By Karen Berrios
When I was first diagnosed I thought of why? why me? I went through an emotional roller coaster for sure but after a while of processing what was happening to me I knew I needed to go on a quest for answers. I didn’t know much about cancer then, I just knew that cancer was a deadly disease and I did not want it in my body.
I’m a strong believer of God, a higher power, a source of light that dwells in all of us and I believe this inner light led me to a path of discovery and learning. I truly believe this diagnoses gave me an invitation to live again I just didn’t see it right then. I know a cancer diagnoses can be a very scary thing to process and things can unfold quite rapidly from that moment on but in the midst of all that commotion I knew I needed to seek for answers. Why did I develop cancer? Was it bad luck? Was it my fault? Did I have any responsibility? Well all these questions came back with shocking and revealing answers.
I have learned through out my now 3 year diagnoses that cancer is a multifactorial disease and emotions are highly connected to our overall health. As a matter of fact, I recently attended an “Alternative Oncology Conference” in San Diego California hosted by my new friend and cancer thriver Annie Brandt founder of the Best Answer for Cancer Foundation. This Conference had two venues one for physicians and one for the public. The purpose of this conference is to connect like minded physicians and practitioners to learn, network and collaborate with one another. The public venue provides support to cancer patients with additional education and resources perhaps not known or available to them through conventional means. At this conference I re-confirmed something that I had been told by my long list team of doctors through my 3-year process and it is this… Cancer is a symptom of conflict in the body that is rooted at an emotional level. Say what?? Emotions?? This is an area I unconsciously avoided throughout my healing process. I refused to acknowledge this truth until recently where I became overwhelmed with confirmation after confirmation from many doctors at this conference which surprisingly enough debated on many healing modalities but unanimously agreed on the emotional factor. Furthermore, one physician told me to my face that if he only had one therapy available to work with a patient it would be his/her mind. I was blown away to say the least. I walked away from this conference with a sense of defeat not because of what I learned but because of what I had been avoiding all this time was finally closing in on me slapping me on the face. I couldn’t recognize that in actuality EMOTIONS are a third of our HEALTH and play a HUGE role in our well-being.
It was inevitable!! I was positioned to accept this truth despite how uncomfortable it was for me. Let me be honest, I have done multiple non-toxic alternative therapies, I have followed a very disciplined diet yet lab reports and scans still reflect expression of this disease, thankfully nothing has spread but it is still there. My new sweet friend Annie said to me… If the tumor is still around it’s because I still need to learn and heal from something. But what? This is the big mystery to me. Since attending this conference I had been given the opportunity to go back to my home country to Lima-Peru to start a new Immunotherapy protocol that I found through a friend in common. After much research prayer and support from some family members I decided to go back home and venture once again to follow a new modality to bring complete healing to my physical being. Little did I know what was waiting for me back in my birth country. I not only engaged into a physical healing process but I also embarked myself into an emotional one. I was able to connect with childhood friends and some family members I hadn’t seen in 28+ years and this connection brought back memories that had been hidden in me at a subconscious level. I can only explain it as if missing pieces from my puzzle were suddenly appearing and things were now making more sense. There were many moments of happiness and pain but yet I truly embraced the journey. I allowed myself to open this hidden part of me. As I ventured in going back to scenarios and places from the past, I found it liberating and this unexplainable freedom came upon me.
I don’t claim to know with certainty the root cause for this evil disease but I can safely speak out of my own experience and observations from other cancer patients, that cancer is rooted at an emotional level. Sometimes people may not even be aware of their hidden grief, un-forgiveness, long held unexplained resentments, and undefined root cause anger bursts. This truth just came to my awareness in these past few weeks as a personal revelation in my own journey. I knew that emotions play a role but I had no idea how deep.
I can not say that nutrition is not relevant because it is but completely pointless if we ignore our emotional health. I can not tell you the number of times I heard cancer patients say and I quote “I followed a vegetarian diet, I eat very clean and I exercise” yet I now understand the wholeness comes when we are balanced in our physical emotional and spiritual being.
I trust that by sharing my testimony many cancer patients will be encouraged to open up and seek to heal from within. I’m still in process for sure and although we can not change the past, we can choose our present and influence our future. I’ve learned that every human being responds to events in life from a place of love or fear and that is it. Think how hard it is to respond in love to someone or something that hurts you but at the end it is a choice. I’ve learned to set boundaries and recognize when I need to rest, decompress and bring myself back into balance. Forgiveness is a choice perhaps a daily choice and one must be intentional to respond from a place of love every time. God created us for greatness and why should I settle for any less? Should you? We are all going to die and we have no control over that but we have control to choose how we want to live.
I choose to yield to that healing light that lives within me to give me a steady heart that keeps on going to forgive every time.