I am home like everyone else and trying to survive the horrible COVID 19. I hope all of you are staying safe and well. Please continue to support and pray for our nurses, doctors, medical personnel, grocery store workers, first responders plus truckers and all the people who are risking their lives for the rest of us.
My first few weeks have been interesting in the shut down here in Ohio. I thought I had conjunctivitis and after getting to an ophthalmologist he told me something flew into my eyes and bruised it. Meanwhile, my 13-year-old kitty was very sick and his eye was all bloodshot. He went to the vet and had such high blood pressure he burst the blood vessels in the eye. I was very upset but they started him on medication and he is back to his ornery self. When people ask me what I am doing these days I answer going to the vet and the doctors!
I am still going to the hospital for Zarxio shots and never fail to thank the nurses and people working there. These people are true heroes! This is the month that the new medication, Luspatercept is supposed to be released. However, my oncologist and I agreed I will not go on it until this crisis is over on the chance I would need to be hospitalized with side effects and no one wants to be at the hospital now.
I am starting something new for my website. I am always feeling bad because I cannot do more to help during this terrible time. My insightful and wonderful pastor suggested I write a positive column weekly for our E-news. I jumped on it and wanted to share the first positive thought with all of you. I will be posting weekly unless you begin to throw tomatoes at me! LOL!
I do want to explain that the Congregational United Church of Christ that I belong to in Canton, Ohio is small – around 50 members but mighty. We are very mission-oriented and do a range of activities from backpacks to boxes for the homeless to collecting warm scarves and gloves in the winter to helping each other every step of the way. Through my cancer journey, this group has been wonderful and we are family.
Please stay safe and well. I will be in touch again next week. I hope you enjoy my message!
Our Dear Jane has composed an inspirational article for us all that we hope will be helpful during this difficult time. This article was written to appear in the ENews, and I will do so with any future articles from Jane, but for this inaugural occasion, I wanted to send it separately to you to emphasize it so that it would be best appreciated. Please take heart from these kind words and let’s all thank Jane for her wit, wisdom, and positivity!
HOW TO STAY POSITIVE
First of all, I want to explain how this whole column started. I was saying to Dennis via e-mail, that I wish there was more I could do for others during this turbulent time. In his infinite wisdom, he suggested I use my background to write some positive thoughts for our congregation, much like I do for a cancer magazine Cure Today.
I just wanted to give you a little background so you can better understand why Dennis suggested this. I have a master’s in Library Science and was a professional librarian for 19 years, which means I love books and reading and research. I received a second master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling to help me work with people with disabilities. I then obtained a doctorate in Counseling and Human Development Services, was a Licensed Clinical Counselor, and did counseling for both private and public agencies for another 17 years. I was an adjunct faculty member and taught at three different universities over 30 years.
I truly want these messages to have one little kernel (or more) of wisdom to help all of you. If I can give you one ray of hope to help you through these tough times, I will have achieved my goal. If you find this column helpful, I will continue these messages and if not – I understand.
If you like these messages please send me any suggestions at Jane.m.Biehl@gmail.com or forward to Elizabeth to give it to me.
Today, I want to use a technical counseling term that may be helpful. There is a method of counseling called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is commonly used to assist people. CBT is amazingly simple – and incredibly hard to follow. The scientific basis is that our brains are incapable of having two thoughts at the same time. This is hard to believe, because our brains are so efficient and it may be a matter of milliseconds, but our brains are not wired to have more than one idea. We use this mechanism to change negative thoughts into positive ones.
How easy it is to be negative right now and just watching the news makes us depressed and scared for good reason.
But, within our incredible church family, it is so easy to replace these ideas with positive ones. I sometimes lie in bed thinking why I even bother to get up, because I am not going anywhere anyway! But then I think of you great people who send me cards, bring food, fix my computer, install ceiling fans, pray for me, send e-mails, message me on Facebook, and text me. How dare I be depressed?
It also helps to think of your favorite hymn, song, mantra or listen to your CUCC sermons online.
Replace a negative thought with a positive one and we will all get through this. Faith Family and Friends are our focus and CUCC has all three!
Please do take Jane’s suggestion for feedback and ideas seriously! You can reply to this email or Jane directly at the email she provided above with your thoughts or suggestions. As Dennis has been saying, we make our church by each of our contributions!