challenges

All posts tagged challenges

Regroup – Refocus

Published October 1, 2018 by lynn k scott

Last week was challenging for me in almost every aspect.  I chose to believe a little cheat on my diet wouldn’t do too much harm.  Add dealing with my mom’s (Heavenly) birthday, dealing with meeting a new PCP (primary care physician) just to get a referral (which is BS in general), exhaustion, choosing to try takeout instead of making food and had a couple alcoholic drinks, I was a mess.

Needless to say, I felt even worse for my stray to my old ways.  My mind, working overtime, took my better judgement and drop-kicked out of the window.  I managed to gluten myself, eat food I knew better to consume or just plain didn’t eat.

Being gluten-free and (mostly) vegan, it’s not easy to just grab a snack.  I need to carefully plan my meals and snacks.  I tried to pretend I didn’t need to.  I know better than to think like that.

Yesterday, we got out of town, for the day, and went to Roseville.  It’s a city past Sacramento and where we eventually want to move to.  We chose to let Yelp choose where we would eat lunch.

I found this little gastropub, called The Brickyard.  It offered a bit of everything.  However, I was super excited to see they offered Beyond the Meat (vegan) and had gluten-free buns.  I could have sworn a light from above was shining on me and I heard the angels singing.  I have yet to find a restaurant where I don’t have to modify the food or just stick to a salad.

After a bit of confusion on malt vs balsamic vinegar for my salad (had to explain why I couldn’t have the malt vinegar) one of the staff and I were talking.  She was a complete stranger who completely validated my health concerns, eating a vegan diet and homeopathic care as she personally had experience in this are.

She is controlling her own illness through diet.  It was what I needed; understanding when most people aren’t.   I wasn’t a “problem customer” to her.  She was  someone who hasn’t seen me struggle or was taking pity on me.

My husband, at one point said, “you’ve cheated before, just eat the dressing”.  I had to remind him how sick I was last week and I can’t continue that behavior.  He goes along with my eating habits for the most part.  Although, I will eat eggs now because he was worried about my protein levels.  It wasn’t worth the nutritional argument.  It was his way of showing concern.  A couple eggs won’t hurt my diet.

We went shopping last night.  I bought food to prepare and more veggies.  Prepped all my meals today.  I even broke out the juicer and made some (mostly) carrot and pineapple juice.  I drank several cups.  It was if my body was saying, “ahhhh….that’s the stuff!”

Needless to say, I’ve regrouped and now am refocused.  We all fall.  We all have challenges.  We can let them break us or we can get fortify our mind, bodies and souls.  We can use that fortitude to help others when they stumble.

 

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Just another cancer – related update

Published July 17, 2018 by lynn k scott

I have been steadily changing my diet over the last couple weeks.  I will have to say, I actually feel a lot better.  To some, the dietary changes may be extreme.  I believe it’s easier for me, from all the other attempts at dietary changes, because my life literally depends on me being successful.

There have been two times I have “cheated”.  They have been small cheats such as eating soy sauce (has gluten) and I forgot the other cheat.  Anyway, since my body has been eating healthier, it really didn’t care for my choice to upset its new-found balance.  I have done those cheats before, but this time the reaction was stronger.  I have dedicated myself to not doing that again.  I really don’t like the reactions I had and repeat performances won’t be necessary.

I am using my new juicer at least every other day.  I am loving the combinations.  I am using less fruit and even added a few new vegetables.  I’m not really a spinach fan, but am finding it’s pretty good mixed with carrots and ginger, among other vegetables.

I am trying new food combinations.  For example, made lentils for the first time the other day.  Yesterday, I made lentil tacos (no cheese or sour cream) and they were really good.  The more I go without dairy, the more I don’t miss it.

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I have been able to lend support to a friend who’s mother is Stage IV in her cancer battle.  It feels nice to be able to give back to a fellow cancer warrior.

I have also decided, I’m not putting off purchases because of “what ifs”.  I am taking back what the cancer tried to steal from me.  It will not be successful in making me second guess my life and its longevity.  As I have stated before, I have handed this over to God and he is in complete control.  He has brought such peace, that I can’t possibly fully describe the feeling.

I recently made a vehicle purchase.  It wasn’t the right time (credit wise), however, my other vehicle chose to push the envelope, so good-bye pickup, hello challenger.

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It’s almost been a year since I heard those horrible words, “you have cancer”.  Gone from sadness to anger to acceptance to fighting.  I will be successful.  I have cancer but it doesn’t have me!

Cancer Journey: Part 10

Published March 16, 2018 by lynn k scott

It’s been a bit since my last update.  Life’s been challenging.  I thought I had a handle on things and I really don’t.  I should resign myself to Murphy’s Law and that my house is its headquarters.

Overall, exhaustion has been my new BFF.  Every weekend, I am taking extra naps just to stay functional.  I had another drawn out insurance/specialty pharmacy/doctor’s office issue.  Someone, which no one will own up to, put a notation for pre-authorization on an existing prescription (with one refill left).  This meant, I had to wait for all the different parties to do their job.  After much yelling, crying, sarcasm and general disdain, the issue has finally been resolved.  I had to constant follow-ups for anyone to do their job.  We’re not talking aspirin here, folks.  It’s chemo-medication that costs a small fortune.  You would think those in the medical field would have some compassion and a sense of urgency.  Please don’t hold your breath on that; you’ll end up dead waiting for that to happen.

I have come to the conclusion that once I receive my meds, I will be asking for a referral to a new oncologist.  It’s clear this current office isn’t working out.  I’m sure everyone there will have a small celebration to see me leave.   If you advocate for yourself, it seems you are not the correct type of patient for many of today’s doctors.

It’s sad there are more doctors who care less about working with informed patients, who are in charge in making decisions about their care.  They shouldn’t be made to feel bad about their decisions.  Have snide comments thrown at them, such as “well, you chose not to do IV chemo”.  You’re right, I chose to live my life, not be dependent on everyone, continue working, supporting my family and raising my daughter.  It’s funny, they know how expensive medication and treatment costs, but they chastise you for not giving up your job, going on disability (which doesn’t support much) and losing quality of life.  That’s what going on IV chemo would have done for me.

I working on simplifying areas of my life.  It’s definitely a work in progress.  I know the value of time, family and friends.  Right now, I’m in limbo as to if treatment is working, if I will need more, if I will find out it’s spread.  There are lots of things one can think about while being in such a limbo.  I try to focus on today and accomplish what I can.  Making memories is a top priority, should something change; not for the better.

Either way, ups and downs continue.  It’s a daily battle that I still plan on winning.  I appreciate all who have said prayers, made donations for my care, or can relate to this ongoing struggle.

 

My Chemo Fundraiser

Cancer Journey: Part 7

Published January 12, 2018 by lynn k scott

We’ve all seen the “helpful” pamphlets in the doctor’s office.  They cover a multitude of topics.  My oncologist’s office has a variety; none on colon cancer though.  Regardless of the topic, there is real life information missing from those little brochures.

Things like, how your relationships change with a cancer diagnosis.  It’s hard enough dealing with your own feelings.  You spouse/partner, family members, children all are now thrown in the mix.  It makes it difficult when you look “normal”, but your body makes doing simple things like watching a long movie or cleaning the kitchen a burden.  Let me tell you, my poor house is nothing like it used to be.  I have to give in and admit, I cannot do it all.  I wonder if my family will ever realize that?  I’m not knocking them.  I know they see me as fine, regardless of the endless pills I swallow for two straight weeks.

Another thing missing is what happens if your spouse can’t work; even temporarily?  Does it prepare you to have to surrender a vehicle because you simply don’t have the money to pay for it?  Does the state disability workers care they haven’t processed your claim in over two weeks?  Nope, they don’t; especially because you can’t reach a live person!

Let’s add just a bit of icing to this pamphlet cake of missing information.  Let’s have a clinic director call and “empathize” with you about how horrible cancer is.  Let’s have her say how much she wants me to be able to deal with this, but she cannot produce ONE local support group.  Then let’s have her reference how I work and since my schedule doesn’t accommodate the only group 30 miles away and starts before I could get there, I’m not being flexible.  To add a cherry on this frosted bunch of glossed-over, “we’re here for you” information, that she will compare “if there’s a cure 50-miles away, would it be too far to reach”.

Let’s put this in perspective.  A cure is not a support group.  A cure would negate the need for a support group.  I bet she can’t tell the difference between apples and oranges, either.  To say I’m angry is a true statement.  These medical “professionals” have either been abusive, negligent or completely not interested in hearing me and/or acknowledging me and my need for LOCAL (as in within my own city – not clear across the county) support.

I have found a group of ladies, online, who are fitting my support bill.  They are or have been through the trials and tribulations of the Big C.  I can vent and I’m not called, “inflexible”.  I can ask questions without reaching a never-ending, button pushing, automated system before reaching a nurse with an attitude who simply relays messages to/from my doctor.  Speaking to your doctor on the phone these days is a mortal sin.  You can’t possibly express yourself without the aid of a nurse misinterpreting the reason for your call.

The fundraiser is going ok, but it could be better.  I am only $40 short of being able to afford two more rounds of chemo.  I appreciate all who have, and continue to share my fundraising link.  You really have no idea how much it means to me.

These weekly cancer journey updates are to make those who watch cancer from the sidelines get a front row seat of the reality of what it’s like to deal with cancer.  It’s not about ribbons, even though I use one for this series.  Life isn’t a marketing campaign.  It’s tough, emotional, draining and those who have cancer live with an uncertainty as to what their life will be like, become and how long it will last.

 

He Already Knows

Published December 1, 2015 by lynn k scott

It’s that time of year; if you celebrate Christmas with the exchanging of gifts.  While my daughter is maturing all-too-fast, my soon-to-be 10 year old, is presenting new challenges daily.

Yesterday, I asked what she would like for Christmas.  While I don’t go broke making sure Christmas morning looks like a department store exploded under the tree, I do get her a modest amount of gifts; mostly from Santa.

While she has questioned the reality of Santa, she somewhat still believes. However, ask that child to take a pic with old man from the North Pole, while window shopping at the mall and she simply responds, “That’s not the real Santa.”  Sheesh!  Why not kill every opportunity for your dear old mom to have photos of you as a child.  Oh your teen years are going to be fun.  Alas, I digress.

Back to what to buy for Christmas.  I asked her again yesterday and received a new and more challenging response.  Instead of the standard, “I don’t know”, she said, “Santa already knows.  I mean, if he knows if I’ve been naughty or nice, then he knows what I want for Christmas.  Why should I make a list?”

Think Mom!  She has to give me an indication and she has to do it on her own.  Have I mentioned how fun she’ll be in a few years?   Moving on…

“Well, what will your father and I know what to buy you if you don’t give US some ideas?”  Phew…she hadn’t thought about that.  She mentions she’d like more art supplies.  Well sugar!  I already have started that gift.  I’ll keep working on her and pulling gift suggestions out of her like a dentist pulls out a stubborn molar.

While I cherish my daughter’s youth and wanting to keep some elements of her being my little girl, it will be much easier not to be Santa in the upcoming years.

So what do your little ones want for Christmas???

 

Feeling Like a Failure

Published November 3, 2015 by lynn k scott

I just got off a conference call with my daughter’s 4th grade teacher, the 3rd grade teacher and the principal. Her teacher spoke with me last week regarding catching her up to where they are in math. Now they want to include reading.

I know switching schools can be challenging in regards to curriculum. We took our time, wasn’t heavy into testing, did some child-led learning, etc. However, we did follow each subject’s book and felt good about her progress.

You always have to wonder what’s going on when the principal becomes involved. Basically, they want to put her back in 3rd grade. I vetoed that option immediately. My daughter can do the work; I just need to know where to catch her up.

It’s challenging enough starting a new school. I don’t want her to feel punished because we worked at her pace vs a standards pace. We agreed she would do extra phonics work for reading and attend 3rd grade math.

I’ve read about this happening to homeschoolers who return to school. It’s been one of my worst educational nightmares and it’s coming true. I plan to work with her on math and catch her up to 4th grade and her 3rd grade math can reinforce it. It will probably take the rest of the year, but we’ll get it done.

Right now I feel like such a homeschool failure, even thought, rationally, I know that’s not true. My daughter’s never been a strong reader and she’s stubborn as the day is long when she’s corrected. Now I’m wondering if I made the right choice putting her back in school. I really hate having to work when I want to be home and this never would have been an issue.

Just feeling judged, even though that’s not how they came across.

My Hands Aren’t Pretty

Published August 27, 2015 by lynn k scott

Yesterday in the car, my daughter looked at my hands and said, “you have hands like daddy”.  I looked at her and asked what she meant.  She took one of my hands and placed it next to her hand.  Her hand is dainty, soft, long nails; picturesque of a woman’s hand, minus the nail polish.  On the other hand, my nails were very short, full of wrinkles, a bit rough; but missing the the calluses that used to be present on my palms. I replied my hands aren’t as dainty as hers because I used to use my hands a lot.  That seemed to quell her inquisitive mind.

It got me thinking though.  My hands show my life.  They show that long nails, polish, being massaged with lotions weren’t the norm.  My hands showed a worker’s life.  I grew up very low, middle class.  I know there were times that we probably qualified for some type of assistance.  My dad only had an eighth grade education.  My mother sometimes worked two jobs.  We made due with what we had.

I was responsible for watching my younger sisters.  We grew some of our own food.  We didn’t hire people to mow our lawn; we did it.  Clothes were hung out on the line to save on the energy bill.  It was just what we did.  It’s how I grew up.  I am not ashamed to say, I was a “chambermaid” back in the day.  What’s that?  Oh that’s right, they’ve changed the name these days. Most people are now called “housekeeping” when working in motels/hotels.  I have waited tables, scrubbed toilets, tended bar, worked in gardens, help cut firewood.  I grew up doing manual labor.  My mother never stressed keeping our hands soft with lotion.

Now, I have a working knowledge that I still use today, but it mostly pertains to my home.  I work in an office, so I guess I’ve changed my collar from blue to white.  I will remember when life was a lot harder for me, but taught me how to work through it. I am not ashamed of that now (as a kid I once was).  I think some people today could benefit from working with their hands. Yet, I will always remember, with pride, why my hands aren’t pretty.

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