I live in Seneca with my husband, Alton, and have three sons and several grandchildren. One day, my ring got stuck in my nighty, and as I was trying to get it out, I felt a lump in my breast. I suspected breast cancer. After ten days, I got my report, and the Cancer was diagnosed. It’s been only four months since my mother passed away, and the reason was breast cancer only. I asked them to show me the MRI hoping for a miracle. I wondered if Cancer was “my ticket to Heaven ” He assured me that they could extend my life, but I wanted more. I wanted to return to everyday life. I then phoned my husband and told him. I headed home. My husband was waiting for me with open arms. He hugged me and prayed for me. He asked God to guide us and give us healing.
With God’s help, I discovered my tumor. In his guidance, I will fight. Exercise helped me cope physically and emotionally by reducing my stress. My husband and I decided to get a second opinion. It was absurd that I just did a mammogram nine months ago, and my doctor found a lump four months before. We soon organized a second opinion at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Chicago. I recommend that everyone get a second opinion on any problematic diagnosis. It is the best thing we can do.
What kept me positive during the journey?
My husband, Alton, was my rock throughout my journey. He comforted me when I needed reassurance, and he loved me unconditionally even after major surgery. He helped me to endure the claustrophobic MRI by getting into a dark hole and rubbing my hand during all that difficult 45-minute period. When I cut off all the hair on my head and was afraid to look in the mirror, he would say, “You are still the best warrior on the east side of the Mississippi River.” This is the kind of love, acceptance, and encouragement that every cancer patient needs.
Choices during the treatment
I learned that I played an essential role in my treatment. Yes, medical science saved my life, but I improved my predictions by changing my lifestyle and becoming a better speaker. I realized that we are all at risk of Cancer in this era when one in two men and one in three women will hear the words, “You have cancer.” Cancer is not something that happens to you for no reason. My research revealed that Cancer and most chronic diseases are 90 per cent due to lifestyle and only 10 per cent to genetics.
Cancer runs in my family. However, even with a genetic predisposition, the gene won’t multiply if we choose a healthy lifestyle. My diagnosis led me to find out what caused the Cancer. If I do not find its cause, how can I prevent it from recurring? I discovered a few things I did that contributed to my breast cancer. Changes made. Mission accomplished.
Lessons during the Cancer Journey
In my cancer battle, I started thinking from Cancer’s perspective. What can it say to me? If my Cancer had a message for me, what would that be?
Your body is made up of the elements that work best when you do the right things. Your doctor has a lot of tools to kill Cancer. Complete what your doctor is doing by following healthy lifestyle changes that make it harder for Cancer to control your body. Do not expect your doctor to do everything. Be a part of the treatment to prevent Cancer from coming back.
Parting Message to Cancer Survivors
Cancer is not your fault. You did nothing to cause Cancer! In my case, I reevaluated my lifestyle and made many changes that allowed me to regain my health. My doctors called me “Rock Star”. All my blood work was regular after six weeks of chemotherapy which was very rare. It usually takes several years. Consider a few steps:
1. Proper Hydration – Every cell, tissue, and organ in our body needs water to function correctly. I increased hydration two days before, during and after chemotherapy so that chemo could target all cells, reduce side effects, and help remove toxins from my body.
2. Movement – Sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for all cancers. Our bodies are made to move during the day. Movements affect all the systems of our body. It also stimulates our lymphatic system to remove waste from our bodies.
3. Plants – Foods that suppress the immune system include digested, high-sugar and fried foods. Some foods boost the immune system, such as green berries, onions, garlic, and vegetables. In America, we usually eat without thinking about the impact on our health. During the cancer journey, I increased my vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices from 5 to 15 times a day.
4. Less Toxins – When our toxic load is too high, our immune system is compromised. Toxins enter our bodies through the water we drink, the food we eat, and personal care, as well as the cleansing products we use and breathe.
5. A Positive Mindset – Cancer is a constant roller coaster of emotions. Fear and anxiety can also drive Cancer because they suppress our immune function. I had to get rid of them. The best way is to pray about our concerns, be thankful for everything, know that God will use our trials to benefit us and keep your mind focused on the good things during the cancer journey. That’s where I kept my focus. Positive emotions improve the immune system. Negative emotions overwhelm you. Cancer is about developing and activating our immune system.