Maya Angelou said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” The healing power of sharing my cancer story compelled me to found WWGN. I'm an inspirational speaker, blogger at Cure Magazine and The Huffington Post, contributor at Positively Positive, support volunteer with Cancer Hope Network, member of the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center Oncology Community Advisory Board, patient educator with Pathways Women’s Cancer Teaching Project, wife and mother, and a former very stressed out lawyer.
If you are a breast cancer patient looking to put closure on the end of active treatment and facilitate the transition to life as a survivor, listen up!
I want to share a wonderful opportunity with you to:
Have a physical and mental break from all talk, all sights and routines that remind you of breast cancer;
Have the opportunity to feel refreshed in mind, body and spirit;
Enjoy a much-needed time-out..to recreate and participate in normalizing activities; and
Have the freedom to think about something other than cancer, to begin thinking about what comes next as a survivor.
No Boobs About It, Inc., is a not for profit organization sharing information, resources and support to get you through treatment and on with life. I'm excited to announce their second Pink Time Out this Christmas in New York City!
The lucky winner of this marvelous trip will enjoy her getaway to New York City on the 15th, 16th, and 17th of December. The trip includes a three-day stay at an elegant hotel in the heart of Manhattan, breakfasts and dinners, and tickets to the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. (I've seen it twice! It really is spectacular!!)
Any woman, who has completed active treatment (surgery, chemo and /or radiation) between October 1, 2012, and October 31, 2013, is eligible to participate in the lottery drawing for this “Pink Time Out “getaway. Information about the trip will be posted on No Boobs About It on October 1, 2013. Women can enter the lottery beginning on that date. The lottery will close on October 31st. The lottery drawing will be done the next day, November 1, 2013; the winner will be announced the same day.
This trip is funded by the Allen School for Health Sciences of Brooklyn, NY, and its students. You can learn more about this wonderful Pink Time Out in New York City at No Boobs About It. (Thank you! to Jean Campbell of No Boobs About It for sharing this information with me.)
If you're eligible, make sure to enter the lottery and good luck!
I've been busily working on my first eBook to be published on Kindle Direct Publishing. It's been a great learning experience writing this book, which was inspired by my first free download, "The WhereWeGoNow Manifesto - 20 Intentions for Your Inspired Survivorship." (If you don't have your free copy yet, get on my mailing list here.)
I always say that "simple doesn't mean easy." We all know it's not easy to thrive after cancer and this book doesn't offer any magic potions. What it does offer are simple ways to rebuild your life after cancer. Most importantly, it also offers you the support of someone who has been where you are, knows what it feels like, and can assure you that you can thrive after cancer.
I'm launching You Can Thrive After Treatment in September and, if you don't have a Kindle, no worries. It's easy to set up a reader on your laptop. Special free offer offered below, so keep reading:
Excerpt from "You Can Thrive After Treatment"
“A positive attitude is not going to save you. What it's going to do is, every day, between now and the day you die, whether that's a short time from now or a long time from now, that every day, you're going to actually live.” Elizabeth Edwards
Congratulations! You made it to life after cancer! Testing, getting a diagnosis, radiation, chemotherapy, surgeries, recuperation - it’s all behind you. You should be ecstatic, but something is not quite right.
Instead of pure joy and relief, you’re bone tired, lost, lonely, stressed, afraid, abandoned and confused. Your support network is unraveling. You don't see your health professionals on a weekly basis anymore. Your family and friends are desperate to put cancer behind them. You’d love to do that too, but you’re only just beginning to understand the emotional fall-out of living with cancer.
The hard truth is that surviving isn’t easy. After I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy, I met with a therapist to work through the emotional issues of my survival. I remember an especially painful session in which I confessed that “living is hard too.”
That period was one of the most difficult of my life. It took time, but I hung in there, did the work and slowly discovered 20 secrets to creating inspired healing, wellness and live out loud joy beyond cancer. (Yes, I said 20. This eBook is Part I of You Can Thrive After Treatment. You’ll find 10 more secrets to creating inspired healing, wellness and live out loud joy beyond cancer in Part II of You Can Thrive After Treatment.)
I suggest you use this book like guide or workbook. Start by reading it through, taking your time – the last thing I want is for you to feel overwhelmed. After you finish the book, go back and focus on the secret or secrets that speak to you. If you’re up for making changes, begin with a few that come easily and build up your confidence from there.
Let’s start off with a bonus secret: Having a positive attitude doesn’t require over-the-top, Pollyanna optimism. What it requires is basking in the glimmer of hope offered by my 20 secrets. I know You Can Thrive After Treatment because I’m doing it. Now I want to help you get there too. Let’s get started creating your survivorship of inspired healing, wellness and joy now.
Remember, "You Can Thrive After Treatment" is launching in September on Kindle Direct Publishing. As a special "thank you" to my readers, I'm offering it for FREE the first five days of the launch! If you're already on my mailing list, you'll be the first to know the details. If you're not, get on the list now:
Another summer, another year after cancer. Four years ago, I was in the thick of it. Depressed, scared, lonely, stressed, angry and out of my mind tired of it all. That summer, time was definitely long.
Somehow I got through the longest summer of my life. When I finally made it to September, I hit a new emotional low because an entire year had gone by since my initial mammogram and I wasn't yet "over" cancer. (I know they were trying to be helpful, but the people (a doctor and a survivor) who told me cancer will take a year of your life and then it will be "over," did me no favors.)
I think it's exactly when we're experiencing life's losses that we best appreciate that time is long, but life is short. Those days of grieving miscarriages and infertility, the death of our dear friend on 9/11 and cancer were the longest of my life. But, they also taught me how quickly and without warning a life can be extinguished. And, in that loss of life, brought a shattering reality to my own mortality.
Of course, when the fog lifts and the sun starts to shine a little brighter, it's easy to forget the preciousness of each moment. To some extent, that's probably the way it should be. It's just too hard to maintain the heightened awareness that comes from grief and struggle every day of your life.
Yet, somewhere in our consciousness remains a recognition, a knowledge, that cannot be unlearned. We've lived the worst of times and because we know life is short:
We make each moment count: "Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching." (Satchel Paige)
We give it our all: "Too many people die with their music still in them.” (Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes) "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me." (Erma Bombeck)
We don't take ourselves too seriously: "My life has been one great big joke, a dance that's walked, a song that's spoke, I laugh so hard I almost choke when I think about myself." (Maya Angelou)
We try to be kind:"Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind." (Henri Frederic Amiel)
We take risks: "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." (T. S. Eliot)
We take charge: "Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties." (Helen Keller)
We celebrate: "The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate." (Oprah Winfrey)
Dance, sing, laugh and celebrate because life is short and you deserve to be happy.
The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty "yes" to your adventure. Joseph Campbell
Why is this "THE" big question? Only because pondering it leads to immeasurable opportunities to turn your life into "your adventure."
This question hit me like a brick the other day while on my yoga mat. At the time, I called it an epiphany, but "brick" is more how it felt.
I've been a bit stressed lately, dealing with some life changes and such. Nothing earth-shattering, but I'm not one for instability when the status quo is so much more comfy. I approach change with a bit of dread, seeing the glass as half-empty, afraid of what could go wrong. To my executive brain, it feels like preparation. To my psyche, it feels like sandpaper on an open wound.
There I was, sitting on my yoga mat about to start a class, when this thought hit me in the head: "Why can't I expect good things to come from where I go next?"
Hmmm ....... let's take this thought and run with it: "If yoga is about being where you are, right now, without judgment, why can't I be okay with where I am, right now, off the yoga mat? What is stopping me from trusting that I belong exactly where I am and where I go next?"
This was an exciting thought! And it unleashed a bunch of other thoughts like a damn burst:
I am enough.
I am where I am supposed to be right now.
I am deserving of good results.
I am okay.
If saying "yes" to yourself doesn't come naturally, here are a few words of wisdom to help you get there:
"Believe you can and you're halfway there." (Theodore Roosevelt)
"I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes." (e. e. cummings)
"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." (Helen Keller)
"At the side of the everlasting why, is a yes, and a yes, and a yes." (E. M. Forster)
It takes trust and boatloads of optimism to "say a hearty "yes" to your adventure." You'll get there by believing in your right to step into the light. Practice saying "yes" and little success will lead to bigger opportunities.
If saying "yes" still feels unnatural to you, try it the other way around: "Why can't I say "yes" to myself?" If you can't come up with any solid, good reasons, then go for it!
WhereWeGoNow does not provide medical, diagnostic or treatment advice.
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