Denial is a great thing?

 

This photoshoot took place ten days ago.

 

Here I am

 

Let’s start with body image.

You will see the different shots through this article.

I am going to share my thoughts with you today.

I’m talking about all the times I’ve stayed away from a social media post that deals with breast cancer. Are they all sharing the whole story or the entire truth?

When first diagnosed in 2016, I had not been personally involved in or sat beside anyone else dealing with this disease.

I believe that if you haven’t experienced it, you will remain naive.

I believe this works in our journey of life.

October cannot serve as a pink profit capitalization. The five-year survival rate after a stage four breast cancer diagnosis is 22 percent.

The color pink is not a cure.

Breast cancer is one of the most funded cancers in the world. However, more research must move forward, metastatic breast cancer, spreading to another part of the body.

We are losing too many loved ones from a breast cancer diagnosis in 2020.

Let’s not subject ourselves to pinkwashing and forgetting the reality that breast cancer presents.

and now

Another short rant from me

I believe we should always work on ourselves.

If you have experienced this as a late-stage or metastatic patient, I know you understand and have experienced this.

You learn to bite your tongue.

Suppose I am asked specifically about this.  I will share what I have learned.

But

If I had a dollar each time I hear from an earlier stage breast cancer patient or their family member mentions.

“I was in stage 1-2 ” It has been five years. My cancer illness is complete.

I pray these people are one hundred percent correct.

There is a percentage out there that cancer will return to their body at some time and place. The more years you stay cancer-free; yes, the better the rate and your chances that this doesn’t happen.

Those first five years are frightening.

You hit that five-year mark, and you haven’t had a recurrence, and that is a huge deal.

Positive and realistic is what I pray we all can be.

Please don’t ruin your life by obsessing about cancer.

We always need to be working on ourselves.

This is how I feel about being a stage four patient.

She said it so well.

Oliva Newton-John

“You know what? I don’t know what my time is, but I need to enjoy my life. So, I’m going to eat a cookie if I want it. And I’m going to have a cup of tea if I want it. And if I want to have a little bit of wine, I’m gonna do that. Because of the joy of life and everyday living has to be a part of that healing process as well.”

And Scene

September 2015 Less than a year before mbc diagnosis

How do you stay in the moment and stay present and not let it consume you and worry you?

Why me?

“Why me?” has never been a part of it

I have never felt victimized.

Shortly after my diagnosis in 2016, I was internally asking myself—this question.

“Why not.”

Maybe I needed to create a reason to make it ok for myself.

I’ve told so many of you through the years.

You choose to.

I keep the following this close to my heart.

Cancer isn’t necessarily a death sentence

Compassion and empathy for others is a healing force

Gratitude is the best medicine

feelitonthefirst 2018

The Prognosis

The percentage of people who pass away because of metastatic breast cancer is very high. If I were to focus and obsess on those numbers, I most likely would not have surpassed what the doctors told me in 2016.

Yes, it does cross my mind. Specifically, when I get reminded that I have tumors growing in my brain or repeat PET scans due.

So I sit there, and I feel it. I get scared and emotional. I’ve learned to work through these emotions and, most importantly, move forward.

I focus on finding peace in every moment.

I search for the positive and the intention behind my thoughts and actions.

As well as others.

I dream of the future.

I affirm what that future looks like.

May 2019 – a year before dexamethasone. I thought I was overweight and out of shape. Fat has always been my own body image. zzz

I do my best not to think about it all often. It is easiest to explain this by simply stating I don’t obsess.

I work on keeping my mind and heart at peace.

And the metastatic breast cancer path that I have chosen.

When I write my thoughts and experience with you, they are raw and fresh on my mind.

This is my perfect place to process and work on my mind and attitude.

Sending well wishes and health to us all.

 

NotoriousMBC – What’s in a name

 

So, am I ⁠

Question: Sherry or Shaw-ri? ⁠

 

Answer:   Shaw-ri

My entire life the double pronunciation shows up

 

Question:⁠.  Sheranian, what nationality is that?⁠

Steve’s family culture is originally from Armenia.

If you remember that fact. You can usually pronounce the surname name.

 

Put them both together:

People like the way it rolls off the tongue.       Shari Sheranian

⁠and where or why did I choose

“NotoriousMBC”⁠

Opening the door a bit⁠ –  Or I often say to Steve,  “inside my mind and/or madness”

 

I have thought through the years of changing the name.

People ask about it and just don’t understand it.

 

And I am so glad I have did not.

It means more to me now than ever before.

This is my why behind the name

 

I was pondering for a name, my website, blog, for my overall story.  

The NotoriousRBG came to my mind.

And that was it.  

NotoriousMBC

Notorious Metastatic Breast Cancer

www.notoriousmbc.com

Learn a little more about the NotoriousRBG

 Top 10 Amazing Amazing Facts about RBG

For this list, we’re looking at fascinating facts about this prominent political figure and a progressive icon who was one of the first women appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

At 5’1″ and barely 100 pounds, Ruth Bader Ginsburg earned her nickname The Notorious RBG by the sheer force of who she was as a judge: a feminist icon, a rebel, an unwavering voice and advocate for justice. And yes – after Notorious Big’s died, the public coined her nickname, and she was a cultural icon.

 

Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Badder Ginsburg made wearing her infamous dissent collars as a statement.

 

And she had a closet full.

Each collar meant something specific about the time she spent as a Supreme Court Justice.

 

I can understand Ruth finding something to wear over the black robes that would drown her petite frame.

 I’d love to know if she left these collars to anyone specific. I believe that many she received as gifts.

RBG has a specific sense of humor that everyone loved.

 

This now-famous collar came into Ruth’s possession when she attended the Glamours Woman of the year event in 2012.

She received this in a “swag bag” at the event. She explained that she chose to wear it as her dissent collar while serving on the Supreme Court from this point forward.

 

When asked why this is the dissent collar, she told Katie Couric that quite simply, “It looks fitting for dissent.” RBG is known to wear the collar when the Supreme Court announces a decision she is against, but she has worn it on other occasions, such as the day after Donald Trump’s election in 2016.

 

Many are saddened. We knew it was coming. 

 

The number of times she has battled cancer and been in active treatment. As a cancer patient, I cringe when people say to me in conversation that I am putting in a “good fight.” 

 

In my thoughts, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the name that comes to mind. 

 

She is a woman who I have inspired to emulate through life. She is an “Icon,” a “Force” as a woman, feminist, and a cancer patient. 

 

I feel a bit selfish, knowing how much of her life she has accomplished. I know there were many days that she fought on feeling like shit.

The will never be another like her. Thank you RBG

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

The game you play

Steve and I often refer to the treatment of stage 4 cancer as whack-a-mole.

It is constant and rarely takes much of a break.

My almost four years since diagnosis has been smooth sailing for most of the time.⁠

I am one of the lucky ones, and I have outlived my prognosis.
.
The MRI showed that the three spots have increased in size since the last scan, which was approximately a month ago.⁠

Yes

I am happy to report that steroids have helped with the headaches and given me a fantastic boost of energy and mental clarity.

No

Taking the steroids did not reduce the edema or the growth of the three lesions.⁠

We are in the same place that we were last month when we first met with the neurologist.

These three little buggers have been around since 2017.

First, we have already treated the three spots with radiation.

Stereotactic treatment quieted the lesions down for a year. But most likely also has caused some brain necrosis. Thirty percent of all patients treated with any radiation in their body ends up with disease in the area. And is referred to as necrosis.

So now what?

We have been crossing off possibilities.

And I am ok with that. This is what it looks like when you have metastatic breast cancer.

Doing the steroids and repeat scan was one way of waiting before surgical removal of any of the lesions.⁠

We will speak with the neurologist soon.

In the meantime, a new PET scan will take place to make sure that the rest of my body is still considered NEAD.

I can be thankful for Herceptin helping to keep my lungs, liver, and bones in this state.

As I write this update, we are all dealing with the desperate situation of the coronavirus.

I send my love to each of you.

Courageous Cancer Warriors –

What has made a difference in my metastatic breast cancer journey? How do I want to be remembered? Talking about the caregivers.

 

I had the privilege to be a guest on Coach Lori Marini’s Loving Gypsy Soul podcast. Through the month of October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness, Lori is interviewing cancer warriors on her podcast.  Enjoy, Shari

Conversations with Courageous Cancer Warriors Click here to listen to the podcast.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Finding Peace

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Ths topic and information of this post is from an article by Lindsey Sharratt found on the tinybuddah.com website.

How to Make Peace with the Past and Stop Being a Victim

Lindsey starts with the following.

Do you usually feel as if everything wrong that can happen will happen, and it will happen to you?

You must be the unluckiest person on the face of the planet. Opportunities never work out. Doors that should open close in your face. Friends let you down. Bosses don’t see your value. There seems to be a universal conspiracy to keep you stuck right where you are now.

You feel like your life is always going to be like this.

You feel like a failure as a person.

You worry that you’re never going to be happy.

You stress that you have no control to change any of it.

And it’s all so unfair, right? Why does this bad stuff always happen to you? How come other people get all the breaks, and you never do?

If this sounds familiar, you’re probably still affected by past events that left you feeling helpless, scared, or inadequate—and you’re going to keep re-experiencing these feelings until you do something to change them.

Hello, me again!

For years I believed I was a victim of circumstance for all kinds of reasons. The outcome of that belief showed up in my life as anger and bitterness.  I lived with this belief for most of my life, and I had no idea I change this belief.

Lyndsey continues;

My Experience with Self-Sabotage

Why do I get how this works? It’s no big mystery. I’ve been there myself. In fact, at one time, I was the queen of self-sabotage.

I went from being a straight-A student to dropping out of school a year before my finals. From being a loved and spoiled child to losing touch with my family. From being confident and self-assured to needy and codependent.

What happened? I stopped thinking of myself in a positive way in response to events outside of my control. I’d always taken pride in myself, and I felt someone had taken that pride away from me.

All of these dramatic changes came from something very small—a change in my home circumstances that stopped me feeling like part of the family. Because someone in my life constantly criticized me, I lost confidence in my ability. Because I lost my security, I became chronically insecure.

Instead of feeling that I was a person of worth, with good prospects, I started thinking of myself as rejected, unwanted, and somehow less-than.

As a teenager, I was in no way equipped to deal with that. So I rebelled. And from there, my life went very rapidly downhill.

I sabotaged my jobs; I couldn’t stick anything beyond a few months. I sabotaged my first degree by dropping out. And as for relationships, I attracted every narcissistic guy around, all with the agenda of keeping myself a victim.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Have you dealt with your inner demon or are you hiding it in the back of your closet, so no one knows you have broken pieces? Are you holding on to your past beliefs about yourself? Are you ready to deal with it? Are you prepared to be vulnerable and look inside to find the person you’ve wanted to be?

Maybe you’ve hit rock bottom and that isn’t a horrible place to be.  Because now you have a choice, do you choose to give up or do you choose to move forward? I hope you choose this time to start changing the way you’re thinking about things and do something to improve your life.

Your past is always going to be something that happened to you; that doesn’t mean it needs to define you, restrict you, and dictate your future life.

How would your life change if you were only taking what was positive from the past? If you could see yourself as someone who overcame it, who chose to reject the negative self-concepts that were forced on you, who was a survivor, and not a victim?

You can do this. You, and only you, have the power. And that’s why you’re not a victim. The only person who can control this is you.

If you are ready to change your old beliefs and negative thinking Lindsey goes on to share the things that she did to become the person she was always meant to be and we all can do it too.

I suggest you finish reading Lindsey’s article where she shares her thoughts on the following;

Why “Just Let Go” Is Not the Best Advice

If you don’t completely deal with the issue it will come back and bite you in the ass. Oh, and it will happen when you least expect it. 

Being Peaceful or Being Strong?

Is it possible?

Accept who you are– But Who Are You?

I had no idea who I was without my old beliefs. It took a long time for me to figure this out.

Be patient with yourself.

As We Forgive Those…

Staying angry with others only is hurting ourselves.

Count Your (Amended) Blessings

There is always a blessing to be learned even in a shitty circumstance.

These are the things that are going to empower you to go out and change your world.

Playing with the cards stacked against you is just plain unfair. It’s time for you to even the odds.

About Lindsey Sharratt

Lindsey Sharratt is a corporate project manager whose own success inspired her psychology degree and her desire to help others. Her mission is to prove that anyone can overcome destructive experiences and achieve their life goals. Connect on her website or get her book on Amazon and start making your own breakthroughs.