It infuriates me to hear from people undergoing conventional cancer treatment that their doctor told them eating lots of sugar is fine and taking supplements will do nothing. I’m confident saying this advice is 100% incorrect. Medicine today treats the symptom of what is going on in your body, often with many adverse side effects, and does not address the root cause. For example, have heartburn, take Nexium and by all means, keep eating that quarter pounder with fries. Can’t sleep at night? Pop an Ambien and forget about inquiring into why you aren’t sleeping in the first place. Look, I’m no angel or up on a high horse. If I were flying to Europe tomorrow on a redeye, I’d take a sleep aid. I’d start with a Melatonin (naturally occurring in our body, which also has anti-breast cancer effects) with the hopes it would have me sleeping like a baby. If that didn’t work, I wouldn’t rule out something stronger with the thought process that me sleeping and waking up rested is better than not sleeping the entire flight. However, I would not attempt to solve my ongoing sleep issues with a nightly pill popping routine. Over the years in dealing with my health problems, I’ve learned that pills rarely result in our long-term desired outcome. Even if they solve your issue in the short-term, Spironolactone (“Spiro”) cleared up my painfully embarrassing adult acne, they often leave you with nasty side effects. The combo of Spiro and the birth control pill, Yaz (which I had to be on due to the possibility of birth defects from Spiro—hello red flag!), eventually resulted in me having panic attacks. Once I got off those drugs, I never experienced another panic attack.
As a society, most of us have some health issue, to varying degrees, due to our food system being out whack, more pollution and toxins in our environment and stress being at an all time high. People also don’t get outdoors enough to move their body, get fresh air, and take in negative ions. Most of us are juggling too much on our plate to make ends meet, keep families intact, and afford some fun time. Who has time to deal with health issues, especially when Pfizer promises that taking this little pill every day will make all of our woes disappear? As long as you’re willing to deal with an increased risk of a heart attack, cancer, or having a stroke. We’ve been conveniently brainwashed to believe, by commercial advertisements, that all we need is a little pill to make our lives better.
If you were diagnosed with cancer, I urge you to change that way of thinking FAST. Symptoms such as chronic headaches, acne, indigestion, eczema, and IBS (to name a few) are all warning signs of underlying imbalances in your body. Several of which I’ve unfortunately struggled with over the years. These issues don’t just happen. You’re not permanently flawed and in need of regular Advil, Acne medication, and Antacids. An occasional headache, breakout or upset tummy is not the same as experiencing issues on a regular basis. When health problems become chronic, you need to look deeper to understand and heal what’s going on in your body. Cancer is the ultimate wake-up call. Your body is screaming, I’m out of balance! Help me. The same is true when you get diagnosed with an autoimmune disease or diabetes. Your system has reached a breaking point.
Some of you will choose conventional treatment, and it will work like a charm keeping you in remission for the rest of your life—Amen! Others will experience recurrences, and have to fight this two or more times. Some people will find themselves in a position to learn that their treatment is not working, and wonder what to do. It’s easy to get hung up on “outcomes” or statistics and choose to do only what your doctor tells you because there’s no proof making the following changes will benefit you. But what harm are you doing by making positive changes in your life that will likely make you feel better, could possibly extend your life by weeks, months or years or ultimately be the difference between life or death? To me, living a healthier life is a no brainer. I know how bad stress is for my body. I can feel, from head to toe, when my body is in fight or flight. I know my beloved Cheetos are horrible for me. And even though I resisted coffee enemas until I couldn’t get out of bed in December, I now have proof of how great they make you feel (sorry for those of you who are squeamish when it comes to poop—everybody poops!). As a result, my skin is clearer, my stomach is flatter, and my digestion is functioning much more efficiently. Often times, you just don’t know how good something will make you feel until you try it yourself. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of sticking my hand in the boiling water. I’ll be the judge of what works for me or doesn’t.
So I ask you, what do you have to lose by incorporating the following suggestions into your healing plan?
After a significant amount of research over the last seven years, I believe over 90% of disease is caused by stress. If you were diagnosed with cancer or are struggling with other challenging health issues like autoimmune, Lymes or heart disease I urge you to look at the stressors in your life and try to eliminate as much of them as you possibly can. For example, one of my girlfriend’s who is winning the breast cancer battle was a full-time working mom of three girls. Her treatment protocol is similar to mine and has required her to have treatment four days per week for several months preventing her from continuing her work routine. Despite the challenges of treatment, she’s found joy seeing the positive impact her presence has made on her kids achievement and happiness, and her work-related stress is gone. For some people, staying home with the kids might cause more stress! Here’s an excellent exercise to decrease stress and add more bliss to your life. Write down all your stressors and next to each one mark, on a scale of 1-10, how difficult each item is for you. Then start eliminating them from your life. Some will be simple to discard while other areas will prevent a challenge. Don’t give up. Keep plugging away at reducing as much stress as you can from your life. When you’re done with that exercise, make another list that highlights several things that light you up and make more time for everything on your list!
Nourish Your Body with Healthy Foods
Do not heed your docs advice and gorge on a bunch of sugar, even if that’s all you can taste after chemo. Don’t care; don’t do it. Sugar feeds cancer. Nourish your temple (body) with mostly green veggies, which will reduce inflammation in the body, some fruit for antioxidants, healthy fats like olive oil drizzled on your salad (don’t cook in it, it goes rancid at high temps), and grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish. Hook up with a nutritionist who can teach you how to shop, make quick, healthy and delicious meals, and overhaul your Standard American Diet (“SAD”). Find the time and money to invest in you so that you live a long healthy life doing what you love.
Strengthen Your Immune System
Your immune system is your body’s natural defense against disease. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, your immune system is compromised. If you are receiving chemotherapy, your immune system will likely be shot for the time being. The same treatment that is helping you heal from cancer is also wrecking havoc on your disease fighting machine. Team up with a good naturopath, an integrative or homeopathic doctor who can look at your unique profile and provide beneficial lifestyle changes, as well as prescribe supplements that will strengthen your immune system. Skeptical if supplements work? So was I!
Supplements work. How do I know? When I had my Vitamin D levels checked on my first day of treatment they were at 58 ng/mL, which is not that bad, however, I had already been supplementing with Vitamin D before being diagnosed. After increasing my daily dose to 25,000 IU two times a day, they jumped to over 100 ng/mL. Today, my levels hover around 150 IU. Vitamin D levels are measured by a blood test and easily monitored. Some doctors might tell you this is too high. I’m no doctor, but my integrative doctors have said no one has ever died from having high Vitamin D levels, however, low Vitamin D levels have been linked to cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and many other diseases you don’t want. If I could encourage you to get on one supplement, it would be Vitamin D, whether you’re going through cancer treatment or not. I attended a wellness luncheon a few weeks ago by Dr. Lauren Bramley, who said that roughly 1 in 1000 people she tests has an adequate level of Vitamin D. This one supplement can make a huge difference in your overall health.
Detoxify Your Body
Even though my first cleanse, The Lemonade Diet in 2010 garnered significant results (10-year post-nasal drip went away permanently, skin glowed, had more energy), I’ve remained skeptical over the years as to whether or not we need to detox. After all, most doctors will tell you that your body is self-detoxifying or regulating, and it’s unnecessary. During the beginning of my treatment, it was recommended that I do ionic foot baths, ozone saunas, lymphatic massage and coffee enemas. I completed the first three without any objection but protested against the coffee enemas. The ironic part was, who was I protesting? My doctors weren’t fighting cancer. I was fighting myself. After several months, when my stomach looked like I was four months pregnant, I had little energy and my brain was unbearably sluggish, I bucked up and took their advice. I experienced immediate relief for a few hours and then reverted to not feeling very hot. My body needed to detox, and it wasn’t going to happen overnight. I kept on for about three weeks. By the end of that period, not only were all my symptoms gone, I felt better than I’d felt in months.
There are many ways you can detoxify your body. Coffee enemas come highly recommended for cancer patients by the natural healing community, and now I know why. I suggest you do them, but if you are dead set against them, you can google ways to detoxify your body and pick a method that resonates with you.
Believe in a Higher Power
I didn’t grow up with a lot of organized religion, but I’ve always been a spiritual person. If you do not have a higher power, find one now. I have no idea how anyone gets through cancer without believing in something bigger than themselves. I don’t care what you choose. It could be a gnome you worship for all I care. But pick something that you believe will guide and support you on this journey, and allow the prayers, love and positive energy from your loved ones to flow through you whether you believe in their higher power or not.
Take Ownership of Your Diagnosis
I wish I could do a quick brain dump of everything I’ve learned over the last seven years in regards to wellness and especially all I’ve discovered that pertains to healing from cancer over the last 10-months. But I’m just one woman, trying to keep everything moving forward in my life while getting out as much info as I can at a time without completely overwhelming myself and you! That said, I’m continually reading, researching, and staying up to speed on cutting edge treatments. I’m also becoming more familiar with the healing benefits of holistic medicine—considers the whole person including mind, body, spirit and emotions—such as essential oils, yoga, and stress-relief techniques like meditation, EFT and breath work. I don’t expect you to be as neurotic as I am! I’m a healer at heart and have been on this path for a while.
The takeaway is this: DO NOT DELAY PUTTING YOUR LIFE IN YOUR HANDS. It’s so easy to give our power away. I’ve done it for years. Instead, do your homework. Open your mind to the possibility of strengthening your body with adjunct therapy or perhaps healing naturally depending on your circumstances. This is your life. It’s up to you to take the bull by the horns. If doing so is stressful, ask yourself why. Talk to a therapist and work through the blocks that are coming up in your life. Don’t get me wrong, life is unbelievably hard at times, but I know it’s worth putting in the hard work to be here. I’ve already learned so much from this diagnosis. Things that would have taken me decades to figure out have become apparent in a matter of months. Learn the lessons. Have an attitude of gratitude. And keep on trucking! You got this.
Still not convinced you want to give these ideas a try? What about my good friend’s dad who put his Stage IV lung cancer into remission with the use of Rick Simpson Oil for several years after failed chemo? How about my friend who was given 3-4 months to live and also put his cancer in remission for several years by choosing an all-natural approach consisting of many different protocols? I’m not pushing you to go au natural if that doesn’t resonate with you; I adopted an integrative approach for myself, but I am encouraging you to do everything in your power to take ownership of your life. Delay instant gratification for long-term vitality by making healthy choices that will strengthen your body so you can do all you’ve ever dreamed of in your long lifetime.