At first my DCIS diagnosis consumed so much of me that when I finally gained some perspective and “got back to life,” it felt good to not give it so much import.
So what have I done? Let me tell you what I haven’t done first: I haven’t gotten the suggested lumpectomy, radiation and tamoxifen treatment—the traditional approach to this problem. For me it seemed invasive, disfiguring and treatment overkill, for a condition that may or may not become cancerous. For others, it may be a wise choice and I appreciate that too.
As of my last MRI in October, they didn’t even find anything in the spot where I had the needle biopsy. My breast surgeon thought that they “probably removed the DCIS during that biopsy, but who is going to take that chance?” I guess the answer is me. I’ll take that chance.
My issue is a cellular one, meaning that what I have will probably not appear on a mammogram. It might not appear on a breast MRI. The only “surefire” way to “fix” it is by removing the surrounding tissue as a preventative step.
So what have I done? I followed the advice of a wonderful and slightly more alternative doctor and made some serious lifestyle changes. Although I’ve always eaten pretty well and exercised most of my adult life, I came to learn I could eat even better. I cut out red meat, white flour and sugar and started eating a mostly vegetarian diet. I added “Green drinks” once a day (smoothies loaded with raw veggies, juice, spirulina, nuts, etc.) plus started taking lots of supplements as well.
And exercise…lots of exercise. I ran my first 5K mid February! I’ve never been a runner, but now its become part of my life (since its an exercise that is so easily accessible, not like surfing, where you have to wait for waves).
I’ve also been using cannabis oil. I definitely consider it one of my heavy hitters. (If you haven’t done any research on it, please see the link below).
The overall goal is to bring down inflammation and alkalize my system. Mentally…now that’s the hard part. Learning to relax more, laugh and engage more, have more fun, be at peace. I wish that was as easy as making a smoothie!
At some point in 2014, I will go back for another breast MRI. If there is a serious problem, I may have to consider an excisional biopsy (lumpectomy). I don’t see me undergoing radiation or ever taking tamoxifen. But I don’t know. I don’twant to act cocky or super sure about what I’m doing because I’ve never done this before.
I DO know that I’m doing my best to be happier and healthier so when I go in for any tests, I feel empowered by my own health and not as frightened as I did the first goround.
Thanks so much for sharing your story Beth!
Sandra Stephens said:
A good strong ending to this essay, a good strong beginning on the road to wellness and recovery is my wish for you!
Thanks for having me. I really appreciate this opportunity.
Bobby Clark said:
Curious…how does the oil help??? I am trying to spread the word….but don’t know anyone personally that has used it except for PAIN…..like myself…….And I am following suit….changed my whole way of eating……exercise is tough with 11 herniations and hardly any use of my right leg……but I’m still kickin!!!!! and NO ALCOHOL…….bet ya never thought U would hear that from me!! 🙂 PEACE!!! and GOOD LUCK/GOOD VIBES BETH!!!