Fighting Rhabdomyosarcoma

December 6, 2019

An abstract mainting with light colors and a figure representing a person in the foreground.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

I was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) on April 26, 2007. I received one year of chemo and one month of radiation. Undergoing both treatments simultaneously was not easy. With chemo, I lost my hair. My appetite evaporated. It made me felt nauseous and would indeed cause me to throw up. When I was getting treated for radiation, the radiologists made me feel relaxed. I remember them playing Diana Ross and Norah Jones for me while I was getting the treatment. However, it burned the scar area of my face and made the inside corner of my mouth tender and tight. Going through these treatments lowered my self-esteem. The upshot, an understatement, is that I am still around, with my faith and determination intact. I was able to finish the school year, if you can believe that.

Cancer and Self-Esteem

Going through cancer was a tough time for me. Kids did not want to be around me. They’d literally run away from me. I remember, on a field trip, an activity in we were each supposed to do with a partner. No one wanted to be mine. I was hurt. The boy that I had a crush on did not give me a time of the day! I got rejected by him and others. That was traumatic for me.

When the year was over, I transferred schools. I have not been back to my old school since then. I attended it from first grade to seventh grade. I attended a camp called Okizu, a camp for children who are cancer patients or whom have been affected by cancer in the family. I heard about Camp Okizu while going through treatment. I was able to go after I was done with chemo. It was a blessing being around kids and, more importantly, teens my age going through the same thing that I went through. There were ice-cream socials, spa nights, baseball lunches, a dance, and other fun activities. I went there from age twelve to seventeen. I have a scar on the right side of my face near the corner of my mouth. I used to want to get rid of it. I hated it so much that I felt like it was a barrier. I now wear it proudly with a beautiful smile to boot.

Depression and Reiki

I am the type of person to hold things in and act like everything is okay because I don’t want to burden anyone with my problems. Instead, I put on a facade of happiness or just isolate myself, sobbing in silence. The pain, old and new—the absence of my parents due to them being incarcerated/deported, back-to-back friendship fallings-out, boy drama, unemployment, post-grad blues, feelings of inadequacy—had left me wanting to end it all.

I have been battling depression since middle school. It started while going through cancer. As I got older, it has gotten more severe. I have had feelings of not feeling good enough (NGE) or pretty enough. I have had suicidal thoughts, which I acted upon in May of 2018. I explained in a letter whom I wanted at my service and how I didn’t want my death to be announced publicly—to tell only the people I listed. I took about seven Advils, drank a little mouthwash, and a little bit of rubbing alcohol, and then spent two days in a psychiatric hospital.

An abstract mainting with light colors and a figure representing a person in the foreground.

“Mending the Crack” by Karla Leopold

I discovered Reiki a few months after my attempt. I decided to take some herbal supplements, use essential oils, and work with crystals. I was looking for something deeper than therapy and keen to take a holistic approach. After each Reiki session, I would feel rejuvenated and that a load of emotional burden was lifted off me.

Your Spiritual Journey

The beginning of my spiritual journey officially began when I started to receive Reiki. I have been learning about meditation, manifestation, the Law of Attraction, essential oils, and crystals. I got rid of all my social media except Instagram, which is my favorite social media because I get to connect with peers from different countries and cities that are on spiritual journeys similar to my own. In my spare time, I like to watch tarot-card-reading videos for fun. I listen to subliminals as well.

Spirituality has enhanced my life. It’s personal and you go at your own pace as time goes by. It can be overwhelming at times because of changes and solitude, but I am at peace. My journey has taught me how to embrace and own my uniqueness. It’s not easy to find a community seeking the attainment of Christ consciousness—Christian faith not required. Luckily (if you believe in that kind of thing), my best friend, my Reiki healer, YouTube, research, and my inner healer have been helping me all the while.

Reiki and Aromatherapy

I’ve been told that I have the gift of healing through church, my Reiki healer, a Christian conference, and my grandmother who told me that when I was little, her customers would ask me to pray for them and their children. I never did Reiki on anyone but use aromatherapy on loved ones and they feel its benefits tangibly. I plan on incorporating Reiki and aromatherapy into my newborn healing practice. I am open to any condition but, in addition to supporting those enduring grief/loss, I am thinking of specializing in mental/emotional health: stress, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts and such.

It’s not counterintuitive for a healee to become a healer; in fact, healing others is often times the only way to heal yourself, which jibes with karmic beliefs.


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