LISTEN

It’s amazing how sometimes we are able to hear everything. It’s a Thursday afternoon and I am sitting on the porch at one of the grandmother’s homes and I can hear everything. I can hear all the leaves on all the trees. I can hear all the insects, even the ones burrowed in the dirt. My children are playing on the sidewalk with bubbles. They are laughing and talking. They are enjoying each other without any cares in the world. 

They are oblivious to the fact that all across the world people are in constant fear and turmoil. They are unaware that men that look like them are being murdered by those who took an oath to serve and protect. They don’t know that they too, will later be prejudged by the color of their skin and not the content of their character. It’s really saddenning.

Moments after, I am faced with the thought that things could always be worse. My kids still have me and I still have them. And for this moment, I am going to enjoy it. Nothing else in the world matters at this moment. I am here, I am healthy and I am going to listen.

Behind the Scenes Blogging Tag

This blog was more of an exercise for me. Thanks to https://emilyr0se.com/author/emilyxr0se/ for posting this idea.
I’ve been hitting a brick wall here lately when it comes to my blogs. I have things that I want to say but somehow, it’s not coming out. 

Where do you blog?
I generally blog everywhere. Most of the time I use my Word Press App on my phone. Sometimes I use my laptop. The laptop makes it much easier to edit.

Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts?
The inspirations for my blog posts come from everyday life. Sometimes it comes from reading a quote or real life events.

How long does it take you to write a blog?
This is a tricky question. It really depends on the passion behind the topic. I have a few blogs that I have started, some as far back as a few weeks. Sometimes I will get inspired to write about a certain topic but it may end up being just a blurb. I do plan to finish them though.

Do you plan your blog posts?
Not at all. I have a couple that I know  will probably have more than one blog post about the topic, so I create a series but they are not planned. They are more like a continuation of thoughts.

Do you use a notebook to track your ideas?
Occasionally. A notebook or the notepad app on my phone.

What’s your favorite type of blog to write?
I don’t really have a favorite type. I just enjoy writing.

Who knows about your blog?
I created a facebook page just for my blog so some of my friends and family.

What are some of your biggest blogging pet peeves?
I don’t really have any blogging pet peeves. I think writing is really personal, so there’s really no right or wrong way to do it.

I left out a couple of questions in reference to my camera and editing. This was a great idea to get the juices flowing. If you are a fellow blogger, I would definitely recommend this as a way to get yourself in writing mode.

Behind the Scenes Blogging Tag

This blog was more of an exercise for me. Thanks to https://emilyr0se.com/author/emilyxr0se/ for posting this idea.
I’ve been hitting a brick wall here lately when it comes to my blogs. I have things that I want to say but somehow, it’s not coming out. 

Where do you blog?

I generally blog everywhere. Most of the time I use my Word Press App on my phone. Sometimes I use my laptop. The laptop makes it much easier to edit.

Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts?
The inspirations for my blog posts come from everyday life. Sometimes it comes from reading a quote or real life events.

How long does it take you to write a blog?
This is a tricky question. It really depends on the passion behind the topic. I have a few blogs that I have started, some as far back as a few weeks. Sometimes I will get inspired to write about a certain topic but it may end up being just a blurb. I do plan to finish them though.

Do you plan your blog posts?
Not at all. I have a couple that I know  will probably have more than one blog post about the topic, so I have a series but they are not planned. They are more like a continuation of thoughts.

Do you use a notebook to track your ideas?
Occasionally. A notebook or the notepad app on my phone.

What’s your favorite type of blog to write?
I don’t really have a favorite type. I jist enjoy writing.

Who knows about your blog?
I created a facebook page just for my blog so some of my friends and family.

What are some of your biggest blogging pet peeves?
I don’t really have any blogging pet peeves. I think writing is really personal, so there’s really no right or wrong way to do it.

I left out a couple of questions in reference to my camera and editing. This was a great idea to get the juices flowing. If you are a fellow blogger, I would definitely recommend this as a way to get yourself in writing mode.

Backwards Fundamentals-1

I guess that you are wondering why I entitled this piece “Backwards Fundamentals.” Word Press so cleverly created a course for “first-time” bloggers or newbies. It’s pretty cool actually, especially if you need a little help or a little direction when getting started. The problem is, I started writing before I knew that this great tool existed, so I am going to go back and try some of their suggestions. This will help get me into the practice of writing more frequently and to increase the diversity of content on the site. If you decide to go through the “Learning the Fundamentals” course by WordPress, I have personally numbered them to correspond with the order of the days.
So, and I just realized that I grossly overuse this word as a transition. I must work on that. But anyway, the beginning of anything usually requires an introduction. I hate the idea of forced introductions. I guess that’s why I am just now getting to this blog. We all know how they play out: the first person gives their name, other information that is usually not relevant to anything and then people that follow tend to say the same thing, nothing more, and nothing less.

Who am I and why am I here?

On the surface, I am just a woman with stories to tell. I am here to share those stories. I am here to help someone, to let them know that they are not alone. I am here because I love to write. I have always wanted to become a published author and blogging will help me to get more focused. I am here to document. My writings are my photographs. This blog is not content specific in the sense that it will be all about one topic. There will be many things that I will write that I will have and things that I love.
I look forward to reading your responses and interacting with you while on this part of my journey in this thing called Life.

Sisireia

I Can’t “Make” this Up…Pun Intended

Here I am yet again writing an emotion filled blog but this helps me to get everything out. Yesterday, I had the privilege of visiting with my sister friend Wycilia.  She lives about four hours from me and we haven’t seen each other in two years.  She was visiting a city an hour away and she had never met my youngest daughter. I gathered up my girls and we went to see her and do what many women like to do: eat and shop!!
Now, I’ve never been one to wear makeup on an everyday basis and when I would wear it, it was usually muted or natural/neutral tones. I was a firm believer that makeup should enhance your beauty but not make you look like a totally different person.
When I was diagnosed with cancer and learned that I would have to go through chemotherapy, I knew that I would be losing my hair. At the time, I wore my natural hair and I was very proud of my thick, curly mane. I hated that my hair would fall out but my attitude was that I valued my life more than my hair.  I had never worn a wig before and I didn’t know how I would feel about being completely bald.  I knew right then that I would probably want to wear makeup with my wig.
While going through my chemotherapy treatments, I learned of a program sponsored by the American Cancer Society called “Look Good, Feel Better.”  You see, before going to this class, I had never been taught how to properly apply makeup. I had previously learned by watching others. I felt good about my gloss mascara and shadow.  I could match my foundation with no problem but I knew nothing about blending, highlighting or the correct use for concealer.  In this program, women that are battling cancer are taught how to do small things that would enhance their beauty.  Some of the tips were ways to wear a scarf so that you could cover medi-port, tying a scarf around your balding head and then lastly, applying makeup.  Sometimes when going through therapy, because of all the side effects, your face may look pale or flushed and the person leading the class provided step by step details on applying your make-up. People expect that you when you tell them you have Cancer that you may lose your hair, but what they don’t realize it that this could also mean losing all your hair, including eyelashes and eyebrows which is exactly what happened to me.
I was so excited to go to this class for two reasons; one being that I would receive over $200.00 in free make-up and two because I would finally learn some tricks in applying my makeup correctly.   So, I went to the class and I loved it.  There were only about 3 other women in the class, all who had been recently diagnosed with cancer so we had no idea how our appearances would change. I had just recently started losing my hair but at the time of the class, I still had my eyebrows and lashes. The purpose of the class was to help build the confidence of the attendees even though we were going through a life changing illness.
After attending this class, I became a little more confident in my makeup skills.  It became a renewed interest for me.  I began watching make-up tutorials online, following celebrity and other big name makeup artists on social networks and also reading reviews about different products.  I begin investing in some of the products I had read about and watched others use on You-Tube.  I was so happy when I bought my first set of brushes.
I begin practicing different techniques and getting better and better; and although I am not a certified makeup artist, nor do I aspire to be, I enjoy wearing my makeup from time to time. I like the way that it looks and I love the way that it makes me feel. Some people have misconceptions about women that wear makeup. Just because I wear makeup, it doesn’t mean that I don’t like myself or the features that God gave me. In fact, when I wear makeup, I love them even more.
So back to shopping with my friend—I picked up some lip colors that I wouldn’t have normally worn before all of this practice and all of the videos. I decided to step outside of my comfort zone since I was getting better with my application, blending and whatnot. So I was sitting at home and decided to play.  It started with just testing the lipstick.  I put it on and I loved it, so then I decided to put on a full face.  I was so proud of the way that it came out that I decided to try on my wig.  And then I did it.  I took some photos. Several photos and a wig change with more photos later, I had posted some images to my social media accounts. I loved the look so much that I decided to update my profile picture. I received many likes, compliments but along with that, there were also some subliminal “hate” posts.
The worst thing about it was that it came from other women.  So I am back at this question again, why are women so envious of each other? Why is it so hard for women to celebrate other women?  This has never been an issue for me.   If I see another woman and she is dressed nice or I like something that she is wearing, I’m going to tell her. I never understood this. It seems that everything in life has just become the great competition.  It is sad that we live in a society where people can’t celebrate each other earnestly without trying to be better.  There’s a quote that is floating around social media that says, “The only person that you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.”  And I think this is true.
If you are someone who doesn’t wear makeup, that’s great.  Don’t put down people that choose to wear make up. There are many reasons why people may wear makeup but probably the most basic is because, we like it!!

Rant Over.

make up

Finish Line

Today is the eve of my last Chemotherapy treatment and I couldn’t be more excited! As I sit back, I am reminded of so many things as I made it through this part of my journey. I will never forget the day that I  actually discovered my own lump (early detection is key!). Honestly, I wasn’t purposefully doing a self-exam, it was just discovered while showering. The same night, I remember crying hysterically because somehow I just knew it was breast cancer. I am notorious for experiencing symptoms, googling and then self-diagnosis. Unfortunately for me, this time, I was right. The next 10 days went by so fast and the next thing I know, I was headed to outpatient surgery for placement of  a medi-port. On the day of my diagnosis,  a decision was made that a positive attitude would only be accepted. I only allowed myself a few minutes to cry about it on that day. That doesnt mean that I didnt have my moments during the process but I didn’t want any pity parties and I wanted to be vocal about it. I decided to trust God and God’s word for a complete and miraculous healing and the only way for people to witness it would be if I talked about it and I showed them. Being transparent also held me accountable for my own  faith as well. I wasn’t sure of what to expect from the treatments. The doctor had prepared me for many side effects, most of which I was very blessed not to experience.  My first 4 rounds of treatment were the most aggressive. This mix of medicines included the infamous “red devil.” The side effects alone were enough to make me want to run and hide but it was only by the grace of God that I experienced minimal discomfort. Sixteen total rounds of Chemotherapy and I’m done. One thing that I’ve learned on this journey is to celebrate along the way. And this weekend, I’m going to celebrate. It’s no coincidence that my last Chemotherapy session is happening the same weekend as National Cancer Survivor’s Day.   This weekend will be one full of celebration and fun and I’m so grateful!

image

In the event of my demise…Part 1

D-e-a-t-h. When combined, they are the five most powerful letters in the world. There is nothing that can save you from it. What is ironic is  that death is accepted as a fact of “life.” It is what compelled me to write today.

Today, death has claimed the life of someone that I didn’t know. I’m sure you’re saying, that happens everyday, all the time; but this time, it is different. This someone was my sister. My Pink sister. Even though I never met her, we were  the same. Both plagued with this fear that “today” would somehow come sooner for us than it would have under normal circumstances.  Our worst fear came true for her today; A 37- year old mother of two beautiful little girls died today.  Two little girls that will have to experience life without their mother. And no one will be able to tell them why.

Years ago, I used to be so obsessed with just the thought of death. I wasted time, a lot of time thinking about what things would be like after I died. My fascination was the very moment of death. I wanted to know how it felt. Would I know that I was dying, is it going to be  painful? What happens after I die, am I going to be reincarnated and come back to live another life?  So many questions but no answers. To be continued…