I want to acknowledge that I am one of the lucky ones, and I can’t explain why. I have incredible health insurance, and a husband who works very hard, 12 hours a day at his job, to provide that for me and my daughter. So it gives me the privilege of having health care that so many people in our country do not have. It gives me the privilege to go from doctor to doctor, getting all of this support and help and I DO NOT take it for granted. I am very, very humbled and grateful.
For those of you who know me personally, it has been a roller-coaster ride to say the least! I have had so many people praying for me. Thank you so much. For those of you close to me who will ask me why I am choosing to share this with the world, here you go:
I tell my story in the hopes of helping even ONE other woman out there in the world with the same issues as me.
I tell my story because I am human and realize, even as a deeply spiritual person, I do not control life, I just might affect it.
I tell my story because I am a teacher, but even more so, because I am a student.
I tell my story because I have to.
I tell my story because it scares the hell out of me to tell my story.
Because of chronic pain in my uterus, I was first told on July 12, 2011 I needed a full hysterectomy. I possibly had ovarian cancer and I was definitely going to lose my right ovary.
After several ultrasounds, I was told I had a 5 cm “complex cyst” on my right ovary (meaning it had tissue in it which could be malignant=possibly ovarian cancer + two other diagnosis I won’t even go into…).
Of course I immediately began doing research online about what this meant. I found forums, chat rooms, blogs—you name it—about women with my same issues and what they had been through. I pretty much resolved that I needed to go the “medical route” with this one. Ovarian cancer takes you FAST, it ain’t nothin’ to mess with. And I have a small child for God’s sake!
When I asked my doctor, “how bad does it look”, she said, “It doesn’t look good, we definitely need to biopsy it to make sure it’s not cancer. You will probably lose the ovary, and quite possibly have a hysterectomy while you are under anesthesia”. So okay, I thought, this is the card I was dealt. My husband and I both cried and hugged leaving the doctor’s office that day. I apologized to my husband for having to deal with this, and then thought “Wow, I’m a yoga teacher, spiritual leader and health promoter in my community, how is this going to look?”. Yep, I actually thought that.
I am a classic generation X’er. I believe in alternative and occidental medicine. I use them both. I have been criticized for this in the yogic community, but hey, I’m strong, I can take it. I did decide to get several opinions before moving forward with the surgery. I had 3 specialists (EXPERTS in the field of oncology and uterine issues) tell me it was “impossible” for a complex cyst to go away and I should be more worried about it being cancerous than trying “alternative healing” techniques. My surgery was scheduled for August 24th! My 45th birthday, which I saw as a good omen :). I accepted this and was getting prepared. I got all of my classes covered for 2 1/2 weeks for my surgery and recovery, and continued to teach all of my Yoga classes.
Preparing for my surgery, I continued to do my acupuncture, juice my veggies, eat mostly vegan, stay off coffee, take my minerals and supplements, do my Hatha & Kundalini Yoga practice (yes, even with my pain) and added Yoga Nidra everyday. I then dropped a yoga class, because after having a conversation with my cyst (Yes, Louise Hay in full effect!) I learned I was putting too much in the out-put box and not enough in the in-put box (e.g. self care). I continued to think positively and used ALL of my tools everyday, without fail.
My pain was getting less and less and exactly 6 days before my scheduled surgery, my pain was completely GONE. This, after being in chronic pain for almost 2 months. I called my doctor immediately and told her I needed an ultrasound because my pain was gone and I had an image of going into surgery and them finding NOTHING. She tried to tell me it was impossible for the cyst to be gone, but I begged her to “humor me” (she’s the one that backed my home birth, so she knows me well). She told me to come in that day.
When I went in and she did the ultrasound she could not believe it, the cyst had shrunk to about the size of a cherry and was filled with fluid, it was no longer ‘neoplastic’. She was literally shocked. She sent me to the radiologist right away and I went 4 days before my surgery. I am so happy to tell all of you that as of Aug. 23rd, the cyst is as small as a raisin. Only 2 cm. “Ok great!” I thought, “I’m cancelling the surgery”.
When I called the surgeon’s office they really could not believe it and the nurse told me they still needed to do a laparoscopy to biopsy it; to make sure it’s not cancer.
The nurse then told me, and I quote, “the cyst could have burst and be spreading cancer in your uterus”.
Meanwhile, 2 other doctors told me cancer does not shrink in size, and I did not need the surgery. However the oncologist/surgeon STILL INSISTED I needed the surgery!
YOU HAVE TO BE SO STRONG, YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF SO MUCH
I told them I WOULD NOT be coming in for surgery, and hung up.
I then called the other specialist I had seen in Van Nuys who told me complex cysts DO NOT go away~(to share the great news). The nurse then shared with me that yes, by gosh she did remember one woman whose went away, and “it came back 6 months later with a vengeance”. (Can I get a break here?)
YOU HAVE TO BE SO STRONG, YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF SO MUCH
I went ahead and made another appointment with YET ANOTHER SPECIALIST/EXPERT in the field, this time at one of the most reputable institutions in the country (possibly the world), Cedars Sinai.
After seeing the oncologist at Cedars Sinai last week, he confirmed it was not cancer, cancer does not shrink, and also confirmed I DID NOT need surgery. He could not explain how the complex cyst had shrunk, he said, it “rarely, if ever happens”. He did however tell me I must continue to monitor it and have ultrasounds regularly and keep “doing what you’re doing, you did something right”. His only question to me was “I’m just curious, why did you go back for another ultrasound before your surgery?”. I told him, “intuition”. Yogi Bhajan says “intuition is everything”.
Again, thank-you all so much for being on this journey with me and allowing me to share my deepest truths. I LOVE you all!
Om Om Om, Sat Nam, in radiant health
~ Valinda~Viriam Kaur
“Still Your Mind, Open Your Heart, Speak Your Truth & Live Your Dreams”
For more information, visit her website here.