Courage Ambassador: Amber Batke
Amber’s courage and transformation in facing breast cancer has been awe inspiring and amazing. She is a gift to the people around her and I know we are so blessed to have her as part of our team and Mission Naturopathic Clinic as a Holistic Nutritionist. In her words, here is her story…
“Many of you may know me as an employee of Mission Naturopathic Clinic, but you may not know that I am also a patient who is being treated by both Dr. Alana Berg and Dr. Andrea Chambers for a serious illness. Three years ago, when I was 39 years old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. For as long as I can remember, the thought of having cancer terrified me. It runs rampant on my Mother’s side of the family and unfortunately, no one was able to overcome the illness. My whole world turned upside down in that moment of diagnosis and it shook me to the core. Within a few months, I had a lumpectomy, followed by thirty days of radiation. I took a leave from work so that I could process, manage and recuperate from all that had happened.
From the moment of diagnosis, I began to soul search and research. I was determined to fight, yet I felt so weak and fragile at the same time.
I couldn’t understand the diagnosis.
It made no sense to me. I eat well, I exercise, I sleep great…So why am I sick? After three years of reflection and almost weekly sessions with my favourite therapist, Mel Maure, I began to discover and really believe that my illness was rooted in my spiritual well being. I wasn’t living a fulfilled and balanced life. I wasn’t living my truth. My spiritual self was empty and exhausted and this left my physical self in an extremely vulnerable state.
I was a people pleaser.
I found purpose in pleasing others’ but never in myself. I was the person who would bend over backwards to please someone, even if it was at the expense of my family…and it was, many times. I would give and give and give until I was completely empty. I walked around the world with my jaw clenched and my anxiety high. I was indecisive and untrusting of myself and was completely oblivious of this until I began down the path of healing and self discovery.
Many things, people, and signs began to fall into place and I embraced them whole-heartedly. One of those signs is when Dr. Berg introduced me to Joseph Soler, author of “The Art of Listening to Life”. Through his workshops, I was able to open myself up and allow forgiveness, love and possibilities into my life. Having a lump on my right breast is related to the lack of nurturing of oneself. I took that very seriously and began the hard work of self love, self discovery and working through my emotions, rather than holding onto them. I am learning to give and receive in a way that fills my heart and brings me joy, without depleting me.
It’s about balance. A word I use daily.
I learned many lessons throughout this process. One is there is no right answer or one way of doing things. Just as each person is unique and individual, so is each illness. You must learn to trust yourself and listen to your inner voice. My healing is a combination of both holistic and conventional healthcare and I am extremely grateful for that. Another lesson I have learned is to choose myself. I always struggled with saying no to people for fear I would disappoint them. Through my work with Mel, I have learned that saying no doesn’t have to be a negative because it means I am saying yes to myself. The other great lesson I have learned is how to be grateful. Because I am a much more grounded person, I can see how beautiful my world is and how grateful I am to be a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.
I firmly believe that our spiritual health has a profound and direct impact on our physical health. I practice spiritual well being daily and it has become a passion for me in my Nutrition practice. For those of you who have had a consult with me, you will know that I will always include the spiritual connection with whatever health issue it is you are facing because to me, that is the root. I faced my biggest fear by having the courage to stand up for myself. Some days, I don’t know how I did it, but then I am reminded of all of the people around me who supported and encouraged me to keep moving forward. Everyday I make decisions that nourish me and I hope to inspire others to do the same.”