I was scheduled to walk a portion of the El Camino de Santiago, the summer of 2019 with a close friend. During the overseas trip, we were going to visit additional European cities and I would also visit a dear friend and her family in Germany. In May 2019, I had an exam that revealed breast cancer. My summer vacation plans were discarded as I scrambled to find the best surgeon for me and determine next steps. In September 2019, as one birthday present, I bought tickets for Deidre and myself to attend a nutritional event composed of a panel of doctors (heart, general, radiologist, etc.). The program was about the benefits of eating plant vs animal protein, not eating refined grains (bread), nor sugar. The theme was to eat as many raw vegetables as one can.
As May knocked at my door saying I had breast cancer, I started scurrying about to figure out what I needed to do. By mid-July, I had seen 4 surgeons, 2 radiologists, 3 oncologists, had a lumpectomy and had a prognostic gene signature assay to determine my likelihood of reoccurrence. The assay said I had a score of 62. I was in the high risk category. Additionally, the two lymph nodes that were removed indicated I had micro-metastatic carcinoma in both. I was faced with a decision of next steps: have radiation or a combination of radiation and chemotherapy or….
Study, discussion, paying attention to my intuition, realizing how chemotherapy wrecks the immune system, knowing radiation works well- but only for the area radiated, I needed to decide what treatment I would pursue. At my age, I questioned whether radiating the beast would offer much benefit. Also radiation would do little to reduce any stray cancer cell that might have already migrated from my lymph nodes. Fortunately only micro-metastatic, not macro-metastatic, cells were found. Again age was to my advantage. If I could find a way to reduce growth/maturity of cancerous cells, then I should be able to make it to my normal life span, before I had major problems. Hard to decide what to do — correct? Regardless it is evident that I needed to build my immune system and inhibit abnormal cell growth.
After the September nutritional plant based conference, I scheduled a radiologist doctor’s appointment with one of the speakers. During the discovery process of why me for no logical reason of which I could think, I found that fat and adrenals produce estrogen in women over a certain age. Being a solid 30-40 pounds overweight, I figured mine was due to fat.
End result, I decided I needed to do things to support a healthy body that would inhibit abnormal cell growth, rather than use treatment that would add stress to my system. I decided no radiation, no chemotherapy and no pill to block estrogen. Instead of the anti-blocking pharmaceutical pill to block estrogen, I use rosemary. Rosemary is associated with being a powerful antioxidant with anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory benefits with anti-microbial and direct benefits for breast and prostate health. It works by helping break down estrogen into the safer anti-cancer metabolites. My local oncologist was not happy with my choice of not following “normal” medical treatment. Instead of normal medical treatment, I changed my diet and take vitamins and nutritional supplements. After 14 months, I gradually dropped 35 pounds. Thus hopefully, no more estrogen due to fat cells.
Because it is difficult to change one’s life style habits, I developed a support partnership with Deidre. The reason you see food pictures on the “Kindred Spirit blog” is to benefit whoever is interested in a healthy diet. The script and pictures provide examples of my diet plan, documenting visually food that helps reduce/control weight and that provide antioxidants to support immunity and healthy cell growth. I eat no refined sugars, avoid processed meats, eat as many raw vegetables and fruit as I can, try to restrict bread or use gluten free product, restrict the volume and control the quality of the meat I do eat. OK, I am not saying I am 100% diligent, but I achieve at least 80% on a regular basis.
Deidre is a Shaklee representative, so as part of my plan I ask her assistance in determining the vitamins and supplements (polyphenols and antioxidants) that I need to take to protect against oxidative stress with its associated pathologies of cancer, coronary heart disease and inflammation. It is difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals we need from food alone, so the vitamins and supplements I take are adjusted for my particular case.
Each person has to decide for themselves what their approach should be when faced with major decisions that affect their spark of being- whether physical and mental. All choices have associated risks. Each choice leads down its own path. I believe for me, I made the best health choice particularly since COVID-19 followed with its implication of targeting weak immune systems. If you want to know more about products that can be useful to help strengthen your immune system or balance vitamins to support what you are hoping to achieve (e.g. more energy, reduced inflammation, bone health…) or even more info on my diet plan, contact Deidre at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My desire is that my story will provide hope and an additional source of information as needed. As a photography acquaintance of mine says “Make it a great day, tomorrow isn’t promised.”
With “no promise for tomorrow,” thrive and find pleasure in your daily interactions with people and our beautiful earth. Be grateful for all your precious moments. We are each given one life in this earthly time line; treat it as a precious jewel to be shared. Use it wisely.