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The Walking Dead

I was never one for horror. However, I just found the Walking Dead (TWD) last year and I am hooked! It usually takes a show or so for me to become a fan of a series, but for TWD I was sucked in in the first 10 minutes. My favorite character is Rick. He is the first person we’re introduced to. My second is Michonne and then Carol.

When the show opens it is with an empty intersection and then we see a deputy’s car rolling up. There is an overturned car and a large truck on its side. The sheriff’s deputy is then pulls up and pops the trunk. He is then seen walking down toward a run down and overgrown gas station carrying a gas can.

In the background, there is a shuffling sound. The deputy bends down to look under the vehicles and sees a kid walking. She has on slippers and a housecoat and walking away from where he is. He tells her that he can help her and that he is a deputy. She turns around. She has a part of her face missing and starts to go toward him. He shoots her in the middle of her forehead. She falls back and that’s the opening to Season 1; Episode 1. It only gets better.

Carol enters the series in episode 3 of the first season. She is a battered wife and a mother. As the season progresses we find out more about her strengths. For the longest time, she was my favorite after Rick. I can’t say much without spoiling it for those that haven’t seen it. So, to protect those individuals I have added some spacing so you can escape…

Carol checks out in the later part of season 6. She just had enough of the dying. She loved her group and was afraid that they’d die. People always died around her and Alexandria made them weak. She was suffering from serious PTSD and although not a good idea, she left.

Michonne enters in season 3. She is the lady that helped Andrea back to health. She carries a Samurai sword and is extremely accurate with it. The reason why Michonne is so awesome to me is because she truly cares for the people she lives with. Rick does too and so does Carol. But, Michonne is almost to a fault.

She developed a bond with Rick’s son Carl and the two are thick as thieves.

Most know that a Carl dies and Rick doesn’t ever seem to come back from it and neither does Michonne. It was a difficult episode and throughout the Walking Dead series fandom people were sounding off.

After season 8 wrapped up, we lost our armchair therapist. The Talking Dead’s host Chris Hardwick was wrongfully accused by an ex girlfriend with an axe to grind. She used the “me too” movement as a stage and Mr Hardwick was pulled from the show and from hosting the San Diego Comic Con. He is back though and all is well.

In just a couple of weeks, season 9 airs. It is going to be bittersweet. Rick’s last season. I will keep you posted

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Light the Night 2018

September is Blood Cancer Awareness month. A try to raise funding for several reasons: the first is that I am a survivor of Lymphoma and the second is I just lost my best friend to Leukemia. Research is incredibly important to finding a cure to Cancer.

This year’s event is on September 27, 2018and it starts at 3:30 at Washington Park in Denver.

My team is raising money for Tammy and myself. The first year that we did this, Tammy was newly diagnosed. I believed that she would make it. I believed that she would have lived to continue to raise her daughter with her husband. I believed that she would be able to go back to the job she loved. I also believed that we would go to Paris in 8 years. To explain some of this, I was just out of my Bone Marrow Transplant and I was a little on the scared side. My counts kept fluctuating and I kept losing weight. I was still in a lot of pain. I had asked Tammy if she would look after my daughter if I died. She instantly started crying and said yes. Little did I know that I would be making the promise to her.

There are 5 steps to grief and at times, I feel like I go through each of them at the same time. Tammy has been gone a month now and I still feel like I can call her up or text her to check on her. Tammy had Acute Myeloid Leukemia or AML for short. The survivability is just 26% and on top of that she had a condition called 11q23, the short of that meant that when her DNA wrote on her new cells, it wrote wrong by switching the two. That subtracted from the 26% chance that she would beat it.

Tammy went through hell and the only way I can help now is to help with her daughter (my daughter’s best friend) and support her husband. The second way that I feel I can help is to get the word out there. There are two types of Bone Marrow Transplants, Autologous and Allogenic. Auto is from yourself and that is the kind I had. Allogenic is from someone else and there are 3 ways. A sibling, unknown donor and a half match. Tammy had two brothers who were 100% matched to her. The second transplant looked like she was going to make it. She was at the 9 month mark and typically a Bone Marrow biopsy isn’t done at this point. She requested it and it was done. Her Marrow was clear and I got a text from her Mom that said she was good. That was Friday and by Wednesday, she was back in the hospital. The following Saturday she was gone.

On her birthday, I will be 5 years since I went into the ER complaining of back pain. I was diagnosed with Lymphoma, but not sure which one at that point. It is going to be a bittersweet anniversary.

This link: Light the Night 2018 is to our team’s fundraising page.

Thank you for helping!!!

Swimming Backwards

Have you felt that you were flailing around in the water? I felt that I was bobbing in a choppy sea. It seemed that treading water was exhausting and difficult. I was given a lifeline and following this introduction, below will give you insight on how to navigate through your struggles.

The following are some suggestions that I have recently received.

Mindfulness, Essential oils, Massage Therapy, Float Tanks and classes.

Learning how we can control environment instead of our environment controlling us. Mindfulness to me is similar to meditation.

mind·ful·ness

ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/

noun

1 1.
the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.”their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”

2 2.
a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

I was introduced to Mindfulness in my Pallative Care appointments. To give you some background on My appointments: When I entered into the program, I was on 75mcg of Fentanyl patch, 10mg of Dilaudid, Ativan – as needed, Scopolamine patch, Phenergan and Ambian. The goal of the Pallative team was to get me off of all the Narcotics and other medications that were not needed.

I was prescribed Methadone and my meds were cut down slowly. I believe it took a little over a year to get off of all the Narcotics and the other mind bending medications. I am thankful to be off of the painkillers for sure. The side effects of the Narcotics can be terrible. I am just so glad that I was able to. Every now and then, I am prescribed Ativan.

I found that keeping a journal helped to keep myself grounded.

Learning to cope with life is a challenge for everyone. Life still ticks on regardless of what we do to slow it down. Yesterday my little one was toddling around in the living room. Now, she is a couple weeks shy of her seventh birthday!!!

In order to manage the challenges of life, people need a way to vent or an escape hatch. Mindfulness is one way. Yoga and swimming are also good examples. I haven’t found one that works completely. Part of that is because I have a chronic illness and that creates a big problem. I try my best to manage it, but it is usually is managing me.

I was recently introduced to Float Sensory Deprivation Tank. The idea is enter a Pod of High salt content. Usually the salt is from Epsom Salt. There is so much salt (800 pounds), that when you get out of the tank the salt settles on your skin and you need to shower it all off.

This is not a picture of the type of tank I was in. Mine was pitch black inside and no lights. The size of the pictured tank is similar. Once you get in the water and close the lid, the room lights go out and you are in a tank that has the same temperature as your skin. There are 3 levels of floating, I tried the 60 minute float. There is also a 90 minute and a 120 minute sessions. I did not fall asleep in my first session and that was because I didn’t know what to expect. My next session is coming up and I am scheduled for 120 minutes. Hoping I will fall asleep.

Once you enter the tank, I would recommend not lifting your hands over your face. Salt water stings when it gets in your eyes.

Massage Therapy is another way to help you cope with the issues that arise in your life. In the past, I went to a massage session every two weeks. My chronic illness seemed to be lessened and my back didn’t bother me as bad. I have not had a massage for a long time now. It can be expensive.

Yoga and Water classes can be good too. I am drawn to water and the healing properties of it. You are weightless and that is good for your joints.

Essential oils is something that I have recently been introduced to. They are amazing. I recommend that you get a good brand and organic if you can. My favorite smell is lemon. It is uplifting and I calm down some when I smell it.

There are several ways to use essential oils. 1 is through a diffuser. The diffuser is like burning a candle. The oils are added to the diffuser and it circulates the smells of the Essential Oils are sent around the room.

I hope that this brief post gave you some insight into the world of coping. Until next time, I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Ty a.k.a. Tiger Shark

A year and a half ago I lost my beloved Labrador.  His name was Jake. He was also called The Moose or Sweet boy. He was all of those names. He was the most annoying and obnoxious dog I have ever had in my pack!

Jakers love coffee and would do whatever he could to get it. The first time he got ahold of my coffee was when I jumped out of the truck to go get something. Yes, I left the truck running and the doors locked and the brake set. I “was” drinking a double shot in the dark. That is two shots of espresso in coffee. When I got back in the truck, I found my empty paper cup and licked clean.

I panicked and called our Vet. She wanted to see him. Our Vet examined him and said that he’ll be fine. She said he is going to pee a lot and then crash. He will most likely look dead. Boy, was she ever right!

As you probably know, dogs can not have chocolate, nightshade plants (onions, lilies) and coffee. There are many more. However, Jake was around 85 pounds and active. He would most likely burn through the caffeine pretty fast. I asked our Vet if Jake could have decaf? She was sure, but she said most likely not. That dog would knock over the end table to get to it.

As time marched on and my beloved lab (non) retriever started to go downhill. He died with us and as hard as that was, I’m thankful that he did die with us instead of us bringing him in for our Vet to put him to sleep.

Two days shy of the anniversary of Jake’s death, I found Dyson. He was at the same shelter that we adopted Jake from. When I met him, he walked over and licked my face!

We had to bring Blaze in to meet Dyson. The meeting was good and both boys got along well. When we went to sign the adoption papers, we were in the same room that we adopted Jake in. Have you heard of pennies from Heaven? Essentially it means when you find change on the ground, your loved one is thinking about you. On our way to meet Dyson, we stopped to get gas and my husband found a penny. Needless to say, I carry it everywhere (taped inside my phone).

We named Dyson, Ty. For two reasons, easy transition for him and short for Tiger Shark. Well, now we call him Tiger or Radar.

He is just as annoying and obnoxious as Jake. Do dogs come back? I am beginning to believe that.

We now have two pointy eared dogs and before we had two floppy eared dogs.

So, Tiger is going to help save sharks. Why, because people wonder and usually ask why he has the name “Ty aka Tiger Shark”.

Blue Lemons

Ever try Matcha tea? Usually bright green and powdered. Finely ground tea leaves into a fine powder. Yum Yum Yum. I just came across Matcha that is BLUE. Blue is my favorite color and tea is my favorite drink. So, imagine my delight when I found out that there was such a thing!!!

Blue Matcha is made from the Blue Butterfly Pea flower. It is so striking to me to see a drink that is blue. Where does the Lemon in today’s post come from? Well, I was searching for a title. I love lemon in my ice water, but I haven’t found a love for lemon in my tea. Unless, it is lemon tea.

These days, I am an unsweetened iced tea fan. I also like Earl Grey and particularly Earl Greyer by Republic of Tea. Tea is one beverage that I don’t mind my little one to have. I won’t let her have sugared pop or sweetened drinks. I’m really nervous for her to have sweetener and that is why I thought tea was a better choice. I am not saying no sugary drinks at all, it just means that I limit them. She typically asks for tea, water or milk.

Well friends, I am glad you stopped by and I hope you will venture out of your comfort zone and try some Blue Matcha.

Peached in August

Every September on my wedding anniversary, my husband cans peaches. Colorado Palisade Peaches to be exact. This year the peaches arrive several weeks early and so he canned a case in mid-August.

My idea for the peaches was to make a peach salsa. That’s just what he did. Mango Pineapple Peach salsa.

It had a kick!

He used one Habanero and when I tried it, my mouth stayed on F I R E. After the initial burn, the salsa seemed to calm down.

We found a trick to help curb some of the heat in spicy foods and that is to use sour cream or even cream cheese. I guess it has to do with the fat content in the dairy. I’m not 100% sure.

Well friend, thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoy your day.

As the Sun Breaks

Today, I met a dear friend for coffee. I am so thankful for her. A majority of my friends hold opposite views of me. I appreciate that because it keeps me grounded and my eyes open.

When a friend will tell you like it is, it is a blessing. Even though at the time your feeling may hurt, but it is always in your best interest.

Before I was diagnosed, I loved the winter and the cold. I was raised up north and it was frozen there for most of the year. At least it felt like it was frozen. After I went through treatments, I am not a cold weather fan, I love the Sun. I love the warmth and colors that the Sun brings to my world and that my plants grow. My favorite place in the world is at Laudermilk Park in Naples, Florida. The sand is light like sugar and being a city park, it is well maintained.

I want to move there. However, I am not a humid environment kind of girl. So, there’s the dilemma. If I was to move to Florida, I’d be by the Ocean and that is what draws me.

As the Sun breaks for you, I hope you are able to find joy in that.

Until next time my dear friend,

Michelle

#Sunshine #Ocean #Florida #friends #sand #Naples #savesharks