if you were given 5 years

If you were given 5 years…wish 2

If you were given a gift of 5 years, 5 years you thought you didn’t have, what would you do?  How would you spend them?  Would you do the things you always wished you could do but for whatever reason you haven’t?  Would you make sure that the people you love know you love them?  Would you buy the extra good foods, go on great adventures?  Would you run yourself ragged trying to make every minute of every day meaningful?

Daleen decided that she would be grateful for each day and would use every day by embracing something that would help her on her journey.  She decided to learn everything about healing cancer naturally.  She’s become an expert at clean living and is a virtual encyclopedia of knowledge on the subject.  She was determined to travel even though it tired her out so much.  After all, there’s a big world out there waiting to be discovered by each of us.  And so, we’ve been to virtually the four corners of these great United States and many places in between.  She dedicated herself to her handiwork and has produced one beautiful piece after another.

We haven’t done it alone though and so we are grateful we have a supportive family and some supportive friends.  Though they don’t all agree we chose wisely, they all have been squarely behind Daleen – who could ask for more?  From phone calls to emails to wee gifts in the mail, everyone has been a positive part of her wellness.

Sweet Liberty, a Golden Retriever of distinction, has done her share.  She’s made sure there was dog hair to pick up, meals for Daleen to prepare for her and toys to pick up.  She’s also caught more than a few tears in her luxurious golden coat and offers nothing in return but love.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; were that humans could be so unabashedly loving and accepting as dogs.

In that bleak January 5 years ago, she would ask me “do you think I’ll be around at Christmas?” and then slowly the question became “do you think I’ll be around to see (fill in the blank)?  There was always the nagging thought that no matter what she did, it wouldn’t make a difference.  She would eat healthily, exercise, get a lot of sunshine, take vitamins and everything wouldn’t matter.

At some point, she quit asking.  She accepted the fact that she was living, she was living well and that was enough.  Next, she started planning ahead – a huge change!  Finally, questioning her life stopped being the predominant thought of her every waking moment.  In short, she learned how to live again and live she has; this Sunday is 1,826 days of wellness.healing-comes-from-gathering-wisdom-from-past-actions-and-letting-go-of-the-pain-that-the-

That dear friend is what cancer does to you.  It robs you of the luxury of not thinking about death.  Sure, there are many other things it does, but the pervasive, all-encompassing thoughts revolve around death for longer than we thought possible.  To be honest, they are never that far away and it’s a constant struggle to keep them where they belong – in the distance.   What cancer can also do is tie you even closer together.  We’d been married for a while when the dreaded diagnosis was given and I thought I knew my blushing bride of 30 years.  Turns out, I only knew part of her.  I have now come to know the amazing strength that is her, and of course, I see more clearly the quiet beauty and the grace that is her.  Along the way, she’s taught me more about living and life than I thought possible and I’m ever so grateful.

We have a few posters and sayings in our home about gratitude and grace.  Ok, a first-time visitor to our home might say many.   They serve as continual reminders.  She is grateful because she was given these last five years when she was convinced she wouldn’t have them.  She is grateful for so many things and so many people I could fill many pages listing them all.  She has the quiet grace that goes with confidence and the inner grace that radiates outward.  When you are with her, you know you are with someone who understands the value of each and every day.  She’s confident that although the future is (and always has been) uncertain, she’s been blessed with these last five years and has tried to embrace each and every day as the gift it is.

Along the way, we’ve learned so much about living well.  We recognize all the positives in our life, and there are so very many, and we’re eliminating the negatives.  We used to struggle over this, now we’ve learned to simply accept it.

I started this writing by asking you what you would do with a gift of time.  Dear friends, you have the gift of time, and more time after that and so on.  That time is yours to do with as you please.  What will you do with your time?  We hope you make the most of it, that you embrace your time and use it wisely.  In short, we hope you live!

Wishing you health and wellness.

~Bruce

good for the soul

Change is good for the soul – and your health!

After making the life-changing decision to heal naturally, Daleen decided that many changes in her lifestyle were necessary.  After all, cancer can only happen if your immune system can’t fight it, and that means your immune system is either broken or damaged.  Either way, repairs are in order.  But where to start?

Let me give you some background here.  Neither Daleen or I were well versed in healthy immune systems.  We thought we were pretty healthy people.  We’d been vegetarians – okay for the picky among you technically we’re pescatarians which simply means we also eat fish.  We did not become vegetarians because we didn’t wish to eat animals, we went down that road because of the chemicals and hormones in meat.  Back to the topic now.    We had a healthy diet and thought we also had a healthy lifestyle.  Boy, were we ever wrong.

Knowing we needed to fix her immune system and do it fast, we turned to other folks who have gone before us down the road to natural healing.  Enter Bill Henderson.  Billbillhenderson watched his wife die a horribly painful death due to cancer, despite her doing everything the doctor ordered.  After her death, Bill decided that there had to be a better way; that his wife did not die in vain.  He wrote a book Cancer-Free, Your Guide to Gentle, Non-Toxic Healing.  Bill wrote in an understanding way.  He’s non-judgmental and offered that most important quality of all.  Hope.  He wrote there are hundreds of ways to cure cancer without toxic chemicals.  I’ve often thought there are angels among us, certainly Bill was one of them and sadly (or happily for him) he’s now among them having passed away about 18 months ago.  Another side trip here – when you hear chemotherapy, think toxic chemicals.  The first chemotherapy drugs were an advent of poison gas from World War I.  Back once more.  Bill introduced us to others who think alike and who share their knowledge.  Chris Wark, Dr. Johanna Budwig, Kris Carr and so many more.

We stopped all toxic chemicals in the house.  That means no more dryer sheets, no more commercial laundry detergent.  Toss out shampoos, soaps, most cleaners.  Out went toothpaste (fluoride and sugar), deodorants (aluminum), and almost every container of makeup.  If you are reading this and you happen to be of the female persuasion think about that.  What would you do if you couldn’t use your favorite brands of makeup?  Or virtually any kind.  It took months and months to find safe substitutes.  Next came a look at food.  Nothing with artificial preservatives or colorings.  No more processed sugar (sugar is just bad even if you are cancer free). No Dairy. Say goodbye to gluten.  No peanut butter or peanuts (peanuts have a mold that is harmless – unless you have cancer), started 64 ounces of freshly made juice daily (thank you Champion juicer!) – my juicer even has flame decals as I’m the fastest juicer in town.  Ok, maybe not but the flames are cool.20170508_201017-1_resized

Started taking chlorella, iodine, magnesium and magnesium baths.  Beta glucan, turmeric, started eating a lot of mushrooms and mushrooms capsules (thanks, Paul Stamets) 20,000 IU of Vitamin D daily, Zinc, Iron and selenium levels established and maintained.  Ph balance checked on schedule.

 

Bought a Berkey water filter – the best in the business.  Got a Rebound-Air (good for the lymphatic system) a Biomat for deep infrared heating (kills cancer cells) and took baking soda baths.  Enter 35% Hydrogen Peroxide (when you pour 35% hydrogen peroxide into bath water, for every cup of H2O2, near 100 Liters of Oxygen is released. Oxygen creates an unhealthy environment for cancer cells), said no to phthalates, stopped touching cash register receipts (toxic chemicals) and tossed all sunscreen (toxic chemicals that you rub into your skin!)and instead started getting 45 minutes of sunshine daily.  Regular massages, longer walks and only 100% cotton bed linens – the list goes on and on.  It’s a long, tough process and it’s ever changing as our knowledge grows.

In short, Daleen took charge of her health.  We’re acutely aware that health is a gift but a gift that needs continual attention.  Some changes were easy, some for Daleen were incredibly difficult.  There are other changes, psychological changes that are necessary 20151231_075654-1too.  We created a “Gratitude Jar” and when we are grateful, we write it down on a slip of paper and at the end of the year, we read those slips.  Everyone has something to be grateful for, this makes it easier to remember.  If we had something in the house that did not bring joy or wasn’t useful, out it went!  She read more, traveled more, even though it tired her terribly, and started being more positive, despite the horrible negatives in her life.

All these changes were necessary and all are necessary.  There’s a hundred more if you’d like the list, let me know and I’ll happily send it to you.  The point is that in order to maintain a healthy body, you have to work at it.  Some days you don’t have the energy and that’s okay.  Get a good coach who will nag you, push you and hold you when nothing is going your way.  Most of all, seek out information from those that have been there, you don’t have to do it alone.  If you just need a wee boost, let me know – I developed a fine voice in the Army to encourage you!

Tomorrow I ‘ll wrap this all up!

turning bad news into something different

It was almost 5 years ago that Daleen heard the words “It’s cancer”.  Or, more accurately, she didn’t hear them.  Because she already knew she had cancer.  The kind lady charged with delivering the dreaded diagnosis thought she was talking to both Daleen and me, but truth be told Daleen heard nothing.  I’ll be honest and tell you that it was incredibly difficult to stay focused.  I had a million thoughts and questions and more than a little fear.  After all, the singular love of my life was now threatened by something I couldn’t even see.  Then, 25 years of an intimate relationship with the United States Army kicked in and I began to focus, to listen and to write, then to question everything and to attack.  In short, I had a new mission, to be a “support person.”  And so on that particularly bleak and miserable day in January 5 years ago, cancer became the pivotal force in our lives.  Throw in hypoparathyroidism to boot.  The outlook was not particularly rosy.  A few days later though, Daleen did hear.  She heard doctors tell her that “We’ve got to jump on this, get on top of this immediately!”  She heard that she’d need a daily planner for all the appointments, all the tests.  She heard words such as chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and over and over again “you have to make a decision now!”

At first, she acquiesced and heard “good job, we’ll get this or that scheduled right away.”  As long as you agree with the medical profession, they are genial and caring.  Pretty quickly though, Daleen made the choice to heal herself naturally.  The good folks in white coats were aghast!  They cajoled, they pontificated and they tried their utmost to persuade her to get the chemotherapy started and make the appointment to meet with the radiologist.  Unfortunately, that’s also the time when she heard she was crazy, she should listen to her very smart doctors.  We’ve all learned that a second opinion is often vital and that you should obtain one of the most important decisions in life.  Try going against conventional medicine and asking for a second opinion.  Make sure you have steeled yourself before you do, your road will get very bumpy and rocky very quickly.  When it became clear to the physicians that there would be no chemotherapy, no radiation, they came after me.  I was told that I was, after all, a reasonable person.  One doctor pulled me aside and gently suggested that Daleen might very well benefit from seeing a Psychiatrist.  I was called at home, at work and literally at 11 o’clock at night all with the intent of getting me to change her mind.  Clearly, they did not know the resolve nor the strength of Daleen and her convictions!  When it became clear that their efforts at trying to persuade me were not going to work, I actually had an oncologist tell me my wife would probably be “Dead by Christmas”.  This is from a learned man, a physician, and an officer.  He was, sadly, no gentleman.  Sigh.

Let me add here that we also met some wonderful medical people and though it took longer for the anger at the “cancer experts” to ebb than we’d like to admit, we understand most do what they do because it’s what they’ve been taught to do.  Kudos to the kind folks who offered Daleen a hug, we just wish there had been more of them.  Of course, we still need the white coats; we now think of them more like mechanics.  When we’re broken, we go to get fixed, then go on with our lives.  After all, who doesn’t need a good mechanic now and then?natural healing picture

Please don’t misunderstand; Daleen knew the chemical route would kill her, but she was unsure about simply being a healthy person.  No one we knew personally had gone this route and many voiced their concerns.  From a polite “I hope you know what you’re doing” to a shocked “Really?  No chemotherapy, no radiation?” to “I think you’re crazy but good luck”, we heard it all.  Fortunately, others offered kind shoulders and there are two fine incredible men who made it a priority to encourage their Mom almost every day, each in their own way.  I could not have asked more, nor could I be more proud of them.  There is an inner strength in all of us and if you choose to go against conventional medicine you’ll need to harness every bit of that strength.  You’ll lose friends, friends who don’t know how to deal with cancer.  Other friends will start to distance themselves and still others, being unsure of “what to do or say” will become distant.  Just when friendship is needed the most, friendships are challenged the hardest.  We accepted the fact that relationships would change, but we were naïve in their scope.  Some thought it was a judgment about them as they went the chemical route when they were diagnosed.  Others thought it was a judgment about them as they work in a hospital or the medical profession.  It was neither.  It was simply a desire to heal naturally, safely.natural healing picture, 2

What also happened on that day was the beginning of our quest to learn everything about cancer.  Then about healing yourself from cancer naturally then on to living naturally.  What a journey it’s been!  We made so many changes, so many lifestyle alterations that we started to lose track.  It was at that point we realized a record was needed.  When we added up all the changes, the number initially was more than 135.  It’s since climbed to over 150 and grows steadily.  More slowly now than before, but the learning never stops.  It never stops because the fear never completely goes away, the fear that cancer might yet rear its ugly head.  Along the way we also learned that we’re stronger than we knew, we’re more adaptable than we thought possible,  we’re blessed with the knowledge that we have resources that didn’t exist even 10 years ago thanks to the power of the internet and finally, we learned acceptance.  Acceptance turns anger aside and acceptance opens doors to enlightenment.

Tomorrow, if it’s true that change is good for the soul, walk with me through some of our changes, it’ll be good for your soul!

Hoover

Cancer sucks.  There, I said it.  I know, one shouldn’t use the word sucks.  It’s impolite vacuumand certainly, we taught our sons to avoid using it if they could and to come up with a different word.  Knowing that a vacuum cleaner does indeed “suck” up dust & dirt, they chose to use the word “Hoover” in place of it.  It’s hard not to laugh when you hear one of them say “These lima beans hoover!”  However, sometimes it’s an entirely appropriate word and when applied to the word cancer, it’s become almost eloquent.

The truth of the matter is everything about cancer sucks.  People learn that the reason they have it in the form they do is that their immune system was at best damaged, at worst broken. They learn it’s rarely the “luck of the draw” and that they are primarily responsible and that sucks. They learn that chemotherapy and radiation also suck and they often don’t work well if at all and can even cause new cancers.  They learn that there is an alternative – natural healing – but when they tell anyone who wears a white coat about natural healing, they learn that all of a sudden those doctors want nothing to do with them.  The very people they entrusted with their health and well-being turn their backs on them and that sucks.

Then they learn that they can actually become healthy and suddenly the world sucks a little less.  They make changes, oh so many changes in their lives and their lifestyles and slowly, ever so slowly they start to feel better.  Not great, but better than before and so their condition sucks a wee bit less.

They discover people like Bill Henderson, Chris Wark, Kris Carr, Dr. Michael Gregor, Dr. Marc Sircus, Dr. Josh Axe, Dr. Johanna Budwig, Paul Stamets, Ty Bolinger and so much more who are very direct about the crazy idea that you can heal yourself!  Yes it’s slow and yes some of it is not much fun and some of it is particularly unpleasant but from anger and more than a little despair, they learn the word hope is still out there waiting for them.  One magical night when getting ready for bed, they realize that a whole day has gone by without thinking about how their life because of cancer sucks.  On that day, life gets infinitely better and not only does anger fade, but hope grows!

Such has been Daleen’s life for the past 5 years.  She went from anger at the medical profession, who abandoned her when they learned she was going down a natural path to wellness, to acceptance. Acceptance that some folks make a living by keeping cancer myths alive to acceptance that the “pink” crowd makes a living by deceiving people into thinking that buying pink boxes of Jell-O or pink buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken helps “the cause.”  Acceptance that cancer (in particular breast cancer) takes a long time to develop and that medical decisions need not happen with lightning speed.

Together (as her support person) we’ve learned that cancer isn’t a fight, it’s a process.  Cancer is your body’s way of telling you that something, usually many things, are amiss and you better pay attention.  Change your life.  Change your lifestyle.  We’ve all heard the phrase “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.”  So it is with cancer.  If you live the same lifestyle you did before you were diagnosed with cancer after being diagnosed, you can expect the same results.

So, this week we celebrate 5 years of living.  5 years we thought we didn’t have.  5 years of learning how not to get angry and 5 years of learning acceptance.  We’ve met some of the most wonderful examples of kindness and acceptance along the way and we thank them.  We’ve learned to be thankful.  We’re thankful that each and every day if a gift, it’s ours to use as we see fit. We hope we’ve learned to use each gift wisely.

Tomorrow I’ll discuss the fun we had with the medical “establishment”, gee what a learning experience that was!

Hoping you celebrate today, know we will celebrate with gusto!

first friday finish

…and just like that, 27 hours later, the stitching of Ellie Mae is complete.

I have visions of an ornate frame with Belly Dancer bells hanging from the piece.

Question?  Why do I have such a tricky time taking photos with true colors?  In real life, she is juicy and rich and beautiful.  The fabric is a gorgeous warm golden color.  I guess you will have to take my word for it or just stop by for coffee sometime and I promise to show n tell.

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The pattern is from the book, all Creatures Stitched and Small by Lori Markovic.

I used 28 count Monaco that I dyed myself with coffee, tea and turmeric.

This year I am keeping a journal of my stitching, sewing and crocheting.  Names, supplies and hours.  Years ago, I kept track of hours spent hand quilting.  I thought it would be a boost to my self-esteem at the end of the year to see what I had accomplished and be surprised by the hours spent.  20180112_074456-1_resized (1)

Of course, you know she is finished.  She has on her Swarovski jewelry and ready for a night on the town.

 

new year, 6 new things

Hello friends.

It is a dreary, gray, soggy and dark day here today in the Pacific Northwest.  I turned on my peace hippie bushappy light, have lavender oil going in the diffuser and put sprinkles on top of my coconut cream in my coffee.  Some days, you gotta take control of the good mood bus.  (yeah, painted all hippie and wild like.)

Enough bad news out there.  We need to share GOOD with each other.  Let’s share a couple new things we have discovered?  I’ll go first and then it will be your turn to share something  “new year, new stuff”.  Our own virtual show and tell.

Why don’t more people want to share new finds?  Are people shy about sharing?  Or do they just not seek out new things to try?  Maybe they do indeed try new stuff, maybe they just aren’t as chatty as me?  I am guessing there are good people out there, who try new things, like them and just don’t see the need to blather on and on.

Well, buckle up, I am here to blather on about six new GROOVY (or save your money and move on) things.  (Side note: let’s bring back the word “groovy“. Today’s vernacular needs the boost of the word groovy.)

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First out of my Mary Poppins bag…… Kite Hill “cheese”.  While we don’t eat dairy, we are just like normal muggles……..and we love cheese and crackers and appetizers etc.  Every single thing I have tried from Kite Hill has been delicious.  Seriously, full of flavor and so unladylike “lip smackin’ good”!  A bit on the pricey side, so take something out of your grocery cart that might not be a “need”.  ‘Cause girlfriend, you are going to “need” this cheese.  Made from almonds it is a lovely replacement.  If you have friends over who don’t do dairy, this will make them feel extra special.  I found it at my local grocery store as well as the health food store.

Next up, my gorgeous new velvet top from The Pioneer Woman Mercantile.  Okay, let me begin by saying I love to shop online.  This company hits it out FB_IMG_1514854304876_resizedof the ballpark.  The shipping container is taped with fancy tape, arrived very quickly and was wrapped in a package with a cute sticker.  Made me smile even before I unwrapped my new top.  The top fits perfectly, feels amazing, it is saturated in deep, rich color and the embroidery is well done & lovely.  I like it so much, I am trying to figure out the perfect place to go, so I can wear my new top.   I highly recommend giving them a look-see.  https://www.themercantile.com/

 

20180109_111012-1_resizedLet me sing the praises of this next goodie.   Lavishea.  A lotion bar that I can actually use on my hands and still work with my quilting fabric, yarn or counted cross stitch fabric!  This time of year can be brutal on hands.   This product works, yet it doesn’t leave any residue on my hands so I can continue to work with fabric/yarn without compromising the piece.  I found it on amazon.com

Next in the line-up is probably a pass. Sad face.  Sullivan Threads.  I gave them a try on my new counted cross sullivan threadstitch.  While being a bit less expensive, not what I would call a beautiful smooth thread.  I will continue and finish my current project, however, I will most likely not buy again. Save your money and let’s move along.

20180106_170335-1_resizedElla + Mila is a new to me company.  I am always looking for products that don’t use (or use much less) toxic chemicals.  So, trying to find safe lipstick and nail polish, while being a first world “problem” it is important to me.  I have to say, I fell in love with the lipstick.  Great coverage, stayed on surprisingly long, didn’t smudge, felt nice going on, didn’t “taste” funny and the color was very close if not spot on to the picture online.   I am smitten with the rosy darker shade of lipstick.  The lighter color is not my cup of tea, however, I will still wear it around the house.   I really, really like the nail polish.  The coverage was excellent, fewer chemicals mean less smell.  This is day four wearing it and it still looks lovely.  https://www.ellamila.com/

I can’t take credit for this last one. Cocomels. Good ‘ol Santa put these in my stocking.  cocomels-coconut-milk-caramels-sea-salt-853610003141_3Oh, my stars!!!  These individually wrapped beauties are delicious, creamy dreamy, a bit salty and not one bit naughty.  Santa knows me extremely well.  He gave me two bags.  One of them was devoured in a day or two.  I am trying to only eat one or two a day since then.  A wonderful indulgence.   I believe Santa may have purchased them on Amazon, however, I did notice our local grocery store carries them in the health food section.

Now it’s your turn.  Friends share with Friends.  Please leave a comment with something new you have tried in this new year.  

In this together, friends. 

Chat soon.