As an educator and a published author who has worked with NYC to train students on how to be college and career ready, I know how important it is to have help when getting ready for college. As a cancer survivor, I cannot imagine how much harder it is for young adult and pediatric cancer survivors and thrivers (and previvors) to get ready for this step into education - this FREE course is the first step in helping them move forward - find out more in the link above or click on the photo to register for the course. Please share! & special thanks to the one who inspired me to move forward on this - you know who you are!
Balance After Cancer Foundation is proud to announce the upcoming creation of "College After Cancer" & Workbook Publication
Announcement from our founder:
The Balance After Cancer Foundation is happy to announce that our founder, Lisa Vento Nielsen, has written her ninth book (third workbook) and it is specifically on being "college ready after cancer". In addition to the book, which is live on Amazon now, there will be an online course, launching soon, to help young adults and those returning to their education after a cancer diagnosis prepare for their education.
We do not have to tell you how having cancer is disruptive to our lives - we all who have experienced cancer understand that - but for those who are diagnosed before adulthood, the challenges are that much greater.
Lisa has taught college for over 13 years in the NYC area both online and in person. She had written books for her students and those who did not have her as a Professor centered on College and Career Readiness after learning first hand how students of today struggled with being ready to hit the ground running. She is taking those lessons and making them tailored to cancer survivors. Now that she herself has experienced cancer, she understands the true costs of going through treatment on psyche, mind, soul and body. Her thought process is to combine her expertise as an educator with the empathy she can understand for those who have experienced cancer at a younger age and now need to return to the land of "normalcy" in the college setting.
"I was inspired," Lisa says, "both from my students as well as from a young lady I had the pleasure of meeting who is currently facing the decision of whether or not to go back to school after dealing with cancer. Any way I can help young people get back to 'normal' is important to me and one thing I learned in my life is that education can NEVER be taken away from you."
Watch this space for more updates, coming soon.
Other Books Written By Lisa Vento Nielsen
I feel sometimes like this blog is focused on the same topics over and over again - not in a bad way just in a way that I do think at times I can be repetitive. The topics I share on are so important and in a way helping other women who are also the 1 in 8 so I am committed to continue sharing.
I am someone who is tenacious and I do not give up easily, if at all. I have fought for many things in my life before I was told “you have cancer” so it was not really that big of a deal to focus and get things done in a way that was like “befitting” my fuck it all attitude.
You see, I am irreverent and funny and sometimes just weird but one thing I am not is overly emotional. I am kind of an ice princess and keep my feelings locked away deep down. Why do I do this? I do not know. It is just the way I am.
Maybe because I have seen some shit. Nothing as bad as maybe others have seen but still, I was an adult way before I was 18. I was, I think, born an adult. So I just forced my way through cancer the way I forced myself through some other life experiences. With my eyes open and cringing all the way while keeping it all close to my chest.
Then, I started sharing my story and a lot of things changed for me. I became more open to my emotions, more involved with my story and my authentic self. I am someone who always has tried to help others in ways big and small and now I find myself wanting to help people in even bigger ways.
One of my biggest flaws (and trust, I have a bunch) is that I want to do EVERYTHING at once. I want to rock out my ideas into full blown execution mode right away and as someone who spent 10+ years as a project manager planning and executing on multi million dollar projects and who is licensed in project management (seriously, there is such a thing - it is called the PMP - Project Management Professional and I have been one since 2004!) I should know better that things like this, initiatives, launch and promotion etc do not happen overnight. So why then am I all over myself to get these ideas and stuff out there like yesterday.
I know I can help people and I know how to do it and why I am doing it but I need to lay off myself on the insane timeline I have in my head. My focus is on rolling out content specifically for our cancer survivor (and thriver) community for building their careers after cancer. This is my big pitch to fulfilling a need that I do not think is quite met yet even with the various resources already in existence. Oh and I will be offering this training for FREE.
Here is why I think I should do this:
1- My experience is more specific in that I have been a career expert, having written books on being entrepreneurial in your job search, career readiness and having provided training, seminars and helping individual clients that the next step in their careers. I have another blog all about careers (check it out at thenextstep1234.com/blog). Oh and it is more specific also because I have been trying to get back into a career post cancer and it is all so recent.
2- I have the platform and technical know how to share my message beyond the written word - I mean, the books I have are all helpful but not really specific around our issues of having new bodies, new hair, new perspectives and needs post cancer. I know how to present and how to teach having been an educator since 2003 - I can break down lessons into easy pieces and launch training via the web using video that feels like one on one help.
3-I can also provide one on one help to really work through the issues of confidence, preparedness and career planning that are so unique to our needs.
That #3 is so important - those topics of confidence, preparedness and career planning are the subtopics of my first webinar - I have created the slides already!
Next, I need to record a test run to see if I really know what I want to say. DO not laugh but I had to re-read the books I wrote because I feel like I am so far removed from what I wrote (even though it was just early 2016 that I wrote and published the books- a lot has happened since then - mainly chemo).
So I am just plugging along and thinking and trying to be kind to myself and my new priorities - I want to be able to still have my “me” time - exercising, resting and recovering while also finding work and building out this outreach capability utilizing my skills and talents to help us all get our career after cancer game on point.
What do you think? For more info, check out my page on this initiative here -> Work Readiness for Cancer Survivors.
I am focusing each day on practicing gratitude. I am keeping a journal to jot down a few things each day that have made me happy that day. I am doing this at night to go to sleep with happy thoughts.
Each day in my gratitude journal I write that I am healthy and cancer free. Do I know this is true? No, not really. Do I believe this is true, yes and I will unless God forbid I am told otherwise.
I try to think this way every day but some days, it is hard. Some days, I get a headache that lasts too long and I think, "Oh shit." Some days I get back aches and/or other weird pains and think, "Oh shit."
Sometimes, someone stops to ask me about my experiences, someone who is an acquaintance and means well and I tell my story and for a bit afterwards, I think about how I am a G#D-D@mned super hero that I am cured and still standing and kicking ass and all that - then about an hour later, I am thinking, "Damn, that person does not have cancer, never had cancer, and wow I am sick and so unlucky and blah, blah, blah...."
I do my best to just shake it off, though, and continue thinking positively, not because it will cure me but it sure as hell can't kill me.
On another note, I am at goal weight and have stayed there since mid-November the-weight-of-a-breast.html . I weigh what I did in high school people (137 pounds). Way back when I weighed this amount last, I thought I was HUGE and OVERWEIGHT because I was a typical insane teenager (and I quiver with fear thinking about how soon my kids will be teenagers and think these crazy things but I also look forward to it and plan to be here for it and if I complain then, hit me and remind me how I had / have cancer and shouldn't complain lol).
This is my routine/eating style post integrative medicine doctor meeting at Sloan (integrative-medicine-clinical-trials.html) that led me on the 10 day green smoothie challenge that I believe kick started my metabolism and also taught me how much food I need to eat vs how much I "wanted" to eat.
For instance, pre challenge, for breakfast I used to have a full smoothie with kale, spinach, fruits and water AND a yogurt with granola with dark chocolate and now I just have the smoothie. I am full and not at all hungry and cannot believe how much extra I was eating before versus now.
I eat breakfast 13 hours after I had my dinner; this is some kind of intermittent fasting process that is supposedly good for your body.**
After breakfast, I have my green tea - 2 cups of it, usually in a to go container so I can drink it on the road. A few hours later, I have snacks with me ready to go. I have ziploc bags with apples, unsalted nuts, almonds and rice cakes. Yes, rice cakes. Some people think they taste like cardboard but I love them. I use the whole grain sea salt ones. They are delicious.
For lunch, I have salad or a smoothie or a 1/2 of sandwich (meaning, I go to the deli and get a wrap and it is the size of my ARM so I cut it in half and save it for the next day's lunch). Between lunch and dinner, I have more nuts and fruit again. Dinner is whatever my family eats but we are all trying to eat "clean". I also have like 3 days a week oven roasted veggies to snack on throughout the day, too.
During the day, I am also moving and grooving usually doing at least 10k steps a day with 4k of them as a cardio workout.
As part of my de-stress routine, I listen in the morning to my hypnosis app by Seth Deborah called "Victory over cancer" and I meditate as well. I also pray and think about all of the things I am grateful for, as I mentioned in the beginning of this post.
This is how I try to stay sane and focused and grounded. I cannot worry or wonder every day about what is going on inside my body so instead I smile and zen myself into oblivion while job searching, taking care of the house, kids and puppy oh and husband oh and my dad, too. Can't wait to find that job! Oh and of course, updating this blog and sharing my story, in the time between....
**I am not a doctor so please check all of this information out with your medical team before following along with me.**
I shared this on Insta already (@thetimebetweenis) but wanted to give it it's own post here on my blog.
When you are THE MOM the uber mom who does everything for your family, your kids and maybe sometimes yourself (barely), it is so hard for your kids to see you have to stop, have to slow down. For a kid to learn their parent is "sick" and has "cancer" is really scary - I talk a little about being a parent and a kid in situations where the mom got knocked down here --> a-tale-of-two-novembers.html but there is more to it than even that.
I am a writer and it is how I process things since 1986 (my first diary). My children are also kind of expressive in either art, music and/or writing (they are a mix). I sat with my oldest and created this children's book using an app on my iPhone called LittleStoryCreator and put this together using some personal pictures and our story.
If I do decide to do something with this book, in the hopes of helping other children who are going through watching their mom or caregiver deal with cancer, it will be set up to donate the proceeds to a charity that can physically also help these children.
During chemo, I wished for a camp where my kids could live and be cared for and kind of distracted so they would not see me on the couch looking dull and lifeless so they would not realize all of the things I had to miss and not go to because I just could not swing it and for fear of getting sicker. I also did not want them to see me go bald and to see me look so tired. In a way, now I am glad they saw it because I want them to remember that sometimes we fall down and we get hit with things we did not plan for, expect or want but we have to survive, we have to pick ourselves up, put our wigs on and get out there and do what we have to do to make it, to get to the other side.
I hope and pray every day that 1) they never have to go through anything like this and 2) that I am fully on the other side and done with it. No matter what, though, we know we survived and we did it as a family. This book, this story, tells that from the perspective of a 6 and 9 year old who's first and only question upon hearing I had cancer was, "Are you going to die?"
Let me know your thoughts about the little snippet up above and if you want to see or hear more, let me know. This is what I do in the time between.
The Time Between Is, INC is a 501(c)(3) corporation - help us reach our goals of launching #balanceaftercancer
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