DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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5 August 2009

This is as real as it gets

As you all realise, what I write about each day here on my blog is just a small fraction of what actually happens here. I know this post is not going to be optimistic, instructive or supportive but I want to write about real life and this is as real as it gets.



One of my best friends has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She was told about a week ago but yesterday, she had a consultation with the surgeon who will operate on her; yesterday made it painfully "real" to me. I can't stop thinking about it now. When her children were told they rushed up here to be with her. Both her son and daughter went with her to the consultation yesterday. She is surrounded by people who love her, she is optimistic that the treatment will work and she will go into the surgery hopeful of a bright future. I just wish I could see her. She lives only a short distance from us but I've still got the flu, I haven't been able to talk for two days now, and I can't go near her until I'm fully recovered.



Significant and life changing moments like these always make me stop in my tracks and think about my own life. Am I being the best I can be? Am I doing what I should be doing? How can I change to make my life more meaningful? What am I not doing that I should be doing? I think I fall short when I answer those questions truthfully. I know I could be doing a lot more than I do. While I don't intend to change how I live, I do intend to make some personal changes and I intend to say yes to more of the many opportunities that come my way instead of saying no all the time.



Time is all we are given. How we use that time is our choice but maybe it is also a test of the kind of person we are. I hope to use my time more efficiently in the future. I don't want to waste time - that is unforgivable. I want to be the best version of Rhonda that I can be, I want to continue on my quest for a simple life and I am determined to be more organised than I have been in the past. Oh, I will still luxuriate on the front veranda with cups of tea, that is not a waste of time, it's an investment, and I will continue to take things slowly but I'm going to have a list each day and I'm going to follow it. No doubt there there will be a few other changes in the wind as I move through the coming months with my friend.

Life has a way of shaking us up and making us focus on the important things. This will, no doubt, be much tougher on my friend than it is on us, but we intend to be there to help her though it in any way we can. She has been a fine friend to Hanno and I so now we can return some of the goodness she sent our way. Send your prayers and best wishes out to her please, she is a good woman.

79 comments:

  1. The important part of having a scare like this to shake your life up, is to continue shaking it up!! My husband (33yo) had a health scare recently (I witnessed it all, so actually scarier for me than him, he was unconcious). The episode was enough to scare him, tell him to slow down and smell the roses (as well as the dirty nappies!!) It didn't last! For the last 2 weeks I have become, for the first time in our marriage, a nagging wife. The rose smelling is over and he's back in to long days of hard physical labour! Because he works on our home property, he doesn't see it as hard work. When he's falling asleep in the car on our way to a morning appointment, I see it as work that is too hard for his body!
    Do what you can for your friend, I know the percentages they give aren't good, but we've got a friend who is now past the 5 yr clear zone from pancreatic cancer! Change little things in your life. Feel more satisfied! But keep that ball rolling! We all have to!
    My prayers to you all
    Kristy NSW

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  2. Rhonda;

    Thank you for sharing "real life". Your words summed up many of the conversations that Hubby and I have had in the past two weeks. On 19 July Hubby's dad dies at the age of 63. It was sudden and unexpected. We have felt the call to get our life in order, not so much the material things (although very important), but relationships (forgiving and forgetting wrongs, appologizing more often, etc.). Your post, although not all that pleasant a topic, was much needed and appreciated. Thanks for your honesty and transperancy.

    Blessings;
    Carrie

    P.S. We will keep your friend in prayer. That the DRs would see things clearly and offer the best care available; that your friend would have the wisdom/descernment to choose the best treatment option(s).

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  3. Rhonda,

    This disease took my father-in- law. It was swift and terrible. Amazingly, we just had a friend who was diagnosed and who managed to have the (rare) kind that is treatable. He beat it! So, there is hope to be had, perhaps...
    I'm offering up prayers for your friend and her loved ones, and I hope that you are able to have some wonderful time with her soon.

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  4. Rhonda: Your friend is, of course, in my prayers, as is her family and her friends (you and Hanno and others).

    I hope you recover swiftly and completely, and I certainly hope the same for your dear friend.

    Donna in CO

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  5. Hi Rhonda I am so sorry this has happened to your friend.You are all in for a rocky ride so hang on. I can't imagine why you feel you don't do enough when I am staggered by all you do and give and all your readers will surely agree that you give us an enormous amount.
    As you know our family have some experience in the cancer journey and there is lots you can do for your friend.It is the practical day to day stuff that becomes overwhelming when a family member is having treatment. If one of her family becomes a carer during this time, they will need a respite from time to time as it is physically and emotionally draining. Also when you are always in drs offices, getting scans, in the oncology wards, the housework and garden doesn't get done, the shopping doesn't get done, the patients appetite goes wierd and it is hard to feed them a nutritious meal, the carer can neglect themselves as when the patient is too sick to eat they often don't bother either. So you can see there is lots you can do to help. One of the biggest things my daughter found with her friends was the loss of what they used to do before she became a cancer patient. Her friends would visit but it wasn't the same. She wanted to go see a film go for a meal like they used to on the days she felt well. They visited her like she was in hospital. In her 3 week chemo cycle my daughter was only really sick for 10 days or so, the rest of the time she didn't feel too bad. Tired but not too bad. So when you see your friend do what you ususally did before she got sick if she is up to it. My daughter also got heartily sick of talking about the cancer after a while, and preferred to talk of other things. I hope my ramblings have been of some help, I am praying for your friend, Love from Julia in Mackay.

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  6. I have a progressive muscle disease. There is no cure or treatment. They can only treat the symptoms to make my life more comfortable. I'm sharing this because I know what a life changing thing illness can be. But in my case the illness has taught me far more than it has taken away. As you are finding it makes one take stock of life. May all who are touched by your friend's illness find the lesson they are meant to learn from this unwelcome visitor.

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  7. Sending her prayers.

    I'm so sorry!

    However, on a brighter note, the president of my doctoral institution was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a little over a year ago and is now healthy and cancer-free, so there is hope!

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  8. Rhonda, you of course, know best if you are living your most meaningful and purposeful life. However, remember all those you inspire and influence through your blog and other media. You are teaching legions of people how to live more meaningful lives within their own families. I believe that you are a prophet with a message of hope as you help others to empower themselves. Take care and know that others think of you and your dear friend.

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  9. Absolutely will I think of her and you as well in my thoughts and prayers. I too know the reality of the life we are given. It is ripe for the pickin' and it will just rot on the vine unless we harvest all we have been given.
    Check out a good read
    Seven habits of effective people.
    I have been making a LIFE PLAN addressing every role I play in it.. The focus being on the future and intentionally creating it. As opposed to bemoaning what might have been. We are on the same page in that on.

    I do hope you get to feeling stronger and better. This is a time for her family she will have you as well too...in that right moment.
    Now you have so much prayer to do while your forced to be still.
    Rest and recover Rhonda.
    Your a wonderful friend to her.

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  10. Rhonda I am very very sorry to hear of your friends illness, I know first hadn how devastating that particular brand of C can be. All my thoughts and prayers are with your friend and her family.
    Reevaluating your life seems to become a more regular occurence as we get older. I cannot for one momment though imagine you "wasting" your time. Think of all the lives you touch every day by being a real person on a real journey.

    May God, the Universe or whichever greater being be yours bless you and those you love

    daisymum

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  11. Much love, peace and kindness to your dear friend. Donna

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  12. Thoughts and prayers for your friend, Rhonda.

    AM of the Bread

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  13. Will pray for your friend, and for you. Something like this does make one aware of the time we have, and make each moment precious.
    Blessings,
    Catherine

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  14. Am reminded of this song Rhonda that we used to sing in church.. there is nothing we can do and we feel at a loss in these times yet we can be still...


    Be still and know that I am God,
    be still and know that I am God,
    be still and know that I am God.

    I am the Lord that healeth thee,
    I am the Lord that healeth thee,
    I am the Lord that healeth thee.

    In thee, O Lord, I put my trust,
    In thee, O Lord, I put my trust,
    In thee, O Lord, I put my trust.

    Words: Anonymous, based on Psalm 46

    Lynette (Adelaide)

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  15. Hope you recover from the flu quickly and can spend time with your friend. We need our friends and family with us all of the time, but especially during the hard, trying times. I know as I get older I should be doing things that I want to do and enjoying life more, but find that I do things that I know should be done and not doing things that I might never get a chance to do again, once in a lifetime opportunities. Anyway, I hope your friend does good with her surgery and has a good report after wards.

    Pat

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  16. So sorry to hear about your friend and also that you have the flue Rhonda.I wish you a speedy recovery.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your friend.

    Patricia

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  17. Rhonda,

    I think your post was indeed optimistic, instructive, and supportive. It's optimistic in that you have found a positive way to deal with the sad news in making changes yourself and committing yourself to help your friend. And you are demonstrating this resolve as well as setting a good example to us hence it becomes instructive. And the support comes in with you being supportive of your friend as well as all the beautiful comments here being supportive of you. You support us by sharing your life everyday. So the least we can do is support you in your time of need.

    Sandra Jean

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  18. When one you love is in pain not much can be said to help ease that pain. But, knowing there are those that love you and support you is a great comfort.
    You will be in our thoughts and prayers, hoping all will be well.

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  19. Praying for your swift recovery from the flu and that the Lord heal your friend. V.

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  20. Yes indeed. Good morning Rhonda and a virtual hug to you. It's an unnerving place to be in isn't it, I wish the best for your friend and for you.
    I just did a quick assessment of cancer and the toll -- two close friends went far too young as did my only brother. But counting the survival rate of others -- over three times that. Good odds dear friend.
    I'm picking up my list and moving on with the day and thinking of you.
    PS That 'flu is horrid, it knocked me for a week which is very unusual.

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  21. Your friend is a lucky lady to have such lovely thoughtful friends in you and Hanno, I'm sure you will be a great comfort to her and her family during the hard time they are facing. I will keep you all in my thoughts and pray for a positive outcome.

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  22. Things like this do put the world into perspective. Stay strong for your friend, I hope she and you recover soon.

    SG

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  23. Your friend is a lucky lady to have such lovely thoughtful friends in you and Hanno, I'm sure you will be a great comfort to her and her family during the hard time they are facing. I will keep you all in my thoughts and pray for a positive outcome.

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  24. I'm so very sorry to hear about your friend. Please tell her that there are people all over the world holding her in their hearts, and to keep that optimistic attitude.

    Barb in GA

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  25. Very sorry Rhonda. These are, indeed, the tough ones. Annie

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  26. My prayers are with your friend, her family and her friends. Rhonda your can do so much by just been there to quitely support her and her family, thank you for sharing and allowing us to support your friend by prayer. Carol

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  27. Rhonda sending happy and strong to you, your friend and your families.
    Chris x

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  28. Hi Rhonda - finally got the courage to post! Love and hugs to you from cold Canberra. Thinking of you both - am so glad your friend has you to lean on....Take care
    Jen (and Huw) xx

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  29. I will be praying for you and your friend and hope you both make a quick recovery. Thank you for your blog it is one on my absolute favorite places to visit:)!

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  30. My deepest most sincere prayers go out to your friend and her family.
    I also wish to send prayers your way...to heal from your flu and for strength to do as you see fit to help her and be the friend you so long to be now.

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  31. Our thoughts are with all of you.

    Di (WA)

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  32. Hi Rhonda

    I'm sorry to hear that your friend is unwell. It must be difficult not being able to visit her while she is going through this but I'm sure she knows that she is in your thoughts.

    Take heart - doctors will always give the worst case scenario and are frequently guilty of underestimating the human body's ability to recover with the right care.

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  33. Oh Rhonda, I am so sorry to hear about your friend, I will keep her in my prayers. You are so right, news like this makes us think and it should. We take our time here for granted sometimes instead of living fully in the moment and enjoying what comes our way. Yes, we still have our responsibilities yet we turn wonderful "life" opportunities down because we don't think we have time or are too busy (I'm really working on this one) You and Hanno are wonderful friends as she is to you. My thoughts are with you all. Heather Oh and Rhonda, I hope you are feeling better yourself very soon.

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  34. Rhonda,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your friend.

    Blessings,
    Cindy

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  35. My thoughts and best wishes to your friend Rhonda. It will be a hard time but I am sure your love will be a support and valued as the wonderful gift it is.

    aeonie x

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  36. Hi Rhonda,
    So sorry to hear about your friend, will keep her in my prayers. Went through cancer with both of my parents and two close friends, losing three of them. I could have never made it with out the Lord living in me. I know where my mom and two dear friends are, there faith was so strong. I kept going to Psalms 121: I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. We can do nothing in ourselves, our works are as filthy rages, only the Lord can do a good work in us. Will lift you all in prayer and ask that the Lord be near to you and comfort all of you. Just look to Him.

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  37. Hi Rhonda Jean :) I am praying with you. Love, Q

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  38. Oh this is so very real to me as June 27 I was bit by a rattlesnake and almost died from complications due to medications- this incident can be seen as a blessing in the degree that it has made me so much more aware of the blessedness of each day I am given to live!

    Hope you will be better soon so that you may be a balm of comfort to you precious friend in her time of need.

    blessings
    mary

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  39. Thank you for this thought-provoking post. It is, as you say, "real." And, you are correct: time is all we are given. I am certain (from reading this) that your friend has been as blessed by your presence in her life as you are blessed by her. Please let us know how she is doing from time to time. C.

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  40. Dear Rhonda,

    Be assured my thoughts and prayers are with you and Hanno and with your friend. Take care of yourself, rest up and give your body chance to fight off the flu. You will soon be well enough to visit your friend.

    Cheers, Eileen in England

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  41. I'm so sorry Rhonda. I know that so many of us are dealing with similar situations, and as a personal issue it is very hard. I hope you are able to get to see her soon, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Kylie

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  42. Dear Rhonda
    In the same time frame, a dear friend of mine has been diagnosed with kidney cancer and your words have expressed exactly how I have been feeling. Thank you. My first different action- stop lurking and tell you how much I appreciate your wonderful site and wisdom!
    SueH WA

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  43. Cancer is cruel and I am praying for your friend and you and yours- spend time as your time is the best gift you can give - hugs from Meme

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  44. Will add your friend to my prayer list and you too! I know how hard it is to be ill and not able to help. My daughter a continent away had her first baby in July and we have not yet been able to go out as the flu has been here for more than a month. Not the worst, but totally exhausting to us anyway. I hope you will recover more quickly than we have (and that is taking extra vitamins too). I am encouraged to read here that some actually do recover from this type of cancer. Whatever comes may you be a comfort to your friend and her family. It is hard to know just what to do sometimes.
    Elizabeth (the other one)

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  45. My prayers are w/ you and your friend. May a bounty of blessings come from this. Please know we are all thinking of you.

    Blessings!
    Jessica

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  46. I have spent many many days laying in bed in the hospital ill.This past year I spent weeks at the hospital with our eldest son, we both have Crohn's disease.The thing helps the most is to know others are sending you their love and prayers.
    So I send you and your lovely friend our family prayers of health and the strength to carry on.
    Much love The Dahms Family

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  47. I'm sorry about your friend. My grandfather passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer several years ago. I will pray for her. She is so blessed to have you and so many others around her; and you are blessed to be with her through this.

    I've been thinking lately about what you say about using time. I am coming to the end of 3 years living in a community with people with disabilities, about 1200 miles from my family. Now I've decided the best place to be is near my family for the time being. My grandparents are aging, I want an adult relationship with my parents. We have to make choices about where we are, when and how every moment of the day. Thanks for reminding me of this.

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  48. Rhonda, I am so sorry to read of your friend's illness. I will pray for her, that God may lift her up as she goes though her treatments, guides the doctors working with her, and gives you strength to be the best friend you can be as she goes through this ordeal.

    Your post was thought provoking. You are right...all we are given is time, but what a gift it is! I have to remember that as I waste too much it it! On the other hand, I don't want my days to be so full of striving to get the most accomplished that i can, because sometimes I think it's in the quiet, reflective times that we find strength and meaning.

    ~Debbie

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  49. I am so sorry to hear about your friend. These moments in life remind of the important things. We were incorrectly told, a couple years ago, that our son had a year to live. We will never go back to the way we were living prior to that day. I will never be the same. Those moments shake us up and hold a mirror to our lives.

    With that in mind, I tagged you on my blog. The tag means you are asked to write about 7 things that make you amazing. Then tag 7 more. At first when I read your post I thought it was frivolous, but it will also be good for you to realize that you do more than you realize and you need to give yourself credit.

    Tag.

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  50. dear rhonda,

    sending healthy grounding earth energy your way, and healing energy to your dear friend.

    i am sorry to hear of this news, and hope both of you speed to recovery.

    just don't try to do too much, remembering that we are all our own worst critic. rhonda, you alone have SINGLEhandedly helped to shift my entire paradigm on life at a time when i was desperate for something else ... thank goodness i found your blog! Life would be totally different had I not. You truly move mountains. Be good to yourself.

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  51. Your friend is rich and blessed in having friends like you and Hanno. Your reaction is completely natural. When tragedy touches our lives, we see things in a new light. Still you are so well and truly focussed on living a good life (in all senses) that you should not be too hard on yourself. I know I took a new view of my life when an accident tore two good friends from our lives when we lived in Sydney. Many years ago now, but the message still echos in my head: live a good life.
    My thoughts are with you and your friend.
    Ramona K
    Sweden

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  52. Rhonda
    So sorry to hear of your dear friend's illness. They say 1 in 3 of us will get cancer at some point in our lives and that in itself is devastating news. I pray she will beat this disease and be all the stronger for it.

    I also dearly hope you get to feeling better soon.

    I just wanted to say to you, hey! don't be so hard on yourself! The majority of your time is spent helping others, helping US with your blog and your book writing, helping your community with your volunteering and you do indeed deserve to spend some of your own quality 'time' to reflect on your satisying life.

    C'mon, life isn't really about making lists and sticking to them rigorously every day, is it?

    I'm saying this to you Rhonda because I care and I know you are ill and I hate to see you in any way being hard on yourself when you are such a wonderful woman.

    You're in my thoughts today and everyday....

    Jennifer
    HomeMattersMost
    xx

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  53. Jan, Leyland, EnglandAugust 05, 2009 5:51 pm

    Dearest Rhonda, My thoughts, hopes and prayers are with you and your friend's family. I'm sure you are the very best friend any person could want for. I hope that you and your friend take comfort in all of the success stories that there are. Kind Regards Jan

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  54. Hugs to your friend Rhonda, I know you want to be there for her but it is a long hard road when you are fighting cancer, you will have plenty of time over the next few months to be there for her. I've been fighting breast cancer since January and it's the friends who are still going to treatment with me now that I appreciate more than anything. They are my strength to get through the mundane days of treatment. Your friend sounds like she has a fighting spirit and that is a really good start. Getting this disease changes your perspective on everything, you appreciate the little things in life so much more.
    Strength and blessings to you both.

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  55. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your friend at this particularly difficult time.
    I believe your help and support is helping to transform many lives. Your contribution to this world is very meaningful and without your wisdom and generousity of spirit I would certainly be in a darker place.

    Thank you.

    Pip

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  56. I was taught a lesson when two of my friends lost their husbands suddenly. I never let a day go by that I do not tell my husband of 55 years how much I love and appreciate him. It is too late afterwards to say these things.
    Best wishes to your friend.Having had an op. for ovarian cancer it is so important to have family and friends like you two.

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  57. Pancreatic cancer is a nasty one. Prayers going up for your friend.

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  58. Oh Rhonda, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. My thoughts are with you all.

    Like others have said, please be aware of all the good you do, and don't see this as a reason to cram everything into your life. You're right, we've only got this time - don't wear yourself out with it all! I'm sure you know the right balance for yourself. Sometimes it's good to reassess, but make sure you sit and think for a while before making too many changes at this time of upheaval.

    Sorry if I'm 'preaching', don't mean to, of course you have far more life experience than me.

    Look after yourself, and Hanno, and your friend.

    Jenni
    xx

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  59. Wishing your friend all the very best in her battle.
    Blessings,
    Tracy (Brisbane)

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  60. What a wretched disease cancer is. I'm sorry to hear about your friend's diagnosis. I'm sure her battle with the disease will be made easier by friends like you and Hanno. She is very lucky to have caring family and friends to build a support network for her for the tough road ahead. My prayers and best wishes go out to her.
    I hope you are starting to feel better from the dreaded flu. Take it easy and enjoy those cups of tea on the verandah! The pansies are a delight!

    Joolz

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  61. What wonderful advice from Julia in Mackay. Thank you,

    Joolz

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  62. Best wishes to you and your nearest and dearest, Rhonda.

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  63. Rhonda, take time to heal. I had a very nasty flu scare last year which laid me up for a month, I was 32 and have 2 young children and was in good health. I now have various other health issues which relate back to that "flu". My thoughts and prayers are with you and your friend. My father is currently in stage 3 Alzheimers so I know what it is to sit down and reevaluate your life and think about what is important, where you want to be and to take the time to enjoy what is the most special to you. For me that is my family. The reality is that God does not always heal but will not give us more than we can cope with. He knows our needs. He will give you and your friend the strength if you trust in him and have faith. Enjoy the small things, because time is so, so precious. Thank you for your honesty and I know you have changed my life through your blog, my days would not be the same without my "read" each night.

    Susieq.

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  64. Wishing your friend well & sending positive happy thoughts - she is blessed to have you as a friend !
    Jeni

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  65. Rhonda, you and your friend are in my thoughts! I hope you are feeling better from the flu and I wish your friend a swift recovery. Cancer is a terrible thing but does not have to be a life sentence. I also wish her the strength to beat it and live many happy healthy years.

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  66. Best wishes to you and your friend, Rhonda. Knowing you have support from around the world is hopefully somewhat encouraging. We're thinking of you.

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  67. Thinking of all of you as I start my day.
    Blessings,
    ithinkican

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  68. Oh Dear Rhonda,
    I lost my father to pancreatic cancer five years ago this fall. I don't share this with you to frighten you, but to tell you what a tremendous gift the time before his death was. As well, there are recent innovations in treatment that are promising, so hope should not be lost. Hope and optimism are healing.

    We went through the normal process of grief after such a stunning diagnosis.

    But, then, life got sweeter, in sharper focus. We said and did things that we should have long ago.

    And our family continues to live this way.

    Most importantly, your friend needs to know that all of us on this Earth are dying. It's just the lucky ones who live their lives as if they are.

    You will be a blessing to them just by being you. And the reflections of life that you will continue to have and the refocusing of your own life will benefit many.

    Peace and prayers to you.

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  69. My husband handed me the obituary page of our newspaper yesterday.

    My diabetic educator had died! I hadn't seen her for over a year but she looked fine at the time.

    She was great to work with because she had lived with juvenile diabetes since she was young, while I didn't develop it until my 40s (very rare).

    Just like your friend, I couldn't get her out of my mind. Life is just so short.

    I think I'll use the good china for dinner tonight. :)

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  70. Hey Rhonda. I have been following your blog for a while, silently. I love your blog and it is a real inspiration to me. You are so witty and thoughtful. Well, you have inspired me to finally create one of my own. Will you be the first to view it?

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  71. I am sooo sorry for your friend and these unfortunate circumstances. I will pray for you all.

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  72. Rhonda,
    I am so sorry to hear about your friend. Her cheery outlook will help her immensely.

    I did not get to read your post yesterday. I was at the hospital with my husband who had his prostate removed due to cancer. So I know how these things make you re-evaluate your life. And, it a funky way, I believe it has been a blessing for our family to have to go through this...we have become closer and he is learning that tomorrow may never come so learn to enjoy today.

    Thanks for all the wonderful posts you share with us. It helps me to strive for the simple life.

    In Him,
    Jan in TX

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  73. Will pray for you that you fell better and pray for your friend that God's will be done.

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  74. Unfortunately, my family knows the pain of a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer ...
    My brother in law, Gary Lorenzen was diagnosed at age 45 with the disease. He died only 8 months later.
    My husband started a fantastic website: pancreatica.org in his honor. Your friend might find answers there.
    Also, the fact that they are able to operate bodes well for her.It is a nasty disease ... one that they do not regularly screen for ... but if they find it early enough and are able to operate the survival rate greatly increases.
    Godspeed ~ Julie Lorenzen

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  75. I am so sorry to hear about your friend Rhonda. Prayers will definitely be said for her, her family and you and Hanno. Take care of yourself, the flu can be dangerous.

    Debbie

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  76. Hello Rhonda,
    So sorry to hear your friend's news. It's always so difficult to see tough things happening to those we love. I wish her healing and peace, and the strength to face each day as it comes, and continue her journey with grace. I know you and Hanno will be a kind, generous and present support to her. Take care of yourselves too - I hope you're feeling brighter and the flu is on the way out.

    Life has a way of challenging us, and you will find little pots of gold amidst the struggles.

    Blessings to you all.
    Diana x

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  77. Rhonda, I am a recent follower of your blog,and I really enjoy it. My husband and son and I live in New Hampshire,USA,and we are on the self sufficiency quest as well.
    I saw this post and I can say it really hit home, because I just had a friend who passed away from lung cancer in April. She was only 47,and never smoked a day in her life. What you said about living life and not wasting time is exactly what I have been thinking about after my husband came back from Iraq,and when my dear friend got sick.
    My husband was in an RPG attack in 2005 and suffers from PTSD and a mild traumatic brain injury.He also suffered a stroke a year ago,and we were quite lucky that he only lost the peripheral vision in his right eye,and a small spot in his inner left eye.
    All these events really made me realize what is really important in life,and what kind of life we want to lead.
    I started my own blog about our lives-littlecottageinthecountry.blogspot.com.
    Your blog is one of my favorites. Keep up the good work,and I hope your friend comes through OK.
    Take care, Donna

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  78. Dear Rhona i was so sorry to hear about your friend..my prayers are for her & her family , and also for you..my husband was diagnosed with Prostrate cancer a few months ago..so i know the ups & downs,..but also that a positive outlook reallly can help...there is so much they can do nowadays...i do hope all goes well. By the way i think you do so much with your life already Rhona..you put me to shame when i see the things you do and share on your blog...you have helped me change a lot of things in my own life..maybe you do not realize how important & useful that can be. and how your blog helps so many people ?once again my prayers will be for your friend & family etc

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  79. How wonderful to have a friend in you :) When we hear of cancer stories , we really have to remind ourselves to take stock of our lives and live it as good as we can. And thank God that we're well to enjoy the days ahead of us.

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