Archive for the 'Change' Category



Change. Only 6 letters and it carries such a huge weight, doesn’t it? Whether positive or negative, it can make such a difference in your life.

Though there have been many changes for me over the last 20+ months, they’re not all negative or sad. Though sometimes I have to remind myself of that. I’m on the Dean’s Honor List for Spring semester (3.75 GPA), and I’m eligible to apply to a student group called Phi Theta Kappa solely because of my cumulative GPA. I’ve never belonged to a student group ever, much less be more than a C average student. How cool is this?

My mock interview (a requirement for school) with Park Nicollet went supremely well, I have a very high chance of getting a job there quickly, once I’m ready to look for work.

I’ve been able to figure out financially how to not work this summer with little to no dipping into my investments (25 years at one company was a good thing in that respect).

I changed my hair color to red with blond highlights and not one negative comment to date – in fact, actual strangers have commented on it. Seriously. The other day the UPS driver came up to the door, I tried to say hi but had a hard time as I have a cold and was losing my voice, she looked up, handed me the package and said, “You have pretty hair.” I don’t get it. How can hair color make that much of a difference? People actually talk to me differently in stores. Neighbors have made note of it when we chat. What’s the deal?

Most importantly, I had an amazing trip up north in May. The cabin was everything I wanted it to be. The beach, though mostly rocks, was exactly what I needed. I hung out on big slabs of rocks every single day and just soaked up life and whatever presented itself. I found beautiful agates and other rocks too, brought a lot home with me.

A couple of friends come and visited too. During a campfire and thunderstorm one night with one of Frank’s friends, Sean, we experienced what I’ll call a profound moment -the cloud streaks in the sky from the storm were – we think – Frank’s hand. For those who knew Frank, the first joint on each of his first two fingers on his right hand were lost in a snow blower accident. We could tell at first the cloud streaks resembled a hand, but during one of the next lightning strikes I noticed the first two fingers and said “Look, it’s Frank’s right hand!” Sean seemed just as surprised but agreed, I mean, what else would it be? There was no way to catch it on camera but trust me, I don’t think either of us will forget it.

The storm itself was quite moving, it just kept working its way around us the whole time. We could hear the thunder but there wasn’t any rain. We could see lightening but still no rain. Once in a while the moon would pop out of the clouds, then go back. Same with the island on the lake, until we couldn’t see it anymore. I think we stayed out there until midnight, maybe later. I didn’t want to go to bed, I wanted to keep watching the sky and enjoying the campfire as the wood smelled crazy good.

The next morning I really hated the thought of leaving. I was so completely content. I had gotten used to going to beach twice a day to hang out on the rocks, riding my bike, walking up and down the hilly roads, and staring at the island while listening to the seagulls. I could have stayed another 10 days, or 20 or heck, the rest of the summer. It was so peaceful being there and it calmed me. I think Sean and Lock thought the same thing. In fact, when Lock walked into the cabin the first thing he said was “I could live here!”, and he was in no hurry to leave that day. Bought himself a load of chocolate at the candy shop too. Said he MIGHT share with his wife. 🙂

So life is changing for me and though I’m not always liking it, there is more positive change happening than negative. It’s good for me and I think I deserve it, I just have to remember that. And remember the hand in the sky, because I think Frank was letting us know he was okay, too.


Time To Relax

This is a part of what I wrote at my main blog but I realized it fits at this one also, so I’m adding it here.

The last five months have been quite stressful but now it’s time to try and relax a little and enjoy life for a time. But also during the last month and a half, some very cool and positive things have happened. As each event transpired, I would briefly wonder why. Seriously – I can’t figure out why these good things keep happening to me. I know we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but I don’t think I’ve done anything special to deserve these things. So I went to the bookstore last week and found a book that I think is helping me to understand what’s happening. Maybe what the author is talking about isn’t the real reason these things have been happening, but since I can’t prove it isn’t, I’m willing to keep reading the book to find out more.

The book I bought is called The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire by Deepak Chopra. As I’ve been reading the book I’ve come to realize that being more open and willing to try new things, no matter how hard, is so good for you. I’ve definitely become a stronger person emotionally over the past year and a half, and I’m no longer quite as shy as I used to be. In fact, I feel quite bold most of the time. I don’t know where that came from but it’s definitely there.

To this day, I still can’t believe I started a 40 credit program during one of the most stressful times of my life – I had just been laid off after 25 years at my job, my husband’s cancer had returned and he was considered terminal. But it was the right thing to do, I know it was. To this day I know I chose the right program, I feel it in my gut, and Frank always said he thought it was right too. Each time I would leave for school for a test, he would tell me to go to war and get that A! So I did.

Then this year at the end of February, he passed away and for the briefest moment I wanted to stop school, only a microsecond mind you, because it was so difficult to do my homework, go to school and also grieve for Frank. But I knew he would have been profoundly disappointed in me if I had quit, so I didn’t. To this day I have an A average for the program, so my perseverance has paid off. And by the way, lest one thinks community college is easy, you’re wrong. Especially when you aren’t willing to settle for less than an A.

Maybe I’ve developed some new-found determination over time. I don’t know. But what I do know, is that sometime last year I must have figured out that to sit back and let life rule me is not an option, I’m the one in charge.

Just watch me soar.

I Will Love Him Forever

The love of my life passed away peacefully on February 28, 2010. The fight he put up through this tough journey is truly commendable.

Though I am sad at his passing, I am so grateful for the time I had with him, our families and our friends. The memories of our times together will sustain me forever.

I think this quote, shared with me by a loving cousin, sums up how I feel.

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss

My Cancer Hat

I'm a person who hates wearing hats, both literally and figuratively. Now I will be wearing a caregivers cancer hat because my husband has cancer and I need to be strong for him. But I also need a place to vent, look for support and find strength.

Hopefully, this blog will enable me to deal with the process and meet others who are going through a similar challenge.

TB’s Cancer

TB, my husband (TB is his nickname), has kidney cancer, stage 4. He had a kidney and the tumor that was in it removed in 2005. We discovered in September 2008 that it had returned and has now metastasized to his bones, specifically his right femur plus spots on his skull, his spine and his ribs, the inside and outside of his lungs, his brain. He is not curable.

TB was originally participating in a clinical study that would provide him with a treatment that would halt, for an unknown length of time, the proteins from getting to the cancer cells. So in essence, slowing but not curing, the progression of the cancer. There is no question he will die from this, the unknown factor is the 'when' it will happen.

Unfortunately, TB had to be removed from the study as the metastases have grown. He was placed on a new regimen of Aerida and Sutent but that didn't work out. It made him too ill. Now he's on a daily regimen of Afinitor - "Plan C" as we call it. Basically, we're working to extend his life but in a manner that will allow him to still enjoy it and maintain his dignity.

1/27/2010 - At the suggestion of our oncologist, TB will no longer take any cancer medications as the benefits do not outweigh the possible negative side effects a new medication would have. He will be transferred soon to a facility where he can receive rehab, as he is extremely weak due to the pneumonia and inactivity. Our goal is to improve his quality of life as best we can.

2/21/2010 - Frank is now home, we've begun hospice care.

June 2018
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