Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Real Life Seeps Back In

I'm feeling a little better day by day.  Each week brings a new milestone, something else I can eat, a little more energy.

I hope to have the feeding tube out at the end of the month. After that, I don't have to see a doctor for three months.

It is sinking in that I'm really, truly on the other side of this tough stretch.  I'm not a cancer patient anymore, although I'm still recovering from the after effects of the treatment.  I still get really tired at the end of the day, and I still have a fair amount of pain in my throat. I tend to be asleep by 8pm every night.  But I don't have cancer.

I don't have cancer.

I don't know why it's scary typing those words, but it is.  Having cancer has defined every breath I have taken for the past seven months.

Now regular life is starting to seep back in the cracks.  Shuffling the kids from activity to activity, helping with homework projects, watching sports games:  all the things I missed for so long.  It's such a gift to be able to do these things again.  I was humming as I folded laundry yesterday.  Humming.

Also seeping back in, though?  Worrying about money, my job, career.  There wasn't any room for this while I was sick.  But now we find ourselves on the other side of cancer with a pile of really scary bills.  Cancer, it turns out, is incredibly expensive.

One of my primary frustrations being sick was that I couldn't tend to my jewelry business the way I wanted. I kept up with orders - slowly - but I didn't have the energy to make new pieces, market the business, send out the monthly newsletter - in short, I didn't grow the business at all for more than half a year.

This makes me nervous, because I REALLY want Shining Stones to be what I do when Finn is finally in school full time next year.  Originally, this was to be the year of gang buster growth - of really spreading the words, participating in giveaways, blanketing the internet with cool new pieces, using Constant Contact and Pinterest and the blog to promote Shining Stones.

It didn't happen, because I was sick.

Now I'm worried, because if I can't get Shining Stones off the ground to be a meaningful financial contributor to our household income, I'm going to have to give up on that dream and go get a 'real' job.  One with hours and a boss and less time with my children.

Especially now, with the exorbitant cost of getting sick staring us in the face.

So I'm asking for your help.  When you can, can you help me promote my little business?  If you need a gift for someone, or if you know someone who does, can you spread the word about Shining Stones?

I'm making new stuff again, including these cool shamballa bracelets - they are one size fits all and make a GREAT gift:
Sparkling Shamballa Bracelet with Pave Beads (click on link to view in my shop)

Frost Glass Shamballa Bracelet (click on link or picture to see in my shop)

In fact, I have a whole section in my shop dedicated to these Shamballa bracelets, because I love them (and they are so trendy right now).

I also have a cool selection of customized teacher's gifts.

Here are a couple of the more popular styles (these can be customized with any message or word):

Customizable hand-stamped teacher's necklace
Customizable Teacher Necklace with two sterling silver discs and crystal adornment

I also have dozens more very affordable ringsearrings, necklaces , hand-stamped pieces, bracelets and recovery jewelry.

It makes me itchy to promote my business like this, but if I'm ever going to make it in this world, I'm going to have to get over that.  I don't write this blog to make money.  But I do write this blog, in part, to help spread the word about Shining Stones.

Plus, I was at a meeting last night, and the topic was asking for help.  I'm terrible at asking for help, whether it has to do with recovery, being ill (having cancer) or promoting my business.  But as someone said at the meeting - and it's so simple and obvious it's embarrassing - if you don't ask, people don't even have the opportunity to help you.  Some of you are already regular customers, and to you I give a hearty THANK YOU!

So here's me asking for help: if you could help me spread the word about Shining Stones, I'd be so very grateful.  I think there is a "share" bar at the bottom of each post?  By the comment section?  You can click on the icon for Twitter or Facebook and share that way, I think?  (I'm such a neophyte.  But I'm learning).

Thank you so much.


  1. Hello... OHMYGOSH! as I sat reading your post I could really feel the emotion and care and ups and downs in your every word!! You see, my daughter (25) was diagnosed with cancer last November and we have been following along on your cancer story since you told us about your diagnosis (which has been very helepful for Hailie and I.. to know that others are doing this and still moving forward in life.. THANK YOU! for being so open and willing to share your journey-- you will never know how many of us you have encouraged and lifted in support) and when I read the part about spreading the word, helping you out.. it clicked like a light!! I have been looking for the perfect necklace for Hailie to have since she, too, has finished treatment as of this month!! I would love it if you could HELP ME! to make a special stamped silver piece.. "survivor" or "I BEAT THIS" or ??? Maybe you could private message me and we could get it going?! THANKS again for sharing your story.. it really has helped us on this journey of cancer. I'm sure your business will thrive once you get back in the swing of it... "You've paid it forward"

    1. Sandie - I'd love to design a custom piece for her with you! Email me at onecraftyellie@gmail.com and we can discuss! Thanks!

  2. And also, of course, nobody will know you're feeling up to making jewellery again unless you tell them - people won't want to bother you about it if they think you might not be well enough. I'll go and have a look ; )

  3. Oh stop apologizing! I'll be GLAD to help you promote your business. (But I get the whole asking for help thing...isn't that part of our control isssues which, at least in part, fuel our alcoholism?)

    Anyway, I'm putting you on my FaceBook page and I'll pin you on Pinterest and now that you're back, mama's going SHOPPING!

    Be well Ellie...namaste.

  4. You don’t have cancer – wonderful, sweet, relieving words. The hardest part has passed, and if you ever need support for the rest of the journey (as so many women have said, coping with what has happened often comes after the treatment), you’ve got an incredible online community of thrivers & fighters. As well, you’re very welcome to join us at FacingCancer.ca – it’s all about support, and all that other stuff cancer impacts.

    Does Shining Stones have a facebook page? If you find us our Facing Cancer Together facebook we can share your posts occasionally. (http://www.facebook.com/facingcancertogether)

  5. I would love to share your Shining Stones info! Is there a Facebook page?

    It's good to hear you're back and feeling better. You've been in my thoughts a good bit of the last 6 months.

    1. There is no FB page (well., there is but it never got off the ground... so there is only the link to my shop: www.shiningstones.etsy.com.

      Thank you!

  6. i was at a meeting last night where i finally asked for help too. about different things but its such a relief to be able to admit needing help. i am really broke so i can't buy anything but i will spread the word to my better off friends!

  7. Your post was just the kick in the pants I needed to finally submit my order. I've had your etsy page open on my computer for a week now, but I've been procrastinating.

    I am so happy to hear that the cancer is gone and that things are getting back to normal for you and your family.

  8. I'd love to use your jewelry in a blog giveaway. My blog is www.walkingonmyhands.com.

    I'll be in touch via email. I wanted to do a month of giveaways. I already have 3 and needed one more. Perfect!! Do you have gift cards so I could giveaway a $30 credit towards your site?

    1. Send me an email to onecraftyellie@gmail.com and we can talk about it!!!

  9. Fellow etsy artist here. Just opened a mother store on indiemade, with my own URL. Affordable, gorgeously design, like a side shop I hope to be my major shop. Take a look!

  10. Good for you for asking for help! That takes courage:) From one friend of Bill to another:)