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Thriver's Spotlight : Kris

Welcome to our Thriver's Spotlight where we highlight an experience of a Health Navigator community member that shares our values of inspiration, forward thinking, motivation, and healing the mind, body, and spirit.

Two and a half years ago, Kris was diagnosed with a bi-lateral breast cancer diagnosis - ductal breast cancer on her left breast, and Her2neu positive on the right.

After a double mastectomy, the pathology showed clear margins and no evidence of disease. She was relieved to hear that the treatments did exactly what they were supposed to do.

One month after surgery, Kris saw her oncologist to follow up. He said that trace disease remained, and she would need to extend treatment with a more toxic infusion. Something didn’t feel right, so she told him she wanted to do some research.

As she read more about the new drug, it didn't feel right to her, and she did not like what she was reading about it. She used her personal toolkit researching on PubMed and consulting her integrative oncology team to learn more.

Then, feeling beaten down by her doctor, she reluctantly agreed. She felt extremely unsettled and anxious for the 24 hours between her appointment and treatment.

The next day when Kris sat down in the treatment room, the nurse began to share important information that had not been shared by the oncologist - the length of treatment (triple the time expected), as well as possible side effects including low back pain, stomach pain and nausea, which she immediately began to experience. Her blood pressure was unusually high, and her skin crawled. Kris mentioned these conditions to the nurse, who did not know how to respond. She went to get the doctor. Someone from his team returned. After much discussion, they finally agreed to give her the original treatment. Her blood pressure returned to normal, and her anxiety quickly subsided.

She remembers, “I was teaching and practicing Yin yoga throughout my cancer journey. I took movement classes online. The breath practice was the most important - calming my breath helped to calm my mind, which calmed my body. And then I was able to - finally! - get the message that something was wrong.”

One month later, a scheduling mix up moved her oncologist appointment back by one day. Her breast care advocate called unexpected, just to check in. Kris explained the situation, including her anxiety experiences. The advocate pulled up the surgical pathology report and together, they read through it line by line. Kris would confirm which breast they were talking about, right vs left. They came to the same conclusion... the doctor had mixed up her diagnoses.

The next morning, Kris walked into her doctor’s appointment, armed with the report. When he informed her that the new treatment protocol needed to start that day, she handed him the report and asked him to show her where this confirmed the prescribed change. He said nothing while he read through the report. He never admitted his mistake, but did confirm that a treatment change was not needed. As he left the room, he patted her on the shoulder and said she was smart. Nothing else.

She continued with the original treatment and finished about 3 months later. There was no anxiety, no negative physical reactions, and no high blood pressure.

She shares, “I'd hate to think about what would have happened if I had just listened to him.”

During this chaotic time, the most meaningful healing modality that Kris relied upon to aid her personal healing was one of the Radical Remission 10 healing factors, Intuition. She believes her intuition saved her from receiving a toxic chemotherapy after her doctor misread her surgical pathology report.

A series of fortunate universe nudges led Kris to confront her doctor and confirm his mistake - the timely call from her advocate, her own body’s physical reaction, and concerns she just could not shake.

Kris currently takes an estrogen blocker, but no other infusions or medications. She follows a plant-based diet and takes two handfuls of supplements a day. She walks about 3 miles daily, rebounds, and continues to take and teach yoga. Kris feels that today she is a much better advocate for herself.

To someone who is newly diagnosed or in the middle of a difficult point in treatment, Kris advises, “Breathe. Then take notes and do the research. Have a trusted support system involved to help or cheer you on. Take time to understand your situation, get a couple of opinions, and deeply listen to the messages your body transmits.”

Thanks so much to Kris for sharing her inspiring story of how using the healing factors of empowerment and intuition played a large role in her healing.

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