Hello, dear friends!
I wish you the best of a new year, all the joy and safety and health one can hold. 🙂
Since it is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I am a survivor, I thought it’s only fitting to brag on my “nephew” Landon, what he did for me three years ago.
My godson Brodey and his brothers Kasey and Landon all wore those pink rubber bracelets supporting breast cancer survivors, in honor of me. Kasey and Brodey were in junior/senior high at the time, and Landon I think was in 5th or 6th grade.
Landon got in trouble at his school because his bracelet said “I like boobies.” The teacher didn’t “like the language” on it and confiscated it the very moment she saw Landon wearing it. Poor Landon, he was just being a very supportive nephew, and he didn’t care what other people thought. I just felt bad that his teacher couldn’t have been more understanding, because there was a reason those particular words were on the bracelet. Thanks anyway Landon! 🙂
I got another very positive, warm fuzzy feeling from the boys’ mother, my friend Caprice. (You remember her – the feisty redhead who was with me at the oncology surgeon’s office?)
In a music store at the mall, Caprice and I were wasting time until a movie started. Across the store two teen boys were making fun of my bald head. It was one of those times you knew you were seeing and hearing right and not assuming anything…Caprice strolled over to the boys and said, “Listen! How would you like it if your mom had cancer! Leave my friend alone!” They kind of mumbled “sorry” to her and ran out of the store. Thanks Caprice for being my advocate! If I was the Velveteen Rabbit in that store, I would have become “real” at that very moment, I felt so loved.
Dear readers, here’s hoping you are not judged for what you do or what you look like.
Hello friends! Pretty soon Sunshinefactor will have a sister blog.
I will post its first post on Saturday, October 6th, and it will deal exclusively with cancer, survivor, and family and friends of survivors info.
Sunshinefactor will still have a new post coming to you each day. The new blog will post every Saturday and sometimes more often – it will depend on what I get inspiration for or suggestions or questions I get from my readers.
Stay tuned – thanks!
As some of you folks remember, I love the first day of every new month. Happy October!
And to my Aussie friends: Happy Labour Day!
But I want a cure for ALL cancers to be found. They say we are getting closer to that point, and I pray that that’s true. I love the American Cancer Society‘s slogan, something about helping to promote having more birthdays. I always have loved birthdays, mine and others, but for sure I have even more to be thankful for now as a cancer survivor.
During this month I may share excerpts from the book I am writing about cancer recovery. I will try to have something PINK on every post – I figure if football teams can wear pink uniforms for the cause, I can use it on my blog. 🙂
The main thing I am trying to point out is:
A diagnosis of cancer does not necessarily mean a death sentence.
My life is better now than pre-cancer, and that is because now I am really living to the fullest. Thank you so much, God! May my words help others to find hope.
I was talking to some wise friends the other day, and I suddenly discovered how I could stop spinning my wheels.
How do I spin my wheels? I get so enthusiastic about life, and I’m curious about so many things, that I seem to want to try everything new or different – all at once! Not a very practical way to go, I admit. It turns out that I get a few things done or tried and the rest are running around in my mind, waiting for me to get “organized” so I can do everything!
Hmmm, case in point of a perfectionistic mindset. I have become less of a black-and-white thinker in the past couple years, but I still tread the path of striving to knock perfectionism out of my life. I’m learning that “good is good enough” and “you are where you are, so start there.” Superwoman I am not, and I no longer try to be. Yet, (and this is because of my cancer experience) I am so afraid that I won’t achieve my goals and dreams before my life is over, that I want to do everything now. (My cancer, incidentally, is 100% gone, and my life expectancy is as long as it was pre-cancer. So, I’m guessing this is just another perfectionism thing rearing its ugly head.)
AND NOW – this is what I learned from my friends, and I am on Day One of living this way:
I’m wondering if a person keeps on adding new habits, when will they run out of time each day to incorporate all of them? I’ll let you know when I find out, as my list of possibilities is very long! Be sure to comment here if you can inform us on the subject. Maybe some of the habits can be brought down a notch to “every other day” or “once a week” to make room and time for the new ones…that seems un-perfectionistic to me. 🙂
I consider myself to be a very tactile person.
I love to give and receive hugs and touch the arm or hand of whoever I’m communicating with – even though I used to hate it when my mom did that to me!
I don’t shop for clothes very often, but when I do, I’m sure I’m known around here as “the Sleeve Toucher”. There’s nothing better than to grasp the sleeve of something on the rack and feel the texture – I especially adore the soft and snuggly fabrics.
When someone is grieving, they can feel the thousands of unspoken comforting words you have for them in a hug.
A handshake can say, “pleased to meet you”, or “so nice to see you again” or “I acknowledge that you exist.”
Babies in the hospital nursery get a “failure to thrive” diagnosis if they are not picked up and held enough.
A hospital patient can experience comfort when someone kisses their forehead or brushes the hair away from their eyes.
We can also touch people with our actions, but that is for another post!
Remember that old commercial, “Reach out and touch someone”?? Well, that is still good advice for every day.
Communication is needed in a conversation so that all parties can be heard. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet a lot of people out there, friends and family included, like to express themselves and only hear, but not listen to, the other people.
Case in point: When I was bald after chemo, I was at a conference with absolutely nothing on my head, not even bristles from new hair growth. I left the conference hall to use the ladies’ restroom, where I was accosted by an older woman. I say accosted because she really was in my face about something that didn’t concern her, and she was not listening to my words.
“Oh, so you’re not wearing a wig?” she started out her questioning.
(Um, isn’t this evident? I wanted to say.)
“That’s right, I choose not to,” I replied sweetly.
“But don’t you know that the State has to provide you with a wig? It’s your right, you know,” this poor listener went on.
“I don’t want a wig. I don’t need a wig,” was my rebuttal. (I’m sure in her eyes, I did need a wig.)
“I don’t know why you don’t wear a wig. You have to let the State buy you one!”
Uh, did you not hear what I just said??!!
“That’s alright,” I stated and left her with her mouth hanging open.
I think of all the information she could have gathered if she had chosen to just listen. It would not have taken very long; I had a simple story. She could have learned that I had tried several scarves but they were too slippery or uncomfortable. I wore a wig for about 10 minutes when seeing an elderly friend after a long absence, and I didn’t want to freak her out. But the wig was too darn scratchy, and it was not me. When I was still wearing the scarves, I threatened all my friends and declared, “Ick! I’m going to give up these things, mark my word,” and from then on I took my perfectly shaped head with me wherever I went. 🙂
After that I was at another conference and got the exact opposite reaction. “Oh, thank you for not wearing a wig,” an older lady said to me. “I have cancer now, and I’ll be able to go without a wig because you were so courageous not to.” I’m glad I could help. And did you know, there have been several French models that strut down the runways without anything on their heads? I give them my vote!
If the first lady I mentioned had listened to me, she would have learned that I felt I had nothing to hide. The cancer wasn’t my idea, and I had nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I had everything to be thankful for because the baldness showed that the chemotherapy was working. I was comfortable in my own, smooth and bald, skin! 🙂
So — if you want to be in on the pulse of a conversation, be able to really listen to the other person. In most cases, you’ll be so glad you did.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”
— Ecclesiastes 3:1
I love the seasons here in the Midwest – usually – and even when hay fever and allergies start in August and you wonder how can the goldenrod be so beautiful if it causes such misery, I am glad to be in a place where the landscape changes periodically. It’s kind of like life – sometimes predictable but there is always room for surprises.
The seasons of life vary for each person but basically run like this:
Childhood: when you learn so much and the whole world (and life) is before you.
Teenage: when there is angst among the fun, when questions are asked that may not always get answered.
Adult: Career and being an adult and having to make mature decisions sets in. Families are started (or not). Sometimes people refer to things in their past as “BD” or “AD” – before divorce or after divorce. And some have an idyllic life (or at least it seems this way). Grief sets in at some point or another. Sometimes there is so much joy in a heart that a person doesn’t know what to do with it. 🙂 What is universal to us all is the fact that life doesn’t really stand still, and changes happen. It’s encouraging to know that even if something is terrible or unpleasant to go through, things will get better again.
You’ve probably heard the saying that goes something like this: “some friends are here for a season, some for a reason, and some are for always.” I think this is so true. It can even apply to my blog – I may have readers who stick with me till the last day I write, some who come for help in a particular area and leave when that need is met, and some for just a time. Whatever you are here for, and however long you stay with me, is fine. I do want you to know, though, that I already liken you to people whom I want with me for all time. I love you all, and I hope I can be a good friend to you.
Hello from my coffee break at work –
First, off, let me ask my best friend, or any other German language afficianado, what does the caption to the right say? I think the drawing is pretty accurate. 🙂
Just an extra post today to fill you in on what’s going on with me.
Tuesday I stayed home from work due to left eye pain and lightning bolts seen from that eye. The eye doctor checked me out and pronounced me okay, although I have a followup in a month.
Today I have a migraine headache on that side but I insisted on going to work. I closed the blinds near my cubicle and am wearing sunglasses, so my eyes will hurt less with all the overhead lights on.
I am self-prescribing some dietary changes for me that did help my last migraine headache in 1987.
I would appreciate any thoughts you have on the matter. And as always –
thanks for stopping in. 🙂
P.S. There is one positive about all this. I never have been able to see lightning flashes at such close range before, now I can! 🙂
Good morning! Have you ever heard the idea of writing down five things a day that you are thankful for? I try to write down ten. It’s a good exercise because it takes me outside myself, to remember that it’s not all about me. For us, I’d like us to just simply be thankful today – no writing necessary. If you have some situations, I have answers:
Did the sun come up too early today? At least you are here and alive to notice it.
Just too tired and worn out? There are some that wish they had legs so they could do activities to get tired from. Or have legs that worked like they’re supposed to.
Too many clouds in the sky and you want to see the sun? That makes it okay that you didn’t remember to bring your sunglasses along, and you won’t have to squint.
You’re having a bad hair day? Some people have lost all their hair. (I know what THAT feels like.)
Feel like there’s nothing decent in your closet to wear? Some have to actually wear the same clothes day after day after day…
Your friends getting you down lately? You have the best Friend of all, one who always cares.
Wish you had a different boss? You might end up with someone even worse. Or worse yet, no job and no boss.
Hate your job? Would you rather be in a position of not being able to support yourself or your family?
Tired of your apartment or your house or mansion? The secret is to want what you have, for some need a place to live that isn’t a cardboard box.
Tired of Ms. Debb rambling on and on (and on!)?? Well, she can take a hint. I will leave you now, with one request:
I urge you to contact SunshineFactor if there’s something you just can’t be thankful for – maybe I or my other readers can help. Debb