Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. Psalm 95:6
We are blessed. We are loved. We are protected. God with us isn’t a sometimes thing; it is an all the time thing. As people of faith, we can trust in the Lord, which is all the more reason to have faith in tough times. This, too, shall pass, isn’t a sugar pill; it is hope, which sustains us in difficult times. Yes, bad things do happen; that is the way of the world. We are stronger together than we are apart, whether that distance is six feet in public settings or staying home. Connect with others in the ways you can; it will keep you moving forward when it feels like the world has come to a screeching halt.
Life may be more complicated for a while, but it will go on. The Las Vegas-San Miguel Chamber of Commerce has links to important information about COVID-19 and local restaurants serving take out. Call to order your favorite meal from your favorite eatery.
My prayer in the days ahead is for friends, family and neighbors to be strong and healthy and for our business community to survive and thrive. Be safe.
In August 2016, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. The doctor caught it early and – after removing all my reproductive lady parts in September 2016 – I was deemed to be cancer-free and not in need of chemo, thank the Lord. In May 2017, Bob fell and broke his femur, had surgery and spent five weeks in rehab and another eight weeks in physical therapy. He is much improved, but continues to require the security of a walker, although he can use a cane for short distances.
A couple of weeks prior to Bob’s May accident, I was diagnosed with a basal cell cancer on my nose and prescribed a topical treatment, which I began to apply the same week of Bob’s fall. I used it as prescribed, but between going to the rehab center and keeping up with things at home, I ran out of steam and quit using it after about three weeks, but not before it had severely “burned” my nose, which took almost a month to heal. That should have told me something. Right?
Bob came home from rehab after five weeks and began physical therapy. I somehow managed to sustain a sacral fracture that pretty much took me down for about five days, and I had to do PT for a month, two times a week. I improved rapidly and was walker-free within two weeks. That would have been sometime in June.
Come August 2017, my oncologist – who had been keeping an eye on my innards – found a troublesome lesion on the vaginal wall. Mr. Cancer was back. The doctor excised the lesion in an outpatient procedure in September. At the follow-up visit, she recommended focused radiation to make sure the cancer was eradicated.
In November, I went for a dermatology appointment and learned the cancer on my nose was more serious than first thought and Mohs surgery was recommended.
But first I had to do the radiation treatments. One thing at a time, please. I had five brief but intense treatments in late November and early December. Very little in the way of side effects, but by the end I knew I’d been fairly well blasted from the inside. It’s over – but not – as I have some internal “expansion” I must do to assure the tissue doesn’t scar over. Believe me, you don’t want to know. Suffice it to say, I’d rather go on a long vacation.
And then came the nose cancer surgery. It’s called Mohs, after the fellow who came up with the procedure. It was supposed to be easy peesy, scrape and check, scrape and check, close… except that the tip-of-my-pinky-sized spot turned out to be dime-sized and had four or five “fingers” that radiated out. Let’s just say the result of the surgery is not a pretty sight. They tell me (the doctor and tech), that it will be okay after reconstructive surgery, which will take place in about six or seven weeks. In the meantime, I’m wearing a bandage that hides about 15 stitches and a lump of skin from my smile line that’s heaped on the spot on my nose the doctor dug out to get rid of the cancer. Are you still with me? In a week, I get the stitches out and six weeks after that, my nose will be reshaped to what it was before. I pray that is the case.
Interestingly, the cancers that were more worrisome have turned out to be the least of my concerns and the one I thought would be a piece of cake has turned out to be more like burned toast.
Why am I writing about all this? I haven’t been doing much in the way of original work for my online magazine, One Roof Publishing. And I backed away from my freelance writing gig with the Optic, so I could concentrate on Bob’s health and mine. And now it occurs to me, given our ages – 73 and 87 – if I wait to write until we’re 100 percent healthy, I’ll never write another word!
So. I know my saga is no more dramatic or important or life altering than yours. This is not a “poor me” diatribe. In fact, it’s a story of resilience and thankfulness. Bob and I have excellent medical care, fabulous insurance and supplemental, and caring friends and family. Our faith has kept us going when we both thought we’d had quite enough, thank you very much. But the truth is, we have been blessed and the last thing I want to do is complain.
So. I have a few things in the works, including a novel, Blind Curve, with a target publication date of Jan. 15. My serialized sci-fi novel, which will be available through One Roof Publishing, will launch around the first of the year. The opening episode will be free. Following episodes will be available to paid subscribers exclusively. When the novel reaches its conclusion, it will be published in paperback. Subscribers to the online serial will receive a signed print copy. And I’m getting back to writing articles for One Roof Publishing, combining my original work with news and information from around the web. If you have an interesting story idea for me, or if you’re doing something interesting and would like to share, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking for great stories and engaging Q&A articles.
More to come.
Please share with your network. It’s how I build readership. Thank you!
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
At the local nursing home I learned – all over again – the power of a smile. As a Deacon in my church I know the value of approaching life in general, and troubled souls specifically, with kindness in your heart and mind. When that kindness is expressed with a smile, it creates common ground. Nowhere is this more evident that when you smile at elders in a nursing home and say hello. The transformation is amazing. Faces pulled down by the weight of being alone, or old, or by the never-never land of dementia, light up like candles in a dark room. Is it because for a moment the individual feels validated, real and present, acknowledged by someone who took time to smile and perhaps say a word of greeting? Or maybe she sees in that smile a vision of herself as she was, and still is. Behind the façade of age or mental illness or physical limitations, he sees that someone cares.
“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do,” Mother Teresa said. Smile, you never know who needs it, and it will make a difference, mostly in you. _______________________
Congratulations to Dr. David Elliott, who has been named Alta Vista Regional Hospital Physician of the Year for 2015. I can’t think of a more deserving person for this award.
CEO Chris Wolf made the announcement at the hospital’s June medical staff meeting.
Dr. Elliott has been a member of the AVRH medical staff since 1978 and is well known and respected at the hospital and in the community. He serves on the AVRH Board of Trustees, Medical Executive Committee and is the AVRH Physician Advisor.
Hospital employees were asked to nominate a physician they thought best met criteria that demonstrates compassionate patient and family care, recognizes all health care disciplines as partners in care, treats employees with respect and dignity, helps educate and develop patient care providers, recognizes and supports team efforts within the patient care setting, and actively participates in community events/opportunities.
According to the nominations that were submitted, “Dr. Elliott’s ability to hear the needs of others, coupled with extensive knowledge, provides an insightful approach to problem solving. He takes excellent care of patients and their families; Dr. Elliott works with and respects all aspects of the health care team.”
Thank you for being a reader/subscriber. It is my goal to present informative, interesting and creative content on this site. Your likes, shares and comments are welcomed and hugely appreciated.
What is Sparkpeople.com? It’s not just another weight loss program; it’s a FREE weight loss program that emphasizes healthy lifestyle, above all else. It has fitness tools, nutrition and fitness tracking, support through online resources, and a broad array of fitness videos with instructions on how to safely do the exercises in your home.
The site’s promo copy points out countless activities you can do to get healthy and reach your goals. Among those activities are:
Live a healthy lifestyle even if you don’t want to lose weight
Guides to nutrition, fitness, and motivation
Health and wellness information about conditions, treatments, and health news
Awesome Reason #1
It’s FREE: This is not a hook to get you started on a 10-day free trial with a fee kicking in after that. It is 100 percent FREE. Every resource is available to anyone who signs up. That isn’t to say there aren’t items available for sale, including a fee for direct coaching if you think you need it. But you aren’t required to buy anything. Sign on and have immediate access to tools you can use.
Awesome Reason #2:
Spark. You receive regular e-mails from SparkPeople with links to helpful articles. Do you want to know more about living a healthy lifestyle, weight loss, exercise, diabetes, high blood pressure, allergies, or wellness concerns? SparkPeople has articles to answer your questions. These daily e-mails spark you to log on every day, which is the first step to following through.
Awesome Reason #3:
Goal setting. You can’t know where you’ve been until you know where you are going. How many times have you said, “I’m going to lose 25 pounds by my cousin’s wedding, or my class reunion (or whatever special date or time is out there).” That kind of thinking leads to yo-yo dieting. SparkPeople’s strategy is to spark participants to embed lifelong changes designed to ensure good health. By setting realistic goals, you set yourself up for success.
Awesome Reason #4:
How many times have you read that keeping a “food journal” or an “exercise journal” is crucial to weight loss success? Have you tried that? Writing down every single thing you eat throughout the day? Writing down your physical activity? I’ve tried. I just can’t do it. SparkPeople has trackers. All you need do is search for a food or activity, select the measure and add it to your tracker. Not everything is there, so you may need to add something now and then, but it is, for the most part, easy to do. (I say “for the most part,” because there is a learning curve, but you can do it.)
There is more to the site. Explore. See if it will work for you. It is working for me. I’ve lost 12 pounds over 40 days, have not felt deprived, upped my activity, and physically feel better than I have in years.
One thing I don’t like about the site is the very reason it is free; it is loaded with ads, and the pop-ups are annoying. But I reiterate the site is free to you. SparkPeople developers learned early on that if you have a good idea you can make “passive” money by offering something everyone wants, and then charging advertisers to offset the cost of delivering that content to readers. SparkPeople hit the mother lode. SparkPeople.com gets more than 100 million page views a month and has more than 15 million registered users. That’s a lot of potential buyers for advertisers. The ads are sometimes annoying, but not to the point of detracting from the mission of SparkPeople.com: to provide tools for a healthy lifestyle, a service people want and are in need of… and it is FREE to the consumer. You can’t beat that.
Note: I am in no way affiliated with SparkPeople.com . These are my thoughts based on my experience. There may be other similar programs in the marketplace. I have not tried them.