TIPS TO HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD
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.
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