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.
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 anniversaryof 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.
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 livea 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.
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 HOPEluminaries 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.
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.
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.
Here are 5 acts of kindness you can do to spread the love and make the world a kinder place:
I’d like to believe that I’ve always been willing to go for it. Running towards the possibilities and not letting fear of the unknown be part of my thought process. My mom always instilled in me that I could do anything so being a student at the University of Michigan was another step forward and a fantastic opportunity for me to express myself. I took my dream of being a writer and turned it into a reality, majoring in Radio, TV, and Film and subsequently landing an incredible job as Creative Director for a local Rock/Country radio station.
Getting married! Come on now, that’s a leap of faith. 😍
Deciding to have a child and owning the birthing experience on my terms. Not in a hospital (too sterile and rigid for me) but, not at home with a midwife. I believed there was another option so started researching for something I didn’t even know existed. A “Birthing Center”, one of the first in the state of Michigan in the late 1970’s.
Starting an acting career at 40 yrs of age and performing in one of my favorite stage productions, West Side Story!
I sang, danced, was a Jet girlfriend and executed (for the first time ever) the most amazing gymnastic flips off my partner’s arm, his back and had the time of my life! Of course, my daughter had to bring my 40th birthday cake to the theater complete with 40 flaming candles. Loved it!
Happy Birthday To Me!
Today, fighting and surviving 2 cancers at once, it’s more important than ever to live up to a credo of living fearlessly! I do believe that attitude dictates the quality of your life and tomorrow is not promised so what the heck – trust yourself and go for it!
Note to self – never stop asking this ultimate and most important question:
While watching one of my favorite tv shows, “The Voice”, I was struck by the lyrics of a song I haven’t heard in years, Joan Osborne’s incredible 1995 hit “What If God Was One of Us?” I instinctively grabbed my laptop and began writing down the bleak thoughts that had started rushing through my head.
With all the conflict, and negative energy coursing through the world these days, the question of the song lyric – “What if God Was One of Us?” made me pause and ponder; in what spirit are we living our lives?
“What if God was one of us, just a slob like one of us, just a stranger on the bus trying to make his way home?”
How we interact with or judge others has a ripple effect. Love and compassion shouldn’t be dirty words and we should be offended by and call out those who judge the world and view people through a crooked lens. As we go about our daily lives let’s be mindful and strive to live a life of hope, mercy, and kindness.
What we say and do matters. You never know who’s listening and watching.
“My religion is simple. My religion is peace, love, compassion, and equality.”
The purpose and mission of this blog are to uplift my audience and give testimony to my belief in the power of faith and positive energy in one’s life.
As a survivor of both colon and breast cancer, I’ve been both humbled and blessed with God’s grace and favor.
My heart has been so heavy with grief, anger, and outrage with the attempt by the Republican Party to take it upon themselves and behind closed doors mind you, to craft an incredibly inhumane piece of legislation with the express purpose of stripping away health care from 22 million of its fellow citizens in order to give billions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthiest in this country, because God knows they need it.
Life is a precious and fleeting gift we are given and it’s up to us to decide what we want to do with that gift by asking ourselves – “Who do we want to be, and what kind of world do we want to live in?”
The great equalizer of us all is the fact that one day we are going to die. I’d like to ask Republicans when you look back on your life, what kind of legacy will you have left behind? Did you try to help those less fortunate than you, or did you deliberately plunder and disregard the lives of the least of us.
What kind of person are you and what kind of world will you leave behind?
Let us all take this moment to pray for compassion and the future of our humanity.