Tag Archives: gynecologic cancer blog

Community Press shares Thriver Soup’s message of hope and healing

“There were times when Heidi Bright prepared to die after being diagnosed with a terminal cancer in July 2009.

“Today Bright delivers a message of hope and healing through her book ‘Thriver Soup’ and speaking to groups. This is the third traditionally published book by the Milford author.”

Please read more at

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/local/milford/2016/05/17/milford-womans-book-shares-tips-surviving-cancer/84500320/

Dancing with Daffodils: Rebirth on Two Levels

daffodil in tris garden webAnd then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

From “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth

 

What do daffodils represent to you?

Dancing daffodils herald spring, arriving during the month of the spring equinox, Lent, and sometimes Easter. These bright yellow flowers are called Lent Lilies in England and Easter Bells, or Oesterglocken, in Germany. They are an obvious symbol for rebirth and new beginnings.

The symbolism relates to resurrection on two levels for me.

First, the American Cancer Society views the daffodil as a symbol of hope for a cancer cure. How fitting, when I just received a clear x-ray 4.5 years out from treatment.

Second, the daffodil is sometimes called the Narcissus. Narcissus is rooted in the Greek word narke, which means numbness or torpor, because the bulbs contain a paralyzing and toxic alkaloid. The bulbs were allegedly carried by Roman soldiers so if they became mortally wounded, they could eat the bulbs to ease the pain as they perished.

Narke also is the foundation for the word “narcotic.” My son passed from a narcotic overdose.

Because of these associations, my friend Karen wanted me to have daffodils in Tristan’s memorial garden. This week they danced into bloom, their sunny dispositions cheering up the yard and filling my heart with pleasure.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Here is a little ritual you can do with a daffodil to assist with healing from grief (modified from the book The Magic of Flowers by Tess Whitehurst). On a sunny day, fill a pretty glass with fresh water and carry it to a Narcissus. Hold the container while sitting with the flower, gazing into its golden depths. Take some slow, deep breaths. Imagine light from the sun filling the water with healing energy. Then drink a little of the water to absorb the energy of the sun. Pour the rest of the water around the base of the flower. As you offer life-giving moisture to the daffodil, ask the blossom to share its gift of presence with you by strengthening your ability to be more fully present during each day, letting go of some of your grief.

Sources:

http://www.baldhiker.com/2013/04/08/dazzling-daffodils-the-herald-of-spring/

http://www.teleflora.com/meaning-of-flowers/daffodil

http://www.oocities.org/thedaffodilgarden/lore.htm

Tess Whitehurst, The Magic of Flowers Llewellyn Publications, 2013, p. 259.

A Return to Exercise

… (Krishna) drove that best of chariots to a point between the two armies, in front of Bhishma, Drona, and all the rulers of the earth, and then said: “See, Partha (Arjuna), this gathering of all the Kurus!”

The Bhagavad Gita, 1:24-25

 

The Hindu god Krishna drove the best of chariots into battle. The chariot can be a metaphor for one’s body. If one’s chariot, or body, is not in the best condition, it can seriously hamper every aspect of one’s life.

I had let my chariot lose some of its fitness recently. My exercise life had succumbed to the excuses of grief after losing my son and the move into my new home. Later I listened to my guided visualization CD, “A Conversation with Dis-ease,” and received the message that it was time to let go of regularly walking for exercise due to a lifetime of issues with my toe joints.

Yes, they were excuses. My psychotherapist called me on it, then encouraged me, once again, to exercise regularly—preferably 150 minutes per week. I was only doing about 60. Time to ramp it up.

choco truffle webAfter I got home, I felt nudged to get my exercise for the day by walking to a nearby grocery store to pick up more onions. While in the store, I took a look at the clearance shelves in the back. I was shocked to find my all-time favorite chocolate-hazelnut truffles there at one third the usual price—expensive chocolates I had only ever seen in two other distant stores in town.

Was that nudge from my son to make sure I had these special Italian chocolates for celebrating Valentine’s Day? I’d like to think so.

I took home two bags of the sweet treats.

What a wonderful gift for following through and doing my part to get my chariot back in shape. Just in time to enjoy some luscious truffles for Valentine’s Day.

 

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Exercise is important for numerous reasons. A common recommendation is 30 minutes of exercise five times each week. Some people use pedometers or download exercise apps on their phones. Some tips for getting started include parking at the far ends of parking lots, taking stairs if and when you can, or simply tensing and loosing muscles while lying in bed if that is what you can do.

 

What is your favorite form of exercise?

What is your favorite kind of chocolate?

Special Delivery

Give thanks in all circumstances…

1 Thessalonians 5:18, Christian Bible, New International Version

 

A large package appeared on my front porch a week before Christmas. I hadn’t ordered anything, and didn’t expect any gifts from anyone.

lville stoneware web.jpgThe label included an unknown name above my address. Hmmm.

I called the delivery company, the former homeowners, the return address phone number. After two hours on and off the phone, the originating company representative told me the package was mine.

Excited, I cut through the tape and pulled out a large red stoneware container holding potpourri. It featured an embossed fleur-de-lis.

My son Tristan’s favorite color was red. Fleur-de-lis is French for the lily flower, which is used to symbolize resurrection. The Boy Scouts, an organization to which Tristan belonged for years, uses the symbol.

Was it somehow, through a series of small errors, sent to me by Tristan’s energy? No one can say for sure. My friend Kay, who lost her son, taught me to see these unusual events as signs from our loved ones. She would say, “Thank you, thank you, send me more.” Because she is open to the possibility and watching for it, she notices what others might readily dismiss, and she feels a precious sense of connection with and gratitude toward her son.

So I am going to accept this gift as if my son sent it to me and give thanks for this unusual and wonderful circumstance.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

If you have lost a loved one to cancer, watch for interesting and unusual signs that this person is communicating with you. If something happens, give your loved one thanks and ask for more.

Thriver Soup Article: Special Delivery, by Heidi Bright

Patricia’s Journey with the Purple Dragon

Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back.

John O’Donohue

The soul of Patricia Moreira-Cali has been stirred into full life by a purple dragon known as leiomyosarcoma. It is a rare and aggressive form of cancer, and for women it usually starts in the uterus.

On April 23, 2013, Patricia’s uterine “fibroids” were found to be cancerous, and she began a perilous journey that continues today. She bravely talks about her first year after the diagnosis in her book, My Journey with the Purple Dragon. She goes into vulnerable detail about her emotional experiences and her search for a cure.

“Friends and family are not with you at all times of the day and night,” she wrote. “You are alone when the tears seem endless, when the sorrow is so painful that it’s hard to breathe, when the grief cuts through your core, when you long for the freedom to feel healthy, and when you are introduced to death, and somehow you befriend it.”

She experiments with a variety of complementary treatments while doing conventional chemotherapy. “I have no doubt that the treatment of cancer, and many other chronic diseases, requires a holistic approach,” she wrote. Among her choices were to visit John of God in Brazil, and she describes her experiences there.

Gradually, the reader witnesses Patricia’s inner transformation. “A new me is emerging, growing and flourishing, somehow,” she writes.

When she reaches the end of her first year of treatment, she finds an enviable place of serenity. “I have detached from much illusion, and I feel mostly at peace within.”

The book is self-published and could benefit from professional editing, yet overall it is a moving story of courage and a roadmap for others on the journey with cancer.

 

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Profits from Patricia’s book sales go to leiomyosarcoma research and to support a poor child with cancer through her non-profit Helping Children Heal (HCH). Her book can be ordered at http://www.purpledragonjourney.com/order-now/

 

Sources:

Patricia Moreira-Cali, My Journey with the Purple Dragon: Living with a Rare and Aggressive Cancer. Bloomington, IN: Balboa Press, 2014:78,100, 105.

Thriver Soup Article: Patricia’s Journey with the Purple Dragon by Heidi Bright