Anuschka, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am delighted to share my story. Thank You for the opportunity!
My story might seem scary to most, yet it’s empowering to me. It all began the Spring of 2017, while my husband, Ashkan, and I were on vacation in Hawaii, and I couldn’t leave the hotel room one of the last days due to a massive headache, which lead to random vomiting throughout the day. Initially we thought it had to do with alcohol, so I cut out alcohol once we headed back to San Diego, yet the sporadic migraines (or so I thought) and getting uncontrollably sick to my stomach continued for several months, 4 to be exact, when I finally decided to go to the doctor for a checkup.
Let me back up a bit; while growing up and through my twenties even early thirties, I hardly ever got headaches! To the point that I had to ask my cousin how many ibuprofen’s I should take one of the first times! Once the major headaches started, even several pills wouldn’t stop the pain or regurgitation. As you can imagine, this was not the norm, and I’m quite aware now I should have gone to the doctor much earlier than I did.
August of 2017, I just knew it was time to see my primary care doctor, who thankfully was an integrative doctor and had a “hunch” to send me for an MRI; otherwise, all signs pointed to a migraine.
August 23, 2017, is my re-birthdate. This day feels like it was yesterday! I went in alone to get my MRI because I thought it would be a quick 15-20 minute procedure for the purpose of peace of mind, and off to Volleyball, I go! Instead, 30 minutes in this tiny tube and lots of loud noise (thankfully I meditated and remained quite calm and peaceful), they said they need to poke my arm and inject me with contrast (whatever that means!). Next thing I know an hour has passed and the technician pulls me out of this long tubular piece of equipment and informs me that he’s going to take me to the Emergency room. I asked him why what did you find? His answer: you’ll have to wait for the doctor to review and tell you. AWESOME (not)!
Thankfully, I had done quite a bit of self-development and personal growth for the last few years prior, thanks to both Isagenix and Landmark Worldwide! So, I was able to remain calm, present, and just look at the circumstance as “it is what it is”! At this point, while sitting in the ER, I called my husband, who came straight to the hospital. While waiting for Ashkan to arrive, the ER doctor with 8+ nurses surrounded me around a computer monitor that displayed my MRI scan and as we all looked, all I remember them saying is “there is a swelling in your brain”, which to me looked more like a huge ball and all I could think is “how am I standing here and functioning?!”
Shortly after, a dear friend of mine, Kelly, came as well, who sat by my side as we shed some tears while Ashkan called our families, letting them know what’s going on, easing them into it. My mom, living in Denver, immediately purchased the earliest flight possible. At this point, the “swelling” had been escalated to a “mass”. Although I had no idea what any of these terms meant, I was grateful they didn’t say a “massive brain tumor” right at the beginning!
The next step was to move me into the ICU room in order to reduce the swelling for a few days with who knows what amount of drugs being injected in me, then surgery as soon as my brain was ready. In the meantime, the next several days were what we called a “Party in the ICU”!!! We even ordered the Mayweather / McGregor fight that Saturday before my surgery and every day there was nothing but pure LOVE and 10+ people surrounding me! My uncle and cousin along with one of my best friends from Colorado flew out, one of my other best friends and her hubby drove up from Rosarito, family and friends all around San Diego poured so much love into me, and everyone brought all kinds of gifts and goodies! I even felt that Power of Love from ALL over the world, thanks to social media.
My dad, who was visiting Iran at the time, was looking for a ticket back and thankfully was able to make it to San Diego right as my surgery ended! My surgery, which was supposed to take 4-6 hours, was done in less than 1! AND they removed the entire tumor PLUS the margins! I was awake and out the ICU in less than 24 hours, out the hospital in 10 days, five days post-surgery. It took everyone by surprise, and I attribute it all to the amount of love, healing vibes, and prayers that were being sent my way!
Although the next few months were physically some of the toughest experiences I’ve ever had, I was on a completely different level spiritually and mentally. I didn’t know that kind of peace and presence existed. My motto has always been Live Life to the Fullest, yet I never really got it until then. The diagnosis took several weeks to be evaluated, and you may think I was anxious, on the contrary. I was super positive and KNEW deep down no matter what, I WILL BE FINE and continued the mantra that everything is always working out for me, which thankfully kept everyone else quite calm as well.
The day of the diagnosis is another one I will never forget. Although they were able to extract the entire tumor and the margins, it ended up being a Stage 3 (at the time) with a prognosis of three-five year life sentence. My life flashed before my eyes, yet everything inside of me kept saying out loud to the doctor: “that won’t be me, watch me!” and Ashkan continued saying the same as our questions kept pouring out and I took notes like a mad woman, not knowing what I was even writing!
Once we left, we held each other tighter than ever before, waterfalls coming out of our eyes. And I kept repeating my vision: to 90 and beyond, surrounded by our kids, grandkids, our friends and family and all their descendants holding hands and dancing on the beach into the sunset. I even created a vision board with Mantras I began to believe fully as my own, and within a couple of weeks, my mindset was shifted. As strong-minded as I am, it took something to replace the doctor’s words with my own. I see why people can easily lose hope after hearing prognosis’, which I no longer believe in by the way! Diagnosis is one thing – it’s what is so; Prognosis on the other hand, completely different story! We are individuals, NOT robots to be told what will happen to us based on some previous statistics.
I’m not going to get into details of the next several months thereafter, other than the fact that the diagnosis was escalated once again, hence why I’m still on chemotherapy and have been using one of the newest technologies out there called Optune, meaning I wear a “headgear” on my head with wires attached to a device in a bag I carry with me almost 24/7. Also, I do put in more than a full-time job amount of work into healing and have completely changed my lifestyle habits tremendously because I believe I will live many years to come, to 90 and beyond!!!
The empowerment and strength within me are what inspired me to create my business “Free To Be Me 23.” My rebirth is what had me become FREE and authentically myself. Why 23? Besides the fact it’s my birthday and my rebirthday, it’s also my dog’s birthday… ANNND, the magical part, HUMANS have 23 pairs of chromosomes!
My Mission: Empowering People to FIND their Inner Power and with that, their “Happy Place” one HUMAN being at a time!
I am an Empowerment Coach and super passionate about empowering others to be self-advocates in their own lives, be fully self-expressed, and have their voices heard by the Universe!!!