Mass on T12.

It was Valentines Day. I was celebrating with my significant other. We just pulled into the Inn we were staying at. It was 3:33. We checked in and got up to our room and I started feeling really really depressed all of the sudden. I started to cry and it lasted for about an hour. I took a bath and started feeling a little better. We decided to go have dinner. Got into the car. Checked my cell. Got this message from my mom "Hi honey, your dad's been admitted to the hospital. When you call me back I will tell you about it." I hung up the phone and said "I know why I was crying". My mom's message was left at 3:48.

I drove to my home that night because it wasn't fun anymore to be spending Valentine's Day away from home and I drove to my parents house the next day. I wanted to be there for my mom. I thought of how sad it would be to come home to an empty house when your husband is at the hospital. Every night I built a fire and waited for her to get home so she could talk about and process her long days.

My father went into the hospital because he was having pain radiating down his back to his legs that got worse each day. Turns out he has several lesions along his spine, along with a "mass" on T12. He started radiation for the mass the next day. A few days later his Oncologist called and said "I have good news! It's lymphoma" my mom hung up and said "if that's good news, what the hell is the bad news?" Apparently it's good news because it's treatable because it's so aggressive it responds well to treatment. Who knew. Lymphoma. The same cancer as the character Dexter (Michael C Hall) has and his is now in remission.

My dad starts chemotherapy Monday. Today he had another EKG, more blood drawn and bone marrow taken.

my father is on the right

I am just sleepy and cranky enough to be agitated by several people's responses, or lack of a response once I told them about my dad. So, I decided to compile a list of things you should do (or not do) when a friend tells you someone they love just found out they have cancer.

1. Don't ignore them because you are uncomfortable. It's okay to say, that sucks or I don't know what to say.

2. Respond to their text messages or phone calls. Hello.

3. Go out of your way to send a random text or call the friend to see how they are feeling or coping. It's just a nice thing to do.

4. Put yourself in their shoes. This is a good once since half the time we are so far up our own asses we can't see anything else but darkness in our own little bubble.

5. Ask them what they need. Obvious.

6. Do not let your friend be alone. Unless they want to be. Even then it's probably not a good idea to leave them alone for to long. This one especially holds true if you are the friends significant other.

7. Put yourself in their shoes. Did I say that already? Why yes, yes I did and I will mention it again because it's important. Think about what you would need or want and try to see what your friend's particular needs are. Everyone is different.

8. Listen. And I mean really listen. Maybe that should say listen and take heed.

9. Be attentive. If your friend has to drive home (3 hours away from her family) because she has a test and paper due for a Saturday class, ask if they want some company. Especially if they are going home to an empty house. This one especially holds true if you are the persons significant other as well.

10. Be encouraging. It shouldn't take a lot of time out of your day to say something nice. Here are some examples: Hang in there. This too shall pass. It will be okay. I'll be here if you need me. I am thinking of you. I am praying for you.

everything will be okay in the end. if it's not okay, it's not the end.



What it's like for a highly-sensitive person...

Americans are (in)sensitive to sensitive people.  Which of the following statements have you said before: suck it up, be a man, put on your big girl panties, stop whining, don't be emo, just get over itman up, grow up, get a life, stop being so sensitive.

In a harsh world it's difficult for sensitive people to no only gain any sympathy, but really have our feelings taken into consideration or valued.  More often than not we are just supposed to "suck it up" and move on with our lives.

I am going to list some examples of how my sensitivity personally affects me and perhaps readers can learn the many hidden facets of high sensitivity.  Maybe you will learn something about yourself or understand your sensitive child or friend a little more.  Remember there is a physiological basis for high sensitivity.  

1.  I have to get at least 8 hours of sleep or physically I am miserable. (Which is why I had to end up quitting my night shift job after month.  Ugh.  What a nightmare).  

2.  It has to be completely dark or I have a very difficult time falling asleep. There also cannot be any noise and trust me, I can hear EVERYthing.  I have class from 8-5 every other Saturday now and I have to start going to bed early on Wed. and getting up earlier so I can adjust by the time Saturday comes.  I have vomited before from lack of sleep.

3.  If something emotional happens I notice it takes longer for it to wear off than others.  Real or fake.  Seeing a highly emotional movie has the same effect so I usually try to avoid them.  Also means the effects of seeing a scary movie stay with me long after everyone else is asleep.  Same thing for sad events and occurrences that happen in the world.

4.  I have a VERY DIFFICULT time not sleeping in my own bed.  Heck, I even have a hard time sleeping in my own bed if conditions aren't "just" right.

5.  I am HIGHLY sensitive to hot or cold.  Especially hot.  I overheat easily so I have to schedule my life around that. I always make sure I have Tylenol with me in case the heat can't be avoided.  

6.  Medication affects me way more than the average person.  My dentist even decreased the amount of Novocain he gave me compared to his other patients.  I am allergic to everything.  If I take a Beynadryl I am jittery and up for hours.  That's one pill.  I can take Nyquil and sleep for 12 hours.  On a positive note, I don't have to take much of anything for it to work.  The downside, normal doses are given to me and I can't take it because when I tell medical people I am sensitive they think I am being whiny and don't pay attention.

7.  Food.  I have to eat something every two hours.  If not, headache.  Tylenol doesn't usually help with a "not eating" headache and it usually last a really long time.  I also have to watch what I eat because I experience high's and low's that really suck.  And no, I am not diabetic.  

8.  Noise.  Hate it.  I like to have one noise source and if there is more than one I can get highly aroused.  And not in a good way.  

9.  Caffeine.  What an ugly monster to a sensitive person.  Magnify the effects it has on a normal person.  Add a little more anxiety, a little more nervousness and a little more anger.  Fun times for all!

10. Hormones.  Where to begin with this one...horrible, painful periods and moods to go with.  Thank God for flaxseed!!

Maybe you can relate to some of these things because you have seen them in yourself.  Maybe you've noticed them in your child or mate.  If so you may want to research it a bit and instead of trying to change us, give us a break. 

It's usually the overbearing Type A, non-sensitive parent that doesn't like the fact their child is sensitive and considers him or her wimpy or whiny.  I am here to tell you that trying to change it will not work.  Children who are highly sensitive are usually extremely sensitive to the energies of other people and even places and many times sensitive children are misdiagnosed with having ADHD.  We are highly sensitive to noise as well and can become overstimulated from noise or want to run away and hide.  This poses another problem because people that aren't extroverted are often looked at as strange, weird and are outcasted from their peers.  

Many times the stress of having to remain "tough" is internalized which in turn creates many physical symptoms for children and adults.  Stomach pain, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and unexplained illness can be signs of a body under duress and highly sensitive people are more prone to experience these symptoms if they haven't yet found or been allowed an outlet.  At worst, suicide. 

Be aware. Be compassionate.  Be encouraging.  Be kind.


Psychics. Huh. Good God Ya'll. What are they good for? Absolutely nothing.

have had good experiences with psychics, or sensitives, all of my life.  They always seemed to know just what to say and how to say it gently as to not piss me off.  I've been to Cassadaga spiritual community several times http://www.cassadaga.org/ and have usually had an uplifting experience...even if I did have to shell out $100 for an hour reading each time.  It also took me a couple days after leaving to catch up on my sleep after I left.  The place always drained me.

About 3 years ago I travelled to Cassadaga and decided to get a reading.  I had a good connection with a certain business and finally decided on a reader.  Here are most of the things she told me:

1.  You have a lot of angels surrounding you.  More than anyone I have ever seen.
2.  The person you are in a relationship with is draining you of your energy.  You should get out.
3.  You are going to do something big.
4.  You will work with children.
5.  You will write a book.  It will be a best seller.  I will see you on Oprah some day.  It's that big.
6.  You need to get healthier.
7.  No really, you are very unhealthy.  You need to change your lifestyle. 

Sounds pretty good right?  I will graduate in the next few months and I recently decided to contact that same psychic again for a little "direction advice" and here is what she told me this time:

1.  In a past life you were part of a secret society.  You were very high up and were a spiritual leader.  
2.  It's very difficult to give someone advice who already sees the big picture.
3.  You need patience.
4.  Things are happening for you exactly as they should and you are on the right path.
5.  The person you are with is good for you now but there is someone else out there.
6.  You are extremely intense.  You should laugh at things more often.
7.  You are fighting against your own process.
8.  You are an Indigo adult. 
9.  Get rid of clutter.

After this phone session ($60.00 later) I was aggravated.  Did I really need to pay someone to tell me I need better discernment skills?  I need patience?  Hell, I get that for free from friends and family and as often as I like.  Things are happening just as they should?  Yes.  I know.  I see the big picture.  Yes.  That's always been my problem.  I am an Indigo.  Yes.  I know that as well.  Get rid of clutter?  That could apply to most of us couldn't it?  And as far as your advice on my love life you can keep that one to yourself.  I mean really, there may be someone else out there for me but I want the one I have.  Deeply.

Anyway the point is, everything she told me (even from 3 years ago) I already knew.  Know.  I don't need validation.  I don't want confirmation.  I mean, give me something interesting but quit reading my mind. I can do that by myself.  

So, henceforth I vow to activate my own inner guidance and listen to what it has to say.  I don't need to rely on anyone else to tell me what I already know.  


Depressed Much?

Loss of Hope    
Sound familiar?  

Depression is a sensitive subject.  Feeling depressed, or worse, having a professional tell you you are depressed can result in a more helpless role.  One can be consumed by this force outside of themselves, an omni-present doom and gloom now has control of your life.  Winston Churchill called his depression his "black dog". 

(anti) Anti-depressants

Do you know how "anti-depressants" were discovered?  In the 1950's when doctor's noticed TB patients had substantial periods of elevated moods when taking the drug imipramine.  It continues to be a mystery as to how anti-depressants really work which is why an individual can go through several different ones before finding one that really works.  Sometimes the wrong medication can have the opposite effect and make a person feel even worse.  Not to mention all of the terrible side effects like making a person feel like they need a crutch and cannot make it on their own.

Interesting stats

First reported depressive episode is highest in females ages 20 and 29 and for men the similar risk is ages 40-49

Married women ages 25 to 45 have a higher rate of depression than unmarried women in this age bracket.

Those born between 1966-1975 are shown to have a greater chance of experiencing depression than those born 1936-1965.  

Could this be due to the rise of technology?


Stop trying to fight it.  Why not go with it?  See what it's trying to tell you.  Imagining how horrible it is every day keeps you dwelling on it and keeps it in the forefront of your mind.  Why not let it go and listen?  

Become action oriented.  Create a plan to tackle your mood and do your best to follow through with it.  Some ideas for  some goals are meeting with a therapist, starting an exercise regime or dragging yourself outside to sit in the sun for 20 minutes.  

Stop ruminating.  When we ruminate, we prolong our depression by constantly reminding ourselves we are depressed and wondering why we are depressed and why we can't fix it which, subsequently, makes us more depressed.

Realize you really aren't special.  When I worked with addicts it amazed me how many of them thought their situation was unique.  It may be unique to you, but others have experienced similar things.  No story you can tell can be as strikingly different than another persons.  We have all experienced loss, divorce, abuse, anxiety, stress and breakups in some form or another.  We are way more connected than we choose to believe.  The point is, others have been there done that.  Get out of your bubble.

Meditation and mindfulness.  Try it.  Health experts don't constantly shove it down our throats for no reason.  Breathing well lowers blood pressure and heart rate.  Staying in the present is something AA forerunners new was helpful and AA was basically founded on the phrase "Day by day".  If you imagine yourself having a depressed mood the rest of the week, month, or year you are going to become more depressed.  Take it day by day.

Add a but.   Here's what not to keep saying:  I am depressed.  This sucks.  I don't want to get out of bed.  I only want to sleep.  I am always going to feel this way.  Why not wake up and say something like "I may feel sad today BUT I am still going to get something accomplished.  Why not wake up and say something like "I have felt sad lately BUT I feel happier today". 

Talk.  Talk to friends about what's going on.  Talk to  a counselor.  Talk to someone you trust.  Chances are they've been in the same place. 

Give your depression a name. Remind yourself it's "_______" that's come to visit.  This will help you separate yourself from depression.  It's situational.  It isn't your entire life.

Oh, and one more thing...

Your'e depression can be caused by where you live.  Yes, where you live.  Most people know seasons can affect mood but have you really thought about it?  It has to do with light.  This can be especially significant for you if you are an HSP or highly sensitive person.  If you can't get outside because it's freezing, create an alternate light source for yourself while indoors.  Turn on the lights!  I make it a point to expose myself to as much light as possible during the winter months.  And yes my friends, it can even happen in sunny Florida.  Do you know how often it rains here in the winter months?  I encourage you to take a stroll down city-data lane where there you will find annual precipitation charts for any city you can think of.  It also compares it to the U.S. average.

Compare your city with others and compare it to your general mood.  I bet you will find a correlation.
I did.


The 10 Musical Artists that Move Me

Yann Tiersen.  French composer. 

What I like about him:  the instruments he uses the most are the violin, piano and accordion.  His music is inspiring and passionate.

Favorite album:  L'Absente [2001]
Favorite song:  La Noyee

Shiguru Umbeyashi.  Japanese composer. 
Favorite Album:  In the Mood for Love Soundtrack.  Favorite Song:  Adagio.
What I like about him:  his music takes me to a place that doesn't exist on this plane and cannot be discovered through any means other than his music.  Listen:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXqAcmDtEXc

Favorite album: post [1995]
Favorite song:  hyper-ballad
Why I like her:  she is original.  her lyrics are poetic and insightful.  her music is like nothing else.

Thom Yorke.Radiohead.
Favorite album: Kid A [2000]
Favorite song:  Everything In it's Right Place
What I like about him: He's just fucking amazing.  Probably my favorite artist.  Ever.

The Album Leaf.
Favorite album:  In A Safe Place. [2004]
Favorite song:  Another Day.
What I like about them:  Electronic. Ambient. Mellow.

Favorite album:  Youth [2006]
Favorite song:  I Will Be Light
What I like about him:  Humanitarian.  Compassionate.  Spreads a message of love.

Lykke Li
Favorite album:  Youth Novels [2008]
Favorite song: Melodies And Desires

What I like about her:  her voice is amazing.  etherial. unique.

Clarence Greenwood. [Citizen Cope]. 
Favorite album:  The Clarence Greenwood Recordings [2004]
Favorite song:  Hurricane Waters
What I like about him:  1.  He's hot  2.  His voice is sexy  3.  His songs make me feel good

Shara Worden.  My Brightest Diamond.
Favorite Album:  Bring Me the Workhorse [2006]
Favorite Song:  The Robin's Jar
What I like about her:  Again-original unique sounds

And last but not least...
Justin Timberlake
Favorite album:  FutureSex/LoveSounds [2006]
Favorite song:  Hallelujah
What I like about him:  The kid's got soul and it flows in his music. Plus, he can dance.  Seriously.     
listen:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuNP_hvWkE4