.http://patreon.com/jolope

.http://patreon.com/jolope
http://patreon.com/jolope

Thursday, February 28, 2013

So much...

for going to bed early.

A part of me says...Grrr.


Exhausted.

(to see large wallpaper sized version, click image)
I love when people tell me, "you gotta take care of yourself."

It is usually a person who has money and a job.

I just told someone today that it is interesting perspective for me as it is easy to tell someone to do something but odds are if it was that easy for them to do it, it probably would have been done.

Part of taking care of myself is getting an income. Part of taking care of me is finding a way to get less stress around the stresses of running out of money.

I haven't begged for money in a while, and I have been
thinking it is time to do some more. I get quiet after I speak
up, but then I sometimes think people think that I am OK.

Well. I am not.

Every day my bank account dwindles, and I am about to
start to use a credit card to pay some bills. I am not happy
about it at all. I already have a significant amount of debt
that I had to stop paying more than the minimum on when
this all happened.

And recently a credit card company cancelled a card
because I wasn't using it.

If I don't start using some of my cards, I may not have any
cards to fall back on - and then I will really be in trouble.

I have been pushing myself really hard the last several days.
With the Expo that I am going to participate in, I have to
plan and prepare, and it is turning out to be a whole lot of
work. Everything should be so simple, but it is not. It takes
time and energy, two very important commodities I don't
really have much of.

Today I was talking to someone about Melaleuca, and I
would love to sign up. But I don't know how I could go
about doing anything with it, as I barely have enough
energy for what I am doing. I do, however, believe it
could complement what I am doing in other regards, so
I hope to join that "train" at some point.

It is only 6:00, and it feels like it should be so much later,
and I have a couple of important things I need to take care
of tonight. When I am done here, I am going to have to
deal with that.

And then, maybe, just maybe I can get to sleep early tonight.

I may have to try to do something this weekend to give myself
a break. I just don't have a clue what that would be. I just feel
like I need something. It is times like this I really miss A. He
so often would help me relax. What he did for me was invaluable,
and I wish there was something that I could do to replace what
he used to provide.

Talking about this is making me sad. Yesterday as I put
together my video page, I was revisiting my past. It was hard
to listen and watch. Not so much for what I was saying and
dealing with, but more for the memories of things that I no
longer have, including A.

I would imagine that there is unacknowledged stress in my
body due to all that is going on. I would also imagine that
I haven't had time to truly heal from all that has happened in
the last several months.

One might think that chemo was a "vacation" of sorts, but
it was no vacation. It was a harder several months than I have
probably have ever had, and instead of being able to take care
of myself after it, I find myself struggling to survive.

Take care of myself? You have to survive to have anything
to take care of.



Hearts Beat



To see larger size and/or get it for your own use click image, or click here.

How do you see the world?


If you would like to see this image in a larger size, click it - or click here.

Homemade Chocolate Sauce (Recipe)

This is a good recipe for Homemade Chocolate Sauce that I have made it a few times. I don't really know how long it lasts, as it doesn't usually last too long. But it is quite yummy, and more than likely better than anything with high fructose corn syrup in it.


Homemade Chocolate Sauce
Homemade Hot Chocolate Sauce *Yummy!*

3/4c. Sugar
1/3c. Cocoa
1T. Cornstarch
3/4c. Water

Mix above ingredients together,
and cook over medium heat, constantly stirring.

Bring the mixture to a boil.

Boil 1 minute.

Remove from the heat and add
1T. Butter
1t. Vanilla

Stir until smooth.

Refrigerate.

If you like a thicker "sauce," add additional cornstarch. +1T. for medium, +2T. for thick (fudge like).

Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

50+ Videos Since Being Diagnosed: All in one place

Still working on it...

But I just created a new page that has the 50+ videos
I have created since being diagnosed.

If you are interested and/or ambitious, you can check
it out. I am sure many videos get lost in the number of
entries I do.

And with that, I think I am done for the night.

I am sooo very tired. It has been a long day.

Vlog


This is the radio show I am referring to in the video (that I was on as a guest today) http://www.blogtalkradio.com/smallbusinessceoradio/2013/02/27/small-business-ceo-business-radio
(The fast-tawking New Yawker in me comes out...interesting hearing myself...
and not such a good interesting, but perhaps helpful...my piece is toward the end)

My radio show is WorldofPerspectiveRadio.com

The Expo is WomensExpoMD.com

Some Perspective from a Freak Out

With Gratitude: Landmark Day (for the blog)!

Earlier this month I set a goal. I wasn't sure if I could get there,
and I wasn't sure HOW I was going to get there, but I figured,
what the heck? There was no harm in setting a goal and seeing
if there was a chance that I could meet it.

The goal:
Have 10,000 All Time Views for this blog by end of day 2/28

Given that I had approximately 3,500 views in the beginning 
of the year (which encompassed May 15 til the end of 2012)
it was a sizable goal. But I was seeing how I was getting more
and more traffic, so I thought it somewhat reachable. There
were some days, though, I wasn't so sure. There were some 
days there would only be a few views. Other days, hundreds.

Part of that has to do with some help I have been getting. 
Those who have shared this blog, thank you so much. It means
so much to me that I and/or what I am doing means something
to you enough for you to share my efforts.

I have plans to really get out into the world, and for someone 
who for so long wanted to be quietly hidden, that is a really big
deal. It is a really big deal to be so open and so verbal about 
not only what has happened, but what continues to transpire in
this journey called cancer.

Today I hit my goal.  And it is even one day early!













I am so excited. I have no idea what it means, or will mean,
but any progress made starts with the first step. 

As excited as I am, I am also clear that this is just a step 
among many. I continue to ask you for your support. If you
think that what I have to offer is valuable, please share it.
If you think you have something to add to the mix, please
add it.

I am certain this is not just about me and what *I* can do,
or what *I* will do. This is about a much bigger picture. 
This is about an "us" that I may never have met. This is
about perspective that transcends an experience of cancer.

This is about something much bigger than you or me. This 
is something that speaks at a frequency that few may understand
until they tune in. And I truly hope to tune into something 
incredibly wonderful with the really great people of this planet.

This is something that I know is a gift to life itself. "This"
being a purpose bigger than any one person, any one experience.

I may just be one among many who is singing her song, and 
while it may seem that I am seeking an audience, what I really
want is to join with others who are singing their songs. I want
us to sing together.

I know to some this may sound a bit much, and maybe even
corny. But for others it may be a tune you recognize. Either 
way, it is the song currently playing in my heart and it is one
that speaks to me in a way that nothing else does.

Thank you for being a part of this journey. I have no idea 
where it will take us, or what the goal of it is, but what I do 
know is how good I feel when I am one among many who
are excited about the possibilities that life has to offer - especially
in the midst of life's inevitable curve balls and challenges.

with incredible JoLoPe* and gratitude,
Elizabeth

*JOyLOvePEace


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

An Intermediate New Normal (I hope!) (Video)

(from last night)
WomensExpoMD.com is the site/expo I refer to in the video

I So Got It (Video)

I was watching a video on YouTube. It was the year in the life of J.K. Rowling. There were many things I felt were of note, but there were a couple of pieces in particular that stood out. A couple of those pieces were when she was standing in the home that she had lived in when she started to write.

One of the pieces was how she decided that she had had nothing to lose in regard to writing, and the other was about how at the time that she was suffering she had no idea how things would turn out. She got very emotional when talking. 

I so got it.

It is amazing how often things can come to have little, or no meaning, when they are verbalized and repeated over and over. J.K. Rowling lived the pain and anguish. She lived the distress. She lived the poverty. It is not just a story. 

But to many others, it is something distant. It is something incomprehensible. It is something that sounds good, now that it has a "happy ending." I can't help but think that there were not likely to be too many people who saw possibility in her or her situation at the time. I can't help but think that what she dealt with was likely glossed over by many.

I can only guess, though.

I can only guess because it is not my experience. But there is a rawness and pain that she expresses that I can so identify with. Maybe that is where the "meat" of life helps us to "meet" another. Maybe that is where we connect - in the emotions. Maybe when we get caught up in the details we lose our way to connecting, or maybe - more accurately? - it is when we lose the connection that we naturally have as humans. 

If you have the time, I'd say watch it all. But if you don't, perhaps consider watching when she is in her old home, and watch until that segment ends. If nothing else, watch this point; it just goes to show that we never know when great anguish can be the starting point for something incredible. Just imagine if she had given up - or never even tried.




Something's Coming, I can feel it

I am feeling really antsy and anxious. I had posted about it on my Facebook page before going to sleep last night. Someone responded that maybe some good things were a-coming.

And she is absolutely correct.

Anything new can be unsettling - even if it is the best thing in the world. Maybe I am on the verge of something incredible, and it will be so different than what it has been, I won't know what to do with myself

I certainly hope that is it.

In the meantime, though, despite efforts to calm myself down, I haven't been able to. I feel all over the place, and the list of things I have to do is a mile long.

I am definitely feeling overwhelmed.

The expo is in only a couple of weeks, and there is a lot to consider and do before then. To get the most out of what I intend to do, I need to do all I can to promote myself. I really wish I could do both days, but I do not see how I would have the energy to do it. As it is, I am a bit concerned about how I am going to do one.

I have gotten myself an account to begin to offer emails from me. Most likely it will be a newsletter of some form or fashion, but at the moment I really don't know at the moment what it will be. (One step at a time she tells herself, one step at a time.) If you would like to be included, you can sign up in the upper right of this blog, or you can sign up by clicking here.

I sooo want this blog to be about more than just me and my cancer adventures. It feels like something much bigger than me that could be stewing and brewing here. How I am going to do any of this, I haven't a clue. But my guess is is that that alone won't stop me from doing something any way.

I just would love my energy to get to a good level.
That would help so much.

I am exhausted.



Monday, February 25, 2013

Pet Food Stamps (Resource)

I can imagine that those who have pets and are
financially challenged would have stress related
to taking care of the needs of their pets, as well
as their own.

I just saw this site petfoodstamps.org that might
be good to know about.

If you use it, I would love to hear about your
experience, and others may, too. Feel free to
comment below.

Thanks. And if you are in need, I hope it is of
help.


The Party Has Started

I ran into a site cancerandcareers.org recently that I
had no idea existed. It is a great idea, though, as how
to manage dealing with cancer and work is likely a
tough thing.

It is interesting how when you find yourself interested
in something how a whole new world of things open
up in the process. I say it is a good thing that it happens,
but not so good things that sometimes precipitate it.

In looking at the site and thinking about work, it does
occur to me that there could be significant issues with
publicly sharing about an illness. HIPAA (the privacy
regulations) pretty much go out the window.

If someone was to look me up on the web at this point,
my name is all over the place. It would be incredibly
difficult (if not impossible) for me to cover up the fact
that I have been dealing with cancer and its effects.

While it is illegal for a company to not hire you on the
basis of a diagnosis, one might be hard pressed to prove
that that was "the" reason if not hired - especially in the
kind of market we are in currently.

I really didn't want to go and find a job before my
diagnosis, which is why I did everything I could to
make my money on my own, which I have done for
years now. It hadn't been easy, and so often helpful
people would tell me to get a job. Like that would have
been an easy thing to do either!

Once diagnosed, I felt I had to "go public" given the
help I needed (and still do). As a result I am out there
in a big way, and there is no going back.

I talk about this because while I am free to wave the
flag and talk about things, not everyone is. And that
might be part of the reason not much is heard about
what happens with those who deal with cancer.

(I suspect part of it has to do with embarrassment and
feeling humiliated, too, but that is another - separate
yet related - piece.)

For this reason, I feel now, more than ever I need to be
a mouthpiece and speak up for those who feel they can't.
I feel I need to let people know what is going on behind
the veil of secrecy. I feel a need to inform/educate.

(As an interesting side note, I always wanted to be a
teacher when I was a kid. In college I considered going
the "teacher route." I never became a teacher in a
traditional sense, but it is clear to me that my life is
very much about "teaching.")

So the part of me that used to get into trouble for talking
too much and saying things I probably shouldn't have is
now the part that needs to step forward and talk a lot
and say things I probably shouldn't. I could do without
the getting into trouble part, though. :P

I really have no idea what this means. I really have no
idea how to do it, what to do, who to do it with, but I
don't think it is going to stop me.

As a matter of fact, I am seriously considering doing
some things that are less than perfect, less than ideal,
and putting them "out into the world." So many times
we get stopped because it is not perfect. Because it
isn't the way it "should" be.

I know it will be judged, which means *I* will be judged,
but I am slowly getting to the point of what the hell, um,
heck. LOL. Who really freaking cares? Why do we care
about the things we do? We care about so much that probably
doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things - and
certainly won't matter after I take my last breath.

Over time I am putting myself out more and more. I am
determined to have people know that I WAS HERE. I
am not the silent, invisible, wanting to disappear person
I once was. So it is about time to make even more noise.

Anyone want to make some noise with me? Anyone want
me to make some noise for them? Let me know.

The party has started.













(Got myself all excited there...LOL...just hope to live up to what I wrote. The part of me that has long hidden isn't so sure about all of this, but I *AM* working on it. You never know when that last breath is going to come, and I am convinced I need more than ever to breathe life into this existence of mine.)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Snapshot of a Moment in Time (Video)

(From last night)

Could this be about You?

I am hesitating a bit about writing about what I am about to write. LOL...wondering how many of those reading this may wonder if what I am about to write has to do with you. And...wondering how many of you may be worried about what I am about to say.

Will it be good? bad? Will you like it?

Wondering how many of you are thinking this but would never say that you were.

Those who know me know that I wind up writing about those I know here. I try to do my best when doing that to preserve another's privacy. I don't always do such a great job. But generally I do try.

I guess that is a problem of knowing someone who writes, and writes publicly. You never know what she might say and how you think you will come off, especially if you think that she is wrong (and at times even may be).

So...have I gone on long enough? Are you sitting on the edge of your seat?

LOL. Well most of you can relax. All but one of you. Man. I am having too much fun with this. Well even that one can relax. It is more about me than it is about you, but because it involves you, you will recognize yourself the minute I start saying what I am saying.

I am a bit self-conscious about writing this, knowing there is a good chance you'll be reading it. That is part of the reason my blog was private at first, I never wanted to censor myself in the interest of preserving peace with another. It is very different to write with another in mind than it is to write with abandon.

Ok. So I know you want to hear what I have to say. Especially if you think this could be about you. And you are probably like, "oh c'mon already." I will say one more thing before I go where I wanted to go, and that is that in some ways this blog leaves you, the reader, with an unfair advantage. You get to read my insides without revealing any of your own. You get to find out what is going on with me, as you go about your life without contacting me. Of course this is my choice to do this. But I just can't help but note that fact.

**

Yesterday I spent the better part of a day with a new friend. I really appreciated the time we were together. At one point he noted how comfortable I looked, and I was extraordinarily relaxed. When I made plans to go there, it was with the plan to leave all of the things I had to do behind. It was with the plan to forget about the world for a while and enjoy the company and a good meal.

I don't know what is going to happen with this new friendship, but I value what has already been. The moments in life that are special always live on even as days speed on by.

I have learned all too well that the things of the moment can all too easily become the things of the past. So I do my best to appreciate the moments as they are given me without any expectation or thought of what could be or can be. I value the times that I can just be myself without worrying about what someone else will think. There is a lot of freedom in it. And with the right person, an incredible gift.

And I value what that person has offered me in the short time I have known him.

**

Whew.
That wasn't so bad, was it?

Struggling with an Inside Job

Today, as I was Pinning images on Pinterest, I was finding myself kinda melancholy. (A bit ironic, I think that I have a picture with this entry that has me "blue.") There were some images that took me back to times that were sweet and some times not so sweet.

It was like a walk down memory lane, and a number of the once sweet memories are now bittersweet. I have had a few people tell me to "get over 'A'". To just up and emotionally remove myself from everything.

Can you guess how well that (unsolicited) advice works?

I am getting on with my life. I am doing things. I am moving forward. I am doing as much as I can to take care of myself. But then there are these moments that I have. It is like something comes over me.

It is heavy. It is strong. And it is unshakeable. It is like he is there, and it doesn't matter what I am doing, he is like a program running in the back of my mind. Sometimes "he" runs back there for hours.

The worst part of it is that I have little to no desire for him to be back there. It is over. I know it is over. He has made it clear it is over. I know it is likely in my best interests for it to be over. I even remind myself of the "bad" things, but it only has me feeling worse because then I find myself holding on to something that wasn't so great (which is a whole different feeling than what it feels like to be holding on to something that was great.)

I know I can't be the only one who has this happen. I know it can't be a unique experience. And yet, a simple "let go" "get over it" is what I am told. Don't these people have these types of things happen? Don't they know what happens is not a conscious choice on my part?

I once heard that it takes either twice the amount of time you were with someone (or half the amount of time - I don't remember which) to get over them. Whether it is that formula or not, getting over someone  takes the act of getting over them - and everything you have attached to them. And it is no fun, and it takes whatever it takes to get there.

It is like so many things we deal with. Everyone wants an immediate "fix." If someone could come up with one that really worked, they could be a zillionaire, and then some. But I don't think there is anything that can really help that could come from another's "helpful," rote words.

Like so many other things, it really is more of an inside job.

One I would so much rather not have.

*Ugh*

Pinterest-ing

So...

I have joined yet another social site. I didn't have enough to do.

I have no idea how I am going to use it in the long run,
but for now, I am putting together a board of my many looks
over the months. I have been wanting to do it in some way
for a long time.

It's a lot of freakin' work, though.

I haven't even gotten through October yet, and I just can't do
any more. Hopefully I can push through later tonight or this
week. I am thinking, though, if I don't get to it soon, it may
not get done.

The sooner I am caught up, the sooner I can add new ones
if I want to keep it going.

Wish me luck.

Here's my Pinterest Board: My Many Faces if you'd like to
check it out, or follow me there.

Peace Makes One Cuckoo?


I was introduced to the movie The Third Man last night. 
It is a great black and white film from 1949.

In it there is a great series of lines that you can see in 
the above video.

We as humans - and from what I understand it may be 
more American humans - seem to not appreciate the 
"negative," and I love how the lines speak to the value 
of "negativity."

popular posts. I would say it is likely no surprise, as I 
think people would like the freedom to be themselves.

And sometimes being oneself can be amazingly productive,
helpful and insightful, but it isn't so dang pretty.

400 Posts and...

counting.

This is #401.

Wow.

"Think Before You Pink" (I love this!)

I came across info for a free webinar that address mammograms
and breast cancer detection/prevention.

It is a site that takes a different view than many do about
breast cancer and the role of mammograms.

I suggest you check it out for yourself and see what you think.
The webinar is next month.


In the Woods, Some Imaginings & a Plot

I cut my hair a couple of days ago.

It was kind of fun. I never dared to touch it when it was cut by someone else, always afraid that I would ruin the cut. Given the way my hair is currently, there really is little risk of that.

I really just trimmed it. I tried to even it out some. It looked a lot better than it had been looking. But it still isn't a "style" I would feel comfortable wearing out. And I didn't really touch the back, given that I can't see back there.

I decided to note the moment with a picture. In case it wasn't obvious to you, the image to the left is it.

At some point I will get a "real" cut, but that will likely wait til June-ish.  Until then, onward and downward (as in the direction my hair will start to grow).

(I know- not the best play on words, LOL. But you can't blame me for trying.)

I also took a picture yesterday, with my hair wet. It seems my hair likes to go back and/or up, so it takes an effort to make it go forward.


I took the picture to document where things stand/stood at this stage in the game. I also thought having a "real" picture of me, without Photoshop or filters or make up, would be a good thing, too.

It is kind of a strange look on my face. Can you tell what I was thinking about? I think part of it was how dorky I thought I looked. Me trying to look somewhat "normal" and not thinking I was really succeeding.

(What the heck is that? )

I look at the picture and I see someone who is doing the best she can with what she's got. But I do sometimes wonder if it's enough.

Am I enough?

As I was posting this entry I started to think about what I would do if I had to deal with cancer again. You may wonder why I am thinking about that/wondering about that. There is stuff going on in my body.

It is really hard to think it could just be stuff and not think of it as being something like cancer stuff. I know I was told I was OK when I last went to my treatment place. But things are happening that I don't think are good. Would they know if something else was happening? One would hope so, right?

I go back again for my 3-month check-up in a couple of weeks. I will be curious to see what will come from that visit. I even contemplated asking if I could move it up a bit.

I also had a thought about my financial situation. I am sure that can't come as much of a surprise. I am still not out of the woods. As a matter of fact, I am more deeply in them. I was thinking what would happen if something happened again? I was thinking that it would make living life very difficult. I was thinking it would be an interesting "plot" to see if I would live or die, based on whether or not I got support from others to live.

It would have to be financial support, or support that in some way substituted for financial, but gave me what I needed. And there would be a deadline. If a certain goal was not met by the deadline, I would consider my life done. Complete. Over. And the reason I would do this would be because the drive for support would be couched in the idea that if people thought it was worth me being around, and that I contributed to the world, they would want me to be here.

I would do everything I could to make my case. I would give everything I could to anyone I could. I would just be the only me I knew how to be.

It would also be clear to those who became aware of me and what was going on that if I did not get the support I needed, that it would indeed be the end of the road for me. So if they saw value in my being here, and in my life, they would have to act. If they didn't act, it would be apparent that there wasn't any perceived value in my being here, so it would make sense to go.

As I imagine a "plot" for this, I could think about the people it would upset. I could think about the conversations that would ensue.

I think it could make for an interesting script.

It would be interesting because I could also see the deadline come and go with not enough support, only to have someone who could help, and wanted to help, but it would be too late. I could see the questions it could raise. I could see the things it might offer in terms of perspective. I could see how we as people may never know how much we could truly make a difference in the world until it is too late. I could see how people could see something in how they take others for granted until it is too late. I could see how strangers can value us more than those we know, and sometimes more than we value ourselves.

I could see a lot of pieces.

Including my own desire to be here. My own feeling of responsibility to myself and the things I need to do.

But I could also see it being the ultimate in marketing experiences and experiments. Marketers will tell you that you need to give people what they want, or you won't have a successful business. Steve Jobs gave people what he thought they should have, and made them want it.

If a person's life is a "product," how successful is it?
What defines its success?
What tells it whether there is value in it, or not?
Who decides how much value there is?
Who decides how it is packaged and presented?

As usual, I started one place, and ended up another.

I don't believe I ever would do what I imagine and have described above. But the thought of it certainly fascinates my imagination and has stimulated my mind.

However, my financial situation still needs help, and in a month, my health insurance goes up. If you can please, please, please share my blog, share my story, ask for help on my behalf (even if it is just $1 which you can donate through Paypal) or even help me yourself, please do.

If there is anything I can do for you, I will. Just ask. There are many things I am capable of, and you can either spend the time to get to know me, or just give me a call and we can discuss the possibilities. I would much rather work for the money than beg for it. But when work isn't available, I will do what I can. I will offer what I can, and - I will beg.

Thanks for listening.

I



Friday, February 22, 2013

Losing Out on Things? (Video)


This is the event where I will be speaking

For the Ladies (Video)

I think this will definitely get more attention than a simple graphic of a breast.
What do you think?


from

Awesome Video

I love the energy and spirit of the song and the "star" of the video.

Some think of cancer and dying...
for some a diagnosis brings them to a place of truly living.

Homemade Decongestant (Recipe/Resource)

For a while now I have been very interested in stuff
that you make yourself. I think it is better in that there
are no preservatives, and you have a better idea of
what is going in and on your body.

For years I would make everything recipe-wise from
scratch when I could. One of my sisters could never
understand why. I just always thought, among other
things, it tasted better.

Any way, in that spirit, I share with you something
that I came across today, thanks to one of my Facebook
friends. It is a do it yourself recipe for a decongestant
that sounds pretty potent.

You can check out the homemade decongestant here.

I'd love to know how it works for you if you make it/
use it!

Another Important Time Sensitive Request

Another important message from Cindy Carter (of the
Cancer Support Foundation), this time regarding bills
that are going through the Maryland State Senate.

You can contact any and all of the Senators, if you are
a Maryland Resident. However, even if you just do your
Senator, that would be a help.

Below the info, I am including some other things that
Cindy had to say.

This is important "stuff." Even if you don't think it matters
to you, it could matter at some point. Even if you don't
live in Maryland, you can still pass this message along.

Plus...

You never know how what happens here for the good
could come to your state. The states tend to watch each
other. This is really good news, but it is far from being
"complete."

Please act on it.

Please also see the info about the state House Bill as
well. Click Here.

Thanks!


From Cindy:

Be part of a history making event for cancer families!!!!!!! The hearing date for both HB955(SB888) Temporary Disability Ins and HB1137(SB898) Social Services Process Review will be heard March 13 on the Senate side. Since both are heard by the same committee this is just one call. Please call the senator's offices and say that you support SB 888 and SB 898 to help cancer families. Here is the list of the senators.

The house bill numbers are different from the senate bill numbers so see the numbers again below.

I________support SB888 (Temporary Disability Ins Task Force) and SB898 (Social Services Task Force) for cancer families.

Senator Middleton 410-841-3616 District 28
Senator Astle 410-841-3578 District 30
Senator Garagiola 410-841-3169 District 15
Senator Glassman 410-841-3603 District 35
Senator Kelly 410-841-3606 District 10
Senator Kittleman 410-841-2671 District 9
Senator Klausmeier 410-841-3620 District 8
Senator Mathias 410-841-3645 District38
Senator Muse 410-3092 District 26
Senator Pipkin 410-841-3639 District 36
Senator Pugh 410-841-3656 District 40


If you have any questions about what is going on, and want to help, I am sure Cindy would be happy to answer them. Please do what you can. This type of help is so needed, and it is one of those things you don't know until you need to know, unless something like this tells you about it. You really don't ever want to be someone who is in the kind of predicament many are, due to cancer.

A Healthcare Resource

The Patient Advocate Foundation has created an app
called My Resource Search.

It is described as

"a free, easy to use, smart finder tool for on-the-go
healthcare, financial and insurance help."

It says it is helpful to both the insured and uninsured
in terms of finding helpful programs.

It is new to me, so I can not speak about it personally,
at least not yet. However, I still wanted to share it as
it comes from a credible source.

If you find it helpful, I would love to hear about it.

You can click here to find out more about the app.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Contact Me/About Me

You can find the various facets of me in the following places:

Phone
443-321-2746

Email
jolopeATrelatingtocancerDOTcom

Twitter
@JoLoPe
@Relating2cancer

Facebook
Relatingtocancer
PlanetJoLoPe
Cedonaah

LinkedIn
JoLoPe

Websites
Relatingtocancer.com (how I can help)
Relatingtocancer.com/mp3s.html (MP3s that can help anyone)
JoLoPe.com (a myriad of things)
Cedonaah.blogspot.com (free device wallpapers)
DeeperandDeeper.com (about hypnosis)
GotStressGetRelief.com (YouTube Channel)
The Story of My Relationship with cancer


What Makes You Feel Empowered?


I saw something about a woman who is a breast cancer 
survivor who got a chest tattoo. There is a comment from
someone who says something about how he doesn't
see how that could be empowering for anyone.

When I first saw that, I knew I wanted to write something
about it. When I went back to get the link, I noticed that
there were a number of responses to the comment, one
of which speculated on what could be an empowering
reason to do it.

The person who posted the initial comment responded
in a way that acknowledged that person's attempt to
explain it, rather than just jump all over him, as others
had.

I thought that was interesting perspective for me. I wasn't
going to jump all over him for what was said, but I was
definitely jumping on his perspective of what one might
consider empowering.

The last words of the original commenter were, "If you
were really proud of who you are, I would think you
would not give a fuck what anyone else thinks about
your scars, yourself included. THAT is empowering."

I wonder if the person ever had something happen to him
that he felt he couldn't control. I wonder if there was
ever anything about him he wished he could change.

It is one thing to make a choice. It is another thing to
have something thrust upon you.

It is "easy" to say that one can feel empowered in
acceptance of something, and maybe someone can.
At the same time, why is there a need to accept it on
the terms given? If there is something that can be done
to make one feel better about oneself, and it is something
desired by that person and feasible to obtain, then why
not do it?

I did not want to always be reminded that I had a chemo
port. The usual placement is in a place that many would
always see - including me. So I had it placed lower, in
an unusual place.

It was my choice to make the decision, and one may say
it was "empowering." I don't know if being caught between
a rock and a hard place and choosing the rock is empowerment,
but what I do know is that I feel better about where it is
than where it could have been (and yes, I still have it).

And so many have commented about its placement - and
not in a good - or helpful - way.

Who are we to decide what is best for another? Who are
we to decide what is empowering for anyone - except
ourselves?

That commenter may have just been asking a question. It
may just be that how it was said rubbed people the wrong
way because of how they interpreted what he said. In turn,
they judged him.

The series of comments is a reminder to me that words can
sometimes be so inadequate to express how we really feel -
especially when other people are involved.

The woman who got the tattoo expressed a message, too.
But it wasn't necessarily one meant for the masses. It may
have been something deeply personal. It may not have even
been about "empowerment" at all.

You would think by now that since everything can be
translated in so many different ways, we would stop jumping
to conclusions and jumping all over each other. Maybe there
are times we are "right," but I am guessing there is often
something off about our assessments.

I wrote about how I hadn't heard from my friend and her
partner, and took it to mean something it did not mean at all.

I suppose we are wired to see things through our eyes and our
experience. The difficulty with that, though, is that it is possible
that our interpretations of what happens in life are only one
possibility. There are others. And while we are busy overlaying
what we believe to be true over another person's words and
actions, we are likely missing some perspective that helps us
to truly connect to another.

(The irony, of course, is that while we may do it, I don't know
anyone who likes it done to them.)

It occurs to me that when we do what we do, we are reacting
to a person, a comment, a situation. And when we react rarely
are we truly empowered.

We are more likely to have an open mind, and have an opportunity
to make a better choice than a reaction would likely allow, when
we are able to take a step back and consider what we are doing
before we do it.



Because the choices made suit the WHO of who made them, we
just have to be prepared that the what, where, when, how
and why of what we do for us is going to possibly leave others
scratching their head, or butting heads with us because they just
don't understand.

If that is the way things need to be, maybe we could use a little
padding once in a while so we are less likely to hurt each other
in the process. :P

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Creativity (So Need to Get Back to It)


I had made this for a friend.

I had also forgotten that I had made it.

Over the years I have done so many things, and then forget what I have done. It is interesting to me, as I spend time and energy to create. It is like giving birth, in a way.

So much time and effort and then, I forget.

I don't think it "bad." I just think it interesting.

Any which way, I like what I did. And I miss that creative part of me.

I need to get out of survival mode so I can get back to doing things I love doing just because I want to.

Processing Stuff (Oh Goodie! Well. Not Really. But Yes.)

As I said in a recent video, I have been thinking about "A" a lot.
Too much. I really must be processing things now as I have hit
upon a thought that keeps repeating.

It has to do with the fact that I don't think we ever really got to
see what an "us" would be like. Without going into much detail,
we didn't get very far before my cancer diagnosis struck.

As a result, much of what he experienced of me wasn't really me.
As I was being treated, I kept thinking that I couldn't wait to see
how things would be with us after I started to get to be myself
again. I looked forward to doing things that I didn't feel in a
position to do. I looked forward to not feeling like crap when we
talked. I looked forward to not looking like crap when he saw me.
I looked forward to learning more about him, and him learning
more about me.

There is so much he doesn't know about me. So many things I
looked forward to sharing. I looked forward to something that
never got to come to pass.

I find myself questioning things now. I wonder if he thought that
who I was was this shell of a person I had become. I thought all
along that he wasn't treating me differently, as others had, but it
seemed that he did indeed treat me differently.

It makes me really sad. I almost think I am mourning the loss of
something that could have been perhaps more than for loss of
what was.

What was I at least had.

Love Is...


What is Tomorrow?


How Do I Create Maximum Value?



Recently I went to an event headed by Ginny Robertson. She is the owner of On Purpose Networking.

At the beginning of the event, she shared her suggestions for creating maximum value from the day. I liked the list, and thought that it would apply to things outside of attending an event. With her permission, I share the content below.

Perhaps you will find something in it for yourself as you wind your way through life's highways and bumpy roads.




Suggestions for Creating Maximum Value
by Ginny Robertson

+Participate Fully
My Participation Rating for Today is ____ (1-10, 10 being highest)

+Tell (yourself) the Truth
Be honest about where you are right now, no excuses, and
even if it doesn't make any logical sense.

+Watch Yourself
Listen to the voices in your head.
Do they support or get in the way?

+Stretch Beyond Your Current Belief System
Before saying "No" say "What if?"

+Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

+Be Open to the Possibilities
Be open to new behaviors/ideas

+Be Fully Present
Be where you are when you are there.

+Set an Intention for the Day
What do you want to accomplish?
What do you want to feel today?

+Have Fun!


If you find this useful or helpful, I would love to hear about it!

Thanks.


And the Answer Is...


Ask Yourself if You Should Watch This (Video)

If the answer is YES, then this message is for you.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

cancer Rehab?

Have you heard of cancer rehab?

Here is a great story about it.

I love hearing things like this.
There are so many pieces of
treatment that don't seem to get
addressed.

Awesome.

Maybe There is Something More to Get (Video) (Part 2 of the Day)




I was tired when I recorded this, and my friend was already asleep,
so I am talking a bit softly, sorry.

This is the blog I refer to in the video.

Car Confessions (Video) (Part 1 of the Night)

Wanna Bring A Smile to Your Face? (Watch This)

Photo Magic

I saw these images of celebs without make up and it just goes to show what some make up and Photoshop and other filters will do for ya!

I have said it all along in this blog, too. From the minute I started to show myself, I admitted to having the "help."

Some people judge the help as a bad thing. Some people judge wigs as a bad thing. Some people judge all kinds of things as bad things.

I have come to a personal place of whatever makes me feel good. And while I may no longer "need" a wig, having one makes me feel good. And not only that, but I have had some fun playing with the different looks.

And occasionally you will see a picture that is more natural, and sometimes you will see one that has more effects. Here is an example.








                I took a new picture yesterday
                   and and I looked like this.















                     



                       A few effects later
                        I looked like this.









For a while it was important for me to not "look sick." It was important to me that when I went out that no one would look at me with pity or feel badly for me. At times it made me feel good to play dress up and then take images. Among other things, it gave me something to feed my creative side.

I still do it because I enjoy it. If I ever stop enjoying it, it will stop. In the meantime, it is kinda fun to have such an array and history of pictures from the last several months.

If anyone is local to me, and wants some "help" like this, contact me, and let's see what we can create!



Newly Diagnosed with cancer?


I am sitting here, on a rainy/snowy day thinking about
many things. One of those things was me wondering what
I could say to someone who has been newly diagnosed
with cancer.

As you read this, there may seem to be negative or
unpleasant things. Sorry to say, there are negative and
unpleasant things in life, and we can pretend otherwise
if we want to, but sometimes it is more helpful to call
a spade a spade.

At the same time, I believe we know what is best for us
more than anyone else does. For that reason, if something
tells you it is best to stop, then please listen. You can 
always come back another day.

What your experience will be from this point on will have
much more to do with who you are and what you do with
it than what anyone tells you it will be or could be or
should be.

Living is like going to an endless school, and you just got
a required course called "cancer" (and don't the required
courses usually suck the most?) We learn about life by
living. You will learn more about life living with a cancer
diagnosis.

So here are a few things I offer you:

1. It sucks.

There is no two ways about it. Your life just got turned
on its head. One of the best things you could do for
yourself right now is be who you are. If you don't know
who that is, it is practically guaranteed you have been
given an opportunity to find out.

2. There will be those who will avoid you.

While that will suck, too, you don't have time to deal
with the stuff they can't deal with. It may be difficult
to cope with, especially if they are someone you thought
was close. Do what you can to focus on what you need
to right now, and do what you can to find alternatives.

3. You will find out where you stand with many in your life.

Those who you thought you could depend on may go MIA
(Missing In Action). Those you had no idea could (or would)
step up will.

4. You will get all kinds of advice. 

Which should you take? It may even be overwhelming at times.
You will get advice who to be, what to say, how to do things.
You know, just like regular life. :P But now it may seem like
a lot more, and it will be about something that many who try
to help may not even fully understand.

5. Find a way to express yourself.

There will be times you will want to scream, yell, cry and
who knows what else? Here is an opportunity to allow yourself
to be as ugly as you need to be. People will probably not
like it. But you are going to find out sooner or later that
those who love you will still be there when you are done,
and that it doesn't really matter what others think.

6. There is a learning curve.

You will learn much more about things than you ever wanted to.
You can "do" cancer however you choose to do it. You may
just allow the doctors to do whatever they tell you should
be done. But there will be things that you likely will have to deal
with that you will need to find ways to cope and understand.

7. There will be challenges you never expected.

Being treated for cancer is not the same as being treated
with antibiotics for an infection. It is something that
will be your companion for some time to come. You will find
dealing with it to be more challenging in ways you never
anticipated.

Things I learned about while being treated:

(I am sure there is more, but it is a start. I may amend in time.)

+How to cope with constipation (naturally, and with OTC products)
+How to cope with diarrhea (naturally, and with OTC products)
+What to do to keep electrolytes up (and if they're not up how horrible you can feel)
+How to not throw up (naturally)
+How to cope with losing my full head of long, curly hair
+How painful a gas attack can be (and what to do about it)
+How painful Neulasta can be (and what to do about it)
+How to raise my platelet count
+How to have fun with wigs
+How to choose a wig
+Which color of wig to choose
+How to put on a wig
+How to thin out a wig
+How to trim a lace front wig (and what a lace front is)
+How warm wigs can be in the summer
+How best to comb a wig
+How to draw eyebrows that look relatively realistic
+How I don't really like fake eyelashes
+How to pull attention away from the fact that I had no eyelashes
+How to have my blood pressure lower at the end of treatment than
    at the beginning
+How a port can be put in your arm, but is a more difficult placement
+How my active mind can be silenced by chemo
+How easily I could fall asleep mid-sentence
+How easily I could forget what I was saying mid-sentence
+How easily I could forget the simplest and most basic of words
+How to ask questions of my doctors and avoid unnecessary tests
+How to appreciate Reiki, Acupuncture, Massage, Reflexology
+How to even more greatly appreciate Hypnosis
+How to just be myself
+How to express myself without inhibition
+How to be responsible to myself while minimally exposing myself
    to things that would be unhelpful/scary
+How to make the choices that were/are best for me
+How to ask for help
+How to beg for help
+How positive everyone wants to be for me, and how few can handle
     me being anything less than positive (I have heard more about
     The Secret than ever!)
+How much people don't understand about my experience
+How people admire those who speak frankly and freely -
      but mostly from a distance. Many can't handle it when it
      is up close and personal
+How the experience of cancer continues, even after treatment ends

So, as you can see, there's lots of opportunity to learn! :P

WOo HOo.

Yeah. I know. You are probably so not there.

I get it.

You are wherever you are, and you will need to find your way through
this in whatever way works for you. The bad news is no one can really
tell you how to do it (but oh how they will try!), but the good news is 
that you really can't do it wrong.

Sending you much love, and hope for a complete and speedy recovery,
or at the very least some peace of mind.

Elizabeth

(PS if you are new here...This blog is about my experience with ovarian
cancer. I am now out of treatment and am looking to use my experience
along with my experience as a hypnotist and life coach to help those who
are having their own issues and concerns with cancer. If you think I can
be of help, please be in contact. 

You can also check out Relatingtocancer.com for more info)



Gluten Free Waffles (Recipe)

I have been craving waffles. I had posted a recipe previously
of some chocolate waffles I had made. But they have gluten,
and I am trying to minimize my gluten intake.

I went looking for a recipe with almond flour, and this is
what I came up with. And it was pretty good, too.

3/4 c almond flour
1/8t salt
1/4 t baking soda
2 large eggs + a bit of water
1 1/2 T raw honey
raisins
almonds

Mix honey with dry ingredients.
Mix eggs and water and add to the dry.

It made about 1c of mix/approximately 4 square waffles.

See You Later Miss Patootie

I am going to miss this sweet face.


My friend said she purred until the end.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Not to be Morbid: Now

(Image from Facebook - not sure who to credit.
If you know, please tell me. Thanks.)


Now. Today. Tomorrow is something that doesn't really exist, even though we do a good job of pretending that it does. Not meaning to be morbid. But life has a way of putting everything upside down and inside out in a heartbeat. And when that happens, you may never have a chance to do that thing you always wanted to do. Inspirational words sound good, but mean nothing without actual actions. Seriously. Do what you wanted to do. Find a way. NOW.

Vlog Update

I Love You (Video)

There is an app called Vine that allows you to make
very short videos. For the fun of it I made this one
day. For the heck of it, I added the music.

"It's Not My Problem"

Love thy neighbor?
A friend of mine is having some issues in regard to his property. Given the way things are set up, if he fixes his problem in isolation, he will pass the problem on to one, or more of his neighbors.

Given that he is so conscientious, he has decided to reach out to his neighbors and see if there is a way to fix it collectively. He went to a neighbor's house to inquire as to whether or not he could have their cooperation.

The response of the person he spoke with when my friend explained the issue of the potentially moving problem?

"Well it's their problem, then."

What if the "problem" of the world we live in is a
problem of identification? What if we have issues as
a culture because no one wants to claim a problem
as their own until they are faced with it?

The "funny" thing about this, I think, is that in isolation
there are likely few problems. But then - when a
problem hits - it is not only my problem to be dealt
with personally, but then it should be something
everyone else looks at, and should deal with on some
level, too.

I would imagine most laws come from that place.
A person had a problem, and got others to see his
problem in a way that demanded laws and legislation.
Those who spoke the loudest and longest are the ones
who probably won this "prize."

When it comes to things like this, I am guilty. I never
really noticed or cared about things labelled "cancer"
before my diagnosis. But once I came into this world
of cancer, my eyes have been opened to a whole new
world.

Could I have seen it before?

I am guessing yes.

But the thing was, I wasn't apparently willing or able,
because it wasn't until it became my problem that I
really took note. And then, because it was an issue
for me, I became vocal, and therefore those around me
could choose to tune out ("it's not my problem") and
move on or in some way engage.

When we care about our neighbor, we can ultimately
care about ourselves. We never know when something
we do for another may come back and be helpful to us.

A friend of mine - before he was a friend - sought my
help with something. I was more than happy to help,
but he said he that felt he should help me. I kept
refocusing things as I didn't expect anything for the help
I was offering.

I could have potentially have met him and his "problem"
and kept going. After all, his issue wasn't my issue.
But I didn't.

Well...

He was persistent, and it turns out that he helped me
not with just one thing, or two, but with a whole lot
of things, and not only that, I have been living in his
house for the last two years.

While you may be someone who has no family history
of cancer, while you may be someone who has no
neighborhood issues to resolve, while you may be
someone who has a job, a family, and food on the
table, friends to share life with, while you may have
many good pieces and parts to life, there could come
a time things could change, and change drastically, and
if that was to ever happen, wouldn't it be good to know
that someone, somewhere thought enough of the stranger
that was you to put something in place to help you fix
your problem? Wouldn't it be good to know that those
around you would be willing to help you, even though
they didn't have to because it's not their problem?

I don't know where the "lines" are drawn, or should
be drawn, or if they should even be drawn, but what I
do know is that it is very likely we could take more
note and do more than we do. We could open our
hearts and minds wider than we do. We could realize
that sometimes looking after another means looking out
for ourself.

And we could realize that while we may think something
that is a problem for another is not personal, if we are
exposed to it, it might be to our benefit to treat it as 
though it is.



Please Read, Act on This & Share! (Time Sensitive)


Cindy Carter of The Cancer Support Foundation is working
diligently on getting legislation passed for the State of Maryland
that will support those who are affected by cancer.

If you are in the state of Maryland, please consider supporting
the effort by making calls and passing the info along. You
never know if there may come a day that you or someone
you know will need what Cindy is working for.

Even if you don't know anyone in Maryland, you can still pass
this info along. You never know who knows somebody who
knows somebody who knows somebody who could help or
potentially benefit.

In addition, the work that happens here could also move to
other states, as well.  I suspect something like what Cindy is
working on is needed in most states. I don't know for certain,
but you can certainly check it out for yourself if you live
elsewhere.

I started calling the numbers myself. And it is a bit awkward -
at least at first. But after the first couple I got the hang of it.

Just tell the person who answers that you would like for the
Delegate to support the bill noted below. They may ask if
you live in the district (one did so far), but you can explain
that you were told that it didn't matter whether you did it or
not. A few have asked just for a name.

From the reaction I have received so far, I have to wonder
how many, if any, have acted on this request.

I know it takes time and energy. And I know you probably
have other things to do, but if you could at least call a few
on the list - or even just the one(s) in your area, it is better
than none.

Thanks for your support in helping our those who are 
affected by cancer, and may it never be you who needs the
help.

Here is her post/Request for A Call to Action:

Call to Action!!! March 5 is the hearing date for the Task Force on Temporary disability Insurance that would help cancer families if they have to leave or get fired from their job. I have been soooooo pleased at the positive expression from the Delegates and Senators that I have met with.

We do need to call and let the delegates on the committee that will hear this issue (House and Economic Matters) know that you the people out there want to see this issue studied in a task force. Call as many as you can with a very simple line. This bill actually states this help for "individual in Maryland who becomes disabled due to nonwork-related illness or injury."

Say "Please support HB 955 Temporary Disability Insurance Task Force Bill. Families are being devastated when they lose their jobs due to an accident or illness."

They may take your name and phone number.

Share with your friends. You can call everyone even if they are not your Delegate!!

House Economic Committee HB 955 Temporary Disability Insurance Task Force Bill

Delegate Davis 410-841-3519 - Chair District 25 (@houghdelegate)
Delegate Rudolph 410-841-3444 – V Chair District 34
Delegate Barkley – 410-841-3001 District 39
Delegate Barnes – 410-841-3046 District 21
Delegate Braveboy – 410-841-3707 District 25
Delegate Burns – 410-841-3352 District 10
Delegate Feldman – 410-841-3186 District 15
Delegate Haddaway-Riccio – 410-841-3429 District 37
Delegate Hershey 410-841-3543 District 36
Delegate Hucker 410-841-3474 District 20
Delegate Impalaria -410-841-3289 District 7
Delegate Kramer 410-841-3485 District 19
Delegate Love 410-841-3511 District 32
Delegate McHale 410-841-3319 District 46
Delegate W E Miller 410-841-3582 District 9
Delegate Minnick – 410-841-3332 District 6
Delegate Olszewski 410-841-3458 District 6
Delegate Schuh 410-841-3206 District 31
Delegate Schulz 410-841-3080 District 4
Delegate Stifler 410-841-3278 District 35
Delegate Vaughn 410-841-3691 District 24

If you use Twitter, please Tweet and use Hashtag #MDHB955.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

An Example of Chemo Brain (Video)

I just saw this example of what a woman experienced as a result of chemo brain.

You might be surprised at what she says...be sure to listen til the end.

If you can't see the video below, you can view it here.

Chemo Tired

I was reading a blog from someone named Ann
who is dealing with Stage IV breast cancer. She
said something that I wanted to share as I often
have felt that people have not realized how tired
I was when getting chemo. Maybe what she said
will give some added perspective:

"Cancer makes you tired. Chemo makes you tired. Together they make a tiredness bomb, only one too tired to go off, so it just sort of lays there, fizzling. Some chemos make you more tired than others. Cancer tiredness is not like healthy people tiredness. There is no sleep I can get, no nap I can take, no rest I can do that will refresh me. I am deeply exhausted, all the time. I wake up in the morning (noon), make my espresso coffee, and immediately need to sleep for several more hours."

You can also see Ann on Facebook.

There are times I still get really knocked out tired.
I don't know if it is the fact that chemo is still
wandering my body, or what. But when that
feeling hits, it is hard to do much of anything.

(Even before I was diagnosed I was often tired,
more tired than anyone should be, even when
stressed. Consider this - especially if you are
having any other symptoms. It might be a reason
to get checked out.)


Shorty Award Nomination

Today a friend of mine nominated me for a Shorty.

Nominate Elizabeth Alraune for a social media award in the Shorty Awards!Nominate Elizabeth Alraune for a social media award in the Shorty Awards


The voting ends tomorrow.

Looks the winner will be someone with 875 or more votes.

Makes me wonder if I could have been a contender THIS
year - if I had tried. But I didn't even think it feasible.

The person who is at the top also has 30K+ followers.
That is a few! I have just about 5K.

I know numbers don't have to mean anything. But for
whatever they do mean, I will be working toward having
the #1 spot this time next year.

It is not so much about winning. It really is more about
the idea that if I can get that many votes and, better yet,
win, that means that I have done something that people
have noticed and paid attention to. And given what I
am looking to create and do in the next year, I think it
would be more "awesomer" than words could even express.

So I really hope that what I create here is of value, and
that we connect in wonderful ways as the year progresses,
and then - when the time comes, you will be in my corner,
cheering me on!

A place to start is for us to connect. If you are on Twitter,
please follow me @JoLoPe and be sure to say hey. I will
follow you back. :)

Thanks.




Trying to Distract Myself (and it's not working too well)

Kittie Kurls: Buddies til the End
I have been feeling really sad today.

So many times I have seen the two cats curled together.

I found myself wondering if they know what is coming. I found myself wondering if it is good somehow to know what is going to happen.

I have been wondering if the sadness I feel is all "mine." Since I tend to pick up other people, I wonder how my friend is holding up. He hasn't said much, and I haven't asked.



I also wonder if the cats do know, if I could somehow be picking up what they could be feeling.

Tonight Patootie was leading the charge for dinner like she often does. I gave her a bunch of kittie treats today that she just ate right up. The spark in her eye isn't there the way it once was, but in some ways you'd never know that she was having any issues.

I feel beside myself. This feels really intense, really. Logically it doesn't make much sense. I think I might be doing what I used to do before I realized how empathic I could be: I am pointing to parts of my life to explain why I might feel as I do. But it may not be me that I am even feeling. There could be a piece, butI don't know that it is the chunk of grief that I feel.

It is hard to think about interacting with anyone, as I feel I could burst into tears at any moment.