A year ago, when I wrote about Glioblastoma Awareness Day (#GBMDay), Ira and I were extremely grateful that we were reaching the one-year anniversary of Ira’s glioblastoma diagnosis without any recurrence of his right temporal lobe tumor. As we approach the two-year anniversary, we are thrilled that Ira’s quality of life has remained intact and that we have been able to spend time with our family members in Colorado and Illinois and enjoy the things that we love to do. By sharing our family and travel experiences, we hope to encourage other people facing a terminal illness to embrace life rather than cancer. Simultaneously, we hope to bring more awareness to the brain cancer community and the benefits of wearing Novocure’s Optune device. Read More
Most Recent Book
May This Be the Best Year of Your Life
“Sandy takes us on her personal adventures in India, with all the ups and downs and uncertainties of the unknown. She confronts social, family, and professional challenges with refreshing openness, vulnerability, and determination. I was right there with her, sharing both the anxiety and the joy… every step of the way.” – Rita Golden Gelman
author of Tales of a Female Nomad and more than seventy children’s books”
Are you ready to step outside of your comfort zone and plunge into a world of remarkable and memorable adventures?
If so, you’ve come to the right place.
On this site, you can read about Sandra Bornstein’s incredible expat teaching adventure in Bangalore, India and how she learned to cope with an assortment of unimaginable events and unrelenting culture shock. After returning to the U.S., Sandy shared memorable experiences in her award-winning book, May This Be the Best Year of Your Life, and shortly thereafter began publishing lifestyle and travel stories on this website as well as other places. A second website, The Traveling Bornsteins was created to exclusively showcase Sandy’s travel writing and her husband Ira’s digital images.
When people reach the empty nester years, they often encounter a host of medical and family issues. Sandy occasionally shares tips on how to overcome these midlife challenges. In July of 2020, Ira was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an incurable brain cancer.
When Sandy isn’t traveling or busy with her four adult sons and their families, she shares their glioblastoma journey on the For Glio page, interviews authors, writes book reviews, offers inspiring talks about her expat and travel experiences, writes stories that motivate others to explore the world, and contributes quality content to online sites and print media. And, like most authors, is contemplating writing another book. If you are interested in working with Sandy on a project, click here.
If you always stay in the security of your home environment, you will never see what the world is all about. So, take a few moments and join Sandy on her latest adventures.
Last year when I sat down in late December to write my recap story, I sincerely hoped that the pandemic restrictions and concerns would diminish over time. I was sorting out the best approaches to addressing Ira’s glioblastoma diagnosis and how we could adhere to COVID mandates without diminishing our quality of life. Toward the middle of the year, I launched a For Glio website page and started sharing some of my research.
Here is a relevant quote I found along the way.
Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living. Rachel Marie Martin
Instead of dwelling on the uncertainties associated with a terminal diagnosis, we continue to live our lives and not let the cancer control us. Family gatherings are possible when all members are healthy and available. Continuing to plan future events reinforces Ira’s positivity and enhances our gratitude for the memorable moments we share together. Ira remarkably was able to remain strong throughout the first half of the year while his body endured the remaining chemotherapy treatments. Read More
People who beat the odds of an incurable disease and survive longer than anticipated tend to forge a unique pathway to their wellness. While their journeys use different methods, the survivors opt for a course of action that refuses to accept the doctor’s dire diagnosis. To gain a better understanding of how thoughts and beliefs can affect one’s health, I read Dr. Bruce H. Lipton’s book, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles.
Using his background as a cell biologist and medical school professor, Dr. Lipton concludes that every cell is affected by one’s thoughts. While many of his innovative ideas that were formulated decades ago put Lipton at odds with his more traditional colleagues, Lipton persevered. Epigenetics, “the study of the molecular mechanisms by which the environment controls gene activity, is today one of the most active areas of scientific research.” (Page xxiv)
Throughout my lifetime, the controversy surrounding the nurture and nature theories have ebbed and flowed. Dr. Lipton interjects the concept of New Biology into this equation. This theory “casts life as a cooperative journey among powerful individuals who can program themselves to create joy-filled lives.” (xxvii) With the idea of New Biology, the focus shifts away from the concepts associated with nature and nurture to the conscious mind.
In Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, Kelly A Turner provides examples of individuals who effectively used their minds to combat a dire prognosis. Lipton takes this idea a step further by providing scientific explanations explaining how our thoughts control the cells in our body. By reading through my overview of The Biology of Belief, glioblastoma patients and their care partners will gain a stronger appreciation of why a positive mindset is paramount when battling a deadly disease. Read More