Those of you who know me may think, “But she was already pretty healthy.” Apparently, I can get even healthier.
Last week I finally met with a naturopath doctor in Columbus. I found her online and oddly enough, when I called, she told me she was closing her practice here in Ohio because she was moving to – are you ready? – NYC. But she did manage to squeeze me in. And fortunately, I’m in NY a lot these days so we can continue to see each other there.
One of the main reasons i chose this naturopath is because she specializes in women’s health issues and seeks to balance hormones naturally rather than with pharmaceuticals. This is big on my list because my breast cancer feeds on excessive estrogen. But I’d rather not take Tamoxifen or Arimedex, or any of the other long-term hormone drugs. So balancing my hormone levels has become a serious priority for me.
She is also an expert in botanical medicine, whole foods based supplementation, homeopathy, and hydrotherapy, and has advanced training in two European systems of medicine: gemmotherapy, which utilizes plant stem cells for their potent healing compounds and biotherapeutic drainage, which facilitates the body’s ability to eliminate toxins.
A few days ago I received her long list of recommendations based on our 2 hour long consult, and have to admit I was initially a wee bit overwhelmed. But piece by piece I’m putting it all together.
First we need to do a bunch of testing to look at any estrogen metabolism issues and evaluate other female and adrenal hormones… Then she recommended dietary and supplement changes to stabilize blood sugar, insulin, and reduce my INSANE sugar cravings… Along with, biotherapeutic drainage with UNDAs to restore homeostasis in the liver and breast tissue… And finally she offered a homeopathic remedy to help me with stress, anxiety and as she put it, “letting go…”
One of her dietary pieces of the puzzle involves changing my breakfast routine (which up until now consisted of a piece of sprouted grain toast with vegan spread and a cup of organic coffee or chai tea). Now I’m to consume a big glass of lemon water upon waking and hold off on eating until I’m actually hungry (even if that means I don’t eat breakfast till 11am). For breakfast (and all meals actually) the focus is on protein, fiber, and healthy fats. This is the combination that’ll keep ya going. So now I’m scouring the web for healthy, protein rich, vegan breakfast recipes. Yesterday I made the chia breakfast porridge pictured above. I found on The Alkeline Sisters blog and it was actually pretty good.
Another person I’ve learned an amazing amount of information from is Andrea Nakayama. She is a functional whole-foods nutritionist and certified holistic health counselor based out of Portland, Oregon. I first found out about her in an article from Whole Living magazine. Her husband was diagnosed with cancer when she was 7-weeks pregnant with their first child. He was given 6 months to live. Through her commitment to studying and implementing natural ways to boost his immunity they were able to extend his life for 2 years.
Her online course on sugar (Sweet Tooth, Bitter Truth) and her recent online class about naturally balancing hormones (EstroZen) taught me so much about how food and environment impacts every cell in our body. And it also gave me hope that numerous ways exist to restore my health and hormone balance naturally.
In addition to all these changes, I am back on my regular exercise routine (albeit a modified version). Doing my cardio for 20-30 mins every day on the elliptical. And it’s got me feeling so much better! For me, exercise is the starting point for everything else. If i’m not exercising everything else always goes to shit. So this is big for me.
Plus, I’m still juicing and blending. Still trying to fit in meditation and visualization as often as possible. Still going to my monthly support group and weekly psychotherapy. Still reading and researching. Still doing regular reiki sessions. Still taking time in nature (despite the cold temps). Still trying to love and live life to the fullest.
I understand now why so many people choose to just take a pill. Going the natural route is extremely time consuming, sometimes complicated, costly, and a lot of hard work. But for me, it’s worth it. I’m healthier and more energetic than a lot of folks I know – Despite having stage 4 breast cancer. And I truly believe this is the answer to keep my cancer from coming back.
Every day I’m also conscious of, and grateful for, the fact that I’m even able to follow this path. That I have the support, the finances, the education, the organization skills, the time, and the ability to go the natural route. As I said, healthy livin’ ain’t easy. And I understand why taking the natural path may feel totally overwhelming or confusing for many folks. Which is why I plan on doing what I can to help others in their journey. To share the information that I’ve gathered. To make suggestions and offer up resources. To support others in their own cancer battles.
The other day, I was watching Oprah’s interview with Joel Olsteen and he proffered the following statement:
What follows the two simple words, “I Am”, will come looking for you and determines what type of life you will have.
The words hit home with me. How often do we think negative “I AM” statements… “I am never going to succeed… I am sick… I am a failure… I am all fucked up” (that’s a personal favorite of mine). But how is that gonna help?? I believe one of the reasons i’m doing as well as I am is because I continue to believe anything is possible.
So today I choose to say something different. I AM going to beat this cancer. I AM strong. I AM healthy. I AM a fighter. I AM an inspiration.
What are you saying to yourself? Maybe it’s time to change your “I AM” statement too.
Peace. – T