Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Reflection & New Beginnings in 2010

 Today, December 31st is a day of reflection as we look back over 2009 and all of it's events.  For some of you, it may have been a year of happiness or sadness, prosperity or financial stress or a year of continued good health, while others have had many obstacles to encounter along the way.


This morning as I listened to the news, I was very saddened to hear of four Canadian soldiers and a Canadian news reporter killed in Afghanistan.  Their bravery goes beyond description, and I could only imagine how their families must be feeling as 2009 comes to a close.  

I count my blessings, especially at the end of this year when I look at all that our family has been blessed with.   There is no doubt that 2010 will bring more challenges our way, as well as in the lives of others who continue their battles with cancer, but the important message to remember, is to NEVER give up.  Kidney cancer as well as other types of cancer, have many new treatments available in ongoing trials and it is the brave and heroic cancer patients who agree to try these drugs, who are blazing a trail to one day make  cancer history!  I am amazed at their strength and determination and the inspiration that they pass on to me and others is overwhelming!!!

As my husband begins 2010, he also begins a new treatment for RCC....truly amazing that he received this gift on Christmas Eve.  He has come such a long way, from being given only three months back in 2006 to now having such a wonderful quality of life as we enter 2010.  It is most definitely through his positive attitude, his determination to NOT quit when the going gets rough and his deep faith in God that has been the key factors in his battle against cancer.  As my good friend David Foster always quoted in his blog, cancer patients are True Warriors and I have the deepest respect for each and everyone of you.


2009 has been a year of new acquaintences with other cancer patients and caregivers.....many of whom have been invaluable to both my husband and I, and it has been through their knowledge and life experiences that they have opened so many doors for us.  Knowledge about your type of cancer is vital in your quest to beat it, and for those who sometimes just accept their doctors diagnosis and say nothing, you need to be aware that you must be your own advocate along this journey or have a loved one right by your side to ask the important questions and seek the lifesaving treatments that are out there.  We know that from a personal perspective, and I feel that far too many cancer patients just "give up" once given the worse news of their lives.


For those who have lost loved ones over the past year, let us not forget their valiant struggles and the medical knowledge that they have passed on to help other cancer patients as a result of their heroic battles.  We shall never forget them and they will always hold a very dear place in our hearts.  I will be lighting a candle this evening in honor of those cancer patients that have passed on during 2009 and in previous years and it would be wonderful if you could do that as well, or remember to honor them in your own special way.  


Yes, 2009 has indeed been very special!  Special to me because of the many friendships I have created on this blog, special because of my husband's unfailing determination to never give up and special because of the support and inspiration that all of my viewers have given each other throughout the year.


 

Wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year in 2010


Friday, December 18, 2009

Guestbook Added


Everytime I open my blog, it begins at the end of the page, rather than at the beginning....I have absolutely no idea why this happens, but bear with me. I am not technically sauve at all, so maybe the chat automatically goes to the end, if I happen to move it from it's original top of page position. If anyone out there has a way to correct this, please send your comments my way.

I've been checking out many of your blogs recently....there are some very creative ones and for those of you who have now added music, it is a great opening feature. Sometimes I can't always seem to find the songs/Christmas carols that I would like to add, depending of course on the type of Playlist that I'm using. If there is anything in particular you would like me to play, just let me know as well.

I've added a Guestbook....I must admit that I copied the idea from another blog. I'd appreciate your taking a few minutes to sign it. I am grateful for all of my loyal viewers and would like to hear from more of you....it makes creating this blog worthwhile when I know that you are checking in. Please just don't read the posts, but also leave a message on the chat, in the guestbook area or in the comment area.....it makes creating this blog more worthwhile when I know others are checking in.
Seems our little Yorkie has settled in nicely under our Christmas tree!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Time's A -Comin'



The last few days have been busy with getting the decorations out and our Christmas tree up. As you probably noticed, I've been neglecting this blog. There's still gifts to wrap, house cleaning, baking to get done as well as the final shopping trip. I'm a last minute person who never gets things done a long time before the holidays....it's the last minute or nothing.




I trust the recent videos that I've been posting have been inspirational to you and most of all helpful in providing you additional information about kidney cancer. The main reason in my posting them on my blog, is to advise that there is lots of information out there, as well as lots of support. Don't forget to visit the kidney cancer website at www.kidneycancercanada.org to obtain excellent references and answers to your questions and concerns.

I've removed the music playlist as now you have to also post the video that accompanies the music, and for now that's not what I'm looking for on the blog. I will soon have another playlist available though, so keep checking back to hear the Christmas melodies I have chosen.





One very important ornament that takes top place on our Christmas tree over these past few years is the one pictured above...it was given to my husband back in 2006 and we still hang it on our living room wall once the tree is taken down, to remind us that there is always HOPE and to never give up. All you need to do, is look at the photo of my husband putting the angel ontop of our tree again this Christmas season. I trust that you will also never forget this very simple word and hold onto it's true meaning in time of struggle.

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I trust you will keep checking back to my blog..I'll not be posting regularly over the next few days but I will soon have Christmas music back up, and I will be posting a special Christmas message for everyone!

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Kidney Cancer Canada Videos

Kidney Cancer Cancer has produced several videos from the perspective of cancer patients and caregivers that provide excellent information and answers to many of our questions.

Over the next 3-4 days I will post each of these videos for your review.

Translator Added


I' ve added a translator at the left of this page. Just choose the correct country and voila, my blog is changed into that country's language.


Sure hope it translates ok..........I have many viewers from other countries, so I'm sure this will be a beneficial option for you.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jane's Journey - Part 2

Don't forget to TURN OFF the music playlist at the left side of this blog, before playing the video!


I've just posted Part 2 of Jane's Journey and for those who did not see Part 1, you can access it after this video is completed, by clicking on the appropriate icon at the bottom of the video screen.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Jane's Journey - Part 1

Don't forget to TURN OFF the Music Playlist at the left, before viewing the above video!


I am long overdue in posting this very informative video on my blog.....most of you may have already seen it, but for those who haven't, be assured you will be informed and inspired by this amazing woman!



My fellow blogger and friend, "Jane" from the UK who is herself a kidney cancer patient, was asked this past spring to participate in a documentary about kidney cancer. She agreed without hesitation, as she has been such an advocate for kidney cancer patients and their families throughout the UK, right across Europe and across the world through her initiatives in obtaining the best treatments for kidney cancer patients.



She keeps everyone informed, encouraged and inspired through her blog

http://a-journey-of-another-kind.blogspot.com



I will post Part 2 of this documentary tomorrow......I trust you will visit her blog and leave a comment and words of encouragement, as she is presently recuperating from surgery.

NOTE: The chat forum has been placed at the bottom of this page for a couple of days......

Sunday, December 06, 2009

We All Adapt







This is a picture of my lawn at 9:30am this morning.....remember yesterday I posted that a Nor'wester was on the way for our area? Well it did arrive this morning as promised, and the snow continues to come down.
This picture was taken of my lawn exactly four hours later today......quite a big difference for sure.














I am NOT a winter person and as this was our first snowfall for the season, it does take time to adapt. We are only about half through this major winter storm today, as approximately 30-40cm are forecasted. I enjoy the freedom of the other three seasons, when you can just wear shoes, light outerwear, there's no shoveling or icy roads and life just somehow seems so much easier when the weather is warm and there's no snow. Somehow though, I am certain that I will adapt over the rest of the winter months....I always do and that's how each of our lives are as well.


Before cancer came into our lives, it was as though we lived in the other three seasons...the ones that were so much easier to get by on. Now though with cancer at the top of each daily life decision, my husband and I seem to live in a winter season of sorts as there are always obstacles to overcome and life is just a little more challenging. Our family have adapted though to my husband's diagnosis and we have learned to enjoy what is important and we have realized the blessings that cancer has brought to our family.


I trust that you will also look for the "beauty" that cancer brings.....


Friday, December 04, 2009

Kidney Cancer Connections


I attended today's KCC meeting and had the opportunity to meet Flo and her husband, with whom I have communicated via this blog and through emails now for sometime. It was a true delight to finally meet both of these wonderful people.


The meeting's presenter, Andrew the cancer center's pharmacist, provided great information on some of the more common KCC drugs of Sutent, Nexavar, Torisel and now Afinitor. His slideshow included topics about side effects that patients may or may not encounter while taking any of these treatments. For the most part, it was the ones which we are all familier with, such as diarrhea, constipation, hand/mouth soreness or rash. For new cancer patients who may be reading this, it is very important to note that when you see "possible" side effects listed under any cancer treatment, they are just that - "possible"! It does not mean that you will encounter ALL of the side effects....every treatment reacts differently on each patient, so I trust you will not get discouraged right from the start when you go over the list, as you may only encounter one or two side effects. It is best to know though what might work for you and once again here, the word to remember is "might", as it's trial and error for each patient on many of the side effect remedies. The focus on the presentation though was that PREVENTION IS THE KEY..as it's much easier to prevent some of these side effects rather than treating them if they occur.

I'll list a couple of suggestions to help diminish some of these side effects as presented to us yesterday by Andrew......these are the ones that I had not heard of before. You can Google any of these to obtain additional information.

  • Constipation - "Senokot" may be an option for you or milk of magnesia
  • Diarrhea - watch what you eat and use the BRAT diet consisting of bananas, rice, applesauce, toast and plain pasta until your diarrhea begins to subside
  • Sore Mouth - Ask your doctor or pharmacist for the Magic Mouthwash
    formula and ask your dentist to do an untrasound cleaning next time
  • Hand/Foot Problems - Try the most recommended ointments such as Bag Balm, Udder Cream, Lanolin, Aveeno or Lubriderm; don't use HOT water when bathing as this will only increase your discomfort but use lukewarm instead. You might try to cool the affected areas with ice packs or sole gel inserts with cooling action. Another option for hand problems is to add B6 to your diet.
These are all suggestions and as always, check with your doctor or pharmacist first as you can explain the severity of your side effects to them.

At yesterday's luncheon I met other cancer patients along with another lady whom I previously had known some time ago. Sure makes you realize what a very small world we live in. I invited a couple of other cancer patients/caregivers that I knew to yesterday's luncheon, but unfortunately they did not attend. It is vital to have that connection with doctors, pharmacists, kidney cancer patients and caregivers.....believe me, this open line of communication via cancer websites, blogs, emails and personal meetings have been my husband's lifeline for survival and I want to impress that upon anyone reading this who does not have that support system. It is out there, you just need to reach out. One person cannot do this alone. You may have heard the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child"..............well, be assured that it most definitely takes a village to survive cancer and it's right there, you just need to reach out for it!!!

After supper last evening, I was informed of two new kidney cancer patients in my area....be assured that I will connect with them to let them know of the wonderful support systems that are there if they should choose to avail of them.

Our first winter storm is forecasted for tomorrow with approximately 20-30cm of snow overnight...ouch!!! Guess it is inevitable now that we are in winter.....I've got my snow scoop ready though, along with my snow boots and outerwear......

I can't prevent it from happening but.......
I CAN BE PREPARED!!!

Prescription Filled

Last night our immediate family had a wonderful evening together. We attended a Christmas performance and what better way to start off the holidays then to listen to the heart warming reditions of "O Holy Night", "Winter Wonderland" and "Silent Night" sung both in English and German. An amazing African choir kept us all feet stomping and hand clapping to upbeat music and song, with a drum beat to warm the coldest heart, and later on we were in awe, as we listened to a small group of young Inuit ladies with angelic voices that would bring a tear to any unbelieveing eye throughout their vocal arrangment of "Amazing Grace" sung in their native tongue.

Our daughters had purchased tickets as an early Christmas present and my first thought was that it would probably be a very late night for my husband to attend. It was a late night, but at the same time, it was a prescription of fantastic medicine for the soul!!!

One of the more poignant moments of this evening was the song and dance rendition by young students of "I've Had, the Time of My Life".....instantly my thoughts were of Patrick Swayzee and his recent battle with cancer. Several times throughout last night's show as I peered at my husband, I could easily see that he was enjoying every moment of that show despite the late hour and my earlier concerns of him being tired and he was having the time of his life with daughters sitting on each side of him. It was a prescription that no doctor could prescribe and it was a rare family evening spent together that was the most rewarding of all.

It's now 7:30am next morning and my husband has already gone out the door for work.............

That's the best prescription for all of us.......to live life each and everyday to the fullest!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Last Night's Chat

Thanks to everyone for joining in on last night's chat. Although we were small in numbers, our support system is a multitude of strength! I was hoping that more cancer patients and their caregivers would join us, but it does take time to get used to how the chat works and the benefits of it can only be obtained once you join in and begin a conversation with others who have the same concerns and uncertainties as you do. A new friendship was formed last night between a couple of our chatters, Karen and Flo who discovered that even though they live so many miles apart, they do share a common bond and I can tell that a meeting between them is very near. Thanks also to Joanne for taking time to join in the chat.....she is a wonderful lady who is "always" there to inspire each of us and I truly value her friendship. It is truly amazing how you can create such a special rapport once you meet these wonderful individuals!

I received your email Patti.... and sorry you could not get on the chat. If anyone is having problems with that, please leave a comment after any post and I'll check it out further. You would have to either register in order to use this one, "or" just click the "Guest" option, hit Enter, and then post your question/comment. I will schedule another chat in January, so everyone will have another opportunity to meet others. In the meantime, be assured that you can post a question/comment at anytime or begin a chat if you should see another viewer logged on.

It's cold here today but beautiful....there's wind enough to blow you right out into the Atlantic but at the same time, it's a healthy, crisp winter's day. Lots of things on my "To-Do" list but I wanted to add today's beautiful song "A Soldier's King"....it's a Christmas song by Donny Osmond. Such a beautiful one indeed and a great tribute to all of our brave soldiers who serve their country so heroically! This lyrics of this particular song reminded me instantly of my husband. Although it speaks of a soldier, it's words reflect the bravery and heroism of my husband over these past months. I will try to post the lyrics here today at the beginning of this blog (you can slow down or stop the lyrics at anytime by placing your cursor over them) and I'm sure for those who have watched cancer patients fight their valiant battle, you will find the song very special.

I read the blog http://www.mykidneycancer.com/ last evening and I'm happy to report that Tony is back home again after his kidney surgery. Very happy to hear that it went well.
I'm sure that many of my viewers check out the blog http://www.a-journey-of-another-kind.blogspot.com/ as we follow the courageous path of our friend Jane in the UK. She is definitely blazing a trail for everyone with kidney cancer and I'm happy to report as well that she is now back home, after a couple of recent surgeries. She is such an inspiration to everyone!!! If you visit any of their blogs, please leave a message of encouragement. Your words can go a long way to help others heal and help overcome their adversities.
I've added some new blogs as well that I've been following and there's soooo many other great ones out there that I will be including in My Blog List during December. Even though my blog reflects kidney cancer, I welcome ALL cancer patients/caregivers as we all follow the same path along this journey.

"The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it" ...... C. C. Scott

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A Miracle of Fate


I am a strong believer that people come into our lives when we need them most of all, not by chance but by fate! Today, I would like to relay a story to you that will most definitely confirm this belief.

Yesterday I spoke of Karen, who is a cancer survivor and who visited us this October. During her visit to one of our smaller towns and after walking most of the afternoon with her husband, she stopped into a small cafe to sit and rest for awhile before starting the long walk back. A kind lady served them and after a little conversation Karen relayed how she was a survivor of kidney cancer and how she had undergone surgery just last year. To her amazement, this lady told her that she also had undergone kidney cancer surgery last year!!!! Now, what would be the chances of this happening.....one woman who traveled hundreds of miles who met another lady who had undergone similiar experiences, and most amazing was the fact that both of these women had the same type of cancer - kidney cancer -. Truly amazing indeed when you think about the fact that there are over 200 different types of cancer in the world!

Needless to say, Karen and Sue spent quite awhile talking about their health issues and concerns. Sue had often wished she knew of someone whom she could talk with about her cancer so many times over the past year, but there was no one. She lived alone, with no family and operated this small venue as her only income. It had been a very difficult year for her indeed, after discovering she had cancer, then needed immediate surgery and not knowing anyone who could relate personally to her situation. She did not have a computer and therefore was not able to connect with others over various websites to obtain support or answers to her many questions. And now, here was Karen, right there in her cafe, just stepping in by "fate" to be her angel of support and encouragement!!!

Sue has planned a trip soon to visit Karen and they have formed a very special bond!

I am sure you can also reflect on people who have entered your life when you needed them most of all, especially in times of your greatest need.
As we enter December and reflect upon the miracle of the birth of Jesus we should never lose sight of the fact that......


Miracles do happen....you just need to believe!!!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

No...You Are Never Alone Along This Cancer Journey

I opened an email this morning only to find an amazing offer from a viewer whom I met last year as a result of my blog.



It was an open invitation for my husband and I to go visit Karen and her husband who live in another province. Now it's not everyday you get that sort of invitation by someone who you have only recently met, and I was indeed humbled by it. It made me realize that good things can happen as a result of cancer, and one of those is the friendships that I have created with other patients and caregivers along this journey. Truly amazing!



Karen stumbled onto my blog last year....she is a cancer survivor and she is one amazing lady!!! I had the opportunity to meet her in October of this year, when her and her husband visited our province. My anticipation in her arrival was like an early Christmas present. We all spent quality time together around a dinner table, taking in some of the city night life and breathing in the salty air of the great Atlantic on the following day.



When my husband was first diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2006, it was a horrific life changing moment for myself and our family. I personally thought that hearing his doctor's diagnosis was the worse thing that I had ever experienced in my life. Now as I look back over these past months, I realize all of the good events that have happened along the way.....one very special one indeed was my chance meeting on this blog with Karen, which has bloomed into a wonderful friendship between two families.



We met Karen and her husband this year over Thanksgiving weekend.....another truly amazing time of the year for this to happen! And to add to all of this, Karen brought me gifts on that Thanksgiving Sunday, one of which I will always treasure, as I look at it each day placed in my window. There is no explanation needed for the reason why it's so special, as I'm sure you will instantly understand as you view it's picture



Yes, good things can come from traveling along this cancer journey....I have met wonderful people who have helped my husband and I in tremendous ways and with whom we share a very special bond.....I trust you will find the good in cancer as well!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Au revoir Novembre

It's the last day of November so thought I would add a bit of upbeat Beatle music today to lift your spirits. Tomorrow I'll be posting Christmas songs everyday until the 26th. If there's a favorite you would like to hear, just leave the title on my chat forum and I'll try my best to add it the next day. Where does the time go? Seems every year just gets shorter and shorter, doesn't it?



As I looked out my window a couple of nights ago, I could see Christmas lights from a distance. Yes, some people have their tree lights already in place, presents purchased and wrapped, baking all complete and they now have the rest of the time before the Christmas arrival to partake of Christmas caroling, concerts and religious celebrations.



For those of you, who like myself are not even close to the Christmas preparations, don't worry as there is lots of time left to get everything done. I have however completed one of my annual traditions. When our children were small, I made a green felt Christmas tree for each, with pockets glued on it .......(ouch, I still remember the burns on my hands as I was trying to finish it one November 30th)...... to represent each day of December up to Christmas Eve. I put small presents in each of the pockets and I can still remember how my children's eyes would light up each morning, as they ran to see what was in each day's pouch. Even though the presents in each were very small and inexpensive, this annual tradition has continued throughout the years and somehow something would be missing if I didn't fill each child's Christmas tree at the beginning of December.



Tradition.....yes, it is important to keep up tradition if at all possible. Usually it's the simple things that families have done over the years that mean the most. I'm sure that each of you also have your own traditions every December and that's what makes it so special, because of the uniqueness we all bring in our creation of a tradition.



It's tradition in our house for our children to be at home to help decorate the outdoors with the usual lights and wreaths. It's not so much about how the decorations turn out, but it's definitely about how we all do it together. This year will be special for all of us, as the past few years have been as well. We count our blessings every year for all we have been given, but more especially as the Christmas season approaches.

I also know that the Christmas season will not be joyous for many of you this year, due to illness and probably the loss of loved ones. You WILL get through it, and you must be strong for the rest of your family members as well. Whoever said "life was easy" certainly never had to endure illness such as cancer or losing loved ones unexpectedly or after a long period of illness. Bottom line to remember is not to give up...no matter how difficult the going might become. There will be times as you listen to the more solemn Christmas carols that you will think the holidays will never end, but then again, it is a time for remembrance of those you have lost and a time for celebration of the blessings and thanksgivings for those who are still here with us.

I trust that each of you will take time during this December to continue with your family traditions, share those special moments and rekindle those very special memories of loved ones you may have lost this past year. I will have a lit candle here later in December to show my celebration of those brave heroes who have fought the good fight with cancer......those who have led the way so gallantly for so many other cancer patients.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Kidney Cancer Treatment Information

Kidney Cancer Treatment Drugs: What You Need To Know and Why
This is a very important topic for all cancer patients and caregivers.
Kidney Cancer Canada will be hosting a Lunch & Learn session next Friday, Dec. 4th at the H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Center in St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador.
This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the most recent treatments available for kidney cancer patients, and even more importantly, it will provide an excellent opportunity to meet other patients/caregivers and open communication lines to others who share similiar experiences and concerns.
I would encourage everyone to attend!!! I know from a personal basis, that it is only by communicating with others, that you gain the important information that patients/caregivers need to help them along their cancer journey.
I urge everyone to attend in order to stay informed and up-to-date on what is out there in treatments and support. Please check out the following link for more information and you will need RSVP at the email or toll free number provided
Hope to see you there!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Stand By Us

Last night I was delighted to hear from a very dear friend. It's been awhile since we last conversed, but as always we instantly picked right up where we left off so many months ago. That's the way it is with "friends".....there's never any need for apologies or insecurities because you know their loyalty will always remain.

After we ended our telephone conversation, I realized just how fortunate our family is to have these wonderful friends. Unconditional friends who never leave, despite the way our lives sometimes change.

It's important that those who have cancer, also have very loyal friends to help them through, especially during difficult times such as receiving bad news at test results, or while undergoing treatments, and even when emotions are at an all time low. You need friends who will stick by you unconditionally, with no time limits attached and a mandate to remain "mum" if that's they way you choose things to be.

Yes, we have wonderful friends! Friends that my husband or I can call at anytime of day if we need their help and support. A true rarity for sure, and one that we realize we might never be able to repay......friends that will be discreet when needed and friends that know to respect and understand our privacy and decisions.

Most of us don't realize the true value of our friends, until a serious illness such as cancer or another crisis enters our lives. We have been truly blessed to realize the importance that our friends play in our lives and we trust that they know that.

So....for our many friends both near and far, here is a heartwarming and endearing Thank You from the bottom of our hearts!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This Too Shall Pass





So many of my viewers are going through difficult times as a result of their having cancer.
One viewer identified as "Cranky" posted on the chat forum today about how he/she is struggling with the treatments and side effects that cancer brings and how it is so difficult to find the sunshine in all of this. I can certainly relate to the bad times that cancer brings, as I've watched my husband go through turbulent waters over these past months. You have a right to be cranky my dear, whenever you feel like it, so don't ever complain about that name or about your not being able to smile sometimes......hang in and hang on......you will get through!




I recently received an encouraging comment from another viewer, Tony, who also has a blog entitled www.mykidneycancer.com There is a saying that "no matter how tough you think you have it, there is always someone who has is worse"....well, I discovered that was true as I read his blog, for not only does he have cancer, but also his wife. I can only imagine that there are alot of emotional highs and lows in their household, but after reading several of his posts, I can tell that he has a great faith and strength that will get him through. He is soon going to have a nephrectomy, so I trust you will check out his blog and send along your good wishes....he most definitely does need all of our encouragement and support right now, and his wife as well needs to know that our community of cancer patients and caregivers are there for her also. It is not an easy road to travel, but I know Tony will be just fine....because of his positive attitude, determination to not quit and his faith.




These are only two examples of the struggles that people are having as a result of cancer. We all have our own crosses to bear, sometimes in very different ways, but we all travel very similiar roads.




As today's song by Yolanda Adams says "This Too Shall Pass"....look ahead to better days, but you must ride the turbulent waves first in order to reach the calmer shore!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving


Wishing all of my viewers in the United States,

a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend!!!


May all of us right around the world be thankful each day and remember to count our blessings.

Connect in Real Time With Others

I've added the Chatroll Live Chat back on my website.....I had it there a few months ago and decided to take it off, but realized a short time later that it was a very valuable resource. It allowed me to connect with other patients and caregivers, share some of my uncertainties, exchange ideas about what might work with side effects from cancer treatment, and obtain support and inspiration from others.

It's been an excellent source of meeting others who share similiar paths and I have met such wonderful people on the chat......truly amazing! There's Joanne1, Bindy, KJE, Patti, Mary, Carolanne, Jane, Flo...just to name a few.......

Once I decided to put it back on the website, I could not figure out how to do it, but finally, I got it right this past weekend. Not such a difficult thing to do after all, but as I've said before, I'm not technically sauve, so it does take time.

I actually thought you had to sign in now to use it, but another viewer's comments last night indicated that you can post a comment or begin chatting just by clicking the "Guest" option at the bottom of the forum. If you want to chat by signing in, that will allow you to show a name so that we can recognize you everytime you post there. My name is registered on the chat as "dannygabs", so anytime you see me logged in, then I'm the administrator of the blog so please feel free to introduce yourself and begin a live chat. Remember, that you will remain anonymous on the chat if you prefer to do that as well.

We all have questions from time to time, along with uncertainties and it's only by communicating with others who share similiar problems and concerns, that we can find the support we all need. I trust you will take the time to use the chat........there may not always be someone else there to chat with you, but over time I'm sure the viewers will increase. If you would like to post a particular time for a live chat, please do so and I'll try my best to be there.

I'm hoping to schedule one for the first week in December and I'll be posting the date and time on another of my writings. In the meantime, don't hesitate to use it before then....I'm sure you will find long lasting friendships with other patients and caregivers as I have.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Strength


"Strength is not measured by the weight one can lift,


But by the uncertainties he or she can carry"




For those who have heavy burdens as patients and caregivers affected by cancer, know that you are never alone.


I have finally added my live chat forum back on the blog...if anyone would like to post a message or share concerns with other viewers, please just sign in and enter your message. I will soon arrange a date/time for a live chat and will post the information on an upcoming blog.......


If you are viewing my blog and see others chatting on the forum, please feel free to join in at anytime.

Friday, November 20, 2009

You Have To Stand Up

One thing I've learned since my husband has been a cancer patient and I've taken on the role of caregiver, is the importance of this designation. The importance is not for me, but most definitely it is very important that I do my homework and know what's happening in the world of kidney cancer, in order to be the best caregiver that I can be for him.

I previously mentioned how all cancer patients need advocates to act on their behalf. If it is not your spouse or partner, then maybe a close relative or friend with whom who have a very trusting relationship. It has to be someone who just does not sit by the way side and waits for the medical expert's next move, but you have to be that someone who is informed and willing to speak up for the patient whom you represent.

Today, I was informed, prepared and pleading my case.......on behalf of my client......my husband.

What is she talking about you ask? Over the past few days, I have been researching all of the latest info on kidney cancer.....new treatments, government approval of RCC fighting drugs, their availability, side effects, pharmaceutical manufacturers and how these treatments actually help to fight the cancer. I record the generic name and the trade name.....for example, Sutent is the trade name while sunitinib is it's generic shadow. I want to ensure that I'm aware of each of these names for when my husband's oncologist discusses any of them, I know exactly of what he is speaking. There are quite a few new treatments out there now over the past two to three years..such as

Torisel - temsirolimus
Nexavar - sorafenib
Avastin - bevacizumab
Afinitor - everolimus
Votrient - pazopanib

and the list goes on, with more being tested in ongoing clinical trials.........

NOTE: I have recently signed up to receive Google Alerts re: kidney cancer via my email and constantly receive all of the latest information on that topic. It is a great resource of information.......thanks Joanne for telling me about this!!!!

I always obtain a hard copy of my husband's latest test results, whether it be a CT, MRI or ultrasound. Why??? I'm no medical expert and while I cannot understand alot of the terminology, I can compare one test to the other and having a copy always allows me the opportunity to read what's happening in detail without wondering.

I always have a note in hand that I prepared the day before. I have learned that no matter how much I think I might be able to just ask the doctor a particular question or questions, if I don't have each one written down, then guaranteed, it will not get asked. There's just too much info whirling around the clinic on any given appointment day, and there's just no way I can remember what I need to ask, other than to write it down first.

We don't rush out of the clinic anymore.....you learn that over time and you take your time and ask what needs to be asked and listen to every word that your onc has to say. Ask him/her to repeat anything or explain everything that you do not understand. It's your cancer, so take lots of time at any appointment and don't ever rush through it.

Your oncologist may NOT be aware of some of the newest treatments that are out there, so don't be shy in advising him/her about them........


Be informed and know the facts..........it will most definitely help!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Black & White

There is no black-and-white
situation.
It's all part of life.
Highs, lows, middles.
Van Morrison

















Had this visitor in my yard a couple of days ago. It stayed long enough for me to run into the house, grab the camera and get a couple of fairly good shots. I've never actually seen this type before, but upon further investigation and with the assistance of a quick search on Google, the mystery has been solved. It is a black and white woodpecker......not something that you see around here very often, as our woodpeckers are usually brown with a brilliant facial color.

Scanxiety is approaching and no matter how long we have been at this now, it never seems to get any easier. The night before a report is always filled with uncertainties....there's always a deep pit in our stomachs and it brings the reality of having cancer into full bloom. Not everyone would understand this, that is, unless you also have been affected by cancer. Seems only those of us who walk similiar roads truly understand the highs and lows of this disease.

Someone asked me awhile ago why I don't talk in detail about our journey....well, it's a personal decision and one that I just don't want to discuss with those who really would never understand. You have to live it, breath it and ride that emotional roller coaster to feel the gut wrenching, fear filled ride that affects all those involved. To talk about it honestly and indepth to a novice, would certainly not afflict the same understanding and compassion as it would to talk to a cancer patient or his/her immediate family.

Material things really don't matter to us now...we take nothing for granted anymore.

It's all about fighting to live each day....and finding out who and what are really important in your life.

A cancer patient staying in a cancer hospice recently told me he felt right at home...everyone there truly understood each other and what obstacles they had to overcome each day. Playing cards with them was more amazing and fulfilling than any luxurious vacation he could ever take.

You will meet exceptional people when you have cancer and create wonderful friendships along the way.

Sometimes you may feel like a white elephant when you are in a room where people talk about non-important things....other times there may be a black cloud hovering over you as you deal with difficult side effects from your treatments, but now our priorities are different....we have been given a "gift" to live each day making a difference for others.

B-E-L-I-E-V-E



A high percentage of cancer patients just "give up" once they are presented with their diagnosis and the grim reality by their doctors that their cancer has progressed.

In reality, it is a very difficult emotional roller coaster and no doubt as that cancer patient, trying to get youself into a positive mode is by far, the most difficult thing you will ever do......but YOU DO NEED TO DO IT!



Keep in mind that the medical community state the facts about your health, based on your medical tests, but they cannot predict your future!
Your destiny lies in your own hands and in your determination to not allow cancer to win. It will be difficult for sure, but maintaining a very positive attitude is the first step along your competitive road.
We all need motivation, encouragement and inspiration in order to obtain positive thoughts. You need to be inspired and you need a belief in a greater power that is beyond your imagination. Try not to worry about the medical report, but focus on reasons why you need to live.
If you focus on the picture I've added here, you will see my husband standing at the most easterly point in North America, Cape Spear, looking out over a very rough sea. When we first arrived there last month, it was pouring rain and windy enough to blow one almost across the Atlantic. Amazingly though, once we stepped out of the vehicle to take some scenic shots, the rain suddenly stopped. Then miraculously, sunshine slowly began to emerge from the dark clouds above. As my husband walked closer to the shore, another miracle..... a rainbow appeared......something like this cannot be created by man, but by God and instantly I was aware of His presence there in that early morning photograph.
My husband has a great FAITH and inner strength.....and that is what gets him through. I notice this year that in many card shops and larger department stores, you can purchase wall plaques and free standing ornaments that display the following word BELIEVE.
If you know of someone who is battling cancer this Christmas season and you are wondering what to buy for a gift, that would most definitely be the perfect choice. He/she will be able to display it at their home and it will help them maintain that positive attitude during their difficult moments.
Such simple things in life aren't they???... a rainbow and the word BELIEVE.....but yet they have such an impact on another person's survival.
Here is a very poignant quote by Gerald G. Jampolsky:
As a child I was told and
believed that there was a
treasure buried beneath every
rainbow.
I believed it so much, that I
have been unsuccessfully
chasing rainbows all of my
life.
I wonder why no one ever told
me that the rainbow and the treasure
were both "within me"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's Just Small Stuff - No Apologies Needed

I made a purchase today and used my credit card for payment. I was in a rush to get home from the city and didn't expect to encounter the long delay which was to follow. Apparently the cashier had inadvertently entered the "invoice number" rather than the actual purchase price through the credit card machine. The amount was approved and as he handed me the receipt to sign, he instantly realized his mistake.

I assured him that things like this happen and it was no problem at all. He would just credit back the amount and make the correction. His first attempt did not work however, as the amount for which he originally debited my credit card, exceeded the allowable amount he could credit. Therefore, the only way he could reverse his mistake, was to call the credit department. He apologized for his mistake and assured me that it would soon be rectified. I smiled and said "no problem".....things like this do happen.

Now, all of us who have ever called any credit card company, can attest to the length of time it takes to reach an actual person on the other end of the line. Today, it was practically impossible, no doubt due to early Christmas shoppers. He apologized once again for not being able to connect with someone and I assured him that it was fine. As he made another attempt to call the credit company I decided to look around the store.

I found another item to purchase and had another cashier ring in the sale on one of my other credit cards......you won't believe this, but oh yes, he also entered the incorrect amount and the transaction was approved before he noticed his mistake. This time however, it was easier to correct due to the smaller amount, and he just had to enter a credit directly from the interact terminal...no calling involved. The correct amount was then transacted and my purchase was complete. Another apology and another "no problem" from me and everything was fine again.

Meanwhile, cashier #1 was still on the phone awaiting personnel from the credit department to answer. Apparently, he had already reached one agent, who transferred him to the credit department. The wait was about another 30 minutes....I was patient throughout, but I could certainly tell that the poor cashier was feeling so terrible for his mistake. I interrupted him to say that "things like this happen and that we all make mistakes....there was really no problem."

He looked at me somewhat in amazement, thinking that I was slowly becoming enraged at his mistake.....in fact, I was feeling quite the opposite. I understood how it happened and I assured him once again that this was merely small stuff. I decided to leave as I had more shopping to do and said he could call the credit card company later that day and to mail out the credit receipt once it was corrected. He commented on how I was so "ok" with all of this and I left by telling him to "have a great day!"

After all, when you have been affected with any serious illness, you realize that the things you once thought to be of importance, now are just trivial and the most important thing in life, is your health. Cancer has made me realize that the small stuff is just that.......STUFF............and nothing more. There are certainly more devastating things that can happen in life, then a cashier entering the incorrect amount on a sale.

Rule #1 - "don't sweat the small stuff....
Rule #2 - "it's all small stuff..............
Robert Eliot

Monday, November 16, 2009

Olympics & Cancer


I had the opportunity this past Saturday to take this photo of the Olympic Flame as it passed through our area. Pride on the faces of each of the torch bearers was only a sneak peak of the pride that will be displayed right around the world as each country participates in Vancouver, Canada this coming February. Athletes have devoted most of their lives to intense and enduring training for these games, in a hope of winning the top prize, that of a gold medal to bring back home to their country. But even more than achieving this, training for the Olympics, is also a personal goal of strength and endurance by each and every competitor.
Seeing that flame, made me personally realize that the endurance of cancer patients along their cancer journey is somewhat comparable to atheletic training. The goal though is to beat their opponent - cancer - and to overcome the obstacles it presents along their way.
  • Training for each and every cancer patient is definitely intense and unrelenting and continues everyday.
  • The obstacles they encounter along the way are immense and no training can ever prepare cancer patients for the unexpected events that will happen from day to day.
  • Travel is a given along the Cancer Olympics trail, as the numerous visits for doctor visits, testing with CT's, MRI's, Pet Scans, radiation treatments, blood tests, oncologist's visits and test results are never ending.
  • Disappointments will be many along the way....but with each disappointment there will also be advancement and encouragement to continue
  • The pressure to continue will be enormous and you will want to just give up so many times, but don't relent - keep going
  • Each cancer patient has to focus on what is important in order to reach their goal
  • Energy levels will be at an all time low on most occasions, but despite this, you keep going
  • It will most definitely be not only a physical challenge that you face against your cancer opponent, but also a mental challenge. It will be an emotional roller coaster - but you CAN do it
  • You will need an exceptional COACH to encourage you on. This person will have to be tough, unselfish and mentally strong. Instead of a stop watch, your coach will have a blood pressure monitor, thermometer, appointment log and be able to negotiate and yes, even argue with your health care professionals if need be to ensure you always receive the best advice and medical treatment available. Your coach must definitely have the ability to continually inspire you to NEVER QUIT
  • Cancer patients focus on what is important to reach your goals...eating healthy, resting when feeling tired, keeping positive even when the going gets very difficult to bear
  • Sacrifices will be at the top of your list as a cancer patient......your schedule will be constantly rearranged depending on how you feel at any particular time of day and the things you used to do when you were cancer free, might not necessarily now be at the top of your To-Do agenda
  • You WILL overcome adversity

Yes, the endurance of cancer patients along their journey is most definitely an Olympic challenge. They are AMBASSADORS for not only other cancer patients, but also for those of us who stand along the competitive trail and cheer them on.

How do I know this? I have watched my husband travel the road to his own Olympics, and believe you me, I have personally seen the struggles and adversity that he has encountered along the way.......he may have not won the Olympic Gold, but he has won the hearts of all those who have had the opportunity to know him.......that is indeed such a priceless reward.

He is a true HERO of his own Olympics with cancer

There's so much strength in all of us

Every woman child and man

It's the moment that you think you can't

You'll discover that you can!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Husband's Free Medicine - It Really Works!!!

OK..so now I've got your attention with the title I've chosen for today's post. It's Sunday morning, and yes, my husband has just received his usual and most valuable medicine that he looks forward to each and every Sunday morning. No, it's not been prescribed by any of his doctors, nor is it found in any of your local pharmacies......but believe me, it is truly effective in fighting cancer.

I really don't mean to tease anyone, but I really wanted you all to read what I'm about to say. This medicine is for my husband's soul and mental well-being, and it truly plays a very big part in his ability to keep going, to remain positive despite what the medical experts keep telling him and to have such a wonderful quality of life.

He finds it on our local television network every Sunday morning and it is the
Joel Osteen Ministries weekly broadcast. You can check out the website by following this link

Now, I'm definitely NOT here to preach to anyone, but I'm just writing about what works for my husband. His Sunday morning ritual of watching this show, truly gives him the faith and inspiration to keep going in the week ahead. It is "always" as though Mr. Osteen is preaching directly to him.....that is honestly how we both feel....even though of course we know he isn't.
If you are unable to access this program in your part of the world, you can actually watch videos of his weekly programs from the above link, by clicking on the "Watch Online" area at the right of the webpage. Today's show was entitled "Activating Faith Instead of Fear" and it was once again a very powerful message about how one should not always live in fear of the what-ifs, but live each day with a positive mind in God's faith.
That is exactly just what my husband does!!!
Everyone who knows my husband on a personal basis, will definitely agree to what I have just stated. To watch him at work everyday, full of energy and his non-stop attitude, is truly a wonder to behold!
Remember, that although the medical environment plays a very important part in your journey, it is NOT the entire remedy that you need. You need FAITH and a strong belief that anything is possible.........
I trust you will check out the website and I'll be anxious to hear your comments. Of course, if you already have another source of faith, that's wonderful.....as I stated earlier, Mr. Osteen is who inspires my husband and I wanted to write today's post to share it with those who probably need that special faith and inspiration.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Everyone Should Live Life to the Fullest

Have you ever saved your best towels, pillow cases, tableclothes or dishes and used them only for very special occasions? Are you one of those people who have a room in your house that is only there to look at, and NOT to live in? Maybe you keep "putting things off" for a later date, because you are way too busy for it now?

Once any serious illness comes into one's life, you definitely look at things in such a different perspective. All of the above are just THINGS......all of these can be replaced and although they may seem invaluable to you at the moment, in reality they are not what is or should be at the top of your list as IMPORTANT. No matter what type of material things you have that seem of value to you now, they can never make that serious illness go away.

Having cancer in a family most definitely puts things into the proper perspective. Your once items at the top of your priority list now for the most part, appear somewhat trivial. What matters most of all now, is to live life day by day to the fullest. Isn't that what everyone should be doing? Why do we all need that serious illness to make us realize that we all need to live life to the best of our ability every moment of every day. Cancer, just helps to push us a little faster in that direction.

I continue to keep telling my husband that having his cancer diagnosis is not something he should worry about with regards to his longevity. After all, I could die tomorrow without having an illness today, so it's important to keep that in the proper perspective. Why keep dwelling on the "what if's" as a cancer patient, as it serves no purpose, only to add stress to your everyday life. Accept your illness.....but don't dwell on how long you have left to live. No one, not even the medical experts can predict that.......

Enjoy each day to the fullest...........and as the song says, ALL of us should most definitely

Live Like We Were Dying

Cancer Connection Around the World - One Red Dot at a Time

Guess you have noticed that I've added a globe to my site......I've placed it right at the beginning though for a particular purpose.

This globe will show the connections that I have acquired right around the world as a result of my blog. One red dot indicates each internet provider's address where viewers originate. For example, my location will be Dartmouth, Nova Scotia based upon my internet provider's main service area. You won't actually see my home town appear, as I don't live in Nova Scotia, but if you do see that name pop up, it just might indicate that I'm on the computer "or" others from a much larger radius living in that area who also use the same provider are checking out the site.

Seeing those small red dots mean alot to me as I continue to write my posts. It means that my blog is being read, people are returning to see what I write, and most of all, it indicates that those who are affected by cancer, are being connected, being informed and together we are getting support and encouragement all around the world.

You can increase the size of the globe and take a closer look at those dots by holding down the " + " icon at the lower left on the globe, or you can use the other icons to move up or down, etc. I actually saw this feature on a fellow bloggers website last week .......instantly I had to download it so that everyone could see how our world has become so inviting to all of us via the internet and how each of us all share similiar interests and concerns about cancer.


Yes, using the internet is a great way for cancer patients to communicate......from one continent to another, right around the world.
As those red dots continue to multiply, so will my knowledge about cancer....I trust yours will also!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Reach Out And Touch Somebody's Hand


Every cancer patient needs support....that is a given. If any of you are travelling this journey alone, then you most definitely need to step up to the plate and ask a family member, close friend or someone whom you trust explicitly to be there with you. Trying to deal with cancer is not something that you should do alone, as you will need the support of others to help get you through.

You need an advocate to ensure you are getting the best possible medical care, as well as someone who will ask those difficult questions and examine every possibility that is out there for you with regards to new treatments and options. You need someone to confide in and someone whom you trust to keep your inner most thoughts and feelings close to their heart. You need someone who will inspire and encourage you on your darkest days, someone who will keep you going when you think you just can't do it anymore, and someone to pick up the pieces and mold you back on your most difficult days. Someone who will not ask questions of you, but will listen attentively to what "you"have to say.

For those readers who are not cancer patients...take note! If you should know someone who has cancer, why don't you lend your support. You can always prepare a nutritous meal, offer to help out with chores, provide transportation to a doctor's visit or to medical tests, or just stop by to help brighten a gloomy day. The ways in which you can help are endless!!!

Yes, no one can fight adversity alone....we all need someone!

I hope you REACH OUT to someone today!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cancer as a "Chronic Disease"



More and more articles and websites that relate to cancer are now proclaiming the message that



we all need to think of CANCER as a CHRONIC DISEASE and not as an acute illness!


First, let's define both:


Acute illness is referred to as one that is brought on unexpectedly and has a relatively "short" course or duration


Chronic disease is a long-lasting, persistent medical condition


For anyone reading today's post who may have any type of cancer, this is very good news. Good news because longevity stats show that cancer patients are living longer, having very productive lives and are outliving their original medical diagnosis....very encouraging stats for sure!!!


Whoever created the word "TERMINAL" anyway??? Medical specialists cannot always determine the exact longevity for any patient....our family knows that for a fact so if you have been given that dreaded diagnosis, don't let it be the first word that you have in mind when you wake every morning and the last thing on your mind at night....instead, realize that your cancer has now been recatagorized as a "chronic disease", just like diabetes, heart disease and obesity to name a few. All of us know individuals who have these other chronic diseases and who live very productive lives.

Let's get our heads around the word "cancer" and then make a promies to ourselves to live it as "chronic" and not as "terminal"!!!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Promises Are Forever


I received an email recently from a caregiver who relayed a little of what a usual day entailed. Not what he ever imagined back several years ago when he repeated his marriage vows of "for better, for worse" , but today he feels even more in love and is so very grateful for all that he has been given.
Another caregiver wrote of how today's marriages end very rapidly because it's so easy to just pick up and leave when things go a little wrong. She has been the strong support for her husband and never ever imagined she had the strength to care of him like she does now. While he is unable to converse with her, his smile relays the deep love that he holds for her.
The true test to any marriage is holding on when it gets rough, and living with any type of serious illness, especially cancer, certainly puts your life into perspective. Caregivers are there through think and line, no complaints and despite the sleepless nights with many a nightmare thrown in, the endless worry of what "might be" and uncertainties that could fill an ocean, we are firmly anchored right by our loved one's side as they would be right there for us as well.
Just as in nature, when there's dark clouds on one side, there is always sunshine on another......and amidst it all, there is the beauty of that rainbow to get us through!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ride the Waves to Calmer Waters



Once you hear the word CANCER, life suddenly takes on a whole new perspective. It is the diagnosis that no one individual ever wants to hear, but reality is, when you have been given your medical results and your doctor says it's cancer, then you do have to deal with it. There's just no running away hoping things will get better.


There will be many rough waters ahead as you await tests to verify the severity of your cancer, along with consultations with oncologists and specialists to determine the best course of action for treatment of your cancer. Surgery may be an option, it could be chemo or radiation, taking some of the newer oral medications may be recommended or other newer technological advances such as radio therapy or laporoscopic procedures.

One vital element to getting you through the many doctor visits, the uncertainties associated with test results and side effects from treatments is to have a good support system. It's vital that you connect with someone else who can relate personally to similiar anxieties and experiences. And never, ever think that you are all alone as you continue your fight against cancer.





How do you find that special someone? With today's technologies, it's actually very simple. Check websites that relate to your specific type of cancer, find chat rooms to communicate with other patients/caregivers, and don't ever be afraid to ask for professional help from the medical experts when you need that experienced someone to just talk things over with. It can become very overwhelming at times, and maintaining a positive attitude is absolutely necessary.

Remember also, that at times, it's not only the patient who needs that support, but other family members may be struggling as well, and it's very important that they too open the lines of communication with others who can help with their emotional struggles.



Communicating with someone else who also travels through the trials of cancer, definitely brings calmness to your life.




Never be afraid to ask for that help and support!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

It's been a couple of weeks here of mostly rain, rain and more rain. Somewhere behind those clouds, the sun IS shining although it's difficult to visualize that between the raindrops.

Our lives are like that as well, especially when sickness occurs and one is going through difficult times. It difficult to imagine a day when you will be feeling a little better.....but don't give up! Going through chemo and radiation treatments can definitely dampen one's spirits, take away your appetite and make you feel so terrible at times. It's all apart of the process and once the treatments stop and you take a break, you will gradually feel your appetite returning, your energy levels slowly getting stronger and you WILL feel much, much better in awhile.

On this Thankgiving holiday weekend, let's all take time to remember how blessed we all have been, not only during this past year, but each and everyday. For the most part, I never appreciated the sunny days before cancer, but know, everyday is filled with sunshine as I watch my husband continue to beat the odds.


Yes, take time to give thanks and enjoy a wonderful weekend with family and friends!!! Our family will be spending this weekend with some very special friends who we have met along our journey with cancer.


HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Honoring the True Beauty of Amazing Women


Can't believe that it's October 1st already! I have tons of these sedum in my garden, so thought I'd share a glimpse with you. Huummmm..seems a bumble bee is tasting the last of the summer's nectar.
As I reflect upon the past week, it seems that I've been deeply touched by woman who I know who certainly stand out in their own right....not because they have won a great reward, not because they hold a public office and definitely not because they dress to perfection or apply tons of makeup. No, these are not the attributes of woman who leave an impact on those they meet.
Woman who touch your heart because of their acts of kindness, or because of the strength they show when things are so very difficult for them are the ladies who definitely are the most BEAUTIFUL!
Take for instance a wife who has stayed by her husband's hospital bed for more than a month now...never complaining, always smiling and always giving her husband the encouragement he needs as he continues his cancer journey.
Or what about the lady who is searching so desperately for whatever is out there that will help to spur on an appetite for her husband who once was such a strong and vibrant man. She could just easily give up and let nature take it's course, but she is determined to keep searching until she can find something to help nurture him back to a stronger physic.
And, for all of those ladies who battle cancer everyday, their are just no words to describe your beauty. It's a difficult road you travel, but one I'm sure in which you have touched many a heart along the way. All you need do, is just read some of the blogs posted on this page by other cancer patients and it's easy to visualize their beauty through their words as they describe their struggles and their good and bad days.
There's Daria from the Living With Cancer blog who is awaiting more CT scan results and who shares the good and bad days with us and allows us to take a glimpse at a usual day for a cancer patient, or Kristy from The Accidental Tourist a mom who continues to live life to the fullest despite her cancer and no-treatment options and then there's Jane from A Journey of Another Kind who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help bring awareness of kidney cancer througout Europe and around the world!!! Wow....all woman of such strength and courage!!! True beauty for sure.
There's millions of women out there who are such a pillar of strength to so many others despite the adversities that they themselves struggle with each day.
Next time you find yourself complaining over miniscule or trivial things in life, take a moment to reflect on those who are affected by cancer in various ways. You will soon discover that your problems are very small in comparison.
Next time you have the opportunity to spend time with special ladies like these, take the time to see the beauty from within!
"I don't think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that remains".....Ann Frank