Dealing with cancer is a scary proposition. Like a sucker punch to the gut scary. I know this because it happened to me. At 40, I was diagnosed with breast cancer that spread to my lymph nodes. Scared doesn’t even scratch the surface of the emotions I felt. Faced with this fear, I immediately made changes to my diet and my life to make sure that once my cancer was gone, I would do everything within my power to make sure it didn’t come back.
I am often asked to share advice to those facing the same uncertain journey. I certainly DO NOT have all the answers. What I do have, however, is my own insight and what worked for me.
These tips below include simple actions that I took — and some that I didn’t realize until later. These are applicable to any major illness or challenge you or a loved one may be facing.
10 Cancer Warrior Tips from a Breast Cancer Survivor
- Take care of YOU. Not the time to worry about what others think. Also, NO thank you notes (unless it makes you feel better in the moment). Those that care about a note are helping for the wrong reasons. Write special notes when you are healed.
- Educate yourself about your illness. Get a notebook and write it all down. Make your decisions to the best of your ability and then be confident in them. It’s your diagnosis, your journey.
- Eat clean and vibrant. It’s another way to cleanse your body and fuel it with cancer-fighting nutrients. Incorporate daily, organic green juice into your day, even when you don’t feel like it. You will feel its power immediately. Cut the sugar. Period. Bone broth, clean protein smoothies and all of our offerings are rooted in anti-cancer principles. The GEM was created as an oasis for supporting a healthy, healing, anti-cancer lifestyle. The goal should be not only to heal during the treatment, but to make changes to ensure that the cancer never returns. You have to change the environment on the inside.
- Get some good super-soft button down pajamas. Especially helpful for post surgery. A cashmere wrap for your visits and chemo sessions. You spend a lot of time with nothing but a cold, crinkly hospital top on while folks poke and prod. You will thank me.
- Accept all support that doesn’t have strings attached. You will need all of it. Ask someone to be the point person to set up MealTrain.com. This site helps manage food and even carpool schedules.
- Tell your friends what you want and need. Be specific. They want to help and aren’t sure what to do. Set boundaries with energy vampires in your life (those who suck the energy out of you). You DO NOT have to respond to their needs. You will find incredible people who seem to come out of nowhere.
- Exercise every day. Even if you just stretch for 10 minutes and walk around the block for 20. You will feel better.
- Use Caringbridge to communicate. That way you only have to say it once. Plus it can be a great place to document your journey. It helps keep those energy vampires out.
- Breathe. And do it deeply. For those new to it, it sounds corny. To those who understand it, it is imperative. Also try mediation by downloading Headspace and Calm apps and begin to see what it is all about.
- Love. Every. Minute. Life is important. Make yours count.
“Let Food Be Thy Medicine”
As far as specific food items to help you through your cancer journey, our Green Glow is a great place to start for daily juicing. I consumed large quantities daily of that particular green juice back in the day (with additional kale and ginger). It made all the difference to my energy and overall healing. Hot drinks like Matcha Lattes, Ginger tea, smoothies such as the Tahitian Pearl (no dates) or Cameo with protein, and our soups and Immunity bone broths offer amazingly nourishing sustenance. Using homemade cashew milk instead of dairy will help keep inflammation at bay. Food as medicine is SO powerful.
I am grateful that so many people reach out to me about their own cancer experience. It is a scary time for everyone. Throughout my cancer journey, the most amazing people came to my side. AND I KNOW YOU’VE GOT SOME BADASS SUPER HEROS IN YOUR LIFE FOR THAT TOO! But of course I am always available to talk, answer questions, whatever!
Sending you good vibes and prayers for the scans, tests, treatments, and transformations. It will be a whirlwind, but YOU’VE GOT THIS.
I hope this helps. ☀️
Peace, love & healing,
Recommended Reading List:
- Kris Carr: Crazy Sexy Cancer, Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips, Crazy Sexy Diet (www.kriscarr.com)
- Dr. Kelly Turner: Radical Remission
- Dr. Keith Block: Life Over Cancer Book (www.blockmd.com)
- Dr. Susan Love: Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book
- Jen Rozenbaum: What the Fuck Just Happened? A Survivor’s Guide to Life After Breast Cancer