Monday, April 27, 2015

The Secret to Life & Death~ Carrots

Enjoy my post! (4/27/15- just getting to this to add and edit. sorry. )

(Piggy & Dirt from etsy. Easter Star)

"Carrots. Eat Carrots."

 Stephanie told me
While she sat in the plastic, white outdoor lawn chair my employer had provided for customers to sit in and enjoy ice cream or chocolates.

I hated to remind her that we were in a chocolate store.
It was a summer scene inside but winter outside the painted windows. Painted by a professional painter of cute things on windows.

'Carrots?' I repeated in my mind.
That was it?

That was THE secret, the serious advice she had for me?

 Part of me had been mining her brain for several weeks on how to navigate life on prednisone and having Crohns.-

because she was so close to death,

The natural woman in me

 assumed and wanted to know what possibly may lay ahead....

So I kept a close ear to the ground during  our friendship for anything I may "need" to know.
And I felt I had something to teach her- that she was valued.

 It was shocking that this piece of advice, randomly said one day, as if she was having a moment where some voice told her to tell me to eat the veggie.

It could possibly be what I needed to do while on prednisone. Since she was on it. Who knows.

Now that I have taken the shape of a fruit, the blueberry, thanks to prednisone, it makes complete sense.

So back to when my friend Stephanie gave me the critical, social saving tid-bit of information one day at the chocolate store:

Amazingly I didn't balloon while working at the store-which also sold the Reed's Dairy ice cream that I scooped when as a teen. It was much smaller than it is today. Word spread that it as as divine as Florence's chocolates...

So you know a woman going through chemo after a bone marrow transplant will crave things.  And , like me, these people will on occassion come across someone acting selfishly by wanting  to know some details about the pain she endured and how I could "avoid" it.

Which reminds me of Nancy Luce from Martha's Vineyard. I blogged about her a bit ago she is The lady who had chickens for friends. Well she wrote to the people that would possibly come see her, to do so [visit] in a genuine way- that if they were coming in the spirit of mockery or to tell others about her in a mean way then she wanted them to stay away.

I hope I wasn't that kind of friend or am being that wat by blogging about her right now. I am surprised that her advice to me I have totally ignored. The part about eating the carrots.

Back when she said it,

I scribbled down the orange vegetable Stephanie told me to chomp on in my
mental notebook

 because my subconscious must have had some idea that, many years later, I would need to heed that advice.

C-a-r-r-o-t-s not C-o-o-k-i-e-s.I spelled out in my brain.

(look at that cute kid! Almost a decade ago! This is HIS month! I need to write about him for fun.)

Seeing Steph when she came in every so often for her sweet tooth fix, I sized her up (figuratively) and sized up my situation:

(Crohns and visiting the bathroom 30 times a day at the time; I didn't think I'd ever need to worry about turning into a blue berry. I didn't think it would be possible to balloon up! Then I met a woman who was over weight and had Crohns. 

I made the assumption that she must not have it so badly- I wasn't able to keep anything inside me. And that  must hurt worse, right? Wrongo! Don't you love how life goes along and makes  you see things in a whole new light?

 Ah, how young and dumb I was.

We had serious conversations about life, Steph and I. She brought in her wedding pictures, her photo albums of her life- she wanted me to know what she looked like before all that had happened medically. 

Just as I have wanted you to see me before I grew the neck fat pad, I guess.

She needed to show proof of her life, not just for cancer's sake and her life hung in the balance but that she had been beautiful.

Cancer can do ugly things.  

 I really enjoyed our talks. I shared with her how I felt and being on prednisone; she listened.

After seeing her pictures,  I admit, I wondered how on earth a smart, good looking guy was 'okay' with the prednisone weight gain. I know, I know, I thought I was Christ-like and had suffered enough- gads I'd gone through a surgery that would make war vets shudder- but I still needed to learn.  still do.

 We also talked about death and she spoke solemnly to me about some of the events and pain she'd felt. So you can imagine when she used the same solemn voice and gave me the same 'eye piercing look into my soul' when she said to; ""eat carrots, I was mystified.


Let me repeat that-


Stephanie and I became friends over chocolate, ice cream and our life stories- and how they were or could be similiar. Even if I was dealing with prednisone and she was too. Come to think of it, we never eat carrots together.
(Chemo now requires prednisone. )

I wrote an article about Steph that was placed in a publication for my church- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Which is the pg version of our talks, my impressions and such.
 This is the Rated PG-13 version, I guess.

* 4/11/15- I miss her. I know that she has helped me when I have suffered. I believe that. I believe that we were friends for a reason. I also feel that her mom and I became friends for a reason too. She passed away from cancer much later. It aches when those who you talk with, laugh with, those who understand- pass.

Her mom told me that she tried to help her eat "healthy" toward the end but the doctor said it wouldn't change the outcome. No changing the Campbell Soup Girl, with her round rosy cheeks.
That just sounds and looks better- Campbell Soup Girl.

I found that off of one of the Cushing's Sites.

I started this post some time ago.... and coming to it to put some pics on, I feel a bit emotional. (some time ago and not today.)

Anyway, Readers, so you know,  she meant more to me than finding out "gorry, end of life details"- but let's face it, we all wanna know details. We want to call upon each other and get the scoop.  I think we do this because it stems from our fears- fears that we too might travel the same route and need/want the details of how to get through it. And on a scale of 1-10 how bad it will be.

(See- this is wayyy cuter than referring to your syndrome as "The Ugly Disease" which it is called)

OR- maybe I needed it and God knew who to send my way to help me with the path I would have to take.

 The bad is off set by cute things like this:

(work to be done? Put on shorts and cowboy boots and work gloves! then watch your dad cut down a tree. Except if you are in a stroller. Then you are turned around for some reason.)

(this kid is lucky enough to live on a real farm He is the one in the stroller above. Sad that hair is gone! He is grown up now!)

(A cake about skiing. Something that we can't do cause all the snow is back east or up north.)

(Aww. I won't be gardening this year. Kind of relieved.)

Stephanie brought her photo album to show me her husband- he was really cute- I didn't unerstand why she was so heavy until she explained she put on an enormous amount of weight before she was married and they had to change her wedding dress due to.... drum roll.... prednisone!

"You will crave all sorts of things." she waved her hand around the candy store. Luckily I was too sick to crave it and when I did eat it, it just left my body lickety split.

(I grew some great things back in the day......)

"Carrots. Eat Carrots."

So that was secret to navigating the whole illness thing- just eat carrots.

"You feel bad enough when you are sick but throw in the  weight factor and developing what is called Cushing Syndrome and it adds a new dimension. Literally.

I have been reading people's stories who have struggled with it and other immune disorders, and I am so sorry! Lyme Disease is another horrid one that a friend of mine is dealing with at this time in her life and it hurts to see her go through so many "losses."

I am grateful for what I have learned due to these things but it is still hard to deal with on a day to day basis. Especially if you add things in the mix like someone rear ending your parked car.

Or someone running into your parked car when you were on a mini date.

Being sick and weak make it harder for these events in life. Thankfully Padre is going to P.T. and we can support each other in the healing process. He and  have yet to eat Carrots together either. maybe we should.

(The Red rosy cheeks are a symptom of Crohns, being on prednisone, and Cushings. So you can see how rare it is to diagnose at first. How the soup company got a model who had one or all of these illnesses is baffling.)

So as Easter approaches, *this is a stale post, Readers, Sorry.  If you happen to be on prednisone go ahead and eat the carrot cake.
Not all of it.

Keep up the physical therapy! And try to NOT give up because your story means something. People might seek you out for advice. They may even need to hear the morbid details of how painful a bone marrow transplant might be or how to endure being over weight and where to buy something that fits.

And they will need to hear and see that you are okay with it, so when it is their turn, they will know to eat chocolates in moderation and carrots by the bucket load.

1 comment:

  1. xoxoxoxo I love you and can relate in many ways! May God bless you and keep you writing! I love you, Aunt Annette


Blog Archive