Category: The Misc…

A Craving

I’ve told this story to a few people so forgive me if you’re hearing this for a second time.

When I was first diagnosed with Amyloidosis and I started my first four rounds of chemo therapy I had a craving come over me that was so strong I was often time left in tears. What did I crave?

Babies…

There was something about the smell of a newborn baby, the new life, the endless possibilities that lay before them. There’s an energy they give off in the early months that’s intoxicating and I believe can be healing. Not healing of the body but healing of the mind, well, for me it would have been, I think. I recall telling my husband about it and wondered out loud if I could only go to the nursery at the hospital and sit in a rocking chair and hold a newborn for a little while. Feeling that if I could just do that once or twice I could find some calm in my storm.

I never did get to hold a baby during that time. I had some friends who had a baby in that time span but they weren’t allowing people to hold their child in the first few months. I recall going to their home to see the baby and drop off a gift. I asked to hold her and was told I couldn’t. Selfishly I cried for a week over the rejection. If they only knew what just a few minutes would have meant to me, would they have let me hold her?

Regardless that time has passed and my craving still kicks in sometimes. But now I do have that opportunity to hold a little one now and then. Just last night I got a chance to indulge my craving by holding a little bundle while her mother ate dinner. She was so warm and squishy, and smelled heavenly. As I suspected it would, my spirits were raised as I sat, so grateful to her mother for allowing me to hold her child.

Even today I’m experiencing the residual baby high I got last night and I’m not sure if I know how to explain the feelings I have. I don’t know if I am in the end stages of my life or not. If I get a heart transplant then the answer would be no, but if I don’t the answer would be yes. So when that little voice in the back of my head is telling me to soak up what I can because it may be my last opportunity the craving to be around new life comes over me.

It’s ridiculous to think that by some sort of spiritual osmosis in holding a baby I can impart some wisdom they might come to realize when they’re older. I know that’s a silly thought and not possible, but if it were? When I passed I wouldn’t really be gone, a piece of me would be with every one of the babies I had the pleasure to love and hold close to my heart. Like I said it’s just silliness on my part…

I’ve had the opportunity to do that with my own children. I held them close and soaked up all the new baby energy. I remember how sweet each of them smelled after they were born. Now in their adulthood I can see that I was a good mother, a good steward of their lives, and I raised three amazing human beings. When I’m gone I will live on in them and live on even more in their children. I truly hope I’m here to see their children, my grandchildren, but if I’m not, I will most certainly be with them all in spirit.

I’m going to ride this baby high all day. I have an amazing dinner planned for my family and today I’m feeling fabulous!

One Year

I just realized that the first of November was the one year anniversary of my blog! WOO HOO! What’s happened in a year’s time?

Doctors, drugs, faith, family, food (lots of food!) and photos mostly. I was listed for heart transplant, good news! My heart is a little weaker than it was when I started, not so good news. I still take a couple fists full of pills every day…LOL…that’s not likely to ever change.

I’m still working on curbing my anxiety/PTSD and I think I might be winning the battle on that. I’ve found peace in my faith and truly believe the Big Guy up there is totally in charge of my life. If I have done nothing else in one year’s time I have completely surrendered myself to my God and given Him all the power over my life. I live and breathe to serve Him. I’ve come to realize that I need a community and I think I found one. My purpose is to serve others and I can do it in so many ways.

Even with my limited mobility (no driving, and being tethered to an oxygen concentrator 24/7,) I can always use Uber or Lyft if I can’t find someone to give me a ride…even way out here in Wyoming, can you believe it?!

 

I Want To Dance

It’s killing me that I still don’t have the energy to dance and to teach. I want, so desperately, to teach a ballet class, but I just don’t have the strength for it yet. I’m hoping that by the beginning of the next dance season I’ll be able to at least start subbing now and then. If I had to pick one thing as the truest passion of my life it would be dancing. I started dancing when I was three and started teaching dance at 14. I would say it runs in my veins now.

To watch people dance makes me yearn for the studio, to listen to music, and to create new movement. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t choreograph while I’m listening to whatever might be playing on the radio. I create outrageous costumes in my head, edit music, create mash-ups.

I need to dance, I need to teach it…it’s a part of who I am, It’s part of my soul.

Added a few photos of a former student to my 365 Day Gallery.

Without Healthcare People Will Die

And let me clarify…this is my opinion. I do not perceive it to be either conservative or liberal. The reason I believe that people will die without healthcare is because of the socioeconomics of this country.

I’m going to keep it simple, not because I think topic of healthcare is too complex to discuss, but because I don’t think it needs to be as complicated as it’s being made out to be. Ultimately, we should “want to” take care of people; take care of each other. Whatever happened to taking care of each other? I understand that some people need more taking care of than others, but isn’t that the point of us all doing it together, so no one group is over burdened with the task of caring for those who might need more care?

The bottom line is, if you live within a specific socioeconomic range, you don’t have healthcare, and you can’t afford it. You’re not going to go to the doctor because the visit costs $150, but the impending outcome of not seeing a doctor at $150 could potentially result in 10’s of thousands of dollars worth of emergency healthcare needed later. THAT, in the nutshell is what I believe to be the ultimate problem. If everyone could go to the doctor when it was a $150 problem, then we could potentially avoid some of the problems that costs 10’s of thousands and in some cases cost people their lives!

A 60 year old woman should be able to get a mammogram at no cost, period. Why? Because breast cancer is expensive! Cancer screening in general should be low to no cost, because cancer is EXPENSIVE! I know this first hand. Not only do I have cancer but I’ve seen the bills my insurance has paid out. Four rounds of chemotherapy…over $170,000 in 16 weeks! If I didn’t have a husband with a great job with good health insurance I wouldn’t be sitting here right now typing this entry; I’d be dead. This is something I’ve struggled with a lot since I became sick. I know what it’s like to be poor and I know what it’s like to not be. I also believe that if it weren’t for my socioeconomic status I probably wouldn’t be alive. I most certainly wouldn’t be living in a house we pay a mortgage on, and we wouldn’t be paying for our youngest son to go to college, in all likelihood and at the very least, we’d be bankrupt. So, what makes me so special over my neighbors down the street who works just as hard but don’t have the same kind  of healthcare I do?

Healthcare for all, single payer system, socialized healthcare, call it whatever helps you sleep at night but call it something. The Senators in my state, Republican Senator John Barraso (who happens to be a DOCTOR!), and Republican Senator Mike Enzi, need to vote on this newest healthcare bill, the AHCA, with the interest of their constituency in mind. Passing this bill will hurt Wyoming families and people will die!

Feeling Better…

I am feeling better, a lot better actually. It’s still slow going and I have to pace myself, but each week I feel like I’m getting a little closer to something that might resemble normal.

My husband and I recently made a trip to Las Vegas. It was my first time back there in almost three years. A lot had changed and a lot hadn’t…like the number of people who smoke! Oh Lord! Unfortunately I think the extreme exposure to cigarette and cigar smoke may have triggered another lovely upper respiratory infection my body is currently trying to kick. It’s not nearly as bad as the last one but it’s still uncomfortable being a walking, talking, mucus factory. We had a lot of fun though, and I was able to do a lot more walking than I anticipated.

Regardless of my current respiratory issue, I’ve tried to stay productive since we have a lot going on around here.

Our youngest son is graduating from high school and we are hosting a graduation party at our home which means I need to purge, clean, re-organize, etc. We hired an electrician to do some random work around our home but primarily to install a 94 year old antique light fixture that use to hang in my maternal grandparent’s home in Northern California. It’s made of brass and milk glass, and believe it or not, still has the original price still printed on it from 1923…$12.56. It’s a beautiful addition to our dining room which previously had no fixture in it at all, so it will be nice to be able to see what we’re eating when use the dining room.

I’ve painted a few walls in the house. I had a dark green wall in my office, formerly one of our son’s rooms, and it just wasn’t a shade of green I cared for. I also repainted the sewing room, soon to be the new guest room, again a dark blue not exactly to my liking. Both rooms look nice and fresh now with newly patched walls, and fresh paint.

We finally took the leap and replaced our eight year old “kid” couch and bought a new black leather modular sectional for our living room. Of course we needed a new couch because we bought a new high definition TV and that old broken down couch just wasn’t going to work for us any more…LOL

So I’ve moved some things out, moved some around, made some additions and the house is starting to feel like it belongs to me again.

Being sick for so long and not having the strength to clean my own home became a little demoralizing after awhile. Over the course of four years my home stopped feeling like it belonged to me because I had no control over anything, like when the bathrooms got cleaned. For a long time I didn’t even have the strength to use the vacuum. Now that I can do the dishes, dust, vacuum, and paint a wall or two makes the house feel more like my home again. Crazy, I’d actually be glad I can do chores again, but if you know me you know I’m a tiny bit of a neat freak!

Next on our list of adventures is a trip to Ikea in Denver this coming weekend. We’ll get an opportunity to see my mom and sister as well as take in a Rockies game while we’re there. I can’t wait to leisurely cruise through Ikea on Saturday and of course spend a small fortune because how can you not in that store!