Do you ever notice how I seem to be chasing the sun? I mean, I spend a lot of time documenting the rise and the fall to the earth of the sun and I am fascinated by all the colors painted each and every time? We realize it is a ball of fire and it could destroy the earth someday right? Do I ever think of it that way? No, I think…. oooohhh it is sooooo pretty, let me get closer. I am seriously fascinated with the view from my back window, it feels like a living painting and I do not have to pay for the luxury, it just came with the house that the government helps me pay for. I mention this statement because, up until maybe two months ago, I did not properly appreciate my old, drafty home or the view. I think my intention with the photography idealization is to visualize what my life would look like if I lived in the large homes that are bordering my neighborhood. I neglected the appreciation of my own house and did not daily remind myself as I should have, of how fortunate I am to live on such a quiet street, with such great neighbors. I never thought to appreciate the proximity of small town community kindness and the bigger city experience close enough, how it is just perfect for me and my family. This is something I now remember every day that I live, until such a day that I am granted a larger living space that matches my dreams.

I am grateful for every hardship or every darkness experienced which make me appreciate the moments of light more. I am grateful for still being alive, and for learning the lessons I have learned through learning to love myself. I appreciate the clarity of mind to be able to look back on past life choices and see the reasons, or learn the lessons, and possess the ability to make changes necessary to move forward without regret. I am grateful for the health of my children, and for the fact that Cancer listens to me when I tell it that it is not welcome in my body or my mind. I am grateful for the ability to see the answers to whatever questions I have and not to have the fear and doubt cloud my judgement. I am thankful to God for removing Fear from my entire being.

This earth is so small in comparison to the rest of the universe, and sometimes I am especially grateful for recognizing how insignificant I am, yet how amazing it feels to have the ability to get up every morning and try something new again and feel limitless in my potential to change each day anyway. Not everyone has the rights or abilities I have; it would be a shame if I wasted my chances to keep chasing that sun.



Have you ever spent a significant amount of time thinking about forgiveness? … towards others – more importantly, our self? Well, me either, until I did. When you decide to focus on that area of your heart; your soul, brain, and body start to feel significantly uncomfortable, but then you feel pretty amazeballs (if you do it right). I used to have chronic pain every day, and I can say that I no longer feel that pain. Just putting it out there.

Now, let us talk about America… or God, let us talk about how God just blows my mind, with how simplistic the Universal Command to Love One Another is. It was a command intended ‘quite literally’ for the ENTIRETY of human-kind… and how fundamentally hard it is for sects of religious people to reconcile a system in place that might not be entirely Gods design, because God would not design systems the way we do… ummm, how can I say this politely? Visualize a human removing their proverbial head from their own proverbial butt… to look around a little. Anyway, let us not talk about that. Did I mention that I started meditating?

Yes, I take time out of my day to center – picture my index fingers touching my thumbs as I sit cross-legged in my newly converted attic/meditation room adjacent to my bedroom in order to force myself to remain still. I remind myself of what is most important, what I am grateful for. If I do not meditate once a day, I unconsciously do this thing… spacing out? Daydreaming? Mouth breathing? If I am not ‘with you’ *aka not paying attention, I am someplace else in my head. I can hang out with myself for days and be completely entertained, and that used to be something that scared me.

Apparently, living in fear is rough on a body and mind. Humans are motivated by two things Love or Fear – either or both sometimes. For instance, ruminating over a broken past or hyper-vigilance to prevent a scary future lives little healing space to Be in the present. Getting in a comfortable quiet space feels pretty good! My ideas come through clearly, and eventually I will maintain that stillness for more than 15 minutes straight without having to redirect my brain back to focus.

I have not watched ‘real live’ broadcast news in a long time. I do not trust what I see or hear without searching for evidence before forming an opinion. Even the information found online seems by special interest groups. If we just step outside our front porches and get to know our neighbors, it would be a small forward step for humankind. What is wrong is we don’t want to know each other and will always be shocked when something out of the ordinary’ happens in our neighborhoods. *don’t get me started.

I do watch news reported by a few educated comedians. I recommend everyone finding their own educated comedian to report the news – it significantly decreases the level of stress upon the hearing and seeing how insane my fellow man really is. Anyway, forgiving ourselves is number 1 on the path to healing… and if it is America and its leaders that need the forgiving, that is number 2… sad, but true. God Bless America.


Relaxing is Stressful

I am not a hippie, but sometimes I play one….  As a cancer survivor, a veteran with a touch of ptsd, adhd, and ocd; I am open to alternative treatments.  And did you know you can actually stress yourself out, in the process of learning to ‘de-stress’?  I have read several books this year, but a couple changed my perspective on how I see things.  The most recent book I finished was “It Didn’t Start with You” by Mark Wolynn, and he talks about how past trauma has a way of making its way to the surface even if deeply buried within a family. Even when we are unconscious of it, or unaware of the source.  The book details a series of exercises you can do to root out the causes of your issues needing to be released in order to move forward.

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza.  (read 4 times) The book deals explains how our minds have the capacity to take those elements of our self and reframe them, even re-experience things to a better result. At the end of each chapter is an exercise to provide you with practical tools. There is potential to gain relief and healing in your spirit (and your physical body), or at least to heal the negative energy and learn how to replace it with positive energy (oversimplified description), but it works if you fully invest in the process to get you there and truly believe that you are worthy of healing and love.  

These exercises affect your ‘total well-being’ so by taking care of the self emotionally, we heal physically at the same time.  It is pretty cool from my perspective at least. A way to remain cancer free, is to maintain my stress levels in a consistent way.  I need to break the habits of fear and insecurity and root out any negatives that lurk in the back of my mind and tackle those one at a time. Cancer does not have a chance in this body, sorry myeloma.

Anyway, even if I should have known better, I tried an online dating app.  Because you are looking for a long-term life-changing-earth-shattering love… go to the internet?  *laughing sarcastically* AND Wow, what happened between 2000 and 2019? Did a trend start where sending weenie pics to women is considered normal?  Random strangers asking for your privates in picture form? Has this been going on for a long time? Where was I, and why does it not appeal to me?  Oh, because when I meet people, I shake their hands, and look into their eyes, I never asked a man to clarify his manhood with photographic evidence.  I deleted the account, but I learned a lot in that time.

Dating after divorce is hard enough, dating after trauma and cancer, is another situation entirely.  My life ‘now’ is similar to a plot line in the movie with Steve Carroll in 40-year-old virgin, except, I have kids… and technically, not one.  (so not that similar) Any who, the plotline and feelings he goes through as he tries to date are pretty spot on.  The movie, Crazy, Stupid, Love, shows Steve Carrol dating as tragically as I do, or the movie Bad Moms, when the main character tells potential dates all about her kids and her mom life while sitting at a bar with her friends… yeah, that is kind of me also.  And a question:  When is a good time to bring up that you have a cancer that could come visit again someday? In the beginning, or do you wait? I prefer to live as if I do not have it, but my disability status is a reminder at times.

I am attempting to talk less, when possible.  Haha When I meet someone, my introduction may be short, but you will have a million questions in your head within the first 5 minutes, especially wondering ‘How, Why, When, What, WTF?’  You may have to allow me to summarize the únsummarizable’ in order to really get to know me. Eventually the newness of a person and the awkward insecure hello turns into a good conversation, but beyond that and flirting like a 20-year-old, I am at a total loss of how to date in the new world as it is today.  

I don’t know if the cancer put my mortality more in my face… but I think of how much time I may have left, all the time.  I wish the doctors had never given me prognosis numbers, I just use them as dates to beat, and so far, I already beat my first 3-5-year myeloma mortality rate. My next goal to beat is the 10-year mark with MM, but I know many survivors that are living well beyond that mark, so there is definitely hope for me (when I manage my stress).  So, each day is significant, no matter how insignificant a moment may seem.   


Survivor, unexpected…

I know prolonged stress can raise a person’s susceptibility to illness, but cancer never crossed my mind as a possibility … until it did.

The plasmacytoma squeezed a spontaneous fracture and crushed the bones holding my head up… parts removed, stuff added, then fused  🙂 bionic-like, with a titanium plate.  This was October 19, 2012.  I was diagnosed on Multiple Myeloma, stage II, at 37 years old, on December 4, 2012. MM is the invisible beast, the sleeping monkey on my back. MM affects bone marrow and bones, and becomes aggressive … with stress.

Just 1 mm away from paralyzation -expert doctors could not see it. They sent me home after 1st ambulance ride to ER. By 2nd trip a week later… the doctors quickly sprang into action to stabilize me.  For the first time in 40 years of life, I hold my head up, and look people in the eyes.  My mind, heart, and soul were (fortunately) rebooted as that small wrecking ball hit me in the throat.

I am still alive and breathing against all odds. I try to live each day mindful of that.  I recognize the physical and mental recovery needed, and act in forgiveness of others, to include myself.  Unfortunately, psychology & stressors create fearful uncertainties in a person blindly navigating life as an adult.  Grateful for ‘logistical timing’ during difficult moments.  I became the strong captain of my family’s life ship through the worst of storms.

Spiritually, I said the prayers and accepted christian salvation at age 14, and at age 18 committed my life to service before self.   I became a missionary willing to travel in pursuit of serving others in Jesus name.  Mother Theresa and Michelangelo were my role models.  Ignorant of catholicism, and identifing as southern-baptist, with non-denominational tendencies, but finally resting with the united methodist church.  I have studied world religions, participated in most traditional & contemporary styles of worship, many healing services, blessings, baptisms, christenings, and STILL feel unease about some religious organizations.  I was a Jesus freak passing out tracts to happy drinkers on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras in the 1990’s with my Baptist Student Union friends.   Internally I was a God-chaser in search of some great Revival.  I also naively dreamed of ways to connect to the rest of the planet in a real way.

I am among many, mindful-spiritual-beings- + follow the basic teachings of Christ and Buddha + positive others.  My Faith is personal and intellectual…  Not every person is ready to hear things I say.  I do not judge how a person chooses an internal belief system, unless… they personally have a proven history of harming others or to impose control on others.  I choose continued education in Human Rights and Social Justice because these are issues I am passionate about.   My internal struggle is, the faith I claimed, never quite made sense for 25 years.

Happy. Hopeful, Yes… but No, not Content-  a work in progress. Hoping for ‘remission’.  (I’m classified as in Partial-Remission?)  Not Cancer-Free, but chronic pain free & mentally clear :).  Not enough money in the bank, or having the house I wanted, or the college degree level I desired (but that is only a temporary status update).   The Good News:  Physically, emotionally, and spiritually I am tALIVE and AWAKE. What I know, is the more I do not know.  I am grateful for the opportunity to keep living.

The title survivor, unexpected, is due to fear in my brain, 5-7 years away from death. (The spine fracture, spinal chord injury, and fusion) …Sprinkled with 4 years of chemotherapy/radiation.  Possessing corrupt mental data, made some calculated choices and decisions.   The results of Best Intentions not realized, but finding new ways to solve life problems. I was always  poor at math, so… not surprised.  I think it is wrong to assume I can ‘blindly follow my bliss’ in the world as it is today.  We are all connected and what we do and say to others matters more than how much stuff we want.

Here we are, in Maryland, it’s summer of 2017, and my intent is to remain mindful and positive, no matter the circumstance.  Reality can be dark and twisty, humor may reflect it in my stories.  I am a thinker, choose different paths, and consider myself a Patriotic American Veteran.  However, some born in USA do not appreciate the rights they inherently possess.   I think, those who have to fight to be here… get it.  Sadly, the Mean Girl culture of exclusivity, and belief that He who has the most toys Wins, does not paint the best human picture.

I live and die for the right to know truth, no matter how uncomfortable it may be to know, and help as many people I can along my journey.  My desire is to be a fully plugged in.   Politically, I am Independent (thinking).  I believe living things desire and “deserve” to be treated with respect, and that humans need a moral compass to help do the least harm to others while attempting to live. Differences in size, shape, color, mental, spiritual, physical or emotional status should be celebrated, and not problems to solve or eliminate. I see no point in being so politically correct as to encourage or allow other humans to behave in ways to offend or traumatize others without a consequence for those actions.

It would be odd if I said that my life was not changed while going through my first stem cell transplant, and then the second one.  June 2013, my rebirth year.   I started writing about the journey.  Sharing my stories with humor was always therapeutic but fun, but the message I intended was not what was presented at first.  If you were to ask any person that knows me… My brain processes data and energy 24/7, and faster than my tongue can translate.  Talking a blue streak while nervous and joking inappropriately when scared, socially awkward and over-confident in defense of others but not myself.

In the past, I trusted unsafe people and daily, experience consequences of those choices.  Fear infiltrated my soul from as far back as I can remember, and it disrupted life utterly. Today, some irrational fears (or working on those) are gone as well as some of mortality ones, even with that mm monkey.  I write thoughts in order to process it all and not break down from the weight of it.   Real life has afforded me stories to share and hopefully it will inspire others still struggling…. Becoming a warrior via cancer is not the worst thing, if you really take a look at the bigger picture. 😊

Shaking Hands

Someone told me more than once that they know I am serious, by my very first handshake upon meeting me. I do take handshakes serious.

I am glad to hear this is communicated, because often I feel my messages are not clear. Anyway, I was due a bloodwork checkup and a disease percentage check. Honestly, I was half expecting Dr Borrello was going to tell me the cancer was back. I was pleasantly surprised when he said “Well, I can say, You are a lucky woman because you have gone so long not needing treatment.” He reached out a hand and shook it, congratulations. Then we scheduled a full skeletal survey because… we must be safe.

Multiple myeloma is sneaky in my opinion. To be such a big deal, but also possess the ability to sleep in your body and allow you to feel cancer free. It allows you to dream and hope for a future beyond the ten years you estimated you would get because you were so young when it was discovered.

I sat with my almost 18 year old daughter and received that handshake that felt like a high five inside my heart, and the proof to her that I am keeping my promise “Not to die”, and I can subconsciously pressure her to keep her promise she made to me “Not to die”, at least not earlier than Gods appointed time for us.

Life gets better one day at a time, sometimes nothing at all happens, sometimes Everything that Can… will happen, good or bad. I am typing this from my phone, because my computer acts like it was made in the 1990s… in the place my hopeful spirit likes to hang out.

I am happy to say, I am still kicking cancers butt, I was approved for my cannibas card, which I am excited about. This is the only thing I have done, beyond changing my diet and exercise that maintains my remission. It may not help for everyone, but it would be a shame to not try something that can work if you get the opportunity. Regulated use can really make a difference in quality of life minus the fact I have no need for chemo after being diagnosed December 2012…. woot woot I gotta shout some days.

Sorry my last post was so glum, much is happening, I will update soon.


How do I express what it is like to live a life that feels so foreign to anything I could have ever imaged for myself? The last several months have been a whirlwind of emotions (nothing new, sadly); but something has changed in the way in which I process them. I have been quite happy and hopeful at times – actually seeing progress – or opportunities missed – coming back around.

I love my children, more than I can ever say with words, so maybe that is why I find myself – by any means necessary – seeking safety to provide them opportunities to thrive. Maybe this is why I take failure so hard, I know in my heart I am trying with everything that is within me, to change the course. There is a complete disconnect between the woman I thought I was, the family I came from, and the course in which life has taken.

I have had to accept that no matter what I say or do to help does not mean that there will be a positive outcome. Sometimes you can run a race until your heart stops and still come in dead last.

To almost lose a child on multiple occasions, regardless of doctors, therapists, family or friends well-wishes… sometimes there is nothing you can do to change the course of something that began years before you had any awareness.

Working on a film provided me with some understandings – not solutions. I wanted to reach her, inspire her own passion to help others. I am sure our story can help others (cautionary tales being what they are), but most of all, I think I wanted to stop the hands of time. So many families have lost their children to disease, mothers write memoirs about children that take their own lives… I swear to myself I will not lose my girl, but I cannot control what I do not understand. Part of me hopes that spending time inside the darkness that inhabits the mind of a traumatized young person can somehow lead them out towards light. I foolishly hoped that my ‘faith’ would inspire motivation to fight for a better life. Some illness carries with it… a host of problems that cannot be seen unless you are closer to it. Living on my own, is not something I imagined would be a part of my ‘story’. I crave having a hand to hold when I am overwhelmed, or a hug, or a restful sleep. The last time I remember relaxing, was after my diagnosis in 2013… I was a resident of Barnes Jewish Hospital in Missouri and getting that second stem cell transplant. I remember it was the most relaxed I have ever been… I was alone, but I felt close to God somehow. I used to crave the company of people, friends, family, being a caretaker, nurturer, and a clown for the sake of love or friendship… I am not sure where that person is now.

I cannot rest, I can barely sit still on most days. My mind is weighed down with the uncertainty of multiple myeloma resting inside of my bones, and always wondering if any small sickness is related to the cancer. People cannot “see” myeloma and every doctor seems to forget I have it, until they open my medical records. My finances are a mess with student loans & medical bills that rival the cost of a home, and I would work more if I could – beyond caretaking. Seems impossible to rise above the ocean of debt to breathe freely. If I were alone, my benefits would be adequate – for that I am grateful, but I am responsible for others. My mind is weighed down with what doctors instructions… remain stress free, rest, care for my body, eat right, rest and maybe it will extend the cancers remission. Oh and my daughters doctors have a list as long as my arm that I am supposed to be working on as well. It is almost a guarantee the cancer will come back – especially if things do not improve. Who in this world can be stress-free anyway? What does a mother do if she wants to live, but she cannot inspire her own child to seek recovery for her own sake? A child that only complies to appease a mother, is not living, the fight MUST come from within the self.

How many times will I arrive to discover an unresponsive child, how many times will I need to experience forms of death, and not understand what for?… My faith as a young person was strong; yet I was naive; blind, and insanely hopeful. (I would give the world to feel like that again). Now questions plague me at night. Nothing I was taught or learned has prepared me for the damage that occurs to a soul when faith and belief does not match up to reality. I could have lost her again this week – and each time she comes home; I think she is inching towards recovery because I remain close by, and I stay vigalent… It is hard to admit there is a blindness when it comes to my love. Addiction comes in many forms.

I would ask for well-wishes, but I know that nothing can be done until she is ready to fight it. Time passing is my only constant… The world spins around me, as I stand still, waiting at doors – the wooshing sound of happiness slipping from my fingers, time spent waiting and wishing for what was lost to be found. (or wondering if happiness was ever real at all). I am not trying to bum anyone out, but I want to find a way to get back to living a life that matches my soul.

Filming Life

I hear this statement at least once a day, sometimes more when referring to how I juggle the overwhelming responsibility of managing a living on a veterans pension, social security disability, and child support when there are extenuating health circumstances, a fixed income + raising two teenage daughters in the most expensive county – “I Don’t Know How You Do It.” I often reply: Ï just Do it, whatever it is, whatever it takes for a given situation, I don’t hesitate, I just do what has to be done.” Sometimes in life, situations work in my favor, but more often than not, the lesson comes from the failing. I am confident that I am on the right path, but if you were to ask me where that path is taking me? I would have to answer, I do not know yet. I try to get closer to God, in order to decipher situations and feelings, but it is not always easy when confronted with everyday heavy life situations.

Sweet strangers snapped our photo on High Rock. Humans can be so cool.

I started a media production certification program a couple months ago. I can’t tell you exactly ‘what’or ‘why’I selected this program at that particular time. I had already decided that my focus needed to be artistic, to help me process a couple decades of stress and trauma. All I can say is that I needed something for myself, apart from surviving cancer, apart from my daughters health struggles, something with a mission or a task that I could put my passion and energy into.

Something occurred when I made a decision to focus my energy on Eating Disorder Awareness (because it was already a central focus of every day), and the Youth Foster Care system (an older passion). My passion for reaching out to young adults in need of Home Base, and the connections that can be found in institutionalized settings and eating disorders – gave me a little direction and focus, when I was struggling to understand my purpose as a disabled veteran/retiree unable to work in the same capacity as I am used to. This was my initial focus, but like life, it evolved and changed once I brought my daughter onto the project. It took my placing a camera on my child, asking her the hard questions, and LISTENING to her answers, to see the importance of filming Life – Fairly – Adequately – Compassionately, and sometimes the Truth from a young person is much simpler than all the medical jargon and psychiatric speculations.

My daughter has impressed me beyond the words, with her candor, her courage to share her truth, and her heart for others. Disease has stolen almost 7 years of peace from our family… Cancer Treatments or Eating Disorder Treatments = can make or break a family unit if not careful. The journey we went through will be told and I hope and pray we are able to help other familys start some Difficult conversations, before they have to suffer through unnecesarily painful journeys like ours, just to see we have more than we Thought because we have each other. I am grateful that life forced me to slow down (I know I would not have on my own), had I not been forced to stop raging forward like a automated decision-making machine in my parenting, I would not have been able to see what my daughter needed… for me to slow down and Hear her, See her, not the disorder.

mother and daughter symbiosis

Starting this process with my daughter was scary at first, but it turned into a project that we were both passionate about. I was able to get my daughters perspective and give her mine, and share research I have gotten on recovery and resources. I am able to understand her better, even when I do not agree with her opinions, I can demonstrate love and support for her.

…Occurs rarely, but I can attest that it can happen in the unlikeliest of circumstances. The last several weeks were rough emotionally, but slowly became inspiring. I decided on collaborating with my daughter in an interview/informational film on Eating Disorder Awareness. Half-way through my media production program -means I produce a film using whatever equipment needed in the studio and they help me produce it. The media center is the hub for the local public access channels. The nerd in me finds working there pretty cool (no matter what hat I wear). I want to do more pieces showcasing the non profit agencies our area and help them gain more visibility and support.

We have been scouting interview locations all around the city, and practicing with different types of cameras, and using different kinds of natural lighting. She has proven to be very helpful as a personal assistant, with all the audio and video equipment needed to set up film quality scenes. My daughter and I share the creativity gene… we see the rest of the world in little movie snippets, or stories, we see things very differently, but our brains work much the same. She has been working on her Service Learning hours for graduation, by cleaning the studio, and catologing 100s of tapes and dvds, amongst operating equipment in a pinch.

We have learned about the variety of disordered eating, and how undererepresented boys are in relation to girls struggling. There are many misconceptions that the public hold about those with disordered eating, but keeping secrets will not promote awareness or change.

If awareness and prevention starts early, maybe we can have less documentaries and memoirs made about mothers ‘surviving’ their daughters and sons sudden loss to something like ED. Just a couple weeks ago, the community lost a 23 year old daughter to ED complications, and the family donated to the Alliance for Eating Disorder Awareness. There are not many solid resources for families like ours, so hopefully we will change that. I hope my film does justice to the topic and I am proud of my daughter for sharing such a painful part of her life in order to encourage others to seek help.

Cleaning the studio

Be the water

If you had a choice to be a Rock, or to be Water, which would you choose? What is the strongest?

Dr. Wayne Dyer says: “Water is the softest of all things, yet it is the most powerful. The ocean patiently allows all things to flow into it. It is always flexible.”

I am the Water, not the Rock. The rock is stable, unmoving, the water is a slow- or fast-moving constant, but can cut straight through any rock or any mountain with sheer persistence. I want to embody all the aspects of water in my life, the ability to go with the flow, roll with the punches, accept life when it does not go out as planned.

When I think of an obstacle, I think of ‘Rock’, and know I can overcome whatever is in my way with hard work and intentionally slow, but persistent effort.

I have a daughter caught in a compulsive self-harm cycle that is not slowing down. Mental illness comes in many forms, but most of the time it can be managed with good self-care, good support systems, and a little medication. However, if you have multiple medical issues compounding your underlying issue… the health issue becomes like a rock, that is slowly turning into a mountain… How can I, as mom, be more like water, and allow things to flow one day at a time, and how do I decide which rocks MUST be broken down first, or which rocks we can sail right past.

I am struggling right now because I am willing to move heaven and earth to save my child, but my child is not willing to save herself. Eating Disorders are insidious diseases that tear apart families, tear down kids’ self-worth, it is an invisible form of self-abuse that seems to be without end.

What is so great about that number… the blessed number on the scale that determines (to her) whether she feels she has the right to live or not. When her number rises, she no longer feels worth living, and has zero interest in recovery thinking, or help from well-meaning professionals. Food in all forms, becomes the enemy, but nourishment of the body is also the cure.

I spent my life; fighting for it. Sadly I cannot fully relate to feeling this one life is not worth living, but in this case, it is a reality that I must accept if I want to survive day to day. To talk to a child, offer hope, offer support, and realize that nothing you can say or do alleviates any of the pain she is feeling, because, there are no answers…yet.

She has decided to accept the ED as her life, and we are all supposed to pretend we don’t see her literally ‘vanishing’ before our eyes a little more each day. This is the underlying intent, to vanish, to lose weight and no longer exist in the body she is currently in. No amount of reason, logic, science, or near-death scares, have changed the determination to keep doing what she swears is ‘the only thing that gives her happiness in life’. But, she swears she does not want to die, just does not want to live on my terms, or anybody else.

If ED is the Rock right now, then… yes. Mom is the water. I will keep doing everything in my power to express my unconditional love and support, even if it frustrates and confuses me every day. It is a hopeless feeling to watch your own child slip away and feel there is nothing you can do to stop it… you can postpone things by checking into hospitals, but the drugs and therapy only mask the symptoms if the client is not ready for help offered. All I can do is hold her and take her to her appointments, and attempt to guide her safely through. *basically feels like I am doing nothing at all*

I wish I could say I had the answers, and that all of my positive affirmations about myself were helpful in this case, but they are not. I just try to focus on the positive and remember that tomorrow is another day to try again. The reason I speak out about an ED, is the fact that it thrives in the dark or secrecy, and cancer was easier to fight.

I wish

I wish I could say things just keep getting better and better everyday. I cannot always say that, but I can choose to believe it will get better soon.

Not sure how many folks out there have what I like to call alphabet problems? Those that you need acronyms to spell, to keep track, or to mentally stay sane in spite of all the letters flying at you – with the associated behaviours and/or side effects that come along with modern medicine.

It is baffling to see healthcare in action…. “in-action” is more what I am referring to… IF you have a case that belongs on a television show called “House”… those cases do not end up neatly tied in a bow with solutions. Some real life medical cases have a tendency to go through a life… much like a train… a big, long, train.

Each train car is another letter of the alphabet, some cars are full, some are heavy, some even light. Some are unnecessary and can be cut loose… which ones? That is where the medical teams are supposed to come into play.

We are the engineers of our own trains, but we often forget and let others drive. By the way; This will leave a train open to hijackers. Anywho, the healthcare in this country is embarrassingly terrible… if you are sick. Our healthcare system will keep you “alive” but it is up to you to choose to “Live”.


Today was the first year of my youngest daughters sophomore year of high school. The way she walked into that school today made me drop my jaw. This school looks like a manufacturing plant for politicians, 50 shades of Khaki is the uniform the boys wear, and the girls are just like the wives of senators in training… just saying. It could also double as a setting for several horror movies and television shows where the teens have obscene amounts of money and drive cars nicer than the adults. The parents generally look like they definitely are minted, fresh from the box of Ken & Barbie also. I want to get a bumper sticker that says, “My kids have interpersonal skills in the form of balls of steel” not the ones that brag about her honor roll.

I cannot imagine the courage it takes be a teenager in high school in 2019… with social media… I literally… cannot imagine. I watch my children walk places, heads high, regardless of what the situation is, and I am always impressed beyond words. Props to them, props to all my friends kids that are out there surviving, and thriving, against all distractions and hope sometimes.

But seriously, the boys are tan from their ankles to their heads, with natural sun frosting on the tips of the floppy hair that has to be tossed continuously during a conversation. The only kind of tan I imagine you get from being on a boat in the middle of some beautiful ocean where the sun hits you from all angles? I was intimidated driving in the drop-off lane, I can only imagine having a huge backpack on my back, bright red hair – just being adorable, and having to walk into Abercrombie and Fitch High School… not rich shaming, just wishing I had a camera to illustrate what I saw my daughter walk into this morning. I wanted to cheer like she was spiking a football, just for getting out of the car by herself. lol

Thank God, I don’t have to go to high school anymore.


I feel if more of us thought about our mortality beyond, ‘Am I going to heaven or hell?’ Maybe folks would put down picket signs *metaphorically. What if the world took a hard look at the direction hate is going and stood up at the same time to stop it where they saw it? What if we looked at life as more of a Challenge”, to Life Itself, what if we chose to Exist and to Matter Positively, regardless of whether we belong to a fundamentalist group of some kind or not? Just a thought. Living life for me since myeloma, has been more of a Dare that I intend on beating the odds.

If we looked at death as a finish line in some life race, we would spend all of our time looking forward or trying to elbow or outpace the people next to us, racing exactly the same direction. There is no time to hesitate once the gun sounds and you are running, you just go… What if we lagged behind to make sure the end of the road is in the same direction your heart intends to go… not just the direction of the road paved before you. Anyway, my brain tangents.

I finished a book recently, Conversations With God, by Neale D Walsch. The book was written during the same year as my spiritual awakening or revival in 1994. This book reads like my personal journals, so I thought it would be easy to read, and it was. Anyway, if you have an open mind and heart, you can glean much knowledge from reading books by philosophers and spiritual leaders, but you ultimately have to trust your heart and your mind and your faith in something *in my experience – without faith in something greater – life is possible, but significantly more hellish in nature*

I have never been able to quantify the God that I know, or that has guided me my entire life. These types of books are encouraging to people like me that feel they have had these conversations for years, but thought it was merely chemo or mental illness.

Back to death, I have been in the room with at least 30 dead people at one time, and with humans on their way out, or had ‘just left’. It is my personal experience that a body with a soul and a body without a soul are completely different, therefore, I find some strange peace in knowing that at the time of departure, a soul is no longer connected to the body. When a body leaves the earth, it endures much trauma, and is sometimes like the trauma of a childbirth. The knowledge that I will not be connected to my body gives me peace, but I also have peace in the knowledge that whomever we Love that we lose, never truly leaves us. I believe they are connected to every thing and person they have ever touched and they will remain as present as your mind allows them to be.

There is something comforting in the neuroscience of the brain, as it relates to memory… When we clear out the old, we make room for the best memories of those we love, so when we lose them, we do not feel the loss as deeply because – if you are open to it, there is comfort in allowing faith in something to wrap their loving arms around you to remind you that you are never alone.

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