Dating Sites…What Are They Good For?! 6-2-16

May 16th marked my one year anniversary that my ex and I went our separate ways. It’s no secret my relationship with him was nothing short of tumultuous. I’ve only blogged every detail for the world to read!!!  What was I thinking?!!! After four years with that lunatic and the strife he brought in to my life, I knew I needed to give myself some time to heal before engaging in another relationship. Relationships with the “Rons” of the world will do that to you!!   I haven’t been in any relationship since. And in truth, deep down I wasn’t ready. 

I left San Francisco on May 16th, 2015 with a u-haul in tote. I cried all the way home….and I mean the entire 14 hour drive while praying the rosary over and over again. I didn’t stop there. Oh no. I cried for months after that. In fact, I would lock myself in my bedroom and all I did was pray and cry. I slept with a night light. I still do.  The nightmares were overwhelming. I would even wear a scapula around my neck and sleep with a cross next to my pillow. Who does that?!!  Guilty!!! Me!!! Lol.  I have prayed profusely every single day. The good news is I had the support of my cousin and a dear friend, both in San Francisco who were very instrumental in pulling me out of a dark depression.  I also had the support of the ladies at my prayer group that I attend once a week and my girlfriend from Maui. I thank god for all of them. Prayer really does work!!! 

Breakups are hard. Especially relationships that cause so much pain and heartache. I saw a quote today on Facebook. It said “when people treat you like they don’t care….believe them”. I thought to myself “now you tell me!” I wish I had known. 


I’ve come along way since those dark days only a year ago. Or should I say, a week ago!! Just kidding.  The truth is healing from breakups takes a very long time. As for me, I’m on the mend. In fact a part of me is ready to give love another try. 

A couple of months ago my cousin and I met each other in Las Vegas for a few days. We travelled there to see Santana. It was their reunion concert. The original band members joined each other on the stage. They hadn’t played together in 40 years. What an awesome experience. It was undoubtedly one of the best shows I’ve been to, with the exception of seeing Van Morrison. What made it even more awesome was sharing the experience with my cousin who is my best friend and the sister I never had. I love her very much. In my eyes, she’s the most beautiful girl in the world!!! 



While we were there my cousin encouraged me to begin dating again. She suggested trying a dating site. Her suggestion…..Tinder. Now I have never been on a dating site nor have I ever been interested in being on one, but against my better judgement I joined the dating site. 

For those of you who have never been on a dating site, my suggestion is you should. If nothing else for a good laugh when you’re home alone on a Saturday night. Now I’m not experienced on dating sites since Tinder is the only site I’ve ever  been on but my experience has been nothing short of a comical experience I can’t quite put in to words. 

Tinder is great. You log on and you are greeted by photos of single guys. You can swipe right if you’re interested or you swipe left if your answer is NOPE!  There’s a few photos with a brief bio of your potential partner. Age and first name only along with the their approximate distance from your location. I’m happy to report all of my potential knights in shining armor have been swiped to the left. “Nope, Nope….and that’s a hell nope!!” My gosh, some of these guys are creepy, some are married and others are so dweeby I can’t stop laughing!!! I don’t mean to come across as caddy but my gosh! “Really god?! And this is what you bring me?!!!” 

I know what you’re thinking….”is he wearing lip gloss?!”


“He is my match?!” “Seriously?!” 

I have managed to meet a couple of nice guys and have met them for coffee but other than that nothing good has come from being on a dating site. Dating sites…..what are they good for? Nada…..damn thing!!! 

Who knows, maybe I’ve been too selective, after all my list of guys I won’t date is bigger than the list of guys I will date. Maybe I’ve been single too long and I’m becoming accustomed to being alone.  I don’t know the answer. What I do know is I haven’t given up on hope that there’s someone out there for me. After all, there are three billion men in the world!  Surely, one of those three billion has got to be my knight in shining armor!!! 

I’ve decided I’ll just wait for the right guy to come waltzing through my door, sweep me off my feet and take me far, far away from here. Let’s hope back to my beloved city by the bay, San Francisco and let’s hope he’s sweet, smells dynamite, is dressed to the nines and  is wearing great shoes! He will adore me, flaws and all and will love me in the good times and in the bad and together spend the rest of our lives making each other happy, traveling and living life to the fullest surrounded by family and together making a difference in the lives of others. Until then, whatever it’s worth, a knight in shining armor does exist. You can find him at Cafe Sevilla in California. 😀 he’s stone cold, he has a heart of steel, he’s a little short but you can talk his ear off all night long and he will never complain!!!  

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I’m Still Standing 4-6-16

Dear Ron

On April 10th, 2014 I received the dreaded call no woman wants to get. I’ll never forget the words I heard that day. “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you have cancer”. I had a wave of fear come over me. I was in shock. I was at work that day. I called you after I hung up the phone to tell you. The support I received from you was not what I expected. You were heartless and very insensitive. Typical behavior of the cruel man I came to know.  I cried the entire walk home. 

I had to be at a consultation at 3:00 that afternoon. You offered to drive me and even attended the consultation with me. Unfortunately, rather than being the supportive partner I needed that day, you chose to bring all your bills and spent the entire consultation writing out your checks and paying your bills. I don’t remember much of what the cancer coordinator had to say that day but I do remember the lack of empathy you exuded that day. When we got in the car I began to cry. Your comforting words to me were “stop being a drama queen”. This became your mantra for the next year as I battled one of the toughest fights of my life. 

That May we met with my oncologist who shared the results of my oncotype test. She explained I had an aggressive type of cancer that would require and aggressive treatment. The treatment would include chemotherapy, radiation and infusions. She was adamant I had to begin treatment right away. Again, the empathy you displayed would leave many to believe you were a cruel and very insensitive man. And you were. Your concern wasn’t my health, rather you were more concerned about how my treatment would affect our trip to Maui that August. My oncologist was so frustrated with you she finally said “we will cross that bridge when we get there”. Of course our vacation became your concern as I battled three grueling chemotherapy treatments. We took that trip and I returned to endure three more grueling treatments with you by my side. I’m not sure which was worse. You or chemo but if I had to choose, I’d call it a tie. 

I’m sure you recall your behavior my first treatment. Despite being sick you insulted me by telling me I needed to do something with myself. Your comment still rings in my ear. “You look haggard!”  And let’s not forget my trip to the hospital. Wow!  I’ve never met anyone so cruel and insensitive like you. 

For one year rather than show any kind of support or even encouragement, you chose to abuse me, cheat on me, call me names and treat me like a piece of dirt. Your excuse was “I was unattractive!”  I will never forget how you treated me. No woman or man deserves to be treated the way you treated me when I was sick and fighting cancer.  

I had a mammogram today. Ironically it is two years to the day I had the mammogram that changed my life forever. For the first time in two years I’m happy to report there was no sign of breast cancer. It doesn’t exempt me from all the other tests I had to endure today for other types of cancer but I take solace knowing that just for today I’m breast cancer free. 

As I look back on the past two years fighting this disease I can’t help but remember the many days and nights I spent on my knees praying for strength to endure the battle I found myself in. I certainly will never forget the pain and suffering you put me through as I fought this grueling battle either. But as I ponder your insensitive, cruel behavior I take pride in myself knowing that while you and cancer may have kicked my ass, I’m above ground today and I’m still standing. I’m one strong lady!!!  A force to be reckoned with. 

I sat in the waiting room at the cancer unit today. My heart went out to all the patients I saw battling cancer. Their bald heads, the glared eyes and the suffering they were enduring was just a reminder how far I’ve come. However, the difference in the people I saw today was they all had a supportive partner. I wished I had been so lucky. 

Karma has a way with coming back to us in some way. I suspect you will not be exempt from being the receiver of exactly what you put out. And when karma comes knocking on your door, and it will, it’s my guess you won’t last one week walking in my shoes because as fate would have it, unlike you, the good lord blessed me with the gift of strength and perseverance.  Thank god for that! 

Despite the suffering I endured with you at the helm, I’m not angry. Hurt but not angry. Rather, I view the experience as a learning experience. It taught me the meaning of strength, empathy and compassion. As I close this chapter and close the door to the nightmare I experienced these past two years, I find myself beginning a new chapter. A chapter that I intend to fill with love, peace and happiness. And if cancer comes my way in the days ahead, I have faith I will rise above that battle with a smile on my face and the confidence I can get through anything.  But more importantly, this new chapter comes with a goal to ensure that no one fighting cancer will ever have to endure what I did. I’ll share my story and one day the crappy story I lived with you will be the story that will bring hope and inspiration to many throughout the world. God never wastes a bad story without turning it in to something good. I pray my story helps many. It’s my guess it will. 

I wish you the best and pray you get exactly what you’ve got coming to you. However, I pray it isn’t cancer.  I don’t wish cancer on anyone, including you. You’ve managed to get away with a lot all your life. You may even think you’ve won but there’s one battle you haven’t faced……yet!!! It’s the battle you will be facing with God. Now that’s a battle you’re sure to come out at the losing end. So you take care of yourself. Thanks for the good times but more importantly thanks for the bad times. You taught me something very valuable. The importance of how to treat others and the faith to believe in myself. I can get through anything with God by my side. Thank god for that!!!  God bless you Ron and like the song I’ve included on this blog today…..I’m still standing!! I don’t know about you but despite all my trials, if you ask me, I may still be a little haggard, who wouldn’t be? But I think I look pretty darn good standing. 

Love

Velma

  

Valentines Day 2-13-16

Tomorrow is Valentines Day. I will be spending it alone w no sweetie to surprise me w chocolate or even flowers but the good news is I’m grateful. I may be lonely but this years valentines will be a heck of a lot better than last year.
My daughter and her boyfriend had bought me this dress to surprise my ex on Valentine’s Day last year. I’ll admit, while the dress was hot, I may not have been the hottest chick to look at. I was bald from chemo, Boney and exhausted. Cancer does that to you. As some of you know my ex treated me horribly as I fought the fight and in the end admitted to treating me poorly because I became unattractive. 
Well I finally wore the dress for an ad campaign at my newspaper. I’m happy to report I made the front page. So to all the “Ron Rodriguezes” out there who treat women like shit when we are fighting cancer…..kiss our ass! We do rise above this. We do get our looks back and in my opinion, we come back stronger and better & I think better looking!! And thankfully, without the likes of cruel and vain men like you!! I’m stronger, I’m better and I’m no longer swimming at the bottom of the ocean with a bottom fish anymore!!

  
This is last years story. Today’s story is so much better. Thank you lord for bringing me out of that nightmare and into a happier and better future. I think I’m ready to “Try and Love Again”.    http://youtu.be/rFDP4_X7VgY

The Stranger In My Bed 2-18-15 | fiercefabulousfunny

https://fiercefabulousfunny.com/2015/02/18/the-stranger-in-my-bed-2-18-15/

Back On My Feet 1-12-16

Facebook has this wonderful memory ap that reminds you of things you may have posted on that particular day. I suppose in the hopes the memory will spark a little piece of happiness. The ap notifies you of all your “memories” going back several years and you can choose to share your memories or not. 

Today is January 12th. Like most days, Facebook posted my memories along with pictures I may have posted on this day over the years. I reviewed my photos and low and behold a picture of my ex, Ron, popped up. On this day in 2012, Ron and I met and quickly became a couple. We celebrated the 12th of every month as our anniversary. It was a happy time. However, when I saw the photo today, happy was not the feeling that I felt when I looked at the picture. For me it was a reminder of how choosing the wrong partner can change our lives forever. I should’ve chose the guy hugging me!! Lol Ron certainly changed my life forever. And I can assure you not for the better. 

  
As I ponder that fateful night I realized that while my decision to engage in a relationship with Mephistopheles  himself, may have brought pain, suffering and heartache, it also brought so much growth. The past four years have been nothing short of a “magical carpet ride” It’s taken me places I’ve never seen before and honestly I never want to see again. 

For the past year and a half, I’ve battled cancer, financial difficulties, loneliness, emotional abuse, the list goes on, all while in a relationship with the star of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” Ron Rodriguez! Through it all, I’ve had this recurring dream of walking on a stage wearing a pencil, tight, red dress and wearing a scarf on my head. People are cheering and applauding as I walk on stage. I begin to speak and share my story of survival. At the end of my speech, music begins to play. It’s a song by The Babys. John Waite is belting out “Back On My Feet Again”. I flex my arm and hold up a fist and shout “I’m back on my feet! I made it. You can too!” The applause is so loud as I walk off the stage.  This is only a dream but a dream I have had so often this past year. Maybe it’s wishful thinking or maybe a sign of good days to come. 

Life has a way with coming full circle. Today may have been a reminder of that fateful day I met the “man of my dreams” and my life changed forever but the good news is, I’m no longer in that relationship and rather than reflect on the past and the pain it caused, I feel the need to see today as the end of that period. Life has finally come full circle. I choose to see it as closure.  Four years ago I started over, four years later I have been given another chance. I find myself starting over and while my life may not be peaches and cream right now, it’s not the spoonful of vinegar it was only eight months ago. Just like in 2012 when I travelled to San Francisco to heal from the death of my father, this month I will be traveling to Maui to heal from the past four years. I’m beginning a new circle of life. And guess what “Jack Nicholson” (my ex), isn’t in it. His new beginning is right around the corner. Things always come back and I suspect the next four years for him will certainly not be peaches and cream. After all, we reap what we sow.  I may still be battling cancer, loneliness and all the other crap that comes with beginning again but one thing I know is I’m still standing. I’m making it every day through the grace of God. For that I’m grateful!!

Today I’m not on that stage I’ve dreamed of so much. I’m not wearing a pencil, tight, red dress and I don’t have a crowd cheering me on and applauding me, but I’m still here and I’m still standing. I don’t know what the future has in store for me but I’m praying that this new circle of life will bring me a new beginning and a new amazing life. Today marks the end of a bad memory and the beginning of new and happy memories coming my way.  Thank you John Waite for the greatest song ever!!!  I’m on the road to being “back on my feet again!!!

 

The Stranger In My Bed 2-18-15

The past few days have been challenging. I find myself in a situation where I can no longer take the pain and suffering I feel deep in my heart. A feeling I’ve been experiencing for a really long time. Ironically this pain has been brought on by the very person I gave up my life for three years ago, leaving my family, friends and everything I knew because I believed I had finally met the man of my dreams. My heart was filled with love as well as hope for a new beginning.

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day for couples. A day where we express the love we have for one another. I’m a romantic at heart so naturally, I hold this day very close to my heart. For Valentine’s Day I walked to Union Square where I purchased a mushy card along with a box of See’s candy specifically picked out by me to ensure the box was perfect when I gave it to my significant other. I also purchased a pair of well needed pants for my special guy. I gave my gifts to my “Valentine” sealing the gifts with a big kiss. The response I received wasn’t exactly what I expected. My “Valentine” lashed out at me saying I only bought him this gift so he would be indebted to me. He called me names, gave me the silent treatment and in short hurt my feelings. He ignored me for 24 hours and has continued to vilify me since. I should also mention that he gave me nothing for Valentines Day. Nothing! Not even a card or at the very least, a thank you. Since that day, things have gone from bad to worse. I’ve been punished ever day. Name calling, silent treatment and yesterday my loving “Valentine” left and never returned for over three hours. I have no idea where he went. My phone calls went unanswered. When I asked him where he was he blew up and was kind enough to say “Get the fuck out!” He knows I’m in the middle of treatment, I have nowhere to go and leaving at this time just isn’t an option. I’m trapped and I’m broke to boot!

I met Ron three years ago. He was quite a bit older than myself. I was 46 and he was 65. The man I met is nowhere near the person he became after I moved to San Francisco to live with him. The man I met was kind, affectionate, loving and pampered me in a way I had never been treated by any man. He opened my car door, he held my hand, he showered me with gifts and trips. I recall the first Valentines Day after we met I was surprised to receive two flower deliveries that consisted of two dozen roses. He called me beautiful all the time, he laughed at all of my jokes and he was a lot of fun. That all changed three months after I moved in with him.

Prior to moving here there were many red flags that as I look back I wish I had not overlooked by allowing the sweetness of this man to take precedence over the warning signs that were gleaming like a bright light. It began with a former girlfriend who continually called and texted at all hours of the night once I moved here. She was an ex girlfriend who also happened to be a 27 year old Latin Stripper who works at the Hustler Club. From what I understand, she had been “using” him for his money. Ron supplied her with $2000 per month along with many other perks but he insisted their relationship was over. However, I found it hard to believe since wherever we were, whether on Vacation, dinner or a movie, this woman was continually reaching out to Ron with messages of love or asking for money. In addition, her mother lived and still lives at one of his apartments. One day I found a dirty pair of underwear in his bag after he returned from his apartment building. I confronted him about it but he had an excuse that somehow turned things around to be my fault. After returning from a visit to Washington I found women’s underwear in our room that didn’t belong to me. When I questioned Ron he insisted they were mine and that I was “suspicious”. This went on and on and continues to this day. Every time I would confront Ron he somehow managed to twist things around making it all my fault and for many days after I would receive the silent treatment along with some name calling in between. I began to second guess myself and the result is I’ve become an insecure individual who is no longer the fun loving, free spirit with a sense of humor I once was.

As I said, three months after I moved here Ron began to change. The man that began to emerge was clearly not the same man I had met only a year prior. This new man insulted me, he called me names, he lied and a very angry person emerged that exhibited a very hostile temper. I began to feel like I was walking on egg shells. In addition, his sleeping habits changed. He was up all night and slept all day. When he arose from his slumber he would spend the entire time on the couch with a remote in one hand and tweezers in the other as he plucked the hairs from his face. If that wasn’t enough, he wouldn’t shower for up to three weeks. Attributes that continue today. Through all this I became very depressed. I felt like such a failure. I lost my confidence and my ability to even make the slightest decision or even do my own thing. I became lonely and very isolated. My demeanor changed and so did my last name. Ron insisted I had to change my last name. He vilified me every day until finally on a trip to Washington I went to court to have my name changed. Deep down I knew I had to get out of this relationship but the voices in my head reminded me of the person I initially met so I began to feel like there was something wrong with me. In addition, we travelled and on many occasions the kind man I met would emerge and I found myself believing and hoping things would get better. A few months ago I was informed of Rons infatuation with hookers and in December when I returned home from Washington I not only found earrings that weren’t mine, I found “spooge” all over the clean sheets in the closet. There were other things but somehow I managed to convince myself, it was nothing. I confronted Ron and at first he denied it and insinuated I was a lunatic until finally admitting it then punishing me…again. It’s my fault as usual.

I woke up this morning feeling frightened asking myself “what am I going to do?!” As I reflected on some of the horrible things Ron said last night I remembered him telling me I had changed. He accused me of trying to change him. He told me I need to accept him the way he is…..hmm A volatile, hot tempered, name calling person who doesn’t take a bath isn’t exactly what I signed up for. I stood up for myself for the first time. No tears, no begging I just explained that I wasn’t trying to change him, I was just trying to find the person he was when I first met him. This new guy is a stranger. I explained that I agreed I too had changed. I was no longer the fun loving, happy go lucky woman I once was. My only excuse is when you live in a negative environment with a negative person, it’s only natural to become the same thing.

I have no idea what I’m going to do. March brings two infusions and a cancer screening to ensure I’m cancer free. It also brings an appointment to begin my last phase of treatment to finally be on the road to healing. My treatment will be done on June 1st. After that I will be on hormone therapy for five years. At this time my medical treatment is being paid for and transferring to another state is not an option. I feel the need to stick this out for the four months required to beat this cancer. As I look back, I find myself wishing I had never moved here. I wish I had acted on the red flags but sometimes as women we meet a man who portrays himself as a dream come true. We are blinded by the good things and overlook the mine field of red flags coming at as like exploding bombs. If it’s too good to be true, we need to have the courage to walk away before finding ourselves in a relationship that’s hard to get out of.

I’m sharing my story today because I hope that someone reading this will take my experience to heart. If you’re in a relationship and something stinks…..run and never look back. I wish I had done the same. I believe that the stress of this relationship played a huge part in my depression, low self esteem, feeling of failure which ultimately led to my cancer. I’m better than this and I deserve someone who is going to treat me with love and respect and so do you. I have a faith in God so today my prayer is that the lord will see me through this and take me to a place where I’m loved and I can begin to heal from all this trauma I’ve experienced for a very long time. I also ask God to touch Ron’s heart in a way that he will once again be the kind and loving man I once knew and be nice to me. I don’t want to be hurt anymore. I’m looking forward to the day I can finally put this nightmare behind me and start living again. I pray for strength, courage and faith to persevere until that day. I pray the same for you. For all those young women out there looking for a sugar daddy….my advice is this. All that money, gifts, trips etc come at a price. These men are single for a reason. The woman before you paid a price and finally walked away.

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Sleeping Angel 1-19-15

I’m not sure where to begin as I write tonight. Today my friend Lola reached out to me from New Jersey. She called and offered me so many words of encouragement and more importantly she encouraged me to use my gift of writing in a positive way. Lola is a woman of God. She is filled with so much love and is a powerful prayer warrior. I’m so grateful to call her my friend. Lola prayed for me and encouraged me to put all my faith in the Lord, trust him and pray, pray, pray. After we hung up I found myself feeling hopeful. I have to admit, the challenges of cancer and my life in general has really brought me to my knees. More often than not, I feel defeated and hopeless.

This afternoon Ron and I had an argument. It was ugly and I felt sick about it. I didn’t have anyone to talk to so I got in my car and drove to St Dominic’s Church. Somehow going to church felt like the right thing to do. St Dominic’s is so beautiful it takes my breath away every time I walk through the door. I always feel a sense of awe when I’m there. At times, I’m in such awe, my eyes begin to fill with tears. It’s such an emotional experience. I lit a candle when I arrived. I got on my knees and prayed. As I talked to God, I found a sense of peace come over me and for the first time I felt as if the Lord had actually heard me. After I prayed, I sat on the pew and just stared at the altar. Finally, I stood up and left.

As I drove home, I found myself feeling peaceful. I wasn’t worried about going home and being greeted by the wrath of Rons volatile behavior. I trusted everything would calm itself and things would work out eventually. I prayed asking God for a small sign that he had heard me, even though I knew in my heart he had. When I got home, Ron was still angry. I opted to stay in peace and trust the Lord would take care of everything. Ron was still behaving irrationally, so rather than allow him to make me feel bad about myself like I usually do, I got my sweats on and went to the gym.

I love to listen to music when I’m at the gym. I have a very extensive playlist on YouTube. Tonight I pulled up my playlist titled “Cancer Bravery”. This list consists of songs that have somehow offered a sense of courage as I’ve fought cancer these past few months. As I went through my list of songs, I noticed a song by Stevie Nicks. I didn’t recognize it and truthfully, I don’t recall ever hearing the song, much less recall how it even made it on my list. I clicked on it and as I listened to the lyrics, the words began to resonate with my own personal struggle to trust in a power higher than myself to work things out for me.

I believe in God, as I refer to him. I believe he exists. Trusting him is another story. I think I’m not alone. I believe many of us are believers, however trusting in something we can’t feel, hear or touch can prove to be a difficult task. As I listened to the lyrics of this song, I knew in my heart God had heard me tonight. The lyrics describe my thoughts and feelings that have prevented me from letting go and trusting things would work out according to Gods plan, on his time and not my own. I’m continually on this roller coaster of “trying to believe you. I’m learning all the time”. Like the song, I know I need God in my life because without him I wouldn’t be able to breathe. However, I have this “love affair” with the him that’s as dysfunctional as my current and past relationships with all the men in my life. At times my relationship is up, while other times are down. I want to believe that God loves me. I want to believe he has a plan for good, but it’s hard.

Earlier this morning, my friend suggested I write a letter to God expressing how I feel. I couldn’t express my feelings better than the lyrics from this song so here it is….my letter to God.

Dear God (as I call him)

Take me if you need me, but never hold me down. You’re asking me to trust you, well there’s little of that around. I’m trying to believe you. And I’m learning all the time. Two-part personality, the flower and the vine.

Take me, sleeping angel. Catch me, when you can. Real love affairs are heavy spells, for a woman and a man.

I need you because you let me breathe, well you’ve taken me away. But never take me lightly, or I can never stay.

Someday, when we’re older and my hair is silver grey. Unbraid with all of the love that you have, like a soft silver chain.

Take me sleeping angel, catch me when you can. And unbraid with all of the love that you have, like a soft silver chain.

I’m a work in progress, Lord God, but I pray that you won’t give up on me yet. I’m a work in progress but I’m ready and willing to give you my best shot. Thank you God for believing in me and thank you for never giving up on me even on the days, I’ve given up on you.

Love always,

Velma

Home By The Sea 11-8-14

Welcome to your home by the sea……those are the words I heard two years ago when I packed up my bags, abandoning everyone and everything I knew and moved to San Francisco. Since then, every morning that I wake up I have thought to myself “help me someone! Let me out of here!”

One week ago yesterday I had my sixth and hopefully final chemo treatment. This past week has been the week from hell! I can’t begin to tell you how sick I’ve been. I won’t go in to detail by boring you with all the details, I’ll just say that recovery has been a challenge. I’ve prayed a lot, I’ve cried out loud a lot, I’ve felt sorry for myself a lot and I’ve reflected and wished my life was different a lot. Yesterday I managed to walk to my monthly Professional Women’s group luncheon. I was having a conversation with one of the ladies and I shared how I had prayed for so long for the doors to finally open so I could finally go home and be reunited with my children. Her reply struck a cord with me. She said “maybe your prayer hasn’t been answered because it’s God’s will that you are here to receive the medical treatment you need to get healthy. You’re not any good to your children or family if you’re not well”. As soon as she said that it reminded me of my dear friend and attorney, Garth Dano. I will never forget the day we were standing at the courthouse. I had just been released from Sundown for alcohol abuse and I had lost custody of my kids. Those of you who know my story know that my last drunk was three fifths, a bottle of wine and a half gallon of whiskey. I had burned my eyelashes off and I had cut my arms, legs & face with a knife. I looked at Garth that day with tears in my eyes and asked “Garth, what am I going to do now?” His response was “honey you’re rock bottom. There’s no where to go from here but up. You’re no good to those kids until you’re good to yourself.” I’ve never forgotten those words. I picked myself up out of the gutter and a year later after a lot of hard work, determination and sobriety, I got my kids back. As I walked home I kept thinking about that day along with Garth’s words. I reflected how I had beat my alcoholism and went on to get my kids back. I couldn’t help but wish I was reliving that same experience only I had beat cancer and I was finally in my car on my way home. When I got home I went to the mailbox to get my mail. I had a letter from the Columbia Basin Herald. I opened it up and found a letter Garth had written me and was accidentally mailed to the Herald. When I read it, I began to cry. It was ironic I had been thinking about Garth and to receive such a moving letter from my my dearest and most loyal friend only gave me hope to believe I can get through yet another challenge again. And soon I’ll be with my kids again.

I chose to share this song today because I can relate to the lyrics. Like the song for the past couple of years I’ve prayed those same words “help me someone! Let me out of here!” I also have spent the past couple of years “dreaming of the time I was free. So many years ago before I heard the words welcome to your home by the sea!” My life has always been an open book. I’ve never shied away from sharing the intimate details of the ups and downs of my personal life. I’ve shared my struggles in my relationships. I’ve shared my struggles overcoming alcohol/Ritalin addiction, anorexia/bulemia, divorce, custody battles and these past two years I’ve shared my very intimate struggles and downfalls since I arrived in San Francisco on social media. Whether it was on Facebook and now on my latest venture blogging. Like the song “I’ve relived my life in what I tell you”. Not long ago a very dear friend of mine offered some advice. She said that while my stories were entertaining, maybe sharing such intimate details wasn’t in my best interest. I have to agree. I don’t share my story as a way to entertain people. Rather I share because my hope is those who hear or read my story will learn from my experiences and not make the same mistakes themselves.

Life is hard. I haven’t been a saint. I’ve taken the wrong path many times in my life. I’ve made some really bad choices and the consequences have been overwhelming at times. Believe me when I say, I have many regrets. If I had a do over, I certainly wouldn’t have done many of the things I’ve done. Today I’m fighting cancer. I can’t change that. I’m trapped here in my “home by the sea” and everyday I’m praying to get out of here and go home and be reunited with my children. However going home is not the case today but like Garth said so many years ago “I’m no good to my kids until I’m good to myself”. With that said I have to get healthy and hopefully history will repeat itself and like many years ago I will be with my kids again. Soon!!!

If you’re reading this today and you find yourself struggling or you’re thinking the grass is greener on the other side, take a lesson from me. It’s not. Be thankful for what you have. Don’t make the mistakes I’ve made. Sometimes the easy way out only complicates things and makes everything worse. Like I said, I’m not writing to entertain you, I’m writing and sharing to encourage you to take a good look at my story and learn from it because if my story helps anyone then all this crap I’ve been through and wrote about was worth it.

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