All About Connecting: My dear readers…

Use the power of love and a passion to live fearlessly

By Nancy Plummer, Columnist, The Times

NancyPlummerLogoWhen I started my company All About Connecting four years ago, my purpose was to coach about the whole human experience being shared. Life, and all its dramatic and monotonous moments; from deep despair of losing a loved one, to experiencing new passionate love, All About Connecting has been able to inspire and help hundreds of men and women navigate their personal journey after losing a relationship, to finding happiness within themselves and begin to connect again with the world and others with an unabashed open heart, while strong enough to survive new adversities with grace and appreciation.

This past June 25th my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by attending Paul Simon’s concert at the Mann Music Center. It was a magical event, and at the end of the evening I proclaimed to my husband that I was the luckiest woman on the planet. I truly felt at that moment my life had become immeasurably perfect; from being so deeply in love, to having a most fulfilling career, to having all my children flourishing and having a blast of a summer, to having my siblings and entire family so close and healthy, to having a relationship with my ex – the father of my children – one of my closest friends, and surrounded by so many friends that I have known for over 49 years.

Six days later my life turned upside down…me, the one who did handstands every day at 54 years old, who seemed to have more energy than three people combined, who has lived life to the fullest…was diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage 3c, and given a 50% chance of living one to three years.

It took a week to gather a team of expert surgeons to be ready for my challenging debunking surgery, which lasted almost 10 hours. Unfortunately, I had many complications which required me to be readmitted to the hospital several times. I spent more than 30 days in the hospital and while I almost died three times, I am still alive and ready to fight my next battle of 18 or more weeks straight of chemotherapy.

While my prognosis isn’t very promising on paper, there is something you should know about me: I’ve survived a MRSA infection which almost resulted in amputating my leg, survived a white-out in the aIps after an avalanche and was finally rescued after nine hours, and have actually survived being attacked by a wild gang of baboons while filming a documentary in South Africa. So, if I can live through that, I certainly believe I’m tough enough to survive this horrible cancer.

I’m sharing all of this because during this 60-day ordeal, I feel I have gained a lot more appreciation of the power of love and a passion to live fearlessly. It would honor me if I could inspire just one of my readers to let go of the past and all the hurtfulness that came with it, and just live today with an open heart. In fact, I’d love to be able to ask you to consider some of the toughest lessons I’ve learned the hard way. Perhaps it will make your journey a little easier…

  1. Advocate for yourself and don’t let anyone tell you that you are “fine” when you know intuitively that something is wrong, whether it be a doctor, a family member, a friend, or your lover.
  2. Forgive your own trespasses as well as others. Life didn’t come with a handbook; we are human and fallible and so is everyone else. The amount of energy we waste on petty nonsense, or vengeful and angry thoughts is destructive.
  3. During this new journey, I have met more saints than I ever dreamed were alive. From nurses, to doctors, to volunteers, to security guards, to neighbors and strangers, the amount of love and support is so vast if you are willing to be open to ask for help and open to receive. Take the time to thank those you go out of their way to make your day a little bit easier.
  4. Please trust that love conquers all…so please, take the time today and tomorrow and every day that follows, to share with your partner, your family, your children, and everyone you care about, just how appreciative you are of them and how much you love them.
  5. There’s very few things like cancer that can bring out such a huge sense of humility. Carrying around a catheter bag that leaks while you are out in public, having your ostomy explode, having your wig catch on fire, and just not wanting to talk to a single soul for fear they might really get a sense of just how scared you really are despite the pretenses; no one said life would always be easy. But, in some great way, most of the humiliating aspects just become your new normal. It astounds me how adaptable we are as humans. Thank goodness.

I promise to keep you updated. Meanwhile, please know that this journey has been filled with more good than bad, and more acts of love and kindness than I have ever witnessed. It is shocking just how many people are fighting a horrible illness. Please take a moment today to reach out to someone you know and let them know you care. Every gesture really matters. Most importantly, I feel so lucky that of all my loved ones, it is me who was meant to go through this ordeal. Here’s to love, and all that it offers.

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