I am Brandie and I am a workaholic.

So, today I recognized something very important. In the past week, after doing three hours of chemo, I came home and passed out on the living room floor. I felt terrible about sleeping. My daughter said I slept for forty minutes and it felt like a whole day was slept away. The next day I made sure I didn’t fail myself, so I made two dog harnesses.

Then I put together a queen size bed set. Pillowcases and quilt with the help of my family.

Then to top it off I made three Pocket Puppy Porters. Aka a cuddly wrap but different. I changed the design a bit but basically I love these things to carry my puppies when the walks get too long. I tell everyone that it is hard being a little puppy. She takes ten steps to our one. We carry her when she gets tired and these wraps are the best for that. My friends wanted them for their upcoming grand babies. I was thrilled to make them, because this wrap was one of my favorite things when I had babies. I still tell everyone how I carried my daughter around Disney world with a wrap like that. I love them. To top that off, Disney reminded me about a dress I got there. It was one of my favorite things. So I took my dress and replicated it. In a week I made a quilt, a dress, three wraps , two pillow cases and two dog harnesses. I also  wrote, dog trained,dog walked, visited my neighbor, finished my signs and made two statue crafts. I also did seven loads of laundry and helped keep house. I have never looked back and looked at what a week looked like for me. Hello I am Brandie and I am a workaholic. I said it out loud today and my daughter laughed to tears. She said finally Mom you got it. I knew I had a little over achiever in me but I am bordering on crazy obsessive. I say that I am not your normal Cancer patient . However, this is getting crazy. I am avoiding pain. This is how I do it. It is wrong. Avoidance doesn’t work and I know better. However, when you are wrapped up in the hurricane you have created you can’t see you are creating it. I needed to see that. In the last few weeks I have been upset by the way my oncologist has treated my Cancer. She likes to inform me about how little time I have. To a person who is like me, it means I have to get forty years of work done in the next few weeks. Impossible and wrong. She has no idea who I am and what I can do. I loathe that my brain still gets affected by other people’s opinions. But alas I am human. I am grateful I figured it out though. Maybe I can make a more reasonable schedule and stop passing out from exhaustion. My floor is not that comfortable. I guess my lesson this week is to slow down. I am not dying today. Nothing is that important that I have to kill myself doing it. Even if I love making the stuff, I can still do things without having to do everything at the same time. No wonder why my head is so garbled. I may just need to slow down and get a bit more organized. Even writing this I am falling asleep. I need perspective and personal grace. It really is easy to go back to old habits. I am grateful for the perspective. I will be more graceful next week. Maybe I will only write a book and finish two or three dog harnesses or pjs. Now I think I may take a nap. Or go to bed for the night because I can do that. It is crazy the things I forget that I can do. So goodnight everyone. This workoholic is going to stretch, meditate and go to bed. So be kind to yourselves and learn from my mistakes. You don’t have to work so much that you are passing out on the floor when you sit down to play with your puppies. I am changing the things that I can. Namaste everyone. God Bless 🙏

All is as it should be.

Sometimes I wake up early in the morning with the most profound messages. I believe that God is always talking to us. We just rarely take the time to listen. This morning I woke up with a message in my brain. The message was “everything is as it should be.” I have had this message before. Each time I hear it I resist it a little. I really don’t want to believe that the anger, hurt and frustration I see from this world  sometimes, could be a real part of this amazing thing called life, but it is. The reason why I can say this with absolute rigidity is simply because it is what’s happening. The world has no mistakes, it has experiences. No more, no less. It’s absolute. It is a law because it is what happens, like gravity. Very few people can explain away gravity because if they jumped off of a cliff they would probably quickly learn that they were falling.

My doctor’s and many other people believe I am going to die. It is a truth as much as we know it. I don’t know anyone who is immortal, so a law for me is that I am going to die just like the other 7 billion humans who will also die from this earth. From my doctor’s experiences, they have only seen the death that comes with Cancer. It makes it real for them and gives them the purpose of treating it. If Cancer did not kill nobody would care. It is hard to explain this to most people. We all have a strong sense of what is right and wrong but rarely do you find two individuals that believe in the same things so much so, that they could agree that all of their thoughts are laws. That’s where we go wrong as human beings. We thoroughly believe we are right in all of our thoughts. Everything is law. If that were true though, we would simply write your thoughts in a book and everyone could run by it. Problem solved right? Well how do we choose which one of us to listen to? That’s the thing.Even when we do choose, like Jesus and Buddha, there is still too much imagination to make the book anything less than guidance. We are too egocentric and too imaginative. We make our own laws up. We can twist anything to make ourselves right. That’s why I say we are all right. If we were alone that would always be true. Now, the one catch to this is we are social beings so we are only going to be right for as long as we are alone. When another person comes along they are right. At least in their minds. So than what or who is right? I guess the answer to that is that we are all right and everything is as it should be. If we are here to have experiences than good or bad we are having experience. What makes it wrong or right is the other person’s perspective. So the logic in that is that everyone is equally as right and as wrong as anybody else. Yes this is what keeps my mind awake at five am. I am grateful for my newfound existentialism but I must say, sleep may be a bit more productive. 😂. I guess that is the point isn’t it. Everything in the world right now is as it should be up to and including if I am experiencing the weird words that come to my head in the middle of the night. Now for another chance at sleep. I hope it goes better tonight than last night. Many blessings to you all and to all a good night. 💕🐑

Covid 19 housebound Happy Easter

Well Happy Easter everyone. I hope everyone is well and home, like they should be. I know, before the Cancer, I would have been likely a stressed out mess because of the pandemic . Now I figure, after defying the doctor’s death diagnosis at least 12 times, if the good Lord takes me, there is likely a reason. I am not going to live my life like I have already died.  That is not useful. But I am smart enough to know that this virus kills people and I don’t want to be the reason some nurse or doctor does not go home to their kids because I was selfish. We are one in this world. If this disease has taught us anything, it should be that our actions can affect other people. We need people in this world and we  should be grateful there are wonderfully amazing people that meet that need. That being said, I have been thinking that common sense may have left the building sometimes. I was told the other day that a lady was in the store and some kid came up to her and sneezed in her face while she was bending over to pick something up. I am not sure that taking all your kids to the store during a pandemic may be the best idea. You really would feel terrible if your baby was in ICU suffering alone because you didn’t take this seriously.

My daughter and me have been making masks with vacuum bags inside. We were told by Mr Google that vacuum bags makes a good filter for the masks. I personally don’t know why I didn’t make these masks a long time ago. The are much more comfortable to wear than my hearty surgical masks.

I think I look cool too. Like a master villian in the comic books. Mwhahaaa 😂. I digress. I have found that this has been an interesting time for me. I stopped being on the social media too much because I can’t be inundated with negative. Social Media likes to post the worst even though my feed is actually quite enlightening. I am really grateful for that. I browse by quickly in instagram and I see many cats and dogs. It is obvious that animals are a priority for me. Then I tend to see speakers like Brenee Brown and Jay Shetty. They are great speakers to help me smile. I love this because instagram Facebook and Twitter all have an algorithm that tries to post the stuff you would be most interested in. This means that my algorithm is full of peace, spiritualism and animals. Oh yes and I forgot art and sewing. I am proud of that. It shows me I have become the person I want to be. I am living my truth. No lies. Just me. It is wonderful and convenient. If I am feeling blah or sad,there is usually a saying, Ted talk, or a cat falling of a chair to cheer me up. That is the awesomeness of social media. There is only one thing that trumps your algorithm and that is a tragedy. When there is a mass shooting or a major earthquake, my feeds gets taken over by fear, dread and people putting their feet in their mouths. I have heard some doosies lately. The best one was that this was a rich man conspiracy to eliminate everyone over 60 so that we can take their retirement fortunes. I don’t know about you, but these conspiracy theories are almost worse than what’s really going on. It commits people to hating a group of people and hate is not right. That’s how Hitler began. He manipulated people into believing that a group of people were evil and allowed other, easily manipulated people, to perpetrate immoral acts. It is basically how wars are started. I think the world needed a healthy dose of reality. We are hurting people struggling with our sad thoughts and continue to believe that we are the victims of something. “I am poor because the rich hoard the money”. “I am sick because of large companies messing with my fruit” It places me against them and it foster’s hate.  Hate is not where I want to live. So to make a long story longer, I simply turn it off sometimes. I take a social media vacation. I know this post is all over the place, but my brain is a little scattered lately. The routine is off. My new Chemo makes me tired and craving sugar. I guess I am grateful that I can eat at all really. The nausea makes it hard sometimes to do anything. So I am going to end saying this. Love your neighbor because often they are the ones that help you the most. Believe in the good of people and finally love the ones you are with. You never know when you might be stuck in a house with them for weeks on end. 😜 Stay safe everyone and God Bless 🙏❣️

“F” That

I recently was given a wonderful new meditation guide called “F” That. I must admit my meditation practice has been a little lax lately. Something I must get better at. I need meditation and this meditation is only two minutes of highly inappropriate content which makes it very funny. I think it is a great way to straighten your thoughts out and put you back on track.

Lately I have had cancer growth. This means that I am becoming immuned to my Chemo. This is a no brainer in the States. If one Chemo doesn’t work, they just put you on another one. In Canada it doesn’t work that way. We have a maximum amount of Chemotherapy drugs they can use here that you do not have to pay for out of pocket. A general Chemo treatment can run you around 10 thousand plus for cost. This should not be a problem because we are in Canada and Chemo is free right? Wrong. You can only have the Chemo that the government allows. This means you run out of options if you have a metastatic cancer like my own. Today the doctor tried to explain to me that I should stay on the Chemo that is not working because it is working a little bit and really I am only biding time anyways. Basically she informed me that my best option is to go on the Chemos for as long as I can because I only have two more options left. Yes , nothing starts your day off well than to hear you need to stay on the non working chemo because your other options are no Chemo and death. This goes with radiation as well. This does not make your morning. I have spent the whole day ruminating over the injustice of our system that puts a cap on a 43 year old mother’s life. I am also very worn out on Oncologists telling me I am dying. My days are numbered. Get it through my thick head I am supposed to die already. This is not only redundant, it is actually irritating. Isn’t my doctor supposed to be searching for ways for me to live? Don’t they take something called a Hypocratic oath that says they are bound to save my life. Or does that only apply if I fit within the government regulated medication restrictions? However, I am not going to get myself started again because it took me most of the day to calm down from this in the first place.

Another lovely addition to my wonderful day, was the prearranged spaying of my little deaf spit fire Dixie bird. In our house, we believe that despite how cute puppies are, we are not responsible animal owners if we don’t spay or neuter our babies, so that they don’t add to the millions of babies that need homes already. When Danielle got her puppy she actually used her Christmas money to get Dixie fixed. Even though it is the right thing to do, it is still hard to watch a poor baby suffer. They sent her home with a cone on, so today I made her some operation pjs so she didn’t have to wear it long. It was so sad. She was traumatized because she woke up alone and this would be particularly rough on a deaf dog. I just felt horrible for her. She shook for an hour after she got home. Cheech kept jumping up to kiss her face. It was cute and sad at the same time. Dixie was not a great fan of wearing fitted pjs but I think it was bit better than the cone of shame.😢.

Needless to say, after this fiasco of a day, I will be doing my very needed meditation and I will be heading to bed in hopes that the new trial drug shows up in time for me to not be put to pasture. I wouldn’t mind waking up cured and a millionaire so none of this crap will have to effect me or my family ever again. I am just saying, if anyone feels like doing something amazing with their lotto winnings or unexpected inheritance. I am always open to donations of life saving medications. Yes not my nicest or most positive post but sometimes you just have to say ”F” That! (My sad attempt at punny humor) Blessings everyone ❤️ Have a much better day than I. 😊

Dixies new operation jammies.
Mommy what’s wrong with Dixie?
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“Mom! You are not positive enough”

Having teenagers is a constant game of maneuvering the emotional roller coaster. I seriously never know who I am coming home to sometimes. I often get pounced at for no real reason other than they had to much sugar at lunch. It is a lot like having two year olds. I remember the days that I would see a sippy cup go dancing through the air because they wanted grape juice instead of apple. If I missed their nap time by minutes I had an unruly baby that couldn’t sleep but was so tired he/she was beside themselves with grief. I can tell you this much, I never in a million years would have imagined that I would have to be dealing with all of the teenage hormones while being partially delayed from brain damage due to Cancer.I am almost as reactive as my teenagers. Worse than that, I am not able to think things through as fast.So it effects me physically. I literally get nausea from stress. It is almost as though my body has decided it does not want to deal with anything else. So it will just make me throw up. Nothing stops an emotional event faster than a porcelain potty party. In fact, nausea is the way my body likes to set the alarm for everything. I am feeling pain; nausea. I feel stress; nausea. The radio is too loud; nausea. The cat box is not done;nausea. You would think that I was crying wolf, but I really feel nauseated a huge portion of my day. I have recognized, it is much easier to deal with the cause rather than bulk up on anti-nauseants. Although sometimes that is easier said than done.

Yesterday I was verbally attacked in the kitchen because I was “not being positive enough”. Now , I accepted that she was right. The heavy antibiotics was making my pain meds not work and very well could have been messing with my steroids. For me that always means psycho Brandie. I keep telling people the real Brandie is a nice person, but sometimes I start to forget that person, because it had been so long since I have seen her. Lately, it has been a lot of tired, cranky, moody Brandie. My daughter is probably very right by her judgment of my positivity. I would just rather be informed of it in a human manner. Like maybe a “Hey Mom, maybe you would feel better if you recognized more positive actions instead of seeing all of the doom and gloom”. Really, virtually anything said in a calm voice would have not triggered me like a direct loudly interupted “Geeze Mom why are you always negative. You never point out the good stuff. You always tell us what we can do better and you never appreciate anything we do”. First off, I hate the words never and always. Nobody has a hundred percent track record for anything. Also, probably no more than maybe a month ago or less, this same child told me that she was so lucky to have me because no other parent appreciates their kids as much as I do. It is like living with doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde. However, she has indirectly attacked me three or four times in the last two days. This is a problem because as I noted above, stress makes me vomit. Which was another reason behind the attack. She doesn’t like that I am so negative all the time and I keep saying that this or that makes me feel like throwing up. She can’t get it in her mind that this is a real thing. I am saying I am going to be sick because it means I need a vomit bag. I still think my family has a hard time believing that I have Cancer.

I am informed daily that I need to rest. “Go to sleep. Take a nap.” Virtually every person I see, even some people I don’t even know inform me that I need to sleep. What they don’t understand is rest is so much more than just sleep. I sometimes need to do things I love and that means that I need help setting up those things. For instance, sometimes it means setting up patterns for sewing. Sometimes I need my easel set up with paints. Sometimes it means I need ideas because I cannot  plan things in my addled brain after dealing with multiple appointments and matching amounts of drugs. Unfortunately, having me just lay down is easier for them. They don’t want to be lazy it’s just human nature. They don’t love my down time activities and I am not a you tube, tv, lay down and do nothing kind of person. I am not sure why any of this is hard to get through, it just is. Everyone is different. But I am still alive today. This means I still have time to figure this stuff out and so do they. I am grateful for that. It is so sad how easy it is for people to feel like so many things are a burden and forget that we are so gifted. For me, every day is new and sometimes that means a new challenge. For instance, how to grab the mail across the street, in cold weather, with three dogs attached to you, when you are falling down on a good day is a challenge. Trying to find things in a sewing room that was newly designed by your husband is a challenge. I don’t always handle these challenges well, but I am grateful I get the chance to work through them. We too often want to take the easy way out but where is the fun in that? I wish that people realized that they don’t do themselves any favors buy cutting corners in life. We have time to do anything worth doing. We have big hearts willing to help people in things we like doing. The key is to find the people who want to help you, rather than those that feel obligated to help you. Obligation is done with half a heart. It is like the story in the Bible about Martha the Martyr. If Martha tended to her own love, without expectations, she would be happy instead of controlling. We all have so much to learn. Until this is a habit, I am going to try to be more gracious and less opinionated . I want each day to be a light to my family and I can’t be that way if I am too busy giving instructions for the hundredth time on how to load a dishwasher. God Bless and may your patients out last your child’s teen years and may you have the ability to breath, meditate, and maybe have a glass of wine if it gets too much. 😉❤️