Whole Life Magazine

April/May 2014

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No case is typical. You should not expect to experience these results. © 2013 Rising Tide "Cancer is not an individual sport, it is a team sport. Empower yourself to pick the best team." ~Sara Cancer Warrior Being diagnosed with breast cancer was one of the most defining experiences of Sara's life. She knew the most important decision she had to make was to assemble the right team to fit her needs. Her search brought her to Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) where our team of experts have been fighting advanced cancer for decades. CTCA® worked with Sara and her family to create a comprehensive and tailored treatment plan focused on delivering the whole person approach and quality of life she wanted. The combined leading-edge oncologic medical treatments with naturopathic medicine, nutrition, rehabilitation, psychological counseling, spiritual support and pain management met her goals. Call now to speak with one of our Oncology Information Specialists and learn how we fight cancer like no one else. Call 888-214-9488 or go to cancercenter.com. CTCA FP Whole Life Empower.indd 1 5/14/13 3:08 PM 42 wholelifetimesmagazine.com "O W! F@#K! Was it worth it?" I berate the dead bee lying near my feet at the trailhead. Livid though I am, I spend the ensuing three-hour hike connecting to the consciousness of the bee and the lesson of the sting, while vaguely wondering if I'm allergic. Back home, I hit the web: Allergies generally present themselves within the first half hour and are marked by anaphylactic shock, fever, chills, vomiting and death. I'm in the clear. I don't consciously remember scratching the sting in my sleep, but given how freely I pick my nose throughout the night, I can't rule it out entirely. Upon waking, I notice that my leg has swelled considerably and the pain has morphed from annoying to outrageous. I snap a picture. Is this normal? reads my social media post. The consensus is: Definitely not normal. Try meat tenderizer, writes a FB friend. I soak a cotton pad in apple cider vinegar, the universal cure- all, tape it to my thigh and head out to see Frances Ha. Midway through the movie, a lightning bolt seizes my leg. I can hardly concentrate on Greta Gerwig's adorable codependence because my leg is on fire. "I hate bees," I whisper to my friend, Ross. "I'm glad they're dying off." Clear, cancel, delete, I think, but don't articulate because even though I don't mean it, I'm mad at the whole species. Back home, I scope the situation. My thigh is swollen at least three times its normal size. The pain is so bad I can hardly stand. I apply a poultice of baking soda, bentonite clay and lavender oil, tape a paper towel over it, and go to bed. I am jolted awake by the thousand thunderbolts stabbing my leg. Standing on my porch in my panties, I yelp while picking dried poultice flakes off my thigh. I mix another batch while whimpering, and smear it on the wound, grateful for the instant relief. By morning, the swelling is a thousand times worse and a yellow layer of rancid pus has replaced the four-inch welt that continues to be the epicenter of pain. Is this normal yet? I caption the photo. Go to a doctor, friends implore. It seems alarmist to track down a doctor, period, let alone on a Saturday. Get a cortisone shot. You're having an allergic reaction. It's infected. You need antibiotics. But cortisone causes soft tissue damage, and antibiotics kill off all the good bacteria that keep the colon healthy. I'm reminded of the fight I continue to have with my mother, 20 years into adulthood. "Have you looked into health insurance?" she asks for the nine thousandth time. "Ew, no. Why would I do that?" "Because if you get hit by a bus and break your leg, rubbing a crystal on it isn't going to help." She has a point, but my morning practices include both meditation and alternate nostril breathing, which I do specifically to strengthen my intuition, which is to say my higher self wouldn't let me step in front of a bus unless my soul needed that experience, in which case I'd heal it as guided in the present moment. Try Benadryl, writes a FB friend. Screw western medicine, I mutter, while "liking" her comment because I appreciate the concern. It feels like a shortcut, like some artificially imposed end to the experience, which—while painful and disconcerting—is a dash of visceral novelty in my life. I want to see what happens next. "I'll tell you what happens next," my mother barks into the receiver. "You lose your leg to infection or die of blood poisoning. Now drop the hippie bullshit and get yourself to Urgent Care." But of course I don't. By bedtime the infection has moved into my groin, which is now throbbing. The sting site has morphed into a 10-inch ring of cranky, red, pulled-tight skin surrounding the still yellowed, blistery center. The pain is off the charts. You might want to consider SEEING A DOCTOR, Ross texts. I text a healer friend instead. It's moved into my lymph. Just swallowed three doses of colloidal silver. I'll be fine, right? (P.S. Say yes) I pass out within seconds of sending the text. Let's get witchy on it, my healer friend replies, though I won't receive the message 'til morning. I pulled the reference signal for the venom of the exact bee that is in ur leg, harmonized that with ur body. Harmonized your spleen and a heart arrhythmia. Ran a somatic holding technique. Added your leg immunoglobulin. You may run a fever soon—that's a good thing. I wake up after my first full-night's sleep in three days, lift the covers, half- expecting to see a rotting elephantine limb begging to be amputated, happy to discover a normal-sized leg with a well- behaved three-inch welt—warm, but not on fire. There is no pain. Witchy worked. I repeat: Screw western medicine. backwords Story & illustrations by Dani Katz The lesson of the sting SCREW WESTERN MEDICINE FINAL-WLT-APRIL-MAY.indd 42 3/30/14 7:59 PM

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