Inspiring Susie Henderson Prevails Over Cancer With Self-Belief
Susie Henderson is an author, artist and creative spirit who is finding the best path for her life... after receiving news that would be devastating for most people.
"I don't believe in never. I don't believe in can't. I don't believe that once you have a diagnosis it is forever. I believe our bodies can do amazing things, heal nearly anything, as long as we support them properly."
Susie's world, as she knew it then, came to an end on the day she was told she had a rare breast cancer.
"The oncologist I saw told me she'd be there for me, no matter what, and that I had to keep a positive attitude to get through this. I told her I wanted to try alternative medicine to heal."
Her doctor said,
"Alternatives never work."And she was certain of that.
Now, more than four years later, Susie is certain that alternatives do work. She's still alive, thanks to them.
She says she is not completely healed, but most certainly alive, and probably wouldn't be, had she chosen to go through conventional treatment.
"I'm actually in much better condition today than I've been in since my mid-twenties."
So far as tests have shown, she still has some cancer. When last checked, it was still considered Stage 4, which means it has spread from its primary site into other organs of the body.
For Susie, that's bones... small spots here and there that never seem to be in the same place twice. This has been the case since six months after she was diagnosed.
Shocking at first, the diagnosis has brought about unexpected changes for the better.
"I never considered having cancer as a disability, but it sure has disabled my ability to live life the way I used to and the way I want to now! However, I actually consider it one of the best things to ever happen to me. Why?"
"Because it made me look at how I was living, figure out what I'd been doing that had brought me to cancer's doorstep, and how to change enough so I could get rid of it."
"It made me learn to love myself and discover who I'm really supposed to be. Not some puppet following society's rules and inhibiting behaviors."
Conventional doctors told Susie that if they didn't intervene immediately with chemotherapy (to shrink the only spot of cancer she had at diagnosis), surgery (double mastectomy to be sure her other breast didn't have any cancer in it) and radiation (right over her heart and lung), they wouldn't be able to do anything for her.
In Susie's book, this was true. They couldn't do anything for her because they wouldn't listen to her desire to use a different method, a gentler approach, so that she wouldn't become one of their statistics.
A Fortunate Alternative
Susie recounts her blessings:
"I am extremely fortunate to have a local naturopathic clinic (Namaste Health Center) that treats cancer patients. They constantly update their knowledge of cutting edge alternatives to cancer treatment, and thus keep helping their patients in better and better ways."
"The therapies they use are thoroughly researched and have been researched for 30-90 years, depending on the therapy."
"They aren't quacks; they aren't crazy. They're genuinely caring people who use every method in their collection to find the ones that work best for each patient."
"This could mean diet changes (almost always), herbal and homeopathic remedies, IV therapies, acupuncture, kinesiology (to help you unlock the emotional baggage that helped cause your disease), or a whole spectrum more."
New diet includes herbs and spice and many things nice.
Beyond that, the clinic kindly worked with Susie on making it affordable for as long as she could manage.
Paying Out Of Pocket
Alternative treatments are not much paid for by insurance, so it takes a toll on the pocketbook. They did everything they could to help for as long as her money could stretch and beyond.
Susie is still treating herself at home. She has practitioners, friends and family who help when and how they are able to.
She also has a reasonably good network of ears to pour her troubles into when she's having a hard time and to cheer her on when things are going well.
"What I have most is an incredible, new way of life, even if I am still unable to live it to the limit I want to go."
"I have learned more in the last four-plus years than I learned in all the years prior to my diagnosis. Ways to live that enrich my days, keep my sanity. Ways to nurture myself, and not nurture only others at the expense of who I need to be."
The Creative Soul Awakens
Susie says she has reawakened the creative soul she always was, and she does everything in her power to follow those passions fully.
"I write, I draw, I've begun painting (took some courage there), I sculpt, I sew and design my own patterns, I take photographs and I do graphic design. There's more, because my spirit is drenched in creativity. But that's a good snapshot."
Creative photo and art displace health concerns.
"I want to teach people what I've learned. I haven't figured out the best way to do that, yet, but I hope to in the near future. One of the biggest lessons I've learned (most days, except when I slide back into bad behaviors) is to give myself a break."
"Don't be angry when you don't accomplish as much as you meant to in a day. Don't use negative talk at yourself, no matter what's going on. Be kind, gentle and loving toward yourself, no matter what."
One of the tricks Susie uses to remind herself of this is to picture herself as the child she was at three years old, dressed as a flower girl.
When she's being hard on herself, she takes a breath, pictures that child and gather her into her arms to hold and comfort. It's a rare person who isn't melted by the image of a small child, and this always works for her.
Another ploy is to engage in a relaxing pastime for a half-hour or more a day.
For Susie, that means Qi Gong. Her acupuncturist has taught her nine forms so far, and she uses at least one of them nearly every day. And when she doesn't have time?
That's the first advice her acupuncturist ever gave her at her first visit to him. When you're stressed, your mind is racing and you feel like you just can't take another step, take a deep breath. Take two or three. It magically settles your mind down long enough to try to redirect it in more positive directions.
Sharing The Health
Susie now follows her own road and will share it with others who are losing their way.
Finally, Susie refuses to give up.
"If I am not yet well, perhaps there is something I have not yet discovered about why I got so sick. So I keep taking quiet time to ask my body to tell me what it wants and needs to continue healing. It nearly always tells me, eventually."
And she's happy to share her goodwill and good vibrations.
"For all of those who, like me, are living with something disabling, I send my healing thoughts and sincere wishes that you may discover your inner self, your passions and the best way to live, no matter your struggles."
Through May 31, 2015 she crowdfunded her first novel in hopes that she can use the proceeds to start a fund for cancer patients who wish to use alternative therapies to heal.
Susie has rescripted her life, no easy task, even for a writer as gifted as she is. But Susie believes that change is possible and has put it into practice with her "Be Rewritten" blog. Go to susie-henderson.com to learn more.