This picture makes me cry!

This picture makes me cry!
Thought it was time to change my picture

Monday, July 2, 2007

Barbie Stepping Down!

No folks - I'm not leaving the wonderful world of blogging but I am stepping off my Barbie soapbox for a few minutes. I haven't blogged about this before but it seems that the dark clouds continue to roll in and bring subtle reminders of what is really important in life. Hey I am all for shakin' it, flauntin' it and all the other healthy mumbo jumbo that goes along with weight loss and the lifestyle change that we are all "affectionately" embrassing (said with slight sarcasm) but when push comes to shove the real things that count in life are things like the hugs your kids give you or the way your spouse loves you just because or the laughter and tears that you share with an old friend. Movie nights, milkshakes and marathons all have their own place in the universe and are all relevant to this crazy mixed up life that we're living.

Why, you ask, am I on this paticular soapbox today??? Well in the last few weeks my sister in law (she is 39 w/ 2 kids - ages 7 and 10) was diagnosed with pancreatic and bile duct cancer. Now let me tell you she was the poster child for health. She was always the perfect weight, non-smoker, non-drinker, exercised moderatly and ate well. She has a PHd in Astrophysics - yeah she worked for NASA - she has 2 kids, drinks milk with dinner - should I go on...........basically she was the prime example of June Cleaver - pearls and sweater sets. A few weeks ago her back starts hurting - she goes to the doctor - they do an MRI - bloodwork - put her in the hospital - more tests and surgeries - a stint in her bile ducts - suddenly the C word comes out - have to be kidding. Now she is in for 4 rounds of chemo and that is all they can do for her - WHAT - All you can do - those words barely register in our heads. The statistics for pancreatic cancer are staggering - less than 1% live over 5 years - lets see, do the math - that leaves a 15 and 12 year old child, motherless - and that is the best case scenario. She has had 2 chemo treatments and has basically been bedridden - no more teaching college or needlepoint or cooking or cleaning or watching her children's various lessons........if she had known 6 months ago would she have taken more time to live her life or would she have still poured every ounce of her being into fitting into society's mold - what everyone thought she should be???

Next saga, a friend is pregnant - she just found out her baby passed away from cardiac complications........she is an architect, a professional, she travels for work and basically lives a very nice life. She has a well educated husband, enjoys good food, is slender, dark hair - on the surface she lives the perfect life - a brunette version of Barbie but now suddenly her world is off kilter - rocked by tragedy. I can't imagine - so if she had known what would she have done differently??

I hate to be a downer but it just occured to me how caught up we all get in trying to squeeze our lives into someone else's idea of right and wrong, acceptable and not acceptable. Like I said health is primo important and so are looks to some degree but when you really think about it we should be living life to the fullest every day. Yes, that means being healthy, exercise, water, good food, etc. But it also means loving yourself just because you are you - loving the CORE of yourself - your soul - your personality - your spirit - being content.......those things make one healthy in the same way that food and exercise make you healthy.

I am really trying to put my own life into perspective - really I am the freakin poster child for vanity - I want to run over all the kids that called me Big Bertha in school - it is one of my goals to show off my new self to all those mean spirited people that hurt me - well not a main goal but a teensy weensy part of me wants to say HA - LOOK AT ME NOW BABY!!! But - in perspective what difference does it make. I am so blessed to have a wonderful family, great friends, a good job and fantastic blog buddies - some days it makes me sad to think of how much time I wasted focusing on the mean people and the bad things - I never let the good stuff in and I have a lot of wasted years.

Okay - sorry for the rant but I just needed to put it down - if for no one else then for myself. I need a reality check sometimes because there are things more important than losing this last 5 pounds or the fact that my hubby doesn't always throw himself at my feet or that my house isn't always spotless and my dog is a digging lunatic that is hell bent on digging a hole to China. My living room ceiling is caving in and the raccoons have taken up residence in my attic, all the while, single handedly, chewing through my electricity and cutting off all power to the front half of my house - I swear this house is the money pit!! Okay so some "circumstantial stuff" sucks but when you weigh it against what could be - we are really lucky to only be battling our weight.

I am now morphing back into Barbie - "I'm a Barbie Girl, in a Barbie World - Fantastic - Made of Plastic"


strawgirl said...

You said it girl. Live your life like every day is your last. Live like you are dying. Isn't that a Tim McGraw song?? Anyway...I feel for your SIL and friend. My thoughts and prayers are with both of them. :)

Colette said...

Steph my thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and your friend. I am a cancer survivor and its been 14 years now! Then I struggled with infertility and finally was blessed with my two kids thanks to Clomid!

Being in the medical profession I see people with cancer everyday. And I am so amazed by there will to live. I saw a woman who was 26 yo drag herself up 3 flights of stairs while her mother was behind her dragging up her wheel chair all because this lady had an appointment for her chemo treatment, the elavators were out and she was not going to miss see she had two little girls at home.

Thank you for showing us that its not always whats on the ouside that counts but its what's on the inside... of our homes and our hearts!!!

Please let me know if I can do anything. May God bles you all.

WeightBGone said...


Life is so difficult to understand at times but please know my thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and also your friend. We often whine about such trivial things and dont focus on the positive in our lives. You've given me a lot to think about and be thankful for. You have my support and thoughts.

Diet Coke and Zingers said...

Well put.

Candace said...

Wonderful sentiments, Steph. Cancer is so very cruel, but one of the things I have come to the conclusion of over the years is the blessing that we are able to say and hear all of the things we may have been too busy to in the previous years. My heart goes out to your nephews.

BB said...

What you wrote is so true. After finding out my youngest was born with polycystic kidney disease & then him having a kidney transplant at 1 yr old--it does make you appreciate life. Don't take your family & friends for granted. Things can change so quickly. I'm sure thankful for all my cyber bloggers. Thanks for the reminder and my prayers are with you, you s-i-l and friend.

MMalloy said...

Great reminder! Sometimes it's hard to stop and look at the real facts. Your SIL, family and friend are in my deepest prayers.

Swizzlepop said...

Well put and so true. My thoughs are with your SIL and friend and with you. I know there is a drug out there for pancreatic cancer (I will email you). I'm sure the doctors already considered it but it never hurts to mention and ask ALL the questions. You're still Barbie ;), just the modern day version who has deep moments as well was "vanity" ones.