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I Had Cancer, Now What?

I want you to know you’re not alone. Someone has been where you are and navigated the transition of beating cancer and embracing life. Today, they feel so much better.

Here’s another excerpt of Denise’s diary. She shares the one thing that got her through her the dark days of cancer and how we met. Please enjoy!

I Had Cancer, Now What?
By Denise Gildon

My life has changed and in many ways for the better! Having had breast cancer, four surgeries, as well as, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, you may wonder how my life can possibly be any better than it was before a cancer diagnosis.

You may still be slogging through the fatigue and side effects cancer treatments bring and believe me, I slogged through them as well. Honestly, some days I’m still just tired. But there is hope and I urge you to read on. You need to know I’ve always been a positive person and I believe that a positive attitude is very important through cancer and for life after cancer.

My sister-in-law, a five year cancer survivor who went through many more treatments than I did always reminded me during my oh, so tired days that, in order to have energy, one must create energy. I can’t say I always believed her, but I can say now that I’ve begun walking again along with some daily exercise, I feel so much better. Energy creates energy. Now I, along with my two dogs, look forward to that a mile walk at the end of most every day. I could go on and on about mindful walking but that’s a story for another day.

My doctor encouraged me to drink lots of water, as much as 8-12 ounces every hour during chemotherapy and for the week after. I chose to do this and continue drinking water by the gallon to this day. While I’m drinking, I imagine the toxins flowing out. as I drink water all day long. My first drink of the day is warm lemon water. It is detoxifying and gets digestion started. Now my drink of choice is water with lemon!

My doctors didn’t want me to start acupuncture or massage until treatments had ended and so I waited. I was having massage therapy at least monthly for many years and truly missed it. My acupuncturist began a detox therapy for me and suggested, because of the hot flashes I experienced from the hormone blocker, that I stop drinking coffee and have green tea instead. I embraced her suggestion and haven’t looked back. I am enjoying many different types of green tea throughout the day and sometimes add raw organic honey which does a body good in so many ways. I have very few hot flashes now, they are not as extreme, and they don’t last long. It’s my understanding that green tea is a cancer prevention food.

My acupuncturist introduced the concept of yin and yang with to me. I had already read a lot about my body being too acidic from eating too much processed food. So, I began moving toward my body becoming more alkaline. Eating fruits and vegetables contributes to alkalinity and I also began adding ½ teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water daily, stirring well and consuming. Reading about the health benefits of raw, organic, unprocessed apple cider vinegar, I began incorporating that into my diet. A splash on my salad or poured straight from the bottle into my glass of water works just fine. I started slowly adjusting to the taste and now I really enjoy it. The plus is that I no longer need to take an antacid on a daily basis!

I found Sue, my health coach, through Facebook. I responded to a suggested post that mentioned vibrant living after cancer. Vibrant living AFTER cancer; that thought certainly stopped me in my tracks. How will I ever be able to live vibrantly? I wondered, especially after all I’ve been through. I’m barely getting through the day.

She replied to my Facebook post. She became my vibrant life after cancer coach and the rest is history.

I’m eating organic food as much as possible and I eat mainly plant-based foods with much less meat that I used to have. I have drastically reduced red meat in my diet. Sue encourages eating organic along with how to have a healthy kitchen and other good ideas I’ve incorporated in my life after cancer treatments. I love Sue’s philosophy; it doesn’t have to be all or none, incorporating as many healthy habits and foods into my day can only benefit me. I will admit I fail at times; don’t we all? I can’t imagine a life without cake or cookies occasionally.

Sue introduced me to Kind Bars; healthy snacks with ingredients you can see and recognize. I would recommend trying them. I’ve jokingly told Sue I wish I could have a day where I only eat Kind bars because they are so delicious. Raw fruits and vegetables make delicious snacks that are healthier options and I especially love celery. I’ve heard you burn more calories eating them than the caloric value they possess. Plus they contain lots of water. Win-win!

Another aspect of vibrant living I’ve learned from Sue besides exercising, eating organic and a plant-based diet is rebounding. She shared a video of the benefits of rebounding and I was amazed that it’s such a healthy practice. Yes, I bought a rebounder; it’s a mini-trampoline and I’m slowly working toward adding that habit to my vibrant lifestyle.

Looking back over the past year and a half, I find I feel healthy, really healthy, in fact I feel great. My friends and associates tell me I look healthy. I’m sleeping well without any drugs and I attribute this good life to exercise, diet and a positive attitude. There are the occasional days when I don’t feel as well and this is to be expected; however, in general I feel I’m living vibrantly.

Now, over to you. On a scale of 1 to 10, how vibrant do you feel? If it’s below a 6, what’s one thing you can do to feel better? Please comment below.

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