Discovering Hope

What is Discovering Hope?

Discovering Hope is a journey of personal advocacy, a quest to reclaim our life by making the most of every moment.

What is Personal Advocacy?

Personal advocacy is hard, often it’s heart breaking, and it can feel like a nightmare. When outsiders look in all they see is the disease, they miss the horror on the peripheral. These visitors know we are in pain, but the totality of our circumstance is beyond them. They might not grasp the financial woes, the loss of identity, the struggle with fear and sadness. Maybe they don’t know what it’s like to fight for the right doctor, battle insurance companies or cope with the after effects of treatment. It doesn’t mean they can’t understand. If these visitors are your friends help them help you. Give them an idea what its like to live life for a day in your shoes. Share your feelings and thoughts, face those inner demons and reconnect with the people you love and love you.

Unfortunately, the troubles do not end where our friendships begin. The greatest adversaries I’ve faced in this journey has been close friends. Ino abused and took advantage of me during chemotherapy and Pea Weasel robbed my house, vandalized my home and threatened to kill me. Both were people who used my situation to their advantage for their personal gain. We must keep at least one tired, sleepy eye open. There are enemies everywhere, even within, but there are even more monsters outside.

If you are sick you will attract the desperate. You are a meal ticket just waiting to be cashed in. MLM, life coaches, gurus and alternative medicine advocates are naturally attracted to us. Some of them do believe their pre-scientific methods can help, while others see the venom in the snake oil they are selling. Ignorance is a disease and these people facilitate its spread. The best way to stop its infection is to vaccinate people with knowledge.

This website is geared toward personal advocacy, hope and critical thinking. I believe these tools help us live a higher quality of life whether we’re hurt, healthy or sick.

Cancer coach

Cancer Coach: Treating Cancer with Nutrition, Reiki and Meditation?

Cancer coach  Kathy Bero claims that she was able to cure her cancer using  anti-angiogenic foods, reiki and meditation. “There is real science that is going to be there” This woman says, as she makes it clear there is no science-based evidence supporting her claim that diet alone can cure ...
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NET Cancer

Caught in a Net? Research your way out!

When it comes to our health and especially neuroendocrine cancer, the best thing we can do is research. Our health care providers may be educated and valuable, but they are not always educated in the ways we value. The NET community has amassed a collection of valuable resources. These hardworking ...
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Intent Passion Lust Love Ulterior Motive

Intent, Passion, Lust, Love and an Ulterior Motive

You say you want to network? I say I want to make friends. When I introduce myself to other humans my goal is to give something good. The world can be dark and dreary, I want to help people slice through the cumulonimbus clouds to see the radiant rays of ...
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shyness social anxiety know

Caught in a NET? Shyness, Social Anxiety and finding the right doctor

Finding a new doctor is like dating. We get to know who they are, what they believe and how they approach life. We want to make sure we are compatible and can spend a large chunk of our lives together. This doesn’t mean we are crossing professional boundaries, quite the ...
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Caught in a NET? You have 26 seconds to talk to your doctor

Caught in a NET? You have 26 seconds to talk to your doctor

What do you mean by 26 seconds? I thought the appointment was fifteen minutes! Think back to the time you’ve spent in a doctor’s office. Once they walk you through the door to the sterile quiet office the nurse asks you the standard questions and tip taps her fingers against ...
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medical history records

Caught in a NET? Help your doctor help you!

We could have the best doctor, the perfect notes and the most amazing pitch in the world, but if our team doesn’t have our medical records, they won’t have the tools to help us. Doctors have a wealth of knowledge, but without our records they can’t help us how we ...
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Caught in a NET? How do I find a doctor?

Caught in a NET? How do I find a doctor?

There are no skeleton keys in cancer. Our journey isn’t a console game, we can’t enter a cheat code to speed through a stage and beat a boss. Instead we need a variety of keys to meet our needs. We must build and lead an all-star multidisciplinary team. How do ...
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net specialist

Caught in NET Cancer? Cut yourself out with a NET specialist

With each test of pain, I’ve discovered new ways to explain all the gifts I’ve gained. I hope my hardships will help you have the highest quality of life you can live. The cancer journey is terrible, everyone wearing this badge of bad knows this, but in our journey, we ...
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discomfort

Permission to Feel

Our lives are saturated with so many sensations; being in and out of love, feeling unstoppable and stuck, fearless and fearful. Sometimes we are in the throes of pleasure or pain, lost or losing ourselves in the moment. When dreary discomfort overcomes us, we can look lovingly at life. Open ...
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manuscript

The Manuscript of your Life

Your story is awesome, overwhelming and beyond imagination. Your life is a book, but it’s probably not a best seller. It’s a rough manuscript stained with coffee rings and nicotine. It’s not the clean, crisp, perfectly penned pages found in a book store. Instead it is aged, torn and sloppily ...
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Discovering Forgiveness

Discovering Forgiveness

Forgiveness soothes the angry bees in our belly and it makes it easier to be. To let go and forgive we must tend to the issues fueling our pain. Sometimes solving this problem can be as complicated as a Cenobite’s puzzle box. In many ways our life is a series ...
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Mistakes and Fairness

Mistakes and Fairness

Should the sum of our existence be calculated by a small window of time or a few mistakes? Do you believe every good deed ought to be dismissed because of a few decisions? We all make mistakes and decisions that lead to disaster. No one was given an instruction manual ...
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Empathy an Intro

Empathy an Intro

I think its easy to attack without considering the consequences of our actions. It is easy to say something is bad simply because it fails to meet our paradigm of thought. Critical thought is hard, to stay on course with its edicts we must follow its teachings and consider others ...
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Nioxin vs Monat vs Rogaine

Nioxin vs Monat vs Rogaine

Nioxon vs Monat vs Rogaine While perusing the land of Facebook I was drawn to an image (shown below) illustrating the advantages of one product over two others. With my interest piqued I spent the better part of an evening researching it’s claims. I believe we all fall victim to ...
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Good News... is Great News!

Good News… is Great News!

Good News… is Great News! The world is a beautiful place, with so much awe and wonder it is simply magical. Life is a blessing, an experience to be treasured and adored, from our moments of pure joy to absolute terror. It is more than just smiles and sunshine, more ...
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Discovering Personal Advocacy

Discovering Personal Advocacy

Discovering Personal Advocacy Hope is the corner stone of personal advocacy. To find her we must fantasize about the world, embrace the thought of adventure and share our dreams with others. From this spark we will explore our creativity through artistic expression, connecting our soul parts with our body and ...
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Shawn White

Shawn White

Who is Shawn White? Hello, my name is Shawn White. I have cancer. I have been shaped by a series of beautifully horrific experiences. I traded my right lung for wisdom and endured chemotherapy for insight. When I was in my twenties I watched my mother die of pancreatic cancer ...
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Discovering Hope

Discovering Hope

“Every second is a snapshot of infinite beauty.“ Discovering Hope Hope, the cute, yet terrifying mouse. She has guided us, continues to guide us and will always guide us. Hope is our faith, love and belief we can make the best of any situation. Through Hope we can find our ...
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The rings of christmas

The Rings of Christmas – Body of Life

Silver and gold garland wreathed around the needle-sharp Christmas tree. An array of glass and plastic ornaments fell from hooks like stems of fruit on the pine branches. Spiraling luminescence gracefully undulated from a string of rainbow lights.  A sparkle caped angel rested atop the lush tree, but it was ...
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Tree of Life

Tree of Life

Our palace is built from lumber harvested from the Tree of Life. This tree is enormous, stretching through the earth into the underworlds and high into the sky to the heavens above. As we walk our road of life we spot leaves and sticks and collect them under our arm ...
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The Body of Life - Tree of Life

The Body of Life – Tree of Life

The body of life reflects our coping skills. It is a symbol of who we are, what we’ve experienced and how we interpret reality. The rings of our tree are the hardships we’ve faced and how we handled them. When we build our palace our tree’s rings determine the quality ...
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When we Malfunction

When We Malfunction – Tree of Life

When our emotions are running around all wild and such they tend to do some pretty terrible things. They create something I call malfunctions. They are what happen when we let our emotions influence how our thoughts process information. When this occurs we take action that conflicts with what a ...
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Artifacts

Artifacts

Artifacts are created by infusing negative or positive energy into something. The energy we give it returns to us each time we interact with it. In application, it’s like a beer bottle in the presence of an alcoholic, your significant other in a toxic relationship, a blade to a cutter ...
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False Validation

False Validation – Tree of Life

False Validation is one of the seven negative roots of the Tree of Life. It is when  our thoughts, opinions and perceptions are traded for someone else’s.   Typically the person transforming us isn’t aware of the influence their words have. They simply answer our question we ask them to the ...
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Malfunction

Malfunction – Tree of Life

The curtain twisted to a gentle breeze, dancing to the ceiling fan’s melody. I sat on my bed with my back to the wall feeling my heart begin to fall. Shadows stretched and moved in malicious manners as I tried with all my might to find a purpose to the ...
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regret

Regret – Tree of Life

Regret is one of the seven negative roots of the Tree of Life. If I were sum up the experience with one word I’d describe it as terrible.  Nothing compares to the anguish of Regret, nothing. Regret can be summed up with the sentence: “I wish I could go back ...
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Big Pile of Disappointment

Big Pile of Disappointment

Was it really a big Pile of Disappointment? Last time I spoke a lot about how my trip to see the NET specialist was a big pile of disappointment.  I hoped that with that doctor it would be a moment I could ask him questions only a specialist could answer.  ...
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Shame

Shame – Tree of Life

Shame is one of the seven negative roots of the Tree of Life. It is often confused with guilt because the two intertwine. This root is ferocious and nasty, it is more than long strips of wooden fiber, it is a tentacle covered with gnawing mouths filled with diseased teeth ...
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Denial

Denial – Tree of Life

Denial is one of the seven Negative roots of the Tree of Life.  It is what opened the hellish portal leading to the end of my romantic relationship.  This root stitches blinders to our eyes, placing us in eternal darkness, hiding us from the world. In summary Denial may easily ...
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Discovering

Discovering Personal Advocacy

Discovering Personal Advocacy  Before discovering personal advocacy, our life drifts within a void.  Slowly and without purpose we amble toward the ever-consuming maw of oblivion.  In these moments, we teeter at the edge of destruction.  Sitting on a wall like old humpty dumpty waiting to fall.  If we remain here ...
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Hope the Mouse

Hope the Mouse

Hope the Mouse So much our time is focused on cancer that we often become it.  Every time I have a test or a scan my heart shutters and my nerves shake.  I’ve grown so accustomed to bad news that good news has become the bad.  Hope the Mouse is a representation ...
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Power Advocacy Podcast 4

Power Advocacy Podcast 4

Power Advocacy Podcast 4 This is Power Advocacy Podcast 4, a new episode exploring my boundaries. In this podcast I focus on improving my ability to listen, identifying my boundaries, respecting my opinions and analyzing my failure to act. http://shawnwhiteblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/offensive-girl_1.mp3 If you would like to read more about advocacy consider ...
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Empathy

Empathy – Boundaries – Personal Advocacy

Empathy is essential when establishing and enforcing our boundaries. When we use the word empathy we are referring to intellectual empathy. What does that mean? “Understanding the need to imaginatively put oneself in the place of others to genuinely understand them… It correlates with the ability to accurately reconstruct the ...
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Relationships – Boundaries – Personal Advocacy

Relationships – Boundaries – Personal Advocacy

Experiencing a long-lasting friendship can be incredible. It feels great having someone in our corner, especially when we’re confident they’ll be there forever. The longer we are friends with someone the more we lower our guard to build new boundaries for them. It can be a beautiful experience to fall ...
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Power Advocacy Podcast 3

Power Advocacy Podcast 3

Power Advocacy Podcast 3 This installment Power Advocacy Podcast 3 explores the experiences that brought me to this point.  I will warn you that this podcast does contain some vulgar language. http://shawnwhiteblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/vlog-3.mp3 If you would like to read more about advocacy feel free to click on this link to continue your ...
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second opinion

Second Opinion – Personal Advocacy

Second Opinion You should always get a second opinion.  They say that opinions are like wiggly toes, some people seem to wiggle their toes more often than others.  Doctors just have really big wiggly toes, so when they move them about, we seem to notice and remember them more.  They ...
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Fight Abuse - Boundaries - Personal Advocacy

Fight Abuse – Boundaries – Personal Advocacy

Abusers are thieves plotting to steal what we need. They feed us spoonfuls of bullshit to veil their taking as giving. Their agenda is to weaken our walls with the goal to gain access to our soul. Ordinarily life is pretty damn hard. When we get sick or injured it ...
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Boundaries

Introduction to Boundaries

Would you like to have healthier relationships, a more peaceful existence and a higher quality of life? Well look no further, all the answers you need are right here! We’ve come accustomed to hearing this claim from life coaches, MLMs and late-night TV. Every one of them want to sell ...
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abuse

Abuse – Personal Advocacy

Abuse manifests in many forms.  This was an actual statement made by my caretaker Ino while I was enduring chemotherapy.  Abuse It manifests in many ways.  The abuse of my caretaker began as manipulation, then became abuse, followed by exploitation and finally neglect. It was Ino who told me I ...
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abused

Help for the Abused

Help for the Abused Those who have been abused need a safe place to turn to for help.  Anyone can be abused, it doesn’t matter what sex you are, what gender you identify as, who you are or where you come from.  We’re all human and when we hurt we ...
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caretakers

Caretakers – Personal Advocacy

Caretakers Your Caretakers should be taking care of you, you shouldn’t be taking care of them.   The cartoon above was an actual conversation between he and I. I would like to introduce you to Ino, he was my caretaker.   Chemotherapy was terrible, but he made the experience nearly ...
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CSO

CSO – Personal Advocacy

CSO Today was filled with discovery! I learned that the person I saw needed CSO next to their name to be of any value to me.  The acronym stands for Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition.  The person had RD, LD, CDE and MS, but no CSO.  I am so frustrated I want to ...
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Power

Power Advocacy Podcast

Power Advocacy This marks the first episode of my Power Advocacy podcast.  My goal is to illuminate the path for those who seek to navigate the treacherous road of cancer.  I want to help you find the way, to guide you through turbulent waters into the soft, soothing sea.  I hope ...
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Deity

Deity of Cancer – Personal Advocacy

Deity of Cancer Your doctor is not a god, they are not a deity of cancer.  You are entitled to proper care, you deserve to be treated like a human and your doctor is working for you, you are their boss. I will say this again, YOU ARE THEIR BOSS.  YOU ...
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Empathy

Empathy – Critical Awareness

Empathy When empathy becomes reality, your empathy has failed you.  Watching someone experience something is not the same as experiencing it.  This goes both ways.  It is not fair to claim you know something, when you don’t.  This post is about exploring the reality of cancer, our perception, empathy and our ...
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stress

Stress – We must become advocates

 Stress is a Catalyst for Change Storm clouds will brew and roar, but eventually they begin to pour.  When the sky opens up and gives us rain, it can fall in a variety of ways – from thick to thin, small to tall and soft to sideways.  My storm cloud ...
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asking questions

We must become advocates, all of us: 3

Asking Questions Today I started being my own advocate, by asking questions.  I told my oncologist I wasn’t satisfied with the explanation he provided for why he didn’t order the Gallium 68 scan.  I asked that he refer me to a nutritionist.  Finally, why was an octreotide scan and 5-HIAA test never ...
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We must become advocates, all of us: 2

We must become advocates, all of us: 2

One Cancer “Big pharma doesn’t cure people, they want to keep people sick and manage the pain.  They don’t want to cure people because there isn’t any money in it.” “You shouldn’t do chemo because it is a poison and it is only going to make you more sick.” “Chemotherapy ...
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We must become advocates, all of us

We must become advocates, all of us

Becoming your own advocate means you must learn how to critically research and develop critical thinking skills.  I consider personal advocacy to be an inner boundary (something I will discuss later). Being your own Advocate means you must be a leader.  You have the break the mold of putting your ...
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