Health Journey

Brain Tumor Survivor Stats…1 year out

DEC. 3, 2016

So my 1 year update MRI is in….
12mm x 10mm x 6mm – Nov. ’15
12mm x 10mm x 6 mm – Nov. ‘16
This means…. {NO GROWTH}

Now, the question on the table, the question I have been sitting with all week…

DO YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT THE BRAIN TUMOR IS REMOVED? OR WOULD YOU BE SATISFIED KNOWING THE GROWTH IS ARRESTED?…

Well….no growth for a year does mean my tumor is arrested…is that enough?…

This was a tough one with me this week. The problem solver. The goal oriented achiever.
Yes, absolutely with out a doubt I am so so thankful there has been no growth!!
Yet, I did want to see progress!…I had to keep myself from spinning out…another year of this…ugh !!

Am I SATISFIED…well what do you think?
That was a clear… NO!
(I didn’t even have to muscle test that one.)

I spent time this week regrouping and realigning with the BIG Picture.
I traveled thru the lessons, learnings, healing and growth the last 12 months have been about and I get the bigger picture…Just because I “get it” though doesn’t mean it is not hard to face.

My goals now:
– Continue to seek and find answers and the right treatments for my tumor symptoms and pain management.
– Continuing to take good care of myself (adequate exercise and sleep) so I don’t get Physically depleted.
– Continue to increase my ability to FACE this HEAD on. Which means continuing to take action & not give up.
– Continue to nourish my brain and central nervous system with the best supplements and nutrition
– Continue to surround myself with the people who are loving me and supporting me thru this and that with me hold that hope and Vision of a clean MRI and the most optimal health I can achieve with the cards I have been dealt.

Please continue sending your prayers, love and light. Please continue to pray for more healthy painfree days and less migraine days, less hours and even less minutes.

Love and health to ALL of YOU!!
Meredith Mills

mkm

How do you tell your child that you have a brain tumor? and not let your own FEAR scare them to death?

I just had a conversation on the way to school this morning with my 10 year old son, Ryder, about Brain Tumor Awareness Week. Yes! It’s this week!
I asked him what he remembered about that day, the day I told him that his Mom had a brain tumor…(he was 8 yo at the time).
“I was surprised, Mom, I wasn’t scared… I was just surprised”…
Ahh…I breathed a deep sigh of relief and thought …“Well done Mama”….
In those first few days of being diagnosed, I confess that I was as emotionally stable “as a piece of furniture from Ikea”…. however, I didn’t want my kids to experience that with me !!! I myself was uncomfortable and having a hard time processing all these emotions.
I wanted them to experience me as they always had; strong, stable, steady, solid. (Of course also happy, healthy, vibrant, playful & fun but those were temporarily on the back burner.)
As their loving Mama, I had always made a point of telling them that I could be counted on no matter what, that I had their backs, and that I would always love them unconditionally, no matter what. Those values were now in question.
There I was swimming in the whirlwind of emotion. Emotion that I needed to experience to figure out my treatment plan and accept, come to terms with and allow what was happening for me. I was feeling it all:
– fear
– grief
– anger
– sadness
– frustration
– pain
I knew I was feeling all these feelings that were triggered by having to face and “deal with” being diagnosed with a life threatening illness or disease. However, I knew I needed a strategy of how to deal with my own personal journey but also be strong for my kids. I wanted to be that good teacher to them, I wanted to weave the vulnerability of honesty and truth, but also faith and strength into the tapestry of our family experience. These small ones in my life were, and always are, like sponges, they absorb everything. I didn’t want them to take on too much nor too little.
On my own, I diligently faced my own perceived loss of health, loss of control, loss of confidence, loss of life as I knew it. I faced being frozen in my tracks. But with them I showed up with borrowed faith, for their benefit and then in turn my benefit as well.
What I remember about that day is I sat down with my kids to intentionally share with them to the level in which they “needed to know”, at the level that would inform them but not overwhelm them. Face to face.  Looking them both into their eyes. I led with “Mom is going to be okay…..Mom is healthy and strong….but…right now I have to see a lot of Doctor’s and get a lot of treatment…I am going to need a lot of rest. No matter what, I love you and I am going to face this thing head on. You have my promise! Nothing is more important in my life than being there for you! It might take a few weeks…it might take a few years before I am back to 100% but know that I will be here for you!!!”
So with Ryder’s words this morning,
“I was surprised, Mom, I wasn’t scared… I was just surprised”…
I am thankful and full of gratitude that all my intentions were honored. Ryder was, and to this day, informed but not overwhelmed. Aware of what I am going thru, along side me in my journey but not scared.
So in my book, choosing to live in Love over FEAR will always be the right answer. I gotta be here for these Kids!! For me! For my life-purpose…after all I more than know that I am just getting started, just getting my feet wet, on this life of service, life purpose path.
In health, In healing and more importantly in great Love,
Meredith
mkm

The Universe Leaves Clues…how fainting at a party was a health clue for me and what meditation questions you can ask your body

{The Universe Leaves Clues}…YES, fainting can be a CLUE

Mar 28, 2017

3 years ago, I was in LA for the weekend at a big coaching event. I was studying to become a Life Coach and the first of four Live training meetings was having it’s evening kick off party.  I’d flown into LA that morning, took a 10 mile run to the Santa Monica pier and back, (yes, my favorite way to do sight-seeing when I travel).  I’d gotten back to my room with plenty of time to meet my roommate, get dressed up and get ready for the glamorous party night.

Little did I know, that what happened about an hour later, was a clue for my own health journey.  

This party night was a blast! There were 200 women signed up for the year long coaching program and as many as possible had come into LA that night.  This party was a kick off for an amazing year of learning, transformation and personal growth.  I was in my element.  Meeting so many like-minded, high-vibrational women for first time; amazing, strong, beautiful, brilliantly smart women, all up to great things in the world, with big hearts and souls ready to serve coaching clients.

BUT what happened for me was about an 1hr into the party, I went from feeling excited, lit up and full of life to all of a sudden I feeling:

-uneasy
-warm
-disoriented

As soon as I felt this way, I quickly excused myself from the group of women I was talking to.

Was it the heels? Was it the champagne? Was it all the excitement of the event? Was it the 10 miles I ran on the beach that afternoon?… something was wrong. I did not feel right.

I started making my way to the door, fresh air, I need fresh air I thought. Panic was overtaking me and my body started getting fuzzy.  The walk across the banquet room felt like the longest slowest walk of my life. Each step was slow motion. I couldn’t get to the door fast enough.

Next thing I knew I grabbed a women’s arm, “I think I am going to faint” I said.  She looked at me bewildered, there were barely seconds for her to respond before I blacked out.  Next thing I knew I was coming to and people were standing and kneeling over me.  My Coach’s husband was asking if I needed water, if I’d eaten anything?  Eventually all the people who had gathered around me and the hotel staff took me outside for fresh air and to help me feel better.

In the moment, it didn’t matter that I experienced that sinking heart disappointed feeling of the party going on without me.  All that mattered was that I was shaken up by the fainting and the overwhelming weakness that I felt in my body. What is wrong?… this is not normal I thought.

Lucky for me, we were staying at the Ritz Carlton and the kind staff wheel-chaired me to my room and brought me room service of chicken noodle soup, tea and seltzer water. They wanted to make sure I rested, was as comfortable as I could possibly be, and even more important, wanted to make sure that I didn’t need any additional medical attention.

Thankfully, my roommate for the weekend, was a fellow Mom, Health and Life Coach.  She wasn’t alarmed.  She was sweet, nurturing and helped take care of me and made sure I rested the rest of the night.

Now, 3 years later, and 15 months into my healing health journey, I look back, and recognize that this fainting episode…was a clue. My health dis-ease was already happening…my job was to slowly stop ignoring the clues, like fainting on this night and start paying attention.

I share this story today to inspire you for a body check in meditation, I know, I know, we are all pushing for great success, our life purpose, making a difference, … but I encourage you today to take some time out, go out into nature, sit on a bench in the sun, sit in a chair in your living room and meditate.

Meditate on what signs your body might be telling you.
– body, is anything wrong?
– body, is anything deficient?
– body, is there anything you need more of?
– body is there anything your body need less of?
– body, where are the places that I could eat better?
– body, where are the times that I could to eat more?
– body, where are the times that I could eat less?
– body, do you need more sleep? more time to relax? more rest?
– body, do you need that annual check up I’ve been too busy to have?

Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Ask 1 more question, what one thing could I do in the next hour? What 3 things could I do the rest of the day or week.

I wanted to share this story today as I was reflecting this morning of how amazing it is in our life journeys that before BIG things happen…it has been my experience that I can often look back and see where the Universe has left me clues.  

I am thankful today and always for the Universe and it’s clues. And of course so thankful if we can slow down long enough to get the messages before bigger and harder things happen.

In encouragement, strength and healing.

Meredith

mkm

 

Even Health Coaches get Sick…What 5 things I did when I got a brain tumor diagnosis

MiamiBeachrun

It’s January 2016.

I am running a new path today.  A path of healing.  After 2 month’s “off” of coaching and working out I am so grateful and happy to be moving my body again.  And when I say grateful I mean the deep down happy, soul level, happy to be back at life… grateful.

It all started in late October 2015, I woke up with flu symptoms that turned into days and days then weeks and weeks of life stopping migraines.  Worse yet, occipital migraines which means my eyes couldn’t focus long enough for me to drive, let alone work, run or bike.  Even reading or watching a movie was a stretch. I resolved myself to “listen” to movies.   From the minute I woke up to the minute I went to bed I had what felt like a jack hammer echoing in my head.  Overnight, this busy go-go-go Health and Life Coach, triathlete and solo parenting Mom of 2 was couch bound for weeks and life as I knew it was put on “hold”, complete standstill  for 2 months.

WHAT did I do?……Right away I did 5 things when I got my diagnosis.  First things first, I immediately went inward for healing.  I increased my long time morning practice of journaling time and added meditation time.  I came away from the ambulance ride, the ER visit, the pain killer medications and MRI results and turned to my holistic healers (acupuncture, osteopathic physician, essential oils, and energy chakra and sound therapy healers).  I was determined not to be medicated and use nutrition to heal me.  Please know that I didn’t find all the help I needed overnight it was a day by day, even hour by hour process.  If you are facing a life threatening illness you must be patient.

I had a SIMPLE GOAL.  Each day I just set out with a strong desire to live without massive pain radiating from my head to the rest of my body.  I had a strong manta in my heart of, “I will change and do anything and everything to heal.”  To heal, I started with baby steps. I wanted to reduce 24 hrs of migraine pain, to less 2 hours here and less 2 hours there…each day.  “I just want to be migraine free” I kept saying.   I also had family, friends, colleagues, clients and acquaintances pray for me when I got discouraged or overwhelmed with the questions of why me? and why now?  I also took my family and friend’s up on their offers to help with my kids, groceries and meals.  Both were hard.  Sitting still was a task I had no developed muscle all on its own.  And asking for help?!?! that was foraging new territory.

I have a good track record.  You know the one where I tell you I’ve been here before and I’ve squeezed the lemons into lemonade.  This season was different.  It took me. It knocked the wind out of me.  I had to be still.  I had to suffer pain and discomfort on the physical level, not just the emotional.  I couldn’t think.  I couldn’t use my head.  I couldn’t use my body.  I couldn’t “brain override” the challenge in front of me.  All the buzz about meditation and why we need to do it…is true!  I had to just empty my thoughts, all of them, as if my head was a 3 story house with overstuffed rooms and all the rooms had to be moved out.  My body was out of balance and demanding attention.  I had to sit still and do the work to empty out each room.  Item by item.  Discard. Purge. Clear.  And look again. 

I was determined to get my brain quieted, migraines to cease, back to working out, back to driving and back to real life.  I wanted to be off pain killers and off anxiety medicine.  I wanted to be “back to normal”.

I understand this is a great undertaking.  This is a journey.  My 2016 healing journey.  This brain tumor diagnosis, is here to teach me more than what I know right now.  For this  I am and will be grateful.

My question for you today is,  “How do you handle yourself when life stops you in your tracks? “ How do you move when you get stuck?

My key learning in all this, or reminder, was a coach who reminded me that I am the “Keeper of my own flame”.   By going inward I found my flame for life. From there I am daily led to find the help I need.  What have you done lately to keep your own flame alive?  The soul flame inside you?  This health challenge season will be rich in lessons for me, if I allow it….will you let what you are struggling with expand, open and teach you?

Sending you Love and Health in your healing journey,

Meredith 

mKm