Tag Archives: #14daybloggingchallenge

14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 14

14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 14

“What Have You Learned About Yourself

in these last 14 days?”

Some of the things I have learned is that I’ve made it through this challenge.  Though sometimes feeling uncomfortable because of my feelings of vulnerability, I found myself generally feeling great in exploring my nearly 60 years, through writing about myself, searching to look and see, and reflecting on all these experiences, that contribute to making me who I am today.  It is so interesting for me to read Day 1 through Day 14.  I can see how this became a reflection for me, in sharing good experiences and the painful ones, both a part of my life’s  journey.  I also like that through these writings I am allowing others to see deeper into my life and maybe identify with some of my personal experiences and moments.

I hope my sharing has touched you in some way, and if you’ve also decided to take this 14-Day Blogging Challenge, what have you learned about yourself?

14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 13

14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 13

“What Makes You Unique, Different, Quirky?”

To begin, I’ve always been on the quieter side and have seen myself as introverted. As a kid, I was always studious. I’d spend much of my time studying at libraries. I always have liked spending time in quieter places.

As a teenager, I was blessed to enjoy the friendship of 3 close friends and our friendships continue to this day. One of these friends and I lived in the same building.  We’d often get together, and listen to her older brother’s collection of 45 rpm’s.  We’d talk, dance, and squeeze in homework and studying together.

I enjoyed attending Hunter College in NYC.  I did a lot of walking through NYC in the day.  Sometimes, my professors would hold classes in Central Park which when they did made it feel like a bit of having some greenery on campus. Also, wonderful was visiting, walking through, and seeing exhibits at the museums.

I know my husband 41 years and we’re married 37,  not so common these days.  I love waking up to him by my side, watching him sleep, listening to his snore, running my fingers along his face, his eyes, nose, and mouth, our holding hands, taking walks together, and drives along  country roads.  I love listening to him describe automobiles and a rich history he knows well.  I love remembering our riding motorcycles, the wind in my hair.  We met through a mutual friend. The first time we got together and started talking was during a party at his house. Listening to rock music,  I was asked what music I’d like to listen to, my answer, “The Beach Boys”. Reminds me, I’ve never felt like I had to “fit in” and  I’ve always felt okay making my own choices.

Now that’s not to say I haven’t liked listening to rock music, I have and I love music. However, I’ve also discovered that certain MS symptoms I experience seem to be triggered certainly by volume, certain tones, and the beating of drums, so it’s a fine line I travel in choosing the music I listen to these days.

I love to have my morning coffee over a conversation with my sister, and then our doing something creative together, weaving, painting, jewelry making, sewing. During the evenings I enjoy some reading, writing, knitting, or crocheting.

I tend to like familiarity, a “sure thing”.  However, as a survivor of MS and Cancer, I’ve also learned to live with and accept uncertainties. So I am encouraging myself to step beyond my comfort zone and try new things.  It’s important to me being engaged and feeling productive, feeling like I am making a difference.  I’m not quite sure just how unique, different, and quirky all this makes me, I just know it all contributes to making me who I am and who I like being.

“What makes you unique, different, quirky?”

14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 12

14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 12

“What are You Resisting Right Now?

I ask myself, “What are you resisting right now? I know it’s fear fostering my resistance from moving forward, taking the next step, and breaking through my comfort zone. But it is just that fear which I must face, which each of us faces, when taking a chance. It’s pushing through the what if’s, worry, and anxiety.  Where does it stem from. Well, this can be different for each of us.

I know where mine stem’s from,  during my childhood, when I started picking up the phone, to speak with family and family friends.  Not everyone who called understood my answering, and one who certainly did not, said: “Children should be seen and not heard”.  The voice I heard then became  an inner voice which would surface when I’d face a decision in school and social situations about speaking, and which would often keep me from speaking up.

So I am acknowledging the “voice” of resistance, and determined  to burst forth from that uncomfortable place of resistance. It may pop up from time to time, and I will look at it differently now, facing it, and speaking up as I am moving ahead.  So, I may wonder, and ask myself:

  • Am I saying something of importance?
  • Will others hear what I am saying and my meaning?
  • Will my writing ( and readings) touch others?
  • Will what I say be liked (or maybe, it will not)?
  • Will what I say be criticized?
  • Will people like my work?
  • Will folks identify with me?
  • Will folks identify with my thoughts?
  • Will I have inspired?
  • Will I have been encouraging?
  • Will I have made a difference?

These are also the questions which will inspire me to move forward and push forth through any resistance I may have or have had.

What are you resisting right now?


14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 11

14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 11

“If I Were to Write a Book”

If I were to write a book on anything at all and be guaranteed that it would be published and be successful, it would be my first book of poetry, prose, musings, and include some of my photography.  My narratives would be a way of reaching out and touching others through sharing from some of my very own and sometimes difficult experiences.

There are times , one in particular, while very young, which felt so out of control,  for example, as a child when one of my siblings (and they are twins)  became affected by meningitis. It was my first of experiences in love, loss, and survival.

Then, as an adult sibling when one parent passed suddenly from a heart attack, and almost 30 years later the other passed through a battle with cancer.  Again, experiencing my own grief, through love, loss, and survival, while at the same time, trying to help other family members through the grieving process.

In 2003, after seven (7) years of mysterious symptoms, I received a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.  Since then and through attending a narrative writing program for patients and caregivers who have been touched by cancer, I’ve realized the survivor that I’d become.

However, it wasn’t until 2014, and a new diagnosis of a gynecologic cancer, endometrial (uterine) cancer, that I decided I was going to look for new ways of thriving in addition to surviving.

Not only was I going to move from a place, of “picking myself up, dusting myself off, and starting all over again”, which always seemed to work for me during challenging times, I was entering a mindful space to “THRIVE”.

Since early childhood growing into becoming an adult sibling (and primary caregiver to my sister), being a carepartner with my husband of 37 years, becoming a survivor myself of multiple sclerosis and cancer, I’ve faced my challenges on the journey we call living.  Some painful medical conditions require high maintenance plus the changes of finance which so often follow, so through my writing, and sharing, I like the idea of fostering a sense of encouragement, inspiration, and positivity with THRIVING in mind.

I like to think of writing and my publishing a book as a way to reach others so that we may make greater sense of ourselves and our conditions,  accepting who we are, where we are now in this moment of our lives, and initiating change, within ourselves, culture, and society.

“So, if you were to write a book on anything at all and be guaranteed that it would be published and be successful, what would it be?”

14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 10

14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 10

“What Do You Do?”

Let’s say I’m taking the day off, and I have nothing scheduled, no responsibilities, and no one else to take care of. What do I do?

Garden Photos_Summer2007 076I would begin my day, stretching and say:

Good morning world 🙂 Thoughts fluttering about, thinking about the day, nothing scheduled, no responsibilities, everyone I care for is being looked after, and well cared for today. What do I do?

I would do some yoga, then meditate.

I would have my drink of hot water with freshly squeezed lemon, maybe a little maple syrup if I wanted it sweetened.

On a nice  cool day, I would walk barefoot into my garden. Relax on my patio with our dog, Sadie, by my side, sitting in the shade of the grape vines growing over the pergola and under the more than 80 year pine trees enjoying the coolness they bring.

Filling the birdbaths, and basins with water. Watching the birds, squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks.

Keeping a glass of water for me, to drink, by my side.

I would relax and read the paper or a magazine. Having my camera nearby, I would go for it to catch some photos of the beautiful day, the flowers, shrubs, and the animals I see in the garden today.

Returning inside, I would whip up a smoothey.

Or, maybe, cooked steel rolled oats with almonds, raisins, and a bit of honey.  A cup of tea or freshly brewed coffee.

I would gather the greens and crunchies, for preparing a lunch salad.

Making some calls, or going on-line, I would visit with family and friends.

An afternoon out, to see an early movie.

A late afternoon, stretched out, getting a massage.

A dinner of fish, baked potatoe, and vegetable, asparagus sounds wonderful to me. And a nice cup of herbal tea.

An evening of knitting, crochet, or quilting would be a delight for me.

Reflecting on the day with appreciation, heading off to sleep.

Sweet Dreams.

So let’s say you’re taking the day off, and you have nothing scheduled, no responsibilities, and no one else to take care of. What do you do?


14 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 9

14 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 9

“Facing the Fear”

My biggest challenge in the last year was facing the fear of my having cancer. I was looking cancer in the face. Thoughts were racing. I’d noticed bleeding. I’ve been postmenopausal for five (5) years now.  I remembered being told by my mother that if I ever noticed unusual bleeding to be checked by my doctor. Now the question was, ” Doctor, what doctor?”  I’d had the same doctor for many years, yet questions lurked: “Who would be my doctor now? From whom would I receive treatment?  Stress, I have MS.  Pain, I have chronic pain, and from more than having  MS.  Sometimes, to learn where the pain is originating and what to do about it,  we have to realize we are more than an illness we’ve been diagnosed with.  Reality check: In my life, I was facing even another.

Insurance, what insurance? Obamacare, who in our system is it who was really caring? I no longer had the insurance I’d had for many years.  I was no longer working. I no longer had COBRA.  I’d already applied for Disability.  I had been in an appeal process.  I did not yet qualify for Medicare.  Medicaid, which program, the authorities that be figuring out for which I qualified?

What doctors?  Where?  My medical team was in need of coming together.

New travels. First stop, Family Health Center at White Plains Hospital.  Second stop, the White Plains Hospital ER.  Tests ordered: Blood Test, CAT Scan, Ultra Sound. Upon discharge being told to follow up with my own doctor. Informing the nurse with the discharge instructions, “After all these years of seeing a gynecology specialist, I didn’t have insurance my specialist accepted.” Thinking aloud: Really, really now, and this is the system here in the USA, in NY, in Westchester County?  Third Stop: The Greenburgh Health Center – Another examination and recommendation.  Fourth Stop: White Plains Hospital Radiology for the hysterosonogram which had been recommend.

All the uncertainty, the stress of the uncertainty. Anxiety, Depression you had a deeper hold on me. Time, precious time, having to take the extra steps, to getting necessary treatment.  What feels like an eternity.  Days, leading to weeks, and weeks leading to a few months. MY AFFIRMATION: ” I CAN OVERCOME FEAR!”

I OVERCAME THE FEAR!!!  Fifth Stop: Advanced OB/GYN Associates at Westchester Medical Center.

My medical team had been brought together…

My doctors were the best!

Excellent! Knowledgeble! Understanding! Caring!

Willing to listen to me!

I had a D & C, and then a Hysterectomy!

With gratitude, I thank Dr. Tarah Pua and her team, for giving me another chance at life.

Sixth Stop: Westchester Medical Center and the Radiation Medicine Team…

When I met Dr. Chitti Moorthy, little did I know what lie ahead of me.  I’d never heard of brachytherapy, a type of radiation therapy. With his expertise and guidance, and a caring staff attending to me all of whom I’m grateful to, I’d take a gulp of air, a deep breath, tell my body to relax, and meditate (which I reflect on and look at as sacred time given to me).

Seventh Stop: Home, Recovering, Moving On,  and Living Life  ~ with love and gratitude to my family and friends who have been with me, each of you know who you are, totally supportive and sharing your love. Now it’s time for me, with faith in G-d above, to inspire and share with others.

Endometrial Cancer – American Cancer Society

Is there some fear you have, or have experienced, maybe overcame, or would like to overcome? If you’d like, you are welcome to share it with me.

14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 8

14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 8

“My Biggest Success in the Last Year”

Over the last year, my biggest success has been in the design and development of my websites.  I began my first website, andreahorowitz.com, because I wanted to share poetry and narratives about Survivorship, about Multiple Sclerosis, about Endometrial Cancer, about having become a patient after years of being the primary caregiver in my family, and my husband and I having become  carepartners.

With belief in the importance of exercising my brain, and cognitive skills (encouraged by my neuroligists),  I want to share information, hope, encouragement and inspiration through poetry, narratives, and in advocacy.

With a passion for creating fiber art, I also wanted a website where I could share about  knitting, crochet, beading, and quilting, which led me to creating andreasherrycreations.com .

I also believed it would be fun to share about the place we call home, Horowitz Hacienda in the Pines, and write about the beautiful nature in which we’re blessed to be surrounded.  We creatively engage in play based art and fun activities with my sister, Francine, and all of us have loads of fun with Sadie, our Shitzu mix.

I’m proud to have accomplished bringing these websites live and to have started blogging.

With encouragement for you to share and letting you know that I am interested in hearing from you, what is your biggest success in the last year?

14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 7

14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 7

“What My Favorite Book or Movie Is, and Why”

Nature is one of the things with which I love connecting.  I’ve enjoyed learning and each year find more to learn about the birds which live in our area.  Each year I pay attention to their migration patterns.

At Horowitz Hacienda in the Pines there are birdhouses hanging on trees, the fence, shepherds hooks, and pergola.  In the garden, we also sometimes paint birdhouses for some of the birds to nest. Birdbaths and feeders have also been placed.  There’s a satisfying feeling in caring for and feeding the birds. Each day is beautiful waking to the sounds of the birds. Mourning doves cooing.  Wrens and Chick-a-dees chirping a beautiful melody. Garden Photos_Summer2007 074-1

Afternoons, relaxing on the porch, sipping iced tea or lemonade.  I watch for the birds in flight, while glancing through and reading one of my favorite books.

Sharing in this 14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 7, one of my favorite book is “Birds in Your Backyard: A Birdlovers Guide to Creating a Garden Sanctuary” by Robert Dolezal.  For bird enthusiasts (or would be bird enthusiasts) it is a comprehensive guide, richly illustrated, and provides food for thought on planning and planting with the rewarding experience of enhancing a yard into becoming garden sanctuary. There’s lots of information about identifying birds, their markings, how they behave, and what foods they like best.  At feeding time, it’s a magnificent sight watching the birds eat.  Sometimes I’ll photograph their activity. The spectacular goldfinch fluttering to and from the thistle feeder.  Various species of birds favoring certain feeder foods.  Some eat from feeders, some even from the ground. Garden Photos_Summer2007 075-1

It’s always  a sight watching the squirrels go after the bird food and hang off the feeders,too.  I make sure there is food for them at the ground to try to keep them from the feeders. “A little something for everyone!” Squirrel a Munching at The Horowitz's Nature Center_25-Dec-2007 011

The birds at play in the birdbath and shaking off the water, or taking a sandbath are lively. They like both and they can be quite amusing.

Approaching dusk, the magnificent male cardinal in the euonymous tree.  Singing his song, the last I hear, in our garden sanctuary, to say goodnight.

I’d also love to know: What is your favorite book or movie, and why?

14-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 6

14 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 6

“What is most important to you?”

Most important to me is to spend quality time developing and nurturing deep and personal relationships with family, friends, and community connections.  I enjoy getting to know others, deeply, learning what they consider important, what their interests are, what  inspires and encourages them.  If anyone I know has a problem, I’ll listen and hopefully in some way contribute to problem-solving.  I also like to share about our family, pets, matters of interest and importance.  Visiting, sharing conversation, innermost thoughts and feelings, over a cup of tea or coffee, lunch, dinner, a summer barbeque together, warms my heart.

Some of my favorite time is when my sister Francine and I sit together in our home art studio, which often becomes the kitchen, where we play with art, we talk, we sometimes sing.  Another one of our art studios is a room we have for crafting, and sometimes Francine’s room is our art studio, where we’ll sit and have a coffee while making potholders. FGF 073014 Art - Coaster for Dori During spring, summer, and fall our garden also becomes our art studio, a wonderful place where we can spend time outside together connecting with nature.

Throughout our years together, some of my favorite time with my husband Norman is when we spend time gardening together, and evenings taking a garden stroll, then sitting on our swing for two, and talking with eachother.  Sometimes, there’s such a wonderful feeling just snuggling, watching television together, and having the pets want to snuggle with us.

In addition, getting to know folks and connecting through social media has become a wonderful part of my life.  It’s such a blessing to make friends through social media and then get to meet eachother, socialize,  and sometimes also even collaborate together.

I, furthermore, love seeing and hearing how and what others share, and do to encourage and inspire. It’s helped me in becoming courageous in more publicly sharing about our lives and I am enjoying sharing our art through photographing and posting to my social media sites.  I’m filled with gratitude and joy to be connecting and sharing, inspiring, encouraging, and sharing love.

So, what is most important to you?