Taking My Life Into My Own Hands After a Cancer Diagnosis

Editor’s Note: This piece was submitted by a contributing writer and does not represent the views of CURE Media Group.

I discovered the importance of health when, at the age of 35, I was leading what I thought was a healthy life. I made no time for myself, took care of everyone else’s needs before my own and always felt fatigued. My skin wasn’t great, I had no desire to exercise and I suffered with constant bloating. I worked hard and stressed a lot!

I spent more than 20 years working in the multinational industry where I was constantly chasing my tail. I had never-ending deadlines and was surviving on junk food to keep me fueled throughout the day. I was in this hazy fog that I used to call life until I hit a roadblock: a life-threatening disease. This changed the course of my life forever and has transformed every aspect of it for the better.

In 2009, I was diagnosed with a rare form of aggressive breast cancer, triple-negative breast cancer, whilst undergoing what should have been one of the happiest times of my life: the eight weeks leading up to my wedding. I had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, which all played havoc on my immune system and put me into early menopause, which has meant I was unable to conceive. This was not great for a newlywed couple. The treatment made me sick, tired and depressed.

My oncologist then recommended that I get a genetic test done. This results were devastating. I had the BRCA1 mutation, the same mutation Angelina Jolie has, and my medical team strongly advised me to have preventative surgery to get my breasts and ovaries removed. I had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy scheduled for January 201. In the meantime, I began to research everything I could find about the BRCA1 gene, cancer and the role of epigenetics. I made one very important call to a Natural Healing Clinic and spoke with a doctor who appeared to have had great success with nutrition and lifestyle changes in cancer patients. I spoke to the director, and this was the catalyst to everything else I've done since. I spent three weeks in the United States learning how to eat right, and I began to educate myself on the power of food. From that day forward, I have based every day on ensuring that I get the best nutrition possible. I spent one year after cancer completely detoxing my body, removing the “fake” foods and trying to recover some of the damage from treatment.

My doctors still continue to tell me that cancer will return. In fact, they told me six years ago that I have a 90 percent chance of breast cancer returning and 50 percent of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, unless I have major preventative surgery. But time is moving on, and I am still cancer-free and thriving. I decided to take my life into my own hands and to use food and lifestyle changes as my medicine. I haven't looked back since. This has led me down the holistic path of studying life coaching, nutritional therapy and then furthering my studies in to herbal medicine and naturopathic medicine. I believe that all of these give me the best opportunity to help others. From my experience with a life-threatening disease, I can see not only the importance of healthy, wholesome food and exercise in one’s life, but also how each of these are connected to the mind. This journey has transformed my life and I’ve never looked back!