I am a nurse. I have a BS in psychology Addiction & Recovery and a BS in Crisis Counseling, LPN, QMHP-A, CSAC. I Work in behavioral health in OBOT & Case Management, with mental health & Substance Use disorder clients. I am a strong advocate for awareness for both! None of that prepared me for what lies ahead in my journey...
Art is my escape....
Live it, Sketch it, Paint it!
Journaling allows me to empty my mind....📖
Photography allows me to create! 📸
Welcome to the randomness that lives within!
I got to get up and out of the house today! Out of that bed! I had my follow up appointment today with the Urologist for my post surgery visit. I learned the mass was positive for renal cell carcinoma. I knew this, it was positive for clear cell renal carcinoma and was considered to be Still in Stage 1.Turns out the mass was actually under 4 cm around 3.8 cm in size in size once they got into it. The imaging was wrong on the last scan.. This is a blessing. They feel they were able to get all the cancer out, during the surgery and it was successful. I will just follow-up with my doctor in 6 months and as needed with monitoring. And they did a referral for gentic testing. I got the ok to move around more! And lounge and swim… ♂️! So I am a happy and feeling very blessed girl. Just taking it slow and healing over the next several weeks. Much love to everyone for all the calls and well wishes and prayers and check ins! Still have some restrictions on lifting and such. But overall…. i see the road to recovery! I have to say…. it feels good!
Still one of my favorite versions of this song! I grew up on this song in church…. I remember so clearly Wednesday night Bible meetings it being sung and echoing in the small churches of Bethel, Trinity and Mt. Comfort…. it is funny; the memories we hold onto as we age!
Ready…. for the next phase of my life! I am ready to feel like I am back in control of my life!!! JUST want to move beyond this already!
This all began in November…. one accidental finding… Then what a domino effect…. This was supposed to be my year to focus on my career!
Seems like God and the Universe had other plans…
It has quickly become the year of learning self-care! I am exhausted, tired and just drained mentally. The emotional ups and downs of watching this mass grow inside me, to become known as renal carcinoma.; to accepting that I actually have cancer, to the reality setting in that it really IS cancer! That I AM having surgery, and that …. I have no control over my body….
These are very real and sobering facts…. Who knew there were so many different types of cancer in the world?
You know I have been a nurse for over 27 years! Never in my 27 years have I had a patient with renal carcinoma! I have had all types of cancer patients throughout my career, but never kidney cancer!
It’s funny…. people think (as I did) all cancer is the same…. protocol is the same! Actually not true! … who knew? Nobody tells you this…. Like they do not biopsy kidney or liver cancer due to how vascular they are. There’s too much risk of spreading the cancer in the blood to other areas of the body, so they use radiation or surgery to reduce or remove the cancer.
Good to know huh? Means you have to be able to catch it in time for a good outcome. Before it has time to metastasis to the blood or other areas of the body.
Did you know the kidney itself has no nerve endings? So that ongoing burning in my back…. the one I reported prior to knowing or discovery of the mass… The same warm burning sensation that has grown throughout the growth of the cancerous mass on the same side of the mass…. yeah that one! … has nothing to do with the mass!?…. (but… yet it does!)
Neither does the building of pressure in the back of my kidney where the mass is growing…. (says my surgeon) Note to ALL doctors! And Medical Schools…. here me loud & clear!
You need to adjust your curriculums to include Bedside manner! How to discuss symptoms that ARE to be expected with your patients!
As I referred back to day 1… and that pamphlet you gave me so eager to discuss treatment options! You left out symptoms…..! You forgot to discuss the actual disease! When I called back with symptoms…. you dismissed them… saying they were not related to the mass but clearly they are! As listed in your pamphlet! Or kidney cancer foundation website or hey even Urology Association all referring to symptoms of…. renal carcinoma. Which I stumbled upon googling my symptoms; as you bounced me back to my primary care doctor, who sorta bounced me back to you for a few weeks!… (I get it! Honestly I do…. I am afterall… A nurse, a healthcare provider.. I understand being over worked, having high case loads, being dictated to by insurance companies how to practice)…. BUT! I still…. make time to HEAR my patients out! Especially the ones such as myself that you know never seek out care!
I go get medically cleared for surgery…. as the last few weeks have been up & down…. the chills and fatigue have been unreal. I have been hot natured my entire life. Sleep with a fan, ac going full blast always…. people complain its cold to come visit me. I now sleep with flannel sheets and 4 blankets & a comforter plus a sweater on & pj’s!
WHO AM I?
What have I become?
I never knew what it was like to be chilled to the bone… not able to get warm even in the sunlight. Until now!
I am just tired!
Scared…. because today it all became real!
Today started a series of appointments that lead to surgery…..meet with the surgeon on the 19th Radiology on the 20th then pre opt on 5-21-20 get my CVOID-19 test & surgery 5-28-20
I had a good talk with my primary care provider today. He was truly amazing and I really am grateful for that! (Today,, I felt heard finally! He took time to really listen to me and hear me today). He let me vent about the bedside manner and not understanding why the Urologist didn’t explain more. He did a good job listening to me today. And I needed that! He also talked to me and explained my symptoms my pressure in my back building and the increased sediment in my urine & fatigue & chills being all from my cancer. Or related to. I told him a simple statement such as that is all any patent needs… to understand what is going on with their body.
I am not doctor bashing by any means! Both of my providers are amazing and smart i trust them both with my care! I like us all get frustrated however with the system & lack of communication.
I also am a horrible patient! I didn’t take someone with me to my appointments… WRONG! Always take someone else with you that can ask questions and help absorb the information! I was not thinking clearly, I was in shock…. I don’t think until last week it truly hit me when I couldn’t get out of bed! OMG I really (might) have cancer….. then harsh cruel reality hits when you are turning in your FMLA paper work and trying to make leave plans for surgery….
Saying it outloud! I have kidney cancer….. when your client asks why you’re going ou on leave….
That just starts another world of stress… how will they cope ..? While your gone? Well… hopefully you have done your job right during all this; and preparing them they will be resilient as ever!!!
I am struggling with… Letting Go! Of everything…..
I feel like after working two12 hour days…. If I can still smile and love my job after 27 years of being a nurse…. i believe God made DNA just for nurses!
I think when he was making up Nurses DNA he must have put on that check list… Must have: ✔sense of humor ✔multi-tasking a must ✔diversity of knowledge ✔willingness to wear any body fluids ✔ability to go days without sleeping ✔able to work 12 hours without eating or voiding ✔mind reading a plus ✔ peacekeepers ✔ empathy by the truck loads ✔ patience must have *double check ✔ ✔ grace under pressure ✔ love❤ for patients ✔ability to smile ✔ multitude of kindness ✔ better add in sugar & spice for good measure ✔☕ yeah…. never! Forget the caffeine….!
That outta do it!
That. . My friends!
Is what is in the DNA of a nurse! A bit tired, trusted, tried & true! But nurses are without a doubt The best kind of DNA To stumble upon!
The river has a way of calling to you…. it’s my home away from home…. it’s constantly changing, ever flowing… you never stand in the same river bed spot twice… the bottom is ever evolving, with the current. Every stone tossed makes a ripple effect, every fish, boat, tree…. it reminds me how connected we all are. It feeds, crops, animals, irrigation systems, flows into the oceans and into the tiniest creeks and streams…. There is power its beaty…. Yet, tranquility can be found in its sounds… If you aren’t mindful of her…. she can rage against you and reek havoc and self and the land around her… The river… is much like us!
So it calls to me… I go visit her… sit , listen, and marvel at her beauty… and all that God has created! It is a marvelous thing….. #jenz #jenzphelps #feedmysoul #emptyyourmind #justbreathe #findingmyzenagain #itsthelittlethings #seekingbalance #seekinglifeslessons #theriver #therivah #rivertime #riverrat #riverlifeforme
Trying to #emptyyourmind or I should say… #emptymymind Taking in advice from wise trusted friends…. self care is vital! Trying to find that inner balance for myself… really and my life!
Paul Reps Zen Flesh Zen Bones i have read this book i feel like 100 times or more… the collection of zen and pre-zen writings so often remind me of the Book of Palsm and the Book of Proverbs in the Bible… some remind of of Aeostps Fables….
All of them have underlying moral stories and wisdom there waiting for you to seek it out!
Sorta like Life!
We go through trials and tribulations in life… just waiting for us to find the life lessons for us to find that stepping stone to get us to the next level the next journey that awaits us!
… i am working on that! Trying to empty my cup! #emptyyourmind #justbreathe #findingmyzenagain #seekingbalance #seekinglifeslessons #jenz #jenzphelps
Ever constant…. Like the stars… Ever present… Like the sky… Burnt into memory… The way the sun dies each day…. To give life to the moon! You are ever present… Yet. Continuously absent…. At what point… Do you stop…. Existing…..? So new love can bloom? #jenz #jenzphelps #feedmysoul #emptyyourmind
They say…. Just Breathe…. Take a breath! Step back reflect for a minute… See the bigger picture of life! JUST breathe.. So much easier… to say those words than to actually…. Put air into your lungs at times! When your mind races … With a thousand thoughts. … Of work… life…. of things that went wrong in the day.. Of the love that got away… of the love that might have been… of the love that never happened! Of the cancer growing inside you…. Just breathe… You have so much time…. Tic… Toc… Tic… Toc.. Just Breathe… People don’t understand….. They don’t relate…. They are scared too…. If it happens to you…. It could happen to them…. Tic… Toc… Tic…. Toc…. Just Breathe… So much easier to say…. than to put air into your lungs! Tic… Toc… Tic… Toc… Just… Breathe! Step Back……. SEE THE WORLD AROUND YOU! You feel like you are running short on time…. But actually…. You have exactly the right amount of time you need! The exact amount of time…. Tic…. Toc…. Tic…. Toc…. That time was meant…. Just for you! Tic… Toc…. Tic.. Toc…. Just Breathe…. #jenz #jenzphelps #feedmysoul #emptyyourmind #justbreathe #time #life #livingmybestlife #findingmyzenagain #itsthelittlethings #ittakesavillage #mindfulness #seekingbalance #kidneytumors #kidneycancer #renalcarcinoma
Today…. the struggle has been real! Have you ever felt like someone just pulled your pulg? Literally drained your battery…. That is the best way I can put into words how it feels….
I heard people talk about it, my friends with different types of cancer talk about how their energy levels go up and down. We don’t really want to pay attention to it right… it is uncomfortable to talk about. Uncomfortable for most because they do not know how to listen to you… They do not know how to hear you. Its hard for them to deal with their day to day life drama…. Most feel guilty… Guilty over complaining about spilled milk and long lines at the store when you are trying to talk about real deep life issues… People aren’t ready for those conversations! They want to keep it light and fun and carefree!
Superficial is were the majority live and were the majority are comfortable…. There is NO judgment in that! People are doing the best they can!
So today was a bad. Day…. Good news…. Tomorrow is a new day! Hopefully…. A better day! Always hope!!!
That is the place where I find myself living these days..
In the land of hopes and dreams… The stuff FAITH is made of! Hebrews 11:1
Hard to believe…. her last surgery was 10 years ago tomorrow! Time goes by in a blink of the eye truly! I am ever so grateful !!!… she truly is my miracle child! What joy she has brought into our lives and continues to be. She has such a determination for life and a witty personality and sense of dry humor! She cares about everyone and goes out of her way to help all her friends. She worries about them and is always there in their time of need. She is so soft spoken at times; until she gets comfortable then you wish! She was quiet! She is so tender hearted…… You must be mindful of your tone and words… she feels them deeply…. She was given a expected life expiration date…. at the age of 2 years old within 6 months…. she has long exceeded that date!!! She is my gift from God…. She has lived up to her name…. Summer GRACE Phelps…….
That is what is feels like some moments in the day…
This empty black hole of nothingness…. that seems to suck away at my soul….
I see glimmers of you…. and I start to feel again…. Do you understand?…
Feeling, a connection, a sense of belonging to someone, a place, a time in the universe!
For a second…. in that glimmer…. in that instance… I am no longer.. lost, into the Abyss….
For that second… that moment in time….
I belong…. to you!
I am home!
I am no longer wandering down that long lost road that nobody else choose to travel….
For that glimmer for a second… I felt at peace….
Then…. like the speed of light on a shutter flash of a camera….
Back…. into the Abyss, I go….
Reality sets back in….
How…. did this, become… MY Life?
Funny thing … the number of thoughts that travel through one’s mind in a single day…
There isnt one day…. you dont enter into my mind…. I’d just like to know… how you are…
I fear one day… I will hear… You have finally gotten married or settled down and wrestled all your demons…. part of me… well be so happy for you… because I want nothing more in life than for you to find peace and love! God what I would not do to ensure that!!!
But then there is apart of me…. that will crumble to my very core…. I know this!
I want so desperately… to love again!!!
To love beyond you!!!!
Everytime…. I even come close… to breaking free…..
Something pulls me back… makes me question everything!
It’s all fun and games until its not! I don’t know how to make the pain stop…. That moral high road… is killing me! It’s drowning me in this world of misery…. I sit here watching you, spinning…. just chasing after that wind! She’s like dust…. ever blowing past you, never settling long enough to satisfy your thirst for affection. I see you!
It becomes a life long lesson in heart wrenching pain!
What you fail to see, the thing you never bother to notice….
Is when, you were crying your tears and drowning in your sorrow: not only did I see you, but I felt your pain too.
I actually, cared for you!
I saw beyond the outer shell and superficial hype!
The boy, the persona, the hustle ….
I saw the dreamer, the poet, the empath, the innovator, the renaissance man, the meek, tinder hearted man that truly lies inside that outer shell….
I see through all that external hype and flash!
See… I actually saw YOU!
I see you still now….
Circling the waters like a shark….
Always on high alert!
I know how keen your senses are….
Lyrical poet, master with the pen… tounge with the quickness, words can cut sharp like a knife or savor you into the night…..
I know you… beyond, your measure!
Just because my head is stuck in the past… doesn’t mean: my mind isnt focused on my future!
Always ever seeking balance in this world of mine….
My Libra scales are always swaying….
My pen: never rests for very long!
My mind is constantly stirring!
Round and round my mind goes…..
My heart was truly shattered and torn…
Into a billion pieces…. scattered everywhere…. I was like a shattered mirror ; when you came along…. and swept up those pieces… putting them back into some type of working order again!
I think a few might be out of synch… perhaps… that is part of .. the confusion!
Timing…. they say, is afterall… Everything!
I can’t help but feel some kind of way….
As I sit back… watching….
Dont be mad… all I have is TIME…
Tic Toc … Tic Toc…
I am the one with the time bomb inside afterall…..
Am I supposed to be gracious? For a life where the connection I desire most…. doesn’t exist?
It’s all what?….
Oh yeah…. #stuffdreamsaremadeof?
I can’t lie, and say in my reflection… I have not wondered… if I (missed my shot) as you coin a phrase* I watch you proclaim stars in your eyes for that wind you chase….. yet, I still feel the breeze from your vibes….. see that makes me wonder…. because I have also given thought to this… When: I was blinded by love…. there was nothing that could quench my thirst…. other than HIM…. But that trust has been damaged…. then…. you came along… and for the first time…. in years… I could dream again… be touched again, kissed again! … Because of you! Now…. you have me questioning…. did I just mess up at 16? Did I throw fate away?
Could it be so simple? …. did I set off all the chaos in my life? Because I was too broken, too naive, to scared just not ready….. to see back then! ? Is this just really it?….. we just get that ONE true LOVE? If you dont recognize it, or aren’t ready for it….. what then?!! Sorry? Better luck next life?……
What happened to happily ever after? You know.. The Stuff Dreans Are Made of? I see everyone around me, getting their storybook ending….. As I feel trapped in a Lora Croft Radiers of the Lost Arc or Never Ever Land, Rouge Adventure Trail…… hi Ho! Silver….. away……
The stuff that doesn’t truly exist….?
Maybe…. I never truly knew him!
Maybe…. I dont truly know you….
Maybe… I just see people in a better light; than they really are…. Maybe I need to just start accepting what people show me at face value… and stop looking beyond that window dressing!
You want the world to see you… then YOU gotta notice … the world and the people drowning in it to!!! I am just not in a good space right now… I feel this! I don’t need the classic cliques to pep me up…. I just need to deal; vent, rage, accept life as it is and move on… I am just…… T.I.R.E.D…. so very, very tired! I feel like whenever, I find a small pocket of joy… it is like one of those, bubbles…. or glass balls…
I am shocked each time I see an old photo pop up in memories…. I don’t recognize that girl… Stress, how we deal with stress, how our bodies manifest stress amazes me every day! Be it addiction, heartt disease, diabetes, lung disease, or metabolic disease aka obesity! My Thyroid went into state of shut down as a response to my way of suppressing my emotions when I was not dealing with my daughters illness, I now truly believe that. Looking back; I thought by being strong and emotionally shutting down, I was holding it together. What I was actually doing was just building up pressure inside my body for a complete meltdown. It finally caught up with me 17 years later. An emotional breakdown during a Case manager retreat at work when a motivational speaker talked on *Medical Trauma * then a physical breakdown of my body…. That build over time with hypothyroidism, obesity, diverticulitis and now renal carcinoma…. Stress is as constant as change in life! You have to learn to manage it… or it will manage you! Fact! #lifegoals #dowork #gettingitdone #milestones #feedmysoul #emptyyourmind #findingmyjoy #selfcare #jenz #jenzphelps #findingmybliss #livingmybestlife #overlookingmyflaws #lettinggoofthepast #followingmymoralcompass #findingthebalancedlife #findingmyzenagain.