How Cancer Gave This S-Hero a New Lease on Life


Cynthia Occelli said, “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

My client, Alexandra, is a testament to how life’s hardships can elevate you to the next level of consciousness—if you let them.

When we first began to work together, Alexandra was battling a life-threatening illness…and a toxic relationship. I walked a dark passage alongside her step…by step…by step. I told her to drop everything negative to lighten the load, so her body could heal. She ended the relationship. And, the cancer went into remission. She got serious about what she wanted out of life. She also got serious about what she deserved.

Unsurprisingly, her soul mate appeared—the man who would love her forever.

Five months later, he cancer re-appeared. And, the soul mate? Like a man, he stuck by her through her darkest passage, yet.

Alexandra has changed my life forever. She’s not really a client, as much as family.

Thankfully, her cancer is in remission (forever). And, she is stepping into a new chapter in an even more powerful way (and with a forever changed outlook). Like a butterfly that emerges from a chrysalis, she is ready to soar.

To listen to our full interview, click here.

Short on time? Read a portion of our interview here:

  1. What was your life like before your cancer diagnosis? How has it changed since? 

    My life before cancer involved a lot of stress, and not having a lot of self worth. I was a young, successful fashion executive. I had a great apartment, lots of friends, but no real love in my life.

    I traded my insecurities for destructive relationships. Consistently. My life was filled with stress, control issues and not feeling truly loved. I believe this eventually lead to my diagnosis with Leukemia.

  2. Have you noticed any correlation between emotions and physical disease?


    When I was first diagnosed, I was in one of the darkest places in my life. Living in a city I did not like, working a crazy job for which I was over-qualified, and in a relationship that was rife with control issues. I started having funky symptoms (that I now believe were wake up calls) about 2 months prior to my diagnosis. 

  3. You and I have spoken about the importance of looking at disease holistically--in a way that embraces all the facets of a patient’s life. Explain some of the challenges for patients and caregivers? 

    I believe that traditional medicine is incredibly powerful. However, you have to heal your mind along with your body. You may be cured of your cancer, but there is a great deal of post-traumatic stress (PTSD) that goes with moving forward in survivorship. Caregivers must have perpetual patience, as well as empathy, to help patients move forward. I emphasize empathy more than anything because you really have to walk in the patient's shoes to understand fully the scope of their healing journey. Their path must encompass mind, body and soul. 

  4. When we first met, you were in a relationship that ended. Then, you found another relationship that is heading towards marriage. Did cancer prep you for real love?

    I believe cancer certainly did prep me for real love! Cancer taught me to love myself first and foremost, above all.

    I was not able to receive true love in its purest form until I was able to love myself the same way.

    Although my cancer came back about 5 months after I met him, I knew his love would eventually be part of my cure and a “cancer-free forever” life.

  5. What is the life lesson that you’ve learned from traveling this journey? A life lesson for truly living life well?

    When it comes down to it, it’s really about love. I have such gratitude for all the love that’s around me now. Love is so powerful. It doesn’t have to be about a romantic relationship, either. It really is about love in all its forms—with friends and with family.