challenges

All posts tagged challenges

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.

 

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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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Being MIA

Published April 28, 2015 by lynn k scott

I’d like to apologize for being MIA the last couple of weeks.  Life has chosen to be challenging again in a myriad of ways.  In addition to Life acting like a premenstrual teenager combined with a man who has the flu and is “dying”, the month of June is fast approaching.

Those who follow the Pink Herald know June is the month I lost my sister in 2012 and then my mother in 2013.  It’s also the month I married my ex-husband, the month my childhood friend was killed (on my 3rd wedding anniversary), and the month one of my aunts died.

I continue my efforts to raise funds for Relay for Life.  I look forward to completing laps around the high school, as I represent my team and honor my sister.  At the same time, it’s saddening and overwhelming.

Work has been insanely busy.  I actually have been working during work hours (strange concept, I know).  I have been coming in early and working through lunches.  No one wants my job, so at least that’s a good thing.  I think.

The lil miss is doing well in school.  We are covering multiplication and she does really well at it.  She can do 70 problems and sometimes only gets 1 or 2 problems incorrect.  She actually looked forward to today’s chapter test!

I bought her a journal that discusses growing up, hygiene, personalty, etc.  Last night we completed a page that she circled adjectives that described here.  Then she had to choose three and write why they suited her.  Well, the little stinker went for shock value.  She stole the smile from the Cheshire cat.  She was beaming at my reaction to her sentences.  Lazy

My daughter LOVES to sleep in. She loves the weekend for this reason.

She doesn’t hate school.  She has fun with art and dance and anything creative.  She adores 20150427_182529washing dishes too!

I will try my best to be here a bit more often, but at the moment, I’m finding out who my true friends are.  It’s reached that stage in my support system.  I know I will meet these life challenges, but it would be nice to not be tested so often.

Side note:  If anyone knows any NY lawyers, who shouldn’t be chained to the bottom of the Hudson River, who would like to put a system-abusing, money-sucking leech in his place (pro bono), feel forward to share this blog link!

She’s still learning

Published March 10, 2015 by lynn k scott

Being a homeschooling mom has its challenges.  Aside from making sure you have lessons to teach, teaching in a way your child will understand and making time to complete everything, the unknown factor, is of course, the child.  Just like any school day, there are good and bad days.  There are days that I question, “what am doing?”.  Yet, I know, this is the right decision for my child and my family.

Last night, were about half-way through the lessons I have prepared.  We get to math.  She doesn’t like math on most days. Depending on how she is learning the work, I may supplement with worksheets or we just do practice problems on the white board.  Unlike the public school system, I think it’s important to understand certain concepts instead of pushing through to the next lesson.  Slowing down is an “ok” thing to do if it ends in my daughter knowing her work and feeling good about the work she is doing.  Nothing better than when she does her “happy dance” because she’s finally grasped a difficult concept.

Back to the math book.  Last night she wasn’t having it.  Some days, I’ll divert and we’ll double-back on a lesson or two. Last night wasn’t one of those nights.  I just wanted to go through the simple lesson of calculating elapsed time.  She was trying to exert her independence and throw attitude.  HA!  Has she met her NY-born mother.  She doesn’t stand a chance!

I tell her to knock it off and pay attention.  I rarely need to go this route.  She’s a good kid who is a great independent thinker.  Well, now her nose is out of joint, so to speak.  She no longer wants to speak to me here comes the “silent treatment”.  That makes it more interesting when I ask her a question.  She still has to answer, one way or the other.

My daughter has some knowledge of ASL (American Sign Language).  I used to work in a Deaf program and even though I am not fluent, ASL is part of her language studies.  She still can’t have full-on signing conversations, but she knows the basics.  She was signing her answers to me.  She used her facial expressions (big in ASL to convey meaning).  Am I upset she’s quiet?  Heaven’s no!  She has discovered girls speak 20,000 words a day and she doesn’t think that’s enough on most days.  To get a bit of peace from persistent talking is always welcome.

Why was I ok with this?  She was still learning.  She was practicing her ASL skills outside a lesson.  She has done this before when have been out and about.  Her ability to just slip into signing something shows me, more than a test ever could, her knowledge on what she’s been taught.  I actually see the knowledge.  I see what I taught her and I see her using it on her own.  This is how I am rewarded by being a homeschool mom.

It only took moving to art and starting to set up the materials for her to begin speaking again.  I knew she would.  She’s an artist at heart.  It’s ok.  Together we have a journey in front of us.  Together we will navigate that journey and see where it takes us.

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