Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The "W" in Christmas

My mom forwarded this to me... I thought it was such a good story to share.

The "W" in Christmas

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations -- extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending. Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six-year-old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant."

I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment - songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front row-center stage -- held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down -- totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W."

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W..." Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:

"C H R I S T W A S L O V E"

And, I believe, He still is. Amazed in His presence... Humbled by His love. May each of you have a Merry Christmas as you reflect on His Amazing Love for us... Have a blessed day!

When you are DOWN to nothing.... God is UP to something! Faith SEES the invisible, BELIEVES the incredible and RECEIVES the impossible!

I hope each and every one of you have a very Merry Christmas... and remember, Jesus IS the reason for the season. Keep Christ in Christmas. Christ was love... and still is!


My boss emailed this to me... pretty neat. You must watch until the end to get the 'true' meaning.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Radiation Update 2

I have one more radiation treatment to go... it was supposed to be Monday morning, but they told me I could come Sunday morning instead. I really don't care to get up that early Sunday morning but for a chance to NOT have to drive down with the crazy Monday morning commuters... I couldn't pass it up. ~~rant warning~~ [We have had wet foggy mornings most of this week... I am appalled at the number of drivers that don't have their lights on! ID10Ts! I wish I could have a license to go around and bop them over the head with a big stick! Or smack them on the forehead like those V8 commercials. Maybe it would knock some sense into them! No wonder there were so many accidents. I-D-I-O-T-S!!]

Great suprise! My dad works out of state, so he's only in town for an extended weekend every few weeks; upon occasion, months. He just came in for the Christmas break, he's going to go down with me and then we're going out for breakfast. Yeaaa! That'll be nice.

Another great surprise... I didn't burn from the radiation like they thought I would. I must be one tough bird! LOL

I was told that the radiation would continue to work (stay in my body) for 10 days to 2 weeks. I have a follow-up appointment on January 12th. If the lump still hasn't completely gone away, they will possibly cut the rest out. They can't radiate it anymore; at this time, I have had the limit that can be done safely. I do have my qualms about cutting... I have heard too many people say that once you start cutting, it starts spreading. My doctor said it was nonsense... I'm still not so sure. I gotta tell ya... I am really concerned about it.

It looks like I will be getting some time off from work this Christmas. In the past, we try to wrap everything up and shut down for two weeks between Christmas and New Years. This year it looks to be from December 24th thru January 4th. We have a couple of late closings we couldn't get in this week, so there's one Monday and one Tuesday. May have one or two closings the following week, so I may have to come in for those... won't have to make a day of it, just an hour or two. It will suck to drive for 45 minutes for an hour or two... but these are the adjustments we must make. They don't have to close the office down and I would have to work that whole week. So I'm willing to make those adjustments for 12 days off (w/ pay) with a minor hiccup or two. I'm grateful to have that time off and I'm grateful I haven't gotten laid off... not yet anyways. LOL

Monday, December 15, 2008

Radiation Update

It's been 11 days since I started radiation treatments on the lump on my arm. The color is better, the lump has shrunk, and the itching and pain has decreased significantly.

I caught Missy Bug running around with my Timon bobbly-head cereal box toy. It's hard plastic and pretty good sized... not something I imagined she'd take off with. It was quite amusing to see her carrying it around.

And this is the newest Missy Bug mess I've come home to...

I am severely tired, so I'm going to bed and fall to sleep watching Pride & Prejudice.

Support Sears... they support our troops!

From 'The Family Research Council' (Washington Update newsletter)...

The Softer Side of Sears

These days, it's tough to find companies that share your values. But this holiday season, FRC is catching some retailers in the act of doing good. At Sears, they're giving back to the community by supporting our troops. By law, employers are required to hold jobs open for any military personnel who are called up for duty. Sears is doing our soldiers one better. To protect their workers from taking a pay cut and losing their benefits when they leave for the front lines, Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits-including medical insurance and bonus programs. A Sears Customer Service rep said, "[We] regard service to our country as one of the greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear." We salute Sears and other corporations who make their own sacrifices on behalf of America's bravest.

I feel I'm spending my money wisely when I shop at Sears.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I finally broke down...

Ok Laura, I finally broke down and bought a bra... since I received a $25.00 off coupon in my email, I decided I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Don't want to be at work and have it bust wide open... that wouldn't be a pretty sight!

I just got done eating peanut butter & jelly on toast for lunch. I was gonna go to Subway and get a sub, but decided at this point I needed the bra more. The phones are barely ringing and our heat is out, so Ron and I are sitting here in the quiet and COLD. If the HVAC company doesn't get here soon, we're going to close up early. According to my little digital temperature thingy... it's 66 degrees in here; cool yes, but not as bad as expected. Not much lower than I've been keeping it at home to keep the electric bill down.

Had my radiation session this morning. Hit an unexpected traffic jam just before Crabtree Valley Mall, made me 8 minutes late for my appointment. But I did get a nice surprise this morning. The technician I had last spring was there this morning... Matt. He's such a sweet personable guy. I wondered where he was last week and thought maybe he had changed schedules or something. Matt & Martha... great people! They make the horrid trip down worthwhile.

Well, must get back to work. Oooo... tonight it's my 'Get LOST Again' night. Four hours of LOST on SciFi channel.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Radiation Update

For those who were not on my email update:

My PET scan was negative... no unseen clumps of lymphoma hiding out in the recesses of my body.

I had my initial setup and radiation treatment today at 11:30. Got to work about 1:30. Will start my daily treatments tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM. Egads.... have to begin the 6:30 AM wakeups and drivng down with the morning commuters!

I will have 13 sessions of a higher radiation dosage, the doctor said I would burn this time around. So basically I will be run down and tired with a sunburn on my arm for the next couple weeks. Oh joy!

About 3:00 I started feeling slightly nauseous... not sure if it was because of the higher dosage of radiation or just a fluke. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Monday, December 1, 2008

November Catch-Up

Monday - November 24th:

I went to see my doctor about radiation treatments. He was none too pleased with me. Was not pleased with the look of my arm either. He took some pictures and said I proved to him that this was a little more than he anticipated. I told him I had taken pictures and posted them on my blog... (as he was laughing and shaking his head) he said I was warped. LOL.

He also worked some magic to slide me in for the marking and template making so I wouldn't have to make another trip down. Thank you very much... it's such a long trip down when coming from work.

I didn't get out of there until 5:30 PM... my sister showed up just after I got home. Her 4-yr old daughter saw the markings and asked me why they drew a pig on my arm. She said I should have asked for a kitty face. Too funny!

Here are some pics I took of it.

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Thursday - November 27th:

Thanksgiving! Last year on Thanksgiving morning, I was making a cheesecake to take to dinner. I stabbed my arm with a knife that was in the dish drainer. This year, I was making chocolate chip cookies and burned my arm.

Guess I should learn to stay out of the kitchen on Thanksgiving mornings!

I put ice on it but it was still very painful. When I was in the shower I noticed that my conditioner (Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp) had pyrithione zinc in it. It seems to me that was what was in the burn cream the doctor gave me, like 15 years ago, for my sunburn blisters. I put some on my burn and the pain disappeared instantly. Make a mental note.

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Friday - November 28th:

I had my PET scan today. Not fun. I hurt my shoulder moving furniture and they needed me to keep both arms locked above my head. Very painful for that one shoulder. My study was 35 minutes and I was in tears by the end of it. She had to help me move that arm back down.