Cancer, it turns out, is a call for introspection – and a call for support. Since I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer two years ago, I have learned that living with cancer pushes you sometimes gently, sometimes urgently, towards growth in all areas of life. I started out by learning all about how what I put in my body and even what I put on my body has a powerful effect on the course of the cancer. I googled cancer and everything I could think of that might nurture my body back to health. The learning about the depth and breadth of healing has been a mighty blessing. My thoughts are not ‘OMG I have this horrible thing called cancer, poor me’, but rather ‘Holy Cow – the whole Universe is about healing!’. Books and documentaries and websites and people knowledgeable about healing have come into my awareness with great ease. We are not victims of disease striking out of the blue, but much more powerful beings with so much at our disposal to help.

Indeed, the cancer journey has brought many gifts into my life, many of which are documented in this blog. About a year ago I started a support group for those who choose to heal naturally, without chemo and radiation. This is Asheville, after all, and I figured there were probably a lot of us out there making a similar choice about their health – and there are 160 of us now! [Find us at and on facebook at] I’ve invited all manner of people who help the body regain balance and harmony to come and speak to us: energy workers and herbalists and doctors and qigong teachers and the like. We have learned that healing from cancer requires a total MIND / BODY / SPIRIT approach. My story is on and was even picked up last year by the University of East London where I was asked to be part of their qualitative study of people who chose not to use conventional treatment. I have been taking action in every way I have been able to so far, but for the next steps, I need help.

The ovarian cancer seems to be gone, but there was a blip on my right kidney two years ago that has since grown into a tumor, and so last month out went my right kidney. That is a total of seven organs now they’ve removed because of cancer. Obviously, I have more work to do. The challenge is that I am living on a miniscule social security pension ($813/mo) and I have no funds for much of anything beyond organic foods, and even that is a stretch. I have a wish list of things that have been shown to be effective in helping the body move the cancer on out, but I simply cannot afford them. Hence The Big Ask.

About 15 years ago I went on a retreat for people in crisis. In one of the exercises they blindfolded us all and led us out into a big field where they had constructed a maze out of rope. They put our hands on the rope and told us to navigate the maze holding onto the rope until we found our way out. We were allowed to raise our hand if we had a question at which time one of the leaders would come over and respond to our whispered question. So I moved blindly through the maze, determined to find my way out, but no luck. From time to time I would hear “Michael is out! Ellen is out!” but I was still lost in the maze. I stubbornly kept feeling my way through the maze – holding on as tightly to my independence as to the rope – until eventually most of the people were out. I finally raised my hand to ask for help. And almost immediately heard “Julie is out!” It turned out there was no exit – the only way out was to ask for help. The only way.

This is a biggie for me, asking for help.

I know the only way out of the cancer maze for me is through building my immune system and loving my body back to health. I do not fear cancer and I have no intention of “fighting” it – of setting up a war within my body complete with victors and victims. Instead, for me cancer is a loving wake-up call to fully care for myself in mind, body, and spirit, to dig deep and make choice after healing choice …

The body knows how to heal itself – it can regain balance and harmony when properly cared for. And all around us are sources of healing: early morning sunlight; fresh, clean air; warmth; clean, pure water; the incredible healing power of so many things growing on the earth whether consumed as food, essential oils, teas or tinctures. Indeed the appearance of cancer in my life may have been for the express purpose of waking up to all in the great web of life that is for us, supporting us, embracing us.

Some of the things nature offers for our healing come with a price tag. A FEW EXAMPLES: Warmth helps healing cancer: the healing warmth of a far (or near) infrared sauna (shown to be especially good for cancer) is $40/session. Fresh organic produce I can get year round from Mother Earth Produce ( A wonderful bin of their produce is $27.00 (or you can donate any amount directly to them in my name. It turns out that the essential oils of both frankincense ($96.71) and myrrh ($85.20) are powerful tools in healing, cancer in particular. (The wise men apparently knew what they were doing!) Bee propolis is another powerful healing tool. I am working as often as possible with Dr. Lisa Lichtig doing Plant Spirit Medicine. There is an abundance of alternative practitioners in Asheville who could be of great help in my healing journey. I have made great progress, but much healing remains to be done.

I am standing here, hands on the rope, looking for my way out of the maze. If you are moved to help me find my way out, you can simply send a ‘cash gift’ through PayPal to Or you could pay a provider directly – a contribution in my name to any of the following providers: for organic veggies for Plant Spirit Medicine treatment for appointments with my primary care doctor for bee propolis and other bee-related products as well as organic veggies for, among other benefits, helpful when dancing with cancer and post-surgery hiccups

  • Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
  • Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
  • Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
  • Increase joint flexibility.
  • Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
  • Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
  • Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
  • Reduce spasms and cramping.

You can also donate through my gofundme account, but that takes out a chunk where PayPal gifts don’t.

You might also choose to donate to The Carla Rose Foundation, the only non-profit I have found to provide support to people choosing to heal cancer naturally.

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Julie Parker

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