I'm a storyteller. I say truths.
I don't mince words, I smith them.
So here's my story so far ..
raw, real and true. In spoken word and song..
All my life, I’ve been offered risky treatments over safer alternatives because they’re more efficient and cost effective and profitable for the powers-that-be. Now I'm recovering from cancer. The status quo treatments and surveillance are riskier still. Apparently, “Do no harm” often falls outside the current standard of care.
Now I'm realizing why I'm tumour free and less well..
Dangerously anemic, nauseous and in more pain. Plucking out this tumour, at best, bought me more time to heal my body's distress and weakened defenses.. The things that allowed me to get cancer and endometriosis in the first place. Eradicating the symptoms cannot cure the disease. Worse yet, drugs (and "treatments") can often make the underlying problems worse.
For years, before the cancer diagnosis, I was very ill and denying my body's knowledge that I needed to live a slower, greener... Wiser life. Cancer was my wake up call. Now I'm realizing that my life depends on making some fundamental, long lasting change. Breaking ways with the status quo survival mode. And reclaiming Sovereignty over my body, my health care and my life.
I need to re-member now, to thrive.. Not someday, but this day. I realize now that there can be no music without strong roots. At least, not the kind of music I'm meant to sing. The song that endures; that sustains, needs a sustainable voice. That, comes from a sustainable life.
So with an exhausted body, little resources and fragile faith, I'm offering what I have to give - the thing I do best - as a trade:
The resources to get to the bottom of what's making me so sick. And a 3-month sabbatical from the rat-paced routine of diagnostics, doctors visits and the urban daily grind... Time and space to exhale, collect my thoughts, re-member my body and Resurrect My Song.
A new live show! 3 new songs + 3 "new" covers + 3 spoken word joints. Peformed live and recorded for release.
My goal covers about $10 000 of debt for tests and treatments not covered by Ontario health insurance. Plus $10 000 for the healthcare, travel and living costs of relocating from my sick building and mounting my new show. If every person who's ever received the gift of my writing, music and spoken word were to to give just $5, my healthcare costs would be covered.
$5 can make a huge difference today.
Can't swing $5? (...Really?) Sign this petition for free.
Here's to Resurrection Songs.
A Million Thank Yous,
n i k i a n d r e
a star does not expect
to be enveloped
she illuminates it
P.S... Given the overwhelming stuff that's been going down,
I AM OFFLINE
and will be checking this page and my website bi-weekly (every other week) . If you have my phone number, please call (rather than message or text). And please be patient with me about getting a reply.
Thanks for understanding,
____________________________M Y W I S H L I S T !__________________________
Go Fund Me wants photos and pricetags to post an "official" wish list but nothing I want comes with a handy snapshot and many items, on my list, are priceless:
- first, do no harm
- the sovereignty (and resources) to make informed decisions on how to feed, treat and nurture my body
- a preventative standard of care
- runs for the cause
- coverage for cancer treatments/screenings that are not a cancer risk!!!
- ...like early detection for pre-cancerous activity
- and alternatives to mammograms that do not involve radiation (also a cancer risk)
- a CTC (circulating tumour cell) test ($1000 CAD), CSC (cancer stem cell) test ($1000 CAD) and cancer sensitivity test ($3000 - 6000 CAD) to figure out what inhibits this unique cancer best (every cancer is unique. pulling cancer cells from your blood allows you to test how it responds to potential treatments )
- a return to non-toxic, naturally occurring (ie non patentable) medicine.
- the end of one-size-fits-all health "care" (it doesn't fit, actually..)
- a government implemented cancer prevention strategy... to end the "war on cancer"
-Treatments that "kill cancer; not people"
- public discussion on epigenetics
Okay, these wishes do come with handy pics and (relatively) modest pricetags. Have some old tech kicking around that you can donate or sell? Please reach out! I'm on a tight budget for mounting the show and looking for some quality used/refurbished gear. More deets to follow. We're still figuring out the full rig (mics, loopers etc).
-iCP9V - 9V 18W Power Adapter
- 1 XLR (cable)
-USB to lightning docking cable.
YESS!!! Finally!! Excited (and relieved) to be in talks, with industry kin and supporters, about recording for radio and mounting the new live show!!! Been conflicted about whether to share little “sneak listens” of what 's in the works.. I will still share some “sneak peek” video from the creative process but I've decided not to unveil any material till we can do them full justice and we are all in. You have my word on this: I will make sure these songs and this experience are well worth the wait.
And about that wait... The other day, a collaborator, whom I admire, asked what I know a lot of you have been thinking: What's taken so long? To do this. Get here. Get up. Well, two New Year's ago, I made a resolution to get out of survival mode and Thrive. So I could give from an overflowing cup instead of a leaky one that's half full. Today, thanks to the grace of a lot of good people my heart (despite everything) finally feels full.
When I decided to resurrect my Song ( www.gofundme.com/ResurrectionSong ) I was determined to maintain my sovereign voice and sound. I got sick, got cancer, stayed poor because I abdicated myself. Deferred to the so-called “experts” and “powers that be”. Repressed my instincts.. Hid from my knowing.. Reacted to my fear instead of responding – in love. So, post “wake up call” I've been grappling with how to “get up” on my own terms. Safely, authentically and for the long haul. Which is to say, I've been learning to straddle lines.. Hold my middle ground.. Maintain my sovereignty without nurturing any delusions of independence. It's been a steep learning curve - creatively and personally. I am still practicing...
My health has not been good. The same debilitating, chronic pain that made me desperate enough to take drugs that came with a cancer risk fine print (
https://pubchemdocs.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/about ) persists. Only now, it's complicated (by having taken those drugs) with new growths and extreme blood loss. I've had to learn to ride out the waves of pain and fatigue with strategic military-style precision. “Go dark” and drop balls with grace. Get up and go hard with fire.
To make matters worse, my home is not as safe as we were promised. Long story short, I've been spending a lot of time and money safeguarding and standing.. for my right to a safe environment. Practicing what I preach.
Oh yeah, did I mention my new ministry? I founded Circle Collective to create culture the connects enCourages and mends. Those of you who have experienced an A Cappella Jam ( https://www.cp24.com/video?clipId=393479. ) will know how a simple song - sung together – can do just that. Those of you who've ever participated in my jam ceremonies or caught my live spoken word or “let your breath breathe you” (with me) ;) will understand how a mash-up of word, song and practice became “what I do” ( http://www.sheilluminatesit.com/circle/upcoming ) in churches and circles of faith.. communities working towards inclusiveness, justice and peace.
I've also been aligning with kin... Plotting our permanent exit strategy ( https://twitter.com/MzNiks/status/927538642175909888 ) from a status quo that is compromising our futures... health, wealth and safety.
All this is to say that the last few years have been a lot of (painfully slow) wading upstream.. peppered with bright bouts of single-purposed, belly-fired progress. Making faith a verb. Hope active. And every step a prayer. I did not have all my ducks in a row. I could see light at the end of the tunnel but there were gaps and holes in the plan.. the path. Then, some people showed up to help. Not because I'd earned or “deserved” it but because they remembered that none of us are self-made and they wanted to remind me that while things rarely go according to plan and there are no guarantees.. Grace.. is real.
So, I am paying this forward... because this “canary in the gold mine” is wide awake
Stay tuned for the new show (and full story): https://twitter.com/MzNiks/status/927538642175909888
And please excuse my absence online while we go hard on the music. We are looking for the right people to keep us (virtually) connected, once I resurface with the new Songs. In the meantime, BIG, deep gratitude to those of you who have backed me.. this body ..and this body of work.. with your time, dollars and advice. You. Are. My. Grace. Looking forward to having you over to “my place” for home-cooked Caribbean and the debut show.. and to thanking you each personally, by singing grace.
We are not done
When we are undone.
If you feel this, please stay tuned for your free invite.
I will be reaching you live.. online.. AND in the flesh.
Super proud of the work so far, and anxious to share it with you. For more on what’s inspiring me lately - as we lead up to the live debut, see @MzNiks. https://twitter.com/MzNiks
PS Wanna help bring the music quicker? Check out my updated wish list for gear I’m (slowly) working to own. Big thanks to Mark for help snagging a new device at a modest price.
In this update:
Still Hanging In!
See You This Summer :)
Still Hanging In!
I am relieved to report that I am finally back to where I was, health-wise, before we got sick this Fall. My cat Evie is getting better too (phew)! After several scary months, I am feeling really optimistic about finally reaching that “plateau” where I am doing better than I was when I was diagnosed in 2014. Looking forward to transitioning off the treatments and doctor visits and and simply practicing a healthy life. If your are the praying type, now would be a great time to send some affection and good vibes. Would really appreciate the extra love as I launch into workshopping the new show!
See You This Summer :)
Yup. Officially working on the final installments of my Resurrection Song. As I put out feelers for a great place to transplant, I am also gearing up to reach out musically. Felt an urgency to sing; speak... NOW. So getting ready to mount the new show, this Summer. Digging in for a few months of rehearsing and recording. Also, digging (and tramping) around in the dirt.. Holding my balance; working on my permaculture pot garden and sussing out a few leads on a green, new place to call home. It is a practice.. not launching into full-steam-ahead mode.. getting enough rest and making space for the music by letting a lot of inessentials go.. I work better with dirt under my boots and fingernails ;) Also, a bit of a learning curve, figuring out the right technology for an intimate, solo show. On that note..
I am in desperate need of an iPad Air 2. Need to try out some new applications so I can figure out how to rig the concert. Does anyone out there have one they'd be willing to part with for a week or so? Happy to pay a small rental fee. In fact (if the set up works like I'm hoping), I'll soon be looking to buy used. The Air 3 hits shelves this week, so hoping someone might be planning to upgrade. On a modest budget, so if you know of any reliable refurbished sellers please let me know!
Here's to peeking our heads up, wiping the sleep from our eyes and letting a little more light in. This Spring, I am digging in; tapping deep... for the next rise. Stay tuned for updates...
Thanks for Standing By;
Feeling optimistic about sunny blue skies for 2017. Here's to fresh new starts and picking up where we left off. Holding the balance between our high and our low. And standing our middle ground.
Breathing much easier this year. Looking forward to reclaiming SOVEREIGNTY over my health and my career in 2017. Seeing less doctors and practicing better, wiser self care. Teaching people how to sing their Stories embody their Songs ( www.cp24.com/video?clipId=393479 ).
Didn't figure out an escape plan but did invest in a serious air purifier. Big thank you to those of you who helped out. The other penny dropped, for me, when me and some neighbours fell simultaneously ill. Maya Angelou once defined grace as “When you know better. You do better” Now that I know, I'm hoping to swiftly regain lost ground and find a great place to relocate and safely put down roots.
Also, looking forward to mounting a new live show. I realize now that there can be no music without roots. At least, not the kind of music I'm meant to sing. Not the kind of song the world needs now.
A song that endures; that sustains, needs a sustainable voice. That, comes from a sustainable life.
So, first new roots. Then a new Song. Keep you posted.
p.s. If you haven't swung by my GFM page lately, check it out. Just released my new YouTube vlog. Some videos you've seen and some you probably have not (i was so young then!!).