Tuesday, April 26

Quote of the Day:  “To win takes a complete commitment of mind and body.  When you can’t make that commitment, they don’t call you a champion anymore.”    Rocky Marciano

Exercise Log:  Walked w/ Kathy E., Patti, Sue O. and Sue B.   We went 4.10 miles (-3.36)  I went another 3.18 on stairmaster later today.  It was snowy- and even a slight bit of hail but I will take it because it’s the outdoors!  Where is spring?  The deer are going crazy eating all the bushes and plants in my backyard.  Their coats look quite mangy too. They need less snowfall too!

Thank you Kathy E. for the awesome turtle-fur hats.  I am wearing one right now and it is super-comfortable and super-cute.  I still have hair.  I keep thinking it should be gone but it is just a short layer on the top of most of my head.  It would be more comfortable if it were smooth like a baby’s bottom!

My sister, Lynne, said two things that I loved hearing today.  She had heard someone ask “When do you become a survivor of cancer”?  And the answer is “As soon as you are diagnosed”.  I love that.  When I signed up for Race for the Cure, I wondered if I should put myself as a survivor.  First I checked participant and that didn’t feel right and then I went back and put “Survivor”.  The second thing that Lynne said was that I keep referring to myself as having cancer and she pointed out that as soon as you have the cancer removed, you may be cancer free.  That feels positive and good for my soul!

I wanted to write about my students and their parents who traveled to Costa Rica for a humanitarian mission last week.  I kept thinking about them while they were gone, wondering what they were doing, all while knowing they were making incredible memories and have life-changing experiences.  The brought me back a beautiful Costa Rican necklace, a bookmark from the people of Monte Verde, orange and cinnamon soap (perhaps made by the people in the cooperative) and the most incredibly beautiful, natural paper book with notes from my students and their parents to me!  The had such a great time with the expedition leader, Gina, and parent, Cindy, who stepped right in to make it a wonderful experience.  This book means the world to me and I didn’t even care that I couldn’t be there as long as they had such amazing experiences!

Here are a few things that the students and parents said:  “It was a very memorable experience that I will never forget.”  “I found out that true happiness cannot be found through expensive cell phones and cars, but by giving service to others and being surrounded by family and friends”. “Living down there for a week… has taught me that I absolutely cannot take anything for granted and that I must make the most of everything that I am so greatly blessed with.”  “This trip taught me that working hard for another person/ group of people can be so rewarding if you have the right attitude about it.”   “This trip has also made me realize things about myself that I would never have known.”  “We’ll all have wonderful memories of the people, the place and the experience…  “It was beautiful to watch the high schoolers in action.  They worked so hard and never complained.”  “The trip was perfect.  The work at the St. Luis elementary was extraordinarily meaningful.  The bonding of our kids with those from Costa Rica has been life changing for all of them.  Our appreciation for other cultures, languages, and people will be the long term reward.”  And finally, many Pura Vidas!

Pura Vida- a Costa Rican term

Pura vida literally means Pura = pure and vida = life, but “Pure life” in Spanish would be “Vida pura” instead, so the real meaning is closer to “plenty of life”, “full of life”, “this is living!”, “going great”, “real living”, or “cool!”Costa Ricans use the phrase to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, resilience in overcoming difficulties with good spirits, enjoying life slowly, and celebrating good fortune of magnitudes small and large alike.

This book means everything to me.  I am so touched by it.  It is a treasure.  Thanks to the Costa Rican group for your kindness!

Pictures of group coming!


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One Response to Tuesday, April 26

  1. Shelley Ebersole April 26, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    Joanie: Here I am again, “stalking” your blog. I love what you wrote about Lynne…I refer to those things that she says as “Lynnisms” if that makes any sense! When she came to visit me a year ago last February, she too told me that I kept saying that I had cancer & reminded me that I didn’t really know that, that they had removed my cancer…again, it is always about your mindset, and Lynne always seems to get me back to the right place. Also loved what she said about being a survivor…you are! And yes, you are a strong woman.

    Next week I will be back in Salt Lake with my sweet mom Doris, who is 92 and still lives in her home in Holladay….a week later I get to see my sweet Lynne…can’t wait to give her a big hug.

    Just got back from having my monthly port flush, and again, every time that I go to where I’ve had my treatments, I’m reminded of how very fortunate that I am. Also, all of the oncology nurses are so very wonderful….great to see them as well. It reminds me that I need to bake something and take it in for all the patients having treatments…they always provided nice things like that for us.

    Take care & rest when you need to.


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