As the new year of 2016 begins, I look back on 2015 as a triumphant, difficult, and sometimes painful journey. It reminds me of climbing 14’ers here in my home state of Colorado. They are challenging to your entire being but the rewards for accomplishing them are epic.
My cancer treatment for stage IV Ovarian cancer ended up being 6 rounds of chemo, four of which were on a clinical trial, and the final two rounds were regular chemo. I was unable to finish the trial because my body was having a very hard time bouncing back from treatments. My ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) was too low to continue so they took me off of the trail for safety reasons. I did not make it over a 1000 ANC count almost the entire time, even with shots to help boost my white blood cell count. A normal ANC count is 2400 and above. I am ever so grateful to my incredible body. I never got sick the entire time during treatment, even when my counts were down to 100, which is basically no immune system at all. I still have a port in my right upper chest and I have to take Fragmin shots daily for a blood clot I had in my right arm after my first round of chemo. I am hoping that in March of this year the port will be gone and I will be off of the shots. Then I will really feel this part of the journey is finished.
In large part I have my Holistic physician to thank for my remarkable recovery. Dr. John Day implored me to come and see him after he found out my diagnosis. He is a friend and previous client of mine when I use to sell real estate here in Crestone. To this day I have him to thank for my successful recovery from cancer. He started me out with having some genetic testing done, which revealed all of my mutations, both good and bad. From there he put me on an extensive vitamin and supplement regiment, which I am still taking today. These supplements greatly eased my side effects and helped me to heal from the damage that chemo had done to my body. We continue to do emotional work around the deep rooted causes to certain unhealthy patterns in my life, and identifying my motivating factors to live a healthy, happy and balanced life again. I feel his work is invaluable and that everyone should have genetic testing done. The information it provides is priceless.
I think the highlight for me in 2015 was being able to spend the whole month of November in Costa Rica. Thanks to many friends who helped contribute to an epic yard sale that my good friend Tamar Ellentuck organized for me. Those funds raised at the sale paid for my trip. I am forever grateful for this amazing gift. My soul was completely replenished and recharged. I took a raw foods, juice cleanse retreat while I was there with The Healing Cuisine and Joan Gerrard Young, and learned a lot of great new healthy recipes to implement into my daily life. Her food is simply amazing! I wish I could be closer to her to eat her delicious food all of the time.
I also took up surfing for the first time and was thrilled that I got up on my very first wave, even after suffering a cracked 7th rib when I first laid down on the surf board. I could not believe it when it happened, it was just a small pop, but I did not want to quit. After all, I have made it this far! I spent everyday on the beach, contemplating life, admiring its beauty, and giving deep thanks to the power’s that be that I am still alive.
The month of December brought the holidays, and I am very happy to say that I spent it with my brothers and my sister and her husband in Bailey, CO. I have not spent the holidays with them in many years. It was really great to be a family again. Hanging out in our pj’s all day, playing the ultimate Yatzee tournament, and eating some really amazing food that my sister prepared. It was a great Christmas!
New Years Eve I found myself with just a handful of very close and dear friends, and as midnight struck, I stopped on the dance floor, closed my eyes and gave thanks to still being alive, vibrant and healthy. The tears just started flowing and it felt incredibly good. My soul had been washed and cleansed from the past year, ready to meet life head on in 2016 and not taking anything for granted.
Of course I went skiing at Monarch Mountain as soon as I got back from my trip. The snow has been wonderful and I can say it feels just like it always has. Maybe not as strong in the legs as before but that will come back quickly. For me skiing is life and what gives me the most joy in this physical form. The Town Challenge race series starts next week, and I am looking forward to defending my title as the fastest women’s telemark skier on the mountain. We will race for eight consecutive weeks. I will be giving it my all and have every intention of winning again. I will keep you posted!
I am very happy to be back to work here in January 2016. What a ride this has been with so many ups and downs. I can say that I believe this journey has made me a better practitioner and a more compassionate human being. I am looking at writing projects and speaking engagements as the new year begins. This will stretch me and enable me to share my message of strength and hope to anyone who is facing a difficult life challenge. I have made it through the crucible, from the brink of death and back, and I look forward to sharing my story and to help empower others on their journeys as well.
Wishing all of you much love, peace and health in the coming year. It is such a beautiful planet and life is so precious. Tell the people you love that you love them. You never know what tomorrow might bring.
In Health & Happiness!