I keep thinking to myself is this worth it? Is a lifestyle change as extreme as this worth it? Is doing something this hard with few people to relate to worth it? As I sit back and watch another friend, another fighter fall last night I wonder if it’s worth it? As I sit in this bathtub in pain from detoxifying my mind and body of everything from this world we as humans have created, crying, sick and sore I continuously ask myself if it’s worth it. And I remind myself over and over of my textbook answer I use to drive myself everyday: “yes chloe, it’s worth it. You want to experience all life has to offer. Graduating college, walking down the wedding aisle, enjoying the indescribable love of bearing a child” but after the conversation I had tonight with some amazing, intelligent, God driven people I find my reasons continue to change as God continues to change me from the inside out. I could possibly never graduate college, I could possibly never get married and it’s a big possibility that I may be infertile and may not be able to have children…. BUT THATS OKAY because none of those things are what God has called me to do in this lifetime. God has given me this indescribable wealth of knowledge and this perfect platform to use it on. He has strengthened me and trained me to be his great warrior. It has taken me a long time to see his work but I was “in training” to be strong enough to do so. I have knowledge on our industries, our health systems, our politics and all the things that intertwine to make our country a whole that most people don’t. I have so much insight that I am afraid to try and put it all together and share it, it almost pays to be in denial… But one step at a time. Even if my blogs never go “viral” I will have done my duty to our Lord by sharing and hopefully enlightening my loved ones. This world is so corrupt and the only thing we have to save us is to walk by faith through the Lord. So as I continue my journey, not my cancer journey, but my journey of the Lords work I ask nothing from you all but support and encouragement of my movement. It’s time to get healthy. I am joining the forces of all the fighters I’ve met here, both sick and healthy. We are aware it will be a lengthy battle and we are aware we are the underdogs but we will win because Gods will always wins! It’s time to get healthy, it’s time to expose and save lives. I want my loved ones healthy and I want it now and it’s obvious to me now that this is spread farther than my main focus, cancer. I hope you will stand with me in this fight. More to come soon.
Mental FREAKING Health
Certain things hit home and give each of us individuals “the feels”. We don’t all have that same “thing” and it’s completely understandable that something can effect someone more strongly than the next person which explains why we don’t all care so deeply about the same things. One of my “things” is mental health/disorders. This is not my first post on the subject and I highly doubt it will be my last because I care so deeply and because I hear negativity and negligence on the subject far far too often. Mental disorders like ptsd, anxiety, depression, etc are very real and very serious. I myself suffer from a few. I’m an open book and I’ve never been afraid to share my experiences in any aspect of life for the sake of aiding another individual. When I received my cancer diagnosis I became severely depressed. News like that in itself is enough to spark depression and on top of that I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, being forced to medically retire from a job I was in love with, and dramatic changes were effecting my life as a whole. I did not eat, I did not maintain relationships with my loved ones, I thought about doing horrible things, I cried sporadically every single day, never left my house and overall did not function like a normal person. Words are incapable of passing on the lows that I experienced. This depression led to multiple anxiety attacks that led to ambulance rides to the hospital. I was embarrassed about how I felt and my inability to make it stop. I felt weak in the eyes of others, indescribably alone and could not for the life of me figure out why I could not pull myself out of it. When I finally felt like I could not take it a second longer and knew if I did not put a stop to it I would end up losing my life, when the mental pain exceeded my reasons for not reaching out for help I finally went looking for the help I had needed for far too long. I received medications, doctor visits and many many therapy sessions that eventually taught me to accept my disorders and handle them in a healthy way. Getting help was the smartest decision I have ever made in my entire life. I no longer suffer the way I did, I know longer wake up everyday wishing I hadn’t. My mental health is still a struggle to this day but it’s controlled. Most recently I find myself dealing with ptsd from the three weeks I spent in the hospital. I wake up from nightmares about the things I went through there while enduring my chemo, transplant and treatment side effects. I randomly get overwhelmingly upset about the whole ordeal and find myself slowly slipping into an unhealthy state of mind. The only difference now is I have the tools I need to stop it in its tracks. My point here isn’t to go on and on forever about my own experiences for the sake of appearing on your timeline but it is instead to share them in hopes of helping someone. Whether it be someone who is going through this right now or someone who is ignorant about mental disorders and finds themselves talking negatively about them. Too many times now I’ve overheard or stumbled upon a conversation that led to comments or jokes like “mental disorders aren’t real” “go take your crazy pill” “depression doesn’t exist” “it’s all mental, you can stop it yourself” etc etc etc. It makes my skin crawl and my ears steam to hear these things. Lift up someone in need, don’t put them down. Be open and understanding to things you may not “believe in” or understand because you yourself have not experienced it first hand or seen a loved one up close and personal suffer through it. If anyone out there is dealing with anything you may slightly feel is mentally unhealthy do not second guess seeking help and always remember that my inbox and phone are always open. Mental health is everyone’s responsibility whether you’re spreading awareness, helping a loved one or seeking help for yourself.
The “Bad News” Cycle
Like many thing in life I’ve come to realize it’s a cycle. It’s my “bad news cycle”, at least that’s what I like to call it. We fall into cycles every day as simple as our daily routines and relationships to the way we spend our entire year. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, repeat. New Years, Fourth of July, Christmas, repeat. I’ve gone through the steps of my “bad news cycle” so many times that it’s starting to feel as common as my wake up, make bed, run errands, shower, watch tv, go to sleep routine that I cycle through daily…. But this time around it feels so different.
As I slowly approach my “I’m so depressed I refuse to leave my bed and if you try to talk to me I’ll cry at your first word because some how I found away to relate whatever your saying to cancer and death even something as simple as “hi chloe” step in this cycle it feels so much more different. It feels deeper, steeper, more dominant. It literally feels like the Grand Canyon carving it’s way through my chest…. One big mountain side that I’ll never climb and get out of. Every time I feel this way and every time I prove myself wrong. Every Time I predict this is it, it CANNOT get worse than this. No way no how and every time I come out a better person. I learn more about myself and what I’m capable of overcoming. So as I slip into my sad step in this cycle that’s become a part of my life and I feel like this is truly it and my heart could not hurt anymore than it does, as I type this I laugh at myself because I know I will never be the type of person to give up and succumb to some cycle forced into my life involuntarily. It may not be tomorrow, or next week or next month. I might feel heartbroken for awhile but I know soon enough I will get out of this bed and genuinely laugh with my friends again instead of the fake laughs I displayed last night so many times. If you ever EVER feel like giving up over anything just remember your mind and your body are capable of so much more than you could ever imagine when truly tested. Have willpower, see the light at the end of the tunnel no matter how dim. Do NOT give up. Obstacles are only obstacles at the end of the day. If I can eventually get out of this bed time and time again then you can do whatever it is testing you in this life. It’s a cycle and no step in any cycle is ever lingered upon too long.
It’s absolutely unbelievable to me that US doctors are fleeing our country to live and work or commuting to other countries everyday from the US to work in other countries where they will not get convicted and charged for curing cancer because our medical system and FDA is so corrupt.
It’s absolutely unbelievable to me that US patients are having to flee to other countries to receive care they could not be provided in the US just to see another day and absolutely unbelievable they are using thousands of dollars out of their own pockets for a PROVEN cancer cure the FDA refuses to recognize therefore making it impossible to process through health insurance. I have come to the point in my journey where I have exhausted all the options the US can provide me, a point where they continuously look at me with blank faces while I sit back and watch my health deteriorate. I have made the absolutely hardest decision in my journey and I have decided it’s time to seek health else where. It’s time to stand up for myself and leave my doctors behind. I knew there was a cure out there but up until this point seeking help in another country seemed insane and regretfully now I feel like I should have listened to my heart from the very beginning despite what the military/government/FDA was allowing me to do. I’m ready to be healthy and if that means travel then Mexico here I come!
This seems to be the question of the year and now that the week is winding down, some of the fundraising (thank you again to everyone involved) craziness has calmed down and my countdown to leave continues to grow shorter, I have some time to answer some Q’s. So let’s tackle the most asked question first.
There’s a few reasons I’m going alone. First and foremost, it’s a lot to ask of someone to pick up their lives and live in another country for 21 days especially when it’s not for some fun vacation. Everyone has jobs, families, prior engagements and obligations. It’s just not something I would ask someone to do. Now secondly but in my mind most importantly, I think every twenty something year old should have some “soul searching” time. Not everyone is fortunate as me to be given that (like I always say… Find the positives in all things.) Its just another reason to be thankful for my cancer journey and the road it had taken me down. Growing up is hard, finding who you are and what your purpose is or what makes you feel most fulfilled is the hardest challenge of your twenties. I’m blessed to be able to spend mine in Mexico with few distractions and great people who can daily relate to my struggles. If you know me very well you know I’ve always been a control freak independent let me do it all myself individual. Don’t worry about me guys. I got this. And don’t for one second think that I’m going to be alone. I’m going to be exactly where I want to be. I’m going to be in a homey hospital surrounded by people who are nothing but understanding because they’re in the same boat. I’m excited to connect with these strangers on a deep ocean level. I’m excited to have no other option but to grow at a fast pace and find out things about myself during this opportunity I otherwise wouldn’t have been given. I’m blessed. I’m excited. I’m ready to be healed. I’m all in and completely ready for this next adventure! Xo
Our world is all about vanity. It’s sad but true. The part that makes me the most upset looking back is remembering myself crying after my second surgery… Not because I had STAGE 3 cancer and my entire life was changing but because I thought my scar was so ugly. I would look in the mirror and cry, I would glance down in the shower and cry, I would see my scar showing past the hem of my shorts and cry. I remember telling my aunt Jen how ugly I felt and that I would never wear a bathing suit ever again in my life. Isn’t that sad? To think that this world has taught us that anything but a skinny tanned in shape body is ugly? Looking back now I just think to myself how much heartache about my scar I put myself through for no reason. I’ve acquired a lot more since then. My count up is 3 in my pubic area, the one on my leg, some under each arm and across each hip, one on my abdomen and one under my right eye. Every single one is beautiful and every single one I love. It may sound so cliche but when words can’t tell my story, my scars can. Am I still self conscious at times? Of course. Who isn’t in this world? But the way I see it is like this… Remember that pair of tennis shoes you begged for in elementary school? Your favorite pair that you wore everyday. The ones your mom yelled at you for because she spent money on something you let your bestfriend sign with a gel pen. The one with grass stains from playing your favorite sport at recess and the brown stain across the front from drinking your favorite chocolate milk at lunch. The same pair your old family dog chewed up a little in the backyard after you took them off from climbing your favorite tree. Yes, that same old raggedy pair of shoes you insisted on wearing with the nice dress your mom bought you for special occasions. That pair. That pair that was so hard to get rid of because of all the memories they held inside their worn out laces. The ones you kept even when your toes were squished at the front and they didn’t fit. Your body is that pair of shoes. Don’t ever be ashamed of the one and only thing physically carrying you through this life and don’t ever be worried about someone else loving your body because as long as you do does it even really matter? Nope, just like your mom hated those old sneakers.
A Room Full of Us
If I asked you to guess what being in a room full of various stage 4 cancer patients is like what would you say? Sad? Depressing? Something along those lines, right? Wrong. There are only two words to describe being in a room full of stage 4 cancer patients. Life changing. When I came here I knew I was coming to try something new to heal and to detoxify my body. What I failed to realize is the real change would be healing and detoxifying my mind. Never in my entire life have I felt so grateful to have this illness as I do during my time here in Mexico. I am not sad, nor does it make me sad to be in a room full of fighters like me because thats just it, we are all fighters. The positivity, wisdom and outlook on life that circulates in the room with us is out of this damn world. Its life changing like I said. Theres definitely something to be said for the changes situations like ours puts you through and a room full of all of us with these changed mind sets and attitudes is almost overwhelming. Its nothing short of contagious and humbling. I feel so honored to be around these role models and I can only imagine how outsiders looking in on our situations must feel just knowing how I feel but also going through my own journey. I had never experienced this kind of thing until I came here. Doctors visits, discussions about my illness, etc was always so upsetting and down grading but here its magic. Im addicted to the feeling I get when I walk into a room full of all my friends here and its a situation I would recommend to anyone if they are looking for different perspective on life. Its laughter, its love, its so much life. Its acceptance of an unfortunate diagnosis but a genuine smile anyways. We all have so much living to do and we bask in the small stuff. Im loving every minute.