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My 42nd Year



My birthday is today. I am turning 41 and I am embarking on my 42nd year. The last two weeks I have been missing in action because my sister came from Alabama for a visit. We spent a lot of time with our aunt who is fighting stage 4 ovarian cancer. I wanted to learn family history and be with the woman who means so much to me. These two weeks have been an emotional roller coaster ride for us all. My aunt has been miserable since she got her G-tube and the hospital and doctors didn’t communicate with her enough to let her know she could eat with her G-tube. She thought she wasn’t allowed to eat. This made her so miserable and I cannot blame her at all. My breathing made her upset, so I did see her a few times, but I didn’t the last couple of times because I knew that she would be irritated and I didn’t want her to be. I want her to be comfortable and peaceful. With this experience I learned the importance of communication between doctors and patients. I went through something similar with my own health and I am sad that miscommunication is continuing. My heart’s desire is to change this.

There were some amazing memories along with the uncomfortable and sad ones. I was given some amazing pictures and stories of the women of my family and where I got my strength and determination from. I love that. I feel a deep sense of connection with my family.

These two weeks got me to thinking about where I wish to go and how I want to get there. I thought about what my assignment for my life is from God. I realize that I have to listen to my own voice and I have to do what I need to do despite the objections or criticisms of others who don’t understand me. I realize also I need to learn to accept my physical condition and be proactive despite it. I’m worth fighting for and I am a wonderful friend. I also realize that I no longer can be a scapegoat for people’s bad behaviors or choices. I can refuse and say no. I can be happy and positive despite the negative toxicity of some family members. I also have to stand up to the bullying behavior and actually speak my mind to them. I have to voice my wounds. I also have to voice my boundaries.

I have been learning a lot from the “Living Well with Chronic Conditions” class that I am taking with a couple of my friends these last 3 weeks. I’m also learning new tools that are going to help me focus even more on my goals of being fully well. The last three weeks they have been having us do weekly action plans. It is quite simple to do. Stanford Patient Education Research Center has an app that helps you do this. I don’t have a smart phone, but when I do get one I will be downloading this app for my phone. Until then I am going to do it by hand.

Here is the process: 1) what you are going to do, be as specific as you can about the action.

2) How much you are going to do, time, distance, portions, repetitions, etc.

3) When you are going to do it, time of the day, day of the week

4) How often, or how many days a week you are going to do it.

Here is what it looks like. I’m going to write my two for this week down for you to see what it looks like.

Here is my action plan for the week: I have two of them.

This week I will use my nutri-bullet for 3 days for breakfast. I will do this on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. My confidence level is an 8.

This week I will take my wheel chair out to walk for 5 minutes. I will do this Saturday and Monday. My confidence level is an 8.

Also if you live in Vancouver Washington, my neck of the woods. There is a place through Sea mar where you can get grocery shopping help with a Patient navigator. They will go shopping with you to help you show for healthy foods. They also have some excellent programs for exercise and quitting smoking all for free. Here is their website, check it out. Let’s all get healthy together. I hope to write a blog post a week from now on. Until next time, keep breathing and moving. We are all worth fighting for.

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