Healing From Within





In our crazy hectic & demanding lives that we live today we feel pulled in so many different directions on a daily basis. We can easily lose our balance, and our priorities. It is so important to pay attention to what’s happening within us. Pressure, stress, frustrations, people pleasing, pain,fears and anger all throw us off balance. It’s important to take the time to just sit and “be with yourself” a bit.. What makes you tick… what tears you up. I think ultimately the journey for each of us is towards Love, peace, gratefulness… but in this world , it is easy to get off this path. Events happen to us all that just shake us. We are taught ( or simply absorb) what society shows us. We do what we think we are supposed to do with our lives, what is expected by society. We follow in our family footsteps… or we blaze our own trail. You’ve got to have some pretty thick skin. We ultimately have to be true to ourselves… anything less is cheating ourselves and our creator. I think most people find that when they go against who they are inside it eats them up. Which brings me back to stress, pressure, frustrations, pain, anger & fear… All come from not being true, not saying how you feel, denying who you really are deep inside. All of these emotions come from a lower place inside us, the ego, bad energy. We have to learn to cope better. I don’t think any of these emotions are built into us.. I think they are learned behaviors. We have to find our way out of them because these things cause our bodies to become ill. I’ve touched before on the subject of ongoing stress and it’s negative health impacts. We hold our stress in our guts, it changes the energy and flow inside our body. You know that feeling you get when your stomach is in a big knot… it gets hot, that’s increased blood flow, a chemical reaction… it gets tight, that is the blood flow being cut off… after a long period of stress and anxiety the body has stopped running in its normal efficient way. All of these negative energies make our bodies toxic. This has catastrophic effects on our health. This stuff is really hard to avoid in life, there is so much pressure to keep up, conform, please those around us… less emphasis on being true to self.…Any time that negative energy becomes stagnant inside the body the conditions become favorable for health problems. We all have heard how long term stress contributes to high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. The research is in on cancer as well. These negative holdings play a huge part in the development of cancer. Sure there are many environmental links to cancer… what we are exposed to in the air, water, diet.. but stress, anxiety, anger, guilt & fear are all factors as well. They fester and grow inside of us until they wreak havoc on our health. This is why it is of utmost importance to release these negative emotions. They are a daily punishment to our bodies. The first step is to deal with these issues head on. If you get up every day and absolutely hate your job… feel miserable with your life and the direction it has taken you need to do some serious self examination. What do you need to change deep down?? Take the chance you want to take, chase your dream. Don’t spend your time regretting not doing stuff.  Are any of us here to simply exist, or to just keep on that daily life treadmill? Think about that. We learn as we go.. we are ever evolving. We are human, we make mistakes… we have to learn to forgive ourselves… we have to learn to forgive others, not because they didn’t hurt us, but to release ourselves from this toxic cesspool that lives inside us. Say what you need to say to the people you need to say things to, release it and let it go. If someone has wronged you why punish yourself by holding on to that.. release it, let it go.. realize that we each walk our own path, we have no control over how people act or react,.. BUT we do have control over how we react to it. Every day, do your best to be true to who you are.. when you climb into bed at night you’ll sleep better. You can’t make everyone happy all the time.. that is not reality. You have to really let go of that stuff because you’ll drive yourself crazy trying. Clarity is often a bumpy road… We live and we learn. We can spend our lives Monday morning quarterbacking until the end of time…but why??? You can be kind to others AND be kind to yourself. It’s ok to say no. It’s ok to say this doesn’t work for me. It’s ok to grow forward and release the chains that bind you! We all come from different places, with different experiences but ultimately we all want to be happy (well most of us, some people live to be miserable, why I do not know… but for some it is a way of life). You can be true to yourself and still feel compassion, empathy, kindness, generosity of spirit.. it’s not selfish. Those things inside us all that eat on us… those are the things that have to be faced and dealt with… they are the toxic stuff diseases are made of. This is one of the things Peter and I have really learned since his diagnosis. A cancer diagnosis is a sure fired super hyperdrive push in this direction. It changes the way you see everything… What is important changes overnight. This is an area that cancer patients need to think about and work through to allow the healing treatments to work. Whatever the treatment is , the result of treatment will for sure be affected by this inner toxicity!! As a care giver it is also so important to deal with these emotions as your health could ultimately be affected if you are not being self aware. Take that time to just be with yourself, to breathe, to let go of what no longer serves you.. find your balance and your peace in the midst of the storm. People have a tendency in the world today to try hard to pull you into their storm; pull them into your peace instead…or love yourself enough to step away from the poison. We are all on this journey called life… be kind to yourself.



We all have our tolerance thresholds. Tolerance for pain, patience, heat and cold are pretty easy to define and no one would fault you for defining them. I want to address that fine line no one seems to want to speak freely (when it comes to them) about: Mental Health. When is it time to seek help? When and how do you know you can’t mentally deal with the stresses of life and need professional help?

We fall and break a bone or gash our leg and without much thought, we end up in the ER getting patched up. Again, pretty clear definition that most anyone could see and understand. Mental health is a much more complicated issue that carries the added burden of societal negative connotations. No one likes to admit they need help coping mentally, even to themselves! This often leads to denial and suppression of anxiety which ultimately manifests as any number of health issues. Digestive, bowl, head and joint aches, heart, respiratory….the list is endless and even includes CANCER!

I have never been one to shy away from a good therapy session. Man it feels great to get things off my chest! Going for a walk or a drive works good too, but sometimes I need more. Sometimes I need to sit face to face and spill the beans. I chose my therapist wisely. My first visit, I interviewed him! I remember asking him what his qualifications were and I told him exactly the type of therapist I needed. I made it clear I didn’t want someone to sit there and comfort me with a pat on the back and soothing words. I don’t respond well to that. If I am being stupid, I want to be called on it! Hold me accountable! I am a bit of a control freak and he was very good at pointing out just what I had NO control over and helped me learn to accept that. It was just what I needed. This kind of help can’t come from a friend or family member. Friends and family are emotionally invested in you and often won’t tell you the truth for fear of hurting you. A therapist is paid to tell you when you’re wrong. And isn’t worried about whether or not you walk out of there liking them.

2015 was one hell of a year! Getting married, losing a brother and being diagnosed with stage 4 Leukemia in the span of 4 months’ time is beyond my tolerance threshold! Getting a Cancer diagnosis is a brush with death. Such a traumatic event could even be compared to PTSD. While I have done well staying positive (HUGE thank you to my wife who has propped me up more times than I can count) and coping with the multitude of other events piled on top of that, a step back to analyze has shown me that I need to unload this baggage before it breaks my back.

So therein lies the challenge: How to know when it’s time to seek help? While it may seem pretty obvious to the outside observer, it wasn’t obvious to me. How did I miss this? Perhaps subconsciously I knew dealing with all of this would be painful so I leaned towards denial? Emotional pain can trigger denial. Deep emotional pain can put people in a state of numbness where they can’t even recognize that which is causing them the pain! I think my support system played a part in helping me to ‘step back and analyze’. Had Robin Williams family and friends closest to him gently prodded him to open up, perhaps he’d still be here making us all laugh. He was apparently very good at hiding his issues, but I have to think that those closest to him knew but didn’t realize just how desperate the situation was. How tragic.

So I end this with more questions than answers on just how best to deal with these issues preemptively. I welcome your thoughts. Feel free to comment here or email me: pwildey@gmail.com

Rollercoaster Ride


Sometimes these posts will be so raw. We both set out to share this journey honestly. We wanted to bring the truth and reality to words so that we might help others to not feel alone… this is a very lonely road at times. Through this experience we have met people who have lived through the journey of cancer or illness… forever changed. Faith carries us through so much… even though there is a daily struggle as to why. Peter and I just found each other, we are soulmates in every sense. We will have our first anniversary in just a few days… what a year it has been. Two days after we said our vows in a beautiful ceremony we went to see Peter’s brother Steve and knew he was failing. Steve left us all on our one month anniversary.. and Peter”s blood work was off the following month, he was diagnosed 2 months later. The days since have been a blur of Dr appointments, calls, tests, research & getting into a clinical trial. He said the day he was diagnosed he wouldn’t do chemo… and thankfully his doctor agrees it is not in his best interest with CLL. Peter boldly made the choice to take part in a clinical trial… I support his decision 100%. We had to fight to get him in one… as the insurance companies in this country don’t want to pay for clinical trials… only chemo. We have had our fingers and toes crossed since day one of the trial that he would have a smooth journey.. there is so much promise with both the drugs he is being given. The trial is using them both together for hopefully an even better effect. He is presently in his fourth month of treatment and pretty steadily since just before he started his 3rd month ( Christmas week) he has felt crappy. Flulike, achy, nauseous, headache, weakness..and increasing utter fatigue, and shortness of breath. Last night I watched him shake out a blanket on the couch and huff & puff to catch his breath. He hasn’t been able to work… and now after feeling so awful for so long it starts affecting the mind. It is a daily battle… one that could easily drive one over the edge. We spoke at length about how Steve was so private about his inner battles… his attitude was so up most of the time… much like Peter… but the battle is so real. Peter & I made the decision to be open and honest at all times about this journey, no surprises, no punches held back. The fact is the drugs are doing exactly what they are supposed to do. Kill only the cancer cells.. and leave the rest alone. Amazing medicine… bittersweet twist… his body just seems not to tolerate it. His blood counts are so great it is hard to swallow. We are so blessed to have such an incredible doctor taking care of Peter, and he does a great job with me as well. I always have pages of questions.. from all that research I do. A few weeks ago we were emailing back and forth regarding how crappy Peter was feeling and unbeknown to us he was out of the country and still caring and setting things up here. Just as the struggle before starting a clinical trial was overwhelming…. now comes the part where decisions need to be made again. His doctor has done some great things to try to help Peter feel better… an infusion called IVIg, (which is immunoglobulin designed to improve his immune system), blood work (testing for more things than I can begin to tell you)…… the antibiotics haven’t helped, or the steroids… He has been tested top to bottom. CT scans show no progression of his cancer, pulmonary tests & an echo cardio sonogram have ruled out issues with his heart & lungs.… what to do.. time is ticking.. and he just keeps feeling worse. Now as a final option he will take a “drug vacation” from one part of the trial treatment to see if it is a reaction to the drug that is causing all of these issues. If he improves we will know for sure that the drug that has caused his leukemia to be knocked back into submission is also knocking Peter down so hard that he has no quality of life. It’s a terrible scary conundrum to be in. If he feels better off the drug then he will not be able to continue in this clinical trial, and there will be less options on his treatment plate to treat this disease CLL. It truly is a day by day rollercoaster for Peter and myself. Watching my love feel so awful for so long has been just as painful to me as all the physical symptoms have been to him. Being the spouse or partner of a loved one with cancer or debilitating illness is so painful. It’s a terrible thing to feel so helpless. The emotional struggle is there too at this point. Staying mentally positive through this time has been a bit more of a challenge for us both. We continue to hold onto our faith and each other. We titled this blog “Our journey through cancer” .. the road is bumpy but together we will get through this … it’ll be so beautiful on the other side.