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Archive for the ‘Storytelling’ Category

Kathryn’s Story

Please join me in the fundraising effort for this organization, the Lymphatic Research Foundation who strives to find a cure for Lymphedema.

In 2004, when a suburban hit me in an intersection and spun me around, my knees hit the steering wheel hard.  At the time, I didn’t have medical insurance; just the PIP insurance with your normal coverage of auto insurance policy.  When it was discovered a month after the accident that my swelling in my legs was simply not going to go away, it was only a beginning to a journey of learning how to be an advocate for myself.  The hospital granted me a grant for 10 treatments, but anyone who knows anything about lymphedema, 10 treatments is clearly not enough.  I was left on my own to wrap my legs and utilize a small pump and try to get the swelling to go down on my own without any insurance coverage.

By the time that I gained health insurance in 2008 through my employer when transitioning from a full time relief employee to a full time permanent employee, my legs were getting out of control and I was beginning to develop some pressure wounds.  After 3-6 months of physical therapy, aqua therapy, and transitioning from the ace looking compression bandages get up to the juxt-a-fit garments, and the approval of a flexitouch pump, I finally was able to have a better guide, control and understanding of what to do for maintaining my condition.

To this day, I still walk about with garments on both legs, although the right leg is far worse than the left, and tennis shoes that are way to big for me ordinarily (because of the wraps, I have to wear much larger shoes).  I have some sights on a new garment that comes in black and cheaper than the ones that I presently have, however, are supposed to work even better.  Hopefully, I won’t have the $500 annual garment purchase, plus the additional $100-200 I purchase each month in various specialized stockings that I have to wear with the garments.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  At least, if they are in black, they might be less noticeable.  For the past 7 years, everyone seemed to look at me with strangely while I continued to wear these garments day in and day out for the past 7 years, going on 8.

During the past years, I have been a strong advocate, learning more and more how to speak up for myself and try to make sure that I have the latest in the developments to ensure that there is continued progress without any set backs.  I’ve also promoted latest and greatest news on my Lymphedema in the News page on facebook and have become one of the admins in a patient’s only page (private) on facebook where we work to encourage and inspire one another.

In additon, I have had other lymphedema advocates come on my blogtalkradio show called, Beyond Words Live, to share updates about HR 4662 bill that is the national legislation concerning helping to defer the high costs of treatments towards the lymphedema patient.  It is critical that there is attention to this bill because, if lymphedema is left untreated, it poses a much higher health risk — such as the awfully painful pressure wounds that can run deep past the fatty tissues underneath the skin layer, exposing it to the opportunity for more infections, etc.

My story is one of many stories.  This is not lympoma or any form of cancer, although it can often result from having radiation treatments necessary to combat cancer.  Many other folks have many other causes — some trauma situated causes like mine — many others have other situations that have occurred to where the lymph nodes were damaged in some other way; and, in some cases, too, there are some hereditary links to this long lasting condition.

I come to you today to ask that, even if you can only contribute $5, it is $5 more towards the research that can be done to find a cure.  Thank you for reading my story and considering helping the cause.  I look forward to being able to tell the foundation that I exceeded my goal in raising funds for the much needed research.

Thank you!!

Kathryn

via Personal Fundraising Page for Kathryn Benefiting the Lymphatic Research of the Lymphatic Research Foundation!.

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One of the most creative and latest/greatest social sites being placed out on the world wide web recently is a site called, Soul Needs!

It really works on getting to know people for their wholesome goodness, as well as a place for each and every person to come and explore fitness by way of the mind, body and soul.

Create your own profile.

Explore the “Circles”, various communities centered around specific topics or needs for fulfillment — or, create your own.

Take the many quizes available on the site to explore where you stand with your mind, body, and soul.

There are also other areas in development — entertainment and events, to begin with.

If you are wanting something a little more fulfilling than the social sites you have been to lately, you really should take the time to explore this more by clicking on the link below:

 

SoulNeeds Beta – Dashboard – txbluebonnet.

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Have loved getting to know another side of Blake Shelton on the hit show, The Voice.   Take a listen to this song… the Honey Bee…. love it!  Very cleverly done!

Congratulations To Blake Shelton – ‘Honey Bee’ Is The New #1 Song In Country Music | The Country Site.

 

 

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On June 12, 2010, I interviewed Michele who also had an incredible survivor story from many perspectives.

Against all odds is the best three words that I can describe this surivor of domestic violence after hearing about and reading her story. She is a product of extremely young parents that were ill-prepared for parenting (her parents being involved with drugs and prisons) and various struggles leading prior her own domestic violence relationship. She is an incredibly strong woman now and I know you will want to hear her story and her amazing story of survival!

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET MICHELE JUNE 12 2010 9aCST 06/12 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

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On May 29, 2010, I interviewed Danielle Joy, an author with a personal story to share.  Take some time to listen to her story when you have a chance.

Danielle Joy Linhart writes the FROM DEEP WITHIN – BLIND AND BRUISED book straight from her heart, which makes it very straight to the point; however, she has written in a format that is an easy read, and one that can certainly ressonate with any teen going through any degree of teen datingabuse. Please join me as Danielle shares her story on our show and tells more about her book, of which a portion of the proceeds are going to help the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline (http://loveisrespect.org)! The last paragraph on her backcover of the book states, “As a survivor, I want to help those being harmed or whos might be harmed, and to educate those who can help prevent a violent relationship. This book has been a path to self-discovery, to close the chapter on that part of my life. I feel as though I have re-lived the abuse all over again. At times, I had to stop writing, but I am glad I continued because there is a chance I will help someone in need.” How true! It is hard to write book about something that was so painful in your life; it is wonderful that Danielle has managed to get past that to share her story. I can’t wait to share this guest with you. Chat room will be open for discussion too. 🙂

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET DANIELLE 05/29 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

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On May 8, 2010, I interviewed Lauri Allen, who is a survivor, as well as part of the Private Quarters comapny.  She told an amazing story.  Please feel free to listen to her show when you get a chance:

Unbelievable turn of circumstances is a great way to describe Laurie who will be talking to us today. I have been enjoying getting to know Laurie and learning more about what she is doing today with her role at Private Quarters (an organization supporting domestic violence survivors) and part of a documentary in progress called BY A THREAD, as well as her personal experiences involved in domestic violence and why she has been so adamant to advocate for change. She states that she is on a mission to share her story as how she became safe in her own skin, as well as just her story of domestic violence on a whole. There is a certainly level of abuse and violence that women hear about on the news, in the obituaries, the obvious and repeated, daily and nightly abuse; however, there is another level of abuse that is hidden, forgotten about and not on the radar because it may not be thought of as “that bad”. At what point does it have to be “bad” to do something about it, after all? What about those less than obvious signs that lead you down a path of abuse and violence that young and mature women don’t understand and don’t know to look for? Those are the masses we need to reach and educate, speak to and empower! Please join us on May 8th, 2010, at 2pm CST to hear what Laurie has to say to empower all our listeners to changes in our lives.

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET LAURIE 05/08 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

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On April 17, 2010, I hosted this interview with Julianne. Hoping that you take time to listen to her amazing story:

 

Julianne will discuss her own personal experiences with domestic violence, as well as her involvement in the development of domestic violence programs in rural America, as well as some dilemmas and issues surrounding reaching those in the rural america about resources available to them too. Domestic violence in rural America is a perplexing issue because the batterer will often go to great lengths to alienate and isolate a victim — oftentimes, this includes moving them out to the most remote area that they can where the victim has little access to communication with the wide world, as well as their friends and family members. How can we possibly reach these folks? Be sure to tune in and perhaps we’ll hear some creative ideas that you, as a listener, can proactively do as well.

 

BEYOND WORDS LIVE – MEET JULIANNE 04/17 by Kat X Beyond Words | Blog Talk Radio.

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What many folks don’t realize is that this is the lady that I met long ago who said that the magazine folks who had her tell her domestic violence story, but wouldn’t publish it because it didn’t fit exactly in their demographics at the time.  This realization that survivors were not able to have a platform to tell their own story in their own words, led me on a journey which eventually started me doing shows here on BlogTalkRadio, allowing survivors to tell their stories in their own words.

By survivors telling their own story, it is the opportunity for them to share with those that may be listening in and may resonnate with them because they are currently in a domestic violence situation and/or know of someone who is.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/oralhistory/2011/06/11/meet-charlottewith-a-story-to-tell

 

 

 

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Wow!  One of the men on a social site similar to MySpace (called Fubar) put 2 and 2 together about a small town that we both had family connections to.  It so happened that his aunt and uncle were bee farmers in that town and had died in the 80’s.  I couldn’t help but respond to him by stating —

“When I was little there was a bee farmer that would bring over to my Grandma’s and Grandpa’s ranch a couple of jars of the best honey with the combs still in it.  Honey became my favorite commodity.

The man that would bring the jars would sit with my family in the country air and talk to us.  He was the nicest man and I really got a kick out of his visits — especially when it meant that he would bring us honey… lol!!

One time, he had held me in his lap and a bee landed on me.  He said to me – don’t worry.  The bee won’t sting you unless you show him that you are scared….

It was a great exercise in overcoming any possible fears of bees and every time I encounter bees, his voice echoed in my head.

My Grandpa worked for Humble Oil for many years, then the Lumberyard until he simply couldn’t work anymore.  He ended up with TB, lung cancer, and emphesema…so he stayed in the house connected to the garage mostly and would come out on the porch, smoke us pipe, and tell us all kinds of stories.

Because he stayed in that house, we would meet in the yard between the two (the garage house and the main house) and socialize; hence why the bee man was also visiting us in the country air versus in the house.

You stating that they died in the 80’s makes perfect sense since it was a rare find after that time to have that delicious honey.  Whether or not they are one of the same, it was nice to relive that memory.”

It is amazing how small of a world that we may or may not live in….and it is wonderful still that such inquiries can trigger such marvelous memories from our childhood.  I can still smell the freshness of that honey that the bee farmer would bring to us, a quality unmatched from honey sold today.

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Just something inspirational to share with you today:

“I Wish You Enough

Recently, I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together at a regional airport. They had announced her departure and standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, “I love you. I wish you enough.” She in turn said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.” They kissed and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking,”Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me. So I knew what this man was experiencing.

“Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?” I asked.

“I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back will be for my funeral,” he said.

“When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, “I wish you enough.”May I ask what that means?”

He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.”

He paused for a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.

“When we said ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting theother person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them,” he continued. Then, turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.”

He then began to sob and walked away.

My friend, I wish you enough!

You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to give enough to those you love. ”

~ Unknown author

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In an article in the Austin American Statesman on Tuesday, December 18th, the author of the article, Charles Taylor, starts off saying in his analysis of the book by Elizabeth Bumiller on Condoleeza Rice: An American Life:

“The subtitle of Elizabeth Bumiller’s biography “Condoleezza Rice: An American Life” tells you everything you need to know. The book is serious, sober and deeply unimaginative.

Neither an attack nor a valentine, it would be far more interesting if it were either — if the writer ventured an actual stand. Instead it shows how the entire notion of “balance” has sucked the vitality out of mainstream journalism, both stylistically and intellectually.”

OMG!  Do you think Mr. Taylor had an opinion on this, or what?  While I have not had the opportunity to read the book on Condoleeza Rice, I would love to see what it might have to say about this very stately woman that seems to have a good head on her shoulders with the utmost diplomacy.  I am not sure that a book on this woman could have been with a steaming richness like a torid romance novel or suspence/mystery book since this woman has seemingly staved away from huge controversial areas, other than working with President George W. Bush’s presidental era.

Although I have no idea about this author and her methodology of her writing skills, I feel that certainly Mr. Taylor may have been a little too harsh – especially in observing the diplomatic nature of Ms. Condoleeza Rice in her own right.  However, perhaps, I should get the book and see whether or not I can concur with Mr. Taylor.

Have you read this book yet?   Do you have an opinion???

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OMG….

just perusing Slate.com and came across a “recycled article” that is republished to make it a new article on Monday, December 17th called, “How to be a shopping-mall Santa”, which is indeed a very thorough article about Shopping Mall Santas.

It brought a smile to my face and a rush of memories as I had worked for one of the organizer companies of these Shopping Mall Santas one year.  It was a great time of coordinating with the malls all the Santas we needed to fill for their Santa photo opps within each of the malls.  Not only were we coordinating schedules for those Santas in Austin, but we were also involved in coordinating schedules for those Santas in many of the other malls in Houston, San Antonio and other metropolitan cities throughout Texas.

What an interesting year that was to be a behind the scenes coordinating elf to make sure that all the malls were fully staffed with the Santas – especially, when receiving the compliments from all the long time veteran Santas that were putting smiles on childrens faces.  After all, besides being the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas is also about bringing a special joy and memories to all the children.

I am looking forward to going to the mall this year when I do get a chance — not really to do Christmas shopping as I have completed my Christmas shopping for this year — but to observe from a vantage point all the children’s faces light up when they see Santa Claus at the shopping mall to hear what they want for Christmas, as well as to get their photos taken with Santa.  My daughter is too old now to have her photo taken with Santa; however, I am hoping to get a picture of my 5 mo old granddaughter with Santa Claus.  I can’t wait!!

Hoping that visions of Santas in Shopping Malls may also bring rushes of fond memories of your childhood, or as a parent of young children this year!

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but when I checked it tonight, I found this Sesame Street cartoon in relation to Thanksgiving.  I know, it is SOOOO wrong! 🙂

thanksgiving38.jpg

Poor Big Bird! 😦

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZVNOGtEINw]

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