Thursday, October 30, 2008

Expect the unexpected

Well, it is late and I am just starting to feel normal from all the pain medication that they gave me for my biopsy. My appt. was at 3:00pm and was only suppose to take an hour but unexpectedly they found another mass and a lump node that looked suspicious. My Dr. and radiologist was Dr. Jacobs and I could tell that he was very concerned. He decided to be very thorough and go ahead and biopsy the other two areas, so we left their office around 6:30pm. Poor Jeff was really worried out there and finally after a couple of hours I asked one of the nurses to please let him know what was going on.

Before we left they made me go back and take more mammogram's to show the markers that he also placed in me for the surgeon to know the exact areas that are in question. Dr. Jacobs and all the nurses were so nice and apologetic for all that I was going through and going to go through. He could not tell us then and there, the results because they have to go through the lab but... he tried his best to prepare us for the news. I was doing good up until then and then the tears came and I had a hard time stopping them.

So here we are, I don't want to go to bed because I don't want tomorrow to come. We still may not know even then, they will call and tell us something in the morning. The waiting game may go as long as Monday. I am doing ok, the numbness is wearing off, it is beginning to hurt  and I am suppose to lay low with this arm for a few days... I told them I was good at that.

Thanks for all you love and concern, we are truly blessed to have you as our family and friends. Jeff is holding up but that is a tough position to be in, we both are scared and really didn't think that it would go this far. The kids have been at Amy and John's since school was out, thought it would be better to keep them busy and Miss Angie will make sure of that. I am a fighter and so I am sure things will work out, I have a great support system. We just need to get all the facts, study it out and then pray to know what to do.

We love you.

Lynn, Jeff and kids

Nights are the worst

Why is it that the night time is the hardest when you are sick, lonely, sad or concerned about something? It is like the whole world is asleep and you are left completely alone with your thoughts. I remember almost 8 years ago when my mom passed away that the nights were the toughest. All those crazy questions kept running through my head like...WHY DID I LOSE MY MOM AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE?  HOW DO I RAISE MY KIDS WITHOUT HAVING A MOM TO CALL?  WHAT WILL LIFE BE LIKE FOR THEM WITHOUT A GRANDMA?  AM I STRONG ENOUGH TO MAKE IT IN LIFE, WITHOUT A MOM?  AND OF COURSE A REAL IMPORTANT THING TO WORRY ABOUT...WHAT ABOUT ALL THOSE RECIPES THAT SHE HAD IN HER HEAD AND NEVER WROTE DOWN AND TOLD ME THAT SHE WOULD SOME DAY?  All of these things just kept racing through my head and I couldn't seem to stop them long enough to let sleep come in.

So here I am again, it is early in the morning and I have been awake for hours. Now this blog was not meant to be a reality type blog, but a motivational blog. But it seems for the moment that I need to express a couple of personal things that have come front and center in our lives.

Yesterday we got the results back from my MRI, it wasn't good, I have a large tumor in my left breast. The same breast that I had cancer in almost 7 years ago. I haven't had that unbelievable fear like last time and so for some reason I am shocked about the news. I am not sure what I accomplished yesterday...not much but the reality of I am going to have to go down this road again is becoming all too clear. Jeff of course was my rock as usual, I would have never made this far in life without him, what an amazing man he is. Amy, John, Brad and Krystal already knew about the previous tests and concerns of the past 3 weeks but we hadn't worried Lee and Lauren with it ...just in case there was no need . It was hard telling Lee and Lauren, they both really cried hard and I could see that fear crept back into their eyes. I was up till 11:00pm trying to reassure Lee that things will be alright and that we will never be given more than we can handle.

Almost 7 years ago when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, I remember crying and being depressed all the time,for the first few days and the kids did the same. It didn't take me too long to remember that I was the mom, the heart of the home and that I needed to some how pull myself together. I asked Amy yesterday if she was really alright, her reply was classic "I'm ok MOM, if you are ok?"

And so I need to be ok, for my sake, for my families' sake. We have fought this battle before, and I am sure we can do it again. I wish that I wasn't so TIRED,it is much harder to fight when you are this exhausted but... we will. As for now, we just have to get all the information we can so that we know what we are up against. Today at 3:00 we will go and do a needle biopsy and find out for sure if the tumor is malignant or not. I know everyone thinks it is but this is the first test to check, if this looks like it is then we will probably have to have a surgical biopsy and then the removal of it. I keep saying we ( I just mean Jeff and I, I don't do any of this without him by my side) thank goodness!

So I keep thinking to myself what I tell other women who I counsel about when things of this magnitude hit their lives? The first thing is to get all the information, next to pick their team mates, who are your main supporters that become so vital for you?  Make sure you only pick people who believe in you and support you in whatever decision you make, people who trust that you have the wherewithall to make the right decision. There are tons of people out there willing to give you their opinions and remind you of all the things that could go wrong and tell you what to do,even though they have never been in this situation before. Personally, I wouldn't pick them to support you. Making decisions like these are Big and you don't need any bad energy that some people have to share. I would tell these sweet women to get back to the basics, find out what their core beliefs are? Do they believe in a God or not? That is real important, because these situations make you face exactly how much you can take and it is vital to know that you don't have to do any of this ALONE unless you choose to. And last ,but not least I would say to them have FAITH, faith to know that we all have the answers inside us to the tough questions that come in our lives. Faith that your Heavenly Father will be there and will help you fight these battles. Faith in the Savior Jesus Christ, He truly understands what we are going through and will help comfort us and give us a peace that the world doesn't have to offer. The women like I mentioned before that I have met along the way in life are amazing women and they all seem to be tougher than they even imagined that they could be. Everyone of them come from all walks of life, all different religious beliefs but understand that we are given these things for a reason and we all have been the better and stronger for it!

So I will try to remember all these things that I have shared a million times with others and apply to my own life! I am a fighter and I will fight this battle ....yet once again. I wish that I could write a personal letter to each of my dear friends and tell them just what JOY that they have brought into my life. That is another thing that happens to you when you get news like this...it makes you sappy!  So  beware!  :)

The sun will be up soon and hopefully I will be ready to take on yet another day. They say THE GOOD THING ABOUT THE FUTURE IS THAT IT ONLY COMES ONE DAY AT A TIME!  So true

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Life just keeps happening!

It is interesting to me that no matter how tired you are or how long you have been dealing with something that other struggles and tests can keep coming. I am sure I have said on more than one occasion " I just need a break before I can handle anything else". Too bad life doesn't happen that way. I went to the Dr. yesterday and I still don't have good numbers for my fight against this mono. That really wasn't a  big surprise because I am still so tired all the time.  Last week Jeff was in a car accident, he is fine ( and we are grateful for that ) but our car was totaled and then... in an hour or so, I am going back for more tests, from something that they saw that concerned them at my last cancer check up. Still not knowing exactly what to expect, I realize that I am struggling to find the energy and peace that I need for today.

Some dear friends of mine sent me a card the other day that went something like this....LIFE ISN'T FAIR, WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO SUCH GOOD PEOPLE?  I have to admit, joking or not I have said that more than once in my life. In my scripture reading today I was in the Book of Judges in the Old Testament, it was the story of Gideon, the Israelites had been suffering from the treatment of the Midianites. An angel had appeared to Gideon and told him that the Lord was with him and that he was mighty man of valour. I think Gideon's response was something I could relate to, when he said "IF THE LORD BE WITH US, WHY THEN IS ALL THIS BEFALLEN  US?" I think it is so easy to ask that question often but I do believe that really doesn't help us to move forward and learn from these experiences or tests. Bad stuff happens to all people, someone once said "because our problems are designed to be our teachers in life then we shouldn't resent them and complain all the time. We don't want to risk missing the lessons that are to be learned from them. It would be like paying a huge tuition to go to college and then resenting the homework. Or having such a lack of faith in the educational process that we stomp our feet over every task assigned, demanding to know why we have  been given the assignment. Everything in life is a test. We know that the test results are often based on our attitude as much as our aptitude. Knowing the answer to every question of "why" would deprive us of the opportunity to apply faith and trust." So true.

The story of Gideon even gets better, he does do all the things that are required of him but he has many tests along the way. This must have been the reason why I read that particular section today. I was searching for something to give me comfort and peace. I don't like to worry and I know that it is unproductive but ,I really struggle with controlling my thoughts when I have something like this that is before me. I need to remember that I have always been taken care of and guided to make the right decisions when I needed to, today shouldn't be any different.

So I will go get ready, take my best friend Jeff with me and remember that my Heavenly Father is close by and will be there the whole time. I pray that I can learn the things that I am suppose to from this. I need to learn that LIFE WILL JUST KEEP HAPPENING and I just need to ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Power of Love

I was trying to look up some quotes, thoughts and scriptures for a friend who was recently diagnosed with Cancer. I always pray that I can give them, just the right thing that will inspire them to hang on and be happy. I came across this one on the Power of Love, it was a great quote and one that should give anyone hope. It goes like this...

"THERE IS NO DIFFULTY THAT ENOUGH LOVE WILL NOT CONQUER; NO DISEASE THAT ENOUGH LOVE WILL NOT HEAL; NO DOOR THAT ENOUGH LOVE WILL NOT OPEN; NO GULF THAT ENOUGH LOVE WILL NOT BRIDGE; NO WALL THAT ENOUGH LOVE WILL NOT THROW DOWN; NO SIN THAT ENOUGH LOVE WILL NOT REDEEM....

IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE HOW DEEPLY SEATED MAY BE THE TROUBLE; HOW HOPELESS THE OUTLOOK; HOW MUDDLED THE TANGLE; HOW GREAT THE MISTAKE.  A SUFFICIENT REALIZATION  OF LOVE WILL DISSOLVE IT ALL.  IF ONLY YOU COULD LOVE ENOUGH YOU WOULD BE THE HAPPIEST AND MOST POWERFUL BEING IN THE WORLD."                                                       ------------------Emmet Fox

That is amazing to think about, it definitely is looking at the glass HALF FULL!  But it is true.

I know on days that I worry too much about too many things, if I just stop and COUNT MY MANY BLESSINGS, then I realize that life isn't all that bad and that I am indeed one of the luckiest women in the world! For I have so many people who I love and that love me. So I will send this quote off in a card to my dear friend and hope that she will remembered she is LOVED and that she is never ALONE. The struggles are huge, but hopefully through this POWER OF LOVE she will realize that she will be guided and taken care of.

"WE BEGAN BY IMAGINING THAT WE ARE GIVING TO THEM; WE END BY REALIZING THAT THEY HAVE ENRICHED US."                                                  ----------------Pope John Paul II

Friday, October 17, 2008

My family

It has been over a week since I have written. We have had company and I forget how much time and energy that takes, especially when you don't feel good. The other night we were watching a movie that we rented (it was suppose to be like a Pride and Prejudice type). As the movie went on there were a few things that were said which sort of made you wonder ...if there was a different underlying theme than we thought. Not long into the movie there came on the screen, a terrible scene and no one could move fast enough to grab the remote and turn it off. It was too late the picture was already embedded in our minds. We all went to bed feeling like YUCK! Of course it probably bothered me the most, because I try so hard to protect my home and my family from a lot of the crude and vulgar things of the world and yet it crept in so quickly.

I read a quote the other day from Sheri Dew that went like this... "AS WOMEN WHO CARE ABOUT OUR FAMILIES IN PARTICULAR AND ABOUT THE FAMILY IN GENERAL, AS MOTHERS AND WIVES, GRANDMOTHERS AND SISTERS AND AUNTS, WE NO LONGER HAVE THE LUXURY OF STANDING BY AND WATCHING WHAT IS HAPPENING ALL AROUND US.  IT IS TIME TO STAND UP AND BE COUNTED."

As a mom I wonder each morning when I dropped my teenagers off to High School, have I done all that I can ...to prepare them for what they will be faced with today?  It seems like there is so much out there to destroy the family and to destroy your self worth. Do my kids know who they are? Do they like who they are? Do they believe in their values and morals enough to stand up for them and to protect themselves? All these things go racing through my mind. It is a daily effort to teach them these values and morals. When they were little and left for school each morning I would say "remember you're a WOODARD...and choose the right". They would just roll their little eyes and smile. But hopefully, it did stick in their heads who they were and what was expected of them.

I realize as a mom, the best sermon I could ever give is by my example. I need to do and follow the same principles of integrity and values. I heard it once say "when you save a child you save a generation". So true, I think it is vital for each generation to get better and not carry on the burdens and garbage from the past. As women we have such an amazing influence on those around us, especially children. I do think that it is time to stand up for what we believe, to live it and then spend our whole life making life much better and happier for the next generation.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Few of my favorite things

I love the song THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS that Julie Andrews sang. I think it is because I really believe that being surrounded with things that you love it important on making your life happy.  Whether that is photos of loved ones or your favorite places that you have visited or art work that you have made or someone else has created that you love, or books that inspire you.  Even down to the people that you associate with on a daily basis ,should really be some of  your favorite family and friends.

When you read the newspaper or watch the news it is so hard to remember that there are good things happening still in the world, it all seems so bad and something beyond our control. I hate that feeling, I really don't think that the sky is falling and I do think there are still reasons to get up and be happy every day. I still believe there are things to plan for, dream of and hope for each day.

When I was a young girl, I still remember the smells that filled my grandmother's home and all the things that she had around ,that even to this day... make me smile. I loved the safe feeling and how warm and cozy it felt there. I still try to create that same feeling in my home, from the decorations down to the candles that I burn. I never really felt safe or protected much in my childhood so GRANDMA'S HOUSE is still one of my favorite memories.

So today I will try to remember to create that same feeling in my home and in my life and make sure that this is the place where others feel welcome, safe and happy. Try to remember to surround yourself today with all of your FAVORITE THINGS!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Faith and Fear do not go together

I looked at my calendar for this week, knowing full well that I don't have anything planned to do except rest. I was surprised to find out that I have my Cancer check up tomorrow morning, yes it has been a year and I was pleasantly surprised that I hadn't worried about it's coming this year, unlike years in the past. I remember sitting in the hospital a few years ago waiting for my yearly exam and sitting beside me was woman who was old enough to be my mom, she looked really nervous and you know me...not wanting to miss the opportunity to make a new friend, I started talking to her. She told me, she too was a survivor and that coming to these appointments every year just made her a nervous wreak. I was sorry for her but glad to know that I wasn't the only one. After listening to her survivor story, mine didn't sound so bad. I realize how lucky I was that I caught my cancer early and that it was not very aggressive.

I would never have chosen to have cancer, it was one of the scariest things I believe that I have ever been through, and that is saying a lot if you know my past  :)  But, through that cancer (or as we like to pronounce it backwards recnac ) I learned a lot about myself and my body. I learned about my faith and how to make it stronger but there were days and nights that  fear took over and I lost sight of my faith and the knowledge that I had worked so hard to get. I was not alone in this fight, I have met incredible women and men on this journey of surviving cancer. They have made such an impression on me and given me courage as I watched or talked to them often. It was a wonderful thing that we could all talk about God and faith and keeping each other in our prayers. In a world where so many are guarded about talking about God or offending someone it was a breath of fresh air to be able to share on a spiritual level with these wonderful women and men. No one really cared that we came from all walks of life and of all different religions, we just felt grateful that we had something in common a love for God and a hope that He would see us through this.

Some of these dear friends have passed on and will forever be examples to me of their faith and courage, I pray that I can live my life as well as they did. Cancer is a hard thing to get over in your head even if your body has healed. It is hard to not worry that every cough or pain isn't cancer some how returning somewhere. How grateful I am to be a survivor for almost 7 years now, I think the things that have benefited me the most from that life's experience is...one... I try to remember to not let one day or minute go by without experiencing it and enjoying it. I am so grateful to wake up every day, even when my health isn't very good. Second... I know that my Heavenly Father is watching over me, He knows how much I can or cannot handle, He knows exactly how long I am to be here on the earth and I know He is always there to strengthen me on nights like tonight, where I am having a bit of trouble wanting to go to bed.Tomorrow will be fine but I have to admit, it isn't something I am looking forward to. I am going by myself, usually I am such a big chicken that I call one of my girlfriends to go with me. For years, Jeff used to take off work to go with me, but since I didn't even remember it till this weekend, I will go by myself... maybe I am more courageous that I think?  We will see?  But one thing I learned this weekend from church is that FAITH IS NOT ONLY A FEELING...IT IS A DECISION! 

So with that, I will decide to not be scared and to remember how   blessed I am to be here and to be able to know all of you and have such a wonderful family. I have had many hard trials in my life, but I have been... oh so blessed!  I will close with a quote that inspires me... LIVE YOUR LIFE FROM YOUR HEART.  SHARE FROM YOUR HEART. AND YOUR STORY WILL TOUCH AND HEAL PEOPLE'S SOULS. ----Melody Beattie 

Good night!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Principle of Feelings

I am reading again a book called YOU CAN BE HAPPY NO MATTER WHAT  by Richard Carlson, PH.D.  You have probably read his book DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF.  In this chapter I am reading it talks about our feelings, this is what he says... "You have at your disposal a foolproof guidance system to navigate you through life. This system , which consists solely of your feelings, lets you know when you are off track and headed toward unhappiness and conflict, away from healthy psychological functioning. Your feelings act as a barometer, letting you know what your internal weather is like.

We recognize the powerful connection between our own thinking and our experience of life.  When we think, we immediately feel the effects of our thoughts.  It happens in an instant and, for most of us, without awareness that it is happening"

I could go on but I will let you read the book yourself if you like. I just think it is vital for all of us to learn to be in control of our thoughts. In counseling, when someone continues to get depressed and can't feel much happiness at all... we call that a DOWNWARD SPIRAL, one that you really need to get a handle on, before you can't see the forest for the trees. I love the quote..."YOU ARE ONLY ONE THOUGHT AWAY FROM A GOOD FEELING" _____Sheila Krystal

I am so glad to know that our thinking is not REALITY, but only an attempt to interpret a given situation. I think this is vital to understand we can control our thoughts and learn to be happy. This is especially vital  for women, who touch lots of lives and hearts. I have to work on this principle every day to take a look at my thoughts and  how I am feeling. I like knowing I am in control, sometimes it feels like I don't have control over how I am thinking but ...I DO!

And sometimes on those occasions that I can't get control  like I want or need it, I am grateful for a Counselor that helps me puts things back into focus. I know that for some, to go to counseling is seen as a sign of weakness, but not for me...I see it as "I AM STUCK" and I need someone to help give me the tools or remind me of the tools I have, to get UN- STUCK, so I can truly enjoy every minute of my life.

So my thought or quote for today is... by Abraham Lincoln "PEOPLE ARE JUST ABOUT AS HAPPY AS THEY MAKE UP THEIR MINDS TO BE."

The last part of this book says...'IF YOU FIND YOURSELF SAYING THINGS LIKE, "I'LL BE HAPPY WHEN," YOU ARE MISSING OUT.  HAPPINESS HAPPENS WHENEVER YOU TAP INTO YOUR OWN NATURALLY HEALTHY PSYCHOLOGICAL FUNCTIONING. YOU CAN BE HAPPY RIGHT HERE , RIGHT NOW, IF YOU CHOOSE TO DO SO."

So I hope you have a great day and just THINK ABOUT IT!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I love Quotes

Maybe it is the plain and simple wisdom that the quotes seem to have? I have collected quotes for many years and when I struggle with anything, I like to put them all over the house to remind me to stay focused and happy. I was at the Doctor's office for quite some time the other day and found an article about the Summer Olympics . There were bits of wisdom and quotes from these athletes that really help them during their work outs and events. So before I start another day of RESTING  :) I thought I would share them with you. Enjoy

"CONTROL THE CONTROLLABLES; MEANING YOUR ATTITUDE AND YOUR EFFORT"

"ENJOY THE JOURNEY"

"THINGS TURN OUT BEST FOR THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THE BEST OUT OF THE WAY THINGS TURN OUT"

"SLEEP HAS BECOME A PRIORITY IN MY LIFE, IT'S MADE ME MORE PRODUCTIVE AND ENERGETIC" ( I personally hope this one is right!)

" TO BE A GOOD TEAM PLAYER, YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO ACCEPT CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM, WHICH CAN BE HARD TO DO. LEARNING TO TAKE CRITICISM IS ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE TOOLS THAT I HAVE GAINED AS AN ATHELTE"

"WHEN I JUGGLE TOO MUCH, NOTHING GETS DONE. IF I FOCUS ON ONE OR TWO PRIORITIES, I SEE BETTER RESULTS"

"I GREW UP IN A CHRISTIAN HOME, I FEEL LIKE MY ABILITY (TALENT) IS A GIFT FROM GOD. IT ALLOWS ME TO STAY PEACEFUL AND CALM BECAUSE SOME OF MY SUCCESS IS OUT OF MY HANDS"

Have a great day!