A Grateful Breast Cancer Survivor – Part IV

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Celebrated MY 71st birthday on Monday, November 11; and, I declared this as MY Sabbath  Day.

“Sabbath as that uncluttered time

and space in which we can

distance ourselves from our own activities

to see what God is doing.”  (Eugene Peterson)

This day of solitude was “to see what God is doing” in my life.   Did He hear my prayers for happiness, peace, love, and tranquility?

In celebration of MY 71st Birthday, I selected 71 Statements from MY 2013 Daily Journal to confirm why I believe MY prayers were heard.

And, I AM GRATEFUL to God for…..

  1. Waking me up this morning after a restful night.
  2. The beautiful day.  Sunshine and nice weather.
  3. The daily calls from each of my children.
  4. The love of my husband.
  5. Manicure and pedicure today.  So grateful to have this biweekly outing with my Hubby.  It’s a time for both of us to relax.
  6. Lunch with Hubby, tasty broccoli cheddar soup from Panera’s for only 300 calories.
  7. Peaceful and enjoyable day.
  8. This day of acknowledgement and recognition of the President, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, Rosa Parks and other civil rights leaders.
  9. Living this season of my life in our Florida home.  Today it was 75 degrees in Florida; and, 4 degrees in Wisconsin.
  10. Identifying MY Purpose during this Season of MY life.
  11. Meditating, listening to music, so relaxing.
  12. Love my hour daily respite.  It rejuvenates and revitalizes ME for the remainder of the day.
  13. Completed weekly wash – devote remainder of weekend for self-development
  14. Audio books when I am lazy and need somebody to read to me.
  15. Beautiful and relaxing Sunday.
  16. Two-dozen red and white roses for Valentine Day from Hubby and bouquet of flowers from children.
  17. Five-year anniversary as a breast cancer survivor.
  18. God answered my prayer and returned ME to a good place.
  19. Giving a ride home from the hospital to our next-door neighbor who is battling Stage IV breast cancer.
  20. Avoiding conflict and not letting anyone steal my joy.
  21. Abundant love of my children.
  22. Enjoyable outing at the Holy Land Experience with friend and sister breast cancer survivor from Milwaukee who is visiting her son in Orlando.  Great Day.
  23. Beautiful sunny day spent at my desk putting the final touches on this week’s post while at the same time taking peeks through the window at the green trees in the conservation area.  Patio door open and a cool breeze flowing through.
  24. Venti, skinny decaf hazelnut latte from Starbucks.
  25. Showering and going to the YMCA.  Really felt terrible this morning – up good part of night with excruciating shoulder pain.  Followed Hubby’s expert advice to do something to distract and not to focus on pain.  Worked.
  26. Hot oatmeal, fruit and turkey bacon prepared by Hubby.
  27. Re-starting my monthly breast exams.
  28. Controlled pain levels most days.  This makes today’s excruciating pain easier to manage knowing pain-free days are ahead through the grace of God.
  29. Beautiful Friday.  Enjoyed outing to Home Depot to check out plants for the lanai and house.
  30. Staying calm in the face of negativity.
  31. Loving and forgiving God who guides and watches over me.
  32. Opening the door to my creative side.  A little scared but I will not be swayed by the FEAR of criticism.
  33. Starting second week of Oprah’s and Depak’s 21-day meditation challenge.
  34. Enjoyable telephone conversation with older daughter.
  35. Stretching before going to exercise this morning eased joint pain.
  36. Cleaning laundry room and hall closet.
  37. God’s unconditional love.
  38. Granddaughter, 21-years-old, place a hold on her life to love and be in the presence of her paternal grandmother throughout her stay in home/hospice care.
  39. Words flowing while writing this week’s post.  Hope the re-read makes sense tomorrow.
  40. Moving toward living peaceful and productive life.
  41. Dinner out with Hubby celebrating 53rd Wedding Anniversary.
  42. Restarting morning gratitude project and this journal.
  43. The beautiful flowers and plants that surround and comfort me daily.
  44. My home it is my haven and brings ME peace, joy and serenity.
  45. Beautiful “Be Still Day” following morning yoga class and grocery shopping.
  46. Sunshine after days of clouds and rain.
  47. Beginning MY de-cluttering project by unsubscribing to the outrageous number of emails I have to plough through daily.
  48. Living, learning and loving today.
  49. Taking the time to write in this journal.  This is a stress reliever.
  50. Living and enjoying this season of MY life in Florida.
  51. Spending time to focus on inner peace.
  52. Restarting healthier eating habits.
  53. Pacing my activities today.
  54. Getting up at 5:00 a.m., sitting on lanai, enjoying a cup of coffee and listening to audio book, Simple Abundance:
  55. Following the path to find joy, peace and serenity.
  56. Joining on-line early morning service at Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, Illinois.  Enjoyed sermon..
  57. Serenity and tranquility in my warm home environment.
  58. Sixty minute massage – so restful and relaxing.
  59. DVD from Arthritis on water aerobics.
  60. Aqua Zumba class.
  61. Embracing the present moment and eliminating the fear.
  62. Opportunity to express MY views and voice MY opinions through MY blog.
  63. Spending time with Hubby today.  Enjoyed the movie.
  64. Outing at Home Goods my favorite place to buy things for the home.
  65. Exercising one hour at the YMCA.
  66. Honoring God and expressing appreciation to Him for watching over and protecting ME.
  67. First yoga class.
  68. Stretching before starting my day.
  69. Cortisone shot and knee pain relief.
  70. Celebrating MY 71st Birthday in fairly good health striving to improve the quality of my life.

Listed under one Gratitude Statement, the 71st thing that I am Grateful for on this 71st birthday is that I am . . . 

  • Walking  – but, it is sometimes painful;
  • Breathing – sometimes allergies make it difficult;
  • Seeing – while eyeglasses needed for distance, they are removed for  reading;
  • Hearing  – though my left ear bothers me, the right ear is fine;
  • Feeling – loved by God, Husband, Children and Grandchildren, extended family, friends;
  • Learning – to live in accordance with God’s plan;
  • Journaling – expressing gratitude at the end of each day; and
  • Blogging – I am not a writer, but I have a lot to say and a desire to connect with like-minded people.

Closing this post with MY favorite quotes for the week:

  • Gratitude  – “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer and let faith be the one bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”  (Maya Angelou)
  • Happiness – “… is not something ready-made it comes from your own actions.” (Dalai Lama)
  • Peace – “If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to others.”  (Mother Theresa)
  • Love – “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, but only love.” (Mother Theresa)
  • Tranquility – “Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.” (Dalai Lama)

A Grateful Five-Year Breast Cancer Survivor – Part 3

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If the fear of cancer keeps you from moving forward,

enjoying life, being with loved one, laughing,

then the cancer won, even if it never comes back.

But if you reclaim your life, then even if the

cancer comes back, it didn’t win, because YOU, the PERSON, survived.

Lisa Weissman, Hematology/Oncology

October 1, 2013 the beginning of Breast Cancer Month, I made the choice to eliminate the fears about MY condition.

For more than five years, after a diagnosis of Breast Cancer, I lived in fear of the unknown —–

  • Fear of monthly self-breast exams;
  • Fear of periodic mammograms; and
  • Fear of appointments with the oncologist.

Since MY diagnosis, these unknown fears always ended with “no sign of cancer recurrence.”  A  welcomed, temporary reprieve until I had to undergo the next monthly self-breast exam, mammogram, and/or oncology visit.

Last month, as I prepared to write this four-part series on MY Breast Cancer Journey, I visited a number of blogs written by breast cancer survivors as well as breast cancer organization websites. These blogs and websites served as MY first introduction to Metastatic Breast Cancer and a new fear to deal with.   The question is why MY oncologists never once discussed this condition with ME.   Rest assured, on my next scheduled visit in December this will be MY first question to the oncologist.

While, I am Grateful for the excellent treatment provided by MY oncologists; I am a bit disappointed that they failed to discuss and explain Metastatic Breast Cancer.   I may have made different lifestyle choices if they had shared information like the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance facts:

  • Metastasis refers to the spread of cancer to different parts of the body:  bones, liver, lungs or brain.
  • early detection does not guarantee a cure.  Metastatic Beast Cancer can occur 5, 10, or 15 years after a person’s original diagnosis and successful treatment checkups and annual mammograms.
  • An estimated 155,00 Americans are currently living with Metastatic Breast CancerMetastatic Breast Cancer accounts for approximately 40,000 deaths annually in the U.S.
  • 20% to 30% of people initially diagnosed with early stage disease will develop Metastatic Breast Cancer.
  • Metastatic Breast Cancer is not an automatic death sentence.  Although most people will ultimately die of the disease, some will live long, productive lives.

Despite the above-information, I overcame the FEARS of Breast Cancer.   How?

Rather than focus on fear, I seek information, encouragement, and self-empowerment by connecting  with:

Rather than focus on fear, I seek spiritual uplifting, inspiration, strength, serenity, happiness, and peace through MY daily readings:

  • 100 Perks of Having Cancer – Plus100 Health Tips for Surviving It, Florence Strang, B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed. and Susan Gonzalez, R.N., B.S.N.
  • The President’s Devotionals  – The Daily Readings that Inspired President Barach Obama, Joshua DuBois
  • Simple Abundance:  A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, Sarah Ban Breathnach
  • The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
  • Simple Abundance Living by Your Own Lights (Audio Book), Sarah Ban Breathnach
  • Happier at Home, Gretchen Rubin
  • The Pink Bible an Invitation to Hope

I have chosen to “eliminate the fears” and “embrace the present”……..

  • “With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future, I live now.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • “Forever is composed of nows.”  (Emily Dickson)
  • “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future,, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” (Buddha)
  • “We are always getting ready to live but never living.”  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • “Today is life – the only life you are sure of.  Make the most of today.”  (Dale Carnegie)
  • “We steal if we touch tomorrow.  It is God’s.” (Henry Ward Beecher)
  • “If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.” (Morris West).

I am Grateful for the positive changes in MY lifestyle since the Breast Cancer diagnosis.

I am most Thankful to the Divine Spirit for guiding ME to write about MY Breast Cancer Journey.