What a long strange trip it has been. For those of you who might not know, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on June 1st 2015. It was kind of a kick in the teeth, to say the least. I started Chemo July 1st and was completely bald by August. I was able to manage all the symptoms pretty well and even got use to being poisoned every few weeks but I have to tell you the single biggest thing that helped me survive was my Yoga Therapy Practice. When I woke after surgery the first thing I did was see how much I could breathe. I just stayed with my inhale and then exhaled. I added my hands by opening and closing my fingers in conjunction with the breath. It was pretty powerful. As the hours, days and weeks progressed I faced challenge after challenge, just like anyone else going through such a devastating diagnosis. Surgery and Cancer were compounded by C-diff and a post operative ileus. I do not recommend either of them. The weight loss isn’t worth it.
So, what have I learned from this? A lot! The hardest part was reclaiming my sense of self. At some point this fall I realized that I had not been alone in my home for more than 4 or 5 hrs since the spring. Now not to say that I want everyone gone but that feeling of being able to do anything you wanted, eat when and where, sleep how you wanted and be in charge of everything was freeing and much needed. I needed it to know that I could and can take care of myself. From the beginning it was about being as independant as I could and that was only gained by the support of friends and family. At first I couldn’t do much but it got better as time went on. Through it all each and every day I got up and got on my yoga mat. I did pranayama (breath work) to calm my nervous system and help me sleep and also to help me stay awake. I used my practice to increase the range of motion in my body and I used the conscious awareness it provided to make choices about the food I ate and the medical choices I made.
So needless to say I’m still here! Stronger and more grounded than I have ever been and ready to help others make the changes they need to live a happy, pain free life. Choose abundance, choose to live well, be active and make sure that every day you start with the highest version of yourself and let everything you do move you and the world forward. Check back for more thoughts on yoga therapy, food, living well and complementary practice that aid in your healing.