Category Archives: Speak

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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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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So every hospital has great and amazing staff I am sure but no other place has the top shelf, better then I have ever seen, on top of their game folks like Northwestern Medicine.  From the awesome top doc, Dr Burt all the way up to the folks who make the stay manageable in Awesome Alshleey I have been blown away and just simply blessed by Gods grace in these folks hands. Ahsleey, (shown in the picture to the left with her permission) let me pose for a snap as she made her work a blessing for me in the form of a smile, a clean room and always having a smile in her voice, words and willingness to assist with the cleanliness of the room.  I am blown away by her support.  Simple tasks you may say but man is it different when they are done with clear pride…

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So the sun peeks through the plastic, very beige curtains to awake me to the first thought today: it’s sunny! Quickly followed by “This is the last big step before I get to become Betsy 2.0”.  I am laying in my hospital bed, in an amazing facility in one of my all time favorite cities! The windy city, Chicago! Out that same window I see Lake Michigan, a sprawling city and views of the med school that has taught and is teaching these great folks how to combine science, brains, decades of research together for my perfect storm.  Take a disease that one day at a time is trying to kill me and flip the script!  Flip that completely and re-educate my immune system to stop giving me “the dermas”. The fixed schedule is almost exhausted as I’m finishing up “Day – 1” (Tuesday).  Day-6 through Day-2 has been chemo…

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