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Thursday, January 31, 2013

All Wiggy (My Experience with Wigs)

When I knew there was a good chance I could lose my hair,
I was freaking out.  I have seen many wigs over time that
look like wigs.  I was really concerned that I was going to
look not only like I was wearing a wig, but look like someone
who was dealing with cancer, wearing a wig.

Of course, there are other reasons to wear wigs, but the
fact that I was dealing with cancer made me much more
sensitive about my appearance.  I did not want to look sick.
And part of "looking sick" could also mean a bad wig.

I really didn't know what options I had.  One organization
told me they could help me only for me to find out after
valuable time had elapsed that I was not eligible.  Only
those with breast cancer were eligible for the grants they
were offering.

But during the course of investigating things I found someone
who was able to get a real hair wig funded for me.  (I wrote
about Hilda previously).  It was such a relief.

After I hurdled the initial situation, a friend had decided that
I needed more wigs.  I wasn't so sure about having a bunch
of wigs, but the idea of playing some was admittedly a bit
fun.  Since I was given money to get wigs, I decided to vary
the looks.

As a result, I got blonde, red, and brown wigs.  I got a short,
medium, and long hair wigs.  I got curly hair and straight.
I got banged looks, and looks without bangs.

I basically created a "wardrobe" of wigs.  I started to pick
out a wig in the same way that I would pick out anything
else I was going to wear.

Sounds like fun?

Well. Kinda.  I, of course, would prefer my own hair.

At the same time, I discovered that I had to be careful with
the wigs.  The longer ones tangled.  If they got wet too much
it wouldn't look right.  If I was going to open a hot oven I
best not be wearing a synthetic wig (it damages/dries/fries it.
I had heard about it happening, and then one fateful night it
happened to me).

It was good to have several wigs because wigs don't last a
long time with regular use.  Some synthetic ones could last
a month, a real hair wig, I think, 6 months if taken care of
properly.  I didn't want to have one wig that was going to
wear out.

I realized that if I wasn't going to be paying for haircuts and
coloring, I was still going to be spending money on what was
on the top of my head.  It was just going to be in a different
kind of way.

I don't know how long I will continue to wear wigs, but I
suspect it will be for a while, as I do not like the idea of having
short hair as the hair I present myself to the world with.  Once
my hair is longer, I may change my mind.  At the same time,
I kinda like the different looks, and now that people are used
to seeing me in different ways, I might just keep it up.

(Since everyone knew I was dealing with cancer, I never
felt like I had to have one look.  I had heard a few stories
of women who covered up what was happening by wearing
wigs so close to their own style that no one knew the difference.)

I learned a bit about how wigs go on, too.  At first something
that seemed like it should be so simple had me feeling like I
was all thumbs.  I learned that your hairline is approximately
4 fingers about your eyebrow.  I learned about a lace cap wig,
and I decidedly have favored Kanekalon synthetic hair.  I
read reviews on Amazon (where I got most of my wigs) and
in some cases I was glad I didn't listen to the reviews, and
in other cases, the positive reviews were a precursor to how
happy I would be with the wig.  There were a few
disappointments, too.

I looked up online what colors would be best for my complexion,
and sought those out - especially when it came to any blonde
wigs.  I had blonde hair for real once, and I was so bleached
out it wasn't funny.  (Not to mention my hair started to be like
straw from all of the coloring, but that is another story.)

Many of my synthetic wigs do not look like wigs at all.  At
least that is what people tell me.  I tend to believe them.  I
don't think that many would go out of their way to lie to me
like that, at least, I hope they wouldn't.  But even if they did,
I am OK with it, as I feel confident in the wigs I choose to wear.

The best wig I have quality-wise is without question the natural
hair wig.  And I am so grateful for Hilda's handiwork.  It
very much looks like my hair, and sits on my head without any
of the hooks of the other wigs.

I am also grateful for Hilda's instruction of turning the wig
upside down and combing with a wide comb.  She told me
to make sure to do that after every wearing to help it last longer.
I could see how not doing that would easily create problems
in no time with tangling.

A few of the wigs I even ventured to trim a bit myself.  Not
as nerve-racking as cutting my own hair, but still a bit.  After
all, I wouldn't want to waste my money.  Although a few of
my wigs were as "little" as $20, so it wouldn't have been the
worst thing, in that case.

I also used a wig cap for my hair, at first.  But once I lost a
lot of hair, and it was short, I no longer bothered.  I never
shaved my head, which from the sound of it was probably
a good thing, as some women talk about how uncomfortable
a wig is with a bald head.  Occasionally a wig will be a bit
itchy.  But it isn't too terrible.

As I am writing, I am trying to think of all of the odds and ends
of the pieces and parts of my wig journey. A learning curve was
definitely involved, and I did turn to YouTube a few times to
view a wig/wig color, or watch how to trim the lace cap.  You
might be amazed how many women educate on wigs there.

(I also turned to YouTube to learn how to do eyebrows that
looked relatively natural, as I did not want just a straight line,
as well as for eyelashes, although I did settle on a certain style
of eye makeup ultimately that I felt comfortable with, so I didn't
bother about the eyelashes.  Besides, which, I wasn't thrilled
about using the glue).

If you are ever in need of a wig, it helps to have a sense of
what style you look good in, as you can guesstimate how
a wig will look on you if you seek a style you are familiar
with.  As for me, I have found myself enjoying bangs.
Having had naturally curly hair, bangs weren't exactly
something I could do for myself without any effort.  One
day I may share with you what I was doing with my hair
prior to losing it.  You may be surprised at how simple it
was, and how healthy it was, and my hair was in the best
shape it ever had been.

In the meantime, you at least (perhaps) have a sense of things
in the wig world.  If you find it necessary to wear wigs, I am
so sorry to hear that.  I know it sucks.  It is not the same as
someone who has chosen to cut their hair, and it's not even
the same as someone who is balding or bald.  Even though
they will try to tell you they understand.

Everyone told me to shave my head.  I never did.  And I am
glad I listened to myself.  Do what you feel is best.  And if
you feel like you are more in control shaving your head, then
maybe that is the thing you need to do.

It is hard to head into the waters of chemo hair loss.  You lose
so much more than "just" your hair.  Oddly enough, I feel like
once the shock wore off, I have gained an appreciation of
having a head with very short hair.  It doesn't get in my eyes,
my face, my food.  And there is an odd sense of freedom I do
get from it.

In a few months it will be summer again, and I am wondering
how my hair will be at that point.  Apparently it takes 6 months
to get to whatever texture it is working to be.  May will be that
mark.  If hair grows 1/2 and inch each month, too, then I will
have some growth to play with.  I may have to get a haircut
and see what I can do about styling it at that point, as the heat
of the summer and wigs do not go particularly well together.

It will be nice to have that option.

Options are good.

Last but not least, here are a few links that might give you some
helpful information in your journey.  Feel free to ask questions
below, though.  If I have an answer, I will be happy to share.  If
another has an answer, I hope they will share as well.

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20635741,00.html
Hilda Griffin (if you are in the Philly area)
http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/01/resource-free-wig.html

(If it interests you, you can go back in the archives to July of last
year where you will be able to read about how I was doing as I
started to lose my hair.  I also have pictures of me and a video
that I filmed around that time.)

If you needed this info, I know it sucks.
Lots of Love to you.

Like there is no tomorrow

Someone said last night that it takes 3
years to get a business going.

3 years.

I don't know how that sounds to you,
but when I hear that I think to myself,
what if I don't have 3 years?

Of course I hope I have many more
than 3 years left of my time here, but
when you are introduced to cancer,
time takes on a whole new meaning,
and life a whole new urgency.

We seem to accept things like this as
fact.  We seem to be OK with the idea
that things can take a while to happen -
whether we have that while, or not.

I can't help but think about how much
I want to say and get out into the world
NOW.  Now, like there is no tomorrow.

What can I do to bring things together
sooner?  What can I do to bring attention
to the things that I believe are of value?

People need what I have to offer now.

There are some people who won't,
sadly, be here themselves in 3 years.
They need to find me/know me now.

I can't help but wonder if there is something
in this that can redefine what we think we
know.  I can't help but wonder what is
possible if we stopped accepting limits.

If you believe in me, what I want to
accomplish, what I say, what I do, I ask
you to help me get the word out now -
help me get the word out like there is
no tomorrow.

Relatingtocancer.com
Relatingtocancer.com/mp3s.html

And, while you are at it, perhaps consider
what this means to you, and what you offer
and bring to the world.  What if your
tomorrow never came?  How are you
living your today?


New Business Cards
















Since going "back to work" I have been using 
my pre-diagnosis business cards.  They had an
image with me that is now outdated.  I liked 
that image, too...but it isn't how I am any more.

In addition, the cards had nothing about the "new" 
me and the things that I am working on
now. 

I hadn't wanted to spend any money on getting 
new cards when I already had some, and was 
wanting to conserve.  But I am running out. 
















I am guessing that is a good sign.  It means people
have my card.  Almost 250, to be exact.  Or they
had my card, and now their circular filing system
has it, lol.  Either way, I soon won't have any left.

For that reason, I designed my new card, and thought
I would share.  It probably has too much info on it.
But at least I have a card I can give out.  I have a few
events coming up, and having a card will be pretty
important, since I don't have any other materials to
put out.

One side, as you can see has all of my contact info
and image, and has my "cumulative" self.  The other
side has my "relating to cancer" self.  The good thing
is that I think the card can function either way.

Btw, it occurs to me to tell you that if you need
something designed, and you like what I have done,
maybe I can design something for you.  If that interests
you be in touch, and we can talk about it (You can use
the email address on the card to be in touch.  Please
just put "business card/rtc" in the subject line, thanks).

Added Chat Feature

In an on-going effort to have you get to know me,
and to offer myself to those who might need
help, and to provide forums for people to be helped,
I have put a chat box on this blog.

It looks like what is below, and
"lives" in the column to the right.






















The beauty of this is you can chat amongst yourselves,
or you can chat with me, if I happen to be here.

Please feel free to use it to your advantage...but please
do not abuse it or anyone else who uses it.

Thanks!

Are You Willing?

When I started this blog, I never wanted anyone to think that
I was trying to make money off of it because I had a concern
it might weaken/cheapen the message that I was offering.

Well.  That feeling has not changed.  However, my circumstances
have.  While I could somewhat afford to "float" while undergoing
treatment, I no longer can.  I very much need to make money for
several reasons - not the least of which is I want to stop asking
for financial help.

Interestingly I received a response from someone on Twitter who
told me they are leery of blogger blogs because of all of the cons.
Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly.  I know that there is
an on-going concern that people may think that what I am doing
is a con.

That is why I have gone out of my way to offer up things in
the way of supporting what I say.  My real name is attached to
this blog, so is my business.  I had a history online before all
of this, and I hope to have a future, going forward.

I can understand people's concerns, I would just ask that they
consider taking a look at who I am, and what I have created, and
what I offer, and then assess.  That is the best I could hope for,
really.

Sadly, there are those who scam who have made much more off
of their scams than I have in contributions.  Not sure what I can
say about that - but it sooo sucks.  It sucks to think that if I do
anything that involves money and attempting to support myself,
it could be seen as suspect.

Those of you who know me, and have your own online reputations
to consider, I wonder if I could ask you a favor.  I wonder if you
would be willing to take a stand for me.  I wonder if you would
be willing to say who you are, and how you know me, and why
you know, or why you believe my situation to be what it is and/or
anything else you think you would be willing to share, or would
deem appropriate or helpful to me and my situation.  Of course,
anyone who posts could be just that much of a con, too...but I
would have to hope that if you say who you are, and give
links/contact info, and there were enough people doing it, it
might not seem so scammy.

It also occurs to me that for some, it could even be a form of
advertisement for you.  I love thinking that - as I love when things
that people do for me can help them. At the same time, a part of me
is sad because I know it could be misconstrued so many different
ways.

I had no idea I was going to ask you for that when I sat down to
write.  But that is what came out.  So I am going to go with it.

If you don't want to do it, I understand.  At the same time, if you
are willing to be a voice on my behalf, I would be most appreciative.
Please just leave a comment below, or send me something via
email or Facebook that I can post.

With great appreciation, I thank you.

about this blog

I began blogging May 15, 2012, the day after I found out I likely was dealing with cancer, and have continually updated from diagnosis, to treatment, to the aftermath. Many people think you deal with cancer, and then everything is alright - or you die. This blog is about the living and life. It is the very real experience of someone having an unexpected encounter and relationship with cancer. It is my hope and desire to be a resource for some, a comfort for others, and a source of insight that is helpful to those having their own relationship with cancer. It may be helpful to know that someone else understands, or to know what a loved one may be going through. I share because I do, because I need to for me, but I also feel it is important to tell this often untold story to others, for the sake of others.

Contact Me.
Current Summary of My Situation (click here)
Read About Me and My Story in Much Greater Detail (click here)


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Source of Pain?

I was thinking today about how over the years I
have gotten better about saying the things I was
feeling to those I was feeling the feelings about.

Not only have I gotten better about saying what
I feel, I have gotten better in HOW I express what
I do.  There are still sometimes I avoid, and others
in which I suck...but it is vastly improved over
what once was.

I share this because I have found freedom around
being able to say what I feel.  It isn't always met
with open arms or an open mind, but to be able
to express what I feel is a wonderful thing.

I have no expectations when I say what I do,
but of course many times wouldn't mind a particular
outcome.  Rarely do I get what I want.  But it
doesn't matter at that point.  I have said what I
needed to say for me.

It makes it a lot easier for me to move on than
when I used to not say anything of what I felt,
and essentially suffered in silence.

Do people want to hear what I have to say at those
times?  Probably not.  Most of the time I would say
no. People often don't really want to hear another's
person's reality or truth if it doesn't mesh with what
they think it should be.

It is no wonder people are afraid to say what they
really feel.  The thing is is that while we are so busy
not talking, we don't ever learn how to really listen
and communicate with one another.  And the result
often is a horrible blowout because eventually the
dam breaks, and EVERYTHING comes flowing
out at once.  EVERYTHING.

I am really beginning to think that a big source of
tremendous pain that comes from stifled words,
thoughts, feelings.

I tend to think it is better to get something out even
imperfectly than to hold it in.  When I hold things in
I hate the way my body feels.  When I let things be
said, there is a relief.  There is a huge difference,
really.

I had a discussion with someone I usually get into
some really bad arguments with.  That person was
screaming at me.  I mostly just listened.  I was mostly,
oddly calm through most of the conversation.  It was
apparent the person had something they needed to say,
and it was equally apparent that there had been a lot
held back.

I got that they were upset in ways that transcended
the momentary issue.  I have no idea what will happen
next, but it bothers me that nothing was said previously
about things that were apparently an issue. Perhaps
nothing would have been any different in terms of
their desired outcome...but then again, who knows?

What would have been different is that they could have
said what they needed to to the person that was the
"source" of the concerns, issues, anger, frustration.  I
am pretty sure they probably talked to others about it,
but when you don't talk to the "source" it doesn't always
help.

There is a risk when you share yourself.  There is a risk
when you express yourself that the other person won't
understand or will misunderstand.  There are a lot of
risks when it comes to communication.

But I would say that if we were willing to take those
risks we would be in a much better place over all.  I
really can't tell you how much easier things are for me
that I can say what I need to about - even if the outcome
and reception suck.

Even as I write this, in the past I would have been much
more upset and caught  up in the mess that was that
conversation I mentioned.  But I am oddly calm.  I
suspect it has to do with the fact that I have said what
I have needed to - much to the chagrin of the other
person.  But if the other person had just said what they
needed to before the explosion, maybe there wouldn't
have been one.

There is a lot of freedom when you can tell someone how
much you think they suck.  When you can tell them how
the situation makes you feel.  How much of a jerk you
think they are.  It also helps when you recognize how
much of what you are reacting to is your own sh*t.
You say it, and then you get past it.

I am not saying you should walk around calling people
names and attacking them with insults.  But what I am
saying is that I have been able to say things honestly and
openly with people when frustrated, and there have often
been cases where there has been no ill will or effect that
results because I am just saying what is the truth for me
in that moment.

Is this a perfect thing?  Possibly.  The thing is that an
imperfect person is at the helm.  And there are other
people and other people's issues that come into play.
So even if the idea is perfect, implementation is not so
much.

It is a dance I would really rather not do.  But it is kinda
like a workout:  it sucks while you are doing it, but
afterward you feel pretty darn good.

Cancer Patient Advocate Talks About the Challenges


Cindy Carter of Cancer Support Foundation talks about the
work she is doing to advocate for those who are dealing
with cancer on Anna Renault's BlogTalkRadio Show. The
conversation is a helpful eyeopener.

There is a huge need. The need is so great, in part,
because so many think that there already is help for those
who need it.  There may be organizations that help with
diseases, but many times the money can go toward new
office furniture, and not those in need.

While Cindy is located in Maryland, the work that she
is doing has the possibility to help others in other
states.  When one state does something helpful, other
states will sometimes take note.

If you have the time, check it out.

Teaching What I Need: Being True

(WARNING:  I am really just thinking out loud
here...I may sound like I am all over the place,
because I probably am. Read at your own peril :P)

There was no small irony for me that for all of the
years that I have talked to people about "being true
to themselves" that I was finding myself in a less
than true place.

It wasn't that I was being dishonest.

It was more just that in being who I was being I
was stopping myself from just being.

True in some part is defined as "genuine" "actual."
I would say that who I would be was genuine and
actual, but it was an edited version.

I would not say how I really felt and if I did a video
or took pictures, I put out the ones I liked the best.
I would take and re-take video - especially if I
stumbled over my words or didn't think I looked
as good as I might think you would think I should.

I justified doing these things, business-wise, in
part, because one always hears "appearance is
everything."  If I didn't appear to be the best I
could then you may not like me or I might not
seem to be as together as you would need me to
be to work with me.

At the same time that it was less than "perfect,"
it was as perfect as I could get things.  And
because of that I felt as good as one might hope
for.  I was being "true" to who I was, even if it
was not someone else's version of perfection, it
was the best me I had to offer.

The fact that I was even doing videos - that I was
in - was a major accomplishment.

Most of my life I have spent being a "good girl,"
trying always to do things in a way that I would
be liked.  The thing is that while it suited a part
of me, it really wasn't a "true" me.  I didn't say
what I really felt, and often didn't even know
what *I* thought as it was filtered through what
someone else thought I should be, how I should
act, what they might have expected.

When I was in 7th grade I had major issues.
I wasn't going to school, and I was so angry a
lot of the time.  I really felt like I was going out
of my mind, and threatened to commit suicide
more than once.

My grandmother, not knowing what else to do,
took me to a psychiatrist, who gave me "calming
down medicine."  I have no idea what it was that
I was given by name, but that was what the
medicine was supposed to do:  calm me down.

I hated that medicine.  I remember it was 10
drops in orange juice.  Whenever I could cheat
the number of drops, I would.   I think on some
level I knew I didn't really need it.  But I didn't
know what I did.  All I knew that how I was
being wasn't right - everyone was telling me so.

I wasn't supposed to be so angry.
It wasn't right to want to commit suicide.
It wasn't right to pour food over your sister.
I was supposed to go to school.

(In regard to school, it didn't help that I was
bullied on the bus).

When I look back with the knowing eyes of
someone who now knows she is empathic
(which means I can literally feel how another
is feeling) and intuitive, I can better understand
what was going on.

I believe that I was reacting to emotions and
feelings of my grandparents.  They were very
unhappy people.  My grandmother was in a
wheelchair and was losing her sight.  She had
been in and out of the hospital.

My guess now is that my "desire" to commit
suicide might have just been a desire on her
part not to live.  I say this in part because I
was never really personally serious about
doing it.

When one is empathic, the person picks up on
what others feel and makes it their own in whatever
way makes "sense."  They don't do this logically
or consciously, it is just a part of the "natural"
unconscious flow of things.

For many years I felt like I was on a roller
coaster.  One minute I would be up.  The next
minute I would be down.  If you were to ask
me why I was up or down in the moment, I
could choose a piece of my life at the time
that fit - and that would explain it.

What I didn't realize was that I was likely
picking up what those around me felt.  Once
I realized this was the case, it helped me to feel
a bit more sane.  It made no sense to me why I
would be all over the place.  Could I be "bi-polar?"
Was it ADD or ADHD?  What was "wrong"
with me?

(A personal theory of mine is that people are
more intuitive/empathic then they know and
that many who wear the above labels are really
at the effect of their unrecognized intuitive
abilities.  But that is just a theory, and I will
never tell you not to do whatever you need to
do medically to take care of yourself.  I am not
a "medical professional," and would never pretend
to be one.  I have no interest in getting into trouble
with the law.  But I can share my experience with
you and my thoughts, and you can think what you
like, and perhaps ask some questions of me or
others as you seek answers you may be looking
for. I am in no way telling you what to do, or
what I think is best.  I am merely sharing and
speculating out loud. This is obviously my
CYA clause).

By not knowing I was such a "sponge" for what
other people thought and felt, and by unconsciously
always (often?) trying to be what I thought someone
else wanted or needed, it is no wonder I would have
little sense of who I was.  It is no wonder I would
have little sense of who I am.

It is no wonder I would find myself in impossible
situations as I would seek to figure out who I was.
I would want to express myself the best way I
knew how, but often it was not to good effect.
Perhaps it didn't help that I could wind up
defending something that wasn't even "mine" to
begin with.

As I am writing, it occurs to me that part of the reason
I may be such a loner - and part of the reason people
don't hear from me as much as they would like - is
not because I am selfish (as they often have claimed
I am) but because I am just protecting myself.  Maybe
it is a way of me trying to find me.  The less I interact
with others personally, the more chance I may have
of figuring out who I truly am.

This is not to say I haven't been selfish, by the way.
But rather just to question for myself what may have
been motivating some of the choices I have made.
Although, maybe it is selfish to not want to participate
with others.  But maybe it isn't a bad thing.  And
maybe I am just justifying things, too.

I don't really know.

Interesting.  I just said I don't really know, but that is
not true.  I really felt I just said that because I didn't
want you to think less of me for being a certain way.

I feel like I *DO* know.  And I feel like there is truth
for me in what I have said.  And...as ugly as it may
look to some, it is something I have had to deal with
most of my life:  the disconnect between who I know
myself to be in my heart, and the me that others close
to me perceive me to be.

I am only doing the best I can at any given moment.
I can't always explain why I do what I do.  And many
times life just happens the way it does.

So many I know live such unhappy lives because they
are living a life by someone else's dictates, and if they
try to do what feels right to them, then they will upset
and disappoint and anger others.  And that reaction,
depending on what it is, can create a whole other form
of unhappiness because then you have to deal with what
other people do with how you are and what you say.
It really, in some ways, seems like a no-win situation.

As I re-read what I wrote just above, I want to be clear
about something as I think some may read it and think
"victim."  When I wrote what I did it is because it is
what has occurred.  When you make choices based on
what your unconscious wants (and demands) many things
"just happen."

As I think about it, one may take away the idea that they
are a victim to their circumstances when those things
happen.  But just saying that they happen does not a victim
make.

It is what you do with it that matters.  And I wonder if the
label "victim" helps here.  Because the thing is we learn
from the life we live, being whoever we are at the moment
we are it.  And when one is labelled a victim, it is like saying
there is something wrong.

Maybe there is nothing wrong.  Maybe everything is just as
it should be.  Maybe there is something to learn in the process
of being who you are, how you are.

In a recent healing session I told the person I was working with
that I was questioning "Why" this was happening.  He interpreted
as victim language.  It wasn't a "why is this happening to me,
woe is me" type of why but more of a desire to understand why
it was happening to me why. It was more to understand what I
was meant to understand, know or appreciate from this situation.
That satisfied him as it was a "good why."

As a hypnotist, I know language is very important for creating
a particular outcome.  But it is more what is behind the words
that matter.  I could say something that means something to me,
hoping that it means the same something to you.  But that isn't
always the case.

That is why being able to communicate is so important.  No
one knows how you feel unless you tell them.  And you may
have to tell them over and over and over if there is something
that s/he is doing or saying that doesn't really work for you.

But even in doing that, you may still be feeling frustrated, or
at a loss because the other person isn't living life the way you
would want him or her to.  They aren't doing things right,
according to how you perceive right to be.

I know how that feels.  As I write I think about the things in my
life that just don't go the way I want them to, despite my best
efforts.  And it is at times a challenge to allow myself to be OK
with the fact that a person isn't doing what I want them to.

I also know I drive some people crazy the way that I am.
Sometimes how I am doesn't necessarily work for me, either.

But it's all I got.

I don't know about you, but it is difficult to feel like everything
you say or do or don't say or don't do is wrong.  That who you
are is wrong.  It makes you be someone you are not, which is
kind of ironic if you think about it.  You are so worried about
doing something wrong and being judged that you second guess
what you do, and wind up not being who you truly are. Only
to wind up being judged any way.

If you are going to be judged, might it not be better to be judged
for who you are than who you are thought to be?

The thing is, though, that who I am is lived through a filter of
those who interact with me.  What I do and don't do is run
through their filter and deemed to be good, bad, indifferent.
It really doesn't matter what I do or say or how I am because
they can filter their experience of me in a totally different way
than the one that I think I am having.

So even then if I am who I truly am, I am still running the risk
of being misunderstood by another.

So what is the point of all of this?

That is an excellent question.

I am glad you asked. :P

I suspect the fact that there are so many variables that
contribute to our experience of life and our experience
of each other is reason enough to logically consider that
we can't "win" if we are being anything but who we truly
are.

I suspect that the only way we "win" is to be the best person
we can be in any given moment of our life.  And I don't
mean that even in the sense of "good" or "perfect" or
anything along those lines.  But instead, being true to
whoever we know ourselves to be in that moment.

And at the same time...

Letting others do the same even when -
especially when -
they disappoint us or drive us crazy.

If my life was any different, if my family experience was
any different, I would likely not see these things.  They likely
would not be as important to me or my experience of my life.

As much as I find myself in pain around what happens, I
learn more about myself in the process.  Some people will
say we are here to learn.  Maybe it is a selfish life that we
are here to live.  Maybe everything really is about us.  Maybe
in how we experience life we selfishly get to know ourselves,
and in being true to ourselves - we find the people in life that
we are meant to learn more from and the people in life who
are meant to learn more from us.

Sounds good, doesn't it?
Too bad it doesn't always feel that way.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

When Being An Open Writer Sucks

I once saw a cartoon of an author at a book signing.
Her parents were there.  And the mother said something
about how if she knew her daughter was going to be
a writer, she would have been a better parent.

I am thinking about the cartoon tonight, as I am
thinking about how I did not want to be public with
my blog at first because I did not want to have to edit
the things I said or thought.  If it was private, I would
not risk those who knew me reading it and having any
repercussions as a result.

When one writes, one uses words that mean certain things.
While that may seem like an obvious statement, the
problem is that the words may come off to others sounding
like they mean something totally different - and unintended -
and rarely in a good way.

Tonight I got blasted for something that I wrote.  Apparently
"people" thought that I had meant something very far from
any intended meaning.  What I wrote around what was
misinterpreted was in no way interpreted as something
affirming, or positive, even though it was meant to be, or
at the very least was not intended as a judgment or slight,
or in any way a disregard.

I ask a lot of questions when I write.
I think out loud.
That is a dangerous thing to do.

There have been things I have misinterpreted that have
gotten me upset, too.  It happens.  But the worst things
are the things when there is a difference of opinion and
the best you can hope for is a mutual respect of differences.
But even then it is difficult if it seems that there is some
common impact from the differences of opinion.

I would like to think I write in isolation.  But I know I
don't.  At the same time, in order for me to do "justice"
to what I have to say, and to who I am in that moment,
I have to assign words, and pretend that I do.  When I
do this I take a risk as the meaning I know in my head
may or may not be conveyed to the heads of others
interpreting my work.

The most obvious option I have is to stop writing publicly.
Barring that, the next obvious option is to stop talking
about my interactions with other people.  But then what
do I have?  Life is about the interactions we have with others.

Perhaps the line I treaded I shouldn't have.  Maybe
there is a way I could have discussed what I did
differently, more personally.  But the thing is, a lot of
this particular situation is personal - and it involves
another person.

Something to think about, I suppose.

It really sucks though.  Even as I write this, I am holding
back details that I want to share.

I have told people that cancer has a tendency to make the
sucky stuff of life suckier.  In other cases, there is a
possibility of an improvement.  I have to say that while
certain things in my life have improved, my personal
relationships have suffered.

There is more I could say about that...but don't really feel
up to it at the moment.  But I am guessing there will be
a blog entry on it at some point - perhaps/probably in the
not-so-distant future.

It's All About You

I was talking to someone recently about how people interact
with me, and something came up that has come up before,
and that is that how people act in relation to me has everything
to do with THEM.

Whatever they say or do about my situation - not always - but
often - has to do with what makes them feel better.  It is not
about me.

If it was about me they would:

*listen more.
*be less apt to try to fix something unfixable.
*know that a rote saying won't mean much - if anything.
*know that my tears can be a good thing.
*think more about me and what I need instead of trying to
be in their head trying to figure out the right thing to say, or do.
*allow me my moments.
*allow me to be whatever me I need to be to get through
what I am dealing with.
*support me in the ways I ask, instead of what they think is best
or needed.
*realize that my situation is hard enough without those who care
about me disappearing.
*realize that while I don't often feel "lonely" that when facing what
I am it is all too easy to feel "alone."
*realize that if I reach out for help, an acknowledgment of the
request would be appreciated.  They would realize that being
ignored is more painful than a lack of any kind of support.

So the question to ask yourself (if you care - and it's ok if you don't)
is who are you focusing on when interacting with (or refraining
from interacting with) someone you care about who is struggling?
If you are focused on yourself you are less likely to know how
best to be, and are most likely to feel awkward.  (How can you
ultimately feel better if what you are doing isn't making the other
person feel better?  You could potentially fool yourself, but is that
what you'd really want to do?)

But if you focus on the other person,
you are likely to find the cues you need.
In the process, both of you will likely feel better.

When you don't know what to say or do about a situation a person
is in...consider making it about them.  And see what happens.


Who Has it Worse? (There is no Comparison)

I just saw an image that was a reminder that someone always
has it worse than you do.  It is labelled as "inspirational."

I realize that the situation that I have found myself in is a way
for others to check themselves.  Several have told me that as
bad as things have been for them, they look at my situation
and feel better.

As I type that it sounds funny.  Not ha ha funny, exactly.
But funny in the sense that it just speaks volumes of how
bad they see my situation to be.

And...

It certainly ain't great.

Far be it for me to take away another's "inspiration."  But
at the same time, I can't help but raise the point that wherever
YOU are is valid for you.  Just because someone would seem
to have it worse does not in any way mean that whatever you
feel in your situation isn't valid.

I think there are times instead of being inspirational, a situation
like the one I described might only make a person feel worse
if they can not shake what they are feeling.  And then other
negative feelings enter the picture, and make things even worse.

I tell you this because I truly think we are all better off comparing
ourselves to no one.  Many times the comparison does us no
favors.  Having said that, if you can take true inspiration knowing
that someone has it worse than you, then go for it.

That sounds pretty bad, doesn't it?

I didn't mean for it to.  But in some ways, it would seem that is
what it amounts to, with a slightly different perspective.  But
then again, isn't that what life is about?

Perspective is everything.

Resource: Free Wig

Recently found a site called CancerHawk.  It is a great site with
a lot of resources.  One in particular is access to a real hair wig
for FREE for a woman going through cancer treatment.

It is worth checking out.

If I had known about it, I would have pursued it back before I
was losing my hair.

If you do utilize their service and get a wig, I would love to know
what your experience with them was. If you are willing to share,
please come back and let me - and others - know.

Thanks!

On Value.


There once was a person that I had spoken to at length
more than once. He told me how valuable what I had
said was. He knew I was a coach and appreciated my
coaching but went off and hired a coach elsewhere.

Another time I helped a person, and in the midst of a
conversation we were having she thanked me for the
help and was asking for more help, but when I asked
her to help me, I was rebuffed.

I have been thinking about these instances today, along
with others.  There is an expression that no one takes
advantage of us without our permission, so if I was going
to blame anyone for these things, it would seem I have
only myself to blame.

But the thing is, how does one know that a helping hand
will be lop-sided?  I know not every helping hand will be
balanced.  At the same time, there have been many
occasions in which I have been left wondering, "what the
heck?"

Part of this is about money.  And part of it is not.   All of
it, though, I think relates to value, and it makes me wonder
if people aren't valuing me, or if I am not valuing myself
and it shows up in how I am treated by others.

I wonder how much of it may relate to how much I want
to be liked by someone.  Do I extend myself more than I
should, hoping that the person will like me?

I am only now formulating these questions.  As usual, I find
myself with more questions than answers.

But I guess one has to start somewhere.

WoO HOo! MP3 page UP!!

FINALLY.

I have been wanting to create this page for a long time.














If you know anything about coding, you know that it isn't
so simple to do - especially when you are a self-taught
hacker, like me.  There are a lot of freaking details.  I just
hope I haven't messed anything up.  So many steps.  So
many left brained activities.

It was very challenging to get through.

But I got there.

Please visit the page.  I am hoping that the way I have
structured it will be appreciated and helpful.  I decided to
have a Pick Your Price structure.  There are 3 options:
5/10/15.  Of course I would love and appreciate the $15,
I will be happy to make it available to you for less, if
$15 is a stretch.

If you find any hiccups, please let me know.   I will do
what I can to make things right.

Monday, January 28, 2013

There is something about me...

that never wants to fit the mold.

cancer is a downer?

Today I was talking to someone about speaking about cancer.

As I am seeking opportunities to speak, I am finding an
interesting array of responses.  In this particular case, I
would have to be careful not to be a "downer."

There is a part of me that is reacting to this, and not in the
best way.  Given what is being created, I get it.  At the same
time, I had someone else tell me today that it was wonderful
that I was willing to speak about my experience - that not
many would.

I would never want any of my talks to be a "downer." That
certainly would never be the goal.  At the same time, I do
not want to be up and sugar coating things, either.  That goes
against the core of what I am looking to create.

It occurs to me that the opening here may be better placed
in a hypnotic conversation with a "by the way I dealt with
cancer" piece.  In that way, those who would hear me talk
would get value from the hypnosis conversation and get
value in seeing me living my life.

There is such a dang stigma when it comes to freaking
cancer.  It has the potential to come into the room and
scare people off, scare them silent, or put a happy face
on everyone in regard to everything.

People say that the conversation of cancer is not one that
many want to entertain.  The "problem" is that cancer will
likely touch most people's lives in one way or another.

Statistics that I heard say 1/2 of all men and 1/3 of all women
will be diagnosed at some point in their lives.  That is a whole
freakin' lot of people.

In some ways, I understand.  I really do.  I was there. At
the same time, I want to help close the gap between thinking
that one has an awareness of an issue and having comfort 
with the reality of what it really is.  It would have been
a good thing if someone could have done that for me before
I entered the gaping hole that is the disease.

When it comes to
cancer, the gap is so
large you wouldn't
even know
there was one.

There are a lot of people who need help who are avoided
and neglected because society as a whole, and the people
around them, don't have a clue of what to do, or say, or
know how to be.

One day a person that I am looking to address/touch might
be one of them.  If that is the case, they will be in a much
better place if they have some awareness and openness and
understanding than if they stay away from the "downer"
that is cancer.

A part of me is really annoyed right now.  It is the part that
wishes that people can understand things better without having
to have a first hand experience of them.  (I know I am one
of those "people," by the way, but it still doesn't help).

There is a form of discrimination that I face as a result of my
situation and diagnosis, but it isn't labelled as such so many
people have no problem with it.  Their avoidance of the
disease has them unaware that there are other problems
attached to it, and since it doesn't personally touch them,
why care or do anything about it?

It is no wonder people dealing with cancer don't want to
talk about it.  And when they do, it is only through whispers,
and silent cries.

The one Rotary talk I have done so far was VERY well
received.  Those who attended thanked me for my insights
and information.  One person told me that it helped her to
better understand how to be with a friend who was newly
diagnosed.

I KNOW I have something to offer.
I just have to figure out
how to get past the guards.

One day I really want people to have a whole different
relationship to this thing called cancer.  I want the silence
to end and I want cancer to get down off of the pedestal
we put it on.

It does not belong there.

Acknowledging the life sometimes sucks is not a downer,
it is the REALITY of the experience we call HUMAN.
Now if we could just add the "E" at the end of that word,
it might just take off some of the edge that cancer has.

It is way too easy to go through life on autopilot.  It is
way too easy to find diversions so we don't have to look
at things.  Things like cancer that help us to take a look
at the things that we call important.  Things like cancer
can be helpful, but they can also hurt like heck in the
process of getting wherever we are going.

To put a happy face on it is to take away some of its value.
To point to the lessons learned, while slighting the process
of getting there, is to take away something that others can
relate to.

It is no wonder people have problems with self-helpy stuff.
It is always focused on the fix and making things right and
being optimistic and positive and full of wonderful things.
They do not often talk about the mess that one needs to go
through to get there.

There is a big missing step.  No wonder people think they
are doing something wrong.  No wonder people have a
hard time.  They compare themselves to this self help ideal
that has nothing to do with the reality that life often offers.

There was an expression I heard recently about how we
compare our inside with other people's outsides.  It is one
way of looking at things.  So many wear a public mask,
and you'd never know what was going on inside.  You
would think them successful, happy, and confident.  They
may be none of that.  And yet you think you can't measure
up.  But the fact is, neither can they.

It is quite possibly an illusion.

Many times it is nothing but an illusion and much of life
is spent protecting that illusion at all costs.  Heaven forbid
we should talk about the reality of life, especially if it is
something we consider a "downer."

In actuality, the thing we call a downer could be the very
thing that takes us to new heights.  But we just have to 
go down to get to the heights we need to to get to it.


The Thought Swirls

So today I have a lot swirling through my head.

I feel very much like the "cat" I am.

Ever notice how a cat can be occupied intensely
with one thing, only to suddenly stop and do
something else, and then go on to the next thing
ultimately plopping down for a nap?

Well, that is pretty much me today -
minus a much wanted nap.

I have been thinking about the genetic testing.

Why?

I really did not want to.  But the fact that my
feelings had shifted in relation to my sister I
started to think if it was that helpful to her, and
that important to her, maybe I should do it.

Apparently her gynecologist is "pissed" at me
for not doing the testing.  I don't quite understand
why.  If I was to have the BRCA gene, it does
not mean my sister will, and the absence of it
does not mean she won't have it.

I really don't see how it matters what my situation is
when it comes to what my sister chooses or doesn't
choose.

Part of it seems to hinge on a life insurance policy.
According to my sister, she would not be able to
get the kind of life insurance she wants, if she has
the gene.

Is that "true"?  I don't know.  But if it is, that so
sucks.   That would not seem right to me, at all.
I would have to think she knows what she is
talking about, but not having done research on it
myself, I have no way to know.

And then she tried to tell me that I was somehow
affecting my nieces by not getting tested.  Once
again, I don't see the correlation.  However in my
sister's mind whether or not she gets tested would
hinge on my results.  If she doesn't get tested, then
her daughters would not know if they could have
it - or not.

I am not sure how it makes me responsible.  But in
my sister's mind, I am.  And there is a part of her
that is pissed that I won't get the test.

On my side of things, I really don't want to know.
If I get tested, I am not sure there will ever be a way
for me not to know the results.  In addition, I wonder
in the back of my mind if there could be any insurance
company bias if I wound up having the gene.  Is there
some way it could come back and affect me in a way
I would not want to be affected?

I also wonder if the test would be paid for.  I suspect
it might be, as an insurance company would prefer
that one get a mastectomy rather than wind up with
cancer.  Find out you have the gene, get the mastectomy,
and hopefully save the insurance company a bunch of
money.

Now some would say that they would be all for having
their breasts removed.  There are many stories of that
in the news - even a recent pageant contestant.

I really am uninterested in ever having cancer again.
However having the gene doesn't mean I will, and
not having the gene doesn't mean I won't.  Having a
mastectomy doesn't guarantee anything, either.
You can have your breasts removed, and still wind
up with breast cancer.

So...

I really don't know what I will do.  I probably should
have kept my mouth shut with my sister until I decided
if I was going to do it.  I just didn't realize how much
the whole thing pisses her off.

(You can also read my previous blog on BRCA)

PS Update/Revisting post.  January 29, 2013

So apparently there were things I wrote that have been
taken differently than intended above.  For that reason,
I want to clarify a few things.

First of all, my sister did not ask me to take the test.
When the subject was first broached she said something,
but then left it alone.  Apparently it is something that is
important to her, but she respected my desire not to do
it.  However, in ways that I don't know that we will ever
see eye-to-eye on it is something that is very important
to her to know.  And she isn't happy about my perspective
and how I feel about it.  And,given her perspective, she
has every right to feel that way.

Secondly, it seems to some people that the way I questioned
the life insurance policy thing was me questioning what my
sister said.  That was not the case at all.  I was just stating
that I had no first hand knowledge of what she said to me.
(I am going to see what I can find.  If there is something
that would be helpful to others, I will come back and
post it.  In the meantime, let me be clear, I DO believe
what my sister said, I just - at the time of the initial writing -
and now - have no first hand knowledge of what she knows.)

In addition, it seems she may now have to pay more medical
insurance because a sibling has been diagnosed with cancer.
That so doesn't seem right to me, either.  Why should she
be penalized for someone else's health when she may never
have an issue of her own?

I have no idea what "Obamacare" is going to be offering,
as I could never find any details online.  But I hope it is
something saner than the direction it seems we are going in.

Third, I respect my sister's choice to do or not do whatever
she chooses in relation to the situation she now finds herself
in.  I was in no way judging her or her choices or in any
way implying that she should do anything.  As with all things
I write it was a conversation and there were things I was
thinking and questioning.  If I was in her shoes I wouldn't
be very happy either.  I would probably feel pretty pissed, too.

Tests like this are supposed to be helpful to people.  But there
are inconsistent beliefs about them from professional to
professional, and the potential broad reaching implications
that have nothing to do with health and well being of the 
individuals involved are troubling to me in more ways than one.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Advertising

Would you like to advertise something that you do, or some product that you have, with me?

I would love to "advertise" everything good for free, but since I am not in a position to do that, how about we make an exchange?  You give me money and I give you some space, plus a bit more.

I have been thinking about this for a while, and I want to make it worth your while.

So...

You see those boxes in the column to the right?
(There are 12)











One of them will be where your ad will "live."

As of 3/2/13 there were 4250 page views in the previous month on this blog and 10,300 all time views, and every day that number is increasing. :) 6800 of the all time views came in the last couple of months alone.  I realize this isn't the large numbers of the bigger sites, but what you do have is my personal investment in doing what I can to make this a worthwhile opportunity for you.  That is why I am offering other things for your money besides a square box on this blog.

For $35 per month (Buy 2 months for $60) (30 days) you will receive:

* 1 ad space 125x125 (You provide the graphic.  I can make one for $10 which you can use elsewhere if you like)

1 blog entry - You will write/give me what you would like for me to say about you and your product or service.  If I know you, and or have used your service or product, I will talk about it, as well.

* I will periodically tweet (@JoLoPe) the blog entry about you during the month (minimum 1x/per day and likely more) to my almost 5000 followers as well as share it on Facebook.  It will be on my personal page as well as the Relating to cancer page, and on other pages (JoLoPe, Cedonaah) when and where I feel it is appropriate.

For $70 per month (Buy 2 months for $120) (30 days) you will receive:

* 1 ad space 125x250 (You provide the graphic. I can make one for $10 which you can use elsewhere if you like)

* 1 blog entry - You will write/give me what you would like for me to say about you and your product or service.  If I know you, and or have used your service or product, I will talk about it, as well.

* I will periodically tweet (@JoLoPe) the blog entry about you during the month (minimum 1x/per day and likely more) to my almost 5000 followers as well as share it on Facebook.  It will be on my personal page as well as the Relating to cancer page, and on other pages (JoLoPeCedonaah) when and where I feel it is appropriate.

For $140 per month (Buy 2 months for $240) (30 days) you will receive:

* 1 ad space 250x250 (You provide the graphic. I can make one for $10 which you can use elsewhere if you like)

1 blog entry - You will write/give me what you would like for me to say about you and your product or service.  If I know you, and or have used your service or product, I will talk about it, as well.

* I will periodically tweet (@JoLoPe) the blog entry about you during the month (minimum 1x/per day and likely more) to my almost 5000 followers as well as share it on Facebook.  It will be on my personal page as well as the Relating to cancer page, and on other pages (JoLoPeCedonaah) when and where I feel it is appropriate.

I reserve the right to say "No thank you" to anything that I don't feel fits what I am doing or my overall message.  I also reserve the right to change these terms at any time.  However, once you buy an ad, you are set under the conditions that were stated here at the time of purchase.  Your requested ad size needs to be available at the time of purchase.  The ads will be filled from the top to the bottom, or can be placed in a location of your choice, as long as it is available.  Where it is placed it will remain for the full month.  If I make the graphic for you, I will do my best to make something you like.  However, you get one revision in the creation process for your $10 payment.

This is a creative process for me, and it is my hope that as with everything that I work toward creating with others there is a win/win/win situation.  That is a win for you, a win for me, and a win for anyone who can benefit from what we do.

If interested, or have any questions, please email me at Jolope at relatingtocancer dot com. (Spelled out to attempt to avoid spammers).

Don't like what I have created, but could be interested?  
Make me an offer.

Thanks!

PS Alternatively/in addition,
would you like to be a guest blogger?
Please check this page out.



You are welcome to join me. Or not.


When I post a blog:

1. I write it for me.
2. I may read for typos, but I rarely edit, and I never edit for length.
3. I never expect that anyone will read it (or view it).
4. I am grateful when someone does read it (or view it).

I don't have it in me many times to do anything more than these things - even now.

I also know that if I had to take the time and effort to edit what I do, odds are it would never get done.  Things wouldn't be shared.

I know in the past there were things that were never shared of mine because I didn't feel them ready or good enough or...some other reason that prevented them from being shared with anyone.

(Any idea of what I am talking about?)

I am not going to tell you that what I do is perfect.  I certainly don't think it is.  I am not going to tell you that what I do couldn't use some revision.  I certainly believe it could.  Occasionally I will re-read something here that I wrote and cringe because of the missed typos or how something was expressed.  In some cases I leave it alone because I want to have an accurate record of where I was, when I was there.

If I was to ever write a book about my experience it might be different.  I say might because I would consider sharing this blog in its totality as it is what my experience has been.  At the same time, if I was to tell the tale more in the way of a summary of how things went, I could imagine it might be very different.

I am often told things about the length of what I write - as in them being too long.  Is it always necessary?  I don't know.  Many times I am outlining the contortions in my head.  I don't know about you, but the contortions can often be long journeys.

I know we live in a soundbite world.  I got that.  The thing is, though, this blog is not about soundbites.  This blog is about a messy and - at times - upsetting reality.  Those who can't relate to what I say (or don't want to relate - for whatever reason) will likely not be those that will appreciate what is offered by my sharing.

Maybe there is nothing of value for anyone here, but me.  If that is the case, I am more than fine with it.  At the same time, if there is something that I can say or do that can be extrapolated from my experience that can ultimately help others, I am all for it.  The real value - if there is one - may not come from the words here, but what comes as a result of them.

This is a journey.  MY journey.  And, for better or worse, I am learning to be myself in a public forum. For a long time I was no where even near close.  If people like me as a result, and want to engage, great.  If they don't, then that is fine, too.  We cannot be all things to all people, and I am not about to try - any more.

I am learning to be very aware of how I am with others, based on how others are with me.  It truly is like I am learning who the heck I am in the world.  I thought I knew.  But when this experience of cancer came along it shook things up in a big way.  My blog is called "anewme" because I knew on the day that I found out about the tumor the person I had been would no longer be here after I went through all that I have.

The thing was - while I knew what wouldn't be, I didn't know what would be. I am in the process of figuring that out each and every day with each and every thought and blog and video and experience.

You are welcome to join me.  Or not.

with JoLoPe
(JOy LOve PEace)
Elizabeth

More Self-Conscious Today (Video)

Yesterday I created a video after talking with a friend.

I was so freaking self-conscious.

I had promised myself early on that I wasn't going to
re-record or edit my videos.  I broke that promise
yesterday.

My friend wants to help me.  My friend is very aware
of the aspects of "business," and wants to see me
succeed financially.

I get all of that.  And I also get that part of my message
is about truly being oneself - in all of your glory:  the
good, the bad, the ugly.

Could we change the way people see and interact with
things by being different ourselves?  If everyone started
to be real in their interactions, and real in how they
looked, is it possible people would stop caring about
those things so much?

As I write, I think about something I read about Steve
Jobs today.  I read about how he supposedly smelled
bad around others early on, in addition to other
things labelled unpleasant.  And look how successful
he came to be.

Of course, one might argue he is the exception rather
than the rule, and that the rest of us "mere mortals"
have to live by the rules to be successful.

Do we?

Do we really?

I say in the video below that if you see value in what
I am doing I would rather it be value in me being me
rather than me putting marketing value in (via doing
all of the pieces "right.")

I have no idea what is next.  I have no idea how things
will twist and turn going forward.  At the same time,
I really want to keep myself being myself.  It has
taken me a long time to get here - and I have no
intention of going backward.  But that doesn't mean that
going forward can't in some way include the things
I am not so sure about.

Questions. Questions. Questions.

Always Questions.

In the meantime, this is I think the 4th or 5th day in
a row I have done a video.  It has to be a personal
record.  Woo hoo!  LOL.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Doing it Wrong?

Many days there are articles about how people are 
styling themselves wrong.  I have read things about
how long a woman's hair should be, at what age
she should stop wearing shorts, short skirts.

There are so many freakin' rules about things.  And
the thing is...many people obey them.

And those who don't...well they get scrutinized and
put down because they somehow don't know things
as well as those who are putting their choices down.

And it isn't just in fashion.

There are rules about what foods to eat.  What foods
not to eat.  What things to do.  What things not to do.
What things to say.  What things not to say. And on.
And on. And on. And...

It is exhausting.  Don't you think?  Exhausting to live
into what someone else thinks is best instead of just
being who you are and doing things the way you
feel comfortable doing them.

Isn't interesting to consider the fact that there is an
internal something that is often at odds with what
someone else has said, done, believed?  Doesn't it
make you consider that maybe there is something
to it?  A reason why you feel differently than what
you are supposed to?

It is a hypnotic state of sorts.  And it takes sn extra
special something to shake oneself out of it.  When
one comes out of a trance, it is an incredible feeling.

And sometimes you have no clue you are in one -
until you come out of it.

I am extremely sensitive to what is "right" and "wrong"
these days.  A friend said I am going through a "teenage
rebellion" type of thing - but not in a bad way, she was
clear to say, LOL.

I have often seen things as relative.  It is what my radio
show (World of Perspective Radio) was built upon.
But, now more than ever, I find myself wanting to
define things for myself.  More than ever I want to carve
out things - as they suit me.

The problem when you do that is that others don't often
know how to deal with you.  You don't fit into their
pre-labelled boxes.  It is not an easy road to be on.

The irony I think, though, is that is what many of us
truly want.  So many people that I have spoken to over
the years struggle with allowing themselves to be who
they are vs what someone else told them to be.

So many.

I wish I knew what "THE" answer was to this dilemma.
Of course I could say "just be yourself."  Sounds so easy,
doesn't it?  The thing is it really isn't.  And it is even harder
when you have your environment working against you.

Couple that with the fact that it takes extra effort to be
yourself when you have been trained to be another way,
and you have a recipe for something most people would
rather give up on because it is too hard. And, not to
mention, it SUCKS.

Standing where I do now I can tell you that odds are good
you don't want to have your own life-threatening situation
to call you to be who you are.  It is wonderful in some ways
being where I am now, but I wish it wasn't because of what
I had to go through.

In some ways I can't help but wonder how much farther
along my path I could have been if I could have just
propelled myself forward before this all happened.  At
the same time, I think that maybe things just turned out
the way they were "supposed" to.  Maybe I got as far as
I could on the path I was on, and I just needed this last
bit of learning and insight to get where I am now.

The beauty for me is that there is something in this - for me.
Not to be selfish, but I don't really care if you get something
for yourself out of my experience and situation, or not.  As
a matter of fact, the farther along this path I go, the more I
think I have much more inside of myself than I realize,
and that if there is anything at all to "fix" it isn't something
that someone else says is needed, but rather the fact that I
need to allow myself to just "be" who I am.  I need to
fix the fact that I have obstacles to allowing myself to be
who I am meant to be without outsider interference biasing
my inner world.

There are many pieces to life.  Many of which truly are relative
and hurt only in ways that might disappoint another.  Who is to
say what is right and what is wrong in an absolute - all human
encompassing - way?  Why allow another this authority -
especially if it is at odds with who we are and who we want to be?

Just as I was wrapping this up...I got a message about my eyebrows
in the last video that I did.  In the video I am not wearing a wig (but
had been prior to making the filming), and I noticed how they stood
out after I made the video.  But there was not a thing I could do
about it.

What happened in the video was spontaneous, and there would be
no way to replicate it.  So it was to share as is, or not share it at all.
The fact that you see it tells you what choice I made.

Did I do my eyebrows "wrong"?  Some, I am sure, would say yes.
I might even agree.  But you know what, in the grand scheme of
things...so what?  Had I not had eyebrows at all, some may have
had something to think or say about that.

I suspect there are much bigger, more important, things to
focus on in life than the distractions we create for ourselves.
Interestingly, I think more often than not, those distractions are
more about what is wrong than what is right, too.

If that is the case, it is no wonder we are so hard on ourselves
and drive ourselves (and others!) as crazy as we do.




Friday, January 25, 2013

What a Difference a Day Makes (Video)

I am almost giddy!
(and, yeah, I know...the eyebrows look like a bit much, don't they?
My brows are starting to grow back in,
so now I am challenged how to work with them.
With chemo it was a blank slate to draw on.
Plus...I had been wearing a wig prior to shooting
this video, and the wig moderated how they looked.
Oh well.  I never said I was perfect. :P)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stop It! (Video)


Sometimes people act like Bob Newhart does in this video in relation to me. Of course, it isn't quite as blatant, but it fits attitude-wise.  And it is said like it is just soooo very easy to do.  I love the part where he talks about hand washing. That seems so perfect, too.  I find that people will not pick on the things that they personally are OK with. 

Have you ever noticed that for the most part the things people have issues with in regard to other people are the things they personally have an issue with and the things that go under the radar or don't even come up in conversation are the things they personally have some comfort level or relationship with?

The Clock is Ticking (Video)


Today's thoughts, including some on positive thinking.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What do you do for fun?

Today someone asked me what I do for fun.

It is really difficult to answer  that question
in any way that the person may want to hear/
know.

I don't have money for "fun."
I don't have time for "fun."
I don't have energy for "fun."

I don't have much of a life these days.

Last night at the networking, I met two
different people representing products that
I have zero need for at the moment.

Funny how people think you have money.
It shows how clueless they are about how
a person in my position would be fiscally.
It is difficult to walk around telling people
that I don't have any.

I suppose I could just not say.  But, frankly,
I say what I say as a way to not get sold.
Do I want to be reminded that I don't have
money to spend?  Do I want to be reminded
that I am in a vulnerable position?  Do I want
to be reminded that I have no money for
retirement, and may not even get there any
way?

One person even mentioned a Will to me.
Not sure what he was thinking.  But I have
nothing to really consider in that regard.
I have no assets, and there is nothing to
fight over.

And...even if there was, I have a more
immediate need for food and other very
basic things than I do for a service I may
never need or use.  When I am gone, am I
going to really care what happens to my
things?

There is a part of me I want to protect, and
that is the things I put out into the world.
And should it ever look like my time is
coming, I will seek to find someone to
entrust regarding whatever I leave behind.
That doesn't need a Will.  That just needs
forethought and trust.

I share these things with you not in a way
to put these people down, but just to make
you aware.  If someone tells you they are
dealing with cancer, odds are likely pretty
good they are having difficulties financially,
and life as you know it - and how they
once may have know it to be - becomes
nothing like it was.  Hard to think about
"fun" or anything, really, outside of survival.

Over the summer I got to do a few things
when a friend came to visit.  It was because
he paid to do things that we did anything.
It was a bit awkward for me.   Although I
was incredibly appreciative.

Any time I meet someone new I try to be
careful where we go or what we do, as I
don't have the money to spend, and don't
always feel compelled to explain my situation
going in.  And may not even explain it in
the middle, depending on how I feel.

For some it might be an attitude of it's "just
$10."  For someone who is begging for even
$5, there is no such thing as "just" anything.

Another Day, Another Video

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Have you shared my blog?

Today I wrote to one of my Facebook friends.

She is someone who is a friend in "Facebook only,"
a play on in "name only," in case you didn't get that. :)

I wrote her to ask if she knew what was going on,
and to ask her to take a look at this blog and see
if she might be willing to share it.

It occurred to me that the message I sent to her
might be one that I should more broadly broadcast,
as well.

I am in a weird space about everything at the moment,
as sharing anything might seem to be self-promotion
and/or have a "sales" type feel for some.  Sadly for
many, sharing something all too often comes off as
"sales" these days.

In some ways, me getting the word out about things,
and me getting interested, paying people IS self
serving.  At the same time, it is about my survival,
AND about helping others.

The only other choice I have is to continue to ask
for financial support.  I have come to the conclusion
that it really is begging.  And. I. hate. it.

I would much rather do things for money than ask
for money, but I don't have much of a choice at the
moment.  I am not able to go find a job, and likely
wouldn't be able to work one.  Besides, I feel like
the direction I am taking is much needed.  I know
that I can make a difference for others.  I just need
to find the right supporter and/or outlet for getting
the word out.

*Sigh*

I wonder if anyone realizes how completely
overwhelmed I am, and how difficult it is to do
anything. I have been saying it for a while on
and off, and I would imagine it could all too
easily be something lost in the traffic of the lives
of others - especially when people have their
own issues and stresses and feel like they can't
do anything to help me.

When I am on better footing, I really have to
see what I can do to help others who may need
help.  I can not imagine I am the only one who
is feeling this way.

Someone offered to play music for a fundraiser
for me, if another someone would plan one.
If you would be willing to do that, or at least
help plan,  I would be most appreciative.  Just
let me know.

I would feel  funny planning my own, plus I
don't know if I am (physically/mentally) capable
of pulling it together at the moment.

I will try to get a few more details, and see what
else I can say on it.  When I have them, you will
be the first to know.  :)

I need help.  I need to do things.

And I am exhausted.

PS What I wrote to her was:


Do you know about my blog? http://anewme515.blogspot.com
I ask because I am wondering if you might be willing to take a look at it, and see if you would consider it something suitable for sharing. There are several reasons I would like it shared, not the least of which is the fact that I believe there needs to be a greater awareness and understanding of what someone goes through when cancer is involved.
If you don't feel it suitable, or are not inclined to do anything in regard to it, I understand. I just thought I would ask.
Thanks!
I share this with you in case you may want to consider
sharing about my blog with someone else.  If you like
the wording, it might be able to be adapted so that it
is a message that fits what I am hoping to say with
something that suits you.  
(Thanks!  As much as I need help, there is a bigger
picture here for others to become aware of.)

I just want to stick my head in the sand

A few years ago I had the most painful encounter with myself.

I was in a horrible place, and it was the first time in my life
that I knew what it was like to not be able to be anyone but me.

Sound strange?

It does to me.

I think there have been so many times that I am removed from
myself, that I never really had an opportunity to experience that
feeling.  As I write about it now, I am thinking that it may have
been a good thing that I felt that way, although it certainly did
not feel that way at the time.  Not in the least.

I wanted so badly not to be me.  And the only way that I could
come up with was suicide.  I didn't seriously contemplate it.
At least not for more than a moment, or two, any way.

It was a horrible, soul wrenching time.  In some ways, not unlike
what I feel at times these days.  It is like my soul is excavating.
It is getting stuff out of me.  Awful stuff.  Dark stuff.  Sad stuff.
Painful stuff.  And when it surfaces it is traumatic.

I was talking to someone who has had several heart attacks.
She is someone who has a lot of pain, too.  When I have asked
her about letting the pain go, dealing with it is the farthest thing
from her mind.  According to her, dealing with it, facing it
would kill her.

Given the way much of what has been surfacing with me has
been feeling, I can certainly understand it.  It does feel like the
world is going to end - or that it should.

I can understand why no one would want to come face to face
with their stuffed down stuff.  It gets stuffed down for a reason;
it is much to painful to deal with.

Recently I have been saying that I think the body may talk to us
because we aren't "listening" to the things that we need to be
listening to.  Is it "true?"  Who the heck knows?  But I am going
to go with the idea that it is at least possible, and am going to
keep encouraging my mind to be open to hearing the things it
needs to hear, and dealing with the things it needs to deal with,
and ask that "we" refrain from the physical possibilities.

And see what happens.

I really feel like I want to put my head in the sand today.  I am
feeling inadequate.  I had big time reservations about getting
back into the world because I knew that people would expect
things of me, and from me.  I don't know that I am really ready.
I get such a sense of anxiety when something is expected.

What if I can't deliver?

What if I forget?

What if I misunderstand?

We don't live in a world that is very understanding.  We live in
a world that expects perfection where there is no such thing -
even with those who are "healthy."

Part of my story at the moment is what I am dealing with now.
My story is on-going.  It didn't end when chemo stopped.  I don't
know when it ends for sure, except perhaps when I take my last
breath.

Therapists have talked to me about a "new normal."  It is really
more a "new me."  I really feel sometimes like I don't know who
I am any more.  The things of me I used to be able to count on
aren't there - at least not in the same way.  And the things that
were me that weren't so great are amplified.

I guess it is a good thing there is no sand around.