Friday, May 29, 2009

Baptism...

This Sunday my hottie husband and I will be baptized. I cannot begin to fully express to you how excited we are, how important this is to us and how nervous I am (I keep having dreams where I slip under the water and I am wildly flapping my arms and legs, coming up out of the water and releasing a monstrous water belch in front of the entire congregation).

Both my hottie husband and I were baptized when we were infants. Hottie husband was raised Catholic...they believe in baptizing as an infant. The Catholic reasoning (as I understand it) behind infant baptism comes from the belief that all who depart this life without baptism, be it of water, or blood, or desire, are perpetually excluded from the vision of God.

I was baptized in the Presbyterian Church. Being baptized as an infant in the Presbyterian Church my parents were saying that they would supply the act of faith for me until a time when I can profess mature Christian faith on my own.

You may be wondering why my hottie husband and I are going to be baptized this Sunday when I just shared with you that both of us have already been baptized when we were infants! Let me share with you why...

As you know from previous posts, I just recently accepted Jesus Christ into my heart (hottie husband accepted Jesus into his heart a long time ago)! I have asked him to show me the way to a more Christ like life. I have asked his forgiveness for all my sins.

I found this verse in Romans 6 verses 3-4:

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”


This is the meaning of baptism according to Paul.

What I get from this verse is that our salvation in Christ means that we are dying to the person we don’t want to be, and we are being given the strength to grow spiritually and emotionally through baptism.
When I think about what it means to die with Christ, I question myself about my own growth:
.

• Am I giving up my tendency to get defensive and my need to be right?
• Am I becoming more able to face the things I need to face rather than run?
• Am I needing other people’s approval less than I used to?
• Can I face up to my weaknesses and see where I need to change?


When I think of walking “in newness of life” I ask myself:


• Am I aware of my strengths and more ready to use them to serve as God guides me?
• Am I becoming more aware of God’s love for me and am I allowing his perfect love to drive out my fears?
• Do I have a deep sense of being chosen to serve God’s purposes in the world?
• Is the love of God flowing through me?


Paul said about our freedom to get on with our newness of life, “Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God's energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).


Baptism means that God’s energy is working deep within us. What a beautiful ceremony!! I thank God for giving my hottie husband and I this new life in Jesus Christ!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Radiation Diet...



Big Mac Meal from McDonald's (large) - $4.09

McDonald's Apple Pie - $1.15

Puking up 1,500 calories you inhaled at lunch due to radiation treatments - priceless!

*Honey, where are the hostess ho-ho snack cakes?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Skin Cancer, Take 5...


Recently I learned that my skin cancer is back...yes, it has returned. I've dealt with this before and I kicked it's butt so I fully intend to do the same thing this time around. Fortunately I have Squamous Cell Carcinoma, which is the most common and most treatable form of skin cancer. And it was caught early, thanks to a routine blood test. After a brief procedure, my doctor expects me to make a full recovery with little change in lifestyle (except I HAVE to stay out of the tanning bed and that is an issue for me). The fact that my skin cancer has returned is still settling with me...naturally, I feel fear and regret (more to come on that last part). Yet I also feel a sense of overwhelming optimism that I am going to be okay. Perhaps it's because I am battle tested (ask me about the past 6 months of my life).


Each year some 800,000 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer. Much of it is preventable if you take care to protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays. Like many, I pooh-poohed the warnings. These included both regular words of caution from the media and those close to me. One of my favorite pastimes is laying out by my neighbor's pool! However, I know for a fact that the first time (and second, and third and fourth) that I was diagnosed was due to my obsession with tanning beds. One would think that I would have learned my lesson, much less been scared to death to even go near another tanning bed. Not that this is an excuse...but I feel more confident and a little prettier when I have that beautiful golden glow. So, I've been back to the tanning beds. Now I am paying the price.


It's clear from the statistics that many people still don't take the risk of skin cancer seriously enough. Perhaps they need to hear more about it from someone they know, me. I recognize that I can help in this way (or at least try). So, if you think you won't or can't be affected...or if you think skin cancer isn't that serious...ask me. Ask me to show you the two inch (hideous) scar on my chest from my first round of chemo and radiation. Ask me how I'm feeling tomorrow when I have had my third dose of high level radiation. Ask me how many times I throw up during the day and how much energy I have after 10 treatments of radiation.

May is skin cancer awareness month...now would be a perfect time to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or dermatologist for a skin exam. If you can't afford it, free screenings may be available at your local hospital.
Listen...I know it's difficult to stop habits like using a tanning bed or laying out by the pool basting in baby oil. Here's the deal...you DO need to quit the tanning beds...it's ridiculously dangerous no matter how good you feel...BUT...you can still lay out by the pool...just be smart and use sunscreen and certainly have any suspicious moles checked out by your doctor.

I'm sorry to be such a "Debbie Downer" in today's blog...but I just had my second dose of radiation this morning and I'm really starting to feel the effects. So, if that doesn't smack you upside the head and make you want to be sun safe then I'm not sure what will!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What Isn't Safe About Naked Cowboys?

My mother is overly protective. Perhaps she has tuned into too many "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" episodes. I think she first warned me about the dangers of the date rape drug before my first day of kindergarten. Therefore it only makes sense that each time I visit NYC, my mother wants me to wear a bright orange whistle on a scrunchy plastic wristband, supposedly to ward off molesters and other lowlife scum. After many arguments I have convinced her that at the age of 35 wearing a wrist whistle would only scream, “I’m a tourist, and my mother's insane!”

Actually NYC is the safest big city in the U.S. Most of my evidence of this is anecdotal, but check out crime stats. There are a bazillion people living in NYC, and they’re not all plotting to rob, rape, or murder you. They’re busy doing other things, like trying to pay the god awful high rent on their apartments, understand the taxi drivers and buying surgical masks to prevent catching the Swine Flu.

That being said, there is some crime in NYC. But there is crime everywhere. You don't need a bright orange whistle on a plastic scrunchy to survive...use common sense. I trust you know not to wave fifty dollar bills around, screaming, “Dang! I’m rolling in the cash money! This new iPhone I just bought sure is nice. By the way, I’m lost and confused!”

By the way, if you do get lost and you are confused, don’t panic. Ask a person who looks approachable and sane for help....

Like this guy:


P.S. This was the highlight of my trip!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Leaving On A Jet Plane....





Tomorrow I leave for New York. Yes, tomorrow I am heading straight for the ├╝ber-cluster of Swine Flu. Like the hero firefighter going into the burning building. OK, not at all like that, but still. And let's not forget the Air Force One flyby scare. Do you see a pattern here? I plan a trip to New York...week prior to arriving in New York strange and bizarre diseases break out and we have a 9-11 scare. Coicendence? I think not.


Never mind my fear of flying....


There are people who "don't like" to fly.

There are people who say "flying makes them nervous".

There are people who say they "are afraid to fly".

And then there's me.

For me to even pass through the Revolving Door of Hell at the airport entrance, I must be so high on pharmaceuticals that I need a "handler".


I have tried "relaxation techniques" and "positive visualization". It is a miracle I didn't wrench the emergency exit open mid-flight.


My heart pounds, my palms sweat and suddenly I have the acute hearing of a Doberman pinscher:

"WHAT WAS THAT? Was that the engine shutting off? Oh God, there's no engine. We're going to die. And what was that noise? The landing gear malfunctioning? What if we lose cabin pressure? What if there's a bomb in the luggage? What if that stewardess is an Al Qaeda operative who's been training for this moment to kill us all with a deadly poison in the air ducts? I bet she's already made her suicide video. What if a bird gets sucked into the engine? What if someone opens the emergency exit in panic in mid-flight? Oh, wait - that's me."

SO.......the medication plan is as follows:

1 Xanax in car ride to airport
3/4 of a water bottle filled with chardonnay at check-in
another 1/2 Xanax waiting for takeoff...

result = "Me? I have no froblem plying."

The Kudlow Report



It's tough being a celebrity, much less the daughter of a celebrity. Once again, this is my dad on CNBC giving his thoughts on why the government has no business in equity ownership of banks.

But what's really important here is how handsome and young he looks!