Build A Life That You Love


By, Crystal S. Kauffman

Changing your life can be extremely difficult with the many different temptations around you. Most of the time, you are far away from the temptation, but sometimes it can be right in your face. This temptation can actually be in the form of a person, who just happened to dropped by to visit you after months or years of not communicating.

Right then, you must decide how you will handle this blast from your past. Will you choose the easy way out, which is to give into temptation? However, you could also visit for a few moments and then politely excuse yourself from the nerve racking situation. Only, you can choose what you will do when you face certain daily temptations.

Be sure to keep your support system on speed dial, because giving in to temptation is not worth the amount of guilt that you will face after your relapse. Stay completely away from circumstances and situations that will challenge your strength, while adding new things that completely inspire you. Start by creating a life that makes it easier for you to remain sober, because you are doing things that you enjoy despite the degree of temptation.

Copyrighted by, 2019

Celebrate Your Sobriety


By, Crystal S. Kauffman

Becoming sober is a difficult thing for a person who is living with and feeding their addition. Some people count the days and months that they have been in recovery. Be proud of making it to recovery, because many actually don’t make it to getting sober. You should celebrate you recovery in a way that feels right to you.

Every month, begin planning a small celebration on your sober anniversary. Ask your healthy friends and family to join you in honoring your choice to remain sober. Your anniversary night could be a quiet dinner or going to the movies. Do something you never did while living in addiction, which could be going bowling or a day at the beach.

Just do something for yourself like buying a new outfit or shoes. Try to spend just $20 toward yourself and buy yourself a reward for staying strong. Celebrating each small victory that you achieve and be proud of your progress. Rewarding yourself can help you stay focused and sober.

Copyrighted 2019

(I am not a licensed therapist. Based on personal experience.)

On The Road to Recovery


Ok, everything you; once loved or cared about is gone! Are you going to lay in bed and cry, while the rest of the world moves on without you? Sometimes, through our bad choices in life we become toxic to others and they decide to remove themselves from our lives to save their own sanity, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t love you anymore.

It just means, you need to focus on making better choices and rebuilding a lifestyle that others can accept. Start, by figuring out “WHO YOU TRULY ARE!” underneath the pain and shame, that covers your heart like a thick winter coat. You have you to peel back each layer of guilt, in order to find the frightened child that you abandoned so long ago.

Now, you will need to make two notebooks with simple section dividers and papers. Make each each notebook a different color and keep them near your sitting area, because you will be writing in them a lot. Look in your kitchen cabinet for a simple coffee cup to place a couple pens in, just in case you have a thought and you need to find a pen quickly.

Start, by setting daily goals in one notebook like: remembering to take your medicine or cleaning your house. Write stuff that can be achieved from the time that the sun rises in the morning until the sun sets in the evening. Next, you will create weekly goals, monthly goals, and yearly goals. Then, use your second notebook to begin in journaling your thoughts like in a journal or diary.

Unfortunately, you have to accept that your life has violently changed and that it will never be the same as it was. Your spouse or children may never comeback, but if you feel lonely and depressed all the time. Look into adopting a pet from a local shelter that needs you, but are you a cat or a dog person. Yes, there is a major difference, since a cat requires little care and a dog requires constant supervision.

However, you must be a responsible person to own a pet, because they are like children and do require daily care. You can go to an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or (NA) Narcotic Anonymous meetings or church, in order to find friends that will support you on your journey to recovery. Don’t discouraged if you fail, because your loved one will notice that you are at least out there trying to change.

Whatever you do, just do ii! The hardest step is the first one and each step gets easier as long as you are moving. Find out what your problem and seek treatment, while creating new friends and new places to hang out. Don’t go back to what broke you and don’t invite more drama into your life.

(c) 2019, Crystal S. Kauffman

PS: I am not a Licensed Therapist! Based on my Personal Experience.

Mesothelioma Awareness and A Story of Survival


By, Crystal S Kauffman, Staff Writer/Heather Von St. James-Guest Blogger/Collaboration

©Heather Von St. James

©Heather Von St. James

Patients and doctors want to raise awareness for cancer that is caused by asbestos, which was used in factory and other places people worked at for many years of their love. So, Mesothelioma Awareness Day was created and was celebrated on Sept. 26th, 2015. Survivors are happy to be alive. but they are angry that the use of asbestos has not been banned. The fibers are invisible and deadly, yet 30 million pounds are still used by many different businesses.

This dangerous substance is also used in homes, buildings, schools, and commercial buildings all over the world. Additionally, asbestos is the leading cause of cancer in the workplace around the entire United States. The peak of using asbestos was 30 years ago and over 43,000 die each year from exposure the asbestos, which is still in work places like: mills, military, and in old housing units.

Here is a personal story about a spectacular woman named Heather, who is a courageous survivor of this deadly disease. She is on a mission to spread awareness about the disease, in any way she can. Additionally, if her story, can save one person and their family from facing what she went though. Then, she has accomplished her mission to help families to avoid what she has endured once she learned that she had Mesothelioma.

***Personal Story Written from Heather Von St. James***

In 2005, when I was 36 years old, I was diagnosed with pleural Mesothelioma. This was only three months after giving birth to my baby girl Lily. The symptoms I had could have easily been chalked up to postpartum issues. I was tired, I had only gained 5 lbs through the whole pregnancy, and I had difficulty breathing. I was lucky, and I got my diagnosis within two weeks and that is not usually the case for Mesothelioma patients.

My journey then led my husband, newborn baby and I to Boston, and Dr. David Sugarbaker, who was a world renowned surgeon. I had my left lung removed on February 2nd, 2006, and spent 18 days in the hospital afterwards recovering. My husband had to stay home in Minnesota and work, because the bills still needed to be paid. He saw Lily a total of 36 hours in 3 months. It was a big sacrifice but needed to be done for our family.

After going back home, I did 4 rounds of chemo, and 30 sessions of radiation. I finished my last treatment almost a year to date from the onset of my symptoms. The reason I got sick in the first place was from wearing my father’s coat when he got home from work. He worked with drywall and construction, and at the time as a little girl I did not know that his jacket carried harmful asbestos fibers that would ultimately cause my illness many years later. But, here I am.

I am lucky to be here today, and I’ve made it my life goal to be a voice for the victims, the family members who have struggled with this disease and those who know someone battling or who have lost someone to this disease. Asbestos is still not banned in the U.S. or Canada, and can be found in many commercial buildings and products today. I share my personal story to help spread hope and awareness, in hopes that one day no one else will have to go through what I did.

***Meet Heather Von St. James on Facebook or Twitter ***

Let’s raise awareness together!

©Heather Von St. James

©Heather Von St. James

Wings of Hope Project: The New Patient Bags


angel1Do you have different books lying around your house that may uplift someone’s spirit? The books must be in good condition that you would like to give away. Currently, the Laugh at Cancer Support Community has started to collect books, in order to give them out to a local cancer center in Jacksonville, FL. We also give out a “New Patient Bags”, which is filled with different things that the nurses can give away during the month of December.

These books will be given to men, women, and/or children. We are asking you to send all types of books that may be for children and adults. Additionally, I would like to include Bibles with these new patient bags. The patient generally gets brochures, a blanket, A beanie baby or small stuffed animal, a gift bag, figurines, Christmas cards, Christmas stuff, and an inspirational greeting card.

However, we do not give out “Get Well” cards; instead we add “Thinking of You” cards and “Christmas” cards. Volunteers can donate things like: small toys, throw blankets, Bibles, figurines, bookmarks, books, Christmas cards, and greeting cards. I am the founder and I would like to send more cards, but I would need help. Due to the clinic regulations, we give the nurses the “New Patient Bags”.

I am looking forward to getting this project off the ground quickly, so we can gather up enough Christmas gifts for as many patients as we can. These books will be in a box or spread among the clinic waiting room, where patients can pick a book or two to take home and read it. This is a way to help get patients something that may take their mind off their cancer treatment. They can allow their imagination run wild for a short while.

The visitors can also take and return a book, but the patient or caregiver can keep the book. We need bookmarks with inspirational quotes and positive quotes that will help raise a patient’s morale. Maybe, a church or company can help us make this happen, but for now it is in God’s hands. Thank you to all my friends and volunteers, whose help has made the project successful.

We also have been able to give away these new gift bags for their new patients or existing ones. The life of this support community has changed, since we first started in 2004, as a small local support group. In the past years, the Ning.com community was our home, until I could not pay the monthly cost about $30.00 to keep our network that we built. Many members described it as a Facebook for people, who have been touched by cancer.

Although, we tried several different free networks; I ended up staying with Facebook. However, now I would love to build a new private place or discussion board, where members can share their own stories. Additionally, the members may need someone to talk to or just a new friendship; who they can turn to when they are having good times and bad times. Get involved and become a volunteer, you just need to post inspirational stuff.

I also would like to engage the members into conversation, as we grow in the future. I pray for serious volunteers, who want to make a difference and/or a chance to help a person touched by cancer. The volunteers will help us grow into a place that helps patients. Share new article about health, nutrition, and inspirational post and/or pictures. However, please don’t post information about businesses or miracle cures.

Be there for the members, when they choose to talk to you about their journey with cancer’s touch. Any cancer patient can write their story and send it to me; if they would like to become a guest blogger on my blog. I thank you for continuing to be a part of this support community. I personally would like to create a community where all kinds of patients, family, caregivers, and loved ones can tell their story.

Anyone who would like to help build a free private community or discussion board, please email me. I pray that we can cheer up some patients this upcoming Christmas season. Just a quick reminder, that the yearly “Wings of Hope Project” has been changed, from two times a year to once a year in December. We will have a giveaway every year in December, because this will help us collect more gifts to give out to different centers.

We also take and need small donations to buy a few things for this project. We ne need help with things like: gas, coloring books and crayons, and dollar store toys or items that would lift someone’s spirit. The Wings of Hope Project involves making “New Patient Packages”; which different local nurses can give out to their new patients. This way, the patient knows that there is a network of people out here, who cares about what the patient is going through.

If you can help us gather the items we need, please contact me by Facebook Messaging or by email: laughatcancer@gmail.com. Please discuss your donations you plan to send or your intention to volunteer online and off-line with our Facebook community. We will be working on collecting at least “50 New Patient Bags or even more”, which is needed to give out to the different local cancer centers we visit.

Sometimes, we will visit one nursing home and donate every bag we having, which are filled for patients. They need personal items, so fill up a shoebox and mark it by its contents with either: women, man, or child–boy or girl. This helps the facility in gathering up enough gifts, so no patient is left out. When we are visiting a nursing, I will let you know as soon as I know. Help us collect gifts that can be used to cheer patients up, as well as let them know we care.

Thank you for taking the time to think of others, who are fighting for their lives and remember to say a prayer for them. In addition, I want to engage my members, so any thoughts and help are appreciated tremendously. I am collecting items now, so I have more time to receive enough donations of items or a little cash. My revenue from writing is used to keep our community alive and growing, so take time to read the articles I post on my wall or on my Author Crystal S. Kauffman page.

Please contact me, if you are familiar with monetizing my two blogs on Word Press or Blogger. Thank you, in advance for helping us to obtain this goal, by December 15, 2015. Thank for helping us to make cancer patients feel special, and loved by our volunteers. I look forward to chatting with you about the ways, in which you can help us create another successful Wings of Hope Project this year. Last year, we did not get any children’s items, so we need books, paper, and coloring supplies.

Let’s make a difference in the lives of those touched by cancer, who need to feel special on occasions!

The Laugh at Cancer Support Community on Facebook

Twitter: http://twitter.com/laughatcancersu

My Personal Twitter: http://twitter.com/imogenrayne

Email Me: laughatcancer@gmail.com

Volunteers needed to mail out greeting cards for holidays and important dates like: member’s birthdays, an anniversary of your survivorship, and/or a marriage anniversary. Also, we need someone who would like to post updated health information. This will help members stay informed and will possibly help our expanding community. It would be nice to have a nutritionist or member sharing the best health food website. Furthermore, we need Peer and Spiritual Counselors, for members who may need a shoulder to lean on, so become someone’s Wings of Hope.

©2015, Crystal S. Kauffman

Previously Published

Do You Have An Illness Support System?


Zachary, Miranda, Me, and Trey-c. Part of my support system.

Zachary, Miranda, Me, and Trey-c. Part of my support system.

As a cancer patient or a caregiver, you will learn so much about a devastating disease that rarely leaves survivors. Everyone is hoping and praying for a cure to be found quickly, but more research is needed in order for this to happen. However, there are other ways, in which you can help yourself fight to live. This will be a spiritual, physical, emotional journey for everyone around you.

Laugh Everyday

Learning to laugh every day, no matter what you may be facing in the future is important for anyone touched by cancer. Start by finding a sense of hope, in the midst of an unsure future and pain beyond description. Cancer sucks, but we most make the most out of the time we have with our families. Don’t fret over the small things, instead go out and have a day of fun that your loved one will never forget.

Focus on You

Next, look for a hobby or spend the night dancing with someone you love. Spend time doing the things you love, like taking a vacation to the mountains or visit an amusement park. Always find new ways, to help you beat the cancer blues and the fear involved in the cancers. Current research shows that loneliness and sadness lead to a quicker death. So, go have fun, instead of feeling helpless and frustrated with your current situation.

Create Memories

Then, be sure to write a book about your life, as a keepsake for your family and their children. In addition, you could make a scrapbook for each of your children, but first you will need to gather up your favorite pictures. Try to forget your troubles and focus on pleasing yourself instead, since most doctors agree the laughter is the best medicine. Be sure to get your daily dose and pass it on to your loved one and friends.

Get Healthy

Research has show that changing old habits will help you live longer, so quit smoking and adopt a low fat diet. Remember to eat lots of veggie and fruits, in order to build up your body’s immune system. Exercise regularly, in order to maintain your physical strength and health. Start slowly and work your way up to 30 minutes of Cardio exercise a day. Then, you will want to add strength training into your daily routine.

Conclusion

Enjoy the precious gift of life that you were given, no matter what you are facing tomorrow or in the future. Furthermore, lean on your faith for spiritual comfort, while traveling on this bumpy road. It is necessary to make yourself happy and change your unhealthy habits, so you will begin thriving. Therefore, focus on learning to live and laugh, because it is another important step toward becoming a healthy survivor!

My Husband and my son. They are also part of my support system.

My Husband and my son. They are also part of my support system.

 

My husband Karl

My Husband Karl

Sea Shepherd Gone to Far?


kunneke_whale_wars_sea_shepherd_eco1

Today, my husband and I were watching Whale Wars on Animal Planet. I believe in protecting the whales and in what the conservation society does on most shows. I believe that whales should not be hunted and killed for any reason by the Japanese whaling fleet. I stand by the Sea Shepherd’s oath to protect the whales and other sea life. However, do people literally have to die and do the ships have to be so violent against the Japanese whaling fleet?

In the show, ” A Commander Rises Special” from Season 13, the Bob Barker put 47 lives in danger when Captain Peter H. decided to place his ship between two of the Japanese whaling fleet. Furthermore, the Captain Luis and crew on the Sam Simon were trying to stop the Japanese tanker from reaching the other ships in the Japanese fleet to refuel. The Sam Simon adverted an environmental disaster with the Japanese tanker ship, by backing off.

Unfortunately, Paul Watson acted as if the captain and crew were cowards, because they didn’t do more to stop the refueling. He said they should be willing die to stop the whaling, but is that going to far? You tell me….