10 Years Cancer Free!

I can’t believe 10 years have passed since my Hodgkin’s Lymphoma stage 3b diagnosis! I thank God everyday that He brought me through, & stronger than ever, with a deep passion for natural healing🙏🏽.

I mark today as my 10th year cancer free, as this was the day that I completed my very last chemo treatment. I did 6 months of chemo, 2x a month. I try to not live with regrets, & I must admit, it’s something that I still struggle with even ten years later…the regret of not looking towards alternative routes of healing instead of using chemo (which my oncologist told me has a half life of 10-12 years in the body!). I WISH I had all of knowledge that I have now about healing from the inside out & I WISH I was in the right head space to do so. I just know in my gut that 23 years of topical steroid use for eczema at the time contributed to the cancer. Plus just not taking care of my health in general, eating terribly etc. Clearly in retrospect I would’ve done things much different, BUT I’ve learned that everything happens the way it should, in its own divine time, in its own way. Some background to my diagnosis…I was 23 years old, I had graduated college the year before, the stress of school really took its toll on my body & my skin & overall health was going downhill fast. It’s like I could feel it the moment I graduated…like I was just holding out the last couple of months, struggling to make it through. I didn’t know anything about stopping the steroids and looking towards natural routes of healing, I had no intention of living a healthy lifestyle…I became reclusive because of the way my skin looked as it was getting worse and it was hard for me to even look in the mirror, hence why I had no idea of the lump growing in my clavicle. It was only until I went for a regular check up with a new primary care doc did she point out the lump. Many needle biopsies at the ENT doc later which were inconclusive, then to surgery of the removal of the golf ball sized mass which then led to the diagnosis of cancer.

My world stopped, in disbelief I felt like once again my body was broken. I had a mediport put into my chest to administer chemo…which my body literally pushed out weeks later! It’s like my body was screaming to me that it didn’t want chemo, & to find another way! I then had to have multiple PICC lines in my arms to take the chemo (multiple because my skin continually got infected from the PICC lines). Thank the Lord I didn’t feel sick, not once during chemo & that I didn’t lose all of my hair, just some of it, & it came back thicker than before! Everyone told me “you’ll be stronger after all of this” & it’s so true! In times of fear, I’ve told myself “if I can get through cancer like a boss then I can get through anything!” Although it took me 3 more years to learn about the danger of topical steroids, within that time I was seeking a better way of living, which allowed me to gradually change my lifestyle to a healthier one. I continued to hunger for knowledge and when I learned about naturally healing eczema I knew it was the direction I needed to be in. If you are dealing with a health issue, and/or cancer I highly recommend looking into alternative treatments, using food as medicine. Become knowledgeable on all of the resources out there…look into the Gerson Therapy, movies like The Truth About Cancer, What the Health, Forks Over Knives, books like The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, and amazing doctors like Dr.Greger are all full of great info to get you on the right path. I now know of how amazing our bodies are at self healing, that anything is possible and we just need to give the body the right tools to help it heal.

I’m cancer free and I give all thanks to God for getting me through & for continuing to repair my body! 💙

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8.27.17 <3 Five Years & Five Months TS Free!

 

AUGUST 16 2017

Today, August 27th 2017 is my 32nd birthday! I seriously can’t believe sometimes that I’m in my 3os AHHHHHH! Although getting older can be daunting at times, I’m so very thankful for reaching another year, stronger, healthier and wiser than the last. I’m always in awe of all that I’ve been through with my health and how I’m still here…even after many times of, well honestly wanting to not be here. It’s sad to talk about but at my lowest of lowest moments I had a lot of mental & emotional turmoil within, where I didn’t want to live to only see the next day struggling in my body again. I give thanks to God that He gave me the strength to keep pushing, to KNOW that things won’t always be this way, that in time it will get better, and my body WILL heal.

“This too shall pass.”

Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”

At this moment as I type this I’m not in an agonizing pain with an intense itch. I only have some irritation around my mouth (little cuts that are oh so stubborn to heal up already) that can be painful at times and tight to where it’s hard to open my mouth. I’m not complaining though because it was only two years ago on my birthday I remember being stuck in the house with oozy achy feet. My bestie who lived with me at the time was so sweet and brought home vegan cupcakes and balloons for me, and another bestie of mine came to visit with gifts as well! I do wish I was back in New York with my friends, partying it up this past weekend, maybe going to a concert and out to dinner…but I’m thankful that I’m here, alive, breathing, in good health that will only continue to get better and better!

I give thanks that I have the strength to take care of my mom who had 3 spinal surgeries last year and is recovering with the use of a walker and a wheelchair. It can be hard to see her struggle with numb & weak legs and feet, but her positive attitude and resilience shows me that no matter how hard it gets never give up, and continue to have faith and hope! Through my struggles and experience I can assure her that healing does indeed take time, and that the patience that I had to learn through my healing process is the same virtue that she must adopt (she can be like me at times and want it to hurry up and end already lol). I give thanks that the mother who gave birth to me 32 years ago and who has been there with me through it all can now lean on me as I help to take care of her. I know that my future birthdays will be bright with even better health, great experiences and adventures!

As I reflect on this past year, my heart is full of gratitude for the ups and even the downs as it strengthened me, for those who helped in anyway possible as it showed me that there are kind people out there willing to lend a hand and to not always feel like I have it under control, that I can be vulnerable and ask for help. I have gratitude for my environment, for the healing sun rays that I’ve definitely taken advantage of this year and the healing plant based foods that I’ve been able to get living here in Florida. I have gratitude for my body, for healing so nicely and never letting me down…even in the days when I would look down at my skin and scream at it, wondering why it’s flaring again…why is this my body…then of course I’d lovingly take back those words and speak life into myself, close my eyes and pray over my body and envision only clear healthy skin. I give thanks for my family, friends and all of those whom I’ve met through this website, instagram and facebook support groups, always giving me encouraging words and giving me blessings and thanks for the work that I do just helping them out on their healing journey. I’m so thankful for another birthday, and I look forward to all of the amazing things that are ahead of me! ❤

(click continue reading below for more!)

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Happy Holidays!

stringolights

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve put a blog post up, but I shall be posting more frequently soon!

I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season and spreading love and giving thanks! It seems like we need an overflow of love more now than ever.

I’ve especially been giving thanks for all that God has brought me through this year. 2016 has been a rough road for sure. It’s been a year and 3 months since I’ve relocated to Florida and I’m so amazed at how far I’ve come! From September 2015-December 2015 I was in such a state. Just flying down from Nyc to Florida was difficult and I barely left the house because of the terrible shape my feet were in. I experienced intense pain, nerve tingles, oozing and extreme shedding from my legs down. Thankfully these symptoms started to taper off, and I was able to go out and be more active around springtime. This past summer I experienced even better healing progress! I’ve stayed with clear skin pretty consistently since the end of summer, with the exception of a few spots on my feet that occasionally get irritated, with some discolouration taking it’s time to even out. (I’ve been using a diy essential oil lotion for the discolouration which you can find more info about here…number 6)

Just last month I progressed to comfortably wearing socks and sneakers…something I haven’t done since spring 2015! Thankfully I live in a warm enough climate where I can get away with sandals in the fall/winter 😂 I even started driving again, something that I haven’t done since 2010!! I’ve been sleeping better, not experiencing any oozing (except for those few spots on my feet), very little shedding of skin, zero pain, and only itchiness from my knees down! The wrinkling or elephant skin has gone down a lot and will only continue to go down (although it still persists on bends of my feet unfortunately). I remember last year having such torn up fingers that just water alone would irritate them, leaving me in an itch fest. Thankfully the skin has gotten stronger and doesn’t irritate me like before! (I shall post healing photos in a separate post before the end of the year)

All of these wonderful progressions came at the exact right time as my mother has been dealing with her own health issues. I know God has a plan because as I was struggling with my health, my mother was there to see me through. Now that I’m doing much better, I’m strong enough to reciprocate and help my mother through her healing process. She was diagnosed with Meningitis and it progressed to swelling and a lot of scar tissue on her spine which started to effect her walking, gave her intense numbness and nerve pain. 3 spinal surgeries later (due to complications), and she’s been slowly healing with the help of physical therapy and the assistance of a walker & a wheelchair. I hate that this is the current situation, but I give thanks that I am strong enough to take on the day to day responsibilities. It truly shows that everything happens at it’s right time.

It’s so hard to see her like this, especially when she is in such pain. She has been my strength through all of my health trials & exhibits that same strength to battle through her own healing process. Even as she experiences set backs like recently, she still keeps such a positive attitude and keeps the faith & hope. She knows that this is temporary and that she WILL heal. I keep reminding her of what I have come to know with my healing journey that “healing isn’t linear” that there will be many ups and downs, just because the body takes awhile to repair, but to trust it because it WILL repair. She reflects that exact same faith that she has instilled in me all of these many years, even when she isn’t having such a great day or as the medical bills continue to pile up. She knows to give thanks and to keep continuing to praise God as he has brought us through struggles before and he WILL do it again! She’s doing the work, staying postitve, eating well (she’s been vegan for a year now!), and even using her own home remedies for cell regeneration and scar tissue with the helichrysum and frankinscense essential oil along with many other oils for pain, numbeness and weakness.

I just want to send this message out to all of you who come across my site and who are suffering. I’m thankful for all of the kind words and emails that I receive and I continue to strive to be of service to you all in any way that I can. I know how hard it is to heal your skin. I know first hand the excruciating pain and suffering. I know the excitement of waking up pain free, or showering pain free! I’ve experienced the many many ups and downs of this healing journey and as I’ve said before I am so thankful that I’ve endured it and never gave up, going through topical steroid withdrawal is the best decision I’ve ever made! Now there were many times where I just wanted to throw in the towel, but I knew that I had to keep my trust and faith in God, and keep believing deep down that this is temporary and it will end…that it is only a fraction of my life taken to heal and I will be much stronger, healthier and appreciative for life afterwards. When you are feeling like you cannot go on, just dig a little deeper. Just make it through the day and know that tomorrow will be better, that seeing tomorrow means one more day closer to a healthier you! Look towards the future and all of the awesome things you will do, and how you will never take anything for granted. Have gratitude every single day, even when you are in extreme pain, because the pain has to happen for the body to heal and repair, give thanks that your body is cleansing properly to get you healthy again.

I pray that everyone has a blessed holiday season and healing success and continued blessing for the new year! Never give up, just take it all one day at a time and have constant gratitude. Reach out to others who are suffering are in need of love, it will ease you out of your pain and give you a boost to keep going. Encourage someone who is in a tough spot and spread love whenever you can, not only in this holiday season but every day of the year!

God bless you Eczema Warriors! Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like at my email address: eczema.holistic.healing@gmail.com

❤ Jen

Summer 2016 healing! 

Can’t take cred for this adorable pic lol

Here it is finally, my summer 2016 healing update! I guess being that today is the first day of fall, it’s better that I get it in today, better now than never! It’s been a little while since I’ve given an update with pictures and such, so here it is!

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4 Years Topical Steroid Free!

blossoms
Spring Blossoms ❤

Yup, you read that title right… March 2016 marks four whole years that I’ve been topical steroid free! It’s pretty amazing when I look back at all that I’ve endured, physically, mentally & emotionally. This post is kind of bittersweet because on one hand I have nothing but gratitude in my heart that I’ve come this far but on the other hand I wish I could be writing this saying that I’m completely healed and back to my normal life. Now this isn’t to discourage anyone…healing DOES happen. In my case it’s taking awhile. If you’re new to my blog I think it’s best for me to give some background of my history. I used topical steroids from 10 months old to 26 years old. I also had injections of (I believe) triamcinolone into my hands and feet multiple times. I was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2008, which I underwent 6 months of chemo twice a month (it’s said chemo has a half life in the body up to 10-12 years!). So needless to say I’ve had A LOT of toxic build up in my body, hence my lengthy withdrawal. Buuuut I’m apparently right around the time as far as healing times go. Supposedly for every 7 years you’ve used TS you will go through a year of withdrawal. So although actually 28 years of usage would equal 4 years of withdrawal, I’m not too far off, plus I have the “added bonus” of injections and chemo 😦 . Everyone is different and depending on your usage and potency you may have a shorter or longer healing time than myself, so don’t be alarmed by my lengthy healing time… you may restore faster than me, it just all depends.

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Finally Getting Some Sun!

Sunshiiiiiine! Wonderful, glorious, beautiful sunshine!!!sunshine

My skin has been craving some good ol’ vitamin D and a few days ago it was warm enough (55 degrees) to sit on the stoop and soak up some healing rays 🙂 I live in NYC and this winter has been quiet long, and pretty brutal. Being homebound and not being able to put on shoes to get out to take a walk and such has been pretty rough on me, but I’m so thankful that spring has finally sprung and the weather is warming up enough to get some sunlight on my deficient skin. I have no doubt that just soaking in some sun will help along my healing! 

Vitamin D is so crucial for the human body and especially for eczema sufferers.

  • It can help the immune system reduce levels of inflammatory proteins called cytokines, and it strengthen your skin barriers.
  • Vitamin D causes skin cells to make more antimicrobial proteins, which is why people with low levels of vitamin D tend to have more skin infections.

Since I’m darker skinned, I will need to absorb the suns rays longer than someone of fairer skin. The melanin (substance that affects how light or dark your skin colour is) that is in my skin makes it harder for the UVB rays to enter my skin. So with less UVB being absorbed through the skin, less vitamin D is produced each minute.

vitDchart

The paler your skin type the more easily your skin can produce vitamin D. So, if you have skin type I to III, you produce vitamin D more quickly than if you have skin type IV to VI. For example, if you have skin type I, it might take around 15 minutes of sun exposure to get the vitamin D you need, while if you have skin type V or VI, it might take up to six times longer (up to 2 hours).

Because of all these factors – your skin type, where you live and the time of day or season – it can be difficult to work out how much time you need to spend exposing your skin to the sun in order to get the vitamin D you need. A good rule of thumb is to get half the sun exposure it takes for your skin to turn pink to get your vitamin D and expose as much skin as possible.

Source: Vitamin D Council

The best way to get vitamin D is of course through the sun, but you can get it through supplements and small amounts in certain foods. You can find this vitamin in a vegan food source…mushrooms! Just like humans, mushrooms have the capacity to produce vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light.

I have been taking a few whole food plant based supplements to help give me a lil boost of vitamin D while I’ve been hibernating this winter. This Premium Mushroom Blend supplement for vitamin D2 and another whole food plant based supplement  for Vitamin D3. If you are interested in more info about it just shoot me an email! eczema.holistic.healing@gmail.com .

Here’s some info from the http://www.itsan.org q & a section about sunbathing…..

Q: I’ve heard that getting some sun on my skin may help me heal. Can you describe this in detail?

A: Sun is not promised to speed healing but is often found to help. It is only recommended for those in the later stages of Topical Steroid Withdrawal after flares have stopped, and when the skin is dry, thicker, and not pink or red. UV rays can help restore the dry, steroid-damaged skin to a normal, healthy state. You must be careful to avoid getting too much sun or getting too hot. Start with a short amount of time (10 minutes or less) and work your way up to 20 minutes. Cool sun is recommended.

 

April 4, 2015

*my skin’s looking quite dry in these photos because I didn’t apply any emollients like coconut oil, shea butter or micro algae lotion before going out.  It wasn’t really a conscious thing, I guess I just forgot lol.

 

I saved a gross photo for last… some extreme skin flakes… check it out if you dare! 😛

Continue reading “Finally Getting Some Sun!”