Finding a Reason to Live

Titi Liz & Miss M at the fountain in Bryant Park

Titi Liz & Miss M at the fountain in Bryant Park

I am back from yet another trip to NYC.  This time to meet with a potential holistic cancer team in Rockland County.   Although I am not entirely sold on this new team, the trip was not a total loss.  I discovered some tweaks I can make to my supplement & diet regime…  I learned about a few alternative cancer treatment options…  And I went through a comprehensive blood testing that will hopefully tell me even more about the state of my body and show where there is room for improvement…

And most importantly, I got to spend a weekend in NY! :-)

Miss M and I had a fabulous weekend staying with my old friend “Titi Liz”…  Miss M discovered the joys of a new train: the Metro-North…  I took her ice skating for the first time at Bryant Park and she was a natural…  We went to the Museum of Natural History where Miss M lost herself in the Hall of Ocean Life with its 94-foot long blue whale and interactive fish displays…  And of course we gorged on healthy meals at my favorite vegan restaurants…

Then we came back to Ohio.

I felt the heavy weight and sadness in my heart as our plane flew over the endless farmland and veered towards Dayton.  I didn’t want to be back in Ohio.  I don’t want to be here.  But I am.

I started reading another amazing book while I was away:  Cancer As A Turning Point by Lawrence LeShan, Ph.D.  Instead of examining cancer through the usual lens of pathology, LeShan found that using a strengths perspective with therapy clients to examine their natural talents and passions brought much better results.  LeShan shares moving stories of cancer patients who change their lives, start living their dreams, harnessing  their zest for life, and helping their bodies heal.

His book is about finding and creating a more fulfilling and meaningful life.  A life that maximizes on your natural talents.  A life that is infused with passion.  A life that you want to live.  And how making these changes can actually signal to your body and immune system to kick into gear because there is a reason to stay alive.

It makes sense.  If I am living a life I don’t want to live, full of misery, sadness, and unused potential, then why live at all?  Perhaps our bodies get sick to bring our sadness to light.  To reveal the truth of our existence.  To force us into a new way of being.

Personally, I know my 30’s were a decade full of self sacrifice and unfulfilled desires.  I continually pushed my dreams aside.  Continued to “suck it up and deal”.  Continued to put my life on hold.  Prioritizing my role as a mom, wife, and daughter.  Just waiting for the right time to make myself a priority again.

Then metastatic breast cancer came along and showed me that NOW is the time.

So I am working hard to rediscover my passions.  Finding the activities that make me lose track of time.  Remembering the happiest moments in my life.  Pinpointing the qualities and moments of every day life that bring me joy.  Figuring out what excites me and ignites me.

Which of course brings me back to NY…  My biggest passion…  The place where I experienced the happiest moments in my life…  Where I easily loose track of time…  The city that brings me to tears with its extremes…  That infuses me with its vibrant energy…

Although I cannot be there now.  I vow to be there again one day.  And until then, I will keep finding ways to get my “fix’ and keep the qualities I love about NY and the person I was when I lived there within me.

I think it’s time we all take a look at what brings us joy…  What we’re passionate about…  Our best ways of relating and being in this world…

Each one of us is here for a reason.  We all have a unique gift to give.  A reason for living.

I’m still figuring out mine.  Do you know what yours is yet?

Peace.  – T

Lacing up skates for Miss M's first skating lesson

Lacing up skates for Miss M’s first skating lesson

Riding the carousel at Bryant Park

Riding the carousel at Bryant Park

The Metro-North

The Metro-North


12 Responses

  1. You’re doing the work, Terri and you will find that place, that passion that you are seeking. The tenacious Rubbicco genes will not let you give up…I know that from personal experience!! Hugs and a kiss to you and Miss M from Auntie D. xoxoxo

  2. Terri, thank you for sharing all this. I’ve never had cancer (although I’m in the minority in my family), but I want to read Dr. LeShan’s book anyway! What a gift to be able to look at your life in this new light. Good luck, and keep us posted on your discoveries (and rediscoveries). :)

  3. The fountain reminds me of the one in the Public Gardens — it was refurbished this past year. Lovely pictures of you and Marisa, as always — you were having so much fun! I remember to this day the first time I ever got to go ice skating — what a treat to be able to give that to Marisa!. I’m glad that you got to be in a favourite place. Remember, too, though, that you can transform *any* place if you are with the people you love, — and you are surrounded with love from all directions, near and far away — of that I feel very sure.

    Much love, as always,


    • Hi John,
      I remember the fountain at the Public Gardens! So many fond memories of that park… You’re right, I do feel the love surrounding me. Felt it very distinctly yesterday as I was crying on my way home from the therapist’s office. It is always there for me – no matter where I am. And I am tremendously thankful for that! I have made the best out of a not-so-ideal situation here in Ohio. Found a few great friends… Explored what Dayton has to offer… Made some good memories… Now i feel it’s time to move on. Next chapter please :-)
      Sending much love back at ya, – terri

  4. You guys look so great in those pictures! So happy and relaxed! Next time your’e in New York, let us know, maybe Laurie and I can drive down and visit. Much love to you all, M.

  5. Tears…
    Of love, of longing, of living passionately, of pure unadulterated awe and thanksgiving for you my articulate, inspirational niece.
    Yes, New York will be yours again. And yes, you are on the path of finding your passion. Although cancer proffered a very unwelcome detour, your journey back to self reminds me of what many of us went through in our thirties. And the good news is the journey just keeps getting better because once you have tasted that delicious elixir of finding your passion and living it, you’ll never turn back.
    So enjoy the ride my love…
    And thank you for the privilege of allowing me to ride along with you!!

    • Thank you my darling aunties!! Your words are poignant and touching. I am so grateful I have you guys on this ride with me. You’ve all said life gets better after 40. Only one more year to go and I’m there! Can’t wait. xoxo

  6. ^5! wish I could send you a this picture I just drew for you. I make magic pictures with my purple crayon and they (almost) always come true. It shows you all happy and smiling in New York City and Miss M is there and Heron and your dad is in the background and your mom is a Stardancer smiling down from the sky. <3

  7. Sounds like LeShan wrote the words that would share the truths I’d wanted to share with you … good. Glad you heard them. The part about healing a life so that one can live fully for however many days/weeks/months/years/moments — that is the part that is most valuable, for you and for all of us. I’m glad he wrote it and you could receive it. Important stuff.

    ::laughing:: Started to say that Ohio isn’t ~so~ bad and NYC is my idea of hell — but isn’t that exactly the point? That’s where your spirit thrives, that’s where your heart sings — and THAT is what matters. (Sacrificing a little self so your partner can be fully employed and fully himself also isn’t necessarily a bad thing — all things in balance.)

    Hoping you can find a way forward where all three of you can sing in joyful harmony. Best and blessings!

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