Friday, December 30, 2016

Bringing Hope and Healing in 2017

Many around the world do not have access to health care.  

With travelling to SO many Dr appointments these past few months in dealing with 'Breast Cancer' both my husband and I said we are grateful to live close to the hospital.  I show my health care card. The receptionist checks me in, I go up the elevator to the third floor.  The nurse checks a few things about me.  Shortly the Dr calls me to the seventh floor for surgery then to recovery room for an hour and back to day surgery, the nurse checks a few things about me again then my husband drives me home. Sounds simple enough.

Not so simple for those in poorer nations.  I really appreciate having found out about Mercy Ships a few years ago.  They offer free surgery to many families who have walked miles to the port where their ship is docked.  There have been 5,000 medical treatments on the 'Africa Mercy Ship' in 2016 in Madagascar and Benin.  They look forward to being of service in Benin and Cameroon in 2017.

Doctors, Nurses, Hair Dressers, Baristas, Cooks, Janitors and others are volunteers on the ship.

I like this Happy New Year message from Mercy Ships.

For us all in 2017 . . . . . I wish a positive input routine from watching on the movie screen, as we make our insides clean with dandelion greens after we've finished being a jumping bean on a mini trampoline.

Happy New Year

With Love and Encouragement,

D o r o t h y

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Feelings Feelings Feelings

Those who submerge their feelings and cling to them like a child's 'cuddly' will self destruct. 

Having gone through the jolt of breast cancer, being reminded that my emotions are easily persuaded. I can see how 'poor me' finds her way to center stage and sets things up for self destruction. Through my diagnosis I realize that my negative thoughts and emotions must be brought to the healing light of Christ to be transformed or the cancer cells will metastasize and kill me.

Dr. Caroline Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology specializing in Neuropsychology. She is the author of 'Switch on your Brain' and several other books. Dr. Leaf says 75% to 98% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life.  

Her blog link:  Also she has a 21 day detox program which I completed five years ago.  I found it very helpful to get me through an emotional crisis then and would benefit to do it again!  I think it is a struggle being human until the day we die.  There is no quick fix for anything.  No guarantee that after taking the top three personal growth classes that all will be well.  The challenges we face are ongoing.  We have to fight for our life on this journey of awareness.  We have the freedom to choose how to handle our emotions . . . .  together is better. Shall we allow 'true me' to set us up for success before we meet our God face to face for eternity.

As we move into 2017 may we create a rigorous input routine to keep our mind squeaky clean.

With Love and Encouragement, 

D o r o t h y

Sunday, December 25, 2016

It's all wrapped up . . . . .

. . . . . in fear or in love . . . . . 

With the news on December 23 that I don't need chemo - I'm calling the fear part of my journey a wrap.  It's done.  Cancer, the word that brought fear into my heart and scared the chicken (beef/pork/fish too) out of me is done.  I'm done with the word fear!

I'm wrapped up in love, overwhelmed with the Love of God. Unconditionally through Jesus - the reason for the season.

This crazy emotional journey has taught me a big lesson - to guard my heart while fighting to keep my breasts.  Had I not asked for help from a breast cancer psychologist . . . .  fear would have led me down the path of regret had I chosen the mastectomy.    

Wishing all ya all a very peace filled Christmas as you share your gift of you through a smile, a hug, a wink, a walk, a message of encouragement . . . . all wrapped up in love with your family, friends and organizations that help others. 

With a heart of gratitude I thank God for choosing the young girl 'Mary' who said YES to be the mother of His Son Jesus.  The God whose not dead.  He's alive.  The God who overwhelms us not with fear but unconditional love.


Without prayer, I could have easily given up fighting for what I needed to do for me and given into the pressure that fear brings.  Without faith in the living God we would totally be a basket case (gasket case my husband would say).

Our Christmas Miracle - Through the gift called 'Breast Cancer' 

This is what my husband became aware of since cancer entered our home.  He never knew how much he loved me until this happened.  I'm the salt, he's the pepper, together for 40 years in November we've made chili pepper.  It's been a wild ride ya all especially since retirement!!! We can see that our chili pepper emotions are like a cancer too!!!

This is what I've become aware of:  I never knew how much my husband loved me. Through these past few months my husband has taken care of me, encouraging me, cooking, vacuuming, washing dishes, buying groceries and hugging me and letting me cry.

Now that breast cancer has left our home and our toxic negative emotions are dying off. We can become 'newly weds again', looking into each others eyes with love and kindness.  I say this because we have learned so much about our emotions and how we can respond rather than react to one another's emotional situations for the next 40 years.  

To wrap it up today . . . .  choosing life or death for my breasts  has been THE MOST difficult decision in my life.  

For you . . . . . choosing to believe Jesus is God's son and inviting him into your life might be the most difficult decision for you.

For you . . . .  For me . . . .  a choice must be made . . . . as we look back on our life at this turning point . . . . . accepting life's circumstance as a gift, unwrapping it . . . . to discover a miracle.  

May I encourage you to watch the movie 'It's a Wonderful Life'


With Love and Encouragement,

D o r o t h y

Friday, December 23, 2016

'Christmas Anyway'

After 18 weeks of dealing with the jolt of breast cancer, I am engaging in 'Christmas Anyway'.  I am filled with the Spirit of Power of Love and of a Sound Mind, Filled with the Peace of God Guarding my Heart and Mind, which is possible through the Christmas child, Jesus.

When I announced to my daughter (mid November) that I would not be celebrating Christmas this year, she became sad and then showed up at my door a few days later with a live wreath and hung it outside with care. She said, "Mom whether you feel like it or not, Christmas is coming." Gave me a hug, shared a few tears and sat down for a cup of tea.  My daughter has a diploma in positive psychology. She helps me to become aware of how I feel if I focus on my negative or positive emotions.  

Her gift to me, a gentleman with dementia and others, gives us an awareness that WE can make a difference in our own lives by creating meaning, then feel energized to positively impact lives around us.  (

Her courage to ask me questions about my feelings encourages me out of each slump as I open my gift called breast cancer.  It is a gift because it has given me the courage confidence and commitment to do what I need to do for me on my journey to healing as I use the gift my daughter made for me. A cream made with olive oil, coconut oil, frankincense oil and myrrh oil.

So here it is Christmas.  It's not about my feeling happy or sad, it's about engaging in 'Christmas Anyway'.  It's about enjoying my grandchildren and my family getting together for a lovely meal which everyone will participate in.  The days are long gong where the perfect hostess shows up and stuffs everyone with her baking gifts.  This year Christmas is simple, Christmas is sweet with only a processed store bought cake called Panettone (Italian Christmas dessert bread), as we sit around the table playing Tombola (an Italian game of bingo).

I am Canadian, married to an Italian Immigrant.  Together we have three married children, six grandchildren and one on the way . . . . . soon. Christmas this year is anything but normal.  Each family has a BIG change they are facing or dealing with the loss of a loved one but we all are still getting together. There will be no pretending, we can just be ourselves.  Some of us will be quiet, some of us loud, some of us just sitting still while we watch the little ones filled with the Spirit of Christmas laugh and play with each other and share their excitement of Christmas.

Today I was holding on the phone for forty five minutes to have a bill payment corrected.  The lady that finally said "Hello" we became BREAST friends.  She shared her breast cancer story of thirty six years ago and also about a car accident five years ago.  As she told me her prayer to God then and now at that moment in the car and I told her my prayer to God going into surgery.  We both began to LAUGH.  It felt SO good to laugh the two of us women over the phone.  Two women who've never met before laughing and praising God, agreeing that when you're numbers up it's up, but not until then.  We both know that we are here for a purpose, lifting our breasts towards heaven with a heart of gratitude as we both engage in 'Christmas Anyway'.

To my 4.5 yr old grand daughter I said:  "Imagine the hospital having no room for Mamma to have your baby brother, Mamma and Daddy having to go to the farm and have the baby where the cows and horses sleep."  She gave me a disgusting look and yelled, "NO WAY."

"That's what happened to baby Jesus' Mamma", I said.  Then she continued playing with the nativity set.

This is our third Christmas without our Italian Nonna in Italy.  It has been a very rough three years especially for my husband.  Who lost his best friend (his Mamma) not once but twice.  Once to a debilitating stroke and then the final stroke that took her life in December 2013 after 9 years of suffering.

As I think about the suffering I think also about the virgin Mary who suffered much as the mother of the Christmas child, Jesus, and the gifts that were brought to honor his birth - Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.  I might not remember many gifts that I've received over the years yet as I engage in 'Christmas Anyway' I will remember the best gift of all - Salvation - through Jesus Christ alone.  Available to everyone.

May you engage in  'Christmas Anyway' knowing that you will be blessed for letting go and trusting God in and through it all as you share openly and honestly what weighs heavily on your heart or on your chest this Christmas.

With Love and Encouragement, 

D o r o t h y  


As I was preparing to publish my blog today after actually enjoying being fully energized in the kitchen for the first time in 18 weeks and excited for Saturday's and Sunday's Christmas CELEBRATION - I got this call at 2:10 pm MST Friday December 23 from the CHEMO GUY - that's what my husband called him as he passed the phone to me. The Dr laughing said "I'm the chemo guy who just got your test results back from California this morning.  Your score is 8/100= NO CHEMO - I just called to tell you this and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS."  

ALLELUIA Another moment to laugh and cry - tears of JOY.

I Believe in Miracles.  Mary, a virgin giving birth to Jesus is a Miracle.  Healing is a Miracle.      


Thursday, December 22, 2016

If my bOObs could talk . . . . .

. . . . . they would say "Thank You Dorothy for taking a stand, fighting through your emotions and asking for help, which saved our lives!"

From the time my mammogram jolted me into outer space I began researching about breast cancer, surgery, reconstruction, tattoos and I began to cry . . . .  Oh husband dear see here see here come and feast your eyes.

The last time I was in Costco I was looking at women's breasts, if you can imagine!!  It was before I had my surgery.  I just stared at them all.  All of those women with breasts large and small . . . .  Oh husband dear see here see here  "Oh my gosh look at those BIG ones!"  Then I saw the set that made me cry . . . . . as I thought about the possibility of loosing mine!

Today I found myself at Costco crying again.  I went to buy an individual glass water bottle (no more plastic for me).  This time I was looking at shopping carts, watching what people bought.  All the dead and processed food that they would be putting into their bodies before they too would begin to cry. When I paid for my item the cashier said "Have a Merry Christmas!"  Of all the things to say to me she chose that phrase.  She didn't say that to the lady before me.  I grabbed my item.  I didn't respond.  I just walked away in tears.  "Have a Merry Christmas?  How does one have a Merry Christmas when they are dealing with cancer" I thought.

All this crying reminds me of the three little kittens story.  I'm sure someone could write a breast cancer book about this . . . . oh hubby dear, see here see here my breasts you might not be able to find.  What's this I fear Dorothy dear oh where oh where can they be?

Before you go in for surgery you have to sign a form giving the Dr permission to do what he thinks is necessary.  If you've been following from the beginning you'll know I had a partial mastectomy otherwise known as a lumpectomy.  When I woke up (twice as they had to go in for more) the first thing I did was feel my chest to see if they were still there.

This morning while at an appointment the receptionist shared her moms breast cancer story.  The Dr. (I'm guessing from the pathology report) told her mom that there was a lot of plastic in her breast tissue.  For years her 80 year old mom used plastic containers covered in saran wrap in the microwave.

The past 4 months I've talked to women who shared their mastectomy, double mastectomy, lumpectomy stories . . . .  and they've all lived to tell their story except for one lady I didn't know, but I wanted to meet.

As I began my journey I was thinking that I would not go the Medical Route.  I was considering going 'oh natural' all the way.  I was looking into going to Mexico, Spain, Germany - where ever I could go and try whatever they would offer.  Somehow with prayer it has balanced its self out in my head.

One evening while doing research I read a blog from a lady in Calgary (where I live) who went 'oh natural' all the way so I wanted to talk to her.  The last comment on her blog from a friend was that she died. I looked for her obituary. She had fought the fight courageously for two years and now her husband was crying.  It was close to the one year anniversary of her death.  So what could I do but pray for her family and then realize that one day in some way we are ALL going to die.

For me . . . . heaven can wait . . . .  I'm not ready yet . . . . until then I'm leaning towards an oil free whole food plant based lifestyle eating colorful, alive, vibrant food which will help keep the cancer cells suicidal.  

Whatever our situation, it is important to ask our 'Heavenly Father' for clarity, peace of mind, and a sense of purpose on the path we find ourselves on.

With each confirmation that lead me to surgery - from the positive comments from several women confirming the surgeon was #1 in Calgary - bumping into someone I hadn't seen for 30 years who is a nurse, knew the surgeon, saying "Do what ever he tells you because I just attended a funeral of one of our patients who went totally natural- the cashier where I bought the specialty bra whose comment after asking who the surgeon was -  "piece of cake" the same as what my prayer warrior friend was praying that it would be a "piece of cake" - to the church service where I was lead to 'let go and trust God' - to the healing prayer service to 'let go and trust God' - the surgery was what I chose to do for me.

As I got closer to my decision, the tipping point was recalling two thoughts.  One from a missionary friend who has said several times "I don't fill my mind with such empty and meaningless activities". The second from something Mother Teresa said about not joining in a parade that was against something but only if it was in support of something.

I found a lot of these natural healing websites had very little or nothing positive to say for the medical field.  So I stopped going to those websites.

May we in Calgary see the (Naturopath Doctors) ND's and (Medical Doctors) MD's cooperating with one another and building upon each others strengths as they learn from each other, because a comment from a Naturopath I've talked to in Calgary says that Alberta is the most backward province in Canada.

The most important thing for us to do for ourselves is be conscious consumers.  Let's not spend our hard earned money with mega companies that only think about profit - as we consume fast food, processed food and instant food - we are the ones that are suffering with degenerative diseases - they don't care about us, they are doing what it takes to keep us addicted to what they are advertising and what they have that we DON'T need.  They are laughing all the way to the bank and our families are crying all the way to the cancer center and the cemetery.  Let's do a reality check.  We CAN change things around, help ourselves and others live a fully conscious, full and vibrant life.   As I spend time blogging instead of baking this Christmas, noting that it has ZERO calories.  I've lost 8 lbs.  Working hard to keep my blood sugar under 6.0 and my ph over 6.5 and my bOOb healing I am full of inspiration as I move forward on this journey.

Sitting here full of courage confidence and a commitment to not give up I am thinking about women's boobs- some may come and some may go but the message of Jesus will live forever as we prepare our hearts for heaven . . . .  I will have a Mary Christmas not a Merry Christmas thinking about the mother of Jesus and what she went through on her 1st Christmas and how she surrendered to God's calling which had a major impact on the world.

With Love and Encouragement,

D o r o t h y

Monday, December 19, 2016

Doctor, why do I have cancer?

I went into the office of the Breast Cancer Support Foundation with this question on my mind:  Why do I have cancer?

After my husband had all his questions answered, I tapped him on the knee and asked if I could possibly talk before our time was up!  I had only one question.  Yes the Dr. agreed let Dorothy have a turn!

"Why do I have cancer?" I asked the Dr.   

"Everyone has cancer cells" the Dr said.  She suggested I read this book:  Anti Cancer - A new way of life  'All of us have cancer cells in our bodies.  But not all of us develop cancer' by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber 

"Dorothy you have to be on top of this from now on to be sure it doesn't return.  We can never be free of cancer.  There comes a tipping point in each persons life.  Our body is always fighting cancer cells. We are here to help you on your journey and will teach you about what foods to eat and change your lifestyle" she continued. 

Her tipping point factors:  stress, being overweight, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise.
My thoughts:  soy milk, vitamin D, poor emotional health, tooth with a root canal (which I had pulled just before surgery) acidic body ph level. 

The surgeon had thought the tumor was growing for 3 years so I've been reviewing things I've added to my diet the past three years and came up with CoQ10, soy and vit D.  The past three years have been a very stressful time in my life which I was managing very poorly - so I'm not surprised that I have cancer now that it's come to pass!!

Now I've been doing my own research as I live & see what the next step is from the MD's.  

I came across this website: - Empowering you on your breast cancer journey and beyond.  She herself had breast cancer.

Some points that stood out for me on her website were the following suggestions -
FiberDark colored fruits (Acai) Berries Cherries Apples - FIGS HELP WITH CHEMO AND RADIATION - Goji berries Grapes - Papaya Pineapple for digestion - VEGETABLES 
Avocado  Beets - ALMONDS AND WALNUTS CONTAIN MELATONIN WHICH HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER - Spinach - JUICING IS VERY GOOD TO DO EACH DAY - SPICES – cinnamon  curcumin/turmeric - GLUTATHIONE – get from grapefruit, garlic, collard greens, onions, leeks, shallots, chives, broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach, eggplant, lettuce, mustard greens, peppers, cauliflower, green beans. - GRAPESEED EXTRACT – City of Hope discovered it inhibits aromatase (the enzyme involved with the synthesis of estrogen)  it has the potential to starve tumors by suppressing their blood supply. - Green and white tea - Resveratrol-antiocidant for cancer and heart disease.  

When the Dr looked at my file to see what my alcohol consumption was she gasped and said "3-5 glasses of wine per day?  Oh excuse me, that is per week not per day.  You might consider lowering that as well, as all alcohol has estrogen."  My estrogen and progesterone positive score was 8/8 on my pathology report. 

I said "I have already to only once a week." I put freshly ground flax seed in it as well.  Reading that that flushes out cancer cells. (    

Thanks to a friend I discovered:  - This website promotes baking soda to fight cancer due to the change of an acidic body to an alkaline body which is called the bodies ph.

My ph has improved this past week by doing this.  I've used baking soda in the past decade when ever I had a bladder infection which would help change the body's ph level and the pain I was experiencing.

Then I came across this website:  PHKILLSCANCER.COM -  created by a Veteran who reversed his stage 4 prostate cancer which had metastasized.

When my husband had prostate troubles I discovered that Apple Cider Vinegar would help.  He took it every day as he waited to see a urologist.  His pain soon disappeared.  He went to the urologist and there were no issues to be concerned about.

In my library I have a book:  The Acid Alkaline Balance Diet - An Innovative Program for Ridding Your Body of Acidic Wastes by Felicia Drury Kliment which I will review.  I also remember reading this one:  Alkalize or Die - Superior Health through proper alkaline balance by Theodore A. Baroody is the author of:  Radical Remission - Surviving Cancer Against All Odds.  This book was mentioned on the documentary:  'Eating You Alive'. - She has a lot of helpful information for a woman's health.  I've browsed at her books at the health food store.

When I googled this:  holistic approach for estrogen, breast cancer I got this - which I will link you to as it is a long and detailed article:  ahwatukee community article - very helpful.  Helpful notes that stood out for me:  obesity causes estrogen receptors to be high - not having a gall bladder - inflammation - alcohol - processed corn, soy - anti depressants raise aromatase - nail polish.

This further led me to:

1.  A holistic nutritionist who promotes:  Identification of the root cause - Using Food as Medicine - Learning Healing and Thriving

2.  Founder of  - A certified holistic health coach.  Magdalena Wszelaka - her own journey with health issues and the failure of the medical world to adequately address them started with Graves' Disease (an autoimmune condition that causes hyperthyroidism) in 2001, later Hashimoto's Disease in 2008 ( an autoimmune condition that causes hypothyroidism) and adrenal fatigue stage 2.  In 2012 she was diagnosed with estrogen dominance and high heavy metal toxicity.

I think this is enough research for one night.

I am so inspired on my journey with cancer.  I am learning so much and I am willing to change.  I am a firm believer . . . . 'if you change nothing, nothing will change'.

Now . . . .  before I lay me down to sleep . . . .  I can tell myself 'why I no longer need to be intimidated by cancer'.

With Love and Encouragement,

D o r o t h y  -  Mamma D Butterfly
'Butterflies don't fear transformation'

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Emotions are an . . . . . Emotion in motion!

As I begin to learn more about my emotions and how I handle them I have become aware that I speak up a lot quicker than before.  The past me would keep quiet and blow up inside when I felt someone was trying to control me or when someone blew up at me, setting the emotion of anger into motion. That emotion would take me down the rabbit hole and I'd run away.  

The new me can choose which emotion to put into motion.  

This allows for peace in the midst of the storm.  I can think clearly and give a negative emotion no energy no color and remove it from my mind.  When I think clearly I am protecting myself from my emotions going out of control.   

The new me can think things through and ask questions and speak the truth even to a Medical Dr. asking for clarity regarding my breast cancer as I approached the appointment with my oncologist (a chemo cancer Dr).

As I walked in to the building a friendly young volunteer guided us where to go and how to get there. I was quiet my husband was chatty.  Neither one of us wanted to be there and it's obvious how different we are from each other and how we handle our stress.  The volunteer took us down the stairs into another room - then the tears began.  The receptionist took one look at me then gave my husband the instructions about the paperwork that needed to be filled out.  At that time there were 4 of my bible study friends praying for me.  I quietly filled out the papers (you see even though the tears were streaming down my face my ears were still listening) besides I'm the one to fill out the papers.  A short time later we were called into the examination room.  A friendly nurse took my blood pressure, my height and weight.  I asked her if I could record the conversation with the Dr because my daughter was not able to attend at this meeting.  She suggested I ask him for permission.  I did as soon as he walked in and he agreed.

The oncologist asked me if I knew my name and why I was there!  "Well Dr. today my name is Dorothy and I'm here because Dr. L said I might have to do this, this and that."  His response, "Well Dorothy today were going to talk about this this and that."  He examined me then left the room.  I deleted some photos and voice recordings to make sure I didn't run out of space on my phone to record our conversation.  While I was doing that I discovered a healing prayer I had recorded myself speaking.  WOW.  Isn't God amazing.  I had recorded that after a healing prayer service in October and forgot all about it.  Here it is back at just the right time, another tool to help with my emotions.  Had my daughter been able to attend I wouldn't have been reminded of the healing prayer.  (Now I listen to it several times a day)

The Dr peaked in and said he'd return in 20 minutes as something came up.  My husband then left to go to the men's room and when he came back I saw him slowly peak into the room to see if it was me . . . . because when I met with my surgeon the previous week, my husband had left the room (while we were waiting for the surgeon) to use the men's room and came back to the wrong room . . . . the surgeon was examining another woman . . . . the Dr said to his patient as the door opened -  "I hope this is your husband" as he turned around to see . . . . "No that's not your husband."  The door closed and my husband tried another door - at which point a nurse came around to see what he was doing.

My husband assured her that he was opening the door of the room that his wife was in for sure this time!!!!  When the surgeon came into our room we all had a chuckle - my husband said "I didn't see anything in that other room" and when it was time to see the nurse take out my staples  . . . . . guess what?  He left again and so did my Dr. - they both engaged in conversation in the hallway.

When I went to the (TBCC) Tom Baker Cancer Center at the Holy Cross location to have a meeting with the oncologist I was fully expecting to hear what my next step would be (a date to start chemo or radiation).  Turns out I had to wait another two weeks for another test result. The test called ONCO type DX which costs $4,000 would be paid for by Alberta Health Care. So now my breast tissue from Nov 1st would be going to California.  

Why not send Dorothy to California and give her $4,000 to spend on this this and that, I wondered!! The emotion I put into motion overnight was discouragement.  

I felt like a puppet on a string.  Not wanting to stay in a negative mindset I chose to let it go and take a holiday from my cancer to celebrate Christmas in a quiet way and live and wait for our newest grandchild to be born possibly within the next 2 weeks.

I had left the building with an appointment 2 weeks later.  The next day I called and cancelled the appointment.  Now I go again mid January.  The Dr. assured my husband that my type of cancer was not life threatening so I felt comfortable to take a break for my mental and emotional health.

I asked the oncologist then, the Dr at the Breast Cancer Support Foundation the next day, why was this test was not ordered within days of my first surgery - encouraging them to consider the emotional impact on their patient.  I was given their reasoning to which could have set the emotion of anger into motion but remember I have no room in my place (mind) to entertain negative emotions so I just let go and took control.

May you be conscious of your emotions and how they can rule your life.  I wish you courage, confidence and a commitment to focus and take a stand on your emotional health as you face your challenges head on.

With Love and Encouragement,

D o r o t h y

Monday, December 12, 2016

Doing things I've never done before

I find my spirit soar as I do things I've never done before!

May past memories of your spontaneity bring a smile to your face.

1.  Shortly after I was diagnosed with cancer - I was heading North in my vehicle - there was some construction going on so one lane less.  I don't like waiting in traffic (I am the Queen of shortcuts) so I did a 180 and chose to head West then North again when I could.  I didn't even think about it . . . .  I just did it.

2.  I walked into a mall to go to the dollar store and saw Santa sitting there.  I walked right past him then stopped dead in my tracks.  It's now or never I thought.  I went over to see about having a photo with him.  It cost $25.00.  I changed my mind.  As I engaged in conversation with Santa's helper one thing led to another and cancer became the subject.  I was the only one in line.  It was his first day on the job.  Well off with my coat and over to see Santa - Santa's helper had cancer in the past too.  She took the photo of Santa and I as a Christmas gift to me.   

I asked her if she wanted me to laugh or cry because I was about to let those tears flow and flow fast. I asked Santa's helper for her address so I could send her an 'Encouragement by Dorothy' card.  I told her, out of all the Santa's I'd seen in the malls over the years - I liked her Santa the best - he was for real and so was his helper.   

The past me began to ask myself "Why do you do the things you do?"  Asking myself those questions over the past three years has helped me to stop doing the things I was doing that seemed empty and meaningless or a waste of time or for the wrong reasons.  One of those things was cards.  I stopped sending out Christmas cards.  I stopped sending out cards of encouragement. I stopped my Facebook page.  I stopped going out for lunch - spending money on food that was not nourishing to my body.  I stopped living up to others expectations of me.

Now I'm back to sending out cards of encouragement because it's for a purpose.

3.  Another thing I did - just the other day was park in a spot, which I've done twice this week, at a lot where there are a few spots for their stores shoppers.  It was -19.  I thought there is no way someone would be out checking there parking spots - heck not many would be out shopping at all.  Plus all the pay spots were full.

4.  I met up with my Arabic friend whose brother was visiting from her home town.  He's an Imam (a priest).  She wanted him to pray for me - so he covered my head with my winter scarf and prayed for me.  It was a prayer I did not understand but it was genuine - it was from the heart - and now he's left and told me 200 of his followers in his home town will be praying for me as well.  The past me would have been quite uncomfortable with engaging in such a spontaneous act but I trusted my friend who loves me and just let it happen.  She also found a natural medicine to kill cancer cells.  I have a spoon once or twice a day, she helped me make it.  It is as follows:  12 cloves of garlic, 400 gr walnuts, 15 limes, 400 gr hard wheat sprouted, 1 kg honey.  It's a killer alright!  It definitely kills your sweet tooth cravings.  Put it all through the food processor - let it sit for 3 days then enjoy.  Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.

Thinking about honey . . . . . Once when I was visiting my friend for lunch at her house I thought it was just going to be the two of us.  Surprise!!  There were 5 other Muslim women as well.  I took a deep breath, removed my coat and came in.  I didn't run away.  As we sat around the table my friend got up to fill the salt shaker.  My spontaneity kicked in and I said to them all "Do you know what Christians are know for?"  After looking at all their facial expressions of  surprise and hearing a few whispers in Arabic explaining that I'm not Muslim (I'm sure) - I then responded - "Christians are known as the salt of the earth."  Then I asked them what Muslims were known for - I got an immediate answer from the youngest one.  She said "Muslims are known as the honey of the earth."  To which I responded "Oh you are good, very very good, that is an excellent answer."  We all smiled then we multicultural women enjoyed our Lebanese lunch.  Three Lebanese one Egyptian, one Iranian and one Canadian!    

Next time you're in a new situation - be aware of the fear within you.  Take a deep breath 1.2.3 times then go with the flow and just be yourself - you might be surprised at who you really are.

With Love and Encouragement,

D o r o t h y 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

One day at a time

The past me wore a C cup bra.  The present me is in transition.  Some days my breast that HAD cancer is a 

B or a double D.  So I just live one day at a time - live and wait - not wait and see what size she will be!

I guess that's part of the healing process, some days she (my left breast) feels relaxed and some days she swells up even in the middle of a COLD Alberta winter.

 Not only that I sound like a water bottle.  Because I didn't have a mastectomy and a drain. The fluid gathers in the cavity  of the breast.  I was thinking the water that I drank was going into my breast!! It sure felt like that.

I asked the surgeon if it would go away.  He said with 80% of the women it stays which is a good thing otherwise your breast will cave in which will require a partial prosthesis.  

May you get to know your breasts and call them by name- for - if you should ever receive a notice in the mail to donate your breast tissue it just might send you off the deep end  when they call you and the call happens to come just as you walk in the door after your first appointment with the surgeon. This happened to me - in shock - I said "No Way" and hung up on them!!!!

On this new journey I was shocked at how many women and men said "Cut them off, you can get a new and improved set."  It made me feel like vomiting.  

Just thinking out loud . . . .  one day at a time as I sit down with my matcha green tea and bloom where I am planted . . . .  in Calgary . . . .  in the middle of winter . . . .  living and waiting and giving thanks to God that He knows me by name and will call me home one day.  Until then heaven can wait because I'm going to be a Nonna again soon.  I've got one more grand baby to spoil with my time and energy.

With love and encouragement.

D o r o t h y

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Grounded Growing Grateful

Preparing for the next step after surgery.

Step 1.  Remove staples (from the incision) at the surgeons office.
Step 2.  Listen to the surgeon go over the pathology report to see if all margins of the tumor are clean.
Step 3.  Celebrate - clean means no more surgery.  
Step 4.  Go see the friendly people at the TBCC (Tom Baker Cancer Center) in Calgary.
Step 5.  Choose what I would like to do - follow cancer center's protocol -  toxic chemicals or my protocol - an oil free whole food plant based diet from the new documentary 'Eating You Alive'.

What we've learned so far on this journey - cancer is a scary word.  The medical field has come a long way.  Each diagnosis is unique there is not one clear answer.  There is still lots to learn.  Cancer is way over my head.  When I first found out I was diligent with what I put in my mouth being very disciplined - which lasted one solid week.  That made me realize I was in over my head and would need more help.  As I began to do some research my prayer was "Show me the way".  I discovered a woman who lived in Calgary had gone the natural route and tried to find her and have a coffee.  Within a few minutes I found a blog she wrote.  A comment under the blog read that she passed away.  She went totally natural.  This frightened me.  So I knew I'd have to trust a power bigger than me to get me through this crisis.

I'd have to be grateful that I'm grounded in my faith and growing spiritually.

May your research lead you to the best solution for your situation.

With Love and Encouragement,

D o r o t h y

Monday, November 28, 2016

Choosing & Preparing for Breast Surgery

Breast Cancer is More Than Pink Ribbons and Races.

November has been a challenge as I learn how to open this pink gift called cancer.

As I opened the gift I discovered it was up to me to choose!  

Choice #1 - lumpectomy 
Choice #2 - mastectomy  
Choice #3 -double mastectomy

My cancer was between stage 2 and stage 3 - grade 2  - 2.3 cm in size.
As I tossed and turned each night as to what to do, it was driving me insane.   The surgeon told me there was no wrong choice and that I could change my mind 5 minutes before surgery.

My daughter had given me a book about healing breast cancer naturally.  I had only read the intro and first chapter and lost the book a couple of days later.  But a red flag went up in my mind when the author mentioned the connection between teeth with root canals and breast cancer.  I went to see an oral surgeon and had that tooth pulled 10 days before my breast surgery.  The tumor was directly below that tooth.  The Dr. said it had nothing to do with it but said "If I don't pull it you'll go elsewhere, right?" "Right", I responded.  "Then I'll pull it for you because I'll do a good job, he said.".  "I know you will", that's why I came to you.  You did a good job 12 years ago on another tooth, I said!"  Two days later he pulled the tooth.  I gave him a high five as I walked out of his office.

Option #1 was my first choice and option #3 was my second choice.  I couldn't imagine one without the other.  In a panic I wanted to talk to the Dr. before he went on holiday to see about doing a special design on my chest if I had option #3 as I didn't want a straight line across my chest.  This is crazy . . . . I wanted a sundial design and thought it would have to be be created by incisions that had healed!  I got quite a look from him.  He assured me that only one incision would be the best for recovery.  I could have tattoos done and then he gave me the tattoo artists name.

While he was away I studied my options and found out about bra-day across Canada and tattoos.  I also came across an organization that hands out blue ribbons - -   These ribbons say:  Who I am makes a difference.  I ordered a package of them and now acknowledge people I know and don't know as I hand out blue ribbons to make a difference in my life and theirs.  We just don't know what people are going through until we initiate an open and honest conversation.

The most inspiring story so far is from a young man who I saw was having difficulty walking. After I acknowledged him I said "May all your dreams come true."  His response:  "They are coming true I used to weigh 600 lbs.  I've lost 200 so far."  Then he asked if he could bless me with "Shalom".  I accepted.

I had an appointment with a medical Dr. at the Breast Cancer Support Foundation a week before my surgery.   I really didn't know why I was going to this appointment other than I had asked for emotional support.  I was yawning every minute and not able to quite catch my breath.  I had never experienced this before.  The Dr. went into great detail about breast cancer and went over my options.  It was at this appointment that I found out the missing puzzle.  I had been waiting for this puzzle piece since the result of my biopsy 6 weeks prior.

My Her2 was negative.  That was good news!  Because my cancer was estrogen and progesterone positive. My daughter was with me at this appointment.  We went for coffee after, I asked her what exactly this means for me (as I'm in a daze most of the time).  Mom that means you don't need chemo.  Oh yes that is good news - the best of the worst!

The next night I chose to walk to my grandsons hockey game.  I needed some fresh air.  I was still in a daze.  My yawning was getting worse and I could feel the anxiety rise.  By now I could feel the stress in my stomach.  I still had not made my decision about what type of surgery to have.  My friend called while I was walking, I shared about my yawning and shortness of breath.  She asked me if I was scared.  I began to sob.  Yes I was fearful.  She encouraged me with promises from scripture and prayed for me.  I continued crying as I walked to the game.  I was ok by the time I got there.  It took me 45 minutes, then I got a ride home.

When I had asked for help they also gave my name to the Breast Cancer Psychologist. She guided me to jot down the advantages and disadvantages of each choice.  We did this over the phone then she encouraged me to think about it over the weekend. Someone said to me that I didn't need to talk to a Psychologist!  I disagreed and made sure that we talked again.

As I thought about it over the weekend a red flag called 'regret' came to life for me as a disadvantage of having option #3 done.  So that did it.  My decision was made.  I called the surgeons secretary and told her I would stick with option #1.  I had that surgery done on November 1st.  It was not as bad as I feared.  I still felt discouraged and sad that I was only part way into opening this gift.  I went for several walks with girlfriends as I recovered which helped with my attitude.  The weather was unusually nice for November.  I felt encouraged and hopeful as I waited until the 14th for the followup appointment.  

My husband and daughter would come with me to see the surgeon to get the staples out as well as visit the Dr. at the breast cancer support foundation the same day for emotional support.  We were not prepared for what we heard.  The tumor was 4 cm and not all the margins were clean. This meant chemo radiation and pills for 5 years.  The three of us began to cry.  From there we quickly made our way to the surgeon.  He said one of the six margins was considered dirty so they would have to go in for more.

Emotionally that set me back to square one.  He looked at his phone and said Nov 30th.  Before the nurse came in and took out the staples, I honored my surgeon with a blue ribbon and off we went to the coffee shop to discuss the news!!  Then we got a call a couple of days later that the surgery would be moved to November 24th.

So here I am recovering from the second surgery, hoping that the cancer is gone then going to the Tom Baker Cancer Center in December to see what they have in mind for me.  

In the meantime I have discovered a lifestyle to reverse cancer, diabetes, heart disease & arthritis.   I watched a documentary (soon to be in theaters) called 'Eating You Alive'.  It's a lifestyle promoting an oil free whole food plant based diet.  My blood sugar the morning of my first surgery was 7.4 - eating this way for only 4 days before my second surgery my blood sugar was 5.4.  I have been type 2 diabetic for 20 years.  I am looking forward to a renewed life.  I feel better already.

I am full of hope that this healthier lifestyle program will also help starve any cancer cells in my body.  I have found a support group in Calgary that supports an oil free vegan lifestyle.   I already feel like my insides are not swollen. Diseases, I learned, are caused from inflammation (wheat causes inflammation, I've been mostly wheat free for two years due to it being high on the glycemic index) . Even if I can manage to follow this vegan lifestyle only 80% of the time I believe it will help on my healing journey.

My prayer life is very shallow these days.  I just pray "Show me the way" over and over again.  Every day God is good, God is good everyday.  I had turned left when going out for a walk and changed my mind and turned right.  Within a minute I bumped into a neighbor who told me about this documentary.  Am I blessed or what.  Now I'm reading a book by Dodie Osteen - If my heart could talk.  It is very encouraging and helping with my emotional stability.

As far as it goes on this healing journey, most of my time is spent relaxing, walking, reading and listening to my head set (BrainTap Technologies/Porter Vision) to train my brain.  I will be encouraging my friends on how they can best help me and how our friendships will be nourished by each other.  There is no space in my place (my mind) for negativity or a pessimistic attitude.  (both of which the 'past me' was good at)  I used to sweat the small stuff and complain a lot, now I can see clearly that my health is my most important asset.  Being willing to change and learning how to handle my emotions in a better way is to my benefit, like making a deposit into my health bank account, not a withdrawal.

I am extremely grateful for this gift called cancer which is an opportunity to grow in my faith and to slow down and finally focus on my health and take that leap of faith as I let go of fear and trust God, my tour guide, my baggage handler - my Lord and Savior Jesus.

I am running this race with cancer.  I am more than a conquer of cancer.  I am on my way to the top of the mountain.  I am free to choose how to deal with my emotions.  I am full of hope.  I am blessed beyond understanding.  I am encouraged.  I am moving forward.  I am not leaning on my own understanding.  I am grateful for my family and friends.  I am enjoying my grandchildren.  I am looking at Christmas through new eyes.  I am overflowing with peace, love and light.

Attitude of Gratitude:  Thanks be to God for uplifting our spirits as we acknowledge how we feel at any given moment, deal with the emotion then let it go and move on with our day.  May you feel the love of our heavenly Father as you face and embrace the challenge that has made its way into your life.

With Love and Encouragement,

D o r o t h y   S e s s a   - M a m m a    D   B u t t e r f l y
"Butterflies do not fear transformation"

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

THE GIFT - a journey with breast cancer

My Journey with Breast Cancer

It's a journey filled with EMOTIONS.  I'm learning to deal with ALL of them in a better way than the 'past me' would have.  The 'present me' is looking at life differently now . . . . . just doing it - thinking healthy thoughts (becoming aware of negative thoughts and where they come from), cleaning the mind (throwing out old useless thoughts) and motivating self into healthy actions.  A healthy mind = a healthy body.    

My mammogram was on August 15th 2016.  My surgery will take place in November 2016.  It is what it is.  I will share my discoveries with you along this journey.  I am SO blessed with an amazing family and many caring friends.  The best support out there in Calgary is the Breast Cancer Support Center.  They look at the whole person and the whole family on their cancer journey.  

It's been forty years of being married to an Italian this November.  Forty years ago he said, "Italian men don't do dishes" . . . . . . . . . well things have changed around here . . . . .  not only does he do dishes he is the chef as well.  I began this journey feeling nervous, anxious, worried, and numb.  It became a FULL time job doing research into the many options out there for my situation.

Ten weeks into it, I now accept this gift called a journey with cancer.  (As a child I learned to not trust anyone - now I'm learning to let go and trust God)  Jesus is my tour guide and my baggage handler.  This gift has forced me to acknowledge how I'm feeling, deal with the emotion then find the best way for that day to get out of my slump.  It has especially helped me to create a healthy boundary on my self for not allowing any other person's negative beliefs, thoughts or out of control emotions get the best of me.  The 'present me' is creating a balanced life for the 'future me' to behold  . . . . as I let go and trust my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to heal me in ways beyond my understanding.

I SO look forward to getting to know the 'future me'.  On my journey I listen to "Braintap Technologies" (Dr. Porter Vision) to get me out of the fight/flight mode so my heart and body can relax, so my eyes can see the world through new eyes.  So my ears can hear the messages around me that provide transformation.  The 'present me' allows the world to do what it needs to do for it and I do what I need to do for me.

I read thoughts for the day from 'Talk to me Jesus' and 'Walk with me Jesus' by Marie Chapian.  Each day I am encouraged as I get to know the power of the spirit within me.  If I should die before I wake, my blessed assurance is to see my Jesus face to face.  Until then I give ALL glory to Jesus for my sound mind.

"For God did not give us a spirit of fear but a spirit but of power and love and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

With Love and Encouragement, 

Dorothy/Mamma D Butterfly
"Butterflies do not fear transformation"