Time Goes On With Challenges

It’s been over 2 years since I beat cancer. I have daily reminders of how lucky I am. There are many people, who I know, are dealing with different kinds of cancer or who are going through the steps of breast cancer, and I feel so blessed to have had the support that I had. i am sometimes overwhelmed by the people who care enough to say they are praying for you or they are thinking of you.

This summer I had a hysterectomy and they found a mass, that was not cancer. This made me feel still vulnerable but I want to think positive and take care of myself, and I want to tell people to try to ease some of the stress in their lives. Stress is a big bad deal. It can ruin so many things, and I know you cannot just walk away from it. I find myself trying to prioritize things and letting go of some things I have no control over. What is most important to me?

I listen to my oldies and favorite songs and remember the good times with them in the background. I had not a clue as to what the future held. I made it through some rough times and I am here to say Live Life and enjoy the good times and conquer the bad times.

In the last few months I have Had some friends and family diagnosed with cancer. It brings back memories of when I was told it was breast cancer. I could not speak or I cried. Just trying to process took awhile. I am so amazed at all of the things we go through and we keep going on. Can’t let it beat us. Praying is good and lets you feel the confidence grow inside of you. Family and friends who support you make you feel valued and make it not seem as you are alone in this battle. We need to find a way to cure this horrible disease. For all who are fighting the battle—keep the faith and I will be praying for you.

Meanwhile back at home…

I saw Dr Bey 2 weeks ago and…I am still cancer free!  I just love visiting with Dr Bey.  She told me that I need to take care not to get stressed, so I can stay healthy.   My life is pretty full these days, and sometimes I forget to breathe and stop to count my blessings.  I love my four mornings with the babies I care for at Sage Cottage and I love my family time.  I am so passionate about our schools, that I throw my self into Board things that come up.  I just get so involved with it all that I forget to enjoy my friends.  I will make that effort and listen to my own body and take care of me.  Cannot be superwoman.  Blessings for the holidays.

Bjarkes for Boobs

A wonderful experience doing the 39 mile/2 day walk in San Francisco, last week.  My daughter, Shiree, and 3 sisters-in-law, Cheryl, Rose and Lisa walked with me.  My brothers, George, Karl and Gary, and my son-in-law were there to cheer us on.  My brothers Dick and Don, withe Denise, Amy, Talulah and my mom, Joan were cheering us from home.  I had so much support from my wonderful family and friends, that i want to thank.  It is such a surreal experience and I feel so good and positive.  Life is good and I am blessed.

Life goes on

Every day I wake up and feel so blessed to be her, experiencing life.  I still feel a little sad every time I talk about the journey because others have not had such wonderful outcomes.

Recently I had a family member leave this world because of cancer.  I am registered to participate in a 2 day walk in San Francisco , at the end of September.  I need to raise $1800 for Cancer research.  Some of my sister in-laws and my daughter will join me on this adventure.  If you are so inclined to donate I would appreciate it.  This is the Avon Walk. I am so driven to help find a cure and want to thank all of my supporters for all they have done for me.  

2012 in review It was a long year with many ups and downs. Let’s focus on the ups and try to find positive things that came from the bad. 2013 will be excellent!

judyThe WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Article by Cameron

Cameron wrote and asked me if I wanted to post his article. It’s wonderful to read and so meaningful.

Husband, Father, and Caregiver

More than once my wife has commented to me that she has no idea what I went through after she was diagnosed with mesothelioma. The day her doctor looked at her and gave her the crushing news, she cried. I watched the tears as they fell from her eyes and wondered how we would ever get through something like this. Her diagnosis came only three months after she gave birth to our first and only daughter, Lily. We were filled with such joy and happiness at that time. Unfortunately, that was quickly taken from us as we were told that my wife had cancer.

I was angry and emotional. It took the doctor talking about the medical decisions we’d have to make before I finally realized that this was only the beginning of the emotions and difficult decisions we faced. Our situation didn’t seem fair, and I took my anger out on others by cursing at them and lashing out. It didn’t take me long to recognize how selfish I was being. I realized that the last thing my wife needed was to see just how scared I really was. From that moment on, I did everything I could to be a stable source of hope and optimism for my wife. It wasn’t easy, but I did my best to be the rock my wife needed to get through this horrible time.

My days were overwhelming. Aside from work, I had a house to take care of. I had my wife to care for, doctor appointments, travel arrangements to make, our daughter to care for, and our pets to think about. If I hadn’t learned to prioritize and do the most important tasks on my to-do list first, I never would have survived this. Additionally, it didn’t take me long to realize that I needed to accept the offers of help our friends and families were calling us with. I don’t know what I would have done without them.

The hardest of all the decisions we had to make came after my wife’s surgery in Boston. She flew to South Dakota to spend two months with her parents and Lily, while I remained behind to work. It was a horrible decision to have to make, but we knew I couldn’t work and care for Heather and Lily while Heather recovered and rested for her next round of mesothelioma treatment: chemotherapy and radiation. It was a hard decision, but it isn’t one I look back on with regret. We did what was best for our family, and we are just blessed we had that option.

During those two months I saw my family only one time. I drove 11 hours through a snowstorm one Friday night after work and had to turn around and drive home on Sunday so I could go back to work on Monday. It was exhausting, but I was so happy to see my family.

If I learned anything from my wife’s cancer diagnosis, it’s that I can’t do everything myself. I had to have help, and I am so grateful to those who offered their help to us. We also learned not to anguish in the tough decisions we were forced to make. We realized that having the ability to make tough choices gave us a level of control over our situation, and this was a great blessing. Despite the overwhelming odds against her, Heather is here and healthy over six years later. I hope that my story can help someone else going through currently going through a similar struggle with cancer.