Diagnosed with cancer I, like many other cancer patients, was thrown into the dizzying world of doctors, hospitals, MRIs, biopsies, surgery, chemo and radiation at a terrifying pace. I am grateful to western, allopathic medicine, for all it had to offer me in terms of treating my cancer, and hopefully, getting rid of it. Yet it is the world of complementary medicine that has held the key to the quality of my life from that day forward.
Fortunately, I was introduced to mind-body medicine several years before I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Jim Gordon came to Israel, and I welcomed him with open arms, as did so many others. He trained us, nurtured us and taught us all he could about how the mind, body and soul work together. We learned how to listen to ourselves and our inner wise guide. We learned to shake and dance. The life skills and wisdom Jim brought us entered our hearts and souls.
Thus, within hours of receiving that earth shaking diagnosis, I downloaded Belleruth’s guided imagery for healing cancer, and found that those twenty minutes a day doing the guided imagery were the only moments I felt grounded, relaxed, and confident. Over the months, I added acupuncture, shiatsu, daily walks, improved nutrition, herbs and supplements, as well as prayer to my regimen. All of this truly complemented what my body was undergoing and while chemo was certainly no picnic, my blood counts remained stable and my mood was optimistic.
Transitioning from treatment back to everyday life has had unique challenges as well. Learning to live with the fear of recurrence and lingering side effects of chemo can be tiring. Keeping up with yoga and Qigong, exploring new mediums of expression, such as writing (see my new book: Life Unexpected: A Trauma Psychologist Journeys through Breast Cancer), and continuing to listen to my wise guide, have accompanied this new stage of ever evolving life.