My story

I want to share my journey through breast cancer in respects to what I’ve learned and how it has awakened me to my true self!
So much to say and where to begin. My true healing didn’t begin until I was at the bottom and at the end of my cancer treatments. Just to mention, this was after my second breast cancer diagnosis that was 9 years apart and 2 kids later. Originally going through lumpectomy, chemo, radiation and herceptin. So here goes…

After chemo I had a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction with tissue expanders. That’s a mouthful! Unfortunately this term is becoming more popular. So here I thought, “OK! It won’t be so bad! Just got to get through the next 6 months and I’ll have my new boobies and all will be behind me!” I really did believe this! But the universe had a different plan in mind.

After almost 6 months of expanding, I was ready for my new boobs! Well I got them and within the first week of healing I got an infection on one side. That put a damper on things. I spent a week in the hospital on iv antibiotics. “Ok! Great! We got this! I’ll be home soon.” Not so. Doc wanted to do a “wash” where they take out the infected implant and clean the infection out real good and put in back in. So I did that and was happy to have both my implants intact when I woke up from surgery. Well the next day I got devastating news. Doc was able to culture the bacteria and said with this type of bacteria the infection won’t heal with the implant in and I had to make the decision if I wanted the other implant out because he couldn’t put it back I’m for a minimum of 9 months. So this roller coaster ride wasn’t gonna end happy after all. I was so heart-broken. I couldn’t bear to just have one, so I told him to take them both. I cried really hard. I thought I wasn’t going to have to deal with losing my breasts because they were being replaced. But I was wrong. I had to feel it all. Bit by bit and accept myself where I was at. A breast less woman.

It was really hard at first. Dealing with trying to find prosthesis’ and a bra that was comfortable was very challenging. I struggled with it for a while. Time really does help. For me, accepting came in waves. For the first year it was rocky, but now I’m feeling good in my skin. I’ve even been exploring the local Korean women’s spas and have been totally OK with being nude in front of other women. I was thinking that so many women are unhappy with their body and why should I? So my scars are not beautiful, but they are real and they are me. So this is me, right now:) That’s been really BIG for me.

So after I was in the hospital with the infection and all, the infectious disease doc said this type of infection requires 6 month of antibiotics. “WHAT!!! You got to be kidding me!” They wanted me on iv antibiotics. I just couldn’t imagine how that was going to work. Doc said we had to wait for the cultures to tell us what kind of antibiotics would be the best for long term. Well thank God I was able to have oral antibiotics instead, but the thought of that long of time made me crawl out of my skin.

That’s when I thought I should look into some hard-core probiotics. I had remembered coming across an article about cultured vegetables and how amazing they are for your intestinal flora! Previously, I hadn’t been up for putting that amount of effort into my health. Well now I felt that it was really very important if I was going to maintain my health through 6 months of multiple antibiotics. So I ordered “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon and the love affair begin. Now before the book even arrived, I started buying kombucha and drinking a little bit daily. I noticed a difference immediately. I felt clearer and more energized.

I had always had a little bit of a yeast imbalance in my body since my early 20’s. I had been on antibiotics before and also the birth control pill for many years. I never felt really good. Never could pin point what was wrong either. Even after my first cancer diagnosis, I didn’t think about the food I ingested. I was young.

But since I’ve started eating more fermented foods, I’ve noticed a difference in how my body feels and also my mental clarity.

I’ve also been eliminating foods that my body doesn’t agree with, like cheese. I believe in evolving changes, not drastic ones. It took me 5 years to remove cheese from my diet knowing that it cause my intestines to inflame. When I cheat and have a piece of cheese, it takes me a week to recover. So I really don’t do that very often anymore.

The fermented foods that I’ve been eating the most are raw sauerkraut, beet kvass, kombucha and miso. I eat and drink all of these on a regular basis. Lately, I have also been making herbal tonics with adaptogenic herbs like reishi mushroom and gynostemma. Here’s a woman who has a lot of great info about this, her name is Kibby’s Blended Life. My specific recipe was recommened by my chirpractor Dr. Wendy Norman, but Kibby’s are very similar. I also have a different outlook on life. I am really trying to focus and think about MORE of what I want and LESS of what I don’t want! Louise Hay books have been very healing for me. There is always so much more I’d like to share, so stay tuned for more.

Thanks for listening.

Humbly yours,

Julie

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