Thursday, January 31, 2013

What is in your heart?

Is there something that is calling to you?  A project?  A new career choice?  A new love?  If you place your intentions on what you DO want, you will be amazed by how everything will begin to unfold.  Listen to your heart...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Beauty -

I saw this and loved the message behind it. 
Just keep plugging along!

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Do you have moments when fear consumes you?  Been there, done that.  But, fear is counterproductive to healing emotionally and physically.  When fear rears it's ugly head, just let it rip and ...

Saturday, January 26, 2013


YEAHHHHH! It's Saturday! Take time to do something for YOU this weekend!  What's on your agenda????

Friday, January 25, 2013

My Goals...

I am going to get back to "normal" starting today - I had to put my e-book on hold for the past two weeks and now I am ready to get back to work.  It has to be done!  (And I mean it!)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Celebrate Life ....

With my sister's passing this month, I have strengthened my mission to live life to the fullest.  One of the biggest lessons that I took away from her death was to have all of your paperwork in order.  Get a Living Will, assign a health surrogate so that someone will take over for your care when you cannot speak for yourself, and give copies of important papers to your surrogate as well as anyone else who may need to step in for you.  Doing this will give you peace of mind and will assist your loved ones if need be.  Once you have completed these tasks, carry on ... life is too short!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

SECOND OPINION | Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma | PBS

Did you get a second opinion after your initial diagnosis?  What were your feelings when you received "the news?"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another wonderful resource for you ...

I discovered another great website, .  Take a moment to see what they have to offer.  Not only do they have community boards, they also have blog listings for various forms of cancer. I'm glad I found them!

Monday, January 21, 2013

You are a Strong Soul!

You will find strength when you thought none existed.  I've learned that even in my darkest of days, the sun always sets and then rises the next day. I had to remind myself, "This, too shall pass." If you need a visualization, think of the New Year as being a positive one.  One where you will find yourself in a better place emotionally and physically.  One where you will realize what a strong person you are!  When you are able to accept what you are going through, what you've endured, you'll be so grateful for each and every day.  Continue to tell your mind, body and spirit that you are filled with love and light and that every cell in your body is energized with joy and vibrant health and inner peace  There will be many days when you will feel nothing but turmoil and chaos.  Those are the days when you'll need to be extra insistent on keeping with these positive thoughts because once you shift your thoughts from those of doom-and-gloom to "I WILL get through this," you'll simply amaze yourself!  I am praying for a wonderfully healthful year for us all!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rainbows ...

Another way to forget about your own worries is to help to brighten someone else's day.  To me, giving is often better than receiving!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fly ... Be Free...

I wanted to take a moment today to honor my sister, Melissa.  On Sunday, January 5th, she collapsed at a friend's house and suffered a massive heart attack.  She had a total blockage in one of her arteries and ended up on life support for a week.  She passed away two days later under the care of Hospice.  She was only 45 years old and had all of the typical heart attack symptoms that women get -- she even told her friend the day before that she thought she had the flu but then her arms and chest started hurting and she mentioned she "might" go to the E.R. to get it checked out.  Unfortunately she didn't.  If she had, maybe there might've been a different outcome.  So, to all of my female readers out there, PLEASE listen to your body ... it is better to be safe than sorry.  No one should have to see their baby sister suffer like that.  Rest in peace, Melissa.  I love you.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Attitude helps ...

I have chosen to be happy.  I've always been happy all my life, why should I stop now?  Way before I was ever diagnosed, I was inspired by Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of The Gift of You, 101 Exercises for the Soul, 365 Prescriptions for the soul to name a few. He believed that the key to healing and maintaining a healthy body was to remain positive and treat your mind, body and soul with love and care.
"If hunger leads me to find food, then mortality will lead me to find life." ~Dr. Bernie Seigel 
Here is a video by Dr. Siegel:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Living La Vida (Lymphoma) follower shares his story...

This writing was contributed by Cameron Von St. James.  His words most likely echo those of other caregivers who have had to deal with their loved one's cancer diagnosis. It shows the strength and the courage that shines through in the darkest of all times. Cameron, thanks so much for sharing your story and congratulations on a six year remission, Heather!  Your story WILL bring hope to others...

My Life with My Wife's Cancer

My wife has always wondered what I went through when she was diagnosed with mesothelioma.  I only sat down and talked with her once about it.  Hopefully, this writing will allow me to share more about my experiences as her caregiver.

A few months before her diagnosis, we welcomed the birth of our first child, Lily.  It was such a joyous occasion; however, the joy quickly led to worry and anxiety.  When the doctor told my wife her diagnosis, my wife could only cry and wonder if we could make it through this ordeal.

Not only did my wife feel overwhelmed, but I felt as if I could not make it through this difficult time.  This was the beginning of an emotional rollercoaster for me, but I knew I had to be the person to support my wife in these difficult decisions.

When the doctor gave my wife her diagnosis, I was angry.  My anger would result in hostile treatment to others around me.  Many of these people were the recipients of my foul language.  I eventually found techniques to help me control my anger.  I knew that the anger was not good for me, nor was it good for my wife and Lily.  I tried to be my wife’s support system because I knew she needed me, but many days, it was very hard to do so.

When my wife became ill, most of our responsibilities were now my responsibilities.  I had to take care of work, Lily, our pets, and our travel.  I had to learn to prioritize and accept help from others.  Even though our friends did their best to help us whenever possible, the responsibilities were often overwhelming.

One time in particular was the most stressful of all.  Heather had just had surgery in Boston.  While Heather was in Boston, Lily stayed with her grandparents in South Dakota. Heather flew to South Dakota after the surgery and stayed there in order to recover and prepare for her next round of mesothelioma treatments, which would include chemotherapy and radiation.

I was so desperate to see my wife and daughter one weekend that I drove 11 hours through the night in a snowstorm.  I even had to sleep in the car when I could not get through the snow-covered roads.  I only got to spend a little time with them before heading back for another 11-hour drive the next day.

It was so hard to be away from my family, but I always looked at the positive side of it.  By having my family stay with my wife’s parents, I was able to continue to work at my job, which was essential to keeping our family above water financially.  There were a lot of difficult choices to make, but I was glad that I had to ability to make these choices.

One of the most important lessons learned during this difficult time was to always accept help from others and be happy that we are able to make choices.  These choices allowed us to have a little control of an uncontrollable situation. Through all of our struggles, Heather is still here and still healthy over six years later.  I hope that our story can be a source of hope and help to those currently battling cancer.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thoughts On Giving Up...

All along your cancer journey, you will have times where you reach some low points.  Maybe the side effects from your treatment have made you sick and weak.  You may have financial and insurance woes.  Having cancer sucks!  One of the things that I did early on was to find a good therapist and a support group.  You can't deal with everything on your own.  When you come out on the other side of your diagnosis, you will be amazed at the sheer strength that you've had all along!  Chin up, Lovies! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Beauty -

When you're feeling down, the best way to lift yourself up is to find some beauty in your surroundings.  Sit and watch the birds and squirrels in your back yard. Go to a park and watch children at play. Take a walk. Beauty is everywhere!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Healing Energy...

I would like to send a big ball of healing energy to you today.  Take time to sit and meditate or pray and picture a ball of healing light entering your body. Feel it's healing powers flow through your body from the top of your head to the souls of your feet. Know that you are connected to the Earth and be open to receive this healing energy and love. 
And so it is ...!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Life's Too Short -

Don't live with regrets.  They hold you back from becoming the person who you were meant to be!


Thursday, January 10, 2013


  Ya gotta have hope.  Hope for healing.  Hope for love.  Hope for peace. 
Without hope, we have nothing!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sooooo true!

 Whenever you find yourself in a bad place ... when you feel as if you cannot go on ... think about this statement!  YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU KNOW!!! 

Sunday, January 6, 2013


This is one of my favorite songs ... it lifts my Spirits and I hope it will do the same for you!  Have a peaceful Sunday!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Meet Iva, Cancer Survivor!

Here is another story of survival!  This one really hit home for me as I have often wondered IF anyone would ever want to take a chance and start a relationship with me.  Iva's story gives me hope that there is a special someone out there for me, too!  Have any of you had similar feelings?  Any stories of hope that you would like to share?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Winds -

I like to think that adversity makes us all stronger. If you need a mental picture to focus on, visualize strong hurricane-force winds blowing all of your cares away!  Hang in there!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happiness -

While we are in the Happy New Year - mode, I thought I'd take a moment to talk about happiness.  I decided early on that I was not going to let Lymphoma rob me of my happiness.  It is hard at times, I know!  When you're dealing with pain and nausea, fatigue and financial stresses on top of everything else, it can wear on you.  On days like these, I force myself to be happy. To try to find SOMETHING to make me smile.  Even if it means watching a funny movie...something to help lift my spirits. 
 I wish YOU a happy day today!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Not as I Pictured ...

There have been many synchronistic-divine-interventions along my journey and I'd like to share a story with you now.  I rarely watch the news on T.V. (except for CBS Sunday Morning, which I refer to as "The Happy News" because they only spend a few minutes in the beginning of the program on world news and the rest of the stories are up-beat)  ANYWAY, I digressed .... one morning about a year ago, I turned on the local news, and there was a gentleman being interviewed.  I normally wouldn't have listened in, but I heard him mention that he had Lymphoma so it piqued my interest.  His name is John Kaplan, and although I came in on the tail-end of his interview, I was taken in by his positivity and zest for life!  You see, John is a Pulitzer Prize-winning Photographer, who, when he was initially diagnosed, decided to do what he knew best ... he documented everything in pictures and bravely bared his soul to help others.  He, in turn, turned his journey into an documentary entitled, Not as I Pictured, which has aired on PBS. There he was on television, talking about how he now wanted to give back to others by providing cancer patients, care-givers and survivors a FREE copy of his DVD. He gave his website info and I immediately checked it out and called him.  He was just stepping into the elevator at the T.V. station to head back to Gainesville, but he was awesome and chatted with me and gave me hope.  He sent me the DVD and I am so honored to share with you a link to his website so that you can see for yourself what a wonderful man he is! He lectures and shares his work for the benefit of others.  My HERO!!!  Thank you so much, John for all that you do to help others! THAT, my friends, is what this life is all about ...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


WOW! Another year is gone!  January arrives and everyone makes their resolutions.  Not me! I've decided to stick with my routine and stay on track with what I am doing.  I am living my life in a wholesome and loving way and will make changes along the way if need be.  No pressure,  No broken resolutions.  I am going to "live in the moment!"  HAPPY 2013!!!