Update on me: physical, mental and spiritual

Update on me: physical, mental and spiritual

“Hope expects an answer sometime in the future; faith takes it as having already been given.” -H. Emile Cady I have been stalling writing a blog post, mostly because I strive to be totally honest here, and I don’t want to worry you all. Another reason is I wanted to have a game plan to share with you rather than leave you up in the air. I am facing a scary time right now. The cancer has grown to the point that it is affecting my bodily functions. Last week, I was in two emergency rooms for almost a day and hospital for two days due to a partial bowel obstruction. (For my husband Mike’s update of events leading up to this, click HERE.) They took me off the clinical trial that I’ve been on as it obviously is not working at all. It is...

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Surrender is the not the same as giving up

Surrender is the not the same as giving up

The serenity prayer is a great source of comfort to me. It says it all to me:  “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. For many years, I’ve been hitting heavy on “the courage to change the things I can” part. The acceptance thing is what trips me up a lot of times. There has just been so many unacceptable things thrown my way – a terminal diagnosis, cancer progression despite doing everything in my power to contain it, friends dying left and right. How do you accept that? I went into this with a full-power-on, fix-it approach. I changed everything in my life and refused to accept my imminent demise. After all, my first words upon...

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From Survivorville to “Scanville”: My road back to reality

From Survivorville to “Scanville”: My road back to reality

I came back from an absolutely exhilarating time at the Survivorville, a women’s cancer conference in Nashville. Not only was the venue beautiful – The Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort – but the women I met were too, inside and out. The two highlights were 1) meeting fellow stage IV survivors/co-survivors who were volunteers and at my breakout session: The Buck Stops Here: The Power of Becoming Your Own Advocate, and 2) reading my story for My 2nd Act: Survivor Stories from the Stage. I was in awe of the nine other women and two little girls, who shared their stories of struggle, loss, inspiration and hope and how they transformed the life-changing experiences with cancer to a new way of life. For instance, Ariana and Naveya, the two girls...

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My “Not to Do” List

My “Not to Do” List

Just returned from another scan to see how my cancer is behaving. I’ll let you know what we find out in next week’s post. Since I have a lot going on this week getting ready to leave for Nashville for the Survivorville conference for women with cancer, I am going to recycle an “oldie but goodie” post. For those of you attending, I am excited to be presenting my essay for the My Second Act performance on Saturday night, as well as presenting a breakout session for metastatic survivors called The Buck Stops Here: The Power of Being Your Own Advocate. If you’re attending, please stop by and say hi. I’d love to meet you! Here’s my post written back in 2013: I am learning to stand up for myself in several ways. I find that I...

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The other shoe: the waste of worry

The other shoe: the waste of worry

I was talking to my hubby Mike today when the topic of “waiting for the other shoe to drop” came up. I looked up the phrase and learned it originated in the early 1900s about hearing someone drop a shoe at the door and waiting to hear the other shoe drop. Simple as that. Somehow we have turned it into “waiting for something bad to happen.” I realize how much of my life has been wasted waiting for the other shoe to drop. “Things are going well now, but I’m waiting for something bad to happen to ruin it.” I never trusted my life could stay great and I couldn’t appreciate it when it did because I was waiting for it to be taken away from me. I think a lot of people, unfortunately live that way. We can’t enjoy the...

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About this stress thing …

About this stress thing …

Last week, I delved into why I take care of myself and how stress, if not handled properly is harmful for cancer survivors … and everybody else for that matter. I got a lot of great feedback from the post, and I thought this topic deserved a little more attention. Cancer advocate Heather Swift shared this interesting article about cancer and inflammationn from the Oncology Nursing Association’s news magazine. As the article states, studies show that 25 percent of all cancers are associated with inflammation. The body produces inflammatory markers in response to stress, and studies show that certain malignancies develop in tissues severely damaged by chronic inflammation. If you read on, the article suggests several things that can help manage stress,...

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