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I have not forgotten all of you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I haven't forgotten Spark or my friends here; I've just been busy, worn out and tired and haven't had a chance to do much of anything online. I haven't even had a chance to read my blog comments, Spark page comments or look at my Spark goodies, but I will as soon as I can.

My mom's funeral was last Wednesday and it was a beautiful service, I think she would have been proud.

I cancelled my chemo last week, and was supposed to have it today, but when they did my lab work, my platelets were too low, only 52, and my hemoglobin dropped again too, down to 8.1. I will be having a blood transfusion Friday.

I have been extra tired again, but I had attributed that to stress and grief, and of course, some sleepless nights since my mom passed.

We are supposed to be getting some nasty weather this weekend, including freezing rain. Since I will surely be stuck at home, I will try then to get caught up on my Spark stuff.

Thank you my friends, for all your love and support. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMMERJESSE 11/24/2014 9:03AM

    Thinking of you, Shari. Stay well.

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IAM_HIS 11/22/2014 10:27PM

    Been praying for you. I am so delighted to know how you are....sending you lots of prayers and hugs!

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CINDILP 11/21/2014 4:44PM

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
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Cindi

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YELLOW09RED 11/21/2014 12:36PM

    Hi,
I am keeping you in my thoughts for your transfusion. Hugs
Keep warm this weekend.
Debbie
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OPALMOON 11/21/2014 6:46AM

    Dearest Shari,
We know you haven't forgotten us, nor have we forgotten you, of course. I'm so glad your Mom had a beautiful service, and I am sure she would have been very proud of you and your sister.
Meanwhile, it is not surprising you are worn out and tired. Grief takes a lot out of one, and with your platelets and haemoglobin low again, plus sleepless nights, it would all be very draining. I wondered if you would be able to keep up with chemo during the past couple of weeks too. I hope you will be feeling much better after the transfusion tomorrow, and that you can feel replenished and get some restorative rest soon.
We've had news reports of the freezing conditions and current 'super snow' in parts of the USA at the moment...I had also been wondering if it was affecting you - I hope the weather conditions are kind to you tomorrow, and that you can stay safe and warm over the weekend.
Take care my dear friend - thinking of you and sending prayers for you and your loved ones as always.
Love and may big gentle hugs,
Nattacia

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JUDITH316 11/21/2014 5:55AM

    My thoughts and prayers are with you Shari, please stay safe and warm emoticon emoticon

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JANIEWWJD 11/21/2014 12:24AM

    I will continue to pray for your well being, my friend!!!!
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PIMPINELLAN50 11/20/2014 10:19PM

    Continued prayers and well wishes to you Shari...take good care of YOU..we will all be here to give you our support and love when you come back.
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MAINLADY 11/20/2014 6:21PM

    We all think about you every day, Shari. I know what an exhausting time this can be measured by your grief. The main thing now is to take care of YOU. Sending prayers and positive thoughts.

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HANOVERLADY 11/20/2014 1:41PM

    We're the least of your worries - work on staying strong for yourself. We'll be around when you're ready to talk with us. Eating the cookies we find in your kitchen. Drinking your tea and cocoa. Playing with your cats. It's all good.

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ENG_TV 11/20/2014 1:02PM

    I'm a little behind keeping up for a week or two. So sorry to hear about your mom and your setback. Keeping you in prayer!
Hugs.
Terri

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NPA4LOSS 11/20/2014 12:41PM

    Not to worry, we will be here when you return. Take care of you and do what you need to do. My thoughts and prayers continue for you. emoticon

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CASSIECAT 11/20/2014 10:10AM

    emoticon

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RAESUN54 11/20/2014 9:05AM

    Thinking about during this difficult time. I hope you get rest that is much needed. I know after losing your parent, especially when you were as close as you were with your mother, your mind doesn't shut down.
I am glad she had a beautiful service.
She is still watching over you and I believe you will feel her with you in different ways.

I hope you stay warm and when going for your transfusion, you have safe conditions. Snow is tough driving and walking on.

Remember you have lots of love and prayers sent your way.

God Bless.

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CRUISEGAL55 11/20/2014 8:44AM

    It sounds like the old adage- 2 steps forward, 1 step back. That transfusion will get you back on track. Shari, I send you prayers & love.
Judi
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BETHGILLIGAN 11/20/2014 8:41AM

    emoticon

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SUSAN-FIT-N-FAB 11/20/2014 8:02AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JANET552 11/20/2014 7:45AM

    Take care!! I hope the transfusion helps to restore some of your energy. Concentrate on you, Spark can wait. emoticon

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FORZACHANDMATT 11/19/2014 11:09PM

    Thinking about you :)

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 11/19/2014 9:44PM

    Dear Friend!
Take care...we will be here when you can come back, and will be thinking of you and sending good thoughts and care! Wish I could come by for tea!
The loss of anyone close is a trauma, But the loss of a mother is so close and painful! I am so sorry for your loss! No wonder your numbers are off! Take it easy and Remember to breath and be gentle with yourself!
Warm hugs & love,
Mary

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SMILINGEYES2 11/19/2014 9:43PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

So sorry this has been so hard for you. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs.

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GARDENCHRIS 11/19/2014 9:20PM

    sounds like you have a lot on your plate, hope things get better soon, sorry about your mom.

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LUCYCAN7 11/19/2014 8:31PM

  Pray all goes well with your transfusion you are and will be in my thoughts and
prayers.Stay warm and safe emoticon emoticon

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ALLENJOSEPH 11/19/2014 8:29PM

    My love, thoughts and prayers go out to you, Shari. I hope you are able to get some well needed rest.
Take special care, and may God bless you always.
emoticon emoticon Janis

P.S. We are suppose to get have temperatures up in the high 30s on Saturday, Sunday & Monday, and with rain on Sunday and Monday changing then to snow. What a mess that will be when it freezes. As you know I live in Upper Michigan. Our roads have been really bad. It snowed today. I met with a group of lady friends this morning, and we also went out to lunch. It snowed while we visited at the restaurant, followed by getting my haircut. I then went and did some grocery shopping. I let my car run while I shopped.
It was nice to come out to my car and not have to scrape windows. I made one last stop at a gas station to get a few gallons of gas, and then went home.
I hope you get a good rest, Shari! emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/19/2014 8:30:53 PM

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CELLOPLAYER1 11/19/2014 7:58PM

    emoticon

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ANGELBELIEVER 11/19/2014 7:47PM

    You must be exhausted. Good to see you back here though. You are constantly on my prayer list daily. Stay warm this weekend and be kind to yourself. emoticon

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UNICORN212 11/19/2014 7:47PM

    Stay warm and safe. I hope all goes smoothly with the transfusion!

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ICEDEMETER 11/19/2014 7:37PM

    Stay warm and safe, and let the infusions work their magic on your body while you take care of your mind and emotions. Your body knew that you weren't "ready" for another round of chemo, so just let you know...

Wishing you peaceful sleep tonight, and warm thoughts of comfort

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ICECUB 11/19/2014 7:15PM

    I continue to keep you in my prayers. stay warm and take care.

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My mom is gone

Sunday, November 09, 2014

I'm too tired and overwhelmed right now to go into all the details, and it's been a long night, but I just had to let my Spark friends know.

My mom died unexpectedly sometime yesterday (Saturday); when she was found in her home, she was already gone, probably from a massive heart attack.
I will post another blog later to explain more.

I'm going to try, if I can, to get some sleep, because I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDITH316 11/19/2014 6:46PM

    I'm so sorry Shari, please accept my sincere condolences and prayers, my heart goes out to you and your family, I am praying for strength and for God's peace during this difficult time... emoticon emoticon

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ANGELBELIEVER 11/19/2014 1:55PM

    Hope you are doing some better today. I know how difficult it is to lose your Mom. emoticon

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LINDYPOWER 11/15/2014 8:57AM

    Dearest Shari, Sending you my loving thoughts in this time of great sorrow. emoticon emoticon

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LOVE4KITTIES 11/14/2014 2:17PM

    emoticon
I am so very sorry about your loss of your Mom.
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ANDREWS_MOM 11/12/2014 6:50PM

    Shari,
I am so, so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad many years ago- he was only 54 years old (esphogeal & brain cancer). I know how very hard it is. My thoughts and prayers are with you & your family. Take comfort that she is now in a better place and you have a very special guardian angel to look over you.
xxx

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NOMIS1 11/12/2014 7:52AM

    Shari - I am so sorry to hear about your mother's passing. My heart is breaking for you.

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ALLENJOSEPH 11/11/2014 11:10PM

    I'm so sorry to hear of your Mom's passing, Shari. Please know that you and your Family are in my prayers.
I only saw in the friend's feed, a few minutes ago that your Mom had past away.
You are in my thought and prayers, Shari.
My Love & Prayers, Janis emoticon

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BUNNONE 11/11/2014 10:00PM

    I am so very sorry, Shari. Wish I could give you a hug.

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RAESUN54 11/11/2014 8:37PM

    So sorry for your loss. Sending hugs and prayers to you and your family. My thoughts are with you.
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TERRY011360 11/11/2014 6:33PM

    Oh Shari, I am so sorry to hear about your mom. It is not easy to go through this. I will keep you in my prayers.

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ALICEART2010 11/11/2014 12:40PM

    I'm so sorry.

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FORZACHANDMATT 11/11/2014 12:37PM

    So, so sorry for your loss

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GOANNA2 11/11/2014 7:31AM

    Shari, I am so sorry to hear of your mum's passing.
Sending hugs and prayers to you. emoticon

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MAINLADY 11/10/2014 6:56PM

    Oh Shari....I am so very sorry to hear that your mom has passed away. My thoughts and prayers are with you always.

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DAISYBELLEKIA 11/10/2014 4:10PM

    I'm praying for you... emoticon

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 11/10/2014 2:46PM

    Shari,
Along with the others, I am so sorry and will be thinking of you and sending
thoughts and prayers for you to get through this and find peace!
Hugs,
Mary


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HANOVERLADY 11/10/2014 2:22PM

    Oh, Shari, I'm so very sorry. No matter how old we are, losing our mothers is a very hard hit.

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JANIEWWJD 11/10/2014 12:46AM

    I am so very sorry for your loss!!! I know how you are feeling because I lost my BIL, my husband's brother last week to a massive heart attack. He was only 63 years old. We had him one minute and the next, he was gone. Stay strong, my friend and may our good Lord hold you in his arms and comfort you. May God bless you!!!
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Comment edited on: 11/10/2014 12:47:40 AM

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1STATEOFDENIAL 11/10/2014 12:27AM

    My deepest condolences, my friend. That is difficult and sad.
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I hope you find comfort in the memories of love and joy with her.
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SNUZSUZ 11/9/2014 10:32PM

    Oh, Shari, my heart is breaking for you!

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LADYDARYA 11/9/2014 10:01PM

    Oh Shari! I am so sorry. I know exactly what you are going through and I'm praying for you and your family. emoticon

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GOOZLEBEAR 11/9/2014 9:44PM

    I am so sorry for the loss of your Mom and that she went unexpectedly. Praying you will be able to get everything done that you need to. I know how you feel, I lost mine several years ago.

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MAMARSTON 11/9/2014 9:40PM

  Dear Shari,
I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I will pray for you and your family. emoticon emoticon

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CELLOPLAYER1 11/9/2014 6:56PM

    Oh Shari, I feel so bad for you. I know your mom meant a lot to you. I will keep you in my prayers.

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NPA4LOSS 11/9/2014 6:35PM

    Shari, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I am so thankful that you had such a long time to enjoy her in your life. emoticon

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LIVINGLOVINLIFE 11/9/2014 6:35PM

    My heart is crying for you. Our moms are so special and it is so hard when they are gone. All I can do is offer you comfort and a prayer for comfort and peace. Hugs Pat.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/9/2014 6:20PM

    Oh Shari, I'm so sorry to hear that. I know you are both in shock and heartbroken. I hope she went peacefully and quickly.

Hugs,
Kay

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 11/9/2014 5:33PM

    My deepest sympathy and prayers are with you and your family during this sudden loss of your Mom, Shari. May God bless you with peace and comfort during this very difficult time. Please allow yourself time to grieve.
Prayers, blessings, love and hugs,
Helen

Comment edited on: 11/9/2014 5:33:47 PM

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PHOENIX1949 11/9/2014 3:19PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CINDILP 11/9/2014 2:48PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. emoticon

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LUCYCAN7 11/9/2014 2:29PM

  So sorry to hear about the sudden loss of your Mom.You are in my
thoughts and prayers. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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UNICORN212 11/9/2014 12:32PM

    I am so sorry to hear this. Be gentle to yourself and let yourself grieve. It is OK to cry - in fact it is necessary. Sending hugs and prayers.

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ICEDEMETER 11/9/2014 10:51AM

    Deepest sympathy, strongest thoughts, and gentle hugs to you, dearest Shari emoticon

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SMILINGEYES2 11/9/2014 10:35AM

    I am so sorry. Hugs and prayers wrapped in warm thoughts. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OPALMOON 11/9/2014 10:34AM

    Dearest Shari,
I am so sorry to hear this sad news. I have been continuing to pray for your dear Mom as well as you and will now think of her as an angel with wings watching over you. My deepest sympathy and condolences to you and your sister. My loving thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with you.
Love always, and many gentle hugs,
Nattacia

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YELLOW09RED 11/9/2014 9:32AM

    God bless your Sunday.
Sending my deepest sympathy.
Love you friend,
Debbie
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ICECUB 11/9/2014 9:05AM

    SHARI I AM SO SORRY FOR YOU LOSS. MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU. MAY GOD COMFORT YOU AND SURROUND YOU WITH HIS PEACE. emoticon

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CRUISEGAL55 11/9/2014 8:46AM

    Shari, my condolences. You now have 1 more Angel in Heaven watching over you. My love & prayers to you. Judi
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SUSAN-FIT-N-FAB 11/9/2014 8:08AM

    Shari my heart goes out to you. I know your pain and am here for you in prayers and friendship.

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BETHGILLIGAN 11/9/2014 7:44AM

    Oh, Shari! I am weeping as I read this. I am so sorry to hear this news! Sending you prayers of comfort, strength and peace. emoticon

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JANET552 11/9/2014 6:46AM

    I am so sorry!! My thoughts and prayers are with you. emoticon

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MOONGLOWSNANA 11/9/2014 2:22AM

  Oh Shari I am so sorry to hear this. I am praying for strength to help you get through the days to come, and to help you with the necessary decisions.
Know that I will be thinking about you tomorrow... Jackie
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ALIHIKES 11/9/2014 1:40AM

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my mom a few months ago. She was a rock and an inspiration. (My mom's death was not unexpected, but she suffered for many months in a twilight between life and death)

My deepest sympathy to you.
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PIMPINELLAN50 11/9/2014 1:38AM

    Shari,i am so very sorry for the sudden loss of your mother.You are in my thoughts, heart and prayers at this difficult time.
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RENATA144 11/9/2014 1:29AM

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ZRIE014 11/9/2014 1:14AM

  sorry for you los. Wish you the best. My prayers are with you in your time of need.

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ANGELBELIEVER 11/9/2014 1:11AM

    emoticon I am so sorry Shari. There are no words I can say..just know I'm thinking of you and you are in my heart. emoticon

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Acceptance vs. Giving Up

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Some background before I start, if you haven't read my blogs before.
I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer in 2003, I won't go through all the details about my treatment because that is on my Sparkpage. In 2007, it returned, this time to my bones, and it's now stage IV, or metastatic breast cancer. I just found out a few months ago it is starting to spread to my liver too.

It took me several years to come to a place of acceptance with this disease, it's not something that happened overnight. I have had to find acceptance with the truths of this disease in order to find a way to live with it. I have accepted that there is no cure for my disease; to me, that is not giving up, I simply chose not to waste time and energy on what will never be; instead, I focus on trying to live so that I have the best quality of life possible with the time I have left. That does not mean I don't hope for a cure for all cancer one day, I just know that it's not going to happen for me personally. I just focus on what I can do to make myself feel better on THIS day, instead of worrying about the days that are not even here yet. It sounds like a cliche, but I truly have to take it "one day at a time."

The hardest things I have had to find acceptance with is not being physically able to do certain activities I use to enjoy, such as walking for exercise, and gardening. I know that I can't do them for now, but maybe one day, there might be surgery that can be done on my hip enabling me to be more active again, and maybe someday I will be a on a treatment that won't make me so tired. In the meantime, just because I can't garden doesn't mean I can't enjoy a couple of hanging baskets on my porch in the summer, and just because I can't exercise the "traditional' ways doesn't mean I can't find other alternatives, such as chair exercising.

I had to stop working in November 2008; it took me a long time to accept the idea of being ok with not working, and not feeling guilty about it, especially when there are so many people that are judgmental about those who have to live on Social Security Disability.

I've also had to accept living with fatigue and chronic pain, and again, that doesn't mean I am giving up; it means that I have to accept my limits and work around them so that I don't make myself even more exhausted or cause the pain to become worse. It's a work in progress though; I still have to work on the guilt that I am not getting as much done as "other people." And I am harder on myself than I am on others; if I were talking to someone else with my same health issues, I would tell them they have nothing to feel bad or guilty about, so I need to work on showing myself the same kindness I show others.

This does not mean I am one of those "peppy and positive" people either; finding acceptance of my situation does not mean I have to be happy about it. I'm somewhere in between; there are some days when the glass is half full, and others where it is half empty. With having had to start IV chemo again recently, I once again have been finding it a challenge to accept my limitations and find ways of working around them.

One start to that is putting my feelings down in words, (though it's hard to find the right ones) and letting them out. I'm sure I'll look at this blog later and think of a better way I could have said something, or realize that I left something out I should have said. Oh well, I can always blog about that another day!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPALMOON 11/13/2014 12:53PM

    Dear Shari,
So much of what you have written here echoes some of my experiences. I had to stop working in 2008 as well, though earlier that year, and I know what you mean about some people being judgemental about others who need to live on disability support. I am still mourning the loss of sport I used to enjoy playing, and am still trying to figure out 'who I am' without the ability to engage in former physical activity. I enjoy watching some sports on TV, but I am being passive rather than directly being involved.

Planning outings can be challenging enough, like it is for you, with the need to think about 'how many spoons are involved'. I have days where it is hard not to beat myself up for not being able to do more, so I can empathise with the need to show myself the same kindness I would to others too. It is like a continual learning experience. One of Mum's sayings through her difficult life has been 'acceptance is half the battle', and those days when one can accept one's situation, even if only for a few minutes, or longer, of course - are times of a sense of inner peace, and not giving up.

You write about your experiences with such authenticity and expressing yourself in this way is indeed a great way to 'lighten the load'. Having said all that, I'm only dealing with chronic pain, fatigue and IBS, while you have so much more to deal with physically. My diagnoses over the past couple of years are more recent, so it seems I am still in the early stages of working through the process of acceptance on a broader scale. Every time you blog about doing your workouts I applaud your resilience and of course how you are each time such an inspiration to others. You will always be an inspiration, and very dear, to me!
Love, blessings and many big hugs,
Nattacia

You are emoticon !!

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Comment edited on: 11/13/2014 12:57:20 PM

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ALLENJOSEPH 11/11/2014 11:15PM

    You are a huge inspiration to me, Shari!
Love, emoticon and Prayers, Janis

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HANOVERLADY 11/11/2014 1:37PM

    Beautifully written. Thank you so much for sharing this, Shari.

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MAINLADY 11/10/2014 7:04PM

    This is a wonderful blog. Many of us could not cope the way that you have and do. You're an inspiration to all of us.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 11/10/2014 3:16PM

    Thank you for expressing yourself, which you do so well wether you think so or not!
I enjoyed reading it and think you courage and attitude are an inspiration!
Thank you!
Mary


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MISSM66 11/9/2014 7:05PM

    emoticon Shari I love the sprite that you have going inside of you,you always think positive,just keep doing what you can do to make your self happy, emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/9/2014 6:28PM

    Shari, I have often wondered how you manage with such grace to deal with things day after day. I appreciate it when you take the time to write about it. I just read your other blog about your mom passing away so I know your mind is probably on other things right now, but I just want to say how much I appreciate your willingness to share how you deal with your daily struggles with your own health issues. You have taught me a lot along the way.
Hugs,
Kay

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 11/9/2014 5:26PM

    emoticon blog, Shari!!! Thank you for being honest and such an inspiration to me and many others!!! No one know what tomorrow will bring and we all need to learn to live...one day at a time.
It is difficult at times to understand and accept our limitations...even when they are not like yours...we all have them and have to deal with them. You make it more acceptable knowing all that you are dealing with. You have said it extremely well!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
Prayers, blessings and hugs,
Helen

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SMILINGEYES2 11/8/2014 11:22PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

You are such an encouragement to us by the way you tackle your disease. Focusing on today is what we all need to do. Sorry we can not help you with projects such as your garden/flowers.

Please feel you can share your thoughts and feelings here. We care.

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SMILINGEYES2 11/8/2014 11:18PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

You are such an encouragement to us by the way you tackle your disease. Focusing on today is what we all need to do. Sorry we can not help you with projects such as your garden/flowers.

Please feel you can share your thoughts and feelings here. We care.

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CELLOPLAYER1 11/8/2014 9:35PM

    emoticon

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CELLA_P 11/8/2014 8:29PM

    Shari, now as always, your words reflect such thoughtfulness, reflection, wisdom, and some deep inner strength. I don't think a one of us comes away from them without the hope that we, too, can face what our own lives may bring, too. I can never thank you enough for that gift.

In the years that I've read of your long-term struggle with this disease, I know that you haven't escaped other great losses, such as that of your dad, and sometimes alarming concerns, such as your mom's health crises. All of these seemingly insurmountable events and situations have transpired against the harsh backdrop of what would be, for many of us further south, a severe climate.

Thank you not only for sharing your talents with those in your immediate geographic area, but for consistently showing us, too, that although a life of acceptance and making the most of each day is extremely challenging for you, you're a success story: one day at a time. Many emoticon and good wishes! We're all with you, all the time...

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LUCYCAN7 11/8/2014 7:49PM

  Hi Shari,
I SO ADMIRE YOUR STRENGTH JUST DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU GET
IT.YOU ARE TOTALLY ONE STRONG WOMAN.I THINK THE WRITING IS
GREAT AND WILL HELP YOU IF YOU CAN BLOG EVERYDAY.HUGS AND
BLESSINGS!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILDKAT781 11/8/2014 7:25PM

    such a powerful blog. I pray for your peace and pray for a cure someday

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JANET552 11/8/2014 6:49PM

    I admire your grace. Acceptance must have been difficult and, since things change for better and for worse, it is necessary for acceptance o be a work in progress. I enjoy your blogs, find them inspiring and always think you've expressed yourself well.

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ICECUB 11/8/2014 6:26PM

    HI SHERI, YOU ARE SUCH AN INSPIRATION. WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE WILL BRING. I AGREE ACCEPTANCE IS NOT GIVING UP. YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO FEEL GUILTY ABOUT.I WILL CONTINUE TO KEEP YOU IN MY PRAYERS.

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ELLFIN3 11/8/2014 6:24PM

    What I LOVE most about You is Your wonderful attitude! You get more done in one day (most days) than I do! Love You!!!!! (((((HUGS)))))

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YELLOW09RED 11/8/2014 5:19PM

    Hi Shari,
I agree with Angelbliever "Please be kind to yourself my friend. Believe that you are an amazing woman because you are." You are very strong.
I pray for you everyday.
God bless you.
Hugs for your evening.
Debbie



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VALLITTLEMAMA5 11/8/2014 3:18PM

    Your words apply to all of us. We might not have cancer, but we have something that is limiting to us. And coming to a place where we accept that limitation and work around/with/despite it takes courage and grit. Some days I have that grit, and some days I don't. And accepting that is part of courage, too, to look our situation in the face and own it as our own situation.

Your blog has made me feel less lonely today in my limitations! Thank you for sharing!

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ANGELBELIEVER 11/8/2014 2:44PM

    Shari, Once again thank you for your honest feelings in your blog. Acceptance is so important in this life. I love the fact that you are always looking for ways to live with your disease and not give up. Please be kind to yourself my friend. Believe that you are an amazing woman because you are. What you have been through would have crippled many others out there, and I'm not even sure how I would handle your situation. I hope I would be the trooper you are and be able to stay positive and at the same time express your feelings because you are human, after all. Thank you for your continued openness and honesty. emoticon

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SCOOTER4263 11/8/2014 2:32PM

    I will not presume to comment on your wonderful and uplifting blog, except to add that I have tremendous admiration for your strength and grace.

One practical suggestion: I work with elderly patients with various limitations, and for those who loved to garden but for a variety of reasons can no longer do so (group housing, mobility, etc) I've found that keeping a terrarium (or more than one) can be enjoyable. Any old fish tank or other covered glass container can be used - doesn't even have to be glass, and if it's not covered, it's just a dish garden rather than a terrarium. You can have rain forests, deserts, bogs (I have one with carnivorous plants!) - it's up to you. And if you're housebound, Amazon will be happy to deliver the supplies to your door. There's a whole mini-gardening world our there for you to explore!

I'm not going to go into great detail here, but instructions can readily be found in the library or on the internet (or you can Spark Mail me.)



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CINDILP 11/8/2014 2:16PM

    I like reading you blogs. Acceptance is important as you walk this journey. You are an inspiration to me with how you handle everything. Keep writing. We are all your cheering section. Let us walk along with you through this blog.
Cindi

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UNICORN212 11/8/2014 1:58PM

    I love reading your blogs. You have found acceptance with so much GRACE. I know it slips once in a while, but you seem to handle it all very well.

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NPA4LOSS 11/8/2014 1:53PM

    I believe you have said it very well my friend. Guilt is a hard task master and whether it is Survivors guilt when you have survived in a situation you are in that others have not or the guilt one must endure while being on Disability because of a Chronic illness we fight an uphill battle.
My son told me this week that he feels like all of his dreams were taken away from him at 35.To find acceptance while not giving up the fight is a HUGE thing. WE live you! emoticon

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My week off from chemo so far

Thursday, November 06, 2014

While I am a bit frustrated that I am still getting tired easily despite my hemoglobin levels being up, today is one of my better days. I had chemo Thursday and the Neulasta shot Friday, and today is the best I have felt since then.

I was expecting to have some bad bone pain from the Neulasta shot, but it actually turned out to be very mild. I still had my chronic pain in my left hip and left shoulder to deal with, but the Neulasta did not make that any worse.

I've had a fast heartbeat for a few years now; my oncologist actually had a cardiologist check it out about 2 years ago, and everything with my heart was normal. Both the cardiologist and my oncologist said that they are not sure why, but often people who have had a lot of chemo have an elevated heart rate. I've just learned to live with it. The Neulasta shot made it a little faster for a few days though. The worst days of it were Sunday and Monday, but by Monday night it started to calm down. I will mention it my oncologist next time I see him; maybe there is a medication I can take for it for a few days after each shot. In the meantime, I try not to worry about it because that makes it worse. During the worst episodes I just sit down and try to relax and read or watch TV to try to distract myself.

I still made it to the monthly lunch out with some of my former coworkers Monday; while I enjoyed visiting with everyone, I was kind of relieved when it time to leave. I also had to get my blood counts checked, but since this is my week off from chemo, I was able to get it done at our local hospital. I checked my results online later in the afternoon and my hemoglobin was 11.8, so it actually went up a little bit again! That was a relief to have it confirmed that I am doing ok as far as the blood counts go. They will be checked again when I have chemo on the 12th.

I think the reason why I get tired so easily right now is from the chemo itself; chemo unfortunately kills some of the good cells as well as the bad ones, and I believe that my body is just using extra energy to try to heal the good ones. All I can do is what I have been doing all along; take it one day at a time, make the most of my good days and accept that I need to slow down more on the bad days, and to always pace myself.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPALMOON 11/13/2014 1:18PM

    Dear Shari,
I am getting to your blogs about a week late, on account of Mum having been ill the past month, and I've just got behind with a lot of things.

I'm glad your haemoglobin improved even more, and that you were able to lunch with your former workmates. I understand how you would need to rest afterwards, and that the chemo would take a lot of energy out of you.

Dealing with chronic pain can do that in spades as well, so I wouldn't be surprised if there's an element of that for you too, even if you've felt a bit better. Sometimes it can feel like one's body is 'playing catch-up'.

My doctor keeps putting things into perspective for me by saying even the simplest thing like getting out of a chair takes 3 times the energy of a healthy person. So all that is involved in getting out of the house would use up a number of spoons for you as well....as, I imagine, would being naturally worried about your elevated heart rate - something that is not easy to overcome, I am sure.

I very much hope your oncologist - and cardiologist, if needed - can come up with a solution for you. I am relieved for you that the bone pain was mild - I do so hope you can be free of side effects, and at the very least that they are minimal. It sounds like both specialists are keeping a close eye on everything, and take on board anything you might have to report in between visits, which I pray 'smooths out the road' for you.

Love, blessings and many big hugs,
Nattacia

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Comment edited on: 11/13/2014 1:23:48 PM

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JANIEWWJD 11/7/2014 10:11PM

    I'm glad you are having a week off. Try to relax and have fun this weekend!!!!
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JANET552 11/7/2014 8:04PM

    I'm glad you had a chance to get out with some friends! I hope your weekend is a good one.

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CRUISEGAL55 11/7/2014 3:57PM

    Shari.... My thoughts & prayers focus on your speedy recovery.
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MOMMA_BEAR_69 11/7/2014 2:55PM

    My thoughts and prayers are with you daily, Shari. Glad your hemoglobin is up. Hope you are soon feeling better with a little more energy. In the meantime it sounds like you are doing what you can to rest and relax. Glad you were able to spend time with your friends too!
Prayers, blessings and hugs,
Helen

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NPA4LOSS 11/7/2014 1:34PM

    You are like me in that you have more than one thing that causes fatigue in your life so it just doubles up. I hope that you are enjoying your reading time and some other relaxing activities.
I wondered if you have had any success from the TENS unit. I have between that and the Rheumatologist making the correct diagnosis on my Arthritis. I am sleeping through the night most nights now although I too have some added fatigue. emoticon emoticon

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JUDITH316 11/7/2014 12:54PM

    Morning emoticon Shari,

Sounds like things are getting better for you in spite of all the pain and side affects, this is great you are having such a good day and best yet your hemoglobin counts are looking much better. I stand with you Shari in prayer and with my friendship. You are an amazing woman and an inspiration who continues to "Stand Tall" in God's Strength!

Love, HUGS and Prayers.... emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 11/7/2014 6:20AM

    Chemo changes everything and getting tired more quickly just goes with the territory. Hope you feel better today. HUGS!

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CELLOPLAYER1 11/6/2014 9:59PM

    emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/6/2014 8:58PM

    Hooray for your hemaglobin going up for another week! I'm sorry the chemo fatigue has hung in there most of your off week. You are really good at figuring out what is going one with you and how to care for yourself.

I'm hoping the next few days are good for you.

Hugs,
Kay

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SUSAN-FIT-N-FAB 11/6/2014 8:31PM

    The hemoglobin numbers sound promising and it is nice you got to spend at least a little time with former work friends.



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ICECUB 11/6/2014 8:25PM

    HOPE YOU FEL BETTER SOON. GLAD YOU ENJOYD OUTING WIH FRIENDS. emoticon

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LUCYCAN7 11/6/2014 8:19PM

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STORMWATCHER3 11/6/2014 5:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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RYDERSAUNT14 11/6/2014 4:29PM

    So glad you are doing emoticon Shari. Chemo takes a lot out of you so don't let the tiredness discourage you. The best thing for your body is rest!

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PICKIE98 11/6/2014 3:28PM

    You are doing great and the Hemoglobin is a nice addition!!

I am steering clear of you:still got flu and it is not getting better,, probably calling in sick again tonight for tommorow,,

Steer clear of anybody now!!!!

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ANGELBELIEVER 11/6/2014 3:12PM

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WIFE48 11/6/2014 3:00PM

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LAC936 11/6/2014 2:30PM

    You've been through a lot. Feel better soon.
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The Ups and Downs of My Weekend

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Before I begin, I want to thank everyone for the supportive comments left on my Spark page and blogs, and the goodies. I want you all to know they are all taken to heart and appreciated!

Friday night, I ended up taking my nausea and migraine meds at bedtime. Even though I had just had my Neulasta shot that day, I don't think those were side effects of it. I had already had a headache starting that day before I even had the shot, triggered by the change in weather and the front moving through. Those meds made me nice and sleepy though, and I was able to get a good night of sleep, and felt much better yesterday morning.

One of the bad side effects of Neulasta is bone pain, and because of past experience with a similar drug I had to take years ago, Neupogen, with which I had very bad bone pain after each injection, I was expecting to really be hurting the day after the Neulasta shot, but I only had some very mild achy-ness in my bones. It could be that the steroids from the chemo was helping with that too, because the daily chronic pain I have in my left hip and shoulder was also better yesterday. I was careful to pace myself and not overdo it, but I did the laundry yesterday and also a chair workout, and felt well enough to caught up on some of the online surveys I do to earn Amazon gift cards and other rewards.

Around 7pm, the wicked post chemo heartburn started in again. I'm not sure why it is that the worst of it is always 2 days post chemo and not sooner, but it's following the same pattern as it did when I had the first Halaven two weeks ago. And as I have said before, there is not much I can do but wait it out. I am already on medication for GERD, I know how to eat with it, and I have the head of my bed raised up a few inches. The best I can do is just distract myself from it by trying to relax and watching TV or reading, which I did; I read for 2 hours at bedtime til I was sleepy enough to go to sleep.

Today, I can tell that the steroids from the chemo have worn off. Hip and shoulder are really hurting today, and I am feeling very moody and irritable; good thing I am not around people today; though I do pity Timmy and Kallie, LOL!, but I know my kitties love me no matter what.

I know that as they say, "this too shall pass"; I'm just mainly resting and relaxing, and I decided it would be best not to try a workout today; with my pain level today, and the mood I am in, I know my heart would not be in it. I know tomorrow will better, by then, the steroids will be all out of my system and I will feel more like myself again. I also have the monthly lunch out with some of the ladies I use to work with tomorrow to look forward too, which will be a nice way to start off this week off from chemo. I have a whole 10 days now before the cycle of the chemo/steroids/Neulasta starts all over again.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATRICIA441 11/6/2014 10:17AM

  Do you even realize what a instrument of pushing through, keep on keeping on you are to all of us. You so often go through terrible, painful times and yet you persevere . You are such an amazing lady Shari and I am so proud to call you my friend!! Tender, healing hugs. Pat

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JUDITH316 11/6/2014 5:33AM

    Morning Hello Shari,

I'm sorry for being MIA for a couple days so am getting caught up and connected with you this morning, I too hope you enjoyed your lunch with the ladies, and I'm so sorry you are going through so many reactions and side affects with your chemo meds, I am trusting this week of reprieve from treatments will help get you back on track. I really hope the pain will cease and you will have a better day. My prayers are with you...

In spite of all you go through you remain a positive influence here with your up-beat comments & attitude and for always having a good word to cheer us all on our journey, God Bless you Shari, emoticon for your valued Friendship and Support... emoticon emoticon

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CASSIECAT 11/5/2014 8:35AM

    I didn't see this until this morning. I'm glad you get a week off now!
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RYDERSAUNT14 11/5/2014 3:45AM

    emoticon I've missed your blogs and I can relate to the bone hip pain. I was having pain in my right hip and saw the surgeon a couple of days ago, the cause....bursitis. I got a steroid shot and it's beginning to feel better. You have lots of emoticon on here. emoticon

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ANGELBELIEVER 11/4/2014 11:42PM

    I'm two days late reading your blog. I am sorry you have so much pain and hope you enjoyed your lunch with the ladies. You are an amazing woman..I know I say it all the time but it's true. emoticon emoticon

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RAESUN54 11/4/2014 7:02PM

    I am glad your weekend started out well. Sorry the pain returned in force today. It is good you have something to look forward to tomorrow so your mind won't focus as much on your pain. As they say, mind over matter.
I hope you sleep well tonight and wake up rested tomorrow.

Oh and I am sure your kitties love you all the more whether in bad mopd or not.

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JANET552 11/4/2014 6:54AM

    I hope you had a great lunch with the ladies and I hope it made up, at least a little, for a less than stellar weekend. You handle everything with such grace!!

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PICKIE98 11/3/2014 5:07PM

    It is nice that you at least know what to expect and can be somewhat prepared.
Watch a favorite movie, snuggle with your cats, take a lot of naps...

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/3/2014 4:58PM

    Well, I hope every day is a tad better than the day before for the next 10 days. It looks like Sundays of week 2 are going to be the "low point" of each cycle. You are very smart in figuring this all out.

I'm amazed you were able to sleep with that heartburn. That's a terrible feeling.

Wishing you a good week....hope you had fun with your friends today!

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CRUISEGAL55 11/3/2014 10:28AM

    Shari.... You are truly amazing. Your blog is very informative, as well. I'm cheering you on & praying for your speedy recovery. Enjoy your lunch out with the girls!
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LIZSPRINGSTEEN 11/3/2014 8:43AM

    I hate that you have to go through this AGAIN! I just want you to get better! I'm still praying!

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GOANNA2 11/3/2014 8:36AM

    So sorry to hear you are having so much pain.
I hope you start to feel better soon. Thinking
of you always. rest and relaxation are the way
to go Shari. emoticon emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 11/3/2014 7:25AM

    This chemo is like a roller coaster for you!! Hope you have a great lunch and feel better after you get out a bit!

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PIMPINELLAN50 11/3/2014 2:49AM

    Have a wonderful time together with the ladies @ Lunch!
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JANIEWWJD 11/3/2014 12:52AM

    God bless you!!! Hang in there! emoticon

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MOONGLOWSNANA 11/2/2014 11:34PM

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I hope you enjoy your lunch with your friends and have a good day tomorrow! emoticon

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YELLOW09RED 11/2/2014 6:44PM

    I know Timmy and Kallie are great comfort to you. Hugs for your time with the ladies tomorrow. Enjoy yourself.
God bless you,
have a good night of sleep.
Debbie


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MISSM66 11/2/2014 2:46PM

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ICECUB 11/2/2014 2:43PM

    ENJOY TOUR LUNCH WITH THE LADIES. IT IS NIVE TO HAVE FRIENDS. I KNOW TIMMY AND KALLIE LOVE YOU NO MATTER WHAT.

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CELLOPLAYER1 11/2/2014 1:28PM

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NPA4LOSS 11/2/2014 1:15PM

    So many positives to counteract the negatives! I know that you will enjoy being with the ladies this week. I hope that you have several more good days before the cycle begins again! emoticon

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LUCYCAN7 11/2/2014 1:13PM

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OPHELIE 11/2/2014 1:11PM

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