After my initial BrCa diagnosis, I decided to change my diet. It was a tough transition, because I loved desserts and bread. Over the years, I managed to improve by cutting back on the bad carbohydrates. But last year, I was stressed from work and calmed myself with ice cream and candy. Bad decision.
This year, I decided it was time to get serious about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I read articles and watched several videos to figure out the perfect plan for me.
I learned that trying to comment to one type of diet doesn’t work for me. So, I started with a two week fast, because I needed to submit my will to God. Then, I stopped eating candy. I eliminated the candy first, thinking it would be my toughest battle. But after the fast, I no longer had the cravings for candy. Next, I tackled the bread issue. If I eat bread, it has to be whole grain once a week.
I eat more organic fruit, vegetables, and beans. I am not a huge meat eater. So, I take in organic meats or wild-caught seafood maybe three times a week.
I cannot lie. The sweet cravings occasionally sneak in, but I found something for them. I eat a baked sweet potato with only olive oil and cinnamon or drink a healthy beverage.
Finding a healthy beverage that curved my sweet cravings was tough. If I am out and about, I buy a fruit and vegetable smoothie. When I am at home and the beast hits, I do not want to pull out the blender. Lazy. So, I did more research and decided on coconut water and beet juice.
Coconut water is an easy swallow, but the beet juice, not so. With the beet juice, I had a piece of fruit on standby after drinking it. After a couple of weeks, I am now able to take in my four ounces with ease. WARNING: don’t smell the beet juice prior to drinking it. LOL. Just think of the benefits (immune support, liver support, may increase heart muscle power, anti-cancer properties, and much more).
*Remember to talk with your doctor or healthcare team prior to adding a new food/beverage to your diet.
Treatment for any illness or disease should involve caring for the mind, body, and soul.
Advocacy is key. Survivors and caregivers research the condition and treatment options. Listen carefully to the medical provider’s treatment plan. Speak up! Don’t be afraid to share your concerns about the plan. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with getting a second opinion.
Most importantly, take a timeout to clear your mind by meditating and/or listening to soothing music. Recharge your body by eating healthy and exercising.
I spend time with God first thing in the morning, and before I settle down to sleep at night. I pray, meditate on his word, and listen for his voice. I love early morning time with him, because I am well-rested and can recognize his voice. Many times my inner voice tries to answer my questions, but I am blessed to hear the difference.
My question or questions can range from my life’s purpose to my to-do list for that particular day. Most recently, I have been struggling with my purpose, wanting to know my divine purpose for being here.
I have enjoyed being a nurse for the past twenty years, but I have not been passionate about it. I enjoy caring for my patients, but something seems to be missing.
I love when my heart leaps and/or my spirit smiles. Being with family or friends can bring this joy about. When I am home alone, this joy appears when I sit with my laptop and write stories. So, you may think, why don’t you write? The simple answer is fear. Fear of what others might think and fear of not having a steady job. On the inside, I feel like this fear has blocked so many blessings for me.
God has been so patient with me through this struggle. He reminds me everyday to be strong and courageous, and to remember that he is with me. I meditate on his words everyday, but still I fall victim.
Two days ago, things changed. I was out for dinner with a good friend of mine, who happens to be a nurse also. She knew I was unhappy as a nurse. “I’ve only known you for a few years, and you have had nine different jobs.” We laughed because she has made this statement to me more than once. But this night, I admitted my truth. I changed jobs often because I was searching for a position that I enjoyed; one that made my spirit smile. My friend told me again to follow my heart and to be brave. “You have a story to tell.” I had heard this from other friends and family, but I wanted to hear it from God.
This past year, I have been able to hear God’s voice more clearly during our private moments, but it seemed like he was quiet when I asked about retiring from nursing and journeying down a different path. Or had he given me the answer, and fear prevented me from taking the big leap?
After dinner, I asked my friend to stop by the grocery store. I needed to run in quickly and buy some ice cream for my nephew. As I entered the store, an inner voice told me to get some detergent. I was running low on detergent, so I decided to make a quick detour. While on the laundry products aisle, God appeared. In my hands, I held a bag of detergent gel tabs and dryer sheets. I didn’t have my eyeglasses on, so I was squinting at the detergent label. In my peripheral, I saw this young, blonde woman (an employee). She spoke to me. I thought she said Jesus, so I gave a confused look. She asked if I needed help. I told her no, and that I didn’t have my eyeglasses.
Suddenly, she began to tell me that she was a new believer, and God had healed her from an addiction and brain tumor. I froze up. The Holy Spirit whispered, “it’s your turn.” Without a second thought, I shared that I was a believer, and told her about my breast cancer diagnosis. Then she asked if she could pray with me. I couldn’t believe this was happening in the grocery store, on the laundry products aisle. As she prayed, I listened carefully to the words, because I didn’t know her. As the words flowed from her mouth, I heard God. He gave me confirmation. He used this young stranger in the grocery store to deliver his answer. The things she prayed for me had to do with my purpose. After the prayer and small talk, we hugged and parted ways. I was so overwhelmed, it took me a moment to figure out where the ice cream aisle was. I made my purchase and left the store. My friend wondered what was wrong with me when I sat in car. She stated that my eyes were wide opened. When I told her what happened, we both cried.
Mind-blowing is how I described this night. There was no way that this young woman could have known my dilemma. Before I walked away from her, she told me that she was nervous and didn’t want to approach me, but a voice told her to talk to me. I smiled and told her it was the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Everyone who reads this may have their opinion about what happened, and I can respect that. But as for me, I know that God answered my question about my life’s purpose.
I have decided to follow after what makes my spirit smile.
When my mother showed me this photo I thought, “what the …?” First of all, I would not have allowed anyone to take a picture of me in the hospital. And the fact that I was smiling, I knew I was in trouble.
I do not remember being taken to the hospital and being admitted. I was told by family, who drove hours to get to Tennessee, that I only knew my name. I did not recognize any of them, including my son.
But because of God’s grace and mercy, I knew I was healed. I was released from the hospital three days later. My memory has returned slowly over the past few weeks.
I decided to publish this story and picture because my sister once told me that I needed to share the good and bad things about my cancer journey. I thought I was until I looked over some of my past posts. There were a lot of smiles and happy times.
Even though I am smiling in this picture, a bad event occurred. Which leads me to believe that during good and bad times, my my spirit remains happy.
I may not remember all the events leading up to this picture being taken, but I do know one thing. The woman in this picture is a strong warrior of the most powerful God. Who by the way thinks she is cute. The crossing of the legs. Too funny, still.
It has been a while since my last post. I could give you a million excuses to explain why I have not published in the past six months. Instead, I’ll give you all an update.
Back in January, I was living in Nashville and loving the city. The problem was with my job. I understand that we have to take the bitter with the sweet, but there are times when we must utilize the 80/20 rule. Nothing is perfect. So, be willing to accept the crazy twenty percent, as long as the eighty percent brings you joy. Since my joy percentage was significantly less than eighty, I decided to pick up another travel assignment.
Arizona was my home for the past six months. After the first month, I was considering making Phoenix my permanent residence. Arizona is a beautiful state. The scenery is mind-blowing. And I had developed a great relationship with my coworkers. For the first time in my traveling career, I extended my contract in April. But then, summer appeared.
I am a southern girl. I am used to heat and humidity. I worked in Tucson for three months back in 2019, but I was not ready for one hundred and fifteen degrees. It was extremely hot everyday. So, I am sure you know by now what happened. I did not extend my contract in July. The 80/20 rule was null and void due to the extreme heat.
Currently, I am in Alabama spending some time with my mother and family. I am going to use this time to pray for guidance in regards to my next step. My family laughs when I tell them that I am ready to settle down. “You do not allow grass to grow under your feet.” I will prove them wrong. I pray.
Time is precious, and it does not sit back and wait on anyone. My mind is always thinking about places to explore on this planet. But I have learned over the past ten years that I can continue to explore to see new places and meet new people while residing permanently in one city.
My steps are divinely ordered, so I wait to see where my permanent residence will be and the work He has for me.
After you say goodbye to 2021, leave it all in the past; the good, bad, and ugly. Do not bring along a single thing. You have learned the lessons, now, continue to grow.
We all need something to look forward to; something that will motivate us. So, make some time in your busy schedules to sit in a quiet spot and write down your goals for 2022. If nothing comes to mind, create a vision board. I have a vision book. Smile.
This year, I have decided to allow the Spirit within me to guide my steps. This will be a great challenge for me because I think I know what is best for me. I pray and ask God for guidance, but before receiving all the details, I take off running. With total surrender, I have to take me out of the equation until I am fully informed. Sounds simple.
The Spirit wants nothing more than to give me the desires of my heart while fulfilling my purpose. So, this year, my plan is to take the passenger seat.
I am excited about my journey through this new year. My year of total surrender.