The Difficult Decisions Are the Most Important Ones When Fighting Cancer


I recently reflected on the most difficult decision I faced during my experience with cancer.

I was recently asked if I had any difficult conversations with friends or family about my cancer experience.

The answer is not really; I’ve been pretty lucky that all the people in my corner have been incredibly understanding and supportive, every step of the way.

The most difficult conversation I’ve had during my experience/healing journey as actually with myself.

This went down in late 2017, after cancerous nodules had resurfaced in both of my lungs for the second time — my fourth recurrence of osteosarcoma since being diagnosed in 2016. My oncologist then shared that the five-year survival rate was less than 10%, and told me that without treatment I would die. He offered a clinical trial with extremely painful side effects and a 30% success rate.

I did some research and after giving it more thought, I just felt like this wasn’t going to be the thing that saved my life. Studies showed that after initial success, the cancer usually returned. Not to mention there being a quality-of-life issue with the drug inflicting consistent bouts of extreme pain.

Despite my concerns, this was literally the only option on the table. All other hospitals pointed towards my current medical team as the best in the business and relayed the same opinions.

Literally operating on blind faith, I trusted my gut and maintained belief that success was still possible. I began studying other cancer fighters who managed to heal themselves with regimens and strategies outside the realms of conventional medicine. The more I learned, the more these holistic approaches appealed to me.

I remember at one point discussing my feelings with my family. I half expected them to tell me I was nuts for not listening to doctors and even considering setting out on my own healing journey. Instead, they looked me in the eyes and told me they believed in me, and if this was the direction that my heart said was right, they were fully on board.

On one hand this was incredibly relieving to know they understood and supported where I was coming from. But I also felt a ton of pressure! There was no expert showing me the way… I was swimming in the dark and hoping to land a miracle. Even as I type this today, I’m shaking as I recall how terrifying that situation was to live with every day. The sheer magnitude of pressure. And yet there was something exhilarating about following my instincts and betting on myself.

Over the following months, I made a choice to space out hospital appointments and delay scans. This may sound incredibly risky, but my thoughts were that without the right plan in place (they said that surgery would only lead to more recurrences), injecting my body with more radiation would only speed up the damage— I was in it for the long game and intent on finding a sustainable healing approach. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have my freak out moments along the way, but I believed that I was doing the best I could.

Each day, I kept researching and experimenting with different techniques. I met a wide variety of medical experts (both conventional and alternative focused) and picked their brains, learning all the angles. Then, rather than follow any single person’s advice, I digested all the information and formed my own path. This served as an incredible lesson for me on the value of being my own advocate.

This past November, I surpassed the survival rate’s five-year mark. I’ve officially defied the statistics, and I now have the luxury of inspiring and helping other cancer fighters. For anyone with questions, shoot me a note at and I’m always looking to support the community.

And remember, sometimes the most difficult decisions are difficult because the right answer is the hard way, the terrifying way — the way, where if you actually stopped and thought about going down that path, you might get really freaked out and overwhelmed… But take comfort in knowing that you don’t have to see the whole staircase from the start. Just take one step at a time, operating with faith and making mindful adjustments based on what life gives you, and the rest of the path will reveal itself.

If my story teaches nothing else, it’s that the most difficult decisions just may be the most important decision of your life. So whatever you do, make sure to follow your heart.

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