Stede’s Healing Journey

Update posted by Stede Barber On Apr 13, 2017

Hi Everyone,

I closed this account early due to a number of people claiming they hadn't made a donation...each time someone does this, their donation is returned, and I am charged $15 plus the original fee for the donation. In the past week, I've received 4 notices of people denying the donation...perhaps they do't recognize it as "Stripe" when it shows up on their account. Often the donations are small - $1 - $5 - $10 - still very appreciated...but cost me more than that when challenged.

Please, if you are reading this, know that your donation will show up on your credit card statement under "Stripe".

Thank you all for the tremendous love and support that continues to help me on my way. I am doing well.

Blessings,

Stede

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Update posted by Stede Barber On Mar 29, 2017

To all my beloved friends and family who have been supporting me with your love, kindess, and financial gifts...I have been preparing my tax return and am overwhelmed by all the love and gifts you gave me through this past year. I truly din't know what I would have done without you. I'm feeling so much better, and can now appreciate even more each and every one of you. There are many gifts that I didn't fully register before - I just wasn't myself! and they are expanding my heart in amazement now. Thank you, Thank you.

I am closing this particular account a little earlier than planned due to a few problems, but will continue my personal blog https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/stedesbeautiful..., and continue to appreciate and need your love and support.

I had another Petscan 2 weeks ago, and am clear. and still healing. It seems so much longer, but am only 8 months out of treatment! All goes well. My creativity is unfolding, my enthusiasm returning, my strength and stamina building.

I love you, and your love and support are part of the solid foundation upon which I now rest.

Bless you in every way,

Stede

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Update posted by Stede Barber On Jan 21, 2017

After a recent Dr. appointment, on a day when there was snow up in the mountains, I decided to take myself up to the ski hill. I had lived near this mountain for about 9 years, and gone up almost every day after work to either cross-country ski, snowshoe, or hike. It was always a place where I renewed myself and let go of the day.

This time was no different. Tall Ponderosa pines were flocked with snow, branches draping down close to the ground. There was a crystal quality to the air. Clouds floated across the upper ski runs, and snow crystals touched my cheeks as I walked. I felt both stronger than I have in ages, and also realized how lightweight I still am. My 5'10" frame is holding about 120 lbs., and I felt the wind pushing me along when it blew.

At one point, I wanted to get in under a beautiful pine tree for a few minutes. I stepped off the groomed snowshoe trail...without snowshoes...and went down thigh-high in the snow. Laugh out loud, I have forgotten some of my outdoor smarts.

I met two friends on the trail from all those years ago. As I returned to my car and began to drive down the mountain, I realized how much fun I used to have, and that somehow i had let that go, had forgotten some of what I loved and thrived on, and decided to find ways to restore that part of my life.

I am housesitting for a friend right now, walking her old but full-of-pep Huskie several times a day, up on a mesa with 360 degree mountain views. Today it is snowing. I love this life, and am remembering more of how to play and enjoy what makes me feel good and strong.

I am thinking of joining a gym for awhile, to regain my strength, and to build my bones and muscle back. I need to gain more weight...such a problem, eh?...and that seems to be a good approach. I used to enjoy working out, and hope that is still true.

Meanwhile, I am spending time in the studio. For years, my creative work was product oriented, creating finished works of art that I could then sell. For now, I am delving into a time of experimentation and learning. I don't know where it will go...true of so many parts of my life at the moment...but...I am absolutely loving it, and thriving on it. Trusting a deeper source of inspiration, and giving my creative expression room to blossom.

I hope you are also finding/remembering ways to refresh, nurture, and thrive. I find it essential so that I can be and bring my best to the world around me.

If you would like to help me financially as I build myself back up - I have some big dental repair expenses going on, and my health care for recovering from chemo/radiation is not covered by insurance. Your gifts make a magnificent difference to me. You can connect with me directly at 917 Bee Court, Socorro NM 87801, or use a credit card/PayPal here on this site.

Thank you, and take beautiful care of yourself and this precious life.

Stede

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Update posted by Stede Barber On Dec 11, 2016

Every person I speak with about this healing and fundraising journey brings me fresh perspective. I've dealt with pride, and I have discovered deeper levels of knowing I am worthy of support.

In this season of both joy and great sadness, I want things to be better, for people, the earth, the animals. I look for what I can do to help, and I do it...because I am selfish. I LOVE how I feel when I give.

I have been on the receiving side this year, learning to love receiving just as much as giving.

My body continues to improve. Your support allows me to pay my bills and buy the medicines that are giving me back my energy, helping me to feel better and better, and giving me back hope that I have a good life still to live.

Working part time now, I'm learning what my limits are. My expenses are still substantially more than what I earn. I am still in the "receiving" part of gift-giving, and ask for your support through probably the next 6 months.

Thank you for everything. If you can contribute today, or on a monthly basis, this site makes it easy via credit card or PayPal.

Bless you in every way. I wish you a warm, loving heart, feeling safe and happy, and inspiration to guide you every day.

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Update posted by Martha Boston On Nov 20, 2016

Stede and I recently had an email conversation about the recovery process – and how after the drama of the early events has faded, it’s easy for those not intimately involved in the process to feel the relief of “Phew, that’s over!” But often, it’s not over at all. The next stage is much longer, and can be equally challenging, but in different ways. Stede asked me to share my personal experience here, and I am happy to.

I broke my back 4 years ago. The first three months were high drama: two spinal surgeries, wheelchairs, walkers, braces, rehab and painkillers. They were also high expense, as you can imagine. We had been airlifted from a southern Caribbean island where we were sailing, to Philadelphia, so after 3 weeks in the hospital, we had almost 3 months of living & medical expenses plus the stress of living in a hotel in a “strange” city. We had an amazing community of people opening themselves to us during these trying times in every possible way, with an astonishing level of unconditional loving and service. We were blessed. We thrived.

Fortunately, when we were able to leave Philadelphia for Santa Barbara for the next stage of recovery, the nondramatic stage, we remained blessed by people who also extended themselves to us with unconditional loving and service. I think only those very close to me could see how much a struggle daily life was during this stage, but people in the community and friends and friends of friends from around the world chipped in with all kinds of means of making life easier for us. It was a 9-month process before we were able to leave and live “normal lives” on our own, and the support never let down.

I can’t imagine how I would have made it through that year without the close involvement and generosity of so many gorgeous souls. I know that Stede too has a beautiful network of beautiful souls loving her and supporting her. I know that she will thrive with your loving however you extend it. I also know that the expenses of an extended recovery are likely to be well beyond what anyone would expect or would find reasonable. So if you find it in your heart to contribute to Stede financially, that would be glorious. And ANY way you extend your love to her will make a world of difference.

Thank you for loving our precious Stede.

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Update posted by Stede Barber On Oct 05, 2016

As I prepare to move in 3 weeks, I am more aware than usual of the importance and power of place. I am currently living in the most beautiful and perfect-for-me place yet, housesitting for friends, in a home that is simple, spacious, and in a setting that inspires me all day long. Large windows and french doors keep me connected with this land that I love. I watch the light and shadows play across the mountains, close and distant, all day. I walk out my front door and build back my stamina strolling across this beautiful mesa top. Yesterday, in a light rain, I returned to a double rainbow. Often, a crow plays in the sky above me. It is beautiful here, spacious, and has allowed me to catch my breath and begin to feel better.
After the extreme challenges of the treatment I went through, I am rebuilding not only my health but my life. Much of my previous life has fallen away, and it is time to move into new territory in many areas. There is no rush, as healing comes first to recover my strength, stamina, and the resources it takes to live daily life.
As I prepare to move to southern New Mexico for awhile, I am very aware of my love for the land where I live now, and am wondering, where to next? Where can I thrive, bloom, and prosper, in my personal work, relationships, career, and home? Will I return here, or move on to some new place that I haven't yet imagined as my home?
Throughout my life I've wondered about the power of place, if there is a "best" place for each of us to live that would nurture our most thriving life.
These are some of the questions that are important to me during these days up on a mesa with the clouds, mountains and occasional crow as my companions and friends. And I am painting...attached are pictures of some of the paintings I've done during this healing time.
I hope that you are finding ways to live the life that is most fulfilling for you.
with love and gratitude,
Stede
If you would like to support me during this healing time, you can contact me directly at [email protected] or here at https://gogetfunding.com/forstede/. My gratitude and blessings...


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Update posted by Stede Barber On Sep 23, 2016

What a magical time! I am painting a view from the kitchen window as a rainstorm moves through…the sound of gentle rain on the skylights, garden, and grasses…the beautiful smell of moisture in the air…

I have had a great deal of time alone as I recover. Sometimes I feel lonely and wish for companionship, especially at mealtime; eating with good company is something I love. At the same time, this quiet is giving me the opportunity to be with myself, to get in sync with my own inner flow.

An artist whose writing I enjoy, Laura Hollick, wrote something that rang true in me. She shared that sometimes, creativity involves a lot of doing nothing…I call it unstructured time. I seldom end up doing “nothing.” But time to listen to the rain on the land, to smell the freshly washed air, to sit and watch the sky and the light on the earth…these are a few of the pleasures where I find myself taking a deep breath, relaxing, and savoring the moment. There is a lot of peace in this.

One of the side effects of chemo and radiation for me is a limit to how much information I can take in and process. Acknowledging to myself and accepting when I’m done instead of pushing through is new, and is working for me. Waiting until my mind is fresh allows me to grasp the essence of what I need, and can then act on. This feels like part of simplifying my life.

And a final part of today’s rambling: a friend pointed out this article to me which I enjoyed. You can see it if you are interested here: http://www.captainscourageous.net/blog/2012/09/01/...

I am a giver, now learning to receive the gift of others love and support in many ways as I heal.

May your day bring you gifts in perfect ways, as mine do…

In loving,

Stede

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Update posted by Leslie Boyer On Aug 08, 2016

For those of you who have known someone who has received treatment for cancer, you know that the period of healing following the treatment is just as critical as the actual treatment. Having witnessed my sister deal with various treatments for her cancer, I saw how it required deep self-care, ongoing support by practitioners and the financial support of her friends to carry her through the process post treatment. Stede has moved into the time of rest and recovery when she needs us to step up (possibly again) and demonstrate we are here for her. Unfortunately, the health care system in our country is not designed to cover the financial needs of people in Stede’s position. If you are called to contribute, please do so. If you aren’t able to contribute financially, perhaps you can share your loving for her in another way. Let’s show her how much her community loves and supports her. God Bless Stede and God Bless You!

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Update posted by Stede Barber On Aug 04, 2016

Just a note of thanks for all your love and support. The slow journey of recovery actually takes far longer than the treatment itself, and I am able to walk this path with all your generous support around me.

Thank you, bless you,

Stede

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Update posted by Stede Barber On Jul 21, 2016

As I begin to feel better, my love for writing...and the energy to do it...begins to return.

I love walking in the mountain meadows and forests that surround where I live in Northern New Mexico. It is cooler up there on a hot day, and the lush green of the meadows and trees feeds something in my heart, body, and spirit. On those long walks, which I look forward to getting back to as I heal, I learn, unwind, relax, come back to myself.

An experience at the end of an afternoon walk impressed me deeply, and is helping me to understand the process I've been in and am emerging from.

Several years ago, I was walking down a steep, grassy meadow edged with a deep pine and aspen forest. Below me stood a beautiful speckled fawn, which I expected to bound away to mama as I approached. Instead, she sank very slowly to the ground, tucked her head, and lay completely still. I thought she was ill, and reported it to a ranger at the end of my hike. But he reminded me that the fawn was simply following mother nature's instinctive response to danger by going completely still and almost invisible. He assured me that mama was close by watching from the woods, and that all was well.

I could feel the way that fawn had gone quiet and invisible. And now, as I recover from treatment for cancer which was challenging to say the least, I realize that I, too, had gone into an instinctive quiet inner state in order to get through this experience.

And now that treatment is over, I am learning that healing from it all is a big challenge requiring time, patience, and the support of my family and friends. And that it would not be quick. I seem to be slowly emerging from a state of survival, in which I could get the essentials accomplished, but otherwise, be in a deep, quiet place.

I found myself without words for long stretches of time. I thought of my friends, and of all the incredible support I am receiving often. It is part of what protected and supported me through this experience. But my desire to reach out and stay in touch did not make it to the surface as often as I thought it would. I simply had no words for much of what I experienced.

Now, I feel as though I am surfacing in gentle waves. A lot of my healing can best be described with the word, gentle. Patient. Microscopic steps, sometimes seemingly backwards, not a straight line forward, but as my spiritual teacher described many times, the curve is upwards, and what was once my high is now my low as I get better.

I am staying at my Mom's, under the wonderful care of my sister Blane. When I got here a couple weeks ago, I hardly had the strength to walk. She has nourished me with her loving, making me food, tea, special drinks, making sure I have what I need, watching over me as I gain back strength, my digestive tract heals, and I begin, at last, to gain some weight. At 5'10", I had gone down to under 104 lbs. but am steadily gaining as I'm able to eat more.

Such a time to be watchful of my attitude...am I focusing on how far I have yet to go, or on the progress I am making...on the grace of the loving care I am receiving, or on my desire to be back up and running and home...on my worries about what's next in my life or on how graceful and beautiful and loving my life is today, right now.

My friend Cristina sent me a fabulous card with a quote from Voltaire: Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. I smile every time I read this. And that is the whole point.

Thank you for all your love and support.

I wish you well wherever you are in your life,
Stede

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Stede Barber

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