Thursday, March 24, 2011


 Everyone has someone that has impacted them in some way. I used to run in fairly high-profile circles, and people of celebrity or such status never phased me. We are all just people. As long as you aren't a jackass for the sake of being a jackass or hiding the true you to harm others, we'll probably get along. At least I will go in with the intent to like you. Cross me though, no matter who you are, we are done. 

There is one inspiration for me that has inspired me my adult life. We have a connect, and I cannot believe I have not met her yet. Today, I had to take a chance - something I can't pass up - Oprah is having Stevie Nicks on the show. I submitted an essay and 3 pictures of myself to the show. It is not something that I would usually do, however I would like to share a bit of someone very special to me with you, and in my hopes to thank her in person for what she has done for me. 

Stevie Nicks has impacted my life in so very many ways. I was a professional dancer and teacher (ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop etc) Sometimes I was compared to Cyd Charrise. I lived for singing, dancing and made it my life and career. Stevie was a huge part of my inspiration, on the stage and off. Her words and music, stories and truths are incredible to hear. She has shared her gift of life with us all.

As anyone, Stevie has had her many struggles. She taught me that it is okay not to be strong for all of the people all of the time – but that it is not a weakness, it is human. Besides having ethereal beauty, and a voice of no other it is her presence. I was lucky enough to see her in concert twice.

I have since had to quit working as a dancer, and stop working altogether. Four years ago in April, my life that I knew it stopped. I was diagnosed with the potentially fatal auto-immune disease Lupus (SLE). I became progressively worse quite fast. From owning the stage, I can barely walk now more than a few steps on my own, and the pain is incredible. I am from Canada but I spend the winters in San Diego due to the harsh Ottawa winters. Simple things are such a challenge. In the scary moments, I went to Stevie. Rhiannon, Gold Dust Woman, Rock a Little...her lyrics help me keep fighting in a fight that is is too easy to give in. I have lost all income, means, not on any social assistance – but I have Stevie's music, DVDs, books, history – as much as I can allow with what I can manage.

I would love the chance to meet Stevie, to thank her in person for the gifts she has and continues to give me. And maybe we can compare ballet stories...Thank you for this possible opportunity.

If there is someone that is inspiring you, a thank you will go a very long way.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I have always been a water baby. When I was little my apartment building had a pool, my favourite days were the ones where I'd go rollerskating, then swimming, drying off in the sun with my one pop I was allowed to have a year, Mountain Dew. I'd be well past wrinkly in the pool. 

Being physical is very important to me, and as growing up as a dancer, pushing my limits, applied in every part of my life. I pushed hard, and I loved it.

Now I have had to relearn how to do most normal-people things, and as I've outlined the pain is really awful. However, I need to look at things differently, and be happy for what I can do not what I can't. It's how I looked at judging dance - I want to see what the dancers CAN do, not what they can't. 

It's hard to put myself in that frame of mind, or think something other than I am a constant failure.

To look at it, I can't walk on my own without help from someone or something, and using the wheelchair is really hard to get my head around.  However, I am doing physio as much as I can, and learning how to adapt it. Hell, 850 abs in there isn't so bad I suppose, right?

I've discovered the magic of water again. The pain is minimal (which is still high and bad) but I can do some of the physio in the pool. I can also do things that I haven't had the strength to do - I can do full splits again, I can arabesque, I can work my arms and pull my legs in fans - double circles aductor and abductors. 

I'm so free in the water, I can do anything. It is wonderful to feel something that I thought I couldn't do again. Even if my shoulder blades look funny.

I'm a water goddess, and I love it. I still have the tenacity and driving spirit that I was born with.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Someone you know has lupus. You know me. I can use a snuggle and hugs.

I'm going through some really terrible new things - again. It's getting very hard to keep my head up of the water. But you know me by know, I talk facts and my experience.

Today is Lupus Advocacy Day. I need to write more, but hence lupus is hindering even that right now, I hope that you can share, and spread the word.

This is still an unknown disease but it's very brutal. Please if you love us, spread the word, link to blogs like this one that details my daily struggle. 

It is horrible, and not just a 'daily struggle'. 

It is scary. I am so happy though to have people around me that are so supportive, and love and help in the bad - really really bad days, like the past while.

Someone you know has lupus. Please feel free to look at my past blogs, and my experience. Then possibly look at the others out there, since it is the disease of a million faces. We don't (often) look sick but we are. Very very sick.

A cuddle, hug, sharing, understanding means so much. Thank you for helping to share.

More info is here on today's advocacy day -