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Archive for the ‘Cancer’ Category

Maybe I have your attention? Or maybe you’ve left because you can’t be bothered to figure out what BSH and MBS stand for.

Well, the latter is easy:

  • Mind
  • Body
  • Spirit

It’s something I pride myself in because I feel that I finally have a good balance in all three. I’ve worked hard on each of them, and will continue to do so until the day I die. Finding my life purpose, really brought everything together – and has melded it so.

The former, is a little more complicated. I met a new friend in February at the Anjali Hill workshop – Living from Truth: Contact. During a recent chat, she made something very clear to me. The right partner for anyone must have all three of the following:

  • Balls
  • Spine
  • Heart

I think brains also needs to be included in this. We may see different factors within each of the three points, but without all three, a true partner cannot exist.

I’ve let her words permeate my being, and they truly resonate with me. It’s likely that all people have all three, but may not be aware of what’s involved for them to be truly present.

What do you think?

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Another quote from Jake on “Touch” – April 26 episode:

Numbers are constant, until they’re not. Our inability to influence outcome is the great equalizer; makes the world fair. Computers generate random numbers in an attempt to glean meaning out of probability. Endless numerical sequences lacking any pattern. But during a cataclysmic global event: tsunami, earthquake, the attacks of 911 – these random numbers suddenly stop being random. As our collective consciousness synchronizes, so do the numbers. Science can’t explain the phenomenon, but religion does, it’s called prayer. A collective request sent up in unison, shared hope. Numbers are constant, until they’re not.

During cataclysmic global events, our collective consciousness synchronizes. So do of the numeric sequences created by random number generators. Science can’t explain the phenomenon, but religion does, it’s called prayer. A collective request, sent up in unison, a shared hope, a fear relieved, a life spared. Numbers are constant…until they’re not.

In times of tragedy. Times of collective joy. In these brief moments, it is only the shared emotional experience that makes the world seem less random. Maybe it’s coincidence. Or maybe it’s an answer to our prayers.

Wow, so how fitting I am watching this tonight, after spending time with a numerologist named Joseph Ghabi in Vancouver. The episodes normally make me cry, but tonight, their focus on love really got me.

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It was starting to sprinkle as Lucy and I left the house for our usual after work walk and the air was crisp as I drew it into my nostrils. The cherry blossoms in full bloom I was reminded of the phrase “tree of life.” I have learned to imagine myself as a tree, firmly rooted in the ground, balanced no matter what comes my way. Swaying my arms as I dance, the same as the boughs and limbs of a tree move in the wind.

I also began to think of a new way of picturing this tree. That this tree of life represented every living thing I’ve known, and that when one person leaves or dies, a leaf falls from the tree.

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A year is 365.25 days. Every four years, we get an extra day. February 29 is that day, it fell on a Wednesday this year.

Another day to spend, un-wasted, to cherish.

I am reminded of this as I reflect on a workshop I attended the weekend of February 17, led by Anjali Hill called Living From Truth – Contact: The Missing Link. Outside of this weekend, she spends weekends teaching self-esteem, communication, relationships, cycles, and what this weekend was about: contact. Contact can be distinguished as physical, emotional, ideological, psychological, spiritual and with other people’s thoughts.

The weekend was a powerful one for me. I attended it with my mom and a few of my friends. I’m so thankful to have even a couple of people around me who believe in finding their truth. I know I’m trying to figure out exactly what that is and what it means.I learned what it meant to put my attention on another as a conscious being. This meant that my focus was on them no matter what happened around me, or what they were doing.

The work was done in dyads, or partners of two. I’d never experienced anything like it before. I’ve attended retreats in the cancer community that have allowed me to search myself for issues and things I needed to work on, but this was very different. It gave me time to explore all the types of contact there are.

I had an amazing connection with my mom. At the end of the weekend, the last exercise was to spend one minute taking turns giving each other a flower, while giving all our love and gratitude – without words. Sending energy across from each other as we sat in a room full of people who were doing the same exercise, with music playing in the background. Some were with strangers. Some were partners. Some friends. I sobbed uncontrollably in those two minutes and was fully present. Completely vulnerable with no care about how I looked or what I felt. Just experiencing it for what it was. I will take this with me for the rest of my life. I know that in that perfect moment, I expressed all the love I had for her. All the beautiful memories and care I had received from her. My thanks to her as a divine being. And she is. I am so proud of her for being there for me, and with me.

Given to me with pure love and gratitude by my mom

If you were to move from this plane of existence, would your loved ones know just that; that you loved them? If not, what’s so hard about saying the word? What does it bring up for you? Maybe that’s something you need to sit with for a little while. I know it might hurt, but working through it allows space in your life for something wonderful.

A friend of mine shared with me what they had learned from their recently passed uncle – How to love: up to the ceiling, down to the floor, the whole world round, and a lot, lot more. These are words to live by and I hope that I come across that way to the world, because a good part of the time, I feel it. I am it.

So what are you waiting for? Search for your purpose in life if you haven’t already found it.

What do you want to experience or achieve in your life? Who do you want to be? How do you hope to portray yourself to the world?

I feel that in order to answer these questions, you have to be true to yourself. You have to be vulnerable and experience everything you can in this life. It is happening now! Not tomorrow, next week, next month, next year or five years from now. NOW!

Take a leap and enjoy every possibility handed to you. If it’s not right, turn it down and another door will open. But don’t wait another second for your life to begin, because you and I both know, you don’t know what’s around the corner. It could be a fairy-tale come true, or a complete disaster. And I’m an optimist. Yet I’m also a realist.

I’ve learned enough in these short 34 years that being present in every moment is a goal I strive for, because every moment has something beautiful and amazing to offer.

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Make a point of learning what truth is, for it is what sets you free. Don’t look for truth in all the traditional places, even though it may be there to some degree. You would never pick up bits of shells along a stream and try to fit them together by reason and logic. Reason and logic are of the mind, but truth is of the Spirit. If the spirit is not renewed, it seldom recognizes truth.

Other people cannot give us truth. They can only stir us up to find it for ourselves. We have to receive and perceive and believe – because the time comes when we have to walk by faith and not by sight. Life is really quite simple when we stop believing that money and fame are the essence of truth.

~ August 23 entry of A Cherokee Feast of Days – Volume III, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Hmm, in the search for truth, where do you find yourself? What do you consider truth to be?

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Getting a cancer diagnosis, such as breast cancer, mesothelioma or lymphoma can often feel like a death sentence for many people. Cancer in the body can be incredibly deadly even with treatment, but you don’t have to feel like you don’t have any control over yourself after a cancer diagnosis. In fact, exercising and general fitness can help relieve many of the mental and physical symptoms of your cancer.

Exercise and fitness before a cancer diagnosis may actually help stop that diagnosis from occurring. Dr. Kerry Courneya, a professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, reports that increased physical activity is linked with a reduced risk of cancer recurrence. Courneya also states that it has been shown to give cancer patients “…longer survival after a cancer diagnosis.”

Science Daily” reports on a major breakthrough in understanding the benefits of exercise for breast cancer patients. Breast cancer patients were often encouraged to avoid exercising, as it was believed this could be harmful to the patient. However, Doctor Jane Armer of the Sinclair School of Nursing reports that this is not true.

“Exercise can be beneficial and not harmful for breast cancer survivors,” she stated, claiming that individuals should “balance the pros and cons” of exercise with their doctor. She encourages breast cancer patients to avoid being sedentary as this has “risks” that could contribute to a worsening cancer condition.

One major down turn that occurs after a cancer diagnosis is an increased risk of depression, or the feeling that your life has been taken out of your hands. However, exercise has been shown to help with this problem. According to several research studies, exercise has been shown to decrease fatigue in cancer patients and survivors, decrease depression, make a person more satisfied with their life and help them feel more in control of their lives.

There are several different causes of the benefits. The first is that exercise causes better oxygen and blood flow, helping to activate areas of the body and increase energy levels as it increases the metabolism rate. Exercise also releases endorphins, which brings pleasure to the brain.

There are obviously many benefits to exercise and wellbeing after you have received your cancer diagnosis. Never use exercise as the only treatment for cancer. Instead, make yourself feel less depressed, more energized and ready to deal with your diagnosis.

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Life sure has been interesting since the last time I posted.

In May, I was approached by the head of Public Relations at The Cancer Knowledge Network, an online community for oncologists, cancer patients and medical students, who came across my blog which is posted on the Young Adult Cancer Canada website. I was asked if I would be interested in writing for their Patient Connect/Life After Cancer section. I couldn’t say no to the opportunity. In fact, I think it took me two seconds to reply with a resounding YES! I have written a few articles for them thus far, but am now volunteering for them in a different capacity – but that comes later in the year. I am excited to be contributing in a different capacity now, was I approached my five year clear/cancerversary later in the year.

In June, I was downtown for the Vancouver Canuck riots (I posted videos on YouTube under the name turnurlifearound). These videos were actually given to the Vancouver Police to use as evidence and to help them identify suspects). I found it very interesting to experience sheer chaos in the downtown core. As sad as it was, and scary at times, I am really glad I was there. I was thankfully safe, and was more interested in taking photos and videos to use for identification. It was absolutely insane.

In July, I was a peer supporter again with Young Adult Cancer Canada at Retreat Yourself West (which for your information is now open for 2012 registration). I met another amazing group of young adults and expanded my heart even further. I felt truly comfortable in this role for the first time, and enjoyed guiding the newbies along the process. Felt like a bit of a veteran, even though it was only the third time I had helped in that capacity, yet I already had six retreats and three survivor conferences under my belt.

Summer was pretty much non existent here in Vancouver, but I spent as much time as I could out in the sun when it was around. I found a new favourite place not very far from where I live, which is called Iona Beach. It’s near a sewage treatment plant, but the beach is pristine (water, I’m not so sure about).

At the beginning of November, I headed out to Ottawa for my fourth Young Adult Survivor Conference with YACC. It was SO wonderful to reconnect with all my old friends, and create new ones. Checking out the market, and doing a climb to Parliament Hill were bitter sweet, knowing that I was coming up to my five year cancerversary on December 2. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to attend this conference, as I’m not sure if I want to attend in future years, and instead give the opportunity to others who have a greater need to connect.

After I got back from my trip, I accepted the role of Editor to the Life After Cancer section of the Cancer Knowledge Network. Apparently, thus far, we’ve received over 5,000 hits, with over 600 hits to the number one read article of the site – Turning Your Life Around – Fear and Uncertainty, Part 2 in only a week. I’m so happy to know that 150,000 people from all over the world, have had a chance to checkout the different parts of this site, and am looking forward to further contributions. Right now, my focus is on finding writers, so if you’re interested, please leave a comment – I would love to connect!

On December 2, Mikey Lang, Jared Brick, Vikram Bubber and I, had the opportunity to attend a screening of Wrong Way to Hope at the Cancer Agency Community Forum in Vancouver. This was an extra special day for me, as it was my five year anniversary of finishing treatment. I was greeted with a bouquet of flowers and the ability to sit back and watch the film again. Loved the opportunity to talk and answer questions from the crowd. I met a wonderful young woman by the name of Terri Wingham, who introduced me to what she was doing – traveling around the world and volunteering with cancer centers. She invited me along, and I hope to make it happen this year. Her blog “A Fresh Chapter” is absolutely amazing, and I recommend you check it out.

The end of the year was a difficult one for me, having to make the choice to put my cat, Liz, down after over a year of battling kidney failure. The poor love was just not doing well since my trip back from the Ottawa YACC Survivor Conference (she was blind from hypertension when I came back, which was handled with medication, and she actually got her sight back). She had been on subcutaneous fluids for several months, and was on different types of medication, but it was hard for the last few months. She had a good life with me, considering I know she’d had a stressful four years prior to me adopting her from Forgotten Felines. I will miss her dearly, but am happy to have started 2012 without her struggling and the stress it caused all of us. Lucy (dog) is adapting and happy to have all of my attention now.

I would also like to introduce a guest writer I will be posting an article from shortly – David Haas. Please welcome his informative pieces on Wellness.

Happy 2012, and can’t wait to share more with you in whatever way possible.

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