In losing, sometimes you gain

Over the last two years I have lost so much to breast cancer.  I don’t write this in self pity or pity from others…I write this in my own self truth and acknowledgement.

I have kept tally on my wins and losses as well as Cancers wins and losses.

Let me say….. I am ahead in the game…but not by much.  I know this.  I am grateful.     But … I do realize even though I am ahead…Cancer has taken its stabs and cut deep. It is a dangerous and formidable adversary.   Ultimately, I have survived.  I am thankful….to my family and friends who have held me up, supported me, encouraged me and believed in me.  You all keep me a step ahead.  I admit, do self destructive things…knowingly.  And then I come around and get my act together and press on. I just wanted to say to those of you out there struggling to survive, to find reason to live and go on…you can do it…but there are days during and after that are hard.  It is hard to look at Cancer and know it took its toll…it got its licks in and they are there. You win, but robbed you of things you don’t want to admit to yourself or others.  Not out of shame, self pity, or embarrassment.  Just it is what it is or was what it was.  It is ok.  Take a breath, find peace.  You will.

And after all this, I know ultimately I win, I won….and yet I have lost. It reminds me that I have to keep my game face on and know the battle is always there in some form or fashion….but how I live day to day will determine how well I survive and stay one step ahead….so adjust your crown and walk away knowing you are the queen and this match, baby, this match… you are on top.

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Wait, what was I doing??????

So, I am sitting here and I can’t remember what I was about to do. I know it wasn’t frightfully important, but something none the less.

There are times more frequent than others that I begin to do something and then just like that……it’s gone and I can’t remember what it was…

it can be something big or little, no matter…all the same it is gone from my mind. It isn’t that it isn’t important, meaningful, or not what I want/need to do….it’s just gone from my mind. I can’t remember. It is frustrating to try to remember because I know it was there and I know it was important to me but I cannot remember what it was to save my life. I struggle to remember and cannot.

Sometimes it scares me that I can’t remember…
It can be a location/destination, a name, a date, a memory, an errand, the lights, did I shut off the stove, close the garage, go to an appointment and where is it???

It wasn’t always like this. I used to be sharp with my memory and multi-tasking was second nature. No worries. I could remember the most un-useful information there was to not know…now the littlest things are a treasure to remember and hold onto. The hardest thing is knowing that I used to know and was much sharper and had a memory like an elephant.

I was informed by my Oncologist and a friend of mine who is a BC Survivor that “chemo brain” happens. No not me though…it won’t happen to me. Well, I finally give in and yes, it has and is happening to me. Good days, bad days. I know the more stress I am under the worse it is.

I ask that for those of you who know those of us…please, be patient with us….eventually we remember, sometimes we don’t. It’s not like we don’t want to or intend not to…we just honestly don’t.

and I still don’t remember what it was I was trying to remember before I wrote this. UGH!!!!

Upset and Outraged…

Today, behind closed doors (hmmm, what does that tell you right there), the Govenor of the State of Indiana signed into law SB 101…otherwise know as the Religious Freedom bill. Don’t let that fool you. What it really is, is Religious Condemnation.

I AM ENRAGED AND OUTRAGED!!! you should be too. They claim it is a “safegauard against businesses being forced to provide services they find objectionable on religious grounds.” What? That, like I saw somewhere is like me being mad at you for eating a donut because I’m on a diet….Really?…Unfortunately, the Bible has been so far twisted by many that they can find a “religious reason” for anything they see fit. It has already happenend in SC at a BBQ restaurant where they used this same “religious freedom” to deny service to African Americans. See where this can go….scary.

As Matthew Tully wrote in the Indianapolis Star, this proposed law is “discrimination wrapped in a legislative bow.” he is correct. All this does is legalize bigorty and discrimination. Shame on the Indiana lawmakers once again. We’ve just wound ourselves back 200 yrs yet again.

Maybe it is to simplistic to say…but…if you want to chose who you will serve or more realisticly lets just say it….who you WON’T serve, then you should be a PRIVATE place NOT in a PUBLIC place trying to serve and be finacially be rewarded. Green is green no matter who is giving it to you. Shame on them for using or hiding behind religion to disciminate against people based on their sexual orientation, race, gender, or anything else.

I would like to say BRAVO to St. Elmo’s restaurant, Harry and Izzy’s, Gen Con ($50M loss), The Disciples of Christ Christan Church ($6M loss), Jason Collins, Matt Mitrione, Cafe Patachou, CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and all the many other athletes, Businesses, and people who have boldly stood up and expressed their outrage regarding this hateful piece of legislation and their brave stance to pull out and no longer patronize the City of Indianapolis if (and now has)this ridiculous thing become law.

My God is a loving, caring, forgiving God and last I checked there wasn’t a “vacancy, now hiring” sign above His chair for anyone to take his job and sit in judgement of anyone else.

I’m proud to say—my friends are my friends, not my gay friends, black friends, white friends, mexican friends, etc…….SIMPLY MY FRIENDS!!!! PERIOD.

Yum and relaxation…

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Well, been one of those days … and lucky me…I typically don’t like Australian wine…however, this was on sale fo $3.88 a bottle…(don’t judge me, I’m just happened on a good deal). I love this one. Especially the Shiraz, Shiraz-Merlot, and this one. Try it. COLD!! yes, cold.

And happens to pair well with the Poblano peppers dish…ijs…LOL

I like this chilled….even though you don’t typically chill red wine…it is super yum cold.

Cheers!!

Chicken stuffed poblano peppers

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Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers. These are easier to make than you think. And SUPER yummy!!

4 Large Poblano Peppers, cored, deseeded
1 small onion, chopped
2 med tomatoes, chopped (I use 2 roma tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped (I cheat and use 2 small cans of chicken)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tbsps. olive oil divided
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (I use Kraft triple cheddar cheese)
salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and use 1 tbsp. of olive oil to coat it. I think you could also use cooking spray to lightly coat the foil too…??

Rinse and cut the tops off of the Poblano peppers. Cut along seam on the one side and gently pull out seeds. Set aside.

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In large saucepan heat 1 tbsp. olive oil. Cook tomatoes, onion, and garlic until no more moisture…approx. 5 min on med-high. Stir often.

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Add chicken, cilantro, cumin, oregano, and salt, and mozzarella cheese. *you really don’t need to add salt if you are using canned chicken. I find Canned chicken is just easier and more time efficient. stir.

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Line the peppers up on the prepared baking sheet. Stuff the peppers with the mixture. I use a large spoon and stuff them starting at the bottom by pushing a heaping spoonful to the bottom of each. I then go back and fill each pepper until I run out of mixture.

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Put the peppers on the baking sheet in the preheated oven and cook for 20 min. Once cooked take them out. Change oven to BROIL. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over each pepper and then place back in the over on the top rack and broil for about 1 min or until the cheese melts and chars a touch. Be careful because this happens fast. I like burnt cheese so…do how you like.

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WHA-LA!! YUMMM-A-LICIOUS!! these are so good. A little high in sodium but that is why I say don’t add salt. The cheese and canned chicken (buy low sodium if possible – and make sure to RECYCLE your cans) give it enough flavor.

I serve with rice. I found this new brand my local store is selling. Minute rice Multi grain medley. It is FANTASTIC!! I add a tsp of chicken boullion to the water. YUM!

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I hope you enjoy. It was a big hit with my kids. I think next time I will try with the rice instead of Chicken making it vegetarian. ?? I think it will work.

“Chavelier de Sangreal” by Hans Zimmer

Yesterday, I found myself in tears walking the treadmill at the gym. Not tears of sorrow but tears of spirituality. I had decided to listen to my “Classical music” playlist. A song from the movie “Da Vinci Code” came on “Chevalier de Sangreal” by Hans Zimmer. This song has always been very moving to me. I cry every time I hear it. It is played at the end of the movie when Robert Langdon figures out where the sarcophagus of Mary Magdalene has been moved to and rests. He recites the message from the cryptex during the song:
“The Holy Grail ‘neath ancient Roslin waits. The blade and chalice guarding o’er Her gates. Adorned in master’s loving art, She lies. She rests at last beneath starry skies.”

This song is one of the very few that finds its way deep into my soul. Do you know what I mean? A song so melodically beautiful, so perfect, so amazing it brings you to tears.
It started me thinking about Lent. Lent is various things to various people. For me I always find it makes me reflect on my own spirituality, who I am, what God and Jesus mean to me, my faith. I reflect on all that Jesus went through. How uplifted I feel singing songs on Easter Sunday for the resurrection. For some reason, this time of the year I always feel spent. Out of breath. And yet, there always seems to be some miracle, coincidence, or divine intervention that happens. Something to spark my internal fire to say “hey….what is happening….get up woman and praise God, He has never let you down”. Time and time again I have had “things” happen to me that could be interpreted as any number of things….but walking on that treadmill Sunday, that was divine. Huge snowflakes began to fall like angelic tears from Heaven and I felt renewed. This last year and a half has been for a lack of better terms, hell. I have marched through it with the help of family and friends, my pink ribbons and God’s armor of favor. It has certainly tested my faith. To believe or not to believe. I know this Easter Sunday; I will once again find my renewal in all the trumpeting Easter Lily’s, happy bright yellow daffodils, Angelic music, the word of God and love of the risen Christ.
There is a dialogue at the end of the movie between Robert Langdon and Sophie:
“Okay, maybe there is no proof. Maybe the Grail is lost forever. But, Sophie, the only thing that matters is what you believe. History shows us Jesus was an extraordinary man, a human inspiration. That’s it. That’s all the evidence has ever proved. But… when I was a boy… when I was down in that well Teabing told you about, I thought I was going to die, Sophie. What I did, I prayed. I prayed to Jesus to keep me alive so I could see my parents again, so I could go to school again, so I could play with my dog. Sometimes I wonder if I wasn’t alone down there. Why does it have to be human or divine? Maybe human is divine. Why couldn’t Jesus have been a father and still be capable of all those miracles? Well, here’s the question: A living descendent of Jesus Christ – would she destroy faith? Or would she renew it? So again I say, what matters is what you believe.”

Whether human, divine, or both……I chose to believe. It has brought me this far, and continues to sustain me.