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A 4-Year Glioblastoma Survivor: Hope Is a Great Medicine

Web Exclusives — March 29, 2023
Shenell Malloy
Rancho Santa Fe, CA

In early 2019, my world flipped upside down, and my life changed forever. One moment I was a healthy, active, 36-year-old mom of 2 beautiful children, living a normal life. The next moment, I was staring at an image of a mass in my brain, while being told I needed brain surgery, because I might have the deadliest form of brain cancer—glioblastoma.

Time stopped at that moment, and my breath was ripped away from me. I was in absolute shock, with so many questions racing in my mind.

While still recovering from the agony and swelling of brain surgery, my oncologist recommended that I immediately begin 42 days of combined treatment with radiation and chemotherapy. Those 42 days were the hardest and darkest days of my life, and I am so thankful for the love and support I received from my family, friends, integrative healers, and doctors.

I was determined to fight and do whatever it took to heal. In addition to the physical fight, I knew that I had to begin a mental, emotional, and spiritual healing journey.

I began listening to my body, using food as medicine by eating all organic and eliminating refined sugar and grains. I did weekly hypnotherapy, acupuncture, Reiki, cranial sacral massages, daily meditation, walks on the beach, and epsom salt baths. Basically, anything and everything that I could do to help my mind, body, and spirit heal.

I could not have made it through conventional cancer treatment without doing every single one of these practices to support my fragile physical state.

I made the choice to fight, the choice to live, to be positive, and trust that my body has the power to heal. I worked through stored negative trauma and emotions and let go of anything that felt heavy or stressful.

I was feeding my body cells with positive, loving thoughts, and visualizing a time when I would grow old and hold my grandchild—a moment that I would fight to live for.

Every day I told myself these healing affirmations: I am healthy, I am strong, I am healed; that was the truth I wanted my mind, body, and soul to hear so that one day it would become my reality.

I believe that everything happens for a reason, and there are valuable lessons to be learned, and growth to be done when we are faced with hardship and pain. I know that I am alive today to help others going through this horrible health crisis, to give others the hope that better days are ahead.

And although there is no cure for brain cancer, I hope to share my journey, lessons learned, and further support my cancer community through a nonprofit organization I helped create—Do Cancer (

We created this nonprofit organization to provide a place of hope, support, and positivity for people who hear those dreadful words: “You have cancer.”

It is a resource aimed to help people in need of finding hope, inspiration, and strength to never stop believing in miracles. I am such a miracle, and I know that together we can do this—we can do anything, we can Do Cancer!

Until there is a cure for cancer, long-term survivors are the key to finding answers. Hope is the greatest medicine of all.

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