Encouraging Words about Navigating the New Normal and Embracing Hope

Insider Connection – March 2019

Good Encouragement Helps

Spring appeared yesterday (hooray!). Today it is winning a well-played game of hide-and-seek behind jarring cold winds and snow flurries. The hope of warmer days ahead is real, though, and there are cheery chickadees at the bird feeder!

Encouragement through Song:

We are given our lives to offer them back to God and to worship Him. No one else deserves our praise! Listen to “Offering” by Paul Baloche.

Offering (by Paul Baloche)

Navigating the New Normal:

2019 will be the first year that I will not have a CT scan. I hit the five year colon cancer survivor mark in May 2018. I’ll have a follow up appointment with the oncologist this June for lab work. I’ve been thinking a lot about how God wants me to live the life He has given in my “new normal”. This year has been about being content. Grateful. Purposeful. Not perfect; content.

Here are a few of the things I’m currently enjoying in my daily routine to cultivate a healthy and contented new normal:

Amazing Grass Powdered Greens: I pick these greens up at my local Wegmans grocery store. You can also order them online. These greens taste good alone mixed in water but most mornings I will add a drop of lemon essential oil for extra support. At one time I juiced five pounds of carrots + six green apples + greens daily while supporting my body’s efforts to heal from cancer and treatment (twice). I don’t do carrot juice as often now, but powdered greens I use just about every day. Easy!

amazing greens after cancer nutrition during cancer

 

Turmeric Supplement: Tom and I both take Turmeric and use essential oils daily. Here is a turmeric supplement you can find in your local health food store or online:

turmeric supplement after cancer nutrition for cancer survivors

Got Oils?

If you don’t have oils yet, NOW is the time to get a starter set. Essential oils have given me hope as a woman put into menopause by chemo and radiation. I did not want medication to replace natural hormones. I had NO idea that Young Living products would support so many legitimate wellness goals in my life, until about two years ago!

I’ll show you how to use them but there are literally 100+ uses from cleaning to beauty to wellness and more. I’ll also gift you $20 cash back, a free PDF informational guide about my favorite oil blend for Happy Hormones, a link to a scrollable class all about hormones for her, and my favorite reference material or phone app about everything related to essential oils (wayyy beyond just hormones!).

You’ll also get access to our members-only online community to learn how to use your oils and get lots of education and support. It’s been life changing for this cancer survivor!

It’s only $165, less the $20 cash back I give you, making it only $145 before tax and shipping.

Get Started Here Now!!

Devotional Resources to Embrace Hope:

I’m reading through a daily devotional that my sister gave me for Christmas. It is called “The Quiet Place” by Nancy Lehigh Demoss. The book is concise and I appreciate the author’s style and commitment and emphasis upon scripture. If you’re looking for a nice supplement to your personal Bible study time, this is one you may enjoy!

the quiet place nancy lehigh demoss devotional

Healing Strong:

healing strong

March is Colon Cancer Awareness month! My colon cancer crisis and healing journey included medical treatment (twice) and nutrition (the second time). Healing Strong is a registered 503(c)3 non-profit corporation whose mission is to connect, support, and educate individuals facing cancer and other diseases with holistic, evidence-based non-toxic therapies by equipping local community groups. This month you can get their free guide on “How Stage 3 And 4 Cancer Patients Are Healing From Cancer” by clicking here.

Blessings to you,

cancer survivor essential oils cbd oil happy hormones after chemo and radiationSharon O’Connor is a wife, mom, and stage 4 colon cancer survivor who has been NED (“no evidence of disease”) since 2013. She loves coffee, writing, and taking walks with her husband, Tom, and their adopted Pug-Maltese mix, Ace. Sharon is grateful for wellness support strategies that work to support living in the “new normal”. Her life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6. Do you have a life verse? Share it in a comment below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So When You Think You’re Lost

Encouragement

This past weekend I did two things for the first time, ever.

I was invited to share my testimony along with my mom and sister at a lovely women’s retreat. The theme was “Meet Me in the Meadow” and Psalm 23. My mom has shared many times at retreats and this was the first time my sister and I had the privilege of sharing with mom in the same ministry weekend. God kindly wove our thoughts together as we prayed about what He wanted each of us to share with the women.

 

I also watched my sister get knocked over by a flock of sheep. Verna showed an awesome home video from over 35 years ago showing her in the middle of a flock and they were all eager for their share of food. She kinda got carried away by a tide of sheep fighting for the food bucket and it was hilarious. Her topic was on the importance of memorizing scripture and the armor that God has provided for us sheep to wear in battle so we don’t lose our footing on the daily path of life.

Do you ever think you’re lost?

November 14, 2010 was the day I tumbled down into a long deep dark valley. It was also the day I began to relearn how to live.

Which is not what I expected since that day almost ended me. I walked in the hospital at 6 AM for surgery to remove a “benign appearing cyst or mass” and woke up with tubes and a colostomy bag and a stage 3 colon cancer diagnosis confirmed in the days following.

It may look like I’m surrounded but I’m surrounded by You

In the weeks before that surgery a woman in our circle of acquaintances came up to me, put her hand on my shoulder, looked in my eyes compassionately and said, “You are about to embark on an incredible journey with God.”

Lady, you and I had no idea. Who ever has any idea?

Today a squirrel frantically runs underneath branches on the hill outside our home gathering food. The wind calms and snowflakes are settling and falling gently. I sit peacefully and my body is, for the most part, whole. The heavy suffering of cancer is past at present.

Cancer dis-ease and the pursuit of healing started out, for me, as a frantic search for help. Today the healing journey continues clear and quiet and soft. Sometimes my eyes leak now and then remembering. They leaked a lot this past weekend sharing about how I felt lost for the life of me and how God shepherded me and our family through hard days and months and a few years. Those thoughts boil hard and then simmer down into gratitude and relief and whispered words of thanks to God.

Certain songs grab my heart for periods of time. Lately the song is “Fight My Battles” by Michael W. Smith. The words of the song resonate in my heart and mind.

The Word says “For the spirit of heaviness put on the garment of praise”; that’s how we fight our battles.

Cancer or dis-ease in the body forces us to stop everything frantic and become purposeful. We are dared to discover who God really is in our suffering. I must rely on him to show me who he is Every. Single. Day.

Cancer (or any dis-ease) in the body forces us to rebuild our way of living and navigate the “new normal” going forward. We get an invitation to build life on the firm foundation of God’s love for us at a time we may question everything we know about God’s wisdom and love and care.

Have you ever been literally “cast down” like a sheep? It’s a deadly place to stay. The healing-from-cancer journey teaches me over and over every day that I must put my trust in God alone.

This is how I fight my battles…

Cancer is usually viewed as a challenge to be battled. Something that was on my heart to share this past weekend is that when we’re fighting battles we need to learn to do the opposite. I shared some “Lamb’s Lessons from the Battle”. Trust. Rest. Listen. Learn. Cling to God. Praise God. Stay in scripture. Deal with negative emotions. Pursue personal well-being according to God’s will for my life.

So when you’re lost….

It may look like you’re surrounded. If you know Christ, you are in fact surrounded by Him. He’s teaching you how to fight your battles for his glory and your good. I promise.

If you don’t know Christ, he is everything. EVERYTHING. You simply can NOT fight your battles without him as your savior. In the end, the only battle you must win is the one against sin. You will lose that battle on your own, or, you can choose to surround yourself with the One who defeated sin and won that battle for you. Jesus.

Isaiah 61:2-4 New International Version (NIV)

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
    that have been devastated for generations.

Do you know the Good Shepherd? Think about the “garment of praise” while you watch this video and listen to the lyrics. What’s one thing you can praise God for no matter what battle you’re facing?

“Fight My Battles” by Michael W. Smith:


battlesheep

My sister, Verna, used this photo in her presentation this weekend. Isn’t it great??

Sharon O’Connor is a wife, mom, and stage 4 colon cancer survivor who has been NED (“no evidence of disease”) since 2013. She loves coffee, writing, and taking walks with her husband, Tom, and their adopted Pug-Maltese mix, Ace. Sharon is grateful for wellness support strategies that work and also for the Savior who rescues sheep and teaches them how to “battle”.

cancer diagnosis coach cancer coaching program

A Step-By-Step Approach to Healing and Preventing Cancer

Cancer

If you’re concerned about cancer, or have a loved one facing cancer right now, I’ve got an invaluable resource to share with you today from my friend and 14-year cancer survivor, Chris Wark.

Chris was diagnosed with stage IIIc colon cancer in 2003, two days before Christmas, at just 26 years old.

When faced with intimidating odds of survival, Chris did the unthinkable…

He turned down chemotherapy.

His doctors told him he was “Insane”, and had very little support, but he knew he had to take a different path to restore his health. His was rationale was:

“If my body created it, maybe my body can heal it…”

And he was right.

Today… over 14 years later, Chris is alive and well, and cancer free, and he’s sharing how he and many others have healed with nutrition and natural therapies.

Chris created a powerful 10-part video series called…

The SQUARE ONE: Healing Cancer Coaching Program

The information in SQUARE ONE covers the exact strategies he (and countless others ) used to heal cancer…

And you can watch all 10 Modules free online. (details below)

Here’s the free screening schedule:

Aug 14: Module 1 – First Things First
Aug 15: Module 2 – Why You Have Cancer & How to Eliminate the Causes
Aug 16: Module 3 – The Anti-Cancer Diet (Part 1)
Aug 17: Module 4 – The Anti-Cancer Diet (Part 2)
Aug 18: Module 5 – How to Detoxify Your Body & Environment
Aug 19: Module 6 – How to Eliminate Stress & Heal Your Heart
Aug 20: Module 7 – The Importance of Spiritual Healing
Aug 21: Module 8 – How Exercise & Rest Activate Healing
Aug 22: Module 9 – Cancer Healing Herbs, Teas & Supplements
Aug 23: Module 10 – How to Test & Monitor Your Progress

Chris’s SQUARE ONE program takes you step-by-step through the healing process in a simple straightforward way that is empowering, hopeful and encouraging, without being overwhelming or confusing.

There’s nothing else like this (I sure wish it had been available when I was diagnosed in 2010 and 2012!) and I am so excited to be the first to to share it with you 🙂

Check out this 3 minute video about Chris’s story and the course here.

While you’re there, you can register to watch ALL 10 SQUARE ONE Modules FREE online this month.

If you’re a patient, a caregiver, or you’re serious about prevention, this course is for you. Don’t miss it!

Watch the 3-minute video here, read the incredible testimonials, get registered for free access, and tune in to watch this awesome series.

I’ll see you there!

Warm regards,

Sharon

PS: This powerful 10-part video program will only be free online for a short time in August, so I strongly encourage you to sign up now. 🙂


sharon o'connor cancer blogger cancer survivor colon cancer colorectal cancer wellness after cancerSharon O’Connor is a wife, mom, and stage 4 colon cancer survivor who has been NED (“no evidence of disease”) since 2013. She loves coffee, writing, and taking walks with her husband, Tom, and their adopted Pug-Maltese mix, Ace. Sharon is grateful for wellness support strategies that work and that have helped support her personal journey with cancer, like the ones shared by Chris Wark.

[ More about Sharon ]

Sharon’s Note: As always, information I share about my personal journey with cancer is never intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Only your awesome doctor can do that kind of stuff. I DO intend to share strategies that have given me hope in a hugely hopeless situation.

lilacs in bloom may blooms lavendar natural plants essential oils

May’s Little Black Bag

Cancer, Encouragement

“You know those are kinda strong, right?” said Tom. He looked straight ahead at the road. I grinned and watched him drive. I continued layering on essential oils from a little black bag I carry in my purse.

“Yep. I know. They’ll wear off a bit before we walk into the building.” Maybe.

I do a 30-second nutritional scan every 4-5 days. It’s sort of like a fitness tracker – it uses scientific technology to match up frequencies in my body with frequencies in essential oils. Once the personalized scan report shows me the top essential oils and supplements my body is responding to at that moment, I load up my little black bag for the week and then I layer those liquid gems on my skin each day for wellness support. It takes just three seconds for essential oils to get into my body and they reach every cell in the body within 20 minutes. They release emotional trauma. They are capable of passing the blood-brain barrier. They are a key part of my journey at this time to remain above the wellness line. Most empowering scan for this cancer survivor, ever.

We parked and walked a short distance into the building where my annual CT scan results lay waiting. Ready to pounce? Or ready to send us happily on our way?

“You smell really good, what is that??” asked the receptionist when I checked in at her desk.

Today, friend, my little black bag holds Coriander, Dill, Cardamom, Copaiba, Black Pepper, Frankincense, and Tangerine essential oils that are all rubbed on my wrists. Joy and Aroma Life go over my heart. That doesn’t include what I researched and chose to use at home most of this month such as Sacred Frankincense morning and night on the soles of my feet, over my lungs, cupped in my hands and breathed gratefully into my lungs; alternated nightly with Exodus II on my feet; Thyme and Oregano alternated daily in the morning on my feet; JuvaCleanse in my water and over my liver; Forgiveness over my abdomen; Hope on my ears; Release in the diffuser at night with Lavender; immune support blend rolled on my spine before morning mineral makeup… and Progessence Plus, Lady Sclareol and Sclaressence for support for menopause courtesy of chemo and radiation seven years ago…

“Oh, thanks!” Those were the words I said out loud. Tom had mysteriously moved to the far side of the waiting room. “The scent is from a few (cough) essential oils I wear for wellness support.”

The lab tech took my blood pressure. The reading was higher than usual. That’s how I roll in the oncologist office.

We were led into an exam room. Silence sat with us for a few moments. 50/50 chance of sun or shade. 100 percent chance of God’s love and care.

The oncologist entered with a slight smile on her face.

“I’m happy to tell you that your scans remain stable.” We exhaled. She went over a few more details.

“You mentioned the benign lung nodule when I saw you before the scan a couple weeks ago; has that changed at all from last year?” I asked.

Over the past two weeks, between the pre-scan consultation and the actual CT scan, I did all I knew how to do for a “spring detox”. I went back to the basics of moderate juicing and mostly plant based foods. This is good to do periodically throughout the year anyway, and to be truthful, I feel best when eating this way. I had also been consumed with researching ways to support healthy respiratory and lung function using specific essential oils. A fearsome thought had taken up residence in my head after the consultation. What if, after being clear five years from cancer affecting my colon, the little sleeping lung nodule she keeps talking about could become a new problem?

“Oh, yes, the lung nodule. Let’s see.” The oncologist studied the report on the screen. “No, there is no change. Wait. Actually… it did change.” (Angst.)

“It went from 2 cm down to 1 cm.” (Joy. Whoa.)

We discussed a couple more regular tests she wants me to have. I won’t need annual scans going forward. We’ll just do annual monitoring.

At the checkout desk the staff members were still commenting on how nice whatever I was wearing smelled. I know, right? It’s the best. Simply, the best.

“Thank you! I’m glad you like the scent.”

Tom and I walked out of the building. We looked at each other.

“It could have gone either way. 50/50. People hear a different outcome than we just did, every single day.” He said exactly what I was thinking.

We know and love some of those people.

We’ve been those people.

We could be those people again someday.

Green trees, bright May sunshine, and fresh air.

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
    for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
    until the disaster has passed.Psalm 57:1


A week after my fifth annual “all clear” visit with the oncologist in May 2018, I was using my oils and thinking about something my dad used to mention. He said there was a lady in his family that used to carry around a little black bag. He thought perhaps she used herbs. This intrigued me because I was trying to support my body in a similar natural fashion through the good gift of essential oils. I asked different family members if they knew whom my father had meant and each person said I needed to call my Aunt Maybelle. She is my dad’s older sister, and she patiently listened to my questions on the phone.

“Of course! That would have been your great grandmother, May Emily Morgan Burd. We called her ‘Ma Burd’. She was a midwife, and she carried a little black bag with herbs in it to help people.” I was grateful to my aunt for sharing her knowledge about my great grandmother.

I have a whole new fondness for my little black bag. I don’t have Ma Burd’s knowledge of nursing people and helping them with herbs; but you’d better believe I will keep right on filling my own little black bag with the herbal goodness from essential oils. They are one key blessing among many things I do to try and stay above the wellness line.

may emily morgan burd daniel ferris burd

May Emily Morgan Burd, seated with my grandmother, baby Verna Burd, on her lap; daughter Vera, Daniel Ferris Burd, and their son, Robert. Thanks to Aunt Maybelle for her help with my questions. Thanks to my mom for forwarding me this photo.

 


stage four colon cancer survivor

Sharon O’Connor is a wife, mom, and stage 4 colon cancer survivor who has been NED (“no evidence of disease”) since 2013. She loves coffee, writing, and taking walks with her husband, Tom, and their adopted Pug-Maltese mix, Ace. Sharon is grateful for wellness support strategies that work and that have helped support her personal journey with cancer.

[ More about Sharon ]

Sharon’s Note: As always, information I share about my personal journey with cancer is never intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Only your awesome doctor can do that kind of stuff. I DO intend to share strategies that have given me hope in a hugely hopeless situation. I started using essential oils in Spring 2017. God puts the things we need in our paths at the time we need them and oils have been a game changer for my life as a cancer survivor. You can see different resources I’ve used along the way since 2010 on the What I Did That Helped page.