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Posts Tagged ‘courage’

     As a Christian I am struggling with the line between fear and faith.  My parents are both cancer survivors.  However, right before Christmas they both had tests done that have come back with suspicious results.

       I listen to my mother say that she is not going to get worked up until she talks with the doctor about the results.  In general, I agree with that.   My mother is pretty much a positive thinker, which is a great thing.

         My father is cut out of a different cloth.  He automatically thinks negatively; he can’t seem to help it.  His mind goes to the worst case scenerio.  It is experience related…he has had the worst case scenerio happen to him before…so he just expects that to be his luck.   Both mom and dad will be meeting up with their respective cancer doctors before the first week of January is over.

          I am a product of both of my parents.  I am at times a positive thinker….and at times, automatically hit the negativity zone.  I don’t like it that that is true; but, it is honest.  I work hard attempting to focus on the positives.

           The problem is…fear.  I fear hearing the situations that they are facing will possibly return them to the medical world of tests, surgeries, treatments, complications, and hospitalizations.  This is a world that is both isolating and overwhelming, with people.  🙂  I realize that that sounds contrary….but, it isn’t.  

     You are surrounded with people in the medical field….this specialist, that oncologist, the anestesiologist (sp?), the radiologist, the pharmacist, the dietician, the family doctor, the nurses, the insurance company…the list goes on and on.  The isolation comes when you must seperate yourself from the general population because of the possibility of infection.  The isolation that the patient feels when heading in for the surgery or the treatment…no-one else can do those things for them.  It is in isolation that fear takes root and does it’s dirty work.  Discouragement can set in…thwarting all of the good and positive things that are at work in the healing process.

     The thing is, once you have been a survivor…your history can limit treatments.  It can also be eye opening to the types of situations you may be facing this time around.  My mother has  developed conditions that can be life threatening, since the last time around.  Both my mother and father had difficult side effects and complications from their various treatments, in the past.

     I am a firm believer that God is in control of everything.  I don’t claim to understand the mind of God.  But, i know that he allows things to happen that are very difficult to go through.  If left to our own devices…most human beings would opt out of the difficult things and shoot straight for the easy path…myself included.  My head knows that much can be learned during these hard moments in life…that God has things for us to gain in those moments.  I know he has things to be accomplished during those moments…he puts people in our path for us to connect with and to share with.  We will do our best to bring glory to his name throughout.  For he is worthy of praise in all things.

        So, I will work at praying that God will have mercy…that he will guide and direct us as we face these additional challenges.  I will ask for wisdom, clarity, patience, faith, courage, strength, healing, financial blessings, and any area of lacking; that we may need to overcome in the face of these trials.  

       What i am thankful for, is that we don’t have to pray for love or sharing; or, willing family members to help out.  We are blessed in those areas.  We are a family that knows how to support one another; and, whoever is in need around us, at the time.   Roomates have often been the recipients of the overflow of our big family.  There have been roomates that had no one to look out for them…they were alone in their journey.  My family is nurturing in nature.   I am thankful for that compassionate part of our family. 

     I am thankful for those in the medical community who also have compassion, skill, knowledge and who are sensitive in the way that they go about promoting healing to their patients and their family members.  They are our allies in the war that has been declared on our loved ones..they are on the front lines of battle trying to help our loved ones to have a full and healthy life; so we pray for all of them who will have contact with us.  We respect their skill and dedication.

     We have so much to be thankful for…and, we are.  Are we greedy to wish for health and financial blessings to meet the demands put on the family as we go thru these things?  I don’t think so.   I know that God has a purpose; I pray that we realize it and make the most of it as he would desire us to do.  I am just selfish enough to wish, as Jesus did on the cross, that this cup would pass from out of our hands; if God so desires. 

         Again…the line blurrs between faith and fear that these medical challenges may not pass from us!

           

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       Today is the Marine Corps birthday…hope it is a great one for all of our men and women in the Corps.  God bless you for all of your sacrifices for us civilians.  For those serving overseas we thank you and we appreciate you. To all of the Marines who serve here at home on U.S. soil…your sacrifice is also appreciated.  May you have safety and well-being till you are stateside and home again with your family & loved ones!

         Quite often on the news, all we hear about is those who dishonor the Corps or who choose to perpetrate violence outside of war.  Those stories put a black mark on the minds of people who don’t have personal knowledge of the quality of most Marines.  I want to acknowledge the fact that there are more men and women who serve the United States in good standing; than there are who fail to act honorably.  Just by living their lives decently and serving when called upon to do so…they are heros.  It takes courage & commitment to serve in the armed forces.  They risk life and limb and deserve respect for what they give during their time in the military.  We need to honor them and support them; not just at the holiday time…but, year round.  Support their family members who sacrifice alot as well…by being seperated from their service person.

        This week, several Marines made the news with their heroic actions by saving many people staying in a hotel when they discovered that the hotel was on fire.  They immediately went into action and alerted the hotel guests to the fire and told them to evacuate.  One Marine said…this is what we are trained to do…when there is danger we are trained to go in…not run away! The williness to serve, that the Corps instills in it’s personel, is nothing less than admirable.  God bless each and every one.  So, for those who are serving in the Corps today; or, those who have formerly served in the Corps…thank you.   If you see a Marine today…tell them thank you for serving and wish them a Happy Birthday!  Semper Fi

      

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        Bravery is doing things you don’t want to do, facing things you don’t want to face, feeling things you don’t want to feel, taking a risk, acknowledging that you aren’t in control of all things related to you and yet, putting one foot in front of the other, regardless.

         Being brave doesn’t just apply to the larger things in life that we all have to deal with…bravery is applying the aforementioned things to the everyday, mundane events that take place in our lives and not giving up! 

          In both big and small moments we are brave…sometimes we are timid; that is ok.  Life is all about support and knowing where to get it when you need it.  You don’t have to be brave alone.  🙂  Was today a timid day or was it a test of bravery?  Big moment or small?  Did you reach out for support when you needed it?  Your timid day might be someone else’s brave day and tomorrow might be your day of bravery!  In the area of encouragement…be a giver and a taker…life will open up to you when you do so.

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Stand Up To (2) Cancer

        Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer?  Did you know that 1 out of 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime…1 out of 2 men.  So unless you are a family of one, with no friends and you are the luckiest person in the whole wide world…cancer is going to touch someone you care about, at some point.  If you haven’t had to deal with the enemy cancer yet…consider yourself blessed beyond reason.  There is a movement afoot to Stand Up To Cancer.  It doesn’t matter if it is breast cancer, colon cancer, blood cancers, brain cancer,ovarian, or any other kind of cancer…it is a destroyer and needs to be eliminated.  Please join forces to battle a plague on the world that we live in…help fight cancer.

        The goal is to Stand Up To Cancer and understand it…take it apart…so that we can more efficiently battle it and WIN!  That is the end goal.   Cancer is the enemy…it is a thief…it has stolen enough, artists, doctors, mothers, muscians, pilots, cab drivers, babies, teachers, clerks, lecturers, fathers, students, writers, researchers, husbands, factory workers, miners, fire fighters, sons, nurses, daughters, child care workers, politicians, sisters, waitresses, brothers, lecturers, speakers, wives, caregivers, grandparents, role models, athletes, neighbors, librarians, friends, social workers, police men & women, military men and women, designers, dancers, clergy, you get the idea…Cancer is not picky about who it chooses to invade and try to destroy. 

          It could be you next, or someone you care about.  Cancer claims one life a minute each day!  Can you believe that?  One person a minute per day is too many loses! That is 1,500 deaths per day… that is unacceptable.    Protect your health best way that you can, eat right, exercise, protect your environment, take your vitamins, stay away from contaminants, be aware and educate yourself.  Honor those who have fought with everything they have…help out someone in a health crisis with cancer…be a supporter to someone in need. 

          Once cancer strikes…there are many needs, physical,spiritual, medical, emotional, financial, transportation, and daily care needs.  Do what you can to lift someone up!  Life is precious.  Will you make a commitment to be a force to be reckoned with and help make an impact in the fight against cancer?

         For us to win the war on cancer it requires courage, support, awareness, education and funding.  The television networks are joining together to bring those tools to the public and try to create a historic event that will hopefully rev up the odds of winning.  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/StandUp2Cancer/  There are many celebrities who are adding their voice and their talents to the project.  They have a wonderful website that you can view here that will explain more.  In the meantime, look for the program to hit the networks on Sept 5th, at 8 pm.  You can go to the website and read up on the idea here:  http://www.standup2cancer.org/  Let’s not be idle and let others do the fighting…there is something that we all can do…what are you willing to do to help?  Let’s envision a future without cancer!!!

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       New information is being released about Julia Child and her part in history…top secret history that is; and no, we are not talking about top secret recipes.  Classified files that were previously not released are being released, on up to 24,000 spies for the United States during WWII; allegedly, Julia Child’s name is on the list.

        She was part of the OSS or Office of Strategic Services which was the forerunner of the CIA.  The OSS was comprised of both military and civilian individuals which created the large spy network during the war.  There were everyday people in the OSS as well as musicians, actors, educators, among other occupations.

         It will be interesting to find out what Julia’s role was. She was a skilled chef and a world travelor who had gained quite a bit of celebrity during her lifetime…it had to have taken quite a bit of courage to step into this role as spy.   I don’t know if they will release specific information about individual assignments for each of the famous people but, it would be interesting to read and discover each person’s role during that time.

          It makes you wonder, if Julia Child was a spy…how do you know that Joe Smoe down the road isn’t one…or the clerk at the grocery store…maybe the teller in your bank. It is intriguing to imagine these people from the past and what secrets that any of these everyday people learned while spying, to pass on to our government in defense of it’s people.  Did you ever suspect someone (no names please) of being a spy? 

         

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       What if you were convicted of a crime and you knew you were innocent; but, no one else knew or cared once you were convicted?  Worse yet, what if you were wasting away in prison for a crime you didn’t commit; while the real criminal was free to continue doing what you were accused of doing?  Wouldn’t you want someone to dig until they found proof of your innocence?

       Many people think that is the job of the defense attorneys of the accused; but that is unrealistic.  Oh, they do their job in court to protect your rights, best way that they can…but, for the most part…once you are convicted…you are there until your time is served. They have so many people to represent…unless your case sticks in their craw and they believe in you; and, they have powerful, political connections to movers and shakers…you will sit in prison until your time is up!

        What if someone dared to believe in your innocence and was willing to investigate until irrefutible proof was found that proved your innocence?  That would be a gift…a miracle.    That type of commitment costs money and lots of time.  Most people don’t have an unending supply of wealth.  By the time they have gone through the court system and paid to defend themselves…they have nothing left.  Often, even family and friends have moved on with their lives…not ALWAYS…but, by the time that the person has sat in prison a few years…family and friends have been forced to go back to work, finish growing up, getting married, having children, going off to college; you get the idea…life keeps moving on.  (more…)

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      For those who have had the unfortunate experience of hearing that they have cancer, facing the decisions of how best to fight the disease is a bit like arm wrestling the devil.  You can’t see cancer from the outside…but, it has the power to destroy you.  For the most part, you are in a battle against something the size of golliath, when most of us are only armed with a sling shot and a stone.  The patient has a lot to learn about what type of cancer it is, what drugs work best on it, and whether to have surgery, radiation or not.

       Thank goodness for the streams of information on the internet…it saves alot of time asking useless questions in the doctor’s office when you can eliminate some of the obvious questions and answers right off…saving the precious little time and attention that the specialist have to devote to their patients.  The really important things can be concentrated on while you are face- to- face.

         Finding the right kind of support that you need to stay strong, stay focussed and stay informed about the latest and the greatest tools that you have; not to mention taking the time to nurture your mind and spirit; these are essential.  The mind, the body, and the spirit are all connected and when under attack…each of those areas need special treatment.  Fear is a mighty enemy and is not to be underestimated.  Surrounding yourself with love and support is critical.  Faith in God is what shores up the spirit for many patients and is to be considered as one of the greatest tools you can have.  Prayer partners are your warriors…people who will go to the mat for you whenever you need it…when circumstances appear to hit you hardest.  Inspirational role models can’t be underestimated; those who have fought and or are still battling will freely share their experience.  (more…)

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        Well, another life was stolen by cancer.  Today, we found out that a person that we loved and admired was taken too young by breast cancer.  She was the mother of a young 3 year old son.  She was the wife of a strong upstanding positive man.  She was the teacher of my sons and so many others; and, she was and is a blessing to all who knew her.

         My heart aches because of the loss.  She was one of those people who just made such an impact on all who knew her.  I thought she was going to beat the aggressive disease…i really did.  She fought it with all she had and she didn’t dwell on negatives.   She got into a clinical trial and was making progress.  Through surgeries, chemo, radiation and prayer and faith…she waged the cancer war on every level.   Her battle was courageous and focussed on healing.  She truly engaged all of those around her with a positive energy.  I can’t tell you how much this world has lost today.  I know how much her friends, family and community has lost.

         Cancer is a thief…stealing so much joy, brillance, compassion, energy, laughter, sensitivity, education, potential, love, understanding…and the list goes on.  Help to fight it in your own way.  Donate money, donate time,donate your skills, donate your experience, donate help, donate your free time, donate your educational/research abilities…because, cancer doesn’t just steal from those who can afford to lose extra people in their lives, every life is valuable, cancer steals from us all.  See what you can do: www.cancer.org/ or www.relayforlife.org/ .  www.acscsn.org.   

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         A new way of collecting physical evidence in rape cases is making news.  It seems that many rape victims are leaving the medical setting; rather than, face another trauma of talking to; or, being interviewed by police after being raped.  They are too frightened in some cases of dealing with the police; some are fearful of talking to police for a variety of reasons such as possible drug/alcohol use at the time of the attack.  Many victims are worried about revenge violence for reporting the assault.  Some of the victims are young and don’t want their friends/parents/or significant other to find out.  Some rape victims just can’t deal with one more thing, that is out of their own personal control.

           So, the newly titled, Jane Doe rape kits are being offered; the evidence is collected by a specially trained nurse/doctor; and no name is put on the sealed envelopes…only an identifying number.  This way, when and if, the victim is ready to file a police report the evidence is still available.

           States are going to be required to offer the Jane Doe kits starting in 2009.  The kits are expensive; about $800.00.   It will be left up to the states which locations will have the kits available.  This way of collecting evidence just may improve the reporting of rape crimes.  In 2006, before the Jane Doe kits have become more commonly, available…it has been estimated that less than half of all rapes have been reported.  That also means that victims who may have been exposed to Sexually Transmitted Diseases aren’t being tested or treated.  Pregnancies can occur if too much time passes without medical care and of course, unless they seek it out, oftentimes, counseling or support services aren’t offered because the medical/legal profession would not be notified of the attack.  The Jane Doe kits have some definate positives…but what about other issues?

          Some of my questions would be…how long does the evidence, kept in storage, last?  How long would a victim have, before that evidence was no longer viable? The physical evidence and the photo’s collected at the time, in the Jane Doe kits, would still be helpful…but, what about a victim’s documented memories? 

         Would a legal team be able to tear apart a victims testimony in court; if, some extended time passed before a police report was made and documented?  Would their testimony of events be questioned due to a time lapse between the actual rape, identification and prosecution of a suspect?   Could the questioning of a victim’s memories of the rape be called into question; giving the legal representatives an edge in getting the charges of the suspect dismissed?  These are all important questions, as it would be horrible to go through such an experience; only to have it all dismissed, after summoning up the courage to actually file a report and go through the legal process.

         What do you think about the Jane Doe kits for rape victims?  Do you feel they will be helpful or harmful to prosecuting a case against a suspect? 

        

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       The earth cries out in grief, and humanity is groaning, in it’s misery; do you hear it?  Cyclones hit Myanmar thousands and thousands are dead, homeless, thirsty, starving.  China is shaken to it’s core by the earthquake that has also killed thousands.  Sumatra was washed away from the Tsunnami and thousands and thousands are dead and lost.  Katrina hit the United States and flooded homes and businessess and left lives in devastation.  Wildfires are consuming buildings, homes, and wildlife and millions of acres around the world due to droughts.  Famines hit the parched lands inflaming lands already hit with starvation.  The ice shelves are melting in the Artic.   Tornados drop in and in seconds wipe away generations of people as well as places.  Hurricanes heap destruction upon land and seas. 

           Do you not feel nature rebelling, against the inhabitants of the planet earth?  The intensity of these disasters and storms has increased dramatically in the last decade or two.  They are increasing in number as well;  we must listen. 

        Why, what is all of this chaos trying to teach us?  Has the careless actions of generations before us finally reached the peak of what nature can endure without self-destructing. The way we live today is impacting the world; and not for the better.   Are we being taught now that we must be good stewards of the gifts given to us by the Creator?  Yes! 

          Greenhouse gasses are contributing, lack of conservation of trees, farmland,  and bodies of water, and poor utilization of landfills,  are all destroying our environment. 

         Being ignorant, lazy, un-informed or misguided, are no longer acceptable excuses.  Suffering and death, on a regular large scale basis, is going to be a way of life, if we don’t wise up soon.  Making smarter, safer, greener choices can only slow down the effects of the damage we have caused.  But we must start now…if we hope to have any chance of restoring the precious balance that is nature.  It is going to take courage and committment.

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