Monday, June 24, 2013

In Junk and Life, things can change in a hurry!

Some of you may have noticed that I have been Missing-in-Action
 in the JunkFest blog-world lately...
so, I thought it was about time I got on the ball again!
(before they vote me off the island!)

Here is a quick change
 from last year:

I acquired
2 camp chairs in questionable shape.

Especially this one,
 with some missing wood slats...
(after all, the seat is a pretty important part of a chair!!)

As happens in life,
sometimes a little wine can help!
(A wooden wine crate panel in this case)

With a little stain, wood glue,
and a strategic screw or two..
it fit right in place.
The ivory colored canvas trim
used to be the handle
 of a seldom used tote bag.
(Gosh, sounds like I must save everything!..
but you never know when you will need it!)
I added some little tacks and an old drawer pull for a little character.

Now she is functional and pretty
and interesting...
just what I was going for!

Her "sister" was in better shape,
 but needed a little make over as well.

Just a numbered tag
 and some stain did the trick

These sold at JunkFest 2012
(but I kind of miss them)

So, that was one quick change in my life.
The other one was even more sudden:



I was unexpectedly diagnosed with female cancer(s) in April.
The doctors say it is hard to tell if it was uterine or ovarian...
* or both *
as all had grown together into one large mass.

I can't believe that I am a woman
 who had no knowledge of the signs
 of ovarian/uterine cancers...
and they are very run-of-the-mill...
as my Doctor said
"The signs of ovarian cancer, do not scream cancer!":

Unfortunately, there is no cute slogan for ovarian or uterine cancer to put it in the forefront of your mind...
like "save the ta ta's" for breast cancer.

so here they are
according to the minnesota ovarian cancer alliance:
Some women feel bloated
(we call that "winter" here in North Dakota:
due to the bitter cold, we tend to eat a lot of carbs and sit on the couch under a blanket.
We gain weight and feel is kind of normal.
I bought larger jeans as my waist got bigger and didn't give it another thought)

Some women have abdominal pain (or pain during sex)

Some women can have difficulty eating or feel full quickly

Some women may feel an urgency or higher frequency to urinate, than is your normal

**There is no test for ovarian cancer. A pap smear only tests for cervical cancer. (Tho the pelvic exam that accompanies your pap smear could possibly find a mass). They say you should take action if any of the above symptoms occur almost daily for more than a few weeks.

My main symptom was bloating that did not go away. I mistook it for weight gain, but even as I ate better and lost weight, my abdomen and waist continued to get bigger, and there began to be a little abdominal burning/pain..and that is when I went to the Dr.

I am undergoing chemo treatments,
and I have to say:
I feel lucky!...

because Chemo treatments have changed so much in the past few years
that, in my case, I have had limited side affects
and I feel pretty good most of the time.
(I am even starting to work on junk projects for our 9th annual sale!)

Of course, there are no guarantees when it comes to cancer,
but I have heard a lot of success stories
and I certainly hope to be one myself!

Even in the midst of cancer, there can be silver linings.
I have never felt so much love.
Especially from this sweet guy...
who has stuck it out with me through 27 years of marriage
(28 this December!)

...and from this wonderful guy, my son Casey,
who has shaved his head in solidarity for me!

On this day, he was playing the role of "Juan Carlos"
as he shaved my head as well
(you cannot believe what a mess your hair can make as it rains down around you every day
you do not even want to go in your kitchen for fear of it falling in everyones food)

Casey and my husband actually made it kind of fun and not so scarey.

...and from this sweet girl, my daughter Laura
who just got a tattoo in my honor.
It says
"She laughs with no fear of the future"

...And from these two, my junk sisters,
who have supported me in all kinds of junk related ups and downs
but more than that, ...they have been there for me in real life!
(They surprised me by showing up in vibrant scarves after my surgery at the Mayo Clinic...
and, like usual,  they made me laugh!)

...and from a ton of friends and acquaintances and the whole community I live in.

Even with cancer, there can be silver linings!
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