Posted by lttlewys On July 18th, 2014
I am doing something today, that I don’t normally do…. I am writing this post!! Ok, yea, it’s been awhile… seriously! However, this post is different, in that it’s sponsored. Yes, you read that right and while it’s something I rarely do, I do occasionally do!! As you know, this doesn’t change a thing… the thoughts, opinions and words are all my own. Consider yourselves disclosed!!
Now, that we have that out of the way, let me share with you some amazingness!! I was asked to share some thoughts on Jason Mraz and his new album YES! I have a crazy and wild crush on this lovely man. Well, not him ( I’m not opposed to krushing on him, just his music got me first) just really, his MUSIC!!
I love love music, all different types, my playlists and all my songs are an eclectic, frenzic mess. Actually, since it’s me, I call my music tastes Organized Chaos!! And, Mr. Mraz plays in several of my playlists and after listening to his ENTIRE album, I can see that I am going to making some new additions to several of my lists.
Available on Itunes and you will see below, I’ve made it super easy for you to connect, share and see what else Mr. Mraz is doing!! He shares tons of other info, from his tours, his appearances and just his life. It’s rather fascinating!! It is rather amazing to see him share his passion and he is very passionate and humble and charming and… I could go on for days, please click a linky below and see for yourself, you will not be disappointed!!
http://youtube.com/jasonmraz (official label channel)
http://youtube.com/theofficialjasonmraz (official personal/documentary channel)
Now, his new album, YES.. it’s pretty fantastic, it’s wild and lovely and speaks to me!! I have been listening to the album pretty much all day and had to share my favourite song!!
“You Can Rely on Me” This song really hit me, touched me!! Jason is very poignant and passionate ( he is with all his songs) I love the entire, album, really.. this one just spoke a little louder to me!! Especially, watching not a carefully crafted video telling a story, instead, we get to see Jason, singing, just singing. Not just singing, but weaving his story and music together, relaxed and smiling. You feel the power and love shining through!
Take a listen, buy the album and check out #SpreadYes on the interwebz!! And, if you get a chance to see this amazing man… do it!!
Posted by lttlewys On February 22nd, 2014
Yesterday was an anniversary of sorts!! I know most people would tell me to celebrate and well, that is tempting! I have a lot to celebrate and to be grateful for. Only this is a bittersweet day….
One year ago, while in NY celebrating Social Media Week with all my friends, I was actually sitting in Dr. AKME’s office. Getting my clear check! This was my final blood draw, my final mammogram and the last time to use the horrid port still in my chest!!
It had been almost a year to the day when I discovered Morte while on a conference trip to Chicago!!
And, in the blink of an eye, I was battling, fighting and my whole world was spun! Then, it was over and I was shedding the side effects of chemo, I was starting again, I was slowly reclaiming my life back from the whole #BewbLuv journey.
A few nail biting hours later and #BewbLuv was OVER. That’s right, the first stage of this changed life of mine was starting. It’s very strange and surreal feeling. This weight was lifted and the fog was clearing and I suddenly found myself in a world that was foreign.
I didn’t know how to feel, I still don’t know how to feel! A good friend of mine, was quick to tell me all throughout #bewbluv and is still telling me, I am not my cancer. I am NOT my cancer.
It’s true, I am not, my cancer. Only, it became a catalyst of sorts. I am not the same person I was last year or even the year before. Of course, we are all constantly changing, never the same people from day to day. The changes I see in myself are all tied to my cancer, the good, the bad and the krazy. The #BewbLuv journey has profoundly and significantly changed me. And, I have discovered that while the disease is gone, it’s not over. It never will be, not only do I carry the scars, I carry a new perspective on humanity, a coloured view of the World and my place in it.
Like most major experiences, in one’s life this experience has left me befuddled and confused and happy. Funny, right, HAPPY, it’s true, though, I am happy and grateful. Add into the mix the residual side effects of the chemo, and I struggle each day to know who I am. Somedays, I am angry, somedays I am giddy and while, I am not lost exactly, I am not on a specific path and spend a good deal of time getting comfortable and confident with the person I am becoming. AWKWARD
I know all my friends will be sending me well wishes and congratulations for my new anniversary! And, for that I am so grateful! You all are wonderful and I am honoured for your support and encouragement. I know for a fact that without you, I would not have done as well as I did, I would not have been as strong and courageous as I was without you!! Thank you
Posted by lttlewys On March 7th, 2013
Soo, a few weeks ago, I headed back to NY… technically I was there for Social Media week and #cmgrUN! And they were awesome! I will be writing about #cmgrUN over on My Community Manager! The trip to NY also, included my check up appointment for my bewbs! Deep Breath
I procrastinated making my appointment, dreaded that call.. it had been almost 60days since I stopped the chemo. My body had almost stopped hating me for injecting all the horrible drugs, my war with food was mostly over and I just needed Dr. AKME to sign off, to give me magical words…
Only, it turns out there are no magical words. Once you have CANCER, you are always at risk, there is no magical phrase that makes it better. I move from patient to survivor. I am not ok with this. There are no good words for any of this. I heard words, like negative, benign, recurrence, chances are… not you are cured, this is over. *sigh*
So, the appointment, went well… I have gained back most of the weight lost thanks to the lovely chemo and eating only scrambled eggs and Ben and Jerry’s for months. They took the blood, did the mammogram and those tests came back
benign negative!! WooT! I knew all this, I knew my surgeon did a fantastic job and got all the visible cancer. And, she even managed to keep the scars loverly and non-visible! Dr. AKME admired her work and even mentioned how symmetrical the girls are. I know, all superficial but for me, that was good to hear after months of looking at my Chemo ravaged body!!! Did you see, I even haz hair!!!
Now, what’s next… Radiation!! For a whole 24hours, I thought I wasn’t going to have to do this, I thought, I was done. Only, I was a bit premature in this thinking. With my type of cancer, my diagnosis and my age… radiation is a must!! Why? Coz, of my age, coz of the type of cancer! Upside….
The radiation offices have this
I was in awe and shock after walking into the offices buried deep down in the Financial District, after the horrors of my mammogram ( that is a whole nother story) I was leery and a little bit bitter when I arrived. However, the staff… AMAZING, the offices, GORGEOUS, my new Dr. and Tech, there are no words!! And, y’all know me, I am not frequently speechless. I’m going to call new Dr, Dr. RAD… she sat me down, laid it out for me. She told me I wasn’t special. The statistics of recurrence not in my favor. I needed to start radiation. Good news, I don’t have to have much and the side-effects are minimal. In fact, only 33 days. Not such a random number, it’s every day for 10min. And, they get me there. They go above and beyond to make you comfortable, to make the experience painless and completely tailored to you. It’s all about the patient!!
So much so, they were able to do the initial set up while I was there. Dr. RAD sent me off for coffee and when I came back, the Tech was able to get me in, take pics, give me my tattoos! Yup, I was put into this machine, I was x-ray’d and tattooed*! They are goin to focus the radiation where Morte was and then my lymph nodes where minute cancerous cells were found! This will, hopefully, prevent recurrence!!
So… this week, I will be in Austin attending #SXSWi with @Nestivity and @Rawporter! Next week, I will be starting a different gig, ya more about that later!! While, I am looking for a place to live in NY starting the first of April.
*This was not how or where, I was planning on getting my second tattoo! However, they do look like freckles and I haz those, so I’m not going to count these, I have decided!! So, I am still planning for my 2nd tattoo!
Posted by lttlewys On January 15th, 2013
As promised, here is the down, dirty and ugly of the last several months!! Once in NY and finally getting into a treatment program, new doctor and restarting Chemo. It all went pretty fast. By fast, I mean, I consistently got sicker and sicker!!
The Dr. in NY, I’ll call her Dr. Almost Killed Me but Didn’t Mean It or Dr. AkMe for short was brillz!! I went from the not going to help you at all hospital to the amazing wonderful Ralph Lauren Breast Cancer Center! Where everyone was nice, remembered me, bent over backwards to help or even just empathize while not being pitying or condescending!!
Dr. AkMe changed up my treatments a little, I was originally scheduled for 2 differ chemo treatments( that means 4 injections of 2 different types of medicines) over 4mos and she finished the first treatment with no changes, she changed the second treatment a little to accommodate for my health. See, I totally, am an over achiever, I really rocked all the side affects of chemo!! YEA ME! That meant, I was sick as a dog, well, actually sicker…. Treatment was fast-tracked ( That was my bright idea, I don’t recommend it) So, I went to treatment every other week with blood work every week. I steadily lost 5lbs each week, a concern for Dr. AkMe not so much for me. It was only at the end, when you could count my ribs that the loosing weight became an issue. My immune system consistently crashed. That was to be expected and once again I felt the need to over achieve and made sure mine barely registered!! *sigh* I was consistently fighting not only keeping any food down but also, dehydration. Then the fight, got harder…
The second round of chemo was meant to attack my bone marrow and sure as sh*t, it totally did, so while I had finally stopped throwing up ALL the time, now I was dealing with excruciating pain in my joints and bones! Fortunately, Dr. AkMe anticipated this (she is really smart) and upped my pain meds. During all this, I was pretty much on lock-down except for the horrifying Cab rides to treatment!! By the way, Cabbies totally stop FAST when you tell them you have to throw up!!
I realize now, I can throw in my quirky sense of humour and even smile. However, at that time… not only was I struggling with being so incredibly, physically sick…. it ( the Chemo, being Sick) had started to affect my mind, my spirit. I struggled on a daily basis with memory loss, crying jags and the occasional temper tantrum. I was consistently forgetting things, conversations and since I basically slept 20hours a day I was up at odd hours. Not to mention, I was pretty much confined to bed, since I was totally doped on pain meds or nauseous or just plain to weak!! I really didn’t want to talk to people at all.
I know and felt all the concern from all of you, your thoughts and your respectfulness of trying to find out how to help without overstepping and THANK YOU!! I am humbled, honoured and overwhelmed with all of you. Altho, during those dark months, I was consistently angry and bitter at you. I didn’t want to share any of that with you, not until it was ME and not the DRUGS. Yes, I was on so much medication that I wasn’t sure anymore what was Sparkly me and what was Hideous me. I resented your health, your happy lives and how things moved forward for you while I was stuck, consumed with Doctors, drugs and the failings of my body & mind! I wrestled with feelings of shame, remorse and bitterness constantly. And, let’s not forget the WHINING! I was so disgusted with myself, my body and my lack of being able to see the end, So much so, that I walked away from everyone.
After the last treatment, I left NY. I needed a warmer place where I wouldn’t be tempted to go out and socialize once I started to feel better ( We all know that I totally would have, too). I needed to get my head back. I didn’t wanted to leave at all, leaving felt like failure. It was necessary, I wasn’t in a good place and I was completely unemployed and living on my savings. And, go figure, Cancer is freakin’ expensive!! Even with all the help from Ralph Lauren.
I was struggling with who I am, trying to figure out what I wanted to do and reconcille myself to the lost period. I needed first to sleep for weeks and work the rest of the drugs out of my system. I did that. I managed to end my war with food and start eating again. Some foods still make me nauseous, others don’t taste right and some I just find icky. But, we are happy together again! And, Hullo COFFEE!! That’s right, I was off coffee. That was most sad.
I wasn’t ready to share my story. I wasn’t ready to see where you are with your lives. I wasn’t ready to make any decisions. Now, I am ready to share my story. I am loving where all your lives have taken you. The decisions are still hard. I still get angry. I still have gaps in my memory or can’t remember something I know, I know. And, basically, all of my plans, hopes and wants have changed and I don’t know who I am. The Cancer & treatment, took over my life, me. I fought it and denied it but it did anyways. Saving my Bewbs became all consuming, so much so it became who I am. I don’t want to be that person. I will always be a Cancer survivor, in fact, last year will become a defining year in my life. Only, instead of Breast Cancer defining me, I am going define its role in my life. I am going to continue to write about it, support those who need it and advocate for foundations that are supporting this community of brave women and their families!
Lucky for me, I am well loved. Not only am I loved but I am loved by extraordinary people. These people, my friends, most I consider my family, know ME. They are stepping up and showing me who I am, that I am ok and holding my hand while I dip my toes back into the world of the living. Well, I was dipping my toes then just decided to dive right back in by attending #NMX and #CES!!
What’s next?? Several things… I am job hunting, looking for a community management role somewhere. I go back to Dr. AkMe for a check up. I probably don’t need any more treatment but may need to take medication for the next few years to prevent the Cancer from coming back. I will be heading back to New York. I am back partnering with Tim McDonald and MyCommunityManager, producing our #cmgrUN conference series for 2013. I am also, working with Sam Fiorella and Danny Brown with their new book Influence Marketing launch/tour in May!!
Posted by lttlewys On January 14th, 2013
Soooo, what’s a girl to do when wavering about getting back into something that was a passion and is no longer??? She attends #NMX, of course!!!
I completely and utterly shocked several people, after being offline for the last several months (I’ll tell you bout that later)!! Frankly, I shocked myself, I had no intention of attending #NMX. I am thinking I owe Sam a very huge Thank You!! I have been slowly working my way back online, wavering back and forth as to whether I wanted to commit or switch careers. I just wasn’t feeling passionate or interested in being Social or being in the SocialVerse.
Totally crazy and amazing!!! If you are ever doubting what you do, what you love or are passionate about…. go hang out with people that share your passion!! Find those people that are excited and just enjoy the conversation, energy and creativity flowing around you!!
This year, was my second #NMX and was soo much better then before. I’ve been trying to figure out why. It’s possible that I have changed so much from last year, this year, I was definitely a lot lost or perhaps, it was the people… I met so many new people!! Yes, many that were there speaking or attending, I knew and had met, talked to, shared meals with and were happy to connect again!! Yet, so many, I hadn’t met, had no idea who they were and whoa, did I make some amazing connects!!!
As what normally happens at a Social Conference, I didn’t make a lot of sessions!! Each morning, I went through the schedule and chose sessions from topic or speaker and tried to make those. There weren’t a lot of sessions that I wanted to sit in on based on the topic, but the speakers… there were several!! Most I had not seen speak before and was excited about that and then there were my favs that I love hearing speak. Even doing that, I only made it to couple of sessions!! Mostly coz I got drawn into some amazing conversations, meeting people…
That then led to small and intimate dinners or meandering down, err up? to Starbucks to gather some more details!! Luv that, I still made it to the networking events, but always had meals with four or five people!! It was these little intimate dinners/coffees that not only was biz discussed but interests and sense of humour quirks really came out!! I even spent an amazing dinner with Diane and Steve Brogan from Mom Pop Wow!!
I totally borrowed all these pics!! I discovered that I really didn’t take that many, except this really cool one of Wine!! Thanks, Readz for hosting such a great event and Anne, my new Bestie, for dragging me along!!
Posted by lttlewys On August 27th, 2012
I have been putting off this post, well, actually, I’ve written it out a few different times and in a few different ways and it never sounded right, never felt right. I have finally just decided it’s never going to sound or feel right.
I started chemo again, after a very long and complicated break, with much thanks and some amazing wonderful people, I was able to get into the right program (I’m unisured, remember) and start my chemo again. And, damn, if it didn’t just kick my ass and throw me down. It was horrible and tomorrow, I go again. I can’t even tell you how much I am dreading it. Each time, I think I’m ready for the drugs, that I am prepared, I’m not.
Sadly, I wish, the drugs were my only obstacle. The reason, I have not shared or been open. I have been hiding. Hiding my shame, my anger and my bitter disappointment. In myself. Shame, that I’m not coping well with this last round of chemo, anger that my body, the meds are destroying everything. Hiding while I try to figure who I am, what I am doing. Disappointment is a funny thing, it becomes harsher as it’s directed at ourselves and our internal voices perceive it so largely the negative vibes can no longer be shaken off.
I never wanted to be consumed by my treatments, have my health and medical take the drivers seat in my life, yet, that is exactly what happened. I realize that I am lucky, that this won’t last forever… In fact, I have one last treatment of the Red Devil and then I switch treatments and will be done with chemo mid-November!! Woot, rite?
Yes, that is a good thing. Only, I am struggling. Struggling with what the drugs are doing to me, the ironies of the medicine that is supposed to be healing me, is slowly eating away at my mind, stealing what health my body had and is carving into the person that I am and turning me into someone I don’t know. I don’t know who I am anymore.
That is more frightening to me then the Cancer ever was. It’s not about having “Chemo Brain” and forgetting milk at the store or lunch with a friend, it’s not about throwing up in the nearest trash can on 6th Ave or Central Park or in the Subway station ( actually, not as bad as it sounds, NY has lots of trash cans), it’s not even the fact that I “forget”to temper my tongue and speak my mind before I filter it. I struggle with everyday things, with what my body tells me versus what my mind wants to do. I can no longer tell what is the drugs and what is me. I fight with myself constantly, pushing harder and then giving in. Tamping down feelings and temper tantrums, only to have a single outburst over a silly thing and crying jags.
It’s a lot, I’m going through a lot. My mind acknowledges this. My body hates it. I despise it. There is a lot of confusion in my head and a lot of screaming (as one’s inner voice can only do)!! There is no shame in my weakness, yet I am overwhelmed with it. I turn down offers of help, not because I don’t appreciate them but because I don’t know what to do with them, I don’t know how to ask for what I am looking for… I don’t know!! Yea, that’s a lot of I don’t knows coz guess what… I don’t know and that is agonizing for me.
It is no longer enough to talk with my friends, to turn to twitter for amusement and cheering up. I feel myself withdrawing, spending more time in my head and that is not a good thing. I am spinning in this never ending tilt-a-whirl that is full of sickness and confusion.
Now, before, y’all get your knickers in a bunch and start in on me… I have already come to the conclusion that it’s time for help. I’m crazy and while I occasionally do stupid things, I’m not dumb. I, also, know it’s going to take some time to get my groove back and become balanced. That forevermore, my life is changed and change is good. Even though currently, the changes are bleak and dismal.
I don’t know what is going to happen over the next few days, since I have chemo in the morning and I’m ok with that I’m well stocked in Jello and sprite (Both of which, I really, really don’t like) Hmmmm, I wonder if I could find someone to make me some Jello Jigglers maybe that would make it more palatable!!