On a mission!

In a previous post I mentionned that a lot was riding on my latest doctor appointment.  Obviously there is a lot riding on the results of each and every appointment when you deal with cancer, it’s a life and death thing, but this past week I was more anxious than usual.  I will now explain to you just exactly why.

I have stood up to cancer by embracing what it has done to me, the pain and suffering, the physical and the mental scars, the anguish, the feeling of total helplessness, loss of control, a shortened life span, all of it.  However I will never embrace what it has done to my family and everyone that I love.  The only way I know how to stand up to cancer on their behalf is by showing them that I am okay and if I feel good, they in turn will feel good. 

So…. I have been busting at the seams to post this exciting news!  I am standing up to cancer in a big way this coming November  now that my doctor has given me a green light to go.  I am on a mission to do some great things!!!!   I am not going to waste my good fortunate of being healthy at the present, my miracle, my second chance, however you choose to view it!!! 

I am on my way to Nicaragua.  I will be joining a group of 9 other women.   (There is my fave number 9 again!)  This is going to be a trip of a lifetime!!!!   Beautiful beaches, tropical forest gardens, zip lines, shopping, entertainment, gourmet food…. ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!   This is a trip of a lifetime for me as the trip is focused entirely on serving others.  

We will be going to a very poor, underdeveloped region of the country.  So poor in fact that it is almost unimaginable, however I have seen some photos of what is to come, of where I am heading to.  Some of the ladies are returning visitors, some of us are new.  We will be away for 16 days, the weather is very very warm and humid, 40+ degrees every day.   We will be serving others in many ways.  Let me tell you about just some of the things we will be doing.

By the way, I have already told a few people about this trip, and I’m getting mixed emotions.  I appreciate everyone’s honesty and concerns.  The one comment that has stuck with me is this “oh, I don’t think you should go, you will come back very depressed”,  and my reply…. “I understand what you are thinking, but seriously, what can possibly be more depressing than being told you have cancer, and not only do you have cancer, but you have a cancer we cannot cure, and wait here’s the best part… you should get your affairs in order, because you perhaps have maybe 2 years.”   

Part of the team will be teaching basic sewing skills to local women while the other part of the team will be entertaining their children while their mothers are learning.  They learn with donated materials, everything from thread, to the sewing machines, needles, everything.  We will be making dresses for little girls made from donated pillow cases.   I am sure I will never view a pillow case the same anymore.  I am told there is little opportunity for people in this particular region, one reason being because most are under-educated and secondly because the country is poor, there simply aren’t any jobs.  You either have money or you do not. Middle class is non-existent.  These women are empowered with their new skills, all they need is an opportunity.

There a many things planned for us.  We will likely to be going to a local orphanage to bring the children some things to brighten their day.  Of course, donated toys, clothing, etc.

We may also be going to a garbage dump.  Yes, that’s what I said.  Many people call this home.  They live off whatever they can find in the dump.  They make homes out of cardboard, and I’m sure you can imagine the rest.  Most clothing consists of just undies and shoes (shoes if they are lucky)  They are severly under-nourished, bloated bellies, the children play in the run off water from the dump.  I am told it is a community mostly of women & children.  We will bring food to them, rice, beans, etc.  I hope to bring them smiles too. 

I am very interested in going to the children’s cancer hospital and a women’s cancer hospice.  Can you imagine as a parent, having to leave your child at a hospital for cancer treatment for weeks, months, maybe even years, simply because you cannot afford transportation to take them to & from home for treatment?  Can you imagine being one of these children fighting this monster of a disease without your family with you?  We will be visiting to bring the children small toys, crafts and spending time with them.  The women’s hospice is very over-crowded, 2 women sharing a bed, all the beds in one big room.  I need to go here.  I need to hold some hands, give some hugs, offer some hope.  I know how uncomfortable and edgy I was in a hospital, and I had air conditioning and a bed all to myself.  My heart aches for these women.  I have lots of my own bandanas and head scarves etc that I am going to bring.  Look good, feel good, plus just knowing that a stranger cares for you is an undescribable powerful feeling that I have been a recipient of, even to this very day.  I want to spread and share that feeling!

I hate asking for any thing, from any one. I especially hate to ask for help.  But today I am not really asking you to help me.  Well yes I guess I am, I am asking you to consider helping me, so that I can help others.    We need donations.  I do not have a lot of time.  I am leaving on November 5.   Donations in the form of monies is what is needed most.  We will pool our monies raised into what is called a mercy fund.  Our  group (the 10 of us women) will be presented with several opportunities from the local people who will advise us of those who are most in need of food, clothing, etc.  to distribute the mercy fund dollars raised as we wish.   As an individual I must raise a minimum of $2200, but I hope I can double that. 

I am learning so much already and it’s only been a few days since I committed myself to going.  I will make a difference with this life, I will do you proud.  I will of course be blogging by means of pen and paper while I am there, I will be taking many photos and I can’t wait to share my upcoming experiences with you. 

Please consider a donation.  Every dollar counts.  If you want to help me, please email me (my email address link is a the top of my home page).  I will contact you back to let you know how to help.   Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $20.00 and up.   I thank you in advance for your consideration. 

We can all make a difference, I promise to represent your money well, I will see first hand exactly where it goes and who will benefit from it.

I am living my best life, one day at a time!