No evidence of disease
I used conventional and non-conventional treatments at the same time to overcome my challenge.
Biopsy or Pathology Report
Diet Change, Herbs & Supplements, Increasing Positive Emotions, Releasing Suppressed Emotions, Deepening Your Spiritual Connection
Energy Healing (e.g., acupuncture, reiki, kinesiology, etc), Exercise
Diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer on 1/6/14 including two tumors (one about 4cm) in my breast as well as in lymph nodes. Underwent chemo (4 different drugs) and then surgery. Post surgical results on 7/1/14 found a complete response and no sign of cancer. I believe these treatments contributed but I don't believe they explain my complete response as it was was fairly extreme and according to doctors fairly unusual.
I believe my healing was due in part creating and maintaining a positive attitude and in addressing a spiritual void in my life. I set ground rules of not becoming a victim and not creating drama. I stayed active physically and I worked every day. Work gave me purpose and meaning.
Spiritual Growth was very important to me through this time. By chance I was landed in the Amazon only a week after my diagnosis and the indigenous tribe there gifted me with spiritual guidance. During a ceremony in the Amazon, I let go of past pain and anger, anguish and resentment, in a way that I have never done. I found myself letting go of emotions so fully that I was at peace like never before. After the ceremony, I felt only love and gratitude and a remarkable sense of peace and calm.After returning home I meditated and practiced qigong to build a spiritual practice. I felt and meditated on gratitude and felt it so deeply everyday. That transformed my treatment months into a sacred time. Rather than suffering, I found myself feeling whole and grateful.
While I'd had a good diet before diagnosis, it was supplemented by daily servings of fresh green juice.
Update as of April 2020:
I continue to build my meditation practise and have added a regular compassion practice (known as Loving-kindness or metta in Buddhism) and attend meditation retreats as my work schedule allows. Additionally, I still maintain a very healthy diet - high in whole, organic vegetables and low in sugar - and remain physically and intellectually active. I'd also note that I continue to expand upon the pain management techniques I started learning with my treatment - mainly the double mastectomy where I chose not to have any pain meds (during or after surgery). I'd practiced those techniques with the chemo and so didn't need the pain meds during recovery from surgery...with the exception of the two Tylenol I took when I got back on my bike 2 weeks after the surgery (yes, with my Dr's approval). I've had a couple of injuries since (normal sports stuff) and have weathered them more easily due to what I learned. I continue to learn more about this and how to apply it to different situations for both physical and emotional pain.
I continue to live as much as possible: rock climbing, traveling, learning new skills. I have little patience for putting things off or making excuses. If there's something/somewhere that draws my interest, I take action and pursue it. I've also served as a mentor to several other breast cancer patients and found additional growth and learning through those experiences.
EDITOR'S NOTE: As of May 2022 Barb continues to thrive in health. Here is an update from her:
I remain physically active and am looking forward to a summer of climbing, backpacking, hiking, and bicycling. I had an injury last summer (while saving a drunk driver from drowning) that required several diagnostic scans. Besides the injury, no irregularities were seen. So, I'm confident that I'm still cancer free. I continue to work on my personal and spiritual growth, and find purpose and meaning in my work. Compassion practice continues to challenge me as I dive deeper into uncover areas where I might improve. I lost one of my friends to metastatic breast cancer last summer, and a second friend is currently facing that challenge. Both of these remarkable women have taught me so much about compassion, love, and life. Watching these two, I continue to believe that facing cancer is a sacred path, but I guess I believe all of life's challenges can be, as any difficulty is an opportunity to pay attention to what is most important. Gratitude still plays an important role in my life. I don't take any day for granted. Each morning I am grateful for another day and am grateful for all of the experiences that come my way (easy or hard as they may be).
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