This is me after each of my 6 chemo treatments wearing Penguin Cold Caps to save my hair from falling out due to my treatment. These caps were -40 degrees below zero. Yes, in case your wondering, that is very cold! Hence being wrapped in a warm blanket with an electric one underneath.
Up until February 2015 I had been living a seemingly normal life. Like most young moms, I was balancing working full time, and raising my 3 young girls. We were constantly on the move and meeting every days demands as they occurred. I was exhausted and felt like I was barely keeping my head above water. Life got even more complicated when our youngest daughter was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, but through it all we tried to manage the stress from that situation and keep life in perspective. In the midst of this whirlwind, I just celebrated my 40th birthday when I had my first routine mammogram.
That’s when life hit the brakes. I heard the words I never thought I would hear….”you have cancer”. My big life shrank instantly. In that moment all I cared about was the ones I loved. For the next few weeks fear, anger, anxiety, and helplessness were all on repeat every minute of every day. Up until that point I felt like I was a strong person that found opportunities in anything, but not this time. It was like someone pulled the plug and drained the life out of me. For weeks following my diagnosis, I felt like I had an elephant on my chest making it very hard for me to breathe.
I have always heard that cancer is not something you go through alone and I now understand why…..you can’t! I was so very fortunate to have the blessing of a wonderful community, my faith, family and friends that supported me from the minute news hit the street about my diagnosis. It was that support that helped me move through the next few months and began the dreaded chemo, which was the first of the big 3 that was recommended (Chemo, Surgery and Radiation) in that order. It was not until I was into my second round of chemo when I started to wake up to my reality.
After the second round of treatment, my oncologist recommended a blood transfusion. For whatever reason that hit a nerve with me and I started to realize I needed to take ownership of my body and my health. Up until that point, I listened to everything my doctors had told me….after all they are the experts in the field….right? But I was the expert of my body! My intuition (and I think you can all relate with this) was leading my head in a different direction. I have always followed my intuition and needed to trust it most now. I had been taking medications for all the side effects of chemo and was even prescribed medications for the side effects from the side effects. Wait, What??? Before I knew it I was taking more drugs for all my side effects than I was chemo, and it felt like I was out of control. I didn’t know which end was up. I was on a hamster wheel and didn’t know how to jump off.
I am a pretty skeptical person, if something is too good to be true it usually is. Everything I was reading was actually so simple that it didn’t seem right. Drinking more clean water, eating more fruits and vegetables, sleeping soundly, managing stress….to name just a few, but it seemed pretty basic to make a big difference. Boy was I wrong. I was torn because my doctors never recommended any of these lifestyle changes. At that point I had noting to lose so I dug in. As I started paying attention to what I was doing to my body and what I was putting in my body I started to crave all the goodness from natures’ harvest. I started implementing the things I was learning. And my body responded. As MC Hammer says….it became “too legit to quit”. While I started off very skeptical, I ended up proving to myself that what I was doing mattered to my health. For the first time since my diagnoses I had a sense of HOPE.
I started juicing like crazy. To me it was the easiest way to get a boatload of nutrition in a short period of time. I became very conscious of everything I was eating, but also what I was exposing my body to on a daily basis with make-up, lotions, deodorants, shampoo, fabric softener (more on all this in a future blog post) and the list went on and on. I started to feel stronger mentally and physically. I felt empowered because my choices DID matter. What I was doing eased the side effects from chemo and while I still didn’t feel great, I was feeling better.
The juicing and eating REAL food continued after chemo and has transformed the way I live today. After much thought and encouragement from family and friends I have decided to start a blog and share some of the tips and tricks I have learned along the way. Whether you have been diagnosed with disease or want to prevent it from ever happening I hope you will find mainlygreens.com a resource for you and your whole family to share. I have seen first-hand that if you give your body what it needs….it can heal. I am so excited to begin finally sharing this with YOU!