As expected, life got very dark for me. Turning to whatever I could, I found light in mindfulness practices. I became hyper aware of the ingredients in my food and beauty products, and I noticed my nutrition, sleeping, and exercise habits. I tuned in to me, Ellie, and made her my number one priority.
At first, it was overwhelming and it was too easy to spiral into a negative space. I knew I had lost control of a lot, so I began to focus on what I could control and I made that my power.
How I treated my body became the most important aspect of my life. Where I chose to spend my money also mattered like never before. I began to think of food, and how it can be prepared, as medicine. I turned to holistic approaches in tandem with treatment, and I did what I knew I could do to care for my body naturally and provide her with the best support. I also turned with new appreciation to calming practices such as yoga. While my body was fighting off the cancer, we (my body & I) made an agreement: She would get me through this & in turn I would treat her like the temple she is and pay attention to the food & products I put in and on her. She was fighting the big fight, no need to make her fight off damaging products or thoughts.
I was overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork I had collected and appointments to prepare for. I couldn’t even focus on any of it. I just wanted to get out of my head, relax my body, and get through treatment. The support I received was amazing, especially the suggestions and gifts that helped me to manage my chemo side effects. I began to think about other patients around me and how we all could benefit from some sort of wellness package.
Now that I’m on the other end of treatment, I am turning this idea into reality. I want to highlight local businesses while also encouraging cancer patients to tend to themselves. This is how Tend to You was born. With the support from my diligent board and talented partners, Tend is my way of showing light to others.
At one point, it felt like I had to choose between happiness or sadness. But no...life is contradicting, complicated, crazy and unpredictable. This shit ain’t black and white!!! And there is not one right way for things to be done. I'm still learning myself, but know for sure that I want to be and stay well. There are many ways up the mountain, and no real guides. But we can help each other along the way, and that’s what I’m trying to do with Tend.