How did you feel when you first were diagnosed with cancer?
I was very sick with symptoms and overwhelmed with shock when I was first diagnosed with a rare cancer called leiomyosarcoma. I had been dealing with Lyme disease for 5 years and was told that all my symptoms were caused by Lyme, but unfortunately that was not true. I had a 7 inch tumor in my abdomen that was causing serious issues. I think it’s hard for anyone to hear that they have cancer, but I was hit with a cancer I had never heard of, and that made it even more difficult to try to understand what I needed to do to stay alive.
I was told that I had 6 months maybe to live unless they surgically removed the tumor and did radiation and chemo – even though they said that often radiation and chemo don’t work for high-grade Sarcomas. I felt like my life was going to be over quickly and I was in deep grief. Then, I decided that I wanted to live life fully, kick the cancer’s butt, and learn everything that I possibly could about how to beat it!
How did Organic Soup Kitchen’s Soups help or heal you on your cancer journey?
When my friends signed me up to receive deliveries from Organic Soup Kitchen, I was very grateful but then when I had to have more surgeries and cancer treatments it became so important for me to have healthy and easily-digestible food. The variety of soups helped me have a choice to try something new, and I always felt good after finishing the soups. I have to say that it’s not just about the delicious soups – it’s also about the intention behind Organic Soup Kitchen that helps me through this wild and surreal ride of cancer.
When a kind and compassionate person comes to my door every Tuesday to feed me healthy and healing food, and they ask me how I am, and if I need anything. Suddenly, I didn’t feel so alone on this crazy journey. The support and love that has come from every person at Organic Soup Kitchen has been so incredibly inspiring and it gives me hope.
Even on my worst days, when I couldn’t get out of bed, knowing that the soup was right outside my door… it gave me a reason to get up. I really cannot put into words how important it is to feel the support of my community, especially because I live alone and have been physically so challenged.
What inspired you to take actions or steps towards healing?
My great love for all of life has inspired me to take steps towards healing! I have always had a very positive attitude and try to see the good in all situations so when I first got diagnosed, the shock took over and then the major intense surgeries caused pain and disability. I was on pain medications and I was only able to carefully move around, if at all. I became overwhelmed and the shock to my system changed my brain chemistry. I made a conscious choice to only take pharmaceutical drugs when I absolutely had to.
I started eating organically and choosing healthy food at a young age so it was easy at first to follow a strict no sugar, no processed food and low carb diet. Life choices became clearer by me asking the question: “is this good for me?” before I did almost anything. I believe if we slow down and check in with our higher selves, we will find our guidance.
Listening to my inner guidance at first was to only do alternative treatments. I did that the best that I could for 5 months, then the aggressive cancer reoccurred. I then decided to find others who had the same rare cancer that I had who have had long remissions to see how they could inspire me. Seeking help from others who are survivors is the best way to stay hopeful and inspired.
Then, I was inspired to take on alternative with western treatments like chemo and radiation. I never thought that I would do either, but as difficult as they can be to endure, they most certainly have prolonged my life. The physical part of cancer and cancer treatments was tough, but what gets me through it besides my strong will and love for life is my strong spiritual connection.
How has the entire healing process changed your outlook on life?
When I have hit a really tough time, I could only move through it by remembering that I am more than this body and these health issues – and that I had a choice to stay in suffering or go into love and gratitude. Suffering from physical and emotional pain from having a life-threatening illness has been huge part of the awakening for me.
I realize that I can choose, even in the darkest times, to find the bliss in this beautiful life. I also know that after I came so close to death in December that almost dying can be the way to see a tiny sliver of a of enlightenment. I am not enlightened for sure but I was given a glimpse of it! What a gift. I am in awe of all energies and possibilities in this brilliant and magnificent universe.
What advice would you share with others who found themselves battling cancer?
My advice is to say it is a unique journey for each individual who is dealing with cancer. Please be still and listen to your body. Seek out a strong support group. Learn about the cancer you have. Be open to healing modalities and feel what you resonate to. Nourish your body with organic food, move your body even if it’s the last thing you think you can do. Rest and restore.
- Ask for help.
- Learn to receive graciously. People want to genuinely help others.
- Stay connected to a higher power! Pray, meditate and or practice yoga.
- Keep your thoughts in the precious moment and lead with an open heart.
- Love yourself and extend a smile and love to others everyday.
- If you love life keep your hope alive and stay inspired and live in gratitude. There is so much to be grateful for.
Remember: we can create our own healing.