put a smile on
cancer sucks

stepping onto my soapbox...

yes, yes i am.

i will not deny that i am standing proudly on my soap box.

i think it deserves a name of some sort.

i'll put some thought into it and let you know what i come up with.

for now, i will just experience word vomit [nod to mean girls].

so...i recently saw some commentary about this season we experiencing.

that would be the christmas season, the holiday season...whatever you may call it...it truly matters not to me...

although, i will admit to being a christmas purist at one time. ya know, one of those people that wished everyone a merry christmas, regardless of their religious background.

i was probably rude about it at times, too. i was probably uppity about it, too.

that's not who i am any longer.

yes, it is my belief to wish you a merry christmas.

but am i going to be offended at someone wishing me happy holidays? happy hanuka? happy kwanzaa [well, that probably won't happen for obvious reasons]?

no, i'm not.

instead i will be grateful that someone thought enough of me to wish me something.

i admit to doing this: looking for that special christmas card...but was only interested in the ones that said merry christmas. if it said happy holidays but was cute, it was still out. i even did it this year!

but since i ordered the cards, i have read lots of never to be humble opinions on some of my favorite blogs.

and mine eyes were opened! [and yes, i truly meant to type mine]

i will promise you that in the future, i will be way more open to those happy holidays cards...because i will be more mindful of those who are receiving my card, rather than my feelings...and isn't that part of this wonderful season?

i'd like a do over for my cards this year but it just isn't feasible...i mean, i got a great deal on the cards, 40% off, free shipping...that adds up when you are ordering and mailing 160+ cards! so this year, we're just gonna go with what is already done...because the cards arrived tuesday night! and they are cute, if i do say so myself!

another thing i saw that really put me on this soap box was seeing someone talk about how this is the most wonderful time of the year.

and i agree, it really can be.

and i disagree, it really isn't for some people.

and the dialogue laughed at the reader for being stressed during this time of year...that there should be nothing to be stressed over.

it made me sad to read it.

because i totally get how this can be a truly stressful time of year.

it was stated that people stress over making a holiday meal to be shared with loved ones...what if you don't have the money to put a holiday meal together? what if you rely on the food pantry to help? or must go to a soup kitchen for christmas dinner? i believe that would create a lot of stress.

[did you happen to see dr phil on tuesday? about the family that must use food stamps to buy food and how stressful it is for them? how embarrassed they were to use them? how the mom sat outside the grocery store, on the curb and became hysterical in her husband's arms, because she didn't want to go in the store and use assistance? how the husband/dad felt like such a failure to his family?]

or how buying gifts to show someone how much you care and appreciate them shouldn't be stressful...what if you have no extra money for gifts? what if you are the parent of a child asking santa for that special something and you know there is no way you can make that happen...because the choice is buying that special gift or putting food on the table? i bet that would be pretty stressful, too.

what if you have a loved one suffering from a debilitating disease? or lost a loved one at this time of year?

i think all these situations would create some stress this time of year.

i probably seem a little judgmental here but it just set me back on my heels when i read this.

because i have found myself in some of these situations.

20 years ago, my dad was beginning his cancer battle. i can tell you that the christmas of 1990 was pretty damn stressful. no one in my family really cared much about christmas. we cared more that my dad would succeed in his battle.

he lost that battle in sept 1991. so let me tell you how christmas 1991 went down...no one in my family really gave a crap about it. it was pretty stressful...having all those memories of christmases past with my dad but not being able to share them with him any longer.

kiroman struggled with christmas for a very long time because his best friend was killed in auto accident on christmas eve...before i even met kiroman. but i can tell you that not a christmas goes by that rick isn't mentioned and remembered. kiroman deals better with christmas now...mostly for teenager's sake. i know it still isn't easy for him.

i've always been in a situation where having food on the table wasn't an issue...that i know of.

i know we weren't the poorest of the poor growing up. but we certainly were not the richest. but there was always food on the table and gifts under the tree for all four of us kids.

i have no idea how my parents pulled it off. i have no idea if they ever had to sacrifice something of their own in order for us kids to be fed and able to open presents christmas morning. but i know people personally that have lived through that. that are living it still today.

two years ago, our office adopted families for christmas through the salvation army. we purchased gift cards to a grocery store so they could purchase their holiday meal. we had a shopping list for the family members. we adopted 5 families with the help of donations from our practice members.

then the whole staff made deliveries to each family on a saturday afternoon.

all gifts were wrapped and ready to go.

let me tell you...if you have never done this, i suggest that you do so immediately...there is still time this year!

it was an eye opener for me. it was a hit in the gut reminder of how grateful i should be for the lifestyle i am able to live.

the deal is this, quite simply: until you have walked in someone else's shoes, you should never, ever, ever judge them.

and here i am judging, right? well, you got me there.

it just really bothers me that some people think that everyone lives just like they do. and it just isn't true. and i think we need to be more tolerant. i think we need to be more compassionate and understanding of the situations others find themselves in.

i admit that i am not always as compassionate as i would like to be and it is something i am striving to be better at.

i'm not sure if i shared this before or not...but someone once made this comment about a driver that cut someone off

"i wonder what is going on with her that would make her behave in that manner?"

and i have carried that with me. and when i get angry with someone, i ask myself that very thing...what in the world could be going on in that person's life that would cause them to act in that manner? and then i pray for it to be better for them.

i mean, it's kinda awesome this person is altruistic enough to think that everyone is able to have food on their table for the family along with gifts under the tree...however, laughing at someone because there is no reason for it to be stressful during this time of year...without knowing individual situations...just crawled up my butt.

paw paw update time

so we are on day 3 of the new pain med. it totally wipes him out for a period of time but seems to e=be controlling his pain. the eye swelling has gone down quite a bit. the nose bleeds and eye bleeds came back this morning. and was bad for awhile but has stopped now. his appetite was only for beef jerky dog treats.

i told him tonight that he is, without a doubt, the toughest dog that has ever graced our home. the grace in which he is handling his situation amazes me. he continues to adapt to the next level of pain. rebound hound continues!

although he spent the majority of his time sleeping today. and we know that's going to be part of the process. but when he's up, he's perky, alert, happy and most importantly, comfortable.

i'm sure some of you are wondering how in the world you could ever know if a dog is comfortable when they express no words.

well, if any of you have ever experienced hospice care, you know exactly of what i speak.

you just know when they are uncomfortable. you can read it in their body language. you see it in their eyes. it's there...you don't need to hear the words...you read them.

we did have an accident last night, though.

rebound hound has been in bed with me and kiroman for about a week or so. and it's gone famously until last night.

well, more like 3am when i stretched my foot across the bed and felt a warm, wet spot. and it was big. i immediately sat up and reached for paw paw.

my fear being that he had passed away. but he was still breathing and sound asleep and wet.

the poor guy didn't even wake. i'm hoping it was from the pain med...he had some about 90 minutes before he went to bed...and when i tell you it knocks him on his butt, it knocks him on his butt...

so, with the help of the great customer service at select number beds, i was able to get the spot cleaned up and taken care of.

tonight, there is a waterproof mattress pad on the bed...which i should have done as soon as we moved hound up there.

so five months after his diagnosis, he is still fighting a good fight. he still has a good quality of life going on. and he is happy to still be with us. and obviously, we are thrilled he is still with us.

i am grateful:

  • for spending the evening with a great friend!
  • to have food in my pantry
  • to have 2 years worth of digital photos safely stored online
  • my christmas cards are here
  • for my yoga pants

just breathing isn't living!

sincerely,

Trophy wife signature

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