Surgery – Now What?

I had surgery this past week to have my remaining ovary removed. However, when the doctor went in, my left ovary was atrophied and it had attached itself to my intestine. The good doctor made the decision to not remove the ovary as it could potentially cause more harm than good. It was a decision we had both discussed prior to the surgery and we had agreed with the decision.

Now I have three nice holes in my belly (I wish I could have told him to suck out some of the belly fat while he had me there but I don’t think a gynecologist can do that). One hole in my belly button and then two on either side. It was done with a laprascope. I wish my gall bladder could have waited until gall bladders were removed with a laprascope. But, no, I have this nice long scar on the right side of my belly.

I told you in a previous blog how the Letrozole made me into a crazy woman. I cried pretty much every night and I was in this deep, deep black hole. I stopped taking the medicine on Monday. Three days after my surgery and I am still feeling the effects of all the drugs I was given. My oncologist told me to stop taking the Letrozole and see how I am feeling in two weeks. Does she really think I want to go back on it? My poor husband can’t take the Letrozole. I can’t either.

I am such a lightweight with drugs. My body rebels against drugs. It very quickly lets me know that it does not want this foreign crap in my body. I just have to agree with my body.

My next visit with my oncologist will be interesting. She wanted my ovary removed because she does not want anything in my body that could produce estrogen. Well, I think atrophied means that ovary is dead. The second estrogen suppressing medication punched me down and out. There are only two more medications to try. Anastrazole = bad flu like symptoms. Letrozole = totally crazy lady. I will let you know what happens with the next one.

The Ninth Commandment

The ninth commandment is “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16.

This commandment is far  broader than just dealing with the justice system. At the time, Hebrew laws were set up to treat people fairly. Apparently, the laws did not rely on just one witness. The judges tried to get two or three witnesses. However, if any one was caught not telling the truth, the punishment against the person who bore false witness was pretty strict. Some times it even led to death to the person who lied. This caught everyone’s attention and made them think twice about not being honest.

This commandment also deals with being honest. Do not lie. When you lie about someone, you are not just harming that person but you are disrespecting God. How many people are completely truthful today? We are surrounded by so many dishonest statements. How many people believe all the advertisements they see? The news media has stretched the truth so far that it snaps. What about politicians and lawyers? We have become a society of stretching the truth, as we like to think it. What can it hurt, we think.

It does hurt. Reputations of people have been destroyed within minutes. Everyone likes to hear the bad, not the good. Everyone likes to gossip. Gossiping has become the norm today. And as soon as a hurtful lie has been said about a person, it stays with them no matter how wrong it was. People remember the bad, not the good. Gaining back your good reputation is difficult.

Not only is the gossiper breaking the ninth commandment but the people who listen to the gossip are also breaking the commandment. It is so tempting to hear the juicy bad stuff. But it is wrong. I have fallen victim to listening. I try hard to say, I don’t want to hear this and I think it is wrong that you are spreading such news. The problem with saying this is that some times the gossiper then turns on you. Not an easy situation.

How about little white lies where the truth would actually hurt the person more than if you lied? For example, your friend just had her hair cut and she is absolutely thrilled with the style. You don’t really like it. What would be best? Tell her you are glad she really loves it? Tell her it looks fabulous? I think a small white lie is fine. Besides, even though it isn’t something you absolutely love, your friend does and you should not deflate her happiness. It’s just your opinion and it’s just hair. It’ll grow again.

We need to be more aware of how much we are not telling the truth. Once you start being dishonest, how easy is it to remember all the lies? The lies build one on top of the other until the truth is so far gone, you can’t even remember what the truth was. You are disrespecting God by being dishonest.

Depression – A Real Roller Coaster of a Ride

I am fortunate. I have always been able to get up out of bed in the mornings. There are many who just can’t. For the most part, I am able to complete my tasks for the day but there are some days when I have to push myself to work on my novel or complete the tasks I started the day before. There are many who fall apart and just can’t.

I have depression and with the proper medication, I can accomplish my day to day activities. Some days are better than others although there are lows. It is exactly like being on a roller coaster. The rush and anticipation of climbing upwards, knowing that you are soon at the edge and about to plummet down. The pit of your stomach eats at you, knowing what is about to happen. But I am able to find joy and beauty in most days. I am also able to find peace and enjoy knowing God is there.

However, to anyone who thinks that one should be able to cope without medication, I must laugh. I am lucky in that my depression is not as bad as others who experience it. The medication I have, lets me cope rationally. If there are Christians who think our depression can be controlled or managed by God alone, in this case, I think God needs help. I am a sinner and human. I need help.

I know a woman, who after she started taking vitamins and a shake program, stopped taking her medications. A mistake? Absolutely. This woman is now certifiably crazy. She has become this person who blows up at the slightest issue. She plans her day on the best way to terrorize others. She will pick on people and devise ways to make them miserable. Then when they stand up to her, she gets rid of them and blames them for their crazy and unacceptable behavior. She calls herself a good Christian woman.

There are many forms of mental illness. Some of the major types are depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder, personality disorders, trauma and eating disorders. Personally, schizophrenia and bipolar mood disorder scares me. These are truly life altering mental illnesses. Anyone with these disorders or anyone who has a family member or friend with these disorders has my heartfelt sympathy. My husband and I watched “A Beautiful Mind” the story of John Forbes Nash Jr. This movie touched me deeply. John’s wife, Tilly, is so beautiful. She looked past his illness and loved him at a time where so little was known about mental illness. What a strong and courageous woman.

We cannot see what goes on in a person’s life. We cannot know exactly how a person is living day to day. We do not know their struggles whether it be a physical or mental struggle. The pain from either struggle is real and can be difficult to cope with. A person should not be judged by either pain. Each one of us needs to give every person we meet, grace and kindness. We need to treat others the way we, ourselves, would like to be treated. We are all children of God. We have only one life to live. We need to live it in a way that honors God.

The Eighth Commandment

Exodus 20:15 “You shall not steal.” The eighth Commandment.

This one is pretty straight forward, right? Do not take anything from anyone if it isn’t yours. One author says that if you follow this commandment, then you are pretty much obeying all of the commandments. Murder is stealing a person’s life. You steal another person’s spouse when you commit adultery. When you are envious of another person’s possessions, it could lead to stealing the possession. If you don’t tell the truth, you are stealing justice from another.

We have all been given the right to possess property. No one has the right to steal anything that belongs to that person. The reasoning for this is that God has given us these material items in order to be good stewards for Him. Whatever we have, we are to happily and willingly give to others, especially the poor. The Bible talks about tithing 10% of what we have to God. Stealing from what God has given us, is basically stealing from God.

What about when someone steals something that isn’t material? Perhaps like a person’s good name or dignity, or an idea or song. That is stealing. God has given us all gifts or talents which are to be used for Him. God gave me the gift of writing. I know I don’t always use my writing for His glory but, dear Lord, how I try.

It is interesting that when Christ was crucified, He was placed in between two thieves. The first thief to be saved was the one who said to Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” The thief knew. Jesus took all our sins upon himself and died for us. He died for thieves, so that every thief who trusts in Him will be saved. Is there any way we can possibly thank Jesus for this?

Letrozole

My oncologist started me on Letrozole. I have been on it for one month and thought things were going fairly well. Although there were two days where I had a severe headache and I had blurry vision. Then I started feeling nauseous in the mornings.

But, emotionally, the past two weeks have been horrible. I suffer from depression and I have medication which helps me. However, someone threw a heavy, black blanket on me and it was sucking me down. I have not felt this terrible in a long time. It was like I had the wind knocked out of me. I couldn’t breathe. I cried at the slightest thing and any comment my husband made had me in this black hole of despair where I could not stop crying. I was in anguish. I was in such pain that I just wanted to die. Unless one has gone through this emotional pain, you just can’t imagine how much it hurts.

Before the weekend, I messaged my oncologist and told her what was happening. I was told that the Letrozole shouldn’t be affecting the Venlafaxine I am on. It was suggested I go off the Letrozole and see how I am in two weeks. Like a trooper, I said I would keep taking the Letrozole and see how it was going.

Saturday started out kind of fine. But the day quickly deteriorated. By Sunday, I was a massive mess and I was playing hell on my poor husband. I told him he would end up hating me and that he should leave me. I just kept thinking, I need to talk to someone. So I picked up my phone and called my best friend. I was crying when I told her I needed to talk to her. Thank goodness for Elizabeth.

As I was sobbing, I told her what was happening and she said it certainly sounded like the Letrozole was really messing me up. She managed to calm me down and we even laughed at my craziness. I have stopped taking the Letrozole. Even though I know it will take a while for the drug to get out of my system, I feel better.

I did google Letrozole and found that there are many common side effects. One of the less common side effects are depression. Bingo! Exactly. Do I want to risk it and try taking the Letrozole in two weeks, just when I am starting to feel better? Would you blame me if I said, I am afraid to? The Anastrazole made me sick. I was stuck in my bed, sick. I don’t go to bed sick unless it is bad. The Letrozole made me despicably depressed. There are only four estrogen suppressing medications. Two more to go?

The Seventh Commandment

The seventh commandment is “You shall not commit adultery”. The first author I read, had it titled “Do not commit adultery”. The second author titled the seventh commandment as “The Joy of Sex”. Well, that one caught my attention.

I wonder if my adult children are reading my blogs. If they have, I wonder how many times they have groaned and hit their heads against a wall. My oldest daughter told me I share more than what she would share online. I forgot to ask where exactly she was talking about, but I didn’t. So I might as well just tackle this commandment the way I have everything else.

I have always wondered why God made our bodies the way He did. Why are we so sensitive in some areas and not in others? Did He make a mistake or was this His intention? All I know is that it has taken me until my current husband to realize the joy of sex in a truly loving relationship. There is nothing more beautiful when two people truly love each other to realize the full joy of having two bodies as one. This is in the Bible, dear one.

The Bible celebrates the sexual act of love. It has to be exclusively within marriage and it is a gift from God. Just read all passages in the Bible celebrating love. There are unashamedly erotic passages within the Bible. However, always between a husband and a wife. Sex is the superglue between a husband and a wife. It is a force for good. It has even been said that there is a close connection between our sexuality and our spirituality.

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine… Draw me after you; let us run! The king has brought me into his chambers.” Song of Solomon 1:2 & 4.

While having sex before marriage is wrong, marital infidelity is the worst sin. Even though you may think that as long as one doesn’t actually do it within their marriage, it’s okay. No it isn’t. Thinking about it, leads to looking, leads to flirting, leads to talking, leads to bam! It is just wrong. All of this involves whispers, lies, secrets, unknown futures, and hurts. If someone has no problem in deceiving their mate, then what else would that person not do? How could the wronged person trust their partner again? I just keep thinking about that. I keep thinking what else would that person hide from me?

As long as a husband and wife share romantic evenings, movies and sensual pleasures between each other, that is all within the superglue force in their marriage. Sorry – no threesomes or anyone or anything else. When a husband and wife love each other, having sex rejuvenates, restores and superglues the bond between them.

“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:3-4.

There you have it. I wonder how many phone calls I will get from my children. At least, I know they have read my blog. I should be happy about that.

The Ups and Downs of Finding a Good Bra

I cannot tell you the amount of time I have spent looking for a good fitting bra. For the longest time, I went with whatever I could find at WalMart. Bad choice. Especially for a woman who is not small. Not large. Let’s just say medium sized.

After my divorce, I went with Victoria’s Secret. That was a bad choice as well. But I wanted pretty bras. Bras that would lift and separate. You do get pretty with Victoria’s Secret but you do not get a well fitting bra that is meant for anyone over an A cup. Those bras are made for teenagers and young women who are a size 0. Don’t let me go there about size 0.

During my chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer and prior to my radiation treatments, I was warned by the radiation oncologist to not wear any bras that have underwires. Fine. I was done with Victoria’s Secret anyway. But where do I go to find a good fitting bra that would still be pretty? I have a new husband and even though I am aging, I don’t want to have my breasts hanging by my waist.

I googled and researched and found barenecessities.com. They have a huge selection of bras. I mean huge. They have 406 T-Shirt bras, 977 DD+ bras, 145 back smoothing bras, 1005 Underwire, and the list goes on. They have 578 wire free bras which is what I was looking for. So I read through all the reviews and I tried to make my selection.

I decided to try their “chat with an expert” to get a proper size. Don’t do it. When the expert had me measure myself, she managed to come up with my size as 38DD. I have never in my life been a 38DD. Not even when I was breast feeding my children was I a 38DD. I remeasured myself and knew I should be a 38C. But I went ahead and ordered one 38DD. When it came, I couldn’t stop laughing. My head fit into one of the cups. Thank goodness they will pay for the return postage and refunds are easy.

Then I ordered bras. Many bras. I tried them all on and finally managed to narrow it down to 4 different brands. However, after wearing the four different brands for several months, I have now eliminated 3 brands. Here are my reviews:

Glamorise 2452 – It is a pretty, pink bra that has a front closure with hooks. It actually has 2 rows of latch-ins. But! It has 5 hooks. I don’t know about you but after the second hook, I am done. Many times, once I had the last few hooks done, the first ones would slip out. Not only that, the front closure is not comfortable. After wearing this bra for approximately one month, I was done.

Warner’s 2771A – It is a pretty looking bra. I bought one in a beige color. It fits well. However, the band is overly stretchy and very thin. The band extends from the sides of the cups. It does not go underneath the cups. Yes, I can easily snap the hooks in but when the band nearly wraps around me twice, then it is too stretchy. I would not recommend this bra.

Bali 3463 – This bra did not look at all like the picture. This bra is something I would have bought at WalMart. The band on this bra does go all around, underneath the cups. It is stretchy as well. A little thicker than the Warner’s. However, the band tends to fold over top of the cups. For the most part, the bra is comfortable but I would not ever buy this bra again.

Vanity Fair 71380 – I bought a purple one and a beige one. I love this bra. The band and the cups are spot on. The band is stretchy but not overly so. It does go underneath the cups. The whole bra is constructed really well. Exactly what a woman who is a 38C needs. This bra lifts and separates the girls. The bra fits so well, that I hardly notice it. Which I can’t say about the other bras I have had. I have always had to play with straps, the band, jiggle, jostle and pull.

When it comes time to order new bras, I’m not sure what I will do. Right now I am on a diet and losing weight. I want to wait until I am down to the weight I want to be before I order any new bras. I have been looking at the Third Love bras. I will have to see.

Onwards to A New Medication

Anastrozole did not treat me very well. I was taking it for about three weeks when it knocked me a one-two punch that left me quite sick.

I got up one morning and it was a struggle. I definitely felt like I had had one bad drinking night. Getting up and walking was not easy. I felt like the room was spinning, I was nauseous. My head felt huge. I had bad diarrhea. It was like a bad stomach flu and a bad drinking night.

I emailed my oncologist and she said to stop taking it. Then after a couple of weeks, if I was feeling better, I should start taking it again. Well, in between all of this, I had the visit with the gynecologist and I was not going to take anything again until I could see my oncologist.

The first thing my oncologist told me was since I had diseased lymph nodes, I must take an estrogen suppressing medication. She told me the statistics are that the medication suppresses reoccurrence by 50 percent. There are four different medications that I can try. We now know Anastrozole is out. I am now on Letrozole. I was told the side effects were similar but she is hoping my body will be good with this one. She also told me that there are creams and gels that I can be given to alleviate the dryness in the vagina. However, she said not many of her patients experience this problem.

I then asked about doing tests to make sure that all the cancer is gone. I have many friends and my children who are asking this question. She said that they have done a battery of studies on people who underwent many tests after treatment compared to those who didn’t. They determined that there was nothing to indicate running tests after cancer treatment was beneficial.

My oncologist then went on to tell me how she loved my hair coming in. I told her it had a mind of its own. She has extremely curly hair and told me there are hair products for curly hair. She uses one that she puts on while her hair is wet and then lets it air dry. Not only does my oncologist give great medical information but really important information on hair products. Cool!

The Fourth Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11

This is the fourth commandment in its entirety. As I am typing this verse, I am wondering, what about the wife? Or does the you imply both man and woman? Husband and wife? Mother and father? That has to be the answer since the fifth commandment is to honor your father and mother. I better move on from this question.

It has been said that this commandment is the longest and has three parts to it. Verse 8 tells us what to do, then verses 9-10 specifies how we are to do it and verse 11 explains the why.

God has explained that we are to work or labor for six days of the week but on the seventh, we are to rest, give God glory and show mercy. Apparently, we were made to work or labor. We are to work for God’s benefit. Any task that we undertake, should be done with happiness and mercy. Every person needs to be working, whether you are employed, unemployed, a student, an at home caregiver, retired or disabled. Each one of us is meant to be able to work at something.

I like those affluent people who think they need to work seven days a week. Some have said it isn’t efficient to believe in God because it takes away from their business. Perhaps they would have a better business if they took one day a week off and observed a day of rest, gave honor to God and spent time with families. Or perhaps doing community work. I just think they are being greedy in wanting more.

Now for those people who provide emergency services, they are needed on Sundays. They are showing mercy to others by attending to those injured or those who need help. These people then do need to take another day off for rest and honoring God.

However, Christians today are just so busy and rush from place to place, job to job, one commitment to another. People are so wrapped up in themselves that they tend to forget others. The day of rest is to honor God, show mercy and spend time with family and loved ones. The biggest issue, these days, is time. Everyone has so little time. If someone infringes on that time, then there is a feeling of desperation. Not being able to finish everything. Do Christians not see that by giving themselves one day off to rest and honor God, this will give them a fresh start to the rest of the week? Just my thoughts.

 

 

The Third Commandment

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7.

On the surface, this commandment looks pretty simple. Don’t swear using God or Jesus as a swear word. Really. There are so many other swear words which are so much better. Unfortunately, today’s society seems to keep using their names in vain. I also every once in a while, forget myself and use it. Some authors have suggested that any one who uses their names in vain, deep down inside know that there is a God.  That would include intellectual atheists/agnostics, activists, seeker-agnostic, anti-theist, non-theist, and ritual atheist/agnostic. I had to look up the list of terms that are now used for non believers. Then, all these people who have turned their backs on God, are knowingly acknowledging that there is a God.

It doesn’t end here though. Taking God’s name in vain applies to Christians. So many times, Christians will say, “Praise the Lord”. Unless that person is using it with their heart and truly thinking of praising the Lord, this is taking the Lord’s name in vain. Any person who attends church, sings songs, sits through a sermon without totally involving their head and their heart in the service, is taking the Lord’s name in vain. Actions without conscious effort and thought and involving the whole heart, is blasphemous.

Perhaps that is why I hesitate finding a church home. I have visited too many churches and not continued because of the lip service I see. There have only been two or three churches that have truly made an effort to welcome newcomers. As I stand and look at the congregation, many people are distracted by their children, their phones, their friends, etc. They are not paying attention and giving full heart to the service. It has become more a thing for people to be seen going to church. Then as these people leave church, they are in a rush to get to their next destination and finish all their tasks of the day (which is breaking the fourth commandment).

People taking actions in the name of the Lord is also breaking this commandment. Terrorists who think they are promoting their cause by killing others in the name of God, are breaking this commandment. Any one who says they are fulfilling a prophecy and taking action on it is a false prophet. Anyone who does not commit an action without truly praying about it and having their heart filled with love, is taking the Lord’s name in vain.

These are all actions I already knew were wrong. Readings by various learned theologians have shown that I was on the right track. Now I know how to categorize these actions. Jesus has said that anyone who comes to heaven declaring His name, could be turned away and sent to hell as He will know who truly has the Lord Jesus in his heart. Bottom line is don’t use the Lord’s name in vain.