Just over a year after I quit smoking the other shoe dropped and my world collapsed. My mother, my best friend & my business partner of about 15 years got diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer a few days before my birthday in January of 2014.
Time flows and our memories get skewed. For the last few years I’ve told myself that I went back to school for my own education and because of my personal health issues from chain smoking for 20 years. The other day I was cleaning my office and found a notebook from orientation day from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. That day they asked us to dedicate this program to someone and write a little note explaining why we chose this person. I wrote:
I am dedicating this program to my mother for many reasons. Firstly, she was my biggest supporter and always encouraged me to follow my passion. She always believed I could achieve anything I put my mind to. This program also has great significance due to my mother passing from stage four colon cancer. I learned that no one should go out like that and I believe no one should.
What makes my mom’s story so sad is that she never did the obvious things that we expect to lead to cancer such as smoking cigarettes. She also never touched illegal drugs or alcohol. Though my mom didn’t partake in these obvious activities that lead to ill health she did
have an unhealthy lifestyle. She didn't like to eat (boggles my mind still), she didn't exercise, she didn't sleep and she drank Pepsi like it was going out of style. Over her lifetime she suffered from chronic illnesses such as type II diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue and was for the most part overweight most of her adult life. What's crazy is that she would get her yearly physical and was told every time that her blood work was perfect and that she was “fine”. My mom believed in the system. If they told her she was fine then she must be. She went to Weight Watchers, she started eating margarine when we were told butter was the devil, she switched to Diet Pepsi when we were told that artificial sugars were better for your health, she joined gyms, she logged her food, she let them cut out her gallbladder, she did everything they told her to do because we've been socialized to believe that “they” know better. She is the most amazing human I have ever known but when it came to her health she was at a loss.
When my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer I knew that it was bad but that was all I knew. My ignorance was made so apparently clear. All I knew about cancer was that sugar feeds it. I clearly remember asking the Oncologist in front of my mother “shouldn’t my mom stop eating junk food every day and drinking pop?”. He replied that there was no need and it wouldn't make a difference. In my gut I knew he was wrong but I didn’t know why and I didn't know who else too turn to for answers. They told us she had to get chemotherapy and that was basically the only option. I knew the chances of survival were super slim especially if you were already of ill health. I was hopeless to help her. Looking back on my ignorance of the disease and how it comes about made the situation so much harder to bear. To feel that hopeless is something I never want to feel again nor want anyone else to go through.
"In my gut I knew he was wrong but I didn’t know why and I didn't know who else to turn too for answers."
My mother's story had no happy ending. She underwent surgery and then rounds of chemotherapy that weakened her almost immediately. Within 7 months my mom was bedridden and by 11 months she passed. It is still the most heartbreaking thing that I have had to endure and weighs heavily on my heart to this day.
In search of a way to heal myself and not feel helpless when confronted with cancer I in turn ended up finding my drive in life. I'm not upset about that. Our life's experience is what molds us. It took me a long time to get here but I’m here and ready to be of service. It shouldn’t take anyone 5 years to feel better after quitting smoking or get into such ill health that cancer could become your reality. The biggest disservice our current health system has done is take away our autonomy when it comes to our health. My goal is to help people learn how to give their bodies the nutrition it needs to heal itself. I strongly believe in working with my clients to educate them and find a real appreciation for the amazing machines our bodies were meant to be. Knowledge is power and replaces the fear of the great unknown.
"The biggest disservice our current health system has done is take away our autonomy when it comes to our health."
Most who know me will tell you I am usually full of light. Unfortunately, my new career path came at a personal cost. I decided to take that sadness though and spread as much light as possible. Getting healthy is the single best gift you could give yourself and in turn your family and friends. Eventually, all the bandaid solutions will no longer be enough. What will it take for you to realize that your health is what matters most in life?
I know from personal experience how hard it is to figure out where to get started. That's where people like me come in and the great thing is that we are multiplying daily. Working with a Health Coach is a very personal and potentially extremely rewarding experience. When you begin to unlock the key to your body's vitality it not only has a profound effect on you physically but mentally as well. Being of sound mind and body will transform your world in ways you couldn’t even dream of. If you are willing to put in the work, trust me, your body will thank you tenfold!