Many of you have followed my Dad’s progress as he fights prostate cancer. Posts about his battle can be found HERE and HERE.
Last week my Dad called to update me on his latest appointment at the Cross Cancer. This was his first checkup since his extensive round of Radiation.
The results show he still has cancer. His levels are a bit higher than when he started Radiation treatment.
He can’t go for anymore Radiation, and he’s already had the surgery. They are going to monitor his levels, and will discuss further options such as hormone treatment.
Dad gave me permission to post this, as he would love some prayers.
I will leave you with my Dad’s words after he shared his break-our-hearts news:
It certainly wasn’t the news I was hoping for. I had a pity party on the drive home until I stopped in Vegreville and saw an elderly couple that needed help loading their groceries. I felt much better after I helped them.
My Dad has always reminded me of Johnny Cash…the man in black with a heart of gold. I love you Dad.
Now that Christmas and New Years is behind me, I walked into my bathroom with the clear intention to step on the scale. I pulled that devil scale out its lair with dread, and tentatively stared at it for a bit telling myself that it really didn’t matter what number I saw, it was time to get back to work.
I stepped on it, and looked away. Well this is stupid, I have to see the number. And there it was, a number I hadn’t seen in years since I’ve reached my goal weight…160 pounds. I felt a little panicky, how did I manage to gain 10 pounds in just one Christmas season?
I walked downstairs to make a coffee, inwardly fighting the positive with the negative. I have a goal now, no big deal…but, I can’t fit my jeans! I need to get to work NOW. My daughter’s little voice interrupted my inward banter. She sat at the counter colouring a picture of a Disney princess and without missing a beat of colouring she asked. “What’s wrong Mom?” I replied flippantly “I can’t fit my jeans, I ate too much chocolate over Christmas!”
Now, I’m going to share the next part of the story with hesitation, because I feel a lot of guilt over it. It’s that crippling Mom guilt and it’s replayed over and over in my mind ever since.
My sweet little girl looked up at me and with sadness in her eyes she said “When I was in Kindergarten, A girl told me I was fat. Do you exercise so you won’t get fat?” I just stood there stunned. I didn’t realize that my own thoughts about my body image would be transferred to my daughter in that moment and that she equated exercising with the need to not be “fat”.
And that began our conversation about foods that give you energy and vitamins, staying active to be healthy and to have energy, and that she is most definitely perfect just as she is. I told her that I too was told I was “fat” in school, and she giggled at me and said “but you’re not fat, you are thin!” Those words broke my heart, because if I can’t accept my body, how am I going to expect my daughter to accept hers?! We are going to throw out the word “fat” within our household, it’s officially the F-Word.
I share this story with you today, because I know that like me, there are many Moms out there who struggle with raising their children to have a healthy self-esteem. I believe it’s THE hardest part of the Mom gig…both in raising sons and daughters. With healthy self-esteem, comes self-respect and healthy decisions. A strong self-esteem will aid in preventing my kids from making decisions where they put themselves at risk…because they will value themselves far too much to be dragged down. In some ways I’m thankful I didn’t have a lot of self-esteem growing up, because it’s now a huge priority in how I raise my children. I believe I understand those issues a little better given my past. But there is no way, I will accept that for my own children.
I need to find a healthy balance, because I also want to raise my children to take care of their bodies. To be active (which in their world means playing and running outside), and to eat healthy foods. To equate all of that with taking care of their bodies, rather than relating it to aesthetics.
So these are my thoughts today, and I don’t have all the answers, but I am analyzing what I’ve done wrong, and the things I’ve done right. I am holding myself accountable, because like it or not, my kids are watching me. They are learning from me.
Active fun is on the menu for Winter. 🙂
To all you Moms out there: If we want to raise healthy, balanced children with self-respect…we better work on that within ourselves. If you are reading this post riddled with Mom guilt, and you have insights on this topic (or if you share in my struggle), I would love to hear from you! Drop me a comment.
What I didn’t know then, was that that post would be the wake up call I needed for change and authenticity to start a new year. I started 2011 with a weight on my shoulders that I immediately felt melt away after I dropped the mask I was wearing for much of the previous year. I felt free to be myself, there is no greater feeling than to just let it all go.
And now one year later, I look back on the past year with a smile and a grateful heart. Our family went through a lot in 2011, but we grew closer because of it. My love and respect for my Dad grew like I didn’t know possible.
With a new year, there is always that feeling of starting fresh. I want to take a moment before moving on to 2012 to revisit some of the things I learned in 2011.
~We are all struggling with some area in our lives to some degree…whether it’s personal or it’s professional…some just hide it a little better. Life has it’s share of failure and defeat. The important part is learning from it, and picking yourself up a little smarter and a little stronger.
~It makes a difference if you start your day off with gratitude.
~An act of kindness towards a stranger, a friend, or a family member can change the course of their day…and as an added bonus it will change the course of your day as well.
~There is beauty in the break down.
~Laughter cures a lot! So do exactly what it is that brings the laughter out. Laugh everyday. Every single day.
~Tell the people you love that you love them. Don’t wait. Tell them now and often.
~Be honest with your friendships, and cherish them. They are valuable. If you find there is a toxic friendship in your life, it’s OK to take a step back. Friendships aren’t supposed to be filled with guilt. If you are kind, loyal, and accepting…you deserve the same respect in return. Not every friendship has to be a close friendship, there are all levels of friendships in life, and they are all important to find balance.
~Enjoy the simple joys in life. A great meal out with someone you love, a phone call with a friend you miss, an afternoon with family, a night playing cards, an afternoon tobogganing with kids. You will smile more. You will laugh more. Life is meant to be fun. If it’s not fun, make some fun.
Note: now that you’ve seen some cute kid’s tobogganing, may I draw your attention to how adults look when they toboggan….
Where was I…
~If you work from home, get ready in the morning just as if you were heading into work away from home. You will feel better. I spent one year working from home in my PJ’s. I think you could hear the dishevelled in my voice had you called me.
~Eat healthy, drink lots of water, go for a walk/a run/a bike ride. It’s unbelievable how much that improves your health and your over-all well-being. Your body was designed to work that way! Be good to yourself.
~If you hear a song you love and you feel like dancing. Then dance. It’s fun.
~Be exactly who you are, because you will attract like-minded friends. Life is just better when you surround yourself with a whole lot of love (and it’s lots of fun too).
~If you don’t like something about your life, guess what…you can change it. Or you can at least change how you react to the negative circumstances surrounding your life. A cup half-full is half-full.
~Balance is key: in all you do, strive for balance.
~You can’t change anyone else…you can only change yourself, continuing to evolve and grow as life does. Work on you. Don’t worry about anyone else.
“Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
~Life is FILLED with people who can teach you something. Listen. Resist the urge to talk…simply listen and your life will change as those lessons (they are gifts) from others sink in.
~We all have different belief systems. Respect other’s beliefs and values. They are as sacred to them as yours are to you.
~It’s rude to text when someone is talking to you. It just is. I’ve been guilty of this! I’ve realized when I’m on the other end of it that it’s just not polite, it sends a message that you are not important enough to look in the eye. Drop the phone, make eye contact and engage in conversation. 🙂
~The things you fear most in life are the very challenges you should face. I’m not outgoing, and I have to force myself to meet new people and forget the fact I’m socially awkward. If I wouldn’t have taken the steps to meet new people, or if they wouldn’t have taken the steps…I would have missed out on some incredible friendships and experiences. (Hope: I’m so glad that I forced myself to go to your workshops…the hours leading up to the workshop, my stomach was in knots because I didn’t believe in myself as a photographer…even though I was going to learn. I was so close to not going because of my own insecurities. And look what I would have missed out on!)
~Give your best to your guests.
~Say thank you.
That’s about all I can think of! I know I rambled! Thank you for reading my thoughts, and I am so thankful for each and every person that visits my blog and takes the time to comment. May 2012 be filled with a ridiculous amount of love and laughter within your life!