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.

Celebrating the End of Cancer


By, Theresa Wiza, Guest Blogger

©Theresa Wiza

©Theresa Wiza

Today, July 31, 2015, marks the final day of my relationship with breast cancer. You see, today, I just took my final chemo pill! Today I can say good-bye to cancer and everything related to cancer. It took six years of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and taking a chemo pill every day to get to where I am today.

Six years ago, in May of 2009, my mammogram showed no signs of cancer. By September, I had Stage II Invasive Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS). It took four short months for me to find a lump, quite by accident, that turned out to be cancerous. What if I had waited an entire year to get another mammogram?

Getting yearly mammograms doesn’t insure that you will never get cancer. You must perform self-exams – often – in order to catch breast cancer early. What followed the discovery of that lump was a journey filled with decisions about whether or not to have a mastectomy or a lumpectomy, about what type of chemo cocktail I would take, months of recovery, hair loss, and a myriad other reactions to the invading monster that took over my life.

The journey was long and arduous. Sometimes just getting out of bed was a struggle. I wanted to remember what I was experiencing, because I was told that my type of cancer had a high recurrence rate. If I ever got it again, I wanted to make decisions based on my previous experiences, and I wanted to remember the plethora of information I received. I wanted to remember the pain I endured with the sentinel node biopsy. So I wrote about my day to day battles and posted the articles about my journey on a web site that no longer exists.

After that web site disappeared, I compiled all of those articles into one article, and it now appears on one of my blogs – Diagnosis: Breast Cancer: Journal of a Woman Recently Diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

I’ve never run a marathon, but upon reaching this day, this final chemo pill-taking day, I feel triumphant. My journey is over. The final pill has been taken. I am strong. I won!

To celebrate this day, I am getting a tattoo with an upside-down breast cancer ribbon. The word, SURVIVOR, will be written on the inside of the ribbon. The reason I want the ribbon upside down is because I want the two pieces of the ribbon to be a butterfly’s antenna, under which and around the loop will appear butterfly wings. One of my favorite quotes is, “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”

Cancer is like that. You can look upon it as a death sentence or you can look upon it as just another challenge to overcome. Along with challenges, these past 6 years have come with many changes. Some of my family members have gotten married. Three more babies were born into my family, and my father died. One of my grandsons developed and is currently being treated for bone cancer. So cancer hasn’t completely left my family. My grandson is now fighting his own battle, which he is already winning. He didn’t lose his leg!

I hope that whatever challenges you face, you will look upon them as caterpillars, so you can appreciate and welcome the day you soar as a butterfly!

“The world is moving to a magical place. Be part of the magic.” Theresa Wiza

Remembering a Loved one


By, Crystal S. Kauffman, Staff Writer

©Crystal S. Kauffman

©Crystal S. Kauffman

Do you ever think of me?
Are your truly happy and free?
I am weak and sad tonight,
Embrace me with your heavenly light.

My heart is empty and blue,
Everyday is painful without you.
The cancer took you away,
I miss you in every way.

You suffered and died so quick,
After the illness made you so sick.
Each memory blows me apart,
The anger has captured my heart.

Hold me, as I face my fears,
Can you wipe away my tears?
Why did you have to die?
Will the tears ever dry?

©2008, Crystal S. Kauffman

Basking Shark: The Largest Shark of the Sea


By, Crystal S. Kauffman

©Unknown

©Unknown

The basking shark is considered the second largest fish or shark, when compared to the whale shark. According to Sharks-World, this gigantic creature is also known as Cetorhinus Maximus, by scientists and researchers who collect vital information from these animals. Thankfully, they do not prefer to eat humans instead they filter feed, just as the whale shark does. They are slow moving and an unusually large mouth. In which they filter feed.
They are not dangerous to humans, because the giant shark is usually enjoying using its wide mouth to eat plankton. They have gills which filter out the items that they don’t want, while allowing them to eat all the plankton that they want. According to Sharks-World, these giant sharks can measure up to 33 feet long and the shark can weigh up to 4 tons. The most common names are the big-mouth shark, sun-fish, bone shark, and elephant shark.
The basking shark enjoys swimming and living in the coastal waters, which are warmer and offer plenty of plankton to snack on. Additionally, these giant sharks may travel alone or in groups of over 100 members, as well as travel with their mate. According to Sharks-World, they tend to stay near the surface, so they can filter feed using their mouth to process 1500 gallons of water each hour. These amazing animals are in need of protection before they become extinct and future generation will never get to see one up close.
The commercial fishing industry allows shark hunting for meat and shark liver oils, as well as other valuable parts of the shark that can be sold on the open market. According to Sharks-World, sometimes these giant sharks are mistaken for a great white shark, but the basking shark has smaller eyes and large gills. This shark’s mouth is about 3 foot wide, which allows them filter feed using the gill rakes found in the sharks gills that encircle its head.
The sharks don’t hibernate but they do migrate to deep waters or other coastal areas, during certain seasons. According to Sharks-World, these sharks vary in colors like blue, white, dark brown, and black which may identifying one a little difficult unless you know what they look like. However, In order to keep the giant sharks from being hunted, we as a generation must try to offer some type of protection now. If not, we will lose all chances of our future generations ever seeing a basking shark, except in school books or the encyclopedia.
References:

Sharks-World.com (2015) Basking Sharks

Retrieved from the World Wide Web on July 16, 2015

http://www.sharks-world.com/basking_shark/

©2015, Crystal S. Kauffman

End of Life Communication


My Granddad!

My Granddad!

Recently, I learned that my grandfather has terminal cancer, which has invaded his body in several places. First of all, I was stunned and numbed, by the grave news and the thought of him dying. Basically, he raised me most of my life, so I am very close to him. I couldn’t cry at first, because I thought God would heal him and he wouldn’t die. As, the days go by, I have been a basket case, who is terrified to answer the telephone.

With each new call, I was afraid to hear those words, which I know are coming soon. Then, I realized that he is suffering, so I felt selfish for wanting him to live. Since, nothing has controlled the pain, no matter how much pain medicine the doctor has given him. So, I finally decided to pray for God to heal his whole body, by taking him home to heaven. Through watching his suffering and his depression, I began wondering how much longer I will have with him.

Therefore, I wrote him a letter that came directly from my heart, which was my way to say good-bye. I wanted to let him know that I adore him and that I am proud of him. By writing all my feelings down, I was able to tell him how I truly felt about him. Besides, I knew I couldn’t say it with choking up and bursting into tears. I promised him to honor him and make him proud, as I face this world without him.

Then, I realized that for the first time ever, I would have to make decisions without his wisdom and guidance. Suddenly, I finally broke down and cried for the first time, since I learned about his illness. Everything, seemed come out and before I knew it, I had a five page letter that I gave him a few days ago. Honestly, I will never forget what he said after he read my letter and to be honest; I cried and hugged him.

Now, I don’t feel as if I have left something unsaid or unforgiving in his eyes, before he goes home to God. I don’t feel numb anymore, but I am trying to spend every moment that I can with him. However, it is painful, to watch him writhe in pain. It’s even harder to watch him cry, when I haven’t seen him cry more the three times in my entire life. Saying goodbye is not the easiest thing to do, but it has helped to ease my fears of life without my Grandpa.

Thankfully, this has drawn our family closer and made us learn to cherish, each day we have left to be together. Hopefully, we can spend time making memories and without him suffering in pain. Every day, I will let him know how much I care, until that day finally comes. Then, I will know that it’s my turn to pick up his torch and keep it going. Hence, I shall always remember him as the greatest man I ever had the privilege to know and love.

©2007, Crystal S. Kauffman

Previously published in May of 2007 at Helium.com (Helium.com has been closed)

Gift Ideas for Traveling Seniors


Mercedes-Benz-Winnebago-Itasca-Reyo-25T-RV-side

Do you have a globe-trotting senior on your holiday or birthday list? Are you looking for a perfect present for them this year? Well, look no farther than a local department store, since they have many useful gifts. There you will find things that travelers will enjoy, like a set of suitcases or personal products that every traveler needs. Some travelers may enjoy a soft towel to dry off on, instead of a hotel’s towel.

A great gift idea would be a road safety club for RV owners, just in case they need road side assistance.  You may even want to consider giving them a road safety kit, just in case they will need it. However, a professional oil change or new tires for the RV would be a great gift for someone, who loves to travel. Honestly, most travelers will enjoy gas cards, because it will save them money and allow them to continue to their destination.

Nevertheless, others would enjoy a photo album or scrapbook, which is filled with pictures of loved ones and friends that they miss. This way, they can reminisce, while they are visiting historic sites in other states or countries. Many senior travelers are looking for things, which will allow them to be more comfortable. Try looking for things that may enjoy like: getting a soft pillow, blanket, or stuff they can decorate their RV with.

Remember to look for things that will help them achieve their goals and dreams of seeing the different sites around America. You should pick a special gift that can be used over and over; like camping gear, dishes, or bored games to play on the when relaxing. These simple presents will make their lives easier, while showing them that you support their decision to travel. Therefore, look for things that they may need, in order to allow them to have the vacation of a lifetime.

© Crystal S. Kauffman-2008/Previously Published at Yahoo Voices/Associated Contennt

Parents Stop Breaking Your Teenager’s Spirit


teen dep. quoteParents stop berating and yelling at your teenager, because you are destroying your child’s self-esteem more harm. Don’t curse at your teenager, instead give the teenager respect and you will find that they will begin to respect you as well. Be clear in your communication when saying yes and no, this way you are not sending mixed signals to your teen. Sometimes, you have to step back as parent, while encouraging your teenager to practice working on their talents and gifts that God gave them.

Let them know that you love them just the way they are and that they do not have change anything. Stop having power struggles with your teenager and you will see a difference in the way that they will respond to you. Don’t call them degrading names or compare them to their father or their mother in a negative way, since this can make the teenager feel worthless. Never say negative things about their mother or father, whether absent or not.

This behavior by parents can cause the teenager to turn to drugs or alcohol abuse. Teenagers with low self-esteem will act out and self-medicate to escape the mental pain that they feel.  Unfortunately, one mistake can cause a landslide of issues like: teen pregnancy, drug use, trouble with the law, and other bad behavior. Don’t expect to see a change in your teenager’s behavior, until you begin to change the way that you respond to them.

Pray for your children and with your teenagers, while speaking blessings and positive things over them. Be sure to take them to a Bible believing church, which will help build the teenager’s character as they grow into an adult. However, to see a change in your teenager, you must first change yourself and realize that you were once a teenager yourself. Was life hard for you as a teenager and did you have power struggles with your parents as well?

Teenagers can become anyone that they want to become, yet they must work hard to achieve the goals that they have set for themselves. As a parent, you should be a cheerleader and the disciplinarian at the same time. Teenagers need boundaries that they can follow and they need immediate consequences whenever they step out of line. Therefore, take this time to change the way that you respond to your teenager’s achievements and misbehaviors.