My Healing Journey from Early signs of cancer
It has been a while since I’ve written on this blog. A lot had happen since then of course. I’ve shared my adventures with peers where they have told me “You should blog about it!” or “You should share that part of your life online!”. Well, I ended up not getting around to the blogging part of those previous experiences, until an acquaintance shared an article she wrote and posted it on her facebook wall. I realized there and then that “Wow I’ve taken that journey with cancer that she talks about.” It was a big deal but I didnt know how to express it through writing. I just share bits and pieces to people here and there if it relates with the topic of our conversation. I also realized that amidst my insecurities when it comes to written word, I have an important inspiring story to share and maybe, just maybe I can make a difference through that. Here is the link to the article that inspired me to share my story: can-we-please-stop-fighting-cancer-shivani-howe .Here is my story:
December 2010: I went for my routine pap test with my family doctor. She said there is something wrong with my cervix, that there seems to be some sort of cancer in my body. She recommended I get a biopsy at the hospital to double check her diagnosis.
January 2011: I went to Lions Gate hospital in North Van to get my biopsy. The doctor had a video camera so I can see what my cervix looks like. It was ugly inside there. I saw it with my very eyes, my cervix was wrinkly and swollen. She said the same thing my family doctor said. It looks like there are cancer cells in my body, but she took some samples from me so she can make sure of her diagnosis.
A month later: The doctor said that it was positive that I have early signs of cervical cancer. My reproductive system is messed up. She said that if the cancer spreads, I cannot make babies if it is in my interest in the future. The doctor prescribed all these pills to prevent cancer cells from spreading, she prescribed me 3 vaccination shots I have to take that will cost $150 each. I bought the $99 30 pieces pills every month. No shit, these medications are expensive. I took the pills, but I hated needles, so I never took the needle route. For a couple of months I swallowed these pills everyday. Whenever I did, my body felt like I was gulping in poison. It didn’t feel right for my body. I felt nauseous afterwards. The label warned that it causes nausea, head aches and other side effects after all. This cancer wasn’t the only thing on my shoulders. I was in a shitty relationship with an alcoholic, abusive oil rigger (He only beat me up when he was asleep. I think he may have been on heavy drugs that I never knew of. I have no evidence, but I was just suspicious because there were times he told me he lost his money/somebody stole his money whenever I asked for his contribution for bills). To top it all of my relationship with my mother was an earth quake of tension, with her need to control me and her disappointment of my choices like my being a nanny instead of being in the corporate world. This cancer also agitated me because I worked without a decent medical insurance to support my healing. I was a wreck too, because ever since I’ve started the unhealthy relationship with this oil rigger boyfriend, I have neglected my yoga practice. I terribly missed it and I was miserable. My life consisted of my 10 hour shifts as a nanny on week days, then tending to the boyfriend when I got home. If he’s not around I was always desperately organizing our apartment, because I wanted it to be my refuge, not just a place to do stuff in. My oil rigger boyfriend didnt understand my need for ‘a home’. I always had to clean up after him. I felt like a mother with a teenager, instead of his partner. Things got really bad with the boyfriend. He moved out of our apartment, but he was still sending me mixed messages. I tried simmering it down, but he loved triggering me and the drama with it. While all of these were going on opportunities to explore my neglected goddess self opened up. I registered for Baljit Rayat’s 6 weeks online goddess course and went to two burlesque schools (Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society and Burgundy Brixx).
At that time it felt like the craziest idea, most especially since I didnt even know how I was going to pay for rent and bills the next couple months on my own. I was also very insecure of my body. I hid it from sight. I was taught that it is shameful to express and celebrate it, but I was extremely desperate to get my goddess self back. The oil rigger boyfriend was not happy with these choices too. He labelled the goddess course as some motivational workshop scam that tells you things you already know and rip you off. He judged my going to burlesque school as my being slutty in a stripper sort of way. He was just consistently attacking my choices in everything ever since we started the relationship. He attacked my preference for organic produce and when he moved out, he insisted for me to move in with him in this house that he moved at in Marpole area, because it was cheaper. I resisted because his room mates were heavy metal loving drug addicts/men who played their drums out loud whenever they feel like it, without consideration of people living in the house nor the neighbors, and whose other favorite pastime was getting drunk, watching tv, fighting each other and playing video games. I was certain I didnt want to be around that kind of energy. At that time I was still very unsure of my self, and took everything he said personally. I was unsure of my choices, but pursued them anyway… When he moved out I was lost and even though it was not healthy and it was not working out, I still wanted him back. With him moving out, it opened up the freedom for me to make my own choice without the approval of ‘another half’. I ate organic food, looked forward to my dance classes and goddess course, went out on dates, went to my friend Heather Pennel’s sound healing meditations and spent more time with friends I share common values and interests. An anonymous yogi once said “Yoga does not solve chaos, it helps you cope with chaos” so I just made the effort to really uplift myself in whatever way I can, especially through good company and remembering to implement yoga in my life in whatever I do. I was also forced to move out of my apartment, because I couldnt afford it anymore and an opportunity to move into the house of my yoga teacher who lived 2 blocks away from me was an answer to my prayers. At her house, my yoga teacher had a vegetable garden she and her sister created, so it was refreshing to eat produce out of our backyard. I continued performing burlesque after I graduated burlesque school. I got advices from friends/soul family who has ayurvedic medicine wisdom, and I implemented some of the things I learned from them into my diet. My yoga teacher didn’t tell me she wasnt’ allowed to rent out the room in that house, so I got evicted with less than a month’s notice. I wasn’t sure where to go from there, but my choices led me to going on a two week hitch hiking adventure to Oregon and Northern California with my new gypsy lover. It was another healing journey. The most humbling experience I’ve ever had, because I’ve never hitch hiked before. We hiked and hanged out with gypsies and hippies, also meditated at Mt. Shasta, California. In Ashland, Oregon I met his friends, got introduced to ayurvedic medicines that tasted like raw vegan desserts (yum! They were so good I purchased a lot of it) , spent time meditating and enjoying nature, enjoyed baths at the healing hotsprings & sauna of Wellspring Hotspring, drank the healing minerals of lithia water everyday and listened to the social conscious messages of local musicians. It was an intense journey, most especially because in the middle of our journey, we broke up, but I put up with him, because I didnt know how to go home the hitch hiking route. I went back to Vancouver homeless, broke and heart broken from the breakup. I learned about spontaneities during our hitchhiking adventure. I was weary and in a state of surrender to spontaneity at that point. Spontaneity made things worked out for me. I was grateful I had a job waiting for me when I got back and I had friends who opened up their homes to me while I was home searching. A month or two of patience and I had a place to call home with an awesome room mate in a good location, I started performing burlesque again and Im on the roll.
My mom still refuses to talk to me and hasn’t forgiven me for deciding to pursue burlesque. Like my ex, she think its slutty and made a conclusion that I just ruined our family’s reputation through this scandalous act of exhibitionism. I was sad that I didn’t get to spend Christmas 2011 with my family, but grateful I get to spend it with my gypsy lover’s relatives in Victoria which spared me from being around my family’s drama. My sisters came over to my place and we cleebrated an early Christmas gathering together too, which was nice. When me and the gypsy lover returned to Vancouver, he took cooking classes on making raw vegan dishes. I came home to lovely raw vegan meals that he spent all day preparing, for a week or so. He also learned from that class how to make kale smoothie. He made kale smoothie for us everyday. I also put spirulina in my water and drank that everyday too. On February 2012, I had to go back to the doctor for my cancer biopsy. I saw my cervix again, and before hearing what the doctor had to say, I knew things have changed in a good way. The doctor was surprised and disapproving towards me. Surprised because my cervix was healthy, that my body is clean of cancer and other negative diagnosis of my reproductive system. Disapproving because I stopped taking my pills and I didn’t get the vaccinations she prescribed for me.
Shivani was right “Everything in life is an opportunity to heal or shine, even cancer itself”. I followed what my shaman friends told me to do, every night I rested my hands on that cancer and spoke to it. I asked it what message it wanted to express to me. I asked it what it needed, so that my soul can evolve. I was gentle and loving with it the way that I am with the babies I take care of as a nanny. I learned to nurture what it needs, through a healthier diet, through surrounding my self with healthier relationships and through erotic dance like burlesque, belly dance with Lava and sacred erotic dance classes with Devi Ward. Making that choice to connect with my dis-ease instead of trying to kill/attack/avoid it, healed me. Through yoga, I connected with my body again. Through erotic dance, I let go of the guilt conventional religion taught to me and made the choice to be comfortable with my womanity. I made my body re-learn that my sensuality is to be celebrated, not shamed. Being connected to my yoni is powerful, because it can help me express myself healthily in love and light in a collective conscious nature.