Being diagnosed with a disease presents many challenges to a patient. If the illness is potentially life threatening, then one experiences not only the physical manifestations, but also may feel true despair. I know because I have been there. My name is Nancy Morency and I have Systemic Scleroderma. I have been living with this dis-ease since 2012 and I can tell you that it has been the most challenging obstacle of my life. People like to feel in control of their lives, their destinies, but when your reality is so altered that you can no longer care for yourself; if you experience daily excruciating pain; and your body begins to disfigure so that you no longer recognize yourself, your world, as you knew it, ends.
Endings however, don’t have to be all bad. In hindsight, now that I have been able to stabilize my health, I can see clearly the insights I have gained through the pain, sadness and yes, even the anger. There are clear stages that you go through when you are told that your life will be cut short due to a disease that has no known cause and no known cure. The doctors don’t really have any remedy for scleroderma. Their approach is to slow the progression with an immuno-suppressant and provide symptom management with other drugs to make life more comfortable.
As a Holistic Nutritionist I was reluctant to try the drugs, but I was also frightened to challenge the medical advice I had been given. My husband and I have two children and I felt that I had to do whatever it took to fix myself. At that time, I felt very broken. Both my physical body and my spirit were broken. I couldn’t understand how this had happened. I went from being a healthy, strong woman to being unable to get out of bed and dress myself in a matter of months. So, I tried the drugs. I was prescribed an injectable immuno-suppressant. I followed my doctors’ protocol for four months, but my condition worsened. I was unsure of whether my symptom progression was the disease or a side effect of the drugs, but I knew that I could not continue on the downward spiral I was experiencing. I was dying. It’s difficult to explain how that feels. I just knew my physical body was shutting down. Through the brain fog and anguish I remember a moment of clarity when I made the critical decision to stay. I knew my life had led me to this place and my choices could lead me back to life. As a nutritionist, I also knew there are many alternative health care options available.
My journey to find holistic methods to heal my body began. I started with what I knew best and completely altered my diet by removing all inflammatory foods to help me manage the physical pain and aching. Then, I sought out Herbalists, Acupuncturists, Osteopaths, Homeopaths and Naturopaths to get their opinions on how to best support my body and encourage it to heal. I have tried so many modalities and therapies. Some of which worked for me, and some did not. The constant change though, was that I was mentally committed to physical healing. Our minds and our thoughts are very powerful. This I know for certain.
Fast-forward a few years and although I am not “cured”, I do feel better. I have stopped the progression of the disease and I have been able to find a new normal to live from. My hope is to help encourage others to honour their own intuition and find a balance of care that works for them.
On this site I will post information that I have tried and that works for me. Here, you will find diet changes, recipes, book recommendations and other insights that I hope inspire you to overcome the challenges your life has brought to you. I can honestly say that although scleroderma has been my life’s biggest obstacle, I am now grateful for it. I have learned to be more compassionate, loving and appreciative. I am a kinder, gentler version of myself and that makes me happy.