One year ago today, I received the horrible news that the lump removed from my breast was cancerous. I was only 43 years old when I received this news.
I remember exactly where I was at 2:15pm on October 28, 2016. I was teaching Spanish 2 when I noticed my doctor’s office calling. I slipped into the hallway for some privacy, and there, next to the cold, brick wall, I heard the words, “The tumor we removed is cancerous.”
I’m not sure how I remained standing because it felt like the blood was draining from my body. The surgeon explained that I would need to come in to discuss the details and talk about a second surgery to check lymph nodes and treatment.
So today, 10/28/17, is not my favorite day. But I’m going to redeem the day by dedicating it to sharing with you, my readers, the things I’ve done to reduce my chances of developing cancer again.
So here goes!!!
#1 Cut sugar — even natural sugar (like in fruits). I’m super careful with this and stay away from added sugar especially. I use stevia or xylitol to sweeten things now. This has been VERY difficult, but when your life depends on it, you do what you gotta do.
#2 Exercise 150 minutes/week (30 minutes, 5 days) — I still hate exercising, but research shows that this reduces your chances of cancer AND many other diseases. Plus, it helps us manage stress … which brings me to #3.
#3 Manage/Reduce stress — I’ve had to make some difficult decisions in this area concerning jobs & relationships. I made changes to reduce stress, and it’s been worth it.
#4 Essential oils — I’ve added some specific essential oils to my daily routine, rubbing them directly on my breasts, including frankincense, myrrh, lavender, and sandalwood. I also use Thieves oil regularly for immune support.
#5 Supplements — Per my doctor’s orders, I’ve added some supplements to balance my hormones and neurotransmitters and support my liver and digestion.
#6 Foods & Beverages — My doctor wants me only eating and drinking warm things, so that means no raw foods — everything is cooked. This is to hopefully help my body not make lumps & bumps (this is based on Chinese medicine), and so far, I think it’s working! I also eat as much organic produce as I can afford.
#7 Water — I drink only distilled water (with minerals added) now which is free from fluoride and other toxins found in our water supply. My next goal is to get a filter for my shower so that I’m not bathing in toxic water either (got my fingers crossed for Christmas!!!).
#8 Put myself first — As a mom and wife, this one can be hard, but I have to take time to take care of myself or I won’t be around to take care of anyone else. My sleep matters, my nutrition matters, and I’m worth investing in. This means saying “no” sometimes when I want to say “yes.” I’m still growing in this area.
#9 Down time — This is related to #8, and I’m still working on this one too, but making time to RELAX is super important. We were not meant to work & go 24/7, but naturally, I’m kind of that not-sit-still, always-gotta-be-doing-something gal. This isn’t healthy. So I’ve had to force myself to relax and have downtime without multitasking … again … I’m still working on this. Habits die hard! 😦 Balance is key.
#10 Mindset — I’ve had to learn how to emotionally just let some things go. Emotionally holding onto things that I cannot change, worrying about things, wishing things were different — these are not healthy mindsets. I’m examining my self-talk and my thoughts to make sure they are positive and full of hope. I’m choosing to enjoy my life no matter what’s going on, no matter what I’m facing. Again, this is a process, but I’m trying.
#11 — Spiritually strong — Finally, last but certainly not least, I’ve dug into the Bible, prayer, and connecting with spiritual friends more over the past year than ever before. It’s been wonderful, and I continue to do this. These things continue to be a huge source of strength, hope and peace for me.
So, as you can see, fighting cancer is multifaceted: it’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. My best advice: don’t wait until you get a diagnosis to make the lifestyle changes you need to make. Make them now. You’ll be glad you did.
I’m thrilled to announce that my cancer numbers continue to decline and are almost in the “negative” category. God has been SO good through it all. I’m SO thankful, and I’m looking forward to a long, full life!