Fashion Week 2013 in NYC doesn’t usually bring images of cancer patients and survivors. But this week, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing. Yep, I’m headed for the Big Apple to meet my designer, Samina Mughal, who has put together some outfits for me to walk the runway. Did I say walk the runway? It seems odd that due to cancer, I’ve been given the opportunities of a lifetime! My whole 15 minutes of fame is being used in this one event, and I couldn’t be happier. The fashion show and dinner will benefit BeatLiverTumors, my cancer mentor’s non-profit. Suzanne Lindley has single-handedly brought awareness to advanced treatments for liver cancer and on the stage will be patients, caregivers and supporters who have watched Suzanne, a force of nature, over the last 8 years. Suzanne continues to do battle with cancer. She was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer at age 31 and given six months to live. Suzanne didn’t take that prognosis. She sought treatment, one after the other, each one giving her more time with her three girls and husband, and more time to advocate. If you want to know the secret to living well, no matter the circumstances, you won’t want to miss Suzanne’s address to the audience. When I was diagnosed, I wanted to speak with a woman, any woman, who had gone through colon cancer. I was given Suzanne’s name and number. Since that day, my life has grown larger from cancer, been more purposeful and fulfilling and has a bit of dazzle to it, too.
Nine years ago, this October 28th, I finished treatment for iiic colon cancer. I was 47, and had been a Resource Specialist for over 25 years, mostly in San Diego. But my chances of recurrence were high, so I retired early, thinking that I had about five years to live (if I was lucky).
Chemotherapy was devastating to me and not having a job was depressing and scary. I worked at home to rebuild my strength and my life’s purpose. Always a yoga enthusiast, I found I couldn’t do what I was used to doing. Others must be having the same issue – trying to find a way back to a ‘new normal’?
I became a yoga teacher and yoga activist. I am a listserv consultant on many cancer sites and made a yoga cd, gave away over 3,000. The YCS cd is now available for free download, and in Spanish, too. Russian is the next language and I hope to have it translated into as many languages as possible.
I speak at cancer symposiums and teach YCS yoga in San Diego. I am putting a 45 hour teacher training on line by January 2013. We hear so much about yoga to rebuild and regain strength, but for me, it was about dealing with the emotional, physical and psychological effects of cancer where yoga has done its greatest healing. I specialize in teaching patients in therapy and long-term treatment.
You can download hours of meditations for survivors and the 80 minute yoga class in English and Spanish for cancer survivors by going to my audio page on this website.
Blessings and Love,
Lobbying with Digestive Diseases Health Coalition (DDHC) in Washington, DC 2012
Take a breath with me, five minutes of breathing gives us the most benefit and adds to our health and happiness! Listen to ’30 Breaths Meditation’.
Our Amazing Trip to Washington, DC for Liver Cancer Funding and Research
My personal heroine and mentor, Suzanne Lindley, organized a trip to Washington, D.C., where a group of patient advocates met with their congressional leaders to talk about liver cancer funding and research (February 2011).