Thursday, March 24, 2011

Do Something...

There is always  beautiful piano music at the Mayo Clinic
This woman was awesome, she was diagnosed with Breast
Cancer 13 years ago, the VILLAIN left her alone and now
He's back...however, she is positive and happy.
Look at this beautiful woman, stage 2 breast cancer
I instantly felt comfortable with this guy,  2nd time around
for his lymphoma, and so positive ♥
I know I've said this before and I want to say it again, I truly think people come into our lives for a reason. Some just for a season or two, some for longer, however, for me  these people are a huge part of who I am.  The influence they have on me whether good or bad, is important.  Women and men I have met at Mayo Clinic have become dear friends, they are people who have touched my heart and soul, people who understand, truly understand my fears and doubts about the future, some of them have passed on and left this world we live in,  the VILLAIN took their lives.  Everyone of these people left a lasting impression on me, they were positive and happy even knowing that their lives were coming to an end soon.  Every person who has ever walked up to me and asked to say a prayer for me, I love them.  I have recently had connections with women who I know are going to be life time friends. Many of you have asked me about my friend Trystan.  I am happy to say that she is out of the Mayo Hospital and although she is not fully recovered she is at her home in Hilton Head and enjoying the beautiful sunrise and sunset at her beach house.
Yesterday, I opened a fortune cookie and this is what it said:  "Do something unusual tomorrow for the benefit of others"  Since I knew I was going to be going to Mayo Clinic I decided to do something special for all the people who were on the 3rd floor, chemo lab today. I got 40 Easter Bags and filled them with grass, crackers and Easter candy Kaitlyn Haleigh Brownlee and My Haleigh all helped me fill them up and tie them-Thank You Girls
Kaitlyn, Me, Haleigh B and Haleigh Williams

 Anyone who knows me or reads my blog knows how I despise going to the 3rd floor, stepping off the elevator there is a  smell that is distinct and makes me sick to my stomach.  It's been a year now since I finished chemo at Mayo and still I cannot get used to that smell.
On my way to Mayo Clinic I was driving up Shea Blvd. almost to Mayo, I suddenly had a panic attack.  I've got to learn how to get my mind somewhere else before pulling into Mayo, this attack I could not take any medicine since I was driving, I could hardly breath.  I finally got it under control, I took the elevator to the Lower Level to have some lab work done.  As I waited I was reminded of the sickness that is in our world, so many of us, including me don't take enough time to reflect on our lives and the importance of loving every second we have with family and friends, or paying close attention to the needs of others.  I have so much to be grateful for. 
 My lab work is over, I'm walking through Mayo with this huge Anthropologie  bag full of treat bags, I see people looking and I'm sure wondering what I'm doing with all of those, one man asked I told him what I was doing, he said "bless your heart" I then handed him a bag and said "bless YOUR heart"
My bag of goodies
I had some time before my next appointment so I went to visit Chris and all the radiation specialists who helped me during radiation last year.  I have not seen them since my hair has grown, they didn't recognize me, it was so great to visit with them-some of my favorite people at Mayo are in radiation.
Chris, Me, Lindsay
One of my new friends diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian
Two more new friends, when I explained why I was there
tears filled the eyes of these wonderful people
He is the cancer patient, but I can't remember what
type or what stage.

When I stepped off the elevator onto the 3rd floor, I wish I could say I didn't smell chemo or sickness in the air..... I DID.....but for some reason, today it's OK, I'll deal with it without another attack.  I check in to get my PORT flushed, then with permission I walk to each and every chemo suite and introduce myself, tell them I am a survivor and that I finished chemo a year ago, as I hand each one of them a treat bag I can feel a sense of understanding and strength from every patient.  I was able to spend a few minutes at each suite and talk about the VILLAIN diagnosis, side effects, radiation, hair, and moving forward.  I love these people, they get it, they know what it's like to be diagnosed with a life threatening disease, from each and everyone of them I heard nothing but positive HOPE and FAITH.  The one who touched my heart the most was Mandy she is 29 years old from Colorado, diagnosed with Adrenal Cancer, extremely rare.  She was just married in September, her mother, sister and niece were all there supporting her, as we talked tears filled my eyes talking about the changes that have occurred in my life, in her life and in the lives of most everyone who is diagnosed with cancer, we are given a new perspective on LIFE, and LOVE is sweeter than it has ever been or will ever be because of the growth that is inevitable during the fight of your life.  This visit was therapeutic and emotional for me.
This is Mandy in the white tank top and her sister
When I finished in the chemo lab I felt good, it was a wonderful morning to talk to all of these amazing people ..... I love them ..... I really, really do
What I saw on my arm today as I left the Mayo... my watch,
my bandage from the blood tests, and the most important
My LIVE FREE bracelet that constantly reminds me
of where I've been and where I'm going
Me and Maryann

I went to check in for my visit with Maryann Forrett, (Dr. Northfelt's Nurse) I had the talk about my sore hip, insomnia, head aches and whatever else we needed to talk about.  She ordered an X-RAY of my hip. She said she will call me and let me know the results, until then..... be happy :)

(After I posted this, I got a call from Maryann, the results from my X-RAY came back and they found a spot on my hip, the word CANCER was mentioned, but until more tests are run they are not conclusive. She said the Doctor ordered a bone scan, brain scan, MRI and PET scan, I'm not sure when they will be, I have to wait for a scheduler to call me from Mayo, probably tomorrow.  Pray for me.)


Anonymous said...

I love love love this post. You are an angel Monya. A great reminder to lose ourselves in the service of others and the joy that brings.
My heavens you look beautiful. All sun-kissed and healthy. You look so happy in these pics that you are actually glowing.
Love you!!!! Jenster

haleigh brownlee said...


Willi Nixon said...

Monya you are amazing and I always love reading your blog. You are so positive through hard things and I hope you get good results back from your tests! Love you!

Tawny Antelman said...

Love this post, brought tears to my eyes! Love you monya, my thoughts and prayers are with you! <3

Michelle said...

Monya you could justifiably keep to yourself while you are taking care of yourself, but how wonderful for you to bless the lives of so many others. Pres. Uchtdorf said I believe "we don't need to think less OF ourselves, just less ABOUT ourselves." You are a great example. I'll keep you in my prayers with these new tests!

tamy scheurn said...

You brought great JOY and HOPE and HAPPINESS to those who were having treatments! EVERYONE needs just a small "How are you... and how are you are doing, I hope your day goes as good as it can, you are doing a great job fighting"! It means the world to people to know that someone feels and knows the trials that they are going through! When you are in the service of the Lord you do not have time to think about your self! This is the BEST medicine for EVERYONE! The main thing that ALL those people that day that got an Easter bag will remember is not their treatment... that memory will fade but the Easter bag will never be forgotten! Love you!