Beloved friends, as many of you are already aware, Paulette died peacefully at her Bethany, CT home on Tuesday, September 5. Family and friends from around the globe will gather today and tomorrow (September 15 and 16, 2017) to celebrate her beautiful life.
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Still on the Journey
Twelve years ago today was one of the most joy-filled days of my entire life. I married my love Marc Clinton at my home church in Buffalo, New York. My father officiated the ceremony that was attended by 400 of our closest friends and church family members. Our day was extraordinarily special, happy, and love-filled. It represented a union of love, family, and friendships that spanned the years.
One year ago, God saw fit to have me go through a literal brick wall. I emerged on the other side, unscathed, to continue to fulfill my mission in the world. If God brought me through that, then surely this year as I face a figurative brick wall, I will again emerge unscathed.
I was admitted on Saturday (July 1) to the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale University in Downtown New Haven, CT. As I am sure you can imagine, it was a setback for me. As I have shared in my past few blog posts, I have spent the past few months doing significant research into alternative cancer treatments. I was ready to move forward on the next stage of my journey. My setback is certainly a disappointment, but it has revealed some beautiful things. In these past days, this bump in the road has shown that I am blessed beyond measure.
I have spent much of the past week in a doctor’s office. I had four appointments, to be exact. It all started on Tuesday when I saw a new (to me) oncologist in Trumbull, CT. Let’s call him Dr. F. I sought out Dr. F.’s opinion upon the recommendation of a member of the Exceptional Cancer Patients (ECAP) support group of which I am also a member. Our leader is the internationally known surgeon-turned-author and spiritual guru Bernie Siegel. The purpose of my appointment with Dr. F. was to seek a second opinion about the next course of treatment on my metastatic breast cancer journey. Our first meeting can be summed up in one word: FABULOUS!
Hello friends, as always, it’s good to be back with you this week. This is a milestone for me – my 20th blog post! Thank you all for following my story and supporting me on my cancer healing journey. I’m writing you today from the beautiful, picturesque mountains of Vermont, where I’ve come for a few days of intensive therapy for my lymphedema, one of the side effects of my treatment for breast cancer.
The past several months on my metastatic breast cancer journey have been challenging ones. Earlier this month, my husband Marc and I visited my former naturopathic doctor, Dr. Aviva Wertkin, in Brattleboro, VT. It has been almost four years since I last saw her.
Last Thursday night, March 30, when I was folding laundry and watching MSNBC, it must have been divine intervention that led me to turn to ABC after I’d had enough of the so-called news talk for the day. The time was 8:05 pm, and unknowingly, I had turned to Grey’s Anatomy. Although I can’t tell you the last time I saw this show, from the moment I saw the title, “Be Still My Soul”, I was intrigued.
There are many definitions of faith, but the one I choose to stand on comes from Hebrews 11:1. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” I don’t see my healing right now, but I’m certain of it. I hope every day for my healing and I’m sure of it, even when I feel bad, even when I have epileptic seizures, even as I sit in the doctor’s office getting my blood drawn or having a scan, even when I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Divine power needs no charging station or electrical outlet; divine power does not depend on a battery. We are the ones who need charging, so we need to plug into the nearest rest stop to make it happen.
This past weekend, I had two extraordinary experiences with two of my dearest friends in two of America’s greatest cities – my childhood BFF Liz in New York City and my college BFF Rochelle in Chicago.
I feel sick. My head is pounding and my stomach is unsettled. No, I don’t need to see a doctor. I feel this way because of the current state of our health care system. Yesterday, the Republicans unveiled a so-called plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that has been in place for the past 7 years, also known as Obamacare. It claims that it will lower health care costs (for who?), bring down artificially high drug prices (again, for who?), and give people greater choices in selecting health care that meets their needs. Let me tell you about my own personal experience with the ACA over the past five years and you will see why I am so disturbed.
Being exceptional has been a hallmark of my mine throughout this journey. This is not just due to my four cancer diagnoses, which have already set me apart from anyone I know personally, but also because of how I have faced each new roadblock and prayerfully discerned the best ways to overcome it. At all times, I have been convinced that I can do all things through the Mighty One who gives me strength each day.
I ask all of you reading this to pray with me that by Easter, also known as Resurrection Sunday, my physical body will be restored and show no evidence of cancer. That has happened before on this journey and I have full faith that it will happen again. I’m draining the swamp so I can get there.
Buffalo, New York was the setting of the first lap of my cancer race, and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute there held the baton during that lap, which lasted just under a year. Being a complete novice to the world of cancer, it was the doctors and nurses there who introduced me to its complicated terrain. The words of one physician in particular are still embedded within me to this day. He told me that as a result of my cancer diagnosis, I would now be receiving a plethora of advice and recommendations from numerous doctors. However, and these words were key, he stated that I did not have to do what any of them said. He let me know that this was my journey, and that I was ultimately in charge of making all the decisions pertaining to my treatment.
Cancer. What do you think of when you hear this word? When I was growing up, and even as a young adult, I never thought much about cancer at all. If I did think about it, it was because I’d heard about it in a movie, or on a television show, or somewhere far away. It had absolutely nothing to do with me or my life, or anyone close to me. On November 27, 2000, that forever changed when I was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer. I was 33 years old.