Howdy! Peace be with you.

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Yes, He is listening! Why do we wait until something really bad happens to turn to our faith? I don’t know and it doesn’t matter, just turn. My sweet tennis team gave me a box of feel good items to help me get through all this muck. My favorite thing was a daily devotional little book called “Jesus Calling”. https://www.jesuscalling.com/
Call them tips, if you want. One of my favorite ones was about Peace. All my life, we shake people’s hands at church and say “Peace be with you”. I always thought it was basically just a churchy “Hi, how are ya” all these years. It was so easy, just turn to all the friendly faces around and give them a big Sunday howdy! Wow, was I wrong, but I’m so glad I finally figured it out.
Peace be with you means you are wishing someone peace from their worry about the future and their regret of the past. Boy can we all use this! We are in the fight for our lives. Do we really need to add regret and worry to the uniform we put on every day as we go to battle? Good grief, no!
So to all of you, Peace be with YOU.

 


It’s not that I don’t like you, it’s just my white cells are low.

Quarantine me – not just for world travelers anymore – If your white cells are low, quarantine yourself. This is another one of those things you can control and get an A++ at. Running to Walmart isn’t worth the serious virus or infection you could come home with. Go with me on this one.
Pretend you are on a Staycation. Watch all those #Netflix series you promised yourself you would watch. Try some new recipes. Start needlepointing a Christmas stocking (I did 2 of them). Stay away from hotels, stores, restaurants, schools period!
If people ask to come over, be honest, tell them you are at risk of infection. Who wants to be “that guy who made you sick”? After your numbers are up, let them come over. Just remember this does not mean partay! Any illness you get is more serious and complicated because it’s you and you don’t have much ammo to fight it with, so be careful!
So what can you do? I played tennis! I realized that I could be on one side of the net and the nearest human was over 100 feet from me! Score!!! Since I could not fly in an airplane or stay at a hotel, my husband and I drove to a friend’s condo and stayed there for a week together. We cooked, hiked, read and drove back home. All of those friends who have condos and lake houses, or friends of theirs who have condos and lake houses, or dear family members (distant or not) who have condos or lake houses, take them up on their offer to “do anything they can to help you”. As little of a trip as this sounds like, it gives you something to look forward to, prepare for and remember as your “happy place” when the tough days come.Slippers


There’s no Zagat rating for Cancer treatment centers

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There’s no Zagat rating for Cancer treatment centers, oh no! After you swallow the big “I have cancer” gulp, choosing where to go for treatment is your biggest hurdle. Not a high jumper, you are about to become one. My best advice is to cast a wide net, but where do you start?
A dear friend gave me great advice. She said, ”make appointments everywhere, call, call, call, and then cancel the ones you don’t want later”. So, I did just that.
First, determine what you are looking for. Is your cancer common and treatable just about anywhere (lucky you)? Is an experienced surgeon key to your survival? If yes, ideally, get a doctor that only does this procedure. If there are several treatment options, go to someone with knowledge about chemo alone, chemo with immunotherapy, immunotherapy alone or something completely unique. I called teaching hospitals (affiliated with a university), regular hospitals and for-profit treatment centers that advertise on TV.
Second, start asking questions. You should be able to speak to a nurse or a patient representative who can answer some of your questions. When I say make appointments everywhere, that’s because most places want you to come see the doctor, rather than speaking over the phone. Honestly, I just told them that I needed to make my decision within 2 weeks and it was impossible to fly all over the USA going to appointments when we can just do a preliminary chat on the phone. In addition, I got on the hospital’s website and emailed doctors and nurses directly.
You will be happy to see the pieces of your puzzle starting to come together naturally. If the center does not take your type of insurance, they may not be a fit. If they can’t get you in for an appointment and won’t talk to you on the phone, they may not be a fit. If they say they don’t really specialize in your condition, they may not be a fit. If you cannot easily travel there or pick up and move there temporarily, they may not be a fit.
Pick the appointments you want to keep and cancel the others. Go meet these doctors and their team. They are your new best friends and you need to feel comfortable with them. Together with you, they will save your life.


Cancer cells are cellfish

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Cancer cells are cellfish! Are these selfish cells cramping your Style? If it would work better for your calendar to come every 3 weeks instead of every 2, just say so. Sorry dear, it doesn’t work that way. There is a cycle to the growth of cancer cells and this is what determines how regularly you must show up for your dose of chemo.
Simply put, chemo attacks cancer cells when they are most receptive to the poison. Say a cell divides, it must grow a little bit, maybe 2 weeks, maybe 3 weeks, when it is ripe for chemo. Then ZAP, we give them a shot of chemo and they stop dividing. Mission accomplished. Wait, more are growing, wait 2 weeks and then Zap them again and so on.

Here’s where it gets complicated, you may be getting 2 types of chemo in your chemo cocktail, and one is on a 2 week zapping schedule and one on a 3 week zapping schedule. Lucky you, you get to go hang out and watch TV at the infusion center even more. Sure wish there was a punch card with a free gift at the end!

Face it, we are on cancer’s schedule. Our job is to do whatever it takes to keep ourselves strong enough to stay on schedule and annihilate as many cells as possible.

Happy shooting!