Saturday, August 1, 2015

Hopes and Dreams with Dr. Sal Lettieri

This time 6 years ago I waited anxiously for a negative diagnosis of cancer.  Not receiving the news I was expecting, looking back on this journey I've been on I realize I am being prepared. For what? That I can't answer, I'm not sure I want to know.  I would be lying if I said I have not had days when I want to crawl up in my bed, close my eyes and not wake up.  I have felt unmeasurable pain, physical, mental and spiritual.  I think we all want to believe we are "strong" If I had a dime for every time someone has told me how "strong" I am in the past 6 years, I'd be a rich woman. I'm grateful to those people.  So many times I have prayed for a miracle and felt abandoned. Now that I've cried enough  tears to fill a swimming pool I trust in Him.  So many of us have a hard time recognizing the blessings that come in disguise of a trial.

Funny thing about that is, I am a rich woman.  Not in a monetary way, but I am richer in my strength of who I am.  I've been forced to live my life with loneliness, hardships and pain. What if I had not experienced these things?  Where would I be now? Who would I be?  He has bigger and better plans for me. I am in the midst of fulfilling commitments and I know He will keep His promises to me.  I will serve other's, be happy with whatever circumstances come my way.

I have had to learn to challenge my thinking, to lean on a positive environment of people.  I'm trying to learn how to balance my life.  Work, family, Nerium, Mayo Clinic, friends, personal development and daily intentional goals have helped me to keep focused on what is most important.  I've had to be brave in circumstances where other's don't understand or actually don't have the capacity to understand what this past year has done for me.  Just when I thought I could never look myself in the mirror again, I became brave I let it define and refine me.  I learned that my face is not who I am.  I can't say I have fully embraced the idea of a partial paralyzed face.

A year ago I read a book that changed my life and added value to who I am, I will forever be grateful for having the knowledge before I read it, that I am a beloved woman of God. If not for having that testimony I probably would not have been able to make effective choices,. I've learned your thoughts either serve your growth or serve your decline.  It's been proven we make and average of 50,000 choices everyday.  I've always been a journal writer, a reader and I love good uplifting music so when I read The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, I was like a sponge. I  can attest to the power of words but as a child words were usually to my detriment.   The Slight Edge convinced, and reconfirmed to me  I have been lead and whispered to by the spirit all these years, I'm exactly where I am supposed to be.

Humility, a word I probably would have never used to describe myself 6 years ago  I'm progressing   by studying everything I cab get my hands on.  While studying I often think of all the people who have touched my life.  Who I think are a true example of humility.  Not one of these people know they are humble, isn't that interesting? It is who they are, an attribute they have mastered without knowing they have.  Some of these people have had devastating events happen in their lives and learned to control their thoughts and actions to mirror match a Christlike attitude. Other's seem to not have had any apparent significant trials in their lives. They surround themselves or have been surrounded by proactive people who have built them up, showed them compassion and unconditional love.  The attribute of Humility is such blessing, and not easy to accomplish.

During my reading of the Slight Edge and studying scriptures, I am finally able to say I believe in the power of the brain and how our thoughts, positive or negative can effect everything.  I made the choice to look myself in the mirror everyday and say "You will smile someday" It's been over a year, I've had 3 doctors tell me I will never smile again, I will never have facial movement on the right side of my face. I'm glad to report not all doctors are in charge of what the outcome of positive mental attitude is.  Dr. Lettieri told me I would smile again. He has encouraged me to continue to work that muscle.  Every morning for a year I tell myself over and over again "I will smile again" then I tell my brain to tell my mouth to move.  Dr. Lettieri has never given up on me, he has never said "You Can't or you Won't" It sometimes requires a surgical procedure but I am slowly but surely starting to tell my brain to simultaneously smile when I tell it to. It's working, I am reaping the rewards of my daily affirmations. It's a slight smile, but what's more important is realizing, just like reading from a good book everyday, kneeling to pray everyday, having faith all things I've done all my life are things I have mastered by doing them receptively.  Those things are a part of who I am, if I stopped doing those things it would be like not brushing my teeth everyday, eventually they would rot. It really has been such a slight change, but adding it to my daily routine has strengthened not only my brain and facial muscle but it has lead me to believe an arrow could be shot at me and I could repel it.

I am endeared to Dr. Lettieri, and to Heather Lucas.  She has seen me through so much.  I miss Dr. Kreymerman and wish he was here to see my  progress.  Dr. Lettieri has now been re-named as my "happy smile doctor" He said I would, I said I could and I am making progress.  I am beginning to dream again, to have hope for my future. Prayer, the greatest miracle in my life when burdens have weighed me down, prayer from so many people have helped me to believe in myself again.  Putting my faith in Him I believe I have even greater miracles to come.  He could take away all of this but His plan is perfect in every way.  These trials are refining me into the woman I've always dreamed of being.