Alternative/Complimentary Therapies, anxiety and cancer, Cancer Diagnosis, Inquiry, Side Effects of Cancer Treatment, Side Effects of Chemotherapy, stress and cancer, the work of byron katie and cancer, Uncategorized, yoga therapy and breast cancer

Conventional vs. Alternative Medicine ~ can’t we all just get along?

Ok, I’d like to have an open and honest chat about different avenues of healing and how I’ve struggled. Us cancer patients/thrivers want to support ourselves in every way possible to both cure cancer now and forever ~ we see lots of doctors, read books, talk to fellow cancer peeps, and do research online. Actually, we do A LOT of research online which can sometimes lead to exciting discoveries and more often, it leads to a full on-set of Google-itus (panic attack + frozen in fear + holy-shit-everything-causes-cancer-including-the-treatments-I’m-going-to-die-and-it-won’t-be-pretty syndrome). Just me?


Cancer can be treated different ways. There is the more common conventional route, also known as modern medicine, which usually includes a combo of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and/or hormone therapies. And there is the alternative route, also known as natural medicine, which treats cancer with various natural modalities such as nutrition, juicing, cleansing, herbs, supplements, mind/body work, vitamin infusions, and other therapies.


I’m noticing most people fall into one camp or the other.


I seem to be a rare bird. Someone who sees SO MUCH love, knowledge, value, and benefit in BOTH worlds. This is why I chose to do a combined approach for healing. I had a good experience while undergoing 18 months of cancer treatment and if you could see me now, you would have no clue that I have been through 5 months of aggressive chemo, 2 surgeries, 5 ½ weeks of radiation, and am currently on Tamoxifen. I look and feel great, and I attribute this to going into the experience with a clear mind and supporting myself with many natural ways of healing too: yoga, inquiry, acupuncture, nutrition, juicing, supplements, emotional releasing, and sound healing to name a few. So yes, I do drugs and nature.

I do drugs and nature 🙂


I’m a plant-based organic-eating yogini who also believes in science-based medicine, and this has been one of my biggest challenges: the war between conventional and alternative medicine. They trash the shit out of each other!


When trying to support myself in learning natural ways to heal and ease side effects, it was nearly impossible to find an article or study that did not bash chemo, radiation, and surgery. Statements like “chemo only creates cancer and kills people,” “the cancer will come back even worse if you do conventional medicine,” “it’s all a big pharma conspiracy ~ they are just trying to keep you sick so they can make money.”


As someone who said yes to what my conventional doctors recommended, this created a lot of fear and shame. I reached a point where it just felt kinder to myself to stop consulting the almighty Google and focus on being present with myself.


But then there’s a flip side. When reading articles about conventional medicine or talking to some of my doctors, I noticed many would immediately discredit natural therapies as pure “quackery,” and completely ignore the many accounts of people being healed, for years, without any use of conventional medicine. “That’s impossible. A total waste of time and money. How dare they take advantage of these vulnerable human beings.” Then there are also stories of naturopathic doctors who have mysteriously gone missing after claiming they found a cure for cancer. Or they are faced with legal charges making their medical practice illegal.


As someone who has experienced so many benefits from my yoga & meditation practices, eating a clean diet, doing acupuncture, and incorporating more supplements, this left me feeling frustrated and annoyed that doctors weren’t more interested in this. “Hey – look at me! I’m actually enjoying cancer! Don’t ya wanna know why/how?”


And if the overwhelming amount of conflicting information isn’t enough, I see people harshly judging each other for their choices in treatment, both in person and also all over social media, forums, & online.


It’s tough. I don’t know what is true and what is not. I see valuable points on each side. I’m not a doctor, a scientist, or an expert with healing plants. All I have is my experience of the cancer journey and this part has been hard for me. I have felt torn, confused, and overwhelmed…oh wait, stress causes cancer too! Ahhhhh!!!!


I know people who have died after the use of conventional medicine. I know people who are completely healed by it. I know people who have died after the use of natural medicine. I know people who are healed or in the process of healing from it. There are bonuses and risks in both paths; neither carries a guaranteed cure. There are good days and hard days in both paths too, neither is a joyous party 100% of the time.


So why can’t we all just get along? Why can’t we just accept that there is more than one way to heal cancer? Why do we need to put down another healing path in order to share and promote our own? Think about it. If you are really set in your beliefs about medicine (or anything), in which scenario are you more willing to change them? When someone comes at you with insults or when someone invites you to an open-hearted conversation rooted in experience and research?


In my medical utopia, I see both sides coming together as one. Dropping the judgments and criticism, the shaming and anger, and being more open to learning from each other. We all have the same goal: to cure cancer and live long, happy, healthy lives.


So how can we end this war?


Simple. I can control every word that is posted on the internet and every word that comes out of your mouth. Easy peasy. Right?


It starts with me. I can stop trashing conventional and alternative medicine for trashing each other. I can stop seeing them as two separate sides in my own mind. I can focus on the wonderful and helpful ways I have healed from cancer and share them with others. I can stop being defensive/taking things personally when someone questions my treatment choices. I can be open and excited to learn from others who did not choose the same healing path. I can be a compassionate, non-judgmental listener when someone complains about their experience. I can make peace within myself over any shame or guilt I have carried for my own choices.


Ok, this sounds great…but HOW?


The Work of Byron Katie. I take my stressful thoughts and judgments about doctors, medicine, treatment, myself, and others to inquiry. I sit in meditation with the 4 questions and turnarounds and I free myself from the war within. It leaves me more open, more available, and more authentic with myself and others.


When I read articles or watch documentaries, I not only take notes on what I’d like to incorporate into my own life or ask my doctors about, I take notes on stressful thoughts that come up from the words that I read. See…it all can be a gift. Bringing me back to my work. My awakening.


When I do my work, my mind opens to see that my “medical utopia dream” is actually more of a reality than I realize. I remember that my conventional doctors talked to me about nutrition, yoga, meditation, acupuncture…they even recommended writing. My Chinese Medical doctor encouraged my use of conventional therapies and he offered acupuncture and herbs that not only helped to ease side effects, they helped the medicine to work more efficiently. Last week, my Dermatologist recommended using essential oils for scarring. How cool!


My practice keeps coming back to this: There is no single right or wrong way to heal. We all do what is right for us. For me, the most important part of my healing path is peace.


If you’re looking to find more peace around any type of diagnosis (from cancer, to allergies, to low back pain), I invite you to join me and my dear friend, Helena, for our upcoming online class series, “Making Peace with Disease using The Work of Byron Katie” that starts December 4th. Save $30 when you register by tomorrow. You can join from the comfort of your home and even stay in your PJ’s. I won’t judge 😉


And let’s keep this conversation flowing…how else can we work together to create a more harmonious, healing experience for all?

Image result for byron katie quote defense is the first act of war

Work with me…

Schedule a private session

New online series! Making Peace with Disease through The Work of Byron Katie: Dec 4 – Jan 21 

Yoga, Inquiry, Gong Meditation: November 9

Yoga & The Work ~ Teacher Training: November 19 & January 14


Related blog posts…

Alternative/Complimentary Therapies for My Breast Cancer Treatment

Inquiry: “Chemo is poisonous to my body” ~ is it true?

All-Natural Remedies for Chemo Side Effects

Mental Medicine: The Work of Byron Katie


Alternative/Complimentary Therapies, Cancer Diagnosis, chemotherapy, Side Effects of Cancer Treatment, Side Effects of Chemotherapy, the work of byron katie and cancer, yoga therapy and breast cancer

All Natural Remedies for Chemo Side Effects

This post is for anyone looking for natural & effective ways of dealing with the side effects of cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy.

So here you are, about to take the next step into your healing cancer treatment plan: chemotherapy, which I affectionately now call “C-Love.” Take a look in the mirror at that sweet, beautiful face. You are strong. Fearless. Or possibly scared shitless?

If you’re like me, you may have heard 1,000 horror stories about chemo and I’m here to tell you that it just wasn’t my experience. Do you think your body has a better opportunity to heal when you are cursing and fearing your treatment or accepting it with gratitude? I chose to receive C-Love as a healing cleanse for my body. I envisioned my healthy cells being protected and anything that no longer serves me being washed away. I chose to see the good in all things ~ the needles, the nurses, the
drugs, the side effects. Chemo taught me how to slow down, focus on me, and love myself unconditionally. How to enjoy the simple pleasures of life and connect with others. How to see I am always supported, even when I’m not feeling so hot. There were some hard times, a lot of easy/fun times, and some hilarious times. Open your mind to the blessings that are always around you ~ I promise, they are there.

I noticed different sensations would come and go and I LOVED learning all-natural ways to support my body and mind. So here is a list of what worked for me. I invite you to see what you’re drawn to, clear anything necessary with your doctor, and find what works for you. You’ve so got this!

Overall Health & Wellbeing thru the Cancer Journey

(click links for more guidance on each therapy)




The Work of Byron Katie






Emotional Releasing



Essential Oils

Sound Healing


Low Immunity

  • Eat organic, plant-based diet with lots of fruits and veggies.
  • Avoid meat, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, gluten, dairy, soy (ALL soy- especially for estrogen-positive cancers). If you eat meat, choose all-natural meats with no growth hormones or antibiotics.
  • Stay hydrated and drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of filtered water (alkaline spring water in glass bottles is best).
  • Organic Raw Vegetable Juices
  • Ginger & Turmeric Tea (click link for recipes)
  • Warm Water w/Lemon
  • Curcumin Supplement
  • Garden of Life Organic Multi-Vitamin
  • Garden of Life Raw Organic Vitamin C
  • Garden of Life Raw Organic Probiotic
  • Vitamin D
  • Calm Magnesium & Calcium Supplement
  • The Work of Byron Katie ~ Do you think your body has a better opportunity to heal when you are at peace and loving life or when you are stressed and angry? When you are cursing and fearing your treatment or accepting it with gratitude? Question your stressful thoughts and find peace during the cancer journey.
  • Daily movement like walking, yoga, dancing, swimming, rebounding.
  • Time relaxing in nature
  • Meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Wash hands frequently and avoid touching face & mouth.
  • Keep all-natural hand sanitizer in purse.
  • Avoid crowded places, especially during nadir days ~ when WBC (white blood count) is lowest.



  • Stay hydrated and drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of filtered water (alkaline spring water in glass bottles is best).
  • Ginger & Turmeric Tea
  • Organic Raw Vegetable Juices
  • Curcumin Supplement
  • Eat smaller meals multiple times per day.
  • Eat blander foods and avoid spicy foods.
  • Enjoy soups, smoothies with turmeric & ginger.
  • Avoid over-eating; stop eating before you are full.
  • Gentle belly breathing
  • Take ALL medications and supplements WITH food unless directed otherwise by doctor.
  • Acupuncture
  • Yoga: Practicing constructive rest position (lying on back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor) or reclining bound angle pose (lying on back, soles of the feet together, knees wide) has helped me with the stomach flutters. I place my hands on my belly and breath into them. Pelvic tilts, rocking the knees side to side, and child’s pose have been really helpful too. Avoid a lot of up and down movement.
  • Warm (not hot) showers and baths
  • Acupuncture



  • Daily movement – choose something you love – walking, yoga, rebounding, swimming, dancing – at least 30 min/day will help you to build & sustain energy.
  • Rest when you need to rest. Think of your energy level like a gas tank between each treatment ~ don’t over-do it in the beginning and pace yourself. This your time to slow down and be.
  • Master the art of napping ~ it’s AWESOME! The body heals when it sleeps.
  • Eat organic, plant-based diet with lots of fruits and veggies.
  • Avoid meat, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, gluten, dairy, soy (ALL soy- especially for estrogen-positive cancers). If you eat meat, choose all-natural meats with no growth hormones or antibiotics.
  • The Work of Byron Katie ~ Believing stressful thoughts can zap your energy; clear your mind and gain greater peace by questioning your stressful thoughts.
  • Stay hydrated and drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of filtered water (alkaline spring water in glass bottles is best).
  • Meditation
  • Breathing
  • Yoga: A short, gentle flow with supported back bends & heart openers (I prefer blocks & lots of blankets).
  • Acupuncture
  • Physical Therapy
  • Warm (not hot) showers and baths


Aches & Pains

  • Stay hydrated and drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of filtered water (alkaline spring water in glass bottles is best).
  • Ginger & Turmeric Tea
  • Calm Magnesium & Calcium Supplement
  • Curcumin Supplement
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Yoga: Gentle stretching & breathing with an extended exhale. If legs are extra achey, I will lie on my back and place my legs up the wall.
  • The Work of Byron Katie ~ Question your stressful thoughts about pain (ex/ – “I want the pain to go away.” “I shouldn’t feel like this.”) and question stressful thoughts about what you think the pain means (ex/“It will only get worse. The cancer is spreading. I can’t live like this.”).
  • Warm (not hot) Epson Salt baths
  • Acupuncture


Mouth Sores

  • MUST-DO for prevention & treatment: Homemade mouth rinse ~ Add 1 tsp or baking soda + 1 tsp Sea Salt or Himalayan Crystal Salt to 20 oz of water. Rinse mouth 5-6 times per day throughout treatment. This also worked for me at the first signs of a sore throat.
  • Avoid spicy and acidic foods.
  • Ask nurses if sucking on ice while receiving chemo would be helpful (it was recommended for me while receiving the red Adriamycin drug).



  • Triphala Supplement ~ helps maintain healthy flow of digestion and purifies the blood.
  • Psyllium Husks ~ helps to soften the stools so they can pass through more easily.
  • Ginger & Turmeric Tea
  • Traditional Medicine’s Smooth Move Tea
  • Organic Raw Vegetable Juices
  • Stay hydrated and drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of filtered water (alkaline spring water in glass bottles is best).
  • Eat prunes daily or drink warm prune juice
  • Avoid foods with a lot of bread, meat, dairy
  • Buy a Squatty Potty!
  • Acupuncture
  • Yoga: incorporate gentle core strengthening and twists into your yoga practice.
  • With your hand, gently make circles over your belly in a clockwise direction.
  • For severe constipation, self administer an enema (uncomfortable and WORTH IT!).



  • Follow above constipation remedies.
  • Replace toilet paper with all-natural, unscented baby wipes.
  • Add more oils into meals and smoothies (organic, unrefined coconut, olive, sesame oils are best).
  • Keep anus clean and apply a little coconut oil to it.
  • Acupuncture
  • Laugh on the toilet ~ come on, this is pretty ridiculous, eh? I can even tried “toilet yoga.”


Dry Skin

  • Keep skin well moisturized throughout treatment.
  • Use all natural (preferably organic) oil-based body products without harmful chemicals or plant-based estrogens.
  • I used organic argan oil, jojoba oil, and Juice Beauty products.


Chemo Brain

  • Acupuncture
  • Restorative Yoga: calming poses like forward bends, child’s pose, pigeon, legs up the wall.
  • Meditation
  • Breathing
  • Creamy Ayurvedic Spiced Latté Tea (w/Black Pepper)
  • The cancer journey can be so overwhelming with all of the new information, medical terms to learn, bills, treatments plans, mental/emotional issues…brain fog would be natural for any person going through this! Consider, where can you do less in your life? Can you make time to just relax and be?
  • Humor ~ Everybody forgets stuff, and I chose to laugh about it with myself and others instead of getting frustrated over it. Sometimes I’d remember things and if I didn’t, that’s ok too. This is an appropriate time for the mind to be mushy. Enjoy being more present – people spend a lot of money and time on forgetting the past and future!
  • The Work of Byron Katie ~ Question your stressful thoughts about memory (ex/ “My memory should be better. People will be angry with me (if I forget). My memory is permanently damaged.”) or about any stressful situations you may be experiencing.


Weight Loss

  • Increase healthy fats like avocados, olives, nuts, nut butters, seeds, coconut/olive/sesame oil.
  • Add more protein like organic beans, wild-caught salmon, and soy-free, pastuere-raised eggs.
  • Add vegan protein powder such as Hemp Protein or Vega.
  • Buy new clothes that actually fit. This was an emotional game-changer for me!
  • The Work of Byron Katie ~ question any stressful thoughts about your body image (ex/ “I want my old body back. My body is too skinny/ugly. People don’t find me attractive.”).
  • Remember, this too shall pass. Bodies are always changing. This is an opportunity to love yourself regardless of your outer appearance.
  • Acupuncture
  • Eat before and after exercise.
  • Yoga: focus less on cardio movement and more on grounding & strengthening poses Warrior Poses, Triangle, Chair, Tree, Half Moon, & Goddess Pose.


Hair Loss

  • Before hair loss (which occurs about 2-3 weeks into treatment), consider cutting and donating your hair to a charity.
  • Have a hair shaving party with close friends and family!
  • Keep an electric razor on hand for when hair begins to fall out. When you’re ready, GI Jane that shit off!
  • Buy a wig, invite some girlfriends to come along!
  • Buy cute scarf’s, hats, wraps – I loved these:
  • Throw a hat/scarf party.
  • If you really don’t want to lose your hair, consider getting the “Cold Cap” treatment, which may be covered by insurance.
  • Acupuncture
  • Embrace being bald ~ there are so many bonuses!
    • The most low maintenance hairstyle you’ll ever have
    • Best head massages
    • Shower at least twice per day
    • No need to buy any hair products – no shampoo, conditioner, styling spray, combs, hair ties, razors
    • Travel just got way easier
    • No more shaving! (people pay a lot of $ for this)
    • Smoothest legs you’ll ever have
    • Feel like a true badass walking around bald – OWN IT – you’re beautiful. Plus people are soooo kind when they see you’re going through cancer treatment. If we all treated each other like we were going through cancer, the world would be a happier place
    • Enjoy the fun process as it grows back – it starts with the super soft fuzzies and then maybe a new color or curlier or straighter!
  • The Work of Byron Katie ~ Question any stressful thoughts about your body image (ex/ “I want my old body back. I look like a sick person. People don’t find me attractive.”).


Hot Flashes

  • Acupuncture
  • Wear layers that can easily be stripped off in public.
  • Sleep naked
  • Sleep next to a fan
  • Apply a cold wash clothe on forehead.
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Breathing


Acid Reflux or Indigestion

  • Avoid acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes, and vinegars.
  • Take Papaya enzymes before meals.
  • Eat small meals more frequently.
  • Drink warm water with meals.
  • Sleep with the head elevated above the heart.


© 2016 Bethany Webb. All rights reserved.

Alternative/Complimentary Therapies, Medical Updates, Surgery, Uncategorized

Update: Post-Chemo & Pre-Surgery

Spring is definitely bringing a lot of change & transformation – I always love this time of year. Lots of updates…

Well, my friends, as of March 2nd ~ C-Love is officially DONE! Although overall I had a pretty darn good experience going through chemotherapy ~ it feels SO GOOD to have one big part of this treatment plan complete. If you missed my Nae Nae Bell Ring, you can check it out here.ChemoBellRing

I will write more about my time in C-Love and will also include some tips on all-natural cures for various side effects. I attribute my positive experience mainly to my mindset: I chose to gratefully receive chemo as a healing cleanse instead of fearing it as a poisonous necessary evil. And it worked. More on how I got to this genuine space of gratitude later…HINT: The Work of Byron Katie 😉

My hair is coming in much more quickly than I anticipated! It’s been extremely entertaining; it’s like all of my hair follicles became over-excited to jump start again, which produced a strange layer of fuzz on MY FACE and neck. Yep, I shaved my face on more than one occasion. It seems to have simmered down for now. My head feels like a combo of a soft bunny rabbit + baby chick and I have to say the color is leaning wayyyyyyy more towards gray than I prefer at the age of 34. I’m excited to see what it will look like when I grow up. The only place my hair has yet to return is on my thighs and hamstrings ~ WEIRD and I’ll take it!

YogaVideoScreenShotDuring the past 6 weeks, I have been slowly building my strength back, cleansing w/foods & supplements, and am still enjoying afternoon naps. Muscles have been achier – it feels like no matter which activity I do, I end up being soar from it. I had the complaining thought, “geez, my body is feeling everything” and then it dawned on me…”awesome! my body is feeling EVERYTHING!” My energy is now steadily increasing and I noticed a HUGE boost after I made the decision to do the double mastectomy. I continue to be amazed at the mind/body connection of this process.

Click here to learn more about my decision-making process for surgery. Just a few days after the post, I attended the pre-op visit and I had a feeling that I would have an even clearer answer of how to move forward after that appointment. And I was right. It felt right. Since then, I have felt so much more relief and am enjoying the process of preparing for this big event which is scheduled for THIS Monday!

It may sound strange, but doing little things – like buying post-surgical bras, frozen peas, & button-down shirts – feels like a way of emotionally processing this shift. A way to move from unease to acceptance. I even bought my current boobs a cute little lacy bra to wear for a few weeks and some funny underwear to wear during surgery. (Hey, there’s nothing wrong with making the surgeons laugh while their working on my body, right?).

Last weekend, I took my boobs on a relaxing retreat at Living Waters near Austin ~ the retreat property I use to manage and is now run by my brother and his fiancée. This turned out to be THE BEST possible way to prepare…I went on nature walks/hikes, journaled, was able to participate in a women’s yoga retreat, ate amazing meals prepared by my chef brother, and had an incredibly healing Reiki session with someone I feel a soul connection with. It. was. just. awesome. Plus the wildflowers are beyond gorgeous this time of year!


IMG_3694 (1)On the last night, Emma (my soon-to-be sister) and I decided to do a ceremonial skinny dip plunge in the lake. The water was so refreshing! Then the next day, my brother and I hiked Reimers Ranch and spontaneously decided to jump in the river with our clothes on and then lay on the warm rocks under the sun. I have a thing for water…it’s always a mental game-changer for me whether it’s an ocean, lake, bath, or shower. I left this trip feeling pure adrenaline for life and what is to come. I’m so grateful I gave this gift to myself.

I have also been exploring a really interesting inquiry – I have been questioning the thought “I am losing my breasts” using The Work and I’ve come to realize two things:

  • I am not losing MY breasts. They are not mine. I do not own them (or this body). THESE breasts are changing which makes it so much less personal. The reality is, some tissue (which I’ve never even seen before) is getting replaced. That’s it. Same skin. Same nipples. Much simpler.
  • I am GAINING my breasts. Isn’t this also happening? Even though these new breasts will have expanders and then implants, they will, in fact, be my new natural, healthy breasts.

This inquiry is leaving me with a sense of child-like curiosity as I approach surgery, recovery, and reconstruction. My mind is also looking at the reality of the procedure: I show up Monday morning and go to sleep. When I wake up, it’s done. I rest. Experience wonderful drugs. Get 24/hr care in the hospital for 2 nights (and organic meals…what?!). I then go home, chill out, see what it’s like to have T-rex arms (you’re not supposed to lift your arms for a few weeks), read, watch movies, go for walks, get waited on, and bond with my “nurse” mom and husband. My part sounds pretty easy: be present and enjoy the ride. I can do this.

The surgery starts at 7:30am on Monday, April 18th, and will last about 6 1/2 hours ~ if you’re into praying or meditation ~ I invite you to send me some love at that time!

Alternative/Complimentary Therapies

By Request: Alternative/Complimentary Therapies for My Breast Cancer Treatment Plan

BethanyWebbMorningMeditationMany people have asked…so here it is. A complete list of alternative/complimentary therapies I am incorporating into my treatment plan and I’ll keep it updated here. It’s been exciting to see that a lot of these therapies also came as recommendations from my traditional medical doctors. Traditional & Alternative Medicine compliment each other so beautifully and I am so happy to see both disciplines are beginning to recognizing this.

Disclaimer: this info is not a prescription for curing cancer, I simply want to share what’s really working for me in this process. Please always check with your doctor before adding a new treatment. My doctors have been wonderfully open-minded!

This post was created with a lot of Love and most likely, a lot of typos too…ENJOY!



My daily yoga practice is flexible & open-minded ~ it shifts depending on how I am feeling and what’s coming up for me that particular day. Ranging from 20-60 min., my personal practice blends gentle stretching, somatic movement, vinyasa flow (somedays slow, somedays strong), breathing, body sensing & meditation. I love going to classes too. Here are the many ways yoga supports me in treatment & managing side effects of chemotherapy; perhaps some videos will be shared soon!

  • Achy Muscles: Gentle stretching & breathing with an extended exhale. If legs are extra achey, I will lie on my back and place my legs up the wall.
  • Fatigue: A short, gentle flow with supported back bends & heart openers (I prefer blocks & lots of blankets).
  • Processing Tough Emotions: Movement produces endorphins which also act as a “mood booster.” Often, heavy emotions arise in my practice ~ I make time to sit with them in a child’s pose or pigeon and let the tears flow. I feel yoga has the power to unlock stuck belief systems and energetic holding patterns. Crying gives it all an exit strategy and keeping a journal nearby can be helpful. Crying is healing!
  • Stressful Thoughts: They will arise; I love to notice the stories my mind will tell me about my body and the future: “My body is losing strength.” “I am too tired to practice yoga.” “This pain will only get worse.” “I’m not good enough.” I invite the thoughts in and ask myself “who would I be in this moment without the thought?” I find I am more peaceful, self-loving, & present. For thoughts with a stronger hold, I’ll write them down and take them to inquiry (The Work of Byron Katie).
  • Re-building Connection & Trust w/My Body: There was a period of time I felt betrayed by my body after I found out it has cancer. Spending time just to slow down and be with my body in yoga has helped me see all of the gifts it gives me on a daily basis. This may also show up as gentle strokes on my skin ~ for example, while lying on my back, sweeping my right hand across my heart, down the left arm & hand, back up through the arm pit and breast (where my cancer was diagnosed). It feels intimate and nurturing.
  • Nausea: Practicing constructive rest position (lying on back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor) or reclining bound angle pose (lying on back, soles of the feet together, knees wide) has helped me with the stomach flutters. I place my hands on my belly and breath into them. I find slow pelvic tilts, rocking the knees side to side, and child’s pose to be really helpful too.
  • Digestion: Common side effects of chemotherapy are diarrhea and/or constipation. My digestion has been wonderful so far and I incorporate gentle core strengthening and twists into my practice.
  • Building Immunity: Any type of movement can help build immunity. Incorporating twists and inversions can be helpful for detoxifying, improving circulation/blood flow, & lowering blood pressure. If energy is very low, I’ll simply put my legs up the wall and breath.
  • Building Strength & Bone Density: Add standing poses such as Warrior Poses, Triangle, Chair, Tree, Half Moon, & Goddess Pose. Modified Plank, Sphinx, & Cobra for arm strengthening. I also enjoy incorporating light weights once or twice a week. Strength can be lost due to surgery, fatigue, side effects of chemo drugs/pain medication/hormone therapy, so it’s very important to keep it rocking to prevent serious long-term side effects.



Breathing exercises, known as Pranayama in the yoga tradition, have countless benefits: lowers blood pressure, creates more oxygen in body which allows organs (heart, liver, lungs, digestive system) to work more efficiently, releases physical tension & pain, improves circulation, calms the mind & nervous system, better sleep, and best of all….you can do anytime, anywhere for as little as 1 minute. Here are my favorite breathing exercises:

  • Soft Belly Breathing: can be done seated, supine, or standing ~ place a hand on your belly and simply focus your breath in this space. Feel the rise of your hand as you breath in while you expand the belly, and feel the gentle fall of the belly towards the spine as you exhale. Perfect anytime ~ even driving in the car.
  • Yogic 3-Part Breath: can be done seated, supine, or standing ~ 1st, practice belly breathing as mentioned above for at least 5 breaths. Then place your hand over the low ribs and breath into this space for at least 5 breaths. Then move your hand to your heart. In each space, notice the expansion and contract, be open to any thoughts or emotions that arise without trying to fix or change anything. Then combine all 3 spaces for breathing: exhale all of the air out of the body, then breathe into the belly, low ribs, heart and then a nice long exhale. For more energy: hold the breath after the inhale for at least 2 seconds. For more relaxation: hold the breath after the exhale for at least 2 seconds.
  • Alternative Nostril Breathing: This is one of my favorites when I’m feeling like my mind is all over the place. It is best done seated and not recommended when driving. Exhale all of the air out of the body. Place right thumb over right nostril and inhale through the left nostril. Place ring or pinky finger over left nostril and exhale through the right nostril. Repeat for at least 4 rounds: Inhale right. Exhale Left. Inhale Left. Exhale right. At the end, breath in through both and exhale through both. For more energy: hold the breath after the inhale for at least 2 seconds. For more relaxation: hold the breath after the exhale for at least 2 seconds.



For me, anything that brings more awareness and presence into my life is meditation. It’s the act of slowing down the mind by becoming aware of the thoughts, emotions, images that are arising and allowing them to pass through rather than run my life. I am not my thoughts. I am not my emotions. I am not my actions. The only thing that is real is this moment. Everything else is imagination. Meditation brings me back to this space which allows me to be calmer and more centered when dealing really any stress in life, and especially a breast cancer diagnosis.

There are so many ways to meditate, here’s what I love the most: Yoga Nidra, Breathing Exercises, Yoga & Dance as Meditative Movement, The Work of Byron Katie, Silent Nature Walks, Painting, Cooking, & Sex. I find nature to be so grounding and healing and prefer to do any of these forms of meditations outdoors when possible (ok, the sex part might be a little more difficult 😉


Mental Medicine ~ The Work of Byron Katie

The Work, also known as inquiry, is a simple & profound process of identifying and questioning stressful thoughts. It’s a way to clear the mind and fall in love with reality, just as it is. Anyone with an open mind can do it, free of charge, anytime, anywhere.

The Work consists of 4 questions and turnarounds. The questions are:

  1. Is it True?
  2. Can you absolutely know it’s true?
  3. How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought?
  4. Who would you be without the thought?

The turnarounds are a way to look at the original stressful thought from different perspectives. Click here to learn more.

I have been a student of The Work since 2009 and am now a Certified Facilitator. Over the years, I’ve tested The Work out on a variety of frustrations in my own life: issues in my relationships, health, self-judgments, work/career, sex, food, judgments about corporations, god, even small things like traffic, lawnmowers, & ATM machines. What I realize is that it’s not the person, situation, or illness that brings me stress ~ it’s what I’m believing about it that creates my suffering. This is good news!

Right now, The Work is my go-to peace tool for dealing with stress around my breast cancer diagnosis; here are some of the many stressful thoughts that have come up for me:

  • Painful thoughts about cancer: “I have cancer. Cancer will make my life more difficult. Cancer will prevent me from living a full life. I want the cancer to stop spreading. Cancer is bad. It’s not fair. I’m too young to have cancer. I’m not strong enough to handle this. I don’t want to deal with this. The cancer will come back.”
  • Stress about treatments: “I won’t know which treatment plan to choose. Chemo will poison my body. The treatments won’t cure me. People who are evolved don’t choose chemo.”
  • Worry about side effects & physical pain: “I will be in pain. The pain will get worse. I am nauseous. I can’t handle it. i will be dealing with side effects the rest of my life. I don’t want to be bald.”
  • Self-blame & Body Judgments: “I created my cancer. I’m a failure/not evolved. I should have lived an even healthier lifestyle. I should know how to heal myself on my own. My body betrayed me. My body is too skinny, sick, and unattractive. I will no longer be feminine. I shouldn’t be so upset.”
  • Judgments about doctors/medical system: “Traditional Medicine doesn’t look at the whole person. I want my doctors to cure my cancer. Doctors aren’t compassionate. I want my doctors to be equally educated on alternative medicine too. I want the medical system/insurance/labs to be easier and more organized.”
  • Fear of death: “This cancer will kill me. I will die young. This is how my story ends.”
  • Fear about money“Cancer is expensive. We will lose all of our money. It will put too much financial stress on our marriage. I can not afford these medical bills.”
  • God: “God should cure my cancer. I need God explain to me why I have cancer. God is an asshole. God is punishing me.”
  • Relationships: “My husband doesn’t agree with my treatment plan. My husband will not be attracted to me. My mom should stop worrying about me so much. They should have more fun with me. People should see I am ok. People shouldn’t look at me as a sad story. People will not want to do yoga with me.”  

By bringing these stressful concepts to inquiry ~ sitting in the 4 Questions and Turnarounds as meditation ~ I am finding my freedom. When I believe these thoughts, I suffer. I panic, freak out, get frustrated, sad, or depressed. My breath shortens, my body tightens up. I treat myself and others poorly. The future looks like a very scary, scary place. Without the thoughts, I am more present, open, relaxed, and feel capable of facing what’s in front with me with grace and ease. I’m kinder to others and myself and trust the universe. With turnarounds, my mind is blown wide open to find that the opposite of what I thought is just as true or even truer. Everything is a projection. The suffering is in my mind, my imagination. It is not reality!

it has taught me a completely different perspective on illness; it’s here to improve my life and enlighten me. I am actually happy that I have cancer; something that I once thought was my worst nightmare is actually a HUGE gift. I will continue to share a lot of my own personal inquiries through the blog so you can see how I got to this space of clarity. I will also be inviting others to share their gifts that they’ve received from cancer ~ through their own personal experience of it and/or watching a close family/friend go through cancer. It will help me and hopefully others gather more proof for the mind that cancer happens For me, NOT to me.

Here are some easy ways to start your own practice of The Work:



Daily walks in nature are essential for me. Depending on my energy level, they range from 20 minutes to an hour. Great for improving circulation, strength, endurance, heart health, boosting the immune system & mood, and so much more. Sometimes I’ll walk with other people for company and extra motivation. Or when I’m by myself, I may listen to upbeat music, call my mom, or listen to a Byron Katie audio disc.



So important!!! Rebounding is low impact exercise on a rebounder (a mini-trampoline). This is the BEST thing you could possibly do for stimulating & draining your lymphatic system which is responsible for removing toxins from your body and manufacturing white blood cells which allow your body to fight illness. My cancer has spread to some of my lymph nodes so it’s especially important for me to do this daily. 10-20 minutes a day is all it takes and I usually turn on my “Dance Pop” Pandora station and do my own “dance life nobody’s watching” party. I also feel rebounding is great when I’m feeling anxious, angry, or have excess mental energy that just needs to be shaken out.



Among so many benefits, Acupuncture has also been scientifically proven to help cancer patients manage symptoms during treatment (mainly nausea, fatigue, low immunity, body aches, headaches/migraines, hot flashes, neuropathy, anxiety, insomnia). In fact, a lot of hospitals now implement it into their practices and some insurance companies are even beginning to cover it (hopefully mine will soon!). I have always loved acupuncture and am having weekly sessions with Dr. S. Ahmad (Dr. Al). I think it’s important to choose someone you really connect with ~ Dr. Al has been in my life for over 8 years ~ we care for him and his family so much that they actually came to our wedding! When I showed up at his office after my diagnosis, he put his hands on my shoulders, looked me in the eyes, and said “you are perfect.” We determined the best treatment plan for me is to schedule a session the day after chemo and at the beginning of my nadir period (when my white blood count drops and immunity is lowest). He also incorporates acupressure and trigger point therapy.



“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ~ Hippocrates

I have chosen to eat an organic, vegan diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables. I start my mornings with homemade ginger & turmeric tea and a raw vegetable juice or smoothie ~ I feel awesome! For the time being I have eliminated alcohol, caffeine, sugar, soy, meat, dairy, & gluten. There may be a moment when I enjoy a ginormous slice of pizza or a turkey burger…and I’ll love that too. So far, this way of nourishing myself is really working for me.

It’s not about food deprivation ~ it’s all about creating an internal environment in my body where cancer (or any illness) simply can not thrive. Through our research, the following foods are known to be prevent and cure cancer and/or are great for cleansing & building immunity. We are learning and growing this list!

Organic Vegetables

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Bell Peppers
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Zucchini
  • Squash (all types)
  • Cabbage & Sauerkraut
  • Avocados
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Green & Yellow Onions

Organic Fruits

  • Coconut
  • Red Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Pears
  • Pomegranate
  • Green Apples
  • Lemons/Limes

Organic Nuts/Seeds

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Nut Butters
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds

Organic Grains/Beans/Starches

  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Brown Rice
  • Sprouted Grains (occasionally)
  • Red Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Black Beans
  • Mung Beans
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Lentils

Organic Flavor Makers/Spices/Oils/Superfoods

  • Himalayan Crystal Salt
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Clove
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Tahini
  • Coconut Aminos
  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Goji Berries
  • Mulberries
  • Chia Seeds


I am taking the following supplements which have also been approved by my doctor. Doctors say my cancer feeds off of hormones and for this reason, they recommend avoiding most herbal supplements or homeopathic remedies. Most of them contain plant-based estrogens. This is why I have eliminated all soy products as well.

  • EuroMedica Cura Pro (Curcumin) ~ studies have shown this concentrated form of turmeric can reduce inflammation and also help chemo drugs work more efficiently. Soooo many health benefits, click here to learn more.
  • Garden of Life Organic Women’s Multivitamin
  • Garden of Life Raw Probiotic for Women
  • Garden of Life Raw Vitamin C
  • New Chapter Turmeric Force
  • Vitamin Code Raw D3
  • Calm ~ Magnesium & Calcium


Emotional Releasing

It’s been really important in my process to honor whatever feelings come up for me ~ whether it be rage, anxiety, terror, depression ~ and let it out. Letting it out can take different forms and I’ve mentioned some ways through movement and breath. Sometimes I ask to be held & rocked by someone close to me or even a stranger while I’m crying. If I’m at home, I’ll also crawl into my bed and let the tears, sobbing, coughing, even vomiting happen if it shows up. I also like to remind myself, “this too shall pass” and notice how sweet and intimate it is to be here for myself in this way. If I’m feeling extremely angry, screaming into a pillow or hitting the pillow helps. Yes, to an outsider (and probably my neighbors), I sound like a crazy person but in reality, this is one of the sanest practices I know. When I hold in my emotions, it’s like I’m a ticking time bomb ready to explode ~ it also manifests in my body as neck tension and migraines. When I let it out, it’s a sort of clearing ~ tension melts away and I feel so much better.

It’s also interesting to me to notice the thoughts that I am believing that are making me feel this way. For example, during a deep emotional release the evening after I was diagnosed, some of my stressful thoughts were: “I don’t know what to do. I will die young. My life will never be the same.” These are thoughts I can later bring to inquiry (or not) after the emotional release is complete.



Writing is so healing. For me, it’s been a powerful source of self-expression in this process. I have been journaling ~ writing down my thoughts, experiences, vulnerabilities and I also enjoy stream-of-conscious writing ~ letting the mind word-vomit all over the paper. I have always thought of writing as more of a personal expression and for some reason, when this diagnosis came ~ I had the overwhelming urge/need/desire/inspiration to share it all in a very public way. This blog is part of my healing process and if it also serves to help one other person who is experiencing stress around illness (or really anything in life), then that makes my heart fill with even more gratitude.



Creative expression is one the most nurturing, empowering, cleansing, & soul-touching activities. As an artist, I have created my own practice called “yogArt” which combines yoga, meditation, journaling, & artistic play (painting, drawing, collaging, & various other techniques). I’ve led workshops and retreats and now I get to offer it all…to me. I’m creating an art journal, a collage of beautiful cards I’ve received from friends and family, and I am also inspired to paint a bunch of boobs on canvases. We’ll see what comes out! When I paint, I feel like a child ~ time does not exist ~ and I love to see what unfolds from a blank canvas. Many cancer centers offer art and art therapy classes which is amazing!


Essential Oils

I’ve always loved essential oils. I’ve learned the best oils for curing cancer are lemon, frankincense, and myrrh. I prefer the brand of Young Living. I blend the oils with organic, raw coconut oil or jojoba oil and rub them over my chest and in my left axilla (where the cancer was found). Through some research, I also learned that some oils carry plant-based estrogens (lavender, peppermint, cinnamon to name a few). The article said if your hormones are balanced, it’s no problem at all. However, if your estrogen is already elevated (which mine was), these oils can boost your estrogen even more. I was using lavender and peppermint almost daily for years and am discontinuing their use for now.


Sound Healing

When researching many alternative treatment centers for cancer, I was intrigued to learn that sound healing is often used. Using instruments like drums, chimes, Tibeten bowls, & gongs, the sound healer creates certain vibrational frequencies that are healing to the body. “Nationally renowned Oncologist Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, author of “The Healing Power of Sound” in a 2005 New York Times interview cites studies indicating that music/sound can lower blood pressure, reduce cardiac complications among patients who have recently suffered heart attacks, reduce stress hormones during medical testing and boost natural opiates” (source: Dallas Yoga Center). I will be working with Kenny Kolter in Dallas who has worked with many cancer patients. I’m really excited to see what unfolds!