Survivor Profile on Susan Komen’s Site

My survivor profile on the Susan Komen Greater Fort Worth site.

Click on photo to redirect to the Komen site.

Komen Site Survivor Profile

http://www.komengreaterfortworth.org/understanding-breast-cancer/local-resources/survivor-stories/nancy-michlin.html

I was given the opportunity to tell my story in a video on the Komen Greater Fort Worth YouTube Channel as well.


In the following video, I share more of my story.  It gives critical details that were edited out of the others.  Please set aside nine minutes to learn more about my journey, and my thoughts on staying cancer-free for life!

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Get On B.A.S.E.!

More great news. The background first. Since 2008, I’ve had abnormal cells on the cervix. On a 7 point scale [1- Normal, 2 – ASCUS (Atypical Squamous Cells of Undermined Significance), 3 – Low Grade Changes, 4 – Moderate Changes, 5 – Severe Changes, 6 – Pre-Cancerous, 7 – Cancer], I’ve teetered between ASCUS (level 2) and low grade changes (level 3).They have stayed at level 3 for three years now. While they were not getting any worse, they were not getting any better either.As we’ve kept a watchful eye on them, we have also discussed removing them. We hadn’t done so yet, because as y’all know, I’ve had “larger cells to fry!”With the most recent examination, if my body didn’t show signs of improvement, I was prepared to evict those misbehaving cells.For the first time since 2010, the cells moved back to level 2! My body is healing thyself! The nurse said, “Whatever you are doing, keep doing it! We’ll see you back in six months!” Good nutrition, regular exercise, stress reduction, and a gratitude focus works! I’m On B.A.S.E.! (Breathe! Act! Smile! Eat!) Join me!

Not only is Getting On B.A.S.E.! (Breathe! Act! Smile! Eat!) what I am adhering to for my own health, it is also a new division of our clinic.  Be careful following me though, there are possible SIDE EFFECTS; which can include, but are not limited to, atypical cells healing themselves, lymph nodes doing their job, perfect lipid panel, energy abound, uncontrollable smiles, significant weight loss…see photo for a further possible side effect!

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Nancy L. Baskin Michlin, M.Ed., C.H.C.

A Tethered Imagination

Yesterday, I had quite a scare.  I will tell you the end of the story first, everything turned out great.  It was the getting there that rolled my emotions for a loop.  I’ve had a skin rash on my chest for a few months.  I’ve been trying to nail down what it was.  After several attempts at isolating a cause, to no avail, I went to my oncologist. I was concerned that it might be a lymph node draining issue (read *Lymphedema*).  Let me assure you straight away, it was not Lymphedema.  She said it was a yeast infection.  On my breasts?!  Who knew that could happen?  During the exam, she found one enlarged lymph node.  We figured it was because the lymph node was doing its job.  “Check back in a month.”

A month later, after using anti-fungal cream and taking a round of Diflucan, the rash was better, albeit still giving me some trouble.  Most importantly, the lymph node was still enlarged.  Again, it certainly could be because it is doing its job, as any good lymph node should.

Yet with a cancer survivor, no enlarged node goes unchecked!

Every cancer survivor has or will go through an experience like this.  It is a new way of life – nothing goes unverified.  Off to get an ultra sound I went!

On the drive over, those few miles seemed like I was headed to another state.  The road stretched out, and my wheels were spinning in place.  While I was certain there was nothing wrong, I had to lasso and tether in my imagination to keep her from doing tricks on me or running away. I was consciously focusing my self-talk.

“Everything is great.”  “I am healthy.”  “There is nothing wrong!”

As I was waiting, in the same clinic where I was given the news of my original cancer diagnosis, you can be certain my imagination wanted to run wild and free!  I held tightly upon the rope, giving her no slack and keeping her restrained and rooted by my side.  I ran a mental loop of all the positive affirmations conceivable.

At long last, my name was called.  An ultrasound technician did her thing, saying nothing of the results, of course.  After she was done examining me, she told me she was going to get another doctor to have a look.

“Yikes!  Does that mean that you found something?”

“We always have two people examine a patient to make sure nothing is missed.”

Good plan.  I like thoroughness.  Off she goes, leaving me and my shackled imagination on the table.  Those few minutes stretched the hour glass beyond recognition.  My imagination was yanking on the rope. I was reining her in, calming the beast and soothing her soul with all the positive declarations I could muster.

“This is nothing.”  “My lymph node is just doing its job!”  “I am healthier than ever before!”

While I was pacifying myself, pumping my head full of sunshine, strength, and courage, a single tear escaped and slid down my cheek.  I knew it was going to be nothing.  I was positive it would be negative.  The tear was twisted from a phantom pain which will haunt me forevermore.

My chi is stronger than any apparition.  I will prevail.  My voice, belting out song and cheer, will drown out his.  In time, only an indistinct echo will catch on a warm breeze.

End of the story, there is nothing wrong.  My dear lymph node is enlarged, because she is hard at work defending my body from intruders, like a silly skin rash.  Hail to the healthy node!  My inner voice is full of sweet melodies and joyous merriment!  Sing with me!  Here!  Now!  Always!

Nancy L. Baskin Michlin, M.Ed., C.H.C.

Tabbouleh a la Nancy

Tabbouleh a la Nancy. This time I used parsley, purple kale, broccoli, Brussel spouts, tomatoes, cracked wheat, red quinoa, red onions, fresh garlic, a hot pepper, a smidgen of sea salt, and lemon and lime juice. When served, I’ll garnish it with home roasted beets and either organic strawberries or organic blackberries. Very tasty! Staying healthy one meal at a time!

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Quantum Evolution

Quantum Evolution

High on a mountaintop
holding a torch
stretched out above my head
Blazing
for all to see.
Singing the melody
the heavens are whispering
straight into my heart.

I have plunged ocean depths.
I have scaled the canyons.
Climbing
Clawing
Burrowing Over
Around
and Through
the expanse of sierras.
The mountain range is behind me.

Darkness and Light
Twilight and Eclipse
Combusting
Alchemy
Expansive and Abundant
Vivid and Brilliant
A Total Color Spectrum.
I am recreated.

My unfolding outcomes
are more than apparent.
Flowing and Concrete.
Mind, Body, Spirit
Twining
Actualizing
Conducting
A 3-Dimensional Kaleidoscope.
Quantum Evolution.

I hold my sequel
for all to witness.
In vast humility
I stand before you.
Exposed.

Bestow me as your
Personal Paradigm.
Absolute Conception.
I am a funnel.
A Sparking Conduit.
As much as for me
my allegory is being authored
for You.

Turn the pages with me.
Dancing through the wind
our voices spread.
Resonating.
Harmonic.
Sweet.
Pure.

Nancy L. B. Michlin
January 15, 2013
Poem #372