Childhood Cancer Votes Needed Please


Ocean of Love for Children with Cancer

A good friend of mine sent the following email this morning and because it’s such a worthy mouse click, I just felt that I needed to share as well.  Please vote ~ it only takes a moment and such good will come from it!  Thank you in advance. xo

Hi –  This is one of those “I don’t usually send these out” emails, but… –  I’d like to let you know of a friend of mine who has been nominated for the annual Mom on a Mission award. Linda Gillick is the founder and head of Ocean of Love, an organization that assists children with cancer and their families.  Many of you in our area know of Linda and the organization. While being a tenacious battler for the families of these children who are stricken with this horrible disease, she is also a loving and caring Mom who has been helping her own son, Michael, in his fight with cancer.  I have been happy to give my support to Ocean of Love for many years, as I feel there is no greater cause than caring for our children.  If you have a few seconds, open the link.  If you find Linda worthy, vote with a click of the mouse.  Your support would be greatly appreciated.  

Shine On!


Why Me God?

76342527_God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons we could not learn in any other way. ~ C.S. Lewis

Many of us who have endured tragedy, illness and trauma have asked the question, “Why me God?” and I am no exception.  I asked because I thought I didn’t deserve the breast cancer that riddled my body.  I raged because I believed the punishment of cancer was unfair.  I pitied myself.  I cried.  I was depressed.  I stomped around my house when no one was looking.  I was bald, in pain from surgeries and swollen by the amount of steroids and chemotherapy that were killing the cancer cells along with healthy cells.  I threw myself into a heap on the bed yowling in pain physically, emotionally and mentally.   I didn’t do this often, but when I did, it was like a child’s temper tantrum towards his parent (God).  My ultimate was when I gathered myself into a small ball and snuggled into the strong, protective arms of my husband like a child, sobbing into his tear-stained chest wishing he could just carry me for awhile and I could just melt inside of his chest.

But because I was a Mom of 2 little ones ages 1 and 3 years, I couldn’t do that often.  For the most part, I smiled, I faked how I felt.  I tried to make their lives as normal as possible while my tired body wept at night or in the shower.  Luckily for me, they were young so they didn’t really understand the magnitude of what I was enduring and what they were witnessing.  Now when they look back at the family photos when I was not wearing my wig, they don’t remember clearly when I was bald.  They are surprised a bit by what they see.  But as young children, bald or wigged, I was still Mom.

Still me.  That’s one of the important lessons I learned from enduring breast cancer.  No matter what has happened in my life, I am still me.  I”m still in there somewhere amidst the layers of pain.  My core of being that gal who sees life through rose-colored glasses, who sees the glass 1/2 full, who loves hugs, flowers and my beautiful life still shines brightly.

Sure, I’ve lost touch with that gal from time to time, but something always brings me back to her because that’s who I am.  Sure, I can say I’ve endured breast cancer.  I’ve endured many things in my life.  But at the heart of who I am, breast cancer just made my life richer.  It added layers of life changing events which made me dig deeply inside to find inner strength that without those low points in my life, I’d never have known I had ~ without being tested, I would have never had the opportunity to find my light, my inspiration, my blessings, my Presents of Presence.

So the next time you ask “Why me God?’ in a fervent voice, know that somewhere down the line in this journey of life, you will realize your answer ~ it’s because you can.

Shine On!


My heartfelt thanks to one of my favorite bloggers from whom I took the quote above and made it my own.  Thank you Chalkboard Quotes ~ you inspired my post today!


Do you Cha Cha?

76342530_Optimist:  Someone who figures taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s more like a cha-cha! – Unknown

I recently found this quote and I just love it!  It’s one of those ‘keepers’ that allows you to change the way you look at your life’s journey.  For me, I know mine is full of cha-cha steps!  Woo Hoo ~ I just love to dance!  So next time you feel like life is not all baby steps forward, just allow your Inner Hotshot a little cha cha and keep going!   Dancing’s always a great spirit lifter!

Cheers to the Cha Cha!

Shine On!


The Key to Life

76342856_What’s the Key to Life? 

Look Up!

In all fairness, it is October 1st, the start of Breast Cancer Awareness month and I am blessed to still be here after almost 12 years of dealing with this disease.  So, please allow me a few words of wisdom from where I sit.  Because you see, it’s not been an easy road for me nor for any of my family.  There have been many crossroads that now when I reflect on my life, many different scenarios could have occurred.  There’s been a large learning curve for me, one that if I could perhaps shorten for someone else, I’d gladly do it.  Because, life ain’t easy my friends…but with baby steps, it’s do-able.

I’m a huge sky watcher.  I adore sunrises, sunsets, and pretty clouds like the ones above in my picture.  I love to be out on the water where the sky meets the sea.  Or at the beach where the ocean, the sand and the sun all meet.  In times of trouble, you can find me there as the sea, the sky, and the sand between my toes, bring me a calm like no other.

I look up for different reasons though.  It’s just not all about God for me when I look up. It’s about space, time, and imagination.  It’s about the vastness of the world and how little I am.  It stretches me out of my comfort zone and many times out of my own head.  Looking up fills me with wonder and with enthusiasm for this great big Universe in which we live.  It breaks me free from my own inner torment and pain, a soothing balm to my broken body and heart.  It is a reminder that we are all connected.  That we are all one.

Looking up gives me strength, encouragement and lightens my heart.  It fills me up with enthusiasm.  There’s nothing like looking up to see the sun coming over the trees, knowing a new dawn, a new day is beginning!  Optimism reigns on a new day that can bring anything wonderful!  For I am here!  I am alive.  I am free.

As the sun sets in its beautiful array of crimson, I am grateful for having enjoyed the chance to be here and to experience this day ~ whatever it has brought to me.

I am not so Pollyanna as to be all roses and skippy happy all the time.  I recall days when I did not feel as grateful for what I was presently enduring.  There were days that I wished otherwise.  I know.  I remember.  I do not forget them.  Those are the days that have made me stronger.  They have made me actually feel my faith in myself and others.  They are the days and nights when I looked up to the skies to search for answers which were all inside of me.

It’s October 1st, the start of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Do me a favor, look up to the sky and smile today.  Just smile for we are here.

Shine On!


P.S.  Don’t forget to say Rabbit Rabbit!

Spirits and Music

My friend JAngel and I went through chemotherapy together.  We just happened to be on the same schedule and so we spent hours together, cuddled amidst blankets in lazy boy chairs, alternatively sleeping and chatting easily while the red poison of ACT (our special brand of chemotherapy)  dripped into our veins for hours, killing all of the breast cancer cells which had invaded our healthy bodies.  Because we also had daily shots in our bellies, many times we met as we ran into the oncology office to get our daily shots, only to wave and say see you tomorrow.

I was 34 years old…JAngel was 25 and we were the youngest there so we bonded.  That was 10 years ago…and JAngel lost her battle in November ~ almost 2 years ago.  She was spunky, fun and a glass 1/2 full type of gal.  She didn’t let her breast cancer diagnosis (which was her second ~ having survived Hodgkin’s Lymphoma as a child) get her down.

We went to a support group together, met other women and tried to bring levity to our situations.  We laughed, we cried and we helped each other.  JAngel’s BC metastasized to her brain and it got harder for her to come to our group.  But when she came, she brightened our room.  We lost 2 of our friends and it got even harder for me to go to our group…and when JAngel passed, I stopped going altogether.

At the last minute a year ago, I went to see a medium and JAngel came through.  I knew it was her when the medium told me that she was a real Jersey girl…she said she wouldn’t back down and that specifically she was to tell me that I walked for 2 now.  She told me more so much that I just knew it was JAngel even though she wasn’t the reason I had gone to see the medium.

Sunday night while driving in the car,  JAngel’s song came on…and the beauty of her spirit filled the car as I heard her song…funny how certain songs can bring loved ones spirits right to your heart.  So I sang along with Tom Petty in her honor…

I thought you might like to belt one out for Jenn as well…so here goes…

This one’s for my Jersey Girl up in Heaven…xo

Well I know what’s right, I got just one life
in a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
but I’ll stand my ground
…and I won’t back down.


Love You? Love Me?

“The most important thing in life is to

learn how to give out love,

and to let it come in.” Morrie Schwartz

I think that for me, giving out love is easier for me than receiving it.  Is that the same for you?   My gravatar and my chosen career is SendOut Love…I send out love through my blog, through my cards and through my connections to others.  To me, it comes easily and I love the enjoyment that comes with giving from the heart as it brings happiness to others as it in turn, brings me a wealth of happiness.

Multiple times a day I say, “I love you” to my family, friends, loved ones, 2 sweet kitties etc…and I mean it from my heart.  I am a very affectionate person by nature ~ spontaneously hugging and kissing my family daily.  I love that human connection and have more than once, reached out to a stranger that I felt needed a smile and a hello which have sparked many conversations much to the chagrin of my family who want to get going and not start talking in the grocery store to others.  But I get that ‘feeling’ and I just go with it.

Self-love on the other hand, in the scheme of things, is usually on the lower end of my ‘to do’ list.  Yes,  I love me, but somehow I feel it’s selfish and ego-istic to say that I love myself…at least that’s what I used to think.  Nowadays, I am finding that the more I love me, the more I love others.  As I’m beginning to take better care of me, I am finding that it’s changing the dynamic I have with others ~ for the better!

I’ve shared how routines can truly get us in a rut and it’s hard to break free when we’ve been so out of tune with ourselves.  I’m the first to admit I’m guilty of this, especially this year as I’ve been bombarded with crisis after crisis.  I felt like I was a chicken running around without a head, but no more.

I’ve told you about You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay.  Louise is a big believer in self-love and has many exercises in which you can bolster the love you have for yourself so that you can love others.  In fact, I highly recommend Louise’s book as it changed my life!

I remember when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago and BAngel gave me Louise’s book.  Dutifully I opened it and began to read.  Immediately I scoffed at the idea that my cancer was a dis-ease in my body and that with self-love, affirmations and a shift in thinking, I could help myself to heal.  At that time, my mind immediately turned off ~ what sort of hocus pocus was this book ~ I had CANCER!  Not a head cold or something that didn’t matter.  I was fighting for my life!  What was BAngel thinking?  And she was someone whom I’d known for years and respected…had she gone off of her rocker with this type of thinking?

So I went on with my life, lumpectomy, double mastectomy, chemo…until one day while laying in my bed after chemo, with my darling cat purring next to me on the bed, I picked up the book again…it had been a few months since I had tossed it by the wayside.  I started to read it in the quiet of the afternoon and it was as if a light began to grow inside of me.  The theories Louise explained so simply in her book grew inside of me like a small seed of hope.  Her ideas made complete sense to me and I felt like I spent the rest of the afternoon nodding my head in agreement with her.

I won’t take away the joy you will find in reading her book, but I will leave you with a link to get it!  You’ll know when the time is right to read it ~ when you’re ready, I”ll be here ~ we can have fun together knowing that YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE!


A Free Way to Support Breast Cancer!

What Will YOU Do to End Breast Cancer?.

Please click on the link above to check it out!

I’m reblogging this because it doesn’t cost you anything except your time…

Thanks for your time!


Bras, Friendship and October…

Bras, friendship & October all come together as the month of  “All Things PINK” continues.  It’s in the camaraderie of breast cancer (BC) survivors that we immediately understand what the other person is enduring once we identify ourselves as having or having had BC.  It’s like with any other club or illness I think…it’s just that the month of October puts it out in front of everyone’s face for an entire month, wrapping it up tightly in pink ribbons for all to see.

I am a survivor which you know already because quite frankly, I am proud that I continue to endure after having been diagnosed 10 years ago.  BC gave me a tough run for my femininity as well as for my health.  It’s beaten me down, only to have me rise up from the ashes of my life and to great each day with the happiness that I am here to experience life ~ to Enjoy the Presents of Presence ~ to Send Out Love with my cards and to hopefully inspire others with my blog and to help women who are enduring the same.  Because we’re all here together, all connected and in helping others, I am even helping myself.

Truthfully, I’ve endured a lot in my life ~ with BC, I’ve endured multiple surgeries in 10 years ~ actually this Tuesday I’ll be enduring #8 for breast cancer which is also #13 total in my lifetime.  I think enough is enough quite frankly, but I know there looms one more after this which will be the last for BC.  I will have come full circle finally once I am finished with them all.  I will have had my breasts removed completely with a double mastectomy, been replaced with hard implants twice, been explanted (removed implants) and now, I am finally putting my breasts back completely using my own flesh ~ all within the span of 10 years which is quite a feat I think.  To me, it is a full circle in a decade ~ one that I had never even dreamed of 10 years ago when I was diagnosed.  The reality of the situation makes me stop at times to cry tears of gratitude…I want to thank my surgeons who made it all possible and who are giving me the opportunity to regain what was taken so many years ago.  I am thankful that medicine has come so very far in 10 years!

So, although I never wanted to be a part of the Pink Ribbon Club, I am happy today that I can give back and teach what I’ve learned to those who are sad, angry and enduring all of what BC brings to our lives.  I have been blessed to continue to be able to fight, live and learn as well as help others.  My life is richer now because of the suffering I have endured.  Without having first-hand experienced BC, I would never be able to appreciate every day the way I do now.

I am grateful for where I am now 10 years later…and now I”m excited for my next decade!

I’ve made it so far…and I’m going to keep looking up and taking baby steps

and enjoying The Presents of Presence

with YOU!


Welcome to October!

Ribbons Ribbons Everywhere…

As a breast cancer survivor myself, I am grateful for the unity which encompasses the month of October, but…I dislike the fact that although we continue to buy yogurt for the cure, run for it, walk for it, buy paper towels for it, donate outright to it, etc…the fact is…Breast Cancer is still here.

I won’t bemoan the fact that I was diagnosed with BC nor that I have endured the ravages of the disease for the past 10 years of my life.  It’s changed my body, my mind, my heart (medically), and my life.  It’s made me weaker and stronger and it’s changed the way I view my world.

It’s given me a gift amidst all that it’s taken from me.  Throughout this journey of endurance I’ve earned courage, inspiration, and strengthened my will to survive.  I’ve been given me an extraordinary view of life for which I am grateful as I would be whom I am now.

So my celebration this month is in gratefulness…in enduring…in enjoying

THE PRESENTS OF PRESENCE every single day!

Come with me, my friends…start with our first of the month saying.

Repeat after me…

Rabbit, Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit


Gratitude Day 16 ~ The Pursuit of Happiness!

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Today’s gratefulness goes to the many men, women and canines who have heroically helped to keep our flag proudly raised high in honor of our beautiful country the United States of America.

Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916.  While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

Our flag, is also referred to as “Old Glory,” represents all people of America. We, the people, are America.  We are a part of this great land and as the flag passes by, many are moved to saluting our flag.  We are “one nation under God.”

Old Glory symbolizes the love and pride that we have as a nation and is a poignant reminder of America’s greatness.  We are fortunate to live in a country which values freedom above all else. Our flag signifies the commitment made by our fallen brethren who battled bravely to defend the honor of our American unity, our power, and our purpose as a nation.  It signifies the dedication of our leaders to continue to strive to uphold its promise of liberty, justice and freedom for all.

Seeing our American Flag brings such strong emotion to many ~  either at a ceremony honoring a great event or draped over the coffin of a military veteran as a sign of mourning for a hero and a loved one.

So in honor of our flag on Flag Day 2012,

I give thanks for all who have helped to keep her waving proudly everyday.