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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.



I received this email from Cameron Von St. James today. I hope it’s o.k. to post the entire email because I think it’s just that important and much more poignant in Cameron’s voice:


I’m not sure if you remember, but I contacted you a while back about your blog. I wanted to reach back out to you and let you know about a campaign that my wife and I have put together with the help of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.  September 26 is Mesothelioma Awareness Day, and we are trying to get 7200 voices talking and sharing about this rare cancer, to represent the 7200 hours that the average mesothelioma patient has to live. 

As my wife is a rare survivor of mesothelioma, this day obviously means a lot to us. We aren’t asking for time, money, or donations of any kind, just voices to spread the word about this awful, and sadly little known cancer.  I was hoping that you would help support our cause by posting a link to our campaign page on your blog, so that your readers can use their voices as well! 

Here is the link, please let me know what you think when you get a chance to take a look.  Your help would mean the world to us!

I read some of the blog and feel honored to be asked to place it in my blog. I don’t know too much about this type of cancer; however, I can certainly identify with some of the same experiences that all cancer patients go through. I am only too happy to lend my voice to spread the word about this cancer.

So, to my readers, please go to the website above and share it with your family, friends, and acquaintances.

Thank you so much.

Note: Sorry, I don’t know how to put in the link so that it can be clicked, but please do not let that deter you from accessing a very inspiration blog on this subject.

article-2290831-188A3759000005DC-969_310x456I had forgotten that I started this draft in July and never finished, but I wanted to publish it anyway. Please note that I will have a more up-to-date blog very soon!

Some things haven’t changed with my trip to Alaska. While I still fight fatigue, I realize that there are times that I have more energy, that I feel almost “normal”.

And, I am still dealing with acid reflux. It is constant now, on a daily basis.  Even though I had this condition on and off after the last bout with cancer, I’m not sure exactly when this became an everyday thing.  I think it was several months after the surgery. So, I am even more careful with what I eat, when I eat and the amount. It feels like any little deviation can set it off.

There are times that I despair I will ever fully heal, that the acid reflux in the intestinal area might cause the tumor to return. Mind you, I have no scientific proof that this condition has anything to do with the cancer.  That doesn’t stop me from worrying.

And then I read Until I Say Good-Bye, by Susan Spencer-Wendel. She contacted amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s Disease, at age 44. This disease is irreversible and systemically destroys the nerves that control the muscles in the body. With a prognosis of one year of remaining health, she chose to live it with joy.

It put my fears and worries into perspective. More than that, it humbled me. Read the rest of this entry »

 For me, cancer has become a transformational journey!

I came to this realization before I read Caroline Myss’s definition on the Wounded Healer Archetype in her book, Sacred Contracts.  Here is the phrase that is most pertinent to my above statement:

The Wounded Healer archetype emerges in your psyche with the demand that you push yourself to a level of inner effort that becomes more a process of transformation than an attempt to heal an illness. If you have successfully completed the initiation, you inevitably experience an exceptional healing, and a path of service seems to be divinely provided shortly after the initiation is complete.

That’s what I was going to write about in Cancer – Crisis and Opportunity, Part 2. Amazingly and unbeknownst to him,  my dear friend, Samo, actually encapsulated this about me in his blog, entitled GRRRR! I would like to share his words with you.

First and foremost, Sam is one of my dearest friends,whom I met when I lived in Hawaii. We’ve been friends for over a decade. He was also one of my major lifelines back home while I was in Bali and Singapore last year.

In conjunction with being an invaluable support to me, he is a spiritual healer/reader who, I might add, has been very accurate in his readings for me, even when others have erred. I trust him implicitly.

I do plan, at some point, to fill in background information on some of the statements I made to Samo. As always, I am  simultaneously honored and humbled to know that my personal realizations can be thought-provoking as well as helpful to others.

Please click below to read about cancer as a spiritual journey and, contact Samo if you have need or desire for a spiritual healing, counseling, and/or reading. His information is on his blog, “Samo Says”.

Thank you, Samo, I love you.

click here

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