Wednesday, March 02, 2016

The Writer's Struggle Is Real + Hitting A Creative Block

February is a month that I wish I could genie-wish my way out of. And I blame it mostly on Valentine’s Day, but this year I blame it 

Again, it’s one of those things that I try to stay ahead of and I spend months thinking of great ideas for Klay and the kids, and then life happens and it’s the week of and I still have NOTHING. ZIP. ZERO. Stressing out for all the wrong reasons, and I try to focus on being glad I’m home with my family, but here I am talking about my Valentine’s Day missed opportunities and it’s already March… typical.

Last Feb. 14, I was in the hospital completing my third round of chemo, so there was no romancing, wining & dining or exciting things coming my way. Unless you can do chemo and drink chardonnay—but we all know that would never be a fun party. 

The year before the YEAR OF THE CANCER, my Valentine’s idea for Klay turned into a fiasco that led me to a meltdown in the middle of a Walgreen’s parking lot. No I didn’t accidentally lock one a kid in a vehicle again. <-- that really did happen, click to read it. But my 2013 meltdown wasn’t near as serious.

The photo machine was down at Walgreens, and I spent hours uploading them the night before; I just wanted to walk in there with the photos ready and however many extra I needed cause I had places to be. But, of course, I waited till the day-of to finish the project.

My partner to finish this DIY project for Dada was my nearly two-year-old son, who clearly did not want to cooperate. All I needed was just one good photo and this is what I get...

Valentine's Day Photo Idea

And the year prior to that I was put on bedrest waiting for my bundle of joy to arrive—and he finally did—Feb. 22–three weeks early, for that story click here.

Now, my baby just turned 4! I honestly can’t believe it. I’m so happy he’s growing up, but it makes me so sad at the same time. I miss the times he slept on my chest and all of those baby noises he would make. I miss how he’d growl when he got mad, or make us laugh by saying and doing funny things.

He so sweet and caring, but I’m not going to pretend he has a halo over his head… because that’d be far from the truth. The past two weeks he’s been a true fournager, for sure.  He thinks he can talk back, not listen to what we have to tell him, he cries if he doesn’t get what he wants… AHHHHHHH!

All I constantly hear: 

“No. I don’t want to."
“Can I sleep in your bed?"
“I can’t go potty I’m scared."
“Don’t leave me in the kitchen by myself, I’m scared.” (I’m literally 15 feet away in the living room.
“I caaaaannnnn’t.”

Oh and there is so much more.
He’s wearing me out. When something messes up or goes wrong, he talks in his “whiny” voice and starts to cry before we can even tell him how to address the problem. And we all know it’s a fake cry. I don’t remember being like that as a kid. I’m sure I probably was, and I’m sure some can vouch for that. But if I could only teach that kid patience and how to talk quietly, I’d be a much happier person.

On the other hand, Bex, it pretty good for the most part, but if GiGi or Dada are around, he loses it crying and tugging on their pants because he wants someone holding him (and it better be them, if they are around). And since all my pant are large and XL that no longer fit me (and that’s what I have to wear) one small tug and they fall to the floor. I’m just thankful that hasn’t happened around other people besides Klay.

This 124lbs thing is not really that fun. I literally have no clothes that fit. You’d think since I shop a Maurices all the time (or used to before AML) that I’d finally get a shopping gift card or something from them.  (Speaking of clothes, Klay and I cleaned out our closet and went to IKEA, so It looks so much better; post on that soon!)

Anyway, it seems sometimes that Bex cries for hours on in. But he’s a sweet, sweet chunky monster who is walking, saying some words and eating everything.

I adore all of my boys so much, they’ll never know. But I really just need a day to go shop, buy new makeup, check out some of my favorite stores and relax.

So why am I talking about Valentine’s Day after it’s OVER?

I haven't blogged like I promised I would. I've been working on my blog and I've been writing and writing, but nothing felt good enough to publish. 

February was the time third time I picked up blogging and trying to stay consistent. So this last month I realized I should feel more accomplished in my life and with this blog'''ij. I did have a huge bump in the road, but at least back then (in those V-Day posts) I could find something to write about. And sharing my stories gave me some sort of validation (like I was good at something. But I just can't think of anything I'm really good at any more. 

I won’t ever be the “Cass" before I was diagnosed. I’ve grown a lot since then. I’ve learned more about people and relationships, and who really cares when it comes down to the nitty-gritty. I’ve endured a lot of physical and emotional pain. I’ve witnessed more death since then. I witnessed a lot more of everything since then. 

I’ve just been in this hole feeling like I'm sinking. 

I want to blog and write and make people laugh; that’s all I ever wanted to do with this blog. I’m just trying to figure out how to do it all. I want to create my own business and use this blog as a marketing tool for that (don't worry I'd still keep the usual crazy posts in too). I just don’t know where to begin. 

I think I’m ready to go for it. If I fail, I fail. I’ll stand up and try something else. I can’t keep living a lifestyle where I don’t do anything for myself anymore.

And, I’ve just been down and sad. It’s hard for me to write when I'm feeling unaccomplished. I look around on Facebook and remember a life with a job and what it was like working and I feel unaccomplished. I'm lost right now. 

I can’t think straight (which could be part of my "chemo brain"), but it’s like I can’t come up with any new post ideas, ideas to sell e-products (worksheets, webinars, ecourses, ebook, which I plan to do eventually but I’m not ready to tackle that task yet), or even good ideas for physical products. 

I don’t know what I have to offer people that people might pay for. 
What are my skills? 
What am I good at? 
Those are questions that I can’t answer any more.

writer's block the struggle is real

I'm trying to get my blog redesigned, while taking ecourses to learn more about monetizing a blog, and how to make it the change exciting for my readers. I've watched free webinars, read articles after articles, looking at different tools to use to make my productivity better. But mentally I feel like I'm not progressing.  

I need a change. I need something to do besides doctor appointments and helping take care of kids. I need turn this (my blog) into a job. I want to financially contribute to my family.

Guess I’ll stop it there. So, I guess it's goodbye to February and welcome a (hopefully) greener, more prosperous March.

If you have time, please take this survey to help me out.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

How Someone's Random Act of Kindness Saved My Life

Did you know it’s Random Act of Kindness Week (RAK)?
#rakweek #randomactsofkindness #randomactsofkindnessweek

Oddly enough, it even has a special day which is on Thursday. 

It’s really kind of awful a foundation created a holiday or event to remind us to be kind. But The Random Act of Kindness Foundation was created We should be like that every day! But if it helps encourage people and spread kindness and awareness that can make this world a better place—I’m all for it. 

Let me just say it was the RAK idea that saved my life.   
I’ve never been a resolution-maker or someone who has posted about random acts of kindness before, but I feel like I do little things for people I don’t know a lot just everyday. 

But right now because of this particular week, all I can think about is one thing—how a stranger saved my life through a RAK.

Ya’ll, I have a confession to make.   
I received a letter from my donor… April of last year.

My transplant coordinator brought it to me when I was in the hospital post-transplant. I was shocked when she showed it to me, but surprised because I figured I’d be the first to send one.

Her letter totally brightened my day.

It was short, sweet and to the point. She's a very good writer and I was very impressed with her words. It was like she knew exactly what to write to me.

BAD NEWS: I have yet to write her back—gasp!

"Get on it Cass!"

I know there is really no excuse that could bail me out of this one. I’ve had a lot going on in my life from being diagnosed while pregnant to having a preemie to going through the transplant and all of the other medical crap that has happened, even in the past few months. But I have to write her. I’m going to write her.

If you recall,  I "wrote" her on my blog, but I feel like I need to add more to it. I don't even know what I should say… or what I can legally say because we have to stay anonymous.

cricket, cricket.

See? And I can't say that. She'd think I'm some crazy person or something. I know... I am (kinda cray) but you know what I mean! I mean this woman sounded incredible in her letter. I honestly can't believe it's taken me so long write her back. I feel terrible about it. She probably thinks I'm a bitch.

She told me that her new year’s resolution was to complete a RAK.

My stem cell donor new year’s resolution idea was to sign up the Be The Match Registry at Who knows? You could be the cure for someone too.

Little did she know, I'd just switched to my AML Oncologist/Specialist and had my first talk with him Christmas Eve. That first day he was already talking about looking for a preliminary matches following the holidays.

Meanwhile, my donor signs up in December or January and orders her cheek swab kit, sending it back in January, and then all of sudden she gets a phone call to come in for more testing.

People have signed up for 10+ years and have never received a phone call. She signed up and a matter or days or weeks later she received a phone call—about me. If she wouldn't have followed through with her random act of kindness that winter, I may of had to go with a 50% match which is much tougher on your body, especially when you aren't related.

Related Post: I Am Having A Stem Cell Transplant

She was a 100% match and agreed to go through the process to donated millions of stem cells, taking off work, staying at the hospital, for me—a complete stranger.

Related Post: The Match

I was in the hospital this year when the ball dropped and I was in the mood to celebrate. Plus, I’ve never been much of a “resolution-maker,” though now, thanks to my donor I definitely will become an avid resolution-maker and celebrate #rakweek by taking a pledge to do something special, random and to hopefully inspire others to do the same.

Thinking about how my donors random act of kindness saved my life and gave me a fighting chance, made me want to write down my resolutions and RAK ideas.
So I made a list of some of my resolutions this year, as you can see below.

How A Random Act Of Kindness Saved My Life

So my reader challenge to you is to come up with your own random act of kindness, write it down to make yourself accountable for it, … and follow through with it.

Have you already stopped your original New Year’s Resolutions? Well, here’s a kick in the rear! Create your random act of kindness story! Read other random acts of kindness stories!

I want to hear about your resolutions and RAK’s!
Make sure to comment, like, share, tweet, and be happy and tell me your RAK!.

Pay IT Forward. You never know you could save someone’s life, make a dream come true, or just put a smile on someone’s face for being kind.

 Random Acts of Kindness Week | #RAK  RAKWeek | Random Acts of Kindness Idea

Don't forget you can also join


Monday, February 08, 2016

Life On Cass Lane gets a Newsletter!

Exciting news!

So I’ve been working on creating a newsletter, but I do need some help from my readers—you guys. I need you to sign up so I can send out my awesome newsletter!

This newsletter is going to be loaded with exclusive content, more frequent updates, tips and advice. But that’s not all! I’m launching some new, fun ways to get to know my readers, fellow cancer survivors, patients, and caregivers. 

In the newsletter, you’ll get info about:
  • Host FREE webinar support groups for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers
  • Host FREE LIVE Q+A’s with my followers
  • Announce the launch of my products I’m working on
  • Share funny and embarrassing stories that have yet to make it to post-worthy
  • Tips & Advice
  • Updates on me Medically
  • And even some giveaways!

So let’s start your week off right with some fun, exclusive news from my newsletter!
Get a dose of Cass bi-weekly, maybe even more times a week, if readers want more!

Let me light up your inbox and sign up here! 

You can also help me out by filling out the quick survey below!