I am always asked how I did it? “How in the HELL did you survive Ewing Sarcoma?” How did I muster up the strength to live when everyone around me was throwing in the towel? Truth be told, I am not too sure how I did it either.
I mean, I had the odds against me pretty badly, but something inside would not allow me to give up. I could not afford to be a victim twice.
Here is what I mean: Yes, I was now a victim of cancer, but I did not want to give up my life and agree to the terms from the doctors—victim to the conditions and the diagnosis.
I had the option to either surrender to the authoritative figure—the guy with the degrees and experience— and what he thought, or ignore him and enforce my will instead. I understood the diagnosis, but wanted nothing to do with the prognosis.
I think we all have that thing inside us, that fire that drives us to either fight through the heat or crumble and be devoured by the flames. Either way, we make a choice, and I think what we continuously think about is what our final outcome will be.
Our Thoughts Have POWER!!
We must remember that our thoughts have power, and our thoughts can be measured due to the frequencies they omit. If we focus on the bad, more upsetting events will occur.
If we think positive thoughts and focus on the good, those thoughts will manifest in our lives. That is what I believed and what helped me survive.
Even in my darkest hours, I saw myself living and beating this. I felt the emotions of victory even when I felt deathly ill. I never let my current condition stop me, hinder me, or blind me.
While I was sick, I knew I had to make some mindful decisions and make them quickly. What I understood from the beginning was the power of my mind, my thoughts, and the signals I was giving my body.
I began to read up on holistic approaches while I was treated with chemotherapy, and I discovered the necessary elements that I attribute to my survival.
- New Diet
- Listening to Yourself
- Having a Reason to Live
- Controlling Your Health
- Discovering Mother Nature
- Focusing on the Positive
Eat for Health
Before cancer, I ate nearly everything and did not think twice about it. I enjoyed steak, chicken, pork, turkey, and seafood. I ate dairy and loved sweet, sugary foods.
There were no restrictions on what I consumed. I was not educated on the nutritional value of food (or the lack of), nor did I question the things I grew up eating. But when your life is shaken to the core, you begin to question everything.
While doing my research, I discovered that meats take a lot longer to digest in the body for a number of reasons and that cancer thrives in sugar. I quickly decided that I did not want any meat sitting in my system for 47 hours, and that I no longer wanted to feed my sweet tooth.
I drastically decreased the amount of meat and refined sugar I ate. In 2011, I quit eating beef, pork, chicken, turkey and dairy. Today, I eat fish once a week and stick to natural and organic sugars. My goal is to transition to an alkaline diet.
What Do You Say
While on treatment, I found myself very tired. I did exactly what my body wanted. I slept, and on the days I was not exhausted, I stayed up.
I listened to my body and whatever I needed, I gave my body just that. I can recall after treatments I would be starving for the strangest things; I had the appetite of a pregnant woman.
I would binge on protein and whatever else I wanted at the moment.
Live on Purpose
A lot of times, when we are faced with a tragic/traumatic event, we think that life is over and that the towel must be thrown in. We cannot see past the current situation and often get lost in the clouds of depression.
It is very important to have a reason to live, to not give up on yourself. I did this in many ways, but two stick out to me the most.
One was buying my Chrysler 300 back in 2009. I was deathly ill, and the car sales lady did not want to sell me the car, but I convinced her that I needed this car to look forward to and to give myself a sense of responsibility that would keep me alive. When I drove home in my new car, I kept saying to myself, I have a new car now and I have to be alive to make this car payment.
The other was living to watch my nephew Donavin grow up. I was profoundly disturbed and upset that my life would be taken away, and that Donavin would not know me.
I made it a point to stay alive, to watch him grow up. Those two reasons, amongst many others, gave me the drive to live.
Find something that you want to live for and make it your responsibility to see it through.
Controlling Your Health
I have always been a very active person, I grew up playing sports my entire life: soccer, basketball, swimming, track, softball, ice skating. You name it, and I played it.
This is something I have always taken great pride in, being an athlete and being fit. After all the rounds and cycles are done, it is essential to detox on a cellular level. Sweating, along with other healthy habits like eating clean, will help regulate your body.
Trust me, I know. Not only did I do chemo, but also I had a shot called Lupron, which throws the body into menopause. Can you imagine being 24 years old, sick, and having terrible hot flashes every 15 minutes?\
It was pure torture! After the treatments, you have the side effects and the best way to combat those are working out and eating right.
I have incorporated an excellent regiment that I stick to on the regular:
- Sauna for 30 mins and cardio for 30 mins for 3-4 days a week.
Discovering Mother Nature
Buying medicine from the store is something that the majority of us are used to. Being a cancer survivor can cost a pretty penny, especially when the side effects linger around longer than you want, and those doctor bills and prescriptions become too expensive to maintain. Then what?
Well, I bet you have all you need in your spice cabinet. For example, cinnamon is great for lowering blood pressure; sage improves brain function and memory; peppermint reduces nausea; turmeric stops inflammation; Holy Basil boosts the immune system, and cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which helps reduces appetite and may have anti-cancer properties.
These herbs are less harmful to the body and are affordable. After treatment, I had terrible insomnia and was put on two sleep aids. Granted I slept, but the next day, I was way more tired and could barely get through the day.
I decided to jump on the herb bandwagon for this problem as well, and discovered that Magnesium aided in sleep and anxiety. I began taking magnesium and I’ve slept well ever since.
Focusing on the Positive
It can be very hard trying to find the best out of bad situations, but it is possible. Like I have mentioned in my previous blogs, cancer changes your entire perspective on life.
It also changes the way you respond to situations. For me, when a bad situation occurs, I look at it as a new lesson and dissect it from every angle. I create value in it.
Another way I stay on the positive end of the spectrum is by starting my day with positive affirmations and saying why I am grateful. I continue this all day and all night and repeat it frequently.
I Am Not a Number
According to statistics, I should not be alive. But statistics are impersonal and I am a person. No one knows what I am capable of.
We are all different and it is important for people to understand that if they fall prey to the prognosis, without actually considering that there are other options, and understanding that they might have to change their habits and change their thinking, it is a recipe for disaster.
Emotional, physical and mental change is needed and this opens up more possibilities. That is where “miracles” are created. Right in that sweet spot.