It’s been a rough go for Bonnie, being in active treatment and the continual tests and imaging needed to monitor her health. Bonnie sent me a beautiful email last week and I wanted to share her story with you here in my blog.
First and foremost Bonnie has thanked glamjulz for our kindness in offering to help her and her family through this incredibly challenging time. Again, it is important for you to know that this heartfelt thank you extends to all of you. Without your support we could never do this for Bonnie.
No one expects to get cancer. This is what happens to ‘other people’.
What I have learned is that cancer does not discriminate, but more importantly is DOES NOT DEFINE.
In Hawaiian culture there is this concept of kuleana: a deep rooted responsibility or duty that exists at the level of the soul, level of being, level of human existence. I have studied and learned that there are many levels and layers in the Hawaiian way of life, and it is one that I resonate with on a deep level.
One word can have many facets when different aspects of human emotion and experience are applied, giving rise to a rich and layered experience.
For example, i have come to learn that it is my kuleana, my duty and responsibility to share my journey to help others who are seeking integrative healthcare, to serve as an example of empowerment, to find strength in the face of adversity, and to be humble enough to allow any experience to teach us about our deep connection to God, to ourselves, and to each other.
The deeper meaning of kuleana is to be responsible for one’s own actions, to live in alignment and integrity. We all have to be aware of our higher path and purpose, and it is our kuleana to see that through in this lifetime.
Kuleana speaks of a value, of a mindset, of a way of existence. Since kuleana can also mean privilege, we attend to our purpose with gratitude and honour, giving it a whole new nuance on how we perform any action that we generate. It is done with the aloha spirit in mind. My hope is that my experience can serve as a stepping stone for others in their life’s journey.
I do not believe in accidents. I have had the privilege of seeing how there is a finely orchestrated presence in my life.
When Monica reached out to me like an angel offering help, it could not have been orchestrated better. With her kind heart, she has designed a pair of beautiful earrings that I have worn to put a pep in my step for every chemo appointment, medical imaging test, follow up doctors’ appointments, blood draw, IV session, emergency room visit, etc. I keep them close because chemo is better with earrings!
For the ‘Three Little Wishes’ campaign, I would like to put my own spin: In addition to helping with the expenses of treatment and the financial burdens placed on my family, I would like to GIVE BACK and offer part of the proceeds to the not-for-profit services that nourished my soul (Art for Cancer Foundation) and cared for my children (childminding at Wellspring Westerkirk) so I could spend time in a healing space.
In addition, I would like to PAY IT FORWARD by offering my commitment to creating a resource for those interested in patient-centred care using true integrative medicine. My hope is that my experience can help provide insight into how to start this process and use it to advance your medical care.
I hope that one day there will be no barriers in medicine. Conventional, alternative, complementary, traditional, eastern, western, allopathic, etc.
My dream is that medicine, regardless of type or origin, will be recognized, respected, and just be what it is…Medicine.
Bonnie, you are amazing! A Wonder Woman with incredible powers. I loved you instantly when we first spoke on the phone. Your devotion and commitment to your journey with cancer is inspiring, honourable and humbling.
You, my friend are the angel.