Ninety-four days since being diagnosed with stage 4 Uterine Leiomyosarcoma (palliative) with lung metastases.
Ninety-four days of existing in liminal space.
Ninety-three days since I started natural and biological treatments at the Preventief Medisch Centrum in Rotterdam consisting of Vitamin C, Meyers cocktail, Magnesium, Silicea, Glutathione, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, Oxygen infusions and later, after DNA sequencing at RGCC, Artesunate. At the same time immediately switching to a strict Keto diet, supplements (with various kinds of mushrooms) and following my own brand of spirituality.
All under the guidance of PMC and dr. Trossel whose advice I immediately acted on: to make my disease my new field of expertise. I researched clinical trials, studies, toxic and non-toxic drugs. Documented everything on www.waheeda.nl, talked to experts in the field of Sarcoma, to patient advocates, joined a support group, started writing…
My brother asked me not so long ago: “how can you do and go through all of this knowing what you know?”
Because I want everyone to know of this rare type of cancer. Only fifty women in the Netherlands get this yearly. In the US 3000. It is known for its late diagnosis and poor survival rate. Even though my days are numbered I want to make them count. Everything I have done in my life has had meaning. My whole career revolved around helping and coaching others to follow their own path and calling. This seemingly meaningless and cruel disease has to have meaning. If not for me, maybe for others and those I leave behind. My days are numbered but I intend to truly live them.
Of course, having cancer is not the same as having a career. But, no matter what I did, I have always done me. Even in my career, I have stuck to my values of wholeness, creativity, and meaning. Aligning what I do with who I am. This is why I started my one-woman business in 2002. What I now am doing is still me doing me.
Fifty-nine days since the removal of the primary tumor and a full hysterectomy. Ten days since I started mono-chemotherapy which will end in 17 weeks if it works.
Before I go any further, I want to say that I honestly and truly am convinced that my natural, complementary treatment has helped me to recover without any complications from a heavy operation. To withstand the side effects of chemo. To physically feel fit despite the tiredness. Combined with my inherent positivity and my brand of spirituality, my driving force. They have more now than ever, opened my eyes to the simple joys of my life and the breaks and blessings that come my way.
Since my diagnosis, I have been very candid and upfront about what I am going through without, and sometimes in spite of, bothering about what others will think. Speaking my truth. Trying in this way to encourage and support others, in particular women, to tell their truth. To end internal conflicts and to come out of their closet, boxes and/or lockedin state of being. Adhering to traditions, culture and living a life others expect of you instead of what you want for you.
I immediately started writing and for two months I have been sharing my stories and weekly reflections. Some find it difficult and maybe even confusing to relate to images I post on Social Media. Even when hearing me talk with my normal strong voice. Hearing a woman who sounds fine living her life, it is hard believing that this is the same woman whose days are numbered. I am obviously not acting the way a woman with cancer is supposed to act.
The whole point of me being uncomfortably honest about the life my family and I are now living. Bringing the whole picture of cancer to life. Forcing you to feel uncomfortable and to wonder why?
I am not waiting to die, I am consciously living in liminality between good and bad days realising that there will be a tipping point. Eventually, the bad days will outnumber the good ones. Which makes it more important for me to grab whatever comes my way.
I am not a cancer patient, I am a woman, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a mother, a sister, an aunt who will die of cancer but moreso one living with cancer.
Which also means getting reinvolved in my usual daily activities e.g. my new vacation rental business Steal Away.
Continuing to do so in liminal space.
Good and bad days,
together and alone,
toxic and non-toxic,
long hair and no hair,
living and dying,
hope and fear,
silence and noise,
red and white,
corona and cancer,
What does this mean? The one moment emotionally and physically draining and soulcrushing and the next moment grateful to be alive,
to feel the first ray of spring sun on my face,
to feel the weight of my son’s head on my shoulder,
to lie in my husband’s arms,
to taste my mom’s food,
to hug friends,
to hug my mom,
to drink my aunt’s broth,
to hug my sister,
to walk hand in hand with my son,
to see spring flowers scattered everywhere,
to hear my son singing as if no one is listening,
to know I am tired because I did something fun…
This week’s resolution?
Continue on this path.
Be and breathe.
Encouraging you to gain your own wisdom en live the life you want in spite of your disease, distress or dragons.
Love you brother.