Archive for March, 2014
Today Karen and I spent lunch time together. We do not know each other very well, but we don’t have to. Our conversation was full of life, very little complaints, just learning and growing with each other and sharing ourselves. We first met in 2010. We were both models…. yes, I said models, in a fashion show. A yearly show our local Canadian Cancer Society puts on as a fundraiser and a tribute to survivors and fighters. I love the title “Celebrate Life”. All of the models are cancer survivors. It was a great experience and we participated 2 years in a row. It was such an accomplishment to actually be an audience member at last year’s event to cheer on the new models and celebrate our own health and healing journeys.
Karen and I are fighting different cancers, but the experience is much the same. We do what we can to survive and thrive, to make the most of each day and to depend on our inner Dr. Feelgood to seek out and learn new ways to nutritionally support ourselves. I believe we both learned from each other today. I know I did for sure.
Just like myself, Karen’s cancer has returned. We are both in limbo between testing and scans to see what comes next as far as treatment. What I saw today was two happy ladies and a survivor sisterhood with an underlying mutual respect for each other. We really care about what each other is enduring and we both know that we will make ourselves available to each other whenever needed.
I love gift giving, so I wrapped up a small angel pin (Healing Angel) for Karen along with a card, that stated…”When in doubt, Twirl”. It gives me great pleasure to be the reason why a smile would appear on someone’s face and really, a hug is the greatest reward! A sharing of each other’s energy, truly the best medicine!
It was also nice to share our moment with our waitress who agreed to take our photo. She loved the sign and the message we were sharing.
Date of Event: Mar 11
I have had a house guest for a couple of weeks. Her name is Maggie, but I call her Maggie Monkey Moo Moo. When she gets excited, she sounds like a cute little monkey. She is my Mom’s furbaby, a little white ball of fluff, a Maltese Poodle mix, complete with two little pony tails to keep her bangs away from her eyes. It has been a nice treat for me to have some life back into the house. I miss my furbaby companion terribly and it was so nice to share cuddles and snuggles with Maggie while my Mom and my step-Dad vacationed in Florida.
Weird encounters happen to me often. So much that I had to stop asking myself why and just accept them as gifts. Let me tell you… I get goosebumps a lot.
Maggie and I were out for a little walk. We were walking down a quiet street in an industrial area with no traffic at the time. A couple of large warehouse buildings and empty parking lots surrounded us. Approaching in our direction was a young man on his bicycle, perhaps in his early 20’s. The moment I spotted him I had my guard up. He was weaving side to side and pedalling slowly, it seemed very strange to me so I watched him closely. Maggie was just happy to be out walking and was not affected in any way, no barking, no apprehension, just tail wagging excitement to continue pulling me forward with her. I too was enjoying the warmer winter day we were experiencing. The young man slowly continued his way toward us, looking down at the ground periodically, still weaving. My subconscious suspicion must have grown into a strange facial expression toward him because he looked at me like he was studying me. Strange. I am a smiley kind of gal, but didn’t feel like one for some reason. I must have looked back at him funny, I don’t recall. As I’m thinking to myself, that my plan is to keep watching this guy over my shoulder to ensure our safety, I hear him utter a comment from behind me. He states in a low mumble… “just looking for my cell phone.” Okay, now I understand why he was riding weird. I usually think positive thoughts before negative ones, but immediately I think to myself, poor guy, that would totally suck to lose your phone, good luck buddy. So I turn around and watch him a little. He continues to weave and look, weave and look, but just sticks to the road and not looking on either side of the road. Within seconds, I hear a loud “woo hoo” from him. Maggie and I stop, turn around and here is this guy, standing in a pile of snow, next to a fire hydrant holding up his phone. “I found it! Holy shit, he shouted”. I couldn’t believe it either, what are the chances and how long had he been looking for it, how many streets, holy shit is right!
I shrug my shoulders and my uneasiness escapes me. I am not concerned for my safety any more, I am relaxed and enjoying the fresh air, our walk and the victorious moment for this guy. He passes by us, returning to the direction he had come from initially. He didn’t look at us, just kept riding by on his merry way. But as he passed us, he says to me “I’m thanking you for that!”.
I’m like inside my head, wondering how I could have contributed to his success, after all I was projecting negative energy. Then it donned on me instantly. I was wearing my Earth Angel shirt. Duh, he was looking at me funny when he first passed us because he was reading my shirt! He must believe in angels too! It was a win win situation for both of us. He found his phone and I was politely reminded by the powers that be that I should be my more positive self. Guess I needed a gentle reminder that afternoon. Message received!
Do you know what excites me? What empowers me? What gives me goosies all over?
My journey in cancerland has been one unpredictable, challenging, life altering experience. Each and every day I experience many emotions, many tests, many “life happens” moments, just like you do. However, I see every thing and every person I encounter with cancer eyes…. meaning to look for the positive in every situation. I am no longer a negative nitty. No matter what I encounter, I have to search for the lighter side. Cancer feeds on negativity, feeds on stress, feeds on poor food choices, feeds on sugar, feeds on ugly.
But I fuel me with empowerment. I look in the mirror and don’t see the ugly, damaged, scarred body where cancer has left it’s mark time and time again. I see a beautiful body that has an undeniable incredible ability to heal itself. It responds to all the positive charges of energy that I provide it, much like the sun provides life to the very plants that I consume. Living foods mean a living body. I am proof. Who knows, maybe one day I will be disharged from the cancer clinic. That is my ultimate goal, to cure myself. For now, I will continue to address my body’s needs one day at a time, slow but sure. We all know that the tortoise is the one who wins the race in the end. It didn’t happen overnight to become this ill, so it’s not going to happen overnight to become well again.
My biggest reward other than waking each morning to a brand new day to continue my healing journey, is that I have learned that in taking good care of myself, I have inspired others to do the same. I certainly wasn’t expecting this, but what a great gift. Others are seeing how well I look these days, how I bounce back after each surgery, each treatment. Do you have any idea how empowering this is. that a stage 4 terminal cancer patient is being looked at as a source for improving eating habits? Wow. I am honoured.
At a family dinner, I apologized to my Aunt that I wasn’t eating what everyone else was, feeling bad that my special diet requirements were extra work. Her reply? “What are you apologizing for? You keep doing what you are doing, because I believe you are saving us a lot of pain.” I felt empowered. I learned something that day. Never to apologize for doing what’s best for me and making my health and myself a priority. There is no shame in that.
A friend sends me a card, just because she was thinking about me. It was full of little angel shaped confetti with an inspirational note. I felt empowered.
My nephew who is approaching 12 yrs of age, says to me “you know what Aunt Karrie? It’s my turn to sleep over at your house”” I felt empowered.
My Mom stated to me “I am so proud of all three of my kids for many different reasons and Karrie, I am so proud of how you have handled your fight, your disease”. I felt empowered.
A nurse that treated me in my first year of this journey sent me a little request “my brother-in-law has been diagnosed with cancer and he could really use some positive reinforcement, I wonder who that could be?” I felt empowered.
A friend sends me a text message that she is adding more veggies to her diet and starting to drink green tea. I felt empowered.
A friend that I haven’t seen since elementary school, and recently reconnected with, asks me for advice because she has been feeling unwell and in her words “has to see a poop doctor”. I felt empowered.
A childhood friend that has just purchased a juicer for herself because she has been inspired with my posts about my veggie juice posts. She wants to feel better and in her words “glow like I do”. I felt empowered.
Transitioning my eating habits from vegetarian to vegan. Although I’m at about 80% there, I feel empowered by my own drive and determination. It has not waivered although it has been severely tested.
My best friend emailed me with a note stating that I am her hero. I felt empowered.
My house guest this week, little Maggie, my Mom’s beloved Maltese-poodle mix, sits on my lap for cuddles and companionship and sleeps all night with me. I felt empowered.
My sister that took a day off of work without pay to spend time with me, I felt empowered.
My brother who sent me a photo of a snow angel that he made while on a snowmobiling trip with his buddies. I felt empowered.
My neighbour that also made me a snow angel on the same day. I felt empowered.
A former customer of where I worked that met me at the grocery store and simply asked if he could hug me. I felt empowered.
A friend approached me, stressed and very depressed. Said she felt like giving up, life was too hard to cope, her thoughts took her to me and my situation. She said to me in her words “I seriously have thought about suicide, but then I thought of you and how hard you fight to live each day, how can I possibly take my life for granted like that?”. I felt empowered, and she’s still working hard too. Life isn’t easy for anyone, but it is worth it if you invest in creating a life that makes you happy and take care of yourself.
A fellow cancer fighter emails me for advice and support. I felt empowered.
I received an email from the Cancer Society office informing me that a friend has joined my Earth Angel’s team for this year’s Relay for Life in June. I felt empowered.
Empowerment comes in many forms, what empowers you?