Sara Shor’s Story of Hope

Sara Shor’s Story of Hope
I moved to Canada from Mexico City in November 2011. Soon after my arrival, I started having very strong headaches. The doctors thought I was experiencing migraines and treated me accordingly, but the headaches worsened to the point that they woke me up at night and I couldn’t function properly during the day. I started to feel very weak and dizzy, with episodes sometimes persisting for days. I took many painkillers and went to the Emergency Room a few times, each time coming back with a stronger painkiller. My doctor thought perhaps I was depressed, or not used to Canada’s weather. I never suffered from depression and have always been a positive person so — although I recognized that it was a challenging time for my family as we adjusted to our move — I was sure it wasn’t depression. After a few months, I started experiencing double vision and numbness on half of my face. An MRI followed and I was diagnosed with a non-malignant meningioma
From that point, my life turned upside down. I couldn’t take care of my kids. Instead, they were taking care of me. I felt as if my life was in chaos.
A short time after, I was admitted to the hospital and had several additional tests. The doctors met to decide which treatment would be the best for me, debating between Gamma Knife, surgery and radiation, all of which could have side effects. They sent me home with a follow-up appointment scheduled for three months later, explaining that they would confirm their decision regarding my treatment at that time.
Desperate about my situation, I accepted my aunt’s advice to try a natural technique to help me heal. With a lot of faith, I used mindfulness, affirmations, visualizations and relaxation exercises, among other things, daily. After a short while, my health began to improve to the point that I started to walk and take fewer painkillers. While I still had double vision and numbness, I started to go through extended periods when I was pain free. 
When I had my follow up appointment three months later, my doctor noticed a huge improvement in my health. Though I still experienced pain, he suggested we hold off on any treatment at that point because he said “my body was healing by itself.” 
Going through this experience was the most difficult time in my life. The uncertainty surrounding my health led me to better appreciate my family, friends, and purpose in life. I changed my priorities and my lifestyle. I understood that if I want to be there for my family, I have to take care of myself first. 
Among the many resources that Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada offers, I find the Brain Tumour Support Group to be an amazing outlet. The group provides a safe place to talk, share, and discuss concerns with others who know and understand what we’re all going through. 
My rediscovered appreciation of life led me to change my career to focus on helping others. Today, I teach people the tools I used in my own healing. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to help others, not only those who want to improve their health, but also those who want to live a happier, healthier, and more meaningful life.

Even though I still have my tumour (which shrank on its own and was re-diagnosed as a cavernoma) and numbness in part of my face, I am enjoying and appreciating life, doing and teaching my exercises every day, knowing that it is not about what we have that matters, but rather, how we live our lives with what we have. 

Thank you Sara for sharing your story of hope.

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Story posted in October 2017.

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