cancer, grace, My Cancer Journey, My Life

I Share A Very Intimate & Sacred Moment On My Journey With Stage 4 Cancer

The Preamble

My spouse Don and I are very committed to our date nights, which usually happen on a Friday night. We will do something like go out to dinner or spend time at our little lake house having dinner and spending the evening together while we enJOY our little fireplace and listen to music.

We look forward to these date nights immensely and we believe that they are so important for a relationship. And because we are both entrepreneurs and business-minded people, these become our business meetings too. We catch up on how things are going, what has been accomplished and what needs to be done. And trust me, we love talking about this kind of stuff. It brings us JOY!

A Week Ago Friday

So a week ago Friday, I was feeling great and pain-free and it was date night. I was so happy for one more date night! We were enJOYing our night when out of nowhere I started to get into pain and this pain escalated from 0 to 100 in an hour. It was really, really bad and it was really, really, sad.

The Sacred Moment in The Still of the Night

This brings me to the sacred and intimate moment. Don tried to help me get into bed and into a comfortable position. I sat on the edge of the bed and hung onto him. I wrapped my arms around his body and laid my cheek against his stomach and chest. He tried to put me down but I would cry out in pain something like “You have to get me up, I can’t breathe”. The pain was unbearable and would take my breath away. This went on for a while until we were indeed able to get me into bed. This was very hard for both of us and I cannot describe the feeling with words but…..

Speed Ahead to the Following Friday

Last night was once again date night and although I was in pain, it was not too bad. We had a lovely night together. The topic of last Friday night came up and how hard that was for us. Don shared about how he struggled with it and the pain that it brought him.

And Then I Shared This:

I told him that I wanted him to know that when I am gone or whenever he thinks of that night, he needs to know that for me it was one of the most beautiful, loving, supportive, and intimate moments of my life and that I will forever cherish it. It has become a beautiful moment for me. The whole vulnerability for both of us and the sacred connection of two lovers coming together in a time like this is indescribable.

We then talked about how we can indeed shift things to see them from a better place that makes us ‘feel better’ and this is what we had now done with this experience. We can choose what we take from it. This is all a part of accepting ‘what is’ and moving through it with Grace.

I hope that you too learn to shift painful moments in your life and turn them into Grace.

I love you all!

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cancer, My Cancer Journey, Vulnerabitlity

Being Vulnerable

 “I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, ‘Gift From The Sea.’

Vulnerability

Vulnerability is a new experience for me and I will be writing about it more. It is interesting how life’s palette holds many teachings as we journey through the years.

I do not yet have words to describe how I feel and how to share my vulnerability at this time but stay tuned, I am hoping to share soon.

I love you all…..

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affirmations, cancer, My Cancer Journey

3 Affirmations For Those On A Journey With Cancer

I can find peace in my journey.
I am learning to love ‘What Is”.

My body may have dis-ease, but my soul is free and JOYous.

Affirmations are powerful tools and can be useful to strengthen our spirits and express our desires. Use them often and watch the magic happen. 🙂

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Family, My Cancer Journey, smiles, Smiles All Around

One Of The CUTEST Things I’ve Ever Seen!!! (っ◔◡◔)っ

Yesterday I watched this video of my Great Nephew Liam dancing to Jingle Bells and I swear it is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen! I can’t tell you how many times I have watched it already and I smile every time, but more importantly, my heart smiles and dances every time I see it!

I have found that on my journey with cancer, in particular, the sounds and smiles of little children touch my soul more deeply than anything…. my soul just drinks in the sounds and the sites witnessing their little souls shining brightly.

I hope that you too enJOY this as much as I do!

Here we go: Just click on the link and EnJOY! It is safe to click and make sure your volume is up!

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cancer, My Cancer Journey

I Refuse To Play Cancer Roulette

I refuse to play what I have coined ‘Cancer Roulette’.

What do I mean by this? I mean that I will not live my life in days of terror or angst always wondering things like should I have done this, or that, tried this, tried that, or things like what if I would have added in that protocol or tried this or went here or to that clinic and on and on it goes.

The Back Story

In March of this year 2021, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer. Stage IV because I had a cancerous mass in my colon and cancer had already spread to other parts of my body, thus Stage IV Incurable as they call it. I had surgery to remove the mass in April because it was blocking my colon and life-threatening.  The surgery went very well and I was glad to get it out.

I decided against chemo or radiation as therapies as I was told my cancer was incurable, the chemo would eventually stop working, and may only help me to extend my life a short amount of time, and that there was a long list of side effects, including serious infection.

My Choices

In fact, my choices were palliative/supportive care alone or supportive care plus palliative chemotherapy.  “The intent of palliative chemotherapy is to slow the progression of my cancer, help improve symptoms and quality of life overall, and prolong survival.

The chemo would be continued until disease progression or intolerable toxicity…. Oh Joy!

Side Effects As Per My Oncologist:

“I discussed with the patient the potential toxicities of the treatment including nausea, vomiting, fatigue, alopecia, myelosuppression, febrile neutropenia, oral mucositis, diarrhea, skin changes, rare chest pain, rare neurologic toxicity, bleeding, perforation, proteinuria, rash, and hypomagnesemia.” – more Oh Joy 😦

Me

After weighing in on both the intent of palliative chemo as above and the expected result of “improving symptoms and quality of life overall, and prolonged survival”, there was no question for me that I would prefer to attempt the same result using therapies and protocols that actually enhance and support my body rather than tearing it down. And I have done this. I have had a great quality of life since March until now and will continue to support my body and soul on this journey.

Where I Have Come To

Since March I have researched deep into the world of cancer and have met many amazing souls also traveling on this journey that no one would pick for themselves. Throughout it all, I have seen many as I call them ‘plot twists’, meaning what works for one may not work for another. There are millions of people all throwing what they can against this disease and trying to figure out what works, what doesn’t, this kind of cancer, that kind, etc. etc. It is a rabbit hole that never ends, let’s just put it that way. 🙂

As for me, I want to live my days in as much JOY as I can. I will no longer play this game of ‘what if’… what if I had done this or what if I had tried that. I do the best I can each and every day and the most important thing for ME is to be comfortable and to be at peace with everything that is happening. I have gotten comfortable with ‘What Is’. Are some days much harder than others? Absolutely, but I plug away one day at a time, enJOYing all the LOVE and support around me and I am honored that I too am LOVING and supporting myself on this journey. I am honoring my soul and my own inner guidance and this makes me feel empowered rather than disempowered.

So for now I expect the best, I love ‘what is’, and I go forth appreciating every day and every experience and I truly see the gift in life.  Cancer is teaching me many beautiful things. In fact, it just maybe my greatest teacher.

Everyone Is On Their Own Path

I want to also share that everyone is on their own path on the cancer journey and they must make choices that work for them. There is no one size fits all approach to this disease and it is just whatever is right for you or whatever is right for the loved one that you are supporting. My favorite supportive saying is “I want what you want for you”.

I also want to mention that I have amazing support on my chosen path. I have the BEST Palliative Care Doctor in the world, Dr. Kathy Simpson. I love that woman and she supports me beyond measure.

I also have support services coming into my home now and I am blown away by the support that is out there and available. I am very grateful. In fact, I am just waiting for my nurse to come now 🙂

So now I will go and enJOY my day and I hope that you do too!

And if you are also on a journey with cancer I wish you all the best and I hope that you too make choices that are the best for you.

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Free Spirit, Gifts In Life, My Cancer Journey, Yes to Life

Good Morning World!

Good Morning World!

When my daughter was little and she would wake up in the mornings, we would look out the window and with glee say “Good Morning World!”

When I look at the picture of this little girl, it reminds me that each day is fresh and new.

I am not a little girl anymore and I don’t know how much time I have left on earth, nor do most of us, but I do know that each morning I have the opportunity to view the day with childlike wonder one more time.

I hope that you too wake up each day in appreciation of the gift of a new day. I hope that you let yourself be awe inspired by the opportunities in each day that can give you JOY 😊

I love you all. I am now going to get excited for the day……

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Family

From My Brother “Me & My Baby Sister”

Ed and I. We believe on the steps of Cabin #3 at Kashabowie where we grew up.

My brother Eddie sent me this picture today and I have to say it is the cutest picture I’ve ever seen.  Ed and I are the closest in age. I can only think that there is no way my Dad took this picture cause I don’t that he would let Eddie stick out his tongue, which of course is the best part about this picture… ha ha ha

And of course, I’m pretty cute too. I don’t have many pictures of me when I was small so this meant the world to me! And I can totally see my daughter Sivanna in this younger version of myself.

I feel fortunate to have the love of 5 siblings and all of their offspring ….. It is truly precious, especially at this time in my life.

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faith, Surrendering

Surrendering

“Surrendering to ‘what is’ when there is nothing more to be done is absolutely Freeing!” Tracey Knowlton

My friend Tracey made this comment on a Facebook post of mine yesterday and I really liked it!

There is tremendous peace in surrendering. I like to see my own surrendering as fueled by faith. In just trusting ‘what is”.

I hope that you found this as helpful as I did when I read it. 🙂

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