Where I’ve Been And What I’m Doing

Last week I was MIA.

To start it off, I had my second Remicade infusion. Which didn’t go quite as smoothly as the first. Since I’m predominantly right handed, we decided to try my left hand this time, so I could have a little more freedom of movement during and after the treatment. Well, my left hand didn’t want to cooperate. We had to do four different sticks before we found a vein that would work. And then, in the last five minutes of a three hour infusion, we blew that vein. So my hand looked like a medical glove someone had made into a balloon.

The doctor came in and looked me over, and cleared me to go home, though with strict orders to ice my hand and keep it elevated. No movement for at least 24 hours.

You never realize just how much you use your non-dominant hand until you absolutely can’t use it. It was a nightmare.

I tried to catch up on emails and such on Wednesday, but typing one-handed just wasn’t working for me. Thursday I was able to start light activity, but then our internet crapped out. Clearly, the universe wanted me to take a break.

So even though we had the internet issue resolved on Friday, I hung back from the internet and worked on some stuff around the house. I went to therapy and worked on me. And I rested.

I continued resting all weekend, even while I had a guest post over at The Domain Of The Mad Mommy. I played board games with Scotty and watched football. I ate yummy food.

Today I’m back and feeling the groove. I’ve got some exciting posts coming up, some great swaps for Ask Away Friday, and a few friends will be visiting with some guest posts. So stick around, I promise you won’t be sorry :)

Ask Away Friday Vol. 12

Is it feeling like fall for anyone else? We’re still sporting 90+ degree days, apparently for some reason, summer is wanting to hang around a while longer here. Someone please send me a rain storm. Please.

This week has been a busy one for me. Lots of phone calls and arranging appointments for both me and my future father-in-law. Which means my brain is hanging on by a thread. Lucky for me, it’s Friday, and time for another dose of Ask Away Friday!

If you’re new to these parts, AAF is where I swap ten questions with a fellow blogger, and then we all get to know each other a little better. It’s loads of fun and I’ve met some great blogger friends.

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This week I’m swapping with Danielle from Dancing With My Daughter. Besides having the best blog name ever, Danielle shares tales of her daughter, her love, and yummy food. Be sure to pop on over and get to know her a little better, you’ll be happy you did!

Here’s what Danielle wanted to know about me…

1) I read that you’re getting married very soon (YAY CONGRATULATIONS!), how’s the preparation going? Are you excited?

I’m crazy excited! It’s really wonderful to know that I’ve found my forever someone and that we’re going to have this lovely day where we celebrate with all of our loved ones. The preparation is coming along, we’re currently looking for a venue that fits our needs but isn’t crazy expensive. Which is harder than one would think, apparently.

2) What is one thing about your fiancé that you love the most?

I love his passion for music. Scotty learned to play the guitar at a young age, and has pursued music most of his life. He plays with a humbleness, like he honestly doesn’t know how great he his. And he’s pretty great. He carries that creative passion into our relationship by supporting all of my crafting. We encourage that love of creating something within each other, and it’s one of my favorite things. And if you could see the peaceful smile that comes over him as he plays, you’d melt like I do, every single time.

3) What is your favourite thing to do with your son? Do you bond regularly?

I love movie nights with my kiddo. I love that he still wants to have a giant pajama party with popcorn and snacks, pillows and blankets, and a family movie. Those nights warm my heart every time. Because my son spends the school years with his dad, we don’t get as much bonding time as I would like. But the kiddo can text now, and so we have little conversations throughout the week, and that helps :)

4) What’s the best dish that you have cooked?

Well I would say my white lasagna, but my brother would say my chipotle carnitas. Scotty would pipe in and say chipotle carnitas with fry bread. Since taco night is always a favorite, I wouldn’t argue. I let a couple pounds of pork simmer in my crockpot with beef broth and seasonings all day on low. When it starts to fall apart, I shred it with a couple forks, then add it back to the cooking liquid along with a couple bottles of chipotle sauce. I let that simmer for another hour while I make fry bread. We use the fry bread as the taco shell, piling it high with our favorite toppings like lettuce, cilantro, sour cream, and lots of cheese. And now that my mouth is watering, I’m gonna have to make some this weekend!

5) Is there a book that you can read over and over again and won’t get bored of? What is it and why?

My usual go-to response here is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, but I’m going to be a good girl and pick another book that’s just a single. Envy by Sandra Brown is a top pick. It has a pretty compelling story, with some romance, and a plot twist that I didn’t see coming. The intro to the story is probably one of the greatest I’ve read, especially for a lover of a good mystery. It’s an easy read, but not too easy that you don’t stay enthralled. If you have a chance, check it out.

6) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

There are many places I would like to visit in the world, but I’d only want to live in my Pacific Northwest. We have all four seasons here, there’s such lovely landscape, and the air smells like nothing I’ve ever found anywhere else. I’m surrounded by mountains, I’m a short drive from the Pacific Ocean, and we have some of the greatest food! In my perfect dreams, I move all of my loved ones here, and we spend our days exploring this gorgeous region.

7) Are you excited for fall? What are you looking forward to this cold season?

Fall is my favorite time of year! I love the crisp breeze that belies the bright sun. The colorful leaves mixed with evergreens. I love bulky sweaters and leggings, pretty scarves, and tall leather boots. I love apple cider and baked goods. I love soups in my crockpot and fresh bread rising on my counter. This year I’m looking forward to continued success with my new treatment plan, and the hope that I’ll be feeling a bit more human by the holidays.

8) When you were a kid, did you dress up for Halloween? What’s your favourite costume?

I LOVED dressing up and still do! My favorite costume as a kid was when I was about four. I dressed as Rainbow Brite and my best friend at the time dressed as her horse (unicorn?). They were those vinyl costumes with the plastic masks you couldn’t see out of, but the photo still brings a smile to my face. My favorite adult costume was a few years ago when I went as Medusa. I have crazy curly/wavy/does whatever it wants hair. I wore a silver/gray toga, crazy dark makeup, and had my hair piled high on my head, with plastic snakes poking out everywhere. It was a lot of fun, but I had black circles around my eyes for days!!

9) With the Christmas holiday coming up in a few months, do you have any traditions that you do with your family?

When Scotty and I were first dating, I was working in fast food and not making much money. We agreed that instead of going broke trying to find THE BEST PRESENT EVER for each other, we would just exchange stockings. We made two rules: It had to fit in the stocking, and couldn’t be more than $20. It was so much fun, we still do it every year. Instead of expensive jewelry or electronics we’ll be making payments on forever, we find the little things that have meaning behind them. Each year it’s a great treasure hunt to buy little gifts that tell him what he means to me, that remind us of dates we’ve taken, that will make him smile or laugh out loud. I hope we’ll keep doing this forever.

10) Do you like any sports? If you do, do you get to play it often?

I love football! Love, love, LOVE it! I don’t play- even before I got sick, I was not very athletically inclined. (I’m a klutz. Ask anyone who knows me.) But I love watching football. And Scotty is getting me into watching hockey and baseball.

 

What a great swap! Each week, these girls find things about me that I didn’t realize I hadn’t shared yet. If you’d like to join in the fun, check out the Ask Away Friday Facebook Group. They’re a great bunch who will show you the ropes with all things blogging, so don’t feel intimidated or like you won’t fit in :)

I hope you all have a great weekend. Wish me luck with my fantasy football teams, Scotty and the kiddo are killing me!

Just One…But So Much More

I am just one.

Just one of the millions fighting an invisible illness. Just one in a sea of pain and misunderstanding. Just one to stand up and say: I am more.

I am more than my illnesses. I am more than pain, medications, fatigue, and disability.

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I am a sister. I have sisters with whom I’m building better relationships. We’re working to make memories now, rather than live in our pasts. I’m a sister of the heart. I’ve adopted so many of my dear friends, claiming them as my family, and loving them more than words.

I am a mother. I love my son more than I ever thought possible. Each day he makes me more proud, and I am in awe of his intelligence and strength of character. I look at him and can’t believe that he’s mine. He is my greatest gift, and I am his mother.

I am a daughter. Though my relationships with my parents have been strained over the years, I am still theirs. I am the result of a drunken night, a relationship that never should have been. Still, I am his sole heir, and her oldest. I am their daughter, their blood, carrying on their legacies.

I am a lover, soulmate, life partner, fiance, spouse. I am the promise of a future, and the memory of five wonderful years together. I am dinner on the table, lunches packed for work, laundry washed and put away. I am date nights and late nights walking our doggy. I am the one he gave his heart to, and the keeper of his secrets.

I am a friend. I am care packages in the mail, funny cards, and emails that make us laugh until we cry. I am two hour chats where we talk about everything and nothing. I am a shoulder for your tears, and arms for a hug. I am coffee on a Sunday afternoon, and watching 80s movies while we talk about life.

I am a writer. I share my words, my thoughts, my stories. I come here to this corner of the internet that I’ve made mine every week to share this life I lead. I share to ease the thoughts and voices swirling around in my head. I share so you know you’re not alone. I share because I am a writer, and writers write.

I am a lover of music, books, and movies. I am a true crime fan, a sap for a good romance, and a flower dancing to the waves of sound. I am an admirer of those who follow their passions and are gracious enough to share them with the world.

I am just one. And I matter.

 

You are just one, but you can make a difference. This week (Sept. 8-13 2014) is Invisible Illness Awareness Week. Please take a moment to check out their site and lend your support. Together we can raise awareness for all of us. And awareness can lead to research, to a cure.

I’m Grateful For Love

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve shared a list of gratitude. I had a lovely chance to reconnect with a dear friend this weekend, and I’m feeling the need to share some positives with y’all. What are you thankful for today?

GratefulMondaysI’m thankful for:

*Friends who ask “How are you?” and want the honest truth.

*Cool breezes in the mornings.

*Donuts and football Sundays.

*Friends who inspire you continuously.

*My crockpot, which makes it easy to have comfort food without heating up my whole house.

*Band members who uplift and encourage my fiance.

*Friends who offer their help when I need it most, no strings attached.

*My therapist, who answers calls on her days off and helps me work out a plan.

*Bloggers who uplift one another so that we may all succeed at our passion.

*Friends who offer grace and love, no matter what.

*Hairdressers who are family, and help you feel human with little makeovers every so often.

*A fiance who works long hours to make sure there’s a roof over our heads.

I’m grateful for the love that surrounds me, each and every day. For the friends and loved ones who keep me going, even when life is hard and the pain is too much. For all the people in my life who make sure I keep fighting.

How about you?

 

 

Ask Away Friday The Spoonie Edition

This short week was long in more ways than one. I had my first Remicade infusion, which went well, but still took a lot out of me. Even though Scotty works on Saturday this week, I’m so very ready for the weekend. And FOOTBALL!!

This week also found me without a partner for Ask Away Friday until yesterday when Christy from Uplifting Families came to my rescue. Christy has lived with chronic pain for a number of years, but has also recently been diagnosed with Fibro. Since we’d swapped before, we thought this time maybe we should do a #spoonie themed swap, then we could pick up some tips from each other, and share some with you!

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A spoonie asks and a spoonie answers…

1. We both live with chronic pain. What is one thing (non-medication) that can always take your mind off the pain? 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Screaming along with some of my favorite rock songs can always distract me from what’s ailing me.

2. What is the best advice someone has ever given you that has really helped you cope?

My gal Dawnie has given me some great advice over the last few years. At a particularly low point for me, she imparted this gem:

Celebrate each thing you do, each decision you make. Because it all counts. Don’t push so hard to be positive, instead be realistic. And when you’re able to do that, be really real with yourself, you’ll realize how much you really do each day.

I try to remember this every day. To be kind to myself when I fall behind on the chores, and still celebrate when all I can manage is to get out of bed and feed myself. Because it all matters.

3. When you’re having a good day, what is your favorite thing to do?

I love thrift shopping. My fiance and I will sometimes take $10 each and putter around local second hand stores to see what treasures we can find. Sometimes we find nothing. Other times we find fabric for one of my projects, or a piece of sports memorabilia for Scotty’s collection. Even if we don’t find anything, it’s nice to just walk around exploring.

4. What are 5 must have items you would recommend to fellow spoonies?

*Hot/Cold compresses. Preferably ones that can be used either way, and used many times. Homemade rice or bean bags are great.

*A stereo, mp3 player, or some sort of music playing device. And headphones so you can listen when everyone else is asleep and pain has you counting sheep.

*Comfort food. I always try to keep a few of my favorite treats around for the rough days. Because sometimes you just really need a bite of chocolate.

*Fuzzy socks or slippers WITH NON SKID SOLES. My feet are almost always cold, unless it’s 90+ degrees outside. And even then, sometimes. Loose fitting fuzzy socks warm my feet without being too constricting. But please, please, PLEASE make sure they’re “no-slip.” No need to have a nasty fall just because you wanted toasty toes.

*Something to cuddle. Whether it’s a kiddo, a spouse, a pet, a stuffed animal, or all of the above, always have something (or someone) to hug. You’d be surprised how much it helps.

5. What new activity or hobby have you picked up since you became a spoonie?

Honestly? Napping LOL. Before I got sick, I rarely slept during the day, I just could never shut my brain off. Now I love naps. If things work out right, I take one every afternoon. Sometimes I also sneak one in before lunch. And on really rough days, I take another right before dinner.

6. I have always been told that you are own best advocate for your health. Have you ever had to push your doctor to figure out what is wrong or to test a procedure or medication?

I’m blessed that my current team of doctors is pretty stellar. They all listen to me and my concerns, and we make decisions together. This hasn’t always been the case, and I’ve had to look for a second opinion or change doctors. Because we ARE our own best advocates, and we should NEVER be uncomfortable with our health decisions.

7. My dogs are a huge blessing, do you feel having pets helps you cope with your chronic illness?

Without a doubt, I know my life is better with my doggy. With recent flares and medication changes, Todd has proven that he was meant to be my companion. He curls up with me and licks my hand when he knows I’m hurting. If I stay in bed, he spends the day laying next to me. When I’m stressed or anxious, he does this cute floppy thing on the floor until I rub his belly. Which, of course, makes me smile and calms my mind.

8. Do you ever feel isolated since you stopped working?

Oh boy. Some days I swear if I have to stare at these four walls any longer, I’ll scream. My social life has gone WAY down, so yeah, there are moments where I feel really isolated. I’m blessed to have such a great online community of friends and family who remind me that I’m not alone, though, and that helps.

9. Do you feel your pain restricts you from doing things you enjoy?

Absolutely. Most days I try not to think about the things I can’t do anymore, because it kinda makes me a little crazy. I try to focus on the things I can still do, like my writing. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss cross-stitching.

10. Do you feel that support groups are a great place to connect with other spoonies and find others who share a similar journey?

I do! Support groups and online communities can be great! There are many out there, so find the one(s) that’s right for you. They can be good resources for sharing tips and information on treatments, as well as a place to find a sympathetic ear for those really yucky days.

 

Thanks Christy for another great swap!

Do you have any tips for spoonies you’d add to this? Or maybe you have a question you’d like me to answer? Leave a comment and let me know! And if you’d like to join in on the Ask Away Friday fun, check out their Facebook group to get started. It’s a great bunch of bloggers who are more than happy to show you the ropes :)

Now…ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!?!?!?!

 

Hello Mother, I Need You To Hear Me

I need to say these things to you, and I need you to really HEAR me.

My health is important. It’s important to me, it’s important to Scotty, and I would hope it would be important to my parents. Your actions recently clearly state otherwise.

I don’t know if it’s because it’s hard for you to see your daughter sick, or if you honestly believe it’s some sad bid for attention. Whatever the reason behind your behavior, it’s unacceptable. I AM SICK. This is not up for debate.

I didn’t choose this, I certainly didn’t make it up, and it’s not just going to go away.

The medications I’m taking aren’t easy. They’re not easy on my body, and the decision to choose them as treatment doesn’t come easy. Ultimately I have to decide if I want to reduce my symptoms now and risk possibly shortening my life span or contracting another (often worse) illness, OR do I live without medication and spend my life confined to bed. I choose to risk the medication, because I want to live the best life I possibly can, for as long as I can. Maybe you’d make a different decision. Hopefully we never have to find out.

I know we’ve talked about this before, but for whatever reason, you still can’t seem to be the parents I need you to be. When you were diagnosed with cancer, my sisters and I were worried about you. I never questioned you, your diagnosis, or your treatment. I took care of you, helped in the best ways I knew how, and tried my best to support you. Is it wrong for me to expect the same from you?

I could sit here and explain the science behind my illness, but it really doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter. I am sick. It is a lifelong illness. To date, there is no cure. I’m trying my hardest to live the very best life I can. If you can’t be a part of my treatment plan by being supportive and encouraging, then I must distance myself. The stress and anxiety over this strain in our relationship is not healthy for me. Your phone calls during my treatment yesterday caused my vital signs to freak out, and the nurse and doctor both had to calm me down.

That is completely unacceptable.

So this is me setting a boundary and trying to take care of myself. If I don’t answer your calls, you’ll know why. I can’t let your negativity and nonchalant dismissal of me and my illness continue to affect my well being. It breaks my heart to know I can’t count on my own mother for support while I battle the biggest fight of my life. I can only hope and pray my own son never has cause to feel this way about me…

Truthful Tuesday: A New Path

I love and hate the Tuesday after a long weekend. On one hand, you’re already one day closer to Friday. On the other, you’re an extra day behind on emails and such. Here’s some other things about this Tuesday:

*I start Remicade infusions, a new (for me) treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis, today. I’m both excited and terrified. I’m really hoping this is the right path for me, but I’m worried about side effects and that it won’t work. If it doesn’t work, we don’t know what the next step will be…

*My son starts 8th grade this week and I’m incredibly proud of him. However, I’m quite unsure where all the time has gone. How can he be nearly 14 already?!

*My house is alarmingly quiet and empty without my son’s excited energy here to fill it up. We miss him more than words.

*It is now under 11 months (and counting!) until our wedding. We’re trying to get serious about finding a venue and nailing down some other details, but also trying to remain calm and stress-free. It’s hard, yo,

*I’ve decided to link up with not one, but TWO photo challenges on Instagram this month. I’ve been bad about slacking on these in the past, so if you’re inclined to offer reminders, I’ll take them!

*I’ve really been craving Thai food lately. Clearly this means Scotty and I need to take a day trip to Portland to visit my loves and go to the food trucks.

*I’m incredibly grateful for Scotty, his boss, our circle of friends, and my doctors, who’ve all had a part in taking care of me and making my treatment both a priority, and a possibility.

Ask Away Friday Vol. 11

Happy Friday everyone!

I know I’ve been MIA this week. I’ve been spending it with my son and my fiance. The kiddo leaves us today to head back to his home in the Midwest. So while y’all are reading another round of #AskAwayFriday, I’ll be at the state fair sending off the kiddo in style. (And trying not to collapse from all the walking around.)

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This week I got to swap with the lovely Shelly from DIYMama. I’ve been admiring Shelly’s crafts and projects since I stumbled onto her blog via the AAF group, so when she said she’d swap with me, I was ecstatic! Make sure you pop on over to her site today to see what tips she has for me to help DIY my wedding, and other things I’ve been dying to ask her :)

Now- My answers for her.

1. You said you’ve always dreamed of being serenaded! By who and what song?

I’ve always thought it would be sweet to be serenaded by the one you love, so if Scotty ever decided to surprise me by singing a love song, it would surely make me melt!

2. Since you’re getting married in under a year (whoohoooo!) do you have any ideas for color/theme?

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We do! Scotty’s favorite color is orange and mine is teal, so we’re doing those along with copper and turquoise for a pretty summery palette. We’re hoping for a rockabilly tea party, an eclectic mash up of some of our favorite things.

3. What are the top 5 things you want to accomplish on your bucket list?

I’m really going to have to look at stealing your idea and posting a 40 by 40 list on my site. Accountability will help me get going on my bucket list. I don’t know if I have a top 5, but a few things I want to do are: Write a book and have it published. Travel to Europe. See my son graduate from high school and basic training. Marry the man of my dreams.

4. Have you done any (or look forward to) classes with your fiance like cooking or dancing?

We haven’t taken any classes, but you’ve given me a really good idea! Maybe I could get him to go to a pottery or ceramics class with me…

5. If there was one song you could wake up to everyday, what would it be?

“Only Fools Rush In” by Elvis Presely

6. What is you and your love’s song?

“1,2,3,4” by The Plain White T’s

7. What is one thing you’re proud of from before being a Mom?

Oh goodness! Since I became a mom right out of high school, that’s hard. I’m proud that I graduated, and with fairly good grades. And I’m proud that I made the choice to have my baby, even when the odds were stacked against me. He is the greatest joy.

8. Did you do anything fun this summer in the way of trips or weekend adventures?

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We took my son to the Aviation and Space museum, which has been on our to-do list for a few years now.

9. I saw you are into paper crafts recently. Share a few pictures of your most recent craft project!

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I’ve been on a kick making cards for my friends, it’s so much fun being able to personalize them. I’d also like to get back to scrapbooking, but I really need to be better about taking photos and getting them printed!

10. What is something sweet that your fiance and son have done recently without being asked?

My fiance took my son to buy me a birthday card. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but those little things speak volumes. I got one from each of them, and they lit up my day :)

 

Thank you so much for such a great swap, Shelly! Y’all be sure to check out her site for all the latest on DIY tips and adorable photos of her smiling daughter. (You can never get enough of cheeky baby smiles!) I’m off to the state fair for a funnel cake and too much walking. TGIF!

Ask Away Friday Vol. 10

Today is my favorite uncle’s birthday. And yes, now that you mention it, we have a ton of birthdays in August. And no, I’m not sure how all of us Leos get along. Sometimes we really don’t get along at all.

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Today is also another Friday, and another dose of #AskAwayFriday. This week I got to swap with the lovely lady behind Tamara Like Camera. I met Tamara through the AAF group and immediately fell in love with her beautiful photos. Her blog is a combination of her lovely photography and her ability to tell a story so captivating, you’re left breathless. Please be sure to swing by her spot and see how she answered my questions this week, you won’t be disappointed!

Tamara had some great questions for me, so without further ado…

1. I was so sorry to hear about the autoimmune diseases in your life, as well as depression and anxiety. Focusing on the anxiety, since that is something I have on occasion, what are some things that really help you to ease it, if you don’t mind answering?

Thank you, and I don’t mind at all! Anxiety is harder for me, there never seems to be a clear cut answer on how to ease it. Music often helps, usually something I can just scream along to at the top of my lungs. Cleaning is also good, it eases the OCD tendencies that creep in when my anxiety goes unchecked. I’ve also noticed any activity that lets me have a bit of control is helpful. It’s like I’m latching onto anything that feels like I’m regaining the control I feel anxiety saps from me.

2. Doctor Who question! Who is your favorite Doctor of all? Who is your favorite Doctor in that “hubba hubba” kind of way? And who is your favorite companion? (K-9 counts)

Well since I’m a new viewer, I don’t really have any favorites. My son swears Matt Smith is the best, and has me started with those episodes, so I’ve only met Amelia Pond, and Rory. I’ll check back in soon and let you know what I think when I go back to the beginning. Or as far back as Netflix will let me go.

3. What’s your favorite thing to write about? Or what has been your favorite blog post?

This is so hard! Each post means something to me when I write it, that’s really how I write. (Which is also why there can be gaps between posts. If I’m not feeling it, I try not to force it.) I love writing about the people I love, and sharing my loved ones with my readers. It’s nice to be able to tell everyone how awesome they are without them interrupting me and brushing it off lol! As for a favorite post, I really like my Grateful Mondays posts. It’s nice to start the week off on a high note and put a bit of gratitude out into the world.

4. Got this from Kristen at Mommy In Sports – What blog post were you most afraid to publish? The most vulnerable thing you wrote where your hand hovered over the ‘publish’ button…but you did it anyways?

There are a few posts I’ve hesitated on. I Loved You was written about friends who hurt me after my diagnosis with RA and the resulting fall out. It’s raw pain, and was hard for me to publish knowing they might one day see it. The posts that share my story of being a survivor are also pretty vulnerable. While it is laying myself bare, it’s important to me to share that story. There is a lot of stigma attached to being a survivor, and by sharing my story, I might help someone to know they they aren’t alone and it isn’t their fault. Ultimately, this is my spot to share my truth, all of it, and so I eventually bite the bullet and hit publish.

5. What’s something you have always wanted to do that you have yet to accomplish?

I’ve always wanted to write a book. I’ve had many ideas over the years, but it involves REALLY taking a risk, and so I’ve let the ideas slither away. Like most people, I have a deep fear of rejection. I’m trying to be more brave, but I’ve yet to take that crucial step.

6. What’s a dream vacation you can’t wait to take with your family?

I would love to take any vacation with my family! Travelling has become a bit harder since I got sick, and finances always seem to be tight. We’ve actually never had more than just a day trip with my fiance and son and I together. I’d really love to take us all up to Canada to visit our favorite couple, that would be lovely.

7. What’s been your proudest moment as a mother?

I’ve been blessed, my son is pretty wonderful and has given me lots of proud moments. It could be his first report card with straight A’s or when he flew in one summer and the stewardess told us how well behaved and polite he was…and he was only seven. In fact, it was last school year when he devoted his Wednesday afternoons to tutor younger students in his youth group. There was nothing in it for him, he did it just because he wanted to help. And my heart melted and grew three times just like The Grinch.

8. Do you have any plans to travel this fall or winter?

At this moment, no. I’ll be starting a new treatment this fall, and we’re waiting to see how that will affect me. We’d like to have my sisters come here for the holidays, and limit my travelling while still getting to see them. If not, we might go to see my sister in Bend, Oregon, which is just a few hours away.

9. What’s the wackiest belief you had as a child?

I honestly can’t remember any! My parents weren’t big on feeding the imagination, and I knew there was no Santa by age six. So I really don’t know that I had any wacky beliefs.

10. What’s the best meal you’ve eaten this week?

I made this creamy chicken in my crockpot and served it over rice, with some veggies. It’s a Pinterest recipe revised and I’m in love with it. Three ingredients, six hours on low, viola! Also, the double chocolate cuppity cakes I made yesterday were pretty awesome. Just sayin’.

 

Tamara really had some deep questions, and made me THINK! Don’t forget to stop by her place and say hi, tell her I sent you! If you’d like to join in the Ask Away Friday fun, check out their Facebook group. They’re a bunch of awesome bloggers, you won’t regret it.

I’m off to enjoy a (hopefully) calm weekend with my fiance and get ready for my son to come back on Sunday. If anyone has some extra energy to send my way, I’d love it!

Truthful Tuesday Ten

I’ve been wanting to hop on Rabia’s Tuesday Ten link up for awhile but I always forget until it’s too late or I don’t have anything that fits the topic. Until now.

In anticipation of my Ask Away Friday swap with a photographer this week (check back Friday!), I was inspired to join in and share ten photos with you today. And because I love Dawnie‘s Truthful Tuesdays, I’m combining the two.

So here are ten photos from my phone and the truths behind them.

family

1. This is my family. This is me, my son, and my future husband. These two people mean the absolute most to me in this world. And yes, the boy is just a smidge taller than my fiance. Don’t mention it though, it’s a sensitive topic :p

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2. This is the other member of our little family. This guy has melted my heart and filled a giant void I didn’t know was there. This photo was taken weekend before last while the boy and my fiance were playing wiffle ball in the park. Todd wanted to play, too!

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3. These people are extended family and we miss them dearly. Kristen and Seth, Christmas before last. They came to celebrate with us and when they heard that we had lost Misty just the night before, they poured mimosas and helped me to toast my sweet friend.

photo (9)4. I love each of the ladies in this photo. And yes, that IS The Bloggess. She was in Portland two years ago for a book signing and Joules and Shevaun were adamant that I meet up with them to go see her. Until this day I had only read a few of Jenny’s blogs, and had never met Joules and Shevaun in person. Despite being in the midst of a flare, it was one of my best days ever. We had dinner and laughed and we got to meet who is now one of my personal heroes.

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5. My other lame claim to fame, I’m the second from the left and the guys? They would be Duran Duran. The only time I’ve ever won anything, I won a call-in contest to a local radio station and got tickets to a meet and greet Duran Duran was doing before a concert in Portland. I actually got to ask the guys a question and have it answered, which was both nerve-wracking and exhilarating.

MercuryCapsule

6. My guys again. This was weekend before last, at Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum. They’re standing in front of the Mercury capsule, which Scotty was very excited about seeing. If you’re ever in Oregon, you’ve got to check this place out, it’s full of awesome.

WiffleBall

7. Wiffle ball in the park. In what was probably the sweetest gesture ever, my son asked his future step-dad if he’d like to play ball with him. So we trekked to three different stores to find a wiffle ball set (because that’s what the kiddo wanted) and then we spent the afternoon in the park. The boys played and I walked Todd around while I tried to get as many pictures of this moment as possible. My heart, it melted that day.

WeirdCar

8. Last week we went to dinner with my sister before she took my kiddo to her house for a few days. On the way to dinner, we got stuck behind what is probably the oddest car I’ve ever seen. Yes, that is WOOD. And it’s probably held together by all the bumper stickers, which is why it couldn’t go over 20 mph.

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9. Though the sign calls it “The German Wall,” this is, and always will be, a part of The Berlin Wall. This was actually at the above mentioned space museum. While many people my age may or may not remember the wall coming down, my family was actually stationed in Germany when the wall fell. I was just seven years old and watched it live on local television. I never thought I would see the wall again, and then…I turned the corner and there it was. Honestly, I’m still a bit shaken.

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10. I’ll leave you with one more photo of my adorable doggy. This was just after his last grooming. He has so much character and attitude, it’s hard to capture it in pictures, but I think this one gets a little of it :)

Don’t forget to pop on over to The Leiber’s to check out the other posts in this awesome link up. Or better yet, dig through your phone and link up yourself!