Wendy Lerman Blog

An addendum to the website http://www.wendylerman.com

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A New Space For Me

My family moved into a two- family house before I turned one. This house has been occupied by many generations of my mom’s side of the family.

My bedroom is small and leads to a tiny room, which at one time was a porch. It was this tiny room that I occupied until I was the only one left to live here.

I’ve been using this tiny room as a closet until today. I dream of living in a house that includes two levels of living, more than one bathroom, any amount of space to utilize as my office and a fenced in yard so my dog can run free but safely. Perhaps one day my dream will become reality but I believe my work, or lack thereof has been put on a standby mode because I don’t have a comfortable space where I can feel free and create. A few days ago I decided to empty out this tiny room and find a way to incorporate a space for me to work. Sitting on my bed to write just wasn’t cutting it anymore.

I still continue to envision myself secluded for a few weeks on a beachfront property where I will take all my writing and compile my book this summer. This is one dream I will not give up on.

While it’s still a work in progress, I am now sitting in my new and tiny space but it’s all mine and I love it.

I am now convinced that everyone should have their own space regardless of how they use it. Do you have one?

WL&L,
Wendy

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 1:35 PM 2 Comments Links to this post

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wishful Thinking

One of my stories from my chemo days (my hair was just starting to fall out) ended with me ripping it out in huge masses and throwing it at the pharmacy technician.

I held out hope that somehow I could obtain video footage but I finally got a hold of the man in charge and they don't go that far back. I not only wanted to see it myself, but give you all that kind of belly-aching, "laugh so hard you cry" laugh.

Looks like I'll have to try my best to create a visual with my writing.
Until then~

WL&L

Wendy

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 2:49 PM 1 Comments Links to this post

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

From Rabbit Hole to “AHA!” Moment

The week leading up to my hospital admission was full of orchestrated events and full of signs and clues — unknown to me at the time–but thankfully revealed in due time.

The opportunity to work two additional jobs opened up for me that week. One of them I help fill in occasionally and the other—at a florist— was temporary through Valentine’s Day. The days were very long but despite being exhausted, I was excited.

Besides having some extra unplanned and much needed money to help with bills, I decided that no matter what, I was taking as much as I needed to enroll in my level one Reiki course. This is something that has been eating away at me. I have been kicking myself for not doing it sooner. One of my dreams has been to become a Reiki Master. There are so many ways I know I can “give back”. Through Reiki, I have no doubt the amount of people I will help.

I worked at the florist the entire day on Saturday and I had two more full days to work. By the time I got home on Saturday, my arm was hurting me pretty bad. Because of my Lymphedema, I knew I had to take care of it or I could be in big trouble. I was too late. Somehow I knew this but was in a state of denial.

I climbed into bed and was trembling all over. I was hopeful until my temperature rose slightly and I knew it was only a matter of time before it would spike and this would, in turn, lead to sepsis. I had to go to the hospital and I knew I would be admitted. My daughter helped me pack.

It didn’t take long to establish that I was being admitted. I was settled in an ER bay and approached with an offer by the doctor. He told me that I could be admitted to Brigham, or choose to transfer to their other hospital, Faulkner, with which I am very familiar with as well. He went on to point out that Faulkner is comprised of all private rooms and free parking. This I already know. I also know that it’s beautiful and the food is exceptionally good! It should have been a no-brainer. My impulse was to take the offer but my instinct (which I call my “nag”) said no. It was so difficult. I went back and forth in my head and I struggled with the decision.

I decided to listen to my nag and stay put.

Once admitted and settled in my room, it dawned on me that I was there for a reason bigger than the obvious. I was so busy feeling the anguish over the fact that my plans for the next few days have been thwarted and once again I have fallen down a Rabbit Hole. Why?

I know the Rabbit Hole all too well. Now it was time to practice what I preach. The Rabbit Hole opened below me for a reason. I know what I’m supposed to do when I fall. Having the courage is one thing, having the faith is quite another. This is a test. The difficult part for me is, lack of patience. I know full well that if I do what I’m supposed to do, the answers will be revealed. But it could be hours, days, weeks or months before I get my “AHA!” moment. Ugh!

Recognizing this gave me a smidget of hope. It was a baby step and I felt good so I knew I was in the right direction. I know that my job, once I fall down, is to just… be. Be extra good to myself. Pamper myself. Find joy somehow. Do something until I feel inspired. Open up, pay attention and watch for the clues. Go with the flow from that place inside that can only be accessed if you surrender and trust in yourself.

Okay, so far so good.

I was feeling better both physically and mentally until the doctor approached me with a fact that threw me off balance. The blood cultures began to grow something out that could potentially be a strain of bacteria that tends to attach itself to the heart valves. Because of my heart rate and a new murmur they were hearing, there was a good possibility that I would need some pretty invasive tests, which, if positive, might require me to spend the next four-to-six weeks. I went on to freak out for the next several hours. Was I wrong about everything? For goodness sakes, don’t surf the internet.

It took some time for me to gather myself. It’s so hard to gain perspective and distinguish the truth when faced with options, especially when one consists solely on blind faith. I took another leap of faith and knew deep down that I could not abandon my belief. I continued to go with the flow. This new, unexpected possibility was just another bump-in-the-road to delay me and I would be fine as long as I stuck by myself. I had to check back in, how did I feel? Good? Okay-still on the right track (I hope).

Wednesday arrived and my chances for releasewere 99%. Capri, one of my favorite nurses, came on duty that morning which made the day even better. I made some friends while I was there and a part of me was sad to go. I was also able to re-connect with a former classmate who is a nurse and works the overnight shift. I had many wonderful experiences during my stay and will perhaps share them at another point in time.

Carpri entered my room to ask me if I was interested in receiving a free Reiki treatment. Apparently it was Reiki Wednesday and she was asked to choose patients to receive Reiki. This made me so happy because I really needed a treatment. I have such an abundance of empathy- which makes being in certain surroundings all the more challenging. This is just what I needed and when I needed it the most.

Later that morning, a very sweet and gentle older woman entered my room to treat me with Reiki. She asked if I ever heard of it. “Heard of it? Yes, since I first received it during my cancer treating days, I have always yearned to learn it and become a Reiki Master. I thought I was finally on my way to earning the money to begin my courses but I ended up in the hospital”. She replied “My dear, what if I told you that you could take your level one and two Reiki courses here, for free, but the only condition is that you would be required to donate one hundred hours of your time treating patients as I am doing today?”

A jolt shot through me as I exclaimed “What? Are you kidding me? The very reason I want to practice Reiki is to donate my time here, at my hospital, the one that connects to Dana Farber and Children’s through the hallways. I’ve wanted this for so long. Money has been my obstacle and you’re telling me that I can do what I long to do for free?” I felt like I hit the lottery. I had my “AHA!” moment!

I will always believe in myself.

If I had not practiced what I preached, I would have missed it all by not paying attention. My most important lesson was re-affirmed. Most importantly, there were choices to be made and had I chosen differently, I might have never known.

With Love and Light,

Wendy

"If you continue to think like you've always thought, you'll continue to get what you've always got"

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 12:01 PM 3 Comments Links to this post

Monday, February 21, 2011

What's your very first memory?

My very first memory was one of pain. I was standing in my crib and had the most intense pain in my right hip. I was crying for help and it finally arrived. I was picked up by someone who took my pain away. It was years before I learned why I was in pain and who came to my rescue.

One of the pins that held my cloth diaper together had come undone and was sticking into my hip. It was my big sister, Lisa, who heard my cries and came to my rescue.

To this day she still comes to my rescue if I need her and she’ll always be my hero.

With Love and Light,
Wendy

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 1:38 AM 1 Comments Links to this post

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Reason To Share

Regarding my 71-A post, I fudged my test so that I wouldn’t get into the Major Works program. I was teased in school, neglected (not on purpose) at home and the only reprieve I had was my neighborhood gang, my friends. My brother told me I would lose them once I went to Major Works. I panicked and chose the wrong road. I hadn’t figured this out until some years after mom passed.

The reason I share any of my experiences is not in search of pity, attention or acceptance. I share them as a way to plant seeds to all who open their heart to read so that maybe, something I say will resonate and lead readers to stay on their path and recognize their defining moments along the way.

Love and Light,

Wendy

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 12:26 PM 0 Comments Links to this post

Friday, February 18, 2011

71-A

***71-A***

It is my theory that I knew-before I was born- my life was going to take many massive twists and turns and be filled with an abundance of diversity. I believe that once I was given the green light back to this world, I was eager and ready to get started and ended up being born in the elevator of the Malden Hospital. Ever since I can remember, my mom would say to me “Since the day you were born, you’ve always been in a hurry! Rush, rush, rushing to get nowhere”.

The day I started kindergarten was the first most exhilarating time of my life. I wanted to walk by myself and because of my constant nagging with undertones of conviction, I soon got my wish. I wanted to do everything. I wanted to learn everything. I loved school!

Not only did I love school, I was good at it. So good that one day when I was in the third grade my teacher asked me to bring a letter home to my parents. I stood by the phone with the letter in hand and stared at it, trying to summon up the courage to call my mom at work. I thought I must be in some big trouble. My hands are now trembling and dialing her number on our rotary phone took a few tries. You remember, you started to dial a nine, but didn’t get all the way around, it would “catch” and, it hurt your finger too!

As I read this letter —that I couldn’t seem to comprehend— over the phone to my mom, she began to praise me in a way that sounded like she was singing. Apparently the school was informing her that they believe I am a little more advanced and that they would like to administer some tests to confirm. Once confirmed I would change over to the school where they have a Major Works program. I felt like I hit the lottery!

Once my brother got wind of this news, he began to point out some key information for me. He wanted to protect me and arm me with some facts before I went to my testing. Facts such as, I would be in a school all the way across the city with kids I don’t know. All my neighborhood friends (and we had a pretty large group) were going to disown me once I switched schools. My life would be hell. I would have no friends left.

The days of the testing, all I could here was my brother in my ear and I panicked. I panicked and I started giving the wrong answers. I sabotaged my chances. I had a choice and I made the wrong one.

I got teased for being a bookworm, goody-two-shoes, teacher’s pet….but I still managed to keep focused and do good. My family may have been somewhat aware to some trouble that lurked but priority of focus was on my mom and her health.

My mom got sick the day I was born. I was discharged from the hospital where she had to remain for a period of time. An official diagnosis wasn’t made until I was ten or eleven. She knew something was wrong for all those years and the doctors continually dismissed her concerns because they could not find anything. Told her she was crazy. It turns out she had MS.

Seventh grade began and I was elated to be in Junior High School. One more step toward college-I could hardly breathe. This particular year my school implemented a breakdown of the students into divisions which were 71A, 71B, 72A, 72B. The advanced level students were in 71A, and the students who struggled the most were in 72B. Not only was I going to be in Junior High, but at the highest level. Life was great, despite my home life.
It was report card day! I walked into class and noticed my name written on the blackboard amongst some other names except my name had a bunch of stars next to it. I am once again filled with fear that I was in trouble until my homeroom teach Mr. Rubin strolled in and began announcing to the class: “Class, may have I your attention? I’m sure you all noticed the names written on the blackboard and are curious why they’re there. If your name is on the blackboard, then you have made the honor roll. Good Job! Now if you notice, there are a bunch of stars next to Wendy’s name, a big congratulations goes to Wendy. Wendy is the only student in the entire 7th grade to have made honor roll with straight A’s. I almost jumped out of my seat from the excitement until I became aware of the looks from the other kids. The harassing began straight away. It was made abundantly clear that I was not cool and did not fit in. I didn’t fit in at home and I didn’t fit in at the only place I wanted to be, school.

I was at my first real crossroad and I went the wrong way.

Addendum:

Regarding my 71-A post, I fudged my test so that I wouldn’t get into the Major Works program. I was teased in school, neglected (not on purpose) at home and the only reprieve I had was my neighborhood gang, my friends. My brother told me I would lose them once I went to Major Works. I panicked and chose the wrong road. I hadn’t figured this out until some years after mom passed.

The reason I share any of my experiences is not in search of pity, attention or acceptance. I share them as a way to plant seeds to all who open their heart to read so that maybe, something I say will resonate and lead readers to stay on their path and recognize their defining moments along the way.



Soon after, my mom had a seizure and they discovered a brain tumor.

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 8:24 PM 2 Comments Links to this post

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Am One Of Many

As I was watching American Idol last night, it dawned on me that while I understand the process-being all the details and organization that goes into creating each episode-leading up to the finale, I finally had the missing epiphany I was waiting for, the one that is going to push me over the top in making my dreams a reality.

If you watch the show, you know that the contestants with gifted voices all have different reasons for competing. Some of them have an amazing voice and are looking to use it to become a pop star, obtain fame and fortune and live a life of luxury. They entertain. If I were a judge, my answer to these people would be no. It would be no, because, despite the fact they have an amazing voice, a gift, in my opinion they are not ready. It would be no because they don’t yet understand that the gift they have been given is being used for the wrong reason.

It’s the gifted voices in those contestants that have that special something that seems to eminate through them that-- they are there because they want this more than anything in the world-- that I would send to the next phase. Because they understand their gift of music and how it not only affects their lives, but also the impact it has on the listener. These contestants feel it and want to share the feeling. It is because they were inspired and want to share it by inspiring others.

It’s not all about catching a break and hoping to be discovered for them, it’s about knowing that they have discovered their gift to contribute to our world — their purpose in life— and having the courage to face their biggest fear of a possibility of not being validated.

The judges have the extremely difficult job of weeding out those who have the talent, but are not yet ready. Once that is done, the show moves on to the next phase. Each phase contains defining moments for those who get to move on to the next phase and for those who don’t.

To make it to the final phase— whether they win the contest or not— ensures validation and they will go on to fulfill their purpose and create a legacy. Those who don’t make it have a choice to make because they are now being tested. For them it’s simply a test of faith. If in their heart-of-hearts they know they are here for this reason and now become filled with doubt, a decision must be made on whether to give up and throw in the towel, or do whatever it takes to persevere. To perservere reqires faith in knowing, and ability to brush themselves off and never give up what they know in their hearts is destined.

As long as the judges have the gift to recognize all of this, they can rest easy that once they weed out and narrow it down, what’s left are the ones who are ready and truly belong there at this time.

Each one of us has a purpose. Each one of us is supposed climb a mountain in search of our own unique purpose. We are supposed to learn what gift we have been given and how to use it. It’s hard work compromising of trial and error, making the mistakes and learning from them, moving on to the next phase by recognizing the defining moments along the way, recognizing when we have veered off path, and knowing the ways to navigate back on track.

Once we find our purpose and truly believe in it, despite the fact that we have no one to validate this for us—we have climbed that giant mountain— to the point where we begin to imagine to possibilities on the other side. We are at that point where we are filled with the deepest feelings and can actually envision what’s on other side in such detail that we can almost taste it. We become filled with the most awesome excitement and scariest anticipation of knowing that if we take another step, we will now be able see over the mountain. The moment which has a possibility for the validation we have been waiting for our whole loves. Our biggest test where we must dare to face our biggest fear and it requires a conviction that comes from a place inside of us that we never knew existed. This is the moment we discover if we are ready. This is biggest leap of faith we will ever take and it’s so very scary. The only thing needed now is the courage to face our moment of truth.

I am about to take the final step to my moment of truth and I cherish every single experience I had along the way. Every single one of them! If you know me and are wondering how I could even possibly say that, I promise you that it’s okay and I say this with the utmost sincerity and respect: you are not ready yet. And I take no offense If you don’t understand because that is my purpose in life—to help you understand— and to assist any of you, with your navigation, to your moment of truth that awaits.

There are many who share my purpose to assist and we each have our own unique gifts and methods we use to accomplish this. We all share a common goal—to be of service—and I urge any who desire assistance in their navigation, to accept help from any one of us. It comforts me to know there are many to choose from.

With all my love and light,
Wendy

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 12:57 PM 0 Comments Links to this post

Friday, February 04, 2011

I do what I do for you.

In the wake of my grief over losing Bethany (a very dear and fellow Angio-sister), a phone call came with phenomenal news—news that would change my state of mind to one of hope, joy and anticipation. The call was from Corrie, one of the founders of our corporation. She just left New York after meeting with xyz. Apparently they are now going to include Angiosarcoma (AS) in a clinical trial in which it was originally excluded. This would not have happened if we had not pooled our resources to accomplish what we have so far, which is so very much in so very little time. It’s not even necessary to elaborate on what we’ve done and how we arrived at today. The bottom line is that x, y, and z all fell into place.

We are getting things done because we really need results, but what’s equally important is that we do it with a passion because we care. Because we can not only see it, we feel it.

When the day comes where the news breaks of how our organization played a key role in the discovery of a cure for cancer, I want you all to know that my role, what I’ve done and what I’m doing—I’m doing for you. I know I could relapse but I’m not worried about me—I kicked cancer’s ass 3 times already—I’m worried about all of you and those you hold dear.

My step-daughter just delivered her third baby girl. I went to visit them at the hospital yesterday and as I held this tiny six pound gift from heaven, I flashed back to my own gifts from heaven that I used to hold so long ago. I would gaze into their eyes and wonder, what will life bring them and what will they bring to this life? I bet Bethany’s mom never imagined that her baby girl, at twenty-four, would become ill and spend the next four years enduring tests, surgeries, toxic poisonous liquid pouring through her veins making her ill in an effort to make her better. She had to do all she could to hold it together as she was forced to watch her baby girl fight for her life, suffer in pain and wither away until she took her final breath. Bethany, still a young twenty-something with her whole life ahead of her filled with endless possibilities, had to spend years travelling from out of state for all these treatments, all while physically weak from the cancer (and from the treatments). Bethany who was newly emerged from adolescence, just a few years out of college— participating in her passions to make a difference in this world—should have been afforded the opportunity to meet her “someone” to share her life with. Maybe even start a family. She should have had these decisions to make. She should have had choices! Bethany was the kind of person we all want in this world. The world needs more Bethany’s. If you think about it, we lost not only Bethany, but perhaps the children she might have had. I’d be willing to bet, they would have been more of the “good ones”, more Bethany’s.

I’m doing what I’m doing because I care and I know that if I don’t do something… ANYTHING, it will not magically disappear and most of us will be touched by cancer in some capacity.

 For all you parents out there whose children are battling cancer, I’m doing this for you.

 For all you out there who might start a family someday, I’m doing this for you.

 For all you out there who are battling with cancer out there, you are somebody’s child and I’m doing this for you.

 For all you out there with a friend, relative, co-worker, or significant other battling cancer, I’m doing this for you.


If any of you out there have not been touched by cancer in some way, well I’m doing my best to keep it that way.


There are so many things you can do to help us. Pick them all if you like but I’m asking that you please choose one.

1.Pray, however you like, for cancer patients and their loved ones.

2.Can you spare a dollar? Spare change anybody? We do thisforfree so every penny goes directly to the research. Please visit us for info and updates at: www.angiosarcomaawareness.org

3.Network=Awareness. Spread the word! The more awareness generated the more help we will get and the faster we find the cure!

4.Get involved. We can use help in many capacities.

5.Keep tabs on us and offer any feedback you see fit. We are always looking for ideas and suggestions and welcome constructive criticism.

With love and light,
Wendy

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 10:34 PM 2 Comments Links to this post

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Who has time to pee? What takes priority?

I wonder if any of you meet your daily water requirements. I don’t-not by a long-shot…but I’m making an effort because I understand just how vital it is for our bodies and I now must make it a priority to; at the very least, stay hydrated. Until now I just thought I was really lazy when unconsciously I haven’t been drinking because… I don’t have time to pee!

Priority is a word we commonly hear and use as a reminder to others as well as ourselves.

We all lead very busy lives filled with outside commitments in addition to our regular routines and responsibilities. Prioritizing is something we all do daily, perhaps even hourly, whether we’re conscious of it or not. Prioritizing is one of those crucial tools we utilize for survival.

I sometimes feel as though I am on autopilot and then the moment comes, you know, the one that distracts you and stops you dead in your tracks? Then it dawns on me. I don’t know where I am and how I got here. I’m lost…or rather, I lost time. It’s times like these when I know I must re-prioritize and navigate my way back on track.

We easily forget how it feels to have “Me Time.” Me Time? What is that? And when we get some, do we take full advantage of it? If you are asking yourself the same question or even if you think you know what it is, I am going to elaborate further in a separate post to point out many reasons why I believe “Me Time” is not only important, but crucial (and quite possibly critical) for our physical, emotional and spiritual health.

“We are not humans having spiritual experiences, rather, we are spirits having human experiences”. Unknown

Tomorrow is February 1, 2011 and, as I’m nearing the completion of this delicious bubblegum candy cane I just picked off my fully decorated and lit Christmas tree, I contemplate where taking down our tree fits on my list of priorities. Nah. Right now I’m going to stay put under the covers in my big comfy bed, listening to my favorite music (which seems to feed my soul) and finish my candy cane. Although, I really have to pee!

WL&L

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 9:57 AM 0 Comments Links to this post