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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #1 
"Who are you really? and where did you come from"
Rick Blaine, Casablanca

We all had lives before the beast and I was thinking this would be a good place to write about US.  The women we really are.

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CherylG

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Reply with quote  #2 
I am an only child born in Quebec Canada. Before all this I was Executive Assistant to the HR Director of Public Works Government Services Canada. I struggled all my life going from one minimum wage job to another and I finally got lucky and landed the government job. I also did some consulting for a while preparing training sessions for many large corporations.

I am reserved, a loyal friend, love animals and children, like to travel to warm countries and play on my computer.

I went through 2 bad marriages (first was a cheater lasted 10 years, second an abusive alcoholic lasted 12 years) and have a 22 year old daughter (Christina) and 10 year old son (Danny)

I met my DH (Bob) online!! It was fate for sure since he just got his computer that night and I had just logged in to Friendfinder.com out of curiosity and we started chatting. I wasn't ready for a relationship but I thought "Oh well he's in Wisconsin and I'm way up here in Canada... nothing will come of it"
3 weeks later I flew down to meet him and 2 months later he moved up here. We got married Jan 8 2000 (3 months after we met) and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

When I got DX I was on leave for relocation because we had moved away to a little town (where we still live)to take over a convenience store. I worked some of the time through chemo but had to stop at the 5th round. The month after finishing chemo I got a call from a small government office right here where I live. It was the perfect opportunity... 2 days a week for 2 years!! The person I shared the position with has now retired and I am full time. I love the job and it is a 5 minute walk from my home!! No more travelling an hour and a half to work!!

While I think I could resume my previous high stress position, I prefer to stay here and do this job. I am in charge of the 1-800 info line for a government agency that owns the Rideau Canal which stretches 120 miles. In the summer it's like working in a tourist resort because boaters come in for information and we are located in a historic building which also houses a museum. In  winter it is pretty quiet. I am close when my son needs me and he loves it here too. I guess we're just country folk at heart!

Thanks for starting this Gina... what a wonderful way to get to know each other. Can't wait to hear your story... it must be just as amazing as you are!

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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #3 
Cheryl, thank you for kicking this off! what a great story! An online success for romance! WOW! you give me hope.

I don't know how interesting my story is, but it is diverse.

I grew up here on Long Island on the water. I have always lived on or near the water and it is in my blood. I had two older brothers and a younger sister growing up. My eldest brother died six years ago. I have a step sister who is 17 years old.

I was always interested in artistic things. I took art lessons outside of school and studied oil and sculpture. I also studied cooking. I did some work in a family owned design business when I was going to college and I met my husband and we got married. The wedding itself was a great party- the rest of the marriage was a disaster. He was an alcoholic and it was pretty bad. I left him and went back to school and when I graduated I got a job as the assistant to the director of development of an art museum. A few months later she took a job at a better paying non - profit and I was promoted to director. I did grant writing, federal, state, local and private.  I ran the corporate business committee. Ran the membership of the museum- you name it. I also was in charge of all the Galas and exhibition openings.

Since the Museum was in an old mansion I came up with the idea to rent it out for weddings- my board thought this was a splendid idea- except I had to be there for EVERY wedding! I got to know every caterer in the area. I saw they were having a lot more fun than I was. I got to be friendly with one in particular and I quit the non profit world and worked for them for two years while I learned the business. Then when a shop in town opened up I took a chance and got a small business administration loan and started my own catering company and gourmet shop. I was able to use everything I had learned over the years. I could design the look of the parties, I knew how to work with non-profits who needed to keep their overhead low to raise as much money as possible, and was able to use my cooking skills  too... I had been trained but never did anything about it until I went to work for that caterer and then I was in the chef groove.


I really, really loved my business. It was great fun. It was also a hit for quite a while.  Everything was going great until I had injured my back with all the heavy lifting that was involved. I was told I needed spine surgery immediately. I postponed it.  I needed to wait until the busy season was over. I was told I would only be out of work for three weeks. As most everyone  here knows, the surgery did not go as planned and when I woke up I couldn't walk without a walker. It was devastating for me because I couldn't keep my catering business going if I couldn't stand up or walk. I had to sell it and it broke my heart. But I was so very proud of what I had built.

I graduated to a cane eventually and had heard of a great doctor who could do corrective surgery on the damage done to my spine. BUT before the appointment with him I had a mamogram scheduled and the rest is history as they say!

When I got over the initial shock of being diagnosed with breast cancer I dedicated my life to helping women with the disease. I have been a "coach" or "mentor" to many women in the area that were referred to me by various doctors who knew that I wanted to give one on one help to anyone who needed it. I even used to drive one woman to her chemo sessions. I also started to help women online on many different sites. I was still in treatment when I started that. I felt there was always someone newer than me who could benefit from the experience I had just gone through. My greatest joy are the "newbies" I knew from years ago who are still in contact with me and who are now passing it on by being there for other newbies.

 I write about breast cancer for magazines and for private organizations. I wrote two books on it and I have been an advocate for women who are too sick to fight for the drugs they need. I also write grants for non-profits who cannot afford to hire a full time fundraiser.  And I still do party planning and designing for some select clients from the old days.

The writing is really wonderful. I am doing quite a bit now and  it is all about breast cancer and I feel I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I hope my work helps women who are in the same shoes we are in.

Ha ha- I guess I should now add that I run a breast cancer website and support board too! I almost forgot!

I still live on the water, on Long Island, with a big, fat cat who also is a part time helicopter pilot.


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deese

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Reply with quote  #4 
Oh Wow! Mines more interesting than yours G! heehee
I'm the 2nd of four girls. Yea yea yea, Carrie was the first born. Means nothing.
Excelled in school up until my parents divorce, during high school, rebelled! Scored high on my subsequent GED. Okay, that's my bragging!
Married at 19 and dissolution at 20. It was fun!
Lived with an abusive individual for too long!
Reconnected with a friend from my past and have been happily married for 20+ years now! He is my everything!
I have been a gas station attendant, bar maid, waitress, pool monitor, cashier, and assistant property manager.
My absolutely best accomplishment...I have Breast Cancer and I'm part of a better future for BC!

Deese  

nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #5 
do you still have your pool monitor whistle?
I heard you got a promotion at that apt complex!

YOU ARE PART OF THE FUTURE BABE
you pay it forward everyday.
love,
g


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wildabouthorses

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Reply with quote  #6 
Wow these were very interesting to read...I will share my story when I have more time...

GINA>what are the titles to the two books you wrote and where can one buy them?

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Karen1956

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hi sweet sisters
 
I am a 51 year old mother of 3 - Leah 21, Noah 18, Miriam 9 and married for 30 years to Craig who has grown into my best friend.  Three dogs also join our family - poor old Cocoa who is almost 16 (beagle/cocker mix) and our wonderful Berners, Rosey and Charley 2 1/2 years. We have lived in Colorado for 22 years.
 
I was born in a small town in Ontario Canada surprising my mother 2 months early.  My Mom was living in Montreal at the time - my folks are natives of Montreal.  I lived in Montreal till 1967 when we moved to the states - first to Norfolk VA for 3 years then to Columbus, Ohio in 1970.  I went to Ohio State University which is where I met Craig. We married in 1977.  All 3 of my degrees are from OSU.  Craig and I lived in the "country" in a great little house on 4 wooded acres for several years before we moved to Colorado - first in Evergreen and now in Denver - we are in the city but have a great view of Pikes Peak and Mt. Evans.
 
When I was first out of college I worked as a social worker in a state institution for the developmentally disabled then in a sheltered workshop doing behavior management and vocational assessments.  When I moved to Colorado, I did private counseling practice (stopped that about 15 years ago) and have been working as a school psychologist.  I am in an elementary school 4 days/week and high school 1/day week.  This is my 15th year in the same school district. Right now things are not good at work and I am hoping that they keep me after this year. If they keep me, then I will work 3 more years, then "retire". At that point in time, I will look for a part-time job elsewhere.   I love what I do, but not who I work for.  My boss and I don't see eye to eye and she doesnt think I do a very good job.  I just hope I can please her and keep my job. 
 
 Craig is a manufactor sales rep for an artist supply company and covers the west coast.  He travels periodically and has travelled for over 25 years.  Craig is a wonderful husband and father who does so much.  He truly is my co-survivor.
 
My hobby is baking - cookies are my specialty, but I also hve several bundt cakes that I make.  I find baking relaxing. Craig has suggested that I open a cookie shop, but then it would not be as much fun.  Also, I'm sure it is much more work than I could ever imagine.
 
Prior to being Dx with BC, I also enjoying skiing and bike riding, but have not done either since the dreaded day I heard the words - you have BC.
 
My journey started almost 2 years ago.  I went for my annual mammo the end of January 2006 not expecting anything other than come back in one year. Three days after the mammo I had a message to call the mammo center to come back in for a spot compression mammo and US.  From there I was sent for a biopsy and on 2/3/06 I was told I had BC.  I spent the month of February 2006 going to doctor to doctor and more tests and more tests.  I had a bilat on 3/1/06 and was eventually Dx stage 3A.  TAC chemo, rads, ooph, AI's and expander recon.  Also surgery for CTS (from the AI's).  I now feel like an old lady, am depressed and struggling with side effects of the AI's.  Still trying to figure out how to move on and not have BC be so foremost in my mind. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop - but thankfully, so far, NED has been my dance partner.  I pray that he continues to dance with me.
 
I love coming here everyday and reading the Wagons HO about everyone.  I used to visit BCO - which is how I initially "met" everyone. With work and family, it is hard to visit both sites, so it is here that I mostly come.  I appreciate all the support that everyone gives to each other.
 
Gentle hugs from Denver, I love you all.
 
 

 



CherylG

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Reply with quote  #8 
This is great!!!
Karen ... born in a small town in Ontario ??? I live in a small town in Ontario!! And during my teen years I lived in Montreal. Where in Ontario??

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csp

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi everyone,
I loved reading your stories, even yours deese (hee hee)
 
Okay here is mine, Readers Digest version.
I am the oldest of 4 girls , born in Bermuda on a Military
base. I have 2 adopted children and 2 step children and the granny of 2, expecting number 3 in March. I was divorced after 12 years, and remarried to my present husband of 20 years. 
I have always loved things that grow. I have never
had formal training only at my Grandmothers knee, who was
the daughter of farmers. I was offered a job landscaping
for a company and I jumped at it. Loved it. Got my Master
Gardeners cert and continued to do that work for 13 years. When I turned 40 I went out and got my motorcycle endorsement. My husband is an avid rider, we have 2 Harleys.
I was asked to help out at an apartment complex as an assistant manager, when she left I was promoted to Manager and that is what I still do 10 plus years later.  I miss the flowers, but do enjoy my job most days.
Before the gardening jobs and before I adopted my children I was a dog groomer,showed Afghan hounds and A bartender. I still do design and planting for friends and family.
 
Hugs,
Carrie

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Karen1956

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Reply with quote  #10 
Cheryl - I was born in Peterborough.  That is where my birth father's family is from.  Long story short - but my mom and birth father were visiting his family with my brother who is 19 months older than me.  Mom had been to the ob/gyn just a few days before I was born and no indications that I was on the way.  I was in the hospital in Peterborough for two months but never lived there otherwise.  Have not had contact with birth father or his family since 1958.  I think it was when Craig and I were dating or was it when we were first married, on  a trip to Montreal, we stopped in Peterborough and I found the hospital where I was born (of course I don't remember the name of it).
 
We still have lots of extended family in Montreal.  My mom's brother lives in Beaconsfield and my Dad's sister is in Montreal.  My cousin in Ottawa and her brother is in Edmonton soon to move to Banff (uncle's kids).  On my Dad's side I have a cousin in Montreal and another cousin in Western Canada.   I haven't been to Montreal since my grandmother passed away 8 years ago. It is a wonderful city.
 
What a small world we live in!!!
 
Hugs, Karen
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Reply with quote  #11 
Karen,
I use to live very close to Columbus! With my ex. I adopted my babies when I lived there. I am going to Columbus on Thursday.
 
It is a small world. Indi are you from Ohio too?
 
hugs,
Carrie

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saying.. i will try again tomorrow.
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Indigoblue

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Reply with quote  #12 
As one might guess, I was born in  PAINESVILLE, OHIO...lived in along Lake Erie, until my grandfather moved out; after the Pain-in-butt, unplanned, ADHD hyperactive beautiful baby who almost killed my poor mother because fate chose a snowstorm, an out of town doctor, and a hospital the size of a veterinary clinic...and about as many doctors and nurses.  It's a huge town now, but in the "dark ages", it was considered the "sticks".  No freeways, and without snowplows in the Ohio to Buffalo, New York Snowbelt; transportation wasn't the best.  My father sold coal at the time, and travelled constantly.  My mother's sister lived nearby, and I was born in the later afternoon, in five or ten minutes.  In those days, mothers stayed in the hospital for week, sometimes two.  Six years later my mother had a son, number five.  She had a few miscarriages (3 or 4).  Good grief...
 
She detested housekeeping, wore slacks, loved nature, reading, science, and all things creative and fun; she was a writer.  Gave it up to raise the kids, and support our father, who had many ups and downs, too heartbreaking to mention.  He lived to be 80, and had he not gotten skin cancer, he'd still be here, maybe.  We have so many genetic weird diseases in the family...
No wonder we were born in Painesville.
 
My father's family goes way back; 1640 by way of Boston...through Virginia, West Virginia, and ended up in Warren, Bath, and some other strange little towns around Ohio. The family owned a paving business, Model T' dealership, restaurants, and Breweries.  Crazy bunch...would love to tell you more; there are some of the funniest, insane, and unbelievable stories.  It really would be worse than reading a bad translation of War and Peace; a story I happen to love when translated in an assuring and humerous tone. 
 
Unfortunately, too many transators take themselves too seriously, rather like Art History Professors, High School Biology teachers, and as we all know, ninety percent of most physicians. 
 
Why don't these people understand, "get" Monty Python, Pinter, Jazz, Blues, Jive, and Jack Keroac?  I'd name some others, comedians, musicians, actors,, and the funny papers...comic books, and art...oh, glorious art.
 
Can't believe how interesting everyone's life is, as I read about your experiences. 
 
Eh, yoo Canadians...ever been to North Bay, Port Loring, and the incredible National Parks?  I love Canada...Rondo, ha ha ha!  Spent many a wonderous and wild experience all over Canada...always loved the people, the wilderlands and the cold weather.  Especially the blueberries, birds, bears, rivers, and environment respect given to live there.  Top of the list for why I love Canada...the ROCKS~  and the beer was good, I think I used to drink Porter.  I stopped the beer drinking when I discovered it made me fat, stupid and generally embarrassed because it just takes one sip and my face turns red, slur the words, and get drunk as a skunk.  It's called zero tolerance for alcohol...makes me mad, as I like the way it tastes and compliments a fine meal.  I can't even cook with it...believe it or not. 
 
Thnaks for your stories...I should have known you are all artists in one way or another...I went to Art School for a shameful amount of years; the studios, artists, technical information, writing, poetry, geology, anthropology, art history (sometimes)...were wonderful ways to waste my life away having fun.  I had so many jobs...remember...college costs money.  My parents didn't/couln't help at all, I wasn't eligble for financial aid, so I had to go for scholarships, and work.  It took a little longer than I had hoped, but it was fine.  Wish I was still taking classes in Art School, college, or even finiger painting classes...I miss it soooooo much.
 
I almost went to the New York School of Culinary Arts for Chefs, cooking.
It was a tossed salad...Art School, Food School, Welding School, or Writing?
Studied Forestry, and went back to art school.  Didn't want to collect  tackets at Jellystone Park and confiscate picinic baskets...
 
Have a beautiful day.
Computer has been messed up; spent days trying to figure out the problem.  I think we're on too many music.coms and servers; needs a good cleaning; at least I hope that's all it is.  Can't afford another.  No libraries have many to use, so I don't know what I'll do. 
 
Is there a computer for kindergarteners?  Don't need all the fancy stuff...just DSL, google, Wickipedia, and email...and art and music, and a few other medical science sites. 
 
Hope and praying you are all healthy, happy, and well.
 
(((hugs)))
 
love
 
Indi
nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #13 
Oh Indi, what a life story!

As far as computers for kindergarteners - the MAC is supposed to be that... well I can tell you that I must be in pre-school because it is too advanced for my feeble brain!


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