2 Ways to Soothe an Anxious Mind and a Tired Body During Breast Cancer Diagnosis or Treatment

Breast Cancer Stress Relief For Anxiety With Tea & BreathingIf you are in any phase of a breast cancer diagnosis or treatment; now would be a great time to plan for some self help. Simple, yet profound ways to soothe an anxious mind and a tired body may be as easy as:

  • All you need is time (which you MUST take)
  • Find a quiet place (maybe in nature) and
  • Enjoy a nice warm cup of medicinal calming tea (Calm Tea)
  • Create some quiet time so you can breathe consciously

When stress hormones spike due to any anxiety – yes, you can do something. Make yourself a  cup of Calm Tea, sit quietly and “Breathe with Purpose”. This will create inner calm and quiet. We know that chemical imbalances occur from treatments and other daily stresses. Toxins are also absorbed during treatments. Even in our home or work environment, toxins are contributing to our stress.

It is important to get our “mind” back: back in focus.  There is nothing worse than feeling anxious all the time. It only creates more worry.  All we want is to feel balanced and calm. These two functions are essential for overall health. Breathing consciously and with awareness will bring your mind under control and into the moment. This is where it belongs.

Calm is the Key – Love is the answer. Being calm is such an amazing feeling but you must love yourself enough to set an intention to experience it. I know it is hard to begin but begin you must, and once armed with the right tools there should be no stopping you. All you need is time (which you MUST take), a quiet place (maybe in nature) and a nice warm cup of medicinal calming tea. Your body and mind will instinctually know it is needed and respond in kind. Ultimately, once you practiced this delightful combination of tea time, breath work and “you” time the results will speak for themselves. But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself and start today. Remember you deserve this!

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Labyrinth’s for Physical and Emotional Healing

Labyrinth’s for Physical and Emotional Breast Cancer HealingBy: Dr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer and a licensed psychologist,

During my journey with breast cancer treatment I found a very powerful symbol of healing in the Labyrinth. The labyrinth is an ancient symbol that has managed to stay present into the 21st Century. If we can tap into the labyrinth’s significance we can use it on a regular basis as part of our healing. This blog is about finding solace as well as empowerment by taking a walk, a walk to the center and back.

Breast cancer is a journey. It is not a journey that we have chosen, but a journey that is here and it is important to find ways to cope with it, manage it, and come out the other side of it thriving as humans.

As Dr. Lauren Artress says in her book, WALKING A SACRED PATH , “Walking the Labyrinth has re-­‐emerged today as a metaphor for the spiritual journey and a powerful tool for transformation. This walking meditation is an archetype, a mystical ritual found in all religious traditions. It quiets the mind and opens the soul, evoking a feeling of wholeness.”

Transformation is the process of evolving from what is to something different. It often appears to happen all of a sudden, but in reality transformation is an extended process over time. Words that come to mind when I think of transformation are words like evolution and metamorphous.

Psychotherapy is a conduit for change. Spirituality is a path of change. They both have elements of relationship and together they are a lifestyle of daily transformation for self and for other.

As a person who has experienced breast cancer our life lessons parallel that of a Hero/Heroine’s journey. The Hero’s journey is that which requires that we master the unknown, overcome dangers, and defeat obstacles as we move toward the healing challis, the prized object of our journey. A Labyrinth walk mimics that of the Hero’s journey. The Hero or Heroine enters the journey to find the precious “challis.” Once the precious challis is obtained the question becomes “Now what?” The hero or heroine must make it back out to the world with the challis to bring the power of healing to others.

Take this virtual labyrinth walk

Click on labyrinth to take a virtual labyrinth walk

As people coping with breast cancer in all of its many phases of pre and post treatment, where mortality has broken the illusion of immortality the simple but influential process of putting one foot in front of the other is an amazing feat. As a people who have experienced breast cancer, life as we know it has come to an end and now the process or recreating a new one is an ongoing journey. Walk in for your inner world of peace walk out for peace for every person experiencing a potentially terminal illness, and especially kindred spirits with breast cancer. If you cannot find a labyrinth near you to walk, take this virtual walk at The Labyrinth Society.

I hope you have found this an interesting start to your emotional and spiritual health as a hero/heroine on your journey.

You can follow me at https://www.facebook.com/inamomentsnotice Or visit me on my web-­‐page www.psychotherapyunlimited.com

Enjoy the moment. Dr. Dilley

Dr. Robin DilleyDr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.

Dry Brush & Pink Salt Bath For Breast Cancer Lymphedema

By Diana Ross, E-RYT 500 Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga.

Relaxation and detoxification of your body with a therapeutic bath is a complementary therapy that anyone can perform in the comfort of their own home. If in a cancer related weakened state please have friend or family member close by during and after a therapeutic Pink Salt bath and dry brush body massage.

A detox bath is thought to assist your body in eliminating toxins as well as absorbing the minerals and nutrients that are in the water. Most of all, it’ll leave you feeling refreshed and awakened. Dry skin brushing increases circulation to skin, encouraging your body’s discharge of metabolic wastes, which greatly aids the lymphatic drainage of the entire body. When the body rids itself of toxins, it is able to run more efficiently in all areas.

Relax & Detox Bath Instructions

  1. Schedule time for yourself
  2. Fill tub with hot water
  3. Add 4-6 ounces of “Pink Salt” aka Himalayan Salt
  4. Mix bath water gently with hand
  5. Enter bath and soak for at least 20 minute however 40 is recommended
  6. Be sure to drink plenty of water after a “Pink Salt” bath to rehydrate the healthy relaxed cells

After Bath Care
Be sure to stand up with care, baths can make person feel dizzy or lightheaded. Have a towel ready and use a dry brush to brush/rub the body down and help stimulate the lymphatic system.

Dry brushing stimulates the skin and circulates lymph fluid which is vital for overall health. The skin is the largest organ in the body and is responsible for a quarter of the body’s detoxification. The ability of the skin to excrete toxins is of paramount importance. Dry skin brushing helps to shed dead skin cells, which improves skin texture and cell renewal.

How To Use A Dry Brush For Breast Cancer & Lymphedema

  1. Dry Brush your entire body before you shower, preferably in the morning or before bed. This helps loosen and remove dead skin and uric acid crystals.
  2. Start at the soles of your feet doing circular movements, then brush upwards on your legs toward your heart. Use long, even strokes.
  3. Brush all the way up your legs, scooping forward from behind your hips to your tummy. If you have cellulite on your hips and thighs, concentrate their a little longer.
  4. Then begin circular movements over your tummy. Start with up on right and down on left, simulating the natural movement of the bowels.
  5. Be kind in the thin sensitive skin areas of inner arm, arm pits or tops of hands and not directly on breasts. Avoid brushing anywhere the skin is broken or where you have a rash, infection, cut or wound.
  6. When ready, start the shower with warm water and end briefly with cold. Let the cold water start at your legs then the heart is last. This hot/cold therapy further stimulates the lymphatic system which improves overall circulation.
  7. Dry off vigorously and massage pure plant oils into your skin or spray on Simply Lavender. You may want your skin to breathe for a while too. Enjoy this process of good health and detoxification.

Dry skin brushing increases circulation to skin, encouraging your body’s discharge of metabolic wastes, which greatly aids the lymphatic drainage of the entire body. When the body rids itself of toxins, it is able to run more efficiently in all areas. Dry skin brushing stimulates the lymph canals to drain toxic mucoid matter into the colon, thereby purifying the entire system. This enables the lymph to perform its house-cleaning duties by keeping the blood and other vital tissues detoxified.

Visit Breast Cancer Yoga To Purchase Dry Brush

 

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross: E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Krishna Dish|Anti Cancer Recipe

Krishna Dish | Anti CancerBy Diana Ross, Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga

This is an old time favorite in my home. It is actually addictive it is so good. And – it is so easy and quick to make. The ingredients are great for supporting good health and have anti cancer properties.  You can also be creative and add your own favorite veggies.  It is so good you can eat it warmed up or cold. Just add some pink salt and enjoy.
Krishna Dish Ingredients
Ingredients:
2 tbsp. cooking oil
1 green pepper – chopped
1 red pepper – chopped
1 orange pepper – chopped
1 medium onion – chopped
1 head of broccoli – cut into small florets
6/8 shiitake mushrooms – sliced
1/3 cup of walnuts, cashews or almonds – pieces
1/3 cup raisins, cranberries or dried cherries
1/2 pound of macaroni, medium shells or small penne
Krishna Dish Mushrooms and Onions
Seasons:
2 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. pink salt
2 tbsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Brown mushrooms with onions, then add chopped peppers, broccoli, dried  fruit and nuts.
  2. Prepare your macaroni.
  3. Add all together with spices.

Done! Easy! Delicious!

Serve with a tasty salad. You are going to love it….I hope.

Diana Ross
September 29, 2013

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Drink Tea, and Breathe for Breast Cancer Support

Drinking Tea and BreathingBy Diana Ross, E-RYT 500, CYT & Certified TriYoga

Two simple, yet profound ways to Soothe an Anxious Mind and a tired body. If you are in any phase of a breast cancer  diagnosis or treatment; now would be a great time to plan  for some self help. It may be as easy as drinking Calm Tea,  some quiet time so you can breathe consciously. When stress hormones spike due to any anxiety – yes, you can do something. Make yourself a  cup of Calm Tea, sit quietly and Breathe with Purpose. This will create inner calm and quiet. We know that chemical imbalances occur from treatments and other daily stresses. Toxins are also absorbed during treatments. Even in our home or work environment, toxins are contributing to our stress.

It is important to get our “mind” back: back in focus.  There is nothing worse than feeling anxious all the time. It only creates more worry.  All we want is to feel balanced and calm. These two functions are essential for overall health. Breathing consciously and with awareness will bring your mind under control and into the moment. This is where it belongs.

Calm is the Key – Love is the answer.

Being calm is such an amazing feeling but you must love yourself enough to set an intention to experience it. I know it is hard to begin but begin you must, and once armed with the right tools there should be no stopping you. All you need is time (which you MUST take), a quiet place (maybe in nature) and a nice warm cup of medicinal calming tea. Your body and mind will instinctually know it is needed and respond in kind. Ultimately, once you practiced this delightful combination of tea time, breath work and “you” time the results will speak for themselves. But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself and start today. Remember you deserve this!

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

When Given A Choice – Take Both (Part One)

When Given A Choice Have Your CakeBy Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos Author of Surviving Cancerland

“Our body is a machine for living.  It is organized for that, it is its nature.  Let life go on in it unhindered and let it defend itself, it will do more than if you paralyze it by encumbering it with remedies.”  ~Leo Tolstoy

It is time to stop ignoring ourselves! What I seek to present in this article is an alternative to ignoring our intuition in favor of science or ignoring science in favor of intuition.  Why limit ourselves with one when we can use both to our advantage?

Don’t be a victim of circumstances.

The best way to survive any crisis is to:
·                  mix intuitional and scientific information and then
·                  cross-check them against each other for answers that are indisputably correct.

Listen, then verify. Believe but validate. By respecting both of these modalities in life, we double our chances of finding correct answers.
It is time to stop ignoring ourselves, discover our voice and speak our truth. Every challenge we overcame creates a new part of our inner voice/personality.

In order to effectively battle crisis we must:
·                  get in touch with our inner selves and
·                  work together toward the goal of survival by using everything available to us.

By searching within ourselves through:
·                  dreams,
·                  meditation,
·                  or prayer,
we will find our own set of answers to any challenge.

When faced with crisis many of us are engulfed by fear of the unknown. When my intuitive suspicion of breast cancer was medically confirmed, I considered suicide as a means of freeing myself from a painful uncertainty. I wanted to avoid the gruesome death Mom had suffered from cancer sixteen months earlier. Before I had time to fully grieve for Mom, I was grieving for myself.

Unfortunately, when facing crisis, many of us forget that we are armed with lessons learned throughout life.

In order to be successful:
·                  Our inner selves must become reunited in the goal to survive.
·                  Everyone battling any life-threatening crisis has his or her own set of questions concerning treatment and survival.
Questions concerning intuition often remain unanswered by the medical field and conventional society. Spiritual guides, angels, intuition, gut instincts, call them what you will, “voices” and dreams have gotten a bad rap in society. Just ask Joan of Arc.  Her voices were a double-edged sword that led to victory in battle and then to the stake as a witch. Yet, dreams saved my life.  Without the intervention of my inner-voices, I believe I would be dead, and this article would be a buried idea.

Join me again for Part 2 of this article when I discuss the rules to a prosperous life and guardian angels as described by Padre Pio In his book Send Me Your Guardian Angel.
This article is a compilation of context taken from the book SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Intuitive Aspects of Healing by Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos.

Kathleen O’Keefe-KanavosAbout the author- Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos is an author, inspirational speaker, Radio Host, and three-time breast cancer survivor who penned SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Intuitive Aspects of Healing http://www.survivingcancerland.com/    http://accessyourinnerguide.com/  She is represented by  Steve Allen Media and is part of WakeUpWomen www.wakeupwomen.com

Do You Know What Chemicals Are Stored In The Breast?

Breast Cancer Toxin ChemicalsBy Rika Keck: Certified in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition & Holistic Life Coach

“Healthy Breasts”:Do you know what chemicals are stored in your breast tissue?

The renewed interest of the effect of environmental toxins on health at DNA level is terrific news. It is time to firmly increase awareness of the health implications, esp. cancer (and infertility), related to environmental toxins.
Detoxification is not a ‘Juice Cleanse’; it requires a much more comprehensive approach addressing lung, liver, kidney, skin and colon detoxification pathways. Specific nutrients, not drugs, are used in conjunction with this process and I also find that homeopathic which support drainage, moderated exercise and colonics are a great support in this transformative process.

Testing  For ToxinsTesting for chemical toxicity can have its challenges, why?

  • Toxins are not stored in the blood, thus they are hard to investigate in the blood.
  • If you have silver fillings, your blood levels might be low, yet you are storing mercury in your tissues, and organs.
  • Some toxins are stored primarily in fatty tissue. This is a large factor why some individuals cannot lose weight despite calorie restriction and exercise. The toxins must be mobilized and bound for elimination Mineral deficiencies will inhibit detoxification of metals and chemicals.
  • Only specific labs can do the testing. These are most often not covered by insurance.
  • Conventional medicine does not recognize the impact and dangers associated with environmental toxicity.
  • There is a strong link between environmental toxins and cancers. Toxins are stored in organs and tissues. Sluggish lymphatic flow is a hindrance regarding detoxification capacity. Tight clothing and bras (esp. in the armpit area) diminish lymphatic flow in the breast area.

Pesticides Cause Breast CancerWhy is it important to test your chemical exposure?

  1. Toxic chemicals can disrupt our hormonal balance and this can have implications especially regarding our thyroid and breast tissue health. A lot of toxins are stored in the thyroid, which is really a filter as the blood continuously passes through the thyroid, just as it does through the liver. Toxic chemicals include Fluoride, chlorine, bromine and others settle in the thyroid and they can inhibit optimal thyroid function.
  2. Fibrocystic breasts can be indicative of toxic overload. A need for an iodine supplement would be helpful in combination with lymphatic drainage and detoxification. I would not recommend the common ‘wait and see’ approach. I would want to change direction to restore non-­dense breast tissue.

Regarding chemicals and your hormones: Certain chemicals mimic estrogen. We call them ‘xeno-­‐estrogens’ as they behave like estrogen but are actually harmful chemicals. They are also known as ‘endocrine-­‐disruptors’. This affects babies, children, men and women. The ‘dangerous’ estrogen is implicated in various disease and hormonal imbalance conditions if it is out of balance.
Prevent recurrences of certain cancers, which are linked to chemical toxic exposure such as breast, uterine and prostate tissue. This particularly affects reproductive tissues such as breast, ovarian and prostate tissue.

household-chemicals
What are common concerns for breast health?

  • Airborne chemical exposures e.g. hair sprays, perfumes, cigarette smoke.
  • Fabric cleaners, new carpets, dry-­‐cleaned clothes
  • Personal care products including parabens, ‘estrogen-­‐like’ hormones, 
shampoo, make-­‐up, deodorant, toothpaste
  • Plastic containers, esp. if put in the microwave (AVOID)
  • Commercial household cleaning products
  • Materials used in teeth restoration, root canals, crowns
  • Water: tap water, water in cheap plastic bottles

How can you find out what toxic load is in your body (and breasts)?

1) The EPP Test: (US BioTek) 
This is the “Environmental Pollutants Panel” test from US Bio Tek and it is very affordable esp. in view of the most valuable health information you receive. It will change your health (and life). 
This is a great and simple test to assess urinary metabolites connected to phthalates, benzene, styrene, toluene and more environmental toxins related to paints, furniture, air fresheners in offices, fragrances, car exhausts, plastics, polystyrene food containers and cups, cosmetics.

2) Urinary Metabolic Profile Test: (US BioTek) A simple Urine Collection Strip for over 36 metabolites!
This test is cutting edge and eliminates the need to freeze or refrigerate urine samples (used during Iraq/Afghanistan war – cutting edge technology to prevent spoilage of samples).

These tests are a must for any condition associated with Cancer, chronic fatigue, mental health concerns as it affects neurotransmitters, fibromyalgia, mold and or/chronic co-­‐infections related to Lyme’s, sleeping disorders, skin conditions and other chronic health conditions.

If you are having health challenges that you cannot get id rid of, consider the above testing. Both tests are affordable and will provide some missing pieces to the health challenges.

Rika_KechAbout Rika Keck: Find Rika at NYIntegratedHealth.com
 . Rika specializes in Nutrition, Fitness and  Women’s Wellness. Rika is Certified in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, also a CMTA Speaker, Corporate Wellness Consultant and Holistic Life Coach.

Vegan Spinach Salad Recipe For Breast Cancer

Spinach is one of the healthiest foods we can eat. To support a plant based diet for breast cancer prevention we offer vegan recipes once a week for Meatless Monday. We ask you to support your local organic farmer when you purchase the ingredients for this recipe. Enjoy!

Spinach Salad

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Bag Organic Baby Spinach Rinsed

2 Organic Plum Tomatoes Cut Into Wedges

1/2 Avocado Cubed

1/2 Cup Organic Broccoli Florettes

1/2 Cup Organic Cauliflower Florettes

Handful of Sliced Mushrooms

1/4 Cup Drained Mandarin Orange Sections

Tosh in Your Favorite Nut ( Walnut,Pine Nut,etc…)

spinach salad

DRESSING

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinigar

1/2 Tablespoon Frontier Organic Garlic Powder

1/2 Tablespoon Dulse Flakes

1 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt

1 Teaspoon Kelp & Cheyenne Seasoning

Breast Cancer Yoga supports healthy lifestyle choices such as a plant based diet and regular exercise for breast cancer prevention. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Diana, Dawn & Desiree

Breast Cancer Yoga

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Growing Your Own Hands

Robin Dilley Grow Your Own HandsBy Robin B. Dilley PhD

This is the first in a series of four on Growing Your Own Hands after the diagnosis of Breast Cancer. You can find a version of this story at http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm031.htm
One of my favorite stories to use as a psychologist is the story of the Miller’s Daughter. This story resonates in so many ways with those facing breast cancer and other life threatening situations. This story echoes the many multi layers of emotion throughout the journey with breast cancer, especially that emotion where it is normal to feel as if our bodies betrayed us. The story is an old Grimm’s fairy tale and it goes like this: A miller came upon hard times. He was approached in the forest by a strange character and was told, “If you give me what is behind the mill right this moment, I will make you a rich man.” The miller thought to himself, “There is nothing behind the mill except an old apple tree”, so the Miller agreed. But, to his surprise, it was his daughter that was behind the mill.
So, when the time came, a struggle ensued between the strange character and the miller’s daughter. The daughter used spiritual symbols of that era to protect herself. She drew a circle around herself and the strange character could not pass through the boundary of the circle to acquire his prized possession. Finally, the strange character said to the miller, “Look I am going to take back all of your riches that I have given you unless you cut off your daughter’s hands.” The miller, being a selfish man, did just that.
The miller then turns to his daughter and says, “With my riches, I will build you a castle and take care of you in every lavish way.”
The daughter responded, “No thank you. I will go out into the world and trust the goodness of others.” And so her mother bound her daughter’s handless arms and she left her father’s house for a journey she chose after a traumatic event happened to her. Life as she knew it had came to an end.

  • A struggle ensues.
  • Things are not always as we think they are.
  • We have to rely on our inner resources .
  • And develop spiritual connections.
  • Life as you know it has come to an end.

Over the next seven years, the daughter grew her own hands. When facing all of the struggles of treatment, fears of death, and the constant roller-coaster of emotions that sometimes drown us, there is still that place deep down inside of us that we can access and move forward to write the next chapters of our lives. And by doing so, we grow our own hands again in ways that we never have could imagined.
Once we receive the diagnosis with breast cancer, our emotions go into shock and we are faced with very important life-changing choices. It is important at this time to rely on the goodness of others and build a support system. Ideally, one of those people should be a “research director” who can take the information from the pathology report that gives you the map the oncologist and radiologist will be using to offer you the best treatment options available to you at this time.
Your path report will tell you what type of breast cancer, what stage, what grade, etc. Each one of those foreign words can be researched online to help you better understand what you are facing. By having a good research director on board, s/he can forward you information worth looking at and discard the hundreds of articles that you do not need to know at this time.
From there, create a list of questions for your oncologist and radiologist. There are no stupid questions. And in the emotional turmoil that you are in, you may need to ask the same question over and over until you understand the ramifications of what you are about to go through. It is important to feel that you have choices and that you are a vital part of your own treatment team. There are many oncologists out there, so give yourself permission to shop around if you don’t like the responses you are getting from yours. You may not be able to control the fact that you now have breast cancer, but you can make lots of decisions along the way.
Blogger: Robin B. Dilley PhD

Be A Good One

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.Screen_Shot_2013-06-05_at_7.43.02_AM
Weʼd be honored if youʼd connect with us on our website at www.thepinkpaper.com or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/thePinkPaper

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