“Clouds can dim the light of life,
But in return they can be the source of great enlightenment. ”
“Clouds can dim the light of life,
But in return they can be the source of great enlightenment. ”
Many of you have read and shared this article about My adopted niece Erica Kuneki. She continues in her battle with cancer, dealing with a great deal of pain. This brave young woman still continues to find things to laugh about, in spite of the trauma of the cancer. Recently, a platelet transfusion caused a reaction similar to anaphylactic shock, and had to be discontinued.
Erica and her family continue to need help financially for help with bills, laundry costs, even bridge tolls. There are several fundraisers listed in this original article for anyone willing to help. Thank you!
This was a fascinating and extremely well written post about autism and the disparity in diagnoses.
I received a diagnosis of autism, ADHD, and OCD a few years ago after I started grad school. PTSD would soon follow. I had been in and out of counseling for over 10 years, where the only labels I was given were anxiety and depression. I now feel pangs of rage when I meet someone else with just these labels. It seems to be clinical shorthand for “you’re welcome to pay us but we find your problems unworthy of further consideration”.
Though I was proactive in seeking care once I had access to the University’s services, I was and am privileged to have access to these services. It was also a privilege that I was able to “speak the language” to get the triage counselor to put me with the psychiatry clinic. Other friends, particularly my black lab mates, are sent to “group counseling” for other black women. It’s a…
View original post 1,646 more words
I wanted to share a few pictures with you from the month of February 2019, in Trout Lake, Washington. We had one of those heavy snowfalls that came fast and furious, Beautiful and dangerous.
Shining bright with winter snow at the higher elevations. Mount Adams is the second tallest peak in Washington State, and yet had been the lesser visited mountain. We locals like it that way.. no roads open year around to treeline.
UPDATED: Erica Kuneki
April 2 @ 2 pm
Erica is at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland with her mom and dad. This morning she was more spunky, gave her mom a hard time (Believe me that’s a good thing). Erica has found some relief from the pain and other problems, is able to move her legs more easily.
April 1,2019 @ 10:35 pm
Many people, family and close friends, came and went all day on Monday. Folks from many faiths and cultures were praying and singing for Erica. Friends from school and the neighborhood were making her laugh, and vice versa, or crying with her mom. She just now headed out on the ambulance to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, with her mom following. They’re going to try to help her get better control of the pain and other problems, and it’s in Gods hands next. He knows the bigger picture, whether it’s better to take Erica back to heaven so she’s out of pain, or bring her a miracle and heal her. I was totally humbled by how many different people came; different colors , languages, cultures, and ages but all with the same prayers from the heart. This girl not quite 19 yet has touched so many hearts in her short life. She was always looking out for other people, especially those who would forget to take care of themselves. Even today, she spoke very few words and two words were to remind someone else to eat.
Erica will be 19 on April 5.
There were some powerful prayers spoken or sung on Monday and in at least five different languages. Whether it be for a miracle healing or for comfort and ease of passing, the prayers were all from the heart.
There are 3 ways people can help by donating.
1. If you live anywhere near an Umpqua Bank, go in and tell them you want to donate to an account called “Stronger than Cancer” for you are using a check, make it out to Elsa Spence. Or, mail a check to Elsa for “Stronger than Cancer”.
“Stronger than Cancer”
Donations For Erica Kuneki
PO Box 67
White Salmon, WA
Bank Located at 73 NE Estes St in White Salmon
2. Anyone that wanted to send a personal card and/or donation to Elsa Spence and her daughter Erica Kuneki (she is 18 by the way, and turns 19 April 5). Elsa also just had a birthday in late March.
Send it to :
Po Box 778
Bingen, WA 98605
Updated. Erica Kuneki story as of March 30,2019
Erica has kept up her spirits as things progress but the cancer has kept marching on relentlessly. She has been able to stay home, with her mother taking care of her. [Read The original story and previous updates down below this update]
Elsa also continues to work as a caregiver part time with Senior Services, but of course her main priority is her daughter, who is literally fighting for her life. They can still use your help and support to help cover expenses not covered by insurance.
Elsa and Erica say THANK YOU to everyone who has helped in so many different ways. They are so incredibly grateful. This is an independent gal who’s used to doing everything herself for her and her family. Having so much community support is such a blessing right now.
Erica is not fond of having her picture taken at this time. However Elsa and I took this picture last week of us two.
Updated January 10,2019
The Story: “Stronger than Cancer”. Erica Kuneki, a young Native American girl currently 18 years old, is fighting Osteosarcoma, bone cancer. A few months ago when it seemed like the cancer was doing better, it jumped to soft tissue and new tumors showed up. More rounds of chemo and radiation nearly killed her, and she took a long rest from treatment. Recently, however, inflammation showed up in her bones again and she became very ill. They opted to do a weeks worth of radiation therapy. Now, As of the fourth day of radiation she started feeling quite a bit better so we are feeling hopeful again. In fact, she sounded remarkably energetic over the phone tonight, laughing at a funny movie.
Unfortunately, while at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at OHSU in Portland this week, someone broke into Elsa Spence’s car in the parking garage. The girls had just gotten there and were already stressed and accidentally left Erica’s wallet in the car. She had all her Christmas gift money in the wallet, so it was a mighty big blow emotionally.
Erica had saved up her money for a trip to New Jersey that will be provided by the Make a Wish Foundation. She wanted to be able to buy souvenirs or special treats. All of her money was taken and the wallet was left laying somewhere on hospital grounds. Someone turned it in to the security.
Elsa made this Facebook live video:
I keep dreaming that someone with a little extra money would help sponsor this local Native American girl, whose family lived in the valley for many generations fishing on the river. While theoretically the tribe helps people in situations like this, the truth is people this far away from the reservation often slip through the cracks.
DONATIONS: There are now several options for helping financially. See above under the new update for links and addresses
Or if you see them around town feel free to say hello and tell them you have been following their story on here! Maybe slip Elsa a few $$ for gas.
It takes a whole Village to raise a Child. We are asking for your help with a particular child/ young woman and her family’s needs. Be the Village 😉 😀 A huge thank you to various people who have helped in the past with donations
Click on the image below to go to the original post about Erica for full updates and new photos.
Enjoy some photos! Which are your top 3 faves?
See my long time lenticular assortment here by clivking on the collage below
ADD/ADHD THOUGHTS 11/15/2018. Warning, this is long and thought stimulating. 😁👀❤️
I am getting to that point of finding my strengths instead of beating myself up for my “faults”. The negatives get more attention typically, because those are the things that bother other people most such as chronic lateness, distractibility, difficulty following through on tasks, daydreaming, etc. However in spite of those traits, I discover there are many people who treasure my strengths enough to overlook the weak areas. This has helped me so much in my process! For example, I am blessed with a boss at my part time work who treasures my strengths, enough to overlook things that would have gotten me fired (again) by most bosses (chronic lateness!).
At this point I would expect some family or friend to pop in and say “you just have to make it happen, you just need to set alarms earlier” etc.. You would laugh to see the system of repeating alarms I use to trip myself up and keep on some semblance of schedule. Not that they work often! And then there was the time I rushed late to another appointment only to discover I was a week early. Or recently, an hour early… wow! So I took pics of the lovely sunrise and went back to my usual 10 min late 😂🤪. Time and me do NOT have an understanding of each other. Mother called me her “Just a minute Kid” because I said that so often, and it meant anything from a second to an hour.
My dad was chronically late, so am I. Drove mom nuts at times 😂😂 I was daddy’s little girl, and she was hoping for a pinafore and curls kinda girl. Instead I got grease on my Sunday dress helping Dad check the oil about the time we were supposed to leave for church. We were both also super sensitive/empathic, and spent most all summers camping. I am sure Dad’s mind was more at peace out on the river fishing. Mine sure was. I suspect he also had ADHD or something similar. Some have suggested he was bi-polar, but my studies and experience lead me to think otherwise.
The ADHD was diagnosed maybe 3-4 years ago, as part of the breakdown I had. I also had strong PTSD, depression and anxiety. I now believe that the latter 3 diagnosis stem from the ADD. Since then I have had some great counseling and found some really good books on audible.
“The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer is not a book about ADD, but it certainly helped tremendously. I think this book should be required reading in schools!
The book “Driven to Distraction” by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D helped me to come to grips with what it is and that I certainly have it. So does the author!
“ADD-Friendly Ways to organize your life” by Judith Kolberg, Ph.D. Has been helpful.
My new favorite is “Focused Forward: Navigating the storms of Adult ADHD” by James M. Ochoa LPC. He narrates his own book, also has ADHD, and has a theory about the emotional distress it can cause. He calls it Emotional Distress Syndrome, or EDS. He has some great ideas, helpful tips like creating your emotionally safe place for when things get too stressful.
Another incredibly helpful therapy is EMDR.
“EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.” Find their website at emdr (dot) com, to learn more.
EMDR did amazing things for my brain! James M. Ochoa (book above) says this practice has been extremely helpful for the ADHD individuals.
Many of the worlds famous inventors, geniuses, musicians, artists etc have had (or do have) ADHD and/ or Autism (Asperger’s Syndrome)
Maybe it is time that the rest of humans who tend to be impatient and judgmental of those of us who are “different” try to educate themselves as well. Books like those above can give you a good insight into 5-10% of the population who have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or ADD (without the hyperactive component.. these are more often but not entirely women, they are the dreamers staring out the window, in their own world). They often have high intelligence, but have difficulty channeling their thoughts.
Many in this category slip thru the cracks in schools. Homework is not finished on time, or lost, and teachers give up since they have so many other kids to teach. With the correct meds, and genuinely helpful therapy, along more understanding and knowledge of the disorder among teachers, these students could possibly go on to bring about good things for the world.
I have long thought that basic life skills taught at an early age in school should include basic therapy such as cognitive behavior therapy. This would give students life skills for coping under stress. Also a better understanding of different brain processing types… what IS ADHD and Autism, for example. Perhaps children, with help, could learn more tolerance in this way.
Yes, I am a dreamer… but I am not the only one. Being a minority does not make us wrong by default. And yes, that song reference crept in there and became intentional 😁❤️.
Share your thoughts with me!
❤️ This image from November 2 Is fascinating to me. It’s such a mishmash! I took this at a local Schreiners wild animal farm near Lyle, Washington, with my phone.
I was on my way to The Dalles for a slideshow about a new book “Ever Wild” by Darryl Lloyd, with stories, photos, history in geology etc. about Mount Adams. I got distracted by a sunset.
On the way into the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, I had to stop for one more picture.
By the way, here is the cover of the beautiful new book, and if you click on it it will open the website about the book.
Such a lovely day on the crick out back, Standing there in delight while when gusts of wind grabbed the trees and shook them, sending Cascades of Cottonwood leaves falling all around me.
Leaves landed in the creek and drifted by, yellow hearts against the reflections in the slowly moving stream.
The sun would playfully hide behind the stormy clouds and Peek out at unexpected moments, and all of a sudden everything was brilliant yellow and red and green and blue.