I Gotta Try 7-22-17

It’s been three years since being diagnosed with cancer. What a journey it’s been!!  Sometimes I still have to wonder how I’m still standing however, clearly it’s been through the grace of god. Between cancer and all the side effects that came from the treatment to fight this crazy disease, add Cowden Syndrome, Hashimotis, Thyroiditis, lymphodema, neuropathy, a drug induced lupus, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, not to mention a crazy ex boyfriend and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster. 

My last treatment was May 7, 2015. After my treatment my doctors prescribed a hormone blocker to keep the cancer at bay. Since then, I have gone through three different meds.  All have caused debilitating side effects. 

Recently I began to experience blurry vision. I thought I might have something in my eye so I went to see an optometrist. I was told I had a thick lining behind my cornea as well as many deposits. The doctor suspected Fuchs Dystrophy however Fuchs usually attacks both eyes. I only have one eye that’s being affected. He referred me to a specialist in Seattle. Imagine my dismay after he told me it was possible I would need a cornea transplant. I’ll admit I was overtaken by fear as well as tears that began to roll down my face. I asked “is it cancer?”  The doctor replied “I don’t know”

After my appointment I spoke to a friend on the phone. He said his friend was an optometrist in the Bay Area and would reach out and ask the doctor to call me. I spoke to the doctor that night. I told him all the meds I was on. One of them is tamoxifen. Tamoxifen is a hormone blocker to prevent my type of cancer. My cancer is HER2 positive/ Estrogen positive. Lucky me. The doctor shared one of the side effects from the drug is eye damage. I contacted my oncologist the following day and sure enough. That is one of the side effects. I told the nurse I was going to stop the meds immidiately. This is my third reaction to the wonder drugs I’ve been forced to take to fight this crappy disease. I’ve been on Anastrozole, Letrizole and now Tamoxifen. All have had such negative effects on my body, mind and spirit. I couldn’t believe it when the nurse said “there’s one more drug you can try”. I thought “Are you kidding me?!”  I couldn’t believe she would suggest such a thing. I wanted to jump through the phone and slap her!!

Six months ago I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t open my hands. I was in excruciating pain. I was diagnosed with a drug induced lupus, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. I was told that the Letrizole I was on was not only attacking cancer, it was attacking my immune system and body. At that time I wanted to stop all meds but was told doing so could be fatal. It’s my understanding I have an incurable cancer however it’s treatable which is why I’ve endured such an aggressive and continued treatment. I agreed to try tamoxifen. The result, the pain got better but now my vision is impaired. Omg!  This isn’t worth it!

A year ago I joined the John Maxwell Team. I joined because after all the challenges I’ve faced I really wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. I don’t wish what I’ve endured on anyone. The John Maxwell Teams mission is to add value to the lives of others. I knew in my heart that it was a perfect fit for me. My goal in life has always been to be a voice of hope and inspiration for others. I’ve been so sick that other than my blog and Facebook posts, I haven’t been able to accomplish my mission. As I pondered the thought of trying another drug to defeat cancer I had to ask myself “is this worth it?”  My answer “No!!”

I have decided to pursue holistic treatment. I have an appointment on August 9th at the Bastyr Institute in Seattle. One of the best in the nation. I have stopped my meds. The truth is, how can I or anyone accomplish any mission if we’re sick. I want to do great things. I want to live life to the fullest. I want to travel, I want to spend time on the beach but most of all I want to add value to the lives of others. I want to make a difference in this crazy world!

Our current White House has turned into a Cracker Jack Palace inhibited by enough peanuts for a baseball game. There’s a battle about health care. There are people in America fighting cancer and other diseases. There are women being abused, people trying to overcome addictions, depression, anxiety and even PTSD. I am no stranger to all of the above and then some. I want my story to be someone’s  hope. I want my story to help bring change!! After all, I’m still standing. What good is keeping cancer at bay when doing so has caused physical damage and now eye damage. I can’t make a difference.  

I’ve been a warrior all my life. I believe we all have a warrior spirit that lives inside of us. I also believe it’s important for all of us to do our best to do great things, help others and strive to make positive changes in this crazy world. That’s really what life is all about. It’s not about how much money we have, the car we drive or even the home we live in or the clothes we wear. It’s all about making a difference.  You’ve heard the question “What would Jesus do?”  I can tell you Jesus wouldn’t sit back and not lend a helping hand to those in need or to those who are suffering. He wouldn’t sit back and do nothing. 

I’m on my last leg. I know this. I have no idea if holistic treatment will work. I have no idea if my cancer will return but what I do know is I’m not going to just roll over and do nothing. I’m going to do my best to make a difference. I didn’t become a certified member of the John Maxwell Team so I could lay in bed and do nothing because I’m sick!! If I have one year, five years or even ten years left I want to live each and every day feeling strong enough to inspire others to do the same. Maybe if I don’t give up, they won’t either. Will I succeed? I have no idea but in the words of Michael McDonald…..I’ve Gotta Try! 

Stone Soup by Madisyn Taylor 7-19-17

Stone SoupBY MADISYN TAYLOR
Imagine a world in which we all shared our gifts and bounty with each other rather than focusing on self preservation.

There are many variations on the story of stone soup, but they all involve a traveler coming into a town beset by famine. The inhabitants try to discourage the traveler from staying, fearing he wants them to give him food. They tell him in no uncertain terms that there’s no food anywhere to be found. The traveler explains that he doesn’t need any food and that, in fact, he was planning to make a soup to share with all of them. The villagers watch suspiciously as he builds a fire and fills a cauldron with water. With great ceremony, he pulls a stone from a bag, dropping the stone into the pot of water. He sniffs the brew extravagantly and exclaims how delicious stone soup is. As the villagers begin to show interest, he mentions how good the soup would be with just a little cabbage in it. A villager brings out a cabbage to share. This episode repeats itself until the soup has cabbage, carrots, onions, and beets–indeed, a substantial soup that feeds everyone in the village. 

This story addresses the human tendency to hoard in times of deprivation. When resources are scarce, we pull back and put all of our energy into self-preservation. We isolate ourselves and shut out others. As the story of stone soup reveals, in doing so, we often deprive ourselves and everyone else of a feast. This metaphor plays out beyond the realm of food. We hoard ideas, love, and energy, thinking we will be richer if we keep to them to ourselves, when in truth we make the world, and ourselves, poorer whenever we greedily stockpile our reserves. The traveler was able to see that the villagers were holding back, and he had the genius to draw them out and inspire them to give, thus creating a spread that none of them could have created alone. 

Are you like one of the villagers, holding back? If you come forward and share your gifts, you will inspire others to do the same. The reward is a banquet that can nourish many.

Wavelength 7-19-17

I woke up to a crazy start this morning. I found myself tangled up underneath my covers however I felt rested. The garage door wouldn’t open. Luckily my son came over and opened it. Thank goodness. My car was in the garage and I have a doctors appointment today. Things were bright until “throw momma from the train” started yelling at me and barking demands of course. It was all I could do to refrain from taking her down!!! Lol. What’s a girl to do when things are overwhelming? I get my tennis shoes on, grab my headphones and cell phone and take a walk listening to Van Morrisons “Wavelength”. A great reminder that occasionally we need to get on a better wavelength. Mine is getting in touch with a power much greater than myself. I refer to that power as God. For me being outside experiencing nature and all its beauty while listening to music, praying, meditating is my way of getting back on the positive “Wavelength” train. Try it some time. It’s awesome.

Obstacles 7-19-17

Every obstacle is a challenge carefully chosen to teach you what you’re here on this earth to learn. You can view the challenge like a victim and get into a funk about it. Or you can trust that the obstacle is the perfect lesson you need in order to grow. 

I saw a quote this morning. I thought it was worth sharing. 
“No part of your experience is wasted. Everything you’ve experienced so far is part of what you were meant to learn.”

This is so true. The challenges we face are simply experiences that allow us to learn and grow.  The past few years have been tumultuous for me. One challenge after another. However, the blessings are the lessons I’ve learned as well as the person I’ve become. I’m no longer the person I once was. In fact, I’m more content and happy today than I was five years ago when my life was grand. I had money, success. I had everything. Life, I thought, was good. It wasn’t until I lost everything including my health that my view on life began to change. 

Life and experiences are what you make it. I’ll admit, it has taken me a long time to move beyond the victim mentality however, the minute I did I began to see things differently. I’ve changed. Today I’m more grateful and as I reflect on my challenges, I think to myself “thank god I made it”. I’m a much better person for it. The lessons I’ve learned, the knowledge I’ve gained makes everything all worth it. 

Are you facing obstacles or challenges today?  What will you choose? To be a victim or embrace the challenge as a learning experience? If you choose to embrace it, you will grow brighter as you learn to overcome and in the process, you will not only grow, you will become everything beautiful god intended you to be. 

The Vegas Golf Coach 7-18-17

I am sharing the following podcast on my blog today in the event any of my readers are able to connect with Gaylord Rhodes. Gaylord is a professional golf coach in Las Vegas. He is also a blogger and has a weekly podcast.  

    Gaylord is very connected in the Golf industry.  This weeks blog, Gaylord is reaching out to anyone who needs exposure. Whether it’s to promote a golf event or fundraiser, he’d like to assist in getting the word out. The podcast is short. It’s 23 minutes long. If you know anyone in the golf industry, please share. 

    http://www.golfcoachpodcast.com/2017/07/18/vegas-golf-coach/

    Who Do You See?

    Two Are Better Than One

    Good morning, friends!  Happy Monday! For all those who are preparing to go to work, may your day be filled with wonderful surprises. For those who have the day off, are retired, or are enjoying a nice summer break, do whatever brings you joy today.  Whether you’re going to work or not, we all have a job to do. I hope you take some time to discover what it is — your purpose for being here.

    We all have a purpose — even those we sometimes ignore at intersections or outside stores, hoping to meet your eyes to ask for a hand out or a hand up. We’ve all had those encounters where we try to block out their seemingly urgent pleas for help. If they’re young and strong, we wonder why they’re not working. If they appear fragile and defeated, we wonder how they got that way. I know…

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    Daily Assignment 7-17-17

    I have an assignment for you today. 

    For one day, I want you to practice saying only kind things about people, even inside your head. Notice how often you judge, criticize, scold, or raise your voice. 

    Don’t judge yourself or be unkind to yourself in the process.

    If you blow it, forgive yourself and try again.  

    At the end of the day, you’ll notice something about yourself. A happy and peaceful more wonderful self. 

    Are you in? I hope the answer is yes! Spread some love and light today to others.  Have an awesome day!!!