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Archive for October, 2008

As I sat here tonight contemplating the first round of my reconstruction surgery on Tuesday, I couldn’t help but realize how fortunate I am to be in this situation.  I have survived two rounds of breast cancer and cannot believe that I have had such wonderful medical personnel with which to work that have provided me with the best of care and testing that has resulted in my diagnoses and surgeries before the cancer had a chance to spread.

I work for the Walt Disney Company.  I have been afforded the opportunity to have great medical insurance that continues to provide coverage that I would never have been able to afford under any other circumstances.  I am surrounded by a great team of co-workers that have been so supportive as I have traveled this journey for more than a year now.  What more could anyone ask for?

I really do find myself at the happiest place on earth.  There are so many more aspects to this company that people never have the opportunity to see.  If you happen to watch the TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”, you can get an idea of the spirit of this company and for what its employees stand.

Many of my co-workers are part of the Disney VoluntEARS who give countless hours of their time and energy in assisting people in their communities in just about every way imaginable.  The volunteering spirit seems to represent a uniqueness in the character of the people that this company employs.

My wish is that more companies begin to embody the spirit of this company and what it provides for its employees on so many levels.  It not only provides family values and content for its audiences around the world but also those employed here subscribe to the same values and share them in so many ways. 

So as I once again face a surgery on Tuesday, I not only will have my own wonderful family with me to cheer me on and support me along the way but I will also have another whole big team who has already supported my past recoveries and volunteered to help in any way possible.  I can’t begin to tell you how much that means to me. 

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While I personally had a pretty darn good week, a lot of people around me have not faired so well.  My sister and her husband dashed off to the Netherlands as a result of the doctors finding a large tumor in his mom’s upper stomach area.  They had planned to go next month for her birthday but this emergency resulted in an immediate change of plans.

My sister-in-law is also having a tough time of it.  I called to chat with her but it was really a hard day for her so I will try again tomorrow.  But she is having many difficult days since my brother died in March.  I know how much he meant to me so I can’t even begin to imagine how hard his loss is for her.  It is so hard when you feel so powerless to do anything to help.

Several other friends have had a pretty tough week and at least for them, since I am in close proximity, I can join them, listen to what they have to say, provide any insight I may have into their situations but most importantly just share my love. 

I noticed that when I am having a tough time of it, if I just tell my husband or a friend about what I am feeling, if I just get a big hug in return, there is nothing that is more helpful.  Just to know that another person cares and is willing to give a part of themselves to us as their efforts to help and support us makes all the difference.  When not in close proximity, I always pick up the phone to find out how the other person is doing just to let them know that I care.  And they always know that extra prayers are coming their way and I am always there to listen should they choose to share their situation.

I have also noticed that there are a lot of others around me at these times that are having a tough time of it because of the current financial situation.  I really feel badly for those who are in a crunch not because of crazy spending and debt because of their having to buy stuff but those who have been doing their very best and have been struggling from paycheck to paycheck for some time.  Although I am not in a financial situation to help in a monetary way, I let them know that I am there for them and that I will do anything that I can to be there for them especially if their situation goes from bad to worse.

It seems that so many people are just feeling so helpless with regard to their personal situation and don’t know where to turn for help or encouragement.  If we just let them know that someone is there for them, that someone cares about them and loves them dearly, it does make a difference in their lives.  That is the very least that each of us can do.

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In a matter of days now, we will be voting for the new President of the United States.  I have been following the campaigning for more than a year, trying to understand the issues in order to make an informed decision.  As time passes, I become more disenchanted as each day goes by.  I don’t feel any closer to making a choice than I did all of those many months ago when the campaigning for nomination began.

I am not one of those people who likes to have big political debates with others.  I like to examine the issues and come to an independent decision based upon what the candidates have said they plan to do.  Many times however, what a candidate has promised never comes to fruition or the programs that have been laid out have all gone by the wayside.

This time around, I have seen a greater fervor based upon political party than ever before.  Candidates are not debating with passion as they are afraid that they will appear angry and that would turn off voters.  Neither candidate is saying much of anything about their individual plans if they get into office.  The pot shots taken at the candidates are getting nastier and meaner and have become justified under the guise that it is just satirical and humorous and clever.

I must say that if I hear one more time that the situation in which we currently find ourselves is because of the administration of the last eight years, I think that I will scream.  There are factors in play here that have shaped this economy going back to the early 90’s.   The Congress for the last two years has been controlled by the Democrats and there are plenty of legislators on both sides of the aisle who have sold their souls because of greed and power.

I have reached the point that I don’t believe any of the politicians.  If you want to buy into the blame game, there is plenty of it to go around.  What our government has done or chosen not to do is what has caused the current economic situation and I have had enough.  Someone has suggested that we look at each of the races for our own legislators and vote for everyone who is not an incumbent. 

I think that that idea is worth looking at, not so much to vote out every incumbent but to seriously look at those Congress men and women who represent our districts.  It is worth checking out their records and deciding how their votes and behavior have measured up to being a fair representation of their constituents’ desires.  Then based upon our representatives’ actions, each of us can decide with our vote whether we want that person to remain in office.  That is the best way to really be heard when we go in to that voting booth on Election Day!

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I was trying to figure out what I wanted to write about today and couldn’t think of a thing.  The day has been pretty quiet with just watching some TV and crocheting a blanket as a part of my volunteering as a Disney Blanketeer.  We make blankets for children in crisis and this has been a pet project of mine since the program was originally instituted in 1999.  So all in all, it just seemed to be another nice and relaxing time.

I started to assess the situation and realized that it was a whole lot more than that.  Although things have been going pretty well, I have no idea what tomorrow will bring.  I am not prone to get excited about politics any more as I don’t trust politicians.  I couldn’t get into the new legislation that is suppose to save our economy as it really is a matter of trying to free up the money from lending institutions for the hard working people who are trying to keep their personal lives and businesses afloat. 

As I see it, it will only be a matter of time until the next greedy person creates a situation to line his or her pockets with the help of our elected leaders.  But as a result of the recent economic situation, I do think that a lot of individuals are a whole lot wiser about what is going on in this country and that is a good thing.  And then I listen to the press output and become agitated all over again as we are fed the same old information that attacks the candidates for office rather than trying to help us with real information on the issues   But I do understand that ultimately, what I do and how I live is my own choice and that I cannot depend upon anyone else, including the government to help me.

I decided to reassess my day today and found that I am really very excited about the fact that Kirk had a really great performance last night with his comedy and that he and the other performers really made me laugh a lot which was good for the soul.  Our family and friends turned out for the performance and it was so much fun to see each other and go out together for breakfast after the show.  I am also very excited that the first of my reconstruction surgeries has been set for October 28th and I am really looking forward to it.  And I am very happy about how much work I got done today on that blanket.

I guess my lesson for the day is that I am not promised tomorrow and that I need to appreciate all of the wonderful opportunities that I have today.  I also am so fortunate to be able to share laughter and love with my family and friends.  I do have many wonderful things that I am anticipating to happen in the immediate future and all and all, this has been a pretty special day.  And I still have another weekend day to enjoy tomorrow.  How fortunate I am for all that I have and for the opportunity to make a wonderful day for myself today!  And hopefully I will have the chance to do the same thing tomorrow and for many more days to come.

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