Barbara’s Nudge Fund Story
Barb, being the positive optimist, refused to give this diagnosis any power over her. When she first received her diagnosis, of course she was concerned. But as she said, “I knew enough to know that they have marketed the word cancer with fear, and I refused to allow the energy of the word cancer to riddle me with fear. I renamed it, ‘The Nudge’, because I felt God had been nudging me for awhile now to slow down and make lifestyle changes in my life.” Instead of just fearing the word cancer and all the things associated with that word, she wanted to see her diagnosis as an opportunity to grow and learn from.
She also discussed with GiveForward some of the greatest hardships she’s had to face. “Setbacks seem to be a hardship for me but I have to trust in God’s plan for me and I am supposed to be exactly where I am at. The other hardship is keeping up with all the medical expenses, invoices, and dealing with insurance companies. It seems as if they purposefully make the system challenging for someone who is ill so that they will give up before really looking at all the mistakes in the billings.”
But throughout all those hardships, Barb doesn’t believe in giving up. She has a huge community of support that has helped raise almost $30,000 on her GiveForward page.
“I am so grateful to have an enormous support system of family, friends, clients, business associates, former classmates, friends of friends, family of friends, doctors, nurses, therapists, specialists… the list goes on and on. People have come out of the woodwork to support me and I am overwhelmed with the love I feel from this amazing community of people.”
She constantly reminds herself that, “Worrying is assuming that God doesn’t know what he is doing.” She also loves the quotes, “They told me I couldn’t. That’s why I did!” and “If you saw the size of the blessing coming, you would understand the magnitude of the battle you are fighting.” Inspirational quotes can motivate a person when they’re down and can remind a person why they’re fighting so hard to win.
Her advice for anyone going through a battle with cancer is:
“1) Breathe. Give yourself some time to calm all fears, worries, concerns and negative thoughts. Breathing helps clear your mind to see that there is always hope and that the answers are there, as long you allow yourself to hear that inner being.
2) Don’t let others fears pressure you into making decisions for you. You have to be your own advocate and listen to what your body is telling you. Take the time to research all you can to understand the diagnosis and to see that there are other options beyond just the Gold standard treatments: surgery, chemo and radiation. Despite what others say, you have time. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer that was also in the bones, I researched and waited 3 months before determining my course of treatment. In the meantime, I completely changed my diet and cleaned up my lifestyle to buy me some time while I researched.
3) Share with your family and friends when the time is right. I only shared the diagnosis with a select few for several months because I needed to get my head in a good place and didn’t want it to be flooded with others opinions and fears. When I finally did share with everyone, the flood of support and encouragement was amazing. It was challenging at first to be so vulnerable and raw, but people have come out of the woodwork to help me get to optimal health. I have such a huge network of friends, family, clients, business associates, doctors, therapists, practitioners that have been so supportive and want to help in anyway they can.
4) Find some things that provide joy in your life. I started taking oil painting classes which offered 2 hours of pure joy and took my mind to another place for 2 hours, off the diagnosis. I tried to get to the beach as often as possible just to listen to the sound of the waves, feel the sun on my face.”
Through this hard journey, Barb has been overwhelmed by all the nice things that people have done for her. “The most rewarding one has been the support and encouragement people have given me all along the way, even if they wouldn’t have chosen the path that I chose. I have had friends organize four different highly successful fundraisers for me raising an abundant amount of money to help me with my medical expenses. I have a friend who sends me an inspirational quote every day that seems to be exactly the perfect encouragement for that day. I have so many wonderful friends and family.” Even when times seem bleak, Barb knows her community, “Barbie’s Angels,” will always be right alongside her cheering her on.