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My Five Tips for Your Brand New Health Diagnosis

From a young at heart Breast Cancer survivor and thriver.

1. Use ALL the resources. ALL. OF. THEM.

Use all the resources that are available to you for healing. The practice of ancient civilisations to native nomadic tribes in regards to their medicine and healing practices were done in groups. All ages and sometimes all genders. We see that women's health knowledge was passed down from respected wise Elders of the community. There were Shamans and Healers and Midwives and Intuitives all in the same community. Living side by side with those in the community. In Western advancements of Medicine, we have forgotten community. With all I know from being in Cancer Care in Ontario for 9 years, I KNOW that support matters. I know it very literally took/takes a village to get me back to my optimal health! Go to the Church group or the walking group or the Badminton group, just get connected and stay connected.

2. Allow yourself to receive ALL the help, for as long as it takes.

I know that leaning on others can feel really uncomfortable. We strive for independence, we believe that we are meant to go it alone, we are meant to believe that support, like tears, looks/feels weak. I made a very sincere, authentic choice in mobilizing a TEAM of practitioners, friends and family to help me in my health journey. Take the help. For as long as you can. Get out of your own way and let others help you. You are not only helping yourself, so that you can be fully resourced for the next BIG thing. You are also helping them, your village, those around you who feel helpless and who care so deeply for you, those around you who would actually move mountains to help heal you. Those people - ALLOW them to help you. This is the way we heal and grieve through the big stuff, in community. Your community needs you as much as you need them, you may have simply forgotten. This message is your reminder.

3. Compassion - be it, use it, study it, live it.

No one gets their Health Crisis treatment protocol or Dx (insert divorce, death of a loved one etc.) perfect. Ever. Mistakes get made, things get missed, people get angry. The first little while of a life threatening illness can be like riding a roller coaster over and over again. Firstly, we need self-compassion to open the heart for healing to really begin. We need to forgive others who just don't get “it” and add compassionate responses, knowing that no one is perfect. When we can let go of the “why me” or move through it with ease even, we are healing. Not everyone has to truly understand what you are going through, so being compassionate and knowing they are trying. Then being compassionate for the rage you feel when others just don't get it. LOL. For real. Being gentle and compassionate with yourself when things are hard and you become hard on yourself - yes, this happens! Remembering that most people around you want wellness and health for you. If they don’t it is ok to say goodbye, but that whole issue could take an entire book to explain! Again, be your own best friend, your own companion in life, your own cheerleader - while at the same time leaning into the community you have around you.

4. Always have clean “daytime” Jammies.

I still live in jammies and those around me are used to this. My Mom bought me several nice tops with matching jammie bottoms and honestly, I lived in them. Cotton helped with hot flashes, which are still 24/7 for me. Invest in the closest, most comfort providing things. Ask for gifts that you ACTUALLY want and need. Maybe it is a blender for smoothies or warm socks, friends and family want to help. I promise. We are all getting through this difficult winter season together.

5. Buy a Recliner.

Honestly, I wished I had done this the day I was diagnosed. We each have our own way of coping I guess. I also just had NO IDEA how hard healing is/was. But, truly, I spent hours and hours of sleepless nights on an uncomfortable couch. Insomnia, painsomnia, nausea and general malaise or drug interactions kept me awake. Luckily, I had Restorative Yoga to lean on everyday to help me deal with not enough rest for my Nervous System. I love my recliner. End of Story.

I know that my tips may not totally speak to you. We each have the privilege to make our healing journey what we make it. The point here is, figure out how you are going to get through this hardship. Make a list or set a goal. Work towards healing everyday. Do whatever you need to to save your own life.

Thank you for reading and if my words resonate with you, please share it with your loved one.

In deepest health,

Steph XOXO


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