Prologue | Breast Cancer | HMOs Suck | Treatment Choices | Battling Bertha

Prologue

I don’t enjoy writing.  Seems silly to have a blog when one does not enjoy writing.

Don’t get me wrong!

I love the podcasts and video interviews we do each week!  I love disseminating great information for others to enjoy and use.  I love sharing my personal experiences as a business owner, entrepreneur, internet pioneer, network marketer, public speaker, Toastmaster, Girl Scout leader, archery instructor, and mother to a teenager.  I just don’t love writing about it!

Well, now, I have something that makes me want to put my thoughts to words.  Around mid-April of 2014, though I did not know it at the time, I began preparations for war.

Meet Bertha

Bertha is a 2.9 cm x 2.7 cm mass residing in the upper section of my right breast.  The doctors tell me she is 95% estrogen-receptive and 70% HER2 positive, which to them means she is aggressive and fast spreading.

However, I ALREADY KNOW THAT I AM HEALED.

Bertha is an unwanted guest in the temple that is my body.  I have served her eviction notice.   She is not welcome here.

HMOs Suck

I do not want to dwell on the negative.  I will tell you this, if you currently have an HMO, look into PPO alternatives right away!  Most of the tears I have shed these past few weeks have been due to the HMO.  That’s all I am going to say on that subject.  It isn’t relative to the overall battle plan.  It may, however, be the cause of a few unwanted mini-skirmishes along the way.

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“Pedicure by Amy” by Shane Rodarte

Treatment Choices

I like looking at health holistically.  In 2010, I watched 2 people that I loved dearly, die from chemotherapy side-effects.  Both contracted infections their bodies could not fight.  So chemo was not my first, nor my gut, choice.  However, the words “aggressive and fast spreading” persuaded me to choose chemo for the first round of battle.

I have been doing research on supplements and alternative treatments for later.  I will share when I find something noteworthy.

Patient Perks

One of the perks the facility where I go for treatment offers is complimentary spa services for patients.  Monday, after my doctor’s visit, he walked me down the hall to the spa and “ordered” a pedicure for me.  It was heaven!  Amy, the pedicurist gave me an amazing calf and foot massage that included acupressure to the feet.  Then, as a special treat, Lauren gave me a new, sassy short haircut.  I figure I’ll be losing hair soon, might as well have less to lose.

My husband, Shane Rodarte, chronicled the pedicure with his pencil and sketchbook.

It Begins

Today, is the day.  Chemo begins.  I’ll be intravenously fed Herceptin, Carboplatin and Docetaxel over the course of 6 hours.  I’ll let you know how that goes in my next installment of Battling Bertha.

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Todd Ross, Desert Storm Veteran, on Leadership, Education and Church | Podcast 21

Ross Group Consulting, LLC provides training, leadership and management development course and curriculum, as well as trainer deployment and project management services.

Guest Dawn Mitchell, of the The Corporate Couch, and I chat with Ross Group Consulting LLC founder Todd Ross about Barry Manilow, leadership, education and church.  Plus advise for managing children when you run a home-based business.

Leadership Learned in Desert Storm

Todd Ross

Todd Ross, Ross Group Consulting LLC

Favorite Song?
Copacabana

Favorite Color?
Blue/yellow

Favorite Super hero?
Ironman

Fast food or home cooked meal?
Home cooked

What is your biggest quirk?
Being on time

What is the one thing that annoys you the most?
Deceit

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Thank God for another chance to make a difference

Where would you go if you were invisible?
Follow my daughter around and keep her from jerks

What’s your motto?
Go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is

Why did you choose to start your business – do what you do?
I wanted to make a solid impact on the training and development industry. Most trainers are cheerleaders, not actual trainers.

Who inspires you?
John Maxwell

What makes you different from other people in your industry?
My passion for humor in class and my ability to ensure learning actually takes place

Why should someone purchase from you instead of your competition?
My processes and best practices will make your people beg to have me back again and again

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Basic training

What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?
I gave my captain a really bad haircut in Desert Storm

What is your biggest challenge or obstacle?
Getting larger organizations to realize the ROI on their training

What will it take to overcome your biggest challenge or obstacle?
Continued exposure and word of mouth

What are some of your favorite books?
7 Habits of Highly Effective People, anything John Maxwell

Define your style?
Very bold and brief, but with tons and tons of humor

Tell me about your typical day.
My typical day is spent creating course materials, conferring with clients and researching different methodologies

How do you juggle work and family?
I’m really a work-a-holic, my family supports that

Three tips you would like to give to people who are thinking about starting a business in your industry?
1. Make sure you can do what you say you can do
2. Make sure what you’re doing is effective, for both your participants and the company
3. Be prepared to support yourself for at least 2 years until you build your client list

What’s the best way to market your particular business?
Word of mouth

How have you grown as a person since starting your company?
Absolutely.  I’ve had to improve my communication skills, listening abilities, time management skill sets and so on

If you could travel back in time and speak to your 18 year old self, what would you say?
Start NOW

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Commanding 5 figures for speaking engagements internationally

For whom are you thankful? Who do you appreciate?
My mom is the reason for who I am today

What else would you like to add?
God, always God!!

Connect with Todd Ross

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Authors Karen Palmer & Kristi Lee Have a License to Dream | Women and Network Marketing | Podcast #20

Happy 20th Podcast Episode

What better way to celebrate my 20th podcast than with a first?  This is my first podcast interview with two people at the same time!

Licence to Dream:  Every Woman's Guide to Financial Freedom through Network Marketing

Licence to Dream: Every Woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom through Network Marketing

Network Marketing Dream Team

Karen Palmer and Kristi Lee, along with Judy O’Higgins, are the authors of Licence to Dream:  Every Woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom through Network Marketing.

Karen Palmer is a college professor and author of License to Play.  Mrs. Palmer’s interview with Gratitude Geek on Being the Mom of Your Dreams was posted in April 2014.

Kristi Lee has an extensive business background in creative marketing and retail with more than 20 years in corporate America.  Corporate experience includes responsibility for product and marketing decisions for more than 2,300 Albertson’s Food and Drug stores in 38 states, and negotiations with national brands such as Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, Maybelline and Revlon.  She is an Executive Level Trainer, Speaker and Coach.  Ms. Lee approaches life and business with a passion and belief that serving others with integrity, grace, professionalism and loyalty is the true key to success.   In addition, she serves as the Chief Sales & Marketing Officer of TruNorth Global, Inc.

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Karen Palmer on Being the Mom of Your Dreams | WAHM Interview

Karen Palmer and Her Family

Karen Palmer and Her Family

Karen Palmer, author of License to Play and co-author of License to Dream, helps moms rediscover their dreams by equipping them with the skills they need to build a network marketing business that will give them freedom with both their time and their money. Karen believes that every person on this planet was created for a purpose. She helps women, especially moms, find their purpose and give them hope that they can fulfill it.

License to Play

Favorite Color?
Blue

Fast food or home cooked meal?
Restaurant—but not fast food. No clean up!

What is the one thing that annoys you the most?
Not following through. And people who don’t take responsibility for their actions.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Exercise, read my Bible. And check e-mail & FB—trying to break that habit. 😉

Where would you go if you were invisible?
Sleep.

What’s your motto?
You can do it. 😉

Why did you choose to start your business – do what you do?
After being in my network marketing business for a little while, I realized that it was not only helping me earn money, but helping me recapture dreams I had forgotten or thought were impossible. Especially after writing License to Play & beginning License to Dream with Judy O’Higgins & Kristi Lee, I really felt like I needed to specifically focus on helping moms.

Who inspires you?
People who are making a difference in the world.

What makes you different from other people in your industry?
As a team, Judy, Kristi & I are different because we offer three different personalities, ages, styles, etc. But with a passion to help women succeed.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Be a mom. And move across the country from my family.

What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?
I have no idea.

What is your biggest challenge or obstacle?
Time. And doubt. Worry that I’m not doing enough or not doing the right thing.

What will it take to overcome your biggest challenge or obstacle?
Faith and a big why.

What are some of your favorite books?
That question is too hard. 😉

Define your style?
I’m a jeans and t-shirt gal, but I have a friend who has taught me how to glam my casual style up a bit. My personality is very driven, though. I don’t like to just sit around (unless I’ve got a good book to read). I like having a very clean house. I like to do things right. A bit of a perfectionist.

Tell me about your typical day.
Wake up. Exercise. Eat breakfast & read my Bible. Get the kids upstairs for school. Lunch. Work in the afternoons. Sometimes at home, sometimes at the office. Evenings, I try not to work too much, but often work on writing my dissertation or meet with my team in the evenings.
How do you juggle work and family? Everything goes together. It’s tough, but if you start with who you are and what God wants you to do, the rest falls into place.

Three tips you would like to give to people who are thinking about starting a business in your industry?

    1. Just do it.
    2. Make sure you choose a company that you’ll love for the long haul—not just the first thing that comes along. Do your research. I’ve run into too many women who spent a ton of money and then felt stuck with the business they chose.
    3. Stick with it. Don’t jump ship.

What’s the best way to market your particular business?
Word of mouth. Meet other people. Join groups. Lifestyle.

How have you grown as a person since starting your company?
I’ve rediscovered who I am—at least in part. When I had kids, I had a really hard time figuring out what to do with myself. I wanted to stay home with them, but my identity was rooted in the academic world—achieving goals and feeling like I’d accomplished something. Then, just as I was getting used to being a mom and relaxing in that role, I had to go back to work again. Network marketing helped me to look outside the boxes I was putting myself in to see who I actually am and start thinking bigger—the current circumstance doesn’t have to be the same for always.

License to Play by Karen Palmer

License to Play by Karen Palmer

If you could travel back in time and speak to your 18 year old self, what would you say?
Start your own business. NOW. And I’d probably have some good ideas of where to start.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
On a ranch with my kids enjoying life.

For whom are you thankful? Who do you appreciate?
I really appreciate my hubby and kids. They have always supported me—and not just that, they’ve helped me to grow myself and my business. When I feel like giving up, they won’t let me! I also appreciate my upline mentors, like Judy, and my team members. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

What else would you like to add?
A lesson that I’m having to learn over again…don’t compare yourself to anyone else. The picture we get on Facebook about people is just the part of their lives they let show. Don’t judge yourself by the glamorized images on social media. Just do the best you can and be proud of your accomplishments. Focus on your goals.

Connect with Karen Palmer

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Diane Walker on Growing Your Network Marketing Business Your Own Way | Podcast #19

Diane Walker Nudges Her MLM Team to Find their Geatness:  with Sue,  Joy & Kandas at the 2013 Gratitude Convention

Diane Walker Nudges Her MLM Team to Find their Greatness: with Sue, Joy & Kandas at the 2013 Gratitude Convention

“I’m too stubborn to quit anything.” – Diane Walker

Every network marketing company has Superstars, larger than life leaders who inspired, motivate and sometimes intimidate new distributors.  Diane Walker is what I like to call a Silent Film Superstar.  She works behind the scenes to nudge her team on to greatness.

Nudging the Team to Greatness

Diane is a 21-year multilevel marketing veteran and the top female income earner in her network marketing business.  She the co-author of Navigating the World of Network Marketing and she is respected and admired by thousands in the industry – including many of those larger than life Superstars.

Listen in as Diane shares some of the ups and downs of her MLM career, leading with your strengths, the importance of attending company sponsored events, Facebook marketing, bowling and much more.

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Character-Driven Storytelling with Writer/Producer Diana Dru Botsford | Podcast #18

diana-botsford-2

Diana Dru Botsford

Story consultant, writer/producer Diana Botsford‘s recent work includes creating/producing the critically-acclaimed SciFi web series “Epilogue” and serving as consulting producer on the new comedy series, “A Little Help.”  Author of Stargate SG-1 novels: “Four Dragons” and “The Drift,” as of the fall of 2014, Botsford will be offering online, interactive writing workshops for burgeoning television and film screenwriters through her new website: beyondthemedium.com.  Her screenwriting credits include “Rascals” for ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ and the cult favorite animated series, ‘Spiral Zone.’ Founder of the award-winning screenwriting program at Missouri State University, Botsford’s pursuit of great stories has taken her across the globe from Japan to Africa to Antarctica. If she could save up the $250,000, a seat on board Virgin Galactic would be next.

During our hour-long intellectually stimulating conversation, we discuss writing, science fiction, education, evolution and the end of apartheid.  Burgeoning writers sharpen your pencils and be prepared to take great notes!

Musings from the Virgin Galactic

What is your favorite song?
I love listening to all types of music, but my main jam is classical. I was classically trained, my father was a classical music producer, so… Prelude of Bach’s Cello Suite No.1 in G

Favorite Super hero?
A toss-up between Marvel’s Jean Grey and showrunner Dan Harmon (Community)

Fast food or home cooked meal?
Home-cooked, always! I’m a third generation gourmet cook.

What is your biggest quirk?
I hate wet socks!

Diane Botsford at Space City Con autographing my copies of her Stargate SG:1 Fanfaction novels.

Diane Botsford at Space City Con autographing my copies of her Stargate SG:1 novels.

What is the one thing that annoys you the most?
Passive aggressive behavior.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Coffee and reading the news.

Where would you go if you were invisible?
The International Space Station.

What’s your motto?
“Tomorrow”

Why did you choose to write?
I’ve always gravitated toward anything having to do with storytelling. Wrote my first story when I was five.

Who inspires you?
My father was my greatest inspiration, but I am inspired in general by people who stay fast in believing in themselves and pushing forward. My students inspire me, my family does, too. My husband especially.

What makes you different from other people in your industry?
Honesty. If your story needs work, I’m going to tell you. As a fellow writer, I’d want the same. My particular expertise is in character-driven work.

Why should choose you over your competition?
As a story consultant: More one-on-one time. I don’t just give you the basics, I’ll dig further.

As a writer: I’m a believer in deep point-of-view experiences whether it’s prose or a script. We, the readers/audience, are humans. We’re characters. We follow a protagonist on their journey in order to make better sense of our own.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Move forward after losing my father who was my mentor and best friend.

Diana Botsford and Kandas Rodarte at Space City Con

Diana Botsford and Kandas Rodarte at Space City Con

What is your biggest challenge or obstacle?
Overcoming the ISMs – whether it be sexism (yeah, I hit the glass ceiling a few times) or racism (ask me about my production experiences in South Africa during the end of the apartheid era – excruciatingly horrific.)

What will it take to overcome your biggest challenge or obstacle?
Writing stories that help perpetuate the belief that we are all people first, and our gender or race second.

Define your style?
Eclectic mix of NY style and California casual.

Tell me about your typical day.
Do those exist?

How do you juggle work and family?
With great difficulty.

Three tips you would like to give to people who are thinking about starting a business in your industry?
Push forward. Believe in yourself. Network like mad.

What’s the best way to market your particular business?
By doing a great job (word of mouth) and social media.

How have you grown as a person since launching your career?
Will I ever stop?

If you could travel back in time and speak to your 18 year old self, what would you say?
Do exactly what you’re doing.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In space?

For whom are you thankful? Who do you appreciate?
Family and friends. People who stand up for each other.

Connect with Diana Dru Botsford

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Diana Botsford on the set of epilogue.

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Sarah Sara Craven Comedy | Coffee & Cards Conversation #44

Dr. Sarah Carothers, aka Sarah Sara, sits down for a raucous Coffee and Cards Conversation about menopause, self-talk and comedy.

 

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Top Three Reasons for Joining the Greeting Card & Gift Revolution | Coffee & Cards Conversation #43

Joy Brasington of JoytoSend.com shares her top three reasons for joining SendOuCards:

 

 

Jordan Adler, author of Beach Money

Jordan Adler, author of Beach Money, will share his reasons on April 26, 2014 in Houston, Texas.

Joy’s 3 Reasons:

  1. Splashpaks
  2. Treat’em Right Seminars
  3. Positive People

Join The Greeting Card and Gift Revolution

Jordan Adler, author of Beach Money, and he #1 earner in our company, will be in Houston, Texas on April 26, 2014 to share his reasons for leading the Greeting Card and Gift Revolution. I’d love for you to be my guest at this life changing event. Contact me for details.

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