The How to Choose Happiness and Freedom Show: "Happy and Fearless After Cancer" with Dr. Shani Fox

Dr. Fox is a naturopathic Dr. and Life Mastery Consultant. Reclaim your power to create a life of happiness and freedom in the aftermath of cancer.  
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Dr. Shani Fox - Founder of Healing and Hope for Cancer Survivors

Having a diagnosis of cancer, or being a cancer survivor is a beginning! Learn to reclaim your power and create a life of happiness and freedom in the aftermath of cancer.


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Here is all of the extra, insider information, resources and free stuff from today's episode. We hope you will reach out to Shani for a reading and stay in touch with the Be Happy First Team. All our love! Be Happy First!

Dr. Shani Fox has stepped up over and over again to help cancer patients and survivors through their greatest challenges, including taming fear of recurrence, repairing devastated relationships and making the most of the life they survived for.  Bringing her unique expertise as both holistic physician and certified life mastery coach, she's impacted thousands of survivors with her life-changing messages and warm personal presence. 

Dr. Shani is also the author of The Cancer Survivor’s Fear First Aid Kit and a popular radio and podcast guest for survivor communities.  Her posts and articles have been published in the Huffington Post, Breast Cancer Wellness magazine and the peer-reviewed Natural Medicine Journal.

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Transcript from Today's Show

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Lauren Gabrielle Foster 0:00
Hello and welcome to today's episode of the How to Choose happiness and freedom Show. I'm your host Lauren foster happiness teacher and founder of be happy first. And I am so excited to have, as my guest today a fellow Life Mastery consultant who the universe conspired to bring to me and she is also what is so near and dear to my heart and that I feel the world needs so much more of. She's a naturopathic doctor. Her name is Dr. Shani, Fox. And welcome Shani, I'm so happy to have you here. It's a delight to be here with you, Lauren. Yay, do it. How much do we love Mary Morrissey in the Life Mastery Institute. Oh, she changed my life.

Okay, so I'm Sony's, the founder of healing and hope for cancer survivors. So we're gonna very much talk about that today. Because I don't know a single person whose life has not been touched by cancer

by someone very close to them or themselves. And so it's really prevalent. But I want to preface all of this that to say that everything Shawn is going to teach us today I know this applies not only to cancer, but any disease, any struggles, any fear, we're supposed to have happy, fulfilled amazing lives, no matter what our diagnosis is, what our past is, or anything. So tell us about gear Shawnee, how you arrived, where you are, why you do what you do?

Dr. Shani Fox 1:29
why I do what I do, because there's a need. Because there's a need. I mean, it's a bit of a story as to how I got here. But the bottom line is that fear is the most common side effect of cancer. Research even holds that 70% or more of cancer survivors struggle with persistent fear. And and that easily makes it the most common side effects. So it is a huge issue that's out there. And it's not very well acknowledged, much less supported enough to support the fear. But the resolution isn't supported by the medical system. It's not even acknowledged, particularly. It's typical for cancer survivors, when they finish cancer treatment, for example, that they get to their last chemo or whatever the last treatment is. And there's cupcakes and balloons and there's a big celebration, which there should be it's a big milestone. But what they get after that the moment after that, what they get is, go have a nice life. And the person themselves know that they're not done. They're just beginning they are not in any position to start a new life. They're exhausted, they have symptoms, they are struggling in very many cases. And not to mention that their identity has been shattered, also. And so they need at that point, a lot of support. And unfortunately, that's not something that the medical system sees yet. So that's the niche I aim to fill. Okay, that so the fear of reoccurrence, it's mostly a fear of recurrence, or at least that's how it shows up. That's what people will recognize. As you've got a cat in your picture, too. You may have heard mine just now.

Unknown Speaker 3:00
She'll she'll put in once in a while on the conversation.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 3:03
I want to have animals are welcome here. My golden retriever is behind me on the couch there. There's another dog and four cats running around. They're all welcome. This is

Unknown Speaker 3:14
different. That's right. Yeah,

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 3:17
no, I'm what I want to get later into the more of the specifics of what people can do, instead of letting their diagnosis be the boss that says on your website, you might have cancer, but doesn't cancer doesn't have to have you, which I get I loved the way that you put that. But let's talk a little bit about what a naturopathic doctor is and does.

Unknown Speaker 3:43

Dr. Shani Fox 3:45
a naturopathic doctor believes that the mind and the body First of all, are one entity and that the entire entity has to be whole and healed for the person to be truly well. So therefore the approach is that whatever comes up by way of symptoms, is usually just the tip of an iceberg. That's the body's way of saying I need help.

Unknown Speaker 4:07
But what the naturopathic doctor will do instead of simply giving let's say a pill for the symptom, which figuratively is what the western medical system does, the naturopathic doctor is going to look for the reason you're having that symptom and treat the underlying cause. So an example would be migraine headaches, you know, it's possible to take a painkiller and do away with a migraine headache within a fairly short amount of time and even have that happen time after time. But if the root cause of the migraine isn't treated than the migraines will continue and the person will continue on medication and the minute the medication is not there. The problem comes right back. So it's about getting to the root cause of problems and making the entire person mind and body healthier.

Unknown Speaker 4:47
Right. Okay. I

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 4:48
love that. So how does so your specialty is in your attitude and your your Outlook, if you will you perspective. But there's more things like diet and exercise. Oh, sure, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 5:05
So in order for the entire being to be, well, we have to get it all aspects of lifestyle, a person who's living really well is going to be a lot less likely, it's not impossible, but it's less likely that they'll run into chronic health issues. So I might say that chronic health issues, of course, are the, that's the domain of naturopathic doctors. So we have huge respect, for example, for emergency room medicine, you know, if you need it in this moment, you need it in this moment. And that's, they do what they do, and they're brilliant at it. But when it comes to things like diabetes, when it comes to things like high blood pressure, the things that go on and on and on. And Western medicine only offers really medication we go to then the diet and the stress level, and the exercise, and the sleep and the stress, all those factors, which add up to creating health in a person and can even reverse something like for example, diabetes, or high blood pressure when attended to consistently. Right.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 6:00
Okay, that that's, that's perfect. And, yeah, but I recently lost my brother to cancer just like a little over a year ago, and I would I moving forward, it was one of the other reasons I wanted to have you as a guest is, I want someone like you in my life, for if this if this happens again. So that, you know, I have someone to refer them to, you know, and someone to, to get help from. So thank you for doing what you do. Alright, so let's talk about what happens now. So do people come to you when they have just been diagnosed or when there's they have already, they're in remission? Or all? What, what stages Do you usually see people in,

Unknown Speaker 6:47
people find me at all different stages of their cancer journey. Some are in treatment, but more commonly, you know, when you're in treatment, you have so many doctor's appointments, and so many things to do, and be places that very often, the mind and the Spirit are not first on your mind. It's getting your body healthy. And that's certainly understandable. So where it's, I do help people in that realm if they needed, and they find me, but much more commonly is when treatment is finished. And either they're in remission, we hope that they're in remission, and now they're looking to rebuild a life, which is nothing to look anything like the left before, because they don't feel like the same person they were before. Or, in some cases, they're not in full remission. They're living with cancer. And that presents, of course, its own set of issues, emotional and spiritual issues, that needs to be dealt with. And I help such people as well.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 7:39
Okay, so get get give me some examples of how you help people to resolve their fears and things that, you know, our listeners can, you know, sort of get their minds around in this moment. Sure,

Unknown Speaker 7:53
sure. So, what's not often acknowledged, is that the medical system unintentionally, they're, they're very well intentioned. But the unintentional consequence of the way cancer treatment usually happens is that people come out of it, in addition to whatever physical things are going on, they come out very disempowered. The reason is, because when you're diagnosed with cancer, first of all, usually surprise, many people have no idea that many don't even have symptoms or barely, and, and the diagnosis is a shock. So there's a bit of trauma that happens right away. And then of course, the system says, Okay, here we go, you know, this is gonna be your treatment 123, here's where you show up, here's going to be with you. So everything is very structured and regimented. Now, it's important I I don't dismiss the in any way, the importance of all that, but the speed with which it happens. And the accompanying trauma usually means that the person has had hasn't had time to digest or think about it before they go ahead and follow their instructions. Okay, that's what happens. But because it's all set up by the system, and the person didn't even have a chance to consider is this what I'd prefer is or is there anything else I'd like to ask about? How do I take care of myself? In the meantime, how do I deal with my relatives in the meantime, I mean, there's so many issues that come up at the very same time as the diagnosis that are under digested, and then the system takes over basically, and you just kind of march along with the system. Again, I'm not diminishing any of that. It's important. It's important what needs to happen. But when they come out then and there's that scenario that I described earlier, that all of a sudden they're going to balloons and so long, Have a nice life, then all of a sudden you find yourself in a total sort of what am i plants describe this as I was laid out the door, there was a broad field in front of me with no beginning and no end and no landmarks. And I had I was lost. I didn't know which way to turn, no idea which way to go to get to where I want to be, which was fully healthy and whole. And so she floundered for nine months before I found her she just couldn't put her life back together. So people are left just completely At loose ends, basically when treatment ends. And they they not only don't know what to do, but they don't have a handle, they don't know who to ask, because they had this whole team up until now. And the minute that treatments over that team is on to the next patient, that there's nobody there. Now, survivorship programs are beginning to emerge. And more often than not, they look like okay, well, let's have a support group. Okay, well, let's have a yoga lesson. Not that there's anything wrong with these things. But people really need literally a hand to hold and tailored information to where they are, because everybody's different, they've experienced this differently. And what we don't want to do is go into support group, and then just rehash everything that just happened, which is very often what happens, people are really traumatized by that. They need to have a handle that's gonna lead them forward and into that next beautiful phase. And give them the support and help them fill in the gaps, whatever they need to get there.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 10:53
Yeah, okay. That's awesome. That's beautiful. We, you know, I often say that, and I witnessed it, that people will get a diagnosis of cancer or something like that. And suddenly that becomes the star of their life. All they talk about, it's all they chat about, it's the only place that they give their attention. And I get it, it's, it's sort of trying to take over your mind, but how would you advise someone to be able to take their attention away from that diagnosis and focus on, on healing on what comes next?

Unknown Speaker 11:33
So I have, as naturopathic doctors often do, I have an immediate set of tools that I can give. And then I have, of course, the longer term plan. You know, just like we talked about the migraine, if a person is in pain, they very often do need a painkiller, and then they'll start working on their diet and everything else, right. But when they're in pain, it's very hard for them to refocus. So the equivalent of the pill in this case is, I do a bit of mindfulness training with my people, helping them find the present moment. You know, fear, of course, as you well know, is a creature of the future. It means we're imagining a future, it hasn't happened, it may never happen. But we're imagining a future that's scaring us and putting our nervous system into fight or flight. And so what we need to do is reel them back in from the future and have them be right where they are, right where they are. So I use breath. I use mind tools like guided visualizations, whatever it takes to bring a person right here right now, where the first of all, the breath even, even on its own before we get to anything else calms the nervous system takes them out of that, the tension that they're in. So they're self training to calm themselves, and bring themselves to a place. And by the way, this only takes a few moments to do a minute, two minutes to bring themselves here where they can make a different choice. And then the choice, of course, I train them to make choices about well, how am I going to live today?

Unknown Speaker 12:59

Unknown Speaker 12:59
How am I gonna live today? Because that's my today's that will add up into the life that I want to create.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 13:03
Right? That's awesome. So I also saw on your website, that there's a pre assessment, that's all I learned, but that, that it's there, and that it's an assessment to tell me about that. And who should, who should go and take that

Unknown Speaker 13:16
test. Anybody who's had cancer, anybody who's beyond beyond cancer, or cancer treatment, that's a little bit broader, that has to do more with a long term plan. But it's for people to look at all aspects of their lives. So for example, you just mentioned that when cancer comes up, and it is, you know, being that it's potentially life threatening, of course, it's going to occupy our attention. So people tend to focus on well, when's my next doctor's appointment? When's my next you know, treatment going to be and even if it's orange, my office in case I'm survivors and remission, what's my next scan gonna be? And those are notoriously fear inducing. So we it's not that we don't folk, you know, there has to be there. It's on the calendar, right. But we want to take, you know, we want to use those intervals between the scans perfect opportunity, or between doctor's appointments, whatever, to say, Okay, how am I doing right now? Am I you know, do I need to take a look at my diet? Do I need to take a look at, you know, whether I'm moving my body and work there, you know, exercise is incredibly therapeutic. There's actually significant research that a person who walks 150 minutes a week, so we're talking about five days a week, 30 minutes, and you don't have to do Olympic style walking, it's we're talking about moderate, you know, just a good good brisk walk 30 minutes by translate that can reduce cancer recurrence by 33 to 50%. Wow, there is no medicine that can come close. So and this is proven in breast cancer, which is one of the most common cancers but even in lung cancers, which is one of the most deadly, much more so than breast cancer. And so even in the, you know, some very serious cancers, this is true. And so exercise is incorrect. medicine, and it needs, you know, if a person really wants to give themselves the best odds of not only survival, but quality of life and survival, they need to be moving their bodies in whatever way is appropriate, you know, I recognize that it's more difficult for some people than others. And being, you know, being a naturopathic doctor, I have a whole range of things I can suggest for people that way. So we meet them where they are, you know, if they cannot walk 30 minutes right now, okay, you know, we'll find a way to begin, and then work ourselves up gradually. And for those who are capable, we need to get on some sort of regular practice, I call it a practice always that, that will support their their their thriving in the long run.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 15:40
Awesome. So in your mind, mindfulness trading, you're teaching meditation also is that

Unknown Speaker 15:45
I don't literally teach meditation, but I use practices of mindfulness in my work. And many of my clients are, in fact, they have found meditation, they're doing it on the, on their own, which is absolutely wonderful, I'm totally supportive of that. And what I do is that I integrate that practice into everything else that they're doing so that every piece serves the other piece, and the whole thing adds up to a beautiful, robust program.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 16:10
Right? That's beautiful. So talk to me about in all of my work, we are always using visualization and vision boards and things like that. Talk to me about how that can be used in this particular situation with cancer survivors, as

Unknown Speaker 16:28
so here's something very interesting. So you and I learned this, this, about visualization and, and the power of our vision together or not blurred together, but under the same coach. And it isn't very powerful in my life, of course, personally, as well as professionally. And here's the interesting thing that in the general population, you can approach just about anybody, and within a pretty short time, evoke a dream from them, you know, add them articulate a dream, a vision for themselves. In the world of cancer survivors, I find that's not so easy. Because this specter has been in front of them for quite a while. And if they can't see around that dark cloud, it's hard for them to visualize what comes beyond. And that's, that's actually the crux of the matter sometimes, is they're unable to visualize a healthy future for themselves. And by the way, this has absolutely nothing to do, it's not not correlated at all, with the type of cancer they had the stage of cancer they had, in other words, doesn't matter how serious the disease was. It's true, it can be true of serious disease, but it also be true of what we call relatively light disease. Not not the cancer is never not serious to the person, I understand that. But even the ones that are very curable, let's say, we still get the same fear, we still get that it could, you know, can be just as just as bad. So. So without respect, what actually happened, people can have this or visualize a dark cloud for themselves. And then we have to learn, I have to help them be able to see beyond that. So if we use all kinds of I don't know, metaphors, you know, for example, I live in Portland, Oregon, which, on beautiful days, we have a view of Mount Hood. It's gorgeous, beautiful big mountain just beyond the city. And I walk my regular walking routine goes up to the highest point in Portland, where I can see Mount Hood and several other mountains actually on a good day. And yet, Portland is rainy and cloudy a lot of the time, right, this is known. So there's a lot of days, I'll go up there, and it's completely cloudy. Can't see Mount Hood. And I remind myself, that Mount Hood is still there, I just can't see it that day.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 18:38
Because you can't see the floor.

Unknown Speaker 18:41
Exactly. So that you know, by using by using pictures, images like that, sometimes I can help people get to a place where Okay, I know you've got clouds in front of you right now. But the beautiful shining mountain or whatever else, you want a picture out there. It's still there, the sun, right? It's still there, right? Even though I can't see it today, because of that. So I help people recognize that something is beyond the cloud. And then we, it may take a while. But eventually we do get to a place where they develop within a vision, it might be a portion of a vision. In other words, I can't attempt my whole life right now. But maybe I can do it with respect to let's say, I've got a grandchild, I want to see her graduate high school. Something like that. We you know, we come to a particular picture and focus on that, and then expand from there over time. Oh, yeah, by the way, I'd like to go to France to you know, so you know, we expand to other realms of life, but we find the one that's most on their hearts and start there and work outwards. So even developing the vision can be is a significant part of the work with cancer survivors, or at least can be

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 19:44
right, getting back to that place where you can imagine a life beyond

Unknown Speaker 19:49
Yes, a full life a rich life.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 19:51
Yeah. Yes. Right. And so in this conversation, we're talking about cancer, but your dad You mentioned on in your story that your dad was in a very bad accident. And so in anything that happens like this, that causes you to confront your mortality, if you will, to really just kind of get the idea that the will this life is going to end one day one way or another. But it's so that then there's two choices, I could be afraid and change my life according to my fear. Or I can have an perspective that life is truly precious, I'm going to embrace every minute, and be very happy, which it sounded like it's what your dad did.

Unknown Speaker 20:38
That is exactly what my dad role modeled. For me, my dad at the age of 52, was in a terrible car accident, he was hit as pedestrian, and was unconscious in color for a while. And eventually healed from this. After nine months, you came out of the hospital. So it was a terrible, terrible accident, he could just as easily have died. And what was beautiful, the silver lining, let's say that came out of this was that once he was back on his feet, once he was out of the hospital and beginning to live again, he recognized exactly how precious life is, and how quickly it can end, we have no idea because he was perfectly healthy before that. How we never know which day is our last day. And so he lived in a sense, as if every day was his last day. In other words, you know, if I want to do it, I'm gonna do it right now. He didn't wait. And he lives so closely to his values. And in his case, that was family and friends. He wanted to spend as much time as he could with family and enjoy his children, his grandchildren. I mean, that's what he wanted most of all, and he did whenever he could. And so he lived this beautiful, intentional life. All of which was triggered at least I mean, that, you know, the the impetus, although that wasn't a day to day thing, but the the original inputs, but that was life is totally precious I, you know, I we need to appreciate every day. So he when he finally passed away, which was 28 years later, and he did die of cancer, by the way he did, he died of pancreatic cancer, which was very hard. But even though that was part was sad and hard. The what we all knew and what kept us Well, maybe not all of us, but what I knew what my dad knew what kept us calm, was that he had lived this beautiful, beautiful life. And so if this is the way that was chosen for him to go, okay, but at least his life was a wonderful thing. And he was a beautiful role model for me that way.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 22:42
Yeah. So and so many times we see that living through something scary, like a bad accident, or cancer or something like that. Yes, it was really turned out to be an amazing gift. Yes. That, you know, contributes to future life. That's incredible. Do you? Yes, I'm not too well, and being able to look at that as a gift and be able to find the gifts in.

Unknown Speaker 23:11
Yeah, I'm smiling a little bit because I agree totally with what you say in principle. Absolutely. But and my father was demonstrated that, but cancer survivors very interesting gift is a bit of a charged word with them. What cancer is a gift, you know, it can take quite a while to get past that. So even though I hold that, yes, there's going to be a blessing in this many, many blessings in this eventually. They may not see that right away. And I don't push that point. I let them come to that. down the line whenever they get there,

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 23:39
like prove it to them.

Unknown Speaker 23:40
Let life prove it to you.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 23:43
Interesting, I wouldn't have thought of that. Because, and it might be a please give me a break. What do you mean a gift? i?

Unknown Speaker 23:53
Yeah, yeah. But I do come across that. And I there's no reason to push it. Like I said, I meet people right where they are. And if they can't see something like that, there's no reason to go there. There's many other ways to get where we're going.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 24:03
Right. Gotcha. Cool. Cool. All right. So you are also an author. Tell me about your book.

Unknown Speaker 24:10
Yeah, it's a little actually a little multimedia kit, it's until it's a short book. And it comes with a CD with guided visualizations and also a workbook as well as a QuickStart Guide, which is a little poster. So the purpose of all this is that this covers those little tools I talked about before. In other words, this is this is how to get you can train yourself actually to have that approach of bringing yourself out of the worry back to the present and then making a new choice in the present day. So that method that peace of mind method is actually available you're right in kit form on Amazon, the cancer survivors fear first aid kit, is what I call it, your first aid kit.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 24:48
Alright, so no matter where you're watching this video or listening to the recording, if you just look down, there will be show notes that have the links to go and find out more about Dr. Fox and The link to her book and the link to the assessment, all that anything you could possibly want to be able to learn more about what she's teaching and how she's helping, will, will provide that for you. Alright, so what would you have a sister who had breast cancer long time ago, she's their survivor. And I never thought to ask myself if she was if she lived in constant fear that it was going to come back. But then she was recently at a checkup of some kind and saw, they saw little spots of something somewhere. And panic ensued. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I guess that that's, that's always there. And yes, and my brother, I think I mentioned before the show, he survived 18 years with bladder cancer, that, you know, he would have to go and get checked every six months, or maybe more frequently, and sometimes it would have to be removed. But I mean, there was no way to make it go away until it came up. Anyway, that's how he did eventually die from that after 18 years. So there's such a giant placement, this is just my family, this, my immediate family. So I love what you're doing out there, I'm going to make certain that they're able to, you know, get these resources and get some help. And this is kind of helped open my eyes a little bit to what they might be going through. I'm incredibly healthy. And

Unknown Speaker 26:28

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 26:29
So So sometimes you need a different perspective to be able to really understand what's happening with other people. Yeah, so talk to me a little bit to, to that question to the family of survivors is do get involved with how those relationships work? And, and, you know, and I would imagine that cancer itself kind of wreak some havoc on relationships.

Unknown Speaker 26:56
It can. Yes, and I do I do serve the loved ones of survivors as well, when there's a need, absolutely. I have said for a long time that cancer is a truth teller. Cancer, under those circumstances, have somebody in a family network, let's say who has cancer, all of a sudden, anything that was ailing in the relationship, but maybe that was under the rug for the longest time, okay, we'll just deal with it. Okay, we'll just ignore that. It will come to the surface, under those conditions of great pressure, right. So again, in the moment, it can be very difficult to deal with to the point where relationships often break. And yet the person, the survivor, who's not, let's say, when they were patient, before their survivor, that they, they, they have to focus all their resources on what they're going through, they don't have the the resources or the energy to deal with that. And so this can go on for a long time, the broken situation can go on for a long time, before anybody who's had the cancer, who is able to deal with it. And so, and yet we have these outstanding issues. So this is part of survivorship, you know, anything that ruptured in relationships during the actual experience, then, is it still there to be dealt with in that survivor period? Right. So yes, this is absolutely something I deal with. And even though no matter what the behavior was of the people around the survivor, which usually again, is very well intentioned, but sometimes very unskilled. We have to start with the survivor themselves, assuming the survivor wants to repair this, which is not always a given. But But assuming they want to. Then we start with the person themselves, because as you and I both know, that's where any of these issues begin, we have to check on where we are. Not that you've done anything wrong as a survivor, but we have to check in what is going to serve you in repairing this and what's not going to serve you. It's not uncommon to find resentment. J somebody was not there for me when I really expected them to be, you know, my sister, my brother, you know, or it's interesting. It's very common to hear that during treatment. But then you have a different version and survivorship and survivorship. It looks like well, the doctor said we were done. So we're done. Right? You're back to normal, right? Why are you still talking about your cancer, right? So they can't understand that this journey goes on way beyond the chemo or the surgery, whatever happened.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 29:48
So there's the the theme of fear is, is there a is there an idea of banishing fear as a preventative measure? mean, what are the I believe that any disease starts starts first in your mind in your soul? And then it then begins to manifest in your body? And how, how could we get out ahead of that? How can we live a life that is without that fear and without that stress, and therefore maybe avoid the whole cancer journey? That?

Unknown Speaker 30:25
Well, it's pretty evident that stress can contribute to a cancer diagnosis. It's that there's there's plenty of evidence, and also clinical evidence, which means it's not research published, but the people that I work with see this all the time. So it's true that if we manage stress, there's that is one large factor, which won't contribute to a disease journey. Having said that, there's nothing fair about cancer, unfortunately, and you can often see very healthy people with a diagnosis suddenly receive a diagnosis of cancer, we have to remember it, for example, that there are environmental factors out there, you know, electric electromagnetic frequencies, pollution, which our body deals with, anyway. And these things will contribute also in a large way to the health of our bodies, and we can't control them. So that, you know, cancer, it's like a jigsaw puzzle. Yes. There might be stress. Yes, there could be poor diet. Yes. There could be, you know, other things. Smoking, for example, with longer bladder cancer, you know, so some things are, it's pretty evident that there's a connection. And there's some things that it's pretty evident, that there is connection, and they're not controllable, some are some aren't. So, we can't always avoid the cancer journey. And we can't blame ourselves for that, even if we've had very wonderful health habits. But having said that, having said that, there's also of course, genetic factors which contribute for some people. No control. Right. But But having said that, can we do things that are likely preventative or certainly give ourselves much better chances? Yes. Because again, we see this in, you know, in survivorship, we see this, like I mentioned about exercise before, things that are documented to him to be able to prevent the recurrence. You know, if they happen in the first place. It's very possible. We again, we don't know this, for sure, but it's very possible that they can contribute to not having cancer in the first place. You know, again, we don't still this is not researched and documented enough that we know, but just like it would be true for other conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, you know, we know stress converts to high blood pressure, it makes it worse, right? So of course, it works there. It works in diabetes, it works in many other conditions, chronic conditions, why wouldn't it work, at least to some degree in cancer? It probably does. Right? It's probably That's

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 32:56
right. Right. Right. Gotcha, gotcha. Okay, cool. Well, so is there. Is there anything else that you want to share with us that we haven't really talked about? Or any important points that I might have not thought to ask about?

Unknown Speaker 33:10
Well, I'll bring up one more thing. So we talked, you know, hopefully, it's kind of clear how the acute the immediate support that I offer works, about the breathing, the bringing back to present. That's the short term plan. And for the long term, I mean, certainly we want to get healthy habits and those sorts of things in place. Absolutely. But one aspect of that which is on the emotional spiritual plane, that's very important to note is that I mentioned earlier how disempowering this journey is. So one of my signature ways of working with people is that I bring them back to their personal power. And that it's from that point that everything else gets created, including, by the way, the good diet and healthy lifestyle, right, they have to feel like I'm in charge again, I have a say here, I have an influence here. Which is very often know where they are when they come out of treatment. Right? They're looking for somebody else to answer their questions. And again, with due respect to doctors, doctors do have the answers to many questions, but not every question. And so we need to learn to go back to our own intuition, our own gut and learn to listen to what Mary Morrissey calls that still small voice because we all have it and it's still there it we may have lost touch with it during the cancer journey. It may have gotten overwritten. Okay, but we can come back to it and reconnect to it and that is the place from which we create this life that can be our next best chapter.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 34:49
Yet said that that's awesome. That's amazing and and absolutely true. But I also see a lot of people who have given away their power in outside of Can't

Unknown Speaker 35:00
Yes, yes.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 35:01
So, so give it give us our listeners some things that they can be thinking about or to try, or just some messages about reclaiming your own power. And what what, talk to me more about that, because that that really, that really strikes the chord of this whole be happy first movement in that, you know, we're chasing happiness, we're choosing freedom, we're choosing our perspective. So give us more wisdom about how exactly we can go about doing that.

Unknown Speaker 35:29
So first of all, I want to remind everybody who's dealing with a medical situation of any kind, at your doctor works for you. Your doctor is very wise, experienced, skilled. And of course, we appreciate all of those things. Doctor is an excellent advisor, but your doctor works for you. And so when it comes to also making any kind of medical decision, it's your decision ultimately, not your doctor's, your doctor will make very often very strong recommendations, I mean that even with chemo and radiation, and all that sort of thing. And I'm not saying you shouldn't say you shouldn't go along with it. But take the time to recognize that ultimately, this is about you. And you want to get to a place where you are aligned with what the doctor is recommending. And if you aren't, then question it, come to a place where you are aligned with what's being recommended to you. And from there go on to your treatment, because if it doesn't sit well with you, it won't have its full healing power. You know, my mentor in naturopathic medical school said something incredibly wise, he said, the very best treatment for the doctor to recommend is not only one that the doctor is skilled in delivering, but one that the patient is on board with, right, that's the treatment that's going to land and do the most good. If the patient is in any way resisting, even if kind of a subconscious level or suppressed level, then the treatment is not going to work as well as if the patient says I'm ready. Let's go. I'm ready. I got it. Let's go. And so so check in your doctor works for you. That's that's that's the first thing I would say about that. You are an equal partner on your medical team.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 37:15
Everything that she just said applies to everything in your life that you need to be lined up, you need to be in touch with your own spirit. That's fine. Doing things that that feel right, and sounds like

Unknown Speaker 37:27
Okay, awesome.

Unknown Speaker 37:28
Any anything else.

Unknown Speaker 37:32
That if I could say one thing to all the cancer survivors out there, and their families, what I would say is that you've been through a lot, you've been through a lot, a lot has changed, you know, you may be missing body parts, you you may have a different image of yourself, whether it's physically or emotionally, you may not know who you are anymore. But there is a way out. There is a way out. Not that I can replace the body parts, but in terms of creating a life that you want. There is a way through and beyond. And that place can be a place of hope, a place of joy, a place of peace of mind, it is there for you. And it is about you choosing it. Like you say I'm totally on board with that. However, if that doesn't, if you can't find that, then that's what I'm here to help you with. It's to help you find that place from which you will create this life that is totally wonderful and satisfying to you.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 38:40
You're awesome, happy and satisfied and free. No matter what you've just survived. That's that's what you're helping us get done. I love it. Thank you so very much for being with me today. This is an excellent episode. And again, wherever you're watching or listening, look below and we'll give you ways to connect with her. Dr. Shawnee, sh a and I that's the easy way to go and find everything that you write that you that you can there. So all right. Well, thank you again for being here with us.

Unknown Speaker 39:10
Enjoy pleasure.

Lauren Gabrielle Foster 39:11
Yeah, thanks for listening. I'm going to be back next week with another great guest that I don't know who it will be but I promise it will be just as astounding. In the meantime, remember that happiness is a choice, and you can always choose to be happy first. I'll see you next week.

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