If you found your way to this page and are reading this, you or someone you love will likely be going through a difficult time. And yet something in you is awakening, something new pushing through, yearning to be born. May you find the courage in you to give way, to let go, and let come, with love.
My motivation for starting this foundation is deeply personal. My oncological journey, which started five years ago, was profoundly transformative. It surely had very frightful and painful moments, but it also helped me reconnect with myself and restore meaning in my life. I wouldn’t give back any of it, even if I could.
We make our own path, by walking.
At the time of my diagnosis, I had an ominous tumor in one part of my body, and cell mutations in another. I suddenly understood all the signs my body had been giving me in the preceding year. The skin rashes, the bone fractures, the dental inflammations, even the bouts of tears seemingly out of nowhere. The monthly emergency hospital visits for the above reasons and more. My body was weakened after years of overexertion and chasing what I thought I needed to become ‘successful’. A void I had tried to fill through external activities.
After diagnoses and several surgeries, I was told there was great urgency to make some changes. I was told there was no other method of treatment than ‘the protocol’. I was also told I would die without the mix of radiation, mastectomy, and chemotherapy followed by a five-year cycle of hormonal therapy. The cancer type was too aggressive, at 35 I was too young.
While I could not believe the grim diagnosis, doctors at several hospitals were adamant that chemotherapy was a must and needed to be started right away. The prognosis was for 8 months of life. 8 months in which without the protocol treatment, aggressive cancer would invade and destroy my body. This was to be Christmas 2018.
Slowly, I came to terms that my life, albeit successful and well organized on the surface, was no longer sustainable. I accepted there were important changes to be made, but also that these changes necessarily involved my relationship with myself, with others, and with life. These would need to form part of the core of the solution. Next to supporting my body to clear the toxins and strengthen its immunity.
I felt it important to make the best choice for myself, from the heart. And that yes, this was worth risking my life for.
This period and process were not without anguish and uncertainty. Of course, I had my moments of feeling disoriented, sad, alone, angry at the diagnosis and betrayed by my body. Incredulous and negating the circumstance and wishing to just turn my back and ‘go back to normal.’ But deep down I knew a new normal was on the horizon, and that it was going to be nothing short of extraordinary.
As I slowly made peace and I opened myself to my path, the pieces of my solution flowed to me. As I took one trusting step in this uncertain space, the next one revealed itself.
I am grateful I had many loving people around me. First of all, my family, some of whom I was estranged from for many years. And immediately after, my dear friends from the old life, and those that became companions on my new path. These lovely people not only stepped in to be there for me, but they did so by supporting my authentic choices.
Of course, after hearing the doctors, my mom cried and prayed that she would die before me. I knew I was loved, and I understood how much, possibly for the first time. But I also had the space to hear myself. My family and friends did not project their fears, and for the most part, did not push me towards ‘the rational’ in an effort to save my life. They were able to stand in trust and hold their focus on my health rather than the disease, able to connect with the higher future version of me. And this made all the difference.
I felt it important to consider all solutions, and even then, knew that outright rejection of one solution, no matter which one, is a sign of fear. Despite the pressure, I was able to give time and take a decision from a place of love and trust.
Accepting this multi-dimensionality and making illness my guide, the pieces that were part of my solution and path started flowing to me. In a nutshell, they included: support in a total clearing of the body and restarting the immune system; and psychotherapy support for clearing my relationships- first with myself, then with my family and bloodline, and then with friends and the intimate sphere. The total reformatting of my external life arrangements flowed from these.
The actual people and practices that crossed my path and offered life-affirming support are too many to enumerate here. Many of the wonderful practitioners in the sphere of ecological medicine, psychoneuroimmunology, and psycho-oncology are connected in the support network I want to establish through the Gergina Foundation.
On a personal level, I know I was privileged because I was able to search for these people, resources, and transformative experiences. Working in the European Commission, I had both the financial resources to look for and try different things. I also had time – through understanding colleagues who gave me the leeway of time to find my way. As it turned out, I was able to do this before the eight months mark.
My intention now is to give back.
I know not everyone has the financial means to look for answers, nor does the diagnosis afford the ‘time’ for it. Sometimes, the answer is simply departing in peace. No matter the life scenario and how it seems the dice are cast, there is always meaning to be found. There is a powerful saying that sometimes, the less human logic is discernable in something, the more divine logic lies therein. Or as Einstein put it, ‘God does not play dice’.
Even for those who have this belief, it can be particularly difficult to find the emotional resource to bear the pain the diagnosis casts; far beyond the physical body symptoms, it is the pain of the unlived life, the pain of losing the ideas and illusions of life as we wished and imagined it. For ourselves, and our loved ones.
My intentions is to offer some of these resources, helping people with constraints in time and resources, to connect the dots for themselves. And most importantly, to do it in a community. This is the one thing I really needed, as walking this path can be very lonely.
I would like to create a caring circle that offers love and empathy and support and helps people to access these forces within themselves faster. Because this really is half of the healing.
Because of my background and training in economics, anthropology, and public policy, the Gergina Foundation is by design and intention a systemic organization, seeking to effect change on the level of culture and system.
But I would also like to be in service of Self – the higher essence present in each of us. Some call it consciousness, others the soul, the will or the divine inside us.
In reality, this has nothing to do with language and labeling, or institutions and scriptures. It has everything to do with the power that is inside us, and that we need to tap into to restore our wholeness and health. Our life energy flows more freely when there are fewer separations within.
How we label things does relate to meaning and identity, which in turn has a profound effect on the body and immune and nervous systems. This is the essence of the discipline of psychoneuroimmunology.
I wish to find a way to relate my most personal experience and learnings, with the least language interference possible, in the hope that it can be of service to many to match the important pieces of identity and personal integration work, the relational space, and the immune system of the body, as well as of society as a whole.
I hope you find something true for you in the following pages and offers, join us and share with others. I wish you well on your journey!