She Lives

The doctors never told us mom had only a year to live or anything like that, but they never told us that she could beat this either. At the beginning of November 2015 my mom was diagnosed with either stage 1 or 2 Pancreatic Cancer. There is some discrepancy in the stages because the tumour fit the size of stage 1 but the nature of stage 2. It was complicated by a blood clot too and the tumour was not operable.

It has the highest mortality rate of all the major cancers – 92% of patients die within 5 years of their diagnosis and 75% of patients die within the first year.

It is the only leading cancer killer with a 5 year survival rate still in the single digits at 8% and the survival rate has not improved in the last 40 years.

It is referred to as a silent killer – it’s difficult to detect and spreads so quickly. Vague symptoms including back/abdominal pain, jaundice and nausea usually appear after the cancer is at an advanced stage making it difficult to treat.

…..

Surgery offers the best chance for long term survival. Only 15% of patients are diagnosed early enough to be eligible for surgery. The most common form of surgery for removal of a pancreatic tumor is the whipple procedure and may be followed with chemotherapy or a combination of chemotherapy/radiation.

For the patients who are not surgical candidates, chemotherapy or a combination of chemotherapy with radiation is typically offered. Chemotherapy after surgery can lower the chances of the cancer returning. Chemotherapy for metastatic pancreatic cancer can extend life and improve the quality of life for people with the disease.

Approximately 52% of all patients are diagnosed when the disease has spread to surrounding organs leaving little hope for survival (only 2% will survive five years).

from www.pancreaticcancer.ca

Since the tumour was not operable she was only offered chemotherapy. I started doing more and more research in to the essential oils that we were already using for my family’s well being and found there was a lot of research that spoke to their anti-tumour properties. The other awesome thing I found about using the oils is that they are complimentary therapy. Using them alongside chemotherapy has no contradictions!

Mom had been put on a heavy dose of 5 different chemotherapy drugs. She was supposed to get a round of chemo every two weeks over 5-6 hours. Her body didn’t react well to chemo. Does anyone’s body, really? Chemotherapy is essentially filling your body with enough poison to kill the cancer but not the host. I totally understand people who choose not to do it at all. It is hell.

In the time she was supposed to get 13 rounds of chemo, her body only allowed her to get 8. They tried eliminating drugs and gradually took her down to only 3 drugs, but her numbers were still often low. Her numbers were too low numerous times, sometimes 2 and 3 weeks in a row. This left her tumour time to grow, untouched by chemo.

So what else did we do????       WE USED ESSENTIAL OILS!

I use and sell doTERRA, so naturally we stuck with the best essential oil company out there! I love this company and their product. I’m so thankful to them on so many levels. Here I am just documenting what we did for my mom, because so many people have asked. Oils, along with chemo therapy, worked for her and I’m so thankful. This is just our story and experience. I do believe oils can benefit everyones well-being but I am not claiming these oils will cure everyone’s cancer. I do hope with more stories like this, we will be putting more funding and research into using more natural products to prevent and treat cancer.

With using oils and minimal chemo as complimentary therapies, her blood clot and tumour shrunk enough in 6 months to have her qualify for surgery. She had a type of whipple surgery. It was hard and she was in the hospital for 3 weeks. As of May 30th, 2016 though…. SHE IS CANCER FREE! 3 months later she is still healing from such an invasive surgery but going strong!

Let me know if you have any questions or would like to experience these life giving oils yourself. I’d love to be a part of your journey with oils! You can email me at becomingkatie@hotmail.com or find me at my Facebook group Becoming Katie with Oils. If you are ready to try these oils for yourself and family you can get them in your home by clicking HERE! They have had countless benefits for my family and helping us get through cancer is just one of them!

Awake my Soul

I was so ignorant about the power that cancer holds. I was so unready. Is anyone ever ready for it?

Confusion and fear of the unknown clouded so much of my experience. Confusions from what the doctors where telling us, from the effects of cancer and “cancer killing” chemotherapy on the body, from all the conflicting emotions, from the relationships broken and strengthened, from the energy depleted and given, from the guilt and from the joy.

The doctors where giving protocols based on educated guesses at best. Pancreatic cancer is not one that many survive. Researching how to fight the cancer came up with so much more information and ideas than my mind was able to handle. My heart yearned for answers but there are so many half truths, lies feeding off desperate people and taking their money, special circumstances, and anecdotal evidence. Sifting through it all is impossible.

I was thriving in all the chaos and uncertainty though, as I do… a gift or a scar from my childhood. I was fighting the unraveling with control, knowledge and attempts at preparedness for every possible outcome. It was an exhausting, hyper alert state. It’s not just going down one road. It’s going down 18 different roads all at once and having all the emotions that go with each one, but keeping them all in check so I didn’t fall apart. It was unsustainable.

Then Mom was going to live… so it was safe to fall and feel again.

I’m choosing weakness and vulnerability now, or at least I’m trying to, and I’m starting to see strength and bravery in myself. I want to show my brokenness more and shine the strength that sits there. It’s scary and empowering.

It’s strange how just allowing yourself to feel is so healing. I’m still struggling but feeling that struggle is life-giving and so uncomfortable… Some days I feel pathetic, lazy and judged for being depressed now that Mom is getting better… She is going to live now, I should be elated. Why did the grief have to come now?

Days where I have practiced self-compassion, a skill I am very new too, I feel brave. I want my girls to know that bravery is not fearlessness, but that it is feeling that fear or sadness and still doing those hard things. So today, I’m scared, sad and wanting to give in to avoidance and numbness but I’m choosing to go forward and feel… Letting fear and grief sit and my table and mold me. It is all part of becoming a better version of myself.

This is a post I’m still wrapping my mind around. It was supposed to be a about celebration and our trip to Disneyland and morphed in to something totally different. Mom has been cancer free, officially, for 3 months now! I’m still processing the relief, the gratefulness, the guilt, and the exhaustion still. This is me tonight.

The trip was celebratory. Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. My kids, my sisters, spouses and Mom had a blast! It was a blessing and seeing Disneyland and the characters through my girls’ eyes. It was so fun to spend time as a larger family, connecting, laughing, hot tubbing, drinking and getting along! I’ll try to tell you about it again with pictures instead of words.

As fabulous as our celebration trip was, it was not restful… I still need the rest I think. Through rest, oils, yoga and a whole lot of self-compassion and care my soul is waking up again. There is a song, by Mumford and Sons, called Awake My Soul. It was on my ‘soul music’ playlist this past year. It speaks to my journey towards thankfulness through my moms cancer, to rest and a now to new realization of my being, or more appropriately, my becoming.

Sofie is 8

My second, but oldest, child is 8 years old.

Where did the time go?! I look at her and see more teenager than baby.

She is  3’9 tall and  48 lbs. Size 6 clothing, nearly into 7. She is in typical gymnastics and swim lessons and rocking them! I love seeing her work hard. She has really improved her gross motor skills. She can swim a full meter and improving weekly, though our reasons to put her in swimming was to give her the skills to go with her fearlessness… she got some more skills but more confidence and fearlessness to go with it and scare us half to death when she jumps off the floating boat in the deep end with her sister! She’s got skills on the trampoline and tumble mat. She is talking and learning so much more this year and I am continually in awe of her.

We’ve had a very busy last 6 months but we still pulled off a birthday party where Snow White came and visited and got a few Birthday pictures. Enjoy… and Happy Birthday Angel!