TIPS TO HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD AFTER METASTATIC BREAST CANCER
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, I’ll try again tomorrow!”, Mary Anne Radmacher
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TIPS TO HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD AFTER METASTATIC BREAST CANCER. So let’s get this party started. If you found us then you are here for a reason. Please like, share and subscribe to those that you love and care about in your your own surrounding. Our special guest today is Randy Brown. And she is a beautiful soul only 33 years old, and from beautiful Virginia, Nelson County, Virginia and United States. She has one daughter, and we are going into season two, believe it or not. So thank you guys for for loving us as much as you do. So we can move on to Season Three next, but Season Two we’re involved in. This is episode 21. In our podcast series, I can’t believe it.
Wow, it’s going like crazy fast. And I’d like to bring Randy on because we have a topic today. That is breast cancer for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, believe it or not. And she is going to show us some tips and tricks about how to move around that kind of moment when you’re told that you have something that you didn’t want. Of course, we all don’t want it. And sometimes we do get it unfortunately. But I love Randy’s empowerment that she gives an inspiration and motivation to fighting this. And I want to welcome her onto our show today.
TIPS TO HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD AFTER METASTATIC BREAST CANCER. Hey, Randy, Hi, Tina. How are you? I’m good. And I’m so excited to have you. I hope I didn’t mess anything up for your description. Because it’s a topic that we I mean, we all are talking about it more. But we’re not delving too deep into the subject and I want to introduce you because you do deserve a great introduction with what you’re going through right now. You’re a beautiful person. And you have some tips and tricks for us to move through this. And I’m so excited to hear more about your journey. Randy says coffee is her lifeline and it’s not wine, Brandy, it’s it’s actually coffee. It’s
coffee. Yeah, I actually can’t drink wine anymore. I’ve noticed that whenever I have in recent probably the last year and a half. It just makes my body hurt. So I’m like I’m a cold turkey girl. Like if I need to start something I just stop it and so it’s coffee. Gotta have it.
Awesome. Well, it’s what you found that you like. She says I could eat Mexican food for every meal for the rest of My life I could to being called mama and Auntie are my two favorite titles. Absolutely. I am a my test. How do I say that metastatic metastatic breast cancer warrior you sure our peer support specialist and creator of warrior artists in coaching a program designed for the individual who’s both a creative and has been diagnosed with cancer. I have been an entrepreneur entrepreneur for eight years as a metalsmith jewelry designer, and I am the Chief Creative Officer of my growing empire. Absolutely. So, um, that’s a little bit of a description for every of all our listeners out there. But what, what where did this this journey start for you?
Um, well, I think so as an entrepreneur, it started I was without a job, and had a husband at the time had a three year old. And I was like, I need to contribute, every job I applied for was not working out. And I was just like, okay, so what do I have in the house that I can make that I can sell. And so I started out actually making friendship bracelets with button closures. And some little I called their bird’s nest charms, they’re just some beads that are wrapped and they look like a bird’s nest and they’re super cute. Um, and that was that was where it started, I put up a Facebook page and put up some pictures of the bracelets that I made. And here we are, eight years later. And I’ve gone from making friendship bracelets with button closures to now I work with silver and copper. And I get to play with fire and pound metal and set stones. And it’s, that’s that’s where the entrepreneur started. And I realized I’ve been you know, kind of been an entrepreneur most of my life. I remember walking the walk in the streets of the neighborhood, which is pretty spread out here in the rural country and just knocking on the neighbor’s doors and said, Hey, I got this little catalog will you buy something from me? So I realized like, I’ve kind of always had that go get it kind of hustle attitude. And and then the the cancer journey started December 2016. With diagnosis of breast cancer, I had a spot in my right breast and then a spa to lymph nodes also had cancer in them. So that’s that’s where it all started.
So in 2016, did you have any symptoms are How did how did they find out so I had a spot on the inside. So they look when you’re when you’re getting diagnosed, they’re actually looking at your breast like a clock. And so I had a spot at four o’clock on the outside of my breasts that looked like mastitis, which typically if anybody gets mastitis, typically they’re nursing.
I had a six year old, we were not still nursing. So I was like, I don’t know what this is coming from. So I went to my my annual physical with my primary care doctor, and she wasn’t worried, like she said, Well, you know, it’s probably an infection, I’m going to give you an antibiotic, but I’m also going to err on the side of caution, I’m going to send you for an ultrasound. And I said, Okay, if you’re not worried, I’m not worried. She’d been my primary care doctor at that point for like six or seven years. So I was you know, I felt pretty comfortable with with what she was saying. Went to the ultrasound and the the young, the tech kept looking at 11 o’clock. And I you know, in my head, I’m like, I’m gonna need you to stop that, like stop looking for things that aren’t there. And she asked me three times if I had been referred to a surgeon, and I like in my mind, I’m going not for mastitis like that’s a little extreme. And so she asked me three times. And then finally she said, you can go ahead and set up I’m going to have I’m going to go have the radiologists Look at this. And I immediately knew I said right then in there in my mind, she she has found something quite probably cancer. Alright, we’re gonna we’re gonna kind of wrap our head around this. And I sat there I have a picture of myself in this dimly lit room. In they call them capes, but they’re, they’re not like they they’re not they don’t offer any strength or they’re just this piece of fabric that just kind of drapes over you. And you know and I and I’ve thought about this many times I’m like Kate is just the wrong word because they don’t empower you in any way.
So she comes back and says, you can go get go ahead and get dressed. The Breast Health Navigator is going to come talk to you And I was like the what was the title? That is this what a breast health navigator like I don’t, okay. So this lady comes and she says, I’m gonna have you talk to the radiologist would like to speak with you, I’m going to come to my office. Okay, this is great. Like we’ve now gone like to a whole other level, we go to her office, he walks in, and he says, I want you to think about an inch is 24 centimeters, what we found is 16 was like, pretty rather big, okay? He said, If you were my wife, I would have you go get a biopsy and send it off to pathology.
And I said, Okay, so then then Breast Health Navigator takes me to the surgeon’s office. The medical system that I’m a part of has done a really good job. It’s it’s kind of designed like a circle. So you do your ultrasound and then you go to the office, and then you go to the go to the surgeon’s office and I walk in and I was I was fine at that point. Like I was like, okay, like this is we’re gonna get this figured out, we’re gonna find out what’s going on. And the sense of urgency that the Breast Health Navigator as well as the lady scheduling my visit with the surgeon, the the sense of urgency that they had is kind of what freaked me out. It was like, it was okay, like, I’m a little confused. And so and then the lady that was doing the scheduling said, Is there anyone I can call for you? And I it’s eight o’clock in the morning on a random Wednesday? No, no, like, Do you have a person? Like I don’t, you know, like you don’t?
I you know, I wanted to be like, Do you have a person to call on a random Wednesday at 8am. And that’s when I freaked out. And she took unplanned, right, unplanned you know, this was supposed to be my plan was that I was going to get to the appointment early. I took the earliest appointment I could get so that I could get to work early, after getting my coffee on the way to work. And, um, you know, my plan was completely shot. Like I was supposed to already be at work. So I said, No. And I and I started crying. That was kind of my moment. I think that was my moment of freakout because I you know, I never really had another one. I think I was so prepared. Like in my mind, by the time I got the official diagnosis, that it was going to be cancer, but I was just like, Okay, now it’s time to fight. Now it’s time to do this. So that was that’s kind of how it all started. I was like a whirlwind.
Oh, it just like, like I said, in like 30 minutes, maybe, you know, it was a lot. And then. So I went back that afternoon for the biopsy. And in the biopsy, my my then my now ex husband was was there and he was looking at the screen the doctor was and he said to her at one point, is that what you’re looking for? And she said yes. And then he said, Well, what does it look like? And without thinking she said cancer? And I was like, Cool. And it was like kind of that three second trigger? Oh, I’m not supposed to say that. telepathology comes back like, you could tell she was like, oh, but that’s also what an infection looks like, like, Oh, you wanna? I’m like, All right. Yeah. So yeah, I was kind of I was very much like, you’ve been doing this for like 10 years. If you can’t look at that screen and tell what that is. You should probably find another job. Like I was confident in her and her knowledge that her saying that it was cancer was the confirmation I needed. Like, I didn’t need to wait five days if she knew. And we could move forward. Like I get that. Like they need to know, the grade and the different little markers within the cells. But like she knew, all right, so now. So then I had to set on that for five days. I didn’t I didn’t want to go to anyone and say, oh, okay, cancer, like, and then it come back and it’d be an infection or, you know, I didn’t want to do that. And so, you know, I had to set on that. Well, you have to figure it out on your own. Yeah. Body and Mind. Right.
You have to have that time of of figuring it out.
Yeah. So then so that was Wednesday, Monday, she called me and she said, We got your pathology back and it is cancer. And I just said like, okay, here we go. We’re gonna do this. Um, she wanted to see me right away. I had I was the job that I had the time I was doing home visits with folks and I was 45 minutes from the office and the office was like, two minutes from the house. So I just said, Well, it’s gonna be like 45 minutes. And she said, Well, I can see you at 430. And I was like, perfect. Like, that gives me time to get back that gives my my husband time to be, you know, be there. And so then we met with her. And then that night I called, I had had to call my mom and I said, Hey, I need you to get my daughter from school. I have an appointment that’s gonna run late. And she was like, what kind of appointment why I need to, and I was like, Mom, like, I just have an appointment. I’ll talk to you this evening. So went to the appointment, found out what was good, you know, what the what the beginning stages of the plan was? Because the plan started out, well, we’ll give you a pill for five years, you know, we’ll take out the lump. It’s just like this little spot, and then you’ll be fine. Oh, okay. I like that plan. I’m done. I can pop a pill every day. Like, that’s fine. And it escalated like it went from to me that was like level one, it went from one to 11 really quickly.
They did some some more diagnostic testing and found it in my lymph node. And because it was in my lymph node, and because of the grade and all of the other factors, oh, so here’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to give you a port, you’re going to have five months of chemo, you need to make some surgical decisions. We need to do some genetic testing to find out if like you’re braca positive. What’s and it was like all of these in, I literally went from gets cancer to starting chemo in four weeks. And, and all of the diagnostic testing, I think, I think it was around like 15 different appointments to meet doctors and have tests. And it was a lot. And it’s an it’s I think you kind of start I think I kind of stopped breathing at one point. And yeah, I just like it was just like one hoop
after another was like you’re in a different movie.
Yeah, yeah. The movie like the script changed. Director changed. Yeah, all of it, it was completely completely different.
Um, how did that I don’t want to say epiphany, because it’s not an epiphany. But it’s certainly life changing. Like, if I hadn’t been lying there, and the technician had said those things to me, the sweat would have been pouring down the back of me, because your brain starts working. And so I would have gotten like, super hot, and then go to the other room where they said, This is what you’re now gonna do. Because then you had that wake up call? I, I guess, I mean, you have to feel grateful that it was rushed, and quick. And it seemed very organized the way they were doing it. I mean, that. Absolutely.
Yeah, it was definitely there. And I think that’s where, like my confidence, even now. So now, December will be five years that we kind of have kind of been doing this. And, you know, I’ve gone from from being 33 at diagnosis to now I’m 38. And I’m, you know, kind of looking down the barrel of 40. And I’m, you know, I’m a I’m excited, like, you know, I know, so many women, like I hear so many women kind of complaining about, oh, I’m going to be 40. And not to sound morbid, but like, that’s my life goal now, like, I want to make it to 40. And then I’ll change my life goal to 45. And like, you know, I said that to my mom the other day, and she was like, that’s not a great life goal. And I’m like, I’m not being morbid. Like, I want to see 40 Like, in a positive way, like so. I said, so many people are like, whoa, I’m going to be 30 year I’m going to be 40 and, and it’s like now, you know, I’m kind of looking forward to those milestones that maybe we don’t look forward to. And I think for you know, I think for me, like, I am such a planner, like I’m such a you know, I would I would go so far as to say like, control freak, that like I just needed the tech to say what it was like, Don’t tell me you can’t answer me like you’ve, you know, like, you’ve opened this can of worms.
You can’t put the worms back in there. So just tell me and so that’s for me that was more like now I have to change plans and I have to like figure out this whole new thing. And in that exact moment there were no definite answers. And that for me was like the nerve wracking thing like the thing that was like, but I’ve got to figure out like when it when am I going to do appointments around work and how am I going to do that? Like it was never Oh, I’m going to lose my hair or anything like that. It was just how am I going to fit this into the plan, right? Because it was messing up the plan.
So your divorce wasn’t the plan, obviously, no. And so, you know, and that’s gonna affect so many women listeners out there, or, or partners as well. Because when something happens, you either get closer and stronger, or you start the plan changes. And it’s good and bad, of course. But how did you deal with all of that at the same time as dealing with your five years of your breast cancer journey?
I think in that moment, it was, it was very clear to me that we were we were in two different places. We, you know, I was very much I’m ready to take on the world and cancer treatments over and I’ve gotten me all clear. And it’s like this is this is I’m moving forward, like, I’m ready to take, like I said, I want to take on the world. And I want I want to grow the business that I had started, I want to be able to do a good job at the job that I had, because they had supported me so well. While I was in treatment. i At that point, I had a an eight year old that I I wanted to continue to see thrive and grow and not not think about her childhood as my mom had cancer this one time.
TIPS TO HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD AFTER METASTATIC BREAST CANCER. And so that was where my mind was. And I think we neither one of us knew how to support the other. But neither one of us was saying this is what I need. And so instead of instead of pushing to fix it, it was a for me it was I’m not going to be the only one working on it. Like, I’m not going to keep asking you once a week, what can I do better as your wife and get a girl you’re doing fine. Like I don’t I don’t need anything else from you. And vice versa, at right and vice versa. And I think for me, like I, if I don’t remember him asking and he may have. But in that moment, I don’t know that there was any, like, I didn’t know what I needed. Because I was so stuck on we’re going to move forward. And this is what we’re going to do. But it was just it was just like I’m not, we’re getting to a point where we’re going to be everything we don’t like in the relationships around us. And so instead of continuing to do this, and bringing our daughter up in that I’m done. Like, I can’t do this anymore. And that and that was just it was a very another very, like finite decision for me. And, um, I think I think my faith, honestly, like when it comes down to it, my belief in God and my faith and and the people that he’s brought around me and in the support that I have. That is one of that is like the main factor that has gotten me to this point is knowing Dr. Chu. Yeah, it’s knowing that I’m provides knowing that I’m provided for it’s knowing that I’m loved. It’s knowing that I, you know, if if I if I am willing to say alright, I have a need, I need this. He he has the Lord of my life has always provided for me. And so that at the end of the day is like, is like number one. And then I think number two is probably like genetically there are some very strong women in my life.
I’ve been blessed with two grandmothers who, who showed me very different sides of the female personality as far as like, my one grandmother was very, very gentle and she Stern, but she was also like very gentle. And we had this really great relationship where I can remember when I first started driving like I would take her to doctor’s appointments and Christmas shopping and like that seen that like seeing the strength that she had after losing my grandfather. When when I was 10 years old. But seeing the strength that she had continuing to live without him was was very empowering for me. And then my my other grandmother is kind of the opposite side of that coin where she she’s very, you know, this is this is life. Life’s tough. Like you got to look it in the eye and tell it to get out of your way and you don’t need a man you can be independent, like be able to take care of yourself.
And so having those two sides of the coin I think we’re very, very well much important to who I am. And then my, my great aunt took care of me when my parents worked when I was when I was a, you know, kind of an elementary age child. And so her support and love of me was just so unconditional that I never doubted I could do anything that I wanted, and not in a cocky way, but just in a powerful court, right? If you put forth the effort, you can do it. And so I never, I never thought to doubt myself, um, until you I mean, you hit a point in your life where you’re like, Oh, I can’t do anything. And you know, or that one thing doesn’t work out. And then you’re like, oh, no, I’m not as good as I thought I was. And then my mom is literally like, the strongest woman on the planet. She, I’m the oldest of five kids, and she’s had three back surgeries. And she, she was she became a stay at home mom and raised us and homeschooled us, and just the strength, the strength that she has shown us as, as her children, but then also her support of her community and her friends and, and just the way that she showed me what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus, because I feel like that’s something that we miss out on sometimes is that we’re supposed to support people. And we’re supposed to love people. Yeah, but we’re not just supposed to say it, we’re supposed to do it. And that’s the more important thing. And that’s what my mom did really well with as we grew up was she took care of us, but she also found time to take care of other people. And so having all of those strong women, you know, there was never a doubt in my mind that I could fight this and that I could. No, it sounds like she was your backbone.
Oh, absolutely. Right.
So, um, I know, we’re gonna get into a few of the tips and tricks that you have up your sleeve that you’ve created yourself. But, of course, that’s probably one of the tips that you talked about just now is support. You need a support team around you reps, absolutely.
I call I call my team, my pack. And my you know, without my pack, I, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t be here. You know, and that didn’t. That includes my daughter and my siblings and my parents. And then I have this amazing group of women who are also homeschool moms and who I attend church with and who are just amazing. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve had meals provided for myself and my daughter and trash taken off. And I you know, that support system is definitely very high, very high on the list. Definitely the top three sounds like it. Yeah. And the one things that I had written down was with which you covered as the support, but take your time, which you talked about before, when we had a discussion, you have to take your time, you have to give yourself grace. And that was something that I had to learn. I didn’t know that. My my first year of treatment, I did not take my time. I went through treatment, I went to work. I net, you know, I never missed a day at work. I still, you know, the only time I took off was when I had a double mastectomy. And that’s amazing. Yeah, I mean, I and it’s just I mean, that’s just how I do things. And so I yeah, I you know, I think that was for me that was planning the planning, but what I have learned is just you have to be kind to yourself.
And that is that. And I don’t think that was a lesson that I learned the first time around. And so I tried it. And I also like laughter is a huge key to like, I that’s good, too. You have to think about you know, that you have to find the joy in the moment. That’s one of the things that I try. I try really hard to do. I’m not great at it, but it’s one of the things. You know, I try not to like dwell on the fact that I’m in pain. I have a really high pain tolerance, but at the same time, like sometimes it’s exhausting just to be in pain. And so that’s what I what I feel like I’ve learned is that I have to I have to take the time. I schedule a rest day into my week. Oh, that’s a good idea.
There’s a day every week that I don’t do anything. Yeah, that and that’s kind of where that like taking the time that I need. That I’ve learned, like, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard like over the last few years like you need to read Unlike No, I don’t. Yes, I do. Like it. And, and I do. And so I, there’s, there’s a day and there’s nothing wrong with that it’s not, um, and it’s okay. And I think that’s, I think that maybe that’s what somebody needs to hear is that it’s okay to rest. Yeah, you will be far more productive if production is if being productive is what you want, or what whatever the outcome of your goal is, whether it’s the time and attention that you spend in the moment, or an activity that you want to do. If you give yourself time to rest, you’ll be better prepared for that thing that you want to do
to do. Yeah, the other thing I said, I have down here on my notes is, make sure you’re completely comfortable with your medical team. And you talked about that, because you had, you have to have trust and faith in in your team that you’re giving yourself to, for advice and support. Find support from others with cancer, which you also talked about, before we came on the show.
So and that was that was where my idea for a support to becoming a peer support specialist even came from because one of the things that I did that I realized was probably not the smartest thing was I took my art my creating. And and that part of me and I put it on the shelf. When I first got diagnosed, and there there was a little bit of creating there was every now and then I would be like, Oh, let me do this. And I would like spend time on it. But I didn’t prior to that, I would literally go to work and work my eight hours come home, we would eat dinner, we would do homework, bath time, whatever Put, put my daughter to bed, and then my husband would go and do whatever he was doing. And I would be at the workbench working. And so I was I was creating almost daily, even if it was just in like a doodle of an idea that I had like there was always that creative flow. And so I realized that there are probably other women who are getting diagnosed with cancer or even a chronic illness that are setting that that creativity on a shelf. And I genuinely believe if I had not kept it on the shelf that I had continued, even in little small ways to do that regularly, I would have not been as foggy. When I came out of cancer treatment, I feel like I would have been a little more, a little more clear, being able to think more clearly. And, and so it’s important to me to remind N men with cancer that are creative, it doesn’t have to be just women. But obviously, as a woman, women are kind of my first heart of as far as wanting to support them. But we’ve got to be creative. If we if we’re a creative being we have to be creative. And so that’s, that’s such an important factor for me at this point is that I want women to know that they’ve got someone who’s been there who’s done that, who I mean, I’ve got several T shirts, like we let’s Let’s walk together, let you know and, and allow me to that, to me, that would be an honor to be a part of their journey.
TIPS TO HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD AFTER METASTATIC BREAST CANCER. As well as just getting out of your head and escaping. With creativity. That’s what allows you to do to take away the day’s hurt, pain, and really be able to focus on something exciting and something growing and something becoming something. It’s it’s, I don’t know, I’m the creative person as well. But there’s something more to it. And of course, art therapy is just a beautiful in art therapy is in any form, really. And so yeah, that’s that’s such a beautiful tip for everybody to find that something that you can escape into. Yeah. Um, so I have here seek out a social worker, which is probably part of your medical team, I would think right.
So I actually have have now met two wonderful social workers through through the hospital and they are they’re so supportive like in it and it’s crazy because like each of them approach things differently but they They bring they bring the ideas and the resources, there’s so many resources out there that you don’t have time you don’t know, you don’t know, you don’t know they’re out there and you don’t really, you’re not in a headspace necessarily, at least I wasn’t in the beginning to even think about, oh, let me Google this idea and see what kind of resources there are. But if you if you reach out to them, they there, there are so many resources that they have, like at their disposal, that they can just literally hand you pages and pages of websites. Information. Oh, it’s crazy. Yeah, there are so many in there so many organizations out there from organizations that will come and clean your house, if you’re in a certain stage of treatment. And then people that provide rides and meals and, and, you know, all kinds of I mean, it the reason, again, the resources are just really unlimited.
Yes, yeah. Awesome. Um, I have down here look into clinical trials.
TIPS TO HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD AFTER METASTATIC BREAST CANCER. So I have been a part of I was a part of a clinical trial, when I had my mastectomy. And the idea was that we would see, the, the idea was how if rather than, like going in there, and taking every lymph node out, they only took the ones that they knew had cancer. And just a couple of round, and they literally, like, apparently, during surgery, kind of went to the computer, talk to the talk to the clinical trial nurse. And she punched in some numbers in the computer. And that determined how many how many lymph nodes they actually took. And so my, my magic number was 11 to two were involved, and the other nine were not. It did not eliminate lymphedema, I still have I call it my fat hand, because they’re they’re two very different sizes. And so, you know, which requires me to do other things. And so for the first two, two years, I believe it was every three to every three months, I had to go and have my my arms measured, to determine to determine the part of that trials to as Yeah, so they could measure, you know, how, how much how affected I was versus you know, versus other women, right? With lymphedema? Oh, that’s in there. And there are so many trials, we are currently waiting some results to determine whether or not I need to go on a trial for the the tumors in my liver. And so yeah, there are trials for any level of, of cancer treatment.
So that part just you just found out about that. New.
Yep. So the spot the spot in my liver has been there for a little while. But let’s see. So this is we’re in October. So the first of the year, we do I have to do scans every three months. So the first of the year, they thought they saw something but it wasn’t like big enough to be terribly concerned about. And then my next scan, it was almost like they were gone. And then scanned again. And they were like Oh, nope, the spots are really there. And then three months again, and they had actually doubled in size.
Wow, those sneaky little critters. Yeah, definitely ease. Yeah, so I actually had a liver biopsy where like, they literally just come up, punctured my stomach and took out a piece of the liver and that’s the results that we’re waiting on now like so the initial results show that it’s the same cancer that has been everywhere else. But we’re looking to see if there’s any type of mutation that maybe would would then put me into a trial into a different system.
Yeah. So the other thing and that’s funny because it says keep moving. Well that’s entirely what you’ve been doing. Yeah, no, absolutely. I you know, five years Yeah, like you’ve got to you’ve got to keep keep moving like one you know, one day at a time. Like you don’t have to move fast. You don’t have to like you’re you’re the only I read a quote recently the said the only person you’re trying to be better than is the person you were yesterday. And I was like, I like that like I like I’m not competing against anybody. It’s one day at a time. I’m definitely I had a friend. Tell me I set out I found I was doing this business. I was I have a business coach. And one of the one of the lessons in the curriculum that she created was to ask, ask the people around you, whether it’s clients, customers, friends, family, ask them what it is that you do.
And I was like, Oh, I don’t think I ever I don’t think I ever thought about like that. So I did. Like, I put a post on Facebook, I send it out in like an Instagram set it on Instagram, I put it out in Snapchat. And one of my friends said, you, you are a cheerleader for other women. I was like, Don’t go. I like that. Like I didn’t, I don’t think I realized like I am, like, I want to see everybody succeed. But I don’t think I realized that I was putting it out there. Yeah, that I was as loud about it, or you? No, that’s it. Yeah, I really, I really appreciated like that feedback from her. But it’s true. Like I I want to see whether it’s a woman in Crisis or not in crisis, or a woman, you know, just live in her everyday life, like I want to see her succeed. And so that’s and that, I think that too, is where the desire to do peer support came from. And and, and so I wanted to combine that desire to peer support with the create, like, keeping creativity, like ever present, right. And so that’s, that’s where it came from.
the last tip was get peace of mind, which kind of ties into what you created for cancer patients, your or disabled. People really, I guess it’s Friday, you want to talk about what you created to make life easier.
Yeah, so I, um, I think I have mine with me. The the front cover of my binder actually just has stickers on it from different trips, I’m a sticker a Holic. Um, and so I find them anywhere ago, but I created two things. One is a planner. And this is terrible at the ankles. So it’s a planner and a journal all in one. And the idea, you know, I just really love kind of like the the daily page has got it, it’s literally got everything.
So minus I did it in two versions and minus the cancer version. And so there’s a little block at the bottom that says any any symptoms that might have experienced today and I write them down. Now that I’m back in active treatment, with i, i will be inactive treatment for the rest of my life. Just because of metastatic but I’m back on IV chemo so like there’s a little block to say number of days since chemo and then which number treatment, it was a spot to remind yourself to be grateful and to drink water and to move your body and your your mood and the day’s goals.
TIPS TO HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD AFTER METASTATIC BREAST CANCER. And did you remember your meds cuz I actually forgot them one day, like a week ago, and I haven’t done that in forever. I was like, I like I get halfway where I’m going and I’m like, I didn’t take my meds. I’m like, This is gonna be an interesting day, I want to know how this I want to see how this plays out. But then, you know, I’ve got a chore chart and right remind myself to do self care every day, even if it’s it’s trying to get my coffee by myself for five minutes or reminding myself to rest those sorts of things. It’s those little things that we do that are good for us. And so I need to remind you to do them, right. And so that that’s really what like the daily, it’s daily on the back of it, it’s completely blank with lines to journal. And so because I feel like those two encompass one another, like you can you can actually track this and say, Hey, this is how the weather was today. And I had a headache and because I know for right, when the when the barometric pressure changes, I get a headache. And like it’s no doubt it’s going to rain if I have headache, like always. And so like it’s, but it’s also good to be able to remember that or to be aware of it too, or too so that so that you know how to take care of yourself and write a second thing that I created. I call it my all in medical, it’s called all in medical binder.
And I’ve redesigned it a little bit, just kind of playing around and working with a I’m working with a graphic designer because that is not my forte. Um, but I also felt really good because she actually has a degree in graphic design and she was like, you have a good eye and I’m like, Thanks. I appreciate that. But So it literally would print out like this, you can get it as a digital download both of these you can get as a digital download, or for you can just kind of have me put it together for you. And so I would print it out and put it in binder and ship it to you. But then in the medical binder, it’s that idea of getting organized. And that idea of having things at hand. So in there, you’ve got a place for your personal information, your medical history, the medications that you’re currently taking.
There’s I have a whole section of some of symptom trackers, because I think sometimes we forget, it’s like, Well, did I sleep? How am I sleeping? You know, how are how are my bowel movements? How are How is my pain? How is you know, do I haddock? How is my headache, like those types of things. And so I created a, an entire group of cysts of symptom trackers that go in the medical binder, you could also just print those out and put them with the journal, I keep some of them with a journal. So that I have that particular symptom is on one page, and I don’t have to like flip through every page. It also has a spot for family medical history, any work records that you may have needed for if it were a car accident, as opposed to a cancer diagnosis, or a work accident, then you have all of that paperwork right
together to go. So when you’re going through something like you are, right. And it’s funny because we have so much in common with creating this backup plan. And yours, of course goes hand in hand with receiving this incredible new journey that you have to ride. And and into more depth. Whereas mine is very, it’s before anything happens. It’s, it’s get your crap together before it happens so that you have somewhere to go to to find it. Right? You have, you know, your sister can find it, or your daughter can find it or your husband can find it. Of course, but yours is, is a it’s so perfect for a daily journal to track how you’re feeling and what you can be able to talk to your practitioner about next time, right?
TIPS TO HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD AFTER METASTATIC BREAST CANCER. Because otherwise you you there’s so many look at you forgot your medicine. So I mean, there’s so many things your day moves on, you can’t stop your day, right? But you get muffled in that, and you get into the real daily mode, school kids work, you know, right, all of that. So this is perfect. This is such a helpful tool to have that person take a moment and put down in their information.
Yeah, no, and I you know, and I’ve even noticed I was telling a girlfriend the other day, like my water intake, which we all need water, we’re like plants, we need water, we need fresh air and, and I, I have increased my water intake, just by using this, like I you know, knowing that I’m holding myself accountable. Is is so important. And I think that that’s, you know, that’s the thing, you know, that’s that’s the point of having a tribe and having a group of people like yeah, me and five people could be doing the planner, and I you know, I can say hey, did you color in your what your water raindrops like that’s, and I think that that’s the great thing. You know, I have a girlfriend who has severe headaches and I sent it to her and I said, Hey, I want you to like try this. See if it works for you give me some feedback. And and she was so funny. We got together like two weeks ago, and she’s like, I’ve been having headaches and dividend and she’s like, like, as she’s talking to me.
She’s like, Oh, and it’s not like somebody didn’t give me you know, an attempts. a tangible thing to track this. And I’m like, I don’t know who that could have been. But yeah, I mean, that’d be great if you had one of those. And we both kind of chuckled and so but again, like Holding, holding your it holds yourself but also hold you can hold one another accountable. And I think absolutely where the tribe comes in. And that’s where you know, the group of people that you surround yourself with, like, that’s right, it all comes back to the support and the love that we need to go through each day to recover.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I say that all the time. You know, the only thing that’s gonna help us recover is love. Truly us and we can get it in all shapes and sizes. And support is one of them and it benefits us extremely. So Of course, with your backup plan, having similar type of information so that you can focus on the present time and getting better. How do you think that affected you with what you’re going through right now? In? Did you? You know, did it make you think differently, I better? You know, I better get my crap together, I better start thinking about what if I can’t walk one day or I’m stuck in bed? Like, what if somebody has to pay my bills for me? And if it’s not me, who is it? Right? You know, all those kinds of things? Did you start thinking about that?
So I will say it, honestly, it to begin with no, um, it definitely took the metastatic diagnosis, coupled with now I’m single, and I have metastatic breast cancer. And this is going to be a little bit harder to navigate and work. So now I’m on disability, and I have an 11 year old and then like, all like in all of that, then now we’re in a pandemic, and like, there’s all of these things going on. And so definitely, in the last, like, I’d say, a year and a half, maybe two years, I’ve started to think about and I’ve started to make a list of things that I need to take care of, so that should I not be able to take care of them. Right. Then they’re you know, and I think that, you know, that’s one of one of the things that the journal slash planner as well as the medical binder, like that’s where they, that’s where they stemmed from was this desire of, okay, I need to get this stuff organized. You know, what if I’m in the bed one day, and my 11 year old has to call 911? Within, like, how is she going to remember all of my information? But oh, wait, I can describe mom’s binder. And that’s got it all in there. And so that’s where, like, that’s where those thoughts came from?
Yeah, um, so yeah, pits us as to Yeah, no, definitely no, why?
TIPS TO HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD AFTER METASTATIC BREAST CANCER. I don’t know why it takes us all. Something to happen before we actually realize it.
Well, and I have said that so many times before, like, I, we’re, you know, again, as as in Scripture, it says, like, you don’t know when you’re gonna die. So live each day and be in the moment. But even even as a Christian, like, I wasn’t doing that we get on this, like rat race, have I achieved this, I’ve got to do that. And I have to get a new job, or I have to get that car that house, that vacation, whatever it is, and none of those things are necessarily bad. But the the, we’re not taking the time that we need to enjoy life as and to be present in the moment. And it does, it takes something catastrophic, whatever, whatever that catastrophe is, for the realization that I need to spend every day being in the moment. Mm hmm.
Absolutely. And I talk about that. Every show, every show, because it’s so important that we don’t miss out on it’s the regret, that we can’t take away. It’s that moment that you know, you certainly don’t want your daughter sitting beside you at the hospital bed, saying mom, you know, where’s this? Where’s that? Where’s this? Right? You don’t want that you want her to be beside you saying, you know, it’s going to be okay, Mom, we’re gonna get through this way. You know, we we want to be present in the moment to recover. However, that looks like partially, fully, or, or on the other side, whatever that looks like. Right? Um, but we can’t when we’re all messed up and worried and stressed about, well, you know, who’s going to pay the electricity? Who’s going to pick up the dog and the cat because they can’t be alone in the house? Who’s going to look after my daughter for two weeks while I’m in for surgery? Who’s gonna who’s gonna do this? And where do I find that payment for that? And where are my accounts? I don’t even know like, right, all of those things, right? And it’s, it’s incredibly burdensome, Bert burdensome. Is that a word?
I don’t know. But it sounds good. Like, that makes so much sense because it is.
Yeah, it is and you don’t need it? When? When you have enough? Yes, in your body to worry about, like you, I get to the point sometimes where I’m just like, Okay, make it that part go away because I can’t I can’t focus on that. I can’t even think about that right now. I have to just concentrate on on this. Yes. And, um, when you’re in that mode of job, school kids courses, career, you know, the boss didn’t like you today or didn’t like what happened today or all of this crap that you get to a point in your body when there’s something wrong with it, that it really doesn’t matter. Right? It doesn’t, although you want it, it affects you. But you need to push it away somehow. And I love I like the idea of the daily journal because it, it helps you point that out to your mind, because your mind needs to be balanced with what’s going on. And yeah, so I really like that idea of of that. Well, I hope your backup plan will be able to help you and your daughter because it’s a whole other avenue and you’re by yourself. Geez.
You know, talking about sometimes spouses don’t even know how to how the other one pays the bills. Yeah, sometimes, you know, and who what about your social media accounts? We’re in this digital world now. And you’re, you need to make plans for your little business. What you want happen to that? Do you want your daughter to look after it? You want your girlfriend? You know, what do you want done with all of those things. So of course, those are different from your daily journal. And I know and I realized that you have to get through each day. And I really like what you’ve put together to empower people in that day to think about cheese. You know, I’m really grateful for what that happened today. That really sucked. But this was really good. Yeah, no, I
love like, looking back through it. And like, you know, for me, like, like you you said in, in my, in my intro about being auntie and Mama like those, like, those moments with my, with my nieces and nephews are are things that like when I have a day with them, or I have time with them, like, they just kind of remind, like, just being there is what is what kind of grounds me and and just kind of it’s like, oh, well, nothing else really matters. Like no, I just spent time laughing and having a great time. And so being able to look back and like write down Oh, we did this with this one or that. And it’s just it’s great.
TIPS TO HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD AFTER METASTATIC BREAST CANCER. It’s your escape route? Yeah, for sure. Your escape time. That’s beautiful. Well, did you have any final messages you’d like to give to listeners, I think just you know, just remembering to enjoy each day is kind of its that’s, that is so important. And, and give yourself a day and kind of get your stuff get your affairs in order. And, and I don’t mean like, you don’t have to huge detail, but just the important things like this is where the medical paperwork is. Whether you find my binder and choose to use that or find another one or just put something together yourself those important things, have them easily accessible. There.
You know, there are definitely times when there has come a time that you know, I need you’re gonna need those things. And yeah, and you’re not you’re not ready. I mean, I certainly wasn’t like I said, like he said, like, I was 33 when I was diagnosed, I wasn’t I wasn’t thinking about, you know, I think I somewhere in the back of my mind, you know, when I was like 60 or 70 I might get you know, I would possibly get cancer. Yeah, both sides of my family, but I certainly wasn’t like, Oh, I’ll be 33 And let me be prepared and have all of my so I think those those are the two things. It’s okay to be prepared. That doesn’t mean that you need to spend every day worrying. Just be prepared and then enjoy every day.
Exactly. Absolutely. I say that a lot as well. Well, thank you Randy. That was beautiful. That was a great message at the end a summary basically. So please, all my listeners, please take a moment and subscribe to our channel and click on that bell and you know I have a yellow hand and because I cleaned up my area I forgot where I put my yellow. So subscribe down here. Click on that bell and I always say ring my bell ring my bell down there. In the corner for all those people who love those 70 songs. And if you are thinking about someone right now, while you’re listening to the show, someone you love and you care about, please reach out to them. You know, we have those things called phones still. We have facetime when it’s working, not like yesterday. And we have Skype and zoom, and all of those things for you text messages, emails, we have that moment where you can take this moment right now. Reach out to that person you love and care about, and tell them how much you love them, because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. So stay tuned everyone to our podcast and our live streams. I have great conversations with some of the most interesting and accomplished people in the world today. I think you’ll be entertained and informed and hope that we have inspired you and motivated you to start thinking about your unique plan. You know, no one is Superman. So expect the unexpected. And thank you to all of our listeners. We are now into our successful second season of our show. We’ve had you’ve had you’ve all had my back and I want to thank you all you. We have our show is on all podcast platforms. We are on Youtube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Tik Tok and Facebook.
We also have a Facebook group for those like minded community so that you can share your backup plan ideas and journey and so see the description box down below. Thank you for sharing your time with us. I love each and every one of you. And I always end with Carol Burnett because she made us all laugh and I’m right there with Randy and thinking about laughter is the best. So I’m so glad we had this time together just to have a laugh or sing a song seems we just get started and before you know it comes the time we have to say so long. So so long, everyone be kind stay safe. During this pandemic. It doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. Much love much. Thank you so very much, Randy, for coming on our show. Thank you so very much. And thank you to all our listeners are love each and every one of you be kind and stay safe. Thanks everybody.
You can reach Randi at:
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Shift Happens when …… we can experience the change, it hurts and maybe uncomfortable but Hey, why not make this shift because nothing else is working! Kinda like weight loss, try try again!
“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it; change the way you think about it.” Mary Engelbreit
That worked pretty good, I’m getting better. Welcome YOUR BACKUP PLAN TRIBE to this week’s awesome live stream with a very special guest from the UK beautiful. England.
I’d so love to be there right now. Our special guest this week is from our title shift happens when and I think in this time of the pandemic, when everyone is starting to move back into what real life was or can be moving forward. I think it comes with a lot of shifts. And I think it’s pretty darn good that we have a special guest today to talk about these kinds of issues.
So welcome YOUR BACKUP PLAN TRIBE.
How’s everybody today on a beautiful Monday, or whenever you’re listening to this a beautiful day as it is, if you are new here, please like, share and subscribe down here on the corner, press that like button, if you would like more of these videos. Thank you so much for coming on our show. I really truly appreciate it YOUR BACKUP PLAN TRIBE does. Absolutely. We’re a growing community of people who want to hear real life stories about their real life. And there’s nothing better than that. If you are new here, my name is Tina Ginn. And you have reached YOUR BACKUP PLAN TRIBE. And I am up I am Emergency preparedness coach, I almost forgot what I am.
It’s Monday. So you know, we do do do do those things. We do do lots of airs today. So that’s kind of cute. I’m an Emergency Preparedness Coach, Best Selling Author of in the BLINK OF AN EYE, a Financial Expert and an APP Developer of YOUR BACKUP PLAN APP. And I’m located here in beautiful Vancouver, BC.
Shift Happens when …… And I just want to let everybody know that these stories can be shared, you can click on the share button. And you can click on the bell which is beside the subscription button to make sure that you hear any of our videos that are upcoming, and you’ll be notified before they get uploaded. So make sure you click on that bell, YOUR BACKUP PLAN APP puts your life all in one place, everything that’s all up in your head that no one else knows about. But you in case of any unpredictable circumstance.
You know, we have storms that come through our lives, sometimes many things, sometimes one thing sometimes, you know we have to be prepared for that unexpected and your backup plan app helps you get organized helps you put those things all in one place so that you don’t have that painful aftermath that comes with that tragedy with that trauma with that experience of maybe hearing that cancer word or a car accident or in a coma or or a flood or an earthquake or even a tornado it list goes on and why not be prepared because you don’t know what to expect. You have to expect the unexpected.
So today I’d like to also welcome Listeners, because our biggest listeners for our show has been United States, Canada, Germany and Ireland. And I’m still working on that Irish accent. But all thank my German listeners.
So thank you very, very much for coming on our show and listening to our wonderful great real life stories of people around the world. And Heather Jean today is no exception. And I’d like to bring her on and give her wonderful introduction for the UK.
Shift happens when ….
Hey, Heather. So Heather Jean is coming to us from the UK today. She is a business training and consultant. She calls herself an old time Coach and Trainer. She created with her friend cap confidence through cabaret. And I really wanted to bring on Heather today to our show for our listeners. Because all of us going back to the real life, the real normal, the norm that we used to have is going to be coming up.
For the majority of countries. I know, in Canada, we’re looking at that the anxiety, the depression, the changes that maybe people have to move back into the real life normal again, working from not from home anymore, all of those kinds of things. And I really liked your story. So I wanted to bring Heather on to talk about her story, her journey, what’s brought her to being able to help others with confidence and enlightenment. So thank you, Heather, for coming on our show today.
Oh, thank you for having me. It’s such a pleasure. It’s such a pleasure. And it’s great because I get to talk spend time with somebody else from Vancouver. Absolutely, yeah. Yeah, yeah. And I really what you’ve just said about, you know, people coming out of lockdown. I mean, in the UK, we have been in lockdown, more or less, for 14 months, and we have another month to go. And there’s still talking about extending that. So we have not been out much, you know, so. So it’s a, it’s a very big shift for a lot of people. And you’re right, and people are starting to talk about that. So. So it’s, it’s going to be interesting times ahead.
Shift happens when …. It will be so tell us Heather about, you know, where did it start for you? Where did your story start? And, and I heard the outcome, and it’s fabulous.
Okay, so, um, ah, where to start? I mean, I, I, it that’s actually strangely moved, as I’ve had more and more reflection time during these months of lockdown. Because I would have thought, oh, I sorted this is the point when things started. And then and then I, and I think, you know, an awful lot of my story starts with, you know, some of the social programming that I had, I had a very happy childhood, I was very, I thought I had an amazing childhood. And so it started, you know, during lockdown, really thinking about, there’s quite a few things that I need to challenge that are, you know, in excepted programs in my mind that I just need to bottom out and shift. For example, my mother saying You’re so impatient, it’s like that is ingrained, just the volume, the tone, everything. And so, so when, when I went off to, you know, be a married person, I just assumed part of my programming that I would get married and have children and that’s what you do. And I didn’t question it. And I didn’t, I didn’t, wasn’t not unhappy with it, but I didn’t. I didn’t make that choice.
Consciously so. So I, I’m, I’m married into a marriage where we on the outside to everyone else seemed wonderfully sunshine and everything was great. He was very abusive, and most especially emotionally abusive, and that started immediately after the honeymoon. And so I instantly, like, I’m going to say from day one felt trapped. And long story short, I went off to be an expat in the Middle East. I was sent by an airline to live out there and run their, their, their training and, and because of that, I was able to kind of I had a company house I had all the things that an expatriate has. So I was able to leave that marriage and that that that saved me from that chapter that gave you that courage and the strength to get away from the situation and, and really look at them. Yeah, I was in a system right. I had a company house. I wasn’t like I had to leave and then where would I go? It wasn’t like you know, like, you know, I from counting I was living in the UK, it wasn’t like, I don’t have any family here or you know, I have no support system or I cut it because I was an expatriate. And I, I had a lot of support around me and just the way that the culture is set up, I was able to do that and say now, enough, you know? And, and I thought, Okay, so that’s good. So I’m sorted. I’m okay. No scars from that. I mean, like, logic would tell you like, if you’re listening, you’re like, what were you thinking? But I just, I felt fine. You know, I’ve really felt like, okay, good. This is this is worked out.
Shift happens when …. I then met my second husband. And we went on to raise two children that he had from a previous marriage, where their mother had left and, and we raised to have our own children and and I thought, okay, great, everything is good. And then things didn’t go so well. There was a lot of gaslighting there was a lot of I told you that when I was like, did you, I can’t remember. I’m really, and I really genuinely did start to think I was losing my mind.
And I felt that too.
And I just, I just couldn’t I and I, when I came back to the UK, after beginning, I was repatriated back to the UK in the in the mid 90s. I, I had children, and I beautifully compartmentalized everything. So I’ve got my I loved raising children. So I had my children that was all organized. I had my business, which I didn’t start at have happened by accident, because I have been head of training for a major international airline. And so a couple of companies. One of them has a very famous mouse as their mascot. You know, it’s like they said, Oh, will you come and do some work for us now? Yeah.
Okay, great. And so I, I, and then I’ve met, and that was over 25 years ago. So I’ve never, I just my business kind of grew. And so I’ve traveled all over the world. And I, I had a wonderful time, because I had my own business. I had other trainers working for me. So I was able to look after my children have all the time I wanted with them. I was at all the school concerts, and I worked my own hours. And I you know, it was just a beautiful balance. It was a very lucrative thing to do. And it was great. And departments really, and that’s really important as a woman to be able to have that flexibility to be able to be there for their kids. I Oh, absolutely, absolutely. I didn’t, I didn’t want to be I wish I had wanted to stay at home. But I didn’t want to. And I I needed to be but I didn’t want to miss out on anything that my children did not not not an after school game, not something on the weekend, not anything. And I I was able to move it around and clients and say, When are you available? And I would give them my availability based on their school calendar, you know, right, right.
And mine. Yeah, well, well, I’ll come back to that. And mine, because I didn’t really have one. So what I didn’t realize is there I am, I’m trying to make my marriage work and then starting to think of losing the plot. I got my my children and I’m, you know, looking after that, and I was involved in literally everything. And then you know, and I had my community, I volunteered at a local rugby club for children, because I think it’s that sport where it’s inclusive and supportive is important. So I did all these different things. And I had all these little boxes, and I controlled the ball. And I didn’t realize that I didn’t have one for me, like I did, but I didn’t, I was okay. It’s not that important. I’m happy, it’s fine. And what I found out during the pandemic, or actually probably the year before in 2019, is that the reason why I kept so busy is because it meant that I didn’t ever have to ask the question, how do I feel?
Isn’t that the truth? Like we should be actually listeners? We’re going to be silent for one minute. We’re going to really bring this into our heads because do we when we’re getting into a marriage or a relationship do we do we? We forget about ourselves? Yeah, yeah. It’s true.
Shift happens when …. And when we’re trying to make everybody else happy, then we can say well, you know, my my children being happy made me happy. My business going well make me happy. My marriage is going well make me happy. But then what do I do for me? Right
And how do I feel?
I did I say, I just went, I got a little bit of space on a Saturday. I’ll fill that up too. Yeah. So that I didn’t, I was never still. And I thought I’m an extrovert. I have lots of energy, I draw energy from others. I mean, this is what I do in my in my trading businesses, is help people understand personal awareness and preferences and connecting with others who have different preferences and all that stuff. So I knew I know, the Carl Jung stuff deeply. And I still ignored it. Because I thought, well, I’m an extrovert. That’s why That’s why I’m always busy.
Yeah, making excuses for ourselves, and so many, just like we make excuses for our spouse or partner to, you know, he’s talking like that because of this, or he’s acting like that because of this, or,
yeah. Well, so then I, he, in his late 40s, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Well, it wasn’t diagnosed, then he started to show symptoms then, and we couldn’t get a diagnosis. And I became quite aggressive about it, because the National Health Service in the UK is wonderful on some hands, but not not for anything that is out of the norm. You’re supposed to be over 65 Before you can have that assessment, all this criteria, and he couldn’t possibly have dementia. He’s too young. And, and so. So I went to a clinical trial with a private pharma company, and they did the assessment and said, yep, yep. Wow. So we knew his mother died of Alzheimer’s. And we knew during that time, as well, so he had to watch her in the same condition that he was heading into, which was difficult. And he, we knew that’s where this was headed. And you would think that we would have planned everything, right. But he, I, I could have never been able to work out I’ll never, never will be able to work out where the gaslighting ended and where the dementia kicked in, and what and where the things were. So he had a lot of things. He just unfortunately did the accounting for my business. Oh, okay. So auntie, Auntie did everything is you’re supposed to he had passwords, individual passwords for each thing, which he never wrote down. There. So what happens when you get dementia and you forget all those passwords? So there are things now to just over two years later that I still can’t access?
Oh, my goodness, I’m sorry. Yeah, it’s a huge mess. There are all kinds of external drives. I can’t get into them. I can’t Yeah. So I couldn’t even get to things like the accounts package, you know. So that’s why I’m so excited by the backup plan. You know, it just it just was it? Yeah, it is. And I don’t I don’t know, he went downhill very, very quickly, when I mean, much quicker than anyone, would it be expected?
Shift happens when …. I think I’ve heard that before with Alzheimer’s or dementia. If you get it, the younger you are, the faster it moves. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I mean, it’s it’s about the plaque on your brain. And he tried different interventions through the drug trials. And there are some some exciting ideas that are that are coming up. But but the it, I guess, the plaque on your brain as it spreads it, you know, shuts down your neural pathways, and how that’s going to go is anybody’s guess. Right? So so for some conditions, you wouldn’t be able to, you wouldn’t you wouldn’t recognize people that you would have known before. That never happened for him. But he could no, this is my son, and this is my daughter, but he would say have you two met? Like he couldn’t make that relationship? So So you just never know how that plaque is going to spread? Like, where is it? Which part which neural pathways is affecting? And then how is it expanding? You know, so. So we didn’t expect it to be that fast. I don’t think the outcome would have been any better in terms of me being equipped with all the information I needed, before he passed away. But during that same time, I also my youngest, who’s now 20, was leaving for university. And I had diagnosed breast cancer. And I had to leave my home because I couldn’t stay in that home. Partly, I mean, partly now looking back, I think, Well, I would have been crazy to have a great big family home anyway, because, you know, my children weren’t there. But I the time I was very angry that I had to leave because of the financial mess that he had left me and I couldn’t find the funds and I couldn’t do anything.
So I had to move and while I was moving, and it’s a big it’s a big thing if you’ve got lots of children and then and then They and then they left home to downsize. Really big move, I had to get rid of at least 60% of my stuff. So yeah, two shifts, you had a shift with your husband leaving and a shift with your kids leaving home?
Yeah, so you you had each other. Yeah, wow. And then later, I had to leave my home and move somewhere somewhere smaller. So I had to get rid of things and move it, and I got into a car accident, and I had spine and neck injuries. So and I still haven’t had the query, I still at this point, haven’t had the nuclear for my breast cancer. So. So there’s lots of plates spinning at this point. And, and, and I couldn’t work. And each time I tried to go back to work, I couldn’t work and because something else would happen, and something else would happen. And, and in that, you know, I’m sort of running down my businesses and closing down some of the tenders and you know, doing whatever I can to plug holes. And it just that the whole thing started to come together in January 2020. And six weeks later, like magic, it all shut down again. And of course, my business is a global business. So and it’s not just a zoom business, I run large conferences, so I rely on on being able to travel, and lots of people in a room together. So so that changed everything you know, and if people didn’t pivot to zoom or like overnight, not No, not in the end, if they did, it was more of like a more of a a web chat. It wasn’t you know, dynamic training with rooms and all kinds of things. Not it wasn’t ready yet. And so I started competence to cabaret with a friend because well, I spent a few months decompressing and learning how to use introverted energy, which is not my thing. Or was it? And so that was a very steep learning curve, because I draw energy from others. And then all of a sudden now see here I am teen I’m like, How do you feel? Because I can’t You can’t run from it when you’re locked in your home?
No. Wind, when did your house How long did he have have this on yourself?
Shift happens when …. So he so he had it for? A so he he had it from from when we first suspected it until he passed away? It was nearly 10 years. Wow. But I was a full time career of his for the last year and a half to two years somewhere in there, where he couldn’t, he couldn’t manage on his own he had to have so I could go away for like a day of work. And then I would come back. But I never knew what I was going to face. I mean that so so here’s somebody who has it all figured out, apparently, and I’ve got my children around and then sorted and my business is all sorted. And even at this stage, now I’m even trying to control all these things with my, with my late husband, and you know, everything’s sorted, his meals are ready, so I can go to work. And so, you know, everything is I can just control my way through all of these things.
Where on earth would you find time for yourself with all of that?
Well, I was really good at pretending like I you know, people, you know, people talk about mental health and they and they talk about, you know, people who maybe are quiet or people who don’t seem to be themselves. But I was really good at masking all of that. Right? Like, I was not okay, but I mean, I’m fine. Because in order for me to tell you that I’m not okay. It has to come through me. And I wasn’t willing to accept it for myself. I wasn’t willing to tell myself that. So I couldn’t tell anybody else that I couldn’t accept any help. Because I couldn’t. I couldn’t acknowledge that I needed help. There was just no way it was so tightly wrapped and shoved beautifully down at every corner inside me
into every toll. Yeah. Every little space. Yep. And it was all beautifully wrapped up in even a man Mike got into my car accident was like fine. That’s okay, we got this old compartment. This is perfect. Like a little compartment for that too. And then and then all these labels that you give yourself a wife and mother, a carer and all these things. All within three weeks just went poof, gone. Oh, went to pot. Oh, yeah. Yeah, join the club.
And it, it it. You can’t see that stuff coming. Like I mean, you just can’t you and certainly not the timing. Like I think I you know, I could have seen where it was headed with what I couldn’t see is the mess that he’d made of the accounts for a decade that I didn’t because we didn’t know how bad it was you we couldn’t we just couldn’t see it. And then and then it became very clear, but then it was too late. But you know, it’s you the rest of the stuff you can I mean, I mean you can know really Because hopefully your children are healthy and strong enough to be able to go off on their own and you see that coming, you should be able to write, we just like to deny that, right? Because suits us to have this other narrative where they’re going to be with us forever, and it’s all gonna be happy families, but and then, you know, and then you’re like, now Okay, so, so understand cancer, but you know, that’s not going to happen to me, right? And yet, and yet it did and, and I, I knew I had it. I, I insisted on a mammogram, I didn’t. I didn’t wait until I got it. And then they found it. I approached them. And they said, I did I knew, I knew I knew. And I they were saying, Well, you know, this is ridiculous. And I found the hospital and said, and they said, Now we can’t do that. And I said, look, they said, you don’t qualify yet. You know, you’re too young for this. So. So I said, Okay, here’s what’s gonna happen, you’re gonna put me through to somebody who can authorize this, because I’m telling you now I need to find this. And they did mammogram because they found it. And within a week I was in surgery. So that worked out well.
Well, it did, it did. And that, and that’s that, that that’s that listening to your body piece, you know, really less than knowing your body and I, I have underactive thyroid. So I’m used to the, I have a lot of symptoms from it. And I’m used to feeling those things. My thyroid is not right, because my hair is falling out, or I’m, you know, or my skin is mine. I’m not sleeping. And so I really listen to my body. I’d say more than I do now. Like, I don’t think I do so well now, but I’m focusing on other things right now. Like, like being allow allowing myself to be vulnerable, and allowing myself to let those things out. And allowing those to recognize the triggers. And to be able to breathe through those and let them happen and let them pass. Because there was nothing right. I was I was like, A, I was like a dam like stuff would come in, shove it down. Nothing’s getting past this.
Shift happens when …. Yeah. How do you find to be able to release that though? I mean, it, it’s, it’s easier now. Mostly because I recognize when I when I have a feeling, I don’t shove it down. So I did not cry. Until my husband passed away. Two years ago, I did not cry. Throughout my entire adult life. I was really good at pretending I was everything was great. Because it was like permafrost. But it also it means that you don’t when you have that, it means that you don’t feel. And it’s not just you don’t feel the bad stuff. You don’t feel period. No. So, so allowing the feelings to come out, allowing things to flow in and acknowledge them and say, This is how I’m feeling. And not judging those feelings and not saying I feel bad or, you know, want to feel like this. But just to feel it and go, Okay, oh, I feel that in my chest. That doesn’t feel so good. How can I send energy there? How can I breathe through that? How can I allow that. So that relief, so that it’ll carry out like a flow like a stream I always pictured as like a stream that’s come in, and then I can let it go past. But if you stop it and try and deny it or or change it or in some way, fight it or hide it. It comes out comes out somewhere.
Yeah. Has to. Yeah, it does. You can’t it can’t stay in there forever. You know, and unless you have like a heart attack or, you know, to me like something will happen to let that out. Yeah, somewhere along the lives. Something will shut down. It has to it does. Yeah. So, so I so how I do it is I acknowledge it. And I let and I let myself feel that. And I give myself time. And I still go, oh, let me just crunch that down a little bit. And then I know I can’t I don’t want it inside me. I don’t want this. It’s toxic. I don’t want it.
I guess once you start experiencing that release, you probably are able to do more. But it’s that first experience, right? Because we don’t want to feel it. No, no, nobody wants to if 2020 didn’t happen, I wouldn’t let that happen. It’s only because I was locked in that I had nothing else to do. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s like I couldn’t be with people and I couldn’t. I couldn’t do my usual things. And I did online classes and all kinds of 10 to 15 online classes a week and it was ridiculous. So you know, so I did try and keep busy but he couldn’t be busy all the time in your home. Kitchen I did. I did all these different things and you still can’t fill up all your time.
No. And, and it’s your the universe is making me reflect on yourself, I guess so to speak.
Yeah. Well, it is. It’s asking you to, it’s giving you the opportunity to. And, you know, you can ignore that stuff because I did for decades. Yeah. But, you know, sooner or later, it is going to hit you on the head.
I have a very good friend whose husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but it took her quite a while to also get that started. He was in car sales and very top top salesperson in the luxury car business. But she started finding things slowly and was questioning them. Is that how you started realizing that something’s shifting with him?
Yeah, yeah, very much so. And he would we would have conversations and you know, I would I there would be other people. And he would say something. And then a few minutes later, he said, and so that we don’t go, but you did. And it was always such a relief when other people who heard that as well, because I think otherwise, I would have thought it was me.
Isn’t that true? Yeah.
And there was that, you know, there was a lot of controlling behaviors, and there was a lot of gaslighting stuff anyway of you know, you know, I would say this how I feel? And he’d say, No, you don’t and then I go, Okay, no, I don’t push that in, you know. So there was a lot of that pattern anyway. So I think that made it even harder, because you realize it, yeah, because some of it was out of his nature to do those things anyway. So it wasn’t like he just completely changed it. There was some there was some minor things that were like, Yeah, but even for you, this is not, this is not usual. You know, how long do you think it took him to? Do you think he realized it at some point? Well, Sarah, like, Yeah,
I think I think he realized it after about, I mean, he had his diagnosis. And then I’d say about four months later, his his mother passed away, and she was in, in end of life care for five days on, you know, just just, you know, an IV and nothing else, you know, like, just just kind of, you know, palliative care. And he had to watch that. And he, and that’s when he went, Ah, this is gonna be me.
Huh. And how many years was that, from that point?
It was about four years from that point.
So it was quite slow moving. At the beginning, it was at the beginning. And then, and then just, it’s, you know, I think my children were home for Christmas. And then they came back for Easter. And they and they just were like, what happened?
Oh, like, it just changed totally, very, very quickly.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Cuz we talked about, you know, what kind of things would be helpful, and maybe she’d have a dog and maybe she said, he’d have a routine, and you’d have, you know, something to care for, and so on. And, you know, but by the time we even just discussed it made that decision, it was too late. He couldn’t have done it.
It’s pretty hard then with your backup plan to try to find that moment where someone shifts to get your stuff organized. With that person. Right. Yeah. I mean, because it’s so slow going, that by the time it reaches the point, it’s too late.
Yeah. Yeah. So I did. And maybe you consider a sneaky I don’t know. But before when I knew that he had Alzheimer’s, and, and, and yet he hadn’t had a diagnosis yet. We, I went and we did our will. And we did our power of attorney. And I left my power of attorney to to, to my children, and he left his power of attorney to me and one of one of our children. So so that that was that helped. That helped. Yeah, yeah. Anyway, yeah. And you know, I mean, we had been with with my mother in law we had been through we have Court of Protection here. And I never wanted to go through that again. That was her rendus when you can that was hours and hours and hours of paperwork and lawyers and and then months of waiting for the court. And then we were just you know, we were custodians of it. So we couldn’t make any decision. We didn’t get to decide what home she went into. They decided that we carried that out and, and I was and I would say Nope, that’s not how this is gonna go down because I actually believe that he would go to home and for a long time, you know, so. So I wanted to be able to make those decisions and and, and I knew what he would want. So there was no way I was going on the court protection route. So not not when you consider we could go to a lawyer’s for 15 minutes and sign up, you know, a few 100 bucks, and then it’s done. Right. And this cost 1000s. And months, it was never doing that again.
Shift happens when …. Well, and it’s, it might be called something different in every country, but it’s not the same. It’s yeah, every country, it’s very, very similar. Yeah. And I tell people, if you, even for people who don’t have anything, even that they say, Well, I don’t have anything anyways, what do I need to get prepared? No, you have lots of things, especially how you want things to go down when things aren’t working. So that alone is important.
Absolutely, we didn’t we didn’t get to decide when my my mother in law went on palliative care. That was decided by the doctors in conjunction with the court. We had to carry it out or be involved. But we didn’t get to make this decision. We didn’t decide what home she went into. We didn’t decide, you know, anything until obviously, then the will kicks in. And she had a well, so you know, we were able to follow that through. But yeah, but even with a will. I mean, you know, if you don’t have that, then, I mean, you might think I don’t have anything like you say but but like even even like, how do you want it to go down in terms of, you know, what do you want your family to do? Or not do? Or, you know, how do you want that to be you know, and also, there was a huge burden, because he didn’t plan his funeral or his service. There was a major thing my parents planned, you know, they’re, they’re more or less their funeral. You know, they chose things that meant something to them. Right. But when my late husband passed, in his will he hadn’t done anything like that. So we had to choose music. We had to choose, you know, words, we had to choose words we had to choose? Yes. And an editor distressing time, that’s the last thing you want to be going through?
Yes, absolutely. Because your mind I tell people, when something happens, even if you’re prepared for it, you know, like, you know, your mom isn’t doing well or is been an ICU or is in a hospice, like, you know, it doesn’t matter. Yeah. When the time comes, your brain leaves your body, I swear. Yes. Like, it doesn’t belong to you anymore. And you cannot think clearly at all.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s so important, you know, even not to, to burden your family or your friends or whoever, cuz someone’s going to be looking at things. You know, my, my father is on Vancouver Island. And he’s on his own there. He’s got no family there is my brothers in Calgary, and, and I’m in the UK, so, so there will be friends that will have to even like collecting his belongings and things. And so he’s planning all of that, you know, he’s sort of saying, okay, I’d like the furniture to go to Heather and I’d like you know, you know, I’d like this particular friend who’s going to help us out and do all the things you can have this and you know, he’s he’s really thinking about those plans so that we don’t all go, What the hell are we doing? You know, yeah, yeah.
And that’s beautiful. Because men, particularly at any age, they don’t think anything will happen. Yeah, they’re, they’re all Superman. Yeah. Yeah. And I think because my dad got a bit stuffed by, by, you know, his parents and grandparents and things not doing any plans. I think that he’s learned his lesson that helped. Yeah, yeah. A lot of people don’t learn the lesson. They keep repeating it. And that’s nice that your dad did.
Yeah, absolutely. But isn’t that true of us all, though, don’t we all have lessons where we keep repeating the same things until we learn the lessons and that’s why I started with, you know, kind of the programming when in my story, it’s like, I was taught those lessons, and that’s what I believed to be true. And it’s only recently that I started questioning them or going. Yeah, if I’d have questioned that 30 years ago, and a lot of stuff wouldn’t have gone down that I wasn’t too happy with. Yeah, I had those same thoughts.
Shift happens when …. You know, and I, I see how I ended up in both of my marriages and I see how I made those choices. And I and I, I can, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on that and thinking, okay, that comes from my belief of So where does that belief come from? Is it true, and bottoming that stuff out and really doing that work? And that’s where, you know, 2020 has been a gift in many ways for me, because you know, that that afforded me that time that I never would have wanted to take unless I had a heart attack or something laid me out, you know, right. Something hit you over the head and said, You’re going to look at this.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And that’s this, you know, I started cabaret, about four and a half years ago, I woke up one morning, she was in Vancouver, and I woke up one morning, and, and I, and I didn’t even know what this was. But I said, I need to do cabaret. And I said to my friend there to do cabaret, she said, What the hell is that? I don’t know. But that’s a weird, I woke up with this knowing that I need to do this. So I had to go and find out what it was. I still I my friend was like, You’re crazy, I can’t believe you’re gonna do this. And I looked up where I could do it more I could do classes or you know, or I could do like dance. And you know, because Cabaret is dance or singing, which I was never gonna be singing, or it’s, you know, comedy, or anything that’s kind of vaudeville or anything that’s kind of stage and it was really just, you know, comedians all started in a cabaret kind of environment, right? Because they all started little venues, until they get big and go to the Comedy Store and things, you know, they all started these little clubs and things. And that’s, that’s all kind of related to the cabaret world, but so I looked it up. And there was a taster session as soon as I got back from Canada, in the next city over because I didn’t want to go to my city because I was like, Oh, I might see somebody I know. I don’t like this is ridiculous. And I keep feeling
like I need to do this. It must I know.
I didn’t want to do it. But I did it anyway, because I needed to figure out why. Where is this knowing coming from? And I that we had to do like a body tracing exercise where you put one arm out and you take your other arm and if your hand touching your arm, right, you just doing that? And I wanted to be sick. I was like, I can’t I’m sorry, I can’t do this. And they were like, Oh, do this and I was like No, no no, can’t do this. This is not okay. I’m not I don’t know why it’s not it’s not there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s ridiculous. It’s because it was because it was so ridiculous. I had to sign up for the classes because it made no sense to me. And what I didn’t realize because I was hiding in plain sight and because I was you know keeping so busy and not not letting anybody you know not questioning how happy I was I run big conferences for corporations.
So I am like Tony Robbins I’m all over the room and so I’m I am big energy sucked me because I didn’t really pay any attention. I didn’t look after me. I was very small as loud in my work but I was very small and that’s what I had to explore was that what is going on? Like who am I? And what is my reluctance to take up space and own it and hold it because my work persona I can do this. I can do this all day. I could project my voice I could do all the things but for somebody to see me I’m not saying I was faking it, I just had a persona like we all have different personas, right? And we were talking about like social media and you know some of us have to have a perfect picture to post or have to have the perfect words before or post or whatever and you know and not so that I just had this work persona that I was really good at and I use that everywhere. And I still can do that. But it’s not me it’s not it’s not vulnerable me it’s not accessible me so that really triggered by touching your arm or whatever. Yeah, it that triggered that it’s me.
Yeah, this is me you’re touching Yeah, this is me. This is me. Oh, I don’t like this. This is not okay. Because now I’m seeing me if you look in the mirror like try and do this if you’ve never done this before.
This is such a useful exercise. It just try and look in the mirror even for 30 seconds. That’s hard enough. She can if that’s easy, then do it for a minute and see yourself not like smudges and not like you know brushing your teeth and checking your mascara or whatever but actually look at you actually see yourself it’s hard to do So I went to the second class, and everybody there said, were very surprised to see you because you’d look so uncomfortable. I said, why I’m here. That’s why I’m here. And it was hard to do. And I learned to take up space. And I learned to own space. And I learned to perform. And I learned and I, I learned to express my stories and share my narrative. And slowly, slowly, it started to kind of unlock some of the things which was really, just so powerful. And that’s why that’s when we talk about conferences, every we don’t, we don’t teach cabaret we we talk about the tools of that enable us to own our space, take up space, it’s not only women, but it’s like pretty much any woman. At some point. They’ll hit a point when they’ll say, Oh, I know what you mean by not taking up space. And, and, you know, it’s there are plenty of men that feel the same way as well. But it is most women and boys.
I think the masks didn’t help the situation for them. Yeah. Yeah.
Because we I find you can go into a store and you can feel almost invisible. With putting on a mask. Yeah. So that I’m sure that hasn’t helped a lot of different people with those issues.
Yeah, absolutely. And, and yet, for other people, it’s made them possibly more comfortable, because they didn’t want to be seen in the first place. But like, what is what is the point of being here? And having this life and not expressing? I mean, our bodies are here to, to express them to us and to you know, yeah. Some of us have more limitations than others with our bodies, or with our mental health. But there are, there’s so much we can do. Why would we want to limit that? And I think for a lot of us, if we put on a mask, then we’re like, Oh, good. I didn’t want to be silly, anyway. Yeah, yeah. But even as an extrovert, even though I don’t mind, I’m quite happy to chat to everybody and make eye contact and stuff. I am finding that when I put the mask on, I make a lot less eye contact now. Now I’m just more concentrating on Where is everybody? And how do I get past and through and not go near anybody?
Right, instead of looking around at a different perspective?
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I guess it’ll be a long time before we make eye contact.
Yes, I know, I tried to make well, a little boy was making eye contact with me at the store one day. And I felt so bad because I was smiling and talking to him. But I felt so bad because he couldn’t see me smiling. So I tried to do it with my eyes. But yeah, and I guess, you know, if you’re a child during this, then there are a lot of social cues that you’re not, you’re not getting, because, you know, the, the social cues are going to be different now. Yeah.
Yeah. It’s gonna affect all of us at different.
Yeah, language development, all of those kinds of things. Yeah. And then, and then at the other end, you know, there’s an awful lot of people who are who are elderly or vulnerable, who are deeply lonely. You know, I try and talk to my dad on on FaceTime two or three times a week, if I can, if the if it’s, if it’s senior, so we’ll set it up, because otherwise he doesn’t see anybody. Yeah, no. Yeah, very lonely.
It’s very, very lonely. You know, and, and I think, you know, being being trapped in our own presence is just so difficult.
Did Now we talked about Alzheimer’s, we talked about your husband. What impact about the cancer part? What part? Is that struggle for you? Yeah, I mean, I, I still haven’t ever really gotten to the bottom of that. In terms of a I mean, it certainly makes you more grateful. And I had that before I started cabaret. So so and what I love about Cabaret is that is for every body, every body, it it’s not for a certain kind of body. It’s for everybody. And so I think having had breast cancer made me more appreciative of my body. I think it made me sort of stop saying, Oh, shut up about your thighs. Heather. Just enjoy the fact that you can still move and you can still express and you can still do Enjoy and, and socialize them and all of these things that that we take for granted.
Yeah. I think because I even know there was an inner knowing. And because I listened to that, and I phoned my doctor and they said, man, you’re too young. And I said, Look, we’re going to need to talk about this tomorrow. And then they said, Okay, well, you put in the hospital and see, but they’re not going to do it. So then I phoned, and then I could told you I push to push and push, and then and then I, they found it. And in fact, when they told me, they said, You know, I had to go back in for more more tests within a couple of days. And when they told me then they had a beautiful Chancellor nurse who sits in a room with you for an hour. And I kept saying, this wasn’t a surprise to me, like I, like, you know, I’ve known for a week.
So I’m kind of ready for this, like, I’m really ready for this. Can we just, like do the surgery? And shooting well, it’s gonna hit you. It never did. It never did. Because I never associated it as something wrong with me. I associated as there’s a foreign thing in my body, and I want to take an out. And yeah, yeah. And so that’s quite different to feeling like, you know, we’re where I do something wrong with us, or, you know, we’re defective in some way or, you know, I have this this sickness, I never saw it like that it was kind of like this. So disease is just a dis ease, right? So it’s a non ease. So it was like, Okay, so I’ve got this thing, and you need to take it out. And now I don’t have it anymore. Right.
Right. That’s a great way of looking at it, actually. Because we get tied up in the why why did it happen to me? Why, why? And that’s just bringing all of that energy down.
It is. And I think, you know, we can go, Look, I’m, I’m I was lucky. I’m, I had a mammogram last week, I’m fully expecting that that’s gonna come back clear. And, you know, I’m regularly monitored. But I, I know, there are people who don’t get off that easily. I truly understand that. In fact, there are many of them in the in the board with me. But I, I think that how we think about things can enable us or disable us. And it’s so hard when we get into that victim mode, and we’re going in a downward spiral, to Oh, and there’s another thing and there’s another thing, and there’s another thing, and I just refused to because if I tallied up all this stuff, I would have fallen apart. But it was like, Okay, so I’m dealing with this. And my compartmentalizing and control was, was my undoing in lots of ways. But it was also my, my, you know, setting boundaries and knowing, you know, like, this is, this is just, it’s a, it’s something that’s happening for now. Let’s get rid of that. And then that’s, and then let’s deal with the next thing, you know, right. And so So, you know, I guess for all those things that were coming up, my being so busy, was a blessing. And that’s, I guess, when I decided, sorry, when I decided that I needed to do cabaret, then that was afterwards. And that was kind of like, why would I not be celebrating my body? Why would they not be moving and taking up space? And what this is crazy, you know, and so my doing?
I really liked what you said about confidence recovery with putting the three things in boxes. Do you want to get over those three things? Because I liked it, how it wasn’t just one item, it’s pulling it out and put it three things separating them. Yeah. And, and actually looking at them.
Yeah, so I think, you know, a confidence is one of the things that ebbs and flows, you know, it’s not something where you go to the cat, the confidence store, and you get it and then you’ve got it, it comes and goes, right. It’s just, it’s just how that goes. And so and so, you know, having momentum is is is a great way of building confidence, but it’s never gonna stay. It’s not permanent, you know, and so, so we have different parts of our lives. And we made you know, a lot of times people will talk about, you know, this kind of categories and whatever I made them lifelines. It’s like in your life, you have your personal life. You have your work life, and you have your stage life wherever your stage is, you know, whether that’s a Facebook account or a podcast or whatever your stage is. And so you you might have a lot of confidence in some parts of your life like you might feel really comfortable on social media and you might feel really comfortable in your Life, but not so comfortable in your work life. You know, you don’t want to do a presentation and you don’t feel you maybe your imposter syndrome is kicking off and sort of saying to you, you know, you, you really Who are you to be speaking or what do you know? So, so that’s the bit that you want to focus. And I always say, start from where you’re strong. Right? Find your strength and build from there. Because if you try and build from place a deficit, it’s going to fall in. So so if your strength is I feel good in my personal life. I know where I am with my family and my friends. I get that competence there. But as soon as I go to my work life, not so much.
Are you feel really good? Really good? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. But terrible. Yeah. And their social presence? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I found a lot of women were saying, you know, I know what I’m talking about it work. I’m confident, but it can’t even express it. Like so. So it’s even like they can they can start to brace it. Because it’s not just like, oh, how do I get competition my whole life? It’s like, okay, so I feel I’m good in my personal life. I’m okay, there. I’m okay with my stage life. And I’m not doing so much with that right now. So I’m going to start from where I’m strong. I feel good. I know what I’m doing in my work. I know, I know who I am. I’m qualified. I belong here. And as soon as I speak up, the nobody else is listening. I don’t know how to reach people, I don’t know how to let them know that I know what I’m talking about. And so we can start to kind of like say, Okay, so where are you strong in your work life? And where do you want to be stronger in that work life? And we don’t take on the whole of our world, you know, it’s too much.
Yeah, it is. Especially when you start recognizing it. Yeah.
Yeah, absolutely. So, so then, then it’s easy. And this is why it made me laugh when you said of an old style coach, because that’s what I said to you. But it’s true. Because I I’m not I don’t have a coaching program, where I’m going to tell you how you can make 10k months and all that kind of stuff, I don’t have a program, what I have is a really great skill set around helping people figure out what it is that they need, what are the priorities? And how to get those things? Or how to find out how to get those things. So I don’t have all the answers. I don’t I don’t know I, a lot of the people I coach, I don’t know really fully what they do. I don’t need to, but I know that they know. And I can help them figure out from there. And so when I when I when I think about you know, okay, so where do you want to build competency as my work like, Okay, so let’s talk about where are you strong? And then where do you need to go next. And so we do that, and we do challenges, and we do different, different challenges for different things. A lot of women want to feel good in their body, because that affects then their ability to show up and work and feel so comfortable in their clothes. I mean, a lot of us are going to have that question mark when we start going back to the, to the office in the outside world. And so the hiding behind zoo, but you know, like how do I what what makes they want to feel good in their body? Because they feel like that limits them. And then they don’t want to show up in places because they’re uncomfortable. Or so they’re having to put on pants. Yeah, yeah, exactly. That are not leggings are stretchy. Yes. Yeah.
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So you know, it’s kind of like a like a breakout. So I so my mindfulness practice is aerial. So I’m an aerial dancer, I do aerial pole, I do aerial hoop, I do aerial silks. And I do a lollipop lira, which is like a pole with a hoop on the top, basically, that spins. And so and so if if you can’t nail a move, like if you can’t do something, let’s say you want to get onto a hoop and we’ve always probably seen other in the circus or on TV or somewhere where you’ve been hoop hanging from the ceiling and you’re trying to get into it, then it’s like, so what, where are you pulling? Where do you need to be pulling? So okay, good. I need to be pulling for my arms and pulling for my arms. Okay, so then what’s next? So we don’t do all the thing all at once, right? We build in little steps. So everybody goes, Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, that’s that. Yeah, I understand that. And then we don’t do that in our lives. We just expect that we’re gonna like Master the whole thing. But it’s not different. That’s true. But we don’t want. But we don’t look at it that way. No, no. So tell us.
I can’t I wouldn’t have a clue where to make an app, how to make an app. So I would need to start with questions. That’s because that’s all I got. Is you have all these questions. You know, first of all, how to make an app. And then to understand what cost I don’t even know questions to ask. So then I would have to that would be like, what are my questions? What questions do I need to ask what questions am I not asking? Where can I find out and, and we and then we start to build up right? And then we start to figure those things out?
Kind of like if you had an instructor and they said, Okay, Heather, you’re going to go up that pole, and you’re going to hang on the hoop, and then you’re going to twirl, and then you’re going to come back down the pole, and you’re going to go Tada. Yeah. But you’re looking at that thinking, Okay, how do I do that? How do I accomplish that?
Exactly. And it’s a great analogy, because where you’re strong, if you’re standing at the foot of a pole, I’m looking at my pole right now because of a pole in my in my room. So if you’re standing if you if you want to climb the pole, where are you strong, you’re strong on the floor. So let’s start from the floor. Right? And then let’s go up a little bit. And that might take a little bit time, then then once it gets easy, then we go to the next bit.
Same thing. Yeah, yeah. But we are somewhere was wrong. Right? And we haven’t given ourselves that analogy. So until your tips and tricks today are for our listeners, yes. Yeah. Thank you so much for that. That’s so awesome. And I have to say, I’m so sorry. And I know we’re not supposed to say that to someone, but about your husband that was very, took a lot of courage and bravery for you to come out with, with that whole 10 years of caregiving is, is the hardest task in the whole wide world. And it puts you between a relationship that you see that you’re starting to grieve because it’s no longer there. The person is not the same. They’re no longer there. There’s a whole lot of different feelings that come with that whole journey. And I also want to say I’m sorry for, you know, your your cancer that you’ve had to go through. But I know it’s bringing you to a better place of understanding for for many of these different things that you’ve incurred.
Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. And it has you’re right, it has, it has given me a lot more understanding. And I think, you know, it doesn’t help when you’re in the, in the middle of it when people think, wow, if it doesn’t kill you, it’ll make you stronger. It’s like, yeah, that’s not helpful. But, but but actually, when you come out the other side, it is true. You know, if you let it, you’ll learn so much from it. If you let it, it might, it might not be an obvious lesson, it might just unlock something else that frees you from a weight inside of you. Or it might be that it makes you really question how you’re spending your time. And what really matters, you know, are so many things are who matters,
or who matters. Yes. In your Yeah, yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, that’s really beautiful. Is there anything that you’d like to say for your final messages to our listeners?
Well, I, I guess I just wanted to I know, I know a lot of you, either, you know, will have grown up children or maybe didn’t didn’t have children. But if you have children, and you don’t take care of yourself, you are modeling that behavior for them. So when you say I don’t have time for myself, because I’ve got all my children, I was coaching somebody last week on that, actually. So I’ve got twins and twins never they’re four years old. There’s no time and I said yeah. Do you want them to look after themselves when they’re not? Oh, yes, of course they do. Right. So where do you think they’re going to learn that? Yeah, I know. I have a funny little story quickly. We all those moms out there listening can probably relate to this experience. But I remember one of my daughter’s girlfriends were coming over to the house and I thought they were just dropping her off. And that’s fine for a playdate no big deal one morning, but the mom showed up at the door. And here I am in my flannel, the god awful, flannel pajamas. And you know I have no makeup on I you know you’re just hanging around the house. Not expecting that anything. And here she comes in and I look around the corner and I’m just hiding. Here she is with a black leather jacket on and blacks top pants boots on and her hair just perfect and everything. And I’m like, God damn it. How am I going to get through this and walk up to her with my flannel pajamas on? Where can I hide? And so I’m thinking okay, Hey, how do I get upstairs to change? I have to go by the front door. So my daughter was wondering, well, what are you doing? Mom? What’s your deal? Like? She had no concept. And I said, I can’t go to the front door looking like this. But I did. I did. I owned it. And I’m just like, whatever, it’s my day off, or it’s my morning off or whatever it is. And I can look and feel however I want to look and feel. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. We have a rule when we fall off of the one of the aerial apparatuses, we don’t like when I say fall, it’s not. Not all from a height. But yeah, now if you trip or you because we were very high heels as well. So if you trip or you, you know, stumble in some way, then we always just say style it out. So you tripped and you and then you just dial it out. And then you make a good. It’s not it’s that and that’s what you did. You just dialed it out. I’m in my flannel. Hey, I love that.
Maybe I should have been buttoned it down.
But why wouldn’t we style it up? I mean, whatever. Like, yeah, yeah, but that was the first feeling that I had moms have that. I mean, you go to PTA meetings or, or, you know, the school meetings or in any in with all these other moms. Oh, that’s just so hard. So yeah, it’s so hard. And I have very, I’m very good about boundaries. It’s my jam. And I my boundary was I’m not mixing with people at the school gates, unless I choose to, like I’m not feeling obligated. I’m not I’m not concerning myself with you know, I just I just absolutely refuse to do it. And if I didn’t want to do it, I sat in my car until I saw my children come out and then I would go and call them over or whatever, but I just refuse to play the games that that you can get so you can get time into Yeah, yeah sign time. Did you find Berlin burlesque very similar to the cabaret them?
Yeah, so Burlesque is one of the forms of Cabaret. So but burlesque or drag is another one or you know, you might have you know, drag kings and drag queens. You might have you know, people who do lip sing so people who actually sing or it could be any number of things but but Burlesque is my form of Cabaret.
I work aerial or aerial.
Yeah, aerials, be incorporated into cabaret for sure. I don’t perform aerial and burlesque at the same time. I, because I like to work to a narrative, I like to tell a story, and I just, it just hasn’t come out that way. I find Burlesque is just a wonderful way of kind of playing a character I seem to weirdly like all of the the the horrible queens from terrible fairytales and things I like to express all that kind of creepy. You know,
like, seductive about it, I guess there is something seductive about it. And yet, there’s also something taboo about it. Like, we’re not supposed to talk about that stuff. That’s why I love this podcast, because we talked to blue and I just, I love it.
I do too. And I just think we’re rules that we’re not supposed to talk about the dark side. That’s ridiculous.
Why not? It’s life. Absolutely, absolutely. And I’ve learned all kinds of worlds from from the people who who perform in, you know, on poles and things. And, you know, I mean, a pole pole now has become much more mainstream. You know, it’s like a vertical gymnastics. There’s a lot of gymnasts in it, it was supposed to be showcased at the last Olympics last year, but then that, okay, but that will be, you know, it will eventually be an Olympic event, depending on how time works. But yeah, but you know, it is it is so it can be a very athletic thing. But it has its origins in strip clubs, right. So, but that’s a it’s a different kind of pole. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s quite different to being, you know, several meters up to being trying to entice and draw attention to yourself to gather custom, right? That it’s, it’s the same apparatus, just different uses, I guess, if you write it that way. But, but, you know, with things like aerial hoop, I mean, we’ve all seen that in the circus and all kinds of places like that, and, you know, and some people would consider that sexual I don’t, but I you know, that’s, that’s, that’s a different way of expressing things because it’s a different kind of apparatus is rounded. It’s got a hole in the middle.
So it’s a very different way of using your body to use that apparatus. I find them really useful mindful tools, because I’m not good with mindfulness. I can’t like sit and be in the moment. I tried the mindful timers, I think they’re all wonderful things. They’re just not for me. I’m just too busy. So when I, when I am in an aerial apparatus, or skiing is another really good mindful thing as well. You know, if you, if you, if you’re skiing and you start focusing on something else you will fall. It’s the same on an aerial thing. If you are not fully in that moment fully engaged in what you’re doing and where your body is, and what position you’re in, and all the things if you forget one of the things because you’re watching who came through the door, or whose phone in you that you fall?
Oh, it’s the same for hitting in baseball and softball? Yeah. Because if you worry about how good the pitcher is, or worry about how good the third baseman is, and she’s going to get your hit, or worry that you can’t run to first or worry about anything, you’re not focused and you’re not present in the moment to, to, to keep concentrated on what your job at hand is. Yeah. And that’s to hit the ball.
Yeah. So yeah, it’s and where focus goes energy flows, right? So if you’re focusing on the third baseman, you’re not focusing on the pitch, and then you’re gonna miss or right, or something else. Yeah. Yeah, that’s really true.
I heard that a lot with the girls in the dugout, oh, my God, they changed the pitcher. And she’s so fast. And she’s so good. Oh, my God, what are we going to do? You’re going to do the exact same thing? Because you’re better than the pitcher.
Yeah. Yeah. And what you tell yourself is really true. Yeah. And you asked me a few minutes ago about what your what you know, if there was anything else that I wanted to share, my favorite lesson of all, is control the controllable that has saved me all the way through my life. All those things, the only thing that I could do was focus on what I can do. Oh, that’s beautiful. And you got to let the rest go. We should do a little quote for that.
Yeah. Control the controllables. is, you know, if there’s so many things, and what if, and what if, and what well, can you control that? No, well, then let it go. Like you do what you can to control what you can, if, you know, if you you know, the there’s all these what, so when I was pregnant with my youngest, my late husband was in the hospital, we were transiting from Vancouver through Seattle to the UK, he got pancreatitis, and I ended up in the hospital for three months in Seattle. I was pregnant, I couldn’t stay, because travel restrictions and insurance and all kinds of things. And the Americans don’t like it if you stay there and have babies and so so I had to leave. And and I had just moved house. I had never been to the house. So the move happened the night before the night the night before we were leaving for Canada. And I had never been to I’d seen pictures of it because I was traveling a lot at the time.
So I’d seen pictures of it and sort of said yeah, like to tell us good, we’ll have the sounds great. And then the movers moved us to a whole other part of the country. Like Like I knew nobody in that place. And I didn’t know how to get there. And I didn’t know what the children’s school was. And I didn’t know I couldn’t do anything and the whole the all the furniture wasn’t built I was sleeping on the floor on a mattress I was eight months pregnant was ridiculous. And all this kept going on and the middle of the night because Seattle’s eight hours behind the UK so I had to keep I had to keep talking to the surgeons and all kinds of people in the middle of the night and then I was trying to work and it was insane. I don’t I still don’t know i My children were being farmed out to people I didn’t even know like other parents in their class like great your kid in class of mine. Great. Can you have my child overnight because I need to do this work. And it was it was horrendous. And and all that that was the moment I had taught the control the controllables for a long long time. But that was the moment when I went oh yeah, this I need to live this and it saved me because I couldn’t control so many things and you could become a victim by going didn’t get this notion this but actually what I can do is and as soon as your take back that I can do then your solar challenger soon as you take back the can do you can do. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. let the rest go. Sounds like you had chaos. It was chaos.
It was beyond chaos. Yeah, it was crazy. But but you know what, if you if you if you let the rest go like Oh But what if he dies? And what if? What if I go into labor early and while there for what? Like, okay, but I can’t control those things. What I can do is be prepared. Yeah, what I can do is, you know, ask for help, but I can do is, you know, good enough
to get more knowledge on our dress. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Oh, that’s a that’s awesome.
Yeah, thank you, Heather, thank you so very much. I, um, you know, listeners join us for real enroll conversations each and every week, because it’s people like Heather that can bring us some insight with her journey, how she’s learned these lessons for all of us to appreciate and it took a lot of courage and bravery and, and, and learning for herself to be able to bring this and guide us to listen and hear what she has to say. And her story is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. Thanks, Heather. It’s a pleasure.
Thank you so very much and thank you to my German listeners ! Thank you very, very much for coming out today. And, and hearing this, because it doesn’t matter what country you’re in people. It’s it’s, you know, be prepared for the unexpected, because it doesn’t matter where you are, it doesn’t matter what age you are. It has no color reference to it. It has no gender, it, the storms, we have to learn to manage can come our way. prepare for the unexpected. And I always end our podcast with wonderful Carol Burnett because she was so dear to all of us, a true comedian, a true believer of women as well, I think and a true. Make your life fun. So I’m so glad we had this time together just to have a laugh or sing a song. Seems we just get started. And before you know what comes a time, we have to say so long. So so long, everyone. Thank you, Heather again for coming to our show. I truly appreciate it. I thank you so very much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It was a pleasure to have you want Heather.
Thank you again. Such a pleasure.
And thank you listeners. Thanks for the show today. Until next one. Stay safe.
Till next time, Bye
Stay Safe – Be Kind til next time!
Heather Jean is the co-pioneer of Confidence Through Cabaret. On her personal journey, she has been through so many experiences and pathways, owning a successful global training and coaching consultancy for 25 years, specializing in developing confidence, communication, self-awareness and interpersonal skills. It hasn’t always been easy or fulfilling, in fact, many times she felt small, alone and at times even like an imposter. Can you relate to some of these experiences? When she discovered cabaret and the amazing tools this vibrant arena has to offer, it changed everything. Her mission is to inspire and illuminate your journey towards greater confidence throughout your life. Connect with Heather!
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I can do anything better than you, believe me! When I put my mind to something watch out! Yea, that’s what we are looking for!
“You can do anything you put your heart, mind and soul into. Far more than you can imagine.” LL Cool J
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Thank you for coming on our show. If you are new here, welcome to talking to blue with Tina. It’s all brought to you by Your Backup Plan APP.
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Yes, everything happens in the blink of an eye. That quickly. It’s that fast. Yes. Things seem to happen that quickly.
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And what does that mean? Well, one thing we can count on in our life is that we’re going to get sick or injured or disabled or even pass away or lose everything or lose something by a tragedy or a natural disaster, which is so common these days and this last month with wildfires. Going from California, Oregon, Washington State all the way up to British Columbia and Alberta, Canada this past month. It’s been tragic. A lot of evacuations. A lot of firefighters a lot of natural disasters of flooding around the world. Lots, China, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, it’s unbelievable. hurricanes, tornadoes. Not to say that there aren’t car accidents Of course, as well and strokes and heart attacks and cancer. Wow, this sounds so gruesome, doesn’t it? But it’s been this month of craziness I find with all these strange, strange things that have occurred in the world. And I want everyone to be better prepared for the unexpected, because you don’t know what tomorrow may bring.
So let’s talk about our show today.
I can do anything better than you, believe me!
Our show today is called I can do anything better than you. We have a very special guest from Florida today. I’m so excited to talk to him. Our interview is going to be absolutely mind blowing. We talk about cerebral palsy and how this journey and David’s life has been up and down obstacles but absolutely inspiring as well all at the same time.
I’d like to welcome our our United States and Canada listeners. I’d like to welcome our German listeners which are increasing by the day. Thank you Germany, Thank you so very much my German listeners. And Ireland is next in our listeners. So if you guys beat Sweden, then I will either try Swedish, or I will try my Irish accent, which I’ve tried in the past and it hasn’t worked out so well. But we’ll work on that. We’ll we’ll find some help in that regard. So welcome. Let’s tell you about these. This wonderful podcast that we have. We talk about real and raw conversations on our show. our listeners. about their journey from their life changing events. Let’s get right into it. Let’s see if we can find David backstage.
Welcome, David. Hi, thank you. Thank you for having me on teen I’m super excited to share my journey and hopefully by the end of it, many people are motivated and inspired to pursue their own goals and dreams.
Absolutely. I love your, your energy. I just I love it. David is brought to you here from close to Orlando, Florida. For those that know Florida a little bit, his story and journey of being diagnosed with cerebral palsy at that since birth, highlighting many struggles successes in the education system, of course, and triumphs. He is a former three sport athlete, a three time state champion cyclist and a current middle school teacher with cerebral palsy. He shares his story with others around the world to show that there is light amongst all the challenges behind it. I am so looking forward to talking more about how, how this is affected him what challenges he’s overcome. He is an avid podcaster talks about cerebral palsy and fitness for anybody his link is down below in the description box. And I love David’s quote, If I can do it, so can you absolutely lovely. Thank you so much, David, for coming on our show. Where did it all start for you? Where? When did your journey start?
I can do anything better than you, believe me! Well, to begin, my journey began 20 epic actually began 2022 years ago, when I was around the age.
Well, well, let’s backtrack a little bit more than that. So let’s start from the very beginning. So very beginning, when I was born, I was born four months premature. I was the size of a water water bottle or the size of your microphone. Like take a look at your microphone. That’s how small it was. I could be held with the palm of someone’s hand. So it’s very small. I had to be you know, hooked on IVs and, and a respirator because my legs were fully developed. doctors had said Oh, you have three months to live so you might not live but thankfully, with the help of doctors, you know, my family, I survived and then I struggle with not being able to read write or walk doctors I said I’d never be able to live a normal life. And then came the age of eight where around that time I had. I had suffered a family tragedy, I lost my biological mom, she was 22 he was 16 years old and she had me 23 when she passed away.
Um, and fortunately, I had a stepmom in my life who, who actually had to make a decision she she had to make a decision whether to take care of take care of me or finish out the rest of your youth, you know, being you know, being this young, vibrant. Individual with goals, of course, she ended up she did everything she had to do with taking care of me she went to school she did, she did it all with my, with my father, of course my father was always in my life as well. So, and the beautiful thing about this is all three of my parents coexisted. So there was never any malice or hate towards each other. So and and nowadays in today’s society, you don’t really see much of CO parenting. It’s really rare. Because nowadays, it’s about, oh, this is mine. I don’t want you know, my son to be raised like this. Want to be raised like that. Why not? If it’s a positive environment on both sides, why not allow the child to share both, you know?
Absolutely. I don’t know why people don’t try to get along better for everybody. each other, you know, doesn’t happen very often.
And then I had my my fight my was my second surgery, which is the surgery that defined my life and defined the beginning of my journey with As I had my legs drag you down, which allowed me to walk, and I began walking, three months after my mom passed away. So I was, I was one of her dreams was a sweet walk.
Unfortunately, it happened three months too late. So she never that’s his he never got to, to see it. But, but I know that deep down inside, she is very proud. And I’ve continued to achieve a goal that she never got to do. With the help of family and friends, awesome. That’s beautiful. I’m sure she’s up there, looking down saying, Wow, you go, David, you go.
And then fast forward to my education. I began and a special ed classroom because I teachers believe that I would make it past that. Because, as you know, in society, when you think of when people think of CPE, they think, Oh, well, psychologically, or mentally, he’s not fit to be in a normal classroom, you’ll always be delayed, he’ll always be delayed. Fortunately, my stepmom wasn’t having she’s like, I’m not going to have my son be stuck in a special ed classroom when I see more potential in him and what people think. So she pulled me out of those classes. She She taught me how to read and write. And then when I got to school, she placed me in regular education. I made straight A’s did very well in class. Unfortunately, this is the time where I was in Puerto Rico getting my schooling. So unfortunately, the teachers there were very discriminate towards me.
They did not want me in the classroom, they’re like, you’re too slow. You know, we don’t we don’t want them I don’t he’s a burden to the classroom to the students, even though students weren’t. They weren’t mean to me, it was just the teachers, you know that. You don’t expect that when you’re a teacher, you expect the teacher to see the positive role model sees not somebody who’s against you. Yeah, you know, or give you the chance, it’s a chance, right? Exactly. Teacher supposed to give a talk supposed to be open minded and give the child the chance. And if you have some comments like that, keep it to yourself, or at least try and be in their shoes for one day. or discuss it individually. With the family. Right, exactly. And then I want to move to Florida fully when I was eight years old, and then I finished my schooling there. So my level of schooling elementary, middle school, I became the first one and my biological mom side of the family to finish and get my high school diploma.
I can do anything better than you, believe me! My project monitor finished high school or anything like that, because she was raising myself. And then I have a younger brother who I who, who basically, for the majority of my life, I wasn’t able to, we weren’t able to be to get together because we had different were different dads with the same mom. But we we’ve kept always a healthy relationship. So we’re really close. And we’ve always had a good bond together. And that’s one of the things that that’s kind of how that helped us move forward. And one of the things I give people to deal with tragedy and death is when you when you deal with a situation such as mine, and it’s really a negative, and it’s really tough. Think about the legacy you can leave behind, you know, think about the things you could do positively in your life. And that was one of those moments is either either my stepmom saves my life and I have a normal life and I have this feature or there’s this path, this deep dark path that possibly you can’t get out of and it can cause a lot of damage. So I was fortunate enough to get out of that cycle before it could have gotten any worse. And that’s awesome. And then I I went to college I got my degree in sociology from UCF. And I remember going through going through going through college and scoring general and you know I struggled with reading still and with the basic skills and sometimes I felt like giving up but I realized you know if we give up so easily. What what’s what’s all the work you’ve done what what Does it mean to you all the work that you’ve done?
Does it mean anything to you, if you just give up? No, you can’t just give up, you got to keep moving forward. You got to keep moving forward, because you have not just yourself to, to be to make proud but you have your family and your friends. So I would always carry that chip on my shoulder. That, you know, if I give up, I’m running down, not just myself, but everybody around me. So I don’t know how myself to get out level. And I finished. My when I finished college, I finished a week before I turned And I was actually born on Mother’s Day. So the beautiful part of this is, um, you know, they had asked me whether I wanted to walk this stage. Awesome. Excuse me. Or if when they go up, they go up the stairs, go up the ramp. So I said, You know what, I want to go up this this stairs, because I’ve waited 17 years for this moment. I was never supposed to walk. I’ve had people doubt me my whole life. And I want them to see that. I did. I’ve accomplished all this, despite all those challenges. So I remember walking up the stage. And those are pretty it was a really big crowd. You know, we’re talking about 10,000 people in a stadium. And what role meant you must have been so nervous.
Yeah, it was it was very, very quiet. Like, you could hear a pin drop. And I’m like, I’m thinking to myself, these people are probably tired of clapping so much on stage. And, and, you know, I told myself, you know, even if I hear my family at least shouting, I’m cool that, you know, I’m on for encore that. So I remember going up the stairs. And as soon as I take that last step, and I went up to stage and I was at the crowd, and they were pretty quiet. And I looked it up a cane. That bad place, a place that place erupted. I mean, I was literally, I stood there for five, they had to hold up a graduation for a good five minutes, because it was so loud. Oh, really? I’ve never seen the support that the support that I cheers that was for me, that was probably the most emotional I could ever feel. Because I had realized that, you know, I had I lost my mom. I was never supposed to feature nurses have any of this. And now I have it.
I’m looking at you go. And there was like fireworks and everything. Everybody just exploded, right? That’s just amazing.
Yeah, no, um, it goes to show that, um, no matter what obstacles you face in your life, that you can achieve what you put your mind to, if you have the right people around you in the right mindset. And if you take that negativity in China and the positive energy, there’s your potential is limitless. Absolutely. Because I mean, it just keeps getting better, right? It keeps getting better and better. I mean that and that. Not only do I teach children get back to my community, but I also have my own podcast, you know, and I have my own fitness blog. I was, you know, as you mentioned earlier, I was a three sport athlete, I was a football, baseball, baseball player and cyclist. And all those experiences I use that to motivate others that are trying to find themselves. And for me, it wasn’t until I was 25 years old, that I began to embrace my disability that I became, I became proud of it because before that, before that time, I struggled identify with myself, I always ask myself, who am I? I’m not, I can’t be just as individual with CP but I have to be something else. There has to be a purpose in my life. And that purpose was to give back to people and to motivate people. And that’s kind of what brought me to teaching and the motivational speaking. And to just be able to influence so many people is the best part of what I do. And I’m definitely proud of what I’ve done so far with my life and I see a bright future ahead.
Absolutely. I How can someone not be proud of you, David, it’s amazing. You are amazing. What do you how do you find the kids respond to you when you’re working with them?
So far, for the most part, it’s always been a positive reception. Like it’s, it’s, it’s pretty crazy the amount of respect that these kids have for me because I’m In our teachers are like half the time they’re really disrespectful towards me towards towards myself. But when it comes to you, the kids seem to respect you. And I don’t know how that’s possible. And I guess it really, really depends on your, your demeanor, you know how you treat the kids. And you know, when you get the total kid your story, they kind of see you differently and they see a hole, they kind of see hey, you know, he’s been through a lot too. And he can relate, you know?
Yeah. versus somebody up there just yelling and screaming, I guess at them nor what they used to from a teacher, right? Because you’re, you’re more personable, maybe? Or did they act up for you? Or have you found that a problem at all? It’s rare that they act up Really? I don’t really get many, my students add up too much.
And do you see their progress increase? drastically?
you first saw for some PR summit stress, like a PR summit takes it takes a little bit longer? It varies on the student.
Yeah. Do they get extra work done with you then on the side, right.
Oh, yeah, some of these students benefit from one on one because there’s no distractions and there’s a lot more attention that you’re giving them when you’re doing the assignment or just going over things with them.
Do you do other subjects other than reading?
I do work with Spanish speaking students, which I know I know Spanish fluently as well. So I’m, I work with them as well on their their work and their assignments. Oh, nice. So you work on their assignments that are in English, but with working with the Spanish? Yep. I try to work on their on their English while we do the English assignments are that way that they learn? And they know what they’re reading about?
Oh, nice. Nice. Did you grew up with Spanish right up until you moved to Florida them? And
yes, I was. It was always emphasized Spanish in the home English at school. Now now that now that we’re older, with my two other siblings that I have. It’s mixed now. It’s English and Spanish. There’s no you know, no restrictions really.
Whatever goes at the time. Yeah. So what are you focusing on now? Have you didn’t you just get recently an award? Or nominated for something?
I actually I’m actually going to do a conference in August in New England, probably doing very soon. Sounds exciting. That’s Southern Avenue. I am doing that. And then I was recently given. I was one of the longest serving members or as the teachers in the program. So for years, so I stayed with him for four years. And now it’s been wonderful being able to teach these kids and giving them a positive environment,
especially some length of state gives them staple, Miss, I think within the program, knowing that you’re there. Have you considered doing any TED talks?
I can do anything better than you, believe me! Oh, yeah, I’m actually I’m, I’m doing my best to try to secure any any contacts or any information I can. So that’s what that’s one of my main goals. For the future has to do TED Talks.
Yeah, absolutely. What did you find? Are you around 25 Now then, I’m actually 30 Oh, you’re 30 now. And so you’re still avidly working on the fitness. And that’s your main purpose Really? To?
Definitely I have my main purpose isn’t just about fitness. But it’s just also to motivate people and to inspire others to achieve their goals too. Despite whether you have CP whether you’re just able bodied anybody you know, to be, and I use my platform to have them share their stories, so that they can have a voice. You know, they can have somewhere to speak and somewhere safe, but they can share their story without being judged.
Are you working towards any new marathons now? sometime in the future? That’s what I’m hoping for. Have you had fun with that? Run for cancer at all with the way they do the powder colors? They throw the powder color, so yeah,
I’ve heard about it. I’ve actually never I’ve never done it before, actually. So that’s interesting.
Yeah, it looks like fun actually. Yeah. Everybody comes out with by the end that you’re all mixed up colors. It looks like fun. I’m not sure what the distances are, if they’re all the same. I’m not 100% sure, but what do you like to do for sports?
Um, I want to, to lift weights run. I love football, baseball, cycling, any kind of sport that’s, um, pretty much keeps you active. So I’m not very picky. Yeah, that’s awesome. Do you like the cycling part? Or are you? Yeah,
it’s one of the first sports I actually started with. That I’ve kind of excelled in very well. Yeah, that’s, it’s an actually. It’s hard not to do cycling. I think it’s one of those sports where it’s, it’s enjoyable for all different levels of fitness. Right. That is? What about swimming? Did you get any help with that? Part Two?
I’m pretty much from from my own parents. So pretty much. They taught me how to swim. You know? When I was younger? Yeah. Especially living in Florida. Oh, yeah, it gets really hot. As for sure. Yes, for sure.
That’s awesome. Did you have any extra stories to tell about your experiences of, of helping kids or, or an experience where you’ve helped someone else with cerebral palsy.
One of the things with kids is, each and every child has a different story to tell. And you have to adapt to how to help them, you know, you have to kind of go on, on their level go into their their world to understand what they’re going through. And then that’s how you can help them. You know, I try and talk to them about about things that they like, you know, things that they want to work work at. And then it’s up to you, as a mentor as the assistant as the teacher to come up with a plan for them to be successful.
That’s nice, you find solutions that you can work around? That’s beautiful. Did you have any experience with other cerebral palsy doing people that were doing some fitness that you could help?
Um, I’ve met a few. And I’ve, I’ve reached out to to actually, they’ve reached out to me. So I’ve always tried to come up with plans and things. I’m, I’m a person that doesn’t believe in charging people for for fitness advice. I do it out of the kindness of my heart, and I want to help people really do better for themselves and their health. So I don’t believe in that and charging people for for service. I could help a lot of people in need.
That’s lovely. You were you have a lot of goals ahead of you, don’t you, David? I do. And is it just keep getting bigger and bigger for you? Do you think?
Little by little, that’s all I can say, you know, take it day by day, step by step. Success doesn’t happen overnight? No, it could take years months, you know? Just just work on it. Continue. Yeah. Did you have any final messages that you’d like to say to the listeners? Um, well, definitely, this. Keep pushing forward. Stay positive. stay humble. Be honest, yourself, be realistic with, with what you can do and what you can’t do. successes don’t happen overnight. It takes a takes a long time. But if you keep working at it, you get to where you’ll get to the goal or the destination you want to be today. So keep moving forward. Stay positive and believe in yourself.
I think that’s special. Believe in yourself. That should be your quote. I must start using it actually. It’s a good one. Yeah, it is good. It really, it really makes you who you are. And I think that’s what’s so special. Oh, that’s awesome. David, I could talk to you forever about this because I think I think your goals are going to be we’re going to watch out for you because you are going to hit some awesome things in this world and help people. You’re very, very special to everybody. Thank you for. I’m very honored to have you on our show today. Thank you.
Thank you for having me on. I definitely had I had a lot of fun being able to share my experiences.
Yes. Because you never know who might be out there listening to, to how it can help them. Exactly. You never know really, it’s just, it’s just unexpected. You know, I had a cat who had cerebral a form of cerebral palsy, and I didn’t realize that it’s in animals, bunny rabbits and cats and, and everything too. So. And yeah, it’s it’s crazy, right? Yeah. Yeah, it is. And it was his back legs wouldn’t work. So it was a bit like having a puppy I was having to take him out to the washroom and but he was the most adorable cat sitting on your lap and just gave you all the love that you could ever want. He was amazing.
That’s, that’s, that’s wonderful. And I’m glad that you’re able to care for him. Or for them is.
Yeah, cuz it’s an extra. It’s work. That’s work. You know, you can’t deny that but it’s still beautiful. They’re they make wonderful cats. I’m not sure about dogs, but I’ve never met one that had cerebral palsy. But I’m sure they’re out there. Well, thank you, listeners. Thank you. I, I hate to come to an end with our show today. Thank you, David, for coming on to our show. Please take a moment and subscribe. We always get the handout for our subscribers, because you have to click on the link down below, and subscribe to our channel. And click on the like button. If you’ve watched some more of these wonderful shows with our wonderful guests like David, who is full of motivation and inspiration for all of us. He’s really doing you know, I have to say God’s work because you are put on this world to do lots of wonderful things, David, but thank you so much for the kind words and everybody out there. Thank you. Thank you. Oh, you’re welcome. If you aren’t, as you know, no one’s Superman. David’s not Superman, I’m not Superman. So expect the unexpected. Because when you never know what tomorrow might bring, when you’re thinking about someone special during the show. Make sure that you reach out to them. Pick up the phone, text, Skype message, message that person, tell them how much you love and care about them today, because you never know what tomorrow might bring.
And I always end thank you for sharing and our time with us today. And watching I love each and every one of you. I always end our podcast with Carol Burnett. Do you know David who Carol Burnett is?
I don’t actually Well, you have to look her up on YouTube. Maybe for some rerun shows that that are probably on there. She was a wonderful or is a wonderful comedian. makes you laugh. And so I always use her beautiful kind words at the end of our show. I’m so glad we had this time together just to have a laugh or sing a song. Seems we just get started. And before you know it comes the time. We have to say so long. So long, everyone. I’m sending lots of love and kindness. Be kind. Be safe. Until next time. Bye for now. Thanks, David. You’re welcome. Thank you. Bye for now. Take care of yourself. Be Safe, Be kind
David Figueroa shares his story and journey of being diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy since birth. Highlighting many struggles/successes in the education system, and triumphs a former 3 sport athlete and 3 time state champion cyclist, and a current middle school teacher with CP; He shares his story with others around the world, to show that there is a light among all the challenges behind it. David is also an avid Podcaster on Cerebral Palsy and Fitness.
David’s Link : https://bit.ly/2UI1XHN