What exactly does one say after a power packed conversation with Avi Lerner?! I say ‘IMMERSE ME NOW’ in a ‘SERENITY NOW’ kind of way [think Seinfeld, friends].
Avi is a brilliant mind doing phenomenal work in the Boston area, [and] if you haven’t read his book, the New Cancer Paradigm’, I highly recommend you do.
Cancer has not been my stumbling block on the road to complete healing; Heart failure has fulfilled that role in my life. You must understand that I was treated for a childhood cancer when I was 8 years young. Not one person within my family or our social network had been diagnosed much less died from cancer. To me, cancer was an episodic illness. If I took my medicine, I would get better; I did [and] I fully recovered,
In Avi’s terminology what could have been an Initial Sensitizing Event [ISE] with potentially devastating outcomes was not interpreted as being negative, life-threatening to me by my conscious mind; therefore, my chemotherapy and radiation treatments were rendered incapable of serving as Subsequent Sensitizing Events [SSE].*
*Note: this is my take not Avi Lerner’s.
My parent’s were quite intentional in their approach to my childhood cancer. In fact, my most favorite quote from my dad’s writings is ‘Until you inject fear into your daughter, she will continue to exude confidence in her ability to recover, to get well’.
Fear wasn’t a part of my lived experience with childhood cancer; there was not hint of it whatsoever.
I have always maintained that physical cure is entirely different than complete healing, [and] I think Avi would agree with me on that statement. Healing is a deeper, more intentional process, and yes, I think it is the road less traveled, so to speak. [Props to Robert Frost]
Healing may be the road less traveled; however, it is a road most worthy of pursuit.
She has been a cancer patient, survivor, heart transplant recipient and documentary film producer.
As a child, she was successfully treated for Ewing’s Sarcoma. Her experience led her to become a nurse serving the physical, psychosocial, and educational needs of children, adolescents, and their families along the cancer trajectory.
Stephanie holds a B.A. in Psychology from Furman University, and a B.S., and M.S in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Florida. At Dartmouth, Stephanie helped establish the Survivorship Clinic with Eric Larsen, MD and Sara Chaffee, MD. This clinic provided ongoing personal support and education for childhood cancer survivors and their families.
In April 2008, Stephanie’s heart failed as a result of the radiation and Doxorubicin used to cure her Ewing’s Sarcoma as a child. She received a heart transplant at the Cleveland Clinic.
As a result of this experience, she co-produced an award winning documentary ‘Resilient: the Story of Late Effects of Cancer Treatment’, highlighting the challenges faced by survivors, families, and friends.
Stephanie resides in the metro Atlanta area with her husband and their 12-year-old-son. The Zimmermans enjoy everything from Formula One Racing and college & NFL football to go carting, ziplining, and cycling.
Please feel free to contact Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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