Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesdays with Liana - Memory Lane

Lately I've been thinking (and yes, it did hurt :P) about a year and a half ago. That was when my daddy was healthy.

It seems like it's been a century. But the things that keep coming to mind are our traditions. Every Saturday morning we'd get up early and head off to garage sales and thrift stores. After we were done bargain hunting we'd get bagels. :)

What's your favorite memory of when your parent was healthy? Do you have any mementos from that memory? Mine is a ring that my dad bought be at the thrift store for ten cents. I never take it off.

Love~ Liana

Amidst all of the chaos and changes you are probably experiencing right now, looking back and thinking about some of the fun things you did before cancer entered your life can be a really fun thing to do. It can also be somewhat painful to think about how things were and how much they have changed since then. But, as we’ve talked about in previous blogs, change happens and embracing that change and finding ways to make it work for you is going to make that change bearable.

So, if you haven’t taken time to think about some of your memories you have of your family traditions, do that this week. If those traditions can continue – make it your mission to make sure that happens and enjoy every minute of it! If those traditions aren’t really possible right now, find a way to maybe change it a little so you could still do it or make a new tradition, something that is special and meaningful to your family.

As a side note –Wednesdays with Liana was started 3 months ago! Thank you to all of you who have read and enjoyed our words each week, and we encourage you to share your story. This blog is for you, the readers, and we would love to incorporate your experiences and thoughts each week. Please know that this is a place for you to share and get input from others and that your words will be greatly welcomed!!

If you would like to read more about Liana, her story and how and why this blog was started please read a lovely article about her in the Charlotte Observer.

Have a great week!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesdays with Liana - To Complain or not to Complain?

Hey y'all! Liana here.
Complaining. Something your parents tell you not to do. And when your parent was diagnosed, the complaints were endless.

Have you found that at school, church, temple, etc, people complain about the littlest things? My hair wouldn't straighten, my parents wouldn't buy me Oreos, it's cold out. You probably whine about this stuff too.

I find that when someone complains about a little non-important detail in their life, it irks me. I usually look at that person and say "yeah. You're life is soooo hard." Sarcasm of course. This usually gets me an apology.

Sometimes I realize this isn't the best way to go. I'm probably the only person that does that. :)

Tell me your experience with this in comments below!!!!!

Since your parent’s diagnosis, how has your perspective on things changed? Do things other people do or say affect you differently now? Do you complain less? Do you value time with family or friends more than you did before?
Tell us what has changed for you.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wedesdays with Liana - Defining Cancer

Cancer. We know it's a disease. We know it's life threatening. We know it can be cured. These are things our brain knows about cancer. But what does your heart know?

I asked my friends to tell me their own definition of cancer. I got many varied answers, but the same meaning behind them. My friend Maddie said, "[Cancer is] an illness that brings many tears, but with hope and a positive attitude it can be conquered!"

Elizabeth defined cancer as "a disease that not only slows you down a bit, but can make you stronger throughout the time you have it."

Carson responded with, "Cancer is a challenge that can be overcome. Cancer is a test that tests our strength. Cancer is a monster. Cancer is a heartbreaker. Overall, cancer is something we can fight."

My BFF Nikki says, "Cancer is a lethal illness that causes pain, heartbreak, and many many tears. But if you are mentally and emotionally strong you can get through it. And once you beat it, you can do anything!"

Mine? My definition is all of these combined. "Cancer is a disease that pretty much stinks. It changes schedules, people's physically strength and feelings toward life. But it will not change the way you feel about the sick person. It will not take over your life. And it will not win."

Tell me yours and what you think about the ones my friends came up with!

My friend's grandmother has cancer. We can not let cancer beat her grandma. Please keep her in your prayers.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Managing Pain

Pain management is a common concern for many cancer survivors especially when newly diagnosed. I’m often asked, “What is the best way to manage my pain?”

Effective communication with your health care team is the best defense in managing pain. It’s important to paint an accurate picture for your oncologist describing the type of pain, where it falls on a scale of 0-10 with 10 being the most severe, how often it occurs, how long it lasts, and what attempts you have already made in eliminating it.

If your oncologist has prescribed pain medication, be sure to follow the instructions in order to stay ahead of the pain. Also be sure to let your oncologist know if it is not working effectively in reducing the pain or is causing uncomfortable side effects. You may also try complementary non-medical techniques such as guided imagery, meditation, and acupuncture.

What worked best for you in managing your pain?