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  • Writer's pictureHeather Lee

My Cancer & Plant Medicine Journey

While modern medicine is amazing in so many ways, it misses the mark completely in many ways as well. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I received a diagnosis and a surgery date and not much else. I immediately began researching my diagnosis, hired and naturopathic oncologist to help me with “food as medicine”, joined several Facebook groups for support and got curious about the psychospiritual and energetic aspects of my life that might be involved in this cancer. Modern medicine treats dis-ease as strictly physical but everything that occurs in our bodies is interictally connected to our thoughts, emotions, lifestyle habits and even intergenerational patterns. My diagnosis made me ask myself what is going on at a deeper psychospiritual level in my life that may have contributed to this disease developing and how can I address those aspects of my life as intentionally as I am addressing the physical cancer cells in my breast?

I knew a psilocybin journey and trusting the medicine to guide me in this inquiry was just what I needed to do. As I always do before I journey, I draw a few cards from one of my intuition decks. The cards I drew were “Face your shadow”, “Laugh at your demons”, “Trust your path “and “Retreat”. I knew doing a journey with a new cancer diagnosis would be challenging and it was. I faced my fear, dove into darkness, danced with the Devil but was also connected with transcendent love, overwhelming peace, and a sense of purpose. The mushrooms gave me very clear insights about intergenerational patterns of fear-based thinking by many generations of women in my family. My mother was a bold and amazing woman, but she had at her core many fears that she passed to me. Fears around money, security, partnership, safety. My mushroom insight told me my cancer was intergenerational fear turned cellular. Fear turned cellular! That resonated with me as truth, as wisdom, as an opportunity for healing. Over and over again “Live Joyfully” kept coming to me on my journey. My Mother, who died of breast cancer was named Joy. It was clear to me that this cancer was my opportunity to change these negative patterns of thought, energy, behavior, and transform dis-ease into joyfulness.

I can’t even begin to express how powerful and impactful it was for me to have this psilocybin experience at the beginning of my cancer journey. It helped me make meaning of my disease, gain a deeper more wholistic understanding of the experience and help me create a healing plan that addressed not only my body but my heart and soul. It empowered, enlightened and inspired me to help bring this psychedelic support to others on their journeys with cancer and dis-ease.

The last part of my journey was all about how to prepare myself for my upcoming surgery. I was “told” to travel deep into nature to immerse myself, my soul, my body in quiet. calm connection with the wilderness. I had a strong sense I was to find water and a sacred place to dip my naked breasts in healing water as part of preparing for this surgery. With my surgery date three weeks off my husband and I drove off to Utah with no clear plan or place to go. I had read one blurb about a place called Antelope Falls with a camp site at the entrance to a canyon and a stream and waterfall in the canyon. I hadn’t seen photos, doubted we would get a camp site with no reservation, and hoped it wouldn’t be crowded. We arrived in the afternoon, got the last camp site, which was fabulous, and started our hike. We each did an intention setting mindfulness moment to drop us in deeper to the experience. We hiked for a couple of hours and then, wow! The most beautiful and awe-inspiring waterfall was before us. The healing energy was palpable. I felt my immune system surge. The healing had begun. I snuck off to a private part of the stream and dipped my naked breasts in the healing waters. I imagined, and felt, and called upon, my ancestors and the ancestors of this sacred place to support my healing and the release of old fear for the embracing of full joyful living. I took a pebble from the stream and placed it in my medicine bag to bring with me to the hospital. This nature immersion experience was soul medicine that prepared me emotionally and spiritually for my double mastectomy.

Psilocybin wisdom, my inner healing wisdom, has been a key and core component of my cancer journey. These powerful plant medicine insights have shaped and guided the energetic and psychospiritual aspects of my healing. My path now is to create the opportunity for others to be able to have and heal from these experiences.

Note: I have never been a tattoo person but I feel called to get the word JOYFUL tattooed on the side of my breast to honor this powerful life changing and transformational cancer recovery journey.

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