I have been exploring holistic health and natural healing remedies for a few decades. In fact, I’ve spent a good amount of time “self-diagnosing” myself for many years and using holistic healing approaches to help whatever ails me. Part of this was born out of necessity. We have always had health insurance, but it was the high-deductible/large out-of-pocket type because it was the most affordable plan for our family. We rarely saw a doctor for anything and, thankfully, have been relatively healthy most of the past 20+ years.

On top of that, I have played the “if I ever ______, this is what I’d do” game. We have all done it at one time or another, whether it be in the workplace, at home, about our health, or about the car who cut us off in traffic. “If I ever had cancer, I’d take this supplement and that supplement and the other. I’d request alternative healing approaches. I might even seek out holistic health facilities that focus on the type of cancer I have.” Etcetera and so forth.

Sometimes, we win the game. Sometimes, we lose. Sometimes, we don’t even need to play.

When I first discovered that I might have some type of cancer, honestly, alternative healing didn’t even enter my brain. I remember asking my primary care physician what I could do naturally to help my situation, but I never thought of ditching traditional approaches. I remember thinking that I’m only 58, and I expect at least 3-4 more decades so I can watch my daughters’ lives unfold and travel more with my husband. I was, and still am, completely aggravated that we actually had to stop our full-time RV traveling to take care of this health situation. And then I began reading, writing, and reciting positive affirmations for my healing and my continued good health. I was, and still am, open to positive, loving, and healing energy and prayers sent my way. I graciously accept them. And I have been focusing on finding out exactly what I have and moving forward with the traditional approach.

I recently called someone close to me to give her an update. Holistic health and alternative healing have always been topics we have in common and easily converse about them when we talk on the phone or see each other. When I informed her of my upcoming biopsy and chemotherapy treatment, I heard her hesitate then say “so you aren’t going the natural route?” followed by a feeling of disappointment.

My response was that I will use more of a complementary approach; that I will use all the tools in the toolbox. Yes, I am moving forward with traditional treatment. And, yes, I’m going to use nutrition and supplements to help the traditional treatment and, hopefully, help ease side effects.

Her comment was an Aha! moment for me, though. Maybe this wasn’t the cancer I was considering when I was playing the game. Maybe some cancers might respond better to natural remedies and others don’t. Maybe I’ve unknowingly interfered in others’ decisions for themselves, instead of being supportive (I apologize if I have been that way). Maybe people need to do what is right for them in the moment in which they find themselves. It is really nobody else’s business. We need to do what is right for ourselves, and all that is needed from others is support. Not judgment, not disappointment; just hope and love and support.

Update on my current health situation: I had a needle biopsy in my neck on 2/3/22. There was enough information there to determine that it is definitely lymphoma, but not enough information to determine the exact type (after all, there are 70+ different types). Since each type of lymphoma requires a different treatment approach, my treatment cannot begin until they know exactly what it is. So, this Friday, 2/18/22, I will undergo a surgical biopsy during which a lymph node will be removed for diagnosis. A chemotherapy port will also be installed in/on me during surgery. I am guessing that as soon as they know the precise type of lymphoma, I will begin treatment. I have not yet started thinking about the side effects because I know it will overwhelm me and pull me down. Right now, I’m focusing on the end game. Hopefully, by August of this year, I will be cured of this unwelcome resident in my body. It will be kicked out and NOT INVITED BACK!

Carl is who he is, and he has already been helpful and supportive. He has been attending my doctor’s appointments with me. Lately, he has done most of the cooking and dish washing. He frequently asks if I’m okay or need anything. And he continues to work his part-time job at Lowe’s Home Improvement, which helps with our finances, gives him a break, allows him to do something he really enjoys (helping people), and gives me time to myself to process everything, to write, to talk to others, to cry, to think positively … whatever the day demands of me.

Thank you for taking the time to think of us and to read this blog. We are grateful for all of the loving support we are receiving.