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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ok, Yes...I've been MIA. I promise, Not an evil MIL post!

I should NOT have posted that nonsense about my mother in law. This blog is strictly for my thoughts on politics, religion, current events, and any other major issue I think should be addressed.

I apologize for not blogging as often, I've had a total of 10 surgeries in the past couple of years and it's just been so difficult to really take some time and putting effort into these blogs. My husband will be deploying April/May (no exact dates or places because of OPSEC - Operational Security - Rules) So, my plan is to blog every day of his absence and letting people see how difficult it is for a military spouse to deal with every day - daily life - when their spouse is at war. I've been through deployments before, but this one is different. Different why you ask? Because this is the first deployment he has been on since my cancer diagnoses.

Ever since being diagnosed with cancer, we've leaned on each other and relied solely on each other to get through our daily lives. Surgery after surgery, I relied and depended on him to ensure my needs were met. Over the years, it has become a bad habit of mine to merely fall back on him when things got too difficult. When I needed to take a nap. Everything has been on my husband's shoulders and that just isn't fair to him. So this deployment will teach me how to be self sufficient and independent again. Showing me that I'm not weak or sickly. I can take care of myself and my children without him being there to catch me when I fall. I just can't fall and can't slack off in the slightest. It's all on me now. No excuses, no whining, no complaining. It's all on me to ensure we get through our summer.

So here are my plans: when my husband leaves it should be just starting to warm up here. With the beautiful flowers coming out to bloom. We will have moved into our new house (we bought a house by the way!) I plan on doing nothing else but devoting my time in having fun with my boys. We have a HUGE playset in our brand new back yard. With a tree house and a club house. I plan on fixing up the back yard and making it a child's dream. With a gazebo and a patio set. I'm going to get a huge pool for all of us to play in daily. During the evenings we're going to catch lightning bugs/ fireflies. In the afternoons, we can head off to the beaches and play in the sand. No more of this sitting back and letting life pass me by.

I've been doing too much of that. Afraid of getting out and living life. Of course it's been so COLD here lately. With the several snow storms hitting us, haven't been able to get out and get active. Tired of the cold, I'm ready for spring and summer!
Today I want to get up and get active but have a bad infection in my chest from the recent surgery, I'm TIRED of being held back from getting and being active. I have tons of energy, but no way to expel it due to the surgeries and such.

Well, during this deployment there will be NOTHING holding me back. My boys and I are going to have so much fun, frolicking and playing in the sunshine.

I should create a new blog for deployment news. Oh well.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I feel like crying....shoot I am crying!!

Yesterday, my husband and I stepped up and adopted 23 different families for Christmas. Shipping out almost 2 dozen boxes of gifts to needy children who were facing giftless Christmases. I thought I would just end up feeling good and then that would be it.

I looked at the pictures I took of all the boxes I packed for the children and realized how many happy boys and girls there will be. I really didn't realize the impact my husband and I made until I went to a lady's website where I sent a winter suit to for her little baby boy. I saw pictures of this baby boy and started crying. Because I stepped up, this little boy will be warm when his mom takes him outside.

I am so happy and excited that because of me and my husband, almost 2 dozen families will have presents under their trees this year. I want to shout it out how amazing I feel. We spent a little more than $300 for everything. Presents, shipping, wrapping, etc. $300 to make Christmas just a little more cheerful for 2 dozen families. These are the things you read about in the paper and wish you had thought of it first, or had been lucky enough to receive the help.

It's so tough right now for so many families. My husband and I are doing o.k. We're not rich by any means. Shoot, we are barely above the poverty line. We're just really smart with our finances.
I am just so glad we could do this for quite a few families...... I've been wanting to do something like this for so long.





If you have yet to donate your time, money, whatever........I highly advise you to do it. No better time than RIGHT NOW. Help struggling families. You don't have to be rich or well off. Donating a coat or a warm winter suit will fill your heart to the point over overwhelming satisfaction.
However, I wish I could do more for more people. Helping more families out. If I had another $300 I would find another 24 struggling families that were going to have a giftless holiday. I realize presents don't make Christmas. The spirit does.
I've always felt money is just money. It doesn't have a spirit, it doesn't have heart. Therefore, it's not the end all be all of everything. Yes, it's important. I know how important it is. I have been homeless before. Wish I could see the faces of those kiddos when they see their presents under the tree.

Just had to get this out!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, Jamie Leigh Jones this is for you!

In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was an employee for a private contractor in Iraq. She was drugged and brutally raped by her co-workers.
When she reported the crime to her employer, she was imprisoned in a shipping container. Given no food, water, or medical treatment. 24 hours later, US Embassy agents rescued her.
Her employer destroyed evidence so that she could not file criminal charges. They claimed that the contract she signed with them meant that she couldn't even take them to civil court.
In 2009, the Senate voted to not fund companies which force their employees to forfeit their rights to sue for sexual assault or harassment.
Thirty Senators voted against this amendment. All of them republican.

Getting royally FED UP!!!

I know it's been an awful long time since I've blogged. I suppose I've been keeping my head firmly entrenched in the sand as I see things slowly deteriorate further in this country.

I see politics as usual and absolutely no "change". That's not to say I don't support Obama, I do! It's just I wish others did and the Democrats would finally grow some spine and stand up to the nasty mouthed Republicans who have been running around screaming "the sky is falling the sky is falling" at every gawddamned opportunity!!!

With this health reform mess, WE NEED HEALTH CARE REFORM NOW!!!!!! WE NEED NATIONAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM NOW!!!!!!!!!

I watched Michael Moore's "Sicko" last night and it merely renewed my anger and frustration in how we, Americans, do things.

My disgust went even deeper when I read about a 4 month old baby boy being denied insurance because he is "obese" by growth charts doctor's use to measure where that child is compared to other children or infants at that age.  This baby is BREASTFED!!! And was denied coverage because he was obese. 

How in the HELL can this be allowed to continue in this country?!? People are denied health care coverage, like this baby, because of such minor things.

And then I also read about health insurance companies threatening to jack up premiums on people if the Democrats put into effect this health care reform bill. How can they have this power? Why do we GIVE them this power? Why do Republicans fight so hard on the side of Insurance companies? Why is it ALLOWED for these middle men to PROFIT OFF THE SICK?!

I'm sorry, I realize I'm being treasonous here: I'm getting tired of American's "Memememememe first attitude" and "moneymoneymoney" "powerpowerpower we'rethebestwe'rethebestwe'rethebest" NO we aren't!!!! We are ranked at 37 on health care around the world. Our infant mortality rate is just a hair better than Slovenia!

People in Canada live three years longer than those in the US. Not to mention, people in Britain and France fair better health wise than Americans.

I walk around, and Americans are stupid, lazy, and mean. I'm sorry I'm sorry! I know I'm speaking of my countrymen and women... but I'm tired of seeing this bitterness towards anyone or anything different. Hate speech against a man who is trying so hard to bring about change - IE the man needs to grow a pair,himself - trying to make everyone happy is just not going to work.

I'm on www.cafemom.com and the average user can't spell or use English correctly. Since when is it acceptable to type in idiot slang all the time and not bother trying to use correct grammar and english? I take GREAT pride in writing correctly and spelling words out correctly.

My husband and I have actually thought about moving to France. I just can't take the hatred and intolerance towards others anymore.

America the great: Where the rich get richer off the backs of the poor and dying. Where stupidity is allowed to thrive and laziness is rewarded.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

RIP Shane Angell

On a forum I frequent , a woman lost her husband - Shane Angell - to a motorcycle accident. He survived countless deployments, came home and decided to de-stress by going for a ride. It is believed that he had a heart condition that caused him to lose control of his bike and got into a fatal accident.

I can't get Ashley and Shane's story out of my head. I looked at their pictures and felt it was such a tragedy that such a beautiful family has been torn apart. It breaks my heart. I decided to create a slide show montage of their story and their love. I also included a few pictures of candles that were submitted by other cafemom users as a virtual candle ceremony.

I am blogging about this because it means something to get the word out and have more people lighting a candle for this man. Who sacrificed countless times for our country.

 

Life of Green Beret remembered by teammates, unit
By Maj. April N. Olsen, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Officer
Sep 23, 2009 - 6:35:08 PM
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Blackanthem Military News

 

Soldiers from an Operational Detachment-Alpha carry the casket of Staff Sgt. Shane Angell following a funeral service held on Fort Campbell Sept. 18. Angell, assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), was killed in a motorcycle accident Sept. 11, 2009. (Photo by Army Sgt. Tobias McCoy)

Fort Campbell, KY - As Americans across the nation woke to a day of remembrance on 9/11, Staff Sgt. Shane Angell ran a 12-mile road march and graduated Air Assault School on Fort Campbell.  It was just another day of training for the second-generation Green Beret. 
Later that day, during a motorcycle ride on Kentucky Highway 100, about six miles outside of Russellville, Angell collided with another vehicle.
The 26-year-old died instantly of injuries sustained in the crash.
"You do deployments to Iraq, you expect it [can happen]," said Staff Sgt. Eugene "Gunny" Watson, Shane's best friend and teammate on an Operational Detachment-Alpha in 5th Special Forces Group.
The shock of losing his friend to an accident weighed on Gunny as he recalled a conversation he and Shane had in Iraq earlier this year.
Gunny said he and Shane each gave their word that should something happen to either of them, the other would look after his family.
"I have that commitment to Ashley (Shane's widow)," Gunny said.  "Whatever I can do, I'm gonna do."
Gunny, his ODA, and members of the 3rd Battalion and 5th Group have been providing assistance to the family since the accident - providing meals, helping with funeral arrangements, and hosting family members traveling to the services.
"It makes me feel good knowing we put ourselves on the line... and if something happens to me, my family will be taken care of," Gunny said.
"Ashley is not gonna have to go at it alone," he said.  "She knows all of Group is behind her."
The response from his son's unit is no surprise to Shane's father, retired Sgt. Maj. Glenn Angell.
"Some things never change," Angell said of the tendency for those in the Special Forces community to go beyond what is expected to take care of families. 
Angell said he and his extended family are grateful for the outpouring of assistance for his daughter-in-law and granddaughter.
"What they are doing for me and my family... it's unbelievable to see," he said.
No stranger to Special Forces, Sgt. Maj. Angell spent 14 years of his Army career in 5th Group before retiring in 2008.
Sgt. Maj. Angell's last assignment was at the Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, where his son completed his Special Forces Qualification Course as an Engineer Sergeant in 2006.
"Everything he did made me proud, to follow in my footsteps," the senior Angell recalled.
Enlisting in the Army under the Special Forces 18 X-Ray program in 2004, Shane completed infantryman training at Fort Benning before being selected for SF training.
Upon completion of the Q-Course, Shane was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Group, where his father had served most of his SF time.
Shane deployed twice to Iraq with 3rd Battalion, most recently returning in July.  His father also served combat tours while assigned to 3rd Battalion, deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of 9/11.
Some of his teammates said his father's example contributed to Shane's decision to join the Army.
"Shane grew up the son of a Green Beret," said Capt. Adam Hurley, his ODA team leader.  "He was exposed to Green Berets his whole life."
"There were people Shane worked with that his father worked with," Hurley said.  "That's unique to 5th Group and Special Forces."
The ODA team sergeant recalls Shane taking it in stride when instructors at one shooting course teased him for being the son of a fellow Green Beret.
"A lot of the instructors knew his father and they picked on him a little bit harder," said Master Sgt. John Mauldin.  "You have to have a thick skin... Shane could definitely let it roll off his back and keep going."
Hurley credits Shane's easy-going approach with balancing out his ODA.
"He took his job very seriously as an Engineer and he would help other people with their jobs," Hurley said.  "But he always seemed to joke around at the right time when people needed it."
His reputation for jokes will be missed in the team room, Hurley said, as well as stories from home about his wife and daughter.
"One defining characteristic of Shane was how much he talked about and loved Ashley and Skylie," Hurley said.
Mauldin, who has four daughters of his own, said he could appreciate Shane's ability to balance his work and family life.
"He was a very, very devoted husband.  He would do anything for his family," Mauldin said.
One way his Soldiers are dealing with the loss of a teammate is by helping Gunny keep the promise he made to Shane in Iraq.
"We're working to finish up his projects around the house," Mauldin said. "We're trying to help out where we can."
"Skylie's only two years old now... but as his 'work family' we'll be around to tell her who her Dad was," Mauldin said.
Although he has 19 years in the Army and five deployments to Iraq, Mauldin had not lost a Soldier until Shane's death.  While keeping busy with the Angell family and his team, Mauldin said he has learned a few things after knowing Shane.
"I've learned to live a little bit better, understand life can be cut off in such a fleeting moment," Mauldin said.  "Try not to worry about the petty things.  Love a little deeper, live a little stronger."
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS:

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) pay respect to teammate Staff Sgt. Shane Angell during a memorial service on Fort Campbell Sept. 21. Angell was killed in a motorcycle accident Sept. 11. (Photo by Army Spc. Andrew Jacob)

During a memorial service held on Fort Campbell Sept. 21, Battalion Commander Lt. Col David Bolduc (kneeling) presents a posthumous Meritorious Service Medal to Ashley Angell, the widow of Staff. Sgt. Shane Angell. Angell, assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), was killed in a motorcycle accident Sept. 11, 2009. (Photo by Army Spc. Andrew Jacob)

Staff Sgt. Shane Angell, assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) was killed in a motorcycle accident Sept. 11. Angell, shown here in a team photo in Iraq earlier this year, returned from his second deployment as an engineer sergeant on an Operational Detachment-Alpha in July. (Courtesy Photo)

Soldiers from an Operational Detachment-Alpha escort the casket of Staff Sgt. Shane Angell during a funeral service held on Fort Campbell Sept. 18. Angell, assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), was killed in a motorcycle accident Sept. 11, 2009. (Photo by Army Sgt. Tobias McCoy)

The flag-draped casket of Staff Sgt. Shane Angell sits in Memorial Chapel during a funeral service Sept.18 on Fort Campbell. Angell, assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), was killed in a motorcycle accident Sept. 11. (Photo by Army Sgt. Tobias McCoy)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

This stupid lymph node....

Good morning and afternoon friends.
Here's the latest news:
The pathology results came out and it's still "negative" ... however, there were some cells in the sample that concerns the radiologist and my breast surgeon.
They both agreed that the lymph node needs to come out and have a frozen section done on it. What that basically means is that they'll remove it, dissect it, and run a lot of tests on it to see what comes up.


I might have to have all my axillary nodes removed. This will be a bit of a surgery which means a hospital stay and drains. Nothing I can't handle, I've been through 6 prior surgeries so it's not like I don't know what to expect.
It's the same thing each time, surgery pain has been part of my life for three years now. It's tolerable and much more welcome than chemotherapy.


That brings me to another point, my surgeon said that if there are some cancerous cells in the lymph nodes, it's surgically treatable and I will not need chemotherapy.
My oncologist might order some radiation done.


As long as it's NOT chemotherapy, I'll take it!!! I don't think I can tolerate any more chemo....it nearly did me in the last time. Yes, if I had to...I probably would do it again, but it'd break me. It was so horrible last time.
I don't even remember most of my time from then because it put me into a horrible dark fog that I had to fight free from - only to be thrown back into that horrible dark pit.
Out of all the possible scenarios and outcomes, this isn't the absolute best...but it's by far, not the absolute worst. I'll take it.


And I'll be confident and do what needs to be done to remain here with my family for as long as possible. I can't imagine leaving my loved ones behind or giving up. I have three kids that need their mother while they are growing.
So, I'll beat down this bitch called cancer - like the game "Whack-A-Mole" she pops her head up, she'll get a mallet smacking her back down.
It's what needs to be done, and I'll do it and keep doing it.


My sincerest gratitude to you all,
Love
Jen

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

NOT CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

However!

 

My breast surgeon wants to do additional testing on the biopsy samples they got on Monday to make absolutely certain it wasn't a sampling error or anything.

That'll take about a week to get the pathology reports back. I'll see my Doctor on Tuesday next week. For now, it's benign and I can breathe a huge sigh of relief. Thank you Cheryl and Susan for your kind words of encouragement and support. You two are so awesome!

 

Jen

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Bitch is Back.

 

No, I'm not talking about Sarah Palin! I'm speaking of Cancer. 

I got some very upsetting news on Friday. The cancer is most likely back for a second round.
My breast surgeon wants me to go in on Monday for an additional biopsy to confirm or negate this.
My husband and I are praying and praying that it's not cancer again.
If it ISN'T, then I'm going to stop saying I'm going to get off my butt and exercise,

I WILL get up off my butt and exercise. See my Oncologist every 6 months rather than the 9 months when I begin running out of the Tamoxifan.
If it is cancer again...... Im in for another fight for my life. This time, I'm going to beat the bitch down for good. Before, I was scared.

This time, I'm pissed.
I have school coming up, my kids are doing wonderful, we had a fun vacation, life was moving on and so was I.
I'm going to do research on Mets to the lymph node area because that's where the "mass" has been found.

See what my options are and what I will be going through THIS time. They'll probably do even more aggressive treatments.

Longer chemotherapy. Harder hitting stuff.  It's going to be really hard on me and my family...as 4 months of it was difficult enough.
I'm not willing to give up and forfeit my time with my boys and my Soulmate. I want to live out the rest of my life and see my boys grow up into amazing and wonderful men.
I'm not ready to give up, I'm not ready to throw in the towel.....

I am angry and thought it was done and over with.
I'll keep everyone informed of Tuesday's results......

Pray, cross your fingers, and pray some more......... I want God to hear it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

You Didn't Get Mad When....

You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.


You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate energy policy.


You didn't get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.


You didn't get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.


You didn't get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.


You didn't get mad when we spent over 600 billion(and counting) on said illegal war.


You didn't get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq.


You didn't get mad when you saw the Abu Grahib photos.


You didn't get mad when you found out we were torturing people.


You didn't get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.


You didn't get mad when we didn't catch Bin Laden.


You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.


You didn't get mad when we let a major US city drown.


You didn't get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark.


You finally got mad when.. when... wait for it... when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, are all ok with you but helping other Americans... well f*ck that. That about right? You know it is.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Not so fast Palin Fans

Not So Fast

I speak in regards to Governor Palin with these questions. Like many Evangelical Alaskans, I was overjoyed when the Governor decided to run for office three years ago. Unlike most Evangelicals, I got off the bus before the general election because it became clear to me in studying what Sarah said about business and fiscal matters, that she lacked the understanding and finesse to secure a gas line for the State (this was back when she was the primary proponent of an all-Alaskan line). It was sad for me not to be able to support her, but I'm a business owner and I have to care about the health of my business, not just desire to support an enthusiastic candidate.

Fast forward three years, wherein I, and every other Alaskan who has paid close attention, has been forced to watch the slow, agonizing train wreck that has become the Sarah Palin Governorship.

 

Deception and Arrogance

Sarah lied about her knowledge and involvement in Troopergate. Her behavior and complicity in this affair is without question. She was found guilty to have abused the power of her office by a bipartisan legislative investigation. It should matter very little that a three member partisan board she oversaw the appointment of, found her innocent. This entire matter turned into the type of charade that devastates those of us who believe in the validity of our "three branches of government" system. Sarah thumbed her nose at the very form of democracy we practice in our republic with her John McCain Campaign We'll Take Over From Here deception of an investigation.

The fact that Sarah blatantly lied under oath is is supposed to mean something to people of character, people of credibility and people of conviction - especially religious conviction.

Unfortunately, in this day and age of Evangelicals - Alaskans and Americans - getting their news from Fox News almost exclusively, it means nothing. All this has served to do is stoke the fire of the faithful calvary who are supposed to rush to Sarah's defense, checkbooks in hand, and decry the slander she has to endure at the pens and mouths of America's Evil Liberals.

But wait a second. I'm not a liberal. I'm a conservative. And an Evangelical. And a proud Alaskan. And if I've learned anything about Sarah Palin's credibility and "character" since she's been in office, it's this: the woman is dishonest. She isn't trustworthy. She is the single most divisive individual in the Republican Party right now.

And it's not only that she lied about Troopergate and abused her power of office, she has governed these past eight months with disinterest and vitriol. She seems much more interested in creating dramas and flat out fights with with another branch of government - the legislative branch (think the Juneau Senate seat fiasco and the Wayne Anthony Ross for AG debacle and the won't/will/won't/will mess with the stimulus money, for starters).

This is not the character of a person I trust, let alone admire. If Sarah has done anything the past year, she has shot her credibility with me and a host of others in this State - those who care enough to pay attention.

The lies just don't stop coming. When she angrily denounced Levi Johnson on national news saying it was "over my dead body" that Levi would be living with Bristol under her roof - anyone who knows anything about this situation in the Valley knows that she was telling a flat-out, straight-up, blatant-as-you-please LIE.

Maybe that doesn't matter to you, Mr. Grenn. But it matters to me. To me and to the vast majority of Evangelicals in Alaska who I know. The heady days of Governor Palin knowing she could count on the Evangelical vote in this state are over. Why? Because things like credibility and character really do matter. Dan Jarrell is right. I, and thousands like me, have done the serious work of "knowing the character" of our governor. And it has been sad and scary and disheartening what we have learned about her.

But she has little to fear - the uninformed Evangelicals of America have no idea who she really is, what lengths she'll go to to advance herself (I would say "her agenda" here, except that it's become clear Sarah has no agenda other than herself).

There's a sweet little sad letter to the editor today by a woman living in Anchorage - one of Sarah's Faithful Evangelical Flock. One who refuses to pay attention to the facts of what Sarah has done to our State and our Party since she came on the scene a couple years ago. In the letter this lady says, "I am so sorry for the slander so many have brought against you...It shows you are truly a Christian woman with strong moral values. Otherwise you wouldn't be under such vicious attack."

Truly bizarre - this head-shaking line of reasoning. And I would be prone to dismiss it - were it not for the fact that this is the very thinking Sarah encourages and Punditry Central at Fox News dishes out by the hour -- Sarah has strong moral values because Sarah is under vicious attack. I wouldn't believe anyone could actually buy this line, except that millions do. Including (and it hurts to have to point this out) someone as otherwise lucid a thinker as Dennis Miller ("She must be right because all the wrong people hate her.")

Dennis, you're a better thinker than this.

But until the rest of the nation decides to sit up and pay close attention, I fear this is all for naught. Sarah will run for the presidency in 2012. It's time for men and women of actual conviction, credibility and character to state with clarity and kindness what we here in Alaska know - without a doubt - about the credibility and character of Governor Sarah Palin.

http://syrin.vox.com/