My whole world was falling apart. How could I, a healthy and happy yoga teacher, wife to an amazing partner, and mother of four beautiful children have advanced ovarian cancer at age 43? I had just graduated that May with a bachelor’s degree and had just begun graduate school to further my professional goals. The morning of my diagnoses I taught a yoga class. This could not be happening to me. But it did happen to me.
I was hospitalized for 17 days and underwent a very intense abdominal surgery called “debulking” to remove as much of the cancer as possible from my body. During my time at the hospital Mary and Heidi were there every day. One of them came to my bedside every single day. I can honestly say that I would not have done so well in that surgery without the services and support of Be Well.
Heidi and Mary of Be Well do amazing work. They are truly following their dharma through this work. They utilize guided imagery, meditation, deep relaxation techniques using breath work, and yoga poses all drawn from a deep well of compassion.
During their visits they would take me through guided meditation and I could feel the intense stress leave my body. I could feel myself finally starting to breathe for the first time that day and connect with my true nature as the terror I felt inside was calmed down for that time.
How does the process of Be Well’s therapy work? Well, one of the techniques we used was to envision the deity Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, with his beautiful eyes and long sweeping trunk. My surgeon was named Dr. Gosh and in our sessions we merged Dr. Gosh with Ganesh by envisioning the surgeon’s hands as the trunk of Ganesh; seeking out all the cancer inside my body and inhaling it all away. In another session they came and took me to a perfect beach where in my mind I was led through a beautiful asana practice. I was dreadfully missing my daily yoga practice and although I cried through the whole practice it was just what my heart and body needed that day as I envisioned myself once again healthy and happy on my mat.
After I returned home, they came to my house and we called up the mighty Durga, the goddess of victory of good over evil. We prepared for battle readying my mind and body for the rigors of chemo. I am still in chemo and I take Ganesh and Durga with me every time I go to the chemo chair. I close my eyes, connect with my breath, visualizing the long sweeping trunk of Ganesh finding every last cancer cell as Durga rides in on her lion with all her powerful weapons to slay the cancer beast. These are the gifts I received from Be Well. I am so thankful to have learned these coping tools from Heidi and Mary; my loving friends and Be Well therapists.
When cancer enters the life of yourself or a loved one - everything changes. I hope this blog might serve to help someone else on their journey. Feel free to comment or submit any questions you may have about cancer treatments, coping strategies, the services offered by Be Well, and/or anything else that might come up to the Be Well contact page. Please know that you are not alone.
With love, light, and peace,