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I’m Holly Wallace, and I am a Cancer Coach. Everything that I write is in a tone of joyful-cheeky-eye-rolling-winking-love. I don’t take myself too seriously and can see all three sides of every story!
I have an interesting life and find that sharing it has helped me move forward when I feel weak. Recently, I saw that opening up and being honest about my wounds helps others. This realization, covid, and my company closing prompted me to change my life and career completely. Rather than look at my fat paycheck each month, I get a massive smile on my face when I hear from a client who found hope when she felt hopeless or experienced joy when she was in the pits of sorrow. (not gonna lie, I wish that smile came with a fat paycheck)
If my blog gives you a glimpse of hope and a moment of joy, I am successful!
I was born in 1976 to young hippie parents who don’t subscribe to the hippie title. If you look at their photos back in the day and hear that they toured the country playing in a band, you will probably agree that the title fits them.
When I was five years old, I had chickenpox (pre-vaccine times, but let’s not debate that today). I was extra sick, and my mom noticed that my belly was growing quickly. She took me to a few doctors who didn’t have a clue what to do for me. Finally, good ol’ Dr. Koesterer (a doctor in her small town) admitted me to the closest hospital because no matter what, the mass in my belly had to come out.
Hospital #1 didn’t have a team to care for me, so we drove over an hour to hospital #2 Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, to find the right doctors. I remember the drive because it was an insanely hot summer day, and our car broke down on the way. I was quickly taken to surgery to remove the mass. What the doctors found was an immature malignant teratoma that weighed about 8 pounds. Grade 3 / Stage 4. Worse than that, the cancer cells had spread to the lymph nodes and peritoneal cavity.
Malignant teratomas are highly aggressive lesions, often resulting in patient death within a short period after diagnosis.
Immature teratomas are made of tissues that resemble those found in an embryo. A pure immature teratoma is extremely rare and represents approximately 1 percent of all ovarian cancers. The grade of the tumor is the single most important prognostic factor in early-stage disease—prognosis refers to a person’s chance of recovery. Less than 25% of patients recover when the tumors are found to be Grade 3 (the highest grade).
From age 5 to age 45, cancer has been part of my life. Hair loss, tooth issues, pain during sex, scans, chemotherapy with drugs like adriamycin (the red devil), vincristine, and cyclophosphamide. Infertility, cancer coaching, suicidal thoughts, Holly Wakefield Day, miscarriages, a stillborn daughter named Cordelia, donations to the ACS, and an implant to help me stop peeing my pants. Scars, walking for Sunrise Day Camp, MTHFR, and a blood clotting issue that prompted United Airlines to land a plane from Hong Kong so that an ambulance could grab me off the tarmac and save my life with transfusions. Six months of bed rest, no nipples, a cerclage, intense periods, peripheral neuropathy, divorce, and weight issues. Cervical cancer, faith in God like no other, a hysterectomy, breast cancer, adoption, special needs parenting, and a double mastectomy round out my life with cancer so far!
Why am I sharing all of the cancer-mumbo-jumbo? Because I am a miracle! I am a walking, talking miracle, and I’m grateful every single day that I lived through cancer three times! I don’t say this to brag on myself, and I am bragging on Jesus for sure! It took me a lot (see above paragraph) to realize that I am called to be a Cancer Coach. I believe that I’m on this earth to share my story, inspire, empathize, and love others when they are at their most unlovable.
I am living this interesting life with the perspective that everything is overcomeable. I’m well versed on many more topics than just cancer because having cancer as a child forced me to open doors that most people have nailed shut for fear that opening them will be too dang hard. (reality check- it is hard)
I invite you to engage with me:
There is power in a community of overcomers who shed the baggage and get real. Take a peek at these Goddesses!