Written by Cris Gabriel
I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer on May 5, 2016 at the age of 45. I am so grateful that I survived cancer and my heart is full of joy for all of the support I received from my family and community during my cancer journey. When I was in my treatment, I suffered terribly from painful side effects and was absolutely overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. With my will to survive, I reached out for support within my community. I found Doane House Hospice in Newmarket and Hope House in Aurora. The activities and programming offered through them were my saving grace. I went daily and regularly participated in yoga classes and meditation and art therapy sessions along with Reiki sessions and Thai Yoga Massage Therapy. I also attended the many wellness activities and workshops they offer for cancer patients and survivors. I found that I needed to keep myself active – physically, mentally and emotionally. The combination of these activities helped so much to manage the pain I was suffering and taught me to live in the moment and appreciate every day. I feel I am healing and getting stronger day by day.
The connection and compassion I received from my support group made me realize what truly makes me happy and what will contribute to my continual healing. I need a connection to others and believe that when we practice self-care, self-love and self-compassion, we create a greater connection to our own self. When our body is healthy, free from pain and of calm mind we can then contribute to our wellbeing and healthier relationships with our family, friends, and community. This led me to obtain my Thai Yoga Massage and Yoga Instructor designations. I want to share and encourage self-care, self-love and self-compassion practices with my community. I believe that everyone needs a source of healing every day: physically, emotionally and mentally. Since finding my new path, I have left my previous job and choose to be happy and healthy practicing and teaching yoga and offering Thai Yoga Massage. My passion of giving back to my community is one of my heart desires and I will continue to volunteer at Hope House and Dragonfly Wellness Retreat. I feel so fortunate to have the most rewarding job and volunteer work to look forward to every day.
My generosity to give back, the joy and love I share and my deep connection to my clients through a loving and kind touch is what makes me feel gorgeous.