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Life is never linear. Rarely do people go through life without experiencing a significant event or trauma that fundamentally redefines who they are. My major event occurred in my mid-twenties, a diagnosis of breast cancer.

From The Beginning

Not long after my relationship with my ex had ended, I received the unexpected and devastating news that my best friend had died. To say I was a mess would be an epic understatement. In my twenty-five years up until that point, I hadn’t experienced personal hardship, let alone developed the skills to navigate the foreign terrain of grief and loss. Unfortunately, coping meant getting annihilated, and after two years of ‘coping’, I was delivered another blow. Cancer.

What followed were some of the toughest months I’d known. Unquestioningly, I followed the doctors’ orders and underwent a mastectomy and breast reconstruction, followed by a gruelling protocol of chemotherapy that aimed to hit my body hard and fast. I descended into a deep depression and after several hospital stays, blood transfusions and additional months later, the ordeal was officially over, but life as I knew it was changed forever.

The treatments left me menopausal for several years, and I was on a plethora of other drugs for depression, anxiety, insomnia, and hormones. Addicted to prescription drugs, I’d never felt uglier, unlovable, and alone, and I was angry. The pain of losing my friend was still raw, and now I was dealing with the loss of my femininity. At 28, I felt like I had lost my life.

I yearned for my pre-cancer life and tried to fit back into it, however I had fundamentally changed. It was this life that got me into trouble in the first place – the way I had been living was killing me. Instinctively, I knew that I could not heal in the same environment I got sick.

A Change

Not long after my 30th birthday in 2008 on a whim, I packed up my city life and drove 18 hours north to the warmer climate of Northern NSW in Australia. It was there, by the ocean, that my journey back to health really began.

I was successively reading every natural health book I could find about cancer, the immune system, emotional toxicity, and the power of radical lifestyle changes. I was shocked. I had no idea of the body’s capacity to self-heal or the concept of ‘lifestyle’ diseases – I’d been told by previous health professionals that my illness was random, that nothing I had done had contributed to its development. 

My appetite for information was as insatiable as the vegetable juice I drank for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I learned about the importance of detoxification and its criticality to healing.

In the years that followed, I embarked on a multitude of cleanses and nutrition protocols to rebuild my immune system and repair the collateral damage of the treatments I’d endured.

I transitioned from a fast-food, wine-guzzling party girl, to a salad-for-breakfast, yoga-loving hippy. I’d never felt so vital, ever! Cancer saved me from the self-destructive life I’d been living.

A Set Back

Inspired by my newfound understanding of and passion for health, I launched a successful kombucha beverage brand. But after four years of hard work and the accumulated stresses of running a business, my health deteriorated. I was stressed out and not practicing the self-care that I preached. My diet was slipping, and I found myself drinking a glass of wine or two most evenings to reward myself for getting through another stressful day. My hair began to fall out, I lost weight and was covered head to toe in a rash, and although I was living in the sub-tropics, I felt permanently chilled to the bone. I was the founder/owner of a health drink, yet I looked and felt like I was dying.

In 2015, I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, and to make matters worse, it was suspected I also had lymphoma. I was a mess. I had no choice but to sell my business, give up my lease, and start full-time healing. I had to overhaul my life radically. Again.

Moving Forward

Fully informed, armed with the knowledge I’d learned over the previous decade, I declined conventional therapies and instead drew upon the principles of detoxification, physical, emotional and spiritual nutrition. I made it my mission to expand on my existing knowledge and learn everything I possibly could about the different healing modalities for the body, mind and spirit. I embraced everything I learned with an open mind and set myself up with a diligent health protocol to adhere to, rebuilding my mind and immune system.

After two years of dedicated, full-time healing, I ex-planted the silicone from the reconstruction a decade earlier, and at the same time, a problematic lymph node. The scan that followed showed no evidence of disease. A subsequent scan 18 months later indicated suspicious activity – a good reminder that healing is ongoing and a way of life. To this day, I continue to fully integrate the principles of physical, emotional, and spiritual nutrition into my everyday life.

Life and Health are never linear. But with a Health Coach, and the right resources and tools, a healthier way of life is just one step away.

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