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Many people ask me how I can keep so positive as I move through this crazy journey called cancer.  To tell you the truth I don’t really know what it is that keeps me so positive but I think it has a lot to do with how grateful I am for everyday of my life.  You can get so caught up in the past and the future and totally miss the present which is the most important and really all you have.  I could feel sorry for myself and be really pissed at the world but where would that get me and how much would that suck.  Instead I choose to think positive and believe with all my heart and soul that I will beat cancer and who knows maybe I already have and just don’t know it yet.  Wow, wouldn’t that be awesome!!

I’m GRATEFUL for so many things:  my family, my friends near and far, old and new, my supporters, my prayer warriors, my doctors, my work, my colleagues, especially Steve Balash, my passion, my animals, the beautiful place I call home, my ability to walk, talk, smell, swim, run, exercise, the ocean, soccer saturdays, Washinton Elementary School and our wonderful teachers, parents and principal, and to others who inspire me to be a better person.  There is so much more but you get the point life is filled with so many amazing things so why dwell on the negatives.  Love your life and yourself and surround yourself with positive uplifting people who inspire happiness, passion and peace within.

What are you GRATEFUL for?  I bet more than you would ever think.

Round 7 has been going well.  Not having neuropathy has been pretty awesome although the xeloda is pretty much killing my hands and feet.  They are dry and itchy and painful but you know what, comparatively who the hell cares I can deal with it.  If you see me and I’m walking a little slow just know that my feet might be having a bad day.  This week I’ve decided it is time to get back to really working out.  My body is asking for it and I could use more endorphins flowing.  Not sure what I will start with tomorrow but I can assure you I will be starting.

I have three pretty cool things to share today.  First, I am being honored by the Santa Barbara Legal Aid Foundation with a Heroes for Justice Award on May 10th.  You can check out the event at http://www.lafsbc.org/events/heroes.  The event is being held at the Music Academy of the West and yes there are tickets still available.  When I received the call from Ellen Goodstein, Legal Aid’s Executive Director, I was totally taken by surprise and even shed some tears.  Thank you to those who nominated me for this honor.  There are so many amazing people in our community doing such good work that I couldn’t believe they thought I was worthy of such an award.  I just do what I love and follow my passions, awards or no awards, I would keep on doing all the pro bono work I do.  Jon would probably like me to focus more on the paying stuff but giving back to our community and helping others in need is so important and good for the soul.

Second, my wonderful friend Jamie Gonzalez is putting on an online fundraiser to help pay for the cost of my alternative therapies.  I can’t thank her enough.  She will be donating all of her commissions from this Stella and Dot trunk show to my treatment fund.  It is pretty crazy how expensive fighting cancer can be if you just stick to the western medicine and have insurance but then add in the eastern and alternative therapies which I truly believe are going to get me to the top of that mountain and well you start to worry about how it will all be covered.  Check out the fundraiser and all the cool stuff Stella Dot has to offer at:  www.stelladot.com/ts/k6lp5.   You can just copy and paste the link.  Also, I want you all to know that any funds raised for my treatment and not used once I kick cancer’s ass will be paid forward to another family in need.

Finally, yesterday I had the honor of heading down to LA with Paul and Briana Westmacott for the screening of Unlikely Friends a truly inspiring documentary on Restorative Work and Forgiveness.  It is described as total strangers, brutal crimes, a documentary about forgiveness.  The people in the film were so brave and inspiring.  These were people who decided to make peace with the offender who caused them or their family so much harm, many of which had lost family members to murder.  Offenders who took responsibility for their actions and provided answers to grieving families.  Offenders and victims who then became lifelong friends.  I cried at moments and laughed at moments but throughout it all their was a message of hope and redemption.  As I was watching the movie I couldn’t help but reflect on my own life and think to myself these people are able to forgive for the ultimate crime and I need to continue to look within and let go and forgive for all those things that have built up over my lifetime, some big some small, but none as big as these amazing individuals had to endure.  A doctor on the panel talked of the benefits of forgiveness.  He said holding a grudge limits one ability to live, it is destructive to the individual.  Bitterness is catching and can breakdown your system causing disease.  But when one is able to forgive and make peace muscles relax, your endocrine system becomes more balanced.  One of the other panelists stated he practiced forgiveness everyday and explained that the quality of forgiveness is on the same frequency as the quality of love.  He said:  “When you get to practicing forgiveness as a habit you live in a place of peace.”  Who doesn’t want to live in a place of peace?  I think one of the reasons this movie had such a profound impact on me is because the work I have been doing with my healer has been all about letting go of the things and places you feel you have been harmed and giving your body what it needs to feel at peace.  I encourage each one of you to begin the journey of forgiveness.  I know it can be hard and almost feel impossible but imagine if you no longer held that bitterness, that anger and that animosity – imagine if you were just at Peace.


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