I’ll never forget how exhausting it was navigating treatment after my diagnosis with bone cancer.
One crowd urged me to get started with chemotherapy as soon as possible. As if modern medicine was a no brainer.
Meanwhile, another group advocated natural healing— while simultaneously freaking me out about the toxic side effects of chemo and saying things like, “Cancer treatment is all just big business!”
I tried turning to Google, ready to research for myself and form my own opinions… only to walk away feeling even more confused. All the information appeared intimidating and conflicting. It just overwhelmed me and I was already drained from the anxiety of cancer in the first place.
Ultimately, over the course of my healing journey, I gained exposure to both worlds: conventional and alternative healing. I began with a year of chemotherapy and had surgeries to remove tumors and nodules. I followed the instructions by my oncology surgical teams. They were extremely attentive and laid out step by step guidance. Just having a plan in place felt much better.
Unfortunately, this didn’t stop the cancer. After a series of recurrences, I was given a less than 10% survival rate. My oncology team offered a clinical trial but I had a sinking feeling that it just wasn’t going to be the thing that saved my life. I ended up passing and began to explore more natural healing approaches.
Along this path, I gained an incredible education on self-healing and wellness. I learned more about diet, supplements, detox and emotional management. I met new doctors and health specialists that offered additional perspectives for me to consider in making my decisions.
Years later after giving healing everything I had, I managed to turn my health around, and looking back I’m grateful for every resource I encountered along the way. I’m grateful for my oncology team because they helped me monitor progress and who knows how much worse my situation may have been without chemo; I’m blessed to have an incredible team of surgeons who removed cancer from my right leg, both lungs (multiple times) as well as my left hip; and I’m equally grateful I trusted my gut to explore alternative healing and meet other holistic minded medical experts.
I’m grateful and yet I will never forget how stressful it was trying to choose my path. When your life is on the line, it feels like there’s no time for missteps. You can’t afford mistakes. But getting caught up in the pressure only made me tighten up, close myself off and want to run away!
So these days, when people read about me story and ask my opinion, I try to refocus their attention. First off, every situation is different and we’re all writing our own stories, I remind them.
Then, rather than fixating on the “right” treatment, I personally found it helpful to seek the best counsel available (which involved getting multiple opinions), follow my intuition and then focus on every factor I could control — like maintaining a clean, cancer fighting diet, getting proper sleep, exercise, being around positive, loving energy, etc.
I also try to remind people that turning my health around involved making constant adjustments. It was a process of doing the best I could, analyzing results and then working with my support team to decide the next best move. This led to some twists and turns along the way, and that was ok.
Knowing that I didn’t have to figure everything out all at once took some of the pressure off so I could return to the present moment. The “right” treatment for me came down to keeping it as simple as one good decision at a time, one day at a time.
That and lots of deep breaths.
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