Advice From A Cancer Survivor
June 12th marked five years cancer free for me. As excited as I am about my own recovery and good health, I am angry about all the people I know going through cancer now. Within the last two days, I found out about three people living with cancer...one who is suffering from horrible side effects from chemo, another was sent home this week on hospice care, and another friend who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Two of these three people are in their forties and have children. Three lives that are forever changed and family members who are struggling with what they can do to help their loved one overcome this deadly disease.
Recently, I received a call from a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient who desperately needed some answers. Unfortunately, she had left the doctors office feeling hopeless and helpless. I certainly did not have all the answers she needed, but I did share my own story and gave her some advice. I shared with her that I personally made the decision not to have any radiation or take Tamoxifen. Chemo was not a recommended treatment for me, but I would not have completed chemotherapy regardless. I shared this with her not to persuade her to follow my path, but to let her know there are other options, and you do not have to take the treatments recommended by doctors.
These are my personal beliefs and not too popular among some in the medical profession. Please do not misunderstand, I had a great surgeon and I have the utmost respect for him. However, not all my doctors respected my opinion and my opinion mattered since it was my body and your opinion matters too.
I would like to share some of the advice I passed on to her with you because I am sure you know someone with cancer or may even have cancer yourself.
- First, and of utmost importance is to stay positive and surround yourself with positive people. Research has proven that recovery happens faster for those with a positive attitude.
- Remember that it is YOUR body and you get to make all the decisions about your treatment, not the doctors. If you do not feel comfortable about the suggested treatment, you do not have to take it. You are the one that will have to live with any lifelong side effects, not the doctor.
- Ask your doctor lots of questions. When you have cancer, you cannot ask too many questions.
- Seek out a cancer support group. I am so thankful I went to a breast cancer support group. Hearing the honest stories of other cancer survivors helped me determine my own treatment plan.
- It is okay to get a second opinion. Most insurance companies will cover the cost of a second opinion.
- If you are not already eating healthy, NOW is the time to start. Whatever treatment option you choose, your body will heal quicker if you are eating a whole food diet.
- Continue to exercise if you can. Obviously, if you have surgery or other forms of treatment, you may have to put exercise on hold for a short time. Ask your doctor when you can begin walking or exercising again.
- Be your own advocate and research your cancer. However, make sure you only go to reputable sites. DO NOT use Google to find your answers. Below are a few sites that are safe to use to find answers.
- Living Beyond Breast Cancer - www.lbbc.org
I hope and pray you never have to go through cancer yourself. However, if you do I hope you seek the most natural way possible to heal your body. There are more and more stories everyday of cancer survivors who choose natural treatment options instead of traditional treatments. Do your research and choose the best treatment option for you. Check out some of the sites below to learn about alternative methods and remember it’s your life! You get to make all the decisions! God bless!