When at age 19 Nicole Serafin was diagnosed with a form of cervical cancer she knew her life was potentially in danger. Today at 40 years old she reflects on how she came to do much more than survive her cancer scare and how she subsequently chose to deeply heal the way she was living. Originally published at the Truth about Universal Medicine blog we include it here because of its great relevance to women’s health and wellbeing. A must read for all women, this article also raises interesting questions about the validity of a purely genetic understanding in our view of the generational effects of illness and disease.
by Nicole Serafin
At the age of 19, I was diagnosed with CIN3 (also called carcinoma in situ or stage 0 cervical cancer) the highest level of cell changes that can occur before there is invasion into deeper tissues. As such it was imperative to have it treated before it progressed further and became invasive.
I had no symptoms that I knew of, and had been for a regular check-up at my local doctor when she asked if I had ever had a pap smear. Being 19, I thought that was something that older people had. She explained to me that it was not an age thing, so I decided to have one. I did not think anything of it at the time, not expecting to hear another word about it.
I soon received a call from the surgery telling me I had to come straight in. My test results were positive and my doctor had made an appointment for me to go and see a specialist that morning. I went on to have numerous laser operations to remove the advanced precancerous cells on my cervix, as well as having three laparoscopies.
At the age of 25, I was told that I would not be able to have children due to the amount of scarring on my cervix and the cells that continued to regrow. The doctor suggested that if I wanted children, to try straight away and to have at least one as the chances of me conceiving let alone being able to carry to full term were slim.
At that time, my partner and I were not in a great place. I had my own business, I worked six days a week and did not feel that my life at the time was the sort of life I wanted to bring a child into.
Then again at age 28 I required more surgery for multiple ovarian cysts that had ruptured. The doctors wanted to give me a hysterectomy due to the presence of all the cysts combined with my previous history.
It was a shock and the surgery was something I did not want. So I got on a plane to Sydney to see my specialist who was still treating me, so that he could go in one more time and see what could be done.
My specialist listened to what I felt and promised to only look during that surgery, as I was scared they would just go ahead with the hysterectomy if they found too much going on. After the operation, he came to me to explain that the doctors who had treated me for my cysts at home were correct, and I should consider going further with the operation. I asked him to give me three months to make some changes in my life and see what happened.
My family was not happy with the choice I made. They told me it was in my genes – my grandmother had had a hysterectomy, as had my aunty, and my mother had a lot of problems in her reproductive area as well. However, I knew if there was the slightest possibility I could change things, then I had to give it a go. I had been living my life under an enormous amount of pressure. I was in a dysfunctional relationship and was constantly pushing myself and my body, past the point that it could cope with. I knew that my illness was a result of the choices that I had been making and that I had to start looking at those choices and begin to make some changes.
A client had given me a card of a practitioner they felt would be able to support me in what was going on. At first I was sceptical, but after my first visit with Serge Benhayon I walked out knowing that my life as it was, was not it, and that it all had to change. Not because of what he told me to do, but through what I could feel in me… a knowingness of my own.
I had finally been met in full for who I truly was. There was no expectation for me to be anything other than me, and from that there was no going back. I could no longer ignore the way I was living. The denial had been huge, I just did not realise how much I had been living in the avoidance of self.
From there I had more sessions with Serge and went along to the workshops and courses Serge and Universal Medicine were presenting. These courses, workshops and sessions helped me to be able to feel the lovelessness and disregard I had been living in all my life.
Not only did it help me to feel this, but it also allowed me to connect to the awesomeness that I am. My inner heart had been yearning for me to reconnect to myself and allow myself to live from my inner self: to live from a love that is known and felt by all; for me to just be me, without all the ideals and expectations I had taken on throughout my life. It was time for me to take responsibility for my actions and choices and to stop blaming everyone and everything else for why my life was the way that it was.
I came to realise and understand that there was no way that my body would be able to continue to live in such a way without something happening. My illness was a way of my body saying, “Hey, I can’t do this anymore and my subtle hints are not working so here, have this”. I began to change, not only my diet, but also my relationship, my work ethics and my sleep patterns, going to bed before 9pm and taking the time to nurture myself whenever I could.
All of the changes that I was making in my life came naturally, as once I allowed myself to feel what was needed, the rest followed. The support of Serge Benhayon, and Kate Greenaway, a physiotherapist who had started working with Serge at the clinic, made it easier for me to keep being honest with myself about where I was at and what was needed. Never did they judge me for the choices I had made or was making, and sometimes the choices I made were not as supportive of myself as they could have been. They were only ever loving, offering a level of support I’d never before come across.
To cope with the stress of life, I had years before begun to smoke marijuana – it helped me to check out of what was going on around me. Every time things got too much, I would turn to a joint and hope it would all sort itself out and go away. I did not allow myself to eat properly, living on fresh juices and small amounts of solid foods, so my weight was extremely low.
I gave up smoking marijuana and began to eat solid foods. I started with six small meals a day as my digestive system was not used to it and at first it was a struggle. In a way, it was a blessing to re-introduce foods in this way because I could feel exactly how certain foods made me feel. I found that foods that contained gluten or wheat made me feel heavy, bloated and tired and that dairy would make me congested and that both of them together would give me extreme stomach cramps.
I gradually introduced foods into my diet that allowed me to feel what my body needed rather than eat just for the sake of eating. My diet was one of salads, vegetables, lamb, fresh fruit, nuts and grains. I could feel the change in my body, the clarity of my thoughts and the willingness to deal with whatever came my way.
I began to realise I had been living in such a way that my body felt very hard, and generally, I felt disconnected from myself and that there was no way that I could ever deal with anything. I had chosen to completely check out from life and my illness was showing me just that.
I was not living in gentleness and I certainly was not nurturing of myself, or my body.
I came to realise that I needed to let myself feel the consequences of the choices that I had made in my life and deal with what I had created. I had begun to feel, through being more aware of my ovaries and my breasts, that I was not living in the stillness of what being a woman was all about. Instead, I was living in a hardness that I used to get by in life and get things done – at any cost.
My body was showing me that I needed to be aware of the choices that I made and to deal with whatever came up. To be accepting of myself, and my body, and to love myself for who I was. Loving and accepting myself did not feel like it came naturally to me. I was very hard on myself, feeling that I was never enough and that I always had to do and be more. I always felt that I needed to prove myself, seeking acceptance from my family and those around me.
Connecting to myself, my breasts and my body allowed me to feel that I was enough, that it was OK for me to be gentle, to be vulnerable and to ask for help if I needed it. I was now able to make choices based on what I needed to support myself in that loveliness and to be the amazing woman I truly am. By allowing myself to connect to my body I could feel the yumminess I already had inside of me, that I didn’t need anyone else to confirm that I was great, I could confirm that for myself by just stopping and feeling me… and there was no better feeling than that yumminess within.
My doctor was sceptical when I said I wanted to try for a baby and warned me of the complications that could arise. I was prepared to give it a go and went ahead with my life, constantly being aware of what changes I needed to make to continue to support me, continuing with my sessions when I felt the need.
Just before we conceived our first child I went back to my specialist in Sydney for a check-up. He was amazed at the transformation. My cervix had no signs of any scarring from the surgeries that I had had in the past, and there were no longer the advanced precancerous changes in the cells. All he had to say was, “Whatever you are doing, keep doing it… I can’t see there being any problems from what has been occurring thus far”.
I went on to have a daughter, which was the most amazing experience – having an awesome, trouble-free pregnancy, birth and baby. She has been a true inspiration for what is possible if you just allow yourself the time to connect to who you are and what you are capable of. I am now pregnant with our second baby and so far the pregnancy has been the same. No cravings, morning sickness, pains, bloating, excess weight gain or discomfort.
My body has now been clear for 11 years, no more cancerous changes in the cells of my cervix and I have had no further surgery or treatments apart from attending on-going courses, treatments and retreats through Universal Medicine. I have not had to go back to my specialist for over five years now, opting to have my regular pap smears through the local hospital, all of which have come back negative.
I am still aware that I need to treat my body in a way that will continue to support it in what is needed, and if that means it needs the support of mainstream medicine also, then so be it. For me it was a combination of both mainstream and Esoteric Medicine that lead me to the life that I am now able to embrace and live fully.
If it were not for the two working together, then I am certain my outcome and life would be a very different story.
My body needed the medical treatments it received in order to clear it on a physical level, and the Esoteric Medicine was necessary for me to be able to address issues on a deeper level, and take full responsibility for what was going on that lead me to get an illness in the first place.
My doctor was always very sceptical of whatever it was I was doing, but when he saw the results for himself, he couldn’t argue. He never fully understood what it was that was going on, but he never refused to treat me because of my choices. He only ever remained open to allowing me the time and space I asked for to do what I felt was needed.
I was also very strong in claiming what it was that I wanted to do. I never gave up on what it was that I felt I needed to do in order to get to the root cause of what was going on in my body.
Since I started with Serge and then Kate, Universal Medicine has offered even more modalities, such as Esoteric Breast Massage. This has enabled and supported me to connect to myself as a woman and to live that in every aspect of my life. I now also have Esoteric Ovary Massages with Natalie Benhayon – these provide me the support to feel how I have been living on a daily basis; Esoteric Massage (Curtis Benhayon) lets my body express and release what it is that I have taken on; and Esoteric Chakra-puncture with Michael Benhayon helps to support my body in the true vitality and love that I am.
All of these modalities have shared something different with me: they are the tools that have enabled me to make choices and changes in my life so I can live completely and honestly as who I am.
Now, at age 40, my life is not complete for what I have, but for who I am – and for the loveliness that I can connect to everyday. I appreciate the opportunity to have been able to be shown that there was another way. If I hadn’t become ill, I would have never made the choice to live differently, to live with me in my awesomeness every day – and for that I am truly grateful.