My Terms 12-20-17

Wow three years ago I lost all of my hair. I was completely bald!! I’ve spent the last couple of years trying to grow back my hair. However as of late I have found myself realizing what a blessing the last three years have been. I’ve grown so much. All the things I thought were important are no longer important. Including hair. At the end of the day the only thing that counts is family. The rest of it doesn’t matter. My dad used to say “I’ve never seen a u-haul behind a Hearst. You can’t take it with you”

Today I bit the bullet and cut my hair short. I love it. In my opinion I’d rather spend time with family, friends, grandkids then spending time doing my hair!! The good news is three years later I cut my hair on my terms and not because some crazy drug called Chemo decided I had to. Life is short. Live life to the fullest. Enjoy every day like it’s your last day. Don’t get caught up in any drama.

It’s funny, the past few years all I’ve done is complain. I’ve complained about my hair, my nails, finances, health and I’ve complained because I’m no longer in San Francisco. However what I’ve come to realize is. that I’ve failed to recognize the blessings I’ve had all along. I only wish I had recognized this a long time ago. Life is good. Sometimes life throws us a curveball. I for one have been thrown several these past few years however while everything seemed so bad I suppose God was molding me to become a much better person. I’m really grateful for that.

Today I just want peace in my life. I’m looking forward to what good things God has in store for me. I hope it’s much peace, love and harmony. As for the hair….well it’s sure going to be nice to not have to focus on something silly as doing my hair.

Friends, money, material things and even hair will come and go but it’s family that will always be there. That’s what’s really important. Once upon a time I was on top of the world. I had it all. Looks, a good job, material things and even money. Today things are much different. Today I’ll take peace, love, family and good health over any of those things I once thought were more important. I’m living life on my terms. That includes doing crazy things like cutting my hair!! Short hair…..you rock!!!

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I’m Coming Out 12-5-17

Today is a “coming out” kind of day for me. My birthday is Saturday so to celebrate, I’m flying to San Francisco to spend it with my cousin, who also happens to be my best friend. I haven’t been back for a year and a half.

I left San Francisco in May of 2015 after a long battle with Cancer. I also left a tumultuous relationship that brought so much strife in to my life. I’ve spent the last two years hiding out in my room at my mothers house. It’s no secret I’ve not only battled anxiety as well as PTSD but I’ve also struggled to heal from the side effects left behind from treatment. I’ll admit returning to San Francisco is really scary. After all, my departure was not on good terms.

I was blessed to cash in some airline miles and bought myself a round trip ticket for $11.20. What a steal!! As the time draws closer to driving to the airport I find myself nervous and very fearful. I suppose because my return to my beloved city by the bay opens the door to having to face the reality of what I left behind and why. It also means going out of my comfort zone (my bedroom) and learning to live life again.

Life happens sometimes. Occasionally we run away from reality and sweep the wreckage of our past under the carpet. We become complacent in our “safe” place. That’s what’s happened to me. I’ve become very complacent in the comfort of my room at my mothers which has become my safe place. I’m excited to go to San Francisco. I’m excited to spend time with my cousin but at the same time I’m scared. I’m not sure what the days ahead have in store for me however, what I do know is I’m ready to take on the challenge.

Diana Ross sang a song called “I’m Coming Out”. This song holds a special meaning for me today. In so many ways I’m Coming Out. As I board my flight to San Francisco I recognize I’m no longer the same woman I was when I left San Francisco two years ago. However, I really like this new me. Saturday is my birthday. The beginning of a new year and a new me. What better city to launch my “Coming Out” as the new me than my favorite city…..my beloved city by the bay. Look out San Francisco!!! I’m coming back!!

A Big Win 11-3-17

It’s Friday! Thank goodness. If you’re reading this post, congratulations!! You made it through another week. We all have ups and downs throughout the week, expected and unexpected challenges however through it all there’s always a “WIN”. It’s easy to focus on the negative but if you focus on your “Wins” you’ll be surprised how quickly your attitude and demeanor changes. It’s easy to go from a 5 to a 10 when focusing on the good stuff. My challenge to you today is to post one win on the comment line of this post. Focus on that win and watch how quickly a challenging day/week can become an awesome one!! Carry that feeling in to the weekend and Make this weekend a big win!! I’ll start by sharing my “WIN”. Spending time with my grandkids this week not to mention my son and his wife, my daughter and her partner, hearing from my son in Italy and scoring an awesome deal at Banana Republic!!! 
Now your turn!!

Tag……you’re it!

Shaking The Tree 11-2-17

I haven’t posted in awhile. I have had some medical challenges these past couple of months however, I thought I’d post today in the hopes of inspiring women today. 

I was in my car yesterday and as I was listening to Sirius radio, Peter Gabriel came on. He was belting out “In Your Eyes”. For a brief moment I found myself reflecting on my youth when I was young, free and everything was good. As a young adult, I recalled listening to music by Peter Gabriel. I loved his songs then as much as I do today.  It was a very nostalgic moment for me. 

One of my favorite songs is “Shaking The Tree”. The song exudes influences from Africa which I love. In fact, Peter wrote the song with Youusou N’Dour, an African musician Gabriel admired. The song was Peter Gabriel’s way of taking a stance against the many problems in the world. This song was his way of supporting the women’s movement in Africa where traditionally men allowed women very few rights. It’s an awesome song and very empowering to all women throughout the world. 

I read a post the other day about courage. I was very moved by the words and I was inspired to be courageous and press on and do the things I was scared to do.  I’m sharing  in the hopes it will be the inspiration anyone reading might need today. 

“Today is COURAGE DAY!!! What have you been scared to do, even though you know you want and need to do it?  Today is the day!! It’s time!!! You know you’re ready. Now JUST DO IT!!”

After I listened to Peter Gabriel on the radio I remembered my favorite tune. I not only listened to it on my YouTube playlist, I shared it on Facebook. Today I’m sharing on my blog and dedicating it to all women who are facing challenges today. My hope is you will be inspired to have the courage to take back your life and be the strong woman god intended you to be. 

Maybe some of you are in an abusive relationship, maybe you’ve recently gone through a break up. Maybe some of you are at a workplace where sexual harassment is king or maybe someone reading today is facing a medical challenge that has brought you to your knees. Whatever your challenge is, I’d like to encourage you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start “Shaking that tree!”  Shake two trees if you have to!! Do not allow anything or anyone to take a way that power that lives inside of you. Maybe it’s hiding somewhere deep inside but believe me, if you shake that tree hard enough you’ll not only find that courage but you’ll also find that strong, independent woman that lives inside of you. Break away from the fear that holds you back and just do it! Have the courage to do whatever it is you’ve been afraid to do and have the courage to just be you!!! 

I stand with all women today!  Remember, we are women. Hear us roar!! This is your day!! Its your life!! It’s a woman’s day!!  Take back your life!!!

 https://youtu.be/3_Q79lls1f0

New Beginnings…The Story Of A Butterfly 9-14-17

This was written by someone very dear to me. She would like to remain anonymous however, our hope is it will inspire someone to keep moving forward today. 

“Siempre adelante” ….(always moving forward)

I’m grateful for new beginnings. I am finally realizing that change, while hard, isn’t always bad.  I’m leaving what doesn’t work behind me and focusing on the new, the exciting, the unknown. That which brings growth and new perspective.  
Change has always been hard for me. Really, REALLY, hard. I am such a creature of comfort it’s ridiculous. But for the last year or so my life has undergone lots of change. I finally left the boy friend I ALWAYS went back to. A relationship that kept me from growing and becoming the person I am destined to be. I resigned from my job of 18 years— as it no longer challenged me. I wasn’t part of something positive anymore. I was actually surviving and NOT thriving.  

It’s strange how “hard” I thought it was going to be to move on from both of these situations as they were such huge parts of my identity. Who would I be once these labels, these relationships, these fantasies of the future fell away? Once I took stock of what these situations were costing me- I took action. How much do we have to endure before giving ourselves permission to let go? I was so tired of selling myself short. As one person put it, it was like wearing old clothes- they fit, but they weren’t my style anymore.  

After the butterfly leaves the cocoon, she spreads her wings and flies. The process takes time, but the end result is amazing. We all endure tough times but what does it cost us to carry these burdens? I’ve learned to view my challenges as “gifts”. They have taught me to love myself, to honor myself and to trust the journey in front of me. While not always easy, it is ALWAYS worth it.  

Last week a fleeting thought came to mind- and I realized that I am DOING IT. I am finally living life on my own terms! I will never forget that I am the artist of my story. Looking at life through this new lens, I realize how free I feel, how the possibilities in front of me are endless. I feel like a kid waking up on Christmas day. I’ve learned to trust God, the process and most importantly myself.    

“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” –  Tony Robbins

To Be A Goddess by Sarah Harvey 7-25-17


To become a goddess~~It is to become a warrior.

The best warriors are those brave enough to feel it all.

The best warriors are flawed and human and vulnerable as hell. The best warriors know pain, have tasted tears, and kissed darkness a thousand times. The best warriors have fallen to the pits of despair, but will never stay down.

The best warriors—are goddesses.

The ones who have been broken, but dance boldly in the flames of all the sh*t that didn’t work out.

The ones who burst up like a lotus flower—rising valiantly and more beautiful than ever—from the muddiest mud in spite of it all.

The ones who make art from the pain.

The ones who speak out even when we’re shaking.

For we are not just women, we are divinity in the female form.

We are fire. We are progress. We are the death of the old system. We are the breathless vibrance of Spring, the impossible way everything comes back to life.

We are important.

And our voices are meant to be heard.

We are the return to the earth, to magic, to all that is feminine and nurturing and wise.

Don’t think this means we aren’t fierce as hell…

It is exactly our softness that makes us so fierce, so feeling, so brave, so intuitive, so bold and soaked in truth.

We forgive when forgiveness seems impossible.

We choose love, when marinating in hate seems so much easier.

We choose freedom, when the obstacles are so big and crushing that freedom doesn’t even seem possible.

We rise.

We rise from from pain, from abuse, from trauma, from the depths of sorrow.

We rise from the shattered pieces of a life that never suited us.

We rise from pasts that are darker than midnight; we rise from nightmares and the flames of hell.

We shine so brightly, radiant now—because like a moonflower, we were forced to open to light in the darkness.

And we did.

We became the light.

We stand proud and tall and powerful now, unfurling one plush, fiery petal at a time.

We still shake sometimes, and that’s beautiful. But even the fear doesn’t stop us anymore.

We charge forward, words of potent truth leaving our trembling lips.

We soar higher, confident in all that we need to embody and create.
We feel deeper, knowing that we were never, ever meant to play small.

For we are here to serve.

To help. To heal. To be a beacon of dedicated light and set the world on fire.

But all of that beauty has to come from the thing we always circle back to—

To love ourselves.

Not just to say it. But to dive in, and do it. To love our darkness. The wide open, snarling mouth of our pain. To love our curvaceous thighs, our complexity, our sadness, and the ever-evolving poetry of who we are.

Above all else—

To be a goddess

Is to be gentle with ourselves.

To soften those tenacious thorns that lived for, so long, on the inside.

To breathe each breath knowing unquestionably, our worthiness.

Don’t give up when it’s dark, dear sister. And I know you never will.

You’re stronger than they ever knew you were.

Don’t ever stop feeling everything.

Don’t ever stop peeling away the bullsh*t of who the world told you to be, getting closer and closer to the pulsing, juicy core of who you really are.

Hold fast to your truth.

Your voice.

Your knowing.

The potent jewel of soul that swirls inside you.

Let all else fall away.

To become a goddess?

It’s to do the scariest thing in the world—

To be our selves.

And wake up each morning knowing that it is enough.

It was always enough.

It’s magic.

It burns, hot and wild, forever.

excerpt from: https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/07/become-a-goddess/

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!