Saturday, December 27, 2008

Joyeux Noel


Hi from Julie! We don't have another guest blogger lined up until 2009 so... It gives me a chance to catch up and acknowledge the sheer volume of 'stuff' that happened in 2008... A great website that was just a vague idea in 2007 was started; wonderful people are offering their help; my son has been working flat out... Thank you to Thomas, Marilyn, Rose, Scott, Mahmud, Pablo, Adele, Esmee, Hilary, Daniel and Cobe, Carolyn, Jim and Sheila and all the names I forgot to add here of people whose help is priceless. And thanks Cobe for the very first precious cup of Cobe-tea!

Just before Christmas I saw a movie - Joyeux Noel - which is a true story of something that happened in 1914 in the cold, muddy filth of the World War I trenches: soldiers from Germany, France and Scotland put down their weapons - literally - and celebrated, played soccer and drank coffee together on Christmas Eve/Day. They also buried their dead. Friendships formed but, tragically, the generals (governments?) separated these 'real' soldiers - who were no longer quite so happy to kill each other - and redeployed them.


My dream is for Peace forever among all Nations of the World - a bit lofty but a very real dream because I see ordinary people of all colours and faiths working happily together and I wonder who it is that's pulling them apart again?


Over the holidays I also watched (had to!) several documentaries about the underprivileged, power, greed and violence... And whilst 'ordinary criminals' have been found technically guilty, there is quite a bit of evidence that points towards government involvement. What's really going on here? Again, I can't help but wonder... And pray for strength to 'stay true' - whatever the temptation - for all of us - particularly governments - in the future.

I also watched some great videos from Gregg Braden (thanks Thomas) and the Science of Miracles which are amazing and worth watching (there are 7 parts). Many people are familiar with these ideas but Gregg's explanations seemed beautifully clear to me? - Click Here...

I would like to wish everyone a Successful and Peaceful 2009 and hope that this holiday season was one of family reunion and visits with good friends for you. I look forward to more fabulous guest bloggers in 2009 - and thank you again to this year's guest bloggers for your great posts in 2008.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Guest Blogger -Sarah

Todays guest blogger is Sarah. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Sarah!

Hi everyone,
I'm Sarah and I'm a Childhood Cancer Survivor. My story starts when I was five years old. I went into my parents' room one morning and said: "Mommy, my knee hurts" She said I would be fine and to go back to bed and I did so. My mother thought I just hurt myself on the playground or something. This pain persisted for two weeks and then I started Kindergarden and I was able to forget about the pain for a little bit. However on the second day of school I told my mother: "Mommy, I don't want to go to school tomorrow" Of course this worried my mother, and the next morning I awoke with a fever of 103 and my mother brought me to the ER at Carney Hospital in Brockton, Mass.

There I was diagnosed with osteyomitolytis which is an acute inflammation of the bone marrow. I stayed at that hospital for a week. When I wasn't better by the week's end the doctors did a biposy on my right knee and that's when they found the leukemia cells and on Sepetmber 21st, 1990 I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblatic Leukemia.

I could not be treated at Carney so, I was transfered to Floating Hospital for Children in Boston. I stayed at Floating for a week receiving high-dose chemotherapy, Prednisone, and many other medications. There are some bad things I remember from the hospital, and some good things too. My Dad would come to the hospital when he left work and come take my Mom out. Before my Mom left she always bring me Skittles and Starburst. Starbursts, chemo and my stomach all got along just fine, however, with Skittles not so much.
"Look Mommy, rainbow colored throw-up!" I remember going down to surgery to get my catheter put in my chest so I could get chemo, my blood counts looked at and go to school. I Went into remission on October 15th but still needed three years of chemo, blood tests, bone-marrow tests, and spinal taps. For me the scariest part of treatment was the spinal taps. I was not losing my hair or the surgery for the catheter in my chest but those painful needles.

I went back to school, then I wanted to go back to the hospital. The kids at the hospital played with me, the kids at school didn't play with me. No one educated my classmates about cancer because people back then were still stupidly afraid of cancer, I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but, get over it! Cancer exists and if don't talk about it we won't find and the stigmas against patients and survivors will never go away. We should not be afraid of cancer anymore, its almost 2009 we need to get over this cancer-phobia.

I've been in remission for 18 years and I am graduating from college in the spring and I plan to be a hospital psychologist for girls and women with cancer. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I didn't have cancer. I love to draw and I wonder would I have my art abilities if I didn't have cancer? Would I be me if didn't have cancer?

I also had trouble seeing myself as beautiful for a long; I finally accepted my scars when I was 17. One scar is on my right thigh from when I was misdiagnosed. I have one my neck from when my catheter was removed when I was eight and I was half way done with chemo, and her sister scar is on my right breast. I think that one looks like a Phoenix. I had finished taking a shower and I noticed my scars in the mirror and I thought “Damn, these are hot”. My Phoenix-scar made feel beautiful about being a Cancer Survivor but not a woman. I don’t think I felt beautiful as a woman until now. I’ve never had boyfriend, I’ve never been kissed, so I thought I could never be beautiful for anyone; then I realized I had think of myself as beautiful before a man thought of me as beautiful.

I have forgiven cancer for the most part, after all most of problems I face today are from chemo, not leukemia. What I really want to know is why does such a horrible disease have such have such a positive word at the beginning of its name? Cancer is trying to tell us something, I think we should listen to it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I love this...


Guest blogging is beautiful! I love the idea of getting to know people better - and I love the whole idea of weaving a strong web in interconnected links to support us all... Thanks Baldylocks for being the first and for having this great idea.

I would like to invite someone else to come forward and write a blog for us... Baldylocks has offered to help and any questions or interest can be directed either to her at: http://baldylocks.blogspot.com/ or to me at: julie@ReBuildingYou.com

Step on up!

With love,
Julie