Author Archives: Betsy Craig

Have you ever tried so hard to make something work out only to fall flat? Felt like swimming upstream was you go to on a daily basis and watched others seem to be able to live with easy? It is amazing how trying to hold your breath to get through hard times used to work all the time. As we grow, succeed in our lives seems that more is needed when more is expected. How can we increase our happiness? Increase the satisfaction each day? Not everyone was born into a family where gratitude was practiced. In fact, as I have seen my life grow and change dramatically, it has only been in the last 1/4 th of my life did it even make sense to me that I needed a true game changer. You see a gratitude practice might in fact be the game changer I needed but I…

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In the last almost 18 months since I was given my Stem Cell transplant I am simply in awe of the “journey”. Today, as I dare myself to slow down long enough to reflect my heart is drawn back here to share or at least begin to share the massive part I believe Gratitude has had in it all. Back in 1985 I was given the cute little phrase, have an attitude of gratitude. If I look at the glass as half full and not half empty I will enjoy each day so much better. Jaded as I was about this prospect I still none the less learned how to look at things as blessings. Some days/years much more so than others. When I turned up sick in 2004 having an attitude of Gratitude took on a whole different meaning. I could and did feel better when I looked at…

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I am standing at the edge just before the book gets officially launched tomorrow June 5, 2018.  How did that happen?  Does anyone know?  You see 14 months ago I thought OK, it’s time to finally write this book.  Time to share how I didn’t die and started to live differently as a result.  My life changed and as a result I now get to change others lives. The book I wrote outlines 10 principles I used to fight Scleroderma, learned thought out my life and now have applied to business.  Story being, it has been hard but worth it and now look at the impact that can be had.  See how after a short period of time and a lot of strength from within and without anything is possible. Do you know you too can do anything you set your mind to?  I know you can.  I have seen…

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Staring in the mirror in the bathroom my husband says “Hey hon, what are you staring at?” “My back” I answer. But that’s not the real answer…. the real answer is I can see it.  I can stand in the bathroom, back to the mirror and turn my head far enough to actually see the reflection of my back in the mirror.  My whole back. The realization hits me slowly at first like something coming from a distance and slowly comes into focus as it approaches. I can turn my head. Full range of motion. On day + 6 after transplant I had my only really down day.  It was the night I chased everyone out.  Would not let Rocky stay in the room over night.  I was laying there in bed, tears in my eyes thinking through some “stuff” that was things I could not change from my past,…

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Right now everything is about numbers.  What time did I take my last temperature?  What was that temperature? How many hours sleep have I had? How much did I actual eat? How many days til I go home and so on and so on. Feeling like numbers are running my life a little more so then usual but hey, I have a life for them to run so I think I will count that as a win. We were released from the hospital on Friday to return to the comfort and safety of the condo.  What a true gift from a truly remarkable man this condo has been!  I went from a 20 x 20 room to a 2 bedroom beautiful luxurious spread overlooking the city of Chicago.  I am sure you can image how amazing that felt and feels still to this moment. (how is this my life?) As…

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They say its my NEW birthday.  A brand new start to my immune system however it feels like just another Wednesday to me. Maybe all the gowns and lab coats, the big container being rolled into my hospital room or the seriousness of it all should set a different stage. It doesn’t change how I am feeling. Excited, relieved I am final at this place ready to rock and roll the next phase of this Stem Cell Transplant. As the team does rounds in the early morning of April 11th I inform them they are making a major new dividing line in my life.  A true before and after. I will forever remember this particular day before and after.  Nothing will be the same for me. Nothing. It will be a new parting of the pieces of my life.  No idea how profound it will be.  I am simply stepping…

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My stem cell transplant was of the Auto type.  Me donating to myself my own stem cells.”There are two basic types of stem cell transplants and several good sources for these cells. You and your doctor will decide together on the best choice for you. The main types are: Autologous (“Auto”) Stem Cell Transplant This type of transplant uses your own stem cells. Most transplants for multiple myeloma and relapsed non-Hodgkin’s or Hodgkin lymphoma are autologous. Advantages: Less risk of rejection or graft-versus-host disease, in which the new donor cells think your cells are foreign and attack them. Quicker engraftment. Fewer side effects. How It Works: Your own stem cells are collected, frozen, and stored. You have “conditioning treatment” with chemotherapy and possibly radioimmunotherapy to kill the cancer cells and the immature stem cells left in your bone marrow. Your previously collected stem cells are thawed and transplanted back into…

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You know you have drebilitating fatigue when: You choose to wear yesterday’s clothes because they passed the sniff test and you can’t possibly add another item to your laundry. If you did that you’d have to carry it, wash it, dry it, and put it away. It’s all too much. Your arms feel disconnected and heavy as if they belong to someone other than yourself and your legs, you’re quite certain, have been glued to the floor. You once loved to read but now the hardback books have become too heavy and paperback books have to be held open. It’s all too much to bear. You find yourself lying in front of the TV, mindlessly changing channels. When you try to read for an extended period of time, your eyelids develop a confounding weight and close when you least expect it. They close like broken garage doors as they slam…

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