Something to Say

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The Beginning of a New Challenge(My Mom’s Cancer Journal) March 3, 2018

23 years ago my mom wrote a short journal during her battle with cancer. I found it after she passed away. This is for those who knew her, for those who are fighting cancer, know someone who fought cancer, or who know the powerful bond between a mother and her daughter.

I am sharing this today not out of sadness but at a place of healing knowing she is always with me. And she is very proud of me.

“March 1, 1995-The beginning of a new challenge. I’ve been told that 1995 was going to be great year, good changes. Well change is the operative word here. It changed when I was told I have a tumor on my kidney that has also spread. Change and challenge. I am now facing one of the biggest challenges of my life. How fast you are snapped into reality after you just been knocked out into space. Even in these first five weeks I have learned a lot and no doubt will be learning more. I feel I will be fine through this but it doesn’t always compensate the fear of the unknown. The first four weeks of all the tests and waiting for the results were hell. A living agony. All the way praying to God to give me the strength , keep me strong for the biggest fight of my life. There is a reason for everything. I firmly believe this. I remember praying to God that my life would change not so long before I learned I have cancer. I felt my life was leading no where fast, but knew I had a purpose in this life but was always praying for that answer. I remember a psychic telling me that the worst thing that happened to me would end up being the best thing that ever happened and I would see my grandchildren. I remember thinking that was nice of him to throw in he grandchildren statement since it was not a question I asked him. Or another saying she sees me having a sickness around the stomach area but I’ll be alright. All of these coming like sudden revelations back to me. I remember stopping at a church before I knew the results of my biopsy. Praying for the strength deep down knowing the results. I knew with one word my life would change. I wanted a change. I asked that I would be healed mentally, physically, and spiritually. I have survived pain and change in my life before. But I also always felt I am here for a purpose, but unless I made changes in my total lifestyle I could never reach this goal. Everyday I get strength from God to forge ahead. Everyday driving downtown to Harper Hospital and the real treatment hasn’t even begun. I did have one radiation treatment. I remember feeling like you only see this in the movies or hear of this. I was actually going through this! I had Dr. Foreman ask me if I ever asked myself why I got this or if I did anything to get this. I said yeah, mostly I am still in shock. He says nothing just bad luck and now we need to work on getting you some good luck. I think of the doctor telling me I am healthy, a great heart, great lungs, but you have cancer. So much to absorb sometimes that you get tired of thinking of it. Every morning waking up and realizing this is not a bad dream. Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and I don’t want it to be clouded up with thoughts of Monday, when I have to be admitted for my first treatment of Interleukin 2, hoping to be the 20% who respond totally the first time. I pray I don’t get the worst side effects. I’m just so happy it’s not chemo. That scared me the most. But the therapy doesn’t seem like it could be a breeze. I pray it’s not that bad. Talk about anxiety. Everybody at work have been great. I sometimes felt like I was trying  to keep their spirits up, like they have more fear than I did. My family, well I don’t really know how they feel. Probably fear for me. This touches all of them. But I know how they feel, because I know how I would feel if it was one of them. Tracie is doing ok, but I know she doesn’t show a lot. (Me: That was truth. But also I was in great shock and fear. And I didn’t want my mom to know how afraid I was that I was losing her). We will be fine I know it. God will be our carrier through this for both of us. I’m so glad she is going to be seventeen instead of little. (Me: It was just as hard because I knew her, our bond was strong, and she was my best friend). I don’t think I could handle this. God only gives you what you can handle and nothing more. What I have to do is put my trust in him and let him do his work. I can’t worry, it will help nothing. Easier said than done. Right now I am in my day three of treatment. I think it really hit me that I have this disease. Being admitted in the hospital made everything real. A big reality check. So far the treatment itself has not been as bad as imagined. I just have to let them help me. I’m not used to hospitals ad having all the time on my hands. All this time to think. I talk to Tracie everyday so that helps. I miss her but talking to her everyday helps a lot. Shelly being here everyday has helped a lot too. It really means so much all my family calling has been nice. I talked to a nurse here today Sarah and she says they have pretty high hopes that this treatment is going to work. I hope so. I know it will. It’s kind of overwhelming. Real overwhelming! Dr. Redman came in just now. He is really amazing. I feel real good around him. He is a very good and compassionate doctor. He reminds me of David Letterman. Not at all what I expected. He says I’m doing very good. I really believe in him. I really did luck out getting him as a doctor. If you think about it I really have been blessed finding this and all the doctors who supported me. I feel so comfortable with Dr. Redman.

April 27, 1995-I was just thinking as I am relaxing at home in between my treatments. I feel so abnormal. Like all of a sudden I don’t belong. I feel sometimes that I am on display. Being watched. Labeled with the C word. Everything happened so fast. It’s like my life is being blown out of the water and I am waiting to land. The treatments were not so bad. I don’t like hospitals. I can just say it was uncomfortable and I had a lot of anxiety. Also you lose control. Feeling sick when you didn’t want to. Will I ever feel normal again? I know I will but I have to be patient. You have to get some control or you really feel like you are losing it. I think having this week off in between has given me a lot of time to think. It has kind of been depressing because I am not used to having all this time on my hands. I don’t want people looking at me and thinking sick! I know that this too shall pass. It’s to be expected. Plus the weather hasn’t been great and it plays a lot on your mind. People have been so nice. I have a lot of nice cards and gifts.

May 1, 1995-Well have had my second treatment and it has been 6 days since my last dose. Things went pretty smooth at the beginning but the side effects came on pretty hard around Wednesday and Thursday. I missed only two doses which is pretty good. I really hope this does a good job. I just can’t think of going through this again. I want to feel normal for once. It has been a month and I still have a temp and I am working on the water weight I have to lose. It is finally starting to come off my legs. It took longer this time than last time. Well I was on a large dose and I did end up getting more Lasix and cough syrup. The coughing is finally going away from the fluid on my lungs. Fun, fun, fun! ”

Written by Renee Paula Clayton(a brave and beautiful soul)

Love you Mom!





Mother’s Day May 2, 2015

Filed under: Faith,Loss — traciejane @ 11:55 am
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20 years now after losing my mom I can now look at Mother’s Day ads without crying. That is huge for me. I don’t look at them for very long though. And that is the truth. When the most special person in my life left this world she worried about me. Maybe I have written this before but we had that goodbye talk. And I don’t wish that talk on anyone. Especially not a 17 year old going into her senior year. She would not see me graduate. She would not see me get married or have children. But more importantly she would not be able to cuddle me on those hard days. She would not be able to tell off that person who hurt me. She would no longer physically be there to have my back. The very special person she was, that was on her mind first. My mom was going to a better place and told me it hurt her the most to leave me. On the day she left me it hurt me in a most devastating way. It truly was the worst day of my life. My world changed in a way I never could have imagined. However she was suffering and God called her home. But the day before her passing I prayed to a God I didn’t know and was very angry at. I prayed He would take her so she didn’t have to suffer anymore. And He did the very next day. I think my mom also heard that prayer too. And it released her.

Life is a beautiful mess full of tragedy and beauty. I will never fully understand the reasoning here on earth. So I stopped searching for a reason and started muffling through the grieving process. If you have been through this process for a deep loss you understand how complicated it is. I don’t think this process ever ends. I also don’t have it perfected. I trust people who have been in it to speak words of love and wisdom to me. For those who have not been through it, well I hope you don’t have to until you are 100 years old. However going through the agony of grief you develop a deep compassion for others. You look at life in a deeper way. I remember the day I finally admitted how angry I was at God to a friend. That really did change me. I had a new freedom and healing. I carried on in my grief and relationship with God. These are small steps and big triumphs in the process of grief. So as I said I can now look at Mother’s Day ads without crying. I can tell people Happy Mother’s Day and mean it without bitterness and resentment. And even though I skim those ads for that second Sunday in May, the fact I can look at them is redemption. This blog post feels like rambling. But I truly had another point other than loss, sadness, and grief.

My point is redemption. Many years of counseling. I now have a more open heart letting the light shine in my darkness. I will say these words for the rest of my life  “I am not where I need to be but thank God I am not where I used to be.” Thanks Joyce Meyer. My point with this blog post is that through the grief process of losing the most important person in my life I have been determined to turn the pain into purpose. Yes, purpose. I was born helping people. But I have been determined to turn the pain of my loss into a life of purpose. I live a life full of purpose. So that allows God to work in me for His purpose.

Then there was this day several months ago God changed my heart. He gave me a message to deliver. The message was not just for this person a thousand miles away. The message was for me too actually. God told me that I am not the judge, He is. God told me I was judging. And I felt convicted. I didn’t want to be a judgmental Christian. I wanted to be a reflection of His love.

So when God gave me that message to deliver I hesitated. I didn’t know this person and would I be the crazy person? I kind of resisted at first. Then I remembered I blogged about the choice to look like a fool for the sake of the gospel. Well maybe I didn’t remember writing that. But I think it says that in the bible. Or maybe I learned it at church. Either way I was on a roll seeking a life of purpose. AND God used that. He used my willingness. I sent that electronic message.

Again, it wasn’t just for that person though. Funny how God speaks in that way. I delivered a message for another person miles and miles away but the message changed me too. It changed my heart.

With this message I stand for God loves EVERYONE! God is not a hater. God is the judge not us. We as Christians can not, or should not, throw stones. I told, wrote, that person if anyone is mean to them here is a bible verse. Jesus said….He who has not sinned be the first to throw the stone. And guess what? No one could throw that stone. I told that person All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. That includes me.

So now if you asked me what I think of….and you wonder as a Christian if I judge them…the answer is no. I would not give you the “religious answer.” I was changed the day God gave me that message to deliver. My heart was changed. And well my life changed too. But that is a whole different story.

A life full of purpose is not easy. It takes sacrifice. It takes standing up for what you believe in even if it feels like you are standing alone. It takes a lot of tissues and tear filled days. It takes more than you know. However I am forever determined in my heart to continue living a life full of purpose. I believe God has used me in a big way and that is what I wanted. I wanted Him to turn my pain of loss into purpose. This Mother’s Day I am thankful He did and continues to.

As always, thank you to those who read my thoughts and ramblings.




Care February 21, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — traciejane @ 9:41 pm

I believe the word care is a verb not noun. Like the word love it can get thrown around without seriously considering the meaning.
That is my acronym for it. And the next time you tell someone you care about them I hope you will think of the action you have planned to match the word. Then that person will know you truly care.

Someone who cares with actions


Ruthless Trust February 18, 2015

Filed under: Faith — traciejane @ 12:52 pm

I read that book. And now I feel I am living it. He talks about as a child we learn to trust. A child who trusts has “never ending pancakes.” A child who doesn’t trust keeps a pile of pancakes on the side “just in case.” I have been trying to pile up pancakes my whole life. It is the thorn in my flesh. People tell me to trust them or God. That is like telling a newborn to walk. It does not work that way. They have many steps before they get to walking. They roll over. They crawl. They fall and get back up because of the cheers and smiles which encourage them to do so. I so appreciate the good intentions and words. Yet trust is more than a word for me. Just trust is easier said than done. God knows I need baby steps, and a hand to hold along the way. God knows I will fall. He knows I will get there even when I feel like I can’t. Trust comes easy for some. And for some like me it is ruthless. I slowly take that pile of pancakes and eat 1 at a time. One day I will have no more pancakes in that just in case pile. By the grace of God I will live my life like I have a never ending pile of pancakes. I will jump in them like a child jumping into a pile of brightly colored crisp fall leaves. That is trust. That is hope. That is abundant life.



Mom Monday January 6, 2015

Filed under: Blogging,Faith,Family,Fun,Growth,Health,Heart Stuff,Home,Hope,Life,Loss,Music — traciejane @ 2:45 am

I had an idea and I thought I would definitely try to keep up with it as my life allows. It is called Mom Monday where I get to share a memory about my mom.

Her name was Renee. I was her world, and she was mine. She was a wonderful daughter, sister, and friend. Oh and mother. I will say it over and over again that she was the best mom in the world. She was called the life of the party. But at home she was also very sad or depressed about life’s circumstances from what I remember.

HOWEVER she was fun! She loved music. We would have dance parties. White girl dance parties. Well I know that is true for me. I remember lots and lots of Oldies music. And rock n roll. And sad love songs. I miss those dance parties. Because sometimes (always) you just got to dance it out.

We also had a song. She called this our song. When our loved ones pass away they are forever in our hearts. To me, I have her as an angel. And it is still her and me against the world. Love you forever mom.

Until we meet again,



Hurting People Hurt People January 3, 2015

Filed under: Healing — traciejane @ 5:31 pm
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This will be a short blog but I feel like it is something I need to share.

Ever been by hurt by a hurting person? It stings right? Or scars, or wounds. Yep me too.

But I also have been the one doing the hurting. Because I was so hurt and angry. Which is one of the reasons I did 3 years of group and about 2 1/2 years total of individual counseling. I hated that I was hurting others. I am an encourager. I care about people. Yet I was faced with the fact that I could not have healthy relationships until I got healthier. It was tough to face. Those who say they don’t have issues are just not ready to accept them or want to make themselves feel superior. None of us are perfect. We all need the grace of God and the help of His people. That includes professional counseling. Too many people are walking around wounded because the world says it is weak to seek help. Facing our issues and seeking help takes great courage.

I have done some wounding. I hate it. I also have done my fair share of asking for forgiveness. And not the easy kind of forgiveness where you step on their toe. I mean it is easy to forgive that quickly. The pain goes quickly away. I have done my share of asking for forgiveness when I messed up big. I am SO eternally thankful for those who have extended forgiveness and continued to love me. Wow words can’t describe that kind of gift. If you are reading this, and you are one of those people, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. If you happen to be somebody reading this who has not forgiven me, then I hope someday you will. I was just hurting and did not mean to hurt you. Everyone needs forgiveness.

Still loving,



A Time to Laugh and a Time To Cry December 18, 2014

I started this blog several years ago. I have no idea who reads it. And truth be told I envy other people out there with fancy blogs and blog groupies. So I just stopped. But today I was inspired by a young lady who was on the Ellen Show. She is open and honest about her grief and it helps others. My grief journey has at times been lonely. Partly because I have chosen that and partly because people have distanced themselves from me not knowing how to handle honest, authentic grief. I don’t know the pain, and I can’t imagine the loss of a child. The loss of a mom, when she is your best friend, when you are 17 is like losing a part of you or a part of your heart. It has brought me to some deep valleys with intimate moments of tears, anger, and prayer. It has made me realize that we can judge people from the outside yet not consider what they are going through on the inside. I have been judged so many times I can’t even tell you. Yet it has made me appreciate the people who truly love me for me at a whole new level. Everything happens for a reason. I was born helping people. And when my mom died a part of me continued to burn with passion to continue helping people despite my tremendous loss. I want to be a part of God’s plan in making all things good even in my pain and disbelief. I am determined to make a difference in the lives of those around me until the day my Lord calls me home. Because when I leave this Earth, I don’t want to be known as the girl who had cats and worked as a Dietitian. This precious thing we call life is temporary. I want to make the most of it in an authentic way blessing my friends and loved ones around me, or even those I don’t know. One of my life’s missions is to let people know that they matter. Yet on the flip side a huge part of my healing and transformation has been learning that I matter. I have to make a conscious effort to take care of me, or allow myself to be taken care of.

So with that this last year, or season of my life has been full of laughter and tears. I have been praying with all my heart and soul for my sick fur baby. Oh Lord knows how I need her as she provides unconditional love and cuddles that well I just need now. I have traveled to relocate being somewhat closer to family. And experienced the horrific experience of waiting 3 weeks for my belongings only to have to pay full price for horrible customer service. And well I continue to wait on the Lord for some very deep desires in my heart. God does have perfect timing. However if you have waited on God you may know that it is not easy. There are highs and lows, joys and sorrows, pain and temporary glimpses that my prayers are being heard. I ran my first half marathon. I have a picture of it and despite the pain there was joy when I saw the finish line. I had a huge smile on my face. The finish line was not the only reason. My dad was there to cheer me on at the end. Although that is another part of my story, him being there is a very symbolic part of my healing journey.

The last 6 months have been me taking care of me by just being still and being me. I have changed my expectations finding some joy in simple things. I am working on taking things less seriously and well laugh more. I am totally a fan of appropriate humor. It just does not come as naturally as seriousness for me. Life has been hard so I am ready to experience it in a whole new way. I am on a journey towards more fun, more laughter, and more following after the plan God has for His beloved child, Tracie Jane Bock. If you are reading this and have a funny or encouraging comments I would love to hear it. As always thank you for reading my words, even when they are a blurb from the heart.

With love and sincerity,