Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I never thought I would say these words out loud. It has been some time since I visited my own blog. I had forgotten what I had written about, courtesy to the chemotherapy that I took 3 years ago, but mainly due to the fact that I was in a coma. My short term memory suffers a great deal. The lapses of memory scare me sometimes, because I had a great memory. It is what it is. I have to deal with it.

On Saturday May 5th, the night of that glorious full moon, a very close childhood friend of mine, left this earth. Her name was Ioanna. She was one of the most perfect human beings , one could have the privilege of meeting. I need way too much space to write about her ethical, sunny, but strong as steel character. Her brilliant mathematician's brain, her contributions to her family, her friends, strangers. All her life she was battling one adverse situation, after another, with a smile on her face and love and attention left for all of us.

Life finally turned around for her. Her lot in life had started looking enviable with a wonderful husband, who survived a bout with cancer, a great career for both of them and mostly important with an absolutely beautiful, intelligent and talented daughter. They built a new home for their family and bought a summer house in an unusual, very pretty, next to a beach, area in Greece, where they reside.

When I visited my home town, she was the very first person I was used to talk to. Her home was open to me, any time, any day. Her dear husband accepted me as part of her family. We had great moments together every time I visited, memories that make me smile even right now.

Then a few months ago, she got in touch with me and without melodramatics, she explained that she was battling the same battle, I am fighting.  She made the decision to fight cancer the conventional way with chemotherapy. Her daughter and I tried to influence her to give the "natural way" a chance. I took some chemotherapy and I am happy I stopped it. It would have killed me by now. I may still die soon, but at least the quality of my life has not been destroyed as Ioanna's.

I had spoken to her only a few days before I got the news that she "departed." I knew she was suffering, I just did not know how much.  I still grieve. I still cry late at nights, despite the fact that I know, she is "free" now. How am I going to go, if I am meant to visit my home town again, and she will not be there? How am going to face her husband and daughter?

All of a sudden, I want to be here for a few more years. I do not dare to dream of being cured. I was declared "terminal" with absolute confidence, by my doctors. I dare to think of a miracle that I may stretch the 6 months to 6 years, may be. My son still needs me. People love to see me show up at their support groups or churches and tell my story. Heads that are hanging in desperation, rise and a smile of hope shows up in people's faces. They are not alone. God saved me once after the coma and he is giving me an extension in life now. I want many people to hear this. I am a miracle walking. I want to live a bit longer, so more people will be inspired to fight back, before giving up without a fight.

If you are reading this, will you pass it on to someone, who has lost all hope and is full of sadness and anger, why this is happening to him/her? Tell them about me.  Persuade them that miracles DO happen. Not too often, but they do. I am praying for a miracle for myself. To keep on going, helping others in this difficult journey and be here for a few more years. As many as God deems I deserve or need to be here. Please pass it around.You have no idea, what a great gesture you will be doing, showing another human being to believe, have faith and hope. Point at the miracle that is still here, ME. God's grace keeps me here and helps me everyday. If you are in a similar situation, share it with me. I need encouragement too. The rest of you healthy, good people, support us in our difficult course, please.  Thank you on behalf of all of us, who need support and encouragement. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012


How many times have you been told, or you read yourself "live for today," "forget the past" or similar variations of the previous saying? I know I have, numerous times. I have been guilty of not being able to practice it. Why should I? My past was better than my present. My past was full of fond memories. It had its bad ones too, but the joyful ones outnumbered the sad ones. My past included love, passion, family, material comforts, family, celebrations,so much, sooo, so much.

What do I have now? I am fighting death from cancer, I have no material goods, no handsome, affectionate husband, no home (my beloved house caught fire,) nobody significant other, who can make me sweat thinking about him, no close friends close by, no family members, besides my son- in other words, I have  very little.

It took me years to walk outside my previous house. Last year was the first time. I walked by it slowly, looking at it with eyes full of tears and an upset stomach. The idea that "others" were using MY bedroom, MY yard, MY bathrooms, MY everything, made me literally ill. Since then, I managed to pass by the house and pay attention to the changes that the new residents made. I resented them. How dared they? They tore down the little flower beds that the previous owner had built meticulously in a feng shui fashion and I maintained them as well as I could. I was becoming ill every time I noticed a new change the "barbarians" imposed on the house. I felt robbed, violated and homeless. What a preposterous feeling. My brain knew it, but my heart was refusing to accept it.

About two months ago, I started having pain associated with my illness that I did not have before. All of a sudden my priorities changed. If I missed work outs or dance practice, it did not seem important. Most of my days, I had to spend a considerable amount of time and energy in calming the pain down. One of those days, I walked by my house (in my mind, it is still my house.)  This time I needed the walk for my feet, which have been hit by neuropathy and the sun, which hits this part of the country not too often. I looked up at the house and it suddenly was just a beautiful house. Well maintained, it suffered from absence of color, because there were no flowers; they had been destroyed, so that nobody had to bother with their up keep. The grass was neglected and there were no wind chimes and bird feeders, as before. Selfish, crass, lacking of taste, people. That is all that crossed my mind. I was feeding the birds and I even had a bird fountain running constantly from Spring to Winter.

I did not throw up. I did not resent the people. I judged them-couldn't help that part- but I did not resent them. All of a sudden, I was breathing better. I was walking faster and my head was not hanging down with tears all over my face. I was facing my tormentor. My fear and the feeling of being homeless. I realized a new home was waiting for me out there. There is a reason, to which I am not privy as of right now, why I am not the owner of that house any longer.

I do not cry about it anymore. It did not happen overnight. I am struggling with my past, even as I am writing right now. One less thing  to deal with, the house. I am not sad about the house any more. It is not mine  any longer. It will never be mine again. I can live with that. I want a new one. One that will hold new memories, happier than the old ones. All I have to do is ask for what I do every night, a miracle. I need to have faith that I will survive to create new experiences. I finally understood that I was allowing my past to make me sicker.

If you are in a similar predicament-whether you are ill or healthy and simply unhappy- I am asking you to take stock of this particular subject in your life. Is your past blocking your present and eventually your future? Just take a quick, examining look at the subject. Be merciless in your assessment. If the answer is even a weak yes, do something about it. I know I have to work on more important issues from the past. The house was the easiest of them all. At least I started. Your turn now.  I shall report my progress. Will you share yours? It is therapeutic for all of us. It takes courage to strip your soul for the world to see. But it is worth it. People come out of nowhere in support of the truth and real need. Trust me. I am experiencing it and I am so grateful. Will you join us?   

Sunday, April 29, 2012


I have not written for a while, because I have not been feeling really well. All and all, I should be thankful, because I am living longer than I was given. I still function, but my energy is lower, because on top of everything, I was informed that the Epstein Bar virus is present in my blood. It makes one very tired on a permanent basis. From what I hear, it can be totally debilitating. Thank my lucky stars, I only need some extra rest. I can not work out as rigorously, as I would like to, because it is good for my health and my mental outlook. I have to wait it out. I was told, eventually it works its self out of one's system.

I have been experiencing unusually high levels of pain. I tolerate as much as I can, the rest I help my system ride through it with the help of painkillers. I take the minimum, because I would turn into an addict, if I took everything that is prescribed to me. I do not feel like being "high" on a permanent basis. It does not agree with me. I get nauseous and I can not work or function as a normal human being. I still have to fulfill responsibilities like every one else. I need to pay my bills, do my shopping, some cooking, cleaning and all the mundane chores we all have to perform, like them or not.

I could easily give up and do nothing. Nobody would blame me. They can see I am not well. But that is the whole point. If I gave up, then cancer would have won. We are suppose to be warriors. I want to be an example to others, who are told that they are "history." There are many of us, who have been told that our days are numbered and it is a very difficult concept to deal with. That is why I decided to write about it. I video blog under "nature vs. meds" in You Tube, recording and sharing, what I am doing, trying to stay alive with quality of life. Not poisoned with the toxins of chemotherapy, not burned with radiation, but by trying to eat differently, taking supplements and the most important part, trying to think and act differently. Being positive is such a cliche, that I cringe as I am writing about it. But it is true. It is a very difficult task for most people, because life is hard for everyone out there. Can you imagine how hard it is for us, who have been "sentenced to death" by doctors? We have been given months to put our affairs in order and prepare to depart.

I had a horrible experience with the medical establishment this past week. I was treated, as if I have been written off by every one. I was misdiagnosed, given antibiotics that I did not need, was refused a PET scan to see where my cancer situation stands, since my CEA levels in my blood have fallen significantly. It was and still is a nightmare. It took all my energy and free time, fighting the bureaucracy to get some basic tests.  Meanwhile, I know and I have experienced that a big part of fighting this disease, is staying calm and finding joy and laughter. How can anybody do that with all the odds against him/her?  I shall tell  you how, by saying "I shall not let you win, cancer."

 I am aspiring to be an example to many souls that feel beaten up, exhausted by the fight, weakened by pain, discouraged by the results and the difficulty of the ordeal. I hear you, I understand you. I am in your shoes. I suffer enormously too. But, like in any war, let us close wagons. Let us support each other and accept help from whomever is willing to give us a helping hand. DO NOT GIVE UP. Even if I manage to inspire one person, to dust off himself, stand up and go on, bloodied up and all, I will have achieved my purpose.

Three years ago, I woke up from a coma that almost ended my life. I am still having trouble walking, because of nerve damage. I feel there is a reason, why God spared me.  For the first two years I was trying to figure out the reason. Until it finally unfolded in front of me. I must help others in this difficult journey. This is my mission. Whether I feel well or not, I still have to try. I have to be an example for others on how, not to give up easily. It is one thing to say it, especially by somebody, who is not suffering first hand and another to actually go through the whole excruciating experience yourself.

If  you are a cancer patient, especially in the same predicament as I, I implore you, join me in the fight. Do not let the tide take you under without resistance. Do whatever your instinct tells you is appropriate for your body. Do your research, ask others, try different venues that other individuals with the same disease have practiced and they are still here. That is what I do. I constantly communicate with people, who are still here, despite the prognosis , they were given, years ago. Their relatives are kind enough to provide me with much needed knowledge about the subject of cancer. I absorb the information and I try to practice as much of the given "advice" as possible. I want to share it with you too. Try and see, what agrees with you and pick and choose your regimen. Watch my video blogs "nature vs. meds" and let me know what you think. We shall even try to cook recipes appropriate mainly for cancer patients.

I am still here. I must be doing something right. Mainly, I believe that I am still here, because God decided so. I have to serve the Higher Power by serving others. I am being asked to share my information with church congregations and different support groups. I am honored to do so. I shall continue, for as long as I can. Meanwhile, I would be so grateful, if some of you kind souls, who read and share my journey, to give me some feed back. I am lonely and scared too. I need the support too. Please, give me a helping hand, by letting me know that you hear my plea. I thank you all.

Monday, April 2, 2012


I have not written for a while now, because I have been feeling poorly. Not just simple aches and dull pains. Not just lack of energy and dysthymia. The last 12 days have been HARD.

It started with just a sense of over fatigue, more than the usual, daily "I have to push my self, no matter how hard this task is." Getting up and down the stairs was a major accomplishment. The word "invitation" to even the most desirable event, came with fear. The pain was daily, ranging from dull to intense and continuous. The intake of painkillers became more often, because without them, I would be doubling over and screaming from pain.

It is exactly 6 months ago, when the "death sentence" was given to me. It read "life expectancy 6 months to a year."  I did and I am still doing everything that I am supposed to "starve" the cancer cells. I am very careful with my diet and my supplements. I try to exercise, but during the 10 last days, it has proven impossible.  Were the doctors right? Should I start preparing for my "departure?" I shall have the usual tests done and a PET scan, which shows exactly where the tumors are, as soon as my oncologist , can arrange for one.

I was ready for a miracle. I thought God wanted me to stay for a little longer. I started a business that will benefit, not just cancer patients, but patients afflicted by similar diseases. It will not be ready until the end of April, beginning of May, when I shall announce and invite everybody to participate and help all the hurt, wounded birds. I feel my wings are broken today. They do not seem to want to mend. But I need them. I need to fly for a little longer, so that millions of of others can benefit.

If I do not feel well, I can not help the ones that are in more difficult situations. I can not volunteer for Reiki sessions, or massage, or simple driving. I am becoming a burden myself. This coming Wednesday, I have to take my room mate, who is also afflicted by cancer, for her last procedure to finish reconstruction of her lost breasts. She counts on me. I have to feel well.

Whoever is reading this, please say a prayer for us. Just a simple request to the Higher Power to gift me a little more time to finish what I started.  I  am like the rest of the gravely ill people. I want to live years to see my son succeed in life, get married, create a family, procreate, the cliche, simple things that  most people expect out of life. I want that too. But, the way thing are going, I shall settle for a "time window" to finish the projects that I started. It is not a matter of pride or ego for the first time. I simply want to see with my own eyes, that we can all be "heroes" to others. I want to be alive to see the smile and the happiness, hopefully, that my efforts will bring. Because I am convinced, they will.

I am aware that once in place, somebody else can run my projects and make them succeed. It is fine with me. All I want is to see  the start of their  blooming. People enjoying the reasons, I created them. Just a little more time, Lord.
I am not asking for Healing. If that is in the cards, it will be given to me, by my Jesus. He is my Guiding Light in this dreadful darkness. I shall ask him to give me a "pass" for a little bit longer. Can you ask your Guides or your source of Light, whatever it is, on my behalf, for the same? I will be so grateful.

My love and blessings from a Higher Power to all of you. Be kind to a person in pain. Extend your hand in support. You have no idea what it means to individuals with very few people in their lives, as myself. I depend on your kindness. You are not strangers to me. You are compassionate souls that I can not see and hear everyday. I wish I could. Some of you, are childhood friends, some friends made in this country. Most are total strangers. I am thankful to all. You are all supportive in your own way. From Vaya my 13 yr old "little diamond" as I call her, from Greece, the daughter of a childhood friend of mine, who also suffers from cancer, to Despina , my older "diamond" in my life. From Oceana, whom I never met, but I can not help but love, because she is so loving herself, to my own child, who is stoically watching his mom dying,  trying to keep a brave appearance and make her comfortable.

Thank you all. I am sure God is going to listen to every body's prayer and He will decide what the outcome will be. And that will be fine with me. I know, at least I tried.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


"Grouchy old men" have nothing on these creatures.

Today an incident reminded me that the picture of an older, kind faced, sweet, smiling, inviting you to her warm embrace woman, is or has become, an urban myth.

I belong to the same gym for 22yrs. It is national, so no matter where I go, I have access to my fitness routine. During these years, I have made many casual friends there. We formed different groups. The "die hards," the "simply regulars,"the "socialites," the "shoppers," and some other ones. I belong to the "die hards," but I socialize with all of them. There are interesting characters in all of them.

What I want to get off my chest is a medley of some incidents that happened, involving old gals that stuck in my mind. Now, as an older, middle aged woman myself, I will try to remember that I am supposed to get better with time, not bitter and annoying as these ladies.

I shall start with today's incident, because it is fresh and it still makes me laugh, when I think about it.

Today was X's birthday. She is turning 76. She is saying she is 62 and presents herself as 58 in the dating website we both belong. It would be good and all, if she had had some plastic surgery, something  done to cover up somewhat the passage of time on her. Because old man Time has been very cruel to her. Granted, she should be thankful for her perfect health, her energy to show up at the gym like clockwork 3 times a week and having being prudent with her financial affairs, free of economic worries.
She is also a red head, she still keeps it VERY red, therefore her nickname "carrot top," with light skin. Back in those days, I hear, they were not using sunblock at all. Personally, I almost sleep with it on. I slap it on, even in snow storms AND 20 below zero weather AND indoors. Not our friend. She keeps a slim, svelte figure of a 4'10, 90p frame, out of which you can make a bag and a pair of matching shoes, from the extra skin that is hanging and proudly presented for all of us to see and want to barf.

Today, when she announced her birthday, I think I was the only one, who forced my self to offer some kind of  a "good wish." Right away the tirade started in a loud, shrieking voice, how cold our fellow human beings are. First, everybody ignores her birthday and second the men from the dating site, whom she practically begged to take her out, offered only coffee.
" Those cheap bastards, they do not even ask you for a simple meal anymore.  F...g aholes, all they want is sex!!!!"
"Really, and you turned them down?" I hear W.'s voice right behind us.
Oops, this is not going to turn well, I thought.
"How dare you say that? I am a lady."
"OK, if you say so, but daaaaaamn lady, you are older than dirt. You should be thankful, ANYBODY is willing to take you out for anything," W. is talking with his perennial chewing gum and his "don't give a shit about anything, except hot chicks, attitude."
Bingo. X, exploded. Her face turned red as a poppy and those lungs, oh boy, those lungs, fired like pistons. Every bad word, ever said to a man, was uttered with a volume, intented to be heard at least up to the moon.  Hands, feet, mouth, all were moving at the same time, while saliva was dowsing, poor W's face.

He stood there with a poker face, while she was jumping up and down, trying to go close to his face(he is over 6 feet tall.) His beefy arms were folded in front of his chest, you could see his 6 pack from under his second skin shirt, his lips were semi-departed, so that his pearly white, teeth could still blind anybody in a 5 mile radius, head tilted somewhat to the side, gazing at her in a patronizing way.

After X ran out of breath and calmed down a bit, W. went to the second floor, where the tracking circle is located and he announced that he would pick up the tab, if somebody could take "an angry, old, broad out, for her birthday" and he would throw an extra $300 for the trouble.
He got a standing ovation but no takers were located.

X then proceeded to curse almost any male in her path on the way out, especially the older gentlemen for "knowing better" for "not appreciating, what a catch she was" and variations of these complaints.

The coup d' etat of the whole episode.
Another gentleman who is W's caliber, tall, dark, extraordinarily good looking and a professional model, was celebrating his birthday  today too. Only, not only he had a thousand invitations, but to be exact 4 ladies, baked a cake for him from scratch. He just had an injury, so they were trying to make him feel better, on top of everything. By the way, I got a bouquet of carrots for my birthday, because I am not supposed to eat sugar. A BOUQUET OF CARROTS!!! How f...g humiliating.

X saw that and she grabbed one of them, threw it at Mario (birthday gorgeous boy,) missed him, because Mario is young and his reflexes are still perfect and the cake  hits Norm. Norm is old, even though, he is one of those old guys that you want to tear their clothes off. Norm is an ex professional athlete. His entire body is a map of surgeries. He is also a cancer patient. He has rods all over his body, supporting his bones. He walks with a slight limp and he could not avoid the coming pie, with nothing.
So, poor Norm, getting ready to get on the treadmill, dressed in his always pristine white outfit, finds himself the target of a multicolored cake hitting him smack on the chest, turning him into a fancy looking pinata.

The expression on each person's face was priceless. Where is a camera, when you one needs one? Reality TV. can not touch anything like that. Somebody said, he caught part of the action on his "smart phone" camera and he may upload it on You tube.

Oh man, just for that alone, it was worth going to the gym today.

Lesson of the day. When the time comes to retire as a sexy ingenue, let us do it with grace. There is a lot we lose with age. We can fight it as much as we can. When it is time to withdraw, may the Good Lord give us the logic to not lose our dignity, along with our looks. We do not have to turn into bitter, older women and take our fury on men, because they want us younger. It is, what it is.

I am tired for another story. That took a long time. I am still laughing, while I am saying
"Goodnight and sweet dreams to all of you." 


Friday, March 16, 2012


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am size 0. I have been this small for about 2 decades now. Fluctuating between 0 and 2. It was not always like that. As a youngster, I hit even 130p. Now talk about a pig. That translated into a size 8, roughly. Nobody minded, but me. No man ever complained, no woman ever disliked  (really,) how I looked.

Once I had my son and being vain to begin with, I undertook the task, that I would look better than before.
I met the appropriate people, in the right environment and they shaped me up to look beyond good.

Even before I got diagnosed with cancer, I was a size 2 for a very long time. I do not have to tell you ladies, what kind of dividends it pays to be a size so small. It is like hitting the lotto. No matter, what they say about curves and how much they  try to sell the appeal of a JLo or one of those disgusting derrieres, do not buy it. Men like petite, adolescent looking figures.

Not everybody is built or meant to look that way. So be it. Make the best of what you have, try to keep that weight down and live and let live. Just do not have illusions. It makes me sick, when, even the nurses, knowing that cancer is eating some of us up, they glorify, admire it and try to emulate it.

I love being ultra thin. I can wear whatever I like and it looks acceptable. I do not look for "forgiving" attires. They are all flattering. An ultra thin figure with boobs, is every male's secret fantasy. I do not make  a big deal out of it, because I already got out of it, what I wanted. Now, with the health in jeopardy, it lost its importance.

Today we had some bad news concerning my close friend's health progress. She also suffers from advanced cancer and the news were devastating.

The solution, for two immature adults was, to eat and do all the things that are non-nos for cancer patients especially. I am not big on food, but I have a sweet tooth. So picture this.The order in the restaurant went as follows. The following is just for me.

Four crepes, not two, the regular portion, filled with super extra filling and a big, extra size plate of the filling that I adore, on the side. On top of that, an extra super size french fries, on the side. I never eat fries, I do not even like them. Today was a weird day, I ate a whole plate o fries.  Then at the end, out of the blue, I craved french onion soup and I ordered one. The young girl taking the order called a more experienced server for advice. Should she serve all these totally outrageous combinations of foods to a probable nut case? The second server, more sophisticated with false eyelashes and such goes "Grrrl, what's wrong with you, you have never heard what a weirdo, pregnancy can make you?" She looked at me, winked and went:
"and you blondie pie, eat whatever your heart desires, ignore the surprised stares."

You know how well it made me feel, her saying that? First, she thought I was of child bearing age. Yeah!!! Second, she did not discriminate thin, chunky, can, can't handle it, weird taste or anything. Her attitude was, she wants all that, our job is not to question it, give her all that.

I felt dozens of stares, while I was inhaling my strange combo of foods. This little hanger of a woman, eating for 4, not 2. I enjoyed every bite of it and I should not tell you the rest. But, I promised the truth, always, no matter how ugly. All that food came right  out within the hour.  It was waaay too much for anyone, let alone a tiny person, with a tiny stomach, missing one foot of her colon and in general in poor appetite.

You may be wondering,  why I wrote about this.
I wanted to remind you, that it is perfectly OK to do silly things, every so often, to satisfy cravings of every kind, as long, as you keep some sense of decorum and you do not break any kinds of laws.
Do not get intimidated by stares, "where are you going to put all of that food?"
"hopefully not on my ass."
Do not allow any kind of rigid diets or regimens to constantly spoil your fun on this earth.
 Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow. So, eat, drink and be merry, as much as you can. Do not concern, what your guilt will be whispering in your ear, or your strict life style, will impose on you. Every so often , it is so good to be bad.