Cozine Creek - McMinnville, Or.
One of my buys from yesterday’s pit stop at Third Street Book store. I haven’t started reading it, so a review is yet to come. However, I did want to share why I picked this amongst all the other 1,302,932,300 titles.
The back cover’s synopsis hit home: “an intimate story of mother-daughter reinvention, endurance, and hope…”
I’m currently undergoing my own story of a mother-daughter reinvention, endurance and hope as I arm myself to fight alongside my mother’s battle with cancer.
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It's such a beautiful day. I sit, just by my window as the breeze brings me the sweetest of scents, lilacs and rain with a coolness that wakes my soul. And the sky, it's blue, but distant thunderstorms promise an orchestra this evening as the heavens light. I'm so happy, my soul is so alive; I wonder at the distant past and how something so beautiful as my soul could have died as cancer ate at me. Isn't that Buddhism though? That, right there, suffering so deeply that your soul must die to stay alive. And yet, life comes again in the form of the lotus, growing out of the mud and muck, and water so brackish that no one would believe the beauty about to unfold. But it does, brilliantly, like ten thousand suns reflecting off the rarest gem ever discovered, our souls.
I'm alive again. I'm alive and writing and grateful for this moment of being because I am. I just am. I understand, perhaps in some small way, when Jesus said, "I am." I have had my burdens, my cross nailed to me, me days of hunger like Jesus and the Buddha, and I gratefully accept the rice offered at the end for therein lies Nirvana. I see that heaven is here on earth if we choose to see it, if we let it be. It's lilacs and rain and an orchestra created for me, for you, for all of us and all we have to do to have it is just be. Be present, accept the gift of life, of suffering of letting go and seeing what is truly here.
And when we let go, when we lose ourselves, then love comes. Love so pure, so indescribable that your soul pours from the simple meat bag that we so mistakenly believe that we are. But we're not simple creatures. We are more than blue eyes, or brown skin, or sex defined as male or female. We are beyond all classifications because we are love. Pure, abundant, everlasting love.
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NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER: OUT THE EYES OF A CANCER SURVIVOR
Going through cancer was a definite and infinite game changer for me. I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma cancer, otherwise known as bone cancer, at the age of 23. That was pretty late in the game seeing that this type of cancer’s age range is 0-18. My theory of how I got this cancer will be discussed in another blog. The way I discovered I had cancer was actually having left a doctor’s appt one day-a well woman’s exam-go figure. I didn’t have a vehicle at the time so I had to take public transportation. After my appointment, I decided I would go the mall not too far from where I lived. It was a cloudy day as it had just rained a couple hrs before so the ground was a bit saturated with the left over water that had gathered in puddles in some places. I came to the bus stop right in front of the local mall, which used to be called Sharpstown Mall, and as I stepped down on the glazed-like tile of the walk way, I slipped and fell. As I tried to get up, I cried aloud in excruciating pain while holding my leg. I attempted to get up again, and again fell down this time tears streaming down as I was both in pain and scared because I had never felt the type of pain I was feeling at that moment. The people standing by just looked and walked by. Finally one kneeled down and asked if I was okay; if I need help getting up. The man attempted to assist me, but the pain was too much. He asked if he should call 911. I told him yes because I couldn’t move. I was taken to the closest hospital which was right around the corner from the mall. They got me in to do the x-rays on my right and left lower extremity. My boyfriend from college at the time had made it to the hospital while I was awaiting the results back from the x-rays. We made light of the situation, joking that I was being clumsy. The nurse came in and said I have to tell you that while we were searching to see if you had a broken bone we saw a large tumor.
3 ½ years prior to this finding, I had was given the birth control depo-provera (or deh-poh for short) 3 days after giving birth to my 2nd daughter at the time. I had taken this birth control for about 6 months and after having stop taking it, I started to notice swelling and pain in the same leg the x-rays highlighted the mass tumor. I had extreme weight gain after taking the depo birth control, which is one of its side effects, so I chalked the swelling to possibly having fluid in the knees as it would go and come. 2 yrs later, I begin to notice that simple tasks in my early twenties began to feel as though I had skipped to my latter years as I could barely squat, run, jump, or climb up a set of stairs. Fast forward and it was a malignant tumor, aggressively eating away at my tibia, or leg bone.
Where and what treatments I had-
I was fortunate to be able to be seen at the world-renown MD Anderson here in Houston, Tx. I was sent to MD Anderson by the reputable trauma center, Ben Taub Hospital. Ben Taub was the one to do the biopsy on my tumor. The doctors wanted to operate thinking it was a benign, except one posed this realistic scare that had everyone thinking twice about doing so: he told me that even though in their opinion, the tumor appeared to be benign, they have no former experience with something of this magnitude and were not willing to take the risk as it would become a liability if I were to be operated on and it was in fact a malignant cell. After a week in the hospital, they finally got a response from the oncologists at MD Anderson that it was in fact an aggressive tumor and no further action should be taken by the trauma center. I got to MD Anderson doing the whole process over of multiple tests, x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and blood work. I was told I would need to undergo chemotherapy for a year and a half to ensure the tumorous cells where gone and that once I’ve been opened up to do my surgery, it would not metastasize. I did do one round of chemotherapy, but declined further treatment as I did not “come up” as well with the first rounds given. I was given 90 mg of doxorubicin and via an intra-arterial catheter, 120 mg of Cisplatin. I proceeded with the limb-salvage/saving surgery to my lower leg which included a reconstruction and adding of an endo prosthetic limb with a total knee replacement and cutting of one of my gastrocnemius (or calf muscle) to be repositioned from the back of my leg to the front to cover the endo prosthesis. Despite being told I would die in 3 years post operation for not having done the rounds of chemotherapy recommended. It has now been 7 years.
Writing this blog actually took me a month due to some of the things I had to relive/revisit which made me extremely emotional…..even after all this time. The best advice I have for someone having been given the notice of having cancer would be DON’T STOP BEING YOU. Don’t allow nothing and no one to tell you how you should feel, what you should be feeling, what you should be doing (outside of medical advice) ESPECIALLY after having gone through it. Most importantly: if you are a believer-Don’t waver in your faith, God does NOT make mistakes.
Find a support group. It’s especially harder in the African-American community when there is a lack of understanding, compassion, and education amongst us so be sure to do as much research as possible about your diagnosis. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions. Know that even if it has happen years ago, it’s still okay to cry. There is no time limit on when you should get over a life changing and traumatic event. Just be sure you don’t become a victim of the event. Change your perspective to be a positive influence for those who aren’t as strong physically, mentality, emotionally.
As for my life after cancer, I am now a certified personal trainer whose health has become so much better than the 7 years past. I have celebrated my 1st year of being opiate/pain pill free this past January after making the decision to going cold turkey January 2016. I have made it a mission of mine to find and connect with those who are having a hard time getting past the hump with life after cancer. I didn’t have a great support system going through and after cancer and I am ensuring that I can assist those that may need reassuring that it does get better.
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Please share this post and get it spreading!!! My friend's sisters mother has been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer that spread to her liver AND lungs about a week ago and she just got diagnosed with breast cancer today. She's gonna be going through hell but hopefully with support from everyone and the doctors and treatments she can pull through.
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Lizette's Story of Battling Rare Cancer
Lizette had to have radiation therapy every week for 6 weeks, surgery, facial paralysis while after she was diagnosed with ACC (a very rare cancer that arises in secretory glands). Luckily she found Without a Ribbon, a charity which helps sufferers of rare cancers. This allowed her to connect and share her story with others.
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I went into your room today
Just to feel you
Be close to you
I picked up your lipstick
I tried it on
And imagined you fussing at me
‘Pooh you always in my things’
Please say something to me
I picked up your shirts
Held them closer to my heart
I can still smell your perfume on them
I went through your jewelry box
Tried on all your jewelry
I think I’ll keep these
That way I can always wear pieces of you
I laid on the side of your bed
I imagined us watching a movie
And you asking so many questions
I’d give anything if you asked me a question
I took those too
I just want to be consumed by you
I visit you everyday
So you won’t get lonely
I sit with you
I sing to you
And sometimes I’m just still
I listen to you talk
By the wind picking up
The birds chirping
A butterfly flying
A stormy sky with specks of sunshine
You’re everywhere mommy
Just not here physically
I need you here physically
But you’re my spirit guide
You’re my intuition
My heart palpitations have slowed
I don’t laugh as much
And thinking of you makes me sad
All I have is memories
I pray everyday that I don’t forget not one
Can you talk to God
And ask Him
Can I borrow you for a minute
Just to see how you’re doing
And find out if Heaven really exists
I want to hear your voice
I replay voicemails every night
They’ve become my lullabies
I haven’t let you go
That’s why grieving is a process
I refuse to let you die
So my mind won’t release you
I have claw marks still embedded in you
I’m still trying to find my way to you
I am not a motherless child
I am still your daughter
I still have a mother
And I will love you beyond the flower beds
I will love you eternally
You are my forever compass
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FOLLOW MY PAGE FOR AMAZING ZODIAC FACTS POSTS.
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What is Acinar Cell Carcinoma?
Acinar Cell Carcinoma is a rare form of cancer that affects the pancreas. It is a form of exocrine tumour, which means it begins in the exocrine (enzyme-producing) cells of the pancreas. #Acinar Cell Carcinoma accounts for around 1-5% of pancreatic cancers in adults. This makes it very rare.
Please visit the link above for,
1- Symptoms of Acinar Cell Carcinoma?
2-Treatment options for Acinar Cell Carcinoma?
3-What support can we give for Acinar Cell Carcinoma?
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What is Acute Megakaryoblastic Leukemia?
Acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (AMKL) is life-threatening cancer, with abnormally proliferating malignant megakaryoblasts, which damages multiple tissues. A megakaryoblast is a precursor cell to a promegakaryocyte, which during the process of blood formation in the bone marrow, transforms into a megakaryocyte (immature/ancestor cell responsible for the production of platelets). It is the start of the platelet series, which is important for normal blood clotting.Please visit link above for the following,a- Epidemiology b- Causes of Acute Megakaryoblastic Leukemia c- Signs and Symptoms of Acute Megakaryoblastic #Leukemia d- Diagnosis of Acute Megakaryoblastic Leukemia e- Treatment Options for Acute Megakaryoblastic Leukemia f- What support can we give for Acute Megakaryoblastic Leukemia?
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It’s here! Check out our shop! Spread the word, support a friend. Thank you Tammy Belt for the donation!
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