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Hannah’s Story

Hannah with best friend, Dahlia, a year before diagnosis

I was 23, a senior at Smith College. I had been to the school health clinic a month earlier with the flu. The nurse practitioner was feeling the lymph nodes in my throat to see if they were back to normal. They were, but she felt something else. A hard lump. She called the doctor in for him to feel. He thought tests were warranted. This set off a series of doctors visits over the course of my last month of college. I got through the tests, including a needle aspiration in my neck. I graduated. I celebrated. My first day home, I got a call from the doctor who did the needle aspiration: “I’m sorry to be calling with this news. I don’t like to do this over the phone. You have thyroid cancer.”

Everything moved very quickly after that. I found doctors, a surgeon, listened to their advice and acted decisively. I would have a complete thyroidectomy by the end of the month. I also had nine lymph nodes removed, and some parathyroid glands too. Next was the wait. I had to get my thyroid stimulant hormone (TSH) to a certain level before I could take the radioactive iodine to kill any remaining thyroid tissue. I found out what gland produced that hormone and starting talking to it every night. I wanted this over with. I was on a special low iodine diet too. There wasn’t much I could eat. By the time I had the blood test to check my TSH level, it was sky high. My target was 30. I was well over 800! The nurse couldn’t believe I wasn’t totally wiped out with fatigue.

After a complete body scan it was determined that I could have the highest allowed level out-patient radioactive iodine treatment. This meant that I didn’t have to remain in isolation for three days in a paper lined room. What a relief! I did however have to eat off of disposable plates, double flush the toilet and not spend time close to pregnant women and babies for a week after treatment.

I went on with my life. Went back to work part-time. Moved into my own apartment. Got a full-time job and two other part-time jobs. Was reintroduced to my future husband and fell in love. Got married. Moved half way across the country. The whole time feeling tired all the time, not myself.

Me, pre-diet change 2001

After three years of this, I decided to make a change. I went to see a holistic health care professional for the first time. She had helped my parents with various ailments, and they trusted her. I came back home for an appointment. The first recommendation she made for me was a dramatic diet change. I was committed from the start. I was fed-up with feeling tired all the time. I wanted “me” back.

The first trip I made to the grocery store after this appointment was with my mom. My parents had been eating all organic for over a year. My mom helped me learn how to read labels. I learned which ingredients to look out for. I learned which brands and which products were the healthiest. I learned to look for deals and to back away from processed foods, even if marked organic. I learned the difference between “natural” and “organic” labels.

Me, six months after diet change

I took this first lesson back to Indiana with me. I sought out the local health food stores and co-ops. I started shopping at the farmers’ markets every week. I got to know the farmers I was buying from. There weren’t many organic farmers there at the time, so it was easy to get to know the few I bought from. It wasn’t long before I started to feel better, have more energy, sleep better. I was back! I had transformed myself, from tired and malnourished, to energetic and healthy – through diet! Now I’ve been eating this way for twelve years. I had two healthy pregnancies, two safe home-births and am raising two organic, healthy, strong children.

Me with my children about 30 minutes after Calvin’s birth at home

Always one to continue to learn and improve, I’m always on the look-out for small changes that will help me live an even healthier life. So in January 2013, I started an elimination diet that changed my life and my family’s life. I found that the healthy foods I was eating were causing inflammation in my body that had been a mystery for years. I was so moved by my results, I started offering coaching specific to this elimination diet right away. I’ve coached friends, family and clients for years in organic, whole foods diets, herbal and homeopathic medicines and natural parenting. Now I really have the whole package for you and amazing results to share that will inspire you into action .

han with molly, heather, kristina croppedAre you ready to start living your healthiest life? Are you ready to finally RELEASE that extra weight that has kept you from fully enjoying every moment of your life? I’m here to help you move along the path that’s right for you. Contact me today to schedule your COMPLIMENTARY 30 minute consultation.