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Yay, my friend, Dr. Adele McDowell, has done it again. Huffington Post Canada posted another of her articles. This time, very different from her earlier ones on suicide. In fact, this is the other side of depression and suicide. It is inspirational as she takes the fictional character of James Bond – 007 who can face any one and anything and comes out alive and whole.

Don’t we wish we could do that. It is no wonder that we idolize heroes (and heroines) who can face any danger, look a gun in the face, fight any fight! It is really because we wish that we could do that but don’t think we can. Then, Adele tells her own personal story of danger and courage. Sometimes, one never knows of what one is capable until faced with a dire circumstances. And, of course, there are many kinds of danger from which one can test courage.

For those who have undergone any kind of trauma – abuse, accidents, life threatening illness, etc. – it takes a lot of courage to overcome the incident or incidents. When one has been abused and put down at every turn, the message is that “you are nothing, you will never amount to anything, you. will never be able to protect yourself, you are a coward…..”. And, if the trauma is severe enough, then there is post traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) with which one has to go through. PTSD, for those who may not know, is not just a mental memory. When PTSD comes on – and sometimes the survivor doesn’t even know what triggers it or even what is happening – it is like the trauma is happening all over again. So the survivor is no longer his/her chronological age and doesn’t realize that he/she is actually safe, the memories that come flooding back impact the mind, the body reactions, the fears or shocks of that particular time.

I know because being a survivor or child sexual and physical abuse, as well as undergoing many life threatening illnesses, I am understanding more and more my work, as well as the healing work I’ve done with clients, in overcoming PTSD. I still get bouts of it, but having worked on these issues, I am now able to name the triggers as well as the times PTSD comes over me. I can’t say that I can get out of it immediately – although sometimes I can – but I can at least know what’s happening to me. What that does is that I know it’s not happening again, that I am safe, and that I can sum up the courage to speak up, to protect myself, or to help others. I remember that I am no longer 4 when I was abused, or 10 or 12 when I almost died from an illness. And even now, in dealing with cancer these last 4 1/2 years, I know I now can take the small steps to take care of myself.

Will I ever be a “James Bond”. Perhaps not, but in my eyes I let myself acknowledge each time I take any step to take care of myself, knowing each step only leads to more courage every time. This is what came to me as I was reading Adele’s article. For me, it came at a time when I’m not only dealing with cancer, but shingles these past few weeks. Shingles, unfortunately,  is only one physical ailment in a long line of many that shows me how depleted my immune system is and how much I need to be easy on myself as I navigate these waters.

Perhaps Adele’s article will mean something entirely different to you, but I urge you to read it and see. And, Adele, I’m so proud of you for sharing your very personal story and the courage you had in protecting yourself.


06-11_ Hubbard GlacierA year and day after my successful cancer surgery, I am boarding a cruise ship with 11 friends, destination – Alaska!  The cruise is a surprise 70th birthday gift!

What a way to celebrate being cancer free for a year! I am so grateful for the gift of life, that I am alive to take this trip. As I am writing this, I am remembering that the glaciers are one of the landscapes I see on t.v. the first morning I awake after being admitted into the hospital for tests a year and half ago. Read the rest of this entry »

So much has occurred since I last wrote  several months ago, even though I only  just published it a week or so ago.

The biggest news is that my family and I have been to Paris and back. The way things were playing havoc with my stomach, I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it, so I am very grateful I did. For those of you who don’t know, my daughter, Jenn, has been researching my father’s artwork this past year and half. It was happening at the same time that my family and I were also dealing with my cancer.

I have blogged about the trip on my father’s newly launched website, so without my going into all the details, please go to: if you’re interested in learning more about it.  One thing I will say is that discovering that my father has a place in building modern China through his architectural work was a surprise to us since we were only wanting to trace our family heritage. Read the rest of this entry »

I am not out of the woods yet. And, boy, do I wish I were!

I am realizing that healing takes its own time, not my time, which is “yesterday”.  And even though I intuitively got to look into a holistic regimen – herbs and a healthy diet – so that I might go off the cancer medication, I had no clue what that meant, even though I like to think I did. Read the rest of this entry »

On Friday, June 8th, when I came out of surgery for the removal of a life threatening tumor, the first thing I saw were my children.

The first thing I remember is the surgeon showing me a photo of the tumor.


I thought I had dreamed it. When I finally woke up in my hospital room, I don’t know how many hours later, I don’t know how I got there, the only thing I remembered was the heart.

This may or may not mean anything to you; however, the 7-month journey culminating in the surgery has been about LOVE. I have been surrounded by love throughout, by family and friends, near and far. And, the visions/revelations that came to me during this time, was all about love, and of course, love comes from the heart.

This symbol reaffirmed for me that God sent me the gift of cancer. Read the rest of this entry »

I read an article on love.  So, this precedes my Part 2 of Cancer- Crisis and Opportunity, a blog that is evolving as I continue my journey.

Yet, I am coming to realize that many life threatening diseases are exactly about the LOVE THAT IS MISSING IN OUR LIVES. Read the rest of this entry »

“You do know that your tumor is malignant, don’t you?”

This is how the oncologist informs me of my condition on December 23, 2011.  After the initial shock, my qigong breathing kicks in, and I recall that the Chinese character for crisis is the same as the one for opportunity.*

Slowly breathing in and out, I make a real effort to remember this as my children, Jennifer and Matthew, and I absorb the news that I have cancer.

This is my second bout with cancer. 1994 ended with a dx of  a malignant polyp in the colon.

This time, the dx is a malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumor, one that appeared at the end of Nov., 3 days before I am due to fly home from my year’s sojourn in Bali and Singapore, back to the U.S.

I now know that this tumor is a slow-growing one that just decided to suddenly pop up. It reminds me of the Taoist Qigong Masters’ stipulation that the disease is inside the body for a long time before the symptom appears.  And, so, this may have been inside me the whole time I was away in Bali and Singapore all of 2011, and I didn’t know it.

Even as I remember crisis and opportunity, at the same time, I wonder how I am to deal with yet another trauma in my life!

Read the rest of this entry »

Read the rest of this entry »

How fitting to publish this piece on forgiveness on February 3rd 2011, which is our Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rabbit.

This is a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves.  So needed in the world at this time. It is a time for negotiation.  Don’t try to force issues, because if you do you will ultimately fail.  To gain the greatest benefits from this time, focus on home, family, security, diplomacy, and your relationships with women and children.   Make it a goal to create a safe, peaceful lifestyle, so you will be able to calmly deal with any problem that may arise.

The Chinese believe that in the days before the New Year, we clean house, literally and figuratively. We do away with that which no longer serves us, to allow room the new to come in with the advent of the new year.

Ending the old year with forgiveness seems to be exactly what I  and the world need at this time. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s time again for another remote group qigong healing session: Sunday, May 2nd, 10-11 a.m. !

If you want a general overview about qigong, please go to my December 6, 2009 blog in Archives.

In a group healing session, I will sit comfortably, breathing deeply to bring myself into a meditative healing state. I ask the participant to do the same thing – find a comfortable position, breath down and relax. I go through the same process whether I am with the person, on the phone, or sending remote healing.  I will request healing for the person by name, make any requests they have, then the healing begins.

I never know what transpires in these sessions. I leave that up to Spirit. That’s why the client’s feedback is important and serves a dual purpose. It confirms whether their experience correlates with mine. And,  it allows the client to bring the experience into consciousness.  Awareness is key, as is participating in the healing process.

I also never know how long the sessions will take, although they generally last 30-40 minutes. Of course, the larger the group, the more time I will need to place everyone’s name and requests into the healing circle. I know when to stop because the energy leaves me.  It is important to know that while the energy leaves me as a signal to stop, the healing continues another 24-36 hours for the participants.

For best healing results, please follow guidelines below:

  • Eat light one hour before healing
  • Hydrate before and after healing
  • Wear loose comfortable clothes
  • Best to be indoors so you are not distracted by outside elements
  • Find a place where you are not disturbed. That means turning off your cell phone and all other electronic equipment
  • Be quiet and relax at least several hours after healing
  • Feedback and q&a in Comments Section helps to build support network. Please use initials or first names for confidentiality. Everything will be held in strictest confidence.

*These sessions DO NOT replace seeing a physician or a licensed psychotherapist for trauma treatment. In fact,  you need to seek such treatment to deal effectively with your symptoms.

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