There are few words that evoke such emotion as the word “cancer.” It can mean different things for different people. For me, my journey to healing looked a lot like listening to my body, putting my health first, and leaning on those around me. Through the peaks and valleys of my journey, the unwavering support of others helped me to write this today.
I never thought that sleepless nights would help diagnose my breast cancer. The insomnia I wrestled with for months leading up to my diagnosis led me to take a DUTCH test: an in-depth functional diagnostic test that looks at adrenal and sex hormones. The answer to my sleep disturbance was clear and easy to fix. However, it was my sex hormone profile that shocked me. I learned that I not only had estrogen dominance but that I was pushing estrogen down a carcinogenic pathway.
With no family history of breast cancer or no personal risk factors, cancer seemed unlikely. But, after seeing my DUTCH results, scheduling a mammogram became my first priority. I went through a series of tests, starting with an initial screening mammogram, a diagnostic mammogram, an ultrasound, and a biopsy. The destination of these tests led to an official diagnosis of the scary “C” word.
The Path to Healing
The lesion was small but the grade was very aggressive. Within days, I was scheduled for surgery. I was fast-tracked to begin radiation only six weeks later. Perhaps the beauty in the struggle that came from my cancer journey was how much my relationships improved, including the one with myself.
I experienced all of the emotions, while I also connected more closely with God, my husband, family, and friends. God is so faithful! My husband, Mel, never relented in his support. He never pressured me, but always encouraged me to keep the ball moving in my treatment. I received endless support from my parents. My best friend and FGHC co-founder, Jamie, took on more administrative responsibilities, allowing me to continue my clinical work while remaining focused on my health. As for my children, Casey and Carlie, we laughed and cried. While processing the news, we leaned into each other more than ever before. I felt so loved!
From a clinical standpoint, I have always known that authentic and healthy relationships are our greatest predictor of health. Now I can say from personal experience that my relationship with God, my family, and my friends turned one of the scariest seasons into one of the greatest gifts I have been given. My prayer is that I never forget or take for granted that which was so freely given to me by my loved ones: time, deep connection, and healthy attachment.
Lessons I Learned
My message to you would be to fully invest in your relationships, especially the relationship you have with yourself. Learn to have self-compassion, forgiveness, and trust! Share vulnerably and transparently with those you love. Don’t be afraid! Remember we are all practicing, never perfecting or performing.
Take advantage of early detection and routine checkups. Like most people, I believed that if I just did ‘A, B & C’, I would never have to worry about cancer and would always enjoy excellent health. This trial taught me that cancer could happen to anyone at any time. I don’t want to forget the lessons God has given me through all of this. For me, prayer, meditation, yoga, and journaling were so important in my healing and continue to be an integral part of my journey to health.
Here for You Through Every Season
My story of healing is unique, but it can be felt by anyone that has had to face a distressing diagnosis and try to find answers to healing. This is why we exist: to guide people, including ourselves, to healing in pursuit of abundant life.
At Faithfully Guided, we take the time to notice the subtle symptoms. We search for the root cause and how that cause affects the function of the whole person – rather than just treating symptoms. After necessary discovery, we design a collaborative approach to restore health and balance. Disease is triggered when balance is lost and ultimately the stress manifests in the form of disease. Our goal is to empower people to enjoy a longer health span.
Whether you are trying to navigate a difficult season or want to embark on a complete health transformation, we’re here to serve you. Please reach out to us so we can connect today.