A BIRTHDAY WISH….

There’s one thing that ALL of us have in common, Birthdays!  It’s funny that when we’re young, especially when we’re young kids, birthdays just don’t come fast enough.  It just seems so long that that last birthday, and everything that comes with it, always seems so far away, and when it comes, that day is gone, and then we have to wait until another YEAR before the next one comes around!  It not that any of this is good, or even bad to some people, it just is what it is.  Then we hit those 20’s and 30’s, and they seem to come up a little quicker, and then it seems that the only birthday that counts after all of this, is the one that turns into a new decade; the 40’s, the big 50!  After that, let’s just say, we’re hitting the back nine; maybe we are a little slower, (physically), an ache and a pain here and there, and sometimes, we forget things.  I’m just sayin’…  but the funny thing is, we still remember grade school, high school like it was just the other day, and if one went to college, that was CLEARLY yesterday!  Life, it’s an amazing journey, some might say good or bad, but without a doubt, it’s an amazing journey.

 

BIRTHDAY  n.  A day commemorating the founding or beginning of something

 

I had a birthday a few weeks ago, September 18, a Virgo.  I loved it, for a lot of different reasons.  I did find something, and it was the beginning of something, and it took quite a few years, (maybe all of the previous years!), to find; me.  So what does that mean?  That I never “found myself”?  That I was “always looking”?    No, not like that, it just meant that I knew what I felt when I felt it.  How’s that for not answering a question???  My parents were strict Catholics, and that was the way I was raised, maybe not what I chose at that time, but that’s the way it was with me, and our family.  Then I took about 25 years off, from church, (who would ever think?), but definitely not my religion.  I was under the impression that, back then, that everyone was from the same background.  Most of my friends were Catholic, and those that were not Catholic, were of another faith.  That’s what is amazing to me; what happened to faith an commitment in todays world?  I went through a few brain tumors, and that shouldn’t be the excuse to regain my faith, but I think that’s where we missed the boat.  I wouldn’t recommend that everyone should go through what I went through medically, but I’m a firm believer that we’ve all had a situation in our lives, that should, (or could), change our beliefs, and our faith.  I’m not preaching here, but just put it the back of your mind, and see how grateful you can be that attributes to where you are today.

The reason I brought that up, was that this year, I decided to spend a week with my family at the birthday time frame, and basically do nothing, and I can’t tell you how much fun I had?  I had a few years, where I was waiting for that birthday, because I had been through some stuff that I, well I just wanted to celebrate, because I was happy to be here.  I’m sure you all remember that when you were a teenager, and sometimes you might have missed a birthday gathering, to hang out with your friends; I know I did, and thought nothing of it.  Now that my Dad is passed, I realized how important that was to both of my parents to have something for me, and I wish I had those birthdays back, but, of course, we can’t do that, so for this birthday I thought that I would go and spend time with my family, Mom, brother, sister, nieces and nephews, cousins, friends.  It was a blast.  My brothers birthday is 3 days away from mine, and my 2 cousins in Vegas are also Virgo’s; when we were kids, one big party handled all of us kids!  Maybe my parents actually knew a few things, that we didn’t know! My brothers birthday was on a Saturday, which was the night of his B-B-Q that he wanted to throw, but he invited people that were also friends of mine, that went to Vegas for all of us, it really was great!  The food?  As most of your know, I like to eat, and boy did we eat!  Small petites, smoked,(I had three), brisket, smoked chicken, a ton of sides, and of course my favorite desert, caret cake!  It was unbelievable, delicious, and a ton of fun; all with my family.  Let me mention this; my last night there, Tuesday night, my brother had extra food that didn’t need to be prepared on Saturday, so he was going to do it that night, Tuesday night just me, my brother, his wife, and my sister.  We did this after a day of swimming at my Mom’s house, and we all thought it would be a early night, because it was my intention to leave early the next morning.  Joe and I had a few beers, then opened up 3 bottles of wine, smoked a couple a cigars, and THEN, we had to open the bottle of Scotch that I got him for his birthday; needless to say, I didn’t get that early start.  That night was  just our family, and my Mom was dancing, we all danced with her, she had a picture of Dad held t her chest while we danced, and we played her music, hers and Dads.  Unbelievable night, one that I’ll never forget.  We got my cousins from the Midwest on skype, and shared stories, and as I’ve said before, in my family, there’s nothing but family, and it sticks in your mind like an elephant brain!  This is what I believe a birthday is all about; family, family, and family, where we all were like kids, thinking like kids, behaving like kids, and actually thinking like kids for a brief night.

Enjoy your birthdays, your nights, your every moment, because don’t forget, we’re playing our back nine.

Peace and blessings,

Scott

www.everythingisgoingtobealright.com

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GRATUITOUS….

Big word.  Well, let’s make sense of that word.  In my world, a sense of emotion comes into play.  It is also actions, feelings, it can involve friends, among many other things, and for me, involves my past.

GRATUITOUS:  adj;  being without reason, cause, or justification,     or; given without receiving any return value.

 

I’ve had so many instances in my life, with regard to these definitions of “gratuitous”,  that I’ve had to realize how my heart and soul gets into this picture.  How does it happen that I say “thank you” to God every morning when my feet hit the ground, verses not acknowledging that I’m HERE!  Big change, because I’ve been in that picture before.  It’s amazing, that what I’ve noticed is when I speak to someone, I hear the word “I” so much; to me I don’t have any “I”, it’s always WE.  Maybe before,(let’s say 20 years or so), I gave tribute to myself for working so hard for myself, that “I” deserve this/that, or whatever.  I never realized that I was guided into a direction, a path, that gave me success, or “I hit my dream”.  I attribute so much of where I am today to my family, their love, their support, and some of their direction.  Oh, I should also mention my friends.  What a gang of friends that I have!  As we all know, no two people are the same, and don’t I know that!

This past weekend, one of my buddies from high school made a trip out here to L.A.  We played sports together in high school, football mostly, but we both played baseball, and we both went to different high schools.  When I was at that age of playing sports, basically you hung out with the guys that you played with, or against.  So that is where I say, I was given the ability to play sports, which gave me the friends that I hung out with, with whom I still associate with today, some 45 years later!  Did “I” pick them!  No, I was given the chance to, given the activity that I did, playing sports.  I call that, “connecting the dots”.  If you look back at so many events in your life, and see the “dot”, and how it associated with the previous dot, and ties into the next dot, this all had to happen for you to be in the position that you are today.

 

My buddy from high school, Jim, has the vision of going to as many professional baseball stadiums as he can, (maybe even out of this country?).  As it turned out, both the Angels, and the Dodgers stayed in town over the same weekend, so he called me a few months ago, and suggested that we should go to both stadiums, a Friday and a Saturday.  Why not?  I have a couple of other HUGE sports fans, and one wanted to be our designated driver,(good for us, who like beer!), so the four of us went, what a blast!  Got to see two stadiums, compare them, and their parking, walking from parking to the stadiums, and general parking costs.  Sorry Dodger fans, Angels win it hands down.  Hope I don’t loose any friends here, saying that, (maybe like politics?  Oooops…)  Either way, both nights were highlights, and had LATE nights, (beyond my bedtime!).  With everybody involved, how did I get involved with these guys?  I was put in a position to choose who I trusted, and who befriended.  I’m sure that I didn’t know about the “dots” then, but I surely know now how that belief works.

 

Do you question anything like that?  Honest question, really.  As I’ve said before, I know that we ALL have been in a situation in our lives that has been our deepest part our “weakness”.  I was, as most of you know. Tumors, radiations, seizures, medications, etc. For some that don’t know some of the details about my “story”, I had plenty of people in my life, at that time, who aren’t in my life now, but I couldn’t have made it then, without them; that a “dot”.  I was seeing a gal at that time, who basically saved my life; and brought me into an environment, that I would be spending all of the rest of my days, ( including today!), on a different path, UCLA.  From neurologists, to surgeons, to nurses, to my activity within this wonderful institution, to having two people put up $52,500 on the spot to keep me in UCLA, and to me getting their money back…  I don’t know how many dots are in that equation, but every dot had to be here, or…?  I have a big belief in what God does for us, and He certainly exceeds “I”.  I just follow.

 

That is why I say thank you every morning.  I’m given another day.  I thank Him for my dog, Peanuts.  Funny story, here.  Peanuts is a Jindo, a Korean dog, not to well known to a lot of people.  He is about 50 lbs, and their history is to be very territorial for someone like me, (and they are!)  My last dog was a Jindo, also.  You know how the saying goes, it’s the dog that picks the owner.  I still belief that, without a doubt.  My last dog was a female, Lola, and when she passed a few years ago, I wanted another female.  Aside from being beside myself without Lola, I called up a rescuer that I know, and asked them if they had any Jindo’s up for adaption, and they actually said yes, and they would be up at a pet store the upcoming weekend.  Jindo’s usually come in two colors, white with tan ears, and red ones throughout their body.  I saw “Peanuts”, an attractive white male, walked him, and said to myself, “well, he’s ok, but I want a female”.  I saw a female, who looked like my Lola who just passed the day before, thought she was SO pretty, so I told the rescuer gals, that I wanted to wait on the female for about a week, for me to think about it.  They said ok; but asked if I would foster Peanuts for that week, because the other foster people would be out of town for about a week, and I could bring him back to the pet store the following week.  I said sure, I don’t have Lola, so I thought it would be good company.  We had a good time that week, but you have to understand that Jindo’s really don’t bark, and their definitely not a snuggle dog, very alpha.  That was how the week went, I had a quiet dog that went his own way, didn’t snuggle, and we got along well.  I took him back the next week, put him in his cage, and he made a cry like I’ve never heard, especially at my house, cried a cry that sounded like he was getting tortured, to the point that I couldn’t leave him like that, so I took him out of the cage, told the rescue people that he was mine, at that moment, and went home.  Like I said, it’s the dog who picks out their owner.  I wanted a female that looked like my previous dog, but I took home a male of another color that wanted me.  That another dot; he softened my blow to me when Lola died.

Look at your life, count your dots, and have a great feeling of gratuitous for how “we” got there, and give an unlimited thank to every morning that you have been given, and say hi to a friend, especially an old friend who picked you, too.

 

Scott

www.everythingisgoingtobealright.com

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PASSION…

PASSION n: 1) strong amorous feeling; love

2) a strong fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for something

 

I am a very passionate person, and I believe that we all are in some respect or another.  If there is any question in your mind, about you having this passion, just sit back and think about what “thing”, or event,involved you, to the point that this “thing” was on your mind constantly, it occupied you, to so many various degrees.  I think we all have something that affects our lives, either literally, or emotionally, on our journey.  My passions are events that resonate with my brain.  Why wouldn’t it, given my past?  As most of you know, I’ve had 3 brain tumors, 2 sessions of radiations, seizures; but a whole lot of sharing with others about my stories!  A lot of these “others” are people in the UCLA Ronald Regan hospital, who share my story; neuro trauma to their brain, or head, and we talk.  We talk about everything under the sun, mostly about our own traumas, but simply as “fraternity”  brothers/sisters.  We talk about what symptoms we had, comparing them, or not.  We talk about what I had to do for my rehab; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  I realistically had to do a lot, but to me, it wasn’t “a lot”.  I had to do what I had to do, to regain myself.  For lack of better words, that last sentence wasn’t a pat on my back, it was what had to be.  I speak to groups, mostly in this same arena; I’ve accompanied my surgeon, Dr. Isaac Yang, into a class that where he lectures intern doctors, for a several days to explain our relationship, and what steps had to be taken on my surgery.  I am also a counselor on a palliative group, to administer companionship with those who are at the end of their days on earth.  This is part of my passion; there is another part of one of my passions, that are one of the biggest drives that urges me to become involved in brain research, and cures.  It’s an event, a fundraiser that occurs November 11 2018; let me tell you about it.

 

It’s called the 11th Annual Heroes of Hope Race for Brain Tumor Research, which I previously wrote about on my blog, (and which you can view on my 11/14/17 blog called “HEROES”).  For those of you who are on Facebook, go to my homepage, and scroll down until you can view that blog. if you haven’t already.  This is an event that I’m Passion about.  A wonderful, special person, Lisa Millar, that I’ve become friends with, started this fundraiser with this year becoming the 11 annual event.  This is a fundraiser that has contributed back to UCLA Research over $800,00!  That’s big bucks, from someone who lost her brother, before he hit 30 years old, to glioblastoma multiform, (think about brain).  This event is a 5k/10k walk/run, with lots of parents bringing strollers, walking the route, or simply coming down to the event.  This takes at Dockweiler Beach, Playa del Rey, Ca.  This is a beach town, and the run is on a beautiful Vista del Mar Blvd, right on the beach.  There is a stage for awards, entertainment, dancers, and wonderful survivors who tell their stories about their situations, their trauma, their recovery; in other words, being a HERO.  I can’t say enough words about the compassion of these survivors, what they have to say, and their wonderful zest for life!  At this event, their are so many “camps” set up.  Some are products in which the company wants to supply participates with nutrition, water, even pamphlets on their cause of brain cancer.  The Culver City Sheriff’s department sends a team to run the course, maybe 10-15 of their department running, several Teams for survivors set up camps. and of course, a UCLA camp where my surgeon, (and about 15 other doctors) run for us, and distribute information on brain cancer, which goes from brain tumors, to concussions; let’s just say, anything above the neck!  It is an emotional day for me, of course, because I’m one of “them”, but it’s also a day of fun, education, friendship, great food with all of the food trucks, and heartfelt emotions.  I will ask everyone that sees this, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE contribute, come down, or donate.  Heroes of Hope is a 501c3 non-deductible group, so your donation will be tax deductible to the fullest extent of IRS law.  I beg all of you, save peoples lives by your contribution to research to cure cancer.

 

There are big sponsors involved in this event; UCLA Neurosurgery, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Cedars-Sinai, Kaleidoscope, iDance4aCure, etc…I will be having an event, with entertainment, food truck, silent auction, and more, to raise money for this event, especially those people in the Los Angeles area.  There will be several ways to donate, if you are not in this area.

1) You can become a sponsor

2) Become a vender to give out samples, give-aways to increase your  database

3) Start a Race Team for your company

4) Donate a gift certificate to be used as a prize for our participates

5) Market this event on your website, even Facebook!

Better yet, come to my fundraiser; I’ve done this so many times, it will be so much FUN!

For more information and to register, please contact us via:

www.wizathon.com/heroesofhoperace  or call 1-866-48-4CURE  lisa@tbkf.org

Please take this into consideration; you’ll be saving lives, literally.  Research is how we do that, and to contribute, we can’t thank you enough, but keep in mind what you are doing, saving lives from cancer, tumors, seizures, head traumas, etc…  plus keep in mind emotional fun that you’ll have with regard to any/all of the events listed here.  I wish you so much warm thoughts, and I will keep you updated as we go along.

Peace and good health,

Scott

www.everythingisgoingtobealright.com

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A DECADE…(in minutes)

April 29th, 2008

Biggest day in my life…

Let’s go back in our lives, all of us.  Let’s go back 10 years, and really try to put yourselves in that time frame, and recall all of the events that you went through; family,  friends, thoughts, emotions, job, well being, happiness, cars, religion, etc….In ONE, (very long!!!) sentence, I will try to explain my past decade, and before you read on after that, try to do this for yourself, and see how it relates to you now.  Here’s mine:

 

A brain for fitness, a brain for gratitude, a brain for appreciation.  Humbleness fits into that category; so does spiritual praise.  Each of these arenas, (and many more), have come into my life because of friends, and God.  People say how I’ve been so “lucky”, I say how I’ve been blessed.  Here’s my story, my pitch:

I had a baseball-sized tumor pressing on my brain, (over 8cm, baseball is 7.25!), which I didn’t have any knowledge about at that time, and I was dating a girl who knew something was wrong with me due to my actions faltering, and my speech weakening and since her uncle is a doctor at UCLA, who advises her to bring me in due a seizure that I didn’t know that I had, (but she did), and me not knowing what the hospital plans are for me, (which is how $52,500 fits in), and how TWO of my friends, without me knowing any of the “plan” (with the hospital),  put up that $52,500, and me having the operation to take that tumor out, set up by family and friends, because the brain that I had back then couldn’t process all of this, which led to my rehab to which I had to start practicing my own preaching, since that is MY business, (personal training), which then led me to NOW, present day, talking to neurological trauma patients at UCLA, (based upon a recommendation from my surgeon, Dr. Isaac Yang) to show the patients that I not only had an 8cm tumor taken out of my head, but that tumor decided to come back to my brain, (because it loves me, perhaps?), so for this second surgery, we had to do the same operation to take that tumor out of my head in September of 2010, and to tell them, (the patients), this is what I had to do, but I’m now walking INTO your room, and you, too, can do this if you persevere, have faith, and BELIEVE in yourself to put you back in control of your life! WOW! That’s a mouthful, and that’s only about 10% of the complete story!

 

Long sentence.  So that’s the summary of what happened to me 10 years ago, April 29, 2008.  That one sentence involved every event listed above, (well, except for the cars!).  Most of you know my story, but few know all of the details, and there were many.  I wouldn’t have it any other way, though.  I enjoyed the friendships that I had; some friendships which were very short from that specific time, but also very essential for my success, even of my life, if you can belief that.  I had family that was completely at my side, even though I actually didn’t know WHAT was going on, to be honest with you.  I had long term relationships at the hospital as support, those who drive a long way to be at my side.  For my emotional impact, and since I couldn’t process in my brain, that the surgery would/could be so debilitating, I thought that being in this hospital,( I mean, come on, UCLA Ronald REGAN HOSPITAL!!!), was actually fun!  Wow.  Probably was the company, my parents, (who were in better shape than I could have imagined), my brother, who made a ton if half-funny skits, with John Williams; Scott and Michael, who kept me in the hospital, to Kandy and her husband who kept me in their home after the surgery for almost 3 months, to so many others who I haven’t mentioned, but certainly know who they are.  It’s amazing, to experience so much in only one episode of your life; but this is the point, we’ve all had something like this, whether it’s physical, (mine), emotional, spiritual; wherever your emotions take you, you just followed, I know I did.

Right after I got home from the hospital, I returned to my religion; if you knew the details of this one event, (probably a GOOD two hour conversation), you wouldn’t think that I succeeded in my recovery because of ME, I guarantee you that, (even though I scheduled all of my rehab!).  I knew that I was accompanied by someone who guided me, gave me paths to take, and the belief that HE was in charge, just trust in HIM.  As I’ve stated before, there was no other option, I will succeed, period.  Everything was an effort, but who hasn’t had to deal with that?  Who hasn’t had to persevere with their efforts to recover from their situation?  Who didn’t have to grind their teeth with frustration, anguish, and so on, in front of them?  When you give your best, and you accomplish everything you can possibly do, and all of that comes from your commitment  to yourself, you have to acknowledge that.  I’m not the same person that I was 10 years ago, but my heart is much stronger, and my soul is full of belief in myself, my family, and God, who was my navigator through the rough waters.  Most important, though, I’m o.k. with all of this.  My little journey that I had planned for my future got detoured, and I’m so grateful for that, because I wouldn’t be on the path that I’m on now, things that I never would have had on my “journey chart”.  What a peace that gives me; it also helps me think up long sentences to tell a story!

I can use this story for fitness, commitment to yourself; I can use this for my/yours family; I can use this for relationships; I can use this for so much happiness; I actually think about some of this story every day of my life since Day 1, the day after the surgery.  I do that, because I went through it, and the strength I received from conquering this quest, and the feeling of accomplishment for the effort, because I had NO OTHER OPTION.  You can too, you can also pull some of the most trying times in your in your mind, and realized what you learned, how much more power you have from the strength you gained by solving, (or, as I say, “conquering” your quest), what you came up against.

 

Do it, reflect on your past decade, see all of the accomplishments, what you came up against, and see the happiness that come from your effort.  Enjoy your life, it comes in minutes……April 29, 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE WORSHIPER…

What a great word, wouldn’t you say?  I looked this word up in the dictionary, and found the definition very inspiring.

 

worshipn; reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred  personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.

 

I think that we all have something in our lives that we “worship”.  Whether it’s something we believe in, like religion, or a person that we know, or an honor that has bestowed us from some wonderful activity that was so much of a sacrifice of our time, and energy; we all have it, to worship something.  I have a few things that I worship, not just one.  This coming weekend, I will be visiting someone who was always my idol, or in this case, the person that I worshiped throughout my life, my Father.  For those that don’t know, my father passed away April 25, 2017.  His birthday is/was March 8, so I’m going to be with my family to honor, and worship a man who formed my life, and yet, he made me feel like he honored, and worship me.  Now, that is a real barn-burner; I who worshiped him, worshiped me!  I hope to visit the VA cemetery, ( he served in Korea), and have a Courvoisier, (which he loved!), with him, and worship him, and all of the memories that I had with him; to worship those memories.

It’s very easy for me to say that I worshiped my Father, because I did, and I also know that there are others who are not as fortunate as I was; from my childhood, to my adult years, (how about that, me saying “adult years”???).  Obviously, I’m a big believer in a very strong relationship with my parents, which I would love to see more of in this generation.  Society has changed, so has parenting, as I have observed.

As I had mentioned earlier, I have a few things that I have worship, and a few have entered my life recently, and a few from my younger years, that I recently realized that I DID worship!  That would be what I would call a “miracle”, to discover something from long ago, that affected me now, and that I reflect back on some of these events.  I also believe that most of you would have this, something that you worship.  You work hard, your self confidence grows, and you feel better.  What does that mean, though?  Is it reward of a paycheck?  Is it the feeling of accomplishment with the results of your effort in your work, or hobbies, or other interest?  Or maybe, your heart opens up, and you just feel peaceful inside.  That could happen!  Think about it, and it doesn’t happen to be some huge event that has affected you, maybe it’s something very personal, or “sacred”.  You have it, some time you have to put a little thought into point A, which then led to point B, and on to C,D,E…..When you start connecting the dots, and see where they leave you today, that could be the equation.  Each dot that you’re connecting, could be a little dot to worship, because it HAD to be there, to follow up to the next point, (A,B,C…..).  It might sound complicated, but I see it as very simple.  It’s the way things have panned out in your life, and I think we should be thankful.  It’s IS your life, and what could better than that?  My life has been serving others, and I never thought of that until recently.  I’ve had my business, sure, but I never put myself in that position of “helping others”.  Sometimes, you just have to put your thinking cap on, because as I look back, I have helped a persons health, I have also put in their head thoughts of how to help themselves.  I thought that I just did my job, but if me, and ALL of you, look at the big picture, and how you all have affected someone, (or some ones!), that really, is the BIG picture.  My Dad is the big picture, always was, and always will be.  An event in your life, is also the big picture.  How about this; you’ve been talking to someone over the years, and now again, you’ve heard a story that you have heard from him/her in the past, but NOW, it makes sense, YOU JUST GOT THE STORY!  I say that, because that’s what a lot of people say about you, how your interaction with them has benefitted them, to a degree.  It could be small, it doesn’t matter, you affected them!  That is the type of worship that we all have.  Keep it, own it, and relish it, because it’s yours!

I work at UCLA, as a lot of your know, and yesterday, I pass a married couple in the hallway, and they stop me.  Now, I’ll remind you, that I go to around 50 rooms per day, and not just seeing the patients, but also families, friends, and others in their rooms, so I see a lot of faces in one day.  So with the couple that stopped me, I recognized her face, and somewhat recognized her husband, and they were past patients of a couple of years, and they told me of the impact that they had because of our conversation, when the husband was a patient in the hospital.  Now, I couldn’t even start to tell you what that conversation was about, and I certainly wasn’t going to ask them, but it could have been 30 minutes, or 30 seconds.  Didn’t matter, they got affected by our interaction.  That is something I worship, and will always worship.  You have that, too.  Worship is a cool thing, all you have to do is acknowledge what you do, be very appreciative of what you do, and love what you do.  Could be simple…and is.

 

Be THE WORSHIPER……

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MIRACLES DO HAPPEN…

I believe in miracles.  Very simple, I believe in miracles.

 

Miracle:  n.  an extraordinary occurrence that surpasses all known human powers or natural forces and is ascribed to a divine or supernatural cause, especially to God.

 

This definition makes a “miracle” sound so complicated, but it isn’t; think about it, it’s actually very simple.  It’s just something that happened, done.  Let’s break it down.  Take yourself, has anyone else taken on your looks?  I guess we all have a twin out there, so ok, maybe a semi-yes.  How about your voice, the eyes, the soul, the heart; everything that makes us up as a being, this just happens to be YOU!  No matter what else, there is no one else like you.  Even twins can be so, so alike; or they can be so different.  There is REALLY no one else like you.  Since I try to look at the positive side of things, (I really try to avoid the negative effect ), everybody has their own personality, and a person gets to choose whether he/she can appreciate themselves.  It’s being happy with yourself, it’s a smile that can happen whenever, with whatever is happening!  I know, this sounds so simple, but this can be so simple.  I had three brain tumors, two surgeries, two different rounds of radiation, and it totally disrupted my method of living.  So many thoughts were running through my head, back then, about “what I would do” to reshape my life.  It’s very simple, I just went forward.  I had no other option.  So that’s my story, how about yours?

We all know people who have addictions, alcohol, drugs, depressions, etc…. the flip side here, is that we all know people who have recovered, have made a change, became a miracle.  There is no one else out there like you.  There is no one who goes through this life without some sort of an obstacle.  Do we fight through it, or try to work with “it” and go around it.  There is always a solution;  we just have to become a miracle and find our way.  Ok, I as a brain tumor survivor, had to alter my style of living; and as a general statement, that seems like a lot.  It isn’t, it just simply isn’t.  As I look back on how my interest changed, on how my actions changed, on how my beliefs changed; none of this was my first choice for my life, but in retrospect, it was so simple that it just worked out.  Imagine that, “it just worked out”.  What I’m saying here is that my priorities changed, without me putting a lot of effort in it.  What I saw through my eyes changed, that then affected my actions, which then affected my beliefs; in other words, it just changed.  Was that a big change for someone who knew me, to see a change?  Probably not, but for me, I saw a miracle coming down the tracks, and I had the  urge to jump onto that train!  It just happens.  So you see, miracles don’t have to come down with a big bang, they can come at a snails pace, and you notice and accept your changes.  Small or large, miracles do happen.

I bring this up, because in my mind, everybody has a weakness, but everybody also has a strength.  This is, in my mind, an absolute.  Everybody has a strength, so the miracle here, is to find your strength, (which is really right in front of you).  For example, for years I wanted to pursue something that, in my mind now, wasn’t my strength, but I kept pursuing,  Then when this little “brain thing” happened, my miracle came along and said, “All you’ve done for the past 30 some odd years, is help people”, with strength, balance, stability.  How did I not recognize this strength, because it really was “just in front of me”?  That was the miracle, finding my strength; nothing more, nothing less.

So now this is on you.  Please don’t deny your strength, recognize it, and use it.  The reason I find value in your strength, is that you use what you have within you; you’re not having to create something.  Ultimately, you’re working with what you know, so use it, find it and use it.  It’s right in front of you.  I’ll tell you why I think that this is so important; you’re using what has been given to you.  You’re using what is essentially your God given gift to you, your strength.  Use it.  When you use something that’s within you, you don’t have to put pressure on yourself to be creative, or to be “outside your box”, just be you, be confident in yourself, and just be you.  I know I’m pushing some people when I say “be confident in yourself”;  after my first surgery, I certainly didn’t have the confidence in myself like I once had.  I had SO many questions in my head throughout my recovery.  Can I go back to my physical working mode?  Can I work the hours that I used to work?  Will I be able to financially keep my way of living?  Will I frustrate myself on the physical rehab that I’m putting on myself?  These questions can go on, and on, (because they were there!), but what’s the point of rehashing them?  Time went on, I used my strength, (see, I told you that we all have this!). for my rehab, since that’s what I do, and that’s when I started trusting myself again, finding my progression through my strength.  I knew what I had done for others, so why not trust myself to do well for myself?  There was a lot time and effort that I had to do to regain “me”, but that was my strength, trust it, and trust me.  I started that thought process, and let’s just say, I got my groove back.  Use your strength, it’s there.  Once I started feeling like my old self, I actually started feeling very peaceful inside, which then led other changes, (like those listed above), and they “just happened”, because I didn’t care what others may have thought, because I was happy with where I had come from, and that led me to just be me.  As I said, it’s really simple.

So enough of my life, how’s yours?  Dig into yourself, find your strength, use it, and you will find a soothing feeling inside, to let yourself just be you.  Do it. Just be you, this will help you to enjoy each moment, and you’ll find out, that miracles do happen.

 

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HEROES…

HERO: n.   noted for feats of courage and nobility of purpose.

One who is bold, solid, accomplished yet modest.

An inspiration to all.

Does that sound like a hero?  I believe it sums a hero up very well.  I think it sounds so much of a persons heart, and soul, that you want to talk to him/her, constantly!  I experienced an event yesterday, (11/12/17), that gave me chills all day;  so many instances, conversations, with different types of people, people of different backgrounds, and situations in their lives, that on that day, (and beyond), they were nothing but being a HERO!

 

As you all know, I’ve dealt with three brain tumors, all of them being Meningiomas.  I will deal with this the rest of my life, in one way or another; but you want to know how I feel about this?  Who cares!!!  Big deal!!!  It’s a part of MY life, that I’ve adapted to, and then we move on!  Yesterday, I met hundreds of my fraternity brothers and sisters, with all of them adapting the same attitude.  They have since moved on with their lives, as we all did, because there is “NO OTHER OPTION”!  I met these people at the 10th annual “SUPERHEROES OF HOPE”, A 5K/10K race for the brain tumor research.  This event was initiated by an unbelievable women named Lisa Millar, who had a brother named Brad Kaminsky.  Brad passed before he was 30, from a brain tumor called “glioblastoma multiform”.  After Brad’s passing, Lisa started a 501(c) (3) non-profit foundation for Brad, called TBKF.org, (The Brad Kaminsky Foundation .org).  This event raises money (over $600,000 !), for the UCLA NEUOSURGERY research, and also for THE PEDIATRIC CANCER AND BRAIN TUMOR RESEARCH Mattel’s Children hospital at Los Angeles, and CEDARS-SINAI DEPARTMENT OF NEUROSURGERY.  Last year, Lisa added another ship on the sea of love and support, by using the wonderful dancers of “iDANCE4a CURE”, to put an end to childhood cancer, headed by choreographer/director Doriana Sanchez, who has danced/directed/choreographed so many shows in Las Vegas, and has judged so many “So You Think You Can Dance”; let’s put it this way, this event had super heroes within.  Besides myself, Doriana had a brain tumor, Brad, Cristopher, Veronica, people from Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Virginia, really, from all over were dealing with tumors! Joking, talking, grieving, but most of all, love.  Real, heartfelt love, to each other, or to the supporters who ran the race.  We had so many super surgeons from UCLA, including my surgeon from my first surgery, Dr. Marvin Bergsneider,   There was a group of dancers at the event, which was at the Dockweiler State Beach, here in Playa del Rey, California.  WE raised over $82,000!  When I think of UCLA, (and I know that I’m kind of biased here!), these super surgeons from UCLA were running in the race; that’s called hands AND feet working away!  It was really amazing, that some of the people that I’ve talked to at the Ronald Regan Westwood Hospital were there, and we conversed about their surgeries, but yet the happiness that they have now in their lives, amazing.  There were so many sponsors, canopies with waters of different types, food items, and food trucks, and so much more…

So what do you call a Hero, really?  Someone who does something for somebody, or something?  Probably yes to both of these.  Could it be something that is done for somebody without them knowing who did that action?  Yes for that, probably.  I think that there are so many factors that could be added into this word, Hero,  even beyond our beautiful word of inspirational, (ok, maybe two words); love and kindness.  Think about it, kindness becomes part of your personality, you living your belief, and all of that brings a change of heart to someone else who you are talking too, or participating  with on an event, or really anything which adds to another life.  It’s simple really, just be yourself, negate all of that negative talk, and offer help to someone who needs it.

I was asked to come up on stage, as were all of the other people (patients).  I was also asked to say a few words.  Oh, I had it in my mind to have some humor in what I said, but it didn’t come out that way,  It came out at how gracious I was to UCLA, to my Dr. that was there, to the Head of  all Neurosurgery at UCLA, Dr. Liau, all of those genius doctors running for OUR  benefit, and of course theirs, for research.  Besides being honored, it was very humbling.  We all survived brain tumors, some life threatening, some that provided some rehabbing, some where all skills were recovered.  Didn’t matter, to us, they’re all the same; same hospital experience, same beds, same feelings of frustrations, anguish, questions about one’s own future, and then looking for support.  Every one of us had that, at some point.  We all know, pretty much so, how everyone else stood their ground, and then said, “This is me”, no more, no less.  I am this person, and I am proud.

 

I was honored to be asked to get on that stage, give a speech, and be given a plaque, a plaque that said HERO, with my name at the end, Scott Yonkouski.  I don’t know, I kinda like that.  Be kind to others, show some compassion to them, and guess what, you are your own HERO.  You can say that.

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WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW, IS LOVE….

What the world needs now is love, sweet love It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of What the world needs now is love, sweet love, No not just for some but for everyone. Lord, we don’t need another mountain, There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb There are oceans and rivers enough to cross, Enough to last till the end of time. What the world needs now is love, sweet love It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of What the world needs now is love, sweet love, No, not just for some but for everyone. Lord, we don’t need another meadow There are cornfields and wheat fields enough to grow There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine Oh listen, lord, if you want to know. What the world needs now is love, sweet love It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of What the world needs now is love, sweet love, No, not just for some, oh, but just for Every Everyone.

 

Some words don’t need an explanation, but let’s try a few;

LOVE:  v;  affectionate concern for the well-being of others;  /  the benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection from them to God.

LOVE-SICK:  adj;  languishing with love

LOVING-KINDNESS:  n;  tender kindness motivated by or expressing affection.

Only a few of the multitude of other meaningful expression of love.  I don’t think that I’m the only person that’s crying for more love in this world right now, in my life right now, in every country across the planet right now.  Love is a feeling that is within everyone.  Love conquers.  Love is superior to all other feelings; it’s pure, original, and true.  I’m a very religious person, but if you’re not, love still conquers.  If you have a dog, (or any pet, really), can you honestly say that you don’t “love them to death”?  Or someone in your life?  Or SOMETHING in your life?  No one has no love; no one.  In my  life, my love leads to my faith; and what is faith?  Something that we can’t see; it’s not invisible, we just can’t see it.  It might be right in front of us, but sometimes our eyes aren’t looking in front of us, and we miss it.  We’re looking everywhere, except right in front of us.  I’ll bet that no one can tell me that this scenario hasn’t happened to them, at some point in their lives.  I’ll even put it out there, that even if religious is not part of your life, you will still have faith, and a belief in something.

 

We had a tragedy in Las Vegas this week, a very terrible tragedy, for a multitude of people.  Those whose life came to an end; those whose bodies were maimed, security from Vegas and areas outside of Vegas, rescuers who were helping the injured, the families of those who found out the news of the event, families who had no connection with their loved one who was at this site, outside the casino where all of the darkness came from.

We can go on and on with this heartless tragedy, but please believe me when I say, faith does view our positive in this tragedy.

How about the wonderful security who came to aid to all in just minutes; the immediate responders who were either there, or who came there in minutes; injured people who helped other injured people; a veteran who “stole” a truck from the parking lot, because it was open and he saw keys on the floor, and he used it to transport over 30 people to the hospital for treatment; my brother wanted to give blood for those in need, and there was a waiting line for two hours; caring people letting those in need to stay IN their houses; food donations from cooks, restaurants, and food companies who are from Vegas, airlines who accommodated changes in travel plans with no charges; our president of OUR country who went to hospitals in Vegas to personally give OUR grievances to those who were injured, and had OUR flags flown at half-mast, which actually is the proper way to show grief at a tragedy, rather than something like kneeling.  This list could also go on and on, but we see that there is something that unites people, in a tragedy.  It’s a good/bad scenery, but I have to look at the good.  For those that don’t know too much about me, I am a survivor of three brain tumors, called Meningiomas.  Am I comparing myself to this event?  That would be the most disrespecting thing I could do, but when I think of what others did for me, all of them are my personal heroes, so that is my positive, in an event that would change my life.

Did we see the love, and unity on 9/11?  To me, that was a tear jerking event, but also a tear jerking response of love, unity and national response to what was, the most devastating event on our country’s soil.  Why does it take such a tragedy like these, to bring so much love and compassion to our souls?  I actually would hope that Washington could show some compassion to this event, rather than politicalize their personal emotions.  People, there is a lot of grieving going on right now, and please know how much a smile can be to someone, or even just a grieving hand on a shoulder can be to someone; and by the way, that “someone” can be anyone, Vegas or not. Smile, love, kind words, or even a warm thought can be so much to someone, and even come back to you; you might be just one person in this world, but you could also be the world to one person.  Remember that.

So please, have a kind heart to people these days, and I beg that those opinions that differ from the positive, just give a second thought to what is being said, cannot be taken back; and how it might be taken by someone in need, (and that doesn’t mean from the tragedy in Vegas).

Be loving, kind, appreciating of others, regardless if your opinions differ, because we all are people; people united with love in our hearts, and souls.

Scott

 

www.everythingisgoingtobealright.com

 

 

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I CAN ONLY IMAGINE…

Imagine v: to form a mental image of something not actually present to the senses.

I would think that each one of us has used this phrase many, many times.  To me, the question is, what does it really mean?  To “form a mental image of something NOT actually present”, what does that mean?  Something is not present, and you’re trying to form an image of something that your brain is trying to create, out of what, memory, your concept of perception, a metaphor for something that you do know???  It’s weird, something is said, and we say, ( or maybe just think), “I can only imagine”.  Imagine what?  Good thoughts, bad thoughts, I don’t really know thoughts?  Do we try to imagine something that would pick up a tragedy event?  I could probably name a few tragedies in my life, let alone in all of the events of our present times; but I’m still a big believer in the fact that even in the event of a tragedy, there is a positive.  Hard to believe from a guy whose had three memingioma tumors, two sets of radiation, seizures, and long term medications; but I do.    A bunch of knuckleheads in Charlottesville try to portray themselves as Nazi’s, (well, actually Nazi ),  maybe because they missed that day in grade school in history class when they spoke of a genocide of murders; or maybe it  could just be their imagination acting up.  I know that I have a couple of holes in my head, but I don’t quite understand “Unite the Right”  Unite what?  The Right what??  If someone could explain this to me, I’m all ears.

 

When the Nazi’s were eliminated after WW2, peace became reality because the thought of all of the hate that Germany represented was gone.  Could that still be in our reality today?  Lots of people will say “no”, but I, still the optimist, has to think “yes”.  Why?  That intense amount of hate produces nothing, absolutely nothing but more hate.  There’s no rational thinking when actions are dictated by emotions, and that’s what hate is all about, emotions.  Sometimes our senses need to be controlled, (I laugh as I say that!), but maybe, just maybe, people can see just how hate brought us to Europe until 1945, and then there was peace.  Think about 9/11, and how much peace came about after the towers came down.  Hate brought love, and caring rebuilt NYC.  A lot of emotions can come out in times like these, but support and caring rebuilds; rebuilds anything, because when minds are able to work together, gratitude prevails.  Hate brings sufferings, we all know that, but history tells us that from all of that hate, comes peace.  So there is a lot to be said about sufferings; “but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character; and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us”.  (Romans 5:3-4).  This is my version of Imagination, my “image of something not present”.

 

I think that imagination is good, but we all have to be responsible for what we do for, and to, our imagination. Hate means nothing, hope means everything;  and everybody can hope, that’s an image that can be real, and can be present.  We all have an opinion on Charlottesville, but I ask, let’s rebuild.  Let’s persevere, let’s hope.  If we can put our minds, and thoughts together, we’ll find, hope does not disappointment us.

 

Dare yourself to hope, and then, “I can only imagine”…

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NOTHING GROWS…

Child:  n.  a creation that requires special attention…

So, here is the question: who wrote the book on raising a child, or more specifically, with “special attention”?  I’m sure every parent read one, or… did they just write their own?  Would love to speak to a number of parents who raised their first born.  On Father’s Day, especially now, almost two months after my Father is sittin’ wonderfully on the Rainbow, I have to  ask that.  I had a wonderful man who gave me “special attention”.  In everything, always attentive to me.

 

As a newborn child, we know “nothing”; it has to be learned.  We watch, we mimic, we learn, we shadow, we imitate.  We do everything that our dad’s do.  It’s life, it “grows”, it expands what we know.  All of this from a person that is within our view, one who shows so much love and attention to us; someone who, (if you are a first child in your family) knows little about being the perfect father, but yet, they are.  One who, learned life from HIS father.  I’m a blessed person, because my family, from my parents to all of my aunts, uncles, grandparents, relatives, have been perfect, (in my opinion!).  I also know that that statement is very subjective, but it is all that I know.  I had a very quiet grandfather, and his love showed so much through that.  That was, a lot of the time, my own father.  Sometimes, “silence is golden”.  As we observe from our childhood, we learn a lot from love, and, as I like to call it, love actions.  Helping you climb up a stair, helping you to express yourself, helping you in all you are involved in, helping you in all of your sports, helping you to understand emotions.

 

I remember back in the 1980″s Dad was a fan of Jimmy V;  Jimmy Thomas Valvano- Jimmy V.  Jimmy coached several college basketball teams, but is noted for when he coached North Carolina State.  N.C. State wasn’t in the powerful position, back in those days, but Jimmy changed that.  He won the 1983 national title against a heavily favored Houston Cougars, and after N.C. State pulled out the upset, you could see Jimmy run up and down the court, looking to hug someone, or something!  I remember that game, asking my dad, “Who IS that?”.  He said to just watch him, and you’ll see a lot of spirit come of him.  It’s funny, because Jimmy could definitely talk, ( he was also a basketball commentator), and dad wasn’t, but Jimmy could talk by his actions.  You could see his beliefs after that championship game, looking for, something!  That was something dad was very good at, spirit coming out of nothing, and nothing grows.  Jimmy died young, at 47, from bone cancer, but boy, did he give an emotional speech in 1993,  just months before he passed.  He received the Author Ashe Courage Award, due to what he achieved in a short period of time.  Dad was a All American football, and baseball player; he was drafted by the New York Yankees.  His point was you might fall, but you’ll get back up and keep trying.  As Jimmy V said, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up”.  Dad didn’t originate that, but he believed it, and made me believe.  As I said, sometimes you believe what was NOT said, but the actions convinced you to believe.  What happened to me, with my brain tumors, happened to fall under the saying, ” Don’t give up, don’t ever give up”.  How could I think another way, when my Dad instilled in me, the Jimmy V statement of “don’t give up”, after my surgeries?  I didn’t, I couldn’t.  I learned that from my Dad.  Don’t give up, keep going forward, you’ll get there.  Might not be where you wanted to go, (uhm, that’s God’s plan!), but where you go means progress, and isn’t that what drives us, not giving up?

 

I miss my Dad. I think that anyone who knew him would say the same thing; he was remarkable.  For all of us who knew him, loved him, respected him, learned from him, let’s bow our heads and say to him, “Thanks Dad, (Joe) for how you’ve affected me, how you loved every day, and how you lived every day.”  The most important words in my life, now and forever, were very simple, and said by Jimmy V; and nothing will be more important to me while I’m on this earth.

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, He believed in me”

Jimmy V.

 

I love you, Dad

 

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