I am a fourteen-year, stage lV cancer survivor. It was in the year 2002 at age 40 that I just delivered my second child. A few days after the delivery, I began to suffer from severe back pain. So, to address the issue, I went back to the OB/GYN. He explained to me that I had probably pulled a muscle during the delivery and prescribed me muscle relaxers. But since I was nursing, I didn’t take them. I waited a day or two and the pain still persisted; it couldn’t have been a pulled muscle. When my uterus contracted, I noticed a large lump on the left of my abdomen that wasn’t there before. I could feel pressure when I layed on my right side. Something was wrong. I went for my second time to the doctor, who said that the lump could be due my bowels being clogged up. He gave me something to drink that would clean out my system. However, the lump and back pain did not leave. Between that and my infant, I got zero sleep at night. Two weeks of no sleep had gone by and I was extremely upset.
At the end of the rope, I went for my third trip to the doctor and demanded that they find what was actually wrong. They did a CT scan the next morning and by noon my phone was ringing. I knew then it wasn’t going to be good: results normally take a few days to get back. At that point, I didn’t care what they told me, just that tell me how to fix it. I picked up the phone, it was my doctor. He said the CT scan didn’t look good and I needed to schedule an appointment with the surgeon. The surgeon told me it was most likely cancer and did a biopsy the next day of a swollen lymph node. The biopsy came back positive as stage four lymphoma. The back pain was caused by the cancer in my spleen and the whole left side of my body from hips to neck was affected. Chemotherapy started the next day. But I was relieved they found the problem. There was never a doubt in my mind that I would beat it. I didn’t give birth to this baby just to die.
After the first chemo treatment, a friend of mine gave me the name of a nutritionist who specifically worked with cancer patients. I decided to contact her since I wanted to use both conventional and holistic treatments. She took away all sugar, bread, dairy, and everything from my diet except fruits and vegetables. Cancer cells feed on sugar, and eating certain foods will kill cancer cells. I remained on this diet for the duration of the treatment and it helped me handle the effects of the chemo. I told conventional doctors about the diet but they weren’t really interested and didn’t want to hear it. However, even though the chemo kicks your ass, they couldn’t deny that the diet helped combat the side effects.
During treatments, I would sit and visit with other patients who were also receiving treatment. Many of them were in for their second, third, or fourth time due to the cancer returning. I told myself then, “I’m not doing this again.” The only thing I knew to do was change my lifestyle, continue eating a healthy diet, and exercise. After my treatments were through, I joined a gym to get my strength back. When I first got to the gym at the time, I was so weak that I could only put the treadmill speed on two and grip the handlebars tightly. If I went any faster, I felt that I’d fall off. Regardless, I stuck with eating right and exercising.
From there, I went from frail and weak to IFBB Pro Bodybuilder. It is amazing how the body will respond and heal itself. I have been grateful these past 15 years that I beat cancer and was able to watch my daughter grow up into a beautiful young lady..