I am a “Third Culture” child, born and raised on three different continents. I learnt from a very young age how to adapt often and well to frequent change. Tearful farewells and joyful reunions taught me to make the most of the present moment.
An only child, I was often the center of attention. While that had benefits, I was the main focus for a mother who became increasingly frustrated and unfulfilled in her role as only-housewife. It caused many familial conflicts and marital strife with me often sandwiched in between my parents.
It forced me to mature early. I became very sensitive to detecting other’s needs and learnt to empathize to the point of being taken advantage of. It was isolating at times, and I turned to a self-survival strategy that would empower me to succeed at life. I became a bookworm and an academic achiever, acquiring knowledge was the tool that would help me do so.
Strong willed, often impatient, and inquisitive to the point of annoying I wanted to know the answers to everything, always counteracting an explanation with “Why” to dig deeper.
And I was always fascinated with food! I grew up on canned veggies, Kraft spice blends and packaged convenience foods. I yearned for FRESH, and was quite a rebel when as a teenager I insisted on at least getting frozen veggies. But I also wanted to know how nutrition works for us. Although my earlier career had nothing to do with this, I educated myself along the way, turning my hobby into my new career at age 38.
My family on my mother’s side was marred by chronic disease. Rheumatoid arthritis and cancer plagued the three women closest to me. I grew up with the fear and emotional pain of seeing people I loved suffer. They all died way too young. I buried my own mother at age 68 so ravaged by disease she looked like she was in her 90’s according to the funeral staff.
When I myself was diagnosed with cancer at age 39, I had no desire to go down the same path, and I knew I needed to do a lot more than those three women close to me ever did to combat their disease. It was time to again adapt to change, resort to incessant questions to go beyond the standard answers and find the root causes that are not as obvious at they seem.
And that has been my passion ever since, to help me thrive and share that with those who are intrigued and wish to do what it takes to thrive themselves.
I realized that treating my body with conventional medicine alone was inadequate. Standard cancer treatments concentrate exclusively on cancer cells in isolation from the rest of the body.
I needed to focus on my whole being, and that meant addressing not just specific parts of the body, but acknowledging the dynamic interdependency of every single cell that makes up my body. This included focusing on the mind as well as the soul. These three dynamics are interconnected and need to be addressed with equal emphasis in order to determine the actual cause of my cancer, and facilitate true healing.
Most importantly, I recognized that I alone was responsible for my health, and could actively contribute to healing my body from cancer.
With the help of my family and friends, I endured the physical and emotional challenges of conventional treatments and their side effects, but I combined them with a mindfulness approach and complementary forms of therapy, some of which I still utilize today.
Looking after my own health is a lifelong, fascinating and rewarding journey. Each of us carries within us an immense reservoir of inner strength and endurance.
I was determined to support my body with all the tools it required to heal itself, discovering the multitude of medicinal properties of whole, unprocessed foods, the ever present, but often dormant, conscious awareness that can be obtained with a calm and focused mind, the emotional healing that follows the release of unresolved inner conflicts, and the benefits of regular exercise.
I also realized that we are not just an intrinsic part of our environment, we are one with our environment. Our body acts as a feedback mechanism. Our thoughts, attitudes and behavior have a direct impact on our health.
Most importantly, I am actively taking part in my healing process. I am deeply grateful for being given a third chance, and am motivated to help educate and empower fellow cancer warriors, survivors and anyone wishing to practice proactive prevention to succeed with their own healing journey.