Mind Over Body
Updated: Apr 8, 2021
The picture on the left has haunted me for years. It illuminates some of the darkest days I’ve ever experienced. The best way for me to let go is to post it and let it disappear into the universe.
Ten years ago today, after I completed my fourth week as a new hire at LinkedIn, I was diagnosed with stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I had cancer in my bones and most of my organs and though Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is the “good cancer,” I was told I may have waited too long. The symptoms I ignored were night sweats and incredibly itchy legs. I started my new role at LinkedIn with a heating pad in tow, due to the severe pain in my back that worsened as the cancer grew. Not a great way to make a first impression.
Fast forward a few weeks later, I wound up at Memorial Sloan Kettering with 104 fever, paralyzed with pain and told that my odds weren’t good. I had a five-year- old son and my family was preparing to make a very difficult decision. How did I miss the symptoms - the night sweats and itchy legs? We all have daily aches and pains that we ward off as nothing everyday. Wouldn’t you have missed the warnings too?
The next several weeks were dark. I had an important choice to make. I couldn’t let fear and exhaustion take me down. I wouldn’t allow my five-year-old to grow up without his mom. NOT A CHANCE.
I didn’t trust my doctors who wanted to pump me full of chemotherapy. I’m a holistic person. I had a short window to do research and learn alternative techniques to combat the chemo that was as dangerous as the cancer itself. It was during this time that I learned the power of alternative therapies and the science behind positive psychology and mindset shifting. I spent my days learning and consuming as much information as I could on holistic health and mindset transformation. I learned how to replace negative thoughts with new wording, mental pictures, activities and visions. I learned how to manifest and became obsessed with the power of positivity. I took my newfound knowledge to patients sitting in their chemo chair at Sloan Kettering’s chemo factory in New York City. I made them smile and held their hand. My prognosis didn’t immediately change but my mindset had.
My cancer was gone in 12 weeks.
I acknowledge that chemotherapy played a role in my remission but it was one part. I can still remember the line of doctors outside of my 11th floor hospital suite, entering one by one to shake my hand in disbelief. My cancer scans were lit up like an old Light Bright board when I entered Sloan Kettering and now three months later, my scans were black.
I’m sharing my experience because I think it exemplifies the importance of a positive mindset. There isn’t magic needed, just a disciplined approach to shifting your thinking. It’s critical to not become paralyzed by fear and limiting beliefs. It was my mindset that made me want to learn the step-by- step techniques in order to change my thought patterns. I’m a firm believer that the work I did and shared with others, helped create the space I needed to heal. My transformation was a miracle.
I hope this message creates hope for someone going through a tough time. Our minds are the most powerful tool we have. I’ve taken my negative experience and turned it into a positive by becoming a Certified Motivational and Mindset Coach. I offer support to people who want to release negative thought patterns and change their lives.
Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Instagram @positivelyjillinc and share your stories with me. Together we can shift our mindset, change our thinking and change our lives.