Welcome to my world.
At times it’s a scary as anyone else’s but it’s also as blissful; perspective is everything!
Let’s rewind a couple years to 2014 when my stress level was a 10 out of 10. I was in a toxic relationship while trying to establish myself professionally and maintain my ideal of a being a perfect parent.
I realize I am not alone in the struggle of “adulting”. This provides some comfort some of the time. Other times I feel like I’m spinning out of control while the world around me seems so well pieced together.
I am no longer in that toxic relationship. I am embracing that rest, recovery, and reflection are essential parts of the progress towards my professional success. I am taking the unsolicited advice of my favorite human being (12 year old princess) to have fun and not work so hard all the time. She thinks I’m a great parent, and that is great to me.
Back to that pesky stress level of 2014…Stress is toxic to the body. It weakens the immune system and allows DIS-EASE throughout the body.
I am well aware of the effects of stress having been diagnosed with Systemic Lupus as a teenager. I learned from the great Dr. Peter Glidden, ND how to heal my body naturally. My Lupus flares have always been triggered by stress and by eating foods that aggravate my system.
When I told Dr. Glidden of my most recent diagnosis his 1st question was, “What majorly stressful event have you experienced over the past year?”
The answer to that was my breakup with the man I thought was the love of my life and future husband.
Stress unmanaged is dangerous to your health!
Throughout the latter half of 2014 I noticed a little bump under my skin on my left breast. My mother had always told me a cancerous lump would feel like a frozen pea under the skin. This didn’t feel like that and I’d had a mammogram the year before that was clear. I wasn’t too concerned. I went to the doctor. She didn’t think it was a cause for concern but ordered another mammogram to be safe.
I wanted to protect myself with a cancer insurance policy, so I pushed back the mammogram to January of 2015 when I’d be able to use the insurance plan if the diagnosis was cancer. I went for the mammogram. The woman wasn’t 100% sure that the images were clear and requested the doctor come in for an ultrasound before concluding my screening.
The doctor came in and studied the lump. He concluded that I was just fine and had dense breast tissue which was typical for my age (33). He told me to return when I’m 40. Great news! I cancelled the insurance policy and went on with my stressful life.
My stress was being “managed” by eating everything and anything that wasn’t tied down. I couldn’t fit into my clothes comfortably and was eating foods I eliminated from my diet since my Lupus diagnosis in 1999.
Stress and diet are key components when working towards optimal wellness. Fast forward 6 months and the “dense tissue” has now grown. I returned to the doctor. She sent me for another mammogram at a different location. The doctor there did another ultrasound and urged me to return within days for a biopsy.
She was unofficially telling me she was VERY concerned and I basically had breast cancer. I say this matter-of-factly now, but it was very stressful and scary then.
I returned for the biopsy and then 3 days later for the results. I absolutely had stage 2 Breast Cancer with cancerous cells in the lymph nodes of my armpit.
Talk about stress!
I was sent home with books, pamphlets, and referrals. I had a racing mind for a few days.
I had to gather my thoughts and come up with a plan because the next step was letting my parents in on this little secret of mine.
I was stressed about having to add stress to their lives. They had to bury my older sister in 2012 and were dealing with my older brother’s destructive behaviors as he failed to manage his addiction. I dropped the Cancer bomb on them after taking some time to process it.
I had recorded the appointment with the doctor on my phone. I let them listen to it and stepped out of the room because hearing it once was enough for me.
We put on our happy faces to celebrate my grandmother’s 89th birthday that day and later discussed a plan of attack.
Stick with me on my journey and I’ll share with you how I took the next steps.