Meditation, an organic diet, exercising daily & fasting have made all the difference in Edith’s journey with metastaticbreastcancer. Now she’s sharing her story in hopes of helping others.
When my breast cancer spread to my bones, I realized it was time for a more holistic approach. Now I'm living my best life ever.
. After that, we would reassess.I was anxious to get started. I wanted to take the monster that is cancer down and get my life back.With the chemo came the common chemo woes like nausea, fatigue andinsomnia. It was challenging but, compared to the horror stories I'd read from cancer survivors, I felt I was one of the lucky ones.
Looking back now, I see it differently. Though still grateful for the care I received, I believe I was suffering more than I needed to be, and that things could have been easier.And I say this even though I'm arguably sicker today than I was back then.
Over the next six months, I would undergo more chemotherapy and 25 rounds of radiation. Finally, in October 2019, my treatment was over — but not for long. Six months later, we learned that the cancer had metastasized further. Now, it was in my bones. headtopics.com
As I tell you this, it is still in my bones."I want to do it differently this time," I told my oncologist when he laid out his plan for chemotherapy along with."I have been reading about alternative medicine, and I'd like to try that, in addition to the drug therapies you recommend."
It was as though I had whispered some secret password. My doctor's eyes lit up."I can help you with that," he said."I have a master's in alternative medicine, but when I practice in this hospital, I can't suggest it. I can only discuss it if the patient asks."
I didn't feel betrayed by him so much as I did by the hospital system. Why were they not avidly sharing natural remedies that could help? To this day, it makes no sense to me, but I am compelled to tell other women: Ask about alternative medicine — not as a replacement to drug therapies but as a supplementary enhancement. And ask sooner rather than later.
My oncologist connected me to an alternative medicine specialist in Colombia who runs apalliative careprogram for cancer patients. I signed up for the program on the spot, intrigued by its focus on mind, body and spirit. I began to practice meditation, switched to an organic diet, and started exercising every day. For the spiritual aspect, I reconnected with my Catholic religion. headtopics.com
To be clear, I did not replace or override the cancer treatments my oncologist in Miami planned for me. Additionally, I run everything in the program by him. This is important because some herbs can interfere with cancer drug therapies. So far, the palliative care course pairs beautifully with my chemo and immunotherapy treatments — and the changes in my quality of life have been profound.
What do I do differently? Everything! If I'm restless at night, I do guided meditation. If I'm nauseous, I drink ginger tea. If I'm bored, I don't hop on social media like I did before; I disconnect and turn inward with meditation.I've overhauled my diet. I've said goodbye to fast food and processed food and many traditional Colombian dishes that are heavy on carbs. I eat 100% organic, don't go anywhere near any form of sugar or flour, and only use
. At my chemo sessions, I politely decline the lunch the lovely nurses offer me: the white-bread sandwiches and sickly sweet cranberry juice.Perhaps the most radical change I've made is to implement fasting in my life.Research has shown that fasting may enhance chemo's cancer-fighting abilities
. I'm part of a study led by my Colombia-based doctor to learn more about the effects of fasting during chemo. My long-term goal is to achieve 72 hours of fasting four times per year to reset my immune system. I currently fast 18 to 22 hours every day, which lessens the secondary effects of my chemotherapy. I love it. I feel energized and focused. headtopics.com
All these tips and tactics were totally foreign to me before my second bout of cancer. But once I embraced these changes, I realized all I'd been missing out on before, namely, a sublime sense of peace. There is still pain and discomfort, but it is so much lighter now. It's as though the color of my aura has changed from a cloudy gray to a bright and blue, sun-lit sky. I feel
(and over my health) that I never knew was possible.I am responding well tomy treatmentsso far, and soon I'll know if the cancer is once again gone. But I'm less focused on the end goal these days. I am in no rush. Every day, I wake up grateful to be alive.
And if this is my last day? Well, that day I say, with open arms:"Gracias Dios por esta maravillosa vida." (Thank you, God, for my wonderful life.) Read more: HealthyWomen.org »
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