The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Mahatma Gandhi ”

Gandhi

I have been working on a children's book called The Secret Adventures of Scruffy MacMufiin and a CD called Dog Vacation for the past year. Both projects are about the senior shelter dogs and cats that my husband and I have adopted or fostered over the past decade. What a fun and surprisingly arduous project! Big, BigThanks to Tim Ouimette and Jon Cobert who co produced the CD and Kathleen Kent for giving me suggestions and courage to write the book!
Dog is Love           Senior shelter pets Rule!

Diagnosis Cancer in the time of Covid 19

Surgery and post op recovery: “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ― Rumi. 

I was too overwhelmed to write.

It all went well but OMG, it is heavy. It hurts.

The first two days all I did, all I Could do, was pray and let people care for me in ways I've never done before.

Lets just say All self sufficiency and privacy went out the window. My nurses were so kind. Their names are:

Maryl, Shawn, Alisa, Austin and Valerie. THANK YOU.

I went home after 4 days. It was tough. I had to go the the ER the second night because I had developed blood clots in my arm where the IV was inserted.

It's all getting better, day by day.

  But, wow. Surgery goes first on my Never again please, to do list.

The Waves Of Love The Winds Of Change 

The Waves Of Love

The outpouring of love and help since my diagnosis has been very uplifting and beautiful.

Old friends, new friends, family and strangers. I can never thank you all enough.

I can and will pay it forward.

Life is a 'we" program.

Just when I was questioning whether I had made any meaningful bonds during my life, getting cancer showed me I was loved.

Truly amazing. So helpful for healing.

I thought what I went through last year, helping my special needs dog, Loki, was the most powerful experience of human kindness I had ever known.

But, now, my experience with cancer and the people who have helped me is on par with that and even more intense because it is saving my life.

And, making re evaluate EVERYTHING.

The Winds Of Change

My date with cancer was on the books for a long time.

My doctor says it is the result of sun damage from childhood.

But humans are complex beings. We are physical, mental/emotional and spiritual.

I think there is more to my developing this dis-ease.

I think I had a big hand in creating an environment that allowed the cancer to flourish.

Poor reaction to Stress

Allowing toxic relationships to stay in my life

Bad Diet

Not enough exercise

Fighting to Live

I am using traditional oncology doctors and immunothereapy

PLUS

Hypnotherapy with Althea at Universal Intelligence

https://www.facebook.com/althealock/

A plant based diet following Chris Wark at

https://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/

and Caren Hartglass at

https://responsibleeatingandliving.com/

I was a vegetarian for many, many years. Recently I changed to a meat filled Keto diet that I loved and lost a lot of weight on.

But I can't help but wonder if it wasn't the final brick that crushed my failing immune system, allowing the cancer to proliferate.

SGI Buddhist  Chant Nam Myho Renge Kyo

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-Lkry-SF01&hsimp=yhs-SF01&hspart=Lkry&p=nam+myho+renge+kyo#id=1&vid=97520e0b3460a14277f1e144b3900af5&action=click

Not On My Watch

I was surprised how easy it was to get overwhelmed by the stress of life and to collapse into bad health.

BUT,

I will never let this happen again. Any of it.

Not the bad health habits as a way to numb out stress or toxic relationships.

My health, physical, emotional and spiritual, is my responsibility.

And there is plenty I can do to make it better.

I am not a victim.

Detach with love or with a hatchet.

Just let go of bad vibe situations and people. Quickly.

I don't have to fix it, figure it out or rise above.

I only have to save myself.

See The Buddha nature in everyone. Forgive everyone, everything.

 

This is my mentor and beloved friend Nona Hendryx's song

"The Winds Of Change".

I was lucky enough to sing on the first recording.

II think it is one of the BEST SONGS Ever written.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-Lkry-SF01&hsimp=yhs-SF01&hspart=Lkry&p=NONA+HENDRYX+Winds+Of+Change#id=3&vid=d5c9913695980e95fe3a0c43b895b823&action=view

 

 

 

.

 

 

Ready Set Go! 

Dr. Erica Friedman will be doing surgery tomorrow morning on my left leg to get rid of the melanoma that has unfortunately spread to my lymph.

I'll be glad when this poison is out of my body.

Thanks to Everyone who has showered me with love and support.

I am ready for battle!

Check out our version of "Lean On Me" and I Won't Back Down"

www.soundqs.com

Girl Crush Girl Power! 

Gril Crush : When one is blown away by how AWESOME a gal is! Nothing romantic.

I have two Girl Crushes!

1 My new Oncologist Dr. Anna Pavlick She found my primary melanoma! She is sooo smart, very funny and LOVES dogs! She is going to save my life!

She is a total ROCK STAR!

2 My Oncology Surgeon, Dr Erica Friedman She is very, very smart, very comforting and is gonna get this cancer out of my body. She is gonna save my life.

She is a total ROCK STAR!

Wow am I lucky to have found them. They are like friends and sisters on steroids.  I feel so grateful to them both and to my friend Dr. Paul Finger who introduced me to Dr. Pavlick.

Driving back home after I first met Dr. Pavlick, I felt hope for the first time since this nightmare started. My amazing hypno therapist, Althea, told me to look for signs. (She could also be a girl crush)  I saw two graffiti signs in the most difficult of places, on a bridge, on the top of a building, that said ANNA!

(I actually experience this weird kind of seeing their name thing EVERY TIME I consider adopting a dog!) Honestly. But that is another post.

The universe is guiding me and letting me know I'm in the right place.

My surgery is set for this coming Thursday May 7th. My favorite day.

 

 

Poison Into Medicine Hope 

SGI President Ikeda states: Buddhism teaches the principle of changing poison into medicine. Therefore, no matter what difficulties we may encounter, we can take them on with a positive attitude. All we have to do is keep pressing forward with deep confidence in the Daishonin’s words, “When great evil occurs, great good follows” https://www.sgi-usa.org/study-resources/core-concepts/changing-poison-into-medicine/

Hope

I met with Dr. Anna Plavick of NYU today and it was terrific.

She is terrific.

I feel Hope for the first time is 6 long weeks.

exhausted. must sleep.

 

Behind Door Number 2..... 

Drum roll    

Nothing

I was hoping the PET scan would reveal where the primary tumor is residing. But it did not.

Wow. I was warned about this subset of cancer patients that struggle to find their primary cancer.

This seems so unfair and rotten. It should not be allowed. That and kids getting cancer. And dogs and cats.

I do have another malignant lymph that needs treatment or surgery.

I have been told it is stage 3.

I'm not looking on the internet.

I'm going for an MRI of my brain and second opinion at NYU.

Praying. Eating Vegan. Playing ball with my dog Loki.

Watching Will Farrel movies with Tim.

That's all I got.

Any suggestions?

I'm gonna learn from this and beat it.

It's my 15th sober anniversary.

It's not the usual gift but I'm sure I'll benefit from it.

Thanks Cancer.

Now hit the bricks!

"The Waiting Is The Hardest Part" 

Tom Petty was right, the waiting IS the hardest part.  Being told you have cancer, melanoma it turns out, isn't a day at the beach but waiting to get an appointment for the test you need to find the primary tumor is worse. Waiting to see the Dr is worse.  Waiting about six weeks to start treatment is worse. I'm hoping my melanoma is waiting to metastasize as politely as I am being asked to wait to get important, life saving tests.

I can't believe this is how people with a serious illness are treated. Covid is also slowing everything down.

So frustrating.

If you don't think we need to get rid of privatized medicine and the greedy souless insurance companies that accompany it, I invite you to sit in my seat.

The waiting is the hardest part.

But I will not let it take my whole day.

I got music to write and songs to sing.

The serenity prayer is on repeat in my head.

I love Tom Petty.

Enjoy!

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-Lkry-SF01&hsimp=yhs-SF01&hspart=Lkry&p=The+Waiting+Is+the+hardest+part#id=2&vid=2ebec0a80112fc6fd2614849864925af&action=click

"Do I Have Your Attention?" 

In my dream, I am running along the shore and then into a small seaside town, like the one in "Doc Martin".

Someone is trying to kill me. I am running and hiding. Scared.

I wake up with a racing heart and the icky feeling that is left from dreams like it.

In my dream, I am on the lower west side of Manhattan. I have given away my favorite dog to someone. I am desperately looking for the person and my beloved dog named Monday/Zippy Zuzu. I am filled with anxiety and self loathing at the realization that I have done something so horrifically self destructive.

I wake up with a racing heart and the icky feeling that is left from dreams like it.

"DO I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION?" the loud voice in my head asks again. I'm assuming its the Universe. But, you never know.

"Yes." I answer. I feel like I've stepped into a bear trap that I cannot escape. It tethers me to the upcoming series of events from which I want to run.

So far, much to my disappointment, none of the Dr.s have suggested "Maybe if we ignore it, it will go away."

Gulp.

Last Monday, a week ago, (which I gotta say feels like years ago) I ate a delicious turkey and cheese sandwich with potato chips, Baked Zitti, salad and chocolate ice cream.

I went Vegan by Friday. I could say I'm cool with this but I don't want to lie. A world without cheese. It's gonna take some getting used to. ;)

I had a wonderful consult with Caryn Hartglass. I highly recommend her website and services to EVERYONE. Get off the animal products!

https://responsibleeatingandliving.com/

I never imagined I would be pleading to get a colonoscopy or biopsy!

I tried to set up a colonoscopy and because of the virus, May 1st is the first date I can get!

He explained he usually does colonoscopies three times a week but now he is doing them ONCE every TWO weeks!

It will also depend on what the Oncologist has to say. It might get moved up.

I tired to set up a uterine and cervical biopsy but was told to wait for the oncologist so the insurance company doesn't say no.

Insurance Company. I'm not there yet. I can't go there quite yet.

It's hard not to want and try to grab the wheel.

Here's where One Day At A Time and Let Go and Let God come in very handy.

Chanting an hour a day, too.

www.sgi.com

This weeks schedule:

See Oncologist

Get More tests

and hopefully a specific diagnosis and treatment plan.

My heart goes out everyone during this crazy time of Covid 19.

But, especially to those who are ill and trying to navigate through to get treatment.

It's an extra layer of stress.

Please share your experience, strength, hope with me here.

You are not alone and neither am I. ;)

Nam Myho Renge Kyo

The Definition of Anxiety - waiting for an appointment with an onologist. 

My New definition of anxiety, long form: Waiting for a call from your oncologist, waiting for an appointment with your oncologist, trying to set up tests to find the primary source of cancer during Covid 19 when EVERYONE is not at their office.

OMG!  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH..........

I reach my Shirley Maclaine "Give my daughter the medicine" frenzy at least once a day!

OK, I got all that out of my system.

On the lighter side,

I am so lucky to have certain AMAZING friends that are in the Cancer field that are helping guide me through this frightening time.

Thank you Dr. Marc Demers!

Thank you Andrea Kittay!

One dietary resource I offer to everyone is

https://responsibleeatingandliving.com/

I had a very detailed and helpful consult with Caryn.

Thank You Caryn.

Hoping to hear from other people going through this now or from cancer survivors.

We will get through this together.

Love to Everyone.

"Unfortunately, you have Cancer." 

I started tuning out at unfortunately because I knew what was coming. It couldn't be true. I feel too good.

I dutifully repeated the information to let my doctor know I had heard and understood what he had just said to me, to us,

"a secondary metastatic tumor.

The biopsy did not reveal the source of the primary tumor.

More tests would be necessary to find the primary source of cancer."

 but I was saying the words from somewhere outside of my body. Somewhere removed, like a good student.

I had the feeling I see on my dogs face when we are at the vet.

Get met out of here. I gotta run away. Now!

I apologized to my husband. I tried to comfort him. To reassure him.

Denial is an amazing and weird thing.

I was so sure it was nothing.

Phone calls and texts to people close to me.

Vowing to fight it. Vowing to beat it.

BUT truthfully I'm scared and I dread this.

I don't want this to be happening.

Be an advocate for World Peace. Donate to www.seedsofpeace.org Download my song World Peace For Christmas as my thank you!

NY Musicians For Peace

I got so sick of all the recent tragedies of racism and violence, sick of feeling powerless, sick of standing in my living room yelling at the tv, that I asked some of my friends to raise their voices with me for brotherhood and peace. We share this powerful message with you, written by John Lennon, in the hopes that you will raise your voice with us and share it with everyone who wants a world that is color blind and nonviolent.
Thank you:

 Tim Ouimette, Gary Schreiner, Jon Cobert, Sammy Merendino, Alex Alexander, Will Lee, Ira Siegel, Leon Pendarvis, Lisa Ratner, Ed Xiques, Rick Kriska, Ken Jioffre, Loiuse Baranger, Art Triggs, JC Santalis, Keith Anthony Fluitt, Darryl Tookes, Holly McCracken, Ada Dyer, Sandy Farina, Eugene Ruffolo, Russ Velasquez, Sheryl Marshall, Emily Bindiger, Janie Barnett, Cindy Thrall, Erik Boyd and all the rest who were there in spirit. I am honored and moved by your talent and heart. 

Thank you for singing out with me.                                               Nam Myho Renge Kyo
                        "You May Say I'm A Dreamer. But, I'm Not The Only One." John Lennon