How Cancer Became My Greatest Teacher and Taught Me how to Live!


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

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12 thoughts on “How Cancer Became My Greatest Teacher and Taught Me how to Live!

  1. Susan, thank you for sharing this. You are an inspiration. I am in such admiration at your tenacity, your strength, your willingness to go deeper, and somehow keep it together in the face of DEPRESSION. I cannot imagine how it must feel to be diagnosed with cancer on top of being depressed. To have written such a beautiful blog makes you an incredible woman, and one which many thousands can learn from. Truly, I admire you deeply, as it’s very seldom that someone comes along with 2 severe diagnoses, and carries on regardless.
    If I can just say ‘thank you’ for sharing your story, and to let you know how deeply you have touched my heart, then I’m grateful to have met you through cyber space.
    Please know that you’re amazing, and you are a massive inspiration. I send all my love and strength to you, no matter what each day brings
    With sincere love
    Jade x

    • Hi Jade,

      Aww..what a lovely message..I will say that my depression has lifted ..thank God..probably from listening to the spiritual teachers and working with some healers over the phone..I have been thru depression thru out my life..and my dad was bipolar so I know depression well..and experienced bipolar second hand from watching my dad..maybe God wanted to give me some more knowledge to be more empathetic to others and to help others..maybe I chose this life for a reason..if you believe in souls and we choose which life to live,,not sure if i do but I am open..so I am thankful I am free of depression,,yes I have my down days but I can usually bounce back,,but when I was first diagnosed I was depressed and it was difficult,,and just took time to work out..whether it was thru food..supplements,,healing not quite sure..thank you again for the kind words,,blessings and love to you<3

  2. Susan, I too believe in Spirituality, in so far as also having spiritual teachers, or should I say a Teacher, that I listen to everyday and practise what he teaches. This has helped me tremendously with my mental illness/s. It must’ve been hard for you with your Dad being Bipolar. My Mother was too! I inherited this plus I had an awful, horrorbook childhood, and I never knew it would take me so long to actually acknowledge how deeply it affected me. but that’s for my blog. This is for you.
    You are just such a wonderful, beautiful human being, as, in the face of your severe challanges, you still aim to help others. I know how that is. I’m so happy that you are free of depression, and of course I understand how some days it just creeps up and lands on you and says’ hello I’m baaack!’ grrrr…
    I guess as all things, it just takes time to work these things out and maybe we’ll never know ‘why’…but you must be proud of you. You are an amazing inspiration, especially to those who are mentally ill, and just give up. I can imagine how challenging your journey is and has been, and just commend you for carrying on as you are doing. Please never feel as if you have, or are, letting yourself down if you have a bad day. You are allowed to have bad days. Keep loving yourself, but who am I to tell you that? You already know it! I’m so grateful to have met you. Your story and the way you have handled your cancer, has touched me deeper than I can explain. So thank you again Susan.
    Lots of love and light and strength
    Jade x x

    • Aww..thank you..I am glad to meet you..everything happens for a reason,,I believe this,,even bipolar,,even depression and yes even cancer,,all very wise teachers..and I feel only the really strong ones can handle it..you my friend are one of them,,<3

      • Thank you so much Susan. Yes, life only brings people who are like minded together. The others walk away, and sometimes we have NO understanding as to why?
        Then, along comes an angel whom we connect with, and all the others who left, no longer matter, as we only live for TODAY. Tomorrow doesn’t exist. This is my firm belief. So I don’t think about tomorrow ever. I do my best today, and today I met you, and today I’m grateful.
        Lots of love
        Jade x

      • Oh I can speak about this too..cancer has been a lonely journey..many have turned their backs on me..you learn to stand on your own feet..build a stronger faith..yes some have surprised me and many were kind..usually strangers that have become friends..and quite a few from the Internet<3

  3. Susan it is so good to meet you. What a awful experience you have had with breast cancer as a result of a terrible doctor. Of course, we can only look forward. Thank you for writing on my blog so I could find you. You have such a great attitude about this and I know you are with a great doctor so I am so glad you are getting great care. I know there’s plenty of medications on the pipeline to keep you here for quite a long time. I am now following your journey. I love your quote from Bernie Siegel, as well as your beautiful pictures. You are amazing! Hugs and xoxo – Susan

    • Hi Susan..aww..well I have been meeting some really amazing people.,especially lately..I have been praying about things more..and my dr..said to me he recommends high doses of prayer and he is an oncologist..I am convinced surgery would have made things worse and have learned to listen to my own intuition…I feel I am suppose to share my story..I hate how quickly they want to cut women up,,it’s horrible..I have spoke to so many that had cancer several times..yes they want to put me on herceptin..so hopefully I can remain stable for a long time but I am learning it is body,,mind and soul..good to connect with you..blessings..Susan

  4. Prayers for you always Susan. I am happy I have met you. I hope for good things for you. I always enjoy all of the good thoughts you share on FB. Have a wonderful day. You are a beautiful person. Hugs

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