Me and My Family

Me and My Family

24 December, 2013

Did I say that?

Did I actually write a post and talk about waiting? Did I mention waiting in the title of said post? Did I say how I really didn't like waiting? And in the same post did I say anything about my Heavenly Father blessing me?
Haha, I know the darn joke is on me!!!!!!
Here's the deal, I rescheduled my CT scan because I woke up sick yesterday. I rescheduled for Thursday morning. More waiting.
That's not the end though.
Today they called from the Imaging Associates of Providence to tell me they had not yet received authorization for the scan.
What?.........
They didn't mention that yesterday when I called to reschedule. I should have expected it though. I have had more trouble getting timely authorizations for these darn scans, it's pathetic.
It's not really the fault of the doc's and staff there, it's the insurance.
So, for now, the scan is cancelled until I find out why I have no authorization yet, and until it's taken care of. Then I will schedule it. I will then have to reschedule my follow up appt with the Doc to go over the scan results.
I will try to remember not to write anything about waiting (and how I feel about it) in my blog posts in the future. It is counterproductive.
On another, more happy note, I spoke on the phone this afternoon with two dear friends from high school, sisters. I also spoke with their mom and dad. They are all like family to me. Very special family.  It was so nice to hear all their voices and speak to each of them individually. The only one I didn't get to chat with is their older brother, who is also good friends with my older brother.
Speaking with them made my day, my week, my holiday!
Now I go and spend the rest of the afternoon/evening with my kids. Don't really have a plan, it's real cold outside so driving around to look at Christmas lights may or may not happen. Maybe we will, go drive around, drink sparkling cider from the bottle....hahaha or take our nice crystal glasses with us and sing Christmas songs. Sounds fun. Cold, but fun.
Merry Christmas to all!!!!
Love and Blessings.
Danielle

23 December, 2013

Creating


It has occurred to me several times over the last few years (though I didn't do anything about it), that I have never shown the quilt I made while we lived in Kodiak. I was encouraged by a quilting friend of mine (thank you Audrey!!!) to participate in a challenge that a local quilt shop was having. I caved in and bought the fat quarters. My friend helped me cut the pieces. I then took the pattern instructions home and began the task at hand. 


I chose these fabric designs because of the rain theme on them. We did live in Kodiak after all, where it rains almost ALL the time. I loved the bright colors too. 

I got them all pieced together, then chose the fabric for the back and binding. Then it sat for awhile. I don't remember the timeline after this. I had asked Audrey if she would do the quilting for me if I had the back and front put together with the batting in the middle. Then I got my diagnosis. April 2010. 

I spent so many days in the hospital, I think 11 or something. Audrey suggested that she quilt it then give it back to me so I could hand sew the binding while I was at home in my recliner recovering. I told her that would be great. I was thrilled that she had helped me so much with this special project in the first place. 

Not only do I have this wonderful quilt made with the loving help of my friend Audrey, but I have a quilt she made herself, just for me while I was in the hospital. I have taken that quilt with me to every single chemo treatment I have had. 
I love my quilts, and I love you Audrey!!! 
I just wanted to share this, I have been meaning to do this for a long time. 
Merry Christmas to all of you. 
Danielle

22 December, 2013

The Waiting Game begins again....

I am scheduled for a CT scan tomorrow morning. that's it just a scan. No results. No Doc visit. A scan, and then I wait. My family waits. My friends wait. We all wait. Have I EVER mentioned that I don't not like waiting? I never have. Waiting for results of this magnitude just make that dislike stronger. 
Wait is what I will do though. I really don't have much choice. I always think the waiting for results will get easier, but it doesn't. I will have a week of anxiety, tense muscles, crabby moments, possible sleeplessness. 
All I can say is thank goodness it's Christmas week. I have that to distract me. It's a great distraction. We just got a bunch of new snow today too, so maybe I will feel well enough to take Damon out snowshoeing. I hope so. 
I keep saying that to him, and then either the weather doesn't cooperate, I don't feel well, or Damon just doesn't want to go anywhere. This boy of mine is a homebody!!!! Unless there is mention of going somewhere where he has a friend, or there is something in it for him. Otherwise he would rather stay home, in his shorts and t-shirt and play with legos, even do school work is preferable to him than leaving the house. 
I can relate to that some days. Well, ok----most days. Maybe it's winter that keeps me unmotivated to venture beyond the boundaries of our property. I guess I will reassess and get back to you on that when summer comes. 
I pray every one of you will be blessed with the things you stand in need of as well as the things you desire. May you have peace in your hearts this Holiday Season, whatever Holiday you celebrate. 
Danielle

17 December, 2013

What I am working on...

I got a bunch of brochures from the BioCare Hospital in Mexico. I read my copy this morning. It sounds intriguing and wonderful. If only insurance would pay for a three week stay there. I got an explanation of benefits in the mail yesterday and as I was reading through it, trying to make sense of it, I was floored at some of the numbers I saw on the page. During a one month time period, during which I think I had two or three infusions, insurance was charged enough to send me to this hospital in Mexico several times.
If you have ever wondered how much Chemo costs let me assure you it is EXPENSIVE and if I ever had to pay for it (even a fraction of it) out of pocket I would surely have to stop receiving it. I would not go bankrupt, or let my house go in order to come up with that kind of money. I couldn't leave my family with that burden.
If I did three weeks of chemo treatments here, here meaning in the USA,  it would far exceed the cost of  spending three weeks at BioCare in Mexico. And the treatments they do there are so much more in line with promoting self healing.
So, rather then finding money to pay for chemo, because at this point in time it's covered by insurance, I am looking for ways to raise money to go to Mexico. I am looking for some good woman in the MatSu Valley area of Alaska to help me brainstorm, organize, and carry through on fundraisers. I need helpers who can organize events, love interacting with the community, have great ideas, know me and my story or are willing to find out more.
That's my dream now. It can't do me any harm, unlike the chemo.
On another note, I am so excited for Christmas. I wish I had a piano because I love singing Christmas carols to the sound of a piano. Not that I am a great player, in fact right now I could probably only play one handed, but it would be fun to brush up.
Hope you all are enjoying the Season, and the wonderful snacks and food that comes with it.
Merry Christmas
Danielle

14 December, 2013

I'll Be Home For Christmas..

I will be home for Christmas. With my two kids. And two....no make that three.....dogs. One bird. One Lizard. Zero husband. John got called to work! It's a bummer, it will be our first Christmas apart since getting married. It's good too because the bills aren't going to pay themselves, and despite what the general population believes about military pay and retirement....it's not glamorous. Things are going to be tighter than ever for us while we get settled into this new routine.
Because of my diagnosis, my healthcare is changing and it's not "free" like they try to tell us. I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, I rarely do that, but I am a little anxious about making this transition into Johns REtired life, on retirement pay, less coming in, and more money going out than previously. It seems wrong!  There may even come a day when my treatments aren't totally covered and we can no longer go that route. That may happen also because at some point my body is just not going to respond anymore. Or side effects get so bad I have to stop. But I guess it is what it is.
I know that my Heavenly Father is still seeing fit to bless us. In many ways. And I am eternally grateful for that! For HIM!
If only I were healthy and could work to contribute. I am scared and a little embarrassed to even say it, because I should have done it a long time ago, but maybe it's time for me to write one of those books I have been wanting to write. not that it will make me rich quick, or slow....but it might help. IF I can get it written and then published, then sold. hahaha Seems like a daunting task.
I will pray on that.
In the mean time I am waiting for brochures from the BioCare Hospital in Mexico. I would really love to go there, but still researching and will then have to raise funds!
On a lighter note, I am happy to see Damon so excited for Christmas. It's fun to see it through his eyes. My kids and I will have a nice quiet Christmas at home. We will take pictures and make happy memories. It will be fun. I hope we have nice weather...meaning, I hope it snows.
I love nothing more than snow on Christmas Eve and day. It's so pretty!
Well, I love my husband and kids more than snow on Christmas, but you know what I mean right?
I want to just thank my Heavenly Father for blessing me and my family so abundantly even through our medical and financial trials.
May you all be Blessed this Holiday Season, whatever your holiday is.
Love
Danielle

09 December, 2013

HOPE

I have three weeks off now. Not scheduled for treatment until Dec 30th. I have a CT scan on the 23rd. I have been having a lot of mixed feelings about doing treatment on the 30th. My side effects are getting bad enough to be really annoying, and sucking the life out of me, if feels like sometimes anyway. I used to be such a strong person. Now I rarely want to leave the house. Well, I want to, but don't feel well enough to make it worth it.
I am like my son...a homebody! And having company? Oh gosh, that means having to get out of my P.J.s and get dressed. It could be partly due to winter and the cold/dark days, but I think it has more to do with how I feel. Weak, uncomfortable, numb, nauseous. 
I read about  a place in Mexico where they have you come for three weeks and do all these amazing sounding alternative treatments and I want to go. 
http://biocarehospital.com/index.html
In case you feel inclined to research it yourself.
It would mean more fundraising for me, as it isn't cheap...but if it made me feel better, stronger, and helped build up my strong cells to fight off the cancer cells then it couldn't do me any more harm then Chemo does. If fact, it wouldn't do any harm at all. I spoke with a gentleman from Alaska who went there two years ago and he is still cancer free today. He was amazed at how they were able to help him. His Faith also plays a big role in his remission. 
I feel more of a sense of hope as I daydream about this place. I like to close my eyes and visualize the things they would do and how my healthy cells would regrow, become stronger again, do what they are supposed to do. With Chemo that will never happen. 
We need more options like this in America. I can get some of these things done by my naturopath, but not all of them, and not all at the same time. 
So, check out the website if you have a moment, I would love to hear your comments and thoughts about it. I always love hearing from you! 
Merry Christmas!
Danielle

04 December, 2013

Please sit down!

Please sit down. Don't faint from surprise! Don't collapse from shock! I am writing a post in my blog. WOW.
I didn't plan this. I came on to see if there was a way to go from blog to book. I can't find anything on the sight that tells me how to do this. Do any of you have any suggestions? If so I would love to hear them.
I have been up and down emotionally since summer. After months on my hallelujah diet my cancer had spread and grown. Then from June to September everything in my lungs was stable while the rest had continued to grow. I struggled with the decision to do more treatment or keep doing the diet only. After much prayer and emotional upheaval I decided to return to treatment. I lost my hair again, and am still doing treatment. I am however, on a quick break for the Christmas Holiday. I will get a CT scan later this month before returning to treatment.
I have been getting promptings recently to pray and consider restarting my diet and getting more serious about alternative treatments that are spendy. I am serious about them, it's just that they are so costly, and not covered by my insurance.
In the mean time, I am doing what I can to enjoy all my time with my little family. We are in the talking and brainstorming phase of our family vacation.
Disney...land/world....? California/Florida? hmmmmm such decisions. There are a lot of logistics that go with a family vacation. Who will watch the house, and all the animals in it. Two large dogs, a fat lizard, and a sweet bird. We will need a house sitter for sure.
I continue to homeschool Damon, and he is doing really well. Despite lapses in my teaching due to not feeling well. Damon is such a trooper. After getting some input from a good friend we found an online program to help supplement what I am already doing, but Damon is able to do it on his own, for the most part in case I am not feeling like reading, or teaching from the regular curriculum we have. We are also currently reading Charlottes Webb. Looking for other great classics for his age.
My daughter, Kaili, is back home and we love having her here. She is working, and busy, but when I really need her she is willing to be here.
As for myself, I have been doing a lot of reading on my Kindle. That has got to be the best birthday investment John ever made! I have been reading a lot of historical fiction from the 1800's.
We decorated from Christmas right after Halloween at my request. I never know how many Christmas's I have so I am making the most of each one I do have. I love the decorations, the music, the hallmark specials, the feelings of giving, the sweet feelings when thinking about Christ's Birth. All of it.
On that note,
Merry Christmas
& Happy New Year!
Danielle

10 July, 2013

got a better one?

I couldn't think of a good title for this post. I had one all picked out, then by the time I got to writing this, 2:57a.m. on a wednesday morning, that title no longer applied.
So, I don't have a title, got a better one?

I have gone through so much since writing last. I had scans, bloodwork, doctor visits, travels, great weather, storms, emotional highs, and lows.
I have been busy and too emotional upset to write.
Now at 3 a.m. I find myself wide awake, not feeling really well, and thought I would take this opportunity to write something down,( if my computer battery will last. )
As you all know I went to Hallelujah Acres back in February. I had come away from there with a great jump start, what I needed. I was on my way to eating and living a green, plant based diet. I came home with high aspirations. I started trying my recipes on the family. John loved it all. I got used to drinking juice most of the time. It actually made things easier in the kitchen once I was all set up for it.
I was feeling great.
I was looking great, according to you, others and pictures.
When I finally returned to the doctor, a new one much closer to home, and had scans and bloodwork done, I got some rattling news.
My bloodwork had continued to double and scans showed not only growth, but that the disease has spread to other areas of my body. I was crushed!!! John was crushed!!!! I had to make some fast decisions all while letting family know, and trying to deal with this news emotionally, as well as not upset my son too much.
I was frustrated, why had eating healthy not been working for me? I mean it was working....I was feeling better than I had in months, I lost 25 lbs, my complexion was great, I was full of energy. Then again, it wasn't working. Not in the way I wanted it to most. Not in the life changing, miraculous way I had heard it has for so many others. Not in the way I needed it to for my son. My husband. My daughter, my mother, father, brothers....oh man!
Now at a crossroads.
Do I refuse treatment because I know it's poison....
Do I take treatment when I know it's poison.....
Do I keep eating healthy and take treatment and hope they can work together?
Do I keep eating healthy and refuse treatment and watch my CEA's continue to double, and my disease spread until I have nothing left?
Do I try treatment again and hope to keep the disease slowed, or at bay so I could have more time with my boy and rest of my family?
SO torn.
SO upset.
SO sad.
SO mad.
SO confused.
SO ashamed.
SO unhappy.
SO SO SO............ just SO everything.
Maybe for me the healthy diet is for keeping my immune system healthy while I battle this with treatment? I don't know. I will never really know. All I know right now is I didn't get the response I wanted and expected and I don't really have 6 more months to experiment. If I wait that long, it could end up in my liver, or other organs. Then I will really be in the porta potty.
We, none of us, will ever know in this lifetime what the plan is for us. We can make guesses, we can speculate, but we don't really know. For me at this point, it's 50/50 either way I go. I am scared of either. It wasn't an easy decision. Maybe you are reading this and thinking, oh yes that's easy.....don't poison yourself, or absolutely you should do treatment. But it wasn't so black and white. I have a 7 yr old son (in one day), who needs me a bit longer. I have a daughter in training....to be a "sister-mamma".
I have a husband who still needs to be reminded that we don't always get control, and parents and siblings I am not finished spending time with, whom i love to death.
I know that Heavenly FAther has a plan for me and you, for everyone, but we don't know it in this life. I know that Heavenly Father loves ME. I know that Heavenly Father is mindful of my prayers and needs. I know that Heavenly Father is doing what he needs to do. When I get called to the other side it's because the work to be done is far greater there than here and I am needed. How can I not feel good about that? Except I don't want to be needed yet. I (as a humble woman) believe I couldn't possibly be needed more than I am needed at home with my family. hahaha...What I am trying to say is that I have FAITH. Please don't think this makes any of this easier for me, but I do draw a certain comfort in knowing that I am taken care of. I pray that for each of you, you can find your faith, your comfort, in your way.
So, back to my whole story....
I got this news and my daughter decided to come home. I flew to Texas and she and I had a fun road trip back to Alaska. She is now home again to work and help around home, and spend as much time with us as possible. Yay me!!!! Yay Damon!!!!
Yay Kaili.....right? hahaha
My mom is also living with us presently as she faces a few of her own challenges and we are so so grateful for all of her help!!!
I did my first treatment (again), last wednesday and it went ok. never great. but ok. lol
My littleman turns 7 on Thursday the 11th. woo hoo. We will celebrate with a small family gathering. Maybe surprise him with a party later. He keeps saying he doesn't want a party.
This weekend he graduates to "high orange" belt in Tang Soo Do. So very proud of him and his hard work, and commitment to that.
I better try to sleep now.
love you all. forgive my emotional time out from writing. I had to get myself together, then take a road trip, and get my "house" back in order before I could write all that.
Blessings.
Danielle

03 June, 2013

You just never know

You just never know...
     ~what you'll be when you grow up (till you grow up and do it)
     ~who you will marry (or if you will)
     ~how many kids you will have (and if they will be boys, girls, angels, or whippersnappers)
     ~where you will live (and who you will live with)
     ~who will stand by your side (through the thick and thin...until they do it)
     ~how you will die (or when)
     ~what trials you will face (or how you will face them)
     ~what blessings you will receive (until you receive them, and learn to recognize them)
     ~what your life holds for you (until you live it!)

Today I anxiously waited for a phone call that never came. What a day of emotional ups and downs. This whole week will be that way for me. These weeks I have bloodwork and CT scans are very emotional for me. Even now that I am relying on my lifestyle change to encourage my body to heal naturally. There are so many unknowns....not different really than traditional treatment. Have I drank enough juice? Have I stayed away from other foods enough? Have I taken enough supplements? Have I reduced my stress enough? Have I incorporated enough positive thoughts? Have I given it enough time?
I go from thinking I am doing all these things right and of course!!!! there will be change for the better, to thinking of course I haven't done enough...and my scan will show it with growth! Or even thinking...despite my best efforts maybe there will be growth anyway.
Its nerve racking!
It's stressful!
It's crazy making!
I will be so glad when it's Thursday night, even if my news isn't what I had hoped, prayed and worked hard for.
I mean come on, how many of you can honestly say you like the unknown? I don't think there are many of us who do.
I work hard every single day to be as positive as I can, while still being realistic. Life can change in a second! Things can change in my body fast and I could recover, or get worse. Time is precious!
Let's remember to make the most of it.
Love ya all.
Danielle

01 June, 2013

Looking back

Using the CitrusStar to make orange juice, at Hallelujah Acres

My bedroom while there. 

One of the many salads we made. 

Another one...too spicy for me. 

Just like Cheesecake....so good and all raw/plant based. 


My wonderful Hosts....Janis and Ben. Miss them so much. 


Peeling carrots before Juicing them. 

And there you have it. 

Ben talked about these Enchilada's ALL week. He loves them.  They were pretty good. 



Pizza on Rustic Crust with Daiya cheese, and veggies. 

Vegenaise Sauce, Spinach and Daiya Cheese. 

Ben also loves his Chili. 

I taught Damon how to make "sorbet" in the Champion Juicer.

Looking back I really miss my time at Hallelujah Acres. I was relaxed,  calm,  and at ease there.  Ben and Janis were the most wonderful hosts. Their home is beautiful, and they are so good at making one feel at home there. I feel so blessed to have been able to spend two weeks with them. They have great senses of humor!
I enjoy making some of the recipes I learned for my husband and son. I say "and son" but he really doesn't try too much of what I make. I have been finding more alternatives for him, but would still like to get him more on board with a plant based lifestyle.
I know pancakes aren't really plant baed, but I started making my own batter with Organic whole wheat flour, oats, flax seed, egg substitute, baking soda, a dash of cinnamon, and water or rice milk as a base. He does get raw peanut butter and organic maple syrup on them, but he loves them. That has become the new breakfast favorite. He does love fruit, and thats good.
Skipping forward, I switched Doctors. I transferred my care to out in the "valley" closer to home. I got tired of driving in for every 10 minute appt. to discuss scan reports and such, and then end up being on the opposite page as my doctor. Everything else is out here, scans, bloodwork, I figured I should have a Doc out here as well. I met with my new Doc a few days ago, and I really like him. I told him right up front what I am doing a far as lifestyle and he said that is great. He commented when he came in, that I look really good. He said, "you don't look like what I would expect to see when I read this medical record." It was good to hear him say that. He listened to my lungs and said they sound great! Of course bloodwork and CT scans will give us more information.....those are coming.
We had a good visit and I assured him I feel good, have energy and enjoy being able to do things with my son.
I  will keep in touch about tests and results.
In the mean time, enjoy the pictures. they are not fabulous or beautiful, but tell a story for me, so I love them.
Happy June!

23 April, 2013

This week in Anniversaries

Sunday the 21st was my wedding anniversary. 
8 years!!! 
Some days those years feel so short, like the time went by so fast, too fast. Other days it seems sooo long. Who would have ever thought I would be married for 8 years. And so much has happened in those 8 years. Just as I think, and say out loud occasionally, there just aren't enough hours in each day to get done what I want and need to get done...when I look back on 8 years there seems to be so much time there! 
Time I could have done more with. 
Not that these last 8 years haven't been great, they have held many blessings for me and for John. It just seems we could have squeezed in a little more "doing". 
John and I began our anniversary celebration by going to a movie together a couple of nights before our anniversary. On the actually day of our anniversary we both got up, got ready for church, attended church, came home ate lunch, having both forgotten which day it was!!!! Not until my precious daughter texted me with well wishes for the special day it was, did I remember. I promptly went and gave John a big ol' hug and smooch right in front of Damon!!!! I like to try and gross him out every now and then. but this time he was cheering..kiss more, kiss more! He seems to be in a kissing phase, might have to cut back on his viewing of movies and TV. He has been trying to kiss me and say, let's get married, or let's have a married kiss....hahaha 6 yr old boys! Though it warms my heart when he talks about wanting to marry me, or someone as beautiful as me. awhhh. 
John and I plan on finishing our celebration at the gun range! Of all places. I wanted to get pedicures together, we need them, but he wants me to practice with my new gun, which is a good idea. 
Yesterday however, was the anniversary of my diagnosis with stage IV Colon Cancer. ugh. 
I was sitting outside yesterday afternoon watching my very active son play while I soaked up some sun. While feeling the bright, warming rays on my face it dawned on me that this day three years ago was also a very beautiful day, in Kodiak, Alaska. While my husband and I were driving home from having heard the news, the sun was beating down through the windshield. I wanted nothing more than to go home and get out my lawn chair and sit in that sun the rest of the day, or walk the neighborhood with my son, or take him to the playground. But it wasn't to happen that way. I called my best friend there in Kodiak, Amy Earle, and asked if she and her family could watch Damon for a few hours. I had to go back to the hospital for some tests and scans. I had to drink this big jug of nasty liquid. I told her on the phone I wasn't ok, but would have to fill her in later when Damon wasn't listening...I think. Some details like that slip my mind. Maybe I did tell her right then. I was in such shock that any thought of Damon overhearing me was possibly cast aside. Some of my weaker moments! 
Needless to say Amy and her husband, Jake willingly took Damon, then I went home to drink my gallon of guk, and my mom called while I was there. She had bad news. Her sister had just passed that morning. Mom was crying and so sad, I completely understand, but now I had to give her more bad news. I had to bring her down more. I had to completely ruin her day, week, weekend, month even. I let her talk and when she was done I asked her to sit down. I told her I hated to do this, to grieve her further but I had news of my own. "I have Cancer", I told her. We both started crying, and mom was very upset. When she calmed a little, I asked her to come right away as I was to go into surgery in four days. We needed help with Damon and the home. 
So John and I headed back to town, I don't know what was going through Johns head, but all I could think about was "this is a test of our faith", and "what will my son turn out to be like if I don't raise him?" "how can I miss all the things my son is going to go through in his growing up years?!" I can't!!! I have to be here. 
So, while the beautiful, warm, brilliant sun shone outside, I was inside getting scans, and talking to my doctor. 
I am happy and blessed to be here 3 years later....statistically speaking I shouldn't be. I AM! And I am still fighting statistics. 
I am going to keep fighting. I welcome and appreciate all your happy, positive thoughts, and prayers! 
May you have many "happy" anniversaries. 
love,
Dani


06 April, 2013

Just when you do one thing...

One thing......being getting my bike down and pumping up the tires, and putting away the winter gear. Just when I do all that, it snows for the second time since we had a week of warmer temps and  a bunch of melting going on.
Two separate weeks of warmer temps. It warmed up, then it snowed.
It warmed up again and that snow melted along with old snow...the ditches have been overflowing and most of the yard was snow free. I even went outside without a coat a few times. Then is started snowing again!
Tricky tricky tricky.
Another trick.....starting a project which involves yarn, thinking you have enough because you bought how much it said you would need for that project...only to run out. Upon returning to that store the yarn you need is GONE! yes, GONE....every last one, in every darn color.
DArn darn darn......
So I picked a different yarn, for a completely different project and bought an extra skein...more than it suggests I would need for the project I am planning. I hope it's enough because with my luck if its not, that yarn won't be available when I return.
This is a lesson one would think I have already learned! Well at least me and my daughter would think so. (right Kaili?!) She is always telling me, if you don't buy it now it probably won't be here next time....not speaking of yarn but clothing or shoes...
I heard back from Mr. Gore though. The author of the book I mentioned in my previous post. He emailed me back and said he is going to call me. Awesome. I look forward to speaking with him.
Happy weekend everyone!
Dani

04 April, 2013

aaawwwwhhh yum

Well
So much has happened.
I have made a lot of recipes since I have been home, but not all of the ones I learned, yet.
John and Damon seem to already have their favorites and so have made those a few times.
Tonight I made butternut squash soup again...third time,except the second time I made it only potato soup at John's request and added some of the potatoes as chunks.
Chunks were requested.
Chunks were given.
Broccoli was also requested.
Broccoli with added.
John loved it.
Me,
Not so much!!!
I just love the creamy, squashy, soupy, texture and taste.
I dream about what it would taste like coming from a big, warm, melt in my mouth bread bowl.
mmmmm, I can still dream!!!!
Carrot juice doesn't really conjure up many "dreams" of such things, so when I make the soup, I love the moment.
I found these cool flatbread things at the store, they fold in half and make great veggie sandwiches. I have to have pickles on mine! John loved that too!
John and I went to the Great Alaska Sportsmans Show last saturday and looked at the infrared saunas. We ended up at the store later that day to discuss with Linda, the deal we might get on one. When she found out I had Cancer, she gave me a book. "Defeat Cancer: A Battle Plan for Living" by Gregory A. Gore. It's a great book. I am eagerly reading it to get more wonderful information about what to put in my body that can be healing and nutritional.
She gave me his phone number too. I do have questions for him, but didn't feel brave enough to call, so I called Linda and asked if she could supply me with his email address instead. She did, and I just got done emailing me my questions.
I hope I hear back from him soon.
I will let you know.
I have been busy juicing, walking, and Damon and I even went for our first bike ride of the season two night ago. the weather has been nice with Temps in the 40's during the afternoon. Next week will be cooler again, in the 20's. hmmmm, and we thought spring was coming. hahaha, in Alaska the joke is always on us.
The sauna..?
It's therapeutic.
Relaxing.
Warm.
Or hot. 
I love getting in and reading, or just praying, or meditating to relaxing music while I sweat!
It has colored lights so I can turn them according to my mood...blue, green, red, or red and blue, red and green.
It has a cd player too so I can play my relaxing cd's.
mmm so nice.
Blessings to each of you!!!!
Love
Dani

03 April, 2013

not forgotten

I haven't forgotten about my blog, or my readers. I have just been so very busy since I returned from Hallelujah Acres. I really want to write more on the whole experience and I will...right now it's my bedtime.
I promise I will write before the weekend.
Thank you for being patient.
Dani

09 March, 2013

I am home

I am home from West Virginia. It's been a very crazy week. I had to jump right back into my routine with Damon and at the same time get the produce and other groceries I needed to make juice and other recipes for John and Damon.
I had plans to empty out my pantry early in the week, and it still isn't done. Damon is calling on my right now to start it. He is starting to empty while I write. lol
I had a hard time finding carrots during the middle of the week.
Amazingly I have been able to find a lot of the condements and spices I need, locally. Yesterday I went to Anchorage, to Natural Pantry and was able to find more of what I needed. It's costly there, but I won't have to shop there all the time. I even found "wonder cocoa" there. Now I am almost set to make raw chocolate cake, just need to dehydrate my walnuts and cashews. Today I will be making gingersnaps for Damon.
Damon isn't too keen on the salads or even the cooked dishes I have made. But he is eating sandwiches with cashew butter instead of peanut butter, and oatmeal, healthy pizza's with Diaya cheese (non dairy).  I did get him to eat a little bit of salad one night. :)
John on the other hand is eating all the food and taking leftovers to work each day for lunch.
My time at Hallelujah Acres was wonderful. It was busy but at the same time, relaxing. It was educational and inspirational. I am pretty sure I want to take the class online and become a Health Minister. I think there is a lot of interest in Alaska and the more people we can get to start purchasing the hard to get stuff, the easier that stuff will be to get, and more affordable. Such as organic juicing carrots, vegenaise, nuts, Ezekial bread.
I am looking forward to becoming more healthy as each day passes.
I better help Damon with the pantry now.
If you have any questions about my trip, what I learned, please ask away!
dani

24 February, 2013

Week 1 done....


I like writing in word and then transferring it to my blog because Word has so many more font styles. Like this one for example, or the one I used for my last entry.
It is Sunday after my first full week at Hallelujah Acres in Parkersburg, West Virginia. I have been having a good time. I am over my homesickness and feeling right at home with Ben and Janis. I had a lot of time to myself and with them Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. Yesterday, Saturday, I went with Janis to do her grocery shopping. I thought it was hard to find what I need shopping in the Valley, well we had to drive an hour away to Akron, Ohio for her to find what she needed. And there was one thing she still couldn’t find so we came back to Parkersburg to the one and only tiny little health food store to find that one item.
It was a great chance to talk and just get to know each other better, and a time for me to ask questions and learn more.
Janis and Ben are amazing people, and an amazing couple, and such wonderful, spiritual teachers and examples of living a raw, plant-strong lifestyle. I have been blown over by the things I have learned in one short week, and the foods I have eaten. Things with ingredients that when mixed together taste great even though individually they may be things I never liked before, and never thought I would eat. Now I have no fear of trying new recipes that might not sound good based on their list of ingredients.
I am looking forward to the start of my second week with Janis and Ben and one new guest who is arriving this afternoon.
I will learn more, take notes, try more new things, and drink lots and lots of juice!
My husband and son better prepare themselves for a total overhaul. The pantry is going to get cleaned out, and the refrigerator too. And then their bodies are going to get cleaned out. If John wants to cheat he will have to do it at work and then he will have to deal with how he feels about that.
You hear that honey? We are all going to get healthy. I need people in my house who support me in action not just word. I shouldn’t have to be the only one getting healthy. Let’s take this journey together.
On another note, the sun is out today, and birds are singing, and it’s going to a great day.
I hope and pray yours is wonderful too.
God Bless!!!!!
Danielle
 p.s. my phone is completely frozen so i cannot transfer pictures to my blog. 

22 February, 2013

Wasn't working, now is....


Well, since the internet connection here is sketchy, I have not been able to log onto my blog since that first night I wrote. Interesting, but fact. I am writing in my Word program and will copy and paste at a later date. Not that that helps anyone today to read my blog. It will have to wait until I arrive home I guess.
I am having a great time here at Hallelujah Acres. I have met some wonderful people while here so far though, except for my hosts, they have all left. I am now here by myself until Sunday afternoon at which time an elderly lady arrives to spend the week.
My hosts, as I mentioned before are wonderful. It has been a pure pleasure getting to know them and about their lives and how they came to live a plant based life. They have shared stories about their families, and themselves that really stand as testimony to this whole lifestyle. It isn’t just a “diet”. How many of those have we all tried with no success, or temporary success at best? And anyway, this isn’t about losing weight, though I have lost weight since being here. It’s kind of a side effect of changing ones diet (as in what one eats) after having eating fatty, processed, refined, sugary foods for so long. I don’t mind that side effect.
It was hard to say goodbye to the wonderful people I met here. By first name only, Cecelia, Andrea, Kelly, and her husband Jeff. They each have a different story and reason for being here, but share the same passion as I do when it comes to wanting to get healthy by putting into our bodies only that which is fresh, living, and unprocessed. It’s amazing how quickly you can bond with others.
Now I am on my own for a couple of days and will get a little down time, but also still drinking every hour. So I carry my phone around with me, it’s my alarm clock…I don’t want to forget a juice, or a smoothie. I am feeling good though! I am exercising each day, and we are rebounding. If you don’t know what that is, it’s bouncing on those little mini trampolines…rebounding (I found out) is really good for your lymphatic system. And it’s super easy on the joints. I can jog in place on the rebounder and still walk around later the same day because my knees and lower back aren’t killing me. I use weights or the stretchy band while rebounding too, so doing some resistance for my arms. It’s a good workout. Well, I better get a few minutes of time to rest my eyelids before my next juice.
Blessings,
Dani
making fresh squeezed orange juice for our smoothies, and juices. notice how high the countertop is? tall people used to live in this house. lol

One of the many salads we made and got to eat. 

Cheesecake made with all raw ingredients. Sooooo delicious!!!!!

Some corn salad, it was too spicy for my mouth. Plus the avocado wasn't cut small enough. hahaha

Ben and Janis's house. 

18 February, 2013

So far in West Virginia....

So far it has been very good. I finally arrived here today (Monday) around lunchtime. I was supposed to show up yesterday late afternoon but my flight got canceled due to maintenance issues with the aircraft. Got a free 6 hours at the Sheraton. wooo hoo

 I have already learned so much here that I will be able to bring home and teach my family. This is just what I have been needing; hands on, real life learning and application. Reading all the books I have read about diet and healing is great, but doesn't give me hands on experience. I am soaking  up the hands on learning and arming myself with knowledge to bring home and share! 

I was very homesick at lunchtime. Their are two other ladies here who came yesterday (on time), they are wonderful. Then tonight right after dinner, a couple showed up. Great People!!!! None of these people are staying as long as I am though. And I just want to say, none of them have to drink as many juice, and barley max drinks as I do! such is my situation. 
Ben, the husband is great. He gets my barley max, and enzyme supplements and my carrot juice to me each hour that I need it. He takes care of that stuff. Janis, his wife does all the informational teaching. She instructs us in the kitchen while we put together meals, shows videos, leads us in exercise...She is great that way! We prepare the meals, Ben cleans the kitchen! It works great! 
I am so grateful to each and every one of the people who have made donations to my gofundme.com site!!! Because of your generosity I am able to be here right now. To continue what I am doing though, I will need supplements when I return home, and while they aren't nearly as expensive as medicine, they aren't cheap. Once i have been doing this for several months I can cut back on the supplements, and continue with everything else. I am so excited. 
Blessings to each of you!!! 
Dani

New Day

Hi everyone!

My last flight of the night got cancelled, so I was put up at the Sheraton hotel and am presently back at the airport early this morning to catch a new flight. This time to Charleston, WV. My hosts will have to drive 1 1/2 hours one way to pick me up, but at least I should get there this time. I could have resumed my reservation on the same flight to Parkersberg, but with the plane having mechanical problems, there was no guarantee it would be fixed this morning. I didn't want to take any chances. I want to be there by lunchtime. I have already missed orientation last night, and will miss all morning of juicing, and information. Hopefully they will help me catch up to speed. After all, it wasn't cheap to come here, and I am here only because of the generosity of friends, family, and friends of friends! I want to get their money's worth right?!!!!! Absolutely!
No Jamba Juice here in cleveland airport, so i will have to wait. I don't feel too hungry so that is good. I caught up on about 5 hours of lost sleep, I am sure i will sleep very well tonight! And each consecutive night I am there.
Updates coming as I have time.
Happy Presidents Day!!!!
Danielle