Our Community – Meet Nat

We are lucky enough to have an incredible tribe surrounding us at the clinic. Staff, clients, friends and family all with SO many inspiring stories to share. 

This is Nat. Nat has been visiting the clinic for over 2 years now. Nat visits intermittently to keep on top of her health and compliment other treatments necessary for healing.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on the 11 November 2017 at the age of 36.
I was shocked. I have no family history of breast cancer, I breast fed 4 out of my 5 sons, I had never smoked or drank alcohol, I ate well and exercised.  Yet, I found a little lump in my left breast. I was concerned so I went to my GP who referred me to get a mammogram and ultrasound. I got the results a few days later and my world was turned upside down. 

After the initial terror, tears and telling my loved ones, I was ready to fight the greatest battle of my life. I decided to have a left mastectomy almost immediately and then I started my four rounds of chemotherapy which I finished the day after my 37th birthday. 

My breast cancer journey did not stop there. Yes, my active cancer treatment had stopped. Yes, I had been declared cancer free. But I did not look or feel like a healthy human. I had lost all of my hair, I was having hot flashes constantly, I had ulcers in my mouth, I had put on 13kgs since diagnosis and my sleep was horrendous. All of which were the side effects from the chemotherapy. 

I was not going to settle for this being my new normal. I knew I needed to approach the healing process actively. This is when I found a love for Yin yoga, walking and caring for myself mentally and physically. I discovered  PH Clinic, where I was able to enjoy the benefits of alternative  treatments. I was able to have colonic hydrotherapy to cleanse my gut and weekly lymphatic drainage massages which helped drain the excess fluid my body had retained. I coupled the lymphatic drainage massage with an infrared sauna which helped with detoxifying my body and helped with my sleep. I also healed through chiropractic, kinesiology and a local functional nutritionist. All of these services together helped me through my post cancer active treatment journey. 

During this time I was keeping an online journal via my Instagram account. I found this outlet therapeutic for me to unpack the journey I was on and to make women aware that breast cancer does not discriminate against age, family history, race, gender or lifestyle. I was approached by the  preventative breast and ovarian cancer organisation Pink Hope to be a face of a new lipstick they were releasing to raise funds for more cancer research. I was excited to become a member of their community and through them, I was able to tell my story on a larger scale. I have since helped them host a getaway in Mudgee for those touched by breast cancer and have been invited to speak on their behalf in the Hunter Valley for  Girls Getaways. 

I have an incredible family and amazing friends who supported me so lovingly throughout my journey. They were my cheerleaders, lended a listening ear and were my voice of reason on difficult days. There is so much to be said for having a tribe of people who can love you through life and make you realise that love is not only an emotion but a verb, because of them I didn’t doubt my survival. I was going to get through it. I was strong enough. 

My motto before breast cancer was to “Live life on purpose” this did not change. Since my diagnosis I have travelled to Europe on my European Bucket list holiday with my husband where we celebrated our 17 year wedding anniversary last year in July. We also took our five amazing children on their USA bucket list holiday. Advice given to me by my oncologist at my first appointment was to plan a holiday for after treatment so you have something to look forward to. So that is exactly what my family did. 

Nicola Johnson

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