Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Charmed Life

Have any of you reunited with old friends through Facebook or other social networking sites?

This has been happening to me a lot lately, and it can be a bit challenging to blaze the headlines of my life without sounding tragic: stage four cancer, health challenges, separation, pregnant (unmarried) daughter.

I try to follow the negative with a positive:
  • "I was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, but I'm now in remission."
  • "I've had some health challenges, but I've bounced back each time."
  • "G. and I separated a year ago, but we've remained friends."
  • "C. is pregnant and this was a shock, but I'm starting to get excited about the baby."
But, the truth is, in spite of these "headlines," I really do think I live a charmed life. My life is filled with a lot of wonderful people and passions and the time to pursue them.

Sometimes I forget this and need a reminder of just how lucky I am. I recently found it through Jeanne Sather (aka The Assertive Cancer Patient) and her Charmed Bracelets. She makes one-of-a-kind bracelets or necklaces using clients' charms or unique charms that she's found.

I first fell in love with the jade and silver Jeanne used in this bracelet. When I saw that one of the charms was a turtle, the Japanese symbol of long life and security, I was drawn in. When I read about Jeanne's connection with Japan, I was sold. This bracelet was made for me.

I love wearing something that is beautiful, personal, filled with symbolism and created by a strong, artistic, tell-it-like-it-is woman.

Do you need a reminder that you live a charmed life, in spite of challenges? Are you looking for a special gift for a special friend? Then check out Charmed Bracelets.

And if your life just really sucks right now, then all the more reason.


Margaret said...

I love the bracelet, and I think gratitude for what one does have is so important. My daughter has a chronic health condition and now she's been having migraines, and sometimes it gets me so down and so exhausted. But I also have a lovely daughter who is kind and warm, and I am constantly reminded about what really matters, and I have so many great things in my life -- a great husband, two great kids, a great dog, friends, family. It's all good.

epasen said...

I absolutely loved this entry. I keep almost everything that just reminds me from lovely memories and makes me smile. Especially some pieces of "jewelry" like rings and bracelets, even thou they're really worth of nothing in money.

They remind me of various things, also about the fact that despite I'm not the best of my health, I still live and enjoy life. I've beaten those monsters from my mind.

epasen from living with sclero

Trish said...

You understand only too well what it is like trying to hold a conversation with "normals". Compared to how life has been over the past X years, yes, they have nothing to complain about. But, it could always be worse, my mantra.

I've reconnected with friends from Jr High days and...how do you spin it so the conversation doesn't focus only on your treatment or it tapers off because they don't know what to say? Have tried the various things you've mentioned...some words work better than others.

Which, is why many cancer patients hang together---we all understand, mostly, and can laugh about my "un-flipping" the finger to the doc or about how the doc was surprised when X happened when he expected Y and ergo you taught him something about medicine.

This is also why I used to have a "Cancer Sucks" bracelet. To remind me it DOES suck, but it isn't as bad as it could be and that I need to thank my blessings every day.

Anonymous said...

Hi There,

I stumbled upon your blog and I'm grateful I did. Your positivity is contagious and refreshing!

My aunt is battling colon cancer and the doctors told her there's nothing else they can do for her, but we believe in God and know that He has the final say.

Jen said...

Firstly, the bracelet is beautiful and if it makes you happy to wear it, well why not!
As far as I'm aware, life is made up of coincidences. Sure we all go through tough times and everyone has problems at some stage in their life, but there is always positivity just around the corner.
If you had not been diagnosed, do you think you would have still blogged in the way you had, consequently reaching out to so many?
How cathartic it is to be able to see the good in all instead of focusing on the negative.
I look forward to reading more from you,

Susan C said...

Margaret, I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter's migraines. There are many things that a child should just not have to deal with.

We're both lucky in many ways.

Epasen, So glad that you've beaten "the monsters." I know what you mean about jewelry and other little items with sentimental value.

Trish, I've actually been pleasantly surprised at how "accepting" friends from the past have been. I always get the headlines out up front. It's different, of course, with new friends, where you feel you must carefully parcel out all the little messy bits of your life for fear that they'll go running. Well, come to think of it, nobody has run away yet.

But you're so right about us cancer patients having that bond from the start. And always wonderful to find out we have more in common.

Tabitha, Thanks for "stumbling" in. I wonder what that must be like to hear a doctor say that he/she can do nothing more. I'm glad that you have faith in God.

Jen, Thanks for your lovely comment. I have been thinking about phasing out Cancer Banter for more than a year, and then I get comments like yours and the others. I used to think that a cancer blog should be like GM's philosophy - planned obsolescence. But maybe not.

Sue G said...

Damn, your veins even photograph well. Venous envy abounds.

As for the other stuff, one thing cancer taught me is that it is all just stuff. Things always have a way of working out for the good if you just look for the good in it. And I know you do!

The bracelet is beautiful. Offsets the veins quite nicely.

Nelle said...

I have to ask. I often see the Japenese characters which are so fascinating. Can you actually read them? They amaze me. The bracelet is beautiful and I think having unique jewelery is the best. I shall have to treat myself for my birthday next month. Thanks for giving us the link!

Kathy said...

Good for you to realize that life happens and that we can all have a small pity party and then move on!
I was getting so tired of some of the BC forums and blogs being so whiney that I decided today that I wasn't going back to them. I don't need the negativity. It certainly doesn't help my wellness.
I asked for a better place to connect with people on a similar journey and I read your post today and realized I found what I was looking for. Thanks. And I'm going to check out the braclets.
KC Adams

Susan C said...

Sue, LOL, I saw those rippling veins and wondered if anyone would comment. I figure I'm in good company. Have you seen Madonna's veins bulging from her muscular arms? "Offsets the veins quite nicely." I think you're ornery. : )

Nelle, I can only read a few of the Japanese characters (Kanji). You have to be able to read at least 2,500 to be considered literate in Japanese. Ugh!

When is your birthday?

KC, How nice to be found by you. I do think that whining and wallowing (as my friend Lilli calls it) are necessary at times, and we need a safe place in which to do those things. But sometimes enough is enough.

Piper Robert said...

"created by a strong, artistic, tell-it-like-it-is woman."

You're describing my sister, Susan Strother Carrier.

Susan C said...

Ahh, thanks, brother. It's nice to be reminded that I'm strong and that I can still tell it like it is.

Anonymous said...

sure that bracelet looks lovely - but how was you diagnosed with cancer. What led to you seeing the doctor and how long did it take to see a consultant. Its just when our UK government make pledges for someone with "suspected" cancer will see a consultant within 2 weeks of that suspicion - but what is suspected?

Susan C said...

That's interesting language about the "suspicion" of cancer because most people I know with cancer had no suspicions until the diagnosis.

I developed a tumor ("an encapsulated mass") under my right eyelid - a very peculiar place for a blood cancer to manifest itself. The last thing I suspected was cancer.

Time from seeing an opthamologist, who referred me to an optical surgeon, to diagnosis was just two weeks.

About Know Cancer said...

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