Friday, December 11, 2015

Conscious Lifestyle Magazine

The words below are from a recent post in Conscious Lifestyle Magazine, which can be viewed at:

This magazine offers so much besides just a beautiful interview they gave me.  I highly recommend checking it out! 

Blessed With a Tumor: How a Brain Tumor Changed My Life For the Better 
Everything we experience can have a positive and negative interpretation. Which will you choose? Photo: Julia Caeser

Conscious Lifestyle Magazine: Hi Gabby, so we have had the chance to get to know you a bit behind the scenes, but why don’t you share your story with us of what led up to the point of when you found out about your brain tumor diagnosis for our readers? 
Gabrielle Olko: I moved out to California in 2010 to study acupuncture. A year and a half ago I was in a moped accident where I was taken to the hospital. Because I was not in an enclosed car and my head had the potential to be injured, although not noticeable, the hospital for legality reasons ran a CT scan, which surprisingly showed that something was present. They followed the CT scan with an MRI and returned to me with the results letting me know that there was a malignant glioma tumor present that was unrelated to the accident. I was than admitted into another hospital to undergo a biopsy, which led to a final diagnosis of a malignant oliogodendroglioma located in the left frontal and temporal lobe in a location that they would not surgically be capable to remove. In the past year I have released the idea and words of the tumor being “mine” and simply call it the tumor. So many people, as well as myself, have a tendency to say “my cancer” or “she has cancer,” and I have really unfolded the beauty of learning to not attach to it.
CLM: How did you initially feel when you found out about this brain tumor diagnosis?
GO: I felt like my body had been thrown to the ground and scattered into pieces—beyond what it felt like to be in shock on the road from the accident. The moment the pre-med student entered my hospital room and told me, I felt as though I had died.
CLM: At what point did you decide to shift into a positive, empowered mindset about the experience?
GO: There were many points and many shifts, and there still are, but the 2nd or 3rd day in the hospital I was laying there in a depressed “why me?” state and suddenly the news flashed on about the tsunami in the Philippines where over 10,000 died and 600,000 suffered severe injury. At that moment I lay there and cried and thought, “Why am I still alive? This life is a gift, and here I am alive for a reason! So alive!” From that moment on I knew that this was a gift, which has unfolded my journey in this lifetime in a beautiful way. Another moment that uplifted my positivity and gratitude was with our mutual friend, Kyle Cease. I met him at a little bookstore talk that he gave that was healing, from the heart, and inspirational. After the talk I walked up to him, and as shared my story, he held my arm, looked me in the eyes, and automatically responded by saying, “You are so incredibly lucky to be able to experience this beautiful journey at such a young age! You get to go start living and experiencing life and to throw all the bullshit away.”
CLM: How has doing that impacted your life? GO: It has truly impacted my life by helping me face many challenges and let go of many obstacles. There’s an aspect of loneliness that has been a huge obstacle for me most recently, that I am now finding beauty in allowing it to transform and to learn to embrace the beauty of aloneness. Whenever a physical medical fear arises or an emotion, I feel much more ease being able to use my empowered mindset to help shift me into a better place and to recognize this body that I am in and this life that I am living is no dress rehearsal. I am in full on play mode right now, time to be alive and enjoy every moment of it. The quote. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” from Mary Anne Radmacher shines through to me and gives me strength at the end of the day, that exactly where I am is okay; right now is okay! I know the human body, especially my own has a tendency to want to race ahead or have thoughts of, “I’ll feel better when…” I have learned to accept and love the idea of loving exactly where I am right now and allowing it to flow. 
Gabrielle Olko

CLM: What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned from this experience?
GO: The idea that people have about “fighting” cancer seems absurd to me; to me fighting is having fire be thrown at fire, and causing the fire to get bigger or be left burnt out on the ground. I believe that allowing it to not be a part of me, and just watching as it passes by and thanking it for passing by is the best approach I can take. I have learned to not call it MY tumor, MY cancer, or say “I have cancer” or “She has cancer”, which is something that I have noticed is the way most people tend to address it. I have learned to say “the tumor” and phrase it in a way that doesn’t allow it to become something that is me or that I own. This enables me not to become attached to it or a part of what has presented itself.
CLM: Do you have a message for other people out there experiencing a tumor or other serious illnesses similar to yours?
GO: Time to start living! You are so lucky to be able to go through such an incredible life journey! What a gift!
CLM: And what would you advise people who have a friend or family member experiencing such a condition?
GO: This is a good question. You should ask my mom! [laughs] I think mainly just being there for them is of utmost importance, also not pushing your treatment ideas, cancer treatments, and everything and anything that they should be undergoing right now that you know of.  The best treatment is to just be there and listen and laugh. Also being able to stand strong and to not constantly show the “I feel so sorry for you!” card. To be able to reconstruct your own thoughts to instead thinking of how beautiful and amazing and strong and magnificent this person is on their current journey.
CLM: Wow, that is so beautiful. Thank you so much for talking to us today and sharing such a great message of perspective and presence.
GO: Absolutely. Thank you!
About The Authors
Gabrielle Olko is a life and health coach currently in her last year of grad school to obtain her M.A. degree in Oriental Medicine and L.A.c. in Acupuncture. Halfway through her studies she found out there was a tumor in her brain–a diagnosis that has awakened for her the light and beauty within the challenges that life presents. She considers it her “extra credit” course in becoming a healer. She is part of a new foundation called Be Your Own Cure that educates others about alternative healing modalities and the importance of becoming our own doctor, and is soon to appear in a medical documentary about her healing journey, which you can follow along with through her blog:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Healing through Vulnerability

The letter below was written to a new friend that came into my life a few months ago. For the first time I felt scared to share the beautiful journey I have been on. The first day I met him he shared with me that his mom had cancer, and that it had metastasized, so he and his brother had moved back here to be with her.  It felt immensely beautiful to have him share with me about his family.  But I instantly started to feel nervous and scared to share with him how much I could relate, as my ego screamed at me that if I shared that he would want to run away. I can't even imagine what it must feel like to lose a loved one, especially a mother, and I don't know what would be easier, losing them instantaneously or slowly saying goodbye.  One thing that I have learned is how precious life is and how feeling lost and feeling fearful and feeling sad and feeling pain are a part of this magical physical journey here on this earth.  This past weekend I went out to Joshua Tree, in the desert for Bhaktifest.  The message that was shone brightly and spoken loudly to me from the universe was, "The more you're pushing, the more it's pushing back, so you can't rush you're healing. Darkness has it's teachings. Love is never leaving. You can't rush your healing." - Trevor Hall

The message of allowing space, not pushing or rushing, allowing darkness and not needing answers, has been shining through in so many areas in my life.  It has shone through with my healing, with my profession, and with people in my life. I am realizing more and more the importance of allowing darkness into my life and accepting it, like a seed in the ground. The seed in the ground needs to be comfortable in the dark and accept the water that is coming in and the dirt all around, in order to be able to slowly grow upwards into the sunlight. And just because I feel like a seed lost alone in the darkness doesn't mean that love isn't still feeding it's way in and creating space for me to grow. Space is another intention that has seeped in over the past month. The beauty of allowing space, not rushing, and accepting and allowing and not needing answers, as well as giving love a chance. Love for myself, love for others, and love for love.  That being said, the letter written below was to this amazing man I recently met but it was also to myself. I read the letter to my sister a few days ago and she asked me to post it in my blog, so here it goes. 

Dear Friend,

I can't remember the last time I wrote a letter, but a pen just appeared in my hand and vulnerability just knocked me over and swished me back up.  I cannot even fathom what you are experiencing in your life right now.  The other day I stopped by my girlfriends house, who has been experiencing some of her own life challenges. She wailed about a near death experience she had gone through and seemed to be reliving it through a panic attack. Suddenly the energy snatched me and I felt taken over and my body tensed up and my breath choked. I felt as though I was strongly shoved against the wall and unable to move. I began to cry, my stomach turned over and over and I suddenly felt as though my mother had died. My mom right now at this moment is alive and still here, but it was as though for a split second, the universe had thrown me into your shoes, reminding me of this physical experience called life and how small and precious it is. A quote I read recently kept running through my mind, "Life is a brief intermission between birth and death." I feel fearful even writing you this letter, as I don't even know what to write and feel scared to bring more pain...but I am allowing my vulnerability and feeling love for it.

The day I met you, your vibrational authentic energy mesmerized me.  Something about cats approaching you several times on our walk to say hello, was beautiful, and the time you took out to give each one attention. Also having you teach me what a peppercorn plant-seed looks like, feels like, tastes like, smells like...opening all of my sensations...oh pepper! You asking me permission to hold my hand and asking to give me a kiss goodnight was meaningful and felt good.  I can't remember the last time a man has ever done that. I felt touched that you cooked me an amazing delicious dinner and took care of me on my birthday.  I appreciate your steadfastness, strong drive, and outlook on life. I adore that you never wear shoes and are able to fully connect with nature and the earth. It meant a lot to me to have you send me wonderful pictures and words while you were backpacking with your friend in Colorado.  The fact that you and I can lay on my bedroom floor and not say a word to each other and just be the many sounds that most people never notice or take the time to do. Time. I believe time is irrelative, at times it seems slow, at times fast, and sometimes doesn't seem to exist at all. Hmmmm.

Your physical body is stunning! So strong yet soft. Everything about it turns me on... Your eyes, your ears, your freckles, your mustache, your lips.  Your mother produced a handsome man. You are strong and tall; a man of few words, but the words you say seem true and solid.  I haven't known you very long at all, there , I'm sure, is much about you you I do not know. Maybe I will get the privilege of experiencing or maybe I will get the privilege of just writing you this letter, or maybe I will burn this letter and never give it to you... Whatever the case... None of it matters... Or maybe all of it matters.  The song by Pretty Lights just started playing... All I can hear right now is " oooooooh sometimes I get a good feeling! I get a feeling that I've never never never never had before, no no,"

When I first met you and you told me about your mom, I instantly felt terrified to tell you about my own kick-ass story! Which until that moment I had never felt scared to share. Fr some reason I immediately felt shy, like my journey would send you running the other way.  But I realize life is too short and too magical to have that be a concern. This moment is all that exists. At any moment any one of us human beings could take our last breathe in this physical body. Life be too precious to hold back. If something or someone doesn't mesh with the wave I am currently on then so be it.

Almost two years ago was one of the most life altering, life changing events of my life. I think I mentioned to you that I was in a big moped accident... What I didn't mention was what came from that.  While I was in the ER, they informed me I had broken my shoulder.  They came in later and informed me they would be running a CT  scan on my head to make sure there had been no head damage in order to release me from the hospital.  After running the CT scan, the doctor came in looking concerned and told me they would like to run an MRI as the CT scan had showed some inflammation.  After the MRI, a pre-med student came in...and I will never forget his words. He look up at me as if he was talking to a piece of paper and recited, "there is inflammation showing upon the MRI that signifies that there is a tumor in your brain. This is not related to the accident, but seems to be a form of a malignant glioma.  You will need to undergo further testing as well as possibly a surgery/biopsy to identify the type and grade of the tumor." AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. In that moment the only thing my brain heard was that I was dying.  Shortly after they came in and informed me that since i had no health insurance they would have to release me, giving me the name of the hospital that treated uninsured patients (somewhat). I can still see myself sitting outside the hospital alone on the sidewalk having no idea what the purpose of life even was, WTF!!  My shoulder pain seemed instantly irrelative to the pain in my mind, as my brain was emasked in "thoughts" about that thing they call "cancer."

Its a crazy sensation that the word "cancer" has seemed to create in this world.  Two days later (with the help of my nurse friend) I got admitted to another hospital where I spent the next couple weeks.  In the first few days there, I lay there blanketed by the shadow of my ego which screamed through my mind, "Why me? WTF!! I have never ever had a symptom, this is not real!  What did I do to deserve this?  Why are the worst things ever happening to me?"  Instantly the news flashed on the TV and was showing the tsunami that was happening in that moment in the Philipines and the thousands and thousands of people that were dying.  I feel tears running down my face as I write this right now.  In that moment my ego dropped to the ground!  My entire life story dropped to the ground and it was like I was laying there naked, experiencing a rebirth down the birth canal...emerging and taking my first gasp of air, bringing me life.  Suddenly I looked around thinking. "WHY AM I ALIVE?  I AM ALIVE! I am breathing. I am here in this physical body more alive then I have ever felt.  I have been through so many near death adventures, how am I still alive?"  This "diagnosis" aka GIFT, has made me the most alive I have ever felt.  I feel gifted to have been given such a massive life awakening.  The past couple years since the biopsy have brought me wonderful challenges.  It has not been easy breezy healing from the brain trauma of having my head sliced open.  There has been regret that has arisen from allowing fear to make the decision of having my skull cut open.  Healing from the surgery has definitely been tough, but for the first time  I have realized who my true friends are, and learning who I truly am and what I value, obtaining the capability of dropping the bullshit and learning to say hello to and making friends with fear, sadness, frustration, anger, and loneliness; accepting those feelings when they come and basking in them, instead of always fighting them to leave.  Allowing the beauty of death to be my friend and to be with me everyday.  Saying hello to death and recognizing its presence and importance.  Death is what brings me life...or so I feel in this very moment.  Like anything that thought could change.  Like the ocean, always changing. I believe that's why the ocean brings me so much peace, calmness, freedom, clarity, and so much more.  It is overflowing, ever-changing,  strong, and washes everything away each day.  I don't know if its age and growth or undergoing this life experience, but I have started seeing, feeling, hearing, and sensing life in a different way.

I can't remember exactly what it was that you wrote in one of our first messages to each other, but it had something to do with the beauty of death, which immediately attracted me to you.  Our conversations and dates have been far from the "norm."  Your life outlook and demeanor fascinate and captivate me.  Not many people I know (men I know) are vulnerable the way you were when we met.  You beat me in sharing vulnerable life stories, sharing stories about your family, your upbringing, as well as your moms health. You shared with me your personal stories about your friends, your job , and your past relationships, much more than most people share within months of getting to know each other. 

I miss the joy of climbing trees, and sitting in tree houses, and playing with cats, and picking flowers, and sitting on old toilets on the side of the road, and aimlessly walking through neighborhoods for three hours in the dark.  Thank you for bringing that back out in me, and thank you for sharing your family story with me, as well as for sharing your friendship.  As much as I have felt eager to see you (feel eager to see you) and to hear your voice, I have appreciated the beauty of allowing space in a time of emotion and pain, and granting things to flow as they are meant to flow.  I cannot imagine fully what you are encountering right now...and the pain and sadness that is running through.  I feel special that you have shared with me where you are in your life, and included me in your thoughts.

Aaaaah It feels good to well as to lay here on my floor and let emotion pour from my body, relaxing my mind, my body, and my soul...which perhaps are not even mine.  I like to remind myself, that I own nothing.  The tumor came to visit, it never belonged to me.  The thoughts, the materials, the world, the universe -- are not mine!  I own nothing.  I AM...and that is all.  Or perhaps this entire letter is rubbish...all these words are nothing... or they are something.  I don't know.  But I do know that you are a rock!  I am grateful that I met you.

Much love,

I never intended to actually send this letter (but, I did), and I never intended to actually post this letter in my blog (but, I did).  My intention was to write it and burn it, and let it blow to the wind. But I have learned that what we intend does not always pan out.  Setting intentions I believe is powerful but also allowing the intentions to be carried in whatever direction they like is also powerful.  That being said, I feel completely raw and vulnerable right now and am learning to accept that feeling.  Maybe I will hear from this man again, and maybe this letter will move him, or maybe not, but  whatever happens is what is meant to happen, and vulnerability is a beautiful thing.  Lastly, a couple months ago I posted onto facebook the question, "What is vulnerability?" Below are the responses that I received.  Thank you friends, for being vulnerable and sharing your thoughts on vulnerability. x

"Openly acknowledging and admitting to others the things about myself that my inner judge most dislikes..." - Jarrett Green

"Being able to be completely honest and authentic on all levels." - Lisa Olko

"Open to whatever happens." - Lisa Warren

"Raw" - Abby Gallagher

" remove your walls and be subjected to all the energies of our universe... to surrender... to willingly invite change and challenges... to abandon preconceived notions with a free mind... to have the strength to embrace your fears and weaknesses... to be vulnerable is to be open and prepared for a shift to higher vibrations!!!" - Eryn Withay

"Exposed. Naked. Without exception." - Carla Morris

"Letting my guard down and getting hit with a left hook (metaphorically speaking)." - Sidney Falco

"Vulnerability = courage = love = fearlessness." - Omar Chaudhry

"Vulnerability is an emotional concept/condition created by the mind.  It is another obstacle that prevents us from knowing the truth of who we are.  When we truly understand who we are then there is no definition for vulnerability - you are pure and simple, I AM or Beingness!!!" - Julianne Gardner

"Allowing myself to reveal emotional pain or physical weakness in front of others and looking like I need help, admitting to myself and others that I need help, asking for and being ignored, refused or accepting help.  I have been working on this one a very long time. After 42 years it is still a challenge to sometimes let go of my defenses and be, admit, ask and accept the result, ask without judgement or attachment to who I thought I was or what I thought I needed from myself and who I love. - Andrea Renee Rivera

"Vulnerabilty is part of the definition of any living being.  To be receptive to vulnerability is to be a participant in the process of becoming (a being).  To hold onto that vulnerability, however is one of the many attachments that hastens the withing of the heart-mind." - Seth Leon

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Everything Comes And Goes

Its amazing to think that my last post was about four months ago, it feels like just yesterday. However much has happened in the last four months.  For starters, my last post was beginning of January, and exactly two weeks after posting, I had an MRI scheduled and asked that my follow-up appointment be the same day.  The MRI follow up appointment consisted of the neuro-oncologist telling me that in comparison to my previous MRI that it looked as though there was a bit of inflammation in relation to the tumor. Because of this he suggested that he believed I should start on Temador, an oral chemotherapy drug which is an alkylating agent used for certain brain tumors.  I felt as though a massive punch slammed through my head numbing my ability to think clearly, causing my ego brain to start on a wild rampage of thoughts, one of which was the frustration of my last blog post addressing the same neuro-oncologist telling me that the tumor was actually it a grade 2 not a grade 3 like the other hospital had diagnosed me with a year prior.

I felt the ego thoughts screaming at me about my blog post telling me that I had jinxed myself into creating this.  The thoughts started to swirl around my mind so wildly that I suddenly stepped away from them and watched them swirl and twirl, realizing that none of them have to control me at all.  I was reminded that they do not define me; they are only thoughts that arise.  Flooding into my soul came the true beauty and realization of the coming and going of everything in life, coming and going, conceiving that all that energy created around and controlled by thoughts can often be paralyzing both mentally and physically to my body, if I allow it.

The words of Swami Satchidananda helped me be able to step away from the thoughts that I thought were "me" and un-claim them and watch them swirl.  He says, "anger is caused by your own expectation, misplaced.. when you did not get what you want, you get angry... Loss!? what did you have to lose? is there anything that you could call yourself yours? theres nothing for us to lose, you came with nothing, you go with nothing. what do you lose? even the body is not yours. Everything that comes will go.  Equanimity; when theres a coming theres a going, dont let your mind be affected by that."

The past few months I have been weaning off of Dilantin, which was an anti-seizure medication I started taking this past fall, prescribed by the hospital.  I am currently weaned onto Vimpat, weaning off of Dilantin has been a challenge.  There are a lot of things about weaning off a psychoactive medications that doctors don't tell you.  In previous posts I have written about my Keppra experience, which was the first anti-seizure medication they put me on, giving me 4000 mg of right after the biopsy.  The effects of being on that were unbearable for my body, and the effects of weaning off of it were scary.  What I know now that I did not know then is the slower the wean off the better.  During my wean off of Dilantin the past few months, immense physical and emotional symptoms have been present.  Within 48 hours of weaning off the first capsule, my journal entry was:

I feel palpitations right now, my heart is beating so fast and my chest feels tight. My stomach is in a knot, it is cramped and in pain, all over, from top to bottom and I feel nauseous.  My mouth is dry and my body is lacking strength, I feel like I am stoned or drunk on drugs, hungover and removed from reality. I feel scared to fall asleep, I lay here and keep picturing a body removal approaching...its like I have experienced it enough times that the idea of it seems rather familiar but overly unknown and distant at the same time.  My stomach turns, in chinese medicine we call it the running piglet, to me this feels more like 20 running piglets all running in different directions creating chaos.  I feel chaos.  I have not yet discovered how to make peace with chaos.  I feel scared, alone, confused, I want to be independent, healthy, and strong, but I also want people by my side helping.  However it seems when they do I want to push them away.  I dont know how to sleep. I want to run to the hospital, but at the same time where is that gonna get me? 

According to the doctors at the hospital, I couldve weened off the dilantin much faster than I have been, but thank goodness I discussed with them the importance of taking my time and the sensitivity that the human body can have when making shifts with a psychoactive drug. I am almost completely weened off of the dilantin and on my final haul.

I have started on oxygen therapy, which has been amazing.  It feels calming and healing to lay in the oxygen chamber each day. The air pressure in the chamber is about 2-3 times higher than the normal pressure in the atmosphere, which helps the body carry more oxygen to organs and tissues in the body.  It has been known to reduce inflammation as well as assist in treating cancer.  There is a link Cancer Resources above on my home page that speaks more in depth about oxygen therapy if anyone is interested.  It is used to heal much more than just cancer.

On April 17th, my friends held a fundraiser for me at Bhakti Yoga Shala where I practice yoga as well as partake in weekly chanting that continues to be an avid part of my healing plan.  The fundraiser was wonderfully overwhelming.  It was definitely a life lesson for me to be able to open myself to the love and to accept the fact that I am worth it and deserve to be given this wonderful event in my honor.  The night consisted of a silent auction, a raffle, live music, food, friends, and so much healing love.  Our band Amrit Vela put forward a beautiful set, as did many other musicians that performed as well. A bit of money was raised that evening, but more importantly there was an overwhelming amount of love.  The amount of healing love that was channeled towards me that evening felt a bit like a brain surgery happening, where once put under I did not have any control over the amount of love and healing that was flooding my way! Even if I tried to push it away, it would not have been possible. Thank you to each and every musician that volunteered there music as well as every person that helped set up, as well as each friend that came to partake in the event.  I will never forget this evening.

Amrit Vela Band

I have passed my pre-clinical exam and will be starting my internship next week, where I will be in the clinic at my school treating patients.  Passing my pre-clinical exam was a challenge in and of itself.  I failed the exam twice in the past two years and studying for it and giving myself a drive of determination along with my healing has been a kick-ass challenge. I give myself a huge pat on the back for finally passing.  Passing that exam has allowed me to know that I have the ability to handle anything that comes my way.

 Right now, I am not undergoing any type of chemotherapy as suggested by the neuro-oncologist.  I appreciate him reaching out and caring for me in the best way he knows how with the knowledge that he has.  As of now I am partaking fully in oxygen therapy 5 days a week as well as continuing to stick to the ketogenic cancer diet and CBD therapy.  I have not yet gone back to the hospital to partake in any more scans to see whats going on,  I intend to wait until I am finished with my dilantin ween off as well as undergone 40+ oxygen sessions. Ultimately I feel the most important thing for me right now is to trust my body and give it some credit for its strength.  Earlier today I wrote down my symptoms I was feeling as I undergo my final ween-off, I then reworded what I wrote to unfold my healing even further.  I truly believe in the power of words.  If we get stuck telling the same story over and over, it seems that we get stuck in that story and fail to drop it.  I have been listening to a podcast by Asara Lovejoy in relation to her book One Command.  It talks about living in the quantum field and stopping negative thoughts in their tracks and re-writing DNA codes for success.  Instead of hating the way I am feeling and wondering why or hating the medicine I am taking and wishing I wasn't I am learning to re-write this aspects into positive healing modalities instead  When I do so I notice an immediate shift in my body.

Earlier today I started to begin writing everything I hated at the moment about how I was feeling as I was having a slight reaction to the medication ween-off, but quickly stopped myself in my tracks and re-wrote my thoughts to change them.

I feel as though I have taken the biggest bong rip of my life with weed that was coated in a psychoactive drug as well as shot up with morpheme which is numbing the pain but not the fear.


I feel as though my body is undergoing one of the strongest most beautiful shifting and uplifting healing sessions.  My body is currently flushing out every toxin and letting go of all the energy it no longer needs, and taking in the energy it does.  My body is outstanding, strong and healthy!  It is perfectly capable of handling its healing process.  Everything that is entering my body and everything it comes into contact with has a healing effect.  The medication I am currently taking is allowing my body to heal to its maximum capacity. I AM ALIVE.  I AM HEALTHY. I AM STRONG.  I AM.

Within 10 minutes of re-writing my thoughts, I felt my body shift and change.  This aspect is still somewhat new and explorative for me, but I am fully loving every moment of my exploration. I will keep you all posted as the ween off fully completes itself.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Lonely... Alone... All One

You cannot be lonely if you love being alone with the person you are with.
~ Wayne Dyer

And the New Year begins...

I think the New Year is wonderful, in the sense that the brain is relating it to a set time and way to embark upon new things and make shifts in our lives.  Lately I have been wondering if time is actually "set" or not, and because of that, could a new year begin whenever we desire? I did create a new years intention, which is to unfold and understand the idea of lonely and alone, and from this to learn to unmask the joy of alone. This intention has arisen within me the past few months.  I find it amazing how as soon as a thought or question arises, the universe begins to send homework to embark upon as learning and guidance. Sometimes the answer and understanding comes right off the bat and other times it continues to unfold.  And occasionally, what is thought and felt to be understood will take on a different form or question later down the road.  When this happens, I tend to look back and smile and think, "Wow I thought I understood, but look where I am now at a completely new a understanding." And thus life is a journey.

Miriam-Webster dictionary defines alone: separated from others, exclusive of anyone or anything else, considered without reference to any other. And lonely: being without company, cut off from others, not frequented by human beings, sad from being alone, producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation. My friend Zach and I were chatting the other night about elements of our lives that we have been discovering and creating, and suddenly the word alone, to me, became two words, 'al'one.  Miriam-Webster defines alone as being separated from others but I believe, it could be further defined as realizing that being with the self is learning that the self is all one.

In the past couple months loneliness felt immensely present in my life. I ended up going to the emergency room a couple times. The first time was because of intense headaches I had been experiencing, which seemed to last for days on end and were not dissipating.  It felt bittersweet that my mother was no longer out here, all of my friends seemed to be busy with their own lives and I felt frustrated unsure and alone.  I wanted to be alone but I also felt sad and lonely to be alone.  To me, in that moment, it seemed more delightful and ensuring to go to the hospital and have the support and encouragement of the staff, which in the moment made me feel safer and comforted.  Some seem to dread going to the hospital, but for myself, going made me feel relieved and protected.  It also felt securing to see that I was not the only one that was going through an ailment.  I look back on this experience now in gratitude, as perhaps I may not have needed to run to the ER, but it has made me more aware of learning to embrace the beauty of aloneness and in understanding that everyone has a wonderful challenge to embark upon in many different forms. Not to say that there isn't a time and place to go to the ER when need be and to undergo my own safety, but what I have left with and think back upon from that experience is the grace of learning to find comfort, encouragement, and support from myself, and the true wonder that arises from doing so.  I appreciate the hospital staff, my mom, my family, my friends and everyone that has reached out and sent me so much inspiration and support, but it is when I learn to fully unravel those aspects alone with myself, that I truly feel "all one." The ego continues to bring to me aspects of feeling lonely, and I am learning to get excited when they appear and to feel them and say hello to them and to feel gratitude because I get to learn to shift lonely into alone into all one with myself.

This being said, after undergoing my hospital visits, and learning a little to feel happy being alone and letting lonely dissipate, I was scheduled for an appointment to meet with the neurologist and neuro-oncologist at Cedar Sinai.  Last time I had been there, I had requested to have my entire case transferred over to them, which would include the biopsy sample being sent to their lab to undergo a second evaluation. At the appointment the neuro-oncologist walked in and said hello and than explained to me that their labs had been able to examine the sample.  He stated, "I have some good news for you which is when we took a look at the pathology here on the slide, we felt that it was actually more like a grade 2 oligodendroglioma and less like a 3 oligodendroglioma; so thats great.  Usually when we're talking about things like high grade gliomas versus low grade gliomas, we usually consider high grade to be grade 3 and 4 and low grade to be grade 2."  He noted that in their reports there has been a change. They have stated that, they recognize that it was reported to be a grade 3 by the previous hospital, but their observation has showed no evidence that that is the case and, they believe it to be a grade 2. He described that, to them this means that it is important to keep an eye on things, but that the rate of change and growth is slow and could go years and years with absolutely no change.  He also confirmed that the fact that they compared my MRI from last year to the one that they took this year and that there is no change, confirms to them that it is not a grade 3 tumor.  He exclaimed that we are in a different boat now as far as chemo and radiation goes as their directed treatment, because we are talking about a grade 2 and not a grade 3, as well as an oligodendroglioma which is the type of tumor that is less aggressive.  He described that in terms of treatment that it has been watched for a year and he thinks the best idea is to just keep an eye on it, and if a year from now it hasn't grown to space out MRIs to maybe twice a year or once a year.

This being said, WOW.  A year later getting a second opinion and a different outlook on where deep down, I have felt I have been this entire time, was very moving.  Even though my body has known that that this was the case, there was an amazement to be looked in the eyes by a neuro-oncologist and told what I have already felt all along.  I never had the intention of getting radiation or chemo-therapy, but to have him state that he thought it was best to hold off on such things as to not cause the body any further destruction, caused chills to run through my body in astounding peaceful amazement!!

He agreed with me in the outlook of what I have been experiencing in terms of headaches, seizures, and shifting in my body being associated directly with undergoing the traumatic experience of having my head, skull, brain and body effected by the biopsy.  I am astounded that it is when I learn to fully embrace the challenges and become all one with alone and touch my hands to my heart and tell myself "I love you! I love everything you are, everything you have, and exactly the way you are!" that I have the neuro-oncologist look me in the eyes and tell me exactly what I have been desiring to hear.  I giggle thinking that it is when I fully chose to let go of that desire and throw it to the wind, that it comes and presents itself.

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Welcome. This is my 30th post of this journey. The beginning of this blog was November 26th, 2013  My Journey: The Beginning .  One month pr...