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Cancer-Free since 1994 – April 2022 Featured Healing Story

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Elissa Goodman was 32 years old when she found a lump near her thyroid – it was stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. When the doctors recommended chemo and radiation, a voice deep inside of her said she was destined for a more alternative path toward healing.  And she listened.


Keep reading to hear Elissa’s story in her own words:

“My diagnosis was Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and my team of conventional Western doctors recommended chemotherapy and radiation. But I knew myself better and decided to skip the chemo and limit my radiation treatment. While I’m sure the conventional treatment of mild radiation may have played a part in my healing, I attribute the vast majority of my recovery to alternative healing modalities.


Like a lot of us, when I got out of college, I wanted the fast life of a “successful” businesswoman. I worked long hours at a stressful job, fueling myself with caffeine and expensive restaurant dinners. Exercise was considered a luxury, and sleep was for those who didn’t care about moving up the ladder. I was going to conquer the world.


Then I felt a lump. When the doctor told me I had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, I couldn’t believe it. I was only 32 – people like me didn’t get cancer. I had recently gotten married and was going to start a family. I was “healthy,” wasn’t I?


The doctor recommended chemotherapy and radiation, but I knew I had always had a compromised immune system – and chemo could be the end of me because of it. With that said, I knew that I had to take action fast. After a lot of research and listening to my inner voice, I chose to skip the chemo, shorten my radiation regimen and pursue an alternative path. I was lucky to find a doctor who agreed with that protocol.


After my cancer diagnosis, I discovered that I also had Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s,, and Celiac disease. I had a long path of healing in front of me.


I thought back to the lessons in holistic health that I learned in Mexico as a teenager, and a light bulb went off. I realized that, in addition to medical treatment, my body needed nourishment and love. I quickly learned that optimal physical nutrition wasn’t the only necessity on the path to healing. I was experiencing a massive emotional roadblock that was preventing me from getting better, too. Chronic stress, past trauma, perfectionism, feelings of not being good enough, poor sleep, and more contributed to my state of disease.


I decided to commit to both the physical and mental aspects of recovery. I left my job and began managing my stress through talk therapy, yoga, reiki, energy healing, and more. Well-being became a massive part of the healing process, along with food. I also learned that what people told me was good food wasn’t always healthy food. I began juicing and eating a more plant-based diet – within a few months, I began to heal!


My husband Marc and I had the first of our two gorgeous daughters, Jordan. Sammy came along a few years later. Marc and I cherished the life we had created together until cancer came back into my life. But not for me. This time it was Marc’s health that began to fail. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma sounded terrifying, and it was.


Marc’s doctors convinced him to begin immediate chemotherapy and then two bone marrow transplants. He spent time in and out of hospitals as his immune system weakened. After an 18-month battle, it wasn’t cancer that took his life – it was an infection. The treatment that was supposed to cure him contributed to his untimely death at 45.


My run-ins with cancer showed me the importance of what I had learned as a teenager on the trips with my mother. The old saying that “you are what you eat” couldn’t be truer. Food was the root of many of the problems I saw in life, and food could also be part of the solution.


After Marc died, I went back to school at the American University of Complementary Medicine in Los Angeles and became a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. Years later, here I am, working with people from every walk of life to help them cleanse their bodies and their lives. I have now helped thousands of clients manage various health issues through diet, lifestyle, and emotional methodologies. I find immense joy in helping people get to the root of their health issues through emotional and physical discovery, and I have never been happier.


Today I remain cancer, Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, and Celiac free, and I feel better than ever!


Regarding what may have caused my cancer, there were numerous factors that contributed to my various illnesses. During the first half of my life, I experienced extreme stress, lack of sleep, less than optimal eating habits, and a limited exercise regimen. But, above all, I believe the number one contributor to my numerous diagnoses was related to emotional health.


I grew up compartmentalizing challenges, and I never did the work to heal them. It’s my firm belief that my mental and emotional issues eventually bubbled to the surface and manifested as physical illness. That’s why a significant part of my Holistic Nutrition business is dedicated to working with clients on confronting and overcoming emotional obstacles.


EDITOR’S NOTE: As of April 2022, Elissa is thriving.


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