Nourish Thy Temple
I just wrote the following for the Humboldt Community Breast Health Project newsletter (coming out soon!) and thought I would share it here too since it has been a while since I posted. Update on the cancer treatment front….still Herceptin (targeted therapy chemo drug) every three weeks through mid-July. I have an Echocardiogram next week to check my heart and make sure it is functioning properly (the big side effect concerns heart function, so I get checked every three months, but so far my heart has been fine)….all is golden and I feel 150%. Continuing qi gong with Misty Mountain Healing Arts and mild exercise….walking, jogging, cycling, and chinese/western medicine herb blend four times per day. Sadly, one who had cancer is not told “Your cancer is gone” after treatment, one only goes into “remission” or NED (No evidence of disease). So that is my current status and I will always consider my diet (including herbs) and exercise my treatment and best health insurance.
Aahhhhh. Where to begin? Well, for starters, I am a Stage 3 breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in March 2012 and proceeded with conventional treatment including an immediate mastectomy, a summer of chemotherapy, six weeks of radiation, and now, a nightly dose of the estrogen blocker Tamoxifen.
I am the mother of two small children, ages 3 and 6, and a lover of the world and being alive. Despite my propensity toward herbs and natural healing modalities I feel that this conventional treatment was necessary even though these conventional western healing medicines were invasive and toxic.
My approach was to not only succumb to, but to embrace these procedures and medicines, but to heal my body simultaneously with chinese herbs, mushroom tinctures, homeopathy, qi gong (internal and external), acupuncture, aromatherapy, long hot baths, dry brushing my skin, plenty of mild exercise (biking and hiking), improving my emotional health, and consuming a diet which eliminated sugar and dairy, and boosted vegetable intake particularly from the Brassica family and leeks, garlic, and onions. I juiced, and made nourishing soups.
I believe that this “side work” I was engaged in helped me to feel in control and of positive mind set. In the end I can honestly say that I “sailed” through the year with only minor issues. Being in harmony with what was happening with my body and mind was key.
Although quite regimented, it was quite a year to say the least. This self care regimen required discipline, will, and commitment. I do not, however, want this article to be about me and details of my process, but instead to offer some basic inspiration to the reader who may have been recently diagnosed, is currently in treatment, other survivors, caretakers, and simply people who wish to minimize their risks of developing a cancer, or catching a problem before it developes into disease.
In April 2012 I was interviewed by Micheal Dronkers of KHUM radio and I will always remember him asking if I felt I had recieved what he termed “random cancer”. I was, after all, a healthy and active 42 year old woman who has limited stress and eats all organic, healthy food. At the time I said that yes, it was sure enough Random Cancer, but after nearly a year of research and intensive self-care I realize that, although I do not blame myself for causing my cancer, I can see how a tumor could have formed. We all have areas for improvement!
My goal is to not let it ever happen again, so I carry my newly learned self-care skills and altered life style forward into my awesome life. I am so happy to be alive and get this chance!
Obviously few of us know how or why our cancer originated and proliferated to the point of disease. Cancer, which is basically just the abnormal growth and proliferation of cells, has been around for centuries (the first documented case was in 1500 B.C. and was depicted by drawings on papyrus of tumors in a breast). It is likely a result of multiple factors, including environmental.
Basically, Prevention is the Cure, and it boils down to self-care. Nourish your body, mind and spirit with positive thinking or a meditation practice, yoga, qi gong, swim, walk, read or write poetry, spend time in nature, pray to your god(s), work with angels, heal relationships, keep powerful emotions such as fear and worry in check, clear clutter from your physical and emotional lives. The list goes on and on because each one of us is different. When we are living in grace and harmony with our path our bodies feel good. That means less cortisol and harmful hormones floating around in our bodies, and better function of all of your organs, among other great benefits. Tumors are formed as a result of stuck qi or energy. We need to lubricate and jiggle, laugh much and breathe deeply to keep the energy flowing in order to not create blockages. There is much to be said here, but for every individual the path will be unique….find yours! Blessings.
A few recent photos.