Beating Cancer Everyday 8-19-18

Last summer after discovering I had deposits behind my eye that might require a Cornea transplant, A side effect from one of the preventative Cancer drugs I was taking, I had finally had enough! I stopped taking the drugs despite being told my decision could be fatal. In 2014, I was diagnosed with cancer. I endured an aggressive treatment that changed my entire well being forever. I have dense bones, nodules on my lungs, lymphedema, neuropathy, radiation nerve damage among other things. Recently I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I suffer from depression, anxiety and PTSD. Hmm that’s no surprise!

I stopped taking my AROMATASE INHIBITORS and opted to pursue a more holistic lifestyle. Since then I’ve managed to gain 8 pounds. I went from a size 00 to now a size 0. Woo hoo. In June, My mammogram came back clear. My colonoscopy revealed four cancerous polyps however, they were removed. Again, Cancer free. I still battle many side effects left behind as well as battling numerous cysts caused by cowden syndrome however, with the exception of a fractured rib and of course this crazy fibromyalgia, I’m feeling much better. Am I 100%? Of course not. I have my challenges every day but all in all life is good. I’m alive!!! I give that glory to God!!!

You’re probably wondering what I am doing? Well I started a colostrum product from Anovite a year ago that has helped build up my immune system. Anovite also has a product called Lumiz 6 that really helps with all the inflammation in my body. A couple of months ago I began taking CBD. I have to say the best I’ve found so far is a product I picked up in Las Vegas. It has peppermint in it so it not only helps with the pain but it helps with all the pain I have in my stomach. I also take turmeric every day and I drink protein shakes. Recently I ordered a product called Protovite. It’s supposed to help with my nutrition. I’ll keep you posted on my progress with that product. I am very limited on what I can eat as well as what I can put on my body so today I ordered some amazing face products from Arbonne. My daughter is a distributor. If you’re interested contact her. She is awesome and can direct you in finding what works for you. I’ve used the product in the past and I can tell you it’s amazing. I am trying their shakes, greens and vitamins also. I’ll keep you posted on my experience.

Everything I’m taking or using is gluten free, vegan, soy free and or animal free. I eat organic as often as I can. I am also utilizing a Bemer. The Bemer stimulates the circulation in my body. It’s endorsed by NASA as well as the olympics. I am so blessed to have one.

I’m sharing my story because I believe my purpose in life is to help others who might be struggling. It sucks to be sick. It sucks more when doctors continue to treat each symptom with a pill that seems to create more havoc. I should know. I’m Living proof.

If you want to know more about any of the products I’m taking feel free to message me. I am a distributor for some of the products, I also own a Bemer and for the products I can’t help you with, I would be happy to refer you to the people who have helped and blessed me with their expertise. If you’re struggling in areas of your life, I’m a certified coach and would be happy to share what I’ve learned from my own life coach.

I’m posting a picture of some of the products I’m taking. Everyone of them works and everyone is affordable.

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Walking In Rhythm 8-10-17

My song today is….. “Walking In Rythm” by The Blackbyrds. I haven’t shared much however,  a month ago I began experiencing problems with my eye. I saw an optometrist and he found a mass behind my eye. I have been referred to a specialist. Not sure what it is but my vision has been impacted by this. The good news is it’s not a blood clot. Whew! Keep me in prayer. Upon some research and consultation with physicians I became aware that a side effect from the cancer drug I’ve been taking is eye damage among other things. Despite the recommendations from my oncologist I made the decision to stop all cancer meds a month ago. 
Yesterday I met with doctors at the Bastyr Institute to discuss holistic naturopathic treatment. I began taking some meds yesterday. This morning I woke up not only feeling rested but for the first time in three years the pain in my hands, feet and even Breast (I have severe radiation damage) is nearly gone. This miracle in 24 hours of taking these drugs which by the way are all natural. In truth, I feel really good! I’m not sure what the outcome will be with regards to this new treatment and I’m not sure what the outcome will be with regards to my eye but just for today “I’m walking in rythym, moving with sound. Thinking ’bout my babies (Oliver and Audrey my beautiful grandchildren) trying to get home”. Home meaning….feeling good again. Feeling like my old self again. Just livin’ life again. Hence, I’m Walking In Rythym

Can We Still Be Friends 4-11-2017

On April 10, 2014 I received news that changed my life forever. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Three years later to the day, I found myself at the Seattle Cancer Center yesterday. I was due for my six month mammogram, blood test and a visit with my oncologist. I was extremely fearful since my breast has been swollen and I have been in so much pain. In addition, I had made up my mind I no longer wanted to continue taking the preventative medications despite being advised on numerous occasions doing so would be fatal. Doctors words not mine. 

For those of you who have never fought cancer I’d like to say “you’re not missing out!”  Fighting cancer is hard and can be very debilitating. Worse are the drugs!  The side effects are brutal! It’s hard to describe the pain.  I should know. I have a long list of medical issues. 

While waiting to see my oncologist I was mustering up the courage to tell my oncologist I would no longer agree to continue taking any more meds. I wanted to give up. What can I say?  I’m exhausted!!  My regular oncologist retired this past January. I had been referred to a new oncologist that would be taking over my treatment. Score for me or so I thought. I really believed I would be able to stand up to her!! 

In walked a lovely young woman. She was not only warm and pleasant but she was very empathetic. Especially as I explained with tears in my eyes I no longer wanted to continue treatment. She explained the aches and pains I have been experiencing especially on my breast were radiation neuropathy. She also explained why it was important to continue with my treatment. Sometimes other people might have the same words you’ve heard many times before but their presentation has a way with resonating in a much more positive way. My doctor explained the type of cancer I have is “incurable” yet “treatable” which is why I have endured such an aggressive treatment regime. The goal was to kill the cancer with chemotherapy, radiation and infusions and to keep the cancer at bay by “treating” the cancer with extended medications. Don’t ask me how but this woman was not only able to convince me to continue taking my medication but she was able to convince me to add another one!!!

My only explanation is when my doctor chose to use the words “incurable” and “treatable” opposed to “fatal” she somehow made me feel like Jim Carey did in the movie Dumb and Dumber. “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?! Lol

My oncologist and I came to a compromise. I agreed to continue my treatment and she agreed to give me a vacation from my medications four weeks per year!  Score!  Of course she explained that those four weeks would have to be split up in to one week increments!!  Who cares!!! Awesome!  Now I know some of you reading this might be wondering “does she understand the term incurable?”  Yes I do however doesn’t the word “incurable” sound so much more inviting than “fatal?!”  I think so!!  

Last summer my horrible ex-husband, I’ll refer to him as Barabbas. (You know that horrible, mean prisoner we have all read about in the Bible?) accused me of faking cancer. Even saying cancer was not bad at all. Barabbas has verbally attacked me. He has brought so much strife in to my life especially during this trying time as I have conveniently been “faking” cancer. That’s what people with cancer do. We wake up one morning and say to ourselves “gee I think I’ll fake cancer today and to really pull off this charade I’ll endure chemotherapy, radiation and everything else that goes along with cancer including being told “Your cancer is incurable”. That crazy nut is lucky I haven’t stood up in church and screamed “crucify him!”  Lol. 

As I drove home I thought of all the horrible things Barabbas has said to me. In the back of my mind I secretly wished he was right and this cancer stuff was all made up or at best a horrible dream. However, this is my reality and the reality of many others who find themselves diagnosed with cancer. Like many of you, I wish cancer had never happened to me and I wish my ex-husband was right and I was merely faking this. I would’ve given up this charade after the first chemotherapy treatment!!  Although, I have to keep in mind that unless you’ve gone through this, it’s hard to wrap your head around the challenges cancer can bring to a persons life. 

I’ve decided to continue treatment and I have also opted to incorporate a regime of holistic healing in conjunction with my treatment. For the first time yesterday I saw this fight in an entirely new way. Rather than viewing it as fatal I’m viewing it as treatable. My only mission is to continue treating this disease and keeping it at bay.  How hard is that?!!  Cancer is a part of me but it doesn’t own me. It just takes up space in my life. This fight between myself and cancer has run its course. I accept this disease as my friend who I would prefer to keep at a distance. 

In the words of Todd Rudgren……”We can’t play this game any more but can we still be friends?”

I’d rather be friends than be two opponents in battle. Where I am now is a much better place than I’ve been. 

Ford……Built Tough 9-4-14 (reposted 9-4-16)

I’m reposting this blog today because Mrs. Ford was one strong lady and deserves to be recognized every now and then. She was the epitome of strength and determination. 
I’ve had a lot of role models in my life. Princess Diana was one of them. I always admired her beauty and her kindness towards others. She faced so many challenges in life but yet faced them with class and dignity. I cried for a week, heck maybe even a month after she passed away. Angelina Jolie. What can I say. A beautiful woman with a philanthropic heart. I have always found myself looking up to women who are strong, determined, independent fighters who at the same time exhibit a desire to help others. Despite all of their beauty on the outside, these women were/have never been afraid to get dirty, fight hard and help others. Both awesome mothers.


I’m a strong woman. At times, I’m probably stronger than I know. I’m a fighter and my goal in life is to help others. I’m certainly not mother of the year but I love my kids more than anything. Despite these qualities, I hate to admit it, at times I’m a spoiled rotten little diva. The past few days have been a challenge. I have been in so much pain, not to mention, out to lunch. My mind has been so dazed and confused. Yesterday I could barely walk. In fact I found myself crying in the bathroom at home. Heaven forbid I’d let Ron or anyone for that matter, see me cry. I tried everything. Walking (too hard), meditating to ocean sounds, eating bananas, vitamins, Gatorade, Claritin (the nurse advised me to take it), water….the list goes on. Nothing worked. I found myself feeling sorry for myself. I was going through my emails when I opened one from The Serenity Med Spa. They had emailed me because they didn’t want me to miss out on their end of summer sale for Botox injections. I thought to myself “are you kidding me?! Botox is the last thing on my mind right now!” Although 2 years ago I would have been the first one in line waiting to take advantage of this very exclusive offer. In fact, 2 years ago, I was more concerned with what was on the outside then all the qualities I had on the inside. Cancer has humbled me in so many ways. Since 2010, I’ve written a letter to Santa every year asking for a breast augmentation. That won’t happen again. I’m guilty of many injections including Botox and Juverderm. I’ve been called a diva once or twice in my life and I’ve been called spoiled. Yesterday I was so frustrated I posted a comment on Facebook regarding my pain and my email. I felt like giving up. My girlfriend, Denise Ford, posted the following comment about her mother. I’m sharing it because after reading the courage and strength of Mrs. Ford and the admiration she earned from her daughter, I found myself ashamed to even complain. This woman was the epitome of strength, Courage and determination. A woman to not only admire but a woman to strive to be like. Next time I’m feeling sorry for myself I know I’m going to read this again as a reminder to never give up. I can only hope that one day my own children will be inclined to write a tribute about me with the same admiration as Denise did yesterday. Like I said, I’ve had a few role models in my life but Mrs. Ford not only earned my respect, she earned my admiration also. She is a true role model!!!! The real deal!!!
If I were to describe myself as a car I’d have to choose a FIAT. FIAT stands for Fix It Again Tony. I have a lot of fixing to do. My goal is to one day call myself a Ford. Mrs. Ford!!! She was Built Tough and she never gave up regardless how many miles she travelled. My advice to anyone reading my blog today is to print the comment below and keep it in your wallet. Next time you find yourself feeling sorry for yourself or wanting to give up, refer to this as a reminder to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going. I know I will be doing the same.
Denise’s comment:
Sorry you are so sore: I want to share a story with you, it might be a long comment sorry. ( I grew up with a mom who didn’t have a vain bone in her body. I do remember her working out and taking care of herself, but no makeup and always cowboy boots! She was a fighter like you Velma. When I was six we found out she had cervical cancer. She had 4 daughters and we found out because my mother who came from a family where she had 21 bothers and sisters, she was number 11. My mom had a 2nd grade education and began working in the fields and the orchards in the Yakima Valley, she was tough to say the least. We came home from school one day and she was on the floor in pain and agony, My sister called the ambulance and they told us that our mom would not live through the night because she had not gone to the doctor before that night to find out what the pain was from and the cancer had spread from her cervix through her female organs, kidney, stomach and had attached to her rib. The told her and us they were sorry and had the pastor coming to give last right. My mom looked at the doctor and said “bullshit if I am going to die, I have four daughters and no other woman is going to raise them but me! She battled hard that night and went through two years of Cobalt Radiation hell, but she lived 21 years! Raised her daughters. A true walking miracle of God as her doctor put it:) The toughness of my mom showed on her face and hands, she had skin tough as leather, but blue eyes soft and full of love and the most beautiful hands hard from working but so soft when she patted her grand kids backs, rocking them to sleep. I wish I had close up pictures besides just in my mind of those eyes and hands that told a story. That is what I saw in my mom Velma, the love she had, the life she lead, and the pure beauty of her and her soul. That is what I see when I look at your picture, the love you have for life, family and the beauty in you and your soul. That is a gift to give the world. Wear it proudly, you earned it!

In It To Win It 7-30/16

I posted this on Facebook two years ago while I was fighting breast cancer. I’m blogging this post for those of you who are fighting breast cancer today. It has been a long two years for me. The side effects from chemo are still lingering. The fight has taken so much out of me and changed my life in so many ways. I’m tired and overcoming not only the side effects but the depression that came along with the challenge of chemo therapy, radiation, infusions, hormone blockers and a genetic mutation that causes many types of cancer. I was in it to win it two years ago.  This past two years I’ve overcome breast cancer, pre-colon cancer, skin cancer, neuropathy, the loss of my toe nails and fingernails, the loss of my hair, a breakup, my dignity and self respect. I’ve been verbally attacked and received not the most positive support.  I still have lymphodema, osteoporosis, my muscles and joints still hurt, I battle an auto-immune disease every day but I’m still in it and I’m winning it every day. 

Cancer has a way with treating everyone different. For some, their experience is easy, for others not so much. Be mindful of anyone fighting cancer. If you’ve never walked in their shoes please treat them with respect. Be empathetic and show your support. I haven’t received the best support. In fact I’ve been vilified by certain family members and others I held in high regard. I’ve even been compared to others whose experience with cancer was not the same as mine. Theirs was easy therefore my fight has been labeled “fake” I can only wish it was. I’ve met women who beat cancer one year and were fighting lung cancer, ovarian cancer or cervical cancer the next. Then there are the ones who fight hard and don’t make it. Do not judge anyone’s fight based on the fight of others. Everyone’s battle is different but what is the same is this nasty disease called cancer. In my opinion, cancer sucks. It’s changed my life in so many ways, both in a positive and negative way. My experience is my own. Everyone’s experience is there own too. So today, for those who have judged me or others, treated me or others poorly and hurt us in so many ways, here’s what I have to say. Be careful how you treat those fighting cancer. You never know when it may be you walking in their shoes. Cancer doesn’t care who you are, where you live or how much money you have. When you’re tagged…you’re it. Cancer is real and comes knocking when you least expect it and when it does you better be “in it to win it”

My post two years ago:

I made it back to San Francisco yesterday. I made it home to the familiar sounds of the crowds cheering for the SF Giants at the ball park across the street, cars honking, the hustle and bustle of the crowds downstairs and I thought how nice it was to be at home w my mom. The peace, quiet and serenity of just being home. The trip really wiped me out. I had a doctors appointment today. I had to have my blood drawn, my vitals checked and meet with my oncologist. While I was waiting I met a gal named Amanda. She was battling breast cancer. She is a Stage 1 and I’m a stage 1A. We are both going through the same treatment however our side effects differed. For one, she didn’t lose her hair until the second  or third treatment,  however she lost the feeling to her toes and fingers and has experienced leg swelling. Side effects I haven’t experienced yet, thank goodness. I met with my oncologist. She told me that she had chosen a very aggressive treatment for me because she wants to make sure she kills the cancer so I don’t have to go through this again. She also shared that while chemo is chemo, everyone’s experience is different. I thought this was interesting because I’ve met so many women and have had the opportunity to hear their story. A lot of women who are in their 20’s, 30’s & 40’s. We all have breast cancer. We are all fighting the disease but while our treatment is the same, our side effects are different. The experience is different. Before I began treatment I read several books that in truth scared me to death. I finally stopped reading them. I thought my oncologists interpretation today was spot on. I don’t mind sharing my journey in the hopes that it will be a wealth of encouragement if god forbid anyone finds themselves facing the same challenge. My advice is keep your mind open and remember that while others may experience one thing your experience will be different. What is the same is the disease. Keep fighting and never give up. The road may be hard but the end result is it’s beatable so be in it to win it. I’m taking a break from chemo for a couple of weeks to get my strength back. I’m going to use the time to eat healthy, rest and get my strength back so I can get through the next four treatments as a fighter. I’m in it to win it!! Going home was a good thing for me. Not everything went as planned but what it did give me is the motivation and determination to fight again.

Monroe Jackson 7-22-16

I posted this on Facebook two years ago while fighting cancer. I thought I’d blog this story. I still think about Monroe. I wonder how he’s doing. I wonder if he’s on the beaches of Brazil. If you live in San Francisco and happen to be on 2nd and Townsend and run in to a shoe shine guy….take some time to let him shine your shoes. His stories will captivate you and his presence is sure to bless you. 

Monroe Jackson!!! My new friend. He’s an African American older gentlemen who’s been a street shoe shiner for over 30 years. I met Monroe a few weeks ago after my first chemo treatment. I had seen him on the corner of 2nd & Townsend as I walked to my accupuncture appt. Accupuncture a must when you’re going through chemo. It really helps. Any way on the walk back home after my appt Monroe was away from his shoe shine post standing across the street at the corner of 2nd shooting the breeze w other people. We passed each other as I we crossed the street. I was walking slow that day. Very sick but by the time I got to Third street  I looked across the street and was surprised to see Monroe crossing the street heading towards me. I thought ” that’s weird. Am I seeing things?” As I crossed the street I took the time and asked. “Do you have a twin? I just saw you on Second street.” He laughed and said “no I just got off the bus”. Hmm weird. Chemo was Friday so Saturday I walked to accupuncture again. Monroe was at his post. We chit chatted and on the way home I decided to take time out to just talk to him. We briefly talked about many things. I shared I had cancer. Monroe said. “Girl….go shave that head!!! Bite the bullet and do it. Heck Sinead O’Connor did it. Grace Slick did it! Who cares!” I laughed but I did end up shaving my head. Yesterday on my way to my appt again I said hi to Monroe. He asked “so did you shave it?” I said ” yes”. He said. “Show me!” So I took off my hat. Monroe said “there you go. You’re perfect!” I laughed and for some reason Monroe decided to share his story. As it turns out, Monroe is a professional shoe shine guy. He’s not homeless. As a matter of fact, he has a home. He lives in the five bedroom home he grew up in with his five sisters. He’s 74 years old. He moved out at the age of 16. Unlike his sisters he never amounted to much more than being a shoe shine guy in the street. As he shared his story I realized he was dressed nice, very clean and I had the wrong impression. Monroe moved back home at the age of 50 when his mom got sick. She battled cancer. He took care of her until the day she died. Monroe said his mom was a “pain in the ass” always bitching about his girlfriends but he didn’t mind. He drove her around, fed her did everything a son should do. Monroe told me if there was one thing he’s learned in his 74 years of living is you can’t choose your parents or your family, they’re who you are and no matter what life throws at you fight hard, never give up and live life to the fullest. Monroe is hoping this will be his last year of shining shoes. He’s feeling a little old and he’s ready to pack it up and spend his last days on the beaches of Brazil. I hope he’s able to. Monroe is my blessing today. I’m always so grateful for the people I’m lucky enough to meet!

I’m Still Standing 4-6-16

Dear Ron

On April 10th, 2014 I received the dreaded call no woman wants to get. I’ll never forget the words I heard that day. “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you have cancer”. I had a wave of fear come over me. I was in shock. I was at work that day. I called you after I hung up the phone to tell you. The support I received from you was not what I expected. You were heartless and very insensitive. Typical behavior of the cruel man I came to know.  I cried the entire walk home. 

I had to be at a consultation at 3:00 that afternoon. You offered to drive me and even attended the consultation with me. Unfortunately, rather than being the supportive partner I needed that day, you chose to bring all your bills and spent the entire consultation writing out your checks and paying your bills. I don’t remember much of what the cancer coordinator had to say that day but I do remember the lack of empathy you exuded that day. When we got in the car I began to cry. Your comforting words to me were “stop being a drama queen”. This became your mantra for the next year as I battled one of the toughest fights of my life. 

That May we met with my oncologist who shared the results of my oncotype test. She explained I had an aggressive type of cancer that would require and aggressive treatment. The treatment would include chemotherapy, radiation and infusions. She was adamant I had to begin treatment right away. Again, the empathy you displayed would leave many to believe you were a cruel and very insensitive man. And you were. Your concern wasn’t my health, rather you were more concerned about how my treatment would affect our trip to Maui that August. My oncologist was so frustrated with you she finally said “we will cross that bridge when we get there”. Of course our vacation became your concern as I battled three grueling chemotherapy treatments. We took that trip and I returned to endure three more grueling treatments with you by my side. I’m not sure which was worse. You or chemo but if I had to choose, I’d call it a tie. 

I’m sure you recall your behavior my first treatment. Despite being sick you insulted me by telling me I needed to do something with myself. Your comment still rings in my ear. “You look haggard!”  And let’s not forget my trip to the hospital. Wow!  I’ve never met anyone so cruel and insensitive like you. 

For one year rather than show any kind of support or even encouragement, you chose to abuse me, cheat on me, call me names and treat me like a piece of dirt. Your excuse was “I was unattractive!”  I will never forget how you treated me. No woman or man deserves to be treated the way you treated me when I was sick and fighting cancer.  

I had a mammogram today. Ironically it is two years to the day I had the mammogram that changed my life forever. For the first time in two years I’m happy to report there was no sign of breast cancer. It doesn’t exempt me from all the other tests I had to endure today for other types of cancer but I take solace knowing that just for today I’m breast cancer free. 

As I look back on the past two years fighting this disease I can’t help but remember the many days and nights I spent on my knees praying for strength to endure the battle I found myself in. I certainly will never forget the pain and suffering you put me through as I fought this grueling battle either. But as I ponder your insensitive, cruel behavior I take pride in myself knowing that while you and cancer may have kicked my ass, I’m above ground today and I’m still standing. I’m one strong lady!!!  A force to be reckoned with. 

I sat in the waiting room at the cancer unit today. My heart went out to all the patients I saw battling cancer. Their bald heads, the glared eyes and the suffering they were enduring was just a reminder how far I’ve come. However, the difference in the people I saw today was they all had a supportive partner. I wished I had been so lucky. 

Karma has a way with coming back to us in some way. I suspect you will not be exempt from being the receiver of exactly what you put out. And when karma comes knocking on your door, and it will, it’s my guess you won’t last one week walking in my shoes because as fate would have it, unlike you, the good lord blessed me with the gift of strength and perseverance.  Thank god for that! 

Despite the suffering I endured with you at the helm, I’m not angry. Hurt but not angry. Rather, I view the experience as a learning experience. It taught me the meaning of strength, empathy and compassion. As I close this chapter and close the door to the nightmare I experienced these past two years, I find myself beginning a new chapter. A chapter that I intend to fill with love, peace and happiness. And if cancer comes my way in the days ahead, I have faith I will rise above that battle with a smile on my face and the confidence I can get through anything.  But more importantly, this new chapter comes with a goal to ensure that no one fighting cancer will ever have to endure what I did. I’ll share my story and one day the crappy story I lived with you will be the story that will bring hope and inspiration to many throughout the world. God never wastes a bad story without turning it in to something good. I pray my story helps many. It’s my guess it will. 

I wish you the best and pray you get exactly what you’ve got coming to you. However, I pray it isn’t cancer.  I don’t wish cancer on anyone, including you. You’ve managed to get away with a lot all your life. You may even think you’ve won but there’s one battle you haven’t faced……yet!!! It’s the battle you will be facing with God. Now that’s a battle you’re sure to come out at the losing end. So you take care of yourself. Thanks for the good times but more importantly thanks for the bad times. You taught me something very valuable. The importance of how to treat others and the faith to believe in myself. I can get through anything with God by my side. Thank god for that!!!  God bless you Ron and like the song I’ve included on this blog today…..I’m still standing!! I don’t know about you but despite all my trials, if you ask me, I may still be a little haggard, who wouldn’t be? But I think I look pretty darn good standing. 

Love

Velma