“To Love, To Life, To Family, and the time to enjoy them.” Part 2

“To Love, To Life, To Family, and the time to enjoy them.”

Part 2

Photography by Hay Alexander

It was one of those nights where I was exhausted. I had a million things running through my head. Was Bernadette getting better? Was she going to crash again? Did I write down that last Turkey order? I hope those sly foxes or cunning coyotes don’t find their way into the Turkey pens or I will be in big trouble! And then by some divine intervention, I had some sensation in my breast. So I felt around, like I am supposed to do on a frequent basis when you get to be my age, and something was there. It was in my right breast. There was a lump. It wasn’t there before but it is definitely there now. And it is big! I thought to myself, “How on earth have I not noticed this? How long has it been there? When was my last mammogram?” The stream of thoughts went on forever.

The next morning I woke up and told my husband that I needed to get a mammogram. So I did. Of course they found what I could feel, but they needed to see more. I needed a needle aspiration. I was nervous but there was so much going on around the farm that I needed to stay strong. I couldn’t show my fears. The needle aspiration came and went and then I waited and waited and waited for what seemed like FOREVER!

I did what I could, staying focused on running the farm and all the turkey orders!  November, December, January, and finally February rolled around for when my surgery was scheduled. I didn’t dare tell anyone at that time because my amazing customers are the type they would worry and not want to bother me. I was worried the business would fall off, and we’ve come too far to let that happen.

And so it was confirmed. I have a possible Phyllodes tumor (for more details, also click here) – a rare, large breast tumor. (Par for the course with my family history.) What was next? I began my research.

Phyllodes tumors typically are not cancerous, but if they are they don’t respond to treatment like the more common types of breast cancer and are treated like a soft tissue sarcoma. Not good and either way, it had to come out. The doctors would have to take a large enough margin to ensure they removed everything or it could grow back faster and be more aggressive. Once again, THANK GOD for Dr’s Pete and Lolin Hilgartner who ordered my mammogram, guided me, and kept me calm throughout the process. And for Dr. Lando, my endocrinologist, who got me in with Dr. David Weintritt at The National Breast Center.

With the surgery done, tumor benign, and a huge sigh of relief,  I began to focus on the maintenance and healing of my body once again at a renewed level. I am now monitored on a frequent basis. Tumor regrowth or occurrence in my other breast is my reality just as it is Bernadette’s.  Nothing like a little dose of reality to get me back in line and grounded. I know, you must be thinking: Don’t you drink your bone broth every day?

Welllllll sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I have to admit it gets hard for me to drink a lot of it when I am brewing broth day in and day out. I have to say, I love making “MY BONE BROTH” and touching others in their healthy healing as we ship across the country. This is something really special.

I must also confess it is much easier for me to tell Bernadette and her sisters to drink it! Ha.

Seriously though, in times of stress my approach is to focus on staying healthy. So I discipline myself to get strict in my diet and my personal care: Spiritual, physical, and emotional.

Mary Undoer of Knots

Mary Undoer of Knots

  1. Spiritual: Spirituality has always been of the utmost importance to me. I admit there are times when I feel empty spiritually and it’s more like I’m in a desert. I say my prayers but feel nothing. But here is what I have learned: Do. It. Anyway.

Right now, spiritually, I am in a really good space and I don’t want to lose that. I love this space but sometimes it takes time and repetition to get to. The prayers working for me right now are shared in our Inspiration page.

  1. Physical: Lots of water with lemon, decaf tea’s, bone broth in the morning instead of coffee, lots of veggies, salad and of course, good meat! 

And Oils! I love Young Living Oils. For my breast cancer scare I went deep into using Sacred Frankincense in the months before my surgery and drinking plenty of water with Lemon, Orange and Tangerine oils added in for my belief in their effects in fighting tumor growth. After surgery my oils of choice were Copaiba, Helichrysum and Myrrh. I continue to use a little Sacred Frankincense each week as one drop on my thumb and hold to the roof of my mouth.

I went weekly to Ardelle Baldwin at Hilgartner Health and Wellness for Vibrational Rain Drop Therapy, where oils and vibrations are applied to the body to draw out toxins. It was amazing! This was also something Tara Rayburn had done for Bernadette before her brain surgery.

  1. Emotional: It is easy for one to get caught up in emotions and feelings of discontent. When this happens to me I find that spiritually I am dry, physically I am strapped, and my overall persona is out of balance. The scale is tipped a little too far, one sided.

Mentally I am usually the culprit and not anyone else. This is when I really need to get structured, take time to myself, sleep more, refocus, and remember how beautiful and important my family is to me. I take walks and work more outdoors. This tends to reground me emotionally.

IMG_2251

Peony from the Fields of Athenry Gardens

Each of these areas in my life need continual maintenance, and the fix doesn’t just happen overnight. I am perpetually learning to be patient with myself and with others. This is not something that is necessarily easy for me.  One thing I do know for sure, when I eat right, drink the benefits of MY BONE BROTH I feel strength in my joints, more mental clarity and a soothing way down deep in my soul. I get my act together and regain a new focus and purpose. Check out a favorite summer recipe we use to get our Bone Broth in during the warmer months.

As for Bernadette, she’s also healthy and thriving again. Stay tuned, she’s got more to say soon about what she’s learned about leading a healthy and balanced life.

What are your steps to staying healthy? What do you do to nurture your physical, mental, and emotional sides? Share with us in the comments below!

2 thoughts on ““To Love, To Life, To Family, and the time to enjoy them.” Part 2

  1. Oh Elaine, you have so much strength. It takes a lot of courage to share such personal stuff online, but please know that it encourages others. You will be in my prayers! ~ Michelle H.

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