On health and healing

For fifteen minutes, I have written and erased the first line of this entry. It seems there is no perfect opening for what I am going to share. With no better ideas, I’ll just put it right out there…I found out today, (now yesterday, at this publishing) after many months of waiting, that I am cancer free. I have not gone public with this issue until now. The past 15 months of my life have been spent in multiple doctor’s appointments, emergency rooms, specialist after specialist, tests upon tests upon tests. I’ve had enough blood drawn to feed all of Transylvania for the next six months. While I’ve been quiet, save  some close friends and family, about these obstacles, I chose to share the outcome for a few reasons. Never mind the fact that I want to shout it from the rooftops. I wondered for what possible reason I would NOT want to spread this amazing news. I could think of nothing. For the few who have been there, in the background, supporting me in countless ways, you will never know what your 2am kind of friendship has meant to me. (Also, I highly encourage each of you, if you are battling something bigger than yourself…share it.) Pick a select few who will form a tiny army with you. It doesn’t mean you don’t have a hundred people who would be more than willing to do the same, but asking for such support comes at a price to both parties. You are asking for help. Real, no shit, “Be there for me when I’m bawling my eyes out and you can’t understand a word I’m saying”, help. Implicitly, you will keep your army in the loop. Don’t make them worry more than they already are. It’s a two way street. They are stressed, now, too. So, when I chose not to broadcast my health issues to the world, included in that population was a precious bunch of loved ones who would have shown up for me. Know that, it is for these reasons, only, that you are reading this now. The scoop: In the summer of last year, My Colorado doc ordered a blood panel. Yes, I  lived 1200 miles away from my doctor with whom I had a 12 year rapport, and who’d seen me through some serious health issues over the years, namely my heart. I traveled back to her for appointments until she discovered my bloodwork was “not ok.” She said, “You need a hematologist. Don’t put it off.” What ensued was the beginning of a lengthy process of questions leading to more questions. Each follow up appointment led to more highly specialized physicians. There seemed to be no end to the lab work, the studies, the endless date/time slips scattered about my house, dictating my schedule, and the growing stack of diagnostic information when they DID have a name for a result. In general, I have not felt, “sick.” Not in the sense that you need a few days in bed and some chicken soup. My symptoms have included unexplained weight loss (by the way, folks…really, I meant it when I said STOP telling skinny people to eat a cheeseburger.) If one more person had told me to eat, I was prepared to retort with, “Yeah? How about you lay off the doughnuts and then get back to me.” Fortunately, these words have not been spewed at anyone. Yet. So, the weight loss was not always linked to lack of appetite. I can eat 2,000 calories a day or eat nothing but a banana, and it didn’t matter. It’s not always a ‘lucky’ thing to be able to eat anything you want and never gain an ounce. Please, please, remember this when you are tempted to comment on the weight of someone who appears healthy and thin. Skinny-sick carries with it, the added burden of encountering countless, ignorant remarks that can, depending on the day, make you want to cry. And, since you definitely aren’t about to give an explanation, you swallow it, and walk away. It serves as further proof that the isolation and helplessness one feels in the midst of a health crisis is real. As, I diligently showed up for each and every appointment, flippant disregard turned to growing concern among my doctors as they linearly took stock of what lay before them. I was diagnosed with clinical fatigue. I always thought that meant you were just really tired. Hardly. I was losing weight at a rate of about 2lbs per weeks. They had me weigh in wearing the same outfit each time, so as not to throw the scale off by an ounce. They did EKGs and found I have a long QTi. Essentially, this is a measure of the ventricular activity, the rest between the start of the Q wave to the T wave of the heart. “Is it dangerous?” I asked….”Well, YES. It’s the most dangerous acute diagnosis you can have with your heart. LQTS (long QT syndrome) can stop your heart.” What I HEARD was, I should definitely keep an eye on it. The reality is that, if you go into a too prolonged QTi, there is no time for responders to shock your heart and bring you back. It’s hard to keep an eye on that. I tucked this information in with all the rest…I was well past the point of being scared. I just wanted to know what was WRONG WITH ME. Throughout this entire ordeal, I refused to say the word “cancer” until today. I wouldn’t give it another speck of power. And, I asked those with whom I’d shared not to, either. I have condensed into 951 words (according to my screen) what took 15 months to unravel. Wednesday, we traveled 3 hours to the border of Mexico/Texas closer to my assigned oncologist with whom I met yesterday at 2pm. Beforehand, he’d ordered a stat blood panel. I was armed with results of my previous six blood draws, a copy of my eye-raising EKG, and a host of questions. But, once the results were in and I was called back, finally face to face with the doctor I’ve waited to see for so long, I drew a blank and went silent when he settled in to his chair and said, “How can I help you?” Didn’t he know? He had, in front of him, my results. The numbers that would answer the question all my specialists had planted in my head…the numbers that, daily, I refuted, by audibly speaking health over my life and my body. Each day, I said, “I am healthy and whole.” I saw myself as healthy. That became difficult on days when clinical fatigue refused to be ignored. Those days, I had to listen to my body. I took as few as 130 steps one day, a few weeks ago. My Fitbit was about to be tossed into the ocean for alerting me that it was time to move. So, compartmentalized, none of my symptoms were more than a “pink” flag. Together, here’s what they saw: weight loss, head ache induced vomiting, clinical fatigue, low white blood cells, low red blood cells, low lymphocytes, low neutrophils, long QTis, a jump of 60 points in my LDL cholesterol, insomnia, stomach pain, since it’s all out there…my boobs even hurt. No explanation for that, either. Can I get a WTF? Now, what? About 2 weeks ago, I received a call. It was the tip of the funnel. All of my specialists spoke and sounded the alarm, bypassed hematology and sent me directly to oncology. Mind you, throughout the entire 15 months, I would routinely hear, “You know, it might be a good idea to see a hematologist.” After 9 months, that turned to “oncologist.” It is not strength, courage, bravery, nobility or any of that shit that is the underlying cause of me telling you, I was not afraid. Initially? Sure, there was a certain shock value to the recommendation. That was short lived as all that resulted was a sharp and frustrating increase in various specialists that simply ruled out their particular discipline of medicine in my diagnosis and wrote a referral for the next white coat. All the while, I decided to deliberately do every single thing in my power to be helpful to my own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being. Instead of slamming coffee within 10 minutes of waking up, I spent 20 minutes pressing  organic kale, spinach, parsley, carrots, ginger, turmeric, celery, beets, chard, cucumbers…and anything else that looked good at Sprouts that week and drank green juice. It’s such a shot of plant based vitamins on an empty stomach, that I can’t believe I ever did without juicing. No, I don’t do juice fasts. I wish that wasn’t a thing. It’s something I added, not replaced for solid food. Between my food choices and controlling my mental stress to the best of my ability, considering what Western medicine was suggesting, I was determined to beat it. All of it. I literally said, “Fuck every disease trying to attack me.” And, downed my massive jar of green juice, sat and quieted my mind, burned white sage, walked barefoot on the earth, cloud gazed, laughed, refused to sit in the thought of all the crap piling up in the medical “information.” I continued skydiving. I continued hitting a minimum of 10k steps on my fitbit, on the worst of days, excepting the days fatigue prevented much mobility, whatsoever. I share all of this as my OWN experience, and in no way am suggesting you read this article as a piece on medical advice. I do, however, ask you, BEG you, to be your own advocate. If you follow my work, you’ll recall the man I mentioned that was misdiagnosed with cancer. He died 3 months later. He never knew he was totally healthy. His mind was set on cancer and death. We give so little credit to the placebo effect. Yet, this is precisely what killed this man. He believed he was sick. And, then, he was. Placebo studies are carried out in R&D by big pharma on the regular. What we fail to see is possibly the most important part of the study. What about the control group whose symptoms improved? THIS is not a laughable part of the experiment. That a human unknowingly took a sugar pill and had a drastic and positive change in their symptoms is actually one of the most hopeful and beautiful things about the human body, or more, the mind. Our thoughts absolutely impact our health. I say it. I’ve said it. I’ll say it again. Stress is a killer. Dietary illness is a killer. But, we want to fix everything with a pill. I have, in two, 2-gallon zip lock bags, all the prescriptions given me, many of which have such horrendous side effects that, had I taken them all, I may not be here to even write this. Do you know, not once, did a physician ask about my diet, my sun exposure, (yes, this is important…go outside, get sun, slather on some sunscreen if you want, but it’s essential and your doctor won’t tell you this) They never asked about my intake of micronutrients. They didn’t ask about stress levels. They didn’t discuss the scientifically proven benefits of meditation. They, of course, didn’t ask if I prayed or if others were praying for me/sending me good vibes/simply checking in on me. They didn’t inquire about my external support. They didn’t talk about white flour, sugar or any of the prolific ingredients in the American diet that cancer cells MUST have to multiply. They didn’t tell me about the benefits of an alkaline body vs an acidic body and how to attain that in my kitchen. See, if we are dead or healthy, we are not profitable. But, given a synthetic drug to mask symptoms so that we “feel” better…we’re all multi-billion dollar babies. We live in a society that plays on our fears and if you convince someone the quality of their life is at stake, or worse, that their mortality is in question,  they will throw money at anyone in exchange for altering that reality. The autonomic nervous system is something NEVER even mentioned in a doctor’s office. Learn about it. Our body is DESIGNED to regenerate and heal. Not with 13 pills per day. Again, am I suggesting you go throw away your meds and eat more kale? No, of course not. I am asking you to educate yourself, embrace the fact that you have an incredible amount of control over your own health. I truly believe my news to you today would be very different, and very grim, if I accepted as truth, everything I was told I “might” have. That it looked awfully bleak some days? Yes. Yes, it did. Did I stay there? I think I’ve more than answered that. So, when I walked that long, sterile hallway today, under the florescent lights and was met with chilled air and the slight smell of sanitizer…as I sat face to face with my fate…as I swallowed hard and felt my fear that’s been shushed a thousand times, it all came down to the fact that I had done all I could. I do appreciate the good doctors that still exist, that put you at ease, that are not so quick to offer a drug. They are out there. They are rare, and certainly not popular with the pharmaceutical companies. Still, I stand firm on our health being our responsibility, first. Last. And, everything in between. As the oncologist looked at me, he said, “This is going to be the shortest consult ever. Your numbers are fine.” He named the things that had given rise to concern over the past year. He compared those numbers to a blood draw one short month ago. Everything had improved to fall within the normal range. I felt like I’d just ran a marathon. I’m still human. Hearing the confirmation of what I’ve chosen to live by, believe, and the possible prognosis for which I was being prepared elicited an emotional response. It. Was. Over. But, not in the way “they’d” told me. Refuse to accept whatever it is in your life that you find unacceptable. Every story doesn’t end this way. And, before I get any hate mail, I have lost family members, myself, that followed the system to a “T” and never questioned anything, anyone, or, themselves. What is the worst that will happen if you choose not to internalize the BS you are being fed? What if you decide, everyday, that your mind is your greatest medicine and your thoughts either feed or starve your disease? What if? What if you have no prognosis, and aren’t even under a doctor’s care…how much better could you feel if you harnessed the power of the mind telling the body what to do? I have watched people give up. I have watched them fight. The outcome was more predictable than not. If you pray, pray. With all you have, and ask for others to pray for you. There is something powerful beyond words when we operate as one, think as one in manifesting outcomes. I am typically refuted by those who haven’t tried it. Just as I’m told how dangerous skydiving is by those who have never jumped out of a plane. Don’t take anyone’s word for your life. Speak health. Speak abundance. Speak peace and healing. Speak grace and love. If you don’t like the results you can always go back to speaking the worst possible outcomes. I want to live in a healthier world, just like you. I want to be a healthier me, in that world. And, I want you to be at your optimal health, as well. The past 15 months, leading up to this day, is my authentic experience. I speak health, abundance, grace and love over each of you. PS. I don’t have cancer. Peace, Warriors.

14 Comments

  1. I love this news and adore you so much even though we have never actually met! Sounds like we will have that opportunity, congrats!! Now go ENJOY a cheeseburger or sushi or whatever!!
    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very good. So glad you are cancer-free. She Who Must Be Obeyed got the “all clear” from her oncologist a few months ago (only after we bugged the shit out of all the doctors concerned). So we know first-hand about the ups and downs that go with a cancer diagnosis. I don’t know what it is with the medical community that prevents them from being straight with their patients without the threat of an angry spouse demanding a mountain of skulls to get information.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This made my day! I get (or, rather, DON’T get) the ridiculous secrecy on behalf of our own health! So frustrating! But, that’s wonderful news that she has a new lease on life. Blessings.

      Like

  3. I don’t have the words to say how much I loved this. “Fuck every disease trying to attack me.” This is my new mantra. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this. You may have given me hope, but you have definitely given me attitude. That might be the best thing I could have been given.

    Many and sincere thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Mine are autoimmune. For too long, I have not been doing my best to manage the disease. This “Fuck every disease trying to attack me” was exactly what I needed to hear to not be complacent anymore.

        Love and healing light right back at you.

        Liked by 1 person

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