A Reprieve from Cancer-World

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I realize it’s been a while since my last post. That usually happens when i’m traveling. Too busy visiting my peeps, having fun, and living life.

Miss M, grandpa, and I just spent a week in Massachusetts visiting with my mom’s family (and all our friends who are essentially family). We went up to Provincetown to visit my mom’s ashes on May 30th for the 3rd anniversary of her passing. Can hardly believe it’s been 3 years already…

The event was a full on family affair – 3 cars, 9 people, & many hours spent loving, sharing, shopping, & eating. And of course many tears shed as well.

Now grandpa, Miss M, and I are in New York going to doctor’s appointments and hanging with my dad’s family. Of course it’s good to be back in NYC. Being here immediately puts me at ease… Going on subway adventures with Miss M… Eating yummy vegan food… Spending time with family & friends… Allowing the city’s energy to fill me up and recharge me… There truly is no other place in the world quite like New York.

This week I met with my surgeons – the one who performed my mastectomy and the ones who reconstructed my breasts. It’s been 2 months since my reconstructive surgery and I continue to be surprised and delighted in the fact that everything turned out so well. I feel good. I like my new breasts. I had a great surgical team. And I am so thankful.

My surgeons all agreed that my breasts and I were looking good. I got the go-ahead to start exercising again, lifting more than 5 lbs, and stop wearing bras :-)

My mastectomy surgeon Dr. B (whom i LOVE) was genuinely happy to see how well I was doing. She seemed surprised that I wasn’t on any meds and curious about what I was doing. We talked about diet, supplements, and living healthy. I told her about my choice to switch over to a more natural & holistic treatment path and I shared my disappointment that things like diet, exercise, supplements, emotional support, and mental health weren’t discussed more with patients. Dr. B told me it isn’t necessarily that doctors don’t recognize the importance of these things… It’s just often they don’t want to overwhelm patients – especially in the beginning (which I totally get).

I do see the cancer world opening up more & more to complementary & alternative approaches – which is awesome. Recently there has been talk about new drugs that treat cancer by triggering the immune system. The immunotherapy drugs have shown promising results and offer fewer and less toxic side effects. The community seems to love them (as do the pharmaceutical companies whose stocks rose right along with the community’s love I might add).

And while I’m all for less toxic drugs, it begs the question, Why not boost your immune system naturally without drugs?? Start exercising… Eat healthy… Meditate… De-stress… Take a few supplements… Have more fun… All this will boost your immune system too. Personally, I’d much rather do it that way. Oh, but wait – there’s no money in that, is there?

Funny how treating my body like a temple instead of blasting it with complicated pharmaceuticals and excessive scans and toxic treatment makes me a radical.

While in Massachusetts, my nearly 85 year old grandmother ranted to the TV about the cancer industrial complex and how they’ll never find a cure for cancer because then they wouldn’t make any more money. Hearing the words come out of her mouth was surprising, beautiful & hilarious all at once. And it also made me realize just where my own feisty “radical” ways came from.

Right now I am so thrilled that my life is not all about cancer – for a little while at least. I’ve moved from the monthly and weekly visits to the semi-annual appointments. I’m moving on up! This means more time to just live… Enjoy the people I love… Tackle things on the bucket list… Dare to live fully… Embrace every opportunity… Figure out the next chapter…

Having cancer has definitely changed me. It forced me to reevaluate my life. To take a hard look at who I am. What I stand for. What I believe in. It got me back in touch with my intuition. My inner wisdom. My soul. It pushed me into gear. Reminded me what’s truly important in life. And challenged me to transform my world.

The beauty is that contained within the pain and trauma of life there is always the possibility for growth and transformation.

Peace. – T

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15 Responses

  1. Very uplifting report filled with joy and hope and good news about the medical advances in the field of cancer treatment. Thanks for sharing.

  2. What a moving and inspirational piece. You are a living angel, my dearest best friend. Love always, Aunty ‘Cole

  3. I had a fantastic doctor back in the late ’60s and early ’70s who introduced me to so-called ‘alternative’ medicine. To me, this is the true medicine. I didn’t have anything life-threatening, but even so, she changed my life. I don’t have it down perfectly, but I do work to follow a preventive regime (rather than wait for illness, then fight to overcome it). So far, it’s still working. I’ve learned more from your posts, too, so thanks for your blog.

    BTW, ‘they’ took away my lovely doctor’s license to practise medicine, not for doing any harm, but for being ‘unorthodox’. I used to think that some people would rather we died than made changes . . . and some would rather die themselves rather than change. But the changes are happening and it makes me hopeful for this world. ~ Linne

    • Hi Linne,
      Thanks for sharing your story. I too, feel like there is a shift happening in medicine lately. I hope it keeps going and more people become aware of the holistic framework that includes options outside of just meds & surgery. And I hope society stops labeling those of us who think outside the box as crazy radicals. Fingers crossed… Wishing you continued success in your own health journey!! -T

  4. I’m sharing your journal with a friend who is having breast reconstruction surgery this summer. Hugs to you and all of your family.

    It is indeed hard to believe that it has been 3 years since your mom left us.

  5. I have been treating my breat cancer naturally
    There is an amazing product called Zell oxygen immunocomplex that boosts your immune system, mitochondria and macrophage

  6. I’ve often felt like commenting on your natural treatments but I have a hard time finding the right words. I’m afraid of maybe coming across as condescending or like, wow, *my* approval must be *really* important if I feel like giving it :-).

    But I do like what you’re doing. You’re thinking about the things that need to be done, and it sounds like you’re trying to control the same kinds of things the doctors try to control. And in a real sense, you’re in the same realm as a lot of doctors. They might diagnose tamoxifen, not sure if it’s needed, and not sure if it will help, and not sure how it will affect *you*, but sure that it correlates with better outcomes in these kinds of cases. Okay, so how is that different from you trying to balance your estrogen naturally, trying to hit the same kinds of targets the doctors are looking for?

    What you’re doing is far, far different from people who thought, say, laetrile was a miracle cure (NB: not that I blame the victims!) because you’re finding stuff that should work, that should do the things that are known to help. You’re not trying to cleanse cancer toxins from your chakras, and assuming that alone will prevent a relapse.

    (NB: I’m a shaman, I’d be a damn fool to tell someone *not* to try to cleanse cancer toxins from their chakras if they think it’d help – I think I walk in the spirit world, so who am I to tell people their personal woo is wrong? But I’d also encourage them to look at the physical stuff.)

    So, I don’t think you’re a radical (um, unless you want to be – in which case, you go, radical warrior!); I think you’re fighting a fight the best way you know how.

    • I appreciate your words (as always). And do appreciate people’s comments & thoughts. I like to think I’m a person who considers ALL sides to a story before coming to a conclusion or taking action. And I continue to learn so much from other people. Have to say that I’m intrigued by the fact that you’re a shaman. Working with a shaman is something that’s been on my healing “to do” list for a while now. But I never knew exactly how to find a good shaman!?? I may just have to talk to you about that separately sometime in the future. Hugs, – T

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