This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, consider that while there may not be a cure for breast cancer, there are many immune enhancing, cancer reducing ways to live a full life with breast cancer as well as choices that may prevent cancer. Think of how long people are living with HIV, hepatitis C, and diabetes. From immunology to flower essences, virotherapy to Ayurveda, chelation and detoxification, we have so many options now to work toward preventing many diseases as well as feeling great right now!
It’s been a decade since I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38. At that time, I was told I had a good chance of living for five years if I had both my breasts removed, one as prophylactic, a hysterectomy, also as prophylactic, chemo, and radiation. I chose chemo because I felt my cancer was systemic and that’s what the insured medical system offered me. I began filming that first day in “the ME film” and said to the camera, “If I can make my immune system stronger than the cancer, I can be cancer free.” During five rounds of vicious chemo, I discovered Ayurveda and so many therapies resonating with my initial intuition to strengthen my immune system and to look at the root causes of my sickness. I learned about the lymphatic system as I was informed my lymph nodes would be removed with surgery to help stage my cancer. The possibility of lymphedema made me very protective of my nodes. I wished I had been schooled earlier about breast massage to help decongest my lymph nodes, now a routine practice for me.
Being a documentary film director, I became curious about what holistic treatments women with breast cancer were doing. There just wasn’t that much available on the Internet though, and no one was talking about food as medicine. The blahblah was all about this or that drug or if a lumpectomy was as effective as a mastectomy. Witnessing the dehumanization of my aunt and grandmother from their breast cancer treatments, I decided to not surgically remove my tumor, which was about the size of a half lemon coming out of my chest. I needed to understand what made my cancer sleep…and wake, dedicating my life to documenting my path and learning about this disease in me.
Robert Svoboda wrote in “Prakriti” that cancer is related to undigested trauma, confirming for me that my cancer was fifty percent emotional. That made sense since I frequently opted to numb out versus digest my pain over the years. Over the past decade, I’ve matured myself from a woman-child to a grown-up, dissecting and resolving relationships new and old. As I’ve grown my spiritual life, I believe this is part of my karma and appreciate this opportunity to get it right with those whom I’ve been dancing with for perhaps many lifetimes. Delving deeply into death practices for myself, and honoring those who are transferring their consciousness, has enabled me to make my decisions from a place of empowerment versus fear. I sit with my fear, experience it deeply, and move through it so that I may exist in this world as my true self and not one afraid of the next transition after this body. I’m grateful to all the teachers who are spelling this out for me.
My impetus for living is the opportunity to be a sevak, a selfless servant. If my life described can inspire others to inspire themselves, I am deeply grateful. This is why I founded Breast Wishes Fund in 2010 where our mission is to “Give US Choices for Breast Cancer Treatment and Prevention”. Leave that pink ribbon behind this October and AIM @ Wellness with companies like Banyan Botanicals and non-profits like Breast Wishes Fund.
The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Banyan Botanicals. Our blog is a place where people who participate in and benefit from Ayurveda can share their experience and knowledge. Before starting any new activity, routine, or program, we recommend that you consult with your physician or healthcare provider. Please also note that our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional advice.