Archive for September, 2010

I’m a survivor!

Will you stand up to cancer with me?

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September 23, 2010 at 8:37 pm 3 comments

sometimes professors do have it coming

A United States Marine was taking some college courses between assignments.

He had completed 20 missions in Iraq and Afghanistan .

One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist, and a member of the ACLU.

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in.

He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated,

“GOD, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform…

I’ll give you exactly 15 min.”

The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop.

Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed,

“Here I am GOD, I’m still waiting.”

It got down to the last couple of minutes

when the Marine got out of his chair, went up to the professor,

and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform.

The professor was out cold.

The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently.

The other students were shocked and stunned,

and sat there looking on in silence.

The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken,

looked at the Marine and asked,

“What in the world is the matter with you? Why did you do that?”

The Marine calmly replied,

“GOD was too busy today protecting America’s soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid stuff and act like an idiot. So He sent me.”

September 18, 2010 at 3:53 pm 4 comments

The best of times, the worst of times?

I am sure one could look at 2010 and remark that it was an awful year and ask me if I will be glad when it’s over.  I am sure on the outside this could be true. Let’s recap a bit shall we?

I started this year with a diagnosis of lymphoma. It was real, confirmed and treatment plans were being solidified. Cancer does not run in my family as far as anyone knows. And if fact, T-Cell lymphoma is not genetically linked nor is it a lifestyle issue (smoking, etc.). No one can prevent or predict this cancer. It just happens. This is not unlike other types of cancer. I lost my hair, seemed to be always tired, had a sour belly (got tired of trying to spell nauseous, which still gives me fits even today when I type it), and had to deal with a host of other challenges I never knew existed (at least not in my prior life).

But what did I learn? Why is having and living with cancer not the worst thing in the world? Because I am still here. I can still enjoy life’s moments – no matter how great they are or how shitty they are. I am still here and that is all that matters. Sure, I wouldn’t have wanted this if asked. Heck, no one wants the challenges that life brings. But they happen and guess what, we have to figure out how to live and manage through them. So, I learned.  And here I am, nine months later, still living and learning.

About the middle of the year, the IRS decided that my teeny-tiny coaching company needed to be audited.  No matter that last year, I made less than $15,000.  They wanted it all back in their greedy little hands. I have gone round and round with them, showing receipts, invoices, etc. I am not winning the fight.  Quite frankly, if you are the little guy like me, you are screwed.  The penalties and interest while I appeal and show more documentation, produce more evidence of every line item, is killing only me.  It isn’t worth it.  But I am still fighting on those items that I refuse to give up on.  There are some items that having missed one little record keeping piece (out of say 10), means I have to give in to the IRS and the tax code.   I am a freak about filing, organization and whatnot, but I was not good enough. Lesson learned.   I have had to dissolve my company. I am now a statistic  – 80% of new businesses fail within the first 5 years (I made it past my 3rd anniversary).  I guess it’s good to be known for something!!

So, what has come out of this, anything positive?  I tried and it felt good. I started my own company. I did a lot of things right. I am proud to have done this and taken a huge risk. There were many rewards along the way and I would do it all over again (except for filing as a LLC).  You cannot get anywhere in life without making some mistakes along the way.  The mistakes sometimes don’t matter. It’s what you take away from them that matters.  This will always be seen as an accomplishment to me and I am proud to have done it. And it will not stop me from trying again.

I recently got into a car accident in my less than 3 month old car.  It was a huge bummer.  Thankfully, no one was hurt as it happened at a red light.  I was quite devastated. All I could think about at first was how my baby blue was now crumpled.  Of course, after a while, you realize it’s just metal. A thing.  Of course fixing that thing will cost money. I hate spending money on stuff like this.  So after money out-of-pocket to meet my deductible for the surgery, chemo and radiation treatments, the IRS taking part of their share, and then this, I feel like a financial failure this year. But money is not life and money is not happiness.

I admit wishing I would wake up from the dream and none of these things happened. But I know they did and I move on.  I don’t dwell on these things like I used to; obsessing and obsessing.  It brings me no peace to dwell. It actually makes things worse and I find myself getting more depressed or anxious about life.   So, I guess if you looked at the first 9 months of this year, you could say it wasn’t a good one.  But I wouldn’t agree.

One thing that I wouldn’t trade about this year is family and friends.  I learned of love and friendship this year that I hadn’t before.  My dad was there every step of the way.  My mom sent cards that I keep and still look at. My sister emailed me and made me feel like I was sitting right next to her talking.   And the friends that kept me in their hearts and their prayers are ones that I can’t repay. But I also know that we have a bond greater than I ever realized or failed to recognize.  I love all of you and you know who you are.  A few special shoot-out’s, just because I want to (and I can). Don sent me cards that made me laugh, made me smile, and made me feel loved from afar even though we talked practically daily. Julie sent cards that made me howl with laughter.  Cathy sent cards that warmed my heart.  Nat sent text messages, IM’s, emails, cards – she never once let me forget she was here, even though she was there. This was on top of Laura coordinating a food drive! The calls, visits, and other things – I couldn’t have ever predicted.  It didn’t matter if a friend lived 5 minutes away, or 5 hours away. Geography was no barrier to love! I have said this many times over the years but this year really embodied it – it all starts with love. And to me, love is the greatest gift ever.

I can sit on my deck and stare at the beauty of the world and just live in the moment. No more thinking of to do lists or what is next.  There is no next. There is now.

I believe that Omaha has the best sunsets in the world.  I have decided to take a picture every night to prove it.  Then I will publish a book of photos. I published this blog from its first day to the end of last year.  I will soon publish a book about my cancer adventure.  I haven’t written a book yet (that I would let anyone read) but I keep getting closer.

My cats brought me endless comfort and laughter when I was sometimes bed bound. Never underestimate the love of a pet.

I had the best job in the world as I was able to still work full-time but also have treatments.  I know how lucky that is, believe me.

I stopped worrying so much.  Just about everything is temporary. If you gain weight, you can lose it. If you get a bad haircut, it will grow back. Do things on your timetable – don’t worry about the person next you.

Most of all, I keep laughing.  I can find humor in many things and as long as I can, I will.

This year may not seem like it has been the best so far, but when it all begins with love, there is no bad day, or bad year.

September 12, 2010 at 12:56 pm 3 comments

Oddities, or more random thoughts

Just some more general, random, oddball thoughts that have come to mind over the past few weeks.

  • Calvin and Hobbes will always be my favorite comic. Ever. For all time.
  • I wish there was a way to transmit what I was thinking (not all the time!) to paper.  I do my best thinking in those moments when you are just getting comfy in bed to go to sleep or on the couch to take a nap.  My mind wanders and I have such great ideas.  I don’t know what happens in that time where I lean over to scratch the thoughts down on paper that I lose the trail of connections of that great idea.  Therefore, I need a way to transmit those ideas to paper without moving.  Sounds easy enough!
  • I love coffee ice cream. I even like the smell of coffee. But I do not like coffee.
  • I do not like the smell of baking bread – especially in the morning. If you want to wake me up in one of the worst ways possible, bake some bread in the morning!
  • I don’t know why people say gift cards aren’t special or are thoughtless gifts.  I disagree.  You can never go wrong with a gift card for Target or Amazon. Oh wait, that is just me!
  • I love snow. I love winter. I could easily live where this was the weather 9 months of the year, then a short break for a spring/fall-like time then back to winter.
  • I don’t cook. I don’t like to cook.
    • My parents came to visit last year for my birthday and my mom was going to make lasagna for dinner. I didn’t have a single spice she needed. Actually, other than salt and pepper, I didn’t have any spices.  It has been 10 months since that dinner and I have not once used any of those spices.
    • Did you know that there is more than one way to boil an egg? There seems to be some question of putting the egg in first prior to boiling, adding after the water boils, etc. How do I know this? Because I have had to google this.
    • If you know I don’t cook, that I don’t even like it, why do people share recipes with me?  I get the “oh Anissa, it’s easy, you just ….” and then they go on forever.  If it was just that easy, my eyes wouldn’t have glazed over.  Oh wait, that would happen anyway!  Recipes mean nothing to me – it’s like listening to people speak in German
    • If wish I had a person who would cook for me. Nothing else. I would clean up after them; they wouldn’t even need to clean a spoon. I would do it all, just to be fed healthy, fresh food.
  • Speaking of food, I hate grocery shopping. Worst dreaded chore ever.  Simply the worst.
  • Naps are good. Anytime.
  • I don’t mind cleaning at all.  The best time for cleaning? When I am procrastinating for school and need to write a paper.  Cleanest my place will look!  I especially like vacuuming – seeing those vacuum lines is great.
  • I can’t work with a messy desk. I will actually have to tidy up so that I can work
  • Spring cleaning? I do that about 3 times a year.
  • I like simple. What is wrong with that?
  • From the minute I get up to walking out the door is 30 minutes for me.   I don’t understand the intricacies of makeup – that is not a “process” for me.  I can do all of what is needed in about 2 minutes.  And hair, well when I have it, other than blow drying and a little gel, again, done.  Maybe I am just lucky.
  • Here are 2 of the easiest things you can get for me if you ever need an idea
    • Baskin Robbins mint chocolate chip ice cream.  No, not Breyer’s, or Edy’s, or Haagen Dazs.  Just Baskin Robbins.  We can get a cone, walk around and wala, happiness
    • A cookie bouquet by Cookies by Design.  Not from any other place. It’s a cookie on a stick. A sugar cookie.  Not interested in box or tin of cookies.  Just the cookie on a stick – you can buy one or a bouquet.
    • Why are either of these those hard?  I have had people bring me Godiva ice cream.  Nope, sorry, lovely gesture. Truly. But you missed the mark.  Cookies from Cheryl’s cookies.  No, sorry, she does have some nice tasting cookies, but oops, not quite there.
  • I don’t really like flowers so instead of flowers see bullet above.
  • I hate when people interrupt me.  Not during those times when jokes are flying or times like that. But when you are telling a story or something more involved. Why are your stories that much  more important than mine that you must interrupt?  Arrghh
  • I really wish people would be on time.  The occasion miss is totally fine but constant tardiness, really irks me.  And the reasons – oh vey.  Just say your sorry and move on with it.  Your reasons are so ludicrous.
  • I have no idea why, but Mew likes to lick my hair, especially around my bangs.
  • I love office supplies.  If I could own an office supply store, I would.  But really, just look in my office and my closet – I already have most everything anyway!
  • Menley likes to sleep forehead to forehead with me.
  • I watch way too much tv.  One could say the DVR was an awesome invention (it was) but it is also my nemesis!
  • Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. Yes, more than Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think it brings out the kid in all of us.
  • I love 80’s music.  Oh sure, I love Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, Rush, Audioslave, Cage the Elephant, Goo Goo Dolls, Lifehouse, Dave Matthews Band, and a ton of others. But my first love, even now, is 80’s music, especially Alternative 80’s music.
  • I love movies. I have seen some random movies that many haven’t heard of (Opposite of Sex with Christina Ricci – hilarious!!) and haven’t seen some that others gasp when I tell them.  Nope to Casablanca, Blazing Saddles, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, Gone with the Wind.  If I have seen the Godfather, I doubt it was in one sitting because I don’t recall much.
  • I am a reader. The majority of what I read is non-fiction these days, compared to 15 years ago when it seemed like all I did was read fiction.
    • My favorite author is Jonathan Kellerman. His books have the unique blend of psychology, mystery and drama. I have read everything he has written and anxiously await his newest every time I devour the latest.  Other than him and reading most of James Patterson, there aren’t too many other fiction writers I follow like a religion.
    • I read about 3 to 5 books at a time. Depending on mood, I have different book tastes. There is one that is usually related to leadership, positive psychology, education or other similar topics.
  • Hmmm, maybe this is it for now

September 6, 2010 at 6:32 pm Leave a comment

What has America become?

My mom shared this with me and now I share with you!

An editorial from a newspaper in Michigan.

September 4, 2010 at 9:34 am Leave a comment


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