This is how my life was before (which was most of my life)…

Taking care of everyone else, not standing up for myself, worried about what other people were thinking, afraid I was letting someone down, beating myself up when I made mistakes…

I did not feel confident. Although I was a social person, I was incredibly shy and felt more comfortable in the shadows when in bigger group settings. I thought I was not good enough and at times, that there was actually something wrong with me. Something just didn’t feel quite right.

I also had a hard time saying NO, so I was allowing myself to spread much too thin. I took on a lot of responsibilities that were neither necessary or expected (including a care-giving role for my parents when health issues arose). This pretty much consumed my life all through my early 30s. Now, the interesting thing is that it did not really show, so the people around me did not necessarily notice as I was perfectly functioning and cordial most of the time. Additionally, I thought my life was OK…I had no idea how much better it could become.

My husband and I moved our family from Switzerland to Canada due to his new short-term job opportunity there. In (freezing cold) Canada I was diagnosed out of the blue with Thyroid Cancer, and it hit me like a truck as I was healthy (so I and everyone else thought, including the doctor in Switzerland). I was mad. I felt it was cruel and unfair, especially after all my efforts to help others. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to see my daughter grow up.

Now, I had an important and difficult choice to make (while keeping most people in the unknown…part of my initial problem): Saying NO to others so I could say YES to myself.

Take care of myself first, so I could spend more time with my family and loved ones, and to be of better service to others without compromising my own health. It started with the traditional cancer treatment protocol: surgery to eliminate the thyroid gland, along with the 7 cm tumor, and one (thank goodness) RAI treatment, before moving again to the United States. With the health and wellness knowledge I have acquired over the last 10+ years, I would now choose a different treatment plan.

I also started asking for support along the way (another hard thing for me to do); followed by educating myself on how to live a healthy, happy life according to my needs and desires. I invested in several high-end training sessions and coaches to support and guide me along the way.

All of this led me to a deep understanding that cancer was a wake-up call (a blessing in disguise). Nothing happened by accident; the cancer, nor the type of cancer, nor when and where it happened. I became determined; my health and well-being became a MUST, a non-negotiable aspect of my life. I invested in myself, I educated myself, I dug deeper into the root causes (physically and emotionally), and I stepped outside of my comfort zone over and over. I still take those steps every day because now it is exciting to do so.

I have been cancer free for over 10 years. I am taking responsibility for my own life and well-being and have greater awareness about how things are connected. I listen to my intuition (which never fails) and know how to utilize my negative feelings as allies.

I have learned what my body needs, what I need in my life, my relationships and my career to be happy. I know what my lifestyle and behaviors need to be to nourish myself in all areas (health, emotional, career, relationships, spiritual) and to feel confident, joyful, healthy, at ease and fulfilled.

I now honor my mistakes and learn from them; I allow myself to be vulnerable and am able have those healthy boundaries so I don’t feel pulled in different directions and drain myself….and I’m so very grateful I can teach my clients how to do the same.