By Natalie Palmer, Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief of The Pink Paper
My story begins with a quote by Abraham Lincoln, with whom I share a birthday: “Whatever you are, be a good one.” Many years ago this became the mission statement of my life and remains so to this day. I was a person with metastatic cancer who made a promise to be the best person with cancer I could possibly be…I was determined to “Be a good one.”
My story began with a large lump in my right breast, which after a mammogram and ultrasound I was told was ”nothing.” Well, this “nothing” hurt like hell, waking me at night. The pain was comforting because Iʼd read somewhere that breast cancer didnʼt hurt, so I had nothing to worry about, right? Wrong! It was cancer.
My reaction, like many peopleʼs, was one of disbelief, sadness, fear, anger and a supreme sense of betrayal; my response was one of grief. I felt sad about what at the time I thought was my imminent death – snubbed out in the prime of life. I was mad at God and the world for this injustice. Hadnʼt I been a good person?! I was scared out of my wits and felt betrayed by my body.
A million miracles both big and small happened before and during my cancer diagnosis. The right people were placed in my life at the right time over and over again. The right decisions were ultimately made, even if at first they appeared to be the wrong decisions. One example occurred when I visited my primary care provider for my annual exam. She didnʼt like the “nothing” lump, so I agreed to get another mammogram at a different imagining center.
The radiologist reading this mammogram was excellent; in the new mammogram, the docs discovered something was amiss that warranted further investigating…and they were right.
My next miracle occurred during a shower a week after my diagnosis. I was sobbing uncontrollably, doubled over, my whole being in pain, when suddenly the most incredible feeling of pure peace, unconditional love, and calmness washed over me, and a voice said, “You will be okay.” It was amazing, and just like that my pain was gone. The sense was one of the most awesome experiences of total love, acceptance and peace I have ever known.
A week later at 4:30 AM, the same voice, accompanied by a similar sense of supreme love and well being, said, “Embrace the cancer as a gift from God.”
This is how my journey back to myself, back to health, and back to well-being began … in a way Iʼd never imagined. From that point on I became “a good one” – a good person with cancer, the best I could be. I developed an attitude of thankfulness. I embraced a vegan lifestyle, took supplements, juiced and drank healing teas. I meditated daily with Bernie Siegel, Marianne Williamson and others. I focused on hope and completely felt the depths of my emotions. I let go, forgave others, and most importantly forgave myself. I loved. I laughed. I connected with nature. My life became a prayer. Using a truly integrative approach to cancer, I became what we refer to as a “thriver,” and the miracles continue.
My spirit guides, voices, angels, God – whatever you choose to call them – continue to be a welcome presence in my life during both times of stress and great joy. The biggest miracle has been my ongoing transformation to being,” A good one”…without cancer. So remember, “Whatever you are, be a good one.”
What you just read was my story as it appeared in Dr. Bernie Siegelʼs latest book, “A Book of Miracles.” As it turns out my story is far from over. I am now heading into my eighth cancer- free year. Hallelujah! One of the most exciting things thatʼs happened is my involvement with The Pink Paper magazine. My partner, Roy Gardner, Jr. thought of the idea for a magazine with a unique focus. His mission was to look at health, healing and breast cancer from the Medical, Holistic and Spiritual perspectives, to help others on their journey. Roy, as a registered nurse, my cancer caregiver and a caregiver to many, remembered the difficulty we had 8 years ago finding any upbeat cancer and healing information we wanted in one easily accessible place. So, in January of 2012 I quit my job in the mental health field to work full time on creating what is now The Pink Paper – a magazine for women of strength and spirit. Our intent is to provide an oasis of comfort, hope and healing for as many readers as possible with our beautifully designed and empowering magazine full of information and inspiration. The departments in The Pink Paper include: Story Share, Mindful Eating, Move More, Sex & Intimacy, Looking Good, Pink Politics and Sunny Wisdom. We offer something for everyone, all presented in a positive, upbeat and hopeful way.
The response to the magazine from thrivers, family members and professionals has been overwhelmingly positive. Weʼve connected with so many incredible people and have had the honor of hearing many inspirational stories of strength and courage.We are truly blessed.
Weʼd be honored if youʼd connect with us on our website at www.thepinkpaper.com or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/thePinkPaper
- Speaking of Cancer… (healingthegirlwithin.wordpress.com)