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My new washer- I am so frustrated-- MS changed my photo platform -- Next to this is a picture of a spatch cocked turkey that I cooked Christmas 2017 What sense does that make- I took this today because I couldn't find pics I took last week

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2 celebrations today: 50 years married, 10 years NED!

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I borrowed this from a fellow Voice of Hope and a cancer survivor. It's a great post. I think if we all think about this for a minute we can all relate and then chuckle a little bit. Here lately I'm often having trouble with this very issue.

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This reminds me of right after I was first diagnosed and all of the well-meaning friends and relatives started giving me the "You Got This" line.

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Here is the blog I wrote during the Christmas season - 2018, when I was completing chemo. I am posting it in response to the discussion we are having about people who work in the infusion area, and how they may or may not influence us. Greg encouraged me to post it, so here it is. I have to admit I was surprised to read it over and see that I was having a bad day to begin with? I remember it all as a good day - which, you can see, it turned out to be.

Only one more infusion to go!

Yesterday I limped into Ann Arbor West to get infusion number 15. Not happy. Steve compared me to a marathon runner that *hits the wall* right before the end of the race and has to push through that pain in order to finish. My feet are numb and it is affecting how I walk - I feel like a waddling duck. My fingertips are becoming more numb and tingly which makes it hard to paint. My taste buds have simply gone on strike and that has become really disappointing to me. I can't even comfort myself with food. So I haven't been eating which, as we know, wrecks havoc on one's mood. Yesterday's dismal cloudy sky was nothing compared to my dismal *hangry* face.

A way too chipper nurse, wearing an Ugly Christmas Sweater (because it was Ugly Christmas Sweater Day), led me into the infusion room to chair #3. She pointed to my red sweater with the hand patched and beaded Christmas Tree and said, "Oh! I see you are getting into the spirit of the day too!" Seriously? See... that didn't help my mood because I always think of this particular sweater as being one of my REALLY GOOD ones.

I like to have my infusions done in Ann Arbor West. It is a new facility and the infusion areas are walled with a floor to ceiling window that looks out on a wooded pond. They put out all kinds of bird feeders and I can spend my time laughing at the antics of squirrels and a variety of wild birds. Yesterday I was treated to watching a colony of Canada Geese navigate the partially frozen pond.

Nurse Chipper insisted on drawing my attention away form the outdoors so I would admire the room decorations. She told me all the departments were to choose a theme and decorate accordingly. They had chosen the Nutcracker and were to be judged within the hour. All the nurses were excited and proud of the decorations, and I have to say, they really did a good job. The utility closet doors featured a giant gold grandfather clock and a pink ballerina silhouette - complete with a pink tulle tutu. The desk was draped in garland and their little table Christmas tree was adorned with ornaments of nutcrackers, ballerinas, and a mouse king. Real nutcrackers were everywhere, but the thing they were most proud of was their entry door, decorated to represent a giant nutcracker. It was pretty impressive.

The judging panel came into sight and suddenly the desk area was abuzz with activity. They quickly turned on a CD with Nutcracker music and several of the nurses did pirouettes to greet the judges. To say this was not my normal infusion experience would be putting it mildly. But, honestly - what fun! On my left was a vista of bird feeders populated with happy chickadees and magnificent cardinals. On my right was a bevy of nurses, in Ugly Christmas Sweaters, chattering about how they should have all showed up in tutus for the day. It kind of makes you wonder if Ugly Christmas Sweaters would look better with a tutu, doesn't it? It was giddy, some might say it was unprofessional, but it was lighthearted and it took me away from my personal pity party.

In fact, it took me back to my door contest days at West Liberty State college. I remember happy hours with my roommates as we planned and executed our prizewinning door (yes, of course we won!). For my freshman year my roomies, Diane and Shirl covered the door in paper and foil and cut out the stenciled letters of song titles while I made the construction paper figures. It was a point of pride for me, I was, after all, an ART major. In our sophomore year Shirley and I made a 3d paper tree and the cut out letters that read, "Merry Christmas From Around The World". Then we decorated the tree with the little paper figures I created to represent different countries. We won that one too. I don't remember the succeeding years - either I didn't win or by then I was just too cool to participate....;-)

People can say what they will about the turbulent sixties, but it was still a time when a religious themed door could win a prize instead of being protested. And I could make charming construction paper figures of people of color in their historic native dress without being called a racist. But, I have to admit - I wish I had thought of a Nutcracker theme, there are so many creative possibilities!

The bottom line is the sheer joy of living outside of our problems for a while. And maybe joining into a project with people who make you laugh, and feel alive. The best scripture illustration I can think of is the completion of the one I quoted in my last blog. The entire verse is:

You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
~Isaiah 55:12

The thought of mountains singing and trees clapping does indeed feel joyous.
Right now I am not walking so easily, I am not tasting anything good, and the tips of my fingers hurt. But, one night this week Steve is going to put me in the car and get me a peppermint mocha from McDonalds (I can kinda taste that and I get the aroma of peppermint). Then he will drive me around the community to see the colored yard lights and the family Christmas trees sparkling from behind picture windows. And we will listen to Mannheim Steamroller music and maybe Peter, Paul and Mary too. And when we pass the Dexter Dairy Queen I will think about how my hair may be starting to grow in by the time it opens again.

One more infusion to go. And maybe my taste buds will be back on track in time for Paczki season.
What joy!

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Have you ever given this quote much thought? Before I was diagnosed with cancer I never gave this any thought. When you think about it, it Is saying if you don't have your good health then you don't have anything. Is this true? Is this the only way it can be? And it then would mean that if you do have good health, you have everything. Does that mean it comes with a new house and a new truck?

I will say that when I think about it, I do think that having extremely poor health that lots of the things that most people would want aren't important as much anymore. But, at the same time when I had years of clean health, I didn't have things showered down on us.

It's all in your own mind's line of thinking. How do you interpret this?

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Do you ever look in the mirror and just shake your head at all of the scars? Mine is so bad by now that I could throw a dart at myself and would most likely hit a scar.

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At times, I begin to feel the weight of all of this piling up on me. Do any of you ever feel like this?

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Election day is getting closer, then there's only 4 years until the next big one!

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Have you been faced with deciding to go to the ER or to go to a local Urgent Care?

The Urgent Care Facilities have made a big splash in the health care scene in the last 10 years or less. Each has situations that are perfect for them, our blog post today will help you with that. Take a look here>> https://bit.ly/3h9lG9d

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