Friday, December 9, 2011

Cancer Thriver: Jess from The Wellness Warrior

Meet Jessica, cancer thriver. This is the first of I hope several posts talking with people who have healed, or are in the process of healing themselves through holistic methods. A little about Jess from her blog:

Just over three years ago I was diagnosed with a very aggressive, rare form of cancer called Epithelioid Sarcoma, in my left hand and arm. After having a high dose of chemo pumped through my arm following scans showed I was clear of cancer. Little did I know it would come back, not even a year after going into remission. After being told by the scary men in white coats that my only real chance of long-term survival would be to have my arm amputated at the shoulder I decided to take matters into my own hands (excuse the pun). I politely refused their offers of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and began searching for natural, alternative cancer treatments. The way I saw it I had two choices. I could rely on the slash, poison and burn method offered to me by the medical profession and become stuck in the ‘cancer patient’ category for who knows how long, or I could take responsibility for my illness and bring my body to optimum health so that it can heal itself. For me it was an easy decision. Chemo and radiation do not have great success on the type of cancer I have, and there is no way I’m going to let them cut my arm off. Being told you have cancer is a massive shock and it is incredibly difficult at times, but it is also a huge wake up call. As tough as it is, dealing with a serious illness gives you the unique opportunity to make the most of the here and now. As someone very wise once said to me, “Cancer is a gift wrapped in a shitty package.” The only way to get through it is to keep smiling and take one day at a time.

I had the opportunity to ask Jessica some questions regarding her journey. I found her answers to be extremely insightful. I highly recommend following her journey at her blog The Wellness Warrior

1) I understand this is your second time with cancer; the first you followed the traditional methods. How did you feel when the cancer returned, and what made you decide to explore options outside of chemo? Most people don't even realize they have any, so how did you discover holistic healing?

When I found out that my cancer had returned I was upset, but part of me was expecting it. Between my two diagnosis, I had done so much research into cancer and healing and I knew that I hadn't done what was needed to really rid my body of cancer. When my doctors told me that my only options were amputation, chemo and radiation (none of which were going to cure me) I knew I had to find another way. I read books, researched on the internet, watched DVDs and spoke to other cancer survivors to try and find what would be the best plan of action for me.

2) How did you choose the Gerson therapy over everything else out there? How do you feel it is working for you?

Gerson Therapy looked like it was the hardest to follow and the most strict, but it also made the most sense to me. Plus, it had over 60 years of success stories, which made me feel comfortable. In my opinion, it is the most powerful healing modality we have available to us. I was told that I have an "incurable" disease, but will Gerson I am curing myself.

3) How did you family and friends respond to your choice to go the alternative route?

They were just as enthusiastic about it as I was. We were all in this together, we all did the research, and so we were all on the same page. It has definitely made the whole journey a lot easier.

4) Did you work with a regular Oncologist or some form of holistic doctor? How do you feel you were treated?

I haven't worked with a conventional medical team since I said "thanks, but no thanks" to their offers of amputation, chemo and radiation. They weren't very happy with the route I chose instead, which I wasn't surprised about. I now only work with my Gerson doctor in Mexico and a integrative doctor here.

5) What books would you recommend for the newly diagnosed?

Healing The Gerson Way by Charlotte Gerson
A Time To Heal by Beata Bishop
You Can Conquer Cancer by Ian Gawler

6)Any other tips for newly diagnosed?

Educate yourself. Read books, watch DVDs, get on the internet. Don't give away your power. You know your body better than anyone, and once you start researching, you will discover the best treatment plan for you. There are always more options than what your doctor will lead you to believe, and you always have more time to find them than what your doctor will tell you.

7) What is your status today? How are you feeling?

I feel great! My tumours are visibly going away and I have never felt better.

8) How are things now that you are your Mom are going through this together?

Things have been difficult financially, and we've had to adjust to the fact that we're now doing Gerson for three years instead of two, but we have so much faith in the body's ability to heal itself that everything has been pretty good. It was interesting to see the difference in our reactions from when I was first diagnosed to when Mum was. The fear and uncertainty just wasn't there this time around.

9) You have a boyfriend, did you meet before of after cancer? How does he handle all this; you have a pretty stringent schedule. 

I have known my boyfriend for almost 7 years, but we have only been a couple for three years. We started dating between my two diagnoses, and the second one was about a year into our relationship. He handles it all really well. He is understanding, supportive and deserves a medal for putting up with all of my mood swings!

10) What inspired you to start blogging about your experience?

I needed something to do to keep me sane. I was no longer working, and I missed writing every day, so I started the blog as a creative outlet and also to share what I was doing with my friends and family. When other people started showing their interest in my journey, that's when I realised that there is a thirst for empowered health information.

Diary of a Gerson Person: A day (every day) in the life

Because my winding down day is so close, I wanted to share what every day of the Gerson Therapy has been like so far. This is pretty much how my days have played out for the past 18 months.
6am: My alarm wakes me up. It’s one of those retro battery operated ones with the bells on top, so it scares the crap out of me every morning. Probably not the most peaceful way to start the day, but I use it because it’s not good to sleep with a digital alarm beside your head, and also it doesn’t have a snooze function. Once I’m up I walk bleary eyed to the bathroom, wash my face and roll out my yoga mat and towels for my first coffee enema of the day. I always read something inspiring while I’m doing my enema, to get me into a good frame of mind for the day. At the moment it’s The Greatness Guide Book 2 by Robin Sharma for the second time.
6.30am: Enema done! Now it’s time for five minutes of dry body brushing before jumping in the shower. I make sure I shower before the rest of the house wakes up and starts turning on taps. If there is water running anywhere else in the house while I’m in the shower I will get scorched.
6.45am: I walk upstairs and into the meditation room for half an hour of Zen time, saying good morning and giving my little pug girl Edie a bum scratch on my way.
7.15am: Dad’s finished preparing breakfast, so I sit down at the table to a glass of fresh orange juice (juice #1) and rolled oats with raw honey, sultanas, kiwi fruit and stewed apple. Every. Single. Morning. Lucky I love oats. Even after 18 months of this, it’s still my favourite meal.
7.45am: Dad’s been busy in the kitchen all morning, so he’s already washed and laid out all of the produce for our daily juices. To say thank you, I make him a big green smoothie while he fires up the Norwalk and starts making the first green juices (juice #2) for the day for mum and I.
8am: I drink my green juice before heading down to my room/office to start work for the day. I check my emails, upload the day’s blog, prepare the newsletter, post blasts to Facebook and Twitter, and then answer whatever emails and blog comments I’ve received overnight.
9am: Go back upstairs to drink my carrot and apple juice (juice #3) and then another carrot and apple juice (juice #4). Once that’s done, it’s back down to the computer to write blog posts, write book, or speak with clients.
10am: Make and drink juice #5 – plain carrot. Then it’s time for the second enema for the day.
11am: Make and drink juice #6 – green. Once I’ve finished cleaning the juicer I help Mum prepare lunch. She does the salad, potatoes and pumpkin while I chop the veggies for the hot pot. After that we go and lie outside to soak up some vitamin D and get 15-20 minutes of sun.
12noon: Drink juice #7 – carrot and apple. Turn the TV on to watch Ellen dancing through her studio audience – my absolute favourite part of Gerson Therapy has been being able to watch The Ellen DeGeneres Show every day while we eat lunch. We sit down to Hippocrates Soup, a big plate of salad with roast pumpkin, a baked potato and some cooked veggies.
1pm: Make and drink green juice (juice #8). Go back downstairs to answer emails and do more writing.
2pm: Drink carrot juice (juice #9). Enema time again! Roll out the yoga mat for enema number three.
3pm: Make and drink another carrot juice (juice #10). Sit back in front of the computer to do more work – scold myself for allowing Facebook to suck away so much time that before I know it an hour’s gone past and I’m looking through a stranger’s photo album with absolutely no recollection of how I ended up there.
4pm: Make and drink a carrot and apple juice (juice #11). Either take Edie for a walk, do yoga or jump on the mini trampoline.
5pm: Drink another carrot and apple juice (juice #12). I usually have a client session now, so I chat to them or I do more writing, or I meditate.
6pm: Finally, last juice for the day! I make and drink a green juice (juice #13). Then it’s back downstairs, roll out the mat again and do my fourth enema for the day.
7pm: Say hello to Tallon who is now home and usually knocks on the bathroom door while I’m doing my enema (even though/because he knows I hate it). Chat to him for a bit before we are called upstairs for dinner.
7.15pm: We all sit down for family dinner around the table (facing the TV). Again we have Hippocrates Soup, a big plate of salad, a baked potato and some cooked veggies. Dad and Tallon add meat. Edie is in the background whimpering, scratching at our legs for more food, or perched at her own chair at the table.
8.30pm: After clean up is done we make peppermint teas and all go in different directions of the house. Tallon and I either watch TV or lie in bed and read. We turn all of the lights out and just have lamps and Himalayan Salt lamps on to prepare for sleep time.
10pm: I’m asleep, or willing myself to be asleep so that I get my standard eight hours.
Even though my mum is also on Gerson Therapy for her breast cancer, her days looks a little different to mine. Before she started Gerson, she was my carer and now she still manages to fit in the making of soup, boiling coffee for enemas and doing our mammoth grocery shops. Luckily my dad now stays home most mornings to help her out. I’m planning on posting a day in her life soon to give you an idea of what her role involves.
Isn't she amazing? Thank you Jessica for taking time to talk to me. Good luck on your continued healing! Check out Jessica at her site The Wellness Warrior.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I admire anyone with that much dedication! So happy that it is working for her, I believe that we are all individual and that everyone has to find what works for them. Too bad that most people don't even realize they have choices...


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