My health history

For more than a decade, my doctors attributed my many health challenges and "mystery symptoms" to late-effects of chemo and radiation therapies. In 2003, I began working a naturopathic doctor. He taught me that my body can heal itself if I give it more of what it needs and less of what it doesn't need. For me, this meant more nutrient-dense foods and supplements, as well as physical activity and play during the day and rest and relaxation at night. This also meant less nutrient-poor foods, inactivity, late nights, and stress. With these changes to my self-care, I felt so much better, and was able to stop all but 3 of my 19 prescription medications. It felt like a miracle! Still, I continued to collecting diagnoses. And with each new diagnosis, I had to increase my self-care efforts to feel good again. Then in 2012, my holistic family doctor said to me, “No one who lives this well should be this sick....no one is this unlucky.” She muscle tested me for biotoxin/mold-related illness and eventually Lyme disease, confirmed the diagnoses with lab testing, and then treated me holistically. It took a long while, but finding these missing pieces of my complex health puzzle has made all the difference in my health and well-being. These are my biggest health miracles to date. They didn't happen all at once. And, I'm grateful I didn't stop short of them.

If you find yourself collecting diagnoses or mystery symptoms the way I did following cancer treatment, please work with holistic-minded healthcare professionals to help rule in/out any underlying condition(s). My underlying conditions turned out to predate my Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis, and maybe even contributed to it.

 

Here's what I've learned:

 
One, your body is built to heal;
Two, the diagnosis isn't necessary to begin self-healing;
Three, there's wisdom in the counsel of many healthcare professionals; and
Four, don't stop short of your miracles.
 

Here’s what you'll find in my medical record:

  • 1981-1998: Typical childhood illnesses (i.e., bronchitis, canker sores, chicken pox, common cold, constipation, ear infection, flu, molluscum contagiosum, strep throat, etc.)
  • 1991: Onset of ringing in ears, facial twitch, floaters in vision, frequent colds + headaches
  • 1998: Onset of fatigue + lymph node swelling
  • 1999-2000: Stage 2a Hodgkin’s lymphoma—nodular sclersosis treated with 6 cycles ABVD + 25 radiation treatments (resolved)
  • 2000-present: Migraine headaches (well managed)
  • 2000-present: Tinnitus (well managed)
  • 2000-2013: Irregular menstrual cycles (resolved)
  • 2000-2003: Seasonal allergies (resolved)
  • 2001-2003: Depression (resolved)
  • 2001: Abnormal PAP (resolved)
  • 2002-2009: Lichen Sclerosis et Atrophicus, later diagnosed as vulvar vestibulodynia (resolved)
  • 2002-2016: IBS with constipation predominance (resolved)
  • 2002-present: Chronic idiopathic urticaria, later diagnosed as autoimmune urticaria (well managed)
  • 2002-present: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis + resulting hypothyroidism (well managed)
  • 2003-2009: Hypercholesterolemia (resolved)
  • 2004-present: Abnormal CT/PET scans showed active node/lesion adjacent to right kidney (stable)
  • 2005-2006: Tendonitis both wrists (resolved)
  • 2005-2006: Eczema on hands, face + neck (resolved)
  • 2006-2018: Thrombosis external hemorrhoid (resolved)
  • 2007-2009: Vulvar vestibulodynia (resolved)
  • 2007-present: Autoimmune urticaria + pressure/heat induced urticaria (well managed)
  • 2007-present: Urticarial vasculitis (well managed)
  • 2007: Abnormal CT/PET scans showed active axillary + inguinal nodes (resolved)
  • 2007-2017: Exercise-induced asthma/reduced lung capacity due to scarring (resolved)
  • 2008-2018: Adrenal fatigue (resolved)
  • 2008-present: Non-celiac gluten intolerance (well managed)
  • 2008-2009: Granuloma annular (now believed to be erythema migrans) (resolved)
  • 2008-present: Osteopenia (stable)
  • 2009: Idiopathic angioedema without urticarial (resolved)
  • 2010: Abnormal PAP (HPV high risk strain) (resolved)
  • 2010-2011: PTSD due to sexual assault (resolved)
  • 2010: Colposcopy positive for Cervical Dysplasia (CIN2) (resolved)
  • 2010: Abnormal breast MRI + breast biopsy negative for malignancy (stable)
  • 2010-2013; 2016-2018: Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) (resolved)
  • 2012: Abnormal PAP (resolved)
  • 2012-present: Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) due to mold-related illness/"multi-susceptible" genotype (well managed)
  • 2013-present: Benign Hemifacial Spasms (well managed)
  • 2013-2014: Right Temporal Lobe Seizure Activity (resolved)
  • 2013-2014: Chronic idiopathic Hypersomnia (resolved)
  • 2013-2016: Intermittent idiopathic myoclonus (resolved)
  • 2013-2016: Low-grade fever of unknown origin lasting 3+ months (resolved)
  • 2013-present: Venous insufficiency + varicose veins (well magaged)
  • 2013-2018: Late-stage neuroborreliosis (Lyme disease) + confections bartonella + babesia (resolved)
  • 2013-present: Abnormal breast ultrasound + breast biopsy negative for malignancy (stable)
  • 2013-present: Raynaud’s phenomenon (well managed)
  • 2014-2016: Benign essential tremor (resolved)
  • 2014-present: Ultrarapid metabolizer of CYP2D6 + rapid metabolizer of CYP2C19, increased risk for adverse drug reactions when treated with oxycodone
  • 2014-present: APOE epsilon4 allele, increased risk for Alzheimer's disease (well managed)
  • 2014-present: Indomitable Spirit – yes, one of my doctors actually diagnosed me with this, and now it’s the name of my nutrition practice
  • 2016: Mildly elevated lead/heavy metal levels (resolved)
  • 2016: Ruptured functional ovarian cyst (resolved)
  • 2017-present: Central hypothyroidism/hypopituitary, first suspected in 2005 (well managed)
  • 2017-present: Inappropriate sinus tachycardia (IST) (well managed)
  • 2017-2018: Refractory Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) (resolved)
  • 2017-present: Radiation fibrosis syndrome (RFS), late-effect of radiation therapy, first suspected in 2014 (well managed)
 
 

And, I'm happy to report that despite all this, my health and quality of life are fantastic!

No matter your health history, don't give up on your health tomorrow. Your miracle may follow the next healthcare professional you see or the next article you read. I am so grateful I didn't give up shy of my miracles. Please don't give up shy of yours.