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Remembering Cynthia

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Barbara's Story

My name is Barbara Burritt. For thirty years I have followed the spiritual and alternative health modalities for healing. This was my chosen healing path when I was first diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer/ 3rd stage in January of 2002. Of course the leading advice from many oncologists and surgeons at that time was to administer chemo and radiation, but in my heart I could not put my faith in them. I refused and I listened to my intuition. I Did agree to a radical left breast mastecomy with 6 lymph nodes removed in April, 2002.

During the following 5 years I did alot soul searching and undoing of poor relationship problems with friends and a long term relationship which triggered this disease in my judgment. I did change my stress-filled life style to a healthier creative one. I cleaned up my diet to organic/ no pre-fab foods with an emphasis on vegetables. I believe my disease was a physical reflection of the imbalance of many elements of my adult life. I sought to restore this inner balance with yoga and meditation coupled with my talents creatively as an artist and author. During these last few years I have never been so inspired to create because of my journey as I embraced cancer with love. Yes I embraced the spectre of cancer instead of running scared from it. It became my greatest teacher as a book of memoirs was written, Eclipse of Fate published by Inkwater Press in Portland- 2005, and a series of graphic art was created for a line of greeting cards-Graalqueen Art.

When I speak about alternative I want to emphasize that this did include conventional medicine. An oncologist in Portland, Dr. Mark Seligman worked with me and my acupuncturists and naturopath. In early 2003, he suggested using herceptin on a monthly basis( every 3 weeks) which I did for three years. I refused all drugs such as tamoxifen and femura, plus no pain killers.

When a stubborn series of rashes covered my upper back and front torso he referred me to a radiolgist, Dr. Christine Cha, who also worked with me and my vision for health. In January, 2005, a unique radiation experiment involved massive radiation for 5 weeks. It was so risky and one of a kind that 5 radiologists from two hospitals including the chief radiologist of Providence/ St. Vincents was on this program. It worked as the skin returned back to original health. I admit I am a risk taker, but the way I look at it what are my options otherwise? A two percent survival rate? I created my own statistics since there seems to be so little available to refer to in alternative cancer survival. It is time to share my story so others out there at least have options available to them when faced with the serious hurdles to overcome as survivors not victims of this disease.

This journey does not stop with one high point of health. It is a life long walk that requires loving yourself above all else and to live each day to the fullest. Ther will be ups and downs...it takes great willpower and courage to defeat your own demons of the soul. But the miracle path is foilled with wonder and amazing grace.

Contact me for questions or info at: graalquest@aol.com. Thanks, Barbara


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