Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The much anticipated rant...Hugs and the Power of Touch

Here we go… my much anticipated rant.

Hugs and the Power of Touch

I have encountered some of what I consider the best huggers in NJ. Although I am still friends with most of them, I don’t get hugged all that often. I miss hugging. I have a handful of friends, new and old, that do not hug. This is quite disheartening.
Last week, I saw a very dear friend. She gave me a hug, and didn’t let go. In the past we saw each other every day; recently I am lucky if I see her monthly. She is the best hugger… I miss that. My ex’s kids were very affectionate kids. To this day, when I see them, they always give me long emotion filled hugs.

There is great power in touch. It conveys a number of emotions; for example, touch can convey anger, fear, happiness, sadness, disgust, love, gratitude or sympathy. Touch is very important for the premature baby lying in the incubator. A mother’s touch comforts and can even increase the babies’ weight. Hugs are important to adults also. When we feel hurt, embarrassed or depressed a hug can do a lot of good for a person’s self worth. A simple touch can convey love, tenderness, friendship, caring, sympathy and support.


I think the world would be a better place if we touched more. However, I am not suggesting that you hug a stranger. During Catholic Mass you share the sign of peace with your neighbors; however, at a Lutheran service you take 10 minutes to walk around and shake everyone’s hands. I am sure that 3 second contact is the only skin to skin contact that most of the elderly parishioners have for that week. I am also confident that moment in time makes a persons day. It is the simple things in life, which we take for granted; that simplistic gesture also make a gloomy day-sunny.

An infant needs to be touched. The child needs the affection to grow physically and emotionally; then as we grow into toddlers we struggle to be independent. We push away from our parents when we are being held. That autonomy grows as we become adolescents, and young adults. It is no longer cool to get a hug from your parents. It is awkward to be touched by a family member. The way our parents have raised us has a large bearing on whether we are affectionate adults. I was not born into a touchy family. We have love for each other but we do not show it. We are however expected to give a hug and kiss goodbye.


I guess I would just suggest that we be mindful of the affect our touch has on another person. A hug or a gentle touch can make someone’s day. It is a simple gesture that can mean so much. I am going to leave you with the words of Leo F. Buscaglia:
Too often we underestimate the power of touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, and honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

See these links:

Five-Second Touch Can Convey Specific Emotion, Study Finds
Premature babies and touch
Define: Osculate

Interpersonal Relationships

During the 90's people started using gaming systems, cell phones, and computers so much more, and actually doing so much less. During this time we have created little robots without the skills needed to develop strong interpersonal relationships.
Let’s take a typical day when I was a teenager. I would go to school, then come home and do my homework. Once that was completed I would play my Game Boy, watch TV, talk on the phone or instant message. When I needed my mom, I would IM her.
The availability of electronics discouraged us from forming a relationship with another person. If I wanted to talk to a friend I would IM, text or even pass a note in class. If I wanted to play a game, I would get my Game Boy or go online and play. I would play against myself or a computer generated player. This is when we started to lose our interpersonal skills. Instead of riding a bike with Bobby or taking a walk with Suzie; we had our computer. I believe that was the turning point for most people. Looking back, I think we took for granted how many life lessons were learned by playing with Bobby and Suzie.

We learned how to communicate and navigate through positive and negative emotions and experiences and not hid behind the fa├žade of our cell phones. If something happened between you and your friend you would tell him, “hey you hurt my feelings” and together you would work it out. Now we are able to disguise our feelings or even just ignore them. We have become hard, unemotional beings unable to handle our feelings. When we do feel something we tend to shy away from the feeling because we are unfamiliar with it or just embarrassed with what we feel.
We as a population in my opinion are emotionally stunted. When we have a friend that is able to recognize their emotions and act on them, they are coined “sensitive”. I think the negative connotation behind calling someone” sensitive” is from an unemotional person’s jealousy.
I have a really hard time talking to my mom partially because she cannot keep anything to herself. I would say the rest is because I plum don’t want to do it. During the most crucial time of my teenage years when I should have been figuring how to communicate with others, I sat in my room and my Mom in hers and we would IM. Now when things have come up in my adulthood that I need to talk to my Mom about, I experience stress and anxiety. It feels natural to discuss important life altering discussions over IM, however I know better. It’s a major ordeal every time. Maybe if we spent more interpersonal one on one time when I was younger, I would be better at this today.

Don't smother each other. No one can grow in the shade. ~Leo Buscaglia

Monday, January 10, 2011

Not Fair

I just got word that a friends cousin has breast cancer that has spread all over. She was diagnosed two years ago, but it has come back with vengeance. She's 30. Thirty...Set...Trenta....Trideset...Triginti...  No matter how you say it, or what language, she is thirty. Her life is just beginning... I know I did not start to live until 30. There are so many things she has yet to do. Its not right, its not fair, something has to be done.

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
--Reinhold Niebuhr

Friday, January 7, 2011

32 Months and Counting!!!!

I went to my Endocrinologist last week, and she said I am cancer free...
32 months and counting.....
I try not to let it bother me when I am going for my check-ups....
but then again I am always waiting for the other shoe to fall. 
I was lucky to find it the first time....
I might not be so lucky next time.... 
I definitely believe 
What Will Be Will Be
Everything Happens For A Reason
It is out of my hands....
But as always I am grateful for my blessings

An Irish Blessing

I saw this last week, and wanted to share with you...

May God Grant you always...
a sunbeam to warm you,
 a moonbeam to charm you,
 a sheltering angel so nothing can harm you,
laughter to cheer you,
faithful friends near you-
and whenever you pray for heaven to hear you.
 An Irish Blessing

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Living Will

May 12, 2009
I have recent been subject to a loved one’s family member being strickened with non-operable cancer that is assumed to have metastatic tendencies. There is “nothing they can do for her” and they are “keeping her comfortable”.
Their situation has brought to light feelings I have long forgotten and shut out.
My grandfather died 15 years ago of lung cancer, my father died last year of cancer to the renal, bladder, prostate, and bone. I remember my mom getting the call at 2am that if we wanted to say goodbye to my grand pop that we would have to go right then; I didn’t go. My father lives 5 hours away, I received the call that he might not make it through the week, and then next day I got the call he past. I do not know anything about my father’s death. I contacted his wife last night to ask about the details but now I am unsure that I want to read the email. I don’t know that I really want to know.

I plan on obtaining a living will within the next couple of months. I want my wishes to be known, and followed. I do not want to be kept alive; I only want to live if I can preserve some kind of quality of life. I do not want machines breathing for me. I do not want my family to have to make that tough decision. I do not want my children to see me like that. I am an organ donor and I want my organs used for good, if there are any left worth using. I believe in euthanasia. I believe in medicinal marijuana. I believe in stem cell research.

I am so aggravated by what cancer can do to people. It needs to be stopped. It is a fact that cancer is gene mutations; so if my genes are mutated and I reproduce, then my offspring is at a higher risk of cancer then someone with no cancer in their family. I have always felt that I will die of cancer. I know that. I have bad genes, cancer runs deep within my family. It is like waiting for the ball to drop. It does not help that I have had cancer once.

Sometimes you can try as hard as you possible can to stop the effects of cancer. My father wanted to live to see his youngest graduate from high school. He would tell me over and over again, the doctors say I can’t do it, but I will! He was determined…. And so was the cancer. The cancer was determined to eat him alive. To make it so painful that he would need more and more pills and the pain never left. He didn’t make it to his 3rd birthday. How is that any way to live?

We need a cure for cancer. I know it is probably not going to be found in my lifetime, but it needs to happen.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I was having a conversation with someone on a different site who said that the thyroid meds build up in your system so it does not wear off ...per say.

You know, I tend to agree with you, although I do not want to admit it. I have been feeling horrible; moodiness is a sign that my levels are too low. I only get to this type of moodiness when I am at something like a .01. I could have sworn my levels were off during the past two weeks. I was tested...I am at a .23 hmmm, ok. I will not get into how this whole time she wanted me suppressed at a .02 and now a .23 is a good range for me… That is another discussion in itself.
Anyway, now that I know my level is "high" I "feel" better. It has to be in my head. I am very stressed over my upcoming cancer check, pending doctor switch, Thyrogen and time off of work. Not to mention I am moving June 6th, and my house is NOT packed. I had a CT that showed prominent lymph nodes last week, but my primary isn’t worried about it. I don’t see my specialists until June. My partner has a lot of stress on her plate as well, so I try to act fine not to add to her current upset. So yeah, the stress is piling up. I am happy I found this site because if I went only by how my doctors treated me and explained things to me I would still be lost. I am still surprised that the meds build up in your system...I have been taking my meds now at 3:45 in the morning and going back to sleep (if i am lucky)for at least a month. I feel more awake and ready to conquer the world at 630 when I get up.I do not have to convince myself to get out of bed, and drag my ass to the shower. I do not have to worry about taking a vitamin if I chose or having a glass of OJ when I get up. Then by 10p, I am so very tired, moody, cloudy; it’s hard to function. I guess that could just be me.