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Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Beautiful People, Part III

This dear friend of mine, I've known her for years. Our paths crossed through homeschooling but we've had many conversations over our health and nutrition over the years. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year, I was heartbroken for her and yet absolutely amazed at the grace with which she faced it. I couldn't imagine myself in her shoes, wondering if I would handle myself so well. Her love for the Lord shines through, as I'm sure you'll see, and she continues to be an encouragement to me daily. Meet Emily-
"last fall, i noticed swollen lymph nodes in my left armpit that didn't go away. i figured that they were from illness passed around in our family, but after a few weeks i texted a girlfriend ( a local MD) to get her feedback. we agreed that they were likely some function of breast feeding (milk ducts), but it would probably make sense to have it checked out.
Early December, I saw a female doctor who did a thorough breast exam and upon palpating the lump in my armpit, assured me it was not lymph nodes but very likely milk ducts. both of my breasts looked and felt completely normal. she suggested waiting six weeks to follow up, but offered an ultra sound if it would make me feel better.
i'm so glad i said yes to that ultrasound.
those early dark days of fear, of waiting, and then finally learning my diagnosis of stage 3, her2 positive invasive ductal carcinoma on january 8, 2016 ... some of the darkest days of my life.
immediately, though - that night of january 8, in fact, i had an overwhelming urge to *learn*, to research deeply, to plant my feet firmly in a proactive and open place. i felt, in the deepest part of my being, that i had the capacity to affect the course of this disease and that GOD had given us extraordinary healing tools. i just needed to find them.
one of GOD's greatest graces in my life has been the gift of my life partner and husband, and he also felt that same passion to learn ... so we spent that first weekend moving between shock, tears, discussion, study, prayer and back to shock.
those first several days,  i would wake to the remembering of the nightmare that felt like a bad dream. but days moved forward, and they were filled with such amazing support, love enveloping me. and i felt an unwavering resolve, and so after making decisions based on research and then confirmed through work with those i gathered to be a part of my treatment team, i implemented radical lifestyle changes. if i could support my body in healing and could inhibit the growth of cancer within my body with choices that i made about what foods to eat, how to move my body, how to breathe and rest and live each day, how could i not?
the learning continues. healing pieces continue to be revealed and my current healing protocol reflects the season of healing that i am in ... currently nearly done with radiation. there has been chemo, and a surgery (lumpectomy) and radiation and every step has been filled with wrestling with decisions, seeking 2nd opinions and wise counsel, and GOD's abundant grace guiding me.
my deep passion is to encourage others that are walking this journey, that HOPE is real! that there are so many many options and tools and our bodies have extraordinary capacity to heal and that through the journey, GOD is so faithful and close. I see an open, expansive beautiful spaciousness ahead, and look so forward to walking in to a future of abundant health and joy!
(more about my story on my blog at"

To support Emily in her healing process, visit her GoFundMe page at

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