Monday, October 29, 2007

monday morning question


What do you plan on accomplishing next month?

My answer: 

I plan to finish unpacking my apartment or at least making major head way.  Then some friends want to have a housewarming party for me!  I am helping them plan some games and some fun stuff for it! 

I also plan to put together a little Thanksgiving dinner.  I am not sure who I am inviting yet.  It's going to be a busy month.

So what are you going to accomplish next month?

Friday, October 26, 2007

meet a real live sword swallower!

In my last entry, I asked you all "If you were to run away and join the circus, what kind of performer would you be?".    I was amazed at your answers.  I had such cowardice, and would only agree to be a clown.  You all were brave!  You gave answers from lion tamer, to trapeze artist, to contortionist to many things in between.   

But what amazed me most, was there were a couple of people who replied to the question who have performed in a circus. 

One is Astaryth of Adventures of an Eclectic Mind.  Here's her comment: 


Ummmm... what if you really -did- run off and join the circus once upon a time?? LOL! I think if I went back I would want to work with my beloved Tigers, but would also enjoy the horses, or even some of the other exotics. I much prefer taking care of them to actually putting on the costume and performing every day (which I have -also- done!)

Another person who commented was Dan Meyer.  He presently performs as a sword swallower! 

Comment from: halfdan
"Since I've already worked as a real circus clown, juggler, elephant rider, fire-eater, and for the past 6 years one of the last few Sword Swallowers left in the world today, I would probably have to pick something else new that I've never done before!

Since I LOVE animals (I work with horses and parrots now), I have always wanted to be either a Big Cat trainer or to fly on the flying trapeze.

If you get get any responses from others who really want to learn sword swallowing, please send them my way!


Dan Meyer 

When I emailed Dan and asked him if I could tell his story in an entry, he emailed me back and said yes.  He told me this:

Hi Krissy!  Sure.  

I'm curious to hear what other responses you get back on your website!   As a kid, I always used to set up a blanket in my back yard and try to train our kittens to stand on stools... I always wanted to raise the big cats, ride elephants, and run away with the circus.  When I was in college, I learned to juggle, got into clown ministry, learned fire-eating, and ended up working with a variety of small circuses around the midwest.  Then I hung out with Ringling Brothers for a few weeks in Madison WI, and got invited to go to Ringling Brothers Clown College.  But instead of going to Ringling Brothers Clown College, I ended up moving to be a missionary in India where I learned to ride elephants and saw sword swallowing first-hand.  Then after 20+ years of clowning, juggling, stilt-walking and fire-eating I finally learned sword swallowing after 3 years of daily practice.  Now this is all I do, and I enjoy performing on TV programs and documentaries, but also getting to perform with the occasional few sideshows that are still around.   I'll include a link that I filmed with John Strong's Sideshow at the TN State Fair in Nashville about a month ago, as well as a few photos.  As a matter of fact, this past weekend, I got to work with several Ringling Brothers clowns in TN, and to juggle and pass clubs with the TOP female juggler from Russia!   All this coming from a NON-Circus kid who just really wanted to work with the circus!  All this is just to say, if there's a WILL, there's a WAY!

Linda of Footprints in the Sand emailed me to provide us with this link in case any of us would like to join the circus:  SO YOU WANNA JOIN THE CIRCUS?  Thanks Linda!

Finally, I want to end this entry with photos Dan sent of himself to me to share with you all.

                                   Dan as a clown

                        Dan applying his clown makeup 

How cool is this?  Here he is in the Ringling Brothers Parade!

                                 Dan fire swallowing

Almost done here.  Now for the finale, and what Dan does today:

                             He's a sword swallower!  According to Wikipedia, only a few dozen are in existence today.

I hope you enjoyed this entry!  It was fun!

EDIT:  Earlier I put in a link for Dan Meyer's website.  Unfortunately I wrote an incorrect website address.  If you want to check out his website the URL is now corrected.

Krissy :)

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Monday, October 22, 2007

monday morning question


If you were to run away and join the circus, what kind of circus performer would you be?

(Come on, play along, you can't say "I'm not going to run away!"  This game is just for pretend!)

Here are some possible answers to choose from:  lion tamer, trapeze artist, clown, bearded lady, tightrope walker, unicyclist, fire swallower, knife thrower, human cannonball, and sword swallower.

My answer:  I guess I'll choose to be a clown.  And maybe do some juggling.  Actually clowns kind of scare me.  But there are no other acceptable choices for me.  So clown it is!

Write your answer in the comment section below or write it up in your journal and leave the link below.

Krissy :) 

Saturday, October 20, 2007

my photo scavenger hunt photos

At present, the Photo Scavenger Hunt is being hosted by Val of There is a Season.  I haven't been able to run it for awhile, so Val has been  running it for me.  She has done a fabulous job!  For this week's subject, she has chosen Autumn. 



These are Fall flowers on my patio.  They are called Icicle Pansies.  They bloom all throughout Autumn.  As a matter of fact, they continue to bloom throughout the Winter, even during snowfalls.  I love their rich colors, and think they are a vibrant alternative to the changing Fall leaves.



This bird feeder in my backyard also represents Autumn to me.  Since there's a greater scarcity of food in Autumn, John and I fill a bird feeder every year.  We love to watch the birds come.  Michael enjoys it also, and looks out the window, pretending he is catching the birds!  He can watch them for hours.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Fall.  Krissy :)   

john doesn't have kidney cancer

Sorry I haven't done a proper entry since John and I came back from Hershey Medical Center Cancer Clinic.  I wanted to give you the latest news we learned in Hershey about John.  But as you know, my husband also has a journal, and I wanted to let him go first with the news, as it is his story to tell.  But now that John has done an entry in his journal, I'll come out with the news.

John doesn't have kidney cancer.

Dr. Claxton is sure.  John has had several tests, and it's conclusive that John does NOT have kidney cancer.  I told Dr. Claxton that I was perplexed, and wondered why the local doctor would imply that John could have it.  He said he didn't know why his local doctor made such a wrong diagnosis.  He also said that we should stop being concerned about it, and told John to "go home and enjoy life". 

He also told John he could join the gym with me.  That should really be fun.

This really surprised me because John once again, as of late, has almost no immune system.  He is getting so much better in so many ways, but for some reason, his neutrophil count is not improving.  He has to be careful in so many ways.

He can't eat fresh fruits and vegetables.  Nor can he eat at buffets.  He can't touch dirt.  Technically, he is not supposed to go to the gym either, but I guess it is okay if he wears his mask, and washes his hands afterwards.  When he is neutropenic (when his immune system is severely low) he has to wear his mask outside all the time.

Strangely enough, he almost never has caught anything while his immune system is compromised.  His oncologist has no explanation for this.

So how am I feeling?  Extremely relieved John doesn't have another cancer.  And relieved that he doesn't easily catch things even though his immune system is compromised.  How else am I feeling?  I am still struggling with just "going home and enjoying life".  It's hard.  Especially after you have gone through a lot.  Many don't understand this.  It is not so easy to just switch gears.  I know it will get easier with time.  However, once you have gone through what John and I have gone through, you are never the same.  You have to come to terms with what happened, what you saw, what you experienced.  Nothing is ever the same again.  You have to begin, what post bone marrow transplant survivors call, a "new normal". 

You have to start all over again.  You have new beliefs.  You deal with your mortality and that of others.  You think about those who have passed.  You mourn for them.  You wonder why you or your loved one made it and somebody else didn't. 

You are tired enough to sleep for 50 years.  You have so much in your mind to debrief from that you could talk for 50 years.  You try to decide between sleeping and talking.  If you had time you would choose sleeping, but constant doctor's appointments win out. 

Fear of coming out of remission is constant. 

You wonder who your real friends are.  Many just want something from you.  Many old friends are gone.  Sometimes family is often not heard from again.  On the other hand, new loyal friends suddenly come into your life. 

Your life is an emotional roller coaster.

You wonder when you can hear the word Cancer again without crying.

You worry about the effects of chemo brain on you or your loved one.

You wish there was someone who was open enough to share with you, who has gone through what you have, if only to debrief to. 

You wish you weren't so anxious and hyper vigilant.

Your relationship with God changes.  Hopefully for the better.  In my case for the better.  I really do trust Him more.

Okay, I just took a break, and considered erasing this whole entry, except for a blurb that would read "John doesn't have kidney cancer, praise God!".  And that's true, he doesn't.  And I guess I should be grateful and that is it.  But I still do have these things I am dealing with.  Maybe I will be able to handle them better soon, as soon as I deal with them head on.  I am tempted to delete this entry but I guess I will leave it in.

I just wanted to get some of this off of my chest, let you know how I am doing.

I truly AM thankful John's kidney cancer is gone.  Praise God for that!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

how did your journal get it's name?

How did your journal get it's name?
I have been wanting to ask you all this question for a long time.  Waiting to see how you'd respond, because I think your answers would be fascinating.  A journal/blog is a very personal thing, and is usually not just named on a whim.  Each journal's title reflects its owner and something about them.     
The way my journal received it's name was out of the journals first entry title, and subject matter.  The first entry was, of course, entitled "Sometimes I Think". 
It started off like this:  Sometimes I think.  I think about life.  I think about love.  I think about serious things... and funny things...This is a blog about my thoughts.  I hope you enjoy coming along for the ride.  (There was a lot more to this first paragraph, but in an effort to keep this short, I am editing it.)
I often think about whether or not I like the title of my blog.  To be honest with you, I do!  It is unique! 
When you think about it though, it is kind of funny.  I said Sometimes I think.  Well, what do I do the rest of the time, leave my mind empty, LOL?  I saw my journal listed in someone's "Other Journals" section one time.  It read like this:  Krissy (the part-time thinker!).  I almost fell out, LOL.   
So, I want to know,
How did your journal get it's name?
Krissy :)

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Monday, October 15, 2007

monday morning question


What prompted you to start your journal?

My answer:  My sister Valerie had a journal and urged me to start one.  You all will not believe this, I am sure, but I was a VERY private person, not willing to share my feelings and especially what happened in my life with others, not even family members.  So why did I start a journal?  I am not sure.  I think it was because I love writing, and because my sister urged me to do it.  I continued it because I love you all.



Saturday, October 13, 2007

i've lost weight!

I haven't been able to mention it lately, because so much has been going on, but I have lost 30 lbs. in the last few months.  That's not bad.  And I have done it pretty comfortably too.  Perhaps I will do another entry letting you all know how.  
I've done it the way my Diabetes Educator, Diane, explained it to me.  I have a fantastic physician who treats my diabetes, who sent me to her.  In the past, I had another Diabetes Educator.  I made NO progress.  But with Diane it is different.  She is terrific!  She has shown me a new way of eating.
If you all remember, I also visited the diabetic nurse, who showed me how to give myself insulin shots.  Now John gives them to me most of the time, LOL, even though I can do it.  I really do hate them, and I am the world's BIGGEST baby.  They HURT.  LOL.  Especially in the arm.  And my stomach is all bruised up.  Sheesh I am a baby, LOL.  After all he has been through, and I say ouch when he does it.  He says it makes him feel bad, because he doesn't want to hurt me.  I better cut it out.  
So anyway, I am doing very well!  I have lost weight.  I was on two oral medications and the insulin.  Well a couple of weeks ago, I got to come off one of the medications!  It is because of the weight loss.  I was talking to another diabetes educator on the phone, who said at my next appointment (in about a week) I will probably have my insulin lowered this time!  And it will continue to be lowered probably.  Especially since she wants me to start exercising.
She suggests I do water aerobics at the local Y.  She says that encompasses both aerobics and strength training, because there is resistance when you are in water and you are pushing against it.  I never thought about that.  I guess that would speed up weight loss.  I guess it can't hurt to try it.  So I am going to join the YMCA.  
I hope I continue to lessen the need for insulin, and can eventually get off of it.  I can't wait to see if I lose more weight.
I'm excited.
Oh, I forgot to mention.  John and I are going to Hershey tomorrow.  We will be staying at Hope Lodge.  It is just a routine check up and tests.  I really think he is doing well, all things considered.  Not perfect, but pretty well.  So we should be back most likely by Monday night.  I am not sure if you will see any entries from me while we're away.  It depends on if anybody will be hogging the computer at Hope Lodge, LOL.  They should know by now that it's MY computer, LOL...


Friday, October 12, 2007

i got me a new bed

I'm going to try another entry tonight and HOPE that the font doesn't  mess up this time.  I'm doing this in comic sans.  But every night when I have been trying to do that, it doesn't work out that way.  Also, every time I press save, I either get gigantic letters or itty bitty ones that people need a magnifying glass to read.  It makes me mad.  Such little frustrations, LOL.  But I don't want my journal to look ugly, and I want it to be legible.  We'll see what happens this time.  If it doesn't work out yet again, I guess I will have to email AOL and ask them to fix the problem.  

Alright, I promised photos.  Well, I am still working on the apartment, but the bedroom is pretty clean, so I can give you that one, LOL.  


Do you like my new bed?  John and mine, I mean, LOL.  We got it today.  It is called Thyme.  It is an oak queen-size bed.  It is very sturdy, and very simple.  I like simple furniture.  

So I am feeling a little better today.  I got a lot more done.  I am feeling a little more above water.  One step at a time, as you all told me.

Let's see, what else is new?  John is really having fun doing his journal.  Know what is funny?  I read his, and told him it sounded a lot like my style, LOL.  Isn't that odd?  That we would write similar?  I know we are married and all, but I still find it unusual, LOL.

Okay, so my thoughts are all over the place, so I guess I will get off of here.  I just wanted to show you my new bed.  It is SO comfortable.  I know I am going to sleep well tonight!

Love you all, Krissy :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

check it out!

Hi you all.  I am just getting on here to encourage you to check out a new journal.  It is, well, John's.  Take a look...

                             too stubborn to die  

Hope you all enjoy it.  He is excited to be doing it.  Krissy :)


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"and maybe we can make the world a whole lot brighter"

I'm sitting here late at night listening to Brady Bunch songs, LOL.  They're on a CD that a friend made for me.  This is a truly fun CD.  It starts out with He Aint Heavy then moves on to James Taylor.  The songs get even more fun and even funnier.  It contains the Love Boat and the Bee Gees and The Partridge Family.  And ends with some cool, I mean *cough* groovy, Brady Bunch songs, LOL.  Oh, and it has some Elvis and the song Desperado.  How can you beat that?  

I guess I am listening to it to try to get unstressed.  I need something totally silly.  This has been one crazy day.  Too many things going on.  So many people asking me to help them with too many things.  I just can't keep up.  Not if I had three life times.  I want to help, but now I see I am spreading myself too thin.  How do I do this?  I assured myself I wouldn't try to help EVERYBODY, but everything seems so urgent right now.  I don't know what to cut out.

Oh, I like this song that's playing right now!...  He aint heavy, he's my on we go!  His welfare is my concern.. No burden is he, to bare, we'll get there...

Oops, that's not the song I need right now, LOL.  Talk about strange timing, LOL.  

I also went to my local cancer support group board meeting tonight.  I guess you gathered from that statement that I'm on the board, LOL.  It is actually more than a support group, we are branching out into a lot of things.  I will have to tell you about what we are doing soon.  It is hard work, but I am realizing tonight how emotionally draining it is.  The subject of cancer makes me cry tonight.  Just thinking of what John went through.  What I hope he doesn't go through in the future.  And thinking about those we have lost.  While I enjoyed helping tonight, it left me more emotional than I thought it would.  

Okay, so I need to pull it together, regroup, and get things done that need to get done.  Regardless of being all emotional and everything.  Because besides needing to do all of the things that are very pressing (like I need to take care of my bills), and helping a few people I am going to help, I still need to work on the house.  There are boxes full of stuff in the living room, and a few in my bedroom.  

Oh, and I have to get rid of this bed in here.  We are going to get a new one on Thursday!  Isn't that just great?

Oh no!  Here comes another song on the CD - I Hope You Dance.  You see, that song makes me cry.  I love that song in one sense, but in another sense, tonight it makes me bawl.  It takes me back a few months to the beginning of this year when John's oncologist told us that John's cancer was back.  (Of course this turned out to be a false alarm, a misdiagnosis - but we didn't know that at the time.)  And we were told that he would have to have a second transplant.  And then we were told by his kidney doctor that he wouldn't make it through the transplant, because of his 25% kidney function, and that his kidneys would totally fail him.  John was told basically to get prepared to die during or shortly after the bone marrow transplant, or that he should even consider not going through with the transplant at all, and to consider dying at home. 

Okay, so you all don't know this, but I actually went to the funeral home and planned John's funeral.  Picked out his casket and everything.  I chose the gray stone one.  It was the lowest price but was still the best one, I thought.  The director tried to get me to go to the next one up, but it was pink, LOL.  Now could you see my conservative husband, who never wears anything but conservative colors, in a pink casket, LOL?  

Anyway, there was a lot of planning involved, and my Dad helped me.  Why am I mentioning this?  Perhaps to debrief.  It's time to finally get some things out.  I have so much stored up in this head and heart of mine that has to do with the past two years since John first got cancer.  No, actually, the past eight years when he got the first cancer (a completely different kind). 

And I am wondering about the kidney thing.  Does John have a third cancer?  Maybe, maybe not.  Yes, I know, I can't sit around worrying.  But it kind of hangs over our heads.  So does the fact that he could go out of remission at any time.

Oh, this is pretty dumb.  Sitting around wondering what COULD happen.  You just need to trust God that whatever does happen, you will be okay.  And so will your loved ones.  I'm just saying it gets a little heavy at times. 

Okay, thanks for being my counseling session, LOL.

Soon I will do an entry on what cancer CANNOT do.

I know I promised you pictures of my new home, but the camera batteries are still recharging.  We'll try for tomorrow.

Okay, I need to go to bed now.  Sorry I was so heavy and rambling.  

Loving you, Krissy :)


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

i have my computer up and working!

Hi you all!  I guess since I have posted three entries in a row, you have guessed by now that I am back on my own computer!  My friend Jennifer and I hooked it up a couple of days ago in my new apartment.  Now I can get on here whenever I want!  And I still have DSL

Wow, is this great or what, LOL?!  I had been going through major computer withdrawals, before getting my computer back.  Now I need to make sure that I don't obsess and stay on here entirely too much, LOL.  It would be pretty easy to do.  I love reading your journals.

I have my computer in my bedroom.  I guess that is not very feng shui, as Vern on Trading Spaces would say.  But I don't care.  I like it in here.

So I have been enjoying setting up my new home.  Yes, actually enjoying it.  It is because I really love it here.  There is something so peaceful about it.  It's really hard to explain, but it has such a peaceful spirit. 

I love the layout.  And the rooms are large.  There are two bedrooms and two full baths.  That is pretty amazing to me, especially since there is only John and me.  I also love that there is a laundry room with a washer and dryer and that there is a dishwasher.  You all may think that I am silly to think that these things are so special.  But we have been very low income, as neither John nor I have been able to work.  So having these things, at an affordable price for us, is simply priceless. 

There is also a little patio in the back.  I love it.  I am growing flowers in pots.  I also have chairs for John and me (well only one chair so far, I still have to put his out there, LOL) and a little table where we can drink coffee or tea on in the morning.  And a bird feeder so the birds can eat, and Michael can sit in the ledge of the window and watch the birds.  He is and always will be a hunter, and he thinks he is catching the birds from the window, LOL.  Or at least he thinks he is playing with them! 

I will have pics of the apartment when it gets further along.  John and I have made tremendous strides, but still have a ways to go.  Yes, I know, I have promised you pics before.  But I really do mean it this time, LOL.  I will take them just as soon as more boxes are gone, LOL.


So, I guess I'll tell you how I've been feeling lately.  Life's kind of been like a roller coaster ride.  Getting through the mold issue was way rough.  It took a big toll.  But it was way worth it.  I am so glad John and I stood our ground and made them fix the situation.  And that we kept our place to live.  That we never caved in.  It took apartment management one month to fix the situation, to completely rid the place of mold.  

So John and I told the apartment management we weren't going to pay October's rent because we didn't get to live there in September.  That's actually the law in PA.  We also gave them our Sept. electricity bill which they ran up working on the apartment when we weren't there.  The manager seemed rather angry but agreed to the transaction.  I felt proud of myself, but to be honest with you, felt very shaky at the same time.  Yes, it is a very emotional time.

I am also feeling good about myself for decorating this place.  I am learning how to put new things together like shelves, LOL.  I am also throwing a lot of my old things away!  And giving things to charity. 

At the same time, I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed.  Will I EVER get done?  I have to keep telling myself, one day at a time.  I am a mixture of feelings!


Oh drat.  I was just going to be brave enough to take a few photos.  Of like my bathroom (now wouldn't that be lovely, LOL, but it is finished!), and of my bird feeder, and some plants on my patio.  But I tried and my camera batteries are dead.  So I will recharge them right now and they will be good to go real soon! 

Okay, well, I guess I better run now.  I can't stay on this computer all day, LOL.  Kitty wants breakfast and I guess I should pay attention to John, LOL.  Who is doing somewhat better.  Most of the time.  But that is an entry for another time...

Love you, Krissy :)

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Monday, October 8, 2007

monday morning question


What commercial do you find the most annoying?

My answer:  The Verizon Wireless "Can You Hear Me Now" commercials.

How about you?  Put your answer in the comment section below.  Krissy :)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

case against abortion

                                  8 week old embryo  


Today is Respect Life Sunday in the Catholic Church, as well as perhaps other churches.  We have been asked to write about the topic of abortion in our blogs.  This is a hard topic.  It often divides people.  But it is so important, that I am going to attempt to do an entry.


abortion (noun) - The termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus; especially:  the medical procedure of inducing expulsion of a human embryo to terminate a pregnancy. 


Hopefully in this entry you will become a little more educated.  The facts contained in this entry will be hard hitting and emotional, but there is no other way to present abortion facts but straight on. 


Fetal Development

First I wanted to show you a few photos showing fetal development.  Here are some links to human embryos.  Please note how developed a human being is in his or her early stages of life.

Photo 1:  seven week old embryo

Photo 2:  eight week old embryo

Photo 3:  twelve week old embryo

For a complete set of photos, please visit:  Photos of Fetal Development 


Photos of Abortion

Now comes the hard part.  Yes, actual photos.  I'm going to provide you with a page of links.  Please be warned.  But consider looking at the photos anyway.  But just be informed that they are beyond graphic.  How could they not be?  If you have had an abortion, don't look at them without going to therapy first.  But otherwise, consider looking at them.  As a matter of fact, if you consider yourself a "choicer" right now, I am going to challenge you to look.  Then come back and tell me how you can feel the same way.  I challenge you to do this.  Are you up for the challenge?

Images of Aborted Babies     


There is help if you're pregnant

If you are pregnant and would like assistance, you need to know there are places you can turn to, where you will be treated with respect and confidentiality.  There is help available for both you and your child,  before, during and after you give birth.  

Don't be victimized by making a mistake.  Don't let the abortion industry take both your money AND your child.  Below are links where you can get help in your area.

OptionLine (US, UK, Canada)

The National Life Center 1-800-848-LOVE (US)

US Directory of Pregnancy Help Centers & Shelters for Pregnant Women


If you have had an abortion...

If you have had an abortion, you may be experiencing something called Post-Abortion Syndrome.  The loss of a child is a devastating Loss.  

These are some symptoms of Post-Abortion Syndrome:

low self-esteem
suicidal tendencies
drug or alcohol abuse
eating disorder
abusive relationships

Please contact one of the following organizations for help if you have had an abortion.:

The National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing (secular and Christian)

Project Rachel (Catholic Christian)


I hope this entry has served to better inform you. 

And I hope it provided you with resources for any help you may have needed, for yourself or to pass on to another.

Take care of yourself and each other,


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