Sometimes I can feel confusion about who I really am. I’ve perceived this for many years through pain and glory. Types of experiences with highs and lows bring forth further realizations and inquiries to my true self. My goal has always been to accomplish freedom. Cancer has brought me through invitations and even gateways in my path to freedom. That has been my choice. I cannot stay chained in my pain. Challenges must be opportunities.
As I recover from my third awake brain surgery on November, 19, 2013, my brain, body, and being continue to discover my vulnerability, heart expansion, quirks, transformation, ways to truly see and be myself, reality of people, community, my purpose, and much more.
Through my healing post-surgery, I learned about more requirements. I knew that the entire tumor could not be removed. Conversations with UCLA with available test results and cancer treatment recommendations occurred in December and January. At my UCLA appointment with Tim Cloughesy, MD in the middle of January to discuss test results and next steps, I expressed agreement to radiation and chemotherapy with Temodar, as well as potential dendritic cell vaccines for immunotherapy with Linda Liau, MD, PhD.
For almost 16 years as a cancer survivor, I have worked to support my optimal health and healing as much as possible without more conventional cancer treatments. Brain surgery is extremely complex and I had the necessity to do it three times. Now radiation and chemotherapy are necessary conventional treatments for my journey through a brain tumor. I have accepted these unexpected treatments as I study ways for it to work. Fortunately blood tests, healthy foods, supplements, and more approaches support me in the preparation process too. Through using more strategies for optimal cancer care, I’m also getting clear on my entire plan during radiation and chemotherapy. Thankfully evidence-based findings with integrative cancer care significantly reduce or avoid those side effects, among other benefits.
I’ve processed a tremendous amount in my decision-making for radiation and chemotherapy with Temodar. Proactively I researched, thought through, digested, further researched, and chose what made sense for me. I also had to move through some blocks, preferences, pain, fear, uncertainty, and the unknown. Ultimately I found clear optimism for radiation and Temodar to effectively work for me. I embody the essence with acceptance and confidence. I’ll continue to apply positive thinking through the light as I move through the darkness of this chapter, and with radiation and Temodar working against the brain tumors.
Many of you know my work and personal connections with integrative cancer care. As I go through this chapter in my cancer journey with major conventional cancer treatments, I want to emphasize that integrative cancer care includes conventional cancer care plus whole person health and healing of the entire physical body, mind, spirit, social, and environmental health. Indeed, conventional cancer care is included in integrative cancer care. I am fully aware of the importance to include conventional cancer treatments when necessary. I would have preferred to avoid more conventional cancer treatments, yet that is not possible for me at this time. In my cancer path as I’ve known people with cancer, I witnessed some cancer patients who almost died choosing to avoid conventional cancer treatments. Some of them were able to even dramatically improve their survival when ultimately choosing conventional cancer treatments, but others not. For myself, I know conventional cancer treatments are the next important therapies for me right now. Other complementary therapies will also support me during this process. Then my integrative cancer therapies will be further developed after my radiation and Temodar. My healing continues.
Today in the afternoon en route through West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Westwood into UCLA, I will arrive for my first radiation and Temodar. On this grand, glorious day, I’ll address any of my fear and process my vulnerability to help me further awaken. As I increasingly dwell into the light, any towers in my heart and soul will dissolve into nothingness. See you there, see you everywhere.