Editor’s Note: We know Amy personally. She is a harpist who has a website which is full of resources to help you “Awaken to Yourself” through music, videos, journals, photos, insights and spiritual connection. She had already been involved in the cancer world when she produced a cd of music to help cancer patients relax, which could help them on their recovery. Then one day she was diagnosed with breast cancer. As her friend, we went on her cancer journey through prayer and reading her updates. As you will see she is a remarkable woman with a unique and interesting perspective on breast cancer. She has already put a lot of her ideas and also a blog on her website AmyCamie.com, so we appreciate her compiling this article for “Beyond Sports” on STLSportsPage.com, and we hope it helps someone. Please pass it on if you know anyone with breast cancer– or really any type of disease.
A Sacred Journey with Love
By Amy Camie
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2010, it felt like a terrible cosmic joke. On one level I was embarrassed, having spoken to cancer support groups for years on “Vibrational Awareness and The Healing Power of Music;” how could I “walk my talk” about energy alignment if I had cancer? Why didn’t my vibrational tools prevent this from happening? It didn’t take long for me to see the beauty in what was unfolding.
The first email went out to friends and family, reading in part:
Ironically, even though the ‘unknown’ factor is a bit scary, there is a deep sense of peace surrounding all of this. I know that a large part of my purpose for being on the planet is to create and share my music with people going through the cancer journey and I also know in my heart that part of me needs to personally experience this journey in order to be able to say “been there, done that.” There is so much beauty surrounding this process already and I’m very clear that one of my main lessons during all of this is to learn how to receive love for myself. So, from my perspective, this is a sacred journey back to myself so that I can more fully share my love with the world.
Shortly after my diagnosis, I knew it was an opportunity to grow more fully into who I Am. From the beginning, my journey was never about fighting or battling cancer but rather about love, compassion and unification within myself. The night I shaved my hair, after my second round of chemotherapy, I had a vision of a series of photographs that captured the essence of who I AM, beyond my experiences, without any of the layers of protection I had come to depend upon as my identity. Photographer, Julie Enstall, immediately felt the power of this expression and the two pictures in this article are part of my I Am journey: http://www.amycamie.com/i-am-photos.html
With each new day came the opportunity to learn more about myself through the unique experiences a journey with cancer offers. I’d like to share a few of the Life Lessons that continue to influence me today; perhaps they will offer a fresh perspective for you or a loved one walking a difficult journey.
I Am…STRONG – It’s okay to have my own belief system.
When we hear the word CANCER, an immediate reaction is often one of fear and the need to ‘fight it.’ However, the words fight and battle felt in direct opposition to what my body was trying to tell me. I had lived from a place of fear long enough. I made a conscious choice to walk my journey from a place of love.
I have the choice to choose how to live my life.
I could choose to be angry and upset that my body ‘did this to me’ or I could choose to listen deeply to what my body was trying to tell me. I now had the opportunity to develop a new language of communication with my body. With every test, surgery, drug, acupuncture treatment, massage, meal, meditation, my body was changing and it was up to me to listen.
It’s important to take time for myself.
In the beginning my diagnosis was an “excuse” to begin reversing my pattern of putting others first. The “excuse” quickly transformed into conscious loving choices of self-care. It started by my willingness to simply slow down and believe I was worthy.
Judgments and assumptions restrict possibilities.
As we waited for my genetic test results, the choices were on the table: mastectomy, double mastectomy, lumpectomy, hysterectomy. Wow, I never imagined I could actually choose any of them! After all, my breasts are directly connected to my femininity, my ability to nurture, my beauty as a woman, or so I thought. Such a story I had created around my breasts, such judgments I carried, and in less than 15 minutes – poof – all the stories and judgments were gone, because they were simply that – stories and judgments. This experience shed light on many of the judgments I held about myself and others. My heart opened in ways I could never have imagined.
Be open to love and allow it to flow freely.
I was adopted as an infant and created such a story about “being given away” that I didn’t trust anyone, including myself. The paradox – I wanted to please everyone so they’d love me but I wasn’t able to receive that love because of the wall of protection I’d created. Somewhere in my past I intertwined the meanings of the words:
1. Vulnerable – without adequate protection
2. Open –not closed or locked, allowing access to the inside.
As I explored the stories I had created to protect myself from feeling vulnerable, the less attached I felt to other people’s perceptions or judgments. There was a confidence and inner strength growing within me. Now I could see, feel, know, and trust that it was safe to be open and receive love. My protective shield of fear began transforming.
From day one, I knew my perspective on a cancer journey was a bit different than most and was inspired to document and journal each step. All of my journal entries, resources, videos, and photos are on my website to help others. Below are a few direct links to explore – I hope they offer you or a loved one additional support:
My Cancer Resources: http://www.amycamie.com/mycancerresources.html
A detailed overview of resources that include doctors, treatment centers, body/mind/spirit support, a personal routine that helped me through chemotherapy and radiation, and more
“The Magic Mirror” CD: http://www.amycamie.com/magicmirrorreflections.html
This music has been shown through QEEG pilot studies to increase brainwave function and support the immune system. I listened to it twice a day to relax, sleep and heal.
Resource Videos: http://www.amycamie.com/resourcevideos.html
A few videos about choosing chemotherapy, snack foods, easy way to tie scarves and more
“Loving Life…all of it – A Walk with Cancer, Compassion and Consciousness” – Ebook
A book about living life fully from a place of love – “This book is a gem in the midst of chaos, confusion and fear. It offers readers renewed hope and inspiration regardless of their life circumstances.”
Cancer Care Package Ideas: http://www.amycamie.com/cancercarepackage.html
A list of items often helpful to cancer patientsThe unique experiences and Life Lessons learned through my journey with cancer were profound. The nine months between my first diagnosis, lumpectomy, six rounds of chemotherapy and 33 radiation treatments became a sacred re-birthing process as I walked each day, one moment at a time. A 2nd diagnosis two years later offered the opportunity for even deeper connections and insights as I chose a right mastectomy (no reconstruction) and total hysterectomy.
We each walk our own path in life and often that path is filled with challenges, fears and uncertainties. What I’ve learned is that I AM not my experiences; I AM so much more, and so are you! May these inspirational “I Am…” videos offer a sense of peace, joy, comfort, and love on your journey: http://www.amycamie.com/i-am-photos.html
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me: http://www.amycamie.com/contactme.html
Photo Credits: Head shot: Ken Calcaterra; I Am photos were taken by Julie Enstal
Other Resources for Breast Cancer:
American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer.html
Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Resources: https://ww5.komen.org/uploadedFiles/_Komen/Content/About_Breast_Cancer/Tools_and_Resources/Fact_Sheets_and_Breast_Self_Awareness_Cards/BreastCancerResources.pdf
To find out more about the Gratitude Workbook Click Here!