My Sister

All posts in the My Sister category

Angelversary: 6 years

Published June 12, 2018 by lynn k scott

Today marks the 6th angelversary of the loss of my younger sister, Kathi.  This blog was created to honor her memory.  It was also created as my therapy to cope with my survivor’s guilt.  It’s hard losing a sibling, especially one that’s younger than you.

Treasure

Even though my eyes still leak from time to time or they turn into a fountain when memories come rushing back, I have finally found acceptance in her death.  A lot has happened in the last few years and I have grown much closer to God.

Missing you

I can’t begin to understand why she was called Home at the tender age of 37.  I don’t know why her children had to grow up without a mother.  Those questions will remain a mystery as I have stopped looking for an answer.  What will be, will be.

I do know life is precious.  It’s easily wasted with arguments, fights and alienation of family and friends.  Be there for those who need you.  Express affection sooner than later.  We need to live for today, because as life has taught me, no one gets an extension when your time is up.

It’s ok to grieve.  It’s ok to take as much time as you need to process a loss.  I will never get over losing my sister.  However, I can remember her spirit and know she will always be watching over me.  I can continue projects she found important.  I can get the Kathi’s Cares Program into non-profit status so I can show other cancer patients they are not alone.  Cancer, in all forms, is a horrible disease.  It’s time to find a cure and let doctors and pharmaceutical companies know our lives are not for profit.  cancer

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Diagnosis: The Big “C”

Published October 12, 2017 by lynn k scott

My blogging isn’t up to par as I have slacked off considerably with making sure I post at least once a day.

I grew tired of primary care physicians passing the buck, their staff refusing to schedule appointments (while in severe pain) because I wasn’t ‘nice enough’, being ignored when discussing symptoms or just regurgitating a previous ailment.  I took myself to the emergency room (at an expensive cost; considering my copay).

Well, I was right!  There was something wrong; seriously wrong.  When all the testing was said and done…a mass about five inches long, blocking 80% of my colon was discovered.  Major surgery was in my immediate future.

After a scheduling fiasco with the hospital, the surgery was finally completed.  The mass sent to pathology for testing.  A week later, the report was in:  Stage 3 colon cancer.  I had managed to convince myself the mass would be benign.  I recovered so quickly from surgery.  All was well again…silly me…I knew better than that!

Let’s recap (if you don’t follow my blog)….

  • Father:  Stomach cancer – Stage 4 (passes within 3 weeks of diagnosis)
  • Mother:  Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (beats it – but passes for another reason)
  • Younger Sister:  Breast cancer – Stage 4 (passes within 9 months of diagnosis)

I now have joined the rest of my family.  There are only two of us left, out of the original five members in our immediate family.   Four out of five people in one family being diagnosed with cancer…what are the odds?  Don’t answer that!

If my faith wasn’t so strong, I’d be a complete basket case.  Have I shed a tear or two?  Of course!  You’d have to have a heart cold as ice not to have such a diagnosis elicit some type of emotion when learning you have cancer and stage 3; at that.  Truth be told, this is the calmest I’ve been about a major life event.  I know that’s God’s grace.

I know He has a plan for me.  I wish it didn’t involve this disease.  However, I have many friends and family praying for me.   I have found an amazing church that has been incredible in supporting me.  As it stands, I have a 57% chance, without any further treatment, the cancer is gone.  Treatment will increase those odds, as there isn’t a test to say I still have the cancer.

What hit me hardest?  Telling my older children, who watched their grandparents and aunt pass away, that their mom was now sick.  Then, telling my youngest, who only knew a little of what claimed her aunt, at the tender age of 37, her mom had a similar disease.

Most days I’m good.  Very tired as I am extremely anemic at this point.  Other days, I’m angry.  I’ve dealt with so much already.  I didn’t, “why me?” the issue.  It is what it is.  I am doing my best to stay positive, especially for my youngest; the only child at home.

My perspective has sharpened a bit.  I’ve jotted down some details should the worst case scenario come full circle.  Not being a stranger to cancer and what it can ultimately do, I am capable of making decisions that I don’t want to leave to family.  It’s unfair to make them have to make decisions on my behalf.

I will go through the motions.  I’ll probably be in debt trying to pay for medications, increased insurance premiums and everything else that goes with having to say, “I have cancer”.

I will not be pitied.  I will accept prayers, visits, bonding with family and friends and knowing making memories is extra special now.  I am also continuing to work on the Kathi Cares Program, which supports local cancer warriors.

ribbon

 

 

 

 

All in the View

Published April 7, 2017 by lynn k scott

Daniel Angeles:  an artist, my (writing) muse, my friend.

This particular piece will highlight some of his work as it pertains to my life.  Dan has an uncanny talent for painting what people are feeling.  His vision, brought to life with strokes of a paint brush and water colors that in turn, revive memories, elicit emotions and can put feelings into perspective.  I know my world wouldn’t be as bright or beautiful without Dan in it.

So the journey with paintings begins…

all better bearThe “It Will Get Better Bear”.  While I knew Dan prior to his drawing this piece for my sister, Kathi, after her breast cancer diagnosis, I never fathomed it would become her memorial tattoo or the face of the Kathi Cares Program.  This simple teddy bear, meant more than words could adequately express to Kathi, my mom and to me.  Again, THANK YOU, Dan!

I can’t speak to Dan’s motivation as to how his thoughts transcend the mental plane and make their way to canvas, but he creates such works that one can’t help but take a “Trip Down Memory Lane.  Trip Down Memory LaneLooking at his work, you see your past, the memories become vivid. Painful or joyful, the feelings return as the mind wanders to a place in time that is just for you.

Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get by.  I know as I have grown older, moved across the country, remarried, buried my father,  sister and mother, I am constantly evolving.  Sprouting New BeginningsIt seems I am always “Sprouting New Beginnings”.   When I feel my life is turning upside down, when I am having a bad day, perhaps even slumped down on the hall closet floor, having a good cry, it’s not long before I feel the bloom of life opening the a new chapter on my life.

My mom installed a love a reading in her children. Artwork depicting books in different facets speaks volumes to me.  There are times that I am literally Turning the Page“Turning The Page” in my personal book of life.  I have seen the personal growth in myself over the last several years.  Life sometimes has a way of making you experience what you never contemplated.  I can’t say I have had the best reactions to what I have endured.  Weather the StormI can say I have grown and I do my best to see the positives in situations now.  It’s all about how you “Weather the  Storm”.  This one made me smile in particular.  I swear, it’s lucky I’m a verbal alcoholic, because if I drank every time I said I would, my liver would not be happy with me.  But a few times, yes, a glass of wine has helped me through some rough times.  Ok, it took the edge off til I was ready to deal with whatever it was.

I know that there is still much more to experience.  I know my trials are not over.  There will be more to deal with.

Counting the DaysI am “Counting the Days” until I am able to finally meet the man who has brought me endless smiles and plenty of (happy) tears.  Who made my sister feel special and loved with the drawing of bear.  “The Burning Question” will be what will I ask Dan to paint for my 50th birthday.  I will be treating myself to my own very own Dan Angeles painting. Actually, I have already decided on a topic.  It will be up to Dan if he is able to display my request in watercolor:  “The Impact of Friendship“.

“Underneath It All”, I cannot imagine my life without Dan.  I’ve said it before, but my life wouldn’t be complete without his amazing artwork, his support and his thoughtful words.  My heart will forever harbor a special place for such a caring soul.

Underneath it all

Planning my 50th

Published March 8, 2017 by lynn k scott

Something I have been doing lately, is setting goals for myself. I am vocalizing my dreams in order to turn them into reality. I am sharing them here, on Facebook and with friends. I am holding myself accountable to make my goals happen.

Today, another dream, has turned into a goal.  While I am only heading toward the ripe-old-age of 46, I am planning something extremely special for my 50th birthday.  You see, I have this incredibly talented, yet humble, friend; someone I’ve yet to personally meet.

I’ve written about Dan before:  “He is my rainbow…”.  I hadn’t thought about it, but I would actually have to consider him my writing muse.  It’s often said to tell people you care about them now, because tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.  Seeing how my family was ripped away from me, how Dan was there, I couldn’t imagine not knowing him.  Other people have come and gone from my life.  Each has taught me something; whether it was good or bad.  Where Dan is concerned, it’s as if his paintbrush has touched my soul and brightened it like the water colors do for his paintings.

The link we originally shared was my sister, Kathi.  Our friendship has blossomed like one of his paintings.  It started out small, details were added, life was breathed into it and now, here we are, years later, special friends with such an emotional tie. I know my life wouldn’t be complete without his positive influence.

“Sprouting New Beginnings” by Dan Angeles

Now that I have a few years, I can work on figuring out how to surprise Dan.  There are some logistics to plan, after all I’m in CA and he’s in TX and I will need some inside help. I don’t foresee that as an issue though.  It will be my first trip to TX (outside of the airport, that is).  I want to visit the Craighead Green Gallery, where is exhibits are shown.

In fact, if you are in the Dallas area, Dan will be opening a new exhibit, “Removing the Veil”, on April 1, 2017, and you’ll be able to see his amazing work first hand.  If you happen to meet him, please tell him, “Kathi’s sister sent me”.

Here is a video previewing the upcoming show.  One day, I will attend one of Dan’s opening.  I have always wanted to attend an art opening, but refuse to do so, until I can see his work on opening night.

I wish my friend much success and know I will be offering a long overdue hug for all his success, support and friendship, when we finally meet.

Kathi Cares Program

Published March 4, 2017 by lynn k scott

I recently took the plunge and joined Twitter.  I can’t say I’m a huge fan and the majority of my “tweets” will just be my blog posts, but hey, it’s free advertising, right?

That being said, it’s time to bump the Kathi Cares Program again.  For those of you who may be new to this blog or why I even started it, you can read more about it here.

This coming June 12th, will mark the fifth anniversary when my younger sister lost her battle to breast cancer; she was only 37 years old.  In remembering her, the Program speaks to her generosity, caring and willingness to help others.

While a few people have graciously made donations, I am primarily funding this project myself.  The goal is to become a non-profit, so I can ask for donations and those who donate will be able to have a tax write-off.  I am content helping one or two people at a time.

I would ask that if you have Facebook, you take a moment to look at the Kathi Cares Program page and see what it’s about.  If you read or see anything there that moves you, I simply ask that you share the page (or this post) so others might also benefit.

While it’s currently set up to be a local program in Northern California, the goal, one day, is to become nationwide.  I know my sister would approve and if she were still here, she’d be right here with me helping this program grow.

“Pinktober”

Published October 5, 2016 by lynn k scott

October is once again upon us.  While everything pumpkin is back, which I LOVE, I’m sure you’ve noticed all the pink that has suddenly taken over the internet and stores.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  It’s nice that a horrible cancer is being acknowledged.  However, in this awesome capitalistic society we live in, the vultures circle and wait for this month to arrive.

I often tell people, “think before you pink”.  What’s that mean?  It means, with everyone jumping on the pink bandwagon, they do so more for increased sales and profits than they do for donations to cancer research and support of those who are fighting their battles with cancer.

for sis

I encourage everyone to look into the organizations and stores that have pink items for sale and promise to make donations if those items are purchased.  Do they take in hundreds of thousands of dollars?  Does 10% or more go to breast cancer victims and/or research?   Or do they rely on pulling on heart stings to loosen purse strings in order to pad their pockets and give a very minimal amount.

I won’t name names, but check out some of the organizations sponsor walks to raise funds in the name of patients and research.  See how much their CEOs are making.  See what actual percentage are being donated versus how much is being paid to overhead costs.  I’m sure if you haven’t done it already, you’ll be quite dismayed at the misappropriation of funds that occurs, based on the color pink, in the name of breast cancer.

For me, October isn’t the only day I think about breast cancer.  It’s a thought that I live with daily.  I will never forget what breast cancer has stolen from me.  The hurt and pain it’s caused.

frontIf you’re so inclined, please feel free to share this blog post so others may think before they choose to pink.

I invite you stop by the KathiCaresProgram page and follow the our progress in giving back to local cancer patients.

 

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