Monday, June 17, 2013


Dorothy Ellis, 92, a hospice patient in Kansas asked to soar above the fields of her hometown in Kansas as her last wish. (Yes, Dorothy. Yes, Kansas.) Here is the video link: Soaring over Kansas
Flying to Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole, Dorothy smiles, waves and gives her family a thumbs up. Six weeks later, she died.

Why do we wait until we're 92? 

Since I was pronounced dead in a local emergency room 15 years ago due to a missed diagnosis of Stage 4B cancer and Lupus I've tried to live each day fully; as if it is the last. I've got my "bucket list" but things get in the way, don't they? Things simply get in the way and we make excuses.

Hey, I'm scared to get up in a parachute contraption like Dorothy did! But there are many other things on my list that I could do now - like seeing Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon. And in the ensuing years since my devastating illness and the dastardly side effects of chemotherapy, I have crossed a lot of things off my list - like purchasing a home down south and writing my book - plus simply being here to raise my sons and see them become productive, kind and wise young adults.

But we've got to do more; get off our duffs and experience life every day. I'm heading into the last third of my life and I still have so much to do! This is why I've chosen to explore integrative/functional medicine options to help with the various ailments I suffer. According to The Institute for Functional Medicine:

"Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative."

I'm in the second month of this trial and find surprising and good changes in my body. I'm still in control - picking and choosing what new and different treatments I will try and reviewing all with my trusted and 'traditional' medical specialists who have known me for so many years of this sh*t. Sharing all the new information with one of them prompted him to call me "meshugganah." (Crazy in Yiddish.) That's okay. I'm a bit of a risk taker.

So what new thing will you do today? Will you let me know? 

Picture by my son, Brett Santagata

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