“Hope you are well …”

February 2, 2009 at 7:59 pm | Posted in blogging, country life, country living, faith, family, gifts, health, Holidays, knitting, Life, love, marriage, photography, relationships, romance, snow, Valentine's Day | 21 Comments
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leafThe title of this post comes from the tag end of a comment left by coffeespaz on the last blog I posted. I just read her comment, just before I set about writing today’s post and decided to open with her close … “Hope you are well, and Happy New Year!”

Today I am well: better yet, I know I am well. Now I want you to know that I am well. I have received quite a few emails over the past couple of months inquiring as to my health because I have not posted many times lately. It is very appreciated, the concern and the friendship.

So, here is the truth and after I tell the truth I will explain an important reason for telling the truth in this public manner.

newyear09_pumpFor the past few months there have been certain phoenomena going on with my body, and I have been two see a few different doctors to see if someone could get a handle on what it was. Of course, the details are not important, details are far too personal. Three weeks ago my primary doctor decided to have a few tests done to rule out a type of cancer: oh yikes, that word. It is a problem, isn’t it.

It is an uncomfortable word to say outloud if it seems it might be any where near you or someone you love. When my doctor first mentioned the possibility he didn’t use the word outright, he used some other word that allowed me to pretend I didn’t entirely understand what he was saying he wanted to have tested and ruled out.

When I told the people closest to me about the tests, I also used the substitute word as if by not saying the real word outloud I could somehow keep it a safe distance away from me and from all of us.

The following day I went for a CAT-scan, and then I waited 24 hours or so to call my doctor’s office and find out that yes indeed, he wanted me to go on to a specialist for another kind of test.

To be very honest, I was very upset by the subject being entered into. My oldest brother died just a few years ago at my age from a type of cancer. He was my age at that time, and it was this time of year when he got the news. A two or three months later he was gone. Those facts were very difficult to keep out of my mind, no matter how positive I was or how strong my faith is. Life is life, and sometimes life sucks and I realized that it could be possible that after all of this recent happiness perhaps my life was going to suck after all. I apologize for being crude, but I that is how I felt about it all.

newyear09_barnWhen I sat down to write my blog and I was stumped. I didn’t know what to say, because my blog is all about positive inspiration, reinforcing dreams, encouraging people to find magic in their lives, and so on. What did I have to say along those lines, what could I do to inspire others when I wasn’t feeling quite right about my own life.

It occurred to me that I could write an honest blog about what was going on with me, but I was torn as to whether or not it was the right thing to do. In the end, I realized I had a responsibility to write about this experience because that is what I do in my blog. I open up about my experiences in life and how I deal with them.

I feel a responsibility to do so at this point because I have received many comments and emails from people who have been touched and inspired by my communication over the past couple of years. I know I have a positive way of dealing with problems and situations that come up in life. By sharing my experiences and how I face them — good or bad — I might touch the life of one person on one particular day when they needed courage and encouragement the most. If each one of my posts touches just one person in that way, somewhere along the line, then I know I am making a difference in a troubled world.

So, I write.

newyear09_wreakageI sat down that day and wrote what I felt was an honest, somewhat raw, high quality post about what I was facing and how I intended to deal with it. Mostly I wanted to deal with it by saying it outloud to someone, removing and releasing fear in the doing.

As I wrote that blog my mind shifted from being worried and somewhat afraid to being strong and actually looking forward to the possibility of an opportunity to face something difficult and finding a way to beat it.

What I wrote about in that blog was what I would do if I was told I had cancer, of how I would create my life and my life’s works bigger, brighter, more colorful, bolder, with more energy. If I was told I had somekind of cancer I would work even hard on creating my life and making it as joyous as I could.

By the time I finished that blog I felt much better and knew that no matter what the doctor’s came up with that was going on inside of my body that I would ultimately be a point of “cause” in my own life in determining my own attitude about whatever news, details, or events would come. I would not allow any kind of illness or medical situation determine my level of happiness, the strength of my sense of faith, or the vigor with which I dream of the future I am interested in experiencing.

I clicked “Save Draft” in my wordpress.com blog dashboard, and waited while the draft was saved. Then I went back to the draft to read through it, and it was gone. Completely and utterly erased as if I had never written a word of it. Gone, kaput, vanished.

Soon my husband came home and I told him about my well crafted blog post I had just written that vanished out of thin air. I told him that perhaps it disappeared because, perhaps I wasn’t supposed to tell that story afterall. Then he said something so simple and so clear, “Maybe it was important for you to write it.”

I knew he was right. I told him I wanted us to say the “C” word outloud to each other, that I wanted us to confront the fact together that I was being examined to see if a cancer was in my body. I feel strongly that if there is something I fear, I need to walk toward it and confront it rather than shirking away. For me, if I can face something scary I have a shot at being bigger and badder than whatever that thing is. If I was going to have cancer, I wanted cancer to think of me as if I was Shaft.

I asked my husband to share in that attitude with me and that together we would face whatever the truth was, maintain strong faith, and win any battles we needed to win together as a team.

He is a very fine and good man and husband. Of course, he was on board with me.

It was liberating to turn the “C” word (with a capital “C”) into the “c” word … lower case.

So, today I went to the hospital and a specialist performed a procedure and then he told me, with my husband there with me, that indeed everything was actually fine. There was a simple, benign explanation for the odd phenomon that ultimately led me down this path. He pronounced me well.

We smiled and here I am.

valentinebunnyBut I will tell you this, even if the news had been different I assure you I would have followed through on my big bold plans and the Shaft attitude. And you know about Shaft, he’s a bad mother … I guess I better shut my mouth … but you can dig it.

By the way, while this has all been going on I have been taking it a bit easy. That has allowed me some time to play around with needle felting, and also to continue on with knitting baby items. You can see my most recent needle felted critters and knitting projects at The Knitting Blog.

Meanwhile, I hope you are well and that you are starting off a great week with a fine day.

Best wishes,


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  1. I’m glad you are well.
    I agree until we confront our fear, the unknown is overwhelming and can make us feel powerlessness.
    Sending a hug and wish you happiness and joy.

  2. Now you know what an influence your attitude has on others. We visit and keep check on our internet friends. We can sense when something is wrong, troubling, or just out of the ordinary so we react by calling, commenting, and even writing to help, give our support, or just alert our friend that we care. I’m happy for you that your news was good.

  3. Hurrah for the good news. Thank you for backtracking and sharing some of your personal news. Sometimes no matter HOW much support we have we still feel vulnerable and shy and hesitant and scared about sharing ourselves. Sometimes it’s also hard to imagine that there are other prople out there (and here) that are sharing similar although not exactly the same issues and crisises and can be strengthened by your posts.
    I have missed your posts.
    Thanks for sharing

  4. Firefly,

    I am glad that you were given good news. Your post was very inspiring as we are all facing “something” in our lives. It may not be something as scary as cancer but whatever it is, it is the scariest thing in that persons life at that moment and it is hard to face. Let’s all think good thoughts for one another.


  5. Thank you for sharing, but please know that we have cheered you on if bad news and supported you all the way. You have become such an important part of our lives through your stories, we would return the favor by supporting you during this time and helping Shaft take on this problem. Thank goodness all is well and like Julie says “let’s all think good thoughts for one another.”

  6. Hi Firefly,
    I’m so pleased to hear you are ok. I, like others have missed your posts. Here’s to continued health and happiness to you. God bless.

  7. I’m very glad that you are well. The “c” word is horrible in any form, it never deserves a capital letter, and won’t get it in my life.

    DH has thyroid cancer that we have been battling for a year and nine months. Hopefully we are nearing the end of the second round of treatment and it will be gone.

    It has been a very frustrating road full of disappointment and trying to be brave. I have learned that I can be brave and strong, but I have to first allow myself to feel the anger, disappointment and frustration. Then I can go on with what needs to be done.

    I appreciate your posts and in site on life. Keep up the good work and good health. Wishing you another good year.

  8. Thank you once again for your transparency! You owe us nothing yet you open your home, life and yourself for all to see. I know I am not the only one who appreciates you and your thoughts on life, living and love. You give each reader the connectivity of being part of someone else’ life who we don’t really know but in your printed words, we come to see a glimmer of someone we would love to know better. Thank you for the adventures with Blu, the beauty of your landscape, the crafts of your handiwork and most of all for the beauty of your soul that you so freely share. And I am most thankful that all is well with you!!

  9. firefly,
    i am so grateful that you received a good health report from your dr. we all worry about health issues and when we hear of someone eluding the worst we celebrate for you! take good care of yourself!

  10. Hello Firefly,

    Yes, I had been wondering why you haven’t blogged much lately. Thank God you are OK. But even if it had been cancer, I know that you would have still been able to find beauty in the world around you even as you struggled with your illness. God bless you and your family.

  11. What a beautiful piece…..especially knowing you are well!
    You do find beauty in even the most dire situation and write about it eloquently and with inspiration. Thank you for that gift!

  12. Firefly, It is so amazing that even when we think we are at the darkest points in our lives that we are given the strength to overcome them. I know you and your family must be very relieved to hear that there is no cancer. And as your blog family we too are relieved. Something to rejoice about! I know that your blogs are something that I look forward to reading and I am glad that you lift us up, I only hope that we do the same for you. It looks like another wonderful day! Ann

  13. I am so glad you are well! Thank you so much for sharing your story. My mother had cancer, and I often have that fear in the back of my mind. Your words are encouraging and inspiring. thank you.

  14. Firefly, So glad to hear you are doing well, I have missed your postings. I too faced cancer and am a 12 year survivor. It gave me a different prospective on alot of things. Good thoughts and prayers to you and thanks for sharing.

  15. I thank God that you are well, dear Firefly! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I hope you have a very joyful Valentine’s celebration with your hubby. I just love your needle-felted bunnies.

  16. I’m so glad you can breathe easy now. How scary it must have been for you. I can only imagine. Thank goodness! xxoo

    Now you can concentrate on that new baby girl due soon!

    We are having a very cold & wintry winter here in NJ. Lots of frigid temperatures and snow. I haven’t seen the ground since Christmas! It is just not melting and we keep adding three inch snowfalls on top of the old. Not complaining tho! 😉

  17. I’ve been following your blog for a few months, ever since I bought the lavender hat pattern and discovered you live practically around the corner – but today’s post moved me to comment. I’m so glad to hear that you ARE well and wish you many years of continued good health and happiness on your beautiful farm. Blog on! BTW – love the needle felted Valentine bunny!

  18. OOOPs! I put this comment on the previous post. Anyway here it is again in the correct place.

    I think I can speed read blogs now, I was reading this and was trying to get to the part that said that you didn’t have cancer, well that is what I was hoping I was going to read. I will have to go back now and re-read it at my normal reading pace so I can take it all in. I am so happy that you are well. And it is really nice to be able to read both your blogs. Take care.

  19. Thank you for sharing! I’m so glad to hear that you are well and healthy. These things are so scary and as life progresses each one becomes more gripping than the last! Your positive attitude is a lesson to all of us.

    I chuckled when I read your nickname for your new granddaughter. I too will have a new grandbaby in April and they have really and truly given her the middle name of Sweet Pea. I thought it was odd until I read it in print in your blog post. Now I am at peace with it and growing to love it.

  20. Hello firefly!

    It has been a while since my last comment here, and I tell you I have truly missed visiting! :o) Another beautiful post indeed. I do not believe I have to tell you just how much I enjoy your writing, and so happy to hear you are well. You are indeed a true inspiration to so many. Thank you so much my friend!



  21. thank you for giving me a piece of your inner self. Your courage is something that makes me feel empowered. I lost my Mother in law a year ago from c. She fought it for over 20 years. I didn’t understand how anyone could do that for that long. Now I think I have a clue.
    God Bless you, firefly.
    I will keep this piece of your courage in my heart and hold it dear to me.

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