9/2/18. Ah, September... It was 40 degrees this morning but quickly rose to 60 by afternoon. It's going to be in the mid 60's all week with no rain!

Church was beautiful today, and Pastor Paul preached a great message about "One Nation, One World." In June 2019, 10,000 missionaries are expected to be in Peru at the same time spreading the news of Christ throughout their entire nation. It gave me chills just thinking about it. I would love to take part in that, but I'm not medically ready. I believe in the next few years that a missions trip will be in my future. I enjoyed the two I went on in high school and long to travel to help others again.

God truly blessed Patrick and Roy with a moose yesterday morning. They arrived back home this afternoon and will spend the day cutting it up. They are excellent hunting partners and enjoy the hunt together. We are so thankful God provided fresh and healthy meat for us this winter. It is after midnight, and I cannot sleep. I am a bundle of nerves. I long for sleep, my mind is exhausted, and my body is weary, yet they are not cooperating with me, unfortunately.

9/3/18

Today has been a very emotional day for me. First, Ollie went to kindergarten, and I wasn't there to witness the event. I got a little video about her description of her first day, and she seems to have had a good time. I can't believe the precious little girl is at the age of kindergarten. I worry that Ailynn will be lonely. I sent her a video telling her and Boe to enjoy having their mommy to themselves, and before she knows it, Ollie will be back home.

Then I found out that Meghan's step-mother-in-law, my friend Joyce, was transported by helicopter to Anchorage yesterday after her heart stopped TWICE at the state fair! She was on a ride with her daughter, and her heart just stopped. Twice she had to be resuscitated!  Twice she died! I was a mess when Meghan told me that. Joyce is one of the kindest women you could ever meet. She is in ICU in Anchorage. Please pray for her.

When I get stressed, I get grouchy. I am working on calming myself down, so I don't feel stressed. Granny has fallen twice in the past couple of weeks, and she needs a heart test done. Her BP is elevated, and she's super tired. I don't have time to go over very often, and I suffer from guilt about that.

9/5/18

God blessed us with another beautiful day. When I got home today, I took out my poor puppy who was stuck on the deck for several hours. He was so excited to walk. I saw a neighbor outside and began chatting with her. Ringo was NOT happy about that at all. All the sudden, I felt weak. I looked at my pump, and it showed 63 and continued to drop. I barely made it home, and poor Ringo was so disappointed about the short walk. Thankfully Patrick was here, and I just said, "help me." He got me juice and some chocolate chips. I checked my blood sugar, and it was 52. Earlier today it was 404. The swings are hard on me. They wear me out. I didn't get to nap today either. I think it will be an early night for me. I am so thankful I was able to make it home. I'm also grateful I felt the low blood sugar since I don't always feel them.

My friend Joyce is having a defibrillator put in tomorrow. They were supposed to do it today, but more critical patients bumped her off the schedule. I have been tearful since I heard about her heart stopping.  I want to hug her and be assured she's okay.

9/6/18

Joyce's procedure went well, and she's expected to return home tomorrow, thankfully. I hope to see her this weekend.

Ollie had a meltdown at school and isn't liking it. I wish so badly that they were close by so I could talk to her about it. I did send her a little video telling her I remember being scared in kindergarten and missing my mommy too. I don't like that we have limited visits.

My blood sugar dropped low on my walk today again. I ended up calling for Patrick to come to get me. Now I'm nauseated and so very tired. I took a nap and didn't wake up until 9 p.m.!  I think it's about time to go to bed for the night. I'm not getting much done because I just don't feel well. I did get the results of my A1C today. (average 3-month blood glucose levels) It dropped from 8.4 to 7.4 and now 6.9 which is super. The 6.9 is since I got my sensor, so even though it doesn't seem like I'm in good control, the pump/sensor combo is keeping me in better control.

"But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him." Jeremiah 18:4

I feel like the marred pot. I'm a mess. I don't feel beautiful. I don't feel worthy of much. But thank goodness my potter (God) sees me as fit to be fixed, to be reformed and restored, and made into a beautiful new creature. Oh, and my husband loves me too!!!

 

9/8/18

This morning I read a wonderful story about a local middle school having an inspiring assembly to encourage kindness, compassion, and inspiration to be the best person, student, and friend they can be.  I love that. Why couldn't they have had those kinds of assemblies when I was in school?  Finally, experts realize that children learn to be successful through encouragement and real-life examples of overcoming trauma. This school brought a particular speaker in- one who went from thug life to motivational speaker. It appears the children eye him with respect and admiration. I am so impressed with this school for "changing it up" and honoring students by encouraging them to grow in their relationships, their academic works, and their social skills. They honored a teacher there who has stage IV cancer and shared words of affirmation and love upon him. How important it is to share how much we care about someone before they are not here to share it.  Speak up today and tell others how much you value them.

After reading that, I watched a news clip about two soldiers who got into an altercation. Within three seconds, the victim's life was changed forever as he now has a TBI and hearing loss. Three seconds of rage inflicted upon him by another ended his life as he knew it. He had just gotten back from Iraq. How can we emphasize the danger to others when we lose our temper and lose control?  I think the perpetrator of this assault feels deep regret. I hope his anger issues will be addressed.

Then I saw a headline I refused to read about a 19-year-old beating a homeless man to death. I can't read any more bad news. I'm going back to my happy place at the middle school where children are learning how important it is to be kind. I like that place much better than the other places I mentioned. Happy, happy, happy place......

9/10/18

Last night was a painful night for me. These darn hips. Sometimes I think they are better, other times I think they are worse. I went to Zumba today despite it all. I hadn't been in months. The first few minutes I felt like it was a mistake, then it "popped." I think it's my IT Band popping. I can feel it, and I can hear it. Whatever it is, I want it to be better!

Joyce did get her defibrillator put in and is now home. I got to see her yesterday. She looked well but was tired.  I'm so happy I got to lay eyes on her. I just needed to see her.

Ollie cried when dropped off at school, but she made a friend, so today was a better day. This poor Grammie just can't take it!  

Tomorrow we remember the terrible attacks on our nation. We recognize the lives that were lost, and we remember those who survived but are forever traumatized by their experiences. We must reflect on our military members who so proudly defend America.   We must not forget to be grateful for our freedoms, our ability to choose our paths, and we must respect our fellow Americans. We must allow each person to decide their destiny. While we may not agree with someone else's choice, it is their choice to make. Let us honor our peers, our children, our friends & family by allowing them to walk their journey. But let us never forget that we are one body. We are one nation.

9/12/18

As expected, many wrote their remembrances on social media yesterday about what they were doing when the terrorist attack hit America.  I think we all remember what we were doing that day because everything simply stopped when we heard the news. It was unfathomable to witness what the report was showing us. I can't imagine what it was like to see it in person. Talk about trauma!  I feel people desire to express how they felt that day because they are still processing it. What happened was so traumatic that most people hadn't healed emotionally from it. They need to share the same stories over and over because they are still in the process of healing.

It is important to express our feelings and our thoughts. When we bottle them up, problems intensify.  My granny is experiencing some intense emotions, and it's affecting her physical and emotional health. Her blood pressure is very high, she can hardly see, she worries about everyone, she can scarcely walk, and she is simply tired. She is 90, and I think she is experiencing the stage, Generativity versus stagnation." She is wondering, " Did my life count?  What is my legacy? Will I be remembered?" (Erikson's Theory) I suggested the family write her letters about memories of her, how special she is to each of us, and how we will always remember her. Then I suggested we each read the letters to her, so she understands she will ALWAYS be part of us.

My mom is very sad as her best friend, Donna, is in her last stage of life. Alzheimer's has taken over, she has heart issues, and has pneumonia.  My heart hurts so much for my mom. I truly hope she goes to see Donna soon. I don't know if it will help or hurt my mom though. Life can be so difficult at times.

"You will not have to fight this battle.  Take up your positions: stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." 2 Chronicles 20:17.

9/13/18

Exhaustion has hit me, but I'm determined not to give in to the desire of sleeping.  I took Ringo on two short walks today. They may have been short, but he is convinced I am the best person in the world. He expresses his delight every time I get out his leash. He cries with joy and it both irritates me and amuses me.

The weather this fall has been spectacular. It's been 70 degrees the last couple days. I believe this is one of the most beautiful falls I can recollect. I do understand the weather is known to change quickly in Alaska, and it may snow in two weeks. For now, I'm enjoying the sunshine and relish in the delight of walking my dog outside each day.

9/16/18

The weather continues to be beautiful. Because I had so much to do today, I listened to church- FB Live while walking Ringo. I am proud of my ability to multi-task haha. I really should take two walks a day, but my hip is hurting pretty bad today. I just got out of soaking in the bath. That tends to help somewhat.

The message was so good today as we were reminded that God's love and acceptance is more real than his desires for us to get caught up in the legalism of the church. We spend so much time pointing fingers, demanding our rights, and arguing that we miss the whole point that God loves us just as WE are and we should love others for who THEY are.

There is going to be another fundraiser for a local man in November. I plan on helping that day as well as selling tickets beforehand.  He recently had a transplant for leukemia.  I'm also trying to connect with a lady who is going to be having a transplant as part of the peer connect program with Be the Match. I left her a message today after she requested to speak with someone. She lives in another state. There are so many people with cancer and it's hard to grasp the impact on us all.

I was reminded today of how generous Americans are.  A young girl in an Alaskan village was recently murdered. One of her supporters made a Go-Fund-Me page to raise money for the family to travel for the funeral.  When I checked to see if they reached their goal, I was delighted to see they exceeded it by several thousand dollars. Americans can be so giving towards one another. I saw some news report about a guy's car getting stolen after some football game. The local dealership stepped in to help him.  Isn't it great to hear good stories!

Patrick is fishing on the Kenai this weekend and staying in our cabin. I haven't been down there for a while. I miss it!!! I leave Friday night (early Saturday morning) for Washington D.C. I will be there till Wednesday night, fly back, and then turn around and fly to WA state with Patrick and our friends the Bagleys. We are going to a concert at the Gorge.  We have never done anything like this before and I'm excited. I do realize the week I am gone takes away precious time with my parents. They leave October 10th. I got to see them for a bit yesterday at Granny's. It's going to be hard not having them here. I will miss them, but I'm so happy for them. I know they rest more when they are in Texas.

9/17/18

It's late. Very late. It's midnight, and my body and mind are weary, yet here I sit. I am full of anxiety and cannot shut my thoughts off.  Casey cut his finger and ended up in the ER last night, and they performed surgery on it. I didn't find out until this morning. He drove himself in the middle of the night and told no one. He is still in the hospital and declined a visit from me.

My mom's best friend is doing worse each day. My mom is distraught, and I don't know how to help her. Granny ended up in the ER today suspecting a stroke. Thankfully, she did not have one. 

This morning I was thinking about how we view ourselves.  I have a large mirror in my bedroom. When I look at myself in that mirror, I look pretty good. The mirror, despite its large size, compliments my body.  When I go past the next mirror in my room, I notice some wrinkles and some cellulite on my legs. I don't like looking in that mirror. When I go to the mirror in my bathroom, I see many wrinkles and a whole lot of cellulite. It's not flattering, but that is how I look whether I like it or not. I feel that the way I perceive my body is similar to how I look at what is on the inside.  If I just look in the one mirror that appears to be flattering, I can fool myself into thinking I don't need to do anything at all to change me.  But the next mirror hints at some flaws. I can choose to ignore those flaws and go back to the first mirror, but I start thinking that maybe I need to do something about them.  The third mirror exposes all of my flaws.  Again, I have the choice to run back to the first mirror and ignore them, or I can face the fact that I am flawed and do something about it.  I must understand that changing my body overnight is not going to happen. I must have faith, patience, and endurance to change. I must be willing to be steadfast in my efforts to improve my body.

Similarly, I must be willing to change my inner spirit.  I can choose to ignore my flaws- my snide comments, my sarcastic tone, or my lack of patience.  I can go to the next "mirror" to examine a bit more and see even more internal ugliness. Again, I have a choice to get rid of that ugliness.  I can go back to the "safe place" where I ignore the flaws. The third mirror represents some intense conversations with God while examining my inner spirit.  I may not like what I see when I do this, but I know that with faith, patience, and endurance, I can change and be beautiful.  The difference between inner and outer beauty is outer beauty will fade.  Inner beauty will only get more beautiful. I want to have the inner beauty that sparkles like diamonds and shines like polished silver.

9/21/18

Joyce Meyer made a great statement the other day that stuck with me.  She described meeting a woman who was sharing all her woes and problems.  The lady said, "Life has just thrown me under the bus." Joyce said she replied with, "Life threw me under the bus too. But I decided to get in the driver's seat." What an amazing response. No matter what happens in our life, we get to decide how we are going to react and what steps we are going to take next. Will we let the bad ruin our lives, or will we pick ourselves up and drive the bus?  So many people say to me, "I don't know how you survive after all you went through." To be honest, I don't see my life as that bad.  Sure I've had some crap happen. Some bad crap, but so many people have had harder lives. Sometimes I feel I am looked on with pity and my hackles get up just like a dog.  I go into defensive mode because I dont want to be pitied. I also have a hard time accepting compliments. I tend to brush them off when people tell me they admire me. I suppose it's because I really don't feel I deserve it. I see my flaws in the mirror (and my self-examination) and I want to point them out because I don't feel worthy of praise.  Isn't that something. Someone should hire me as their own analyst as I do a pretty good job on myself....

I leave tonight for D.C. I'm very excited that I get to meet with Senators Murkowski & Sullivan and Congressman Young to plead for more funding and services for cancer patients. What an amazing opportunity I have and I am so grateful. I pray my hips feel better. I am having a lot of pain and discomfort right now. I want to be able to walk without pain so I don't hold anyone up by having to wait for me.

9/23/18

My niece Melissa turned 20 today I always flash back to te day of her birth.  We were anxiously awaiting news while in Seattle with Logan.  Logan was excited too,  yet he expressed concern that when she was born we would forget about him and focus on her. I wonder if he had a preminition that he was going to die and wondered if we would remember him. We will never forget my strong boy  I'm in Washington D.C. now fo the ACS CAN convention. It's hard not to cry when I think about my sweet boy. I wonder why I'm here and he is not. I wish he had survived. I would glady have sacrificed my life for him to remain here on earth. He would do such great things for many. I don't understand God's reasoning, but I will accept it. I will go on and do as much as I can for others in Logan's memory.

My "eye problem" happened on the plane last night and I'm in quite a bit of pain. It makes it hard to focus on anything when my eyes hurt. At least it takes away the focus on my hip pain. Always a bright side,right?

There are so many people here and everyone has a story. i look forward to hearing some of those.

9/24/18

It was an exciting day today as we learned how to initiate conversatios with our Congressmen and Sentors. Tomorrow is the big day where we go to the Capital and ask for an increase in funding for cancer research and for colectoral screenings to be provided to Medicare patients at no cost, even when polyps are found during a screening.  Right now Medicare patients are being charged up to $350 if polyps are found because the coding changes. That's not right! We are also asking forsupport for palliative care. We will finish up at the Lincol Memorial with 30,000 Lights of Hope1 It's going to be fantasitc.  Toinght we had a Superhero themed party and I put on my WW gear and we celebrated our work that we have done and our hope for tomorrow.  We are survivors.

9/25/18

This morning some well-known basketball coaches shared their personal stories of how cancer has personally affected them. I was moved to tears as I remembered my son, Logan Joseph Marre, running sluggishly down the basketball court when he was nine. We all gave him a hard time for not moving faster and doing as well as he usually did. Little did we know that just a few days later he would be diagnosed with leukemia. Although I am so grateful for my own survival after also being diagnosed with leukemia, my real purpose for being involved in advocacy, policy making, and support is because of Logan. I never want another parent to know what it is like to lose a child to cancer. I will fight for an increase in funding for cancer research until I take my last breath. I have no desire to be remembered for anything except for being a mom who loves and advocates for her children, grandchildren, and for ALL the children in the world. Our Alaska team is meeting with Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, and Congressman Young this afternoon to ask for a $2 billion increase in funding for cancer research. We NEED this! We have all been touched by cancer. I do this in honor of ALL my family and friends who have or had cancer, my mom- a breast cancer survivor, my son, and yes, for me too. I’m grateful to be alive to be part of this.
We also will be asking our senators and Congressman to support Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act (PCHETA) and removing barriers to colorectal screenings. We are a group of three mighty warriors representing Alaska today at our nation’s capital. Together we CAN make a difference.