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casual friday

Casual Friday - Are Things Falling Apart or Falling Into Place?

On Monday, I shared this from Created Equal on my Facebook page, WhereWeGoNow as Cancer Survivors. It seems to have hit a nerve because it got a lot of likes, shares and comments. One comment, however, truly surprised me.

After a long day at school and track practice, my son returned home on Monday evening. He's a 15-year-old boy, so making conversation isn't his strong suit. Out of the blue, he told me he liked this post (of course, he didn't "like" it on Facebook, that wouldn't have been cool, my being his mother.)

It struck me that I've experienced this phenomenon countless times in my 53 years. What I didn't expect to learn was that it resonated for a 15-year-old boy. 

The bottom line is that we all have times when things seem to be falling apart. Maybe it's because we have so many expectations that this happens as much as it does. The truth is that we don't know how things are supposed to go. So sit back, believe and hold on and maybe you will see things actually fall into place after all.

Does this resonate for you? Tell me about it.

Casual Friday - Join Me on Facebook

In addition to sharing here at WhereWeGoNow, I've been hanging out at my Facebook page WhereWeGoNow as Cancer Survivors. I'm really loving the instaneous discussions that pop up about all kinds of things. Here's a sample of what I'm talking about:

A few days ago, I asked the Question of the Day: "At what point in your cancer journey did you consider yourself a survivor?" The response was riveting: 

 

    • Julie Hewett Still waiting to get to that point .. NED 1 year 4 months
      April 20 at 9:39am · Unlike ·  1
    • WhereWeGoNow As Cancer Survivors Congratulations on 1 year 4 months of NED. That's great! What do you feel has to happen before you can consider yourself a survivor?
      April 20 at 9:45am · Like
    • Terrace Hurston It's been 7 years now since my journeys thru oral stage 4 ,skin,and lung cancer.But I became a champion aftre I got the cancer News in 2004. As the tears flowed God spoke and told me He was in control and that it wasn't in my spirit to die.
      April 20 at 9:48am · Unlike ·  4
    • Diane C Greer I felt like a survivor the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer! Now, praise God, I am a 9 year survivor and doing well. Thoughts and prayers to all those facing the challenges of cancer now. Stay strong and positive.
      April 20 at 9:56am · Unlike ·  1
    • WhereWeGoNow As Cancer Survivors Terrace Hurston andDiane C Greer that's so great! I just hit 3 years and am thankful for every day.
      April 20 at 10:02am · Like ·  1
    • Andrea Paine I felt like a survivor from the start, because I truly believed I was! It will be 5 years on August 3rd!
      April 20 at 10:39am via mobile · Unlike ·  3
    • WhereWeGoNow As Cancer Survivors My oncology therapist told me that the modern definition of "survivorship" applies as soon as you hear those three words, "You have cancer." The thinking is that, if you are here, then you are a survivor. The term also applies to family, friends and caregivers who have been affected by cancer. Did you know that the term "survivor" was originally applied only to family members who were left behind? It wasn't that long ago that cancer was considered an immediate death sentence. We've come a long way, with a long way left to go.
      April 20 at 10:55am · Like ·  3
    • Susan Bundrick Harper As someone who aggressively treated DCIS with a bilateral mastectomy and radiation in 2009 and was diagnosed with a recurrence last fall (stage 4 metasticized to liver & spine), I still consider myself a survivor as long as I'm here fighting this disease!
      April 20 at 11:09am · Unlike ·  4
    • Bonnie Gelbwasser WhereWeGoNow As Cancer SurvivorsSomeone told me the same thing. I accepted it as truth, probably because I needed so much to believe it. SAVIVA is my license plate. 18 years for me, now.
      April 20 at 11:15am · Unlike ·  1
    • WhereWeGoNow As Cancer Survivors I wish there was a "Love" button! Good for you, Susan, and Godspeed!
      April 20 at 11:17am · Like ·  1
    • WhereWeGoNow As Cancer Survivors And you too, Bonnie Gelbwasser! 18 years!!
      April 20 at 11:50am · Like
    • The Dog Lived (and So Will I) I'm now 3 years NED after a stage 1c Triple negative diagnosis (next week is my check-up with the oncologist) but I heard the same thing about "survivor" from the day of diagnosis and I like that. So that's what I go with--I'm a survivor and I have been for 3 years. And Susan--I love your attitude! All the best to you.
      April 20 at 11:51am · Unlike ·  3
    • Susan Bundrick Harper Thank you!
      April 20 at 12:01pm · Unlike ·  1
    • Crazy Sexy Diet ‎9 years after I was diagnosed with terminal Stage IV cancer on my liver and lung, now I'm a happy Survivor!
      April 20 at 5:33pm · Unlike ·  2
    • WhereWeGoNow As Cancer Survivors You're one of my sheroes, Kris! I carried your first two books around like bibles after I was diagnosed and credit your philosophy with where I am today. Thanks so much! Love and hugs!
      April 20 at 5:44pm · Like
    • Andrea Paine Kris, I received your book when I was going through chemotherapy. I loved it. Susan, keep on your quest to be healed!
      Sunday at 10:19am via mobile · Like

What a great discussion! Did you notice that even Kris Carr of Crazy Sexy Diet, showed up to share her perspective? How great is that??

If you're on Facebook, come on over to WhereWeGoNow as Cancer Survivors to join the conversation! While you are there, please like my page and share my content. Let's get the word out and make WWGN a hub for all things survivorship!

Casual Friday - National Volunteer Week and Blood Donation

Because this is National Volunteer Week and I just donated blood a few days ago, I want to take this opportunity to rerun a popular post I wrote in January about the importance of blood donation:

Last June, I wrote a blog post listing "Five Reasons You Should Seriously Consider Donating Blood." The fifth reason, supplied by the American Red Cross, was the most surprising to me. And, now that I know it, it is the number one reason I support blood donation:

"More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment."

In response to that post, I got a beautiful comment from Julie, who wrote:

Hi Debbie,

Thank you for donating blood! I received over 130 units of blood and many platelet transfusions as part of my treatment for acute myelogenous leukemia. It is so incredible to me that strangers donate a part of themselves to help someone who will most likely never have the chance to thank them.

I gave blood and platelets prior to my diagnosis, and you are so right...it feels wonderful to be able to give such an important gift. I recently starting having therapeutic phlebotomies because my iron is too high due to the transfusions. When I walked into the clinic, I got teary...now that I had experienced what it felt like to be on the receiving end of transfusions, the clinic took on a greater meaning to me.

Thank you for giving and for encouraging others. I always looked forward to my transfusions because they gave me energy, got rid of my anemia headaches and made the whole process of fighting cancer seem more doable.

Take care,
Julie

Because blood supplies are usually critically low in the winter months, January has been recognized as National Blood Donation Month for over 40 years. I'm a good example of the problem. About two weeks before Christmas, I got a call from the blood donation center at my cancer center. I've donated before, and they reached out because they needed me to donate again. I was just too busy before the holidays, however, and they promised to call back in January. First thing yesterday morning they were on the phone and we made an appointment for next week. 

If you're a cancer survivor, you might think you can't give the gift of blood donation. I thought the same thing, but, in truth, eligibility depends on the type of cancer and treatment history. Speak to your doctor to learn more, but, in general, only survivors of blood cancers are not eligible to donate. For other types of cancer, you are eligible if you were successfully treated over 12 months ago and have experienced no recurrence in that time.  In-situ cancers that are completely removed do not require the 12 month waiting period.

Blood donation is a wonderful way to give back and help other cancer survivors get through their treatment. Next week, when I stick out my arm, I'll be thinking of Julie and the 130 units of blood and platelets she needed as part of her treatment. Will you join me and make an appointment to donate blood this month? It's easy, just contact your local hospital, cancer center or The American Red Cross today.

123RF Stock Photo

Casual Friday - Spring Break

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. Khalil Gibran

I am flashing back to myself sitting at a little table in kindergarten and joyously finger painting. I was painting apples and remember the red paint squishing between my fingers as I swirled it on the shiny white paper. I was enthralled by the magic of creating with my own hands and I have been ever since.

Creativity came easier back in the day when it walked hand in hand with play. But play requires time and work always claims a big chunk of time first. Still, the importance of play has been on my mind lately and my growing desire has met with opportunity.

As of 3 p.m. today, my children are on spring break. We're not traveling anywhere and have no plans at all. It's a good opportunity to unplug, relax into free time and remember how to play.

I've decided to take a break too and won't be posting next week. I have books I'd like to read, lunches I'd like to take (with my children) and a host of other fun things I've been putting aside for far too long. Tops on my list is Zentangle art. As a Christmas present to myself, I bought doodling pens and a Zentangle book. (Amazon associates link.) Three months later, I have yet to sit down and enjoy them. That's a dang shame and this coming week I'm going to make it right.

Other than that, I have no concrete plans and that's a good thing. Play is best done informally, with no agenda or timetable. I hope you have a good week next week. For me, I'll be sleeping a bit later and accomplishing a bit less than usual - and that will be a wonderful thing.

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

 

Casual Friday - The Most Astounding Fact About The Universe

In last Friday's Casual Friday post, I quoted George Harrison, who said, "Try to realize it's all within yourself, no one else can make you change, and to see you're only very small and life flows on within you and without you."

I thought it was a fitting way to end my Courageous Women with Cancer Week by taking a look at this from a different perspective. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was asked, "What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the universe?"  He answered in part, "We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us, ... Many people feel small because they're small and the universe is big, but I feel big."

Are we "only very small" or are we "big?" You decide for yourself by watching the video and listening to the entire answer to the question. My answer: Dr. deGrasse Tyson's response brought tears to my eyes and made me understand that I am big and I am very courageoous. 

Casual Friday - The Flow of Life

Try to realize it's all within yourself, no one else can make you change, and to see you're only very small and life flows on within you and without you. George Harrison

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos