Can’t We All Just Get Along
Recently I learned the new MD I hired had fired me, which sent me into a tailspin as I sat in the parking lot at my yoga studio. I’ve been on the hunt for the right Primary Care Physician willing to work in conjunction with my Naturopathic Oncologist since the beginning of the year and thought my search was over. After a couple of weeks, the office informed me that they would not take me on as a patient due to my Risk Assessing Thermal Imaging (advanced thermography) results (even though MDs do not get trained in this area) for a lump I found in my breast. They recommended I seek out traditional care, believe oncology is a vital resource and state there are some things traditional medicine is more equipped to handle than my natural approach. The rejection email triggered my fear of survival: am I going to die? Am I making the wrong choices? Should I be acting faster and more aggressively?
The Risk Assessing Thermal Imaging was my first step to gaining an understanding of what’s going on in my body. The report did not point to the almond sized lump in my breast as being cancer. That doesn’t mean I’m done investigating this uninvited and curious invader. I’ve gotten three opinions of the report, and blood work will happen as soon as I have an MD to write my labs. The results will dictate my next move. After two years of being in our healthcare system, I now know I can get labs run at any time, without a prescription and know exactly what I’ll pay–no surprises. But if I have a prescription from an MD, the same labs would be covered by insurance. My January labs cost me $550 at www.walkinlab.com since I did not have a Primary Care Physician who would order and stand behind the labs requested by my Naturopathic Oncologist who does not write prescriptions. If you think this seems more complicated than it should be, I would agree.
Yoga Mat Revelations
My eyes started watering as I walked into the lobby of my yoga studio. My yoga teacher told me I was in the right place, to stay, take my time, and she’d set up my mat for me so I could come in when I was ready. I sobbed on and off throughout class processing why I even cared about this rejection. I realized, most of my upset stemmed from me making the email mean that I was choosing the wrong path and the doctors thought I was in terrible shape. When in reality, no one said this. They only stated they believed in oncology, which seems fair as that’s how they’ve been trained. After releasing the story I created around this email, I shifted gears and was able to examine my thoughts on death. As I sunk deeply into child’s pose and regained a sense of clarity, peace rushed over me: I am not afraid to die the way I was a couple of years ago. It’s taken me time and reflection to understand that my biggest fear when the doctors diagnosed me with cancer was that I might die without leaving anything worthwhile behind. No sweet kids, no amazing husband, no notable contribution to the world. It’s the: will anyone be at my funeral fear? What have I done here that’s of any importance?
Pre-cancer I was self-absorbed due to insecurity. I was anxious from constant worrying about what people thought of me. I lived a large part of my life attempting to please friends, family, and loved ones, and ignored my inner voice, passions, and desires. I was depressed from not living authentically and following my heart. I saw myself through the eyes of people who weren’t happy with their lives. The grave consequence was an utter lack of belief in myself. While I desperately tried seeking happiness through any and all wellness modalities available to me, I was stuck on obtaining my version of the white picket fence and kept attempting to derive my happiness from external measures. During this time, I suffered greatly and numbed my pain with food, alcohol, and drugs.
When the cancer diagnosis became my reality, I had a choice to let it overcome me or allow it to transform me. When I started sharing my story, I had no idea the impact it would have on people, or the impact people’s responses would have on me. The love, support, and encouragement I received from all of you helped me to start believing in myself, gain the confidence I didn’t have and overcome many of the issues that ailed me. I have learned to have more compassion for myself and others. This journey has transformed my life in the most beautiful and unexpected ways. I still battle my demons and experience dark times, but on the other side of my internal wars, I have faith that I am in service to something much bigger than myself and must forge ahead with my path as I see it.
It’s inconceivable to me that cancer could grow in my body and do not think it is, but I cannot ignore this odd lump that formed in the same breast where cancer so sneakily showed up two years ago. I am in the process of interviewing more MDs in the hopes of finding one who is genuinely interested in whole body healing, is open-minded and wants to work collaboratively. If all goes as planned, I’ll have a new doc and labs this week. No matter what happens with my upcoming appointments or how many times I fall, feel defeated or scared, I seem to get back on track only to find more grace, breaths, and support available to me than were there before. It is time for me to trust myself, the team I have chosen and my belief that the body is meant to heal when given the right tools.