“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. 😉❤️

We are all Human have some Grace please🤗

For three weeks now I have been working on this jacket for my sister, in between puking and sleeping. Pneumonia sucks. It was almost completely bought and paid for by my friend Donna who helps me get to Chemo . She is the best lady ever. I was excited about making it for my baby sister, because the last jacket she had like this, has lasted 15 years. My sister asked me the other day,when she was taking me to my CT scan, if I could sew her pocket, and she lifted up her arms. Well the whole armpit of the jacket  was holy on both sides. They would need to be patched so much we may have to put her in the play ,coat of many colors,😂  I am so glad I can give her a jacket that matched her old one. Hopefully she gets another 15 years out of it.

This week I also have been given the great pleasure of dealing with Mathew from @ScotiaBankhelps who helped our family get a reprieve from some of our payments this month. Were are also glad for Gabriel  and Thomas’s help and the support of #Scotiabank in general through all of this. Some of my creditors have been really nasty with no understandable reason. For instance my mortgage through #Lendwise, which is actually subbing it through a company @computertrustcompanyofcanada
Is basically threatening us and pulling dirty tricks to take the mortgage out anyway. They made it impossible to put a stop payment on because they put it through in both their names. This means if I have any money in that account for food it is taken. I was so grateful the #Scotia Bank straightened out some of this. However, when I talked to lendwise they were pretty rude with me like I was a criminal and I told them right from the beginning that I was terminal cancer and was informed by my doctor’s I was not able to deal with these issues. He basically informed me that I would lose the house and I needed to pay right away. I told him I didn’t have $ 200 in the bank and Ken would not get paid until the tenth to the fourteenth. I asked them for a credit reprieve where the could add a few payments to the end of the mortgage and he said I needed to find a job. I told him I was terminal stage four breast cancer. Would you like to hire me? I asked . He basically said it wasn’t their policy. The problem with these little talks is one, the stress of them makes my brain shut down so half the time I don’t understand what they are saying but number 2. Who yells at a terminal cancer patient and basically threatens to take their house in the cold of winter. Especially when she is trying to get help to pay them? I was asking for an extension so we don’t have to pay them zero. We are asking for a way to collaborate so we can both win. Why would you been mean and angry about that?

Some of the other companies have been cordial and for that I have been very grateful but honestly, where are people’s Grace and Love? Despite that rifamaroll, I am grateful I am healing from the pneumonia. Sometimes pneumonia is the one that takes cancer patients out, but luckily I just got a bunch of coughing and peeing my pants every once in a while. Thank God depends look pretty now.😂

I wish people realized that we are all Human. You don’t need to be a jack ass to win. Help will make me tell the world about you. Leave me homeless and I am going to tell the world about how you tried to make the dying woman who is constantly in pain homeless. That doesn’t sound very good at all for your business. Please all businesses learn there are better ways to do things. Thinking of businesses, I am trying to start a small business that will have to do with me making pjs for dogs, so that they don’t have to have surgery cones. Also there are pjs that are weighted for puppy anxiety, and I am going to try and make those too. I want to make a doggy and kitty specialized store. I was even thinking about matching outfits. For instance I plan on making a matching jacket for Aunties (my baby sister) puppy. So big things coming I hope. My body just needs to keep up. I am so excited for the possibilities of the future. I have heard they may even have the Cancer cure coming to Alberta. I am on a trial list. So cross your fingers and pray that I am one of the early picks for the study. I may be cured by next year. Pray Pray pray. I am very grateful for the possibilities. I love you guys. Please share and remember Go Fund me is still open if you want to help us out with catching up or putting money towards the cure for me. But please know, as much as you give of anything, your kindness, your hope, and your prayers help me the most. You are all my angels. I send you all my ❤️

Where have you been?

I have been asked this a couple of times this past month. I guess I had gotten into a groove of writing in the past and a few things have knocked me offline. First I got a little pneumonia. Strong antibiotics apparently make me fall asleep every time I sit down for a few seconds . This makes for a difficult writing environment. I also found it very difficult to do anything without the full lung capacity. Exercise is important, but really hard to do when you can’t breathe well. So I didn’t get to go to the gym for a while. I also have  had a few projects I have been trying to get done that kept me busy when I was awake enough to do something. I was given some material at Christmas time to make my sister a new dress jacket. It is a beautiful pattern and I have been working hard to get the jacket just right. It is quite a sewing project and extra hard to do when you’re falling asleep at the machine. Even now as I write, I have fallen asleep four times. I keep having to go back and erase random letters. 😂 Nobody said this Cancer stuff was easy. More often then not I am drifting off and having to reset.

I am still being overwhelmingly humbled by the church giving me food and my friends and family helping us out. I would not be able to live without their generosity. So I am glad that has taken a bit of my time.

Most of you who read my Facebook know that my 13 year old daughter decided that she wanted to come home to homeschool so that she could look after me, so my husband could go back to work. It has been a lot of adjustment and trying to figure out how to set a kid up to do a very adult job. That has been a lot of work to do. My daughter is an amazing girl. She is very smart, very giving and very compassionate. She has had some minor issues that we have been able to figure out as best we can with her timing and her online schooling. She tended to run out of time and homework was not getting done at first but we figured it out. Appointments had to be juggled by my eldest daughter and my family and friends. The amount of work it takes to manage a household with a sick person is incredible. The meds alone are a daily chore that sometimes get forgotten. I have been blessed with many Angels to help us get ourselves together and working. We have also been blessed with prayers of abundance and work for Ken. He was not sure if he was going to be put on a regular schedule. We are very grateful he is. Our goal is to get caught up and hopefully get enough to consider some treatments in the States or Australia. Wherever I have to go to get cured. I am feeling a cure would be very helpful right now.

In the meantime I have been learning more sewing tricks with the Red Deer Sewing Centre classes. I love it. It is like going to school again and school is my favorite place to be. I guess, in a way, that is making me feel guilty that my daughter had to stop school to take care of me. She assures me that she doesn’t love school as much as I do but I still feel a little bad.

Also, we have been busy training the puppies. Both of my daughters were given the gifts of puppies. One of our puppy babies is deaf, which makes it a bit more of a challenge. Every morning we try to continue their growth by positive treat training. I am still learning a number of ASL words every day, to help with some of this. Now sometimes I start signing to people other than the dogs. It is hilarious really. I am shaking my ✋ hands back and forth in a clap saying good girl to complete strangers.

Cheech and Dixie
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I love my children. Biological, honourary and furbaby.

I love my kids. When I say I love my kids I don’t say it lightly and I don’t just mean the three that came out of my body. I mean my fur babies that overrun my house like a zoo.

I mean my kids friends that have been with us for so long they probably can’t even remember the first days they came to our house. I am and probably always have been a fierce Mom. I have knocked on a complete strangers house at 1 am in the morning to make sure that my son’s friend was present and accounted for. I have told off a woman who yelled at my son’s friend for no good reason because she was a bully and she had no business making an innocent kid cry. I have transformed the room of my daughter’s best friend because she dreamed to have her princess bedroom and I had the capabilities to do it. I do these things because I genuinely love these kids.

One of the most endearing moments for me was when I had been gifted some watermelon candy once. I put the candy on the counter top in the bag it came in when I was done. Another belief I have is mi Casa sous Casa (my house is your house). So when my daughter’s boyfriend came in and took a handful of candy from the watermelon bag, I felt so successful. Only someone who lived in my house, or was so comfortable that they felt free of repercussions, would take candy from a bag laying on the cupboard. It was obvious to me that this boy felt completely comfortable in my home. I have always wanted that kind of home. A place where people felt safe to be themselves and completely taken care of. I feel like kids and animals should feel truly loved. Everyone should feel loved , of course, but the more innocence the more they should be taken care of.

That leads me to my kids. I love my kids more than anything in the world. They are truly the reason why I am still alive today. When the doctor said I would probably die the first night over the blood clots in my lungs, all I could think about was my kids being without me for the rest of their lives. I couldn’t do that. When my son, Cole, broke his ankle, I was going through a temporary seperation with my husband.  I still stayed a week in the hospital on a pull out chair so that he would not have to suffer alone. I got a babysitter for my son so my middle daughter, Emily, could do dance with me. I wanted her to always feel included so she would not have any middle child issues.😂(I t didn’t work btw) I was a crazy Mother. When my baby girl, Danielle, was born, I spent a week in the hospital almost dying from a hemorrhage. I refused to die and have my baby live without a mother. I would literally do anything for my kids. So when my son gave me this amazing Christmas gift I was so filled with confused emotions I didn’t know what to do.

My son, Cole, started acting different towards me when he turned about 15. Before that we were friends. We had dates, we went to yoga together, and he would show me all of his new skateboarding moves. He talked to me and I thought he liked to do that. He always acted like he enjoyed my company and I loved him to the moon and back.😄 When he hit teenage hood I couldn’t relate to him. I wanted to so badly. I yearned for the days that I could sit and chat like we used to, but it seemed like we were strangers. He said things that made me feel like he may have known me or possibly longed for the same relationship, but there was just somethings I did that made him angry when we talked. He always assures me that he loves me but he does things that make me realize he is exasperated by me. Its weird. How can you love someone so much and still not seem to be able to get along? This Christmas Cole got us an amazing gift. Every year for almost ten years, we would go to Canmore and rent a time share condo. This year, due to Ken having to stay home and take care of me,made it impossible for us to financially rent the room.

Cole moved out a year ago  and has been doing really well on his own. Ken and I have been so proud of his progress with work and his side business of snowboard waxing. He is a man now and doing really well for himself. I didn’t know how well but when he offered us that mini vacation I was stunned. Cole was never big on gifts and this was a big gift. Then finding out that he thought of it himself made me feel like maybe I didn’t do too bad as Mom. Maybe he did have some good memories of us when he was younger. You see, I have been afraid that all he remembers is the illness. I sometimes doubt if I did right by my kids. There is no manual for this parenting thing and I am sure I screwed up more than once. I just wanted them to feel happy and loved. When he gave me that gift I thought maybe he did feel that way. 0 I just want so much to have the time so that I can have a beautiful close relationship with all of my children. Even the honourary ones. The cancer scares me sometimes for this reason. It is hard having time hang over your head like an invisible ticking time bomb. Someday, I believe, that I will have our Christmas time in Canmore and I will have all of my children with me. Their families will be there too. I see us all going tubing or who knows, maybe I will try snowboarding. I can ski just enough to be dangerous.😉

Even though this was the first year without Cole in Canmore, we had such a marvelous time. We laughed and played games. We shopped and had amazing homeade fondues. We had our honourary kid Destiny with us. It was just a wonderful way to spend time with the ones we love. My son, my sister and my Mom took care of our fur babies for us. It was just so wonderful and I am just so grateful for it.

My next favorite thing came when my fur children came home so full of love. My cat was so bad when we were gone. She managed to rip open a whole bag of treats that my Mom and Step Dad got her. Between her and the other two cats they had a cat treat feast. The whole house now smells of really rancid gas. I am glad there are no smokers in the house. One lighter spark and I am sure we will go up like a firework. The cats also decided to tear open the Skinny pigs food and leave trails through out the upstairs. My sister informed me that the new puppy, Dixie, has a new game of swing the tail of the Cheetzy Bear. My poor little Grand Doggy is going to be tailless soon if we don’t curb that behavior. It looks like I have some teaching to do. Which I am grateful for as well. Puppies keep you young. So basically I had the best trip with the best people. I was gifted that trip from the best Son. I had spending money from the best most generous people for Christmas and I am forever grateful to everyone. May you all be as blessed as I have been. Thanks for listening and have the most amazing New Year and New decade. Great things are coming and as my daughter keeps telling me” this is the first year that people who have prescription glasses can say they see 2020”. 😂Lol God Bless❤️

A little faith goes a long way.

Today has been a huge faith day. It started out with worry, unfortunately. I had a plan this year. I wasn’t able to get a lot of gifts for the family for Christmas, but I was able to get them each one good gift and honestly my family has everything they need. That was something that I figured out when I got the brain cancer. Things don’t give you happiness, experiences do. Good Times with your friends and family mean something. Great food and good stories mean something. Learning new things mean something. Puppy kisses and kitten cuddling means something. It doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate gifts when given. In fact, I appreciate them so much more now, because I generally don’t get things unless I love them or need them. I see the thought and love placed in giving and it means something more now than it used to.  However today I was looking down the barrel of a very Faith based decision. I had my last bit of money in the bank. I had a food order coming in ,thanks so much to the Mormon Church, so I decided that I would buy the last gift I was going to buy so that I had something for my Son. He always tells us adamantly to not get him anything, because in his words, we need it more than him, but I was not leaving him without a gift for Christmas. God has never left us before so I was faithful that God would provide. I took a hundred dollars and got him a gift then I went home and played a make believe game with my daughter called “If I were Ellen and I could give away any gift to anyone for Christmas what would I give?” Danielle and I had fun picturing the looks on the faces of my family when I drove up in my daughter’s fully paid for purple jeep. The look on my son’s face if I sent him snowboarding for a week in Sunshine etc. It is fun to dream and giving away stuff would be so much fun. I envy Ellen for her ability to make people’s dreams come true.

However, I digress. At around 3pm we got a knock on our door. It was Emily’s school counselor. She had some gifts for my girls. It was beautiful. So far this week we had already been surprised by the Kentwood community association that gave us a basket with gift certificates, food and money. We were also surprised and gifted by my friend doing yoga to raise money for us. This had again gave us some money and gift certificates from virtual strangers, that we were so grateful for and very much in need of. What else could I ask for? Then the door bell rang again a few hours later. It was my neighbors from across the street. I was surprised at their visit, so I probably sounded ridiculous from shock, but they gifted me with a turkey , ham and another donation of cash. Now I was dumbfounded. I barely know my neighbors, why would they be so generous to me? God is good and people who give from his promptings are just so wonderful. I was very moved. Then I had huge surprise about an hour later. I was greeted gleefully by my daughter’s old teacher and about ten others baring gifts at my front door for the third time today. They not only gave me a donation that would help us pay the bills that month but they also gifted us with family portraits and more presents they said that they hoped our family would enjoy. They even sang Rudolph the Red nose reindeer to me while I cried from the overwhelming beauty of the moment. I am just so moved right now it is beyond words.

I was telling my new neighbors today something that was told to me a long time ago. My new neighbor Nancy had asked me for a favor. She said she was not used to asking for help and I told her the hands story I heard in church one time. The story goes that a man had greeted St Peter in the gates of heaven and he was taken to a room full of the most amazing treats anyone could possibly imagine.Also in the room were many people in anguish and sadness. The man asks St Peter where this place was and St Peter said “well that depends on your perspective but I would have to say what you see right now would probably be considered hell.” The man was confused but what he noticed when he looked around was that the people around the table were incapable of using their arms properly. They could reach out but couldn’t bend the arm to reach and feed themselves any of this wonderful food. They were unable to listen to the beautiful music because without bending their arms they couldn’t put the earphones in. It was maddening and each person who tried would fail and get more hopeless and frustrated. St Peter said we are moving along son and the man was relieved . As they walked along the corridor St Peter opened the next door to what looked like the identical scene. Everything wonderful was laid out in a buffet before him and St Peter said welcome to Heaven. The Man was now confused. How could this be heaven? It was exactly the same. The man’s curiosity got the better of him and finally he asked St Peter what gives? St Peter explained that nothing is different in heaven. Everyone has the same arms that won’t allow them to enjoy the good things on the table. St Peter tells the man” the only difference that makes this heaven is that in heaven we feed each other.” Sure enough as the man watched he could see each person using the their special arms to reach out and give to the other people.

My neighbor loved this story but I think what hit home and it has gotten my heart everytime was a question a woman asked me once. She said “Brandie I noticed that you give a lot. Do you love giving?” I said absolutely it is one of my favorite things. It gives me a feeling of love and grace when I do it. The lady then said “do you like receiving as much?”. I said no it makes me feel needy and humbled. Then the lady said ” what if everyone felt that way? What if nobody recieved or asked for help, who would we give to?”. She was right. There was no reason to feel bad about receiving because there are so many people out there that feel so blessed from giving that it is our place to appreciate both. Ever since that conversation I have learned to just give back in gratitude and pay it forward when I can. So when I have, I give, and when I don’t I receive. Graciously knowing that I am part of something bigger and better than my mind could ever truly understand. So tonight I pray for those in need. I ask that the proper amazing heavenly souls find them and they allow those people to give to them. I pray thanks to all the people who have made my children and I smile with their generosity. Thank you so much. It means more to my family than you could ever know. A true miracle to have you give to me with your golden hearts when we absolutely needed it the most. Thank you a hundred times over. My daughter came home from work, afraid because she had lost her nose ring at work and she was unable to afford a new one. When I told her we could help her out she was in tears with relief. This morning I was not sure where gas was coming from this week and tonight I slept knowing we were taken care of. How could I ever question if there was a higher power or not when I am so blessed with miracles like tonight? My cup runneth over 😊❤️ . If I don’t write another blog before the 25th than I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an enlightened, and prosperous New Year. I love you all so much. God Bless ❤️