A Diagnosis of Change

I am not your enemy,
though you loath the thought of me.
I have awakened you to…

A sweeter love
a bluer sky
the forgotten song of a yellow finch

You experience life more fully with me.
I have heard you say you never wanted me in your life.
Yet, you now value my presence.
~ Cancer ~

Poem by Trina Schartz

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Cheers to Good Health

Cheers to Good health

My mother had knee replacement surgery on April 16, 2018. April 26, she was diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer.
She was not scheduled to start radiation until June 13th and Chemo June 15th. The Dr. explained she would undergo 28 days of continued radiation and a round of chemo once a week for 6 weeks. They would give her a month break. Then surgery to remove what she had left, and start radiation and chemo all over again after surgery.
Our goal as a family was to support our mother in strengthening her body which would support her during her treatment.
For the last month, we worked on changing her diet. Lots and lots of organic fresh vegetables and berries; raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. (all high in antioxidants) Every morning we juiced for her. Juicing helps to detox and alkalize the body, and increase the immune system. We added protein shakes (Vega Organic Proteins and more greens:)) which helps to maintain muscle, fight infection and also helps to strengthen the immune system
We eliminated processed sugar, gluten, dairy and red meat. No MSG and No microwave use. This elimination reduces inflammation in her body (Inflammation causes an acidic environment in which cancer cells thrive on).
We added cannabis oil to reduce stress, anxiety, and nausea.
We walked as much as she felt comfortable to do so. This was two-fold as she needed the rehab for her knee to heal and to help keep her body strong.
She listens to positive mediations and my father and mother have prayed the rosary every day together. This helped keep her positive.
On June 29th my parents received news from the Dr. that her blood work came back normal with the exception of low sodiumlp. The Dr. was amazed! He said to keep up the good work. He said with the results we have seen we have decided to only give you one more round of chemo and 2 more weeks of radiation. At this point, you will not need to start this all over in a month. When we are done with this round we will do another scope and see where things are at that point. But everything looks fabulous!
This was music to our ears!
A note to those who are in the supporting role of caring for a loved one.
Treat each day as an anomaly, because it is. Every moment provides a different experience. Don’t own the diagnosis. Own the steps to recovery. When the patient is feeling down, remind them that this too shall pass.
Get them out of the house as much as they feel up to it. This helps elevate mood for both the patient and the caregiver. If they are not able to go outside and are feeling down, find something they like to do and do that with them. The point is to keep the mind from ruminating on what doesn’t feel pleasant in the moment.
Keep the atmosphere positive. This helps to keep stress at bay. Help them to remember every positive change. Sometimes it hard for them to see the positive changes when they are in the midst of treatment.
No matter how BIG your heart is and your intention behind your giving, if the person you are caring for doesn’t want whatever it is you’re offering, let go and trust the process. It’s their journey.
Thank you, everyone, for your continued support! We feel so BLESSED!

When Life Knocks at Your Door

When life knocked at my door and the visitor was unexpected and unwanted, I was immediately overwhelmed with emotions.
For days following the visit, I didn’t want to share the news with anyone. I didn’t want sympathy. I didn’t want pity. I just wanted to be left alone. I needed time to process the news. We all did!
Life had suddenly been put into perspective. The thorns that had been buried under our skin over the years, prior to the visitor, had suddenly vanished.
Love is all that prevails now.
My mom, Ellie has chosen radiation and Chemotherapy as her method of defense against Stage 3 Esophageal Cancer.
Today, June 13th, 2018 marks the first day of treatment.
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To Laugh at Yourself is a Great Resolution

I too, like Jennifer Lawrence, feel like my statute of limitations is up on embarrassing moments.

My New Years resolution is to laugh at myself.  I hereby give myself permission to let myself off the hook and enjoy those most embarrassing blunders.  So here we go…

I was at an airport terminal waiting to board my connecting flight. I went into a gift shop to buy a pack of gum.  At the counter, I noticed a basket of small envelopes. The sign read “$2.00 for live rattlesnake eggs.” While waiting for the store clerk to “ring me up,”  I picked up one the envelopes in the basket, and another one started to rattle. I jumped and threw the envelope back in the basket.  After I got the clerk’s attention, I leaned forward (thinking to myself, I am going to save someone from being rushed to the hospital) and whispered, “some of these are hatching, as I point to the basket.  I can’t believe you are allowed to sell these, I stammered.  Rattlesnakes are poisonous.” She giggled, grabbed one of the packages and said, “these are not real mam.”  She opened the enveloped to reveal two paperclips wound tightly by a rubber band.

Enjoy your New Year. Let yourself off the hook!

 

 

 

 

Making a Difference, One Cup of Coffee at a Time.

When I owned my coffee shop, ONE of my ALL time favorite things to do was bring the community together, and it still is!
We connected people to people, and later discovered someone made a new friend.
Today, I had the beautiful opportunity to meet my friend Pam Grout from Kansas, and her friend Mary from Bradenton, Fl.
We met at this amazing coffee shop called Land of A Thousand Hills Coffee Company, Bradenton, Fl.

They are a non-profit coffee shop and restaurant who choose to pay it forward.
All the coffee proceeds go to Rwanda, the food proceeds are used to keep operating the coffee shop and all the tips go back to the community.
You can gift food and a cup of coffee to others.
What a flippin’ awesome idea!!!
I LOVE people’s creative minds.

 

The “T’s Knees”

The origin of the word “breakfast” was coined in the 15th century to describe the morning meal, which literally means to break fast from the night before.

Some individuals believe by not eating breakfast it helps keep weight down.
In fact, it’s just the opposite.
Not eating breakfast; slows your metabolism, contributes to weight gain, and can leave you feeling more sluggish and drowsy.
Breaking the fast by eating breakfast within in at least two hours after you awaken, is like stoking the fire of your metabolism, giving your body what it needs to burn more calories throughout the day.

It doesn’t have to be complicated to keep your life in balance.

The “T’s Knees” are packed with enough nutrients to jump start your day.

“T’s Knees”
Ingredients:

Toasted granola, pumpkin, flax and chia seeds, Greek yogurt, blueberries, sliced strawberries and cocoa dusted almonds.

#yourlifeinbalance
#youhavejustarrived #makingadifference #inspiringchange #author #whentheshoedoesntfitbookcomingsoon

 

 

 

 

Asking Questions

IMG_7332While I was living in Jakarta, Indonesia,  I left for a workshop in Sumatra, and a bomb exploded in Jakarata.
When I came back to Jakarta from Sumatra, a volcano erupted in Sumatra.
I felt guilty in both experiences, wondering why I was spared, and other living beings were injured or killed.
While in Florida,  I lived through a hurricane, and again I questioned why I was spared from harm or death.

I have asked myself, WHY? Why am I here???

I realized, a part of my “I” is being chipped away each and every time. These situations are helping me to pull the  focus away from me, and my attachments, and more on the needs of others.

If we are never given the opportunity to ask questions, it will be impossible to expand our awareness.

Procrastination Will Engulf You. Action Will Deliver You. ~ Trina Schartz

Tonight I came to the beach in an effort to complete a blog post.

I scanned the beach looking for a person I could trust with my phone.

I eyed a young woman sitting with her family. I walked up to her and asked if she wouldn’t mind videoing me.

She said she would be happy to.  I proceeded to explain, I needed her to film me for a blog I was writing.

She asked me what my blog post was about. I told her procrastination versus action.

Together we completed my goal.

I thanked her for her kindness. She said, what perfect timing.  I was just diagnosed today with a severe heart problem.

Thank you for the reminder.

Procrastination will engulf you.

Action will deliver you.

Let Life Be a Part of You

It’s one thing to take a step in the direction of your desires when you’re feeling on top of the world, it’s another thing when you feel like the world is lying on top of you.

Throughout my life, I have dealt with bouts of depression.  I know it takes a lot to pull yourself out of it, especially if you allowed yourself to spiral.  Once I hit the bottom of the staircase, I laid there curled-up in a pile of self-pity and drowning in a pool of self-loathing.

So what did I do to get myself out of this state I chose to visit? I knew I could not remain a victim of my circumstance. I had to admit the fact it was my choice to take this trip.   Next, I got up. I had to connect instead of remaining isolated from the world around me. Sometimes I had to ask for help.

The key is to recognize when you’re standing at the top of the stairs, and not wait till you have started tumbling down the steps of despair.

A couple of things I know that worked well for me were:

1)Taking my shoes off and allowing my skin to connect with the earth. This helped ground me.

2) Connecting with others, especially children.  They are fabulous role models for living in the moment.

I found my purpose and balance when I allowed life to be a part of me.