Spring PromiseI Am the Warrior Queen Dear family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and even strangers whose lives I have yet to touch: I am reaching out to you in strength and truth, stripping away all the safeguards we place in our lives to protect ourselves from prying eyes that may or may not be well- meaning. I am reaching out to you seeking help, your help, which I now desperately need. I am laying myself in complete vulnerability before you. Those of you who know me even reasonably well know that I am already relatively transparent. What you see is what you get, with very little veneer. At this juncture in my life however, I have need to make myself completely transparent to you, laying myself 100% naked for the world to see, 100% vulnerable. It is an uncomfortable place to be, but once before I laid myself bare to the world and the world supported me. I’m also aware we’re in a unique period in the history of the world, at a time when there is so much pain and suffering, so much need all around, and I am going to take another commanding leap of faith, believing that you will individually and collectively catch me. In this moment, I am now jumping into your arms to ask for your financial help. I Am the Warrior Queen! My life has been an oddly convoluted journey fraught with numerous and unusual battles. I have been forged by fire, so I’m as strong and beautiful as a Samurai sword. But I’m in one of my grandest battles, which has to be won so I can return to fully serving those I love. Since 2016, I have been in a battle for my life. I am battling a type of cancer which is considered incurable. I’ve been told to look at it as a chronic disease and to just manage for my best quality of life for as long as possible. There is NO research happening to find a cure because this type of cancer tends to affect old White males, who will die of natural causes before their cancer ever has a chance to kill them, so doctors just treat and manage, watch and wait, but nobody is racing for the cure. BOOM! Mind Blown. But wait, there’s more! I’m told “Not only is your cancer incurable, but we don’t even know what we are treating, because what we will be managing only bears resemblance to the cancer with which we have diagnosed you. You have extra tumor markers that nobody in the world has ever seen.” There it is again! I just ALWAYS have to be extra special. I am fighting a war with an enemy I cannot see that looks like nothing that has been seen before and even has the ability to shape shift. Piece of cake! I Am the Warrior Queen! “So, where do I come into this?” you ask. You are each warriors, heroes and heroines of life, your lives, and together we move mountains. I am asking you to help me fight this battle. None of us ever gets out of this life alive, but I am going to fight like someone backed by all the angels in heaven to win this battle. I am asking you to help me with finances to support my fight, as this part has taken its toll to get this far. I am asking you to give only what you comfortably can in these extremely difficult times, what your heart and situation place upon you to give freely. If you are in a situation where you have nothing financial to give or do not feel called to give money, then please, send love, prayers and positive energy (including humor) for successfully winning this battle. All jokes, even super bad ones are welcome, because laughter is one of the very best medicines and jokes are usually free. Stress kills people quicker than cancer does, so by all means, keep the laughs coming…no drama, no pity, no sad eyes or concerned frowns, just smiles, jokes, a lot of love and encouragement, and as little or as much money as you see fit to give. Why should you consider giving me any of your hard- earned money? I am offering a return for your investment in me. I have lived a life of purpose and I always “Pay it Forward” because that is just who I am. I have been labeled both lovingly and contemptuously as “goody two shoes”, “Pollyanna,” “Shirley Temple”, “Mary Poppins,” and “Unsinkable Molly Brown.” I have endeavored to live a life of the utmost truth and integrity. Many have said I’m too honest for my own good. Many call me naïve. But I do not confuse kindness, giving, or belief in humanity for weakness. I am reliable to continue to pay your help forward in many ways, far beyond what most people think to ask for, because I feel the pain of the world and BELIEVE I, WE, can ease it, make it better, make a difference. One specific way I will continue to make a difference is to write my story, which many people have repeatedly asked me to do. I share pieces of my story generously, but just recently dared to believe my whole story could really contribute. I won’t continue to be selfish about that, because if many people I know have said my story matters and they want it shared, I should believe it matters. There will be no shortage of fantastical twists and turns, which will contribute in several ways to those who get hold of it. Another part of the return on your investment in me will be to share this part of my journey with 100% transparency. This part of my story alone will contribute to so many also fighting battles with illness or conditions in life holding them back. As I said before, I know all of you as warriors, artists of Life, and I will use my story to encourage you in your battles by letting you look through the window of my life to see who you are as heroes and heroines in your world. Finally, your aid will help me continue to be me, to be able to pay it forward at levels not currently available. Battling for your life does take tremendous energy and resources. I will continue to see a very limited number of patients, as I am able (I was recently caught seeing telemedicine patients from my own hospital bed). But I am technically unemployed for now and qualify as fully disabled. I will be shifting back into the world of communications such as public speaking, broadcast media, and writing. This shift is an expansion of my purpose to increase my leverage for helping people while protecting my physical well-being once this battle is won. I AM the Warrior Queen with so very much more to give, and life always finds a way. I promise to continue to believe that I, WE, can change the world for the better. I promise to commit to doing it on a much grander scale, but I’m shifting gears, because I have to evolve into new ways of fulfilling my purpose now. To address some possible concerns, I want to note some assumptions which have been made about me. Some have said “Well, she’s a doctor. She should have plenty of money.” However, the costs of medical practice can be high, especially when setting up a practice to serve those having trouble finding/affording good integrative health care or if when innovating to shift the existing culture of health care, which is what I have done. Some have told me they thought I was a silver spoon baby. My parents gave everything to build a good life for my brother and myself and I’m a first-generation college graduate and doctoral professional. I have indeed walked in high circles and have seen some wealth pass through my hands. You can ‘Google’ me to corroborate these facts. What you won’t see in that search is that I’ve followed the rules for securing a comfortable, sound financial future EXCEPT for my fatal flaw: I’m a ‘give away the farm’ kind of gal, so I’ve often put others’ needs first, including financial, letting that wealth flow through me to those with greater need than me. I have lived a Caviar life on a hot dog budget. I have been the “Robinhood of Medicine,” taking from the rich, so I could give to those less fortunate. I have always willingly, freely, and lovingly paid it forward, walking in Faith, that should need ever arise, I would have whatever I need, knowing: “I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches over me.” The current battle is not changing this truth for me. It may be teaching me that I have to take better care of myself to fulfill my purpose. Please help me take care of myself at the level I now require. I will be making a difference as much as possible even in my current state, increasing my capacity and leverage with every gain in health, strength, and stamina. What will I do with your hard- earned money? I will fight to LIVE! I HAVE seen miracles, so I steadfastly BELIEVE for miraculous healing, which by definition is beyond our human understanding. I will practice what I preach, using the funds to buy the cancer-fighting healing foods that I need, supplements, integrative and traditional medications, to pay for medical expenses that are not covered by insurance. I will buy equipment or tools needed to support, sustain, and strengthen my body and my mind throughout this battle. I will share this journey for all who could benefit from it. I will be a responsible citizen and pay my bills. I will even tick off things on my bucket list, as strength, time, and situation allows (we are, of course, all living in a very unusual moment in time right now), as even that is part of excellent self-care and leaving an excellent legacy. I also commit to doing whatever I can, whenever I can, to add to my own financial support to compliment your contributions towards surviving, healing, and doing the writing work needed to keep my bargain with you. I promise to do this in a balanced way, so as to not undermine the gains in health by working too hard. As you are choosing about contributing to my recovery, you may on occasion see me appear to be doing lavish things (virtually for now), such as engaging in high-caliber trainings. I will use every dollar most effectively, will still be living a Caviar life on that hot dog budget on behalf of building my capacity to pay it forward. I will set this up as an open Go Fund Me without a finite goal request, because I know my expenses will be great, my needs may be many, and the timeline is unknown. Any monies left in the fund at the end of this battle will be used to set up a permanent endowment to continue to pay it forward to others who will need help in their own battles. There. Now you have the first share of my world, my reality, the truths within which I live. Our journey together begins. Thank you for all your loving support, kindness and generosity. Thank you for believing in me. And remember, SEND JOKES!!! Peace, Blessings. Health, and Longevity, Cheryl BryantBruce, M.D., The Warrior Queen
Greetings friends, family, and supporters!
Thank you for all of the support being shown. Progress has been slow, but steady. I grow stronger daily. The battle is ongoing. It appears that the hemolytic anemia (autoimmune breakdown of my red blood cells) is going to be an ongoing risk that can be triggered by things like stress, lack of sleep or even minor illnesses. As with the first event, these events will each have the potential to be life-threatening. It feels kind of like having a guillotine hanging over your neck suspended by a frayed rope. You are not sure if and when it will drop. That being said, I am doing everything I can to repair that frayed rope! It is an interesting example of the counterbalanced balance for an abundant life on which my business principles are built as a physician. While I wish to rush headlong forward, because I have so many projects and gifts that I wish to share with you all, it is necessary that I do focus on some of the other spokes of my umbrella right now, including it’s spiritual handle. I am forced not to push my body faster than it is ready to go, because the risk of a life-threatening set-back is a real and present danger. I am forced to re-prioritize certain things in my life, but one absolute priority remains the same; everyday, I am determined to live each day to the fullest of my abilities, accepting it with gratitude as the gift that it is. It does not matter what the day brings. It is a gift and I will accept it with utmost appreciation.
I am able to get outside more now. When I am feeling less strong, I go out onto the little deck outside my window and sit and enjoy the warm sun. On my stronger days, a few days before the next immunotherapy infusion, I am now getting downstairs to take very short walks on the deck. I am enjoying seeing the Paper Whites blooming cheerily in the garden. I enjoy watching sweet Rosie and Sandy romping through the garden. Although most of my writing is being done inside at this time, as the weather warms, I will begin carrying the laptop downstairs and writing in the garden. The songs of nature that I hear down there are both uplifting and inspiring. Right now, they remind me of renewal. I will harness that energy to restore myself, so that I may continue to share with you. As much as I long to pull down my pointe shoes, I am reminded by my body that I am doing well just to work my feet and strengthen my calves with a few small foot and ankle flexion/extension exercises, which I now can enjoy doing outside. Although memory calls me to do long country walks in the fresh morning air, I accept the reality that these short ventures downstairs to the front garden will have to suffice for the short-term goals. The important thing is to always be in process.
One of the challenges that I have been facing is with my diet. While I am diligently endeavoring to consume a variety of different types of mushrooms, known to contain nutrients that help fight cancer, I have found supplies limited in my area. As a solution, I will be purchasing the supplies to begin a mini mushroom farm in my kitchen. I will also begin using these often interesting and unusual appearing plants as decorative accents in place of non-edible house plants. Where there is a will, there is always a way. I will keep you posted on my success. I am going to begin with oyster, maiitake, shitake and Forest Namenko mushrooms. I am planting garlic too, because I am consuming huge quantities of it. I love growing things. It is both healthy and therapeutic. Growing plants infuse lots of life-enhancing, healing energy into our indoor environments, purifying the air.
I will sign off for the moment…time to rest…