I missed posting on my blog last week, but I was prepping for Spring Break and my upcoming PET scan which is tomorrow. 😩
To be completely honest, I am nervous about it even though I have had stable results over the last year. This is the 18-month mark off of conventional treatment with a diagnosis of double hit lymphoma and I am completely grateful to be where I am today. I am confident in my knowledge of what I need to do to keep it in check, but living normally isn’t always easy to stay compliant.
Our “normal” life includes food, drink, and sugar in just about every way we socialize and celebrate as a culture and I was constantly reminded of it on vacation. One of my biggest challenges is staying in the right mindset and staving off any resentment when am feeling denied.
Right now I am in healing mode and it requires a lot of planning and work to travel. All I can say is that I am doing my best. I packed salads all week and carried food with me!!
It’s hard to find that delicate balance of being “so diet restrictive that I stress myself out” and “allowing myself the opportunity to indulge here and there”. I wish there was a gauge, like a heart rate monitor, that told you how to stay in the “sweet spot”, but unfortunately there is not.
The week before my scans are always filled with anxiety so I have to thank my friends Bev and Karin for convincing me to play golf in the cold weather last week and to Brandon, my sweet husband, for bringing us to Disneyland for a few days of fun and laughter. It’s been a great distraction!!
I have been going through Dr. Kelly A. Turner’s 9 key factors of radical remission cancer survivors. This week’s key factor is one that is a little less concrete; one that requires being in touch with your inner self. Following your intuition, also known as “trusting your gut”, has been something that people exercise less today than before. We live in an age where the answer to anything is just one google search away.
But when it comes to your health, and perhaps a serious diagnosis, what you read or what you’re told may not always be the right solution. I have found myself in tough situations over the past two years where I didn’t have a clear answer.
How did I handle those times?
Well early on, I stressed out a lot. I have distinct memories of making calls all over the country trying to get on lists for clinical trials when the chemotherapy wasn’t working. I frantically searched for more “expert opinions” on my condition and getting so discouraged when appointments were often two or three months out.
But as I became more trusting of my intuition, I grew more confident; to a point that I declined my doctor’s recommendation to start an immunotherapy drug to manage the disease, opting instead to go the holistic route. That decision was the start of this foray into healing cancer naturally and my passion for sharing my success and learnings with others through this blog.
In her book, Dr. Turner explains, “There is no “right” way to access your intuition. For some people, their intuition comes to them through an internal voice of deep knowing; for others, it comes more as a physical feeling in their bodies, such as a warning pang in their guts; for others, their intuition speaks to them in their dreams, their meditations, their journals, or through serendipitous “coincidences,” such as bumping into a friend who told them information they needed to hear at exactly the right time. These methods are valid ways to access your intuition, and the more often you access it, the clearer messages will be.”
As I journaled more, and took time to sit quietly with God and pray, I started to listen to that still small voice… this must be the intuition that Dr. Turner speaks of in her book.
No matter what your belief is, following your intuition is an exercise that many of us don’t practice enough. Many times we walk into a doctor’s appointment overestimating the physician’s ability while underestimating ourselves. Dr. Turner mentions that the body knows what it needs to heal, we just need to be aware of the ways in which our lives have become out of balance.
I spend an immense amount of time focused on what I put into my body. Limiting myself from a lot of the things I used to eat and drink and seeing positive results with those changes. But when I really stop to evaluate my life prior to my diagnosis, I believe that this “dis-ease” was more likely caused by my life being out of balance more so than the lack of nutrition and exercise, or a poor diet.
Eating well and exercising was never an issue for me, but taking time to rest or relax has always been a challenge. It’s likely that I was living in a constant state of (self-induced) stress for a very long time and I never realized it. Sitting down to watch television, read a book or take a nap was (and still is) really hard for me. I can’t explain why I am that way. I guess I just feel like it’s not a productive use of time.
In January of this year, I really made it a point to integrate more meditation, reiki, acupuncture, rest, and guided imagery into my healing protocol. Just like the start of any new regimen, it was difficult to “find the time” at first. But it finally clicked for me while listening to one of my guided imagery sessions by Martin Rossman ( you can find this on audible.com)
I find a quiet place, sometimes in my closet, and put my headphones in. I close my eyes and turn off the lights, light a candle and try to relax every muscle in my body. He guides me through this process and says, “grant yourself the luxurious permission to not have to do anything else right now. To do absolutely nothing and have it be good for you. So that you’re actually doing something when you’re doing nothing.” And “it’s in this deeply relaxed state that the healing abilities of your body can operate at peak efficiency without any distractions of the daily challenges of life… your immune system works efficiently.”
So in fact, we actually are allowing our bodies to be very productive when we rest. And suddenly I realized how important this is and it has made it a lot easier for me take time to rest and repair my body.
How do you tap into your intuition??
Action Steps from Radical Remission:
1) Set aside a time to relax daily while you purposefully let your thinking mind turn off. During this time, don’t watch TV or read anything; instead, listen to some calming music and try to let your mind daydream, as opposed to worry or make mental lists.
Once you are in a relaxed state and you’re thinking mind has settled down somewhat, choose a technique that allows you to get in touch with the limbic part of your brain, which transmits your intuition. Here are some popular technique’s, although you may find your own unique way to access your intuition:
2) Guided Imagery- She recommends Martin Rossman (above) and Belleruth Naparstek as some of her favorites. You can find on Amazon.com or iTunes. I really like this one on amazon:
3) Meditation- there are some great meditation apps like Headspace or Calm that you can load on your phone. You can also find some guided meditation CDs at your library or on iTunes, or on YouTube. I recently have been enjoying the sound of crystal bowls like this one while I meditate:https://youtu.be/Bw1a-pZ7Ua4
4) Journaling- I have journaled on and off almost all of my life and found it to be excellent therapy. It’s an excellent way for me to organize my thoughts, express my emotions and often answer a lot of my own questions. With a cancer diagnosis it’s also been an excellent way to document things as chemo brain coupled with aging has resulted in a deteriorating memory.
I can totally relate to Dory!!
5) Dreams – keep a notebook by your bed and write down an important question before you go to sleep, then record any dreams you have first thing when you wake up. You can analyze your dreams for intuitive insights.
Again, these notes are extremely abbreviated and the book is excellent so I really do recommend you read it if you’re currently managing your own diagnosis. I don’t claim to be an expert on healing cancer I am just living this life one day at a time and sharing the journey.
I appreciate your prayers for me tomorrow. I am hoping and praying for good results. While exercising my faith muscle is always a work in progress I know deep down that God is my healer and I believe He has great plans for me.
Onward and Upward,
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29