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Don’t Lose the Gratitude 🙏

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My morning and evening praise is part of living my life deliberately and holding gratitude in my heart. I’ve come this far by faith and I have no intention of letting that go.

Every time I think about my blessings I well up inside. I can’t help giving my testimony and sharing my joy.

Each of us is a miracle and it’s so important to grasp that concept and move through life bearing that knowledge and living for love and peace.

I’ve adopted a personal mantra to refocus on trying days and situations, “Don’t Let the Bad Behavior of Others Destroy Your Inner Peace.”

Each day let us live our truths in peace and harmony. ✌💗

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Don’t Give Up on Your Faith 💜

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Love can sometimes appear to be an elusive concept. Despite being provided water, food, shelter, and the air with which to breath, without love or humanity, our lives become hollow.

Inspired by a wonderful friend who’s been feeling the grip of loneliness, I heard this Celine Dion song the other day, which I hadn’t heard in a long while and thought sharing this video would be a big hug and a splendid tribute to love, faith, and friendship.

Keep the faith!

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Striving and Surviving – 2 Years Cancer Free! 🙏🏽💕

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Today I celebrate 2 years colon and breast cancer free by reflecting on my 1st chemotherapy treatment and how far I’ve come. My journey has taken me from battling cancer to volunteering as an advocate for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, taking the fight to end cancer to Capitol Hill representing survivors and those who continue the fight.

What a difference a year makes! I’m not only surviving but thriving; aware of the uncertainty of the road ahead but traveling with complete faith in God’s healing love. 

I’m convinced God loves me so much that he placed my health challenge before me to strengthen my faith and raise my consciousness to a higher level.

I continue to search for the precise words to express my gratitude and thankfulness for all the love and support from my family and friends. Today I celebrate you and how you lifted me through prayer and faith, helping me in Defying Gravity.

 

My heart is so full. I love you all!

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I originally created this video on my 11th out of 12 chemo treatments as an expression of my feelings and experiences with fighting cancer. The song “Defying Gravity” from the Broadway play “Wicked” perfectly describes what I’ve taken away from my cancer journey. 

 

Shedding fears, my unwavering faith and belief that God is always with me and that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to is such a freeing and powerful realization I’ve been blessed to receive. 

 

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My message and desire for everyone – embrace your faith and shed your fear. We only get one life, let’s enjoy it!

 

 

 

Souls Recognize Like Souls

 

Connecting with a like-minded soul is a reaffirming experience. An immediate recognition of similar heartstrings and shared views of life. My husband and I relocated numerous times during his career so I was always the new kid on the block and the fact is it takes time to bond and to establish new friendships.

But, it wasn’t until we moved to Chicago and I ventured into the theater world did I realize how to make those connections while also feeding my creative soul and spirit.

 

 

When I walked into the audition space, there was an air of familiarity and excitement. As we talked and laughed about goofy things I thought I was the only one who got, a big happy grin appeared on my face. “I think I’ve found my home!”; others who appreciated a sense of expression and openness I was totally tuned into.  

 

 

My cancer journey has been such a similar revelation on so many levels. It’s been an awakening, a greater appreciation of my blessings, and a new opportunity to connected with beautiful, like-minded souls. I’ve often remarked how God sent me to Charlotte to connect me with all the incredible angels I needed to see me through and help me grow as I kept my faith and determination to live one moment at a time. 

 

 

From day one, the joking, laughing, and enjoying music in chemotherapy to my positive and best in their fields physicians who cared for me, the karma and the sense of kinship was very real. And once again, I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. 

And beautifully, it’s happened once again; connecting with new like-spirits. My new soulmates at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and I share the same passion, drive, and commitment to ending the horror of cancer while also finding time to share a laugh and embrace a positive attitude and life of living one moment at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through the Eyes of Gratitude💕

 

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What a fabulous way to start my day! Upon checking my Facebook page this morning I was struck by this saved memory, “What a Difference a Year Makes” thank you post to friends and family for all their love and support on the one year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis in 2015.  

Emotions hit me and I started to cry as the never ending blessings of God washed over me. 

 

 

August 29, 2016: 

“What a difference a year makes! All your love, support, and prayers continue to mean so much. Every day I give praise for having made it to the other side of my cancer journey by the grace and favor of God.  Love you all.” 💞💞

August 29, 2015:

“I am so blessed to have such an incredible circle of love and support. My life’s journey has taken another path and although I don’t know what’s on the other side, my faith and determination will see me through. I cherish and love you all.”

And, here I am today, giving more testimony on God’s amazing love and how he has continued to favor me with unexpected joys and walks with me every step of the way. 

 

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August 29, 2017:

Experiencing cancer has been a tremendous blessing in my life. As I celebrate 2 years cancer free, I also celebrate being named an Advocate for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. God has blessed me to be able to use my voice to speak for those without and fight for cancer research funding and eventually an end to a most heinous disease that has taken so much from so many.

A dear friend reached out to ask that today be deemed “Gratitude Tuesday” and I’m totally on board that train! The more we share and live a life of gratitude, the more blessed our lives become.

 

 

I believe we have to wake up each morning and create the day we want it to be. Learn to believe that we have the power to take the miracles of God and breathe them into life. Our attitude of gratitude and faith afford us the opportunity to share our life as a miracle and be a living testimony to the grace and favor of the Lord.

 

 

Cherish the Blessings of Today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACS CAN 2017 Lights of Hope✨✨✨

2017 Lights of Hope Ceremony

I am so honored to have been named an Ambassador for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and representing Charlotte, North Carolina this September in Washington, D.C. for the Lobby Days Summit and Lights of Hope Ceremony. As an Ambassador I will be shining a light on the need for access to quality health care for all and Congress’ responsibility to do everything they can and more in the fight against cancer.

On September 12th, more than 24,000 Lights of HOPE luminaries will line the steps in front of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. For some, this ceremony is a celebration of survivorship. But, for far too many, it’s a remembrance of someone who was lost to this dreaded disease.

Each Light of HOPE luminary costs just $10 and will be personalized with the name of the person you’re honoring and placed in front of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool as part of this beautifully moving ceremony.

Purchase your luminary here:

http://action.acscan.org/site/TR/Events/GeneralACSCAN?px=3999158&pg=personal&fr_id=1150

When diagnosed with both colon and breast cancer in 2015, my world was turned upside down as I fought to survive the beast that cancer can be. I am a fighter and a survivor and knew that if I made it through I would volunteer and dedicate my efforts towards finding a cure for cancer and being a voice for fellow cancer patients.

 

I give testimony to the fact that you never know when cancer may strike. Just recently, my heart was broken when I lost my dear, sweet Nurse Navigator, Pat McKinney, whose love and spirit helped ease the anxiety my husband and I felt when I was first diagnosed. She set appointments, answered our questions and eased my journey with her calm and gentle voice. Not only did I lose this beautiful angel, but I lost her to cancer.

 

When we first met she was on her way to the Lobby Days Summit and Lights of Hope Ceremony in Washington, D.C. She imparted to me her belief that I would be there one day fighting for a cure with all the passion in my heart. I will be lighting a special candle for my dear angel and friend. Her spirit will be there along with my mom whom I know watches over me.

Pat McKinney, Me

The Lights of Hope event is a beautifully moving ceremony with the glow of lights from thousands of luminarias lining the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in dedication to the survivors and in remembrance of those we’ve lost to the nightmare of cancer.  

Please join me in this fight against cancer while celebrating the lives of survivors, friends, and loved ones.

Click this link to donate to the American Cancer Society and purchase your luminary for this very special and moving event.

 

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Acts of Kindness ✌💞

 

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I was reading this wonderful, “Acts of Kindness” article on Upworthy, a website for viral content started in March 2012 by Eli Pariser, the former executive director of MoveOn, and Peter Koechley, the former managing editor of The Onion and thought what a great philosophy of life and a wonderful opportunity to give back.

 

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Here are 5 acts of kindness you can do to spread the love and make the world a kinder place:

 

1. Spend a couple hours volunteering at a local nonprofit organization. (connect at this link)

2. Donate goods to a local shelter.

3. Call a friend and tell them how much they mean to you.

4. Send kind words to someone getting a lot of hate on social media.

5. Send groceries to a friend who is busy and/or going through a difficult time. (links to sites for local online grocery shopping)

 

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We all have the power to change a life, to change the world with a simple act of kindness. Let’s uplift the world and ourselves by reaching out, lending a hand or sharing a smile.

 

The Beatles – “I Am The Walrus”