Taking Action

Last updated: June 2020

In my family, three people have gotten cancer. First, it was my mother. For her, it started with cervical cancer which was cured. Then a few years later she developed lung cancer. This time she was unable to beat it. Next was me. In 2013 I was told I had thyroid cancer. Although I did everything I could medically, the cancer had metastasized to my lungs. At this point, there is nothing the doctors can do because the treatment would be worse than the symptoms I presently have. So, for now, I'm in watch and wait mode. Then, in 2017, we found out that our daughter had Hodgkin lymphoma. That was definitely a terrible surprise. Luckily, Crystal was recently told she is cured and can take out her port.

When three people in your family get cancer, you have to start to wonder what is going on. I definitely did. I asked my doctor if there was anything we did or could do now and so did my daughter. We were both told that it was nothing we did nor was there anything we could do. For Crystal, she was able to be cured medically, but I wasn't so lucky. I had a tough time hearing that the cancer had spread to my lungs and I should wait until it gets worse before doing anything further. I got the point that the treatment effects would be hard and that presently the cancer wasn't affecting me that much, but just waiting didn't sit well with me.

Finding out the bad news

I remember the day I was told about the metastasis and being so scared because lung cancer was what my mother died from. I felt pretty awful for about a week or so and then I decided to take action on my own and I started to do research. I looked up everything I could and tried to find something, anything I could do to help myself. What I found was a lot of contradictory information and it drove me nuts. But, there were a few good bits of information I found out about.

What I learned about having a strong body

One of the consistent lessons I learned is that eating a healthy, and mostly plant-based diet helps your body to heal. I immediately changed the way I ate and cut out all sugar, processed foods, coffee (which is a controversial topic), salt, meat, and alcohol. Within 2 weeks I was able to stop my blood pressure medication and in 2 months I lost 50 pounds! I felt, and still feel, wonderful. I also bought an air purifier and a water distiller. I make most of the things I put on my body and try to exercise (this is a tough one for me, but it is so important). The best news is that my cancer has slowed down in growth. Originally, my doctor said I would be on some type of chemo in five years and that my cancer only had a 25% chance of being cured with the surgery I had. Well, it's been five years and she recently told me it will be at least another two years before we have to think of anything further.

Another lesson

The way I live isn't always easy - mostly because of socializing, but I feel so much better than I used to. People often ask why I keep doing the things I do when it hasn't cured my cancer. I feel that having a strong body is helpful to me now and will continue to be helpful if I need chemo in the future. I didn't cheat at all for two and a half years, but recently I've started having a glass of wine occasionally and I eat fish every now and then. Socializing is also important and I still feel great!

Editor's Note: Before starting a new diet or exercise routine, it is recommended to talk with your healthcare team to find out what is healthy for you.

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