouse didn't want me on certain meds like Lyrica, I didn't want to be just given meds for everything and continued to complain of lower back pain and abdominal pain.

My friend A comes out to visit and during her stay I see Dr.K again. As I go in she says to me something to the effect of "Stick to your guns" and I smile.

I asked for colonoscopy and we talked about it. We talked family history and I found here and there some issues but mostly uterine and cervical. Dr. K wanted to rule out any issues in that area since that is where the majority of the family history was. I still thought it was something with my colon as it still was taking me two hours to have a bowel and that was with much pain.


In the ultrasound the tech is casually taking pictures of my uterus and calmly says "Honey, do you have problems with your colon ever?" There ya go. I mean, we aren't anywhere near my colon and SHE is even asking about my colon. She take a few more picture near that area and sends me on my way.

A few days later Dr. K brings me in and says there were some spots near the colon and he is concerned and wants to rule out issues and not to scare me, but this may be colon cancer. (How does it feel to be THAT doctor that has to tell you that? I have always wondered. Ar eyou nervous to tell your patient that? He seemed "genuinely" concerned.

I go back to the Touchstone Imaging Center and do a CT. I get a disk at the and as Dr. K told me to and when Hunepants came home we took a look at it. We are not health pros but we do have the ability to look things up online. One our two monitors we have the scan on one monitor and info on CT results on the other...We look left, my scan, look right, info. We look at each other. We both have a sneaky idea this is cancer but though we say it, neither  wants to admit it just yet.

Dr. K calls me the next day..."Don't be scared..." he says. I already know...he is going to say he thinks it is cancer..."I want you to get the colonoscopy asap because we think it may be cancer." I reply that I am fine and that is what I thought. I wonder if he believed me or thinks my BiPolar is making me be in denial. I am sitting on the edge of the bed as we speak. (talk about the edge of your seat) and he tells me he request Dr. N at South Denver GI to do the screening. Now they have something to look for.  This isn't a free screening anymore. Now we are concerned. Things just got serious. I hang up and stare at the floor. My kitties Mr. Dude and Mr. Booties both come nuzzle up to me (which is rare) and I start crying. I know if both my cats are near me, I should be worried.

Keep in mind, I have barely know Dr. K a week or two when all of this is going on. I am a brand new patient and this is what he has to start with. I feel sorry for him having to deal with this and me through this. I try to reach my current therapist. He informs me he doesn't have time for me. I decided I no longer have time for him if during this crisis my own damn therapist can't be there for me. i will deal with that one later.

Less than a week later I am drinking SuPrep and cleaning out my bowels to ready myself fro a Colonoscopy. I get through the prep (which I am told is worse than the procedure and I tend to agree). Hunepants can't take me to the appointment so I ask a brand new friend if he can take me. I have already called 7 people and no one else can. I remember calling my friend A and saying, "After all I have done for others, why is it when I am in need, there is no one to be found?" She agrees. Wished she could be with me for everything.

D picks me up and as we are driving to the test he casually asks "I don't mean to pry but what are we going to the hospital for?" I say, after taking a large gulp, "They are concerned I might have Colon Cancer." I hold back tears. He apologizes and wishes me well. I thank him offer him money for gas, he denies. He mentions to let him know how things go. I say I will.

I walk into the GI alone and start shaking.

I get through all of the paperwork and fill out the slip that says who will be picking me up. the nurse asks me if he is here and I softly reply no. I try not to let this bother me, though it does. I look around and everyone else has someone with them. I am a mix of mad and hurt that Hunepants isn't here with me, but I know he will be when I wake so I try to be ok with it.

The nurses are all great, everyone kind and sweet and sincere. They talk me through everything and get me ready. We go into a small room after I am changed and I meet the anesthesiologist. I feel ok but still nervous. They give me something to put me to sleep and I try to get comfortable, The one nurse tells me to get on my side and be comfortable the best I can because I will be asleep soon. I barely remember raising my arm up then down and I was out.

I woke in recovery and as I barely woke, there was a nurse handing me a glass of cranberry juice, someone pulling back the curtain to let Hunepants in and the doctor is telling me I have cancer. They are doing biopsies but he knows I have a tumor and I need surgery STAT!  He asks Hunepants is he can take me right away to meet the surgeon to get this scheduled. I don't even have my clothes or shoes on yet. DAMN. Now I am pissed. Not at him but at every Mercy Medical Clinic doctor in Iowa for not listening to me. For the back doctors not listening to me. for everyone discrediting me for years. I tried to tell them. Now I am wondering what stage I am. I try not to think about it. I get dressed and we meet the surgeon. Nice man, seems to know his shit. Dr. H. Eveyone in his office is very nice. As we talk I am stoic and he keeps telling me it is ok to cry, it is ok to have emotions about this. I feel like a tank just got dropped on me. The more he talks the more it is sinking in....I start crying now...he hands me a tissue and it appears he is relieved I am crying. Perhaps the not crying make doctors more concerned.

Mind you this is Wednesday and the surgery is scheduled for Nov 1 the following Tuesday. He tells me to stay on soft foods and I shouldn't' have to drink so much glug if I do. It is called GoLighlty and he makes fun of the name saying the makers of that need to change the name because it is nowhere near LIGHT. He tells me I might not have to drink the whole gallon. I hope not, that doesn't sound fun. We stop by CVS, hand over scrips and leave for them to let me know when they are filled. I let them know I had surgery so I needed them right away, but they have to order them because they don't have them. Talk about nervous. Ali, the Pharmacy tech tells me it will be ok and assures me they will have it in time.

We go home and I being to write cards. I pour myself into emotions of letting others know how much tye mean to me. The tech, Ali, the bankers at Wells Fargo, Sprouts manager, my vision place and so on. I think I wrote over 25 cards to hand out and another 25 to send. This is how I cope. letting others know their worth and value.

As the surgery gets closer I panic more. I cry and cry constantly. I have called or emailed every family member I can and put out the Facebook blast about my condition. The outpouring of love and concern is amazing. Here is that support I was wondering about a few weeks ago. It showed up. HARD. I wonder if my mother cried is worry about me. She seemed so strong on the phone but, hello, this is her baby we are talking about. My older son was stoic about it. That was to be expected. My younger son got completely silent and informs me his last girlfriend before his fiance dies of Colon Cancer. I don't know what to say. He offers me love and support. This too, was to be expected. Not that my older son doesn't love me, I know deep down he does, but he never says it. I mean it, I just told him I have Cancer and he still can't say it. I consign that this is just how he is and accept what he can offer me. Math jokes.

The weekend approaches and I am up all Saturday Night. Tuesday is surgery and the day and time are drawing near. I feel like I am having a panic attack. I get out of bed and start reading scriptures and praying. HARD.

Sunday morning. Early. 5 am. I pray for more knowledge and answers and peace and comfort. not knowing what do and feeling as if I will die. The spirit came over... "Call for a blessing". This prompting continues in my head...I decide to go to www.mormon.org and find out who my missionaries are.

At 7 am, I called in tears asking for a blessing. I left a message and they called me back. We schedule for them to come later than night and I tell them my story. I ask Elder Mork to give me the blessing and Elder Bjerga assists.

After tears and emotion being revealed and a wonderful blessing, I finally feel at peace.

Tuesday comes. My friend D accepted my request to go with Hunepants and I to the surgery. The staff was very nice, the doctors make me laugh before I go in and I am happy. I feel ok. They joke about not being professionals and I remembering commenting that if they were stuffy, then I would worry.

Surgery is great and I was in recovery two hours.

I remember waking and thinking "I made it! I didn't' die! I am alive!"

I have a whole new lease on life and think, geesh, if people thought I lived life out loud before, just wait!

I do great in the hospital, I sat up right away, I walked all the time, the nurses loved me, I loved them. By Friday I am eating solids and on Saturday Nov 5th I am home. The next week I walk for 3-5 miles each day around Fiddler's Green and think I am doing very well. he following weekend, I have diarrhea for three days straight. Uh oh. Somethings wrong. I call the surgeon, he isn't concerned. I still am. Though, thinking it is just food, I go with the church ladies to CFA and hang out. LM brings me home and I lie down for about 20 minutes. My stomach hurts and again I am worried. I call to see if I can see Dr. K and the admin gets me an appointment. I text Hunepants and tell him he needs to go with me. He comes home ealry and takes me.

I have CDIFF.

I end up on these monstrous anitbiotics. Which to me is dumb because too many Antibitiocs is what caused this in the first place. But I hear it helps. I text my Dr. friend Dr. I. he concurs so I decided this must be what I have to do.

The following week I am no better. followup with Dr. K. More Metrondiazonale. Yay. Not and he suggests a probiotic to get my gut flora back.

Two days later I am better, but he says keeps taking it until it is gone.

Now we are here.

I have seen the oncologist and he alerts me that even if the scan is clean we still need to do chemo to kill any microscopic cells that might linger that have cancer that we can't see. This is th best we can do. I am in denial. Hunepants says do it for him. I don't want to. I want to wait and see what the scan is and then keep doing the herbs and juicing we are doing now. He keeps trying to get me to understand. I give up talking to him about it. We won't see eye to eye. I dont' get why I shoud put poison in my body if the scan is good.

This week was the crazy week.

Monday PETSCAN.
Tuesday. Scan was clean.
Thursday Chemo class to learn everything I can about my upcoming chemo treatment.
Friday. port put in.

Now it's December 25th. Merry Christmas.

I am still in denial. I am doing the chemo though I don't want to. They wanted to start right away and I halted saying "No, I need to go see my mother and family in New Mexico first" They schedule my first chemo for Jan 9th.

The year is winding down and all I can think of is how HARD this year has been. WTF.

I go through bouts of tears and happiness. Not really sure which to feel.

Today I made a dancing video and posted it online. I am determined to remain fabulous though all of this. Not an easy take mind you. But yet, I smile, and then I cry. My emotions are still close ot the surface and I am just trying to cope.

I will be glad when this year ends, though, for once, I am NOT looking forward to the new year. Six months of upcoming chemo.

Which of these years will be the Hardest Year?

This one...or the next?

We shall see....