In January 2011, I was diagnosed with Stage 3c Breast Cancer at the age of 36.
After a mastectomy, axillary lymph dissection, six rounds of chemotherapy and currently in process of 33 radiation treatments, I am cancer “free.”
The malignancy in my left breast was actually discovered in 2007, but because of poor detection measures (a faulty mammogram), my cancer progressed until I detected it with my own hands in December 2010. I hope to offer my learning and knowledge through Ayurveda, massage therapy and personal experience, to make your journey and quality of life better. I am currently available for Ayurvedic Consultation. I will be returning to my bodywork practice by the new year.
1. Eat well. Alkalize.
I had no idea how much sugar and yeast was in my system until I began chemotherapy and felt the thick coating in my mouth and throat as a result of the imbalance in my system caused by all the good bacteria being eradicated. It was disgusting and I realized that while I ate many foods without feeling the results for many years, now that I was in chemotherapy, I could feel the results of a poor food choice immediately! I have always had a stomach of iron, eating most foods without any problem, and I have never had candida or other internal yeast issues.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of reducing or eliminating processed sugar (cane sugar) from the diet as well as, dramatically reducing flour, wheat and acidic grains. Increasing the amount of green leafy vegetables, other veggies, and fresh fruit is vital. Every day, a year prior to my diagnosis, I made myself a freshly pressed veggie juice with kale, ginger, carrot, celery, apples, broccoli, fennel and whatever else the seasonal garden would bring, like dandelion leaf, or pears. Changing the PH of your body can make a huge impact about how your body will function, your current energy level, and your vitality and immunity.
I have exercised almost 5 days a week for my entire adult life. I played sports in grade school, high school, and college. I have always been an avid gym goer. Does exercising mean you won’t get cancer? In my case, no. Every factor plays a role from emotional life, and diet, to weight and exercise. But exercise releases the inner pharmacy of the body, balancing the hormones and supporting immunity. Choose exercises that are diversified, such as swimming, yoga, biking and hiking so that you don’t just turn on the exercise routine, but actually feel the power of your body in every moment. If you have ever spent an extended time in bed feeling weak, getting out there and feeling your body in it’s power is very a precious gift.
3. Support Yourself First.
Often times, we are caught up in the needs of our loved ones, friends and family. This comes from a place of love most of the time, but sometimes we make choices that aren’t supporting ourselves first. When you take care of yourself first, you are honoring those you love. Ultimately, supporting your own needs first sends a powerful message to your body about how you value yourself.
4. Be Happy.
Be around other people who make you happy, do things that make you happy, and follow your bliss. When we experience grief, sadness, loneliness, and isolation, this can impact our inner body balance. Emotions play an important role in Ayurvedic Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Western medicine is so new — follow the sages to recognize that your spirit, and emotions play an integral role in your health. If there are elements in your life creating disharmony, or grief, support yourself in letting them go! Supporting a regular meditation practice can increase self-awareness, inner peace, joy and strength.
5. Invest in Holistic Health Care as Preventative Care.
Do the small steps along the way with holistic health care to build a solid support system of wellness. When I was 25, I began working with an acupuncturist to regulate my menstrual cycle. We resolved major hormonal issues to create balance, that allowed me to have a solid resource for my body when I needed to go through chemotherapy. I went through massage school receiving bodywork three times a week for one whole year. The inner pharmacy of the body is released during massage, the effects being limitless and barely researched yet. Used also as a tool for healing from surgery or chemotherapy, massage has made my recovery staggeringly quicker. My range of motion in my shoulder girdle shocks all of my doctors, and my physical therapist.
Doing the small steps along the way helps create more balance in your body so that when you face a health crisis, the healing powers you hold within can be harnessed with greater ease. Health is not the absence of disease, but the ease with which you are able to transition between wellness and “dis”- ease.