Sunday, June 2, 2019

Universal Hollywood Vacation

I am floating on Cloud 9 and a little delirious from being tired...BUT it is so great to be this tired!

We just got home from a vacation to Universal Hollywood. We had such a fantastic time!!





Most spent a lot of time in the Harry Potter area! We did the rides twice (yes I do the rides!! I had to take a few minutes after each one to let my equilibrium balance.)

And then a whole lot of time playing games in and looking around in the Simpson area.











The studio tour was great! We had no idea what to expect...very fun!





Saturday we did the Hollywood sign and Venice beach...so fun 






We are now home and ready for the week. I am excited to say that I am not near as exhausted as I thought I would be!! 

Hope you are having a great start to summer too!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Been waiting 2.5 years





They said, one day I would wake up and just feel good again.


I didn’t know exactly what they meant when they were telling me this because feeling good seemed like such a faraway memory that I hadn’t felt on a consistent basis for 8 years. 


There was no logic...no constant...there was was no way for me to know how I would feel one day to the next. Some days I felt great, then the next day I was in bed all day from over doing it when I felt good. And on my most terrible days, I thought I this whole bone marrow transplant was the worst thing to ever happen to me...even worse than the 3 brain surgeries.


Maybe 6 - 9 months after my transplant, I started having a few more good days compared to the bad days. I still had no control over what days I would wake up and need to fall back asleep for an additional 4-6 hours, or wake up and feel great.


I was having about a 50% average for good days verses not good. There were varying levels for both the feel good and feel bad days. 


Some feel good days, I was able to do an errand or two, OR go to the gym, OR lunch with friends, OR paint, OR write, OR watch TV or a movie and actually follow along with the plot. I say OR with such importance because I have to remember where I truly was to completely appreciate where I am now. 


Some feel bad days, I simply couldn’t get out of bed because I literally had no energy. Think of the flu without body aches...just the pure exhaustion. I always tried to get up in the morning with my husband and son before school drop off, but some days I couldn’t. Other feel bad days I might just sit on my couch and watch TV all day or would be so tired that I couldn’t sleep which would make me nauseous so I would take a phinigrin which would knock out the nausea but also knocked me out.


Than around my 1 year new birthday, my feel good days got a little better... I could do a little more without crashing afterwards. I was still averaging about 50/50 feel good vs not, BUT I had more spunk on fee good days! I still had pretty bad days too, but I was getting used to this and knew after a few bad days, I would bounce back.


From this 50/50 point around 1 year post transplant up through today...which is 1 week shy from my 2.5 transplant birthday...have gradually been gaining more energy, more focus, mobility, and overall health.


I still have bad days, but I think I am at about 80% good days!! Every day is still different on the energy scale, but the energy swings aren’t near as dramatic as they once were and I can kinda tell before I am about to crash and modify whatever I need to in order to avoid a full crash...most of the time.


Back to what I said at the start of this story, they said one day I would wake up and feel good again... I have stepped into that reality!! 


It hasn’t been anything like I ever experienced before with all the chemos, radiation and surgeries, so I never knew what to fully expect... I had no personal outline on becoming myself after bone marrow transplant. 


One major lesson I have learned in these past 2 1/2 years of healing is I have the ability to choose what I focus on. Which in turn, can instantly change your turmoil to inner peace.... or cause a massive inner storm.


So what does all this mean?


No matter what you are going through, there IS something good to focus on. That something good might be hidden deep in you under years of hurt or sickness but I beg you to keep digging to find your sparkly peaceful energy amongst the layers of life settled on top of it because there IS something good to focus on.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

What creating does for me.

I have been a crafter/maker for as long as I can remember. I have always drawn inspiration from anything that makes my heart smile.

The first time I was diagnosed with breast cancer is when I really started to feel an actual NEED for me to create. I felt this need to create after I noticed that while I was creating anything, my mind was at peace. I wasn’t thinking about how bad I felt from the chemo, I wasn’t thinking about all the “what if” stories that were continually running through my head, I wasn’t thinking about what a bad mom I was being to my 13 month old son, what a bad wife I was for all that I had to dump on my husband...I wasn’t thinking about anything at all except being in the moment creating whatever it was I was working on. 

And it was those times when my mind wasn’t running all over me that I felt completely at Peace and whole and healthy.  

For some reason, after I was “done” with cancer treatments, I stopped creating just for me. I tried to create items that I thought would sell. I thought since I was a stay-at-home-mom, I somehow needed to bring money in. So I thought crafts were what I “needed” to do. I quickly learned that me having to create was not peaceful...AT ALL.

Then I was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer in 2011, and once again I turned to art for myself as an outlet for my mind to escape for a little bit.

I started creating what I was craving in my world: HOPE.  And what brought me Hope was bright, happy, fun, quirky stuff. From this need in my heart, I made my first “Hope Block.” After making some for myself and posting pictures, people started wanting to purchase some for themselves!  Next, I had a need to share my go get ‘em attitude, words of advice/love, hope with others and that is how my first “CancerGirl” was born.








Since then, I have kept digging in my heart to ask: what stories, what words of wisdom, what  lessons have impacted me the most, what lessons have I had to learn multiple times, what have I worked on to help me with my frame of mind and SO much more.

Now today, March, 30 2019 I have figured out what my next step that my heart as been craving should be: doing more of what absolutely lights my soul on fire! Literally, as I typing this, my heart is beating a little faster and I have this sparkly feeling in my tummy.   

So what does that mean? 

It means more bright, crazy-fun art that tells a story of Hope, Love, awe at Life, Joy and sparkly feelings. I want my art to be able to inject Joy into the person looking at it no matter what craziness is happening in their world. I want people to gain strength and Hope from my stories, and to know that same strength and Hope is there for them too. 





I guess to answer my original question, what does creating do for me? 

It allows me to create pockets of all I feel in my heart for others to see and hopefully experience some glittery feeling of their own.  


Friday, March 15, 2019

Do I actually practice what I preach?!?!

Do I actually practice what I preach?!?!


Do you ever wonder if people who are dishing out advice actually practice what they are always preaching about? 


Like with me...do you ever wonder if I practice my mindfulness tactics that I share ALL the time? My positive outlook?  Or do you wonder if I am full of sh*t?!?! 


I always wonder what some of the people I follow are really like...not just in the snapshot they post about.


ANYWAY - a little look into my crazy mind.


But, I do have a point here about practicing what I preach. 


My positive outlook isn’t about being able to stay in a good mind space ALL the time...I am human....my mind runs out of control ALL the time still, but most of the time I can rain it back in...notice I said MOST of the time and NOT all of the time.


I have had a pain in my left boob for the past 2 weeks. 


It is a heavy aching pain. 


Monday, after pretty much bruising myself trying to feel for a lump, having had Eric feel, I broke down and called H for a  referral for a mammogram appointment because I didn’t  feel any lumps, no hot spots, no rash, no nipple discharge, no anything abnormal except for an aching.


I was able to schedule a mamo for Thursday.


Wednesday, scanxeity set in something fierce.


Crazy bad stories were running through my mind. What if scenarios were blowing through my imagination. I was on the fast train of anxiety heading to breakdown. I couldn’t eat, I was waking up in the middle of the night, my stomach was a mess and all the other fun stuff that anxiety likes to bring along.


Thursday I had my 3 month appointment with my oncologist GYN. I asked him if the low dose estrogen he prescribed could possibly be making my boob hurt because I haven’t had a period in over 8 years so my body isn’t used to actually having estrogen side effects...something in my heart told me to ask him even in my mind I sounded crazy! 


He said absolutely that could be what is causing the aches.


In that second, I felt in my heart that all is well!


Seriously, I could feel the vail of fear I had been looking through fall from me.


Hearing from a trusted professional that my oh so hopeful theory very possibly could be what is actually happening and causing the pain, well, I was flipping estatic. I floated up to cloud 9 and was able to stay in that mind space through my mamo and sonogram appointment (I have dense breasts, so needing a sonogram is nothing new to me.) 


Even when a lady came into the waiting clearly upset, I was able to not take on her energy...I was able to firmly stay in my own cloud 9 headspace while I wrote some short stories in the waiting area. (TIP for appointments: take something with you to do that you enjoy...phone scrolling gets old and IF you are in a worried mind space the phone scrolling makes it makes you even more anxious.)


After both the tests were done, the tech came back in with a smile...NOTHING TO SEE!!!


And when I was walking out, a sweet nurse stoped me because she recognized me from the last time i was in there to see how i was doing...it was great to be able to say that I am doing amazing!


So this is to let y’all know that yes, everyone has stress, maybe breakdowns (maybe that is just me?!?!), that unexpected sh*t happens to everyone...that keeping your mind in a good place is a practice. It takes work, dedication, practice, more work, more dedication, more practice...it is a never ending journey. And when you fall off the positive outlook path, know that you can get right back on it with one simple shift in your outlook. One simple change in the story you are telling yourself...it is up to you and you alone to watch/listen to your thoughts and call yourself out on your own bullsh*t! 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

42 days of mala meditation





I am SO freaking proud of myself for being on day 42 of doing a  daily mala meditation. 


I have been craving a meditation practice for I don’t know how long. I have started and stopped many different meditation practices before now. I have taken part in the free Oprah 21 days, I have bought different programs, followed other guided meditations, tried color mediation, and many more I can’t even remember now. But none of then stuck. I never felt totally in love with whatever type of meditation I was doing...I never looked forward it...I never craved that time on my meditation pillow.


That was until my coach Meg told me she wanted me to try doing a mala meditation with the words “ease and flow.” These words were something I said in a conversation with her about I want life to look like. I said, “ease and flow in all I do!” 


BOOM...there was my mantra I was going to use for my daily meditation. 


I told her I NEVER knew it could be THAT simple. I always thought it had to be some long verse of Sanskrit....like what Deepak taught on Oprah’s classes. 


It doesn’t!! 


It just has to be from the heart and soul!


A few things I have noticed about myself in these past 42 days: 


I am calmer. 


When I get pissy about something, I am asking myself to understand why I am pissy MUCH quicker than I did before. I have figured out,  it is usually because I am feeling out of control in one area of life and I tend to get pissy with those closest to me (husband and son).


I have more energy and drive.


I have been knocking stuff off my to-do list like crazy! I have cleaned my art room, gotten rid of several bags of things that were no longer bringing me joy, writing or doing art more, craving healthy food!, seeing more Angel numbers, feel closer to Spirit, and just overall better.  


I have more sparkly moments throughout my day!


What is a sparkly moment?


To me, it is when I literally feel sparkly energy in me. I will explain more later, but for now try to imagine when you FEEL love...like when you how a baby. 


Last benefit I have noticed is, I am able to focus and stay focused on a project! 


I am loving these small, but oh so awesome shifts in me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Winter Wonderland

Wow, wow, wow...we just got home from a Winter Wonderland in Michigan.




The 3 of us went up to Eric’s parents lake house. It was SO MUCH FUN!!

Saturday and Sunday, Eric and Ian went skiing. Ian took a lesson the first day, then him and Eric were burning down the slopes! I can’t ski with the numb foot and all, so Sunday his parents hauled me to the slopes so I could watch them! 



Monday, we went snow shoeing and sledding.




My little man On the frozen lake.



I love this picture of them!

After snow shoeing, I took a big nap then we were off to sledding. No... I didn’t sled...there was no way I would be able to climb back up! 🤷🏻‍♀️😂





When we left the lake house yesterday, it was -15 outside and when we got home to Austin it was 45...talk about massive change!

Anyway, we are back home, getting unpacked, and ready for the rest of the week!

I made it a point to not schedule anything for today and tomorrow for myself. I know myself well enough that after a trip, I need a few down days.



Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Mind chatter - lesson 1


Over the next few weeks, I am going to be sharing with y’all some techniques I have learned and tweaked over the years to get control over my mind chatter.


I am going to write AND do a video chat about each one. I seem to explain the same activity differently depending on if I am writing or talking 🤷🏻‍♀️ and I am hoping that with written instruction and talking you through, the little pieces will make your puzzle easier!


Our first lesson is to start actively listening to your mind chatter. (I know this sounds weird, BUT this is the ground work for so much more....so, DO IT!!)


Step 1:

RIGHT NOW - acknowledge with your self that this is not going to be easy (the concept is simple but learning it is challenging BUT so worth it.)

I have found that acknowledging this, makes it easier to go easy on myself...ie not get flustered and talk more sh*t to myself for not getting it right away!


Step 2:

set a reminder on your watch/phone for a few times throughout the day.

When your alarm beeps, STOP what you are doing 


Step 3:

Observe/listen to your thoughts.


Kinda like when you are sitting at a restaurant and the people sitting at the table next to you are talking loud and it peaks your interest. You start to try harder to listen to what they are saying. (If I am the only one who does this...well now you know more about me... I love to hear stories...from anyone 🤷🏻‍♀️).


Step 4:

When you notice an “an eye roll” thought, 

STOP 

Collaborate and listen 😳😂😂 


Seriously though, as soon as you notice an eye roll thought, gently say stop.

And replace the eye roll thought with a better thought. 


ANYTHING BETTER...even if it is a tiny bit better.


*What is an eye roll thought?

If someone were to say out loud your thought to you and you would roll your eyes at them because they are being ridiculously hard on themselves.*


Example:

You notice “geez... I look fat” thought

YES - EYE ROLL THOUGHT 

Change your thought to SOMETHING you like about yourself.

My hair looks great today.


If you cannot say something about your appearance, an easy go-to one is, my breath is beautiful. 


Ready 

Set

GO!!


Let me your thoughts and if you have questions.