14. Continuing the Healing Journey

As I type this, I feel incredibly empowered.  I just don’t think that the cancer stands a chance.  I do wish it well… as it leaves my body.  In my hands I feel that I hold the key(s) to figuring this all out.  How, you ask?  Last week, I spent eight days at an integrative detox retreat in Phoenix, AZ.  It was intense, and intensive.  I learned a ton, connected with amazing people and felt that it was indeed life-saving.  I let go of some more emotional baggage, I learned more about what cancer doesn’t like.  I experienced some cutting-edge energy technologies and had some remarkable responses.  I have a thousand resources I could employ against this cancer, my work now is to listen closely to my intuition and move forward with those things that feel right, that resonate, and that radiate peace when I think of them.  

You may have noticed a slight change in language.  This cancer is no longer mine.  I have disowned it.  It will now be referred to as “the” cancer, and certainly not “my” cancer.  My plan is to starve it.  Starve it on multiple fronts so it doesn’t have the room to breathe or grow.  What is ingenious about this plan is its simplicity, even if I do say so myself.  Which I just did.  And, it gives me a schedule for the next several months that I can really sink my teeth into.  Pun intended, as it includes a special diet.

It’s funny how things unfold.  I found this retreat because of the woman who helped co-facilitate the CCWP Program in FL, who fast became a dear friend.  She’d connected me to an oncology nurse come wellness coach, and they both hosted this retreat with a well-known integrative holistic doctor, who himself previously had stage four cancer and is in remission, healing dozens of people along the way.  Enter perhaps one of the most well-balanced doctors I’ve ever met, someone who is equally left- and right-brained, which means incredibly smart while being patient, compassionate and very kind.  Of the same ilk as my ER doc.

I’m excited, as the timing for all of this has been quite perfect.  Like the movements in a symphony, my sense is that everything has been building towards this.  Queue the strings and the timpani.  Yes, I really just wanted to write that word!  

I had treatment this week and have one more session of FOLFIRI chemotherapy in two weeks, before I have a much needed “chemo-vacation.”  I’ll stay on immunotherapy, and may even have others included, but the schedule will push out to every three weeks, and the side-effects are supposed to be minimal… giving me much needed time to rebuild my body.  I did lose a few more pounds during the detox, now making me the lightest I’ve ever been as an adult.  And I still don’t look like a cancer patient!  Luckily, my love of coconuts, avocados, nuts and seeds will sustain me and help me rebuild.  I will eat my way to health.  Yum.

A freer schedule provides the perfect opportunity to implement my plan:   

  1. Fasting: For 18 hours every day.  There is a ton of information about the health benefits of this while healing from serious conditions.  It means that I’ll need to be very organized to eat all of my daily intake in a six-hour period between 10am and 4pm.  It will also help me train for my post-remission competitive eating career.
  2. Diet: Ketogenic, plant-based, which I’ll be on for several months.  I’m working with a successful keto specialist who’ll provide a comprehensive food schedule for me to follow, based on my particular needs.  The overarching reason for this is that cancer needs glucose to survive, from sugar and carbs.  With a ketogenic diet, fat instead of glucose is used for fuel, and it’s a way to protect my overall health by starving the cancer cells while feeding my healthy cells.  This isn’t something to take on without your doctor’s supervision, so please don’t try it at home.
  3. Exercise: EWOT, or exercise with oxygen therapy, which is high interval training (HIT) with an oxygen mask.  I’ll do it using a rebounder and will purchase some leg warmers for authenticity.  I draw the line at leotards and listening to Olivia Newton John while doing it, as much as my mother would have loved all that.  
  4. Emotional work: Continue with One-Brain Kinesiology and EVOX.  
  5. Integrative therapies: Supportive IVs every week, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, supplements, energy therapies, etc.   
  6. Spend time each day doing something fun.  Go outside more.
  7. Spend more time with friends and family.  For the first time since diagnosis, I’ve been thinking about a trip to Australia to visit my family and friends...

That’s it.  I want to create daily schedules to take the guesswork of when to do what.  I’ll use the next couple of weeks to get organized.

Now, don’t get me wrong, heading into this new plan will require focus and discipline.  It will be tricky when seeing people around mealtimes.  But, I know specifically what I have to lose -- the cancer -- and I’ve done many detoxes and cleanses before.  I’m meeting this new chapter with openness, curiosity and excitement.  I can’t wait to get started!  Perhaps I’ll even be reunited with my pre-diagnosis bum?!

I’ve been taking moderation in moderation as well.  The last couple of days have been a “last hoorah” of sorts before getting serious (yeah, right!), and it’s been all about food.  I’ve been on a strict no sugar diet since diagnosis, with a little leeway for some 85% chocolate.  Yesterday and today have included things that I’ll have to say “see you later” to until remission: pizza, croissants, biscotti, beer, eating late.  Small price to pay, really.

I’m really interested to see how this will go.  Know that I bring you along with me.  I’ll picture you on a rebounder next to me, with your very own pair of leg warmers.