Stress manifests in physical symptoms. Believe that and act accordingly…

I don’t understand why medical science places so little emphasis on the role stress plays in wellness.but it’s bullshit. Remember the way your stomach felt before your first day of kindergarten? Stress. How lethargic you felt after your first breakup? More stress. The headaches your mom would get at big family gatherings? Stress again.  So why is it that during the course of my cancer treatments not one of my countless doctors or clinicians talked about the importance of staying emotionally healthy?  I suspect that without accompanying a test or scan or procedure, there’s very little revenue to incentivize stress reduction protocol. Who knows…

The ten years leading up to my diagnosis of breast cancer were stressful. i was in a terrible marriage, buried in hurt and resentment and compensating  compensating for my unhappiness by staying ridiculously busy with volunteer projects and anything else that may distract me from dealing with my issues. Toward the end of the marriage I internalized so much negativity it’s amazing that I was able to function. Interestingly, I received irregular mammogram results two years in a row. I was told both times that o had dense breasts and they were just “normal” calcifications. Looking back now I believe that I was slowly growing toxic. There was a connection between the calcifications news my dense breasts and the calcifications in my spirit. Eventually I left my marriage and all hell broke loose.

There is research based evidence that suggests that cancer breaks through (becomes invasive) around a year or two after a traumatic event. Mine was eighteen months. Textbook. Without completely dragging up that hellish period of time, the quick and dirty version is that I wash fewer in a divorce, left with tons of debt, harassed and belittled a daily basis, dragged through court for custody of my ten year old daughter, all the while on the receiving end of a public smear campaign. It was beyond stressful. I was basically run down for a year, and for the first time in my life, felt unhealthy.

Eventually I pulled myself together and committed myself to a healthy, positive lifestyle. It’s a bit ironic but at the time my cancer was diagnosed I felt better than ever, both physically and emotionally. I’m grateful that I entered my treatment in this state of being. I can’t imagine what shape I’d be in now if I had received the news when I was going through all the drama.

Life is imperfect, that’s for sure  The silver lining is that the universe often aligns itself beautifully when we stay in touch with the signs meant to help navigate us through challenges. Whether it’s cancer or some asshole that cuts you off on in traffic, your ability to effectively deal with negative events in life has a direct correlation to you wtate of being when you meet with adversity.

Positive energy is a beautiful thing. It’s strength is boundless. It’s also allusive and, shocker,,doesn’t just happen because you post inspirational quotes on Instagram. It requires cultivation and tons of patience. You don’t implement positive energy but, rather, achieve it by practicing positive actions. Exercise, kindness, healthy eating, meditation, volunteerism , empathy and work:life balance are all important but won’t be fully effective until you are able to expunge all the emotional garbage that, like cancer, grows and spreads through your body and soul. It is his garbage that stands in the way of wellness.


Most of us are subtly self-destructive. For years I slowly destroyed some of the best pieces of me. Why do we do that? Why do we eat food that makes us feel bad? Why do we talk about exercise like a punishment?  Why do we date/marry people who make us feel bad about ourselves? Why do we maintain negative friendships or work in jobs that we hate? Are we all just a little bit motivated by negativity? Or maybe we have a subconscious need to self punish for some reason. Righting the karmic balance for past sins? Who knows. And, really, who gives a crap why? id rather spend my time eliminating negative people and habits from my world than sitting in therapy trying to determine whether I have abandonment issues or Catholic guilt.

Positive energy is a strong shield against adversity. It is also a strong target for miserable, soul sucking vampires who resent seeing You happy. Beware. Whether it’s an ex-husband, family member or someone else, there are people who don’t want you to evolve away from the negative atmosphere in which they exist. It’s like when an alcoholic stops drinking and her friends are bummed out because she’s no fun any more. Maybe they even try to get her to  go out and party again. People who are stuck in a negative place need company for validation. It’s messed up but so are a lot of other things that you can’t control.

Arm yourself with the good stuff and face adversity with grace, dignity and positive intention.







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