How I Survived Childhood Cancer and Became a Successful Entrepreneur
As a 33 year old mother of 2 children ages 4 years and 9 months and 2 step children ages 6 and 12, who manages a thriving massage therapy practice and now entering the digital world of blogging, you would never guess that I was a childhood cancer survivor. As a part of this 30 day blog challenge I’m taking, I’m asked to tell my story. Why I’m here and what got me started in the blogging world. So here it is:
In 1990 at the age of 4 I became very sick. Within just a few days I had intense pain in my legs that kept me from walking, a fever, and a characteristic rash known as petechiae. As soon as my fever had spiked, my mom was on the phone with the pediatrician. At my next doctor's appointment my family received the devastating news, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. That news changed the course of all our lives. For the next 3 years I underwent intense chemotherapy. My dad worked 2 and 3 jobs at a time while my mom stayed home to care for my younger brother and I and to take me to my many appointments. I would often spend weeks or even a month at a time receiving treatment at the hospital. Regular doctor’s visits became a thing for many years, even after I beat the cancer and went into remission. My parents struggled and worked hard to recover from the financial burden of my illness. Angels were watching over me, over all of us during those years.
The caregivers and other families we met on that journey became a strong support network and forever impacted our lives in a way that words cannot describe. It was because of my amazing care team that I knew I would grow up to eventually be a healthcare provider. At the age of 7 I told everyone that I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up. As I got older and started learning about everything nurses do, I learned quickly that I had no desire to draw blood and give people shots. Probably because I had received so many myself. During middle school and high school I was introduced to Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine through my dad. My dad suffered from herniated discs in his lower spine and Acupuncture was one of the only things that would give him lasting relief from the pain. He shared my cancer story with his team of chinese doctors at the student clinic and they put together herbal teas for some of the side effects I was dealing with. I won’t lie, the tea tasted horrible!..but it was very effective! It was then that I became fascinated with herbs and alternative eastern healing methods.
While researching colleges during my senior year in high school, I came across two alternative medicine choices. Ashmead College of Massage Therapy and Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. After applying for and receiving many scholarships I settled on Ashmead College. At first I wasn’t quite sure if massage therapy was the right choice. After touring the school and meeting with the instructors I knew immediately that I had made the right choice. Classes started exactly one month after I graduated high school. After graduating from Ashmead in 2005, my career started in a local day spa. From there I moved up to Seattle, where I was blessed to gain experience working on professional athletes like the Seahawks, top executives for Microsoft and Nintendo, and even a few movie stars. In 2010 I completed a diploma in Holistic Health Practice from American College of HealthCare Sciences specializing in Aromatherapy and Holistic Nutrition. After completing my certificate and moving back to the Portland area I’ve continued to work as a Licensed Massage Therapist and Spa Specialist in Resorts, medical and physical therapy clinics, and now in my own private practice.
Blogging is the next chapter in my journey as a holistic healer and entrepreneur. My hope is to share my knowledge and skills not just on my treatment table, but on here as well. To provide a solid and reliable resource for those seeking wellness. It is my hope to share from experience in my own life that it might be able to help someone else find healing and balance in theirs. My posts will include topics such as Holistic Nutrition, Massage Therapy, Herbal Medicine, Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, Sustainable Living, Gardening, Spirituality, Alternative Medicine, Time Management, The Mind Body Connection, Brain Health, Eastern Healing Modalities, and How to Balance Being a Working Mom of 2 Children and 2 Stepchildren. Please join my email list to stay updated on my most current blog posts.