In August of 2013, I got the shock of my life. I was diagnosed with a rare form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma called Mantle Cell.
How could this be happening to me? I was young, healthy, and doing everything right. I was living a very healthy lifestyle as a holistic health coach, drinking my green smoothies, doing yoga, even seasonal detox cleanses!
The treatment was harsh and immediate. A natural approach was not an option if I wanted to live. I went through four rounds of intense chemo (each lasting 5 days in the hospital) and then got a stem cell transplant in January of 2014. This experience was so scary and the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Amazingly, I made it through, got to remission and rebuilt my strength.
Then a year later in January of 2015, another shock—I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer, requiring a bilateral mastectomy and more chemo. This is when I wrote my book, WTF?! I Have Cancer? How to get through the hardest time of your life with strength and optimism. Because really, as a Health Coach who was doing “everything right”, I was the last person on the planet I thought would ever get cancer, much less two at the same time!
I have distilled what I learned during those horrendous two and a half years fighting cancer into seven ways to get through a scary diagnosis. My book is available on my website and Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Balbao Press Bookstore.
Throughout it all I learned a lot about myself and how to deal with a cancer diagnosis and treatment. I began rituals that kept me positive, loving and appreciating every precious moment of my time on this beautiful planet.
In writing the book, I did a lot of research trying to figure out how this happened to me. I learned a great deal about the immune system, the human microbiome (those billions of gut bacteria we are host to), gut balance, and anti-inflammatory living and I have added that focus to my existing passion about food intolerances and finding the specific foods that work for you.
Now that I’m through the cancers and am in remission, the task at hand is to make sure it is permanent. My focus personally as well as professionally is to help people create the most inhospitable host to cancer in their bodies. I created The Permanent Remission Project to address the “What now?” feeling when we are through treatment and our doctor’s say, “Okay, see you in 3 months!” People can feel a bit lost and unsure of where to go from here. Rebuilding health in body, mind and spirit is what The Permanent Remission Project is all about.
I received my Health Coaching Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in June, 2011, where I was trained in more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. I also received Board Certification from the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP).