The Search

Of everything
There is so much more than a name
There is so much more than an age
There is so much more than what you see
There is so much more beyond me


Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Grand Canyon~~~~~


I read an article not long ago written by a well known author who often journals about cancer. She had visited the Grand Canyon and also spoke of it’s immense size. Her assessment was to look from where she was standing, across to the other side, ignoring the depth, the steep cliffs, the dangers below and to keep your eye simply on the other side….. NO!


My perception was to search every little tiny crack and crevice below me, the beauty on the floor of the canyon, the twisting rapids of the river, the secrets the Canyon holds and the challenges around and in each grain of rock. The depths of the unknown, the places untouched by humans, the caves of respite, the sun barren mounds of granite exposing their beauty to those who will take notice. The exciting shift of the earth’s crust to form valleys and peaks of grandeur and the ever hidden places of mans mind.


I love the Grand Canyon and it is very special to me because that is where I was when my cancer first struck. From the moment I got so sick and the lymph node swelled to reveal its presence, I knew what it was, cancer had caught me. Even though it was almost two months later before I was ofically diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma I knew then. When I finally approached the edge of the canyon a few days later, the tears begin to release themselves. I knew what was ahead of me and in my weakness I could barely cope at that moment. Yet, there it was………this vast expanse of God’s creation. As I stood there I was overwhelmed at the smallness of myself…… A insignificant particle of human flesh surrounded by so much more that possibly I had been ignoring until then?


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This post is not about the Grand Canyon but it’s about where God chose to put it. Arizona.


I am very mad at the government of Arizona. I would like to go to the Grand Canyon again, but until they change their attitude on freedom and border protection, I will never return.


How can a State that holds so much beauty be so ugly? How can a State declare itself part of the “land of the free”, the United States of America, and yet refuse to share it’s wealth of goodness and productivity or recognize the opportunities for others they have to offer.


They had choices……..All they needed to do was travel to the north part of their State and look at how insignificant they really are in comparison to the full scope of things….. All they needed to do was help fight against the “bad guys” and give shelter to the ones who only wanted a small piece of paradise… freedom in the land of the free, Instead, they are trying to lock their doors and play selfish.


Instead, they have declared war on innocent people because they’re different than what they think they need. They are blaming all of their problems on the wrong people. Instead of saying thank you to the very ones who keep them going with their hard work and desire to better themselves, they are choosing to label and hate and turn away their fellow men…… Instead of opening their hearts to great minds, talented and dedicated people, and probable opportunities for many, they are turning their backs on potential citizens, just because they’re different.


The answers to their problems on the south along the border, lay just to the north of them….. Their own personal message from God laid out in the Canyon for all to see….. The message that says “I am great, I am grand, I am vast, I am beauty, I have all this to offer, explore my lands and become a part of me – a message that is there for all of us to hear.


Arizona has so much more to offer but they are choosing to shut it away…… They are pushing away the very peoples who settled their land. Those who saw the beauty and chose to care for it before the white man came to ruin it. They have decided that different is bad and therefore must be banished. They have become greedy and they have become selfish.


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My Grand Canyon does not hate, my Grand Canyon does not turn man away, my Grand Canyon opens it’s soul to those who needs it and the rest of the world to love it and learn from it. My Grand Canyon says to the world that we have places for you, when you come to us with love in your heart and a willingness to produce, you are free.


I will leave my photos of the Grand Canyon at the top of my blog page because I love it so and it’s a great reminder to me to keep searching for more…… But I will not visit it in person again until the hate that is in our world and most recently evidenced in that particular State goes away….. Until Arizona can find another way to handle their problems instead of spewing hatred, I will visit my Grand Canyon only in my mind and through my memories. My Grand Canyon welcomes you and I invite you to visit it here……in my heart.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Finally Found

Being “lost” is not a fun thing…… It usually creates a sense of panic, and there is an underlying fear that fills every fiber of your being, of ever being able to find your way again. Regardless of which way you turn or what choices you make, you are still left with unfamiliar territory around you. Easily you can forget where your starting point was.


I have been giving a lot of thought recently to what this past few years has been like……. One day I was a healthy, happy, carefree 62 year old person, looking forward to retirement, and the next day I’m not sure what is happening or where I am on my life’s journey or what’s going to happen to me.


That was 4 years ago……48 months of existing but not really living……over 1,400 days of facing one health issue after another… fear springing up on a constant basis to set me back again, obstacle after obstacle that turned me in a different direction, challenges that threatened to stop me completely. Choices that tricked me into taking the wrong turns, underbrush to hide traps and snares, days running into days and nights running into nights with no breaks.


wandering…..worrying….wondering…..waiting…..weakening…... whining…..wearing… wishing…… and woefully willful…..

I say woefully because determination and the will for finding your way is not easy. It would have been so much easier, and maybe better for some had I just been satisfied to stay lost.


After that much time, one forgets who they really are beneath all those problems. What was I like when I was healthy? I can hardly remember! Will I ever be able to find my way again? Where did that person go? Where does she belong and what is her purpose?


The uneasiness and will to continue to search until you can find the right trail to take you home affects a lot of people. Those you call on for help and support and those who are waiting on you and those who are looking for you or helping you look for yourself.


Finally finding the correct trail brings you to yet another beginning.


That is where I honestly feel like I am right now…… After years of fighting the jungle around me, I’ve finally located the trail, I’m back on track now and on my way back home……


My checkup with the heart doctor resulted in a feeling I haven’t experienced in a very long time…… It was the last of my scheduled medical appointments and misery, after 4 long years of looking for a way out. It was the final step in my quest to locate the real her……the person I used to be……


The doctor brought up all of my old records to compare my blood levels over the past 17 months. I do not have the exact numbers in front of me but my triglycerides that were over 500 are now in the very low/normal range. My HDL or bad cholesterol which was almost off the chart are now actually lower than he wants, and my good cholesterol which was next to nothing is now higher than he wants….actually above the normal range…..blood pressure was 138 over 70 and everything else looked good and sounded good. He decreased one of my medications from 1500 mgs to 500 mgs. And he cut another medication dosage in half. He was a very happy doctor and I was a very happy patient. I am to have another blood test and see him again in October, then if everything is still good I won’t have to see him again for a year…..!!!!! YEA!!!!!


As I left his office with a spring in my step, I walked out, looked up to the heavens and said “thank you God”. I looked down and there was the path home stretching out before me. My cancer checkup was good, my back is much better, my spots are almost gone, and my heart is beating with a smile…… I suddenly felt the power today to take control again and had a renewal of what life could be like. There really IS "So Much More".


I can honestly relate to those who have been held captive in foreign prisons, finally being released to freedom. It might be a “while” before I’m completely home again, before I find her heart and soul and energy and self worth that she held so dear 4 years ago, but at least I know she’s on track, I’ve found the right trail, there is no doubt about it, and I’m on my way…….


Just because I’ve finished with all the doctors appointments, surgeries, treatments, and procedures, this isn’t the end……. It’s actually the beginning to the end…… I will maintain the trail ahead and behind me now….. now that I know what I’m looking for and which path to follow…I know I will find her again.


Here’s to getting back on track, taking the right trails, marking where you’ve been and knowing where you’re going……and here’s to good health!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lemon Juice and a Wire Brush


You’ve heard the saying, a lily-white completion?



The first year I went to school was in 1947, I was 4 years old. After a few weeks, the teacher sent a note home to my parents telling them that “your daughter has dirty elbows!” Now in defense of my mother, I did bathe daily and I was always kept clean and was taught proper hygiene. However; That did not make my elbows any different.


That evening, Mom went out to Dad’s pickup and got his wire rig brush…. It was part of the tool collection he carried with him at all times when working, and was used to scrub down a rusty connection on pipe, or clean a rig floor or pump jack parts that may need shined. She brought it in the house, I was placed up on a stool in front of the kitchen sink and while holding my arms under running water, we scrubbed my elbows with lye soap and the wire brush. Afterwards, she taped lemon slices on my elbows and I slept with them. I also wore the lemon slices on weekends. No, it wasn’t child abuse; it was simply the only way my Mother could think of to make my elbows nicer. This must have went on for several weeks and there may have been a little improvement. As time went on, she and I both became tired of the routine and it was stopped. Inevitably my elbows would turn dark and rough again, and we’d start the process over…. This went on for several years and even as an adult, I have tried it a few times.


My Dad always had a lot of freckles, and some were raised. I once asked him about them and he told me they were “catfish bumps”….. Catfish have spots, but do not have bumps so where he came up with that I will never know, but nevertheless I believed him, and later when my freckles turned into bumps, I just assumed I had the same catfish bumps he did. I will never forget the look on the doctor’s face the first time I went to a dermatologist and when he ask what the concern was with my skin and I told him I had catfish bumps…. This was at age 40. Ok, so I was na├»ve….. :)


The doctor informed me what I really had was “seborrhea keratosis”. An inherited non cancerous condition that was not serious and nothing to worry about. I was told then to keep an eye on any that may change in appearance or become wart like. I was also lectured about “vanity”. I have never been a vain person so I dismissed all of it from my mind and accepted that I would just live with the condition as I am. This was fine except in the past few years some of them have gotten worse, along with my elbows being dirty looking again, so I made this skin appointment with another dermatologist.


I went through the whole story with him, he examined me all over and again gave me the same diagnosis of seborrhea keratosis. When he looked at my elbows he told me I had psoriasis on them, and had probably always had it, and guess what……that due to medical advances, wire brushes and lemon juice are no longer used as a cure. Ha! We both had a good laugh over that one. He gave me cream to use on them and said they would probably clear up within a few weeks, but in the future if it acted up again just start using the cream again and leave the wire brush in the garage and the lemons in the fridge. Whew!


As far as my “catfish bumps”, he used liquid nitrogen….. He sprayed it on 44 spots on various locations of my body. Lectured me on using sun screen, gave me some salve to use on my face and sent me home. He said from now on to call them “sparkles”…… :)


So I’m a little odd....... but this is the way the good Lord made me. I have catfish bumps….uh….sparkles..... Maybe you have one eyebrow lower than the other one or a crooked toe or a knot on your chin. The point is, as long as it’s not a danger to your health learn to love it and accept it as your own. God gave us our features and they are what makes us who we are. They make us unique, and individuals.


Part of taking care of yourself is accepting those special qualities you cannot change and learning to love every part of you. By the way, the doctor gave me permission to be vain if I wanted, and if another sparkle appears that I cannot live with, just come in and he’ll get rid of it. As for the rest of the brown spots…..well, I yam who I yam……they remind me "I’m me and there is so much more to me"……. :)




Monday, May 3, 2010

Back At Ya!

Sunday morning in Church our minister spoke of stopping to say “Thank You”. Interesting isn’t it that our early training of saying please and thank you seems to come naturally when someone passes the salt ‘n pepper, but we forget to say thank you to He who gave us life. Two simple words that if we take time to use them will give us peace and knowledge we never dreamed of.


It made me stop and think about those blessings in my life. that I now question if I had remembered to say thank you at the time.


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The earliest was when I was 9 years old. I had been very badly sexually molested by a schoolteacher for over a year, frightened beyond description, and tortured in a manner that held my heart captive, it was only by the grace of God that I was able to finally find a way to tell and get the help I needed then to make it stop.


There, I’ve said it out loud for the whole world to know now…. Some 57 odd years later, with tears surfacing again, in sorrow for what that little girl had to go through then, I said it, I wrote it, and I survived it. She survived more than any child should have to. I’m pretty sure I said “thank you” then in some way, but just to be on the safe side, Thank you God for seeing me through that and for the strength it gave me. I beg you to be with others who are going through it today.


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Next on the list would be allowing me to find Jim….. my best friend, my lover, my other soul, my mate and companion for life and all that he brought me including our children. Thank you God for my family, they are my life.


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Thank you God for staying with us as we made it through the following years of trials and tribulations in career’s, losing loved ones, raising our children, the best of the best times, the worst of the worst times, dear friends, homes, and the many lessons we learned during that period in our lives.


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Thank you God for the strength you provided that fulfilled our life long dream of opening our own business nearly 40 years after we started our lives together. There were many rough, hard days but you seen us through them and gave us yet another opportunity to grow and learn and still survive on that today.


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Thank you God for our “retirement” years….. Our grandchildren we love so dearly, the trips we’ve been able to take, and our on-growing circle of friends and family and Church who continue to support us.


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Which brings me to today…… Thank you God for the opportunity I have had, to learn from my heath issues. Thank you for allowing me to share it with others…. It’s been a long row to hoe but you gave me strength to take it as it came. Now you are providing a way for me to encourage others to do the same.

From the back and muscle problems I learned that I am not invincible and that one needs to take care of situations as they arise and not put off matters of health.

From the cancer I learned about the growing technology in our medical advances and the utmost importance of support, faith, and knowing that one can live with a deadly disease because research continues through your wisdom.

From the heart attack I learned many things, which you can always refer back to back to my series on the “matrix”.

From all of that Thank you God for the determination and focus you’ve given me to do what I need to do.


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Since the heart attack, I have completed surgery on my back and am in the process of rebuilding my muscles thru exercise rehabilitation with a professional who has taught me much. I have completed bladder surgery which was an immediate fix and have recuperated and rebuilt from that. I’ve had my eyes examined and with a new pair of glasses, I can see almost clearly again. I've completed some dental work, I also welcomed a recent check up with my cancer doctor that gave me good news of still being in remission. I am looking forward to a similar response from my heart doctor in the next few weeks, and am in the process of getting some skin problems taken care of which I’m sure will be an improvement in my appearance and comfort.


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One thing for sure God, you’ve kept me plenty busy, especially this past year, but then learning lessons is never easy it.

In 16 days I will have completed all you told me you wanted me to do except for the continued maintenance which I will work on the rest of my life.

So Thank you God! May you continue to show me a way to encourage others in the most important job you give us, that being to take care of ourselves ….. and Thank You for going through all of this with me and so much more, as only you know all the details. With each of these major events in my life thus far, good and bad, I have learned. Not always easily, but I have learned from them. As I continue to grow and become the person you want me to be, I will make sure I always stop to say Thank you. (If I get busy and slip up, you can rest assured that eventually I will) My prayer today is that you will continue to bless me with your mercy and strength and that I’ll remember who to give credit to.

Ya know something God? You literally made my day…..

here’s right back at ya!


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