Cancer Treatment Choices: Standing at a Crossroads

 

One of the most common questions when searching for a doctor or cancer treatment facility is the success rate. There are many many variables to consider when we get the information from him. A doctor doesn’t know our daily lifestyle, physically, mentally, and emotionally. He really shouldn’t be telling us what the success rate is, but we all want to know.
We have free will and choices of how we live our life. Take into consideration what else affects the success rate of cancer treatment; delaying treatment is the most common, no response to certain types of chemo drugs, How much chemotherapy and did it do more harm than good?. Physicians cannot help with these things that make a big difference in our health.   We influence our results; more than we realize.

Cancer treatment is a partnership, and doctors will work with you as best as they can and should never make promises.
There are other factors such as surgery and the risks, pain medications, and side effects on our organs. There are habits that some people have, such as excess alcohol, cigarettes, emotional and environmental problems at home, or just an overall weaker immune system than others. Our success is also impacted by what we do at home for self-treatment. People experiment with supplements, herbs, and other unconventional therapies that are not covered by insurance or recommended by your physician.

I remember when I had a recurrence of stage 4 breast cancer, and I had metastasis to all lobes of my lungs and bones. Cancer was eating through my sternum and ribs like termites. My oncologist was meeting me for the first time, and he came highly recommended. He sat down with me at his desk and directed my focus to his computer, where he pulled up the information on the mortality rate for stage 4 breast cancer. He talked with me about my age, how common my type of cancer was in women, and the efficacy of treatment options he was offering. What he shared with me was terrifying. In 2010 the statistics of survival overall in America with stage 4 were so low with or without treatment.

As a hematologist and oncologist, he had an arsenal of conventional treatment he recommended, which were hormone blockers, chemotherapy, and radiation on my sternum. He sounded so sensible, smart, and kind. He recommended a cardiothoracic surgeon do a biopsy on my sternum to confirm the lump was cancer and later a pulmonary surgeon to do a biopsy on my lungs to confirm the disease.
I had the surgeries and after the 4th of July weekend as I sat on my bed with family waiting for the results the phone rang and my doctor said he was sorry but that I was stage 4. I felt the blood rush and leave my body. Now what?

Here it is, we’re at the crossroads with a diagnosis, one doctor’s recommendation on our mind, and so many other options. We see different paths to take and have real concerns because what we decide will be the most significant decision we make, and that is weighing heavy on us on how to save our lives. We don’t get a guarantee for any treatment we choose. It fills you with panic and anxiety, not knowing which course to take.

Doctors do not force cancer treatment decisions on us, but they strongly recommend within their legal and medical practice scope. If we go to the oncologist asking, they must recommend treatment every time. It is their obligation to us—alternative or integrative therapies.
It is still our choice, and we can discuss their recommendation and decide whether or not to do the surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or drugs. Many other healing therapies from integrative or alternative doctors are available, but unfortunately, not covered under health insurance. The conventional cancer treatments which are covered have their risks. There are no healing therapies available afterward. There are side effects of nausea, burns, possible infection, neuropathy, hair loss, and so many others.

Chemotherapy and radiation and many drugs can put us at risk for secondary cancer, and with all this knowledge, it feels like we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
The choice is ours, and we will be the ones signing the paperwork to administer the treatment recommendation we decide to do. We sign paperwork freeing the doctor from responsibility if our body does not respond or worsens because of the complications from treatment side effects or infection.

We know this, and we do our best not to think about it. Afterall the resounding message to anyone with cancer is to stay positive. So we try and work on that as best as we can even though we know something is in our body trying to kill us.
The conventional treatment approach is barbaric when a patient goes through chemotherapy and then has no therapy recommendations to restore the immune system, which should be the other half of their treatment and covered by insurance.

I respect every cancer treatment choice, mainly because I have so many family members who have faced these hard choices; Over twenty family members. If we choose standard cancer treatments like chemotherapy, we know it compromises our immune system to kill cancer cells successfully. There are things to consider in the outcome of treatment success; our age will also determine how many fighter cells we have.

My cancer journey started in 2006 when I went to the University of Washington in Seattle, with stage 3 breast cancer. It was estrogen and progesterone positive and HER2 negative and out of all the recommendations, including surgery, chemo, and radiation. I chose only the bilateral mastectomy, which resulted in a severe staph infection.

When I had a recurrence in 2010, I went to a UCLA doctor, and after two biopsies, one in my lungs and the other on my sternum, I did radiation, and before I could finish, I got a staph infection again and was not even a candidate for chemotherapy.
I did not want to quit and started researching other hospitals that would not give up on me. UCLA gave me 3-12 months to live, and I was in denial. I found a hospital with a unique cancer treatment program that would not further compromise my immune system. I felt like it was my last hope, and I had to try one more time.

I was intrigued by CMN Hospital and Dr. Payan’s alternative cancer treatment. Mainly because I was so sick with secondary infection and I needed inpatient care around the clock. I knew I was on the last leg of my cancer journey, and I never had to be so brave. I felt secure knowing there was an emergency room downstairs and an ICU in case things went from bad to worse for me. Sadly, my insurance did not cover one penny of the cost. It came to my friends doing fundraising to get me there and me. They are my angels for sure.

Some of the CMN therapies that saved my life in 2011 are not approved for cancer treatment by the FDA, and quite frankly, they may never be accepted even though they were tested and proven effective at great universities such as Baylor, Stanford, and the University of WA. Two of the advanced therapies dendritic cell therapy and the autologous bone marrow stem cell transplant are procedures that harness our natural killer cells and use them to fight cancer and strengthen our immune system. No drugs but advanced healing.
When chemotherapy fails for a patient often, they choose alternative therapies. You can imagine how they might be even more frightened and overwhelmed. They are afraid to trust another doctor, especially in another country, because they are still trying to cope with the gravity of their situation. The conventional treatment failed, and now they either have to try a new approach with something like; alternative cancer treatment or give up. Many people have not heard about

We need to do a lot of research on a drug or therapy before taking it. We must look at the pros and cons. If we choose an alternative approach, is it the very best and is it aggressive enough?

We are the decision-maker, and we feel the pressure because the doctors cannot guarantee a successful outcome regardless of the road we choose.
It is up to us.

Shannon Knight

 

Disclaimer:

My post is not medical advice on cancer treatment. Always consult with a physician and do your research before deciding on cancer treatment.

Journey to Healing Cancer

Cancer Treatment Choices: Standing at a Crossroads

  One of the most common questions when searching for a doctor or cancer treatment facility is the success rate. There are many many variables to consider when we get the information from him. A doctor doesn’t know our daily lifestyle, physically, mentally, and...

Journey to Healing Cancer

Broken Heart Syndrome

Broken Heart Syndrome (Cardiomyopathy) is linked to breast cancer and other cancers. Broken heart syndrome, also called takotsubo syndrome, causes the heart’s main pumping chamber temporarily to enlarge, and as a result, it cannot pump blood adequately. It feels like a heart attack,

Starry Night

On one particular summer evening, when I was just a young girl, my father went outside with a ladder and propped it up against the house. He held a small white box in his hands and in it contained little gold stars. He gathered me, my brother and sisters, outside to...

Shannon’s Blog

Welcome to my Blog! I am so happy you stopped by!  The pages in my book of life are many! My hope is to inspire and empower anyone who stops by here to read a post.  I believe life is meant to shape us into more loving individuals and to show us our life purpose! ...

Crossing That Border

Here I am now, seven years later, alive. The death sentence is completely gone.  I was given three months to a year left to live back in 2010. This year feels a bit different – seven years. Here I am, much farther away from treatment in Mexico, and I’m looking back on when I first walked into CMN Hospital on February 7th.

Open Letter: My Darkest Hour

By Shannon Knight My Personal Letter to a friend during my darkest hour. It was Spring, May 2011, just three months after returning from  CMN hospital in San Luis, Sonora Mexico. I was treated with alternative cancer treatments for a recurrence of stage 4 breast...

What’s Eating at You?

  Sometimes the more significant health problem for people is not Diet.  Could it be what is eating at them instead of what they are eating? Every week I get asked about my diet once I returned home from alternative cancer treatment at CMN hospital in...

Broken Heart Syndrome

Broken Heart Syndrome: Link to Cancer

Even in the worst of battles, we can help another. We can go through shock and a broken heart in divorce, loss of a loved one, custody battle, etc. After talking with so many women as a life coach, I believe many of them hold a lot of pain inside and are lovely at showing compassion to others but forget how to have self-compassion. They feel guilt when they look back at the adversities in their life and feel guilt or shame, thinking they could have handled things better or prevented it in the first place.

Sadly, those emotional wounds get left untended, and they never take care of the emotional scars.
They can put them on a shelf for a long time because they don’t want their children to see their pain.
The pain’s got to go somewhere, and eventually, it will.

Broken Heart Syndrome (Cardiomyopathy) is linked to breast cancer and other cancers. Broken heart syndrome, also called takotsubo syndrome, causes the heart’s main pumping chamber temporarily to enlarge, and as a result, it cannot pump blood adequately. It feels like a heart attack, causing chest pain and shortness of breath, and even though there is no heart muscle damage or blockage in the coronary arteries later, there can be other health problems such as cancer.

An international study of patients from 26 medical centers provided the most influential association yet between the syndrome and cancer. New research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association says broken heart syndrome may be linked to cancer.

The study found that one in six people with broken heart syndrome also developed cancer — and they were more likely to die within five years after their diagnosis, compared to those without broken heart syndrome.

We can no longer just look at the physical path to healing cancer while excluding our emotional trauma from the past. We can heal a broken heart, but it does take hard work and time. If I focused on one thing the most on my healing journey, it was the emotional and unresolved pain from past traumas.

I will share a technique with you from my life coaching course. I coined the phrase ost Happiness Triggers and used it in my coaching for women “One Wildflower Life Coaching”.
Many of us know what Post-trauma triggers are. Those who have struggled with symptoms understand what it is like to go through flashbacks, nightmares, and even depression. When your life is threatened, it is not uncommon to go through PTSD.

Although psychotherapy can be beneficial and other clinical techniques, It is also essential to control triggers that can bring happiness and joy.
I give my clients an exercise that has proven effective in helping with anxiety before a doctor’s appointment or pulling themselves out of a flashback.

Try this! Try to remember the happiest time in your life.
Have you ever heard a song that just brings you back to that moment? Make a song list from a time in your past that was the happiest. I have a Spotify song list I listen to that makes me want to dance. I am taken back to the best times were walking to school with my girlfriends and chatting the whole way were the best! The period was from when I was 15 years old, and I was carefree with no worries except when would be the next time I got to hang out with my friends!

Also, I have clients purchase fragrance from that time period. As we know with PTSD, A smell can take you back to trauma, so we need to be focused on what scents brought us the happiest memories. For me, it was “Love’s Baby Soft” and strawberry lip gloss! I bought a strawberry candle that smells just like the Lip Smackers I kept in my pocket. I also have a rose-scented candle that smells like my Kiddle’s doll in a perfume vial I wore around my neck when I was about 11 or 12 years old.

I call all of this prepping “Post Happiness Triggers” to wash away the Post Traumatic Triggers, and it WORKS!


~Shannon Knight

Starry Night

Starry Night

Shannon Knight putting stars in the sky

On one particular summer evening, when I was just a young girl, my father went outside with a ladder and propped it up against the house. He held a small white box in his hands and in it contained little gold stars. He gathered me, my brother and sisters, outside to show us something fantastic. He climbed the ladder with the tiny white box and reached into it and pulled a gold star out. He licked the white sticky side and held it up to the night sky. My dad is a very tall man standing 6’4″. Dad seemed taller, like a giant, standing at the top of the ladder, and tall enough to reach the sky.
We were curious and asked him what he was doing, he said, half laughing, “I am putting stars in the sky for all of you kids!” I was six or seven years old at the time, and I believed him! As a kid, I’m thinking, oh, now I understand it finally made sense to me at such a young age how all the stars got up there in the sky!
What dad gave me that night was priceless and a beautiful memory I cherish. I remember lying in bed that night, thinking how amazing my dad was. He held all of us in wonderment that entire evening by being creative and doing something to make us all smile.
My parents were like this in our life. They would find ways to bring a little magical wonder by using their imagination. We did not have a lot of toys growing up because dad supported our family and was going to school full time, which kept him busy. I loved their ingenuity and how they came up with creative ways to make us smile. At that young age, it was not the monetary thing that I remembered most significantly. It was the creative ways my parents were able to show love by engaging in activities that were fun or educational, or both. I saw the value in that and was able to do the same for my children when they were little. We make memories, and they last not just in one person’s life, but in those with whom we share our stories.
The picture also reminds me how I like to have little lights and candles glowing in my home at night for warmth and ambiance. I have lanterns throughout my backyard, around the pool, in the small garden and sitting area. It makes relaxing even more enchanting.

This morning, when I woke up, I received a text message from my husband Michael.  It was a girl with a string of lights and holding them up to the night sky as if she were putting the stars in the sky.  It was such a beautiful picture that it inspired me and started my day off great. It took me on a journey back into time. I also remember thinking as I climbed out of bed to be the light. We are all a bright light to someone who is in a dark time of anxiety, fear, or panic.
Shine your light bright.

My husband and I did a reenactment one night to capture the feeling in that fun photo of looking like I was also putting stars in the sky. 

Great memories of my father.

 
~Shannon Knight

Shannon’s Blog

Welcome To My Blog

Welcome to my Blog! I am so happy you stopped by!  The pages in my book of life are many! My hope is to inspire and empower anyone who stops by here to read a post.  I believe life is meant to shape us into more loving individuals and to show us our life purpose!  Your path is significant and many people will learn from everything you do! Your success, your mistakes, obstacles you overcome and choices leave a footprint. Never underestimate the impact you have in the lives of others. We all affect one another.
My Attitude Adjustment

My Attitude Adjustment  

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

~ Winston Churchill

 

When I had breast cancer and went through a bilateral mastectomy in October 2006, I did not do the recommended chemotherapy cocktail (three drugs) and I did not do the hormone therapy or radiation. I had experienced one complication after another. I was sick with staph twice after having surgery. The doctors then had to perform a corrective surgery, which required breaking my foot, and on top of that, I had two knee replacements. One knee replacement had complications; it was put in crooked, so I went through two more corrective surgeries. I had my gallbladder removed, uterine surgery, and other surgeries from the complications. I had 14 surgeries within two years, and it was very painful. The recovery time in between surgeries, looking back now, was not enough. It seemed like I had just started to ease into my recovery when I was back in the hospital having surgery yet again. My attitude during that period was not very good; I was terrified when it got to be about the seventh surgery. I was on antibiotics for months for a staph infection and was sick to my stomach. I was confined mostly to bed. Sometimes I would wake up very early in the morning because of the pain. I would take my medication and not be able to fall back to sleep, which meant I had a much longer day. It seemed like the time on the clock was in slow motion. In fact, time wasn’t relevant except for doctor appointments. I found myself to be lonely and bored more often than not, but I did not want to be a burden on friends or my daughter.

I realize how depressing this sounds, but I was not happy. I needed help just getting to the bathroom, getting out of bed… I needed assistance for everything, even showering and washing my hair. I needed food in bed. I did not want to see my chest in the mirror because it was gone and there were hideous gashes for nine months before reconstructive surgery began. I desperately wanted to be able to get out of bed so that I could drive my car or go for a walk outside. I wanted to socialize with my friends. Now and then, I would snap back to reality and remember that there were people having to endure even greater struggles than myself, but I am ashamed to say I still felt my attitude headed in a downward spiral.

Somehow I reached a crossroads where I knew I needed to change my attitude. I was afraid of slipping into complete depression and knew if I continued feeling sorry for myself, I would never return to the positive, optimistic woman I used to be. I used to write in journals, and I had stopped doing that when I got sick with cancer. I remembered how I used to write five things I was grateful for and that there was a connection to feeling hopeful and abundant in life simply by being grateful for something no matter what adversity I was going through in my life. I knew it was time to start up a new gratitude journal. I looked around my bedroom to find things to be thankful for; you’d think being thankful to be alive would be enough, but I was still afraid and in my miserable frame of mind. Trust me, it wasn’t easy to write five things in the beginning. I had to force myself to write, and my sloppy handwriting barely filled up a 1/4 page.

It read like this:

December 16th, 2006

Dear God,

  1.   Thank you for my pillow.
  2.   Thank you for the air I am breathing.
  3.   Thank you for the soup. Even though it makes me sick, I know there are nutrients.
  4.   Thank you for my toothbrush.
  5.   Thank you for my son and daughter!

 

My attitude did not change overnight. I was sad. I needed to forgive, apologize, and let go of resentment; it was definitely a process. I still felt cheated in life, not just from cancer, but also from my relationship, which had taken a huge hit. I missed my family. I felt my spirit diminishing. Believe me, you can do too much thinking when you are sick and confined to bed. There was a veil of despair separating me from everything good around me; I lost sight, but I was determined to reach happiness again. I always used to say, “If you don’t feel like smiling, smile anyway because the rest of your body will eventually catch on.”

I bought a beautiful journal and an assortment of colored pens to start this project. I wrote in my gratitude journal each day, and before long I was filling up an entire page each night. More time passed, and eventually I was filling up one or two pages. My handwriting was not sloppy anymore, and finally an attitude adjustment was taking place. It was getting to the point where I would feel concerned about leaving anything left unwritten that I was grateful for that day. I was grateful for the smallest things, like my soup spoon versus the regular teaspoons that caused more spills. I loved my flex straws for my protein drinks. I was grateful for phone calls from friends. We always laughed! I opened a letter one day, and inside there were drawings from my best friend’s daughter. I used to hate the birds chirping outside my window each morning because they woke me up early, which meant a long day awake and stuck in bed. I began to notice my attitude changing; now I was grateful to hear them singing because they were a reminder for me that someday I was going to be free again. I just knew I would get through it all.

I took this attitude adjustment project a step further! I wrote down positive affirmations on pieces of paper. “You are loved,” “There is beauty all around you,” “God is with you,” etc. I printed pictures of fairies and colored them in careful detail with pencils; they cheered me up! Their big beautiful wings signified freedom to me, and the long flowing hair and whimsical gowns signified femininity, which I had been so afraid of losing because of what I had lost with breast cancer. I had my daughter tape these positive affirmations on my ceiling for me, including each blade of my ceiling fan over my bed so I would wake up to a room with positive messages and start my day with a smile. I felt inspired and beautiful on the inside and felt I could get through just about anything, and my room reflected that.

What I have learned is this:

Sometimes we are given too much to handle, and each of us copes with it differently. Adversity showed me my abilities, and it shaped me into a strong and compassionate woman. It didn’t happen overnight, and in some instances it would be years before I could look back at a burden I endured as something to be grateful for. What matters is I got to the point where I could have a fresh view of the situation. We all have the power of perception to see a lifetime of success and failures any way we wish. Some will see a life of many victories. Others will see many failures. Our attitude and our perception can constantly be adjusted. What we see is what we get.

To demonstrate what I mean, I will share a short story with a very powerful message.

“Once there were three bricklayers. When each bricklayer was approached and asked what he was doing, their responses were quite different. The first one answered gruffly, ‘I’m laying bricks.’ The second replied, ‘I’m putting up a wall.’ But the third bricklayer said with great pride, ‘I’m building a cathedral.’“

The bricklayer story is a great reminder of how we can each have a different perspective of the same thing. Now when I am sick in bed, I have a different attitude. I can envision my body healing itself, and while I lay in bed resting, there is a whole lot of work going on inside my body by me being at peace and having an attitude of gratitude. Thank God I am alive and healing.

 

FAQ’s Beating Cancer Without Chemo

 

I first walked into CMN Hospital February 7th 2011 for the life-saving cancer treatments when I had metastatic static stage 4 breast cancer. Here are the most common questions listed below and also in a video.

I hope it helps. Please keep in mind that I am 100% biased about CMN because Dr. Payan saved my life after UCLA told me there was no hope. H God put him in my path. You have to follow your path. I cannot tell you that Dr. Payan can do the same for you. I do not know how sick you are or what treatments you have done in the past. We each have our journey.

What I will tell you is that CMN hospital is by far the cleanest hospital and most compassionate medical team I have ever experienced in my life. I am not alone; there are others who went there. All hospitals are going to have patients who respond to their treatments and some who do not. Be realistic when searching for treatment.

Q. What Hospital did I go to for Alternative Cancer treatment?
A. CMN Alternative Cancer Treatment. An inpatient facility that has a team of all specialties and an ICU should anything happen while you are out of your country; you will be in excellent hands right there at the hospital orthopedic gynecology etc. Cancer can have complications, and they are included in your care. www.cmnact.com

Q.What kind and stage of cancer did I have?
A. I had stage 4 Breast Cancer ER 95% and PR 90% Positive HER 2 Negative. Metastasis to bones all lobes of my lungs, collarbone behind the trachea

Q. Did I do chemotherapy?
A. No, Not ever. Not even IPT or chemo pills.

Q. Did I do radiation?

A. Sternum only to prevent paralysis

Q. How long since you got treatment?
A. I went to CMN Hospital for alternative cancer treatment in San Luis on February 7th, 2011. In August 2011, I was completely symptom-free. October 15th, 2011, I got the confirmation from a PET CT scan NED (No Evidence of Disease)

UPDATE March 3rd, 2020 Cancer free over 8 years.

Q. Where is CMN Hospital?
A. San Luis, Rio Colorado Sonora Mexico. which is a very quiet little town. The people are kind and receive foreigners warmly

Q. Why did I choose CMN Hospital?
A. It is a well-established hospital that has been around for about 35 years. The advanced treatments were what I sought after. I was advanced they have an ICU and an Emergency Department with 24-hour care. When you are not in your country the last thing you want is for something to go wrong and have to be transported to a hospital or back across the border. Stage 4 is serious.

Q. What treatments did you do?
A. Here is a link to CMN hospitals I did many treatments and I suggest talking face to face with Dr. Payan about the treatments. CMN treatment summary.

Q.Why are there no patient video testimonies on CMN’s website.  Click red paragraph to read entire interview.
A. A quote from an interview from Dr. Payan “We assure the patients that we will do all we can to heal them.” It shows the integrity of CMN Hospital, and what is even more compelling is that you won’t find patient testimonial videos on CMN’s website. This is intentional, according to Dr. Payan, as it keeps each patient’s medical history confidential. He said, “I close the door behind me with each patient I visit to provide a secure and safe environment. They confide in me, and it is my ethical duty to maintain their privacy, even long after my patients have been discharged. They need to focus on their healing once they arrive home. It is not their job to market for the hospital and bring in our business. Nevermind the fact that it breaches the Hippocratic Oath. My team and I take our doctor-patient relationships very seriously, and we never want to pressure patients into compromising their privacy in order for us to compete with other hospitals. Compassionate care is our number one priority.”

Q. What is the success rate of CMN?
A. I urge you to read my article because answering this question best for all hospitals regarding the success rate is first recognize how unique we are. There are many variables to consider.

Q. What was your diet like during your cancer treatment?

A. Diet is important, but I never followed a strict cancer diet. I am learning that often it is not what we eat as much as it is about what’s eating at us. That being said, I worked on the emotional healing, and I ate pretty healthily, to begin with. I take digestive enzymes, and other supplements like bone broth, collagen, and I drink Ionized alkaline water.
Q. What is the cost for the treatment you did at CMN Hospital?
A. Call them 844-371-1117 or visit their website www.cmnact.com

Photos of me at CMN

Crossing That Border


Wow. Seven years. Seven years, or 2,557 days since February 7th, 2011 – the day I stepped into CMN Hospital in San Luis Sonora Mexico to fight for my life in a very unconventional way.  I chose alternative cancer treatment and turned down chemotherapy. To this day, people reach out to me and tell me they looked me up online to see if I was still alive after seeing my story years ago of how I beat stage 4 breast cancer without chemotherapy.

I was a different person seven years ago. I remember having to raise money to get to CMN Hospital to do holistic treatments.  When the money was raised (learn how to raise funds for your cancer treatment at Angels for Shannon) I dealt with a lot of fear. I kept putting off the travel to leave for Mexico.  Crossing that border to begin treatment was a huge leap of faith.  I didn’t want to go on my birthday, February 4th, so I didn’t. Then I told my girlfriends who raised the money that I didn’t want to go on Valentine’s Day because they were usually happy days for me and I didn’t want to connect those special days with battling for my life and being in the hospital. My girlfriends, my earth angels as I call them, saw right through what I was doing and called me out on it: I was in denial, the delay was my way of treating my situation not so serious. My family, friends and I had raised enough money for treatment, but I just kept hesitating and trying to change the date because I was dealing with fear. With a mental push, shove, and faith, I was finally out the door and about to step foot in the hospital that I chose to help save my life.

Here I am now, seven years later, alive. The death sentence is completely gone.  I was given three months to a year left to live back in 2010. This year feels a bit different – seven years. Here I am, much farther away from treatment in Mexico, and I’m looking back on when I first walked into CMN Hospital on February 7th. The meaning of this date changes each year. I spent so many years waiting for that significant five-year mark when cancer survivors can take a deep breath and feel like they are finally out of the woods. That was a relief and a cause to celebrate for sure, but this year, at year seven, I am thinking about how I got here.  It was changing perspectives and faith. The choices I made that were based on my God-given intuition.

When I had a recurrence of stage 4 metastatic breast cancer in 2010, I was terrified. The fear was overwhelming. What do you do when a UCLA doctor gives you a very short time span to live? I didn’t know which direction to turn.

Hearing someone tell you that you are going to die, and sooner rather than later, is like having a terrible enemy running after you with all of his might, and you are standing there looking at an arsenal of different weapons to choose from. You have been told that nothing will work, but you see a new one in the mix and feel good about it.  There will be less collateral damage! It feels right, and even though there is no promise, I have a really good feeling about it! I just have to make a decision and get going! I ended up choosing the weapon that many people have not even heard much about alternative cancer treatment. With my back against the wall with modern medicine in the United States, I turned around and ran across the border to Dr. Payan at CMN Hospital. I remember walking into that hospital like it was yesterday. I felt compassion from the moment I arrived, but I still had that terminal diagnosis in the back of my mind. I looked at Dr. Payan and asked him, “What are my chances of beating this?” He said, “Shannon, I will do my best, but I cannot make you any promises. “I will do my best,” he said. “Only God knows for sure, but let’s try!”  I saw his genuine heart and compassion and knew that he was going to try his absolute best. That’s what I wanted hope, good healing treatment and a doctor and medical team with heart.

Here’s the thing: I could have chosen any treatment; I was that sick. I decided to go to CMN Hospital because my body needed “healing,” not to get sicker. I had done radiation, and it failed. The burns were just too much and caused me to get fluid in my lungs, a burned esophagus, and staph infection.  So, I decided to do something that would at least be healing, and this felt like common sense to me. Spoiler alert, no one can promise you a cure. No one. But CMN offered me advanced treatments like dendritic cell therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and more… and I knew that those things would at least help me heal, even if they might not cure me. I let the hospital take care of me. Call me old school, but that’s what I was raised to do. Even with my knee replacements, other surgeries, and having babies.  This was no different. It was choosing a hospital has been around and treated many patients with cancer that have a good reputation. I made that choice and trusted it faithfully

Today, I recognize that my choices led me to realize that healing is what this journey is all about. Physically, try to heal your body first. Whether or not you do chemotherapy, healing your body is essential. Use alternative therapies to restore your body and strengthen it before or after the chemo. If you do it before doing chemo, you could save your life and may never need the chemotherapy.

Furthermore, heal your heart and your mind. Mental and emotional therapies are just as important as physical therapies. I have identified my gifts and talents because of all the adversities in my life, and I am using them! So often, women can’t recognize what they have to offer, even when they are sick. Every day is an opportunity for us to help others.  We all are an answer to someone’s prayer. We can make someone else smile or laugh. Spread the love; there is an endless supply. Sometimes you won’t get to see the impact you make because you are just planting seeds and someone else will come into their lives and nurture the seed.  Because here’s the thing: we were all born to make a difference. It’s not up to you, or to me, to decide how big that difference is. Does it matter if we see the result? Just give your best in every situation.

Seven years ago, I had my head down, scared, but I just wanted to keep moving forward regardless of my pace. I put one foot in front of the other and kept making strides. I knew what my goal was, and I didn’t dare take my eyes off of it. Just… let’s get through today. Ok, now let’s get through tomorrow. Sad to say, but I was afraid to dream too big.  But here I am at year seven, and it is pretty amazing to lift my head up and see a bright future.

What I have learned through this journey is how vital our perspective of daily life challenges are. Think about it: have you ever had a bad day that just seemed to get worse and worse? Maybe it was because you kept thinking about every bad thing that happened rather than taking a moment to say, “God, I am so grateful. I’m breathing, and I can still smile. I have people who love me, and I can love others as well.”  It can feel ridiculous to stop in the middle of a rainstorm or a car crash to say, “Thank you God for all I have that I might take for granted because I’m focusing on other, more pressing matters.” At year seven, I know how powerful my perspective is regarding the outcome of things in my life. Please don’t mistake my gratitude for living with my blinders on or looking through rose-colored lenses. Living with love and appreciation in the forefront of my mind and leading with my heart changes how I see a situation, and how someone else sees it may be completely different, but one thing is for sure… we’re both right! So maybe I have a habit to see the bright side of things when another sees it a little more negatively. That’s okay. What matters is that I live my life with great intentions and know that we all have a purpose; I lead with my heart when I make a decision, and then follow it all the way through. Hesitation or doing something without giving my all is not acknowledging my soul purpose and can diminish my spirit. We deserve the best, every one of us. How can we reach our best if we aren’t giving situations our all? Perspective is everything.

As much as I advise on how emotional, mental, and physical impact our healing, there are times when I have lost sight of it; my perspective has gotten muddied because I allowed stress to take over. It happens to everyone, but just because we are knocked down does not mean we can’t get back up even stronger and with new insight.  Seven years later, I fully understand that this whole life journey is about our soul’s purpose here.  Our soul is evolving in these bodies that we have for just a block of time.  We don’t know how much time we have, yet we live as we have forever. Now I know for sure that my soul’s purpose is about love and learning how to love better each day. It’s about letting go of ego, which means not needing approval from everyone around me.  I cannot please everyone. I have learned how to be independent and yet still serve others.  If I make a choice and people frown on it, I’m good with that… and go with my decision all the way.  I don’t give up. I see it through to the end. And then, year after year, it just gets better. Being authentic in who we are and being more transparent is valuable. I want my kids and grandkids to learn how to trust themselves.  

Today, my faith is stronger, and I listen to my God-given intuition more than ever. I relied heavily on my faith, and that is an integral part of my life journey.  CMN Hospital has a chapel where I spent time alone praying. I would also kneel at the end of my hospital bed and pray for healing and courage to get me through each day. How I handled my journey was important to me. I prayed and talked to God daily, and I have only strengthened my faith in these seven years since.

 

In the last eleven years, I have been helping women as a certified advocate for domestic violence in the past and present as a cancer advocate.  It is because of so many women over the years opening up to me and sharing the stories of their journey that I was inspired to start life coaching years ago and January I launched One Wildflower Life Coaching. So many of us women battling and pushing through barriers to come up and out of the dark still bloom with beauty. We have experienced some of the most adverse conditions and made it through the roughest terrains. We are wildflowers growing in the most unexpected ways!

 

I know now more than ever that I could not have done any of this alone. My support group of friends, family, and loved ones – are my earth angels! They were unconditionally supportive of me throughout the entire journey. It is so tempting to isolate and hide when the going gets tough. Want to know a little secret? Letting people in when we are struggling allows us to see that we have angels with us here on earth. The whole idea that we don’t want to be a burden is wrong. We need one another, and this means humbling ourselves to let them in; allowing them to love us. We can accept their help with a grateful heart.  When we have fear and self-pity, we miss out on getting more love and compassion in our lives at a time when we need it most.  Self-compassion means knowing we deserve love. Love is what life is all about!

~Shannon

 

Good Bye Fear

Goodbye Fear,
It’s time to let you go. You have lied to me and tried making me believe I was worthless. You
held me back from following my dreams. You brought me nightmares and anxiety. Well, guess
what, I got a little curious, and stepped out onto a different path. I found Courage and now
you’ve lost me. I’m moving on and never looking back. I don’t believe your lies anymore. I
remember Courage from a long time ago. Courage was in my life long before you appeared. I learned to
take my first steps as a child with Courage, you were nowhere around! I fell many times, but I
got right back up because of Courage. I learned to be careful and safe and I was brave. I can remember when you first crept into my life. It was a conditioning, you worked me over for a long period of time. So, I
imagine that’s why it took me some time to finally reunite with Courage. I’m sure you’ll try to follow me
and trick me with your lies again, but I’ll turn to Courage every time. So long… I’m free.

So long Fear… I’m free.

Shannon Knight

Random Act of Kindess

Yesterday, I was in the grocery store standing at the end of a very long line feeling exhausted. I mean in every way; emotionally, physically and mentally. Our family experienced a tragic death with a loved one this week, and it had taken its toll on me, on all of us). I live alone, and I can go weeks maybe longer without a hug (Never take a hug for granted if you have loved ones close by HUG THEM )

There was a man in the lane next to me with red vine licorice and Dill Pickle Sunflower Seeds. He’d be checked out and on his way in no time! He surprised me with his kindness when he asked me if I would like to go into his lane and go before him. I said,” No, thank you”? He didn’t give up; he asked again as if “YES” would be the only answer he would accept. I said no one more time and thanked him again. He asked a third time, and I surrendered with great relief to not have to stand in line anymore.

He went ahead and showed what I call loving kindness. (Loving kindness is where instead of giving a hungry child a piece of bread, you put a little jam on it before you give it to him). The man opened up his red vine licorice and reached the package over to me. He said, “Here take one, you need a break” I was going to say no (Not sure why), because I don’t eat sugar? I don’t know, but I said “yes, instead and thanked him.

I felt surrounded by random kindness, I felt relief and cared for by a complete stranger. I thanked him as he assisted me by handing me a few of my groceries to make it easier as I unloaded my cart. I ate that licorice! It was the best piece of candy I ever had because of how I received it. Those are the little diamonds in my life I cherish forever. We said goodbye and when I unloaded my cart in the trunk of my car I felt happy. I got in and could not start my vehicle just yet because tears started pouring down my cheek. They were mixed tears of relief and joy that this type of kindness still exists in all of us.

Today, I needed a couple of things and had to go back to the grocery store. I saw the sunflower seeds and red vine licorice at the checkout, and my heart smiled! I purchased them always to remind myself to pay that kindness forward and I will too!

 

He Thought I Was Crazy

A friend of mine in 2006 who belonged to a large skeptic organization told me the first time I had cancer that I was a fool, an absolute idiot to not do chemotherapy with stage 3 cancer. He said, ” Shannon, orange juice will not save your life! Listen to yourself! He genuinely pitied me. His sarcasm about OJ was because one of the “many healthy cancer therapies” I chose was I.V. Vitamin C.

He was a handsome, persuasive, firefighter who sounded so noble, smart, insistent and caring. He was wrong, and I am glad I was able to withstand all the charm and advice he afforded me so compassionately for my good. He believed with all his heart that I was making a very grave mistake based on my intuition in my gut to try a healthier alternative to treat cancer. This feeling led me straight to the hospital and physicians that would save my life; CMN Hospital.

I have never shared this with anyone, but I wanted to let you know that often what we feel intuitive is the right thing for us to do, we tend to ignore. We do this because of outside opinions of others and their fears, skepticism, or genuine love. We need to trust ourselves. It could mean saving your life.

How do animals know not to eat from poisonous shrubs? How? I trust my instincts more now and quiet the noise of skepticism around me.

In 2010 I had a recurrence of stage 4 cancer, and I still decided against chemo. I trusted my intuition twice, and here I am six years later realizing my instincts were right and the intelligent doctors and skeptics were wrong in “my personal choice for treating cancer.” Let me reemphasize, “My personal choice.” We must respect each other’s decisions.

We must trust ourselves, and sometimes your family and friends will think you are crazy. Each of us has the answer inside, try to listen to your inner voice. Your voice. Don’t worry what others think because one day you could save your life, not just with cancer but on many different things that you will get advice on that does not match what you think is right.

Wishing you confidence and less distraction when your inner voice is speaking to you the answers you need. I pray for all of you to continue trusting yourselves and turning down the volume of outside noise so you can hear your inner voice and the message.

~ Shannon
PS. When I was a kid, I was considered tolerant and tenacious. It’s an Interesting combination if you think about it. I was patient and tolerated strong opinions of others. I had tenacity when going after what I believed.
www.shannonknight.com

#respectchoice #areckoning #alternativecancertreatment#Iknowwhatimdoing #shanonknight

Cancer Treatment Success Rate: The Truth

Image result for success rate cancer treatmentOne of the most common questions to a cancer treatment facility from a cancer patient is, “What is the success rate?” Can you imagine what would happen if a doctor turned that question around on patients and asked, “What do you think your success rate is? What is your plan in this healing partnership?” Patients do have choices of how they treat their body; the doctors are not solely responsible for a patient’s health. I remember when my UCLA oncologist first met me and was discussing my treatment options. He terrified me with the mortality rate. I have been cancer-free since 2011. I went to CMN Hospital in San Luis, Mexico for therapies that ar4 not the standard care in the U.S. such as autologous bone marrow stem cell transplant,  IV vitamin C, IV B17, Ozone Therapy, Ultraviolet Light, Dendritic cell therapy  – the list goes on of what will not be offered by your oncologist. Just because it is not FDA approved does not mean it doesn’t work; it means the FDA refuses to test. Contrarily, it has been tested and used successfully in Mexico. I learned this and understood the common sense of it. The cancer therapies I chose did not cause toxic side effects like vomiting or losing my hair, and I was cured in 6- 8 months. Many of us are afraid of leaving our country for healing. My healing was not a miracle; surviving the barbaric conventional treatments for cancer would have been.  The fact that there are not enough healing therapies made available to help restore the immune system is cruel to me. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause secondary cancer and are so harsh.  If a patient chooses this, then the focus on the immune system and restoring it should be the other half of their treatment.  I respect the reasons people choose the therapies recommended by their doctor. Often, a prior doctor-patient relationship was established, so the trust is already there during a time when the patient is most terrified. The sense of urgency is made clear by their physician, and suddenly they are rushing to make a decision without getting a chance to know what other healthier options are available. When chemotherapy fails, which often it does, many patients choose alternative therapies and yet they are so frightened and afraid to trust anymore that they are very skeptical of the healing potential. Tamoxifen is a common drug prescribed for breast cancer and can cause uterine cancer, yet the patient feels the benefit outweighs the risk. Having a favorable response to cancer treatment is based on our unique immune system, which is different from everyone else.  If we choose standard cancer treatments like chemotherapy, this compromises our immune system. Our age will also determine how many fighter cells we have. What other cancer treatments can we attempt, before finally going to a different hospital? Chemotherapy and radiation compromise your immune system, so if one starts treatment the same time as another patient that never used any, he will have a stronger immune system to fight it, but then again, his cancer could be worse than the other person.  Take into consideration types of drugs, how many rounds of chemotherapy surgery, pain management, diet, alcohol, cigarettes, environment, or overall health. A patient’s chance of success is also going to be determined by what she does at home for self-treatment. Many patients will treat themselves by reading articles on the internet and ordering many supplements and herbs, even drugs, mistletoe, marijuana, PolyMVA, and many other therapies without seeing a doctor first. Cancer treatment starts becoming a financial burden, and the options seem fewer and fewer.  He is relying on you as much as you are relying on him. The doctor cannot do many of these things “for you” that make a big difference in your success. You have more power over success than you realize. Cancer treatment is a partnership and doctors cannot make promises. Educating ourselves on the treatments recommended is imperative.  We need to do a lot of research on a drug or therapy before taking it.  We must look at the pros and cons. If we are choosing an alternative approach, ask yourself, “is it the very best and is it aggressive enough?” This post is not intended to give medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a physician and do your research. ContactUs.com

Cancer in My family

As far back as I can remember, cancer terrified me. Cancer always meant death was around the corner. Whenever I saw someone losing their hair and dropping weight, it scared me. I was not old enough to understand. Cancer affected many family members in my life and still does. I have lost 3 grandparents, an aunt and have family battling it right now.

I remember the last time I ever saw my grandmother; it was to say good-bye. My parents told me her cancer was very advanced, and she did not have much longer to live. I remember how eerie it was pulling up to my grandparents street. I flashed back to when my sisters and I went down the big hill on roller skates. It was too steep and if our parents knew we would have been in trouble because it went past an alleyway next to a church where cars went through. At the speed we were going, it was too dangerous to stop, we had to finish the ride out. We were lucky, laughing at first and then screaming when we realized just how fast we were going approaching the alley. I’ll never forget it.

Here I was now a grown woman experiencing death with my beloved grandmother. I got out of the car and walked across the front lawn. More memories flooded my mind of me, my brothers, sisters, and cousins laughing and playing games in the front yard. We made up games and played traditional games like Red Rover, Red Rover, and “Tag!” There were so many kids in our family when we had our family holiday get-togethers. I have so many wonderful cousins, aunts, and uncles that I looked forward to seeing every year, I couldn’t imagine holidays without her. I knew nothing would ever be the same again when she died.

On the ride up I had tried to prepare myself for something I never experienced. I thought about what I could say, knowing these would be my last words to my grandmother. They needed to be important and probably words I would never forget. I wanted to comfort her and take any fear away she had of dying. What could be more meaningful than I will miss you and I love you? I did not want to face her death and tell her I would miss her! My heart was breaking, and I hated cancer. I couldn’t tell her everything would be okay; it was a lie. My faith was not strong even though I was Catholic. I did not understand what would happen; I just wanted her to have comfort and make sure she wasn’t scared

I walked into my grandparent’s house and down the hallway with all the family pictures on the walls. This hall was small but always a place the family would gather to look at family pictures from over the years. I turned around the corner, and I could feel my heart race with fear and sadness as I got near my grandparent’s room. I didn’t want to see what my grandmother looked like near her death; I wanted everything to be back the way it was. I walked in, and she was laying down frail in a hospital type bed. I looked over to the left of the room to where Grandma and Grandpa’s bed was and knew she would never lay there again with my Grandpa. I knew his heart was breaking. They were such fantastic companions. The reality was hitting me so hard, and it was all so sad.

I walked into my Grandparents bedroom; it was a heartbreaking vision to see my Grandmother in this weakened condition. I knew it was time for me to say the most meaningful words to her because they would be my last words spoken. I remember the sliver of light coming in through the window. It was peeking through the pulled down shade at the head of her bed. I would remember her fragile state whether I wanted to or not; it burned in my mind forever. Grandmother was so full of life, and she kept all of us kids in line. She did it with strength and love. She fixed incredible Italian food and made us peanut butter and banana sandwiches in the afternoon when my cousins and I were playing outside. Her biscotti cookies with that hint of licorice from the anise spice were the best I had ever had.

My Grandmother was strong, kind and gentle. Her eyes were soulful and filled with wisdom. My favorite dresses of hers were her cotton plaid pastel ones. She could dress so simple and look so elegant.
I stepped cautiously and closer to her. I said, “hello” very softly. I leaned over to hug her carefully, barely touching her. She didn’t reply; she just looked at me with her beautiful brown eyes, always full of kindness. They looked exhausted, though, I had never seen this look before. I saw her fading away. I told her I loved her. I asked, my dad if it was okay to hold her hand, she just looked so fragile, and it felt respectful to get his permission at this time.  He said, “yes.” I will never forget the last words I had said to her before I walked out the bedroom door. I leaned over, and I whispered to her that I was pregnant with my second child, and the baby was due on her birthday. I don’t understand why I said what I did. I was so young and unprepared for anything I went through. When I think back on that day, I suppose I was hoping it would make her feel some peace as she was letting go.

The guilt I felt afterward was heavy as I was walking back to the car. What was I thinking, sharing my joy of a new life coming into the world while she lay there so ill with death waiting to take her? I was so naïve of what to say. Here she was fragile and pale, and I was trying to cheer her with the exciting news of a child coming into the world. I wanted to run back in there and comfort her, tell her I was sorry, but the family kept moving forward towards the car, and they would not understand this rush of emotion and the great need to be near her again.

She died a short while after, it was Autumn 24 years ago right before Thanksgiving. I still miss her so much, that my heart is aching even as I write. I never heard her yell at me or any of the kids once; she was incredibly patient. From that day on, cancer felt sinister to me. Grandma always looked well and then one day she was sick with cancer. She was starting to look thinner and started wearing a wig. I thought it was because of cancer. I know now it was the chemotherapy that took a toll on her. I always wondered why people had to suffer so much through these cancer treatments. It never made sense to me. I was afraid of cancer and chemotherapy. To me, it meant if you got cancer you were going to suffer from treatment. Both my grandfathers died of cancer and then one of my aunts got cancer and also did chemotherapy and died. I didn’t look at their medical records, all I know is, they were very sick, and I was afraid of ever having to go through what they did.

If I were given a choice to start my life over without cancer, I would choose the same path of battling cancer because it led me to where I am today. I am blessed and can help many people because of what I went through. What knowledge I have gained from this experience is invaluable. I learned how to heal my body and not give in to the toxic treatments. Alternative Cancer Treatments saved me and gave me a life I never knew could exist. It showed me that I could help others see another way to fight if they too were afraid of chemotherapy and radiation. I beat breast cancer twice, stage III in 2006 and stage IV in 2010 without using the barbaric treatments that are the only approved treatments by the FDA. I left my country the second time, and it took courage. I respect choice, but if people want another choice, I want to be able to share my story, so they know they have choices.

I meet many other survivors just like me. The question everyone should be exploring is why is healing the body, not a priority when someone gets cancer, why is healing such a misunderstood word? Why do they immediately go in with the scalpel, burning and chemicals and drugs? I have never been the one to see something and pretend not to see it. If the Emperor is naked and everyone wants to lie and say he looks great in his new clothes so as not upset the king, I have a natural inclination to run up to him and shelter his nudity with a cloak to spare him from shame.

Healing means not to add more illness

Shannon’s Mission

Shannon Knight survived breast cancer twice, including stage 4. Like millions of others, she was faced with the challenge of deciding how to save her life. She refused chemotherapy and did some radiation and mastectomy. When conventional medicine failed, her she discovered alternative healing at a CMN Hospital in San Luis Rio Colorado Mexico. It was because of her courage and willingness to go on searching for alternative cancer treatment that she is alive today. She survived! The death sentence hanging over her head has been removed for six years.Shannon is now a cancer advocate and certified life coach who has assisted many survivors who struggle with the emotional issues connected with cancer. She has been a guest on radio shows and featured in documentaries.

Shannon is now a cancer advocate and certified life coach who has assisted many survivors who struggle with the emotional issues connected with cancer. She has been a guest on radio shows and featured in documentaries.

She has deep empathy and compassion for all cancer warriors and understands what an individual goes through once they learn of a cancer diagnosis. She can relate with having to choose treatment and how difficult it is deciding how to save your own life, especially if your doctor has given you only so much time to live.

 

Memories of comfort with Michael Bolton

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvyVLOMnESs

As I was having my coffee this morning, Michael Bolton’s song came on, and I was flooded with a comforting memory.

One early morning just before dawn, on January 17th, 1994 at 4:31 am the Northridge earthquake slammed Southern CA at a magnitude of 6.7. It woke me from a sound sleep. The motion was a jolting up and down, not the side to side rocking I experienced from previous quakes like the Sylmar one in 1971; I was only 5 years old during that one and remember it well. Our house was on a raised foundation and there was more of a shimmy kind of swaying. Our house creaked and rocked back and forth for a time after the quake ended.

No, this one was different! It felt like King Kong picked up my apartment and shook it up and down for 20 seconds. The sound of glass breaking and furniture banging was loud, and there was this eerie feeling as I smelled the mixture of perfumes that spilled from the broken bottles.
It felt like forever before I could take a solid step. My first attempt was met with the ground pitching me up and slamming me down to my knees, instantly skinning both from the force of the rug scraping them.

Twenty seconds felt like forever as the loud rumbling, and crashing sounds continued in that small, dark apartment as my 4-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son were screaming, “Mommy! Mommy!” As soon as there was a break, I Instinctively remembered to grab the emergency flashlight radio from under my night table. I crawled over to the living room yelling at the kids to stay where they were and to let me come to them; they were in their bunk beds terrified! Jessica kept asking, “Is it coming back?” I had no real answer for her except a half truth, “No, baby, it’s all over!”

When I was finally able to get to them, we made it safely to the doorway and held one another. Then, we crawled to be together more comfortably under the dining room oak table. I knew I needed to turn the radio on to get information to see how bad it was all around us. Kyle was sweet and tried to be brave and helpful with turning on that radio. I was scared, and then we had our first moment of peace.

The first sound that came from that emergency radio was not an emergency announcement, it was a song by Michael Bolton. His voice was calm, comforting and temporary relief from all the thrashing… Hearing him sing made us feel normal for a moment as if nothing had happened.
“You came to me like the dawn through the night

Just shinin’ like the sun
Out of my dreams and into my life
You are the one, you are the one
Said I loved you, but I lied
‘Cause this is more than love I feel inside
Said I loved you, but I was wrong
‘Cause love could never ever feel so strong
Said I loved you, but I lied…”

It’s the first track on this link I posted. We listened, and for a moment I felt peace, love, and unity. I felt the kids relaxing a bit under the weight of my arms. We just listened.
A simple song cut through the fear for a minute and gave us a moment to catch our breath. Next, we went outside, Jessica in my arms, clinging, frozen with her body wrapped tightly around my neck and torso. She wasn’t letting go for anything. We peeked outside our front door, and it was pitch black except the stars; there were so many! WIthout a single city light, the stars were brighter than I had ever imagined possible.

Thank God my kids were always fascinated with stars and I could talk about something good from all of this mess that fell on us. I sat them down in the front door way and did my best to calm them with stories about the stars and promises that everything would get better from here on out. The worst was over.

Every now and then I’ll hear a Michael Bolton song. I would feel an urge to turn up the song as if it as an anthem song to connect me with my kids during our most terrifying time that had been comforted by Michael Bolton’s voice. Songs have a way of taking us back to revisit a significant time in life.

On September 3rd, my daughter and I will be taking our seats front row and center at his concert in Las Vegas. She was so happy when I told her about it. She said, ‘ Mom, I have the best memories with his songs” Times together just you and me and Kyle in that apartment.” She said she had the best memories then. She remembers that song and the earthquake. We will be giving him thanks, and he won’t even have an inkling of what those two ladies in the front row will be remembering and thanking him for.

I still love this man’s voice because It has calmed me on many occasions. Not one of his songs makes me feel a connection to a bad memory; only good.

“The Earthquake Song” That’s what I call it <3

How Can You Believe in God?

She asked me,
“How can you believe in God, it is impossible for God to handle the cares of the entire world!!” I responded, “For me, it means, God gives us free will and the ability to be an answer to someone else’s prayers throughout our life. How many times have we said to another, “Oh my God! You are an answer to my prayer?” Yes…Oh my God!

Prayers get answered,
No one lives forever,
How well can we love each day?

The light; the love within us, this is God.” I cannot deny that one common gift we each have within us. Accept the light and love that already exists in your heart, this is God; then… share it, His light has always been meant to be shared.

Ephesians 3:17
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

Open Letter: My Darkest Hour

My Personal Letter to a friend during my darkest hour. It was Spring, May 2011, just three months after returning from  CMN hospital in San Luis, Sonora Mexico. I was treated with alternative cancer treatments for a recurrence of stage 4 breast cancer. The cancer was bad and had spread to all lobes of my lungs, bones and lymph nodes. I was in a lot of pain, terrified and afraid the treatment was not working.
I get emails from brave cancer warriors (Mostly women late stage) asking me how long did it take to start noticing my body healing after treatment? My answer is not what you would think because my health got worse before I improved. Publicly I seemed courageous, and I have to say that I’ve had my worst fears and greatest courage through the cancer journey.
I feel this letter is imperative to anyone facing cancer, who thinks I was brave through my entire experience. A dear friend wrote me a letter, and I want to share it and be transparent with all who feel bad about “losing it” now and then. I see now that it was the darkest time in my life, which was right before I started to feel the healing. If I did not experience this, I don’t think I would have the insight or empathy to share with others who are terrified.
This letter reveals how my faith was failing and fear was consuming me. However, at the end of the letter, you will see I still had hope and faith.
A dear friend wrote me to ask how I was doing and if she was bothering me by checking on me?” I am not sharing her actual letter to honor her privacy. My response below depicts the fear, struggle, and anger (Cancer Grief) I was going through, and I do not think she was expecting such an emotional response from me.
My letter Response: From Shannon Jennifer Knight
May 3 2011, at 12:33pm
Dear ******
My breathing is getting worse; it’s been hard times, and my lungs feel like there is a knife in it. I am not very positive today and feel so small. Heaven is where God wants us; eventually, He wants us to be with Him, so why do we fight to hang on here? The tumors are growing rapidly, and I feel like I have been wasting my time trying to get well. I know you think this is probably Satan working his stuff on me. We don’t always get what we pray for. Since we last talked, two women are now in a coma and very sick from chemotherapy. I feel like when we pray, God will do what He wants anyway and He already has a plan for us. So, are we praying against “His plan”? I hope my letter does not upset you. It’s just me and the pain and the fear (God made me with “all emotions”). I do not believe He thought I would get through life without my fears and just be gleeful and joyful all the time! He made me human and felt guilty for feeling fear is not working anymore. Fear is an emotion and Satan did NOT have a hand in our creation. God created my entire being, my anger, my joy, my fear, etc. I am trying to come to terms with my emotions, and it ‘s hard. I watched a true story last night.  I was saddened to see all the Christians killing the Pagans.  Our world is full of craziness, and it has me so sad. What a mess!
Forgive me for being so blunt, and I do not mean to sway you at all from your faith, I admire it, but I lack it right now. I am one woman just clacking away at a keyboard in a big universe. Do you know how tiny that is, with the billions of people, especially people being murdered that are pleading for God’s help? The Congo, Juarez (both dealing with femicide) I am so small to be expecting Him to answer my prayers right now. If I am worse this week, maybe, it is just meant to be, I’m just Shannon out of how many Shannon’s and how many women who are fighting this disease? We have free will, and we must choose the right treatment, and I am trying so hard, but I feel it is so futile when I see so little change after being so confident and full of hope. I have never been like this, and here it is, I am finally to the point where I just think God lets us make choices, and then we all die at different times, “but eventually we die” and go to a better place. I don’t think praying anymore will change what God already has planned for me. I believe in Him, I believe He sent His son to die for our sins, and by the blood of Jesus we are saved, but right now I believe, that death does not mean the same thing for God as it does for us. “We are afraid to let go and return to Him.” He knows it’s the best place we could ever hope to be and yet we don’t dare pray for it because to do that, we would look suicidal! We pray to stay alive and expect God to answer that prayer. He takes us when He wants to!
I know how lost I seem, I do! I am sitting right now wondering if I scared you away by hitting the send key to deliver this letter. I love you, and I am so glad you are in my life. What if I bring you down? What if I insult your faith with my personal interpretation of God’s will? Why am I jealous of survivors right now? What the heck is wrong with me? Why do I want to just for once cook whatever I used to cook because it is delicious? Homemade Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and corn, my homemade Italian meatballs that are simply the best with angel hair pasta and sauce which is out of this world. I miss my favorite carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. I am tired of waking up, and everything has to do with this disease. Eat all the foods I don’t even like. You should taste my homemade lasagna. I even make the best pumpernickel croutons. Now, everything I love to eat is not good for me! Forgive me for being so honest about how I feel, please forgive me. I don’t want to scare you away; I need your friendship, and I am hurting and don’t want to take pain pills because they stop me up.
xoxo xoxo ~Shannon
PS. You don’t bug me too much, you never have and you never will.
Let me just say today, I pray to God, and I know I am worth it! My faith is strong.

What’s Eating at You?

 

Sometimes the more significant health problem for people is not Diet.  Could it be what is eating at them instead of what they are eating? Every week I get asked about my diet once I returned home from alternative cancer treatment at CMN hospital in Mexico to stay in remission? First of all. I never use the word remission because when I looked that word up in the dictionary is restricted me from accepting the healing that took place.  I am cured of stage 4 breast cancer as of August 2011, and I am still healthy. The moment I got the news I owned that blessing that was given to me. I declare I was cured and healthy and accepting it and having faith makes a big difference.

Now, about my diet, I ate healthily, but I was not fanatical. The first time I had cancer in 2006, I went vegan and organic, and I had a recurrence in 2010.  Women have written me after having a cancer diagnosis and explained how they were trying to fight it on their own by going vegan, juicing and doing coffee enemas.  Many women I spoke with were trying juicing and other cancer diets.  Some tried Budwig, and some tried the Gerson diet.  I get letters often from women who are stage 4 and very scared.  They are frustrated because they couldn’t understand why the diet change did not cure their cancer. I wish I could say some magic diet was the answer; I have heard of many.

I have asked them how they feel about their diet and many feel resentment and anger because for so long eating right and even making sacrifices by missing parties, so they do not get tempted to eat the party food was all they knew.  To do this and see that it did not destroy their cancer can be heartbreaking.  They sometimes feel like they wasted time and begin feeling resentment.  Once the bitterness kicks in many women will still not go back to eating a regular meal because of fear, and they continue with their diet habit, and it is like eating thorns and rocks now while everyone else is so darn happy eating delicious meals.

If you are happy while you eat and not stressed, then this is great! Stress is an antagonist to our healthy body. I believe it was the choices I made, the treatments I chose, my faith and my mindset that saved me. We need to take accountability for our journey and choices of therapy each day.

In addition to our association with food remember your thoughts and your heart.  Forgive people who have robbed you of your peace because you have allowed your resentment to destroy your spirit.  Apologize to someone you hurt and try to make amends even if they do not forgive you; you will have that massive weight off of your shoulders.

I like healthy food, but I eat dessert now and then.  I’ve made a few changes with less gluten and replacing sugar with stevia.  Disease – (Dis-ease), perhaps there is something to that, that we seriously need to address as part of excellent health. I have much less stress in my life. Mind food is imperative!  How are your relationships?

I also firmly believe raising our frequency is essential. Dancing, singing, comedy, and anything that makes you feel a natural high to get those endorphins going is healthy. Body movement instead of exercise is excellent.  You can dance, swim and do enjoyable activities that would be even more effective in healing than a rigid work-out regimen.  Be creative, think about your body and movement. Whether you jump on a rebounder or jump rope, listen to music that will raise your vibration. Choose upbeat and feel-good kind of music. If it is negative and angry music, this is not a healthy choice. Even music while cooking and cleaning.

Check out this great scene from the movie Bandits. Cate Blanchett gives a great example!