How Cancer Became My Greatest Teacher and Taught Me How To Live!
My story may seem like a sad story from the details, but it’s actually a blessing in disguise..My name is Susan and I live in Hopewell,NJ with my boyfriend, 3 cats, and my cocker spaniel Nelson..I have always struggled with depression and self esteem issues most of my life. I would say I always felt like I was dying on the inside while alive..In November of 2012 I went to the Dr. to get some lumps in my breast checked out, not expecting it to be cancer. Cancer doesn’t run in my family, so it really wasn’t that much of a concern..I will never forget the day..November 15th 2012, when this gruff looking radiologist enters my hospital room with the result from my mammogram..All I remember was “blah blah blah..it looks suspicious for cancer”…that’s when my life was turned upside down and inside out and will never be the same..
From there I received a barrage of phone calls from the hospital, from the breast surgeon, and radiation department..This went on until December..At this point I am stage 2b invasive ductal carcinoma..her2 +..Basically they wanted to do a mastectomy,with reconstruction,axilary dissection,chemo,radiation,herceptin,tamoxifen..basically if I was at a restaurant..I would be ordering EVERYTHING ON THE MENU..with no choice..This was a 4 hour surgery at minimum and the surgeon was not willing to work with me on anything..not even letting me choose if I wanted do reconstruction .. I decided to do some research and speak to as many people as I could to educate myself..This led to more confusion in which I tried many things from 10 supplements a day to kale smoothies and eatting raw vegan as much as possible..
If it wasn’t for my boyfriend questioning a port they wanted to surgically place in my body and questioning the need for it, I may have gone along with what may have been unnecessary surgery that may have made my condition worse.. So it does help to bring someone with you to appointments, I know for myself I was very depressed and couldn’t retain information I was told. So it helped to have a second pair of ears to listen and distinguish between the bs..Once my eyes were opened to questioning things and saying “hey wait a minute..why do I need this”…I went off to learn on my own..I learned eatting raw vegan wasn’t for me..yes I lost weight, which I have recently gained back, but I was going to the bathroom 5 times a day and was miserable..
I talked to many breast cancer survivors..only a couple did totally natural, no surgery, chemo or radiation and are still alive to talk about it..Most had some surgical procedure or chemo etc. Also many had cancer more than once..Obviously not getting it all the first time…I became worried as time went by..and contacted another breast surgeon who failed to rescan me and followed scans from December 2012..Fast forward to May 2013..This new surgeon wants to rush me into surgery and do the same procedure..PLEASE LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION..something in my gut said no don’t do it.. I went back to the original breast surgeon, who proceeded to rescan me and then scheduled me with the Oncologist..
I knew something was wrong when the nurse is handing me living will papers and the Oncologist had my test results. My new Dr. had very kind eyes and years of experience, over the young knife happy previous Breast Surgeon..I said,”do I need surgery?” He replied, “no.. I said, “chemo,radiation?” He said,”nope”.. At first I smiled..then I thought uh oh..am I dying?..He said..”you have stage 4 cancer and we can keep it from growing for a long time”..So I said” so if I did surgery a week ago?” He said,”it probably would have spread and wouldn’t have been a good idea and that it probably started spreading a year before..” And the best thing this Dr said to me was..”I believe in prescribing high doses of prayer “..I thought to myself..this is my doctor..He did what was necessary, but wasn’t medication or cut happy..
So now I am just on Tamoxifen..The Dr. is adding Herceptin to my cocktail of medications..and monitoring me closely..It’s been quite a journey..as of right now I am status quo..So I am learning to LIVE WITH CANCER instead of focusing on dying from cancer..I have been told there have been many people with stage 4 cancer who live another 20 yrs.. So this gives me hope..and teaches me to work on bringing more joy and happiness into my life on a daily basis..no matter how small..if its buying my favorite ice cream or adding entries to my blogs..or taking my dog Nelson on long morning walks..So yes cancer has taught me how to live..I didn’t always feel my life had purpose and I am still trying to figure that out..But I feel deep inside I am a healer..Maybe I am suppose to start with my life first and then move on to helping others and teach by example..
So if I could share some lessons..1. Always get 2nd and 3rd opinions.. 2. Don’t let doctors bully you..you have time to decide..3.Listen to your intuition,it knows the right answers..4.Take all advice from others on the Internet and from various cancer groups with a grain of salt..
5. Listen to your own inner guidance..6. Pray to God and the Angels to bring the right people and information to guide you..7.Never give up hope..because as long as there is breath in your lungs there is always hope..8. Kale is good for you, but if it makes you miserable..Have an ice cream cone once in awhile..9. Finding what makes you happy, brings you joy..not only raises your vibration to heal you..it helps to make life more enjoyable..
“In Heaven the grumpiest people are the vegetarian, meditating, joggers who despite eating only vegetables, meditating regularly and getting up early every day to jog died anyway. So do what feels right because that is how those chemical messages from your body are communicated, through feelings and not what is thought.” Dr. Bernie Siegel MD