In the last couple of months, I have been receiving a lot of feedback about my Facebook posts either via private message or emails. Many believe that my transition to eating healthy, organic, whole foods has been an overnight success. This is far from the truth.
Like most overnight successes, it was years in the making.
In 1995, I was diagnosed with cancer. Chemotherapy, radiation and no diet changes. I did however I take supplements to support myself during treatmeant.
In 2001, I was diagnosed the second time with cancer. I chose naturopathic medicine. My naturopathic doctor changed my diet drastically. No sugar, no beef, no dairy. Limited meat. I couldn’t remember when I felt so good. A year and a half later and I was back to eating the standard American diet (S.A.D. – telling right?!).
Two and a half years after I began eating my SAD diet again (2005), cancer recurrence. Rituxin – immunotherapy. I didn’t change my diet. I believed I couldn’t afford it.
Three years later. (April 2008) Cancer again. I began to change my diet. I was about 95 pounds heavier than I am now. Gerson therapy in September 2009 taught me about juicing and making healthier food choices. I lost 60 pounds from feeding my body correctly, detoxing my liver, which helped my lymph flow better.
By March 2010, I was back to eating the SAD. September 2010, the cancer became aggressive and spread to my bone marrow – stage 4. October 2010, I could barely walk. November 2010, I was thrown into chemotherapy. My friends were cooking for me and provided me with much healthier food options. Chemotherapy made me lose another 30 pounds.
By March 2011, chemotherapy was over. The move-to-Delaware stress began. My diet was better as it always is when I go through a kick in the can from cancer. If I went out, I chose healthier options. I didn’t go all fast food on my body. For the most part, I craved the good stuff. (Except the bag of PB cups I ate every week). Then I went on a cruise and ate so much junk. One slice of pizza every single day. Dessert at dinner most days. Soda. Why don’t I just shut down my immune system right now and put a welcome mat out for Mr. Cancer to come back in?! I felt so yucky and low energy for weeks after the cruise, but I attributed it to jet lag. Jet lag does not last a month. My hip hurt as well, which was similar to the feeling I had when the cancer became aggressive.
This drove me to booking a PET scan to make sure the cancer hadn’t resurfaced. It came back clear. Whew! I narrowly escaped that one. I had to ask myself some hard questions. Do I want to live? Do I want to give myself the best chances at remaining healthy? Do I want to play Russian roulette any longer? Yes, Yes, and No.
I can look back at my history and clearly see the connection to food as my activator. (I say “my” because this is about me. Not everyone has the same activators.) My NDs have been lecturing me for YEARS – 11 to be exact – on what I needed to take out of my diet so that cancer wouldn’t get the upperhand on me again. I listened for a while, but without understanding the reasons why I needed to eat this way, it never became a long-term lifestyle change.
After four times with cancer and the last one almost taking me down, I decided it was time. Time to become fully immersed in this thing called “holistic nutrition.” Time to take the next step into empowerment while living with cancer.
Picking up a book was like giving me a list of things I “SHOULD” do. I probably wouldn’t finish the first book without some sort of accountability. Instead, I enrolled in a Holistic Nutrition Specialist program at the Southwest Institute of the Healing Arts in late August 2011.
For the first time in 17 years with cancer, I took full control of my diet and lifestyle changes with a complete understanding of why I am making the choices I am making and how they will benefit my health. Tune in for my next post as I list out what exactly has been done to ensure a successful long-term lifestyle change.