Take time...

Take time...
Early Detection... it's life or death!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

'Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!!' Wait, what was that?

We grew up with fairy tales... Cinderella, Snow White, yada yada yada.  The Prince always rode in on his white horse and saved the day.  The white picket fence scenario embedded in our minds as little girls, which when reality reared it's ugly head, showed us was not the case.  There was no prince, white horse or 'happily ever after'.  Once fantasy and reality showed they were on two different planes, which to believe in became a challenge.  So introducing something as 'faith' in a spiritual basis was sometimes seen as a possible 'fantasy' if you will.  Exactly how DO I differentiate between the two?  How do I incorporate believing in a Higher Power, whom I choose to call God, into my daily regiment?  When it's something not seen, felt or heard?

It was put to me in the simplest of forms early in my spiritual walk, if you will.  'You believe when you turn on the light switch the light is going to come on, right?' 'Yes, but that is science.' 'In a sense, yes, but the concept of faith is the same'.  Believing the light will, [here's the pessimist in me...providing the wiring is correct and bulb is good, and power is stored] illuminate.  So how does that apply to my faith? 

The Bible tells me if I have the faith the size of a mustard seed, I can move mountains.  WOW!  That's pretty impressive. Has anybody weighed a mountain lately?  That's pretty dog gone heavy.  Or better yet, seen the size of a mustard seed? But I'm not looking to move mountains, I'm looking to heal my mind body and spirit of all the toxins that harm my being.  Which, I'm pretty sure can be summed up as moving mountains.  And all it takes is faith the size of a mustard seed.  Which are so incredibly small, it's amazing! Hebrews 11:1 tells me "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

When one embarks on how they are going to travel in the journey they did not ask for, ie. being diagnosed with Breast Cancer; they are faced with many choices.  A lot of times, I feel anger, which is derivative of fear of the unknown.  Oh but wait, isn't that what life itself is, unknown? So why should this journey be any different than any other lessons learned in life?  Well, because there's a certain mortality attached to it?  But wait, that's life itself, right?  Who says we are all going to live to be one hundred or so?  As Thoreau states: 'Tomorrow is promised to no one'.  In a sense, I have been given a blessing.  I have been given a time frame on which to chose how to spend my life and how I want that quality of life to entail.  Not all are given that choice.

A.W. Tozer goes on to state "What is overlooked in all this is that faith is good only when it engages truth ...". Ahhhh.. truth!  So there it is, the meat of the matter.  I was told by someone a very long time ago, 'When I share something with you, don't take it as gospel just because I said it, seek for yourself that it is in fact the truth I am telling you.  Question everything, as some will purposely tell you falsely!'  Truer words have never been spoken!

I've been doing my homework.  If I am going to travel down this road, I want the correct road map of the path that will get me to my 'destiny' if you will, with the most informed and practical approach possible. At the same time, I want to stop and smell every flower along the way.  See the beauty in each sunrise and sunset, which by the way, are absolutely breath taking out at sea, along with seeing more stars in the sky at night than one thought possible to occupy such a vast place.

One of my favorite books 'The Greatest Miracle In The World' by Og Mandino sums it up nicely...
http://www.wowzone.com/godmemo.htm.  I think I need to go to a book store and find another copy.  Damnedest thing keeps happening, I always end up giving it away to someone whom I feel at the time really needs to see that they are truly a miracle.  As are you, me and everyone of on the face of the earth.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Traditional or Homeopathic ~ Faith or Atheism: The line in the sand is drawn!

I was raised Catholic (don't blame me, I didn't do it!) and about the time I could reason and ask 'Why?' I left faster than you can imagine.  Catholicism wasn't and isn't for me.  I wandered aimlessly about for a great deal of my early adult life, with no spiritual guidance, per se'.  I turned to the Lord sometime in my twenties, but didn't put much effort into the whole 'Christian Walk.'  I walked away.

Many years and heartaches later, (excuse me, time out for a hot flash!!) I returned to the Lord.  Now that journey was bumpy at best, but I did give it my all, for a while, at least.  Seems jumping in with both feet when it comes to really devoting my life to Jesus Christ that I would stay just on this side of the line, with an occasional testing (if you will) the waters. 

So now here I am with my back up against that proverbial wall. My faith never wavered, regardless of my actions.  My heart was and has always been with the Lord.  Did I or have I broke just about some of (if not all) the Commandments?  Without a doubt.  Did that ever change His love for me?  Absolutely not.  (Although I'm pretty sure there were occasions where He would lean over to others and comment, 'Watch this.. your going to love what she does here!' and He would be 'rolling on the clouds laughing').So why should I have any doubts that if He chooses, He could heal me?  I don't. Period. 

While I was going through Chemo, I absolutely hated it.  I hated the fact that I had to rely on Traditional Medicine to heal me.  It seemed to me that I only felt sick AFTER I started trying the path to 'cure' it.  Prior to chemo, I felt marvelous, a little tired at times, but for all intensive purposes, I was NOT SICK! Purposely pumping poison through my body every week, to me, just seemed to be killing more birds with one stone than I cared to count.  The same with taking Antibiotics.  Let's kill all the antibodies so we know for sure we got the 'right' one!  Compromising my immune system even more so is not, again, in my opinion, the way to go.  A body has a built in defense system.  Naturally when it's under attack from something like cancer, it's ability to fight is diminished.  What I am intending on doing is rebuilding my immune system, and fight the cancer with Homeopathic medicines. I have a friend in Baltimore who was one of the very first people who talked to me, as a Survivor, and she is hesitant about my going JUST the Homeopathic route.  Like I told someone yesterday who I was in a somewhat heated debate with, it's not like I have any other choice. It's either roll over and die, or fight it with the best alternative I can find.  And truth be told, I'm rather relieved at this point that I don't have to worry about if one is going to counteract the other or not.

I do believe in all my heart, that there are 'other' methods out there that can and DO work when it comes to healing cancer, and yes, stage iv breast cancer as well.  I believe those methods are just not given the credibility to do so from the Medical Journals, or that would contradict the Hippocratic Oath,  "to treat the ill to the best of one's ability, to preserve a patient's privacy, to teach the secrets of medicine to the next generation, and so on", which SHOULD include Homeopathic Medicine, since it's still a form of medicine in and of itself, as the oath states. For the doctor who told me I WAS going to die from this... NOT SO FAST Bucko!!  Not if my God, my faith and my direction have anything to say about it!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's NOT a Bucket ...

I've had so many people ask me what was on my 'Bucket List'.  That term ranks right up there for me with 'cleaning up'.  People do not clean up, cars yes, people no!  I'd prefer to call it my 'Wish List' or maybe even my 'No Regrets List'... but not 'Bucket List'.  Whatever Leilani, what is on it?  What is it you want to do that you have never done?  Ok, I want to go to Sydney Australia and experience life down under, just for a minute or two.  I want to climb the Eiffel Tower, one painful step at a time (the hell with the elevator), I want to see what it's like in Russia in the summer time, is it warm, and comparable to Alaska, or is it still buried in snow?  (Oh and drink some Russian Vodka and delve into some Caviar wouldn't be a bad idea either, lol)

But, neither of those are even remotely possible.  Passport and finances prohibit it.  Well that's ok, as I have been able to travel other parts of the world through the Military.  I spent the holidays one year in Japan and was able to spend New Years with Buddhists Monks.  The next best thing would have been with The Dalia himself.  But that's ok, I can most certainly live with that experience and cherish the truly enjoyable experience it was.  Extremely enlightening.

My 'list' per se, is relatively thin.  I have spent most of my life doing whatever I fancied.  There is one thing however I have not done, that I'm sure get's millions of requests along this line of thinking... and that is skydiving.  I have never jumped out of a perfectly good plane for no apparent reason other than just the thrill of jumping out.  So next month, I am skydiving.  This is my birthday and anniversary gift to myself! 

At approximately 11:30ish September 4th, that blood curdling scream heard around the world will be me, jumping tandem.  The poor man whose jumping with me has no earthly idea what he's getting himself into.  I'm wondering should I take some happy pills before the event, or after.  The question is not if, it's more like when.  The camera, will it be in the plane with me, as I do love to take pictures, (the vision of me dropping it half way down keeps me thinking maybe not...LOOK OUT BELOW...INCOMING!!!) or on the ground with some trusting soul to take the visual proof for all my non-believing friends, as well as a picture for myself to take the place of the proverbial 'pinch', yes, I really did jump out of a plane?  A friend is telling me not to think about it beforehand, or I'll talk myself out of doing it.  Not a snowballs chance in hell!

After wards, I'll have to really think hard what to put on the list to top that...


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Come on brain, work!!


My name is Leilani.  I have seen the links for this site over and over and thought about setting up a blog, but never really put forth any effort before today. So far, I'm not liking how the functions work, I suppose it'll take a minute or two to figure things out here and become comfortable with the set up here. 

I titled my blog Girl On Guard from a conversation I had the day I found I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  I was talking about my life and some of the trials I had been through, and said I'm tired of being the girl on guard!  Little did I know what was in store for me.  I was staged at Stage IV about two weeks later.  Stage IV, from what I'm told has no cure.  I even had a Doctor who looked me dead in the eyes and told me I was going to die from this.  My reaction was that of a deer stuck in the headlights, dumbfounded.  

I was diagnosed almost one year ago, August 27th, at .. get this, 8:27 in the morning.  By phone, I am a truck driver (well was) and was on the road.  The Doctor called me bright and early with his cheerful news.  I went back to bed.  I was on the east coast at the time, and following the staging, which I might add was so excruciatingly painful, I came back to Las Vegas, my home of the last twenty years or so.  That was approximately the beginning of October.  I enrolled in the Medicaid program for Breast and Cervical Cancer, and immediately started treatment.  I cannot begin to tell you how painful it was, physically and emotionally, to go through chemotherapy alone.  Chemo affected everything from head to toe.  Literally.  The hardest part though, was being alone, going through chemo around the holidays.  My family, whom I had been estranged from, started communicating with me more (why does it always take a crisis to bring families back together?) and shortly after Christmas I relocated to Northern California.  Seemingly the right move at the time.  Seemingly...

Let me back up at this juncture, and start at the beginning of this arduous story...

I found the first lump in May of 08.  I was not working at the time, and qualified for the program that paid for the initial mammogram.  Went for the mammogram, and it did not appear.  Now the lump is about the size of a pea.  Everyone concerned could feel it.  So the Doctor arranged for an Ultrasound test to be done. It still didn't appear.  I was instructed to come back in six months and do a follow up, and was told 'it probably wasn't anything to worry about, but we'll keep an eye on it nevertheless'.

Six months later, I was employed and no longer qualified for the program, along with the fact that I was on the east coast, driving.  I ended up staying over there and eventually set up residency, where I was able to have the follow up mammogram done, about a year later.  By this time, the initial lump was the size of my thumb, and had 'friends', under my arms, and around my collar bones.  So when I got the call at 8:27 in the morning, the doctor wasn't really telling me something I didn't already know.  He was just confirming it.

So I arrived in California wondering if I had just made the worst mistake in my life.  Hopefully not.  I applied for the programs to receive Medicaid, and was immediately approved.  Ok, that part wasn't so painful.  Even got food stamps, but then, I've come to the opinion that California pretty much likes to give any and everyone aid.  I applied for SSI and SSDI.  It took a bit, but I was approved for both, AND to my surprise, they accepted my diagnosis date as my disability date.  So, I am receiving my Disability Social Security (what I paid into the system every working day of my life) and a little bit of SSI.  (Are you with me here... this is going to get a bit confusing here in a bit...)

My goal for being in California was to hopefully repair the relationship between my brother and I, which had been strained for years!  Putting it mildly.  To not go through this alone, and to have my family by my side.  In the six months I was there, what can be 'repaired' had been, and once again was yearning for my 'home' in Vegas.  The plans were made to come home by the beginning of August. 

I arrived back in Vegas somewhere towards the end of July.  Immediately went down to apply for the Breast and Cervical Cancer Medicaid, and was told that now because I am receiving my Social Security, which is also more than what would qualify me in the state of Nevada for SSI, I cannot (yes I said CANNOT) receive any medical.  So....

Here I sit, Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer, in my bones, lymph nodes and liver with no medical coverage. 

My blog is about my journey from this day forward, what it's like to have an incurable disease and not know what tomorrow brings.