Oct 31, 2022

The Diagnosis 💞💞

 You cannot fight against every storm in life sometimes 
you need to stand firm and wait for the storm to pass...

October 9th:

Wednesday September 28th, 2022.  Hurricane Ian was raging on.
  Arvid and I were watching it on the news.  Not sure of exactly 
where it was going to hit.  At one point it was aiming directly
 for Tampa, then it changed course.  Fort Myers, was it's target.  

Arvid and I had only just moved here 8 days ago.  I brought
 Sniff from Branson on the 23rd of September.  Just 5 days before
 Ian struck.  Was a very harsh welcoming to our new home.

As we were watching the news, at this time we still had power and 
would have for another 3 hours before losing it for seven days.  When 
I went to Branson on the 21st of September to bring Sniff home, I had 
an doctors appointment on the 22nd.  I was scheduled to do a biopsy
 on the left breast.  My ultrasound showed a "suspicious" mass.

As we were watching the destruction Ian was causing,I received
 an email through my patient portal with the results of the biopsy. I was
 diagnosed with breast cancer.  Least to say, it was at a most inconvenient 
time.  Not that there is ever a "convenient" time for such things.

I looked at Arvid and I said, "I have breast cancer".  I think he 
was more affected than I was.  Don't get me wrong, this is not
 something that does not scare you, but I knew the possibility
 existed once the mass was discovered.  I was "ready"

So Hurricane Ian hit Fort Myers really bad.  We lost power 
and peoples lives suddenly changed.  Mine included.  I was 
not about to tell this to my family.  Not then.  My niece 
Danielle is getting married at the end of October and I
 was not going to ruin everyone's time with news of 
my diagnosis. That would be very selfish of me.  

I was not going to tell my parents right away either.  It would literally
 kill my mom with stress and anxiety.  That I will never ever do to her.  
Yes, I will tell them, but after the wedding and after I know more.

Nirvana is dealing with a lot right now as well.  Hurricane Fiona
 caused lots of damage to her house.  Just like Maria did.  She is
 dealing with even more than I am, and I could not cause her to 
worry any more than she is.  She has more than enough.

Nina is busy with Danielle and her wedding as it should be. 
 Imagine their only daughter getting married.  It's a big deal.

Rima and Mala are busy with work, kids and their own issues. 
 Yes, all of this sound like excuses but honestly life is not
 as easy as we think.  Everyone has things they deal with.

In the meantime because of Ian I was not able to find a doctor 
for at least a week.  A week does not sound like a long time, but 
when you're dealing with the unknown you want answers. 

 I want to know what my next step is and what is my plan 
of attack.  This way I can better handle whatever comes along.  
Life throws things at you.  You are not always prepared, but I figure
 that there is no need to panic right away.  Not until I know more.

I have not really had time to take in all of this.  Ian has kept us 
busy.  We just moved to a new place and just like that everything 
happened all at once..  Hurricane Ian and my breast cancer 
diagnosis all in the same day.  I guess it's a little overwhelming,
 but I have yet to be overwhelmed.  I just need to deal with it.

I am more concerned about my family and how this will 
affect them.  I really hate to stress them out.  When I was
 diagnosed with Thyroid cancer it really affected my 
mom a lot, and of course my family. 

 Arvid took it really hard and I really hate to be the cause of
 their suffering.  This is what pisses me off that because of me,
 they will now be thrown into turmoil again.  No matter how much I
 will reassure them, it's wont help.  I just hope my mom does not have 
a nervous breakdown.  She's a strong woman, but at the end of the
 day, I am her eldest child and she will take it too much to heart.

As of this minute, this day I am not shattered by the news,
 I am not overwhelmed as yet, I am just impatient o get going and 
to do what is necessary to take care of it.  I have way too much
 life left to live and I do not give up easily.  I am a fighter
 and I will always fight for others first and then for me.  
That is what is pushing me forward.  Always

October 17th:

On Monday October 10th I was finally able to get 
hold of a doctor.  It has taken me 12 days since my diagnosis
 to do so.  Thanks to Hurricane Ian nothing is the way it 
used to be, but I managed, and so began the reality
 of what I have and what is going to happen.

I still have not told this to any of the family.  I can't seem 
to bring myself to do so, at least not before Danielle's wedding 
and that is approaching very fast now.  I did tell one of my friends
 in New York.  We've been friends for over 30 years, my crazy 
Irish redheaded partner during my time in NYC EMS.

I also told my surgeon to block off the days of Danielle 
and Andrew's wedding.  A few more days will not kill me.

For the next five years I will be a Cancer patient.  Hopefully the 
cancer will not return.  If it does, then I I just have to deal with it.
 For now what is recommended is a lumpectomy, just another 
word meaning surgery to remove cancer from your breast.

I'm ready, but in the meantime I still do not have a date for
 the surgery.  I do have several different "things" needing to be
 done beforehand.  I need to make contact with the oncologist/ cancer
specialist, I was given and go through the treatment procedures.  
This is the person who will be treating me after surgery.

According to my surgeon, by the way she's a gorgeous 
37 year old born in Argentina, raised in Fort Myers, 
I should do pretty OK.  I'm already in love with her.

After surgery I will have radiation treatments.  From 
what I was told, a total of 16 treatments consecutively. 
 I'm ready and just want to get started.  I am impatient 
and right now even more so.  I need to get busy.

I do not believe I am braver than everyone else.  What I do
 know is that I can't dwell on this.  I am not one to say, "why me?"  
Instead I know that in this big picture I am considered lucky.

  My cancer is manageable, that's what I was told and that's 
what I am going to work with.  Many more than we know, are 
losing the battle with Cancer.  Those are the real heroes, the real 
warriors.  The ones who are fighting a battle against time.  I just
 hope that that's not going to be me.  I will devastate my family.

October 18th:

I just got the call I was waiting for. I have a date for
 my surgery.  Suddenly it's a little more real.  This means I
 will be telling my family on Sunday October 22nd about me
 having breast Cancer.  Not looking forward to doing this. 
 Not the day after Danielle's wedding.  It's just not right.

October 27th

After much back and forth we decided to not tell my family
 until the day before surgery.  Arvid  and I thought, "why stress them 
out more than necessary"  Coming back from the wedding it's been
 doctors and more phone calls regarding the surgery and follow ups than 
I expected.  It got to the point where for a while I was confused who all 
these doctors were.  I'm still confused why I have so many doctors.

Today I am scheduled to do a savi scout procedure. 
In simple terms, it's a GPS tracker inserted in your breast to
 guide the surgeon during surgery. I went there on my own
 because I chose to, even though wanted to go with me. 
 Easier this way.  Easy process, mild discomfort.

Having Cancer had not really sunken into me.  I had no 
time to dwell on it, but on Tuesday October 25ht after coming
 back home from Danielle and Andrew's wedding I had my pre-op 
appointment.  Still all was good until I was leaving.  The girls in 
the doctors office gave me a little bag with information regarding
 my many different appointments.  In that bag was a teddy bear.  
As I held the bear, then it hit me.  I got over that fast. 

 No time to dwell or feel sorry for myself.  In 2014 I had  
Thyroid Cancer and I dealt with it.  I now have Breast Cancer,
and I will deal with it.  I'm more concerned about Arvid 
and my family and how they will deal with it.

I just cant wait to get this whole thing over with and 
begin my radiation treatment.  Should the Cancer reappear
 I want to be ready and more knowledgeable also.

It's been doctor after doctor.  Test after test.  Needles, 
probing and the phone calls.  There are so many doctors
 involved that I have lost count.  There's my surgeon.  The 
radiologist to who did the savi procedure.  General doctor.
  Lab work.  More radiologists.  Medical oncologist.  Radiation
 therapy doctor.  I am right now I'm a little overwhelmed 
and a little tired.  More mentally than anything else 😬.

You know my name not my story.  You've heard what I've
 done but not what I've been through.  I am not unique.  There's 
always a story behind every person, a reason why they are
 the way they are.  So never judge by their situation.

You can only do things one day at a time.
Live one day at a time and make it a masterpiece...


Halloween 2022, Monday October 31st ~ 💕

Please park all brooms at the door...

Breast Cancer is a journey I never planned or asked for. But I 
choose to love life, hate the disease and  fight.  The only way.

Halloween is a great time to be creepily creative!  What do 
you plan on doing today?  Who do you plan on "scaring"

Halloween was so much fun when we were little.  We 
would go out trick or treating with my mom and/or our dad.
  The always said, "you can't be too careful."  The tradition
 continued with my nieces, nephews and granddaughters.

Even though Halloween has become more  commercialized, 
it is still a time kids look forward to.  Unfortunately in the society
 we now live in, it's also become quite dangerous for kids.  
Too many weirdos/sickos out there with bad intentions.

Today in Norway our youngest granddaughter, Amelia
 turns one year old.  I have not seen her nor held her as yet 😭 
Looking so very forward to doing so this summer 🎃

Last year we were in Puerto Rico.  Early in the mornings I
 would be out feeding my 14 kitties. I think of them quite often.  
I also miss my wildlife friends in Branson.  There is a lot of things I
 miss both in PR and Branson.  Arvid said to me the other day, "maybe 
we need to take a trip back to Branson and have some good food."  

The good thing about being in Florida is that when we
 leave to go back to Branson there is absolutely nothing I really
will miss.  We have never grown attached to anything here. 

 It is beautiful, but it is also beautiful in every place we 
have been.  Beauty as they say is in the eye of the beholder.
Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.

Life suddenly got a little more complicated for me, but I 
did it before and I will do it again.  I am after all, my mother's 
daughter, and she is the strongest woman I know.  Her five 💞
 girls took after her and my dad.  Nothing will keep us down.

Even in a world with much sadness, 
at its essence, life is beautiful.


Oct 30, 2022

💞 Sunday October 30th ~

 A man who can laugh at himself is truly blessed,
 for he will never lack for amusement.  May you never 
lack confidence and always believe in yourself... 

I woke up very early again.  A lot going around in my head lately. 
 Sniff is by my side but sound asleep.  He keeps wanting to be by 
my side more than ever lately.  Maybe he knows something I don't.
  Whenever one of us is not feeling so great, Sniff is always
 there to "watch" over us.  Just like Brutus used to do.

We're finally getting a little order inn our place.  Most of the
 furniture is here, and we have finally been able to empty out 
the suitcases.  Arvid's stuff is all packed away, of course.  
Mine that's another story.  It's a work in progress

.As I sit and reflect on my life, I can say for sure that it's not
 perfect, but I have a family both here in the US and in Norway
 that makes it a good life.  I have love from both sides and I know 
that I can count on both my Norwegian family and on mine.
  It make my heart happy.  We have a very special bond. 

To my family.  To Victoria, Michael, Michelle and family just 
know how grateful I am to know that we are family and that I love
 you all.  I'm also grateful to be a part of our special circle of love.

Sometimes we must look outside our own backyards to
 realize how big the world is and how blessed we are...


Oct 29, 2022

💞 Saturday October 29th ~

 After the storm comes calm.  My storm has 
not brewed as yet, it's just starting...

Mentally I am drained.  This last month has been anything but
 "normal"  We moved, Hurricane Ian hit, the wedding and a few other 
things makes for a month that has worn me out.  My journey has just 
begun, but compared to so many, my life is definitely a blessing.

No matter what is going on in our lives, we always
 find the time to step back and enjoy ourselves.  I still can't
 seem to stop smiling every time I think of "the wedding"
  I picture Arvid braking loose and the best time everyone
 was having.  It was just a lot of fun we were having.

Arvid said this was a once in a lifetime for him, so I
 should not expect to see him "doing" it again.  As I
 said, "there are still more nieces and nephews."

Yesterday we finally made time to go shopping for Sniff.  
He sleeps on an Ottoman in our bedroom.  In other parts 
of the condo he has little beds everywhere 😍  His Ottoman
 should be here by Thursday.  Happy day for him.  In the 
meantime, he has another bed on my nightstand 😂

Good morning all.  Make this day and everyday a beautiful one. 
 In life we all have a story to tell be it good or bad, but the way we tell
 the story says a lot about us.  Always grateful and always thankful.

Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and 
with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense...


Oct 28, 2022

Friday October 28th ~💞

 Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn...

Yesterday's sunset from one of the balconies.  I'm digging it.

Our home is taking shape.  It’s already feeling cozy 
and like home.  Arvid has been shifting things around most of
 yesterday morning trying to find the right spot.  I didn’t like 
most, but we made a compromise, so all is good for now.

Every time we move the furniture, Sniff’s stuff 
also gets moved around. Sniff does not seem to care he 
hops on for the ride.  He's used to the way we live now. 
 Good?  Bad?  Not sure it's just the way it is.

Aside from moving furniture around, the morning was
 fairly quiet.  Arvid spent a lot of time on the balcony 
watching crashed boats being removed out of the marina.
  As he said, “it’s going to be some interesting times coming up.”

The afternoon was a little more busy for me.  A few
 errands to do.  Not necessarily pleasant at all times but 
necessary.  Gotten out of the way so now the next few days 
will just be relaxing.  Monday will be a little busy again.

Today is one month since hurricane Ian hit Fort Myers.
 One month for other things as well.  Life has not gotten any 
easier for the victims of Hurricane Ian.  Everyone is dealing
 with it one day at a time. Just like life.  One day at a time.

Every morning starts a new page in your story.  Make it a great one today...


Oct 27, 2022

💞 About The Wedding ~

 Loving times together make memories that last forever...

We had a great time celebrating my niece and Andrews wedding.
 It was an amazing setting, but even better was the great time
 we all had.  If anything, Arvid was the sensation that evening.  

He surprised everyone with his dancing skills.  I had to 
pause and film him because I an not sure I will ever see him this
 way again.  I never have seen him so relaxed and having such a
 great time at a party with a lot of people, and breaking loose 
on the dance floor.  Not even at Michelle’s wedding.  

 Everyone was happy and it will be a time we will never forget.
 The photos and the videos tell the story.  The best part was that 
everyone, meaning my family all took pictures with Arvid. He was 
a sensation.  I have many pictures of Arvid and Danielle together 
at the wedding and of him and my family.  It was just a beautiful 
time.  Never at any other wedding did we have such a great time.  

The view was spectacular, and more so as sunset approached
 and then when the skyline lit up with all of the lights, it was
 just breathtaking.  The weather was absolutely perfect.
  No one was cold because everyone was busy dancing.

It was not a traditional wedding. Just Danielle’s mom and dad 
made a little speech.  There was no cutting of a cake.  There was
 no traditional cake.  Danielle wanted none of that.  Cake was 
served but already sliced.  I will forever remember this time.

After the wedding there was an after party.  Started in Rima and 
George’s room but then we moved to Nina and David’s room.
 Much bigger and there was a plenty of liquor to go around.

Once again Arvid was in his element. Grooving to the
 music.  Arvid has his 50 favorite songs on Spotify and one of the 
people it's shared with is Gabsy.  J wants it also 😘  We started
 listening and jamming to that and them moved on to Gabsy's 
playlist.  Another evening we didn’t want to end.

After many hours I was ready to call it quits, but Arvid
 was just starting. He wanted to keep the party going.  This
 was Saturday evening after the wedding.  We also had a 
before the wedding party on Friday night in Nina’s room with 
food, drinks and good company, both our family and David’s.

Once again Arvid was having such a good time he did
 not want to call it a night.  I guess I was ready, seeing
 that the night before I did not sleep a wink. Friday 
and Saturday will forever be special.

Sunday, now that’s a different story. Andrew's mom took
 everyone to dinner.  Some 60 of us.  That was  challenging to 
say the least, but once the food starting coming it never stopped. 
 We could have skipped Sunday and gotten back home earlier, but
 we had more time to spend with everyone, so all was good.

Monday was a totally wasted day.  Everyone left early. 
 Arvid and I had the late flight and an entire day to “kill.” We 
checked out the city a little.  We went to Love Park, Logan Square, 
The Rocky Steps, Liberty Bell and walked around the city.

Even so, we still had hours before our flight.  By then
 I was tired.  Eventually of course we made it home.  I loved 
seeing my entire family in Philadelphia. It is rare that all five of us,
 our parents and all the nephews and nieces are at the same 
place at the same time. Aside from Sachin, we were all
 together.  Thanks to Danielle and Andrew.

Now back to reality.  I have a lot going on right now. 
 We have a lot to do also.  The furniture arrived right before
 we left and now we are opening the boxes and Arvid
 assembling.  It's already starting to look like home.  

Good to be home.  Sniff follows is everywhere and does 
not want to be out of our sight.  Love my Sniff 😍

Family a little bit of crazy, a little bit of loud and a 
whole lot of love.  No amount of money or success can
 take the place of time spent with your family...