This month I had the great fortune to hang out again with Sandra my best buddy from high school days. We had lost contact for over five decades. Sandra introduced me to the concept of The River of Happiness and how she tells stories about it to her grandchildren. I used this as a visualisation when sitting with Sally during her last chemotherapy session. Sal begins another series of nine treatments on April 11. Please keep sending your healing love. Her unwavering courage in approaching this illness continues to touch all who are in contact with her.
'I took the cards on a visit to my friend Kay. We found ourselves starting with a simple question and heading off on unexpected tangents to sometimes deep issues’. Great work Cedar Rivers & Sally Brocklehurst. Lyndall
‘Mum gave me a set of your question cards to have a go for the purpose of testing them out and giving her any feedback to pass on to you. I had a go of them both with my husband and my son and must say, I really enjoyed them!
With my husband, I held the cards and chose the questions which he would answer and then I would also answer the same question. It was nice, lighthearted fun! It was entertaining, interesting and even funny at times. Overall we enjoyed having a little moment of being still and paying each other attention and not having our heads buried in screens or distracted with other things.
I then played with my son. He's 8 years old and diagnosed on the Autistic Spectrum. Alex has very good speech and vocabulary, but his language is often a bit confused, muddled, stilted and is generally largely focussed on his own agenda. One of our greatest challenges with Alex is making meaningful connection through language and conversation. He seldom shares stories with us without vast amounts of prompting and almost never has any interest or inquiry about myself or his dad. I'm very pleased to be able to tell you that using your Question cards was able to change that - at least for the time while we were playing! And I think that he may improve over time if we were to play more regularly.
Alex and I played differently to when I played with my husband. I gave Alex half the deck and kept half for myself. We then took turns in asking each other questions and actively listening to each other's responses. Cedar, this was the first time that I can remember that Alex actually, truly engaged with me and for the entire time we played, he was interested.... not just in answering his own questions, but in asking questions of me and truly listening to what I had to say with focus and interest. We also often don't get to outwardly see Alex’s true nature. I know he has a very gentle, caring, compassionate soul because I can feel it, but we don't very often get to tangibly see his nature play out in day to day life because he generally only displays a very one-dimensional side of himself which is one that is very absorbed with self. However, while we played and talked, I could see with the way he was answering that it gave me a real insight into his true nature and how he feels in his heart. It was magic! It was truly something beautiful and made my heart sing to see this different, gorgeous side of my boy. It was a little glimmer of hope in what sometimes feels like a sea of uncertainty. I did have to adapt some of the wording of the questions, and there were some that were not suitable to his age, but there were even some partially complex questions which he answered quite well, so it was good to extend him a little. I have told mum, and I'll pass on to you, that if you were so inclined, you could make a supplemental deck that was more geared toward children/young adolescents. I think you may have a good response from the autistic community. I certainly found it so valuable and we would certainly support it!
So, hopefully, that's helpful to you in some way. I would really like to purchase a set for myself, so if you could please let me know the best way to do that, I'd appreciate it! Have a wonderful day! ‘
Special Education Teacher
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‘Qcards - 88 Conversation Starters’ will stimulate hours and hours of deeper and more fun-filled conversations for you and your family and friends. Enjoy! - Cedar Rivers and Sally Brocklehurst
Qcards 88 Conversation Starters
Created by Cedar Rivers, Sally Brocklehurst
‘Suggestions for Use’ Insert
Format Cards 88 cards
Dimensions 10cm x 6cm 310gsm
Packaging Drawstring Calico Bag
Publication Date 10th March 2017
Publisher Cedar Rivers
Publication Dorrigo, NSW, Australia
Dispatched Australia Post in 3 business days
Payment via PayPal email@example.com or
Direct Bank Deposit bsb 732575 account number 501619
Price AUD $15
Click here to order your Qcards
Some participants of my Clarity for Life Modules have difficulty connecting to my site via mobile phone or tablet yet have no difficulty accessing by computer or laptop. Sleuthing with admin at Weebly I came up with this enlightening message:
I was able to view your webpage from my phone. I may suggest having your readers that cannot access the site empty their cache and cookies to see if that helps. Using WIFI or mobile data may also cause some holdup. If you're on WIFI you may want to reset your router.
P.S. Glad you made contact with your high school best friend! Looks like you had a really great reunion!
Customer Success Advocate
This is what reconnection with my best high school buddy looked like after fifty years of lost contact. Can you imagine my delight?!
I had the very best pre-birthday present imaginable on Wednesday 15 March. My very best friend all through high school at Benalla in country Victoria found me right here on Facebook after over FIFTY YEARS of separation. We had searched for each other on and off for DECADES and various name changes made the search ever so difficult. Imagine how thrilled I was when on 12 January 2017 I received a message from Sandra enquiring if I was ____ _______ birth name :) Yes!
Several lifetimes of changes, challenges, and rigours have taken place for both of us in these fifty years, yet the things that matter - kindness, love, intelligence, beauty, compassion, patience, and humour are still ever-present in My Friend Sandra. Her Husband Phil and My Best Friend Sally joined us for a wonderful 71st birthday and reconnection lunch in Bellingen. Never to be separated again!
To Sally’s Dear Friends - As you may know Sally’s 38th Birthday is on Friday 10th March, and I’ve had a number of her friends ask for our address to send flowers. I’d like those of you thinking of gifting to know that we live in a remote part of NSW with the nearest florist 90 minutes from home, and with no delivery to our village. See photos of our neighbourhood.
May I suggest instead that you consider gifting her with the money you would spend so she can continue to purchase the very best in nutritious organic food, supplements, herbs, and therapeutic treatments. One of her dreams is to enjoy a luxury two days and nights of pampering in a resort by the ocean with her sister Lisa, and we’re going to make that happen.
* Direct deposit to CBA bank account number 063-244 10327568
* GoFund Sally’s Support https://www.gofundme.com/sallyssupport
Sally and I were putting the finishing touches on our new venture ‘Qcards 88 Conversation Starters’ when she became ill. I will be launching them on her birthday in celebration of Sally’s grand initiative to help people enjoy deeper and more satisfying conversations. More about the Qcards Launch next week.
I see the blessing in all of this -that my circumstances have changed to force me to be still and re-evaluate life and change my ways such as no more stress and it is time to do things differently and slow down and truly Enjoy Life. So now I have given myself at least a year to be at home to heal and slow down and just enjoy good books and movies, family and friends, music, meditations and prayers, cooking, gardening -growing veggies and flowers, learn the piano, and gently study and revise what I've learnt the past 3.5 years at college with the view to be able to go back and finish my degree one day. I believe in miracles. I believe in the power of positivity, and ability to heal from the power of will and intent.
I believe in Miracles too Sally. Our treasured friendship has gifted me, and us, with what I can only call ‘Miracles!’ ever since we met on Facebook in 2009. As you know, you have helped me enormously with countless choices and decisions, and I’m already living much of what you are advocating here. I realise the time is ripe now to go much further beyond my already ’known zone’. With your inspiration, I intend to widen my horizons and creativity, and to delve much, much deeper into what’s truly important in these times of profound change.
I will also support both of us at home (and all who enter) to authentically ‘Enjoy Life’. Our Home is the perfect space for great healing and amplifying the changes you seek Hon. It’s important to inform folks that you and I have agreed to continue our policy of ’no new visitors until further notice’.
Continuing growth requires us to find unique ways to fully celebrate our precious gift of life. Perhaps some of our friends might also use your message as an inspiration to ‘Be Still’ in order to reexamine their own lives, seek lasting ways for reducing stress, determine what really matters, and make the necessary changes to achieve this.
Lisa Brocklehurst writes ‘Yesterday was a big day for Sal. The chemo is taking effect and her hair started to fall out. With a gentle head massage and lots of love, I spent some time yesterday afternoon helping remove her hair. It was a very impactful moment as Sally didn't expect for it to all come out in one day/one hour (well most of it), but she is seeing this as another step towards healing, living in the moment and new beginnings.’
It was so touching to witness these two loving sisters complete yet another milestone in Sally’s and our journey. Lisa’s wisdom and sensitivity to Sally’s needs and wishes is a joy to be around, as is Sally’s courage and positivity in the way she approaches each stage of this illness.
On the 7th February, Sally was diagnosed with Poorly Differentiated Neuroendocrine Carcinoma.
Lisa, her sister wanted to explain this a little further as there isn't much literature on the internet about this specific type of cancer.
‘Neuroendocrine Carcinoma falls under the category of Neuroendocrine Cancer (Tumour), which is made up of 3 different grades and Sally has been diagnosed with the most aggressive and rare form of this, Grade 3.
It is called a carcinoma because the primary/original site is unknown. Most people who have neuroendocrine cancer have the tumours (well differentiated). Sally's is poorly differentiated and has metastasised (spread) beyond the neuroendocrine system and into her bones.
I have attached a photo of the Grading I found, hopefully that helps clarify what I've written.
In Sally's case, it is not about waiting for the all clear, although we are all hoping for a miracle, and Sally is utilising complementary therapies and nutrition to give her the best chance at beating this.
Sally has had her first round of chemo and is due for her second round beginning on the 28th Feb. She is a very strong and positive person which is an attribute I am sure we all love about her.
Sally is focusing now on living each day and moment with happiness, doing exactly what she wants to do rather than focusing on what is "curable or incurable" and her diagnosis.
Sally appreciates all your love and support, and the support we are all giving each other.’
Sal adds: ’chemotherapy doesn’t cure this type of cancer, it shrinks the tumours to bring more comfort and possibly extend length of life in this case. If anything can cure this ‘incurable disease’, it will be with complementary therapies (herbal medicine, nutrition, and homeopathy), and of course a great attitude, meditation, and all the support of my darling family and friends.’
88 Conversation Starters
Clarity for Life