Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

Is there anything better than children at Christmas?  I have so enjoyed Recker this year, he has the cutest personality, and a smile that will warm any heart.  Recker has picked at our Christmas tree and decorations until they look a little scarce in some spots and I love it.  He brings a special spirit into our home.

 There are times when I wish I could just jump inside his little brain and see what he is thinking.  Autism, though sad in so many ways can also be very interesting. I've noticed that Recker is trying so hard to communicate with us, he knows a couple of words in sign. Kayla and Jeremy have taken him off of gluten and dairy, it seems to really make a difference in his moods and behavior.  In my kitchen I have a candy jar with gluten free suckers,  many times we will walk in the kitchen to find him staring up at the jar signing the word "PLEASE" how cute is he?  He loves to watch Disney movies and sometimes will start laughing so hard we can't help but rewind over and over again to capture those moments.  If there was only one wish I could have for this new year it would be to hear my darling grandson talk, maybe just say mom or dad those are easy right?  I love to watch him as he plays alone, he babbles in a language only he understands, recently I was playing with him in my bedroom and needed to go downstairs for something as soon as I walked out of the room he ran after me grabbed my hand and brought me back into the bedroom, my eyes filled with tears, he is trying so hard to communicate.


Recker loves cardboard boxes, loves to play in them, and on them.  I bought him a cardboard castle, Haleigh Brownlee and I painted and decorated it (mostly Haleigh, she is the talented artist)  He loved it, we also bought him a little motorcycle, what a smile he had on his face as it raced across the wood floors in my home.  This has been a wonderful Christmas season with our family.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dr. David Servan Schreiber Dies

Today I was searching on the Internet for some information about cancer, actually trying to find another book written by Dr. David Servan Schreiber,  he wrote  the ANTI CANCER a book I read shortly after getting out of radiation therapy.  My research found that he had passed away in July 2011, just a few months ago.  My heart hurt when I read this, his book has helped me to give up sugars, flours and preservatives for the past year and a half. I learned from him to live with NO REGRETS and this has been Eric and my theme for the past couple years.  He lived much longer than he should have because he changed his way of eating, exercise and enviormental thinking.
 This is the article I read about him:


Obituary: Dr. David Servan-Schreiber Empowered Cancer Patients


Dr. David Servan-Schreiber (CS’89,’90), who was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters at Carnegie Mellon’s commencement this past May, died of brain cancer on Sunday, July 24. He was 50.


Servan-Schreiber’s career spanned two continents as a professor and physician in Pittsburgh and Paris. After completing two medical degrees, Servan-Schreiber earned a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience at CMU under the guidance of Jay McClelland and Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon.


Servan-Schreiber’s distinguished career touched many Pittsburgh institutions, including senior leadership posts at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he co-founded the Center for Integrative Medicine, and academic appointments at the University of Pittsburgh and CMU. He published more than 90 scientific monographs and lectured at leading international academic centers.


One of the seven co-founders of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Doctors without Borders U.S., Servan-Schreiber served in Iraq, Guatemala, India, Tajikistan and Kosovo, addressing epidemics among refugees. He served as a member of the organization’s board for nine years.


In 1992, at age 31, Servan-Schreiber discovered a tumor in his own brain while conducting brain-imaging research. He was diagnosed with brain cancer and given six months to live. Confronting his illness and marshaling his own will to live, he embarked upon a 16-year journey fighting and seeking to understand his illness, culminating in his 2008 international bestseller, “Anticancer: A New Way of Life.” The book and his international lectures have empowered cancer patients and survivors with knowledge and tools to combat the disease.


Servan-Schreiber is the eldest son of the world-renowned Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, the late politician, publisher and co-founder of the French newspaper L'Express. Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber was a distinguished lecturer at CMU during the years that his four sons, David, Franklin (E'86, HSS'89), Emile (S'85, HSS'89,'91) and Edouard (S'88) were students at the university. Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber worked closely with Raj Reddy, CMU's Mozah Bint Nasser University Professor, as founder and president of the World Center for Informatics and Human Resources.


The funeral will be held in Paris on Thursday, July 28.

After he was told in 2010 that another brain tumor had been found — he called it “the Big One” — Dr. Servan-Schreiber wrote a third book, “We Can Tell Each Other Goodbye Several Times,” with Ursula Gauthier, a journalist. Many viewed it as a final testament.
“Death is part of the life process; everyone goes through it,” he said in one of his last interviews. “It is very reassuring in itself.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Happiness is a CHOICEšŸš©

Have you ever heard someone say "he/she just doesn't make me happy anymore" ? I have, recently.  It's made me think about what makes people happy.  I'm happy when Recker smiles big with his teeth showing, I love that, I'm happy when my house is clean, or when my husband gets home from a hard day at work but still finds time to come in the kitchen and give me a big hug (I love hugs)  I was overwhelmingly happy to see Blake when he got home from the Dominican Republic after 2 years.  There are so many people and things that make me happy-for sure too many to name-but is it an accumulation of all those things that truly bring happiness?  I have to say I have been disappointed by others and allowed other people's choices effect my life in a negative way--what a shame  and a waste of precious time.   True lasting happiness comes from within ourselves, no one else can give that to you, like others I had to learn the hard way.  When I found out I had breast cancer it was like a huge maillot hit me over the head, I finally had clarity ...... it was time to clean house so to speak-- I needed to do some maintenance work on myself and find out what really matterd, then get rid of the rest--  For me, my happiness now comes from a deeper place in my heart, I'm OK with the choices of other people, and although they can make me sad it does not effect my eternal happiness because I know who I am, I know where I came from and I know where I want to be.  Seriously? it's taken me 48 years to figure this stuff out?  I have never, ever said I was a good student.. ha ha.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oopsie Daisey..

I haven't blogged for a couple of weeks--oopsie daisey.  Honestly it's been incredibly busy in my life.  I am working 4 days a week now, lots of flights are being cancelled this time of year because of weather back East--when I talk to those stranded people I feel bad for them--but grateful that I was born and raised in Arizona--I endure the summer heat for a few months so I can love, love, love the winters here.  I also have been spending a bunch of time at the Mayo Clinic in physical therapy a couple times a week with Pauline.  Tomorrow I will going to the Mayo Hospital directly after work to see Dr. Freeman, he will bring his syringe full of pain meds to be injected into my right hip and lower back.  Can you say ouch?  Hopefully this will help with the pain and I will able to walk without a limp.
(the above was written yesterday)
 I drove to Mayo Hospital today, not really knowing what to expect.  As I walked through the doors it reeked of chemo and hospital smell.  I sat in the waiting area across a man with an oxygen tank, he looked miserable, and things were about to get worse as he ran out of oxygen--his wife was yelling hysterically and the nurses were scattering to get him a new tank.  Poor Mr. Brown, I know his name because they repeated it over and over again trying to get his attention, I really thought he was going to die.  Behind me a woman was on the phone relaying a message to her family that someone "HE" had just passed away and they need to get to the hospital..to the left of me is a lady having an anxiety attack, by now my mind is thinking "concentrate Monya, don't pay any attention  to what is going on around you" I wanted to cover my ears with my hands and sing a song to drown out all that was going on around me. The phone rang, it was Eric checking in on me, boy was  I happy to hear his voice. Finally they sent me up to the 5th floor, pain clinic on the elevator we made a couple of stops, the woman who had a death in the family was on the elevator with me, she was crying I wanted to hug her, but felt like I needed to respect her boundaries.  We made a stop on the 2nd floor and the Mayo Pastor got on the elevator, I noticed she was carrying a Bible and book labeled How to prepare for death.  Whoa, today I'm getting a reality check, Mayo has a way of doing that to me.  She only went up one floor and I noticed she was on the patients floor, probably going to visit a family--I was sad about that.  We continued to the 5th floor, the lady with the tears went left and I went right--just like that those people were gone, they have no idea what an impression they left on me.....and I will likely never see them again.
I approach the pain clinic check in and they hand me a stack of papers to fill out, seriously???  what else could they possibly need from me, they know everything there
is to know, they've taken my boobs, my hair, my uterus and 100's of hours of my time. I will be waiting for an hour, today instead of anxiety meds I am going to read my scriptures while I wait, it worked.  After an hour and a half of scripture study they called me back for the procedure.  I really like Dr. Freeman, the procedure was not as bad as I had anticipated, but lets face it no one likes to be poked and prodded with needles.  I decided as I sat in the recovery room that for today, just today I am  tired of PROCEDURES, NEEDLES, INJECTIONS, & MAYO.  Even as I type that out I feel guilty for feeling that way, I have so much to be grateful for, I am pretty darn blessed to have Dr. Freeman on my team of doctors, especially when there are so many people struggling today at Mayo.