My Sister

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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

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

Goodbye, Calvin

Published January 12, 2016 by lynn k scott

My sister and I loved Calvin and Hobbes when we were growing up.  I think my sister could relate to him a bit more because she could have been the female version of this unique, trouble-finding, imaginative, creative child.  I know she had my mother at her wits-end more times than I could count.

Every time I read the following Calvin story, I my eyes seem to leak.  It’s too personal, I suppose.  Calvin grew up and left just like my sister did.  The care-free days of childhood antics behind us when we became adults.  I, like Hobbes, was able to say one final good-bye.

calvin

 

“Calvin? Calvin, sweetheart?”
In the darkness Calvin heard the sound of Susie, his wife of fifty-three years. Calvin struggled to open his eyes. God, he was so tired and it took so much strength. Slowly, light replaced the darkness, and soon vision followed. At the foot of his bed stood his wife. Calvin wet his dry lips and spoke hoarsely, “Did… did you…. find him?”
“Yes dear,” Susie said smiling sadly, “He was in the attic.”
Susie reached into her big purse and brought out a soft, old, orange tiger doll. Calvin could not help but laugh. It had been so long. Too long.
“I washed him for you,” Susie said, her voice cracking a little as she laid the stuffed tiger next to her husband.
“Thank you, Susie.” Calvin said.
A few moments passed as Calvin just laid on his hospital bed, his head turned to the side, staring at the old toy with nostalgia.
“Dear,” Calvin said finally. “Would you mind leaving me alone with Hobbes for a while? I would like to catch up with him.”
“All right,” Susie said. “I’ll get something to eat in the cafeteria. I’ll be back soon.”
Susie kissed her husband on the forehead and turned to leave. With sudden but gentle strength Calvin stopped her. Lovingly he pulled his wife in and gave her a passionate kiss on the lips. “I love you,” he said.
“And I love you,” said Susie.
Susie turned and left. Calvin saw tears streaming from her face as she went out the door.
Calvin then turned to face his oldest and dearest friend. “Hello Hobbes. It’s been a long time hasn’t it old pal?”
Hobbes was no longer a stuffed doll but the big furry old tiger Calvin had always remembered. “It sure has, Calvin.” said Hobbes.
“You… haven’t changed a bit.” Calvin smiled.
“You’ve changed a lot.” Hobbes said sadly.
Calvin laughed, “Really? I haven’t noticed at all.”
There was a long pause. The sound of a clock ticking away the seconds rang throughout the sterile hospital room.
“So… you married Susie Derkins.” Hobbes said, finally smiling. “I knew you always like her.”
“Shut up!” Calvin said, his smile bigger than ever.
“Tell me everything I missed. I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to!” Hobbes said, excited.
And so Calvin told him everything. He told him about how he and Susie fell in love in high school and had married after graduating from college, about his three kids and four grandkids, how he turned Spaceman Spiff into one of the most popular sci-fi novels of the decade, and so on. After he told Hobbes all this there was another pregnant pause.
“You know… I visited you in the attic a bunch of times.” Calvin said.
“I know.”
“But I couldn’t see you. All I saw was a stuffed animal.” Calvin voice was breaking and tears of regret started welling up in his eyes.
“You grew up old buddy.” said Hobbes.
Calvin broke down and sobbed, hugging his best friend. “I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry I broke my promise! I promised I wouldn’t grow up and that we’d be together forever!!”
Hobbes stroke the Calvin’s hair, or what little was left of it. “But you didn’t.”
“What do you mean?”
“We were always together… in our dreams.”
“We were?”
“We were.”
“Hobbes?”
“Yeah, old buddy?”
“I’m so glad I got to see you like this… one last time…”
“Me too, Calvin. Me too.”
“Sweetheart?” Susie voice came from outside the door.
“Yes dear?” Calvin replied.
“Can I come in?” Susie asked.
“Just a minute.”
Calvin turned to face Hobbes one last time. “Goodbye Hobbes. Thanks… for everything…”
“No, thank you Calvin.” Hobbes said.
Calvin turned back to the door and said, “You can come in now.”
Susie came in and said, “Look who’s come to visit you.”
Calvin’s children and grandchildren followed Susie into Calvin’s room. The youngest grandchild ran past the rest of them and hugged Calvin in a hard, excited hug. “Grandpa!!” screamed the child in delight.
“Francis!” cried Calvin’s daughter, “Be gentle with your grandfather.”
Calvin’s daughter turned to her dad. “I’m sorry, Daddy. Francis never seems to behave these days. He just runs around making a mess and coming up with strange stories.”
Calvin laughed and said, “Well now! That sound just like me when I was his age.”
Calvin and his family chatted some more until a nurse said, “Sorry, but visiting hours are almost up.”
Calvin’s beloved family said good bye and promised to visit tommorrow. As they turned to leave Calvin said, “Francis. Come here for a second.”
Francis came over to his grandfather’s side, “What is it Gramps?”
Calvin reached over to the stuffed tiger on his bedside and and held him out shakily to his grandson, who looked exactly as he did so many years ago. “This is Hobbes. He was my best friend when I was your age. I want you to have him.”
“He’s just a stuffed tiger.” Francis said, eyebrows raised.
Calvin laughed, “Well, let me tell you a secret.”
Francis leaned closer to Calvin. Calvin whispered, “If you catch him in a tiger trap using a tuna sandwich as bait he will turn into a real tiger.”
Francis gasped in delighted awe. Calvin continued, “Not only that he will be your best friend forever.”
“Wow! Thanks grandpa!” Francis said, hugging his grandpa tightly again.
“Francis! We need to go now!” Calvin’s daughter called.
“Okay!” Francis shouted back.
“Take good care of him.” Calvin said.
“I will.” Francis said before running off after the rest of the family.
Calvin laid on his back and stared at the ceiling. The time to go was close. He could feel it in his soul. Calvin tried to remember a quote he read in a book once. It said something about death being the next great adventure or something like that. He eyelids grew heavy and his breathing slowed. As he went deeper into his final sleep he heard Hobbes, as if he was right next to him at his bedside. “I’ll take care of him, Calvin…”
Calvin took his first step toward one more adventure and breathed his last with a grin on his face.

{originally found on Reddit and was posted by samuraitiger19}

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