The Elephant in the Room is Cancer. Tea is the Relief Conversation Provides.

The Journey of Healing After Cancer

by Colleen GallagherSurvivorJanuary 4, 2021View more posts from Colleen Gallagher

Releasing a Life-Long Cancer Medication Sentence, Overcoming Survivors Guilt, Anxiety, Worry and Creating an Impact-Driven Business.

The orange and black basketball was bouncing between my hands and the ground.

I was speeding down the court and the air was rushing through me.

I jumped up for the lay-up, then came crumbling down on my back.

I was hyper-ventilating and couldn’t breathe. I felt like a fish out of water.

Everyone around me was wondering what was happening.  They sent me to the special trainer, and he thought it was asthma.

Deep down I knew this was something much, much bigger.

Eventually I got to the hospital and the doctors said, “You have an enlarged thyroid. We need to do surgery as soon as possible because it could be cancerous.”

In that moment they shared I would be on medication for the rest of my life and that when I desired to have children, I would need to change my medication.

Well my surgery came and went. Three pathologists said it was cancerous and three said it was not. They sent my right thyroid to University of Pennsylvania , yet it got lost in the mail, so they had to send another piece of my thyroid. They came back and said it was not cancerous.

However, when I went for a checkup, the doctors found a lymph node that my jugular vain was wrapped around. They suggested another surgery and we found out that in fact, it was cancerous.

From a very young age this had a HUGE impact on me at a psychological level (as cancer has on each of us). This experience always made me question the medical field because I learned that diagnosis and information can always change, nothing is ever certain.

After my first surgery, at age 14, when the doctors told me I need to take 1 pill a day to balance my thyroid hormones for the rest of my life, naturally I was not as inclined to be committed to follow their instructions. However, it wasn’t until I got older, I started to question and wonder what a hypocrisy? The people who are “fixing me” from two transactional surgeries are now asking me to be on medicine for the rest of my life?

At age 23, I was making over $100k with a $23 billion company including benefits, yet I was so unhappy. Even though I managed to create a “successful” life after cancer, I knew deep down my life was meant for more than this. It had to be an incredible life. It was in this moment I decided I was going to completely change my life to create a lifestyle I would love. This forever changed the way I saw my cancer diagnosis and the medical industry.

To me an incredible life meant being able to live, work and play from anywhere in the world. This way I could always meet amazing new people, experience beautiful new places, and share the love I found for life through cancer, to inspire and give hope for others to find love for this beautiful life we get to live.

It was from this desire of wanting more out of life and feeling a calling to help others fall in love with life, I started my journey to make this happen.

Here is how I started to do this and how you can too.

Step 1 – Become Curious

I started to become curious how I could create a business where I would be able to work from anywhere in the world. I thought about business because I knew that I would need money to live the life I wanted. I figured I was going to be making and spending all this money on health care and medicine for the rest of my life I might as well make money doing something I love.

I started to learn that our mental health has a major impact on our physical health. This led me to conclude I better figure out what I love to do so I can help others, create success, and be healthy.

From becoming naturally curious to master what I love to do I started to learn that using technology or social media would empower me to easily create systems and processes where I could make money online. This way if I felt tired, or unwell I would be able to rest, and my business would still keep going. Also, I could make my own schedule because emotional and physical downturns from cancer occur at random times, so I wanted to create something that would work for me.

This is what led me to do hours upon hours’ worth of research to see how I could use online tools to share my message: that this life is too short, to precious, and too valuable to waste it on anything that doesn’t bring you joy.

I looked at photography, being an influencer, motivational speaking, yet none of them felt quite right. I realized what felt right would be getting a job in another country as the next step of my adventure. This led me to google visas, where it popped up that New Zealand had a $20 one-year visa. I applied, saved my money for 3 months, and left my “successful” job with healthcare so I could start creating a life I was proud of.

Step 2 – Create Lifestyle Changes to Change The Diagnosis 

I landed in New Zealand April 2017, I had 12 months of medication with me. However, I made an internal commitment to myself that I would figure out a way to never take another pill or visit a doctor for cancer. I somehow knew that by following my heart to create my dreams, to help other people find happiness, that the universe would provide for me. Well I got an intuitive nudge that I needed to stop eating meat when I was in New Zealand. Plus, I needed to start doing yoga and meditation four hours a day.

I had ZERO clue why I felt called to do these things. There was just this deep knowing in me that I needed to make these changes if I wanted to have the life, I said I wanted to have. Well within 8 months of making the decision to move to New Zealand, I was off my medication, I received a job with a $400 million company, I attended my first entrepreneur retreat, I wrote my first book, created my very own online program to help others find their purpose of why they’re here and make money doing it.

From January 25th, 2018 I decided I no longer would just do a job to receive healthcare or money. I truly decided to create a relationship with the Universe to always tell the Universe what I wanted out of life, then simply listen to what I needed to do to make it happen. From that point I’ve never had to visit doctors for cancer checkups and no real health issues have occurred.

This is the exact process I’ve continued to take myself and clients though. Which is why I believe our healing journeys have been so empowering and miraculous. I’ve seen the only way to transform a health diagnosis is by creating massive lifestyle changes. These lifestyle changes come to us when we start asking better questions of ourselves.

Here are questions I would suggest you start asking yourself:

Step 3 – Repeat The Process and Help More People

The last three years of my life have been incredible. I haven’t needed to go to a doctor visit once. I haven’t felt over exhausted or fatigued from only having half a thyroid. I haven’t felt excessive sweating. I’ve been able to empower many people in their healing journeys plus receive money doing it, travel to nearly 20 countries, receive my MS in Global Technology and Development, grow a global online business, write three books, come out with my own affirmation card deck on Amazon, guide other people in their healing journeys, and start my Ph.D. in Psychology.

Yet what has allowed me to do this and what can empower you to do this too?

From this three-step process that myself, many clients, and frankly individuals I’ve met all over the world have implemented, we’ve created a life beyond what we could imagine. I know this process works, yet this process takes you on a journey of self-discovery, self-mastery, it takes you on an adventure that isn’t a simple math equation. Because through this journey I am sharing with you, you end up discovering who you are truly meant to become, and the outcome is different for each of us. Because we each want something different out of life. It’s up to you to find out what you want, make it happen, and help as many people through your journey along the way. This will bring you to a healing that I believe can overcome any doctor diagnosis.

In conclusion I recommend my first book Live Your Truth on Amazon (audible now available) for you to start your initiation to your journey of healing with your health, business mindset, and what’s possible for you in this life.

Because it sure would be a shame if your last day were to come and you couldn’t say you lived your hearts truest desires regardless of what doctors have shared.

To all of us rising and healing,

Colleen Gallagher

Colleen Gallagher

This article was in our September 2020 Magazine – Click Here to view that issue!

All of the posts written for Elephants and Tea are contributed by patients, survivors, caregivers and loved ones dealing with cancer.  If you have a story or experience you would like to share with the cancer community we would love to hear from you!  Please submit your idea at

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