Hello, I am Veronica, aka Badass V!
On September 23, 2016, I was diagnosed with an “incurable” metastatic Stage 4 Lung Cancer. I had 1.5 litres of fluid in my right lung, and tumors metastasized on my chest, pelvis, and abdomen. According to my oncologist, the next place would have been my beautiful brain.
But, believe it or not, cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me…
When I declare that cancer was the best thing that happened to me, I genuinely mean this. I believe that everything that happened in the process after my diagnosis paved the way to my new life of fulfillment. I am alive today so that I can share the grace, lessons, and blessings that cancer has taught me. I chose to live, and chose to have my pain, struggles, and sufferings empower and transform me. This disease gave me the gift of knowing myself, loving myself, and sharing myself with others in a profound way.
Mark Twain said it beautifully: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
As we all know, greatness never comes without pain. The path to discovering my own greatness started with me having a strong and undeniable desire to LIVE, and now, I understand that the purpose I was given is to help and serve people.
“We need to stop being scared of our pain. We will never heal if we do not do this work.” — Buddha
The journey to greatness begins with having an authentic desire, a strong purpose, and a tribe of like-minded people to support you. Understanding this is a daily and lifetime practice, my role is to help bring out your greatness by sharing my story.
We all have the choice to truly live. I can say I am alive because I am finally the person I am supposed to be… and that’s the best version yet.
I lost my own father in a plane crash when I was seven years old. I heard the news on the radio on the way to school in the Philippines. Even though he didn’t disappear on purpose, I felt a huge sense of abandonment. I also didn’t have a good reference point for being a good mother; my mom only said “no” to me, so I only said “yes” to my children — that’s what I thought being a good mom was.
My only goal was to be the best mom I could be. I thought that leaving my marriage would lower my score on being the “best mom.” In the end, though, my score was zero — they don’t remember what I did for them, they don’t realize the sacrifice I made to stay in a marriage and pretend I was happy; they only remember what they felt in me — the resentment, the fear, the entrapment, the suppression.
I stayed in my marriage thinking it was the best thing for my children, that I was showing them commitment and loyalty, but actually, it created more trauma. It hurt them, but it hurt me too — I made myself sick, and did the biggest damage to myself. I believe this is what caused the cancer.
When I look back, all of my efforts for others were exhausting! We all think we’re supposed to be a certain way, because that’s how we were raised. We can hide our pain so well. Now, I want to empower women to understand the warning signs that appear in their bodies, intuition, and hearts.
Disease has no discrimination between age, culture, status, or religion. All women can go through a suppression of their bodies and feelings. It’s time for us to recognize how and why we’ve been suppressing ourselves, step out of it, and plant the seeds for our children.
I have a deep belief ingrained in my body that I want to share with the world: believe in yourself. True belief starts with you, and spreads to everyone around you. I believe that God and the Universe are constantly conspiring to make your life beautiful and alive, but it starts with belief in yourself, empowered thinking, commitment to learning, and surrounding yourself with people who support you. Everyone has the capacity to learn to grow from the pain in their lives.
As a 52-year old woman, I think it’s incredible that I get to reinvent and rebuild myself, my identity, and my body. It’s just like packing for a trip — look at your future like an empty suitcase, and ask yourself: “What do I take with me to my new life? Who comes with me? What do I bring?” Pack with intention, and don’t bring any insecurities or fears.
Everything I do goes back to the basics: eating the right food, surrounding yourself with people who lift you up, creating a toxin-free environment, and feeding your mind and soul.
Since being diagnosed with cancer in September of 2016, I have been coaching and supporting others through their healing and health journeys. Coaching fell into my lap when my doctors referred their patients to me, and when people I knew began giving out my phone number to others.
The way I see it, my story was written — it just found me. I jumped in and started doing it all — from being diagnosed, to exploration, to mastery — first for myself, and now, I help other people with the information and experience I’ve gathered.
We need to replace impossible with possible. When some tells you that you have a terminal disease, no matter what stage it’s at, your first thought is that you’re going to die. I want to be a pioneer who says cancer is curable.
I want to inspire women to be there for themselves, to listen to their own stories and speak their truth, even if it ruffles a few feathers. I feel a responsibility to tell my story — to inspire women to expose themselves, shed their layers, and be vulnerable. This act of courage is essential to healing and reinvention.
My core values.
Believe. Believe in yourself. Believe in God and the Universe, and trust their help, guidance, support, and signs. Surround yourself with those that believe in you. Have faith that you will grow, blossom, and become who you are meant and desire to be. Promise yourself that you’ll be alert and aware, and will connect the dots when they appear.
Love. Bring love to all that you do, and trust that it truly can heal anything. Fall in love with yourself, honour your feelings, and prioritize your needs… because the greatest act of love is self-love.
Authenticity. Choose to live in alignment with your authentic self, and take the time to learn who that is. Seek new experiences and opportunities for growth while trusting your intuition. Embrace your vulnerability and uniqueness, even when it’s controversial.
Responsibility. True healing begins with taking responsibility for your life and your decisions, and holding yourself accountable to the life you want to create. Remain truthful to yourself - listen to your body and intuition, and honor those messages.
Courage. True belief, love, authenticity, and responsibility takes great courage. It’s important to be brave, to keep going even when life brings you challenges. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.” - Anais Nin
Life can be filled with struggles, but if you see them as opportunities to grow, then you will find purpose. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I didn’t see it as God or the Universe punishing me or “bad karma.” My automatic default was: Okay, there’s a reason why this happened; there is a lesson to be learned. I have an opportunity to transform this into something positive. God never gives you anything you can’t handle, and there is always beauty to be found in your pain.