Tag Archive | help from a breast cancer survivor

Find The Sunshine


Breast cancer Awareness month is ending and I want to end it on a positive note for those who have endured the disease, for the family members who have witnessed their loved ones’ trials and tribulations and for those who have passed away.

Breast cancer took away much from my life mentally, physically and emotionally.  But the experience gave me even more than I ever expected possible.  I’m not making light of the hellish experiences those of us with the disease have endured or the worry and caretaking that our families gave to us during those hard times.

For me, it showed me so much insight that I would not be the woman I am today if I hadn’t endured the disease.  Even though I wish I could have never endured what I did or the fall out that changed my life forever and changed my relationships eventually, I stand firm in not regretting the experience.

I cannot blame my breast cancer for my divorce, but I can say that it put undue strain on our marriage.  How could it not?  But I will forever be grateful to my ex-husband for the love and support he gave to me during those hard times.  Part of the reason I am here was because he believed in me and that was a precious gift for which I am ever grateful.

Breast cancer opened doors for me into learning.  It gave me the platform which has blossomed into The Presents of Presence for in the beginning I felt driven to help other women to find the grace in the experience.  My spirituality soared afterwards and continues to grow with each passing day.

There is always a new dawn and with that sunshine comes possibility, hope and renewal.  Putting the past behind us, we can face the new day with glory, gratitude and happiness.  I know that some days it feels impossible to be upbeat because with breast cancer there are surgeries, recovery, chemotherapy, radiation and a plethora of other painful reminders of the reality of enduring the disease.  But what keeps me going is the knowledge that every day is another chance to live life to the best of my ability, to shine my heartlight and to connect with all who cross my path.

Shine On!


Are You Angry?


Are You Angry?

Awhile back I read a blog post from another breast cancer survivor who ranted on her blog about cancer, treatment, the exorbitant price of life saving drugs, etc.  Her rhetorical question, ‘why did we get cancer’ was a good reminder to me of how I have felt many times.  That feeling of ‘why me?’ has surged up over the years time and again when my tumor markers spiked, when I had complications with implants and when my life turned upside down for long periods of time.

While I empathized with her situation and I understood, what I felt in recoil was her outright anger and resentment for her current situation.  As I read through the comments on her blog, I realized that many of us can have a tendency towards madness when it’s a life and death situation, especially our own.  The frailty of this life can submerge us into angst and many unbidden emotions can clobber our thinking.  I’ve witnessed it first hand.  I know that feeling.  I understand.

So I went back into my archives of posts, searching for ‘why me’ and found a few below.  As I reread what I had written, dating back to 2013, I was reminded that I have questioned, ‘why me?’ time and again under different circumstances, not just cancer-related.  I think it’s a universal feeling that plays in our minds when things go wrong.  For do you ever hear anyone who gets the most excellent news ask, ‘why me?’ over and over?  Indeed I have heard people wonder why they survived, why they got a promotion, why they were gifted in one way or another ~ but they seem to accept the gift and move on with their lives.  It’s in a bad situation that we continue to dig at the wound of ‘why me?’ until it bleeds in anguish.

Unless we clean out the wound and try a new way of thinking,

we are ever stuck with a painful reminder

which oozes hurt for as long as we don’t tend to the situation at hand. ~ Misifusa

I don’t claim to understand how you may feel under your circumstances.  I do know that I have felt grief, loss and miserable during some of my life experiences and I have endured many different complications in my life.  For what it’s worth, it has always helped me to connect with someone else who would simply be with my pain, walk with me and connect with me while I began to heal.  An encourager to find peace, health, sanity again is what I am most grateful for and what I offer to you.

I found a few posts from my past which I listed below.  Perhaps you can find a tidbit to help you along your way.  I wish you all the best and keep you in my healing hugs.

What’s In Your Toolbox?  Why Me?

Here’s One Answer to Why Me?

Why Me God?

Build a Windmill

Shine On!


How Do You See A Rose?


The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns;
the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose.
Kahlil Gibran

A grainy cell photo of a rose I once received, but still, a sweet rose which meant so much to me at the time.  I love roses.  I always have, ever since I was a little girl.  There’s something about fresh flowers which touches my heart every time.

I am an optimist and I see the beauty in a rose ~ I acknowledge the thorns, but they don’t take away the beauty and perfection of the rose herself.  I think people are like roses as well.  Some are thornier than others.  Some look perfect, yet have no fragrance.  Some are fragrant, but like the photo above, aren’t perfectly colored.  Me, I like the fragrant ones who aren’t perfectly colored ~ I guess I like a little imperfection in myself.  I think it adds a bit of charm and character.

Who wants to be one of the crowd instead of calmly loving our own uniqueness?

I think that’s the key to a peaceful life ~ accepting ourselves and others for our whole rose and not wishing that the other person were less thorny or more fragrant or more perfectly formed with uniform color.  To accept the rose for who she is and not to find her less attractive for her flaws.  Instead, to hold her gently in your heart with loving kindness, patience and understanding.

I want you to know that like the rose, I see your beauty, flaws and all.  I cherish your uniqueness.  I applaud your fragrance and your thorns.  I will hold your friendship in my heart and it will linger long after we have withered and I will wait for you to bloom again.

Shine On!


The Voice in Your Head


“If someone in your life talked to you the way you talk to yourself,

you would have left them long ago.” 

 – Carla Gordon

There is a voice that I hear, sometimes as a bellow and sometimes as a whisper.  I only became aware of it in the last few years, although if truth be told, I have heard it time and time again in my life.  I used to think it was a Jiminy Cricket voice, you know, your conscience?  But the voice to which I am referring, has nothing to do with my conscience.  That part if me is clear.  This voice is authoritative, it has strength and when I tried new things, it tried to block me from doing them ~ and if I did indeed succeed in trying, it would either criticize me for having failed or remain silent when I triumphed.

Have you ever stopped to listen to yourself ~ to the voice in your head ~ especially after you’ve done something that you weren’t sure about?  Do you even notice that voice ~ are you aware of it?  Or are you thinking me crazy ~ which I protest, I am most certainly not!

The voice is sneaky.  It seeps into the running monologue in my head.  At one point when I was much younger, I stopped eating for awhile.  The voice would urge me on to see how far I could go on a few saltines and a leaf of lettuce.  The voice and I would feel triumphant that we were not controlled by food, that we had such discipline to not be so weak as to feed me more than that.  I could survive so easily on so little nourishment and I triumphed.  I was able to fool everyone ~ working 2 jobs and convincing everyone that I was eating at the other job.  Even more impressive to me was that I was getting thinner and by social standards, thinner is better, right?

Thinking back, it happened for a week or two when I was 12 years old as well.  For some unknown reason at the time, I completely stopped eating.  I shut down.  I only wanted to drink water and I was ravenously thirsty.   I was given a battery of tests, only to find out that there was nothing wrong with me.  After awhile, the episode passed and I ate again.  But until I was much older, I never put 2 & 2 together to realize why it was that I put my life on hold.  What I do recall was the complete feeling of apathy towards eating and how I wasn’t able to talk with anyone about it.

That voice still tries to be heard in my life, but for the most part, I have kicked it to the curb.  I found that it wasn’t a friend.  It didn’t talk nicely to me unless it was somehow getting me to discipline myself even more than I already did.  When I think about it, if it had been a real live friend who had said those things to me, I would have said goodbye to that friendship long ago.

So why did I permit the voice to continue?  Why did I allow myself to believe that no matter what I did, I wasn’t enough?  The self-criticism in me was even worse than the outside world’s perceived condemnation.  At times, I bowed to it and strove for perfection and at others, I simply accepted the devastating knowledge that I wasn’t good enough and I bowed in sorrow.  I can’t answer why to the questions above.  I can only channel hope, inspiration and love into my heart these days in order to swing the pendulum of the voice and to drown out its power.  It isn’t easy.  It requires my beloved baby steps, but the best part is that it is possible.

So the next time you hear that voice which says, ‘not enough’ I want you to drown it out with the song below ~ from me to you ~ We Are Family!

“Have faith in you and the things you do, you won’t go wrong.  This is our family jewel!”

I’m your biggest fan!

Shine On!




World Cancer Day

80532104_I post this today with sadness for I wish there weren’t a world cancer day.  What an awful sentiment as it means that cancer affects our world and all its inhabitants.  Most of us know someone who has endured cancer either directly or indirectly.  Being a cancer survivor myself, I can tell you how much it affects every single aspect of our lives and continues to affect our lives for as long as we live.

It matters not which cancer you are enduring for cancer is cancer.

But what you do with it matters.

How to help others who are enduring cancer:

1.  Offer to cook/clean/babysit/drive to appointments/pick up prescriptions/grocery shop/do laundry

2.  Go for a walk with the patient, take him/her for a drive to get out of the house

3.  Schedule a time when you can stop by with fresh flowers/plant, a favorite confection, a new book/movie to enjoy

4.  Send cards in the mail, a magazine subscription or just a little surprise something

5.  Deliver a care package to the patient AND to the caregiver/family

6.  Remind them all that you are here to help.

Shine On!


Happy, Happy, Light, Joy!

79835721_“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  ~ Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love:  Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

Fear encompasses us when we allow the darkness to permeate our inner light.  So often it occurs when we feel a setback to our New Year’s Resolutions or when we feel we are floundering in the sea of uncertainty.  We wonder why we are writing our blogs, what could people find that we have to offer.  We feel unworthy to write, to speak, to persevere.  But that is just the fear talking.  My fears are mighty, I admit.  But my light, when I combine with others, is strong, solid and all-encompassing when I allow it to radiate like the sun.

So I am asking for you to bond with me this year.  To add your flame to our fire of light and to SOAR with me among the skies.  Drop fear from your vocabulary.  Give it not one ounce of thought as we go forward in 2014.  We can hold hands, band together like souls who soar.  Our momentum grows as do our numbers.

Do you feel it?  Can you picture all of our lights together, growing bolder as the days go by, hear our singing of happy freedom as we pursue what formerly held us back and rise like the angels taught us?  Can you picture it?  I can.  There’s a soft spot in my heart which holds the light of joy inside of me.  It’s small, but steady.  The light shines though the darkness I have known and yet still, she happily shines.

I am a small flame of hope, of health, of love.  I dare not ever put her out and allow the darkness to encompass me.  So I stand peacefully, allowing her to gain strength and to encourage others to do the same.  Will you join me in 2014?  Will you allow your flickering light to join mine to happily light the way?  We will fear not – for the light is within us and we are able to pursue whatever our hearts desire for it is there for us all.  Do you see it?  Can you feel it?  Happy, Happy, Light, Joy!

Trust me.  A tapestry for each of us is woven bit by bit as you desire to create it ~ full of rich colors, experiences and textures ~ all joyfully shining through the darkness and lighting up the night.

Take my hand and let’s…

Shine On!


Daily Prompt: Happy Happy Joy Joy

What does “happiness” look like to you?