To be honest, when I walked out of the specialists office three days after my initial diagnosis I had no intention of ever going back. I was there to simply collect information.
Up until this point all I knew was that the lump was cancerous. My doctor who initially told me the news couldn't tell me anymore than simply that: "you have cancer", talk about a cliff hanger!
Whilst I already knew, no matter what the prognosis, I didn't want to do conventional treatment, I still needed a little more information to work with. I needed a more precise diagnosis, and out of curiosity I wanted to know what their suggested treatment plan would be for me.
I wasn't surprised when the specialist told me I would need surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Or to put it bluntly: to literally be cut, poisoned and burnt. Had I not known that there were successful alternative therapies, I would have walked out of that consultation room feeling absolutely petrified, helpless and anxious.
Instead I felt empowered, positive and even excited about the journey ahead. I knew I had options and that this cancer was a gift. I saw it and still see it as an opportunity to heal what is not working in my life. It was my cue to get my head out of the clouds and my butt into action.
The weeks that followed however were hard. Although I knew cancer didn't just appear over night and can take many years to grow into a detectable size, you can't help but feel a sense urgency and panic. Knowing you have an aggressive cancerous lump in your body is scary.
Whilst I can say without a doubt that chemotherapy and radiation are not going to be a part of my treatment plan I did choose to have a lumpectomy (breast conserving surgery) in which the cancer and some of the surrounding tissue was removed. I also agreed to a small number of lymph nodes to be removed.
I made this decision four weeks after my diagnosis after 'sitting' with all my options. This was a very conscious and deliberate choice for me. I felt that surgery would be the lease invasive and most supportive choice for my healing journey. Out of all that was offered by conventional medicine this was one and only option that actually made sense to me.
My mission is to do all I can to build up, support, nourish and protect my body. If the truth be told, chemotherapy and radiation do nothing but break down, compromise and ultimately poison the body. The exact opposite of what somebody with cancer needs.
That is however, a post for another day!!
The lump itself may now be gone, but my healing journey has only just began. I know that the lump in my breast was not the problem, it was merely a symptom, a symptom of a body that was out of balance. Doctors are good at removing tumors, but only WE can keep them from re-occurring.
If a person has cancer, he is not sick because he has cancer, he has cancer because he is sick – because his whole body is sick. The cancerous tumor is not the cause of the person being sick, the cancerous tumor is the result of a body that is very sick, whether or not the person “feels” sick at the time he or she is diagnosed. Lorraine Day
The results from my surgery have been incredibly positive. The cancer was well contained and had not yet spread to my lymph nodes. I did however, require a second surgery two weeks after the initial lumpectomy. This was due to having unclear margins- cancer cells that are seen at the outer edge of the tissue that was removed when under a microscope.
Moving forward, my recovery has been smooth. It is not however, the be-and-end-all. Like anything in life, there are no guarantees. I chose to have a lumpectomy as a means of getting ahead of my cancer. Having surgery was the easy part, now the true healing begins.