In May of 2015 I was diagnosed at stage IV breast cancer with mets to my lymph system and lungs. At 39 years old with no family history of disease and living a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and (mostly) healthy food choices, it just made no sense.
Through what I only can see as a miracle, I was introduced to integrative and complimentary therapies. These helped me get through the aggressive chemotherapy plan my Oncologist ordered. I was doing weekly IVs of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C IV, 50 grams), taking mushroom supplements like Turkey Tail, and radically changed my diet to strictly plant based. Sweet Okinawan purple potatoes, avocado, root vegetables, quinoa and nuts. Once the chemo infusions started I slowly added in eggs and chicken. I learned yoga and was using guided meditations I found on the Internet. I stopped cruising social media except to share my health status with friends and loved ones. I removed everything toxic from my house; deodorant, toothpaste, laundry soap, hand soap, and replaced it with green products. Anything in my personal space that stressed me out was removed, including people. A group of loving friends and people in the community stepped up to help me with rides to appointments, healthy food from their garden, or even just dropping off alkaline water on my lanai. Days after my chemo infusion were filled with happy thoughts, positive stories, family photos, music I loved, animals, nature, as I drank my alkaline water by the gallon.
After my 3rd infusion the Oncologist could the 10cmx10cm in my left breast was smaller. She removed the Carboplatin from the Abraxine/Carboplatin round I was on. The nurses in the cancer center would always comment about how healthy I looked.
At my 4th infusion the tumor was smaller by a centimeter, and it continued to shrink at this rate week by week. She lowered the dose of Abraxine I was on. I continued to get Vitamin C iv and keep all processed foods and sugar out of my diet.
After the 10th infusion I came down with a fever. The ER saw that my port was infected and pumped me with anitbiotics. They removed it the next day and inserted a PICC line in my arm, praising my luck that I did not become septic from the infection with my weakened immune system from the chemo.
If I had done the original chemotherapy plan, I would not have survived that infection.
The port removal left a gaping open wound in my chest wall, so chemo needed to be on hold. While I was waiting I asked if they could run scans again just to see how things are looking.
The scans came back with no evidence of disease. !!
This was 12 weeks after I was initially diagnosed. It was a miracle. Actually, it was that and all the hard work I was doing to keep a healthy diet, high spirits, good energy, and the naturopathic supplements... what I am calling an "Integrative Approach."
It was so mind-blowing how fast I showed no signs of disease that I wrote it all down and now have something to share with others when they are in that scary first-diagnosed period.
It's been so useful to be able to just send a link to someone instead of a book. I remember when I was first diagnosed it was so overwhelming all of the advice people would give me. From everything that happened the most important thing was that I share my experience to help others. With the success of the paper I decided to bring it to life with a film. It should be screening before 2018 is over!