How I Became badasscancerbabe
On September 8 2016, I sat in the chemo chair ready to leap off a cliff. I didn't know if the crucial decision I had made would lead to my imminent death. I had reached the end of a chemotherapy cycle prescribed to stop the progress of my incurable cancer. I had been told nine months earlier when I was given the dire prognosis, "you will have chemo until you can't...then you will die." September 8, 2016 was that day when I couldn't have chemo anymore.
I was on three high-power chemo drugs during my treatment: cisplatin, avastin, toxal. Patients start developing life-threating allergies after the ninth treatment of cisplatin. Our options were: continue with all three drugs and see if I developed an allergy; try only two drugs despite the fact the oncologist didn't think it would do much; or go cold turkey. My oncologist, husband and I all agreed to go cold turkey. I wasn't in remission but we had slowed the cancer's progress. Frankly, I didn't want to be crippled by chemo's side effects any longer.
In February 2016, I sat in my familiar oncologist's office and heard the words everyone dreads, "your cancer is back and it's incurable." Turns out recurrent cervical cancer only has a 20% survival rate and an possible "expiration date" as soon as 15 months. Tumors lined my entire peritoneum - the hammock that holds our guts in. Name an organ and I had a tumor somewhere around it, on it or near it.
The oncologist said, "I'm sorry." However as my mind raced, I was overwhelmed with the thought, "ain't nobody got time for cancer...I've got a son to raise, a family to support and a life to live." I simply refused to accept that I was going to die. I began what became a life-changing healing journey to save my very life - badasscancerbabe was born.
This mind-blowing, miracle journey has lead me to today and the launch of badasscancer.com. When I embarked on the journey to save my life I didn't know my body, mind and spirit needed to be healed. All I knew is I wanted to live.
I tackled this journey with the same overachieving gusto I have always attacked all of life's challenges. Sometimes to hilarious failures, like when I tried to wean myself of pain killers without consulting my doctors and went into full withdrawal while having tea with a school mom I was trying to impress-oops . Other times to glorious success, like when I was able to hike Watkins Glen with my family this summer.
I have completely overhauled every part of my life in the last 2 years. I have researched complementary therapies, met quacks, soaked up information like a sponge and hugged shamans, priestess, astrologers and healers galore. I still have cancer, but am thriving in my new mindful life. I believe I was given this second chance to help others not end up like me.
I rededicate my life to providing hope for cancer patients, and strategies for workaholic, stressed-out parents to manifest more joy into their lives. I invite you on this journey with me. Together we can find a silver lining in anything.
In light and love,