Embracing Light: My Journey through Healing & Transformation Finding Beauty In Cancer – “You heard me right, what? The Beauty in Cancer? What in the world is beautiful about cancer? Let’s start from the beginning. Health challenges, ranging from cancer to chronic illnesses, have marked my family history, with my father requiring full-time care by age of 50 and passing young. Observing these issues, along with stress, sedentary lifestyles, poor dietary habits, and inadequate nutrition within my family, fueled my curiosity to delve into the realm of health, fitness, and nutrition.
~ Journey Into Health & Nutrition ~
My proactive stance included years of preventive health measures and even early adoption of IV vitamin drips well before they became trendy among celebrities. The emergence of IV bars makes me happy. While they are popping up all around, I receive my treatments from Support IV in Mandeville, Louisiana. I ate right; I drank mostly water and a lot of it, I juiced vegetables, I was fit, I was healthy, I did yoga and meditation, and had a good self-care regimen. What I would later learn is you can do “everything right’ but if you live in chronic stress…
~ Facing Cancer * My Mother’s Story ~
Many years ago, my mother faced a breast cancer diagnosis. While I assured her that I would support whatever decision she made regarding her treatment, I believed a holistic strategy centered on diet, nutrition, and alternative and integrative medicine could complement it. I expressed my reservations about chemotherapy and radiation, and fate, with its sense of irony, came into play (as you’ll soon discover).
I accompanied her to all her medical appointments, engaging in in-depth discussions with her physicians and asking numerous questions that often prompted them to wonder if I was pursuing a medical degree. My response? No—I’m merely a curious person, a dedicated reader with a profound interest. Within just a few months, mom, through a combined approach, not only shed 40 pounds, but her tumor notably shrank.
She opted for a double mastectomy. She did not end up with chemotherapy or radiation as part of her plan, and remarkably, she remains cancer-free to this day. She had many amazing doctors treat her. The one who assisted with the holistic approach was Dr. Charles Mary. #BeautyInCancer
~ My Obsession with Understanding Cancer Further ~
Even before my mother’s battle with cancer, I had been immersed in the study of its causes and treatment modalities for over 20 years. I diligently pored over publications such as the Nature Scientific Journal as well as the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. Documentaries such as Dying to Have Known, Heal & Forks Over Knives. Studied Epigenetics and Quantum Physics. As well as books like The Biology of Belief and candid conversations with physicians further enriched my understanding.
I hired coaches like Laura St. John. My curiosity led me to explore various modalities of health, encompassing nutrition, integrative medicine, energy work, Eastern & Western practices, and even traditional Chinese medicine like Acupuncture. I thrived both in health and fitness, considering both aspects equally vital. I inspired and educated others unintentionally by maintaining this empowering lifestyle until the age of 43 when…
~ Facing the Unthinkable & Finding the Miracles Along the Way ~
Too many women know all too well about a breast cancer diagnosis. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be one of them! I mean, I did everything right! I have often been called an Avid Manifester with a vibrant spirit and an unwavering believer in miracles. As Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
This quote encapsulates the idea that one’s perception of life can be fundamentally different based on whether one sees the world and its occurrences as miraculous or ordinary. It encourages a sense of wonder and appreciation for life and the world around us.
“These beliefs illuminated my transformative cancer journey, symbolizing hope and rebirth, like a butterfly’s metamorphosis.” After the dark, there was light. #BeautyInCancer
~ Adopting a Comprehensive Path to Recovery: Embracing More than 1 Direction ~
My story is not merely about survival; it’s a testament to the synergy of positivity, proactive engagement, and wellness, embracing both Eastern and Western philosophies (who knew you could merge and not have to pick!) My journey is not without moments of darkness, dying 6 times, multiple surgeries and more.
At 43, I was diagnosed with Aggressive, Invasive, Stage 3, Triple Negative Breast Cancer that had even spread to several lymph nodes. Advocacy for my own care was imperative! I unleashed a spectrum of modalities, including integrative medicine, holistic strategies, meditation, energy healing, massage, colonics, and more. All this while also embracing conventional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation, merging all the modalities I learned over the years.
This transformative journey has fostered a deep sense of gratitude for life’s abundant blessings. For me, survival was just the starting point; my ultimate goal was to flourish, find balance, and be a source of hope and inspiration for others on their journey. I was determined Not to go to war with my cancer but to lean into it, approach it with love, to Find the Beauty in it, and in my heart, I was determined to bring joy and inspiration to my pink sisters. There was even laughter and silliness, as well as the occasional dressing up in costume! (Not things that come to mind with the word Cancer.)
More details on that later – expect tales of humor, unexpected joys, and the strength found in unlikely places.” Please note this is my personal journey; everyone’s experience with breast cancer can be different. My intent here is to help with maybe a different perspective. When you are fighting for your life, I believe looking for beauty and other positive things can only help. They helped me through my journey.
So what now…
“In the next 11 issues, we’ll explore diverse topics related to life with and life beyond breast cancer. Things such as mental health, body image, support systems, the value of second opinions.”, and more! These articles aim to shed light on the often unvoiced aspects of breast cancer and provide guidance, support, and inspiration. The topics have been inspired by the invaluable feedback and suggestions from hundreds of my pink sisters. For their honesty and openness, I am immensely grateful!
~ An unexpected way to find Peace ~
Sharing my story in the moment proved therapeutic and healing. I recorded live updates of treatments, experiences and even inner thoughts on my podcast, The Dharma Project. That’s it for now. I’ll be back next month, so be sure to grab the next issue of the magazine, where we will dive deeper. These are not topics you will want to miss! Until then, Sending You Love & Light.
If your story may help to shed some light in the darkness like mine, Share it in the comments below or on social media using #BeautyInCancer, #_TheRealStephanieWeeks
Stephanie’s Podcast! https://www.stephanieweeks.com/dharmaproject
More articles from Stephanie Weeks.