Joy is not circumstantial…

About a month ago the Reddaway truck driver that used to have our route was covering for the new driver. He knew that I had been fighting cancer but hasn’t seen me since the surgery and public announcement. He simply said  ‘your smile is still here’ All I could think was ‘of course, joy is not circumstantial’

There is a difference between joy and happy. Happy is a temporary emotion generally driven by our circumstances and current surroundings. Joy, joy on the other hand is deeper than that. It is sincere, planted deep within and doesn’t fade. Joy is not about our circumstances it is about our choice to find and keep it, to nurture it, to not allow it to starve and disappear.

There are many things that make me happy that also feed my joy.

Working out with heavier weights. Having my cousin Craig do the dishes better than anyone, ever. Picking cherries with the littles. Texting friends first thing in the morning to start the day off right. Mysterious reprieve from the night sweats. Half a pound less on the scale. Hair growing back even if it is all gray. Hugs. Going all week without a head covering. Planning for the future. Hitting my Fitbit goals. Creating new memories. Easily forgetting the drama and stress at work. Discovering my own inner strength. My own inner love. My own inner peace. My own inner drive.

I know those are all circumstantial. Yet they are making a lasting deep impression and adding to my joy. I have always been a firm believer that love is a decision. I have argued this point often. Feelings fade. Decisions should last. I honestly believe that joy is also a decision. You make the choice to be joyful. You can’t hope that others make you happy. They won’t. Maybe for a short time but people never stay the same and can never be the source of joy or love.

I am preparing for more surgery soon. I am preparing to see Paula from @neveradullbling. I am preparing to pursue my joy. I am preparing to grow as a human with a bigger heart, more compassion, overflowing joy and kindness. It is work but it is worthy work.

What will you do to fill/fuel your joy? Run? Write?Volunteer? Give? Share?

Have a joyful day my friends. ❤

Prophylactic laparoscopic bilateral salpingoophorectomy

Yeah, salpingoophorectotmy. It’s a word in the medical realm. Translation: the removal of both ovaries via laparoscopic surgery.  Here are my random wild thoughts going through my mind these last few days:

The surgeon looks Like Taylor Swift and younger than my 27 year old son. I am sure she is in her thirties though. I didn’t ask how many of these she has done. I felt it would be rude.

Had a dream and all I can remember was me asking the hospital staff to not tell my husband that I cried.

I need to get my cousins address’ so I can mail them the genetic address for my mutated gene so they can make the choice if they want to get tested or not.

Surgery is scheduled the day my husband flies out for his 30th reunion in AZ. I am confident I will be fine with my son and friends checking on me. I am worried that I will not be.

I plan on keeping my upbeat positive attitude and some type of Cancercize video going, being back at work in two weeks…but the worry is there. What if this time this ‘simple’ surgery does me in? What if I am nauseated the whole recovery process? How hard is it going to be to sit up then down then stand? I know I will have to walk to prevent blood clots, will I be able to?

Can I do this without the hubby around? He has been my rock through so much of this.

Insurance deductible starts over July 1st, so guess who will have to start all over with the bills? Yep, that is me.

The next day Paula from Never A Dull Bling will be in town and I wanted to hug her and get a picture of her and I with Bear. Will I be able too? Maybe if my son drives me downtown to the hotel for a quick meet and greet. Or maybe she can come up the hill to me?

I am thankful that coffee is not on my ‘do not eat or drink this anymore’ list. I find that I really want a glass of wine these last few days.

And while I am rambling lets add:

Why when I do a live feed on Facebook the video sound is off? How does one go about creating a webpage? How do I use the other video program on my Apple? How can I load and copy pictures to my blog? I wanted a picture of Taylor Swift with her hair the way the doctor wore hers, couldn’t get it to ‘copy and paste’ or download or any of that. Why does technology intimidate me so? Can I get a massage without having to lie down on my belly? Why do I feel so lazy when I don’t get a walk/wog in more than once a week? Isn’t it strange that the hair on the side of my head is growing back faster than the top and back? And on that note, why is the armpit hair growing back faster? How many cups of coffee are too many? Wait, don’t answer that last one.

So many things to think/worry about. I am like the dog in the pic. I could totally take those kittens if I wanted to even though they are a bit intimidating.


Dear Barb,


Dear Barb,

Remember that time that I laughed at you because you kept changing chairs looking for the air conditioner? You said you needed the coolest spot in the building because of your hot flashes.

I laughed.

I am now officially apologizing via social media aka blogosphere.

I am sincerely, honestly, ashamed that I laughed at you. I had no idea how miserable it truly is.

Please forgive me.


Yep, true story. I had no idea, NO IDEA how awful these flashes and night sweats could be. I bought another fan for the bedroom. Yes, ANOTHER. I have the ceiling fan on all the time but it wasn’t enough so now I have a tall fan blowing directly on my face only about two feet away. It doesn’t really keep me cool, but it does help dry me off when I have the night sweats.

So between the night sweats, the hot flashes, the sweaty clothes and armpits, the extreme heat (for our region) and lack of air conditioning in the apartment, I am truly a hot mess.

Just one more fan should do it.

Random walking thoughts.

Yesterday I went for a walk. I jogged the last three blocks. I was thrilled and excited and proud of myself. It felt so good.

Today I walked. No wogging just a walk trying to get my 10,000 Fitbit steps in for the challenge.

I had to wait until after 7PM for it cool down a bit before I went for my walk. Turns out that is the best time to walk around my neighborhood.

I can hear people out on their patios, laughing and enjoying the outdoors.

Kids are out playing in the front yard taking advantage of the sun being out later.

What I really enjoy about walking around are the homes and the yards. When you drive by you don’t really get to see all the work put into the front yard or the home. So much hard work to make them look so inviting. I just enjoy peeking into the creativeness and green thumbs of strangers.

As I was walking back home I saw this telephone pole. It is almost completely covered in a vine of some kind. I just thought it was amazing and had to snap a pic and share with you.

Today I am thankful. Thankful for my neighborhood. Thankful I am feeling strong enough to go for a walk (even a small wog yesterday) Thankful for hardworking gardeners, yard crews, laughing children, growing vines and sunshine.

Random thankful walking thoughts.




It started off as confidence….kind of

The day started with my usual two, okay three cups of coffee. Time wasted on social media. A catch up on the local news. Some meditation and contemplating. Recorded my daily workout video for Cancercize and packed lunches. Not a bad start to my day but nothing special.

Suddenly I was feeling brave and confident. I decided I was NOT going to wear a head covering today at work.

As I was getting ready for work, applying my makeup I looked good and hard in the mirror and thought, hmm I think I can do it.

I walk to the dining room to grab my lunch and purse and kiss goodbye. I tell him today is the day I am going to be brave. How do I look? This was my first dent in my confidence.

His response was ‘I look at you everyday, I am used to you, your coworkers are not’. It wasn’t meant cruelly, it just came out in boy speak. You know words and tone are not their  finer points. But it was enough to make me grab a hat as I walk out the door.

As I drove to work on the freeway still feeling somewhat confident, I noticed a car keeping perfect pace with me. I glanced over. He was staring. Staring intently until he was caught, so he sped away. This is my second dent in my confidence.

It messed with my emotions more than I anticipated. How can I expect co-workers and friends to accept this head if I can’t. I can’t because strangers can’t. I had a hard time shaking that thought process today.

BUT WAIT!!! This is a picture of me! I had a friend come over and snap pictures for the Canercize flyers and the website we are building. So I must have some confidence. I just don’t have ALL the confidence…..yet.