Getting a cancer diagnosis is never something you plan for, especially when you’re a new mom with an eight-month-old son. In this Voices of Motherhood episode, I’ve invited thyroid cancer survivor, health coach, and founder of Alchemy Juice, Carly Brown, to share her story of navigating motherhood, healing thyroid cancer naturally, and what she’s doing differently in her current pregnancy.
Carly’s embraced the ups and downs of her motherhood journey and is grateful for who she’s become in the process. She’s now healthier, more vibrant, and full of purpose than ever and has turned her challenges into a roadmap to help others detoxify their lives and find health.
Join me as Carly shares what it was like to process the news of thyroid cancer, how she took charge of healing cancer naturally, and how her motherhood journey has been forever changed for the better.
Moments You Don’t Want to Miss
[13:04] Hear about how Carly and her husband prepared mentally and emotionally for a homebirth
[18:50] Listen to Carly debrief the day she received her thyroid cancer diagnosis
[37:52] Here’s how Carly managed to juggle her challenge of healing thyroid cancer naturally and motherhood at the same time
[51:15] Find out what Carly has done to process the emotions that come when you’re fighting for your life
[57:18] Learn why daily detox is such a critical element to a healthy lifestyle
Getting A Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis While Newly Postpartum
Kelly Jo: How far into motherhood were you when you got that diagnosis? Can you tell us about that?
Carly: When Cruz was three months old, we moved to Mexico. We were planning on living down there for a while and we rented an apartment. We were just gonna keep doing what we were doing, as in working remotely. We were down there for four or five months when I realized I wasn’t feeling well. But at the same time, Cruz was so little and still not sleeping through the night. I was constantly tired, no matter how clean I ate or how much I worked out.
So I went to a doctor and I had a thyroid panel done while I was down in Mexico. And everything came back normal. In a way, that was a relief. And on the other side, I was like, “well, what the heck is going on here?” And so I found this woman who did full body therapeutic massage. She was an intuitive bodyworker. I thought, let me just go have her work on my body. Maybe I'm just really, really tired and this is just motherhood. So she did an evaluation of my body.
And after the massage, she mentioned I had a lump on my neck. And I was like “oh, interesting.” I don’t even know how much I even looked in the mirror at that time - you know when you're in the throes of new motherhood. And I thought it's probably just something hormonal. I'll go get an ultrasound or something to look at it.
So I went to a hospital in Mexico. They did an ultrasound, and they wanted me to get a biopsy done. But I didn't have fluent enough Spanish to understand what they were saying and their English was very broken.
I kept trying to get someone else to translate for me. But I knew that I was not going to have a biopsy. I kind of knew the dangers of biopsies, and I didn't want to stick a needle in my neck in a foreign country. So I decided I wasn’t going to do anything right now.
I was just going to watch it. The doctor seemed to be concerned, but I just wasn't that worried. So anyhow, I kept not feeling well. But we also decided to leave Mexico just because it just wasn't really flowing.
We decided to go back to Austin where our friends are so we could raise Cruz around our community. And by the time we got back to Austin, that lump had doubled in size. So I went and got an ultrasound. In that ultrasound report, I could read the red flags everywhere.
Learning To Receive Help While Healing Thyroid Cancer Naturally
Kelly Jo: The last few years have been a lot of work for you on your healing journey, both physically and emotionally. How have you handled juggling that with being a mom as well?
Carly: I got really good at asking for help because I had to. My mom came down to help me at the beginning of my diagnosis and never left. She still lives with us. She, Ross and I started Alchemy Juice together. So she's very involved in the business now.
Having my mom here has been paramount to having that support. But if it wasn't my mom, it's making sure that maybe Cruz went to daycare more days a week. Or it’s making sure all three of us sit down to figure out who needs to be where and when.
Now there were days at the beginning of the healing journey where it was just Ross and my mom navigating those things because, with my dental surgeries, I pretty much went to the clinic, and then slept till the next morning. So having family support, and just the willingness to ask for help, I think is a very, very big thing - whether that's family or friends, or any type of community.
Also, I think you just have to be really transparent with people. People have a lot of compassion for you when you're going through something like thyroid cancer. And people want to help. Before I tended to be someone who would refuse help that was offered.
Now, when anyone asks for help, I'm like - yeah, so can you come over at this time? Could you make some food for Cruz? And I love doing that for other people too.
Like anytime I see a GoFundMe for a new mama or something, I'm sending food or I'm donating because I know how good it is to receive. I also know how good it feels to give. And when someone really receives my offering, it is a gift to me as much as it is to them.
Kelly Jo: Yeah, I think learning to ask for help is huge - at least for me because I like to think I can do it all myself, which is such a lie.
Adapting Health Routines During Pregnancy
Kelly Jo: So you’re pregnant again! Congrats! Can you share some of the health shifts you’re making right now and how you’re supporting your body and baby this time around?
Carly: Yeah, so I switched from predominantly raw foods to adding in animal protein three times a week and more fats, some quinoa, and brown rice - just like a well-rounded whole foods diet. I'm not following a diet plan. I'm just eating whole foods like the wide spectrum of whole foods from nature. I'm still doing my hydration routine and my juicing. I'm not doing coffee enemas or rectal ozone right now. And I'm not rebounding right now either.
I'm focused more on things like yoga, walking, and weight training. I'm not doing saunas right now, but I'm excited to get those back once the baby's here. I'm sleeping, resting, and walking. You know, everyday wellness things. Those are probably the big ones.
A Few Closing Thoughts From Our Conversation
Carly’s journey of healing thyroid cancer naturally is a testimony of the power of supporting your body at a root level. Her integrative approach invites others to consider alternative ways to heal from the inside out. Our bodies are made to heal and when we remove the obstacles (detox) and nourish ourselves, it’s miraculous what can happen!
As intense as Carly’s battle with thyroid cancer has been, my biggest takeaway is how filled with hope she is for the future. For me, the most inspiring part of her story is how she didn’t let fear define the end of her story. Instead, she turned her biggest challenge into a blessing.
This conversation was a treasured reminder to ask myself: what decision would I make if I wasn’t afraid or afraid of failing? What would I go after with my whole heart?
I challenge you to ask yourself the same today.
More From Carly Brown
Carly Brown is a holistic health coach, yogi, juice enthusiast, wife, and mother on a mission to contribute to a happier, healthier world. Inspired by her experience naturally healing thyroid cancer, Carly launched Alchemy Juice, a local juice delivery company in Austin, Texas and an 8-week detox course, The Daily Detox, on her website carlybrownwellness.com.
She loves spending time barefoot in her kitchen making raw food meals, exploring with her husband and son, Cruz, and traveling to beautiful places off the beaten path
Links & Resources Mentioned
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November 18, 2021