Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Pages 42 - 47

‘Cancer – 50 Essential Things to Do’ is a book by Greg Anderson which I used as a guide to journal what I needed to work through in the immediate aftermath of being diagnosed with Stage 4 Inflammatory Breast Cancer in February, 2006. I needed to think I knew how to keep my head on my shoulders during the incoming storm.

Quotes from the book will be in italics.

Live This Moment (38):

*Many people with a diagnosis of cancer needlessly pollute their lives by living in the past or in the future. Instead, I suggest our goal should be to live well with the only time we do have – this very precious moment.

Dad says ‘When what if comes knocking tell it to fuck-off.’

*The answer: present-moment living. All of our regrets about the past, no matter how sincere, won’t change history. All of our worries about the future won’t add even another minute to our lives. On the contrary, both fears and worries diminish our current minutes by detracting from our ability to enjoy them.

The future cannot harm us unless we create a future based on perceptions of fear, anger, and guilt. The only time that contains the power to change our lives is this present moment.

Take Time To Play (39):

If you think you’re tired, perhaps that is just the signal that you need more play. Play builds energy reserves and is a major contributor to wellness.

Stroll on the beach or near water.


Listen to music.

Go to a movie.

Board games.

Visit friends.

Laugh for Healing Power (40):

Laughter – internal jogging. Science has confirmed that even something as simple as a laugh or a smile carries with it a positive biochemical response.

The message is clear ‘Lighten Up.’

There is nothing wrong with being ill and pursuing a lighthearted approach to wellness.

Rent comedy videos.

Go to a comedy club.

Old fashioned laugh session.

Evaluate Your Relationships (41):

Toxic stress lowers our resistance.

Wahid, Angelique, Nadalene, Nathan, Mom, Dad, Jacquie, Colette, Shelly, Mickey, Suzie, Camille, and Natalie are the most important relationships I have. None of my relationships need to be put on hold. My relationship with these people is great.

The one thing I could do to make these relationships even better is to be authentic. State your mind. Hold in NO toxic stress.

Get Beyond Why (42):

Why? Why is just another way of saying we are helpless and the situation is beyond our control.

Affixing blame only creates helpless victims.

I am not a helpless victim.

Practice Self-Discipline (43):

No fast-food. Only eat nutritious meals. Exercise every day.

The practice of self-discipline leads to two very powerful life qualities – self respect and freedom.

See Life Through Spiritual Eyes (44):

In my life I can see beauty and grace, even perfection.

Dinner is a time where the minds, bodies, and souls of our family are gathered together to break bread and be nourished. The family’s lives are filled with potential for good. We are there to help each other, to love each other, to care for each other.

Spiritual eyes allow us to see the value of what is simple and readily available in our lives.

Value Personal Spiritual Growth (45):

Human beings, by changing their inner attitudes of mind, could change the outer aspects of their lives.

*Cynicism has no place here. You cannot climb up the spiritual mountain by thinking downhill thoughts.

And pray. Be still and prayerfully listen to God. Don’t beg or plead. Pray. ‘Thy will be done.’ Listen. Act. Remember with God, all things are possible.

One spiritual quality that I would like to make more vivid in my life is gentleness.


The Dutchess said...

Gentleness..beautiful. Be gentle to yourself..I try to be as gentle as I can to my sister who was diagnosed with breastcancer last winter..she is doing fine now enjoying Summer..Enjoy your day..

Deborah said...

Oh Renee, your Daddy was the wisest of men! Best quote ever. More of a family motto. Lifting you, Jacquie, and Sheldon up in prayer never ceasing. May your day be filled with love. Deb

Arija said...

Dearest Renee, full marks for the truths in your guiding text as well as your father's wisdom.
There is nothing I can add or take away, just underline the fun part...gwr yourself an icecram cone and lick it like you were five years old, slurp your soda and enjoy the funny looks you get.
Watch an autumn leaf drifting down and be grateful that the trees have many leaves for you to enjoy.

Considering gentleness, be gentle and non-judgemental with yourself.
Above all love that crazy girl called Renee, as I do.

Elizabeth said...

Love to you. How do you do it, anyway? With everything going on -- your art, your writing, your deep thoughts? A blessing, to be sure.

Marie S said...

I love this post, what great suggestions for well-being.

Thank you for remembering me!
Love and hugs.

Angela Recada said...

Good morning, dear Renee,

There is so much beauty and wisdom in this post again, dear one. There is so much beauty and wisdom in you.

Today is all we really have. I hope you have a good today, my friend!


yoon see said...

Take care and you are always in my prayer Renee:)
Good night!

pRiyA said...

hmmmm...these are reminders we ALL need every now and then. i for one keep lapsing.
that illustration, wherever it is from, is one great steal!!!

pRiyA said...

hey! i had to send you another comment because the word verification for this one said blesses!!!
dear million year friend, i am sending my blesses to you.

Allegra Smith said...

And love, love everything all the time. Even the ones that cannot understand the meaning or purpose of love, love them more because they are the ones who have the greatest need.

Love is never wasted, it may not give us what we expect, wish for or feel entitled to. But in the final analysis if you are not capable of loving the whole you are not loving yourself. Oh, just love by forgiveness, just let go of the anger, frustration and trying to make things behave the way you want them to instead of accepting that they are a force unto themselves. They have a determined path to walk unless the Universe is nothing more than a horrific game of craps tossed at random.

Cancer is a biological issue not a spiritual one. I will not allow cancer to touch my spirit in the same way it violated my physical body. It is not allowed there and it never will be. While my body needs nourishment from physical matter my spirit is mine and as such I decide what and what not can come in contact with it. And cancer is not it.

I don't know what presence in my life God takes. I was brought up Catholic but life and my own perceptions moved me away from organized religion.
I do believe in golden rules and forgive more quickly than I forget but I am working on that. I love you Renee, you are dear and true, and cancer cannot touch your spirit, it never will. I know that in my heart.

karengberger said...

Again, your use of this resource is helpful to all of us, wheteher we are living with illness or not. There are so many pearls of wisdom in the book from which ANYone can benefit. For example, letting go of toxic stress, listening to God and self-discipline are blessings that everyone can share. Thank you for the healthful reminders! XOXO


Deep-hum-throttle-belly-laughs that rumble through the room perform a huge release!

On another site a woman's dog had taken a unsafe liking to her "seam-ripper" while she was sewing, or rather attempting to "un-sew".

I thought this could be yet another, easily approachable, virtual-visual-meditation symbol for those you know how to sew.

This tiny tool also offers huge release. We can "seam-rip" those invisible puppet strings that continue to hike our shoulders up to our ears with out us noticing in time. Release. Release. Release.

Be well.

Barbara said...

Renee, Boy, did I need to hear this. Thank you. I think to learn to live in the present is the best gift we can give ourselves. To put the past away and live for what is. Because really we can't change what was. And your father was so about worry. Thanks for this. Hugs to you and yours.

Allegra Smith said...

You tweet! I am not always right but when it comes to you is always love speaking so I must be.

Diamonds and Toads said...

Renee: I don't always get a chance to post, but your wisdom flows out through your heart and helps uplift everyone who reads what you write.
Thank you.

Jaliya said...

OH, gentleness ... How do you want to be more gentle, Renee?


Artistic Accents by Darla said...

Hi Renee!
I love your Dad's quote!! And I think you are a gentle soul......I really do♥
Love, Darla
p.s. package is going out today :)

Linda Sue said...

All of this is good no matter what one's state of health I would think...although cynicism is one of my favorite things ...being naughty is also...my mom was all "silver lining" glorious and it just brought out the worst in me- I could not possibly measure up to her sweetness, her genuine pure love- so I took after my Dad...He was pretty awful...
I genuinely love you, however- step in the right direction!

lakeviewer said...

42-47 Great suggestions for everyone at any stage of life. Your circle of friends is getting bigger and bigger, love pouring out, prayers supporting you.

Love to you and yours.

Tammy said...

Hi Renee,
I draw a blank when I want to right you..
Try to come up with some couraging words, but with all you continue to be put through, I can not come up with many...
As always you all remain in my thoughts and prayers...
Your family is a strong bonded unit, that will weather this storm together...
Praying all is getting better...
Many Hugs...

LindaGJ said...

Awesome post. Just the right words to follow in this life for all. It's not what your dealt, it's how you handle it. Stay positive and in the now. Count your blessings. You are on the right track Renee.
God Blesses You,&
I hope this day is good to you,
Sincerely, Linda

Baino said...

Gentleness is indeed a fine asset and very difficult to achieve all the time. I think you've got it somehow. I think much of this advice is wonderful for non sufferers as well. We tend to bustle on with worry and stress and toxicity when we should be taking a little time to be introspective and spoil ourselves.

Manon Doyle said...

Great ways to live your life!
It's so funny Renee.... I just put a couple of the same suggestions on my post today about practicing happiness!
We may be on the same wavelength! : )
love you Renee!!

studio lolo said...

Sister raven' you are the embodiment of gentleness for pete's sake. I agree, include yourself in this practice.

hey, now we're even closer neighbors! I can feel the hugs from here.

love you. yes I do!


secret agent woman said...

"Dad says ‘When what if comes knocking tell it to fuck-off.’"

Oh, man, I ike your Dad.

And yes to gentleness. I'm workingon this one, too.

Ces said...

Why are there so many cancers! Today! My good friend's mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. She does not want treatment. She wants palliative care. Such agony. I can't feel right now.

Annie said...

Lovely post. Gentleness is good.
Sending love and hugs and prayers to you and your family.xoxo

Rikkij said...

Dad was pretty cool. In my day, we used to say, "that's a mighty big if, Ralph." wonder who Ralph was?
I think your compassion is full of gentleness. about faith, I always like to say, "if you worry, it ain't faith!" I think you do it all better than anyone else ever could. I'm always impressed. Take care, Dear Friend ~rick

Angela Recada said...

You are the BEST, dear heart!

Love and hugs,

Sherry Byrum said...

Thank you for your posts Renee! Living in the moment is the most beautiful way to live! Your book is wonderful, thanks for sharing!!

Daria said...

Hope you are doing OK today ... thinking of you.

Sonia ;) said...

Dad says ‘When what if comes knocking tell it to fuck-off.’

Since day one that you told me to tell the "What if's to fuck off" I have...and my dear friend you are so right...

Sheeanna and I say WWRD..as our motto..when we feel down. overwhelmed, etc...and then we say Fuck off LOL..I love you my dear friend..

Please kiss Sheldon on the forehead for me and say "Thank you my Hero, love Sonia"

Tell Jacquie kick that cancers ass..Take no prisoners..

xoxoxoxox Love you Lovey..

yoborobo said...

Hi Renee - I was with the family at an amusement park today. I swear I think I lost 50 pounds in the heat (so flippin' HOT). Unfortunately I gained them back by eating chocolate, chicken fried steak and ice cream.

Obviousy I have a ways to go on the eating nutriously. :) But I am trying very hard to live in the present. I know this is the way to be happy. Thinking about what could have been, or what calamity might drop on my head tomorrow is useless.

Love to you - xoxox Pam

rochambeau said...

So great. All the thoughts written here by you and Greg.

I guess the one that stands out the most tonight is yours:

See Life Through Spiritual Eyes:
In my life I can see beauty and grace, even perfection.

That is a good one Renee.
Thank YOU!

Praying for you and yours.
Lots of Love,

Marie said...

So often you render me speechless. I always read, but I often don't know what to say. I send love and hugs.

kendalee said...

I reckon that all of us, even those who are not dealing with such a difficult situation, could benefit from applying a big dollop of these guidelines to our lives. I know I could! The laugh and play ones are definitely two that I need to pay some serious attention to! As ever, thank you for sharing - it enriches my day Renee ♥

kendalee said...

ps Love the art on this one especially!

Anonymous said...

I like your fathers wisdom also.
My great uncle Reuben, while in bed poorly, saw a lady sitting on the end of his bed brushing her long black her. He told her "I am not going with you" she went. So I think you can stay here on earth longer.
You are fantastic, think positive, soak in all the love in the universe and share happy thoughts!
Thank you so much Renee for sharing this post, Made my day and will certainly be thinking about you and your love and wisdom today. Have an awesome day, Renee!

Sara Williams said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. It sounds like a brilliant book - I may just have to buy a copy!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Renee, forgive me I will return tonight to read your post but I think you need cheering up.
Now look my lady, hire a bus, get all your girlfriends on it and pop over to my place. There is a man on a hillside who wants to see you! How can you resist that invitation? ~ Love Eddie x

LDWatkins said...

I bet your dad was a toe tapper! Love it. Your book should be read by all. Such valuable life instructions. Bless you,my dear heart! Love and hugs, Lynda

Meghann LittleStudio said...

You are so wonderful Renee. You are gentle to others but I think you need to be more gentle on yourself.
Hugs and prayers to you and your family (your family is on my prayer list, though anonymously for privacy)
Take care of you,
Meg xoxo

kj said...

did i not leave a comment here? perhaps i was so enthralled by the wisdom of this post i fell back into my own little world and wondered how i could live with such grace and gentility.

it seems your father's quote hit all of us on the 'wake up!' head.

you are clearly your father's daughter.

love love love reneee. and then some.

Sarah said...

I love your Dad's quote. This book is full of good advice for everyone-there are a number of things on the list this time that I could definitely do with listening to! Hope you get a little time to do the play part today. xx

Caroline said...

Thank you Renee for continually sharing with us. Thinking of you and your family. Caroline xox

flossy-p said...

Gosh this book is a wonder, really! Something everyone on earth should read, don't you think?

I LOVE the "laughter = internal jogging"

... i wonder if that excuses me from my daily exercise? ;)

Karin Bartimole said...

this seems like a pretty good manual to living - period. I love these passages, and your responses to them all. thanks Renee.
love you, Karin

Sophia said...

This post really spoke to me as I have had a NUMBER of health issues to deal with over the last 2 years...cancer and liver tumors/disease. I have been so discouraged at times and frankly, tired of being sick. Thank you for posting this.

Cornerstoregoddess said...

Sending healing meditations to you, Jacquie, and Sheldon. You are in my daily meditations.

turquoise cro said...

LOVE your post!!! Thinking of YOU today(it's Sunday)and YOU and YOURS are in my prayers dear woman! Thanks for sharing your wonderful book!

Clarity said...

Dear Renee,

I wish I had seen these sooner. From now on I'll follow and I hope you do mine too as I feel we are kindred souls and spirits.

I totally agree with everything on the list, but have to add something. You do have gentleness Renee, plenty of it. It may be armed to the teeth right now because it has to be, but gentleness abides within. Love, xxx.