Sunday, November 20, 2011

We all need Reminders!

How many of you feel something stir inside of you when you see something like this?
Why do we oooh and aaaahhh?
Is is because of the innocence of this little one?
Life hasn't turned her bitter yet? She is sweet and pure?
  • I love babies , they are a beautiful reminder of all that is GOOD in the world

  • When I look at these precious little ones, I see so much joy and peace in their eyes
  • and at the same time I am reminded of the years that have put permanent "smiling and laughter lines" in my face

Cancer has taught me many things.
One is that I need to be reminded about how good life is, and how quickly it can slip away.

I was noticing lately that I have a few PERMANENT reminders of two more important things.... love.... and sacrifice.

All moms love what they do. We go crazy with guilt because we don't do it well enough, but when all is said and done, we wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world. I don't think anyone would disagree that mothers make a LOT of sacrifices. That is the very thing that causes us to feel SO MUCH LOVE for these children. It is a natural human emotion to have pure love for something or someone that we SACRIFICE for.

  • When I look at these children of mine, mostly all grown now, I feel grateful and I feel in AWE! This is 5 of my 6 children.
My 21 yr old is in Argentina teaching people about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • The fact that Jonny is missing in this picture is a REMINDER to me of love and sacrifice.
These kids are a REMINDER of what I have spent the majority of my life doing. Raising a family. That's really all I ever wanted to do. I wanted to get married and play house.

When I was growing up, I wasn't aware of Jesus Christ, and HIS sacrifices, but by age 18 I was learning all about it. It has only been since I was diagnosed with cancer that I have taken the whole matter very seriously and studied the Life of Jesus and am starting to comprehend somewhat all that He means to me.

A few weeks ago, I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand. I had already had the left hand done in June and my hand felt so good, I figured I should do the other hand since it went numb on a daily basis too. After the surgery,
  • I realized what an incredible REMINDER these scars are on my hands.
There is a scripture in Isaiah that comes to mind when I look at my hands,
Isa. 49:16 "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands..."
It hurt to have my hands cut in to, but wow what a thought it was to think that Jesus had his hands cut ALL THE WAY through to the other side...
  • I love my scars now, they are the best reminder ever that someone paid a great price so that I could have freedom....... freedom from permanent pain.

One of the downfalls of being pregnant, is that the body takes on an extra load and sometimes it leaves behind permanent reminders of what it went through. I have 2 c section scars that I won't show you and I can't believe I am showing you the leg here, but my legs started suffering about my 3rd pregnancy. The veins broke and have never repaired themselves. I sometimes want to hate my legs, but as I am putting this all into perspective. I am seeing that these ugly veins are some battle wounds and
  • a reminder to me that I was blessed to be able to CARRY 6 children. Not everyone gets that privilege.

I have come to love Jesus so much more than I ever knew possible and this picture is not a really popular one, but to me it is special. While I was going through chemotherapy, I did a lot more praying than normal. One day when I was especially somber, I had the most incredible experience while looking at this picture, it is so sacred I can't share it here, but I
  • LOVE this reminder

I feel like I could go on and on about the reminders we have around us of LOVE and SACRIFICE and so many other good things about life.

What do you see around YOU?

Please share with me your thoughts.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Water Washes Everything

I heard another statement that made my ears perk up.

"Water is so Cleansing"

I love to do housework, I know, not everyone does, but I do.
I love to clean things, even and especially bathrooms.
I feel great to see things fresh and clean and sparkly.
I have always been this way.

For a few years, I got paid to CLEAN other people's houses.
I loved it.
Sometimes I like my house to get messy
just so I can clean it.
Opposition in all things comes in very handy in my life. :)

I have noticed how helpful WATER is.

Sometimes I do crazy things as a GRANDMA.
This might have been one of them.
I was babysitting, and they needed something to do.
I needed a wall painted.
and that kind of paint washes off easily with WATER (grin)

If my water is turned off, I go a little crazy.
I like to wash my hands A. LOT.

The other day I came across a light switch that was COVERED
with spaghetti sauce.
Thank goodness for water to wash it clean.

I am thankful for water to flush the toilet, I like a very clean toilet bowl.

I remember a class once on cleaning and the presenter said that
anything can be cleaned if you will drench it, and let it sit
and soak for a while. I think about that all the time.
I might be wiping off the kitchen counter and food is stuck,
I remember, and just put a wet washcloth on it
and leave it and come back later,
only to find it wipes right off easily.
True of stuff stuck to the floor, or ANYWHERE.

When the microwave gets really yucky,
I take a really wet washcloth and put it in there on high for about 2 minutes,
then let it sit. A few minutes later, I can take any rag
and EASILY wash out the whole microwave in a matter of seconds.

I love water.

I haven't always loved the rain but as I get older, I have come to appreciate it.

It does wash a lot of things clean.

It smells good too.

After a busy day of exercise and cleaning and running around,
I like to get in the shower and get
cleaned off and wash my hair. It is very renewing for my spirit.

Brushing my teeth , WITH WATER is very helpful. :)

All these thoughts have led me to think about something more.

I had an awesome experience one day when I was pondering about my heart.
It sometimes feels a little broken because of circumstances around me.

This one day, I saw in my mind, like a dream, if you will,
a large heart drawn in the sand on a beach.
It appeared to be about 7 or 8 feet in diameter.
I realized that this heart was representative of MY HEART.

I noticed it had rough edges.

I watched the waves of WATER gently wash over the sand, and the roughly drawn heart.

I suddenly realized the water was symbolic of GOD'S LOVE.
It was VERY gently washing over my heart and healing it.
One little wave at a time.

It smoothed it right out.

I was stunned.

I knew God was telling me that no matter what the condition of my heart,
He would send His love in constant waves
and that my heart BREAK, or roughness , as it was,
was built on a sandy foundation.
It wasn't going to last.
His love was going to cure it. Heal it.

what hope this gave me in a powerful way.

My thoughts continue
as I think about water
and what it does for me personally.

The water of baptism.
It CLEANSED my soul.
I long to do it again.

Until I realize, I do that EVERY WEEK.
with the water at the Sacrament table.

What a blessing.
I get to be WASHED clean every week.
(if I choose it)

"I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain"

I am thankful for WATER.

I know there is a Heavenly Father and I know there is a LIVING Christ.

Everything in this mortal life POINTS to them.



Thursday, August 4, 2011

At Our Fingertips!!

What kind of things can we do with this?
Cook on it, bake in it?
With the a few clicks of our fingers, we can tell this appliance what time and what temperature to cook our food at, and then tell it when to shut off. Amazing, we just push buttons.

I am taking an Institute (religious) class on Wednesday nights.
I think I mention it every now and again.

Every time the teacher ends the class, he bears his personal testimony of the things he has been teaching for the last hour and a half.

Last Wednesday, we had been talking about Abraham, the father of Isaac.
That was a LONG time ago.
He was saying in his closing remarks how different it is for us and how much ease we have in our lives. I heard the words "at our fingertips" as he was talking and for some reason my ears perked up, and I realized he was saying how lucky/blessed we are to have so much that comes so easy to us to help make our lives so comfortable. I couldn't get those words out of my mind. I came home and kept thinking of ALL the things that are so readily available to me and "at my fingertips"

Here are a few that I thought of:

Electricity........literally ..........AT OUR

Right now during this hot summer, I am feeling appreciative of ice and ice cold water :)

Then there are lights, by which we can see by.

Running water always comes in handy, I notice it especially when the water needs to be turned off for a repair or something, it is a must for me!!

Oh, where would I be without AIR CONDITIONING??............and there are the controls...............right at MY's almost too easy............

Here are a few more that I thought of:

Washing machine for our clothes
Dryer too!

Microwave for instant cooking

Toilets that flush completely clean with the flick of our fingers.

Cell phones that call people and find them wherever they are, no matter what state or city they are in.

Answering machines that record messages and play them back as many times as we want to hear them, all with the push of a button by our fingers.

How about music, how hard is that to acquire?

A car key...........a vehicle to carry us wherever we want to go.

Expanding my imagination, I see something I love very much.

The Temple
Now that might not be something you think of because it is so large and really not at our fingertips at all, but when I see it in perspective, I realize WHAT A BLESSING!!
I can go to our LDS Temple and attend almost anytime I want to.
It takes me about 11 minutes to drive there.
I can be back home within 2 hrs easy.
There are many temples in the world, over 125 now, but there are a lot more cities than 125......and I am blessed/lucky to have one so close to me. It is one of my favorite things to do, to spend time in the very beautiful, and peaceful temple.

Grocery Stores, to get all the food we can eat.

Here's another one:
our sacrament easy is that for us to have something remind us of THE GREAT ATONING SACRIFICE.............we have little to do to make this possible, just show up to church on Sunday, and there again, at our fingertips, is the ordinance that WASHES away our sins for the week, and we are clean again.

The computer and the Keyboard are right at our fingertips, and in reality, we pretty much have THE WORLD at our beck and call.
Almost ANYTHING we easily attainable with our fingers.

WOW, I am feeling grateful for my life.
I am thankful for so many things that are within my reach,
and RIGHT at

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Thanks everyone for your kindness towards me. I am so relieved and happy to tell you that the PET scan showed "no signs of metastatic disease", as the Dr put it, as soon as he opened the door to the exam room. He cautioned me to be on guard. This test looks for TUMORS and cancer cells are too small to be detected so he told me to get in to get checked anytime anything persists for more than 2 wks if it is UNUSUAL. I promise I will do that. Love you all, and thank you again.!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

PET/CT Scan Causes Reflection

This is where I went today
it was my 4th PET scan.
I am not afraid.
I think it is miraculous that we have such fabulous health care. If you notice up at the top in the middle of the machine, there is an opening. It's new, so you don 't have to feel so claustrophobic. That is a tender mercy to me because today I decided NOT to take medication for the procedure. It isn't painful, just that you have to lay PERFECTLY still and calm inside the tube for almost an hour. I have never felt like I could do that, thus a little meds each time. Last year, I think I overdid it, I couldn't remember the scan AT ALL! Wasn't even sure if they really did it. :)

I feel more courage this year.

My how things can change with TIME

Today, I want to reflect on all that is good in my life. PET scans have a way of doing that to me.

Some things that I love:

Here are some of my heroes that are cancer survivors with me.
Even though these three all started out with breast cancer, two of them now have new cancers.
They continue to FIGHT, and it gives me courage.

I spend a considerable amount of time with these ladies. We meet every Monday to learn about coping skills and we have a meditation session that brings tons of Peace to me!
The one here on my left is Elaine Alder, an icon in St. George. She has given me the most strength out of all of them. She is THE BEST!!

The one next to me here is Deb (previously Torres) Christensen. She is the cancer coordinator at DRMC. She is incredibly gifted and insightful to the subject of LIFE. She has been a huge help to me in my "Life after a Cancer Diagnosis" I love all these sweet women. They make a difference in my life.

There is something special about this gal, her name is Gail. She does clinical trials with cancer research. She is overflowing with love, and I love it ..........and her.

Just in the last 3 weeks, I have had a STARK reminder that this cancer fight is NEVER over. I have a dear friend, Cathy Lindell. Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, she had already had it TWICE. The first time, it was estrogen negative, in 12 of her lymph nodes; she went ahead with a mastectomy and chemo and radiation. Rough go.....but she survived. About 3 yrs later, a new lump in the other side.........estrogen positive this time, no lymph node involvement. Another mastectomy and a pill to take every day for the next five years. Well, it's been almost 5 yrs, and even though blood tests, which we do every 6 months, showed NOTHING to be concerned about, dizziness did. Long story short, they have found the 2nd breast cancer has spread to the brain, the brain stem, the throat, the lungs and in her hip. She is FIGHTING for her very life, even now as we speak. Brain tumor came out w/ no problem, the throat, lungs and hip will respond to some hormone treatments in an injection. (another evidence of the miraculous health care we enjoy) The brain stem is the biggest challenge. She is doing radiation to her entire brain for 15 rounds. It is tough. Her own mom passed away due to breast cancer.
My own mom passed away due to breast cancer.

Am I scared? Nope.

Do I want to stay on top of every TUMOR? Yep.

Am I shaken to remember that LIFE IS BET!

There are many things I still want to enjoy. I don't want to take ANYTHING FOR GRANTED: Like the ones I have been blessed to still be here to see: EASTER for example:

this is Kenya, 2 1/2 yrs old, with a FEW other kids looking for very few eggs at the city Easter Egg Hunt.
tell me she is not absolutely are ALL 12, yes I said 12, Grandkids :)
Dying Easter Eggs is always fun for me to watch...........4 of my grandkids, and 3 of my brothers kids..........they call me" GR-Aunt Karen", cuz they don't have any grandmas alive, so I am both grandma and aunt.............I love them so much. My mom never got to see them or their sweet mother, one of my favorite people of all time............Heather McKnight.
Just in case you couldn't see how Beckett dyed his eggs, here is a close up view, you just use your WHOLE HAND to put in the egg, then leave it there for a few minutes, and voila', a colored egg!!

So, after the kids went to bed, my sis-in-law and I got a little giddy, and very tired, but we HAD to have a few more eggs colored OUR WAY! I love the glitter ones!! Sparkles delight me for sure!

Then we played Easter Bunny, even though it was now 2 am, whew, fun.........even for my BIG kids.

Next day, on Saturday, we had all the eggs hidden at our CORRAL for the kids to find. Here, you see Caden is holding up his hand in VICTORY, he was SURE HE was going to find the golden egg, with $5.00 in it.............................sure enough, HE found it!

Of course, we HAD to have an Easter picnic out in our backyard, I just love the idea my sister Colleen , gave me to put easter grass down the table with colored eggs for decorations, these are even edible!!

My granddaughter, Jayda, is 17 mos, and I thought it was hilarious that she loved the LAST of the potato salad. :)Next day, ready for church. Caden is 7 and Halle on the right, (nephew and niece), love to go to church with me whenever we are together. They are some SPECIAL KIDS!! that's for sure. The matching ones are l to r : Maddux, Malakai, Jayda, and Kenya..........Tara's Kids. The only ones that live here in SG.

Now, on this Easter Sunday, Dale called me in to the front room: the light coming through the front window..........hhhmmm...........

then there came the BIG DAY...................MOTHER'S DAY!! I get to talk to my son , Jonathan, he is in Argentina. This is how we had to call him, very complicated if you ask me. Eric, my oldest son, is a WHIZ with the computer and figured out how to talk for 2 hours for $20. Way better than last year when the call cost us $275.00............OUCH!

This will forever be a priceless picture to me
Sometimes I am not sure if I am loved by this boy.
He loved me on Mother's Day,
and here is proof. :)

three of the six children I have..................better than none.........I LOVE BEING A MOTHER!
The more the merrier!~!

One of my gifts for Mother's Day is a new PATHWAY from the driveway to the front door, this is just the ROUGH DRAFT..............I love it...............Thanx Dale!!

Another joy is something I have wanted to do for A LONG TIME......................take one of the empty bedrooms and put pictures up on EVERY wall of JUST the grandkids. I have worked on it and worked on it, torn it down, had grandchildren help me tear it down, and try again to put it in some sort of ORDER!! This is what I have been working with for the last 2 weeks, and I kind of like what I have come up with far..............I am sure I will change it around once every few months, but it is a good start I think......................THIS MAKES ME HAPPY :)
Krystal's family

Heather's family

Tara's family

Grandpa Dale's shelf

a pillow from Tara's baby crib (27 yrs ago), this says it all. :)

Are you bored yet of all the things that make me happy? Good, cuz I have ONE more ;)


I joke around that I am 73 so I look better for my age , but I am just 53 on the calendar! The Relief Society does a sweet thing and puts a sign in each woman's yard on her b day. I love it.

This is the FEAST that Dale, Wayne and Tara grilled for me on the BBQ!

Last of all today, I want to reflect just for one more minute on what happens when I have a PET scan. This is the very expensive test that looks for cancer in your body. The first 3 I had, in 2008, 2009, and 2010, were all of my torso. They looked everywhere from the shoulders down to the mid thigh area. I wanted more.
So today, I had one from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes. I will see the Dr. on Friday to get the results. My own mother got her results of the breast cancer spread to the liver over the phone. I happened to be with her when she got the news. I decided then that the phone is not the best way to get news about cancer spreading., or metastasis, as they call it. I will go to the Dr's office, although I will tell you the truth, I don't expect to find anything. As I left the Dr's office, it was dark and gloomy and cloudy, but the Spirit took my attention to this LIGHT on the mountain. I felt peace. I felt loved.

I am grateful for Life, even with it's ups and downs, I am glad to be here!