That’s life…

Lesson I learned the hard way when I was 7, everything can change in a second. Last Tuesday I was at a celebration of Downtown Dave Brown, and a week later I’m anxiously awaiting my disertion, I mean discharge, orders. I was just getting ready to head to the store on Wednesday, after saying farewell to Mattie, and my increasing stomach ache sent me to my knees. I quickly realized this went beyond an Urgent Care pain, and called in reinforcements to help me to the hospital.

The pain increased each moment until I was barely getting in a shallow, ragged, painful breath to stay alive. I was immediately given 2 pain shots when the first hardly made a dent, and sent for a CT Scan to look at the problem. Raising your arms above your head when you have severe abdominal pain is not for the weak! With a trickle of tears, (It was all I could do to stop them! Blowing my nose would’ve been a fresh hell i had no interest in trying.) the scan was completed. A Dr. U came in to explain about a blockage in my intestines. He was sure if it was the stomach tube or hysterectomy scar, but my intestine made a wrap around it and shut me down.

The first course of treatment was AWFUL! Drink this foul fluid and basically try to “blow” it out. Every few hours a machine came into the room to xray me. (How AWESOME was that new machine?) My guts were ripped apart and more hellacious pain ensued. 24 hours later, they gave up and went to more drastic measures, surgery. FIRST, however, you have to get the tube up your nose and down into your stomach. This is an extremely uncomfortable procedure for ANYONE, but having a still super sensitive throat from the radiation earlier this year, it was a feat I thought insurmountable after the fourth try, gallons of vomit and blood. However, after the 4th tube, the 3rd nurse who was called from a special department, more agony, a tube was FINALLY placed.

Now, in the midst of the first 48 hours, Dr. U passed my case to Dr. Petty. We did NOT make fast friends. While I was agonizing in pain I asked the nurse for more pain meds, and was told the Doc said no. Something about addiction, are you fucking kidding me? At the rate of my vomit and blood pressure there was little chance for THAT! Plus, I explained the previous mouth cancer and the reason my pain was so substantial, so when we came face to face, I was already FUMING! I told him I was ready to walk out, and he said no, we’ll be I surgery in 2 hours. You’re headed there now. I agreed to stay.

The surgery was a complete success, and he didn’t have to do 70% of the horrific things he described like cutting out my bowels. He said I should get better in a few days and could go home. While our relationship never developed into a “nice one,” mutual respect won out in the end and civility reigned. CLEARLY, he wasn’t used to a surgical patient ready to walk unless we came to a mutual agreement on the care I required. (Excuse the grammar)

Got the staples to prove it!

After 4 agonizing days of walking miles around the hospital, magnesium fluid, warm and cold packs, and every indication I would be in the hospital at Christmas, my body woke up at 12:20 am Christmas Eve morning. I knew that the Doctor would give me leniency and allow me to go home. I was right! If I could eat breakfast and something solid for lunch, keep both down, I could be home tonight! Breakfast is down, bags are packed and ready, lunch should be here in a half an hour, and a journey that began 144 hours ago SHOULD be over.

Just have to come back to take out the staples.

Perspective

I remember watching a true story, feature film with Reese Witherspoon in it. She plays a hiker who has just ventured out on her journey up the PCT, and suffers a major set back right out of the gate. I think it was her stove that didn’t cook the dinner or maybe her shoes that were giving her blisters, but the beginning of her journey was definitely perilous and filled it with pain and anguish.

In late February 2019 I began my journey with a new expedition with Amazon. I researched popular career choices for blind people all and my eyesight is still questionable so I wanted to have a job that would fit with my challenge. Fulfillment by Amazon companies came up more than once, and how this fantastic company was making strides with a new platform for blind sellers blah, blah, blah.

People who have been selling for years couldn’t believe what was happening to me.

I worked tirelessly and studied everything I could possibly find on the subject. If you’ve read any of my past blogs this may have come up from time to time. But I struck out on a journey to start my own FBA company. There wasn’t a thing that didn’t go wrong. Every single time I turned around I was getting screwed by Amazon. Since I started 9 months ago, Amazon has cost me over $10,000 in units that I purchased and they have lost. I wasn’t dishonest. I built the product, bought the product, sent it to them, and EVERYTHING fell apart from there!

At this rate Amazon now owes me WELL over $10000 in lost inventory, but I have decided to let it go and focus on the bigger picture. When I am making a $100 000 a year what will $10 000 actually mean to me. Right now all it does is cause me massive stress and undo scrutiny into my Amazon account. They suppressed 4 of my Products in the middle of Christmas season for absolutely no logical reason except I called asking where my products are.

I always thought the Chinese suppliers were going to be the problem, particularly in this political climate hahaha, boy was I wrong!!! Amazon would be my worst enemy. I must, sit down, shut up, and not focus on the little things that are going to or have gone wrong, but charge ahead on path I have set out on. AND learn Shopify!

Precious moments..

They often go unnoticed. I’m sure they get lost on me from time to time. This weekend a few didn’t. I lost AJ 3 years ago this week. I had a client cancel, and an emergency new client book me. After having my port taken out I was leery of which dog I would sit. Haley was a seven year old cow dog/bull mix with the sweetest heart and gentlest spirit, and she hung out with me for a few days.

Then today, a message from my regular client. Sitka, another grand cow dog, had passed.

His owner wept when I sent this to him..his beloved Sitka.

Sometimes when the world is throwing giant snowballs at our heads we choose to ignore it’s signs. I keep trying to ignore the blasts of cold. AJ was the best thing that ever happened to me. I bought her a house, moved to Idaho, changed everything I was, and never fought harder for anything in my life. I could’ve moved back to California or Nevada, but that would’ve meant giving up her or at the very least her huge yard and lovely home. If it had been just me, I would have left a few months after moving here. Because of her, I stayed for the first time in my life. I dealt with a million little things I would have never bothered with. I made and lost friends, still was unsettled unprofessionally, but tried many good professions, even found one I liked. I became a good freshwater fisherman and a hunter. I started this company, Andy’s Animals, in honor of her as a way of copeing with her loss and celebrating her life.

Though sometimes coincidences just happen, I try to pay attention. Seek out potential, read the signs, and be present! Not exactly sure why I was back in Belize at the precise time. Maybe I missed a great opportunity? My animals never stop reminding me of life’s fragility, perhaps I should go back to the shelter there? Just to check, you know.

The final curtain….

The last thing to do after you beat cancer is to take out the port. A port is a plastic mechanism with tubes that run directly into your veins. When you recieve regular treatment, like chemotherapy, it’s much easier to stick a needle in and prevents the patient from looking like a heroin addict. I loved mine, but now that I am cancer free the device is no longer needed. So CIAO!

See the bump on my chest..that’s the port.

The removal is a GREAT moment as it signifies the end of your battle. It’s better than ringing the bell, it means the doctors are convinced you are done! Even though I have months of physical therapy to still go through, and a lifetime of pain to deal with I am thrilled at this milestone!

All done!

Ok, says the nurse you are all done! Time to call my friend, Craig, and get a ride home. At least someone was here for me! Can’t thank him enough! Time to put this behind me, keep the lessons it has taught me so I can help others in the future!

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! I know I have a lot to be thankful for!

It’s a bust..really?

After 2 months of focused effort on my hunts, I came up empty handed. For the first time I went after males and shockingly, I didn’t get one. Why do they get the rack? Not fair. Several people have offered their condolences others have silently rejoiced. (Scavengers know who you are. I like to earn my meals.) Even Mom dropped me off at the airport at 6 am and apologized that I didn’t harvest. Dad on the way home last night…no apologizies! Completely unnecessary! Here’s the thing, as with fishing, there’s nothing to be sorry about! I sat for 10 hours one day just listening to sounds of squirrels, 5 hours of freezing cold, final moments watching turkeys cross the road. More countless hours thinking of what has and will become of me. Never saw a buck. Oh well.

Dad and I in 30 and 60 degrees.

I was able to spend time in Missouri with my Dad who I haven’t seen in a few years due to my health. Not a conversationalist, dear Dad and I rarely speak, not in a bad way though. Let me assure you, the regrets you have in life are those you don’t get to spend with your loved ones. I wonder if this boy grew up, had kids, and would’ve taken me fishing?

I was on a mission to see one more thing and catch one last fish in case my eyesight should fail. I’m glad I did it, but the real trips I took, the ones with lasting, heartfelt memories are the ones with my family, friends, and nature. Spending another birthday with Mom was especially poignant after my year of cancer, aneurism, necrosis, and neverending neuralgia.

6 years, in sickness and health, still feel like a little girl saying goodbye.

Unimaginable time with my brother, watching him catch his first fish on his boat he’s been too busy to see! NICE Robano, skipjack run, but no yellowfin tuna!

Time with dear friends, Brandi and Danny. New friends Joan and Kim in Belize. The point is not what we did, but that we were together.

I wonder all the time what would life had been like if my Father Andy was alive. The different paths I may have taken, and if I would be anything like the person I’ve become today? These flights of fancy are the driving force behind my need to fulfill every important, immediate desire. Life is short. After losing Andy at his ripe old age of 35, I treasure each moment. So, is spending time with family, friends, doing things like fishing, hunting, EVER a bust? Not to me!

Be with those who love you, if only for a moment!

I did get to fish a bit thanks to my FABULOUS friends!! I love you all!!! You know I am a happy hooker from I-da-ho. While I’m not funny I do love to laugh and i have no qualms being the brunt of the joke.

In short, haha, I urge you all to choose happiness (it’s free), and never look upon an adventure of mine as a failure. You may not know it’s ultimate goal.

I DON’T FAIL! I’ve succeeded beyond my wildest dreams!

Hi 45!

I made it. Miraculously, I have survived 45 years. Never thought I’d make it to 30, so this is a lot of gravy. I prefer it to whipped cream, but quite a bit of topping anyway! 10 different careers (at least), owned 7 companies, countless jobs, written 2 books, 3 marriages, lived in 6 states, 2 countries, traveled to 9 countries, driven cross country 6 times (once on a motorcycle), survived cancer, 9 surgeries, loved, lost, rich, poor, and left a legacy. Even now I’m learning new niches for the future I’ve set forth for myself and planning more trips.

In sickness and health I’ve tried to always be kind and do good, although not always successful, I’ve tried to right any wrongs. I’m thrilled that my relationship with family has gotten better with time. Most recently with my Brother, my cup runneth over that we are working together. I’ll be celebrating with Mom and Dad in Missouri for the last time! They will be heading to Florida.

I’ve seen the changes, and resisted the evolution of technology. 7 Presidents have governed, 2 wars, women and gay rights expand, social network explode, newspapers fall, and sadly seen the rise in violence across the globe.

This next decade should be my best! With a clear vision and specific goal, I charge ahead to help people suffering from critical illnesses. Buy2beat.org will grow, andyscaramels.com will get merchant services, and I will get a non fiction book published.

The people in my life are AWESOME! What a crew! They are a spectacular circle of beauty in my life that shares each others joy, fear, and pain. We offer support, give our time, and pay attention! When we can be together, we are PRESENT!!!

I will continue my work with American Cancer Society and Relay for Life. Already set to fight for home based chemotherapy in January at the Capitol. I will give more speeches on patient advocacy.

In just one year and so much has changed. 2018 was tough with all the illnesses and surgeries. Going forward I have ongoing health challenges and a world of what ifs and who knows. I talked to a lady last night who’s Father plans his whole life by his P.E.T. scans. For those who don’t know, it’s shows cancer cells. I will not let my health dictate my life. I have set up way to have a life if I go blind, professionally and that’s about all I can do. Go to therapy, doctor appointments, and one more surgery next week. The last year felt like a lifetime in and of itself. 2019 became a positive drive I haven’t had since I was a teenager!

This girl can!

I am going to focus on helping others.

Don’t worry I will finish book 3.

Of course, I will continue to travel!

So far, this has been one hell of a ride. A roller coaster of epic proportions! A fight to the (almost) death. Whatever is next I will do my best!

Devil is in the desire..

Since he is scared of me, I will take the golden fiddle! To be free is a constant debate and filled with misconceptions. Are you free to do whatever you want? ABSOLUTELY, but consequence inevitably follows. In my opinion, freedom is more of privilege. The comedian, George Carlin and I totally agree. If it’s a right, it can be taken away.

It’s a privilege really. To have transparency with the governing bodies so that they cannot overstep the power of the office and are held accountable by the people.

Division or diversity, right vs wrong, go left and step off, why must we only have the perception presented to us? Get it?

What color is the sunset?

Do you prefer the ocean or mountain? Who’s desire is right? Who’s happiness is left?

Stay with me for a moment please. I may disagree with you and you me. I once sat for an hour in Tennessee listening to 3 guys who couldn’t agree on directions to a hardware store. You can do it!

How bad would it be for all of us to read the 10 commandments in the house everyday? Say a prayer? You don’t have to include religion, just silently or aloud bless the day and be thankful. Could it render harm to send our children off to school with an appreciation for all that they have and love in their hearts for the other people in the world? Would it KILL us to look on our own day and say thankfully you have a job, home, and food? Maybe write a reminder to treat someone especially nice each day even though they make your blood boil or say a kind word to a homeless person.

I can tell you right now that this “living in constant fear” existence is the wrong path. I worry about my Brother because of a sticker he has on his car. I want to wear my birthday present, but real fear of assault gives me pause. I saw a picture of Martin Luther King today and wished I could walk with him.

I’ll never agree with you, and vice versa but I will NEVER know hate for you. Belize constantly tested me. I agreed to disagree so many times over football, politics, religion it was as if I was being tested. I walked away from people who wanted to start arguments. STOP! I don’t want to debate about Roethlisberger’s ability to throw the ball. Kaepernick’s right to take a knee. Religion on school. This doesn’t include the ABSOLUTELY horrible lies that are said about me..I’m stopping now!

We MUST stop the hate no matter the desire! Got nothin’ but LOVE ❤🙏 have a WONDERFUL DAY!!!!