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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/1183984-Walking-Through-The-Valley
by Budroe
Rated: 18+ · Book · Experience · #1183984
My journey through (and beyond) the valley with Cancer as my companion.
Dear Friend:

This is not a Blog about writing! (I already have one of those.)

This is a blog about a journey I am taking with illness. I have recently been diagnosed with Cancer. My goal is honest therapy as I progress through, and beyond this new reality in my life. I hope that, somewhere along the way you will find some words that will help you too.

While this is, in fact, an interactive Blog, I hope that you will scroll slowly down this page. For you see, the front of this Blog IS my journey. The entries are conversations that are held along the journey.Yes, there is a lot on it--before actually getting to the Blog entries. But, I hope that by the objects and words which appear before the Blog itself, you might come to understand just a little bit about me, and my journey, and some truly amazing friends who have agreed to journey with me. I hope that you, too, will choose to accompany me on my walk--through the Valley.

I invite you to join me, and discover the wondrous truths, meet some truly amazing people, and share those "memorable" moments this journey will undoubtedly present. Come along, won't you?

In His Care,

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Would you like to help me help others? I found this amazing organization, and I am proud to be a sponsor. I hope you will check it out. It's called The Network For Good.  

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("Every thing is funny - Growth through humiliation - Wisdom through loss")


The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.
~Helen Keller~

"If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people."
~Virginia Woolf~
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"There is strength in truth."
~The Barton Family Crest~

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“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

— Helen Keller, American social activist, public speaker and author (1880-1968)

I have moved the list of my thanks for those who have helped to make this little Blog so very special. I hope that you will take a moment to read the list, growing every day, and let these fellow travellers along this journey know that you appreciate the contributions they make to our walk together.

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"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
James 1:2-4

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Please feel free to click on the Blog Rings icon below to be transported to some of the very best of the Best Bloggers around WDC.

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If you are new to WDC, or to our Blogging community, I highly recommend the monthly edition of "The Blogville News". Feel free to click below, and let Scarlett know that a Blogger sent ya!

Hey! We've started a Christian's Blog Ring on WDC. Click on the logo, and join us!
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Budroe Ring Leader

I have three publications at the moment. Here is a link to purchase my latest one. Buy a great read, and help a fellow writer out, Okay? *Smile*

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December 18, 2018 at 9:26pm
December 18, 2018 at 9:26pm
Many people are, in these days, writing Christmas letters and sending them out in Christmas cards.

I send out few Christmas cards and even fewer Christmas letters.

This is mine for 2018.

It is written to you. Merry Christmas!

In His Care,


Break Through!  

In His Care.

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December 14, 2018 at 12:15am
December 14, 2018 at 12:15am
Like you, I write. I write a lot. Every day.

Life happens. Much of my writing is a reflection (mine) of life as it happens, both to others and myself. It can be an amazing moment to discover that something in life happens which has dramatic impact on not you personally--at least at first.

But sometimes, it happens.

I watch a lot of videos. I sometimes write about the videos I watch. It isn't very often, very often that watching a video can actually, literally change my writing. But it has happened. I am amazed, and over joyed.

The video in question was one which actually reviewed a writing instrument: a fountain pen from a manufacturer reviewed by a new owner.

Much more than a review of the product, the reviewer went on about the increased joy of the writing endeavor because of the writing implement reviewed. It was a moderately expensive fountain pen. Do you remember them? I certainly do.

I have told the story of the beginning of my writing life during the Christmas just prior to my 8th birthday. My Mother (Santa's "Official" Elf) presented me with a personal journal. I have been writing ever since. But there was another gift in that particular goodie bag: a Parker fountain pen.

My Dad was a pretty important man in my town, and my world. He wrote with a fountain pen. My Mom was a prolific, and pretty well known writer in my town, and in my world. Journalist/Journalism Professor types were like that back then. She wrote with a fountain pen.

As a result of the largess of a big, jolly fat man, I learned how to write with a fountain pen, as well. I was well familiar with cursive writing, Palmer script and Spencerian script as well. Writing was taught to me not as a process of words, but the laying down of letters which imaginatively and joyously created those words.

Writing with a fountain pen fueled my cultural world, my scientific world, and the world of my own creative mind. I developed a fairly passable writing technique because of the joy of writing with my fountain pen.

Microsoft appreciated the reading of my creative writing style, but gently encouraged my typing skills for the possibilities of a formidable future. I learned how to write typing many words and letters per minute. I got very good at it, actually.

I didn't even realize that there was something very specific missing. After a few decades, what was missing simply disappeared from my writing view: my imaginative creativity which always seemed local to my fountain pen.

The video reminded me to the point of tears. In a very real sense, I discovered a guilt I didn't even know. I didn't get that fountain pen because it was one of my Grandfather's pens, or because like watches or wallets it was one of "those things a young man should have". It was because of another's faith in me, and in my ability to imagine and create in a real and meaningful way. I forgot that. This week, I was reminded, and it was truly amazing.

So, with wind in my sails, I will take up once again the fountain pen. I will do so with joy, and expectation of, if not new created words of value, certainly of sweet memories from a young man, tongue in teeth, struggling to create the one correct word...one correct and correctly formed word at a time.

I will let you know how it goes. I would encourage you to join me on this particular journey, as well. Share your story. Find a fountain pen, and don't lose your grip upon it. Let's start a fountain pen club, an ink exchange, online parties just for the joy of writing with our writing instruments. But, no matter the journey, let's WRITE ON!

In His Care,

November 21, 2018 at 4:48am
November 21, 2018 at 4:48am
I've just completed edits for a new static item, "Invalid Item.

I hope you will take a look, and perhaps even permit this writing to increase your joy during this Thanksgiving 2018.

In His Care,

September 17, 2018 at 3:51pm
September 17, 2018 at 3:51pm
It has, so far anyway, has been quite the challenge. The reality today has brought to me has me feeling completely and entirely gutted. Worthless. Indigent. Hopeless. Angry. Sad. Useless. Valueless to the world, to anyone, to myself. I know I have had such days before in my life. I just don’t remember them at this moment. I wish I did; perhaps then I would be able to see, or at least remember what I did, and how I got through them.

Today is one of those many days in our lives where we should be, are expected to be able to overcome—or at least survive. I’m clinging to survive as my one viable, actionable option. The one thing I do know is that this feels like the beginning of a period longer than I would prefer in which I will have to simply survive. That alone is, given my particular circumstance, a very large, steep mountain to climb—with no available reason for doing so.

Right now is not the time to try to analyze, evaluate, rationalize, justify, equate, or anything else. I know I must experience this day, and those to follow. Okay.

But I don’t have to like it. I’m by no means certain I can complete the task. I am not even by myself today. Sara is back from her vacation, and needing to vent. I am her vent—not her only one, but I am one person willing to listen. The problem with that is that I am action oriented. What are you going to DO about it?

Asking myself this first and most important question of my own life today seems pointless; there is nothing I CAN do about it. That makes every aspect of it worse. I am not even sure that is a possible reality. On the upside, I suppose I could accurately say the being worse is looking upward. I am again reminded of that old country ditty whose lyrics include “Honey, from you to the gutter is UP!”

To give myself some positive credit, I must look around me and know that, because of the kindnesses of others, I am not living either in a homeless shelter or a nursing home...or under a bride bridge (Thanks, friend ruwth !). Yes, all are viable options which I have thus far avoided with a ton of help from others.
To my knowledge, I am not wanted by any legal entity.

So far as I know, today has been given me to experience by a kind and loving God, my “Dad” who has promised never to leave or forsake me. I may not understand all that entails, but I trust all that entails. And it is perfectly alright to let Him know that my heart feels broken in this time. It is entirely right and correct to be grateful for each and every day, even this one. I do not know how to glorify Him in this moment. I pray for the patience to understand how to do that.

But it is true that for me life today sucks.
August 2, 2018 at 11:55pm
August 2, 2018 at 11:55pm
Today, I blew my stack in a major way. I'm not proud of that, but felt it was necessary.
Today, I also voted in my State's Primary election.

These two facts are not (necessarily related.)
August 1, 2018 at 4:12am
August 1, 2018 at 4:12am
In my research for the "Encounters With Christ" activity, I have literally stumbled across a book which (unbeknownst to me) had fallen off my bookshelf. Talk about Dad and steps!1

In it, theologian John Piper coins a new (at the time) phrase: "Christian Hedonism".

His definition of Christian Hedonism is:

"Christian hedonism is the truth that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him."

One of his primary texts for what develops in this idea-cum-theological-philosophy comes from Psalm 16 (ESV). I recommend it to you. Verse 11(b)  

As an overview of the concept, Piper asserts an implication:

"If God is made to look glorious by my safisfaction in Him, then pursuing my satisfaction in Him becomes essential to obedience and worship. Therefore, Christian hedonism says that you must pursue your maximum joy. Maximum in two senses:

1. Maximum in quality [Veritcal], and
2. Maximum in quantity [Horizontal].

"In other words", Piper says "we must want fullness of joy, and we must want that joy forever more. That is only found, for the Christian, in God. The Christian life is, therefore, the pursuit of maximum joy--in God because then my soul is satisfied and God is glorified.".

Piper's definition is vastly expanded through the statement that "My joy, and God's glory are not conflicting but rather completing without inconsistency. This is" , he says, "the beauty of Christian hedonism. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for my sins, and rise again so I can now have complete and total satisfaction in God forever. When I have that, I am showing that God is infinitely valuable, infinitely satisfying. He gets the Glory and I get the joy."

One of the things I really enjoy about Piper is that he does not find a verse which fits his thinking, but rather determines his thinking through his more than 40 years of personal study of the Holy Bible. He's a deep thinker, and an excellent communicator. This new theological paradigm took 277 pages to outline. It is not easy, but well worth the consideration, I think.

I will be referencing him during the encounter, primarily for one somewhat glaring reason: most of his work deals with some new and various aspects of the Christian life in relation to Jesus Christ. He offers some "new" theological thinking on the subjects surrounding life in Christ, and with Christ which I find refreshing, and spiritually invigorating. Distilling some pretty deep study into useable ideas for the encounter participants to experience and think about (and write about) will, I believe add much value to the experience of the encounter.

It is entirely possible that some participants may wish to take issue with some (or all) of Piper's theology. I don't have a problem with that...with one caveat. Come prepared. Piper is a theological heavyweight in the Christian world. I do like much (but not all) of what he says.

I'd be interested in what YOU think of this philosophy. Leave me a comment, and let's being a discourse.

In His Care.

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1  Piper, John "Desiring God: Meditations On Christian Hedonism", Multinomah Books, 201125th Edition  

July 9, 2018 at 5:42pm
July 9, 2018 at 5:42pm
Okay, just caalllmmmm down! I don't need 911 for sick people.

I need 911 for writing people. Here's the deal:

In following the idea given me for the "Encounters With Christ" experience, several "topics" have come to light that I believe need to be included in the work...at some point.

Think of the aforementioned "topics" as tiles on a Scrabble board, okay? They tend to arrive in clumps, or groups of tiles. (My thinking process here.)

I know that, within the given "topics", there is a "correct" linear order to them. One will follow another in logical order. I just have to figure out how to spell it correctly with the topics ("tiles") I have been given. Draw a huge line under that.

As I work to arrange the tiles correctly, sometimes one of the topics will scream at me to pay attention to it. It's sort of like, when you are writing a novel and one of your characters, literally out of nowhere, demands your full and complete (and artistic) attention! Sometimes, I ignore them. Sometimes, I simply sit back and observe them as they throw their own particular hissy fit. Sometimes, I inquire of them. They exist, after all, for a reason. And, relative to my current conundrum, a particular moment with a character needs to be had because they want to tell me some important thing (seldom important to them, incidentally) about the arrangement of the tiles--in such cases a plot point, a development, etc. that I either completely miss, or one I have incorrectly interpreted. I thought they said "Red!", INFERRED the character's intentions, then transliterated what I thought they meant into the narrative. It makes no sense. It won't fit. That's my clue that I may want to revisit what the original moment communicated to me.

I know something is out of place, wrong, or incorrectly interpreted. I then return to it, the scene of the, and start over only to discover that what the character MEANT was not "Red!", but "SHRED!"

I hope you will follow this example along, because it is how I make some sense of my current conundrum seeking your input.

Once clarified, I realize the character hollered only to give me a stack of financial documents detailing the specifics of the crime I am attempting to get away with. I hear the sirens, I see the flashing lights from my 21st story office in the depths of the night. I look down and see a pile of papers in my hand. I look over, and to my right and see a shredder.

The plot thins. I now realize what the character MEANT, and it was not what I read, or heard, or however the idiot decides to interrupt my peace.

Look. I know this is an ageless problem. You, reading this, are much more likely than not to be not only a writer, but a writer who has come to know at least somewhat of me as a writer, too. Let me explain the conundrum.

When the character shows up, or the tile becomes alluring, or important, or necessary--NOW, it is not in the correct moment, the correct place.

While she's going on about shredders, in say the middle of the book, I'm writing the introduction of her murderer in Chapter 1!

Sounds like a great problem to have, right?

Well, it is NOT!

I write linearly, and I always have. I begin at the beginning and write through, step by step to the end. That may (obviously) not be my ideation, or creation style. I may create the "incident" first, or the moment of realization first. But that is not how I write.

So, the shredder is, in this example out of place. Good stuff, just at the wrong time in the writing process.

Besides, by the time my writing arrives in the office, facing the shredder, it may make absolutely NO sense. I left that bunny trail long ago, and see no clear way back to the shredder--especially now.

So, my fellow writers, where do you "put" it? Stop and write the shredder scene, and set it aside for later evaluation, inclusion, or deletion in your notebook, or OneNote, or Scrivener, or Word folder?

In the last two days, two different "tiles" or topics for the Encounters has come flying into my reality. They both are singularly important, and they both require quite a bit of preparation before they can be effectively written. And, they both are completely out of place in terms of where I am writing at the moment. I believe they are much too important to the Encounters to lose, or miss, or write poorly. They need and require me in the process, and that means I must move my location to get to them.

How can you help?


Have you writers had these moments in your creative process? How have you dealt with them? How do you keep them "understood" in your mind so you can place them in the correct moment later? Where do you store them?

I've not had this experience before. Here is the deal.

From the interruptions, much has come.

1.I need to remember that the writer is responsible for the intentions laid down in the writing. I need to effectively communicate to the reader what I mean by the choice and use of the words they will read. For me, in this particular writing environment, that is not a helpful hint: it is an absolute requirement.

2. I need to create a way to validate for myself, as writer, what the reader will interpret the words to mean. I cannot guarantee that they will not, as in the example, do what I did and miss the meaning of the word(s) entirely by inserting themselves and their understanding into the words I have written. (In mystery writing, this awareness can make for a whale of a red herring, you know!) I can surely gently nudge them toward an inevitable end point. I can shove the meaning in the reader's face, but like the horse at the river....

3. Is it (I think it is!) the writer's obligation to help the reader understand that the reader's job is to FIRST read what the writer WROTE! The writer owns the words written. This truth not only enforces the fact that words have power, but antagonizes the words written. In novels, failure on the part of the writer is that the novel will usually fail. If the words fail the reader it is usually because the reader usually and automatically translates what is written into what they think (they, the writer, or the gods of Xenon 9) meant to say.

This is a terrible tragedy for the writing in either regard.

Now, about those tiles. Oh, wait. We never left them.

Is this why we re-write? Doesn't that always come later? I want to work the tiles (2) which are currently screaming at me for attention. They are decidedly out of order. One tile looks like a "p". Later, it may look like a "b". Oh, yeah. That IS my job as a writer, isn't it.

Where can I keep these out-of-order, non-linear but accurately portrayed tiles on my WDC homesite, without incorrectly placing them within the linear space of a book here? Suggestions, recommendations welcome.

Sorry for the rant, but they just "showed up".

June 28, 2018 at 6:33am
June 28, 2018 at 6:33am
I've got a few writing things going on. I'm finding it difficult to get some quality time to do any writing at all, yet still get about 1,000 words per day. I'm not idle, just not focused.

I'm working on a new static that I am calling (in my head) "On Smoking".

I'm working on an idea for a short story based upon the June, 2018 WDC writing contest. It has to do with a cat.

I'm working on an outline for a writing about my perceptions of the life I have lived...so far.

And, the primary work is on the Encounter.

I hope this finds you safe, well and happy. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

I do remain,

In His Care,

May 30, 2018 at 6:00pm
May 30, 2018 at 6:00pm
This blog was originated so that I might have a space to consider my own universe, condition--my own reality. Today, I'm going to use it for that purpose. The reality is that there is a real human being behind these words. That can be a shock to some folks. If you are interested, or along for this amazing journey, please feel free to read on. Otherwise, thanks for stopping by. See ya next time. You are in control of your actions. I am still in control of the words and world here.

If I were asked to give a cogent title for this entry, I believe it would be "Fear!"

Many friends along this journey speak to me often about one fear or another they are experiencing. One (probably the first) question I ask is "How long have you been experiencing this fear?"

The surprise is not in the asking of the question. The surprise is (for me) the frequency of the same answer: "Recently." is a close approximation that will generally do. Recently. Old fears or is this a new one? "Old fear revisited." or "Brand new fear, it seems." are the most common answers.

Only because I am still alive do I particularly care about the questions AND the answers. Why? Because I can totally relate to both answers. On this journey, we (regardless of our position within the journey) become intimate with fears both nefarious and nebulous. "Something, I don't know what, is making me fearful!"

I won't dig too deep in that particular trench at the moment because it is, in the greater scheme of things, of less importance--with one exception. It seems that virtually everyone I know is experiencing NEW fear, and it is not something of their own creation. It is something coming to them from outside their reality with the force of an armed invasion. Note that. We'll discuss it soon.

I visited my docs today. Specifically, a pain doc (new to the team). Seems I likely have a broken rib. Pretty painful, that. Compared to other pain, it's right up there. And mightily inconvenient, if I do say so myself. So, what?

It's a fear I can touch. If I touch it, it hurts. Logical understanding eradicates fear. Example: eliminates fear of lung cancer, eliminates lying awake during sleep time making sure I take a breath (PE Fear never leaves.), etc.

Stay with me, if you will. It matters. It may well matter to you.

I can deal with anything I know. It is what I do not know that creates tension, stress and fear.

Yet, like many of the people I have been talking to, I too have a sense of impending dread and doom invading my peace. We didn't coordinate it. It has come upon each of us at different times, and in different ways. I would submit it is not a personal fear so much as a national fear. Yes, national. If someone were to inquire of me whether or not I had fear about my nation, and my citizenship, my answer would be a resounding "Absolutely!"

You who know me will know that I am, and have always been a political being. I came from a home environment where politics shone brilliantly, where citizen and citizenship really mattered, where national patriotism beat in every heart. For those of us in my family still left breathing on this orb, these things matter still. They all play a vital role in my rising up and in my lying down every day.

More than the issues of these days that lay heavy upon my heart are the fears they are causing to invade my peace. These are the fears that seem to be unearthed as being the most common among those with whom I discourse regularly. So, what is going on?

This was the question that resulted in my inquiry of Dad. The answer I was given has resulted in my determination to create the first of several "Encounters With Christ". (See what trying to be brief and succinct get ya?)

Even before the probability that the nexus of such fears is actually a crisis of faith, it is important to survey the landscape for possible answers, better questions, and a reasoned way of dealing with both. Rationality, emotion, logic and common sense all have an important role to play on this journey--and they will be. But the origin of both problem and answer exist in only one word: FAITH.

Rather than blathering on about politics, politicians and the national condition, I feel compelled to write about, in the middle of all these things, blathering on about how faith is the problem, and how only faith is the answer. That is why I have limited this first "encounter" to those who consider themselves to be "born again" Christ followers. This encounter is not designed to define, or lead to having faith; it is presumed existent in those who will participate and experience this first encounter.

This blog is for my thoughts, but it is also a journal of the expansion of those thoughts. That is why I am putting my thoughts about the encounter, the writing of it, and how it transpires to what is for me a logical result. I'm already astounded by what I am learning, and even what I have written here. I worry (fear) this blog will not last until the conclusion of this particular activity. It would be a real dilly of a deal to have to split this across blogs. What to do?

1. Find out how many entries are permitted in a blog.
2. Find out how many entries are used, and how many are left.
3. Eliminate the fear with knowledge, and plan based upon data.
4. Pray without ceasing.

In His Care,


PS: Labs and X-Rays tomorrow, along with a scheduled dressing down from my Endocrinologist about the importance of taking Blood Sugars regularly. And insulin. And diet (trying like mad to gain weight: a Challenge for my Endo Nutritionist.

PCP the next day. It seems things are happening (again, still....) with my body. I'll let you know here what develops. Your prayers are coveted.

May 27, 2018 at 6:02am
May 27, 2018 at 6:02am
Is there anything more oxymoronic that trying to organize?

Yet, that is my current activity for the encounter. This time, I thought I would organize the work like a web developer would. You know, files and folders. Yes, there is even a Code Book for this one--templates and all!). I'm hoping that shorter is better, leaving plenty of room for participation and personal encounters for the participants.

It is intense, but completely "doable", I think. Those consuming this product will be the telling quality of this particular meal.

I just have to get it write right.

It's going to take a bit of time., Patience, Dad. I'm working on it.

In HIs Care,


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