Saturday, October 9, 2010


Awfulizing.  I read that term more than a year ago in the first book on cancer that I had ever read ( I could stock a small library with the books I have now!)  It was if this man, who write this book, was in my head.  He knew exactly how I felt and what I was going thru.  I will always be grateful to him for writting this book. 
It is very easy to awfulize everything about cancer...what's fun about it? It is that theif in the night (John 10:10) that only comes to kill and destroy. I did begin to realize that if I were going to survive, there were a lot of things I needed to change.  A lot! I was determined to stop awfulizing and get on with the fight.  I needed a warriors attitude; tough minded, fiesty, maybe even sassy at times.  This is a 'me' that few people know.  My parents, my sisters, my best friend.  I decided that I would be a survivor...for how ever many more years that Lord gives to me.
I have also learned that the very most important part of healing would be spiritual....not chemo, not radiation, not nutrition, not exercise.  All of these things are good and are needed, but our spirit...can't scrimp on that, it is our ultimate home! I was still working thru some tough years that had left me weary; I lost my spiritual self for a while.   This always leads to voids that we try to fill, but ultimately end up in sadness, frustration, anger. Even anger at God.  As if somehow He had caused all that pain and sorrow, turning away.  He hadn't.  He promises He never will.  I let the sorrows and pain of this world turn mine.  Now that is something to awfulize about!
So, our utmost focus must be spiritual.  After all, we are spiritual beings.  Good thing too as I was meeting with a 2nd oncologist...getting another opinion.  Gearing up for yet another battle, my 'team' was ready, every person knowing their job! Now that is a good place to be in!

Next post: Hair today, gone tomorrow?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Peace or Panic

I have learned that brokeness can bring wholeness in many ways. So. Cancer.  Cancer does not mean death- I learned that too.  I am ready to take charge; I am arming myself.  But, just how does one go about arming themselves for this battle?  How do you pack for this journey?  This is not just about killing cancer cells. It is about the daily journey; a path to wellness if you will.  So, bring it on cancer, I'm ready...ummm I think I am anyway.  Ok, so choosing wellness sounds good, but what does that mean?

The night before my surgery as I lay in that hospital bed I felt so alone; profoundly alone. Where was God? I needed to know that He was still with me, that I was not alone.  My  heavenly Daddy reminded me He would never leave me.

This battle, this journey, is as much a psychological and spiritual one as it is a physical one; more so, I think.  So how do we choose the path to wellness?  In large part it means choosing hope.  Those darn seeds of hope are tiny and they must be watered daily!  It also means that I will not choose to water the seeds of dispair or fear (why are those seeds always bigger somehow?) 

Wow. So my attitude makes that big of a differance in my healing?  Yep.  Turnes out it does...I have alot of work to do!  What I think and do totally matter.  I will still feel all of those feelings from time to time ( I am human after all) but I can choose not to stay on that path.  Cancer really isn't very funny.  So how do I not get stuck in the sty? Not knowing what lays ahead, how do I look for hope, joy, laughter, beauty?
Next post.....Stop Awfulizing......

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ever Been Hit by a 2x4?

Not a pleasent experiance, I would imagine. But being told you have cancer, in hushed, matter of  fact tones, as you lay naked under a hospital gown (countless indignities already having been done to you throughout this ER joy ride) just might come pretty close to knowing how that feels.  Cancer? Me? Really?  A profound sense of disbelief  floods me; my entire life has been turned upside down with those 3 words... I couldn't breathe.
It is an incredeibly disjointing, numbing experiance.  I was in a parade of shocks; a parade I don't remember being asked to participate in, mind you.  One after the other, the shocks begin sink in.  I'm in tears, I'm enraged, I'm filled with fear and self-pity. "Why God?" "Why me?"  HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN TO ME?  Before long, the guilt creeps in.  Did I somehow cause this? What could I have done differently?  My brain is in a I going to die?  What about my kids?  What about all my dreams of travel and grandkids? On and on; I am overwhelmed.  I am thinking the very worst.  Panic and fear have settled in because of the unknowns.
On this journey of  thoughts, I allow myself to feel all my feelings and think all my dark thoughts....I need that process.
 Will  my heart ever be free from fear?  In my brokeness can I find a new normal?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Oh those road blocks

So, it seems I have encountered another road block.  I will get back to my journey as soon I get home from the hospital!

Friday, August 27, 2010

I Am From

I am from ‘Dairy land” in Artesia, from a classic 60’s style tract house, from Saturdays of pulling weeds and rocket ship to the moon sheets, and cow tongue sandwiches.

I am from Sycamore tree leaves piled high in the back yard, and 3 tiered rose beds and Concord grape vines. I am from fearlessly riding the waves at Bolsa Chica beach and climbing crushed shell sand mountains back to our blanket holding tight to daddy’s hand; sisters closing our eyes in bed at night and feeling the waves all over again.
I am from duckies on the service porch and bunny hutches in the yard. From a beloved pet turkey and soft, sweet poodle doggies. I am from blanket and clothespin tents in the yard and playing ‘I spy’; giggling under the covers at night until the stern “knock it off” came calling down the hall.
I am from canning fruits, jellies and relish. From my beloved Dad and Mom. From picking and eating sweet, warm apricots every summer until our tummies were full to bursting; from tent camping, “birdies have to have some pancakes” and “just slush and flush”, and little round balls in the bottom of warm milk.
I am from diligent, hard workers. Skillful hands fixing our car on Saturdays, teaching me to change my oil and lube. From doing whatever it takes. From “keep your chin up” to “see you in the funny papers” and “keep ur nose clean”. From the smell of new mown lawn on faces buried in a clean, white T-shirt; crisp white linen hankies always available; “is there kee kee in ur bellybutton?”
From “Quit ur bellyaching” and “Quit clowning around” and “I love you’s” and menu night. From standing on a box, learning to iron napkins and pillow cases at the age of six. From sewing and knitting, from the sounds of “2 crack” and “3 bam” at naptime; cottage cheese and pineapple. From puttering in the house to tinkering in a garage clean enough to eat off of the floor.
I am from the Hecht Clan. German blood flows through my veins, with a touch of Scottish. I am from Granny B’s giant gingerbread house, homemade dresses, lovingly hand knitted sweaters and crocheted afghans. I am from cinnamon rolls to die for and good farm cooking. From pancakes with gravy, hot dogs with mashed potatoes on top.  From Dalihas proudly grown.
From a generation that survived the dust bowl and wars and the depression.
I am from a home with steadfast love. I am from a dark battle – won – lost – and won again. From Life Abundant. From “I have come to give you a Life and a Future”.  From “Is there dust upon your Bible” to “The Old Rugged Cross”; roaring fires in the fireplace and endless games of crazy 8’s.
I am from black and white photos, lovingly retouched with color and from suspenders snapped. From memories recalled and whispered between sisters. From recipes handed down and treasured. From dog piling on Dad. I am from Eternity, where my story has always been known and my days recorded before even one of them came to be.

Where are you from?

Going Back

Ok. So to begin, I must go back. I am finally at the point where I can do that.  I will not tell the whole story in this first blog, but I will catch up to the present quickly. Hope that makes sense!
We have all heard (maybe too many times) that life is a journey.  That is true, so I will stick with that for now.  This journey can take many paths, mostly depending on the choices we have made.  But sometimes it is the cards we are dealt (ok, corny but you know what I mean).  Sometimes we think we have it (the all powerful 'it') all together.  That we are doing things right; we are humming along with what is expected of us. But, sometimes on this journey, we can hit speed bumps (not so bad), pot holes (um, no more please) or those dreaded Valleys.  Marriages fall apart, precious babies grow up and make bad (really bad) choices.  This despite all you have poured into them (geez!). And those random estrangements from people that you never saw coming.

Our journey then begins to become a process, a grieving process, a letting go.  How do we cope when life presses in from all sides? Recovery can be grueling...these times of transition, times of sorrow and can suck sometimes.  But so can the alternative.  So, once again, those choices.  We can become overly busy, numbing our pain, denying our feelings...or we can choose to heal from things we never chose to go through in the first place.  Neither choice is easy. Healing is hard, painful work.  But I have found that even in the darkest of nights, I can find greater meaning and understanding if I surrender to what there is to learn. Exceptional things! Life changing things!

So, tomorrow, my journey takes a twist I never would have expected - ever....