“This is Fifty”

I have seen this quote on FaceBook quite often lately, accompanied by a picture of a person looking vibrant, healthy and beautiful. And I usually say to myself, “WOW, she looks vibrant and healthy and beautiful for 50”. Then I remind myself that MY Fifty is around the corner. How did this happen? Where did 50 years go? How are my second graders getting engaged or married or better yet, having babies of their own. I surely haven’t aged, so how did 50 sneak up on me?

The truth of the matter is, I don’t think I feel fifty, but I do know where the years went. I know that I lived them. I have memories of how my life was and of all of my hopes and dreams for a life filled with laughter and friends and family. I had dreams of traveling the world.

So, where did the years go? They went into teaching hundreds of children. For more than 18 years I lived for teaching. I made it my world. Life revolved around my students and what I could do to make life better for them in learning situations but also life lessons. I don’t regret the passion and drive I had when I was teaching, I just wish I had taken more time for me. More time with family and friends. I think about occasions I missed because I would not take a day off, or opportunities that were presented to me that I passed up. Again, no regrets…I am where I am today because this is where I belong.

Where did the time go? It went to so many unbelievable years working at camp and participating in CNYFTY. Probably the best years of my life. I met the most amazing group of friends and truly felt like I was living my best life; teaching school and working camp!! Who could ask for anything better?

Where did the time go? This is when everything seems to get blurry. You see, my thirties seemed to have escaped my memory. Not the teaching aspect, but the social aspect. Did I become a recluse? Was it anxiety and depression that created a fear in me that stopped me from living my best life? Was it being told over and over again that I am not enough? Was it fear of rejection or of not being accepted? Whatever it was, I made it through to my forties. That’s when things really got exciting. On August 1, 2013 I received a kidney from my brother-in-law, Lee. He gave me a second chance at life and I was going to get back in the game and use this opportunity to live my best life, again.

Well, the Universe had other plans; My body started rejecting my new kidney and as of March 2019, I had to go back on dialysis and continue to go 3 days a week for 4 hours per session. So, the hunt for a kidney begins once again. I am on transplant lists and am constantly in search of a living donor. “How do you get through all of this?” A question I get quite often which has a very simple answer. I either get through it or I die and I am not ready to leave this earth.

So, you see, THIS is MY 50!! I have learned to treasure moments with people, laugh more often and louder than ever before, help others when I am able, and try to live my best life, again. Fifty is MY time and I am going to make the most of it. This is just the beginning!!


Huge Announcements!!

People always talk about “Huge announcements.” I have recently started to have “Huge announcements,” and it’s made me wonder… who thinks these announcements are so huge? I mean, they’re huge to me, but does that mean they are huge to you or anybody else for that matter?  Hopefully, some people will think my announcement is huge and will join me on this new journey.

I have recently experienced the power of essential oils and now in turn I want to share the power of these oils with you.. Essential oils can be used for a variety of emotional and physical wellness applications. They are administered one of three ways; defused aromatically, Applied topically to the skin, or taken internally as dietary supplements. Essential oils can be profoundly simple and life-changing at the same time. Working with someone who has used essential oils before will help first time users have a more beneficial and enjoyable experience.

I don’t expect essential oils to fix my kidney disease or cure anything else for that matter, but one night after dialysis my head was killing me. So I put some peppermint on my temples and across my forehead. Within minutes the headache was gone. I continue to use peppermint and I haven’t touch Tylenol or any other pain medication since that day. When I’m feeling nauseous I go to that same peppermint oil, and sure enough the discomfort subsides. The next thing I know I’m being sent a concoction of oils that help to relieve my planters fasciitis! If anybody’s ever had that you know the pain! Dad uses supplements to help with his back pain! Mom uses oil’s in her diffuser to help her sleep! We all use the supplements to help get the right vitamins and minerals into our bodies.

Now, the greatest thing about doTERRA is the ongoing education that you receive as a customer. I have been to zoom classes and learned so many ways that I can help my body using these natural oils.

For those of you that know me, you can probably guess what the next step would be. I needed to do my research, I needed to learn more about these oils and how this company came to be because I know that at this point in my life I am meant to share what I am learning. I want to help those out there who are feeling body aches or discomfort, maybe you are dealing with emotional stress and are at a loss but are willing to try holistic approaches. Essential oils have been used throughout history in many cultures for their health promoting properties. Modern trends toward more holistic approaches to self-care are growing scientific validation of alternative health practices are driving a rediscovery of the profound health benefits of essential oils. Many have powerful cleansing properties. Their unique chemical structure allows them to deliver targeted benefits through topical application.

DōTERRA only uses CERTIFIED PURE THERAPEUTIC GRADE essential oils. CPTG oil’s are pure, natural, aromatic compounds carefully extracted from plants. They do not contain fillers or artificial ingredients that would dilute the active qualities and they are free of contaminants and other chemical residues. Many oils claim to be therapeutic grade, and some may be pure, but few are subjected to rigorous testing standards for chemical composition. doTERRA CPTG essential oils are cross tested using Mass Spectrometry and Gas chromatography to ensure both the purity and compositional potency of each batch. DoTERRA works closely with a global network of leading Essential oil chemists and growers to select botanicals of the correct species, grown in ideal environments, and carefully harvested at the right time. The aromatic compounds of the plants are skillfully extracted by experienced distillers and subjected to chemical analysis to ensure purity and composition. DoTERRA CPTG essential oils represent the safest and most beneficial oils available in the world today.

So, that is my “Huge announcement”. I am hoping that you will want to sample oils. I hope that you will give me the opportunity to educate you and grow in my knowledge at the same time. If you think that oils may help you or maybe you have heard about oils and you weren’t quite sure where to start, this is the place.. This is the time to educate yourself. This is the time to contact me so that I can help you on your OIL JOURNEY!

Check out my interactive home, but contact me for the best ways to get started. No one should pay retail prices when there are better ways to shop!!!


Ignorant Bliss

I guess that is what I would call it…Ignorant bliss. I choose to ignore what is right in front of me. But the truth is, the definition of ignorant bliss is, NOT knowing about the problem and not worriying about it. I know what the problem is!! I am just trying to do the “bliss” part.

I went for a bone marrow biopsy last week. Didn’t talk much about it… Maybe people are sick of hearing my medical crap. I guess maybe I feel if I don’t talk about these things they will disappear. I’m not that stupid, or ignorant. I just want to live one day without dealing with all of this medical shit,

I mean, give e a break…It is 6:00 in the morning and I have not slept for one single minute. I lay in bed and try to sleep but it just is not happening for me. So, what do I do at 3:00 in the morning when I’m wide awake? I take a shower, blow my hair, and then record myself reading children’s books hoping someone out there is going to enjoy them.

Ever since I left teaching I feel like I have lost my purpose in life. I was always one to try and figure out why I am here and what I am supposed to learn but for a while I lost my mojo. I had been teaching for over 18 years and now I don’t. That is it…now I don’t. I spend time at dialysis and going to doctors. That is the majority of what I do. Where is the purpose in that? Where is my purpose?

So a few weeks ago my mom started a business from home. She is selling doTerra Essential Oils, and Pampered Chef, jewelry, and UsBorne books. That is where I come in. I can’t do much but I can read books. For God’s sake, I have a masters in Reading. Let me do something that makes me feel useful.

And so at 6:11 in the morning I record myself reading because there really is nothing else to do at this hour. I could sit and get myself sick waiting for those biopsy results, but that is foolish. So I will continue to try to live in bliss, try to live my best life, and continue reading to children.

By the way, check out SCENTSible SOULutions on FaceBook!! Mom has some great products!!

Dear God,

What was I supposed to learn today?  What was the point of today’s race to pack bags and start our trek across Florida?  Did you want to see how fast I could gather my belongings?  Did you want to see how fast mom could walk up a flight of stairs to tell me Tampa General Hospital Transplant Unit was calling for me?  Did you want to see me cry for the 40 -year- old man who died way too soon?  Were you testing my theory that all good things in my life eventually shatter?  Well, for the record, I really like this guy I am seeing,  so unless you are giving me your blessing, please leave that relationship alone.

I am trying so hard not to lose my faith in you but you are making it very difficult.  Remember about 20 years ago when I was married to that abusive man and I go t really sick?  Even back then I asked you what I was supposed to learn from what I was going through.  OK, OK…you are right…I learned what that lesson was about, and I spent years of my life working with children who suffered from anxiety and did my best to help them through it.

I have tried so hard to be a good person and do the right thing.  I know I curse a lot and I would apologize for that but I feel that I use it with justification.  Do I not pray enough?  Should I call Rabbi Amy more often?  What is it that you want me to do?  I live my life with such anxiety that I struggled to enjoy the life you gave me.

So, a few hours have passed and I am revisiting this letter.  I am not deleting the previous comments because they are real, raw feelings. But I have had time to think and I have had a lot of people reach out to me.  If there is one thing I know for sure, I am definitely loved here on earth.  The messages of love, hope and encouragement are what keep me going.  Kiley keeps me going.  Thank you for her!!   

God, I want so badly to believe in you! So, I am going to go to sleep tonight next to my niece knowing that someone out there received a kidney today!  And like my friend Lisa said, that person needed it more than me and my time will come.

Thank You Netflix

COVID-19 continues to rear its ugly face. Stores and restaurants continue to open and more and more people are out and about, some wearing masks while others choose not to. I am still basically under quarantine due to kidney disease and a compromised immune system. I am ok with that because I am quarantined with my parents. At first, I thought, OY I am quarantined with my parents, but as time went on, I thought, I am quarantined with my parents, and I am blessed with the time we get to spend together. Although I wish my Dad had more work right now, I am enjoying the time I get to spend with him.

A couple of weeks ago my parents and I started watching Schitt’s Creek on Netflix. It became a nightly routine. After dinner, we would watch 2-3 episodes, and then I would go upstairs to sleep. If they wanted to continue watching tv they would watch something else. Never would we watch an episode unless we were all watching together.

We watched 5 seasons of Schitt’s Creek within a matter of a few weeks, and once it was over, my Dad would sit at the dinner table talking about how he missed the Rose family. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the days Katie and I binged watched desperate housewives and talked of Bree, Gabrielle, Lynette, and Susan as if they were our friends. I understood his feeling of loss and the desire to know what would come next for the wacky, loveable Rose Family. Fortunately for us, there is a season 6, it just has not come to Netflix yet.

So, until we are able to join the Rose’s we decided to watch another series, Hart of Dixie, where we were introduced to the intelligent, gossiping, busy-body Dr. Zoe Hart. We continued watching a few episodes each night but then something strange happened. We began watching episodes during the day as well. My parents and I would synchronize our schedules so that we would all finish work and errands in a timely matter to meet up and begin our Hart of Dixie marathon.

It was during these Netflix series that I was able to be in the moment with my parents. I began to notice that I really am like my mom. We would laugh at the same scenes, awe at the same moments, and even our hand gestures appeared at the same time. That observation alone made me laugh. It made me feel closer to my mother.

The best part was the reactions they had to characters on the shows. My parents had so many of the same attributes but they couldn’t see it. I loved Zoe’s mom because she reminded me of my own mother, yet my own mother could not see the resemblance. I enjoyed seeing all of us come out in the characters and the plots of these shows. Thank you to Netflix for making them so relatable.

The big question is, what will we watch next? Which family will suck us into their trials and tribulations? It honestly doesn’t matter as long as we watch it together.

Phase One

Palm Beach County reopened on Monday. Stores, restaurants, salons and many other businesses will begin to rebuild with the help of our community. I am sure that this is a blessing for most residents in Palm Beach County. I, on the other hand, along with thousands of others are not ready for phase one. I still need to stay home due to my disease. The National Kidney Foundation suggests that transplant patients and dialysis patients continue to stay quarantined due to our weak immune systems. While this is commonsense, it is difficult to adhere to.

So, I continue to go to dialysis three times a week. This is my time to get out of the house. I arrive and wait outside until a nurse comes and takes my temperature. She asks me the same questions before I am allowed to enter the building, “Have you been outside of the country? Any coughing? Fever? Have you been around anyone who is sick?” And my responses are the same, “No, no, no, and no”. I am now alowed to enter the building, well, once I put on my mask. I walk through the lobby and into the main area. I step on the scale and then make my way to my dialysis chair. I learn that a patient died this week. He was a young man, much younger than me. I realize that his death has probably somehow touched every person in that room. I know for sure it hit me really hard. Could I be next? Will my dialysis chair be empty one day soon? All over Facebook The National Kidney Foundatiuon warns of the danger that the Corona Virus can have on your kidneys. It seems that every where I look my kidney disease is in my face, and not in a good way.

In spite of what is happening around me, I have the power to turn things around. With the help of a newly found friend I have been able to spread the word regarding my need for a donor. Finding a match will be difficult for me, as my body has built up antibodies since my previous transplant but, talking with Ned really helped propel the need to get my story out and with that I contacted a local reorter who had interviewed me years ago when I was nominated for the Dwyer Awards in Palm Beach County. Yesterday, I recieved a text from Kristen Chapman, of CBS12, telling me she was interested in my story and asked if I was available for an interview. two hours later we are sitting on the couch and I am telling her my story.

While all of this was happening, MJ Events and Promotions was creating shirts for family and friends to wear to spread the word. (If you are interested in helping me find a donor you can order a shirt/sweatshirt/hoodie at www.stacyneedsakidneystore.com)

Collage created using TurboCollage software from http://www.TurboCollage.com

Things began moving at a quick pace. Within hours I was interviewed live on FaceBook and then had a quick segment on the CBS12 News.


In the midst of this campaign to find a kidney donor my sister created a fundraiser to help with medical bills, pharmaceuticals, and other expenses that continue to add up. I am truly in awe of the outpour of support I have been receiving from family, friends and strangers. I am blessed that so many people believe in me and I am so thankful to all who have decided to board this train and take this ride by my side.

Sometimes I get down about my illness. I lose hope and get angry, but that, I have learned, is normal. And then suddenly these strangers that I mentioned, are writing comments of bravery and prayers. People I don’t even know!! And I’ll be honest, I click on their profile pic so that I can put a face to the beautiful words they write. I believe that people come into our lives for a reason even if that reason is not clear right away.

So, as Palm Beach continues to move through Phase One of this quarantine, I am ok with staying home and taking care of myself. I know that there is magic happening behind the scenes for me.


Becoming A Donor

I am in need of a hero. I need a kidney transplant and I pray that someone reading this can help. Please share my website, StacyNeedsAKidney.com. Follow me on Facebook at StacyNeedsAKidney. Please help me find my hero.

I have provided some resourse to help with the education of organ donation.



I Still Need A Kidney

I Still Need A Kidney

During the chaos of this pandemic, I still need a kidney.  The fact is I still need someone to help me live a quality life.  I need someone to become my hero.  

This virus has made me appreciate life, nature, family, and friends.  I want to be around to enjoy all of it. My biggest fear is that I won’t get to see my niece grow up.  I fear that if I die she will forget me,  She will forget about the pumpkins we painted for Halloween or the jewelry boxes we made out of popsicle sticks.  The dance parties in my car blasting Trolls music with the sunroof open.  Watching her open her LOLs.  All of the Face-timing we have done over the years, even before she could talk.  I am afraid she will forget that she is the most important person in my life.  Since the moment she was born I have had this overwhelming feeling to protect her.  I am honored to be her Godmother and want to look over her for so many years to come and in order to do that, I need someone to help me.  

I want to become an active part of my community again.  I taught for 18 years and have had so many kiddos touch my life.  I have students who were in my fifth-grade class who, years later are married and others who have had babies.  Students who continue their educations through college and grad school.  I have a student who constantly writes on Facebook and now Kiana teaches me life lessons through her writing when it used to be my job to teach her.  

I think of another student all the time.  This student taught me more about understanding and compassion than any other person in my life.  Austin is one of those guys that says it like it is.  He struggled socially and classmates used to tell me he was a “bad” kid.  His mom wanted to homeschool him for his final year of elementary school and I remember standing in the parking lot with her basically begging to give me a chance to teach him.  She reluctantly gave in and that summer I bought books and read as much as I could about Aspergers.  I met with Austin and his mom, Brenda before school intending to establish a relationship with him.   For me, there was no doubt that I wanted this young man to be a student in my class.  

Not only did Austin teach me, but he also taught every child in my class that year.  You see,  once the students learned about Aspergers and that Austin wasn’t a “bad” kid they appreciated his differences and everyone else’s for that matter.  It’s funny actually, they realized he was brilliant and often asked him for help.   I will never forget a story that Brenda told me.  It was the evening of the Dwyer Awards, an annual program developed and supported by the Economic Council to honor outstanding educators from public and private schools in Palm Beach County.  I was nominated and made it to the top five.  Many of my students and their families attended the ceremony with me.  At the end of the night on their drive home, Brenda said something like, “ I am so mad that Stacy did not win.”  And Austins’ response was something like, “Mom, are you kidding? She was the top five.  She already won.”  I carry that sentiment throughout my life and have tried to pass it on to so many others.  Winning does not always mean the first place.  I have won many battles in my life and there was never a first place ribbon and that is ok.  One more note about Austin.  He never had birthday parties.  In fifth grade, Brenda decided she would try and every person in my class was given an invitation, including me.  Of course, I couldn’t wait.   The day came and of course, I was early and Brenda and I waited on pins and needles for that doorbell to ring.  Finally, it did, and it continued to ring until every child from my class walked through the front door.  I remember feeling overwhelmed with love for this special group of kids.  And they were definitely special, they continued to be there for Austin through middle school and high school.  They wouldn’t allow others to bully Austin.  True friendships were built that year.  By the way, I still remember the theme of the party was pirates and it was the best birthday party I ever attended!!

I need to get back out there.  It may not be in a classroom but I need to be a part of supporting people and helping others.  In order to do that I am asking for a hero to step up and save my life.

I recently met someone.  I know, crazy time to meet someone and believe me we have texted more in the last month than I care to admit.  He was there for me through text and phone calls when I was in the hospital for my blood transfusion, He texts me while I am at dialysis and we had the opportunity to meet once, outside of course.  We continue to text every day and call and video chat but I am excited to see where this could possibly go.  For the first time in a long time, I am excited about the future I know I can have.  

You may be reading this and thinking that you are not a candidate to donate a kidney, and that is ok You can still be my hero by sharing my story, sharing my blog, sharing my Facebook page.  I know the more people who read my story the better chance I have of receiving the gift of life.

If you would like to be tested or know someone who may be interested you can contact Tampa General Hospital at 813-844-5669 or livingkidneydonor@tgh.org  Everything is confidential.

To follow me on Facebook search “Stacy Needs A kidney”.

PLEASE let me know you are out there.  PLEASE say hello or leave a message about someone who has touched your life.  I would love to hear your stories!  

A huge shout out to Sheila for always reading my entries before I post them and for always saying a prayer for me!!  I love you dearlady!!

Where Do I Begin

I have started this entry a dozen times.  I keep deleting what I write because words escape me right now.  I have so much I want to say but don’t know how to organize my thoughts.  I am scared and I am anxious and I am angry and I am confused.  How is something like this happening during our lifetime?  I walk outside and the neighborhood is a ghost town.  In the distance I see people walking two-by-two. 

I sit in the house.  I don’t go anywhere because my immune system is compromised.   I keep checking my temperature and it varies from 99.9 to 99.2 . The doctors  say it is from the transfusion I recently had but  I fear that I will have a fever and not be able to get dialysis.  

So, I try to occupy my time.  How about a puzzle?  I started it three days ago and finally finished it.  I am puzzle number two and our neighbor, Debbie,  just dropped off four more.     A walk?  Sure,  a walk will do me some good.  Sit on the lanai?  Yes, its peaceful out there.  I can read my book, “Finding God”.  A little ironic for the times.  

Today, my sister Julie came over with Kiley.  We were only allowed to be outside.  Julie did not want to enter the house just to be safe.  We found an outside scavenger hunt that Kiley and  I could do.  That took us about an hour and then we went out back to the lanai and we took turns reading her book.  It was definitely lighter than my choice in genre.  Mom and Dad wake up and we have breakfast outside.  Yes, scavenger hunt, walk, and story time all before noon.

Now a few days have passed and I have not posted this entry.  I didn’t want to be a Negative Nellie but things just continue to suck.  My Mom’s cousin passed away this week and we also lost a very dear friend.  Neither deaths were due to the Coronavirus but that is neither here nor there….we still lost them.  I can’t stop thinking about all of the celebrations and family events that have been held in my lifetime.  Things used to seem so easy, no worries at all.  WOW, have things changed.  

This pandemic is so messed up,  I have a hard time wrapping my head around it.  I continue to go to dialysis every other day but the thought of a transplant seems so distant right now.  It seems so unimportant to me.  I barely think about it.  What I do think about are the kidney patients who received the call a few weeks ago that a kidney was available and then they were sent home due to the virus.  I hate that!  

This virus is so much larger than any of us and it scares me.  I think about my friends and family in New York and other parts of the country and find myself reaching out to them to make sure they are safe.  I saw a post the other day on Facebook that really hit me.  My friend Jen wrote about looking for the little things amongst this chaos.  So I try to follow her advice…. Dad was able to put two pieces of the puzzle together and then walked away. It was too much for him.  Mom finding something to clean or fix around the house every day so far. And then, when she finally sits down on the couch I find myself watching her as she closes her eyes to rest.   I find myself just looking at them a lot.  Watching Dad make shrimp salad.  Thankful they are here. 

I am grateful for the memes about homeschooling and the posts about appreciating teachers.  I am grateful for all of the people risking their lives to help others.  I think about my friend Rachel and pray she stays safe as she works the front lines in the hospital.  I appreciate my favorite children’s author, Patricia Polacco and all the other authors and celebrities who post on Facebook.  I appreciate you for taking the time to read my blog.  Please leave a message this time.  Let me know you are out there and that you are ok.  Tell me something  good that you have found in all of this chaos.  I would love to hear from you!!  

There are Good People in This World

I am trying to wrap my head around The Coronavirus.  I suffer from anxiety so the idea of having to stay at home until further notice freaks me out.  Sunday night I was not feeling well.  I had a hard time catching my breath and I was vomiting.  I did not think it was the virus.  I knew it was kidney related and I needed to go to the ER.  Mom drove, as she always does, but this time she was not allowed to come in with me.  We both understood that these were precautions that were put in place and honestly I think it was harder for her to leave me than it was for me to be there alone. 

After a CT-Scan, chest x-ray, and much bloodwork the doctors decided to admit me overnight because my Hemoglobin was very low.  I was going to get dialysis with a blood transfusion in the hospital on Monday.  The nursing staff and the doctors knew I was auto-immune compromised and they were very mindful when entering my room.  

Mom was allowed to visit from 7am-7pm so she spent most of the day with me.  I went for dialysis at around 6:30 Tuesday night and when I woke up the next morning I felt like a new person.  My Hemoglobin had jumped to 8.7 and I was feeling great.  I went home, caught up on sleep and tried to get back to normal.

But what is normal when the entire world has been infected by a virus.  Numbers keep increasing and I can’t seem to stop watching CNN.  I know this causes more anxiety but I have to stay in the know.

Today, after dialysis I went to Target to pick up medication and a thermometer. I knew I was taking a risk but I wore a mask and we literally went in, got what we needed and checked out.  While at the register I was talking to the cashier about how  difficult it is to get the necessities, like a thermometer and hand sanitizer.  The gentleman standing in line behind us heard my story and immediately pulled a sanitizer out of his pocket and gave it to me.  I told him thanks but I could not do that.  He insisted that I take the bottle.  He told me that he understood my struggles because his wife is a cancer patient.  I was so appreciative and overwhelmed by his generosity in a time where so many people are only looking out for themselves.

I want so badly to be out there volunteering to help others but unfortunately my body says NO!  What I CAN DO is FaceTime with parents and students who may struggle with schoolwork.  

So, I am paying it forward the best I can.  Please contact me if you need help homeschooling your children.  I am a certified teacher K-6, ESE K-12, and Reading K-12.  I would be more than happy to help.