A Reprieve from Cancer-World

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I realize it’s been a while since my last post. That usually happens when i’m traveling. Too busy visiting my peeps, having fun, and living life.

Miss M, grandpa, and I just spent a week in Massachusetts visiting with my mom’s family (and all our friends who are essentially family). We went up to Provincetown to visit my mom’s ashes on May 30th for the 3rd anniversary of her passing. Can hardly believe it’s been 3 years already…

The event was a full on family affair – 3 cars, 9 people, & many hours spent loving, sharing, shopping, & eating. And of course many tears shed as well.

Now grandpa, Miss M, and I are in New York going to doctor’s appointments and hanging with my dad’s family. Of course it’s good to be back in NYC. Being here immediately puts me at ease… Going on subway adventures with Miss M… Eating yummy vegan food… Spending time with family & friends… Allowing the city’s energy to fill me up and recharge me… There truly is no other place in the world quite like New York.

This week I met with my surgeons – the one who performed my mastectomy and the ones who reconstructed my breasts. It’s been 2 months since my reconstructive surgery and I continue to be surprised and delighted in the fact that everything turned out so well. I feel good. I like my new breasts. I had a great surgical team. And I am so thankful.

My surgeons all agreed that my breasts and I were looking good. I got the go-ahead to start exercising again, lifting more than 5 lbs, and stop wearing bras :-)

My mastectomy surgeon Dr. B (whom i LOVE) was genuinely happy to see how well I was doing. She seemed surprised that I wasn’t on any meds and curious about what I was doing. We talked about diet, supplements, and living healthy. I told her about my choice to switch over to a more natural & holistic treatment path and I shared my disappointment that things like diet, exercise, supplements, emotional support, and mental health weren’t discussed more with patients. Dr. B told me it isn’t necessarily that doctors don’t recognize the importance of these things… It’s just often they don’t want to overwhelm patients – especially in the beginning (which I totally get).

I do see the cancer world opening up more & more to complementary & alternative approaches – which is awesome. Recently there has been talk about new drugs that treat cancer by triggering the immune system. The immunotherapy drugs have shown promising results and offer fewer and less toxic side effects. The community seems to love them (as do the pharmaceutical companies whose stocks rose right along with the community’s love I might add).

And while I’m all for less toxic drugs, it begs the question, Why not boost your immune system naturally without drugs?? Start exercising… Eat healthy… Meditate… De-stress… Take a few supplements… Have more fun… All this will boost your immune system too. Personally, I’d much rather do it that way. Oh, but wait – there’s no money in that, is there?

Funny how treating my body like a temple instead of blasting it with complicated pharmaceuticals and excessive scans and toxic treatment makes me a radical.

While in Massachusetts, my nearly 85 year old grandmother ranted to the TV about the cancer industrial complex and how they’ll never find a cure for cancer because then they wouldn’t make any more money. Hearing the words come out of her mouth was surprising, beautiful & hilarious all at once. And it also made me realize just where my own feisty “radical” ways came from.

Right now I am so thrilled that my life is not all about cancer – for a little while at least. I’ve moved from the monthly and weekly visits to the semi-annual appointments. I’m moving on up! This means more time to just live… Enjoy the people I love… Tackle things on the bucket list… Dare to live fully… Embrace every opportunity… Figure out the next chapter…

Having cancer has definitely changed me. It forced me to reevaluate my life. To take a hard look at who I am. What I stand for. What I believe in. It got me back in touch with my intuition. My inner wisdom. My soul. It pushed me into gear. Reminded me what’s truly important in life. And challenged me to transform my world.

The beauty is that contained within the pain and trauma of life there is always the possibility for growth and transformation.

Peace. – T

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