Episode #2: How I Healed Myself from a Brain Tumor & The Four Basic Steps to Self Healing

In the previous episode, I told you how I got my brain tumor diagnosis. And today, you will hear how I went from this diagnosis to a complete recovery and what are the four main steps to self-healing.

 

 The MEDITATION for todays episode is here. 

I got diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumor called Prolactinoma. It is a type of tumor that grows on your pituitary gland. It is here in the middle of your eyebrows, but deep inside the structure of your brain. And luckily enough, this kind of tumor is actually treatable only with medication these days, which is incredible. Although the medication obviously has quite significant negative side effects, not always. Some women adjust to the medication quite quickly and can live a perfectly normal life. But for some women, the side effects are so severe, they actually have to come off the medication. And then the second best treatment would be a brain surgery in case the tumor is still small enough, in case it is already quite big, then your best option would be chemotherapy.

As the Prolactinoma tumour grows on a pituitary gland, which is the gland responsible for secretion of many of your important hormones, there's no wonder my hormones were out of whack. But what this tumour also does that itself becomes a gland and secretes a hormone called prolactin from this, also the name prolactinoma. One of the things that prolactin does is that lowers your sex drive and hence my non -existent libido and all the hormone disbalances were also causing all the other symptoms, lost period, different pains in my lower belly, all the mental problems.

Another issue I had with the medication was that it usually takes quite long. My new endocrinologist told me that she sees about three years until we will be able to finally slowly lower the doses until we'll be able to stop the medication hopefully for good. But for many women, the stopping of the medication means that the tumor comes back. So, some of them have to be on the medication for the rest of their life, which still doesn't sound so bad because there are many people on a lot of prescription medication sometimes for the whole duration of their life and they can be perfectly fine. But for me, the idea that I would be defined by this illness for such a long time was very hard to accept. I just imagined myself as the person that, when you have to fill in somewhere your prescription medication, I would have to fill in those pills and then someone would have to evaluate if they would react with whatever I was going to do or if it was okay. And strangely, if it was any of my friends and she told me there is this option to treat her tumor with medication, I would be like, yes, well, that's amazing, definitely have them prescribe to you and I agree that it is really amazing and a miracle that we can treat something like this with medication only, but because it was me, I just felt that this is not what I want to do and I felt that there must be some other way.

I also didn't understand how is it possible that I, 27 years old, got a brain tumor because officially this kind of brain tumor doesn't have any cause, it's not genetic it's not from your lifestyle it just happens it's just a surprise and for me something like this was just impossible to accept, seeing my body as a perfect system where everything works perfectly. So many different functions happening perfectly at the same time and then just this mistake for no reason I believe that there must be some cause and then I have to find this cause and that will heal me.

I made sure to confirm with my doctor that my tumor is growing slowly and so I have few months to experiment and try to find some other way before I actually get on the medication. I went deep into scientific studies, into research, into all sorts of different books. And the first thing I focused on was lowering the chronic inflammation in my body. Chronic inflammation is a big, broad topic and there will be one separate episode only on that theme coming next. But here just quickly what I did. One thing that increases the chronic inflammation in your body is stress. Chronic stress is the base of most illnesses and there I focused on meditation. But also based on my diagnosis I made one huge decision and that was to sell my current business because although I spent a lot of money, a lot of energy building it up and it was very successful at that time, it was no longer me and I was no longer feeling represented by the products that we are selling, by the whole idea of the business but it was a hard decision based on how much I put into it and based on the fact that it was finally at the place where I wanted to have it the whole time, only by the time we got there it was no longer bringing me joy. And so I made this decision and started to work on that, which was just like lifting some huge heaviness of my back, something that I've been carrying for quite some time and finally making that final decision. Actually I felt how much stress it took of me.

Then I focused on my diet. At the time when I got the diagnosis I was in the Nepal Yoga Academy studying for my higher level of yoga teacher training. I could not wish for a better place to be given the diagnosis because that place by itself was a representation of well -being and health. The diet was only plant -based, mainly based on fresh fruit, cooked vegetables, fresh vegetables. It was based on the principles of yoga and ayurveda, so just perfect anti -inflammatory diet. I didn't really have to adjust or do anything. It was already made for me. We also spent most of our days just meditating, then having a pranayama breathwork lesson, then the asana lesson, so physical exercise, then it was food, then it was philosophy, then another asana. It was just perfect schedule for healing. I also focused very much on the quality of my sleep, so I made sure I also meditate before going to bed, and I had no phone before my bed, and I really prioritized good quality, the right amount of sleep that would make me feel good. The environment of the yoga academy was also just perfect. It was quiet and silence is the most amazing healer and calmer of your nervous system. It was also set in the nature close to the Himalayas, so there was a fresh air, it was surrounded by forests, so in my free time I would often go to have a walk in the forest and just being in contact with nature as much as possible.

Working together with my naturopath, Kate, I also made sure I have all the necessary supplements like vitamins, minerals. I was not taking any special supplement that should like a miracle shrink up my tumour or anything like that. It was more to make sure I have everything that I need. And I will be talking more about supplements in some future episodes. It's, again, quite broad topic and I just don't want to say I was taking this and you should take it as well because it helped me because it's very individual and very often based on your specific needs.

While doing my research I came across one of the newest advances in the treatment of cancer which is called immunotherapy. And immunotherapy takes the advantage of your own healing properties of your own immune system because you actually have all the things necessary to kill your tumour yourself. Your immune system has the killer T cells. As the name says killer, they are there to kill pathogens and also to kill cancer cells and tumors. The problem is that sometimes these super intelligent T cells are fooled by the tumor and they just cannot see it, they cannot find it or the tumor creates something like a protection shield about itself and the T cells again cannot go and kill the tumor. And in immunotherapy, in very basic explanation, what they do is that they take your own cells from your own immune system and then in a lab, educate your immune cells to be able to find the tumor and make them stronger so they are actually able to kill the tumor even though it might create this protective shield. And when I read this, I was like, well, if someone else is able to educate my own T cells to go and find and kill my tumor, I might as well just tell my own immune system to go and do it because I am the brain, I am the leader of this whole thing called my body. I can just tell them myself. And so what I did in my meditation, every day I sat down, I closed my eyes and I just imagined with inhale all the immune cells from my body just flowing, coming to the center of my forehead to the center of my skull and with exhale these immune cells just shooting holes in my tumor just shrinking and making it small and this over and over and over again. At first it was very abstract and it was not that easy, I didn't know exactly what I have to imagine but after some time it became quite real, it definitely felt very real in my mind and I could even feel the place in my head where it's all happening and the thing is that your brain cannot tell the difference between reality and really vivid imagination. And if you can imagine something so vividly that you can fool your own brain, your brain will start acting as if it's actually happening. I also used visualisation to take all the phytonutrients from all the fruit and vegetables that I was eating and every time just imagining how it's through my digestive system going straight into my bloodstream and coming all the way straight to the place in the middle of my forehead and then just joining with those immune cells and making them stronger and fighting this tumor together.

After only one month, I felt incredible improvement. I actually probably felt the best in my entire life. All the symptoms that I had disappeared. My libido came back and I just felt  I’m actually healing. I felt that what I am doing is working.

At the end of this month, I also joined the Vipassana meditation course, which is a 10-day silent meditation where all you do all day long, you meditate for 11 hours a day and meditation itself is highly anti-inflammatory. But what also happens during Vipassana that you shed a lot of baggage that you had, shed a lot of emotion, some of your limiting beliefs get broken, it's just untying those knots somewhere in your body and just releasing things through tears, through rage, through different kind of experiences and at the end of the ten days, even though it was very difficult, I felt so much lighter, liberated from something. And Vipassana again is something that I can record at least a few separate episodes about, and I will in the future, but now let's come back to that story.

So I felt even better after Vipassana. I wanted to do another MRI scan, and I wanted to do it before I leave Nepal, because until this point, I was paying the whole treatment and all the blood tests, all the screening, all the scans, all the MRIs, I was paying with my own money. And I wanted to do the MRI before I leave Nepal because the price of the MRI back in Europe was about five times more than the one in Nepal. And obviously no one is gonna write me a recommendation which is totally understandable because if I now told my doctor that I actually ignored her advice, I didn't take the meds, but instead I meditated for one month in the Himalayas and now I feel that my tumour has actually shrinked and I want that the insurance company pays my MRI, she would obviously tell me I'm crazy. And I asked my naturopath what she thinks about it, if taking another scan after such a short time is a good idea, if we will be able to see anything. And she told me that obviously miracles can happen, but even if I would actually start taking the medication, it would take much longer than just two months and something for the tumour to show any changes in its size. And it is possible that I'm feeling better, but it will unlikely be showing on the scan. Well, I didn't listen and I did the MRI anyway because I just felt that it actually did get smaller and I needed the proof. And when I received the results, it actually shrunk by 11% in just two and a half months. And that was exactly what I needed. That was the proof that I needed to hear that what I am doing is actually working because the path was not always just up. I had many downs where I actually felt worse and obviously the doctors were not supporting my decisions and then some of the people that I told along the way were also not supporting my decisions and it was very important for me to have this proof for myself to maintain this unshakable faith in what I am doing.

I decided not to tell anyone about my illness until I know that I am getting better. First, because I didn't want to hear so many different advices that, I know come from the heart, but can sometimes do more harm than good and often they are not very studied or well-formed advises and I just wanted to choose my own version of dealing with this problem without being impacted by what other people thought about it. And the second reason was that I didn't want to Identify with this illness. I was never talking about it as my tumor as my condition and I didn't want to make it stronger by having conversations about it over and over with more and more people and the same people again asking me about it a few weeks later and me again talking about it and just strengthening its position in my system. Together with this decision not leaving the illness to rule my life and become part of my identity I decided to go on a hike to the Mount Everest base camp, which was something that I Have been dreaming about for many years and now I was there. I was close to the Himalayas and I Just didn't want to skip it only because I had some condition. I was actually feeling better than ever. I was feeling great and I knew I can do it and I believe that this time spent in the mountains again in the peace and the quiet, even though it was very challenging, was also part of my healing.

I said I didn't tell about my condition to anyone I only told my boyfriend and the second person I told about it was my master Guruji in the Yoga Academy where I was at and when I told him he replied: “Your mind is your strongest weapon. You can do anything that you set your mind to it. You can do anything that you can imagine.” And as it showed up, he was right. I was imagining my tumor getting smaller only with my mind. And it actually started to get smaller and in an incredible speed.

After some time I left this visualization of me sending my immune system to kill my tumor because after I spent every free hour of my time sending my immune system there and giving those instructions, my immune system would be completely dumb if they didn't get the message by then. Like I was 100% sure everything in my body knows exactly what they have to do to heal us. So I just thought it's useless now to give them the same instruction over and over because they know by now. And also I didn't want to keep imagining the tumor still being there because for me to imagine that the immune system is killing it I had to visualize it still being there but I didn't want to visualize it being there. I wanted to visualize the new reality which was me being tumor free. So instead I was now imagining the final point. The final day when I get my final MRI scan I am standing in the clinic. The nurse comes, she brings me the envelope. I open the envelope take the paper out and on the paper there is written that they didn't find anything that it was completely clear and I am healed. And the moment I read it I feel the emotions as if I was actually reading it and most of the time I actually made myself cry out of happiness just in my meditation because the feeling was just so real and strong and I saw my boyfriend being there with me and feeling his happiness and him hugging me and I just relived this moment over and over in my mind until it would actually happen. But before it could happen I felt I need to go even deeper. And I felt that there is something that is the real cause of the whole problem.

As I said at the beginning, I believe that our body just doesn't get broken for no reason, that there is some trigger somewhere. And again, based on reading of some book, there is a lot of books on the topic by Gabor Mate, who talks about how trauma and suppressed emotions and some limiting beliefs all together create this toxic environment inside your own body that then leads to chronic illnesses. And so the next big step for me was to take care of this package, to heal my traumas, to release blocked emotions, to change my limiting beliefs. And this again is a very broad spectrum of activities that you can do, that I did, and it will be the theme of many future episodes. But here, just quickly again, what it was. I still stuck with meditation because this is my cure number one, and I kept releasing anger, releasing sadness during my meditations. I was also doing a special kind of meditation on healing you in a child that was very strong. I was reacting very strongly to this kind of meditation. And most people, usually in my retreats that I lead, I always include this inner child meditation, and almost everyone always cries during that meditation. And it just shows how widespread this problem is, and that most of us actually carry some wound inside that needs to be healed, that needs to be released. I was doing special kind of breath works to release emotions, to heal traumas. I did constellation therapies for myself, also family constellations. And with all these things, I was just releasing and healing bit by bit, one by one. And as I was in this process of just uncovering the layers of myself and releasing some baggage that I was carrying with me, I started to see the benefits of this diagnosis on my life. And one of the most important moments in my whole healing journey was when I stopped seeing my illness as some enemy, as something that came to ruin my life, as seeing myself as a victim. But I actually started to see my illness as an amazing teacher, as a guide on my journey to my higher self, as a guide on my journey to reaching my fullest potential, guide showing me what were all the things that I did wrong, what were all the things that I needed to change in my life, what were all the things that I needed to understand, that I needed to learn, to be able to actually live the kind of life that I was supposed to live. Looking back, the way I was living before the diagnosis, and the way it actually changed my life, and the kind of expansion of my consciousness, and the way I see the world, I see my whole life, the way I live and experience my life, I just I cannot even compare it. And with this change just came this beautiful lightness of being that I managed to carry with me until this day.

During this time when I was working on myself, I had some of my relatives, some of my friends asking about my condition, asking if I already did some other scans, how is it evolving, and I just kept saying I feel it's not the right time yet. I feel the work is not done yet, I just need to work more, and I feel I still need time. Until this day when I woke up and I just knew it was done, and I just told my boyfriend I think we should book the MRI now. It was about 11 months after my diagnosis, and we were in Brazil, it was a few days before Carnival, and although it took some time for me to get the appointment and then for the results of the MRI to come, during this waiting period I was not stressed at all, I was not afraid, I just knew deep down the same way that I knew I was sick at first, it was the same kind of knowing that I am healed. And then when I actually went to the clinic, it just happened exactly the same way that I imagined it. The nurse came, she brought me the envelope, I took it out, I read it and there was written that they didn't find anything, the scan was completely clear. And the moment I read it, I already had the same tears of joy, rolling from my eyes, crying the same way that I cried many times before. It was so beautiful because I already experienced it so many times. And now it was happening for real.

On my own healing journey, I identified four separate steps that you need to take on your journey to a full healing. First, lower your chronic inflammation. Second, visualise your healing, use your mind. Third, release blocked emotions, heal past trauma, shed limiting beliefs that are limiting your life. Four, have unshakable faith. Faith that what is happening is happening for you and faith that you have incredible power to heal yourself. In other words, the healing has to happen on a level of your body, your mind, your emotions and your spirit. And this is something that I will be exploring episode by episode in this very podcast.

And to make your self-healing journey a bit easier, together with every episode you will also find a short recording, meditation, breathwork, hypnosis or some visualization that will be in a way connected to the theme of every episode. HERE you will find this beautiful sweet short two minutes emergency de-stressing meditation. Because as I said at the beginning of this episode, decreasing the chronic inflammation in your body is the first step towards healing. And as I also said, chronic stress is the number one cause of chronic inflammation. And so this short but sweet and effective Meditation will help you deal with the stress when it's happening. So when you have some time when you feel overwhelmed, you feel that it's actually too much to deal with, just listen to this two minutes and it will reset your nervous system, bring you back into your relaxed state so you can continue what you are doing. And then if you actually do it every day for some period of time, it will also help you deal with the overall stress more effectively and lower your overall stress levels.

I decided to share my story because I believe it could help someone. Those that are maybe on the path toward the diagnose and feel lost and feel like no one is listening and those need to know that they should not give up, that they need to continue looking for solutions, looking for answers and if you have the feeling that something is wrong deep down, just keep searching. And if you already have your diagnosis and you are dealing with some chronic illness or with a mental issue or with anything that is making your life difficult at the moment, just know that there are many solutions and that the road can be complex but can be extremely effective and on your path towards healing you will not only heal your body but you will heal your mind and your spirit, you will heal your entire life and I want you to know that you can heal yourself! I hope you found this episode helpful personally but if you also know someone that could benefit from it I will be extremely grateful if you will share this podcast with anyone. It can be someone specific or if you decide to share this podcast publicly it will really really help me so much because I'm just starting and I will be truly grateful if you help me spread this podcast to more listeners, to more people, more people finding hope and getting the right help.

Thank you so much for staying with me towards the end. I hope that you enjoyed listening to me today and I am looking forward to seeing you again soon in the next episode. Have a wonderful rest of your day and take care.