June 7th, 2011. The Contemplation of Death. Existential Matters.


You know, something we don’t think about often is death.  I keep getting the “10 of swords” and “5 of pentacles” is nearly all of my tarot readings.  Tarot plays off ones subconscious and works via quantum physics similar to the law of attraction.  The cards are not “evil” as some religious folks might believe – they are impressions in image-form.  In other words, we think certain things and have a subconscious and the images reflect this subconscious domain.

Both of these cards are dis-favorable cards, and I have drawn them more times than I can count.  The reality is my health is not in good shape and is compromised.  My ear-node pain is getting worse.  I have it in both ears, although the right side (also where my asymmetrical tonsil is located) is worse, and it gets so bad sometimes that it radiates to my upper jaw, causing a headache in back and front and then finally neck and shoulder pain.  The ear-node pain is worse when I am stressed out and cold air makes it worse, however, the pain comes and goes at any time.

All other symptoms, ie: hair loss, joint pain in hand/fingers, weight gain (and loss), fatigue (extreme), dry/red/bloodshot eyes, hot/cold flashes, occasional night sweats, etc. are so trivial compared to the ear-node pain, which on a 1-5 scale is about a 4 most of the time, sometimes hitting a 3 and other times a whopping 5.  I am too young to be having these kinds of issues.  Whatever I have going on — this “viral” illness that I came down with either in August of 2008 or Fall of 2007 (I became extremely sick both times) has caused my thyroid to stop working and one thing after another (in my body) to shut down.

At any rate, I am concerned, and I am now thinking about what would happen if I died… ie, if what I have going on is serious, ie: cancer, a tumor, etc.  The cards that have continually popped out are standing out.  “Cards” aside, I have a health issue that is progressively getting worse and nobody knows what it is.  One agency — IGENIX — a top lyme-testing lab in Palo Alto, CA, has diagnosed me with chronic lyme disease and yet the CDC (Center for Disease Control), which we all know has too “low” standards, states that I only meet 3 out of 5 criteria for lyme and so I would technically not have it.  This in and of itself is a huge controversy within the lyme community.

Needless to say, I am thinking about existential matters.  On my way home tonight from NJ after having ran errands and bought groceries I pondered, “What are the 12 things I would like to do before I die?”  ie, if you found out you had 6 months to live, what would you do?  So it has me thinking… and I know that sounds depressing, but lets be prepared for the worst-case scenario.  What do I really have here?  My things — they mean nothing; they will parish when I do.  “What matters to me?”  Death really makes you contemplate.

I cannot help but wonder how many people have had near-death experiences that have changed their lives.  Will I have one?  I can’t tell you how many psychics I’ve been to — trusted ones (my family used to go to one — Ms. Nancy Bowman) who have told me I will have a “cancer” scare — and “scare” or not, that may involve surgery, death, etc.  At any rate, it makes you think — “What is ‘life’ (this thing I have not even begun to fully experience) all about?”  “What will/would I like to do if I was going to die in 6 months and knew it?”  “What things would (will) I have experienced?”

My first thought, or one of my first thoughts was “I wish I had money (I don’t have any savings or inheritance, what can I say?) I would give it to Ashley and to Jen’s little brother, Jessy.”  I say this not because I think money has worth, but because I believe that it can get people somewhere — it can provide opportunity.  I want to see little Jessy go to college; I have desired that from him since I first saw him, because he deserves it.  At any rate, I do not have money, so what can I give?  That brings me to say “What would I do?” ie, listing 10-12 things before my life runs out.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

How often and how many of us really think about this?  At any minute any of us could come down with a terminal illness — what are the things (journal) that would want to do given your 6 months to live?

I had told Erin tonight that I would be happy just knowing that I have discovered my purpose – do you know how rare and precious of a gift that is, especially for someone my age?  My purpose is to Serve — to be a vessel, a catalyst for others — to create opportunity and prosperity.  I am interested in providing for myself, my future family, and the community — providing financial and educational opportunities.  Maybe I would have never had a chance to live out that dream; however, I am grateful for having had the clarity to discover the purpose.

I discovered my purpose while in Vermont, which was the best (most life-enhancing) experience of my life.  It really opened my eyes up, and I am thankful (gracious) to have experienced it.  I met some wonderful people and for the first time in my life can say that I discovered “family.”  We choose our family.  Anothe thing, I discovered I had choice in Vermont, and I also found (for the most part) my Voice.  I was able to express myself there for perhaps the first time and was encouraged to express myself and develop my potential.  People (the community) supported me — my interests, well-being, etc.

I will have to think about how to answer this question.  10 things

March 13th, 2011. Lyme times.


I am tired and exhausted because I had chosen to stay up late last night reading about the XMRV virus in connection with my lyme disease.  I was proud to have discovered that a connection has been made because the last time that I looked up XMRV in the fall of 2010 it had only been linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  It’s good to see advances!  And of course Dr. Joseph Burrascano is on top of the research.

At any rate, I am tired today.  I am excited to start my new regime soon and structure –structure more or less; the regimen itself is going to be very difficult to follow seeing as how I eat carbs every single day, often three, if not four times a day.  The lyme diet is very strict.  I have been told it’s somewhat like the Atkins diet and that it’s also similar to the Gerson diet used to treat cancer patients.

At any rate, I am excited to incorporate my new structure and to apply the discipline to achieve it.  I think that with adequate sleep I may very well be able to accommodate it and live it out successfully.  Of course there will be challenges, which I believe I can overcome as long as I can identify them, and also through the grace of God.  I do have belief in a spiritual power despite my anguish and triumph.

I trust that there is a “plan” for me.  I will be honest, there are moments –many, where I feel completely helpless, and I am angry, bitter, and sad that this is happening to me, but I just remind myself that there will come a time when things are “better.”  I will hold true to that.  I have heard of many lyme disease patients committing suicide because life doesn’t seem worth living; I hope to not get to that point.

I honestly believe that I have a purpose on this earth to serve and help make a difference.  I believe that I have what it takes inside to overcome and to be a part of the “greater” plan.  I believe that I have what it takes to succeed listening to the Creator.  I strongly believe that there is a chosen path for me.  –that is not to undermine or underestimate good will, or personal will, as I do believe that we have and are given choices, but I believe that through this suffering I will become a stronger person, and I will trust with all of my heart that I can pull through this.

My “friend” is the night.  The “night” and its stillness and silence is my companion.  The stars.  The trees.  –the things that I cannot see right now because I am so far away from them, but in my heart, they stay, as well as the vision that I hold for myself and my life.  I will overcome.  I will believe.

I think there is beauty and richness all around us.  I think that when we stop and breathe and take a moment to see the richness and beauty that life has to offer we can appreciate.  Life is beautiful.  I love life.  I love people.  I love the gifts that I have been given and the unique gifts that others share.  I want to see the world a better place.   I want to see people make a difference –to see people happy.  We are meant to live out our lives with purpose, conviction, and integrity.  To master unknown truths, but to know when to surrender.

“There is ‘beauty in the breakdown'” Dido once said.  I will be broken down, each of my defenses, whether I like it or not until I learn my “lesson” –this I wholeheartedly believe.  There is a “lesson” for that I just cannot see yet.  There is truth in the unknown.  There is a lesson here, and a magical healing and renewed spirit.  We will prevail.  We will walk together.  We will know each other.  We will love, respect, and tolerate one another.  We will cherish one another.  This is not a “utopia.”  Change starts with us –with the self.  I will walk through the fire if I have to, and by the water.  I will try and rest and calm my body to the best of my ability, creating a good balance.

I will eat healthy foods, mediate, sleep, love, and pray.  I will try and moderately exercise.  I am going to do my best to overcome this dis-ease and sickness.  Amen.

March 11th, 2011. Car being sold to pay lyme disease treatment.


I have not asked my adoptive parents for money in literally years — at least 4 years (freshman year of college), and my biological father I have; however, he has not agreed to help me with anything except with school, which I have finished.  Mind you, both sets of my parents are well-off, both owning their own businesses and making really good money.

As of tomorrow I have to sell my car in order to pay for lyme disease treatment.  Lyme disease treatment is a few thousand dollars and can be up to thousands and thousands if the oral antibiotics do not work and intravenous IV’s are needed.  My car is a really good car and has been exceptionally maintained.  I have literally put over $3,000 dollars into the car and have every single receipt for it.  It has an absolute zero accident history and clean carfax report.  The car has held up really well and is extremely reliable.

I am upset that I have to sell my car now in order to pay for treatment, and it’s a shame because it is going to jeopardize my independence, financial security, and ability to find a job.

My mother has helped my 40-something year-old brother out, providing him with $800.00 a week, etc. whenever he needs help because he’s currently going through financial difficulty, yet I, her own daughter, is sick and she is unwilling to help me with a medical necessity.  No good mother with a decent heart would ever allow her child –again, who has not asked or received money for her in years, to go untreated with a chronic illness.

Goodbye car:

March 9th, 2011. Financial ruin.


My financial situation is really getting out of hand, and I am likely going to have to sell my car… Things are really proving to be difficult right now, as I am really struggling to bring in income, as my health is poor.  I have not felt well for over 3 years now, continually getting sick, and I was just (finally) diagnosed with a chronic illness.  I don’t want to watch the world just go by before me… I actually want to live it, and so I am determined to get better.  I need to heal.

I am not sure what I am going to do with out my car and its easy access.  I have barely used it the last year that I have resided here in Philadelphia, but Erin and I have used it for a ton of errands, particularly in Jersey — Walmart and grocery shopping being the most important.

I am determined to live out my vision and know that this situation is only temporary.  I know that my health will eventually improve.  I prayed for this year to be healthy and for me to get myself back to where I first started.  I want myself back more than anything and will work (fight) hard for it.  I will hang on as long as I can.  I’m going to try really hard right now to make some lifestyle changes.

I think everyone goes through tough times, and I should be careful not to judge myself so quickly and harshly –we all need help sometimes, and for some, longer than others, but there is always that opportunity to be independent and to succeed on our own.  I very much believe in my own success.  I am a self-starter and motivated and have an eternal optimistic faith.  Despite life’s difficulties, I trust that things will work out.

I need to develop a better idea of what I would like to do in terms of work.  I know already that I am capable of continuing to be self-employed, but I would also like to work for an organization — when I am healthy, which right now unfortunately I am not, and I am very limited in my ability to live out my vision.  I am trying to self-nurture as much as possible, but have not been able to afford an LLMD (Lyme literate MD) yet.  The first session alone is between $900-1100 out-of-pocket.

My life really did take a turn when I left Vermont, and as much as I want to say I made a mistake, I cannot help but think that maybe it happened for a reason.  Maybe I would have been in Vermont without any support to move through this illness, whereas here in Philly there is Erin.  Who knows.

All I know is that I am embarrassed and ashamed of my situation, but it is not something that I cannot get through.  I am just going to need to be patient, open-minded, and persistent.  I am trying to minimize my needs still, and I feel pretty close to being there.  My physical needs are far, few, and in-between.

First thing’s first, I need to figure out how I am going to live without a car.  A car is not absolutely necessary but is helpful in many cases.  On the other hand, I will be sick and possibly bed-ridden for the next 6-12 months so it may not be super necessary, although I will still need groceries and such.  I am creating my “nest” now.  I just want to move through this healing process with ease and not experience too many difficulties.  We will see what life throws at me.  I am going to have to be ready for anything.  At any rate, the car should be the least of my concerns… still, it’s concerning.