"Destruction leads to a very rough road,
But it also breeds creation."
- Anthony Kiedis
It has been a long 8 months.
This is the first time I have written a blog about this, but I have been very open about it on social media; I thought considering the situation, it was best to give my business a rest and only do what I could in terms of documenting everything but now I am outside of the hardest part, I believe I can look back on it all with a lot more clarity. When we are inside of a situation, we only gain true insight once we have stepped out of it. I shared my story with Pink Hope, and it was published on Mamamia - you can read the full story here, but I will summarise below to catch you up.
January I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. At the same time, found out I was BRCA1 positive which means my genes just don't know how to properly kill off breast, ovarian and some other cancer cells properly. In a matter of a few days I found out at 27 years of age, life as I knew it would be ripped out from under me. I was stage 1 that we knew of, but because my tumour was grade 3 and an aggressive type of cancer (besides my body abandoning me by not working properly) I would have to have 6 months of chemotherapy and then undergo a double mastectomy.
Looking back, that poor girl in the surgeons office is far from who I am today. I was just living life... I worked 4 days a week as a travel agent, saving my money for travel and the rest of the time hustling to live my passion, coaching people to love themselves and shift their lives in massive ways. Underneath though, I was gulping for air.
You know that feeling when you are striving for everything you believe in, following your dreams in the best way you can, you even visualise how it is supposed to go, but it feels so out of reach? I knew everything I needed to know to help others, I even spoke of philosophies I thought I understood; however I had only skimmed the surface on understanding them - like being book smart without much real experience, how I imagine a doctor might feel straight out of medical school.
Little did I realise I already had years of experience, I just needed to jump over this massive hurdle to unlock the understandings.
So, it has been 2 weeks since finishing chemo and I am already feeling my body bounce back. My energy levels have spiked, my emotions are starting to balance again and the horrible drugs are all starting to leave my system. For 6 months it has been Chemo drugs (Adriamycin, Cyclophosphamide, Taxol, Carboplatin) steroids, reflux medication, injecting myself with Neulasta (boosts white blood cells), getting injected with Zoladex (protects the ovaries but induces early but usually temporary menopause), Epilepsy drugs - well that is all I can think of right now, but you get the point. I've been a mess mentally, emotionally, physically.
At first I was the most positive cancer patient out, and it wasn't even fake - I truly felt that way. I was only 6 weeks away from finishing chemo when the depression started to sink in slowly. It wasn't just the cocktail of drugs I was on - I had also made the very big but necessary decision to cut someone in my family off, because the relationship had stopped serving me for a very long time but I stayed and bit my tongue to make that person happy. I was extremely sad and felt incredibly guilty at first, but I am so happy I did it because I now know that by people pleasing and biting my tongue, I was only suppressing negative emotions and energies that were contributing to my sickness.
By making this one decision, years of emotions and thoughts I had suppressed came up in a matter of weeks, severely straining me in what was supposed to be a time of healing. I wondered why it was all coming up now, when I needed to be calm and thinking positively. I questioned - is this the time to be doing this? I started wondering if I was supposed to die. The strain got so heavy I started seeing a therapist and started filling a new journal for all the thoughts I was processing, I also read some books that really shifted my thinking.
As I released and worked on myself, I started to notice a new me start to creep in. It was working, everything I was doing - slowly. I was starting to feel happy again, but it was a new kind of happy. True happiness grounded in my soul, because I was finally releasing old wounds, letting go of grudges, saying goodbye to people who had hurt me but didn't want to change, realising that it was not my responsibility to facilitate change for anyone but myself because by healing myself, I would indirectly be healing others without even trying.
I reconnected with people who had been cut out of my life against my will, and touched base with people who meant a lot to me but life had gotten in the way. I was taking back my power, forming my identity again, releasing myself from enmeshment with others so I could stand alone, free, liberated.
None of this came lightly though. It came with oceans of tears, thoughts about whether I could carry on, fiery anger brighter than the sun, regretfully even believing that death might be easier than the agony of living while I suffer all of this at once! However, as the light started creeping in again I could see how necessary all of that pain was. Looking at my bald head, beady eyes and pale skin in the mirror doesn't make me wish I was the old Sarah again at all, in fact to me, my bald head signifies rebirth and renewal, a chance to start fresh.
It might sound crazy to you right now, but I am so happy this happened. It was the hardest thing I have ever been through, and it isn't even over yet, but I see everything so clearly now. Without these experiences, I would not be who I am today: someone with an age of wisdom, thousands of sisters supporting me, a clearer sense of my purpose for living and a heart that is full of compassion and forgiveness.
The thing they don't tell you about cancer is that once treatment is over, that is it. The oncologist doesn't call to ask how you're going and your surgeon is only concerned with getting your surgery done with clear margins. Then you're basically on your own other than some physio to prevent lymphedema.
Now it is up to me to play an active role in looking after my body and making sure my cancer never comes back. I see my naturopath, she provides me with herbs and supplements to build me back up and sends me for tests so we can see the bigger picture in how my body works. I shop for organic fruit, veg and meat and fill my body with a rainbow of goodness. I read all the books I can and chant loving affirmations under my breath all day. I have my daily routine of gratitude, sunlight, nature and self love. I am working on clearing my energetic space and I see my therapist to help me work on the barriers in my mind. I get my first ever puppy next week, because he is going to be healing, unconditional LOVE and something else to live for.
Yesterday was a beautiful day for me because my friend Maysa gave me a special energy clearing. She used Point of Light Crystal Therapy to do a soul retrieval with my inner child and then helped me clear spiritual contracts of abuse. She also cleared my heart and root chakras and helped me to create a shield of light to protect me from negative energy. I left that session feeling one million times lighter and intend on continuing energy clearing for the rest of my life. She created a space for me to safely address wounds I had been holding onto since childhood and cut cords attaching me to people who drained my energy. My partner even said my face looked different after; it was that powerful! To try this therapy, contact her through her page here I highly recommend this to everyone!
Here is me and the moon after my amazing session:
It is not just the physical body we must work on, it is our mental, emotional and spiritual bodies too. Although I was born with this BRCA gene, I truly believe the emotional torment I experienced as a child contributed to getting cancer so young. I held onto the pain for years and years and that pain festered into cancer. If we do not heal these wounds now, they manifest in our physical body in negative ways, and we never see the true cause until we start unpacking the wounds.
Soon I will be back helping others heal and unpack these wounds to finally liberate themselves too; but before I give anyone else my energy, I must heal myself, rebuild my energy and fill myself up so I am no longer gulping for air, but breathing slowly & deeply, sharing that breath of life with the world.
It all starts with deciding to put yourself first and prioritising self care; the rest follows in flow! My double mastectomy is on the 29th of August. I will be saying bye to my boobs and its sad, but with time I have come to accept that doing this is giving me extra years of life which is priceless! It will take me some time to recover, but it won't take me long to get back to my passion, which is helping people create the lives they WANT!
If you want to get on the waiting list for a free coaching session, send me a message and as soon as I open my calendar you'll be at the top of the list!
See you soon xx