Finally Free: Cancer Saved My Life

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People ask me: What led you to this work? I tell them: Cancer. Yep, that’s right. The big C word… I know, it’s unconventional. I’ve received a number of requests recently to talk about my story. I’m honoured (and a bit nervous) to share it with you. Here’s how it happened…

Now it’s YOUR turn. What stood out to you from this video? Have you had a transformative experience with suffering that changed your life?

Leave a comment below! Remember to share as much detail as possible in your reply.  Thank you for sharing your voice. If you have friends, family and fellow pilgrims on the spiritual journey, please share this post.

It’s a miracle to be alive. I’m reminded every single day since my diagnosis. Healing is a choice. Recovery is a potential side effect.

Let’s have a juicy conversation.

All my love,



13 Comments Add a Comment

  • Suzanne LaBatt is my blog about my very unique and unconventional, and often uncomfortable journey towards healing from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). My DID was brought about from childhood trauma of being thrown into satanic cult rituals, to organized religion abuse to torture. chronicles my journey through terror towards integration. Thank you.

    • Nina Hirlaender

      Wow, Suzanne your story is moving. It sounds like you have used this difficult experience as a means of personal growth to develop incredible stamina and strength. I’m certain that you’re an inspiration for everyone’s lives who you touch. Thank you for sharing.

  • Irene Sunn

    Hi Nina,
    I whole-heartedly agree with your sentiments about how cancer can change one’s life. It did mine. I was wandering the world aimlessly after separation and selling home etc. Then on the eve of my 61st Birthday was diagnosed with Breast Cancer which resulted in a double-mastecomy. I did a lot of self-healing during that time and didn’t need drugs, chemo or radiation. I have not returned to the medical profession or had implants and do not wear prosthesis. I am happy with my body as IS. We are not our bodies; we are more than that. At the time, I know it caused me to re-plant this seed (me) again and grow into a Tree of Life which has happened and growing towards the Light. A song I wrote after I saw the ‘Light’!
    “It’s a long dark journey when you’re broken in two
    I never feel lost when I’m alone with you
    I was RED with anger in deep despair
    ORANGE made life easy, easier to bear
    YELLOW sunny faces became my happy friends
    In open GREEN fields where freedom never ends
    From TURQUOISE waters I began to see
    The distant BLUE sky where I longed to be
    PURPLE coloured mountains lifted me closer to Thee
    Where I found MAGENTA the love I want to be
    Your Light shines brightly and guides so gently
    I’m through the darkness and living in the Light.”
    Light is life. Walk in hope through the colours of the rainbow and find the sun within your soul. I found mine and enjoying life and assisting others through their darker days.
    Light, love and peace …. Irene xo

    • Nina Hirlaender

      Dear Irene,

      Your bright spirit shines brightly! Congratulations for loving your body AS IT IS. In our world where there is immense pressure for women to look and act a certain way, you are a trailblazer. These types of initiation experiences leave an imprint on our hearts. I can relate to your story.

      I LOVE THE SONG!! Is there any way to listen to the melody? I imagine it is beautiful and uplifting.

      Peace be with you always, kind soul.


  • Guillermo Llinas

    Nina, vi tu video y coincidencialmente ( sincronismo ?) hoy en el Conversatorio No 132 hablamos de la muerte y de la Herencia Intangible que quisiéramos dejar.
    Puedes ver mi trayectoria después del diagnostico de cancer en

    escribo en español ya que vi que estudiaste en Barcelona

    • Nina Hirlaender

      Hola Guillermo,

      Encantada de conocerte. My Sapnish es terrible. Tuve la suerte de estudiar inglés en Barcelona. Mis pasantías fueron en países de habla inglesa. Yo amo España. Tienes suerte de vivir allí.

      La conversación sobre patrimonio intangible suena poderosa. Sincronizado que encuentras esta publicación en este día. ¿Cuál es el legado que dejarás atrás?

      Te deseo lo mejor.

  • Honnie Polman

    Hello Dear Nina,
    It is so good to hear the joy in your voice when you speak about your personal awakening. You are so right when you say that pain and suffering are the ultimate raw materials for awakening and transformation.
    My personal experience is that the Divine Spirit of Light never leaves you alone. It will push you to your limits and then enfold you in a field of grace.
    When I was in my 20;s I suffered an emotional trauma which led to a physical breakdown of my body. I became severely ill with a mystery condition accompanied by pneumonia. I was hospitalised in an isolation ward and put on oxygen and intravenous tubes. My whole body was in unbearable pain and I was hallucinating. I no longer wanted to live.
    Suddenly, the pain left me and I was in a state of complete peace and serenity. My spirit had left my body and floated high up above my hospital bed. There was total silence. I looked down at my body lying in the bed and became aware of a soft moaning. I was listening to my own agony. I stayed in that state of pure serenity for an indefinite period of time, then a gentle force pushed me back into by aching body. From that time onwards I began to slowly get better.
    After this experience I knew that there were things I needed to do, but I was in the firm grip of strong family expectations and obligations, and I did not yet have the personal power to break free from that. It was not until some years later, when my daughter was in the Children’s Hospital with a serious condition and I had to make some very difficult decisions that I heeded the strong inner call to completely change direction in my work.
    I wanted to know and learn everything I could about human health and what made us sick. I studied and became qualified in psychology, nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy and various energy healing methods and other modalities.
    I developed a very busy private practice, taught at a college of natural medicine and was a speaker at many functions. I was passionate about healing on all levels. The little spare time l had was spent learning more about the complexities of the human condition.
    Then after more than 25 years of working to my limits, exhaustion set in. My body and mind were telling me it was time to let go of the demanding workload. The huge personal growth I had during my life enabled me to recognise this, but my strong sense of commitment prevented me from changing my patterns. I was close to physical burnout.

    One again Diving Providence stepped in.
    The building where my private practice office was located was to be demolished and rebuilt. My father became ill and wanted to see me daily. My husband had a stroke and needed care. My mother was diagnosed with cancer and drew heavily on my energy. My house was sold and there were construction problems with our new house, so we had to temporarily move in with family.
    All this happened in a relatively short period of time and I was convinced that only God could dislodge my daily life so completely. I was too exhausted to start a new practice elsewhere.
    After the move into our new house, I was overcome by a sense of false guilt at “letting down” my clients and patients by not working in a health practice. I struggled with that, but no doors opened to allow me to return to my previous work.
    My personal life was extraordinarily demanding and once again I felt my wellbeing declining. I was now working just as hard in my new situation, but without the satisfaction of doing what I loved. I felt depleted in both body and spirit. I had developed a continual pressure in my head and it was building week by week. I knew I needed time away from my situation but was unsure where to go and what to do.

    Then in 2016 I read via Caroline Myss’s newsletters about the Dancing Spirit Tours, in particular The Divine Feminine in France. In an instant I knew that tour was for me. My mind threw up all sorts of obstacles, but I worked them out and booked the tour. The moment I hit the keys on my computer to book for the tour. the pressure in my head left, and it has not returned.
    The Divine Feminine Tour in France was another turning point in my life. From the moment of my arrival I felt nurtured by the wonderful group of people heading the tour. The places of spiritual significance we visited and all the information that went with it were like balm for my soul. I was back in touch with my real self. I felt regenerated.
    Then, while visiting a particular place of spiritual significance – Gorge de Galamus – I once again experienced the power of spiritual energy. The whole group was in a state of heightened sensitivity. Many of us felt the mystical energy of the place. While inside the cave I became aware of the presence of many spirits and their impact on my energy field. I walked out through the stone arch into the rocky courtyard. I remember seeing Donna coming towards me and asking whether I needed to sit down. Then I no longer heard her.
    I was floating in a place of complete silence high above the Gorge. I was aware of many spirits, each having a powerful presence as well as being part of a collective force field. The spirits were from realms of the human, animal, bird and plant kingdoms, all united in spirit existence. There was complete peace and I was one with the whole of it.
    I became aware of voices on the ground calling me. I went back into my body. I remember being surrounded by members of the group and seeing the huge energy fields surrounding them. Some individuals had shimmering colours around them. Each person exuded a strong and loving presence. The collective energy of this wonderful group of people enabled me to stay in a field of grace.

    This experience changed my life. I have a new sense of calmness and purpose. I have new choices. And I know for certain that our choices help us to step into our personal power, or our choices can lead us into weakness and avoidance behaviour.
    In France I rediscovered the strength of my soul and this gave me the strength to step back into my personal power. I also chose to step back into my feminine power, which I had ignored for so long.

    We are never alone. Even when we cannot feel the presence of Divine grace, it is with us.

    • Nina Hirlaender

      Dear Honnie,

      I have chills all over reading your post. I remember very clearly the visit at Gorge De Galamus and how magical it was to watch you in your process. When you came back to us there was a new kind of glimmer in your eyes, almost like they changed colour. You were peaceful and had a sense of ‘knowing’ and groundedness for the rest of the journey. Walking the Divine Feminine pilgrimage with you was profound for me. I will never forget the experience in the cave.

      I’m grateful to learn about the backstory, how your experience in the cave connects with your history. What jumps out to me is that you are always keenly listening for the call of Spirit. I love that about you!

      Thank you so much, Honnie, for following you path and sharing your story with us.



      • Honnie Polman

        Thank you for your response, lovely Nina. I watched your video again and love the passion and honesty you put into all of the work you do. Thank you for sharing yourself so freely. Bless you and your work and all those who work with you.


      • Nina Hirlaender

        Thank you for your kind words, Honnie. I hope we can travel together again someday soon. <3

    • Brie MacDonald

      Hi Honnie,

      I too, like Nina, remember that day at Gorges De Galamus very vividly. There was a definite sense that you were not really there, that part of you was indeed somewhere else, experiencing other things, seeing other things. You were so bright when you returned to the group later that day.

      The story of your journey in this life really brings to my mind the idea of our journeys as spiral. We move around in a circle, and it appears sometimes that we have arrived back at an old place, or old pain & struggles. Yet we are not actually back at the same place, we are revisiting it, a little adjacent to it, from all we have learned since. It allows us to remember and recalibrate. I am so grateful that your experience in the gorge had such a profound and long lasting affect on your path.

      Thank you so much for sharing Honnie.
      Much love,

      • Honnie Polman

        Hi Brie,
        Thanks for your insightful response. I really like your analogy of our lives as a spiral where we seem to revisit similar situations. And each time we have the opportunity to grow a little bit more and to go a little bit deeper.
        Thanks for being a part of the team in France. I just love your vibrancy. The Divine Feminine Pilgrimage has had a remarkable impact on my life and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to interact with you all.

  • Stephanie Alberts

    I just saw this (2019 sept)
    I was looking up information about Assisi, the trip I am so looking forward to. I know it’s a part of my own healing journey… my story is full of joy and sorrow… I can see blessings that are born from pain.
    But your story…!!! I was looking forward to meeting you already, and now, even more so. At this (late) stage of my life I have become a Radiantbodyyoga instructor ( Kia Miller rby)
    And as beautiful and healing as the/ my yoga practice is… the word Radiant holds more and more meAning to/for me. YOU are Radiant.
    I send you light and I so look forward to the upcoming journey…..


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