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[BEING CANCER FREE WAS NOT GOOD ENOUGH]

for disease free blog

In a galaxy far far away (not so long ago), I was sick.  Very sick.  Sick as in “lets-have-the-conversation-about-my-funeral-with-my-husband” sick.

Fortunately, after lots of stuff got pumped into my body, after many hospital stays, blood transfusions and scary moments I was declared DISEASE FREE, or as they say in cancerland  “NED” (no evidence of disease).

The journey that brought me from stage IV cancer to disease free was finished.  I was told to go on with my life.

During the months of treatment I kept dreaming of that moment, about hearing the words.  The day came and I felt everything but healthy.

I was finally disease free.  My body had evicted the unwelcome cancer, but how come I did not feel healthy?

I wanted to regain my health and vibrancy.  I wanted energy.  I wanted the pain to be gone. I wanted to feel womanly and sexy. I wanted to run and feel strong. I wanted life.

But how?

The first step towards health was clearing my mind through meditation.   I learned how to live in the PRESENT and that allowed me to stop crying over my past, grieving about what cancer had taken away,  and as importantly,  I also stopped worrying about my future, which in my case included a high chance of a relapse and all the “what if’s” that would follow.

Make no mistake, by surrendering my future and fears it did not mean that I was not going to actively take care of my well-being.  I knew there were steps I could take to reduce my risks of a relapse and to make my survivorship the best possible one.

My well meaning doctors wanted to give me pills, lots of it.  I did not want them anymore.

By learning how to be truly present, I started actively practicing gratitude for that moment.

Taking care of my health and mind allowed me that healthy present moment.

I knew I also needed a diet and lifestyle change.

Chemo left so much “leftovers”.  I developed a clotting disorder; I had hands and feet neuropathy.  I ached.  I was tired.  I was moody. I was absent minded.

I knew by providing my body the proper nutrition, my body could then heal itself naturally.

And so it did.

I threw away everything that I knew about nutrition and I re-learned what eating well meant. I de-constructed what my body needed. I eliminated. And then I put it back.  I discarded  the notion that I needed to count and measure everything.  I welcomed food groups that had become foreign to me.

I slept. I rested. I slowed down. I redefined success and fortune.

I avoided negativity and drama. I practiced self-care. I moved my body. I cooked.

I forgave. I loved.

I knew my body was unique and that it needed an unique approach.  It took time and patience  but I feel better than ever.

Better than before.

Like my favorite definition of health goes: ” Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

After many years being disease free, I finally feel healthy.

 

 

with deep gratitude to the people that held my hand and continue to do so,

xo

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9 Responses to “[BEING CANCER FREE WAS NOT GOOD ENOUGH]”

  1. nilgun bandari says:

    Dearest Francesca,

    Had tears coming down to my neck while reading your article. You deserve to be a perfectly healthy girl in every day your life. Your story inspire all of us to keep going, to fight with love for betterment, and to enjoy. Lots and lots of love .

  2. Cheryl says:

    Beautifully said. You are a warrior and hold a light for all of us whether NED, which most gratefully I am, or not. Young or older, we all must be active participants in our lives.

  3. chiara says:

    Veiota querida,
    Você é show!
    love forever!!!!
    Veiota média mor

  4. Diana says:

    Beautiful. And inspiring. And amazing. And I am so thrilled for you.

  5. Jackie says:

    I was not on my deathbed, but I am a cancer survivor and living with the after effects. Every waking minute it seems, I am thinking about how to get my body in the best shape (and by shape I mean inside, not just outside) as possible. I now truly believe our bodies are our temple and the better we treat it, the happier and healthier we’ll be. I would LOVE to hear some tips from you! I have started working out again, and eating what I assume is healthy, oh and meditating which I never did before, and I feel great, but it’s a work in progress and I’d appreciate any advice you have! You ROCK!

  6. sha says:

    I had my first cancer diagnosis when I was 21 year old. Went through 2 cancer episode in 2006 and 2011. Lumpectomy, chemo-radiation done. 3 weeks ago, I had double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction due to suspicious nodules in radiological finding. At home, feeling horrible, adjusting to new body, persistent discomfort and pain… I feel like im being punished every single day. Thank you for writing this article. It reminded me that bad days don’t last forever. This soon shall passed. I fell many times and managed to get back up again. I became stronger and wiser. This time, I will do the same. All I need is time as time will heal everything. Glad to know you are back to being and feeling healthy. All the best! Mxxx.

  7. dinah ebsworth says:

    Beautiful…..i needed that to inspire me to get healthy again!!!!! thank you so much for sharing!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Maria says:

    Queridissima, voce é um grande exemplo, voce é o máximo. Beautiful words…
    mil beijos, lots of kisses and a huge hug! beijoooo Ma

  9. gayle vendola says:

    my dear, you have always been and will always be strong & fabulous!!! you’re an inspiration! much love & hugs to you, carsten & leo xoxoxox

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