Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Healthy Cancer Chick – Have You Heard of Her?

by Kristen Suzanne in cancer, vegan

A couple of weeks ago I received an email that moved me. A husband emailed me to see if I would mind sharing his wife’s story and blog on my blog. His wife is a cancer survivor and on a mission to live as long as she can and sharing her story with people along with way (it involves lots of veggies and healing!). He wanted to do everything he could to help her and realized that one way was to support her new endeavor. That’s where I come in. As some of you know, starting a blog can be overwhelming and the one thing we all love is having our blog get visitors, right? Well, her husband emailed me to see if I could share her work with my visitors; thereby, getting her visitors.

I was more than happy to help this fellow veggie out. I’m so happy to share the following with you. So, without further ado…. Kristen’s Raw readers, please meet Kristen of Healthy Cancer Chick.

I asked Kristen of Healthy Cancer Chick to share her story of cancer and healing with you. It’s inspirational. And, it reminds me of the part in my Raw Awakening book where I write about how people can think they’re eating healthy, when they really aren’t. I actually have a potty-mouth label for it – hehe. Those of you who have read it, you know the one. ;)

After you’ve read her story, please hop on over to her blog and say hello. :) She’s just starting it out, but it’s already full of great information. I look forward to following it regularly.

Here is one of my favorite posts that she wrote… 5 Things to Keep the Big “C” at Bay. I’m a turmeric junkie and try to use it every day. In fact, I just bought these groovy little tins (pictured above) with 1-teaspoon portion organic turmeric packs so I can take them in my purse(!) for restaurants or camping. I put turmeric in smoothies, juice, oatmeal, soup, veggies, salad dressing, dips, etc. Cool, huh?! (I also bought the 1-tsp packets of organic fennel seeds, too. I love the idea of having this in my purse for after meals to help with digestion.)

Kristen of Healthy Cancer Chick writes:

At the age of 43 I couldn’t believe that I was diagnosed with a “life threatening” illness. My family had just recently relocated from Central New York to the Space Coast of Florida when I found a lump in my left breast. My daughters were 9 and 12 years old and I feared that I would miss all of the wonderful events in their lives.

Control was something I always had in my life. I have a competitive, in charge, “type A” personality. I finished high school at 17, college at 21, a master’s degree at 23 and a Ph.D. at 25. But, when my fears were confirmed with the diagnosis of aggressive breast cancer, I all of a sudden felt like I had lost control of my life. There was no family history of breast cancer in my family. I have never been overweight and I have never smoked. I always thought that I was a healthy person who exercised fairly regularly, ate healthy and hardly ever frequented a fast food restaurant. I ate lean meats like chicken over red meats and thought that eggs, milk and fish were no brainers to a healthy diet. So how did I end up with a whirlwind of Doctors performing the traditional Slash-Poison-Burn (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation) treatments?

I researched all of the surgeries, chemotherapy drugs, and radiation that I was about to embark on and knew all of the possible outcomes for each. I went to have 2nd and 3rd opinions with different Doctors who all came to the same conclusions. I was young and needed to be aggressive with my cancer as it was being aggressive with me. However, no alternative options were mentioned, no holistic approaches talked about, no mention at all about my diet and how I may be able to improve my survival or even cure myself with food as medicine.

I began spending countless hours sitting at the computer while I was recovering from all of the horrendous treatments and their side effects. I began hearing more and more about young people like myself with even more severe illnesses and stage IV terminal cancers that turned to a plant-based diet and 1, 5, even 10 years later are still alive and reaping its benefits. I mentioned this lifestyle to a couple of my Doctors and there was little support, but rather a “do what you feel you need to do,” “I believe anything in moderation is good,” or “just make sure you are getting your protein” attitude.

I started out with getting rid of all red meat. This was not difficult at all as other than a filet mignon once or twice a year, I didn’t consume that much red meat. Stopping the chicken and fish was a little more difficult but as I kept increasing my fruit and vegetable intake I began to notice that I stopped wanting the meat. Milk and eggs I thought would be the toughest. Luckily I tried and loved almond milk right away and learned how to substitute other substances for eggs, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products.

I have now been on a mostly raw, vegan, plant-based diet for approximately nine months. I feel amazing! I have more energy, less sickness, glowing skin, better sleep and have regained control over my body and my life. With my Vitamix in one hand and my KitchenAid food processor in the other, I am a force to be reckoned with. I have high hopes of not only seeing all the events in my children’s lives but also seeing my grandchildren one day. 

My status now is that I am, as far as we can tell, cancer free! I have had several PET scans and one in December 2011 showed 3 small spots (right breaset, right rib and left lung). After fighting with insurance and not getting the 3 month follow up PET paid for…even with an appeal from my Oncologist….I paid out of pocket (ouch),the follow up PET in March 2012 showed no sign of the spot on the right breast or rib and the left lung spot was still there but hadn’t grown. I’m scheduled for follow up on that in 6 months but am convinced that with diligent healthy eating and lifestyle this too will “disappear” or be a non-issue. Power to the positive and keep feeding my body the right medicine….go veggies!

Oh! And you can follow Kristen on Twitter at @hlthycancerchic

Thanks, Kristen, for sharing your story. And, be sure to hug that darling husband of yours who reached out to me on your behalf. ;)

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