Come back to you!

Today we want to share with you the life story of an inspiring, brave, life-loving woman. She is Juliana Cadavid, who brings her light to the Healing Presents community. We invite you to meet her @jucadavidmontoya, and to identify how these Body-Mind therapies helped to facilitate her process, strengthening her with more serenity and optimism. 

Because our priority is to help you find those tools that bring you more strength, peace and tranquility. Find yours at @healingpresents; practice it, enjoy it and adopt it as a healing gift.

Keep scrolling down and get to know Juliana´s experiences and process during her cancer journey. 

Juliana, tell us a little bit about your process.

Hi, I’m Juliana Cadavid Montoya, I’m 31 years old, and I hope this little part of my life can be a support in your process or to understand a little of what a loved one may be going through.

Being honest and it may sound a little strange or perhaps absurd, for me having had cancer allowed me to really know myself, it helped me to realize the way I was treating myself, everything I thought about myself and to know who was around me for love, it also brought into my life people who reminded me that in life we are not really alone, there is always something that in one way or another supports us and we must trust that it will be for our greatest benefit, even if we do not understand the reason at the time, as it happened to me. 

Today I can say that I am a colon cancer survivor, an adenocarcinoma that lodged in the right side of my colon in the ascending and part of the transverse, I had to undergo surgery from which I did not need a colostomy, but I did need 6 months of chemotherapy. 

When I was told, I had cancer I did not feel that I was going to die or that everything was going to end, instead I felt disappointed, as if I had failed in something so simple which was to take care of myself, I remember asking everyone to forgive me for being sick, I did not want to worry anyone, I did not want to depend on anyone, I did not want to be a burden, I felt really guilty. 

I have always been blessed with a family that has been looking out for me and this situation was no exception, despite the fears, doubts and sadness they had and felt, they were there despite my discomfort, pain, bad mood, rudeness and silence. Despite having family and friends, in the end, I felt very lonely, lost and even doubting the purpose of my existence, I remember that the day before each chemo I would write to my cousin, my best friend and my best friend telling them that I was very afraid, I really did not expect their words to solve what I felt or take away that feeling, I just needed to say it and that in a way freed me to prepare myself for what happened in the next 8 days. 

In my process I never had information from any support group of people with the same diagnosis, however, through my family I managed to meet a survivor with a different diagnosis, which was of great support and help for me, besides the psychological therapy, by talking to her I understood my task with cancer, regardless if the chemo worked or not, I had always been focused on others, on making things as good as possible for others, neglecting myself, giving love to the world, without giving love to me, you can imagine the kind of love I was giving, conditioned and dependent. So, I decided to focus on all those situations and feelings I was ignoring, how badly I was treating myself and how much I had neglected my own existence. 

What did you learn the most during this journey?

Very surely if I had not looked for alternatives outside the western medical world, I would not have realized that what I really needed to heal was inside me, I learned not to make plans or long term promises, now I prefer to count only with the day I am living and not to postpone those plans or promises, we really have no certainty of how long we have to live, this also applies to those who are not sick.

I learned to love myself a little more, because the healing process still continues, also to give me my spaces and my time, despite the good and not so good days I learned that each one comes with its own rhythm and learning. Also, to express my feelings, not to let a “I love you” or a “I miss you” slip by.

Remember that even if you are not being productive for the world (working) you are being productive for yourself, we need to rest, we are always connected or busy to realize how we are, not everything is work and others. With this I also learned to constantly ask myself and from sincerity to be able to recognize if I was well or regular and give myself a break.

What helped you the most to strengthen and calm you down?

Going back to meditation helped me a lot, knowing Healing Presents was honestly very special, I always prepared myself the day before, I listened to the meditations and even the music during the application of chemo and in the following days when I felt that I could not go on, I looked for breathing exercises, I also painted mandalas and walked barefoot in the sleeve.

I loved the mint essence for nausea, it was more effective for me than the pills they prescribed, also because due to the type of chemo I could not consume ice or anything cold. 

I also followed my best friend’s advice, I dedicated myself to look for encouraging phrases and I made colored notes to paste them on the bathroom mirror, the fridge, the door of my closet, every time I realized that I was with many negative thoughts I dedicated time to read the phrases that really calmed the fear and frustration I felt.  

I would write myself long letters, which a year later I reread and was grateful for.

If you could give an advice to someone going through a similar process, what would you recommend? 

In spite of the diagnosis, in spite of what the doctors tell you, do what is necessary in terms of procedures, but go back to yourself, to do what you liked before, remember what you liked to do outside of work or obligations, or try something new, trust what you feel and avoid keeping your feelings bottled up, you are not alone, and without advertising you should give Healing Presents a chance. Give yourself the gift of living in the present moment.

Tell us in one sentence how could you capture this moment?

“Thank you for existing and for being here.”