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Catherine’s Lessons

With 1 in 4 people being diagnosed with some kind of cancer, another story may not be that

interesting…., but what makes it valuable is sharing the personal lessons that one is able to

learn along the journey.

We’re conditioned to respond deeply and seriously to a cancer diagnosis as many of us have

lost loved ones to cancers, many times after long, harsh treatments that do not extend life.

First and foremost, and an aspect all of us can learn from, is facing death with acceptance, grace

and dignity whenever it may happen.  I heard recently during a meditation that we need to be

at peace with our dying before healing can begin.  Cancer brings this to the forefront which I

believe is a positive and healthy view.

My husband asked me the other day, “If this were your last day, what would you do ?”  My answers

included communicating to every person I love of that fact, enjoying delicious, favorite foods, as much

as I could hold, sitting in the sunshine, holding hands, laughing, admiring our beautiful world and

soaking in that wonderful peace that flowers, trees and nature feed me.  A peaceful, happy day !!

Why do I have to think this is my last day to do those things that bring peace and enjoyment?  What

if I did even one or two of them every day?

My own journey started 3 years ago with a surprise Ovarian Cancer diagnosis followed by surgery

chemo and being cancer free for 2.5 years before being surprised again to learn my cancer had

returned.  (We were on our way to spend the holiday with family in California when I was hospitalized

with a kidney stone in New Mexico!! The CT showed my cancer had recurred..)

Since chemo worked the first time, I reluctantly decided to do that again but after one treatment with

all the horrible side effects, I decided to try alternative therapies and only use chemo as a last resort.

There is a lot of information available on alternative treatments and much of what I’m practicing came

from a series of podcasts we watched called, “The Truth About Cancer, a Global Quest” which I highly

recommend…also a book called “Radical Remissions” and another series called, “Chris Beat Cancer.”

The information took away the fear of cancer and gave me hope. Many of these therapies are still not

available in the US but knowledge is changing this and hopefully more treatments will be available to

us locally in the future.

For now, I am focusing on nutrition and supplements to build my own immune system, exercise,

meditation, and receiving and giving love to myself and others. Right now, I feel healthy, eat and

sleep well and focus on enjoying this day that I woke up to with joy and peace.  It isn’t always easy

but absolutely necessary for healing and wholeness.

The kayak trip represents another important therapy available to any human in need of physical,

emotional or spiritual support; that being the positive acts of others to uplift, feed our souls and

bring positive joy in the midst of trying times.

Peace and love and thanks to my niece Danelle (and all the kayakers)  for honoring my journey

and to everyone else who has given me positive love and support.  Stay safe and be open to the

lessons in front of you.

Catherine

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Reflections and the MST Section 6

The Trail

Sunday my husband drop me off to hike the Stone Mountain Park of Section 6 and start section 5 of the MST. My plan was to stay and hike for seven days.

 After setting my tent up in the rain and parking my car on the parkway, miles away from where I was, he left. I was alone, a little anxious but excited. Unfortunately it rained all night long and I had to sit in my tent for a couple hours even before it got dark, however, I did stayed warm and cozy. I woke up before dawn and made an awesome cup of coffee, got packed up and started walking to Widows Creek trail.

 The Widow’s Creek Trail and camp site F are definitely two places I hold as sacred space in that park. I camped there last year in April on my very first backpack vision quest alone. Last year my reasons for going were to let go of a few things that were really weighing me down, and to find some clarity for the next phase of my life.

 I truly believe that “as within, so without”. The things I had to let go of were necessary in order for me to close the door and step through a new one. I had a very difficult time doing this. For over two years our house was not selling, I owed several years of back taxes that involved my family’s business that I no longer was a part of, and other things lingering that just were not moving. Most of them were related to the business or my family. I felt so stuck and knew I had to go deeper. In a weird sort of way, even though I wanted all these things to get taken care of and desperately wanted to move forward, I think I was holding on to them in some weird way because dependence on my family is all that I knew. Although negative, I was still hanging on to what was familiar.

I went up on that mountain to claim my independence and own it. It was actually a very scary thing to take a leap of faith into a void not yet filled, into the unknown future that was mine and mine alone.

I did it, and amazingly enough I came home and my husband told me someone was buying our house. All those things then got taken care of within a year.

Because I did take the leap of faith into an unknown void, Whispers of Nature was given to me on that mountain, the vision and clarity I was searching for. The next phase of my life.

Things happen from the inside out. No doubt.

Back to the trail,

The trail is one of the most beautiful trails I have ever hiked. It winds up the side of a mountain along a beautiful stream the entire way to the campsite. It is lined with little purple violets, ferns, and other beautiful wildflowers along the path. I see more heart shaped rocks on this path than anywhere else. There are a couple of foot bridges, and streams without footbridges you have to cross. There is a beautiful double waterfall as you get closer to the campsite.

 The trail to the campsite leads up above the waterfalls and campsite F is the one at the very end of the path with the river and a mountain surrounding three sides of the site. There is also a huge heart shaped rock to sit on beside the massive fire pit. I originally picked this site because there is less of a chance people will be walking by. You are definitely secluded up there.

When I arrived to the campsite, the sun had found its way through the clouds and it was absolutely beautiful. I Immediately took of my hiking boots and changed them for my flip flops and soaked my feet in the very cold water. I set up my tent and started to think about building a fire. As I looked around for some fire wood, the sun disappeared and the rain began to fall. I got in my tent hoping the rain would stop soon.