One last milestone today. I feel like the cancer has taken so much from me. It has taken so much OF me. I am not the same person I was before. Truthfully I will never be that person again. I fight hard against myself. My…
Last night I prepared my stuff. Roast is in the crock pot with a special ingredients for the bacon taste testing going on this afternoon. Coffee maker filled with water ready to go at a touch of a button. Workout clothes and shoes laid out on the bathroom floor for easy access.
My intention was this I was going to get up and have my own Sunrise aka SON rise service this morning while on a one mile wog. One mile of worship music. One mile of slight dark yet prospect of the morning sun coming. One mile of training for a seven mile race that will be here in three weeks. One mile to make myself feel like I had accomplished something. One mile.
The result: sitting here typing about going for a simple wog and how I have already talked myself out of it.
#1 it is still too cold. I went out yesterday afternoon because the sun was out and I was too cold
#2 things are blooming. I came home yesterday with a runny nose and itchy eyes. This morning I could barely get them open because they were sealed shut with all that allergy gooey buildup! Eww and ow!
#3 my knee is really not well. Seriously stairs are hard without using a support and going slow. Yesterday in my walk I noticed that any type of incline is hard on it.
#4 we are going to church today so having my own commune time isn’t really necessary.
#5 the coffee pot is full so I should really drink that and warm up first before attempting any outdoor activity
#6 the roast needed attending too. I had to take time to shred it and check the seasoning.
#7 I can’t find any of my knit hats to cover my ears.
I have really good intentions. I really do! I have terrible, terrible follow through and as you can see will come up with any excuse to justify why I haven’t gotten out. Revenge will have to wait until I can figure out how to trick my mind into it too!
PS The picture I used was from our little tulip trip. It is a picture I took through the front window of the car because it was ‘too cold’ to go out and get a closer look. I think there is a sea otter in there somewhere..or maybe an eagle? This is my failure at lazy photo taking! Ha ha
Happy Easter to you all! And to my friends on here who get out and run Kudos to you! Now send some of the stick- to- it- ness to me!!
TULIPS!! I love tulips. My favorite flower for as long as I can remember. The list is tulips, daisies, daffodils, sunflowers. Tulips are always at the top of the list of favorites. When we moved to WA I had heard this stories of fields of tulips. I kept saying we should go. Then the season would be over and I would say ‘next year’. Eight years later and we were still saying ‘next year’. Having the year I had we have learned to not put things off. There may not be a next year.
I was so excited! I get to see the tulips, I get to see the tulips! Keith was excited because it was a road trip. Something we haven’t done for what feels like forever. He made all the plans. I had all the dreams.
It rained and stormed. It was cold and there were only a quarter of the tulip fields starting to bloom. IT DIDN’T MATTER! It was a dream come true for me. I could not stop smiling. I was there. I could see the acres getting ready to bloom, they just needed a little more sunshine. I could stand next to the rows that had bloom without having to fight big crowds. There were acres of yellow daffodils. There were manicured gardens that had hyacinth and larkspurs. My heart was so happy that it took every ounce of my energy to not cry. EVERY OUNCE OF MY ENERGY! Keith was thrilled to see me so happy. I think it makes his heart full to see me happy.
We tried new restaurants and drove around the neighboring cities. We saw bald eagles and sea otters. It was a lovely trip.
I had posted on Facebook we were heading that way and a freind I haven’t seen in about three years contacted me and asked to come see the flowers with us. It was a nice surprise and a great time to hug.
I do feel really, really bad that I brought Bear with me for the trip so he could enjoy some good times with me YET forgot to mention to Paula (Neveradullbling) that we were road tripping. SHE LIVES ON THE WAY!! I was so enthralled with tulips and Keith so enthralled with a road trip it never even crossed our minds. Keith and I felt so bad about that. He was worried that we may have made them upset. I hope not, but I sent an apology gift just in case. ❤
Anyway here are some pictures from the trip. The trip that made my heart so happy it cried. The trip that made my heart warm.
Not really a nut cracker but definitely a knuckle cracker. I never like cracking knuckles. Creeped me out when others did it. I would never do it. I always heard it was bad for your joints. Now suddenly I catch myself cracking them at least five times a day!
Decided that part of the reason I can’t get out of bed in the morning is because with my heated sheet it is so warm and I don’t want to get out into the cold room. So last night I decided to not turn it on. I won’t make that mistake again! I had double yes, DOUBLE charlie cramps in my legs. I can still feel them hurting.
I have to renew my license this year. First tie since I have moved here. I would like to think I have changed physically but the number on the scale says differently.
I think cancer has taken my humor. I can’t seem to find it anywhere. I used to be somewhat funny. Smart funny at times even. Now I struggle to smile at anything I say.
I have only logged twice in the last month! How am I going to finish the big race that is one month! I have no idea .
I think it is odd that I get all of 50 in 50 Marathon (James) blogs emailed to me but his wife Paula at Never a Dull Bling (first blog I followed) doesn’t. I get Shameful Sheep but not Runner Girl or Diane’s Lady who reviews lunches. Why is that? I subscribe to the all the blogs the same way. Technology baffles this old body.
There are stressful things going on in my personal life that I feel I have no input in. In turn it is causing me to hot flash. I take meds to fight the hot flashes but the stress and anxiety always wins.
I found bird poop on my car that looks like the mother mary. Even the birds are Jesuits in this city.
I want to tiptoe in the tulips this weekend but I am afraid it will only be green stems. No matter I am going on a road trip and I like it! Skagit Valley pictures to follow. That is if I ever take the time to really blog again.
OVERWHELMED!! that is a good word for my brain right now.
Okay that is enough venting to strangers.
Disclaimer: I received a Beachbody Performance System to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! One of the great benefits of being a BibRavePro is the opportunity to not only represent the community at various races but also to test…
Do you ever go through a time where you just decide to reinvent yourself all at once? That is where I am at. This will be random and ALL over the place… so may want to stop reading right here…
The new me includes: confidence, energy, encouragement, energy, being supportive, being an example, having energy, being contagious, and energy.
I have decided to tackle fitness coaching. I have dreams and desires. I want to work out with chemotherapy and recovering cancer patients. I would love to have my own fitness studio with a ‘clean room’ just for that. Or perhaps a mobile gym to go to them.
I want to read personal development books at a rapid rate so I can glean from them. Reshape myself. Become successful. I have about 10 years of hustle left I think. Unless I start channeling my inner Uncle Thom and then I have 30 years left.
I have become a Beachbody Coach (shameless plug) http://www.beachbodycoach.com/ReneeGaleSurvivor and am starting my first online challenge group tomorrow. I don’t even know if I will be able to complete it but I now have witness’ so I kind of have to!!
I am trying to volunteer more. Trying to be involved more. Trying to be the happy healthy energized person that makes people want to be near me. Makes people forget where I was one year ago.
I went dancing with my friends last night for the first time in almost two years. TWO YEARS!! I was so excited. I dressed up in green. I drank coffee to stay awake longer (I made it to 11)
Today I am sitting here in tears. I hurt all over. There are several explanations for the pain.I am old. I am in surgical menopause. I am on medication that causes bone and joint ache. I am out of shape. The last one is probably the biggest factor…well that and being old. Dancing and staying up late just remind me. I need to get myself in shape.
I am so thankful that my husband gets what I am trying to do. He knows I am trying so hard to prove to everyone that I am okay. He knows I am not always okay. Today he had to hug me a little longer before he left for work.
I am so thankful for my supervisor Janice. Poor thing has to help me muddle through basic tasks some days at work because I just simply forget how to. She also has to listen to me go on and on about the same old cancer/medicine/forgetful crap day in and day out. I am trying to change that too! She is my friend but really doesn’t need to hear about this stuff all the time.
I told you all over the place today. It has been too long. I find my desire to write is gone. Even my desire to read my friends blogs are gone. I am trying to correct this. I love to write. I love to read. I think I just need to write it into my daily schedule.
I forget sometimes that life is about changing and challenges. Adjusting and adapting. Learning and yearning. Sometimes it is about crying for a moment then putting on your running shoes and going for a wog. I forget sometimes that I still want revenge until the friend comes up to you this week and reminds you that she has to run by herself because she is still one color group ahead of you. Then the annoyed anger kicks in and reminds me of why I started here in the first place. Starting from the beginning is almost the same as starting all over. Right? Funning I said starting from the beginning and it totally made me think of the scene from ‘The Princess Bride’ when Indigo is drunk and waiting.
Sheesh ALL OVER THE PLACE… Friends should never let emotional, tired, in pain friends blog!!
Anyway I have no idea if even conveyed what I wanted to say in the first place…. nut job for sure.
A while back I blogged about my grandmother passing. We had just booked tickets to see her and a few days later she passed. I was devastated. It was hard to lose her. I was unprepared and at a loss of what to do or say. I was however thankful that my Aunt Kathy still wanted us to come and visit. So that is what we did.
My little family of three flew to GA to see family. To see the Pepper side of my family. I knew it was going to be an emotional yet much-needed visit.
We were trying to figure out how long it has been since Aunt Kathy and Uncle Tom had seen my son Richard. He is going to be 28 this month. The last time they have seen him was when he was 9. How did that happen? How have I let that happen? I am so glad we were able to make that right.
We had a fabulous time! We ate so much food. Seriously I gained six pounds in four days. SIX! We snuck into the new Atlanta Braves stadium. Yes, snuck. We toured the Coca-Cola museum (Keith hates Coke) and we ate…did I mention that?
The picture above is one of my favorite places to sit early in the morning at my aunt and uncles house. I love the way the light streams in. It is a cozy and comfortable place to have a cup of coffee and just reflect.
Reflect on how much love there is in this home. My cousin Jenny and her boys bring energy and youth. My Uncle brings hustle and financial insight. My Aunt brings love and encouragement. When I sit here I feel all of that while at the same time peace. It is where I would sit when I was hanging with my grandma all those years ago. Sitting here on this trip reminds me of the love and unity my grandma brought to this house as well.
This is the door to my grandmas room. It took me nearly two days to enter that room. I didn’t realize that my grandma kept journals and I knew I wanted to read them. I also knew walking into that room would be very emotional. I can’t even imagine how my aunt did it. The scratches on the door are from the dogs. They loved granny. She would always drop crumbs on the floor for them. The dogs miss her too and keep trying to see her. Makes my heart hurt.
When I finally had the courage to go in and sit down and read through her journals I was so thankful! She just talked about her everyday things. Playing bingo. Missing a phone call from a sister. Knee pain. Everyday things. It gave me some insight into her life when I wasn’t around. I found the journal from the year that my dad passed away. I was only able to read parts of it. I have the journal with me now and I still haven’t been able to read it. Someday I will and it will help my heart heal and grow.
This is a picture that I took of my Aunt Kathy without her knowledge. I wanted to capture her in this pose. She places her hands together like this and moves her fingers up and down. I find it endearing. My grandmother did the same thing. Sometimes I catch myself doing it and smile and think of Grandma and think of Kathy. It must be a family trait. One that I somehow picked up.
Our trip was fast and furious. It was wonderful and emotional. It was needed. I hope it was as healing for my Pepper family in GA as it was for me. I hope my son has some good memories of his Pepper family now. I know my husband is thankful for the little time we have had with granny and family.
This is what I know to be true. Family fulfills. Fills your heart, mind, soul and your eyes with tears.
I do not know where to start. I put off writing this one because I knew I would be too emotional while composing it. So here goes nothing….
This is my beautiful friend Julie. We met at my Zumba class. She had lived 3 days in Spokane and found my class. The moment she walked in the door and introduced herself I knew in my heart that we would be friends. Something about her just clicked with me. The next day she asked me to come to her house and have a glass of wine. Now I knew we would be great friends for life!
I will never be able to explain to you how much her friendship carried me through this fight.
So many times she was just there. She yelled at me when I wouldn’t call her when I was weak and feeling awful. She has chewed me out when she feels that I talk about how unattractive I am. She has walked (slowly) with me, fed me, visited. Taken me to her place just to have a change of view and different couch to sit on. I remember once after the big surgery she came over and hoped up next to me in my bed and massaged my swelling arm for me. We didn’t talk much because I was still so drugged, yet she stayed, petting my arm for me.
Nope. I can’t get through this without tearing up. There is no way I could have done this without her. As my husband put it he and Julie are my team. She has helped him out as much as me. I honestly think they planned the whole tag team thing.
Life is so funny. People come into your life for a reason and a season. There are friends for a moment. Friends for a season. Friends for a lifetime. Julie is a lifetime friend. I already told Keith that when she moves (her husband has a job that moves them a lot) that will be where our next vacation destination will be! When she is gone over the summer I miss her terribly. If we don’t text at least once a week I feel like something is missing. I can’t find any words now that will ever explain what her friendship means to me. I just know that I need her in my life. Always.
Love is Julie.
Okay so they are my neighbors, that is how they prefer to be introduced. The reality is they are my landlords. And my life is so much better since I started paying them rent!
When I met them they reminded me so much of my former boss Jay and his wife Mary. Kind, thoughtful, smart, friendly and funny. It was like a little bit of home right here in my own apartment.
My neighbors Dan and Angie. They are kind an incredibly thoughtful. They make you feel like you have known them your whole life. We shared the news with them right away. Not that we had to, but because we wanted to. We wanted to let them know I would be home for weeks after surgery. We wanted them to know why our patterns were going to change.
They teared up, smiled and hugged us. Told me that I will beat this. They gave me a cushion to help me be able to sit up and get off the couch. Angie, a retired nurse, would check in on me when Keith went back to work. They have even shared their coffee with me.
There are two moments I want to highlight. One was when my mom came to stay and help out after the surgery, they rushed on trying to get the attic apartment that they had been renovating ready enough for my mom to have her own space to sleep. They put up a mattress and a chair for her. Some towels for the bathroom and a light for her to read by. So thoughtful and helpful for us too. The other was when my cousin Kris came with her RV. We asked for a good place for them to park it. Dan said he knew the best place. The back yard! He let them plug-in and stay in the back yard for a week. Dan and Angie played with the kids and brought their granddaughter over for playing too. They visited with Kris while Keith and I were at work.
Every year they go to AZ for winter. I find it funny because we moved here from AZ. They actually go back and visit where we used to live! My mom works at a tourist place and they always go there. When they went this last time they purposefully sought out my mom and then went to lunch with her. These are real people. These are real neighbors and I know that I was meant to live here at this time in my life.
Love is my neighbors Dan and Angie.
This is Kathy. We met through work……..yada yada yada.
Kathy is kind. There are no other words. She is just kindness personified. I did not tell Kathy about my cancer. We rarely saw each other but when we did we always laughed and smiled and hugged. The story really starts with Anita and Linda.
Linda and I became friends at work years ago. We sat at the same lunch table. Linda took a job downtown but we would text each other occasionally. When I started teaching Zumba classes Linda came. She came to ALL my classes. Anita was a downtown coworker and she heard about my classes and started coming. Linda and Anita were my two faithful students for years. When you teach fitness classes the few faithful become your friends and allies.
They were there when I had my scare all those years ago. They knew when I would go in for my yearly mammogram because the stress of it made me work it out in class and they suffered for it. They knew that I had to have a biopsy done and was waiting for my results.
I will never forget that day. I was parked in front of the gym and Anita came over to help me unload the Zumba Steps for class. She asked: did you hear from the doctor? I said, ‘yep I have breast cancer’ She froze. Asked me if I needed to go home. No, I needed to work out. She quietly agreed and continued to help me unpack my gear. We walk into the gym and Linda asked the same question. Tears started forming in her eyes. I yelled and told her I haven’t cried so she is not allowed to cry. We did our step class and worked up a good sweat. Then we hugged and parted ways. I asked them to please keep it to themselves.
That is when Linda shared with Kathy. A trusted person that she knew she could talk to. Someone who knew me. Someone who would keep my secret. Someone who wanted to be helpful. Linda and Anita and Kathy would come and visit me. They brought dinner and flowers and gifts. We laughed and ate and just enjoyed each others company. I can’t think of three better people/friends/coworkers/workout groupies to have.
I decided to combine the three of them in this one blog. Mainly because both Linda and Anita refuse to have Facebook or social media. I don’t know why I don’t have a picture of me and Linda since we actually see each other out side of work often. I know I don’t have one of Anita because she is out-of-town every weekend working on her house that her and hubby are building. And this is the only one I found of Kathy and I.
For Christmas this year Kathy gave me a gift. She actually MADE the gift. It is a fancy wooden block with wires to place pictures in that simply says “so very blessed”
This is how I feel about Kathy. She makes me feel so very blessed. Her kind heart and smile are sincere and meaningful.
This is how I feel about Linda and Anita. I love these three ladies. They have done so much for me not just this past year but for so many years prior to the cancer. Stable, thoughtful, reliable, fun, energetic, encouraging, kind, sharing, compassionate are just a few words to describe these three friends of mine.
Love is so very blessed.