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Hope, Heart, and Health: A Tribute to What Cancer is NOT

Three years ago, on this very day, many of you were praying for me as I went into the hospital to undergo a bi-lateral mastectomy.  Today is a day of celebration and I feel blessed, Blessed, BLESSED!

You may recall in 2011 when this healing journey began, I asked you to do one thing:  To see me as Whole.  As already healed…in the present tense.  And you did.  Thank you.

Over the three-plus years since the diagnosis that started it all, I have learned more than I’d sometimes care to remember about cancer:  the logistics of maneuvering the in’s and out’s, the physical aspects, and the emotional and psychological splat of it.  That’s what it often feels like—SPLAT!—out of control and smearing in so many different directions, there’s no way to contain your emotions at times.

But here’s one thing I’ve found to be true of cancer:  no two experiences are the same.  Everyone lives their own, unique experience.  It’s the same with divorce.  With childbirth.  With attending university.  We each travel our own, distinct journey, framing our own, remarkable path.

There are certain journeys and paths that do not have to be….    Continue Reading

Get Rid of Your House AND Mind Clutter in Record Time

My outside is a wreck.

Correction, my outside is slowly becoming an un-wreck. Not a neat-freak by nature, but a woman who oscillates between generally organized and OCD (gently referred to as my little “idiosyncrasies” by my husband), I was taken by surprise when I returned from vacation to a house a vaguely recognized.

There appeared to be little piles of…what? STUFF. Yes, there were little piles of stuff—everywhere. When had this happened? Who had done this?

When? There was no specific time. It just happened over time, but really ramped up as soon as summer started. And who had done this? Mostly me probably.  Continue Reading

5 Steps to Train Your Brain to Choose Happiness

Have you noticed the latest trend? The happiness trend?  Everyone seems to be talking about happiness. Oprah and Deepak Chopra are starting a happiness meditation series this month. “Choosing Happiness” articles, “Choose Happiness” quotes, “Happiness is a choice” conversations are springing up everywhere. Just last night at a party I attended, the topic of “We choose happiness” cropped up not once, not twice, but three times—three separate conversations with three separate groups of people.

In fact, a few days ago I returned from a retreat in New Mexico called Choosing Happiness.

I remember slightly squirming in my chair last fall when I received the call asking if I would speak at this retreat. With an unsteady voice, I said, “You say the name of the retreat is what? Choosing Happiness?”

“Yes. It’s a two-day retreat for women, and I thought you could maybe talk about how women don’t trust themselves—tie that into happiness somehow….”

What did I know about happiness? I mean, everything I write about: trusting yourself, loving yourself, learning to let go—it’s all based on the foundation of peace, not happiness.

Looks like I had some research to do. Researching happiness…who does that? I did. And a lot of it. But not nearly as much as this guy. Continue Reading

3 Steps to Unlock Your Intuition

It all began…

…three summers ago, on a morning not much different than today.  Sun shining.  Texas heat already showing itself.  My first stop was to see the radiologist for a breast biopsy (following a questionable mammogram).  Later I visited the kidney doctor for my annual check-up.  Hit it all in one day is how I like to approach doctor’s visits.

While visiting with my kidney doctor, we began our normal back and forth banter—that’s how we always start—a man with a keen sense of humor!  A few minutes into the exam, he got his serious face on, and started doing his doctor-thing.  As I’ve witnessed him do on many occasions, he closed his eyes, concentration setting in, leaned forward, and readied himself to listen closely to my heart.  As he went to place his stethoscope in the area of my heart, I noticeably flinched;  he had accidentally grazed the area where my breast biopsy had taken place earlier that day.  He opened his eyes and saw that my chest was wrapped in an ACE bandage.

“What is this?”

Clearly, I had some ‘splainin to do.

“Oh, I just had a breast biopsy thing this morning.  Whatever….”  My voice trailing off.

(Because, as you know, if you say something all nonchalant-like, as if it’s no big deal, then of course, it’s not….)

But here’s the truth…something I’m coming clean on now:  at that point, I already knew it was a big deal.  I somehow knew I would receive a diagnosis of breast cancer resulting from that morning’s biopsy.

How, You Ask?

Continue Reading