Category Archives: love

Quiet in a Very Noisy Time

I was sorta, half-way, mostly in my head, working on an end-of-the-year review but the insanity of the last couple of weeks (both in the world and just in my little corner of it) has pushed me into my stoic, quiet, updateless place.

2018 was the first year since I have been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor that I was stable enough that I actually did not spend any time in giant, noisy medical machines. No MRSA, no trips down the stairs, no major choking incidents. I’m not convinced I’m seizure free, and I forget things like it’s my job, but I am stable enough that I was able to convince my neuro to let me ask pain management about shots in my neck again.

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2019 starts with me mostly stable brain-wise, in the middle of a couple of trips to the dentist, somewhat overwhelmed by life right now, and contemplating going to the Women’s March in DC on the 19th. So I am doing what I do and retreating into my head and my writing. I present my latest efforts from my journals…

The Night After Christmas

‘Twas the night after Christmas
and all through the house
not a critter was stirring
Not even Daisy with a new mouse.

The stockings were rehung
by the fireplace with care
Empty now of the treats and goodies
St Nick had shared.

The kids were all snuggled in
tight in their beds
with visions of such a wonderful day
bouncing through their heads.

And Dad in his pajama pants
and I wearing a messing bun like a cap
were heading upstairs
dreaming of a nice, long Winter’s nap.

When all of a sudden I heard
a bang! and such clatter
I tumbled out of bed
to go see what was the matter.

I hurried down the stairs
as I followed the noise
When what to my surprised eyes did I find
but a battle of toys!

Wow Daisy! Oh Phoebe!
And Honey-Girl too?!
There’s boxes and bows everywhere.
What did you do?!

As I stood and surveyed
the mess in my living room
I took a deep breath and wondered
“should I go get the broom?”

Just then a wondrous sight
caught the corner of my eye
I looked across the room, through the back window
and gazed at the Northeast night sky.

The snow had just started
to float down from the clouds
Clean, fresh, white sparkling snowflakes were floating down
coating our little town without a sound.

Soundlessly I turned
and gazed upon the messy room
Among those boxes and bows
I saw the joy that disappears all too soon.

Our family had been gifted
with such a wonderful day
and so our kitties had taken
their chance to play!

All those boxes and bows
and scattered tissue paper
would be remnants of cherished memories
to call upon later.

Seeing my furry little predators
attack all the boxes and bows
just added to my joyous memories
as they peeked out from the piles
with their tiny nose!

With a flick of a tail
as they dashed out of sight
I chuckled to myself and whispered
“Merry Christmas, girls! I love you. Good night!”

~ Xun, 2019

I hope you had joy in this last holiday season and I send hope and light and love for health and happiness in the New Year!

❤ ~ X

Music is Pain Relief

I typically put up a post on my blog’s FB page every Monday with whatever is stuck in my head that week and I always hashtag it #MusicMonday and #musicispainrelief . Because researchers have shown that listening to music can release endorphins and relieve pain.

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Grey’s Anatomy, season 2, episode 5 “Bring the Pain”. Some pain management ideas are….more controversial. I’m just advocating for music.

…And if you know anything about me or have read more than three blogs, you know I live and die by my music. I always have something stuck in my head and Heaven help the person that might get a hold of my Spotify and wonder exactly how many people share the account. Spoiler: it’s just me, but I have everything from the Hamilton soundtrack to Lady Gaga to Eminem to Disturbed….to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack…P!nk, Queen, Marilyn Manson, Tesla, Five Finger Death Punch, Supertramp, Bleachers, Melissa Etheridge…. I can do this all day.

Anyway…

The youngest and I went to go see A Star is Born last Friday and I cried. I cried for the last half of the movie. I cried for a few different reasons, some of which I don’t talk about. I’m getting off topic. My point is I’ve had this stuck in my head for four days already and music is pain relief.

Happy Music Monday! ❤ ~ Xun

What We Don’t Say….

I was a Psych major in college. Have I told you that before? Doesn’t matter…anyway, I actually switched majors from Pharmacology to Psych because I wanted to understand the human mind. All I learned is I’d make a terrible counselor. And birth order.

My point is I chose to study psychology because I knew what it felt like to be so depressed you just wanted to die. And I understood what it felt like to have a full blown panic attack in the ER. As in an ABG (arterial blood gas) being drawn mid panic attack and showing that my O2 and CO2 levels were reversed.

I went through some serious depression and (now I know it was) PTSD after a major medical crisis in 2001. I lost a child and almost died from sepsis. The I went home and slept with the lights on for 6 months and had nightmares for close to 2 years.

But none of this is talked about much. I don’t say I still have nightmares. I don’t talk about how close to suicidal I am if they suddenly cut off my meds. I don’t talk about loneliness or abandonment issues. I don’t say anything about the reason I have so many tattoos on my forearms.

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Everyone I know feels a little broken sometimes. How many people do you know that feel self-doubt? Or fear or not being good enough? Have you ever cried yourself to sleep? Is anyone else telling you it would be okay if you did?

One of my favorite people shows it better than I can….check out Swoop. ❤

There are a lot of things we don’t say. But you’re not alone. And it’s okay if you’re not okay right now.

7 Days, 7 Photos; Day 4

Happy Saturday! I love Saturday. It’s my favorite day of the week! I can be lazy and snuggle back under the covers just a little longer, or we can choose to go do something fun on a family adventure. Renn Fest season just ended for us and we always try to go at least twice during the 8 or 9 weekend run.

Movie nights, museum visits, trips up to The Kennedy Center. Saturdays usually have something good!

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See you tomorrow for day 5! ❤ ~ xun

Ch-Cha-Changes…..

There are a lot of moving pieces in my life. Like…..MY life isn’t moving, but there is a lot! of movement around me and a lot of change. And I get it. Life is change and movement, whether that might be forward, or backward, or temporary movement.

Anywho…

My oldest
1. enrolled in the second part of her program, which means along with classes and papers, and reading, and.. and… and… (because it’s college), she’ll be starting her clinicals soon as well. She’s going through all this schooling to be a radiographer. I thought she was going for Xray tech, but this so much more. She kicking ass, so give her a thumbs up!
2. Her boyfriend of a year just dropped her without really any reason. Forget a good reason, it was shit and it was selfish and it broke her heart.
3. So on top of getting into the program, she quit her job to focus on school, and her boyfriend tells her “we’re not compatible”. W T F?!
4. And then her fish died today. She’s having a rough week.

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My boy…well, not “boy”; 6 foot tall, 200 lbs (23 year old) man, but my only son and therefore still my boy is still plugging along at his training to be an electrician and he finishes in November. And he seems to like Northern California, so that’s all good stuff for him too.

But we are having a major shift in the house. My youngest has decided to go to the local public high school and get out there and meet teenagers and go do the high school experience. Which is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but she’s been homeschool since she was 6. I brought her home in 2009. We were just moving way too much at that point with the Navy closing NAS Brunswick, so I thought the better choice was to homeschool her under an accredited school to protect us, allow us to reach what she wants to learn, when she wants to learn and how she would learn. But it’s been 8 years now and she wants to start getting out into the world.

So, between random bouts of tears and panic attacks, I am getting the paperwork together to get this process started.

It just feel like a million things I’m directing traffic to, offering up time and whatever my girls need.

So if you need me, I’ll be hiding out in my blanket fort. With my tablet, my coloring book (and crayons), and maybe some snacks.

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If I Could Close My Eyes….

June and July are funny months in the Xunnie household. There’s always the changing of the seasons, graduations, etc ; but we also have the anniversary of my Dad’s death coming up (06/23), what would have been his birthday (07/06), and the anniversary of what I call My Line in the Sand(07/17).

And now, three years into this, we have the anniversary of my diagnonsense. My brain tumor was found because I started falling down the stairs as some kind of a hobby and I complained to my pain docs about more headaches, so she wrote me a referral to a neurosurgeon who ordered the first MRI. I then saw who has become my steady spot in all of this, my neurologist, who then made a face at me and ordered a second scan. And then it was confirmed on June 20, and the next thing I knew I was headed up to Georgetown for half my Summer.

Yes, THE Georgetown hospital. And the coolest thing (is there is such a thing)? My “team” included the HEAD of Neurosurgery and the HEAD of Radiation Oncology. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I must be an interesting case and I’m grateful for it. But yeah, that was a tough Summer. My son was deployed at the time, so I couldn’t tell him all hell had broken loose and inside of 30 days we signed a contract to have our house built, my dog died, and I got diagnonsensed.

June 23, 2012 my Dad lost his fight with cancer and June 20, 2014 I got diagnosed with a brain tumor.

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The point of all of this is:

  1. I did, in fact, get this year’s results and the tumor is “stable with no change in size”.
  2. I realized today as I was telling my oldest daughter a story about the time my Dad came to Michigan and they didn’t know what to make of him that I have all these images and memories that my kids don’t get to see the way I did. They’ve heard the stories, but they were so little, they don’t remember.

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The story I was telling my daughter was: Grandpa was so dark skinned and we’re all fair, blue-eyed, etc so when people see my kids run up yelling “Grandpa! grandpa!” they don’t know what to think. When he visited San Diego, they thought he was Mexican. When he went to Egypt (for work) they thought he was Egyptian. But in Michigan, USA, this lady could not figure out what was going on. (It sounds terribly racist, but when you see his reaction, it’s just funny!) So, as she’s following us through the grocery store and staring, he turns to me and says “if she doesn’t stop it, I’m gonna run over there and kiss her!”

No, he didn’t take himself too seriously.

My daughter smiled and said “I’ve always heard the stories, but I don’t remember….”. All I could think after she went to do her thing for the rest of today and as I’ve gone through my day was I wish I could close my eyes and show them.

Buzzfeed famously has all these ridiculous “What Superpower Should You Have?” or “If You Were in the Marvel Universe, Who Would You Be?” quizzes and lists, but if I had a superpower, I’d want to be able to close my eyes, hold your hands, and show you a memory. I have all these amazing memories and with the 5th anniversary of his loss coming up, I’ll write another blog with some of those. But, God!, what I wouldn’t give to be able to show you.

Hear the music, feel the wind, feel the joy, see the laughter. How much would you really love to be able to do that?

Stuff…and Things

Mostly because it’s been a rough August, and a rough year. For a lot of us…

For my favorite Dookie fighter!!

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And if you’re having a bad day, just remember…

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Believe in a little magic….

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…and find something that brings a smile to your face!

(And if you’re bored, my Tumblr has so cool stuff! I forget about it and then scroll back thru and find more treasures!)

Critters

I was influenced by a post from one of the bloggers I follow the other day. She’s a fellow brain tumor spoonie and shared about her furry babies. So I was inspired to share about mine. Love comes in all shapes and sizes, and on some of my toughest days my furry purr boxes help me survive the pain.

We rescued my Phoebe kitty in 2009 when she was 4 months old. She’s unique in that somehow it seems like she’s all Manx even though her mom was feral. She’s a silver tabby and everybody always asks me why she doesn’t have a tail. She’s sweet and funny (and credited with changing hubs’s mind about cats) and earns her nickname of FeedMe Kitty all the time.

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Next we ended up with Honey Girl. My oldest daughter rescued her, but when she moved back home Honey decided she belonged with us, and her and Phoebe are like sisters. Honey was born on or about July 15, 2011….making her and Phoebe almost exactly 2 years apart.

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She’s a beautiful long haired tortie and she loves everybody, definitely earning her name Honey Girl!

Our youngest kitty has only been with us for about 2 months now. Daisy is a short hair tortie and she’s still finding her place in the household, but she’s very sweet and active and loves sleeping next to my head at night. We think she’s about a year and a half old, but she’s little at only 7 pounds.

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Did you know that cats purr at a frequency that soothes pain?

 

Next up…. probably tomorrow or Monday….we have 4 hermits crabs too!

 

 

Imagine….

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You, ..

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
~ John Lennon, Imagine

I read the paper over my coffee every morning through email. Mostly The Guardian, or maybe the Washington Post or the New York Times. Sometimes Buzzfeed News, or any variety of different sources. I try to stay away from Faux or CNN, but I try to confirm a story through several different news outlets. And every morning, every single day, I see heartbreaking stories of shootings, violence, an argument escalating into someone being shot in the street, misunderstanding leading to people being hurt….or killed.

Children dying…..people crying….

I don’t understand. Do you know how….simple? …ignorant? …maybe childlike in some of the innocence that leaves me unable to comprehend the hate in someone’s heart…that leaves me feeling?

I don’t understand.

I found myself closing my eyes, turning my face up, and quietly whispering…”Please…..please…God? Jesus? Abraham? His Holiness ( I am, after all, a Buddhist), please send compassion, hope, love. Please help us. Please heal us.”

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Hate in your heart will consume you too….

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This is insane. We need healing….

Where is the love?

Go forth and send out some random acts of kindness! 😉

Throw Back Thursday

3 Doors Down, Landing In London

My throw back for #tbt is music. Because it’s always music for me. Music is my breath and life. It’s my memories. My pain. My joys. Play me a song and it’s tied to a time in my life.

This is one of my favorite songs ever. It’s one of those songs I always sing along to, at the top of my lungs. I know every word, every note, and if you listen carefully you’ll hear me yowling along. 😉

I was lucky enough to get to go see these guys last summer and it is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I love that I’ve been lucky enough to go to so many concerts and see some truly amazing artists! Jason Aldean and Uncle Kracker are so good live. Trace Adkins was amazing. Even at a county fair and in the rain, he is incredible live.

My first concert was in high school and I saw Joe Satriani. I’ve seen country, rock (Metallica! twice!), alternative, you name the kind of music….I love it. I’m sitting here trying to figure out how many concerts I’ve been to, but I don’t have a number…..somewhere north of …..25?

Music is life. That’s why our hearts have beats.

❤ ~ X