Fear is to be understood

 

Β 

π˜•π˜°π˜΅π˜©π˜ͺ𝘯𝘨 π˜ͺ𝘯 𝘭π˜ͺ𝘧𝘦 π˜ͺ𝘴 𝘡𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘧𝘦𝘒𝘳𝘦π˜₯ —

This is a loaded statement.

The elephant in the room that people are not comfortable talking about is death.

I believe that anyone who is traveling on a late-stage cancer road, death is a conversation they are willing to have.

Or at least that is my experience.

Mind you, not everyone wants to hear what I have to say about it. And sometimes I walk away, biting my tongue because of the uneasiness that it has caused.

People who know me well will confirm that.Β 

I am always an open book.

If you don’t want to hear my opinion, you shouldn’t ask me.

My argument if I really need one,

is it is time to understand more,⁠ ⁠so that we may be fearless?⁠ ⁠ ⁠ 

When I say understand more, I’m not saying my thinking is right or wrong.

It is merely what I have found to be the truth for myself.

How do we understand our fear or at least accept our fear?

Inner peace

What brings me peace when I think of my fear “death” as my example won’t necessarily feel the same for you.

I have learned to develop an inner-peace through my experience.

Over time I’ve found what works for me. I refer to it as “my personal way” of mediation.

 

This is the beautiful thing about meditating —Β 

It is what you decide it is for you.

 

Sitting still in a room and trying to meditate has never worked for me.

 

A few years ago, I noticed that when I was disconnected or found myself in an unfamiliar physical space– my thoughts were less restricted.Β 

 

I was training my mind to way to drift into a different place.

 

When I have the opportunity to be in the silence of nature, my own meditation process becomes very natural.

Laying in an MRI machine is obviously the furthest thing from being in the great outdoors.

But I’ve learned to trick my brain.

 

Whatever it takes to “let go,” this is when my mind clears of the everyday thoughts.

 

I begin by moving my thoughts to gratitude.

 

I use memories that bring my loving, grateful, and peaceful moments.Β Β 

This helps my mind to go from one grateful thought to another.

 

Each time I’ve had the opportunity to travel, I collect memories specifically to recall for a needed time.

This works well for me.

When I need to, I can mentally and emotionally travel to different destinations by using my memories.

This is what calms me.

 

I use this method when I undergo cancer testing and scans.

The times when I need to release anxiety.

 

I have noticed that when I’ve completed my own meditative experience, I often have my best ideas come to mind.

 

an example

 

When I’ve needing to reach out to a family member or friend. Not knowing how to handle a situation.

 

It is very affirming to me that I have reset my mind and spirit and am ready for comes next.

 

Again, there is no right or wrong way to meditate.

You don’t need to call it meditation.

 

Do the discovery that is waiting for you.Β  It is there for you to reach out and touch it.

Your personal journey to experiencing inner peace.

⁠ ⁠ ⁠

When Estrogen goes from Friend to Foe

 

 

We all have our dates – dates that no matter how hard we try, we’ll never forget the sounds in the room, and the feeling in your stomach the moment you either experienced complete bliss or absolute trauma.

 

For me, it was April 22, 2016.

 

It was 8:30 in the morning when my right breast was firmly pressed for the mammogram.

By 9:00, the radiologist was telling me I am going to need an oncologist and surgeon, and the words you have cancer came out of his mouth.

That was that and off to work and the rest of my life.

 

Fours years ago, cancer disrupted my life.

It was just ten days later when I first heard the words metastatic breast cancer but I had no idea what that meant.

 

I made a decision just days later on how I would choose to understand what this diagnosis would mean for me.

 

I had already learned through life experiences that depending on how I chose to tell my story would determine the life I lived moving forward.

I can not look into the future, but I can look into myself.

 

I can ask myself questions. The same concern often pops into my mind.

Who am I, and who do I want to be.

 

People ask what keeps me moving forward.

I do believe that miracles happen every day.

I know that I can create miracles.

 

More important for me is to keep in mind that life’s journey may not always be straight or perfect.

 

My path is full of missteps, lessons, and at times suffering.

 

But honestly whose isn’t?

 

This life of mine is pretty incredible.

Difficult?

Sometimes.

Conflicting and confusing?

For sure!

A little heartbreaking at times?

 

Maybe, still, I think I’ll keep going, you know, to see what happens next.

 

Yes, when you find you have pulled the card and the hand of terminal illness, it changes you.

 

When you make a decision to change how you look at the world, you change the way the world looks at you.

 

Today is April 22, 2020, and I am marking it as my Four-year Cancerversary

 

My wish for you all this next year is filled with love and health.

Shari

Assisted Living & Salt & Vinegar Chips

⁠
⁠We snuck in a short visit with dad.

If you know my dad

First when he says jump,

you ask how high?

You don’t tell this man no.

My mother died last July. They had been married for 66 years.

My dad is 90 years old and yes his health went downhill especially after mom had passed.

Like most of us would be at 90 years old he is extremely stubborn. Well, he always has been.

He made a decision for himself to move into an assisted living home.

We are so grateful he made that decision.

Honestly, he doesn’t like his kids doing anything for him.

I think his choice to make the move was simply so that we weren’t all trying to take care of him. And we wouldn’t need to do everything for him.

He would rather pay someone else to do it.

He seems happier with this situation.

That being said he is obviously

So bored

The assisted living home has kept all of its residents free from the coronavirus to date.

They are serving all meals in their rooms.

They are practicing social distancing.

IF they leave to even go to a doctor’s appointment they are put in quarantine for 14 days.

Even at his age and in his health dad expects a lot from himself and his body.

When the weather allows he walks around the complex all day long.

We can drop off his favorite treats for him.

I talk to him almost every day and he will always say he doesn’t need anything.,

Then he will call and ask for diet coke and salt and vinegar chips.

So we make our run to get him what he has requested plus something extra that I know he likes.

I’ll call his cell when the goodies are in the building.

Then he always tells me I’ll be right there.

Don’t leave. Wait for a minute I’ll be right there.

Ten minutes later he appears from around the far corner of the property.

We were happy we had Fred with us.

He gave him some much-needed attention while we distanced ourselves from him.

I realized that Fred was more than likely the first breathing body that Dad had touched for how long?

A heartbeat and warm stinky breath

That thought is so sad for all the individuals who are isolated even with people so close by.

We stood outside with Dad in the sun and just enjoying the fresh air.

Knowing dad was happy to have a little company. And especially the love of a dog.

Then some lady appeared out of the blue. She told us we were breaking the rules and needed to leave.

So we did.

And we most likely will do it again.

 

A Four Letter Word

 

I’ve struggled with acne my entire life.

I am 56 years old, and I’m not talking about the occasional hormonal breakout, but the painful deep-rooted underground mounds that have formed over and over again.

I’ve spent thousands of dollars over the years looking for the answer.

In my opinion, organic, clean products are the best choice you can make.

I have found my go-to products that have helped. But my acne has been stubborn to clear up.

I almost hate to mention this, and I am knocking on wood that I am not jinxing myself.

Since having my explant surgery, I am noticing a difference in my complexion.

Since my surgery date on December 12. I have not experienced my day to day acne breakout.

Wow, after all these years.

I have heard that acne has been a complaint of many women who have had breast implants.

I am sharing three photos taken.

If you swipe (all the way) left, you will see a photo from the evening before my surgery. The discoloration from years of acne is noticeable. But also, look at the puffiness of my eyes.

The other two photos I took in the past week.

Like I mentioned, acne has been minimal since the surgery.

My complexion is getting a chance to recover and heal.

The puffiness of my eyes has diminished.

After having implants for 30 years, I don’t expect things to change overnight. And along with my side effects from cancer treatments, I have a lot to deal with.

But it is the little improvements and changes that make the difference in our day to day lives.

I am happy to answer any question you may have about my experience with my explant surgery.

If you are interested in any of the “clean” makeup and skincare products that I am using and really love, I am happy to share that information as well.

Embracing Change

I thought you would enjoy this article written by Lori Marini of LovingGypsySoul.com

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

~Charles Darwin

Change. The word alone makes most of us cringe. As humans, most of us do not like change unless we are at the helm of it.
Change is tricky. Change is scary. If things are outside of our control, we mostly will challenge any form of change: small changes like your partner switching the side of the bed you sleep on or significant changes like your being forced to take a 6:30 am virtual meeting when your day typically begins at 9:00 am. Both can cause a massive upset in your daily routine.

Believe it or not, you can embrace and welcome change. Many would say you must first get to the root cause of your resistance. You must first dig deep and look into the root cause of why your reaction the way it is to the change: Is something in the past that didn’t work out the way you intended? Is it ingrained in you based on an experience in your childhood? Is this something that you’ve never encountered before, and you don’t know how to be? Let’s discuss what happens when change is not something you anticipated.

The first step in approaching change that may have taken you by surprise is to understand this is not personal. Allowing this fact to sink to the core of your being is empowering and will free you to see the real reason why you are bothered. This nugget also serves as a reminder that some change has nothing to do with you. Get that change is just happening all around you and grazes your world.

Second, get that no matter what you say or do, sometimes you must surrender. Meaning if the decision as already made (i.e., your coworker received a promotion over you, your favorite corner coffee shop is closing, or your bestie decides they are moving across the country). These things are not happening because you are a terrible person or have bad karma. They are happening independently of your behavior, and sometimes there is no room for negotiation. You must accept these events are happening, and you may not be happy with the change.

Third, look for alternative ways on how you can create positive and productive change in your life. Believe it or not, most change IS within our control. Being successful with change is 100% tied to your acceptance of yourself (the good and bad) and the circumstances at hand. I like to think of it as our fight or flight response. With accepting change, you ultimately have two choices: 1. You can get on the roller coaster and enjoy the ride since you are already anticipating the loss of control. 2. You can cry the whole way down, kicking and screaming because the operator has wronged you. How dare he?!

*In every moment in life, you have the power of acceptance and change. Your in-the-moment decision, the reactionary one that comes from a place deep down where you stuff all of your anger, hurt, and mistrust from long ago, will always have you behaving in a way you may regret.
It is imperative when confronted with change, ask yourself why am I not being accepting? Is this my true self, or is this reaction from a decision I made long ago, and I stuffed it deep down inside?

Recognizing this differentiation in the present moment is crucial to responding to change with acceptance and love.
As a life coach, I also worked with clients in creating a new reality around the changes. I tell them to DREAM BIG. I believe that you can start your journey toward acceptance by creating a new future for yourself.

Acceptance of how you are, how others are, and the world’s current status allows us to focus on the core of the issue and create an alternative way of being that will ultimately result in positive change.

For example, sometimes, this change is minimal, like deciding not to have sugar in your coffee. Other times this change is life-changing, like cutting sugar out of your diet entirely because you are borderline diabetic. Both of these changes are challenging yet result in a positive outcome of fewer cavities and less need for insulin.

The more you allow your life to evolve, the more you will roll with the punches, the more you will find yourself dreaming.
Peace, Love, and Happiness. Coach Lori

Lori is a Certified Life and Wellness Coach, Holistic Living enthusiast, Reiki practitioner, and a Certified Pathologist Assistant working the past 20 years in an academic oncologic setting. Her mission is to support those warriors and their loved ones to create a new journey post-diagnosis and treatment.

To learn more about Coach Lori here is a link to her website.

 

A Gem of A Woman

 

It has taken me some time to accept the difficult things that I have learned regarding my biological family.

The circumstances and story I’ve learned are not at all what I was expecting when I decided to search for my birth mother.

It took several years for me to come to terms with my adoption. However, eventually, I did find peace in the knowledge that my biological mother had wished me dead from the time of my conception. You may think I’m being dramatic or exaggerating; however, I am not.

The only information that my sister Darlene was willing to share with me about our biological mother was that Pearl tried to use a coat hanger to abort me herself and end the pregnancy. The thought of this still makes me nauseous.

I tried to put this thought out of my mind by telling myself Darlene was trying to be hurtful and perhaps was jealous of the life I had led because of my fortunate adoption into a “normal” family if there is such a thing.

Darlene was fifteen years old when Pearl was pregnant with me. Oh, and I want to make sure to mention that that year was when Pearl abandoned her oldest daughter in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was 1963. That day was the last time Darlene ever saw her mother.

You might be wondering if I ever found Pearl and if we had a conversation.

The answer is yes. I had one phone conversation with my birth mom. Her words are etched into my soul like a knife to the gut.

The short conversation went something like this.

Hi, my name is Shari. I am trying to find out a few things about my medical history, and I am hoping to talk to you regarding my biological family.

Pearl said, Who is it you are trying to call?

I went on to tell her that I had been adopted by a family in Utah when I was two years old. I also mentioned that I was born at the LA County Hospital on October 17th, 1963.

Pearl told me that she had no idea who I wanted to talk to, but it wasn’t her.

I repeated myself by mentioning again my date of birth, that I had grown up in Utah since the age of two. I also said the names of her parents and even asked her about Darlene.

I will admit that I did throw her history in her face. I wanted her to be clear that she was the person I needed to find. And that she was the person who could answer my questions.

Pearl was forty years old when I was born. This conversation took place thirty-five years later. In my mind, I thought that she would have come to terms with the fact that she had given a child up. I also assumed that at seventy-five, she might be interested to know what my life had been like if nothing more than to have closure before her death.

But nothing could have been further from the truth.

Let’s get back to that conversation.

I told Pearl that I didn’t expect to have a relationship with her. I had a fantastic childhood, was married and had children of my own. I didn’t need anything from her besides information about my medical history.

There was silence on the other end of the phone,

and then Pearl said, “why would I want to talk to you; you are dead to me.”

That was it, and she hung up the phone.

Queue dramatic music.

I am not sharing this with you for you to feel sorry for me.

I share this with you because we each have something from our past. We have a choice to make; we can continue to have that chip on our shoulder to carry around with us for a lifetime. But if you are willing to deal with uncomfortable emotions, I recommend that you put your big girl pants on and dive right into the sludge. In the end, you will be better for it.

Now back to Pearl, the “Gem of a Woman” that carried me in her womb for nine months.

Later that day, I chose to write her a note. I apologized for catching her off guard and expecting a conversation with her. I included my address and phone number just in case she ever had a change of heart and wanted to get in touch.

I never heard from her, and she has since died.

Every year, International Peace Day rolls around on September 21st. For that reason, I chose peace to be the topic of September.

Picture your families, communities, colleagues, and schools. Think about the people who have something in their lives that they carry around from their past.

I’m sure you are aware of how often our issues and burdens affect us.

On that thought, remember how we all need to be accountable for what we carry into our relationships as well as how it not only affects us each day but everyone around us.

Do you have a chip on your shoulder because of something that happened to you?

I know that I had been carrying a large boulder.

Since my adopted mother passed away recently, I have been looking at photos from my past.

I was shocked as I carefully looked at pictures of myself from the age of 25-40 years old.

There was something about what I saw in my face that was different. It was a lost look. And was someone I didn’t recognize.

I thought about those photos for several days. And then it dawned on me.

I hadn’t realized how important it was for me to go through the ugliness and sadness of knowing the truth of “my beginning.”

I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted for so many years of my life. But through experiencing the hard journey, it led me to understand and believe in who I am today.

As difficult as it is to face our demons, once you do the work and get to the other side, similar to myself, you may not recognize yourself from the past.

And I am ok with that. Getting to the other side is exhilarating. Shari