Posted in cancer, God, gratitude, hapiness, Post Cancer, Survival, Thanksgiving, volunteerism

New Year and a New Adventure

As 2013 dawns, I embark on a new and exciting adventure. For the past nearly 3 years, I have worked at SCB Marketing and love it. I interviewed and got the job within weeks of finishing my cancer treatment. Jeff and Josh hired me in 2010 and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to serve Brevard County in such a positive way. I have absolutely loved the work and the people.
Within the past year, it has become apparent to me and nearly everyone around me that I have a real fire in my belly to serve the cancer community. I have found my true passion is in that arena. I love making a difference for people who are facing one of life’s greatest challenges. It does not matter whether I am facilitating a support group or speaking and raising money, it all is incredibly gratifying and something I must do.
Within the next month I will be transitioning from SCB to assume my new position as Marketing & Communication Director for Space Coast Cancer Center and Space Coast Cancer Foundation and I could not be more thrilled.
I will be working with one of my personal heroes Dr. Richard Levine and his partners. We will be working on initiatives to improve the quality of care and resources for cancer patients.
I covet your prayers and support as I assume this new role. And I would be remiss if I did not publicly thank God for this wonderful opportunity. God is good all the time!! WOW!!!!

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Posted in cancer, God, loss, Post Cancer, Survival

My new LOGO………the Pink Phoenix.

 I have decided to make the PINK PHOENIX my new logo.  I feel it is an appropriate one  as for quite some time, I have felt that I have risen out of the ashes of a much different and previous existence.   If you toss in the radiation experience, it makes the correlation that much stronger.  In my work with cancer patients now, I see it time and again where new and better life springs from a previous one.  I am placing the legend of the phoenix here for those who do not know it.

There is a bird that lays no eggs and has no young. It was here when the world began and is still living today, in a hidden, faraway desert spot. It is the phoenix, the bird of fire.

One day in the beginning times, the sun looked down and saw a large bird with shimmering feathers. They were red and gold–bright and dazzling like the sun itself. The sun called out, “Glorious Phoenix, you shall be my bird and live forever!”

Live forever! The Phoenix was overjoyed to hear these words. It lifted its head and sang, “Sun glorious sun, I shall sing my songs for you alone!”

But the Phoenix was not happy for long. Poor bird. Its feathers were far too beautiful. Men, women, and children were always casing it and trying to trap it. They wanted to have some of those beautiful, shiny feathers for themselves.

“I cannot live here,” thought the phoenix and it flew off toward the east, where the sun rises in the morning.

The Phoenix flew for a long time, and then came to a far away, hidden desert where no humans lived. And there the phoenix remained in peace, flying freely and singing its songs of praise to the sun above.

Almost five hundred years passed. The Phoenix was still alive, but it had grown old. It was often tired, and it had lost much of its strength. It couldn’t soar so high in the sky, nor fly as fast or as far as it was young.

“I don’t want to live like this,” thought the Phoenix. “I want to be young and strong.”

So the Phoenix lifted it’s head and sang, “Sun, glorious sun, make me young and strong again!” but the sun didn’t answer. Day after day the Phoenix sang. When the sun still didn’t answer, the Phoenix decided to return to the place where it had lived in the beginning and ask the sun one more time.

It flew across the desert, over hills, green valleys, and high mountains. The journey was long, and because the Phoenix was old and weak, it had to rest along the way. Now, the Phoenix has a keen sense of smell and is particularly fond of herbs and spices. So each time it landed, it collected pieces of cinnamon bark and all kinds of fragrant leaves. It tucked some in among its feathers and carried the rest in its claws.

When at last the bird came to the place that had once been its home, it landed on a tall palm tree growing high on a mountainside. Right at the top of the tree, the Phoenix built a nest with the cinnamon bark and lined it with the fragrant leaves. Then the Phoenix flew off and collected some sharp-scented gum called myrrh, which it had seen oozing out of a nearby tree. The Phoenix made an egg from the myrrh and carried the egg back to the nest.

Now everything was ready. The Phoenix sat down in its nest, lifted its head, and sang, “Sun, glorius sun, make me young and strong again!”

This time the sun heard the song. Swiftly it chased the clouds from the sky and stilled the winds and shone down on the mountainside with all its power.

The animals, the snakes, the lizards, and every other bird hid from the sun’s fierce rays — in caves and holes, under shady rocks and trees. Only the Phoenix sat upon its nest and let the suns rays beat down upon it beautiful, shiny feathers.

Suddenly there was a flash of light, flames leaped out of the nest, and the Phoenix became a big round blaze of fire.

After a while the flames died down. The tree was not burnt, nor was the nest. But the Phoenix was gone. In the nest was a heap of silvery-gray ash.

The ash began to tremble and slowly heave itself upward. From under the ash there rose up a young Phoenix. It was small and looked sort of crumpled, but it stretched its neck and lifted its wings and flapped them. Moment by moment it grew, until it was the same size as the old Phoenix. It looked around, found the egg made of myrrh, and hollowed it out. Then it placed the ashes inside and finally closed up the egg. The young Phoenix lifted its head and sang, “Sun, glorious sun, I shall sing my songs for you alone! Forever and ever!”

When the song ended, the wind began to blow, the clouds came scudding across the sky, and the other living creatures crept out of their hiding places.

Then the Phoenix, with the egg in its claws, flew up and away. At the same time, a cloud of birds of all shapes and sizes rose up from the earth and flew behind the Phoenix, singing together, “You are the greatest of birds! You are our king!”

The birds flew with the Phoenix to the temple of the sun that the Egyptians had built at Heliopolis, city of the sun. Then the Phoenix placed the egg with the ashes inside on the sun’s altar.

“Now,” said the Phoenix, “I must fly on alone.” And while the other birds watched, it flew off toward the faraway desert.

The Phoenix lives there still. But every five hundred years, when it begins to feel weak and old, it flies west to the same mountain. There it builds a fragrant nest on top of a palm tree, and there the sun once again burns it to ashes. But each time, the Phoenix rises up from those ashes, fresh and new and young again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in cancer, Chemotherapy, faith, friend, God, Grace, help, Love, Post Cancer, Survival

Help my friend Keri

I met Keri when I was still married to John Smith, I hired her husband to drive for our company.  I was diagnosed in August of 2009 with breast cancer and Keri was diagnosed 6 months later with cervical cancer.  Both of our husbands departed our cancer journeys but we have remained in touch and supportive of one another.  She is in MD Anderson, in Texas right now where she is fighting for her life.  Her attitude Inspires me…..she is incredible.  If you would like to help Keri, let me know.  She needs much prayer, support and any money you may feel moved to give.

We walked this morning to raise money and support.  There were at least 150 people who walked/ran.  It was great!!

Read below:

In October 1, 2011, both Family and Friends of Keri Morrissey will host a walk/run in her honor to help support her fight against Cancer, followed by an afternoon barbeque at the Dog N Bone British Pub, Cocoa Village. Keri is a 33 year old, single mother of two beautiful children, Jillian (age 9) and Jake (age 5). (Pictured)
In the spring of 2010, Keri was diagnosed with Stage IIIB Cervical Cancer and after an intense treatment program that included chemotherapy and both internal and external radiation, Keri was declared cancer-free on October 25, 2010.

During a recent check-up on July 18th, doctors advised Keri that an area of concern was discovered and further tests would have to be run to conclude if her cancer had returned. Unfortunately, the cancer did return and the tumor is large and growing in an area that has already been radiated. When cervical cancer recurs this quickly, it is a sign that the tumor is very aggressive and should be treated as such.

Doctors have set her treatment plans, which include major surgery for 8-10 hours and require the complete removal of her pelvic organs. This procedure will be done at MD Anderson Cancer Treatment Center in Houston, Texas at a substantial cost to the family. We are reaching out to our local community, hoping to raise money for Keri and her family to offset the cost of travel, hotel expenses and additional medical costs not covered by insurance. She will need to travel to Texas on a monthly basis for further treatment after the surgery and will be required to cover all expenses associated with these visits.

We need your support to organize this walk/run and/or BBQ on October 1st!! As a sponsor of this event, we will place your company’s name/ logo on event t-shirts as well as any correspondence/ signage associated with this event. We anticipate 250 participants.

We do hope this is something you might be willing to consider. By donating to this family, you will be touching more than just three lives. You will provide hope and relief to a family that is facing a great life experience at their doorstep. Any donation is greatly appreciated, as every dollar generated will go directly to the family to assist with their incurred medical expenses. Should you have any questions, or need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at the information below. Thank you for your willingness to support Keri in her fight for a cure.

Posted in God, heart, Love, Post Cancer, Uncategorized

Why did I just do that? Motives demystified :)

I don’t know about you but I am so encouraged by the following scripture:

Romans 7:15New Living Translation (©2007)

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.

(The apostle Paul is so easy to relate to at times.  I am so thankful that he was willing to be real in his writing and shared his struggles.)

How many times have you been in the position where you did not understand your very own actions or reactions to an event, situation or person?  I can so relate to living in complete and utter frustration at times to the way I have acted or reacted.  I have been completely mystified by the choices that I have made in the past when I knew (in my mind) that they were not good for me.

I have recently learned in reading a great book….“The Healing Codes“, that when we are in a heart vs. head struggle, the heart wins every time.  We do not do what we think…….we do what we believe.  I finally see that what I think is VERY different from what I believe and it is my beliefs that dictate my actions and choices.

So where do our beliefs come from?  Remember, everything that we encounter “leaves an impression” on us.  Consequently, we get our beliefs (what lives in our hearts) from a variety of places.  The multiplied impressions that are made over long periods of time, is what we believe. It comes from interactions, the way we are treated, the mistakes that we make, our families and friends.   The Bible admonishes us to guard our hearts ABOVE EVERYTHING!!! Read this verse and contemplate it in the light of this discussion.  Wow, it is a very STRONG statement.

Proverbs 4:23

New International Version (©1984)
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Your heart is so precious, it directs your entire life and what motivates you. Your heart is not your feelings, your feelings are merely a heading on the compass, your heart is your engine or driver.  It propels you towards what you have assimilated as “truth”.  So what if your engine is propelling you towards what you know is not right and healthy for you?  What do you do?  How do you heal a truly broken heart/belief system?

  • All true healing begins with acknowledging you have a problem.  Then bringing them before a loving God.  All “broken heart” issues come from a past hurt or acceptance of misinformation about yourself.  Your God has a correct estimation of you and knows you intimately and loves you.  Ask him to bring forth those broken images and memories and to heal you of the subconscious,  incorrect script that you have accepted into your heart.
  • God will bring forth those instances and situations where you were not valued/ loved properly.  It was in those moments you assimilated an incorrect valuation of yourself.  You bought an untruth, a lie, a bad script.
  • Ask God to heal those memories and help you to see yourself as he does……..worthy of every good gift, whole, integrated and HIS beautiful child.
  • You will most likely also have to do some forgiveness work when you identify the people and situations that hurt you and sold you the bad script.   Go ahead and do it, and repeat often!  Your heart will thank you!!
  • These untruths also block YOU from experiencing God’s LOVE.  God never moves or changes, he is Good all the time.  It is we who have heart issues that block us from experiencing the full love of God.  Once these lies and false beliefs are removed, when God whispers, you will hear him.
  • When the static of all this misinformation is removed, the still, small voice of God is loud and clear!!  YAY!!
I have my PHD. in this……..I picked up a very bad script in my second childhood home.  I was neglected and not valued in this household.  I was treated as a non entity.  What I wanted, thought, needed did not matter.  Through a 10 year process of living in this environment, I bought a bad script that told me…..I did not matter.  And throughout my adult life, I battled this “non entity” stronghold.  It was that stronghold that compelled me to pick the cast of characters I surrounded myself with at the time of my cancer diagnosis.   That’s right I chose the people who eventually abandoned me after my cancer diagnosis.  It was the diminished estimation of my own needs and value that allowed these non supportive people to have a major role in my life.  And of course these people abandoned me, suddenly I had undeniable needs that they were ill prepared to meet.  They stayed within the roles that I had always allowed.  They were not there for my needs, I was there for theirs and now that I was unable to fulfill that, they had no need for me.  
This was a very difficult lesson to learn at a  very difficult time but praise God, I got it!!
God and I work daily to see myself and others as he does.  This process takes time everyday, sometimes I take hours to search and find what lies lurking deep in my heart. I am so much better today, I continue to work in this area daily and help lead others in their own healing of their heart.  Our very lives may depend on these heart issues.
So, I leave you with this question.  What did you do or say this week that was in-congruent with who or where  you want to be?  Some heart surgery may be just what the doctor ordered!!
PS……..I have not arrived, I will probably work on this for the rest of my life.  I can say, I am so much further down the road then I was 2 years ago!!  Thank God!!  It has completely transformed my life!!
Posted in exercise, Post Cancer, Survival, Uncategorized

Exercise is vital to Survival………….

Exercise………defined by my oncologist, Dr. Richard Levine is 30 minutes of elevated heart rate.  That means getting your heart rate 50-60% above the resting rate for a 30 minute sustained period of time.  Dr. Levine recommends all cancer patients who are able, do this at least 5 times a week.  He also states that by doing this cancer patients have a 30 % benefit.  They are 30% less likely to have a recurrence of cancer by exercising 5 times a week.

Chemotherapy only gave me a 28% benefit.  By enduring the rigors of chemo, I got 28% less chance of a recurrence of my breast cancer.  So guess where I am at least 5 times a week?  I am at the gym exercising. The 30 % I get from exercising is HUGE!!  And on the days when I just don’t feel like it…..I think of the chemo chair.  I would much rather be on the treadmill, or elliptical trainer than in the chair.  Motivating myself has become quite easy.  And I share this with you to help you realize just how important exercise is.

If you are NOT a cancer patient…….you get the 30% applied to your non cancer status and prevent an occurance of cancer to begin with.  Something to think about the next time you want to blow off the gym  🙂