Story of a doctor, survivor and coach.

Story of a doctor, survivor and coach.

Meet Dr. Maeve Baechler.

I am a doctor and a life and cancer coach. Growing up, I knew I wanted to be a doctor. I was raised in a small town and attended a rural high school. I dedicated myself to my studies in pursuit of a career in medicine and my training as a committed member of the track and cross country team. Fun fact, I was probably the nerdiest prom queen to ever be elected! 

After high school, I studied Spanish and Pre-Medicine and ran varsity track and cross country at the collegiate level. I spent my junior year at a university in Spain, where,  after long weeks of eye-crossing, lengthy philosophy lectures in Spanish, I enjoyed weekends hiking in the mountains with the outdoor club. 

I was accepted into medical school, which promptly started, taking off at 100 miles/hour. Like they say, it was a fire hydrant of information to take in, process, and understand, in a short amount of time. Somewhere between the lectures, studying, exams, and sorting out where life fits in, I felt a lump on my leg. 

Many months later, the lump didn't go away. It grew, and I grew concerned. We were learning about cancer and how it presents: a mass that is usually immobile, hard, growing, non-tender. Those described my lump. I decided to get it checked out. After a few consultations and second opinions, all concluding it was probably "just a cyst," I arranged an appointment with my brother's dermatologist. I told him I didn't care what he thinks, please take it out. He was not concerned. "It's likely a cyst." But agreed to remove it.

 The tumor was identified as a rare sarcoma. My life turned upside-down. I got scans, which prompted questions and more scans which prompted more questions. We found tumors in many places: bones, muscles, soft tissue, lungs, liver. There was always talk of surgery. There were too many decisions to make with too little information. I didn't even have a good sense of what my prognosis was. I latched on to a new life goal: complete medical school. 

Two and a half years later, which included marrying my favorite human, one major surgery, a long year of experimental therapy and horrible side effects, and arduous days and weeks as a medical student, I graduated. 

We moved to Switzerland, where I learned German and began medical residency. One weekend during my third year of residency, I found myself far down a self-development rabbit hole on the internet. I stumbled across this thing called life coaching. It immediately drew my attention. Everything about life coaching resonated with me. I was already doing that with my patients whenever I could. I knew I was made for it, and I appreciated the benefits these skills would impart in my personal life and in medicine. I signed myself up for the best program I could find and never looked back. It has been an amazing journey. Coaching is a hugely fulfilling part of my life.  It has helped me heal myself through healing others. It is the same feeling as being a doctor, but with this I see individuals changing within a single session. Seeing individuals learning something about themselves gives me meaning. This is why I came to be a life coach.

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