A college girl’s guide to navigating the “C” word.

A college girl’s guide to navigating the “C” word.

March 2014

I’ve had a feeling I should write this for a while now. What can I say? I have so much compassion and love for people impacted by cancer, I want my life’s work to be helping them. This post will be raw, rough and honest. People are too soft sometimes, too careful, and side-step way too much. In my mom’s two-year battle with cancer I’ve seen a lot, a lot of good things and a lot of things that could have been a little better.

One thing I’ve observed with cancer is that nobody knows what the heck is going on….ever. The person who has cancer doesn’t know, the family doesn’t know, and those around them really don’t know. It’s an uncomfortable word, filled with fear and hate. People don’t know how to navigate it. I didn’t two years ago, and I’m still trying to figure parts of it out. So this post may seem like a rant, but really it’s just honesty. People want to help, really they do. But, it’s hard to know how and where to help…right? I want to give people some insider advice of the best ways to help people with cancer. We had so many angels help us, people who really changed our lives. I want other people to have that option as well. So, with-out further ado, here’s a 20-year-old’s “do and don’ts” when it comes to cancer.

Don’t
  • First things first. Don’t, and I mean never should these words ever escape your lips. Don’t ever under any circumstance say to someone who has cancer or loves someone who does “whatever happens will be for the best.” Take it from me, they already know there’s a chance the cancer could be followed by death. They don’t need to be reminded. And they especially don’t need you digging the grave.
  • Don’t bombard them with questions. It’s overwhelming and terrifying. I know you may be curious, but people still need to be people. Ask them about school, work, projects, anything that’s positive. By doing this you are enabling them to recognize something positive in their life and talk about it. And, chances are they’ll guess what you want to know and tell you anyways. This just gives them the power of choosing to tell you. It’s weird I know, but to them it feels more positive…and that makes all the difference
  • Don’t ignore them. They need you now more than ever. Be a friend, invite them to do normal things, and treat them how you treated them before. Their world is topsy turvy, normal is an absolute necessity.
  • Don’t get impatient and frustrated. They’ll have mood swings, they act like absolute crazy people. They can’t help it, period. You don’t know what they’re battling at the moment. Just love them, be patient, and forgive them.
  • Don’t cry all the time. It makes everyone scared and uncomfortable. You need to be strong for them. They have the cancer after all.
  • Don’t drop by the hospital or their home all the time. Chemotherapy sucks. They wouldn’t ever say anything, but it makes you sicker than sick, and entertaining people is not an appealing option right then.

 

Do
  • Tell them you love them.
  • Offer to help. Chances are they won’t accept, but it will mean something.
  • Send them a card, a letter, a note, social media, a phone call. Invite them to lunch etc. Tell them to pick the day, that way they can choose an off-chemo week. It will make their day.
  • Bring frozen pizza. It’s hard to decide what to take to help-out with meals. When the endless Tupperware of spaghetti and lasagna have cleared…pizza sounds wonderful. And it’s something they don’t have to eat right then, they can store it for a time when they really do need a meal. You are empowering them to still feel like they are in control of their food and cooking. Popping a pizza in the oven is pretty easy too, so you  both win.:)
  • Send care packages. Send them books, puzzles, yarn, things they like to do. Recovery can get pretty boring, and you’re giving them another tie to something normal.
  • Most importantly just be there. You may not know what to do or say, but your presence can do more than words. Be strong, they need it.

I honestly don’t know how my family would have made it with-out our wonderful friends and family. We were blessed with people who knew exactly what we needed, when we needed it. For that, and many other things, we will always be eternally grateful.

When Satan Tells You It Will Never Be Enough

[et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="on" specialty="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title admin_label="Post_Title" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all" title="on" meta="on" author="off" date="off" categories="off" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_number_counter admin_label="Number Counter" number="26" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" number_font="Lora||||"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="3" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30"] May 2017 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] God and I have been having some pretty interesting chats lately. Mostly it’s been me spilling my guts, the ramblings of my brain, the fears from the deepest parts of my soul, and the constant begging for the slightest hint of relief. Relief from things that many people in this world cry out for relief from, and boy did I cry. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/DSC_0728.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="|||on|" text_font_size="30"] [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="||on||"] He asks us to trust ourselves, trust in the divine potential we had in heaven and brought with us. We didn’t lose it. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] I am so grateful for the atonement, so incredibly grateful. It is such a vast divine truth that I hope someday to be able to fully comprehend at the level it is intended to be comprehended at. It provides relief from sin—and the guilt, shame, blame, and fear associated with it. However, it is also so much more than relief from sin (although, that’s a pretty big part in and of itself). It’s a way to transform ourselves, to move us forward to the divine beings God intended us to be. It provides a safe haven from the storm, a strong hand to hold steady to, a reassurance that we are loved beyond measure, and so so so much more. I knew this then, and I know it now, but what I’ve always struggled with is the actual application.   So here I was, on my knees, begging for forgiveness, begging for relief, begging to feel worthy to even be called a daughter of God again. I was working through pain I had caused myself, others, and vice versa. I was muddling through mistakes years ago and some a little more recent. I was dealing with the knowledge that I hadn’t and wasn’t living up to my divine potential. I was trudging through the disappointment I felt in myself. All the while these nasty, negative emotions swirled around in me, and I couldn’t get them to leave.   I would sit at work and think over and over about how much of a failure I was. I would drive home and the thoughts of failure would drive home with me. I remembered every.little.mistake I had ever made, even years ago, and felt the sting and pain of being human with each and every one. I believed (and still do) in the atonement, but I just couldn’t see how that would work for me. I didn’t see how I could ever confess enough, plead for forgiveness, or ever do enough to qualify for complete peace.   I couldn’t see how I could possibly be forgiven for the mistakes I made. I couldn’t see how I could possibly do enough to make up for my shortcomings. Let me repeat that again, I could not see how I could do enough…ever. I had done the Godly sorrow thing, but I was having a bit of trouble bouncing back from it. I was stuck in a deep hole, a pit of despair you could call it, and I couldn’t see any way out. I jumped, I clawed, I begged, and prayed for a way out, but alas there I was at the bottom still.   I was trying everything I knew how to do. I went to church, I prayed, I read scriptures, I fasted, I talked with close friends, I talked with family, I talked with people I knew were supposed to help me. No one had the answer. No one had the one step trick to letting go and letting Christ take it for you. They all just kept telling me to draw closer to the spirit and keep praying, so I did.   Then, one day all my efforts just clicked into place. I realized exactly where the thought of “it will never be enough” was coming from, and I sent it straight back. You see, we couldn’t possibly ever do enough to make up for our mistakes because we don’t have to. It isn’t our responsibility to save ourselves and the world, that’s Christ’s job. He is the Redeemer and Savior of the world, not you and definitely not me.   I realized that Christ had heard the pleadings of my heart and was oh so willing to take every last drop of pain I would let him. I learned to trust him and to trust in his guiding hand to help me let go of the things I thought I possibly couldn’t. I learned to let him fill in the gaps with his perfect love and mercy. I let him pay every debt.   Christ doesn’t require us to be perfect to be worthy of his atonement. He doesn’t require us to be perfect to be worthy of his love. He just asks us to try, to be honest, to do the things we know we need to do in order to let the atonement work in our lives. He asks us to keep trying, to block Satan out of our minds—even if that means casting him out multiple times a day, and keep trying. He asks us to trust ourselves, trust in the divine potential we had in heaven and brought with us. We didn’t lose it. We were and still are sons and daughters of God, even if it’s a little hard to remember exactly what that entails at times.   Don’t ever let Satan tell you that your efforts couldn’t possibly be enough. Hit your knees, ask God for the companionship of the Holy Ghost, ask him to help you right your wrongs, get up, and get to work. I promise you that it’s okay that you will ‘never be enough’ because Christ already is. He’s done it, he’s paid the price, and he’s just waiting for you to say “okay Lord, here, take it.”   The best part is he will, I promise you with all the energy of my soul, he will.   "But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love."- 2 Nephi 1:15 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" global_module="3581" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on" custom_padding="25px|25px|25px|25px"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="7" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="8,6" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="9" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
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These cake pops will definitely be my go-to gluten free treat for future parties, events, and every day occasions... they were a hit!
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Gluten Free Cheesy Potato Soup

[et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="on" specialty="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title admin_label="Post_Title" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all" title="on" meta="on" author="off" date="off" categories="off" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_number_counter admin_label="Number Counter" number="1" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" number_font="Lora||||"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="3" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30"] Nov 2017 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/DSC_0019.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="|||on|" text_font_size="30"] [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="||on||"] [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Original Recipe Credit: Pat Jones Adapted November 2017 Prep: 15 minutes Cook Time: 45-60 minutes Serves: About 4 people What You Need: 2 red potatoes diced 4 tblspns butter/ghee 4 tblsp gluten free flour 8 cups of water 2 tablespoon gluten free chicken bouillon 2 celery stalks sliced 1 large carrot sliced 1 green onion sliced Sour cream (optional) 1 can of cheese sauce (I use Tostitos Salsa Con Queso which I’m 85% sure is completely gluten free) or you can use 2 cups of shredded cheese. Salt & Pepper (to taste)   In your 8 cups of water, mix chicken bouillon and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes, green onion, carrot and celery until tender. In a separate sauce pan melt the butter and whisk the flower in until all the clumps are gone. Add the mixture into your boiling vegetables and stir thoroughly, make sure to scrape the bottom. Let it boil for a minute or two to allow it to thicken. Next stir in your jar of cheese sauce of 2 cups of cheese slowly. Make sure you continually scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure that it is being mixed well.   Finish it off with a dab of sour cream and enjoy! 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Gluten Free Almond Flour Banana Bread (Easy Guide)

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Here's my latest recipe for easy gluten free banana bread using almond flour.

  • Ingredients:

    • 1 cup almond flour
    • 1 1/2 - 2 mashed ripe bananas
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
    • generous helping of chocolate chips
    • 1 tbls of butter or butter replacement
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • 2 small bread pans or 1 large bread pan
    • coconut oil
    • 1/8 cup oats (optional)- if you do add oats, be sure to add at least 2 ripe bananas so the texture of the bread isn't dry
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  • Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350* F
  • Coat your pans with a generous amount of coconut oil (I like to spread it on with a paper towel so it's even)
  • Combine almond flour, (optional) oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt in a bowl
  • Add the lemon juice, vanilla and egg and stir
  • After mashing bananas in a separate bowl, stir those in as well
  • The final touch is adding as many chocolate chips as you like (I go for the generous side of things)
  • Pour batter into one large bread pan, or split evenly between the two small (batter should be 1/2-3/4 the way up the smaller bread pans. If using a larger bread pan spread it more thinly so the inside can cook as well.)
  • Bake at 350* F for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the middle of the loaf and removed cleanly. Cooking time may be shorter if you use multiple smaller bread pans.
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