Thursday, October 31, 2013

Death is Everywhere

That title seems rather harsh. I bet it will keep many from reading this blog entry.bIt kept repeating in my head, so I felt I had to use it somehow, somewhere.

I have been itching to write the several last mornings, and this one is no exception. Silly me was trying to do something else, but it gnawed and nagged, and you see what won out. The good thing is that it is clear what I should be doing, at least. It is harder for me when something is not as clear.

So many thoughts wander into my head during this trip. I have been trying to write them down so I don't forget to write about them. There should be one place, but I know there is at least two, and I don't know that I have yet to write about anything on those lists.

Why did I title this blog the way I did? In the last couple of days I have seen notices about several deaths on Facebook. One of the people I knew personally. She wasn't a friend, but she could have been. She always seemed to smile, and had such great energy. 

Early when we met, she spoke of a friend she lost due to cancer. She teared up. They seemed to be very close. I was very touched by our conversation, and had asked if she would be willing to write something about her friend, and the experience she shared with her. 

Nancy was involved in so much, it seems she never got the time to write. She was involved in so many people's lives that when she had a heart attack a couple of nights ago, and died, there has been a steady stream of tears, admiration, sadness, dismay, love, affection. It seems to know the impish Nancy was to love her.

I have wanted to say something publicly, on any of the postings, but I have found myself stumped. Sorry just seems too simple. I figure when the time is right, I will know exactly the right thing to say, and will have the right place to say it. It is very much what this trip has been about. I have been following that inner voice and nudging, and finding myself at times simultaneously laughing and in tears for the incredible things that are happening as a result of "just" being open to riding the prevailing winds.

So many people would HATE that. The creative nature in me I think has often been that way - but at odds with the logic that often dictates against it. 

Yes. I want to know better what will happen. But why would now be any different than the rest of my life? I have always known I would die. I just did not know the details. Many of us don't. I would imagine it keeps us on our toes in some way. Certainly the uncertainty has been, at times, a motivator. How would we live life if we always had that driving force awareness? I suspect it would be a much different life and world.


As I write, I am sitting at the kitchen table in the house of a "new friend." I was going to say "complete stranger," but it is hardly complete. However, she is strange - but in the best possible way, and here is why I say that.

Yesterday as I tried to figure out what I was going to do for the day, and I saw something about Coronado State Monument (http://www.nmmonuments.org/) For some reason, the name popped for me, and I was thinking maybe I should find out where it was in relation to where I was headed - El Santuario de Chimayo (elsantuariodechimayo.us). But then, I was like, nah...let me just get on the road, and see what happens. So I packed up, got onto Route 25 from Albuquerque and headed north. 

Then. To what do my wondering eyes appear? A sign that tells me Coronado State Monument is the next exit. Well, of course, I needed to go. There was no question. I did, however, wonder if I had been there. I wasn't sure what it even was. I had been to a place when I was here several years ago, but I don't remember the name, or even where it was.

It was a gorgeous place. Right along the Rio Grande. I wasn't sure how much I was going to see, but something told me I should walk around, so I paid the $3 fee, and did just that. I had no idea that I could even walk down toward the river. It was so amazing, and it was such a beauty of a day. I walked some, and thought about how amazing it must have been for those who once inhabited the land. To be able every day to wake up to the splendor every day...

Perhaps there are many other places on earth that once had that feel, only now to be covered up with concrete jungles and large abodes. A part of me wanted to say "littered" by, and I refrained. It seemed judgmental and harsh. But, in a sense, it is a form of littering. We feel we can do whatever we like with this place we call home, and we often steamroll it is the process. Nature's cycle is the only thing that lasts. Everything else is disposable - including us.


I have to get ready, as my appointment with a Shaman is in just about an hour. I will need to come back and continue what happened yesterday. I am not usually one for much in the way of teasers, but you will want to hear about what happened, It was pretty dang amazing.

Until later.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Who is Right?

A couple of days ago, someone said something to me that was to the effect, "if so many are saying something, how could they all be wrong?" It was actually worded "nicer," but that was the essence of it.

The person was trying to be helpful.

There were so many pieces of the conversation that I don't have the energy to go into now, but my short answer is YES.

How many people have pursued a path the majority thought wrong, only to discover some thing or some perspective that was previously unknown?

When my one aunt was still alive, she was trying to tell me that I should not be  traveling if I did not have the money. It would seem to be wise advice, right?

Well. Around the same time she was saying that to me my uncle, her husband, died from a heart attack not long after he retired. She was bemoaning the fact that he worked so hard and so long and did not get the chance to enjoy life after it.

I don't think she ever made the connection that I did. On one hand she was telling me to restrict my life while on the other hand giving me a reason to do exactly what I was doing.

We have nothing more than now. I am not saying we should go for broke, but what I am saying is that life isn't always logical. Life doesn't always fit the "supposed to's."  

I wish my life had been a bit more "normal," and as it turns out it is possible that my death could be just as unique as my life has been. Of course, as unusual as my life has been, I wound up with a diagnosis that doesn't have the higher incidence stats of many other cancers. Of course.

At every turn I am told by another I am doing something wrong. It doesn't matter what it is. And it did not start when I was diagnosed.

Part of the difference now is that I am more able to say what I feel and do what I feel best - in spite of what other people think. It is still uncomfortable, but I doubt and question myself a lot less. As a result, though, I think I wind up explaining myself a lot more.

I was called stubborn the other day, like it is a bad thing. Some of the times I am most adamant are uncomfortable for me because I  am having to stand up for something that may seem to make little, or no, logical sense and only "feels" right.
I want it to make sense, too. But many times I am caught defending something I really don't understand, and am potentially questioning myself.

It sucks. It is exhausting. Having said that, though, I at least do not have the issues and feelings that come along with remaining silent or following another's expectations. I may not look good in another's eyes, but that feeling is better than the not good feeling I get when not following the lead of my inner voice.

Although I would love to not have to feel like I need to defend myself when someone is trying to help by telling me how wrong I am. Of course, when I decline the help and perspective, I am wrong, too.

We have dynamics of our society that have us question ourselves and have a way of labeling people when they do not conform to another's way of thinking. Maybe there are times that other people have a point and we should listen but I suspect that the bigger lesson is to know when we need to be listening to ourselves. 

That is one of my biggest lessons right now. What if the people we try to help with our opinions know better than we do - despite appearances?

Of course there are times I wonder if I am wrong, but there are some things that come from times like that, that could not feel more right in the end.

No matter what I choose going forward, there will be those who think I am wrong - especially when I die, provided I die from cancer-related issues.

Everyone has an opinion, and there will be those who will consider my death to be a failure on my part in some way. It is certainly something I question for myself. But the thing is that death does not mean  someone has failed to make the best choice. In some cases, it may be that the choice made was the one that felt best or right for the person - despite the outcome.

I have to believe that whatever choices I am making going forward are the ones that are right for me. Of course I hope I live for a while, but if I truly listen, even if I die sooner than some think I should have, I at least learned how to listen to myself before I left. I learned to love and respect myself.

We all die, but I wonder if we all get what we came for. It is interesting to me that we not only judge if a person is living right, we also judge the way a person dies and how it correlates to the timing.

We so love to find fault.

What if there is no fault to find?

What if things occur exactly as they were meant to?

It does seem a bit cruel to offer life and to have it seemingly snatched away. There are things none of us will truly ever understand, and yet we judge things as though we do.

I can not imagine what comes next - whether I live, or die. But, either way, I sure do wish I had some inside information. The closest thing I have that gives me any peace is when I am fully,completely being in the moment. For that is the only place that there is anything that resembles certainty. That is the only place that this life is lived. 

Everything else, and the things attached to that everything else, are fabrications. We fabricate what we thought the past was, and we make up stuff about what the future can/should be. And the only thing I truly have on any level is this moment, but then each one breathes and is replaced by the next.

And with that, I am going to get going.I have  been at this a while...my head spins when I start talking this way. Or maybe it is just that I am hungry, lol.

Either way, I am about to head north , toward Santa Fe to enjoy some wonderful moments.

Monday, October 28, 2013


Buttons are being pushed.

Tonight I was angry and in tears. I was talking to someone I have known for a long time. I have asked him to share about my trip, and what is going on with me. He is reluctant. I understand. At the same time, I asked him to try an experiment and talk to people the thing that nobody nobody talks about. I suggested he could say something like, "I was talking to a friend of mine today. She is on this crazy, cross country trip right now, and is in Texas, and is talking about her experience with cancer." I said he might be surprised that some would use it as an opportunity to talk about cancer. In my case, I often find it is a welcome opening and relief for those I talk to. He did not want to. Fine. I understood that, too.

But then.

Then I realize that despite the fact that I have told him what this trip is about, told him about my blog, and have invited him to learn more - he hasn't. He has no idea what I am doing. He thinks I am just taking a trip that I cannot afford. 

Despite the fact that I have told him the seriousness of my news, he just fluffs it away. Despite the fact that I am doing what I can to make a difference for those who are dealing with cancer - or who have yet to have the dilemma - he remains clueless.

I got really upset. If those closest to me can not get behind me, and speak for me, how can I think that anyone will??

A part of me just says it just goes to show how important the conversation really is that I am having, Another part is dumbfounded. How many different ways do I have to say I am in trouble for someone to get it?

He tells me I can't expect anyone to help with the trip - it is not like I am asking for money for food, or to survive. Where the hell has he been since last May when over and over and over I have asked for help?? What he said was not only inaccurate, it hurt to have to try to explain to him how it has been. 

On top of everything else, he just bought a new car that he expects to pay off in 18 months. It is his money, and he can do whatever he likes with it, but if a friend of mine was struggling to make it, I would like to think I would be careful about sharing how I was spending my money - especially if I wasn't giving her any.

A part of me doesn't want to share this, afraid of how it will sound. But this is not the first person I would have labelled "friend" that has done something like this. It makes it hard to know what to think of those I would call friend. A friend is not just someone who would give money, but if a friend doesn't seem to think me "worthy" of helping in some way, how in the world am I going to believe that others will?

It doesn't help that today was a long driving day on top of a long driving day yesterday. It doesn't help that I am tired. It doesn't help that there are times I don't know how to balance all that I am having to deal with.

Judge me if you will. I cannot possibly convey all the intricacies of my situation in this blog entry. I have said so much about things the last several months. I have talked and talked and talked, til I was blue in the face. I have tried to explain things, but so often people cannot get a full picture from just one blog entry. 

I am just going to ask you to please keep your judgment to yourself. I am feeling fragile enough right now. You may wonder why I am being public with this if I don't want your few cents. Well. It is because when I began this blog I made myself a promise to share everything - the good, the bad, and the ugly. And while I go through what I do, and share it under the public microscope, there are likely many others who deal with it privately, but have no less frustrations with those around them. If my sharing helps in some way, in terms of some awareness or understanding, it is worth it in more ways than one.

Want to better understand my reasons for taking this trip? Read this http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/10/about-triphow-to-donate.html


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 11 (I think!)

 It is about 7:00 in the morning. I  am a bit surprised I am awake. I did not go to sleep until 11/11:30 last night, and was tired and feeling a bit stressed. It was the first stress I have felt in a while. I did not like it. I was trying to figure out the rest of the trip. The second cannot be as unstructured as the first part because I have to be in Seattle by a certain date. And I want to drive up the coast from LA.

As I type these things I wonder about the fact that there was only a plaoe, or two,  I wanted to be so far. It made it easier to make things up as I went along.  It still kinda is like that, except that there is a much bigger stroke now. At least it sort of felt that way.

Yesterday I was thinking about how I would like to stay on the road longer. I was thinking about those who travel with the benefit of sponsors. I had thought about it before, but just haven't had the time to put something together for this trip. There was such an urgenoy to get going. The doctors did not give me good news.

When a person is dying, they  don't necessarily know it. With the tumor I had, I was in the process  of dying  for years. I would not necessarily have known anything if it wasn't for the fact that my body couldn't deal with it any more. I could barely breathe at times, was  very tired and could hardly eat.

Even at that point, doctors  were of no initial use. I was given antibiotics for the cough I had a few months before  my diagnosis, told by my gynocologist that my bloated stomach was not her department, told by my GI doctor that everything was more or less fine, that I should eat more fiber - when I could barely eat in the first placel!

So many pieces of the puzzle I look at now. So many signs. Missed.By me. By doctors. This is in part why I am taking this trip and sharing my story with anyone  who will listen. Things got impossibly bad, and that is why I had to do something more.  I had to be persistent. It is difficult when you do not know what you do not know. You do  not know what to do next. 

People depend on  theirdoctors, but doctors miss the signs. A woman I met online since this all began shared that she had been goingto the doctor for a year before she was  diagnosed - in Stage 4.

I know some people make it their mission to educate doctors regarding this cancer. I make it my mission to educate the individuals. One person on this trip told me she knows someone who has a number of the symptoms, and another who said she has some unknown things happening, too. Both may look into what I shared with their doctors. Odds are good it is not ovarian cancer, as it has a much lower incidence rate than many of the cancers you hear about. However, because of that, it is also all too often missed.

Ovarian cancer is called theSilent or Whispering Killer for that reason. I always wondered how I would know if cancer showed up. Well. It whispered to me for years. I now think I was in some way too scared to listen.

I also think that I might not have done some of the things I have done - like move to California, if I had known. It may have held me back. I can second guess alot of what I did and did not do. And I have done just that on more than one occasion.

The thing is that I may never have had this story to tell in this way had things worked out differently. Even though I am in a much more vulnerable place right now, it place of great strength.It makes me stand in a way I don't know I ever could have without it.

I often say my blog is not about cancer; it is about living life. The same thing goes for this tour. It is about fully living in the face of death. We all face the inevitability of death, but very few fully live. It is all too easy to be caught up in the details of life and miss out what it is to really live life. It becomes more about surviving the day.

Right before I was diagnosed, I made a plan to go to the shore for a few days. When I found ouot what was going on, I cancelled the trip. I can't help but wonder now what it would have been like to go. Life got paused back then. The brakes came on as I had surgery and chemo. Life really felt like it was over at some point, but I am still here.

I keep thinking about chemo. A part of me says - practicaly screams, really  - NO. I recognize that, and think about how this trip has gone. I plan for one thing, and a different one happens. I also listen to my intuition and I get wonderful things that happen as a result. Much of my life I have been sorry when I did not listen to that strong, nagging feeling.

Sometimes things change, and sometimes they are meant to be a  certain way. Those who make the choices that seem to result in  their death, may have been making the choices that brought them wherever they needed to be. If I keep heading west sooner or later I will hit the water. But there are so many ways I could get there. Heading west makes it inevitable. No two ways are the same, but there is no way to know which one truly is the best. There are tradeoffs. A more beautiful route might mean more time, but be more expensive when it comes to gas. 

I really think I need to give myself permission to do whatever feels right or best - no matter what the outcome. It won't mean I failed when I died. It will mean I listened. It will mean I lived. So many  times death is seen as a failure to live. But the biggest failure of life is dying while still alive.

You learn what is important at a time like this. And so few things are. The moments we have are so precious, and yet they are a commodity  squandered. I am aware of the comforter on the king sized bed I am on. I am  aware of the hum of the fridge. I am aware of the hunger in my stomach, and that the available breakfast will soon be done. I have been at this about an hour now. And I am so grateful for being where I am on so many levels.

I am not sure we can ever fully be ready for a journey of this magnitude. So much of this trip is  a metaphor for life. We never really know where we are going. We just think we do. We never know when we will arrive, until we do. We never know what we are missing, until we miss it. We never know what beauty we will find that can never be marked  on a map, or scheduled in a planner. We never know when that abrupt change of plan will bring something more wonderful than what we wanted and did not get.

I think there is more to say. But not now. For now, I must get myself together, get something to eat, and get on the road. It is about 5 hours to Austin. I could take a slightly shorter route toward the north, but Austin seems to be calling for some reason. Is it Austin? Or is it someone or some thing along that way  that calls?

Yesterday I sought out breakfast, and found a place to share of myself.

Have a wonderful day. 

ps...I still can use help to pay for this trip. If you can help, please do...even sharing this blog post or my story helps. Thanks! You can see more info here http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/10/about-triphow-to-donate.html

Friday, October 25, 2013

Thoughts I am Thinking

Technology is a wonderful thing - when it is working.  I keep trying to upload a video to YouTube, and it does not seem to want to work. I am trying via wifi, so I do not know if it is a network problem or a YouTube problem. But any which way you slice it, it might possibly be deemed a problem.

I am sitting in my hotel room, and the windows are open. It has been a beautiful day, but much cooler than it was yesterday. Good thing I went to the beach when I did.

I keep thinking about the things I want to share. I need to catch up, before I fall too far behind. Today, though, I had an interesting "visit" at a shop I went into. Once again, something told me to do it. Actually, it wasn't even really cognitive. I was nearby. I saw it. I turned into the parking lot.

The whole time I was in the store, I though of my Aunt Lynn twice. Once when I saw salt and pepper shakers (she used to collect them, and when she passed away I asked for a set) and another time when I saw a turtle. She used to have lots of turtles. Then, as I was leaving the store, I spoke with the owner, and I believe her name was Lynn. But that fact only hit me after I left.

I am not sure what it meant, but the fact that there were 3 "signs" that had me think of my aunt might mean something.  Maybe it means she was with me, or is with me still.

I had an incredible conversation with the woman in the store, and she told me some things about her experience with someone with cancer.She spoke of how she was very much in survival mode at the time, and couldn't do things she has done since. I could so identify, and I think we  identified with each other on some level. She gave me a CD to listen to that is already fascinating. One thing it said right before I  turned the car off is that for every 1 person who has cancer, there are 4! people who are employed. FOUR.

It is quite an industry.

I have so many questions about things. What is the right thing to do? I keep thinking that the exercises I am having while on this trip are preparing me for any decisions I will need to make. The more clear I am about my feelings, the more I will  trust them. The last thing I want to do is make a decision based in fear.

When I think back to last year, I felt fine about a hysterectomy. It definitely felt "right." Chemo, on the other hand, not so much. I am Monday morning quarterbacking now, and second guessing my choice. I am not sure I did the right thing.

At this point, I really do not know what will happen. After this trip I will want to live more than ever, but I will also be more ready to die. I really don't feel like chemo is the answer, which leaves the surgery. I have gotten more open to the idea of it since I first heard of it, but just don't know what I think.

As I write these things, it occurs to me that it is sort of like this trip. I have an idea of things, but there is so much I do not know - until I know. I had never even heard of Dauphin Island until a couple of days ago. I did not plan to be here until I started to come in this direction, and even then I wasn't sure until I started to get closer. I had even debated about spending a second night at the beautiful B&B. Kind of agonized, really. But then a moment of clarity came, and I was certain I needed to leave.

One thing this trip is trying to teach me is to stop  trying to plan - anything. It seems that most anything I plan to do ahead of time gets altered.   It is really trying to tell me that the only thing I know is THIS MOMENT. I thought I would stop trying to plan places to stay, especially after spending alot of time trying to figure out where I would stay in Mobile, only to pick the B&B on a whim from my GPS, the morning I left.

That is what I thought, but then I went looking for places to stay in New Orleans last night, and did not get very far. I am shooting now for a lesson learned. I am not looking any more before I go there, and I am going to see where it leads me. I have hesitated slightly, as I have already had an experience of being tired an trying to figure out where to stay, and it is not particularly easy or fun. But I am just going to go with it.

Earlier today I was talking to someone about how things are going. The whole idea of "marketing" came up. It is a hot button for me, and it was making me angry. I have never felt good about the marketing dynamic for things. It has just not sat very well. It is something I have struggled with. And now I am in a situation that could potentially benefit from good marketing.


It seriously makes me uncomfortable in a BIG way.

I am not going to go into it more now, but it is something that is in the background of things as I move forward. My blog and approach are not good marketing, but they are not meant to be. They are meant to be me sharing my thoughts and experiences of all kinds and in all shades. I realize it can be overwhelming.

At the same time, there have been those who have sought to read everything and be exposed to it all.   Are they in the minority? Absolutely. Do I want to reach a greater audience? Yes, and no. I feel we all could benefit more from what I am experiencing on this trip. We could all benefit from listening to the inner voice - even when we do not have much more than a hunch that something feels right. Instead we are swayed by bullet points of another to help guide our choices.

I know there is alot going on, and a focus and intention is good. But I am not sure the boxes and labels help. We have just been trained that they do. Of course it is just a theory of mine. But it could potentially partially explain my reaction to the idea.

There have been things I have said recently that have been taken differently than intended. It happens to all of us - all  of the time. We hear the things that our filters create. For that reason, I don't know that there is a single way I can say anything that will come across perfectly to each and every person I am exposed to. As I said that, I thought about how maybe "LOVE" could be that thing, but I realize it's not. I say "LOVE" and each person will hear it in some context that will  vary from one person to the next. Some will get it the way I intend it, many probably won't.

I think this is an experience in trusting myself - even  in the face of dissent. Many of the things that I write that get the biggest, negative reaction are ones that I personally would  rather not write myself. It feels like it is meant to be said. I think I am meant to make people uncomfortable, but not as a thing to do, more as something that will serve a bigger purpose in some way. It is not something I choose, but I think it is something that has chosen me.

Quite  frankly, it often sucks, BIG TIME.


I am sure there is more to say...but for now...several hours later...I need to pack and get things together as I will leave in the morning. It is about 3 hours to new Orleans.

Hopefully I will sleep better tonight...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Can You Sell Something?

I LOVE how ready people are to sell my things. I spoke to someone about my debt, and one of the things he asked was that question...what could I sell? It is like I have an incredible stash of valuable things that I can get money for.

Well. I don't.

And...even if I did sell a few things, it is only a little here and a little there. It is not likely to make me a wealthy woman, or solve all of my problems. It might be a band aid on a dam, but that is all.

Tonight I got a call about a supplement I was trying to use. It is not cheap, and at this point, I could not justify spending money on it. There was no proof that it was working. Of course the person recommending it thinks it is exactly what I need to fix me. She was trying to help me and asked if I could get the money some way, from someone. She even suggested that I perhaps get a payment plan from the doctor.

The conversation was extremely stressful. Why is it that people think that someone in my position had not considered possibilities? I explained to her that for months I have been BEGGING for help to survive. I had explored all possible options, and had no idea what else I could do. If I did, I would have done it.

She was persistent.

I would like to think it is because she wanted me to get helped by the product, and not because she wanted to sell it. But there is a part of  me that does wonder. She was pulling out every technique of a person making a sales pitch.

I am left feeling annoyed.

I told her I couldn't just close my eyes and keep going. Her response? Why not? My answer? A $700ish health insurance premium. Credit card bills. Concern over the fact that I may only have enough money to get through to the end of the year.

She wasn't hearing any of it.

I suppose if I thought it was helping, maybe I would have to find a way to make it work. After all, that is sort of what I am doing with this trip. I can't afford it, and have not raised enough money for the trip, and yet - I am on the road, making it happen.

At the same time, there is so much going on in my life, and I have to make choices of where I will place my attention and energies. In the last week alone, two other people have offered me solutions. One, at least, offered it for free. I said I would be willing to entertain it, but did not know how it would or could work if I was to have surgery and/or chemo.

I don't like the way I feel. I was removed from the drama of my life before this happened. I am going with the theory that the things that are happening are happening with a reason and intent. Much of it I have been able to just roll with. This, however, not so much - at all.

It is frustrating to have to explain over and over how I cannot afford something, That I do not have options. That I do not have help.    It seems many people cannot get that there is a brick wall. But there is, and it is a big one.

Given the nature of my situation I am choosing to ignore the biggest one in front of me. If I am dead in 6 months, it won't matter that I got creamed in the process.

I have really been feeling like things are good. I really am hoping for a miracle. I need one for so many reasons. I have even begun to think about a future that I would love to have. I can only hope that it is one I get to experience. At the same time, I have been given countless examples of how things happen differently than I might like, want, or hope for. And it is not all "bad." And, actually, much of it seems quite good.

There  is so much I want to write about. I need so much to be doing more of it. But I also want to read, and watch the sun rise, and take this really long, driving trip. It is very difficult to do it all. But that doesn't mean I won't try.


Having said that, let me tell you what happened Day 2 of my trip.

Ellen told me about a place called South of the  Border. It is a touristy stop at the borders of North and South Carolina. She suggested that it would be fun to go there. There was a shop that had some wild hats we could try on. Since I was in a very receptive place, I said, "Great!"

When we got there, it took a bit to get inside. I had a call I had to take, and we had to use the restroom. But once we were inside, Ellen went somewhere, but I wasn't sure where.

I was drawn to a woman who was playing checkers with her son. I don't remember how the conversation began, but I told her what was going on with me. She then said she was a cancer nurse. Where? In the state I receive treatment - at the facility where I am treated. She had been an ICU nurse, and had seen many who had had the surgery I am considering. Many, she said, had done well. She also told me that many have alot more going on than I seem to at the moment, and that if I was to have the surgery it could be a really good thing, as they were encouraging people to do it sooner rather than later, as it then has the best possible chance of having the best possible outcome.

It was wild.

How is it that so many miles away from home we ran into each other? It certainly seemed like we might have been meant to. And then there was the fact that it was only Day 2 and seemed to be building on the events of Day 1.

As I am typing this, I am realizing that details are slipping away from the other days. Today is Day 7. There are 4 days left unaccounted for. I am going to have to really try to remember what happened.

One other thing that I remember at the moment was on Sunday, at the beach. I was going to write in the sand. I started  to, but Ellen suggested we move to the pier. I had gotten "LIV" before she suggested we move. So I  added an  "E," before we moved on.

Later in the day I was on the beach by myself, and along the way I dropped my shoes, but did not realize it. I tried to backtrack my steps, and when I did, I found the two shoes in different places. The wind was kicking them around. The first one I found was on top of the word "LIVE." Apparently I did not realize I was offering myself a message when I did it earlier. I was in awe. I should have taken a picture.

I am  sure there are other things, and I am really going to have to make a better effort to write things down as I go. There are some things I  have been making notes about, so at least I have something to work from in some regard.

It is nearly 11:30 and I have yet to figure out what I am doing tomorrow.  I wanted to get to the beach for a couple of days, but I am also intrigued by where I am. Every time I plan something, it seems to change. It makes me wonder if I should even be trying to plan. I spent time and energy last night and this morning trying to figure out where I was going to stay tonight only to have figured it out when I got to my car and  turned my GPS on.

I am thinking I will not know til tomorrow what I should do. I would like to get up at sunrise, too, which is around 7:00. Tonight I was too tired to go anywhere for dinner, so I ordered in. I felt like I should have gone out, but it wasn't like it was a should that was in my best interest, but rather, I "should" go among people. It was, I believe, more my head than my gut.

I have this feeling the next few weeks will go by way too quickly. It is my wish, hope and desire that whatever is accomplished during this trip is exactly what needed to be. There are times it feels easier to believe that is what is happening than others.

And with  that,I think I need to get myself to bed. My eyes so want to close, but I am fighting it. There is so much I could do and want to do.  A part of me is agonizing over what comes next. Another part is laughing. Why even bother using my energy that way? Things keep revealing themselves to be nothing like what I decided. So maybe I need to stop deciding. Maybe I just need to keep feeling my way through. Maybe, just maybe I will get more done, as I won't be wasting time on something that will change.

I think it may be hard to go to bed without trying to figure something out, but I think I am going to give it my best shot.

And with that, good night.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Living Life Tour: Day 1 Tidbits and More

I am sitting at the home of someone from Couchsurfing.net. She is asleep at the moment. More than one person suggested that I look into the site, and for this place to stay I am grateful. I thought I was 2 hours away from here last night, so I stayed somewhere else. It turns out I was only about an hour. However, as tired as I was last night, it was likely better that I thought it was a longer trip than it was.

I considered being on the road today, but I am glad I have gotten to spend some time in Auburn, Arkansas with my very gracious host. I have about 2 weeks to get to LA, so I am not in a hurry. For that reason, I am going to head south tomorrow and head again for the beach. I would love to stay on the beach, but I am not sure how possible or probable that will be. I tried calling a rental company today, and even the least expensive option is about $400 for 2 days. The rent itself isn't too bad, it is all of the fees. It doubles the cost.

I am thinking it would be nice to be somewhere settled for a couple of days, and what better place than a beautiful beach somewhere? I am not really an ocean person, but something is telling me to go, and quite frankly, I am listening. I don't always understand what I hear, or why, but listening has brought me some really wonderful things.

So...I said before that I need to write about the trip. I don't know where to begin. But I guess the beginning is as good a place as any. For starters, my trip agenda has changed several times. However one of the final final versions had me going north a bit before heading east and then south. The reason I didn't do it was because the person who invited me told me he had a family emergency, and would not be home when I would be coming. I had wanted to take the trip sooner, but it had been pushed off, and we lost the earlier open window.

At the same time he was telling me that he could not host me I received a message from Ellen Koronet. She was heading down to Savanaah, and was inviting me to come with her. I wasn't sure at first if it was a good idea, but when I got the other news I took it as a potential sign that I should take her up on it. In addition, I had considered a trip to the south before the northern update. It was really what I preferred, but I logically talked myself into the idea that the northern invite was a good/better place to start.

Being with Ellen was amazing. It was amazing because I got to go along for the ride for most of the trip. For a couple of days I had nothing to worry about, and no real decisions to make. She took care of everything. It was awesome in ways that I may try to describe, but likely fail to do it justice.

It was also amazing because of the dynamic that she brought to the trip. Who knows if I would have taken the same route and made the same choices?

The very first night we were on the road, she decided to pull off in a town in Virginia for dinner. The town has about 7-8 restaurants. I think we passed all of the rest on the way to the last one. She asked me what I wanted to eat. I saw an Italian place. I suggested that. She wasn't interested. I wasn't wedded to it, either, so we kept going. She told me later that she was going to turn in one direction but then turned in another, and it is how we wound up where we did.

I wasn't sure how the menu there would be, but once we saw it, we determined that would be the one. It was an eclectic place. Nothing matched.

As we sat down, my phone rang. It was one of my sisters. She had some questions about things, and apparently a young niece of mine wanted to arrange for a fundraiser for me through school. I was so touched by what my sister told me about how my nieces and nephew wanted to help that I was in tears telling Ellen.

Just as I was bursting into tears and bowing my head, I caught sight of the waitress who had been coming toward us turning on her heels and going in the opposite direction. Oops. I probably scared her.

She returned briefly after and I explained to her what was going on. I told her about my diagnosis, about the trip, and about what my nieces and nephew wanted to do. We introduced ourselves, and she introduced herself. Her name? Destinee. I joked that I had met my destiny that night. How appropriate for the first night on the road.

I didn't know it til later, but she went back to the kitchen where the owner and chef was and was in tears, as she told him about me. She had mentioned to us that he, too, was dealing with cancer. When he came out he chatted with us for quite some time, and he and I (among other things) compared notes about our experiences with cancer. He gave so many stories and snippets of reactions of how he handled things, how others handled things - or did not handle things. He also mentioned that the restaurant had been his "cancer dream" when he was first diagnosed several years ago.

He, Russ, was vibrant, colorful, sweet, sensitive. A gorgeous human being. After dinner we talked some more. We talked for quite a while, and Ellen and I got even more stories and, more importantly, for me, I got to be me - in totality. I got to truly be myself and express things. I got to interact with others. It was the kind of thing that I have always enjoyed, and is the "meat" of the types of things that make me feel useful. I was feeling validated and useful for the first time in a long time.

It is interesting getting outside of things. Inside I had not realized what had happened. I have been really struggling for months. I have tried to be useful in the midst of all that is going on, but despite my attempts and offerings, there have been mostly crickets. I sometimes suspect people do not want to bother me. What they likely do not realize, though, is how helpful my feeling helpful would be. They may not also realize that I need money, and while they stay away, so does the money that could also be helpful.

There are times I really think people just don't get how impossible my situation is. Not only do I have a hard time working, but I can't seem to work in general because people are not coming to me for what I can do. Plus I don't have the kind of financial support I need, so I am left in a void, feeling invisible and useless - and running out of money.

That night with Russ and Destinee I didn't feel invisible, at all. It was incredible.

In addition to all the seeming intangibles, Russ, sweetheart that he is, gifted Ellen and me dinner.

I later asked Ellen if I had insisted on Italian, if she would have gone for Italian. She told me she would have. To me that says that you can really miss out when you have to have things your way. I had also been certain that I was going to use my gut feelings on this trip. I had been thinking that it was Ellen's gut that led us there, but it occurred to me that my gut was more than fine taking her lead, so it was my gut in some way that led us there after all.

It was an incredibly wonderful and rewarding way to begin the trip....and it was only Day 1. I will continue to write more, but will break it up a bit...I was trying to avoid spending much time on the computer. As it is, I spend time each night working on images to upload. I have to find a way to balance it all. Some have told me not to spend so much time, but the fact is I think it is all important. It is important to spend time and share with those I meet along the way, and it is important to share about those people and conversations with those who might be watching.

I have times I am beyond exhausted, but thank goodness for the times I can find a way to recharge. Not being in a hurry I would think will help. Today was one of those days. Tomorrow I will drive about 4 hours, and then, hopefully I will find a place to stay for the next 2 days. I will likely make it to Houston by the weekend some time. If you know of anyone in Houston or Austin or Dallas, please let me know. Other places, too. I might be able to head in a direction if I know a possibility awaits.

More to come.

Thanks for being a part of this journey.

If you want to know more about this trip, or how to donate, please click here -> http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/10/about-triphow-to-donate.html

Saturday, October 19, 2013


I wrote this about  month ago, and forgot about it. While I was packing, I found it. I thought I would share it with you. Feel free to share it with others, please just be sure to keep my name with it. Thanks.

I don't feel so strong
But that doesn't make me so wrong
I sometimes feel weak
And that doesn't mean I can't speak
You may listen
And what I need is to be heard
I worry about tomorrow
But do my best to live for today
My words sound different
through the veil that they wear
Under them all,  I am still  me. 
I swear.

Elizabeth Alraune    


It is too early to be up. I went to bed around 1:00. I was tired, but I wanted to get a few things done.

It has been an incredible trip so far. It is hard to know where to begin. I have been taking pictures, at times getting a bit carried away. I am going to have to manage that has been annoyingly frustrating, as I have limited phone memory. However, my creative side is relishing the opportunity.


It was around 7:00 this morning when I began this entry. It is now almost 1:00. Ellen Koronet and I have parted ways. She took me to get my rental, and then she was off to do what she had to do. It has been so awesome the last couple of days. She took such incredibly good care of me. I did not have to worry about a thing. Not where to stay. Not food. Not anything. 

As a matter of fact, leaving things up to her was rewarding more than once. 

We even talked about how sometimes when you are so adamant about wanting something, you can miss out on other things. I like leaving things up to the other person at times because it expands my horizons. I learn something, am exposed to something new.

I had no idea what to expect on the first part of the trip. It was an area I had never been in, so I was quite content to follow her lead. I didn't realize, though, just how amazing it would be after eveything I had been through - especially recently. I realized it as it began to sink in that I have to know where I am and am going now. I realized it as I have to start thinking about how to manage the trip. I realized it as I thought about how convenient it was to be a passenger in a car, vs the driver. I could do other things which I will no longer be able to do - until later. And taking pictures while driving will not really be possible. 

I am sitting in a town near the airport, near Savanaah. I thought is was Savanaah. But it is not. Last night we went into Savanaah. It is beautiful. I love the history. It's the first established city in Georgia, from what I was told. There is a city within a city, as there is a thriving community down on the water that can't be seen from the street. If you didn't know it was there, you'd likely miss it.

It was a beautiful night. A bit warm and humid, and by the end, I was tired.  But I kept thinking that it was great that we were doing it, as I wasn't sure  if I wanted to contend with driving into the city. I have thought it might be nice to drive around a bit, maybe find a park. I  am not sure about the hustle of the city. A part of me kind of saw a big stop sign last night. Everything takes energy. Driving into an unfamiliar city might be more energy than I want to expend.

So today I picked up the car. It is an awesome one, too. I forget what it is, but odds are I will get pictures up at some point, so you'll see. I am already loving driving it. The rental place thought a convertible would be great. And it probably would have been. But it also would have been about $500 more. That is at least 5 nights or more of places to stay. There is no way I could justify it,  especially since I have not yet raised enough money to take this trip. (Want to help? Click the banner above, and the link will take you a page that will tell you how to).

I so enjoyed the 3 who were at the mostly quiet counter when I got there. It was awesome that we got a chance to talk as much as we did. I am so thankful for the opportunities to connect. I got a picture with them, too...that I will post soon. I am going to try my best to stay on top of it. I don't want it to seem like work, but I also do not want to get an overwhelming backlog, especially. since I am unclear about my management of the images.

If you don't know it  yet, I have been posting images on my Facebook page, Facebook.com/Relatingtocancer and have been putting up videos on my YouTube channel GotStressGetRelief.com. The most recent one is of Ellen talking about cards she created. She has offered me a percentage of any sales from the cards that I initiate, so if you are interested and tell her that you found her and them through me, you can help me. I am so appreciative of her offer. I am also travelling with a few of her decks and some of Sherri Robbins CDs. I gotz me some goodies to share.


At the moment I am sitting in my hotel room. I should probably have found a place to sit and write outside. But I was tired. Right before I began to write, I was finishing up repacking, although I still have a bit to go. I packed so that I can fly home with only carry on. But that was a bit tricky to do. There are things I will ship home, and there are things I will use up, and there are things I won't use now, but later (like warmer clothes). I am using paper bags to sort my things. I am working on a system. One bad is laundry. One bag is more summer clothing. Another mid-range. Another colder weather. Another pants and skirts. Another shoes. Another food. Plus I have a cooler. Then there are the bags I will take into the places I sleep for the night. Basically the car trunk will be like a closet. 

It will be really interesting to see how this goes. Maybe I will take a picture at some point, if not for you, perhaps for my own sake and memory. I think I did pretty good planning. Guess time will tell if I am right.


I so wanted to write more about the people I have been meeting before it gets too far into the  trip. I know I am already forgetting things. I  know I don't "have" to do it on one level. But on another level, it feels like an important part of this trip.

I would really appreciate it if you would please share about my blog, videos, images, journey. I am already discovering how important this conversation is. I knew it was, however I am getting continuing confirmation, and it is brilliant. I have been handing out my ovarian cancer info cards and trip cards along the way. I have lots to give, so let us see how many  opportunities present themselves.

For as much as I have written here, I still have so much more I want to say...so I will be back. For now I think I will try to figure out how I am going to manage the images and finish the last bit of packing and organizing. At some point I should probably consider lunch or even dinner. Until then I have some snack mix to enjoy (raisins, cashews, pine nuts, brazil nuts, mini chocolate chips, almonds). I am also debating about a nap, given how restless I was last night  and how early I woke up this morning.

I am a busy lady :P

I knew as a child I would never bored. There would always  be something that could be done, something that would draw my attention. I guess that is what happens when you are a curious person. Ellen called me a Nomad. I don't know if that is me, exactly, but I do like to travel, and there is something about travel that is quite nourishing to me.

25 more days to go. I have no doubt it will be an amazing time. it already has been.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Today is the Day

I woke up way too early today. Part of it may have been my concern about my car key. I gave it to my friend last night, forgetting that I need my car chargers. It would have sucked to forget them, as much as I will be on the road.

Am I ready for this trip?

As ready as I can likely be. I have no idea what is ahead of me. But that is no different than the rest of life. It just is that we have the illusion that we think we know.

The "race" of the last several days is over. I wasn't able to do all that I wanted. At some point things had to be "good enough."

A few things you should know about the trip:

Anything I plan is subject to change. At a moment's notice. And odds are good, I think, that it will happen - a lot.

Videos may be one of the biggest ways I stay in touch. If you haven't yet seen GotStressGetRelief.com, you may want to. 2 videos from the last 2 days are posted there, but have not been referenced here yet.

I will not be taking a computer. It will make me simplify things, and there may be more typos than average, as I won't really be typing, and I may be tired as I am planning to drive approximately 4000 miles, am crossing 3 timezones, and will need to deal with a time change, too - sort of like crossing into a 4th zone.

Doesn't sound like much, does it?

Facebook.com/relatingtocancer will be one of the main places info will be posted. If you haven't found the page yet, you may want to. I have asked a couple of people to post there for me, as necessary. 

I am not yet sure what role this blog will play in the journey, however, I cannot see taking the trip and not doing exactly what I am doing right now. 

(If you believe in what I am doing, please share about my trip on Twitter and Facebook...help me get the word out).

I will be doing my radio show on the road, and have asked Cindy Carter of the CancerSupportFoundation.org to join me on a show, but nothing is definite yet. 

Sherri Robbins is graciously allowing me to use a song of hers as my trip theme song. I hope to have it on mp3 at some point, but if you want to listen to it until then, you can hear it at the end of my radio show featuring Sherri (click banner above for link/file).

I have tried to make the page the banner links to at the top a resource if info about the trip, so if you have any questions, you can hopefully find the answers there. 

So many facets of this trip are going to be less than ideal. But I also suspect it has the ability to surpass whatever I think is possible.

I hope you will join me. You can reach me through the Facebook page, and ny contact info is linked through the right column. If you would like to donate, info though clicking the banner at the top of the page. I still have not yet raised the funds needed for this trip. I will still need more as I go. My biggest concern/expense at this point will be places to stay.

The current estimated route is Savanaah, Jacksonville, west to Texas, north to Austin and Ft Worth, Santa Fe, LA, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle.

Any questions? I have answers. I just wonder if any will fit your question, lol.

As soon as I am done here, I will want to go back to sleep for a bit, but I suspect I will start doing stuff, and then I will be off on my adventure. Thank you to those of you who have supported me in any way. It is appreciated in a way that transcends any words I could come up with. Please know I appreciate everything, even if I do not thank you. It is my intention to thank those who help, but with everything that is going on, I suspect things will slip through the cracks.

When I return, I will come back to a miracle or some serious, potentially life threatening - likely life altering - choices. While a part of me is aware of that, I am now going to do my best to be in each and every moment and enjoy those I meet and connect with along the way.

Yesterday someone told me that many people do not have an opportunity like this. They live every day like there is always a tomorrow, getting caught up in the stuff of life. The end can come all too soon with no warning. Even though, as I think about it, life itself has a built-in warning system. We just tend to ignore or mute it.

Why do I tell you this? Good question.

I suspect part of it is that I am grateful for my reawakened awareness and ability to act. The other part might be more for you. I was told last night that a lack of listening to the smaller messages in my life is what gave me this bigger one. I am not sure what I think of it, but I certainly don't feel like I could rule it out. Even still, I cannot help but wonder if what is happening is exactly what was supposed to for reasons I may never know or understand. Being diagnosed with cancer is a big enough thing alone, but the escalation of things certainly brings everything - and me - to a whole new level.

And with that...I am off.

"The rest of my life is the best of my life." - Louise Hay

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oh No You Don't...I Am Not Falling for That Again

Early in my diagnosis, many people told me that I should forget about my credit card debt. I wish I could have, but I knew things would be bad enough without making things worse credit-wise. I was able to transfer all of my debt on one credit card with a very low interest rate, and the monthly payment wasn't too bad. But then the year ended, and it went from 4.99 to 13.99. Currently, the monthly payment just pays the interest and little more.

Right before my diagnosis, I was making great strides to get the amount paid down. Another 6-8 months I would have been good. But, apparently, life had other ideas. At one point, a woman was suggested that could help me. Well, the "help" meant giving up all of my credit cards. As much as I need "help," I still knew that I couldn't do that. Credit cards are my buffer zone. I already charged a second card since last year, and it has bought me pretty much a month.

And now, there is this trip. If I had given up my credit and credit cards, there is no way I could have taken this trip. I would have no credit card to rent a car. It would be next to impossible - if not impossible. I am glad I listened to my own inner voice and not the "wiser" voice of others. At least I get my trip.

Today I called the company I owe $13,000+ to. I sounded very stressed. I am two weeks away from them reviewing my interest rate. I was worried that charging things in the next few weeks would be detrimental to me in regard to their review. Nothing they said was particularly helpful, but they could hear my stress, and sounded like they wanted to be helpful. One person told me that I shouldn't be stressed the way I was. She told me there was "a department" that could help me. It might mean not using the card any more, but more money could go to the principle of the debt.

I got to the department, and a disclosure was read about how there was something about "collecting a debt." The person asked me what was going on. I was current, after all. Well, she said, you have to answer some questions and then we will see if you are eligible for this plan. OH NO. I could not get off the phone fast enough.

Up until that point I was smart enough not to say anything specific. I just said that I was stressed making payments. And it was a good thing, too.

There was another time in my life I was having problems, and I was told to call the credit card company for "help." By the time I got done answering the questions, I was told, "I am so sorry for your difficulty, and oh - by the way, we are lowering your amount of available credit."

Well. Thanks for nothing. Thanks for making things worse.

Yes. They want to help. But it's not me they want to help. They set a nice little trap to lull you into thinking they will help, but then all they do is make things worse for you in the process.

I was basically told, too, that if I fit the plan, the account would be closed. No thank you. I need to keep trying to pay that debt as long as I can. Life is hard enough without the difficulties of credit issues.

This is yet another issue that seems so simple to those outside of it. But inside it is a freaking stressful mess. With everything today I was shaking and my heart was pounding. I was paying bills and seeing the last amounts of money dwindling. I really don't know how I am going to make it, especially if I have to come back to that major surgery or chemo.

I told someone that the hole I am digging is going to either require significant outside help, or I was going to have to die. Some people think chemo happens, and then all is right with the world. Well they are partly right: chemo happens. It's kinda like that something else that happens, too.

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Keeping Up to Date

Lately I have been posting more directly on Facebook. It's not a good idea. It creates double work for me. I think these are the most recent updates. I am not sure if there are repeats, but I don't have the time to check, and if I don't do this now, I may not. I haven't taken any time to edit or re-work them for here, but I wanted to be sure the bulk of the things I say are in one place. 

Please know, too, that when I am on the road, there is no telling how the blog will look. They may have typos and they may have different fonts, and they may have no structure or pictures, or anything. I am going to make things really easy on myself so I can not be tethered to technology. Having said that, though, I am going to try to do hangouts and do my radio show. So we shall see how it goes. See Facebook.com/Relatingtocancer to keep up to date on what is going on. I have a few people who will try to help me keep things up-to-date there. 

Thanks for your understanding.

Living while preparing for your death...sucks. No wonder we don't do it. No wonder we avoid it. No wonder we act like everything is just fine and keep going. It really feels quite surreal. It feels like I am preparing for a trip I may or may not take in the not so distant future. I have heard of people who don't care about anything if they know the end is coming. Me? I am thinking about how it will affect others and trying to make everything work so no one has any concerns. Ironically a part of me feels like it won't be necessary. Does anyone really know when their time is coming to an end? Is this a sense of denial I feel, or a sense of living? Maybe it is a bit of both. And in the end, I am not sure it matters which it is/what it is.

I know this does not apply to everyone who may read this...so...if it resonates for you, then it is for you. 

I know my situation sucks, and maybe you do not want to hear about it, much less "burden" or annoy anyone by sharing what is going on with me. I get it. The thing is, while everyone does what you do - maybe nothing - there are too many people like me who are in trouble because they are ignored or discarded. If you have never been "here" you have no idea how incredibly difficult it is to "just" survive, and I hope if you ever do get here you do not get the eye-popping shock many do. You may think you know what would happen, but I would place odds on you being surprised by who disappears, who stays, and those who are new to enter your life. I have tried my best to live in the last year and a half. It had been very difficult, to say the least. I have felt close to giving up many times, and pulled myself back from the brink just over a week ago. I used to find my value in being a certain way, and it no longer works. I have value. Tremendous value, and a tremendous voice that I so desperately want to use...not just for me - but others who know exactly what I am talking about, and feel unwilling or unable for whatever reason, to speak up. You may not realize it yet, but you need me to get out on the road. You need me to speak. You need people to pay attention to what I have to say. As a culture, we need it. I do not know how much time I have left. I hope it is years. I am hoping for the biggest miracle of my lifetime. But this could also be it. With, or without, your help I am going to make this trip. With, or without, your help I am going to speak to anyone who is willing to pay attention. This is the month of pink, and I am not a fan of the reason or origin of why. However, pink is considered by some to be a color of love and healing, a color of the heart. If I am going to leave this life I am going to leave with as much heart as I possibly can. I will do it with, or without you, but I would sooooo prefer it be with you. Please join me. Please share about my trip. Please make this happen in a big way. This can be a gift for all of us. Thank you. Http://relatetocancer.com/. See black and white banner at the top of the page for trip details, and how to donate. 

I talk a way these days in a way I never thought I would/could. I am so grateful for what has been done for me. So many things add up. And yet, the gravity of my struggle makes it difficult to act like everything is fine - because it is not. My life flew out of orbit last May. I no longer am in the world that most function in. I have not been able to plan much more than what is in front of me. I now might be seeing the end of the road, while most of the world willingly denies that there is even an end. My perspectives now are very much at odds with who I once was. Many times I think I am talking to my younger self when it comes to the things I say. I wish I had done things differently. I helped others, but I wish I had helped more. I felt I couldn't. But I could have. It wouldn't have hurt me a $1 here, a $1 there. I believed I couldn't, so I didn't. I wish someone had challenged me. But no one does that, "please" "thank you" "anything you can do." So polite. Mainly the facts, minus the emotions. If I was alone in this, maybe I would not talk as I do. Maybe I would think something was wrong with me for feeling as I do. But I am not alone, and there are many stories that are left untold. I don't want to piss people off and upset them by what I say or how I say it. I would rather they be pissed off and upset by the fact that the types if things I - and many others - are facing are happening. I do not know if I can, or will, make a difference, and I do not know if I am doing things "right," but I really do not know how else to be. How does one live and die at the same time? Although we all do it. I guess ignoring and avoiding mortality serves a purpose. The problem is, though, that life without the lens of mortality can often be sqandered. The irony, perhaps, is that the person who is most aware of the finite nature of life would likely to be the one to use it the best, but sadly, would be just as likely not to have access to it.

It just occurred to me that while my situation in many ways is not unique, a person who does not know that may think I am alone in my "misery" and "suffering" and "desperation." I may seem to have it less "together" than someone else because someone else you know may never talk about things, and seem to be just fine. Well. I hate to say it, but odds are fairly good that those who are silent and always seem to be positive and smiling have a lot more going on but feel they cannot be open and share what they are experiencing.

Is it in all cases? Probably not, but likely in more cases than most would want to acknowledge. Very few want the "bad" stuff - keep it to yourself. But what if the silence only makes it worse?

It is all too easy to silence or ignore another - but when "another" becomes you, then what? The type of thing I deal with is not only "cancer" related. There are many more people suffering, too, from the inability of others to cope with what seems to be negative.

This is not just about me or those dealing with cancer. It is about a MUCH bigger picture. Discomfort often stems from the unknown. The more known something is, the better, perhaps, it is understood and tolerated and interacted with.

Silence only hurts those who are suffering. On the other side if things, there are many who know the pain. They have witnessed it. Things said can run too close to home. Part of that pain they witnessed may have been from the silent suffering of their loved one and the effects of the reactions of others, or fears of what those reactions might have been.

I don't know that there is a "fix."
But what I do know is that we can do better.

I suspect that if someone was saying these things, but was not intimately affected in the way I am, people might react differently. Maybe they would even tie a pink ribbon on it, and do walks.

We humans are wired so strangely...and yet, it all makes perfect sense. Maybe it is time to stop making do much sense.

In the novel 1984, the main character, Winston, is considered crazy in the world in which he lives. The reader, though, identified with him, and sees the world in which he lives as insane.

In college, I wrote a paper (one I was quite proud of!) in which I made the case for Winston's insanity. How? By looking up the definition of insanity.

Guess what? It is contextually based. So anyone who steps outside the norm becomes someone looked at differently, and potentially ostracized.

I would love to create a new norm. I am not sure what it will take in totality, but I know silence is not going to help.

Please help me make my journey not only happen, but help it be a success. Help me get people talking. Help me help others to feel safe in sharing what they are experiencing without fear of how they will be treated as a result.

In helping me, you might just help yourself.

See http://relatetocancer.com/ for details. Click the black and white banner at the top of the page for trip details. If you don't see a way you can help, but want to, make one up. Or contact me, and let's talk. Sharing this helps, too. Thanks.

I leave Thursday.


When people pray for healing, there is the thought (I think) that the best possible outcome is for the person to be healthy, alive, and well. By that way of thinking, death is "bad." What if death is "just" a very long, extended trip that another takes? What if a prayer to keep someone here is like a prayer to keep them from a million dollars? I am not saying it is. It is just that the thought crossed my mind. No one really wants death. But...what if it is not only not a bad thing, but is actually a good one? By the way, this is not me saying I want to die...it is just something that wandered into my thoughts.

2 More Days

In two days I will be on the road.

This whole situation is quite surreal on so many levels. I spoke with my mother last night about my final arrangements. It is a lot easier to talk about something like that when you think you won't have to worry about it for a while, but then many don't ever do it.

My hope is that I won't need it, but it doesn't take away from the feeling that I have in doing it. What happens to my "stuff" should something happen to me? I don't want to leave my friend dealing with my things. It isn't fair to him. A part of me had considered getting rid of a lot more, but it feels like I would be giving up on some level.

At this point I don't have a huge amount. But I have a considerable amount of things. And what of my "internet stuff"? How do domains get transferred? Should I transfer them to someone now? So many freaking questions.

My sister also suggested I schedule a meeting with another hospital for November regarding the surgery, should I not be able to get it where I am currently going. Oh goodie. One more thing to deal with. I suppose I don't need to do it in the next two days, but the more I get out of the way now, the less I need to worry about on the road- and the less I am likely to forget while on the road.

My mind is all over the place. So many details to work out. I had a thought of something I wanted to write, but it's gone. This stress is not helping. The potential finality of everything isn't helping. It's not like I get to come back from my trip and relax. I go straight for a scan, and then potential major decisions.

I also feel like everything is going to be OK. I so hope that it is not just denial or wishful thinking. I also hope OK fits into some box that I would label OK. I realized this morning that I haven't really said I want to be here. I kinda have, but kinda haven't. How difficult it is to want something one can't have. I wonder if that is why I am not claiming as strongly as I could, and otherwise would.

I keep telling myself that no one knows anything for certain. I keep telling myself that things that move in one direction can move in another. I keep telling myself miracles happen all of the time, and someone has to have them, why I can't be one of them? I keep thinking on some level that while some believe we create our reality, I am not sure just how much that is true. I question how much impact our thoughts and feelings really have. There have been too many things in my life that I have wanted that haven't come to pass, despite being in a certain "space" and way of thinking.

So many questions. So few answers. It is the story of my life. As I wrote that, it occurred to me that if I had a tombstone (which I won't) that would be a good thing for it to say. Funny thing is I sit and think about how I couldn't go back and edit and revisit it, so is that what I would want forever?

I have so much to do today, and I must get on with things, as I know the day will go by all too quickly. But before I go, I want to let you know that if you have supported me in any way, I cannot tell you in words how much I appreciate it. I would like to thank each and every person, and hope that I have, and do, however please understand that there is just so much going on right now, things I want to have happen may not. It does not mean I am not grateful. It just means I ran out of steam or time or even, quite frankly, forgot. I know it may sound terrible to say that, but if you've ever been really stressed and/or had chemo you know how all too easily it can happen.

It is my hope and desire to thank each and every one of you by making this an incredible trip. It is my hope to have the kinds of conversations that matter. It is my hope to bring attention to the kinds of things that would benefit us all. I hope, whether you donate or not, or help or not, you will join me on this journey and that you will follow me across the country. I hope that you will send any loving and healing good vibes you can muster whenever you think of me.

We are all here for a reason that transcends ourselves. We get to learn a lot about ourselves in the process of being something more. I would like to think I will have more earthly time to do the things that I have so wanted to do. I have often imagined having a home that I invite others into and we spend healing times together. I have often imagined the power of those one-on-one interactions. I have already had many, but not in the way I have imagined for a long time. I have imagined writing a book. I knew years ago that I wanted to write a book. I have imagined touring the world as a speaker.

I also imagined other things that never happened so it leaves me to wonder what will come of these imaginings. I have thought that this experience would lay an incredible foundation for an even greater story to be built upon.

I am grateful for the last year and a half because it gave me me in a way that nothing else ever did. It had me doing things that left undone, I would have likely have felt regret for. On some level, I have a bit of a regret that I didn't get started sooner. I held back so much. Now I wonder if there is enough time to share it all.

I have met some really beautiful people in this time, too. They are people I hope to get to know better and spend time with. If those who care about me (including myself) we will all have the opportunity to have me and my offbeat sense of self and humor around for a while.

I do not know how much more I will write before I go, so this will have to do it for a bit. Knowing me I will be back sooner rather than later. It is just the way it seems to go. I have so much I want to say these days. It just flows like a dam that can't be stopped.

Please check this page for details about the trip, ways to donate, get info to me, ways to help me, an incredible healing video, and more. Any willingness you have to post it and share it on Facebook, Twitter, and other places is appreciated. If you believe in me and what I am doing, it is one of the most valuable things you can do to support me.

Last May when I started this blog I had a sense that I had no idea what was coming, but that it would change me in significant ways, and I was right. I could not have planned it or mapped it out. It just evolved through all that has happened. I have the same feeling about this trip, and while it may be the end of one part of my life, it could very well be the beginning of something much more incredible than I can even fathom at the moment.

I was scared back then, and I am scared now - but there is something that feels incredibly right about it all. All of it. A lot of it is not what I would have intentionally, consciously chosen, but on some level I know that it is giving me opportunities to love and appreciate and express myself, and those are gifts I would never want to have forsaken.

I hope that my journey in some way gives you a piece of you. I hope in some way it gives you something in a way that lifts you up, and that you can get without having to go through the suffering and pain and anguish I have. But, if you choose to pay attention, even if it doesn't do any of that, I hope it gives you the me that I have sought to be in the world.

Thank you for your support, love and listening,
with JoLoPe,

Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
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Monday, October 14, 2013

We All Have Our Moments

It is odd to see the things that people fill their life with. I can not help but wonder how much would remain if those who posted these things were more aware of the ticking clock. So much doesn't seem to matter to me right now. Someone I know earlier seemed to making excuses for not talking to me. Among them: he was taking out the trash. Yup. Really. I am guessing he didn't know what he was saying - or at least how it came across. Let me just say if you ever know someone who is dealing with something significant in their lives, and they are calling you, you may not want to tell them that the trash is more important than giving them your time and attention.  I would not have been calling him, had he not been awesome other times. We all have our moments. This was certainly not one of his best.


Feeling such a mish-mash of emotions. A really good friend of mine I think is having difficulty with what is happening tonight. I said something that I didn't realize would wound. He lost both parents to cancer, and went through a lot in the process. When I first was diagnosed, I didn't want to tell him, but I had to. His response, "Don't repeat the pattern."

I certainly did not intend to. I certainly do not intend to.

The thing is, though, his mother was a lot like me. The more I learn about her, the more if anyone could have, should have, survived, it should have been her. When I consider that, it scares me. What is the difference between someone who survives and someone who doesn't?

I once heard that every illness can be healed, but not every person.

I don't know what I think of that.

Earlier I had a pendulum in my hand. As I was staring at it, my eyes adjusted in a way that I saw two of them. As I stared I thought about how one was "real," and how the other was not. But how could I tell which one was the real one? At one moment I would be somewhat convinced that the left one was, but then I would be somewhat convinced the right one was. But I really did not know what was real.

I was thinking about how this was a metaphor for our "reality." Some things seem real, only to be disproven. Some things seem to be more real than others. Is "real" the us that transcends the body? Is "real" the part of us that is without the confines of the body? Of course, one has to believe there is more. I don't know how it can be discounted when so much that once wasn't known now is. There is a lot we do not know.

So as I was thinking about all of this, I closed my eyes, and opened them. The 2 became 1. At that moment I realized that the real and the unreal not only co-exist, but they are quite possibly the same thing.

What does this all mean? I am not really sure. Tonight my abdomen is feeling stuff that I wish it wasn't. I am a bit nervous about everything that is happening. I am doing my best to trust that I am going where I need to go and do what I need to do to be able to stick around for a good, long while.

There are times like earlier that I think I see glimpses of helpful things. I guess time will tell just how helpful. In the meantime, I am claiming my miracle. It may not be how I want it to be, but who knows? Maybe I'll get lucky.

I really don't want it to be that you are reading this any time soon, and I am gone. I so hope that is not the case.

Please claim the miracle with me. Feel it in your mind and body. Feel what it feels like to know I am cancer free and able to do more here on this planet. There is a video on this page that talks to this idea in an incredibly powerful way. Anyone willing to do it, I would love to ask that you do it whenever inclined, but I am also asking for it to be at 9PM daily, to harness group energy. I have zero expectation, but whatever you are willing to do/whenever you are willing to do it, would be appreciated.


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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Another Poem (?)

There have been times I have written things...some I have felt are more finished than others. This one I think I felt wasn't finished. However I think I like what it is as it is. I am not sure how long ago it was written. Sadly, I was horrible about dating a lot of things, and unless it sticks in my memory to another memory, it is something that has to just be dated by the stamp of the past.

I look
your eyes
I see
at me
you feel
to what
you see
You look
for my eyes
to tell you
what I
may try to
hide, deep

- Elizabeth Alraune

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A Poem

Due to a set of extraordinary circumstances, I came to care for someone I had never met physically. I wrote this poem during that time. If he is still in my life now - it is at a distance. Given the way he made me feel, I will always wish him well...

I've never seen you smile
but I've felt the love you radiate.
I've never felt your touch
but I've seen its effects.
I've never seen your eyes
but deep within them I've been lost.
I've never met you
but I know who you are.
I've never known love like you share it.
There is no way to compare it.
Thank you for the sweet gentleness.
The gentle man's sweetness.
I'll take it anywhere any time any place.
Just in case there
was ever any doubt,
who you've been to me is
what's life's beauty is all about.
-Elizabeth Alraune

I would say this poem has many ways it could be interpreted. We have a way of knowing another, without knowing them at all.

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