3 Years Ago – 52 Weeks, A Blog Dedicated To Lionel Larry

52 weeks  – December 14 , 2015

3 years ago on Dec 16, 2012  – my life would change before my eyes, and I definitely was not prepared for it.

For 32 years, I lived a very blessed life – my life is still blessed, but so so so much has changed.  Before December 16, 2012 – my green eyes had never seen so much tragedy, never felt so much suffering and pain.  Just spending time in PMH (those who have spent time there, will resonate and understand).  That place changes you forever, especially when you are fighting for a loved ones life.  SO much changed on that very day. Taking my Fathers presence in my life for granted, and thinking he would be there forever, became very harsh realities, very quickly.  My parents went on a trip to South Africa, just a couple months before my Dad was diagnosed.  He was well enough to go….he came back and started getting severe back pain and headaches.  He became increasingly tired.  The doctors kept saying it was nothing serious, and likely a virus he caught in Africa.  On the morning of December 16th, my mom called me and said that she thought Daddy was having a stroke.  Enough was enough, and me and my brothers went over and took him to NYGH. They did a round of tests, and told us they found tumors in his brain.  Holy f**k.  They ran more tests and after many hours of waiting, agonizing.  They told us what everyone fears the most in life – You have stage 4 cancer.  The cancer has spread everywhere – brain, bones, lungs and liver.  This was one of the worst days of my life.  Writing this, I am sobbing in disbelief, that I even actually went through this.  It all seemed like a dream, but it was not.  It was very real, and very much in front of us.  And it was serious – and I was supposed to get married in 3 months…..

I went from thinking my Father would be there every step of the way of my childrens lives, and my adult life – to praying and wishing that he would stay alive to meet my first child!?  In one day….In a split second….

Thinking back on this, there is so much that I remember so vividly.  Mostly the connections I had with friends that really helped me, the way my family rallied, the way our community was so supportive.  I remember how strong my Dad was through it all…..I am grateful that my dad lived, and lived pretty well, for almost 2.5 years after this diagnosis.  He carried my son at his briss, he watched me as a Mom.  He was so strong, and we really did have fun until the end. Singing and trying to have fun the whole way, as best we could.

The last 3 years have been filled with so much light and darkness in my life.  I got married, became a Mom, stayed dedicated to my career.   All amazing things that add so much light and joy to ones life.  But, it was all happening in a background of cancer, grief and loss.  The Yin and Yang symbol is very clear that life is equally both things – light and darkness. And even further states, that even in the light, there is a small amount of dark and vice versa.  3 years ago, I realized what that means in more ways than one.  I will never forget what a close friend once told me on the very first day of my cancer journey.  Her father had passed from cancer about 3 years before.  She said, even in the challenge, there is beauty, even through the death, was the spiritual,beautiful parts. When I breathe deep, I can remember them, and they bring comfort.

Life is hard, it is not straight or clear,

Many people take way too much for granted ( I definitely DID before Dec 16, 2012) – be grateful, always, with your whole heart and soul – your life as you know can change in 1 day, in 1 moment

Be there for your friends and family

Slow Down

Atha

I want to take all the light in my heart and send it out to all those fighting this horrible disease.  For all the people in PMH right now, and in Cancer hospitals all over the world, for all those grieving loved ones who lost their battle. My light goes out to everyone suffering, in the hopes that they have enough light in their eyes and hearts to wipe away their tears and find their way through…

3 years ago my life changed forever –

I miss you Dad, more than you will ever know.

Song for today seems appropriate – I wont back down (covered in this version by Eddie Vedder)

Well, I won’t back down
No, I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down

No, I’ll stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground and I won’t back down

Well, I know what’s right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground
(I won’t back down)
And I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground
(I won’t back down)
And I won’t back down
(I won’t back down)
No, I won’t back down

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I understand and acknowledge that Dr. Jodi Larry, N.D. is a registered naturopathic doctor and the Cleanse for Life program (the “CFL Program”) is a group supported cleanse intended for general well-being, to enhance my knowledge of health and wellness as it relates to foods, dietary supplements and lifestyle behaviors. I represent and warrant that I am healthy and do not have a medical condition that would prevent my participation in the CFL Program. In addition, I understand and acknowledge that Dr. Larry is not a psychiatrist, psychologist or psychotherapist. Dr. Larry is no way responsible for any personal issues or anxieties that may be triggered because of my participation in the CFL Program. I understand that it can be a detriment to my health and safety to participate in the CFL Program if I am going through any of the following: · Acute trauma · Severe mental health condition that is not currently stable · Active addiction to drugs or alcohol · Eating disorder (unless stable and I have provided a letter from my treating therapist approving participation it the CFL Program). I acknowledge that if I am under the care of a health professional or currently use prescription medications, I will discuss any dietary changes or the potential use of any dietary supplements with my doctor and will not discontinue any prescription medications without first consulting my medical doctor. In consideration of being permitted to participate in the CFL Program, I agree to assume full responsibility for any risks, injuries, or damages known or unknown which might incur as a result of my participation. Understanding the CFL Program – A Safe Environment and Confidentiality The CFL Program can be a powerful and valuable venue for healing and growth. It is a process of understanding more about yourself and others in a safe environment. You are welcome to share as much or as little about yourself while in the group, however, the more open you are the better experience you will have. Due to the nature of the CFL Program privacy and confidentiality are of the utmost concern. A safe environment is fostered and maintained by both Dr. Larry and the group members. Primary ingredients are mutual respect and a chance to create trust. Another primary ingredient for a safe environment has to do with confidentiality. Dr. Larry is bound by law to maintain confidentiality, as group members are bound by honor to keep what is said in the group in the group. Therefore, it is essential that any and all information presented and shared within the group, whether by Dr. Larry or another group member, is not to be discussed outside of the group setting with anyone for any reason. For clarity, you are permitted to share what you are learning about yourself in the CFL Program with a significant other, however you may not talk about how events unfold in group or in any other way compromise the confidentiality of other group members. I understand and acknowledge that confidentiality may be breached by Dr. Larry if a CFL Program participants discusses any of the following: (a) suicidal ideations or thoughts and Dr. Larry feels the person is at risk; (b) intent to harm him/herself or someone else; or (c) physical abuse. Dr. Larry is mandated by her board to give this information to appropriate persons in order to obtain the best care for you and those you may harm. In further consideration of being permitted to participate in the CFL Program, I knowingly, voluntarily, and expressly release Dr. Larry from any and all liabilities and waive any claim I may have against Dr. Jodi Larry for injury or damages that I sustain as a result of such participation. I and my heirs or legal representatives forever release, waive, discharge, and covenant not to sue Dr. Jodi Larry, for any injury or death caused by negligence or other acts. I have read the above informed consent and waiver and fully understand its contents. I voluntarily agree to the terms and conditions stated above.