Phillippians 4: 6-7 "Cast your cares upon the Lord & He will give you a peace and grace beyond understanding" ….in other words…. As Bob Marley sang it, "Say, don't worry, about a 'ting, cuz every little 'ting, is gonnna be alright!"
Elise and I started this blog together about six years ago at the beginning of her journey with cancer. Elise would write, pouring her heart out to all of us, updating everyone on the trials and tribulations of suffering with grace while juggling the everyday joys of life as a wife and a mother of five young children. At first, Elise would ask me to edit her writing and help with formatting. We worked with a graphic designer, using her bird motif, which eventually evolved into a Team Buna tee-shirt design. I loved collaborating with Elise. It was so easy! We were a team and I enjoyed every second of serving her in this small way.
Pretty soon, Elise knew exactly what she was doing and no longer needed my help. She had a vision for Team Buna, and her mission and voice for her blog were clear. She might have said, “You don’t tell me what to do!” but I didn’t hear it that way. Elise would publish something and I would scramble to get online and read and laugh and cry. The news wasn’t always easy to see in black and white, but somehow, by the end of each post, I still believed, right alongside Elise, and all of you, that “every little thing was gonna be alright.”
Our precious friend’s journey with cancer ended on Sunday, August 16, 2020. A week ago, on Thursday, August 20th, Elise was laid to rest at St. Joseph Abbey.
Before being entrusted to Hospice Care, Elise wanted to write another post to update us on her diagnosis. She wanted to let her Team Buna Family know how she was doing. For whatever reason, it just wasn’t part of God’s plan for her to do so. She kept in touch with us here. It was a place where she loved us, really. It was a place where she could, even in her greatest suffering, point us to Christ and to our Loving Father. Elise’s message, no matter how heavy the news, was a message of the Father’s love for her, and for all of us, personally. Even though Elise didn’t get to write one last post, the final days of her life on earth, as explained so beautifully by her brothers Jean and Beau, were the culmination of a fight with cancer and a race to heaven that we can all look to as an example. #livelikeelise
I am working on another post to help bring some closure to this beautiful blog. It’s been difficult to find the right words so soon after her passing from this life. (Pray for me? Elise, intercede for me!) In the meantime, I’d like to share the video of the eulogy and the funeral. If you don’t have the time right now to watch it in its entirety, fast forward to 12:40 for Jean Charbonnet’s eulogy and 42:00 for the Proclamation of the Gospel, immediately followed by Fr. Beau Charbonnet’s homily. Elise’s brothers did her proud, to say the least.
THIS quote above has pretty much been a running theme for my life since I was a little girl. More clearly it has proven itself in ways that I’ve spoken about through my cancer journey as of recent years!
Never ceases to make me think but that good ol’ scene from “HITCH” when the smooth BUT true heart of Gold date finder, Will Smith, has zero game has nothing but obstacles trying to make the simplest plans. Only to be set up for FAILURE after FAILURE! Ya see, now, That’s good stuff. That kind of “not so smooth” terribly un-intentionally funny guy was always the more attractive to me. Smooth, filtered and primly pressed? Not me. I got no game. I’ll trip into a room and tell everyone I did it just to make sure everyone got the good laugh I know it deserved. ‘Cuz that spazticness (sp??) that I own so well deserves the laugh that I earned with all the bruises that ‘ll come later to remind me later. I guess I’m a magnet for the UNPLANNED LIFE! Just sayin’. I’m not a game player. Honesty. What you see is what you get. No matter who or what it is. No matter how complicated or simple. Be blunt. Give it to me straight. My docs know it And that works for me. Dr.Saux has always made sure to not sugar coat anything with me and we don’t hide the truth or sugar coat the truth away from our kids. We are honest always We merely divulge what is needed when needed, but never hide God is the same. He gives us what we need when we need it and He ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ACCOMPANIES A PLATE OVERFLOWING WITH GRACE EXACTLY IN THE RIGHT TIMING , HIS TIMING FOR THAT PERFECT TIMING TO ALLOW FOR THAT PRESENT NEED that we just couldn’t have foreseen. If that’s what Works for God. Works for Me. Don’t overcomplicate it Life is already gonna be complicated enough, right? RIGHT. Read this one. You’ll see.
In this post, I’ll speak more of how intensely my many “attempts” at so much both over the years assuage situations amongst my family to keep the calm and the strength and the peace kinda HIT THE FAN, as well as my “attempts” to check off my best laid “plans” for a real BEV GOLDBERG CHRISTMASthat I didn’t even know I was attempting. (I beg you, check out at least one episode. You won’t be sorry!) Just click the green words above.)
I. My MAIN GOAL THIS YEAR AND ALL I’VE EVER REALLY WANTED:
-How can we do this? (Every year our kiddos choose a “secret Santa” among the 5 siblings to surprise on Christmas morning with a small token of thoughtfulness that can either be bought one afternoon with me at Marshalls or $5 Below by carefully sneaking it past their “SS” and dropping it in my cart once I’ve place myself in the corner of the store for them to each shop and drop off their items vs. going separately w each kid. Or, they have made something on other years. THIS year, we’ve noticed a great deal of stress and conflict amongst our crew and felt we needed to avoid actual gifts all together and made a plan to do a calendar of “acts of kindness” for their “Secret Santas”. (Rules: Fill in A full Advent Calendar that I printed for each of them with only ACTS of LOVE, prayer and/or service that you did each day for your sibling. ie: you did an extra chore for them (made their bed, picked up their dinner spot, folded their laundry or cleaned their clothes. You said a rosary, did a novena, Went to the chapel with mom or dad for them. Caught yourself when you were about to snap and chose to ask them to play instead. (Chose compassion). You wrote a letter to them or wrote an acronym of their name about all your favorite things….. The advent calendars were exchanged on Christmas EVE and most adhered to the non-gift giving rule, but some still couldn’t refrain from gifts. However, it was sweet to see how thoughtful they were in all the prayers that were said throughout advent and how loving their words and creative ideas were for acts of kindness. We definitely will build more on this for LENT and in the future when we need a reprogram for the FAM!
2) To have a peaceful, Christmas: NO FIGHTS INCLUDED. NO SASSING MOM & DAD FOR ATLEAST THE 24 HRS OF 12/25-12-12/26.
(I’VE BEEN WORKING ON THIS BLOG ALL DAY LONG WITH A MERIAD OF TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES AND GLITCHES, AND AS I’VE MOVED FROM HIDING SPOT TO HIDING SPOT, WHAT I HOPE TO BE THE LAST 20 MINUTES, I HEAR MY SWEET HUSBAND, TRYING TO KEEP THE RESTLESS NATIVES AWAY FROM ME, YET THEY ARE STILL AT EACH OTHERS’ THROATS FOR ONLY GOD TRULY KNOWS WHY?? . AS YOU CAN GUESS… MY CHRISTMAS WISH DID NOT COME TRUE FOR A NON-FIGHTING, MORE LOVING FAMILY WHO LOVES LOVES LOVES THIS CHRISTMAS.
(COME ON YOU KNOW YOU WANNA GET UP AND SHIMMY! DO IT WHEREVER YOU ARE! EVEN IF YOU’RE AT WORK, PUT THOSE EARPLUGS IN AND WIGGLE OR TURN IT UP AND START A CONGA LINE WITH YOUR CO-WORKERS! #YOLO! DANCIN’S ALWAYS GOOD FOR THE SOUL!!)
(Script calls for a steroid induced, coffee stained Christmas-sweatered shirt to enter the scene, drinking her peppermint Mocha after dropping her kids off to Carpool, singing to her favorite Christmas Carols… AGAIN.. and feeling‘ on top of the world after a fair to assume 4th week of steroid-induced night of insomnia that she feels worked “in her favor to knock out nearly 80% of her Christmas list shopping with 3 weeks left before the 25th! (Cell phone rings, she puts down coffee.)
SLEEPLESS BUT JOLLY & SLIGHTLY COCKYELISE ANSWERS FRIENDS’ CALL OUT OF THE BLUE TO OFFER HER SERVICES TO PICK UP AND WRAP ELISE’S CHILDREN’S PRESENTS FOR HER AS A PERSONAL “GIFT”.
ELISE RESPONDS QUICKLY BUT STUPIDLY: “Awww, that’s so VERY sweet of you. IT REALLY IS. But I don’t NEED that! Ya see, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT I REALLY THINK I’VE GOT IT! IN FACT, I’m so far ahead of the game! FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE
(THERE’S THE FIRST AND MOST STUPID THING I EVER SAID! ANY TIME I SAY “I’VE GOT THIS. MAY THAT BE MY FIRST WARNING. GOD’S GOT THIS. I DON’T EVER HAVE IT! WHEN WILL I EVER LEARN! SHEESH! )
(I CONTINUED): “I’ve already got ALL of my shopping done and the kids still have school left to go. I’ll be wrapped and ready before they get out!” (WRONG!!!)
I don’t know what I was thinking, hence the video above…
(Click above “Cher: If I could turn back time”).. don’t need to watch whole thing, you get the idea! 😉
And this is all that when through my head over and over again as I desperately tried to grasp onto some type of Family Christmas activities with my faves at home to make Christmas cookies while listening to my tunes that I save for just this time of the year like: “White Chistmas (Bing Crosby); (“Baby it’s Cold Outside” (Dean Martin & Doris Day); (“Oh Holy Night” (Harry Connick, Jr.); (“Louisiana Christmas Day” – Aaron Neville), to list just a few of our classics that are always playing around the house since my hubbie and I were kids and play each Christmas morn when the kids come down the stairs to see what Santa stowed away under the tree…! A little of the whole world classics, a little Southern Louisiana Classics. Perfect. All is just right. Right? This Christmas break is kickin off with a BANG!!
SORRY FOR YET ANOTHER MOVIE REFERENCE (This one, that may really divide a lot of my followers. Who knows, may win a few, may lose a few. But I thought the term if anything was funny! We can all keep our opinions to ourselves about the movie. As many of you are polarized by my music and movie, t.v. or movie choices maybe. My FAITH is constant, an my humor is what it is. I’m just a laugher. So there! This reference is funny, ya gotta admit: Bad moms II: called Christmas present getting for moms, etc. …the time of year for every moms’ SUPERBOWL / AKA: CHRISTMAS GIFTS UNDER THE TREE & AT EVERY PARTY, FAMILY GET TOGETHER, …. In this movie, they decided to boycott the whole thing bc of all the pressure to keep getting it just right. Because ya know what?
After staying up night after night, ALL NIGHT LONG… LITERALLY. WHEN I THOUGHT I “was good having bought ever of time that I told people I didn’t NEED any help to wrap presents this year I’m AHEAD OF THE GAME!”
How many times did I replay those conversations Over and OVER!
OR … was I singing Cher’s Amazing “Turn back time” Hit OVER in my HEAD
while sitting on the floor with my faithful Hubby, Jason, who helped me
for the first time this year, as this was the FIRST time I’d let it get this bad when my intention was to only get
it all SO RIGHT!?!?
YET, there I was AGAIN… feeling so utterly LOST. I not only would have to physically search and FIND gifts (due to ME/MOMMY, who’s done this EVERY. SINGLE. CHRISTMAS. for as long as I can remember. But this not this year. This year…
III. THIS YEAR… THIS YEAR…. MOMMY BROKE.
(I CAN IMAGINE HOW YOU’RE ALL RESPONDING. BUT ALLOW ME TO SAY IT. CUZ IT IT’S JUST EXACTLY HOW I FELT.
And I don’t know when it happened? I couldn’t re trace my steps. I could make everything look pretty. Everyone always says … “Well ya look GREAT, Elise! ” Sometimes, that’s almost hard to hear. I truly appreciate it, y’all. But I wish I was functioning as well as you say. I really do Cuz mama almost lost all the gifts this year and thank fully her hubby pulled all-nighters with her to find things and wrap things until it was done.
AS MUCH AS THIS BREAKS MY HEART, I WILL FOREVER HOLD ON TO THIS MEMORY:
“ONE OF THE GREATEST PARENTING WINS I HAVE EVER RECEIVED/IN MY BOOK”
(ONLY, I ASK THAT YOU PLEASE NOT QUESTION HER ABOUT IT)
*Just as our oldest, “MY SIDEKICK”, decided to be the one “to break it to ME (yes, you heard that correct. She felt she needed to tell ME” ) about Santa instead of any of us telling her. (By that, I mean: My 15 yr. old, just a few years ago, Sat with me in the Target parking lot as we were going in for an errand and gave a deep sigh of relief when I had to have a talk with her after hearing she’d known about the Elf on the shelf and I needed to say something. She had been worrying and more about me and how to break the news to ME for a few years now! She knew how excited I got every year and how fun everything was surrounding all that I did because of how much I believed in magic and whimsy!! She and her friend had been workin on draft after draft of letters to find a way to break it to me. She knew my hubby was a pretty concrete thinker and couldn’t be a believer unless there was a section in the bible that had convinced him, but she couldn’t find it. But she also knew he loved me very much and would do anything for me. So he either got a manual from my mom, an actress and very well known director who loves all things make believe, magical and non-cookie cutter over the top. She had given in to the idea that Daddy just gave the door key to Grammie each and every Christmas Eve and let her do her thing to make sure Mommy never had her heart broken. And she’d probably made this deal with him when we first met as a package deal before we were even married. Ha! The best parenting win I had ever received! This went in a whole list for her with the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Leprechaun and even Jack Frost that left designs on the windows in the frost on our cars in the cold. Wowza! My mom really holds a lot of magic in her life! I’m not sure which one of us does most, but our family really has been the model of cooks as I’ve raised her in the St.Pauls Marian Theater, just as my mom brought and raised me since I was so little in 1987, and my mother, Denny Charbonnet first came to St.Pauls and began the Drama Program dedicating it to Our Lady and never looking back. I never left my mom’s side, just as my “Sidekick did the same, bringing her to every costume designing meeting of mine, as costume designer, letting her have her own papers to design on and swatches to fiddle with and color or tape things to for new ideas… She attended every dance or full acting or dance/dress rehearsal wether it was for a musical or non-musical. She called herself the “gargoyle” of the theater, perching in a different spot, quietly observing most of the time, soaking up anything and everything she could, practically melding herself into the walls of the theater as she’d been there since she was a newborn. It only made sense that she was afraid to break the news to me. She said “Mommy this is such a relief! I was so afraid to tell you because you’ve been through so much, and especially after we just had to leave our home at St.Pauls AAAAND now you still have cancer for so long… it’s just too much to say, “NO SANTA!” “But I said “What are you talking about?!”
“St.Nicholas is no lie, girlfriend!” He’s a genuine real thing! He’s a saint that actually existed and I’ll never say anything different than that to you all. He is the patron saint of children that did a lot of good on Earth when he was here, so now Jesus made him in charge of his whole B-day and I’m sticking with that for as long as I live. I’ll tell my grandkids just the same! And Damn it!, Watch me. I’m gonna be here for that!!! I may not be the little old lady who wears an apron and bakes cookies in a sweet little voice but I will dress up in all my wigs and share ’em with your kiddos with Grammie because you know that woman’s gonna live forever! And we’re gonna celebrate Christmas and all the fun magical stuff and teach your hubbie, too. The magical manual will be passed down and the deal will be made before any engagement happens. No doubt Every Angelette gets Christmas. And no conversations happen EVER about whether or not magic is real You just know it It’s FACT
So , Yeah, I kinda sucked the big one this year on my end at pulling it all together in the end… but It may have been good for me in the end. I def learned A LOT of HARD LESSONS.
1- “I don’t GOT IT NO MO’: “I’ve got a true and honest medical excuse given to me for my real deal lack of memory skills” problem!!!
2. THE INSANITY OF WRAPPING REGIMEN that is prob what THWARTS my wrapping process. (Thus it’s why I’m adding, what I think is a quite honestly MUCH needed item to add to my AMAZON list for my own purposes (but might even put it in the BUNA’s HOPE Amazon list in case anyone may want to contribute to the psychotics of my Christmas chaos so this never happens again. OY!)
1. The many Stages to pack for just for the various Rounds of FAMILY EVENTS:
1st up (Ding! Ding!) Our own 7 family members, & doggies.
*** each member gets 1 stocking, 3 things under the tree like Jesus
*** 1 item is wrapped in a NORTH POLE santa wrap
*** 2 others are wrapped in their personal wrapping paper Mom & Dad
Because we started this such a long time ago, and set a precedent…
This is WHY I Had such a hard time wrapping!!!
Each and every time I want to wrap:
1. I had to haul out all the gifts….
2. Next step…SORT THEM INTO PILES PER KID.
3. SORT THEM INTO THE “NORTH POLE PILE TO WRAP IN THE (“SECRET NORTH POLE WRAPPING”.) I’m not the only one, right? I know, for many of you, Santa doesn’t wrap. But He did at my house. And was all the fun, so Can’t stop now. It’s my love language…. and this year my cross! But my service and heart for my family. Earning gold in Heaven, right?
4. NEXT: (HARDESTpart which is the main reason you’ll see why I NEED to get the pinterest item I’ll mention soon)NOTICE IT’S TIME TO GO PICK UP CARPOOL AND PICK UP ALL THE WRAPPING, TAPE, AND SCISSORS. PLUS… REHIDE ALL YOUR WORK TO START AGAIN ANOTHER DAY…. (THIS HAPPENED SO OFTEN WITH NOTHING DONE EXCEPT, MAYBE A SWEAT BROKEN. #BUMMER)
5. FIND ANOTHER DAY AND START EARLIER, NOTICING THERE HAD BEEN THINGS MISSING LAST TIME. AND NOW HAVING THINGS REPLACED. (NOTES TAKEN)
6. REPEAT STEPS 1-3 THIS TIME, DO NOT BEGIN ANY OF THE NORTH POLE WRAPPING BC WE’VE LEARNED OF POSSIBLE SWITCHEROOS FROM OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS TO SWAP NORTH POLE GIFTS FOR FAMILY MEMBER GIFTS INSTEAD?? UGH.
7. REHIDE. FIND NEW GIFTS FOR FAM MEMBERS AND PUT STOCKING ITEMS INTO GALLON ZIPLOCKS W NAMES ON THEM. HIDE BEFORE CARPOOL TIME.
8. TAKE ITEMS OUT …. AGAIN…. THIS TIME FOR FRIENDS AND TEACHERS TO WRAP NIGHT BEFORE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL TO WRAP, MAKING SURE TO HAVE ENOUGH FOR EVERY TEACHER AND THOUGHT /PRAYER CARD TO GIVE THANKS FOR EVERYONE AS A PERSONAL THANK YOU IN THEIR FAITH AS WELL AS A MONETARY CONTRIBUTION FOR THE CLASS GIFT. AS A TEACHER, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME. TEACHERS NEED THIS LOVIN’ FOR THEMSELVES AND FOR THEIR FAMILIES TO KNOW HOW IMPORTANT THEY ARE TO US. AT THE END OF THE DAY, THEY ARE THE MOMMIES AWAY FROM MOMMIES FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE DAY, SUPPORTING ME AND JASON IN WHAT WE BELIEVE AND HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH IN OUR KIDDO’S FAITH AND FORMATION. I LOVE OUR TEACHERS!!
I PRAY I CAN DO ANYTHING FOR MY TEACHERS THAT SO MANY FAMILIES DID FOR ME.
ONE DAY WHEN I TAUGHT AS A DRAMA TEACHER, KINDERGARTEN TEACHER AND FIRST GRADE TEACHER. IF GOD CAN HEAL ME ENOUGH TO STABILIZE MY CANCER AND TOUGHEN MY IMMUNE SYSTEM FOR A CLASSROOM, IT’D BE MY DREAM TO TEACH EARLY CHILDHOOD AGAIN AT MY KIDS’ SCHOOL OR EVEN BE A READING INTERVENTIONIST OF SOME SORT. SOMEHOW, I know my college BS degree in Early Childhood with a minor in Childhood Psych wasn’t for nothing more than a few years of work after college and for my own practical education in my family. I always had a dream to use it as I taught along side my own children in their school.
SO WHAT’S THE CHRISTMAS (DON’T EVEN GO THERE WITH FOOD/PARTIES) FOR THE MAMA SUPER BOWL THAT PEOPLE JUST KEEP TELLING ME, TO JUST … RELAX, AND DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT ALL, BUNA. IT’LL WORK OUT. (OK, THEN I’LL JUST GO TO BED AND SEE IF THE REINDEER AND ST.NICK COME THIS TIME. I MEAN, MY KIDS KNOW I REALLY DO BELIEVE.
AND Y’ALL KNOW I COULD USE SOME REST, RIGHT?
BUT SINCE SHE LET ME IN ON SOME KINDA SECRET…
HERE’S WHAT I GUESS I’M SUPPOSED TO TAKE NOTES ON TO KEEP UP FOR OUR CRAZY CREW:
ANGELETTE Christmas gift preparation and gifts for EACH DAY AND FAMILY MEMBERS:
FOR DECEMBER 24TH:
Round 1: Christmas EVE: (Gift for Grandaddy (My dad) Celebrate at his house after 4:00 mass at St.Peters w dinner
Round 2: Christmas AM (GIFTS FOR OUR PERSONAL FAM OF 7, 2 DOGGIES, & 7 STOCKINGS IN BEDS BY MIDNIGHT
gifts for our kids and Mom and Dad together all first half of day
stay in pjs all day till heading to Grammie’s at 1:30 or so after kids are good and ready for a change of scene and ready to see their cousins
Head to lunch and have Christmas Day at Grammie’s. Exchange Christmas gifts there. Very casual
Uncy Beau always does nice story of Christmas there with the gifts of gold, francincense and myrrh and baby Jesus.
Play, Play, Hang and Play more games. Easy going!
Grammie gives and gets funny stockings. Don’t forget!
Round 3: “Boxing Day!”/1st Day of Christmas.. A Partridge in a Pear Tree…”(Gifts for POPS, AUNT KAREN and Angelette family
Gifts for All Angelette family members: (7) Pops, Aunt Karen, Aunt Mindy, Uncle John, Uncle Scott, Aunt Angela, Jade
MOMMY’S LONG AWAITED & DREAMED OF FAMILY ACTIVITIES “ATTEMPTS”… I hate even saying these were “attempts”, but I’m a real “Beverly Goldberg” when it comes to time with my family. (please do yourself a favor and watch an episode or .. a season. Any mom, I believe , would get me on this one. It breaks my heart when my kids don’t want to join their “little tushies” to watch a little Snoopy or Even Christmas Vacation… whatever… and bake some cookies by the fire! What gives! If I’m not too old. THEY can’t be too old. I’m literally bribing them with sugar. And they know I’m gonna give them or not give them stuff at the end of all this. SO HUMOR ME WILL YA! BUT NOOOOOO. ALWAYS SUCH A CHORE TO KEEP ALL THE OLDERS HOME FOR A NIGHT and go to let me actually take some pics (not even to post, but for our our memory files! If you EVER see me post any more pics these days, it’s with 100% permission of all family members’ approproval. Hence a very belated Christmas card that may or may not go out this year if it doesn’t get a partial thumbs up to only be posted for a very short time on my Team Buna FB page. Oh the overriding and restrictions the I am on these days. My hubby and I are scrambling for ropes in a long dark hole of
Jason and I being parents to 1 then 2….to now 5 KIDS since 2004 and juggling all that we have
SO WHAT’S THE BIG ITEM THAT I will soon ADD TO MY AMAZON LIST AND soon add to my BUNA’S HOPE LIST THAT MAY ACTUALLY HELP THE WHOLE DRAGGING THINGS OUT, LOSING STUFF, JUST TO REHIDE ALL THE WRAPPING AND GIFTS AND HAUL IT ALL OUT AGAIN!!!
A spot for all scrapbook, wrapping or sewing needs in one spot (SEE LINK IN TEXT BELOW)
This would be such a gift for packing Team Buna Boxes as well as with Christmas gifting in the moms’ Super Bowl season of hiding, unhiding, wrapping, and finding….
1. LET THE MUCH AWAITED CHRISTMAS MOVIE/MUSIC/MUNCHIE/CHRISTMAS COOKIE BAKING MARATHON BEGIN!!!!
We’ve had a different fave Christmas movie going every night with pre bought Christmas cookie ingredients for a different recipe for every single night! (Gluttons? NAH! Just gettin’ our jolly on as we pack goody bags for the neighbors, too!! “A little for us, a little for them, a little more for us, a little for them! Any extra is put into a great big bin for what became the biggest mess of a gingerbread village “waaaay out of the box” (Think more PEE WEEs PLAYHOUSE ARCHITECHTURE” STYLE NEIGHBORHOOD) That invoked creativity, tension, laughs, tears and many notes to be taken for improvement and tips for sturdier buildings for future and possibile rearraangements of teams, etc. etc. etc. But all in all…. funny memories for our what came to be our first gingerbread CRASH SITE (much like crashing a sand castle, if you will 😉 ! Much to pick up, Thank you doggies! And much to remember. But all in all… the food coloring, sprinkles, candy and time together to just NOT HAVE TO FIT IN A BOX FOR ONCE…. was so much fun! no rules… just GO! Was relieving once they could all understand that I really meant it when I said that the rules were…. NO RULES, JUST BE KIND AND DON’T THROW THE CANDY! OTHERWISE…only rule…” HAVE FUN! “
ONCE THAT SUNK IN… IT WAS KINDA FREEING! A NO RULES RULES GAME. NEED SOME OF THOSE SOMETIMES!
2. WHAT’S ON OUR ANNUAL MOVIE BLOCKER PLAY LIST? NEW AND OLD? EVERY YEAR MUSTS: “ELF” “A CHRISTMAS STORY” “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE” “THE GRINCH” “POLAR EXPRESS” MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET “A CHRISTMAS VACATION” THE MANY MANY VEGGIE TALES LITANY OF CHRSTIMAS SPECIALS… “DIE HARD” “RISE OF THE GUARDIANS” “SANTA BUDDIES” (BASICALLY EVERY CHRISTMAS DOG SPECIAL EVER… “SANTA BUDDIES, ETC..”) BUT NOW>>>>
THIS YEAR, IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE “DISNEY +” OR AS JIMMY FALLON SO ELEGANTLY SAID IT: “Disney Pleu!” 😉 “Ooh lala!”
(We seriously hardly broke out any of our DVDs that we’ve collected over the years. And boy do we have a COLLECTION. ST. NICK NORMALLY BRINGS US A NEW ONE EVERY YEAR, EXCEPT THIS ONE. RARELY DO WE FIND PEOPLE EVEN USE DVDS THESE DAYS UNLESS WE’RE ON ROAD TRIPS. THAT’S WHEN WE ACTUALLY KNOW WE REALLY LIKE A MOVIE IF WE WANT A MOVIE BADLY ENOUGH TO WATCH IT OVER AND OVER, OR MOM AND DAD LISTEN TO IT OVER AND OVER FROM THE FRONT SEATS ON REPEATED RV OR ROAD TRIPS. OVER THE YEARS, WE’VE HEARD MORE MOVIES MORE TIMES THAN WE’VE PROBABLY WATCHED!)
I’m quite sure we’ve lost quite a few over the years, but these are carefully put away every year with our decorations, as they are NOT to be watched or played until CHRISTMAS ONLY EACH YEAR. NO BREAKING THAT’S A MAJOR RULE! SERIOUS BUSINESS HERE
SO THAT CAN’T BE IT? THAT’S YOUR BIG CHANGE OF PLANS AND UPDATE??
1.KIDS THAT DON’T ALWAYS WANT TO WATCH YOUR CHRISTMAS MOVIES?
SOMETIMES THEY DON’T LISTEN WHEN YOU WANT THEM TO STAY AT HOME AND DO YOUR “BEV GOLDBERG” LOVEY LIST?
SOOO, THEY AREN’T THE MOST APPRECIATIVE OF ALL YOUR SNUGGLES AND CHRISTMAS GINGERBREAD VILLAGE ACTIVITIES??
THEY ARE KIDS. BIG DEAL. (STUFF HAPPENS. KIDS GROW UP. LEAD THEM NOT UNTO EXPECTATION AFTER ALL. WHAT HAPPENED TO LOVING LIKE CHRIST LOVES? I THOUGHT YOU WERE WORKING ON THE WHOLE IDEA OF:
NO MATTER WHAT GOD IS LOVE!!! AND GOD’S LOVE IS “UNCONDITIONAL. ” SO OUR PARENTAL LOVE SHOULD BE THE SAME, RIGHT? (of course the is a whole lot of ME talking aloud to myself)
We’re ALL a work in process. Be patient. He ain’t done with you yet.
GOD’S LOVE IS “UNCONDITIONAL” AND I WANT MY LOVE FOR MY KIDS TO STRIVE TO BE MORE THIS WAY AND LESS AWARE OF THE CONDITION OF THEIR LOVE TOWARDS ME. BUT I’M A MOM. AND I’M HUMAN & I MISTAKENLY FEEL WEAK AND BRUISED AND ADMITTEDLY HURT WHEN THEY DON’T RESPOND WITH EXCITEMENT JUST LIKE THEM WHEN THEY BRING ME A PICTURE THAT THEY DREW OR CHRISTMAS CRAFT THAT THEY MADE ME. BUT I AM WORKING STILL NOW TO BE THE MORE MATURE GROWN UP MOMMY AND REMEMBER THAT IT’S MUCH HARDER FOR THEM TO ADJUST THEIR SAILS IN THEIR RESPONSES AND FOR ME TO SWALLOW MY OWN PRIDE AND JUST HUG AND LOVE THEM IN THOSE MOMENTS VS. JUST WANTING TO BE UPSET WITH THEM. (THIS IS ME TALKING OUT LOUD TO MYSELF).
I AM FOREVER REMEMBERING THE MANTRA THAT I PICKED UP FROM A TREASURED FRIEND and YouNight Sister, Shannon Maisano, who called with such JOY as she always does!, to tell me about two or so years ago about a reflection in our daily reflection that we each pray with: (You can find it on our Amazon Buna’s Hope List) “JESUS CALLING” That day, The reflection said to “GLANCE AT THE PROBLEM, BUT GAZE AT JESUS”. Since, both my husband, and myself have shared this very clear and useful reflection in many presentation, as it cuts to the chase and makes what we all KNOW TO BE A VERY CLEAR GOAL FOR US ALL so VIVID and so CLEAR, yet how did we NOT THINK of this BEFORE?
Basically, as I’ve been known to say in a few presentations: “Quit rubbernecking‘ at the accident and keep your EYES on the ROAD!!” (Although, I’m fairly sure that “Glance at the problem, Gaze at Jesus” rolls off the tongue much more eloquently. Which is why there are so many copies and variations of this devotional. (Yet, I have a pull at my heart strings, that I don’t think is just an imaginary friend… asking me to take further steps with every-little thingblog.com, yet I’m gonna have to learn more about releasing copy rights for all my fun little gifs, youtube finds, and silly SNL stuff that I’ve used for so long that are all part of my story and I can’t have my stories, post and chapter without? Who knows about all of THAT kinda stuff without stripping it all down to a plain old pic of very plain jane pics without the same humor that is ME? Email me @firstname.lastname@example.org w any information you might have on such info.
Quite honestly, Our plans much further and the REAL updates that have needed to be made more clarity for each of you, as each of our family members and close friends have often heard a lot of confusion about my treatments, outcomes, etc. recently, and instead of me updating my medical info as a feeling of my own necessity more so than what I’ve rambled about so far, obviously more prominent on my “MOMMY HEART” today while writing this post; however, it seems more apparent as I’ve spent nearly a full day intending to give an actual UPDATE to my friends, family, and TEAM BUNA members out there with recent Medical Updates… that my original desire, feeling and view I had when starting this piece has changed quite a bit as to what this title: “I SAW THIS GOING DIFFERENTLY in my HEAD ” BLOG is all about in purpose of being posted in its message of why God was tugging at my heart so much this week to write after such a very long drought. And now i’m once again, up so very late finishing it up, feeling so determined to gain full closure. It’s not about me and whatever the heck my plans are for my family were this Christmas at all. It never really was. It isn’t even about my medical updates. But those, I will now give you. Yet after, you may still be shocked that I’m not still dragged down by their interference. Yet here they are:
MEDICAL UPDATE FROM ELISE ANGELETTE : THANKSGIVING BREAK – THE NEW YEAR 2020
AS YOU RECALL BEFORE THANKSGIVING: I had 5 consecutive days of gamma knife treatments on 14 brain tumors which had been formerly treated by gamma knife in the past (no new growth). A follow up treatment in Dec. showed that the treatment was successful, but my weaning plan to take me off of the intense steroids to relieve a substantial amount of water retention and excess water filling and pinching on a sponge like area by a lower portion on the back of my head beginning to pinch the central channel that allows cerebral flow to the spinal canal started to become an issue, causing a lot of dizziness and a lot extra water retention for ME. Causing lots of water weight and intense manic feelings, insomnia and wobbling while walking.
I handled myself ok for a few days… amidst the all nighters of wrapping presents, etc., or so I thought. I made it to Christmas mass and to almost all of the Family events, really hoping to see every family member’s face this year as they opened their gifts, as I tried so hard to really put a personal touch on gifts ordered from “Etsy”, etc. this year and searched for hours in the middle of the night for particular gifts in my insomnia for just what they’d asked for. Even after losing a few. Magically, they appeared again and the magic of Christmas was there with Family together, hymns sung at mass, I was well enough to attend, Robert Simpson was out of the hospital and with his family for church and I was on my last of the my 3 family events. The home stretch. When I felt that gut wrenching “gurgle gurgle” and just as my Sidekick and I pulled our warm Christmas Chocolate Andes Mint Cookies out from the oven, one sniff, and I turned to the kitchen sink to “toss my own cookies” right in front of her! Yup. I yacked just before we were to jump in the car and head down the old Ponchatoula highway to my husband’s ol’ stomping ground to visit family for what I was determined to be make sure was a very special and personal family Christmas. Sidekick yelled for Dad, and they determined that I stay home and she stay back with me to take care of me. I was not only bummed that I miss out, but I didn’t like that she had to miss, as well. I appreciated the company and her thoughtfulness though. Turns out, my kids really do love me and want to stick around me for Christmas after all. Certainly a weird way to find out. But oddly enough, it was a tough way to learn a big lesson of love.
This one really broke my heart and scared my daughter BIG TIME. For all this time, I had protected my kids from the reality of the nitty gritty of my cancer side effects.6 years of staying under the radar, until now. #majorBummer They knew that I got sick a lot. They saw me asleep on the couch, tired, not as peppy as before, bald or recovering in the hospitals after major surgeries in New Orleans, etc. But they’ve never actually watched me throw up like that.
After missing our Christmas w Daddy’s family in Ponchatoula, 2 days later, I went to the ER bc of excessive vertigo (dizziness) and nausea again. They connected to my port with some IV fluids and good ol’ pain med push for pain and nausea med drip as well and I was out like a light. Before I could assess how I really felt when I woke up, I was sent home to sleep the rest off hoping that all was back to normal and I’d be fine.
Naturally, the swelling and excess water was all still there, so the next day I woke up feeling equally, if not more dizzy and off kilter after a night at the ER with lots of meds. I walked around the living room, picked up a few pieces of trash and with the few motions of moving my head here and there, the last I remember was pushing a drawer closed in the kitchen then the room spun a few times as I fell backwards to hit the ground! Pretty sure I hit my low back first then the back of my head (cushioned by that good ol spongy water spot back there.) This time “Sunshine” my 13 year old got the scare, heard a “THUD!” and ran to find Mommy laid out on the kitchen floor like a crime scene, not quite aware if “I was still in the kitchen?? I’m still spinny!” So she, too, called Daddy and told him to take me to the ER.” Another day and night’s stay at the Hospital when all I wanted to do was be with my, as Bev Goldberg calls her kids “little squishes” for the holidays!! I was able to be monitored, receive fluids, pain meds, scans and iv steroids while there while doctors discussed possibilities of the treatments for the water retention on the brain at that point and wether or not a Shunt placement was an option?!?! It was a lot all a once when I just wanted to be with my family but I knew that at the same time, it still could have been far worse, and being in such good care of so many doctors that we knew an felt such confidence in with so much family just down the road in every direction… we were still so very blessed. God was taking care of me. Aaaaaand one of the doctors was keeping me well stocked with peppermint mochas (my fave!) from the PJ’s coffee shop downstairs. It could be worse. I took a lot of time during our family night prayers this evening, to really soak in all of THESE kinds of blessings and pray about the different angels who were present in the faces of doctors and nurses and how God’s hands were so present and when I fell and how close He was when my Sunshine was so close to help me up so quickly after my fall. I really took time and turned this blog around after much thought about this for a whole LOT more tonight!
I’ve BEEN THINKING OF ME AND MY BEST LAID OF PLANS FOR THIS BREAK AND I’VE BEEN SO CAUGHT UP IN, but did I
remember each day to stop and ask God, “Hey what would you want for us today? It’s your son’s birth that we’re prepping for.
“Not our fun Christmas Activities that we have fun doing together, (Advent-calendar related or not.)
What would you have us do?” (maybe He’s been really bumming’ about HIS plans that we missed!
Gotta get better about that. Another one for my notes. Each morning, “What would you have me do today?”
“WHAT COULDA WOULDA & WHAT SHOULDA…” AND THE REALITY IS. NO MATTER IF I HAD WRAPPED ANY PRESENTS, WATCHED ANY CHRISTMAS MOVIES OR HUNG A SINGLE ORNAMENT. EVERYTHING WOULDA STILL HAPPENED JUST AS GOD MEANT FOR CHRISTMAS TO ALWAYS HAPPEN EVERY SINGLE YEAR. THIS ISN’T MOM’S SUPERBOWL. IT AIN’T BEVERLY GOLDBERG’S SUPERBOWL AND IT AIN’T MINE EITHER. I SURE WOULD LOVE FOR MY KIDS TO NOT FIGHT AND TO BE ANGELS FOR ONE. SINGLE. CHRISTMAS. AND YA KNOW WHAT, THEY ARE. THE’RE KIDS. AND THEY’RE AMAING KIDS AND I DON’T NEED TO PUT ANY MORE PRESSURE ON THEM TO GROW UP ANY FASTER THAN THEY’VE ALREADY BEEN FORCED TO GROW UP ALREADY AND TO HAVE ANY MORE EXPECTATIONS TO REACT A CERTATIAN WAY TO A GIFT OR A FOOD, OR AN ACTIVITY OR MY OWN NEEDINESS OF A PLAN. HECK! YA NEVER KNOW WHEN THEY SUDDENLY HAVE TO REACT TO THE FACT THAT THEIR MOM HAS CANCER AND IT JUST MIGHT MAKE IT FLARE UP, SPIN HER AROUND, MAKE HER PUKE IN THE SINK OR EVEN THROW HER ON HER THE DANG GROUND WHERE DOESN’T KNOW WHERE SHE IS & EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE THE OLDEST AT BUT STILL ONLY 13 & 15, THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO ACT LIKE THEY KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING OR BE IN CHARGE WHILE MOM HAS DOC APPTS OR HOLD IT TOGETHER AT SCHOOL WONDERING WHERE MOM IS OR TEXT HER DURING THE DAY TO START ACTING LIKE HER CAREGIVER TO TELL HER TO LAY DOWN, FOLLOW THE DRS. RULES, ETC LIKE THEY NEVER DID BEFORE BC THEY SUDDENLY SAW THINGS THAT MOM AND DAD NEVER HAD TO SHOW THEM BEFORE BECAUSE EVERYTHING HAPPENED BEHIND THE PRIVATE CLOSED DOORS OF AN INFUSION SUITE WHILE THEY WERE IN SCHOOL OR BEFORE THEY WOKE UP AND MOM ASKED GOD TO GIVE HER TIME TO BE SICK BEFORE THEY WOKE SO SHE COULD GET IT OUT OF THE WAY, IN TIME TO CLEAN UP AND CHOOSE A GOOFY WIG BY 5, SLAP ON SOME EARRINGS AND MAKE UP TO MATCH AND WAKE THEM UP WITH HER PATINUM AFRO AND YELL “RISE AND SHINE IT’S AFRO TIME!!!” THEN AS CRAZY AS IT WAS, EVERYONE WENT OFF TO SCHOOL THINKING THIS IS DEF NOT THE NORM, BUT MOMMY’S GONNA BE OK TODAY. AND THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ME THE REST OF THE DAY! RAINBOW WIG, LIGHT UP WIG… WHATEVER. THEY’RE FOCUS WAS NOT ON MY SICKNESS. THIS BREAK IT FLIP FLOPPED. THAT’S NEVER BEEN A THING FOR US.
HOWEVER…. AFTER ALL OF THAT RAZZMATAZZ…. HOW ABOUT SOME REALLY GOOD NEWS???
Based from a most Amazing meeting this week following up with Dr.Saux and is PRN, Sydney Fussel, after my hospital visits… SUCH GOOD NEWS!!!!
A New and Improved HERCEPTIN Drug is out and will be available for me very SOON!!
(This is the drug that sent me to me remission initially but needed more adjustments. It was a game changer for millions if not billions of women with my same HER2+ (triple pos. breast cancer diagnosis). It now has had more research done proving to have greater results of remission, less side effects and higher remission rates. As soon as it is available to my oncologist, I am a candidate to receive this and will have it! Alleluia!!! I’m telling ya, I dreamt of a little man named “Eugene” who lives in his mom’s basement and is working on a formula for my cure! This is a sign that EUGENE IS OUT THERE AND IS SOOOO ON IT! #BELIEVEinEUGENE
2. After my Radiologist, Dr.Charlie Woods, spoke with my Oncologist, Dr.Jay Saux, the were able to review the MRIs from both my
5 consecutive day gamma knife treatments and the MRI from the most recent hospital stay over the break and they see a NO
FURTHER NEED FOR STEROIDS AS THERE IS NO MORE EXCESS WATER POOLING IN MY BRAIN. (At this point, I have been
on an excessive loop of hyper intensive steroids intended to wean off since Thanksgiving, but due to the water that was
pooling, every time I got to my LAST DAY, ready to chuck them and party!!, they chose to protect me, (smart), and start me all
over again from the beginning leaving me on what has been nearly 9 weeks of intense steroids, bloating and insomnia!! OY!
BUT I SEE THE LIGHT!! I’ve already begun the weaning process. Soon I’ll be cutting pills in HALF!! Yippee! Before I
know it … NO MAS!!! All Gone. I can hardly imagine feeling human again! Wait whaaaaa??? Lots of going to bed ON TIME
and sleeping through the night! OH boy! Maybe, just maybe… I’ll even dream! Ahhhhhhh….
3. Sooooo… No more Steroids. No more water on the Brain. No more Plans for a Shunt! Good, Good, Goody Good News!!!
OH RIGHT! And my Endocrinologist, Dr.Harold Miller, whom I absolutely adore, was Johnny on the Spot!, and immediately
recognized that if my brain just had this happen again, my adrenaline glands needed help filtering all the water retention and he
was able to adjust that medication to help my energy levels during the day as well as the bloating/moonface look (not just a
“look”, but an actual crazy amount of water retention that is physically painful. So weird and uncomofortable. Can’t wait for that
start kicking in.
4. Meds also given to balance my inner ear for dizziness and possible appt needing to be made with an ENT to “remove rocks” from
deep in inner ear that will also help with balance issues, as since my fall, I have not been driving bc of vertigo issues.
5. After a good week for each of these meds and appts to take place and set in, we will reevaluate and hopefully I can get back to more of my normal routines of being able to run an errand, drive my car, take kids to school, etc. I will just add each thing on slowly, as I’ve been cautioned by my docs to slow down much more than I have been. The “Mom Super Bowl” thing was a little too real for me just after my gamma knife treatments while being a mom of 5 and I clearly didn’t get the rest that I truly needed to have.
It’s quite possible that I would be in an entirely different situation right now if I had a nanny or some sort of constant care “MAKING ME” lie down and stay down after each gamma treatment for a good 2 weeks post to receive the full rest that I now see I really truly needed vs. going straight from there to prepping for Christmas.
You live and learn, take notes and avoid it if there’s a next time.
What more can I do?
I’m grateful I’m here and glad to live to keep learning. So there’s that, right?
Thank you all for praying to keep me here and alive to LIVE AND TO LEARN.
THANK YOU FOR LEARNING BESIDE ME. ONE DAY AT A TIME.
AS YOU’LL SEE THE TIME WHEN I PUBLISH THIS, STEROIDS ARE STILL IN EFFECT IN MY SYSTEM;
THEREFORE THIS INSOMNIAC JUST GOT BUSTED AND IS ALL OUT OF JUICE.