I have learned that the importance of self acceptance and understanding will help to create a microcosm of wellness and balance from within. When we allow the negative opinions of others to influence the direction of our path, we can be led in a direction which creates inner turmoil versus inner peace and understanding. There is only one exact copy of each of us and that sets us apart with our unique individuality. We all have had numerous amounts of life interactions; some positive, some negative, some indifferent, but each of these interactions brings about a change in our thought process, even if it’s minuscule. Over time, these interactions can be triggered to reappear at some level.

"I AM NIQUEWEAR"

It is important to keep a balance within to handle the repercussions of past circumstances and situations, as at times, we can be our own worst enemy. I’ve never really thought that I could be in a position to help others,as so much of my life has been met with difficult choices and events, but it is in those times that I have found the most strength to keep fighting.

Cancer had a way of actually becoming the greatest positive-negative in my life. When faced with cancer, you have to make decisions that effect not only your life, but those around you. You have to reach down deep and understand what it is that you want from this. What is considered to you a “quality of life”, because that is so different to each and every one of us.

My individual treatment plan was dictated to me by my oncology team at Dana Faber. My first diagnosis ended with a complete, total left mastectomy, followed by months and multiple reconstructive surgeries, and it was during the reconstructive phase that my cancer came back. I then consulted with my oncology team again, and because it returned only 18 months later in the lymph nodes under the left arm, chemotherapy and radiation began. My passion for the medical use of cannabis in treatment is because it assisted me in my healing. It not only helped to lessen the side effects of anorexia and depression, but helped with insomnia and pain.

I feel that it is very important to understand your treatment plan and make sure that it is in your best interest. I did not totally understand all the dynamics of wellness until I attended the Annie Appleseed Project Conference this year in West Palm Beach, Florida. The preparation of all the vegan meals and the wealth of information regarding alternative therapy made me understand even more the importance of balance. For the weekend I spent with Ann Fonfa, Founder of the Project, and the incredible people who attended and presenters, I now have a stronger understanding of health and wellness.

I feel that people have the right to make an informed decision about their medical treatment. I understand that we all have different perspectives and ideas of what that is, but I am grateful that I have been led to a path of openness and wellness and that possibly my life of turmoil from internal pain and torture caused from insecurities and self doubt can assist even just one person on this path of enlightenment. I sincerely feel for me, this internal chaos ignited the growth of the cancer cells within me.

In the midst of another brutal bombing, in the world of hateful words and actions, I just hope that I can help another soul find internal peace. Cancer does not discriminate, hatred does not discriminate, fear does not discriminate: Find peace in your personal journey and learn to stand tall in the path put forth in front of you.

-Nique