Susan WonderStone's Blog


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



Celebration With Tears

image Continue reading



New Car Request to the Ellen Show

10557105_10205009633306541_7465980673093421113_o(1)I believe cancer is related to anger and resentment, but anger is usually preceded by fear. I thought if I faced my 2 biggest fears, heights and flying, I could figure out why the “terminal” cancer hadn’t killed me after 3 years. 3 days after my first tandem jump, a tumor on my leg came out and stuck to the bandage. I decided I had to jump by myself, and make the decision to get out of the plane. My 3rd jump resulted in an L-1 burst fracture. I was told I would never walk again. I’m rebellious! The picture is me on my 38th jump, with my son Cameron making his first jump on his 18th birthday, 11 years after my expiration date. I’m driving a 95 Toyota 4-Runner with over 200,000 miles on it. I bought it before Cameron was born. We’ve transported kayaks, dogs, bikes, hiking and camping gear and who knows what else. It’s been a great car, until a couple years ago, but also, at about 10 miles to the gallon and part time wages, we need a more reliable vehicle.
People think I can use the invisible jet plane, but I can’t find it. (I really AM Wonder Woman!)
It would be really cool if there were a 190 parachute with “After The Expiration Date” across the canopy, in the back of the new car.
Love, gratitude and blessings,
~Susan



07/07/14 – The luckiest day of my life…so far…
July 8, 2014, 12:58 am
Filed under: coaching, Gratitude, Hope, Inspiration, Skydiving | Tags: , , , ,

Below this post is the short story from 07/07/07. As twisted as it sounds, it was the luckiest day of the year. Today is the 7 year anniversary of the worst accident I’ve ever had. I hope the worst accident of my life.  I felt my back break.  I knew I was hurt bad.  Several nurses in the emergency room commented that I’d probably never walk again after they saw the CT scan.  The diagnosis on the CT scan says L1 Burst fracture with retropulsed fragment.  I would have to wait 3 days for the surgery because they didn’t have the drill they needed to install the screws in my back.  I never asked, but I’m guessing because he saw my muscularity and knew it was a skydiving accident, he installed plastic rods to allow for full range of motion.   If he had fused it, I wouldn’t be able to “arch”.

L1 Burst fracture I’m so thankful for Dr Geier for putting me back together.  His main concern was my back, not the muscles that were ripped off my ribs.  He said they should re-attach themselves and the bone fragments would probably get absorbed by my body.  The follow up scan 6 weeks later showed they were much smaller.  I had no idea that could happen.

Here I am, 7 years later.  My back still gives me daily reminders.  I make little grunting noises, holding my breath when I make certain movements.  At my six week check up, I asked Dr Geier about physical therapy.  He said “You know more about your body than any physical therapist does.  Go get to work.”  He won me over, giving me back hope the cancer community had taken away. Cameron always thought it was funny when we were at the gym working something other than back when I’d tell him I needed to do back extensions and planks because my back hurt.  He would laugh and say “Most people would go home now.”  It has nothing to do with why I did it, but I’m thankful it has still left a big impression on him.  I remember the exercises they taught me in physical therapy 3 years ago when it was acting up and do them.  I can complain or do something about it.  It’s good to have choices!

This morning, something felt off.  I was writing a check and realized what the date was.  I’ve always felt like anniversary dates can affect us.  It’s been almost 17 years since my first miscarriage and 16 years since my dad died.  Those dates and my dad’s birthday always bring a myriad of emotions, usually before I realize what day it is…marriage and divorce anniversaries too.

Today was no different.  My liver has been clear for 7 years.  Sure, there’s been a lot of cancer over the last 7 years, but my liver has remained happy. I still have a tiny bit of hope in the medical community…that’s all I need, remember, the faith of a mustard seed…

Why is it the luckiest day of my life so far?  I found an article from Stanford University stating that every cell in the skeleton is regenerated every 7 years.  Today’s the day.  My back is completely brand new!  Okay, so it might be wishful thinking, but if I choose to believe it, I have a better chance of not hurting anymore, right?

I’m thankful for everything I learned from my accident.  I’m thankful I grew the balls to skydive again.  I’m thankful for everyone I met and all the experiences the accident created.  I am truly blessed!

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan

 



My Birthday Wish

Happy Birthday to me! WooHoo!!  I made it another year!  It’s rare that I tell you how bad things are when they’re bad, but I seem to know it’s just a bump in the road, usually blocking all lanes of traffic, but still, it’s just a bump – I’ll get around it, you know I always do.  Over the last year, I’ve had more cancer than the previous 7 years combined.  Don’t go back to years 8-10, they sucked!  Back to the last year…Cancer pain, doubt and fear lurking all around me, pretending to family and friends that things weren’t so bad, wondering if I’d make it another month, getting fired, hopelessly wondering “what’s next?”…dark thoughts.    As much as he’s gotten tired of hearing the same things over and over, my son is thankful for my personal development mentors and coaches’ voices remaining in my head.  They are my cheerleaders.  Every time I start thinking about needing to finish paying for my cremation, I hear Earl Nightingale say “Never give up. NEVER GIVE UP!”

I knew with things so bad, I had to do something equally good.  I’m not sure how I thought skydiving was the answer, but it seemed to be my best option.  Aside from that, like I’ve said before, the things that challenged me the most, also provided the most benefits -often much later.  My first 2 jumps in last years student progression were the most terrifying!  I knew 7 years ago when I broke my back there would be a day I came back to prove to myself that I could do it.  There have been several times I’ve thought I never need to jump again, then the need to be challenged shows up again.  Breaking thru the terror has boosted my confidence exponentially!  There are so many things to think about up there…EVERY SECOND COUNTS!

 

Zig Ziglar said “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.

My wish is to live a long, healthy life, as an international speaker, skydiving near every city I go to.   How am I going to do it?

I’m going to help you!

I want to help a minimum of 100 people make their dreams come true in the next 365 days. 

What if you don’t know what to dream about?   I’ll help you start dreaming again.  Maybe it’s to improve your body, your mind, your relationships, your finances or business… maybe to turn your annual income into your monthly income…whatever it is, I can help you figure it out, and be your cheerleader all the way to the finish line.  The finish line to that dream.  Every dream brings a bigger one.  Every achievement brings confidence for more.  Pretty cool how it works!

Please share the link to my website to help me achieve my wish by helping you or someone you know get theirs.
http://www.susan-story.com/

 

Maybe your life is going in the direction you choose, but you need organic, natural soap…Please order it from my soap company

Wiener Friendly soap

 

Love, gratitude and blessings!

~Susan Story



Drivers License Renewal

Just what everyone wants to do on a beautiful sunny day….renew their license.  It wasn’t that busy, but when I went to the desk to get my number to wait in the next line, the woman told me I could renew it online.  I said “But then I have to keep the last picture.”  She responded with “Isn’t it 4 years old?  Why wouldn’t you want to keep it?”

I look better and younger than I did then.   Of course I want a new picture!  She looked at me funny and gave me a number.

Just yesterday, Bert and I were walking with the dogs in the woods.  I told him that I’m finally feeling like I’m ME.  It’s been so long since I’ve felt like the body I’m living in is mine.  It’s moving the way I want it to.  My muscles are responding to my workouts and my diet.  I feel really good!

My number appeared on the board only about 5 minutes after I got there.  The woman was very personable, not my past experience at the DOL.  She asked me if my height and weight were the same.  I asked what the old one said.  I’ve never liked the last picture, so haven’t looked at the details since I got it.  I told her I might be an inch shorter from obliterating a vertebrae. She asked questions about the accident, then decided I looked 5’07”.  Next she asked if my weight was the same.  “I have NO idea.”  We joked about it.  She said she could put 200 pounds if I wanted her to. I asked what the old one said.  160.  I told her that was probably close enough, then backed away from the counter and asked her how much she thought I weighed.

Before she answered, I told her they needed a scale in front of the counter. She said people would never go for that.  Skydive centers have them.  I asked her what she thought would happen if someone lied about their weight before getting a parachute designed for a certain size.  I also told her about indoor wind tunnels and how good their staff is at guessing weight.  They also have scales in front of the counter.  How embarrassing if they didn’t weigh you, you lied and there wasn’t enough wind to get you off the ground.  I’d WAY rather be told I couldn’t do it than to get “grounded” with 30 people standing around watching.

She decided I looked 150 and changed it for my new license.  A few nights ago, I asked Bert if the muscles in my upper back were visible without flexing.  He said “Yes, but you’ve always been really solid.”  I’m guessing that’s not an answer most women would want to hear, but it made me laugh.  I am solid.  Like I said, I’m feeling like ME again.  My body is solid, my mind and ideas are solid – I know where I am and where I want to go…everything is coming together after SO many years of living a few months at a time.  Oh, you want to know how much I weigh?  With my clothes and shoes on…that’s how I weigh myself at the airport…never say never, but I don’t think I’ll ever skydive naked…have you ever seen videos of what boobs do at 120 mph naked? – well, she was about 25 pounds too low.

It’s all good.  Maybe someday I’ll be 150.  I mean weight.  I have a hard time seeing myself live past 140 years.  She agreed that I look younger and better and less weight than in the previous photo.

I’m thankful to be celebrating another birthday!  Life is good!

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan