Before being diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer, I started to live a healthier life and took notice of some concerning symptoms.
I think a lot about how I felt before my cancer diagnosis in 2018 and all the changes I had been making up until that point of my diagnosis. I often wonder if those changes helped with my prognosis.
Years before I was diagnosed, I had been reading up and taking notice of all the chemicals that are in everyday products we had been using on our bodies daily. We transitioned to natural soaps, shampoos, lotions and cleaning products because I knew some of the chemicals in these common products could disrupt hormones. I also had read that certain products had chemicals that had been linked to cancer.
I also made changes regarding the food that we ate. I paid attention to which fruits and vegetables had the mostpesticides and chose to buy organic to help limit our exposure. I started buying organic whenever I could for the rest of the foods that we consumed, and made a choice to switch to a vegetarian diet on Thanksgiving 2017, almost exactly a year before my Nov. 1, 2018 cancer diagnosis.
About a year before the diagnosis, I started to notice changes in my body. I noticed how exhausted I was at the end of each day, and many nights I would fall asleep as soon as I would lie down on the couch to relax. It was like I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and tired all of the time. I shrugged it off as work stress.
I also started to notice that I had facial flushing. Sometimes the flushing would be after I ate, but I assumed that since my mother would get red sometimes after eating certain things that it was the same for me. Then the flushing started to change and would happen even when I wasn’t eating. I chose to not think much about the flushing and just pushed it off. I also noticed I started having heart palpitations off and on, but once again, I pushed this off as work stress.
I can’t go back and change how I handled all of those changes that were happening to my body, and don’t even think my nurse practitioner would have figured out that those were symptoms for neuroendocrine cancer. I have read that the disease can take anywhere from five to seven years to be diagnosed because often the symptoms mimic other diseases.
When I reflect on it all, my intuition was steering me in the right direction. I think with all the changes I had made for my family and myself, it would not have changed my diagnosis. I know that it took years for my tumors to grow, so while all these changes did not stop my cancer, I feel that they have helped me thrive with my cancer.
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