RYAN D. LUELF
For me it’s simple: I was diagnosed with a dis-EASE. Essentially my body and being were telling me, ”Ryan you are not at EASE.” Through not one, but two adventures with stage 4 cancer I discovered that in order to heal, in order to live, in order to overcome, and in order to thrive I had to navigate my way to a place of total and complete EASE. I’m living proof of what’s possible for every human on the planet. To shift from being unEASY about yourself, your life, and all things to living at EASE regardless of your circumstances. I invite you to shift from dis-EASE to EASE.
THE CANCER SHIFT
THE STORY BEHIND
Born in 1980 to loving parents, I experienced a great upbringing. I have fond memories of playing sports, enjoying life, and always feeling loved by my dad and mom. I’m the oldest of two boys, raised in Oklahoma and I fell in love with basketball as a young kid.
My claim to fame is that I led the entire state in three point percentage my senior year in high school. I was raised religious and eventually married my high school sweetheart, Caroline, in 2000 after dropping out of college. I did not enjoy school and I’ve never went back.
In my 20’s I lived it up and made it through many of life’s challenges. From infidelity, to a gambling addiction, several failed business attempts, bankruptcy, miscarriage, and moving 15 or more times. It was a crazy period in my life. There were many wonderful times as well.
Reflecting back now I see a lifestyle of not being at EASE, one filled with stress, and a sense of needing to prove something.
I was introduced to entrepreneurship at age 19. It’s always been something I enjoy. I’ve done network marketing full time, worked for John C. Maxwell, been a financial advisor, sold real estate, and even a record breaking car salesman. I love sales, marketing, interacting with people, unlimited income potential, and most of all time freedom.
I ate a SAD (Standard American Diet) lifestyle my entire life and being skinny I never thought once that I would ever be sick or have cancer. I literally had zero medical history. I now realize that I was actually living a life that set me up to have disease. I’m not surprised that by age 35 I found myself facing a death sentence.
In early 2015 at age 35 I noticed a few swollen lymph nodes on my neck. As an active tennis player and with no other noticeable symptoms at the time, I paid little to no attention.
That summer I began experiencing night sweats but once again thought nothing about them. I did get checked out in August by my PCP, but blood work revealed nothing alarming. In September I began having horrible vascular headaches. It was then that I began to realize something serious was going on.
After choosing to get an MRI of my head, neck, chest, and abdomen, my PCP called me on a Saturday to share the news that I had lymphoma cancer. A couple of biopsies the following weeks confirmed the diagnosis.
It was Stage 4, Advanced B-Cell Follicular Lymphoma, Grade 2 with B-Symptoms. In other words I was handed a death sentence. If I’m honest, I wasn’t scared. I knew from the beginning I would find a way to heal, a way to overcome, a way to live, and even a way to thrive. I just didn’t know how.
My mantra was: “Just do the next right thing because no matter what I’m always headed North.” Maybe the secret to anything is to keep going. Most people quit, give up, stop believing in the Impossible. I didn’t.
When I went from Stage 4 to No More the first time I wasn’t surprised, but I did worry some that it might come back, it did.
Seven months later I had stage 4 cancer AGAIN! It was a huge blow to my ego. How could this happen to me? I did everything right, so I thought. I did everything most people aren’t willing to do. But after a few days, I got over that and refocused in on the opportunity adventure #2 was presenting. Sure enough there was more to learn, more to discover, more evolution to take place, and more expansion calling me forth.
Today I’m completely CANCER FREE as of a PET Scan during May 2018. I’ve removed my PORT after 2 & 1/2 years of good use, and I’m NED (No Evidence of Dis-EASE). I will never have cancer again. How do I know? Because I believe I’ve found the connection between our inner well being and what manifests outwardly. I’ll catch any sign of disease very early on and always be willing to shift. Never again will I live so unconsciously that a stage 4 cancer diagnosis would be staring me in the face.
I’m committed to ongoing practice of living at EASE, doing my interior work, and always taking full responsibility for every single part of my life. Shift Happens! (P.S. If you would like to read the details of my two journeys with cancer, you can go to Caroline’s original blog, The YOLO Life Blog and read all she wrote thru my cancer journey.)
My life today began in my imagination, in my consciousness, and in my vision for a better life all the way back at diagnosis. I am truly thankful for cancer as it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. It was a gift and a gateway into greater human existence. It awakened me to a heightened awareness of just how amazing life is when you let go of all your bogus beliefs and stories in your head.
I dreamed of total and complete freedom and I’ve been relentless in holding that in my consciousness unto reality. People say to me all the time now that I live a dream life. To which I reply; YES! I dreamed it over and over and over again, now it’s manifested and I’m living it out in real life. We sold everything after I healed the first time and bought a 40 foot motorhome in early 2017. June 25th, 2017, we left Tulsa, OK, towing our Jeep as we embarked on an adventure of a lifetime.
It’s been an exciting first year with overcoming stage 4 cancer the second time, road schooling the kids, and meeting all kinds of new people in all kinds of new places. Our home is where we park it.
We have no plans anytime soon to abandon our #RVLIFE #LUELFTRAVELS lifestyle and no matter what we do, where we go, or what we encounter, you can always count on one thing from me & my family: JOY will be the engine of our life.
QUESTION IS WHY
WHY AM I DOING THIS
I find great satisfaction in expressing that with which I’m experiencing. It’s very gratifying to receive feedback from countless others that my sharing is resonating, helping, healing, and providing insights to equip and empower them on their own healing journey. I do what I do because I love it, I enjoy it, but also because so many say it makes a real difference in their life. Many of you express the gratitude you have for all the time, energy, and love both Caroline and I pour out as a way to shine light in what can be very dark times for people. You inspire me to keep going, keep sharing, and to keep creating space for all of us to heal.
THE YOLO LIFE BLOG
Throughout my adventures with cancer Caroline kept a blog of our cancer journey. The blog includes many of the treatments, modalities and therapies along with our feelings and emotions thru my voyage of finding healing. The YOLO Life Blog now sits as an archive of our story and resources of our cancer journey.
INEFFABLE; because it’s the only world in the English language that even comes close to giving life to the human being she truly is. To say I found a jewel would fall short of the amazing human she actually is. I fell in love with the most stunningly beautiful girl I’ve ever laid eyes on at the ripe old age of 15. I knew the first day I saw her, I wanted her. She was beautiful, quiet, and everything I wasn’t. The perfect match for me. Over the years she has been the glue that held us together, our family, and all the stuff we’ve endured. She’s found a way to do life with fire, passion, grace, and a calm assurance that we were always heading North. Her loyalty is unwavering. Her ability to run our household is as impressive as anything you will find. Her love for me is felt to the moon and back. She’s athletic, talented, really awesome at motherhood, and still the sexiest woman alive. I’m in love and I’m over the top grateful we chose each other to experience an adventure like no other together. Caroline is also a writer, blogger, cancer supporter/guide and nature lover.
STORIES OF SUCCESS
“Ryan is and was the most vulnerable, honest, open, unashamed, sincere, willing to admit mistakes and teach us truths person I’ve seen in a long while. As he learned them himself, he so unselfishly shared it ALL with us. I’m beyond grateful for that. I always see him encouraging people to question or at least consider their beliefs and emotions, relationships, health choices etc... and with no judgment whatsoever. He did this all the while posting his own healing journey which included what I would call some of the most vulnerable heart wrenching photos you can imagine. He brought us in on his adventures with cancer in a real and tangible way. He showed us what it means to be fully human and fully divine. I’m changed forever because of him. I can’t wait to continue following his life work beyond cancer."
“ I am eternally grateful for Ryan’s courage mostly because of his honesty, transparency, vulnerability, and bravery in the face of not only horrific circumstances but stark criticism as well. I thank him for being a teacher to an audience who’s constantly searching for real answers during real difficult times. He provides that and it makes a tangible difference in the lives of those he touches. I love him.”