Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 End of Year Wishes!


MUSIC: "Celebrate Life"


As our family nears the end of 2008, we are very thankful for the blessings we have received over this past year.
My reflection on the past 12 months, allows me to realize that I am never too old to learn true values that life has to offer. Our daughter gave my husband and I a beautiful handmade album that she meticulously created over several weekends. It's cover displays the words "Family - We Have Been Blessed" and we all definitely agree that we indeed have been very blessed, especially since my husband's original cancer diagnosis. Even though sometimes there have been many difficult days over these past few months, we have learned from watching him climb many mountains, the true meaning of courage, determination and the definition of a true hero. At the end of my daughter's album, she has placed a bookmark with the following inscription:
Enjoy the little things in life....
For one day you will look back and realize they were the BIG things.
Everyone reading this who has been affected by cancer can certainly relate to these words.
Over this past year, I am very grateful for those who have taken the time to view my website. I trust you have found inspiration to continue your journey with cancer through some of my posts as well as the music selections. For me, my goal of reaching out to those who travel similiar roads, has been met many times, as I've been fortunate enough to connect with other cancer patients and caregivers who together have created this community of support, encouragement and information when we need it most.
It was just today that I received an email from one of my online caregivers who stated that she was very glad we had met this year because as she said "I know u know what I mean"...and this is so very true. Only those who are affected by cancer whether as a patient or caregiver can actually relate to how each of us get through the difficult moments.
As my song selection indicates, I trust that as you enter into 2009, each of you will Celebrate Life to the fullest, despite the difficulties that you may encounter along the way.
KEEP THE FAITH
I'm including the lyrics to this very meaningful song, so that you too can sing along.....
We must all never forget that Joy is in the Journey
Happy New Year Everyone!!!!

Celebrate LifeWritten by: Terry Kelly
Published by: Jefter Publishing - SOCAN


Hey. Celebrate. Life. oooo
Hey. Celebrate. Life. oooo
Through the tears, she can hear
Many questions swirling around
Where to turn, so much to learn
Endless confusion pouring down
She lets him scream and swear
Then they kneel in prayer
And they make a vow that no matter how this plays out
Rest assured let there be no doubt
We will celebrate, celebrate life
Find the joy in the journey
And shine our light.
Many hearts, many minds grow hope and make us strong
Together we'll overcome and celebrate life
Hey. Celebrate. Life. oooo
Hey. Celebrate. Life. oooo
I'm amazed by the smile
And the courage of a child
In awe of the woman's resolve to live strong
I'm inspired by the man who embraces a plan
Come what may they will live on
If you don’t know what to say to someone, just be there
Love and laugh, take some walks, and breath some ocean air
If we stand together we will survive
We will bid this beast goodbye
So let us keep our dream alive
And we’lll celebrate, celebrate life
Find the joy in the journey
And shine our light.
Many hearts, many minds grow hope and make us strong
Together we'll overcome and celebrate life
The only thing in life that never changes
Is that there will always be change
May we all find comfort in knowing
That change brings hope and hope grows faith
Have faith, change will come. Yeah, Yeah!
Celebrate, celebrate life
Find the joy in the journey
And shine our light.
Many hearts, many minds grow hope and make us strong
Together we'll overcome and celebrate life
Celebrate lifeFind the joy in the journey
And shine our light.
Many hearts, many minds grow hope and make us strong
Together we'll overcome and celebrate life
Celebrate. Life. oooo
Hey. Celebrate. Life. oooo
Hey. Celebrate. Life. oooo
Hey. Celebrate. Life. oooo oooo.
Celebrate life

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Favourite Christmas Songs

MUSIC: "I'll Be Home With Bells On"
"Come On Ring Those Bells"


Now is the time for friends and family to create lasting memories and enjoy Christmas in your own special way.

I've added two of our families favorite Christmas songs for your enjoyment.

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful messages!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wishing Everyone.........


I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Blessed Christmas Season. It is a time to reflect on the past year and to give thanks for the many blessings we have all been given.


May we all cherish our memories of loved ones who have passed on as they will forever live in our hearts.


May each of us be thankful for cherished friendships and for the love of family and friends.


And as you continue along your journey with cancer, may you remain defiant to Never Quit and to always Keep the Faith.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Keep Christ in Christmas


MUSIC: "The King is Coming"


Over the next few days there will be alot of hustle and bustle in preparation for the Christmas holidays. Let us not forget the true meaning of "The Reason for the Season" and remember to keep Christ in Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Family Christmas





MUSIC: "Hello Mom and Dad, We're Comin' Home For Christmas"










This carol is a favorite of mine. Many of you who have sons and daughters, grandchild, or other family members traveling home over the next few days to share the Christmas celebrations with you, will enjoy this beautiful Christmas song. It is a true classic.

Hello, Mom and Dad, we're coming home for Christmas,
It's been a long long timeand we know that you have missed us;
Likewise, I'm sure, we couldn't miss you more,a new born child is with us,
Hello, Mom and Dad, we're coming home for Christmas.

Excursion fares always disappear,just when you need them the most,
I guess everybody's going homefrom the west down to the east coast;
It's a five day drive, I'm drinking Five-Aliveand black coffee from a thermos,
So, hello, Mom and Dad, we're coming home for Christmas.

Hello, Mom and Dad, we're coming home for Christmas,
It's been a long long timeand we know that you have missed us;
Likewise, I'm sure, we couldn't miss you more,a new born child is with us,
Hello, Mom and Dad, we're coming home for Christmas.

I guess all the boys and the girls, too,are coming with their kids,
Turkey dinner while we reminisceall the crazy things we did;
I sometimes wonder how you and Dadtolerated all our badness,
So, hello, Mom and Dad, we're coming home for Christmas.

Hello, Mom and Dad, we're coming home for Christmas,
It's been a long long timeand we know that you have missed us;
Likewise, I'm sure, we couldn't miss you more,a new born child is with us,
Hello, Mom and Dad, we're coming home for Christmas.

Hello, Mom and Dad, we're coming home for Christmas,
It's been a long long timeand we know that you have missed us;
Likewise, I'm sure, we couldn't miss you more,a new born child is with us,
Hello, Mom and Dad, we're coming home for Christmas.

More Cancer Related Websites

MUSIC: "It's Christmas Time"

I've recently discovered two more cancer related websites that I'd like to share with you.


One is www.chemocare.com and it provides information about the many types of chemotherapy that is available to ALL cancer patients. It also lists possible side effects from treatments and provides very detailed information on just what you may do to help alleviate your discomfort.






This next site was provided to me yesterday by another cancer patient www.mskcc.org and outlines information about ALL types of cancer. Once again it is a very detailed website and one that you should most definitely check out.

We are all forging ahead over unknown waters and discovering a vast wealth of information through communication with others.

Keep the Faith!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Angels Among Us


MUSIC: "I Believe There Are Angles Among Us"


Since starting the Cancer Cafe chat forum on this site back in October, it is truly amazing how many wonderful people all of us have met. We are all joined by a common thread of cancer and whether some of us are patients, caregivers, or family/friends of those dealing with cancer, we all share simliar problems and obstacles along this cancer journey.
None of us have ever met personally, yet I for one feel as if I've known many of these wonderful people for a lifetime. Through this chat we share our experiences, we offer suggestions, we encourage and we all support each other when it's needed most of all.
Many of our regular chatters have had to endure very difficult events since October and it's been good to have all of us there as a pillar of strength when we all need it most. Knowing that you can connect with someone else who is also living with cancer, makes a big difference on those difficult days.
Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.
So, to all of my "angels" who I have been blessed to meet since starting this website, I wrote this post to say how very much I treasure your friendship!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

There is "Always" Hope

MUSIC: "The Christmas Hope"

H
O
P
E

Every year our Christmas tree is adorned with ornaments that have special meaning for each of our family members. Some of them have been hanging from the Christmas branches now for over thirty years and we continue to add more each year.


There's an ornament "Baby's First Christmas" placed there back in 1985, a "piano", "bass clef" and "treble clef" display my love for music, a "red clothspin" ornament hand made by my daughter when she attended kindergarten many years ago along with a very special one this Christmas from our friend who had it personally engraved back in 1994. And then there's the one shown here which was given to my husband back in 2006 by another dear friend, when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Only four letters and such a small word, but a very powerful word. This word has given my husband encouragement to never quit in his battle with cancer, it gives him and the rest of our family the inspiration to remain positive and it is a symbol of how one's life may appear to be reaching it's final days and then suddenly a miracle can happen!

After Christmas is over, we never pack this particular ornament away. It is hung in our living room for everyone to see year round and most of all, for my husband and our family to appreciate what we have been given and to realize that no matter how dismal things may look at times, there is always HOPE.

Here's the words to this beautiful song you hear and I trust that after listening, you also will be inspired to never quit.

The Christmas Hope

Her wish this Christmas Was that Christmas would just pass her by

Nothing could reach her Or answer her questions why

She feels so alone And she wonders if all hope is gone

Chorus

Hope is a candle A light in the window Showing the way for A heart to come home

Hope is a Savior Who was born in the manger Sent down from Heaven To rescue our hearts

Our Christmas hope

She never imagined That for her there was hope to find

But isn't it amazing How God brings a heart back to life

She's smiling now she's finding out What Christmas hope is all about

Chorus

Hope is a present A gift freely given

To all who receive And open their hearts

Hope is a promise For a better tomorrow

In a world filled with sorrow We always have hope

Our Christmas hope

Our Christmas hope.

Things never go so well that one should have no fear,

and never so ill that one should have no hope.





MUSIC:

C-H-R-U-S-T-M-A-S


OLD CHRISTMAS CARD


CHRISTMAS IN DIXIE









I've added three more selections today in relation to the Christmas season. Hope you enjoy! I should have another post up within a couple of days.




"If I could wish a wish for you, it would be for peace and happiness not only now, but for the whole year through!"

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

True Heroes

MUSIC: "Hero"
"If Everyday Was Like Christmas"


I absolutely love this picture! It was taken this weekend as my daughter was putting the lights on our tree.




I was always very confident that I could easily define the word hero. That was of course "before" my husband became a cancer patient.

Just last night, we both reflected on just how many MRI's and CT scans that he has had over these past few years, not to mention chemo treatments, blood tests, doctor's visits.....and the list goes on.

Mentally, it takes a very strong person to keep going through all of these medical "musts" but an even stronger person when the odds are constantly being stacked against you. Continuous reports that indicate tumors are increasing, other medical issues that arise due to side effects and of course the never ending uncertainty that is ever present when test results are due, all increase a patient's stress levels to a point that a lay person could never comprehend.

Yet, everytime I accompany my husband to the cancer clinic, I am always surrounded by cancer patients who appear so complacent. They always appear so pleasant and so eager to begin conversation with you, despite the anxiety that each must be enduring as they sit in the clinic awaiting their name call for chemo or radiation treatments, or for their doctor's appointment.

I recently spoke with a patient who is awaiting major surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. He is presently undergoing treatments as well and is experiencing very harsh side effects from it. Despite all of his tribulations, when I ended our conversation, "I" was the one who felt so very uplifted because of his inspiration and positive outlook on everything. Truly amazing!

Then there's the young woman who recently underwent major surgery to have cancerous tumors removed, only to receive a prognosis that her cancer is very aggressive. She continues however to be very positive for her family and friends and is determined to not accept the fate that her doctor has given her. Just spending a few minutes with her will definitely inspire those who doubt the courage of such a brave woman.

Yes, the word hero can be defined in many ways and for many different feats that one endures in life. It is without a doubt though, that it's true definition lies unequivocalbly in every patient who is affected by cancer.

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.
Christopher Reeve


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sunday Medley of Christmas Songs


MUSIC:


"Beautiful Star of Bethlehem"


"Angels We Have Heard on High"


"Christmas Shoes"

Friday, December 05, 2008

A Beautiful Christmas Song

MUSIC: "Mary Did You Know?"



Thought I would share this beautiful Christmas song with you by Clay Aiken. It is very inspirational for those who are enduring uncertainties and hardships, especially at this time of year.

A very dear friend sent this quote to me a couple of days ago and I'd like to share it with you:



"Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life;


rather look to them with full hope that as they arise,


God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things;


And when you cannot stand it, God will carry you in His arms.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;


The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you every day. He will either shield you from suffering or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings."








Remember that just when you think your situation is unbearable, someone else is also going through difficulties as well.
One of my recent viewers wrote that her husband has Stage 4 cancer while she has been diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer!
That type of news certainly puts things into perspective, doesn't it?






And to think we sometimes grumble over trivial things


should put us to shame!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Live Chat and Other Cancer Resources


MUSIC: "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow"

By now, most of you have already had snow. Sure hope though that it's not as significant as in this photo.

There's a couple of cancer websites that I'd like to share with you.

One offers a live chat forum with the National Cancer Institute in the US. After you click the following link, go to "cancer information" and wait for a few seconds until an assistant indicates that he/she is ready to answer your question. The assistant is not a medical expert but will offer you various websites and other links for you to further research. Once again it's "instant response" so you can obtain information immediately without waiting for an email response.

https://cissecure.nci.nih.gov/livehelp/welcome.asp




They also offer a "Support for Caregiver's" link as well, at the following

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/When-Someone-You-Love-Has-Advanced-Cancer/page8




Here's a link to the "Clinical Trial Results" for Sunitinib and Temsirolimus (Sutent & Torisel) web page

http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/results/sunitinib-and-temsirolimus0606



And one more that offers additional information in greater detail on Sunitinib, for viewers who may recently have started this type of chemo.

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/druginfo/sunitinibmalate


I trust this will provide additional information to cancer patients and caregivers.

What Is On "Your" Christmas List?

MUSIC: "My Grown-Up Christmas List"

Sorry for not being around for a few days....


I have been doing a little Christmas shopping, sending out Christmas cards and taking care of other family obligations.

Last night we had a visit from some friends and for the most part, we all tend to agree on one main theme this Christmas:

"To not worry about whether we've bought the right present, not worry about how many decorations we put up, not worry about whether our homes are spic and span and most of all we are all determined to not get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. The most important thing that we all agree on, is that we spend time with those who mean the most to us this Christmas and celebrate the true meaning of the festive season"

As I was shopping a couple of days ago, the traffic was enormous, the shopping carts were all filled to capacity and you could just see the look of stress on many faces. I overheard one woman in particular make this remark as I passed by her in the toy section, "I could just get sick, when I think about all of the things that I have bought for little Tommy for Christmas!" That remark certainly puts things into perspective.

In previous years, I've also spent way too much on my children and maybe on everyone else as well. I love to "give" and I guess that's why the over indulgence of sort happened. Since our family has been diagnosed with cancer however, my priorities have definitely changed as well as the items on my Christmas wish list. The true lessons of life are usually learned through adversity.

Hope you enjoy the Christmas song I have chosen for today. I'm going to add the words to this beautiful song below, so that you may sing along.

My Grown Up Christmas List

Do you remember me I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you With childhood fantasies
Well, I'm all grown up now And still need help somehow
I'm not a child But my heart still can dream
So here's my lifelong wish My grown up christmas list
Not for myself But for a world in need
No more lives torn apart, that wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
Every man would have a friend That right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up christmas list
What is this illusion called the innocence of youth
Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth
No more lives torn apart That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts Every man would have a friend
That right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up christmas list
This is my grown up christmas list