Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

I Hear You Loud and Clear

Who do you listen to?  I mean who do you really listen to so keenly that their message pierces your soul?  I ask that question because people will say things to us that we think may be nagging or unsolicited advice and what the person is really doing is serving as an angel on earth.  The amazing thing is that the people who want you to know better and then do better are usually the people who love you the most and couldn’t imagine a world without you.

This morning there was an interview on Good Morning America with Marie Osmond.  I know what you’re thinking but the interview wasn’t too sugary.  She talked about the fact that her oldest child (she has eight) approached her on behalf of the herd and expressed his concern for her weight knowing that the family has a huge history of heart disease.  If that wasn’t enough, her mother told her, “Don’t do what I did, I’m trapped in a body I can’t use”, she suffered a stroke years earlier.

Can you imagine this type of messages coming at your from both ends of the life continuum?  Would Marie Osmond have heard the message if it only came from one end of the spectrum?  Would she have been able to take in the severity of the situation if these angels on earth werent’ as blunt as they were?  It’s amazing how important straight talk is when you want to pierce the armor of someone who may be well defended.  How thick is your armor?  What would it take for important messages to pierce your armor?  This is an important thing to know so that you can begin shedding the layers making the opportunity for the messages to get through easier. 

Who do you hear loud and clear?  Can you accept the messages with the love and good wishes that they are sent?  What messages have you heard loud and clear?  What messages have you offered to another in hopes of making an impact to awaken the health sense of another?  Keep trying, eventually this person you love will get the message!

Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

What’s the Take Away?

I attend a lot of teleconferences regarding health, business and spirituality.  Most of the time I walk around the office with a headset and the phone attached to my belt.  At the end of the teleconferences most of the facilitators will ask, “What are you leaving with today?” or “What was the nugget you heard today?”  They do this so that you feel you get value from their call.  I’m constantly on the lookout for the nuggets that others get from their personal experience with a health challenge.

This morning I was watching Good Morning America and one of the co-hosts, Robin Roberts, showed a preview for her Nightline special this evening.  It shows what the past year has been like for her since her breast cancer diagnosis.  She remained on the air throughout her treatment and now is sharing her  nugget.

Last year Robin published a book that had 7 steps or 7 somethings, and as she went through treatment she would repeat over and over, it’s a chapter of my life…it’s not the whole story.  When asked if she would write a book about her breast cancer experience she said no because the cancer is only a chapter in the story.

So if you’re still reading this here’s the nugget she gave this morning, “Make your mess your message”.  The great thing about a phrase that so rich is that it’s open to interpretation.  How will your convert your mess into a message?  What message do you want to send to your family and friends about who you are as a person, beyond your illness?  Are you a role model and a goal model?  These are all things to consider in the big picture.

How will you make the mess (the illness) your message?  Share with me some of your ideas because I know you have as much if not more insight than Robin Roberts.

Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Emotional Health, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness, Personal Conviction

Life Lessons from Determined Individuals

Part of my morning routine along with feeding the dogs and drinking coffee is watching the start of Good Morning America.  It’s amazing the tidbits I hear about new treatments, clinical trials and even simple life lessons.  Today is one of those days.  Chris Cuomo (son of former NY Governor Mario Cuomo) shared a news story about a 12 year old boy names Levi Johnson.

Levi Johnson was born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a devastating lung disease.  Most parents would shelter their children from any chance at infection and the child would be fairly insulated physically and socially.  Levy achieved a phenomenal achievement.  He won 2nd place in a National Bull Riding competition.  That’s not just great for someone with CF, it’s amazing for any kid his age.

I began thinking about all those I work with who have some type of chronic or life threatening illness and began counting all the self-limiting stories we all tell ourselves about what’s possible.  What if you had someone in your life who would encourage you, support your or simply challenge you to get out their and keep riding (metaphorically)?  What is it that you want to do and what’s stopping you?

It’s clear that not all of us even when healthy would have been able to achieve what Levi achieved, but there is something in your world that is equally as important to you that’s waiting for you to begin.  Hopefully it’s something just outside your reach so you have to stretch a bit, but it’s doable.

If nothing else take a lesson from this 12 year old boy…get back on your own bull and keep riding.  The limitations we impose on ourselves can be more harmful (especially emotionally and spiritually) than the disease itself.

Let me know what you’re going to tackle and let’s see how we can support you!!!!!