At the beginning of this healing journey, I started sharing with a small group of close friends & family on a private blogging site. Below is part of one of the first posts that I wrote… from it our group began calling themselves Team Velveteen, thanks to our friend Marney, who named us that. And in that sense, we are all “Team Velveteen” for and with each other.
It’s a lovely reminder that it’s love that makes all things REAL and it’s love that moves us through the difficult times – and love that lifts us beyond the ordinary and into the extraordinary.
And love is restoring John as he transforms his health, gains weight and nourishes himself from the inside out. He is healing, and we are both finding the joy within the challenges of this too- with love.
Let REAL love be your pathway today and all days.
Love, Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (aka SARK)
July 15 2015 Our beautifull John, is temporarily different in appearance, having lost almost 50 pounds, and we are embodying the Velveteen Rabbit philosophy- see below.
EXCERPT FROM THE VELVETEEN RABBIT ~ By Margery Williams ~
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
I have a whole new perspective on life these days. I’ve realized I can create new perspectives about anything – any communication, any conversation, any confrontation – because nothing can feel as bad as first hearing my beloved partner John’s cancer diagnosis.
It was the ultimate “bad news” for me. And yet, it has also been, and continues to be, one of the richest fields for healing, transformation, upliftment, and creation. And as John heals and transforms this experience, it continues to multiply the goodness.
I’m amazed as the good that has arisen as well. Absolutely amazed.
Like our LoveBoat campaign – now in its final week. What was started as a contribution to us has expanded to be a contribution to the hundreds who have received the beautifull, inspired, and discounted gifts and programs available as “perks”.
I invite you to look today and see if what you want and have been desiring is available to you for at a very special – and healing – discount.
I also want to share a couple of my journal entries from the private update site that John & I both have used throughout this journey to update our close friends & family. May these empower your healing journey… whether it be one of big healing, or the “ordinary” healing we all need every day.
Let all the healing continue and expand…
From August 21st – Musical Tumors
John has concluded the 3rd round of chemo- he’s temporarily in an unreachable part of his mountain climb- the regrouping period where he goes deep & doesn’t communicate. This is one of the hardest times for me- because I can’t help him in my familiar ways.
Of course I know I help him with my presence and my love, but when I can’t communicate “as usual,” I can tend to freak out. So I’m communicating about it here and in the telepathic realms.
Also, he had an ultrasound and the results came back yesterday, one tumor has shrunk, another has grown slightly, and another one is making itself known. I’m being deliberately less specific here for John’s privacy and to provide spaciousness for the organs involved. I wanted to let you all know here in a way that feels most supportive to me/us & this is what I came up with.
I decided to call these “musical tumors,” much like musical chairs- because I know that they change all the time. And I like putting words together that don’t aren’t usually seen together:-)
We will meet with his oncologist Caroline, about her recommendations after the 4th chemo in 2 weeks. There will be a CT scan with more information then too.
Meanwhile, I’ve spoken with a medical advisor about the results of this ultrasound “snapshot in time,” and creating more spaciousness for the unknown- and how the standard medical model generally believes that tumors grow & kill people, and that John & I and most of us here (I say most because we don’t all need to believe the same things to support each other) generally believe that tumors can shrink and go away and teach people something they wanted to learn. And that people can be healthier as a result.
Still, it feels really scary and uncertain and vulnerable in the middle. I’m experiencing extreme vulnerability in the midst of this, and am trusting more than ever in sharing about it all along the way. I’m/we’re receiving so many gifts and blessings in so many forms. We are both so glad to share our experience here. Your comments, compassionate witnessing, love and presence really help. Thank you.
From August 22nd – Turning Towards Love
When I first wrote about the “musical tumors” and my feelings of extreme vulnerability, I had no hopes of easing the monumental pain and fear I was experiencing.
Writing about my feelings helped me to express them, and then feel them.
Being seen, known and loved through reading and feeling your exquisite comments helped me to shift from the temporary abyss I felt I was in. I literally felt your words lift me up and out. Thank you.
And those of you who call, text or show up- it means the world. And if you’re one of the beloved souls reading & witnessing us here, I feel those mighty waves of love too.
There is so much space for all of us to be how & who we truly are.
John emerged from the caverns yesterday and was glowing in his bed and sharing the insights he has gained from the experience.
His tiny semi private room had been transformed by the absence of a roommate, who had been moved out to another larger room, and John was able to have the door closed and the lights out, and rest deeply. I had asked the nurse the night before if this would be possible, and it was. Another reminder to ask with love and no attachment, and see what comes.
The plan now is for John to come home tonight! I’ve loaded in the food & the flowers and the love.
We will both provide the ongoing love, joyfull solutions and feelings expressions in this new situation and environment of our familiar home.
We are both so uplifted with everything that you share. You can post comments here, and you can also call the Inspiration Line at 415 546 3742. I regularly and joyfully listen to those messages and receive your love and wisdom~ thank you.
When I created my new healing blanket, I never imagined that my beloved fiancé & co-author Dr. John Waddell would be underneath it, healing from stage 4 cancer. He has much to share about his miraculous and ordinary healing process.
I know that healing happens in spirals and layers, rather than steps on a ladder. My process with this has been one of experiencing my biggest fear as my greatest blessing and sharing about that. Carl Jung said, “The Gods visit us through illness.” Healing is non linear.
And so we all travel the layers and spirals in our various ways. When our friends Shiloh, Dori, Amy and Michon created an indiegogo campaign called the Loveboat, I never imagined that we would be the recipients of this kind of giving. I’ve always been on the other side of the campaigns. Plus, so many people have donated incredible goods and services to support us also. We are so gratefull.
When I wrote the foreword for Shiloh’s book, Heart of the Visionary, I didn’t imagine that she would invite us some years later to her Livestream Salon to do a live video teaching, healing raising, transformational event like the one we are doing this Friday. And she did, so kindly, so intuitively and also donated her time & studio & equipment.
I created this little tableau in our kitchen- and then noticed that it was time to refresh the writing on the wall and perhaps place a little succulent there in honor of growth.
Today I peered down to see 2 tiny hearts on the edge of the counter! I asked John if he had put them there- he had not.
I had not.
No one else had been over. Clearly, we live with angels.
Photo of the mysterious hearts that appeared
Since my fiancé, co-author and co-teacher John was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in July, I’ve been extremely aware of angels, and of our power to create what we desire more than ever.
I don’t believe that I had a desire for John to have stage 4 cancer- I do believe that we can create in any conditions, and John and I both are.
We are both writing about our experiences and teaching in our virtual writing reTREAT the weekend of Sep. 18-20 (sshhh- the 18th is also John’s birthday!) It will be a life expanding weekend and you can sign up here.
HeartFULLY, SARK (and all the SARKangels;-)
p.s. – Yes, you will discover how to create in any conditions during this magical & heart-expanding weekend. Find your spot HERE.
Thank you all SO MUCH for your responses, insights, intuitions, wise words and overall outpouring of LOVE, for me and for my beloved John.
Thank you forever for your very generous contributions to ourLoveboat, which is helping everything stay afloat. We are so honored by all the creative gifts being offered, and so incredibly blessed by everyone helping.
I read and reread your words, letting them fill all the spaces that fears and worries were trying to occupy:-) Please know how much your love and care matters. There are so many miracles, and so much healing is occurring. John and I are astounded by love and surrounded with support- thank you.
On this very day, 3 years ago, John said,
“I want you to know that I’m qualified to adore you.”
And he was, and he is.
I found out that I was also qualified to adore him!
Love flows through us, between us and fills us up to overflowing, and we share it everywhere that we can. And we are learning how to share more.
We had planned to be on Martha’s Vineyard for this third anniversary, having located a cottage near the sea.
Instead, John is receiving his third Kimo, in a hospital near the bay.
And even though it’s not what we planned, it is welcome.
I feel like I Married Adventure (wonderfull title of a book from 1940 about the lives of Osa & Martin Johnson.) and that there are more adventures for us, and that this is just one of them.
Seeing John in his lavender t-shirt by the bay, near a window with a view, kissing and laughing together, we could be anywhere.
The fact that there are cords and tubes in his arm seems incidental, and not so unusual since he’s known as “the cord guy,” who has every conceivable electronic device cord:-)
He’s likely to come home for the first time since this whole journey began, on Saturday or Sunday, and our home is thoroughly clean, and will be stocked with fresh food, fruit and flowers.
And LOVE. Lots of love.
Love to flow through the windows and the rooms and the air that we breathe.
Love to heal & mend and uplift. Love to give and receive JOY.
Love to be in the room when fear and uncertainty come to visit, and love to help them on their way.
Love to surprise and delight and remind us of our true purposes.
Love to whisper kind words when each of us experiences impatience.
Love when we wonder why we’re here, and love all around for every little thing.
Love for the new sprouts of awareness and for the giant redwoods of knowing.
Love for the waiting, the tending, the driving, the doing, and the creating of new joyfull solutions.
Love for the brand new paths and the old familiar routes. Love whenever we doubt.
Love trumps fear, and may we practice avidly.
Love, Susan (aka SARK) and John (aka John;-)
p.s.– so many people are practicing Love on our behalf too. You can see all the wonderful love offerings here – and it is all so very, very helpful!
When I used to dream of experiencing true love with another person, I used to experience my biggest fear also. What if I finally found that person and then they died?
To me, this would be the greatest irony, and biggest challenge ever. My most beloved partner and lover and fiancé John and I celebrate our 3 year anniversary this month.
We are also now experiencing a tremendous challenge, and I am experiencing my greatest fear, in the form of John just being diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic colon cancer. This came “out of the blue” as so many things do, and when I heard the diagnosis, I truly felt as if I’d been shot in the heart.
John has always experienced exceptional health, and I felt certain that we’d have a very long and happy & healthy life together. In fact I’d planned on it, which didn’t account for my greatest fear at all. I thought I’d be writing to you about our new wedding date.
Here we are at our engagement party in November- John was moving at the “speed of love;-)”
Life with John has been and is, the happiest time of my entire life.
You may know that we also wrote a book together, which was completed the day before he went into the hospital.
It is a book about love and relationships, called Succulent Wild Love: Six Powerful Habits for Feeling More Love More Often. It’s a whole new philosophy of love and relationships for everyone, including loving yourself perhaps more deeply than you ever have.
We are now living those 6 habits in this situation too- feeling all the love in the world, and practicing the principles, in the face of this most challenging diagnosis. The book will be out this fall.
I’m choosing to share this personal health news with you now, because I have always shared my real life in my books and in my blog posts, and because I know that sharing what hurts is what helps- not only John and me, but everyone.
We are all experiencing our biggest fears, in one form or another, in this human life. And of course many people are experiencing, or have experienced, far worse. And we are not meant to do it all alone.
Our friend Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen sat by me in the hospital during the first horrifying days, and shared some of her own stories of medical challenges, and said, “There is a tremendous power in this diagnosis.”
I didn’t know exactly what she meant then, but I do now.
The power is in the fact that I’ve not ever felt or experienced more love- there are so many miracles and so much love to share- through this experience too.
The power is that I’ve begun a life review that is deeper and more fearless than I’ve ever experienced- I’ll be sharing all about this in my blog posts.
The power is that I’m more certain of the presence of angels, miracles and my inner wise self than ever before- and the evidence is immense.
I do wish that it wasn’t through this route. I do not want John to die. I really really really to infinity do not want John to die. If John dies from this, I am not sure what will become of me and my heart. A secondary fear is that John would live, but live a significantly diminished life due to health circumstances, and that I would not know how to go on with that either.
I do know that I intend to go on with deep love, uncommon faith and indelible trust. I am doing everything I know to experience love through every possible channel, through this too.
And that is my greatest blessing– to be present for whatever happens- including the possibility of his healing and living! I want to be present for every moment that I can.
All my “what ifs” or doctors’ opinions cannot predict what will happen, and I am learning to create “spaciousness in the uncertainty” instead of rehearsing tragedy, as my friend Lissa reminded me the other day, as we discussed Brene Brown’s books.
I am receiving so much love and practicing exquisite self care more than EVER. I am working with healers, body workers and angelic guides. I am also receiving more than ever, saying multiple times daily, “I accept” to everything offered.
Here’s my most beloved fiancé John
As for John, he’s deeply engaged in the power of this diagnosis, doing his inner and outer healing, with the help and wisdom of the seen and unseen.And with the help of his medical team and his inner work, there are already positive physical changes.
He has a fantastic holistic doctor, oncologist, healer, and belief in the Law of Attraction, which is his profound world view that like attracts like, and that he creates his own reality. I am fully aware that this is not everyone’s view.
John is writing about what’s happening and his experiences too, and has profound insights about healing to share.
John is taking 100% responsibility for his cancer experience- not in a way of blaming himself or anyone, including the cancer, instead in a way of understanding the factors that helped create the conditions for cancer to grow and take shape.
In this way, John is not “fighting” the cancer. Rather, he is seeing this event as a teacher and as a profound guide.
If this is not your world view, I completely respect that. I want to share what John’s world view is, so that you can understand more of my experience, and can offer us your love and support in a more informed way, if you wish. We don’t need to agree on every belief in order to share that. Also, I want to say that when I first heard the diagnosis, I hated the law of attraction. And now I am reminded that it is like hating gravity.
What you can do to help, is to envision John and me as powerfull creators, surrounded by love and fully engaged in healing. You can also help by being fully present for your own life, and sharing the blessings of that life.
Friends and supporters are putting together some practical and innovative ways for you to help also, which you can find here. We appreciate this so much.
I’ve learned what doesn’t help- even if well meaning: pity, believing that either of us are victims, misunderstanding John or his world view, stories about people who thought similarly and died anyway, drastic miracle cures, recommendations about what to eat or do, and how to heal based on other people’s experiences.
Everyone’s experience with cancer- or with anything, is as different and similar as we are as people. We will most benefit from your sharing your love, in whatever form that takes.
We completely welcome you and your world view and experience. I’m just not up for discussing any differences. I’ve always said about John that he truly lives what he teaches, and he truly does, in the terrifying face of this too.
He intends to live and love and learn from his cancer, and teach the principles and philosophy from our book, travel the world and illuminate lives. He is a student in this new health realm, and he is definitely doing his homework. He is open to love in every and all forms, and gratefull for what is to come, whatever that is. He feels that he is climbing a mountain and learning from it all.
I am welcoming and receiving your love, wisdom, grace and gladness, prayers, energy and presence. I am feeling periodically profoundly devastated and writing about that too. I am continuing to live my purpose, which is to be a transformer, uplifter and laser beam of love. I’m reading and learning from some tremendous books during this time, which I’ll be sharing along the way in my blog.
Thank you for compassionately witnessing me/us at this time, and for extending your loving kindness and care. Your presence matters and I/we appreciate it. If you feel moved to write a note here, I’ll read what you share. If there’s a message for John specifically, I’ll read that to him.
If you want to voice your love, you can call me at 415.546.3742. This is the Inspiration Line, which I’ve operated for over 20 years, and it has all-ways deeply inspired me too.
I’m writing and alchemizing throughout this journey and also welcome your support by your reading. My intention is to build “caring bridges” between us all, for all of our challenges and for our gifts, and finding and experiencing the moments of grace and growth everywhere. Love, Susan (and John)
Here’s one I recently wrote to our friends and family:
John’s mountain climbing journey is so changeable and fast moving.
In one moment we’re kissing & John is dreaming of eating pizza, the next moment we’re hearing about tumors on his liver and what chemo can actually do, and not do, and how he’ll need to do at least 3 months of it, in order to know anything. In another moment, his doctor, Paul, is saying that we can ultrasound the liver to see the effects of the chemo much sooner than 3 months.
The next moment his doctor is presenting holistic options that can work synergistically with the chemo, and John is meeting with a healer on the phone who is helping him a great deal.
The next moment, I am hiking straight up a mountain in an attempt to integrate all of this, and I am wondering about chemotherapy, and wondering about John’s best path, and then I notice I am on a path, and there is a big white dog running straight towards me.
A woman calls out, “Don’t worry! She’s just coming to give you love.” And the big white dog did just that. I asked the dogs name and the woman cheerfully said “Chemo!” And I shook my head, startled and asked her how she spelled that. And she said “K. I. M. O.”
And so, I am sharing all the pieces and parts, and you all continually reassure me that you can hold it, see it, witness it, and I believe you.
This whole process and outcome is truly unknown and moves at the speed of love- which is always the case for all of us anyway, and especially right now for John.
And so we live in our moments. Our friend Karin sent us this quote today: “Let me fall. If I must fall. The one I will become will catch me.” The Baal Shem Tov.