Friday, April 5, 2013

A Work in Progress

I mean this blog.

But it could apply to me, too.

I just noticed it has been about 2 1/2 years since I last posted here. So much has happened in that time. My world has changed significantly in a number of ways. The me I used to know is wondering how we got to this point. In some ways grateful and in some ways, in pain.

Life is "wonderfully" unpredictable (note sarcasm).

Every time I think I have found "the" thing that I am "supposed" to do, live tells me uh-uh. There's something more. Something different. This moment, this thing, was only a stepping stone to the next moment, the next thing.

It doesn't give me much of a choice or an ability to settle in. Even the nomadic life of sorts that I have lived works that way, too. At one point I figured out I averaged a move every 4 years, or so, and that trend seems like it may be close to holding.

I loved doing my radio show, but I was finding myself limited for several reasons. There wasn't much that I could do advertising-wise on BlogTalkRadio. They were very restrictive in their conditions. I also didn't know the kinds of things people say advertisers want to know.

So while I loved doing the show, I was spending a lot of time and energy talking to people and creating it and not making any money. I had to make money so it became something I did once a month with someone I knew. In that way there was no energy spent. It was just something I would get on and do and the rest would take care of itself.

But something still wasn't right.

I didn't know what. And then one day we did a show and there was a blow up - of sorts - at the end of the show and it created a huge brouhaha amongst this woman's followers. We talked about how it could be a "good" thing that it happened, and we were going to discuss what transpired. But then, radio silence - on her end.

I decided at that point that I wasn't going to do any more shows - for the moment, not knowing how long that moment would last. It was always in the back of my mind, but couldn't seem to make it to the forefront. I was working so hard at trying to make a living and make something happen, I just didn't have the time or energy to figure it out.

Then May of 2012 happened. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Work of any type came to pretty much an abrupt standstill. I had thought about kicking up the radio show again given the fact that I wasn't doing much else, but I just didn't have it in me to do it. I was so often tired and never knew how I would feel from day-to-day, moment-to-moment. I didn't know that I could do it. So I didn't.

December of 2012 came and I needed to get back to work. Funds were running low. When I was diagnosed with cancer I had a goal to get to the end of the year, but the thing was that I was now effectively out of business and had to figure out what direction I was going to take. That, in and of itself, is not the easiest thing to do, but then I also found myself still at the mercy of chemo.

What they don't tell you in the media is how your story of cancer doesn't end when chemo does. They don't tell you going in to treatment that odds are good you will be affected by chemo a good 6-12 months after treatment. They don't tell you that it will be difficult to do things still. They don't tell you any of these things.

In a way, it is good. I say that because maybe each person's experience is unique. Maybe it won't be the case for everyone. I didn't want too much info myself about things, as I didn't want to create things for myself. If you know what can happen, you can sometimes create it. But because of that I was often shooting in the dark.

Things happened (and still happen) that I don't know what to do with. Is it something I should be concerned about? Is it due to the chemo? Is it due to cancer? So many questions and in the middle of dealing with the physical issues, I need to live life. I need to pay the bills.

I need to beg.

I have so hated that last one. None of the pieces have been particularly pleasant, but begging has been the worst. If only I could find the "magical" way of making a living. If only one of the many talents I am told I have could net me an income.

If only I was a better businesswoman.

So as I have dealt with these issues, I have blogged elsewhere ( I didn't blog here because at first I wasn't sure I wanted to be so public about my situation. It was extremely uncomfortable to have to come out of the "cancer closet." I so didn't want to do it, but decided to so that people would know who they might consider helping. If I put a name and a face on things and they knew that I was legit, perhaps it would help.

Well. Maybe. But I am not so sure. Many still look at me with a skeptical eye. My blog was on Blogger. Because of that, my legitimacy was called into question by someone. The last thing a person dealing with cancer needs to be concerning themselves with is how to to do a blog on a platform that is considered "legitimate."

I realize that people will be skeptical. I realize there have been some really good scammers out there. At the same time, all I have ever asked is for someone to use their gut feeling when interacting with me. All I have ever asked is for them to read my blog, view my videos, talk to me, get to know me. Not everything all the time, but to get a sense.

We live in a world that is often swayed by others dictates because we are not in tune with ourselves and our own inner drummers. I suspect we would have less issues if we could be better in tune with ourselves and the things that suit us.

Even if someone didn't want to do that in relation to me, if they could at least learn to stop being reactive to labels and associations in their day-to-day life, they might benefit in some way. At least, by my way of thinking.

And if you know anything about me you know that the way I think tends to often go against the prevailing tide. I often feel like I am standing alone. Some would say that is a leader. Others would say that means I am in the wrong place.

I don't know what I say, other than for some unknown, often frustrating, reason I am often left standing alone. In the midst of cancer, it has made me wonder more than once if there is a reason for me to be here.

And yet, when given the opportunity, people have told me how valuable they have found my words, how valuable who I am is, how much I have to offer. So I must be doing something right. Those times I call my "It's a Wonderful Life" moments. If you know the movie, George Bailey only gets to find out all of the difference he made for others after he effectively was removed from their lives.

So many times we do things, but have no clue what we have done, or know what impact we have made. We may never know.

And, it sucks.

When you are deciding whether you are going to live or die, it would be nice to know that you matter. As I write this, I think it also applies in a "metaphorical" sense, too, as we live or die in a way every day. I think many people would be helped by knowing how much they matter in the world.


Back to the radio show.

At some point in December or January I reached out to a radio show about being a guest, and then I forgot about it. For a while I didn't hear anything. When the call came in response, it was not about being a guest, but about me having my own show on the network.

After speaking with the person who called for quite some time, I asked what it would take to be on the network. It was a hefty answer: $1500. Apparently it was a steal of a deal. I gulped. That was a lot of money. I was barely surviving; there was no way I could legitimately spend that kind of money. That was almost 3 months of health insurance premiums.

But I was told that if I did have a show, I would have a lot of freedom around how I handled it, and that I could get sponsorships in a different way than BTR would allow, and better yet, I could keep it all. The wheels started to turn. I wasn't sure I was ready to make the move, but this was a good deal. I had to do it.

But how?

I thought of a person who might be able to assist, and I approached him on it. To my delight, he agreed. But I didn't get the money right away. I was holding my breath a bit while I waited. Too often lately things have not happened the way that they were "supposed" to. I was hoping I would not again be disappointed.

Thankfully he came through as I started to make plans to go forward. I wanted a logo for the show and I had someone in mind. I sent her a message, and while I waited for a response, I put out other feelers, as a back up plan. That is when Christina Aldan showed up (Lucky Girl Designs). When the other person said she was willing to help, but couldn't for a few weeks, Christina and I began to work together.

And in some ways, it could not be more perfect. She created an awesome logo, and thanks to a design choice on her part she gave me the inspiration for a tagline that I could never seem to come up with.

In the process of talking, we also came to an agreement about a website. When she said she could build a site for me, I knew there was an obvious choice: At this writing, the site is not yet up. However I am hoping to have the beginnings of the site up by the premiere date of April 8th.

In the midst of all of this, an aunt that I was very close to while growing up, and aunt who in many ways was like a mother to me, passed away. Everything in my life was put on hold as I went to NY for the funeral and to deal with the emotional tidal waves of being around my family.

I still have a lot more to do. And nothing is perfect - or ever will be. Nothing I ever have done has ever been, for that matter. As I said, a Work in Progress. And yet, I continue to move forward. I continue to do. I continue to be tired. And this is where my path now takes me.

There is more to do and more to come. *Fingers crossed* that this is the point that all paths have been leading to and that an income will soon come. I am very excited about all of the things that I am thinking and creating, and extremely excited about the possibilities.

While I will continue to post on Blogger, it will also simultaneously be posting on the site so you will be able to keep up in either place. In addition, I will be continuing to post on It would be nice to one day be all in one place, and maybe that will happen. But in the meantime, I am going to be doing my all too usual creative dance of being a  little bit in a lot of places.

If it helps at all, my intention at the moment is to have this blog be about the show and its guests. The Relating to cancer blog will be more about me and what is going on, in addition to things about cancer and the experience of cancer.

I will do my best to make sense...but that may be asking a lot of me at the moment, LOL. If you have any questions, though, please do ask!

Thanks for your time and attention, and I hope you can (and will!) join me live:

Podcasts will be available on an individual - or subscription - basis. This is something else I am excited about, as it will be a way that people can help me and get something from it for themselves. I may wind up with some sort of business model after all. LOL.

I look forward to taking this journey with you.

Thanks for being a part of it.

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