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Bonnie Annis is a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed in 2014 with stage 2b invasive ductal carcinoma with metastasis to the lymph nodes. She is an avid photographer, freelance writer/blogger, wife, mother and grandmother.
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Alternative Treatment Options: What's Worked for Me

Traditional treatment options for breast cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and anti-hormone therapies but there are other options available.
PUBLISHED: OCTOBER 07, 2015
Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Breast cancer CURE discussion group.
Last year, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, I had to make a lot of tough decisions regarding my health care. I listened carefully as my oncologist described a treatment plan for me. His course of treatment was conventional and included surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and anti-hormone therapy. As I listened to the plan, I asked many questions and was surprised as he took time to answer with great care. When our conversation was complete, I asked what he would recommend if his wife or daughter were sitting before him instead of me. I was surprised at his answer. He told me he would not recommend chemotherapy. He mentioned there had been a lot of research done recently about pros and cons of chemotherapy and it had been discovered that, in many instances, chemotherapy did more harm than good. I left his office with a lot to think about. 

Over the course of several days, I decided not to follow the conventional treatment plan prescribed by the oncologist. I did not make this decision lightly. I did my homework. I spent hours and hours reading medical journals. I wanted to make an informed decision. Armed with massive amounts of information, I shared my decision with the doctor. Much to my surprise, he agreed wholeheartedly and told me he'd support me. 

I refused chemotherapy based on information received from my doctor along with articles I'd read. I did agree to radiation. After completing 28 rounds of radiation, I was prescribed an aromatase inhibitor, Arimidex (anastrozole). I was surprised at the adverse affects. The changes were drastic and ones I was not willing to continue. I called the doctor and made him aware of what was happening. He advised I stop taking the medication immediately and prescribed Tamoxifen. Tamoxifen was familiar to me. My mother-in-law had taken it for five years after she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer. Tamoxifen had been around for over 40 years. I agreed to try it. After two weeks, I was calling the doctor's office again. The side effects were horrible. I felt like an old woman. Every bone and joint in my body ached. I could barely walk. My hair was thinning. I felt worse than ever. I could not do this.

I began to think about which was more important: quality of life or quanitity of life. For me, quality of life was more important. With that in mind, it was more beneficial for me to choose the natural route to healing. I did not want poisonous chemicals racing through my body.

There are many unconventional treatments for cancer. Just do a Google search and you'll find thousands of them. Some of them are really out in left field, but there are natural methods that make sense. Those are the ones I'm going to implement into my healing process.

I've already eliminated sugar and processed foods from my diet — I'm focusing more on raw fruits and vegetables. There are so many preservatives in processed foods that we don't even know what we're eating unless we take a magnifying glass and read the labels.

Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Breast cancer CURE discussion group.
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