Inspired

March 12, 2020 ….. One of today’s words of the day is Inspiration.

Wow – I had an emotional reaction just reading the word. So many ideas flooded my mind – I thought of my mom, my husband, so many family members, my niece, my great-nephew and my nephew.

My great-nephew inspires me in childlike ways – he is 8 going on 30 and we spent some time together yesterday. For whatever reason, I have a gift with him – I am able to be present more with him than anyone else. Not sure what the psychology is around that but I just love to listen to him. Maybe because he is present? He, my niece (his mom) and I went to eat a picnic (to-go from DQ) and then feed the ducks. We had cans of corn to feed them.

We walked and talked and I taught him how to tell the difference between male and female mallards. We talked about ducks choosing mates and how the females could hide against the dirt in their nests. He found a stick and talked about how he was maneuvering his stick around the pond focusing on sliding it over the cracks in the sidewalk and making sure I saw. He wanted me to carry a stick too but I had corn in my hands. His mom was checking on a duck we saw stuck on the bridge over the pond. We thought the duck was hurt and he may have been stunned because when I walked over later, he flew into the water.

We sat down, watched the ducks and he showed me how he could measure the depth of the pond with the stick. We decided if for some reason we fell in we could just stand up. Then he showed me how he could make ripples in the water and how he could pull grass and grime from the side of the pond – I told him it was duck poop (yes, I told him the truth later when he asked). Poop is often a topic of our conversations and I don’t care – it’s our thing and I believe it helps take away the stigma to talk about it. He listened when I asked him if I could try something with the stick and I showed him how I could make circular ripples in the water in a different shape by turning the stick in circles. He thought that was cool.

 

Why is this inspiring? Well, my great nephew has anxiety. He often gets extremely scared and has over the top reactions to insects and bugs. This wasn’t always so. When he was little, his dad would take him to the park and pond and they would walk around and his dad would tell him all about what they were seeing. This was when dad worked evenings and stayed with him while his mom was at work/school. But that stopped when they bought a house. He started developing different anxieties and worrying about things a child should not have to worry about. He is particularly focused on flying insects and tornadoes. But, once he had a stick and ducks to talk about and someone who would listen, he was ok. He was in the moment and neither of us was worrying about anything.

Mallards Overview
mallards

Shattered

Two years ago something inside of me shattered. This was a piece of me that resided in my very core. When it exploded, it cut every fiber of my being like shrapnel and sprayed outward …. to my family, my relationships, my life and my world. This was a part of me gone – a part of my foundation that was always nurturing, safe, loving, kind, happy, serene. That foundation being there was a constant I had my entire life; from my first breath and it was just gone. Two years ago on March 5th at 4p.m., my husband called me and I knew something was wrong. I knew it was bad. I said, “just say it Chris”. And then he said words that I will never forget. He said, “Becky, your mom died”. Those words are words that could never be taken back. They still take my breath away today. It reminds me of a friend who used to describe her life as before Aaron and after Aaron (her son). I didn’t understand it then but I understand it now. There is life with mom and after mom. There are family dynamics and feelings and thoughts and learning with mom and after mom. There is a me with mom and after mom. I don’t always like me after mom – I’m more emotional, sometimes quicker to anger. I am often tired and disconnected – some days I don’t know what to do because there is a piece missing – the piece that held it all together. In other ways, I can’t believe I have made it at all without her – you find out how strong you are when you have no other way to be. Sometimes I am more loving, more understanding, more giving. I want to make her proud; I want to represent her legacy in a positive way. I want to show her how her strong influence helped make me strong. But more than anything, I want her back. I love you mom. I think about you every day. I miss you every day. Thank you for who you were and who you helped me become.
Deliberation-by-Mario-Sanchez-Nevado
Image: Deliberation by Mario Sanchez

Simmer

Today’s daily prompt is the word simmer.  What immediately came to mind is boobs.  Simmering, smoldering boobs.  Ok, ok – that’s gross, I know but see, yesterday, I started radiation.  I have been through chemo and surgery and now it is radiation.  I feel like all I talk about is Breast Cancer and for awhile that is true but I am starting to care about other things (my husband’s day, doggie rescue runs, family coming over Saturday, work stuff I want to accomplish) and I am happy to be simmering – because I am starting to come back to life and I want to LIVE!

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via Daily Prompt: Simmer

About Me Bluegreen Girl

I’m just a bluegreen girl – living in a red state.  I am a liberal who cares about the environment.  That is where I got the name for BLOG.  Blue green is also one of my favorite colors and I have a weird story about blue and green and my eye color.  When I was born my eyes were blue – about the age of 11 my eyes would turn green in Spring and Summer and back to blue Fall and Winter.  At some point, they stayed green. None of that really means anything J but it’s all good.

Really about me – I am typically a very positive person who used to be very negative.  I had a life shift in my early 20’s and started a journey that eventually led me to question everything.  That led me to reading about different religions, meeting a bunch of different people, learning that ultimately, happiness is a choice.   I later reached out and started to meditate.  I cannot tell you how much this changed my life and my outlook.  Quieting the mind is an amazing power and a shift to thinking that is hard to put into words.

I am currently going through a battle with breast cancer (2017) and the positive thinking has helped me immensely but also wanes at times.  I have so much I want to say so that is why I looked to start a blog.

Peace and Love

Breast Cancer

When I first heard I had breast cancer my thought was (which I shared out loud) “cut them off and I’ll just go home and forget you said that”.  My doctor just looked at me and said “its way too soon to go there”.

What surprised me most:

  • I didn’t feel like a cancer patient – what does that even feel like? I am not sure what I expected but I always thought somehow you changed as soon as you heard the word and I guess I did.  Just not like what I thought.  Stunned is what I felt – at least that is the best word I can find.
  • I am much stronger than I thought – I never thought I would get cancer because I couldn’t be strong enough. But you just go into this mode – at least I did. First it was what do I need to do? You get test after test and doctor visit after doctor visit.  Then you just keep going – the cliché fits – one day at a time – one appointment at a time – one treatment at a time.
  • How many types of Breast Cancer there are – I was diagnosed stage 2 triple negative which means that my cancer was not caused by the progesterone receptor, estrogen receptor or the HR hormone receptor. You can read more on this – the only source I use for info on the web is the Mayo Clinic (this came from my oncologist – he explained that their information is always up to date and many other sites are not).
  • Being bald wasn’t as bad as I thought – it actually helped me. Once you lose your hair everyone knows something is wrong.  I didn’t have to fake having more energy that I did, I didn’t have to tell everyone I was sick.  It has also saved me LOTS of time getting ready (especially since I didn’t have the energy to do much) – just pull on a head cover and boom – ready to go.
  • Chemo – how I love and hate you. Chemo killed my cancer but it also attacks everything else.  I am lucky with how well it did with me but there are definitely side effects.
  • How much I worried about everyone else – I immediately started planning and thinking about if I died. It was sad for my husband but I couldn’t help it.  The news changes your perspective and I just wanted everyone to be ok if I wasn’t going to be.  Then throughout the whole process – you realized how much your illness impacts everyone around you.  I worry most about my mom because I can’t imagine watching your child going through this – so very scary for her.  Early in the process, she took me to get my Pet Scan and was weird during the visit.  I knew it was emotional for her.  The next time I saw her she apologized and I was shocked.  I just said, “mom, I would be more worried if you weren’t upset – it’s ok to be upset and you do NOT have to apologize – I am your daughter and this has to be hell for you”.  Since then, I just encouraged everyone to talk about how they feel.
  • Side effects – short term: The side effects were totally different than what I thought and I hate them!  I am a positive person and overall have stayed positive but I just had no idea how hard it would be.  But there are reprieves in between treatments that helped.  Getting a little energy back and interacting with people helped so much.
  • Side effects – long term: I have some lung issues that are dragging on and may be permanent – from chemo.  Medicine is helping so that is positive – just not sure how long it will last.  I have also heard from friends that weird things continue to come up after “treatment” ends – hoping those are not so bad but will be better than the alternative.  I will talk about these things and reach out – I am grateful for the support I have.

Coping

  • Its ok to be sad, negative, pissed off —- whatever you feel is ok —- I just worked hard at not staying there. Hugging my husband, facetiming a loved one, spending time with a kid, petting my dog, going to feed the ducks at a nearby pond with my hubby, just sitting in the same room with family, encouragement from others  – these are the things that kept me sane.
  • Reach out – talk to other people. Blogs and support sites helped me but I also started meeting women everywhere who were going through the same thing or had gone through it.  Then I had a friend get diagnosed about a month after me.  We have been able to be very supportive to each other – we do not live close but have checked on each other via social media, texts and calls.  She has been such a source of support and it has helped me to help her.

Other stuff

  • If you don’t love your doctors get new ones. My doctors and their staff have been absolutely wonderful.
  • Aveeno soap and lotion helped my skin not be so bad – I washed everything with it: hair, skin, hands. I took a small bottle to work because the soap in the restrooms was very harsh.
  • Taste – everything tasked like lizard butt to me during chemo – dry scratching rancid. I found a few things that tasted ok and stuck with them:  peanut butter and honey on toast, fresh vegetables, apples, applesauce, slurpees.  I tried other things – fatty things just tasted awful and left an oily feeling in my mouth.
  • Hair loss – I lost it all! Even nose hair.  I made sure I had Kleenex with me all the time because my nose would just run!  A friend warned me about this so I was prepared.
  • Poop – the chemo made everything slow down including poop. I had to drink what I call “poop juice” – the stuff that cleans you out so I wouldn’t get impacted.

Pink Ribbons

 

pinkribbon2          I recently read a post that a friend of mine shared that started with …. While the majority of people believe that Breast Cancer is a pink ribbon, a pink Pom Pom, a pen with a pink ribbon … engaging you to be a “part of the cure. First, a hard reality, you are not being part of the cure, you’re just throwing your money away to propaganda.”

This person was needing financial aid and did not receive it but I am not sure where they went for help. There are places that help and I hate that this person had this experience. I don’t agree that buying things with Pink Ribbons is throwing your money away but the post did make me stop and think about what Pink Ribbons mean to me and also why it is important to know when you give to charity where the money goes.

For me, Pink Ribbons are a symbol of triumph, heartache, solidarity, pain, terror and love. I experience an overwhelming feeling when I see them that I do not really have a word for.

They also answer the questions people want to ask – what do you have? What’s wrong with you? Do you have cancer? They say I am not alone and that You are Not Alone. Most importantly they say You and Me – we’re bad-asses! …. whether we win or lose, we are bad-ass because we are warriors!

I have never had an illness that had a ribbon or a color associated with it – who wants that, right? No one — until you go through it. I want acknowledgment and I am not ashamed to say it – I am in the hardest fight of my life and damn it, my family and I have been through the wringer.

I was diagnosed March 15, 2017 and now at 7 months into the fight. I completed chemo with miraculous results all the while experiencing the worse pain and fatigue in my life. And then, when the tumor is gone, I developed horrible side effects: blood clots in my lungs, lung inflammation, dizzy spells, a body that is trying to repair itself but fights against my need to be whole again. I then have surgery with more side effects. I am now getting ready for radiation which will have more side effects.

The side effects are better than the alternative but still so hard. My life has been put on hold. Financially I have spent a LOT of money and I am one of the lucky ones – I have a good job and good insurance (not everyone does and my heart breaks for the people that die because they cannot afford treatment).

So wear pink [ribbons] if you want and educate yourself about the charities you give to. And know that there is one warrior out here that feels loved when she sees the pink ribbons and symbols of Breast Cancer awareness … because this journey has taught me that I am stronger that I could ever realize and confirmed that I have family and friends who were/are willing to drop everything to help me.