The day after I found out I had breast cancer I began making changes. Immediately. I began changing everything I put into my mouth. No more processed foods. No more pesticides. No more alcohol. I began eating a plant based whole foods diet.
As soon as I found out I had breast cancer I called a dear friend from church who had recently gone through the same thing a year before. She was my angel. My anchor. She calmed me down and gave me hope. She gave me information. She gave me referrals. She told me I was going to be fine.
I immediately began researching. If any of you are in to Enneagrams you’ll understand this…I am a Four wing Five. My wing Five is my investigative side that likes to search for information. Details and knowledge help me to feel safe and empowered. I need to understand what is going on or I lose my mind.
I immediately looked up Levine Cancer Institute and the surgeon my friend had used. I read a bit about their services…they seemed to offer some integrative oncology services which interested me. They offered music therapy (yay!), therapeutic art (yay!), acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, massage, etc.
Next I found Breast Cancer Conqueror. I began reading how Dr. Veronique Desaulniers healed herself of breast cancer not once but twice. Apparently she now helps women all over the world heal naturally. I was shocked! I had no idea that this was even possible. Why didn’t I know about this?
I consumed as much as I could that evening. I read her blog and listened to her podcasts.
The next morning, armed with the info I had learned from Dr. V I began making changes, starting with nutrition. Apparently nutrition plays a HUGE role in our health and the diseases many of us face. And there are many.
The next day I ordered Dr. V’s book on Amazon and awaited its arrival. I had already learned what foods to avoid and needed to start learning which foods to add. I also needed to learn her 7 Essentials System for healing breast cancer. Obviously just eating better wasn’t going to heal cancer.
To summarize these are the seven essentials:
- Let Food Be Your Medicine
- Reduce Your Toxic Exposure
- Balance Your Energy
- Heal Your Emotional Wounds
- Embrace Biological Dentistry
- Repair Your Body with Therapeutic Plants
- Adopt Very Early Detection
Dr. V also offered guidance as to what to ask my oncologist on my first visit. With my printed list of questions for the oncologist I was feeling more prepared to handle this. Except I had to wait 2 weeks to even see the breast surgeon, my first stop at Levine Cancer Institute.
I found very quickly that I was going to have to be my own advocate in my healthcare. When I was told I was going to have to wait a couple of weeks to even see the surgeon to find out what was going on, to get my diagnosis and test results, and an explanation of what was happening and make a plan, I immediately asked who I could speak with. I had questions! I needed answers! And I didn’t want to just sit and wonder for 2 weeks! I was given the name of a nurse navigator and gave her a call. She was very helpful in explaining the typical process and what to expect. I also asked what I could be doing while I wait. All she suggested was to stay off of Google.
I continued reading Dr. V’s blog. I researched air purifiers for our home. I looked up water filters and especially Berkey Water Filters as I have friends who have recommended them. I have wanted to get one for a few years but they are expensive and I couldn’t justify the cost. Well now I have a justification!
I worked my way to the Environmental Working Group’s site, another favorite of mine. I looked up my county on their database to find out how bad our tap water was. Union County: 19 contaminants, 10 of them exceeding EWG Health Guidelines. Great. We bathe, cook, drink, and prepare food in this water. We also water our “organic” produce with this water. Time to order the Berkey!
Lastly I began reading more about soy and the effects on the body in terms of estrogen. I had heard that soy mimics estrogen. Well I have a hormone driven breast cancer so I need to know more. This would be a subject to research further.
So what did I change as far as nutrition? I began adding green tea in addition to my decaf coffee. I started making smoothies and added in cancer fighting ingredients. I looked for a smoothie powder that could help me get more fruits and veggies as I’ve never been one for eating produce. I also started making a large salad for dinner. This became my new diet. Smoothies and salads. I was going to get as much plant based food as possible to help boost my immune system and start healing my body. I was also going to learn about all of the super foods that would help attack the cancer and kill it.
I knew cancer thrives on sugar so omitting sugar was a no brainer. It wasn’t easy but it was a necessity. I already have spent several years baking with natural sweeteners rather than processed sugar. I have even used maple syrup in my coffee and honey in my tea for years. But eliminating sugar from everything else would prove more difficult. I’m sure you are aware that sugar and artificial sweeteners are in almost everything we eat. Even my organic salad dressing was a no-go because it had sugar in it. I had to start making a lot more things at home rather than buying them in order to avoid the sugar.
I will be sharing more of the foods I added or changed in future posts. I want to encourage everyone to take their health seriously and I want to arm you with the information I have learned. I will share any and all recipes and store bought products that I have found to help in eating better.
For now, I would like to leave you with this: Please don’t wait until you get a diagnosis to start making positive changes in your health. Please take a moment to really look at how you are eating, what you are putting into and onto your body, how you are managing your stress, how well you are sleeping, and if you are moving your body daily. These are the core components to a healthy body. Please make them a priority. Let’s work to encourage each other to take care of the body’s God has given us and put an end to all of the disease and sickness plaguing our society.