One year ago I packed my life and family up, moved into a school bus, and set our sails across our big beautiful country in search of adventure, growth, and beauty. You see a few years ago I was advised by my doctors to start chemo and radiation to keep my brain tumor at bay. There I was 7 years into my journey with brain cancer, 2 surgeries and a bout of chemo under my belt, sitting beside my 4 month old son and loving husband, My heart dropped.
I completed a round of chemo after my second, almost complete resection in 2013. but not before my doctor informing me, at a post OP appointment that if I wanted to have a family in the future, I should preserve my fertility, by freezing my eggs. UGH! My heart dropped. I was 28 years old, in a relationship and knew I wanted a family one day, but I just had BRAIN SURGERY and my head was still spinning. In shock I took the steps necessary to preserve my fertility so I could follow the doctors recommendations and not have regrets. The recovery was much longer than my first surgery in 2009, and chemo plunged me into a deep dark place I wasnt sure I would ever escape from. About the 18 months later, I met Jimmie, and just over a year after our first date, we married and had our son Onyx.
Jimmie's love and friendship carried me out of a very dark time in my life. My dream of finding my soulmate and being a mother came true, despite the obstacles life threw in my way. My eggs stayed frozen, while my body accomplished what it was made to do. I gave birth to a beautiful 8 .8 pound boy and I felt great. I had what Id always hoped for, a family of my own.
Always vigilant of my health and well being, it was time to see what was going on with the remainder of my tumor. This brings me back to the beginning of the post. Its time for chemo and radiation, they recommended. With my head spinning, I knew it was time for a second opinion. The doctor at Dana Farber recommended the same or a clinical trial. We left that appointment in Boston, I looked at my husband and infant boy, and said NO.
Back in RI I reached out to a friend, "Where can I go to get immersed into a lifestyle change?" without hesitation she said, "Ann Wigmore Natural Health Institute in Rincon, PR."
Could wheatgrass, raw living whole foods, and fermented foods be my medicine? after weighing my options, we decided to give it a go. Ann Wigmore Natural Health Institute graciously accepted my lil family and I and invited us to bring the baby along to our classes to learn and witness from their beautiful community. We prepared for the cleanse by cutting out caffeine, meat, dairy, and sugar. We completed the 2 week program, losing any inflammation we carried there with us, empowered to defeat this hand life dealt us.
The cleanse was one of the hardest mental obstacles I had gone through, but I had my beloved husband and 6 month old boy by my side to hold me up and carry on, after all it was give this my 100%, or get poisoned and burned into health. The latter simply was not an option. I have my faculties, and want to keep them as long as I can. It has always been quality over quantity for me.
One of my greatest takeaways from this cleanse, besides being able to come off all pharmaceuticals, was having my power back. You see, I had given my power away to my doctors, following their advise, hoping for remission, or at least stability. As soon as I internally said NO MORE, I'll do it MY WAY, my personal power returned to me.
I brought this personal power back to my everyday life and ultimately decided in order to fully heal and give this lifestyle a chance, we would have to leave our comfort zone. How did we decide to do that, well, by selling 2/3 of our belongings, storing the rest, closing my storefront, moving out of our apartment,and moving into a school bus.
Pregnant with my husband and toddler in tote, we left RI in August 2017 and drove our big blue bus across the belly of our remarkable country's varried terrain. We stopped off in Portland, OR , visiting a dear friend, for a few months to give birth to our surprise, Jade Ella. We took Jade in for her 1 month appointment, confirming our newborn was healthy and thriving, and hit the road,desperately seeking sunshine, we traveled down the coast of California visiting friends, soaking up sunshine, in awe of its beauty. Next stop: stock up on gemstones at the Tucson Gem Show, then meet some friends for a hike in Sedona. By this point we had outgrown our skoolie home and were ready to plant our feet and ground out. Within 2 weeks of visiting Sedona, we found and moved into our current fixed abode.
We've been in Sedona for 6 months now and we're heading back to RI for a 2 week visit to introduce Jade, our new addition to family and friends and to soak up love from my beloved family and community. Cant wait to see you all.
Amber….what a moving story and what an amazing and inspirational person you are……Take care
What a moving story . . . I am so very happy for your healthy life and your growing family. You are a wonderful breath of fresh air whenever I am lucky enough to see you.
Thomas Edison said: “When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: You haven’t.”
Keeping a positive outlook has proven very helpful to you. Cancer isn’t all rainbows and butterflies and once you enter the dark mindset, it’s tough to get out of it. You persevered and managed to bring perspective and optimism to your situation. Well done Amber!!
Somewhere, Someone said: You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and twice as beautiful as you’d ever imagined. Promise me you’ll always remember that.
Take care and hope to see you while you’re in Rhody.
PS – I’m always so glad my son, Josh and you struck up a conversation at Mews many (many) years ago. <3