Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
I smell the scent of poetry
Clouds descending down on me
I feel the storm closing in again
A sinking feeling says these black nights will win
Dark clouds, bright skies
Are all I see these recent nights
Inflicting pain upon my chest
Refusing to give me the pleasure of rest
These dark nights they follow me
Creeping, creeping at my feet
Hiding each night inside my dreams
They stalk my mind and I find defeat
Lightning strikes some days, some nights
Others are quieter as I grieve out of sight
Tick, tock, the clock goes slow
How many days I can stand, I don’t know
My eyes watch the ceiling as all others sleep
If they close there is no telling what fate I might meet
Slowly still the months drag by
And as I face yet another day, my eyes invisibly cry.
I love C.S. Lewis quotes (you will find me using them alot to explain points... he just had a way with words) and he once said "no one ever told me that grief felt so like fear". These past few months I must admit I haven't been able to distinguish between the two. This poem is, to me, evidence of my pain. When I finished writing it I felt better but I wasn't done. After I wrote this I immediately began to a second poem because I just didn't feel like I had gotten everything out yet. Please read on.
I am but a desperate fool
Nothing I am resides in you
Tonight I come, weak and small
Asking for you to change it all
At my lowest I ran from you
Tried to fix things on my own
But I have seen my flawed approach
I know you have blessed me with so much
Thank you for the roses
That I smell in the morning
Thank you for the books
That I read at night
For the people that I love the most
And the ones I’ve yet to meet
I’m so thankful
So very thankful
For all you’ve done for me
As I wake up, in someone else’s house
It’s easy to get upset over all that I don’t have
But I’m thankful anyway
Thankful that you gave me another day
And I’m sorry for the times I left you
You are all in my life that’s true
So thank you for the thunder
That puts me to sleep at night
And thank you for the wind that blows
Through my hair just right
For the moments that make me
Forget all pains
I’m so thankful
So very thankful
Every time I touch a water source
Or stand on a beach in silky sand
I see your touch in every natural force
You are the only one who knows who I am
So thank you for your sacrificial grace
For naming me before I had a name
So very thankful
For all you’ve done for me.
Just so you know, when I sit down to write a poem I never title it until the end of the poem because I never start with an "idea" in mind of what I want to write. It is therapy for me because I literally write exactly what is on my mind, no filtering it. So when I realized that I had gone from writing about storms and dark moments in life to about how thankful I was, it shocked me. I honestly wasn't feeling thankful, but nonetheless I really was thankful deep down, even though I wasn't feeling that way. It's amazing how God can change your demeanor even when you are so set on being upset, angry, or depressed. I actually went to bed happy that night despite all that was going on because I was reminded of how much I do still have to be thankful for. Everyone has their problems and difficulties... whether it is cancer, an impending divorce, a dying family member, a lost job, a sick child, or other family problems... we all are going through something. No one's life is ever perfect, even if it seems to be. But God is there for us and if we seek him, we will find joy even through our pain. And through writing that poem I found joy, and in a way, I found God again. It comforted me and made me feel almost silly for being upset when I do indeed have so much. The pain will fade away, but God remains forever. I just need to remember that thought.
I saw a new C.S. Lewis quote today that seems relevant to this and wanted to share it and see if anyone had an opinion about what it means. I have my thoughts but wanted to pose it as a question.... so what are your ideas?
"Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ. " -C.S. Lewis
Friday, October 28, 2011
- Abdominal pressure, fullness, swelling or bloating
- Pelvic discomfort or pain
- Persistent indigestion, gas or nausea
- Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
- Changes in bladder habits, including a frequent need to urinate
- Loss of appetite or quickly feeling full
- Increased abdominal girth or clothes fitting tighter around your waist
- A persistent lack of energy
- Low back pain
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Cope, Learn, Overcome
Aside from the physical affects of cancer, the emotional affects can be equally as devastating. A diagnosis can invoke a plethora of worries. "What will treatment be like for lung cancer?" "How do I talk to my family about my breast cancer?" "What is my mesothelioma life expectancy?"
You are not alone in your anxieties. Walk into any cancer survivor support program and you will hear these same questions and worries expressed. You will also hear advice and personal stories from survivors. Cancer support networks also offer an opportunity to talk about your own feelings in a safe and comfortable environment. A great source of camaraderie, strength and knowledge, cancer support networks and programs are an invaluable resource for anyone affected by the disease.
Getting a diagnosis of mesothelioma, colon cancer, skin cancer or any other form of the disease is never easy. You may experience a range of emotions right after your diagnosis, as you begin treatment or even as you go into remission. Talking about your feelings at a support group is the best way to deal with these complex emotions. You will discover that your emotions are normal and that you are not alone in your fight against cancer.
The Cancer Survivors Network offers discussion boards, email and a chat function that put you in touch instantly with thousands of other survivors. The boards are filled with messages of hope, advice and questions that may be similar to your own. Writing about your thoughts and emotions can help you overcome your anxieties and cope with the various stages of your battle with cancer.
Joining a support group, whether in person or online, is an important component to your recovery. Hearing stories of survival can give you hope when you need it the most and knowing you are not alone can give you new strength to continue in your recovery.Emily Walsh
Friday, October 14, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
· 2 large ripe plantains
· 3 T Olive Oil
· 4 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
· 2 15oz cans of organic black beans, drained and rinsed
· 2/3 cup orange juice
· 2 T freshly squeezed lime juice (or ½ a lime)
· Salt (optional)
Cut off the ends of the plantains and then peel off the skin with a sharp knife, trying not to cut the flesh. Discard the peel and slice the plantains into approx. ½ inch circles.
Heat 2 T of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add plantains and cook until browned but not burnt, approx. 6-8 minutes. Repeat on both sides. When they are done, transfer them to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Add 1 T of olive oil to pan and sauté garlic. Then add beans, orange juice, and lime juice. Stir often until the beans have absorbed most of the juice, approx. 4-5 minutes. Then add the plantains and toss. Serve hot. Sprinkle with salt if desired.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
After my first FD camp my life changed. Not because of circumstance, but because I was a different person than when I got to that camp. I learned things about myself that in any other situation I wouldn’t have learned and the people I met touched my heart and made me a better person. So this year, as I return to camp, I am anxious, mostly because I’m worried that nothing can top the previous year. Not to mention the anxiousness I feel about kayaking on the Flathead River. But I was nervous last year too, and I overcame every obstacle. I have never been more proud of myself as I was then. I’m hoping this year leaves me feeling the same way.
Last year I just wanted to answer some questions I had about my life after cancer so that I could begin to move on. I spent the week in a lot of solitude just writing and thinking about things. I needed that time to process my emotions. This year, there are still several things I am hoping to get out of camp. As far as kayaking, I’m hoping that I will leave camp with a solid roll and feeling confident that if I flip over I can get myself back up… it would be nice to be rid of the constant nagging voice in my head telling me to just focus on not flipping over. I want to feel more comfortable on the water. Second, I really want to make some solid friendships that I will actually maintain. I’m bad about keeping in touch with people but usually it’s because we never really made a real connection. This year I want a relationship worth maintaining. Third, I really want to discuss fertility with someone. That is the one thing I’m struggling with right now… I really desperately want to be ok with not bearing my own children. Not that I’ve ever been huge on kids, but that is for another post.
So today, after leaving Mobile yesterday at 2pm and making the 5 hour drive to Atlanta, sleeping in the Atlanta airport, and then flying out of Atlanta at 7:30am, making a connection in Minneapolis, I am now in Kalispell at 1:30pm. It’s been a long trip and I’m exhausted, but it has been great to see everyone. Clicks and Johnny from my camp last year are here with me again and it has just been great to reconnect with them. Especially Johnny. She really gets to me… I don’t think I have ever met a better person. I don’t know how to even explain it but I just sense her spirit is truly beautiful. She has a really good heart and is one of those people that I wish I could be more like.
There are a lot of people here that I can tell have a ton of kayaking experience so I’m a little nervous about tomorrow, but I keep telling myself it will all be fine. It always is with FD J
Friday, July 8, 2011
Pickles is my nickname, specifically given to me at my first "FD" experience when others found out I have a phobia of something that most kids eat at baseball games. You see, everyone gets a nickname. I'm honestly not sure why but I believe it is used as a way to be someone else for a week, someone healthy, someone adventurous. At least that's what it is for me. We are all young adults with a cancer history, some current, some distant memories, but all dealing with the aftereffects. My first camp was nothing short and everything more than eye-opening. I can point to that first camp as the week I was emotionally healed of my scars from cancer (as much as anyone can truly be emotionally healed from such an experience). I've written about First Descents before, describing the details of my whitewater kayaking experience down the Colorado River, but more than a fun week that camp genuinely returned me to myself. I felt whole for the first time in years, as if my soul had somehow been returned to my body. I suddenly understood the feelings I had been having all of this time and realized that I was no different than anyone else in that room. For the first time since probably high school, everyone understood me, cancer and all. It was an indescribable feeling really. To hear near identical stories of people never feeling satisfied with their accomplishments because nothing seemed like enough to justify their life being spared, or an account of friends turning their backs to a "situation" that was too inconvenient to deal with, or people being more afraid of pain than death... I felt as if I was hearing a recording of myself. This coming week I will be attending my second FD camp, this time in Kalispell, Montana, and I am so excited about it. I know that it will be another great and life changing week. I will be posting my journal entries when I get back. Praying for another amazing FD experience.
Monday, January 10, 2011
— C.S. Lewis
— C.S. Lewis
— C.S. Lewis
— C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
— C.S. Lewis (Miracles)