Seven years ago this summer a lump in my neck turned out to be Hodgkin Lymphoma, a cancer that affects the lymphatic system. I like to joke to people that on Monday of that week, I received a promotion at work making me the General Manger of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. On Thursday I signed the papers for my first home, and on Friday, I was diagnosed with cancer. It's not really funny, but amazing to me that so many life changing situations happened literally at once.
When I found out my diagnosis, I was relieved. I had been suffering from severe depression, to the point of suicide and had prayed that something would happen to take me from this world. I felt like I got my wish. A few weeks after my initial diagnosis, I had an appointment with an oncologist, who discovered the cancer had spread to both sides of my neck and down through my chest. This is highly unusual, and at the time I believed it happened because I wanted to die. Why I still think that may have been a part of it, I've recently learned a bit more about cancer and it's possible the biopsy they did actually cause the cancer to spread. You can read more about this in my previous post, What Your Oncologist Never Told You About Cancer.
My parents were of course extremely concerned; my Dad's reaction to the news is the reason I initially decided to live instead of letting it take me. I told my doctor I would not be going through chemo or radiation and she told me I wouldn't make it to the holidays. Seven years ago. Never allow the doctors to scare you with a death deadline, you create your own destiny.
Once making the decision to heal holistically, I checked out every book, blog, dvd, etc. that related to healing cancer. I believe that any disease, is an imbalance in the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies. Most western medicines only focus on the physical, and most of the time the symptoms rather than the actual cause. I started out by changing my diet, going on a strict vegan raw food diet for the first year. I lost over 100lbs, and completely stopped the spread of cancer. I also did some emotional healing. Check out my post on Healing With Energy Psychology for more info on this.
After a couple of years, things remained stable, and I got frustrated. I fell off the wagon, started eating junk again, ignored the emotional work, hadn't even acknowledged the spiritual work, and dove into work. I worked a lot of hours and had the weight of the world on my shoulders. In the Spring of 2009, I started having a lot of fatigue issues. I went in for my tests, and the cancer had spread like wildfire. I had cancer in my lungs, under my arms, kidney, etc. Everything on my blood tests was off the charts bad, my organs had started to shutdown, and this time my Naturopath, who normally is very supportive, told me there was nothing more to be done and to put my affairs in order, it would only be a matter of weeks. I realized at this point I couldn't jack around anymore. I had to make a choice: live or die, and that choice had to be mine. I couldn't do it for my Dad or anyone else, it had to be for me. I took a couple weeks off of work, ate lots of veggies, spent a lot of time in bed, because by this time I could barely move, and decided that I really hadn't given life a proper chance. So I made my choice.
Two years later and obviously I chose to live. This time, instead of focusing mostly on the physical and half-hearted with the emotional, I have undergone entire lifestyle changes. Physically I got back into a healthy diet, focusing on Green Smoothies. I incorporated Superfoods into my diet, reversing many of the poor results on my blood tests. Triton, my furry 142lbs newfoundland/great dane mix got my booty shaking with daily walks. I also bounce on a rebounder, and started getting into yoga. I detox my body daily by skin brushing, make regular colonics appointments, etc. I got certified in Reiki, an energy healing tool, and receive other energy healing from my Mom. You can read about how one of the tumors in my neck shrank in under 15 minutes with several witnesses in my post Healing With Tuning Fork Sound Therapy.
Emotionally, I started doing mirror exercises, reading Louise Hay, using EFT (emotional freedom technique) to release the emotional causes of my cancer, forgiveness exercises and much more. Spiritually I recognized my connection with the Universe, meditate daily, and next week will embark on a Spiritual journey as I fly to Oregon for a Vipssanna Meditation retreat.
So how am I doing? Tumors in my armpits are breaking into pieces. The primary tumor in my neck split into two, and once piece is shrinking, while the other is slowly pushing itself out of my body. Whoa! My energy levels are up, I am still anemic, but I did go up a point on my latest blood test. I'm healing, and with a little more work and a lot of faith, I plan on ending 2011 completely healthy and free of cancer, eczema, anemia and hormone imbalances.
The things mentioned are just a few of the healing tools I have used, but the ones I found most effective. Once I return from Oregon, I will get updated tests, and I intend to kickstart a new healing program. More on this later.
What do you do to stay healthy? Have you ever faced a major disease? How did you handle it?