You Gotta Follow Your Heart

Having ice cream on the Long Beach boardwalk this summer while visiting my cousin Megan.

Megan & Miss M frolicking in the surf at Long Beach, in front of my cousin’s apartment building.

Today I was supposed to fly to NY for another visit with my plastic surgeon.  But Sandy threw a wrench into those plans.  Instead I’m here in Ohio for another week or so.

As I perused through the images of Sandy’s destruction I was blown away.  The devastation.  The chaos.  The lives upended.  The sadness and grief.  Seeing my beloved city in shambles is tough to swallow.  But us New Yorkers are a resilient bunch.  The city and its people will persevere.  They always do.

If you’re looking to help out, ABC News has a great link with info about how to donate money, blood, time.  Check it out.

Fortunately my family and friends in NY are all ok.  Some are without power (still), some had to walk long distances over bridges from the outer boroughs to get to work, while others rode in cars or trains for 3-4 hours to get into the city.  My cousin on Long Beach had to relocate (with hubby & newborn baby) to her parents’ house in a relatively undamaged section of Long Island.  She recently returned to her apartment building and found crews shoveling piles of sand from the first floor.  Her own apartment is still without power, running water, or sewage.  The boardwalk out front is completely ruined.

And while the Northeast struggles to regain some normalcy, the rest of the country goes on with their lives.  Myself included.  Life goes on.

And after a difficult internal struggle, I have made the decision to chart a new path on my cancer journey.  A more natural, holistic approach.  One that focuses on the power of nature, food, plants, vitamins and herbs, as well as energy work, ancient Chinese medicine, and mental/emotional healing.  The goal being to nurture the body at its core, restore balance, and treat the underlying conditions that led to the cancer in the first place.

It has taken me a while to find the strength to claim this path as my own.  To say no to long-term use of pharmaceuticals and band-aid solutions.  To go against the grain.  To go against the wishes of my oncologist.  But I need to follow my heart.  My instincts.  My gut.  And make decisions that feel right for me.  Because in the end, it is my life.  And although others may be impacted by the decisions I make, I hope everyone can trust that I am making these decisions after much thought and research.  And that ultimately, we all want the same thing – to keep me alive and healthy for as long as possible.

All week long, as I debated what to do, the Universe kept putting helpful people and events in my path…

First, my reiki practitioner Renee, shared her story.  Over a decade ago she was told to have a liver transplant or face an inevitable death.  She chose to follow her heart and not have the liver transplant and is alive and thriving to this day.

Then the owner of Harmony Farm (my spiritual healing oasis) agreed to meet with me to share her story.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly 10 years ago.  After undergoing a lumpectomy she refused chemo & chose instead to go the natural route – specifically with doctors specializing in anthroposophic medicine (a from of holistic complementary medicine applied by conventionally trained medical doctors).  Today she is more than just alive, she is radiant.  Her energy is pure health and love.  She is an inspiration.

Then two separate people sent me links to movies highlighting the ability of holistic medicine (and specifically a whole foods, plant based diet) to balance the body and promote natural healing abilities.  Thanks go out to my cousin Jessie and my good friend Lisa Marie on Bowen for sending the information my way.  The movies Food Matters and Hungry For Change are available on the same site and can be viewed online.

Then in yesterday’s mail I got another movie (Forks Over Knives) that speaks again to the power of a whole foods, plant based diet to heal the body and cure disease.  Even Dr. Oz chimed in on this movie saying, “I loved it and I need all of you to see it.”  Thanks go out to our family friend Jim in Ontario for sending the movie my way!

I feel like the Universe is trying to tell me something.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying no to ALL pharmaceuticals and western medicine.  If I get a blood clot I’m taking meds.  If the cancer comes back & I need to do more chemo I will.  If my body needs surgery, I’m getting it.  I’ve already done these things once with great success and will do them again if I need to.

But for now, I’d really like to give my body a rest.  Nurture it.  Restore it’s natural healing powers.  Give it love.  Let it heal.  And I truly believe that by doing this, the cancer will be unable to breed and grow.

This whole thing is also teaching me how important it is to follow your heart.  Too many of us make choices based on other people’s wishes, and not our own, which inevitably leads us down a road of discontent and misery.

Why not chart a new path based on what feels right to you?  Why not live the life you want to live?  Sure, you may ruffle a few feathers in the process.  But who cares?   Just follow your heart and things will fall into place.

Life is valuable.  Don’t waste it.

Peace.  -T

8 Responses

  1. Feeling your Mom’s (and my) heart swelling with love, pride, and awe at the brilliant, insightful, voracious, trail blazing, woman that you are…
    Deep respect, gratitude and love from your Auntie Laurie

  2. Yet again, you inspire and amaze me with your sensible, positive attitude! I’ve been watching those movies also, and trying to make my life more ‘organic’! James was just whining there wasn’t any bread(the white sliced stuff) and I told him to slice his own from the loaf of whole wheat I made in the bread machine! love and hugs to Miss M….

  3. Another entry that is inspiring & your attitude and approach is one we all should live by. Thoughts of you & smiles sent your way!

  4. Paracelsus in Switzerland is a mix of alternative and western medicine, w/ an emphasis on complementary/alternative. it’s a splurge $ wise, it is a balanced view of it all. you can search it and subscribe to their brief monthly emails.. and see how it looks to you, they come here off and on to give talks, and sometimes there are docs here who have worked there. i have not gone there, but have friends who have done very well by doing so. As a bc cancer thriver, and as a human bean!! I deeply honor your struggle to find your own way. love your blog, your healing travel; it is nourishing for me.., and I trust, for you as well;-))

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