The Breast of Everything

Shelly Rood on surviving the holidays: a woman veteran’s guide

November 04, 2021 Comprehensive Breast Care Season 2 Episode 4
The Breast of Everything
Shelly Rood on surviving the holidays: a woman veteran’s guide
Show Notes Transcript

“When you say the words ‘breast cancer survivor,’ it can’t get any more personal for me because that is my mother,” announces Shelly Rood, inspirational speaker, co-founder of Mission: Ambition LLC and a decorated military intelligence officer who served our country for 16 years. 

“Sometimes we are so concerned with getting through it, with surviving it, that we don’t take the time for genuine connection and reflection,” she says during The Breast of Everything podcast hosted by Linsey Gold, DO, FACS, FACOS, Comprehensive Breast Care surgeon. 

Through her work with Mission: Ambition LLC, Shelly inspires the world to be filled with thrivers, not just survivors. She hopes her message is heard loudly and clearly, especially during this time of year as we approach the holidays, a very difficult time for those living with cancer.

In this podcast, she shares some advice on how cancer survivors can relax a little and still make the holidays “the most wonderful time of the year.” It is important that women learn to delegate and set boundaries when it comes to holiday activities, she urges. Don’t isolate yourself; connect with others and take the time to relax and enjoy the season.

During The Breast of Everything podcast, Shelly examines this internal battle cancer survivors have with themselves. She views it as a military mission. What is your mission? Is it to enjoy the holidays? The answer should be a resounding “yes.”

“You will make it through this mission,” she says with conviction. “And what is waiting on the other side for you?” Listen to The Breast of Everything podcast featuring Veteran Shelly Rood, here.

Announcer  0:01  
Welcome to the breast of everything podcast your trusted resource for breast health information support and encouragement. Your host today is Dr. Lindsay gold of comprehensive breast care. Welcome.

Dr. Linsey Gold  0:12  
Welcome to the breast of everything podcast. I'm your host today Dr. Lindsay gold of comprehensive breast care. Today, I'm happy to introduce Shelly Ruud co founder of mission, ambition LLC, a proven leader in the civilian as well as military environments. Shelly is a decorated military intelligence officer who served our country for 16 years and attained the rank of captain. This third generation business owner grew up swinging a hammer in Detroit, and now is inspiring the world as a beloved speaker with endless stories. Shelley is a distinguished military graduate from Western Michigan University, and is pursuing Chaplain licensure at Moody Theological Seminary, building a society of servant leaders through the others over self mindset. Shelly is daring us to be less self focused. She is a devoted follower of Christ, a wife, mother of two school aged boys, and an advocate for strong women. Today, she joins me to talk about surviving the holidays as a breast cancer patient from a woman's veteran perspective. Welcome, Shelley. So exciting to have you on the podcast. Thank you for joining us, 

Shelly Rood  1:34  
Dr. Lindsay gold, the pleasure is all mine. I'm truly honored to spend this time with you and your incredible audience. 

Dr. Linsey Gold  1:34  
You have quite an impressive resume, looking just at all of your military decorations, and everything is, you know, super humbling. And so in case I don't want to forget to you know, thank you for your service. I just it I feel so American, when I talk to military personnel, it's very exciting. So but I want you to tell our listeners a little bit more about the work you do and how specifically you got involved with breast cancer survivors it was it a personal experience that might have influenced you? How did you make that leap?

Shelly Rood  2:16  
So the work that we do is really teaching, training and educating we are an educational provider. And what that means is we host workshops, we host seminars, and for the past few years, we've really been developing and growing as a company in Metro Detroit, and trying to figure out what is our voice? What what do we really truly stand for, you know, when we have conversations every day, you're sending a message out into the world. And before you open your mouth, you should know what's about to come out of it?

Dr. Linsey Gold  2:46  
Oh, yes, as many people do, not as it were. But yes, you're 100%, right.

Shelly Rood  2:51  
And so that's where we really circled back around to something that we started in the very beginning. And that's this phrase, others over self. And I'm happy to say that it is actually a registered trademark of ours now, it's something that we are fully in absolutely committed to body, mind and soul, and others over self is the genuine mindset that the needs of others are always greater than our own. It's a very humbling way to live your life, said the others oversell mindset truly, is going to be the biggest challenge that you've ever undertaken in your life. Because it means that you have to constantly be outward focused. And as human individuals we are naturally inward focused, right others of our self is something that we use in our day to day walk in our day to day life in inside of the thoughts of our brain. And it can be applied to every human being that's walking on this earth. Now, when I first had the opportunity to even consider coming into your podcast, I have to tell you, ma'am, when you say the words breast cancer survivor, it doesn't get more personal than that for me, because that's my mother. And she went through it and not even, you know, a handful of years ago now. And so it is so very fresh in our minds as a family. And I'm really honored to have been able to have an excuse to have a deeper conversation with her about her experience. As I'm sure many of our listeners can say, sometimes you're just so concerned with getting through it, and finding it that you don't take that time for genuine connection and reflection.

Dr. Linsey Gold  4:25  
Definitely. That's definitely and there's a whole sort of survivorship sort of enterprise a whole awakening really, in the medical community that there are survivors and thrivers and a lot of your traditional medicine, you know, surgery, chemo, radiation, all that different stuff people have to go to you know, really doesn't address that part of their healing process because it is a process for them. That continues long after you know the last doctor's appointment.

Shelly Rood  4:58  
It absolutely does and You know, I just want to give confidence to everyone to say that you're not alone in this trauma is trauma, humans are designed to walk this earth, and we are faulty broken creatures, if it's not a cancer, then it will be a broken arm, it will be a broken leg, it will be a mental health illness, I mean, there are ways that the body breaks down. And that's okay. Right. That's what we're actually meant to do, we were made to be broken down eventually, at some point, we're gonna fully break down. But you know, we do our best to, to retain what we have, and to make the absolute most out of it. And so that's why it is such a joy to talk to you on this topic, because that survival mindset of the breast cancer survival survivor is the same survival mindset, or at least it has the opportunity to be. So you are really, truly in a like minded spirit with people such as myself, who have been through amazing things in our lives. And it gives you an opportunity not to isolate yourself and only focus on your own experience, but instead, to connect with others, and hear how their experiences are similar to yours.

Dr. Linsey Gold  6:09  
Yes, and you know, not to exclude men, because, you know, they have their own benefits. But I, my observation, even just through general surgery training, which I like in a little bit, is that there's a very military approach to general surgery training. And I find that the women who come through have a very different approach than the men. So men are kind of like, fraternal about it. So basically, like, I went through this, I survived, now you're going to do it, because you need to prove yourself, women come through and they say, You know what, that kind of sucked. And I don't really want another woman to have to go through that. So I'm going to change it going forward, so she doesn't have to suffer like I did. And those are two completely different mindsets, right?

Shelly Rood  6:59  
That they are they are, they truly are. And we do see that in the business world, we see that in the civilian world, we see that in the military world. And, you know, I have to honestly say thank you for not being afraid to say that there are differences in their core of the male and the female mind. And that is just science, that is physiology, right of how the body works, and the hormones that are within us, and, and all of the things that come from creation. And so it's okay, right, give yourselves permission to say that my experience is different than your experience, and we're going to handle it differently.

Dr. Linsey Gold  7:33  
Correct. But, you know, everybody being respectful, of course, of everybody's experience, I mean, that's really how things grow and become better. So I'm gonna circle back to discussing the holidays, because this is a particular look, entering into the holiday season, this is a particularly difficult time for women who tend to be you know, the do everything, you know, I don't need any help, I don't want to do it. And that's, you know, pretty much impossible when you're going through something like this. So how do people learn to delegate set boundaries, and, you know, take care of themselves allow other people to help them during this time.

Shelly Rood  8:20  
So truly, it all comes down to the mission. And you have to have an understanding of what your mission is. And right now, if your mission is to make it through a holiday season as a breast cancer survivor, then that's what we're going to do. And we're going to have a strategy to do that effectively. If you ignore that, if you try to pretend like you're not what you are, then all those troubles are going to come into play. If you're out on the battlefield, and you get shot, and you pretend like you're not shot, well, you might just lose enough blood that you're not going to make it to the next piece. Mm hmm. And so for those of us that are breast cancer survivors, and our bodies are healing and changing and growing, and we are physically exhausted, who are mentally exhausted, I'm giving you permission as a strong military woman. It's okay. That you're not okay. And anybody who tells you otherwise, have them call me yet.

Dr. Linsey Gold  9:18  
Yeah. And you know, there is I would say, like some similarities right in in a going through a breast cancer diagnosis for say women who are undergoing mastectomy either by choice or because that's what the disease requires. You know, and a person's military experience, right? Nobody chooses to lose a limb. Physically big deal.

Shelly Rood  9:43  
The physical ailment is a physical ailment, it doesn't matter what it is or what color or shape or form it has effects on the body, right mind, soul, spirit, all of it. And you know, I'll share with you I'm not personally a breast cancer survivor, but I did have a medical episode a few years ago that was completely debilitating. My body actually grew a false tumor in the back of one of my eyes. And as a young mother, to lose my ability to drive a car, to see a phone, to see a computer, to even have to worry about my temporary blindness turning into permanent blindness. These are big deals. And so I'm not downplaying anything about the world of breast cancer, and all of these unique experiences that we're all going through. My point here is to say that me too, right, all of us, we all are going through these experiences together, yours might look different than mine. But we are going through it. And so there are some key ways that we can set some boundaries around their holiday activities. So the first thing that I would love for everyone to really embrace is the idea of why. So why do we delegate, we delegate to make a greater impact, it's all about the mission, you have to be mission focused. When we make a bigger impact, you have to remember that missions have timelines, it blows my mind that people turn the holidays into a three month long process. I don't I personally don't understand that. And I watched my mother struggle with this year after year, and I watched my clients struggle with this. And, you know, they buy something and bring it back and take it back and wrap it three times. And then they're so certain that it's not the right thing. And it's just this never ending ball of anxiety, right. And so the first thing to do is really put some end caps on it. Say, I'm going to start on Tuesday, and we're going to be done on Friday. And you know, what, if it didn't happen in that timeline, the mission is over, and it's time to move on. And that's okay. The second thing about making a greater impact is to remember that it takes a team, we delegate because you cannot do it all on your own. And if you're trying to do it all on your own, then that means that you haven't done a very good job of building your team. I'm sorry. Right? Go to your son and say, You know what, you need to step up as a man go buy that potato salad from the store for me, I'm not making it from scratch this year.

Dr. Linsey Gold  12:00  
Yeah. Yeah. That is so true. That is so true.

Shelly Rood  12:05  
The last thing I want to say about delegating is that we have to give praise, without expecting of back. This is just a mind game that we play when we are part of a team or when we do delegate something to somebody else. Just give praise. However, this is a control thing, right? If you put somebody else in charge of the ham, just let them bring the ham, who cares if it's cubed, and that spiraled sliced? Who cares? If they forgot the honey glaze? Life will go on? We'll all be okay. Yeah, praise them anyway, praise them because they brought the ham, don't tear them down. Don't cut their legs out from underneath them, because they didn't do it the way you would do it. They did it and they filled a need. And all that you should say to them this year is thank you.

Dr. Linsey Gold  12:53  
Yeah, that's major. Like you said, it's kind of human nature not to do that. So you have to intentionally like and consciously think about these things in order to react that

Shelly Rood  13:08  
way. You truly do. And you know, we all well do it to each other. And one way that we do this is just this idea of what in my family we call gifts with conditions. And you might be guilty of giving gifts with conditions, but you also might be needing to recognize when you're receiving these things. So what this looks like is your aunt gives a gift for your child. And then she requires that you take pictures while you're opening it with the child. And she makes you feel guilty because you didn't send a thank you card after the holidays, right? These are conditions that come with what should have been a wholehearted, overwhelming gift. Right. And at that point, it's not a gift anymore. Right? You know, taking this to an extreme example, when my husband and I were married a few years ago, my father actually offered to throw us this incredible wedding and he wanted to be in charge. And he wanted to have the guestlist ahead of time and he wanted to be you know, choosing the caterer. And it was a wonderful show of a gift. But it came with a lot of conditions. And we just decided, You know what, maybe we'll just go simple this year. And you can do that too.

Dr. Linsey Gold  14:19  
Yeah. It's hard for people to do it really is I learned that exact thing from a childhood friend many years ago who her parents are, like, exceptionally wealthy. But everything they did, like you said came with conditions and so as she you know, created her own family. She just basically said, You know what, money? Money's not that important. I don't I don't need your millions. I don't need I can't I don't want to subject my children and my husband to that that's that's just bad energy. So her her interaction is limited because of that, because that's what that's what she said. It's you A lot of people say, Oh my God, you know, how could she walk away from a family that has, you know, millions and millions of dollars? It's just not that important. You know, right. Your mental health, your, your physical health, so much more important. So super proud of her. Now, I love the tagline of your website and your program of your life should resemble a nuclear explosion, not an old person's birthday cake.

Shelly Rood  15:24  
Tell me, I love that. Oh, I'm not trying to be rude to old people, for heaven's sakes, I love all of the candles, cake. The point here is that a nuclear bomb, the way that so Okay, let's take 100 candles and put them on a cake. You know what that cake is gonna look like, right? And if you add one more candle to that cake, it's gonna shine a little bit brighter. Okay, that's nice. The way that a nuclear bomb works is they react off of each other exponentially. So let's just say that you have a nuclear bomb worth five and you add it within a certain radius to I'm trying to talk layman's terms here. Yeah, you're welcome to add another nuclear bomb so that when they both explode, one actually ricochets off of the other. And if it's five and five, you don't get 10. You get 15, you get 25, you get 35. Right? Oh, that is the beauty of being a nuclear bomb. When you have one person who is just going after their mission, and is so passionate about what the Lord has put them on this earth to do until they move on. When you take that person and put them with another person of a similar mindset. You don't just get one more candle added to the cake is incredible, massive explosion of energy and power and the ability for this world to become a better place. And when we help the world be a better place, then God can come in and change the world.

Dr. Linsey Gold  16:54  
Oh, that yet you have to be open to it. That's that's really good. So if everybody's goal is to live intentionally? How can we describe that to our patients? How can how can I describe that as a benefit to the patients

Shelly Rood  17:09  
living with intention is the ultimate way to live and life? On? If you're not, then honestly, what are you doing? We're just living out our days until the breath is taken away from us. Yeah, when we live with intention, it means that we're working towards something that means that we have a goal in mind, it means that we are finding purpose. And I say this, you know, I didn't come to the Lord as a five year old in church, okay, I say this as a seasoned military woman who has lived a lot of life. And I did not become a Christian. And truly until I was almost 30 years old, so I screwed up a lot. Yeah. And I'll tell you, all of those years of screwing up with no intent is just survival mode. Yeah, it's give me another day, give me another week, give me another, you know, whatever. Until, until that's it, and that's gone. And so I just want to challenge everyone to make sure that especially during the holidays, because this is the highest depression rates for our nation is during the holiday time. And I really want to challenge you to make sure. Why are you living with intent? What is your intent? Truly, if you wake up and your brother's gone tomorrow, and the Numa, the spirit of your world is is out and your family continues on? What did you say? What did you stand for? And that's what you should be working towards every single day. And it's not going to be because the bowl was a little bit bigger, it's not going to be because the tape was the clear shiny stuff and not the cheap stuff. So until we waste our precious precious seconds of our lives on these stupid decisions, can we please just think a little bit more about interacting with the people around us in a more meaningful and more intentional way?

Dr. Linsey Gold  19:05  
Yeah, so really, truly living, don't sweat the small stuff and living at a higher level. You know, it's my observation over, you know, a number of years of practice that women, you know, sort of tolerate, if you will, or handle their diagnosis of breast cancer when they do have a very strong, strong faith when they do believe that, you know, there's a higher power or that God has a purpose for them. I think there's a lot less fear. I mean, it's scary, like you say, to have a health problem and whatever. But if you can really trust and find meaning in that purpose. I think it's my observation that people really do do better if you will, with their diagnosis, because it's a hard thing.

Shelly Rood  19:56  
That's true. And let me actually flip that So next time somebody feels that way, think of this. So I have a friend who's a military veteran, she's multiple combat veteran, she was convinced that she was going to die in combat. She's been in multiple theaters and in multiple situations where the Lord could have taken her, but he didn't. And, and she's out now, and she's a civilian. And it's been 10 years since she served in the military, and you know, that she still is questioning, why wasn't my life taken on the battlefield? So you, you're, you might make it through this, you are going to make it through this, you're probably going to make it through this. My question to you is what's on the other side?

Dr. Linsey Gold  20:41  
Mm hmm. That's pretty deep. I think a lot of people don't think about that.

Shelly Rood  20:46  
And not even on the other side of life, right? I mean, eternal consequence. Yes, you can call me we'll go have coffee and talk about that. But right, what's on the other side of this mission? What's on the other side of this conflict? Because it is going to go away. It's not for a will forever change you. But the immediate survival moment will pass. Are you ready for when a does?

Dr. Linsey Gold  21:12  
Right? That's so interesting. I do tell my patients that they're, you know, I say, I know you can't see it right now. But there will be a time in your future, that this is not what you think about and what you live every day, there will be life beyond this. And it's going to your choice of what you want to do with that if that gift is given to you. Because I mean, every day is a gift for all of us. Right?

Shelly Rood  21:40  
I have dear friends that their 15 year old son didn't wake up. And he had a heart condition. They didn't know about it. And, you know, it all comes down to this level of control as well, right? I mean, the Lord truly takes you when you're supposed to go home. And we are not in control of when that decision is. And you're correct. It is horrendously fearful if we're floundering around, unintentionally.

Dr. Linsey Gold  22:05  
Yeah, no, very, very scary. Yep. That's why I say I, it's my observation that people sort of tolerate the the mental trauma a little bit better, because it takes a notch of fear out of it. I mean, there's always gonna be fear, but but much, much less.

Shelly Rood  22:24  
I popped over to the mail, put the post office a while ago, and I talked to everybody, I love people. And the lady that was helping me her name is Jeannie. And Jeannie is a breast cancer survivor. And I was preparing for this interview. And so I asked Jeannie, you know, what would you say to this incredible audience? Have you had this opportunity? And Jeannie said that for her last year, she was diagnosed and so she was going through it really in survival mode in the heat of the season. And she said for her, what she recognized is that her anxiety of gift choice and perfect wrapping, and how will they feel when I give them this amazing gift that might be the last one I give them. She said all of those thoughts were her way of trying to control a situation that she couldn't control. Because she felt like the cancer took all of the control out of her life. She was grasping for straws and overdoing anything that was within her control. So just be very conscious of that.

Dr. Linsey Gold  23:24  
Yeah, that we see that all of the time. Just about in every woman,

Shelly Rood  23:31  
just and you know, if we're going to go crazy and control things, how about we control our diet? How about we can control our lifting regimen? Ladies, let's go get some iron and pump it up a little bit here. No, I feel broses for this one.

Dr. Linsey Gold  23:46  
That is very true. It is really hard for ladies to to deal with those control issues. Yep. Oh, boy, oh, my goodness. Well, how can the listeners be a part of the others over self sort of movement or mindset, if they're interested?

Shelly Rood  24:06  
Others of yourself truly is something that is for everyone. It's for anybody who lives their life in the position of influence. If you have a family, if you have a loved one, if you have a neighbor, if you have a business, if you have a team that you're running, how are you leading them? If you're interested in leading people in the selfless service mindset, then I just encourage you to stay connected with us. We have a private Facebook group that you can be a part of, and you can interact with other people who are dedicated to this others oversell mindset. And I'll tell you it is not an easy thing to do if you're going to choose to live for others this holiday season. That means you better get out of your own way. It's incredibly challenging. And there's only a few of us out there that are willing to step up and accept that challenge but I know somebody listening is going to accept that challenge. Oh, so please find us on Facebook. You can find me my name is Shelly ru, r o d, and you can also look up the phrase others oversell. You'll find our social media all over the place. Connect with me, mentioned that you heard us on the CBC podcast here and I'll make sure to get you a coupon code so that if you really are wanting to take this others oversell mindset to the next level, maybe I'll get you a t shirt that says it on there. That way when you're out holiday shopping, and you're starting to feel overwhelmed, you can just kind of look down at yourself and have a little check there. Yeah, calm down, Shelly, you'll be okay. Yes, hopefully

Dr. Linsey Gold  25:31  
others too will say hey, what's that? What is your shirt mean?

Shelly Rood  25:34  
They do they do it all the time.

Dr. Linsey Gold  25:36  
That is a great way. Well, listen, thank you, Shelley, for joining us today on the breast of everything podcast, I'm so grateful that you were able to talk to our listeners today.

Shelly Rood  25:50  
Thank you for having me, Dr. Gold, it truly is an honor. And I just want to tell you that I have nothing but support and admiration for the work that you do. And to hear the type of guidance that you are providing to the world at large. It makes me feel very happy to know that there that you're out in the world.

Dr. Linsey Gold  26:07  
Well, thank you very much, listeners. As always, I thank you for listening to the breast of everything podcast. I'm your host tonight, Dr. Lindsay gold of comprehensive breast care. As always, we want to hear from you. If you have a topic you would like us to talk about. We always welcome your suggestions. You can send them to comp breast That's Everybody stay well stay strong. Till next time. Thank you.

Announcer  26:43  
You've been listening to the breast of everything podcast with your host and board certified breast surgeon, Dr. Lindsay goal of comprehensive breast care. If you have a subject you would like the surgeons to discuss, please email your suggestions online at comp Breast Care. com. That's co MP The doctors want to hear from you. The views thoughts and opinions shared in this podcast are intended for general education and informational purposes only and should not be substituted for medical advice, treatment or care from your physician or healthcare provider. Always consult your healthcare provider first.

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