Archive | April 2012

Lesson #38 Finding Peace In The Electronic Jungle!


As I sit here composing this post, I am surrounded by a telephone, a cellphone, speakers, keyboards, printers, an iPod, and more.  If I go to the bedroom, I have a radio/cd player, television, DVR, and an alarm clock.  Now as I make my way mentally to the living room I will find a big old television, 5 speakers, a gaming system, clock, dvd player, DVR, cd player, a tuner, and more.  I meander to the kitchen and see the coffee maker, telephone, refrigerator, dishwasher, huge mixer (baking is very cool)…and even more stuff.

When I was growing up I don’t remember freaking out because I couldn’t walk through our house talking on the phone.  It was an ugly green, monster of a thing that hung on the wall and it had a cord that was forever long.  I was 4 when we got our first television and it was a black and white, mediumish (I made that a new adjective) thing…and I remember watching Leave It To Beaver, Batman, Soap Operas ( I loved Dark Shadows) when I didn’t have school or if I was sick, and Saturday was all about American Bandstand with Dick Clark and I would dance around pretending I was on the show.  We had 3 channels and I did not die when I would have to actually move to the television and turn the knob to a different channel.  On laundry day, in the summer, it was my job to carry the wicker basket full of wet wash outside to hang it up with wooden clothespins.  Wow..I just remembered how that tasted, because sometimes I would have to put one in my mouth to make my way down the clothesline as I was hanging up a sheet.  Then there were the crazy clothes props that would slip off and the laundry would be touching the ground until I ran back outside to prop it up again.

My brother and I didn’t have a gaming system on the black and white television…we played Monopoly, Parcheesi, Sorry, or cards for days, or we would play outside all day long…everything from Kick the Can, Badmiton, Tag, and at night playing Ghost in the Graveyard  with our neighbor friends was awesome.  We also didn’t have cellphones.  When it was time for us to come home we would hear our parents calling us or my dad would ring this big dinner bell that he attached to a wooden post.  Our parents knew where we were and we knew to come home when we were called.  In the winter, our dad would take us to the park so we could ice skate and freeze our rear ends off while having a really amazing time.  We made snow angels, had snowball wars, snow forts, or we would stay in our rooms and read or I had a small AM transistor radio and I would enjoy listening to that.

Now, it seems like we are on this scary journey of being lost in an electronic jungle.  I watch the kids in my neighborhood playing outside and they are forever stopping so they can text whoever they are texting and these are truly very young children.  Really?  Seriously?  They just can’t play?  Then I get in a car and the thing talks to you.  What? What??  I used to love going to the gas station because they would always have a rack that held maps and they were free.  I had a ton of those things because I liked knowing the names of the cities in our states.  It was fun and often funny, because some of the names were hysterical. For example there is a Boring, Oregon…Intercourse, Pennsylvania…Accident, Maryland…Embarrass, Minnesota…Knockemstiff, Ohio….and I will stop now because I am laughing so hard it hurts…they are funny names and funnier still…I still remember them from the maps.

So it’s 2012.  We have talking cars, talking coffee makers, talking washing machines, cellphones that you could probably marry and be very happy with.  I am not against technology, electricity is good; but when is enough enough?  As cool as some electronic things are, much of the rest seem to have made us lazy and less creative.  We spend a fortune on things that will entertain us because we haven’t connected with our neighbors or stayed close to our families, and instead of hanging out in our backyards together or sharing a home cooked meal one night a week, we go to a movie that’s in 3D and we have to wear those funky glasses and after it’s all said and done we’ve spent about $100.00 for 2 people to be entertained and nothing to show for it.

If you want some real peace, I want to encourage you to do what I am going to do when I finish this…I am going to look at the electronic extras I have and give them away or sell them and if I had real courage I would recycle them and not feel guilty about it.  Get to know your neighbors, have some family members over to play cards or something.  Just go fishing and chill.  Please back away from the electronic jungle before you lose yourself!

Sarah-Pink Welch ©2012

Facebook:  Sarah-Pink’s Promise

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The Cancer!


Here is my body’s cancer journey…….

In 1963 I was 8 years old.  It was Christmas Eve morning and my mother was giving me a bath.  She felt 3 small lumps, where my left breast would develop later.  I was born a sickly child, so she quickly called our family doctor and told him I needed to be seen right then and there.  This was 1963, so doctors were a lot different than most are now.  He told my mother to meet him at his office in a few minutes.  We arrived, doc checked me out, looked at my mother and said, “Jane, these are just breast buds and there’s nothing to worry about.”  We went home and had a nice Christmas holiday.

I need to digress a bit so that you will get a clearer picture of things.  My paternal grandma was a Messianic Jew who lived in Germany with her sisters, brothers and parents.  For those of you who may not know what a Messianic Jew is, it simply means that my Grandma and her entire family were Jewish but believed strongly in Jesus.  Hitler was doing what Hitler did at the time, and eventually his group rounded up my Grandma’s entire family and they ended up as prisoners in Auschwitz…a concentration camp in Poland.  My grandma’s parents and her brothers were killed almost immediately, which left my Grandma and her two sisters..my Great Aunts’ Louise and Clara.  While being held there, they endured horrid things, the worst being experiments by Dr. Josef Mengele also known as “The Angel of Death.”  Eventually, the found freedom and ended up on Ellis Island.

As I was growing up I can’t remember a year that passed when someone on my grandma’s side of the family died of cancer.  Every single year it was a cousin, an child of a cousin, eventually my grandma, my dad’s sister, my great aunts….gone.  All from some weird, never seen before cancer.  Today, April 13th, 2012, the only people left are my brother, his daughter, myself, my three sons, and their children.  My eldest son, develops tumors often and thank God, once they are removed I breathe easier….until another shows up.

In 1984, I was working and I began to feel unusually tired, and I was thin to begin with but I began loosing weight and did not have much of an appetite.  I went to the doctor….the same one I had when I was 8, and he sent me to the hospital for a mammogram.  Well, they found multiple masses in both breasts.  I was 29…and I’m thinking..are they crazy or what.  On May 3rd, 1984 I received my diagnosis of Stage 4 breast cancer.  I had 3 sons, and my husband heard cancer, packed his things and left.  From May through mid October I went through radiation and chemo.  And 21 years and 1 day to the date of “having breast buds”, I had no boobettes at all.

All should have been much better right?  Wrong.  I recovered from the surgery, went through more treatment, and got a divorce and was still feeling not so wonderful.  There is a big difference between chemo sick and something’s not right in Denmark sick.  So, my husband had taken me off his insurance when he left…and I wasn’t aware of that.  I ended up being placed in a clinical trial because I had a rare form of cancer seen only in people who had any association with the good old Angel of Death!  Thank you God that my husband cancelled my insurance.  Had he not, I would not be here now.

I have made my final arrangements at least 16 times, tied up my loose ends often, had the hard talk with my boys, then with their wives, then with my grandchildren.  My cancer is insane.  Nothing is there one minute and the next week I have a new mass.  So far I have had the double radical mastectomy, part of my colon removed, my left kidney removed, it has invaded my throat, my ears, my lower jaw had to be removed and replaced, I have had tumors attached to the inside of my skull, 2 knee replacements, and currently I have a tumor in my heart.  It is shrinking, but I sure wish it would just vanish because this chemo has never been used on a human before.  I am the experimental rat your parents warned you about.  :o) I have to make it funny or I would go to my bed and just let go.  But, I love life.  Life is so amazingly beautiful to me it takes my breath away.  This cancer, as ugly as it is, has taught me how to live out loud, it has taught me kindness, compassion, the power of prayer and so much more.  I know what is really important and special in life and I am blessed.

When I had my first surgery, December 26th, 1984 I required blood transfusions.  In 1984 there was no way to screen blood for HIV.  A decade plus later I receive a letter from the blood bank stating that one of my blood donors had died due to complications of AIDS and they urged me to see my doctor immediately.  Well….yes I was HIV+ and now I am full blown AIDS.  I am making it.  I keep smiling even if I am faking it.  I lost my hair so many times I actually love being bald…but when I have hair it is PINK.  I have one pair of regular blue jeans that were my daddies, but if you open my closet you will feel like you just walked right into a bottle of Pepto Bismol.  I still have the old yellow star that my grandma was made to wear so that everyone new she was Jewish.  I take it with me to treatment.  I have never asked God, “why me.”  Why not me?  Better me than someone else, and because of all the experimental drugs all these years, people are using them and getting well.  So I don’t mind at all.

This is the story of my body’s cancer.  I am 57 now and I have no intention of leaving for awhile.  I will plant my pink flowers in the yard, drive my little Volkswagen Beetle when I can, and I am going to keep on smiling.

Sarah-Pink Welch ©2012

Facebook: Sarah-Pink’s Promise

UPDATE:  As of February 5th, 2013 I was removed from chemotherapy and put into a new study….all though the cancer is still here, it is quiet and I am participating in a French/Canadian study that is showing great promise.

UPDATE:  A full year has almost come and gone.  I still have the cancer but it seems to be taking a nap.  I am doing as well as I can and I feel wonderful.

Lesson #37 You Mean I Can Really Start This Life Thing Over?


Yes you can!!!!!  Things change and that includes your life.  You can take control of your life, redesign it, and watch yourself move forward and grow.  You just need to want to do it.  Redesigning your life is perfect for people who feel like they are in a rut, need or want to start a new job, or maybe you are ready for a relationship.  You don’t even have to have a special reason, only the want to.

The first thing to do is rid your home of all the things you no longer want or need.  You can donate them, have a magical yard sale or repurpose them.  While you are going through the clutter and the clothes you haven’t worn for 12 years, take some time to sit down and make a list of what you would like your life to look like.  Be as specific as possible…God is very accommodating. For example: you write down that you want to learn how to dance.  Now you may have country line dancing in your mind, but you will probably land in ballroom dancing or vice versa. So write down specifics…God has a great sense of humor.  Let’s say you deal with anger issues so you list that you would like to be rid of this challenge.  You will need a plan and of course prayer and people to support you in this.  As part of your plan you could list “find someone to talk to about this,” that is where a Life Coach can be very useful.  As a Life Coach I would suggest that you start keeping a journal of the times when you get angry.  Ask yourself what caused that reaction in you, how it made you feel, and how you handled it.  Then you touch base with your life coach and really look at the root cause of the anger.  A life coach my suggest that you check out yoga as a way to learn to relax and be still…it really does help folks who deal with anger.  Or they might suggest you take up boxing.  Seriously.  It works.

The excess stuff is now leaving your life, you are making a list and then choosing something you feel you want to work on, achieve, accomplish.  You have hired a life coach and you work together once a week.

Guess what, you have put a huge dent into Starting Over.  You can do it.  You can change careers, your attitude, your size, your relationship status, your love for painting or playing the piano.

I encourage you to spend some quality time alone and see if there are things you would like to have differently in your life or things you want to accomplish.  Go for it…..it is amazing.

Sarah© 2012

hopeslifecoaching.com

Lesson #36 To Forgive or Not To Forgive……is this really a question?


When I think about forgiveness, the first thing that comes to mind is FREEDOM.  What a wonderful, awesome thing freedom is.  When I have forgiven people who have hurt me or my family in some way, I feel like I can breathe so much more easily.  In my younger days, I simply refused to forgive people.  I was torn between two attitudes…revenge and martyrdom.  Well, I could have done the revenge thing very well but martyr I am not.  Then again the planning and thinking of  how to get revenge was also a major hassle.  It would just sit in my head and heart and wear me out and I would keep hitting replay on the old tape of the “hurt” and that felt very uncomfortable.

So, whether I liked it or not, I re-learned how to forgive.  Sometimes it was just not safe for me to call or see the person or people I needed to forgive, so I would write a letter.  I would write out all the gory details and how whatever they had done or said, had impacted my life or the lives’ of my family.  I would never mail those letters.  They would sit a bit in my Bible and then I would take the letter, go outside and burn them.  I would watch as burning paper floated in the air on clouds of smoke and I always felt so much better.

Another thing I look at when it comes to forgiveness is that I have hurt people and I have gone back, when it is safe, and asked their forgiveness.  I think people are shocked when others ask for forgiveness, which is also odd, as that is how we need to be living in the first place.  When it’s all said and done, it is always better to forgive.

Forget.  Will I really forget what was said or what was done?  For the most part, God and time have amazing healing power…the more I understand the fact that the world does not revolve around me and it is absolutely no fun to live in drama and chaos and I don’t want the reputation of being “poor Sarah”, did you hear what was said or done to her…I laugh.

Learning to forgive is essential to so many aspects of your life.  Un-forgiveness can cause all kinds of health issues, it will totally mess up your spiritual journey, and I promise you…you will be stuck where you are in the muck and the mire until you have truly learned to forgive and put it into practice consistently.

Try it.  You will be a happier, healthier person for it.

Peace & Love

Sarah© 2012