I met Kat Barrell just over a year ago…and when I say “met” I mean in the virtual sense as we have never (so far) stood face-to-face, hand-in-hand though I feel as though I’ve known her forever. We touched base around the time she was diagnosed with “stage IIIC” ovarian cancer when, though she had heard of me (as I had heard of her, through mutual friends), it was something I wrote in one of my blogs that particularly resonated with her and we got talking via Facebook. In fact, we talked most days…still do…through all the months that she was going through her treatment for cancer though not just about that but about, well, everything you can imagine. The woman I got to know during that time blew me away, as I did her because neither of us had talked to anyone so openly or fearlessly before about such matters of life and death and of how we get to play a creative part in our own outcomes…yes, even when others would have us believe the odds are all stacked against us. (What she, particularly, was going through in this respect helped put in perspective what I was dealing with which, though relentlessly challenging and often fear-inducing, had never taken me to such a precipitous edge). Kat astonished me with what she was capable of and we both gained such a lot from the deep connection we watched blossom.
It was as though we became the complementary factor to one another, the yin to the other’s yang as all I have come to know about self-healing slotted into what she was swiftly becoming initiated into as she forged a whole new way of dealing with diagnosis, chemo and all that traditionally fear-inducing stuff…her own way, a fearless and creative way and with such remarkable results (as you can hear about below). A year on, Kat’s results have come back clear and she’s quite a different person; one who wholeheartedly THANKS cancer for the journey it took her on because, in her words “it has caused me to come to the edges of who I am as a being and to bring a new level of myself that I didnt know existed”. Her story is not only remarkable but it is a message of hope to ANYONE facing a diagnosis of any kind; for in her own account she offers clues to how you can take back your own power…and choose your own outcome…in absolutely any circumstance that might present. The wonderful video below is of Kat telling her own story and I heartily recommend it to all of my readers, not just those facing a similar situation…because we never know when we may need to remember the pearls of exquisite wisdom she has to share.
The Dartmouth-Hitchcock magazine article about Kat refered to in the video can be accessed here and is well worth bookmarking as a “keeper”. As with the video, I encourage that you share it around to anyone that has been newly diagnosed, who is in the midst of their own healing journey or indeed any of your contacts that you feel might benefit from the relentlessly optimistic perspective that Kat embodies to such powerful effect. This kind of story needs to be what we are hearing much more often, so that we are ALL equipped to do something much more personally-powerful and creative than default to the old fear-based and helpless reactions to the diagnoses we tend to call “bad news” (though Kat would call them something else…). Kat has certainly blazed a remakable trail through that territory.