From Cancer to Clarity - Secrets from my Journey

February 29, 2024

From Cancer to Clarity - Secrets from my Journey

I did not feel good for over 20 years... Epstein-Barr and bouts of recurrent pneumonia preceded a Thyroid Cancer diagnosis when I was sixteen. Then came the Lyme, Mycoplasma, Adrenal Fatigue, Psoriasis, Psoriatic arthritis, and severe auto-immune imbalance --- all before the age of 30 --- wild stuff considering I had a healthy childhood, never had chicken pox and or even as much as a cold or flu leading up to it!

My story is quirky and complicated...  yours is too.

When all my friends were getting their driver’s license, going on dates, and worrying about acne, I was getting diagnosed with aggressive thyroid cancer, going in for lab work constantly, eating through prescriptions, having surgeries, and enduring the isolating world of radiation. 

My weight ballooned, my mood was all over the place and I was the most awkward teen on the planet. Removing the tumor, my diseased thyroid and lymph nodes was not the end of it -- there were 20 years more before I had a clean cancer scan. And then there was the Lyme, the mycoplasma, a car accident, college, graduate school, marriage, two pregnancies, my dad died, the auto-immune disaster, adrenal crash with over a year of crippling anxiety, skin plaques and bone twisting arthritis -- yadda, yadda, yadda. Even sharing the summary, my story feels like a lot --- but I know I am not the only one with a quirky and complicated story. 

Whether your laundry list has the big C, adrenal, auto-immune disease, Lyme, Fibromyalgia... weight issues, hormone issues, mood imbalance, anxiety, insomnia, digestive issues, allergies ---- whatever it is --- there isa universal thread that links us all:

The body can only take so much for so long and once the balance point tips, strategies must shift, or our health will suffer.

Shaped by the Struggle

I am so passionate about being a holistic health practitioner because I've struggled a lot with my own health. Isn’t it interesting how our struggles shape us?

I think collaborating with me is different because I know what it's like to feel awful. 

I know the drill of bouncing from doctor to doctor, feeling dismissed, misunderstood, and hopeless, and I bet you do too.

I understand the frustration of trying x, y, and z, of doing "everything right" only to have things spiral or, worse, not change at all.

I don't just talk the talk...   

I live this every day.

I have been to countless practitioners, tried a million supplements, changed my diet and my lifestyle AND yet I still have to be vigilant, SHIFT, and adapt to keep my weight in check and curb fatigue, anxiety, and pain. Just as our health shifts, so should our strategies. Gone are the days of rigid thinking where strict calorie counting, and hours of cardio were the only way to get a healthy body.

To get from your breaking point to your balance point is as much about being gentle with yourself as it is about action.

It is about taking the right steps at the right time.

If you are reading this and it is resonating, there is a reason!

 

We can do this together!

As a survivor, thriver, and holistic practitioner whose primary modality is Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle counseling, I see my job as taking the time to understand your health and lifestyle, all the burdens and all the beauty. Your plan takes shape, grounded in your lived experience and in mine, with insight from all my resources, and years of training. We honor your process, your intuition, and the reality of your life as we craft steps to make your journey easier.

Together, we can peel back the burdens and lessen your load so every step from here on out is a step closer to balance and freedom.

That kind of partnership influenced my life.  It helped me step through fear and shined light on pieces I was missing or ignoring. It helped me strengthen my connection with myself and with the things that nourish me.

Learning from my mistakes 

I made the mistake of allowing my health decisions to be made by others, and I felt like I had no choice and no voice. Shifting in to explore holistic options and reconnect with my health, my body, my life, allowed me to regain my sense of agency. Doing so is empowering. Realizing that YOU are as much a part of your healthcare team as the most renowned specialist!

 

I made the mistake of doing too much, too fast and I tanked into chronic fatigue and anemia. Shifting the strategy, doing less, allowing the muddy water to settle so every choice and response becomes clear… this showed me that small steps often yield bigger, better, sustainable results.

I made the mistake of relying on doctors and prescription meds because my skin was so plaqued and my joints were so sore that I was frustrated and embarrassed, but that only got me into the cycle of having to take more and more rather than getting me relief. Shifting into a place of peeling back prescriptions and getting to know how my body responds to things showed me that the body wants balance and that there are many paths to healing.

I made the mistake of making decisions out of fear. I completely panicked when my arthritis first flared. Panic, fear, and anxiety kill hope... and hope is one of the best healers I know. Shifting out of fear and into a more neutral mentality showed me that clear thinking and fear thinking yield totally different results.

I reached a point (and I am guessing you have too) where I knew things had to change.

Are you there yet?

The reality of all the things I tried, doctors I saw, practitioners, therapies, supplements, and diets.... the money invested (sometimes the money that felt as if it was wasted) … the whole thing was exhausting and the TRUTH is even with all my intention and intervention, my health remained a challenge.

If you are like me, you know there is no magic solution. Even today, I feel in partnership with my body and my health is evolution. While my cancer is gone and my immune system is balanced, perimenopause is no joke! What I am working on and working through today may be different than the challenges I experienced 30 years ago, but who I am and how I approach it is the same:

  • I am not one of those adorable people who posts sweaty workout pics and sells shakes.
  • I am solid, boots on the ground, crawling through the trenches, MacGuyvering my way through the health maze.
  • I am whole foods and attitude and gratitude all the way.
  • I am not one thing -- not vegan, paleo, keto -- not just this or specifically that.
  • I am a roll with it, feel it, find the flow person.
  • I am not into the shame game, the blame game or pity parties.
  • I am growth, flexibility, gratitude, and grace.
  • I embrace self-care and do whatever I need to do to get through the day (coffee and naps happen!)
  • I believe every breath is a blessing, opportunity, an invitation.

Every little thing in my life has brought me here --- the health journey, years of schooling, certifications, and specializations --- and it is all to empower you:

  • to cut ties with fear, stress, and fatigue
  • to reconnect with the things that make you feel good.
  • to peel back the layers of dis-ease so you can rebuild balance and increase the love in your life. 

Whether you are in the throes of a cancer diagnosis, dealing with chronic illness or food allergies, struggling with weight, anxiety, or pain, not sleeping well, challenged with occasional imbalance or just in need of a boost, I am here for you.

Here is what I Know

  • I know how critically important it is to feel heard and understood.
  • I know how vital it is to acknowledge pain and challenge while also celebrating balance and success.
  • I know how helpful it is to have a health partner who knows you, cares about your “why” and isn’t afraid to reach a hand into the darkness so you have a connection to the light.

What I have found for myself and with my clients is this:

  • No single modality or diet works perfectly.
  • Balance and healing happen by addressing the WHOLE of you!
  • Healing is harder when your body holds onto poop, stress, old patterns and things that are not serving you. The ability to ditch waste and absorb nourishment is key.
  • A combination of nutrient-dense eating, movement/exercise, and stress management in partnership with traditional medicine (when necessary) can get you back on track.

 

Is my method of functional nutrition and health coaching for you?

  • Is your current plan and support system working for you? Are you making progress and getting relief?
  • Do you want to feel better AND do you believe that it is possible?
  • Are you eating foods that foster health and promote healing? Or are you feeling limited by what you can eat?
  • Are you open to simple strategies for lifestyle shifts?
  • Are you ready for partnership, support and strategies that shift according to your unique response and your real life?

Schedule a free discovery call with Sarah to talk about your health, your goals and how we can partner to get you there. Click here https://p.bttr.to/2P4MI8G or call Sarah at 603-391-1230 to schedule.

 

Sarah Lawrence has over 15 years of experience and certifications as a Functional Nutrition & Lifestyle Practitioner, Holistic Health Coach, Aromatherapist, Reiki Master, and Laughter Yoga Teacher. Embodying the essence of "Partnership with a Purpose," Sarah blends her extensive expertise and passion to inspire transformative health journeys. She believes in the inherent right to not just exist but thrive, and with a client-centric approach, she crafts personalized strategies to optimize your relationship with food and everything else that nourishes you.

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