In the Air!

In the Air!
400 feet above the ground in Orlando.

Florida

Florida
Taking my first step towards a new life.

Virginia

Virginia
Spending an afternoon at Marymount during my internship!

My rocks!

My rocks!
Wouldn't be where I am without my parents!

Graduation

Graduation
Walking for my Masters. An interesting book end as this all started when I graduated from undergrad!

Awesome Nurses!

Awesome Nurses!
After my port removal and saying goodbye to my chemo nurses before moving away from Michigan. Wouldn't be doing that without them!

Hair again!

Hair again!
Growing longer each day

Last Chemo

Last Chemo

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Silliness

Silliness
Something to remember and return to. A good day!

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Easier Said Then Done

For a year now, my life has been defined by my cancer.  It has been consumed by it in fact.  Now, I am just about at 7 months out of chemo and I think I am finally away from that…mostly.  So now I am trying to figure out how to put it behind me.

How does someone put something like cancer behind them?  Especially when they have a strong reminder every three months through exams and scans and doctor visits to bring back the fear as you wait for test results.  And in my case lets not forget the menopause that rears it's annoying, hot flashing little head more and more now that I am not knocked down by the chemo.  It's like the bad dream that never completely goes away.

The funny thing is, whenever I can put it out of my mind for a few days, something comes up and I find myself talking to someone about it or trying to tell someone how important it is to talk to their doctor about anything different.  It's like I'm not suppose to forget it.  So what do I do with it?

A few months before this all started last year I was freaking out about graduation approaching.  It's kinda scary when you meet a goal and realize your life is no longer about that goal.  A friend of mine told me to get out a piece of paper and write all over it every little thing I have wanted to do or thought about doing.  One of the first things I wrote down was I wanted to be a motivational speaker.  At that time I was the visually impaired girl who wasn't suppose to be able to see, much less live on my own hundreds of miles away from my parents, drive a car or hold down a normal job.  This is what doctors told my parents would never happen.  And I made it happen.  I figured that might be motivational enough to talk about.  Now I wonder if maybe having cancer is another motivational subject.  Lets face it…it's up there with some of the worst things a person can go through.  It messes with your head, emotions, body and entire life!

So how does one go about being a motivational speaker?  And can I even do it?  I have never sat down and completely told my story.  I give high lights of it to people…rush through it and just hit the main points.  But I have never sat down and talked about the whole experience with anyone…much less a room full of people!  I don't know if I can even do that.  But I think I need to do SOMETHING.  Because just forgetting it isn't working.  Any ideas?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

To Peter

Dear Peter,

It's been six years since you died.  Honestly, it doesn't feel that long.  Feels like it just happened.  Like it still isn't real.  I still catch myself thinking I need to call you to talk about something or tell you something that happened.  I don't like driving by Ann Arbor anymore.  Can't stop and have a drink and talk until 2am on the back deck with you.

I've been starting to do that Throw Back Thursday thing on Facebook lately and going through old pictures, I lost count of the number of pictures that had both you and I in them!  Being less then two years younger then you I guess we did kinda do everything together.  I became quite the Tom Boy growing up because of you and the younger boys.  I didn't mind though.  I could keep up with you even if I couldn't see a darn thing!  But don't worry, other's in the family have taken up your favorite description of pointing out my lack of sight!  Birds everywhere still make me think of you because of your total delight in my misdirection that day!

A lot has happened these past six years.  I finally graduated from college.  I managed to get through cancer.  I'm going to Grad school in the fall.  I know you know all this but…I wish I could have looked to where mom and dad were sitting and seen you too when I graduated.  I really wished I could have held on to your hand with everything that happened this past year.  And called you when I was scared to ask questions.  I know you were there through it all.  I know you were beside me.  But sometimes, I wish I could see you.  Hear you tell me to suck it up.  Give you a hug.

To be honest, I'm scared.  I'm scared that my cancer will just keep coming back too.  I wish I could push past it like you did and live and do what I wanted.  I am trying, really.  I wish I could ask you if it was always in the back of your mind like it is in mine.

I know I can't create new memories with you.  But at least I have the memories of 28 years.  Going on vacations, school, climbing trees in the back yard in Flint, working with Star in the back paddocks, having you show up at my door when I was in college grinning like an idiot:).  Power walking with you and the boys from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial!  My short legs had a hard time keeping up with you tall boys but like when we were little, I did it.  Going to the March for Life with you and desperately clinging to the back of your coat so I don't fall down from dizziness as we pushed through the crowds.  Driving to Florida together and exploring Naples.  I just realized, the first time I ever saw the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, I was with you.  Honestly, I hope I never get use to having big, life moments without you there to share them.  If I don't, that means I'll always at least be thinking of you when they happen.  And maybe you will be there next to me still.

So do me a favor, help me reach those life goals I still have to make.  And be there with me.

Love you big brother,
Cathy






Thursday, May 8, 2014

One Woman's Reaction to the Video of the Woman Having an Abortion.

There has been a video going around the internet lately of a young women who filmed her abortion.  If that isn't disturbing enough, something she said at the end of the film completely shocked me.  She said "I can make a baby" and said it as if she were in awe of this…yet she documented destroying a baby!  This makes no sense to me.  If she is in so much awe that her body can do what it was meant to do…how can she be so wrapped up in promoting ending lives of babies through abortion?

The very word "abortion" means to stop or end…and quickly.  There is no "making" involved in that process.  It makes one wonder if she thinks she can make and un make anything she wants.  If she is so in awe of being able to create life, why on earth is she promoting ending it?

Her reason for having an abortion was she wasn't "ready for kids".  Lets set aside the fact that having sex is probably not a good idea then since it is, from a purely biological level, how humans are made in the first place.  Lets look at the unbelievable amount of selfishness there is throughout this video and in this thought process.  Perhaps she wasn't ready to be a mother.  I don't know.  What I do know, from personal experience, is that there are at least tens of thousands of women who are unable to have children.  They are unable to "make a baby" and this crushes their heart!  Their body can't do what it is suppose to do naturally.  But there are women out there, like this young women, who can have children.  And yet they don't see the gift that children are.  To the point that in order to make a point about their life choices, they make a video documenting aborting a baby that another woman would give her last breath to have!

This video is far from empowering to women.  It is so incredibly hurtful to women, especially those who can't have children.

All my life, no matter where I went in it, I always had one consistent desire that never, ever changed.  I wanted to have children.  I wanted to feel them grow inside of me.  I wanted to hold them in my arms the moment they were born.  I wanted watch them every day grow into an individual who was unique!  I wanted to hold their hands and help them take their first steps.  Watch them grow into a unique blend of me and their father!  I wanted to take them to school and watch their school plays, recitals and sporting events.  I wanted to show them the places I went growing up.  Camping in Montana, paddling canoes around the lake, hiking the mountains of Virginia.  I wanted to watch my sons and daughters become young men and women.  I wanted to see them graduate from college, start a career, fall in love, get married and start their own families.  I wanted to teach them about God and faith.  Give them all the tools they would need to build good, strong lives and deal with the hardships life can sometimes bring.  I wanted to hold my grandchildren in my arms and see my blue eyes looking back up at me from their sweet faces.  I wanted so much to be a mother!!  And now, I'll never be able to have a baby.

My cancer took away my ability to have children.  I'll never see my eyes in my child or grandchild.  I'll never see that face that blends me and their father.  That pain is something I can't even begin to describe,  But what I can do someday, God willing, is adopt a baby that some other women isn't ready to raise.  I can give that baby so much love and give them a chance to be the person God made them to be!

Watching that video of that young woman's abortion all I could think of was…"NO!  Stop!  Give me the baby!  I'll raise them!  You don't have to!  Please don't do this!"  And then to hear her say "I can make a baby" at the end.  After taking the life of her baby that she made just because she wasn't ready to be a mother and wanted to prove a point!  Did it ever cross her mind of the countless women this video would hurt?  Of the women who would have jumped in and done anything to raise that child?  Of the women who's hearts are aching for children?  Maybe that is a video that needs to be made.  Women who can't have children standing together to say "Please don't abort!  Give us a chance to be a mother."