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Erika K. Wolf    

Cancer Survivor, Author of "Cancer & Other Things I'm Grateful For: How Self-Advocacy and Integrative Medicine Led To Holistic Healing"

Erika K. Wolf has stared fear in the face. She also knows how to transform fear into unexpected gratitude. As a wife and mother of two children, Wolf knew after being diagnosed with an advanced form of breast cancer that she had to do everything in her power to find a path to recovery.

In 2023, Wolf will release her first book: Cancer & Other Things I'm Grateful For: How Self-Advocacy and Integrative Medicine Led To Holistic Healing." The book is a no-holds-barred, real-time account of Wolf's personal journey from diagnosis and treatment to recovery.

As a public speaker, Wolf tackles tough questions that individuals often deal with when they are, or a loved one is diagnosed. Through honesty and openness about how to remain positive, Wolf asks questions like: "Does the natural reaction to grieve a cancer diagnosis and plead, 'why me?' counteract the very healing we seek?" and "Can fears be transformed into unexpected gratitude?"

Wolf was born and raised in East Liverpool, Ohio, and graduated from Kent State University. She is an advocate for the empowerment of women and, through her speaking engagements, focuses on topics about changing careers and being fluid in change. She also focuses on health and wellness topics and the power of self-advocacy.

Speech Topics

The Impact of Complementary Therapies on Holistic Healing Throughout Oncology Care

Starting cancer treatment is a scary step. So scary, in fact, that some people choose not to do it. The unknowns are overwhelming, and the future is uncertain at best. The words “chemo,” “radiation,” and “mastectomy” strike fear in our hearts. But there doesn’t need to be an either-or proposition when it comes to treating cancer.

Eight years ago, at the age of 43, Erika overcame HER2+ stage III locally advanced invasive ductal carcinoma – aka breast cancer. Her 18 months of treatment included neoadjuvant chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomy, radiation therapy, and breast reconstruction. Once treatment began, she became painfully aware that she needed complementary therapies to keep herself healthy enough to endure the rigors of her strong regimen and maintain a positive mindset. Unfortunately, much of the American oncology community does not widely support the idea of holistic healing. Therefore, it is her passion to share this information with as many people as possible – most importantly physicians, nurses, and other caregivers who might grasp their efficacy and become advocates for their inclusion as a regular part of oncology care and recovery.

Gratitude and It's Effect on Body, Mind, and Spirit During a Serious Illness

It is easy to be grateful for the good in our lives or for the things we’ve asked for. But how does a person have gratitude for something they never wanted and can be considered “bad?” The simple truth is that we have a choice in how we perceive what happens in our lives. We can look at something like a cancer diagnosis as something that happens to us – or we can decide to embrace it as something that happens for us.

Soon after diagnosis, through the guidance of her psychotherapist, the practice of yoga, and tireless reading on the topic of healing and gratitude, she decided to have big-picture gratitude for this experience. But Erika also made a choice to express gratitude for the hundreds of small, everyday things that she already had, adding up to extraordinary benefits mentally, spiritually, and even physically.

She found that when she unified what was happening in her mind with what was happening in her body, the healing effects were intensified. She no longer felt that she had to fight against the cancer, but rather she decided to work with her body to provide what it needed to let go of the disease.

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