Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Time at Mayo Clinic

Stepping onto the elevator from the parking garage at the Mayo Clinic I am surrounded by sickly people.  A couple who were trying to decide what floor they needed to get off on,  they obviously have not been here much, (I wish I could say that) I simply told them, "when you come to this campus just remember you always have to get off on the concourse level, so always push the big C button, then I can direct you where to go next if you'd like"  with a sweet smile the wife said "oh please, we are not familiar yet with this building and we would love some help"  the only word I heard from that sentence was "YET" I took a look at their itinerary and noticed they were going to the same floor as I was, so I walked with them to the 2nd elevator and showed them the way. Off the cute couple went, she was pushing him in his wheelchair, it was obvious he was in some pain.  After getting them in the line they were supposed to be in I smiled and told them it was a pleasure to walk with them.  Today when I checked in I had a bunch of paper work to fill out AGAIN they just wanted to make sure I was not pregnant....serious.....this is serious stuff.  laugh, just laugh I did.  Seems like a lot of wasted paper, I check off the same box every time ✓☐ hysterectomy ✓☐ cancer  ✖☐ could you possibly be pregnant? Kinda repetitious if you ask me,  I always laugh and say those eggs are hard boiled by now.
No waiting this time, the receptionist took me straight back to the nuclear medicine department.  No getting undressed from the waste up or down, today I get to go in fully dressed YAY.

This floor is much better than the 3rd floor

A young girl took me back into the CT scan room, and asked me to lay down while they preformed the necessary  testing Dr. Barr's had ordered.  I love the care I get at Mayo Clinic, yet sometimes I feel like a number to them.
Perhaps they don't want to know why I need this CT scan, or they don't want to hear about why I am getting this ordered--I wouldn't know because today they were all business, in and out. Today I was glad I didn't have to go to the dreaded 3rd floor. No now I get to make the transfer to the other Mayo Clinic campus--excited to maybe get a chance to see Dr. Kreymerman and Heather, if they are not in surgery.

  My bone scan was put on hold, along with the MRI and visit with Dr. Aguilar my neurologist.  Dr. Barr's is very prompt, he shows me the CT scans, and explained all that we were looking at.  Ist off the carcinoma is still there but it has shrunk slightly, he still recommends having it removed along with the prosthesis I have, which has dislodged it self from the original position and is actually doing no help for someone like me with SSD. (single sided deafness) The prosthesis is probably what makes my ear drain, and itch, so that will come out during surgery along with the carcinoma and the implant of the BAJA.  I am losing quite a bit of hearing in the left ear, so over compensate by leaning my head towards him to be able to hear what he is saying--he told me that--I never noticed until then but have caught myself doing it today. Dr. Barrs will send me to see a special surgeon for the nose problems--nothing seems to help.
I made an appointment with Dr. Freeman for my hip and back pain.  !st I have to get my dental implant done with Paul Kelly, I seem to get a breast infection every time I have dental work done--supposedly this is common for breast caner patients with ex panders,  Maybe the antibiotic is not strong enough, who knows.  It has been almost a year since they started my dental implant, I will finish with my last surgery at the end of September, then in October have the finishing touches done with Dr. Bryan Goodman.  I told Dr. Barr's I want to make my surgery after this dental implant is taken care of because the breast infections are serious enough to send me back to Dr. Kreymerman, not that I dont like to visit him, but not for this reason--he and Heather explained to me the importance of getting those breast infections taken care of right away as they can cause additional surgery and probably be needed to be removed again.  I told him "who cares?"  he smiled but firmly told me "I do, and so will you"
So back to Dr, Freeman, more tests will be on the schedule soon, more interest this time in my back problems, which could be causing my hip problem.  All I know is I cannot stand for more than 10 minutes without my legs collapsing on me...yes they buckle up and down I go....funny now? YES.... I think so, but Dr's don't seem to think so, why are they always so focused and serious?  They need to loosen up and laugh with me sometimes.  It all seems more than what it really is, I'm fine--just getting old and need to get these problems taken care of.  No big deal, at least they know it can be taken care or so no more pain--except for recovery, if they end up dong a hip replacement.

I am taking baby steps towards a full recovery right??? I hope my prayers are being heard, lately I feel like I need to change the wording in my prayers--

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Mormon Myth's and Truths #13

The Mormon church cares more about building its temples and churches than caring for the poor and the needy:

MYTH: Completely Untrue

The LDS Church has a broad mission that includes not only caring for the poor and the needy but three other areas that also bless peoples lives: " Helping members live the gospel of Jesus Christ, gathering Israel through missionary work.....and enabling the Salvations of the dead by building temples and performing ordinances which were discussed in in detail earlier in one of my posts.

While much of the Church's money and assests are consumed in areas not directly involved with caring for the needy, when the LDS church welfare system was established just after the Great Depression, President Heber J Grant said, the Church was to "reach out and take care of the people" no matter what the cost even if it had to go so far as to "close the seminaries, shut down missionary work for a period of time, or even close the temples...They would not let the people go hungry"  I remember talking to my father in law Ray about this, he was living during the great depression and so many families in the world were living without food and water, he specifically told me about this quote the prophet of the LDS church made during that great depression time, he said it saved many families and lives for the church to give all that they had to help the needy and the poor.
In 2011-LDS Presiding Bishop H David Burton (he is the man who oversees temporal welfare matters for the entire Church) said "No matter how many temples we build no matter  how large our membership grows, no matter how positively we are percieved in the eyes of the world-should we fail in this great cor commandment to "succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees" or turn our hearts from those who suffer and mourn, we are under condemnation and connot please the Lord

More about the humanitarian service the LDS church has provided to those in need, next week
for now.

xoxo Monya Williams 
Penny for your thoughts

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mayo Clinic Here I Come

I have been dreading this day, keeping it on the DL from my family.  I know I need to talk about it, but for some reason when I say or write the words out loud they become a fear, and fear is one thing I can live without.  Yes, I had a mini stroke, and another little one while Eric and I were in Mexico, however that last one was because I was not taking my medicine like I should have.  Once I started to take it within 24 hours the slurring of words was gone and I have been fine since.
Tomorrow I am going to Mayo Clinic for an MRI, bone scan, and some other tests, my day will start at 7am and end at 5:00--long day, and the food stinks--I will be changing campuses for all of these appointments--maybe I'll get  to run by and say hi to Dr. PK Peter Kreymerman--I still love him dearly.  His smile will make it a better day.
I do have a little anxiety about stepping on to that dreaded 3 floor--I'm afraid in the state of mind I am right now I will probably need to take some meds with me to calm me down a little.
The thing about Mayo Clinic is that they do not let things just casually go by, oh no they send me an itinerary filled with appointments to remind me of what lurks in my fragile body.
Tomorrow should be interesting, I will be seeing the neurologist and Dr. Barrs the specialist I love, he is kind and sweet, he helps me with my right ear problems.  He will want some answers about whether or not I am going to go forward with the surgery or not.  To be quite frank, I don't really know what to do.  My life is filled with a lot of stress right now, some that believe it or not I am not ready to talk about--especially on this blog.
I again find myself in the last hour trying to determine if my answers are being received because it is what I want for myself or  am getting in the way of the Lord granting me more blessings.  I know I'm not the smartest tool in the shed, precisely why I think the Lord has more for me to learn.  So all I can say right now, Mayo Clinic Here I come.

Shark Week

I am deathly afraid of sharks and snakes.  When we go to the ocean I NEVER EVER get in the water, I always say "if I never get in, there is no chance of me getting eaten by a shark right?" You know I'm right.  If we are in the Caribbean and I can see to the bottom of the ocean I might consider it, but normally anyone in my family will tell you I do not get in the Ocean because of sharks.  Great Whites scare the kazoobie out of me, so when shark week comes, I record every episode and learn all I can about sharks.  Last week was shark week and I'm still not finished watching all of the episodes, but I will eventually.  These people who go out and hunt them just to see their teeth and what their behavior is....??? seriously????  Why, Why Why? I do not understand why that would be of interest to them, why would you get in  your little boat as close as you can to a great white shark so you can put a camera on it and follow where it goes? Who cares? Well obviously it is certainly entertaining to a lot of us, I love to watch, but sometimes find my heart pounding and my hands covering my eyes as it gets so intense, I will never understand why these people do what they do.


Then the snakes, oh boy another scary one.  I watched a show this week about the scariest animal attacks, there were 5 men holding down an Anaconda, the man holding the head lost his grip and sure enough, crunch time, his hand was gone----why? this makes no sense to me, why is this of any interest to people, let the animals be in their natural environment, and leave them alone.
Before we moved into the home we are in now, I remember the news reporter one night saying there was a snake that had come up through the toilet while a girl was going to the bathroom.....I will never forget it, it scares me every time I sit on the toilet now, can you even imagine?  Just hearing it on the news scared me enough to check the toilet every time I go in the bathroom for snakes, if that ever happened to me I know I would be put in the looney house.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Mormon Myth's and truths #12

Ok it's been twelve weeks of emails asking me questions about the Mormon religion, I am trying to quickly answer them--I had no idea so many people were interested in what the LDS church teachings are.
This past week was interesting, 2 of the questions I got were almost the same, but asked in a different way, so here we go.


Normally most people including myself, when they hear the word Seminary automatically think of a place to train priests, monks, or pastors.  However, the LDS seminary is not designed to prepare for a professional clergy or to ordain people to a religious ministry.  It is a 4 year religious education program designed for all LDS youth ages fourteen to eighteen and is intended to teach them the basic doctrines of the LDS religion, teach them about the scriptures, it helps them to understand and rely on the Lord and the teachings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  For most of the youth, it deepens their faith, testimony and conversion.  I believe these numbers may be off just a little but as of 2 years ago there were approximately 350,000 LDS youth enrolled in seminary in 140 countries worldwide.
I also believe that Seminary is not restricted to LDS teens, it is open to non-LDS teens who would like to attend and learn more--however, it is not a credit, so mostly LDS teens attend.

The two most common types of LDS Seminary are early morning seminary and released-time seminary.  Early morning seminary classes meet for about an hour before public school starts each day--I know for some it is hard to believe that teens voluntarily go to a religious meeting at about 6:00 am every weekday for four years to learn the gospel.  I'm pretty sure they are normal teens who murmur and complain as their parents are getting them out of bed....well at least all 4 of my children did when we got them up for family scripture study. Early morning seminary students are taught by a volunteer teacher called from their local congregation, and they usually meet in a local Church-owned meetinghouse or in a member's home.

In areas where there is a high concentration of LDS youth (Utah, Idaho, Arizona) released time seminary classes are held during school hours each day while the local school is in session.  To preserve the separation of Church and state, students are released from the public school campus during one of their regular class periods and are allowed to attend their LDS seminary class in a Church owned building often located adjacent to the public school.  Released time classes are taught by professionally trained LDS religious educators employed by the church.  The entire four year seminary system does not cost LDS youth or their families a penny, it is simply paid for by the voluntary tithe offerings made by Latter day Saints across the world.

On a personal note, I was always relieved to know my children could leave the public campus where let's face it, is not the enviorment we necessarily want our children to be in.  I loved knowing they could get away from the "world" for one hour of the day and reflect on religious things instead of the influence of the negative people and things that are surely going to tempt them.

When I went to seminary a million years ago--ha ha- we left the school went across the street to an LDS church building and met.  I can firmly and without hesitation tell you I LOVED SEMINARY-this was my refuge, I was blessed to be taught all four years by the same teacher Brother Stanley--I will never forget him, he was the one and only link I had to learn about the power of prayer, about having faith, and he taught me to find out on my own if the words that he taught were true.  I took on his challenges and poured my heart and soul into seminary, I was asked to speak at seminary graduation, it was an honor for me and helped ground and anchor my testimony in Jesus Christ at a time in my life when I needed it most.

And to answer the question about why we are allowed to leave campus..... any church can have the same system set up, the church tries to buy land as soon as possible when the know a knew High School is being built--the teens have a choice-if they choose to take seminary it is not a credit so most will give up their lunch in order to be able to attend and still receive all the credits they need to graduate.  Some, including 2 of my daughters graduated a year early and were able to start college ahead of time, came back and walked with their class for graduation.  IT CAN BE DONE with dedication and hard work.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I am a Daughter of God

I have finally found some true happiness in my life. I know I am His daughter precious to Him, loved by Him, and very important to Him.

“For thus saith the Lord—"I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.
“Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.” 

I was not given a map as to how to live my life or which decisions to make, our Loving Heavenly Father gave me agency to choose.  Many times in my life I have had to step back, take an evaluation of how I am doing, what I can do to become more like HIM,  It is at those times when I realize I am far off the coarse and I need to check my map.  Usually, it means I have forgotten to read my scriptures or say my prayers.  When those things are neglected, and a conscious effort is not made, it is then that I begin to murmur or get snippy, my life is not balanced. Simply having a map doesn’t do any good unless you study it—unless you use it to navigate through this  life.

 Oh so many times I have made mistakes and had to open my heart to the Holy Ghost so that He can direct me along my journey through life. Oh so many times I have wondered, "Is HE listening? does HE really have the capacity to LOVE EVERYONE? and will HE know me when the time comes for me to leave this earthly existence and see HIM face to face.? Have I done any good in this world I live in?"  Every time, I have had enough faith and HOPE to ask, and the answer is always:

“Do not fear, for I the Lord am with you.” 
"You are not alone on this journey. I am your  Heavenly Father I know you. Even when no one else hears you, I hear you. When you rejoice in righteousness, I rejoice with you. When you are dealing with trials, I grieve with you."

I know  Heavenly Father’s interest in me does not depend on how rich or beautiful or healthy or smart I am. He sees me not as the world sees me; He sees who I really am. He looks on my heart, And He loves  me because I am HIS child.

In today's world and in my life I have always wanted to be excepted, to be seen and heard, to feel loved.  I realize now, through all these years and through every hard time, or joyous time, HE was with me, HE was and is teaching me, sculpting me and preparing me for eternal life.  I am the one who decides what road to take--obedience is the only way to happiness, real eternal happiness.

When I look around, I see women who are courageous and strong, I see women who seem to not have a problem in the world, no weight on their shoulders.  The adversary has a way of making me feel UN-important at times.  This is not Christ's way, these are the times to reevaluate our journey.

The true language of Jesus Christ is LOVE.  I believe this is the most powerful language in the world.  Imagine if everyone in the world loved everyone they saw, what kind of world would we live in? Just imagine if no one judged anyone else for what they wore, what they said or how they acted?
We live in a world that is selfish and self serving, there are so many people I talk to who are simply not happy--how sad.  They have gotten off their map and quickly forgotten their native language, the language they learned as they dwelt with our father in heaven before they came to earth, I'm assuming that language was pure, and we loved unconditionally as the Savior does.

 Life can be difficult, and it can harden hearts to the point where certain people seem unreachable. Some may be filled with anger. Others may mock and ridicule those who believe in a loving God. Just a few days ago, I was at work and this happened to me, I was questioned and made fun of because of something I said about what I believe in, as they laughed, a light went off in my head and I thought this: "these people may not remember, but  they too at one time stood in line and raised their hand saying they wanted to return to their Father in Heaven. A peace came over me, and I smiled at theml with no response.  You see, I understand now It is not my  responsibility to convert anyone. That is the work of the Holy Ghost. My responsibility  is to share what I  believe and to not be afraid. Be a friend to all, but never compromise my standards. I will stand  true to my convictions and faith. Stand tall, because I am a daughter of God, and He stands with me!  ALWAYS AND FOREVER

Mountains to Climb

I watched this video and wanted to share it, there are so many people who have no HOPE and are going through difficult trials, my prayer is that this may help just a little.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Mormon Myths and Truths #11

Mormons of black African descent couldn't be ordained to Priesthood offices until 1978.


From the beginning the LDS Church has always had an open membership policy for people of all races, during the leadership of Brigham Young the church adopted the position that members of black African descent could not be ordained to priesthood offices or receive the ordinances of the LDS temple.

There is no official doctrinal reason or revelation as to why this policy was implemented, and over the years many LDS leaders and members have given a speculation to try to explain, but to my knowledge and in all that I have researched, we really do not have a solid reason for why this was made a doctrinal rule.

For decades, LDS church prophets said that the day would come when the policy would be changed, but repeatedly felt the right time had not arrived.  Then in June 1978,  President Spencer W Kimball, the current prophet received revelation reversing this policy and lifting the priesthood restriction from those of black African descent.  I will never forget being a young girl when this policy was announced--President Kimball used these words

 "We have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren...The Lord had heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy Priesthood"  

as a young girl I remember those word penetrating my heart, and strengthening my testimony of revelation, this was one of the first times in my life up to that time I had really felt the Holy Ghost.
Since that time forward, worthy Mormons of all races have been given the priesthood, been ordained to priesthood offices, received the blessings of the temple, and served in local and general priesthood leadership positions within the LDS church.  We believe that the Lord works with "the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept" and based on the conditions of His people and society He gives less or more of His word.  The LDS church leadership, its members and the world have grown in knowledge, understanding and preparedness, and in 1978 the Lord gave us more of His word, which we happily and gratefully received.

It is estimated that about 5% of the LDS church-or 70,000 members are black, these congregations are mainly in Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean.  Black membership continues to grow significantly, especially in West Africa, where two LDS temples were recently built.

I am so passionate about people understanding this part of the doctrine.  I get this question quite often "why were blacks kept from having the priesthood? and why are Mormons so racist?" my answer is always, "if you know any member of the Mormon church that is racist, it is sad and is absolutely not a part of the doctrine of the LDS church"  as far as why black were kept from receiving the priesthood, my answer is simply "we do not know why" however, they do now and that is all that really matters--there was slavery and terrible treatment of blacks in early years, but we do not know why, it just was how it was, I wish I could change it, I think many people wish that slavery never happened, what was in the past is now in past, the simple truth is our Heavenly Father loves all of his children the same, none of us more loved by him no matter what the race or religious beliefs--He loves us, all of us the same, and ever person has an opportunity to accept His love or reject it, either way He still loves you.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

4 years and counting

It's been 4 years now, this week, since I sat in the quiet, dark doctors office with Eric by my side and heard those terrible words "YOU HAVE BREAST CANCER"  WOW, time seems to creep up on me.   I feel like sometimes it was yesterday we heard those words, and then sometimes when I think about what has transpired in our lives since that date, it seems so long ago.   I have to dedicate this blog to my family who has stood by my side through this entire journey of mine, and I realize this has been their journey too.  Blake left for his mission for 2 years came home and got married, Kaitlyn and Brian got married lived in Utah, moved back to Arizona, Kayla and Jeremy have had 2 boys born into their family, and Haleigh married Scott Bigelow.  Look at all these blessings the Lord has allowed me to witness, I am so happy I have lived to see all of this, and I have faith I will live a long life, long enough to see all my grandchildren born, and I'm pretty sure we will have lots and lots of grandchildren---right? Kayla and Jeremy? Blake and Chloe? Kaitlyn and Brian? Haleigh and Scott?

 I don't think about the cancer as much as I used to.  Never in my wildest of dreams would I have imagined my body would or could go through what it has been through.  I was prideful and always thought "I am healthy, I eat right, I exercise,  I will never have health issues, after all I went from 1st grade through high school with perfect attendance in school and seminary, the 1st time I ever threw up in my life was when I was giving birth to my 1st baby during the transitional part of childbirth. My sisters both have health issues, Eric will die long before I do, and I need to keep myself in good  condition so I can be around to take care of my kids when he does"

It literally makes me want to throw up--what the heck was I thinking? Yes, it's a good thing to keep yourself healthy, and to exercise when you can, but I was seriously way off the map on this one.  The truth is my family has terrible health issues, autoimmune  diseases that I can't even spell, cancer up the kazoo--every kind you can think of, arthritis, thyroid issues and the list goes on.  Eric's family is really fairly different, his mother died of breast cancer, but as far as we know she is the only one on her side, and Eric's dad and siblings had heart problems but all lived well into their 80's.

I think I'm  aware of my body now more then I ever have been in my life, I feel when something is wrong--crossing my fingers on that one-- The only thing I'm not sure of is, what part of my aches and pains are from getting older and what is from family genes.  Running a marathon and crossing the finish line  does not replay in my mind over and over anymore, when I see other people doing it especially people I know and love,  it makes me smile instead of frown :}  For me, life is more beautiful then it ever has been, there is so much to look forward to, so much to still learn, places to go and people to meet, life is just beginning--many, many more rainbows to chase.....

Friday, August 2, 2013

Meet Brian Wright

Brian Matthew Wright

Kaitlyn and Brian

This is my son in law, he is married to Kaitlyn.  My 1st impression of Brian when he came to pick up Kaitlyn for their 1st date was this is a great guy, kind, polite and respectful.  However, as soon as he left with Kaitlyn I looked at Eric and said "oh boy, Kaitlyn is going to eat him up and spit him out" those of you who know Kaitlyn know what I'm talking about, but those of you who don't,  she is. or I should say she, at that time in her life was not looking for a serious relationship, was going to travel the world, go to school and not get married until she was at least 25.   Brian was a newly returned missionary, and I could see this relationship going no where, especially since Brian was living in Utah and Kaitlyn was a senior in high school--she had already graduated but had not walked with her class yet.  Needless to say, I was wrong and Kaitlyn fell in love and married Brian.  I knew he was truly in love with my daughter when he continued to pursue her, driving from Utah to see her, then when he finally did ask Eric for her hand in marriage, Eric turned him down, in fact he told Brian she was too young and he would have to think about it, for some guys this would be a major red flag turn off, but to Brian it was just a hurdle and he continued to persevere. I finally had to get involved and remind Eric even though she is young she is also 18 years old and can do this with or without his permission, so he needed to either get on board or sit back and watch it happen. 
We love Brian, his parents raised him to be a hard worker and has shown us through his faith in the Lord he is dedicated to being an outstanding husband and someday father. Brian has been in full time school since they moved here and just got accepted to ASU for January session.  We are so proud of him and look forward to seeing him continue to  accomplish his goals.