What is really means to THRIVE in DENIAL…

I know its been a while since I’ve taken the time to write and share my thoughts. I hope you can appreciate the fact that I’ve been living MY life MY way – which often means I don’t give much thought to MS. But here I am again…

These days I spend 3 days a week at dragon boat paddling practice on the Willamette River here in Portland, OR. Each workout is pretty intense. I’ve been tracking them… 65-75 minutes on the water, 450 – 750 calories burned as we executed various ‘sprint paddle’ workouts down the Willamette usually about 1 mile to 1.5 miles down. Rain or shine, warm or cold. I LOVE IT! And of course in between, we keep our little guy coming and going to lacrosse practices 3 days a week and games on the weekends. Enough said! LOL

So I recently had the privilege and pleasure of meeting an INCREDIBLE woman. She’s pretty awesome because at just a couple of years older than me, she’s doing TRIATHLONS! And then I found out she too has been diagnosed with MS! You know I was dumbfounded…blown away…excited…and thrilled to be in her presence. Since then we’ve become fast friends and each time we get together, I’m encouraged by her THRIVING IN DENIAL. She just left for her 15 mile run so it gave me the perfect opportunity to pen this long over due blog post.

As we were chatting today on this Mother’s Day (HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL!) I’d like to share a little of our conversation.

LISA – “…I don’t always think or even remember that I have MS. I put it in a box and      put the box away. There we were being interviewed at the IRON MAN Triathlon event. And even after we’d discussed what we’d say, he was talking about the fact that I had MS! I stepped off camera and was in tears because until he’d said it, I hadn’t given MS a single thought the entire time we were training for this event!”

NANCY – “…yes! its like you’ve compartmentalized it and put it away! THAT is the essence, the true definition of THRIVING IN DENIAL! Its not that you’re in denial of the fact that you’ve been diagnosed with the disease. Its simply the decision to ignore EVERYTHING else that goes with it! Yes, you know ANYTHING could happen at ANYTIME. But more importantly you’ve decide that YOUR life is more important than the diagnosis – then you move on with what has to be done!”

LISA – “…yes, yes! Just like you do with the paddling! That is so incredible that you’re competitive paddling!”

NANCY – “… YES! But you in triathlons! Really?! Denial in terms of how you choose to live, not the fact that it exists. You and the triathlons are your denial, like me and the paddling!”

This is the true definition of THRIVING IN DENIAL! So Lisa and I are combining our talents, athletic experiences, education and expertise to create the ultimate in health coaching services. Not just fLook for it soon!

Rare is the occasion that two people meet and realize that they together have something singularly unique to offer the world to make it a better place! I’m looking forward to this endeavor and where it will take us both.

MS can sometimes, be a blessing…





Can You Take Your Own Advice?

So in the midst of what feels like the WORST month of my life, I kissed February good bye, only to see March come with serious March Madness! Emotions, job hunt rejections, finances, home renovations, EVERYTHING just hit the fan and hit hard. After I emerged from my self inflicted ‘funk’ I had to ask myself, ‘What Would You Say To Others?’ Now this made me pause, for the cause… Could I take my own advice?

The Doctor Is IN - Lucy

#1 Be impeccable for your 50% – In most cases you only control ABOUT 50% of what happens around you. This means you HAVE to be impeccable, incredible, and the absolute best, at the 50% you DO control!

#2 Job hunt rejections should not be taken personally – If you didn’t get the job, it wasn’t meant for you to have. Even if you’ve submitted more than 150 job applications! You will eventually come to the job that you were meant for. Don’t settle for less!

#3 If you’re having a pity party, make it a good one – Having a proper pity party is as important to your mental health as having on a proper hat at a royal wedding! Plan it, own it, execute and enjoy it. And when its over, get on with life!

#4 Remember where your anchors are – Whether you’re religious, spiritual, atheistic or agnostic, know when to turn to your anchored source for support. Stay in that place as long as needed.

#5 Let the tears flow as needed – Tears and the act of crying are as cleansing as they are visibly moving. Whether male or female, the act of crying is like letting the air out of a balloon. Now the balloon begs to be refilled. After crying you can go back to your life, energized,  and ready to face the challenges ahead.

So, I’ll take my own advice. I will focus only on what I CAN control, and I’ll be the best at it. Regardless of the time wasted, and the number of resumes submitted, I cannot let job rejection be a reflection upon me personally. I had my pity party and it was a good one! I even made myself a necklace and bracelet with an anchor and cross charms to remind myself to remain anchored to God during this storm. Then I finally had the crying breakdown and it felt good.

Anchor & Cross

Now I’m ready to keep going…

Another Week Slipped By, But I’m Headed To The Top…

To my THRIVING IN DENIAL party participants… It’s been a rough couple of week to say the least. But since I’m THRIVING IN DENIAL and leading the fight, giving up, throwing in the towel or anything other than moving forward in this journey of life, was NOT an option.

At this moment, my family and I are headed toward the tallest waterfall in the US – Multnomah Falls. We’ve been here several times. But this time we’re going all the way to the top.

There is a lot going on in my life right now, but if I stay focused on the CRAP,  I’ll never get to the top. So…

1. CONTEMPLATE YOUR NEXT MOVE. But do NOT discuss it with a bunch of people! Contemplation is a time of inner reflection- hear what your own heart has to say.

2. IDENTIFY THE BEST MOVE FOR YOU. You can’t help others if you’re drowning! For some of us, the hardest lesson to learn is deciding when to focus on ourselves.

3. DO YOUR SWOT ANALYSIS. What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for each option you’ve identified. This is important analysis. It helps to separate and categorize emotions from fact/reality.

4. RECOGNIZE AND EMBRACE THE NEED TO PAUSE. The intentional act of pausing before you act, speak, or fly off the handle is true power. It’s an internal reminder that you are still in control of somethings including HOW YOU REACT.

5. EXPECT THE WORSE AND HOPE FOR THE BEST. I’ve been told this concept is negative and/or counterproductive. HOWEVER I firmly believe that to be forewarned is to be forearmed. It means that I’m prepared. As best as possible I’m prepared. Being prepared can be emotionally empowering, uplifting and liberating. You may not have planned for whatever just occurred- but you can plan the next moves with confidence.

Just sharing a few thoughts for your consideration… I’m headed to the top of Multnomah Falls. I’m headed to a different level of life…

I promise photos of the Falls coming soon…

Therapeutic bead stringing…

My husband and I have fallen into a therapeutic habit of stringing beads for jewelry. We sit at the dining table, pour a glass of whatever we have to drink, he makes his delish popcorn and we talk. String and talk. By the time we’re done, I’ve created something for myself and he’s created another INCREDIBLE ‘man’ crafted bracelet for his DIRTY BASTARD line of accessories. (You can find him and his ‘man’ crafted natural shaving & beard products and accessories at http://www.dirty-bastard.com.) I digressed….

Stringing  beads is sooo therapeutic…

1. The refined muscle skills used when ‘threading’, tying and knotting are EXCELLENT for invigorating tired muscles and joints

2. The process of patterning the beads is emotionally stimulating and visually pleasing

3. The entire process BEGS self reflection for that period of time as the mind is freed from the never ending barrage of active thought processes

4. There is great personal satisfaction when involved in creative processes as the neurons of the brain fire signals all over the place (plaque marks not withstanding)

5. It just feels good! In the end I have a new peace of jewelry to wear, my husband has a new piece to sell and we had unfettered communication time unbridled by normal every day inputs

So although it may sound crazy it’s cheaper than a therapist and the end result is immediately enjoyed every time!

String some beads…THRIVE IN DENIAL…And live YOUR life YOUR way! ENJOY!😂🎉🎊



My 11 year old son is working on a book project based on author Pam Munoz Ryan called  Esperanza Rising. For those who might remember, its the story of a wealthy Mexican teenage girl and the life changing events that lead to a huge reversal of her life and her fortune. (That’s the short version)

One of the major themes of Esperanza Rising is perseverance. My son and I discussed this theme and I showed him the dictionary.com definition of perseverance. And that’s why I’m writing this blog…


I’ve had a number of people question my logo – Thriving in Denial. Some thought it initially felt or sounded negative. One recent consultant wanted  detailed explanation. “I don’t get it” she said. So if Thriving In Denial doesn’t quite make sense for you, perhaps I can offer another definition – PERSEVERANCE. Put’s it in perspective eh?

So as I was helping my son connect the dots of the theme of perseverance in the book Esperanza Rising, I realized that behind all THRIVING IN DENIAL is PERSEVERANCE. Since I’m a visual learner, let me share my thought…


See, THRIVING IN DENIAL is really about the culmination of perseverance, determination, tenacity, stamina and endurance. Although all of the words are from the same synonym family, they all have slightly different connotations. As an athlete, I can tell you that each concept is slightly different but still as crucial a piece as the whole. Again allow me to illustrate…


There is a little bit of each of these concepts needed to THRIVE, whether you have MS, CANCER, FIBROMYALGIA,  LUPUS,  or NONE of these or other life altering diseases, you will require a measure of these concepts to THRIVE in life. STOP. PAUSE… 

In other words, just because you have a ‘disease’ doesn’t mean you have exclusivity on the need to THRIVE in DENIAL! Thriving in Denial is about thriving in life from all perspectives. In truth, you thrive in denial of crap at your job. You thrive in denial of a failure – you get back up and try it again! You thrive in denial of the fact that life comes at you fast – remember? You assess, adapt and act. That’s life coming at you fast, and that is THRIVING IN DENIAL.

How do I do what I do? THRIVING IN DENIAL using tools like perseverance, tenacity, endurance, determination & stamina. I did this BEFORE I ever knew about MS. Essentially I’ve been living like this for decades BEFORE I ever had to contemplate my own immune system attacking the myelin protecting my brain! My family, can tell you story after story of my efforts and success THRIVING IN DENIAL of obstacles and situations at any point in my life. THRIVING IN DENIAL is how I live. The tools are how I do it!

So I challenge you to think differently about EVERYTHING! Utilize perseverance as the weapon of success that it is! THRIVE IN DENIAL of anything standing in the way of your plans of happiness, peace and prosperity.


CHANGES ARE COMING! Put on your cowboy boots or big girl panties and get on with it…


I’ve been having a lot of conversations with myself. Despite all of the crap going on in the world, this country, our city and in my life, this thought was always at the end of that conversation with myself.

All of us are bound by things and events we would have preferred to be otherwise. No one asked for these crazy diseases that change your life. No one asks to lose their job. No one asks to contract cancer. And no one volunteers for bad things to happen to good people!

So today…

REGARDLESS of what’s going on in your life, and

REGARDLESS of who is involved.

Let’s put on our COWBOY BOOTS and BIG GIRL PANTIES and get on with it!

Let’s draft a plan and move to action.

Let’s find the good and get over the bad.

Let’s forgive and truly forget!

Let’s just get on with it – that thing called life!

CHANGES ARE COMING…If they don’t, the alternative isn’t pretty.

Me… Nominated for a blog award? THANK YOU DIZZY!!!!


Thanks to my Twitter friend @DizzyTheDonkey! He’s nominated my blog for an award. And by the way Dizzy’s blog is pretty awesome too! Check our his blog at dinosaursdonkeysandms.com. THANK YOU DIZZY for the nomination! What award you may ask? Well that’s the interesting part. laugh-out-loud

There are several awards buzzing around and DIZZY thought of me!


I got a good laugh and thought you might too! Which one would I choose for myself? Probably the MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD. You never know what I might blog about next! Politics, MS, ants, children, race, religion, you just NEVER know! laugh-out-loud.  So yeah, I think the MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD is the winner for THRIVING IN DENIAL! laugh-out-loud

So, here are the questions and my answers that are required….

WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE? For most of my life the answer was DISNEY WORLD! (I’ve been to 3 of them) But now that we live in the BEAUTIFUL Pacific Northwest, I have to say my FAVORITE place is none other than CANON Beach where Haystack Rock sits majestically in the background! My son thinks its his personal playground!


WHAT IS YOUR DREAM JOB? My dream job hadn’t occurred to me until I met my husband, the uber entrepreneur! I’ve learned so much from him that eventually I could see myself running a company. So now I am (with his help of course!) but its EXCITING to say the least. Embracing, living and breathing the brand is really AWESOME. So I think being the CEO of my own company is DEFINITELY my dream job. Check us out at http://www.azgcu1.com.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR AND WHY? When I met my husband, he asked me the same question and I had no answer. I had no favorite color and no reason why I did not. Eventually he helped me realize that I do have a favorite color and there is a reason I like that color. He said then it fits my personality. Now that I’ve done the research, he was spot on! Why is RED my favorite color? Look at my personality…

I’m a centered redcentered-red-personality

I’m definitely a combination of them all…red-colographically

These are definitely my tendencies… red-personality-tendencies

Yep! This is me too…red-the-personality-color

IF YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY? With a previous employer, we did animal personality quizzes. I discovered that I had the personality of an eagle! So I think I’d be comfortable soaring the skies as an eagle. So why an eagle? Again, it’s a personality thing…



WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING IN LIFE? Well there is no competition here…My favorite thing in life is spending time with these two adorable men! They make me want to THRIVE IN DENIAL of anything that might come in the way of loving and caring for them!canon-beach-haystack-rock

Life comes at you fast! So MS doesn’t give you exclusivity on wanting to give up or quit…


Sometimes you just have a really shi–y day or days! And recently I’ve had them. My property in Cincinnati flooded – thanks to freezing pipes. The kitchen was destroyed floor to ceiling and my hardwood flooring throughout the first floor had to be rescued from the water. Since the day we got the phone call,  every morning I wake up to a gaggle of messages waiting for a response from the remediation contractor, the insurance adjuster and the property manager. (When I wake up at 6:00 am its 9:00 am there!) All of this and we’re 3 hours behind EST and 2500 miles away. The plumber doesn’t wait for insurance payments and wanted payment immediately.  So if I said I felt like giving up or quitting you might understand why. BUT, I haven’t given up and I won’t quit. Even after giving the plumber $$ I didn’t have, I take each day one at a time, preparing for a new fight the next day.

I could say that I’m stressed and I would be correct. I could say that I’m tired and I would be correct about that too. I could say that I’d like to  pull the covers over my head and simply stay in bed all day, telling people that I just don’t feel good today. I would be correct about that as well. But let’s be clear about something important. NONE of these feelings are attributable to MS! Sometimes life comes at you FAST and you have a choice…Either figure out how to deal with and live through the crap or beg for sympathy from your friends who will listen, and blame it all on that damn MS!

Yes, things suck right now. But that’s life. I’ll get through this like I have everything else. And no MS plays no part in how I feel. I’m NEVER tired because of MS. I’m tired because I did two exercise classes and burned over 1000 calories! I’m not stressed about MS or my permanently changed life. I’m a little stressed because I’m trying to coordinate contractors and insurance companies from 2500 miles away! Or I might be a little stressed because I didn’t think it would take this long to find my next ‘corporate family’. How I feel and what I’m experiencing isn’t about MS, its about life!

Yeah sometimes I want to give up and quit. But its not because of MS! It’s because life comes at you fast! Then 2 seconds later, the athlete mentality in me takes over. I identify options and start strategizing on how to win the next round. I may lose a round or two, but I NEVER lose the battle! My dad used to ask me all the time – did you try your hardest? did you do your best? If the answer was ‘yes’, then that was all he could ask for. But if the answer was ‘no’, he wanted to know what I was going to do differently next time. Is there something you need to do differently so you’re better prepared for the next ‘battle’ of life?

MS doesn’t govern your life. You are the living and breathing entity – NOT MS! In most cases, you are only in control of 50% of what happens to and around you. Be impeccable for the 50% that you control and keep moving forward! Don’t lay blame where it doesn’t belong. So long as you live and breathe and wake up in the morning, stuff will happen!

Have your moment. In fact have a quick pity party! (It’s effective) Then embrace the situation and plan to work through it. You might think about giving up or quitting but you simply can NOT do either!

If life comes at you fast, move faster! No excuses needed…




I was invited to a panel of PHENOMENAL women speakers by WOMENS SPEAKER ASSOCIATION to chat online about health and wealth! What a phenomenal experience. I was humbled to be with powerful women from Jamaica, Canada, South Africa via England, Missouri and myself in Oregon. It was lots of fun.

What does body health have to do with business wealth? In short, you can’t have the business wealth w/o the body health – period. All of these women have or are launching entrepreneur endeavors. It was incredible!

My message was pretty straight forward. You HAVE to be your own best advocate in order to live YOUR life YOUR way! Although my perspective is from health, recovery and thriving with chronic illness, your quality of life is and will be based on how you advocate for yourself on all levels!

Do you advocate for yourself with your doctors and/or nurse practitioners? (Remember they consult for YOU and YOU make the decisions!)

Do you advocate for yourself with the people who love you? (Remember they will treat you according to the clues and instructions you give! They’ll love you the way you want to be loved!)

Do you advocate for yourself when products you’ve purchased aren’t quite right? When a service provider hasn’t performed up to expectations? (Do you fight for what is right and more importantly what you paid for?!)

Do you advocate for others when they give you FANTASTIC customer service? (Remember to take the time to find the manager of the store and give them the name of the associate that was so helpful!)

All of this is advocating for yourself. And you can’t have business or professional success if you don’t advocate for you! Your personal health has EVERYTHING to do with your business wealth!

Check out the whole interview on YOUTUBE on the WSA channel! Enjoy and be empowered to advocate for yourself!