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How lung cancer changed my career path. Happy Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Happy Lung Cancer Awareness month everyone! 

This will be a big one for me. If I had to pick a moment that I took the fork in the road towards holistic medicine, it was the day I looked at my own dog’s Xray and saw a primary lung tumor. I remember backing up slightly to lean on the wall. Then very slowly sitting down because I felt sort of light headed, sort of like I got the breath knocked out of me. 

He was/ is my heart, here are a few photos: 

The next thing that happened was a storm of questions, of ‘why?’.  Why does my dog have lung cancer? I think of this as a smokers disease/second hand smoke disease, he’s never even been around a smoker. Why would he get lung cancer of all things?

Here is a photo of his lung tumor after surgical removal:

Then I started to learn a lot about carcinogens that he was exposed to for example those in the Febreeze plug ins/sprays, in what I used to mop the floor, carpet cleaning, what exists in the air ice breathe in general, etc. This was when I realized that it’s my job to keep him from being exposed to these things, not the EPA, not the FDA, but me. I am my dog’s advocate and I am in charge of their immediate environment.

Then I found DoTerra- a company that is based on plant based products, some of them used in place of medicine, others for cleaning, etc. I changed my life and our environment to be that of a plant based one. This one of the most important, empowering, and healthy choices I have ever made. Around the same time, I started to learn about ways to heal the body without the use of traditional drugs/ traditional medicine. From there, this all snowballed into what is happening now. I hope the snowball is still rolling as I continue down this path of holistic health.

The best part about going down a road like this is looking around and seeing how many people want to be there with you! There are so many pet owners out there that want to decrease the toxic load for their pets but they don’t know how to do so. This, if you are reading this, is my deepest calling. This is my purpose: To be a source of education and knowledge for those who want to know better, to do better, to be better for their pets, their families and for themselves!

If you’re ready to take the next step towards your pets’ best, most toxic free life, click here to schedule an appointment!

So, as sad as lung cancer is, thank you. Thank you, lung cancer, for sending me down this path. My dog Maverick who passed away after a fight with primary pulmonary adenocarcinoma, was my soul mate. I don’t think it’s a coincidence at all that his disease process and losing him is what helped reveal what is my life’s work. I am here to learn as much as I can about how to care for pets in every way and to pass that knowledge along to those who also want to learn.

So, book an appointment with me. Then we can sit down and talk about your concerns, what you would like for your pet, what you might be able to do differently, what are some possible toxins we can eliminate from their/your world. How can we manage their diseases with less drugs? Can we use food as medicine? Acupuncture/ laser/ PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field)/ spinal manipulation (like Chiropractic adjustments)  as pain management? We look at their Xrays and bloodwork together. I perform a traditional veterinary medical exam, a motion palpation exam (Chiropractic exam), a TCVM exam (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine). The consultation isn’t just that, it’s also action: it includes a session of acupuncture, HVLA adjustments if needed, trigger point therapy for knots in their muscles, herbal and food therapy/ nutrition consultation. In other words, what else can we do for your pet so they can live their best, longest life??? Let’s find out!

What has lung cancer awareness done for me:

Here is a letter I wrote to Maverick soon after I lost him. This is deeply personal but I also think it’s important to know how serious I am about holistic health and what happened in my heart to be where I am today. I hope you enjoy. I still can’t read it without sobbing and it’s been 5 years….

My sweet Mav,

I want to get all of my feelings for you and about losing you down on paper. Memories are flooding my mind, ones I haven’t thought of in a long time. They pop up much like the scene of a play and each of them are wonderful. Then as they end I am back to reality and miss you oh so much.  Mav, if you had been a person, you would have been one with an easy, infectious laugh. As I have these memories and picture your face, I realize you would have been laughing or squealing with joy during most of them. Alas, you were only a dog so you did your best- and I think your mouth open tongue out bright eyes face was perfect. That perfect smile is woven into my soul and you will always be here with me.

Some would argue that there was a bit of imprinting that happened between you and me. The first time I left you with Tiff and Ang (just to run out to the car) you went nuts. We had only known each other for hours at that point. For most of your life after that, it was very concerning when I left beyond where you could see me. Maybe you were my shepherd. Or maybe we were just best friends and you wanted to be around me all of the time…You chewed through a few doors, many leashes and some screen doors to get to me. When you arrived in these cases, you weren’t panicked, just satisfied because there I was (finally after all of your hard work)…. I really didn’t want to let you go, Mav. I didn’t want you to leave me. Maybe I understand how it felt now, how you felt when I would leave you before there was a shift where you realized I always come back. I understand the feeling now that you have left me and it makes me want to tear something up, too. If there was only a door between me and you right now, you had better believe I would chew through it.

I don’t know what happens to you now and that’ s the hardest part. I guess I can think what I want, but I picture you running. You always loved to run. Heaven for Mav is an open field like the one at Lakeshore in Knoxville. Or the one that ran by the river at Cherokee. or an open beach like you loved at Burke’s beach. or a snowy field, you loved running in the snow…. That was when Mav was happiest, when he was running. your second happiest was with wind in your face, specifically in the jeep. I remember going around curves carefully then glancing at you realizing you were fine. You refused to use the doors and jumped over the rear wheel to get in. Once you were in the jeep, you were home, that much was clear. In the absence of the ability to speak, you got your points across very clearly. I am fairly certain your dream was to actually DRIVE the jeep, I hope this happens in your life after me whatever that is. I hope you get to drive a jeep.

I remember you jumping fences. Many of them. In Knoxville, you would stay in the fence until I pulled in the driveway, then jump it to come around and meet me at the car door. You loved me so much it was like you couldn’t ever contain it. Over time, you were able to contain this borderline obsessive love without seeming too crazy. This was learned through the ingestion of several sets of blinds and nameless other non edible objects you chose to destroy in my absence. In your final years, you simply laid eyes on me and then you were ok. I like to think this was the shepherd in you. A good shepherd knows his sheep.  When you were brought in for physical therapy days, you couldn’t start until you knew where I was, what I was doing, but you never required that I acknowledge you. I did, of course, usually with more affection than you cared for. Then you could go do your work with Ms. Betty.

It’s hard to picture where or who I was before I saw your fuzzy face. It may be a coincidence that 22 is when a person really starts to learn who they are and grow up some… but I think not. You were certainly a witness to a lot of false starts, wrong choices and heart breaks. I wonder if you felt like I was a loser for learning the hard way so often or if you were just as surprised that things didn’t turn out like I wanted… the funny part is that so far, you have turned out to be the love of my life. Is this sad or awesome? I think awesome.

I am still so sad, Mav. I still love you so much but you aren’t here anymore. I know you were done. Life was not abundant, fun, carefree the way it should be for  a dog. They way it was before you got sick.  If you had asked me to give you one good reason (besides me and my heart) to stay here on this earth, I couldn’t have given you one. You officially weren’t able to do anything that you loved doing. You couldn’t even jump into the car or stand up in the car so you could put your head out the window. You certainly couldn’t run… and it had become difficult to follow me around and see where I was, what I was doing and I know this was a favorite pastime of yours, as it should be for a shepherd. I know you were so exhausted. You were ready but not totally. I think you were ready to stop struggling but not ready to be without me. God knows I wasn’t ready to be without you. I couldn’t’ bear to see you so panicked about not being able to get up. How did we go from you jumping over the back tire of the jeep to me holding you up so you could pee? I’m so glad I got to be around you and help you. I didn’t mind one bit of trying to help you age comfortably. I don’t regret one bit of it. And I would do it all over again if someone could take me  back to the beginning me and you. I would …..

I know choosing the day your dog dies is not easy, but I had no clue how hard this would be. The days after have proven to be harder in some ways. It’s hard to see your things laying around, remembering you bringing me a toy in your mouth, asking for food in the kitchen. I wish there was a way to know I didn’t let you go without you wanting it. I do hope I get to be with you again someday.

I used to sing this song to you, I’ll end with that:

The Luckiest

Ben Folds

I don’t get many things right the first time,

In fact, I am told that a lot

Now I know all the wrong turns the stumbles,

And falls brought me here

And where was I before the day

That I first saw your lovely face,

Now I see it every day

And I know

That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest

What if I had been born fifty years before you

In a house on the street

Where you lived

Maybe I’d be outside as you passed on your bike. Would I know?

And in a wide sea of eyes

I see one pair that I recognize

And I know

That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest

I love you more then have

Ever found the way to say

To you

Next door there’s an old man who lived to his nineties and one day

Passed away in his sleep,

And his wife, she stayed for a couple of days, and passed away

I’m sorry I know that’s a strange way to tell you that I know we belong,

That I know

That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest

I remember saying this to you when you took your last breath. “And I know that I am the luckiest. Thank you for choosing me. ” I can barely breathe just thinking about it. I think it’s going to be this way for a long, long time. Thank you, My Mav.

I love you forever. My heart, My Shepherd, My Mav, Who dat Mav

Neely

Please research what you are using in your environment at home. Here are a couple of resources to help you with this:

cancer.org has a list of known carcinogens:

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/general-info/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens.html

EWG has a grading system for household items to see if they are harmful etc.

https://www.ewg.org/guides/categories/1-AirFresheners

Last but not least, consider chaining to a plant based cleaning / air freshening system for your home. I made the change to DoTerra products. If you’re interested in signing up, here is a link to someone on my DoTerra team, Kayla Dolphin Greer (we have worked together in the veterinary world for 5 years and the DoTerra world for several as well).  She is great at walking you through how to sign up and start using these fabulous, safe products in your home.

https://www.doterra.com/US/en/site/kayladolphin-greer

Click on become a member at the top 

Choose wholesale customer and follow the prompts of if you want a kit or just a wholesale membership. If you prefer, she can build your cart for you based on what you want and send you a link to enroll. This makes it much easier than navigating the website! So let me know if you prefer this. You can email her at kmdolphin18@gmail.com

Here is a link to the DoTerra blog with several links to green cleaning/ air freshening in your home:

https://www.doterra.com/US/en/search/fullsearch?text=cleaning&contentType=PRODUCT&saveSearch=true

If you feel overwhelmed but you still care about this subject, here are some things you can start with:

  1. Get rid of candles.
  2. Get rid of air fresheners and plug ins
  3. Sign up for DoTerra using the kit that includes a diffuser and the top 10 oils to use in place of these things: