Tuesday, October 20, 2015

We need to think before we post words, images, and video, etc. on any type of social media. WARNING included

Here's something that has been bothering me & I think I may be personally at fault too.

This is my personal opinion and I know I could get flack from it but I feel the need to share this. I write this in a non-judgement capacity and out of love. I do not want to take away from what I think were positive intentions, nor do I want to come across as bashing this woman, she has been through a lot, I know this because I've been walking a similar road for 2 years now.

WARNING: I will be describing an image I have seen circulating on FB of a former cancer patient that I feel is inappropriate. I however, will not be sharing this image. I also describe an abusive video that was circulating months ago. Continue reading if you choose.

There is a picture that is circulating on the internet, mostly FB, and while I think I understand the reasoning behind this woman posting her picture after having a double mastectomy and radiation treatment and I think chemo as well, I do not agree with the posting of it, especially with no warning in the description that it will show a woman topless. While I believe that her heart is wanting to do the right thing by encouraging women who may get the same diagnosis as her to fight, or her desire to encourage people to educate themselves on breast cancer, or her desire to share with people who have no idea what it may look like to go through treatment of breast cancer, and her desire to give God the glory for getting her through this ordeal,  I do not think it is okay to have this picture all over FB and here is why...

I am trying to teach my children, especially my girls to be modest and this picture, though it does not contain breast tissue as people are used to seeing, it is still the part of a woman that is typically covered by a swimsuit making it private and therefore should at the very least come with a warning. Another reason, this one is near and dear to my heart, is that I have at least 1 child who is very visual. God created her with a phenomenal imagination which means that when she reads something, she very vividly has a picture pop into her head & she can come up with some amazing things to write out with her imagination. It also means that when she does not have enough information about something, her imagination can fill in the gaps and sometimes that can be very scary for a child. It also means that when she sees an actual image, it is burned into her memory. Actually, I've read info from studies done that shows that images of people with few or no clothes on are burned into a person's mind forever, both male & female & I don't think it is limited to an age. So if my child happens to come across an image such as I have described above, it will forever be in his/her mind. What about a person who has a mother that has gone through some of the same treatments as the woman sharing on FB.  Another reason I think this image should have contained a warning at the beginning of it's description is because I'm sure I'm not the only mother who has children, specifically girls that may wonder if this will happen to them because it happened to their mom or someone they know. I am speaking about all children in general, whether young or old. Children are dear to my heart, that's why I volunteer to work with them in many capacities. I believe we should help preserve their innocence for as long as possible. They already grow up too quickly and are exposed at younger and younger ages to things they should not be.
Whether you think I'm a prude or fuddy-duddy, or over-protective please know I just want the best for children and want them to enjoy their childhood without being scarred for life. I've worked with and seen far too many people that are grown adults and have so much hurt and pain to work through because of things that they experienced early in life when they should have been protected & they unwillingly pass it to their own children in some way, shape, or form. As for my own children, I do not feel that I am over-protective. Anyone that knows me knows that I do not shield my children from the truth or from bad things that happen, we face them head on and with God's help and we've had more than our fair share of practice. So when I say that it should be my choice of what to share with my children and when an appropriate time is to share these sensitive issues with them, I do it out of what I believe is in their best interest. I have had many private talks with my children addressing all sorts of subjects, including some uncomfortable ones that needed to be talked about. I do not hide them from the world but I know my children and what they can handle better than someone else and at least having a WARNING about content of words or images should have been included in the previously mentioned FB post.

Please remember that  FB is not only for adults and quite honestly, even if it was, this image is not what I would consider appropriate. I have thought about reporting it and have not decided whether that is the way to go or not but I thought that I would at least jump on my soapbox for a minute and give people some other things to consider when posting images on FB. Please think before you share. As I type this, I am reminded that some people don't want to read all the things that I have going on for the last 2 years with a cancer diagnosis. They choose to pray for me and think positive for me rather than reading all the updates.  Some people feel deeper than others, it's how God created them and they need to find a balance so they can continue to function in life without being overwhelmed with feeling everything.  I completely understand and it's why I try to say that I'll be talking about an update including the diagnosis at the beginning of my post if I can remember. No I'm not perfect, no one is. But I felt it was necessary to remind people to please think before you share, especially an image or a video. For example I saw a description for a video about a woman doing horrible abuse to a small child and I did NOT click on the video. I chose not to. Not because I didn't care about that child but because I knew that imagery would be burned into my mind and I don't like to put all that negative stuff in my mind. I know it happens, I don't need to see it to know it either. Watching things like that, especially done to children, makes it more difficult for me to stay positive and heal. I will admit that I prayed for that little girl right then and there and I prayed for that woman to be held accountable for her actions and to get the help that she needs since she clearly lacked control and proper thinking. My heart tells me that she was hurt, probably in a similar way or saw these kinds of actions and it sickeningly seemed normal to her.  I did not agree with what the video description said about the woman deserving to get the same kind of treatment. I'm pretty sure she already did so what good does that do? nothing, she needs Jesus and she needs help to heal & to understand that behavior is not okay.

My point about the original image I described is this post is this; just because stupid cancer was involved in how this woman came to have a double mastectomy and radiation and shared a photo of her bare torso does not make it entirely different then if a woman that had not had these atrocities happen to her shared her photo. It's not quite apples to apples but also not apples to oranges in comparison either.

There is no denying that Cancer SUCKS!!!! Mastectomies SUCK!!!! Chemo SUCKS!!! Radiation, the kind that takes several weeks and often causes a sunburn affect on the spots treated, SUCKS!!!!
I don't mean to step on toes or accuse anyone or hurt anyone, I say this in love, we need to be careful of what we share on social media, regardless of the circumstances.  We need to think about the BIG PICTURE. For every intention that is meant to help someone, think about whether it should come with a warning to give a reader a chance to make a choice for themselves whether they want to proceed with reading and especially viewing an image or video.  I will certainly be trying to do this from now on as I type about my journey to health and healing through my faith and how God is directing my path.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far. If you have opinions regarding this matter and plan to leave a comment, please be considerate and kind in what you write whether you agree with me or not. I don't want this woman to be bashed because I know that she's been through a lot and she is a survivor. Please be respectful. You may or may not see it in the same way I do...that's ok but please be loving and kind. I have fairly thick skin but I don't want this woman to be bashed.  Thanks. Oh and if the image that I have talked about is posted anywhere on my page or shared in my comments, I will remove it.

Treatment #6

October 20, 2015

It's only 10 days until my birthday of 39 and I am happy to celebrate that age. In a few days it will be 2 years since I was given a diagnosis of stage 4, metastatic breast cancer by the doctors. And today I had Chemo treatment #6. I had 4 chemo treatments before surgery, then I had 2 months off of it while waiting to heal from surgery and then I had 2 more treatments of it.  I still haven't decided whether I will continue with the chemo treatments up to 12 total or whether I will say let's take a break. I have been praying about it and don't feel that I have a definitive answer on it just yet so I will continue seeking God's plan for me until I feel at peace with the decision. Right now I am planning to see how today's treatment affects me to help with my decision but ultimately I am looking to God for direction. I know that God's best for me would be for me to receive complete healing from him right now but since I am having trouble with moving myself towards receiving or something is in the way, I know that God can use other methods to bring about the healing that he wants for me and that he has told me I'd have. His word does not change, we do, but he doesn't and I know I've said this before because it's my favorite verse. In fact, I gave Sadie my bible from when I was 4 or 5 and she carries it around with her and even sleeps with it on her pillow next to her. Yes, I know, very CUTE!

 I opened it up to Hebrews 13:8 and I'm not sure when I did it, but I underlined it even in my very old, small, new testament bible that my 3 year old now has. It says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!"  That means that when he gives a person a word, he means for it to happen. And through the Holy Spirit I have heard him tell me that He has tore out the root and will take care of the rest. A person praying over me shared with me that I would be completely healed and I believe these words of truth. There are different things that can hold it back from happening right away but God's best is for it to happen immediately and so I am working on getting my mind and heart to line up with what God's word says and what the holy spirit has told me.

And to cement it's truth, here is another verse that shares that God does not change in Malachi.  God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are one so when God says he does not change and in the New Testament it says that Jesus does not change. That's saying the same thing and that is SUPER cool in my mind and heart.

Remember that awesome gift certificate that Gabby received to have a 1 night hotel stay...we were planning to use it this Friday but the hotel called and they are closing for the season earlier than anticipated and had to cancel our reservation. They did apologize and state that they will most certainly honor our certificate when they reopen in the spring. So even though we are bummed, we are thankful that we have something fun to look forward to after the winter months and we are planning to have a fun family night in our home this Friday instead. I have to plan ahead since I may not have a whole lot of energy but it will all work out. I would likely have had to miss out on swimming in the pool with my family since starting Thursday evening I may be more tired from the chemo treatment and in the past it has lasted about 48 hours total so perhaps it is better that we have to wait until spring so I can join my family in the fun! Yes, this is how I look at things as often as I can...in a positive light. It sure does make life a lot better. And I tried to soften the blow for the kids by telling them that they can each take turns using our whirlpool tub over the weekend. That's a lot of water to put in the tub but it can be very relaxing and fun for them.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

I love Fall

October 15th

It's probably not a big surprise if I say that I love fall. The colors of fall are my favorite. I have a lot of my home decorated in fall colors. And my aunt once told me that a woman should look good in her home and that's why I'm drawn to those colors because they look good on me. Maybe that's true and maybe part of it is because my birthday is at the end of the month of October. Either way, I love seeing the colors change, the trees with the leaves that are bright red and orange jump out at me. I enjoy Fall in the UP with all of God's beauty. What an amazing world He created.

I have been a very busy person. I have 2 kids that are in Cross-Country and have practice Mon-Thurs each week with meets on Saturdays usually. They got a late start but are doing really good and have changed their attitudes towards it even though I made them be in it. I could see far more valuable lessons being learned by being a part of it that I actually didn't give them a choice. Their last meet is this Saturday and I do enjoy them, even if it can be quite cold to watch and wait for them to race. It would be neat for them to metal but it isn't necessary. I am more proud of them for having good attitudes, trying their best, completing each race, and having such a good relationship with each other (Gabby & Braly) that I am beaming with a smile from ear to ear with their accomplishments this season. I don't even know if they've improved over last year or not. The coaches tell me that they love watching Gabby run because she's always smiling her winning smile. And they have enjoyed watching Gabby & Braly together because they are such good friends besides being siblings. That makes this mama proud.

Morgan is in Girl Scouts again and we've had a parade for her that helped collect Toys for Tots and they wore costumes and handed out candy. She's had 2 meetings for Scouts and there are several things lined up already for her to participate in if she wants.

Sadie has been anxiously awaiting Storytime to start back up and next Wed is the day. She's pretty excited. She's had a fever of nearly 103 the past 3 nights so I haven't gotten a lot of sleep during the night and am thankful that I was able to sleep after getting the kids off to school 2 times this week.

Adam has been working the pre-load which means he's been having to go to bed really early. sure can make for a long day for him. He works so hard.

I had a chemo treatment on Sept 29th with the harsh stuff. It made me tired on Friday the 2nd and I slept for quite a while in the afternoon and have been doing pretty good for the most part. A little mouth cells sloughing off and making my lips and mouth feel weird, almost numb but nothing super bad. Some issues with digestion and having trouble with gluten and diarrhea but overall, I'm doing pretty good and thankful that I am able to take the kids to the places they need to go. I will be thankful for the x-country season to be over with as well and not run quite as much but I have enjoyed this season as well.

I will be having another chemo treatment with the harsh stuff on the 20th of October and will then decide whether that will be the last for awhile and see if the other meds work or whether I continue. I have had some pain in my low back which could be from previous back injuries or it could be from the metastatic cancer in the tailbone. I am praying and believing that God has removed all cancer cells from my body and speak to the pain to command it to flee.  I have been listening to a group called About a Mile and enjoy their music. You should check them out on their YouTube channel and Jeremy Camp's newer cd is amazing. Since I've been busy, it's been challenging to listen to sermons and get out of them what I can because I like to sit down and take notes. I'm one of those geeky note-takers in order to learn. So I've been playing certain songs. There is one that I'll share the video to because it really speaks to me. I hope that you listen to the lyrics and that it speaks to you as well.  Check it out and leave a comment about what you think of it.