About Me

My name is Karen Alexander and I live in Queensland Australia.

In my early childhood I lived in Papua New Guinea for eight years.

As a young adult I had worked in the Queensland Outback as a governess at Julia Creek, Charters Towers and Longreach.

When I married and settled down, I found myself working in the mining industry in Central Queensland for over eight years. After leaving,  I studied and achieved an MBA specialising in Project Management.

I worked in my own business as a business consultant and mentor for about three years.  When my health took a drastic nose dive.  Hence this blog is about my journey since 2006.

Although I have a Professional Certificate in Wellness and Health Coaching.  I choose not to practice.  I prefer writing.

Why I chose the motto of "Living Life with Courage & Conviction" and to write about my experiences in surviving the medical terminal cancer diagnosis.

I would like to share with you the winning achievements and my definition of Living Life with Courage & Conviction, and what it entails in my life. I hope to saturate you with inspiration and provide thought-provoking ideas for living mindfully. While not wasting a precious moment of your splendid life, and most important to appreciate self-worth.

I experienced a diverse upbringing, when living in Papua New Guinea for eight years during my childhood. After being exposed to many cultural backgrounds and beliefs, I accepted all without question and only thought ill of someone if they hurt me. These instances were few, and no other major events happened for me to question how I lived my life.
As a young adult I learnt about discrimination in the workplace, especially a workplace that was predominately male.

To become a better person and establish myself, a self-improvement desire began. A Masters Degree in Business (MBA) - Specialising in Project Management was achieved, and I then started my own consulting business, again becoming a winner. I had everything in the way of a career, happily married and a son. At the top of my game, and you know what that means... only one way to go: down.....
2006 was the year I was diagnosed with advanced incurable cancer. I thought cancer was all I was to fight. Reflecting on events during the past thirteen years, has shown my fight proved to be not just on a medical level of restricted beliefs, but the incurable diagnosis impacts on the belief framework we have in our society. I became exposed to people and their limited belief systems which didn’t harbour the possibility of surviving a medical incurable diagnosis. They did not spare a conscious thought to any other conceivable options.

To survive cancer is hard enough, but the no hope situation, from the medical experts when repeatedly told I would die, proved mentally crippling. 

 Now I challenge people’s preconceived ideas about an incurable disease. Giving a voice to what it is like to survive an ‘unsurvivable’ diagnosis.

My life changed dramatically once the diagnosis became known in my social and work circles. My world crumbled and changed, never to be the same.

The impact and repercussions since the diagnosis took away my hope, trust and challenged every established belief, which underpinned my perceptions and outlook on life. As a result, I became a recluse for about nine years.

Being raised to respect doctors and to believe they were here to help if you were ill, I had offered my blind trust to the doctors caring for me. My belief structure became severely threatened when I found a drug prescribed for me called Tamoxifen[1] known since the year 2000 to be a human carcinogen and known to cause liver and uterine cancer. I felt betrayed on an immense scale.

When the PET scan showed the cancer had metastasized into the bones and my vertebrae, broke in two places due to the swelling from the tumours. The pain experienced when combined with no hope prognosis, catapulted into fear and terror. Fear of the unknown in my life, which until then was filled with checklists and goals to accomplish. All the successful people did these things, and I proved to be no different. The experience of terror came from not wanting to sleep at night. I didn't want to die; I felt I was a person with so much more to accomplish in life.

While doing more research into the drugs prescribed. I found one thing in common: they all had the potential of doing more harm than good.

With my trust in medical people and the system already shattered.  I rebelled and not in a pretty pink, girly kinda way. I changed from a victim to a warrior persona such as Xena or Wonder Woman, minus the snazzy costumes and leather. Not a pretty sight!

To provide an understanding of the situations I faced when first released from hospital, I had quite a few visitors, but I didn’t realize initially that they came to say their goodbyes. I stopped going out after feeling hurt and on finding people were avoiding me when I went uptown or into the shopping centres. Eventually my world became quiet. There is no blame here; this is not the intention of this story.

I lived in limbo for years and during this period, the process of learning taught me how much I had valued my worth and my life was based entirely on external factors and people in my life. I thought my value as a person depended on how hard I worked. How my academic achievements, and a folder full of certificates gave me worth as a person and from abiding by all the man-made rules which make up our society.

Over time, I faced being challenged on a spiritual level. Who was I? How did my perceptions and values in life become so distorted? The inner awakening had begun.

It was in these darkest depths of despair. I learnt how to fight. I learnt about willpower and about not caring what other people thought of me, or of their negative vibes on surviving long term. This was a gut-wrenching realization and was what is often described in many philosophy books as the dark night of the soul.

I learnt about resilience. I learnt about endurance and, importantly, came to the realization it was the medical system and people in that industry who didn’t have the answers for cancer. It didn’t mean the answer couldn’t be found elsewhere.
The meaning of words, used in our existence will have a different emotional context in each person’s life. Depending upon the perceptions arrived at from the trials they have endured and overcome in their own life. It is an indicator of experiences endured and finding the inner soul and spirit which makes the person whole. Words used like resilience cannot convey adequately the human emotion associated with human endurance. To appreciate the depth of understanding is to be felt and lived. We can never describe it in a satisfactory manner; it's like describing human emotions but in 3D.

When given the terminal diagnosis, my family had never had a reason to challenge these preconceived perceptions, reinforced over time by society. Family came to stay for a couple of months expecting me to die. When I didn’t, they departed; they had their lives to lead, and I was taking forever to die. 

This was another blow to my worth as a person. The medical prognosis of life expectancy was more believable than my worth as a person and lacked any recognition of my fighting spirit. 
My father left his funeral suit hanging in our house for four years. My days were filled, with the fight for the right to live and not die according to another belief system, not similar to my own.

To find the words to describe the emotional trauma I endured. The experience was similar to being held under water by the people expecting me to die, while telling me I was going to die, when my only thought was to struggle and gulp fresh air to enable me to live. I felt like they had held me under water for too long. Eventually I realized that ‘hope’ was something I had to give myself. 

I thrashed around emotionally for a long time to find sense and balance and the fresh air needed in my life before deciding to leave the medical system which was dooming me with biased and limited beliefs. I have not sought medical advice for nearly eleven years now, and I have not been able to claim one product, or item, from our medical system or private health care system which has improved my health over this time. This became an unreasonable burden to my sense of honesty, truth and justice deep within my psyche. These qualities were supposed to be the foundation of our government and medical systems, put in place by people in power. The people who could lead and show all the qualities I was desperately searching for.

I hope by now you will understand the level of commitment and how I celebrated - usually alone. Every little win and every little goal ticked off in my list of To Do’s. One of the hardest tasks proved to be removing an addictive steroid they had prescribed me, and combating the depression, pain and tears. It took eighteen months to get remove the drug totally out of my life. When the porta-cath (a device in my chest used for injecting drugs) became blocked. Its removal was another milestone I celebrated, because it meant I was no longer forced to go anywhere near a hospital or doctor, or to endure the repeated words of ‘terminal’ and ‘incurable’.

I celebrated my achievements on survival each month I outlived their expectations. Then I celebrated the six-month mark, and finally after six years, back to counting in years. 

It was finding the grit, on the days when my depression and emotions of grieving for my own expected death hit hardest. I knew I couldn’t seek emotional support from anyone… anywhere. If I went to an organisation for assistance, they would only refer me back to the medical system I was trying to escape from, and no one in my small trusted circle of friends had ever experienced a life crisis similar to mine.
Isolating myself proved to be the best thing I could have done. Although at the time it seemed very painful removing the friendships, and relationships I had nurtured and treasured for years. This included old school friends and work mates. I focused totally on my health and became proficient at practicing meditation. 

Spending my time researching, all the natural healing to be found in the cosmos. 

Resulting in - building blocks on foods, and what worked for me. I learnt to listen to my intuition.

Through the experience of being so close to death, I found the intuitive healer from within had come to my rescue. The real me was discovered, a Sensitive, also known as an Intuitive. I had never previously been encouraged as a child to explore these qualities and gifts about myself. I learnt how to heal the emotional traumas from my life’s accumulation of hurts, to give myself permission to heal, and to have hope. I learnt about innate awareness.

I live a life filled with fascination of how things work and human responses to situations, words and environments. To create something from emptiness grants a sense of achievement and love of the inner world, by using my own ideas and not bowing to the pressures from society trying to make me conform.

A twisted tree in all its non-conformity is an apt description of my shape and form. To understand the storm, I have weathered will give you a glimpse of the person who is here today.

The year 2017 proved to be my big transition year. Integrating back into the outside world and the society I had shunned for years. It began with me wanting to be an inspirational speaker. I believed I could inspire other women not to give up the fight, and to encourage people to look outside the medical profession, and system when given the cancer diagnosis by turning instead to healing in natural and nurturing ways. 

Someone met me with rejection after rejection. People’s mindset and belief systems were not easily swayed, even with proof of the medical records. I completed a Professional Health & Wellness Certification, receiving high distinctions, but realised what I had achieved on a much larger scale, could not be studied in some man made classroom or university. 

I had adopted many aspects of natural healing, but I didn't have the inclination to prove my ability to the world anymore. I already showed living proof of what I could achieve. I would give no one the right, or power, to decide if it should receive a high distinction or just a pass. Their judgments no longer mattered. 
Finally, I applied to take part in a University program for entrepreneurial women. A prior event occurred which had led me to receive another rejection. Feeling out of sorts in a big way, I had lost the inner harmony and peace, which I had become accustomed to in my life. 

When filling out the field on the form that requested my occupation, I typed “Adult Delinquent”. I had reached the rebellious stage and rejected everything society stood for about giving people a fair go, by showing support for people in my predicament. I burned with fire and passion, wanting to pass on my story and message. 
Then ashamed of what I had written and submitted. I phoned the professor, closer to the date when the program was due to start, explained my situation and I was graciously accepted into the program. 

It was like the one small flame of hope, of surviving the medical diagnosis; this one small thread of hope of being believed and someone offers me an opportunity. I cried when I found out they had granted me a mentor role for the twelve-week program. I felt the realization, resonating in my solar plexus. This struggle and fight for my life had brought me to this point on my life’s journey. Where I could mentor other women and be given the chance to inspire others. Not just in a business sense, but on a personal level to guide them to believe in themselves and not to question their own self-worth based on other people’s views and opinions. Interacting with these bright intelligent women, re-opened my heart to the outside world. 

 During the twelve weeks, I wrote the first draft of my book. The professional person I asked to critique the first five chapters of my manuscript encouraged me to look at writing 40,000 - 70,000 words. It surprised me as I only envisioned writing about 20,000 words. This meant within the first week of the project, I already had massive scope creep. I did not consider it possible to write over 40,000 words. But write I did and wrote over 40,000 words in a little over eight weeks. 

I found I burnt with passion, drive and determination. I had the opportunity, a story and a tale to tell. This kick started my writing career. I managed in under 12 months to be published in four books. The most important was my book about my journey, and the relentless struggle faced on a daily basis. 

My blog site started in 2017, and I surrendered to be part of the social media culture. It is humbling to see hits to my simple little blog site from around the world. Few people leave comments, but my hope is anyone reading my words. Will find hope and comfort if they are facing their challenges and obstacles on life’s journey. 

Every so often, I post free-form poetry or inner turmoil from my journal. It is not so much about other people liking my writing or my journal posts; it is more about me being brave enough to show the world the real me and not trying to pretend to be a person who only society accepts. Or, just being the mean strip on a bell curve in a statistical report which depicts me as an average person, at an average age, or being an average survivor. I am so much more. 

An exercise undertaken when, feeling sensitive and having a low number on the self-worth meter. To convert my thoughts on how I valued myself according to the outside world, which only seems to measure everything by financial gain and wealth. I converted self-worth into a monetary figure. It was the most liberating exercise I could have done. Because it led me during the week to negate negative self-criticisms, and how to rid past judgments and appraisals from people in my life. I stopped looking at myself through others eyes and took a sledge hammer to my doubts and negatives.

No one else's standards, policies or subjective judgement can measure my worth anymore.

The start of the year 2019, I celebrated thirteen years since we purchased my burial plot. Looking back, I remember the wry and skeptical smiles from a past acquaintance when they knew of my commitment to living my life the epigenetic way. A few years back, the scientific name was not so well established in our culture as it is today. Changing how you perceive the word ‘incurable’ has a large impact on your willpower to survive—I am living proof. 

I believe I am still here today, because of my curiosity, and fascination of the world and how it works. Vibrational healing was a large focus of my attention and studying herbs and spices. My intuition led me to explore many unusual ideas, and ask many questions. I gave myself permission to do whatever would heal me. Walking along the beach and picking up driftwood for my bonsai plants, was a delight. I absorbed the salty air, and my spirit felt free. My life is simpler now and so much more enjoyable. I no longer live with the fear and despair as though I am fighting for life, with claw marks across a blackboard.

Surviving to challenge the system and the set of beliefs which dictate and govern the very foundation which our society rests on. All based on fear and greed. I have paid the price on every conceivable outer world price they teach us to value from an early age. 

Knowing and experiencing the medical system as it is has made me very aware of the mis-use of synthetic drugs. 

To be rid of the burden of the forced medical expenses we were paying, according to the current laws, as I hadn’t been able to claim one item or product in the past 11 years from the Medicare and private health system. When I challenged the system the authorities ruled - I was to separate from my husband. We had been married for more than 30 years. 

I hold a treasure chest of the good times, gratitude and love for the person who stood by me through thick and thin, better or worse. Despite trying to remain together. The truth had to be faced. We both tolerated extremes in the measuring of human emotions and financial burdens in a system with perceptions, I no longer believed in… 

The very foundation of my belief system I had inherited since birth is no longer there. I entered a new age of awareness in every sense of my being.

Walking away from the perpetual sickness industry, is the wisest thing I ever did. The final realisation being - as consumers we hold the power to change the system. It is not for the faint hearted, as you will see from my experiences. 

I no longer hold myself bound to anyone else’s belief system. To discover my set of beliefs is owed to my love of reading. Always asking more questions than finding answers, and my greatest love - philosophy. Keeping a balance of my inner and outer worlds is my priority now. 

I am forging new memories to replace the traumatic ones, which are gradually fading but it has taken a long time. Through the years I discovered a will power I never knew existed within my spirit, and I learnt my health is never to be placed in someone else's hands.

My health is more valuable than any conceivable man made measure in the material world, and I believe should be a freedom of choice for everyone, whether you choose synthetic drugs or healing provided by nature.


Living Life with Courage & Conviction TM

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