Calm Down ~ There’s A Plan

photo_2019-02-18_20-27-46I am so grateful for friends, especially for friends who are not letting me go through this journey alone!  One such friend accompanied me today to see the doctor for MRI results and to discuss treatment options.  She has been there, this journey that many are finding themselves on these days.  The stench along the path is horrid; it reeks of anger, fear, sadness, guilt, loneliness.  Indeed, cancer can be a lonely road. Friends and loved ones can be supportive but they often do not fully understand how devastating it is to go through. It makes me very sad that some cannot cope emotionally and have distanced themselves altogether. The emotional support is the most crucial to a complete recovery.

For those of you following my journey, the doctor visit today confirmed what the other tests have shown – invasive lobular carcinoma. Being that this was a more in-depth test, it did show that there were more areas than just the one suspicious mass that had been identified.  I went in to the meeting with my friend in tow, expecting to have to defend the method of treatment I chose.  The angels, however, had already paved the way for a smooth discussion with the doctor and with the additional information from the testing, we were in accord as to the treatment plan.  Thank you angels and thank you Tiffany – my rock, my beautiful soul sister!

I have had many miracles show up in my life and there have been several recent ones that are making this journey a little easier.  I am learning to accept help when it is offered.  I was recently led by a friend to a wonderful resource that will help take the burden off financially going forward.  My stress level dropped tremendously with that!  I have another friend who started a crowdfunding campaign to help cover the expenses already incurred and to help meet expenses while I recuperate from the upcoming surgery (thank you Audi)!  Many have offered to be with me at the hospital when the time comes.  Maybe I should prepare the nurses ahead of time?

As I look at my support system, I am humbled and grateful for such beautiful people in my life.  I know how fortunate I am to have you all.  I know there are many going through this same journey who are alone.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a way to spread support so that no cancer patient had to walk this road alone?  Maybe that is where this journey is headed for me.  I will definitely be talking to the angels about it!

 

If you would like to help support my journey financially, any and all help is appreciated.  Here are two ways to donate:

www.paypal.me/angelspeakers

https://www.gofundme.com/pu8nhy-angels-for-teri-miller/donate

 

Entering the Fire

photo_2019-02-13_21-51-37“Scars are like tattoos but with better stories.”  Unknown

Many of you have been holding my hand over the last couple of weeks, asking how you can help and keeping me in your prayers.  Some are not aware of what is going on with my health and until this week I did not have the answers to give a definitive answer, but now I do.  I have told you that this journey is one that I want to be very open about and I will continue to do so.

If you are human and went through the birth process, chances are you have a belly button.  This is your first scar on your human body.  As we live out our lives, we usually collect many more, some small and some not so small.  Most of mine are in the second category.  I recently went to a new doctor – new for me, that is.  I am familiar with the routine of giving medical history, etc. and in the past have even gone prepared when I know I have to give a history.  We get to the part where I am asked “have you ever had surgery?” and I realized I should have brought my list but I didn’t so I just laughed which always perplexes medical personnel (little do they know I am the bionic woman, LOL).   I could tell you about all the scars and the stories behind them but that might take a book instead of a blog.  Let’s just say I have had more than my fair share for one lifetime.

One day close to a month ago I felt some tenderness in my left breast. I have scars there from a biopsy and also a lumpectomy from approximately six years ago.  However, that was not the area of tenderness.  As I palpated the area to see why it hurt, I discovered a lump.  As I am not a novice at this, I knew it had to be checked out.  I kept telling myself that it was nothing, probably a cyst or fibroid, and that I would have a mammogram and everything would be okay.  In the back of my mind there was a thought that kept popping up that it was more than that.  I shushed the thought and went on to find a doctor to go to.  In the office, the doctor confirmed that it did feel abnormal, thus tests were ordered, blood taken, and a referral to a breast surgeon was made.  Again, the thought kept creeping in telling me this was not going to be a pleasant journey and with each mammogram, ultrasound, and eventually biopsies, I started listening to the voice yet still held out hope.  Friends were amazingly supportive, holding my hand through the waiting process.  The waiting and not knowing is without a doubt the most agonizing of the whole experience.  A friend told me today “knowledge is power” because now I know what I’m dealing with, so to be without that knowledge is to feel powerless, out of control, and that is exactly what it felt like.

As I sat in the exam room, I envisioned the doctor coming in and saying that everything was okay, no cause for alarm and to get on with my life; so when the words came out of his mouth that it was indeed cancer, you could have knocked me over with a feather.  I was already an emotional wreck having lost my little Tazzie just the day prior.  This could not be happening! I had to really focus to hear the rest of what he was saying.  He gave me the good news that it is early stage and it is slow growing.  As far as we know at this point, it is all contained in the mass and has not spread anywhere else.  I do have to go through one more test just to be sure that nothing was missed with all the other tests and I will do that tomorrow. After that, I have some tough decisions to make about how to proceed from here.  Will it be another lumpectomy followed by radiation treatment or a mastectomy? I’ll be discussing my choices with him next week and surgery will happen in the near future.  I ask that you continue to lift me up, especially now.  I know I will be okay.  I know I am supported and loved by the angelic realm as well as all you earth angels. That helps make this trial by fire a little easier to tolerate. I know without a doubt that there is something wonderful waiting for me at the end of this experience.  I know I will not come out the same as I am going in and when it is done, I will have yet another tattoo story to tell.  Thank you for being in my life.  I love you.

Grief Is Love

both11“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go” ~ Jamie Anderson

There are many skeptics who discount the feelings of non-human animals.  I have been doing research for a book I am writing about animals and in doing so I came across an article in the Smithsonian where a story is relayed about an orca, Tahlequah, who carried her dead calf through icy water for 17 days before dropping it.  The story ended with these words: “The question is not “Do animals grieve?” but “How do animals grieve?”

As you may be aware, my almost 20-year-old cat, Tazzie, passed away Monday morning.  This has left such a huge hole in my heart with her physical absence, although I know her spirit is still right beside me.  What I am observing now first-hand is the grief that my other cat, Gizmo, is exhibiting.  He will be 19 in a couple of months and he has only known a world where Taz was there every day of his life.  He has always been such a rambunctious cat, very vocal and extremely active.  He is now very obviously depressed, crying, and has thrown up twice today.  He has eaten very little, which is unusual for him. He has searched the entire apartment looking for her, especially her hiding places where she would go for peace and quiet. He looks out the windows to see if she is outside. He will not leave my side. We are grieving her together, comforting each other. I know it is confusing for him and I am doing my best to give him as much attention as possible while dealing with my own grief and other health issues. Gizmo is a very intuitive cat and I know he understands that I am not in a good place emotionally right now.  I’m facing some huge decisions about my health and he keeps snuggling beside me, telling me it will be okay.  I’m trusting you to know that buddy.  We will get through this together but it may take awhile for us both.

My friend Karen is my co-author for our book, A Time For Animals Love Revolution.  She has helped me over the last couple of days with words of comfort including the phrase “grief is love.”  There are no rules to grief just as there are no rules to love.  It just is and it is different for each one of us.  There is no pattern to follow, no set timeframe to work through.  I’m learning to be gentle with myself and allowing the tears to flow with no judgement.  I’m learning that it is okay to let others see me cry. I’m learning that my grief is changing me every day, making me stronger as I focus on why I am grieving.  It is because I loved so deeply and I would not trade that for anything. I loved my little girl with my whole heart and received even more love back from her. She gave me the most precious gift I could ever receive by allowing me to spend her dying moments with her to feel her last heartbeat and hear her last breath. She died hearing the words “I love you” coming from me, her constant companion for her whole lifetime.

So as scientists keep trying to figure out if and how animals grieve, I’m living with a grieving one and he is teaching me so much about how very deeply he feels the loss of his precious sister. If you believe in prayer and a higher power, we could use all of those we can get right now.

 

Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/do-animals-experience-grief-180970124/#o0VGdmhGMFd1QWX2.99

In Memory of My Beloved Taz

photo_2019-02-11_10-36-42My friend Katie stopped by one day almost 20 years ago for a visit.  Our visits were quite long as she is totally deaf and we communicated mostly with her perfect ability to lipread and my limited ability to use sign language.  She taught me the sign for cat and insisted that I needed one in my life.  I told her I was okay with it but would need to check with Ken who was my husband at the time.  It didn’t take much convincing and we were off to be introduced to a litter of kittens.  One little solid black kitten in particular caught my attention and kept coming up to me, rubbing up against my legs.  There were so many to choose from, all adorable and very friendly.  As I held the tiny kitten and felt her soft purr, that was it for me.  I knew she was mine just as I was hers.  It was more of a reunion for us.  We took her home and started the process of giving her a name.  She was so very tiny and one of the most playful kittens I have seen, very happy to have our full attention.  One thing she loved to do was chase her tail.  She could go so fast as she chased the elusive tail that she looked like a black tornado – or a Tasmanian devil.  We called her Taz and it seemed to be just perfect as she did her whirling and tail-chasing daily.  I was working from home and had an office where I spent most of my days.  She wanted to be with me, so I got a shoe box and put it on my desk, which she fit in perfectly.  This was how we spent many many days, Taz and I.  She made me laugh with her antics and I gave her loads of love strokes.

As the years went on our family grew with the addition of Gizmo, a Main Coon cat, Patsy Kline who was a stray, and our darling token canine Ali.  We moved several times much to their dismay – cats and cars just do not mix.  In Arizona, both Patsy and Ali decided it was time to move on, both in the same year.  That year was devastating for me.  And then there were two – Taz and Gizmo.  They have been together for close to 19 years, insanely different in personalities but always there for the other if they think something is wrong.

Sometime over the weekend I suspect that Tazzie suffered a stroke.  She has never had a problem vocalizing that she is hungry.  For such a tiny cat she can eat three times what Gizmo eats and he is huge.  This morning, however, she didn’t get up out of her bed and was not interested in eating.  I let her rest but kept an eye on her.  Eventually, she walked to the bathroom but was dragging one leg behind her.  When she didn’t come out for awhile, I checked on her and found her laying in the litter box. I have known for awhile that she has been declining in health but this was the sign I had asked her to give me that it was time to let her go.  I picked her up and held her close, sitting with her and assuring her that it was okay to leave.  I sent mental images to her of when she was young and helped her to see how much she means to me.  I held her close to my heart so she could feel my heartbeat.  I asked the angels to help her as she makes her transition from her physical body to go join her sisters, Ali and Patsy, and told her that I know I will see her again.  This little princess, who reminds me of an Egyptian royal cat, is getting ready to leave me and I am a total wreck over it.  She is my child, my joy, my constant companion.  How do I even express what she means to me?  It’s impossible.  There will be a hole in my heart and an emptiness in my life without her. I connected with my ex-husband and let him say goodbye to her.  She was his little girl also.  She would greet him at the door and always showed such beautiful affection to him. We have both been blessed by this little angel.

I wrote that yesterday.  This morning at 9:55 Taz passed peacefully as I held her in my arms.  Fly high little angel.

Calming the Waves Of the Unknown

photo_2019-02-07_13-32-21 waves

“Life comes at us in waves. We can’t predict or control those waves, but we can learn to surf”  Dan Millman

I owe the title of this blog to someone very dear to my heart, someone I consider a daughter in this lifetime although we are not related by blood but by spirit; and someone who has traveled this journey and knows the road all too well.  As I shared with Shawntay this morning in a chat that the waiting and not knowing what I am dealing with exactly is the hardest part of the journey, she sent me some soothing music to “calm the waves of the unknown.”  This is what I mean when I say that those who have been through the fire know the flames well enough to share the experience and what is necessary to face it mentally.  My friend Tiffany has traveled this road as well and holds my hand, checks on me every day, and finds some way to lift me up with words and hugs and lots of laughter.  There are so many others who message and call and each one is so appreciated.  As I go through this trial of fire, I know I am not alone.  I have precious angels holding me and wiping tears, guiding me to resources which many of you have shared as well.  I have no doubt that I will come through this fire with only a singe and will rise up from it like the beautiful phoenix that I am.  Ah, how many times in this one lifetime have I done this dance?  Staring death in the face since an early age, triumphing every time that the odds looked impossible.  I once joked that I was leaving this world one body part at a time.  I have to find humor in the experiences or else it is just a horrible experience instead of something I can overcome and be grateful for.

Speaking of humor – and hopefully this does not offend anyone, although it is my journey so I choose to do so anyway – I will share my most recent experience with you and trust you will laugh along with me. I underwent a biopsy of the lumps in both breasts a couple of days ago. The surgical cleanse they used was blue and turned my breasts blue. I was told not to shower for a day and when I removed the bandages to do so there were red streaks as my skin is very sensitive to adhesive and I had a reaction to the tape they used. There are Steri-Strips covering the wound sites and those are white. Therefore, I now have red white and blue boobs – very patriotic don’t you think?  I feel that I should salute them!!  One friend called them Star Spangled Boobs!  Ah, thank you to those who know me and know my humor!

During the biopsy I became disheartened when the doctor discovered that they were not cysts, as I was holding on to the hope that this would be the case.  Instead of losing it, which I came close to doing, I focused instead on my tools.  I laid there doing the Heart-Brain Coherence that I learned from Gregg Braden and love to teach to others.  I can say with ultimate confidence now that it is the best practical and most expedient tool any of us can have to use when facing difficult situations.  I even have a support group of ladies that I meet with weekly to do the Heart-Brain breathing and lift each other up (thank you WonderWomen).

So, as I play the waiting game and deal with the world of the unknown, I will continue to hold onto each positive message.  I will continue to do my affirmations that I am in perfect health and worthy of that.  I will continue to do EFT tapping to calm the nerves and change the cells inside my body, and thank you John for nudging me to do so and checking on me daily.  I will fight, trusting that I am supported and protected by the beautiful angels, including those on earth.  I love you.

 

 

 

Gonna Be Like David

funkyskyYou must tell yourself no matter how hard it is or how hard it gets, I am going to make it.  Les Brown

I awoke and looked around me.  The dream seemed so real that I actually felt the presence of others in the room.  I looked for them through groggy vision but there was no one there; only me and my two cats wondering why I seemed in such a frenzy.  I had to find the clock and fast because I felt panic rushing in, like I was supposed to be somewhere.  But wait – I was supposed to be somewhere and soon!  Obviously I slept through the alarm and was so caught up in the dream that I didn’t realize it was going off.  I still had time to make it to my appointment if traffic was not bad, which it wasn’t and so I did.

This was not an appointment I was looking forward to and I really did not want to go through this.  I was there to discuss the thing I did not want to discuss, that I had been trying to avoid thinking about, and to give a sample for testing to see what my cells were saying.  Yes, our cells speak.  They tell a story.  I had to donate some of mine for the test but that’s okay, they will not be missed.  Scientists estimate that the adult human has something like 37 million cells!  So the story that my donated cells will tell is whether or not I have inherited a specific gene mutation.  I spent an hour in consultation to learn about what could potentially show up in the test results.  Science has always amazed me and it will be interesting to see what story is told by the cells I sent on their way to be analyzed, wishing them Godspeed and to behave themselves in class!

As I sat there going over family history, my immediate thought was that this does not look so good for the home team.  Then I remembered the story of how David slayed the giant Goliath with just a single stone in a slingshot.  I prayed that with all the prayers and positive energy healing received from wonderful friends that I would become like David and overcome this monster.

On the way home I gave in to a human moment of weakness.  All of a sudden it became so overwhelming to deal with all of this. I pulled into a parking lot and just let the tears roll.  I allowed myself that moment of release.  The tears were my anger melting and streaming down my face. I had held onto it ever since I found the lump in my breast. I was angry and scared, but mostly angry.  Now it was time to let it go.  It served its purpose.  It helped me to focus on the steps needed to move forward to find a solution. There is nothing I want more than for this to be a no-thing. I believe I can be a David, a conqueror, and I will hold onto that thought as I go forward tomorrow to begin the fight.

What Is Life About?

Thank you Emma for these wonderful words today. It reminds me of a quote from my book Changes: Life Changes When You Do, where my friend Debbie Garcia shares that “Life deals you all kinds of cards. It’s all up to you what you’re going to do with them and how you want to play them because that hand is yours to play and nobody else’s.”

Emma Ortega Negrete

“In life, the memories of all that is good and bad are what become your blueprints to designing the Best of You. If you didn’t have them, what would fuel the fires of strength, determination and dedication?”©Emma Ortega Negrete Books are at
http://www.amazon.com/author/emmaorteganegrete

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