Then & Now

Three years ago, at this time, on this day, I had no idea what was in store, what the day would hold. I had no idea that the events of the day to come would change my life forevermore. I had no idea. Now I know.
“I am certain your test results will come back positive for cancer.” I heard those words three years ago today, as I was getting prepped for a needle biopsy. Those twelve words are forever etched in my memory. They rocked my world and changed my life forevermore. The moment they hit the airwaves, my world came crashing in, suffocating my every breath. A cloak of darkness enveloped my very being.

As I look upon that moment three years later, it is like looking through a telescope backwards. So much has happened between Then and Now. The hourglass was stretched beyond its physical dimensions. The enormous milestone somehow looks smaller in the rear view mirror, yet that line drawn in the sand forever changed me. While getting diagnosed is the scariest thing you’ll ever go through, it is a gift. You’re given the opportunity to fight, triumph, and flourish! The words, which felt like daggers cutting through my very core, were actually angels flying in to save my life!
Telling your loved ones you’ve been diagnosed with cancer is heart wrenching.
Proclaiming to the world that you are a cancer SURVIVOR is empowering!

Here is a link to the poem I wrote about this point in my pilgrimage.

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


Inner Goddess

Inner Goddess

Sometimes Ms. Vanity,
chases away Ms. Confidence,
and comes knocking on my door.
She keeps her companion,
Ms. Self-Conscious,
in close tow.
I try to ignore them both.
But they howl and howl,
and they huff and they puff,
until I let them in.

They point and laugh.
Magnifying and Amplifying
all the cruel tricks of Nature
I want to eradicate.

Hair loss
where I want to keep it.
Hair growth
where I could do without!
My tweezers and I
have a friend/foe relationship.
Every day,
we have a stare down
in the mirror.
Plucking and taunting
as we dance in the ring.
Bulges, jiggles, and wiggles
jamming to the beat.

in the most undesirable places.
at the most inconvenient times.
taking ownership of my skin.

of my Perfect Girls
are in the eyes
of a Scarecrow.
Helter Skelter
Purple Hearts
slashed across
their cheeks.

One would think
my husband’s declining vision
would help my parable,
yet his fingers do the walking.
He knows me by braille!

What Is
What Is.
It’s better
than the alternative!
Control what you can,
and LET GO of all the rest!

Find your Inner Goddess.
Gaze upon her
in your reflection.
She is your True Self.
She is your Muse.
Present her
to the world.
Walk in her light!

Nancy L. Baskin Michlin, M.Ed., C.H.C.
January 16, 2014
Poem # 384

Inner Fountain

“Until I was faced with such extreme adversity, I had no idea how much inner strength and determination I had. Within each of us, there lies a fountain of pure energy. It is up to us to tap it and bathe in its electrifying, flowing currents.”

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


Unadulterated Fabrication

Unadulterated Fabrication

Our imaginations
of stories we don’t know.
We get a glimpse,
and write the rest of the tale,
based on the Island of What Ifs.
Inhabited exclusively
with phantoms
we conjure up.

The shaky terrain
is filled with
darkness and shadows.
Ghosts lurking
from our past.
Never ending loops
of dismal possibilities
shrieking in our ears.
Echoes ricocheting off
the walls of our minds
like lottery numbers
bouncing off a plastic dome.

Worse Case Scenarios
thrive in The Gap between
What Is and What If.
They camp out in this chasm.
Pitching tent
for as long as we allow.
As real and as tangible
as they appear,
their credibility
is a sham.
They breathe only within us.

As the mirage expands,
it overtakes
our field of vision,
and blinds us
with the lurid side of
glamour and glitz.
in a trick mirror.
our minds become
the pent-up hostage
and the warden,
mockingly swinging
the keys to freedom.

Yet in the space
of reality,
we don’t know
more than an instance.
It’s as if we thumb through a novel,
pick a few words off a random page,
and think we’ve penned the book ourselves.
The ending is firmly
footed in the depths of our minds.

The hourglass is an illusion,
stretched beyond recognition.
There’s a lifetime
trailing every split second,
transcending its capacity.
Infinity lives
behind the scenes.
Beyond the curtain,
the Wizard is busy
at work.

As the epic unfolds,
hidden details emerge.
The threads weave
The tapestry
is brighter
than we ever
conceived possible.
Every time.

Vacate The Island of What Ifs.
It is all a myth.
Unadulterated Fabrication.
Lasso and tether
your runaway thoughts.
Rein them in.
Guide them as firmly
as a jockey bridles
a wild horse.

Calm your spirit.
Soothe your soul.
Anchor your musings
in sparkling waves of luminosity.
Firmly root
your psyche
on The Shore of What Is.
Playground or Penitentiary.
Flowers and rainbows
or concrete and chains.
An ocean apart.
A world within.
The choice is ours.

Nancy L. Baskin Michlin, M.Ed., C.H.C.
August 20-21, 2013
Poem #380

Sloughing Off Old Skin

Of all the significant things I’ve lost to breast cancer, never did I think I would lose friends.  Recently, I had a group of friends who turned their back on me. Of course, at this point I have to use the word “friends” in quotes. While it’s very difficult being rejected, I have to have faith that it was for the best. I am not doubting myself; I am not beating myself up; I am proud to be who I am!  I am thrilled with who I’ve become!

Of course, I bear some responsibility from the situation; and I want to learn all the lessons I meant to from it. At the same time, in my heart, I know, I am the best version of me I’ve ever been. The last year and a half has been a quantum evolution for me! Version 2.0! As I shed old habits, previous versions of Me are outgrown and sloughed off.  As learn to live in my new skin, as much as it saddens me, I guess some “friends” also get sloughed off in the process. I suppose, it is a natural part of evolution.

***For further thoughts on the subject, read the poem I posted on May 23rd, Living In My New Skin***

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

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