When I was in my 40s, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I healed it in one month without chemo, surgery, or radiation. But that’s because I knew where it had come from, why it was there, and what it was there to teach me. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.

When I was 10 years old, I was sexually abused by the vice principal in my elementary school. I tried to tell teachers and my parents, but he had told me it was my fault, that I was “bad.” I thought maybe he was right, so my attempts at telling adults what was going on were feeble at best. I was afraid I would get into more trouble. Plus, I didn’t have words like “sexual abuse” or “molestation” in my vocabulary. I just felt unsafe and like I wanted to die.

My body caught up to that wish 20 years later when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an “incurable” autoimmune disease that my grandfather had also endured. It was labeled “genetic” by my diagnosing physician, and I was given prescriptions for a cancer-fighting drug and an anti-inflammatory drug, both of which have very severe side effects. I didn’t take them.

Instead, I researched and studied until I found a way to reverse my autoimmune disease.

Ten years later, my second son (of four amazing children) told me that he and his brother and sister had been sexually abused by a babysitter one day when I left them with him to go grocery shopping. I was grief-stricken, filled with shame, heart-broken, and once again I wanted to die for allowing my precious children to be harmed in a way that I knew all too well. I wept, I blamed and shamed myself, lamented my stupidity for leaving them with him, and four months later I found a lump in my left breast, right over my heart. Again, my body followed my desire for death. I told the radiologist who did the ultrasound that I needed four weeks before consulting with an oncologist. You see, I knew exactly where that tumor had come from. I knew what I had to do.

I went home and set about finding the young man I had left my kids with. He had been 12 years old at the time and my boys were 8 and 6 years of age. When I located his phone number, I called him immediately. He answered the phone. I identified myself, and he said, “I’ve been waiting for this call for 12 years.” My first question was “why?” He answered he was curious and experimenting. I then set about facilitating conversations between him and each of the kids he had hurt. We engaged in therapy, energy work, and a deep forgiveness practice that I now teach all of my patients with chronic illnesses. Not only did my kids go to therapy, but so did I. I had to forgive myself for putting them in harm’s way. I had to release my shame. I had to learn to accept that this mistake did not define me, my parenting, or their lives. It was a long and very rough road to forgiveness. I knew I had arrived when I could thank their abuser for being our teacher.

I returned to the radiologist for a follow up ultrasound and to my amazement, the tumor was completely gone. The blood supply to it was just hanging there, nothing for it to feed. The power of forgiveness cannot be over-estimated. However, it can be misunderstood. Forgiving does not mean reconciling. It does not mean lip service. It does not require a return to painful events. It is a process. It is hard when done properly. It finishes with the victim of a hurtful experience learning valuable lessons and discovering the value of healthy boundary setting. It requires a willingness to see within yourself the characteristics you abhor the most in the perpetrator. It means going into your shadow and turning on the light. It ends with deep healing and personal transformation. The process I used I have put together as an audio Freedom to Forgive program for you. It’s powerful and I encourage you to let me know your results.

Because of my autoimmune disease reversal 23 years ago I was already eating “the right things” when I got breast cancer. I decided to do some genetic testing though. I had the BRAC 1 and 2 done and it was negative. Of course, it was…it only covers 10% of heritable breast cancer, which is a TINY percentage of all who are diagnosed. The most important testing I did was with 23andme.com and then I ran that information through another portal to extract the raw data. What I found out was no surprise. I am loaded for breast cancer risk. In fact, my genetics are some of the worst I have ever seen! So, I did a urine estrogen metabolite test to see if my breast cancer risk SNPs were expressing themselves. They were. I had the worst test results I had ever encountered. So, I called the medical director of the lab to see if there had been a mistake. I told her the results were the worst I had ever seen, and her response was, “Dr. Ewers I am afraid they are the worst I have ever seen too.”

Now that is not what I wanted to hear. So, I set about looking for ways to correct my poor clearance of estrogen metabolites from my body. The results are my Breast Cancer Prevention Kit. I also do the urine test yearly. The results are always fantastic J. I will be on the supplements that are in the Breast Cancer Prevention Kit for the rest of my life. They are keeping my genetics quiet. I will also monitor my forgiveness practice and keep it going each day. To me, that is the most powerful combination of medicines I can think of.

I no longer consider myself a victim of sexual abuse, my body is not a victim of autoimmune disease and cancer, and my kids are no longer victims of sexual abuse. When we are children we don’t have the words, we need to talk about events that are so traumatizing that we cannot understand why they are happening; we are powerless. But in adulthood we have choices and consequences to the choices we make. We are the authors and heroes of our own stories. I call the method I used to heal my breast cancer and my autoimmune disease the Freedom Framework.

I use this to help my patients move from victim to vital. I also teach this framework as the foundation of the curriculum for the Academy for Integrative Medicine’s Health Coach Certification Program. After all, freedom from suffering is the highest and best gift you can give yourself and the most potent medicine a medical provider or integrative medicine health coach can offer any client.

Article originally posted on drkeesha.com

Dr. Keesha Ewers is a board certified Functional and Ayurvedic medical practitioner, as well as Doctor of Sexology, host and founder of The Woman’s Vitality Summit, and founder of a new branch of medicine called Functional Sexology. Click here to learn more about her Integrative Medicine Health Coach Certification Program.