Never ignore a person who loves you, cares for you, and misses you. Because one day you might wake up from your sleep and realize that you lost the moon while counting the stars.~Unknown

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mandi Fuhriman

What I have learned this past year,

This year i have learned that life is too short. There are so many people in this world, everyone struggles in different ways. I have learned that there are so many good people in this world. Watching my mom go through what she went through made me realize that if we have faith and positive thoughts we can and WILL get through anything. Its the negative thoughts that tear us down and make it hard for us to get through our struggles. There are so many people in this world that ssee when someone really needs them and puts their struggles aside to help this certain person. I have learned that sometimes the hardest things to do in life are sometimes the best thing for you. I have watched my mom go through some amazingly hard times and she always pulls through it and comes right back on top. I admire her more than she will understand. One thing that i live by is.. God would never let trials happen to us that we cant handle. My divorce for example. Hardest thing i have been through. Emotions were out of control. Happy, sad, lonely, helpless, hopeless, guilt. But i did it and i am so happy now. I know god knew it was the right thing for me. I am not a very religious person but i do believe in god. I know he never leaves me no matter what i do in life. He knows me. He knows what my heart desires and knows what i need to go through to get to where i want and need to be. Do we all have the same beliefs and lifestyles? No! If we did life would be boring. Were all different. Some people never understand why a certain person does the things they do, but they're not in their shoes.
So this last year i learned that life is really too short. We all go through trials. Its all up to US how we get through these trials.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mitch Evans

What I learned in the past year

I think the main thing I learned this past year is how to face the toughest of trials and still be happy. We as a family always joke that we "can't wait 'til 2012", and it's true for the most part. However, the past year has taught me that no matter how difficult of a trial we are going through, staying happy and positive can make it a whole lot easier. I didn't learn this on my own, however. I learned this from my Mom. When she was in the lowest of times, in the most pain emotionally, physically, and spiritually she has ever been in, all she could think about was others. She didn't care about herself, all she cared about was helping others who are suffering through similar trials as she was. As I think back about it more and more I realize how amazing my Mom is and the great example she is to all of us. When she could have very easily folded and complained and looked for people to give her things, or help her out, she did the exact opposite. She went out and helped others, made them feel better, even donated money to them when she was in a place of financial hurt herself. I tell people she is the most amazing woman I have ever met, and this is not an exaggeration. She loves others more than herself just as the Savior did. She has been through a gauntlet of trials and yet has remained faithful and trusts in God. What a great example and blessing this is to have a mother like this. I always tell my Mom to "stay positive and love her life." It was in the past year that I realized I need to practice what I preach even more.

Thanks Mom for your example and teaching me the above mentioned attributes that will help me throughout my life and even more importantly help others. You truly are the best Mom and most amazing woman in the world. Merry Christmas Ma, I love you!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011


What I've learned over the past year:
I have learned that life is really short and it is very useless to waste it by being negative. It's important to remember all the good you have and try your best to forget about the bad. Being negative about your circumstances, just destroys yourself and your family. My mom was very positive when she went through all her procedures and I think that is what saved her. I guess I've just learned to be grateful for what you've got and forget all the other stuff. That's about all I can do with this.

Monday, December 19, 2011



What I Learned This Year, by Chad Evans

                I began this year in completely different shoes than the ending of it.  I had a great job and was looking forward to finally getting some debts paid off and saving a good chunk of money, knowing that I had a 4,000 dollar tax return coming.  I felt like my addiction and my past were starting to fade away into the sunset and that I was on my way to huge financial success and one day a huge leadership role in the company I worked for.  However, I was reminded of just how fragile financial and professional security often is in these days of “The Great Recession”.  I was demoted out of lack of need for my specialty to telephone sales.  I was disappointed, but the company was struggling.  Eventually I was laid off.  I used the tax return to pay bills and to live off.  Soon, I was moving my family into Dad’s to live with him, Mandi and her kids.  I was pretty down on myself and my lack of confidence eventually pushed my addiction back to the surface where I was too weak to fight back or get help.  I fell hard, and nearly brought my family down with me.  I developed a terrible self-image of myself as a father, husband, son, brother, and overall person.  I emerged from the depths of that despair thanks to my family all doing a difficult thing with the DCFS—something that hurt me badly at the time, but something that I badly needed to get sober and regain some direction in my life.  I feel good about myself and my approach to life, however I admit that daily I am scared crap less about finances.  I get so stressed out about it that it consumes me at times.  I am hoping this year will bring me a stable job and that I will be able to pay the bills.  That is all I want right now.   It is what I think about most of the time.  However, it is the challenging times in life that we learn the most, and I have learned a lot this year.  I’m sure I don’t even know all I have learned, but will someday.  But here are some things I have come to know……

First, I learned and believe, and try to live each day with the approach that almost everyone on the this Earth has good intentions in everything they do.  I feel that looking at life this way helps me avoid judging people, developing grudges, and helps me see the beauty of those around me and ignore the negative traits that we all have.  I am really tired of being critical of others.  Especially during times like these, when we all have enough to deal with, the last thing we need is people being critical of each other.  I know that at times criticism is good, and don’t want to give the impression that it should not be a part of any relationship.  But right now many people are fighting for their lives in one way or the other.  I have been critical and judgmental of other people.  On these occasions I acted selfishly and often hypocritically.  I have learned that there is a positive way of giving others feedback if they have done something that has wronged me, or someone else—or acted in a negative way.  Just as important as the delivery of criticism is the timing.  I have made it a habit to seek amends with those I have judged or been critical of.  I don’t want to be that person.  I want to be blinded to human flaw and see only the beauty of each soul.  This might sound idealistic, but I don’t think it is.  I know for a fact that everyone would be happier if we all tried harder to understand each other than to look for something about one another to complain about or judge.  I feel lucky to have the people in my life I do now.  I want to help build them up, not tear them down.  The world and life is cruel enough.  I don’t want a part of that cruelty. I feel lucky to have many people in my life that share this approach. 

Second, I have learned that sometimes things don’t happen for a reason at all.  They just happen and we will never know why.  I used to think opposite and believed that God controlled each and every thing in the universe.  I don’t know why but I don’t buy that anymore.  I believe we are here for a reason, but things just happen and we have to deal with them, bad or good.  I don’t believe that God controls all of them.  I don’t claim to understand or say I’ll ever understand the Divine Nature of Heavenly Father, but I have learned that He will help me realize when something happens for a reason because I can feel it in my heart.  I can’t explain why I have changed this belief.  But it has occurred.

Third, I have learned that life is fragile and short and it is easy to take our love ones for granted.  Almost losing Mom, and almost having my family torn apart helped remind me of this….I already knew it.  But it is easy to forget.  I appreciate all those in my life and the many things they have done to help me.  I enjoy every day with my wife and son, my family, and my friends.

Fourth, I have learned that it is ok to ask for help and that I don’t have to be strong and perfect every day.  This is something I am still working on but I have finally accepted.  I felt so relieved to realize this and truly believe it.

Finally, I have learned that my son is the most important thing in my life and that everything I do is for him.  So because of that, I try to do right every day and I have become a better man because of him.

That is it.  I guess that’s all I can think of now, though I’m sure I will think of more!!!

Merry Christmas Mom!!!!  I love you forever and like you for always!!

Your boy,


Wednesday, December 14, 2011


"I close the door but you let yourself back in. I let you go but you find me again. You enter my heart uninvited and I recognize all the signs. You fill up my eyes, you roll down my cheeks, take over my heart piece by piece by piece but you are just passing through. You are gonna have to leave soon, you need to know his is not your home. Every now and then, you change your name. I’ve heard you called heartache, some call you sorrow or pain. You come like a breeze and settle on me; sometimes like a storm without a warning. You bring the tears and the tears release my pain. So in a way, I have you to thank. But now I must dry my eyes, wipe my cheeks, reclaim my heart piece by piece by piece by piece cos I need to breathe again, I have to let the sunlight in. God didn’t make my soul to be your home. No, this is not your home." Hilary Weekes

Today, I recognized that tears are one of my tools for self healing. I've been told that tears shed in grief actually have a different chemial makeup from tears shed in joy. I've taken this to mean that my body is unleashing chemicals that it needs to release when I shed tears. This is probably why after a good cry, I feel better. Throughout my recovery, there have been times when I have wept for what appeared to be no reason. Other times, my tears held meaning and often led to a resting ground of healing. Now, as I have a fuller vision of my life, I recall all the grief that I held in. I held it in for a variety of reasons; love, pain, shame, and a desire to spare others the sadness I was experiencing. Mostly, I held it in becuase I was afraid that if I started, the pain would consume me and open the bottomless well I believed it to be. So I simply didn't cry at all. At least not publicly. Cancer gave me permission to cry and allow myself to experience the cleansing act that only tears can bring. I recognize now the inherent curative power and am able to tolerate anothers tears without the discomfort of not knowing what to do or what to say. Ultimately, I hope that a connection between my deeper, hidden self can find congruence with my outer self and I will find peace.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Beautiful Heartbreak - Hilary Weeks - Every Step

Now that the threat of cancer has subsided, I struggle with the physical changes my body has undergone. I wrestle with what I see in the mirror each morning and feel a longing to look like and feel like "me" again. Me before cancer altered my plans. Part of me is resisting the hill I must climb to find the peace I once felt. I have yet to experience a plan in my life that did not include a mountain promising undesired alterations. My body is tired and my heart aches. Ultimately though, I know that the path is leading me to my own personal 'beautiful heartache.' So, I rest when I need to, cry when the tears conquer my smile and know without a doubt that I will have what I need to accomplish the journey. The words of this song describe the perspective I hold about my experiences of the last year and the months leading up to my diagnosis of cancer.  It is the belief through which I am able to hang on to hope when the storms of life threaten to snatch it from my grasp.  It is the hope that I share with each of you my friends.  Not one of us moves through the stages of life without a plan that represents what we believe about ourselves or what we feel we have earned by the choices we have made. Within the wrappings of those plans, we place our hopes and our dreams; safe from harm and close to our hearts. I have learned that those wrappings are fragile. Trials, disappointments and heartache seem to tear through them leaving our hopes and dreams vulnerable to the elements of life that fall outside the realm of our control. I believe that it is through the alterations to our plans that a loving God leads us to the places in our hearts where our greatest wounds hide. From there, healing leads us to the plans He has for us. And that is where I know our greatest blessings lie.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nurse Joe

When my daughter Katie first set up my blog it was for the purpose of keeping family and friends updated on the events taking place as I battled cancer.  It was her way of loving me..and providing a catalyst through which those who loved me could continue to do so as they were updated on my progress.  That love came pouring in the form of tender mercies, prayers, encouragement and on the most personal of levels, through answers to my most fervent prayers.

Throughout my blog, I have shared some of the intimate prayers I have offered that oft-times originated from a heart broken by the disappointments in life.  As I have blogged, I have done so with the purpose of this being a personal record of the miracles which presented themselves in such a way that I could not deny that they were from a loving Father in heaven who used cancer as a catalyst to share His love with me.  Nurse Joe is one of those evidences.  Because these experiences were of a more personal nature, I have avoided including him in my story.  The reality is, Nurse Joe was an integral part of the healing that cancer brought into my life.  In the years to come and as I reflect on the content included in this blog, I want him to be a part of my story.

I remember those early months following my mastectomy and during the onslaught of the side effects of chemo.  Each day as I got out of the shower, the image that met me was overwhelming.  My femininity as viewed by others was gone.  I had no breasts, no hair, no eyebrows and my body had taken on the distorted image of the chemicals that were destroying my cells.  It was difficult to get dressed in the usual outfits I adorned to 'look the part' of a woman who seemingly had it all together.  It was during those early months that I was forced to come face to face with who I was...not on the outside that I allowed others to see but on the heart, my soul and the essence of who I was as a woman.  Those were vulnerable days on a very personal level..

Joe was my chemo nurse and from the very first treatment, I had an overwhelming sense that he was going to be a part of my life.  As I would later find out, Because he was single, my girls immediately latched on to the possibility that cancer was going to be the catalyst by which I found the love of my life.  According to them (I was drugged and out of it), the casual flirting began.  In the treatments that followed "flirting with Nurse Joe" became the highlight of everyone who came with me to treatment...including my own.  Joe was very concientious and professional but the element of friendship was present in all of our interactions.  My daughters loved him and they did everything they could to promote a friendship.  He made the experience bearable for them and as a result, the sadness of my cancer eluded them as they sat with me during each treatment.  As I would hold my shirt down for him to access my port, I would always teasingly say "Be careful...I don't want you to flash me."  I beleived that I was just being funny until one treatment, he looked at me with the kindest expression and said "Cyndi, that doesn't matter" as if he sensed how deeply my losses were hurting me. 

On the day of my last treatment, the girls teasingly asked Nurse Joe if he wanted to tend me on Saturday; a practice that occurrred the first 3 days following chemo.  With laughter in his voice, he declined but said that he would call and check up on me.  As we went to leave and to the total embarassment of my family, I got brave and gave him my phone number, doubting I would ever hear from him.  I will be honest and say that I did go to sleep that night with a smile on my face anticipating that maybe, just maybe he would call the next morning. First thing the next morning, I got a call from Joe checking to see how I was.  And so our friendship began.

Without going into all the cheesy details, it wasn't long before we were dating and spending time together.  What a sweet man who, true to his earlier words to me, wasn't detered by the deficits I easily judged myself by.  On numerous, tender occasions, he would remind me that those things "didn't matter."  He was loving, tender, and kind; not to mention romantic, affectionate and passionate about life.  It was through those qualities that he taught me that irrespective of my health and condition of my body, I was lovable, attractive and that who I was overshadowed everything else.  I came to love Nurse Joe on so many different levels.  In a few short months, he unraveled the insecurities left, not only by my cancer, but by previous relationships.  As a result, I learned to see myself through different eyes and found peace in myself as a woman...something I don't think I have ever really felt. 

Nurse Joe holds a place in my heart that will always be tender and warm because of the lessons of the heart I learned through his treatment of me and my children.  I will always be grateful for this sweet man who has a unique and gentle heart.  He brought comfort and laughter to my children during a difficult time and taught me of my worth as a woman.  Truly, he is and will always be a friend of the heart and further evidence that my Heavenly Father knows my heart and answers my prayers.  For that, gratitude encompasses my life. 

Gratitude and love always....Cyndi