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! 💙

Hannah’s Healing Testimony!

June 2017 – Look at how beautiful Hannah’s skin looks!

I would like to share with you all a new series I will be doing on this website. It’s going to be featuring testimonials of eczema warriors who have battled through the healing process and are doing so great with their skin and overall health! This series is a celebration of their hard work and dedication to their healing journey. Each testimonial will share photos, their detailed healing experience, info about their vegan journey and encouragement for those out there still suffering. With each journey, I want to empasize how important nutrition is in this process. If you aren’t a stranger to my blog, you will know that it is something I’m super passionate about stressing as a huge component to healing. I hope you guys enjoy all of the testimonials to come! Starting off the series is a friend that I met through the facebook topical steroid withdrawal support group. Her name is Hannah, and she is an amazing, kind soul. I was so inspired by her story of strength and faith in God to get her through this process, I just had to ask her to share her story on my site! I hope you all can find encouragement through her struggle and be inspired by the way that she has taken control of her health! 

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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! ❤

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The Journey…

inspiration

So many times I will think about this “journey” that I’m on of healing. It’s been a loooong rough road and I still can’t believe that next month I will be 4 years topical steroid free! There have been many ups and downs. Many depressing times where I thought I had zero strength left in me to continue, then I realized I truly had no choice… it was either go back on the poisonous medication or keep on pushing, and I kept on pushing. I wiped my tears, calmed myself down, prayed and kept on going. My faith, and strength has been tested so many times I can’t even begin to count. Through all of the emotional and physical pain that I’ve endured, I would honestly not take it back. This journey that I’m on has changed me for the better. Just as the message says, I’ve felt that I’ve now become the person that I was always supposed to be in the first place. I have felt that this experience has broken me down so much that I’ve only had to understand myself in this broken state, the true person that I am. I feel that I’m now more empathetic to others pain and suffering, I feel so deeply now than I ever have before. I feel that I’ve found a purpose in all of this pain, and it’s to help others in any way that I can. To be of service is truly our only jobs on this planet and I feel that using my experience; the good the bad and the ugly, to inspire, help and comfort others is what it’s all about.

The journey may be a rough one to endure, but always remember that “the blessing is in the breaking”… when you’ve been broken down so much you finally realize who you are truly supposed to be and what the breaking is all about… bringing you to your highest self, vulnerable and ready to be built back up to a better you. Don’t give up, in your weakest hours is when your faith and strength are truly tested and when you need to hold on even tighter. In these moments I give thanks to the Most High. I praise God all throughout the day, when I’m having a great day and when I’m crying out in pain with thoughts of crawling into a deep hole to never return. He always listens, He always comforts and heals. Never give up on your faith… the journey may take longer than you’ve expected, but it WILL end, it may not be in your time, but in God’s time. Just know that everything has it’s purpose and  there is a reason and season for everything. Trust in your body’s natural ability to heal, just give it all of the love, rest and nutrients it needs to heal and it will do all the work. Always tell yourself how much you love yourself, no matter what state your skin is in, kiss your skin, talk to your body calmly and sweetly with positive healing words. Your thoughts will influence your healing just as much as what you put into your body and on your body. 🙂

Many Blessings Warriors ❤

Jen

I leave you with an inspirational tune from Hillsong United

Inspirational Sticky Notes

If there’s anything that I’ve learned through these 3 past years of withdrawing from topical steroids as well as getting through cancer years ago, it’s that your attitude is truly everything. We all go through times of suffering, some more than most, and to keep your sanity, it is so important to keep your mind right. To stay faithful, positive and full of gratitude, I feel is the key to getting through the rough times. Negative, despondent thoughts can keep you just as sick as the illness you’re fighting, so it’s super important to change your thinking.

I’ve been going through it pretty hard core these past few weeks. I’ve been experiencing a healing crisis with my skin to where spots on my feet and both of my calves have been oozing then crusting and flaking, with extreme itchiness. I know exactly why it’s doing this…I started going fully raw vegan with my diet and implementing enzymes therapy to help speed up healing…I’ll be doing a blog post on this later ;). After a few weeks of ups and downs, I feel like I can confidently say the worst of the cycling is over, and I’m coming out of the healing crisis into a calm (hopefully the end!!!) stage. My skin is feeling stronger, softer and much better off than before I implemented a raw diet. Although it was hell to go through at times, it was well worth it because I feel that this healing crisis was the last push my body needed.

Through these rough few weeks, I’ve had to really hold it together, dig deep, and find my strength to keep pushing through. I’d like to share with you all some sticky notes that I’ve had on my wall for years to keep me inspired. I’ve taken these stickies with me through two moves, one from North Carolina to New York, to another apartment also in New York. I look at them daily and since I’ve said the words from them over and over again, it’s ingrained in my mind so I repeat them throughout the day. I hope that the affirmations, and spiritual scriptures that I’ve scribbled on them can give you some inspiration to help keep you fighting through this eczema healing journey ❤

-Jen

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Tackling depression in TSW & the Dark Times in Life

Tackling depression in TSW & the Dark Times in Life
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Thanks Lorraine Glover for the beautiful artwork!

Topical Steroid Withdrawal is a process that will not only transform your body for the better as you physically heal from the toxins of the steroid use, but it will also test you mentally and emotionally.  Many warriors have gone through the trials of depression while healing and have found ways to cope, stay strong and to keep pressing on.  I felt that it would be a great idea to reach out to those on the facebook groups, itsan.org forum, and to those who have already healed from eczema and get their accounts on how they got through the dark time in their lives.

Continue reading “Tackling depression in TSW & the Dark Times in Life”