Ups and Downs

I can’t quite remember what time Randy and I pulled up to UCLA on the morning of March 3, but what I do know is that it was very early—and it seemed that no one was around but the two of us. As we pulled up to the hospital, though, we saw four people standing together in the dark, and soon realized it was our four children (our two daughters and their sweethearts, who have become our additional two!) Seeing the four of them there, we felt less alone and maybe less scared.

Now we were a unit of six!

Once out of the car, and after hugs all around, Randy led the way and ran up the stairs to the hospital, reaching the top before any of us. He was ready for this surgery, appreciative of the opportunity, and eager for it to be over, with him home, and moving forward.
This brain surgery would be performed by a brilliant surgeon, Dr. Linda Liau. Dr. Liau is, we believe, EXACTLY the kind of person most people wish would go in to her line of work. In a field of darkness she brings so very much light. She brings light because of her skill, light because of her manner of interacting, light because of her dedication and extraordinary research and yes, light because of her hope. 

If things went according to the plan, Randy would be eligible, weeks down the road, for a cutting-edge clinical trial. A clinical trial of which, Dr. Liau is the principal investigator, and a clinical trial that in many ways, seems to have the name Procovery written all over it.
We understood that Randy’s speech and right side functionality would likely be negatively impacted by the surgery in the weeks just following the surgery, but that then both would likely improve, even beyond his current status. In preparation for this, the night before the surgery, he and I prepared index cards with words we felt would most likely help us target words and communications over the next several days.
However, we soon learned that what was to be a four or five day hospitalization with Randy walking out of the hospital became a five week, exhausting and challenging ordeal, with Randy leaving the hospital in a wheelchair.
This hospitalization really, often, seemed to be one step forward and five back. “Backsliding” never feels great, I would guess, but in this instance (as in many) there was an added level of anxiety on all of our behalves, as we were shooting for Randy to be enrolled in this particular clinical trial and timing and functionality were both factors.
One night, after Randy had spent the week moving from surgery to ICU to the regular hospital, to neuro rehab, then, very quickly transferred back to the regular hospital due to an accumulation of fluid, when Randy and I were both feeling the pressure of “backsliding” we received the following words in an email from one of our amazing, four children—
“One of the rules of Procovery is to accept backsliding. Randy’s will is not what is backsliding but his body’s rhythms are just that; swings of energy and natural flows of healing, rest, and recovery. There will be ups and downs, and he can continue to stay positive and more forward no matter what!”

When Harry Met Sally… dvd

Hubba hubba, ding ding DING. It is amazing what the right words, at the right time, can do. And time and time again, our kids had them for us. Time and time again, they said just the right thing, they brought in just the right thing, they did just the right thing. Time and time again.
But now, here we are nearly 10 weeks later, and while Randy is still working round-the-clock on his healing path– he is home, with us, where he belongs!
AND, as much as we were afraid it might not work out for Randy vis a vis the clinical trial, he is now enrolled!
More to follow…


2nd Procovery Song is Now Up!

If you have taken a few minutes to listen to our Procovery Podcasts to date (if not, please follow this link you probably know that we say every time that we at Procovery Institute learn from the field, we learn from experience and… we learn from you! And as a result the Procovery program is always growing… and this includes our website!
I’m happy to share with you today that we have a new Procovery song up on the Music page! As you know, Just Start Anywhere was added to the website recently and we are pleased to now include the Procovery song, I Am Rising!
I Am Rising is a powerful song of hope… so please visit the music page, sit back, relax and have a listen!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful week and stay tuned for the next Procovery song to be added!
Procovery Program Manager

Through My Eyes Interview Submissions!

Hello Everyone!

We have appreciated hearing from you all! If you would like to suggest yourself or someone else to be interviewed for an upcoming Procovery: Through My Eyes podcast, I would like to remind you to include your experiences with Procovery and how you are currently involved…
The brand new Through My Eyes series will consist of interviews with individuals who have real life experience with Procovery. It will be a snapshot into Procovery, seen through their eyes.
While we greatly appreciate all of your submissions, we do regret that we will be unable to interview all suggested guests, but we will certainly do our best!
Hope everyone is having a wonderful spring day!

What’s New on the Site!

Hello Everyone!

I wanted to let you know that we have a couple of new additions to the website today and we wanted to share them with you:

-Our MP3 player is up and running! Please visit the Music page to listen to our first of currently EIGHT Procovery songs, Just Start Anywhere! To learn more about the Procovery song, Just Start Anywhere, please visit the Podcasts page and listen to Procovery Podcasts #1 and 2!

-We have started a new Podcast series! Please visit the Podcasts page to listen to the 1st in our new series – Procovery: Through My Eyes. This series will be an ongoing, but occasional, addition to the current Procovery podcasts. The Through My Eyes series will consist of interviews with individuals who have real life experience with Procovery. It will be a snapshot into Procovery, seen through their eyes. This Podcast features Mickie McDowell, Procovery Circle Facilitator and Forum Facilitator currently working in the state of Missouri.

As always, please stay tuned for new updates and additions to the site, including new songs, podcasts, quotes and blogs… all are coming soon! We greatly value your feedback and very much appreciate hearing from all of you and regret if we are unable to send a response. We are hoping that more and more of your questions will be answered on the FAQs page… As always, feel free to contact us by visiting the Contact Us page… and have a wonderful day!

-Acasia, Procovery Program Manager

Empathy and Bedside Manner

I still want to write about hoops and chemistry, but I’m not sure how soon I will get to this… The last couple of weeks have been an exhausting roller coaster. More about that later! In the meantime, please consider checking out our new podcast! It is about 7 minutes long and is about empathy and bedside manner.

One of the exciting things about where we are at with the Procovery program, to date, is that we will soon be resuming training! For several years now the lion’s share of our work has been final stage testing of systemic implementation of the Procovery program. We have now completed this process (hubba hubba ding ding!) and we can return to many of the other important aspects of Procovery, including training!

“You Gotta Live Your Program”

May 31, 2008, we waited as patiently as we could to hear from Randy’s surgical team at UCLA that he had successfully made it out of emergency brain surgery and that we could go and see him.

Any surgery carries risks and brain surgery certainly scared us. Different doctors had come up with different suggestions as to what might be going on, and we were anxious to hear that Randy was in the recovery room.
Randy went in to surgery very early in the AM and by early afternoon I was growing over-the-top anxious. Randy went in to this emergency surgery with his characteristic strength, focus, determination and gentleness. I couldn’t wait to get back in the same room with him, and hold his hand, and tell him I love him.

Mid afternoon the surgeon came to see us in the waiting area at UCLA. Randy and I had shared some Procovery program materials with him the prior evening. We had explained that Randy had always found it amazing that there is an entire industy devoted to improving outcomes of our educational system, and Randy always reasoned that there should be a comparable industry devoted to improving outcomes in our much more complex healthcare system. (That is one of the things the Procovery program was created to do.) When the surgeon came to see us I wasn’t prepared, and really couldn’t have been, for what he said. He said that Randy had a brain tumor in the left parietal region of his brain and that they had sent part of the tumor to the lab, and that Randy had a glioblastoma multiforme (grade 4 brain tumor). That it was incurable, highly deadly, and that there were no statistics to support his healing. Additionally, he said that Randy was experiencing a “bleed” and would need to go back in for emergency surgery, immediately. His second brain surgery that day. 

I remember standing there in the waiting area, and a stream of thoughts began to run through my mind, The loudest thoughts were admittedly selfish ones, initially. I remember standing there thinking I might never hear Randy tell me that he loves me again and I might never feel him hold my hand again………I remember feeling that I might melt to the floor, and I remember this tremendous feeling of “I don’t know how to do this.” I remember thinking that when I wake up, Randy is the first person I see, and when I go to sleep Randy is the last person I see. I remember thinking that we spend all of our time together, and have for years. And when people inevitably ask us how we can spend so much time together, we both always said that, in truth, we never felt it was enough. We have always just wanted MORE time together. And I just remember thinking, very clearly, “I don’t know how to do this………….”

Which is just what I said to the surgeon as he was heading back to surgery. And I remember as he continued walking quickly away, he turned his head back in my direction, and he matter-of-factly said, “Sure you do, you gotta live your program.”

I remember thinking, What the f#&# does that mean?

Later that night  I remember his words coming back to me, “You gotta live your program.” And I remember  pulling out a Procovery primer and my eyes skimmed the principles. And I remember thinking just pick a principle, just pick one. And I chose hope. 

I remember all of the things we have long shared in trainings, that there is always reason to hope, that there is a difference between hoping and wishing, that hope is active and it is always present, even if you can’t see it, hear it or feel it. I remember sharing in trainings that in the same way that a plant reaches for the light, people reach for hope. Not because hope is passive or fluffy but because it is a life force, hope is a fuel. Hope is different than wishing and hope can translate in to action. I remember I chose hope.

What I didn’t know at the time, was that Randy, who was unable to speak as a result of the surgery, and unable to move the right side of his body, had not only chosen a principle, he chose 2. He chose Focus on Strengths and Just Start Anywhere. He later said that all he kept hearing was what he couldn’t do, and would never be able to do again. That he would likely be paralyzed on his right side for life, that he had likely lost his ability to both comprehend and to speak. As he laid there, unable to move his right side, unable to speak, unable to get across to hospital staff that YES he was comprehending………….He focused on his strengths and just starting anywhere.
And what neither of us knew at the time was that we were, in fact, living the program.

Initally, when this happened, very early on, I was “mad” at Procovery. I resented all of the years, and all of the money and all of the time that we had spent on Procovery. I wanted our time back, I wanted our life savings and all of our retirement back, I wanted to take Procovery, and bury it at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. I blamed Procovery.

Lucky for me, our little team at Procovery, and my amazing family, wouldn’t allow me to stay in that place for long. And without any idea Randy was living the program, I was too. And now, ten months later, here we are again, with Randy working so hard to heal from his third brain surgery, with most of the medical community never, ever, ever letting us forget the statistics that are not in our favor. Never letting us forget how bleak the outcomes usually are and how hard this path is and how complicated. As though we don’t know that. As though this amazing, brilliant man in the hospital bed, with stitches from the front of his head to the back, unable to speak, unable to move the right side of his body, needs a clear understanding of how grave the situation is. We do get it. We really do. But what we also get is that there is always reason to hope, that love heals and that miracles happen every day. And in the area of medicine, a miracle is often simply a healing that takes place, that cannot be replicated or understood or explained. Something that cannot be backed by science, YET. But aren’t the most beautiful things in life often those that cannot be easily replicated, understood or explained?

So, here we are “living our program,” with more commitment, belief, passion and awe for Procovery than we ever had in the first place. And for anyone who knows us or Procovery, we already were pretty over-the-top in that department. 

Next… I want to talk about hoops and chemistry.


Moving Forward – One Week Since Randy’s Surgery

Randy was moved out of the ICU late in the day on Sunday. It has been a very hard week, all around. The surgery and swelling left Randy mostly unable to speak or move the right side of his body. Anyone who knows Randy can only imagine how challenging this is for him but anyone who knows Randy will also know that he is one of the most determined, hard working and inspiring people any of us have ever met.He is finding many ways to communicate his feelings and things he would like to say and we are all in awe.

He will be moved to an acute rehabilitation unit soon, maybe even later today.

We listened to the new Procovery podcast (number 2!) and we loved it.  It made us cry, but happy tears. Together we communicated a little bit about how beautiful it is that Procovery will now be able to travel, even lighter and easier,  in to dark, dreary, sad places and spread some light. We know this, because the podcast did this for us. If you haven’t heard it, and you are interested, check out the podcast section of the website. And please stay tuned for more…

Strange Wilderness film

More updates will follow, more blogs and podcasts will be posted, more thoughts will be shared… Next I want to tell you about “You gotta live your program.”


A Quote to Share

Hi Everyone,
I came across a quote that I wanted to share–
 There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.
-Kahlil Gabran

I think it’s wonderful, I hope you do too!
P.S. Is there a quote that resonates with you? Would you like to share it with Procovery Institute? Please submit it to us on our Contact Us page. We’d love to hear from you!

Update on Randy

Tomorrow, March 3, Randy will check into UCLA for “awake” brain surgery, scheduled for 7:30 AM (PST). Click on this link for an article about the brain and this specific type of brain surgery:

He (and we) has been personally living the absolute Power of Procovery over the last ten months, after Randy’s two successive, unexpected, emergency brain surgeries last May 31. We have found ourselves living both the complex and difficult healing path AND deriving strength from a small healing community and the reciprocity of the healing process (more about this in a future blog!). It has been truly hellish, exhausting, and mind-numbing and at the same time simply amazing, beautiful and a tremendous source of personal transformation.

If you find a quiet moment, and would like to send a ripple of positive energy or a blessing or prayer out to the universe on Randy’s behalf, please know that he, and we, would both welcome and very much appreciate it.

Until the End of the World rip

So many of you have asked (and keep asking…) about Randy over these last ten months, and we can’t tell you how much we appreciate your ongoing thoughtfulness, caring and consideration.  He has appreciated, with all of his heart, every single caring expression.

Randy is the father of Procovery. He not only hugely financially funded the Procovery program from day one, but he developed the program from day one (while working long, long hours in “big business” SO that he could hugely fund the program), he co-created the extensive materials and was at every training, in every location, doing absolutely anything that needed to be done, to get the job done, right!

Procovery is what it is, because Randy is who he is. And because of who he is, down to his core, he has continued to teach us and inspire us and keep us focused and lead us forward, even during this challenging time. Randy has, in many ways, been living a sheer hell for much of the last ten months.  But even in the midst of this, he has been ………. Randy. Gentle, focused, creative, brilliant, and moving forward, always, moving forward, both himself and Procovery. He has, daily, continued to inspired us with how much more he has learned about the healing process, how much more he has to share, and along the way he has been very clear that he feels truly blessed to have had Procovery to accompany him through this process.

So many of these things he, and we, will be talking about in blogs to come. In the meantime we hope that you might join us, if you so choose, and be inspired to begin your own Procovery path forward. And that you might consider, if you want to, that you can begin, right now, here, today, at this moment, to move forward, in the direction of your dreams. You can start right now.  You can start by taking a seemingly small step, or you can start big, and take a giant leap.  You can………… Just Start Anywhere. Today.


Hello and welcome to the new Procovery blog!

We have decided to do something new and different for Procovery Institute… something that we hope will serve to both reach out to all of you and to serve as an informal connection for all of us. Some days we may post a blog entry from one of us here at Procovery Institute, some
days it will be a quote, a thought of the day or even a photo that we find inspiring or hopeful and would like to share with you all. This blog will be an experience unlike our tested program materials – the books, cards, music, etc. This will be more spontaneous, informal and immediate. We are happy to be able to connect with you all in a real and informal way and look forward to many blog posts to come! We may not post an entry every day, it may be once a week, on occasion even once a month… but please know, we always appreciate your input, your comments and your thoughts and we hope you enjoy and appreciate ours!

Procovery Program Manager and Amateur Blogger!

Barbie: Mermaidia move