Friday, November 4, 2011

I Don't Need Pink

October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Pink Ribbons everywhere.....   
Pots and Pans 
Rubber Spatulas
Did anything NOT have pink?

It has been 11 months since my Breast Cancer diagnosis,
and 9 months since Surgery.
I have not needed Pink or Ribbons to remind me.

I am reminded every morning when I get dressed.
I am reminded whenever I try to reach a high shelf.
I am reminded each time I look in the mirror.
I am reminded when I pull weeds or clean the floors.
I am reminded when I try to exercise.
I am reminded when it is time to do the ironing.
I am reminded each time I get into and out of the car.
I am reminded at bedtime when I have to  "rotisserie" all night long to get comfortable.
I am reminded when I need help carrying my Scripture Bag on Sundays.
I am reminded at the Airport when I need to wear a compression arm sleeve and my prosthesis sends a "red flag" to the Security Screener.

Although I still need Love and Hugs   -

I do not need "Pink Ribbons" to Remember.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Must Be Feeling Better When.....

Two Surgery Dates.
Three Surgeons.
Four months of Healing.
Eight Weeks of Trying to get better.

  • They say it's the Little Things that matter.

You know you are feeling better when -
Eating is no longer "Operation Force Feed"
Long toe nails drive you to BEND OVER and CLIP!

You know you are feeling better when -
Lost the need to drag pillows room to room.
When said pillows don't sport pillowcases that MATCH the couch and you Change Pillowcases.

You know you are feeling better when -
Braving the cold rain you make an excursion into the back yard to Pick Tulips.
Can keep up with your son's Dog on a Neighborhood Walk.

You know you are feeling better when -
No longer need to cuddle up with your Lap Quilt.
Actually use a Recipe to make Dinner.

And finally -
You know you are feeling better when you investigate a stray Grocery Sack and learn the Easter Bunny left His GARBAGE in your Bedroom Closet.    :  )

  • Thank Goodness for the Little Things!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What's A Good Day?

Yesterday on my Facebook Account I posted my Gratitude for Family, Friends and a GOOD DAY.

A sweet friend responded with the Question - What is a Good Day for Gail Jenkins?

To give you perspective, here is the Reader's Digest version of what led to this Good Day -

DECEMBER - Multiple Mammograms

JANUARY - Breast Biopsy, 3 MRI's, 3 CT Scans, 3 X-rays, and multiple Blood tests.
Tests led to Diagnosis of Grade 1 Ductile Carcinoma,   AND the finding of a Separate unrelated TUMOR the size of a  Cantaloupe in the back of my chest wall - pressing on the Spine, the Right Lung and other Vitals.

February - Breast Surgery. Biopsy of Chest Tumor. News that Chest Tumor was Benign. Recuperation from Breast Surgery.

March - Playing the Waiting Game to learn of Surgery Date for Tumor Removal.  Recuperation continues from February's Mastectomy.

April - Surgery to remove Tumor required TWO Specialist Surgeons.  Neurosurgeon to remove Tumor from Spine.  Thoracic Surgeon to remove Tumor from Chest. Each surgeon needed their own LONG incision!

May - Recuperating from all the above.

Now to the Question posed on May 18, 2011
What makes a GOOD Day for Gail Jenkins?

You know it's a Good Day when you can put on your own Socks and Walking Shoes.

You know it's a Good Day when Food sounds GOOD,  you are Hungry, and you are Excited to eat!

You know ti's a Good Day when a young Mom sends over her Dad's Special Recipe and EVERY bite is like Healing Medicine.  It was the first meal I ate two helpings!    :  )

You know it's a Good Day when the Alarm rings before you need the next round of Pain Meds.

You know it's a Good Day when you don't need a Nap every 3 hours.

You know it's a Good Day when you are ready for your 1st Post-Surgery trip to WalMart and you enjoy it!

Now hoping for the NEXT  Good Day!     :  )

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I am NOT a H....

I am not a Hypochondriac!
If you are not sure what that means - "go look it up"!  (That last quote is one my children always hated.)

Last night over our frequent Yahtzee hour, Hubby and I were expressing our differing beliefs in how to get information.  He loves the Computer or anything Electronic.  I go to the written word - I can get my answers quicker from a Book than by waiting to Log-on, Process and Down-load.

Later when Hubby was sound asleep and I'm getting ready for bed, I was shocked to see signs of Internal Bleeding. 

My first thought was - "Where did that come from?" 

Rather than hyper-ventilate and go into a self-induced Panic Attack I calmly went to the COMPUTER and Logged on, Processed and Down-loaded my concern.  I was directed to the Mayo Clinic.

Do I call the Paramedics?  NOW?????

Breath deep
Finish reading.

SO - I learned my internal bleeding was a sign of Kidney failure, Bladder infection, or Cancer of either Kidneys or Bladder.  Or Both!

Great!  I am going to die.  I will book a 10 day cruise tomorrow, after I see the doctor, and Hubby and I will play non-stop till the funeral.  I do not want to spend the rest of my LIFE being sick!

But I did keep reading.........

Laughing out so loudly I should have woken my sleeping hubby, I began to relax at the same time I was regretting that I would not get to take my dream cruise!  In case you are interested I want to cruise on the Eastern Canada and New England  run in the Fall when all the stately old trees are dancing in their colorful autumn dresses.  Such a fabulous trip deserves a Balcony Room don't you think?

So, what did I learn by using Hubby's way of looking up information?

Apparently eating BEETS will cause the appearance of internal bleeding.  Little baby beets the size of golf balls that taste so sweet they could pass for candy.  Little baby beets with the greens steamed and the juices so rich and burgundy that they stain your fingers when you slip off the hot skins.  Little baby beets that are so tasty you and Hubby decide to grow more next year. 

Guess what WE had for dinner?

Like I say, I AM NOT a H.....!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Prime Time

Earlier this month a childhood school and neighborhood friend called - Shar was in town and suggested lunch together.  We enjoyed catching up and chatting as though no time had passed since our last visit.

At the end of lunch she commented on my "pretty" hands - she was worried about her age spots.  I quickly showed her mine, they had just been hiding from view, and I let it spill that they had been burned off once but were now back as bold as before. 

"We're past our prime"  I offered.  Her face winced!  Guess we don't like to talk about getting older.  In fact it occurred to me right then that I didn't notice when my "prime " had come and I certainly didn't know when it left.  I should have paid more attention to the good years, but I imagine those were the same years I was juggling 7 children, working at Jordan High, and trying to take care of house and yard and church callings.  But it is gone just the same.

Most times I do not feel old.  I do feel slightly aged in the morning when it's time to roll out of bed.  The joints creak, the bones ache and I hobble into the bathroom.  The rest of the day I am limber, strong and can still run up the stairs  -  just don't ask me to talk for a few minutes.  
Despite the number of years on the calendar I feel as young as my five daughters. 

Till I look in the mirror. 

I try harder lately to avoid all mirrors. 

Even the cute ones.  :  )

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Life = New Torture

Over my 50+ years I have NOT enjoyed exercise.  The closest I have come to liking a work-out is either in a swimming pool where I do not know I am sweating, or on a walk with hubby, family or friends and I can visit away the hour to ignore my dislike of working out.  As a girl I enjoyed riding my bicycle but back then we rode bikes to get some where not to be trim and healthy.

Now being slinky is not within my body language but I am trying to maintain healthy.  And this New Life of mine suggests I should try something new.  So today I tried "Power Stretch".  I thought - "Stretching.  That doesn't sound too bad.  I can spend an hour stretching, pretending I am taller than my 5' 3" and look skinny when I leave."  Oh foolish grandma!

I quickly realized that Power Stretch is a fancy name for Yoga. In a room filled with long and lean women, my rolly short body was out of place.  But I bent, pulled and stretched with the best of them. 

So now I can say I have tried Yoga, a.k.a Power Stretch.  I learned dog pose, airplane, triangle but my favorite was "Slumber Party".  It's been a long time since I actually went to a "slumber" party but this pose I could do.  And I did it well.

The teacher had to wake we up when class was over.    j/k       :  )

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lessons from my "New Life"

With all 7 kids grown and gone, I decided if my hubby has to get up early then I can get up early.   Starting my "New Life" has been teaching me a few things -

Lesson # 1 -
When you are used to 5:16 being the time of day that you get dinner ready, the body is not sure what to do when you start the day at 5:16.  The a.m. side of 5:00 is DARK!  REALLY DARK!!!

Lesson # 2 -
Starting the day early means all my morning work was done by 10:00.  Now what? 

Lesson # 3 -
When you get up at 5:16 and it's mid-morning, your body takes a nap when you have a soak in the tub.  Thank goodness I didn't drown.  This time!

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Life Day #1

If I am in charge of my life, and if I need to choose worthwhile things to fill up that life, then today was a great day to start.

Up early

Workout at the gym


Changed bed linens

Read chapter in "Before the Dawn" by Dean Hughes

Picked blooming daffodils from the front yard

Made daffodils into a cute arrangement w/bow

Visited Kuna friend who is on Chemo

Worked thru budgeting $$$ with hubby

3 hour drive into the "mountains" for a 40% off sale on quilting fabric   :  )

Those are just the activites specific for today - that doesn't count dishes, meals, mail-pick-up, shower, checking E-mail etc.

How did I have time for 7 children and a varying stream of part-time jobs?
Just wondering.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Excuses, Excuses and Even More Excuses

One year ago on March 8th, I was released as our ward Relief Society President. 
Several months prior, Kari left home to be a college student.

"Suddenly" after 37+ years of being a wife and mom I find myself with entire days that are totally up to me on how they are filled.  No longer can I say "I'm TOO BUSY!"  No longer can I blame children, church or even part-time jobs that I can't keep the house clean, read a book, visit a neighbor, work in the yard, iron clothes, write in my journal or sew a quilt.  Now it is totally MY FAULT if productive things do not happen. 

I think maybe I liked having reasons for not doing everything I thought I should be doing.  It's quite possible that I used all those "excuses" as a crutch to hide the fact that it was ME who was choosing not to do them.  I just didn't want to take the blame.  At Ricks College our Phsychology Professor labeled it "Self Defeating Behaviors".  I could write a Masters Thesis on that one!

So here I am, 58 years old, 13 grandchildren and 7 adult children, and serving as a Primary Teacher of three 10 year old girls.  No longer can I hang the blame on someone else or onto something.  It's time to take responsibility and to take charge.

This morning I read a quote from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin from a talk he gave in April conference 2007 titled "Life's Lessons Learned" -
As of last night my focus had been on finding a "Job", some employment that would fill up the bank account and make me happy.  Elder Wirthlin reminded me that I already have what I really want.  My Family.  It has been a blessing that I do not HAVE to work to keep us fed and sheltered - My husband has been doing that for us.  I still may find a token job out there to help fill up hours but my real job is enjoying what I have.
" I urge you to examine your life.  Determine where you are and what you need to do to be the kind of person you want to be.  Create inspiring, noble, and righteous goals that fire your imagination and create excitement in your heart.  And then keep your eye on them.  Work consistently towards achieving them."

Children and their spouses
And all too soon Great Grand-children

So here's to finding myself - It's already here.  I just had to get a reminder.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Every Fall I look forward to the big cold snap that we all know is coming. 

On that first FREEZING COLD DAY I have an annual job that I actually look forward to - I defrost the freezer!  I do not like to clean the house.  I do not dream of weeding the yard.  I always put off the Ironing.  But every year I can't wait for the messy, sloppy and COLD job of defrosting the freezer! 

So in the spirit of the Christmas Holiday Season please sing the chorus along with me....

"On the 12 Cold Days of Winter my Freezer gave to me"  -

12  lbs. of Burger

11  Blocks of Butter

10  Jars of Spices

9   Cans of O.J.

8   Bags of Creamed Corn

7   Packs of  "Clearance Steaks"

6   lbs. of Chocolate Chips

5   Loaves of  Rhodes Dough  ( hold............... )

4   Tubs of Freezer Jam

3   Icey Chickens

2   Bowls of Cool whip


1  Big Fat Frozen Turkey!