This page is my personal journal as I walked my journey with breast cancer. I was initially diagnosed on December 30, 2010. In December 2012 I was diagnosed again with the same type of breast cancer in the same breast. Below is an email Update we sent to friends and family after my surgeries were completed. Please know that I am doing extremely well and am excited to include this recent experience in my upcoming book, "Loving Life...all of it - A Walk with Cancer, Compassion and Consciousness."
January 15, 2013 Email Update:
I wanted to touch base and share with you the profound and sacred journey that’s been transpiring in our lives over the last few weeks. We chose to keep it close to home as it was occurring because it was happening so quickly and we needed to stay in the flow…plus, there were simply no words to describe it at the time.
It began manifesting in my awareness during the preparation for the December 9th concert at MERCY Center. This concert was a celebration of the Divine Feminine Energy as we experience it collectively on Earth and within ourselves.
Fast forward a few weeks to my birthday on December 16th; followed by an enlightening massage/energy session with a dear friend that literally transformed cellular memories of my ‘mothering’ experiences into a Oneness within myself that I have never before experienced. My mammogram was scheduled on December 20th (Winter Solstice) along with annual yearly check-ups with my OB/GYN and General Practitioner the last week of December and first week of January.
During my mammogram I told the nurse about a small lump I noticed last month and that I felt it was probably scar tissue from a previous biopsy. She marked it and I learned later that it was so small it didn’t even show up on the mammogram. Since I was already there for a check-up with my oncologist, we decided to biopsy the lump. I love that my doctors are proactive! The magic started when I was in the biopsy room and said, “Now all you need is some music”…the nurse pushed the Play button on the boom box sitting on the counter and “The Magic Mirror” began playing!!! They said, “We wanted to surprise you. We play this for every patient getting a biopsy and they love it.” Even the doctor said it helps him stay relaxed. It was such a sacred moment of connection and awareness that I was surrounded by Divine Love and everything was going to be OK.
Without going into all the details, the biopsy came back positive for the same type of cancer I had before (estrogen receptive). One test led to another, one doctor’s appointment led to another and information was being gathered from a number of different sources. We realized that the progesterone and estrogen levels were out of balance within my system causing other manifestations that could have been much worse down the road. The decision was made to have a mastectomy on my right side and a full hysterectomy plus removal of my ovaries through the Da Vinci robotic system which is the least invasive type of procedure.
We decided to do both surgeries at the same time because everything was connected. Surgery was last Wednesday (Jan. 9th) at St. Luke’s Hospital and everything went extremely well. Dr. Patricia Limpert was my breast surgeon and Dr. Karuna Murray was my gynecological surgeon. I was up walking to the restroom that evening and was out of the hospital within 24 hours. I’m doing great with minimal to no pain and had my drain removed yesterday (Monday, Jan. 14th).
As before, this is a very sacred and profound journey on many levels. The depth of my awareness and connection to this experience is beyond words.
When someone asks me, “What can I do for you?” “Is there anything you need?” My response is, “Stay inside yourself and connect to that which YOU truly love…then express and share it!” That is the level on which we can all help each other…by living and sharing our love with those around us. Whatever you love to do…do it! That helps me more than anything in world.
If that doesn’t feel comfortable for you, or if you would rather ‘do’ something specific… then please feel free to help me continue manifesting my dream of sharing “The Magic Mirror” CDs with cancer patients. You can follow this link and sponsor a CD for $10: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=D99GPTHATWGU2 I will then give that sponsored CD to Dr. Limpert’s office to share with newly diagnosed cancer patients and those patients preparing for surgery.
Thank you for your loving thoughts and know that I am doing beautifully!
Loving life…all of it,
JAN 1, 2011 - Amy's Journey to Love begins...
Dear Friends and Family,
I'm sending you this email because you are all a very special to us and we wanted to share what is happening in our lives right now. On Dec. 20th I had a mammogram and on Dec. 21st (Winter Solstice...how perfect) they called and said a small mass was found in my right breast. I went back for a sonogram on Dec. 23rd, a biopsy on Dec. 29th and on Dec. 30th the biopsy came back positive as "ductal infiltrating carcinoma"...breast cancer. Right now I just know that it's Stage 1, intermediate grade, fed by estrogen and progesterone, measuring 1.8cm X 1.9cm (small) and it's the most common type of breast cancer (70-75%)...so...if it had to happen, this is the type to have.
Ironically, even though the 'unknown' factor is a bit scary, there's also a deep sense of peace surrounding all of this. I know that a large part of my purpose for being on the planet is to create and share my music with people going through the cancer journey and I also know in my heart that part of me needs to personally experience this journey in order to be able to say "been there, done that." There is so much beauty surrounding this process already and I'm very clear that one of my main lessons during all of this is to learn how to receive love for myself. So...from my perspective, this is a sacred journey back to myself so that I can more fully share my love with the world. To help things flow easily, I've decided to communicate mostly through this Core Group email list to keep everyone updated. If you don't want to be on this list, please let me know.
Here's where we are:
- A dear, dear soul sister friend who knows everyone in the cancer community contacted one of the top surgeons in the area on her personal cell phone within 30 minutes of my diagnosis. Because of my activity within the cancer community over the past 10 years, I've also met this surgeon before so she knows me. We have an appointment scheduled for Monday at 3:30pm and she can get all of my pathology and mammogram/sonogram images transferred to her office on Monday morning. Once we meet and confirm that she will be my surgeon, I'll let you know her name. A call has also been made to one of the top radiologists in the area to give her a 'heads up' on what's happening so she'll be in alignment with our team.
- an MRI has been scheduled for Wed. at 11:45am at another hospital...that may change since the surgeon may want to move that up
- I contacted Dr. Rachel Borson who has been a part of our research team with "The Magic Mirror" and asked if she would be my medical oncologist after surgery. The word everyone uses to describe this woman is "Brilliant." She said she would be honored and is all set to help in every way. She also replied with this information to give clarity to what will follow:
The MRI will give even more detail than the mammogram and ultrasound, to make sure that there is not a second mass etc. The usual next step is for the surgeon to remove the tumor from the breast and a "sentinel" node (a "targeted" lymph node) from the armpit area. Depending on the "nature" of the cancer (fast vs slow growing, estrogen-fed or not, etc) further decisions are then made by someone like me as to whether to use chemo, an anti-estrogen pill, or both. Radiation to the breast is also done to prevent a recurrence in the remaining breast tissue (if a mastectomy is not done). All of the surgery is done as the first step if the tumor is small, as yours appears to be.
I would be honored to be your medical oncologist in this crazy journey, or to act as a sounding board, or whatever helps. This sounds like an entirely curable situation. The important thing is to go step-by-step with as much information as possible...I know that things will be fine!
So, the bottom line is that this sacred journey is flowing beautifully, with ease, as everything and everyone is dancing gracefully into place. Now all we need to do is take each step...one step at a time, while staying present and open to the love within each moment. John, Christopher and Justin are all doing well and we have all agreed to stay open and honest with our feelings and share every piece of information as we move forward, together.
Thank you for being a part of this sacred journey.
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Jan. 3rd
John, my Mom and I met today with the surgeon and we absolutely love her...she's perfect for this sacred journey. Her name is Patricia Limpert, MD from St. Luke's Hospital http://www.stlukes-stl.com/meet_doctor/dr_patricia_limpert.html She went over everything with us (2 hours!!). Here are the main highlights:
- we're still waiting for some of the pathology which we should have tomorrow
- the fact that this type of diagnosis is estrogen & progesterone fed is positive
- we're trying to schedule an MRI tomorrow so we can keep things moving...otherwise I'll keep my current MRI appointment on Wed. @ 11:45am at Missouri Baptist
- the MRI will be key in determining if there's anything else going on in either breast and will help determine the surgery options
- we are planning to schedule surgery sometime next week...we won't know if the lymph is involved until they examine a sample during surgery
- after surgery treatment will not be decided until they know if the lymph is involved
So, basically, we're waiting on more pathology (tomorrow) and MRI (hopefully tomorrow)...so things are moving. Thank you for your love and support on ALL levels!! ;-)
Loving life...all of it,
Tuesday, January 04, 2011 9:18 AM
MRI is scheduled for 1:45am today
Genetic Counselor appointment scheduled on Thursday at 7:30am with the top person at St. Louis University...since I'm adopted and relatively young, this is just an information-gathering blood test.
Working to get surgery scheduled for next Tuesday or Wednesday.
And this sacred journey continues to dance effortlessly with love...
UPDATE: On Jan 4,2011, at 7:14 PM, Amy Camie <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Here's the latest...MRI went well today. It was an unexpected experience to be so completely in myself as the powerful vibrations surrounded me. I found myself in communion with each cell and I reassured them that "we're all in this together and we're all supporting each other so just relax and let the vibrations enter in order to get the best images possible...and then let the vibrations pass through...there's no need to hold them."
My dear soul-sister Bridgette came over this morning to share as much information as I could absorb about the foods that will energetically support me on this journey. She has several years of training and personal experience with macrobiotics and her recipes are amazing...yummmmm....Miso soup, brown rice and veggies for lunch!!
Surgery has been scheduled for next Tuesday...yes...it's 1-11-11...you know I love that! I'll arrive at 10:30am and surgery is at 2pm...it's Out-Patient so I'll be home that night. Mom will be at the hospital all day and I know all of you will be there with me as well. St. Luke's won't know why the space feels so full that day. ;-)
With each day the vision of this sacred journey becomes clearer...today's HUGE insights were all about balance...on every level.
Loving life...all of it,
Jan. 5 UPDATE
Dr. Limpert called with the results from my MRI...well, my body did what I asked and allowed them to see everything they needed...so...2 small (4mm & 6mm) areas were found in the upper inner and outer quadrants of my right breast when the contrast die was added during the MRI...and an area in the left breast was also found which they believe is a fibroid. Tomorrow an ultrasound is scheduled at 11:30 so they can confirm whether or not they can see the areas in my right breast and confirm the area in the left is benign. If the areas in the right breast are visible, then the decision will be made as to whether or not to biopsy them...one step at a time.
Good news...my annual pap test came back negative...yeah!
Several of you have asked if you could share what's happening with others. Thank you for honoring my sacred journey by asking permission. This journey is about compassion, love and unification so please feel free to share with others if you are called. I'm not advertising but I'm not hiding anything and I wouldn't want you to feel like you needed to hide anything either. We're all connected anyway. ;-)
This morning more beautiful awareness came before and during listening to "The Magic Mirror"...Wow...one of the gifts of this journey is truly being able to experience the energy of the music on levels I've never been able to accesses before.
Thank you for your prayers, love and light for me and my family. We are truly grateful.
Loving life...all of it,
JAN. 6- UPDATE
It's been a busy day...but before I share more, it's nice to know that I got the cutest hair cut ever yesterday (thanks Rose) so I feel fresh, light and bouncy...no pun intended. :-)
Ok...today started at 7:30am with a meeting with genetic counselor, Dr. Mahon from St. Louis University. Since I'm adopted and relatively young for breast cancer, I'm interested in finding out if I have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/BRCA This is simply an 'information gathering' move which will help us determine future decisions. Pending insurance approval, we could have more information in 7-10 days.
I went to St. Luke's for an 11:30 ultrasound on the 3 areas they found in my MRI. The radiologist spoke with Dr. Limpert and suggested we get a biopsy of 2 of them (one on each breast). Dr. Limpert was able to get the biopsies ordered immediately and now they're done. Results may be back tomorrow...but probably Monday. These results will also help us determine our surgery options.
Another result from my pathology came back in the gray area and needs to be sent to another lab for more testing...again...more information gathering.
It feels as if my body is guiding the momentum of our decisions and is helping us to slow down while still moving ahead. To be on this side of the journey is profound for me as I could never have experienced my judgments, assumptions and perceptions of this experience without having experienced it personally. It is soooo personal and I honor everyone who has walked it before me. I am journaling everyday to capture the emotional and spiritual awarenesses in more depth than I feel is appropriate to share in these updates. However, I'm happy to share them all when I have the time to type them up.
Thank you all for your prayers, love and light...they are being received!! :-)
Loving life...all of it,
Update: Jan 7, 2011, at 1:44 PM, Amy Camie wrote:
This morning I experienced the most amazing meditation of light and feel so full of peace, love and gratitude for this journey. At noon, Dr. Limpert called as John and I were waiting for lunch and said she was surprised that the results from yesterday's biopsies were in (don't you love when the way Universe works!!). Both biopsies are FINE!! The left breast was just a lymph node and the right was just a small fibroid...no worries!! So...surgery is still scheduled for Tuesday, Jan.11th. (1-11-11) Were opting for a 'breast conservation' procedure more commonly known as a lumpectomy along with a lymph node sample. Now, our desire (without attachment) is to shrink the mass this weekend so treatment options afterwards are minimal.
Also, some of you know that during all of this we were seeing doctors for Justin because a cyst-type lesion that was found on his skull during a CAT Scan for sinuses. He had an MRI the day after mine and yesterday the doctors called to confirm that the lesion is confined to the bone and does not involve the brain. Whew!! The next step for us is to meet with a pediatric neurosurgeon next Thursday to see if any other steps need to be taken. He's probably had this since birth and it's not uncommon so we're hoping that nothing else needs to be done. But...at least now we have hundreds of pretty pictures of his brain for future reference! ;-)
Thank you all for your continued prayers, love and light!!
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Jan. 10
On this day before surgery, I'm doing great...more deep awarenesses surfaced this weekend...bottom line...I created such a story about "being given away" (which I KNOW was not the case...it was just the story I created) that I didn't trust anyone, including myself...paradox...I wanted to please everyone so they'd like/love me but I wasn't able to receive that love because of the wall of protection I'd created. So...the 'learning to receive' love during this journey has been profound and the visuals of allowing the circle of light from everyone who loves me to actually merge with my light to create a unified river of light has been getting clearer and clearer. The fears and judgments my mind created about other people's love carrying attachments, etc. was such a huge story I carried. Then I saw how as my love for myself intensifies and my light becomes brighter, the love from everyone around merges with me and any 'attachments, fears, etc.' from their end just 'poof' away and only love remains. Pretty cool...now my vision is to allow all that love into every cell of my body. So tonight...it's a love fest and you're all invited to send as much love, light and prayers as you can until you just burst with laughter because you're so full of joy yourself!!
Loving life...all of it,
Sent: Tue, Jan 11, 2011 11:15 pm
Surgery went okay today, staying in hospital overnight. More info. tomorrow.
Sent:Wednesday, January 12, 2011 3:34 PM
I'm still under some heavy duty pain meds so I hope this makes sense....I'll write again soon but for now, here's what's going on...
Surgery started at 4:00pm and went longer than expected because the sentinal node was postive so she to out 2 levels of lymph nodes (approx. 10-20)
We'll know more after the pathology comes back.
I was able to spend the night at the hospital which was wonderful
I have an appointment already scheduled with a physical therapist on Jan. 21
After pathology comes back, I'll meet with Dr. Rachel Borson and will schedule a PET Scan to see if it's spread anywhere else....then we can determine which type of chemotherapy to use
Normally, after chemotherapy, radiation lasts 35 weeks
Thank you all for your love, light and prayers...they brought me to tears yesterday as I could feel them all!
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Jan. 13
Today I'm a little more "with it" as I'm weaning off the codeine w/tylenol pain pills...they really make me shaky...and using Advil instead. Mom stayed the night and we both slept well. Last night, our dear friend Cindy came over to help open and balance my body's meridians and release the energy from the anesthesia...my body was shaking from the drugs when she got here and was calm when she left. My arm is sore but Mom and I did T'ai Chi Chuh this morning to keep the energy moving. I'm continuing to support my body through whole foods and suggestions from Bridgette to keep the energy moving....yum...kale and brown rice for lunch thanks to help from Patty and dinner is ready from Jen...quinoa, squash and other yummy rainbow flavors!
My 'navigator' soul sister who is aligning all my doctors is scheduling a meeting with 2 radiologists to feel which one will best support this sacred journey.
The genetic lab called today and testing is starting for the BRCA 1 and 2...results should come within 7-10 days.
Although the details aren't fancy, there's so much beauty in every moment and I am truly grateful for this experience. Each one of you brings a precious piece of the puzzle to my life and I'm learning so much about myself through you. I am truly blessed!
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Jan. 14th
Today feels like a day of readjusting and realigning. Energy level is very much inside and slower. Went to see Dr. Limpert and she took my drain out...wow...talk about some interesting (somewhat painful) nerve responses...like cold water rushing down my side but everything was dry. Last night the inside part of my upper arm felt really tender and numb...today Dr. Limpert said it was because the drain was affecting those nerves. Now we're just watching to make sure no fluid builds up...so...I'm taking it slowly but not too slow...again...everything is about balance. We don't have any test results back from surgery but she still wanted to keep things moving by setting up a PET Scan so make sure the rest of my body is clear. Just found out that my insurance won't cover the PET Scan but will cover a CAT Scan of the abdomen, chest and pelvis...which is scheduled for Monday morning at 8am.
I'm meeting with my medical oncologist, Dr. Rachel Borson on Tuesday at 4:15...we're hoping to have the CAT scan results and surgery results by then so we can keep moving forward with treatment options.
Thursday afternoon is a follow-up with Dr. Limpert and Friday is the first day of physical therapy so I can have specific exercises to do to prevent lymphodema.
As always, thank you for your love, light, prayers and presence!!
Breathing deeply and loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Jan. 15th
You know things are changing when the goal for the day is taking a shower. Life is certainly slowing down and the movement between the inside and outside worlds is finding an interesting balance. My right arm is really sore today...which makes sense since John said when the doctor removed the drain, the tubing kept coming out and he had no idea where it all came from. All I can do is be gentle and allow the time and space for my body to heal.
I am so grateful for all my tools...T'ai Chi Chuh...a slower variation of T'ai Chi...after which I can feel my whole body tingling from the inside...whole foods and new recipes (steamed rainbow chard and scallions for lunch)...and, of course, "The Magic Mirror" which I listen to twice a day.
It has always been my dream to find a way to gift "The Magic Mirror" to every newly diagnosed cancer patient in the country (OK...the world) and now I'm personally experiencing the value of that gift. An idea came to me a few days ago which I have been holding in my heart and it feels like the time to share it. Many of you have asked if there's a way you can help us as we travel this journey. Here's the idea...if you know of anyone going through treatment, having a birthday, anniversary or just a nice neighbor, please consider gifting them with one of my harp CDs. This will help keep the energy of the music moving out into the world, (since I'm not playing or teaching right now), they receive a gift, you're sharing your love and we are being helped financially to cover our medical bills. It's just an idea...if it resonates, great...if it's not the right time...that's fine too...just keep sending your prayers, love and light!! Have a beauty-filled weekend!
Loving life...all of it
PS...you can order from this site and they'll mail the CD where ever you want. :-) www.cdbaby.com
Sent: Mon, Jan 17, 2011 8:02 pm
Sunday was as very 'tingling' day with my right arm...lots of inner connections happening. I finally took a shower, which everyone in my house appreciatedand was surprised at how tired I was afterwards. I'm really listening inside and taking things very slowly. Opening mail can wait until Monday.
OK...mail didn't get opened today (Monday) but that's OK...it's getting easier and easier to prioritize. Tingles in my arm moved from the back side to more underneath, in my armpit...can feel the connections happening and each day there's more strength. So thankful Mom and Dad came over today to help...driving to my CAT Scan (still waiting on results), laundry, vacuuming, taking down the Christmas tree, chopping veggies for Miso soup and organizing all my papers for this journey (insurance forms, resources, medical results, etc.) By noon my body said "Time to Stop"...so I did...immediately. Another dear friend came over this afternoon to share her gift of a gentle massage for both me and John. My body is cooperating so beautifully as it stays open and flowing...I keep drinking warm lemon water and tea to flush out the dye they used for the CAT scan. Tomorrow we meet with Dr. Rachel Borson, my medical oncologist, at 3:15pm. I can feel some interesting conversations bubbling up about my 'processing' before the diagnosis and how to balance this next phase of my journey...one step at a time...that's all we can do. More tomorrow after CAT Scan results come in. Thank you all for your continued prayers, love and light!
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - JAN. 18
Today's a day to exhale...my surgeon called this morning with test and pathology results...here they are:
- CAT Scan from yesterday was fine. They found a possible kidney stone and a small cyst on the right ovary (which will resolve itself in time) but no other issue...Yeah!!
- Pathology from surgery...mass was larger than anticipated measuring 3.2 cm
- only 1 lymph node had a small involvement (2mm) and a total of 11 lymph nodes were removed...the other's were clear...Yeah!!
- only one area around the mass had a smaller margin because the tissue was so close to my pec. muscle...so a tiny bit of my muscle was also removed...no big deal.
We meet with Dr. Rachel Borson this afternoon to discuss treatment options. My arm is feeling stronger today and I'm beginning to reduce the amount of Ibuprofen needed during the day. The tingles are not as intense. Tonight I'll see whether or not I need the pain pill.
All of this is great news as my body continues to realign, rebalance and receive love!
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Jan. 19
We met with Dr . Borson yesterday for over an hour...again, so grateful for such wonderful doctors. She was very willing and open to hear my 'perspective' about why I felt my body manifested these cells so I shared with her some of my deep inner processing of the masculine/feminine energy, fears, adoption issues, etc. I also told her how much I respected her medical expertise and that I was willing and open to her suggestions for treatment. My only desire was to find a balanced way to walk this next phase of my journey.
She spent a lot of time describing the different ways breast cancer is categorized and that each is treated with a different protocol. My particular type is, of course, right in the middle...Luminal B- fast growing/hormonal...so chemotherapy is strongly encouraged. Even though my CAT Scan was clear, there's a high probability that there are still cancer cells somewhere in my body and the reason for chemotherapy is to treat the whole body and destroy those 'rouge' cells. So, I have chosen to do chemotherapy and my first treatment will be Thursday, Feb. 10th. I am very comfortable with this decision and am surprised that I actually made it....again, my past paradigms and perceptions are being turned upside down. I don't have the exact names of the drugs yet, but I will get them...again, they're not the strongest and not the weakest...they're the middle ones. I'll have 6 treatments (lasting about 3 hours) once every 3 weeks, so they'll be finished the end of May. Radiation will probably follow afterwards...we'll make that decision down the road. Dr. Borson explained that the chemotherapy will only destroy cells that divide...which is why most people lose their hair because those cells divide. Healthy cells are always renewing and the cancer cells can't...simple as that. 90% of the cancer cells are destroyed with each treatment. I'll have a portacath ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_(medical) ) inserted on my left side up by my shoulder so my arms and hands won't get sore from IVs...also the harp lays on my right shoulder so I'll be able to play comfortably once my right arm is strong. My treatments will be on Thursday's (every 3 weeks) and I'll return the next day (Fri.) for a booster shot that will stimulate my white blood cells...then I'll take it easy for a few days to rest. She described 3 Generations of chemo drugs - drugs used in the 1980's, the drugs used in the 1990's and now the 3rd Generation is the best of what was used in the '90s...that's what I'll be getting...which most people handle without many problems. I'm listening to "The Magic Mirror" twice a day so I know my immune system is already getting a boost, and I'm not worried about 'chemobrain' either. If you ask my family, my brain has been rewiring for the past few years anyway so we're not anticipating much change there. My friend is taking me shopping on Saturday to the best wig shop in town so we can closely match my hair if it decides to fall out. I was planning on just getting some natural magic markers and drawing "loving life...all of it" across the backside of my head anyway... now I'll be ready for all possible social occasions. :-) Also, they expect I'll go into menopause...which is a good thing so my hormonal ups and downs will be in check...that's OK, too...I've already warned the boys that I may walk around the house in my underwear periodically because of hot flashes...I'll just have to make sure their friends are not over.
I hope you all can feel that I'm very comfortable and at peace with this decision. Today when I was listening to "The Magic Mirror" I felt and saw how I will actively participate with the chemotherapy drugs as they enter my body. Realizing that nothing in this world is all good or all bad, there's a beauty and peace when the balance is recognized. I recognized that in life, death and decay must happen for new life to emerge...so, I am actively thanking all my cells and when the chemo enters, I will consciously embrace each cell that is destroyed with love and release it with gratitude knowing that the healthy ones will return, renewed. This is a deep, cellular clearing that I have been preparing for all my life. Thank you all for walking this journey with me. I am honored and blessed!
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Jan. 21
Happy "Gotcha Day" to Me!!! Today's the day my Mom and Dad 'got me' in Springfield, IL. I'm so grateful that my birth Mom loved me soooo much that she would offer me an opportunity to grow up in a family that could completely support the development of my gifts...I am truly blessed!!
Here's the latest...my BRCA1 & BRCA2 genetic test came back negative...which is great news because now I can keep my ovaries!! :-) As stated in my report:This result rules out the majority of abnormalities believed to be responsible for hereditary susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer.
I met with my physical therapist today at St. John's who specializes in lymphodema and will meet with her twice a week for the next several weeks to stretch my muscles and get my range of motion back. I'll be back to playing harp in no time...but will need to be extra careful when moving it...can't lift anything over 10lbs.
The Wig Trip has been moved to next Saturday morning because we wanted to get the earliest appointment possible. Of course, I'm getting all sorts of compliments on my hair now so this is great lesson in 'releasing attachments.' :-)
Thank you all for your messages, cards, prayers, love and light!!
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Jan. 24
With all the doctor's appointments slowing down a bit, it was time to acknowledge the fear and grief my body was holding onto. Tears of honesty flowed this weekend as the realization that life, as we've known it, will never be the same. Of course, life is never the same from moment to moment so I'm not sure why this 'realization' was so intense...probably because I was holding on to 'the familiar' way more than I thought I was. It was cleansing to feel the emotions and then let them pass through, knowing that these waves are simply part of the journey.
Last night was the first night I didn't take a pain pill...ibuprofen seems to be taking the edge off. It's not so much pain anymore but rather the tender sensations of the nerves...anything that touches my skin, especially under the entire length of my right arm, is sensitive. John had a silky pajama top that I'm wearing now which really helps. I'm doing exercises which stretch the muscles and am getting more strength back with each day...I really miss driving! I'm also taking 100mg of B6 twice a day in preparation for treatment to protect the nerves...just a preventative measure.
John and I spent the day editing another CD which was recorded with a dear friend, Jessica, last year. It was a totally inspired, on-the-spot, let the music flow recording that brought through amazing feminine energy. Thanks to our wonderful engineer, Adam, Jessica and I will be sharing it soon!!
Tomorrow I start teaching harp lessons again and plan to continue teaching through treatment since we've scheduled my treatment days on Thursdays and I teach on Tues. & Wed...which gives me plenty of time to bounce back.
Thank you all for your continued prayers, love and light!!
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Jan. 27
This week has been a flow of 'normal' schedules (harp teaching) and new additions(physical therapy). I just have to say that I have the greatest husband in the world!! He has been driving boys to the bus stop, to school, picking up after school, taking me to appointments, waiting for me, taking boys to guitar lessons, evening activities, grocery store...all without much complaining...unless I'm in the passenger seat trying to drive...that drives him crazy!!! :-) Hopefully, I'll be able to drive soon!
Physical therapy is helping me stretch the 'cording' that's happening in my arm as my lymph system opens a new pathway for flowing the lymph...my therapist explained that there are pathways that aren't utilized but are present and now a new one is needed so my body is doing it's best to open it up...right now it feels like a really tight tendon running from my shoulder down the inside of my upper arm and down my forearm...it just takes patience, time and gentle stretching. The nerve sensitivity is still a bit painful...thank goodness for Ibuprofen, Tylenol and smooth silky shirts (thanks Mom).
Today we spent 2 1/2 hours at Children's Hospital waiting for and finally meeting with a pediatric neurosurgeon who confirmed that Justin (13yrs) needs to have the bone lesion, that was found on his CAT scan, removed from his skull. It's an easy, one-day procedure that we want to schedule before chemotherapy starts. We're trying to get it set for Monday, Feb. 7th. Justin seems to be comfortable with it since he saw the MRI and the doctor said it'll just keep growing unless it's removed...and it won't come back. The good news is that he can keep his hair...they just need to cut a little square out where the lesion is.
Tomorrow is more physical therapy and a visit to the dentist...it's important to get a baseline of my teeth/gums before treatment.
Great news...Christopher is a finalist for a full scholarship at Truman State University so we're driving to Kirksville, MO on Friday, Feb. 4th for his interview.
So...it's gently pouring at the Camie household and we're all learning to dance and laugh in the rain as we take one step at a time...deep breath...then another.
Thank you all for your prayers, love and light!
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Feb. 1
Well, it's not 'pouring' but it definitely continues to 'sleet' at the Camie household thanks to this massive winter storm. Several phone calls made yesterday and our whole schedule has changed... that's what 'going with flow' and 'dancing with the waters' is all about. :-) Here's our new timetable of events:
- My Port-a-Cath procedure has changed from tomorrow to next Tuesday (2/8) morning
- John's root canal completion is Tuesday afternoon
- Justin's surgery to remove the lesion on his skull is Wednesday (2/9) at 2pm and he'll probably spend the night...Mom will be with us to help
- My chemotherapy starts on Thursday (2/10) morning at 9am
...and we're in limbo about Christopher's interview at Truman State University this Friday due to the snow...deep breath...one step at a time.
My Physical Therapy is going well and my arm is getting stronger and more flexible each day...especially when I do my exercises. Later this week I'll get my arm & hand garments which are the tight sleeves I'll wear whenever I need extra support....like when I play harp for hours in the recording studio...yeah...looking forward to that!
Saturday, my Mom, a dear friend and I went shopping for wigs at "A+ Wigs." I may or may not lose my hair...either way is fine...we just want to be prepared. I've never been in a wig shop before...if you haven't gone, I highly recommend it for 'bad hair days' :-) They're wonderful...not like 'your mother's wigs' of years ago...these were beautiful AND comfortable. They just came out with a new hair color, black/onyx, which matches my hair perfectly...so we ordered a really cute style in that color and another style in dark chocolate. When they come in, we'll go pick out the best one and it will stay at the shop until/if I need it. We're pretty sure my insurance company will cover it...it's called a 'cranial prosthesis.' If my hair decides to fall out, it usually happens quickly... so as soon as it starts, I'll call the wig shop, go in, they'll cut my hair and I'll walk out with my new doo. That's why we wanted everything in place and ready, if we need it. Note...One of the women helping us listens to my music every night to help her relax and the other women was the mother-in-law of a music director I work with...so...once again...the music has created this beautiful, soft pathway on which we are traveling.
Another dear friend came over to give me a massage over the weekend to help move the lymph and release some surgery trauma that was still in my tissues. She should be working with every surgeon in St. Louis to help with after-surgery trauma! Hmm...could be another gift of this journey....one step at a time....I'm sooo grateful to have such beautiful and gifted friends!!
Another dear friend has been working with our whole family and teaching us Transcendental Meditation. What a gift!! Now we all take 20 minutes twice a day to meditate and release stress, anxiety and troublesome thoughts. It has transformed our household as everyone feels much lighter, cooperative and there's much more laughter...which is a good thing because....
This morning (Tues.) John went outside to warm up the Ford Explorer and melt the ice off the windows. The car was running for about 15-20 minutes. We wanted to get to the bank when it opened at 9am. When we got in the car, it wasn't running. John turned the key and it was complete dead...nothing. He opened the hood and there was a squirrel's nest in the engine!! I can't say I blame the squirrel because when you think about it, an engine is a pretty warm place to hide from the ice. But...really!?! Isn't our life exciting enough??!! All we could do was laugh. The squirrel had chewed the lines to the alternator, the throttle and this other place that deals with emissions...can't remember the name. Anyway, we called AAA and a tow truck was there when John and I returned from the bank. The driver said this was his 10th squirrel incident in 6 months! So...if you have a car that sits in the driveway, you may want to put some moth balls around the edges of the hood...that's what we're going to try. Bottom line...this was a blessing because had we not found this today, we could have been driving on the highway and our battery would have died...because there was no power coming from the alternator due to the cut wires we would have been running on just the battery. So...the angels looking over the Camie family were in full force this morning! :-) Good news...the mechanic just called and our car is finished...we'll pick it up Wed. or Thurs.
For today, tomorrow and possibly Thursday, we're all here together enjoying the 'snow days' as the snow, sleet and freezing rain continues outside. These words just popped into my mind from my song, "All Things Are One":
"Life, is a never ending circle of changes
My life is connected to it All...through....You."
Thank you all for being a part of our life!!
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Feb. 6
Here's the latest...we drove to Kirksville, MO on Friday for Christopher's interview for a full scholarship to Truman State University. The weather was beautiful and his interview went well...we'll receive a letter within 2 weeks.
Justin is going to spend the night at Children's Hospital after his surgery on Wednesday so I changed my first chemotherapy treatment to Friday (2/11...exactly one month from my surgery on 1/11) so we didn't have to rush his discharge on Thursday.
I'm driving!! Yeah!!! and I can extend my arms over my head. I still have tightness in my arm but there's improved flexibility at each Physical Therapy appointment. I also got my arm 'garment' which is the tight sleeve I wear whenever I do exercise or have any swelling...need to find some soft fabric to put under the top elastic part because it does irritate my skin a bit....minor detail.
My wigs are in...just need to set an appointment and pick one out. Was going to do that Monday BUT....that darn squirrel got back in my engine and built another nest...and...chewed some more wires. At least it's drivable so we're taking it in tomorrow. Moth balls are now in the fire wall so hopefully that will keep them out.
There's been a HUGE shift in the last 48 hours around that little squirrel. When we first found the nest, I reflected on the energy of the Squirrel message from ORIGINS which is:
You hide things from yourself and others
All weekend I could feel a resistance in me...like an energetic wall that wasn't allowing me to travel further into myself. Yesterday (Sat.) I could feel myself keeping busy and distracted with 'doing' so I wouldn't have to settle into Being. Finally, I stopped and listened to "The Magic Mirror." The love flowing through that music got inside and underneath my wall....then the tears of honesty started flowing again and the words, "I really don't want to go through chemotherapy" kept repeating over and over again. The hidden, concealed, fear was coming up and out...so I let the tears flow as the music continued. John came in the room half way through and just held my hand, without trying to 'fix' anything,...he was just there with me. By the end of the CD, the energy had released and I felt lighter and more honest with myself. Sometimes my mind...OK...a lot of times my mind takes control and tries to protect me from myself...from feeling the feelings in my body. My mind just wants me to 'think' I'm feeling them...without the actual experience....tricky thing, this mind of mine....especially because I 'thought' that release of fear was all I was concealing. Ha...
Last night, John and I went to bed early and I felt this overwhelming desire to gently rub his back like I used to before all this started. The love that flowed through my hands reached into his heart and all that existed was that moment. Love's gentle touch awakened yet a deeper pocket of concealment as my protective mind surrendered to the body's natural state. As I allowed myself to feel, all the fear and trauma my body had been holding onto from each of the procedures, released...the 3 biopsies, the MRI, CAT Scan, ultrasound, dyes, IVs, mammograms, surgery...all the energy of those invasive procedures that my body didn't have the capacity at the time to balance, was released in tears of gratitude for my body and all that it's gone through. Then the guilt came about going through chemotherapy...how could I say I love my body and then put drugs in it? What a paradox....all the procedures were done by people who genuinely cared about me yet they still did what they did...and I interpreted the experience. During my morning meditation I saw how everything just IS...and I experience it based on my perception. In my mind, I've already reconciled the gift of chemotherapy and the cleansing, purification and gift of life it offers...I'm just getting really honest about my body's feelings about it...based on really OLD beliefs. I'm so grateful this is coming up now so those unconscious beliefs can unwind and transform.
Every experience just IS and I am the one who perceives it and chooses how I experience it. Last night was profound for both me and John in that we are consciously choosing to experience the love and joy of this journey together on levels that we've never been able to access before.
And the journey continues....
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Feb. 9
My port-a-cath is in on the left side just under my collarbone. Pain was a little more than expected...requested different pain pills, non-narcotic, which made me really sleepy...good thing! Cindy came over to help my body get back into balance from the drugs and procedure...thank you, Cindy!!! I also have a new pair of support stockings...kept me warm yesterday and helps prevent blood clots...I'm still wearing them today...
We arrive at Children's Hospital this morning at 11:30...Justin's surgery is scheduled for 1:00pm and should last about 1 1/2 hours...then recovery...then to his room. Mom and I are staying with him overnight. Mom is staying with us for the next few days...thank goodness!!!
Chemotherapy is scheduled for Friday and 9:30am. And life goes on...
Loving life...all of it,
PS...so many details to remember....John's root canal went as well as a root canal can go. :-) Sore, swollen and numb for a while...better today.
So glad this excessive amount of activity is temporary...doing our best to stay connected to the amount of stress our bodies are feeling and then releasing it through various meditations and exercises. Even Christopher listened to "The Magic Mirror" this morning before school.
The car is back...in the garage for the rest of the winter. Spring project...build a 2 car garage!! :-)
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Feb. 10
Great news...Justin's surgery went off without a hitch. The nurses were fabulous, we had a private waiting area, he responded well to the anesthesia, the lesion had not gone all the way through the bone so the doctor was able to 'scoop' it out cleanly (it was the size of a walnut), the bottom part of his skull is still in place so the bone will grow back, he didn't need a plate, they didn't cut a lot of hair, his sense of humor cracked us up after surgery and we came home last night...so we all got a good night's sleep thanks to really great pain pills! Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, love and light...keep 'em comin'... :-)
Loving life...all of it,
PS: Yes...tears of relief flowed like Niagara Falls when I got home...keeping as open, honest and clear as possible...
UPDATE - Feb. 11
One down...5 more to go! Mom and Dad came over early to be with Justin (and they lovingly cleaned our house and finished the laundry...thank you!!!) so John and I could leave around 9am. I consciously didn't wear makeup because I could feel tears so close to the surface. The infusion unit just opened in August so everything is new. We settled into our space, met our nurse, then I found the restroom...you guessed it...the tears spontaneously started flowing to cleanse any remaining fears that my mind had created. I took a deep breath, felt all the love surrounding us and the tears transformed into soul-inspired tiny little mirrors all over my face...mirrors of love from each of you...and I was ready to move forward.
Dr. Borson came into the unit for something else, saw us and came over for a quick picture...will send those soon. She also approved me taking up to 20mg of melatonin every night after reviewing the research Dave Kossor sent...both Rachel and Dave were part of our research team with the music. I'm starting off with 3mg and will work my way up...the research seems to indicate it has a positive impact on side effects...yeah! I'm also going to get outside between 9:30am-11am for the sunlight's impact on melatonin and reducing 'light at night' by lowing lights around 8:30pm and getting to bed by 10pm as suggested by Deborah Burnett...another dear soul sister who was part of our research.
The port-a-cath worked beautifully...so grateful. We had a little slow start drawing blood because they didn't tell me to drink a lot of water yesterday. Sandra, our nurse, made a mental note that a direction sheet would be helpful to give out before the first treatment...yeah...another step toward easing the journey. Saline fluids helped loosen things up, Sandra got the blood samples she needed and we were ready for the anti-nausea bags. John was with me the whole time, holding my hand and energetic space on all levels. :-) The TM and deep breathing was perfect during this prep-time to help my body relax.
When the chemo drug bag went up on the stand, it was time to get "The Magic Mirror" ready. As soon as she said, we're going, I pushed the button and didn't come back out until the end of the first round. I listened twice through the CD...it was perfect...the vibration of love flowing through that music helped to create a highway of familiarity that my healthy cells loved! Visuals of healthy cells opening to receive the love all around was so powerful....thank you all for being there!!!
The second drugs they used had to be inserted directly into my port. Bridgette, another soul sister and Reiki Master was with me during that part...there's only one visitor allowed in the unit at a time so John was able to take a little break and find a more comfortable chair in the waiting area. The nurse warned me that this drug may turn my urine red as it flushed through my kidneys and not to alarmed. Great news...I went to the restroom when we were finished and my kidneys were doing their job!!! :-)...that was fast!
John, Bridgette and I went to lunch afterwards so there's lots of good stuff inside helping the process.
This afternoon I started feeling a little nauseous so I listened to "The Magic Mirror" again. I could feel the energetic 'confusion' inside and I became my "Momma" self..."It's OK...just listen to the music". Shortly afterwards, the energy smoothed out and my new mantra came: "Healthy Cells Feel the Love." Love is Love and it doesn't matter what's going on inside or outside...Love is Love and that's my focus. I know these are words we all say but I can't even begin to put into words the depth that I'm now able to experience those three little words: Love is Love.
On a lighter note (pun intended) I love that it's 2-11-2011....and my chemo drugs started very close to 11...and the check that I used at the pharmacy was #2011 and the amount was $33.44....it's just a fun number game I play with the Universe that makes me smile. :-)
I have several prescriptions to take at home to help with nausea, etc for the few days. I go back on Monday afternoon for a 'booster shot' that will help my white blood cells and immune system.
I feel such gratitude for each one of you and wish I could send you personal Thank You notes...but...that's another part of my lesson...to be able to simply receive. OK...I guess this is my THANK YOU!!!
Justin is doing great!! Playing computer games, meditating and enjoying his time at home.
More later...one step at a time...well...it's more like one hour at a time right now...OK...it's really just one moment at a time...alright...it's just NOW! :-) Love you all!!!
Loving life...all of it,
Update - Feb. 13
First night (Sat.)...started feeling a bit nauseous so got ready for bed around 8pm after doing my body rub (thanks Bridgette for the info.) with a new white washcloth (thanks Patty) to help clean and open the pores of my skin...after all, it's my largest organ and I want to help my body release all the dead cells as quickly as possible. My lymph self-massage followed...no build up...good thing! Then the swishing of non-alcoholic mouthwash....whew...what a routine. The Ativan (I only take 1 at night on the first night of chemo) gave me a bit of a headache...glad it's only one pill. Was up about 3 times in the middle of the night with a really dry mouth...expected... put natural lip balm next to my bed (thanks Bonnie) and will put water close by tonight.
Daily routine is taking shape..."The Magic Mirror", morning talk with John, breakfast, take medicine, sit outside for morning light (will walk soon), meditation, lunch, medicine, some business, "The Magic Mirror" in the afternoon or meditation, connect with boys, dinner, relax and bedtime routine. I feel like I'm in some sort of initiation process that allows me the opportunity to truly choose what's most supportive for me at all times....different place to stand and choose from for me.
Felt well enough today (thanks in part to the steroid pill) to actually help facilitate a presentation at Shaare Emeth on music and healing. We listened to "The Magic Mirror" at the end instead of bringing a harp. It was wonderful to share and feel the beauty in that room. Thank you Harvey and Marti for facilitating that connection...it's just the beginning!
John enjoyed a wonderful massage (Thanks Anita) this afternoon and dinner was on the table when we got home thanks to more wonderful friend...and the Camie household is quiet...at least as quiet as the Camie household can be. :-)
Justin is doing well...we took the bandage off today and it's healing beautifully.
GREAT NEWS....Christopher received the Pershing Scholarship to Truman!!! Full tuition, room, board and an addition $4,000 for abroad study...we're so proud of him!
We are so blessed with such wonderful children!!!
We are so blessed with such wonderful family and friends!!
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - FEB. 15
We're now on Day 5 and I could've done without Days 3 & 4. Constant nausea really slows one down....so grateful I never experienced that during pregnancy...if I had, Christopher may have been an only child. :-) The compazine for nausea knocked me out so we're trying something else which seemed to work last night. Hopefully I won't need anything again until my next treatment. Saw Dr. Borson yesterday and had my 'booster shot' which helps stimulate the production of white blood cells. She said my bones may ache in a few days as the bone marrow begins to produce more white blood cells...already have a massage scheduled on Thursday so that will help. Came home from the booster, did some dishes, then slept for 3 hours. I have an acupuncture appointment set up for Friday thanks to the suggestion of another friend who saw the benefits of acupuncture with artists/musicians when she worked in San Francisco...helping to keep the meridians clear and flowing.
This morning I was able to tune both harps and actually played for about 30 minutes. It's amazing to think that just a few weeks ago I couldn't even lift my arm high enough to reach the strings....so grateful for physical therapy and a body that heals quickly. There's still tension in the arm when it's fully extended but it's sooooo much better.
update...just got back from Physical Therapy and I reached 100% extension!! Yeah...now I still have to work on softening up the scar tissue from my armpit. I'll continue PT through radiation therapy.
Sleeping is still a little tough since I can't sleep fully on either side because my lymph/incision is on the right and my port is on the left and I wake up every 3 hours with a really yucky taste in my mouth. I'm slowly getting to the point where I can put a pillow between my legs and twist a little to one side with other pillows supporting my backside so I'm not flat on my back...and I have pillows slightly elevating my head...it's quite a production...with lots of blankets since I seem to get really cold at night...layers help.
Since this is a sacred journey to love, I'm asking questions about why my body is feeling the way it does and noticing where the feelings are. Obviously, the nausea has been extremely present and it seems to just sit in the upper part of my solar plexus (high intestines). A very intuitive friend hugged me a few days ago and could feel the energy in that area as being 'really old.' That night I listened to the 'DREAMS' Cd to help awaken some of my subconscious thoughts...what I remembered the next morning were the words, "I hate it, I hate it!" OK...now we're getting somewhere. John helped by asking more questions and the awareness came that I've been holding on to the pain and anger of my first 'real' love relationship...or what I created in my mind to be my first 'real' love relationship. (again, that mind of mine!) I didn't understand how I could have loved someone so unconditionally and then they just dumped me for no apparent reason. Yes, it's a high school 'first love' trauma/drama, but for me, the recognition that this energy is still in my body is huge because now I see how many of my actions of giving, loving and sharing may have appeared to be 'unconditional' on the surface when, in truth, there was still a part of me holding on to the deep pain, anger and confusion from my past. And the journey continues....
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Feb. 17
On Wednesday I felt MUCH better. Very aware of the 'letting go' theme. For those of you who've known me for a while, you know that the 'letting go' energy is something I've been present to for years...it's just going much deeper now if you can believe it. Everything from helping my body release all the toxins from the drugs to the possibility of losing my hair is moving today. A friend called this morning on her way to get a colonic...so I scheduled an appointment, too...it's a start...even if all that came out were a few 'rocks'....I know...a little too much information....but the reality is my body is a manifestation of my subconscious beliefs, fears, dreams, love, all of it and right now, part of me is really scared and confused on a cellular level and my responsibility and joy is to listen to each and every part of me with loving compassion so I can gently support myself coming back into balance.
Called Dr. Borson's office to get a prescription for a 'cranial prosthesis' (wig) sent so I can submit it to my insurance company if I need it. Called my hairdresser to make sure she'd be willing to get me in on a moment's notice if my hair begins to fall out...and talked to the boys at dinner so they understood that one day they may leave for school seeing me with hair and return from school the same day seeing me without hair...so...everything's in place to keep flowing smoothly.
Today, Thursday, I actually vacuumed the whole house...who'd think that I'd ever be excited about that?! Yet, it's a success that I treasure. Other successes include being strong enough to get up in the morning and make the boy's lunches (they could do it but I like filling their food with bunches of love), being able to flip Justin's covers at night, taking short walks outside, driving, drying my hair with a hair dryer and chopping vegetables...so thankful my arm is strong and flexible! Also thankful that as of this Update, my bones feel strong...no aches or pains that some people experience as a result of the 'booster.'
For the past couple nights I've noticed how I've been tempted not to do my body rub and lymph massage before bed because I felt all cozy and warm and didn't want to take my clothes off. Interesting to feel the motivation to continue the routine is still slightly based in fear..."if I don't body rub then my meridians may not get cleared and all those dead cells will stay on my skin all night long." The self-love kicks in pretty quickly...just noticing.
This morning when listening to "The Magic Mirror," more tears of relief came as the 3rd melody started. The love was almost overwhelming as it helped to release another layer of fear/resistance from deep within...one step at a time...one gentle, loving step at a time...
Thank you all for being a part of this sacred journey!
Loving life...all of it,
PS...thought you'd enjoy some pictures.....
Justin wheels himself out of the hospital
Dr. Rachel Borson offers support on my first day of chemo
Listening to "The Magic Mirror"
"Cute Hair Day" - Feb. 15th
UPDATE - Feb. 20
On Friday I had a wonderful acupuncture experience...the massage table was set up in front of a huge window with the morning light streaming in and I asked Dr. Ducar to play "The Magic Mirror" (which was the perfect length because the needles stay in for about 20 minutes). The only needle that I noticed was the one between the webbing of my right thumb and pointer finger...of course it was connected to the large intestine meridian...no surprise there. We've decided to set up appointments shortly after each chemo treatment to help my body keep all the meridians open and flowing. Physical Therapy followed...which was great! My therapist said that since the compression tubing that she gave me was working so well, she went on-line to see how much a roll would be so other patients could use it. It's pretty expensive so she's not sure if her director will approve it. OK...so now my "Ways to Help Other Patients" is expanding. :-)
A dear friend came over Friday afternoon to help clear out old files so I could start getting my office in order. Wow...as many of you know, the clearing that starts on the inside eventually moves to the outside and this is the week that sooo much wants to be cleared. Oh, to look at all the piles of paper, the bills, the receipts and general 'stuff' and then visualize and feel it all cleared and ordered...exhale...one step at a time.
Saturday was my first day without any extra medication...Pepcid AC is taken every day for 8 days following treatment. My energy was stronger...good thing since I did a lot of driving. One errand was to A+ Wigs to decide which wig I wanted them to hold. Initially, John and Christopher were going to join me, but things changed and I went alone. My first instinct was to call a friend (I did try to contact my sister) but then John helped me remember that I'm the one who has to feel comfortable in it...this was my decision...alone. When I arrived they told me they had ordered 4 different styles because they found a couple in the catalog after we left. I'm so grateful because I picked one that I hadn't tried on before...it's adorable!!...my hair color (black/onyx), longer layered bangs in the front with the shorter, uplifted back and fringy neckline. It's soooo cute that I was honestly torn when I left...part of me wanted to lose my hair so I could get the wig and the other part of me didn't want to lose my hair. Oh well...now it's REALLY OK, either way. It's interesting to listen to my thoughts about losing my hair...
"if you don't have hair, then people will automatically know you're going through treatment"
"if you don't have hair then people may reach out and offer more assistance"
"if your hair stays in, no one will know what you're going through because you look healthier than ever"
"if your hair stays in and someone asks, how are you?, what's your short answer?"
hmmm...interesting to be honest and aware...
They say that if the hair is going to fall out, it usually happens between Days 12-16, which will be sometime next week. At some point during the morning I do give my hair a gentle tug to see if it's loose...then I just send it lots of love...Christopher's good at giving my head lots of love, too.
Last night (Sat.) I felt compelled to look through some of my books and pulled out books on Acupressure, Reflexology, The Hands of Light, and a couple others. Nausea and Constipation pages are now marked in the Acupressure book and a daily routine to open the meridians by loosening the joints is marked in The Hands of Light. My body is ready to move. I did the exercises last night and today (Sunday) my spine is really sore...especially my lower back and in between my shoulders. At first my mind wanted to label the discomfort...booster shot bone pain, energy moving, bone marrow producing white blood cells, uncomfortable bed positions, etc...then I just laughed at myself, stopped, and listened. My body wanted to move. The discomfort was more intense when I was sitting still...move!...so I cleaned the bathroom and took a walk outside (between 9:30am-11) and even vacuumed with my right hand while holding my lower back with my left hand, flowing Reiki.
During my walk it became clear that EVERYTHING I'm doing are things I've known about for years and my mind wanted me to 'think' that just because I knew about them, that was enough. The opportunity to actually EXPERIENCE these wonderful expressions of self-care is priceless. I would NEVER have taken the time to give myself what I'm giving myself now...complete awareness of what most lovingly supports me in each moment...WITHOUT THE GUILT!! OK...maybe there's a tinge of guilt because I have become a bit obsessed, but it vanishes pretty quickly. ;-) I was talking with a friend today about how so many people view self-care as being selfish, so when someone starts taking care of themselves and someone else makes a comment, it's hard to continue...been there, done that.
Now, the level of connection is soooo much deeper. All of my choices are being made with an awareness that they are supporting my Soul's desire to express through my physical body. The clearing is cellular and all my new cells are coming into form in a body that is more aligned with my truth and love of who I am. Don't get me wrong...this is not easy...the clearing of old cellular/ancestral patterns takes patience, compassion and discipline...and sometimes it's really uncomfortable as the body releases the energy. (thanks, Bridgette) John and I were talking this morning about Soul Work and the commitment it takes to one's SELF in order to awaken that connection. It humbles me to realize that for the past 25 years I "thought" I was doing Soul Work....deep inner exploration...when now it's clear that that was only preparation for now...layers needed to dissolve, beliefs needed to release, perceptions needed to shift, compassion needed to awaken in order for me to even begin touching the depth of my purpose. I am eternally grateful to be walking this life's journey with John, my Soul mate, best friend and teacher who has been given the gift of insight to manifest The ORIGINS Process, which offers me the most beautiful reflection of myself that I could ever imagine...I could not be walking this journey, in this way, without it.
With each day, the journey deepens...thank you for walking it with me.
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Feb. 24
It's Day 14 since my first treatment and I still have my hair. :-)
Another lesson learned...Be gentle!! :-) All my movement a few days ago resulted in some tiny muscle tears on my right side. So my new mantra to remember as my strength comes back after each treatment is, 'Just because I can...doesn't mean I should.' and 'take it slowly!!'
Sleeping is MUCH easier now that my port is almost completely healed and I can actually sleep on my left side again...yeah!! I still wake up periodically with a dry mouth but it's not nearly as troublesome as just after treatment. The scummy feeling I have on my tongue is getting better as well...although, it's still present. Brushing or rinsing with alcohol-free mouthwash after eating seems to help.
The past few days have been a bit more emotional as I get stronger and teeter-totter between my old way of being (more 'production mode') and my new way being (flowing from the inside-out). There are really old 'survival' fears surfacing that get triggered around money...sound familiar? I know this is a profound period of transition for me and I can't hold on to the old ways of 'being or doing.' So, when I choose not to take thousands of dollars in harp jobs because I literally can't move the harps and I can only play for short periods of time, it's scary. All of my messages from ORIGINS helps me remember to open to new possibilities and to remember my dream. My dream has always been to be financially supported by the sale of the CDs so that we can continue creating more music to share. This must be that time of transition...even though I don't know what it looks like or how it will happen...and that's OK. Deep breathing, TM, and actually using the music myself helps me 'know' it's happening. This morning during my meditation I 'wrote part of this Update'...here it is: Even though it's hard to for me to ask for help, I would truly appreciate that when you're out shopping at your favorite stores, if you feel they would be interested in carrying any of my harp CDs, please give them my web site (amycamie.com) where they can download a free track and read about how to become a Retail Vendor. For years I've resisted moving more into the Retail world simply because I didn't have the time or energy to make the contacts. It's time to open the space for others to help and simply let go of trying to control things. That's my theme this week...stay open and allow the possibilities to flow.
Another huge energy shift that happened this week was that my harp teacher all through high school, Laura Hearne, passed away. When I heard the news, something inside 'knew' that this was a profound step in my musical journey. A friend was with me at the time and noticed I nonchalantly said, "Oh, now she can help me from the other side." Then a few seconds later it broke through...her love poured over and through me as I sobbed. It was like a dam broke somewhere deep inside as another layer dissolved....and I realized that, yes, my dream is coming true. Her funeral is this morning and I will say good-bye to one of the most influential mentors in my life. Her loving guidance, professional integrity and gracious way of Being are forever with me as I continue her legacy through teaching and sharing my music.
Thank you all for your cards, emails, loving prayers and healing light.
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - Feb. 27
Oh, these beautiful lessons of flow, moment to moment change, letting go and the mind's expectations.
Friday was a 'stay in jammies all day' day as my body confidently let me know that it was still listening to and following its own monthly rhythm...who knew?...I never thought I'd be so excited...but, hey, it sure beats getting thrown into menopause.
On Friday evening, the boys and I did a few errands (yes, I did put on sweat pants but kept my jammie top on just on principle) and then dropped Christopher off at a friend's house. As I began my nightly routine, I took out my hair clips and my head was really tender and sensitive. I gently rubbed where the clips were and was able to pull out many hairs. My heart sank as I the rebel in me realized that as much as I really wanted to be the exception and be able to say, "I told you so," this was happening. I put my hand in another place on my head and gently pulled...yup...more hair. Everyone said, "you'll know when it's happening" but I never knew 'how' I'd know. Well...the best way I can describe it is, it's like when you reach down and pull out a patch of dry grass and it just comes up because there's no resistance from the roots. When you pull on green, healthy grass, you have to really pull because there are roots holding it in the ground. It's like that with the hair...when you pull on healthy hair, it hurts a little and there's resistance from the roots vs. when you pull on hair that's coming out because of chemotherapy drugs, there's no resistance from the roots so it just simply pulls out.
I went and sat down next to John on the couch and cried. As much as someone prepares for something or someone to pass, it's never the same as when it actually happens. The tears surprised me because I felt so prepared...oh, yeah...that was in my mind. :-) The mind can't truly experience the feelings until the feelings are experienced...which is what I was doing in that moment when the tears just came flowing up and out. Earlier in the week, I was ready for my hair to go....then each day passed and I thought that maybe I would be different....then I started believing that I would be different...then I WANTED to be different, which formed my attachment back to my hair. But this lesson wasn't over...as soon as I felt comfortable with keeping my hair, oops, it's time to let go. Thank goodness I can laugh at myself and see the pattern! I went downstairs and told Justin, called Christopher to let him know and then called Rose, my hairdresser who said she could meet me before her first appointment on Saturday morning...everything was now in motion.
Amy before hair cut
My dear soul sister, Michelle and my Mom came with me to Snip-Snip...cameras in hand.
Amy and Michelle before hair cut
Rose gets the shears out but decides to use scissors first because my hair was so thick.
Getting ready for my hair cut...then it begins...as Rose was cutting she noticed that a lot of my hair was still strong. I started to laugh as I remembered the craziest thing...both of our boys were 'induced'...their births were determined by the outside desires of me and my doctor. How ironic that I'm walking this sacred journey as my 're-birth' and now I almost fell into the same pattern of allowing my mind to predetermine an action without taking the time to really experience the moment. In this moment, my hair was not ready to fully let go...so who am I to push it? :-) The decision was made to just cut my hair short...not shave it...
Rose 'testing' hair
Amy and Rose after hair cut
Mom and Amy after hair cut
Offering gratitude to my hair
With much less hair on my head, we were off to pick up my wig...just in case...since the shop would be closed until Tuesday. Here's my new 'doo':
Beth (sister) with Amy and her new wig
Michelle offering loving gratitude to my new wig...it matches my hair color perfectly! ;-)
Mom and Amy....she likes it even though her first thought was "Cruella De Vil" LOL
Another 'look' with a free wig from St. John's
Jessica (soul sister) and a Queen of Scarves came over to visit and show me some beautiful ways to wear scarves if and when I want to. Then I remembered I had a drawer full of beautiful Gucci and designer scarves from John's step-mother...what a gift...I'm soooo supported on every level. :-)
What a difference a day makes!...an hour makes....a moment makes...what a gift to live fully in each one!
Loving life...all of it,
PS...It's Sunday night and my hair is still holding strong. Interesting to note that as I was writing this Update I received an email from Dave Kossor (scientist friend who told me about melatonin) about some research that connects melatonin with skin & hair follicle production...pretty cool!...and the connections keep happening. :-)
UPDATE - March 2
This Update is pretty long since I felt compelled to share a couple things before my next treatment which is tomorrow (Thursday 3/3) at 10am..."healthy cells feel the love!" :-)
Yesterday (3/1/11) my shower drain guard was full of hair and I knew the inevitable was happening. Strange...I was totally OK with it. Having these last few transition days really made a difference and helped to gently step into this next phase of the journey. I went downstairs to tell John and Justin (his school lost power in the storm so he was home) and called Rose...8pm...perfect...we'd pick up Christopher from Mock Trial and all go together. I found myself literally pulling my hair out all day...almost like a game...and releasing it into the wind or dropping it on the ground outside. I think part of me wanted to make sure I wasn't 'pushing' this step and if there were any indications that the hair was still strong, I'd feel it as I pulled. No chance...and when little hairs became part of my lunch, I knew...today's the day.
In the chair before shave (hair is definitely thinning)
The shave begins
The shave continues
John, Amy and Rose having fun
Amy, Christopher, Justin and Rose
A Little Heart of Gratitude
Little Hairs Everywhere
And then, of course, my camera battery died! :-) Oh well...you get the idea. Funny, when we got home and I opened the freezer...brrrrr...that blast of cold air was really cold! Thanks goodness for warm stocking caps that are now my cozy night caps.
Just one more insight about hair. In the past, I've worn my hair in soooo many different styles, colors, lengths, etc. and have noticed when my hair is short I easily fall into 'production mode' as John calls it. It's an energy of intense focus on the outside, masculine-oriented and 'doing'...hence, 'production mode.' When I don't have to expend any energy on my hair, take extra time for me in the morning and am able to just jump into the day, that sets the tone, energy and focus on the outside. Just a side note...some of you are aware of the 'Precession of the Ages' that John has been exploring which tracks the origins of our consciousness back 26,000 years to the Age of Aquarius, which we are now re-entering. In the Age of Leo, 13,000 years ago, our conscious awareness shifted from the internal/feminine/moon-oriented/intuitive perspective to the external/masculine/sun-oriented/outside perspective. I am very aware that this sacred journey I'm on is my opportunity to balance the feminine/masculine energies within me from not only my personal experience but also from my ancestral light line...which is why I often refer to this process as a cellular clearing...literally. Anyway, my hair has been my outward visible sign as to the energy with which I'm unconsciously (until it becomes conscious) aligned. When I began growing my hair long, I was in a deep process of reconnecting to my divine feminine energy within. In December, I was deeply connecting with my unconscious masculine/father energy...both of which I feel are now awakening and finding balance within me...which is why I also refer to this as my re-birth...because it takes the unification of both the masculine and feminine energies for creation to manifest. If this is confusing...don't worry about it...I just had to express it. Bottom line...now that I no longer need my hair as a reminder of those energies within me, it was easy to let it go.
The other part of my journey this past week has been connected to my intestinal balance...a place where I hold my fears, emotions and stress. I've always been a person who notices when things keep popping up in my space...like when I hear several people in different places talking about the same thing. So, last week the 'topic to notice' was parasites...I know...'yuck'...'who wants to talk about that?' It wasn't easy but I had to keep exploring because something inside of me needed to be aware. When I had the colonic, I noticed tiny little 'stringy things' in the water tube coming out between my 'rocks'....sorry if this is a bit graphic...please feel free to stop reading anytime. :-) I also had a conversation with another friend who had been diagnosed with ovarian and breast cancer 15 years ago and chose to only do alternative therapies which included using The Zapper...a device that emits a frequency that kills parasites. I looked up The Zapper on-line...thought about it...was going to get one and then spoke to another medical/alternative professional who said she'd seen people admitted to the hospital after self-administering The Zapper because parasites also carry bacteria and viruses that are released into the system when they die. My friend who used it told me about how she took precautions to divert that 'side effect.' My information gathering continued when I was intuitively guided to "Google" melatonin and parasites. Here's the email correspondence between me and Dave Kossor:
Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 9:34 PM
Ok...for the past few days there have been several people in my space talking about intestinal parasites. It so happens that the right side of my body where the intestines turn is REALLY tender...along with several other places. There's also the possibility that I tore tiny muscles when pushing a little too fast a couple days ago with some twists...and, of course, I'm 'processing' (your favorite word, I'm sure) on very deep levels so there is also an energetic component. Bottom line is the thought came tonight to Google, "melatonin and parasites" and this is what came up: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=melatonin%20and%20parasites&itool=QuerySuggestion
Here's the first one I read...could this be relevant me? could the extra melatonin be signaling any parasites that I may have? wow...my mind is really searching for answers...thanks for your patience!
Melatonin triggers PKA activation in the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi.
Gazarini ML, Beraldo FH, Almeida FM, Bootman M, Da Silva AM, Garcia CR.
Departamento de Biociências, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Santos, SP, Brasil.
© 2010 The Authors. Journal of Pineal Research © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
PMID: 20964707 [PubMed - in process]
You unearth some of the most interesting stuff!!
Whereas I was unaware of these effects of melatonin on cell signaling, they don't surprise me a bit. In fact, although the paper you cite focused on calcium, there are a variety of elemental ions that are involved in cell signaling, and melatonin has been shown to interact with many of them. I'm sure that you are asking yourself whether taking melatonin could have a negative effect on your gut (by favoring the growth of parasites), and the best answer I have is... I don't think so. Of course, our current state of understanding about GI health has many data gaps, and this is one of them!
One way to look at the gut is as a container of "nutrient soup". The same nutrients that we depend on for our health also supports the growth of microbes in the gut, which includes bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and parasites. In fact, one of the principal ways by which "probiotics" work to keep us healthy is to compete for the nutrients in the soup, and thereby starve the "bad bugs". Consequently, you can help yourself most by taking a good probiotic, and in this regard, there are two products that come to mind: 1) ALIGN is a product that contains bifidobacterium, a strain of bacteria that survives stomach acid better than acidophilus (the stuff in yogurt), and therefore, it does a better job of colonizing the gut. 2) FLORASTOR is a product that contains a strain of yeast (saccharomyces) that also colonizes a healthy gut. Together, these products will help to rid your gut of the "bad bugs". I hope that this helps your understanding of GI physiology...
I emailed the above to Dr. Borson and she approved both products.
The other noticeable communication my body was expressing were little skin bumps, almost a rash, on the right side of my body around my rib cage. I truly felt that this was simply a de-tox expression. If only I had paid more attention in biology class, I'd know what organs are in that area. Turns out my liver is just under this area along with my gall bladder...and we found out through an initial CAT scan that I may have a small gall stone...so my mind immediately went into action mode. :-) I started exploring liver cleanses and even received a few emails from friends during this time about the importance of supporting my liver during chemo to help remove the toxins. I also started reading more about which foods naturally eliminate parasites and clean the liver then decided to listen to my body and what it needed...regardless of all the outside information that was coming in. At some point, enough is enough and all the outside stuff starts to feel overwhelming. "Go back inside, Amy...this is YOUR journey." I decided that for now here's the protocol that best supports my intestinal balance:
- The way I'm eating completely supports the deep cleansing of my organs - especially all the green leafy vegetables, brown rice, miso soup and warm lemon water
- I've added ALIGN once a day as a probiotic
- 100mg of B6 twice a day for nerve support
- 3-4 stool softeners to help make life easier :-)
- 1 or 2 Juice Plus Fruit capsules because I'm not eating a lot of fruits right now to help reduce sugars and stay in the natural flow of nature...more fruits will be added as we enter the summer.
Also...several of you have expressed a concern about my weight loss (20 lbs.) Please be assured that the weight loss is due to my healthier lifestyle/eating and not from the treatments. In fact, I feel healthier now than I have in years! And, I'm finally losing my pregnancy weight...14 years later...yes...I gained 60 lbs when I was pregnant so many of you have never seen me at my ideal/normal weight. Again, just another blessing of this journey!
Finally, I've decided to go public with my journey and actually post the Updates on my web site. There will be a link soon from my Home Page so if you feel compelled to share them with others, feel free. I treasure the opportunity to send these Updates to all of you and will continue to send them as usual...I'll just copy them onto the web site as well for those who aren't on the CORE list.
Thank you all for being such a beautiful part of my sacred journey. The support I feel from all of you is beyond words...of course...because what word could truly capture the divine essence of Love?
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - March 6
Well, the past few days have definitely been a lesson in not bringing expectations into the moment. My hope was that this 2nd treatment would be easier but as it turns out, it's been really yucky!
I'm writing this on Sunday, Day 4 since my treatment on Thursday, and I'm still fuzzy with lack of sleep and nausea. My appointment with Dr. Borson before treatment went really well and she affirmed that I'm doing great. She also diagnosed my tender spot on the right side of my body as Mondor's Disease ...a condition that happens after surgery in 1% of the population...lucky me!
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1087099-overview At least now I know.
The chemo treatment was a little different this time in that after they gave me the pre-meds, they pushed the 2 chemo drugs through my port before they dripped the bag of chemo. I'm feeling that that may have been too much too fast for my system and will talk to Dr. Borson about it. The nausea kicked in full force and I actually alternated Ativan and Zofran to stay on top of it. As soon as the weather warms up, we're moving out our plants so we can move in a recliner...ah...that will be nice!
Not much more now...time to go rest. Thank you all for your continued prayers, love and light!!
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - March 9
Wow...what a trip! Today is Day 7 since my treatment and the corner has been turned...yeah!!! On Monday I emailed Dr. Borson about the nausea and she felt that I.v. fluids would help so I went back to the cancer center for fluids and a slow drip of Zofran. That seemed to help and I was able to eat dinner that evening. Yesterday (Tuesday)...well...what can I say...I ate like crazy. My body was craving all sorts of stuff...Hardee's ham/egg/cheese breakfast croissant, yellow curry vegetables for lunch and my harp student, Rebecca surprised us with a yummy hamburger, veggie, tater-tot topped Minnesota specialty casserole for dinner. Yup...I ate everything without guilt (good thing Bridgette's coming home tomorrow :-) I didn't question what my body was asking for...just another lesson in listening.
Today (Wednesday) I'm still at about 65% energy-wise...slower pace but at least I can feel an inner momentum to get a few things done today. There's such a heightened internal barometer that gently adjusts with each day. My head is still a little foggy from the drugs...thank goodness for "The Magic Mirror"...2-3 times a day. :-) I find myself closing my eyes a lot just to help release the tension. TM has been such a gift as well to help my body get into deep states of relaxation.
Even though this weekend sucked (John was also dealing with intense pain from an abscessed tooth and couldn't sleep for 2 days....root canal yesterday saved the tooth!) ...sooo many gifts of awareness emerged...here are just a few:
- my mind may anticipate one experience but the actual experience may be quite different....being fully in each moment of the experience without the expectations is key
- I unconsciously created a 'hook-up' visual with the drugs being pushed into my port which actually caused me to gag every time I thought about it until Merry (a dear friend/nurse who did a Healing Touch session with me on Monday) reminded me to change that mental connection...of course....I KNEW that...just another example of having the tools but forgetting to use them. Now, my mental picture of the push-drugs(which are red) is butterflies gently floating into my system, finding all the cells they need to find, kissing them to help them transform and then gently leaving my system.
OK...I just spent way too much time finding this image, but it's actually perfect:
- even though I am completely surrounded by countless prayers, love and light on every level, I actually experienced how easily someone could slip into hopelessness and despair. My body was going through multiple levels of experiences, but the only one I was 'hooked' into was the physical discomfort of the nausea....for which I took medication, which made me tired, so I went to bed without drinking or eating much, which led to slight dehydration, which amplified my headache, which increased the nausea, and the cycle just continued for a while. It made me keenly aware of how easily this spiral energy can take over...which could lead many people into depression and even more extreme behaviors just to lessen the pain and suffering. Wow...what a sensitive balance. The Power of Love to Heal took on a whole new dimension for me this weekend and I am eternally grateful for each and every one of you who are so lovingly supporting me during this journey. My hope is that everyone who is walking a difficult path in their life will also be able to open their hearts to receive the love that is truly abundantly and gently surrounding them.
I know there's more but it's time to go rest for a while. Just wanted to touch base and let you know that things are on the upswing.
Loving life...all of it,
UPDATE - March 15
On Friday, March 11 (3/11/11) the "Journey to Love" that my mind had created dissolved into simply living, loving and fully experiencing every moment as I remembered Who I AM. I will continue to journal for myself but no longer feel the need to send as many Updates. I will touch base periodically. In the meantime, know that I'm feeling better than I have in years...both inside and out!!
Loving life...all of it,
Touching Base - March 25
For those not on Facebook, here's my post for today:
So grateful for a new experience of chemo yesterday...no nausea today!! Beautiful lessons of open, flowing connections with the energy of Who I Am...thank you John, Bridgette and my wonderful nurse, Charlene for being so physically present with me. Wow...so grateful for this whole experience!! Taking it slowly today. :-)
I had my 3rd chemo treatment yesterday (1/2 way through!!) and wanted to share some insights:
I'm not experiencing any nausea this time! Yeah! I truly feel there are several reasons for this...I've been going to a wonderful acupuncturist (Dr. Cui) for the past couple weeks and know that his treatments and herbal teas are definitely a HUGE factor in this because we've been working on opening my Yin energy, which is the expansive, open energy, versus the Yang which is more constrictive, closed, tight. During my last treatment, I was sooo tight on the inside that my body was totally resisting the energy of the drugs and that inner conflict just made me nauseous. I was also craving very Yang foods (fried, baked, greasy) then. This time, my energy is much more open and flowing so I don't have the inner resistance.
The second reason I feel made a HUGE difference is how the chemo was administered. Last time the push drugs went in first, through my port, and the energy of the drugs overwhelmed my system...it was too much too fast. This time my nurse asked what I'd prefer and we did the bag first and then the push. During the drip bag, I listened to "The Magic Mirror" and kept connecting to my I Am presence within....no visualizations of butterflies or anything material...just staying connected to I Am, and knowing that everything else would align to that frequency. (thank you again, Gilda). John sat next to me and held my hand the whole time...how I soooo deeply love that man!
Then it was time for the push drugs, and my nurse administered them farther down the IV line which helps to dilute them a bit...big difference in how I felt the drugs enter my system. I only mention this in case you have friends who are dealing with nausea as a possible way to soften the effects of the drug going into their body. Bridgette was with me during the push...she's a Reiki Master and she felt nauseous within 30 seconds of when the push started. We both started to breathe deeply and that took the edge off and allowed the energy to flow more freely inside without resistance. On a side note, Bridgette also has a macrobiotic background and works with people to feel the energy of the food they eat. Charlene moved the push-drugs into my lap so she could Reiki the drugs before they went into my body and was able to feel how 'hot with a cool edge' the red drug was, and how 'cold' the clear drug was....then she felt what foods I could eat to further help balance those energies inside my body. There's sooooo much more we can do as individuals to support ourselves during this process. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to personally experience just a few of them.
Last night before bed, my direction sheet said to take an Ativan. I looked at the description of what Ativan is used for: severe nausea, anxiousness and sleep, then decided not to take it since I wasn't experiencing any of those symptoms. I did take 20mg of melatonin and went to bed. My head is clearer today than last time because I feel that the 'brain fog' for me was caused more from the anti-nausea medication than from the chemo. The other difference this time is that I don't have that thick, scummy, slime on my tough and my mouth doesn't feel dry.
Please know that I feel more like myself than I have in years....and I'm really having fun with all the new clothes that I can fit into. ;-) In fact, last week I came home from taking a walk and told John that I'm actually enjoying this process...because I know that I would NEVER have taken this time for myself. Love you all...have a wonder-filled day!!!
Loving life...all of it ,
Sent: Sun, March 27, 2011 7:30:43 PM
Subject: "I AM" Video
Dear Friends and Family,
Loving life...all of it,
Note: We would love to find a sponsor to help cover the costs of printing some of these images in order to share them with cancer centers.
Personal Update: April 5
After this 3rd last treatment, I didn't have the 'nausea' like before but there has definitely been an energetic 'chord' between my higher intestines and throat...sometimes even causing me to gag. Acupuncture alleviates the tension for a while but then it comes back. A couple nights ago, I connected that it's probably an old belief energy of me not being able to sing and it's time to clear that up. I remembered how to tone all the Elemental Energy patterns from ORIGINS and made the commitment to do that every day. It's getting clearer and the energetic chord is unwinding. I just LOVE this stuff!!! :-)
I'm continuing with acupuncture treatments 3 times per week and drink the Chinese Tea after breakfast and dinner. I can't imagine going through chemotherapy treatments without it. At my last session, I asked why the needles hurt when going in...because Dr. Cui always says "Gooood" when I wince with discomfort. He explained that as the channels open, the Chi is drawn up into the meridian causing the pain...if the Chi wasn't moving up into the channel, I wouldn't feel anything. I asked if he felt discomfort when doing acupuncture on himself and he said, "Oh, sure"...that's validation enough for me that it's working.
On Sunday, April 3rd, temperatures reached 90 degrees. I wore my wig in the morning to teach a harp lesson, then took it off early afternoon. It felt wonderful because I wasn't cold. It's amazing how much heat is released through the head. I sat outside and read the new Sunflower Messages from John, breathing in the sunshine. Then John called and asked me to bring him his keys. Without a third thought (because I honestly did think twice about it), I chose to leave the house without anything on my head. It was a HUGE decision to just 'be real' in public. I can remember back earlier in my journey when I was worried about how I would answer the question, "How are you?" when asked in casual conversation...would I just say "fine" or be honest about what I was going through? Now, I'm walking out of the house without any 'masks or coverings' so anyone who sees me will automatically know that I'm experiencing chemotherapy. Now, the question, "How are you?" comes from a deeper place within the person questioning and I honestly answer, "I'm well, thank you." or "I'm doing great!" Because deep down I know (soul-knowing, not head-knowing) that I am NOT my experiences, I'm divine consciousness having experiences...and that's all they are...just experiences...and I get to choose how I'm experiencing/perceiving them.
OK, back to the bald head with little nubs out in public...Sunday evening I was inspired to put one of my crystal necklaces on my head so it laid over my third eye (forehead area) Oh my gosh...I felt like such a Goddess! I went through my whole jewelry drawer trying on different necklaces....unfortunately, most of them were too short. So I called my friend who made most of the jewelry and told her about my idea to create a whole line of head jewelry for cancer patients who have lost their hair. She loved it and is working up ideas. In the meantime, I went back to my jewelry drawer and found cotton headbands and broaches/pins that I've never worn and put them together...pinning the broach to the head band and wearing it so the broach sits just above my forehead at my hairline. Again...I felt such feminine power, Goddess, Queen energy emerge. This is definitely part of my journey to share since I truly believe that, for me, the diagnosis of cancer was an opportunity to slow down, go even more deeply inside myself and awaken the divine feminine energy within me, so I could experience it and increase it's vibrational frequency in order to unify it with the masculine energy within me. I know that may not make a lot of sense to people, but for me it's obvious. We're living in a time of our conscious evolution (entering the Age of Aquarius) when the masculine and feminine energies are preparing to unify (within the next 1000 years). In order for that to happen, the last 26,000 years of unconscious cellular memories that we hold within our bodies must be cleared so we don't continue to bring the past into our present choices. It's deep, deep inner work to awaken those unconscious memories...and those memories and fears are presenting themselves everywhere if our perceptions are tuned in to seeing them. (that's one of the main reasons why the ORIGINS Process is here...to help us in this transition) So, I'm keenly aware that my present journey is about clarifying and clearing out my personal fears, old beliefs and perceptions so I can more confidently and fully live my purpose from a place of joy, love and freedom. Wearing my new head jewelry is a powerful and beautiful outward statement of my newly found inner feminine sovereignty (defined as: self-governing, independent, of superlative strength) which embraces ALL of me with loving compassion, without judgment or fear. For it is only when we embrace ALL of who we are, are we truly able to accept and embrace others. It all starts from within.
Monday evening I moved forward in supporting my body with gentle yoga. It felt wonderful to stretch and breathe deeply into myself again. So grateful for this new class.
Wednesday is the first day back playing at the Center for Advanced Medicine-Siteman Cancer Center for cancer patients. It will be wonderful to share the music that is helping me on my journey, with others. And the experiences continue...one step at a time.
Loving life...all of it,
2nd Chemo Treatment...all bundled in my new prayer shawl, neck pillow and cushy blanket
You guessed it...out cold listening to "The Magic Mirror"
2 down - 4 to go...thanks Cathy for being there with me!
3 down - 3 to go...John's my best medicine! ;-)
Thanks Bridgette for your loving Reiki
Personal Update: April 7
Yesterday I played at Siteman Cancer Center for the first since being diagnosed...and I made it through the 2 hours pretty easily. I'm so grateful there was no swelling or fluid retention in my arm or side. Several beautiful connections happened as well...2 women from Saks were in the 7th infusion unit offering makeovers and nail polishing to the patients. We spoke and I told them about the opportunity to sponsor "The Magic Mirror" as a gift to patients and the "I Am" photograph project...they're giving my card to their Marketing Director...another seed. I also spoke with a woman from the American Cancer Society about both projects...she's also giving me card to Hope Lodge...more seeds. THEN, after acupuncture, I went next door to pick up dinner and met a very warm-hearted gentleman who's part of a small group of fund-raisers for the Leukemia Foundation....again, I shared information about both projects and he's going to take the information to his group. I also posted links to the video on the Komen Foundation web site. It feels like the music is really ready to expand out into the world!
I'm having fun wearing my "Goddess Bands" out in public...the latest is a simple silver chain with a pendant...since it's been a bit chilly, I put my turban on over it so the stone is seen on my third eye. Today I realized that my outside appearance is really reflecting my inner energies...and I'm loving it!
UPDATE: April 11
Quick update...I'm doing great!!
Acupuncture 3 times/wk,
Chinese Tea morning and evening,
Daily Meditation - TM & "The Magic Mirror",
Gentle Yoga class on Monday evenings,
Physical Therapy/lymph massage once a week,
I played my 'baby' harp first time since being diagnosed at Siteman Cancer Center for 2 hours last week in their chemo infusion areas...(see pictures below)
I'm loving going out in public with my new "Crown Jewels" (John named the look) and people seem to love it as well. One woman saw me last week at acupuncture and when I saw her again today she told me she absolutely LOVED the look and told everyone at a weekend barbeque about how she hoped it would catch on and become a trend. The teller at the bank, who has gone through breast cancer said, "I'm so proud of you...it takes a lot of courage." And the guy at the Post Office who knows what I'm all about with the music looked me straight in the eyes and said, "You are so beautiful." It's really touching to feel how this 'look' resonates with people...vulnerability and honesty IS beautiful, from the inside. :-)
Next treatment is this Wednesday with a different drug...we'll see how my body responds...it feels VERY strong.
Another idea to help share the music...If you know a massage therapist, Yoga or Tai Chi instructor or anyone who just needs to slow down and relax, please feel free to share this Special Package of my original CDs: http://www.amycamie.com/holidayspecials.html
Finally, I'm keeping my web site updated with periodic postings so if you're interested in how I'm doing, please check the web site at your convenience: http://www.amycamie.com/my_journey_to_love.html
Have a wonder-filled day!!!
Loving life...all of it,
Playing in the Patient Waiting Area at Siteman Cancer Center
Lovin' the "Crown Jewels"
Personal Update: Friday, April 15
Treatment was on Wed. April 13 with a new drug: Taxotere...and a new pre-med: Benadryl. My appointment with Dr. Borson was first...I just love her! When I told her I was still having periods, she said, paraphrased: "Amy, we really don't want that to happen because of the estrogen levels. You must have ovaries of steel." I smiled and said, "Yes we do because it's my body's way of saying I'm in balance." Then I acknowledged that the last period was a little different (longer) and I was feeling lots of heat, which I interpreted as my organs releasing toxins and she smiled and said, "No, dear, those are hot flashes." It's funny how an experience can have so many interpretations based upon our beliefs. Then I said..."All the women in the research studies weren't going to acupuncture 3 times a week and drinking Chinese herbal teas to balance their bodies." and she said, "Fair enough." So, now I'm really focusing on getting lean which will also help reduce my estrogen levels and make the decision more comfortable for Dr. Borson not to put me on hormone therapy after treatment. :-) I totally trust that as I continue to listen to my body, it will continue to direct me, one step at a time. And I love sharing the insights and interpretations with my doctor!
The treatment room was next. There were several women there for the first time and as they saw my "Crown Jewels" they all smiled. It was a wonderful way to connect with them and let them know everything's going to be OK. I told them about "The Magic Mirror" and a few other things I was doing then went into my own space.
The premeds were a bit different...Benadryl was added...Wow...what a different experience! The Benadryl hit me like a ton of bricks...sleepy, relaxed, almost feeling drunk. Then the Taxotere dripped for 1 1/2 hours. Music, as always, was with me. For the pre-meds I listened to a new CD that hasn't been released yet, "REBIRTH - Awakening the Feminine Energy" which was recorded with Jessica Goodenough Heuser. Then when the Taxotere dripped, it was "The Magic Mirror" twice. After treatment, I went home and just slept. Got up several hours later for dinner and the boys thought I was drunk. Believe me, it sure beats nausea!
On Thursday, I was clear-headed and able to drive! Acupuncture in the morning and then a meeting with our favorite jeweler to design our "Crown Jewel" pendants. The gifts of this journey continue every day.
Loving life...all of it,
4 down...2 to go!
Monday, April 18
Well...this weekend was a bit unexpected. My energy level plummeted and I spent most of the weekend sleeping. I did play 2 Sunday morning services with Bridgette and then came home and went right to bed. This morning, (Monday), my fingernails feel funny. Dr. Borson said some people experience changes in their nails & cuticles with this new drug...we'll see. On Friday, Dr. Cui gave me different herbs to strengthen my Yin energy and increase my hemoglobin levels. I can feel a little difference today but it's still a 'take it very slowly' day.
Friday, April 21
This has been a very interesting week....I had treatment last Wed. but they didn't schedule me to come back for my Booster to help my immune system because, for some reason, with this new drug, some people get a booster and some people don't. Well...I was supposed to get one and didn't...soooo on Monday evening, after my energy levels dropped to 'notta' , I emailed my doctor to ask...talk about patient advocacy. She told me to call in on Tuesday for the booster, which I did. Because it was so long after my treatment, I needed 3 fast-acting boosters instead of the 1 long lasting one because my white blood cell counts had gone from 6.6 (normal range) to 2.1 (low). Today is the first day I've actually felt like doing anything...again....sooooo many lessons about listening, surrendering the mind's 'have to's' and receiving. ;-)
Wednesday, April 27
Finally getting my energy up. Gentle Yoga on Monday evening helped alot. Yesterday, my mouth started to taste really salty...it felt/tasted like salt was oozing out of my tongue. I changed herbs, so that may be it...I'll ask today at acupuncture. Biggest lessons this week....listen, listen, listen to my body in the moment, without expectations. It's like a gentle dance, one step at a time. Yesterday I met with my radiation oncologist, Dr. Julie Mai from St. John's. I LOVE her!!! Her energy is clear, clean, gentle and open. We're going to start treatment on Monday, June 27th and end August 12th. And, we made the decision to do radiation on the breast and lymph nodes (which are on my right shoulder area). I completely trust her and know that this is the right decision for me.
This weekend we did more inner work with the Emerald Star from The ORIGINS Process. This Star energy really reflects deep emotional/physical energies within. As always, I was blown away by what was brought to my conscious awareness...more strings of stories that I 'thought' I had unwound completely and released. These threads were still deep in my unconscious beliefs...they came up pretty quickly because my energetic resistance was low...thank goodness. ;-) Then on Sunday, our family attended a class/session with Gilda which helped us remember that "Suffering is Optional"....yes, suffering happens because it's part of life and how we learn as human beings, but it's our choice as to how long we mentally continually to hold on to it and re-create it in our minds after the initial experience has occurred. Being in the moment, clearly connected to ALL of me and my I AM energy, helps me choose from a place of love...one step at a time. Loving life...all of it! ;-)
May 8 - Mother's Day
Every day is such a gift of experiences as I learn to dance within each moment and listen deeply to what most lovingly supports me. Here's a brief outline of what's been happening:
Julie Enstall and I met with Jack and Robyn from Fine Art Limited and they've agreed to print and gallery-wrap 5-7 samples of the "I Am" images in different sizes for presentation purposes. Oh, I can just see them in patient exam rooms and waiting areas, silently and lovingly shifting vibrations of fear into love. My doctor loves the idea!
April 30th was Christopher's 18th birthday = 9 = completion... there was a deep realization of my unconscious separation from my-SELF when he was born in order to completely focus my energy outward to take care of my new son and family. That separation from SELF has flowed in and out throughout the years but this feels like the time when it completely reconnects within me.
The REBIRTH-Awakening the Feminine Energy CD, which was recorded with Jessica Goodenough Heuser was duplicated and ready to release on April 30th...great timing in my mind, on Christopher's birthday as I was 'Rebirthing' my inner connection to SELF. Funny that the audio skipped so we had to redo them...then they skipped again...3rd time's a charm....now it's Mother's Day and today may be the day. ;-)
I continue to love acupuncture, 3 times a week...Dr. Cui noticed that my calves are stronger, my muscles are growing and my hair is now coming back in.
I had a rehearsal with the big harp last weekend...it felt great. Then I took the middle harp at Siteman Cancer Center and the music just flowed. So grateful that I'm playing again.
May 5th was my 5th Treatment - Used all my tools: Alpha-Stim during pre-meds while listening to the new "REBIRTH" CD, "3 Gateways" during Benadryl pre-med, "The Magic Mirror" twice during chemo while Anita (massage therapist friend) rubbed my feet....a "duh" moment...everyone should have reflexology or at least their feet lovingly rubbed during chemo to help keep the body open and receptive to the drugs so the drugs can do their job more easily and quickly without inner resistance.
Talking with Dr. Borson - Taxotere sometimes causes changes in the fingernails/cuticles and neuropathy. What I experienced last time was extreme sensitivity in the fingernails which subsided after about 5 days...normal...not permanent...I didn't experience pain under my fingers, in the pads of my fingers, which is a sign of neuropathy...whew!
White blood cells up to 4.5 (normal range) A little anemic...I've been slacking on the green leafy veggies...time to get back on track. Anita shared a supplement link that helped her and now I'm taking it: http://www.gardenoflife.com/ProductsforLife/THEVITAMINCODEsupsup/
Loving life...all of it,
May 16 - Email sent
Dear Friends and Family,
I'm doing great!! This morning I woke up with this idea...I hope you'll join me...
For years I have been listening to "The Magic Mirror" CD to help focus my energy, de-stress and relax. In December, 2010, when I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer, I could never have imagined the impact that listening to this CD would have on my personal journey. Immediately upon diagnosis, my body literally 'craved' the vibrations of this music as I listened to it 2-3 times a day. It helped calm my mind and relax my body during the chaos and confusion of what seemed like continuous tests, waiting for results, decisions, an overload of new information, and all that comes with a cancer diagnosis. Because of our pilot study results, I knew that I was supporting my immune system and my neurological functioning but I also felt on a very deep level that my spiritual and energetic 'Being' was also being nurtured and supported. The vibrations of unconditional love, hope, comfort and peace flowing through this music were and are invaluable to me as I continue my treatment with minimal side effects.
My commitment to having this CD given to newly diagnosed cancer patients is a personal dream and I now know from my own experience how important and valuable this music can be for everyone going through chemotherapy.
Thursday, May 26th is my last chemotherapy treatment and I would love to gift my doctor, Rachel Borson, MD and the St. Louis Cancer and Breast Institute with as many "The Magic Mirror" CDs as possible to share with other patients being treated for cancer.
If you would like to support my dream, please consider sponsoring a CD for $10 via
Check payable to:
1041 Wappapello Lane
St. Louis, MO 63146
Each CD will have a label on the back:
A Gift of Music from
Friends and Family of Amy Camie
For years Amy has shared her inspired harp music with patients and
families in the cancer, hospice and grief communities around the country.
In December, 2010, she became one of those patients comforted by this
same music expressed from the deepest part of her soul.
Thank you all for being such a beautiful part of my journey!
Loving life...all of it,
It's been a while since I've sent a detailed Update, so this one is a bit lengthy...remember, all of the Updates since Day 1 are posted on my web site under "My Journey to Love."
Yesterday, Thursday, May 26th was my 6th and last chemotherapy treatment.
Me and the love of my life, John at the beginning of treatment
Me and my Mom at the end of treatment...yes, there is a color change in my skin...it's a drug thing. ;-)
For the last couple weeks, it feels as if my body was really helping me move even deeper inside to bring to conscious awareness that which I still had to experience during this last phase of treatment. On May 12th, I was really 'in the flow' and allowing things to happen without interfering...just trusting my Guidance. I ended up at Touch for Health's free community clinic they have every Thursday in Maplewood to meet a friend. Of course, several beautiful connections happened there with people I would have never met that day and the music seemed to be common denominator...then it was my turn to have a session on the table with Norma. Again, totally unexpected, but perfect. For the last few days, my arm had been 'present'...talking to me...perhaps the nerves are healing...whatever the reason, I had a heightened awareness of my arm before getting on the table and the arm is used for the Kinesiology testing to determine what needs to be addressed. Anyway, the bottom line is my body started 'playing' with me as my arm would 'appear' to test strong but I could feel there was a slight movement and something to address...so I told Norma, "Let's go in." Amazing that words 'holding down', emotions, courage, confidence, apathy, worthiness, unmerciful (my old belief that freedom=death because of my cellular memory of conception) were coming up...it felt like I was dusting off my insides from little threads of old beliefs that have dislodged and untangled but were still just floating around...my blinders opened even more around my old paradigms of 'balance.' Norma shared many stories with me that day around the words that surfaced as part of my session. Then, as I was getting ready to leave she said, "I don't know why I have to tell you this story, but I do..." Here's my abbreviated version... Oprah dies and goes to heaven where she meets St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. As they begin to walk she notices a door with her name on it to the right. She asks St. Peter if she can open it. He says No at first but she continues her request saying, "Why not, it has my name on it, it's for me." He goes to ask whether it's Ok and comes back with permission. Oprah opens the door and it's a massive room full of beautifully unwrapped gifts, from floor to ceiling, stretching back for what seems like a football field. She asks if she can open them and St. Peter tells her No, because these are all the gifts that were offered to her while she was living that she chose not to receive." I got it. The lesson of receiving runs very deep for me...and it hooked up with the beginning of my session when the words 'holding down' and emotions came up. I've been resisting fully experiencing my emotions, my love, my dream...I knew something had shifted deep inside that day.
The following days were magical, everything seemed easy, flowing, open, full of trust and love. The "I AM" photograph project grounded even more as Julie Enstall and I finalized the wording to be printed on 7 of the images, Alton Memorial Hospital confirmed an event on June 16th where I'll be playing with Gigi Darr (wonderful pianist) and speaking for the first time in public about my journey. The Cancer Support Community asked if I would be their Featured Participant on the inside front cover their next newsletter (July/Aug/Sept) and write an article about my cancer experience and their services. Of course I said Yes and the article is about how I personally used my music...HUGE step for me in receiving my own gift and stepping more fully into experiencing my dream. Then, as you all know, the CD sponsorship program became a reality and I was able to gift Dr. Rachel Borson and the St. Louis Cancer and Breast Institute with 86 CDs yesterday! Wow...my dream is a reality and I'm actually living, breathing and experiencing it!!! Amazing that I had to walk this journey in order for me to actualize my dream...I am sooooo grateful and blessed to have all of you in my life...thank you!
So...here's some of the practical and fun stuff...
On May 21st I posted on Facebook, "I cut my hair today...granted it was just 1 hair...but it's a start!! :-)" Yes, my hair is growing...it's soft...some dark, some white, we'll have to wait and see...I'm not even sure if I want hair...kind of like the free and easy look. ;-)
I still go to acupuncture 3 times a week and drink the Chinese Herb tea twice a day.
On May 12th I sent this email to my doctor and Randall (rep for Alpha-Stim...which I started to use after my 4th treatment when my fingers started to hurt from the drugs...Taxotere often causes extreme fingernail sensitivity and sometimes neuropathy...which isn't a good thing for a harpist. ;-)
Hi Rachel and Randall,
I just wanted to touch base and let you know that today is Day 8 since my last treatment and I didn't experience ANY fingernail sensitivity this time!! I truly believe that the use of Alpha-Stim has helped my body stay open and flowing on the inside, thus preventing any constriction of the meridians. I use it at least 1 hour every morning and sometimes again in the evening. I also did not experience a dramatic drop in energy levels and have been able to drive and function every day since treatment. Just wanted to share since the experiences this time are so dramatically different than last treatment...I'm sure getting the booster on Day 2 also helped, along with the continuation of acupuncture and Chinese Herbs...but not experiencing the fingernail sensitivity side effect is HUGE for me.
Have a great day!
Loving life...all of it,
I'm still going to Physical Therapy every other week to keep up on my lymphatic massage. At my last session, they measured my right arm (the arm where I had 11 lymph nodes removed during surgery) and it had increased in size a bit...which means the lymph isn't draining quite as easily. I interpret this as my body's way of keeping my awareness on me. I've been so excited about the CD Sponsorship program that I know I haven't been as diligent on my 'inside' journey these last couple weeks...so my body is just talking to me...reminding me to take the time needed for my evening lymphatic massage before going to bed every night.
At my appointment yesterday, Dr. Borson was surprised at how normal my fingernails looked, smooth with normal coloring, definitely not like someone's nails who is on Taxotere...which usually cause the nails to get rough, purple and sometimes even cause the toenails to raise and fall off. I told her it was probably due to the acupuncture, herbs and Alpha-Stim.
Then she asked if I had hot flashes and I told her no. "Why aren't you having hot flashes?" she asked. Again, I said, "Because the acupuncture and herbs are helping my body get into a state of balance." (Of course, I know that my music and staying connected inside to the Divine energy that I AM is also helping...healing is an inside-out process ;-) This somewhat concerned her and she asked if any of the herbs/plants had estrogen in them. I'm going to check since I have no idea. She ordered a test to check my estrogen levels just to make sure there wasn't any interference happening between the herbs and the chemo. I'm happy to report that my estrogen level was 17 (low-normal) which made her happy and means that my body is not producing estrogen...yeah! However, she did say that the test does not detect plant estrogen so I'm still going to ask Dr. Cui whether any of the herbs have estrogen in them. If the herbs don't have estrogen and my body's not producing it, then this is a step closer for me not to have to take hormone pills at the end of radiation. Dr. Borson knows that I don't want to take the pills so she also wants me to get as lean as possible...like a well-trained athlete with very low body fat...I said, "Oh, you mean like a yoga Goddess." She smiled. It's so fun that we both recognize and respect each other's paradigms. I just love her!
Then I presented her the CDs and she LOVED them! She was so grateful and knew that this gift represented my dream coming true.
Dr. Borson reading the initial email that was sent to all of you
Dr. Borson with the bag of 86 CDs!
She walked into the chemo infusion unit with me and told the coordinator about them and we found a round table where the Social Worker meets with first time chemo patients.
Then she went to the Social Worker's office to specifically tell her about the CDs. I invited all the nurses to take a copy for themselves so they could experience the music and then the Social Worker came out so we could talk together. So...everyone's on board and loves it! Thank you all for supporting this heart to heart gift.
a picture taken the night before of all of the CDs gifted, from your heart to another's heart
the sign in the middle has a border of hearts and reads:
Please take a CD to help you during treatment...
A Gift of Music for You
It is a dream come true to share these CDs with you,
thanks to the generous support of my family and friends.
For years I have shared inspired harp music with patients and families
in cancer, hospice and grief communities around the country,
offering a sense of peace, hope and comfort
as they journey from day to day.
In December 2010, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and
became one of those patients comforted by this same music,
expressed from the deepest part of my soul.
Research with the music has shown it supports
the immune system and brainwave function.
I listen to it every day to help calm my mind,
relax my body and find a place of inner balance.
My hope is that you will also find a sense of
peace, hope and comfort as you listen to this music,
gifted to you by many people who care.
Loving life...all of it,
This Update has become very long but I felt inspired to share. More is happening with the Crystal Crown Jewels, I AM images and new speaking presentations but I'll share that information when the web site pages are completed. As always, thank you all for being so loving and supportive to me and my family...we are truly grateful.
Loving life...all of it,
June 5, 2011
Last night I watched several videos on YouTube, suggested by a friend, of a spiritual teacher summarizing his class programs. After writing my email reply, I felt it would be an appropriate Update...so here it is, without identifying the videos...
Thank you so much for the links. Last night I watched the 5 part video introduction to his program...wish I could have seen more of the content of his teachings rather than just hear the summary of it. A huge awareness came yesterday morning so my insides were 'blown open' to a very deep level of feeling and connection...so, honestly, when I watched the videos, it felt like a lot of 'head/mental/visualization' energy rather than 'in the body, naturally flowing from within, without the mind directing the flow.' Of course, it's my perception, and I know I'm hyper-sensitive right now, but I know you know what I mean because we've talked about the difference between the mental energy of 'wanting to create' an experience and the physical, in the body, allowing of that experience to emerge naturally from within, without the mind directing it. I'll explore a few more of his videos today. :-)
Where I am, the visualization and flow of energy is kind of like music theory. Yes, there's a 'theory' behind music and how music is created...but who created the theory? I've been releasing that paradigm of 'needing to know' the theory of music for years and just trusting that the music will flow naturally from within me as it desires to be created and manifested through me. The same goes with energy for me right now. I'm really listening deeply inside and allowing the energy to flow naturally so I can become sensitized to its flow...then I have the joy of actually feeling it as it's naturally moving within and around me...without someone else's visualization of it. It's more of an innocence's way of experiencing, but that's what I'm desiring to remember...the original experience. Then, because I have all of this accumulated 'inner knowledge' within me, I can experience that original flow with love, compassion and wisdom rather than fear. I'm still in the process but thought I'd share. :-)
Have a beauty-filled day! Love you!
Loving life...all of it,
June 20, 2011
So much has happened since the last Update...our trip to Truman with Christopher, ORIGINS Traveler's Level 1 teaching in Dallas with John, meeting Dr. Skip who offered wonderful suggestions for detoxing my body during radiation therapy and a plan afterwards, Touch for Health Level 1 Training, "Summer in the Garden" event at Alton Memorial Hospital where the "I AM" images were displayed as large prints for the first time, our Crystal Crown Jewel was worn for the first time and I spoke about my journey with cancer for the first time. I've also been asked to be the keynote speaker for St. Mary's Hospital and St. Claire's Hospital "Celebration of Life" events in September and October.
Tonight in yoga class I was so grateful that Judy Ruby (our instructor) played "The Magic Mirror"...it was just what I needed. My days have been so full that I haven't made the time to listen for the past couple days. As I began the class and closed my eyes, I felt a deep smile within. Feeling the music enter my body, I realized, once again, how the music is always there for me...supporting my every step as if the Universe is saying, "We're with you...always." As we gently moved into the various poses, it became clear that even though we're in this world, we have the option to live beyond it. That is where I feel I'm living...beyond the ordinary...beyond the obvious...beyond the perceivable reality of our senses...I am living life beyond my wildest dreams and Loving Life...all of it!!
The Cancer Support Community's July/Aug/Sept issue is out...so grateful for the opportunity to share my dream on page 2: https://www.cancersupportstl.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=Qauu21fyyZY%3d&tabid=156 I LOVE that Dr. Borson is in this issue!! :-)
I l I
Sunday, June 26
It's been an emotional day. The past two weeks have been so busy and 'outside' that I haven't taken the time to really get inside and prepare for tomorrow...my first day of radiation. On Friday I went to my 'trial run' appointment where they did final measurements and preparations for Monday. I took "The Magic Mirror" and asked them to play it...which they did. As I was lying still on the table, arms above my head, machines aligning to predetermined marks above me, the technicians out of the room coordinating everything and the music playing, I sank into myself and felt a previously unconscious layer of fear rise up and manifest as gentle tears filling my eyes and slowly streaming down the sides of my cheeks. "Was I really doing this to my body?" The thought came up and melted away as I adjusted my perception to this new form of treatment. I wasn't 'doing' anything to my body...this was another conscious step in my journey...breathe Amy...open and expand...don't contract in fear...breathe. The music ended and the pre-tests were completed. As the technicians helped me sit up, another woman was standing there looking at me and holding the "New Love" CD. "I just had to come in and ask if this is you. Another patient gave us this CD and all of our patients love it. In fact, we have it playing in the other treatment room right now as we prepare for patients because it's our favorite CD." I smiled, said, "Yes," then took the opportunity to share with the others in the room how important it is to play relaxing music during the treatment session. I love how the music is everywhere I am...it's such a beautiful way for the Universe to say, "It's OK, Amy...this place is ready for you...it's safe and it's part of your sacred journey."
This afternoon I went to Kohl's and bought several 'supported' camisoles since I've decided to be proactive and stop wearing any type of binding clothing from Day 1.
I've typed up my 'Radiation Protocol' which looks like this for now...
Alpha-Stim ____ B6-100mg ____
ALIGN ______ Vitamin D _____
MISO Soup:___ Veg ___ Grain___
8:30am - 5mg Melatonin _______
9:00am - Radiation Therapy - Apply Calendula Cream
AM Chinese Herbal Tea _______
Oxysize Breathing ______
Touch for Health _______
YMCA ______ / Yoga _______
Mushroom Power _____
5mg Melatonin _____
Apply Calendula Cream ______
Magic Mirror _____ TM _____
Drink Terramin Clay in Water ____
PM Chinese Herbal Tea _____
10mg Melatonin ______
Apply Calendula Cream _______
Lymphatic Massage ______
Wear Arm Garment Daily _______
Lymphatic Massage _______
Hot Water with Lemon _________
and lots of green leafy veggies!!
It feels a bit overwhelming but I'm just going to take it one step at a time...breathing deeply and loving life...all of it!
Just a quick Update to let you know I'm doing really well. Radiation treatments started on Monday, June 27th and will continue until August 12th (Monday-Friday). I've created "My Radiation Protocol" checklist of things to do every day so I don't forget...talk about self-care to the max! ;-) It's one of the downloads available on my new Resource page. I also write periodic Updates on My Journey to Love page if you're ever interested or concerned about how I'm doing. Always feel free to share this information with others.
Thank you all for your loving thoughts and support...my journey continues...one step at a time.
Loving life...all of it,
beautiful roses from our dear friend Khalida
Today I connected to my deep inner soul light behind and below my heart and felt it (visualized it) beaming through my entire body and emanating out through every pore of my skin...then, as the radiation machine turned on, I sensed how the two lights merged into one...my soul light and the radiation beams...very cool
Just got back from getting a QEEG measurement done at Dr. Collin's office. A close friend of mine called me a couple days ago and told me about dream she had...bottom line, she ended up in tears of gratitude and asked me if it was possible to get QEEG measurements soon and then again after radiation is over. Fatigue is a HUGE side effect of radiation and we're curious if listening to the music will help. So I emailed Chris Collins (wife of Dr. Collins) and asked...they said Yes. We also took measurements WHILE I was listening to the music because I can actually feel my brainwaves shift and my body relax as the music is playing. It feels like this information will be valuable for all the populations we're approaching...to know how deeply relaxed this music takes someone. So...another step is taken. :-)
Loving life...all of it,
Radiation is going well...every day at 9am I go to St. John's on Ballas Road (about 7 minutes away); check in with my automatic scanner card; change into a gown; wait briefly in the waiting area with my other 'co-hearts' to be called; walk around the corner into the radiation room; state my name, birthday and treatment side; lie on the hard sheet covered table; adjust my arms over my head into the prefabricated personalized mold; relax as the technicians perfectly align my body under the machine by pulling the sheet underneath me; listen as they meticulously call out my specific coordinates for treatment; then they increase the volume of "The Magic Mirror" playing in the corner, walk out of the room and treatment begins...in less than 8 minutes, everything is over and I return to the dressing room; apply my calendula cream or Banana Boat After Sun Lotion; get dressed and go about my day. My skin is sometimes pink during the day but then cools off when I put the lotion on.
(pictures coming soon...trouble with web site right now)
2 of my friendly St. John's technicians
storage cubbies for each patient's arm mold
the full view of the table and machine...which all move
on the table with my arms above my head in the mold...chest covered to spare you the full view shot ;-)
from the other side...the blue thing is my mold
I'm half way through the full breast radiation treatments since the last 7 treatments are what they call "boosters". As they described it, right now they're using photons to radiate deep into the body...with the booster they use electrons and stay more on the surface, specifically targeting the scar area where the tumor was removed during surgery. My last treatment is scheduled for August 12th...a total of 34 treatments.
Last week I created a Resource Page on my web site with downloadable documents and forms that I use to help keep me on track. http://www.amycamie.com/mycancerresources.html
My hair's growing in beautifully...silver/gray and black...now people think it's a choice. I've had several women come up to me and say, "I wish I could wear my hair like that." :-) I'm loving the feel of this new look and really don't see myself with much hair anymore.
The other day I looked in the mirror and was taken aback with "I can see my eyebrows!" It's like they grew overnight. Now it makes sense why that area was itchy...they were growing back in.
An unexpected surprise email came on Wednesday, July 13th from the Music Reviewer for DailyOM...he sent me his review of "The Magic Mirror" that had just been posted on their site and it was wonderful. http://www.dailyom.com/articles/3/2011/29307.html I love these unexpected messages from the Universe saying, "don't worry...everything is still moving...just keep focusing on getting clear within yourself and know that everything's flowing smoothly."
The full moon energy continues to illuminate more and more within me. A couple nights ago I had a dream that revisited my miscarriage over 15 years ago. I've spent so much time unwinding the pain, loss, lessons and story around that experience that when I remembered the dream, it surprised me that it showed up again...however, the circumstances were more developed and my action within the dream was more loving, responsive and compassionate. I think it was triggered because of some conscious connections between my radiation therapy and breastfeeding discomfort...oh, how everything is connected.
In 2009, I kept a journal where I answered daily questions that were generated during a 6 hour ceremony from The ORIGINS Process called, the Diamond Star Ceremony. This process helped guide me into myself in a very personal, honest and transformative way. We are now transcribing this journal. with the help of Christopher, and will make it available as an E-Book within the next few months. This is the first time I've publicly 'announced' the coming of this expression...it makes me smile from the insides to say it. :-)
And life continues, as it does, day to day, moment to moment, one step at a time, one conscious choice at a time.
Loving life...all of it,
Wow...living from the inside out...really...takes so much consciousness...those old patterns of focusing on the outside are sneaky little tricksters...time to bring it back in...which my body has been trying to tell me all week...it's so much easier when I slow down and listen.
As I look back at the week, I can see simple little 'alterations' in my schedule and routine and how they may have contributed to my slight drop in energy...which also could be my sensitivity to the Full Moon energy...but it's all connected. This week I missed 2 days of miso soup, 2 days of my Touch for Health exercises, my Monday evening Yoga class, and I haven't meditated (TM) for days. I have, however, listened to "The Magic Mirror" every day and when I give myself that time, I just collapse into the pillows and fall into the music...because I'm still out of balance.
On Tuesday I could hardly keep my eyes open because my inner-self was trying to pull me back inside. Then on Wednesday, I felt more energy and, of course, I fell into 'production mode' getting bills paid, packing up CDs, writing invoices, doing errands...my 'normal' routine. Wow...when will this new patterning finally become my Way of Being...from the inside out? Such diligence, compassion and self-love are necessary for this shift to occur and take hold. I get that this is not just my personal patterns that are unwinding...it's my whole light line, genetic heritage that I hold within my cellular memory, that's coming to conscious awareness and repatterning. Thank goodness for The ORIGINS Process, which helps me see these energies reflected in their specific patterns. Staying conscious and aware of my choices, every choice, and how it resonates from within me is key. If I'm taking action outside, then where is that action cored from within me? Is it habitual or is it truly an action that supports me living my purpose? Today's another day and writing this Update was a beautiful way to start...of course, I came to the computer after I made my miso soup this morning...yum!! :-)
Loving life...all of it,
On Monday, July 25
Cleared out corner with my cancer information files, wigs and scarves
On Tuesday, July 26
Donated wig back to St. John's...felt a deep fear of 'What if this comes back and I need the wig again?" come up as I was driving...donated it anyway
Idea of donating CDs as a way to celebrate the end of radiation come to mind...will write email tomorrow
Dr. Borson...great appointment...see her again on Sept. 27 to get estrogen levels and discuss what's next
She said to schedule removal of my port after radiation treatments...I called for an appointment with Dr. Limpert for the end of Aug. or first week in Sept.
Tuesday...foggy day mentally...not from radiation but from deep energy coming up
Today...much clearer...got up at 5:30am and had 2 hours of quiet time. More insight into family patterns that are surfacing around Christopher leaving for college...so grateful to The ORIGINS Process which helps me see and feel this energy.
Sent Email for "End of Treatment...Celebration Donation"
Dear Friends, Family and Colleagues,
In celebration of my last radiation treatment on August 12th, I would love to donate "The Magic Mirror" CDs to the radiation oncology department at St. John's David C. Pratt Cancer Center. "The Magic Mirror" plays every day during my treatment and the technicians love it. They told me today that their department treats 100 patients per day and they'd love to gift a CD to each one!
I know many of you helped sponsor CDs to celebrate the end of my chemotherapy treatments...thank you!! Please feel free to forward this email to others if you are unable to sponsor another one at this time.
My dream is to gift 100 CDs to the radiation department. Any CDs sponsored over 100 will go to the lymphatic massage therapists who see at least 30 patients. Then, any CDs over 130 will be gifted to the Cancer Support Community of Greater St. Louis.
I have been so blessed with the support of family, friends and resources during my journey...now it brings me so much joy to share the music, which has also supported me from Day 1, with others.
Please click on the link below to sponsor a CD for $10 in Celebration of My Last Treatment:
I will keep "My Dream" page updated on my web site with current totals. http://www.amycamie.com/mydream.html
Thank you all for being such beautiful lights in my life. My whole family is grateful.
Loving life...all of it,
oooo...my chest area is getting a little pink...thank goodness for Banana Boat After Sun Lotion...I'm definitely not cut out for topless sun bathing! I'm also noticing that my mental focus is not as long...sort of like when you're fatigued and can't think about something for long periods of time. There's a lot of Universal Energies shifting and deep old patterns surfacing so I'm not sure if it's radiation related or energy...perhaps a little of both. However, I've experienced this type of mental 'rewiring' many times before so I feel it's probably more about my 'inner processing' than treatments. Listening to "The Magic Mirror" everyday is such a blessing. I'm so excited to have 43 CDs sponsored already...and a friend has offered to sponsored to all 100 CDs!! She's out of town and will return on Tuesday, so after we've had a chance to talk, then I'll add it to the total. Another friend is following the flow of her intuition and creating connections to get the music introduced to hospitals in Colorado. It's time to let the music truly fly and it now brings me so much joy to allow it to manifest...without guilt, judgments or fear...after all...it's my DREAM!! ;-)
Yesterday was my last 'full breast' radiation treatment and my simulation for the 'boosters' that started today. I showed my technicians a red spot on the back of my shoulders that looked like a sunburn. They said it was an 'Exit Dose'...where the radiation given to my lymph node on my clavicle leaves my body from the backside. Just another little interesting tidbit of new information. :-) My clavicle is getting pretty red but the Banana Boat After Sun Lotion has been wonderful...at least 3 times a day keeps it cool.
Today my body said, "OK, Amy, we're back on track and resuming our normal cycle." I just had to laugh and say, "Oh, Dr. Borson is not going to like this." Her preference would be for me to stay in menopause...guess that's not happenin'.
Thursday is my last radiation treatment and I just scheduled an acupuncture appointment at 11am that day...
So...the Camie family will be having lunch at Pho Long at 11:30 for anyone who wants to come by. The Guys will be there at 11 to hold the table.
Have a wonder-filled day!!
8627 Olive Blvd
St Louis, MO 63132
(in the Jeffrey Plaza just East of 170 on Olive on the North side of the street)
Loving life...all of it,
Yesterday was my last radiation treatment and my dream of sharing the music others once again manifested as my friends and family sponsored 215 CDs to share with St. John's Mercy Medical Center Radiation Dept., Lymphatic Massage Therapists and their patients and the Cancer Support Community. My heart is so full.
My Mom came over to join me and we took lots of pictures...
Me and my Mom after my last radiation treament!!
CDs, CDs and more CDs ready to touch hearts!!
2 of my loving radiation technicians ready to share
CDs with other patients...thanks
Natasha Montgomery, RT(T) & Natasha Crain RT(T)
Amy with Michelle Smith, DC
Integrative Services, David C. Pratt Cancer Center
Shelly Ryan, MLDT ( My Wonderful Physical Therapist)
David C. Pratt Cancer Center
Charli Prather, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Program Director
Cancer Support Community of Greater St. Louis
There's a lot of emotional energy hanging just under the surface that I'm sure will be coming to conscious awareness over the next month. Here are just some of the thoughts and feelings surfacing:
* interesting awareness of my attention...what some would call radiation fatigue, I'm experiencing as a heightened sense of conscious awareness. For example, I can feel my thoughts moving in a different way...as I'm driving, I'm thinking to myself, "OK, that's a green light so I can keep driving" or "the light is turning red, slow down and get ready to stop." It's like the left side of my brain, the details, are more deliberate and not so habitual and unconscious. There are definitely days when business details are impossible and I just want to keep my eyes closed and connected to the fullness of the darkness all day (the right side of my brain). I can imagine for people who do not want to be so aware, that the resistance to that awareness takes a lot of energy and thus the feeling of fatigue is experienced. It's so complicated and twisted but I do feel on a very deep level that my cancer experience was a profoundly spiritual opening on many levels.
* the word 'survivor' is triggering me a bit since I don't identify myself in that way. I'm so resistant to labels, especially ones in which I feel an undercurrent of fear. The beginnings of an article started coming through entitled, "Survivor of What?"...bottom line...no one survives death forever so just keep experiencing life. ;-)
* getting ready to leave for a 24 hour retreat at the Mercy Center for women who have completed treatment...looking forward to the quiet time and can feel things already moving up. I've got my pen, paper and journal handy.
September 20, 2011
A lot has happened in the past month and I will simply give an overview...
* My retreat at Mercy Center was wonderful and I connected to beautiful way in which to outline my talks, "Loving Life..all of it" without belaboring my personal stories...but use them as examples of Life Lessons Learned from this journey that I now take forward.
* The week after my last radiation treatment, I went to see Dr. Collins for a 2nd QEEG brainwave measurement. I wanted to see if the cumulative effects of radiation treatments were affecting my brain.
* Went back to meet with Dr. Collins to learn about both QEEGs (1st after 6 rounds of chemotherapy and 6 radiation treatments / 2nd a week after my 33rd radiation treatment). Bottom line is that my brainwaves were 'abnormally normal' meaning that it was statistically almost impossible to have such a balanced brain! :-) I truly believe that my use of "The Magic Mirror" CD throughout treatment and my deep connection to The ORIGINS Process are the reasons why my QEEGs are 'normal'. I'll post images soon.
* I'm playing harp and even orchestrating the DREAMS CD for a concert with the Town & Country Orchestra in March.
* Touch for Health exercises continue to support my range of motion and internal meridian energy levels...as well as acupuncture and Chinese Herbs...
* I feel healthier now and more connected to myself than ever before...and yes...my hair is growing like crazy!
* Now it's time for me to continue sharing my love with the world through music, "Loving Life...all of it" presentations, a book, and guiding others through The ORIGINS Process...so, I'll end these Updates with this thought:
Today is exactly 9 months from when I had my mammogram (Dec. 20) that began My Journey to Love...(Winter Solstice to Fall Equinox). I truly feel that I have gone through a deep spiritual process of remembering, recognizing, reconnecting, realigning and rebirthing my truest self...my soul-self...not the self that I thought I was based upon other's people's perceptions and beliefs about who I was...or should be...or could be...or my fears of who I wasn't or even fears of who I am. This profound journey with breast cancer has reawakened and ignited my love within so that I can more fully share myself, which is my love, with the world.
This is the first "Breast Cancer Awareness Month" that I can honestly say, "been there...done that."
It's such a personal journey. For me, it was A Journey to Love...A Journey Back to MySELF.
Here are just a few of the Life Lessons I've learned that I now carry forward:
I Don't Have to Plug into a Common Belief and
Have the Choice to Choose How to Live My Life
It's Important to Take Time for Myself
Judgments and Assumptions Restrict Possibilities
Be Open to Love and Allow it to Flow Freely
A Shift in Belief, Shifts Perceptions and
Alters the Experience
Change is Constant, so Dance Within the Moment
The Only Way to 'Know' a Feeling is to 'Feel' It
When I'm Caught in 'Doing'...I'm Resisting 'Being'
Listen, Trust and Choose that Which Is
Most Loving and Supportive To ME
Release Attachments and Live Fully Without Masks
My Healing Comes From Within
I AM Not My Experiences...I AM Soooo Much More!
and so are you!
Loving life...all of it,
November 16, 2011
Today, I'm feeling a little loopy because I just had my port removed!! Yeah...."officially finished" with treatment! Interesting awareness came this morning in the shower....exactly 16 years ago (almost to the day) is when I had my miscarriage...talk about a full circle...especially since today is 11/16/11...creation, death, conception, adoption, miscarriage...all twisted and then unwinding within me through this amazing journey...it goes so deep...beyond words...below the mind...into feelings...and my journey continues...