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Friday, November 13, 2009

A stepping stone? I haven't tripped yet.


Well, here I am currently abiding on a coastline...far away.. How did I get here..I think that destiny has brought me here, yet I am cold and it's dark and dreary most of the time. I have realized that I am resting. Sometimes it's a long way down before we can get the strength to get back up. I have developed my strength to say no to the toxic people that I have encountered in my life and I have learned since my last cancer that I enjoy my own company. I believe that this is the key to happiness. This "Little Norway" venue is quiet and has given me time to reflect on my life and accomplishments and most importantly how I can make a difference...
I have tried to connect with my family but I have had a light bulb moment and realized that it's not something I did, and people in general can be cruel, even family...no, I am not mad any longer or sad...I am ambivalent. I have travelled out here not to connect with anyone but myself. We can all develop with the help of the strength that is inherent. I am learning to walk again..and even run at times..life is good.

Thursday, October 8, 2009






Dear God, I pray for the cure of cancer. Amen/ In memory of anyone you know that has been struck down by cancer or is still living with it.
I have recently been reminded that I have inherited the breast cancer gene. I have encouraged my daughter to be tested, as well as my sister...I pray that they heed my advise. It is Breast cancer month and we should all be aware that modern medicine has give us the gift of a prick of a needle and a potential cancer can be stopped in it's tracks...there is a very high percentage of woman that have opted to have prophylactic mastectomies to avoid this insidious disease. I am on a campaign to bring this knowledge to as many women as possible..please, heed my advise and spend the time and yes, even the money if needed, to discover if your chances to fight for your life and be a "thriver" is in your future. I will be seeking out agencies that help people financially to obtain this testing. Stay tuned for more updates.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A time to go back in time...


I have not disappeared into outerspace everyone....I had some surgery and developed an infection from the IV, and unable to get out of a sling for quite awhile ...also there's the moving thing~
I went to visit my brother in Northern GA a few weeks ago and we had a great time..
I realized that we never really knew each other at all, in the past. It has been a long haul to get back to being brother and sister...he is the only real sibling I have...I learned that life is so much nicer when life is simpler..and slower.
Now I must decide where to move and it's killing me. I should be happy and jumping out of my skin. No responsibilities, except what I want to do. That's a first!..and it would be nice to be near my neice and nephew....but I have to be selfish for once anad think about many things that may compromise my medical condition...
If I do move to the South, I am once again, donating alot of my furniture to women in safe homes..I have been so busy getting this condo sold that I feel that I need to give back more..Remember that when there is rotten blood inside someone you can't change them. I finally figured that out..I have been working on getting toxic people out of my life and it hurts but it's also very cathartic..
So, for now, a new move..and a upcoming trip to ITALY!
Another wonderful surreal event. I met up with a childhood friend after over 35 years..we spent time drinking lemoncello made from moon shine! I had a wonderful time while I was visiting my neice, nephew, brother and my friend Sheryl..We laughed so much it made us cry.. We had not forgotten each other ! Can you imagine talking about Barbie dolls after all those years. It just goes to show you that it is possible to attain that bond that transpired so many years ago...



Namaste and do something nice today for someone..I recently heard of a record number of people paying for a cup of coffee for the person behind them..I have started going to thrift stores again and donating clothes..Believe me, there are name brands all over these shops..Call you nearest shelter and they wil come and pick them up..do it for them. Do it for you..peace.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

~On Being a Spiritual Warrior~


Lately I have been feeling down
feeling sorry for myself
but than I looked out the window
a rainbow had appeared
and that is when I realized that I was put on this earth to help others...get through the hard times, but also to dream, create,and live each day as if I had been given a gift..to live in the present..how much more can I ask for....
I am hoping that I can be a spiritual warrior for others..
right now, I am trying to travel that path alone..and alone is not where I need to be.
Crisis teaches us to travel to a better place; it is a beginning of a new time in our lives.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

~Finally~



I had my second surgery two weeks ago. I have been thinking how lucky I was this time with my choice of a new surgeon. It truly matters implicitly, who you choose. It is so important to have a team around you that really respects you. I was treated with dignity and the little questions that the surgeon didn't tell me, were answered by my fellow NewYorker plastic surgeon's nurse..it meant so much when I woke up from my surgery, and she was standing there sporting a smile and sense of concern. She was carrying a bag of pretty bras for me to adorn myself. I smiled and realized that sometimes we must drive through the storm to see the sun...
I have much more to let you in on...
I would like any questions regarding reconstruction, no matter how small you might think they are...believe me, they are not..to the placing of pillows when you sleep to how much you should and can do, and for how long..the smallest things can mean so much...ex. don't count on anyone coming to help you cook or clean if you are on your own..plan ahead and freeze all those great meals..healthy anti-cancer meals.\
I have alot of secrets to do that..it takes a few weeks of extra cooking and voila, if you are so exhausted and hurting you have meals..good healthy meals...
I will be talking about that a bit more later on..
take time to smile today..and never forget that there are the rotten lemons out there, but organic lemonade is soooo good for you...once you take all the toxic seeds out...sometimes rotten food is just that...rotten..and they can be grown in the most beautiful gardens, but they can still be toxic....My heart goes out to all the volunteers that are truly angels..it makes up for the "family" narcassistic rotten tomatoes..just remember that it's ok. It's NOT you.. You can pick the people that surround you with love, even if they are not your family...some people are just mean...period. Surround yourself with love...s~

Thursday, March 26, 2009

when we must make choices....

I have been becoming a bit despondent lately and it has been a roller coaster ride....I have trouble sleeping, and than at about 2-3 pm (used to be 4 pm) everyday, I am hit with overwhelming fatigue...I can't keep my eyes open and it puts a fear in me when I get behind the wheel, but I have no choice..I must press on..Today was a good day; though the fatigue hit me hard at 3pm, I was happy to see a smiling and magnanimous plastic surgeon, caring and hopeful; what a difference from my last experience..He is kind and empathetic..he was wonderful, and his assistant was from Scarsdale, NY! my home town! I tried to hold back the tears, when I realized that the only way to find out the truth was to have my magnet expander's FINALLY taken out..it is a relief, but still, very frightening to be alone and facing a major surgery. A possiblity than after a approximately month of convalescing and not being able to do anything physical I will a test to see if the cancer had indeed spread. Such mixed feelings..I had to opt for the smaller breasts because I can't wait two months for more saline injections to make me larger..he asked me if I was sure, and I said "absolutely", I have done the D's and you can keep them..as far as I am concerned..less to go down south!! it would be a relief..who cares what size they are as long as I am healthy and will beat this..so, it looks like the condo is coming off the market for a short time and hopefully if everything goes OK, I will be on the table again getting those damn magnets out of me, and those cute breasts..I believe..I believe that it isn't my time to go..I have survived worse times, when you put it all in one big basket..and it has made me who I am..I must go on.so, one more month to wait for the surgery. It will be another step to regain my strength and fight this insidious disease...yes, it is a disease and it sucks..but I will get through this..and all of the other survivors out there, please remember that we are all in this together..there is a cure out there. Love does conquer all... first, love yourself.

Monday, March 23, 2009

"We are all angels with just one wing. Only when we embrace each other can we fly."


Flight



"STEPH"




I sometimes sit in pity on myself, and ask "why me?" That is when I realize that we are not privy to what turn our lives will take. One moment we can be sitting in our safe home and the next it could be flooding all around us...We can easily be washed up in sorrow. There is one thing I do know. I will never give up hope..and will not believe for one moment that medical prognosis' or diagnoses are the end to end all...We can actually shrink our tumors, with love and prayer and believing that it is not so...I recently went for a second opinion from a new oncologist. She nonchalantly walked into the exam room and all I could see on her face were her eyes, from the mask she was wearing. Her glassy, red, ill eyes peered out at me. I was shocked that a doctor could be so incompetent to expose her cancer patients to a nasty cold (flu) bug (she informed me that she had a nasty cold)..she spoke her words between tissue blowing, and didn't seem too concerned that she could be exposing an already low immune system patient, to a room full of germs. She looked at my records on the computer and the last new CT and bone scans, asked me a few questions, and five minutes later sprung from her chair to grab another tissue. She turned and announced that she was afraid that my cancer had metastasized to my bones and I was in Stage IV metastatic breast cancer that had spread to my bones. I looked at her in shock and as tears ran down my face, I was suddenly hit with overwhelming anger and fear. She grabbed the tissue box and handed it to me without expressing much concern, and said she was sorry. Period. I was in a daze after that and all alone, so i didn't remember too much more after that..Her mouth was moving but her words were disappearing into the atmosphere. I was in shock and in a state of disbelief. I told her I was not convinced by such a quick judgement call. She explained that she wanted further testing and even more radiation inflicted on my body...I have endured almost ten contrast CT scans and bone scans in less than a year. I left her office feeling numb after they dug into my veins for 30 minutes for blood work... The nurse handed me a pamphlet about medi- ports and I told her I didn't need one. I would not believe that it could be what they were telling me.... chemo was never an option for me...ever...it killed my father and I would not have it..I drove in a daze and ended up in a dump site and was lost without my GPS.. I had left it in my Volvo at the body shop..The BMW didn't have one, and even than I don't think I would have heard him anyway...I had already heard enough "directions" for one day.. I immediately called my oncologist, and he said that he didn't feel that it could be possible, considering that my blood work and tumor markers was OK. He didn't see why it was necessary but was a bit annoyed that I had sought out another opinion .I explained to him that my breast surgeon and internist had suggested it...but I am now telling myself the same question. why did I? I cancelled the tests. Sometimes it's better to go with your gut. My gut told me that I indeed had breast cancer both times. This time it is not telling me that ....I know that I have a new area of concern that is called a "hot spot"on my rib, but I have decided to continue my "anti-cancer" diet and to rid myself of all toxic people from my life..unfortunately, that also means my family which have been very, let's say, non-supportive. I am now surrounding myself with Eastern Medicine practices, the spiritual conquest of healing and positive people.



I know how sad my father was that his children abandoned him when he was ill. I was there everyday. The only time my sister came to see my Dad was at the end of his life and with her boyfriend. My Dad had to pay for them to come to see him.. how sad. I never heard my sister or brother call in all the five years I cared for him and it hurt him very much. They never called me. I spent night after night with him, because he wanted me there ... and he thanked me with his sad eyes in the morning, when we shared a very contemplative and quiet cup of coffee (we are (were) both not early birds, and allot of noise and talking was disturbing to both of us)...there were no phone calls form anyone in the morning from the family, but I made sure I made him feel loved and protected. The doctors and nurses all asked me .."you must be the only child.?" Now they ask me if I have children and I shake me head and say "yes, and than quietly.." no"..." My Dad's doctors had never met my sister or brother..Funny how history is repeating itself. Dad never talked about them to the hospital staff or doctors, neither do I...it saddened him to talk about them...he felt abandoned. I feel that way at times but I am NOT forgotten. I have my inner strength and gift of forgiveness to get me through this again. Sometimes you just have to let go of the dream that there are people that are your own blood that care. Sometimes, the sad truth is....They don't. I know my Dad had me there for him. I wish sometimes that I did have my family to lean on. but sometimes we must do it on our own and pray that we can make each day count. Now , I have a new lease on life..on to better things. Life, art, and the family I have in Italy that I will soon be visiting...I have many more beaches to see and paintings to see and create...the gift of art has to be restored in me or I will not be strong enough to get through this new "fight" but I will not take flight, only if there is too much pain at the end. I have no family to make that decision, so i have to plan another way..to live, but i do believe in the right to die and only the ones that have never faced death in the eye can spew such nonsense about how it isn't right. You must walk in one's shoes to truly understand..I had my Mom come to me one day and tell me that she was afraid that my Dad wanted to kill himself. We hid the gun, period......I hope that my story of hope will provide the strength to delve into your own optimism ..it is there, just waiting to be restored...you CAN do it. there are so many more rainbows to catch and there is a pot of gold there for you and for me....and an angel not only on the other side of that rainbow but walking right beside me....sometimes we might not have that "human" embrace, but I can promise you that you are being embraced in your heart..We are not Forgotten..

steph

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Follow your dreams...




The smell of the salt in the air
as I pick up my array of shells...
beckons me...
The winds blow my hair back,
...and I smile
the sea calls me
whispering to me
..to follow my heart...
to feel the colors that surround me
to paint the many hues that make up my life..

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Is there more to life than flesh and bone?


Lately I have been fascinated with the commments that have been posted on Madame Aracti's site regarding religion and spirituality. It is clear that this is a very sensitive subject.
I have recently been informed that yet another suspiscious and possible health scare must be addressed.
I can sit at home and feel sorry for myself..there is always that possibility, but will that help me, or others?
To get to the point. I have learned that helping others will always make you feel a spritual high. That is how I describe it.
I will not leave this world without a legacy...is there more to life than flesh and bone..you are damn right! It's what's inside that has an impact. Not what is written in a book. I truly believe that if we don't practice what we preach, we will see a rise in the population of "Forgotten Ones"...
From my viewpoint and hopefully others, the only religion that truly matters is love. When you love your fellow man it can cure disease, and bring on excessive happiness, some people need to be reminded of that...something that we all, including me, seem to forget... when the worst times are upon us practice love and compassion...