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Panic & PTSD Hypnotherapy Center San Diego



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DIANNE RUTH, CCH, PhD (619) 961-7500


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The above article written by Judie Keys appeared in "Vision Magazine," October 2005. A legible copy follows:

Moving Beyond the Trials of Breast Cancer

Judie Keys

It was spring of 2004 and I was looking forward to the change: I was moving from Denver to San Diego, but before I could indulge in the enjoyment of it all, there was one little problem. I had discovered a lump in my breast. I have always had cystic breasts, so when I found the lump I figured it was just a cyst. but there was a part of me--my intuition--that felt it could be something more. I decided to have it checked out.

My doctor looked at the lump and decided I should have a needle biopsy. He was fairly confident that it was simply some liquid that needed to be drained--nothing to be too concerned about. I, on the other hand had become fearful. the specialist performed a needle biopsy, the results being negative. I was pretty much home free, although my doctor wanted to see me once more for a follow-up.

All my life I've been very in tune with my body as I am a healer. As a hypnotherapist, medical intuitive, and Reiki Master, I usually know when something is wrong. Fear has always been a red flag for me. My doctor, however, thought I was just being negative; that my anxiety was not warranted. After all, statistics show that lumps do not usually become cancer.

One month later, and the lump hadn't changed--the biopsy came back negative once again. The doctor still didn't seem too alarmed, but felt we should investigate further. I was given the option of having a needle biopsy or a lumpectomy--the lumpectomy providing a quicker answer. Even as he was removing the lump, he said it didn't look like cancer. The next day I received the bad news.

My first thought was that I was going to die. The fact that it was small and that I had caught it early did little to quell my fears. In the months to follow, my emotions were all over the chart. Some days I felt positive, some days I surrendered to stages of deep depression. I thought, "Why did this have to happen to me? I don't deserve this."

I had to go in for another, much deeper surgery to clean around the edges, to get a biopsy on my sentinel node, and to make sure the cancer hadn't spread. The doctors explained that on a scale of one to four, I was a one. The cancer was small, and hadn't had time to spread. I was very fortunate that I went in when I did.

My fear of the surgery was in a way much scarier than having the disease. So, before the surgery, I prepared myself emotionally. I made the decision to be proactive in my treatment, requesting that I be able to listen to a healing hypnosis audiotape during my surgery. I also asked my doctor not to say anything negative during the process.

I learned in hypnosis school that negative thoughts from surgeons in the past had caused some people to have negative outcomes. I also carried my favorite crystal to aide my healing.

After the surgery, I awoke ready to go home. The nurses asked, "What are you doing awake?" To which I replied, "What do you mean?" They answered, "You're supposed to be asleep for another two hours." I later found out the quicker you come back the better.

I believe that along with my faith, the healing tape and crystal sped my recovery. I also used imagery and Emotional Freedom Techniques (a process I teach many of my clients), which helped me heal.

I was lucky; I only needed four rounds of chemotherapy. My doctor said once I had chemotherapy I would lose my hair within three weeks. I used herbs and aromatherapy to try to ward off the affects of the chemo.

I never realized how attached I was to my hair until I started to lose it. My hair stayed until the end of three weeks. It was very traumatic, but it was a great lesson. I found the beauty inside myself was much more important.

I would take a shower and clumps of my hair would fall into my hands. My partner cut her hair off so that she would understand what I had to go through. It was strange to look into the mirror and no longer recognize myself.

After my second chemotherapy session, I made the move to San Diego. I arrived in September, and endured my last two treatments while living in a hotel (not the most ideal conditions).

With each appointment the nausea worsened, but by October, I was relieved to be done. But then...I was informed that I would have to endure radiation for five days a week, for six weeks. That was another battle.

I thought by the time I completed my radiation, I would be back to my old self, but it actually took several months just to get my energy back to normal. I also found during this time that I as suffering from "chemo brain." It was hard to multi-task, my memory wasn't as it was before, and I was also in the midst of building a new practice in a new place. It all seemed so overwhelming.

The effects of my "chemo brain" have improved and it has now been over a year since my initial surgery. Every day I have gotten stronger and stronger by using acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic sessions, and my own hypnotherapy.

The most important thing is that I caught it early and made decisions that were based on fact. I spent time on the Internet researching my different options. I feel that the use of alternative therapies combined with the American Medical Association's recommendations is what saved my life. And today, I consider myself free of cancer, not just in remission.

You can reach Judie Keys, CCH at Healing Magic, Intl. by calling (858) 560-0557 [updated phone number] or going to



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The Healing Tree
Panic & PTSD Hypnotherapy Center San Diego

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