Hello lovely you,
Today I am so pleased to share a letter I received from a friend of ours here at Prue’s Place who is a cancer survivor and has been using my methods during her treatment. I know you will find comfort, hope and inspiration in her story.
Thanks for asking about my story.
On November 13, 2017 I had completed a weekend yoga teacher training class and noticed that my urine was more concentrated. I didn’t have any unusual pain anywhere, no fever, no vomiting or digestive issues. So, I hydrated as much as I could and waited to see what the next day would bring.
The next day my urine was still pretty concentrated, so I made an appointment to see my doctor after work and they took labs, including blood work and urine cultures. The urine cultures were normal, but the blood work came back with elevated liver and pancreatic enzymes.
The doctor’s office called me the next day and told me to get an ultrasound the following day, which I did. The ultrasound showed ‘gall bladder sludge,’ which could be related to gallstones or another blockage. There was no evidence of cancer in the ultrasound otherwise.
I was told to get an MRCP the next day (like an MRI but of the whole abdomen area) and I did that after work. Since this test was on a Friday, I didn’t learn until Monday that while it showed a ‘stricture’ around the area of the common bile duct, which would explain the ‘gall bladder sludge’ and my elevated enzymes, there was no evidence of cancer anywhere on this scan.
Two days later, I was at the outpatient area of the hospital waiting to get an ERCP (an Endoscopy procedure). When it was over, I woke up to the doctor telling me I had a tumor that needed to come out, regardless of pathology.
I was starting to look jaundiced just prior to the ERCP. During the ERCP the doctor placed a ‘stent’ in the common bile duct to open it up and allow the bile to flow again. Within a couple of days, I was looking much better, however I started to feel ‘off.’ I still had no fever or vomiting or unusual pain anywhere.
On December 5, I was at work and started to feel pain in my chest where the stent would be, and I ‘knew’ that something was wrong there. I left work and went to the ER and after some tests, they saw a gallstone behind the stent which would need to be removed. I was admitted to the hospital and the next day, the doctor removed the gallstone and put a new stent in place.
After a couple of nights, I was discharged with instructions to not return to work and that I had a consultation with an excellent surgeon about 3 1/2 hours away from us who performs the surgery that I would need in order to remove the tumor. The first pathology had returned prior to December 5 with ‘inconclusive’ results—not cancerous but, turning that direction, if that makes sense.
Anyway, a week later, my husband and I went to see the doctor and he said that I would need a surgery called a Whipple. A Whipple removes the gall bladder, parts of the intestine, part of the pancreas and re-works the ducts. It is a complicated, long surgery. We tried to schedule the surgery as soon as possible and ended up having the surgery on January 2.
I had an amazing team of medical staff from the surgeon, chief resident, other medical students learning this procedure, OT, PT, incredible nurses, dietitians, and CNA’s. I stayed in the hospital for 9 days. My family came and went as well as friends.
Before I left the hospital, the surgeon told me that I would need to have several rounds of chemo in order to ‘mop up’ the area. The pathology had shown that it was a small (less than an inch), cancerous tumor in the head of my pancreas but clear margins and no lymph nodes involved. During the surgery, they removed 20% of my pancreas. I am very, very lucky that I did not have any involvement of my stomach. I began chemo on March 5 and completed it on August 27. I had a CT scan just prior to chemo that showed no evidence of cancer anywhere and the CT scan a few weeks after chemo showed no evidence of cancer anywhere.
I purchased Prue’s modules in January or early February and have worked through those several times. Sometimes, I only was able to concentrate on the ‘walk and talk’. I have leaned on my friends, family, and FAITH. I have stared down chemo in the face and said, ‘I will get through this.’ Sometimes, I’ve had to ask my family and friends to just tell me that too! And they have.
The support I have received is absolutely lifechanging and amazing. I am GRATEFUL every minute of every day for LIFE and the colors of the world. I see my oncologist every 3 months and will have another CT scan. When that shows no evidence of cancer, I will have another scan in 6 months. During this whole time, I have been ‘gifted’ by several comments/suggestions. (Although I am very quick to dismiss anyone’s negative energy!)
A survivor of Stage 3 Ovarian cancer told me in February to ‘not identify’ with the cancer yet, look for the gifts even though it sounds incredibly hard to find gifts at a time like this. But, I did. The gifts of spaciousness and time were and are what I hold onto. Next, I had been doing some reading on the power of the mind and the strength of visualizing health and healing.
So I started to create an amazing visualization of white stallions who patrol my body (my white blood cells) and black stallions with red uniformed soldiers (my T and B cells) destroying bad cells or holding bad cells for the chemo. I also put a ‘steel trap’ around the tumor so it would not go anywhere, along with the stallions. I continue to use this visualization, adding new parts on a regular basis.
Spiritually, I have friends of many different faiths and beliefs but, for me, they are all contributing to my healing when they pray with me or for me. I will always be grateful for this.
Besides working with my oncologist, I also was part of the survivorship program at my local hospital which allowed for patients receiving chemo to also receive regular massage and Reiki. I continue to do that even though I am done with chemo now. I also have worked with an Acupuncturist since May. These additional, integrative therapies have been very important in my healing.
I also work with a counselor in order to process my relationship with anger and trauma. While I have been told I can eat anything I want, I am conscious about this and endeavor to eat as cleanly as possible. I do not have to take enzymes prior to eating. I also work with a Naturopathic Oncologist who has prescribed various pharmaceuticals that will alter the cellular environment. I will work with her for 5 years.
It’s funny because people ask me how I feel about retirement and while I loved my work, I will take the gift of time and spaciousness over it. I will wholeheartedly look to the future with new eyes, learning every day, practicing gratitude every moment of every day and when I get ‘stuck’, as we humans do from time to time, stop and think about what is happening and work that out. The ‘work’ I do now is physical, nutritional, spiritual and emotional.
With love and gratitude,
Thank you so much Jenny for sharing your story . I have said many times that for me, cancer was a gift, a chance to live a new and better life. I know that can sound crazy to many people, but darkness has a way of teaching us profound lessons. Until you’ve spent time in that darkness, these lessons can seem strange. But Jenny gets it now and doesn’t take a moment of this precious life for granted.
I would love to hear stories from other cancer survivors, so if you would like to share yours, please email me at [email protected]
Wishing you love, light and peace on this beautiful Tuesday,