A few years before her own diagnosis, Christine Taylor lost a very close family member to breast cancer. Witnessing the experience from start to finish, she'd only known the disease to have a horrifying outcome, and she was terrified.
What she quickly learned was that being diagnosed with breast cancer did NOT mean she was going to die. During her treatment for stage 2A invasive ductal carcinoma, she met a nurse who was an eight- year survivor. The woman who helped fit her for a wig was a ten-year survivor, and even her yoga teacher, now in her sixties, was a 30-year survivor. "It suddenly seemed everywhere I went, I met someone with a positive story of survivorship. I realized my story could have a happy ending."
Now a five-year survivor herself, Christine credits her past with shaping her future. Having been a health educator for 15 years, after changing her mindset, she began gathering the materials that would help set her on the path to recovery - yoga, guided imagery, even massage. "I believe in the importance of treating the entire person, not just the disease because cancer is a physical, mental and spiritual experience."
Christine's life has come full circle. She is now a holistic practitioner who specializes in helping people with cancer and chronic illnesses. "I feel that cancer gave me a way to be uniquely useful in this world. As humans we all go through our fair share of trauma. Nobody is exempt. It is up to all of us who have come through a painful experience to use what we have learned to make the trip a little easier for those who come after us."