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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1 comment

Hi Maeve,
This is Ange P. We talked last year for a few times. My mom was diagnosed with EHE last year, and she was at first rejected by drs in China. Not sure if you remember her case.
How are you doing? Are you still traveling and working in Europe? I hope we can reconnect, as you know with my mother’s EHE diagnosis, it is a very bumpy road. I think it makes me think of a lot of questions like life and death, as well as if treating cancer usually means horrible side effects and still sometimes inevitably death, is it still worth fighting? You know, philosophical questions as such. I would definitely want to have a talk.

Ange P

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