Dancing with Cancer
*I hated choices. It seemed that we were each uncontrollably inundated with them: how much effort we want to give, where to go next, how to communicate something difficult, whether to to stay in a relationship, what to think about a situation, if it's okay to really breathe and sometimes even - when to give up.
It's by these choices that I could celebrate my free agency on earth – and it's by these same choices that I could live or die. The lesson for me though, surprisingly, was not about making the right decision for the desired outcome. The lesson was about how I chose to live on the way there.
I'm Rachel. I used to think I knew everything (I still think that).
The only difference now is that I understand that “knowing” something (having rigid beliefs) is no longer workable in my life. And I am now fearlessly creating the life I want to live - fiercely defending my freedom to recreate myself and choose anew in every moment – no longer hating – but respecting and owning my freedom to choose.
I was age 34 on August, 28th 2015 – the day I was diagnosed with infiltrative ductal carcinoma. It sounds dramatic (and it felt that way too).
I found out via phone (against protocol) just two days before I was to head off on an international tour with a well-known rock band. I had just fallen in love with one of my soul mates and was feverishly preparing for musical stardome: it was a magical time.
The day when I heard the news - all of my subconscious and primordial belief systems immediately kicked in.
- death=no more life
- no more life=loss of connection to loved ones
- Loss of connection to loved ones=chaos & meaninglessness
My future seemed bleak and in moments unthinkable. Nonetheless, I was able to power through the shock with the support of my lover and made it on the tour bus two days later. I raced time as we raced across the country. I began drowning myself in online research and the latest anti-cancer health protocols, praying that my new reality would completely disappear before it would actually set in.
I chose right away to only share the news with my immediate family and a few select friends. I wanted to get my barrings and decide which road I wanted to take before I made any official announcements to the near 8k connections I had made as a public figure. And at the time – the choice before me was a pressure-filled and politically charged decision between traditional and alternative medicine. To those on “outside looking in” there seemed to be a very legible LIFE sign at the beginning of one road and a clear DEATH sign on the other (one that I couldn't see).
For me – I came to an “aha moment” and realized that there weren't any guarantees in life – especially life itself. And, I wanted to live out life (no matter how much I had left) in the way that felt good to my heart and soul.
I remember the first night I suffered a severe panic attack. It was two weeks into my tour. I had found an exciting all-natural health protocol that I was already integrating and felt confident enough to communicate my choice to pursue alternative medicine to my loved ones. I had a few conversations with family members and a western doctor that night that started out inspired and confident – but the response I received felt like an invitation to my own funeral. I felt emotionally defeated and exhausted from defending a decision that it seemed most of the world felt they had the authority to make for me. A choice that (let's be honest, here) I didn't have ANY proof would actually work. And I had only begun.
After those conversations - the idea of dying and death planted firmly in my psyche. And that night I never slept. My body shifted into fight-or-flight and 30 hours passed before a shot of valium in a hospital bed finally did the trick. We were in the next state of our tour and my band members were starting to worry.
I was barely making it through performances before I fell back into panic. I remember not wanting to go into a public restroom alone for fear of dying before I would make it out. I remember asking our roadie to sit by my bed and stroke my hair at night while I faced my fear of closing my eyes (feeling I would die before I'd have the chance to open them again). It wasn't long after that that it was clear that I needed more support. I took a flight out of Wichita, KS back to Los Angeles (suffering a panic attack both in the airport and on the plane).
Those next few months felt like I was not even lucky enough to be "walking" through hell...it felt more like I was "stuck" in hell. I remember days where the only relief I had was becoming so exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically that my body finally gave out and fell asleep. It was during sleep that my mind could reset itself and I prayed to have just a few seconds in the morning of conscious peace before the nightmare of what "was" would return.
So what I'm saying is - I UNDERSTAND.
It's been 3+ years since that fundamental time in my life. I have most likely attempted EVERY cheap all-natural anti-cancer protocol that the internet provided me access to in one way or another. Trust and believe I looked VERY seriously into EVERY possible option on both traditional and alternative sides of the spectrum (and as fanciful as I my antics can be – they are also extremely logical and smart).
I just didn't see the benefit of cutting out the problem without doing some serious research on “why it was there in the first place.” I knew that “taking it out” would give me immediate relief – but long term I intuited that I would ultimately be dealing with low to high-grade fear of secondary cancer or even a recurrence of the first – should I not give myself the advantage of sourcing that knowledge.
Oh boy, do I have the best stories to tell about my “process” (that I'm now able to look back at with a loving chuckle): I remember having long conversations on the phone with girlfriends while I was giving myself coffee enemas. I remember thinking I had brain cancer one day driving to a show because out of “nowhere” my forehead went numb. Soon after I realized I had unconsciously directed my highly effective air-conditioning vent directly on that exact location.
I was also a text-book extremist in my approach to protocols. At one point my skin turned bright orange and I smelled like an East Indian restaurant having consumed so much carrot juice, turmeric and raw garlic. And you better believe I did everything the HARD way – because that's exactly how I was programmed at the time: “There are no benefits that come from doing things the easy way.” Bless my whole heart. Can you relate?
My ONLY physical symptoms before the panic attacks set in were extreme fatigue, hypoglycemia, cold hands and chronic yeast infections. After the panic attacks started and I began all-natural protocols I developed inflammation, body pain, incontinence, cracking in my tongue, extremely sensitive teeth, tightness and pain in my right/lower ribs and liver and diaphragm area, chronic urinary tract infections, painful neuropathy in my arms, intermittent burning in my hands, pain in the kidney area, throbbing arthritis feeling in my hand, low-thyroid, big age spots on my hands, yellowish skin tone on my face and extremely low body temperature.
It seemed that these symptoms were results of extremely rapid detoxing and my nervous system being shot from the panic.Which is why I put such a HIGH value on mental, emotional and spiritual healing.
Parts of me want to tell you EVERYTHING that I did, didn't do, how I did it, what worked, what didn't work. And perhaps I will in my book (for the sake of telling a good story). But, for now, the truest version of me knows that it doesn't MATTER. Because what matters is what feels good to SELF.
I will share the general specs for now, however, since those tend to be of greatest interest.
The primary lesion was first measured in May of 2015 at 11 x 8 x 13 mm. After the biopsy they discovered a secondary lesion that measured 7x7 mm. About a year after I started - the secondary lesion no longer showed in the imaging. The primary lesion, continued to go up and then slightly down in size getting as large as 16 x 9 x 19mm but never changing drastically either way.
At one point, I felt so sure that I was completely healed that I shared with my parents and close friends that I was (although I had no proof) - only to find out that I may still be facing some more length of road on my healing journey. Most recently (October 15, 2018) , I was told that the "primary lesion” (that is either cancerous or scar tissue with spiculated edges (the details will be in my book)) measured 10x6x11mm: smaller than the original lesion measured three years prior. That's good news BTW; yay!
Do you want to know the funny part? When I first started this journey I had heard of a woman that took one year to heal herself from cancer. I thought to myself, “Oh NO, that will NOT be me.” Little did I know :).
Thank you for letting me share a tiny part of my story. I wanted to skip on the details in order to have space to share the universal wisdom that as a healer and medium ring “true” for me. I'd like to think that I did it the “hard way” so that you wouldn't have to. But, ultimately – I am the one that has received the eternal benefit of these new, healthy relationships with myself, my loved ones, my body, life, God/the Universe and yes – even cancer.
- There is NO choice that guarantees healing (even should you follow the exact “blueprint” of another's successful journey). So make your choices YOURS and yours alone.You are ultimately the one who will either reap the benefits or suffer the consequences. Powerfully own your choices – without giving excuses.
- You WILL be pushed to your limits – so that you will come to know that you are LIMITLESS.
- You are NOT alone. “If you knew who walks beside you on the way that you have chosen - fear would be impossible.” (a course in miracles)
- True fearlessness is on the other side of a cancer diagnosis. USE this time to invest in YOU and ALL that feels important to your long-term well-being.
- Its not about western medicine vs. eastern; It's about your personal guidance system. What feels RIGHT to YOU in this MOMENT and your right to change your mind at whatever point for NO reason. After all, reasons are created with the mind. Our choices are based on pure desire. Reasons are only rationalizations for us to ultimately do what feels right to us.
These are the things that have occurred to me as vital for healing - no matter what you choose:
- Reprogramming: A willingness to “change our mind” about cancer, our bodies, our relationships, our life, possibilities, choices and most importantly OURSELVES results in the most incredible miracles.It's necessary to consciously step AWAY from the “collective” belief in order to truly experience what is not collectively believed as possible! But not in a rebellious way. In other words, change your belief BEFORE you change your actions as acting against our own belief systems can be counterproductive.
- Following Internal Guidance: Developing a strong relationship to our internal guidance system and constantly checking in – along with a willingness to take inspired action as well as inspired inaction. What feels “right” will feel exciting – even when it feels scary.Ask yourself, “Am I WANTING this?” Whatever we are “wanting” at the soul level is always for our highest and best good. Learn to trust your intuition and build your faith one block at a time.
- Belief: The belief that what we have chosen WILL work. No matter WHAT that choice is. Belief is pivotal. Action without belief and excitement is wasted time.
- Life Overhaul: It's not good enough to “not want” to die. The soul needs to have a greater desire to LIVE than it does to give up. What's the point of fighting for a life you don't want to live? Find out what your core values are and recreate what “life” looks and feels like from the ground up in alignment with your values. Don't settle for what would feel just “okay” - because your soul is not into settling.Be brave and create a life that feels EXCITING and GOOD to live each day (no matter what).
- Neutralization: Energetically we cannot cross the bridge into what we are wanting until the bridge is no longer needed. Decide that you'll create the life, relationships and health that you're wanting REGARDLESS of your diagnosis. Stop waiting for your “remission/unremarkable” statement from medical authorities in order to give yourself permission to LIVE. Do you want your “life” back? TAKE it back NOW - and with a FEIRCENESS. And stop making choices that are in alignment with”just in case I'm still sick” or “just in case I die.” Unless of course, that's what feels best to you.
- Investment: Every choice you make should be an investment in your eternal well-being. Ask yourself, “Is this choice investing in a long, happy, healthy life without sacrificing my core values?”
- Facing Fears: Follow your fears down the rabbit hole and make peace with the worst possible outcome. More often than not – when we do this – it releases the “charge” around those fears/botherances and we no longer need to have that as part of our experience.
Closing thoughts: As far as I'm concerned ANYTHING can work. As far as I'm concerned ANY choice you make is OKAY – even if the result is different than what you wanted. Just release that it's “wrong.” Release that ANY outcome is “wrong.” Release that any part of YOU is “wrong.” And release that what anyone else says or thinks is “wrong.” Because ultimately we're EACH “right” in our own worlds. What is important for you now is to focus on what YOU'RE wanting. Others can say, think and feel what they want to – they most likely have the best of intentions! But, they're not the ones that have to be brave right now.
The best is yet to come for you; I know this about your soul. At one time I needed just one person to give me hope. I will be that person for you if you need me to be.But the journey you take will be your own. And rightfully so – because you will be the one to receive the benefit.I am excited for you and whatever you choose and I am LOVING all the parts of you.
Most importantly – I want to thank you “cancer” and the voice in my head (both that used to be enemies of mine – but are now my friends).
I also want to sincerely allow gratitude and respect to pour out of my heart to all of the friends, family members, healers, teachers and community members that have supported me REGARDLESS of how terrified and conflicted they felt. One of my spiritual mentors is co-owner of this website. It was through a series of EFT sessions with him that I first faced my fear of dying and created the possibility that life could actually look and feel good. It was my work with him that first inspired me to become the healer that I am today.THANK YOU SO MUCH.I am eternally grateful to all.
If you'd like to read more about me or simply connect feel free to contact me at the following, but please give me due time for response as I am training in Kundalini Yoga in Rishikesh India October 29th-December 4th.
*Disclaimer: Rachel Lynn Sebastian is NOT a medical/health authority. All information, content, and material of this article is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.The information contained in this article is not intended to recommend the self management of health problems or wellness. It is not intended to endorse or recommend any particular type of medical treatment. Should any reader have any health care related questions, promptly call or consult your physician or healthcare provider. No information contained in this article should be used by any reader to disregard medical and/or health related advice or provide a basis to delay consultation with a physician or a qualified healthcare provider.
You should not use any information contained in this article to initiate any health-related choices prior to consulting first with a physician or healthcare provider. Rachel Lynn Sebastian disclaims any liability based on information provided in this article.