Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

This Mother's Day begins with my children sleeping peacefully by my side. We are at Grandma's house and so sharing a room. I listen to their soft breathing and gaze upon their sweet faces relaxed in sleep. I am so blessed. So lucky to have these little men in my life!! Words cannot express my fear that my body will succumb to this cancer and I will leave these two behind.

Eight years old is such a special age. They are big boys, with big boy books and big boy toys. At times though they are still little and want a snuggle, some reassurance that in their big world they still have the comfort of mom at their side. I always want to be able to give them that reassurance. I always want to be that safety net, that soft blankie that at times in their lives they might desperately need. I believe this is what every mother wants. To be there for their children when they need us, to witness them growing up and becoming their own person.

This Mother's day I am wishing all the amazing mother's out there a day filled with love!! I wish for you a cute card made at school, a small but lovely slightly crushed bouquet of flowers held by eager little hands, and breakfast in bed. I wish for you moments of relaxation when the weight of the world is temporarily taken off your shoulders. Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2016


I am heading out tomorrow to visit my family. A six hour road trip is in my immediate future. I prefer road trips to the mountains but this will be fun. I get to see my little nieces and nephew, hug my brothers and sisters-in-law, celebrate mother's day with my mom and cruise the main street of the small town I grew up in. Fun, fun!

I have recently chewed all my finger nails down. Right down. Why? Anxiety. I have chemo coming up when I get home from my little getaway. Every cycle I seem to have worse anxiety. Feeling the chemicals inside me is almost too much some days. It is even more important to not center my life around my diagnosis when my anxiety comes. I need to get out there and live life! Especially on days I feel so good I forget I have cancer. My nails are gone, but just for now. I still have my hair!!

So I shall go see my family. Enjoy the open road before me and bask in the love I shall receive once I arrive. Once in awhile it is good to mix it up and change your surroundings. The trials we go through are meant to shape us. I have grown up hearing that little anecdote. I am not sure how cancer and treatment is supposed to shape me, yet I feel confident in the knowledge that every day I have the choice to wallow or shine. I choose to shine!! Shine, and fly. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Quiet Moments

There is something so wonderful about the quiet moments. When everyone in the house is asleep except me I find joy in the peace. My family is all here under one roof yet no one is needing me or asking for something. One thing I have learned with my diagnosis is to grab on to these moments of happiness and snatch them up. Yes I find joy in quiet moments when my family doesn't need me....that doesn't mean I don't love them with every fibre of my being. It only means I find happiness in time to myself! Life is too short to hold on to grudges, imagined or real slights, and anger. Life is too short and precious to hold on to anything but love, beauty, family, joy and knowledge. When we find these we should hold on tight!! Joy can be found if you look for it. Things that bring me joy include the song of evening birds, the sweet smell after summer rain, sunset sweeping across autumn fields. The laughter of my children when my husband engages them in play. The smile on my mothers face when I pull into the drive for a visit. The green of the Caribbean Sea off the Cuban coast. So many things bring joy. These are the things I choose to focus on instead of the awful health situation I am facing. These quiet moments don't last long, so I take what I am given and am grateful. 💜

Thursday, April 21, 2016


My closest friend and conspirator gave me a coloring book while I was cooped up in the hospital. It is packed with butterflies, hearts and dripping inspirational quotes. Usually I don't have the patience for such intricate work, yet it proves well enough to take my mind off the pain when my day is going that way. I concentrate on colors instead of the hurt. Those painful days though!!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Living Free

Hello world. My name is Karen and I have cancer. A terrifying realization, wouldn't you agree? The first two weeks after hearing those words from the doctor were the worst! That is a story for another time. Now the fear has retreated into a tiny cave in my mind, banished there by my heart. I will not live in fear of dying. I want to enjoy my life, my family, my time on this planet. How can one enjoy life while placing the focus on disease and sickness, death? Impossible. This blog is my journal of a life lived, not a shadow. Come along with me while I live and laugh and be free of those chains.