Navigating New Territory
Well, this is my first official update and the word of the day is: SURREAL!
This new dive into my journey with breast cancer is an unexpected and shocking turn of events. I am doing my best to ride the waves and the overwhelming amount of tasks needed to be done to sort through the choices for my healing plan. Receiving a diagnosis like this is a full-time job and the emotional roller coaster of coming to acceptance is rough. Nevertheless, I am holding the firm belief that my soul called this in to shine the diamond of my soul a little brighter.
I have my moments of meltdowns,‘what the fuck’ and ‘how could this happen to me after everything else’ and then after the waves pass I see what an incredible opportunity this is to accept life and heal on a profound level. Receiving a serious diagnosis like this can either make you shrink in fear or seize life with both hands and I am choosing to embrace the beauty. There is an inexplicable gift to know you might only live for a year, each moment becomes precious, the light shines a little brighter and it puts into perspective what REALLY matters. With that said, I intend to mine the gifts of my diagnosis and do the deep healing my heart is calling for as I know that is the only way to make it through to the other side.
Now for the nitty gritty info: On September 22, 2016, I found out that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At that point, it looked like it was Stage 1. They said the tumor in my breast was 2 cm but there was no evidence of anything in my lymph nodes. This was shocking and scary to hear but after some days of being a puddle on the floor, there was a semblance of acceptance. One week later I was the surgeon’s office and was told there was a ‘mis-diagnosis’. WHAT?!? When they did the biopsy they had taken some of the cells with those lovely long needles from my left breast and the lymph nodes under my armpit. Apparently, when they tested the lymph node they thought it was clear of cancer but they actually missed and got fatty tissue instead. So the clear diagnosis from the lymph nodes that put me at Stage 1 (not having spread past my breast) was incorrect. He told me that if it were indeed in my lymph nodes it would put me at Stage 3. Gulp…. That was challenging to hear.
I was told to get an MRI. Due to the fact that I have medi-cal, I had to wait a week for it to be scheduled. This was a grueling week of the mind doing summersaults vacillating between fear and hope. The same day I received the MRI I was scheduled to meet with the radiologist afterward. I ended up spending five hours total in the hospital between the MRI and a long complicated visit with the doctor. Thank goodness dear Rowen Holland and Syris Metara was with me. They have been my solid support system and have been to every appointment with me, I’m so grateful for them! Anyhoo, the radiologist confirmed that there was indeed more going on than we initially thought and went into a scary discussion of the LONG medical protocol they were prescribing for me if my Stage 3 diagnosis was indeed correct. For us to know for sure there was yet ONE MORE TEST to be done, the PET scan and this unfortunately had nothing to do with my adorable puppy Xaria! Yet again there was more waiting for the scan to be scheduled and watching the waves of the mind spiral around.
This week I did the PET scan at an absurdly early hour of 7am. (At this point I’m getting used to my body being rolled into the coffin machines that illustrate what is happening in the core of my body.) We met with the surgeon later that day and he confirmed the Stage 3 diagnosis. In fact, the tumor that was in my breast was about 4 to 7 cm and there are three lymph nodes under my armpit that have received the cancer.
Right now the western medical route is prescribing chemotherapy to shrink the tumor and eradicate the cancer out of the lymph nodes, surgery (either a lumpectomy or mastectomy), chemotherapy, radiation and then more chemotherapy. Yup. It is daunting to imagine frankly. I have a long and difficult journey ahead of me.
My course of action is to look down every avenue and weigh out my best options. I know this is a serious diagnosis and I have a strong will to live. I want to see my amazing 24-year-old son live his wonderful life, I love my horses, the work I do and see so much beauty in this precious gift of life. I have more to do here on Earth and I intend to dig in deep to do the work necessary to climb yet another large mountain. I feel a bit like a character out of a fantasy movie where they have fought insurmountable battles; they are ragged, weary and stinky from not having bathed for weeks. They think their journey is done, they are relieved and are making the journey home. All is well until they realize there is another gigantic mountain to climb with a dangerous dragon that lives right in the center. Yes, our beloved characters have yet one more test of their courage, strength, stamina and inner vision and it will probably be a while till they get that bath they’ve been dreaming of. :-)
I know this will take all of my strength to journey though and I have begun my protocol to heal my body. Rowen generously gifted me with a blender and I have begun juicing every day, I have a load of tinctures, teas, and new supplements to support my body. I am about to learn the daily joy of coffee enemas. (Coffee enemas? Yes, I did indeed say that! They actually are quite healing to pull out toxins in the body!) I’m fine-tuning my already clean diet. I have recommitted myself to my Kundalini yoga practice, which previously has gotten me through the toughest of times. Being with a diagnosis like this is a full-time job of tending to the body to bring it back to balance. I am praying deeply and asking for guidance and am receiving it; I see the blessed gifts of transformation presented to me.
I am also consulting with alternative practitioners. I found a brilliant acupuncturist who has treated hundreds of wimmin with breast cancer and am seeing other alternative practitioners familiar with cancer. I am leaving no stone unturned to find the best way to love and cure my body. I have always been incredibly healthy, have eaten organic my whole life, gluten free for 10 years but even someone like me who my friends say is the poster child of health is not immune to this reality. Cancer does not discriminate. I know there is a balancing that needs to be done on a physical and emotional level and I am committed to doing the work.
I want to give a big shout out again to Rowen and Syris who have been solidly by my side through this journey. They have been impeccably present for me in every way, mopping up my tears and loving me up. Rowen has had her own journey with cancer so is well versed on this reality. You can read about her journey here: Caring Bridge - Rowen. Syris has been helping me remember all the nitty gritty details of what needs to be done, making me my vegetable juices and holding a huge amount of ground for me. I am blessed to have their help.
**DONATIONS: Thank you ALL for your supportive, encouraging messages, they touch my heart and lift my spirit. Thank you for your donations to help me with my medical and living costs. It greatly helps during this time to have your financial support as it is adding up. Donate here: You Caring. If you feel inclined to share my You Caring fundraiser link it would be appreciated as each share is shown to bring in $37.**
A reminder for how you can best help me:
Please do not pity me, see me as sick, feel sorry for me or feed the fear about my diagnosis. Thoughts are powerful!!! If you see me as sick than that will feed my reality. I encourage you to feel your sadness, shock, grief, anger or whatever comes up of yet one more young person being diagnosed with cancer, get it out, let it go and then be FREE OF THE FEAR!
Please: VISUALIZE ME IN CLEAR, VIBRANT HEALTH!
SEE: My tumor shrinking
Cancer leaving my lymph nodes
My body being able to wash away any toxins or emotional baggage that are feeding the cancer
See me healed and living a long life!
Feed the love rather than the fear…
Thank you for your love and care. Please appreciate each blessed moment you are given here on Earth. I know these are intense times we’re living in but there is also much beauty to behold. Do not waste a moment to claim and live your life fully!
Love you all,