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Smile... in the good and the bad

Episode CIX - Show me how big your brave is

Unexpected surprises and exciting things can happen!

Even in the midst of my crazy life, I had some very positive things going on. I was contacted by a person about my artwork. Seriously. Someone who reads my blog wanted to purchase some of my artwork for a cancer charity, Sparrow's Nest. I was honored... excited... I was down-right happy!!!!

A cancer agency that cooks and delivers
meals to the families of moms with cancer
learn about Sparrow's Nest, click here

It is amazing to think that through my blog and cancer experience, a woman found me and was willing to support me in an unexpected way. I have never tried to sell my artwork until recently and now my very first sell would be hanging with people taking care of other cancer fighters. I love it!

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I could be this lucky.

My artwork ready to be shipped...

With the artwork off to New York, I was off to the family doctor. It was time to check in and figure out how my new medication was working on my Fibromyalgia. While I had noticed some small positive affects, I was still living in chronic pain. I was still hopeful for more answers or solutions!

Smoke & Mirrors... Smile & Makeup....
off to the doctor

It is amazing to me that people tell me that I look good or that I do not look sick. Throughout my treatment people thought I looked good for having cancer. Now without my blaring bald head people often say they would never guess I had been ill. Recently, I was even asked if I lost my hair during treatment. If they only knew that I had and it grew back a different color... redder!!!

I hope people will use me as an example. Just because someone does not look sick does not mean they are not sick. There is a lot of judgment towards people appearing well, but having unseen illnesses. Even though I may look healthy, I am a walking time bomb. I am usually doing my normal routine in pain. I refuse to stop going. I am just smiling through it!

The funny thing is that even though I feel horrible, I am happy. I am a happy person. I believe in smiling. I believe in laughing. I believe in having a twinkle in my eye. So, despite my chronic pain, my constant aching body, and my post-cancer-war-torn body... I put on a smile and people notice.

I am choosing to handle pain with grace and strength and a smile. And on days I felt smiling was just too much I opted to stay away from people, other than my family. I still smiled. Even if I cursed (which I have done more profusely than a sailor), even if I cried (which I have done alone and with others), even if I wanted to quit (which I have questioned the idea of living), even in the best and worst moments... I smiled. I joked. I laughed.

Because I am alive. Even in the pain... I am here and I will fight... I will laugh. I will smile.

The fluctuation in weather was definitely causing multiple fibro flares to happen. And flares... well... they are bad. No one had ever discussed what a flare was with me, so I had no idea what one really was. I just knew there were times when I truly felt worse. It was like every part of my body... every symptom becomes more crippling.

Glimpse into what causes a flare, click here.

Basically, I am becoming friendless. The cold is not my friend. The rain is not my friend. The hot is not my friend. Can I just find some low 70 degree weather? Year-round? Without rain? Is that too much to ask?!?!

And since we are discussing fibro flares... stress, over-exertion, weather, lack of sleep, and a bunch of other things can cause a flare. Seriously, if I fart I could have a flare at this point! I live in a constant state of never knowing what to expect... well, other that I hurt!!!

Since I have unrealistic weather and life expectations I better just learn to manage the pain the best way I can. Other than hibernating under my heating blanket, I might need to put flashing hazard lights around me as a warning to keep a safe distance away.

In my head...

Life is full of good and bad. I am just choosing to cherish those good moments...

I was thrilled to have my first artwork purchased (other than a family member). It was hard for me to initially post my artwork online. I think artists tend to be horrible self-promoters, or at least I am. I can always find faults or corrections to any work I create. I live with that art is never finished feeling.

However, the Sparrow's Nest is an amazing organization supporting other cancer fighters. Hopefully those patients will find time to follow their passions and use that to aid in their healing. Find the good!!!

As for the bad, the chronic pain, it is just part of my existence at this point. I have spent almost two years dealing with some type of ailment. I am not sure I even expect it to change, but I am hopeful it will. You would think I could call myself a Master Jedi of Pain now earning a cool light saber and possessing skilled mind control (you will look at my art website and buy something)... it was worth a try...

Episode Reference: Brave, Sara Bareilles song


  1. Congrats on selling the artwork! What a great accomplishment! I love you orangeman swordfight pic...too bad it's already sold. If you ever do another, let me know!

  2. Congratulations on your sold artwork. Thank you so much for your article. It seemed to describe my life to a tee, including the cancer. I didn't need chemo though. I choose to smile everyday, even today with my major flare-up. If I mention my condition to someone, I get the same remark- "you don't look sick at all." You look great for someone with Fibro." "There is no way you could be sick and look so well." It goes on and on. I am just happy to find someone that deals with this in a similar way that I do.
    Keep smiling. Thank you


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