Let me start this blog by saying PLEASE book a dermatologist appointment to get a skin cancer screening asap! Over 9,500 people a day are diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States, but luckily the 5 year survival rate is 99.9% when detected early. A simple 30 minute visit once a year can make all the difference (even if it is a bit uncomfortable getting naked and having every inch of your skin searched). Here's what it was like having my first skin cancer screening, biopsies, and an excision; a few holistic and energetic practices I did to help my body heal; and the spiritual lessons I learned from it all!
ps. if you like to see medical stuff and don't mind a bit of blood, I show the whole healing progress of this mole > biopsy > stitches at the very end of this blog!
affiliate disclaimer: this blog contains affiliate links to books, products, and other resources I shared which may result in a small commission to me at no cost to you, but legally I have to say this. Anyways, back to the story....
This story starts last summer when I noticed a mole on my left forearm that would partially turn red whenever I was in the sun or working out. Strike one. It was also larger than an eraser, strike two, and had irregular borders...strike three.
That was 3 out of the 5 ABCDE's of melanoma present in this one mole. With me being white and a smidge Irish, I have quite a few moles and freckles which makes me an even higher risk for skin cancer. Combine that with my blonde hair and blue eyes...I didn't like the odds and knew I needed it checked immediately.
Unfortunately, this was around the time my wife was injured at work and lost her health insurance and I just turned 26 meaning I was no longer covered under my parents'. So I had to wait until we found coverage and then another six months on a waitlist to see a dermatologist.
(side note: learn from my mistake, don't wait if possible. Book an appointment today for a skin cancer screening. Most insurances cover all or at least part of your visit. There may also be walk up clinics in your area. Do some google research and get your skin checked!)
I have to be honest with you, those six months for waiting were filled with anxiety for me. Even as a mindset and emotions coach who literally teaches people for a living how to shift their thoughts and regulate their nervous system, I was struggling mentally.
Most nights I would fall asleep with the worst case scenario playing in my mind. Every day I had to lean on the tools I share like EFT Tapping, journaling, breath work, and just straight up faith in the Universe's plan. There was nothing I could do, but wait...which gave me the perfect opportunity to try all the holistic and energetic healing techniques I have been reading about for years.
Holistic Approaches I Used:
disclaimer: I am not a doctor or health care provider. These approaches I share below should be used alongside medical treatment and with permission from your provider. Please do you own research and use discernment for what is best for you.
First, I focused on the most common holistic approach - food! Anything with extra antioxidants to boost my immune system I ate daily like blueberries, cacao, etc. Foods with lots of sugar, alcohol, seed oils, or anything else that increases inflammation I avoided as much as possible. This could be a whole blog in itself, but wanted to mention it and remind you that food is indeed medicine. After all what you eat, you become! There is tons of research online for different foods to heal your body with that I highly recommend you look into, but the one I really wanted to share was garlic!
I found some studies suggesting raw garlic, particularly the allium in it, can boost your immune system and inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. Allium is also used in the popular scar cream Mederma which gave me even more faith in it to heal my skin. So every morning before my cup of coffee, I cut up a clove, waited 10 minutes (to help the allium gain potency), and swallowed chunks of it whole. I promise, you don't even taste it if taken like a pill, but you could also try hiding it in honey or fruit juice like I've seen others do online! This is also great for cold season or anytime you need a little immunity boost.
Second, I switched my skin and hair care products to natural options. It just makes the most sense to me if your skin is creating atypical cells to not put chemicals on it that could create more. This is something I have been doing slowly over the years (see this blog for some of the swaps I already made), but finally changed it ALL - face wash, shampoo bars, lotions, I even started using cinnamon as bronzer!
Coincidentally (or maybe divine intervention), while all this was happening, my mother in law, who had no idea about my upcoming skin cancer screening or me switching all my products, gave me a bunch of high quality oils like jojoba, pomegranate, and red raspberry seed oil. After some googling, I found studies supporting the use of pomegranate extract to prevent and even cure some cancers so I lathered it on my mole every night and visualized it healing as I did, but more on that later.
Having these two practices every morning and evening, taking raw garlic and rubbing pomegranate oil on my mole , became like a sacred ritual between my skin and I. It was a reminder to shift my thoughts towards health and send extra love to that part of my body every day. This is what some call quantum or energetic healing.
Energetic Approaches I Used:
another disclaimer: what I am about to share is a new, but promising field of research still being studied on how powerful the human mind is to be its own placebo and heal the body through thought, meditation, visualization, and similar techniques. While there is no harm or possible drug interactions with these techniques, still use your discernment. As I say in my courses, "take what you love, leave what you don't, but try everything at least once!"
As I mentioned above, these holistic approaches became a ritual and a reminder to me every day to visualize my body healthy and whole. Before rubbing the oil on my skin, I would hold the bottle in both hands and imagine white light from above coming through my crown chakra, down my arms, and into the bottle. As I dropped it on my skin, I would imagine that white light spreading over the whole area cleansing it from disease and giving it the information it needed to heal. Once finished I would say thank you to the pomegranate plant this medicine came from, to my body for its ability to heal, and to the divine for supporting my desires.
Similarly, with the raw garlic (and all food that I eat now), I imagine a white light cleansing it, amplifying its good qualities, and those being infused into my body as I eat. I know, this sounds a bit out there and extra...well until you understand how quantum physics and the placebo effect works in the body.
You probably have already heard of the placebo effect when it comes to drug research and clinical trials. One group gets the medicine and the other a sugar pill or something else inactive without their knowledge to test how effective the drug is. But weirdly, a lot of people receiving just sugar see results sometimes even better than the those taking the drugs simply because they believed every day taking that pill would heal them. Their brain, more so their belief, gave them a positive outcome without any actual intervention!
You can learn more about it in You Are The Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza or watch the documentary Heal on Netflix or Amazon Prime for even more powerful stories of humans defying the odds and creating medical miracles with their minds. I promise, it is worth the couple of bucks and you will be left shocked at what your own body is capable of. And if you do ever need to recover from something, you'll already have the belief in your own ability to overcome anything and a few ideas of how to help your body in the process.
We all have this power inside us to manifest healing and glowing health (and actually, anything! But you can listen to Manifested It! The Course for more on that). It is just a matter of consistently shifting your thoughts, evoking the emotions, and taking aligned action with the desired outcome.
Trust me, I understand how hard it can feel to do this especially when it comes to your health and body. I know how the brain likes to play out worse case scenario in an attempt to prepare us and keep us safe. And I know how many "manifestation experts" online say whatever you focus on will expand just causing more anxiety about how your thoughts will play out in this physical realm. I plan to talk more about this soon, but for now - remember your positive intentions, even if just for a moment, are more powerful than any fearful thought that comes up.
Here's few other energetic based practiced that I also utilized during these six months of waiting and recovering from my excision:
Every morning while I got ready for the day, I would say affirmations to support my health and healing process. Honestly though, it was really to support my mindset. Our brains love repetition and I found myself automatically responding to the fear based thoughts with these affirmations after a few weeks of saying them in the mirror daily!
Every night while I was lying awake full of worry about my mole, I would distract my mind with visualization. Again, I would imagine that white light spreading over my body and eventually concentrating it on my arm. With every exhale I would think words like "heal", "protect", and later on once I had stitches in my arm words like "mend", "fuse", "bond", "strengthen", etc. At times, I could even feel a tingling in my arm because as they say energy flows where intention goes.
Speaking of sleeping habits, I also placed healing crystals such as garnet, blue goldstone, copper, selenite, etc under my pillow every night as well as listened to 174 Hz healing frequencies on Spotify as I fell asleep. Neither of these practices have much scientific evidence behind them, but again they were reminders to send my body love and had no possible side effects so why not do them?!
During this time, I also discovered breath work as a way to calm my mind and a few studies suggest boost immunity and healing. If you struggle sitting still for meditation or visualization, I highly recommend trying breath work (or EFT Tapping) instead. It takes a lot of focus to match the breathing patterns and helps clear the mind of all else. Also, it is fun to see how fast you improve holding your breath for longer and longer!
In particular, I really loved this video on YouTube because of the breath holds after each round. As I sat there in stillness, I would place my hands over my heart and stomach and spend the :50 seconds without air to send love to my body. I would thank her for all she does for me. Say how proud I am over her for all she's overcome. Ask if she needed anything.
This one practice I believe had the most profound difference not just in my healing, but my self love journey. For that those few minutes every morning, I felt at peace and deeply grateful for my body even though moments before I was terrified she was creating dangerous cells.
Speaking of those dangerous cells, here's what ended up happening at my skin cancer screening after waiting so long for the appointment and a few spiritual lessons I learned along the way.
The dermatologist's assistant gave me a paper thin blue gown to change into and I was asked about my family history, if I ever had a sunburn or used tanning beds, and a few more similar questions. Then the dermatologist came in with a smile and little device that looked like a magnifying glass to look closely at each mole for possible signs of concern.
After about 15 minutes, she found one mole on my back to biopsy and told me the one of my arm I had been worrying about for months "didn't bother her, but patients tend to have a six sense about this so if you are concerned we can test it". Excuse me, but WHAT?!?! It was changing colors, irregular borders, and bigger than 6mm..it had 3 of the 5 ABCDE's of melanoma and she wasn't concerned?!
Honestly, I had a freak out moment in my head at this point. "What if she is right and I have been worried about this for no reason. What if I am crazy?!". Before I could even formulate a response, my voice from inside me (what she calls my sixth sense, but I know is my intuition) spoke up. "Well I am already here so we might as well test it!" I said.
She agreed and injected me with lidocaine, cut away a bit of each mole, placed a bandage on top, and told me results would be back in a week...great, more waiting! But at this point, I was already at peace. I have done all I could do to prepare for this and it's in God's hands now...and She always has my back. At least the appointment is over and I don't have to lay bare ass up as they cut away at my back. And luckily, the healing wasn't bad from the biopsy sites. Just a bit of weird burning and tingling for a few hours after and soreness the following days.
Finally, eight days later got a call from their office. The call I had been visualizing and also dreading for months. Every day I imagined them saying "Hi! Is this Tara? I have your results. All Clear!" and the moment was finally here. As I answered it, I knew this giant weight of anxiety was about to be lifted from my chest or my life was about to completely change. "Good news!..." she said before giving me the results. Out of three sites tested, only one came back atypical enough for further intervention aka complete removal. It was the one of my arm that she didn't initially want to test. I was right all along.
Spiritual Lessons I Learned 1/3:
Trust your fucking intuition. Always.
Imagine if I listened to the dermatologist who told me "it didn't bother her". Another year would have gone by with that severely atypical mole growing on my arm possibly into something more dangerous. Another year of worrying about it and all the damage that stress could cause the rest of my body.
That massive amount of anxiety I was experiencing was my intuition, and I also believe spirit guides, screaming at me to take action! I am so grateful they did. I am so grateful they spoke up and advocated for me when I was to panicked to think. I am so grateful for this experience deepening my trust in my connection to the divine and my own body.
But the lesson wasn't learned yet..I find the Universe likes to scream "BONUS!" like my fitness trainer on the tv does at the end of a workout just to make sure I really embodied it.
During that phone call, I also booked my next appointment for my excision. They explained how according to medical standards a 3mm border around the original mole would be taken to make sure they get clean margins and I would require stitches internally and externally. I was so excited and relieved to have my moles come back benign, I wasn't fully paying attention and booked the procedure for three weeks later.
Later that day a thought out of nowhere popped in my head. "What are internal stitches made out of?" I have had an excision before for a cyst in my other arm years ago and remember one of my internal, dissolvable stitches being rejected from my arm. Back then as a teenager, I didn't think much of it and just pulled it out. My surgeon said it was normal to happen and not to worry about it. I now realize my body rejected it because it saw it as a threat and something that shouldn't be there.
This area on my left arm was already creating cells that shouldn't be there. It didn't feel right to put a manmade material especially a polymer in my body with the intention for it to dissolve!? So I called the office and asked what my other options are which began the 20 minute battle of advocating for myself against their medical expertise.
You see, there's a more natural and less strong option for stitches called Chromic Gut. It is made from the intestines of bovine animals and dissolves in 7-14 days. The classic polymer option is much stronger and lasts a lot longer. Because it was my arm which obviously get's used a lot, my dermatologist fought me on the natural option. She told me that my wound could break back open or leave a nasty scar. She told me about her 20+ years experience and never having a patient make this request before. After standing my ground and telling her multiple times "I understand your concern, but I am trusting my intuition yet again" she agreed to order the Chromic Gut sutures and I signed the waiver.
That was a few week's ago now and I am happy to report the external stitches have been removed, the internal ones are probably all dissolved at this point, and you can barely see a scar. What was once a gapping hole in my arm held together by thread is now just a tiny red line marking where my body performed an every day miracle - it healed like it never even happened. Even my dermatologist was shocked how good it looked the day the stitches came out. The assistant said "well, of course, it healed. She is young!"
That is partly true...I am only 26 years old and live a fairly healthy lifestyle. I have those in my favor for sure. But I know it healed so well because that is what all of our bodies are designed to do when we believe they are capable of it and give them the right tools to do it!
Spiritual Lesson I Learned 2/3:
Our own bodies are pure magic and proof that anything is possible.
Can we just go back to the fact a month ago, a scalpel was used to cut an inch long incision in my arm and I had to be tied back together with threads. I couldn't even lift my coffee mug or put my own hair in a ponytail for a week and today I held 15lbs in that arm during my workout without pain.
Logically, I have no idea how my body did it. I didn't have to tell any of my cells what to do or when. They just did it while I watched Disney movies and played Wylde Flowers on my Nintendo Switch. Sure, I visualized and said a few affirmations during this time, but it would have healed even if I didn't. I am sure you have had tons of cuts and scraps maybe even surgeries your body has recovered from. Not to mention all the things it does all day for you like pump blood, breathe in oxygen, digest food, make new cells, and all without your conscious focus....the human body is extraordinary!
Spiritual Lesson I Learned 3/3:
Be gentle with yourself especially when dealing with physical or emotional pain.
All of that being said in my previous point, your body does so much physically and handles so much emotionally everyday so be kind to yourself. Give yourself as much time and space you need to feel and heal. If you are feeling tired or just "off", allow yourself to rest. If you are going through a major life change or stress, it's okay if motivation and productivity aren't as high. If you are mentally not feeling 100%, give yourself the same care and love as if it was physical.
I didn't realize during those six months of waiting how much worrying and stressing was draining me. The week after I got the call with my results, I noticed how much happier I was throughout the day and how much better I was sleeping at night. My creativity and motivation was back after feeling in a slump for months. It's like someone flipped a switch and suddenly I was able to access all my energy again!
During that waiting time though, I was really getting down on myself for not doing more and my dwindling emotional capacity for anything. I knew my body and mind was dealing with a lot and even preach to my clients this advice too, but in the moment I didn't realize how much it was affecting me. So be gentle and kind to yourself always. You endure so much and deserve to rest too.
And that's my story of having a severely atypical mole even though I am young, healthy, never been in a tanning bed, and have no family history! It can happen to anyone, so please yet again, make an appointment to get a skin cancer screening today. Tell your loved ones to do the same.
If you read this far and took anything from this blog I hope it's this: your body is capable of so much so please listen to it and love it as much as you can!
As scary and drawn out this experience was for me, I am so grateful for it. I have never felt so connected to my body or the Universe/God/Source. My trust in my own ability to overcome anything and faith in something out there supporting me has been strengthened through it all. And hopefully, anyone who reads my story remembers how powerful their own body and mind is to heal!
Thanks for reading and I would LOVE to hear your thoughts, experience, or anything else in the comments! As for me, I'll be looking up all the natural sunscreen options for summer and hopefully can find a more natural self tanner cause this girl will be avoiding the sun and getting annual check ups for the rest of her life!
Until the next blog....
⚠️WARNING: If you don't like wounds or medical stuff, stop scrolling!⚠️