Dec 31, 2022

Saturday December 31st~

 At 11:59 December 31st, we gotta all take
 a shot and never talk of this year again...

And just like that another year comes to an end.  I was
 telling Arvid that every year people say, "here's to a better year 
than the one we had."  Then comes the last day of the year and 
they say, "good riddance to this year," We hope for the best,
 but be prepared for whatever may come.  Such is life.

Most people will passively do exactly what they did last year. 
Whatever you do, don’t let that person be you.  Take a chance
 on life, take a chance on you, and have a sparkling New Year.

From our family to yours, a Happy New Year.  Everybody deserves
 a fresh start once in a while.  2023, this is your chance to do just so💚

Welcome, 2023! Here’s hoping you can’t be worse than last year...


Dec 30, 2022

Friday December 30th ~ Last Day 🙏

 Every individual has within their abilities the
 capability of accomplishing extraordinary things. 
They just have to learn how to do it...

Today is the day.  I will finally be done with treatments.  
Treatment #19 and treatment #20 will be given in one day. 
 One in the morning and the other in the afternoon.  

During this entire process I have met people who share 
the same condition as I do.  Most worse off than me, but one
thing we all have in common, we are all fighters and no one
 ever showed a sign of giving up or of being a victim.  

These ladies I have had the pleasure of meeting during my 
treatments are true survivors.  Because life happened,  and not
 exactly to your-their liking, meant they gave up.  Instead because
 of that one fights back even harder, and the only goal is to win.

The entire medical staff from the minute you walk into 
the door until you leave has been the best I have ever had.  All
 the doctors I have had in Fort Myers have been wonderful to me.
  Not only professional in every sense of the word, but they have
 also shown a side I have rarely seen in my previous doctors.  
They have empathy, and they actually care.

  I have experienced the same caring and empathy with
 my doctors in Branson.  I love both of my medical teams;
  here in Fort Myers and in Branson.  I don't feel as if I 
am just a number.  They make you feel cared for.

I have met many women during these 20 treatments.  
Many so worse off than I am.  We talked, we have laughed and 
we have shared a little of ourselves.  For me this has been a very 
good experience.  Having cancer is not the end of the world. 
 It is just another battle to be dealt with.  Life happens.

These women  are the real deal.  They cope with
 their cancer in a most positive way, and because 
of that, there is strength to face another day.

Life is not about winning all the battles.
 It's about fighting every war...


Family ~ December 30th~

 Time together with family is a gift...

Yesterday my sister Nina, David and Max visited us.  It was
 not a long visit, but as Arvid said these short visits are the best.  
Whenever my family visits they stay tops two hours and leave. 

 We have a good time talk and catch up.  Occasionally I 
won't mind if they stayed a bit longer, but it's OK.  There are 
some that come can never seem to know when to leave.  
The evening prolongs and then it becomes boring and 
exhausting.  This way it was relaxing, and good. 

They all like pizza and we got pizza from our favorite
 downtown restaurant.  Funny thing is Max and Kelsey also
 like that pizza restaurant and have been there many a times.

The initial plan was to take them out to dinner, 
but they got delayed doing other things, but this worked 
out even better.  Nina and David brought me many favorite fruit.
  Ones I usually would buy at the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop.  
Arvid insisted in doing the cutting, let's see how it goes.

Awake early last two radiation treatments today. 
 Today I woke up hurting, but in a few weeks I should be
 back to my good old self 😂  Seems like the side effects coming
 on now.  I've had a good stretch with none, so still lucky.

The finish line is just the beginning of a whole new race...


Dec 29, 2022

December 29th ~

 To be content doesn't mean you don't desire
 more, it means you're thankful for what you 
have and patient for what's to come...

I can see the finish line soon.  Happy about that. At the same time,
 I have met so many amazing women with a story of their own.  Also,
 I have had the kindest medical staff who have made this journey
 a very pleasant experience rather than something to be dreaded. 
 If my cancer should reappear in the future, I am confident 
of receiving the best care possible with them.

As the year concludes all I can say is that I have been fortunate. 
 No matter what has happened, it could have been much worse.  Also,
 I am a better person because of everything we have faced so far.

Arvid is getting restless so yesterday he scrubbed the remaining tiles.
  Yes, there were some curse words in between.  Sniff and I stayed out of
 the way.  Even though Arvid says he enjoys living on the edge with me, 
I know when to not interfere because then he would want me to
 help scrub floors as well.  Thank goodness I am hurting. 
 I have a real excuse this time for not scrubbing 😂

The sun is back shining and Sniff is basking.  He really missed
 the sunshine.  We all did.  It's back to warm weather.  This is how
 Florida is supposed to be.  Back to 80F today, almost 27C 🌞

Up early again, but on the other hand I have also been going to bed earlier. 
 By the early evening I am really tired.  I guess the radiation is kicking in.  
Glad that I am only having minor side effects.  Others not as fortunate.

At the end of the day we can endure
 much more than we think we can..


Dec 28, 2022

Sniff Sniff ~ My Happy Place December 28th

 When I'm feeling sad I just look at my Sniff and my courage returns...

As if he could be any cuter.  I just love my Sniff Sniff.
This past week the radiation has been catching up with me.
  I hurt a little more.  I burn a little more, but my Sniff 
and Arvid are always there to make me feel better.

Today begins my last four treatments that will specifically
 target just the area where the cancer is located.  The first 16 treatments 
targeted the entire left breast. Right now I really have difficulty lifting 
my arm up, and it now hurts.  My doctor has been "warning" me that after
 radiation my skin could develop large listers, peeling and extreme burning 
sensation.  So far most of my symptoms have been mild.  Just will be
 happy when this is now over and I will begin once again to heal

No matter what he does I find it too cute.  Even when I 
end up getting scratches from him while I play roughly
 with him.  Sniff loves a little rough playtime.

I have way too many pictures of Sniff, but that will not stop
 me from taking more.  Everything he does is just cute.

Arvid says I pay more attention to Sniff 
than I do to him 😂 and he's probably right. 

He's never far from me nor Arvid.  I stress when 
I have to leave him alone even for a day.  He's 
so used to having us with him at all times.

Sniff has moved around with us approximately nine times.  
More than I like, but he has done good so far.  Hopefully we
 will settle down in our current homes and not more moves
 in the close future.  I think I see a move sometime
 back to Fort Lauderdale, but not this minute.

A cat doesn’t care if you are smart or dumb, 
give him your heart and he will give you his.

Your house will always be blessed with love, 
laughter, and friendship if you have a cat.

I love my Sniff more than I love most people. 
Probably more than is healthy.  Nah...

Cats can work out mathematically the exact 
place to sit that will cause most inconvenience.

When all is said and done, I could not imagine not having
 Sniff in our lives.  My Brutus will forever be my Baby, he took
 a part of me that will forever be with him, and I miss him 
and love him like I have never loved a kitty before. 

 Shadow was with us for such a short time.  But Sniff
 is here now.  He is everything I need to keep smiling and to 
stay focused.  Together with Arvid they complete my life.

There are two means of refuge from 
the miseries of life: music and cats...


Dec 27, 2022

Tuesday December 27th ~

 Life is like a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving..

Can you believe we are looking forward to going back to Branson?  
Glad to not be there now in this freezing cold, but soon when it warms up. 
 I am actually very excited to be going back as is Arvid.  We have many
 friends and so many places we we would like to go to.  The food
 is also excellent and we miss a few of our favorite restaurants.

Yesterday we went for a drive to check out a Blues venue.  As we 
were driving Arvid kept saying, this looks like Branson.  Very quiet
 and just one main road.  Yes, it's quiet in Fort Myers and there 
are not that many roads.  makes it easy for me.  Even 
I find my way around.  Just like it is in Branson.

When we first started living in Branson, back in 2017 I never 
imagined I would like it so much.  I mean there are  no big malls.  There
 is not really a beach so to speak of, we didn't/don't live by the water, but 
something about it brings you back.  It's not a place I would choose
 for my family to go on a vacation, but it is interesting for a day or two. 

Now if you like old cars, then there is always a car show in town. 
 If you like country music and the theater this is the place for you.
And then of course there is the Branson Ferris Wheel 💙

In the meantime we are sure enjoying ourselves in our new location.
  Each time we head out we discover some place new and we like it.  Best 
of all is that Friday night outing and that slice of pizza.  Life is good.

This is my last week of radiation.  Happy about that, but I have to say it
 was not bad at all.  I have met wonderful and kind people throughout this journey. 
 Most facing bigger problems than I am.  It makes me feel at times ashamed to even
 mention that I also have cancer, when I realize how fortunate I am in comparison
 to many of these women.  My life is better today because I have met them and 
also because I can now relate even better to the terrible disease Cancer is.

For many this is an ongoing battle.  I will say/think that hopefully after 
my radiation treatments my journey with Cancer is over.  But as my doctor said,
 "should it resurface, we deal with it then."  And I know that's the only way 
to face it.  I deal with it should it come back.  I have a five year window 
of regular monitoring.  After that will see what happens.  A good day
 to all and a positive outlook is always better than a negative one.

Instead of worrying about what you cannot control,
 shift your energy to what you can create. Every 
strike brings you closer to a home run...


Dec 26, 2022

Monday December 26th ~

 New beginnings are in order, and you are bound to feel 
some level of excitement as new chances come your way...

The last Monday of December 2022, and my last week of radiation. 
 Today I have "off" that leave four days and five treatments remaining. 
 Once again sleep has been evading me.  Why I don't know.

On December 24th we went to dinner at Nina's (my sister) and David's
home in Tampa.  We all made so much food that we could have fed 
over 50 people.  We were just 10 of us.  It was a happy time.  I Enjoyed 
myself and ate a lot.  Nina made flan for Arvid which he ate plus 
I took rice pudding among everything else, he also ate that. 

Sniff has gotten smart and sits on the dryer when I have it on if he's
 not under the cover.  He knows how to find heat.  Today I will
 be buying him a little warming bed like he has in Branson.

Finally it is warming up.  Took a few days, but it's coming. 
 We still have the heat going, Arvid and Sniff do not handle cold so well.  
I do better, but lately I have been even colder than Arvid.  Why?

Soccer is back on and someone is very happy and busy again.  It's a full day 😂

Always remember that the life in front of you 
is far more important than the life behind you...


Dec 25, 2022

Christmas Day ~ December 25th

 Gifts of time and love are surely the 
basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas...

Today it my mom's birthday.  Wish we were there with 
them right now, but can't be.  At least no this year.  Hopefully
 next year we can spend it with them.  Time is going by 
fast and what tomorrow holds is never a sure thing.

Christmas Day, not exactly Arvid's favorite day/time of the 
year, but I love Christmas.  It is a reflection of the wonderful times 
we had growing up in Puerto Rico.  My mom and dad always made 
it the perfect time.  We didn't have much, but that didn't matter.

  We had the best, best time of our lives.  We went caroling,
 we went seeing the different Christmas places and we always 
ended up in Old San Juan where there was a beautiful
 display of lights and happy people everywhere.

I was able to experience that feeling once again with Arvid
 and Sniff when we lived in Puerto Rico.  From our balcony we saw
 the festivities and celebrations.  It was during the pandemic, but still
 a beautiful time.  The best part was that we spent it with my sister,
 J and Kimsy.  Even Arvid was helping with the Christmas 
decorations.  He was into the Christmas spirit.

This year we will be spending our first Christmas in Fort Myers.
  Last year it was Branson.  Boy even I can't keep track of where we are. 
 I wonder what our families would say if we were to move again.  
I'm always waiting for either Arvid or myself saying that
 we're ready to move back to Fort Lauderdale.

From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas. Let us 
remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart. For our Brutus
 and all my loved ones in heaven; tonight more than ever I will search 
for you among the stars that shine so bright on Christmas night.

Let us keep Christmas beautiful without a thought of greed,
 that it might live forevermore to fill our every need, that it
 shall not be just a day, but last a lifetime through.

A big happy birthday to my mom.  I love her more than she knows.

Christmas, it is the tenderness of the past,
 courage for the present, and hope for the future..