Monday, September 30, 2013

... a sentence in the story of your life...



My word embrace is showing up en masse it seems in my life.  Here is the official Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Survivor's Retreat invite I received in the mail. 

My two minute talk?  Just got bumped up to 10.  I'm leaning in- trying to piece together what I can say to help someone else through their own journey. 


I also noticed a bulky package in the mailbox and was thrilled to see this lovely Kelly Rae Roberts journal!  I've filled one whole journal with gratitude so far and am smitten with this one too.  I instantly sat at my new writing desk filling the entire first page.  So thankful for all of you who think of me!  

I'm feeling fully "embraced."




I've started thinking about the lessons I've learned through my cancer journey that I can share at the retreat.  Do any of you who have been touched by cancer have a lesson to share?  I'd love to hear!

What has cancer taught you?





I think this boy has fully "embraced" 7th grade.  I love that his teachers have embraced him back.  He came home with the "Student of the month" certificate and the best part of the whole deal?  His buddy Ethan, was the other student picked from pod A!  Way to go Ethan and Nolan! 




I'm in the midst of learning how I will be embracing radiation treatments soon.  While Rick is criss-crossing the planet in his Prius, or so it seems, I am getting ready for radiation sims to begin.  

October is gearing up to be one crazy- filled month.  Here's to hoping my arms can stretch that far in my efforts to embrace! 




40 comments:

  1. can i just tell you with confidence that you will have NO trouble filling 10 minutes!! even if you just talk about your words of the year and how each has shaped your journey, you'll go overtime!

    seriously, dear, you know how to write, and speaking is just saying what you've written out loud. everyone in the audience will be a friend, even if you don't know them, because you are one of them.

    if you want some editing, you know i know how to help those with the effects of chemicals from treatment clarify things. ask holly! i'm willing and able and would be honored. start writing; it'll come to you. promise.

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    1. Thanks Jenn- once I get further along I'd love to have your input :) Its funny, I used to have to do speaking as part of my job- many moons ago- and I thought nothing of it. I'm just out of practice and if I did it often enough again, I know I would take it in stride.

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  2. Congrats to Ethan and Nolan!!
    I guess it is always hard to begin a speech but I am sure once you do begin you will have tons to say.Important thing is to just be yourself.People want to know about you and your journey through your eyes. What are you learning from this experience ? since every one shares some if not all of the things you are going through,they will be able to relate and even maybe have some input themselves which might help you.
    I think this is a good thing to be able to have a group of people to relate to and support.
    xoxoxoxxo

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    1. Thanks Vic- I agree. Its the first time this retreat has been done (that I am aware of) and I do think everyone will gain so much from the experiences being shared in an open forum such as this one.

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  3. Nolan is so handsome. You and superman make great looking kids!
    Sending love and prayers your way sweet sister.
    Love.

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    1. Thanks so much Kelly- so sweet to say that about our Nolan :) Love to you!

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  4. Well, it's a good thing you have 10 minutes instead of 2, because you're going to need every second to pass on your wisdom!

    And can I just say that journal is SO beautiful! Do you know that the thought of a blank journal makes my heart beat a little faster with anxiety? Isn't that silly because I blog nearly every day, but something about all those blank pages waiting to be filled scares me off every single time I pick up one.

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    1. Ahhh- so nice of you to say :) I lOVE the journal- and that is so funny that it gives you anxiety! Sorry- that just sort of cracks me up :)

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  5. Congratulations to Nolan and Ethan! What an honor to be named "Student of the Month". Especially, during the middle school years when it cam be challenging to say the least.

    As far as you speaking for 10 minutes, I know you will keep your audience captivated. You have a way of drawing people in with your heart and your honesty. I believe that everyone will leave there feeling very touched by your words, Vicky.

    Love and hugs!

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    1. Eileen- I think its good for our boys too- I hope they both just continue on the right path. Thank you for your encouragement about my talk- if one person walks away with something that helps them- then I'll be honored. Love and hugs to you Eileen!

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  6. what a gratitude-filled example you are! your messages with your "word" seem to follow along the same kind of path mine do, sometimes books, prayer devotionals, TV, the spoken word from friends...it's amazing isn't it how God and his blessed Mother send their communications to us?
    I continue to pray for you, dear Vicky.
    BTW, the journal cover is spectacular!

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    1. Yes Norma- it does amaze me how "themes" appear at times and really bring home such a strong message from God- especially when I just try to be open to hearing them and seeing them. Thank you for your prayers and kind words!

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  7. I think you being there will be an inspiration-- so just stand there ! hee hee- I think reviewing your journey, since people there have been or at all different stages, and let people know its ok to feel whatever emotion that they do !. remember the song ....OVERCOMER, . :)

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    1. Hehe- oh Beth- that cracked me up :) Yes- good reference- overcomer- so true! Thank you for the encouragement and the thoughts about being okay with feeling what you feel :) hugs to you!

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  8. Oh wow Vicky..first and foremost before I forget..what a handsome young man you have!!! congratulations to them both. Be proud Mom, be proud!!! I believe you are the epitome of "of the cancer journey" you allow yourself to share all you feel, the fears, the darkness, the OH NO moments...and yet as you share, your feelings you pull yourself up by your boot straps and continue on...seeing all that is bright and good. Yet you don't hide what so many others hide. Its why I shared your blog with my mom. I new she was felling some of the same things you were. But my mom hid those feelings. I debated what to say and write and then thought, "Peggy, be authentic..share" I am very real...with that I am always very aware that what can happen to someone else, can truly happen to me as well". I would like to think that by searching my soul like I do, and truly knowing that anything someone else goes through, I could go through. That it will make me stronger in the event My turn comes. My mom (and oh, how I loved her) could not face the reality of her cancer, her illness. She banked on a miracle. She would hear what doctors said, but would shrug it off. In a way she lived in Denial up until the end..and this was very hard on us. I am opposite my mom, I look at worse case scenerio...and grasp that and wrap my arms around it and pray. if I can get a grip on the worse thing...then anything else that isn't so bad becomes my blessings. So for me personaly speaking the gift you give us...is the reality, of every emotion you are going through. you don't hold it in..you allow yourself and us to feel it..and by doing so you wrap your arms around it..or as you say EMBRACE it...and move forward. I think there is great healing that occurs when we allow our true emotions out. Maybe that is your gift to share with others that do not get to see your blog... to face each emotion, embrace each emotion, because in doing so you move forward and LIVE in all the wonderful moments as well. I am not sure that came out right...But you are a gift to me and so many. I would like to think, I could be like you...Grace under fire. you are amazing! Big hugs and many continued prayers!!!

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    1. Peggy Sue- this was just beautiful to read- so heartfelt- I truly feel you in all that you wrote. Oh yes that "denial." I admit to being in just a little bit of it for the most part- but emotion will always supersede it- which I do believe helps me through the hard stuff- so true. You have such wisdom Peggy- I have no doubt you have been Grace under fire too- and you'd do so again if called to be. Big hugs right back to you :)

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    2. Vicky, what you just wrote...I think that is your grace speaking. I think you 'wish' you could be in denial. beautiful lady...you are not. That is why you touch us all so much!!! None of us can truly say (those of us who don't have cancer personaly) how we will be. yes, we have watched loved ones with it...but for it to be you..that is a whole different thing. What I see and feel from you, is your embracing both sides/ both possiblities ( oh goodness, am I really saying this..I guess I am..because that is why you touch me) I think you see reality head on...and you see miracles head on...and you are making them EQUAL in your mind...Embracing it all! that is what makes you so amazing...why I come back to your blog in utter awe!!! I mean that! I know somehow, your totally aware,even if you wish you were not...and that is why I choose to pray for you...cuzz your teaching me much and I say, "lord this beautiful woman is teaching us now, I think she needs to be around at leat 10,20 oh 60 years would work! I mean that..and I know the lord see's it and knows as well. Much love dear blog friend. you have no clue how preciouse you have become to me! and always many continued prayers!!!

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  9. I'm still lighting candles for you sweet Vicky. Read my blog - I nominated you for the sunshine award because you bring sunshine into my life.

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    1. Oh Katie- so thankful for the lighting of the candles. And now I will have to hop over to your blog and see - so thankful for you!

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    2. Oh I love that...Katie sunshine award is perfect for Vicky!

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  10. I agree with everyone else Vicky, you will have no problem filling the 10 minutes :) Where is the retreat held? I couldn't find anything on their website. Who is it open to? And by the way, your son is a cutie pie!!

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    1. Hi Deb- its being held here in Moorhead (MN). Its open to survivors who are part of the survivorship program through Sanford. I know the invite says seating/space is limited, but I am assuming there is a chance it'll grow in the coming years. Thanks for your sweet words :)

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  11. embrace embrace embrace -- you do it so well friend! I learn from you everytime we connect and that means the world to me!

    Cancer has taught me to not give up; to look beyond the cancer and to live with graditude no matter what.

    xoxo

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    1. Thank you Tiffany- I appreciate your insight and own take on what it has taught you :) Hugs to you!

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  12. Oh dear Vicky,
    First, WOW! What a wonderful honor for Nolan to get Citizen of the month. He looks so grown up in this picture.

    Second, as someone who teaches public speaking, just say a prayer and speak from your heart. You have embraced so many important learnings in this journey and they will be so eager to hear your wisdom. God will give you just the right words.

    You asked for feedback about our journeys with cancer. One thought- the whole family is impacted, not just the person who is diagnosed. It's a "we" have cancer. Also, when my husband received his diagnosis, he asked a simple question..."Are you with me, Jesus?"
    and when the answer in his heart was, "Yes!" , Bert knew he would be OK, no matter how the journey turned out.

    Embracing you this afternoon and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Loves and hugs!
    Linda


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    1. Thank you Linda for your wisdom and advice on speaking :) My "treatment" brain gets in the way of me being articulate at times- but with practice and yes a few prayers- I hope it goes well. Yes- the whole family- so good to remember that too. Thank you! Hugs and love to you!

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  13. You have so much to say sweet friend, so much love to give, so much hope...I know God will speak through you when the time comes...xo

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement Robin- always :) Love you friend- xxoo

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  14. Radiation? Oh my, keep us posted. You are so brave Vicky.

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    1. Oh thank you Lisa- I am happy to have treatment available to me I can still do! Will keep everyone up to date :)

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  15. Vicky You are an amazing person....What would we do if we did not have God to lean on!
    You have the "cutest" sons and happy Nolan won the "Student of the Month" award.
    Love you and pray for you and your dear family. Margene

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    1. Margene- you are very sweet! So true- thankful I can lean on Him always. Thankful for you as well Margene and your prayers and love for my family- hugs to you!

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  16. Vicky, first, I love you for reading my columns twice. I post them a second time for the non-locals who don't catch them through the paper. You are a friend who goes above and beyond and I am very blessed. Second, 10 minutes baby! I wish I could hear it but know you'll do better without familiar faces there, but you...are going to do great. I need a reminder so I can pray for you extra that day. So proud of you and all you are giving to so many, including lucky me. :)

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    1. I know- 10 minutes and truly its just the right enough time to say something- and I will. I'm excited and embracing :) I"ll remind everyone so they can pray for all of us that day- I am not the only "survivor" who is going a bit outside of their comfort zone to do this! Thanks for the support!

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  18. Oh Vicky, how smart and wise of them to ask you to speak for ten minutes instead of two. You share your wisdom with us and we are blessed and you have SO much to say to others. You are a natural soft-place to fall and a gifted encourager. I'll be praying God shows you just the thing to say that would make you feel you have offered the words most needed.

    Congrats to Nolan! It's such a blessing when we know others see and appreciate our kids for the people we - their MOMS - know them to be. Love you.

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    1. Thank you for your gift of encouraging words Robynn! You always say the very thing that speaks to my heart and for that I feel so very lucky. Love you sweet one!

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  19. Praying for you always Vicky. God bless.

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  20. Vicky you will give a wonderful speech, I know it, you are such an inspiration to everyone. Congratulations on Ethan and Nolan for students of the month. You are such an example of strength and goodness for everyone. Praying for you as you face radiation. thinking of you always. hugs,

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  21. Good job for Nolan! Love it when others boost our kids up. Lessons learned? Patience, timing - God's is better than mine, always. It's ok to sit and just "be." Healing is not about what you accomplished on the "to-do" list on your day off. I'm not brave, courageous or your hero, just doing what I have to do to live another year, or 40. And embracing, too - the helping hands along the way, the kids who still need us, and the Supermen, who frequently get the short end of the stick as the caregivers.

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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