Sunday, December 21, 2014

dawn o' day

please stop.



don't walk.
don't talk.
don't even look my way.

i cannot.

i can not.

i c a n n o t




let me

silence- offer in: tranquility- please lead to: juncture- usher me: peace- graciously serve me:

night approaches, trembling overtakes my heartbeat.
volcanic chasms create shivers of cold. stamina leaves. will diminishes.
glistening and glitter in eyes is no more. i sleep. with no restorative powers, i sleep.
battling vapors of the past. seeking refuge in traumatic visions.
mocking and berating i frigidly wish for dawns light, with understanding that dawn brings nothing.

nothing but opportunity to choose. to choose again. different. opposite - more than prior.

o' dawn of day and dawn of light, i plead. i bow. desperate. raw and torn, my eyes flicker with hope.

hope. hope. hope. to be. to be more than yesterday. to be. simply.
to feel healing drip drop unto bloodied nerves. heartstrings to ooze vile no more.

o' dawn of day. flow o'er me and blow away dirty remnants of yester.
o' dawn of day. flow o'er me . . .
o' dawn of day, newness be mine.

Friday, October 3, 2014

She needed a HERO, so that's what she became

She needed a HERO, so that's what she became!

I read the above quote on social media.
Let salty tears fall. 
Wiped tears, sat back deeply into brown leather and closed my eyes.

A hero?

Do I need a hero?                Yes, I think I do. 
YES! I screamed raw and hoarse in the hallows of my mind.

Have I ever considered becoming that HERO? 
Becoming that HERO to me?




deafening quiet surrounded my thoughts.

the resounding answer echoed, hit the corners of my mind
shattering my composure.

I had NOT considered becoming my own hero
Not until today.

Look at the woman in the mirror and declare to her:

YOU are my hero. 
YOU are my hero.
You ARE MY hero.

Deep breaths.
Slow, cleansing, relaxing and renewing breaths.

Tears fell - still
Smile broke - fresh
Eyes glisten - hope

My baby steps today. 
My baby hero steps begin.
Becoming that which I need. 

Tomorrow I will step once more until one day, I walk straight into my very own hero. 

I walk straight into 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

shrapnel of self

shrapnel of self
bloodies as fragments 
fall and
screams of hurt
betrayal echo
on my steel hard heart. 

of self-esteem
of self-worth slouch
trodden underneath
trodden underneath

my insides outward
as anger
drains my energy
regret oozes taking joy in red tinged drops
bile as remorse odors my nose
bitterness seizes as vomit
sadness spews in short gushes

shrapnel of self
in solitaire

nothingness within
nonentity remains
rest now o’ my soul
repose now o’ my spirit
ease and compose
linger inactive

till tomorrow

tolerate now a tranquility wash
accept a composure recommence

aim strive seek struggle once more
for a shrapnel reverse
in anticipation hope
exist intact
and in healing live
unabridged once more.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

7 steps - it is finished- actually I am beginning.

It is finished? No, I am beginning.

step 1 - Acknowledge Faults - Limited up to 15 - DONE (see post from Sept 18, 2014)
step 2 - Affirm Personality - DONE (see post from Sept. 20, 2014)
step 3 - Acknowledge Talents & Gifts - DONE (see post from Sept. 21, 2014)
step 4 - Affirm Personality - DONE (see post from Sept 22, 2014)
step 5 - Write to the Woman in the Mirror DONE ( see post from Sept. 25, 2014)
step 6 - Read aloud the Writing in step 5 DONE (TODAY - Sept 26, 2014)
step 7 - Embrace the Woman in the Mirror DONE

Sept. 18, 2014 - 10 days ago, I began a concise seven step self awareness & acceptance exercise. (outlined above)   One that has interfered with my thoughts, my activities and emotions as I pledged to look honestly at Suess. Thankfulness overwhelms at those interferences. I now have a concrete landmark upon which I can refer. A landmark that if I heed and act, can give me direction, clarity and assurance. Landmark that I can return to when confused and lost. A landmark of identity and worth. A landmark of Suess.

As women, the rush we call life, blurs our reflection. Demands from family, profession and our culture severely taint the woman in the mirror. My desire with this exercise was to wipe away the smudged prints from my reflection. As fingerprints on a mirror, my 'self' view of who I was born to be, had become distorted & unrecognizable. I was lost and unrecognizable.

With these 7 tasks, I wiped away years of misgiving and self -rejection. I decided out loud to forgive myself for my faults. I declared to my memory, my cells, my very essence the reveal of who I know that I know I am. The 7 steps are not the end. Alas, a new beginning begins with a single step. Cliche as it sounds, it is true. I begin today to be true to me. In love and grace, I choose me.

I am grateful for faults, personality, talents & gifts. I am grateful for the woman in the mirror. I declare to embrace the imperfect, eccentric, loud, loyal, accepting and compassionate writer that I am. Today, a new face lingers in my mirror. She is on a journey. She is imperfectly wonderful.

Thank you for reading along.

If you worked along side me on the 7 steps,  applause, applause applause!

Please share with me.

Cheers, hugs & love, Suess

Friday, September 26, 2014

I am not a photographer. I am not a marketer.

step 1 - Acknowledge Faults - Limited up to 15 - DONE (see post from Sept 18, 2014)
step 2 - Affirm Personality - DONE (see post from Sept. 20, 2014)
step 3 - Acknowledge Talents & Gifts - DONE (see post from Sept. 21, 2014)
step 4 - Affirm Personality - DONE (see post from Sept 22, 2014)
step 5 - Write to the Woman in the Mirror DONE ( see post from Sept. 25, 2014)
step 6 - Read aloud the Writing in step 5 DONE (TODAY - Sept 26, 2014)
step 7 - Embrace the Woman in the Mirror

Today, I read silently my letter I wrote yesterday to the woman in the mirror. (Did not follow directions)

I thought I would react.
Perhaps weep
then maybe smile.

Nothing registered.

Read it aloud, once more.Twice more. Three times. . . aloud, following the directions.

I did weep, gasp, scream and breath.
I did smile.
All three times.
Literally, Hearing the words my older self of today told my 33 year old self of yesterday, set a myriad of emotions into action.The audible version penetrated my usual stoic shell and ignited unadulterated release. Release into action and I affirmed my dogged decision to do that which I was created to do and that which I am most suited...write & speak.

 I am an author & a speaker. I am not a photographer. I am not a marketer. I am not business office staff.     I am not a medical receptionist. I am not a minister. I am not a day care teacher.
I am an author & public speaker.

All the other titles, I have lived. All the other titles, have gifted me rich experiences, amazing relationships, cruel pain and opportunities to choose joy. I am thankful for the "I am nots" which I embodied for a time. I am thankful mostly because they led me to the path upon which today, I walk.

Oh how I ache to communicate to other women the truth of acceptance and approval.

I ache to demonstrate to other women that listening to their voice, embracing their uniqueness to live out those whispers which resound inside their mind will lead them to a most fantastical life.

Re READ that last long sentence.

Re READ it again, read it to the woman in the mirror, except put your name in it:
"I ________ ache to demonstrate to you that listening to your voice, embracing your uniqueness to live out those whispers which resound inside your mind and only by heeding that call from within will you be lead into your most fantastical life."

Challenge: Write a letter to your younger self about the future. Encourage her to embrace that which comes and make it part of her journey. READ it aloud and let the powerful truth flow. Let your life begin.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Write to the Woman in the Mirror - A younger version - I chose age 33, the woman I was in 1996.

step 1 - Acknowledge Faults - Limited up to 15 - DONE (see post from Sept 18, 2014)
step 2 - Affirm Personality - DONE (see post from Sept. 20, 2014)
step 3 - Acknowledge Talents & Gifts - DONE (see post from Sept. 21, 2014)
step 4 - Affirm Personality - DONE (see post from Sept 22, 2014)
step 5 - Write to the Woman in the Mirror
step 6 - Read aloud the Writing in step 5
step 7 - Embrace the Woman in the Mirror

Step 5 - Write to the Woman in the Mirror - A younger version - I chose age 33, the woman I was in 1996.

Dear Woman in the Mirror,

You don't realize this but in 10 years you will be diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. It will completely shock you because you will have finally lost 90 pounds. You will no longer be obese. You will also in this time be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. You will also have a complete ankle replacement. Remember when you were 20, traveled to Norway and Sweden and went snow skiing? Remember falling down the ski slop? That injury eventually killed the ankle bone.

The cancer you will have is called Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). You will hear "treatable but not curable." Your kids will be 13, 14 and 18. You will become very angry and determined to live. You will create relentlessHOPE as your mantra. Since you are reading this, you make it into "non active" disease. Eventually you will gain back all your weight but then lose again 75 pounds. You will adopt a healthy eating pattern of low carb meals consisting of fresh green veggies, whole proteins, lean fish and very little red meat.

Cancer will come and cancer will go. Friends also will come and go. I won't tell you who sticks around and who leaves. You would never, ever ever believe me if I did. You don't know your friends or your family as well as you think. Enjoy who you have for this season...and don't be afraid to let them go. Embrace who comes. Release who leaves.

I can tell you ...that every thing you experienced you will put to use as you move forward in your life. EVERYTHING! I cannot stress enough that fact. Everything: hard, silly, negative, good, productive, interesting, shitty, fun, difficult, painful and joyful. Each element melts, molds and forms into you.

You are an amazing woman. You are a rich & eclectic myriad of experiences. You have been given a voice to encourage and empower. You will use it in ways you cannot imagine. Please listen to her. Listen to that voice you hear when you see that woman in the mirror. LISTEN TO YOU! You know your dreams & desires. You know your heart. Your know your faith and your doubts. I challenge you, dear one to compassionately accept and embrace the woman in the mirror. She is your best friend. She is your guide and your trustworthy companion. She is your lover & she is you.

No one else like her exists in this world. No one is better suited to care for you. Cancer tried to take her from you ...but TADAAAAA!!! You are living proof that living with cancer can be done with joy, with success and of course with relentless HOPE!

Cheers, Suess....from your woman in your mirror.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Step 4 - Affirm personality

I am challenged to take part of a self awareness healing exercise. 

step 1 - Acknowledge Faults - Limited up to 15 - DONE (see post from Sept 18, 2014)
step 2 - Affirm Personality - DONE (see post from Sept. 20, 2014) 
step 3 - Acknowledge Talents & Gifts -  DONE (see post from Sept. 21, 2014)
step 4 - Affirm Personality - 
step 5 - Write to the Woman in the Mirror
step 6 - Read aloud the Writing in step 5
step 7 - Embrace the Woman in the Mirror

Step 4 - affirm personality

Yesterday and the day before, I listed 15 of my faults and 10 talents /gifts. Today's exercise is to affirm my personality. Not sure I want to proceed. Not certain of HOW to proceed. Affirmation is difficult for many. Criticism comes easier.

Sigh....I will try.

Okay....I am loyal to my family and friends. I believe I hang on to relationships and value their worth. I am determined to live life happily yet I know that being flexible is almost mandatory in this life. Hard work is not scary and sometimes working hard at something provides me a needed escape. People who are different from me, are interesting and compel me to learn about their culture. I know that compassion rises out of my soul when people, animals or the earth hurt. Give me a few minutes of your time and I will draw you out of your shell and know about your story. Stories..whether written or spoken are my heartbeat. Words are life. My life is words.

Reader: Thank you for hanging with me thru the steps of this exercise. Only 3 more steps till I am finished. What have you done so far with your woman or man in the mirror?

Cheers, Suess

Sunday, September 21, 2014

the drip, drop, drip, drop of HEALING -Step 3

I am challenged to take part of a self awareness healing exercise. 

step 1 - Acknowledge Faults - Limited up to 15 - DONE (see post from Sept 18, 2014)
step 2 - Affirm Personality - DONE (see post from Sept. 20, 2014) 
step 3 - Acknowledge Talents & Gifts - 
step 4 - Affirm Personality -
step 5 - Write to the Woman in the Mirror
step 6 - Read aloud the Writing in step 5
step 7 - Embrace the Woman in the Mirror

step 3 - Acknowledge  Talents & Gifts 

Having listed 15 of my faults, my task today is to list talents and gifts. . . This exercise is not as easy as I thought. Discovering attributes I feel I possess daunted. Listing felt uncomfortable. Boastful. Uneasy. I could not match my faults list. . . the process of healing & health is a myriad of journeys. A maze, if you will of starts and stops. I have begun the journey. For that, I am grateful. 

Here goes . . .  
  1. Loyal
  2. Determined
  3. Flexible
  4. Decisive
  5. Hard worker
  6. Accepting
  7. Like people from cultures different than my own
  8. Compassionate
  9. Able to connect with people
  10. Good with the written word
Sigh....reflecting on those 10 traits, I'm pleased. I acknowledge I am those. Looking at the woman in the mirror, I smile. I repeated those traits several times and each time my smile broadened.

     "Listen, woman in the mirror to that which you hear. Listen. Allow the truth of affirmation to begin. Allow the drip, drop, drip, drop of healing sprinkle within."

Reader: If you are following along this small exercise, then I pray you too will let the drip, drop of healing trickle within your spirit. I would welcome a conversation with are you doing?

Together in hope,



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sometimes your desire to be yourself is not successful.

I am challenged to take part of a self awareness healing exercise. 

step 1 - Acknowledge Faults - Limited up to 15 - DONE (see post from Sept 18, 2014)
step 2 - Affirm Personality 
step 3 - Acknowledge Talents & Gifts - Unlimited
step 4 - Affirm Personality
step 5 - Write to the Woman in the Mirror
step 6 - Read aloud the Writing in step 5
step 7 - Embrace the Woman in the Mirror

step 2 - Affirm Personality 

Dear Woman in the Mirror,

   Sometimes your desire to be yourself is not successful. There are many reasons ( and a few excuses ) as to the reason this desire is not obtained. Yesterday you wrote of your faults. . . and there are nuggets of truth within those faults. You are human. You are not perfect nor without fault. Life has tainted and tarnished portions of you.
     Impatient, judgmental, grudges, intolerant, critical, unwilling to listen and/or forgive can on occasion describe you. These shortcomings may be true... yet those negative aspects reveal only one facet of your whole. It is good to acknowledge that which is uncomfortable and unpleasant, in order to change. Looking with honesty at the woman in the mirror creates an environment of possibility. In order to better oneself and rid oneself of undesirable traits, one must first be made aware. 

This list is a a good start. You did well by writing openly. You did look hard at the woman in the mirror. You did not shrink away from the negative. You seem strong enough to face your own ugly truths.   

 However, those negative traits are not the only thing that defines. You are more than . . . "impatient, judgmental, grudges, intolerant, critical, unwilling to listen and/or forgive." 

You are more. You are more. You are more. 

"Impatient, judgmental, grudges, intolerant, critical, unwilling to listen and/or forgive" are a few of a larger whole. Be aware. Be mindful. Listen to the sound & tone your voice. 

Today, if you are struggling, today if you falter, today if you make a mistake and embrace those negatives, talk to that woman in the mirror. When she appears before you, tell her aloud and clear so that this message sinks into the membranes of your cells: 
       "Suess, today at this moment, you are struggling. Today, was not your best day. Things overwhelmed and you reacted. Humanness prevailed. Your weakness peeked out from behind your strength and intercepted your responses. Not what you wanted... Not how you'd like to be. Know this, you 
        are more than your weakness. You are okay. Be kind to yourself and know that you do not always react  so negatively. You do not always lash out. Forgive yourself. Ask forgiveness of the other person. Make sure to accept your own forgiveness and if offered, accept the other person's forgiveness as well. Your intent was not hurtful even though that was the outcome. OK Suess, take a deep breath. Breath. In and out. In and out. Relax and allow the healing of forgiveness to flow. Breath. Breath. Muscles relax. Mind be still. Energy come. Spirit: embrace the truth. The truth that the mistakes of today are gone. If at all possible, let the sun set right this moment on your mistakes. Let the next breath allow you to begin again.  A new beginning is now. A new start is now. A new better response exists within you. Choose it now."    

As I tell myself, I also declare to you my reader: "You are more. You are more. You are more."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

My faults . . .

hum....been challenged to list up to fifteen of my faults as part of a self awareness healing exercise.
writing them for the public was not part of the challenge. however, in light of consistent blog writing, a public lashing is the task for today.

step 1 - Acknowledge Faults - Limited: up to 15
step 2 - Affirm Personality
step 3 - Acknowledge Talents & Gifts - Unlimited
step 4 - Affirm Personality
step 5 - Write to the Woman in the Mirror
step 6 - Read aloud the Writing in step 5
step 7 - Embrace the Woman in the Mirror

step 1 -
sigh.... here goes...
                                                      Woman in the Mirror, you can be:

  • impatient with waiting in lines & wanting to be first
  • impatient with what you judge to be untrained employees
  • judgmental of others when you disagree
  • judgmental of others when your feelings are hurt
  • able to stoically hold silent grudges when wronged
  • able to loudly hold verbal grudges when wronged
  • intolerant of women your same age that are not challenging themselves to be better
  • intolerant of women younger than you that are not challenging themselves to be better
  • very critical with yourself to finally finish your novels ( your dreams )
  • very critical of others that have not finished their "novels" <-- whatever that is for them
  • unwilling to listen when you feel afraid
  • unwilling to listen when you are hurt
  • unwilling to listen when you are angry
  • unwilling to forgive first
  • unwilling to allow healing

Well, the list was longer...but 15 the limit. does that feel?

Not bad actually. Akin to cleansing an infected and dirty wound. Hurts in a good way because I know healing exists when bacteria is removed. Healing is only possible from the inside to the outside. Healing begins when I admit and allow the expose of 'dirt". 

Step 1 - done. 
Step 2 - tomorrow

Anyone brave to journey with me on this path of self awareness and healing? 
Anyone brave to do the 7 steps toward healing the woman ( or man ) in the mirror?

If so, send me a message and let's cleanse and heal, together! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lately, when I Write, I Wonder Will Anyone Read It...

     To have a blog is interesting. Although, I admit a bit daunting. Every time I write, I wonder if anyone will read it and if anyone will be touched by the words.

It was at the strong urging of several people that I created this blog. I have stopped, started, stopped and restarted and stopped and begun again. Embarrassed at times because I don't post every single day and when life gets hard, many times either the creative juices stop flowing or become rancid and acidic.
I don't want to write burning exposes on life. I feel dirty and cheapened when my words burn.


honestly, my life is can be difficult. The dark nights linger lonely. The problems appear insurmountable.
The stresses weigh heavy and my faithful footsteps falter. I am no saint. I stumble. I fail. I cuss and I pray.
Usually all in one day.

Lately, there is much transition in my life. Much uncertainty. Great stress. Multitudes of questions.
Stoic and silent, answers remain nearly inaudible. I feel burned, raw, tired and fatigued.
My smile is weak. My resolve weaker. My faults and flaws loom larger to me than my gifts and my talents.

Most days, lately, I question every move I make. I second guess my decisions and question my ideas.

Barren in mind and shallow in thinking, I sluggishly wander.
I want to skip - I limp.
I should run - I stagger.
I hope to leap - I land with a thud.

I wonder, if I am alone with these thoughts and strain to feel alive.
I am afraid you will laugh if I share how I struggle sometimes.
Are you listening?
Are you reading?

What do you do when you feel empty?
What do you do when you run out?
Is anyone out there?

Today is a hard day.
Tomorrow is unknown.

I pray and hope and believe and yearn for the sunrise to filter.
I pray and hope and believe and yearn for the tomorrow to arrive.
I pray and hope and believe and yearn for me to awaken renewed in strength,
energized in body and fresh in mind.

Lately, when I write, I wonder will anyone read it. . .

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Life is short..take time.

Life is

take time…to listen
love            passionately
laugh          loudly
enjoy          moments
smile           freely
relax           fully

that is all AnyOne remembers
that is all AnyOne wants to recall


when life is over.

sweet caresses
hugs, both single and group.
shared stories
shared laughs
shared love.





Monday, September 1, 2014

What I responded . . .

      On my last post, I wrote about a client who emailed me asking for ENCOURAGEMENT because she was DROWNING! She would follow the weight loss protocol well untill 10am and then after 10, have no self control. I know she gets up at 4am to care for an ailing husband. 

I deleted the very first part of the email because you'd have to be a Phase 1 dieter with my protocol to understand. Yet the rest of the email applies to any of us that are in the process of living. . . the process of healing.

"Encouragement? You bet. . .First I'd get two books. The Healing Codes by Dr. Alex Lloyd which Amazon sells and Because Its Your Life by Dr. Tran Chanh, founder of Ideal Protein, which I sell. Both are amazing books that I read yearly. And practice their advice/techniques.

There are many stessors and triggers in your life. Your husband, your life up North. Your life here. I only know a tad bit about the details but I know you are taking care of everyone but yourself. Usually we eat/gain weight when we are unhappy and stress. Not often do we over eat when we are in times of peace.

What happens at 10am? What happened in the past at 10am? Has something in your past occurred at 10am that made/makes you sad? Mad? Stressed? 

I usually have dieters take quiet time during the day/night with pen and paper and ask themselves in solitude:

WHEN did I start gaining weight and losing my health? When and where did it originate? What and when were the faint beginnings of me losing my health to weight gain and food addiction? 

Write the answers....just write. 

Food addicts have to learn and give themselves permission to control their urges....just as a smoker, drug addict or sex addict. We have to identify the long ago factors and situations where we buried the hurt and never allowed it to surface. Let it be felt and then give ourselves permission to heal, forgive ourselves, release the pain and allow an emotional scab to form. The Process of healing takes time. IF we have experienced some hurt/pain/death/trauma/tragedy and refuse to allow healing to that woman in the mirror, then it ebbs and flows with a life force of its own. Refuses to stay buried for long and makes itself known thru unhealthy urges, choices and cravings. Getting your appetite calmed down will help tremendously but you gotta do that by eliminating for a short season, carbs & sugars. Carbs & sugars create appetite surges and crashes requiring us to take in more carbs & sugars. 

 Okay my dear...let me know what you think..and when you want to pick up your products!!  Hugs! Suess"

Trying to be better and make good choices is not limited to weight loss. I made my advice to her unique and personal. Yet it applies to many. I know what I want when I am struggling: a listening ear, a strong hand to hang onto and solid advice that works. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I'd like know....from acts of service, to words of love, to gifts. WHAT helps you?

A client of mine wrote an email to me today asking for encouragement. I think she is very brave. To reach out to another human and honestly say, "I am struggling. I need boosting. Can you help?"

I have not responded to her. . . yet. 

If you know me at all, you know that "YET" is a favorite. A cherished word in which I'm enamored. A word crush, if you will. 

"Yet" defined: "besides, nevertheless, however" indicates something MORE. Indicates NOT finished. 

I will respond to her YET I want to think about my response. I know a little bit of her life and I want to tailor make my encouragement. Hem and outline it specifically. Border it so it contains truth that brings hope. One thing we don't do enough as friends: make our help, our helping hand, our advice and our support unique. Customized. Creative. Personal. 

(Please if I ever come to you for encouragement, oh dear god please do not tell me a generic 'feel-good'. When I am down please do not offer me some bland, overused, plaque cliche. If you do, I will reject it, feel much worse for having wasted my time with you and not come to you again. I will smile a plastic smile and say 'thank you' and then go away, turn off the lights, crawl under my desk and cry.)

We deserve and desire something tangible that actually helps our customized,  personalized pain. I understand she is overwhelmed and challenged by life. I know a few details. Shouldn't I give her concrete solid, firm advice that matters? I want to help. I desire to be true strength. My silence is nothing more than figuring out how to speak so she can hear. How to formulate a true expression of solidarity takes time. 

For me? I want someone to physically come along side and practically help me. I don't care so much about the words you say. I care that I have a warm body. Distance can prevent physical help...I live geographically distant from most of my support. The second aspect that speaks of encouragement to me is a card, a book, a photo, a bookmark. Again, a tangible. Something to which I can refer back when I am weak.  

 As soon as I determine what I am going to say to her, I will post it here. But first, will you share? How about you? What helps you the most? When you are facing life's grim side, the hard side, the hurtful & confusing side? What helps? I'd sincerely like to know....from acts of service, to words of love, to gifts. WHAT helps you?

Monday, August 25, 2014

How I chose relentlessHOPE:

As I reflected back to October, 2006,
 I closed my eyes. I opened my memory.
I breathed in the first day of chemo.
 Smells and sights, smiles and sighs.
Fearful, I honestly had trouble getting out of the car and walking into the oncology clinic. I stood motionless on the sidewalk. My husband wrapped an arm around me,
 I resisted his nudge. Ignoring his touch,
I could not make my feet budge.

I was so angry.

 Only 13 days had passed since a swollen lymph node appeared under my arm. I was more than angry, I was afraid.I was terrified. Absolutely terrified of accepting my label as: “cancer patient.”

Breathing became difficult. That fear of cancer and even more, the fear of dying seemed tangible. Concrete. IF I walked inside that oncology clinic then fear would consume me.  If I stayed outside, then I could pretend.

Fear appeared to me to be MORE. That fear appeared to be more powerful than life, more real than living and more than me. Bigger than me.  Robotically I moved inside the front doors of the clinic and I glanced around nervously. Before I reached the registration desk, I stopped once again. I was lost, deeply lost inside my mind.  Fear taunted, teased and threw emotional punches. My emotions brewing, felt barely contained. I wished I was anywhere else but standing in a cancer clinic about to receive chemotherapy. I wished I’d never felt a lump. I wished. I thought. I thought about my kids. I thought about their future. Their future without me. I looked. I looked at all the people. The majority of them looked sick. I did not look sick. The majority of them were bald. I was not bald. The majority, pale and gaunt, smiled and laughed?  I was not pale and gaunt but their smiling and laughter shocked me.
      HUH? For this contrast, I was ill prepared: smiling and laughing and sick and bald? How could cancer and joy exist simultaneously? How? How do you smile while your body rebels against you? How do you laugh when your blood cells betray? How do you invite a conversation with the stranger sticking needles in your arm?
     Mesmerized, I moved to the desk, signed the register, paid my co-pay, picked up my folder, and trekked down the hall to “chemo”.  Silent. I said nothing. My eyes darted as I leaned around corners, straining to hear. Snippets of laughter drifted toward my ears long before I crossed that threshold to “chemo.”
     As instructed, I placed the blue folder in a black metal folder. As instructed, I picked a blue padded chemo chair. As instructed, I waited. I watched. I huddled in fear. My husband sat next to my chemo chair. I counted the people whose territory I invaded. Fifteen adults scattered around a tiled floor. Perhaps my husband spoke my name. I have no memory. I only remember looking at the 15 others, differing ages & genders and yet, each one of them wore a smile. Blinked joy & continued to laugh. There were 4 others sleeping, caressed by blankets and oblivious to the group. The fifteen awake smiling faces greeted me. The nurses in blue scrubs greeted me, nodding a hello and smiling. SMILING! HOW? WHY?          I wanted to scream,
 “How can you smile? Why can you laugh? You are giving us chemo drugs. Drugs strong enough to burn though vein walls. Drugs so powerful they destroy. I thought nurses were supposed to help. And YOU?  You are just sitting there. You allowing her to inject that caustic liquid into your body? You have fucking cancer? Don’t you know that? 
Cancer that is trying to kill you and you dare to smile and laugh. 
I don’t understand you. What’s more, I don’t like you. You scare me.”

Of course, I stoically silenced my ranting screams.

 I choose to listen. To listen to more than IV monitors. The noises impacted me profoundly.  The words I heard injected me with joy. The utterances I heard fueled new life.
“This cancer slowed me down, but it has not stopped me. Going fishing on Sunday.”

“I was living life way too fast, Now I enjoy my family like never before. Grandkids are coming next week. Cannot wait!”

“I never used to come home in the evening till late. Now I am there by 6. Right on the dot. I look forward to seeing my parents every evening.”

“I usually feel okay after chemo. At least till the third day. That day all I can do is nap. But these next two days, I’ve got a list of ‘honeydo’s that I’m finally going to start with my wife. She’s getting the stuff right now for those projects.”

“My middle son plays basketball. We are decorating their lockers later today. 

I gotta get out of here on time today. It’ll be so much fun to surprise the boys after practice with balloons, ribbons, and stuffed bulldogs. “

“Planning a trip for the summer. Renting an RV and driving the west coast. 
Always wanted to. Now am going to. “

“Heard a joke the other day. Thought about you. Wanted to share it…”

“Hey  Ray, get outta my chair you old man. What are you doing sleeping in my chair? 
Just ‘because you’ve got cancer doesn’t mean you can steal a man’s chair.”

Laughter ensued. The stories accelerated and continued. Pure amazement poured into my being. Pure awe for the LIFE that existed in the chemo room oozed into my blood. Pure joy trickled into my spirit. I thought about what I witnessed. As the nurse attached the IV to the port implanted in my chest and started my own chemo doses, I thought about my life, my kids, my family, my dreams, my plans and my fears. Fear of pain. Fear of being sickly, gaunt and bald. Fear of death.

I knew these people had discovered a powerful weapon in their journey with cancer. I knew that I wanted what they had. I needed what they had. What they held in their hands was hope. No one had lost hope. Hope for the future despite cancer. Hope for the future despite rebel lymph nodes, tainted blood cells, grotesque tumors and radiation burns. Hope existed because husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends and family existed. Hope burns brighter than fear. Hope translates into life.
 Hope allows for plans, and trips, visions and dreams. Hope.

My own cancer is chronic. The kind that never, ever, ever fully goes away. I was told from the beginning, 100% relapse rate. I decided as I sat there, listening to ‘my’ people chat, that my hope also had to be a chronic.

The kind that never, ever, ever goes away. My hope had to be more. More than chemo. More than lymphoma.   More than leukemia. My hope must be: dogged, determined and tenacious.

relentlessHOPE.  My mantra was born from fear, yes but birthed by life.

With the vision of my husband and my children and family before me, I chose (and I choose), life. A life lived with relentlessHOPE for the tomorrows. A life lived with relentlessHOPE for dreams. A life lived with more joy and peace than cancer’s fear of death. I have had to dig very deep sometimes to find hope. My fears occasionally grip me and I waver. But only temporarily do I give in. Always, memory smiles of those fifteen people and cluster of nurses break through and once more, I lift my head, and smile.

Never ever going away. Never ever giving up. Cancer loses. Life lived my way. Life wins.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

detours lead...scars remind

What an Absence. 
Months of sandy, dry dessert. 
Dark nights of void.
(one of my favorite words)
I rise. 
I stand.
I come back again.

Horizons appear
Dreams & heartbeat & life one.

So much change in my life. My blog and my writing got lost. 
My life overwhelmed me.

I know you can relate. Everyone has times that challenge.
 Obstacles grow stubborn and refuse to allow progress.
 IF you today find  yourself distracted, dismayed and dusty from your life,
 I understand. 
I have carved my initials right there by your left hand. See that: sak. 
I sat down right where you are and bled, Sweated. Cried. Slept. Disappeared. 

You are not alone in journey of life. Take comfort knowing that even the mistakes, failing and detours of life will teach, inform and direct. As soon as I could, I lifted my head, dried my tears and wearily stood. One faltering step led to another  step  step step which lead to strength coming in waves. 
I left that place of void now and now am moving. 

Perhaps you are waving me on from up ahead...if so, I am see you walking and
 I am coming! I am coming! I am coming!

Perhaps you are behind me...struggling & broken.
 IF so, strain no more & listen. 
soon, my voice will land in your ears.

screaming I say to you: 
never. ever. give up on your dreams. 
nurture. wander, get lost. fail. 
get up & keep going. alter. plan. reinvent. 
detours will lead you...the scars will remind you. 
the blood lost: replaced. the dark: lightens. the tense will ease. 
hurry will not help. 
rest. renew. start again. again. again. again. 
until, you see, the border of your dreams ever so slowly materialize. 
as a wispy cloud on the horizon...cells within respond. 
steps solidify. pathway clarifies. 
dream enlarges and then the glorious time when, stepping inward, engulfed by the dream. you dissolve. 
dream and heartbeat merge. unite. 
becoming one in life. 
never. give. up.

Friday, January 31, 2014

I feel pressure to perform.
Pressure to always be optimistic. To not be afraid. To not worry.
I wish I could just fall apart. Fall down. Fall and bleed my pain away. No one should be surprised.
I am weak. I don't have all the answers.

What I do have is joy and hope.


I choose my joy each and every day. I choose to see life as a gift. A possibility. A optimistic journey of hope. Hope. More hope exists within us then troubles exists on the outside.
Relentless hope. everyday, I choose. Choose. I choose to have hope. ALWAYS always AlWaYs aLwAyS.

 I  C.H.O.O.S.E.

hope and joy. joy and hope.




Some days.














my voice silent. my fear. my worry. my needs. LOOM large. LOOM larger than my joy & hope.



In silence.

My eyes


My voice stilled.

My heart beats.
My breath moves.
My blood flows.
My spirit fears.
My soul shudders.

stand in
the far far far far far far far far distance. and laugh.


not in meanness or cruelty.
challenging me
stirring me
desiring me
to FiGhT
to fIgHt
to fffiiiggghhhttt!

stand up
stand up
stand up

with knees bloodied
i gasp for air.
i raise my head.
one knee down and one foot down.
one knee bent and then one foot planted firmly.
then i squat.
and look
away over the distant.
I choose.
by an act of
will, i WILL
hope and joy to
to move closer to me.

My will.
my Will.
drying the blood from my knee.
wiping my tears.
I stand.
Shaking, trembling, fragile.
I stand
 and motion to hope & joy.
Opening my arms, I allow a smile to break the grimace of my mouth.
Opening my arms, I stumble forward.
Opening my arms, I stagger  . . .
Beckoning to hope & joy,  I fall. I stand. I step. I trip. I stand again. My balance is off.
I hit the ground one more time.
Weak and trembling.

My heart beats.
My breath moves.
My blood flows.
My spirit budding,
My soul awakens.

Once more, I choose.
I choose strong.
I choose courage.
I choose joy.
I choose hope.

The sweet smell of hope wafts over my face as
the refreshing caress of joy envelopes.
Surrender overwhelms.
I feel relief coming.
Strength growing.
A familiar stirring within comforts me. Peace like fog wraps the corners of my mind.
with the ever desired hope and joy snuggled close.

My smile broadens.
My laugh brews.
My shoulders ready.
My heart beats.
My breath moves.
My blood flows.
My spirit alive.
My soul soars.
I stand ready to face tomorrow
with the Joy of Living intertwined with Relentless Hope.