Susan WonderStone's Blog


Bloedel Reserve

I recently made my first visit to the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island. The grounds are beautiful! It’s 150 acres with different garden areas and trails throughout the property. There are many types of birds and other critters who choose to live there.

Mama duck and a pile of baby ducks

There was a baby grand piano in the house that a visitor was playing. It was fun to hear!

I was happy to see the poster in the hallway of the house. I have many more pictures, but you’d be better off going to see for yourself. It’s easy to hike the grounds and different seasons bring different views!

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan



Featherfolio at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
June 1, 2017, 11:20 am
Filed under: Gratitude, Inspiration | Tags: , , ,

Chris Maynard  is an artist who uses feathers as his medium. We went to the Bainbridge Island Museum of art on Tuesday on the way to our hike and got to see his show. Chris’s work is amazing! They have about 40  of his pieces on display. He carves designs in feathers and uses the feathers and the pieces he cut out to make shadow boxes.  I had never seen anything like it. The intricate details were incredible!  He uses tiny scissors and other tools that used to be used for eye surgeries.  There were two groups of kids field trips in there at the time. I’m guessing there’s no way they will be able to explain to their parents what they actually saw.   One of my friends went a couple weeks ago and in no way did he come close to conveying what we saw.

The show only runs until June 4, so go see it if you’re available! Plus, if you’re on the Seattle side, the ferry ride was fun!

Both of my friends got shadow boxes and one of them gave me the print “How dragons breathe fire”. Someday I’ll frame it, but it came on a foam core with hooks already in it, so I hung it within minutes of walking in the door. I love it and hope to someday have one of Chris’s shadow boxes!

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan



Good enough. Good enough for me!
January 15, 2017, 11:36 pm
Filed under: coaching, Death, Inspiration, recurrent metastatic melanoma
The following started out as a facebook comment. I realized more than the person I was writing it too, needed to hear it. I like this picture better than the one last night because my arms are in it. I’m excited to see my transformation!img_0554
Doing what I can! For me, the most important thing has been continuing to do what makes me happy! Several things are missing due to $, but for the free things, hiking in the forest,playing in my garden, creating food and crafts (I have a canvas with my vagina painted on it hanging by the front door. My son is glad my art skills are more abstract), dancing naked in the house, dancing fully clothed wherever I feel like it, doing things to make people smile (I go to parades wearing a Wonder Woman outfit), randomly laughing to see how many people I can get to laugh too, connecting with people of all walks of life, giving random dogs butt scratches, taking care of my body with food, exercise, orgasm – lots of orgasm!, body scrubs, soaps and moisturizers I make…
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It’s good enough. You know what it is.

I’m sure there’s more.
My point is, do what makes you happy. If you want to fish every day for the rest of your life, do it. If you want to do memorable things with people you love, do that! Nobody was put here to do the things you want to do, but you.
Cancer is a shitty way to leave the planet. There are so many better ways to go! If I don’t jump out of an airplane into an active volcano, I’ll probably be the first to die that way, whatever it is.
It seems I’ve been trying to prove myself most of my life. Only a few people along the way told me I sucked, would never achieve my goals or not good enough. Good enough for who? People who tell others they’re not good enough, or even imply it,  feel inadequate and want more at their party. Why did I choose to listen to them over the ones who told me good stuff? I’ve finally figured out I’m good enough exactly how I am! The more I believe in myself, the more people believe in me! We all have so much value!
Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were 5? Do you remember who you wanted to be when you were 20?
Do you remember the dreams you pushed aside for whatever reasons?
Some people call it a bucket list. I call it life. Make that list and start checking things off. We’ll never finish everything on our lists, but it sure is fun doing them!
You don’t know what you want? Then step one is: connecting with 1 new person every day and asking them what’s on their list. Eventually, you’ll have so many ideas along with new friends to do them with.
Live every day to the fullest! We don’t know how many we have left!
Love, gratitude and blessings
~Susan


Why did you lie to me? Why didn’t you tell me?

Why did you lie to me? Why didn’t you tell me? They aren’t always the same.  My ex husband would call me a liar for omitting what he considered to be important information. To him, withholding information was identical to lying. Learning what he thought was important vs what I thought was important was the miscommunication.

The last few weeks, I’ve been lonely, sad and confused, wondering why people who I thought I was close to had been lying to me. I mentioned it to my son, who quickly enlightened me. The last few weeks weren’t about being lied to, it was about opening my eyes and seeing the truth. A few quick checks when I originally felt the incongruency of the words I was being told vs the way it made me feel, would have revealed the truth months ago. Was I so lonely that I wanted to maintain those relationships even though I knew something was off?  A few quick phone calls and internet searches later… The FAA had no record of the husband who had been the pilot in a Beechcraft King Air plane crash with a fatality of a passenger. The police department had no premise records of arrests made at a specific address. Google images and Zillow revealed that the address wasn’t in a multi-million dollar gated community with a giant pool, but a small neighborhood of condominiums off of a busy road with a Walmart at the closest stop light and the nearest pool in a backyard of the next neighborhood over. County records revealed that the roommate I was told was an unattractive beer drinking buddy, turned out to be a wife. Friends asked to borrow money and showed me documentation, indicating when they were getting paid. That day is long gone. Even though it didn’t feel right, I didn’t want my  past money screwovers to make my current decisions.  I’ve often slipped, but try not to punish current people in my life for injustices of people in my past. When new people treat me in the same poor ways as people no longer in my life, I’ve noticed that I’m the common denominator. Funny how when I see problems, I’m always there! (Ho’oponopono)

Just kidding! I’m thankful for the truths you showed me!

When my first husband didn’t get the job we moved to Seattle for, he became a private investigator. I didn’t remember how much I enjoyed finding the truth. Well, finding the truth – the answers, to other people’s questions. Why did it hurt when I discovered the truth wasn’t what I thought it was from some of the important people in my life?

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Cameron and I were talking more about lying vs the truth. He reminded me those people are only being my mirrors. He asked me how I’m lying to myself. I told him I didn’t think I was. The conversation went on a tangent, talking about the trails we were hiking. Unknowingly to me, it cleverly went back.

“Mom, do you have cancer?”

“I don’t know.” Pretending I’m the healthy person I see myself being, but not totally honest by saying yes or no.

“Nailed it!” Cameron said.

“Nailed what?” I asked.

He went on to remind me that I do have cancer on the back of my neck, on my chest, on my left leg and possibly on the back of my head. Right now, the skin is intact, but I can still feel the lumps under the skin. We are working with energetic healing techniques for awhile before I black salve the areas again. Plus, as effective as it is, black salve hurts and I’m filling my time with things that feel good!

He asked me how I can let the go of the cancer if I won’t acknowledge its existence. You won’t change something that you don’t think is a problem.

Oh my! He’s been listening! All these years, I’ve been teaching him things and now he’s showing me the part of my mirror I was missing! He’s right! When things are working, we don’t normally change them. It’s when things no longer work that we want something better.

I do my daily treatments and continue eating my ketogenic diet, but I don’t think a lot about why I do it. Once in awhile, someone will ask about my scars and I tell them I have melanoma. It has become something I live with, not a life threatening disease. The looks on their faces tell me I should be more concerned. Sometimes, it scares me and I think about it too long, scaring myself more.

Because of current statistics, cancer is seen by many as a death sentence. Most people are devastated when they get the news that a loved one has cancer. Some patients don’t want the sadness from friends and loved ones, so they don’t tell anyone. I was considered “terminal” for over a year before I told my family. If I thought I sounded sick, I wouldn’t answer the phone and would call people back when I felt like I could fake it and sound good enough that they wouldn’t ask questions. My mom noticed I coughed a lot when we talked on the phone. It was such a normal thing, I denied I was coughing much. I tried to tune it out. Since even back then, I had stopped going to doctors, I don’t know if cancer made it to my lungs or not. Now, after learning about the mold that grows inside saline breast implants, the coughing could have been from mold toxicity.

When I finally told people I had been dealing with recurrent melanoma with liver and lymphatic system metastasis, they didn’t ask why I lied to them, they asked “Why didn’t you tell me?”

I talk to cancer patients who keep their diagnosis a secret, a lot. The “I” I’m about to speak of is only a percentage of cancer patients, but it is a common theme.

Especially around the holidays, I make excuses why I can’t spend time with family or friends like I used to. Too much going on at work, nobody to feed the fish or put compost in the worm bin. I do my best to only show up when I feel like I look good. I don’t want people to treat me like I’m dying. Sometimes, whether from the cancer or the treatments, my memory doesn’t quite work like it used to. I forget birthdays, anniversaries, doctor’s appointments, lunch dates,payment due dates. Things that are important to me. I feel like shit when I let you down. I tell myself I will try harder, but I forget again. You quit calling. Would you still be mad if you knew I was dying?  Would a forgotten birthday be remembered, along with your refusal to communicate, after I’m gone? Would you ask “why didn’t you tell me?”

Just because a friend or family member is being distant, doesn’t mean they have cancer or any other disease they don’t want to admit to. It does however mean, they may need your love now, more than ever.

Those who purposely lied to me. I’ll love them at a distance.

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Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan



Are you in?
November 5, 2016, 12:54 am
Filed under: ASEA, coaching, fitness, Gratitude, Inspiration

img_0179One of my mentors recently said “Bite off more than you can chew and chew the hell out of it.” My thoughts are “Bite off more than I can chew and just keep chewing, just keep chewing”. Then I hear Dori singing “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

Its been awhile since I’ve set any big goals, other than waking up tomorrow. I hope it doesn’t take a terminal diagnosis to make you appreciate waking up every day! I’ve been relatively happy when I wake up, most of my life, but it escalates every time things have gotten bad and I didn’t know if I’d make it thru the night.

One of my coworkers posted a thanks and plank challenge on facebook. “I’m in!” Immediately after typing it, I wondered what I was getting myself into. 30 days of thanks and planks. Great for the first week! By day 30,  it’s a 5 minute plank! Is that even possible? What (tf) are we trying to prove here?! I work with mostly physically fit people, so it’s a challenge I accepted and I’m going to meet! I love the competition!

On Halloween, a friend changed her profile picture to a picture of the 2 of us when we were at a bodybuilding competition. I was helping the competitors and she was the guest poser. It got me thinking about competing. I wondered why I stopped, even though I loved it. Then I remembered the cancer that was trying to take over my body for the last 12+ years. I did compete several times with active cancer, but it was a competition for myself more than competing against others. I let it get to me when 2 guys I knew from the gym, told me I should be embarrassed that I wasn’t as competitive as I should be. It had always been my goal to win, but it turned into something to help me plan on being alive for.

Thanks and planks. Join me?! It’s a 30 day goal. You can do it! Catch up or start on day 1.

This next part is scary. I believe that if a goal doesn’t scare me, it’s not big enough. Over the next 25 weeks, aside from continuing to write my books, focusing on my coaching clients and speaking engagement(s) -(I’m expecting more than the only one currently on my calendar!) and continuing my daily cancer treatments, I will be training for another bodybuilding competition. I’ll decide after the first of the year what class I’ll compete in, but my training focus will be in bodybuilding.

I don’t have a posing suit. All the others fit the double D’s. 25 weeks from now, my cute little boobies might look like deflated balloons. They’ll still be cute to me!

I don’t have a gym membership.

I get winded walking up the stairs, how am I going to do cardio?

Being on my modified ketogenic diet for the cancer, how will I modify it to get me to my goal, while continuing to live?

How can I deplete my water at the end without causing a kidney problem?

Those are a few of the questions swirling through my head. I know I have the answers for all of them, I just don’t know what they are yet. It’s a big goal for me! It’s giving me something to live for, but I’m also training to be in the best shape of my life, so far!

Come on! You can do the plank challenge with me! I’m also challenging you to set a 25 week goal. Let’s achieve them together!

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan

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Wonder Woman at Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival

 

Once again…Wonder Woman showed up for the Mukilteo Lighthouse festival. For those of you I met for the first time and a recap for the rest of y’all who follow my adventures…

For those of you who took pictures of me, please send them to me here, susanwonderstone@yahoo.com or on my Facebook page https://Facebook.com/susan.story.71

My son Cameron and I have been participating in the parade since he was in 2nd grade. He turns 20 this week.  Since the festival is always near his birthday, we invited his friends to celebrate with us. Sometimes we had a party after the parade,  complete with singing and birthday cake. At some point along the way, he decided to make a “FREE HUGS” sign. He would run from side to side along the parade route, with his arms out offering hugs to anyone who wanted one.

In the beginning, when I first made my outfit, I realized that when people saw me they often smiled, laughed  and asked to take pictures with me. We all tend to smile when someone smiles at us. It’s just as contagious as a yawn! People who were together, but not saying anything, would smile and communicate with each other. Regardless of whether they are having problems with relationships or work, recently lost a fur kid or other family member, have health challenges, are “drugged” from the crap food they just ate…or, whatever other things are going on in their heads, comnecting and communicating with another human always makes life easier to deal with. I’ve continued doing it, not to make it easier to deal with my own stuff, but to bless others with my will, in hopes that they’ll find their own.

Friday at my retail job, I dealt with the biggest jerk I’ve ever dealt with in the store. It spun me for a bit, because I really thought I could change the constipated look on his face into a smile before he left. I wondered what could be so bad in his life to make him nasty to not only me, but several of my coworkers he also interacted with. After about 30 minutes of wanting to chase him down in the parking lot, and tell him that I’d pray for him because his terminal cancer and putting his dog down this week must be challenging to his entire existence, I realized that jerks only show up in my life to check my own attitude. I really paid attention to myself for the rest of the day, still having the goal to make everyone I came in contact with, a little better than before they talked to me. I try to always make it a goal for me, even when I’m in so much pain I should be at home in bed. Like after the parade, when I slowly wandered around the Festival.  I did my best to smile. I talked to everyone who made eye contact with me. I met a beautiful woman named Demetria, who after a health challenge of her own, started a business providing  shoes to low income and foster children.

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People are amazing when you give them a chance to tell you who they are!

What’s my story?

As many of you know, my first melanoma diagnosis was in March 2000. I had two more surgeries in 2002.  In 2004, aside from skin lesions on my face and just about every body part, I had an open 2inch hole on my right butt cheek and the cancer was in my liver and lymphatic system. In August that year,  my doctor told me I probably wouldn’t make it through the summer. I knew, based on the conversation I had with my dermatologist in 2002, that there were no treatments that would give me hope. I cried  daily for months, wondering what I could do to save my life.  I researched and implemented everything that made sense. Over the years, I’ve stopped things that no longer seem to be helping and added things newly discovered.  A few days ago, my friend Armi, who I met in Tijuana, suggested I put raw honey in the hole in my leg. Why had I forgotten how many times raw honey had helped the skin lesions?   I filled the hole with raw honey, aside from the other things I’m still doing, and after two days it looks so much better!

In 2007,  I broke my back in a skydiving accident. It was my third jump. I had an L1 burst fracture. The staff in the emergency room told me I would probably never walk again. I must have said 100 times “Thank you God, I can move my toes!”  I believed that if I could move my toes I would walk again!  I kept telling them that they did not have my permission to touch any cancer they found in my body. I believed  what I was doing was working, and didn’t want biopsies or other medical treatments to interfere with my healing. My neurosurgeon  asked where the cancer was. Even though I still had lumps in areas of lymph nodes, he showed me the CT scan if my liver. There were no spots on my liver. I KNEW  if I could eliminate melanoma from my liver, I could recover from a broken back. He put me back together with screws in L2 and T12, with flexible plastic rods in between to give me full range of motion. They made me walk soon after I came out of anesthesia, three days after the accident.  I have walked every day since! It took me awhile to get my courage (or stupidity- however you look at it) to skydive again. I have 40 jumps now. Someday I’ll travel and jump in every city, state and country I can!

I’m not going to list all of the challenges I’ve faced, because it seems when I signed up for this life, that I agreed to face most obstacles others do, so I could empathize with the masses.

After I made my rounds at the festival, I went home to do the cancer treatments I didn’t have time for in the morning. I was so tired, but didn’t have time for a nap before I was supposed to be back for dinner with my Northwest Photo family.

I love my spray tan, sponsored by Oasis Airbrush Tanning!

 

The evening was just as amazing as the day!

While looking for the kids, I spun a wheel and won a month of free karate classes. I later found them giving hugs to the people who were within ear shot of the dude yelling at everyone, telling them they’re going to burn in hell for eternity. I’ve never understood how anyone thinks anger, hatred and fear will help convert another to their ways. Meanwhile, the Sikh group was dancing, hugging and appeared happy. But…that’s another story.

Dinner was great! Sunset was great! Connecting was great! Fireworks were great! I fell asleep with my feet soaking in Epsom salt, apple cider vinegar and frankincense.

 

Life is good!

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan

 



When life•••••• It’s time for a new perspective
September 8, 2016, 2:20 am
Filed under: coaching, Inspiration, Skydiving

•••••• insert negative adjective here.

When life sucks, it’s time for a new perspective. Okay, to be clear, when some parts  of life suck. Saturday will be 12 weeks the tumor on my leg has been open. I’m still believing  it’s a drain for all the bad stuff to flow out. Buddy dog. Jake, Anna and Jordan. And a few other things, but I don’t want to share too much negativity.

I’m currently not qualified to jump at my home drop zone. Going there, is tough because there’s nothing I want or need more than to jump. Okay, there’s something. Oh, there’s someone too, but jumping is high on my list. Since I can’t jump, when the  opportunity to fly came up, I jumped on it!

We’re  familiar with the area, and know better than to fly thru some of the clouds. Sometimes, mountains look like clouds. After accidentally flying thru clouds on a birthday skydive, I know they’re soft and fluffy. Mountains, not so soft and fluffy.

Up, up, up. Decrease power. Roller Coaster! He called them maneuvers, I called it Roller Coaster.

I didn’t have to ask,  but we did not do maneuvers over the poop pond. Hat island looks so little out there in the water.

 

 

imageimageimageAgain, without prompting, we flew right over my house. It’s just south west of the wheel.

I’ve always said I’d rather get out of the plane high than at lower altitudes.  This is especially true, around 3000 feet, where I can see and count cows, cars and people.

We had a conversation about perspectives. Right now, I’m sitting on a couch in my living room. I’m feeling the heat From the TDP lamp, hearing the ozone generator and the time clicking away on the clock. I’m aware of the room I am in. It’s not the same for me in a commercial aircraft, but in a little plane, everything changes.  Not only am I aware of my surroundings inside the plane, but the vastness of everything outside of the plane. The water, the mountains, all the homes  and cars, the  largest volume building in the world, right next-door at the Everett Boeing plant.

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That corn maze seems to take forever when you’re in it, but so small from  2000 feet. 50 years!

What’s big? Small? What’s important? It’s all a matter of perspective.

I had so much fun!

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan