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Trüpost 002

Learning to Celebrate your EVERYTHING in 2019

Trüly Making A Difference

“Live your life emulating the faith you have in God. Have no fears and pray about everything.”

Being diagnosis with cancer is not really consider a “pop the champagne moment,” yet what choice do you really have? Walking out of the oncologist office, announcing I would not be participating in this event really was not an option. Even though the news was devastating, giving up never crossed my mind. 

And we all know why, it’s life, a life that we don’t want to give up on. It is the EVERYTHING’s that make us want more, not less of this life. For some of us, it is our spouse, our children, our grandchildren, our siblings, our parents, our friends or even our livelihood, that motivate us to beat the disease that threatens to lessen our time with our EVERYTHING. Cancer had hampered my ability to live life, but when I embraced the fight, I stopped being angry and started to be determined. I created an acronym to center my energy on, which helped me to stay on track:

 

F.O.C.U.S.
This word was fueled by the people in my life, my EVERYTHINGs!
F – Fun
The last word that you would associate cancer with, but it is also the thing cancer tends to take. I would not allow cancer to destroy my fun. My husband is in charge of our fun adventures as he has always held the family award for best sense of humor.

O – Opportunity

To lessen my anger, I had to look at the cancer as an opportunity to learn, to test my strength, to explore my faith, and to learn about grace. My daughter is the keeper of this letter. She reminds me of how things happen as part of God’s plan and often that with each setback comes a bright new discovery. She stays positive and always looks for the learning behind all that we encounter.

C – Current

With any chronic disease, staying in the moment is difficult as often you worry about the next test, the intensity of pain, the limitations, or the next debilitating symptom. I knew that worrying was not going to fix my problem and anxiety would only hinder my progress. My grandchildren are the best medicine for me to stay present. They don’t understand the word cancer, and they only want to play now! They have taught me to sit on the floor and cling to all the sights and sounds that surround me. When the three of them enter my house, time slows down and nothing but crayons, puzzles, tractors, rattles, and snuggles are important. 

U – Unclutter

For some people, distractions are the way they cope, however for me, eliminating things and people in my life that were harmful was helpful for me to gain strength to fight this cancer. I gave myself permission to create boundaries with people, to say no to projects and to inventory relationships in my life. Positive things and positive people were made a priority. My mother often arrived on my doorstep crying. Her daughter had cancer and she was overwhelmed. I understood, but her need for reassurance took too much energy. After a long talk, she is now my gatekeeper often helping me assess if the event or the person is worth my time.

S – Signs

I have been blessed to receive numerous signs from God that he was very much in my life, and that we are headed in the right direction. Every time I am at a crossroads with my treatment of this cancer, I receive a sign from God that I use to help me make a decision. My son is constantly saying to me “it is a sign” and he loves to connect the dots of my journey especially when I question my treatment. 

I often say that it is those that love us that really have the toughest job. They sit in the waiting room filled with worry, they watch us in pain, they shave our hair, they hold the bucket when we are nausea. They feel helpless. They are the ones we love, and they love us. So in the spirit of love for 2019, I give you a love story, one that led to the creation of Trüronia.

~ TrüBeliever Story ~

Meet James. He and Deb have been married for 26 years. In 2010, Deb and James headed to UNMC in Omaha, Nebraska to have a scope to determine if Deb was suffering from a bleeding ulcer. At home, in Hastings, Nebraska were their three young boys. The youngest was in kindergarten and the oldest in junior high. Their world was about to change.

“I walked into the room to see Deb and the Doctor sitting very quietly. I knew something was wrong. Deb turns to me and says, “I always thought I would be here for my boys.” Then the doctor told us she had a growth on her pancreas. It was devastating and the only glimmer of hope was that it could be a neuroendocrine tumor, what ever that was?” – James.

The couple did more testing with the conclusion being “the lessor of two evils when it comes to pancreatic cancer.” After regrouping at home surrounded by family and friends, Deb returned for major surgery. 

“You go through life thinking that you have control of you destiny, until you find yourself in this situation. I remember hearing the doctors tell me what could go wrong and they could make Deb a new stomach if they have to remove hers, and how they would remove the tumors in the liver, spleen, and the pancreas. This is the point that you realize that all the problems you have in your life are not problems. Now we both had a new perspective on what was important. I sat in the waiting room with family and friends wondering if my life would ever be the same. I now empathize with others that have to go through life with challenging situations.” – James

The doctors removed 10 percent of Deb’s stomach. Her husband would watch her lay in bed for 8 days with no food and only a sponge with water on it to wet her mouth. During this time, they focused on their boys and skyped to see and talk to them.

“We were so happy to be home, and to be with the boys.” – James

James threw himself into learning about neuroendocrine tumors to better understand what his wife was facing and even watched three years of neuroendocrine conferences to learn about the prognosis and treatments. Together they traveled to MD Anderson, Vanderbilt, and Iowa City. In Iowa City, they met the doctor, who is currently still treating Deb. It turned out that one of the world’s leading doctors on this cancer was an old farm boy who made them feel completely at ease. James would spend evenings on the ACOR (Association of Cancer Online Resources) website that had patients and Doctors discussing the disease. He explored ways patients were dealing with side effects, in the hopes of helping his wife.

James then learned about a neighbor who was growing aronia berries. As he researched, he discovered that aronia berries were about three times the orac value of raspberries. Aronia was the king of antioxidants, polyphenols and anthocyanins. As he moved forward, he was determined to make a difference for his wife, the love of his life, the mother of his boys, but to also help others. James was a farmer now on a mission and knew he could impact others. He reached out to other organic farmers and Trüronia was born. 

James and Deb continue to fight this cancer but more importantly, Deb is watching her boys grow everyday at home in Hastings.

May 2019 challenge you to find a life filled with purpose and EVERYTHING beautiful.

Until next week, start researching at Truronia.com, and keep me posted!

**Gina Baker has been battling Stage 3 ovarian cancer since 2014. She is a farm wife, mother, grandmother, and a mental health therapist. She is a blogger for Trüronia and can be reached at TruPost@Truronia.com.