I have created the Vista Natural Wellness Center as a place for all things healthy for body mind and spirit. Anything we do here is to support health and wellness whether it’s one of our interesting workshops, relaxing yoga classes, thermographic imaging, products in our store and much more.
I left the corporate world of Consumer Products Marketing (which was very good to me) to enter the world of natural health after becoming a vegetarian and seeing the impact it made on my health. I wanted to do something to help people live healthier lives, not help target and sell them products that would make them “sick.” I learned about and experienced Thermography and became a Certified Clinical Thermographer in 2009 through the American College of Thermology (ACCT). In 2012 I became a Certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, whose program is backed by the State University of New York (SUNY) with continuing education credits. I proudly opened the Vista Natural Wellness Center in June 2012 and it has been 5 ½ years since that day.
It seems as there was a plan for me ahead and when I opened the Center I didn’t realize what is was…yet.
In October of 2012, I had my own annual full body thermography done, as I had each year since 2009. Because I had it done previously, the interpreting doctor could compare the 2012 results to previous sessions. The report came back with many worrisome findings since the previous thermography sessions. Phrases like “developing pathology cannot be ruled out,” among other not so good news. I was recommended to see a doctor for clinical evaluation and to retest in 3 months.
Because I was going through something extremely chronically stressful at the time, I put the report aside and thought I would deal with it later. Because of this stressful situation I also did not go for my typical annual physical, and as I started to feel progressively worse physically, I chalked it up to stress. I started to become very tired, after doing basically nothing. I was having visual migraine auras and was seeing other visual disturbances. I had no appetite. I was paler than the whitest piece of paper. This was going on for more than two years after my thermography in 2012. I kept making excuses for why these things were happening, even after the stressful event in my life resolved. I kept feeling worse and worse.
Then in February of 2015, I started seeing things in my vision that I couldn’t ignore. A trip to the ophthalmologist followed by her immediate referral to a retina specialist and I was diagnosed with a retinal hemorrhage. The doctor asked me if I was injured in any way recently, which I wasn’t. He then wrote me a script for a physical to diagnose for: hypertension, diabetes and/or connective tissue disorder because these were the next most common reasons for a retinal hemorrhage.
I found a new primary care doctor and scheduled a full physical for March 9th. During the routine exam he felt my abdomen and it was as if he was spending a really long time in that area. He then told me he wanted to send me for an ultrasound the next morning as my entire abdomen was rock hard.
The next morning they called and said to come in the office, they cancelled the ultrasound. The doctor sat me down and showed me my bloodwork that the lab immediately sent back. In fact the lab called the doctor’s office after the fax to make sure they received it. Among many other things, my white blood cell count was 240,000. The high end of the normal range is usually 10,000. My hemoglobin was low at 8.8. There were many other problems. The lab had written on the report “Disease of poor prognosis.” The doctor sent me immediately over to Hackensack University Medical Center and said he had called them and they were expecting me. He said not to even go home, go straight there. He thought I had a serious case of leukemia, based on the way the blood work presented.
That evening at the hospital I had a bone marrow biopsy which ultimately led to a diagnosis of Stage 4 Mantle Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was now a cancer patient with all that goes with it.
In my next series of posts I’ll take you through my experience as a cancer patient and beyond. I will give the spoiler that my healthy lifestyle contributed to the fact that I am sitting here today writing this to you and even more committed than ever to providing you with the information, products and services that will give you a healthy lifestyle.
And if I can leave you with this one last point for this blog post – DO NOT put off your medical screening tests and ACT on the results if they require further follow up or testing. I could’ve saved myself a lot of heartache and treatment if I only followed this advice.
I look forward to sharing with you my journey and being of service to you. Stay tuned for my next blog post.
In gratitude and health –