Greetings to all of the dear people who have contributed to my healing:
This letter comes a bit late, but there are reasons for that which I will address as I write this belated thank you note to all of you who donated financially and energetically to the campaign to support my healing.
First off, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! One of my core issues has always been the belief that I am not quite good enough to deserve the love and acknowledgement that I have so often received from my friends and clients over the years. So many of you have told me of the positive impact that I have made in your lives; however, despite this validation of my gifts, as well as your love and appreciation of me being ‘just me’, like Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Woman’, I always felt that “the bad things are easier to believe”.
Since this campaign – started by my friend Tessa who would not take ‘no’ for an answer, and who has always had my back in spite of myself – that story has begun to crumble in the face of so much love and acknowledgment. It didn’t matter what amount you gave, whether in the form of financial support or simply acknowledging my worth to you with love and prayers, the outpouring from so many people was like a tsunami which could not be denied. I was bowled over and under by the wave of your love and I was unable to keep my feet in the sand of my “not lovable and therefore worthless” story. Even as I write this there are tears of gratitude in my eyes, as there have often been since the start of all this. As my Native American medicine woman teacher would say, “my heart is full!”
Now on to the next matter, updating you as to my progress.
My oncologist is very happy with how the cancer has responded to my treatment. The tumors in my breast and lymph nodes are shrinking and those in my spine are dying and scarring over. Unfortunately, the side effects of the treatment have been very challenging for a woman who a year ago was hitting the gym 5 times a week (and doing 3 sets of 200 lbs. on the ab press), with an exciting future ahead. My book was nearly finished and a flagship Barnes and Noble store here in IL wanted 100 copies to start. I was also researching bookstores in England where I could go and give talks, as well as spiritual centers all over the US.
Then I was hit with tremendous loss – so large that even a psychic medium such as myself had trouble navigating it. Between last Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day I lost 5 dear friends to cancer. I spent the holidays on the east coast dealing with several of them, and by the time I returned to Chicago, I already knew that physically something wasn’t right – I felt more fatigued than would be normal for me, even as I explained it away as unresolved grief. When I arrived home on January 15th, I was informed by my landlord that he had put the house on the market while I was away and I would need to start looking for another place to live. I loved my home and it was wrenching to be told immediately after all of the loss I had just been through that I would have to uproot AGAIN and expend more energy in searching for a place to live. A month later I was hospitalized with cellulitis and it was then discovered that my cancer had returned with a vengeance – 4th stage metastatic breast cancer which had moved into my thoracic and lumbar spine. Let’s just say I was pretty much ready to check out. My insurance didn’t cover my treatment because it was with pharmaceuticals rather than infusion and so now, instead of being able to rest and convalesce, I was being forced to find a place to live, as well as research programs that might help me pay for my treatment, all while I continued to work because I still had bills to pay. Is it any wonder that I had many moments of wanting to ‘give up and go home’?
As I said previously, in stepped Tessa and all of you, making it worth my while to stick it out – thank you for saving my life. Did I tell you that? Your generosity and love did far more than support me materially, it made me realize that perhaps my life was worth fighting for.
So, side effects. The first and biggest side effect was the return of the deep depression and anxiety that I had not had to deal with since before I moved out to Chicago. The drugs I am taking are hormonally based and this was the reason that I could not take any form of birth control pill and had deep post-partum depressions after each childbirth – I react badly to hormones, particularly the estrogen on which the medications are based. The despair was pretty bad – even with your support. Over the last 4 months I have been taking synthetic anti-depressants and I can honestly say that a few days ago I had a random moment of joy, and my therapist believes that I have turned a corner. Other side effects include insomnia (never a problem for me in my life before), fatigue, water weight gain, nausea, loss of appetite, ‘chemo-brain’, hair loss (luckily I had such a full head of hair to begin with it’s hardly noticeable) and tremendous pain – particularly in my spine where the cancer is ‘flaring up’ as it fights to remain. I have had to cut back on my daily sessions (from 5 to 3) and make sure that I get a nap every day (although when you feel as if you have drunk a pot of espresso, a light doze is about all you can hope for). I am grateful that I haven’t been able to find the right living space yet, as it put me back living with my friends and receiving their love and support on a daily basis. Even more, I am living with my cancer coach Susi Roos, the woman who saved my life during the first go-round of cancer.
The reasons for the lateness of this thank you note are described above – the depression being the most prominent. However, I am much better now and taking actions to help move myself forward. I just completed a 5 week detox program under Susi’s aegis and dropped close to 30 lbs., as well as feeling much better physically. I have started writing again (hence this letter) and hope to have my manuscript ready for editing by October. I am leading a monthly meetup group at an area café bookstore (where I also hope to debut my book) doing spirit messages for grieving people, which I hope to expand to bimonthly, with the second meeting being a teaching session for people who wish to explore spirit communication for themselves.
All of this would not have been possible, or at least would have been much more of a struggle, without all of you. So, please accept my love and gratitude, as well as my acknowledgement of the gift each and every one of you has been in my life and will continue to be in the future.
May your gifts to me be returned 10,000-fold back to you and yours!
Much love and many blessings,
In closing, I would just like to say that I am looking forward to reconnecting with all of you; however, please be patient with me. If you don’t receive a response to an email or text, think, ‘oh yeah, she has chemo brain’ and resend. It’s gotten better, but I am still challenged in the ‘out of sight, out of my mind’ category!