I was in pretty bad shape 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. I had already lost a leg to bone cancer seven years earlier, I suffered from ulcerative colitis for five years, sinus problems and headaches every day of my adult life, was on medication for sleep and a heart arrhythmia, and I sometimes had panic attacks. One of my doctors told me to make my peace with God. Another said, "even with conventional treatment (which I did), the cancer will most likely return to the same spot within a year."
Around that same time I remember watching The Oprah Winfrey Show, and there was a woman on the show who had advanced breast cancer. She feared that she would not be around for special moments in her daughter's life. She
started writing letters for her daughter's birthdays, wedding, etc. It was sad, but a good idea, too. I believed she may have even already passed away when the show was aired, but I don't remember. What I do remember was that I started letting my (then-8-year-old) daughter, Cammie ( pictured at left ), do things that I might not have allowed, had I not had cancer. Like having 15 8-year-old girls for a birthday sleepover! I dreaded the thought before, but it was fun. I remember thinking I might not be able to do this next year. She remembers that I started buying her little gifts ... she couldn't figure it out, but later said her friend always told her, "That is because your mother is going to die."
Then I looked for other answers ... another doctor, a naturopath told me "some women have been helped by a macrobiotic diet." That was my "ah-ha" moment. I hit the road running, and I never looked back. I got on the macro train and said "all aboard, this train is leaving, and I'm getting well, friends and family hop aboard." And ... most did. I started reading macrobiotic recovery stories, other books about cancer and diet, took macrobiotic cooking classes, later started seeing a macrobiotic counselor, studied macrobiotics at the Kushi Institute in Becket, Mass. ... and started getting better. Later, I taught others how to cook. Now it has been 10 years since I found my lump. I am
cancer-free because of this way of eating and lifestyle. This year I happily celebrated my 50th birthday! Oh, and all my other medical problems are gone too (except my leg, but I can live with that!).
I had the desire and felt that this was going to make me better. If you have the desire do
it, macrobiotics could help you, too. It just takes determination and a "can do" attitude. And if you have children,
I'm sure you're very motivated to get better. I was
very sad and devastated when diagnosed, but determined to live ... the macrobiotic diet
was hope with substance. I thought if those others did it, I could too, or at least give it my best shot. I felt I was doing everything humanly possible. So I let go, stopped worrying, lived and cooked a ton. It was well worth it! I became enthralled with this whole new world of whole grains, beans and especially vegetables.
In eight days my daughter will graduate from
high school. Ten years ago I worried that I might not even be around
for her 16th birthday (she just turned 18)! I wrote about this a few years ago in my book, Becoming Whole, The Story of my Complete Recovery From Breast Cancer. I'm happy to say that I'll be going to her graduation from Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine. This is a dream come true. My husband, Tom, and my son Francis (21) will be there, too. I am very grateful.
If I can do it, so can others. There were others before me that I gained hope from. Be determined and don't veer from your path! Keep going toward health because you are well worth it. Take all that nuturing energy and put it toward yourself. Your family and others will benefit from your example. I believe we CAN change our destinies and watch our dreams come true.